Sunday, May 4, 2014

Queen's Gate Vol 1: Prologue (part 1)

Update (05-05): Oops, two sentences starting with <> were missing at the beginning, my bad. Oh, and changed the post's title, or else the numbering wouldn't match later, tehehe.

So, remember years ago when I said I'd never be able to translate this? Well thanks to the inestimable help from our friend Gabriel, who went and transcribed the first book whole, this is no longer a pipe dream. So here it is, this time for reals, the start of the first chapter of the QG novel!

We'll begin with the prologue, proofread by our trusty Final Agent, and see how it goes from there.


Prologue: Treasure at the Undersea Temple

Beneath the moonlight, the shadow of an airship reflected over the calm surface of the sea. Yet even should one look up, there was no airship to be seen in the night’s sky. The sole proof of its presence was that shadow, which remained mirrored on the sea’s surface.

In fact, the unusual ship would be impossible to detect approaching under any normal circumstance, invisible to both radars and to the naked eye as it was. Radio waves would be absorbed by its hull composed of rare materials while the nano display tech deployed on its exterior allowed the hull to instantly blend into the surrounding landscape.

Its name, the Vimana, the Active Stealth technology wielding Mega Machine ship, said stealth technology being of the most advanced known to man.

And just below the stationary Vimana lay an archeological monument located deep beneath the sea, hundreds of meters below and off the coast of the Caribbean’s Cape San Antonio. This was the airship’s current target.

<Attack Device “White Rabbit”, approaching drop point.>

The bottom hatch of the aircraft opened and a small single person aircraft with a conical segment attached to its nose appeared. Its appearance was similar to that of a small jet but with the wings and afterburner at a proportionally much smaller size.

<Countdown Start: Five, Four, Three, Two, One…>

The instant the composed sounding countdown reached zero, the cutely named Attack Device was dropped from the Vimana and left to enter the sea, diving as it would down the rabbit hole to Wonderland.


Hundreds of meters down and enshrined somewhere within the impenetrable darkness of the depths of the sea rested a gigantic pyramid-like building, comparable to the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

Within the large structure, one of its jet black monolithic inner walls began to suddenly glow white. Around that white point, the stone that made up the wall began to dissolve, allowing the white conical object that drilled the hole to poke through. Amidst absolute silence the cone’s tip quietly opened and someone dressed in a black diver suit marked with orange lines slipped out from within. Paying no mind to the darkness, the intruder, who could be identified as a young girl just from a casual glance at her body’s silhouette, went straight to work.

“According to the sonar scans taken from up above, the interior is filled with air, so breathing in here should be okay.”

Equipped with night vision goggles, the girl spoke aloud the information brought up by the analysis on her wristwatch, in order to leave an audio log.

The interior of the building has been sealed since a time long forgotten. So the possibility of an unknown pathogen, perhaps long extinct in present days, still laying dormant here meant she wasn’t quite willing to remove her mask that easily, even if the device said the air was technically breathable. However, the quantity of gas within her cylinder was limited. Probably best to save some extra air in case of an emergency.

The girl switched from the cylinder on her mask to the filtration system and the moment she did, her sense of smell was assaulted by the overwhelming stench of what you’d likely find in a zoo. Listening carefully, she found she could faintly hear the signs of something approaching her from afar too.

“I’m detecting a nearby bogey. Are you picking anything up?”

She asked into her microphone.

<A large number of creatures have begun awakening all of a sudden. It appears to be a trained response to the Professor’s scent.>

The receiver in the girl’s ear answered back, the voice on it devoid of any interference whatsoever.

“Wait, what-!? Then what was even the point of me sending someone in first then?”

The girl known as the Professor loudly complained.

<The group sent ahead consisted of Trump Soldiers and March Hare.>

“The Trump Soldiers are one thing, but I don’t see how March Hare made it through.”

<March Hare and I both lack scents to which they can react to.>

The characteristic stench caused by waste odors that all living things were forced to emit if they were to survive was something that the ones they had sent first, March Hare and the Trump Soldiers, both lacked.

“So my opponents have a smell fetish. Roger that.”

The girl scanned her surroundings and delivered a big sigh. One of the previous visitors prior to her own arrival was here. Though, perhaps calling it a current occupant would be more accurate.
Physically, it was over a meter tall and it possessed a large head that stood out in disproportionate contrast to its small body.

“Huh, don’t think I’ve ever seen UMAs like this before.”

