The servant says that the princess is here. Jamalta looks at Saga then he suddenly turns away looking nervous and sad. Choegeum asks what’s up. Saga says that there is something that she wants to.. He tells her to come with him. She says okay. As Saga passes by him, Jamalta glances at Saga again.
Then, he suddenly remembers that snowy day. Flashback: It is snowing. Young Jamalta is sitting near a tree. As the cold wind blows, he suddenly saw a man walking towards him. The other man is holding on to their horse. The man is saying something.
When he is already near, Jamalta heard him say, “This kid, how come he is alone in this kind of place? If this keeps up, he’ll freeze to death.” The other man called his older brother and said that he is an escaped criminal since there is an iron chain on his neck. The man said that he knows so quickly bring a blanket as well as some kumis [horse milk wine] to make his body warm up a bit.
The other man said that in any case, he’ll die because from the looks of it, he is already delicious. The man told him to quickly go. “Let’s bring him together with us to the place where we made arrangements. Even if he dies, I’ll also make him a grave. *removed the snow on Jamalta’s head*...
...Kid, what’s your name.? *Jamalta said something* From the looks of it, you’re a Han kid. Okay, from today on, you’ll be called Jamalta. Understand?” Then, after putting a blanket around Jamalta, the man carried him to his horse. The man offered him some drink and urged him to drink it. Jamalta didn’t move. The man asks what is it, doesn’t he want to live?
“You’re left all alone, right. Have you already forgotten? *puts the drink on Jamalta’s hands* Get it back and live on. Get back the thing that you forgot. Do you understand, Jamalta? *Jamalta is now riding on the horse together with the man* Jamalta..” Then, Jamalta snaps out of it when Foxy calls out his name loudly. “You are totally absent-minded! What are you thinking! I’m asking you, when we are going back!”
Surprised Jamalta says, ah..we’ll leave tomorrow morning. Foxy asks what, morning then..can he go at that side and drink a bit? “It looks really delicious.. Hmph~ My stomach is also hungry.” While Foxy is pouting at him, Jamalta realizes that he is referring to the party inside. He tells Foxy to do as he pleases. This made Foxy happy that he rushes inside.
Jamalta wonders if Saga doesn’t remember him anymore. “No, even if she does remember, what about it. *looks sad* But, that expression.. *recalls the time when he held her hostage and she fell into the water* Thump. Could it be because of me that you are always alone, princess? *tightly clenches fist* So, you have that kind of expression.”
At a room, Choegeum asks, “What? Say that again. You said you want to do what?” Flustered and tense, Saga asks him to please release Mino..or else, just like sister Nan, she’ll also.. Choegeum covers her mouth and asks, “Like Nan? Do you also want to be tied up for several days? And, before that, how about I’ll first hang to death that bastard slave servant that you’re talking about?...
...You’ll..dare to threaten me? Because sister had already gone insane, right?” Saga struggles to free herself form his grip. Choegeum slaps her away. As Saga kneels by the wall, Choegeum bends down to her and tells her to once again try to say irresponsible things and he’ll immediately give her the stripped off skin of that bastard. This made Saga tremble.
She asks why he is treating her this way. “Asking this kind of favor yet you won’t fulfill it. Brother, I did well all the things you make me do so how come you won’t listen to me. How come you hate me so? How come you’re tormenting me.. I.. don’t know what the reason is..” She is puzzled when he holds up her face. He smiles and asks, “Do you hate me?”
Teary eyed Saga mutters, brother.. He hugs her and says, “Beautiful sister.. *he seems to smell Saga* has already passed away. There’s no need to tell you the reason. I’m simply chasing after that fragrance, that’s all. Just like Nan’s..”
Saga recalls seeing him with Nan before on the bed when she was young. While Saga looks stunned, Choeguem turns to leave. He says that regarding that slave servant, they’ll talk about it again after the coming of age ceremony has ended. “The outcome you know will be based on what you’ll do and it will differ at some extent. *glances at her* Upon return, you’ll be a woman already.”
This made Saga tremble and become very afraid. Soon, there is a stage in front. Shine maidens [I assume] are holding ribbons from a pole. [<- similar to a May Pole]. There are bonfires at the side. Soldiers are guarding in front to prevent the audience from coming near.
Saga and some maidens are praying as a priestess is waving a twig with leaves. Foxy and his companion are watching. Foxy asks where is the princess and they are so far that he couldn’t see her. “They are all dressed up as women.” The man tells him that there’s nothing good to see and he isn’t some young lady who’ll come and do something.
Foxy asks if he likes men and where did Jamalta gone off to. The man tells him that Jamalta went to pack the luggage. Foxy comments that Jamalta is of no help. Gong...gong..gong.. Foxy asks why they are hitting the gong for it feels gloomy and hitting a drum would be fine.
The man says that the deep and low sound of the gong is like a woman’s mood [/thoughts], and the sound of a drum is too noisy. The man explains that the as a roof, the cloth is a shelter from the sky. “The tower [pole] in the middle is just like the master of the house. Protecting the family’s pillar is like a woman... [<- the women around?]
