Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 20

From Touhou Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Page 142-149


< Chapter 19   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 21 >


064.jpg
065.jpg
066.jpg
067.jpg
大人気の同人STG『東方』シリーズ、
その世界観を元にした幻想ノベル。
A fantasy novel based on the perspective of the world of the highly popular indie STG 'Touhou' series.
『東方』製作者・ZUN氏自らがストーリーを執筆し、
唖采弦二氏による幻想的な挿絵で贈る第19話。大量発生した蝉の鳴き声のなか、
霖之助が語った蝉にまつわる神秘とは…!?
Written by the series creator ZUN himself, and with the fantastical insert pictures of Genji Asai, here is the 19th chapter. Within the massive outbreak of cicada cries, what is the tale Rinnosuke tells about them?
奇跡の蝉 Miraculous Cicada
朝夕の風に涼しさが混じる。冥界から来たご先祖様のお (ぼん) 観光ツアーも、一頻 (ひとしき) 顕界 (げんかい) を堪能すると満足げに戻っていった。これから昼の暑さも段々と落ち着いていく事だろう。 The coolness of the morning and evening winds mix. The Obon sightseeing tours of the ancestors from the Netherworld[1] have come to the land of the living, enjoyed themselves, and contentedly returned home. In the following days, the afternoon heat will gradually lessen.
「何か最近、 (せみ) 五月蠅 (うるさ) くないか? こんなに奇妙な鳴き声の蝉も知らないし」 "The cicadas have been pretty noisy lately, huh? And I've never heard 'em sound this weird either."
隣で本を読んでいた魔理沙は、一言そう言うと乱暴に本を閉じ、帽子の (つば) で耳を押さえた。確かに、蝉が異常に五月蠅く、しかも余り聞いた事の無い鳴き声だった。だが、僕は (いら) つく事も無く、彼女に聞こえる様に少し大きめの声で言った。 Marisa, who was reading a book, closed it violently saying this, and pulled the brim of her hat around her ears. Indeed, the cicadas were abnormally loud, and I've rarely heard this kind of cry before. However, despite not being irritated, I had to repeat myself in a slightly louder voice so she could hear it.
「ああ、今年は奇跡の蝉の年なんだよ」 "Yeah, this is the year of the miraculous cicada, you know."
「へえ、それはどういう意味だ?」 "And what's that s'pposed to mean?"
僕はこの蝉の鳴き声を知っている。このけたたましさを十一年前にも味わった事がある。 I know the cry of these cicadas. I heard this same clamor 11 years ago.
十一年前の夏、いつもの様に不良在庫の整理をしていると、森の方から低いうねり声の様な音が聞こえてきたのだ。 11 years ago during summer, while I was separating defective stock as usual, I heard a sound like a low undulation from the direction of the forest.
十一年前は、魔法の森の入り口に香霖堂を構えてからまだ数年目と間も無い頃で、その時の僕は魔法の森に関して詳しくなかったし、その奇妙な音が珍しい蝉の鳴き声だと言う事は判らなかったのである。 11 years ago, I had only established Kourindou near the Forest of Magic a few years prior, so at the time I was not as knowledgeable about it, and did not know that the odd sound was the cry of the cicadas.
その十一年前の音の正体が判ったのは、 (わず) か二日前だった。 I only learned of the real truth behind the sounds from 11 years ago the day before yesterday.
――二日前。僕はけたたましい蝉の鳴き声で目が覚めた。蝉とは不思議な生き物で、ある日突然鳴き始め、そしてあっという間に居なくなる。それに地中に何年も潜伏して、思い出したかのように地上に出てくるのだ。そういう性質もあって、僕は蝉には寛大なつもりでいた。 Two days ago, I was awoken by the cicada's piercing cries. Cicadas are mysterious creatures, suddenly crying and just as suddenly disappearing. They hibernate within the earth for years, then come out above ground as if they had just remembered they were still alive. Because of that personality, I was tolerant of their presence.
だが、今年の蝉は異常だった。普段聴き慣れない低い鳴き声も普通の蝉とは異なるし、それに明らかに数が多いのだ。 However, this year's cicadas were not normal. These cicadas' cries were much lower than the normal ones I was used to, and there were clearly many more of them.
