Sunday, June 12, 2011

[Novel] NO. 6 - Vol 1 Ch 1 (a)

These are English translations for the novel NO. 6 by Asano Atsuko.

CHAPTER 1
Nezumi, Dripping Wet

Nezumi was in a tunnel. In the darkness, he drew a quiet breath. The air smelled faintly of moist dirt. He inched his way forward carefully. The tunnel was small. It was just big enough for Nezumi to squeeze through, and it was dark. Light was nowhere to be seen, but it soothed his soul. He liked dark and small spaces. In these spaces, no large living things could come to capture him. Momentary relief and tranquility. There was a dull pain from the wound on his shoulder, but it wasn't enough to concern him. The problem, rather, was with the amount of blood he had lost. The wound wasn't deep. It had only grazed a little bit of his shoulder. By now, the blood should have begun clotting and closed the open wound. But the wound was still.... He felt a warm and slippery sensation. It was still bleeding.

――Anticoagulant. They had coated the bullet with it.

Nezumi bit his lip. He wanted something to stop his bleeding. Thrombin, or aluminum salt. No, not even so much as that. At least, clean water to wash his wound.

His legs buckled. Dizziness overcame him.

――Not good.

Fainting from lack of blood, maybe. If it was, that would be bad. Soon, he wouldn't be able to move at all.

――But maybe I wouldn't mind.

He heard a voice inside him.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to curl up, unable to move, shrouded in damp darkness. He would nod off to sleep, a long sleep ― and peaceful death. It wouldn't hurt, not that much. It might feel a little cold.

No, that would be taking it too lightly. His blood pressure would plummet, he would have trouble breathing, his limbs would be paralysed ... of course it wouldn't be painless.

――I want to sleep.

He was tired. Cold. Hurting. Unable to move. He only had to suffer for a little while, he told himself. Stay still, rather than struggle fruitlessly. There may be people pursuing him, but none who would rescue him. Then, he should just put an end to living. Curl up here, and just go to sleep. Just give up.

His feet continued forward. His hands ran along the walls. Nezumi gave a forced smile. His voice was telling him to give up, but his body still doggedly carried on. How troublesome it all was.

――An hour left. No, thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes was the time limit for any free movement he had. In that time, he had to stop his bleeding, and secure a spot to rest. The bare requirements to keep living.

There was movement in the air. The darkness before him was gradually becoming lighter. He took each step painstakingly. He emerged from his dark and narrow side-tunnel to a wider area surrounded by white concrete walls. Nezumi knew that this was a part of a sewer tunnel that had been in use until ten and some-odd years ago, the end of the twentieth century. Contrary to the ground above, No. 6's underground facilities were not very well-maintained. Much of it had been left in the same state as they were from the last century. This sewer tunnel was just another one of those, abandoned and forgotten. Nezumi couldn't have asked for a better environment. He closed his eyes and visualized the map of No. 6 that he had extracted from the computer.

There was a good chance that this was the abandoned route K0210. If it was, then it should extend close to the high-income residence area called Chronos. Of course, it could very well also lead to a dead end. But if he had decided to live, then moving forward was his only option. Nezumi in his current state had neither choice nor time to deliberate.

The air shifted. It wasn't the stale dampness of before, but fresh air carrying plenty of moisture. He remembered that it was raining hard up above. This passage was definitely connected to the upper world.

Nezumi inhaled, and smelled the scent of rain.


* * *

September 7, 2013 was my twelfth birthday. On this day, a tropical low pressure-system, or hurricane, that had developed a week ago off the southwestern area of the North Pacific Ocean, made its way north, gathering power, until it hit us directly in the city of No. 6.

It was the best present I had ever gotten. I was filled with excitement. It was only past four in the evening, but already it was getting dark. The trees in the yard bowed in the winds as leaves and small branches were torn off. I loved the clamorous noise they made. It was the bare opposite of this neighbourhood's usual atmosphere, which hardly involved any loudness.

