Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 31

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雪深い香霖堂を訪れる人妖が語る
「四季異変」の顛末とは――
Humans and youkai visiting a snow-covered Kourindou and chatting
About the details of the "four seasons incident" —
第四話 薪ストーブの暖かい罠 Chapter 4: Warm Trap at Woodstove
夏は夜。月のころはさらなり。闇もなほ、蛍の多く飛びちがひたる。ただ一つ二つなど、ほかにうち光て行くもをかし。雨など降るもをかし。 In summer, the night — moonlit nights, of course, but also at the dark of the moon, it's beautiful when fireflies are dancing in a mazy flight. And it's delightful too to just see one or two fly through the darkness, glowing softly. Rain falling on a summer night is also lovely.[1]
恐怖を覚えるほどの豪雨。いつまでも明るく騒がしく、眠らない夜。むせ返るような熱帯夜。清少 (せいしょう) 納言 (なごん) が見た夏の夜を、誰が想像出来るだろう。心に浮かぶ風景は、ノスタルジーから生まれる妄想の夏なのではないだろうか。 A rain so heavy that reminds one of fear. A night that is bright, and filled with noise so one never sleeps. A rebellious, tropical night. The summer night Sei () Shounagon (少納言) saw, who could imagine it? I wonder if the landscape floating within my mind is a summer of delusions born from nostalgia.
しかし私は夢で見る。月夜に照らされた夏の夜や、 (さく) の頃の暗闇に蛍が飛び散る夜、昼間の暑さを拭い去る力強く涼しげな夕立……。まるで平安の貴族が見たような幻想的な原風景の夏を、夢で見るのだ。そうして現実の辛い夏休みから逃げる……、 (はず) だった。 Still I see them in my dreams. Summer evenings illuminated by the moonlight; the moonless night, when the fireflies scatter at the darkest hour; a powerful and cool shower that washes away the daytime's warmth... Like the summer of a fantastic primitive landscape, as viewed by a peaceful aristocrat through a dream. It was meant to be an escape vacation from the painful summer of reality.
「どうしちゃったのかしら、幻想郷は! 今までも不思議な事はいっぱいあったけど、時間と季節だけは一緒だったのに」 "What's happened here in Gensokyo?! There've been plenty of mysterious happenings so far, but at least the season always matched the time of year."
久しぶりにやってきた幻想郷の夏は、地面には雪が積もり、冷たい木枯らしが吹いていた。 Summer had finally come around to Gensokyo again, but the ground is covered with snow, and a freezing wind was blowing.
何処 (どこ) が道だか判らないくらい雪が積もっているなんて……、あっ!」 "I can't even tell where the road is under all this- Wah!"
未踏の雪道に滑って転んでしまった。しかし彼女は笑顔で声を上げた。 She slipped and fell on the untrodden snowy road. But nevertheless, she raised her voice with a smile.
「何てアメージング! やっぱり幻想郷は不思議な場所ね!」 "This is AMAZING! I knew Gensokyo was weird!"
ローファーに雪が入るのも厭わず、夏服の彼女は雪の上を駆け回った。 Paying no mind to the snow that had gotten into her loafers, the girl ran across the snow in her summer clothing.
――雪の中の香霖堂 (こうりんどう) 。厚着した森近 (もりちか) 霖之助 (りんのすけ) きりさめ (霧雨) 魔理沙 (まりさ) が話をしている。 —Kourindou in the snow. Rinnosuke Morichika and Marisa Kirisame, each dressed warmly, are talking.
「なる (ほど) 、妖精の暴走か。この季節外れの雪はそんな理由だったのか。でももう異変は解決したんだろう? それで、いつ元に戻るんだい? 魔理沙」 "I see, the fairies were rampaging? So that was the reason for the unseasonable snow? But you've already resolved the incident, right? So when's it going to go back to normal, Marisa?"
「さあな、時間が経てば自然に戻っていくと言っていたが……」 "Who knows? They said that it'd fix itself on its own over time, but..."
「燃料の蓄えが余り無いので、そろそろ季節外れの冬が明けてくれないと困るんだよねぇ」 "I'm almost out of wood to burn, so I'll be in trouble if this off-season winter doesn't clear up soon."
