Berserk, volume 18, chapter 11
Translated from Japanese to English by Namirrha prior to 25 April 2001.
Last Revised, by Namirrha, on 29 April 2001.
Many thanks to Space Spoiler for the helpful comments in putting together the translation for this chapter. Thanks also to Olivier Hagué for the story ark and part translations.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate English translation, mistakes may none the less have been made. All such mistakes are, of course, purely unintentional.
Please feel free to distribute - via web page or otherwise - or edit this translation.
If changes are made to the script, which improve it, please make an effort to share such alterations with other Berserk fans, including email@example.com
Sounds within speech bubbles are generally just converted from kana into romanji. All such sounds are in Italics.
Rhetorical questions are punctuated with full stops rather than question marks.
Material in [ ] is either for informative purposes or additional/alternative text.
-Page 215 (01)-
[First panel shows a pleasant single bed in what is presumably a girl's bedroom. The room is dark, although light does spill in through the uncurtained window to fall across the foot of the bed and on to the floor beyond.]
Thought: It's not the roaring of the wind [more lit: It differs from the sound of a roaring breeze.]
Thought: It was more like the bellow of a monster resounding from the depths of the earth.
[A shape is huddled beneath the blanket on the bed.]
Thought: Whenever I hear that noise I return [more lit: Whenever that noise is heard I come (back)]
Thought: Because I'm the person cowering on the bed.
Thought: Having spent the night not being able to sleep.
[A young, oddly familiar, girl looks out, scared from beneath a blanket]
[The girl climbs out from beneath the blanket.]
Girl: The roaring……
[She now stands at the window]
Girl: The roaring.
Girl: And yet I realise as I draw near the window
Girl: My room faces
Girl: The town square [alt: towards the town square]
-Page 216 (02)-
[A single panel, showing us what the child must be seeing from her window - wavering shadows grouped around the light of a bonn-fire within which a figure appears to stand next to a pole surmounted by a bird - with wings extended - shape.]
Girl: A wonderful pillar of flame stands there. [alt: Out there stands a marvellous pillar of flame.]
Girl: Within the light that shines forth, innumerable shadows appear to sway. [alt: Within the light that is cast forth, countless silhouettes appear to sway.]
Girl: As though it were some sort of festival. ["Matsuri" means festival or feast, although the kanji can also be taken to mean "ritual".]
(Chapter of) The Birth Rite
Pillar of Flame
-Page 217 (03)-
[Back outside Albion Abbey where some heretics are just about to be executed - a hand is raised - by being burnt at the stake.]
-Page 218 (04)-
[It was Farneze's hand.]
Farneze: Start the fires!! [alt: Proceed!!]
[The flame catches quickly.]
[The observers stand slack-jawed as the heretics are engulfed by flames. Jerome also watches, from a position behind Farneze.]
Jerome: …eally [Jerome says "mattaku" here.]
-Page 219 (05)-
Jerome: How can she. Aa(h) So quickly. ["Hakihakito" means: briskly, promptly.]
Jerome: That woman, who is she to put a person's feet in fire. [alt: That woman, how can she put a persons feet in fire.]
[Jerome's comments have attracted the attention of a fellow knight.]
Knight: What's that. Sir Jerome, you know nothing about her? [alt: What's that. Sir Jerome, don't you know about her?]
Knight: They say that you can depend on the commander's extensive experience in matters of execution by fire. [The knight refers to Farneze as "the leader". I'm presuming that this means she is a knight commander rather than the Grand Master of the Order.]
Knight: The commander's childhood home [lit" the commander's house of birth] faces a town square.
Knight: I understand that although the times were prosperous, the Inquisition would come to that place and make use of it as a site for burning heretics at the stake. [Have here used "Inquisition" instead of the more literal "hunt for heretics" or the alternative "witch hunt".]
Knight: It is said that since early childhood [alt: They say that since the time of infancy]
Knight: the commander has, of her own accord, started the fires at places of execution.
Knight: It was also she who was handpicked to conduct the search for the Black Warrior.
Knight: (and) 3 years before that, at the Vatican, she seized a group of heretics who plotted rebellion and condemned them all to be burnt at the stake [alt: sentenced them all to execution by fire.]. It is said that this is why she held in such esteem. [I'm unsure about the last sentence. The knight is referring to Farneze's meritorious service, in the context of "something" being due to her meritorious service … I think!]