My mother preferred small trees over flowers, and through her enthusiastic planting of almond, camellia and maple trees all over the place, our yard had grown into a small grove. But thanks to that, the noise today was unlike any other. Each tree made a different groaning sound. Torn leaves and branches smacked against the window, plastered to them, and then were whipped away again. Time and time again, gusts of wind burst against the window.

I itched to open it. Even strong winds like these were not enough to crack the shatter-resistant glass, and in this atmosphere-controlled room, humidity and temperature remained stable and unchanged. That was why I wanted to open the window. Open it, and bring in the air, the wind, the rain, a change from the usual.

"Shion," called Mother's voice from the intercom. "I hope you're not thinking of opening the window."

"I'm not."

"Good... did you hear? The lower lands of the West Block are flooding. Terrible, isn't it?"

She didn't sound like she felt terrible at all.

Outside No. 6, the land was divided into four blocks ― East, West, North and South. Most of the East and South blocks were farmland or grazing pastures. They provided for 60% of all plant-made foods and 50% of animal food products. In the north, there was an expanse of deciduous forest and mountains, under complete conservation by the Central Administration Committee.

Without the Committee's permission, none could enter the area. Not that anyone would want to wander into the wilderness, which was completely unmaintained.

In the centre of the city there was an enormous forest park that took up more than a sixth of the city's total area. In it, one could experience the seasonal changes and interact with the hundreds of species of small animals and insects that inhabited it.

A vast majority of the citizens were content with the wildlife inside the park. I didn't like it much. I especially disliked the City Hall building that loomed in the centre of the park. It went five stories underground and ten stories above, and was shaped like a dome. No. 6 had no skyscrapers, so maybe "looming" was a little exaggerated. Nevertheless, it gave off an ominous feeling. Some people called it The Moondrop from its round, white shape, but I thought it resembled more of a round blister on the skin. A blister that had erupted in the centre of the city. As if to surround it, the city hospital and Safety Bureau building stood close by, and were connected with pathways that looked like gas pipes. Surrounding that was a green forest. The forest park, a place of peace and tranquility for the good citizens. All the plants and animals that inhabited this place were minutely monitored, and all flowers, fruits and small creatures of each area in every season were thoroughly recorded.

Citizens could find out the best time and place to watch or gaze at these through the city's service system. Obedient, perfected nature. But even it would be raging on a day like this. It was, after all, a hurricane.

A branch with green leaves still attached smacked into the window. A gust of wind followed, and its roar resonated for some time. At least, I thought I could hear it resonate. The soundproof glass cut me off from any outside noise. I wanted the window out of my way. I wanted to hear, to feel, the raging wind. Almost without thinking, I threw the window open. The wind, the rain, came blowing in. The wind rumbled as if coming from deep within the earth. It was a roar I hadn't heard in a long time. I too, raised my own hands and let out a yell. It would scatter on the storming winds, and reach no one's ears. Yet still I shouted, with no meaning. Raindrops flew into my throat. I knew I was being childish, but I couldn't stop. It began raining harder. How exciting it would be to take off all my clothes and burst out into the rain. I tried to imagine myself naked, running around in the torrential storm. I would definitely be declared insane. But it was an irresistible temptation. I opened my mouth wide again, and swallowed the droplets. I wanted to repress this strange impulse. I was afraid of what lurked inside me. At times, I find I'm overwhelmed by a tumultuous, savage surge of emotions.


Break it.

Destroy it.

Destroy what?

Everything.

Everything?


There was a mechanical warning sound. It was notifying me that the atmospheric conditions in the room were deteriorating. Eventually, the window would close and lock automatically. Dehumidification and temperature control would commence, and all wet things in the room, including me, would be dried instantly. I wiped my dripping face on the curtain and made my way to the door to turn the air control system off.

What if, at that moment, I had obeyed the warning sound? Sometimes, I still wonder about it. If I had closed the window, and chosen to stay in the adequately dry comfort of my room, my life would have been entirely different. It wasn't regret, not anything like that. It was just a peculiar thought. The one thing that changed my whole world, so meticulously controlled up until now, happened from that one small coincidence ― that on September 7, 2013, on a stormy day, I by chance had opened the window. It was a very peculiar thought.

