Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 18

From Touhou Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Page 124-131

< Chapter 17   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 19 >

Curiosities of lotus asia 17 01.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 02.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 03.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 04.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 05.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 06.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 07.png
Curiosities of lotus asia 17 08.png
Thanks to the light reflected from the snow, I made entries in my diary on a winter evening.
The maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Sakuya Izayoi, is the current visitor of Kourindo.
Her order was a talisman that protects weak points.
Great luck is needed to cope with lunar magic...
This is an online version of the publication of a project from the Touhou series.
This evening, simple human ideas about the sinister and the auspicious will be turned upside down!..
月と河童 Moon and Kappa
昼は本を読み、夜になるとその日の出来事を本に書いた。不思議な事に日記を書き始めてから、些細 (ささい) な出来事でも気が付く様になったのである。日記を書くという行為の本当の意味は、日々の出来事を忘れない為でも過去を見つめ直す為でもなく、些細な変化でも見落とさない様に感度を高める為だという事に気が付いた。
Snow seen through the window grabs insanity of the moon, and blackness worn by the dark is absorbed through the pen into papers. By the day I read books, at night I write the day’s events in a book. Mysteriously enough, after I started keeping a journal, I started to notice even the most trivial events. I noticed that the real meaning behind writing a journal is not to remember every day’s happenings in order to reflect on the past, but to raise one’s sensitivity so as not to overlook even the trivial changes.
 人は普段から物凄い量の情報を受けながら生きている。そして興味の有る物以外の情報はそのまま流され、興味の有る物だけが自分のアンテナに引っ掛かり自分に蓄積されていく。日記はその感度の (かたよ) り具合を極限まで増幅する、 () わば真空管アンプの様な効果を発揮する。日記を書き始めた事で極限まで感度が高まった状態の僕は、どのような些細な事でも見逃さないだろう。 People usually take in an incredible amount of information in living. And, while the information that doesn’t hold interest to them just flows past, what is interesting is detected by their antennas and stored. Keeping a journal can help to amplify this sensitivity to its extreme limits. You could say it is the same effect as using a valve amplifier. Now that I have started writing a diary, and my sensitivity is raised to its maximum, I probably won’t overlook even the most trivial things.
 ――カランカランカラン Knock, knock, knock.
 店の入り口で音がした。 There was a sound at the store’s entrance.
「こんな夜遅くにやって来るなんて……一体誰だい?」 “Just who could it be this late at night?”
 僕は窓の雪に集められた月明かりを頼りに、入り口の方へ向かった。もう店を閉めてから随分と経っていた為、店の中は冷え切っていた。 Relying on the light gathered by the snow on the window, I went to the front door. It had been some time since I closed the shop, and its interior was freezing cold.
「開いているかしら?」そこに居たのは吸血鬼に仕えるメイドだった。 “Are you open?” standing there was the maid that served the vampire.
 夜中に訪れたからといって別段急ぎの様子には見えない。どうやら、彼女は活動時間の大半が夜に偏っているのだろう。夜に出掛けるのが当たり前の様な顔をしていた。御主人様が吸血鬼なのだから仕方がない。 For someone that came calling in the middle of the night, she didn’t seem in a particular hurry. But I suppose that most of her hours of activity were nocturnal. By the look on her face, she considered it normal to go out in the middle of the night. Her mistress being a vampire, I guess that can’t be helped.
「何を言っているんだい。 (あか) りを消したし、どう見たって閉まっている様にしておいたつもりだったけど」 “What are you saying? All the lights are off, it can only possibly mean that we are supposed to be closed.”
「それは節約しているか留守にしているか、どちらかかと思いました」 “It could be that you were conserving energy, or absent. I was wondering which it would be.”
 留守で灯りを消していた場合も、勝手に上がって物色するつもりだったのだろうか。そう考えるとおちおち家も空けられない。 I wonder if, in case I was absent, she was planning on coming inside by herself in order to get what she wanted. This is why I don’t leave my place carelessly.
縁起 (えんぎ) の良い物を探しに来たのですけど……何か置いてないかしら?」 “I am looking for a lucky item... Do you have any?”
