NOTE1: This is translated from the web page version, so it is slightly different from the book version.
NOTE2: I will not translate the whole book, only the chapters that were available via the web.
NOTE3: NOT PROOFREAD. Please ignore any bad wording/grammer
That day, I chose to take the main street to go home. It was just on a whim, a very rare thing for me to do.
When I was walking midst the buildings I see everyday, someone came crashing down. A wet crushing sound that you will normally never hear. It was obvious that the person died after falling off one of the buildings. A crimson color spreads across the ground. The only thing that’s left noticeable was the dark black hair, and the thin, white, weak-looking arms and legs… And the smashed up face. The whole scene was surrounded by the old summer, and it reminded me of a pressed flower that has flattened out from being in between a book.
… Probably, because the corpse which had only its neck broken looked like a broken lily to me…
1.Overlooking View (Thanatos) -Fujoh Kirie-
On the night at the beginning of August, Mikiya came by without any notice.
“Good evening. You look lazy as always, Shiki”
The sudden visitor stood by the door as he gives a boring greeting with a smile.
“To tell you, I just saw an accident on my way here. A girl jumped off of a top of a building, it’s a suicide. I heard it’s happening quite recently but I never thought I’d see one myself. Here, put this in the fridge.”
He throws me a plastic bag of a convenience store as he unties his shoes by the door. Inside are two strawberry Haagen dasz. I guess he means I should put them in the fridge before they melt.
While I was slowly checking out what’s inside the bag, Mikiya has taken off his shoes and has already came inside.
My house is a room in a mansion. If you go past the hallway which isn’t even a meter long, you get to the room where it’s both my bedroom and my living room. While glaring at Mikiya, who is quickly making his way to my room, I follow him.
“Shiki. You skipped school again today, right? I don’t care about your grades, but you won’t be able to pass unless you get the reuired attendance. Did you forget about our promise to go to college together?”
“Do you have the right to order me around about my school? First of all, I don’t remember that kind of promise, and you’ve already dropped out of college.”
I glare at Mikiya as I say so. He looks downcast while trying to come up with words.
“… Uh, if you say rights, there aren’t any rights for anybody, but…”
Sounding sophisticated, Mikiya sits down.
He tends to let out his true feelings when he’s on the defence… it’s something I recalled just recently.
Mikiya sits down in the middle of the room. As I sit down on the bed behind him, I lay my body across it. Mikiya still has his back turned to me. I thoughtlessly look at Mikiya’s back, which is a bit small for a being a guy.
This man named Kokutoh Mikiya seems to be my friend from back in high school.
In the rapid age full of youngsters which many things get famous and goes away quickly, Mikiya was a rare person that kept an image of a student.
He doesn’t dye his hair or let it grow long. He doesn’t get a tan or wear accessories. He doesn’t carry a cell phone or play around with women. He is around 170cm or so. His kind-looking face is more on the cuter side and his huge black glasses makes that feature stand out even more.
Even though he is dressed normally and he’s out of school, he might look good enough to catch a few people’s attention if he actually dressed nicely.
“Shiki, are you listening? I saw your mother. You should go visit your house of Ryohgi at least once. I heard that you haven’t even contacted them since you got out of the hospital two month ago.”
“… I don’t care. It can’t be helped cause I can’t really take in the fact. We’ll just feel more distant even if we see each other. I still feel weird talking to you, so there’ll be no way I’ll be able to keep up a conversation with those strangers.”
“Geez, things won’t get any better if you keep acting like that. You’ll be like this forever if you don’t open up your heart to them. It’s not right for a family to live so close together and yet never talk to each other.”
I frown at those words.
He says “not right”, but what exactly is “not right”? There’s nothing illegal in what’s happening between me and my parents. It’s just that the child has gotten in an accident and lost all memories. We are proven to be a family under the law and by the papers, so I’d assume there’s nothing wrong in between us.
… Mikiya always worries about how other people feel. Although I think that’s just pointless…
Ryohgi Shiki is my friend since high school.
Our school was a famous private high school which taught a lot of students who went to a good college.
When I first went to see if I got in the school or not, the name Ryohgi Shiki stood out so much that it stuck in my head and we ended up being in the same class. Since then, I became one of the few friends Shiki had.
