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【书籍搬运】The Exodus 大迁徙

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The Exodus

翻译:sevil

瓦拉是个小女孩,美丽而甜蜜,美丽而机敏,美丽而充满活力。她就是她父母曾经梦想的一切。她是如此的完美,他们无法不对她的未来充满憧憬。她的父亲蒙森,一个想挤入上流社会的人,认为她能嫁给名门望族,甚至可能成为帝国的一个公主。她的母亲辛妮塔,一个缺乏自信的女人,认为她能成为一名骑士或一名术师,自己成就伟业。他们都想让女儿成为心中最棒的人,常常争论她的命运究竟应该为何。但他们都错了。她还没有长大,就身患疾病,病得十分严重。

教堂让他们放弃希望,而法师公会告诉他们瓦拉感染的疾病太罕见,太致命了,是无法治愈的。她必死无疑,而且很快就会死去。

帝国的大公会都令他们失望后,蒙森和辛妮塔找到女巫,隐居的术师,以及其他潜藏在文明社会阴影中的隐秘力量。

“我知道你们能去的惟一一个地方,”他们在沃斯加里安山脉最偏僻的山峰找到的一个老草药师说。“是奥伦维尔德的法师公会。”

“但我们已经去过法师公会了,”蒙森反对道,“他们帮不了我们。”

“去奥伦维尔德,”草药师坚持,“还有,不要告诉任何人你们要去那里。”

寻找奥伦维尔德并不容易,因为任何现代地图上都没有它的存在。然而在天际大地的一家书商那里,他们在第二纪元的一本历史地图册上找到了它。在已经泛黄的书页中,标记着奥伦维尔德,一个北部海岸岛屿上的城市,离寒冬要塞有夏日的一日航程。

这对夫妇给女儿裹上厚重的衣物以抵御海风的寒冷,他们出航了,那张旧地图是他们惟一的向导。将近两天的时间里,他们都在海上,在同一个地方转圈,怀疑着自己是否是某个残酷骗局的受害者。这时,他们看到了它。

在撞击着的海浪形成的薄雾中,两座倾颓的雕像装饰着海港,那是早已被遗忘的神灵或是英雄。码头上的船的船壳都已腐烂,一半沉在海水之下。蒙森停好他的船,三人走进了这座被荒废的岛屿城市。

窗户破碎的旅店,有一口已干涸的井的广场,倒塌的宫殿,被火熏黑的住宅,荒废的店铺和被遗弃的马厩。一切都是荒凉的,一切都是静止的,只有海风在空空荡荡的城市中高声哀号。还有墓碑。每一段路,每一条巷都排列着、排列着,布满了对死者的纪念,墓碑。

蒙森和辛妮塔看着对方。他们感觉到的寒意与风没有任何关系。他们又看看瓦拉,继续前往他们的目的地——奥伦维尔德的法师公会。

隐约的烛光从那所巨大黑暗的建筑里透出,但得知这座死亡之岛上还有活人几乎没有给他们任何安慰。他们敲敲门,聚集起自己全部的信念来面对可能出现的任何恐惧。

开门的是一个胖胖的中年诺德女人,她长着金色的卷发。她身后站着一个年纪与她相仿、相貌温和的秃顶诺德,一对十几岁、仍有不少青春痘的布莱顿夫妇,还有一个非常老,却面色红润的布莱顿男子,看到访客,他愉快地咧嘴一笑。

“哦,天哪。”诺德女人激动地说,“听到敲门声时,我还以为我肯定是听错了。快进来,快进来,外面好冷!”

