Difference between revisions of "Cage in Lunatic Runagate/First Chapter"

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The lunar veil is one of several vehicles that allow one to travel between the Earth and the full moon. It's often confused with the divine robes of an angel, but the latter refers to articles of clothing constructed from cloth with anti-mass, while the lunar veil is a zero-mass garment with moonlight woven into the material. They are, of course, completely different things.
The lunar veil is one of several vehicles that allow one to travel between the Earth and the full moon. It's often confused with the divine robes of a heavenly maiden, but the latter refers to articles of clothing constructed from cloth with anti-mass, while the lunar veil is a zero-mass garment with moonlight woven into the material. They are, of course, completely different things.

Latest revision as of 17:50, 4 July 2020

Page 8-29

< Aphorism   Cage in Lunatic Runagate   Second Chapter >

Cage in Lunatic Runagate CH1 00.jpg
Cage in Lunatic Runagate CH1 10.jpg
第一話 賢者の追憶 Chapter 1: The Sage's Recollection


The moon shone down on Gensokyo in early summer, bathing the land in a cool, white light. As moonlight is much brighter than sunlight to youkai, it illuminated things that they were normally unable to see.


On nights like this, the youkai stalk the night paths illuminated by the moon, lying in wait for humans to attack. Youkai can see perfectly by the light of the moon, but humans' eyes are blinded by the darkness. People can't see the path well in the dark, and they can't easily tell if what's standing before them is human, youkai or just a stone.


As a result, most humans don't travel at night. And the same as always, most humans were shut tight in their homes, so nobody noticed the mysterious object that fell from the sky at night.

空から舞い落ちてきた物は何だったのだろう? 十尋(およそ18メートル)以上はあったと思われる布の様なひらひらの物体は、まるで何処かで見た児童向け創作妖怪の様に空を自由に飛び、やがて神社の方に消えた。

Just what was this thing that fell from the sky? At a distance of ten fathoms (about 20 yards) or more, it would appear to be something fluttering like a piece of cloth, almost like a certain youkai from a story for children, flying freely through the night sky and eventually disappearing over the shrine.


Today is the day of the Monthly Lunar Festival. This festival is held on the night when the Earth and the Moon are closest during the full moon at the time. The festival uses round objects, such as dumplings, as fake full moons in a symbolic attempt to keep the full moon far away. If the moon is far away, then the moon's emissaries will stay away, as well. Of course, I was the one who first thought up this festival.

今、庭では兎達が団子を搗いている筈である。その団子には私の指示により様々な薬が混ぜられている。その薬には二つの意味がある。月の兎が搗いている物は、今ではお餅と言われているが本来は薬であるという事と、もう一つは兎達が団子を摘み食いする事を想定したという事である。団子に兎を興奮させる薬が入っている為、予定通り兎が摘み食いをすれば祭は (いや) が上にも盛り上がるのである。

Now, the rabbits should be in the garden, pounding rice for the dumplings. The dumplings they make have various sorts of medicine mixed into them, according to my directions. This medicine is significant for two reasons. One is that, while we say that the rabbit on the moon pounds rice cakes, they're really making medicine, and the other is it's likely that the rabbits will sneak some of the dumplings into their mouth as they make them. Since the dumplings have medicine in them to make the rabbits more excited, the festival will be all the more lively if they sneak some to eat, as I expect they will.

東の空に光の布が舞い降りてくるのを見たのは、兎達の歌を聴きながら空を眺めていた時だった。その布は青白く光っていた。月の賢者である八意永琳 (やごころえいりん) には判っていた。布の光が月の光と同じ波長だった事が。それが月の羽衣である事が。

I first saw the glimmering cloth in the eastern sky while listening to the rabbits' song and gazing at the sky. The cloth shone with a pale light. As the sage of the moon, Eirin Yagokoro, I knew. I knew that the light shone on the same wavelength as the moonlight. That it was, in fact, a lunar veil.


"...Excuse me. Master, the festival has ended with no problems."

一匹の兎が私の部屋に入ってきた。鈴仙 (れいせん) 優曇華院 (うどんげいん) ・イナバという私の事を師匠と呼ぶ月の兎である。本当の名前はレイセンであるのだが、地上に住むに当たって私が地上人らしく名字を付けてあげたのだ。

One of the rabbits entered my room. Named Reisen Udongein Inaba, she's the moon rabbit who calls me her master. Her real name is just Reisen, but since she lives on Earth now, I gave her a name written in the fashion used by those born on Earth.


