I drew one.  It sucked up all my free time =). But it was fun (and educational).

In case you wanted to take a look:



I really wish I was more talented…

Joou No Hana Chapter 28

chapter 28 Joou no Hana

pg 1
Kou:  Let me be frank.
Kou:  Your colouring is that of the dead,
Kou:  You shouldn’t go forward.
pg 2
Cover [hey, the artist has switched to completely digital inking!!]
Hakusei:  Eh…
Hakusei:  And so what?
pg 4
Kou: …
Kou:  I was saying
Hakusei: I heard the first time, I was listening,
Hakusei thinks:  I’m beginning to understand Blanche’s pain.
Hakusei:  But
Hakusei: if Sou wants the Princess’s life to ally with Queen Do,
Hakusei:  No matter what I have to save her.
Hakusei:  You have dissent written all over your face, Your Highness.
Kou:  No, what’s written on my face isn’t that.
pg 5
Kou:  It is “you fool”, instead.
Kou:  You favour that arm when it trembles, and sometimes you just stare at it.
Kou:  You have a plan on slaughtering your way in with your body in that condition?
Kou:  “Dying for my master” is all noble and moving,
Kou:  but is that a surefire method of victory?
Kou:  If you can’t be assured of victory, to someone like me, your intentions are merely annoyances.
Kou:  To someone who is a master,
pg 6
Kou: The folly of acting without a care to one’s own safety will make others uncomfortable.
Kou in Suisen’s memories:  “Why didn’t you kill me?”
Kou in Suisen’s memories:  “Kill me now.”
Suisen:  “Not comfortable”…. is that right?
Hakusei:  Okay,
Hakusei:  let me then ask you,
pg 7
Hakusei, raising his shaking hand:  how long do I wait for this to get better?
Hakusei:  A year?  Two years?  Or, should I say, IF at all?
Hakusei:  I’m afraid that when it is healed, I’ll have died of old age.
Hakusei:  Speaking of which, will I even live to grow old?
Hakusei thinks:  If I said that I wasn’t scared, I’d be a liar.
Hakusei thinks:  No,
Hakusei thinks:  I was always afraid.
Kou:  You…
pg 8
Kou:  Do you wear armour?
Hakusei:  No!  Don’t change the subject.
Hakusei:  Your Highness, please don’t misunderstand.
Hakusei:  I’m not going to seek death, but life.
Hakusei:  The Princess, she…
Hakusei:  is my one sole reason to live on in this world.
pg 9
Hakusei:  I can’t…
Hakusei:  be without her.
Hakusei:  Everything that I’ve experienced in my life, be it happiness, sorrow or troubles,
Hakusei:  we passed it together.
Hakusei:  I only have the Princess.
Kou: You’re wrong!
Kou:  It’s admirable that you’re so devoted to your master, but you should broaden your horizons a little!
Kou:  With your capabilities, you can always find a different master, or even become a teacher of the martial arts.
Hakusei:  No thanks.
Hakusei:  I only need one!
pg 10 [t/n I’m not sure I like the digital inking]
Hakusei:  What’s important in one’s life,
Hakusei:  it’s best to only have one.
pg 11
Kou:… These stupid words from you,
Kou:  had I known before I wouldn’t have bothered listening.
Kou:  I’ll tell you the secrets paths into Sou Palace,
Kou:  If your princess is with Kaitan, she’ll mostly probably be in one of these places.
Hakusei:  Eh?
Kou:  But!
Kou:  You must not harm Sou!
Kou:  This is to be used only to protect your princess’s life and wellbeing, nothing else, you understand?
pg 12
Kou:  “Integrity before all else.” (In life, integrity is more important than taking advantage)
Kou:  Being a man is so difficult!
Kou: …..
Hakusei thinks:  He intends to help me?
Suisen:  Get real.
Hakusei:  Blanche!  Did you hear that?  Your master said he’d help me!
Suisen:  I refuse!
[she jumps on him with a knife]
Suisen:  You are my enemy!
pg 14
Hakusei:  Stop being stupid!
Hakusei:  You intend to make your master lose face?
Hakusei, throwing her:  Hey!
Suisen:  Just disappear!
Suisen:  I get mad just seeing you.
Hakusei:  Hey….
Hakusei:  Our positions in life are similar, you should understand where I’m coming from!!
Suisen:  Who the hell would?!
pg 15
Suisen:  I was listening to your conversion from the very start, who’s in the same position as you?
Suisen:  So, you would think that you’re some kind of knight to protect the princess!?  You’re merely a barbarian slave!
Suisen:  It’s so pathetic that it’s funny.
Suisen:  No matter what kind of feelings you give up,
Suisen:  no matter how close you stand to her,
Suisen:  she’s of the peerage and great standing, do you really think that she could reciprocate?
Suisen:  You really think that it’s as simple as being a man and a woman?
Suisen:  You don’t find it futile?
Suisen: eh?
Hakusei:  Listen to me!
pg 16
Hakusei:  My answer may not be the same as your answer.
Haksuei, patting her on the shoulder:  Your own answer, you’ll have to find it by yourself.
pg 17
Hakusei:   Jyarirou!
Jyarirou:  Eh?
Hakusei:  You have to make a little more effort!
Jyarirou:  No thanks, I’m busy making travel preparations.
Hakusei:  There’s money involved.
Jyarirou:  Okay, I have some extra time.
Hakusei:  Are you willing to contact the Monkey Prince?
Jyarirou:  Tsch!
Jyrarirou:  I dare not!  That prince is far more dangerous than his older brother.
Jyarirou:  As I’ve failed in taking you out, he will not spare me, but will demand my little life.
pg 18
Jyarirou:  Boss, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got, I won’t!
Hakusei:  Jyarirou, you’re mistaken.
Hakusei:  The one to give you money is that Monkey Prince.
Box: Sou palace
Kaitan:  Yawnnnnnn
Kaitan:  I’m so bored.
pg 19
Aki:  ….
Aki: You dare say that.
Aki:  Why don’t you think about who’s fault it is that I’m here?  You have thick skin.
Kou:  You gain no advantages by scolding me.
Kou:  Didn’t I bring you out from the East palace for an excursion?
Aki:  But I’m still being followed?
[men at arms practicing]
pg 20
Aki thinks:  Shock troops….?
Aki thinks:  Why are they in the palace?
Aki thinks:  Also, why aren’t they carrying spears, as they should, but instead the sword?
Aki:  Then,
Aki:  when am I going to a dead end?
Aki:  I don’t know what you and King Sou have planned,
Aki:  But if you want to ally yourself with Queen Do, you have no choice but to present my head as a welcoming gift.
pg 21
Aki:  Queen Do can’t wait for me to die!
Aki:  That evil wife that killed her soverign and her lord!
Aki, being extremely polite and sarcastic:  The fresh air and sunlight are so delightful today, how Your Highness is feeling right now?
Aki:  Would you accompany this girl who is about to lose her life for a little walk outside?
Kaitan:  Nope.
pg 22
[he puts a beautiful hairpin on her instead]
Kaitan:  Just wear it! Don’t let it fall out.
pg 23
Kaitan:  It is a famed ornament from my mother’s side of the family.
Kaitan:  Don’t keep saying that you’ll die.
Kaitan:  My my my,
Kaitan:  make the resolution to survive and live on.
pg 24
Kaitan:  Let me tell you a story!
Kaitan:  However, I too, only heard it from someone else.
Kaitan:  The beginning– goes like this.
Kaitan:  “Once upon a time,”
Kaitan:  “there was a king who was very young and very bright.”
Box:  With the King’s protection the barbarians did not invade,
Box:  his heart was set on how to increase the harvest.
Box:  The country became stronger and more prosporeous day by day,
Box: And so the smallfolk loved the king.
pg 25
Box: So,
Young Minister (not Kaitan’s old man):  Your Majesty,
Young Minister:  The smallfolk have humbly asked,
Young Minister:  if the tax of the north could be lessened.
Young King Sou (looks like his sons):  //What did you say?
Young King Sou:  You can’t be possibly saying that, can you?
Young King Sou:  To keep those northern bastards in check (the northern barbarian tribes), we must continue to pay to troops.
Young King Sou:  Peace comes at a cost of much good, why don’t they get that?
pg 26
Young minister:  But consider this,
Young minster:  they will feel thankful at first, but then they will think that it is theirs “by the right of reason”
Young King Sou:  Lu Pi, come here.
Box: And it happened exactly as said, the smallfolk were once thankful, but it quickly became “by the right of reason”.
Box: The second and third demands were for more.
People: Rumour has it that they don’t intend to decrease the taxes any more!
People:  They’re so heavy, this king of ours must be completely useless.
Young King Sou:  Haaa…
Box:  Even if he gave it his all, the people shouted for “more”,
Box:  The king became more and more tired.
pg 27
Young Minister:  You’ve already done so well, Zheng, so don’t be discouraged.
Young King Sou:  Hey!
Young King Sou:  We are the ruler of a nation, even if you were our older brother, you can’t address me by my given name.
Young Minister:  Impossible for me!  Who told me to meet you so long before you became king?
[Black haired Kaitan Advisor, smiling]
Young King Sou:  Quit arguing with us, you foul brat!
BOx:  The king of this nation was still incredibly devoted, he worked with every last bit of strength to help his country prosper and become strong.
BOx:  But,
[a bloody sword]
pg 28
Young King Sou;  Why….?
Young King Sou:  Why is it like this?
Young King Sou:  Lu Pi,
Young King Sou:  why did you betray us?
Young King Sou:  What have we done wrong?
Box:  He never would have thought that he would have instigated a coup d’etat.
Lu Pi, aka Young Minister:  Zheng, I’m sorry.
pg 29
Kaitan Advisor:  Your Majesty!  Give the order for his death!
Kaitan Advisor:  This man takes advantage of your merciful nature, so thought that even by rebelling there would be no consequences, and so he is stupid beyond belief!
Kaitan Advisor:  HE MUST DIE!!
Young King Sou:  No,
Young King Sou:  Still,
Young King Sou: until today, Lu Pi has been loyal in serving us…
Young King Sou:  and he’s talented…without him, our Sou would have been pushed back into the mountains; this, everyone knows.
Box:  If possible at all, he wanted to spare this man’s life.
Box:  He did not want to order his death.
pg 30
Young Minister;  …leave it as is, Zheng.
Young Minister:  You asking for my death is only natural.
Box:  But,
[this guy smirks at King Sou]
Box:  even with these superficial words, this King could read from this man’s eyes,
Box:  the expression, “As if you can kill me.”
pg 31
[Young King Sou beheads Lu Pi by his own hand]
pg 32
Young King Sou, laughing and crying:  Ah… ha…..
Young King Sou:  hahahahahha!
Young King Sou:  Ahahahahaha!
Box:  The King finally understood.
Young King Sou:  Boring!!  Boring beyong belief!
pg 33
Young King Sou:  We aimed to become a “good king,” but instead we became an “easily manipulated king”!!
Young King Sou:  Without even knowing it!!
Young King Sou: Ahahahahahahahaha!
Kaitan Advisor, black hair, then:  ….Your Majesty.
Kaitan Advisor, white hair, now:  Prince.
pg 34
Advisor:  My apologies for disturbing your conversation,
Advisor:  but this minister has urgent business to report.
[he whispers into Kaitan’s ear]
Aki thinks:…
Aki thinks:  I don’t understand.
Aki thinks:  Why did he tell me this story…?
Aki thinks:  The Prince should be my enemy, no? Or could he possibly be my ally? Since we’ve entered into Sou, I haven’t even considered what he might be thinking.
Advisor:  Then, Prince,
pg 35
Advisor:  This minister will go carry out the many tasks, and so will take my leave.
[he sees the ornament in Aki’s hair]
Advisor:  You should think carefully before you give girls presents,
Advisor:  otherwise it’ll give you grief later.
Advisor:  If you give them something they don’t they don’t like, they’ll still thank you for it,
Advisor:  while they’re sizing it up, seeing how much it’ll go for.
Old woman (I think it’s his wife and Kaitan’s grandmother):  OH my— (flat tone of voice)
Old woman:  Thank you so very much —-(flat tone of voice)
Kaitan, blushing:  You’re so noisy!!    If you’re going to take your leave, then leave!!
Kaitan:  Aki,
pg 36
Kaitan:  When I first met you in Kou, it was two… no three years ago, no?
Aki:  ….Yeah.
Kaitan:  It feels like such a long time ago.
Kaitan: small text: ha!  That’s right.
Kaitan:  At that time I wanted to use you acquire Ah, and so mentioned my love,
Kaitan:  and this way of thinking hasn’t change one bit.
pg 37
Kaitan:  Therefore,
Kaitan:  If you were to die, it would trouble me greatly.
Kaitan:  Just then that old minister,
Kaitan: was here to report on Queen Do of Ah’s moves.
Kaitan:  Queen Do has proposed long ago a marriage of alliance between Ah and Sou,  but to date King Sou has not made a clear reply.
Kaitan:  Because with an alliance by marriage, he could have used you and me as an excuse to invade into Ah.
Kaitan:  But the allure of a mature woman is different all together,
Kaitan:  and so Queen Do has added another stipulation.
pg 38
Kaitan:  She will be one to marry King Sou,
Kaitan:  “To give YOU myself” is her intention.
Kaitan:  Queen Do may be old as old gets, but she is the most high ranked woman in Ah at present,
Kaitan:  a marriage to her has no drawbacks, and King Sou will most likely say yes to the marriage alliance.
Aki:  then…
pg 39
Aki:  That woman that doesn’t know shame!!
Aki:  The period of mourning for her husband hasn’t even past, and could she behave in such a disgraceful fashion!!
Queen DO: Shame….?
Queen Do:  So what?
Gao Feng:  This… may be to prevent Do from invading, but to trade your Highness’s revered body as the price…
Queen Do:  You want to say that we’re a whore?
Gao Feng:  No… No,  this lowly minister does not dare…
Queen Do:  It is what it is!
Queen Do:  If we want to ensnare King Sou, and jump before Aki does,
Queen Do:  We would gladly become the number one whore under Heaven.
pg 40
Queen Do:  Have a peaceful trip to Hell, Aki!
Aki:  Queen Do….!
pg 41
Queen Do and Aki:  I want to exterminate that woman!
Aki thinks:  I’ve always believed that if I waited enough in this place, someone will come save me,
Aki thinks:  but it’s not going to work any more.
Aki thinks:  I’ve already lost all hope.
pg 42
Kaitan:  It doesn’t matter what you wish for– if you want to bring it into reality, there’s always a price.
Kaitan:  Like King Sou being betray by his dear friend, even lessons have their price.
Kaitan:  And I,
Kaitan:  To become the First Prince of Sou, also paid it by losing something dear to me.
Kaitan:  Aki,
Kaitan: To avenge your mother and father, hat are you willing to give up?
Aki:  There’s only one path to take.
Aki:  Even if it’s only half, I have the Royal Seal in my hands, the authority and power of the rightful next king of Ah, and it cannot fall into Queen Do’s grasp only to be abused.
pg 43
Aki:  All will be solved if I become King Sou’s consort … ….!
Aki thinks:  To stop Queen Do,
Aki thinks:  I have to become that beast’s plaything.
Kaitan thinks:  That’s right.
Aki thinks:  Ah Ah….
Aki thinks:  I’m sorry,
Aki thinks:  I….
Aki thinks:  can’t wait any more.
pg 44
[Hakusei’s been captured]
Aki thinks:  Hakusei!!
Solider:  Hey, here’s the reward money for you.
Jyarirou thinks, taking the money:  I didn’t think you’d actually “let yourself fall to Sou soliders”.
Jyarirou thinks:  But if that Monkey Prince had his hands on Boss here, he’d definitely transport him to the capital ASAP.
Jyarirou thinks:  Even if it’s the fastest way to the Princess’s side,
Jyarirou thinks:  at the same time it’s the path of greatest danger.
Jyarirou thinks:  What the hell are you thinking, Boss?
[ A grim looking Hakusei]

