S1E16 | Pearl (10 of 12)

珍珠(十) 

(A Chinese Mermaid Tale)

Written and illustrated by Linda Yi | Chinese Translations by 竻竻


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Chapter 28– Handle with Care

第二十八章– 用心守护


Hai’s breath skidded to a halt, his heart thudding in his chest. He wasn't quite sure he believed what he was seeing. Hai shut his eyes, breathing deeply before opening them again.  

海的呼吸一窒,心跳骤然加速。他不确定他是否相信自己眼前看到的一切。海阖上眼,深吸了一口气,然后再缓缓睁开双眼。

And there she was: the stone maiden who had once been a living, breathing Mei.  The statue stood still, mute and immobile under the light of the moon.  

她依旧伫立在那儿,曾经美好的少女变成了一座冷冰冰的石像。石像一动也不动,无声无息地融进沉默的月色里。

 

Hai reached out to touch her face.  The stone was cold as the moonlight in which it was bathed. Hai suddenly remembered that he still clutched Mei's pearl bracelet.  In one desperate motion, he slid the bangle onto her stone wrist.  

海颤抖地伸出手,想要摸一摸她的脸颊。可是面前石像依旧冰冷,恰似此时的月色。这时候,海突然想起自己手里还攥着小妹的珍珠镯子。他绝望地一伸手,把镯子滑进小妹的手腕上。

 

It fell with an empty clank against the other seven bangles. Hai stared at the bracelets. The silence around him roared, canceling out all other thoughts. 

小妹的镯子和其他七个镯子撞在了一起,发出啪嗒一声闷响。可除此之外,什么也没有发生。海失神地望着它们。在他的周围,寂静的夜鼓噪着、喧嚣着,赶走了他所有的思绪。

 

“That’s of no use, dear,” spoke a voice as gentle as a summer’s breeze. 

    就在这时,一道轻柔如初夏晚风的声音突然钻进了海的耳廓:“你这么做没用的,小伙子。”

  

Hai turned with a start, his eyes searching the shadows of the cave for the source of the voice. And there she was: a tall woman cloaked in a robe of…was it gold? Hai couldn’t quite tell – for she was half hidden in shadow.  

    听罢,海愣了一下,赶忙回身寻找声音的来处。说话的人原来是一个高大的、穿着金色袍子的女人—海不确定自己有没有看错,因为她的半个身子都匿在黑暗中。

  

"The bracelet will not bring back sweet Mei," the woman continued on, as she strode out from the shadows. Her hair, which had seemed raven black moments before, now seemed to be threaded with silver. Strange, Hai thought dimly, I thought her robe was yellow? He blinked his eyes and looked again. No, he must have been mistaken. The woman was clearly cloaked in a robe of dark red. 

    ”镯子不会让小妹复活。” 女人一边说,一边踏出了黑暗的角落。这时海才发现,女人的黑发中原来还夹杂着几缕银发。奇怪了,她的袍子不应该是黄色的吗?海这么想着,不禁眨了眨眼。不对,他肯定是弄错了。眼前的女人分明披着一袭暗红的长袍。

As the woman made her way slowly to the edge of the pool, she seemed to stoop, her long strides slowing into carefully measured steps. When she finally reached the stone pathway leading to the center of the pool, Hai saw that the hair on her head had become snowy white. Another trick of the light? In her right hand, the stooping woman grasped a wooden cane…

女人慢慢地沿着水池边行走着,她计算着每一个脚步,最后来到了那串通往水池中央的石桥前。海发现,她头发瞬间变得雪白—难道又是光线的问题?可是,下一秒,海意识到,女人是佝偻着前行的,而她的右手中,赫然握着一支木头拐杖。。。。

 

Wait! Wasn’t this the old woman who had taken Mei in?What could she be doing – before Hai could complete his thought,Nai Nai had somehow already crossed the stone pathway, and was now standing beside him at the center of the cavern lake.

