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#42. My Beautiful Hands

MACHIKO'S ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS #42

tl by danluffey

117)
#42. My Beautiful Hands

118)
sfx: whoooosh...
1: /That itches...
2: /That itches. Stop it.
3: /Go away! Go away, I said! Begone!
4: /How did you even get in here?

119)
1: /I can't even shoo you away.
2: /If only... if only I could move my hands...
3: /My hands... the hands that people once lauded for being supple and beautiful... I will never outstretch them ever again.
4: Suen... your hands are so beautiful.
5: Who said you could touch them?
6: Tch! C'mon, I'm just trying to help you across.
7: I'm letting you help me across.
8: I'm going to be the wife of a very noble man someday, so you should feel honored.

120)
1: How long are you going to keep talking about that? You are pretty, Suen, but it's time for you to face the facts, or else you'll end up with nothing!
2: Leave me be.
3: /I don't want to end my life in this tiny village, out in the middle of nowhere. I remember when I heard the men from that caravan talking...
4: If you went to the capital, I'm sure His Majesty would take a liking to you.
5: Staying out here for all your life would be such a waste.
6: /I want to go to that capital place... I want to become the woman of a noble man!
7: /I want a different life!

121)
1: /But when I was 16, my parents forced me to marry a young man from the village.
2: /I was so against it, but I had no choice. And then...
3: They've asked us to offer up one of our young maidens.
4: /Our village was so remote that I didn't really understand what had happened, but apparently our kingdom lost in a war to a bigger kingdom. And as a symbol of subservience, young maidens from our kingdom had to be sent to the other kingdom as war trophies.
5: Take care.
6: /And so, young maidens left their villages one by one and traveled off. The other girls were all crying, but I had hope.

122)
1: /Now I'm not a girl in some nameless village anymore. I don't care where country I have to go to! I just want to marry a noble man!
2: /But... what awaited me were only common soldiers.
3: /They were beside themselves with joy as they accepted us.
4: /The King and his vassals accepted several women of noble birth, but common women like us were not even allowed to go near them.
5: /The man who took me was a gentle man.
6: /It was like a dream come true.

123)
1: /That was where I first learned to wash my hair and face. It was also the first place I ate delicious things like fish and fruits.
2: /I also learned how to put on makeup, and soon I became many times prettier than I had been in the village.
3: Ah... it's the general's mistress.
4: /What? I'm way prettier than she is... why is she with the general?!

124)
1: /My husband was a gentle man, but it wasn't enough for me. I knew that a woman as beautiful as I was could rise higher.
2: /I started by going outside and locking eyes with my husband's captain whenever he passed by our house.
3: /Men with power could take as many wives as they wanted. In the world of men, the orders of one's superiors were absolute. And as I expected, the captain came to lust for me.
4: Hmm...
5: /Soon, I became his. And in return, my husband was promoted.
6: /He was very sad, for he truly loved me, but he was promoted, so what did he have to complain about?

125)
1: /But I wasn't satisfied with just becoming a captain's wife. The only reason I went to his side was because I knew it would allow me to cross eyes with even more influential men. Next, I went to a division commander. And after that, a battalion commander.
2: /And then, I set my sights on the general. That ugly mistress was no match for me.
3: /The funny thing was, it still didn't satisfy me. And so, in the end, I aimed for...
4: the emperor!

126)
1: /I'm the most beautiful woman in the world!! Therefore, I want to belong to the strongest man in the world!
2: /One day, I got my chance.
3: /The Emperor decided to lead his soldiers himself as they embarked on a journey that would take cares. Many women remained in the kingdom, but I went with the general's troops, as an "obedient wife who risks danger to follow her man."

127)
1: /Someday, the emperor will set eyes on me... that lone hope was the one thing that pushed me on through the perilous journey.
2: /But...
3: /One day, when we had stopped to rest at a remote garrison, the weather began extremely severe,
4: /and I collapsed.
5: /How can this be happening?! I need to make the Emperor notice me!
6: The poor thing...
7: Give her a proper burial.
8: /No! I can't be buried out in the sticks like this! Take me to the Emperor!
9: /I can't die until the strongest man in the world sees me... ahhh... ahhh...

128)
1: /I don't want to be shut up in a place where no one can see my beauty! Someone...!
sfx: whoosh
2: /Someone, find me!
sfx: skritch
3: /Huh? Is someone here?
4: 2,000 years ago... this was a great citadel.
5: /I'm right here! Hurry... hurry!
6: clamor
7: According to the ancient tome... around this area...
8: clamor
9: ...silk road...

129)
1: /Ah...
sfx: creaaak...
2: /It's so bright!
3: Look at this!!
4: /They found me!
5: Hurry up and close it! The sudden burst of outside air may warp it! Wait until our preparations are complete!
6: /Huh?
sfx: slam
7: /No! Why are you closing it again?!
8: /They must be more foolish commoners.
9: /Go and bring your a nobler man to me! The noblest man you have!

130)
1: Last year, the discovery of a 2,000-year old mummy made breaking news.
2: You remember, don't you?
3: After making all preservation preparations, it has been dug up again, for the first time in a year.
4: Currently, a dissection by the finest doctors in our country is taking place.
5: We have determined that it is the mummy of a 22-year old woman, blood type AB. She is thought to have died of pneumonia.
6: /Wh... what? Why did they strip me? Why are they touching me in places?
7: /Why are they shaming me like this?!

131)
1: The fact that we excavated such a wonderful specimen
2: is proof that our country's culture has always been advanced, even in ancient times. And so, it has been decided that the mummy will be put on public display, so that all citizens may take pride in their country.
3: clamor
4: That's a 22-year-old? But she's all wrinkly! She's a mummy, so she must be dried out.
5: Her boobs are flat. And saggy!
6: She looks bow-legged.
7: How creepy!
8: I bet she was really ugly.
9: It's just my hunch.
10: Wh... what do you know?! Stop saying that!

132)
1: /Bring me your leader!!
2: This way, sir.
3: How does it look, prime minister?
4: Mmm... it's preserved so well. Now we finally have something to brag about to the foreign media!
5: But...
6: /Look at me... look at me... I'm beautiful, aren't I? Hey...
7: I don't know what kind of person this mummy was... but I'm sure you're far more beautiful than she ever was, dear!
8: (Wahaha...
9: Oh, you!

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