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【书籍搬运】The Refugees 流亡者

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The Refugees

翻译:sevil

海湾的气味渗过地窖的石墙,咸涩而腐朽。地窖本身也有自己的味道,葡萄酒酸败、发霉的气味和治疗师们照顾伤患所有草药的奇异香味混合在一起。这间大土屋曾是上面妓院被遗忘的储藏室,现在里面挤了五十多个人。呻吟声和抽泣声已经停止了;一切都静止了,好象整个避难所都变成了一座坟墓。

“母亲,”一个红衣卫士男孩小声说,“那是什么?”

男孩的母亲刚想回答,隆隆的吼叫声又从外面传来,声音越来越大,好象某种巨大却又无形的野兽进到了地窖里一样。墙壁抖动不止,天花板上的灰尘纷纷掉落,扬起阵阵烟灰。

不同的是,这次没有人尖叫。他们静静等待,直到这反常的、回音不绝的声音渐渐消失,又被远处战斗的声音所取代。

某个受伤的士兵喃喃念起了必死之人给玛拉的祷文。

“曼卡,”一个蜷缩在简易床铺中的波兹莫女人嘶声说,她的眼神灼热,脸色苍白,浑身冒汗。“他来了!”

“谁来了?”男孩问道,紧紧抓住母亲的裙摆。

“你觉得谁会来,小子?糖果贩子么?”一个头发斑白的独臂红衣卫士嘟囔道。“当然是卡莫兰篡位者。”

男孩的母亲愤怒地射了老兵一眼。“她根本不知道自己在说什么。她病了。”

男孩点点头。他的母亲总是对的。当人们开始窃窃私语,说卡莫兰篡位者接近了她的小村庄的时候,他甚至还没有出生。那时她打点行装准备逃跑,但她的邻居们只是笑话她,她讲道,他们说里哈德和塔内斯能轻轻巧巧地摆平他。她的丈夫,卢卡从未谋面的父亲,也一样嘲笑她。那时正值收获时节,她会错过所有的庆典。但卢卡的母亲米雅琪是对的。她逃离村子两周后,便听闻了全村在一夜间惨遭毁灭的消息。没有人幸存。里哈德和塔内斯也都倒下了。没有任何人能阻挡篡位者。

卢卡在难民营里出生,在难民营里长大,足迹几乎遍布整个落锤之地。他从来没能交过一个持续几天以上的朋友。他只知道当西方的天空变得火红,他们便收拾行李移往东方。当南方的天空变红,他们便逃向北方。他们就这样一个营地接一个营地地前行了十二年。最终,他们踏上了跨越伊利亚克湾前往高岩省的道路,到了某男爵的封地,Dwynnen。在那里,米雅琪向他保证,他们能有一个和平的、永久的家园——或者说,她如此希望。

那里是如此的绿,绿得使他眼花缭乱。不像只在特定时节和地区才有绿色的落锤之地,Dwynnen几乎是四季常青。直到冬天来临,雪花飘落,卢卡一开始还被雪吓得要命。现在真正的危险就在身边,回想起来,他不禁感到羞愧。但宣告战争的红色云朵、难民营中的恶臭和痛苦才是他更熟悉的。

现在,海湾的地平线上已经泛起了红色,红色的天空仍在接近。他好怀念那些扑簌簌落下的雪花能把他吓哭的日子。

“曼卡!”波兹莫女人又喊道。“他来了,他将带来死亡!”

“没人会来,”一个年轻漂亮的布莱顿医者走到那女人身边。“嘘,没事的。”

“哈罗?”一个声音从头顶上传来。

整个房间里的人同时倒抽一口气。一个波兹莫一瘸一拐地走下腐烂的木楼梯,他那张友好的面孔很明显不属于卡莫兰篡位者。

“吓到你们了?抱歉,”他说,“有人告诉我这里有治疗师,能帮上我一点忙。”

罗赛娜迅速赶去查看那波兹莫腿上和胸前的伤口。尽管头发蓬乱、衣冠不整,她仍然很美丽。她曾经是妓院最受欢迎的宝贝。在迪贝拉的神堂,她学会了治愈术,以及其它更职业的技能。她小心而不失敏捷地脱下他破烂的皮甲、马裤、护腿、护胫和靴子,把它们放在一边,检查他的伤势。

老红衣卫士族战士注视着他们。“你之前在战场上?”