She originally fled the Lunar War, but I hid the fact that she stumbled upon this house by accident. All of the moon rabbits, including her, have the ability to communicate with each other across long distances. I believed that by hiding her existence here, I could obtain information about the lunar capital.


She has been, indeed, a great help to me. She's done a great deal to help ensure that we can continue to live safely on Earth like this.


"That was awfully quick, Reisen. I hope you're not cutting corners because it's been so calm lately."

「いいえいいえ、とんでも御座いません。いつも通り恙無 (つつがな) く祭は終わりましたよ。地上の兎達は団子を喜んで食べていました」

"Of course not. We've taken great care, as usual, to make sure the festival ended smoothly. The earth rabbits were happy to eat their fill of dumplings."


"Well, good work. Oh, where is that other girl?"


Reisen's expression darkened a bit on hearing my question.

「てゐの事ですか? てゐは、いつも通りどっかに遊びに行ってしまったみたいです。祭の日は特に姿を消しやすいのですよ」

"You mean Tewi? Tewi's... off playing somewhere, same as ever. It's easier for her to disappear on festival days."

幻想郷には月の姫、輝夜 (かぐや) 姫が住んでいた。千年以上もの長い間、人間に見つかる事なく隠れ住んでいた。

The princess of the moon, Kaguya, lived in Gensokyo, hiding for over a thousand years so that others wouldn't find her.


Why did she have to spend those years in hiding? It's because of the grave sin she committed that condemned her to a life of fleeing the emissaries of the moon. If humans knew about her, it would be easy for the moon to find her. That's what we believed.


As one of Princess Kaguya's few allies, I've always been by her side to support her with my knowledge. Fortunately, in Gensokyo there is a place called the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, where even youkai find it easy to become lost. Deep within that forest I prepared a special mansion for the princess where no one could easily come across it. That is this place, Eientei.


Eientei is an unusual structure. As long as humans don't find it, its history does not move forward. It's the product of the princess' control over eternity and my own knowledge. That the mansion's history never moves forward means that nothing that occurs here will become recorded history.


For a long time I lived together with the princess in a mansion where history had been stopped for all eternity. For the first few hundred years, we led our lives in secrecy and paid little heed to the passage of time, but... one day, a lone youkai rabbit in white appeared, and everything changed.


I still don't know how that rabbit found us out, but it was the first event in Eientei's history since its establishment.


The rabbit told us that she was in charge of the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, and it seemed she'd always known we had been living there. Sensing my alarm, she said she had no intention of becoming our enemies, but would help ensure that no humans would ever approach if we would bestow our knowledge on the rabbits.

その妖怪兎は因幡 (いなば) てゐと名乗り、今では永遠亭に住み着いている。

That youkai rabbit was named Tewi Inaba, and now lives in Eientei.


"Yes, that girl's always been something of a free spirit."


"It's such a pain. She just left, even though the cleanup from the festival is nowhere near finished. And, of course, all the other earth rabbits slipped away with her, so now I have to do all the cleaning up. What has she learned from you, anyway, if she can't even stay around to clean up?"


After being so abusive, Reisen remembered that Tewi had been at Eientei for much longer than she had. Looking uneasy, she added "It's not that I criticise the education you gave her, Master."


"Well, in any case, please go look for her afterward."

「判りました。でも……いつも思うんですけど、お師匠様はてゐには甘過ぎじゃ無いでしょうか? 少しぐらい厳しく言ってあげてください。私の言う事は聞かないけど、お師匠様の言う事なら聞いてくれると思いますので」

"Okay, but... this has been on my mind for a while but aren't you a little too easy on her, Master? It would probably do her good for you to scold her once in a while. She won't listen to me, but I think she'd listen to you."


"Oh ho. Unfortunately, she won't listen to me, either."

「え、そうなんですか? じゃあ、何で飼っているんでしょうか?」

"What, really? Why do we keep taking care of her, then?"


It was clear that Tewi wasn't just a normal youkai rabbit. All the earth rabbits listened to everything she said. Though there was nothing at all dignified in her appearance, the idea of her being able to control a great number of rabbits at will brings to mind the image of a hermit who has achieved enlightenment.


"The earth rabbits only listen to Tewi. Do you know what that means?"


