June 13, 2011

Tou Lang Merry Rose [Chapter 1]

Originally posted @ tatsukida.pitas.com on  November 2, 2010

燈港メリーローズ is a new series by Miyako Ritsu which is published in Bessatsu Hana to Yume. Touran means ‘light port/harbor’. I’ll be using ‘touran’ instead of ‘light port’ since it seems to be a name of the place. In Chinese, this is called Light Port Romance. From the art, I thought it is by the author of Emma. ^^; That is the first thing that got my interest. I think the author is fairly new. She used to be the artist of the manga serialization of Shinrei Tantei Yakumo in Betssatsu Hana. That series seems to have been re-serialized in Asuka. I recall reading a chapter of her Kanjou Hakubasen Shashou no Ei-san before which I thought is good though I have no idea what it was about again aside from the character wanting to be a train conductor. This story is about a young aristocrat lady, together with her young attendant, heading out to travel and check out Touran to see with her own eyes the place that her tutor had once told her about. As she travels to this different and exotic place, it turns out to be different from what she expected. This seems to be a monthly series and in Japan, my guess it is in chapter 3 since the series just started last August. On a side note, most of the names will be ‘invented/misspelled’ since I’m basing it on the Chinese pronunciation and what I can find in google. I’m only sure of the tutor’s name since it is written in English here. I hope the author would write the other’s names in English, too. Special thanks to Mopp and Sheep for the help regarding a couple of the names ^^. Enough introduction, here’s the 54 page first chapter of this promising series:

A light haired young girl looks wide-eyed at a globe as she asks, “Touran?” Narration: “Edgar, my mother’s distant relative and also my geography home tutor, would regularly talk about some exotic port.” Edgar tells her that it is a place where East and West culture and way of thinking merge together into one. “It is a recently constructed port in the Eastern world. A dream city wherein there’s nothing there yet what might gather up there. [ = full of potential] I want to go there and see it.” Narration: “Afterwards..he really went there. Went to ‘Touran’.” On a ship, a freckled girl with a bob-cut hairstyle calls out, “They say that we would arrive to our destination by noon. Even if it’s really tiring to be in this rocking ship for three weeks, but it’s also quite fun, right, Miss Azalea.” Sitting on a reclining chair by the deck, Azalea is reading a book. She agrees with her attendant and says that without her paternal aunt, her feelings totally feel vast and wide like the sea. They were surprised when they hear a woman shouts for a man to stop and let her go. A drunk moustache man is making advances on the woman. He tells her that he just want to chat with her. They were surprised when Azalea hits the man’s back with her book. The man shouts, what’s up with her. Azalea tells him, “It seems that you don’t understand the meaning of ‘let go’. You ought to understand it now, right?” The man is embarrassed and angry as he quickly leaves. The other women giggle over it. Soon, everyone is clapping in approval over what Azalea did. The grateful woman who was harrassed thanks her. Azalea is embarrassed by it that she tells her she’s welcome. The man angrily looks back at Azalea and curses her. Azalea nervously smiles and thinks that even if her aunt isn’t around, it seems as if she could still her aunt’s voice. Flashback: Her aunt would usually say, “Azalea, a lady shouldn’t be vulgar! You must have inherited that uncouthness from your mother’s side of the family.” Narration: “Substituting my mother who passed away early in single-handedly taking care of our house affairs, is my strict aunt Patricia.” While reading the newspapers, Azalea’s father would just look timidly over his sister’s comment. Patricia held a younger girl’s shoulder who is sitting by the piano. Her aunt happily commented that even if it is the same blood that is flowing in their veins but Emelyn’s is more the same as her family’s. Narration: “My weak-willed father would always just take aunt for her word [<- listen to her] and just like father, my younger sister Emelyn is obedient and sincere.” At the gazebo where Emelyn is embroidering, Azalea told her of her plans to go to Touran. Azalea said that she’ll be going there on summer. Emelyn happily said that her sister is amazing for she’ll be going to a far away place. She told Azalea to have fun. Narration: “At that, house where I cannot mix in, Edgar’s letter is the only thing I can hope on.” Azalea read the letter and in it, there is a sentence, “Come and have fun here, Azalea.” Narration: “And, I quickly made up my mind, and soon, I did go there.” End flashback.