-Page 220 (06)-
Jerome: Gue(h)--- A real die-hard then.
Jerome: My God!
Azan: You there!
Azan: What are you prattling about!!
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): Be not disheartened by a difficult task. [alt: Do not lament a difficult task.]
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): Be not disheartened by people's understanding, nor that it is not obtained. [alt: Do not lament people's understanding, nor that it is not obtained.] [Does either make any sense!?]
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): Be not afraid of (a person's) death, nor of one's own death. [alt: Do not be afraid of (a person's) death, nor of one's own death.]
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): Be not covetous of reward for one's own gain. [alt: Do not seek reward for one's own gain.]
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): Be not suspicious of God. [alt: Do not question God.]
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): As a human being, let me shed blood of flesh and mind so long as I go on living (solely) for the good of God. [alt: As a man, let me shed blood from the heart and the flesh so long as I go on living (solely) for the sake of God.] [Re the "heart" and "mind" differences between the two"options", this is due to "kokoro" meaning heart, mind or core being used. As the flesh would seem to cover the heart, I prefer mind. That being said …]
Mozgus (Farneze's Memory): That is called faith.
Farneze: Be not in doubt!! [alt: Do not lose your way!!]
[The action changes to a young boy crying on the ground at the feet of some (non-knightly) onlookers.]
Young Boy: Dad…… [alt: Daddy……]
[The child turns at someone's approach.]
Voice (of Stranger): He he he
-Page 221 (07)-
[The stranger is revealed to be a large, cross-eyed man wielding a torch.]
Cross-eyed Man: He he Boy.
Cross-eyed Man: Your father was a heretic, wasn't he.
[He grasps the boy by the front of his shirt and pulls him up, towards his face and the burning torch.]
Cross-eyed Man: And you.
Cross-eyed Man: How do we know that you're not like your father?
[His bearded face now within a foot of the boy's face.]
Cross-eyed Man: If you can't prove that you're different.
Cross-eyed Man: (You) Listening. [alt: OK]
Cross-eyed Man: We'll throw you into the fire. [Not sure about this, due to the 'mina' following the te form of the verb.]
Cross-eyed Man: Am I telling the truth? [alt (more lit): Am I speaking with an open heart?] [Not sure about this.]
Cross-eyed Man: Look into the eyes of (all) those surrounding you. [Once again, the 'mina' following the te form of the verb 'means' that I'm not 100% certain about this.]
[The panel displays the crowd surrounding the boy. Some look nervous, others eager, some don't look at all!]
Cross-eyed Man: (They're thinking) If we don't throw him into the fire here (now) [Alt: If I don't throw you into the fire here (now).]
Cross-eyed Man: He'll betray us later. [alt: Later, you'll betray us.]
[The boy stares out at us, tears welling in his eyes.]
[Suddenly a slim blade appears at the neck of the cross-eyed man. Jerome turns slightly, startled.]
-Page 222 (08)-
Cross-eyed Man: Ihi..
[It is Serpico who wields the blade.]
Serpico: Don't worry.
Serpico: The boy is blameless.
Serpico: That was established on the eve of the father's trial. [alt: That was established at the time of the father's trial]
Cross-eyed Man: T that so.
[The cross-eyed man retreats, removing his hat to say…]
Cross-eyed Man: (Then) I'll bid him good day.
[The boy stares after the cross-eyed man, a look of contempt quickly changing to a body shaking rage.]
-Page 223 (09)-
Serpico: It was not my intention to place you under an obligation. [alt: You owe me nothing.]
[He walks away …only to glimpse the burning bodies. Feeling queasy he turns towards Farneze.]
Serpico: Pardon me, Commander Farneze. [I'm hoping here that I've referred to Farneze as a commander in previous chapter translations. As with Serpico, however, I'm not sure what rank Farneze may have within the Knightly Order of the (Holy) Iron Chain.]
Serpico: My physical condition has not improved.
[…says Serpico clutching at his head.]
Serpico: Would it be possible for me to take a small break?
-Page 224 (10)-
Farneze: ……All right.
Farneze: But it's also your responsibility to maintain your health.
[Serpico walks away towards the abbey.]
