The last weeks of autumn had settled upon Ivgorod, and the first breath of winter had crept into the air. As night fell and the sun dipped below the horizon, I was all too grateful to take refuge in a tavern. As I entered, I noted a certain tension in the room. Despite the hour, it was not busy, with only scattered, small groups huddled at the tables around the edges of the room. The benches at the center of the room were empty except for one man.

艾夫哥罗德还有十天半月就要迎来冬天,而凉意已经迫不及待地在空气中弥散开来。此时太阳已经西下,我幸运地在天黑之前找到了一间可以落脚的小酒馆。然而一进门,我就感觉到屋内的气氛有点紧张。也许是时候还没到,这时的小酒馆里客人不多,只有零星的几撮人缩在房间角落的几张桌子边。屋子中间的几排长椅都空空如也,仅有一个男人独自坐在那里。

The man seemed ignorant of the cold. He was dressed like a beggar, wearing little more than an orange sheet wound around his body, leaving half of his chest exposed. A garland of large wooden beads hung around his thick neck. His head was completely shaved, with the exception of a wild bushy beard. Then, recognition struck me: upon his forehead he had a tattoo of two red dots, one larger than the other. As any informed student of the peoples and cultures of this world must also realize, this man was one of the monks of Ivgorod, the secretive and reclusive holy warriors of the country.

这个男人似乎一点都不怕冷。他全身上下只裹着一条橙色薄布,露出半边胸膛,除此之外就再没有什么别的了,简直就像个乞丐一样。他脖子上戴着一串大木珠,留着浓密的胡子,头发却刮得一根不剩。然后,我看见了那个标志性的文身:他的前额上有两个红点,一大一小。那么问题简单了,全世界的人都晓得,这样的人只有一种身份:他们是传说中过着隐居生活的神秘而神圣的战士,他们是艾夫哥罗德武僧。

I had heard countless fantastic stories about the monks, tales that were surely the beneficiary of significant embellishment. The monks' skin, the accounts said, was as hard as iron, impenetrable by the blade of any sword or by the point of any arrow, and their fists could break stone as easily as you or I would snap a twig. Though the unassuming man before me seemed miles away from what I had heard and read of the monks, I approached cautiously, sliding down onto the bench across from him, eager to take his measure. He beckoned me forward with a small wave of his hand.

我听过无数的关于武僧们的奇妙的故事,还有各种天花乱坠的传说。传言武僧们的皮肤如钢铁一般坚硬,刀剑飞矢都无法伤他们分毫,而他们的铁拳可以轻而易举的击碎大石。眼前这个男人与我想像中的武僧相去甚远,一点都看不出这种威风,可虽然如此,我还是小心的凑过去,在他对面的长椅上坐下,希望能仔细观察一番。这时,他向我招了招手。

Ah, a soul brave enough to sit with me. Come, friend."

"啊,一个敢于与我同席的灵魂。过来吧,朋友。"

"骨头断裂的声音夹杂着笑声,随着拳脚声传来,我几乎无法相信自己的耳朵,他竟然一边打一边大笑着!他一个接一个的放倒敌人,直到最后只剩下一个。"

Food was placed before me, but I had little hunger for it, focusing instead on recording the details of the monk's life. He told me of his belief in the existence of a thousand and one gods, gods he believed could be found in all things: the fire in the hearth, the water in the river and the air that we breathed. Pretty enough for a story, perhaps. But any reasoned individual must surely, as I did, scoff at such a view of the world as little more than superstition. He went on to describe his intense mental and physical training, his unending quest to hone his mind and body into an instrument of divine justice. Though I do wonder for what need his thousand gods would require a mortal man to implement their will. When I asked him why he did not carry a sword or, indeed, any weapon at all, he simply replied, "My body is my weapon." Then raising his hand and tapping his forehead, he added, "As is my mind."

食物被端了上来,但是我现在却对他们没多大兴趣,而是专注于记录下这武僧的生活点滴。他告诉我他相信一千零一神的存在,他相信他们无处不在:炉中跳跃的火,河中流淌的水,胸中呼吸的气,都是神的容身之所。也许这是个不错的童话,但是稍微懂事的人都会不屑于这种近乎迷信的世界观。他还跟我说了他所受到的艰苦的训练,精神上的和肉体上的,还有他需要终生磨砺自己身心以成就神之裁决的使命。我不禁暗暗想,这一千零一神又有什么理由要求一个凡人来实现他们的意愿呢?当我问他为什么没有带把剑,或者随便点什么家伙在身上的时候,他直截了当的回应道:"吾身即为武器,"然后抬起手点着他自己的额头继续说,"吾心亦为武器。"

Most unexpectedly, I would be treated to a display of this mastery.