The ship has finally docked. Azalea and her attendant walk around. Her attendant happily exclaims that it is a huge city. Azalea looks around and looks excited over Touran. She feels the hot air that blows through some palms. She looks at the bizarre Eastern style buildings. This is indeed an independent free trade port located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Azalea grabs the arm of her attendant and exclaims, “Dulcie, let’s go!” They walk around to see people moving cargo and supplies in ships. The ladies look in bewilderment over the monkeys that a stall is selling. Azalea looks in amazement over a camel while Dulcie seems to fear it. Azalea thinks that the sun is blazing hot, and everything to her, seems to look ‘fresh/new’. Dulcie exclaims that people there are selling animals in broad daylight and that stall there is even selling birds. “Also, everyone are eating while walking..” Eating a warty looking oblong shape fruit-vegetable, Azalea tells her that is the style in Touran and it makes food taste more delicious as compared to if one sits down and eat. Dulcie looks flustered yet a bit suspicious over the fruit that Azalea gave her. She takes a bite and exclaims at Azalea for being mean to trick her since it is very bitter. It turns out to be a bitter melon. Looking awful, Azalea just says that it seems that it isn’t to be eaten raw. Azalea then looks at some kimono-clad women passing by. Dulice looks at a paper and says that if they didn’t make a mistake, they ought to reach the place where Edgar is residing soon. “Let me see.” Azalea just says okay and it really feels as if she had walked into a painting in an art gallery exhibit. She thinks that Edgar is also in that city. She remembers what he said to her that it is a dream city where East and West’s culture and way of thinking merged together. While Dulcie is looking around, she seems to have bumped into Azalea. Dulcie quickly apologizes. Azalea asks if she is alright and Dulcie should be careful because there are a lot of people there. Azalea suddenly feels something tugging her hair. She holds her hair and exclaims that it hurts. She wonders what happened. She turns around to see that her hair seems to have gotten entangled with a burly man’s fishing rod. Azalea exclaims for Dulcie to help her untangle it. The burly man is shouting something that they cannot understand. Dulcie is frantic since she doesn’t know how to talk to the man. She tries to say, “Ah, hey..me..merci?” [French word for sorry, please excuse according the the scanlation. Edit: Naz said it meant thank you. I also know it is thank you but I thought it could mean sorry, too. ^^; I'm not sure if Dulcie made a mistake with her French thinking of 'merci' as 'mercy' or it is the author's mistake.] The man kept on shouting at Azalea. Azalea holds on to her hair in pain as she wonders what to do for even if she is getting scolded, she doesn’t understand what the man is saying. Her hat then falls off.
