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Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 01

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Curiosities of lotus asia ch01 03.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia ch01 04.jpg

銀色の雪化粧をほどこされた冬の幻想郷。
「香霖堂」を名乗る道具屋の主人・森近霖之助のところに、
その日も巫女が訪れた。服の修繕を頼まれた霖之助は、
彼女の荷物にあった三冊の本に強く惹かれるのだが……。
「東方」シリーズ原作によるオリジナルストーリー、遂に登場!

Gensokyo, blanketed in winter's silver snow.
Rinnosuke, the owner of an antique store by the name of Kourindou, receives a visit from a shrine maiden once again.
Rinnosuke takes up her request to mend her clothes.
However, he is deeply intrigued by the three books in her possession as well...
An original story based on the Touhou series has finally begun!

幻想郷の巫女と十五冊の魅力 前編

Gensokyo's Shrine Maiden and the Fifteen Fascinating Volumes (First Half)

 昼下がりの白銀の幻想郷 (げんそうきょう)

Gensokyo shines with silver in the early afternoon.

 手付かずの自然に白い雪がしんしんと降り、幻想的な壮観を見せていた。遠くで妖怪の悲鳴の様な鳴き声だけが聞こえる。

Pristine snow gently falls, covering the earth and transforming Gensokyo into a magnificent spectacle. The only thing that could be heard were the cries of youkai far off in the distance.

 道は誰の足跡も付いていない新雪で (おお) われてる。この辺りまでは人間が訪れる事は余り無いのだ。

The road was blanketed in fresh snow, without the imprint of a single footprint. Humans seldom travel through this path.

 道無き道を進むとようやく不思議な建物の店が見えてくる。主人は外の世界のストーブで暖を取りながら、意味も判らない本を読んでいるに違いない。いつもそうやって暇そうにしているのだ。

Beyond this pathless road, a mysterious building stands. While the owner absorbs heat from a nearby stove originating from the outside world, there is no doubt he is reading an incomprehensible book. It seems he has plenty of time on his hands, for this is a common occurrence.

 店内には外の世界の品も多い。幻想郷は外の世界で言う明治時代に隔離されたが、その後の時代の品も多数有る。 (ほとん) どが用途不明の品だった。

There is an abundance of goods and items from the outside world in this shop. Gensokyo is in what the outside world would call the Meiji Era (1868-1912), but there are many items here that belong in subsequent times. The purposes of most of these items are unknown.

 店の看板には[1]香霖堂 (こうりんどう) の文字。古道具屋「香霖堂」はそこにあった。

"Kourindou" is written on the shop's sign. This is where the antique store, Kourindou, stands.

霖之助 (りんのすけ) さん?」

"Rinnosuke?"

 久々に店"誰か来た様だ。僕はまだ本を読みたかったがお客様は神様だ。居留守を使う訳にも行くまい。

It appears that the store has a visitor for the first time in a while. I wanted to continue reading, but "customers are gods", so I couldn't just pretend to be out.

「居るんでしょ?」

"You're in there, aren't you?"

 赤い服を着た神様は、僕が居留守を止めるまでもなく既に後ろに居た。

The goddess dressed in red had no need to bother preventing my potential ruse as she was already behind me.

「なんだ霊夢か。勝手に居間まで上がってくるなっていつも言っているだろ?」

"Oh, it's just you, Reimu. Don't I always tell you not to just walk into my living room uninvited?"

「そんなことより聞いてよ。 (ひど) い目に () ったんだからー……」

"Forget that, just listen to me. I ran into a bit of trouble, so..."

 これだ。目の前の赤い少女は人の話を聞かない。少女の名前は博麗霊夢 (はくれいれいむ) という。幻想郷で唯一の巫女[2]だが本当に巫女かどうか疑わしい行動も取る。言い遅れたが僕の名前は森近 (もりちか) 霖之助。古道具屋を営んでいる。霊夢は肩の雪を払いながらやや早口で語り始めた。

This is her. The girl in red before my eyes who doesn't listen to a word anyone says. Her name is Reimu Hakurei. She's the only shrine maiden in Gensokyo, but from her actions one would doubt whether she's truly a shrine maiden or not. Pardon the late introduction, but I'm Rinnosuke Morichika. I run this antique store. As Reimu brushed the snow off her shoulders she started chattering away.