 僕は店の (あか) りを () けた。それと同時に周囲から月の狂気が消え去り、途端 (とたん) に店内は夜の薄暗さを取り戻した。閉店後に訪れるなんて随分と自分勝手だと思ったが、お客であるのならば別にいつでも構わない。うちの店の客には、とんでもなく早朝に訪れる者だって居る。 I lit the store’s lights. At the same time that this vanquished the madness of the moonlight, it brought back the gloominess of the night into the store. I believe it is a very uncouth thing to come visit a shop after it’s closed, but as long as it is a customer, I don't mind too much. I've even had customers visit ridiculously early in the morning.
「縁起の良い……って、漠然とした注文ですね。今なら入荷したての『鳥居が刻まれた隕鉄 (いんてつ) 』とか有りますが……」 “Lucky, you say... That’s a rather vague request. I have a ‘meteoritic iron with an engraved shinto gate’ that I just received...”
「そんな信憑性 (しんぴょうせい) に欠ける物じゃなくて、もっと見ただけで縁起の良いって判る物はないかしら?」 “No, not something with such little credibility. Don’t you have something you can tell is a good omen just by looking at it?”
 僕は、こんな夜中に、何の為に縁起物を使うのか想像出来なかったが、売れるものなら今の内に売っておきたかった。普段、縁起物など実用性の乏しい品物はなかなか興味を持って貰えないのである。僕は「それならとっておきの縁起物が有るよ」と告げて、倉庫の奥で眠っていた、もっとも大きくて縁起の良い品を持って来た。 I couldn’t possibly imagine what would she use for an object of good omen in the middle of the night, but if it was something I had for sale, I wanted to sell it. Lucky items are usually articles with little utility, so I don’t have much interest in them. I told her, “In that case, I have just the lucky item for you.” and went to fetch an article of exceedingly good omen that was lying deep in storage.
「あら、なんてカラフルな亀の甲羅かしら。これは確かに縁起が良さそうじゃない」 “Oh my, such a colorful tortoise shell. That certainly seems to be of good omen.”
「赤と青、白と黒、そして中央は黄色の五色の甲羅。これほど縁起の良い物はなかなか見あたらないと思うよ」 “Red and blue, black and white, and yellow at the center. All in all, a five-colored shell. I don’t think I’ve seen anything with better omen to it.”
「でも……この甲羅、亀にしては不自然ね。大きすぎるし、それに何だかのっぺりとしているというか」 “But... a shell like this seems strange for a tortoise. It’s too big, and rather smooth.”
「そう、これは亀の甲羅じゃない、『河童の五色甲羅 (ごしきこうら) 』さ」 “Right, this isn’t a tortoise shell. It’s a ‘Kappa’s Five-colored Shell.’ ”
 外の世界で作られたストーブが、冷め切った店を暖めるまでには少し時間がかかる。ようやく店内が暖まり始めた頃に、頭の回りも良くなってきた。 It takes a while for my heater from the outside world to warm the cold interior of the shop. When the room finally started to warm up, my head also started to work better.
「河童、ねぇ。河童なんて何処 (どこ) () んでいるのかしら?」 “A kappa, you say? Where do the kappa live again?”
「河童なんて山に幾らでも棲んでいるよ。君たちは余り山に足を踏み入れないだろうけど、山にはさまざまな妖怪が棲んでいるよ。ただこの甲羅は最近の代物ではない。千年以上……恐らくは千三百年位前のものかな。とにかく物凄く古いものだ」 “There are kappa living in the mountains. You all might have never set foot around there, but there are a lot of youkai living in that area. But this shell is not recent. It’s from more than a thousand… probably from 1300 years ago, I suppose. In any case, it’s quite old.”
「そこそこ古いわね」 “That is rather old.”
「後で文句を付けられても困るから (あらかじ) め注意しておくけど、河童と伝えられているだけで、本当に河童の甲羅なのかは定かではない。それでも五色の甲羅は最大級の吉兆 (きっちょう) の品さ」 “But since I would rather not receive complaints after the sale, I will advise you beforehand that while I was told it was a kappa’s shell, I can’t ascertain absolutely that it is. Even so, a five-colored shell is the best lucky charm one could have.”