余りの五月蠅さに、仕方が無く暑い中窓を締め切っていた。このままでは窓を閉め切っているので暑いし、商品の保存状態にも悪影響だ。それに夜も満足に眠る事が出来ないし、客も寄りつかない。 Because of the cacophony, I shut my window even despite the heat. However, with the window shut it was very hot, and this had an adverse effect on my stock. I also could not sleep well at night, and customers were unwilling to visit.
僕は (しばら) く蝉の駆除の方法を考えていたが、締め切った店の暑さに耐えきれず、久々に店を出て里へ出掛ける事にした。勿論 (もちろん) 、その間も蝉の駆除の方法ばかり考えていた。 I contemplated how to get rid of the cicadas, but, unable to take the heat in my store, I left for the first time in a while to the village. Of course, during that time I did nothing but go over in my mind how to exterminate the cicadas.
店から遠ざかると次第に鳴き声が小さくなっていく事が判った。どうやら魔法の森にしか () んでいない蝉の様である。僕は少し安心した。最悪、店に居られないくらい五月蠅 (うるさ) くても、昔お世話になった人間の家にご厄介になると言う事も出来るからだ。蝉の寿命は短く、数日で静かになるだろう。 As I got further away from my store, I found that the cicadas' cries decreased in volume. It appears that these cicadas only resided in the Forest of Magic. I was slightly relieved. Because if worst came to worst, if it was so loud I couldn't be in my store, I could go to the place of a human whom I had received hospitality from long time ago and live there. Cicada's lives are short, so after a few days I was sure it would quiet down.
そんな事を考えながら霧雨家を訪れた。霧雨の親父さんとは最後に会ってからもう十年以上も () とうとしていたのと、お客以外の里の人間に会うのが苦手な事もあって、 (ひど) く緊張していた。既に年老いているであろう親父さんは、僕を認識出来るだろうか……。里の人間は歳を重ねると成長し、老けていく。その当たり前の変化が少ない僕は、どうしたって里に長く居る事が出来ない。里の人間に不快感や恐怖を与えてしまうのだ。 While I was thinking about that, I arrived at the Kirisame residence. It had been at least 10 years since I'd seen the father, and I was not good with meeting other people from the village other than customers, so I was terribly nervous. I wondered if age had possibly made the father of the house senile, and would be unable to recognize me. The humans of the village mature, then age as years pass. These normal processes don't happen to me, so I can never stay long in the village. I only bring unease and fear to the humans there.
だが、そんな緊張も軽い世間話ですぐに消え失せた。僕は霧雨の親父さんと霧雨家の商売の話や、今の香霖堂の商品、外の世界の道具についてなど、そんな話をして緊張も解け、いよいよ話題は本題である五月蠅い蝉の事に移ろうとしているその時だった。 However, such nervousness quickly vanished after some small talk. I spoke to the father of the Kirisame house of matters such as mercantile dealings, the current merchandise of Kourindou as well as the tools of the outside world, and with that, my tension melted away and I was able to get to the matter at hand: the obnoxious cicadas.
「――霧雨家で森の方から聞こえていた音が、十一年前に聞いた低いうねり声の様な音と同じ音だと言う事に気付いたんだ」 "And then I realized while at the Kirisame residence, the sounds coming from the forest were exactly the same as the low undulation I heard 11 years ago."
「随分と気付くのに時間が掛かったんだな」 "Took ya a while to realize that, eh?"
「里に着いた時から何となく記憶の奥底に引っ掛かる物があったんだが、何せ十一年前は蝉の鳴き声だとは思わなかったからね。言い訳をすると高い音は遠く離れれば離れる程かき消され、低い籠もった様な音だけが聞こえるもんだ。今年は店のすぐ近くまで蝉が押し寄せている様だが、十一年前は遠くで鳴いている音しか聞こえなかったんだ。今とは印象も大分違ったんだよ。だから店を離れて初めて気付いたのさ」 "The notion was at the back of my mind when I arrived at the village, but 11 years ago I didn't think that the sound I was hearing were cicada cries. If I were to give an excuse, the further you go from a high-pitched sound, the more it goes away, and all you can hear is a muffled, low sound. This year it appears that the cicada are very close to my store, but 11 years ago they were far away and all I could hear were the normal calls. It's a very different feeling now than then. That's why I only realized it after I left my store."
