Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 33

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< Chapter 32   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 34 >

An ending to the connection that existed since Urban Legend in Limbo!?
What'll become of the Secret Sealing Club's first president?!
第六話 宇佐見菫子は三人いる! Chapter 6: There Are Three Sumireko Usami!
「最近、菫子君の姿を見かけないんだけど、神社の方には来ているかい?」 "I haven't seen Sumireko lately... Has she been visiting the shrine?"
「いやー? そういえば見かけないわねぇ。香霖堂 (ここ) にも来ていないのね」 "No...? Come to think of it, I haven't seen her around. So she's not coming here to Kourindou anymore either, huh."
「そうなのか。夢の中だけ幻想郷に来ていた原因が解消した、とか、幻想郷に来るのが飽きた、とかならまだ良いんだが……」 "I see. Well, if the reason she's been coming to Gensokyo in her dreams has stopped, or if she's simply gotten bored, I suppose that's fine. But I'm a little worried."
夏の暑さは収まり、すっかり秋めいた幻想郷。風通しの良くない小道具屋、香霖堂に霊夢が訪れていた。 After the summer heat abated, Gensokyo had fully entered into autumn. Reimu was paying a visit to the poorly ventilated curio shop, Kourindou.
菫子君が幻想郷で遭難したり、妖怪の襲撃に () っているとかだったら大変だ It would be awful if Sumireko had gotten stranded somewhere in Gensokyo, or been attacked by youkai.
「確かにねぇ。外の世界にある家に行く手段もないし、彼女の普段を知っている人にも逢えないし、菫子の方から現れないと安全を確かめる手段がないのよね。厄介だなぁ」 "You've got a point. We have no way of visiting her home in the outside world, and we can't go talk to anyone who knows her in her daily life either. So unless she shows up, we have no way to confirm her safety. What a pain."
「どうする? このまま放って置くのかい?」 "So what do we do? Leave it be?"
「外の人間とはいえ、幻想郷に入ればただの人。幻想郷の人間の安全は私が守るわ。任せておいて!」 "Even if she's from the outside world, once she enters Gensokyo she's just another human. And it's my job to keep the humans of Gensokyo safe. So leave it to me!"
霊夢は根拠もなく、自信満々にそう答えた。 Reimu responded with a baseless confidence.
――涼しい秋風が吹いている博麗神社。異変解決専門家と異変を起こす者たちのたまり場だ。 The cool autumn wind blows through the Hakurei Shrine. It's a gathering place for both Incident resolution specialists and those who cause Incidents.
「ダメだ、手当たり次第あたったけど大した手掛かりはなかった。霊夢、お前の方は?」 "It's no good. I tried everything I could think of, but still haven't got a good lead. How about you, Reimu?"
魔理沙はお手上げのポーズをした。 Marisa threw up her hands in defeat.
「私の方も何にも。まあ、何の手掛かりもなければ、それが幻想郷に来ることなく外の世界で安全に暮らしている、という証拠にもなるけど……」 "Nothing on my end either. But I guess we could take the fact that we have no leads as proof that she's not coming to Gensokyo, and just living her life safe in the outside world."
「と言ってもなぁ。幻想郷中をくまなく探すこともできないし、それに川に流されたとか、妖怪に捕まったとか、よく判らない異世界に飛び込んだとかだと、何の痕跡も残らないかもしれないし」 "Sure, but it's not like we can search every last corner of Gensokyo. She coulda been washed away by the river, taken by youkai, or even sent to who-knows-what Otherworld without leaving a trace."
「痕跡が残っていないなら、心の中から綺麗さっぱり消し去ってしまえば、最初から彼女なんていなくて、被害も無かった、ってことになるわ」 "If she was really gone 'without a trace' then she'd be completely wiped from our minds. It'd be as if she never existed, and there wouldn't be any problem."
「夢見が悪くなりそうな考え方だな……。あ、夢と言えば」 "You're thinking like it's a dream that's getting worse, huh? Oh, speaking of dreams..."
「何?」 "What?"
「関係無いんだけど、夢の中でなら菫子が出てきたって話を聞いたぜ。しかも何人からも」 "This isn't related, but I've heard Sumireko's been showing up in people's dreams. And from multiple people, too."
「へえ、意外と心に残りやすい人間なのかね」 "Really? Huh. She sticks in people's minds more than you'd expect, huh?"