等等!这不是那位好心收留小妹的老奶奶吗?她怎么会在这里?可是,不等海反应过来,奶奶已经穿越了石桥,站到了他的身边。

 

The old woman gazed at Hai, a shrewd expression in those cloud colored eyes. With a wizened hand, she plucked the pearl bangle off  the stone maiden's wrist.  She pressed it, as Mei had done, into Hai’s palm.  He felt it turn, from warm to cool then back to warm again.

    老奶奶凝望着海,浑浊的双眼中闪烁着智慧的光芒。她伸出一双皱巴巴的手,把珍珠镯子从小妹的腕上摘了下来,然后把它塞进海的掌心。海感受着珍珠在自己的指尖从温热,再变凉,又恢复温热。

 

“So, she took the leap did she?” The old woman clucked her tongue as her gaze slid from Hai onto the stone maiden. Nai Nai turned and shuffled back towards the stone pathway. “Come,” she commanded, beckoning for Hai to follow. “Hurry along now, the middle of a lake is no place for talking.”

老奶奶把视线转移到了眼前的石头少女身上,她咂了咂嘴,叹道:“看来,这孩子真的选择孤注一掷了。” 言毕,奶奶转身往石桥的方向走,一边还招呼着海跟上:“快点儿,这里不是说话的地方。”

 

Nai Nai moved slowly, leaning heavily on her gnarled cane.  Hai started forward to lend a hand, lest she slip on the stepping stones –  yet in the next moment, he found the stones before him vacant. Hai blinked in confusion, looked up, and saw Nai Nai’sbent figure already at the edge of the pool. The old woman waved at him to hurry. And hurry he did – rushing across the stone pathway, his feet almost slipping off the stones. As he ran, Hai grasped the pearl bracelet tightly in his palm. When he finally reached the old woman, Hai’s breath came in ragged gasps.  

奶奶走得很慢,半个身子都倚在拐杖上。海担心她跌倒,想伸手扶一扶她,可是,下一秒,他惊讶地发现,眼前的石桥空空如也,根本不见奶奶的踪影。海迷惑地眨了眨眼,抬起头,才发现奶奶已经到达了石桥的另一端。老妇人不停向他挥手,催他快一点,海只得加快脚步,踩着滑溜溜的石头,跌跌撞撞地向前冲。他一边跑,一边紧紧攥着手里的珍珠镯子。当他终于来到老妇人面前时,已经累得上气不接下气了。

  

Nai Naigrinned up at him, wrinkled lips stretching into a broad smile. "Your grip young man." She rapped Hai’s knuckles with the end of her gnarled staff.   "That's Mei's heart you're squeezing there.  Handle with care."

奶奶冲着海笑了笑,用拐杖的末端敲了敲他的指关节,嘱咐道:“你手里握着的,可是小妹的心。你可要用心守护它哦。”

 


Chapter 29– Earth Mother

第二十九章– 大地母亲


" Mei's ... heart?" repeated Hai, feeling numb.

“小妹的。。。心?” 海机械地重复道。

  

"Yes." The old woman answered with an earthy sigh.  "Like I said, she took a leap… of faith.”

“不错。” 老妇人的声音像是从土地深处传来的一样,充满神秘的温柔。“正如我所说的那样,小妹她。。决定为了爱勇敢一次。” 

 

And there, in the half shadows of the cave, the old woman spoke to Hai – for the second time that night – of Mei’s story. A wet ball of dread knotted in Hai’s stomach. Shivers of guilt raced up his back and down his arms, stinging with the sharpness of regret.

于是,在岩洞的深处,在摇曳的月影和黑暗中,老奶奶又一次向海讲述小妹的故事。在了解了事实的真相后,海的心团成一团乱麻,愧疚感电流般贯穿他的全身,一波一波的后悔和难过刺痛着他的每一寸皮肤。

 

"I didn't believe her" he choked out, throat raw.  The old woman sighed and patted his shoulder. 

