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Sinnesspiel ([personal profile] sinnesspiel) wrote2015-05-25 04:45 pm

Shiki Novel Translations 3.11.1


On the morning of the 18th Maeda Motoko found that her husband was dead.

Motoko sat in a daze. For a period of time, she couldn't even think to call to anybody. When at last she finally realized she had to let someone know, the face that came to mind was that of her childhood friend's. Feeling like she were only half awake, Motoko telephoned Kanami.

Yano Kanami, awoken by the ringing of the phone, endured her headache as she brought the receiver to her ear. Last night was Saturday and she'd drank too much with the customers who had come to the Drive-In to drink. An unpleasant feeling lingered at the bottom of her stomach. The one calling had been Motoko.

"Kanami? Uhm, somethings wrong with my husband." Motoko's voice was lethargic, strangely lacking in something.

"Wrong with him?" she asked with a yawn, only to receive the terrifying reply.

"It's like he's dead?"

"What----did you say?"

"It's like he is dead."

Motoko's voice had no tension or strain.

"Hold up, Motoko, if that's a joke, that's enough already."

"I don't think that it is a joke, though?"

Hearing those words in that tone, Kanami's sleepiness was blown away. Motoko was in a dangerous state. If Maeda Isami were really dead, this was not a normal way to behave, she thought.

"Motoko, sorry but pass the phone to someone else."

"Everyone's asleep. ......I wonder if perhaps my mother-in-Law is awake? Not yet, probably, right? It is a little early to be up after all."

"You haven't told anyone yet?"

That's right, said Motoko's voice, in a tone is if idly gossiping. None the less, her voice was despondent and empty. It had the calm of shallow water. Like any minute it would burst into a violent rushing stream.

"All right. I'll be coming right over. So open up the entryway. Can you do that?"

"Thank you," Motoko said with an empty laugh. "You saved me, I just didn't know what to do."

Suddenly Motoko's voice cut off. On the other end of the phone, Kanami could feel something grating.

"Motoko! It's fine. Don't think right now. I'll be right there. Okay?"

Yeah, Motoko's voice sounded like a child's. Kanami hung up the receiver and immediately phoned the hospital. Holding onto the phone as she changed clothes, she conveyed the situation to Toshio.

"Whaaat? What's all the ruckus?"

Her mother Tae had woken up.

"You woke up just in time. I'm sorry, but could you contact the Kami-Sotoba Caretaker? It looks like Motoko's husband's died."

Dear me, Tae said, otherwise lost for words.

"If you could call thme for me. I'm going to Motoko's place."

Without waiting for Tae's answer, Kanami hurried out. She'd barely washed her face before hurying out, hurrying down the roadway coated in morning mist. Hurrying to Motoko's house, when she had arrived, Motoko was crouched before the entryway with her face burried in her knees.


Motoko lifted her tear smeared face. "Kanami, my family is,"

"It's all right. I know. It was hard, wasn't it?"

"What should I do? I---What do I do?"

Motoko clung to Kanami's clothing sobbing as Kanami patted her back.

"It's all right. The Junior Doctor from the Ozakis is on his way now. And your Mother-in-law?"

Motoko shook her head. She wasn't awake yet, she probably wanted to say, or maybe she had wanted to say she hadn't told her yet.

"We'll have to wake her and tell her. It's all right, I'll do it." As she started to enter into the house, Motoko seized her.

"Kanami, what do I do? Isami-san, he's dead now you know. I'm an other now. If I have to go back home, I'd rather die."

Kanami's brows furrowed. "......Motoko?"

"They're my children. And yet Isami-san died now. What do I do? I...."

"Motoko," Kanami shook Motoko's shoulder. "Hang in there. It's all right, you don't need to worry. So calm down."

But, Motoko started to say when Kanami forcefully spoke over her. "Now pull it together. Where are Shigeki-kun and Shiori-chan? Calm your crying and go to see them. All right?"

At hearing her children's names, Motoko precisely stopped crying. Giving a nod when at last Motoko seemed to come back to herself, Kanami murmured.

"You've been rustling around, so I'm sure they're awake too. They must be hurting, I'm sure. You'll have to be there for them."

Motoko nodded. At last her expression returned firmly. Kanami internally sighed. When it came to supporting her children, she could pull herself together. That was all she could think of for now.

"Now, go on."

Urged by Kanami, Motoko hurried back into the house. At last taking a sigh of relief, Kanami tilted her head. Motoko was scattered. She had completely lost sense of what she was saying. ---But, when Motoko had spilled out those words, what had she been trying to convey?

As Kanami was tilting her head in puzzlement as she came into the home, the mother-in-law Tomiko had just woken up.

"What's this ruckus?"

"I'm sorry for the early hour. Motoko had called me."

"You---Kanami-san, she called you?"

"Saying something was wrong with Isami-san. Motoko was completely out of it."

My, Tomiko said, her expression changing as she was at a loss for words. She went further into the house down the hallway as if she were flowing water. Hurrying into a specific room, she took to her knees beside the spread out futon, then gave a full body gasp. "---Isami!"