「夢の中で大暴れしてたので、スッキリやっつけてやった、という夢の話を、何故か数人から聞いたんだ。偶然にしては不思議だよな。それに普段、菫子に会うことのない奴まで……」 "They tell me that in these dreams, they're going on a rampage when they get cleanly beaten. And for whatever reason a lot of people are having these dreams. Even people who don't normally see her. Pretty strange coincidence..."
その時、霊夢と魔理沙が同時にあることを思い浮かべた。 At that moment, both Reimu and Marisa simultaneously had the same thought.
「いや、まさかねぇ」 "No way... right?"
「まあ、偶然だとは思うぜ……。中には菫子のことを知らないって奴も、夢に出てきたって言ってたけど、偶然……」 "Well, I still think it's a coincidence... I mean, a coincidence where even people who don't know her are seeing her in their dreams..."
そこまで言って、二人は確信した。 On hearing that put into words, they both became certain.
「もしかして、菫子は、夢の世界に迷い込んでいる!? "Don't tell me Sumireko's lost in the dream world?!"
――香霖堂に、『宇佐見菫子失踪事件 対策本部』が設けられた。黒板には今まで集めた情報が書かれている。メンバーは霊夢と魔理沙、霖之助だ。 Kourindou had been set up as the "Sumireko Usami's Disappearance Task Force Headquarters." All the information they'd gathered was written on a chalk board. The members are Reimu, Marisa, and Rinnosuke.
「――なる程、菫子君はみんなが見ている夢の世界に迷い込んだと言うのか。しかし、夢の世界というのは、頭の中にだけある想像上の世界なのではないのか?」 "I see. So you're saying that Sumireko is lost in this dream world that everyone is seeing? But isn't the dream world just an imaginary place inside your head?"
「そう思うんだけど、私も何度か夢の世界に入ったことあるからねぇ。現実に存在しているのは確かよ。あ、夢の世界は現実と裏表だから、現実に存在するというのは矛盾しているかも知れないけど」 "I think so, but I've been there plenty of times myself too. It definitely exists in reality. Maybe it's a contradiction to say it's in "reality" when the dream world and reality are two sides of the same coin though."
霊夢もあまり理解していない様子で、こんがらがっている。魔理沙も同様だ。 Reimu is in disarray over all the things she doesn't quite understand. Marisa is faring no better.
「夢の世界相手では、正攻法では捜索できないぜ。まずは本当に夢の世界に菫子がいるのかを確かめないといけない。そこで、相談なんだが」 "If it's the dream world, we can't just do a straightforward manhunt. First we need to confirm if Sumireko's actually even there. Which is what we're here to talk about."
魔理沙は霖之助の方を向いて言った。 Marisa turned to Rinnosuke as she said this.
「望んだ夢を見る道具、何かないか?」 "Do you have anything that can show someone any dream they want?"
「望んだ夢だって? 勿論 (もちろん) あるさ」 "Any dream you want? Of course I do."
「本当か?」 "Seriously?"
「外の世界から流れ着いた物の中に、そういう道具はある」 "There's something like that among the items that drift in from the outside world."
霖之助はガラクタの山の中に姿を消した。 Rinnosuke disappeared into a mountain of junk.
「何でも言ってみるもんだな。まさか外の世界に夢をコントロールする道具があるなんて」 "Whoa, I was just asking just in case! I can't believe the outside world really has something that controls dreams."
「まあ、あまり信用しない方が良いと思うけど……」 "Well, I'd temper my expectations if I were you..."
霖之助が手にアイマスクの様な物を持って戻って来た。 Rinnosuke returned carrying something like an eye mask.
「これは?」 "So what is it?"
「原理はよく判らないけど、このアイマスクを着けて寝ると『明晰夢 (めいせきむ) 』が見られるらしい。明晰夢とは、自分の思い通りになる夢らしいので、望んだ夢を見る道具ってことになると思う」 "I don't how it's supposed to work, but apparently if you wear this eye mask as you go to sleep, you'll have lucid dreams. As a lucid dream is one where everything goes according to your wishes, I think you can use this to see whatever dream you want."
魔理沙が不思議なアイマスクを (いじ) っている。 Marisa fiddles with the mysterious eye mask.
「何だかよく判らんが、凄そうだな。これ借りてくぜ」 "I don't get it, but that sounds awesome! I'm borrowing this!"
