[Fanfic] Sayonara no Imi (Part Two)

5

The next practice of Shitoushiki started on
the next day, but it didn’t go well.

 

We, the Shijin, are clothed in red and
they, the humans, are clothed with blue. We showed a simple dance and then I
kneeled down in the middle of the stage while I put my hands leveled to my
face.
While not crossing my fingers, I stretched
them so that Nishino-san can cut off my thorns properly using dagger. But she
couldn’t.
Is she afraid that she might fail to cut my
thorns? Or is she afraid of me? Is she afraid that if my thorns got cut, I
would become a part of humans’ life? I have no clue.
As I’m still wondering, the time is also
ticking.
Just so you know, the practice didn’t go
well not because my thorns didn’t come out. Even though it’s just a practice,
my thorns come out properly. And of course it doesn’t mean I’m getting angry at
someone. 
It’s because I’m scared.
I have no experience for my thorns being
cut and no one had ever swung a sword right towards me. On top of that,
Nishino-san has never touch a dagger before.
It’s obvious that I’m scared.
I’m trying not to write my true feeling on my face. But my body is being
honest. In every practice, my thorns come out.
My father’s mood is getting worse day by day.
I ran away in a certain day. Thanks to that, Nishino-san became more and
more fear of me. My father scolds me that way like everyday.
There was also an accident where Asuka came
to see the practice got into a quarrel with a girl of broadcasting club from
human’s school who also came to see the practice. Nishino-san was trying to
stop them but accidentally, Asuka’s thorns stabbed her.

I supposed to stop them immediately, but since I felt a little depressed by
this everyday practice, I couldn’t move myself promptly.
 I knew that Asuka couldn’t bear to see a
human who were recording us Shijin. And I was the one who supposed to stop
them, not Nishino-san.

 


It was the worst atmosphere.
It even became a rumor that this year’s
Shitoushiki will be cancelled.
In the afternoon, rain fell down as if it
worsens the situation. They called the practice for today.
When I was about to ask Mai and Sayuri to go home, I saw Nishino-san is taking
shelter from rain under a tree while reading a book.
I must say something, I must call her
out… Even though I thought that, I didn’t have the courage to do so. So I
just quietly dropped a band-aid from behind and about to leave.
“Uhh, hey…”
She called me to halt.
This is the first time, I talked to her.
“Thank you for this.”
“…no prob.”
“U-Um… What kind of books you usually
read…?”
I can see she is holding a book in her
hand.
“I usually read this book… Uhh… If you
don’t mind…shall we exchange books?”
She is holding out a book with blue cover.
Book that humans usually read.
On the contrary, books that Shijin usually read are covered with red. They
differentiate humans and Shijins clearly with this. But she was insisting that
she wants to read a book covered with red that usually read by Shijin.
As I thought, she doesn’t really know about Shijin.
She doesn’t know that we, Shijins, are prohibited to read human’s book.
But I believe that she wants to know more about us.
And I’m also interested to read human’s books so I said, “Okay.” to her.
She gave me a smile that she hasn’t yet to show to anyone and handed over a
book entitled ‘Shijin and Cats’.
The time I got back home, I immediately
read the book. Now I know why the practice of Shitoushiki didn’t go well.
It is described in this book that Shijin had been exist in Japan since a long
time ago but it’s currently in a verge of distinction. This book also describes
Shijin’s characteristics. But in a wrong way. The more I read the book, the
more terrible we are being described.
Shijins are the cause of any disaster. Those who go near them will be giving no
heed and getting injured by their thorns. Or so it’s written on the book.
It is also written that Shijins are disguising themselves into cat goblins
because they still have grudges on humans.
This book is like anecdotes summary since the time when there was a slaughter
of Shijin once in Japan.
This is a misguided book written by those people in majorities.
I can’t believe this book still exists.
I don’t know how she obtained this book.
But now I knew why Nishino-san couldn’t swing the dagger on to me. It’s all
because she read this book.
It doesn’t mean that she didn’t know us. It was better for her not to know
anything than read this kind of book that full of hoaxes.
I have to clear this misunderstanding.
I feel like being controlled by that emotion. I’m unintentionally being
absorbed into reading this book in this living room. When I realized, my father
got back home. His sharp eyes got me reading the book and he confiscated it
from me.
“Why are you reading human’s book?”
I cannot say anything back to him so he
continues.
“This is the reason why the practice never
goes well!! It’s because you’re reading this kind of book!”
“Isn’t it because I didn’t read that? Aren’t we supposed to know each other??”
“SHUT UP! Don’t you dare to break our family laws!!”
He enraged upon hearing my rebuttal and
slapped the book onto the floor.