「今日、人里まで買出しに出かけたんだけどね。買出しの内容? お茶が残り少なくなってね。死ぬ (ほど) (つら) くなる前に買っておこうと思って……。まぁ死にはしないけど、って人の話聞いてるの?」

"I went out to the village to shop today. For what? I was running out of tea, so I figured I should buy some before the lack of tea gets bad enough to kill me. Well, I won't die, but-- Hey, are you listening to me?"

 君が聞かないから僕も聞いてないよ、と答えたかったが、ああ聞いてるよ、と答えた。

"You don't listen to me, so I'm not listening to you," is what I wanted to say but, "Yeah, I'm listening," is what came out.

「でね、良いお茶は無かったんだけど……。あ、関係ないけど、里の道祖神 (どうそじん) 様が雪に埋もれてたわ、誰が傘当番だったのかしらね。道にも迷うわ。そういえばあそこの道祖神の神体は何だっけ?」

"But, you know, there wasn't any good tea... oh, this doesn't have anything to do with it but the traveler's guardian deity in the village was completely covered in snow, I mean, who the heck was in charge of the umbrella? Wait, which god was it anyway?"

 さて。ちょっと誘導してやらないと、用件に辿り着く前に神武 (じんむ) 天皇の話まで飛びそうだ。

Well, it looks like if I don't give her a little push in the right direction, the conversation will diverge off into discussing the first emperor of Japan.

(さえ) の神、里を災いから防ぐ神だよ。酷い目に () ったって、何が有ったんだい?」

"The God of Harm, who prevents catastrophe from occurring in the village. You said you ran into trouble, so what happened?"

「ま、買い物は何事も無く終わったんだけど」

"Well, I finished shopping without anything really happening."

 何事もなかったのか。

Without anything happening, huh?

「その帰りにね、妖怪が呑気 (のんき) [3]に座っていたのよ。それに楽しそうに本を読んで!」

"But then on the way back, a youkai was just sitting there minding its own business. And it was enjoying a book, too!"

 「別に良いんじゃないのか?」と言ってみたが無視された。

I tried to say "Isn't that all right? It's not a big deal," but I was ignored.

「何となく不意打ちで退治しようとしたんだけど、そいつ反撃してきたのよ。生意気にも強くてねぇ。まさか後ろから妖弾を出すとは思わなかったし。私も油断してたから……」

"I tried to exterminate it with a surprise attack, but it retaliated! It was pretty cocky and kind of strong. I let my guard down, so I didn't expect shots to come from behind..."

 妖怪の方が災難だったとしか思えない。しかし不意打ちしておいて油断してたって彼女に何が起こったのだろう。

One can only think that the youkai was the unfortunate one. But I wonder what happened, if she was the one who did the surprise attack yet let her guard down.

「霖之助さん、人の話聞いてる?」

"Rinnosuke, are you listening?"

「ああ、聞いてないよ。」

"Yeah, I'm not."

「……でね、まぁ、そいつはけちょんけちょんに退治して来たんだけど」

"...Well, anyway, I beat the stuffing out of it and then came here."

 どう答えても同じだったらしい。霊夢は、「ほら!」と言って後ろを見せ、こっちを向いて頬を (ふく) らました。

Seems that no matter how I replied, I'd get the same response. Reimu turned her back to me and said, "See!" and puffed her cheeks.

「このスカート、こないだ新調してもらったばっかなのに……」

"And I just got this skirt, too..."

「見事に切れているな。なるほど図々しくもそれを僕に直せという訳だ。」

"That's quite a tear. I see very well why you want me to fix it."

「今すぐにね」

"Right now."

