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Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 08

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Page 44-48

< Chapter 07   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 09 >

Curiosities of lotus asia 08 01.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia 08 02.jpg
With its strong sunlight and blue skies, the peak of summer has come to Gensokyo. However, the area around Kourindou alone has forgotten that the rainy season has ended, and the strange downpour continues... The first half of Chapter 5, about an unusual weather phenomenon, of an original story based on the "Touhou" series!
夏の梅雨堂 前編 Summer Rainy Hall First Half [1]
一年の中でもっとも温度が高く、いかにも日本的な梅雨(つゆ)は終わり、香霖堂に夏の強い日差しが射し込んでいた。 Once a year, the humid Japanesque rainy season comes to a close, and Kourindou is allowed to bathe in intense sunlight again.
梅雨時は、(かび)が生えたりして本や道具の傷みが進み道具屋を悩ませる。その憂鬱(ゆううつ)な季節は(ようや)く終わりを告げたのだ。 The rainy season promotes the spread of mildew which damages books and tools, causing no end to the troubles of my antique shop. That melancholic time of year has finally announced its end.
―――だが、僕の悩みはまだ晴れてはいなかった。 ...However, my worries have not yet cleared up.
別に僕は夏の日差しが苦手な訳でもない。その強い日差しは、角度の為か店の中をより暗くする。店の暗さと窓の外の明るさのコントラストが夏を実感させ、僕はその暗さも明るさも好きである。 It's not that I especially dislike the summer sunlight. The strong sunbeams make the shop's interior darker; possibly because of the angle. The contrast of the darkness of the shop and the brightness outside the window really makes it feel like summer. I like both the darkness and brightness.
しかし、今年の夏は違った。確かに日差しは強い、まごう事無く真夏の日差しである。でもこの店内はどうだ。窓から射し込む必要以上の光……、まるで湖上(こじょう)に店が建っているかの様に、乱反射した光が無秩序に店に射し込んでいるじゃないか。この明るさは夏を感じさせない。どうやら僕の店の周りだけの様だが、もうこんな天気になってから3日目である。 However, this summer is different. The strength of the sunbeams prove, without a doubt, that midsummer has arrived. But more light than necessary is shining in through the window... It's as if the shop were standing next to a body of water, with the reflected light illuminating the interior. This absurd brightness doesn't feel like summer. For some reason, it seems this type of weather is only occurring around my shop. What's more, it's been like this for three days now.
生憎、こういう「異変」の調査は僕の専門ではない。普段ならちょっとした異変でもすぐに解決してくれる人が居るんだが……。どうも僕の店の周りだけみたいだし、あいつも気が付いていないんだろう。だからといってこんな天気の中、調査を頼みに行くのも面倒だし……。 Unfortunately, investigating "incidents" like this is not my specialty. Usually, even in the slightest occurrence of an incident, there would be people around to solve it for me immediately. Except... as it seems that only the area around my shop has been affected for one reason or another, it looks like she hasn't noticed yet. But going to request an investigation in the middle of this kind of weather is troublesome...
まぁ、その人間だったら放っておけばいつか来るだろう。いつもどうでも良い時に店に来るが、どうでもよくない時も店に来るのだ。便利な様な、邪魔な様な……。 Well, knowing her, she's bound to show up even if I leave her alone. She always comes when it doesn't matter, or when it does matter. I don't know if that's a help or a hindrance...
―――カラン、カラン ―――Knock, knock.
「ちょっと! 何であんたの店の周りだけ雨が降っているのよ!」 “Hey! Why's the rain only falling around your shop!”
ほら来た。こういった異変調査の専門家だ。「霊夢じゃないか」 See? There she is. The incident specialist I mentioned. “Well, if it isn't Reimu.”
ちょうど良い――と言いかけたが、とりあえず調査の専門家である霊夢の様子を見てみる事にした。この異変について何かわかっているかも知れない。 “You came just at the right-” is what I was about to say, but for now I'll see how things will turn out with Investigative Specialist Reimu. She might know something about this incident.
「じゃないか、じゃないでしょ? もう、霖之助さんは自分の店が今どういう状態になっているかわかっているの?」 “Of course it's me. Jeez, don't you even know what state your own store is in?”
そう、異変とは、梅雨が空けてから何故(なぜ)か再び天気雨が降り続いて一向に()む気配が無いという事だ。空は雲一つ無い青空だというのに……。それも店の周りだけである。でも取り敢えず僕は知らない振りをしてみる事にした。 Though the rainy season is over, the rainfall continued to fall with no sign of stopping. It is indeed a strange occurrence. Not a cloud can be seen in the endless blue sky, yet this phenomenon is solely located in the vicinity of my shop. However, for the time being, I've decided to pretend to ignore it.