"That Tewi is the most powerful of the earth rabbits?"


"Without Tewi, we wouldn't be able to use them at all, which would be a problem."


Something troubling occurred to me as we had this conversation. That ray of light was without a doubt a lunar veil. The moon wouldn't send someone all by themselves, but... I don't understand the entire situation. I'm sure Tewi saw her, too, and that's why she disappeared.

「ところで、祭なんだけど本当に変わった事は無かったの? 神社付近でとか」

"Anyway, nothing strange happened during the festival, did it? Say, around the shrine, for example."

「神社付近? いえ……特には、何かあったのですか?」

"Around the shrine? No... Is something wrong?"


"Maybe. Hopefully it's nothing."


The lunar veil is one of several vehicles that allow one to travel between the Earth and the full moon. It's often confused with the divine robes of a heavenly maiden, but the latter refers to articles of clothing constructed from cloth with anti-mass, while the lunar veil is a zero-mass garment with moonlight woven into the material. They are, of course, completely different things.


Since the lunar veil has no mass, it's implausible that it would fall to Earth by itself even in the absence of a downward air current. The fact that it was falling therefore indicates that somebody was using it. I still didn't know who that person was, or whether they be friend or foe. What was certain is that I had no desire to be discovered by the moon's emissaries and forced into a fugitive's lifestyle again.


Eientei's frozen history had only begun moving again since that incident three or four years ago. But once it started, there was no going back.


Once our history began to move again, we began to live our lives yearning for the way things had been, just like humans. Yet, we had no wish to return to the way things had been when our history had stopped.

「お師匠様? 何か考え事でしょうか? 取りあえず私は祭の片付けが残っていますので一旦戻ります。てゐが数刻経っても戻ってこないようでしたら、探しに行きますので」

"Master? What's on your mind? I still have to clean up from the festival, so I should go back for now. If Tewi doesn't come back in a while, I'll go out to look for her."


"Ah, yes. Please do."


And so Reisen left the room.


Perhaps it was because I'd seen the lunar veil earlier, but I was reminded of a time long, long ago when I lived in the lunar capital as the sage of the moon. Then, I acted as the leader of a group of emissaries that traveled between the earth and the moon. I also had been the teacher of two princess sisters since they were very young - princesses other than Princess Kaguya, with whom I now live.


The two princesses were my distant relatives. To put it in human terms, one was the wife of a grandnephew of mine, while the other was the wife of their son[1]. They were quite distant relations, but I served as a tutor of sorts to both of them. The older sister was blessed with natural good fortune and never had to deal with any hardship, while the younger sister was exceedingly sharp and seemed to absorb everything I said. It was commonly understood that one day I'd leave the emissaries of the moon in their hands.


But after Princess Kaguya's great crime and subsequent exile to Earth, the moon changed enormously.


Well, that's not quite accurate. I was the perpetrator of that crime. I was confident in my knowledge. And, because I was too confident, I committed a minor error.


That minor error was to give the Hourai Elixir, that is, the elixir of immortality and eternal youth, to Princess Kaguya. I made the forbidden concoction, and Princess Kaguya drank it to became immortal. And so, she was expelled from the lunar capital.


I regretted my actions, and as a result, when it came time to bring Kaguya back to the moon, I deceived the moon's emissaries and rescued Kaguya, and together we hid on Earth.


Those who use the Hourai Elixir take on the same taint as humans. I knew that even if Kaguya could return to the lunar capital, she couldn't live a normal life. I decided that in order to help her live an easier life, I would prepare a place where she could live as a human. I thought I could atone for my sin like that.


Incidentally, the day before I left for the Earth in my capacity as an emissary of the moon to retrieve Kaguya, I left the service of the lunar emissaries in the hands of the two sisters I'd been tutoring. A thousand years have passed since then, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that they're still angry over my sudden departure so long ago.

「お師匠様! 失礼します」

"Excuse me, Master!"


Reisen burst into the room.

「どうしたの? そんなに慌てて」

"What's wrong? You're awfully flustered."


"No, it's nothing that important. We have a visitor. She's flustered, too, so I guess it rubbed off on me."

「こんな夜中に来客? 急患かしら」

"A visitor, at this hour? Is it an emergency patient?"


