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【书籍搬运】An Accounting of the Scrolls 卷轴校勘记

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卷轴校勘记
原文:http://uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:An_Accounting_of_the_Scrolls
作者:昆塔斯·奈瑞维勒斯,前帝国图书馆管理员

自从我们认定帝国图书馆中的一部上古卷轴失窃之后,我就一直努力的在设计一种可以将我们拥有的所有卷轴进行归类以及索引的方法,以避免相同的事故再次发生,或者是在发生时能更准确的核对。让我很绝望的是,那些圣蛾祭司们果然是在实际的编纂这些卷轴的过程中表述得相当的不准确,完全无法掌握到底有多少卷轴,也不知道它们都是如何进行组织管理的。如果硬要问这个问题,实在会让人发笑,就像是一个孩子问为什么狗不会说话一样。
我不得不承认,在我与那些僧侣合作的过程中,我越来越嫉妒那些有能力阅读这些卷轴的人。我们日复一日的穿梭在高塔的每个大厅中,他们对我讲述每个卷轴的大致内容,然后我才能够记录下这些卷轴的位置。我总是特别小心,不能看这些卷轴上的字迹,哪怕只是短短的一瞥也不行, 我只能依靠僧侣们的口述来进行工作。我十分仔细的画了一幅这些描绘这些房间的地图,标识出有关于每个预言的卷轴都放在哪,每段历史又都是写在哪儿的。总的来说,这些枯燥的工作花去了几乎一年的时间,到了最终,我也积累了足够的笔记,可以开始对整个图书馆进行校勘。
事情就是从此时开始出现差错。在我对笔记进行研究时,我发现有很多重复,还有一些很严重的前后矛盾。某些情况下,两名僧侣可能会宣称同一份卷轴存放在不同的地方。我明白,他们不是那种会开玩笑或胡说八道的人,还是说,他们是故意在愚弄我,或者是在进行某种神秘的游戏。
我就这个问题与其中一名年长的僧侣进行了交谈,他充满哀伤的垂下了他的头,认为我只是在浪费时间。“我没有告诉过你吗?”他咳嗽着说,“当你开始这一切的时候,你的努力就注定是毫无意义的。这卷轴的存在形式根本就是无法计数的。”
“我还以为你是说数量太多呢。”
“数量的确很多,不过事情并没有这么简单。转过身去,面向那个书阁,告诉我那里面收藏了多少份卷轴。”
我的手指划过金属外盒,清点着每一个圆形的卷轴外沿,然后转回来,“十四,”我说道。
“把第八个给我,”他说道,然后向我伸出手。
我把卷轴的圆筒递给他,他稍稍点头表示收到。“现在,再数一遍。”
为了顺应他,我再一次的让我的手指从那些圆筒上划过,但是开始不敢相信自己的感觉。
“现在……现在有十八个!”我倒抽了一口气。
年迈的僧侣轻声笑了起来,他的脸颊向上挤弄着他的遮眼布,直到下边的遮眼布把上边的部分也遮住了。“实际上,”他说道,“一直就是十八个。”
也就是那时,我作为了最老的新学徒,加入了先祖蛾教派。

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An Accounting of the Scrolls
by Quintus Nerevelus, Former Imperial Librarian
An author's report on the Elder Scrolls and his subsequent entry into the Cult of the Ancestor Moth


After the supposed theft of an Elder Scroll from our Imperial Library, I endeavored to find any sort of index or catalogue of theScrolls in our possession so that such situations may be avoided (or at least properly verified) in the future. To my dismay, I discovered that the Moth Priests are notoriously inexact when it comes to the actual physical manifestations of the Scrolls, and had no idea how many they held, or how they were organized. Merely asking the question evoked chuckles, as if a child was asking why dogs cannot talk.
I will confess, my jealousy of the ones who can read the Scrolls grows, but I am not yet willing to sacrifice my sight to alleged knowledge. The older Moth Priests I attempt to engage in conversation seem as batty as any other elder who has lost their mind, so I fail to see what wisdom is imparted from the reading.
In any case, I set out to create my own index of the Elder Scrolls, in cooperation with the monks. Day by day, we went through the tower halls, with them telling me the general nature of each Elder Scroll so that I might record its location. Always careful never to glimpse the writings myself, I had only their word to go on. I meticulously drew out a map of the chambers, where Scrolls relating to various specific prophecies were located, where particular periods of history were housed. In all, it took nearly a year of plodding, but at last I had rough notes on the entirety of the library to begin my collation.
It was here that things began to go amiss. In studying my notes, I found many areas of overlap and outright contradiction. In some cases different monks would claim the same scroll to be at opposite ends of the tower. I know they have no taste for jesting, or else I would suspect I was being made the fool in some game of theirs.
I spoke to one of the older monks to relate my concerns, and he hung his head in sorrow for my wasted time. "Did I not tell you," he coughed, "when you started this that all efforts would be futile? The Scrolls do not exist in countable form."
"I had thought you meant there were too many to be counted."
"There are, but that is not the least of their complexities. Turn to the repository behind you, and tell me how many Scrolls are locked therein."
I ran my fingers over the metal casings, tallying each rounded edge that they encountered. I turned back -- "Fourteen," I said.
"Hand me the eighth one," he said, reaching out his hand.
I guided the cylinder into his palm, and he gave a slight nod to acknowledge it. "Now, count again."
Humoring him, I again passed my hands over the Scrolls, but could not believe what I was feeling.
"Now... now there are eighteen!" I gasped.
The old monk chuckled, his cheeks pushing up his blindfold until it folded over itself. "And in fact," he said, "there always were."
It was then that I enrolled as the oldest novice ever accepted into the Cult of the Ancestor Moth.

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