「どういう状態って、何の事かな?」 “What kind of state are you talking about?”
(あき)れたわ、まったく外に出てないのかしら? この店の周りだけ外から見えないくらい雨が降っているじゃない。雲一つ無いのに……。遠くから見てこのへん一帯だけ白い布で(おお)われた様になっているわ。もしや、またおかしな実験とか始めたんじゃないでしょうね」 “I'm shocked. Don't you go outside at all? It's raining so hard around your shop you can't even see outside. And there aren't even any clouds... From a distance, it looks like there's a white blanket covering just this area. You're not running any weird experiments again, are you?”
「そうか、やはり店の周りだけなのか」 “Ah, so it really was just around the shop.”
それは判っていた。 Well, I knew that.
「何を企んでいるの?」 "What are you scheming?"
「霊夢、僕は何もしていないよ」 “Nothing at all, Reimu.”
「それにしては、豪快な狐の嫁入りだわ。普通の狐じゃなさそうね」 “Even so, this is quite the fox's wedding you have here. It doesn't look like this is your average fox.” [2]
霊夢もそれといって情報を持っている訳ではないらしい。まぁ、ここから上手くけしかけて霊夢に調査を依頼するとするか。僕は霊夢にタオルを渡し、()れた体を()くように言った。 It doesn't seem that Reimu has any information about this either. Perhaps I should devise a way to get her interested in an investigation. I handed a towel over to Reimu and told her to dry her dripping clothes with it.
「それはともかく、この前は大変だったな」 “Anyhow, it sounds like you had it tough back then.”
「この前、っていつの話の事? 大体いつも大変だから覚えてないわ」 “What do you mean 'back then'...? I always have it tough, so I don't quite remember.”
「梅雨になろうって頃まで雪が降っていた事が有ったじゃないか。あれを解決したのは霊夢なんだろう?」 “It was snowing until just before the rainy season started. Weren't you the one who solved that problem, Reimu?” [3]
「ああ、その事? あんなの大した事じゃなかったわよ。もっと(ひど)い目に()った事なんていっぱいあったわ。まぁ、どれも大した事じゃないけど」 “Oh, that? It wasn't a big deal. I've had far worse run-ins, and those weren't even that big either, I guess.”
「大変なのかそうじゃないのかさっぱり判らないな」 “I'm not sure if that means you are having it tough or not.”
「普通よ、普通。どっちかっていうと、放っておく方が大変になるの。春が来なかったら困るから解決する訳だし、霧が晴れなかったら困るから解決する……って、やっぱり霖之助さん、困ってるの?」 “It's the same as always. If anything, things will get tougher if I leave them alone. If spring hadn't arrived, it would be trouble so that problem had to be taken care of. If the mist didn't clear up, it would be trouble so that also had to be... Wait, so that means you're in trouble, right?
「よく判ってるじゃないか。そう、困っている」 “It seems like you understand perfectly. Yes, I'm in trouble.”
「最初からそう言えば良いのよ。仕様がないわね、この狐の嫁入り、調べてみてもいいわよ」 “You should have said so in the first place! I guess I have no choice. I'll investigate this fox's wedding for you.”
霊夢はちょっと楽しそうだ。誰かどう見ても大変そうには見えない。困っているから解決するというよりは、何かおかしな事に首を突っ込むのが好きという風にしか見えない。 Reimu seems to be having fun. However anyone looks at it, it doesn't look like she has it tough. Rather than solving it because I'll be in trouble, she looks nothing else but thrilled at the thought of flying headlong into strange happenings.
「悪いな。僕は別にやる事が有るんでね。どうしたものか悩んでいたんだよ」 “Sorry, but I have some other business I need to take care of. I'm worried as to what I should do about them.”
別にやる事は無い。はっきりいって暇だが、僕はこういう異変は専門外なのだ。 I don't really have any particular things to do. You can clearly see that I'm unoccupied, but this kind of incident is outside my field of knowledge.
「まぁいいわ。どうせ服は濡れてるから、もう一度雨の中に出ても大差ないし……。霖之助さんは自分の『やる事』でもやって待っててよ、まぁこの程度の小事(しょうじ)、すぐに片付くと思うけどね」 “Well, whatever. My clothes are soaking wet anyway, and it won't make a big difference if I go out in the rain again... You should take care of your "business" and stay here. Though I think this kind of minor problem can be squared away in no time.”
そう言うと意気揚々(ようよう)と霊夢は店を出ていった。予想通り霊夢はすぐに仕事を引き受けてくれたのだが、よくよく考えると、霊夢側は特に用事が無いのに店に来ている事が判る。いや、今回は最初から異変を解決するつもりで来ていたのかも知れない。 Upon saying that, Reimu left the shop in high spirits. She took up my request, as expected. But thinking about it very carefully, I realized that Reimu came for no particular reason. Actually, maybe she had every intention of solving this incident all along.