梅雨が明け、いよいよ夏到来という時に急激に冷え込み始め、季節外れの雪が降るようになってからひと月以上経とうとしていた。余りの寒さに慌てて暖房の準備をしたのだが、急だったために () () () (まき) が十分に確保できなかったのである。 It'd been a month since the rainy season ended and, instead of the long-awaited summer arriving, it got cold and started snowing. Rinnosuke had hurriedly set up a heater to fight off the cold, but due to its suddenness he was unable to prepare enough firewood.
「まあ、暖房があるだけマシだよ。それにずっと吹雪続きだった森に比べると、ここは天国みたいなもんだ。まあ、ずっと春のままの博麗神社よりは過ごしづらいが」 "Hey, at least you've got heating. And compared to the endless blizzard in the forest, this is practically paradise. Well, I guess it's still worse than the endless spring at the Hakurei Shrine."
「ほう、博麗神社はずっと春なのか」 "Oh? So it's always spring at the shrine then?"
「あれ? 言ってなかったっけ?」 "Huh? Didn't I tell you?"
「てっきり、幻想郷中雪が降っているのかと思ったよ」 "I was sure that all of Gensokyo was buried in snow."
「お前は家から出ないからなぁ。博麗神社の春だけではなく、山は紅葉しているし……お、誰か来たぜ」 "That's 'cause you never leave your house. And it's not just the spring at the shrine either, the leaves are already changin' color on the mountain, and- Oh, someone's here."
玄関で大きな音がした。 There was a loud sound from the entrance.
「うおぉー、寒ーい! 寒くて死ぬ!」 "Uwah! It's soooo cold! I'm gonna freeze to death!"
「おお、菫子 (すみれこ) 君、よく来たね。しかしまあ、随分 (ずいぶん) と薄着だねぇ」 "Oh, if it isn't Sumireko, glad you made it. But I must say, you're awfully underdressed for the weather."
半袖のシャツを着た菫子が身体を震わせていた。 Sumireko was shivering in her short-sleeved shirt.
「ソックスもビチョビチョよ! ああ、部屋の中は暖かいわー。生き返るわー」 "Even my socks are drenched! Ah... but it's so warm in here. I'm coming back to life...
菫子は靴を脱いで、薪ストーブの近くに置いた。それを魔理沙が手に取った。 Sumireko took off her shoes and left them next to the wood-burning heater. Then Marisa picked them up.
「おいおい、こんな靴で雪道を歩いてきたのか? 中に綿も無いし、底なんかツルツルじゃないか。こんなんで雪の上を歩くと滑って怪我するぜ」 "Hold on, you were walking through the snow in THESE? There's no cotton linin' in 'em, and the soles are smooth as heck. If you walk on snow with these you'll slip and hurt yourself."
「だって、今は夏なのよ! こんなに雪が降っているなんて、誰が想像出来るのよ!」 "C'mon, it's summer! How was I supposed to know that it'd be snowing here?!"
彼女は外の世界の人間、宇佐見菫子だ。魔理沙の言うとおり、確かに雪道を歩くような靴では無いが、彼女は冬でも同じ靴を履いている。つまり転倒を怖れない馬鹿だ。 She was the human from the Outside World, Sumireko Usami. As Marisa said, those shoes are unsuitable for walking on snow, but she wears the same shoes in winter too. In other words, she's an idiot who isn't worried about slipping.
「まあ、幻想郷 (ここ) ではこういうことも起こるもんだ」 "Well, these things happen here in Gensokyo."
「あれー、最初暖かいと思ったけど、このストーブ、結構火力弱いのね。また冷えてきちゃった」 "Wait, huh? I thought it was really warm here at first, but this stove doesn't have much firepower, does it? I'm already cold again."
菫子はブルブル震えている。それを見て霖之助は不憫 (ふびん) に思った。 Seeing Sumireko trembling with cold, Rinnosuke felt pity for her.
「ああ、燃料の残りが少ないからちょっと節約してるんだ。でもまあ、もうすぐ苟且 (こうしょ) の冬も終わりらしいから、今日は火力を上げよう」 "Ah, I don't have much firewood left so I was trying to ration it. But, well, I hear this temporary winter is going to end soon, so I might as well raise the heat for today."
「助かるわ!」 "You're a lifesaver!"
菫子は両手を合わせ、大袈裟 (おおげさ) に拝んだ。 Sumireko put her hands together in an exaggerated prayer gesture.
「――で、この雪は何なの? 幻想郷に何が起こっているの?」 "So, what's with the snow? Is something happening in Gensokyo?"
