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【书籍搬运】The Gold Ribbon of Merit 金色绶带

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Gold_Ribbon_of_Merit

作者:Ampyrian Brum

翻译:花溪流萤

早春清晨,Templer和Stryngpool行于通往靶场的林荫间,苍白的阳光穿过晓岚,斑驳一地苍黄。远行凡四年,独留所爱青木耸峙,如今同返高岩。树木葱郁依然,人却已非少年。Stryngpool蓄起了漂亮的金黄胡子,以发蜡梳理的浓密有型。Templer与之前嬉戏林中的少年相比,更是判若两人,现在的他,不苟言笑,身上满布伤痕。

两人携弓带箭,小心翼翼的跋涉于蔓菁盘根错节,枝桠横生的道路上。

“这曾是通往你家的路,不是吗,老友?” Stryngpool问道

Templer驻足瞥向繁茂的草木,点了点头。

“果真如此”Stryngpool笑道:“我还记得这条路,因为你小时候每次跑到这里都会摔个头破血流,我不想揶揄你,但是我不得不说,真是难以置信,你最后竟然成了一个战士。”

“你的家人贵恙?”

“还是那样,伺机便大肆炫耀。显然他们只是希望我从学院载誉归来,于我来说,起码在我继承遗产之前,没什么好说的。看见我的箭术绶带了么?”

“哦,我差点忘记我家人把它悬于高堂之上了。太招摇了,我保证你透过落地窗就能远远看到。虽然这样想有点傻,但我希望那些农民们能够识货。”

练习场豁然出现于前,凌驾碧草之上的晨雾弥漫开来,飘渺的寒气带着不透明的质感蔓延笼罩其中,数米之外的圆形靶标,若隐若现,宛若晨曦中的警卫。

“你已开始练习了”Templer注意道

“嗯,才刚开始。我才回来没几天。”Stryngpool笑道。“我的父母说你一周前就回来了?”

“是的,我的部队就驻扎在以东数里之处,我觉得我该回故乡看看了。变化太大了,接近面目全非。”Templer注视着脚下山谷,广阔无垠的耕地,绵延数里。“庄稼长势不错。”

我的家族在你走后不断扩张,对于你家老屋的去留曾有过一些讨论,但是真是令人有些伤感。屋下的土地太肥沃了。”

Stryngpool仔细的搭箭。这是一种优雅的艺术品,极黑乌木缠绕着银色丝线,系途歇城特地为其打制。他望向Templer架起的箭矢,心里隐隐不快。寒酸褪色的箭神,裹缠着一条条的粗布。

“这不会是就是他们教授你的拉箭方法吧,你需要一些毕业于学院的军人做顾问了,”Stryngpool尽量温柔的说道:“拉开的弓弦,应该像X置于O上(拉满弦,瞄正中),你现在看起来却像是Z置于Y上(弦无力,箭瞄偏)”

“这是我的方式”Templer说道,“必须事先声明,我可不会整个下午都和你争论这个,你晚上敢不敢到我们部队看看。”

Stryngpool开始从他老朋友的态度中感受到怒意,如果他为他的家庭失去的土地而愤懑,为什么不直截了当的讲明?他回到这座峡谷到底所为何事?他注视着Templer笨拙的拉上第一根箭,瞄准靶标。

“不好意思,在你稍微变得开窍之前,我不会让你回军队的。拉箭一共有三种姿势,三指拉法,拇指和食指拉法,拇指和双指拉法,在就是我喜欢使用拇指,但是请看。”Stryngpool向Templer 展示缠在自己弓弦上的皮革护垫,“你需要缠上这个,否则你的拇指很容易被划伤。”

“不要固执了,Templer。他们不会平白无故的授予我金色绶带的。我曾经向他们展示过,盾后射击,站立射击,坐下射击,蹲下射击,半跪射击,骑乘射击。我与你分享这些实用讯息仅仅为了我们之间我不曾忘却友谊。亲爱的 凯娜瑞斯,我记得你还是个小孩子时,很乐于采纳这类忠告的。”

Templer盯着Stryngpool好一会儿,放低自己的箭矢说道:“教我。”

Stryngpool长吁口气,释放积存体内的紧张感。开始做练习,分别演示了齐眉搭箭,平胸搭箭等多种方式。

“射击一共有三种方式:快速射击,连续开弓,像木精灵那样;拉满弦稍加停留后射出,像虎人那样;慢慢拉弦,停顿,继续拉满。”Stryngpool张弓射出一支箭,正中靶心,“射击。这是我的最爱。”

“很好”Templer说道

“该你了”Stryngpool说道。他帮Templer选上一根箭,以正确的方式拉弓,瞄准。Templer的脸上开始浮现笑容—这是Stryngpool第一次从他饱经战乱的脸庞上看见如此孩子气的笑容。Templer射出了箭,箭矢远远高出靶标,射入山谷中,逐渐消失于视界之外。

“还不坏吧”Templer说道。

“不太好”Stryngpool再次友好的说,“勤加锻炼,或许能瞄的更准些”

两个人分开之前又做了一些练习,随后Templer踏上了返回东方军队营帐的漫长征途,Stryngpool穿过树林走进村庄走向他家族的豪宅。他哼着小曲穿过了庭院的大草坪走进前门中,为自己学院所学的知识能够帮助自己的老朋友而感到高兴。这使得他完全没有注意到宽大的落地窗玻璃已然破碎。

