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Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 01

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< Aphorism   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 02 >

Curiosities of lotus asia ch01 03.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia ch01 04.jpg


Gensokyo, blanketed in winter's silver snow.
Rinnosuke, the owner of an antique store by the name of Kourindou, receives a visit from a shrine maiden once again.
Rinnosuke takes up her request to mend her clothes.
However, he is deeply intrigued by the three books in her possession as well...
An original story based on the Touhou series has finally begun!

幻想郷の巫女と十五冊の魅力 前編

Gensokyo's Shrine Maiden and the Fifteen Fascinating Volumes (First Half)

 昼下がりの白銀の幻想郷 (げんそうきょう)

Gensokyo shines with silver in the early afternoon.


Pristine snow gently falls, covering the earth and transforming Gensokyo into a magnificent spectacle. The only thing that could be heard were the cries of youkai far off in the distance.

 道は誰の足跡も付いていない新雪で (おお) われてる。この辺りまでは人間が訪れる事は余り無いのだ。

The road was blanketed in fresh snow, without the imprint of a single footprint. Humans seldom travel through this path.


Beyond this pathless road, a mysterious building stands. While the owner absorbs heat from a nearby stove originating from the outside world, there is no doubt he is reading an incomprehensible book. It seems he has plenty of time on his hands, for this is a common occurrence.

 店内には外の世界の品も多い。幻想郷は外の世界で言う明治時代に隔離されたが、その後の時代の品も多数有る。 (ほとん) どが用途不明の品だった。

There is an abundance of goods and items from the outside world in this shop. Gensokyo is in what the outside world would call the Meiji Era (1868-1912), but there are many items here that belong in subsequent times. The purposes of most of these items are unknown.

 店の看板には[1]香霖堂 (こうりんどう) の文字。古道具屋「香霖堂」はそこにあった。

"Kourindou" is written on the shop's sign. This is where the antique store, Kourindou, stands.

霖之助 (りんのすけ) さん?」



It appears that the store has a visitor for the first time in a while. I wanted to continue reading, but "customers are gods", so I couldn't just pretend to be out.


"You're in there, aren't you?"


The goddess dressed in red had no need to bother preventing my potential ruse as she was already behind me.


"Oh, it's just you, Reimu. Don't I always tell you not to just walk into my living room uninvited?"

「そんなことより聞いてよ。 (ひど) い目に () ったんだからー……」

"Forget that, just listen to me. I ran into a bit of trouble, so..."

 これだ。目の前の赤い少女は人の話を聞かない。少女の名前は博麗霊夢 (はくれいれいむ) という。幻想郷で唯一の巫女[2]だが本当に巫女かどうか疑わしい行動も取る。言い遅れたが僕の名前は森近 (もりちか) 霖之助。古道具屋を営んでいる。霊夢は肩の雪を払いながらやや早口で語り始めた。

This is her. The girl in red before my eyes who doesn't listen to a word anyone says. Her name is Reimu Hakurei. She's the only shrine maiden in Gensokyo, but from her actions one would doubt whether she's truly a shrine maiden or not. Pardon the late introduction, but I'm Rinnosuke Morichika. I run this antique store. As Reimu brushed the snow off her shoulders she started chattering away.

「今日、人里まで買出しに出かけたんだけどね。買出しの内容? お茶が残り少なくなってね。死ぬ (ほど) (つら) くなる前に買っておこうと思って……。まぁ死にはしないけど、って人の話聞いてるの?」

"I went out to the village to shop today. For what? I was running out of tea, so I figured I should buy some before the lack of tea gets bad enough to kill me. Well, I won't die, but-- Hey, are you listening to me?"


"You don't listen to me, so I'm not listening to you," is what I wanted to say but, "Yeah, I'm listening," is what came out.

「でね、良いお茶は無かったんだけど……。あ、関係ないけど、里の道祖神 (どうそじん) 様が雪に埋もれてたわ、誰が傘当番だったのかしらね。道にも迷うわ。そういえばあそこの道祖神の神体は何だっけ?」

"But, you know, there wasn't any good tea... oh, this doesn't have anything to do with it but the traveler's guardian deity in the village was completely covered in snow, I mean, who the heck was in charge of the umbrella? Wait, which god was it anyway?"

 さて。ちょっと誘導してやらないと、用件に辿り着く前に神武 (じんむ) 天皇の話まで飛びそうだ。

Well, it looks like if I don't give her a little push in the right direction, the conversation will diverge off into discussing the first emperor of Japan.

(さえ) の神、里を災いから防ぐ神だよ。酷い目に () ったって、何が有ったんだい?」

"The God of Harm, who prevents catastrophe from occurring in the village. You said you ran into trouble, so what happened?"


"Well, I finished shopping without anything really happening."


Without anything happening, huh?

「その帰りにね、妖怪が呑気 (のんき) [3]に座っていたのよ。それに楽しそうに本を読んで!」

"But then on the way back, a youkai was just sitting there minding its own business. And it was enjoying a book, too!"


I tried to say "Isn't that all right? It's not a big deal," but I was ignored.


"I tried to exterminate it with a surprise attack, but it retaliated! It was pretty cocky and kind of strong. I let my guard down, so I didn't expect shots to come from behind..."


One can only think that the youkai was the unfortunate one. But I wonder what happened, if she was the one who did the surprise attack yet let her guard down.


"Rinnosuke, are you listening?"


"Yeah, I'm not."


"...Well, anyway, I beat the stuffing out of it and then came here."

 どう答えても同じだったらしい。霊夢は、「ほら!」と言って後ろを見せ、こっちを向いて頬を (ふく) らました。

Seems that no matter how I replied, I'd get the same response. Reimu turned her back to me and said, "See!" and puffed her cheeks.