 はいはい。霊夢が寒そうに見えたので、ストーブ脇にもう一人分のスペースを空けた。

Yes, ma'am. Reimu seemed cold, so I made space for one more beside the stove.

「今すぐ、ってそんなに早く[4]は仕上がらないよ。取り敢えずこっちに座り……」

"I can't possibly mend it that fast. Just sit here for..."

 パタパタパタ……。

*Footsteps*

「この服借りるわねー。着替えるからちょっと待ってて」

"I'll just borrow these clothes and change, so hold on a bit."

 居ない。また勝手に店の奥の方に入っていった様である。本当に勝手な奴だ。

Gone. She walked right into the back of the store again. She is truly an audacious one.

 やれやれ。僕は席に戻り、読みかけの本を取ろうとした――、が、伸ばした手は空気を (つか) んだ。本は少し高い所に浮いていたのだ。

Sheesh. I headed back to my seat and decided to continue reading my book, but my stretched out hand grasped nothing but air. The book was floating above.

「何読んでいるんだ? 香霖。」

"What'cha readin', Kourin?"

 黒い影が言った。今日は朝から湯飲みが欠けたりして、嫌な予感がしてたんだ。

A black shadow spoke. I've had a bad feeling about her showing up ever since my teacup went missing this morning.

「あのなぁ。いつも言ってる事だがー」

"Hey, I always say this, but--"

「勝手に上がってる来るな。[5]だろ?」

"Don't just waltz in here. Right?"

 どいつもこいつも……。目の前の黒い少女の名前は霧雨 (きりさめ) 魔理沙 (まりさ) 。ちょっと言葉使いが独特な魔法使いである。霊夢とは仲が良い。よく店に来るが、用が有るのか無いのか判らない。

Every single one of them... The girl in black before my eyes is Marisa Kirisame. A magician whose speech is a little unique. She gets along well with Reimu. She's a frequent visitor to the store, but I can never tell if she has any business or not.

「今日は何の用だ? 魔理沙。」

"What're you here for today, Marisa?"

「この本、まるで内容が判らないな。おっと、用は無いが帰らないぜ」

"I don't really get this book. Hup! Nothin' much, but I ain't goin' anywhere."

 用は無いのか。魔理沙は (ほこり) 位払えよと言いながら、売り物の (つぼ) の上に腰掛けた。

Nothin' much, huh? As she said that, she brushed off the dust on a pot for sale and sat down on it.

「……それはシリーズ物の十二冊目だ。ここに積んである本の続きだよ。それだけ読んでも判らんだろう」

"...That's the 12th volume of a series, the continuation of the books piled up here. You wouldn't be able to understand that book without reading the ones before it."

「あー、『非ノイマン型計算機の未来』? タイトル見ても何の事言ってるのか想像も付かないぜ」

"Oh, 'The Future of the Non-Neumann-Type Computer'? Man, I can't even figure out what it's about by the title."

「外の世界の魔術書だ。君には縁の無い話だろうが僕には興味が有る」

"It's a spell book from the outside world. You probably wouldn't be interested at all but I am."

「うーん、外の魔法……。それってどんな魔法なんだ? 香霖」

"Hmm, spells from the outside world... What kinda magic is that, Kourin?"

「まだ読んでいる途中なのだが……コンピューターといって、計算式を使い、命令通り使役 (しえき) 出来る物らしい。これは言うまでもなく式神の事だよ。まぁ、その式が何の力を利用しているかはよく判らないんだが。」

"I'm still in the middle of reading it, but... they use calculation familiars called "computers", and those do exactly as they're ordered. Of course, those are clearly shikigami, but I'm still not quite sure what kind of power they use."

「ふーん、式神か。……あれ? こっちの荷物は霊夢の物じゃないのか? 霊夢が居るのか?」

"Shikigami, huh? ...Hey, isn't this Reimu's stuff? She here?"