 


I couldn’t just stand still so I tried to leave the room but my father grabbed
my arm.
I shook his grasp off desperately and ran away under a cold rain.

As if cutting off the air, rain, family laws, customs, and past stories, I
walked fast and again, I arrived to that certain usual place.
A floating mass of waterweeds, where you
can see a train to Teito which only pass once a month.

 


And today is exactly the day of the month.
As I was standing still for a while, I
could hear the steam whistle following by the rhythm of wheels met the rail
joints is roaring closer.
I felt fluids dripped down to my cheeks. Maybe they are just rain drops, but I’m
not really sure. I am just gazing to the train until I cannot hear the sound of
it anymore.
6
While the practice didn’t go well even
once, the day of the ceremony finally came.
I’m wearing a red costume and covered my
face with paper with a fine cut in geometric pattern. I didn’t use the paper
during the practice, but in the real ceremony, many people will watch and the
representative of Shijin has to cover their face.
It has become the pretext of production to increase the mystique and sanctity
of the ritual, but actually it’s a thing that at least a consideration to me.
I’m scared that my thorns are going to get cut.
If I cover my face with paper, I won’t have
to show anyone my expression at that moment when my thorns get cut.
After support roles wearing red and blue
costumes behind me showing off simple dance, I kneeled in the center of the
stage and held the hand covered with thorns in front of my face.
Under the stage, from the forefront of the
circle of the audience, wearing blue costumes, Nishino-san who’s bringing a
dagger rises to the stage.
Her expressions I caught from a small cut of the gap between the paper covering
my face were strangely calm. It looked completely different from the usual
expression of Nishino-san who usually being crushed by anxiety. 
Step by step, Nishino-san comes closer to
me. The dagger she’s holding reflected the moonlight, shining brightly.
She will cut my thorns for sure today
As I was being half-convinced, I prepared myself
to accept my fate. I closed my eyes, waited for that time.
Swoosh!
As I heard the sound of cutting the air, my
body was stiffened.
But I didn’t feel any impact to my hands.
When I opened my eyes, the cutting edge stopped just before my thorns.
In
the end, she couldn’t cut my thorns after all…
Instantly after I was thinking of that,
Clank!
Nishino-san tossed away the dagger
sideways.
With the hands that have nothing, she gently removes the paper covering my
face.
A view that my cleared sight caught was a very beautiful and fresh smile.
She quickly folded the paper into an
airplane, and it flew toward the audience below the stage.

 


The plane flew over the audience, and it disappeared in a blink of an eye.
Its appearance that rips the air in a straight line is as if it were like a
train bound for Teito.
“Let’s go”
Nishino-san who smiled grasping my hands
full of thorns with no doubt pulled and took me under the stage.
I could understand the intentions she
wanted to show me.
You do not have to expose everything to
many people on the stage.
Even with thorns, even minorities, you can live as an ordinary human being.
No matter who you are, there are people who will accept you.
Don’t be afraid and don’t hesitate to blend in to the world of majorities.
As if following me and Nishino, who each
other staring with a smile and holding each other’s hand in the circle of
audience, everyone in the support role also came down from the stage holding
each other’s hand.
We are dancing and jumping with a smile, we
gathered together as if we were a group all the time. We frolicked much full of
smile.
 It was the moment when a Shijin and a human
being decided to live together for real.
“Um… Na-, Nana…mi…-san…”
Among the hustle and bustle of the festival,
Nishino-san talked to me.
“Yes? Just call me Nanami.”
“Okay. Do you want to go to Teito?”
Teito.
I thought that by going there, everything would be changed.
So many kinds of people assembled there. People are living together there
without barriers of race. That’s what I read from a book.
Since that day, I believed that that place will accept a Shijin’s existence.
Since then I had been dreaming to go to Teito.
But I didn’t have the courage to throw away everything and I was in doubt with
farewells. All I could do just gazing at the train from a floating land. I
couldn’t ride the train for real.
“…why are you asking that?”
“Nothing. I just somehow felt that way.”
“…I see.”
Oh, I know why.
Nishino-san also read the book we once exchanged.
Inside the book I exchanged that time; “Shijin and Human”, there is a
description of the imperial city I dreamed of.
Along with the illustrations of people who hold hands together and coexist in
front of a Teito Tower which is way higher than human height.
Nishino-san understood my true wishes.
Epilogue
(Red)
After the end of Shitoushiki, our lives
have changed completely.
The village which was divided into the settlement of the Shijin and the
settlement of the human gradually disappeared. The opportunities to interact
with each others have started to increase.
All of us who participated in the Shitoushiki
became acquainted with each other so that no one knows who is the Shijin and
who is a human.
We are not Shijin nor human, we are friends.
We became comrades.
We don’t afraid of being a majority anymore.
We still have the thorns which had become complex from the time we were born,
but we do not worry too much with the body with thorns.
We are not ashamed of being a minority.
There are no longer other thorns that have covered the heart.
Right, not even one… That should be,
but…
A new thorn struck my heart that became
frank lately.
It’s because I am now boarding a train to
Teito.
I abandoned a cozy village with many
friends, and went to the land that I couldn’t stop yearning of to go there.
When I decided to do so, the thorn got
stuck in my heart.
It is a thorn of regret for leaving friends.
Every time I look back on everyone, my heart aches, it gets painful.
But this thorn pushes my weak and uncourageous back.
This kind of ‘Tender Thorn’ (Yasashii Toge) keeps piercing my heart
as I began my life to a place with new majorities.
Epilogue
(Blue)
Today, I am sure that you were laughing.
From that day I kept watching your back
trembling in the cold rain, I knew this day would come sometime in the future.