暑くなってきたので、窓を開けて換気をする事にした。少し開けた途端、蝉の鳴き声の洪水が店内に押し寄せてきたので、指一本分くらい開けた所で手を止めた。 It had become hot, so I decided to open the window for ventilation. Even by opening the window slighly, the cicadas' cries surged in like a flood, so I stopped at opening it up just a finger's breadth.
「何にしても十一年前の不思議な音も、蝉の鳴き声だと言う事が判った。僕は親父さんにこの蝉について何か知っていないか質問してみたんだ。あ、そうそう親父さんは元気だったよ?」 "After I'd figured out that the mysterious sounds of 11 years ago turned out to be the cicada's cries, I asked your father if he knew anything about them. By the way, he seems to be doing well!"
「蝉が五月蠅過ぎて良く聞き取れないぜ」 "I really can't hear ya! The cicadas are too loud!"
「結局、親父さんも今聞こえている音が蝉の鳴き声だという事は知らなかった。勿論、この蝉の正体も判らないと言う。となるとますます僕は蝉の正体が気になってね。霧雨家を後にして里のとある人間の家を訪ねたんだ」 "It turned out he didn't know the cicada were even active this year, as he hadn't heard them. Of course, he also said he knew nothing of the true nature of the cicadas. I was becoming interested in what that was. So I left the Kirisame residence and went to a certain human's place."
その人間とは、里の人間で最も多くの資料を持ち、知識も深い稗田 (ひえだ) 家である。千年以上続く由緒正しき人間の家系だ。稗田家が持つ膨大な蔵書には、幻想郷のあらゆる事柄 (ことがら) が収められている。その他にも外の世界の資料も少なくない。 That human is, among the humans in the village, the one with the most resources and knowledge, the Hiedas. It is a proper, traditional house with a lineage lasting over a thousand years. Everything about Gensokyo is stored in the enormous library that the Hiedas possess. There is no small amount of knowledge about the outside world, as well.
稗田家には『御阿礼 (みあれ) の子』と呼ばれる子供が百年から百数十年単位で生まれる事がある。この御阿礼の子は、膨大な資料をすべて暗記出来る程の知能を持つと言われ、今現在、九代目が家に居るそうである。 To the Hiedas there is one born every one or two hundred years called the Child of Miare. This Child of Miare is said to have the ability to memorize everything in the Hieda libraries, and currently, it appears the ninth generation of these Children is with them.
稗田家の資料は人間向けに書かれた一部を除いて門外不出であったが、最近はその規制も (ゆる) くなり正当な理由が有れば一般にも公開する様になった。有難 (ありがた) い事に人間以外にも公開しているのである。 The tomes of the Hieda family are, with some exception, kept hidden from outsiders, but recently those restrictions have been relaxed, and if you have a good reason, they will be released to the general public's use. Thankfully, this applies to non-humans as well.
「ふーん。そんな人間が居るってのは霊夢に聞いた事が有ったが……そんな面白そうな資料を抱え込んでいたとは驚きだな」 "Hmmm. I think Reimu told me about someone like that, but... I'm surprised they got so much cool-soundin' stuff."
ちょっとだけ開いた窓は風を取り込む機能を果たしていなく、部屋は暑いままだった。帽子なんて被っていたらいっそう暑いに決まっている。魔理沙は、今度はそこに () () に行こうか、と言って帽子を取って団扇 (うちわ) の様に扇ぎ始めた。 The slightly-cracked window of the store was not doing its job bringing in the wind, and the room was still hot. Wearing that hat was even more so. After saying that she'd like to go check it out one of these days, she took hers off and began fanning herself with it.
魔理沙の言う () () とは言うまでもなく盗みの事だろう。牽制 (けんせい) のつもりで「稗田家の主人と霧雨の親父さんは仲が良いよ」と言うと魔理沙は悔しそうな表情を浮かべて「さっさと蝉の話に戻せ」と言った。 When Marisa says "check it out," I'm sure she means "steal things". When I tried to dissuade her by telling her that relations between the head of the Kirisame and Hieda households were good, Marisa looked frustrated and said "Just get back to the story about the cicadas!"