"No, it's that troublesome shrine maiden again. It was like that last time, wasn't it? She suddenly appeared in the middle of the night... "


"Ah, well," I said as we left the room. The lunar veil had appeared in the eastern sky, and the shrine is in the same direction. I felt ill at ease.

玄関には両腕を腰に当て、堂々と仁王立ちしている人間の少女の姿があった。博麗霊夢 (はくれいれいむ) 、幻想郷の東の外れにある博麗神社の巫女である。

The imposing figure of a human girl with her arms akimbo awaited us in the entryway. She was the shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine that lay on the eastern edge of Gensokyo.

「あ、やっと出てきたわね、宇宙人。あんたらの仲間が怪我してるって神社を占拠して困っているの! 何とかしてよ」

"Finally. There you are, alien. One of your crew is hurt and holed up in my shrine! Do something about it."


No matter where she goes, this shrine maiden seems to start conversations with angry words. Emotional outbursts are no way to start meaningful conversation, but humans don't seem to understand this.

「私達の仲間? 怪我?」

"One of our crew, hurt?"


"That's right, I've got an injured youkai rabbit at my place. Go take her back, or something."


"Wait a moment, Reisen, I thought you said the festival ended without incident?"


"Uh, yes, that's right, not a single person was hurt," Reisen answered.

「じゃあ、もしかして、あの娘 (てゐ) かしら?」

"Hmm, perhaps she's talking about her, then?"


As soon as I'd said that, a loud voice rang out from behind Reimu as if in reply.


"I don't know about anyone getting hurt. I've been listening to your conversation, but as far as I know none of the rabbits are missing." Only the top half of Tewi's body could be seen poking out of the greenery behind Reimu. It looked like even Reimu hadn't realized she'd been there.


This wasn't the first time Tewi had pulled this stunt. She'd be beside you before you know it, and she'd disappear just as quickly. Still, she'd always be around when you really needed her.

「あ、てゐ! 何処をほっつき歩いていたのよ! まだ探してなかったけど」鈴仙がそう叱っても、聞く耳を持とうとしなかった。

"Oh, Tewi! Where have you been wandering around? Well, I guess I haven't started looking for you yet." Reisen began complaining again, but Tewi was in no mind to pay any attention to her.


"*Yawn* Well, the rabbits are always so excited for some reason when the festival is over, but I thought I'd try to walk it off."


Tewi put her hand on the back of her head as she emphasised "for some reason". She probably knew about the medicine I put in the dumplings to make the rabbits more excitable.


"Well, I'm pretty tired. I'm going to go rest inside." With that, she stepped into the entryway and made as if to head into the house. I took the opportunity to ask about what had been bothering me before.


"Just a moment. Tewi, did you see anything interesting during the festival tonight, in the east near the shrine?"

てゐは少し考えて「……天石門別命 (あめのいわとわけのみこと) 。懐かしい神様が見えた」と言って廊下を走って行ってしまった。

Tewi stopped to consider that for a moment. "...Ama-no-Iwato Wake-no-Mikoto. I saw a god I haven't seen in a really long time," she said, and made her way into the mansion proper.


Since she'd been interrupted, I lead Reimu into the parlor and asked Reisen to put on some tea.


"She may say she doesn't know anything about it, but it's a fact that there's an injured youkai rabbit sleeping in my shrine!"


"Well. There aren't any youkai rabbits that Tewi doesn't know, so if she says nobody got hurt, I think she's probably right..."

「一匹くらい知らない妖怪兎が湧いて出てきたって不思議じゃないでしょ? 妖怪なんてボウフラみたいなもんだし」

"Would it be so strange to think that one youkai rabbit nobody knows could show up? Youkai always turn up like maggots, y'know."


That's cannot possibly be true. It's much harder for a new youkai to be born than it is for a human.


"Did this youkai rabbit say anything?"


"She's just been moaning so far. Hmm, she did have some sort of long robe..."


The youkai rabbit Reimu spoke of had almost certainly come down from the moon. It was very likely that she was the one I'd seen using the lunar veil earlier.


I had misgivings about showing a rabbit from the moon where we were living now. It was largely due to Reisen's remarks earlier, how "There seems to be a really big disturbance beginning among the lunarians in the capital." If I were flushed out into the open now, I'd probably be used by one side or another to increase their influence. I had no intention of becoming wrapped up in any sort of conflict.


"Hmm, I'd advise you to be careful around that youkai rabbit. I think you're being tricked by a fox spirit or a tanuki."