「どうぞどうぞ。ハッキリ言って、効果の程は……だがね」 "Go right ahead. Frankly, its effectiveness is... well, you'll see."
霊夢はその道具には興味がないのか、和紙に絵を描いている。 Perhaps because she had no interest in this item, Reimu was doodling on a piece of paper.
「何の絵を描いているんだ?」 "What are you drawing?"
「ほら昔から、枕の下に見たい夢の絵を入れて寝ると、その夢を見られるって言うでしょ? だから菫子の絵を描いているの」 "You know how people used to put pictures under their pillows of the dreams they wanted to see? I'm drawing a picture of Sumireko."
「ど、どれが菫子だ?」 "Wh-What part of that is Sumireko?"
その絵は、お世辞にも上手いとは言えなかった。こんな絵を枕の下に入れたら、きっと悪夢にうなされるに違いない。そう思ったが、真剣だったので何も言えなかった。 I couldn't find a single word of praise for that drawing. Whoever put that under their pillow would no doubt see only nightmares. That said, she was dead serious so I said nothing.
そして二人は帰っていった。夢の中で菫子に逢えることを期待して。 Afterward, the two of them went home, hoping to meet Sumireko in their dreams.
――次の日の対策本部。元気な魔理沙と、ちょっと疲れた霊夢がいた。 They convened at the task force headquarters again the next day. Marisa was excited, but Reimu was a little exhausted.
「どうだったかい?」 "So how'd it go?"
「いやー、良かったぜー、このアイマスク。着けたら真っ暗で、集中してよく眠れたぜ。お陰で目覚めはバッチリだ!」 "Man, this mask was great! It's pitch black with it on, so I could sleep without any distractions! Thanks to this I woke up completely refreshed!"
「ほうそれは良かった。で、肝心な夢の方は?」 "Oh? That's nice. But what about the dreams?"
「熟睡しすぎて、何にも見えなかったぜ。でもよく眠れたおかげで『頭脳明晰』だ」 "Nah, I slept too soundly to see any dreams. But I sure am lucid after getting so much rest!"[1]
なる程、明晰夢ってのはそういう意味なのか。 I see. So that's "lucid dreaming" in another sense then?
「じゃあ、霊夢はどうだ? 何か疲れているみたいだけど」 "Then what about you, Reimu? You seem tired though."
「この絵を枕の下に入れて、出てこーい、って念じてたら眠れなくて……」 "I put this picture under my pillow, but was too busy thinking 'come on out!' to actually fall asleep..."
「そうか、それは大変だったね。じゃあ、今度は明晰夢のアイマスクを着けて寝ると良いよ」 "Oh, that sounds awful. Maybe you should wear the lucid dreaming eye mask next time."
二人とも作戦は失敗したようだ。でも、もし二人が夢の中で菫子に会ったとしても、一体何ができるのだろうか。それに、本当に夢の世界に迷い込むなんてことがあり得るのだろうか。 Both of their plans had failed. But what could they even do if they did meet Sumireko in a dream? And is it really possible for someone to be lost in the dream world in the first place?
そもそも二人が、菫子失踪が夢の世界と関係あると確信しているのは何故だろう。 Why are these two so sure that her disappearance has something to do with the dream world anyway?
「夢の世界は絶対あるよ。だって、何度も行ってるもん」 "The dream world definitely exists. I've been there plenty of times."
「それは生身で、ってことかい?」 "You mean, physically?"
「そう生身で。宇宙みたいなところだったり、現実とそんなに変わらないところだったり……」 "Yeah, physically. Sometimes it's like outer space, other times it's not too different from reality."
「そこを夢の世界だと信じている憑拠 (ひょうきょ) は何?」 "Okay, but do you have any basis for believing that was actually the dream world?"
「うーん。ここは夢の世界だ、って言う奴が居るから……」 "Um... Well there was someone there who said 'this is the dream world!'"
「それは、前からよく聞く『夢の支配者』って奴かい?」 "Was that the 'ruler of dreams' you told me about before?"
「そうね。それ以外にも、夢の住人たちもこれは夢の世界だって言うし」 "Yeah, her. But she's not the only one. Other dream world residents have told me it was the dream world too."
「だとしたら、その『夢の支配者』を捕まえるのが、手っ取り早そうだね。菫子君捜索にとって」 "In that case, wouldn't it be faster to find this 'ruler of dreams' and see if she knows anything? You know, for solving Sumireko's disappearance."