而我万万没有想到,我竟然还能有机会亲眼见识这种超越的武者境界。


















A group of men approached our table, knocking my book to the floor and shoving me out of the way, producing knives and other weapons as they advanced. They were focused only on the solitary figure of the monk seated across from me. I scrabbled beneath the table, having an inkling of what was to come. I watched as at some unseen signal, they attacked.

一帮人朝我们这张桌子拥过来,他们把我的书撞到了地上,然后毫不犹豫的把我甩到一边,一边朝那武僧走去一边亮出了刀子和其他各种家伙。看来他们的目标仅仅是那孤身一人的武僧而已。我感觉到要出事,于是急忙钻到桌子底下。好像被什么指挥着一般,他们忽然扑了上去。

Without rising from his seat, the monk met the first man's lunging slash, grabbing his wrist and tossing him carelessly over his shoulder, throwing him into a table with a loud crash. The suddenness of the monk's attack momentarily stunned the men, and as they stood there, he rose.

那武僧就那么坐着,第一个挥刀朝他冲去的人被他抓住手腕然后毫不费劲的被扔了出去,那倒霉鬼落下来压碎了一张桌子,发出很大的响声。显然这群人没料到武僧会忽然来这一下,一下都呆住了,然后就在他们楞神的这一当儿,武僧站了起来。

That was when chaos broke out."

然后混战就爆发了。

Most unexpectedly, I would be treated to a display of this mastery.

而我万万没有想到,我竟然还能有机会亲眼见识这种超越的武者境界。

The monk was a fluid mass of restrained energy, meeting every attack with hardly a moment's distress. He fought with hands and feet in a way I had never seen before. In my days, I have witnessed my share of drunken bar brawls, but this was something else altogether. The sound of bones crunching with each of his strikes mixed with something I could not quite believe: the monk was laughing as he fought. One by one, he dispatched his foes until only one remained.

那武僧就如一大团柔韧的消解之力,毫不费力的卸掉每一次攻击。他手脚并用,而我之前从来每见过能这么打架的人。我当然见过不少酒吧里的醉汉打群架,但那些跟眼前的这个根本不能比。骨头断裂的声音夹杂着笑声,随着拳脚声传来,我几乎无法相信自己的耳朵,他竟然一边打一边大笑着!他一个接一个的放倒敌人,直到最后只剩下一个。

That one picked up a chair and hurled it toward the monk. The monk swung his arm forward and struck the incoming projectile, meeting the solid oak of the chair with his closed fist. The wood broke apart, splinters filling the air as the shattered pieces of the stool fell harmlessly to the ground around him.

剩下的那个人操起一张椅子朝武僧扔过来。武僧抡起臂膀然后一拳打在飞过来的那张橡木椅子上,然后那张椅子就整个碎掉了,碎片散落在他四周的地面上,木屑飞得到处都是。

"You don't fool me, demon," the monk spat. He pulled his arms back to his sides, then extended his hands before him and began to chant. A nimbus of white light appeared around his head, growing larger and more intense until it completely encompassed the monk's body. He roared, and the light blew outward. As it washed over the other man, his skin peeled away, revealing a red-skinned demon beneath and threw the creature through the front doors of the tavern.

"你骗不了我的,恶魔",武僧啐了一口,然后收回手臂,双手合十开始咏唱经文。他脑后出现了一个白色的光环,然后越变越大,直到光包围了他整个身体。接着他大喝一声,光也随之向前冲去。当那光扫过那剩下的敌人身上时,它的"皮肤"就剥落了,显露出一只红皮肤的恶魔,然后那恶魔就被那道光冲起,刚好从酒馆的前门飞了出去。

The monk hurtled forward, but his individual movements were too fast for my eyes to track. It seemed as though there were seven of him raining bl*** upon the demon from every side. Staggered, the demon stumbled. The monk grabbed the demon by the neck, grinning as he pulled his free arm back, crackling energy glowing on his open hand. He shoved his palm forward, and when it struck the demon, its body exploded: muscle, skin and bones tore apart, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air.

武僧以我看不清的疾速跟着冲了出去。在我看来就像有七个他同时从各个方向狂殴那个恶魔。那恶魔被打得满地找牙,很快就倒下了。武僧一把揪住那恶魔的脖子把它拎了起来,抽回另一只手,然后一咧嘴发力,一团能量一下子从他抽回的掌心迸发出来。他推掌向前击去,然后那掌打在恶魔身上的时候,它的整个身体爆裂了,一瞬间血肉横飞,我闻到了皮肉烧焦的味道。

I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own two eyes. It seems the stories of these peerless warriors might not have been as exaggerated as I first thought.

真的,如果不是亲眼所见,我永远也无法会相信有这样的事。也许坊间流传的关于这些独行战士的故事并不是像人们想的那么夸大事实的。

中文翻译:AFenixZ@uuu9.com || 专题制作:bloodconan@uuu9.com