菫子が (もっと) もな質問をした。魔理沙も当然の疑問だな、と思いながら、少し億劫 (おっくう) そうに返答した。 Sumireko asked a reasonable question. Even Marisa thought it was a natural question to ask, but she couldn't help but respond a little wearily.
「話すといろいろあるんだが、まず知ってほしいのは、幻想郷には『何者かが引き起こす、人為 (じんい) 的な異常事態』が定期的に起きる。それを『異変』と言うんだ」 "There's a lot to talk about, but first I want you to know that this 'someone does something, things are artificially abnormal' stuff happens like clockwork here in Gensokyo. We call them 'incidents'."
「異変ですか。なる程ーって、人為的? まさかこの雪は、森近さんの道具で降らせた人工降雪なの?」 "Incidents? I see... wait, artificial? Are you telling me this is manmade snow Mr. Morichika is making with some machine?"
「人工降雪……と言うと何か違う気がするが、今回の異変は雪が降っている事だけでは無い。他にも、桜が咲いていたり、紅葉していたりと幻想郷全域の季節がおかしくなっている」 "Manmade snow... the way you put that sounds off, but this incident isn't just about falling snow. There's other stuff, like cherry blossoms blooming and leaves changing color. The seasons are going crazy all across Gensokyo."
「えええ? 幻想郷全域でー? それが人為的な異常事態って、ちょっと (にわか) には信じられないけど……」 "Whaaaat? All across Gensokyo? This is all too sudden, it's hard to believe this is artificial..."
「よくあるとは言ったが、正直言うと

、この規模の異変は常識では考えられない。実際、犯人も非常識な奴だったしな」

"Well, I said this happens all the time, but to be frank this scale of incident defies common sense here. And actually, so does the lady behind it."
「へー、犯人が判っているんですね」 "Wow, so you know who did it then?"
「ああ、それに一応異変は解決しているので、季節も元に戻っていくはずだ」 "Yeah. Not only that, it's already been resolved, more or less, so the seasons should go back to normal."
「そうなんですね。ところで、魔理沙さんはなんでそんなに詳しいんですかー? もしかして、犯人の手先なんじゃないのー?」 "Oh, so that's how it is. By the way, how do you know so much about this, Marisa? Wait, don't tell me you're the culprit's henchman?
魔理沙が面倒くさそうにしていたので、霖之助が口を挟んだ。 Marisa was starting to look annoyed by this conversation, so Rinnosuke interjected.
「言ってなかったかな。ここにいる霧雨魔理沙は、異変解決を生業 (なりわい) とする人間なんだ」 "Did no one ever tell you? Marisa Kirisame here is a human who makes her living resolving incidents."
「そうだ。今回みたいな異変が出たときには真っ先に解決に向かう、言わば正義のヒーローだぜ」 "That's right. Whenever an incident like this pops up I drop everything and go resolve it. I'm what you call a hero of justice."
魔理沙が決めポーズを取るが、正義のヒーローと言って格好付ける人間がこんなにもダサいのかと思い、菫子は苦笑いする。 Marisa took a pose, but Sumireko thought that anyone calling themselves a hero of justice must be pretty lame, so she gave a wry smile."
「あ、そ、そうなんですね。正義のヒーローさんだったんですね。私はてっきりそういうファッションセンスを持つ、年中ハロウィンの人間なのかなーと思ってました」 "Oh, I-I see. So you were a hero of justice then. With that fashion sense, I could've sworn you were just someone celebrating Halloween all year round."
「お前馬鹿にしてるだろ。これは魔法使いの正装だ」 "You're making fun of me, aren't you? This is the uniform of a magician."
「失礼。正直、ドンキかなんかで売ってる安いコスプレかなーと……キャッ!」 "Sorry. To be honest, it looks like the cheap cosplay they sell at a discount store, so- Ack!"[2]
魔理沙は菫子に飛びかかった。菫子は笑いながら魔理沙の攻撃を受け止めていた。霖之助は「やれやれ」と思いながら、この際だからという事で、魔理沙に質問してみることにした。 Marisa leapt at Sumireko. With a laugh, Sumireko stopped Marisa's attack. Thinking "good grief", Rinnosuke took the opportunity to ask Marisa a question.
