Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 09

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Page 49-54

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Curiosities of lotus asia 09 01.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia 09 02.jpg
A mysterious rain has suddenly changed into a fierce thunderstorm. Marisa, aimlessly dropping by for a visit, is now a black, drenched mouse. She mutters a curt remark that the cause of the problem is Rinnosuke himself. But that could mean only one thing... The second part of “Summer Plum Hall!
夏の梅雨堂 後編 Summer Rainy Hall: Second Half [1]
――ドン! ガラガラガラ……バン! ――Bam! Clatter, clatter...Bang!
「おい! どうした!? この雷雨は尋常(じんじょう)じゃないぜ!」 “Hey! What happened!? This is one strange thunderstorm!”
 尋常じゃない状態で飛び込んできたのは魔理沙だった。それに()れようも尋常ではない。 What wasn't strange was Marisa barging in. And her dripping wet isn't strange either.
「どうした? 尋常じゃないって……よくある夏の夕立(ゆうだち)じゃないか」 “You say ‘What happened?’ and call these common summer evening showers strange?”
「嘘つけ、この店だけだぜ、雨が降っているのは。こんな夕立は無いだろ?」 “Quit bluffin'. The rain's only fallin' around this shop. And I haven't seen an evenin' shower like this!”
 とまぁ、軽い挨拶を交わした所で、魔理沙に嘘をついても仕様がないから、これまでのいきさつを話した。 And so we exchanged our casual greetings. It was no use lying to Marisa, so I told her what had happened up until now.
「そうか。私ならこんな天気雨くらい、すぐに晴らしただろうがな。まぁ、霊夢は仕事を邪魔されると怒るから、今回はあいつに任せるとするか」 “Alright. I could prob'ly make this drizzle clear up in a flash, but I guess it'd tick Reimu off if I got in her way, so I'll leave it to her.”
「取り敢えず、これで体を()けよ。その――」 “For now, why don't you dry yourself off? I mean—”
「『濡れた服で売り物に腰掛けられたら困る』、だろ? わかってるぜ。でも、飛ばして来たから大して濡れてないんだ」 If you sit down on merchandise with wet clothes, it'll be a problem. right? I know, I know. But since I flew here, I'm not really that wet.”
 それに「雨は店の周りだけだからな」と言って魔理沙は、タオルを手に取り体を拭き始めた。 And with a, “Besides, the rain's only fallin' around your shop anyways,” Marisa snatched the towel and started drying herself.
 僕には結構濡れている様に見える。雨の範囲は思ったより広いのか、それとも本当は店に来る前に寄り道して来たのか……。こんな異変を前にして、魔理沙がおとなしく黙っているとは思えない。 To me she looks considerably drenched. Had the rain extended over a wider area than I thought, or was it that she waited outside the shop before coming in... I can't believe that Marisa would act so docile given the incident before her.
 魔理沙は適当に体を拭くと、売り物の(つぼ)に腰掛けた。 When Marisa decided she had dried off enough, she planted herself on a pot that was for sale.
「とにかくなぁ、店の周りにだけ異変が起こっているというのは、原因がお前に有るからだぜ」 “So yeah, you've gotta be the reason why this weird thing is happenin' around the shop.”
「思い当たる節は無いんだけどなぁ……」 “I really have no idea what you're talking about.”
 思い当たる節は有る。魔理沙には言えない事だが。 I had an idea. But I couldn't tell Marisa.
 今この店だけに降っている雨。雨とは、(あま)とも読み取れる。店にだけ雨が降るということは、ここに天が下る、つまり天下が有るという意味にも取れる。少し前に魔理沙を騙し……いや、ちゃんとした交渉の末、手に入れた剣。あれはただの剣ではない。あの剣の本当の名前は草薙(くさなぎ)(つるぎ)、別名天叢雲剣(あめのむらくものつるぎ)なのだ。天下を取る程度の力を持つ、いや、それ以上の力も有る剣だ。 It was the rain falling around the shop right now. In Japanese, “rain” has the same pronunciation as “heaven”. As the rain is falling solely on the shop, all is under heaven. In other words, this means that a ruling power is present. A little while back, I had tricked... well, negotiated, a sword out of Marisa. That was no average sword. That sword was the “Sword of Kusanagi”; by another name, Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (sword of the heavenly gathering of clouds). It holds the power to unite the land... no, even greater than that.