She switched from infrared to echolocation on her night vision goggles. While the display was monochromatic, she could now appreciate a clear three-dimensional view of the approaching monsters.

Large eyes, ill-suited for inhabitants of a world devoid of light, and a pairs of fangs that protruded above and below from their thin, linear mouths. They creeped towards her, skillfully using the talons on their limbs to cling to the ceiling of the narrow 1.2 by 2.2 meter corridor.

<Statistically, it’s not uncommon for ruins to have their guards, at least in some shape or form.>

“A bit much for there to be this many though.”

<The statistics vary by region.>

The two continued to casually converse without a care even as the monsters began converging on their target. Their appetite would be beyond imagining, seeing new prey for what could be the first time in hundreds-... no, tens of thousands of years.

<There’s a possibility of parasitic infection. Take care not to get bitten.>

“You think I’m that dumb?”

<Just making sure.>

The girl clicked her tongue in annoyance. Her unseen partner on the other side seemed to be greatly underestimating her abilities.

“Well, whatever. Hatter, please give me a report on the Trump Soldiers and their movements.”

<Tracking and analysis mode deployed. I’ve instructed March Hare to recover any remaining Cards as well.>

“Good thing we came prepared for just about anything.”

<The 3 Queens having unanimously approved of this mission, there were fewer restrictions to take account of.>

“About that, did we find any clues as to Mom’s whereabouts?”

<That’s currently unknown.>

While they talked, the monsters slowly crowded closer and closer, waiting for the girl to drop her guard.

“Sorry, but I’m not on the menu.”

The girl smashed the waterproof case that hung from the belt around her waist. As if on cue, the monsters all leapt at her at once with unbelievable speed. A thin membrane stretched between the thorny protuberances extending from their backs to serve as wings, allowing them to come flying in like bats, though, the girl showed no signs of concern even then.

From within the waterproof case came weapons that one would easily describe as “peculiar”. Calling them handguns would be a bit of a disservice, considering how eye-catching these things looked, not to mention the dagger attached to the guns’ grips. First impressions would tell you that these would likely make for awfully inconvenient things. One wrong move and you could easily hurt yourself with the attached dagger.

And yet, the girl wielded the guns with a comfortable second nature, pulling the triggers with little hesitation towards the group of monsters, her “Muzzle Rush” tearing up the darkness. In her right hand, the jet black “Angra Mainyu”, in her left, the silver “Aeshma”. The gunshots from each, left and right, echoed through the corridor consecutively. Countless needles shot out from the muzzles, scattering as they ripped through the monsters’ flesh and even biting into the surface of the wall to the far end of her.

“That was more than seven assailants there.”

The girl let out a whistle before she realized it; the power from the armor-piercing Needle Flechettes had neutralized the monsters in an instant.

<You have limited ammunition. Against opponents of that caliber, you should make use of your daggers.>

“No thanks. Fighting off these Chupacabras at close range lacks a certain elegance.”

<It lacks elegance?>

“Yeah. There’s a certain need for aesthetics when on an adventure, wouldn’t you say?”

Smiling faintly in the darkness, the girl quickly reloaded her ammunition.

“Anyways, didn’t think I’d find a nest of Chupacabras here.”

Chupacabra. Not quite the UMA she thought it was at first, this one being well familiar with her, they suddenly appeared in the Caribbean’s small island of Puerto Rico around 1995. It’s name coming from the word “Goat-Sucker”, from the local language. As its name suggests, it is a blood-sucking monster that extracts blood and bodily fluids from its victims with a sharp, needle-like tongue.

The images the girl viewed through her goggles were being examined in real time by her current communication partner, the woman called “Hatter”.

“I wonder how they survived here for so long, what did these guys feed on?”

<We have no data on that.>

Though she answered right away, Hatter’s tone carried a hint of worry in it. The girl could guess why. After all, it wasn’t that much of a stretch to say that the distance between Puerto Rico and here was rather short. There might be a secret passage between the two that only these creatures knew of.

“Alright, additional orders for the Trump Soldiers. If they encounter a Chupacabra, kindly have them dispose of it. The Trump Soldiers have nothing to worry about anyways, not like they have any bodily fluids to get sucked out of them.”

<Additional instructions, acknowledged.>

A chance encounter meant a slight change to the girl’s plans, leading to her new orders to Hatter. Still, it was not as if she came here with the hope of finding these Chupacabras and chasing them around. She had other things in mind than monster hunting.

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