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Translate the Note [Houren]

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#1Houren Vanadis 

Translate the Note [Houren] Empty Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:32 pm

Houren Vanadis
A mysterious note, written probably hundreds of years ago, in a language that people didn't even speak anymore; and translating it to Fiore's more common tongue was Houren's job for today. It seemed to him, a Fairy Tail mage that specialized in flames, that this job was more suited to a linguist that minored in history. If it was simply a case of reading a book and translating the note word for word though, then it was a job that even Houren was capable of. It wasn't his specialty, but then again, he had never taken a job outside of Magnolia before. In that respect, this was an appropriate time for him to reach out, leave his comfort zone and broaden his horizons. The note was stuffed in Houren's rucksack, gathering dust as he searched for the appropriate dictionary; the language was an old runic one, of the Valan variant. It was the tongue of older settlers in Fiore, and while you could find people who descended from the original Valan Rune speakers, it was not a language that was considered viable to learn. In Houren's opinion, even among the fluent speakers, it was a second or third language at most.

It took a bit longer than he would have liked but eventually, Houren managed to find the book that he was looking for. It was located at a relatively high shelf, but he wasn't almost two meters in height for nothing. Grabbing the book, he shuffled over to an empty table in the library and settled down, putting both dictionary and note in front of him as though he were cramming for a test. He opened the dictionary and began to browse through it, adamant to find the first word which seemed relatively simple. It was considerably more difficult than he had anticipated, as he could not simply access the dictionary as though it were arranged in alphabetical order. This was a runic language so it very clearly wasn't. Eventually though, after a stroke of pure luck, Houren managed to decipher some of the runes, working out that the very first rune stood for 'hare', as in the animal and not the stuff that grew on your head. This made the next rune somewhat easy, as he now knew that it was related to hare. At the very least, until all else failed him, Houren could, with confidence, disregard words that could not possibly be related to hare. After all, what was the point of him translating the note if it turned out to not make any sense? Unless his employer for this job was a person that is somehow able to make meaning out of nonsense, that is.


That was the meaning for the second rune, and ironically, it was also the second thing that Houren had guessed, believing ''hare meat'' to be just slightly less viable than ''hare's foot''. He shrugged, dismissing this revelation as being completely irrelevant to his life. It surely meant more to Luciel than it did to him, and for some reason, this encouraged Houren to look up the rune for the next word in the note. At first, Houren played around with the possibility that the next word was somehow related to first, that is, something to do with the meat of a hare. He tried looking for other types of meats, such as beef, pork and mutton and even moved on to less conventional types of meat such as horse and even fish, but it was a dead end after all. That is, until Houren found the rune for ox hooves and realized that it matched with the final bullet point in the note. Thus, the note currently looked something along the lines like this.

Hare meat, ?, ?, ox hooves.

Theoretically speaking, he had figured out about half of the note, but even so it was nowhere near coherent. He decided to figure out the second word again, this time completely deciding to go for broke instead of foolishly attempting to make sense of the note. The words in the note were clearly inconsistent with each other, at the very least, they were no consistent in a pattern that Houren would be able to figure out with the information given. He had not expected it to work at all, but it did; through randomly searching through words, Houren managed to figure out the rune for the next bullet point. It was cabbage, literally, the kind of cabbage that the masses liked to eat steamed or boiled, or fried, or however else people liked to cook their vegetables. Actually, this just made things easier, and while Houren was reluctant to start using a criteria for words, as he still somewhat believed in the inconsistency of the note, he decided to narrow his searches down to things that were, at the very least, edible.

Masterstroke or an inevitable find, regardless of what you wanted to call it, Houren's hunch had proven correct and he had finally managed to translate the entire note. In the following order, the note was literally ''hare meat, cabbage, potatoes, ox hooves'', in other words, it was a housewife's grocery list from what was probably medieval times. It was enough to put a damper on Houren's mood, as he had, for only a second though, genuinely believing he was undertaking a request of some importance. That turned out to not be the case. It was fine though, he supposed, as reading through a dictionary for hours on end in a language you did not even speak was strangely liberating. He had his doubts that it would be helpful anytime in the future, but his Valan Runic vocabulary had definitely improved. That meant little for his wisdom unfortunately, but he now found himself retaining information like a champ. He sighed and was about to put everything away when he realized the final instruction of Luciel's mission; that is, once he finished the request, he had been asked to leave the translated note on the table for her to collect a later stage.

With both hands on the table for support,  Houren stood up, neatly arranged the books in order before heading out of the library, fully aware that his payment would appear outside his inn door in the morning.


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