「ところで、僕も今回の異変の話に興味がある。どういう犯人が、どういう動機で起こしたのもなのか。 ちょっと聞かせてもらえないかな。異変解決の専門家さん」 "Incidentally, I'm curious about this incident myself. What kind of person was the culprit, and what was their motive? Would you mind elaborating, Miss Incident Resolution Specialist?"
魔理沙は何故か乗り気では無い様だったが、ここで話題を変えるのも難しいと判断したのか、渋々話始めた。 For whatever reason, Marisa didn't seem at all eager to respond, but perhaps seeing no easy way to change the topic, she began to speak reluctantly.
「――背中に扉、だって? 何それ気持ちわるーい!」 "—You said a door on your back? Ew, creepy!"
「その扉が出来ている者の魔力が暴走し、辺りをおかしくさせていたんだ。特に妖精のような自然を (つかさど) る奴らが暴走した (ため) に、あちこちで季節が狂ったという訳だ」 "And the people with those doors had their magical energy go out of control, so it was making their surroundings go haywire. Especially for those like fairies who control nature: because they were going crazy, the seasons were thrown into chaos all over the place."
「へー、妖精って (すご) いんですね!」 "Wow, fairies are amazing then!"
「おいおい、どこに感心してるんだ? 妖精は凄くないぜ。元々妖精は自然の力が具現化しただけの存在だからな。つまり妖精の暴走は、自然の暴走なんだよ。それより、そいつらを広範囲に暴走させた奴の方が恐ろ……いや何でも無い」 "Hey hey, what're you being impressed for? Fairies ain't amazing. First of all, fairies are just manifestations of the power of nature. In other words, when the fairies go berserk it's nature going berserk. If anything, you should be scared of the folks who can make people go berserk over such a vast... Nah, nevermind."
「? まあ、確かにそうなんですけど。暴走って事は、元々妖精が自然を狂わす程の魔力を持っていたって事なんじゃ無いの?」 "? Well, I guess that's true. But doesn't that mean that fairies already had enough magical power to make nature go berserk?
「さあ、どうだかなぁ。私には元の魔力以上の魔力が (あふ) れ出ていたとしか思えない。その魔力が何処から出てきたのかというと、ハッキリとは判らんが、犯人の魔力なのか、別の世界や別の時空の魔力なのか……。まあともかく、その背中の扉の中に、犯人がいたんだ」 "Hmm, I dunno about that. All I can think of is that they were overflowing with more power than they normally have. I couldn't say where that power came from exactly though. Maybe from the culprit? Or from another world or dimension...? Anyway, the culprit was inside those doors on our backs."
「あ、中に入れるんだ。背中の扉って」 "Ah, so you can go inside. The door on your back."
「そりゃまあ、扉だからな。その中は、なんとも言えない、不気味な世界だったぜ……」 "Well what'd you expect? They're doors. And inside there was this indescribably creepy world."
少しずつ乗ってきた魔理沙が、怪談を語るようにしゃべり始めた。 Gradually becoming more enthusiastic, Marisa began to speak like she was telling a ghost story.
「――あれは、雪の降る夏の早朝だった。魔法の森は吹雪 (ふぶ) いていて (ほとん) ど何も見えなかったが、目の前に何者かが立ちはだかっていた。『邪魔だ、どけ!』。そう言っても動こうとしない。なぁんか変だなぁと思って、近づいてよく見ていると、それは一体の笠地蔵だった。『なぁんだ、地蔵か。こんなところに誰が地蔵を置いたんだ?』。そう思っていると、地蔵がニタリと笑い、突然 (おそ) いかかって来たんだ! 『うわぁ! 地蔵のお化けだー!』 私は声を上げ――って何だよ邪魔すんなよ、話が乗ってきたところなのに」 "...It was a snowy summer morning. A blizzard was raging in the Forest of Magic, and I could barely see a thing, when suddenly there was someone standing in front of me. 'Move, you're in the way!' I said that, but they didn't move. Thinking something was weird, I got closer to take a look, and it was a Jizo statue. 'Oh, it's just a statue? But who would put a statue in a place like this?' While I was wonderin' that, the Jizo statue gave a big smile and suddenly attacked me! 'Uwah! It's a Jizo monster!' I screamed when- Hey, stop that, I'm just getting to the good part."
「ちょ、ちょっと待って。何か口調といい、内容といい、急に作り話っぽくなってきたんで、一応何処まで事実なのかなーと」 "B-Back up here. Your tone is fine, and the story's fine, but this is starting to sound made-up. Now I'm just wondering how much of this is real."