 河童と () われる事の信憑性を正直に述べた。すると、メイドの表情が少し (いぶか) しむ目付きに変わった様な気がしたので、慌てて話題を逸らした。 I spoke truthfully about the credibility of it being from a kappa. And so, the maid’s face expressed a little doubt. Seeing her expression, I changed the subject.
「ところで、何で縁起の良い物が欲しいのかい? しかもこんな夜遅くに」 “By the way, why is it that you want a lucky item? And this late at night, on top of that?”
「それは……大きな魔法の成功には、大きな運が必要らしいのです」 “That’s because... It seems we need a lot of luck for a great magic spell to be successful.”
 彼女が語り出したのは、とても奇怪 (きかい) な話だった。先日、彼女――十六夜 (いざよい) 咲夜が働く紅魔館で節分 (せつぶん) が行われたという。吸血鬼が鬼を追い払うという変わった行事だが、紅魔館はその様な不思議な行事を頻繁 (ひんぱん) に行っているらしく、あまり珍しくもない。 Her story was a rather bizarre one. A few days ago, the Scarlet Devil Mansion – where this girl Sakuya Izayoi worked at – was celebrating Setsubun. A vampire chasing away oni would be a strange event. But these kind of mysterious events were frequent at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, so it wasn’t all that out of place.
「――その節分大会が終わろうとした頃、月に異変が起きたのよ。貴方は知らないだろうけど」 “Just when the celebration was ending, there was an incident with the moon. Though I suppose you don’t know about it.”
 後日、『文々。新聞 (ぶんぶんまるしんぶん) 』で知ったのだが、節分の日の夜に月が割れるという惨事が起きていたらしい。月は音もなく割れ、音もなく元通りになったとの事だったが、時間が時間という事もあって気が付いた者は少なかった。 I read about it in the Bunbunmaru News some days later. It seems that on the night of Setsubun, a terrible disaster had split the moon into pieces. The moon crumbled without a sound, and was restored without a sound. And, considering the time it took place, just a few actually witnessed it.
「それで、その月の異変と縁起の良い物とどういう関係が……」 “But what is the relation between the moon incident and a lucky item...”
「砕け散った月を見て驚いたお嬢様が、また言い出したのです。『今度こそ月に行くわよ』って」 “My Mistress was surprised to see the fragmented moon and said once again ‘This time, we will go to the Moon.’ ”
 今度こそというのは、前にも突発的に月に行くと言い出して、月に行く魔法(『プロジェクトアポロ』という名前の魔法らしい)を行おうとした事が有ったからだ。その時は材料不足で失敗に終わったそうだが……。 By “this time”, it means that she had previously made a sudden decision to go to the moon. She wanted to perform some magic spell that would take her to the moon (a spell apparently named “Project Apollo”), but apparently, she didn’t have the necessary ingredients, and the spell failed…
 『プロジェクトアポロ』は、外の世界の魔法の中でも非常に難解で複雑なものだという。魔法の手順が書かれた魔導書は何冊にも及び、手順、材料、道具共に最大級の魔法だそうだ。さらに材料や道具には理解不能の品が大量にあり、それ一つ一つを探し集めるだけでも一苦労なのだ。それ (ゆえ) に、これを実行出来るだけの魔法使いは、幻想郷には存在しないと思われている。 “Project Apollo” is an extremely difficult and complicated magic spell from the outside world. I’ve browsed several grimoires detailing the spell’s procedure, and the procedure, the ingredients and the tools seem to be those of the highest level magic. In addition, many of the ingredients and tools are of no understandable use. Even gathering each item piecemeal would be extremely hard. That’s why I believe there’s not a single magician in Gensokyo capable of performing it.
