Eastern and Little Nature Deity/Fairy of the Moon

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Fairy of the Moon


Sankoueisetsu. A great man from the continent without money to buy oil reflected moonlight on snow, and read documents. He read his books gathered together in that maddening moonlight. He read – and rose to the rank of high official. Was that in praise of that person's diligence?
In otherwords, the meaning of the story is 'you too must not shirk effort'?
No, that's not it. That's not it at all. You must not think it to be that sort of worthless meaning.


"Fuaa~a. It's mornin', so what's with the gloomy face?"


Sunny Milk, the last one to wake up, yawned with a languorous voice, and poked Luna Child, who was sitting in the living room, in the face.


"Ow. I'm just in a bad mood because I remembered what happened yesterday."


"That's just because you never really sleep at night, Luna. Normally –- "


Star Sapphire, sitting across from Luna Child, turned and spoke to Sunny Milk, the sleepyhead.


"Normally, you'd forget after sleeping. Just about everything."


"Wasn't there something about today?"

「確かに、スターの言う通り普通は (、、、) 寝たら忘れるのね。今日は宝探しの日でしょうに」

"Certainly, as Star said you'd normally forget after sleeping. Today's a treasure hunting day."


Sunny looked exaggeratedly surprised and said, "Ah, sorry, sorry. I'll make preparations immediately!"


Since Luna and Star had already made preparations, they waited around the living room table with coffee cups in their hands for the sleepyhead's preparations to finish.


"About yesterday, everyone was awful! Running away and leaving only me behind…"


"It's not like that, Luna. We left you behind because we believed in you."


"You say it like it was nothing!"

昨日は神社の日 (、、、、) だった。神社の日とはその名の通り、神社方面へ行って悪戯を仕掛けて愉しむ日の事である。結局いつものように巫女に見つかり命辛々逃げてきたのだが、ルナだけ逃げ遅れて捕まってしまったのだ。

Yesterday was a "Shrine Day." On a Shrine Day, as the name implies, they go to the shrine and play fun pranks. In the end, as always, they were found by the shrine maiden and fled for dear life. Only Luna had escaped too late and was caught.


"I was given a one-on-one sermon! I didn't listen much, though."

『聞いてなかったじゃなくて、聞こえなかった (、、、、、、、) 、でしょ?」

"It's not that you didn't listen, but you couldn't hear her, right?"


Luna can erase sounds. Therefore, giving a sermon to Luna is as pointless as praying into a horse's ear, stinging a Jizo statue, and so forth.


"I wanted to do that so much, but if you just pretend to listen you can't respond to what she's saying. And then, you'll be found out, won't you? And so – "


After Luna went on and on for a short while with her fast-talking, they mixed sugar into the little bit of coffee remaining.
That's right. I'm not pouting because those two left me behind. That happens all the time, as with my power I naturally serve as the rearguard. The reason I'm pouting is… what was it?

「砂糖入れ過ぎじゃない? 糖にょ……珈琲飴になっちゃうよ?」

"Didn't you put in too much sugar? Sugar… You making coffee candy?"



お寝坊さんが、 (ようや) く戻ってきた。

The sleepyhead finally came back.


"Sorry I made you wait! So, today we're going out treasure hunting!"


The cold, dark store interior was filled with curious tools and dust. The man had opened the curtains to let in light from the window.
The outside world was entirely white. Winter sunlight reflects on snow, so way more light shone into the store than was needed. The man returned the curtains to half-closed.
The light gathered in the snow outside the window was not sunlight but moonlight. Sunlight dissolves the surface of snow, and because the angle of reflection is slightly changed, it sparkles as it reflects. The man thought it wouldn't work to read books from the reflection of sunlight.


"What unusual visitors. Three fairies. It's gotten cold, but you've got expenses?"

幻想郷の古道具屋、香霖堂 (こうりんどう) の店主である森近霖之助 (もりちかしんのすけ) [1]はそう言った。

Morichika Rinnosuke, the shopkeeper of Gensokyo's secondhand store, Kourindou, said.


"Eh? No. We're not here for shopping," Sunny replied.


"Since we don't have any money," Star added.


"Well, I thought it'd just be window-shopping. Fairies wouldn't go shopping at a shop full of these intellectual tools."


Rinnosuke was used to window shoppers, but of course he felt disappointed that they weren't customers. Seeing this, Sunny said in a fluster,


"It's not window-shopping, no, we're not just window shopping! Some time ago in the forest we were treasure hunting and found a strange object. We didn't know what I was, so we brought it to this shop."


"Ah, you should've said that earlier. What is it?"