Chapter 27 Joou no Hana

Chapter 27 Joou No Hana

link to chapters in order

Pg 1

Voice:  Although our nation of Sou is situated in the north,
Voice:  But our military might is without parallel among the four nations.
Voice:  The Princess of Ah must be delighted to become the consort of His Majesty (heart)

Pg 2
[King Sou’s pinned her to the bed]
King Sou:  We weren’t thinking that at all,
King Sou:  tell us we’re right?
King Sou:  You must be a virgin?
King Sou:  Like the Prince, you must be feeling fortunate to be so favoured by us?

Pg 3
Aki thinks:  What on earth is happening?
Aki thinks:  How come?
Aki thinks:  Why is it like this?
Aki:  AH
King Sou:  He he!
King Sou:  You are surprising, Princess!
King Sou:  Life is full of these twists!!
King Sou:  It’s great to learn these truths when you’re still young!

Pg 4
[Aki flips him]
King Sou:  Hey hey!
Aki:  This…
Aki:  What is going on…?
Aki:  Who are you…?
King Sou:  We said we are the King. [t/n duh, Aki, he’s just be using the royal “we” for the last little while]

Pg 5
Aki:  I will not bear with this mockery!!
Aki:  Did the Prince sell me?!
Aki:  Where is he?
King Sou:  Ehhh~~~~
King Sou:  You’re not willing~~~~~?
King Sou, cracking his shoulder:  Oh?

Pg 6
King Sou:  Well then, just die!
[he strangles her]
Aki:  O….Ah….
King Sou:  Ahahahahaha!
King Sou:  Hahahaha!
Aki thinks:  I am….

Aki thinks:  I’m going to die here?
Aki thinks:  I haven’t even finished with one task!!
Aki thinks:  Mother,
Aki thinks:  Seitetsu,
Aki thinks:  Hakusei!
[she starts to cry]

Pg 8
[king Sou lets go]
Aki: choking noises Hack hack!
Aki:  Fuu…
Aki: Fuu…
King Sou:  Hey hey!
King Sou:  Let’s put it this way,
King Sou:  insincere people who don’t mean what they say,
King Sou:  we hate these people who are no fun at all.
Aki: Fuuu….
Aki:  engage in…
Aki:   this behavior…
Aki:  As well….
King Sou:  Eh?

Pg 9
Aki:  As you don’t have any intention to kill me, don’t make empty threats…!
Aki:  If you took the opportunity to seize me from the Prince’s grasp, to bring me to Sou,
Aki:  you wouldn’t just kill me, you intend to use my life.
King Sou:  You have a great deal of spirit,
King Sou:  Like a little bird singing in a cage,
King Sou:  No wonder the prince wasted so much effort to acquire you.

Pg 10
King Sou:  But, you are a fool!
King Sou:  Don’t you value yourself too highly?
King Sou:  You’re merely a little bird, you live or die according to our whims.
King Sou:  And also…
King Sou:  Your step-mother,
King Sou:  had she killed you,
King Sou:  wouldn’t she have been happier?

Pg 11
Aki:  Queen Do?
Aki:  Why are you talking about Queen Do…?
King Sou:  Heaven knows!
King Sou:  What would you say?

[Cut to Queen Do]
Voice:  Your Highness Queen Do!
[Gao Feng  bows]
Feng:  Why did you hide the fact that you met with King Sou from this lowly minister?
Box:  Ah Prime Minister, Gao Feng

Pg 13
Queen Do:  Your face is even more ugly than usual.
Queen Do:  Why would that be?!
Feng:  You must not let other countries interfere with our nation’s internal affairs!!
Feng:  Just watching how the Do soldiers availed themselves of what was in Kou Palace, does Your Highness feel any pangs of discomfort?
Feng:  You…
Feng:  have set our nation on the path to doom.
Queen Do:  So what?

Pg 14
Queen Do:  You want to kill us….right?
Queen Do:  That would be equivalent to killing the King of Ah.
Feng:….Your Highness Queen Do…
Queen Do:  Then, do you want to find a new ruler?
Queen Do:  eh?
Queen Do:  Speak, Gao Feng.
Queen Do:  You want to enthrone Aki, no?

Pg 15
[She kicks him]
Queen Do:  You joker!!
[She keeps kicking him]
Queen Do:  All of you are so talentless!
Queen Do:  Why do you think we would join with such a boorish* man like you to kill the king?
(note in text: *boorish  =  extremely vulgar man)
Feng:  Your Highness , please calm down…
Queen Do:  We cannot calm down!!
Queen Do:  Who would calm down?!
Feng :  Your Highness Queen Do!!

Pg 16
[Feng’s crying]
Feng:  …Then, please strike the head off this lowly minister!
Feng:  But before that, promise this one,
Feng:  No matter how you demonstrate your angry within this room,
Feng:  once you step out, please revert back to the usual cool and collected Queen Do, stronger than the foundation walls.
Feng:  revert back to the beautiful queen that this lowly minister can show off to the nation.*
[t/n:  this sounds like a love confession—quite forward for Feng]
Feng:  This, I beg of you…
Queen Do:… You false man.

Pg 17
Queen Do:  I do not have any intentions of killing you.
Queen Do:  We have received a letter from our royal elder brother, [t/n she’s talking about the present King of Do, if you remember the diagram in Kou’s chapters]
Queen:  On the surface he writes of worrying about us, and wants to come “visit,” but in reality he wants to move in to Ah,
Queen Do: and never move back out.

pg 18
[Overlay of her brother King Do and her son]
Queen Do:  We stained our two hands with blood and lost an eye to enable the Prince to take this country.
Queen Do:  Did our brother think we would hand it over to him?
Queen Do:  We will not permit it……..
Queen Do:  Never permit it!!
Feng:  …. Thus,
Feng:  Your Highness wants to ally with Sou?

Pg 19
Queen Do:  There’s one more reason.
Queen Do:  Rumour has it that when Sou’s First Princess proposed to Aki,
Queen Do:  Aki proclaimed herself as “The Next King of Ah” and showed the world half of the Royal Seal to refuse him.
Queen Do:  The Royal Seal is really…
Queen Do:  in that brat’s hands…?
Queen Do thinks: ——Your Majesty,

Pg 20
[cut to King Ah]
Queen thinks:  You….
Queen thinks:  no matter what you intended to betray me,
Queen Do thinks:  to choose Aki instead?
Queen Do:  Don’t even think about it… …!
Queen Do:  The true next King of Ah is the Prince,  and only we can protect him…!!
Feng:  Yes!
Queen Do:  If the former King Ah gave Aki the Royal seal,
Queen Do:  she would have shown the complete seal, not merely one half,
Queen Do:  she must not have the other half in her hands.

Pg 21
Queen DO:  Hunt Aki down and exterminate her, and retrieve the Royal Seal!!
Queen Do: Also concentrate all our forces to finding that other half!!
Queen Do:  Give Aki’s little life to King Sou to play with.
Queen Do:  From here onwards,
Queen Do:  Victory is something that’s caught in our traps.

Pg 22
[Hakusei’s staring at the other half of the seal happily]
Hakusei thinks:  When this is in the Princess’s hands, she will be the new King of Ah.
[his hand starts to shake]
Hakusei thinks:  I don’t have any power in this hand again…
Jyarirou:  Hey——— Boss!!

Pg 23
Jyarirou:  What the hell are you doing, secretly admiring that thing?
Jyarirou:  Right, you want money, no?  No wonder you’d stare unceasingly at that, you’re about to turn into a merchant yourself.  Small text:  speaking of which, can we sell it?
Hakusei:  Don’t take me as the same sort as you!