And though I don't have a particular God I believe in, there are times when I do feel a certain conviction toward the term 'Divine Hand'.

I turned the switch off. The warning sound stopped. A sudden silence fell over the room.

Heh.

I heard a faint laugh behind me. Instinctively I whirled around, and gave a small cry. There was a boy standing there, soaking wet. It took me a while to realize that he was a boy. He had shoulder-length hair that almost hid his small face. His neck and arms that protruded from his short-sleeved shirt were thin. I couldn't tell whether he was a boy or a girl, whether he was very young or older than he looked. My eyes and conscience were too focused on his left shoulder, which was stained red, to think about anything else.

It was the colour of blood. I had never seen anyone bleeding as profusely as he was. Instinctively I was extending my hand out to him. The intruder's figure vanished at my fingertips. At the same time, I felt an impact, and I was slammed against the wall with a strong force. I felt an icy sensation on my neck. They were fingers, five of them, closing around my throat.

Continued in PART B.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Woah! Amazing translation! I just found this blog, and this is great. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you :D

Anonymous said...

I search all over the net looking for the English version of the book but had Bo luck until I came across your blog. Thank you so much for your time and effort! I love reading this!

Anonymous said...

Thank you ><
I love No.6 <3

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Muchas Gracias :D!
you made me happy <3

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting these! Keep up the good work!

tohru7 said...

I was very happy that the animation kept the important bits in its first episode, although i wish it included the bit with Sion being afraid of what lies within him. A lot of fans, that are only exposed to the anime, don't know about this.
Good job and thanks so much for the translations :)

Kei & Kein said...

I have a very important question to you.

First of all, I LOVE your translation of the novel <3 But that's not what I really want to say.

You know, No.6 it's becoming very popular these days and there's no spanish translations of the novel. Do you mind if I use your work and translate it to spanish? Of course, giving you the credits and stuff. Is it a problem for you?

Again, you made an awesome work. Let's give Hispanic people the possibility to enjoy this anime and novel too.

Anonymous said...

OHMYGAWD!!!!!
This was excellent, really.(:
Thank you so much for this translation <3
I hope that you intend to translate the rest of the novels, too.

Anonymous said...

I just really want to say thank you so very much for taking your time to translate! I appreciate your hardwork and your translation is so smooth.

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing translation. I'm really glad my friend sent this to me... she said that she had been searching all over for a translation, and so had I. Really, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your translation! I had read another that was not as nearly as smooth, quite frankly, it was a bit awkward. It hadn't felt like I was reading a novel at all. In contrast, this is excellent!

I hope that you continue translating the novels. They are much more detailed than the anime, after all.

Thank you so much! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, the images of the novel are truly gorgeous. Thank you so much for this translation!

Shonnie said...

I don't have a blog nor I plan on opening one 'cause I know I won't use it (I'm on Tumblr and that's enough right now XD) but maybe one day I'll open up one just to post the translated version of your work, in italian to be precise :D

I LOVE LOVE LOVE No.6, I'm loving the anime but I knew immediatly that I would fall in love with the novel and thanks to you I can finally read it!

Please keep on translating, you have no idea of how much you're doing for the non-japanese speakers out there!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS ♥

Anonymous said...

Your blog and translations saved my life (figuratively)I thank you from the bottom of my heart; this is AMAZING~ ^^

Helle said...

Thank you so much for your good work translating No.6! You're great! ^_^

Noir said...

You are extremely awesome for doing this. thank you so much!

Ms,Mumpsimus said...

I am so glad I found your blog.. >.<
Thank you so much for these wonderful translations. I just finished watching the last episode (?) of the anime adaptation and though I liked it, I still feel that somehow, it's incomplete... Well, of course, it would be. Then I found your blog, I guess one week ago? Then I said to myself; "Read the novels, watch, then read again." But man! I really like how these words encapsulate those feelings in the story (this is exactly reason why I love reading) and well, guess what? I'm badly hooked now. Thanks, thanks, thanks, and though it’s all we can give to you, (our BIG THANK YOU’S, that is) we’re giving it to you from the bottom of our hearts, your Majesty. (Shit. Damn you, Nezumi...) I wish I could give you some sort of present but I think it’s kind of impossible, nee? XD


Again, thanks a lot for doing a great job in translating!