“在战场旁边更确切。”波兹莫微笑,在罗赛娜的碰触下不禁微微瑟缩。“战场后边,战场侧边,战场前边。我的名字是奥本·埃姆洛克。我是个斥候。我尽量躲避真正的战斗,这样才能回来汇报我看到了什么。对于那些不太喜欢自己血的颜色的人来说,这可真是个好差使。”

“赫兹姆,”战士说,握着奥本的手。“我不能再打仗了,不过如果你要回去,我可以帮你修修这身护甲。”

“你是皮匠?”

“不是,样样通样样松罢了。”赫兹姆回答,打开一个小罐子准备给坚实而柔韧的皮甲上蜡。“不过,我从你的护甲就能看出你是个斥候。能告诉我们你在侦察什么吗?我们在这下面已经半天了,外面一点消息都没有。”

“整个伊利亚克湾都陷入了战火。”奥本说。在罗赛娜的法术下,他参差不齐却也不深的伤口开始愈合,他叹了口气。“我们在湾口截断了侵略军,但我从海岸那边过来,结果敌军在翻越沃斯加里安山脉。我就是在那里出了这点小状况。在正面战斗正激烈的时候把侧翼从边上调进来,其实不是很出乎意料。这个花招根本就是出于赤鹿王向卡莫兰·考托斯借的那本计谋书。”

“赤鹿王?”卢卡问。他一直在静静地听着,听懂了除此之外的每一个字。

“海曼·卡莫兰,卡莫兰篡位者,赤鹿王海曼,这些都是同一个人,小子。他是个复杂的家伙,所以需要不止一个名字。”

“你认识他?”米雅琪走上前问。

“认识将近二十年了。在这整个恶心的、该死的事情之前。那时我是卡莫兰·考托斯的首席斥候,海曼则是他的术师和顾问。我同时协助他们两人。那时他们正在争夺卡莫兰的王位,并且开始征服——啊!”

罗赛娜停止了治疗。她眼中燃烧着怒火,撤消了她的法术,业已愈合的伤口再次裂开。奥本想要后退,却被她以惊人的力量扶住。

“你这混蛋,”她嘶声道,“我在法利那斯提有个表姐。是名女祭司。”

“她没事!”奥本痛苦地叫喊,“考托斯大人坚持不伤害任何没有产生威胁的人!”

“我觉得科瓦奇城的居民可不会同意这句话。”赫兹姆冷冷地说。

“那确实很可怕,是我见过最糟糕的事情。”奥本点头道,“当考托斯看到海曼做的事情之后,他哭了。我的主人用尽一切办法想阻止这件事,央求赤鹿王返回瓦伦林地。但他却转而对抗卡托斯,所以我们逃了。我们不是你们的敌人,现在不是,从前也不是。考托斯无法阻止篡位者给西科洛维和落锤之地带来的恐怖景象,但他为了阻止更多这种恐怖,已经奋战了十五年。”

恐怖的野兽般的吼声再次传遍了整个地下室,比前次声音还大。伤者忍不住在无助的恐惧中呻吟起来。

“这又是什么?”米雅琪嘲讽地说,“又一个卡莫兰·考托斯的计谋,被篡位者学了去么?”

“事实上,这确实是一个计谋。”奥本喊道,声音盖过那吼叫声。“那是他用来惊吓别人的。一开始当他的力量逐渐上升的时候,他要使用恐惧战术。现在他的力量开始减弱,不得不重新依赖起这种战术。这就是为什么他花了两年时间征服瓦伦林地,又花了十三年才勉强征服了半个落锤之地。这话不是对你们红衣卫士不敬,但阻止他推进的可不仅仅是你们的战斗技巧。他没有了从前他的主人给他的支持——”

吼叫声猛然上升,又复归死寂。

“曼卡!”波兹莫女人呻吟道。“他来了,他将摧毁一切!”

“他的主人?”卢卡问道,但奥本的眼睛已经转向了蜷缩在鲜血浸透的床铺上的波兹莫女人。

“她是谁?”奥本问罗赛娜。

“当然是个难民。从你和你那考托斯换边之前在瓦伦林地的那场友好的小小战争里来。”治疗师回答,“我想她的名字是卡莉丝。”

“Jephre啊!”奥本轻声说,一瘸一拐地走到女人的床前,擦拭着她苍白脸上的汗,拨开她染血的头发。“卡莉丝,是奥本啊。你记得我吗?你怎么到这里来的?他伤了你吗?”