「まあ、事実の部分もあるが殆ど作り話だ」 "Well, some parts are true, but it's mostly made-up."
「なんでやねん」 "What's with that?!"[3]
菫子は最大限ベタな台詞でツッコんだ。 Sumireko gave the most cliche possible response.
――霖之助は思った。 —This is what Rinnosuke thought.
魔理沙の話が何処まで本当で、何処まで嘘なのかよく判らない。見た感じ、わざと話をはぐらかしている様にも見える。何か、異変の事を言いたくない様に見える。普段だったら、こんな大きな異変の解決なら喜んで武勇伝を語る筈だ。もしかすると……何か嫌な予感がする。 He couldn't tell how much of Marisa's story was true, and how much was fiction. He could see that she seemed to be avoiding the question. For whatever reason, she didn't want to speak of the incident. After resolving a big incident like this, she'd normally gladly brag about her heroism. It was just a guess, but he had a bad feeling about this.
「魔理沙……。君は本当に異変を解決したのかい?」 "Marisa... Did you really resolve the incident?"
勿論 (もちろん) だ。何故疑う?」 "'Course I did. Why would you doubt me?"
「いやなんか、核心部分をはぐらかしているように見えたんでね」 "It's just, you seem to be avoiding getting to the heart of the matter."
「うーん。まあその……異変が解決したのは本当だ。しかし、何となく言いたくない部分もあってな……」 "Hmm. Well, I... it's true that I resolved the incident. But there are parts I don't wanna talk about..."
その時、菫子が窓の外をみて慌てていた。 Just then, Sumireko looked out the window and became flustered.
「ねえ、外に何かいる! 笠を被った地蔵が歩いているわー!」 "Hey, there's something out there! It's a Jizo with a straw hat and it's walking!"
「えっ?」 "Huh?"
魔理沙と霖之助は (おどろ) いて窓の外を見た。そこに居たのは、地蔵のように見える格好の、お下げの小さな女の子だった。 Surprised, Marisa and Rinnosuke looked out the window. There, they saw a small girl with braids dressed like a Jizo statue.
「うわー、香霖堂の中は暖かいですねー! 里まで買い出しに行こうと思っていて、余りの寒さに少し心が折れ始めたところでした」 "Uwah, it's so warm inside Kourindou. I thought I'd go shopping in the village, but it's so cold out there that I was starting to reconsider."
彼女の名前は矢田寺成美 (やたでらなるみ) 。魔法の森に住む、正真正銘のお地蔵さんだ。 Her name was Narumi Yadatera. She is an actual Jizo statue living in the Forest of Magic.
「ごめんなさーい。合掌 (がっしょう) して雪の中を歩いているもんだから、笠地蔵に出てくるお地蔵さんかと思っちゃった」 "I'm so sorry! I saw you walking through the snow with your hands held in prayer like that, so I thought a straw-hatted Jizo statue had turned up."
「あっはっは、こいつは矢田寺成美、本物のお地蔵さんだぜ」 "Ahaha, this is Narumi Yadatera. And she really is a Jizo statue."
「え? マジ?」 "What? Seriously?"
菫子は遠慮 (えんりょ) 無く成美の身体を (さわ) った。 With no hesitation at all, Sumireko touched Narumi's body.
「ええー、柔らかーい。お地蔵さんって固くて重くてザラザラしてないと雰囲気でないじゃーん」 "Whaaat? She's soft! If the Jizo statue's not hard and heavy and stony then what's the point?"
「誰? この失礼な奴」 "So who's this rude girl?"
「外の世界の人間だぜ」 "A human from the Outside World."
「え? そ、外の世界の!? "What? Th-The Outside World?!"
「初めまして、宇佐見菫子です! 外の世界と幻想郷を自由に行き来するスーパー女子高生です!」 "Nice to meet you, I'm Sumireko Usami! I'm a Super High School Girl who can freely come and go between Gensokyo and the Outside World!"
さっきの魔理沙の決めポーズを真似ているようだった。成美は驚いて霖之助に詰め寄った。 She seemed to be imitating Marisa's pose from earlier. Surprised, Narumi turned to Rinnosuke.
「こんな役に立たない外の道具ばっか売ってる古道具屋に……外の世界の人間が () () してたなんて。一体いくらなのよ?」 "I know you only ever sell useless junk from the Outside World here, but now you've got an Outside World HUMAN in stock? So, how much are you asking?"
