|Insert art, Sarasah Vol. 1|
Author's notes: I'll fill in the terminology as I type and insert as many pics as I can per chapter. The Chinese version doesn't seem to have chapter demarcations, so I'll just have to count them as I go along....
It's hilarious that the manhwa artist starts at the very beginning, and offers generations of wisdom to the eternal question, "What is love?" with this page:
|Shin Seung-Hyu via the heroine's "stalker vision." (-_-;)|
"We who are lovers run into strange capers." --William Shakespeare.
That day in March a strong wind blew on the opening ceremonies of the new school term, and he pierced through my heart.
That nobly placed nose.
That chin that makes you ache with want.
That gently arched eyebrow and sharp eyes. Ah.
And even though his body is still growing, its perfectly lean. Aaaahhhhh..... Oh, my Apollo....
From that day forward my eyes followed him without even realizing it. Like a flower drinking up the rays of the sun I worshiped him.
Even though I confessed and failed ten times...
Inset: "Do you not understand human language?"
And that's how it is between the two of us.
He's so gorgeous even when he's telling me off!
Even so, I absolutely will not give up! Even the founding fathers failed ten times! I will succeed on the 11th try!
Inset: "Are you a pretty boy groupie or something? If you come annoy me again I'll make sure you leave in a bag." (TN: the translator uses a Taiwanese phrase that's used to intimidate. Coincidentally it involves a sack, so I just improvised with body bag.)
Not only does he never accept my feelings, he won't even accept my gifts, and tosses them aside.
Just like that, one and half years passed….
"Our mutual love has existed for almost two years…how is that we haven't even progressed?" Ji-Hae asks her best friend Shin-Hui while they are on cleaning duty.
"It's not 'mutual love,' it's 'one-sided love'! Can't you even tell the difference between the two?" says Shin-Hui with a sigh.
"There are no such words to describe the depth of the love I feel. It's different from the love that ordinary people feel." (Not even listening)
"Oh, isn't that you self-appointed husband right there?" asked Shin-Hui.
"What?? Where? WHERE?!" gasps Ji-Hae. They spot Seung-Hyu just as someone calls him over to chat.
"Aaaah…" drools Ji-Hae. "He's such a work of art."
"You…don't you think you're reaching fanatical levels?" asks Shin-Hui, trying to keep her annoyance in check. (TN: The translator uses the phrase 'anthomaniac' which is someone who is crazy for flowers, or in this case crazed over flower boys/pretty boys/bishonen)
"OH! Is he with the student council president?!" says Shin-Hui excitedly. "Even though the student council president is handsome, he's going to be even more gorgeous when he grows up, don't you think?"
"Omigosh! Seung-Hyu smiled…!" (Ji-Hae's world through Seung-Hyu Vision)
(TN: Look carefully at this little insert and remember this guy. You can guess who it is after you finish Volume 1 *wink* <-- this is my ship…let it sail to infinity and beyond...)
"Seriously? That's true, you only have eyes for that bastard," sighs Shin-Hui.
"Aw, he's walking away…."
"It's already June," says Ji-Hae as they walk back. "It's already getting kinda warm. I guess summer will be coming soon…. OHMYGOSH!!"
"W-What?!" asks Shin-Hui, startled. "What's the matter??"
"It's JUNE! Today is the 8th. Next week is Seung-Hyu's birthday!" Shin-Hui just looks at her with a 'are you for real' expression on her face.
"Aaaahhh," Ja-Hae groans. "I didn't even prepare anything for him, what do I do? This isn't good. What should I do? You have to help me Shin-Hui!"
"Do NOT drag me down into the water with you! (TN: an expression that means, "don't use me as your life preserver," or a reference to water ghosts who drag their victims into the water to drown them.) "I will not do any back breaking meaningless crap for you. Don't you even get it? When you gave him gifts before did he even give it half a glance? It doesn't matter what you give, he won't accept it! So don't do anything else to annoy him. You just need to give up, Ji-Hae. I'm begging you."
But for whatever reason I can't give up… Right? If I give up now I will have wasted one and half years of my feelings for nothing!
Back home, Ji-Hae lies listlessly on her bed.
"Shin-Hui's right. He just won't accept any of my gifts. So what should I give him this time…" (TN: totally missing the point, Ji-Hae…)
She sits up suddenly. "That's right! I'll just do that!"