“我居然不相信她!”海哽咽道。老妇人叹了一口气,然后拍了拍海的肩膀,说:

 

"She knew you might not. But she told you all the same.  It takes courage, it does," the old woman nodded approvingly towards the center of the lake, "to tell the truth to the person one loves.  So many hold back for fear of what they stand to lose..."

“她知道你可能不会相信。但她还是告诉你了。这真的是需要勇气的。” 奶奶转过身,朝着池心的方向赞赏地点了点头,继续道:“向自己深爱的人坦白真实的自己,这不是每个人都能做到的。太多人害怕失去这份感情,从而选择了隐瞒。。。”

 

The old woman fixed her gaze onto Hai once more.  "What you hold in your hand - that is Mei's Hai-zhi-xing.  Her sea-heart.  When she gave it to you, she not only gave you her love, but her trust.  And that, my dear boy, is something quite precious indeed."

老妇人又一次把目光投向海。“躺在你手心里的,是小妹的海之心。小伙子,你要知道,当她把心交给你的时候,她给你的不仅是她全部的爱,更是她毫无保留的信任。而信任,可是一件非常宝贵的东西啊。”

 

"And she was wrong!" Hai cried in despair.  "Because of me, she..."  He had lost her – lost the person he held most dear to nothing more than the whispered smoke of rumors. 

“然而她错了!”海绝望地喊道。“都是因为我,她才。。。”海说不下去了。他只知道,他永远地失去她了,仅仅因为几句搬弄是非的只言片语,他就失去了那个对他最重要的人!

  

"I've lost her." Hai finished, voice flat and defeated, eyes fixed dully on the rose pearl in his hand.

”我真的失去她了。”海垂头丧气地吐出最后一句,声音单薄极了,充满了自责和痛悔。他呆呆地望着手中的玫瑰色珍珠,陷入了压抑的沉默。

 

"Not quite..." came Nai Nai’s reply, her voice somehow gentler - and younger sounding - than before.  Hai, his head still bent and gazing at Mei’s Hai-zhi-xing, did not see the figure of the old woman straighten, standing taller as she spoke. Neither did Hai see the white hair on her head darken, first into silver and then into an inky black.

奶奶静静地看着这一切。她悄悄地直起背,理了理花白的头发,轻轻说道:“那可不一定。”海沉浸在悲伤里,全然没有注意到奶奶的声音好像变年轻了,她的体格也似乎突然之间变高了,而她原本的银发也渐渐变深,最后成了墨一般的漆黑。

 

"Do you feel the rose pearl in your hand?" 

“你是否感觉到你掌心的玫瑰珍珠?”

  

"Yes…"

“嗯。。”

 

"Does it not change, from warm to cool, then to warm again?"

“它有什么变化吗?是不是一会儿温热,一会儿冰凉?

 

"It ... does"

”是。。啊。”

 

"Well there you have it!" the woman standing before Hai cried, voice triumphant like sunshine in June.  

“那就对了!”站在海面前的女人兴奋地喊道。她开心极了,好像整个声音都沐浴在六月的阳光下一样。

 

"Er... have what?" asked Hai, mightily baffled. He finally turned his gaze towardNai Nai, only to find that the old woman had disappeared. Instead, a woman – no, a girl (here, Hai actually rubbed his eyes in disbelief) stood where she had been.

“啊?什么对了?”海迷惑地问道。他终于抬起头,看着老奶奶。可他面前站着的人哪里是什么老奶奶!根本是一个女人—不对,一个小女孩。海惊诧不已,不禁揉了揉眼睛想确认自己到底有没有在做梦。

 

The pigtailed little girl, who had once been an old woman with cloud colored eyes, rolled her own chestnut hued eyes in exasperation. She shook her head at Hai, fat pigtails flouncing about her shoulders. The little girl pointed at the bracelet he held, and spoke in a melodious voice:

扎着辫子的小女孩有些不耐烦地转了转栗色的眼珠,冲着海摇了摇头,一双胖乎乎的小辫子在她的肩膀上任性地飞舞着。小女孩指了指海手上的镯子,用银铃般悦耳的声音解释道:

 

"That heart you hold – Mei’s heart – it still beats! Because it has been given to one who's heart is also true.  Should your heart remain true, one day, your love will return to you."