「そうだった」 "Oh, right!"
霊夢は手を打った。しかし魔理沙が「そいつの方が捜索難しそうなんだけどな」と言った。 Reimu clapped her hands. However Marisa said "It's even harder to find her though."
明晰夢のアイマスクは寝不足の霊夢が、魔理沙は夢の支配者っぽい絵を持って今日の捜索会議はお開きとなった。霖之助には、菫子捜索は絶望的に思えた。 The meeting concluded with the sleep-deprived Reimu taking the lucid dreaming mask and Marisa taking home a ruler-of-dreams-esque picture. Rinnosuke thought the search for Sumireko was hopeless.
――チリンチリン。 Ding a ling.
暗くなるのが早くなった、秋の夕方。香霖堂に客が訪れた。 The autumn dusk was coming in quickly as a visitor arrived at Kourindou.
「ほう、山の仙人様……。今日はどんな用事で」 "Oh, if it isn't the mountain hermit? What brings you here today?"
「ちょっとお (たず) ねしたいことがありまして」 "I have a few questions for you."
訪れたのは茨華仙だった。 The visitor was Kasen Ibara.
「何でしょう?」 "What is it?"
「こちらに、宇佐見菫子は来ていないですか?」 "Has Sumireko Usami not been coming here?"
「あ、その件ですが、ここ (しばら) くは見ていないですね」 "Oh, so it's about that. No, I haven't seen her here lately."
「やっぱりそうなんですね。何でも彼女、最近夢を見ることができなくなっているみたいで」 "As I thought. It seems she hasn't been able to see any dreams lately."
「へぇ、そうなんですね……って、最近彼女に会っているんですか?」 "Oh, really? Wait, does that mean you've met her recently?"
「え? ええ、まあ。 (いた) って元気ですよ」 "Hm? Well, yes, I suppose. She's doing fine."
「えー、あー……なる程。貴方が菫子君に会ったのは外の世界ってことですね?」 "Um... Oh, I see. So you're saying you met her in the outside world then?"
「さあ、想像にお任せします」 "I'll leave that your imagination."
つまり、この仙人は禁じられている外の世界への渡航をして、菫子君の存在を確認してきたのだろう。なる程、それができるのなら一番楽な捜索方法じゃないか。取り敢えず、菫子君の生存は確認できたって訳か。 In other words, this hermit had made the forbidden trek to the outside world and confirmed Sumireko's presence. I see, if you can do that then that's clearly the easiest way to handle this. At least we know she's in one piece now.
「そうですか、菫子君が無事で良かったです。うちでは捜索対策本部まで作って、ああだこうだしてたんだけど、手も足も出なくてね。 (しま) いには夢の世界に閉じ込められただなんて言い始めて……」 "Is that so? Thank goodness Sumireko is alright. We've been running a search effort from our end, but even after trying this-and-that, we couldn't find a trace of her. We were even starting to think she might be trapped in the dream world, of all things."
「夢の世界に閉じ込められた……? それは一体」 "Trapped in the dream world? What do you mean?"
「まあ、霊夢達の想像なんですがね。何でも、菫子君が幻想郷に現れないのは、夢の世界に迷い込んでいるからだとか」 "Well, it's just Reimu's overactive imagination. Like, she thought Sumireko wasn't appearing in Gensokyo because she's lost in the dream world or something."
「霊夢がそんなこと言うなんて、きっと何か根拠があるのね。それに菫子の現状だけど、健康は健康なんですが、眠っても何の夢も見ないらしく、それで幻想郷に来ることもできなくなってしまったみたいなんです。霊夢の勘と何か関係ありそうねぇ。」 "Reimu wouldn't say something like that without a reason. Not to mention that while Sumireko may be in perfect health, I'm told she doesn't see dreams even while asleep, so she's been unable to come to Gensokyo. It seems likely that this is related to Reimu's intuition."
「夢……? 確かに関係してそうだけど、夢を見なくなっただって? 閉じ込められているという霊夢の予想とは正反対なような……」 "Dreams? That does sound related, but didn't you say she's not seeing dreams? That's the exact opposite of Reimu's guess that she was trapped in the dream world."