Serpico: I have no excuse. [alt: I can offer no excuse.]
[Two knights look on.]
Knight: Again. Whenever there's a burning (at the stake)…
Knight: He's away, resting.
[The next panel finds Serpico sitting on a bench under a high arched walkway, helmet off, staring at the ground before him. He looks up.]
Serpico: I knew it, no matter how hard I try.
Serpico: Only fire, it looks as though I still can't handle it, doesn't it.
[Jerome suddenly appears, to Serpico's surprise.]
Jerome: That was a good thing you did.
Serpico: You're Sir Jerome, if I'm not mistaken…
Jerome: As one would expect of a herald, you have a good memory. [alt: As one would expect, heralds have good memories (don't they).] [Serpico is here literally referred to as the "Coat of Arms Officer/Official". I'm sure a title more suitable than "herald" exists, I just don't know what it is!]
-Page 225 (11)-
[Jerome flops down onto the bench next to Serpico.]
Serpico: Why are you here?
Jerome: I decided to take a break, like yourself! But the break is just an excuse. (After all) How can I take part in such an ill-conceived task. [Needless to say, I'm somewhat less then enthralled by my efforts here. That being said, it was the best I could come up with. Re the second sentence, Jerome literally refers to the break as being "a sort of conspiracy".]
Jerome: Am I right?
Serpico: No. My health, in all honesty…
[Jerome jabbing/patting Serpico on the shoulder…]
Jerome: Come on ha ha.
Jerome: Well, it's not important. [Not sure about this.]
Jerome: You must be gentle to do something like that.
Jerome: At any rate, whilst this is not a pleasant place, I'm thinking why is it that you're the only one pale-faced.
Jerome: You're too modest. The business with that kid.
Jerome: You were the child's saviour. It was an act worthy of a knight. [alt: You were the child's ally. It was the act of a good knight.]
Serpico: Oh That…
Serpico: It had nothing to do with anybody else.
-Page 226 (12)-
Jerome: How's that?
[Jerome turns to face Serpico.]
Serpico: That boy and I have something in common. [alt: That boy and I are alike.]
Serpico: My mother was also condemned to burn at the stake as a heretic.
Serpico: 3 years ago.
Serpico: In front of my eyes.
[Jerome looks horrified … or is it disbelief!? He turns away from Serpico, scratching at the side of his face.]
Jerome: (As for) That, what (can I say) [The "can I say" part is guesswork.]
Serpico: Please don't tax yourself, because it's the truth.
[Jerome hastily rises to his feet. Bowing slightly…]
Jerome: I apologise! I have a bad habit of speaking without considering the feelings of others!
Jerome: I swear that I shall never divulge this information! Permit me to apologise in this formal manner, Sir Herald. [alt: …Most Worthy Herald.] [As previously noted I have rendered "monshôkan" (lit: crest/coat of arms officer/official) as "herald".]
Serpico: It's Serpico.
Serpico: And I accept. [alt: and therefore OK.]
Serpico: It doesn't suit you, acting nobly all of a sudden. [alt: Suddenly acting like a nobleman, it doesn't suit you.]
Jerome: He he…
Jerome: That's also often said to me by women.
-Page 227 (13)-
(Serpico rises to his feet.)
Serpico: Anyway, I'm going to slowly make my way back (to work). Thanks to you, I'm feeling much more at ease. [alt: …relaxed.]
Jerome: (H)m---Really. After this I'm going to a woman's place to get laid. [I'm being slack! Jerome mentions "after this" and "to a woman's place", but the remainder is guesswork. Never the less, I'm reasonably sure that the gist of this is correct. I think he says something along the lines of "getting all sweaty but doing it at a woman's place" … I hope!]
Serpico: Is that wise? Saying something like that to me, the herald…
Serpico: From what people say they'll keep to themselves. [Not sure about this. Kogaimuyô?]
Serpico: …Isn't that where my business comes from? [alt: …Isn't that my business?]
Serpico: Dear oh dear. [Serpico is making a 'tut-tut' exclamation here.]
Jerome: Understood. Please take it easy (OK).
[Jerome gives a wave as Serpico, helmet on head, moves away.]
Serpico: Thanks (again), I owe you.
[Serpico recedes into the distance whilst Jerome continues to look on.]