Azalea is infuriated that she thinks that this would be over if she just cuts it off. She shouts to Dulcie to give her a pair of scissors. Dulcie freaks out over this. Azalea is surprised when a young man wearing glasses holds her hair and says that she’s really courageous but why does she have to use scissors. He tells her not to move for a moment. He then untangles her hair from the fishing hook. While the ladies at him, the burly man says something to the glasses man. The glasses man questioningly exclaims something to the burly man that made him nervously running off. The glasses man picks up her hat and notices that the ladies are looking at him. Holding out her hat to Azalea, the young man asks her where she plans to cut using the scissors. “Is it your hair? Or the man’s?” Taking her hat back, Azalea tells him that of course, her hair. Azalea wonders what’s up with this man. The man smiles and says that it would be truly a waste then [if she cuts her hair]. “But, if you reckless hold a pair of scissors, on the contrary, you might end up outsmarting yourself since you’ll end up just provoking the other party, so be careful.” The wind blows the man’s hair and Azalea notices that there is a scar on the man’s forehead. Azalea just says that she knows, she’ll pay attention to that and thank you for his help. Dulcie also tearfully exclaims her thanks. Azalea comments that even if that burly man is at fault, but half of the reason is because she wasn’t paying attention so such an incident happened. The glasses man laughs and says that it is really quite rare to see such a kind-hearted person. “That man deliberately did that. He would hook up clothes or perhaps hair as a pretext to extort someone. Touran’s harbor has a lot of that kind of people lately, who’ll prey on unknowing travelers like you who have more money than sense.” Azalea looks flustered and angry over this. The man takes the hat from her hand and puts it on her head. “Even if your hair became messy but compared to being pulled up prettily, like this, you won’t be targeted again.” To the man’s surprise, Azalea slaps away the hat and pulls her hair down with her fingers. She shouts, “Is it also the style in Touran for people to make fun of others who were deceived like this?!” The man holds up his hand apologizes and says that wasn’t his intention. Half-turning to leave, Azalea says, “Thank you for your advice. I won’t plan on experiencing again of being deceived or belittled again, so we will be careful.” Leaving her hat on the ground, Azalea starts to leave as she shouts for Dulcie that they are going. Dulcie tries to catch up as she shouts, “Miss Azalea.” The glasses man looks surprised and he mutters, “Azalea..?”
Azalea angrily complains as to what’s up with that man who kept on jabbering on and on. She pouts and looks embarrassed as she thinks that she obviously knows that she is infuriated that she was tricked. Dulcie happily tells her to quickly forget about the unhappy incident for they will soon see Young Master Edgar even if she has never seen him before. Azalea tells her that it is because Dulcie came to her house only two years ago. Dulcie asks her if it is okay to just plainly tie up her hair like that, since she can help her re-do her hairstyle. Azalea happily tells her that it is alright because Edgar does not pay attention to things like that. Flashback: Five years ago, crossing the seas to their place, Edgar is a kind ‘brother’ who is ten years older than Azalea. Edgar noticed that Azalea is doing something that he asked what she’s doing. He went to her and asked if she is cutting her hair by herself. Holding a pair of scissors with some strands of hair on the floor, Azalea tearfully told him that it is because her aunt told her that it’s very weird. “Even if it’s the same hairstyle, she would say that my hair is weirder than Emelyn’s. She would even ridicule me in front of everyone.” Edgar held her hair then took the scissors from her. He asked, “Isn’t it very good to be a bit strange? Because, if you’re not a bit strange, then you would be extremely cute.” Narration: “He obviously doesn’t have a position in our family and yet, he would still stretch out to lend a hand.” While Dulcie is looking at the directions on the paper, Azalea looks up a building and thinks that it is here. She knocks on the door and an Asian looking girl [seems to be a housekeeper] opens the door. Azalea is a bit puzzled. She apologizes and asks if Edgar Berufort is at home. The Asian girl shouts something. An Asian old man comes out and talks with the girl. Azalea thinks that she did get the right address. She is a bit surprised when the old man tells her that there is no Edgar living in that place. “Perhaps the landlord knows so I’ll help you inquire about it.” Later on, Azalea looks a bit sad as she wonders why she came to Touran. The landlord had told her, “Edgar Berufort, you say? He had already passed away, around the end of last year.” As the wind blows Azalea’s hair, she looks at Edgar’s grave. The church’s bells ring as Dulcie sadly calls out Azalea’s name. Scowling, Azalea thinks that Edgar is already dead. She picks up her suitcase and tells Dulcie that they are going since even if they look at the grave, nothing will happen. Dulcie tearfully cries over this. Azalea comforts her by saying that before they can buy the tickets for the ship, they have no way of leaving Touran so they should find a place to stay. Azalea thinks that she has to be a bit strong, else it would make Dulcie be at a loss as to what to do. She looks sad as she remembers Edgar telling her, “Keep this a secret from Emelyn. I’ve always thought that you, Azalea is more outstanding. *smiles* [You are] Both strong and kind.” As the ladies walk away, they didn’t see that the glasses man is watching over them as he stands with folded arms by a palm tree.