Jyarirou:  No, I haven’t.
Jyarirou:  Originally I wanted to restock travelling supplies at this little village,
Jyarirou:  But it seems that they won’t even have enough hay to feed our horses.
Hakusei:  Eh?
Hakusei:  How’s that possible?
Hakusei:  Most villages have stored rations?
Jyarirou:  It looks as though they were completely bought out by the people preceeding us.

pg 24
Jyarirou:  It was the group with the carriages and the incredible number of horse and men, the villager thought that they must have been people of high status…
[Shocked Hakusei thinks back]
Hakusei thinks:  Was it at that time…?
Jyarirou:  Hey…eh,  wait!
Jyarirou:  What are you up to now?
Hakusei:  I want to ask about one thing!

pg 25
[He shoves poor Kou in front of the villagers]
Hakusei:  In that great party of men and horse, were there any that looked like him?
[villagers are shocked]
Suisen:  EHHHHHH——–
Suisen:  What are you foul cur up to now?  Give him back!!
Hakusei;  What’s with the racket, bitch!  This is important!
Hakusei:  It’s a chance for this useless thing to finally be of some use!!
Suisen:  Quit with the nonsense, how could he possibly be useless?  It’s completely baseless!!
Kou:  You two…
Kou:  aren’t you both being a little too venomous?

pg 26
Villager: Kya kya (scared noises)
Jyarirou:  …
Jyarirou:  What are you doing?
Jyarirou:  With such assorted bastards like you showing up suddenly in front of this little hamlet (small village), the villagers of course would be frightened!!
Hakusei: But…
Villagers think:  Here comes yet another barbarian…
Villagers think: And he’s loud too.
Villagers thinks: There’s gold and silver and black, can there be even more sorts?
Villagers thinks:  I’m so scared~~~~
Villager (referring to Kou):  I think I’ve seen someone similar…
Villager:  but his hair was up? [t/n ie he was noble]
Hakusei thinks:  Then…

pg 27
Hakusei thinks:  That bastard must have been the monkey prince!!
Hakusei:  I should die!!

Hakusei thinks:  The silhouette I glimpsed through the shuttered carriage window would have been the Princess.

pg 28
Hakusei:  We head back immediately!!
Jyarirou:  …eh?  What!?
Kou: …
Kou:  Please just listen to me first.
Hakusei:  What is it?
Hakusei:  Quickly, we have to hurry.
Kou:  You may think that I’m being noisy,
Kou:  and I shouldn’t stick my nose in these matter,
Kou:  but if I don’t say anything now, I will come to regret it….
Hakusei:  Stop annoying me!!  Spit it out!
Kou:  Then, I will be frank…

pg 29
Kou:  Do you have some sort of health issue?
Kou:  Your colouring is like that of the dead,
Kou:  you shouldn’t head over there,
Kou:  It’s would be best if you returned to Kou quickly.

pg 30
[A hand with bite marks on the fingers]
King Sou:  Hey…that really hurts!
King Sou:  We did not think that little birds could bite.
Aki:  Fuu…[heavy breathing] Fuu….
Aki thinks:  Hakusei…
Aki thinks:  or even the Prince,
Aki thinks:  No one will come save me….?
Aki:  Next time, I bite it off.
King Sou:  Ehh——-…
King Sou: Then,
King Sou:  It’s better to kill you?

[pissed off and disgusted Aki]

pg 31
King Sou:  Ahahaha,  I’m joking!!
King Sou:  That expression you had on was excellent!!
King Sou:  We were so moved.

King Sou:  Once you sit on the throne, all people never stop lying to you——
King Sou:  “Your Majesty, this minister cannot ever express his gratitue”, “Your Majesty, please sign here.”.
Aki:  So that’s not fun?
King Sou: Pretending to be happy, pretending to be sad, we had hoped that everyone would be more genuine.
King Sou:  Only one thing won’t lie…

pg 32
King Sou:  That is fear. *  [t/n:  the word he uses for fear has a little bird in it, get it?]
[Kaitan approaches with a caged bird]

pg 33

[Aki’s sulking under the covers]
Kaitan:  Aki,
Kaitan:  If you persist in acting like this, you’ll become even more depressed.
Kaitan:  I can’t free you,
Kaitan: so I brought along something to cheer you up.

Aki:…. You….
Aki:  Did you bring me to Sou just so I can experience this?

pg 34
Kaitan:  Nothing’s happened to you,
Kaitan:  His Majesty decided to bestow his royal favour elsewhere last night. [t/n he means the king slept with someone else]
Kaitan:  He said:  “We’ve decided to leave her alone for a little while longer, so to see what’s the best way to make use of her.”

Kaitan:  “The savouring of a virgin’s sweet taste shouldn’t be rushed, we will wait to avail ourselves of it later.”

Aki:  Nothing’s happened to me?

[she pats the marks on her neck]
Aki:  I’m sorry if I’m mistaken these red marks on my neck for assault if it’s your nation’s method of greeting!!

pg 35
Kaitan:  Good morning, Aki.
Kaitan:  So what if you say that?

Aki thinks [t/n and this heartbreaking]:  I….
Aki thinks:  thought that in my heart,
Aki thinks:  that I could trust this Prince,
Aki thinks:  that he would not sell me.

pg 36
Aki thinks:  That he would not abuse me.

Kaitan:  Aki, listen well!  Ah’s Queen Do has proposed an alliance between Sou and Ah,
Kaitan:  All that stands between you falling into Queen Do’s hands is the King of Sou’s whims.
Aki thinks:  Queen Do and King Sou will co-operate…!?
Kaitan:  Believe me, if you want to survive, treat King Sou well.

pg 37

[t/n this is even sadder]

Aki:  You’re going to give the woman you’ve always wanted to wed,
Aki:  as tribute to your father the King…?

Aki thinks:  Please, I beg of you,
Aki thinks:  become enraged,
Aki thinks:  stand on my side!
Kaitan:  I’m sorry, it’s my fault for making it seem like I was headlong in love, Aki.
Kaitan:  My father the King summoned me back to Sou, and order me to give you to him,
Kaitan:  so I did what I had to do.

Kaitan:  If he commanded me to dance naked, I would do it.
Kaitan:  Whatever it takes to achieve my goal, I wouldn’t care even if I had to drink urine.

pg 38
Kaitan:  Let me be frank!  If King Sou chooses Queen Do,
Kaitan:  You will finish singing your act. [t/n he’s referring to putting herself on world stage (prior chapters) and also that she’s aliken to a caged bird at present]

pg 39
Aki thinks:  Finish my act?

Bird: chirp chirp

Aki thinks:  “How terrible!”  “You’re so naive!” “What should I do next?”  “Who will come save me?”

Aki thinks:  These thoughts rattle around in my head, making me unable to think.
[Aki opens the cage to the bird]

Aki thinks: But,

pg 40

[the bird flies free]

Aki thinks:  I won’t accept this quietly!

Aki thinks:  That I’m not going to meet my end in such a place,

Aki thinks: is the sole thing I know for certain.

link to chapters in order

Joou No Hana Chapter 26

I’m back!! The new chinese book has been released on the chinese site!!  I’m going to translate them as they come up (+/- a couple of week depending on work)

link to the chapters in order

Joou no Hana Chapter 26 Book 10

Pg 2

[image of a foreign king]

King, smirking:  The Foreign King thus spake,
King:  “That Queen Ruler is an imposter*.” [lit: fake merchandise]

Pg 3-4 images

Pg 5
[blowing wind]
Seitetsu:  You truly are a headache-inducing brat.

Pg 6
Seitetsu:  You should already be well aware, depending on me is waste of effort.
[Aki, shocked]
Aki:  This is…
Aki:  a dream?

Pg 7
Aki:  Seitetsu?
Seitetsu:  Yup.
Seitetsu:  This is a dream.
Seitetsu:  I’m merely a figment of your imagination
Seitetsu:  in this dreamspace.
Aki, about to cry:  I miss you…
Aki:  I really, really miss you….!!

Pg 8
Aki:  If this is my dream, you should be nicer to me!
Seitetsu:  What’s with these stupid words?
Aki:  You’re still so distant and cold, this dream is not too dreamlike at all!
Seitetsu, scratching his ear:  What a troublesome brat.
[he pats her head, as Aki’s busy crying]
Seitetsu:  Actually you understand, right?
Seitetsu:  You’re stuck in a difficult situation,
Seitetsu:  so you call on me for help.
Seitetsu:  But you already know in your heart of hearts that this is no longer possible.

Pg 9
[Seitetsu hugs her]
Seitetsu:  Goodbyes should only be said once.
Seitetsu:  Don’t give up!
Seitetsu:  With the way I’ve taught you, even without me you can fight on.
Seitetsu:  Aki,
Seitetsu:  do your best.

Pg 10
[Aki jolts awake in Kaitan’s carriage]
Kaitan:  Aki.

Pg 11
Aki:  ugh….
Aki thinks:  I feel sick…
Kaitan:  Just take it easy, don’t move around violently.
Aki thinks:  Right,
Aki thinks:  he carried me off in this carriage.
Kaitan:  I drugged you.
Kaitan:  Should you struggle about in this confined cabin, it would be troublesome.
Kaitan:  So before we reach Sou’s capital, I ask you to please bear with it.
Aki:  Ugh…
Kaitan, leaning over her:  What is it?
Kaitan:  What are you trying to say?
Aki:  St—

Pg 12:

Aki:  Stingy little man*…  [“little man” is also a person of low moral standing in Chinese, giving this a double meaning]
Kaitan:  …Right!
Kaitan:  Everyone has their shortcomings,
Kaitan:  you should just turn a blind eye to it.
Aki:  You…
Aki: abducted me,
Aki:  Kou will definitely…
Aki:  get wind of this…
Kaitan:  Yup…

Pg 13:
Kaitan:  I’m afraid you’re right.
Box:  Sou Country, Sou Palace
Minister:  So…
Minister:  Sou thus proclaims,
Minster: “Princess Aki has interest in our country’s propositions,”
Minister: “thus requests our help in the pursuit of the same goals,”
Minister: “and does not need your esteemed country’s interference.”
Minister:  They insist on only saying this—-
Box:  Kou Prime Minister:  Chen Seng

Pg 14:
Chen:  Those treacherous bastards that don’t even deserve burial after execution!
Chen:  Seiitsu!  Hurry up and think up a plan!
Seiitsu:  Yes…!
Seiitsu:  As you command…
[Seiitsu stares at him]
Chen:  What?
Seiitsu:  Nothing,
Seiitsu:  this minister was just surprised.
Seiitsu:  This minister had thought that you, Prime Minister, hadn’t liked Princess Aki much,
Seiitsu:  But still when she’s abducted, you got so worried…
Chen:  Tsch!

Pg 15
Chen:  That the smallfolk of Kou has relief from their fears, it’s due to HER EFFORTS alone.
Chen:  It wasn’t a small task to drag this country out of its difficulty, or its despair.
Chen:  Also, the Princess Aki has nothing to her name,
Chen:  Even without her deeds, we of the nobility can hardly stand by and not lift a finger as she is taken, and so our country has no choice but to act.
Chen:  Tsch!
Seiitsu thinks:  Right…
Seiitsu thinks:  You old fart who’s words doesn’t match his thoughts…

Pg 16
Seiitsu thinks:  But with the Prime Minister’s help, I can move much more freely…
Seiitsu thinks:  Princess Aki… please bear with it for a little while longer!!
[back to the carriage]
Aki:  Even if…
Aki:  you’ve abducted me,
Aki:  I still will never become…
Aki:  never become your consort….!