「そう、確かに稗田家の資料は膨大だった。余りの資料の多さに何処 (どこ) から探して良いのか判らなかったんだけど、九代目御阿礼の子は『すべての資料を暗記している。紙に書いてあるのは他の人に伝える為だ』って言ったんだよ。半信半疑で『この五月蠅い蝉の事の記述は無いか』と訊ねたら、すぐに教えてくれた。御阿礼の子の記憶力は半端なものではないね」 "The Hiedas' resources were indeed vast. It was so huge I didn't even know where to start, but the 9th generation Child of Miare told me that she had ‘memorized the entire library, in order to tell people its contents.’ Half-doubting, I asked ‘Are there any records about these loud cicadas?’ and she told me immediately. It appears the rumors about her memory are true."
「ふーん。ま、この五月蠅 (うるさ) い蝉の事が判ったんなら、駆除の方法も判ったんだろう? さっさと何とかしてくれよ。魔法の森の何処 (どこ) に行っても五月蠅くてかなわん。難聴になるぜ」 "Hmmm. Well, if ya know the deal with these loud cicada, ya should also know how do get rid of them, right? So do something about it already! No matter where I go in the Forest of Magic, those annoying cicada are there. I'm gonna go deaf!"
「だったら耳栓でもすればいい。この時は、既に僕の中で興味が変化していたんだ。駆除の方法よりも、この蝉は何故 (なぜ) 十一年ぶりに大量発生したのか、を知りたくなっていたんだよ」 "So plug your ears, then! At that time, my interest had already begun to change. More than how to get rid of them, I wanted to know why there was a sudden outbreak in volume 11 years ago."
蝉は狂った様に鳴き続けていた。次第に耳は慣れ、そこまで鬱陶しくなくなってきたが、いつもより大きめな声で話していた為かのどが渇く。僕は二人分お茶を淹れた。 The cicada continued their cries as if they were mad. Eventually my ears got used to the sound and it wasn't as annoying, but speaking in a voice louder than normal makes one's throat dry. I poured tea for two.
そもそも、蝉の生態は謎に包まれている。蝉は七年ほど土の中で成長し、ある日突然地上に現れると七日間だけ (せわ) しなく鳴いて、さらに別の生を受ける為に体を捨てる。蝉とは罪人が地獄で罪の清算が終わった後、その魂が転生されるまでの苟且 (かりそめ) の姿であると言われている。 From the beginning, these cicada were shrouded in riddles. Cicada mature after about 7 years, then all of a sudden go up to the surface, cry busily for about 7 days, and then leave their bodies to reincarnate. It is said that cicada are the vehicle by which sinners who have cleansed their sins in hell reincarnate into the cycle, their souls being temporarily housed in this form.
さらに、資料によると外の世界にはもっと特殊な蝉が居るらしい。それは、十三年蝉と十七年蝉と呼ばれる蝉である。名前の通り、十三年に一度だけ土の下から出てくる蝉と、同様に十七年に一度だけ出てくる蝉だそうだ。 In addition, there are even more special types of cicada in the outside world, according to the sources. There are 13-year cicada and 17-year cicada. As the names suggest, it appears that they come up once in 13 years or once in 17 years.
幻想郷に現れた蝉は、十一年に一度だけ大量発生する不思議な蝉で、一部の人の間では『奇跡の蝉』とも呼ばれるそうである。何故奇跡の蝉と呼ばれるかというと、十一年と言う長い年月を土の中で暮らすという不思議さもその要因の一つだが、なんと言ってもこの蝉が発生する年は決まって豊作になるかららしい。資料はそこで終わっていた。 The cicada that appear in Gensokyo are mysterious cicada that appear once in 11 years, and are referred to by some people as "Miraculous Cicada". When one asks why are they called Miraculous Cicada, one reason is the mystery behind them living 11 long years under the earth, but in addition whenever these cicada come out, the harvest for that year is sure to be plentiful. The records stopped there.
「ふーん。で、何で十一年なんだ? 外の世界の十三年も十七年も、そもそも何で普通の蝉だって七年も眠っているのも不思議だが」 "Hmmm... So why 11 years? It's a question related to 13-year and 17-year ones in the outside world, too... But in the first place, it's weird to me that normal cicada sleep so long as 7 years."