Narration: “It seems as if this city has lost its radiance just because Edgar is no longer here.” It is already night when the ladies walk around the streets. They then go to eat at a bar restaurant. Dulcie scowls as she looks suspiciously at the food and asks what it is. To her surprise, Azalea is eating huge mouthfuls of the food. Azalea tells her that she doesn’t know either but it should be very delicious. “It seems like fish.” Dulcie nervously takes a bite and to her surprise, it is indeed delicious. She happily tells Azalea that it is great and very delicious. Dulcie exclaims her delight over coming there with Azalea. Azalea smiles back at her. Azalea thinks that it’s also great that she has Dulcie with her. “My brain is working [again], after eating, we should find an inn. Then, we’ll see when the earliest ship is... Why-- didn’t I receive the news of his death?” She looks surprised upon remembering that she was told that Edgar died at the end of last year. While Azalea is in deep thought, Dulcie exclaims that she ate something spicy so she’ll go and buy a glass of water. Azalea continues to think, “I came here upon receiving his letter. If he died last year.. Why is it that I was still able to receive his letter this year? Could it be..Edgar is still alive--..?” She then snaps out of it when she hears a loud thump. Dulcie has fallen on the floor. Azalea calls out to Dulcie. A reddish-faced drunk man is holding a glass of wine wherein its contents is spilled on his shirt. The drunk man asks how Dulcie is going to compensate for it since his shirt is expensive. “How are you going to apologize, ladies.” Dulcie nervously says that he was the one who suddenly came from that side and bumped into her. A mustache man exclaims out loud that he saw it and it was the girl who bumped into the man. Azalea scowls for that man is the same man who was harassing a woman in the ship earlier. The mustache man just smiled at her direction. The drunk man says that is right and they should pay him one million. Pulling Dulcie behind her, Azalea exclaims that she refuses because it isn’t fair. Licking his lips with his tongue, the drunk man tells Azalea that if she accompanies him for one night then there’s no need to pay him the money. Azalea angrily shouts as to what kind of joke that is. The drunk man angrily shouts back as to who is the one who’s joking. “Give me one million. If you don’t want to, then, strip naked to apologize to me!” The other customers start to become rowdy as they shout that strip naked idea isn’t bad so why don’t she make them all happy, too. They start whistling and shouting for Azalea to strip. While Dulcie stand behind Azale and holding tight on her, Azalea looks angrily at the man and wonders what she should do.
Someone then drops some coins on the table and says, “I’ll compensate for it with three million.” The rowdy customers rush to the table exclaiming if he just said three million and those are gold coins. Before they can snatch it away, the young glasses man from earlier quickly grab it back. The glasses man says, “But, if you’ll just take it like that, then wouldn’t it be really boring.” The ladies look surprised as Azalea thinks, “It’s the man who has a scar.” [Hehe, I guess the scar is his distinguishing mark for her and not the glasses ^^;] Holding a pair of dice, the glasses man says, “Let us play addition throw dice. *looking at the angry drunk man* If it’s odd number then I’ll give you the three million. If it’s even number, then we’ll forget all about this dispute.” While everyone is looking at him, the glasses man takes a bell from the table and tosses in the dice inside. “This is such a lively feast, so if it’s just an indignant dispute then it’s too boring.” He slams the bell on the table that contains the dices. Smiling, he looks at them and says, “You only have on chance. How about it, would you dare gamble with me?” Azalea tries to protest but the other customers are shouting that it is interesting and the drunk man should gamble. The drunk man finally agrees to play this gamble. Everyone is shouting about the three million. Standing behind the glasses man, Azalea angrily tells him to wait and who told him to do this on his own. The glasses man turns to her and says, “Just depending on courage won’t be enough to resolve this problem. I won’t harm [/cause trouble to] you.” While the people are shouting, ‘even number’, Azalea quietly thinks, “Even if it seems like he’s quibbling, but in this city where I don’t know which direction [/anything] goes, and I’ve also already staked my life on it.” The glasses man holds the bell and says, “The time to know the outcome has arrived!” Dulcie closed her eyes and prays. The drunk man and the others look at the bell with anticipation. With knitted brows, Azalea looks a bit tense. Glasses man lifts up the bell. Dulcie takes a peak. It is a 1 and a 3 so the total is a four. Dulcie happily rejoices over this. The drunk man and others look disappointed. The mustache man angrily goes back to drinking. While Dulcie happily hugs Azalea, Azalea just sighs in relief and looks thoughtful.