Jerome: [No idea! Jerome thinks something along the lines of "If I thought only goldfish…". Yes, that's right, goldfish! At any rate, the Acclimate Solution translation renders this and the next bubble collectively as "He also has problem."]
Jerome: He'd be carrying a lot [of goldfish], wouldn't he, that man.
Jerome: But wait.
Jerome: If it was 3 years ago, as he said…? [alt: Didn't he say 3 years ago…?]
Jerome: There's no way, surely…
-Page 228 (14)-
[Night has descended on Albion Abbey. Outside a wind moves, left to right, scattering ashes from what remains of the execution fires. In her chamber, Farneze, all but disrobed except for a pair of breeches, 'flops' down on her bed.]
[She turns to look at the fire, which burns brightly in the fireplace.]
Farneze: Whenever I stare at the flames, I remember…
-Page 229 (15)-
Farneze: (The) roaring.
Farneze: Once I notice it I make my way down the stairs towards the noise, which seems to call out to me.
[Child Farneze, in her nightgown, descends the stairs towards a set of double doors.]
Farneze: (The) roaring.
Farneze: The noise is dreadful, but…
Farneze: To the dreadful,
Farneze: Not being able to resist,
Farneze: I opened the doors.
[She looks out beyond the doors.]
Farneze: The walls of all the houses look like they're swaying. ["Yurameku" means? I have here taken it to mean "to have the appearance of shaking/swaying".]
Farneze: Groups of countless eerie shadows. [alt: Like…]
Farneze: The smell is of burning meat.
Farneze: Whether to cheer or to jeer, people spontaneously erupt. [alt: …cry out.]
-Page 230 (16)-
[Farneze stands surrounded by leaping shadows. Behind her, a woman, engulfed by flames, burns at the stake.]
Farneze: I knew that there were secrets hidden in the night.
Farneze: (That) if you were peel one thin layer from what we call the world, from (that place) there fear would roll forth. [alt: (That) if you peeled one thin layer from what we call the world, from (that place) there fear would roll forth.]
-Page 231 (17)-
Farneze: Suddenly, somebody passed me a torch.
Farneze: I threw it.
Farneze: (But) I felt only fear. [alt: (But) I was afraid.]
[The torch lands at the feet of the burning heretic. At the same time, shadowy figures leap up around her. Farneze turns in surprise.]
Farneze: A marvellous thing happened.
Farneze: The torch that I had thrown landed on the fire and at the same time the shadows appeared to start swaying.
-Page 232 (18)-
Farneze: Once more.
[She throws another torch. It also lands on the fire and again the shadowy figures leap.]
Farneze: I know! I know!
Farneze: When I throw this,
Farneze: The shadows will dance as it lands (on the fire).
Farneze: I threw.
Farneze: Over and over again.
Farneze: That night.
Farneze: (At) Those times the shadows looked as though they were swaying.
Farneze: Appearing to dance.
Farneze: Appearing to tremble.
-Page 233 (19)-
Farneze: I knew that if you were to peel one thin layer from what we call the world, from (that place) there fear would roll forth.
Farneze: (But) Now I'd found a way to escape (from) that fear.
Farneze: Lead them.
Farneze: Become one of them.
Farneze: If they dance, all is well. [alt: If they dance, I am good/well.]
[A variety of more distinct (human) shadows appear before her, including that of a priest.]
Shadow Person: A blessing.
Shadow Person: God's blessing is upon this girl.
Shadow Person: Well done, young miss.
Shadow Person: She is a pious child.
Farneze: Wasn't it, when the fire was hit.
Farneze: I started feeling this marvellous warmth at the abdomen.
[Child Farneze stands before the glowing embers, stuffed toy rabbit under one arm, her other hand resting at her abdomen.]
-Page 234 (20)-
[Back in Farneze's chamber, Farneze starts to masturbate; the flames of the fire, within the room, shifting under her gaze to show a burning, half-consumed corpse. She climaxes.]
-Page 235 (21)-
[Farneze clutches her legs to her body as tears start to flow across her face.]
Farneze: I am yet to be wrong. [I'm here working on the assumption that "~te hainai" is equivalent to "te inai". If this is not the case, then this should be "I am not wrong."]
CHAPTER 11 END