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【书籍搬运】The Marksmanship Lesson 箭术课

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中文书名:箭术课

(英文书名:The Marksmanship Lesson)

原文出处:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Marksmanship_Lesson

收集翻译:dooomer

正文:

箭术课

Alla Llaleth著

柯梅厉·布林做起事情来很有自己的一套。比如,每次买到一个奴隶,布林总是当天就把他或者她拉到庭院里,然后拿鞭子狠狠地抽打。根据每个奴隶的不同体质、品性,抽打的时间长达一到三个小时不等。有时候布林会亲自动手,有时候则让手下人来。用的鞭子是打了结的布条,还浸了水,这样子就很容易打出血来,但是不会一不小心把奴隶打成残疾。尝过这种滋味的奴隶一般都规规矩矩的,很少需要再抽一次。这让布林深感满意和自豪。到布林家后第一天的经历,还有接下来的日子里看到别的奴隶挨打哭嗥的悲惨场面,足以让每个奴隶都记上一辈子。

布林后来买到个奴隶,是个木精灵,这还是他第一次买到木精灵奴隶。他让手下人抽打上一个小时就算了。布林大多数的奴隶都是些亚龙人、虎人、还有兽人,比起他们来,这个木精灵的身子骨看起来纤瘦的很。布林称他作杜伯。很明显,杜伯不太适合在矿井或者田里干活,但是让他做做家务事还不至于失礼于人。

杜伯干起活来沉默寡言的。他干得还算勉强可以。布林偶尔会罚他不准吃饭,以纠正一些小错,但也就仅此而已,从来不需要更严厉的惩罚。每次有客人来布林的种植园的时候,他们看到布林家里新添的奴隶姿态优雅,颇具异域风采,都赞叹不已。

“喂,你,”说这话的是吉尼桑·伊洛克,她在印朵瑞家族里的地位无足轻重,但仍然是位贵族。杜伯正给她端上一杯葡萄酒。“你一生下来就是个奴隶吗?”

“不是的,女士,”杜伯俯身回答,“我过去干的是拦路抢劫的勾当,专抢像您这样的高贵女士。”

周围的人都笑了,不过之后柯梅厉·布林找到奴隶贩子,想弄清楚他是在哪儿买到杜伯的,结果发现杜伯说的小笑话其实是实话。这个木精灵过去确实是个拦路劫匪,尽管还称不上恶名昭彰。后来,他被逮住并卖作奴隶以示惩罚。让人不可思议的是,杜伯平时看起来安安份份,每次见到尊长都低眉顺目的,像这么一个人竟然会是个盗匪。布林决定回到家里好好问问他。

“你当时拦路抢劫那些朝圣者,还有商人,手上肯定得有兵器才行吧。”布林看着杜伯拖地,龇牙笑着问他。

“是的,主人,”杜伯恭顺地回答说,“我用的是弓。”

“当然当然,你们木精灵是出了名的了解那些东西,”布林想了想,又问:“你算的上是个弓箭手吧。”

杜伯谦卑地点了点头。

“你来教我儿子沃迪理克箭术。”布林又想了一下,然后说。沃迪理克已经12岁了,很可悲的是,这孩子被他已故的母亲给宠坏了。因为害怕被割到或砍伤,沃迪理克一点剑术也学不会。这让布林很感到面上无光,不过这孩子的性格看起来练习弓箭就刚好适合。

布林让管家买了把制作精良的弓,好几筒箭,然后又让人在农舍旁边长满野花的空地上立了些靶子。几天之内,箭术课就开始了。

开头几天,布林看着沃迪理克跟着杜伯上课,以确保杜伯知道该怎么教。看着儿子学习如何握弓,学习不同的射箭姿势,布林心里挺高兴。不过,生意上的事需要他打理,他就没老是盯着。布林只是时不时地来看看,确保他们仍然在继续上课,但是教的效果如何他就不大清楚。

过了一个月,一次偶然的机会,让布林知道了上课的效果。他和管家在检查农场的进帐和开销,他们往下翻看,翻到家庭杂项支出那一块。

“你替我看看,立的靶子有多少该修补了。”

“我就知道您会问起这个的。”管家说,“它们到现在都还完好无损。”

“怎么可能?”布林摇头不信。“我见过别人射箭,只要射得又准又狠,一个靶子几下子就裂了。都上了一个月的课了,应该都损坏的差不多了才是。”

“直到现在,靶子上还是一个箭坑也没有呢,主人。您自己看看吧。”