Our school did not have uniforms, so everyone expressed themselves by how they dressed. Within all these people, Shiki still stood out.
… Because Shiki would always be wearing a kimono.
It’s simple form fit Shiki’s shoulders and it made the classroom feel like a old-stlye house just by having Shiki walk through it. Some of the students had a rocker-style outfit, but in front of Shiki, such an outfit had less value to it than the first edition of the magazine “STYLE”. I think this is enough to explain what kind of a person Shiki is like.
Shiki’s face was also too perfect.
The hair is beauiful like silk, and it is cut with sissors lazily and kept like that. But it becomes a perfect short hair that is long enough to hide Shiki’s ear, which suits Shiki so much that many people mistaken Shiki’s sex. Shiki looks so handsome that when a man looks, they see a woman, and when a woman looks, they see a man. Shiki looks more valiant than beautiful.
But more than Shiki’s looks, what captivated me the most were Shiki’s eyes. They were sharp yet delicate, and it came with thin brows. It felt like Shiki was seeing what we were unable to see with those eyes, and that is what everything Shiki meant to me.
Until Shiki ended up like that…
“Suicide by jumping off something. Would that be considered an accident, Mikiya?”
Mikiya gets himself together to that meaningless rant. And he seriously starts thinking about the question.
“Hmmm, I’m sure it’s an accident… but you’re right. I wonder what that is. Since it’s a suicide, the person is dead. But as long as it is that person’s will to do so, the blame is only on that person. But since falling from a high place is an accident…”
“It’s not a murder or an accidental death? That’s ambiguous. They should pick a way so they won’t trouble others if they were going to kill themselves.”
It seems my words angered Mikiya a bit as he takes a glance behind him towards me.
“Shiki, it’s not nice to talk badly about dead people.”
His voice is not to scold me, but it is said in a plain tone. I saw that response coming a mile away.
“Kokuto, I hate your common sense talk.”
Naturally, my response gets a bit harsh. But it doesn’t seem like he cares at all.
“Wow, its been a long time since you called me like that.”
I call him in two ways: Kokuto and Mikiya. I didn’t like the sound of “Kokuto”… although I don’t exactly know why.
In that small silence that formed during my pondering, Mikiya claps his hand as if he remembered something.
“Oh, on the note of something that’s rare, my sister Azaka saw it.”
Not understanding what he’s talking about, I make a frown.
“It’s that thing. The girl of the Fujiyoh building, the one they say is flying around. You said you saw it too once.”
Oh, I remember now.
From around three weeks ago, in the sky above an expensive mansion in the office district, a human-like form could be seen. The fact that Azaka saw it too must mean it really does exist.
After I was in a coma for two years after that accident, I was able to see things that were “not supposed to be there”. As Touko would put it, I am not seeing them but rather observing them. In other words, it seems that I am able to perceive at a higher level with my eyes and brain, but I don’t care about all the explanations.
“The thing at the Fujiyou building, I saw that thing a few times. But I haven’t been around there for some time, so I don’t know if it’s still there.”
“I see. I go by there a lot but I never saw it.”
“You can’t see it cause you’re wearing glasses.”
“I don’t think glasses matter”, frowns Mikiya.
His reaction is so warm and pure. That’s probably why it’s harder for him to see those kinds of things.
But boring incidents keep on happening like people falling and flying. I don’t understand the meaning behind all that, so I question out loud.
“Mikiya, do you know why people fly?”
Mikiya shrugs at my unexpected question and answers in a normal tone.
“I don’t know why they fly or fall, because I’ve never done such things before.”
On the night at the end of August, I decided to take a walk.
The air is a bit cold for the end of a summer. The last train has already left and the town is quiet.
It’s cold, quiet, and old, just like a dead city. Even the passer-by seems so cold and so artificial like photos. It reminded me of an uncurable disease.
… disease, illness, sickening.
Everything, the unlighted houses, the lighted convenience store… everything seems they would crumble down if they let their guards down.
In it all, the moon shines through the night.
In this world where everything is dead, it seems like the moon is the only thing alive, and it hurts my eyes.
… That’s what I mean by sickening
When I left the house, I put on a black leather jacket on top of my light blue kimono.
The kimono gets trapped inside the jacket and burns my body.
But it’s still not hot… no, rather…
For me, it was never cold to begin with.