 この雨は、恐らく天が僕を認めた事の瑞兆(ずいちょう)であるに違いない。天候を操作するだなんて、なかなか普通の妖怪になせる芸当だと思えない。 As for this rain, I firmly believe it is an auspicious sign that the heavens had approved of me. I think manipulating the weather is a feat that normal youkai could not accomplish.
「どうした、ニヤニヤして? 思うんだが、この雨。その辺の悪戯(いたずら)好きの妖精の仕業なんじゃないのか?」 “What're you grinnin' about? I've been thinkin' about this rain. Maybe it's the work of the mischievous fairies around here.”
「へ? そ、そう? 雨を降らせるなんてそう簡単にできるのかなぁ」 “Huh? think so? Can they make the rain fall that easily?”
「雨を降らすくらいは大した事無いぜ。季節を操作する妖怪が居るくらいだし、しかも降っている範囲も狭いしな。というか雨乞(あまご)いでもした?」 “It sure isn't hard. There are always a few youkai who can manipulate the seasons, and they have a small range of effect too. Maybe someone prayed for the rain?”
「ここにだけ雨が下る……、か。ふふふっ」 “So the rain is only falling here... Hmhmhm...”
「あー? 無視するなよ」 “Huh? Don't you ignore me.”
 僕はすでに天下を統一した気分でいた。でもその事を魔理沙には勘繰(かんぐ)られない様にしないといけない。魔理沙から(もら)ったあの剣の秘密がばれてしまうと厄介である。 I feel that I've already unified all under heaven. But I have to make sure Marisa doesn't suspect me of anything. It would be a bad idea to give away the secret of the sword I received from her.
 魔理沙はしきりに外を気にして窓を見る。豪雨が気になるのか、ひどく落ち着きが無い。 Marisa kept fidgeting and worriedly looking out the window. Seems like something concerned her about the downpour.
「霊夢も、失敗して(あきら)めて戻って来ないかなぁ……」 “Maybe Reimu will fail, give up and come back?”
「おや、他人の失敗を願うなんて珍しいじゃないか」 “Wow, that's not like you to wish failure upon others.”
「何言ってるんだよ。暇だからこの店に来たんだぜ? 暇を潰せる出来事が目の前に有るっていうのにじっとなんてしていられるか」 “What are you talkin' about? I came here just because I was bored. And now that there's somethin' I can do to kill time right in front of me, you want me to just wait around?”
「何なら魔理沙にもお願いしようか? 異変の調査。別に二人でやっても、僕はかまわないよ」 “In that case, should I ask you to investigate this matter, too? I don't mind if you both do it.”
「また濡れるのは嫌だぜ」 “I don't wanna get soakin' wet again.”
「まったく、我侭(わがまま)な奴だな、魔理沙は!」 “Really, you're so selfish, Marisa!”
 困っているのは僕の方なんだから、調査してもらえるだけ有難(ありがた)く、あまり強く言う事は出来ないのだが。こいつらはこいつらで暇つぶしでやっているだけみたいだし、どっちもどっちか。 I'm the one in a pinch, so I'd be grateful if someone could help me investigate, but I couldn't very well shout at her. Both Reimu and Marisa seem to only want to help to kill time anyway.
 ――ドガン! ガラガラガラ…… ――Flash! Rummmmble...
「うわっ! 何だ今の雷! ものすごく近いぜ!」 “Whoa! What's with the lightnin'! That sounded way too close!”
 そりゃ、店の周りしか雨は降っていないのだから、雷も近いに決まっている。だが、その大きな雷鳴の直後、雨は突然ぴたっと止んでいた。 Since the rain is falling only around the shop, then it's a given the lightning is also nearby. However, after that great thunderclap, the rain suddenly ceased.