就在那会儿,杜伯正在给沃迪理克上箭术课。布林走到练习场上,看着杜伯扶着沃迪理克的手臂,让他指向天空。射出去的箭在空中飞出一个弧形,飞过靶子,射进地里。布林检查了一下靶子,发现正如管家所说,个个完好无损。根本还没有箭头碰到过它们。

“沃迪理克少爷,你的右手应该再低一点。”杜伯在跟沃迪理克说,“射出去后,手腕要注意伸直,不然箭是射不高的。”

“射不高?”布林咆哮起来“怎么不提准不准?除非说,他这些天来射杀了不少鸟儿,要不然,我看你是一点儿箭术也没有教给我儿子。”

杜伯深深鞠躬。“主人,沃迪理克少爷得先做到拿着弓觉得很自然才行,然后才能谈准不准的问题。在我的故乡Valenwood,我们学习箭术的时候,就看着不同高度,不同风向的时候,箭头射出去的圆弧的不同之处,学过这个之后,我们才开始努力学习击中目标。”

布林的脸气得发紫:“别把我当笨蛋!我早该知道,不能把教育儿子的重任托付给一个奴隶!”

布林一把抓住杜伯,把他推往农舍方向推。杜伯垂着头,像他平时做家务事那样,很谦卑地慢慢走。沃迪理克满脸是泪,也想跟着走。

“你待在这儿,给我练习!”布林冲儿子咆哮。“瞄准靶子,别冲着天空放箭!给我在靶心上射出个洞来,不然你就别想再踏进房子半步!”

沃迪理克哭着转过头继续练习。布林把杜伯带到院子里,大叫拿鞭子来。杜伯突然跑开,院子中间摆着些桶,他趴着想躲在桶之间。

“老老实实受罚吧,奴隶!我买下你那天就不该对你手软!”布林吼叫着,一下又一下把鞭子抽打在杜伯露在外面的后背上。“我该好好整整你!你今后可别想再做教师或家仆了,没那么轻松!”

沃迪理克的哭喊声传了过来:“我射不中!爹,我射不中!”

“沃迪理克少爷!”杜伯尽全力大喊,声音因为疼痛而有些发颤。“把左臂伸直,稍微往东点儿瞄准!风向变了!”

“还敢糊弄我儿子!”布林尖叫道。“要是待会儿我没把你打死,你就等着在田里做苦工吧!就该让你做苦工!”

“杜伯!”沃迪理克的喊声远远地飘来。“我还是射不中!”

“沃迪理克少爷!往后走四步,向东瞄准,不要怕,尽管射得高一点儿!”杜伯从桶中间跑出来,又躲到墙边一架推车下面。布林紧追不舍,手里的鞭子狂舞。

男孩射出的箭高高地飞过靶子,不断上升,在农舍边缘开始下坠,划出一个大弧。布林尝到了血的味道,才知道自己被射中了。他小心翼翼地举起手,摸到箭头穿透了自己的脖子。看着杜伯躲在推车下面,布林想自己确实看到奴隶脸上露出了一丝淡淡的微笑。临死前一刹那,布林在杜伯身上看到了过去那个拦路劫匪的身影。

“正中靶心,沃迪理克少爷!”杜伯咯咯怪叫道。

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The Marksmanship Lesson
by Alla Llaleth
How a Bosmer slave teaches his master's son marksmanship


