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【双语阅读】上古卷轴书籍系列4·《国王》
FMT-  AnnatarVictorNate 2016-03-04 22:19:21 发表于  [  实用英语  ]
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King

by Reven

The final chapter in the adventures of Eslaf Erol


Gentle reader, you will not understand a word of what follows unless you have read and commited [sic] to memory the first three volumes in this series, Beggar, Thief, and Warrior, which leads up to this, the conclusion. I encourage you to seek them out at your favorite bookseller.

We last left Eslaf Erol fleeing for his life, which was a common enough occurance [sic] for him. He had stolen a lot of gold, and one particularly large gem, from a rich man in Jallenheim named Suoibud. The thief fled north, spending the gold wildly, as thieves generally do, for all sorts of illicit pleasures, which would no doubt disturb the gentleman or lady reading this, so I will not go into detail.

The one thing he held onto was the gem.

He didnt keep it because of any particular attachment, but because he did not know anyone rich enough to buy it from him. And so he found himself in the ironic situation of being penniless and having in his possession a gem worth millions.

Will you give me a room, some bread, and a flagon of beer in exchange for this? he asked a tavernkeep in the little village of Kravenswold, which was so far north, it was half situated on the Sea of Ghosts.

The tavernkeep looked at it suspiciously.

Its just crystal, Eslaf said quickly. But isnt it pretty?

Let me see that, said a young armor-clad woman at the end of the bar. Without waiting permission, she picked up the gem, studied it, and smiled not very sweetly at Eslaf. Would you join me at my table?

Im actually in a bit of a hurry, replied Eslaf, holding out his hand for the stone. Another time?

Out of respect for my friend, the tavernkeep here, my men and I leave our weapons behind when we come in here, the woman said casually, not handing the gem back, but picking up a broom that was sitting against the bar. I can assure you, however, that I can use this quite effectively as a blunt instrument. Not a weapon, of course, but an instrument to stun, medicinally crush a bone or two, and then - once it is on the inside ...

Which table? asked Eslaf quickly.

The young woman led him to a large table in the back of the tavern where ten of the biggest Nord brutes Eslaf had ever seen were sitting. They looked at him with polite disinterest, as if he were a strange insect, worth briefly studying before crushing.

My name is Laicifitra, she said, and Eslaf blinked. That was the name Suoibud had uttered before Eslaf had made his escape. And these are my lieutenants. I am the commander of a very large independent army of noble knights. The very best in Skyrim. Most recently we were given a job to attack a vineyard in The Aalto to force its owner, a man named Laernu, to sell to our employer, a man named Suoibud. Our payment was to be a gem of surpassing size and quality, quite famous and unmistakable.

We did as we were asked, and when we went to Suoibud to collect our fee, he told us he was unable to pay, due to a recent burglary. In the end, though, he saw things our way, and paid us an amount of gold almost equal to the worth of the prize jewel … It did not empty out his treasury entirely, but it meant he was unable to buy the land in the Aalto after all. So we were not paid enough, Suoibud has taken a heavy financial blow, and Laernus prize crop of Jazbay has been temporarily destroyed for naught, Laicifitra took a long, slow drink of her mead before continuing. Now, I wonder, could you tell me, how came you in the possession of the gem we were promised?

Eslaf did not answer at once.

Instead, he took a piece of bread from the plate of the savage bearded barbarian on his left and ate it.

Im sorry, he said, his mouth full. May I? Of course, I couldnt stop you from taking the gem even if I wanted to, and as a matter of fact, I dont mind at all. Its also useless to deny how it came into my possession. I stole it from your employer. I certainly didnt mean you or your noble knights any harm by it, but I can understand why the word of a thief is not suitable for one such as yourself.

No, replied Laicifitra, frowning, but her eyes showing amusement. Not suitable at all.

But before you kill me, Eslaf said, grabbing another piece of bread. Tell me, how suitable is it for noble knights such as yourself to be paid twice for one job? I have no honor myself, but I would have thought that since Suoibud took a profit loss to pay you, and now you have the gem, your handsome profit is not entirely honorable.

Laicifitra picked up the broom and looked at Eslaf. Then she laughed, What is your name, thief?

Eslaf, said the thief.

