Tsukiyasha 4 – Joujou Gento
CV: Toriumi Kousuke
A commission for Nurie. Thanks for commissioning me!
So you’re finally awake, are you?
It seems that you’ve been asleep for quite a long time.
Let me see your face.
You’re a descendant of Himiko ? You’re a plainer woman than I thought you’d be.
This room is filled with a strong scent. There’s no way that I’ve got the wrong person.
Or are you just playing dumb?
Ah… That’s right. You recently lost your parents, didn’t you?
I’ve heard almost everything from Kirinosuke. In that case, you really might not know anything.
Hey. I’m only going to say this once. Listen carefully.
This is the Reimeikan, deep in the snowy mountains of Hokkaido. This place is home to six yasha, including me. Yasha are demons who drink human blood to survive. The blood of the Himiko clan has always been something special to the yasha. It strengthens their blood and ensures its survival. In recent years, the blood of the yasha has weakened and their existence is under threat. That’s why we need you now.
You can deny it as much as you like, but the scent of blood on you must be real. There’s no doubt that you’re a descendant of Himiko.
You’ll give up soon and accept that this is real, won’t you? You’re going to stay here and feed us until you’re dead. Do you understand?
Be quiet. Don’t overreact. I hate noise.
You should keep quiet unless you want your throat cut…
Let me say one thing. Don’t try to kill me or the other yasha.
Yasha are many times more perceptive than humans. A slight injury won’t be enough to kill them and unlike humans, they don’t suffer from illnesses.
You’ve got such a ridiculous look on your face.
I thought a descendant of Himiko would be more intelligent and sensible.
Never mind. I’m going to test your blood. I’m interested in what it’s like.
Hey. I won’t be able to bite you if you tremble like that. Relax.
I don’t mind either way, but it’ll only make it hurt more.
Ah… I see. It tastes awful, but it’s as rich as I expected. It certainly is different from animal blood. Just drinking it is enough to make my body feel like it’s burning.
I really can’t get used to the taste of human blood. I’ve had enough for today.
Don’t worry. I don’t plan on killing you. I’d actually be in trouble if I didn’t keep you alive from now on. Unlike the other yasha, I dislike the taste of human blood. It makes me feel so sick that I’m not interested in drinking enough to kill someone.
What is it? You’re asking about me?
My name is Joujou Gento, the only surviving member of the Joujou family, who has ruled over the yasha for generations.
Listen carefully. You will keep on making blood for the yasha until your life comes to an end.
Your blood is necessary for the creation of paradise.
You’re already trying to escape from the mansion… How troublesome.
Hey. Did you think that there wouldn’t be anyone keeping watch? There’s no way that would be possible. These wolves are always watching you.
The Joujou family has always had the ability to command wolves. No matter what happens, they will not disobey my orders. You will not be able to escape from us, no matter how much you struggle. You should have known that the moment you were kidnapped.
You can go now.
Come on, get up quickly.
Hmm? You’ve hurt your leg?
You made me come to get you in the middle of this bitter cold and now you can’t walk because you’ve twisted your ankle?
You haven’t even been at the mansion for a single day. I’m surprised you’re causing this much trouble already.
It won’t hurt if you don’t think about the pain. Walk by yourself.
It’s no good? What a pathetic woman.
You’re so heavy. What have you eaten to make you this heavy?
Don’t struggle. Whose fault do you think it is that things turned out this way? It’s yours.
It’s not as if I want to be carrying a big dumpling like you in the middle of this snowstorm, where I might even trip over.
Stop shouting! You really are annoying.
Will it help if I sew up your mouth, then rip off your arms and legs?
Although it’s for the sake of the yasha, the thought of associating with this woman from now on is too much.
I’m not going to lock you up in the mansion. If you behave yourself and do as I say, I’ll take you outside into the town. When your injury heals, we have to go out and buy food for you. Until then, just eat whatever you can find in the mansion. Understand?
 Himiko was a queen in ancient Japan, from 189AD-248AD.
I’m coming in.
How is your leg? I think it should have healed by now.
I see. I’ll take you into town now then. Come on.