Kelmeril Brin had very definite opinions on how things should be done. Every slave he bought on the day he bought him or her was soundly whipped in the courtyard for a period of one to three hours, depending on the individual degree of independent spirit. The whip he used -- or had his castellan use -- was of wet, knotted cloth, which regularly drew blood but very seldom maimed. To his great satisfaction and personal pride, few slaves ever needed to be whipped more than once. The memory of their first day, and the sight and sound of every subsequent slave's first day, stayed with them throughout their lives.
When Brin bought his first Bosmer slave, he ordered his castellan to whip him only for an hour. The creature, which Brin had named Dob, seemed so much more delicate than the Argonians andKhajiiti and Orcs who made up the bulk of his slaves. Dob was clearly ill suited for work in the mines or in the fields, but he seemed presentable enough for domestic service.
Dob did his work quietly and tolerably well. Brin occasionally had to correct him by refusing him food, but the punishment never needed to go further. Whenever guests arrived at the plantation, the sight of the exotic and elegant addition to Brin's household staff always impressed them.
“Here, you,” said Genethah Illoc, a minor but still noble member of the House Indoriil, as Dob presented her with a glass of wine. “Were you born a slave?”
“No, sedura,” Dob answered with a bow. “I used to rob nice ladies like you on the road.”
The company all laughed with delight, but Kelmeril Brin checked with the slave trader from whom he had bought Dob, and found that the story was true. The Bosmer had been a highwayman, though not one of any great notoriety, before he had been caught and sold into slavery as punishment. It seemed so extraordinary that a quiet fellow like Dob, who always looked respectfully downward at the sight of his superiors, could have been a criminal. Brin made up his mind to question him about it.
“You must have used some sort of weapon when you were robbing all those pilgrims and merchants,” Brin grinned as he watched Dob mop.
“Yes, sedura,” Dob replied humbly. “A bow.”
“Of course. You Bosmeri are supposed to be very handy with those,” Brin thought a moment and then asked: “A bit of a marksman, were you?”
Dob nodded humbly.
“You will tutor my son Wodilic in archery,” the master said after another moment's pause. Wodilic was twelve years of age and had been rather sadly spoiled by his mother, Brin's late wife. The boy was useless at swordplay, fearful of being cut. He embarrassed his father's pride, but the personality defect seemed ideally suited to the bow. Brin had his castellan purchase a finely wrought bow, several quivers of arrows, and ordered targets to be set up in the wildflower field next to the plantation house. In a few days time, the lessons began.
For the first few days, the master watched Wodilic and Dob to be certain that the slave knew how to teach. He was pleased to see the boy learn the grips and the different stances. Business concerns, however, had to take precedence. Brin only had time to see to it that the lessons were continuing, but not how well they were progressing.
It was a month's time before the issue was reexamined. Brin and his castellan were reviewing the plantation's earnings and expenses, and they had come to the area of miscellaneous household costs.
“You might also check to see how many targets in the field need to be repaired.”
“I have already anticipated that, sedura,” said the castellan. “They are in pristine condition.”
“How is that possible?” Brin shook his head. “I've seen targets fall apart after only a few good shots. There shouldn't be anything left after a month's worth of lessons.”
“There are no holes of any kind in the targets, sedura. See for yourself.”
As it happened at that hour, the marksmanship lesson was underway. Brin walked across the field, watching Dob guide Wodilic's arm as the boy took aim at the sky. The arrow flew up into an arc, over the top of the target, burying itself in the ground. Brin examined the target and found it to be, as his castellan said, in pristine condition. No arrow had touched it.
“Master Wodilic, you must pull your right arm down further,” Dob was saying. “And the follow-through is essential if you expect your arrow to gain any height.”
“Height?” Brin snarled. “What about accuracy? Unless he's been secretly racking up a high kill ratio on birds, you haven't taught my son a thing about marksmanship.”
Dob bowed humbly. “Sedura, first Master Wodilic must become comfortable with the weapon before he need worry about accuracy. In Valenwood, we learn by watching the bolt arc at different levels, in different winds, before we try very hard to strike targets.”
Brin's face turned purple with fury: “I'm not a fool! I should have known not to trust a slave with my boy's education!”
The master grabbed Dob and shoved him toward the plantation house. Dob, head down, began the humble, shuffling walk he had learned in his domestic duties. Wodilic, tears streaming down his face, tried to follow.
“You stay and practice!” roared his father. “Try aiming at the target itself, not at the sky! You are not coming back into the house until there is one hole in that damned bullseye!”
The boy tearfully returned to practice, while Brin brought Dob into the courtyard and called for his whip. Dob suddenly broke away and scrambled to hide between some barrels in the center of the yard.
“Take your punishment, slave! I should have never shown you mercy the day I bought you!” Brin bellowed, bringing the whip down on Dob's exposed back again and again. “I have to toughen you up! There'll be no more soft jobs as tutor and valet in your future!”
Wodilic's plaintive yell drifted in from the meadow: “I can't! Father, I can't hit it!”
“Master Wodilic!” Dob cried back as loud as he could, his voice shaking with pain. “Keep your left arm straight and aim slightly east! The wind has changed!”
“Stop confusing my son!” Brin screamed. “You'll be in the saltrice fields if I don't beat you to death first! Like you deserve!”
“Dob!” the boy wailed, far away. “I still can't hit it!”
“Master Wodilic! Take four steps back, aim east, and don't be afraid of the height!” Dob tore away from the barrels, hiding under a cart near the wall. Brin pursued him, raining down blows.
The boy's arrow sailed high over the target and kept climbing, reaching a pinnacle at the edge of the plantation house before coming down in a magnificent arc. Brin tasted the blood before he realized he'd been hit. Gingerly, he raised his hands and felt the arrowhead protruding out of the back of his neck. He looked at Dob crouching under the wagon, and thought he saw a thin smile cross the slave's lips. Just for an instant before he died, Brin saw the face of the rogue highwayman on Dob.
“Bullseye, Master Wodilic!” Dob crowed.

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