We will take the gem, as it was promised to us. But you are right. We should not be paid twice for the same job. So, said the warrior woman, putting down the broomstick. You are our new employer. What would you have your own army do for you?

Many people could find quite a few good uses for their own army, but Eslaf was not among them. He searched his brain, and finally it was decided that it was a debt to be paid later. For all her brutality, Laicifitra was an simple woman, raised, he learned, by the very army she commanded. Fighting and honor were the only things she knew.

When Eslaf left Kravenswold, he had an army at his beck and call, but not a coin to his name. He knew he would have to steal something soon.

As he wandered the woods, scrounging for food, he was beset with a strange feeling of familiarity. These were the very woods he had been in as a child, also starving, also scrounging. When he came out on the road, he found that he had come back on the kingdom where he had been raised by the dear, stupid, shy maid Drusba.

He was in Erolgard.

It had fallen even deeper into despair since his youth. The shops that had refused him food were boarded up, abandoned. The only people left were hollow, hopeless figures, so ravaged by taxation, despotism, and barbaric raids that they were too weak to flee. Eslaf realized how lucky he was to have gotten out in his youth.

There was, however, a castle and a king. Eslaf immediately made plans to raid the treasury. As usual, he watched the place carefully, taking note of the security and the habits of the guards. This took some time. In the end, he realized there was no security and no guards.

He walked in the front door, and down the empty corridors to the treasury. It was full of precisely nothing, except one man. He was Eslafs age, but looked much older.

Theres nothing to steal, he said. Would that there was.

King Ynohp, though prematurely aged, had the same white blond hair and blue eyes like broken glass that Eslaf had. In fact, he resembled Suoibud and Laicifitra as well. And though Eslaf had never met the ruined landlord of the Aalto, Laernu, he looked him too. Not surprisingly, since they were quintuplets.

So, you have nothing? asked Eslaf, gently.

Nothing except my poor kingdom, curse it, the King grumbled. Before I came to the throne, it was powerful and rich, but I inherited none of that, only the title. For my entire life, Ive had responsibility thrust on my shoulders, but never had the means to handle it properly. I look over the desolation which is my birthright, and I hate it. If it were possible to steal a kingdom, I would not lift a finger to stop you.

It was, it turned out, quite possible to steal a kingdom. Eslaf became known as Ynohp, a deception easily done given their physical similarities. The real Ynohp, taking the name of Ylekilnu, happily left his demesne, becoming eventually a simple worker in the vineyards of The Aalto. For the first time free of responsibility, he fell into his new life with gusto, the years melting off him.

The new Ynohp called in his favor with Laicifitra, using her army to restore peace to the kingdom of Erolgard. Now that it was safe, business and commerce began to return to the land, and Eslaf reduced the tyrannical taxes to encourage it to grow. Upon hearing that, Suoibud, ever nervous about losing his money, elected to return to the land of his birth. When he died years later, out of greed, he had refused to name someone an heir, so the kingdom received its entire fortune.

Eslaf used part of the gold to buy the vineyards of The Aalto, after hearing great things of it from Ynohp.

And so it was that Erolgard was returned to its previous prosperity by the fifth born child of King Ytluaf - Eslaf Erol, beggar, thief, warrior (of sorts), and king.

国王


  莱文 著


  亲爱的读者,除非你曾经读过并对本系列的前三卷《乞丐》、《盗贼》和《战士》还有印象,否则你将完全看不懂这本书在说什么。我强烈建议你们到喜爱的书商那里去找到那几本书。

  我们上次撇下伊斯拉夫埃洛尔时他正疲于奔命,那对于他来说是家常便饭。他从耶伦汉姆一位名叫索伊巴德的富人那里偷了一大笔黄金和一颗大得出奇的宝石。这个小偷向北逃窜,在路上他和大多数小偷一样挥金如土,用于各种非法的娱乐活动,那些细节无疑会另正在读此书的先生女士们感到不悦,因此我不打算详述。

  

  只有那颗宝石他从未舍弃。

  

  他并不是因为对那颗宝石有什么独特的感情才一直保留着它,而是因为他不知道谁能富有到足以从自己这里买下它。于是他发现自己陷于身无分文却怀揣一颗价值百万的宝石的尴尬境地。

  “我能拿这个和你换一间房间,一些面包和一壶啤酒吗?”他在一个名叫雷文欧德的小村子问一位酒馆老板,这个村子已经如此靠北以至于它的一半已经位于幽灵海(泰姆瑞尔大陆北方广阔的大洋)之中。

  酒馆老板充满怀疑地看着宝石。

    

  “只是颗水晶,”伊斯拉夫赶紧说,“但它多漂亮啊,不是吗?”