「お嬢様のお友達の魔法使いは、『材料はかなり集まったけど、この最大級の魔法が成功するには最大級の運が必要』だと言うんです。それで『幻想郷で最も縁起の良い物を持ってきて』と命じられたもので……」 “The Mistress’ magician friend said ‘I have enough of the ingredients, but for magic of the highest level to succeed, fortune of the highest order is needed’. And so she ordered me to ‘Bring me the luckiest item in all Gensokyo’…”
「なんとも災難でしたね」 “How unfortunate.”
 魔法の実行は六つの要素から成り立っている。それは、術者の『技量』、魂の性質である『気質』、道具や材料といった『物質』、行う場所である『空間』、実行した時の『時間』、そして最後に『運』である。このうち、最後の運が占めるウエイトは最も重く、運さえ有れば他の要素はある程度カバーできるし、逆にこれが無ければどんな簡単な魔法でも失敗するのだ。 Performing of a spell is consisted of six elements. Those are the caster’s “Ability”, the “Temperament” of the soul, the “Substance” of the ingredients and tools, the “Space” in which it takes place, the “Time” during which it is performed and finally “Fortune”. Of these, Fortune carries the most strength, as long as you have Fortune on your side, it can cover for the other elements. On the other hand, if there’s no Fortune, even the simplest magic will fail.
「運以外の要素はほぼ (そろ) ったらしいので、後は運だけなのです。最も縁起 (えんぎ) の良い物となると、茶柱でも四つ葉のクローバーでも竹の花でもなくて、もっともっと珍しいものじゃないと……」 “The other elements seem to be almost complete, with only Fortune remaining. We need something extremely lucky. Nothing as common as four-leaf clovers or bamboo flowers, so I wondered if something more unusual would be acceptable…”
 珍しい物と縁起の良い物は異なる気がするが、恐らく紅魔館ではその常識がまかり通っているのだろう。珍しければ良いのなら、この河童の五色甲羅ではなく、つちのこ酒あたりでも良かったのかも知れない。 I don’t think unusual things and lucky things are the same, but maybe that’s the accepted idea at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. If unusual means lucky, then rather than a kappa’s five-colored shell, some tsuchinoko sake might be better.
 しかし、僕はこの河童の五色甲羅を売る絶好のチャンスが到来していると、直感で判っていた。このチャンスをみすみす逃してはいけない。 However, I had the feeling that this would be my best chance to sell this kappa shell. I couldn’t possibly let this chance escape.
「この五色の甲羅は、ただ珍しいだけじゃない。まさに、今の君にぴったりの品ですよ」 “This five-colored shell is not only unusual. In fact, it is perfect for what you need.”
 縁起が良いものには縁起が良いという謂われが必要である。僕はその河童の五色甲羅が何故縁起が良いのか、そして何故 (なぜ) 彼女にぴったりな品なのかを語る事にした。 Lucky items must have a history as being lucky. So I spoke at length of why this item was not only lucky, but why it was ideal for her.
 立ち話を止め、僕はストーブの近くの椅子に腰掛けた。彼女にも椅子に座るよう勧めたが、「立っているのには慣れてますから」と言って姿勢の良い立ちポーズを崩そうとはしなかった。僕だけが座った状態で、彼女が手に持っている甲羅を指さして説明を始めた。 I went to sit on a chair by the heater, having decided to continue the conversation while sitting. I offered her a chair, but she said “I’m used to standing.” without moving from her upright posture. Being the only one seated, I pointed to the shell she was holding and began to explain.
「赤、青、白、黒、黄の五色は、この自然のありとあらゆるものを表しているんだ。東西南北と中心という方角、春夏秋冬と節分の季節、そして火水木金土の物質、つまりこの世のすべてを表している色なんだ。魔法の実行に必要な『空間』『時間』『物質』を網羅 (もうら) している事になる。さらに亀は大地を運ぶ動物として元々縁起が良く、自然をすべて乗せる五色の亀は最高級の縁起物とされたんだよ。よく言われる一万年もの長い間生きる亀とは、もちろん普通の亀ではなくこういう五色の亀の事を言っている」 “The colors of red, blue, white, black and yellow can represent everything in nature. The directions of East, West, South, North and Center. The seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Setsubun. And the five elements of Fire, Water, Wood, Metal and Earth. In short, those five colors can represent everything in our world. Those can even cover the Space, Time, and Substance necessary for performing magic. Besides, the tortoise is considered to be good omen since long ago for being the animal that carries the world on its back. So all the colors of nature represented on a tortoise is the greatest sign of good omen an item could be. It is often said that tortoises are capable of living ten thousand years. Of course those wouldn’t be normal tortoises, but the ones that have shells such as that.”