なぜなら、霊夢に渡したタオルはまるで()れていない。霊夢は体を拭いていないのだ。最初からもう一度外に出る気だったように見える。それとも、濡れていようがなんだろうがかまわないだけかも知れないが。 I came to this conclusion from the mostly dry towel I had handed to Reimu. She hadn't used it. It looked like she entered while planning to go right back out again. Or maybe she didn't care whether she was soaking wet or not.
 霊夢に任せておけば、数時間後にはカラッとした夏の陽射しが店を照らし、店内は再び夏の暗さを取り戻すだろう。霊夢が動き出したら、大抵の異変は二~三時間から半日、長くても一日あれば元通りになる。いつもの事だ。 If I leave things to Reimu, after a few hours the crisp summer sunlight will shine down upon the shop, and the shop's interior will once more regain its summer darkness. Once she sets to work, the usual incident will be resolved in two to three hours, up to half a day and at the very most a day. That's the standard.
 僕は、新茶を淹れて本でも読むとしようか。後は放っておけば良いだろう。お茶の良い香りが時間を忘れさせる。こんな姿、頑張っている筈の霊夢に見られたら怒られるかも知れないが……。 I wondered if I should make some fresh green tea and read a book. I can leave the rest until later. The pleasant smell of tea makes you forget the passing of time. Though if Reimu were to see me like this while she is working hard, she might become angry...
 それにしてもこの狐の嫁入り、霊夢にも原因は判っていない様だったが、実は一つだけ思い当たる節がある。まさかと思う事だが……、そうだとすれば瑞兆(ずいちょう)だ。(しばら)くすれば元に戻るだろうし、もしかしたら霊夢にも応急処置くらいしか出来ないのかもしれない。それに、これに関しては誰にも言う事が出来ないのも厄介(やっかい)だ。特に魔理沙には言えない。 But even if Reimu didn't seem to know the reason behind this fox's wedding, I think I have an idea. I never thought it would be possible, but... if it is what I think it is, it's an omen. If I wait a short while, things will return to normal, so perhaps this is something that can only be handled by Reimu's emergency procedures. Besides, it would've been dangerous to tell anyone else. I especially couldn't tell Marisa.
 ――ガン! ガラガラガラ…… ―――Boom! Craaaaack...
 一瞬のことだった。店内は本が読めないくらいに明るく青白く光り、窓の外と共に一瞬にして暗くなっていった。次第に雨は強くなり、晴天だった筈の空は暗く、遠くの景色も見えなくなっていく。 It happened in an instant. The shop's interior lit up with a blue-white light so bright that I couldn't even read my book, and then along with the exterior, darkened the next moment. Soon, the rain became heavier, the sky that should have been clear darkened, and the distant scenery became obscured.
 夏の強い陽射しと夏の暗さを期待していた僕は、突然の雷鳴と暗転に正直に驚いた。晴天(せいてん)霹靂(へきれき)とはまさにこのことか……、って晴天でも雨は降っていたのだけど。 I was expecting the strong sunlight of summer, so was honestly shocked by the sudden thunderstorm. To think that there could be thunder while the skies are clear... Although I suppose even in fine weather, it can start raining anyway.
 一気に強まった雨に、ちょっと霊夢の事が心配になってきた……といっても解決後の霊夢の愚痴の心配である。どうせ解決はするだろうが、この土砂降りは想定してなかったに違いない。霊夢の服の着替えくらいは用意した方が良いだろうな。どちらかというと霊夢の機嫌の問題なのだから。 The sudden heavy rain made me worry a little about Reimu, but it was her idle complaints after she solved the matter that really worried me. She'll fix the problem eventually, but clearly I had not predicted the pouring rain. I should probably prepare a change of clothes for her. If anything, her mood is the bigger problem here.
 外の様子を見てみようと思い窓に近づいて外を見た。でも、霊夢の姿はまったく見えない。雨はますます強さを増し、世界から完全に色を奪おうとしている。徐々に森も山も輪郭を失い、ついには一面暗い灰色の世界になってしまった。屋根を打つ雨の音だけが聞こえている。 I approached the window and took a look outside to see what the conditions were like, but I couldn't see Reimu at all. The rain just kept getting stronger, like it was trying to drain the color from the world. The outlines of the forest and the mountains gradually began to fade, finally becoming a world of dark grey. The only thing I could hear was the sound of the rain striking the roof.
 そんな時、店の前に走ってくる人影が見えた。今の風景と同じく色を持たない姿。白と黒のモノトーンの人影だった。 At that point, I saw a human run past the shop. A figure that, like the current surroundings, possessed no color. It was white and black; a monotone shadow.


  1. The title was changed to "Summer Rainy Hall" (夏の梅雨堂) in the book. The original title was "Summer Plum Hall" (夏の梅霖堂), which includes one of the characters in Rinnosuke's name (霖之助).
  2. According to folklore, at a fox's wedding (kitsune no yomeiri) rain falls from a cloudless sky.
  3. The Spring Snow Incident where Yuyuko ordered Youmu to gather spring in Perfect Cherry Blossom.

< Chapter 07   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 09 >