"What's that?"


"It's true that Tewi knows all the youkai rabbits. If Tewi says none of them were hurt, the youkai rabbit at the shrine must be a fake."


"I-I see, that might be true. If all the youkai rabbits are fine, then that might be true. She didn't look familiar at all..."

「化けているんなら、怪我をしているってのも嘘よ。今頃、神社の食べ物を食べられてるわよ? 早く帰らないとなくなっちゃうわ」

"If she's a fake, then her wounds are probably fake, too. She might be eating you out of house and home as we speak. If you don't hurry, she'll be gone before you make it back."

「‼ そ、そうね。急いで帰らないと!」

"!! Y-You're right. I have to hurry back!"


Reimu got up and left with an agitated look on her face.


"The tea's ready- huh?"


By the time Reisen had returned from preparing the tea, the shrine maiden had already vanished into the night.


"Master, had you already finished talking to the shrine maiden?"


"Yes. When I told her it was probably a fox spirit or a tanuki, she left for home in a hurry."


A dubious expression appeared on Reisen's face.

「狐か狸……。どうしてそんな嘘を吐くのですか? 狐や狸が人間を騙すのなら、人間の姿に化ける筈です。妖怪兎に化けたって何にも得は無いじゃないですか」

"A fox or a tanuki... Why did you lie to her like that? If that's what happened, they probably would have taken the form of a human. What would they accomplish by pretending to be a youkai rabbit?"

「いい? 鈴仙。驚かないで聞いて」

"Reisen. Don't be too shocked, but listen to what I have to say."




"The youkai rabbit at the shrine is probably a moon rabbit, like you."

「何ですって? どうしてそんな事が判るのですか?」

"What!? How do you know?"


"I didn't tell you before, but during the festival, I saw someone come down to Earth using a lunar veil close to the shrine."




Reisen had used a lunar veil when she fled the moon those years ago. Her lunar veil is still at Eientei, but as she has no intention to return, it's kept sealed away.


There are many ways to travel between Earth and the moon, but as the lunar veil is the most primitive, it's fairly time-consuming. It's a method that's primarily used by the moon rabbits.


"I don't know why she's decided to come here, so I don't want to let her know about Eientei. That's why I chased away that shrine maiden with those lies."


"You mean, a moon rabbit is... at the shrine, now?"


Maybe it was one of Reisen's acquaintances. Even so, bringing her into the fold so quickly would be dangerous. Nobody can say what might happen. I was a fugitive on the run from the emissaries of the moon, and Reisen had fled the moon during the Lunar War. Basically, neither of us wanted to be found.


"I-I wonder what happened. What we should do. I wonder if I'd be punished, too...?"


Reisen had forgotten to set down the tea service earlier, and I could see it trembling in her hands.


"Reisen. There's nothing for you to be afraid of. Just do as I say, and nothing will happen to Eientei, I'm sure of it."


"B-But first, what should we do?'


"First, I want you to set the tea down here and drink it slowly."


Reisen's smile returned, and she slowly sipped some tea. Once she'd regained her composure, her question of "What should we do?" returned as well.


"First, you should ask the rabbits on the moon and try to get some information."




"You said earlier that some new force is trying to exert itself on the moon. I'd like you to find out anything you can about that force, or who's behind it."


"That's an easy request. Still, the information's only as good as the rabbits it comes from."


Rabbits love lies, gossip and rumors, so it's hard to take much stock in what they might say. Still, there's no smoke without fire, and there's usually a kernel of truth at the heart of any rumor.


"But, you absolutely must not talk to the rabbit at the shrine. Even if she tries to talk to you."


"But, why?"


"Because that will just start more rumors. Make sure you do as I say. Who knows what will happen if you don't."


Reisen left the room and started speaking while facing the full moon. This method seems doubtful to the uninitiated, but this is how the rabbits can speak to each other over long distances. I watched her and planned our next move.


Just what could this new power trying to gain control of the moon be?


If it were an influence from the humans of the outside world, like in the last Lunar War, it wouldn't be a problem. Long ago, the humans had made it to the moon's surface and claimed it as their own by planting a flag. They were probably impressed by their own science and thought the moon really was theirs.


But, if you know where to look, the moon's technological prowess was far beyond that of the Earth's. The humans had spoken of building a base on the moon, but in the end they ran back home before ever deciding on a place or even acquiring the means to do such a thing. It was a terrible defeat for the humans.