“曼卡!”卡莉丝呻吟道。

“她只说这么一句话。”罗赛娜说。

“我也不知道那是什么意思。”奥本皱眉,“不是篡位者——虽然她也认识他。好吧,她其实是他最中意的情人。”

“他最中意的人们,你,考托斯,还有她,似乎都转而反抗他了。”米雅琪说。

“这就是他将会失败的原因。”赫兹姆回答。

天花板上传来金属靴子的脚步声,地窖的门砰一声打开。是欧瑟罗克男爵的护卫队长。“码头着火了!如果你们还想活命的话,就赶快移动到怀特莫尔城堡!”

“我们需要帮助!”罗赛娜喊回去,尽管她知道他们需要守卫更多是为了防御,而不是为了帮助移动病人到安全地点。

在勉强拨出的十个守卫和那些相对最不严重的伤者的协助下,地窖里的人全部被转移了出去。Dwynnen的街道浓烟密布,火焰开始在混乱中蔓延开来。这场灾难的起因仅仅是因为一个指向海上的火球射偏了,击中了码头,却造成了不可计量的损失。几小时后,在坚固城堡的庭院中,治疗师们终于可以打起床铺,照看受苦的无辜者们。罗赛娜第一个看到的人是奥本·埃姆洛克。尽管他的伤口又裂开了,他仍然扶着两个病人进入城堡。

“对不起,”她说,把双手按在他的伤口上。“我不该发脾气的。我忘记了我是个治疗者。”

“卡莉丝呢?”奥本问。

“她不在这里?”罗赛娜看向四周。“她一定是逃跑了。”

“逃跑了?她不是受伤了吗?”

“她的情况的确不是很好,但初为人母的女人在绝望的时候能做的事,连你都会感到吃惊。”

“她怀孕了?”奥本倒抽一口冷气。

“没错。到头来,那并不是一次困难的生产。我最后一次见到她时,她正抱着那男孩。她说她自己做到了。”

“她怀孕了,”奥本喃喃地说,“卡莫兰篡位者的情人怀孕了。”

战斗结束的消息在整个城堡中传开了。不仅这场战斗结束了,整场战争都结束了。海曼·卡莫兰的军队在海上被打败了,在山中也被打败了。赤鹿王已经战死了。

卢卡站在城垛上,望着下方环绕Dwynnen的黑暗森林。他听到了关于卡莉丝的事情,脑海中想象出一幅一个绝望的女人怀抱着她的新生儿逃进荒野之中的画面。卡莉丝无处可去,没人能保护他们。她和她的婴儿会成为难民,就像米雅琪和他从前那样。回想过去,他记起了她的话语。

他来了。他来了,他将带来死亡。他将摧毁一切。

卢卡记得她的眼睛。她病得很重,却并不害怕。卡莫兰篡位者已经死了,她说的这个“他”又会是谁呢?

“她没说什么别的话吗?”奥本问。

“她说了孩子的名字,”罗赛娜回答。“曼卡。”

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The Refugees
by Geros Albreigh
History of refugees fleeing the Camoran Usurper