...The cloths hanged up with bells ringing are like the child’s sound. The meaning of it all is family and all things..are like this.” Then, someone holds out a bird that tries to escape. Foxy says that there is even a pheasant and isn’t it the one they caught? While some people holds the pheasant down, Saga is holding a knife.
The man explains to Foxy that in conclusion, the birth of a life who had obtained new life. “By itself, and also, all the living things underneath this universal sky, it means to be able to carry on. In any life, if there is no sacrifice, then one won’t be able to continue on.”
The gong is sounded. The priestess says that as a woman, one has to remember the numerous creatures that one has killed. “Please bestow the arrival of a new life. god, let me make a promise with you, until the time you need it, I’ll simply offer my life to you. *Saga closes her eyes and stabs the pheasant* Please let me produce an offspring in this place.”
The shrine maidens look happy while praying. Saga sadly holds the dead pheasant. Soon, there are firecrackers lit as the festivities resume. Men are carrying a huge pole with cloth tied into a bow covering it. Women are approaching the men around. A girl calls out to Foxy and tells him to quickly come and dance. Foxy is flustered that he doesn’t know what to do.
The man tells Foxy to go and take care, don’t have stage fright. And, the girl pulls blushing Foxy away. The man watches on as everyone are enjoying themselves. Somewhere else, Jamalta is carrying a rolled up cloth. He looks around and finds it strange for even if there is celebration, unexpectedly, there are no patrolling sentries [/soldiers].
“This place is quite near the god hall yet unexpectedly, there is not a soul in sight. Ah..although the affairs of the palace has nothing to do with me.. huh? *sees four women with hoods walking towards some place* the shrine maidens..” The door opens to a building with ropes and cloths hanged around the place. The maidens tell Saga to please go in.
Saga puts down her hood and looks into the dark place. One of the maiden says that Saga ought to know, right that at the final part of the coming of age ceremony is the waiting time. “You’ll be locked in this place for about 3 days. There is water to drink inside. Even if it is very hard but please, bear with it.”
Saga says that she knows already that it is like being locked up in the cave. The maiden says, about that princess.. This puzzles Saga that she asks what is it. As the door closes, the maiden says it isn’t such a scary thing. “Waiting at this place will quickly pass by. Even if you’ll be exhausted, but you definitely must experience it. It will be fine.”
Then, they lock the door. It is very dark inside. A masked man is standing beside her. Saga mutters, “I know already.” She looks surprised at the figure. The masked man says, “You know already? Ah- That’s great, then, let’s pass this pleasant time together, princess.” Saga looks shocked and aghast. Outside, Jamalta stops walking. He turns around and wonders, “What? Just now, there is a sound of screaming..”
Comment: And, the mangaka just have to end it there. ^^; I don’t think it is definite that Jamalta will be the one who’ll save her because that place is near the god hall where Mino stays. Of course, I’m not sure if Mino is already well or he is still sick after all the whipping. Maybe the two of them will save her?
I’m wondering if those maidens knew what will happen to Saga. It seems that they do since one of them probably wanted to say more but just told Saga something like it is not scary and it will be over soon. Saga’s nightmare is going to come true and she is getting closer to ending up like Nan.
As for the masked guy, it can be assumed that he is the Han guy whom Choegeum was talking to earlier on. It might be the exchange for the gifts and everything that Choegeum has been receiving from Han. And, he does remind me of Jason in that horror flick. Anyway, Choegeum already hinted that Saga will become a ‘woman’ after the ceremony. Since the man calls her ‘princess’, so he is definitely not Choegeum.
I guess Saga’s sad expression made Jamalta remember how he was when he was all alone in that snowy day. Those two brothers who saved him are most probably Machanyuta’s father and uncle. It turns out that Jamalta isn’t his real name. And, at such a young age, he is already a ‘criminal’ so Jamalta isn’t really the type who should be taken lightly.
It would be nice if he’ll be the one who’ll save Saga so that he can repay the ‘favor’ and of course, feel less guilty over what happened to Saga because of him. Also, that part is said to be imitating the legend of their origin so, I think it will be fitting that after that ‘trial’, she’ll come out with something blue. ^^
Saga did try her best to be brave and ask something from Choegeum but it is understandable how scared she can be in front of a perverted psycho. And, his threats shouldn’t be taken lightly for he can and will do it. I think this guy is hard to deal with because if Saga hates him, he will attain his goal. Saga has to somehow rise above that and not give in to what he wanted. And, I admit that will be difficult to do.
I think there is also a problem of what will happen after he/they save her. Choegeum will definitely have a fit if they do something to that Han guy. If caught, both Saga and Mino will suffer for it. Still, they have three days to escape or think of a plan since Saga is supposed to be locked up until then.
On a side note, it is a nice contrast on how two different ‘religions’ view women. The shaman’s religion is more on empowering women whereas the religion here is restraining women by making them endure being locked up in a cave for a long time due to some legend. Of course, whether the rape/sex is the original intention or not of the last part of the ceremony, someone twisted like Choegeum can use it to his own purpose. Scans by 水神汉化组
Quote of the day:
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. ~ Elie Wiesel