「でも、この甲羅は亀じゃなくて河童なのでしょう? 河童でも一万年生きるのかしら」 “But didn’t you say that that this shell was from a kappa rather than a tortoise? Do kappa live ten thousand years as well?”
「そこが、この品が今の君にピッタリの品という理由なのさ。河童は、よく中国の河伯 (カハク) と呼ばれる河の妖怪が転じたものだといわれているが……それは違うんだ」 “And that’s why this item is perfect for you. Kappa are often related to the Chinese river youkai called kahaku… but this is not correct.”
「今のお話自体、初めて聞いたのですけど」 “That’s the first time I've heard of such, though...”
「河伯は大河に住む水の神様だ。河伯と河童を一緒にする事は、少し河童を持ち上げ過ぎだと思わないといけないよ」 Kahaku are gods who live in major rivers. I can’t help but think that putting kahaku and kappa together is flattering the kappa a little too much.”
「確かに、河童なんて天狗よりもたちの悪い妖怪ですからね」 “That’s right, kappa are even worse than tengu.”
 外の国に同じ様な呼び名の妖怪が居るというだけで、同じ生き物というのは無理がある。それに言葉だって、河に () み河の字が付くんだから同じ様な呼び名になって当然なのだ。 Just because there’s a youkai with a similar name in an country in the outside world, to think that they are the same creature is unreasonable. And, as far as wording goes, it’s only natural to use the same character for river – ‘河(ka)’ – for creatures who live in rivers.
「僕は、河童がもっと身近な生きものが変化した物だと考えているよ」 “I believe that kappa are creatures who changed to become more like us.”
 ストーブに載せていたヤカンの水が音を立て始めた。冷え切っていた店内は再び活気を取り戻し、お茶を淹れると (ようや) く調子が出てきた。 The water kettle atop the heater started to whistle. As I brewed some tea, the chilled shop finally started regaining some appearance of vitality.
 こういう時、メイドは習慣でお茶を淹れてくれたりしないのかと思ったが、彼女は他人の家ではそういう事をしないらしい。それは彼女が良く出来たメイドという証拠である。良かれと思って他人の家でもお茶を用意したり後片付けをしたりする者も居るが、それは無神経なだけだ。誰かの家にお邪魔した時はたとえメイドであれ、常に客人である。だから手伝いを買って出たりされても、家の主人は迷惑する。本人は善意であるからなおさらたちが悪い。 I wondered if the maid wouldn’t take it on to herself to brew the tea, since it should be her habit, but apparently she wouldn’t do that at other people’s houses. This was proof that she was a proper maid. If you think about it, there might be people who prepare tea and clean things up at other people’s houses, but that’s rather insensible. When you come to other people’s houses, like this maid, you are always a visitor. That’s why, even if you offer to help, you are just giving trouble to the host. You would just be insensible to their good intentions.
 メイドはありとあらゆる所にまで神経を使い、常に失礼の無い様にする事に長けているものだ。店に来て勝手にお茶を煎れて飲んでいる誰かさんとは大違いである。僕は彼女の分のお茶も用意した。 A maid should be sensible wherever she is, and always avoid discourtesy. Very differently from a certain someone that comes to my shop, makes tea and drinks it on her own whim. So I served tea for her as well.
「では、河童は何処 (どこ) から来たというのです?」 “So, where did the kappa come from?”
「その答えは河童の姿を思い浮かべればすぐに想像付くよ」 “If you think about the form of a kappa, you’ll soon be able to answer that.”
「河童の姿ねぇ……。そういえば河童の甲羅ってつるつるとしているかしら?」 “A kappa’s form... Now that you mention it, is a kappa’s shell smooth?”
