I decided to try translating with a little more style than the other chapters. I didn’t go too crazy, but I got a little creative with some of the sentences. The reason being, I wanted them to sound more natural, but I tried to keep it as close as I could to the source. Let me know if you prefer it this way. Feedback is always helpful!
There probably won’t be a chapter for another week or so. I need to work on my original novels and other things, but if I get in the mood, I might translate another during the week.
TL & ED: Keriv136
The Kirisha Peninsula
It is one of the world’s most developed regions, but it is a war-torn peninsula where many city-states vie for power with one another.
In a city-state at the eastern end of the Kirisha Peninsula, a stranger set foot there.
“So, this is the trade city that connects the Persis Empire with the Kirisha Peninsula…”
The man said as he looked up at the huge walls towering over him.
Claris has a population of 250,000 and it is the second most powerful city-state on the Kirisha Peninsula.
This city-state was originally a colony of another city-state on the Peninsula, and it is the only place connecting the Peninsula to the Persis Empire. Facing the Ash Sea in the north and the Inland Sea in the south, it has a natural harbor facing the Horn Bay, so naturally merchants gathered here. These powerful and influential merchants, who controlled the East-West trade, eventually rebelled against their colonial masters and gained independence.
This city-state has flourished as one of the wealthiest trade cities in the world.
“Hey! Older brother, go ahead!”
“Ah, excuse me.”
The gatekeeper showed an amiable smile on his face.
“Hmm, is there a tax to enter…..”
“No, it would interfere with trade here. Well, if you stay more than a month you will have to pay a tax to stay in the city, is this your first time here? I’ve never seen your face before…..where do you come from?”
“I’m from the Scarlet Empire. You know, the country known for its silk in the far east. My name is Yang Qing Ming.”
“Oh, you’re from the country of silk…”
The gatekeeper stared intently at Qing Ming.
“I see. Let me give you some advice. Keep in mind that there are two kinds of people in Claris. At the top, you have the first-class citizens. These are wealthy citizens who can pay the high head tax. The others are second-class citizens who are poor and unable to pay the tax. It would be wise for you to stay away from the second-class citizens. You may know this already, but the part of the city where the second-class citizens live is dangerous. By the way, I am a first-class citizen.”
“This is….. your advice, thank you sir. I’ll try to be careful.”
Qing Ming gave a friendly laugh and passed through the gate.
“That’s five copper coins.”
“Uh… you don’t accept coins from Persis?”
Qing Ming wasn’t expecting to hear that and the shopkeeper frowned.
“……….You have to exchange your money over there.”
With the money changer that the shopkeeper pointed out, Qing Ming exchanged his Persis coins for Kirisha coins. There would be a fee for the exchange but there was nothing he could do about it.
“Thank you, sir.”
After exchanging his coins, Qing Ming decided to purchase a pastry, called Dolfitz, which was sold at the stall.
The pastry-shaped dough is fried with oil and skewered with a skewer.
It seems they use sugar, it’s a good price.
Perhaps most of their business comes from first-class citizens.
Qing Ming eats the Dolfitz while thinking this.
He enjoys its simple sweetness, but it’s too oily.
While Qing Ming runs through the city with a carefree attitude, a dirty man appears from out of the crowd.
He had a leather bag in his hands.
“Someone!! Capture him!! Thief!!”
Qing Ming kicked the man’s feet out from under him and the thief fell to the ground.
Qing Ming grabbed the bag from the thief’s hands.
“This must be a second-class citizen….”
Qing Ming took a good look at the thief.
This is a crime committed because of a troubled life. There is room for sympathy….. but a crime is a crime.
It’s not something that can be allowed.
City guardsmen, who were nearby and heard the commotion, came over to arrest the second-class citizen.
“Please stop!! I promise I won’t steal ever again!! I don’t want to be a slave!!”
“Shut up! Do you want to be sent to the mines?”
The city guardsmen dragged the thief away until they were no longer in view.
“You there!! Thank you!!”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Qing Ming returns the bag to the black-haired woman who was chasing the thief.
Her skin was an olive complexion and she had a well-defined face.
There sure are a lot of beautiful women in the world, Qing Ming thought to himself.
The woman hugged the bag she received from Qing Ming to her chest.
“Is the bag that important?”
“Yes. My goal is to become an architect. This bag has all my sketches of the architecture I saw in Persis and all of my own designs too…”
Qing Ming is a bit surprised at her words.
One must be proficient in mathematics and physics in order to be an architect.
Not many women learn these skill.
Women are meant to watch over the home, they do not need to study, and there isn’t anyone who would hire them even if they did learn them anyway.
This is common sense in the Scarlet Empire where Qing Ming was born.
In the first place, there aren’t even many daughters of nobility in the east that learn to read or write. That’s why, even if she is a first-class citizen, it’s surprising to run into a girl in the middle of town who is aiming to become an architect.
“What? Do you find it strange for a woman to aim for a job like that? A woman can only be a witch, or has to wait for her husband at home?”
The woman in front of my eyes raised her eyebrows in disgust.
Qing Ming quickly shook his head.