  “让我看看,”在酒馆另一头一位年轻的身着盔甲的女人接过话。还未得到允许,她便拿起了宝石,仔细端详起来,一面对着伊斯拉夫露出了让人不太舒服的笑容。“你愿意到那边我的桌子上谈谈吗?”

  “说实话我有点急事,”伊斯拉夫回答道,伸出手想要回宝石,“换个时间?”

  “出于对我的朋友,这里的老板的尊重,我和我的人把兵器都放到了外面,”这个女人随意地说,并没有交出宝石,反而拿起靠在吧台旁的一把扫帚。“但是我向你保证,我能可以像使用一把钝器一样有效地使用这东西。不是一种兵器,当然,而是一种击打工具,生理上可以击碎一倒两根骨头,然后当它进入人体后……”

  “哪张桌子?”伊斯拉夫问道。

  年轻的女人带他走到酒馆后部一张大桌子前,桌子周围坐着十个诺德人——伊斯拉夫所见过的最魁梧的十头诺德牲口。他们以一种礼貌的冷漠看着伊斯拉夫,仿佛他是一种少见的昆虫,在捻死前值得简单地研究研究。

  “我的名字是莱西菲特拉,”她说道,伊斯拉夫眨了眨眼。就是那个伊斯拉夫逃离前索伊巴德念叨的名字。“这些是我的将军们。我是一只由贵族骑士组成的庞大军队的指挥官。天际省最优秀的一只。不久前我们接到一份工作,去攻击阿尔托的一个葡萄园,迫使那里的主人,一个叫拉尔努的人,将他的地方卖给我们的雇主,一个名叫索伊巴德的人。我们的报酬将是一颗无与伦比的宝石,非常名贵,决不会搞错。

  “我们做了该做的一切,当我们前往索伊巴德索要我们的酬劳时,他告诉我们他无法付给我们,因为一起最近发生的失窃。最终,他按我们的方式付了钱,付给了我们与那颗宝石同样价值的金币……那没有让他倾家荡产,但至少意味着他再也买不起阿尔托的葡萄园了。所以我们的酬劳其实不够,索伊巴德在财务上遭到沉重一击,而拉尔努的贾兹湾的葡萄地也被暂时摧毁。”莱西菲特拉长长地缓缓地喝了一口她的蜜酒,然后继续说。“现在,我想知道,你能告诉我你是怎样得到本应属于我们的宝石的吗?”

  伊斯拉夫没有立即回答。

  他从左边相貌凶残的大胡子异族人的盘中拿起一片面包吃了下去。

  “我很抱歉,”他说,嘴里的东西还未咽下。“能等我吃完吗?当然,我知道即使我想也不可能阻止你们拿走宝石,但事实上我毫不在意。而且拒绝告诉你们它是怎样落入我手中的同样无济于事。我从你们的雇主那里偷到的。我当然不曾想到会对你和你的贵族骑士们造成任何伤害,但是我知道一个小偷的话对于你这样的人来说很不合适。”

  “恩,”莱西菲特拉答道,皱着眉,不过眼神中流露出些许兴趣。“毫不合适。”

  “但在你杀死我之前,”伊斯拉夫说,抓起另一片面包。“告诉我,你们这些贵族骑士完成一次任务却收两份酬劳又有多合适呢?我自己没有尊严,但我会想索伊巴德从自己的利益中分了那么多给你们,而现在你们又要拥有这颗宝石,你们漂亮的收益同样谈不上什么尊严。“

  莱西菲特拉拿起扫帚看着伊斯拉夫。然后她笑道,“你叫什么名字,小偷?”