「夢の世界が絡んでくるとなると、もう現実の私達にはお手上げね。 () () を呼び出さないと」 "If this involves dreams, then it's out of our hands here in reality. We'll need to call her in."
彼奴 (きゃつ) ?」 "Her?"
夢の支配者 (ドレミー・スイート) よ」 "The ruler of dreams, Doremy Sweet."
――次の日の香霖堂。 The next day, at Kourindou.
茨華仙を加えた『宇佐見菫子失踪事件』捜索隊は、真相に迫りつつあった。 Kasen Ibara had joined the "Sumireko Usami's Disappearance Task Force" who were gradually uncovering the truth.
「もうすぐ、霊夢がドレミーを連れてくるそうだぜ」 "Reimu should be here with Doremy soon."
「何処にいるのか判らないって言ってたけど、よく捕まえられたな」 "And you even said you didn't know where she was. Nice job catching her."
「夢の中で、出てこい! って暴れたら出てきて、ここに来る約束をしたそうだ。さすが明晰夢が見られるアイマスクを使っただけあるな」 "Apparently she threw a tantrum in a dream, shouting "get out here!" etc, until she got Doremy to promise to come here. All she needed was to use that mask that brings lucid dreams."
「そ、そうか。明晰夢を見たんだね。あのアイマスクで」 "I-I see. So she saw a lucid dream. With that mask."
チリンチリン。 Ding a ling.
「お待たせー。連れてきたよ、夢の支配者」 "Sorry for the wait. I brought the ruler of dreams."
「あら皆さん。こんにちは、私がドレミー・スイート、夢の支配者です」 "Oh, hello there everyone. I am Doremy Sweet, the ruler of dreams."
霊夢と夢の支配者が店に入ってきた。夢の支配者と言うだけあって、店内は現実ではないような異様な空気に包まれた。 Reimu entered the shop with the ruler of dreams. Just by saying the words 'ruler of dreams,' a strange atmosphere covered the store, as if we were no longer in reality.
「――菫子の話ですね。確かに、幻想郷の夢の世界に彼女が迷い込んでいるのも事実ですし、現実の彼女が夢を見なくなったのも事実です」 "This is about Sumireko, right? Yes, it's true that she's lost in Gensokyo's dream world, and it's also true that the real her can no longer see dreams."
「んー? どういうことだ?」 "Hm? What do you mean?"
「彼女の夢は大変複雑な状況に置かれています。そもそも何故彼女は、夢を見ている時だけ幻想郷に来ることができるのでしょう」 "There are some... extremely complicated circumstances surrounding her dreams. For example, why is she only able to come to Gensokyo while dreaming?"
夢の支配者の説明はこうだ。元々、菫子君にとって幻想郷は (あこが) れの夢の世界だった。最初から彼女にとって、幻想郷に来ることは夢の世界に来ることに等しかった。彼女が結界を超えて生身のまま幻想郷にやってきた時、『都市伝説異変』の影響によって彼女の生身は二つに分かれて、片方が幻想郷に取り残されてしまった。その幻想郷側の彼女がドッペルゲンガーだという。 This is how the ruler of dreams explained it. To Sumireko, Gensokyo was originally the dream world she longed for. At first, coming to Gensokyo was just like coming to the dream world for her. But when she physically crossed the barrier to Gensokyo, she was affected by the 'Urban Legend Incident' and her physical body was split in two, with part of her remaining in Gensokyo. The one left in Gensokyo was her doppelganger.
「と言うことは、菫子君は二人いる?」 "So you're saying Sumireko is two people?"
「外の世界の彼女が寝ているとき、ドッペルゲンガーを介して意識を共有していたと思われます。ドッペルゲンガーは本体がいないと存在できないので、彼女が夢を見るときだけ、幻想郷に現れるのです」 "I believe that whenever she was asleep in the outside world, she shares her consciousness with her doppelganger. As a doppelganger is a being that cannot exist without its original, it would only appear while she was dreaming.
「うーん。よく判らない」 "Hmm.. I don't get it."
みんなの頭の上にはてなマークが飛び交っていた。 Question marks were appearing over everyone's heads.