Pg 17
Kaitan:  Excellent!  You’ve kept up your spirits!
Kaitan:  You must keep that energy up when we’re in Sou!
Aki thinks:  You vulgar worm!
Aki, passing out:  Oh no,
Aki:  I… can’t even think…
Kaitan:…….That’s right.

Pg 18
[He gently strokes her forehead]
Kaitan:  No matter…
Kaitan:  what happens, you won’t ever give up.
Kaitan:  As expected of the only woman in my eyes.
box:  Sou Country, Within the Mountains

Pg 19
Maid thinks, in front of Hakusei:  Lord Seitetsu…
Maid thinks:  Lord Seitetsu!
Maid thinks:  I’ve found them.
[image of young Hakusei and Aki]
[she cries]
Maid:  Ah…uh..oooo.

[she leaps at Hakusei]
Maid:  Ah!  Ah!  Ah!
Hakusei:  Uh…
Hakusei:  Wait, wait, wait.
Hakusei:  What is it?
Hakusei:  What are you trying to say?
Hakusei:  If you don’t speak more clearly, I can’t understand.
Kou:  She can’t.
Kou:  Her tongue has been torn out, and the tendons of her hands have been cut so she can’t even write.

Pg 21
Hakusei:  —wh…
Hakusei: What!?
Maid:  Uh uh uh…
Maid: Ah Ah Ah Ah! [she throw herself at Kou, mad at Kou and Suisen]
Kou:  small text: Oh  Looks like she’s warning you of something.
Suisen: small text: tsch  Ungrateful thing!
Jyarirou:  …How about me?  [she bites his proffered hand]
Jyarirou: Wah!
Jyarirou:  Watch it, you idiot, or I might sell you as meat patties!

Pg 22
Kou, depressed, thinks:  Crap,
Kou:  THAT ITEM has been discovered.
Hakusei, looking away from them all:  Hey, your Highness,
Hakusei: You seem to be a man of much learning.  Can you help me with something?
Hakusei:  Why would this woman warn me against you?
Hakusei:  Would it have anything to do with that which she’s carefully guarded all the way to this place?
Hakusei:  This?!
[he whips out the other pouch with the Royal Seal]

Pg 23
Hakusei:  I’ve seen  a pouch exactly the same,
Hakusei:  it holds half of the Princess’s right-to-rule.

Pg 24
Hakusei, pissed:  Why would you hide its whereabouts!?
Kou:  It was mere chance.
Hakusei, grinding his teeth:  Don’t look down on people!
Hakusei:  If not for the Princess, I don’t hold your little life to be of any worth.

Pg 25
Suisen, lunging with her knife:  So now you show your true colours, you foul cur!
Kou:  Stop!! Suisen.
Kou:  Hunh…
Kou:  This could be said to be Heaven’s will.
Kou:  If it wasn’t Heaven’s will that everything is to change,
Kou:   would so many people congregate here, without a reason?
Kou:  Including those men from Ah who carpet the ground.
Kou: …
Kou:  Even if we’re deep in the mountains, this is not too far from the main roads.

Pg 26
Kou:  As such, this is barely two days of walking distance from the border with Ah.
Kou:  Because we were prepared for the eventuality of possibly having to flee from Sou, we chose this place to settle.
Kou:  Isn’t that right, Suisen?
Kou:  Therefore, it had to be close to the main roads.
[map showing that they’re on a small road parallel the main road]
Maid, mad:  small text: Uh!
Kou:  Meeting up with her was a coincidence.
Kou:  When she was on the main road,
Kou:  she encountered pursuing men from Ah.

Pg 27
Kou:  Dressed in the court robes of Ah palace,
Kou:  It must be that someone in Ah with ill intent that wants to capture her.
Kou:  When she deviated from the main path, [picture of the bridge mechanism], the men from Ah fell into Suisen’s trap.
Kou:  All of the situations to date can be explained by such.
Wary Hakusei: So,
Hakusei:  You insist that your encounter with her was a turn of luck,
and has nothing to do with the Ah men?
Hakusei:  I think that Your Highness should be most aware that designated noblemen can raise the army banners of Ah.
Hakusei: Why would such people come to Sou?

Pg 28
Hakusei:  Right now Ah is under the rule of Queen Do!
Hakusei:  Does Sou want to help the Princess’s enemy?
Furious Hakusei:  Looking at it from an another angle, forcing the Princess to become Sou’s consort…
Furious Hakusei:  is only to kill her?

Pg 29
Kou:  I am only a dead man.
Kou:  The dead cannot see, nor hear, what goes on in this country.
Hakusei, even more furious as he strides toward Kou:  Oh oh, really?
Jyarirou:  Wait, wait!  If you kill the prince, all of the effort gone into this mission will have been wasted?
Jyarirou:  All my money, and also my money , and also my money will have gone never to return for no good reason!!
Hakusei:  “Kill the prince”?
Hakusei:  How can that be possible…

Pg 30
Hakusei, gripping Kou:  Your Highness, I want you to come back from the dead.
Hakusei:  Once you’re alive again, you WILL help me.
Kou:  Sigh

Pg 31
Kou:  Now I’m dead, now I’m alive,
Kou:  My life is really quite busy…
Suisen:  Prince.
Suisen:  You truly intend to leave here with those bastards?
Kou:  Yeah…
Kou: With the situation the way it is I have no choice but to leave.
Kou:  From the moment the imprisoned Ah Ambassador was killed, it left only one course of action.
Kou:  It’s only a matter of time that the news that I’m still present among the living.
Kou:  If I go with them, it’ll be easier to hide myself… [note: the two barbarians really stick out]
Kou:  Therefore,

Pg 32
[image of hakusei]
Kou thinks:  On the off-chance that this man and his master will harm Sou,
Kou thinks:  The head that rests on his shoulders,
Kou thinks:  will be left to me
Kou thinks:  to take.
Suisen thinks:  …..Is that right.
Suisen thinks:  The you who is dead was really with me,
Suisen thinks:  but the you who is alive immediately wants to return to his native land,
Suisen thinks:  it doesn’t matter where you are, you still are an exceptional prince.

pg 33

Suisen thinks, as Kou walks away:  The time which our hearts beat in union,
Suisen thinks:  likely will not occur again——….
Kou:  Suisen,
Kou: Come.
Suisen:  Yes,
Suisen:  I’ll be right along.

pg 34
Jyarirou:  Boss,
Jyarirou:  That prince’s intentions are difficult to fathom, just a warning to take extra precautions.
Hakusei:  I understand, but the more chesspieces the Princess can acquire, the better.
Hakusei: ———-and also,
[image of the haggard maid]
Hakusei:  can she ride a horse?
Maid: Ah….
Maid thinks:  Please don’t throw me away!
Hakusei:  Ah,  no,
Hakusei:  Please don’t take it the wrong way.
Hakusei:  Originally I had thought to transport you in a carriage, but unfortunately we must make haste.
Hakusei:  You’ll have to ride behind somebody, and that may not be comfortable.  Are you okay with that?

pg 35
Hakusei:  I’m not sure what exactly happened to you,
Hakusei:  But your path cannot have been a fortunate one, can it?
[image of Seitetsu]
Hakusei:  Thank you,
Hakusei:  I thank you profoundly.
[maid hugs Hakusei, Seitetsu’s standing behind him]

pg 36
Hakusei:  Full speed to Sou!!

pg 37
Hakusei thinks:  I must inform the Princess immediately…!
Hakusei thinks:  Sou intends to ally with Queen Do!!
Hakusei thinks:  If she becomes that Monkey Prince’s consort, the Princess will be in extreme danger.
Hakusei thinks:  Quit with these idle thoughts!
Hakusei thinks:  As if that would happen!!

pg 38
Hakusei thinks:  Once the two halves of the Royal Seal are in the Princess’s hands, the Princess will be the new “King of Ah”!!
Hakusei thinks:  Queen Do will have lost!!
Jyarirou:  Boss!
Hakusei:  What?
Jyarirou:  My associate came to report that there are many people on horse approaching at great speed!
Jyarirou:  It wouldn’t be good if we were discovered.  small text:  we won’t have enough people to deal with them
Hakusei:  Acknowledged!
[they pull off into the trees]

pg 39
Hakusei:  Hide along the roadside until that party passes!

[cut to Aki]
Aki thinks:  I feel so ill…
Aki thinks:  I want to get off this carriage…

pg 40
[she sees hakusei in the trees for a blink of an eye]

pg 41
[Hakusei glimpses her through the shuttered windows as well]]

pg 42
Aki thinks:  Impossible?!
Kaitan:  What is it?
Aki:  No…
Aki:  It’s nothing.
Aki thinks:  How could it be!

pg 43
[image of Hakusei staring at the carriage]
AKi thinks:  That couldn’t possibly be true…
Aki thinks:  It’s a fantasy conjured by my longing heart,
Aki thinks:  to trouble my foolish eyes.
Jyarirou:  Boss?
Hakusei:  Is that for real…
Hakusei:  No, she can’t possibly be here.
Hakusei:  Let’s move!
Hakusei:  I want to return to the Princess’s side!!

pg 44
Hakusei:  I absolutely will meet with her again!!
[Aki, all dressed up]
Box:  Two days later, Sou Palace

pg 45
Kaitan:  W—-wow!
Kaitan:  In the clothing of Sou, you’re even prettier, Aki!
Kaitan:  Right, the serving girls and everybody else must have worked really hard. [t/n great backhanded complement, dude]
Maids: small text:  Your Highness heart Your Highness
Kaitan:  You looked so ill on the carriage, are you feeling a bit better now?
Aki:  Mmm…
Aki:  I hope that on deeper reflection you will lose your hair.  [t/n cutting off your hair is a way to say sorry or to ask for forgiveness]
Aki small text:  Best if you’re completely bald.
Kaitan:  Excellent!!
Kaitan:  Your spirits have recovered.

pg 46
Kaitan:  Forgive me.
Kaitan:  Aki.
Aki:  ?
Aki:  What’s with the apology at this stage—–…
Maid:  Your Highness Princess Aki,
Maid:  this way please.
Aki thinks, as she approaches a bedchamber:  Even if I were to struggle alone in Sou, I will not admit defeat.
Aki thinks: Hakusei,
Aki thinks: you will come save me.

pg 47
[there’s a double wide bed, a couple’s room]
Maid:  Please wait on the couch* (bed).  [t/n this is a really old word for bed which they have the explain also in the Chinese and Japanese text, I don’t know of an English equivalent;  nowadays it’s mostly used to refer to the bed the couple sleeps on during the first night of marriage.  This meaning is completely lost in the translation]
[Aki is shocked]
Aki:  You’re saying, wait….
Aki:  wait for whom?
Mad Aki:  Don’t act innocent!  You all want the Prince to forcefully take me!?
Maid:  Your Highness,  you’re mistaken…
Mad Aki:  How am I mistaken?
Voice:  You’re wrong only on one account.

pg 48
[Aki turns around]
Voice:  The one to bed you is not the prince,
King Sou:  But would
King Sou:  be
King Sou: us.