A strange object – that is a long, narrow, straight white pole, that you could see at a glance was not crafted by nature. Its width was that it could be grasped with one hand, and its weight was much lighter than you would guess from its size. Its surface looked like it was made of glass.
The three fairies, not knowing what that strange object could be, carried it here and turned it over to Rinnosuke.
Just as Rinnosuke held the strange object in his hands, he made an expression as if he understood totally, and placed it gently on his desk. The three fairies looked hopeful that their unusual discovery would reel in a high price, and that hope wasn't abating. Rinnosuke worried about how to break it to the fairies.


"It's a shame, but this isn't anything unusual. This is a tool of the outside world meant to emit light. In the outside world it's called a 'fluorescent lamp,' and is an extremely common object. However, I don't have the tool that makes this shine here…"


He thought the three fairies would be disappointed that this wasn't a rare object, and went to get hot water to make tea. But the three fairies were instead in high spirits.

「けいこうとうだって。光を発するってよ? どうなのサニー」

"He said 'fluorescent lamp.' And it gives off light? What do you think, Sunny?


"An amazing discovery, isn't it?"


"And this time's achievement is all thanks to Luna, who found it!"


To that unexpectedly positive reaction, Rinnosuke replied, "I, is that so? Looks like you found something good. Good for you."


"But, as you said just now, at present there's no way to make it shine."


"That's right. We can make it shine on its own!"


"We'll try lots of things and somehow make it shine!"


"We'll do the right things and somehow get it to shine!"


The replies were all unthinking, just like fairies. The man breathed a half-sigh, and with a disgusted grimace wiped the dirt off the light.


"Well, fluorescent lamps break easily, so… it's rare for a whole one to fall into Gensokyo."


Hearing 'it's rare,' Sunny poked at Luna.

「痛。ぽんぽん叩かないでよ。でも、蛍の光みたいに光る (、、、、、、、、、) んでしょうねぇ。うーん楽しみ」

"Ow. Don't hit my tummy! But, it shines like a firefly, right? Hmm, I'm looking forward to it!"


The man's face instantly clouded. Since the fairy had said something curious. Does a fluorescent lamp shine like a firefly?[2]


"No, no, even if it's called a fluorescent lamp, it doesn't necessarily shine like a firefly. Fireflies come from its origin. Shainshuukei – when a great man from the continent had no money to buy oil, he gathered fireflies and read documents. He read, and he rose to the rank of high official. It's named a fluorescent lamp in honour of that man's effort. To words that formed a pair…"


There is a word, sankoueitsu. This, too, is a similar caution to not be sparing in effort. Rinnosuke triumphantly lectured.

「妖精の君達には馬の耳に念仏かな? でも、その蛍光灯を努力して (、、、、) 光らせて見たら、きっと努力の大切さが判るだろう。君達は光の妖精なんだろう?」

"What, is all this going into one fairy ear and out the other? But if you try with effort to make that lamp shine, surely you already understand this story's importance. You all're the fairies of light, right?


Rinnosuke said, sipping his tea.

「あれ? 私達そんな事言ったっけ?」ルナはそう言った。

"Huh? Did we say that?" Luna asked.

「霊夢達から話だけは聞いていたよ。この森付近に悪戯好きで迷惑な光の三妖精が居るってね。光の妖精だから、蛍光灯に興味を持ったんだろう。で、蛍光灯を見つけたのが君で、たしか……月の光の妖精だね? 蛍の光に月光と雪。ま、光らせる努力をしてみたら、きっと良い事があるだろう」

"I've just heard it from Reimu and the like. That the three fairies of light live in the neighbourhood of this forest and play troublesome pranks. Since you're light fairies, of course you'd be interested in fluorescent lamps. But, since you found a fluorescent lamp, surely… you'd be fairies of moonlight? Firefly lights, moonlight and snow. Well, if you put in effort to make it shine, undoubtedly something good will happen."

妖精の自分にとって勉強の大切さはよく分からない。勉強する事によって高度な悪戯が楽に出来るようになるのなら、勉強も (やぶさ) かではないと思う。言うなれば、勉強も悪戯の一環でしか無いと思う。

Effort… with that word, I remembered it. The reason I was pouting this morning. Yesterday, the shrine maiden told me the same thing. Although it is said that the ancients studied books by moonlight gathered in snow, you suppose it alright to only use that moonlight as a foundation for pranks, what would happen if you studied more, that sort of thing.
The fairy didn't really understand how study could be important for her. If she could study and easily play more advanced pranks, she thought she wouldn't be reluctant to even study. So to speak, she didn't think studies and pranks had even a single connection.
No, stuff like studying and effort is not worth worrying about. That is, pranks – in other words, fun things – don't have any connection. Study has no meaning, and effort is useless. That incorrect outlook on study wasn't the origin of her pouting.
That's right, it's sankoueisetsu.