“你手里拿着的心—小妹的海之心—还在跳动着呢!这是因为她把这颗心交给了另一个真心爱她的人。如果你爱她的心不变,那么,有一天,她就会回到你的身边。”

 

As she finished speaking, the little girl had transformed once more into a tall woman with raven hair.  "Go home and rest, boy," she said. "You still have questions, I know.  The answers you seek will come by dream.”

说完,小女孩摇身一变,又变回了那位高个子黑头发的女人。她继续道:“快回去休息吧,小伙子,我看得出来,你还有疑问,你想要的答案就在你的梦里。

  

Then, the earth mother stepped forth and dropped something into Hai’s hand. He looked down to see that she given him a single leaf – purple in the moonlight and edged in silver.

大地母亲走上前,把一样东西放进了海的手中。海低头一看,发现她给了自己一片树叶。那片叶子是紫色的,在月光下还泛着银色的光芒。

 

“Hold this in your palm when you go to sleep” she said. “It shall guide you to where you need to be.”

“睡觉的时候,把它握在手中,” 土地母亲对海说,“它会指引你到你想去的地方。”

 

And with that, the earth mother melted into the ground, vanishing without a trace. 

话音刚落,土地母亲就消失在地里,没了一点踪影。


Chapter 30– The Dream

第三十章– 梦境


Hai lay down that night with Mei's Hai-zhi-xingresting on his chest.  As the rose-pearl bracelet was too small to fit on his own wrist, he had looped it onto a length of twine which he had tied around his neck.  In his left hand, Hai held the leaf given to him by the earth mother.

那天晚上,海戴着小妹的海之心入睡了。珍珠手镯太小,带不上自己的手腕,于是海只好把它串在一截绳子上,再将它戴在脖子上。他的左手捏着土地母亲给他的一片树叶。

 

"The answers you seek will come by dream."

“你想要的答案,就在你的梦里”

 

The moon spilled silver light into his cottage.  Hai shut his eyes and saw Mei's face - marble shining bright under the same moonlight.  The pearl rested upon his bare skin, warm and cool, warm and then cool again.  His eyelids slid shut a fraction. A hum of wind…the lazy drifting of clouds… and an ever-shining moon…  Hai slept.  

明月播撒着零零星星的光芒,照进了他的小屋。海紧闭着眼,他看到了小妹的身影—大理石般闪闪发亮的身体,沐浴在同一寸月光下。玫瑰色的珍珠抵着他的皮肤,一会儿冷、一会儿热。他的眼睑动了一下。一阵风。懒散的浮云。皎洁的月。海终于沉沉地睡去。 

***

A tangle of vines – silver vines with purple leaves. With some effort, Hai broke free from the grasp of vines, only to find himself in a silver-gray landscape. 

藤蔓缠绕。银色的藤蔓,紫色的叶子。海努力地挣脱了藤蔓束缚,发现自己身处一片银灰色的景色中。

 

He was thirsty. Very thirsty. 

他很渴,非常渴。

 

Hai swallowed, trying to wet his throat, but to no avail.  Water. Where was water?No sooner had the question formed in his mind, the sound of rushing water filled his ears.  Hai turned to see a waterfall, its clear water cascading down and foaming white where it struck stone. Mist rose in silver droplets. Hai started toward the waterfall, eager to quench his thirst.  As he entered the mist, the silver droplets dusted his skin, clouding his vision.

海吞咽了一下,试图润一润嗓子,但一点用也没有。水,哪里有水?就在这时,他听到了潺潺的水声。海循着声音找到了一座瀑布,晶莹的水流倾泻而下,打击石头激起雪白浪花的泡沫。迷雾弥漫,水滴悬坠。海飞快地向瀑布走去,想喝口水缓解干渴。可他踏入迷雾的瞬间,银色的水滴便落在他的身上,模糊了他的视线。

 

It was then that a powerful drowsiness replaced his thirst.  The silver mist blurred his vision further, pressing down upon his temples. Hai’s footsteps slowed as the silver mist settled upon his limbs like dust. He walked forward still, yet slowly now, as one does when half awake. 