 魔理沙は式神には興味が無いのか、話題を切り替えようとした。僕はさっき霊夢が来たいきさつを話した。魔理沙は霊夢らしいな、とか相槌 (あいづち) を入れつつ霊夢の荷物を (いじ) っている。彼女はその荷物から三冊の本を取り出した。

Either Marisa wasn't interested in shikigami or just wanted to change the topic. I told her the details of Reimu's arrival. I said, "You're kind of like Reimu," or some other conversation filler while she dug around Reimu's belongings, and pulled out three books in them.

 僕は軽い衝撃を受けた。その本はこの十二冊の本と同じシリーズ物だったのだ。何で霊夢がそんな物持ってるんだろう……。

I felt a light jolt. Those books are part of the same series as these 12 volumes I have here. Why does Reimu have them...?

「ん? この本が気になるか? 霊夢の事だから『妖怪が大事そうに持っていたから持ってきた』とか言うぜ」

"Hm? Interested in these books? Knowin' Reimu, I bet she thought, 'They looked pretty important to the youkai so I'll take them,' or somethin'."

 この本は手元の十二冊とその三冊を合わせて十五冊。恐らくこの本は全十五冊に違いない。外の世界の式神もやはり幻想郷と同じなのだ。コンピューターではFとは十五の事を示し、Fはすべてが埋まっている状態らしい。すべてがFになった時に最大の値を持つ、と書いてあった本も読んだ事が有る。

With the 12 volumes I have on hand and the three volumes there, that's a total of 15 volumes combined. I have no doubt that this is a set of 15 volumes. The shikigami of the outside world are the same as the ones in Gensokyo after all. With computers, F represents 15 and F represents a state of maximum capacity. It is written that when everything becomes F, the highest value is held.

 僕は思う、十五が力を持つのは当たり前じゃないか。古くからこの国では十五は完全を意味していた。満月を十五夜と呼ぶ[6]のも同じ理由だ。コンピューターとは東洋の思想と月の魔力を利用した式神なのだろう。

I think that it's natural for 15 to have power. Even in ancient times, 15 meant perfection in this country. The same reason the full moon is also known as the fifteenth night. Computers must be familiars that have resulted from the ideas of the East and the beauty of the moon.

 魔理沙は、何を考え込んでいるんだ? と言って三冊の本を並べた。

Marisa asked me what I was thinking about as she lined up the three books.

 魔理沙の何気ない行動で、更なる式神の仕掛けに気付いてしまった。本に付けられた通し番号「13」「14」「15」。この番号を並べると131415。頭の1を取れば……、直線を円に換える意味を持つ数、3.1415になる。これも満月を意味している。外の世界の式は月の力を利用した物である、という僕の説は確実なものになった。

Through Marisa's nonchalant actions, I realized something else. When lined up, the numbers on the books, "13", "14", and "15", make 131415. If the 1 in front is removed... it then depicts the number that represents a perfect circle, 3.1415. This also means a full moon, and thus affirms my theory that the familiars of the outside world use its power.

 僕はもっと外の式神を調べたいと思ったが、その為にはこの本を手に入れる必要がある。

I wanted to research more in regards to the shikigami of the outside world, but to do that I required these books.

「……香霖。霊夢と取引するつもりだな? 止めときな、あいつは普通の価値観を持っていないぜ。」

"...Kourin. You plan on makin' a deal with Reimu? Forget it, her idea of value is completely different from everyone else."

 たしかに、霊夢は浮世離れし過ぎている。普通の交換条件は役に立たないのだ。しかし僕は霊夢と取引出来る。霊夢の価値観も大体判っている。

Indeed, Reimu is too detached from this world. Normal exchange conditions wouldn't suffice. However, I can still make a deal with Reimu, for I have a general understanding of her values.

 その時、持ち主の戻ってくる足音が聞こえた。

It was then that I heard the returning footsteps of the books' owner.

つづく

To be continued

Notes

^ "看板はには" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
^ This chapter was written before Mountain of Faith was released.
^ "暢気" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
^ "速く" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
^ This should be "上がって来るな".
^ "十五夜を満月と呼ぶ" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
  • Original translation by teru.


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