The humans' lunar landings were reported as a great success in the outside world, but their failures were not. The humans kept losing after their first landing, so eventually they stopped returning to the moon. And we, who'd remained in contact with the moon, knew how every time they tried to establish a base, they'd failed.


Humans rarely seem to learn. In fact, it's more likely they're moving backwards. Even if the humans decided to launch another expedition, it wouldn't create much of a stir in the lunar capital.


However, it seems that it's not a problem with humans this time. I have a feeling that some sort of internal affair may have sprung up.


"Um... Eirin. It's noisy tonight, isn't it? I wonder what's happening?"

後ろから不意にか細い声で話しかけられた。蓬莱山輝夜 (ほうらいさんかぐや) 、月のお姫様である。ここ永遠亭のご主人様である。

A soft voice spoke out unexpectedly behind me. It was Kaguya Houraisan, princess of the moon, and the mistress of Eientei.


"Kaguya... it seems something may have happened all of a sudden in the lunar capital."


"Hm. So, that was a lunar veil earlier, after all."


"Ah, so you saw it, too?"


"I did, but I couldn't tell what it was, so I didn't think much of it. It was very beautiful, though."


Kaguya had a very laid-back personality for a fugitive. This hadn't always been the case... perhaps she'd just led a peaceful life for too long.


"It seems that a wounded youkai rabbit was the one using the veil. She's at the shrine, now."


"Hmm, a lone youkai rabbit... It seems like that's happened before, a long time ago."

「昔? ああ、鈴仙の事ね」

"A long time ago? Oh, you mean Reisen."


"We were both very suspicious that time, too. But in the end, it turned out to be no problem at all."

鈴仙が最初にこの家を訪れたのも、三十年位前のこんな満月の夜だった。竹林を彷徨 (さまよ) っていたてゐから「月からの侵入者が居るよ」という報告を受けた時は会うべきかどうか散々悩んだ。

It was a full moon, like tonight, on the night Reisen first came to this manor over thirty years ago. When Tewi, who watched over the forest, told us an intruder from the moon had appeared, we spent a long time worrying over whether to meet her, or what else we might do.


"Eirin, we were worried that time, as well, but we were better off for having met her. Reisen is truly our ally. So, why don't we go meet this moon rabbit, too?"


"Kaguya, you don't seem to be fully aware of your position as a fugitive. I don't think you'd be able to get off easily if we were found by the moon's emissaries. There's nothing wrong with a little caution."


Kaguya simply replied, "Eirin, you love to worry," and began to drink some tea.


"Well, why did you decide to meet with Reisen, then?" She asked presently.


"Because I wanted to know what was happening on the moon. Moon rabbits have that special ability, after all."


"Didn't you think about what might happen if she decided to turn us over to the emissaries of the moon?"


Of course, I did. In fact, that is the reason why I'm being so cautious now.


"If she'd decided to turn against me, then a single rabbit wouldn't be too much for me to... "


"How cold."


I realized that Reisen had disappeared from outside the window. She must have finished her conference with the moon.


"Excuse me. Oh, Princess Kaguya is here, too."


"Ah, Reisen. Have you finished your conference with the moon?"


"Yes. I've found out something important." Reisen stole a glance towards Kaguya.


"Ummm... perhaps I should come back later?"


"Please, go on. Kaguya knows most of what's going on, after all."


"I see. Well, I'll start with the current state of affairs in the capital. Basically, there's a big uproar over the discovery of traces of invaders from the Earth."


"Invaders from the Earth?" I'd thought this was surely some sort of internal squabble, but... it seems to be the work of the humans from outside again.


According to Reisen, there seems to have been another invasion from the Earth. The invader's objective appears to have been to occupy the lunar capital.


"Which is all well and good, but the next part is the real problem."


"Now, please don't make assumptions like that."


"There's a rumor that some of the moon rabbits are helping the invaders, and the rabbits are being unfairly put on trial, one after another."


"How terrible... It's like some sort of witch hunt," Kaguya said as she drank her tea.


I could see where this conversation was going. If I was right, Reisen knew the gravity of what she was saying, too.

「それで私がスパイの筆頭の様な扱いを受けているんだって! 地上と繋がりが深いから」

"And they're all talking about me like I'm some sort of spy! All because of my connection to Earth."