Kanami quietly peered at Isami's face over Tomiko's shoulder. His faintly open eyes, his faintly open mouth, he was utterly like a shell of a body that had cast off all signs of life. He didn't blink, nor was there any sign of his breathing. Isami is indeed dead, she thought.

"Why did Motoko-san call you about this!" Tomiko turned abruptly to face her. "Why, without a word to me, did she go to some complete stranger."

"Motoko was very distraught. She didn't know what to do."

"Then she could have called for me! He's my son!"

That's true, Kanami said, for the time being wanting to pacify Tomiko. The Junior Doctor is already on his way, so calm down for now, she had said to try to soothe her. Rather than wailing in grief over the loss of her son, Tomiko's face was flush with anger at not being told until now. Even now she seemed to hurry to the second story to condemn Motoko, and desperate to stop that, she had felt saved by the sound of Toshio's voice from the entryway.

Leaving Isami and Tomiko to Toshio, Kanami headed upstairs. Peeking into the children's room, Motoko was sitting at the children's bedside. The two children were fast asleep.

"The Junior Doctor's come."

When Kanami spoke to her, Motoko turned and nodded. Fixing up Shiori's futon, she stepped out of the children's room.

"Have you calmed down a little?"

Motoko nodded and wiped her tears. "I'm sorry. I was so completely lost......"

"It's understandable."

Motoko breathed a deep sigh. "What am I going to tell the two of them, I wonder?"

"That's right......"

"Is my mother-in-law awake, I wonder?"

Yeah, Kanami said with a nod, sitting on the first step of the stairway.

"I told her about it. It looks like your mother-in-law is completely at a loss too. She might say something to you later, but don't let it get to you. You were distressed too, and your mother-in-law was too. With it being what it is, it couldn't be simple and calm. So try to manage it."

"That's right......"

Motoko sighed and sat down next to her.

"Was Isami-san sick?"

"He was. But the family, including my mother-in-law, they hate the hospital so...... We had the Junior Doctor come but it ended without him going off to the hospital."

"I see......"

Again, Kanami thought. It was essentially the same situation as with her father-in-law Iwao.

"Say, Kanami. Do you know the strange rumor going around?"


Motoko's face was serious, her voice low. "They say there's an epidemic."

"Ah.... That. That's right, there are people saying that too, aren't there?"

"I wonder if it's true? It can't be.... right? My family, they won't catch it from my father-in-law...."


"If it is, then maybe even the children will...."

"Motoko, it's all right." Kanami gripped Motoko's hand. "You have to believe it will be all right. ......The truth is even I can't say for sure. It's true there is a rumor, and it's true that enough people have died that it would be strange not to think that it's an epidemic. But if it were an epidemic, you can take means to avoid it. So just be sure to be careful. Do that, and believe that it will be all right if you're careful."

"But, that's......"

"There's no other way, is there? If you get worried and become disoriented, it'll be Shigeki-kun and Shiori-chan who get hurt. So believe it. Do everything you can to keep it together, you have to make the children believe it's really all right too."

That's right, Motoko said lowering her eyes. For a bit, she was caught up in her thoughts as Kanami held her hand, when at last she rose her face.

"Say...... These strange things happening in the village started since Kanemasa had moved in, didn't they?"

"That's not true," Kanami said forcefully. "Kanemasa moved in after the people in Yamairi had died. After Gotouda's Shuuji-san had died. So it doesn't have anything to do with the otusiders."

"But I heard that the people of Kanemasa aren't well either. They have some kind of chronic illness, they said."

"That's unrelated too. Their illness isn't contagious. It's the opposite, it's more easy for them to catch something from others."


"The immune system, it's called, I think? It's an abnormality to do with that, I heard. So they catch diseases from other people easily, and when they do it's a big deal. In fact the master of Kanemasa is incredibly worried because it does look like an epidemic is spreading. He even said that they might be the ones to catch something from us. So it's the other way around. It's not like what you're thinking."

"......Is that right?"

Kanami nodded. She'd heard a summary of it from customers who came into the shop. Those were the details of when Itou Ikumi from Mizuguchi stormed on Kanemasa.


"The master was flaring mad, I heard. When Ikumi-san said for him to bring out his wife and daughter, he said he wasn't going to have them meet with the people of the village. If they caught something, it'd be a grave matter after all."

"I see......"

Motoko sighed. At last, maybe from her whole body being in a flutter, she felt like she had calmed down. Full of gratitude, Motoko gripped at Kanami's hand. Kanami gave a smile and patted Motoko's hand as she stood. She went down the stairs.

Motoko saw her off, then sat. Her husband was dead, and the reality of that bubbled up as an undeniable truth in her chest. Motoko had been left behind. That was why she had pushed him all that much to please go to the hospital.


Iwao died, Isami died. It really was like Iwao drew Isami along with him. The continuing deaths in the village. Just like in the legends, something was spreading death about.

(......That can't be, can it?)

Oni and the like couldn't exist, not really.


Motoko briefly gazed out into space. Something was running rampart in the village. It was mercilessly drawing the villagers in. Into the forest of furs, from the graveyard. It infiltrated the village---and someday, it might even snatch Motoko's children from her.