这时候,海却感到一股强烈的困意袭来,银色的大雾迷惑了他的方向,沉甸甸的气压把他的太阳穴抵得生疼。海只得放慢脚步,像一个梦游中的人一般,迷迷糊糊地向前走去。

 

 

Step by

一步

Step by

一步 

step… 

又一步

 

Hai came full stop, beginning to slide into slumber’s eternal embrace. Suddenly, a sharp heat from the rose pearl (which still hung about his neck) jolted him forth a few more steps – 

海停了下来。他开始拥抱那汹涌的困意,想要沉浸在永恒的甜蜜睡眠中。可就在那时,他颈间的珍珠突然一热,把他推向前好几步。

- and he was out of the mist.  

他终于走出了大雾。

The fog weighing upon Hai’s mind lifted, and he saw he now stood in the middle of a slate colored landscape, barren of all vegetation.  All around him was gray, as was the sky (which seemed to melt into the gray slate earth).  Only the silver moon hung, ever familiar, in the sky. Hai looked around him to see... no one. He stood alone. 

现在他站在一个石灰色的环境中,周围寸草不生,十分荒芜,到处一片灰茫茫,而天空也好像融进了这一片暗淡的色彩中。只有一轮熟悉的月亮高高挂起。海左看看、右看看,可一个人也没看到。他就这样独自一人站着。

 

And then, quite suddenly, he was alone no more.

可是,下一秒,他不再是一个人了。

 

The other figure was tall.  Very tall.  Thin, too, with a sort of tapered elegance. They stood with their back to Hai, head slightly tilted to gaze at the moon.  Hai moved toward the figure dressed in black.  He saw the tall figure raise a thin arm, extend long delicate fingers… and with one smooth motion pluck the moon from the sky.

他的前面站着另一个人。他很高,很瘦,身披黑色的斗篷,有一种柔弱的高雅气质。他背对着海,静静地凝视着月亮。海往他的身边走了几步,想要靠近。他看到这个神秘人举起了一只纤细的手,行云流水般地一个动作,把月亮摘了下来。

All was darkness.

黑暗诞生了。

Hai froze in his tracks, unable to see.  Stretching his arms out before him, he groped blindly. Then, Hai felt the rose pearl pulsing its warm-cool rhythm against his chest. The pulsing seemed to increase in speed… and then Hai saw the light coming from inside his tunic.  

海一下子停下了脚步,周围太黑了,他什么也看不见。他无助地伸手乱摸,却发现胸前的珍珠从温热变到冰凉有节奏地跳动着,速度越来越快,最后,一道浅浅的光芒从海的外衣底下渗透出来。

 

It was faint at first, but quickly grew brighter, shining against his chest. Hai removed the loop of twine which held the rose-pearl bangle from his neck. He held the rose-pearl in his palm, seeing that it now glowed a pure, radiant white. 

刚开始,光芒很暗,但很快地,那束光变得越来越亮,在他的胸前闪动着。海拿下珍珠,把它捧在手心。珍珠在发光。

 

Hai held the shining pearl aloft, lighting his way forward. He took one step forward… two steps… three – and then he halted. For the figure clothed in black had re-appeared, blocking his way. 

海举起这枚发光的珍珠,借它的光照亮自己前方的路。他一步一步小心地往前走,一、二、三,走了三步,然后停了下来。原来,神秘的黑衣人又出现了,挡住了海的去路。

 

Hai’s heart hammered.

海的心紧张地怦怦直跳。

  

The rose pearl shone with steady light.

而玫瑰色的珍珠,依旧稳稳地发着光。

 


Story Video (with bonus drawing process! )

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