link to the chapters in order

Chapter 25 Joou no Hana

Chapter 25 Joou no Hana

link to chapters in order

pg 1: title
[Kaitan kisses Aki on the wall, but nicely]
[Aki is a little shocked]
[She starts scrubbing at her lips]
Kaitan:  Hey!
Kaitan:  You are an woman of extreme bad manners!!  This mark of favour from the First Prince of Sou, how can you treat it that way?!
Aki, words all distorted:  Mag o vaour  (Mark of favour?)
Aki:  sHold be ah atositi, nah? (Should be an atrocity, no?)
pg 3
Aki:  Your taking advantage of innocent young maidens is the basest of behaviors, I’m not interested in playing along!
Kaitan:  What are you saying?  When have I…
Aki:  Just before we were summoned to an audience with King Kou, didn’t you try the same in Kou palace?
Kaitan:  Ah!! Smart women are difficult to deal with.
Aki:  My answer remains the same as then.
Aki: I’m not going to be your possession.
Kaitan:  Is that because you want to be Queen Ruler, and by becoming my consort you cannot hope to see your dream come to life?
pg 4
Aki:  ….No.
Aki:  Even if I weren’t to become a Queen Ruler, I won’t stay by your side.
Kaitan:  So
Kaitan:  it’s because of that blue-eyed dog?
Aki: ….
Aki:  Yeah.
pg 5
Kaitan:  How incrediblely trite!
Kaitan:  How can you still not possibly understand?
Kaitan:  A dragon can only live a dragon’s way of live!! If it was to become an ordinary person, no one would accept it, no one would help!!
Kaitan:  In the coming future you must face the war for the throne, the ruling of a nation, the command of a thousand troops, the decisions that affect ten thousand people,
Kaitan;  What can that dog help you with?  What possibly can he do?
Aki:  It’s because
Aki:  of that.
Kaitan:  What?
Aki:  He does not need to help me,
Aki:  He doesn’t have to do anything.
pg 6
Aki:  It’s enough just to stay by my side,
Aki:  live on in this world.
Aki:  You don’t have,
Aki:  someone like that?
Aki’s words echoed:  Enough just to stay by my side…
pg 7
Kaitan thinks:  I—
Kaitan thinks:  wish that you———-
Aki:  You don’t, right?
Kaitan:  Ha!
Kaitan:  To date that question has never come to my mind, I’ve only thought about how to direct the ministers to ensure the wellbeing of the population, that is the way of a royal.
Aki:  Prince,
pg 8
Aki:  You… ….
Aki:  must be really lonely.
[Kaitan freezes for a moment and then jumps down to the near side of the palace]
Kaitan:  How meaningful… …
Kaitan:  But, who cares?
Kaitan:  I will choose my own path!!
pg 9
[Aki struggles to climb off in her robes]
Kaitan:  Unlike so-called royalty like you, the path is going to be completely different from a stupid woman who even fails to get off a city wall.
Aki, pissed:  Prince, you definitely are a bastard whom everyone dislikes.
small text:  and you don’t even help me down
Kaitan:  That’s alright, you go and head and concentrate on failing.
Kaitan:  You must be the single odd black sheep of all of royal blood,
it’s easy to understand why the old farts of Kou won’t listen to someone so weird, someone who doesn’t even realize self-evident truths.
Kaitan:  So then, attack from outside the palace where those old farts don’t pay much attention to
Kaitan:  if it was me, I would launch my plans from there.
Aki, shocked:  You are giving me pointers on what to do?
Aki:  We’re clearly enemies, so why?
Kaitan:  Only Heaven would know.
Kaitan:  Maybe it’s because just for tonight I wanted to forget our positions in life.
Kaitan:  Alright, one more piece of advice.
pg 10
Kaitan:  “It’s enough just to stay by my side”,
Kaitan:  that’s a woman’s love.
Kaitan:  Men are different,
Kaitan:  Each man wants to protect the woman he loves.
Kaitan:  Therefore, pray that you will become stronger.
[pic of hakusei in the middle of battling Kou]
Kaitan:  Once he realizes he can’t protect you, this love will come to an end.
Kaitan: A man,
pg 11
Kaitan:  cannot live on if he were to be pitied by the woman he loves.
Kaitan:  There will come a day,
Kaitan:  you will cost that blue-eyed dog his life.
pg 12
Aki thinks, dealing with Seiistu:  How can that be?!
Aki thinks:  How could I possibly let Hakusei do something like that.
Seiitsu:  Hey….
Seiitsu:  Princess Aki, you haven’t slept a wink?
Aki:  Eh…I’ve come up with a decision.
Aki, black circles under her eyes:  My head is completely clear!
Seiitsu:  ….Is that so?
pg 13
Seiitsu:  The pallour of your face rivals that of the dead.
Aki:  Right. But I think I’m more useful than a dead person.
Aki:  These, [pic of scrolls]
Aki:  can you ask a messenger to deliver them for me?
Aki:  These are to go to the small peripheral cities of the nation,
Aki:  that’s right, also to Prefect of the Eastern fort that once housed me, Lord Gao Xun.
Seiitsu:…. Then
Seiitsu:  what is it that you plan on doing?
pg 14
Aki:  Turn the false into the truth.
Aki:  What’s the most pressing problem that this country faces?
Aki:  Is it to make drowned crops regrow?
Aki:  No, that won’t happen.
Aki:  The enemy is something more subtle and intangible than that
Aki:  The false thought hidden in the hearts of the population
Aki:  that each one of them will die of hunger.
pg 15
Aki:  THerefore, let’s make all of them believe that there’s enough food for all.
Messenger:  This is the command of the Vice-Taifu Princess Aki———-
Box:  The border adjacent to Sou and Do
Messenger:  THis is the command of the Princess Aki to Lord Gao Xun
Box:  Eastern Prefecture, Fort
Minister:  What’s this?
Box:  Soutern Prefecture, just within the border
Aki:  “The Vice Taifu thus commands,”
Aki:  “Our country’s need to defend the borders superceed the current calamity.”  [t/n I swore up and down translating this chapter, it’s chock full of ARCHAIC ways of court speech, not normal chinese, where 2-3 characters means a whole lot]
Aki:  “Our nation will garrison more soldiers to defend the border and the south, and send more army allocations.” — that is to say
pg 16
Seiitsu:  “Both throngs of gold and people will amass at the border,”  right?
Aki:  Then, what will happen?
Aki:  Seiitsu, this is what your younger brother taught me as the most basic of economics.
Aki:  When there is money and people, wares such as food will certainly arrive.
Aki:  Not only from within Kou, but nation seeking big business will arrive to sell their stored grain.
Aki:  My my, how could it be possible to imagine,
Aki: that there’s not enough food in this place?
pg 17
Seiitsu: Incredible!!
Seiitsu:  ————–is what I really want to say, but from whence are you going to get the gold?
Aki:  I’ll talk about it another time…
Aki:  I’m really, really tired…
Seiitsu:  Do you want to go back to your residence?
Seiitsu:  or should I ask the servants to make something for you to eat?
Aki:  Oh that’s right, I’m hungry too…
[there’s food, a proper meal]
Aki:  Hunger,
Aki:  plunges one into despair.
pg 18
Aki:  When I was in the Ah Palace,
Aki:  Due to Queen Do’s evil influence, they often didn’t deliver food to mine or my mother’s residence.
Aki:  “Courage comes from adequate food and clothing”———-that maxim is definitely true!
Aki:  To live one must eat.
Aki:  Even if I was labeled “The Pickpocket Princess” or a little rat,
Aki:  I had not choice but to steal food.
Aki:  Even if it was never the case, I would lie to my mother and say that “someone gave it to me” before giving it to her.
Aki:  That’s why,
Aki: only I won’t underestimate the fear brought on by an empty stomach that causes the peasents to flee.
Aki:  Around then Hakusei appeared,
pg 19
Aki:  and so naturally that I didn’t even notice he came to stay by my side,
Aki:  or else I would have soon died from despair.
Aki:  I want to see Hakusei.
Aki, passing out from exhaustion:  Hakusei, is
Aki:  he
Aki:  eating
Aki:  properly
Aki:  as
Aki: well….
pg 20
Seiitsu thinks:  She’s merely an 18 year old girl…
Seiitsu thinks:  although her abilities are hard for anyone to believe.
Seiitsu thinks:  Even if I know that it’s not proper for any princess to hold a slave in her heart,
Seiitsu thinks:  I still think that there’s no harm indulging in it temporarily. This must mean that I’m getting old.
Seiitsu thinks:  Please have a good rest, Princess Aki.
Seiitsu thinks:  Once you wake up, you will have to face a truly difficult ordeal!
pg 21
Box: Sou
[Hakusei and Kou really go at it]
Hakusei thinks:  He’s so fast!
Hakusei thinks:  Right, left,
Hakusei thinks:  Right, left,
Hakusei thinks:  Right….no!!
pg 22
[He manages still to block]
Hakusei thinks:  It’s left!!
Sfx: clang
pg 23
Kou:  Wow….
Kou:  Incredible!!
Kou:  I can’t believe you manage to stop that blow with a short sword!!
[t/n Poor Hakusei can’t carry a sword because he’s a slave.  Swords are for nobles only.  No choice but to get good at it, it seems]
Hakusei:  You praise me too much!
Hakusei:  But cut the crap,
Hakusei:  Your Highness.
Hakusei thinks:  Can I win?
Suisen:  Prince, move away a little bit more!!
Suisen:  I can’t target!!
Hakusei thinks;  No, I must win!
Hakusei thinks:  After which, I will return to the princess’s side!!
pg 24
[the bridge snaps]
Kou:  What?
Hakusei:  It’s the pursing soldiers?
Hakusei thinks:  Pursing soldiers?
Suisen:  Prince, you retreat for now, leave this place to me!!
Suisen:  It must be an enemy which triggered the trap mechanism!!
Suisen:  The trap only activates when there are too many people!!
Suisen:  THerefore we now know that there number cannot be few, I can’t defend you in such a place.
pg 25
Kou:  That won’t work, Suisen.
Suisen:  Don’t concern yourself with me, just run!!
Kou:  It’s not that… rather say,
Kou:  I don’t know where to run to,
Kou:  as I’ve never gone down this mountain.
[Suisen and Hakusei are shocked]
Suisen:  You…
Suisen:  what the hell are you thinkingggggggggggg!
Kou:  I didn’t.  Who told me to stay put?  I thought that I would die quietly on this mountain.
Suisen, infuriated:  You stupid young master!!
Hakusei thinks:  Just watching them is painful…
pg 26
Hakusei:  Let me say…
Hakusei:  let’s temporarily call a truce, okay?
Hakusei:  I wasn’t your enemy originally, all I wanted was to ask for Your Highness to help.
Suisen:  Can I trust you?
Suisen:  You can guarantee that the pursing soldiers were not brought here by you?
Hakusei:  Let me also say,
Hakusei:  I was commanded by the Princess of Ah to come here in secret, so how could I possibly have a horde of men and horse which would attract too much attention.
Hakusei:  Should Your Highness the Prince be taken by someone else, I also would be in great difficulty.
pg 27
Suisen:  I don’t plan on letting the prince be captured by anyone.
Kou:  Suisen.
Suisen:  Prince, no more words from you.
Kou:  It’s not that, it’s just that
Kou, being threatened by soldiers: I think…
Kou: I’m being taken now.
Hakusei, cheerfully:  Ah,
Hakusei:  I think that they’vre already here.
small text:  so “annoying”
pg 28
[Suisen and Hakusei kill the soliders]
pg 29
Kou:  Both of them…
Kou:  are highly skilled!!
pg 30
Suisen, pissed:  What do you mean, “highly skilled”?!
Suisen:  Prince, how could you so easily just let someone stand behind you?!  Do you want to die because of your idiosyncrasy one day?
Kou:  No, but if you’re talking about idiosyncrasies…
Hakusei:  Hey, save your lovers’ quarrel for later!
Suisen, all red:  Of, of, of
Suisen: of course it’s not a lovers’ quarrel!  To tell you, to date since I’ve met the prince, we don’t have that kind of relationship between men and women…
Hakusei;  Yeah——-is that so?  Thank you for your pointless update on your love life!!
small text:  It’s irrelevant beyond belief!
Hakusei:  I imagine that the number of pursuers are great!!  Tell me how to get off this mountain!!
pg 31
[the soldiers appear to have died under rocks]
Hakusei:  Unbelievable…looks like these soliders were all killed by the traps.
Suisen:  That’s not right, the situation is too perfect.
Suisen:  Look here.
[a dead solder with a knife through the throat]
