Gods

S1E17 | Pearl (11 of 12)

珍珠(十一) 

(A Chinese Mermaid Tale)

Written and illustrated by Linda Yi | Chinese Translations by 竻竻


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Chapter 31– The Dreamweaver

第三十一章–织梦人


The person in front of Hai had silver hair… or was it a face of shadow and light?  Hai saw the figure clear as day, yet he couldn’t seem to remember what they looked like. It was as if Hai’s eyes could only see one feature at a time.  

站在海面前的这个人有着一头银色的秀发,又或者是说,他的面容好像整个沐浴在光影之中。海明明看清了这个人,可总是记不清他的长相。他每一次只能辨认出对方的某一个特点,但却得不出一个完整的轮廓。

 

No sooner did Hai’s eyes register one feature to move onto the next, his mind was wiped blank, leaving only the hint of a face. Hai thought they might be smiling… 

每当海辨认出一个特点,想要把它记下时,他的脑海就会一下子陷入一片空白,所有的记忆都不见了。对方好像是在对他笑…'

"Strange boy," they said, voice wrapping around Hai like silk.  

奇怪的男孩。”神秘人的声音好像从远方传来,轻轻缓缓,像丝绸一样包裹着海。

 

"Wonderful boy. What is it you hold?"

美妙的男孩,你手上拿着什么?

 

Hai’s hand closed protectively around the rose pearl, dimming it’s bright light. 

海一听,下意识地护住了手中正在微弱地发光的玫瑰色珍珠。

***

The one called Meng looked at the human boy standing before it. The first of his kind – the first in many lifetimes (if one was to count such things) – to venture into Meng’s realm.  Meng regarded it with curiosity.   

神秘人的名字叫做‘梦’。他看着面前站着的人类,陷入了沉思:看过这么多昼夜交替、生死轮回,这小伙子可是第一个有勇气闯入自己国度的人!这不禁让梦感到有些好奇。

 

The boy had broken rules.  He had made light, even after Meng had plucked the moon from the sky. In the dream realm, Meng was Queen (and also King). None but Meng could re-weave the strands of all dreams dreamed, none save a fellow immortal, yet this boy had – somehow.  

而这男孩还打破了规矩。梦伸手摘月,让他的世界沉入黑暗,而这男孩居然自己造了光。在这广袤的梦境中,梦是一切的主宰—他是王,也是后,只有梦才能把所有梦过的梦重新编织起来--只有一个和他一样的神仙才能做到这些,可是这个男孩居然做到了。

 

Meng sniffed the air and nodded. Yes, the boy bore a scent which was unmistakingly human. The Dreamweaver smiled a smile which the human boy could not see. 

梦嗅了嗅周遭的空气,然后点点头。没错,这男孩有着人类特有的气味。他微微一笑—这是一个男孩看见了,却记不住的微笑。

 

"Strange boy" Meng purred. “Wonderful boy,” she repeated, sliding effortlessly into her female form. 

奇怪的男孩,美妙的男孩。”梦轻声默念着,然后优雅地一转身,变成了女人的样子。

 

What is it you hold?

你手上拿着什么?

 

The Dreamweaver saw apprehension flicker through the boy’s eyes, saw him tighten his grip around what Meng now realized was a large, pink pearl.  

 梦看到男孩的眼睛里划过一丝紧张,双手不知觉攥紧了手中那颗大大的、粉色的珍珠。

"Unburden your heart," Meng told the boy with a light laugh.  “I do not desire that heart you hold. I need not its light.” she reached into one of her many pockets and retrieved the moon. With one smooth movement, she returned the orb to the sky. Then, Meng looked straight into Hai’s eyes.

“别担心,我不要你手上的心。”梦轻笑一声,对男孩说道。“我也不要它的光。”说完,梦伸手从她的许多口袋中掏出了那轮明月,然后轻巧地把它安放回了天空中的那个熟悉的角落。然后,梦直直地望向海的眼睛。

 

See, Meng commanded, in a voice that was not a voice.

睁大眼睛,好好看看。”梦命令道。她的声音好像坠入银河的空气,飘渺得有些不真实。 

***

The moon rested once more in a slate colored sky.  The land was again awash with pale silver light.  Hai found himself looking into the eyes of a tall woman with silver white hair.  Had she always looked like this? Hai opened his mouth to speak, but before he could do so, the silver woman plucked the words from his throat. 

明月孤零零地窝在灰白色天空的一端,就像最初那样。大地也被苍白的光芒洗礼了一遍。海突然发现自己正看着一个银色头发的高个子女人。她一直都长这样吗?海想张嘴说话,但不等他开口,一身银白的女人便从他的喉咙里把他想说的话拿走了。

 

They sat on the palm of her hand, shimmering and shivering. Meng cocked her head, considering Hai’s words. Hai clutched at his throat, unable to make a sound. Then, Meng opened her mouth wide and swallowed Hai’s words whole.  When Meng spoke again, the voice that emerged was Hai’s own.  