「ここまでは今までの話です。菫子は二人いるかと聞かれましたが、実は三人います。『外の世界の菫子』と『幻想郷の菫子 (ドッペルゲンガー) 』と、本来見るはずの『夢の菫子』と……。今何が起きているのかというと、この三人目、つまり夢の菫子が暴走してドッペルゲンガーの肉体を奪って、夢の世界で暴れているのです。その結果、現実の菫子は夢を見なくなり、結果、ドッペルゲンガーも現れません」 "That's how it's been until now, at any rate. And while you asked if there were two Sumirekos, there were actually three. The 'Sumireko in the outside world', 'Sumireko's doppelganger in Gensokyo', and the 'dream Sumireko' who you would originally see. As for what's happening now, long story short the dream Sumireko went wild, stole the physical body of the doppelganger, and is now rampaging through the dream world. As a result, the real Sumireko is no longer seeing dreams, and therefore the doppelganger is no longer appearing."
「と、いうことは? えーっと、現状では何が問題で、何をすれば解決? いや、問題ですらない?」 "Meaning... what? Um... So what's the problem, and how do we fix it? Wait, is there even a problem at all?"
霊夢は確実に混乱していた。 Reimu was clearly confused.
「夢の菫子は、私こそが本物の菫子だと思い込み、現実世界に出て行こうとしています。もし、出て行った場合。現実の菫子と入れ替わり、本人も夢の菫子であったことを忘れて普通に生活し始めるでしょう。特に大した問題ではないです」 "The dream Sumireko is under the impression that she's the original Sumireko and is trying to escape the dream world. If she happens to succeed, she'll switch places with the real one, forget that she was the dream version, and most likely begin to lead an ordinary life. So there's no particular problem."
「い、いや、問題ない、のかな」 "U-Um, are you sure that's not a problem?"
魔理沙も困惑気味だ。 Marisa is bewildered as well.
「ただ、夢の住人も過敏でして、『お前が肉体を持って現実に行けるのなら自分だって』って思って、やっかんで阻止しようとしています。そのせいで、今、夢の世界は攻撃的な悪夢で満たされています。これでは目覚めた時に寝汗が凄いですよね。問題あるとすればそこです」 "It's just, the dream residents can be awfully sensitive. They're thinking 'if you can have a real body, then why can't we?!' and are trying to stop her out of jealousy. So the dream world is currently full of these aggressive nightmares. When you wake up from one you're just drenched in sweat. If there's a problem with this situation, then that's it."
みんな沈黙した。夢の支配者のよく判らない説明と、何かギャップを感じる問題点。失踪しているんだか、してないんだかすら判らない事件。解決方法がまるで判らず、もはや迷宮入りは (まぬが) れないと思っていた。 Everyone was silent. They felt something was lacking from the ruler of dream's confusing explanation. They couldn't even be sure if Sumireko was missing or not. Completely unsure of the solution, they nonetheless felt the need for closure.
「と、ともかく。菫子は失踪したわけではない。何か妖怪に襲撃されたわけでもない。そもそも事件なんて起きていない、と考えて良いの?」 "A-Anyway! So Sumireko isn't missing. She hasn't been attacked by a youkai. Heck, nothing's even really happened. Can we think of it like that?
霊夢が意を決して言った。 Reimu voiced her thoughts.
「問題ありません」 "I don't see a problem with that."
「じゃ、じゃあ。私の出る幕ではないわ」 "O-Okay. So this is none of our business then."
霊夢は降参した。 Reimu resigned herself.
「お、おい。ズルいぞ。私を巻き込んで『幻想郷にいる人間は助けなきゃ!』って言ってた奴は誰だよ」 "H-Hey! Not fair! Don't you remember who roped me into this by shouting "we need to rescue the humans of Gensoyko!"?!
「だって、助かってるんでしょ? というか事件その物だって起きてないんじゃあ助けようが……」 "C'mon, we're saving them, aren't we? I mean, if there's no incident then what are we even saving them from?"
「ちょっとまって」 "Hold on."
茨華仙が割り込んだ。 Kasen Ibara interjected.[2]
「さっきの話をかみ砕くと、助かっていない人間が一人いるわ」 "Based on what we heard just now, there's still a human who hasn't been saved."
「誰?」 "Who?"
「菫子のドッペルゲンガーよ。ドッペルゲンガーと言っても、現実の菫子には変わりないんでしょ? ねえ、ドレミー。さっき言った通りのまま、夢の菫子が現実に取って代わると、ドッペルゲンガーはどうなるの?」 "Sumireko's doppelganger. We're calling her a doppelganger, but she's no different from the real Sumireko, is she? Hey, Doremy. What happens to the doppelganger if the dream Sumireko takes over for the real one like you were saying?"