 そう、河童の甲羅は亀とは異なる形状をしているのだ。 Yes, a kappa’s shell is a different shape from a turtle’s.
「河童の由来は、カハカメが転じたものだと考えている」 “I think the origin of the kappa is related to the kahakame.”
 それにしてもこのメイドは、夜中に訪れて来た割には急いでいる様に見えない。もしかしたら月に行く事なんて最初から無理だと思っているのかも知れない。そう考えると、彼女はお嬢様の遊びに付き合っている様にも見えた。 But by any means, for someone who comes calling in the middle of the night, this maid doesn’t seem in that much of a rush. Maybe she had thought from the beginning that going to the moon would be impossible. She looked like she was just going along with her mistress's version of play.
「カハカメ、つまり河に () む亀。カハカメは漢字で書くと大亀という字になるんだよ。その字が表している様に物凄く巨大な亀なんだ。成長すれば人間くらいの大きさになる事も珍しくない。そのカハカメが何年もの長い間生き続け、人語を理解する様になったり人の形を取れる程の妖力を得たものが河童なんだ」 Kahakame, the river turtle. Their name in kanji is written with the characters meaning “great turtle”. What these characters express is the idea of a huge turtle. It would not be unusual for a fully grown one to reach the size of a human. When these turtles live for many years, they become able to understand human speech and gain the ability to take on a human form, becoming kappa.”
「カハカメ……って聞いた事が無いわ。それに河にそんな大きな亀が居るのかしら? 海亀じゃあるまいし……」 Kahakame... I have never heard of them. And are there really such big turtles in rivers? It is not possible for them to be sea turtles…”
 まるで海亀が泳いでいるのを見た事が有るかの様な口ぶりが少々気になったが、僕は続けた。 She talked like she had seen a sea turtle swim before, which made me a little curious, but I went on.
「よく思い出してごらん? 居るじゃないか、海じゃなくて河や沼にも非常に大きくなるモノが。もう一度河童の姿を思い浮かべてみたり、その甲羅をよく見てごらん? 亀にしては丸くて (なめ) らかだと思わないかい?」 “Why don’t you try remembering? There certainly are. Really big ones, who live in rivers and ponds instead of the sea. Try thinking about a kappa’s image again, looking at this shell. Doesn’t it remind you of a round and smooth tortoise shell?”
「なるほど、貴方の言いたい事はよく判りましたわ。だから、この品が今の私にぴったりだと言ったのね。でも、そうだとすると……お嬢様には『私が水棲生物に (うと) い』という事にして頂かないといけません」 “I see. Now I understand what you meant. This item is indeed just what I was looking for. But even so… my Mistress is definitely going to say something like ‘I have nothing to do with water creatures.’ ”
 メイドは納得した様子で五色の甲羅を抱えて帰って行った。勿論 (もちろん) 、お金を払い、お茶の後片付けもせずにである。本当に良くできたメイドだ。僕は二人分の後片付けをし、再び閉店にした。 The maid seemed to reach a conclusion, and returned to the mansion with the five-colored shell under her arm. After paying, of course, and without helping to tidy up anything. She is indeed a proper maid. I cleaned up after both of us, and once again closed the store.
 それにしても、彼女が最後に言った言葉……彼女はメイドとしての心得 (こころえ) をわきまえた上に、頭の回転も速い事がよく判った。 But thinking about her last words… I noticed that she not only had all the knowledge of a maid, but was an exceptionally fast thinker.
 彼女は河童の正体に気付くと、すぐに御主人様に見せた時の説明を頭の中でシミュレートしたに違いない。なんで縁起 (えんぎ) が良いのかを説明するにあたって、その甲羅の () われを述べるだろう。でも、河童の正体は伝えないんじゃないかと予想する。 As soon as she perceived the true nature of kappa, she must have simulated in her head how it would be to explain it while showing it to her lady. To explain why it is a lucky item, she would have to mention what it was said of that shell. But she was already predicting not explaining about the kappa’s true form.
