Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia/Essay/Komachi Onozuka

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Page 99
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A death forecast of a death god, by a death god, for the living[1]
Next Week's Deaths in Gensokyo
小町だ。今日は有難い予報を教える小町先生だ。人が死ぬとよく「お迎えが来た」んて言うけれど、べつにうちらは個々の魂を迎えに行くわけじゃない。もちろん迎えに行かなきゃいけない奴も偶にいるんだが。とはいえ、仮にも神って言われるくらいだから、なんとなく死にそうな奴のことは分かる。特にはっきりしたものじゃないんだが、匂いとか独特の見た目とか、とにかくいろいろあるんだ。そういう"気配"がだんだん濃くなってって、ドス黒くなったらそれが「お迎え」って感じだな。で、幻想郷に漂う「お迎えの気配情報」を出したら、みんなはそこに近づく時に気をつけるようになるだろ。そしたら当然死者が減る。となると私の仕事も減る。映姫様に怒られる回数も減る。な、良くないか? Komachi here. Today I'm here to give you a forecast I know you'll love, straight from the mouth of an expert.[2] Folks often say that death "comes to greet you" when you die, but it ain't like we go pick up every last soul. Not that there aren't some folks we gotta greet in person, of course. That said, even if it's just a title, they don't call us gods for nothing, so we just kinda know who's about to die. It ain't an exact science, more like a scent or a strange look about you, but anyway we can tell. That feeling gets stronger and stronger, and when it gets real dark and muddy, that means it's time to come pick you up. So I figured that if I let this info out to Gensokyo, y'all can be extra careful when your time's almost up. And then obviously less folks would die. Which means less work for me. Which means less lectures from Lady Eiki. Wait, is that bad?
そんなわけでこの地図を見てくれ。今んところ来週にかけてはこの5か所くらいで死の気配が強くなりそうだ。うーん、春は命が芽生えるもんだけど、その分死もやってくるからそこそこ多いな。それに神社の近くが危ないってなんなんだよ。巫女のやつがサボってるのか? しょうがない奴だ。山はいざこざがしょっちゅうだし、あの仙人もいるから私も見に行った方がいいかもしれない。里というか川の付近はまあ年がら年中危ないからな。とにかくみんな気をつけて、長生きしろよ。まあ、死の運命は変えられないけどな! Anyhow, take a look at this map. From now until next week, there are about 5 places where the scent of death seem like it'll get stronger. Hmm, spring is a season when life is blooming, but in return there's plenty of death going around too, huh? And why the heck's it so dangerous around the shrine? Is the shrine maiden slacking off or what? Geez, what're we gonna do with her? There's some trouble happening around the mountain too, and since the hermit's there anyway, maybe I'll go take a look myself. As for the village and by the river, well, those places are bad news year-round. Anyway, y'all be careful and try to live a long life. Not that any of this can change fate or nothing!


  1. Paraphrased from Abraham Lincoln's phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people".
  2. She calls herself "Komachi-sensei" here, like a teacher or a doctor.