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ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST – MIYUKI MIYABE

by Haikasoru

The boy was smiling.

Toto understood instantly. He wasn’t hiding from whatever it was everyone else had been looking at—he was playing hide-and-seek. Whatever happened to the people in this city had happened so quickly, he hadn’t even had time to realize that he was about to die.

Reluctantly, Toto admitted what he had known for some time already. This city was no grand work of sculpture. This was the reason why the mountains in the north were forbidden. This was the curse of the Castle in the Mist.

The master in the castle was capable of dooming an entire walled city in the space of a breath.

This was what Ico had seen. This was what he meant by “trouble”, why he was so determined to sacrifice himself for the village.

Arrow Wind gave a light whinny and rubbed his nose on Toto’s shoulder. Toto stood, rubbing the horse’s neck, unable to take his eyes off the stone boy. At the end of the street, he saw a stable. The horses were still inside, their manes a uniform ashen gray. Toto was acutely aware of Arrow Wind’s warmth beneath his hand, the softness of his mane, and the musty smell of him. He pictured Arrow Wind turning to stone, a cold grey like the other horses.

Arrow Wind whinnied louder, his front hooves lifting off the ground. Toto pulled on the reins and looked up at him, when he spotted something in the western sky—something that shouldn’t be. It was a thin, black mist, or perhaps a distant swarm of insects. As the mist drifted closer, it began to coalesce into a shape. He saw a broad forehead, the straight bridge of the nose, and flowing black hair. Finally, he saw a pair of eyes.

It was a woman’s face, covering the sky above him.

Toto heard a soundless voice.

Who are you?

Toto remembered playing once with Ico in a cave near the village. They had gone deeper than any of the other kids dared, and discovered an underground pool. The water was clear as crystal, and a faint light glowed at the bottom. Ico and Toto threw stones into the pool. The echoes of the splashes reverberated off the walls of the cave, followed by another splash, and another echo. They kept tossing stones, until the echoes overlapped one another, making a strange music that sounded almost like a vesper prayer. That was what this voice reminded him of—though the woman’s face hung in the sky, her voice seemed to echo from the depths of the earth. Or maybe she was speaking directly into Toto’s soul.

Who are you? Why are you here?

The woman’s lips twisted like pennants in the wind.

Intruder.

Now Arrow Wind reared and shook his mane, and the reins slipped from Toto’s hand. Before he could regain them, the horse galloped off madly.

“Arrow Wind!” Toto screamed after the horse.

The horse kicked his way through a crowd of stony faces. In the sky above, the woman turned her gaze to follow him. Lips of black mist pursed and she blew a gentle breath.

Toto felt an icy wind blow over his head. The breath swept down the street, catching Arrow Wind in an instant, and wrapping around his beautiful chestnut coat. Toto watched as his bushy tail, his hind hooves, his legs, and finally his back and mane turned to gray.

Arrow Wind’s scream ended abruptly; he was frozen in stone, front legs rearing up, hooves inches away from another of the stony city-dwellers.

Toto’s breath stopped. Arrow Wind—

“No!”

A scream ripped from Toto’s throat and he started to run. I have to escape. I have to get out of this place—away from her. I have to get out of here alive, back to my village.

Toto ran in a daze. He did not dare look behind him, but he could feel that face floating there in the sky, giving chase, the same way he understood without looking that the face was smiling.

31 Responses to “ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST – MIYUKI MIYABE”

  1. [...] #899 English translation of Ico:Castle in the Mist is being done by Alexander O. Smith! Here’s an excerpt! [...]

  2. dave says:

    Awesome. And I read that Alexander O. Smith has localized this. I’m looking forward to the release date!

  3. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  4. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  5. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  6. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  7. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story online. The short excerpt gives an excellent sense of the novel’s atmosphere, which [...]

  8. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story online. The short excerpt gives an excellent sense of the novel’s atmosphere, which [...]

  9. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story online. The short excerpt gives an excellent sense of the novel’s atmosphere, which [...]

  10. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  11. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story online. The short excerpt gives an excellent sense of the novel’s atmosphere, which [...]

  12. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story online. The short excerpt gives an excellent sense of the novel’s atmosphere, which [...]

  13. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  14. [...] t&#959 th&#1077 Japanese book printer Haikasoru, &#1091&#959&#965 &#1089&#1072n now &#609&#1077t a taste &#959f th&#1077 &#1109t&#959r&#1091 [...]

  15. [...] 16. Ho&#119&#101&#118er, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru,&#32&#121&#111u can now get a taste of the story [...]

  16. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  17. [...] out the full excerpt if you enjoy good literature and look forward to the North American release of Ico: Castle in the [...]

  18. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  19. [...] until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  20. [...] shop, is translating the novel and releasing it in the US this August. You can check out a excerpt here. I’m a huge fan of ICO and will probably pick it up… how about [...]

  21. [...] remaster), until August 16. However, thanks to the Japanese book printer Haikasoru, you can now get a taste of the story [...]

  22. [...] out the full excerpt if you enjoy good literature and look forward to the North American release of Ico: Castle in the [...]

  23. [...] esteja interessado em ver o estilo de escrita do livro, a editora disponibilizou um trecho, em inglês. ICO: Castle in the Mist estará disponível a partir de 16 de Agosto, por um preço [...]

  24. [...] esteja interessado em ver o estilo de escrita do livro, a editora disponibilizou um trecho, em inglês. ICO: Castle in the Mist estará disponível a partir de 16 de Agosto, [...]

  25. [...] The book’s list price is $15.99, but you can pre-order it now through Amazon for only $10.76. Read a brief excerpt here. [...]

  26. [...] If you’ve been eagerly anticipating the North American release of Ico: Castle in the Mist, you’ll be happy to know that it’s just over a week away. The novel, which expands upon the tale of the PlayStation 2 cult classic, offers vivid imagery through wonderfully descriptive words. Don’t believe me? Just check out this awesome excerpt. [...]

  27. [...] more info? You can check out an excerpt of the book here. It should prove to be a perfect warm-up for that ICO Collection due out in [...]

  28. [...] within the Castle’s walls?”Need more info? You can check out an excerpt of the book here. It should prove to be a perfect warm-up for thatICOCollection due out in September.ThatVideoGame [...]

  29. [...] more info? You can check out an excerpt of the book here. It should prove to be a perfect warm-up for that ICO Collection due out in [...]

  30. [...] providing English-language lyrics for the theme tunes to Final Fantasy IX and X. You can read a snippet of his translation here; the full novel will be available 08/16 for $US15.99 on the Haikasoru imprint, from your favorite [...]

  31. [...] more info? You can check out an excerpt of the book here. It should prove to be a perfect warm-up for that ICO Collection due out in [...]


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