它们肩并肩坐在她的手掌上。一边发着抖,一边闪着光。梦歪了歪头,思索着海想说却没来得及说出口的话。海用手抓着自己的喉咙,却一个字也发不出来。就在这时,梦张大嘴,把海的话整个吞了进去。当她再次开口时,海听到的却是自己的声音:

  

"I've come to seek help."

“我是来这里寻求帮助的。”

 

Meng touched a pale tongue to her lips, tasting the lingering echoes of Hai’s words.  "Indeed you have," she murmured, gaze softening as she looked again at Hai.  His mouth was open, stunned and – obviously – silent.

梦伸出苍白的舌尖舔了舔嘴唇,品尝着海的话。“的确如此。”她低声道。她的眼神变得柔软起来,她看向海—这时的他看上去一脸震惊,嘴巴张得很大,一句话也说不出来。

 

"You see" laughed Meng, " tasting words is the best way to prove sincerity.” She smiled wryly at Hai and gave him a nod. "Ask me for what you seek, boy named after the sea.  I will answer if I can." With a snap of her elegant fingers, Meng restored Hai’s voice. And so, Hai told the Dreamweaver all that had come to pass.

“你要知道”梦笑道“品尝一个人的话是测试他的真心最直接的方式。”她一边说着,狡黠地朝海一笑,点头道:“以大海为名的男孩,告诉我你要寻找什么,我会尽量回答你。”一番话说完,梦飞速地打一个响指,把声音还给了海。于是,海把之前发生的一切,都告诉了织梦人。

 When he had finished, Meng looked thoughtful. Then, she nodded.  From her silver hair, she plucked a single blossom. Had it always been there? Hai mused. Meng placed the blossom into Hai’s palm. He saw that it was a pale white flower, the same color of the moon, with a soft yellow heart.  

当他说完,梦若有所思地点了点头。她伸手从自己的银发间摘下了一朵花。那朵花儿一直都在那里吗?海自言自语道。梦把花儿放进海的掌心,这时候海才发现,这是一朵白色的小花,颜色和月亮差不多,花心是柔软的黄色。

"This is a soul blossom,” Meng said to Hai. “Mei will need it if she is to return to you. However, you cannot take one in bloom from here. Should you try, its petals shall crumble to dust – for it is not of your realm.”

 梦向海解释道:“这是还魂草,如果小妹要回到你的身边,就得用到它。在一般情况下,你是没有办法带走这朵花的,因为它并不属于人间。”

“However,” Meng continued, “the pearl you wear around your neck will allow you to take a single seed back to your land. Whether or not the soul blossom blooms will depend on you.”

“不过,你脖子上的珍珠会让你从这儿带走一颗还魂草的种子。还魂草是否能在人间发芽,开花…那就取决于你了。”

With those words, Meng placed a hand on Hai’s chest and gave a firm push.  The ground beneath Hai gave way and he fell, backwards, hands cupped around a white and yellow blossom.

梦说完,伸出一只手放在海的胸膛上,重重地推了他一下。海感到自己脚下的陆地消失了,他失重往后倒去,一只手却紧紧地握着那朵黄白色的花。

他开始飞速地往下坠落。

 

Falling,

坠落

Falling, 

坠落

 

 Falling...

坠落。


Chapter 32– Soul Blossom

第三十二章–还魂草


Hai’s eyes blinked open to find that he was back in his cottage.  How long had he been asleep? There had been... someone. Someone in black, with silver hair.  She - or was it he? - had given him something, something for Mei. It was still night, for the moon hung – ever bright – in the sky.

海睁开双眼,发现自己又回到了家中。他到底睡了多久?他梦到了一个有着银色头发,穿黑衣服的人,那个男人—还是女人?-- 给了他一个东西,能帮他救活小妹。海疲惫地起身,发现天还没亮,月儿弯弯,闪闪发亮,挂在天上。

 

 Sitting up, Hai looked down to see that, in his right hand, he was holding a seed: a tiny thing, black and round. Then, Hai felt a stinging pain in his left palm. Opening his left hand, Hai saw the following words carved – in thin red lines – into his flesh:

这时候,海发现自己的右手握着一粒种子。种子看起来很小,又黑又圆。然后,海感到自己的左手手掌开始疼了起来,他张开手,发现掌心刻着一行字:

Bury me under moonlight,

water me with dew.

Nourish me with proof,

of a heart beating true.