三人被引进门,发现公会没有半点像是被遗弃的样子,不禁松了一口气。地板扫得很干净,烛火烧得很欢快,室内的装饰也很令人愉悦。人们开始自我介绍。公会里的居民是两家人,诺德人贾玛和妮特,布莱顿人莱威尔、罗萨琳和老温斯特。他们都很亲切随和,立即端出了热葡萄酒和面包。蒙森和辛妮塔向他们解释他俩到这里来的目的,以及治疗师和草药师关于瓦拉的情况所说的话。

“所以,你们看到了,”辛妮塔含着泪水说,“我们以为我们找不到奥伦维尔德的法师公会,但我们找到了。求求你们,你们是我们最后的希望了。”

五位陌生人眼里也有了泪水。妮特大声地擤着鼻涕。

“哦,你们经历得太多,太多了。”诺德女人叫道,“当然,我们会帮你们。你们的小女孩会完好如初的。”

“我们应该告诉你,”贾玛说,他的语调更平静一些,尽管他明显也被这个故事感动。“这里是一所法师公会,但我们不是那些法师。我们住在这间房子里是因为它被遗弃了,而它恰好能满足我们的需求——从大迁徙以来。我们是死灵法师。”

“死灵法师?”辛妮塔颤抖着说。这些好人怎么会是如此可怕的东西?

“是啊,亲爱的。”妮特微笑,拍拍她的手。“我知道。恐怕我们的名声很坏。从来都不是很好,现在那个好心的笨蛋大法师汉尼拔·塔拉文又——”

“愿虫王吞食掉他的灵魂!”老人突然恶狠狠地说。

“好了,好了,温斯特,”那个十多岁的女孩罗萨琳红了脸,对辛妮塔报以歉意的一笑。“很对不起,其实他一向是很可爱的。”

“嗯,当然,他是对的,曼尼马可拥有最后决定权。”贾玛说。“不过现在,事情非常的……嗯……难以应付。塔拉文正式禁止了我们的学派,我们不得不躲藏起来。如果不这样,我们就只能一起放弃我们的学派,那简直是蠢到透顶的事情,尽管很多人都那么做了。”

“自从泰伯·赛普丁把奥伦维尔德用作他的私人墓地以来,没有多少人知道这里了。”莱威尔说,“我们花了一星期才找到这里。不过这里对我们来说是完美的。尸体很充足,你知道……”

“莱威尔!”罗萨琳呵斥道,“你会吓到他们的!”

“抱歉。”莱威尔羞怯地笑笑。

“我不在乎你们在这里做什么,”蒙森坚决地说,“我只想知道你们能为我的女儿做什么。”

“嗯,”贾玛耸耸肩,“我想,我们能让她不死,也永远不生病。”

辛妮塔喘着气,“求求你们!只要你们能帮她,我们愿意付出一切!”

“胡说什么呀。”妮特说,把瓦拉抱进她粗壮结实的臂膀中。“哦,多么美丽的女孩。你想要舒服一点吗,小甜心?”

瓦拉疲倦地点点头。

“你待在这,”贾玛说,“罗萨琳,我肯定我们有比面包更好的东西来招待这些好客人。”

妮特开始把瓦拉抱走,但辛妮塔追了上去。“等等,我也要去。”

“哦,我知道你想去,不过那会使法术崩溃的,亲爱的。”妮特说,“不用担心。这样的事情我们已经做过几十次了。”

蒙森双臂环抱住他的妻子,她放松下来。罗萨琳匆忙跑到厨房,取了一些烤鸟肉和更多的热葡萄酒回来。他们静静地坐在那里吃着东西。

温斯特突然颤抖起来。“那小女孩死了。”

“哦!”辛妮塔倒抽一口气。

“湮灭地狱啊!你是什么意思?!”蒙森大喊道。

“温斯特,有必要那样吗?”莱威尔对老人皱皱眉,转向蒙森和辛妮塔。“她必须死。死灵法术并不是用来治愈疾病,而是关于复活、完全的重生,是改造整个肉体,不仅仅是其中不运转的部分。”

蒙森愤怒地起身,“如果那些疯子杀了她——”

“他们没有,”罗萨琳怒斥道,原本羞怯的双眼放射出怒火。“你的女儿进到这里时,已经只剩一口气了,任何人都能看出来。我知道这很难,甚至很可怕,但我不会让你们称那对只是想帮助你们的好夫妇是‘疯子’。”

辛妮塔哭了起来,“但她会活下去的?是不是?”