"Good for you! The winner of today's treasure hunt is Luna!"




The three fairies left Kourindou without a word of thanks to Rinnosuke. The forest was shielded from sunlight, but the wind didn't blow, and they couldn't feel the cold.

「どうしたの? ルナ。今日は自慢しても良いのよ?」

"What's up, Luna? It's okay to boast today!"


"What are you talking about? Something's all muddled, you know."


"Since we don't know a way to make that fluorescent lamp shine?"


"Well there's that, too… Something's all muddled, you know."


"What's up with that 'all muddled' answer? Everything around us is all muddled, you know."


Sunny made a face as if to say 'what's the deal with her?' Star, who had kept silent, replied, "Well, it's Luna."
Luna carried the fluorescent lamp under her arms as if it were valuable, and was moving more slowly than usual.


"…It's not effort. The important thing is, hmm…"


Sunny and Star exchanged glances, as if wondering what to do, and it happened at that time.


Star shouted "Run!" with a great voice. Sunny and Star ran immediately. Star has the ability to know the locations of living creatures, and at the time she spoke, somebody had appeared behind them.
Not only are fairies weak, but they cause a lot of trouble for other creatures, so it's common for them to be attacked when coming across humans in passing. Therefore, Star's power was useful for danger evasion.
As for Luna, as always, she was slow to flee. Or perhaps it's best to say that since she was carrying the fluorescent lamp and was deep in thought, she had no way to flee… The other two didn't help her at all.

「はぁはぁ! 逃げなきゃ……」

"Haah… haah… Gotta run…"


It never occurred to Luna to drop the fluorescent lamp and flee. Currently, the inside of her head was full just trying to realize what she had forgotten.




Luna, who thought she had erased all surrounding sounds, somehow heard a voice calling out to her.


"Wait, you there fairy-san!"

非常に危険だと感じた。だが、ルナは逃げるのを諦めた。何故なら、逃げていたというのに声の主は既に真正面に立っていた (、、、、、、、、、、、) のである。

Luna instantly knew that the owner of that voice was a dangerous youkai. She had erased all sound, so if she could hear this voice, it wasn't normal. Because it was a voice she heard in her heart.
She sensed it was a dangerous emergency. However, Luna gave up on running. Because the owner of that voice was already standing right in front of her.


"You seem distressed, moonlight fairy-san."


"It's not like I'm going to catch and eat you. Since I noticed you leaving Kourindou carrying a tool of the outside, I followed you for a little while afterwards…"


"Fua, who could you… be?"


Luna, who had been startled and fell on the cold snow, raised a hectic voice, and chose her words cautiously to not provoke the youkai.


"I am Yakumo, the youkai of boundaries. I am also the warden of tools from the outside world."


"Yo-youkai of boundaries!?"


The youkai of boundaries. That is why she heard her. She is a youkai who can freely come and go over the boundary between Gensokyo and the outside world. For Luna, this was a disaster, Gensokyo's one most terrifying youkai.


"The thing you're carrying… a fluorescent lamp? What's this? That's no big deal. And here I was thinking that some dangerous object was handed over to a fairy."


"Dangerous object?"


"Extraordinarily dangerous objects also exist in the outside world. For humans and fairies – rather, they would make fairies dangerous. If they were recklessly used for fun here in Gensokyo, I'd be quite troubled… But a fluorescent lamp is, of course, alright. That is yours… use it as you'd like, swinging it about or decorating a kamidana.[3]


Luna was too nervous and couldn't really understood what the youkai in front of her was saying.


"So, as an apology for disturbing you, I will give you some advice."


That is sankoueisetsu. The youkai's appearance altered slightly, and Luna shivered again.

「孫康映雪。巫女の説教に使われたり、けんどんな古道具屋の蘊蓄 (うんちく) に言われたように、努力を惜しむなという戒めに使われる事が多いけど、それは違うのよ。外の世界では、支配者が民衆を抑え付ける言葉として使われるようだけど、それも勿論違う。貴方はそこに釈然としない何かを感じて、悩んでいたんでしょう?本当の意味は――」

"Sankoueisetsu. Just as the shrine maiden in her sermon and as the secondhand shopkeeper with his vast stock of information said, it is often used as a warning against sparing effort, but that is incorrect. In the outside world, the words are used by rulers to repress the masses, but that also is of course incorrect. You feel not fully satisfied with that, and are troubled, are you not? Its real meaning is…"


The youkai touched the tip of Luna's nose with the point of her umbrella.