霖之助は苦い表情をした。 Rinnosuke gave a bitter look.
「成美君。彼女は商品では無いよ。確かに、外の世界の道具を扱っている香霖堂だが、人間は道具では無いんでね。彼女は一応、客さ」 "Narumi. She's not for sale. True, Kourindou deals in goods from the Outside World, but humans are not goods. She's a customer. For now, at least."
「そうなんだ。妖怪相手なら高く売れると思うけどねぇ。質はともかく、珍品だからねぇ」 "Is that so? I'm sure she'd fetch a high price with youkai. If you look past her poor quality, she's certainly a rare item."
成美は菫子に向かって (いや) みを言って、笑った。 Narumi turned towards Sumireko as she announced her dislike, and laughed.
―― (しばら) くして、魔理沙と菫子と成美の三人が打ち解けて歓談 (かんだん) していた。 —A little while later, Marisa, Sumireko, and Narumi had opened up and were having a pleasant chat.
「へえー! 外の世界では冷房器具と暖房器具が同じ一つの機械で出来るのー? 良いなー。 でも、それってどういう仕組みなの? 火を () いたら熱くしかならないし……氷を入れたら冷たくしかならないし」 "Wow, so in the Outside World they can make one machine that both heats and cools? I'd love one of those. But how does it work? If it burns fire then it could only warm things up, but if it has ice inside it can only cool things down."
「多分気化熱を使うんだと思うんだけど、そういえば不思議ねぇ。ちょっと待ってね、ググってみる……って圏外 (けんがい) だったわ。今度までに調べて置くわー」 "Probably something to do with vaporization heat, but that's a good question. One sec, let me Google it- Oh, right, I'm outside the service range. I'll look it up later."
「それは何?」 "What's that thing?"
「これはスマホ。電話したりネットを見たり、調べ物をしたり地図を見たり出来る万能な機械よ。まあ、幻想郷に居るときは時計とカメラくらい使えないけどねー」 "It's my smartphone. It's a device that can make calls, browse the net, look stuff up, check maps, and pretty much do anything. But, well, in Gensokyo it's basically just a watch with a camera."
店内がただの談話室になると、もう僕の出番は無い。しかし、僕は異変の犯人の話がどうしても気になっていた。魔理沙が言いたがらない理由は何だろうか。考えられる事は三つ、一つ目は魔理沙が異変解決したと嘘を () いている、二つ目は実は魔理沙は犯人に懐柔 (かいじゅう) されている、三つ目は犯人がよく知っている奴で (かば) っている……。 With the store being turned into nothing more than a lounge, there was no place for me anymore. But I was still bothered by the topic of the incident's mastermind. What would make Marisa not want to talk about it? I could think of three reasons. First, that Marisa was lying about resolving the incident. Second, Marisa had actually been won over by the culprit. Third, the culprit is someone she knows and she's covering for her.
正直、どれもありそうである。しかし、これだけ幻想郷を騒がせた異変の顛末 (てんまつ) は、全ての住民が知る権利がある筈だ。適当にはぐらかしている魔理沙に、もう一度聞く必要がある。しかし、他愛無い女子トークの中に入っていくタイミングが (つか) めない。そう逡巡 (しゅんじゅん) していた時、成美がピンポイントで話題を変えてくれた。 To be honest, all three seemed very possible. But when the circumstances of the incident affect all of Gensokyo to this extent, I think that everyone who lives here has a right to know. I need to ask the evasive Marisa once again. But I just can't find the timing to butt in on their silly girl talk. While I was hesitating though, Narumi changed the subject in precisely the way I needed.
「―― エアコン、欲しいなぁ。それがあったら夏が急に冬になったって平気ったのにねぇ。ところで、魔理沙。いつになったら魔法の森の冬が終わるのよ。異変は解決したって言ってたよね」 "—Aw, I wish I had an air conditioner. If I had one of those, I'd have been fine even when summer suddenly changed to winter. By the way, Marisa, when is the winter in the Forest of Magic going to end? I thought you told me you resolved the incident."
よしきた! とばかり、僕も会話に参加した。 Yes, this is it! That was my chance to insert myself into the conversation.
「僕からももう一度聞こう。何故か魔理沙は話したがらないみたいだが、これだけ騒がせた異変だ、真相は皆が知る権利がある」 "I'd like to ask that again too, Marisa. It seems you don't want to talk about it, but THIS incident at least was a problem for everyone, so I think we deserve to know the truth."
