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#25. The New Tale of the Bamboo Cutter

MACHIKO'S ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS #25

tl by danluffey

4)
#25. The New Tale of the Bamboo Cutter

5)
1: [You all know the story of the Bamboo Cutter, don't you?
2: [A long, long time ago, there lived an old bamboo cutter who made a meager living by designing items out of bamboo.
3: I'll be back by dinner!
4: Okie dokie!
5: We have no children, so there's no one to look after us in our old age...
6: It's so lonely... and so exhausting...
7: I'm sure raising a child has its difficulties too, but...
8: Huh? What's with this bamboo?
9: [The bamboo cutter cut open a glowing bamboo...thereby cutting Kaguya-hime in half and killing her.
10: Just kidding! Sorry.
11: [Inside the bamboo
12: [was a cute little girl.
13: [She grew very fast, and after three months, she had become an adult.
14: (Bamboo sprouts grow really fast too...

6)
1: [Her radiance spread to every corner of the earth, and so they named her Kaguya-hime. (*Radiant Princess)
2: [Just gazing upon her made all their pain fly away. Her radiance alone warmed their hearts.
3: [The next thing the old man found when cutting bamboo was a shoot filled with golden coins!
4: [And so, the family became rich.
5: (Their house is glowing! I heard that's where Kaguya-hime lives! Looky-loos! Posers!
6: [Every man dreams about getting his hands on the most sought-after woman. And so, man after man came to Kaguya-hime's house to propose to her.
7: Please!
8: Become my wife!
9: In that case... please prove how devoted you are to me by doing something.
10: My love for you is the real thing! I'll do anything you wish!

7)
1: In that case, Ishitsukuri-no-Miko-sama,
2: please bring me the Buddha's stone begging bowl from India.
3: Gegeh!
4: (Are you kidding me?!
5: It's alright if you can't. It'll just prove that you don't really love me.
6: No! I promise I'll bring it to you!
7: Kuramochi-no-Miko-sama!
8: At the edge of the eastern sea there exists a mountain called Hourai. I want you to go there and bring a branch from the tree with silver roots, gold leaves, and white fruit that grows there.
9: Your wish is my command! I'll be right back, Kaguya-hime!
10: [In the end, five different men gave up on their challenges. No one was able to bring Kaguya-hime exactly what she wanted.
11: Abe-no-Mimuraji-sama. Bring me the robe of the fire-rat.
12: [In the end, Kaguya-hime went back to the moon, where she had come from... at least, that's the tale that everyone knows.
13: But the true story...
14: is now about to begin!

8)
1: [Let's rewind the tale a little bit...
2: Abe-no-Mimuraji-sama. Bring me the robe of the fire-rat.
3: Ootomo-no-Miyuki-sama.
4: Bring me a five-colored jewel from the neck of a dragon.
5: Yes ma'am!
6: /Like any of those things actually exist!
7: /It's so irritating how I'm getting so many suitors just because they think I'm beautiful! But all I need to do is ask them to bring me something impossible, and they all respectfully decline.
8: I can't let myself be taken by anyone like that, no matter how noble their lineage may be.
9: Whenever girls are pampered and treasured too much, they get really conceited like this!

9)
1: Kaguya-hime! I found gold in another piece of bamboo!
2: I'm rich!
3: I'm beautiful! And I'm popular!
4: Letting a man marry me that easily would only stain my dignity.
sfx: Hmph!
5: [The fact that she gave her suitors such difficult tasks to complete only ended up raising Kaguya-hime's worth.
6: Doesn't surprise me at all!
7: (Yeah, yeah
8: It's only a testament to what a jewel of a woman she is!
9: That's right. You can't compare me with all those other girls!
10: Kaguya-hime, another suitor has arrived.
11: I am Iso-no-Kami-no-Maro desu.

10)
1: Please, become my wife.
sfx: pitter patter
2: swoon
3: Ah...
4: /What a gallant attitude... he's just overflowing with wisdom and tenderness... ahh, what a handsome man...
5: Please...
6: /This feeling... it must be... love...!