 さっきまでの滝のような豪雨の音が無くなり、一瞬にして無音になった。最初は大きな雷鳴のせいで耳がやられたのかとも思ったが、代わりに魔理沙がしきりに(はや)し立てるのですぐに店内は五月蝿(うるさ)くなった。 The sound of the waterfall-like downpour faded and became silent in an instant. I thought at first the loudness of the thunder had damaged my ears, but due to Marisa's constant rambling the shop immediately became noisy again.
「おっ、雨が()んだぜ。霊夢の奴、やったかな?」 “Oh, it stopped rainin'. Looks like she did it, huh?”
「さすが霊夢だ。雨が土砂降りになった時はどうなるかと思ったけど」 “Of course. I was wondering what might have happened to her since this maelstrom started.”
「私だったら、もっとスマートに解決出来たんだがな」 “If it were me, I would've solved it more smart-like.”
 魔理沙は落ち着きを取り戻していた。窓の外は強烈な陽射しで夏を取り戻し、それと共に店の中は夏の暗さを取り戻していた。空には雲一つ無い。この空を見て誰がさっきまで雨が降っていたなどと信じるのだろうか。僕にも信じられない。 Marisa had calmed down again. Outside, summer had returned with its intense sunlight, and the inside of the shop returned to its seasonal darkness. Not a cloud in the sky could be seen from the window. Looking at it, you could never have guessed that it was raining just a moment ago. I couldn't believe it either.
 ――カラン、カラン ――Knock, knock.
「あー、終わったわ。まったく、私にこんな仕事させてぇ、お茶の用意くらいはしてくれて有るんでしょうね、って魔理沙が居るじゃない」 “Whew, it's over. Honestly, since you made me do this kind of job, I hope you at least have some tea ready. And oh, Marisa's here.”
「香霖は霊夢にやらせておいて、お茶の準備なんてまったくしてないぜ。自分では飲んでいたがな」 “Kourin made you do all this, but he hasn't made any tea at all. Only some for himself.”
 僕は慌ててお茶を用意しようとすると、魔理沙は「時間も時間だから、もう飯にしようぜ」と言った。 I started preparing the tea in a hurry, and Marisa said “It's about time, so let's have lunch.”
「何それ、時間掛かり過ぎだって言いたいの? まぁ、魔理沙が食事の準備してくれるなら良いけど」 “What, you're trying to say I took too long? Well, I don't mind if you're offering to cook.”
「時間掛かり過ぎだ。まぁいい、今日は飯、作ってやるよ、材料は何が有ったっけ?」 “You did take too long. But whatever, I'll handle it. What ingredients did we have again?”
 人の家なんだけど、まぁそのくらい見逃してやるか。 This is my house, you know. Oh well, I guess I'll let it slide this time.
 魔理沙はお勝手に入っていった。魔理沙じゃないけど、本当に今、材料は何が有ったっけ? 雨のせいでしばらくこもっていたから、あまり新鮮な物は無いかも知れない。まぁ、魔理沙なら何とかしてくれるだろう。いつも食材を持ってくるくらいだから、最初からうちに豊富な食材なんか期待してないだろうし……。取り敢えず僕は霊夢に礼を言い、新しいタオルを渡した。霊夢はすぐに髪を()き始め、「お茶は?」と急かす様に言う。 Marisa volunteered on her own, but really, what ingredients were there? Because of the rain, I've been in seclusion for a while, so I doubt there's anything fresh. Well, I'm sure Marisa will manage to make something. She's always bringing ingredients here, so I don't keep much anyway... For now, I gave my thanks to Reimu and handed her a new towel. Reimu immediately started drying her hair, hurrying me by asking “And the tea?”
「まぁ落ち着け、今()れているよ。それで、何だったんだ? この異常な狐の嫁入りは」 “All right, be patient, I'm making it now. So, what was the cause behind our strange fox's wedding?”