魔理沙は観念した様子で「こうなる事は判っていたが……」と呟いて、異変の詳細を語り始めた。 Marisa muttered "Figured this would happen..." with a resigned look and began her explanation.
異変は一人の秘神の力によって引き起こされた。自分の部下を見つけるためという下らない理由で、幻想郷全域に異変を起こしたというクレイジーな話だった。中でも一番信じられない事は、異変の特徴である季節の狂いは、異変の目的では無く、ただの副作用だったと言う事だ。 The incident was caused by the power of a single hidden god. It was a crazy story about her causing an incident that affected all of Gensokyo just to find a servant for herself. The most unbelievable part was how throwing the seasons into disorder wasn't even her goal, it was just a side effect.
「―― ほう、異変はその秘神一人の仕業 (しわざ) だというのか。その一人で幻想郷の全域に影響を与えたとなると、何とも恐ろしい」 "—Oh? So the incident was the work of that one hidden god? So one person alone can have such a great effect on all of Gensokyo? How frightening."
「いつの間にも私の背中にも魔理沙の背中にも、扉を作って魔力に影響させてたのよねぇ。この魔法地蔵の成美に、魔力の事で気付かせないなんて恐ろしいわ」 "So both Marisa and I were affected by the magic that created doors on our back without even realizing it. A magic that even I, a Magic Jizo, couldn't detect. How terrifying."
「へえ、姿も見せずに遠隔で影響を与えるなんて、幻想郷には凄い奴もいるのねぇ。そんなの相手に戦う魔理沙さんて凄いわー!」 "Wow, so she can have an effect at such long range without even showing herself? There sure are some amazing people in Gensokyo!"
異変の話を聞き、三人は驚愕 (きょうがく) していた。それと同時に、想像上の秘神に畏怖 (いふ) と敬意が感じられる気がした。 After hearing about the incident, the three of us were shocked. At the same time, we felt both fear and respect for this hypothetical god.
「それ、その目だよ! 私が言いたくなかったのは、この異変の真の目的は、その秘神の力を誇示 (こじ) する事だったからだ。この話を聞いた人が驚き、 (おそ) れ、ややもすると称賛 (しょうさん) する。それが奴の目的だったんだよ」 "See, that reaction! That's exactly why I didn't want to talk about this. The whole point of the incident was so she could show off her power. Whoever hears about this is shocked, scared, and inclined to admire her. And that's exactly what she wants!
魔理沙は (くや) しそうだったが、すっかり () いて気持ちが楽になったのか、秘神の招待やそのクレイジーな部下の話、背中の扉の向こう側の話など洗いざらい話してくれた。その都度、三人の興味が (ふく) らみ、話は尽きることは無かった。これが秘神の真の目的だとすれば、異変は犯人側の大勝利だという事になる。魔理沙が悔しがるのも仕方が無いだろう。 Marisa sounded frustrated, but perhaps because of the joy of getting this off her chest she continued with crazy stories of being invited to be this hidden god's servant, what was on the other side of the door, and everything else. With each one, the three of them swelled with interest, and there was always something more to talk about. If this was the hidden god's goal, then she had achieved total victory. Probably not even Marisa was especially vexed.
結局、幻想郷全域を騒がせた四季異変は、誰も傷つけることは無く、秘神の存在感だけが残る結果になったようだ。魔法使い、外の人間、地蔵の異色トリオは、いつまでも異変の話に花を咲かせていた。僕はと言うと、終わりなき女子トークに飽き飽きし、時計ばかりを見ていた。幻想郷が僕みたいな者ばかりならば、きっと秘神も悔しがっただろう。非常に残念だ。 In the end, the Four Seasons Incident that disrupted all of Gensokyo left no victims. Its only lasting consequence was the deeply felt presence of the hidden god. The flower of conversation between this unique trio of magician, outsider, and Jizo continued to bloom. But personally, I was sick of all this endless girl talk and could only stare at the clock. I'm sure the hidden god would have been frustrated if everyone in Gensokyo were people like me. What a disappointment that would have been.
次号へ続く To be continued

Notes[edit]

  1. This paragraph is quoted from Sei Shonagon’s "Makura no Soushi".
  2. Sumireko specifically names Donki, a Japanese chain.
  3. This is in a Kansai dialect typical of comedy routines.