稗田家の資料には、魔理沙が抱く様な当然の疑問に対する答えは無く、ただ客観的な事実だけが書かれていた。それは資料としては正しいが、読む側としては何か物足りない。 The resources of the Hiedas had no answer to Marisa's obvious question, but only gave a spectator's view on events. This is proper for reference material, but is lacking in something for those who read it.
当然僕も、魔理沙と同じ疑問を抱いた。しかし、僕と魔理沙が徹底的に違う所は、僕の場合は自分で考えるしかないが、魔理沙の場合は周りに () () () () () () () () () () () () () と言う事だ。答えを知っている人物とは、勿論僕の事である。 Of course, I had the same question as Marisa. However, the main difference between her and I was that all I could do was think about it on my own, but Marisa has people around her that might know the answer. Of course, that person is me.
「少しは自分で考えようとしないのかね、君は」 "Why don't you ever think about figuring it out yourself?"
魔理沙にとっては、僕に説教される事なんて何とも思っていないようだった。帽子で (あお) ぎながら僕の話の続きを待っている。蝉の鳴き声は (いら) つきを助長させるのか、僕も少し苛つき (やす) くなっているのかもしれない。 Marisa didn't even seem to notice that I was scolding her. She continued fanning herself with her cap, waiting for me to continue with the story. Perhaps the cries of the cicada increased my annoyance, or perhaps I've just become easier to annoy lately.
「まあいい、今回は少し複雑な話だしね。まず、十一年周期の蝉が幻想郷で最初に確認出来たのは、今から百年前 (ほど) 前だと言われている。つまり、百年前頃に外の世界で絶滅して幻想郷にやってきた可能性が有ると言う事だ」 "Oh well, this particular story is a little complex anyways. First, it has been said the first confirmed appearance of the 11-year-cycle cicada came around 100 years ago. In other words, there is a chance that 100 years ago they were made extinct in the outside world and thus came to Gensokyo."
「元々は、外の世界に十一年周期の蝉が居たって言うのか?」 "So yer sayin' that the 11-year cicada existed in the outside world?"
「そう考えれば、外の世界には七年だけじゃなく、十三年周期の蝉も十七年周期の蝉も居るって言うんだから、至極自然だね」 "If you think about it, it is only natural to assume this, since there are 7-, 13- and 17-year cicada in the outside world as well."
「うーん。余り自然とは思えないな。七年と十三年と十七年が居るんだったら、残りが有るとすれば十年と十五年だろう? 十一年なんて中途半端だしな」 "Mmm... That doesn't seem right. If there are 7-, 13- and 17-year cicada, wouldn'cha think there'd be 10- and 15-year cicada left? 11 years seems so half-baked."
なるほど、魔理沙は () () () () () () () () () () () 事で自然になると考えているようだ。七と十三の中間は十、十三と十七の中間は十五だ。恐らく、論理的な物は何もなく直感のみであろう。誰しも、間が等間隔になるというのは気持ちの良いものである。ここから判る魔理沙の性格は、部屋の中が本以外は滅茶苦茶に散らかっていようと、本は系統別に (まと) め、巻数も順番通りに並べるタイプであるという事だ。僕は、その通りだなと思い、少しおかしかった。 I see, it appears that Marisa thinks that by inserting intervals between the number of years it would be more natural. 10 in between 7 and 13, and 15 in between 13 and 17. It is probably more her instincts than anything theoretical. Most people feel satisfied when such gaps are filled in an orderly manner. Marisa's personality seems to be the type that everything but the books in a room would be scattered all over the place, but the books themselves would be sorted by type and put in numerical order. While not surprising, it would still strike me as somewhat strange.
しかし、勘の鋭い霊夢だったら、この場は何と答えていただろうか。 However, I wonder how the instinctively sharp Reimu would have answered.
「いや、十一年で良いんだ。むしろ外の世界の蝉に、十一年だけが欠けている事に気付かないといけない」 "No, it must be 11 years. In fact, the cicada of the outside world must realize that the 11-year ones are gone."
「七年、十一年、十三年、十七年……何だか気持ち悪い数字の並びだな」 "7 years, 11, 13, 17... that set of numbers of years just doesn't feel right."
「判るかい? これらの数字は、一と自分以外で割り切る事が出来ない数字、 () () だという事に」 "Do you understand? Those numbers can't be divided by anything but themselves and 1. They are prime numbers."
