Earthen Miraculous Sword/Story/Extra Story

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 土製儀式場の内部一階にて、
 儀式場としての役割を終えたそこは、幾人かのヒトと妖怪の手によって、
 ちょっとした宴会場へと早変わりしていた。

Inside the first floor of the earthen ritual chamber...
Having finished its role as a ritual chamber, the space had quickly been transformed into a little banquet hall by the hands of some humans and youkai.

  宿禰「なるほどー、つまり神器『栓抜き』が誕生したってことにゃー
     いやー、僕の腕もここに極まったにゃ! あっはは~」
八尾呂智「笑い事ではない、鈍刀どころの始末ではないのだぞ?
     栓抜きになんぞして」
  玄鳥「おやおや、栓抜きを馬鹿にするもんじゃないぞ、
     現代基礎力学において始点、力点、作用点の
     比率関係が多重作用を引き起こし、
     使用者本来の何倍もの力を発揮できる
     伝説の機器だぞ(ウソ)」
  宿禰「そうにゃそうにゃー!(シッタカ)」
八尾呂智「そう・・・なのか? 外の世界では?」

Sukune: "I see, I see. So thus, the sacred treasure "Opener of Casks" was bo~orn!
Man, I can hardly believe m'skills had devel'ped this far, nyah! Ahahah~"
Yaorochi: "This is no laughing matter. You do realize that this goes far beyond just making a dull blade, yes?
You turned it into a bottle opener!"
Tsubakura: "What's this, now? You really shouldn't make light of bottle openers.
They're legendary devices that use basic modern mechanics to bring about multiple simultaneous interactions based on the ratio relationship between a system's load point, operating point and working point, enabling their wielder to exert many times more force than they otherwise would." (<--lie)
Sukune: "Exactly, nyah! Exactly!" (<--you knew that already??)
Yaorochi "Is... that so? In the outside world?"

 呆れながらも反論するだけの智識を持たない八尾呂智は、
 どこか腑に落ちない顔をしながら、
 手元の皿にあるトカゲの丸焼きを口に頬張った。
 頬赤が焼成する丸焼きは上手かったらしく、
 八尾呂智は少しだけだが頬を緩めた。
 それを見ていた玄鳥は、「もうちょいで共食いだな」と思いながら
 同じものをほおばっていると、
 頬赤が玄鳥が思っていることを口に出した。

Yaorochi was exasperated, but didn't have enough knowledge to actually refute any of that.
While making a still-skeptical face, they stuffed a whole roasted lizard from their plate into their mouth.
Yaorochi's face relaxed just slightly; it seemed that Hooaka's roasts were quite well-prepared.
Tsubakura, looking on, thought "isn't that like one step removed from cannibalism?", but didn't say it out loud. They were chowing down on a lizard of their own.
Instead, Hooaka took the opportunity to say exactly what Tsubakura was thinking.

八尾呂智「トカゲは足があるからな、蛇足さ」

Yaorochi: "One step indeed, yes. Since lizards still have the legs that snakes grew out of." [1]

 何故か近くで同じものを食べていた蒿雀がむせ返っていたが、
 八尾呂智的には問題ないものだったらしい。
 次は蛇穴で蛇でも捕ってくるか、そう玄鳥が呟くと
 八尾呂智がギロリと厳しい目で睨んだ。
 トカゲは良くてもやっぱりヘビはダメか。

 そんな根も葉もない話をしていると時間はすぐに過ぎるもので、
 気がつけば丑三つ時も過ぎ、宿禰の家に元々あった酒も、
 神社から持ってきた酒も底を尽きようとしていた。

Aoji began to choke on their own lizard at their nearby seat for some reason,
but apparently Yaorochi didn't have any problem with eating it.
Tsubakura muttered, "well then, maybe we should go catch some snakes in their nests for our next dinner,"
but this prompted Yaorochi to shoot them a furious glare.
Looks like snakes were off the menu, regardless of lizard policy.