This time you're bound to accept me! Ohohohohohohoh…. (TN: girls, please have some self respect and don't ever be like Ji-Hae…I beg you)
The following week at school…
"ABSOLUTELY NOT! WHY THE HELL SHOULD I DO THAT??" says Shin-Hui angrily.
"C'mon…dearest, most precious friend of mine," Ji-Hae cajoles. "Just this once! I will repay you handsomely."
"I don't need it!"
"You're really not gonna help me?" asked Ji-Hae sweetly. "Aren't you a fan of the novelist, 'Mandarin'?
"W-What does that…?"
"Tadaaa!" exclaims Ji-Hae as she holds up a novel First Moon.
"Omigosh! This is Mandarin's first ever published work! I've been searching everywhere for this! How did you get your hands on it??"
"This you don't need to know," says Ji-Hae, slapping her friend's reaching hands away. (It belongs to her sister… -_-;) "What do you say? Just help me and this is yours." The book sparkles before Shin-Hui's eyes.
"You…." says Shin-Hui, gritting her teeth. She lifts up an enormous scroll into her arms and shouts, "DON'T EVER THINK I'M GOING TO DO THIS CRAP FOR YOU AGAIN!"
That afternoon, as the boys are our playing basketball during recess…
"What's that banner thing?" asks a student.
"Wow, Shin Seung-Hyu, I think you need to take a look at this," teases another boy.
The banner reads: "Shin Seung-Hyu, thank you for being born into this world!" Seung-Hyu just stares at it in silent, shocked fury.
"You da man!" teases another classmate. "What did you do to make someone do that for you?"
"Now that it's come to this, you should just accept the person, right?" asks another. "If you let it continue like this, heaven knows what she'll do next."
"MOVE," says Seung-Hyun as he pushes past them.
That's right, I have to end this today…
"He's coming! He' coming!" exclaims Ji-Hae happily from the window. "Good job Shin-Hui! Even your placement is spot on!"
"Of course it is," grumbles Shin-Hui as she clutches at a rope. "Just shut it."
As the others in the classroom wonder what the two are up to, Ji-Hae thinks, I have to take advantage of this opportunity.
That fanatic is in Class 4 isn't she? (TN: such an unlucky number b/c it sounds like the word "death"….)
Seung-Hyu notices a paper mache ball attached to the ceiling and as he approaches Shin-Hui pops it open to release confetti and feathers. A note flutters down to his feet.
It reads, "You are mine. You'll never escape me." (TN: this creepy phrase is so much more meaningful when you understand when their twisted fate began.)
Ji-Hae snaps some photos as Seung-Hyu stands there speechless.
"This is so great! It's just so beautiful! It's really too moving!" Ji-Hae gushes. "This is all so awesome. I knew it would turn out like this! Were you surprised? You were, weren't you? I just didn't know what to give you for your birthday this time, not to mention you never accept any of my presents."
"You leave me no choice but to do this," says Seung-Hyu cooly. "You just don't understand how I…"
Seung-Hyu grabs the camera and smashes it against the wall. Ji-Hae screams.
"Do you want to be like this camera?" There's only hate in his voice. "You don't even bother taking a look at yourself in the mirror and see just how ugly you are before doing things that repulse others. Are you listening? I don't even want to see you. Every time I see you my whole body's revolted." He kicks up her skirt.
"And now that you've done this today, I will be the laughing stock of the school for at least another year! This is the last time we will meet face to face. Will you leave? Or should I? Ah, that's right…even if I tell you to get out of my sight you won't right? I'm going to go to a place where I can get as far away from you as possible!"
He turns to leave. "You get what you deserve."
No… I have to say something…. Ji-Hae stares silently. I can't let it end like this!
"I'm sorry!" she cries, running after him. "I didn't know you wouldn't like it. I won't do it again, it's all my fault. Don't be angry, OK? I'll leave, I'll transfer schools!" She reaches out to cling to his sleeve.
"Don't touch me!" he yells, and pulls away. Ji-Hae falls forward in her haste towards the stairs. As she falls, she reaches out to Seung-Hyu for support but he shirks away and simply watches her fall downward. (TN: Jerk.)
"JI-HAE!" screams Shin-Hui as her friend lies lifeless at the bottom of the stairs, blood flowing from her head.
"Call 1-1-9! Right now!" someone cries.
"Blood! Is she dead?" asks another.
"What?? Who's dead?!"
This is what she deserves….