“哦,是的。”莱威尔露出大大的微笑。

“哦,谢谢你们,谢谢你们,”辛妮塔又哭了起来,“我不知道我们能做些什么——”

“我了解你的感受,”罗萨琳说,爱怜地拍着温斯特的手。“当我以为我们会失去他的时候,我也愿意付出一切换回他。就像你现在一样。”

辛妮塔微微一笑。“你的父亲多大年纪?”

“我的儿子,”罗萨琳纠正她,“他六岁。”

另一个房间里传来轻微的脚步声。

“瓦拉,去给你的父母一个热情的拥抱吧。”贾玛说。

蒙森和辛妮塔转过身。于是尖叫开始了。

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The Exodus
by Waughin Jarth
The tale of a parent's desperate bid to save their only child


Vralla was a little girl, beautiful and sweet-natured, beautiful and smart, beautiful and energetic. Everything that her parents had dreamed she would be. As perfect as she was, they could not help but have dreams for her. Her father, a bit of a social climber named Munthen, thought she would marry well, perhaps become a Princess of the Empire. Her mother, an insecure woman named Cinneta, thought she would reach greatness on her own, as a knight or a sorceress. As much as they wanted the very best for their daughter, they argued about what her fate would be, but both were wrong. Instead of growing up, she grew very ill.
The Temples told them to give up hope, and The Mages Guild told them that what afflicted Vralla was so rare, so deadly, that there was no cure. She was doomed to die, and soon.
When the great institutions of the Empire failed them, Munthen and Cinneta sought out the witches, the sorcerer hermits, and the other hidden, secret powers that lurk in the shadows of civilization.
'I can think of only one place you can go,' said an old herbalist they found in the most remote peaks of the Wrothgarian Mountains. 'The Mages Guild at Olenveld.'
'But we have already been to the Mages Guild,' protested Munthen. 'They couldn't help us.'
'Go to Olenveld," the herbalist insisted. "And tell no one that you're going there.'
It was not easy to find Olenveld, as it did not appear on any modern map. In a bookseller's inSkyrim, however, they found it in a historic book of cartography from the 2nd Era. In the yellowed pages, there was Olenveld, a city on an island in the northern coast, a day's sail in summertide from Winterhold.
Bundling their pale daughter against the chill of the ocean wind, the couple set sail, using the old map as their only guide. For nearly two days, they were at sea, circling the same position, wondering if they were the victim of a cruel trick. And then they saw it.
In the mist of crashing waves were twin crumbled statues framing the harbor, long forgotten Gods or heroes. The ships within were half-sunk, rotten shells along the docks. Munthen brought his ship in, and the three walked into the deserted island city.
Taverns with broken windows, a plaza with a dried-up well, shattered palaces and fire-blackened tenements, barren shops and abandoned stables, all desolate, all still, but for the high keening ocean wind that whistled through the empty places. And gravestones. Every road and alley was lined, and crossed, and crossed again with memorials to the dead.
Munthen and Cinneta looked at one another. The chill they felt had little to do with the wind. Then they looked at Vralla, and continued on to their goal - the Mages Guild of Olenveld.
Candlelight glistened through the windows of the great dark building, but it brought them little relief to know that someone was alive in the island of death. They knocked on the door, and steeled themselves against whatever horror they might face within.
The door was opened by a rather plump middle-aged Nord woman with frizzy blond hair. Standing behind her, a meek-looking bald Nord about her age, a shy teenage Breton couple, still very pimply and awkward, and a very old, apple-cheeked Breton man who grinned with delight at the visitors.
'Oh, my goodness,' said the Nord woman, all afluster. 'I thought my ears must be fooling me when I heard that door a-knockin'. Come in, come in, it's so cold!'
The three were ushered in the door, and they were relieved to find that the Guild did not look abandoned in the least. It was well swept, well lit, and cheerfully decorated. The group fell into introductions. The inhabitants of the Guildhouse in Olenveld were two families, the Nords Jalmar and Nette, and the Bretons Lywel, Rosalyn, and old Wynster. They were friendly and accommodating, immediately bringing some mulled wine and bread while Munthen and Cinneta explained to them what they were doing there, and what the healers and herbalists had said about Vralla.