但是当他到达大堂之时,他马上就意识到了,因为他看到自己的金色绶带上插着Templer“胡乱”射出的箭矢。

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The Gold Ribbon of Merit
by Ampyrian Brum
A man tutors his old friend in marksmanship


In that early springtime morning, pale sunlight flickered behind the morning mist floating through the trees as Templer and Stryngpool made their way to the clearing. Neither had been back in High Rock, let alone in their favorite woods for four years. The trees had changed little even if they had. Stryngpool had a handsome blond moustache now, stiffened and spiked with wax, and Templer seemed to be a completely alien creature to the young lad who searched for adventure in the ancient grove. He was much quieter, as if scarred within as well as without.
They each carried their bows and quivers with extra care as they maneuvered their way through the clusters of vine and branch.
“This is the path that used to lead to your house, isn't it, old boy?” asked Stryngpool.
Templer glanced at the overgrowth and nodded, before continuing on.
“I thought so,” said Stryngpool and laughed: “I remember it because you used to run down it every time you got a bloody nose. I know I can't offend you, but I have to say, it's hard to believe that you ended up a soldier.”
“How's your family?” asked Templer.
“The same. A bit more pompous, if that's possible. It's obvious they wish I'd come back from the academy, but there's nothing much for me here. At least not until I collect my inheritance. Did you see I got a gold ribbon of merit in archery?”
“How could I miss it?” said Templer.
“Oh yes, I nearly forgot that the family's put it in the Great Hall. Very ostentatiously. I suppose you can actually see it through the picture window. Silly, but I hope the peasants are impressed.”
The clearing opened up before them, where the mist settled on the grass, enveloping it in an opaque, chilly vapor. Burlap targets were arranged around in a semi-circle, several meters apart, like sentinels.
“You've been practicing,” observed Templer.
“Well, a bit. I've only been back in town for a few days.” said Stryngpool with a smile. “My parents said you got here a week ago?”
“That's right. My unit's camped a few miles east, and I thought I'd visit the old haunts. A lot's changed, I could hardly recognize anything at all.” Templer looked down at the valley below, to the vast empty tilled ground, stretching out for miles around. “It looks like a good planting.”
“My family's rather spread out since yours left. There was some discussion I think about keeping your old house up, but it seemed a little sentimental. Especially as there was fertile ground beneath.”
Stryngpool strung his bow carefully. It was a beautiful piece of art, darkest ebony and spun silver filigrees, hand-crafted for him in Wayrest. He looked over at Templer stringing his bow, and felt a twinge of pity. It was a sad, weathered utensil, bound together with strips of fabric.
“If that's how they taught you to string your bow, you need some advisors from the academy in that army of yours,” said Stryngpool as gently as he could. “The untightened loop is supposed to look like an X in an O. Yours looks like a Z in a Y.”
“It works for me,” said Templer. “I should tell you, I won't be able to make an afternoon of this. I'm supposed to join my unit this evening.”
Stryngpool began to feel annoyed by his old friend. If he was angry about his family losing their land, why couldn't he just say it? Why did he come back to the valley at all? He watched Templer nock his first arrow, taking aim at a target, and coughed.
“I'm sorry, but I can't in good faith send you back to the army without a little new wisdom. There are three types of draw, three-fingers, thumb and index, thumb and two fingers. Then there's the thumb draw which I like, but you see,” Stryngpool showed Templer the small leather loop fastened on the cord of his bow, “You need to have one of these thingies or you'll tear your thumb right off.”
“I think I like my stupid method best.”
“Don't be pigheaded, Templer. They didn't give me the gold ribbon of merit for nothing. I had demonstrated shooting from under a shield, standing, sitting, squatting, kneeling, and sitting on horseback. This is practical information I'm imparting for the sake of our friendship which I, at least, haven't completely forgotten. Sweet Kynareth, I remember when you were just an oily little squirt, begging for this kind of honest guidance.”
Templer looked at Stryngpool for a moment, and lowered his bow. “Show me.”
Stryngpool relaxed, shook away the tensions that had been building. He did his exercise, drawing the bow back to his eyebrow, his moustache, his chest, his earlobe.
“There are three ways of shooting: snatching and releasing in one continuous motion, like the Bosmer do; holding with a short draw and a pause before releasing like the Khajiit; and partial draw, pause, final draw,” Stryngpool fired the arrow into the center of the target with cool precision, “And release. Which I prefer.”
“Very nice,” said Templer.
“Now you,” said Stryngpool. He helped Templer select a grip, nock his arrow correctly, and take aim. A smile grew on Templer's face -- the first time Stryngpool had seen such a childlike expression on the war-etched visage all afternoon. When Templer released the arrow, it rocketed high over the top of the target and into the valley below where it disappeared from sight.
“Not bad,” said Templer.
“No, not bad,” said Stryngpool, feeling friendly once again. “If you practice, you should be able to focus your aim a little bit.”
The two shot a few more practice bolts before parting ways. Templer began the long trek east to his unit's camp, and Stryngpool wound his way down through the woods to the valley and his family's mansion. He hummed a little tune he learned at the academy as he passed the great lawn and walked up to the front door, pleased with himself for helping his old friend. It entirely escaped his attention that the large picture window was broken.
But he noticed right away when he came into the Great Hall, and saw Templer's wild-shot bolt sticking in his gold ribbon of merit.

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