  “伊斯拉夫,”小偷回答。

  “我们会带走宝石,因为它本来就是我们的。但是你是对的。我们不应该为同一份工作拿两份报酬。所以,”这名女战士说着,放下了扫帚。“你是我们的新雇主。你希望你的军队为你做些什么呢?”

  许多人都能找到自家军队的好用途,但是伊斯拉夫不是这样的人。他绞尽脑汁,最终决定这个人情日后再说。从她的蛮不讲理,他知道了莱西菲特拉是一个单纯的女人,她所指挥的军队将她养大。战斗和荣誉是她所知道的惟一。

  当伊斯拉夫从雷文欧德离开时,他有了一只对他唯命是从的部队,但是名下一个硬币都没有。他清楚用不了多久又得偷东西了。

  

  当他在树林里闲逛、找到食物的时候,他被一种熟悉的感觉所包围。这片树林他还是孩子时曾经来过,当时同样饿得要命,同样在找吃的。当他出来走到路上,他发现自己又回到了儿时生活的国度,这里他曾被亲爱的、愚蠢的、腼腆的女仆德鲁斯芭所抚养。

  他如今站在埃洛尔加德的土地上了。

  这里比年轻的他离开时更加令人绝望。那些曾经拒绝施舍给他食物的商店被木板封死,废弃已久。留下的人都是些空洞而无助的身影,被苛捐杂税、专制统治和野蛮的劫掠所蹂躏。伊斯拉夫意识到他年轻时离开是多么幸运。

  然而那里还有一座城堡和一个国王。伊斯拉夫立刻着手计划去掠夺财宝。向从前一样,他仔细地观察了这个地方,记录下每一处安全措施和卫兵们的习惯。这花去一些时间。最后,他搞清楚了这里没有任何安全措施,没有任何卫兵。

  他从前么走了进去,沿着空荡荡的走廊走向他的财宝。确切地说,那里充满了空气,除了一个男人。他与伊斯拉夫同龄,但看起来衰老得多。

  “没什么可偷的了,”他说,“曾经还有。”

  伊诺普国王,虽然过早地衰老了,但还有着与伊斯拉夫同样的花白金发和清澈湛蓝如破碎后玻璃岩的眸子。事实上,他与索伊巴德和莱西菲特拉同样长得很像。而且虽然伊斯拉夫与阿尔托的地主拉尔努从未谋面,国王与拉尔努长得也很像。并不奇怪,他们是五胞胎。

  “这么说,你什么都没了?”伊斯拉夫轻声问道。

  “除了我贫苦的王国什么都没了,可恶。”国王咕哝着。“在我即位之前,它强大而富有,但我什么都没有继承到,只有头衔。我的一生肩上都担着重任,但从未拥有去承担它的方法。我遍尝出生后就拥有的荒凉,我恨它。如果真有可能偷走一个国家,我不会动一个手指来阻拦你。”

  然而结果证明真的有,而且很有可能,偷走一个国家。伊斯拉夫成为了众所周知的伊诺普,因为他们长得如此之像,这个把戏很容易就实现了。而真正伊诺普,取了个名字叫伊莱基尔努,高兴地离开了他的领地,最后成为了阿尔托葡萄园一名普通的工人。他第一次从曾经担负的重任下解脱,怀着对未来的热情投入了新生活的怀抱,岁月使消融了他曾经的野心。

  新伊诺普找到莱西菲特拉兑现她承诺过的帮助,带领她的军队将和平重新带给埃洛尔加德王国。现在这里安全了,商人和贸易重回这片土地,伊斯拉夫减轻了专横的赋税以促进贸易发展。听说了这些,一直担心失去财富的索伊巴德选择回到他出生的土地。当他许多年后去世时,由于贪婪他拒绝提出一个继承者,于是王国接收了他所有的财产。

  在从伊诺普那里听说了阿尔托巨大价值之后,伊斯拉夫用其中的一部分钱买下了阿尔托的葡萄园。

  这样,埃洛尔加德的曾经的繁荣回归了,而带来这一切的是伊特卢阿夫国王的第五个孩子——伊斯拉夫·埃洛尔,一个乞丐、盗贼、战士(某重意义上来说)和国王。


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FMT -  AnnatarVictorNate 2021-06-10 10:42:46 重新编辑

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