'So, you see,' said Cinneta, tearfully. 'We didn't think we'd find the Mages Guild in Olenveld, but now that we have, please, you're our last hope.'
The five strangers also had tears in their eyes. Nette wept particularly noisily.
'Oh, you've been through too, too much,' the Nord woman bawled. 'Of course, we'll help. Your little girl will be right as rain.'
'It is fair to tell you,' said Jalmar, more stoically, though he clearly was also touched by the tale. 'This is a Guildhouse, but we are not Mages. We took this building because it was abandoned and it serves our purposes since the Exodus. We are Necromancers.'
'Necromancers?' Cinneta quivered. How could these nice people be anything so horrible?
'Yes, dear,' Nette smiled, patting her hand. 'I know. We have a bad reputation, I'm afraid. Never was very good, and now that well-meaning but foolish Archmagister Hannibal Traven -'
'May the Worm King eat his soul!' cried the old man quite suddenly and very viciously.
'Now, now, Wynster,' said the teenage girl Rosalyn, blushing and smiling at Cinneta apologetically. 'I'm sorry about him. He's usually very sweet-natured.'
'Well, of course, he's right, Mannimarco will have the last say in the matter,' Jalmar said. 'But right now, it's all very, well, awkward. When Traven officially banned the art, we had to go into hiding. The only other option was to abandon it altogether, and that's just foolish, though there are many who have done it.'
'Not many people know about Olenveld anymore since Tiber Septim used it as his own personal graveyard,' said Lywel. 'Took us a week to find it again. But it's perfect for us. Lots of dead bodies, you know …'
'Lywel!' Rosalyn admonished him. 'You're going to scare them!'
'Sorry,' Lywel grinned sheepishly.
'I don't care what you do here,' said Munthen sternly. 'I just want to know what you can do for my daughter.'
'Well,' said Jalmar with a shrug. 'I guess we can make it so she doesn't die and is never sick again.'
Cinneta gasped, 'Please! We'll give you everything we have!'
'Nonsense,' said Nette, picking up Vralla in her big, beefy arms. 'Oh, what a beautiful girl. Would you like to feel better, little sweetheart?'
Vralla nodded, wearily.
'You stay here,' Jalmar said. 'Rosalyn, I'm sure we have something better than bread to offer these nice folks.'
Nette started to carry Vralla away, but Cinneta ran after her. 'Wait, I'm coming too.'
'Oh, I'm sure you would, but it'd ruin the spell, dear,' Nette said. 'Don't worry about a thing. We've done this dozens of times.'
Munthen puts his arms around his wife, and she relented. Rosalyn hurried off to the kitchen and brought some roast fowl and more mulled wine for them. They sat in silence and ate.
Wynster shuddered suddenly. 'The little girl has died.'
'Oh!' Cinneta gasped.
'What in Oblivion do you mean?!' Munthen cried.
'Wynster, was that really necessary?' Lywel scowled at the old man, before turning to Munthen and Cinneta. 'She had to die. Necromancy is not about curing a disease, it's about resurrection, total regeneration, transforming the whole body, not just the parts that aren't working now.'
Munthen stood up, angrily. 'If those maniacs killed her -'
'They didn't,' Rosalyn snapped, her shy eyes now showing fire. 'Your daughter was on her last breath when she came in here, anyone could see that. I know that this is hard, horrible even, but I won't have you call that sweet couple who are only trying to help you, 'maniacs.
Cinneta burst into tears, 'But she's going to live now? Isn't she?'
'Oh yes,' Lywel said, smiling broadly.
'Oh, thank you, thank you,' Cinneta burst into tears. 'I don't know what we would have done -'
'I know how you feel,' said Rosalyn, patting Wynster's hand fondly. 'When I thought we were going to lose him, I was willing to do anything, just like you.'
Cinneta smiled. 'How old is your father?'
'My son,' Rosalyn corrected her. 'He's six.'
From the other room came the sound of tiny footsteps.
'Vralla, go give your parents a big hug,' said Jalmar.
Munthen and Cinneta turned, and the screaming began.

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