Volume 5, Chapter 5: Summer Vacation, Part 1
When was the first time that the [Existence] had appeared?
It was during the Westernization movement during the Meiji Restoration. As the Japanese culture and entertainment changed rapidly and the Japanese people’s consciousness changed, it was born into this world.
As first, it was small and powerless.
However, that changed in the 1950s. When Japan’s economy began to rapidly evolve after the recovery of the post-war period, the [Existence] began to gain [Power] as well.
As its power grew, people began to notice it.
Although it might have been a coincidence that he found it, one of the people who noticed it talked to a politician about it, and the politician, who was rushing to raise the status of Japan, heard that it was in the big cave in underground Tokyo, and found the [Existence].
For those who had a true wish, it had great [Power] to give.
The old military scientists and the exorcists who located it were asked to investigate it.
There was a wish. But it didn’t wake up. Its discovery was reported to powerful conglomerates and politicians, and they investigated the use of that [Power].
A few years later, in cooperation with the religious groups that had protected the country for a long time, they were able to prove that some little girls were compatible with it in both existence and will, and by installing the girls as [Shrine Maidens], it would be possible to utilize the power.
And so, Japan began to grow.
They did not know whether it was due to the power of this [Existence]. However, by raising their national strength and attracting attention from other countries, the foundation of Tokyo became the center of the new culture, and the [Existence] felt its power grow even further.
And now in modern times…… it awoke…
In fear of a single [Young Girl] that had come from a different world, far away……
It’s summer now. It came so abruptly. It was around spring that “I” became me now, so in the autumn I’ll be six years old.
I received an invitation to go to their Switzerland ranch from Ouji-kun, but I’m had to decline. Our household is not the type to go to Switzerland during the summer break.
Still, it’s really a good thing that he ended up not being Sam ‘hah!.’ If it’s Ouji-kun, it doesn’t shave my mental endurance as much.
The full name makes my soul hurt, while just Sam makes my heart cold… It’s not a pun.
(TL note: ‘cold’ is read ‘samui’, while ‘sam’ is read ‘samu’, hence the pun.)
I kept pulling Ouji-kun around by the hand, so he got a little skinnier.
It’s also in big part because he’s been refraining from those amazing “snacks”. If I hadn’t stopped him from taking them every time, he would have been taking in well over 2000 Calories every single day just being in kindergarten.
It was unexpectedly easy to stop him. When I felt uncomfortable with it, I would take his hand, and then he would conveniently forget to eat it with a smile.
I wonder if he thought of me as a friend.
The goal for the future is to make him thin enough so that it wouldn’t be awkward to call him [Ouji-kun]. (TL Reminder: Prince)
As expected, after three months my muddled memory has settled down a lot.
There were a lot of memories that I still couldn’t remember, but I think that that’s because the memories of these three months have overwritten it.
Well, nevertheless, I’m still not very child-like……
Ahh, come to mention it, my ban on going outside got extended further.
No, of course it’s okay for me to go to kindergarten, but it wasn’t okay for me to take up piano lessons. It surprised me to discover that I could actually play the piano.
It was as if I had been doing it for years…… or should I say that I had a fragmented memory within me that remembered myself playing it normally in a castle.
However, the position of the keys and such were slightly different…… Why was that?
Ah, so, the reason why I’ve been prohibited from going out again is because I’ve had two traffic accidents in three months, and encountered a street slasher once.
…What’re the odds of that? Since we were able to avoid most of it in advance, it’s great, but all of them involved someone who had lost their sanity.
Erm, just like that truck driver.
……… I think I’m being targeted…
By ‘someone’… somewhere.
For that reason, even I judged that it was better for me not to go out to places where there were a lot of people.
In the end it’s just being careful, but it’s quite fine.
Due to that, I have no free time at all. Since I only played with either Kouki-kun or Niku-kun, and both of them had lessons on their own, I couldn’t play with them every day.
I have no girlfriends whatsoever. The girls in that group refuse to talk to me, the only one who can speak normally to Kouki-kun. Even as kids, women are scary.
Mentally, it’s easier to play with people around Kotone-chan’s age, and mentally I’m comfortable with that age, but I feel like a cat. A cat toddler.
While putting away the picture book in my room and looking out the window idly by chance, I saw something red on the hill behind the house.
I wonder what that is…… or should I say, what is that? I feel like I have some idea.