TN: And that is how Ji-Hae left our world. I know she seems like a joke and a major pain in the ass, but bear with me...
Somewhere in a distant place...
"Open the door!" says Ji-Hae pounding on a large, archaic looking, wooden gate.
"Is anyone in?" Silence.
"Where is everyone?" Ji-Hae, dressed in a white shift, runs around the white stone wall. "Ah, I couldn't be dead! That can't be true, right?" She keeps running. "Just what kind of house is this? Where the heck is the end of the wall?"
"Waaaaaah...!" She comes to a halt before a vast field of beautiful flowers.
"How is this garden so huge? Or, did I just walk onto a flower farm?" she asks as she crouches down to touch one particularly unique one. "This one looks so different."
"Let go of that right now!" someone shouts and a spear bops her on the head. "Is this the kind of place you can just casually walk about?!" a man dressed in archaic style clothing demands.
"I'm sorry!" Ji-Hae apologizes as she nurses the bruise on her head. "The flowers were just so pretty...."
"You're human," the man says in surprise. "What's your name?"
"Namgeung Ji-Hae. Oppa, what's yours?" Ji-Hae asks. (TN: using the common form "oppa' in reference to a girl addressing a boy older than she)
"My name is too great to reveal to the likes of you, got it?" he says haughtily.
"Whatever, I don't need to know," says Ji-Hae losing interest.
"I am the guardian of the Western Heaven's Flower Garden! I am Hanrak Gongee!" (TN: a minor deity)
"Hanrak Gongee? That's a weird name," says Ji-Hae.
"What did you just say you rude little--!"
"What's going on, Hanrak Goongee-nim?" Ji-Hae turns to see a beautiful goddess holding a fan.
"Lady Gameungjang!" (TN: Prolly a reference to Xi Wangmu, literally Western Queen Mother of heaven) "Well...something happened..."
"Ah, it's a human. What you doing here?" asks the goddess.
"Me? Well, I was just at school and I fell down a flight of stairs and I have no memory of what happened after but I just ended up here when I woke up. So even if you ask me what I'm doing here...I can't really answer that."
"It seems she was struck so hard her brains were left behind..." whispers the goddess to Hanrak Gongee.
"Am....Am I dead?? Don't tell me I already know!" exclaims Ji-Hae in panic. "I fell from those stairs and died! No wonder I'm wearing such funny clothes and I can totally see clearly even though I'm not wearing my glasses!
"Hey, human! Would you just stop making so much noise?!" Hanrak Goonghee dials up the grim reaper on his cell. (TN: ^__^ That's funny. If you read Antique Gift Shop you would be familiar with Kangrim)
"Is this Lord Kangrim? It's me, Hanrak Goongee. Did you happen to lose a soul over there? I have an annoying little soul running around the palatial gardens."
"A soul? Let me see."
Hanrak Gonghee shows Ji-Hae as she poses for the cell phone screen. Lord Kangrim enters her image into his computer to search. "This isn't our problem. That kid isn't dead. Just send her back to the human realm." *beep*
"So that's what happened," sighs Hanrak Gongee. "Hey! Human! Just go back, you're not dead."
"Hurry up and return to your body! It's not your time to die!" he says in frustration.
"Oh..." says Ji-Hae. "I.... I don't want to!"
"What the heck--?"
"I DON'T WANT TO! I DON'T WANT TO LIVE ANYMORE! WHAT WOULD I GO BACK FOR? THE ONE I LOVE WILL NEVER EVER ACCEPT ME! I'VE WANTED TO DIE FOR SO LONG NOW!" she cries as she crumples to the ground. (TN: Please don't ever be this hopeless. No matter what, tomorrow's another day and never ever think that death is the only option. Please get help.)
"IDIOT! YOU'RE NOT DEAD YET!" yells Hanrak Gonghee.
"Well then, we'll just have to change that!" says Ji-Hae trying to strangle herself. "Like this! Take that!" (TN: Oh, Lordy...)
"What do we do with this moron?" he asks Lady Gangmeungjang.
"Wait a moment, Hanrak Gonghee-nim," she says gently. "Girl, come here."
Lady Gangmeungjang touches Ji-Hae's forehead and sees what happens to her. She pulls her hand away and sheds tears for Ji-Hae. "Namgeung Ji-Hae..." The goddess hugs her close. "I know everything, you poor thing. At this rate you will never be able to accept that you must seal away your heart. It goes without saying that I can feel your pain...."