Suisen:  THis bastard appears to have died after he escape from the mechanism by someone elses’s throwing knives.
Suisen:  BUt who?  Your compatriots?
Voice:  Ahah!  As befitting “Blanche,” you think real fast.
pg 32
Jyarirou:  No matter what situation, I’ll be the companion of a fine-looking woman,
Jyarirou:  so I’ll take the opportunity to team up with my boss.
Hakusei:  Jyarirou!!
pg 33
Hakusei: You’re not dead?
Jyarirou: he he he!  Yeah.
Jyarirou:  I’m so sorry to have worried you, Boss,  but how could this good sir fall to his death from such a trivial height?
Jyarirou:  But if I were to recount what happened next, it would take a long time…
Hakusei:  Were you hiding in the rear?
Jyarirou:  Eh?
Hakusei:  You let yourself fall, just so that I would have to take down “Blanche” by myself?
Hakusei:  and you come crawling back after everything is safe.
Jyarirou:  How, how can that be the case?
Jyarirou:  Well, maybe a litlle,
Jyarirou:  But is right now the time to take me to task?  Men should be more magnanimous*. [lit:  look to one side]
[they notice the red flags]
pg 34
Hakusei:  Scarlet banners….
Hakusei:  These bastards are from Ah?
Jyarirou:  THat’s right.
Jyairiou:  THe pursing men weren’t from the First Prince of Sou.
Jyarirou:  And the answer
[he drags the poor palace maid up by her sleeve]
Jyarirou: is on this filthy woman’s body.
pg 35
Box:  Kou Palace
Seiitsu:  Princess Aki.
Seiitsu:  The three city-forts to the south,
Seiitsu:  acommication has been seen back from the prefects of the border,
Seiitsu:  and the Prime Ministers requests an audience with you.
Aki:  Really?
Aki:  Maintain the communication network, whatever the news maybe, you must immediately inform me.
Aki:  Also…
Aki thinks:  if there are any tidings of Hakusei who is in Sou….
pg 36
Aki thinks:  How could that be possible.
Aki thinks:  Hakusei is currently under my secret orders to find that Prince of Sou and capture him.
Aki thinks:  To not attract any untoward attention, he cannot contact me.
[she touches the scar]
Aki thinks:  This scar
Aki thinks:  is the oath between Hakusei and I.
[Aki kisses it]
pg 37
Aki thinks:  You in Sou,
Aki thinks:  and I in Kou,
Aki thinks:  let’s go fight in our respective battles,
Aki thinks:  and when we have achieved victory, we’ll meet again!
Aki:  Seiitsu,
Aki:  Let’s go see the Prime Minister!
Seiitsu:  Yes!
pg 38
Minister:  ——-The Prime Minister must be extremely displeased with Princess Aki.
Minster #2:  What did she do wrong?
Minister:  Lots!
minster #2:  It must have to do with the entire Vice-Taifu (assistant Taifu) business.
Minister:  Apparently all by herself she issued orders to make that both money and people would congegrate at the borders.
Minister #2:  With that, not only will grains come from within the country, but also from the other countries?
Minister #2:   Won’t that solve all the problems?
pg 39
Box:  Prime Minister Chen Seng
Chen:  This cannot solve the food shortage crisis!!
Chen:  So that’s why, that’s why you didn’t wait for the approval of the court, so you could gather the foodstuff in one place.
Chen:  But so what!!
Chen:  Let’s first not consider the neighbouring nations.  How much that you think the merchants will sell us the grains they’ve brought all this way?
Chen: Can you afford the rpice?!
Chen:  You’re merely going to waste much gold!
Aki:  Then, let me ask you,
pg 40
Aki:  Do I look like someone with that kind of money?
Aki:  If that was the case, you shouldn’t be worrying over Kou’s situation, but your own two eyes.
[Chen is shocked at the outrage]
Seiitsu, holding his forehead: Ahahah
Chen, getting redder and redder:  You, you
Chen:  foul brat….
Chen:  I order you to shut up!
pg 41
Chen:  You are more rightly the root of all Kou’s troubles!!
Chen:  You only do as you please, plunging the nation into chaos!!
Aki:  So doing nothing would work!?
Aki:  If you wait until famine conditions start, it will be too late!
Aki:  I investigated everywhere…
Aki:  The soil originally wasn’t of very good quality, but the silt brought on by the flood will make it very fertile.
Aki:  If we can survive the current crisis, the next harvest will be plentiful.
Chen:  The fear is that the peasants can’t look beyond the “now”,
Chen: and evade taxes thus depleting the country’s coffers.
Chen:  Those people [image of the peasant] were rotten to begin with,
Chen:  That they’re forced to this dead end* should be enough. [t/n two meanings again: the more literal is “dead end” but the second and deeper meaning is “the road which leads to death”;  he means that they should die for treason]
pg 42
Aki: !
Aki:  You’re wrong!
Aki:  People are not so shortsighted!!
Aki:  If anybody was in unfortunate circumstances, even if they felt it was shameful* [/tn this is an echo of ch 17], they would still commit the crime.
Aki:  I’ve experienced it myself, so I empathize with those people!!
Chen:  What base-born thinking.
Queen do in AKi memories:  “How unsightly.”
Queen Do in Aki memories:  “Wearing that worn and patched clothing, you don’t look like a princess at all…merely like a pickpocket.”
Queen Do in Aki memories:  “Before you start your tirades at me, you should go look at your own appearance.”
pg 43
Chen:  Allow me to be frank…
Chen:  You don’t have the ability to be someone royal.
Chen:  Keeping company with those base-born people, you could have never learnt to stand above others.
Chen:  The First Prince of Sou,
Chen:  He is a paragon of what it means to possess the dragon’s true blood*.  [t/n ie, be royal]
Chen:  You will never win ahead of him. [t/n double meaning again:  you won’t ever surpass him, and you won’t ever win [at the marriage proposal] over him]
Aki: …. Prime Minister,
pg 44
Aki, really mad:  Thank you.
Aki:  I’m so fortunate to have you remind me of who I am….
Aki:  That’s right,
Aki:  I once was “someone berefit of everything”.
Aki:  I watched as my mother was cruelly murdered,  my father casted me aside, I was forced out of my own country, without any special ability, without a single minister as retainer by my side,
Aki:  naught but a single barbarian youth within my hands.
pg 45
Aki:  Prime Minister,
Aki:  I’m going to buy the foodstuff that has collected there.
Chen:  What…
Chen: nonsense are you spouting….
Aki:  But at a suitable price.
Aki:  The country’s coffer must still have enough money?
Aki:  Right now grain and rations have aggregated at the borders.
Aki:  Once enough of these goods surpass what is needed, the sale will stop the inflation of prices.
Aki:  and the price will drop.
Aki:  I made all parties aware to submit their best offer.
Messanger:  Princess Aki!!
Aki:  How much?
Messanger:  Lord Gao Xun of the Eastern Prefecture Fort offers….
Messenger: 60!
Aki:  Too expensive.
pg 46
Aki:  Prime minister, do you know how much a bushel of rice costs?
Chen:  I don’t….
Aki:  You’re right, a high-ranked official like the Prime Minister shouldn’t concern himself with such a trivial detail.
Aki:  But I know how much approximately it should fetch on the market,
Aki: As I once lived with a merchant, and I’ve been to the fields myself.
Messenger: Princess Aki!  Southern Prefecture offers 62!
Chen: …..
Chen, smirking:  The price creeps up.
Aki: Is that right?
Chen:  The sellers will not sell for cheap,
Chen: as they have already invested much gold and effort in bringing the wares here, people naturally will want to gouge.
pg 47
Messenger:  Northern Prefecture, 64.
Aki:  Then, tell me how much it will cost to transport the grains from the southern prefecture to the west?
Chen: On the spot, how am I supposed to know?
Aki, seizing his collar:  Wrong!!  I’m asking you to think!!
Aki:  The cost of the horse transport, the mercenaries to guard it,
Aki:  the weather conditions of the west, the length of the journey…
Aki:  What’s the quality of the grain?  Who’s currently controlling the country’s borders?
Aki: From which direction will enemies attack?
AKi:  Put it together, synthesize it, put it together!!
pg 48
Messenger:  Princess Aki!
Messenger:  The south offers 61!
Aki:  I’m not the genius that the prince is,
Aki:  I’m merely a girl with nothing, not even a land to call home.
Aki:  So I can only learn from experience, and so I will try any which way,
Aki:  and beside this, there is no other way.
Aki: A genius thinks in one step, an ordinary person a hundred, no, a thousand steps!!
Cehn:  Ah!
Aki:  Let me ask you, what was the grain output of the south last year?
Aki: Even if you’re distracted and your mind is falling into chaos, you still must consider it carefully!!  Regardless of how many days or nights it takes! How’s this for an answer?!
Messenger:  Princess Aki, 59!!
pg 49
Overlay:  60!! 59 58 57 56 55 50
Aki:  I will turn experience and effort
Aki: into genius.
Aki:  Within the thousands, the tens of thousands of records, I will find the solution.
Overlay 56 54
pg 50
Messenger: 53
Aki:  Purchase at that price!!
Aki:  It’s what the market has determined to be the lowest price.
Messenger:  Yes!
Aki:  Immediately send people to execute the command.
Aki:  If my plans fail, and you require more than these procured rations,
Aki:  why don’t you take this head that rests upon my shoulders to Queen Do of Ah?
Aki:  She’ll definitely purchase it at a high price, it’ll make up for any deficit.
Chen:  No… that’s
Aki:  Prime Minister, you… had said that “To such a Vice-Taifu, it’s merely some other nation’s business?”
pg 51
Aki:  Failure costs people’s lives…
Aki:  The road I take has always been like this.
Aki:  I have never once before
Aki:  made a decision lightly.
[Aki walks out]
Chen thinks:  How could this be…
Chen thinks:  I’m mistaken, I’m completely wrong.
Chen thinks:  This girl-child… this maiden———-
pg 52
Chen thinks:  Is a dragon!!
Chen thinks:  The King of Ah and Her Highness Queen Kou made has
pg 53
Chen thinks:  The dragon that will overturn all under Heaven!!
pg 54
Men:  Hey, this one’s from the north———
Men:  This horse will pass behind———
Men:  Make way, make way….
Voice:  Don’t worry so much,
Voice:  The grains have already surpassed what is needed.
pg 55
Kaitan:  Looks like you aced this test, Aki.
Kaitan:  It panned out just as you wished.
Aki:  Prince, are you going somewhere?
Kaitan:  Yeah.
Kaitan:  Even if I don’t want to, my father the King has commanded me to return,
Kaitan:  I’ve been here for too long.
Aki thinks:  The prince… will go?
pg 56
[Aki’s all smiles]
Kaitan:  Don’t display “victory” all over your face!!
Kaitan:  This part of you is rude beyond belief!!
Aki:  I
Aki:  have always said that I don’t want you as my enemy,
Aki  so I can breathe a sigh of relief.
Aki:  Because,
Aki:  I don’t hate you.
Kaitan:  This
Kaitan:  I already knew.
Aki thinks:  Maybe now I can call for Hakusei to return from Sou.
pg 57
Aki thinks:  The only remaining task is to retrieve the other half of the Royal Seal.
Aki thinks:  I’ll use the soldiers of Kou to return me to Ah, all of my dreams will come to life.
[Kaitan smiles gently, reaches for her cheek]
Kaitan:  Every man will be,
Kaitan:  happy when his beloved is happy,
Kaitan:  sad when his beloved is sad.
Aki:  Prince….?
Kaitan:  Are you happy right now?
Kaitan   Then, I———-
pg 58
[ he knocks her out]
Kaitan:  probably am not human!
Kaitan:  I am a dragon,
Kaitan: and even if you were to despair, it’s of no great concern.
Kaitan:  I’m taking you back to Sou,
Kaitan:  I have need of you.
pg 59
Minister:  Your Highness, let this minister… [ he reaches out to take Aki]
Kaitan:  No need.
[Kaiten kisses her forehead]
Kaitan:  Don’t touch her!
pg 60
Kaitan:  Have a good rest, Aki,
Kaitan:  As we’re going to a demon’s lair soon.
Kaitan:  Before us lies the inscrutable country of Sou.
[Tortured Maid grasps at Hakusei.]
That chapter was rough… I will take a long break before going back to Chapters 10, 11, and 12, if they haven’t been scanlated yet…