「ん? いやなに、梅霖(ばいりん)の妖精が店の屋根裏に住み着いていただけだったわ。ちょっと脅してやったら、逃げて行ったわよ。何で途中で急に雨が強くなったのかは判らないけど、誰かが邪魔をしたのかしら?」 “Hmm? Oh, well, it was only a rainy season fairy that had started living in your attic. I threatened it a little, and it ran off. I don't really know why the rain got heavier midway though. Maybe someone interfered with it?”
 梅霖の妖精? A rainy season fairy?
「雨を長引かせる悪戯好きの妖精ね。霖之助さんみたいに」 "A fairy that mischievously lengthens the rainy season. Just like you."
「何言ってるんだ? 僕は雨なんか降らせないよ」 “What are you talking about? I can't make rain fall.”
「だってその名前、(ながめ)でしょう?」 “I'm talking about your name – (霖) long rain – right?”
「それはそんな意味で名付けた訳じゃないよ。それで? その妖精が何だっていうんだ?」 “I wasn't given my name for that particular meaning. So, then what? What was it about that fairy?”
「貴方の店、いつも(かび)が生えるくらいに汚くしているから、居心地がよくてうっかり()()いていたみたいね。梅雨は黴雨(ばいう)ともいって、黴を好むのよ、たまには店の隅々(すみずみ)まで掃除することね。今回みたいに何かが棲み付いても知らないわよ。あ、お茶ありがと。う~ん、新茶ね」 "Since your place is covered in mildew, it got comfortable and settled down. It liked the mildew![2] It'd help if you cleaned out the shop thoroughly once in a while. You never know when something like that might settle in again. Ah, thanks for the tea. Mmm, fresh green tea.”
 店の外は鮮やかすぎる緑と、繊細さに欠ける程の(まぶ)しい光であふれかえっていた。さっきまでの雨が盛大な打ち水であったかの様に、今は涼しく、そして心地の良い風を暗い店内に運んでいた。 The outside was awash with overly brilliant greenery and dazzling light, not subtle in the least. The rain was now like a magnificent sprinkling, and carried a cool, welcoming wind to the dark interior.
 店の奥から魔理沙の声が聞こえる。どうやら食事が出来たらしい。 From the back of the shop, I can hear Marisa's voice. It seems that she's managed to prepare something.
「駄目だな、香霖。いろんな食材が()びてるぜ。いくら雨が長引いたからって少しは整理しないとな。仕方がないから今日は味噌と香の物がメインの料理だ、(わび)しいとか言うなよ」 “It's hopeless, Kourin. A bunch of yer ingredients are all moldy. You gotta be more careful when it rains for a long time. I didn't have much of a choice, so today it's miso soup with pickled veggies for the main dish. No complaints outta you now.”
 それにしても、(かび)かぁ……。僕の天下はまだ遠い。僕は店内に飾ってある剣を見やってそう思った。 So it was just mold and mildew... I guess my sovereignty was still a distant dream, I thought while gazing at the sword that decorated the inside of my store.


  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. "Rainy season" (梅雨, lit. "plum rain") is normally read as "tsuyu" using the kun'yomi system, or sometimes as "baiu" using the on'yomi system now, but its original name used a different character: 黴雨 (lit. "mildew rain"), which can also be pronounced "baiu". It is believed that the character was changed as plums are preferable to mildew. This knowledge could help us understand this story, as Rinnosuke is not the cause of the rainy seasons after all (), but he still has to deal with the mildew ().


A note on Kourin's sovereignty: When Rinnosuke explained that the Sword of Kusanagi unites all under heaven, and therefore proclaims him as emperor, he believed the rain was a sign ( in Japanese) of his sovereignty. But the real reason behind the rain turned out to be mildew ( in Japanese) resulting in the fairy's residence. The characters for both words share the same radical, and hence look rather similar. Thus Kourin came rather close to receiving an omen, but in the end it wasn't quite what he'd expected. Just another example of ZUN's style of wordplay.
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