七にしろ、十三にしろ、十七にしろ、素数である。七以上で同様に素数は、十一、十三、十七、十九、二十三……と続いていく。 Whether they are 7, 11, 13 or 17, they are all prime numbers. The prime numbers greater than 7 proceed as 11, 13, 17, 19, 23 and so on.
僕は、外の世界の蝉に七、十三、十七とあって、何故か十一だけが欠けている事に気付いたのだ。そして、幻想郷には十一年周期で発生する蝉が居る……。 I realized that the outside world had 7-, 13- and 17-year cicada but was missing the 11-year cicada. And that Gensokyo had cicadas that came once every 11 years.
「だから、僕は十一年の蝉は元々外の世界の蝉で、何らかの理由で地上では絶滅したと予想した」 "Therefore, I hypothesize that the 11-year cicada were of the outside world, and that for some reason they had become extinct there."
「うーん。ま、また説教されるかも知れないけど、一応 () いておくぜ。何で蝉は素数の年数だけ土の中で眠るんだ?」 "Hmmm. Ya might give me another earful, but I'm gonna ask again anyway. Why do cicada only show up in cycles of prime number years?"
「それは当然の疑問だね。だが残念だが、この疑問に関しての明確な答えは無い」 "That's a normal question to have. But unfortunately, I can't answer it."
「えー……って疑問のままで香霖が納得する訳が無いだろう?」 "Whaaaat? But the Kourin I know doesn't like questions that go unanswered!"
「その通りだ。よく分かっているな」 "Right you are. You understand me well."
「ほれ、解説を続けても良いぜ」 "So keep it comin'! What's next?"
何か上手く利用されている気がするが、まあいい。 It feels like I'm being used, but whatever.
「……素数、つまり割り切れない周期でしか発生しないと言う事は、それぞれの蝉が同時に大量発生する機会が非常に少ないという事だ。十三年の蝉と、十七年の蝉が同時に大量発生する周期は……二百二十一年に一度だけしかない。そうする事で、同時に大量発生してお互いが不利益になる年を極力減らしているのだろう。魔理沙が言っていた様な十年や十五年では、三十年に一度は当たってしまう」 "It's very unlikely that cicada which all come out in different prime numbers of years would all happen to come out at once. The cycle for 13-year and 17-year cicada both coming out at once is... only once every 221 years. Thus, it's probably to minimize the undesirable years when multiple kinds of cicadas are all out at once. If it was 10 and 15 years as you suggested, they'd run into each other every 30 years."
「なるほど、何となく判ったぜ。蝉って頭が良いな」 "Oh yeah, I think I get it. Cicada are pretty smart, huh."
「蝉の頭が良い訳ではない。先も言ったように、蝉は地獄から送られてくる魂の () れ物だと言われている。つまり、地獄の閻魔 (えんま) 様が作ったシステムだろう。頭が良いのは当然だ」 "This doesn't mean that they're smart. As I said before, it's said that cicadas are vessels for souls as they leave hell. In other words, it's a system invented by the Enma. It's only natural that it would be clever."
「でも、何で十一年の蝉だけ絶滅して幻想郷に発生したんだ?」 "But how come only the 11-year cicada that are showin' up here went extinct in the outside world?"
「推測でしかないが、十一年の蝉と十三年の蝉、十七年の蝉が同時に大量発生し、一番若い十一年の蝉が犠牲になったのでは、と僕は想像する。それらの三種の蝉がすべて同時に大量発生するのは、なんと二千四百三十一年に一度しか無い。百年ほど前についにその運命の年が来て、十一年の蝉が幻想に追いやられたんじゃないかな」 "I can only venture a guess, but I'd imagine that between the 11-year, 13-year, and 17-year cicada, the youngest 11-year group became the victims. Those three would only ever all come out at once every 2431 years. After centuries and centuries, that year finally came, and the 11-year cicadas were driven off to Gensokyo."
「うーむ。そうかもな。そういう話を聞くと、この五月蠅 (うるさ) い蝉も珍しくて貴重な気がするぜ。何せ十一年に一度の奇跡の蝉だしな」 "Hrm, maybe. Hearin' you talk about it makes these noisy cicadas actually seem valuable. The miraculous once-every-11-years cicada, huh?"
「そうだ、だから駆除するなんて事はしたくない」 "Exactly, and that's why I don't want to exterminate them."