 河童の正体である 大亀 (カハカメ) 、それは海ではなく河や沼に棲み、そしてとんでもなく大きくなる亀。すなわち、 (スッポン) である。その鼈が長い間生き続け、妖力を得た物が河童である。 The real form of the kappa are the great turtles. Tortoises that don’t live in the sea, but in rivers and ponds, and can get incredibly big. In other words, softshell turtles. If these turtles live for too long, they gain supernatural abilities and become kappa.
 御主人様が月に行こうとする時に鼈を持って行く事は、それだけで何か裏の意図、しかも負の方向の意図があると思われかねない。だから彼女は自分が水棲生物に疎い事にし、その甲羅が鼈のものである事を御主人様には伝えないのだろう。 Her mistress would see going to the moon while carrying a turtle, by itself, a little contradictory, and likely defeating the whole purpose. And so, not seeing how she is related to aquatic creatures, the maid wouldn't tell her mistress the shell is related to turtles.
 月と鼈。確かに二つのものは似ているが大きくかけ離れている。だがしかし、我々が触れられるものも、良い縁起をもたらすものも鼈の方なのだ。月は不吉なものであり、決して触れる事も出来ない。だとすると、月と鼈のどちらが優れているかといえば……言うまでも無く鼈の方である。遠くの不吉を見る前に、身近な吉兆を見た方が良い。 The moon and the turtle. [1] Two things that look similar but are indeed very different. However, the turtle is the one we can touch, and that brings good luck. The moon is ominous and untouchable. That being the case, if I were to choose which one is better… I wouldn’t even have to say that it would be the turtle. Rather than looking at something distant and ominous, it’s better to look at something close and fortunate.
 彼女はそこまで気付き、月に行く為に鼈を用意するという一見侮辱 (ぶじょく) かと思われる行為をわざとしたに違いない。多分、お嬢様には気付かれないだろうが、紅魔館に居る識者 (しきしゃ) の誰かが気付けば彼女は満足なのだろう。 She should have realized that much – that using a turtle to get to the moon was ridiculous at first glance – and did it on purpose. Her mistress won’t probably notice, but maybe it will be good enough for her if someone knowledgeable enough in the Scarlet Devil Mansion realizes it.
 僕はというと、思わぬ臨時収入により少々高揚 (こうよう) した気持ちでいた。あの五色の甲羅は大きいし誰も興味を持たないし、どちらかというと不良在庫だったのだ。それに河童の甲羅と言われてはいるが、それも疑わしいときたものだ。メイドが訪れた時、これが売れるチャンスはもう来ないかも知れないと思い、僕は極限まで高まった感度で甲羅と彼女を見た。 As for me, more than an unexpected extra income, I got a small feeling of exaltation. As that five-colored shell was too big, no one else was interested in it. It was practically defective stock. And even though it was supposed to be a kappa shell, it was suspicious. When that maid came here, I thought that would be my last chance to sell it, and used my utmost sensibility on that shell and that girl.
 月に行くという途方もない目的とメイドらしい気の使い方を見た時に、突然、河童と鼈、月と鼈の関係が閃いたのだ。たとえ縁起が良いからといって、まったく無関係の品では意味が無い。だから僕は遠回しにそれを話した。もちろん、彼女ならきっとすぐに理解し、そしてこの商品を手に取るだろう、という計算の上で……。 When looking at the outrageous goal of going to the moon, and that very maid-like way of acting, the relation between the kappa and the turtles and between the moon and the turtle suddenly flashed through my head. Because it’s a lucky item, it doesn’t matter that it's completely unrelated. That’s why I talked about it in such a roundabout way. Of course, I’m sure she soon understood that, and decided to take the article, as it was all calculated...
 僕は筆を置き窓の外を見た。その時、一瞬だけ月が紅く光って見えた気がした。 I put the brush down and looked through the window. At that moment, I had the impression the moon had shone red for an instant.


  1. The Japanese expression “The moon and the turtle” means two things that have very little in similar to each other. In this case, both the moon and the turtle look round, but other than that they have nothing in common.


  • This chapter brings the plan of people at Scarlet Devil Mansion for Moon Travel, which is concretely shown in Silent Sinner in Blue.

< Chapter 17   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 19 >