 The smell of the bay oozed through the stones of the cellar, salt and brined decay. The cellar itself had its own scents of old wine turned to vinegar, mildew, and the more exotic spices of herbs the healers had brought with them to tend to the wounded. There were more than fifty people squeezed into the big earthen room which had once been forgotten storage for the brothel above. The groaning and whimpering had ceased for now, and all was still, as if the hospital had turned into a mass grave.
"Mother," a Redguard boy whispered. "What was that?"
The boy's mother was about to answer him when there was another rolling roar from outside, which grew louder and louder, as if some great but incorporeal beast had come into the cellar. The walls trembled and dust burst from the ceiling in a rain of powder.
Unlike the last time, no one screamed. They waited until the weird, haunting sound had past, and then was replaced by the soft rumble of the distant battle.
A wounded soldier began whispering Mara's Prayer from the Doomed.
"Mankar," a Bosmer woman curled up in a cot hissed, her eyes feverish, flesh white and wet with sweat. "He is coming!"
"Who is coming?" asked the boy, grasping his mother's skirt tight.
"Who do you think, lad? The sweets monger?" a grizzled one-armed Redguard growled. "The Camoran Usurper."
The boy's mother shot an angry look at the old warrior. "She doesn't know what she's saying. She's sick."
The boy nodded. His mother was usually right. He had not yet even been born when people began whispering that the Camoran Usurper was coming towards her little village, and she had packed up their belongings to flee. Their neighbors had laughed at her, she said, saying that Rihad andTaneth would handily defeat him. Her husband, Lukar's father who he was never to meet, had also laughed at her. It was the harvest time, and she would miss out on the celebrations. But his mother, Miak-I, was right. Two weeks after she fled the village, she heard the tale that it had been obliterated during the night with no survivors. Rihad and Taneth had both fallen. The Usurper was unstoppable.
Lukar had been born and grown up in refugee camps throughout Hammerfell. He had never known a friend for more than a few days. He knew that when the sky burned red to the west, they would pack up and move east. When it burned to the south, they moved north. At last, after twelve years of moving from camp to camp, they had taken passage across the Iliac Bay to the province of High Rockand the barony of Dwynnen. There Miak-I had promised, and hoped, that they would have a peaceful, permanent home.
It was so green there, it blinded him. Unlike Hammerfell, which was only green in certain seasons and in certain places, Dwynnen was verdant year round. Until wintertide, when it began to snow, and Lukar had been frightened of it at first. He was ashamed to think of it now, when there was real danger, but the red clouds of war, the stink and pain of the refugee camp, that was familiar.
Now, the red sky was on the horizon of the bay and coming closer, and he longed for the days when a scattering of white made him cry.
"Mankar!" the Bosmer woman cried out again. "He is coming, and he will bring death!"
"No one is coming," said a pretty young Breton healer, coming to the woman's side. "Hush now."
"Hello?" came a voice from above.
The whole room, almost together as one gasped. A Bosmer limped down the shoddy wooden stairs, his friendly face very obviously not that of the Camoran Usurper.
"Sorry if I frightened you," he said. "I was told there were healers here, and I could use a little help."
Rosayna hurried to take a look at the Bosmer's wounds on his leg and chest. Dishelved [sic] but still beautiful, she was one of the favorites at the brothel, who had learned her healing skill along with her more vocational skills at the House of Dibella. She carefully but quickly pulled the rent leather cuirass, chausses, tassets, grieves [sic], and boots off him, and placed them to the side while she examined the injuries.
The old Redguard warrior picked them up and studied them. "You were in the war?"
"Next to it is probably a better way to put it," the Bosmer smiled, wincing slightly at Rosayna's touch. "Behind it, beside it, in front of it. My name's Orben Elmlock. I'm a scout. I try to avoid the real battle, so I can get back and report what I see. A good job for people who don't like the color of their own blood very much."
"Hzim," said the warrior, shaking Orben's hand. "I can't fight anymore, but I can fix up this armor if you're going to return."
"You're a leathersmith?"
"Naw, just a jack of all trades," replied Hzim, opening up a small canister of wax to prep the hard but flexible leather. "I could tell you were a scout from the armor, though. Can you tell us what you've been spying on? We've been down in here for half a day now, with no word from the outside."
"The entire Iliac Bay is one great battlefield on the waves," said Orben and sighed as Rosayna's spell began to close his jagged but shallow wounds. "We've shut off the invasion from the mouth of the bay, but I was coming from the coast, and the enemy's army is marching over the Wrothgarian Mountains. That's where I had my little scuffle. It's not too surprising, moving the flank in from the side while the front battle is occupied. It's a play right out of Camoran Kaltos's book of tricks the Hart-King borrowed."
"The Hart-King?" Lukar asked. He had been listening quietly, understanding everything except that.
"Haymon Camoran, the Camoran Usurper, Haymon Hart-King, they're all the same, lad. He's a complicated fellow, and needs more than one name."