A memory of “mine” came forth, that wasn’t the memory of my five-year-old self, but rather from that fragmented jumble.
It might be the tori gates of a shrine. I certainly remember worshipping at it; I think it was something like a Kitsune-sama or an earth spirit.
I didn’t think about it at all, even for a moment…… I want to go there and play.
Isn’t a place like a quiet shrine where the light of sunbeams leaks through the leaves just attractive?
And for that reason,
“Ooba-onii-chan, can we go to the shrine behind our house.”
“Ooh, let’s go, there are cicadas. Your Onii-chan is really good at catching them.”
As I asked my older brother who’d just gotten home, I got a favorable reply immediately.
I’ve been saved, since onii-chan doesn’t seem to wonder why I would like to go to a shrine or why I even know that that shrine exists.
Also, I don’t need cicadas.
I got permission to go to the shrine with Ooba-onii-chan. Yahooo~!
Incidentally, onii-chan is wearing a straw hat and a towel around his neck. Why are you so serious about catching the cicadas……?
I was also wearing a white wide-brimmed hat and had an insect net, but I don’t want to catch cicadas. As we got off the road and drew near, he suddenly began to skip and jump while singing. It’s pretty traumatic.
“Yuzu, the stone steps are steep, are you alright? Do you need onii-chan to carry you on his back?”
“…… I’ll climb it myself.”
I think it’s about 50 steps, but it’s hard for a kid. Also, if I fell, I’d die.
“What’s the matter?”
The moment I tried to climb, I felt something like static electricity.
What was that? The rope wrapped around the huge tree broke, but that’s got nothing to do with me, right?
Well, it’s better to not give mind to that. I’m just an ordinary person, after all.
Still, these stone steps are pretty tough.
Even though it’s like a normal staircase, with its staggered height and tread, kids like me with narrow strides would tire themselves out much more than usual.
But once I overcome it, I can relax in a quiet environment.
“Miii~n, Min-min” “Gyahahaha” “Let’s go over there!” “Miii~n, Miii~n” “Something came down!” “Is that a rhinoceros beetle?” “Mii~n, minmin, Miii~n” “eeh~n”
Arriving at the shrine was nice, but it wasn’t that quiet.
The students from the nearby elementary school were catching cicadas frenziedly. ……Did all boys feel like that……? And there were a lot of people who came to visit the shrine as well.
“……It’s different from what I expected.”
I wanted to kill time in something like a quiet forest shrine, but I think this place is noisier than normal.
Because I got tired climbing the stone steps, after washing my hands ceremonially and making my visit, I sat down in the shrine grounds and stared at the sky idly.
I could hear the noisy sounds of children…… The sound of loud cicadas. ……Have they been exterminated?
When I turned my head to the source of the sound of hands being clapped in prayer, a grandma I didn’t know was offering a pack of Mitarashi Dango in front of me and worshipping.
As soon as I called out to her, the grandma headed off elsewhere. There were also some Daifuku and rice crackers when I looked closely, along with a 5-yen coin on top of it all.
Why didn’t she say anything to me? Who are you looking to tie the knot with, obaa-chan?
It might be better for me to go home before another insanity encounter happens……
When I turned around, Ooba-onii-chan was there giving the elementary school students a lecture on cicadas……
I wonder if there’s any way to kill time……
There was a black cat behind the stone steps leading to the shrine that looked very unconcerned.
A really dark cat that had no other colors mixed in its fur……
And its silver eyes looked straight at me……
Before I noticed, I had been hugged by my onii-chan, and brought down the stone steps.
“What are you doing, Yuzu, you could have fallen!”
“……aa, … uhnn, I’m sorry.”
“……Are you feeling unwell? Let’s go home. I’ll bring you out here again when you want to come back…”
Onii-chan gently stroked my head, and stopped scolding me as I lost my vigor.
……I , what was I doing?
Someday, they’ll meet……
Next time, We’ll head to the shopping area.
Man, the first time I read that first section I nearly woke up my neighbors with a brash “HA!” at the end.
Word count so far: 158,500. Enjoy your early chapter, folks!
Question with a reward attached: I’m curious: Does anyone have the word-count on how far we’ve gotten so far, just the content? If I get an answer by the weekend, I’ll throw it where this comment is, as well as release next week’s chapter a day early!