“No, of course not, I was just a little surprised. Where I grew up, there were very few women who could read or write.”
The woman makes a face that seems a bit convinced.
“By any chance, can you read or write letters?”
“First of all, all first-class citizens have to be able to read and write letters at a minimum. That’s why all of Claris’s citizens, except for maybe the really young or old, can do it. Well, I don’t know about the second-class citizens.”
Qing Ming really admired that.
It truly is one of the largest commercial cities in the world.
“By the way, I would like to do something to thank you for your help.”
“Well then….. could you show me around? The city that is.”
The woman happily nodded at Qing Ming’s proposition.
“Right. My name is Ismene. And you are?”
“Qing Ming Yang. Yang is my surname, and my given name is Qing Ming.”
…….. It’s not the correct way to say my name, but it is best to explain it as such to the people of Kirisha. Qing Ming thought while he spoke with Ismene. (1)
“By the way, how much do you know about Kirisha?”
“Let’s see….. there were two wars between Kirisha and the Persis Empire, and your specialties are olives and grapes. There are dozens of city-states on the Peninsula. That’s about it.”
After they finished walking around the city, they went to dinner at a restaurant. It was Qing Ming’s treat. Out of consideration for all Qing Ming had done for her, Ismene told him everything she knew about Kirisha.
“Well, all the city-states on the Kirisha Peninsula are in various alliances with each other and have signed non-aggression treaties among their allies. There is also an agreement between the different alliances. Every four years they hold a festival where all hostilities cease and even foreign enemies can participate in the festivities. Also, if the Persis Empire attacks, they all cooperate to fight against them.”
“I see. I was wondering about how the city-states were able to defeat the Persis Empire twice even though they are so divided. So that’s the reason.”
Qing Ming wrote down what he learned on a notebook made of parchment.
He writes down everything that he sees and hears on his journey in his notebook.
“If I’m not mistaken, isn’t Claris the leading power of the Eastern Alliance?”
“Yeah, that’s right. There’s also Alto of the Southern Alliance and Telbai of the Western Alliance. There’s also Layme of the Northern Alliance too.
“Aha, this is very informative.”
Qing Ming enters all the information into his notebook.
“Alto is a Democracy with a popular assembly made up of all adult men, Telbai is ruled by a senate consisting of a privileged aristocracy, Layme is ruled by a king and the nobility, and Claris is ruled by powerful merchants. Relations are bad between them because of the different political systems.”
“But when you fight the Persis Empire, there is peace. That’s interesting.”
Qing Ming doesn’t stop moving the pen in his left hand while he eats with his right. This is very bad manners.
“Can you tell me if this is right?”
“Ismene is a first-class citizen, right? Doesn’t that make you an aristocrat? At least that is how I understand it……
Ismene laughs at Qing Ming’s question.
“Good question. First-class citizens are different from aristocrats. We’re just commoners. There are no aristocrats in Claris, we are all equal. There aren’t any in Alto either, but there are aristocrats in Telbai and Layme.”
“Really… the world is bigger than I thought.”
Qing Ming’s pen moves frantically and Ismene grabs it annoyed.
“Stop it, you’re eating.”
“Haha, I’m sorry.”
Qing Ming puts his notebook in his pocket and gives a shy laugh.
“By the way, why are you traveling?”
Ismene listens casually as Qing Ming’s eyes shine as he speaks.
“The farthest sea… to see all the oceans to the ends of the Earth! I was born on the eastern edge of this content. When I was five years old, I went on a journey with my parents to see the end of the world……but my parents died while on the journey. At that time, they told me to continue my journey to find the end of the world.”
“Is that your dream?”
“No, my dream is different.”
Ismene leaned over with interest.
“I am going to write about everything I see and hear on my journey. Then I will share what I know with the world.”
“When you say it like that, I really can’t hate it.”
“It’s a good dream, and I believe it will come true soon. The day after tomorrow, there is a ship leaving Claris and heading towards Lezat city on the Adernia Peninsula. It’s a short distance from there to the Western Sea.”
“Is that true! Then my long journey is finally over……”
Qing Ming couldn’t help but look at the ceiling. His expectations on finally seeing the West Sea rose.
“Do you think that I could go with you?”
“Huh? I don’t mind… but don’t you have things you need to do here?”
“There are too many good architects in Kirisha. It’s too difficult to find a job as a woman here. The Adernia Peninsula is different, it’s an underdeveloped region. Those countries would be dying to get their hands on an excellent architect.”
The Kirisha Peninsula is a good place to hone your skills, but there is a lot of competition. It’s just not a place where it’s easy to make a name for yourself.
In that respect, an underdeveloped region would have more opportunities for employment.
“I understand, then let’s go together!”
“It’s decided then!”
The two of them shook their hands in agreement.
The next day…
“Are you alright Qing Ming?”
She asks while Qing Ming groans over the toilet.
He can’t afford to answer.
“Sorry. Kirishan cuisine uses a lot of oil……I forgot to mention that people who aren’t used to eating it have a high chance of stomach problems. Forgive me, okay?”
- This phrase has to do with how in Asia, surnames are first and given names are last.