Chapter 24 Joou no Hana

Chapter 24 Joou no Hana
Kaitan’s name in Chinese is just Tan.  But for consisetency I’ve used Kaitan all along.
Box:  Sou place

[Kaitan makes the formal greeting]

Box:  Second Prince of Sou:  Kaitan
Kaitan:  Kou has died.
Box:  King of Sou.

King Sou:  Eh, is that the case?

Kaitan thinks:  What kind of response is that?
Kaitan:  Kou is the First Prince of Kou, don’t we need to put on the appropriate mourning ceremonies?
King Sou:  Oh—–
King Sou:  so I’ll have to find myself a new First Prince—-
King Sou:  Do you want the position?
Kaitan:  I will satisfy the command of my sire. [t/n this is a complicate way of saying “as you wish”]

King Sou:  Come here.

pg 4
King Sou: You’re so young,
King Sou: and already more clever than the rest.  To fulfill your ambitions, you don’t have any hesitations making a move.
King Sou:  Excellent!
Kaitan in Kaitan’s memories:  Please die for me, Kou.
King Sou:  You definitely have what it takes to become our First Prince.
[he strokes his son’s face]

Kaitan: …..Your son does not dare. [t/n this is standard courtesy because he has to at least seem humble]

[King Sou chokes his son]
King Sou:  However,
King Sou:  it’s not a big deal if wasn’t you.
Kaitan:  Ah….oh!
King Sou;  We have so many sons, we don’t even keep track of the number anymore.  You or Kou, no difference.
King Sou:  We don’t particularly want to snap your thin little neck, so from now on, you’ll be a most filial and loyal son, yes?

King Sou:  Among the hordes of princes, we are most familiar with you.

King Sou, releasing Kaitan:  Oh yeah,
King Sou:  What was your name again?
Adviser:  Prince!
Adviser:  How are you?
Kaitan:  Fine, just let me be.

Adviser:  But,

Adviser: There are red imprints on your neck.
[Kaitan touches his neck]
Kaitan:  Are you feeling aroused?
Adviser: Keep the jokes decent. Aside from that, what did His Majesty have to say about the entire affair regarding Prince Kou?
Kaitan:  “You do what you should do.”
Adviser:  Ah?

Kaitan:  “You do what you should do,”  he said.

pg 8
Kaitan:  His own flesh and blood—–his first-born son is now gone from this earth, how can he be so nonchalant?
Kaitan:  I….
Kaitan: must become stronger.
Kaitan:  I’ve had enough of this.
Kaitan: No matter if I’m branded as infamous or infidel,
Kaitan:  I must become strong enough that it matter not.
Kaitan:  I’m going to live on without caring!!

Kaitan:  I’m never going to be a replacement clay doll (terracotta warrior).

pg 9
Kaitan:  I absolutely won’t be like Kou!!
[A very ill Kou wakes up in a shack somewhere]

Suisen:  Have you woken?

pg 10
Suisen:  Do you recognize who I am?
Kou: …..
Suisen:  Don’t waste your strength by speaking!  The wound has yet to close.
Suisen:  I’ve already made the preparations, we will soon leave the capital in secret.

Suisen, stroking his forehead:  Everything’s going to be all right!

pg 11
Suisen:  You don’t have to worry.
Suisen:  I made sure of all the details.  In Sou you are a dead man.
Suisen:  You don’t have to concern yourself with a thing.
[her tears start dripping on his face]
Suisen:  From now on,

Suisen:  let me protect you——

pg 12

Kou thinks:  Why did you let me live on?

pg 13
Kou thinks:  I should have died back then.
Kou thinks:  Why did you save me?
Suisen:  What?  Do you want to say something….
Kou, whispering:  Kill me…
Kou, turning his face away:  I beg of you,
Kou:  this one task…

Kou:  Kill me….

Kou thinks:  Should the world learn that I still am alive, Kaitan’s position will be in much danger.
Kou thinks:  Kaitan is the one and only prince that can win the war over ascension without plunging the nation into chaos. If it’s not Kaitan, yet another prince will be dragged in.
Suisen:  You….
Suisen:  What kind of asinine words are those?
Suisen: Didn’t you want freedom?
Suisen:  Why do you so value this country over your own life?
Suisen:  Are you saying that rather than flee with me you would rather die!?
Kou: Correct.
Pg 15
Kou:  I’m afraid…
Kou:  that you think I am a fool….
Kou:  But I am the First Prince of this nation….
Kou:  and I don’t want to become the weight that ties this country down…
[He reaches to touch her cheek]
Kou:  This… is what this travesty of a so-called prince…
Kou:  has left for as pride.

Kou:  Forgive me.

pg 16
Suisen thinks:  I wont’!
Suisen thinks:  Don’t joke with me!  Don’t joke with me!  Don’t joke with me!
Suisen thinks;  How could I possible listen to your oh-so-trite noble philosophy on kingship!!
Suisen:  You…. ….
Suisen:  why do you persist in thinking this?
Suisen:  Kou, you look out too much for other people,

Suisen:  but no one will thank you, so don’t waste your effort.

pg 17
Suisen:  This is so….
Suisen:  This is so…
Suisen:  not worth it——-
Kou:  …Suisen,

Kou:  I’m a very fortunate man.

pg 18
Kou:  Between this vast space between heaven and earth…
Kou:  that here, at the end….exists a person willing to shed tears for me…
Kou:  I already…
Kou:  can die with any regrets.
[he passes out again]
Suisen thinks:  NO!
pg 19
Suisen:  NO!!
Suisen:  You don’t have my permission to die!
Suisen;  You’re lying!!
Suisen:  How could this way of dying be considered fortunate?
Suisen:  If you still want to die, I’m going to hide* you in a place no one will ever find!! [t/n this is a play-on word,  hide = bury]  I order you to be satisfied with that!!
Suisen thinks:  Even if I betray your intentions,

Even if in the future

pg 20
Suisen thinks;  you will never again consider your time in my company to be fortunate,
Suisen thinks:  it doesn’t matter.
Suisen thinks:  To let you live on,

Box:  3 years after—- Present day, Deep within the Sou mountains

pg 21
Suisen thinks:  I will protect you!!
Present day Kou:  …Suisen.
Kou;  You shouldn’t mind it too much,
Kou:  from the start it was impossible.
Kou:  Let’s rather put it this way:  for your efforts in hiding me for the past 3 years,
Kou  I thank you.
Suisen:  What the hell are you saying!!
Kou thinks:  Now,
Kou thinks:  what to do so that we all may live?
Kou thinks;  This man is devoted to his master without fail,
 he won’t hesitate to lay down his life.
Kou:  Your master must be of great renown,  [t.n he’s being polite here, this is just routine courtly speech]
Kou:  may I ask from where this gentleman hails?
Hakusei:  She’s a lady.
Small text:  not a gentleman.

Suisen;  A lady?

pg 22
Suisen:  To command her subordinate to retrieve a man, this lady must be rather extreme and violent,
Women should be lovable and docile.
Incredibous Hakusei:  Why don’t you go ahead sometime and look at your own reflection in a still well, and then to save time you might as well throw yourself in.
small text Suisen;  You should go die yourself, you pet dog of some woman!
small text Hakusei:  Don’t go around calling other people dogs if you’re a dog yourself.
Kou thinks:  They’re remarkably similar, eh~~~~~
small text: these two people
Hakusei:  Even if she is a woman, she’s not to be taken lightly.

Hakusei:  My master is the Princess of Ah, Her Highness Princess Aki.

pg 23
Hakusei:  Soon to be, the newly crowned Ruler of Ah.
[Kou is shocked]
Kou:  The country of Ah?
Kou:  But I remember that Ah still has a prince from the queen sent from Do.
Kou:  Why is a princess the heir?

Hakusei:  It’s because….

pg 24
Hakusei:  No matter what the country there’s always dirty laundry*, right? [lit: domestic disputes, the sort between husband and wife– which if you think about it, is quite funny in a black way if you recall Seitetsu’s words to King Ah]
Hakusei:  you don’t think so?
Kou;  Aha!
Kou:  You’re absolutely correct.
Hakusei:  I wish to ask you to help the Princess I serve,
Hakusei:  please and thank you!
Kou, tilting his head:  Oh———–….
Kou:  but I’m currently among the dead, and thus can’t be expected to help with anything…. nor do I have that ambition.

Hakusei:  Stop the lies.

pg 25
Hakusei:  You conceal a sword under that sleeve.
Kou:  Oh my, you’ve found out already?
Kou:  Well, I don’t have a choice any more…
Hakusei:  Then what will you do?
Kou:  I can see from a glance that you’re highly proficient,
Kou: and you’ve got the steely resolve to ago along with it.
Hakusei: eh?
Suisen:  Hey, what are you up to?
Suisen:  Stop!
[Kou cuts off his long hair with the sword]
pg 26
Kou, dropping the hair to the wind:  Ah,
Kou:  this will enable me to move more freely.
Suisen:  You….
Suisen:  fool!!
Suisen:  How can you put your hair up after this*?  [t/n she’s referring the topknot hat thingy which is a symbol of nobility]
Kou:  I am a dead man, not a prince,

Kou:  and definitely have no need for a topknot*. [t/n see above]

pg 27
Kou:  Furthermore,
Kou:  in awakening a dead man from the netherworld,  what does your master intend to do?
Kou:  To throw my country of Sou deep into the chaos?
Kou:  I will not condone such a course of action even from the shades.

Kou:  So, permit me to use the swordcraft of Sou,

pg 28
Kou:  To make you a reply!
Suisen:  Get out of the way!  I will do it!!
Kou:  My apologies, Suisen,
Kou:  I didn’t mean to keep it from you.
Kou:  But it seems that I’m more skilled at the sword,
Kou:  although it’s been a long time since I last held one.

Hakusei:  Damn it…

pg 29
Hakusei thinks:  All of you bastards from Sou are the same, Sou bastards are are annoying to hell!!
Hakusei thinks:  Just when I’m short on time, your younger brother is forcing the Princess back step by step against the wall.
Hakusei:  Hey, you intend to help that brother who wished to kill you?
Hakusei:  To be allied to the princess I serve,* it should be advantageous to you
[t/n “the princess I serve”, I’ve been translating it this way but the literal meaning is “the Princess of my family”, but in this case the family is referring to the clan/allegiance, etc that you also belong to]
[Kou just swipes at him]
Hakusei thinks:  Did he even bother listening?
Hakusei thinks:  Just go to hell!

Hakusei thinks;  That snake doesn’t yet know of this…

pg 30
Hakusei thinks to himself:  I should harden my resolve!!
Hakusei thinks: I must capture this prince for the Princess alive.
Suisen thinks:  Dream on so much as even scratching him!!
Hakusei thinks:  Finding the Royal Seal for the Princess,
Hakusei thinks:  must wait until I deal with this.