 

月光下,把我栽

用露珠,来灌溉

若爱我,需证明

一颗心,志不渝

Hai rubbed the remainder of sleep from his eyes.  He swung his legs out of bed and padded across the floor and through door, footsteps soft as night.  Choosing a spot right by his little cottage, Hai dug a hole in the damp soil. Gently, Hai placed the seed he carried into the hole he’d just dug, covering it again with handfuls of rich earth. 

海揉揉眼睛,赶走困意,然后迅速地走下床,踩着地板,穿过大门,来到院子里。他选了一个离屋子最近的地方,弯腰在潮湿的土壤里挖了一个小洞。他轻轻地把种子放在洞里,然后用一抔土把它盖上,埋好。

 

Hai straightened and gazed at his work.  The earth was hardly disturbed (the hole had been small). With the sharp edge of a stone, Hai scratched a mark on the wall of the cottage, to indicate the spot where he had planted the seed.  Then, Hai walked to a nearby tree, taking from it one waxy leaf.  He rolled the leaf into a makeshift cone and then sat down with his back to the trunk.  The sky was still dark. Hai gazed at the moon and waited for dawn. 

一切都完成后,海直起腰,看着自己的杰作。他挖的洞很小,现在看来,好像根本没有占用多大的空间。他用石头尖的那一端在茅屋的墙上刻下了一个小小的记号,以防自己忘记种子被种下的方位。然后,海走到附近的一棵树下,摘下一片树叶,把它折成一个漏斗的形状。然后,他靠着树干,坐了下来。天黒黑,月弯弯,天地寂静。海就这样盯着天空,等待黎明。

*** 

Dawn came with rolling mist as her train.  The mist draped its soft folds around each leaf and each blade of grass.  Hai watched the mist come, watched as the sky began to wake: first a pale cool blue, then tinged with orange and pink.  With the leaf cup he had made, Hai spent his morning collecting dew.  

黎明姗姗来迟,她卷着薄纱般的晨雾,一点一点将它笼罩在每片叶子、每棵草间。海看着雾霭袅袅升起,看着天空开始苏醒—从苍白的浅蓝,再变成粉色和橘色。海拿起自己的树叶漏斗,准备收集晨露。

  

A droplet here, a few leaves shaken there, and a couple droplets more.  

这里一滴,那里一滴,轻轻摇摇树叶,又落下几滴。

 

 The sun was now pale and yellow in the sky.  Sweat streamed down Hai’s temples as he worked.  He nearly had a full cup of dew now. Gingerly, he carried the water back to his cottage, steps slow and measured.   

太阳出来了,一缕缕光芒照在海的背上,先是温热,然后再慢慢发烫。汗水一点点从他的太阳穴附近滴下来,可是海依旧坚持着。海的树叶漏斗已经几乎装满了,而他胸前的珍珠则依旧有规律地跳动着。

  

Hai knelt to the ground, trickling the dew water down onto the patch of soil where the soul blossom's seed lay buried.  

他小心翼翼地走到自己埋下种子的地方,把收集好的露珠倒进了土壤中。

 

Drink, he whispered.

“快喝吧!”海轻声道。


Chapter 33– Dew Drops

第三十三章–露珠


Each day, before dawn herself awoke, Hai had risen – ready to collect the morning’s dew.

从那天起,海坚持每天一早收集露珠,为种子浇水施肥。

  

Dawn after, 

        dawn after,

                      dawn he rose - collecting dew drop by dew drop.  

 

一个个黎明过去了,海总是准时起床,收集露珠,每一滴,都不放过。

 

 On her way to bed each night, the moon bid Hai goodbye, smiling quietly down at the boy in love. She smiled at him in her fullness and smiled as she gradually waned. It was when the moon once again grew round and silver that it happened: 

每一天晚上,月儿都悬在天边,默默地跟海道别。她静静地看着这个陷入爱河的男孩,给他一个满盈的微笑,然后再慢慢亏厌。一天天过去了,在某一个月圆之夜,奇妙的事情发生了。

 

A lone green shoot emerged, peeking shyly from the soil.  

一支又细又长的幼苗从土地里探出了头。

 

So dawn after, 

        dawn after,

                      dawn Hai continued to rise – 

从那以后,海起的更勤了

一个黎明

又一个黎明过去了。

 

- now to pour his carefully collected dew drops onto leaves and roots.  And day by day, the seedling grew.  It grew towards the warm rays of sunshine; grew under the tender care of a heart in love. The seedling grew from shoots into vines – and those vines climbed and climbed, sprouting wide waxy leaves that shone jade under moonlight.