11)
1: Here comes another suitor!
2: Wonder what she'll ask for this time?
3: Haa
4: She's no average lady... there's no way she'd answer with a simple yes or no!
5: /I can't decide on him just yet...
6: What must I do to receive your hand?
7: Um... well...
8: /I couldn't possibly just say yes without asking anything of him!

12)
1-2: /What should I do?
bg text: eyes of the public, pride, love, true feelings
3: What's she waiting for? Maybe even Kaguya-hime can't resist sexy-looking guys.
sfx: twitch!
4: Here is the condition!
5: Please bring me a swallow's cowrie.
bg: eyes of the public, pride, love, true feelings
6: A swallow's cowrie?

13)
1: Normally, swallows produce eggs... but there's a legend that says that rarely, they give birth to cowries.
2: I want you to find one of them. If you can do that, then I will become your wife.
3: Understood.
4: Iso-no-Kami-no-Maro-sama... what if he doesn't find the swallow's cowrie?
5: Ahhh... maybe I should have just nodded and accepted him back there?
6: (Suddenly! In the midst of her floundering, an idea!
7: No matter what he brings, all I need to do is say "Yes! This is the cowrie!"
8: (Kyaa!
9: Ahhh, I'm so smart!

14)
sfx: twitch!
1: Ishitsukuri-no-Miko-sama has returned with the Buddha's stone begging bowl from India.
2: Here you are, Kaguya-hime. Now you're all mine!
3: The real bowl would be glowing with a blue light!
4: Hiieeee! You figured out it was a fake? Oh, the shame!
5: Kuramochi-no-Miko-sama has returned with the Hourai mountain tree.
6: /This... looks like the real thing... oh no! Do I have to become his wife now?
7: Now, please...
8: Kuramochi-no-Miko-sama! Please pay up what you owe us for crafting that!

15)
1: Hiiieee! My plan's ruined! I'm so embarrassed, I'm going to disappear.
2: Abe-no-Mimuraji-sama has returned with the fire rat's coat.
3: Light it on fire. If it's the real thing, it won't burn.
sfx: fsssh
4: What about Ootomo-no-Miyuki-sama?
5: He got caught in a storm while searching for the dragon and gave up...
6: /Now there's no one left to get in the way! Please come back soon, Iso-no-Kami-no-Maro-sama!
7: Eheh! Uheheh!
8: Nihehniheh!
9: [But Iso-no-Kami-no-Maro was a very serious man, and kept searching diligently for the cowrie.
10: Yes! I've finally found it! Ahhh!
sfx: snap

16)
1: Maro-sama!
sfx: thud
2: Th... the cowrie... ahh...
3: Oh no... it was only a hardened old dropping!
4: He broke his hip. He's in a very serious condition.
5: Oh my!
6: Kaguya-him brought a poem and a flower for you.
7: Ahhh...
8: Just being able to receive her gentle words before passing... leaves me with no regrets...
sfx: thunk
9: He passed away...
10: Ahhh... what a tragedy!

17)
1: It hurts... it hurts...
2: It was so fleeting...
3: [Kaguya-hime's popularity didn't waver after the accident... but the more suitors she met with, the more her pain intensified.
4: I'm an emperor!
5: I don't want to see anyone!
6: Being here only makes me remember him...
7: And besides..
8: wrinkles at 32!
9: I grow so fast, that I've truly started to age...

18)
1: Earth air isn't good for your skin.
2: Yes. I'm coming back to the moon!
3: Goodbye!
4: Kaguyaaaa!
5: I wish I could have stayed longer... but I don't want everyone to see me all old like this.
6: I want to remain in their memories as the beautiful Kaguya-hime that I once was.
7: [After returning to the moon, perhaps because of the difference in the water there, Kaguya-hime soon regained her youthful appearance.
8: [Eventually, she even began to miss the charming men of Earth.
9: (Halley!

19)
1: Ah! A man from Earth is coming!
2: I'm going to catch him and keep him here!
3: Oh no! He's so ugly! His forehead is too prominent, and his eyes are too big!
4: And the color of his hair and eyebrows is so light... he's hideous! Nevermind!
5: I need to wait for a Japanese man to come. Hurry up already!
6: [Now... I wonder who will be the first Japanese man to visit the moon?
7: Hurry up,
8: men!
9: I'm going.
10: Welcome.
sign: A Trip to the Moon

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