"And I just got this skirt, too..."


"That's quite a tear. I see very well why you want me to fix it."


"Right now."


Yes, ma'am. Reimu seemed cold, so I made space for one more beside the stove.


"I can't possibly mend it that fast. Just sit here for..."




"I'll just borrow these clothes and change, so hold on a bit."


Gone. She walked right into the back of the store again. She is truly an audacious one.

 やれやれ。僕は席に戻り、読みかけの本を取ろうとした――、が、伸ばした手は空気を (つか) んだ。本は少し高い所に浮いていたのだ。

Sheesh. I headed back to my seat and decided to continue reading my book, but my stretched out hand grasped nothing but air. The book was floating above.

「何読んでいるんだ? 香霖。」

"What'cha readin', Kourin?"


A black shadow spoke. I've had a bad feeling about her showing up ever since my teacup went missing this morning.


"Hey, I always say this, but--"


"Don't just waltz in here. Right?"

 どいつもこいつも……。目の前の黒い少女の名前は霧雨 (きりさめ) 魔理沙 (まりさ) 。ちょっと言葉使いが独特な魔法使いである。霊夢とは仲が良い。よく店に来るが、用が有るのか無いのか判らない。

Every single one of them... The girl in black before my eyes is Marisa Kirisame. A magician whose speech is a little unique. She gets along well with Reimu. She's a frequent visitor to the store, but I can never tell if she has any business or not.

「今日は何の用だ? 魔理沙。」

"What're you here for today, Marisa?"


"I don't really get this book. Hup! Nothin' much, but I ain't goin' anywhere."

 用は無いのか。魔理沙は (ほこり) 位払えよと言いながら、売り物の (つぼ) の上に腰掛けた。

Nothin' much, huh? As she said that, she brushed off the dust on a pot for sale and sat down on it.


"...That's the 12th volume of a series, the continuation of the books piled up here. You wouldn't be able to understand that book without reading the ones before it."

「あー、『非ノイマン型計算機の未来』? タイトル見ても何の事言ってるのか想像も付かないぜ」

"Oh, 'The Future of the Non-Neumann-Type Computer'? Man, I can't even figure out what it's about by the title."


"It's a spell book from the outside world. You probably wouldn't be interested at all but I am."

「うーん、外の魔法……。それってどんな魔法なんだ? 香霖」

"Hmm, spells from the outside world... What kinda magic is that, Kourin?"

「まだ読んでいる途中なのだが……コンピューターといって、計算式を使い、命令通り使役 (しえき) 出来る物らしい。これは言うまでもなく式神の事だよ。まぁ、その式が何の力を利用しているかはよく判らないんだが。」

"I'm still in the middle of reading it, but... they use calculation familiars called "computers", and those do exactly as they're ordered. Of course, those are clearly shikigami, but I'm still not quite sure what kind of power they use."

「ふーん、式神か。……あれ? こっちの荷物は霊夢の物じゃないのか? 霊夢が居るのか?」

"Shikigami, huh? ...Hey, isn't this Reimu's stuff? She here?"

 魔理沙は式神には興味が無いのか、話題を切り替えようとした。僕はさっき霊夢が来たいきさつを話した。魔理沙は霊夢らしいな、とか相槌 (あいづち) を入れつつ霊夢の荷物を (いじ) っている。彼女はその荷物から三冊の本を取り出した。

Either Marisa wasn't interested in shikigami or just wanted to change the topic. I told her the details of Reimu's arrival. I said, "You're kind of like Reimu," or some other conversation filler while she dug around Reimu's belongings, and pulled out three books in them.


I felt a light jolt. Those books are part of the same series as these 12 volumes I have here. Why does Reimu have them...?

「ん? この本が気になるか? 霊夢の事だから『妖怪が大事そうに持っていたから持ってきた』とか言うぜ」

"Hm? Interested in these books? Knowin' Reimu, I bet she thought, 'They looked pretty important to the youkai so I'll take them,' or somethin'."


With the 12 volumes I have on hand and the three volumes there, that's a total of 15 volumes combined. I have no doubt that this is a set of 15 volumes. The shikigami of the outside world are the same as the ones in Gensokyo after all. With computers, F represents 15 and F represents a state of maximum capacity. It is written that when everything becomes F, the highest value is held.


I think that it's natural for 15 to have power. Even in ancient times, 15 meant perfection in this country. The same reason the full moon is also known as the fifteenth night. Computers must be familiars that have resulted from the ideas of the East and the beauty of the moon.

 魔理沙は、何を考え込んでいるんだ? と言って三冊の本を並べた。

Marisa asked me what I was thinking about as she lined up the three books.


Through Marisa's nonchalant actions, I realized something else. When lined up, the numbers on the books, "13", "14", and "15", make 131415. If the 1 in front is removed... it then depicts the number that represents a perfect circle, 3.1415. This also means a full moon, and thus affirms my theory that the familiars of the outside world use its power.


I wanted to research more in regards to the shikigami of the outside world, but to do that I required these books.

「……香霖。霊夢と取引するつもりだな? 止めときな、あいつは普通の価値観を持っていないぜ。」

"...Kourin. You plan on makin' a deal with Reimu? Forget it, her idea of value is completely different from everyone else."


Indeed, Reimu is too detached from this world. Normal exchange conditions wouldn't suffice. However, I can still make a deal with Reimu, for I have a general understanding of her values.


It was then that I heard the returning footsteps of the books' owner.


To be continued


^ "看板はには" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
^ This chapter was written before Mountain of Faith was released.
^ "暢気" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
^ "速く" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
^ This should be "上がって来るな".
^ "十五夜を満月と呼ぶ" on Colorful PUREGIRL.
  • Original translation by teru.

< Aphorism   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 02 >