At the esplanade, Azalea looks out to the ships as the night wind blows her hair. The glasses man says, “Perhaps, it will make you unhappy but then, I’ll still give you an advice. It is very dangerous for ladies to move [/walk] around at night.” Azalea didn’t answer him. Dulcie looks really timid and flustered. She decides to break the ice by thanking the young man for his help a while ago and at the start, she is really worried what would happen. She told him that it’s really great that the outcome is an even number. While giving Dulcie the dices, the man tells her to look closely at them. Dulcie exclaims that in one dice, there are two 1s and 3s. The man explains to her that all of the faces of the dices are odd numbers. Each dice has two 1s, 3s and 5s. So, if one is to add two ‘odd numbered’ dices, it will certainly be an even number. “It won’t be exposed if at the same time, one doesn’t let the others see those sides of the dices. That gambling match just now is actually a sure win.” Returning the dices, Dulcie says, “Is that so~~~ that’s good, though I’m still nervous.” The man tells her to pay attention in order not to always be deceived. Without turning around, Azalea asks, “It’s a swindle, right? It’s really despicable.” The other two just look at her. Azalea wonders if this is Touran, the dream city that Edgar longed for. The man smiles and says, “Compared to that drunkard, it’s unreasonable for you to say that.” Dulcie feels ill that she drops the suitcase she is carrying. Azalea quickly turns to Dulcie who is bending down the ground and goes to her side. Dulcie apologizes to Azalea and says that since things have loosen up, she felt that her whole body has relaxed [/lose strength]. The man also bends down with the ladies and asks if she’s too tired. Azalea sadly looks at Dulcie and mentally says ‘good work’ to her.
The man holds out his hand and offers them to go to his house. “It will be quite hard [for you] to go looking for an inn again.” Azalea slaps away his hand and shouts for him not to touch her. “She will be alright if she only just rest a bit.” The man sighs and tells her that this isn’t the time to act rashly just because she was slighted. Azalea angrily that she isn’t acting rashly because she was slighted. Looking at him, she exclaims, “You..and also Touran, what do you have to deserve my trust?! (Experiences in Touran are too shocking in this way that it’s simply like a nightmare.) Extortion, lies, swindle, that one has to be careful with one’s life just by talking with someone!” To her shock, the man takes out a gun from his coat and holds the gun to her with the muzzle pointing at him. He tells her, “Then, I’ll also..bet my life on you. If you think that I’m going to harm you then use this to kill me. I know that you currently cannot trust me. You also shouldn’t trust me. *putting the gun in Azalea’s hands and pointing it to himself* But, do you still have any other things that you can trust? I won’t use a sure win gambling match with you. Don’t you want to go gamble with me?” While looking at the young man whose scar is revealed again by the wind, Azalea thinks, “A lot of things have happened...in this short period of time, my brain won’t function. Accept or refuse, in this city where nothing is certain...” Azalea lowers the gun. The man stands up and pats away the dirt from his pants. Azalea asks, “Who are you?” Narration: “The only one thing that I’m certain of..” The man smiles at her and says, “I’m Auguste Carlisle. I came from the country where you are from. A long time ago, I had already met you once. You shouldn’t be able to remember it because at that time, you were still a young child. Miss Azalea Bracknell.” Azalea looks at him and takes his hand which he offered to help her stand up. Narration: “is the name that this man called-- is certainly mine.”
Scans by玉/wdsjznl for BW.