「そうですね。夢の世界は、ドッペルゲンガーの肉体を奪って外の世界に行こうとしているので、現実世界に二人の宇佐見菫子が生まれると思います。二人が相まみえたとき、どちらかが消滅するでしょう。それにドッペルゲンガーが幻想郷から消えてしまうので、今後幻想郷に菫子が現れることもないと思います」 "Hmm, let's see... I think that because the dream Sumireko has stolen the doppelganger's body and is trying to get to the outside world, that will give birth to two Sumirekos in the real world. When they meet, one of them will probably be annihilated. Furthermore, I believe Sumireko would never appear in Gensokyo again, because her doppelganger would be gone."
ドレミーは笑顔でそう言った。 Doremy said this with a smile.
――そこから『宇佐見菫子失踪実験 対策本部』は『宇佐見菫子 (ドッペルゲンガー) 救出本部』に名前を変えて、作戦会議を続けた。 After that, the "Sumireko Usami's Disappearance Task Force Headquarters" changed its name to "Saving Sumireko Usami's Doppelganger Task Force Headquarters" and continued their strategizing.
と言っても、夢の世界に自由に手を出すことができるのは一人しか居なかったため、作戦内容のほとんどは彼女任せだったが。 That said, since only one of them could freely interact with the dream world, their strategies mostly involved just leaving it to her.
「――夢の中で彼女を倒して、新しい夢の菫子が生まれるのを待つのが一番シンプルな作戦ですが、彼女は () () () なことにべらぼうに強くて一筋縄にはいきません。彼女は自分が本物だと思い込んでいるので、決して倒されないという強い意志が働いているのかも知れませんし、もしかしたら裏で誰かが手を……」 "While the simplest plan would be to defeat her in the dream world and wait for a new dream Sumireko to manifest, for some mysterious reason reason she's become absurdly powerful, and ordinary methods will no longer work. Perhaps her belief that she's the real one has give her intense feelings about not wanting to be defeated, or perhaps someone else has been working from behind the scenes."
「夢の支配者なんだから、強制的に夢を作り替えたりできないの?」 "Aren't you the ruler of dreams? Can't you just forcibly remake the dream or something?"
霊夢はもどかしそうに言った。 Reimu seemed frustrated.
「そんなところまで干渉できませんよ。支配者と言っても、夢の住人たちが棲む動物園の管理者くらいなもんです。新しい動物を創ったりすることはできません。夢の住人に戦って貰うようにけしかけることくらいはできますが……」 "I can't interfere to that extent. I may call myself a ruler, but I'm closer to the zookeeper of a zoo full of dream residents. A zookeeper can't simply make a new animal. I could spur the other dream residents to fight her though."
「じゃあ、強い奴にそれをやって、夢の菫子を倒して貰うしかないのね。あ、そうだ、倒すことが目的ならズルして複数人で襲いかかれば良いんだわ!」 "Okay, then I guess our only choice is to get someone strong to defeat her for us. Oh, I know! If we want to win, just cheat and have a bunch of 'em attack her at once!"
「まあ、お願いしてみますけど、それも実現するかどうかは夢の住人の気分次第ですね。みんな自由気ままなので……」 "Well, I suppose I could ask, but whether or not that actually happens will be up to the dream dweller's whims. Everyone's so free-spirited after all."
「他力本願しかないのがもどかしいわね。何かもっと良い方法は無いのかしら」 "I hate having to rely on others... Isn't there some kind of better way?"
ずっと考え込んでいた霖之助が口を割った。 Rinnosuke, who had been lost in thought this whole time, suddenly spoke up.
「ところで、ドッペルゲンガーだという幻想郷の菫子君は、今どうなっているのかい?」 "By the way, what's happening right now to Gensokyo's Sumireko, the one we've been calling a doppelganger?"
「ええ、それでしたら夢の菫子に肉体を奪われて、身動きとれずに霊魂の状態でいますが」 "Well, the dream Sumireko took her body, so she's a disembodied spirit, unable to move. Why?"
「そいつを夢の世界で動かすことはできないのかね」 "Is there any way she could move in the dream world?"
「できますけど……もしかして……」 "It's not impossible. Wait, don't tell me you mean...?"