 


The day that your smile changes to just an illusion.
But yesterday Nanami looked the same as usual, she was laughing and talking
with everyone, so I thought that she will sit at the usual bay window and greet
me with a smile.
It was so sudden. And may be that was also
her concern to us.
Maybe she didn’t want to see everyone’s sad faces.
There were so many times whenever I held Nanami’s hand, she didn’t let out her
thorns.
But the truth that she left us is like a sharp thorn pierces my heart.
I knew it would be turned out like this,
but I couldn’t say that I don’t want to lose you while embrace you closely.
I couldn’t ask her to be always with us.
But in the brighter side, the truth that Nanami left us makes me proud.
I’m glad I could let her decide it by herself.
Also the thing that I could befriend Nanami who can make such a courageous
decision.
It’s sorrowful yet pleasant at the same time.
As long as this tender thorn is still
piercing in my heart, I’m sure we all will always remember about Nanami.
With farewell as a passing point, do not
turn around and let’s become strong.
When we run into each other somewhere, I
hope we can smile together again.
A new day will start tomorrow.
Let’s change the breeze (Kaze wo Kigaete)
and take the next step forward.
—–The End—-
(Back to index)
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[Fanfic] Sayonara no Imi (Part One)

Prologue (Blue)

That day, I was certain you were crying.

 

It was the day a cold rain started to fall.
It was the day the train going to Teito
passed, which passes only once a month.
It was the day you and I had first
exchanged words.
You, who stood alone in a desolate area
where you often see the train pass, and stared at the dark and distant sky.
I thought that you were that kind of person
who will someday go beneath the sky. I couldn’t call you so I ended up standing
still, watching the cold rain hit your trembling back.
Prologue (Red)
My body has thorns.
That has made a great undesirable influence
in my life.
I am neglected and despised since I was
born. My total existence is rejected.
Even if I try to resist, I won’t be able to
resist it.
The whole world agrees only on the idea of
the majority after all.
Even in deciding food for the dinner, as
well as deciding on who should be the student council president.
Even in deciding on who the leader is able
to set the country in motion and capable of making the laws.
We, the minority, our very existence has
been likely forgotten.
That doesn’t exist before.
Back then, knowledge and efforts of
majority are being acknowledged.
They pretend that they do not see how
unpleasant those things are.
But if we were one of the majority,
probably we would still be happy.
I would bury all of my personal opinions
into the depth of me and just put an innocent face and blend with them.
But I can never be included in the
majority, for I am different.
But still, there is a way for those who are
different like me.
There are two ways.
First, I can live on a land which no one
knows about the existence of my kind,
And second, we have what we called a
“ceremony”.
1
“Nanami, you’ll be doing it this year.”
At dinner, my father told me that without
any previous notice.
My sister Asuka was sitting with me,
looking at me with a worried face.
Though she’s already a high school student,
she still has a problem eating by herself. She won’t eat unless I feed her.
She won’t eat when she sees me worried,
even if I bring her favorite food which is porridge, so I smile at her just to
get rid of her uneasiness.
Honestly I want to show her my real smile,
but the smile I give looks forced. The moment my smile at her, it’s when my
true emotions show, which removes the smile on my face.
And that emotion is nothing more but fear.
I understand that this year, I’m the one
who’ll be doing it.
It is because I need to “graduate” already.
If I would continue being like this, I
won’t be able to move forward. Though I know there is one way, I still am
hesitant. I hate goodbyes because I will need to throw everything out, and
there is nothing else I can do but to participate in the “ceremony”.
I was born as one of the minority, and I
need to be accepted by the majority, so that I can be an ordinary human.
I made a stiff smile in my face while I was
feeding Asuka some porridge, but she was just looking at the back of my hand
and didn’t eat the food in the end.
2