僕は思い切って窓を開けた。十一年の蝉が、長かった罪の清算から解放された喜びを表すかの様に、けたたましく鳴いていた。 I bravely opened the window. The 11-year cicadas cried piercingly with the joy of being released from their long-standing sins.
相変わらず、魔理沙は耳を押さえ、苦い顔をしている。にも (かかわ) らず、自分の家に帰ろうとしないのは、店より自分の家の方が五月蠅いからだろう。 As expected, Marisa covered her ears, making a sour face. Nevertheless, it was still probably louder at her own home than at my shop, which is why she hadn't left yet.
客でもないのに店に居座られては迷惑なので、僕は魔理沙を追い出した。渋々 (しぶしぶ) 出ていったが、きっと自分の家には帰らず、神社かどっかにお世話になるつもりだろう。人間の里には自分の親が住んでいるのだから、そこへ帰れば良いのに……。 Because a shop full of people who weren't customers was a pain, I drove Marisa out. She reluctantly left, but no doubt didn't return home, instead taking advantage of the hospitality of the shrine or somewhere similar. Although since her family lives in the human village, she should just go back there instead...
この蝉は (あと) 何日 (ほど) 鳴き続けるのだろうか。そんな事を考えていたら、蝉と地獄の閻魔様に (まつ) わる奇妙な符合に気付いてしまった。 How long had these cicada been chirping? When I thought about it, I noticed a strange coincidence linking the Enma to the cicada.
閻魔様は初七日から満中陰、七日起きに審理を行う事で有名である。この七は素数であり、通常の蝉の地中に潜む年数や地上で鳴いている日数と一致する。さらに審判が終わった後に転生の為に地中に潜伏すると考えると、不思議な事に十一年、十三年、十七年の蝉が同時に大量発生する周期の年数と、通常の七年の蝉が潜伏する日数はほぼ同じになるのである。 The Enma is famous for holding trials for the memorial service every seven days after a person's death, from the first "seventh day" to the seventh "seventh days". This seven is a prime number, the number of days matching the number of years between times when the cicadas come to the surface. Furthermore, after judgement is passed, if you think about remaining underground to await reincarnation, the number of days a 7-year cicada would have to wait is roughly the same as the number of years that would pass before 11-year, 13-year, and 17-year cicada all came out at once.
蝉は不思議な生き物だ。地獄の閻魔様が作ったシステムの上で生きているという事は、もっと緻密で不思議な性質を持っていて、その性質一つ一つに呪術的な意味がある可能性がある。 Cicada are mysterious creatures. While they were created in accordance with the Enma's system, they seem to have a more subtle nature, and the possibility exists that their nature gradually gains more magical significance.
何故、地獄に堕ちた魂と同じ様に長い間地中で過ごすのか。何故、地上に出てから短い期間で居なくなるのか。人間は、輪廻転生のうち現世に居る期間が一番短いと言う事なのか。 Why do they stay underground for the same amount of time as the souls damned to hell? Why do they disappear after only a short time on the surface? Do humans have the shortest period in the circle of transmigration?
だとすると、妖怪は死ぬとどうなるのだろうか。妖怪と人間のハーフである僕はどうなるのだろうか。店の窓を再び閉め、一人考え込んだ。 But in saying so, I wonder what happens to youkai when they die? What will happen to me, a half-youkai? I closed the window once more, lost in thought.


Notes[edit]

  • The cicadae in this chapter exist in the real world; Periodical Cicadae. Rinnosuke illustrates how they live in what is called the "delayed density-dependent effects of predator".
  • This chapter promotes Akyuu's personality, or the work where she is spotted on. This chapter was released on Dengeki Moeou October 2006 edition, on August 26th in 2006, while Perfect Memento in Strict Sense was supposed to start selling on July in the same year and consequently was postponed until December 27th. ZUN must have intended to lead readers to say "Wow Akyuu! I have saw her in the last published work! It's a service for fans," but it would be in fact "Who is this girl? I have never seen her. Akyuu? ...Hmm, I will leave her impression in my memory."
^ Present-day interpretation of Obon is the event that the living people welcome to ancestral spirit (i.e. dead people), treat and communicate them, and see off them. The description is made from the view of fspirits.


< Chapter 19   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 21 >