Mwah!


(P.S: Not a native English speaker, so pardon the grammar lapses!)

9ave said...

@Ms,Mumpsimus
Your grammar is just fine! :) And comments are the best present for me - thank you for taking your time to leave one!

Anonymous said...

I fricken' love you sooooo much for translating this! Words can't express how super excited I am about finding this and being able to read it! Thank you! X) *dies happily*

xiahnsaya1004 said...

wow thank you for translating it I love it!!

Ms.Mumpsimus said...

@9ave:
Oh, I'll leave more... you just wait. ^_^
*evil laughter*
Thanks for the reply!
Mwah!

Anonymous said...

I wanna say thank you for taking your time and translating this wonderful novel.And for your amazing translation.

You're awesome :)

Take Care Always and Goodluck. <3

BKLY said...

Me Gusta; This translation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!
Been wondering where the anime story originally comes from :)

Stephi c said...

I think i love you...thank you so much for these wonderful translations, there's so much that was left out of the anime. I'm glad i had an apportunity to read the texts.

Laras Septiani R said...

may i translate this into indonesian?

Anonymous said...

whoaaaaaa i've been searching for this novel ahhhh you're like my savior. arigatou gozaimasu!

Aquav said...

Wow! You're amazing! This translation is wonderful.Thank you for translating this :)

Saphira Mortis said...

°^° I. Love. You!
Amazing!!! No.6 Novel ^^ *____*

mo|ly said...

oi. thanks for this! i'd stopped watching the anime but picked up the manga recently, and its commentary said, "no, read the novel". oyez.

rayquo said...

Excellent! Link added. Thank you :)

Moony said...

Haha, no problem ^^ Oh yeah, that'd be cool. I've created the blog now and its name is "Silent Time". You can find it here: 
http://silenttotime.blogspot.fi/ 

rayquo said...

 No problem! And thank you for the courteous comment. :) If you want me to add a link to your site to my sidebar, feel free to send me that as well!

Moony said...

May I translate this in Finnish? :) I'm not so sure how far I'll get but I'll try my best with this one, okay?~ I need some challenges so I'm going to create whole new blog only for translates. And your No. 6 translate is just so great that it's easy to follow and understand! 

LaMindy said...

Amazing.. I've watched the anime, still reading the manga and love this novel! Thank you soo much for this! *-*

drunkendisguise said...

Oh my goodness, this is absolutely perf.
Thank you so much for translating!♥

Anna said...

Honestly, this translation far exceeded my expectations. I thought to myself, a Japanese novel...translated into English by some random person?? This is not going to end well. But...well done. Very well done.

Anonymous said...

Thank you ever so much for these translations! :)

Sarah said...

OH MY GOD THANK YOU!!
GOD BLESS YOU YOU'RE SO AMAZING AND I LOVE YOU.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU. *hug*

Aleks said...

thank you so much for this translation,it's amazing!

Danielle said...

Thank you so much for translating this! I have been obsessed with the anime and manga and was extremely saddened that I couldn't read the book. I was glued to this and was very pleased with the translation quality!

Anonymous said...

Awesome translation! Thank you so much! :D

Jonah Kim said...

Thank you very much for you hard work. I really love No. 6. I already finished the anime and manga until it got licensed. You are the best (:

faith said...

I'm so excited to read this :) thanks so much!

Bleed Peroxide said...

Thank you for translating these! I recently got into this series and loved the anime - it only made sense to seek out the manga, and even more so, the novels that inspired both. I really appreciate the time and effort you invested in translating these :)

Lizajane said...

Thank you so much for doing this!

kazurin said...

Thank you so much!!!!!! >o<

Hanakko said...

I started reading this some time ago and never finished. I am going to reread it now. Thank you for translating it! You're the best!

Hanna Peters said...

Thanks for the hard work you put into translating such a beautiful story! ^.^

satsuki-sumeragi said...

Thank you very much!!!! I've been wanting to read this book for years >w<