"You know him?" Miak-I asked, stepping forward.
"Near on twenty years, before this whole black, bloody business. I was Camoran Kaltos's chief scout, and Haymon was his sorcerer and advisor. I helped them both, when they were vying for theCamoran throne, and began the conquest of - Ouch!"
Rosayna has ceased her healing. With eyes of fury, she had reversed her spell, and the closed, mended wounds were opening again, dark infections returning. She held him with surprising strength when Orben tried to pull back.
"You bastard," the healer courtesan hissed. "I have a cousin in Falinesti, a priestess."
"She's fine!" Orben yelped. "Lord Kaltos was very adamant about not harming anyone who did not pose a threat …"
"I think the people of Kvatch would disagree with that assessment," said Hzim, coldly.
"That was horrible, the worst thing I have ever seen," Orben nodded. "Kaltos wept when he saw what Haymon had done. My master did everything he could to stop it, begging the Hart-King to return to Valenwood. But he turned on Kaltos, and we fled. We are not your enemy, and we have never been. Kaltos could do nothing to prevent the horror that the Usurper has brought to the Colovian West and Hammerfell, and he has fought for fifteen years to prevent more."
The frightening bestial roar passed through the cellar again, even louder than before. The wounded could not help groaning in helpless terror.
"And what is that?" Miak-I sneered. "Another of Camoran Kaltos's tricks that the Usurper picked up?"
"It is indeed a trick, as a matter of fact," Orben yelled, above the screech. "It's aphastasm [sic] he employs to scare people. He had to use fear tactics in the beginning when his power was ascending, and he has to fall back on them now for his power is waning. That is why it took him two years to conquer Valenwood, and another thirteen to half-conquer Hammerfell. No offense to you Redguards, but it isn't only your battle prowess that has been holding him back. He does not have the support he used to have from his Master -"
The echoing roar increased in intensity before once again falling silent.
"Mankar!" the Bosmer woman groaned. "He comes, and he will destroy all!"
"His Master?" asked Lukar, but Orben's eyes had gone to the Bosmer woman, curled up in her blood-soaked cot.
"Who is she?" Orben asked Rosayna.
"One of the refugees, of course, from your friendly little war in Valenwood before you and your Kaltos changed sides," the healer replied. "I think her name is Kaalys."
"By Jephre," Orben whispered under his breath, limping over to the woman's cot and wiping the sweat and blood streaked hair from her pallid face. "Kaalys, it's Orben. Do you remember me? How did you get here? Did he hurt you?"
"Mankar!" Kaalys moaned.
"That's all she says," said Rosayna.
"I don't know what that it is," Orben frowned. "Not the Usurper, though she knew him too. Very well. She was a favorite of his."
"His favorites, you, Kaltos, her, all seem to turn against him," said Miak-I."
"That is why he will fall," replied Hzim.
Armored footfall rang along the ceiling, and the cellar door burst open. It was the captain of Baron Othrok's castle guards. "The docks are on fire! If you want to live, you'll need to take refuge at Castle Wightmoor!"
"We need help!" Rosayna called back, but she knew that the guards were needed for defense, not to help carry the sick to safety.
With ten guards who could be spared and the most able-bodied of the wounded assisting, the cellar was emptied as the streets of Dwynnen filled with smoke, and fire began to spread through the chaos. It had been a single fireball miscast out at sea striking the docks, but the damage would be tremendous. Some hours later, in the courtyard of the mighty castle, the healers were able to set up the cots and begin to tend once again to the suffering of the innocent. The first person Rosayna found was Orben Elmlock. Even with his wounds reopened, he had helped carry two of the patients into the castle.
"I'm sorry," she said as she pressed her healing hands onto his wounds. "I lost my temper. I forgot that I am a healer."
"Where is Kaalys?" Orben asked.
"She's not here?" Rosayna said, looking around. "She must have run away."
"Run away? But wasn't she injured?"
"It was not a healthy situation, but new mothers can surprise you with what they can do when it's all over."
"She was pregnant?" Orben gasped
"Yes. It wasn't such a difficult birth in the end. She was holding the boy in her arms when I saw her last. She said she had done it herself."
"She was pregnant," Orben murmured again. "The mistress of the Camoran Usurper was pregnant."
Word quickly spread throughout the castle that the battle was over, and more than that, the war was over. Haymon Camoran's forces had been defeated at sea, and in the mountains. The Hart-King was dead.
Lukar watched down from the battlements into the dark woods that surrounded Dwynnen. He had heard about Kaalys, and he imagined a desperate woman fleeing with her newborn baby in her arms into the wilderness. Kaalys would have nowhere to go, no one to protect them. She and her baby would be a refugee, like Miak-I and him had been. Reflecting back, he remembered her words.
He is coming. He is coming, and he will bring death. He will destroy all.
Lukar remembered her eyes. She was sick, but not afraid. Who was this "He" who was coming if the Camoran Usurper was dead?
"Did she say nothing else?" asked Orben.
"She told me the baby's name," Rosayna replied. "Mankar."

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