Forgot to post this yesterday, but I read 人魚禁漁区, the second story in 竜のかわいい七つの子.
A boy, Jun, happens across a mermaid on the side of the road, unmoving but seemingly alive, and calls for help to get her back in the water. The next day at school, he hears one of his classmates talking about how he’d run over a mermaid on his bike on the way to school yesterday—she was likely the same one. In this world, mermaids are regarded as animals and pests with whom humans compete for fish, and if you harm or even kill a mermaid, you don’t even get a slap on the wrist. There are people who fight for mermaids to have human rights, but they’re generally looked down on by society. Jun finds himself sympathizing with them, though. When he sees the mermaid again that afternoon, determined to make her way out onto the road, he decides to help her rather than leave her well enough alone as he’s been advised. He takes her to the school, where she’d been trying to get to, in a wheelbarrow filled with seawater, and afterwards, as thanks, she stuffs a bucket over his head and tries to take him to her home at the bottom of the sea, but of course, a bucket can’t hold air underwater and he would drown, and he manages to get away. He decides that he wants to become an ocean researcher and learn more about mermaids. I hope he gets to meet her again in the future and they can learn to communicate properly (and maybe fall in love?)
I’ve been thinking about starting DQXI in Japanese for a while now, and I finally started it yesterday! I named the Luminary エリオル (Elior), as that’s what I went with for his full name in the single fic I have completed for this game, which came about because I was wondering in what kind of circumstances Erik/Camus would even use his full name. (I usually call him El, and if I make a second save file, I’ll probably go with エル.) The game actually has the option to play with or without furigana, which can be changed at any time from the settings menu, which is pretty cool. I’m sticking with furigana for now. It also has the English voices, which I wasn’t expecting. There are definitely words I’ve had to look up, but I haven’t really been having any trouble so far aside from my slow reading speed—I miss like half the in-battle text, I have yet to be able to read even a quarter of one of the info cards on the loading screens, and it took me nearly 6 hrs to almost be ready to enter デルカダール城. The books actually give me more trouble than talking to the people.
Also I learned a new pronoun: 汝 (なんじ), an archaic form of “you.” It has multiple other readings as well, some of which are respectful, polite, or derogatory. It was used by the guy who gives you your first quest, as part of a saying telling one to be kind to everyone.
Some vocab of note:
擬態 (ぎたい) [noun] mimicry
匍匐前進 (ほふくぜんしん) [noun, する verb] crawling along
猫車 (ねこぐるま) [noun] wheelbarrow. I already knew 手押し車, so now I know two words!
餌付け (えづけ) [noun, する verb] artificial feeding; accustoming wild animals to eating food given by humans
アザ [noun] birthmark
月日が経つ (つきひがたつ) [expression, タ五] time passes; the days and months go by; the months roll on
元も子もない (もともこもない) [expression] losing everything; coming to nothing
ふきだし [noun] speech bubble. I saw it written in kana all but once, when a デルカダール guard used the kanji: 吹き出し.
首を長くする (くびをながくする) [expression, する verb] to eagerly look forward to
石畳 (いしだたみ) [noun] stone paving; cobble paving; cobblestone; flagstone
神秘的 (しんぴてき) [な-adjective] mysterious; mystical
まんざらでもない [expression] not all bad; not as dissatisfied/annoyed as one would have others believe
足手まとい (あしでまとい) [noun, な-adjective] impediment; burden; encumbrance; hindrance
退ける (しりぞける) [一, transitive] to repel; to drive away; to repulse; to reject. New reading for this kanji! I only knew のける, which, of course, being different words, has a somewhat different meaning.
欠かせない (かかせない) [expression, い-adjective] indispensable; vital; fundamental; imperative; crucial; critical
全滅 (ぜんめつ) [noun, する verb] annihilation; total destruction; crushing defeat
太刀打ち (たちうち) [noun, する verb] crossing swords. competing against; contending with; fighting against.
古今東西 (ここんとうざい) [四字熟語, noun] all times and places; all ages and countries