「だったら、もう菫子君の問題は、彼女自身で決着つけて貰うしか無いんじゃないか? 誰が本物の菫子君なのかを。現実の肉体に相応 (ふさわ) しいのは誰なのかを」 "In that case, isn't Sumireko the only one who can solve her own problem? Let her decide which one's the real one, or which one deserves a real body."
「ドッペルゲンガーと夢の菫子をぶつけるって言うの? それでドッペルゲンガーが負けたら……」 "You're saying let the doppelganger and the dream Sumireko fight it out? But what if the doppelganger loses?"
霊夢が慌ててそう言った。 Reimu seemed panicked.[3]
「もう菫子は幻想郷には現れないでしょう。特に問題はないと思いますが、やりますか?」 "Then I doubt Sumireko will appear in Gensokyo ever again. I don't see a problem, so shall we try it?"
ドレミーは笑顔だ。 Doremy smiled.[4]
「もういいじゃないか。外の世界の菫子君は問題ないんだ。最初から失踪事件なんて起きていない。なるようになれば良いさ」 "Fine, why not? This isn't the outside world Sumireko's problem. She never went missing in the first place. Whatever happens, happens."
――私は約三週間ぶりに幻想郷を訪れた。 It had been about three weeks since I'd visited Gensokyo.
何故か夢を見られなくなっていたので、幻想郷に来ることができなかったのだ。しかし、三週間程度では幻想郷には変化は無いだろう。香霖堂も何も変わっていなかった。 For whatever reason, I stopped being able to see dreams, so I couldn't come to Gensokyo. But nothing had changed in Gensokyo over the last three weeks. Kourindou was the same as ever.
「いやー、本当に久しぶりねー! 幻想郷は涼しいねー」 "Man, it's really been a while, hasn't it? It's so refreshingly cool here in Gensokyo!"
「おお、無事だったのか、心配してたよ」 "Oh, so you're alright? I was worried."
「何故か最近夢を見られなくてさー、どうも睡眠障害なのかもしれないって、お医者さんに () て貰ったりしたのよ。そしたらまた突然夢を見るようになってさー。原因は判らないけど怖いよねー」 "I just stopped seeing dreams. I thought it might be a sleep disorder, so I went to see a doctor about it, but then I suddenly started seeing them again. I still don't know why though, so it's a little scary."
「そう、夢の中でも何かと戦って、勝ったのかも知れないね」 "Right. For all you know you fought and won against something in your dreams."
「? そういえば戦っていたといえば、スマホの中に一杯写真が残っていて、ねぇ、これって霊夢でしょ? 他にもいろんな妖怪たちが戦っているし……。これって私のスマホ、誰か勝手に使ったでしょう?」 "? Speaking of fighting though, I was going through the photos on my smartphone, and look, isn't this Reimu? And there are a bunch of others too, all sorts of youkai fighting... Someone else must've used my smartphone, right?"
スマホのアルバムには、見たことのない弾幕や妖怪をはじめ、いろいろな物が残されていた。 My smartphone album was filled danmaku and youkai I'd never seen before. All sorts of things were recorded.
「ほう、これは酷い弾幕の写真だな」 "Wow, what an awful picture of danmaku."
「素敵な写真だわ! 今度古くなったカメラ置いていくから、みんなで撮ってくれないかなぁ。インスタで有名になれるかも!」 "It's an amazing picture! Next time I'll have to bring an old camera and take a bunch of pictures of everyone. Maybe I'll become Instagram famous!"
更にスマホには書いたことのない日記も記録されていた。それを読むと何故か判らないけど、ここ暫く夢を見ていない (はず) なのに、悪夢ばかりを見ていた気がするのだった。 In addition to the pictures, my smartphone also had recorded a diary that I didn't write. After reading it, I couldn't explain why, but I had the feeling that during the time I wasn't dreaming, I'd been seeing nothing but nightmares.
次号へ続く To be continued


  1. A word play of "having a sharp mind, clearheaded" (頭脳明晰 zunou-meiseki) and "lucid dream" (明晰夢 meiseki-mu)
  2. In the original text, this sentence of Kasen is put just under/next-to the previous phrase said by her. Not separated in two paragraphs like this. But in this page it's edited so as to the major style of quotation mark.
  3. Separated into two paragraphs like Kasen's line above. See there.
  4. Separated into two paragraphs like Kasen's line above. See there.