Time passed quickly, as the group continued having similarly-pointless conversations.
Before one knew it, it was already the darkest hour of the night.
Both the sake from Sukune's house and the sake brought from the shrine had been drunk to the last dregs.

  藪雨「もうオシャケがなくなってきたよ~、
     ちょっと少なかったんじゃらい~?」
 黒巫鳥「お前らが呑みすぎなだけだ」

Yabusame: "There'sh alr'edy no sake le~eft.
Don'tcha think *hic* we didn't bring enougfh?"
Kuroji: "You all just drank too much."

 顔が真っ赤な藪雨は徳利のそこを覗き込みながら周りに訴え。
 黒巫鳥は普段どおりの顔色でそれに答えた。

Yabusame complained to the rest of the room, their face beet-red, while they stared a hole into the bottom of their sake bottle.
Kuroji answered them, their face no different from usual.

  宿禰「うー、ウチの半年分のお酒があっという間にのーなった・・・」
八尾呂智「丁度言い、今日はもうお開きだな」
  玄鳥「いやいや、お前と黒巫鳥がまだ呑んでないだろ、ちゅーの?」
 黒巫鳥「私は呑めんぞ」
  玄鳥「そりゃ知ってる、 八尾呂智、お前は呑めるんだろ?」
八尾呂智「呑まん、嫌な思い出しかないからな」
  玄鳥「朽縄に怖じる蛇なんて聞いたことがないぞ、キャンならドゥーだ」
  藪雨「ドゥーだぁ」
  宿禰「ドゥーンっ」
八尾呂智「ちっ、面倒な奴等だ」
 黒巫鳥「まったくだ、第一に酒はもう無くなるのだろ?」
  玄鳥「まだまだ神社には腐るほどあっただろ、それをもってこいよ」
  藪雨「そっかー、誰がいくのー?」
 黒巫鳥「私は呑んでないし、必要もないから行かんぞ」
  玄鳥「そんな屁理屈が通用すると思っているのか?」
  藪雨「思っているのかー?」
  宿禰「思ってるのぎゃー?」
 黒巫鳥「これが屁理屈なら、より理屈と呼ぶに相応しい案を出してみろ」
  玄鳥「そうだな恨みっこなしで何かしらで勝負するか・・・」
  藪雨「何で勝負するのー?」
 黒巫鳥「賽も札もないぞ・・・」

Sukune: "Aww... m'whole half-year's supply of sake went 'poof' sho fast..."
Yaorochi: "That works fine, honestly. Let's call it a day."
Tsubakura: "Naw, hang on, you an' Kuroji haven't had any yet. Ain't that right?"
Kuroji: "I can't drink."
Tsubakura: "Yeah, I'm aware. But you can have some, right, Yaorochi?"
Yaorochi: "I shall most certainly not. It'll bring up nothing but bad memories."
Tsubakura: "Whaaat, once bitten, twice shy? When biting's a snake's job in the first place? No way. 'Can' means 'do'. Down the hatch."
Yabusame: "Dooo!"
Sukune: "Duuune!"
Yaorochi: "Tch. You really know how to make a nuisance of yourselves."
Kuroji: "Exactly. In the first place, there's no sake left."
Tsubakura: "We're still practically drowning in the stuff over at the shrine. Just go get some'a that."
Yabusame: "Oh, that's right. So who's gonna go~?"
Kuroji: "I'm not drinking, so I have no need to go out."
Tsubakura: "Do you really think we'll accept an argument that illogical?"
Yabusame: "Do you really~?"
Sukune: "Do yaa~?"
Kuroji: "If this is illogical, then why don't you come up with something worthy of being called logical?"
Tsubakura: "Yeah, a'ight. How about we decide this with something that nobody will have hard feelings over...?"
Yabusame: "What'll we decide with~?"
Kuroji: "We have no dice or cards..."

 「・・・・・・」

"......"

  玄鳥「じゃんけんと殺し合い、どっちがいい?」

Tsubakura: "Rock-paper-scissors or a fight to the death. Which d'you like better?"