"… A word to extol the power of the moon. The power of moonlight far exceeds that of sunlight. That is a quiet power, the colour of the heart, sorrow… what kind of person is not entranced and bewildered by moonlight? Come, wake up. Why do you think you are treated so well by the others, the sunlight and starlight?"


This time, she pointed her umbrella at the apex of the fluorescent lamp.


"You are the first…"


The fluorescent lamp in Luna's hands flickered with a pure white light. It looked as if the forest's light had concentrated in this fluorescent lamp. The whole forest flickered. Seeing this light, she somehow felt faint. Then, she parted with her consciousness.


"You are the first… because you are the closest to a youkai."


"Fuaa~a. It's mornin', so what's with the gloomy face?"


As always, the biggest sleepyhead gave the most self-important morning greeting.
Presumably, Sunny is the most cheerful during the day. She doesn't completely cease activity during the night, so she doesn't sleep long.


"It's 'cause you always wake up so late, Sunny."


"It's always like that. Always like that," Star said as she prepared breakfast.
Luna is the Fairy of the Moon. If she had to say, she was more cut out for activity at night. That's right, she was at her best at night, the time when youkai are about.

「昨日は大丈夫だったの? なかなかルナが逃げてこないから、仕方が無く先に帰って暖を取っていたわよ」

"Were you alright yesterday? You didn't run at all yesterday, and it couldn't be helped, so we just went home and warmed ourselves up."


"What do you mean, 'couldn't be helped?' You weren't planning on helping me from the very start, weren't you?"


Breakfast was ready, so the three sat down.


"But you know, I don't remember much about yesterday. I feel like I encountered some sort of youkai… nom, nom."


"Nom, nom. From what I recall, it was really scary."


"Nom, nom. I wonder if it's amnesia?"


Star poked at Luna – what's 'amnesia?'


"But… for some reason, I feel all bright and clear. That's because… I feel like I saw that fluorescent lamp shine."


The three looked up at to the fluorescent lamp hanged on the ceiling.


"Was that a hallucination?"


"Or a daydream, maybe."


Well, even so, since she said she saw it, the one in charge of investigating making the fluorescent lamp shine would be Luna. That's what Sunny irresponsibly declared, finishing her food before the others.
The Fairies of Light couldn't guess at all how to make the fluorescent lamp shine. Fairies normally shift their interest to new things, and their earlier interests are overwritten. They might not remember things that are already as far off as yesterday, like the fluorescent lamp.
Luna already couldn't remember anything about the youkai she ran into yesterday. She didn't know whether that was due to that youkai's ability, or the flickering fluorescent lamp had some hypnotic effect, or she just forgot normally, but somehow she felt just splendid. The always dynamic other two also didn't feel nervous at all.


"Hmm… somehow, I feel really good about today. Something… like I feel at ease that we won't be slow when we flee."


"Nah, if you say that, isn't it more forward-facing to say you feel at ease that we won't ever have to flee?"


"Luna, Star, what are you two going on about? If we flee, we win!"


The three finished a simple breakfast, Luna placed the fluorescent lamp as decoration on a shelf and clapped her hands together. And, she prayed that we three would become strong enough to not lose to youkai. She didn't think fluorescent lamps had that sort of power, since only this fluorescent lamp had any contact with youkai. Somehow she felt she would like to meet with the youkai she encountered yesterday one more time. Sankoueisetsu… with that youkai, who recognized that the power of moonlight was first…

スターは、願い事を叶えるなら蛍光灯じゃなくて流れ星が良いわよ? と言い、ルナの襟を掴んで引っ張った。サニーはいつものように意気揚々と出発の号令をかけ、三人の気持ちが一つになった。

"Hey, isn't what you wish upon shooting stars, not fluorescent lamps?" Star said as she grabbed Luna by the collar and yanked her back. Sunny, as always, triumphantly commanded their departure, and the three's feelings became as one.

「さぁ今日は昼寝の日よー! 森で一番日の当たる場所を探して、そこで昼寝をするわよ!」

"So, today's a Siesta Day! We'll find the spot in the forest with the most sun, and, at that place, we'll take a nap!"



  1. A fault ruby is taken; the correct one is もりちかんのすけ.
  2. The kanji in fluorescent lamp, '蛍光灯,' literally mean "firefly light lamp."
  3. "God shelf," a miniature household Shinto shrine.