他坚持收集一叶子的露珠,并将它们仔细滴在幼苗的叶子和根部。在阳光的温暖下,在一颗充满爱的心灵的滋润下,嫩芽开始长大,变成强壮的藤蔓。藤蔓爬呀爬,长出一片片光滑的绿叶,在月光下像碧玉一样泛着美丽的光泽。

Yes, the vines of the soul blossom grew stronger, day by day. Yet as the many days passed, no blossom of white with a center of gold appeared.  Still, Hai continued to rise at the first note of dawn, collecting dewdrops for the seedling against a half-awake sky. 

没错,还魂草一天天长大,变得更加强壮。可是,这么久过去了,白色花骨朵儿依旧没有绽放。不过,海没有因此气馁,而是继续早起劳作,在天空还睡眼朦胧的时候,就开始收集露珠,日复一日,不曾停止。


Chapter 34– Proof

第三十四章–证明

One particular afternoon, Hai was shucking oysters the size of his palm. His skillful hands made quick work of the task, aided by his trusty knife. As Hai worked, he thought of the last meal he and Mei had shared – sweet oyster meat on fragrant rice, a meal he had barely touched… Ai-yah! A sharp sting of pain pulled Hai from his reverie.  

一天下午,海正在剥一块和自己手掌差不多大的牡蛎。他技术娴熟,剥得又快又好。他一边劳作,一边想起自己和小妹的最后一餐也是吃的牡蛎,配的是又香又甜的米饭。那餐饭他都没怎么吃。。。哎呀!海突然感到阵绞痛。

 

The fleshy part of his index finger had caught against the sharp edge of a broken shell.  He pulled his hand back and observed the cut.  It was shallow and looked worse than it felt, although a trickle of red had already begun to flow from the wound.  Tearing a strip of fabric from his tunic, Hai bandaged his cut and resumed his shucking.  There were only a few oysters left.  

海一不小心把手撞到了牡蛎尖利的壳子外沿。海赶快抽回手,才发现自己的指头被割破了。那伤口很浅,但看起来挺吓人的。几滴血已经争先恐后地从伤口中溢出来。他赶忙从衣服上撕下一小片布,把伤口包扎好,然后继续干活。只剩下几块牡蛎还没剥啦。

That evening, Hai walked back from the market. His way back to the cottage was lit by the moon.  Her pale light dusted the leaves of the soul blossom vines a queer shade of lavender.  The color was so peculiar that Hai reached out to touch a leaf, as if the color might pass to his fingertips. The strip of tunic which he had used to bandage his cut finger had long since fallen away. The cut had reopened, and as Hai touched the leaf, a dark red smear stained the leaf's surface.  

那天晚上,海很晚才从市场走回来。他踩着月光,回到院子里,发现还魂草的藤蔓突然变成了一种奇怪的紫色。海从来没有见过这种颜色,以至于他觉得自己只要一触碰藤蔓,那奇特的紫色就会剥落下来,落到他的指尖。他手指上那片布条早就不见了,所以当海的指尖触到藤蔓上时,留下了一抹暗红色的痕迹。

 

A wisp of cloud passed over the crescent moon. Shadows fell.  When silver light bathed the seedling once more, the crimson stain had disappeared.  Hai stared. Slowly, with the tip of his bleeding finger, he touched another leaf.  A droplet of blood shone dark red under moonlight before vanishing – as if swallowed by the plant.

一缕云彩无声无息地掠过皎洁的明月,树影婆娑,明暗交替。当银白的月光再次照耀在还魂草上的时候,那道暗红色的痕迹不见了。海呆呆地看着这个突如其来的变化,反应过来时,他又伸出手,用伤口碰了碰另一片叶子。他伤口留下的鲜血在叶片上停留一秒,然后消失,好像被这株植物全部吸走了似的。

 

Bury me under moonlight,

water me with dew.

Nourish me with proof,

of a heart beating true.

月光下,把我栽

用露珠,来灌溉

若爱我,需证明

一颗心,志不渝

 

The pearl around Hai’s neck pulsed against his chest.  Proof of a heart beating true? Life's very force which flows through us all… Which flows through me. Hai looked again at the spidering vines which had climbed the walls of the cottage.  For the third and final time, hepressed his cut finger to the leaf. For the third and final time, the soul blossom vines accepted his offering. 

在海的胸前,粉色的珍珠有规律地跳动着。需证明,一刻心,志不渝?人之生,气之聚也。聚之以气,贯我之身。。。海又一次看向面前的藤蔓,脑子飞快地转动着。第三次、也是最后一次,海把自己受伤的手指覆在叶片上。第三次,还魂草接受了他的献祭。

 

The wind rustled the leaves of the vines. "Sleep" they seemed to whisper. Hai heard. And he slept.  

晚风在藤蔓的叶片间穿行,发出簌簌的响声。那声音重重叠叠,含糊不清,像是在海的身边对他耳语:“睡吧!”海听到了,于是,他便安然地睡去。


Story Video (with bonus drawing process! )

coming soon