八尾呂智「『じゃんけん』とは珍しいものを見た」
  宿禰「藤八拳みたいでしたにょー」
八尾呂智「外界とこことでは文化の発展が随分と違うらしいからな、
     外では弾を出すのに未だに道具を使ってるらしいしな」
  宿禰「そもそも霊力や魔力といった類の術もないんでぎょ?
     不便だにゃ~、そんでどうやって生きていりゃれるんだきゃ」
八尾呂智「それぞれの生き方だ、ヒトの数だけ生きる道がある、
     我々だって同じだろう」
  宿禰「ん・・・? なんか引っかかるにょー?」
八尾呂智「何がだ?」
  宿禰「今のキザな台詞・・・どこかで聞いたようにゃ~、
     聞かなかったようにゃ~?」
八尾呂智「・・・お前の記憶力は当てにならんからな」
  宿禰「あはは~、そうだぎゃっちゅーね~」

Yaorochi: "That 'rock-paper-scissors' was quite interesting. I can hardly remember seeing anything like it."
Sukune: "It reminded me of tou-hachiken, nyo!"[2]
Yaorochi: "It seems that the Outside World's culture has developed quite differently from ours, yes. I heard that they still have to use special tools to shoot bullets out there, too."
Sukune: "They don't have special powersh like spiritual power or mana either, do they? That must be sooo inc'nvenient! How d'they even live like that?"
Yaorochi: "They have their own way of life, just like us. There are as many ways of life as there are human beings... Things are no different for those of our kind, either."
Sukune: "Hm...? Something 'bout that sounds strange, nyo?"
Yaorochi: "What about it?"
Sukune: "That cheesy line of yers jusht now... I feel like I've heard it before, nya? Or maybe I'm imaginin' thingsh..."
Yaorochi: "...Your memory is hardly reliable, after all."
Sukune: "Ahaha~, y'sure are right about that!"

 結局、宿禰はその引っかかりの原因を思い出せなかった。
 余り記憶力に自信がなかった宿禰は、失くした記憶を
 わざわざ掬い取る気にはなれなかったのだろう。
 その失われた記憶こそが、
 この異変を引き起こした原因であったのだが・・・



 宿禰が思い出せなかった情景。
 目の前の妖怪に似た瞳を持つ顔、似た台詞を発する口元。
 宿禰が思い出せなかった名前。
 『徒雲』という響き、『蛇』と言う単語。
 宿禰が思い出せなかった姿形。
 『蛇叢剣の器』の依頼者であり設計者でもある者の姿と格好。

In the end, Sukune couldn't remember just what it was that had given them pause.
They didn't have much confidence in their recollective ability, so they probably didn't feel like putting in the effort to dig up something that they'd already forgotten.
Despite the fact that the very memory they'd forgotten had been the reason the whole incident started...


That scene, which Sukune had failed to remember.
A face with eyes resembling those of the youkai sitting before them, and a mouth from which a similar comment had come forth.
That name, which Sukune had failed to remember.
A name with the pronunciation "Adagumo," and with a character meaning "snake".
That figure, which Sukune had failed to remember.
The form and attire of the one who had both commissioned, and designed, the "Vessel of Tasouken".

 ―――闇夜に染まる无現里、
     帳の奥に存在する異変の裏と影、その正体
      今宵、夜道を駆ける一人の飲兵衛が
       異変の全貌の違う側面に触れる―――

---Mugenri, cloaked in the darkness of night.
  The true form of the shadow hidden behind the veil of the incident.
   On this night, a single drunkard running down the moonlit road
    would encounter another side of the incident as a whole.

  1. "蛇足" (lit. snake legs) is a somewhat common Japanese phrase used to refer to extraneous or superfluous things; snakes do in fact have vestigial leg bones left over from the process of evolution.
  2. Tou-hachiken (藤八拳) is an Edo-period game of chance similar to rock-paper-scissors.