 
I was born a human but with thorns.

 

When I became aware of this, my father
immediately told me the whole details, that I was born a part of the minority.
Being neglected and despised, my existence
is rejected.
Since everyone around me is the same as I
am, I never thought of thinking about it.
My body has thorns.
There are thorns at the back of my hands,
even at the joints of my hand, as well in my fingers. These thorns are thin but
then they are sharp and have the length of 5 cm to 10 cm.
We, who are called “Shijin”, have this kind
of characteristic and everyone in the clan have this. It seems that we once
existed in Japan, but in the present all those who are like me live only in a
village which is far from the cities.
Every time that there is a disease, food
shortage, or even natural disaster that spreads out through the whole country,
we are always the one to be blamed in doing so. Every time they see a Shijin,
they capture and kill them.
As the saying goes on, “Shijin brings
death. They must be erased as they are all criminal.”
What a selfish thought.
But everyone in the majority thinks this is
right. Thus they look for Shijin all over Japan looking like demon hunters who
have no hearts.
Going back to history, there are no Shijin
that existed before.
Except at one small village,
And that village is where we are today, the
only home of Shijin’s.
Not all time we have thorns.
When our hearts are calm, our thorns don’t
appear. We can live a normal life, like an ordinary human.
Our thorns come out when we become
emotional.
For example, when we are mad,
We are being protected by our thorns when
we feel something or someone that has an intention of hurting us. If someone
tries to touch our hand, assuredly they will have a severe injury.
Because of our hands, we moved away from
those people who live in the village for we might hurt them if they try to
touch us. The reason why we are still living peacefully in this village is
because there are some people who understand us.
To make sure that there is no Shijin that
can hurt others; we do something that we are already doing for a very long time
ago.
It is a traditional ceremony which is
called a “Shitoushiki”.
And this year, I am the one who is chosen
to be a representative of Shijin for this ceremony.
3
“Ah, Nanase got the male role.”
“That’s nice. I thought that I would be
chosen this year.”

“No way! No way! No way! No way!”

As usual, I was sitting at the side of a
window looking at the scenery outside when I heard that there are people
speaking at the other room.
It’s the girl who was chosen for the male
role of “Shitoushiki” and her friends.
Their voices sounded happy-go-lucky, it
made my heart so noisy, and the back of my hand is hurting.
After one month, we will start practicing
for the Shitoushiki.
I don’t really find it difficult.
A girl is chosen for the male role as a
representative, wherein she will be the one who will cut off the thorns at the
back of my hands.
I even had to practice for a month to add
some improvisation so that the villagers who will come to the ceremony won’t get
bored.
It would be meaningless if nobody will ever
bother to see us.
Shitoushiki is being held for humans so
they will find it easy to cut off the thorns from our hands, and let them
understand that we, Shijin are harmless and not intended to cause dangers to
them.
We, the Shijin, have lived our lives
peacefully and long enough because the human representative in our village
keeps removing our thorns and exposing it to the world.          
“What Nishino-san and Nanami will be doing
is, a ceremony based on a battle that took place in this town between humans
and the Shijin who has made an oath before, so we could continue on living
peacefully and would not forget the battle.”