"I..." Ji-Hae starts to tear up. "Every time Seung-Hyu rejected me, I acted like I could deal with it. Otherwise, I'd never be able to show my face in school again. I don't even know when it started, by my heart is already so tired... But Seung-Hyu doesn't want to ever see me again! If I go back now, I'll just hold that memory and that pain with me as I live on. I don't want to go on living with Seung-Hyu hating me. I don't know what I ever did to deserve this kind of pain...?"
"Namgeung Ji-Hae. You poor thing. Even I can't keep watching you like this. So! I'll give you one chance."
"Everything that happens, happens for a reason. You and the one you love one-sidedly had a misunderstanding, long ago, in a previous life, so.... Therefore there is only one way to change your fate." Lady Gangmeungjang starts to glow. "That is, you must go back to the beginning!"
"Lady Gangmeungjang! Even if you are Queen of the Western Heavens, how can you do this? You can't just randomly change someone's fate, right??" objects Hanrak Gonghee.
"Who do you think you're addressing?" asks Lady Gangmeungjang cooly. "Everything in the human realm that deals with human life is within my domain. So I definitely have the right to do this."
"But to act for this reason...?!"
"Hanrak Gonghee-nim!" says Ji-Hae, clutching his sleeve. "Please help me. Maybe in your eyes this reason is difficult to accept, but to me, love is the most precious feeling. Every time he told me I annoyed him I felt like my world was imploding."
"Hanrak Gonghee-nim," says Lady Gangmeungjang. "Do you still remember the feelings you held when your mother passed? And wasn't it for your deceased mother that you planted all of these flowers here? Even though it's not the same kind of love, still, your hearts are the same. I think this child was meant to meet us, and it was no coincidence."
Hanrak Gonghee pauses a moment, then relents, "Fine. I understand. Namgeung Ji-Hae, changing your fate is no easy task. You might even make it worse. Knowing this, are you still resolved to do it?"
Hanrak Gonghee picks a flower from the field and blows on it gently. "This flower will grow with love. Every time to receives feelings of true love, it will slowly open. When it is fully blossomed, you will be able to return." He shoots the stem directly into her heart and it glows and burns until it disappears.
"Here, this is for you," smiles Lady Gangmeungjang giving her a glowing ball of light.
"This is a little something to help you." She spreads open her fan and opens an arc across the sky and Ji-Hae is sucked into it.
"I wish you good fortune, Namgeung Ji-Hae," says Hanrak Gonghee.
"May your flower blossom soon," says Lady Gangmeungjang in prayer.
|Somewhere in the galaxy, you hear her screaming in the distance.... (TN: this insert was so funny)|
|The beautiful Lady Ari, Ji-Hae's past life.|
"Hmm... I did say I would participate, but I didn't say I would go hunting with you, did I?" she says disdainfully.
Tch...she's so disagreeable...
They sure like to kill things don't they? It's like they're not even listening to the Bhuddist teachings!! Overhead, the sky rumbles again and the clouds gather more thickly overhead.
There it is again.... Is it going to rain?
Suddenly overhead a flash of lightning appears and strikes her down. In that moment, Ji-Hae arrives and occupies her body. She slowly opens her eyes and immediately feels nauseous.
"Gawd, I'm gonna puke!" Ji-Hae/Ari exclaims as she gets on her hands and knees and wretches to one side and then falls over when finished. "I'm gonna die...I'm so dizzy." She looks up to the sky and notices she in a wooded area. "Where is this place?" Ari takes locks of her hair into her hand. "I have such long hair...?" She notices her long sleeves.
She sits up when she realizes what's happened, but her headdress sends her falling forward onto her face again. "What the heck?! It's freakin' heavy! This is so not my style." She then proceeds to chop off her hair with a knife that was hanging by her side and reverts back to her more modern look.
"Well, I've come back to life," she says, looking around.
All right! Let's do this!
Sarasah Vol. 1, Chapt. 1 end
Author's notes: I really like stories that have to do with karma and reincarnation as well as ancient Eastern mythology. Ji-Hae will grow on the readers, but yeah, she is totally hopeless when the story begins. I can't say if she truly ever redeems herself but her selfishness and foolhardiness don't really go away. She's not really all that considerate and she really only thinks of her mission and doesn't care about much else. I can't really fault her either, since that's what she was sent to accomplish.... But if she would just open her eyes a little wider.... she might gain a better perspective!