Just as I'd thought. Well, not like there's any helping it. Reisen did originally betray the moon to come here, and she still talks to the other rabbits fairly often.


"I see. I think I know who that rabbit in the shrine is, now."

「え? なんでですか?」

"What? How do you know that?"


"Well, she's either run away because she was wrongly accused of being an anti-Lunarian spy, or she really is one. Which might make it worth our while to try to meet her..."


"Oh, right, one more thing... The invaders are supposed to be..."


Reisen was acting a little odd. Naturally, I could imagine what she was about to say.

「言うまでもないわ、鈴仙。その侵略者は私と輝夜の二人って事になってるのでしょう? 鈴仙がスパイで、侵略者は私達」

"No need to say it, Reisen. Of course, the invaders are myself and Kaguya, right? If Reisen is the spy, of course we'd be the masterminds."


The sound of the wind through the bamboo forest was like that of the swelling of waves at sea.


Kaguya remained speechless. Well, of course, Kaguya had likely presumed optimistically that the people of the moon would be able to accept her again soon. Even if that assumption was naive, it's certainly not unnatural to experience some despair after being hit with such unwarranted suspicions. Just the notion of going back into hiding from humans and moving from place to place would be distressing.


Reisen, now visibly agitated, implored of me:

「お師匠様! 私達は一体どうすれば良いのでしょう?」

"Master! What should we do?"

「さっきも言ったでしょう? 私の言う通りにすれば何も心配する事はありません。この程度の事は予想済みです」

"Didn't I tell you before? If you do as I tell you, there will be nothing to worry about. I've accounted for something like this in my plans."


It wasn't just a lie to calm her down. I'd imagined a day like this might come, that one day someone might appear on the moon who wished to try to use us for their own ambitions.


"First, gather information. Find out if there really are any invaders, and if so, who they are. We should stay hidden until we know that much."


"But, but what if an assassin comes from the moon..."


"They won't be able to find this place. Tewi will make sure of that. Besides, I have my own allies among the emissaries of the moon."


Reisen looked surprised. "Allies...?"


"Yes. She's probably their leader by now."


Though, to be honest, I was a bit worried about whether she'd really turn out to be an ally.

あの二人のお姫様とは、千年以上前に別れてから一度も会った事が無かった。それでも私が教育したその二人のお姫様なら、私の言っている事を信じる筈である。特に妹の方は賢かったし、今はそれに (すが) るしかなかった。

I hadn't met either of those two princesses since the day we'd parted over a thousand years ago. Still, I'd expected they'd be willing to listen to what their old tutor would have to say. The younger one had been particularly sharp, and I really had no choice but to depend on them.


"Well, that's reassuring, then."


"But, unlike you, Reisen, we have no way to keep in contact. I wouldn't mind having you relay messages for us, but it would lend credence to the theory that you're a spy."


Reisen's expression became serious.


"That's okay. Some people already think I'm a spy, so I don't care if more people do."


"You may not care, but we do."


"Then... what should we do?"


"We'll ask the rabbit at the shrine about what's going on. It will be best for us if she decides to cooperate."


Reisen clapped her hands and exclaimed, "Oh, I forgot about her."


"That rabbit has a lunar veil, so she can go back to the moon. I'll have her deliver a letter for me."


I wrote a letter.


As proof that it really was from Eirin Yagokoro, I opened with reminiscences about the princess' youth.


As I wrote, I became afraid that somebody might read it or alter it en route, so I affixed a quantum seal. A quantum seal is a special type of seal that uses the state of the subatomic particles inside the letter to keep track of how many people have read it. This device was an invention of mine, and since I'm still the only person who can make one, it also served as proof that I wrote the letter. I set two or three other devices to it as well, and finally sealed it with medicinal herbs.


Unfortunately, I can't expect a response to this letter. Officially, the moon's emissaries are charged with my arrest. Writing a response to this letter would be a dangerous thing for the princesses to attempt.


The full moon dipped below the tops of the highest bamboo trees, and the eastern sky began to glow with a faint light. Once day broke I would head for the shrine.


Thinking upon how I'd been dragged into another lunar war, I vowed to catch the culprit who was trying to use us to their own ends by my own hand.

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  1. Under the assumption that Eirin's true identity is Omoikane, and the Watatsuki sisters represent Toyotamahime and Tamayorihime, this relationship holds true.