In the room wherein I was in face to face
with the male role, my father was explaining thoroughly on what we will do at
the Shitoushiki.
She was called Nishino-san. Earlier, I also
heard that her friends called her Nanase.
Every time our eyes meet, I look down
because I want to dodge it.
I saw her eyes are trembling.
I wonder if this girl is really suitable
for the male role.
We exchanged cups and afterwards, the two
of us swore on our contract.
“You may now shake hands.”
My father demanded it, so I offered her my
right hand.
Nishino-san stared at my hand, slowly
trying to reach it.
She became somewhat cautious to hold my
hand for she doesn’t know when the thorns may come out.

“NANAMI!”
My thorns were about to come out so I
withdrew my hand and immediately went out from that room.
“Onee-chan?”
My father became mad, and as I pass at the
corridor, I saw Asuka and heard her worried voice but I couldn’t turn back.
4

 

“Eh-!? You walked out just because of
that!?”
Mai and Sayuri raised their voice towards
me.
“Yeah, it seems that I made her scared.”
“I see. Well, it has already passed. It
can’t be helped.” Mai said.
“I agree! Nanamin, you’re just confused,
right? Just overcome it with smile! You have to be always positive.” Sayuri
said.
As I walked out of the room, I bumped into
my best friends; Mai and Sayuri and told them what happened earlier..
Those two are also Shijin like me, and
we’re at the same age as well. Since we were raised together, we have always
share the same problem we are carrying. They are irreplaceable existence to me.
Since the three of us are always together,
Asuka called us “Gosanke” and eventually, some young Shijin girls started to do
it also.
“No, if Nanami does something that Sayuri
does, it would be scary.”
“Is that so? Isn’t Nanamin’s smile so
cute?”
“Thanks. How’s the practice, both of you?”
The both of them are also participating as
support roles in the ceremony and starting today, human girls will be joining
us in the practice as supports too.
“We only had a session to see each other.
They were seemed extremely cautious on us…” Mai said.
She’s smart and always does things in a
calm way. She understands me very well.
“We must always show our smile at all times
to them! I’m sure they will smile at us back. Those who won’t do that will
receive Sayuringo Punch!” Sayuri said.
As usual, she is always happy-go-lucky,
but actually she finds it difficult to express her true emotions for she is
fragile. I was worried that those human girls she met would hurt her feelings.
But it seems that it didn’t happen, I’m relieved.
“Nanamin, try to do the punch. Come on,
Nanamin Punch.”
She held my fist and tried to make me do
the punch. But I just smiled at her.
“I’m not mad at Nishino-san.”
“Really? Then why did your thorns look like
they were about to come out?”
“Maybe I was… expecting.”
“Hmm, I see.”
It seems like Mai understood everything
that’s why she just smiled happily.
“Huh? Ice skating? What’s that?”             
Sayuri was tilting her head, staring at us
and wondering what we were talking about.
Yes, I’m not angry about Nishino-san
getting afraid of me. It’s only natural for her to be hesitant to shake hands
with those who are like me.
Even though we live in the same village,
there is still a division between Shijin and ordinary humans that is why this
is the first time that we’ve seen each other this close. We lack in
understanding so it’s natural for us to have a misunderstanding between each
other. However, I expected too much from Nishino-san.
Nishino-san who will cut my thorns at
Shitoshiki. She will prove that I’m not a harm to humans. I was thinking, she
would be my very first friend who is not my kind. But in reality, she’s even
scared to hold my hand even though there are no thorns in my hand for that
moment.
I was mad at myself because I expected too
much. My thorns were about to come out. But if I let my thorns come out in that
situation, I will end up bearing the responsibility of Nishino-san. I would
make her misunderstand that she made me angry that’s why I had no choice but to
leave from that room.
—–To be continued—-
(Part Two)

[Fanfic] Sayonara no Imi

Sayonara no Imi
Author/Original story: Kounin Kaiwashi
Translator(s): ikuuudon & inchan
Perform Checker & BETA: inchan
Summary: A story based on Sayonara no Imi’s music video
Genre: Friendship, Drama, Songfic
Characters: Nanami, Nishino Nanase, Asuka, Mai, Sayuri
Chapters:
Part One
– Prologue (Blue)
– Prologue (Red
– 1
– 2
– 3
– 4
Part Two
– 5
– 6
– Epilogue (Red)
– Epilogue (Blue)
Warning(s):
– Each post contains some bandwidth killer gifs.
– Translator (inchan) acquired the author’s approval directly via their blog to translate this story from Japanese to English.
Enjoy the story and kindly leave your thoughts about it!