[the palace maid is walking, sfx:  long breath out “Fuuua”]

pg 31
sfx: pant pant pant
Box:  Simultaneous within the mountains
Maid thinks:  Lord Seitetsu,
That which you have entrusted to me is here.
Maid thinks:  Even if it was confiscated by those bad people,
Maid thinks:  when they left together, I managed to retrieve it.
Maid thinks:  it’s best if I don’t stay here for long.
Maid: pant


pg 32
Seitetsu in her mind: “You did well.”
Maid thinks:  When I find Princess Aki,
please praise me with those words….
Maid thinks:  Scarlet red….

Maid thinks:  army banners…….

pg 33
Queen Do in her mind:  “Where do you think you’re taking that,”
Queen Do in her mind:  “you little rat?”
Maid:  Ahaaaaa
Maid thinks:  It’s the banner flags of the Ah army…. …..!
Maid thinks:  The pursuing soliders from Ah have come!

Maid thinks:  No way, no way!  No way, no way!

pg 34
Maid thinks:  Princess Aki’s enemy,  Lord Seitetsu’s enemy.
Maid thinks:  I absolutely cannot let this fall into that evil woman’s hands!!
Maid thinks;  Princess Aki!!
Box:  Kou Country

Voice:  Princess Aki.

pg 35
Seiitsu:  Princess Aki?
Aki:  Ah,  yes?
Seiitsu:  You seem very lethargic, you were lost to the world for a second.
Aki:  Was I?
Aki:  When I think that Hakusei may be going under hardships in Sou,  I can but only fall into a terrible state.

Aki:  But with the person customarily by my side absent, I can’t be anything else other than uneasy…

pg 36
Solider:  That brat looks strong, she should be fine.
Solider #2:  I hope so
[A long line of peasents, tied up by their hands]
Aki:  That’s…
Seiitsu:  Oh…
Seiitsu:  I’m afraid it’s peasents who left their flooded lands and ruined crops as they try to evade the levied taxes
Seiitsu:  It’s hard to blame them.

Seiitsu:  With the great torrential rain their fields were completely ruined so they must not have the ability to pay.

pg 37
Aki:  But she’s only a little girl child…
Seiitsu:  Wait!
Seiitsu:  Hang on a moment,  you want to free her from her binds?
Aki:  Eh…
Aki:  But Seiitsu…wasn’t it you that just said that,  considering the hardship suffered by the peasents, that it’s too unreasonable to expect…
Seiitsu:  Yes, that’s right.  Princess Aki, you’re so kind.
Seiitsu:  You’re so kind…

Seiitsu: but what is your position here?

pg 38
Seiitsu:  Is it one that of an common girl?  Or as the Vice-Taifu commanded by His Majesty King Kou to help with disaster recovery?
Seiitsu:  Do you need that meaningless sort of showy gesture?
Seiitsu:  If the lords of the court would but nod their heads in agreement not to levy taxes, the peasent of this whole country would do so.
Seiitsu:  The floods devastated already the rice-producing regions, there is now not enough rice to feed the nation.
Seiitsu:  The fleeing people who run from away will now die of hunger, and we will bear the shame of being a ruined country.
Seiitsu:  You think I’m exaggerating?
pg 39
Aki:  No,  this position is one that commands a thousand,
Aki:  Should one step be taken in error, one thousands steps are not enough to recover….is that what you wanted to say?
Seiitsu:  ….Your Highness does understand.
Aki:  Then, to save thousands and not merely one, we should return to the place and think of our next step.
Seiitsu:  Yes.

Aki thinks: Even if I go ahead with “showy gestures”, even if I were to use everything that I have, the ruined fields remain ruined.

pg 40
Aki thinks;  That’s the extent of my weakness.
Aki:  The weather is so nice now….it’s like the rain never even happened.
Seiitsu: Right.
Seiitsu:  You shouldn’t worry.  The court ministers are also humans that once born of a mother and father, they will not punish the peasants too much.
Aki:  Yes.
Box:  Kou Palace
pg 41
Aki: … Therefore,
Aki: if this continues, the peasants of the land will slowly slip away, and the land will not be a nation anymore.
Aki:  With this limited time, we must…
Box:  Prime Minister, Chen Seng
Chen:  ————————mmhmm*. [*lit:  oa.  This is a noise in Chinese that means I’ve heard you, but not necessarily agree;]
Aki:  If we were to distribute the stored grains within the city* to the peasents, it will help with the unrest of the poplance.  [*t/n  these were held in the city normally for times of siege]
Chen: ———–mmhmm.
Aki:  The southern states have suffered little damage, so if we were to take the output from the south…
Chen: ——— mmmhmmm.
Aki:  You say”rmmhmm” but I have no idea what that means!!  What are you really thinking?
Chen:  ——- rmmmhmmm.
pg 42
Chen:  “Have you finished yet?”
Chen:  —-that is what’s on my mind.
Chen:  Your way of thinking, I have already long before considered it thoroughly.
Chen: But every action requires protocols, it’s not something that you can do over the course of a day and a night.
Chen:  If you need instruction on the official process why don’t you go bother Seiitsu?!
Chen:  If you don’t talk to the correct ministers of the court, or skip on matters of protocol, can you placate their displeasure?!
Aki:  I’ve had enough.  I’ll arrange for a direct audience.
Chen:  You are the Princess of Ah,
pg 43
Chen:  Not a citizen of Kou.
Chen:  Even if you were to fail, it’s merely some other country’s problem.
Chen:  To an outsider’s eye, I may have many faults and areas to criticize, but I am the Prime Minister of Kou, and I dare not fail.
Aki: I did not…
Chen:  Even if I don’t understand why His Majesty King Kou appointed such a vice-Taifu,
Chen:  in my eyes, you merely are the same as you were a few years back,
Chen:  a girl-child who is irreverent and irrelevant.
Chen:  You may leave.
pg 44
Aki, to guard:  Please don’t follow me,
I want to be by myself for a little while.
Guard:  Oh?  But….
Aki:  Leave me by myself.
Guard:  Yes!
[Aki walks up to the top of the palace walls]
pg 45
Aki, stomping around:  What the hell does that mean?
Aki:  How dare he!!
AKi:  Arghhh~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!
Aki:  No matter whether its here, or there, everywhere I look there’s some annoying task!!
Aki:  How much I’m worth, I of all people am most aware!!
Aki:  I’ve had enough!
Aki:  Why don’t you try taking on my daily responsibilities for a day!! You stupid old white-haired man, you’d be fast on the bridge to the netherworld!! [lit: you would right away cross the bridge, an crude way of saying you’ll die]
Aki:  Add to that that I’m worried about Hakusei, so worried that I’m going crazy…. really!
Crazy Aki:  Go die———————!
[she notices Kaitan watch her from behind the stairs]
pg 46
Kaitan:  Hello……
Aki thinks:  Let…
Aki: Let me go die!! Let me go die!! Let me go die!!
[she rushes to the wall[
Kaitan, grabbing her sleeve:  Calm down, the only person who saw was me.
Aki: Then after I kill you, I’ll kill myself!!
Kaitan:  This surely isn’t that serious?
[Kaitan holds her waist]
Kaitan:  Really!
pg 47
[They sit there for a while]
Aki:  Ok…
Aki:  I’ve calmed down…
Aki:  so let me go, alright?
Kaitan:  Oh?
pg 48
[he rests his chin on her head and Aki is now super wary
Aki:  Oh no!
Aki:  Dream on.
Aki:  Dream, dream, dream on!
Aki:  You loathsome man!
Kaitan:  Wahahahhaa!
Aki:  What are you up to?  Why are you here?
[Aki runs into a flask of wine and a cup]
pg 49
Aki:  Prince, don’t tell me you’re drunk?
Kaitan:  Maybe a little.
Kaitan:  I did tell the sentry down there that “I wanted to be alone,”
Kaitan: It’s you who rushed up here.
Aki thinks: Whatever you may say,
small text:  he was the one to stop me just now.
Aki: You’re the so-called First Prince of Sou, quit fooling around here with no topknot* or retinue, what are you up to? [t/n topknot is the symbol of a nobleman]
Aki: Your oh-so-innocent face gives nothing away.
pg 50
[Kaitan climbs up onto the wall]
Kaitan:  Opf!
Aki thinks:  He’s completely not listening to me!
Aki:  That’s really dangerous!  You’re drunk, take care not to fall!
Kaitan:  Who would?  I’m not you, you idiot.
Aki thinks:  Eheheheh?
Aki thinks:  This scoundrel is the same as usual.
Kaitan: Hey Aki,
Kaitan:  Have you thought about it before?
Kaitan:  This high of a city wall,
Kaitan:  how many years, how many people required to build it to completion.
Kaitan:  And how many phases of the moon,
Kaitan: and how many disasters does it take to stand on these stones?
pg 51
Kaitan:  I will not fall.
Kaitan:  Those bastards I use as stepping stones maybe will hate me!
Kaitan:  But I don’t need their absolution.
Kaitan:  Because I am, I will be King!
Kaitan:  None other than King.
pg 52
Kaitan:  ! won’t allow people to say that their self-sacrifice was for nothing,
Kaitan:  and I won’t let myself be dragged down with them, for then everything will have been in vain.
kaitan:  This is my tribute to those I walked on. [pic of the wine]
Aki:  Could it be…
Aki:  Your cups are in memorial of someone?
pg 53
Aki thinks:  The death anniversary of someone who died 3 years ago——
Aki thinks:  Is it his elder brother than passed away? it should approximately be 3 years prior.  But weren’t the two brothers always feuding?
Kaitan:  Nothing like that, nothing like that.
Kaitan:  Just leave it at that, so please just forget what I’ve just said.
Kaitan:  I’m so popular and beloved among my subordinates, how could I possibly be drinking alone by myself.
Aki:  Alright,
Aki:  I will forget.
Aki thinks:  Looks like,
Aki thinks:  no matter who, everyone has issues within their heart which they do not wish others to pry into.
pg 54
Kaitan:  You…
Kaitan:  really are one fine woman.
Aki:  Your praise is too much.
Kaitan:  Okay, then marry me!
Aki:  Is it that again?  Just give up already.
Kaitan:  I’ll even let you be buried with me.[*t/n back to the funerary sacrifice jokes]
Aki:  No thanks.
Kaitan:  If you agree now I’ll throw in a thousand terra-cotta men and horse.
Aki:  Absolutely no thanks!!
pg 55
[Aki gets up on the wall beside him]
Kaitan:  Hey hey, be careful.
small text:  Pull me
Aki:  If you will not fall, I won’t either.
Aki: Because,
Aki: I too have no choice but to become a King.
Aki:  I’m the same as you, someone who is heir,
Aki: not some possession like a cow or a horse, nor a girl who you can trifle with.
pg 56
[They admire the cityscape]
Kaitan: This has been an unusual night.
Aki:  I agree.
pg 57
Kaitan:  Because of our position and status in life, there’s no way for us to easily disclose our troubles to others.
Kaitan:  Whether it be a drunkard or an irritable woman, if the words spread it wouldn’t be good….
Kaitan:  But with you I’m so carefree* . [t/n this also means happy]
Kaitan:  I’ve held* a lot of women,  [t/n lit: hugged, an eupherism for having sex with depending on contex as it usually just means to hold in one’s arms, but I think Kaitan’s meaning is clear.  Hakusei uses it also in chapter 5, what he’s thinking should be more accurately translated at “if I lie* with the princess, she’ll be crushed”; ditto]
Kaitan:  but not one has given me cause to put them by my side, or talk to as an equal.
Aki thinks:  I agree,
Aki thinks:  I don’t hate this person.
Aki:  We can’t be on the same side.
Aki:  As long as you want to incorporate Ah, I will always be your enemy.
Kaitan:…..That’s right.
Kaitan:  But do you know?
pg 58
[Kaitan kisses her nicely, Aki’s a little shocked]
Kaitan:  This kind of thing can’t be explained by mere logic,
Kaitan: I’ve just come to realize that.
I know, I know I’ve screwed up the numbers somewhere…