Even though it’s midnight, you will see some people if you take a walk.
A man hurrying down the street with his face down.
A young man pondering in front of a vending machine.
Many people that hang out in front of the convenience store.
I tried to figure out what reasons they had for being there, but I never did figure it out being just an outsider.
First of all, there was no meaning behind myself walking out late at night.
I’m just repeating what I used to do before.
… Two years ago.
Me, called Ryohgi Shiki, was about to head up to the second year in my high school when I got in an accident. I was carried straight to the hospital.
I heard that my body didn’t get any serious wounds, but the the damage was concentrated in my head.
Since then, I was in a coma.
Maybe because my body was uninjured, the hospital kept me alive, and my meaningless body also tried to live on.
And finally, about two months ago, Ryohgi Shiki recovered.
I guess the doctors were so shocked as if a corpse has come back to life. I see, that tells me how much they expected my recovery.
And myself too, I was shocked for another reason.
My memory up to now was a bit weird.
To put it simply, I cannot trust the memories I have.
This is different from memory disorder, or rather what people usually call amnesia.
According to Tohko, memory is composed of four systems that the brain operates: Writing, saving, replaying, and recognizing.
“Writing” is taking what you see and writing it into your brain as information.
“Saving” is to keep that information stored.
“Replaying” is to recall the stored information. In other words, remembering.
“Recognizing” is to confirm that the information recalled is the same as the event that actually occured.
If one cannot perform any one of these processes, they have a memory disorder. Of course, depending on which system is disfunctional, the case of memory disorder will vary.
But it my case, all these functions are working properly. I can’t really feel my previous memories as my own, but the function of “recognizing” is working properly as I can tell that the memory is indeed the same as what I’ve experienced before.
But still, I could not be confident about my previous self. I could not feel that I am who I was.
Even if I do remember my memory as Ryohgi Shiki, I can only recognize the memory as someone else’s. Even though there’s no doubt that I’m Ryohgi Shiki…
The two years of emptyness has reduced Ryohgi Shiki into nothing.
Not what the society thinks, but it has caused what’s inside of me to crumble into nothing. My memory and the personality I should have had… the connection was utterly destroyed.
With that being the case, my memory became nothing but an image.
But because of that image, I am able to act like I used to. I can communicate with the people I knew and my parents as the Ryohgi Shiki they knew. But without any concern for my real feelings.
To be honest, that troubles me so much that I can almost not stand the pain.
…… It’s just mimicry
I’m not living at all.
Just like a newborn baby. I don’t know anything and I haven’t experienced anything. But the memory of the past eighteen years has made me into a complete human.
I already have the emotions people originally learn from experiencing many events as my memory. But I have not actually experienced them. But even if I wanted to experience them, I already know about them. There is no amazement nor feeling of being alive.
… Just like not being able to be surprized by a magic which you already know the trick to.
And just like that, I continue to act like I used to without feeling that I’m alive.
The reason is simple.
Because if I do so, I might be able to return to my previous self.
Because if I act like that, I might figure out the reason to why I take these walks late at night.
… Oh I see.
Then I guess you could say that I am in love with my previous self.
Looking up after noticing that I have walked a long way, I find out I am in the office ditrict.
Buildings of the same height are standing side-by-side along the road in a well-mannered fashion. The surface of the buildings are filled with glass windows, and they are only reflecting the moonlight right now.
In the darkness, the large mirror created by the buildings are reflecting each other’s figures indistinctively.
It’s a quiet night tonight.
The group of buildings by the main street is like a world of shadows that the monsters roam around in.
Deep in it, there is a shadow taller than the rest. That building like a twenty-story high ladder looked like a tower reaching for the moon.
The name of the tower is Fujiyoh.
There are no lights on in the mansion called the Fujiyoh building. The residents are probably all asleep. Probably because it’s almost two in the morning.
At that instant, an uninteresting shadow catches my eyes.
A silhouette of a floating human form comes into my vision. Not as a figure of speech, but the girl is really floating.
There is no wind.
The coldness in the air is abnormal for summer.
The bone in my nape creaks from the coldness.
Of course, it’s just my illusion.
“I see. So you’re here today too.”
I don’t like it, but I can’t help what I can see.
And just like that, the girl we were talking about is flying as if she is lying on the moon.