You need to get ready?
Kirinosuke threw away all your other things, didn’t he?
You don’t have any other clothes to change into, so what could you be doing?
If you need to go to the toilet, then hurry up and do it. I’ll wait one minute for you.
What? Why should I choose my words carefully for you?
A toilet is a toilet. Don’t expect that kind of consideration from me. I’ll be waiting at the entrance, so make sure you’re done in one minute. Understand?
How long are you going to be out of breath like that? Don’t you have enough strength to walk down the mountain?
You should be able to go up and down the mountain easily once you get used to it. It’ll be good exercise for your round body.
So you’ve got enough energy to glare at me? That’s good.
We’re going to get some food first. Choose anything you like from this shop.
Not just for one person. For two people. Buy some for me too.
That’s right. Starting from today, you’ll be cooking for me too. Use the kitchen however you like. There should be some cooking equipment there.
No, the others won’t eat anything. Just make some food for me. I don’t need breakfast. Lunch and dinner will be enough.
The time… Right… I’ll have lunch at 1pm, and dinner at 8pm.
Come on. If you understand, then hurry up and choose something.
Don’t keep me waiting when it’s cold.
Wait. You don’t need to buy green onions. Those aren’t food.
If you insist on buying them, then do it for yourself and keep them out of my sight. I hate how they smell.
Hmph. So what if they’re good for me? In that case cabbage, carrots, ginger and wild vegetables are good for me too.
Eating those will be enough. I shouldn’t have to buy food for you anyway.
You’re still going to buy them? What an awful woman.
Never mind. We’re going over there next.
Now we’re done shopping for food. Tell me when it runs out. It’s a bother, but I’ll go with you until you remember the way.
Shut up! It’s not a cold. All I did was sneeze.
It’s cold today. Let’s hurry back to the mansion.
Hmm? Why did you stop walking?
Ah… A goldfish seller, hmm.
It can’t be… You want one?
Why do you want that fish? It won’t taste good.
You’re going to keep it as a pet? What use will that be?
Hmph. You’re saying that little fish will make you feel better?
Fine. If you insist, then I’ll buy you one.
Hey. Give me one of those goldfish. A bowl to keep it in too.
Yes. Put the goldfish in that bowl. I’ll take some fish food for the time being too.
You’ve got the money, haven’t you? Hurry up and pay for it.
Come on. Carry it yourself.
Your hands are full with vegetables?
I don’t have a choice then. I’ll carry it.
This is your goldfish. You take responsibility for it.
However, I’m going to keep this goldfish in my room.
Of course I’m not going to take care of it.
Do you think that I decided to keep it on a mere whim?
If I keep it in my room, then you’ll have to come to my room everyday to take care of it. I was just thinking that going to your room to drink your blood all the time was a bother. I’ll drink your blood when you come to take care of the goldfish.
Make sure you come to my room everyday, so the goldfish doesn’t die.
Hmm? What is it?
What? What do you mean “treat it carefully”? A strong bowl like this one wouldn’t break so easily.
Ah, I see. Living things die when you treat them roughly.
I understand. I’ll be careful. I’m sorry.
Why are you surprised?
It’s fine if it’s nothing.
Right… I’ve just remembered one more shop I’d like to visit. Wait here for a while.
I’m done. Let’s go back to the mansion.
Yes, I bought a sharpening stone.
You’re so simple-minded. It’s not for sharpening a knife, I bought it to sharpen a sword.
Right… This is a good opportunity for me to tell you something. You’ll end up finding out eventually, you see. When winter has passed and spring comes, we will wage war against the humans. The six yasha who live in the Reimeikan will gain control of the humans in Hokkaido, and make this a world where the yasha rule. That’s the reason for the war.
We will first take control of Hokkaido, then gradually advance south. We will eventually be able to control the whole of Japan. We will kill anyone who tries to oppose us. We will only let those who follow us live. We don’t care about the will of humans.
Why? What a foolish question. It’s because that is the paradise we desire.
You’ve heard about the Battle of Hakodate , haven’t you? At that time, I found out that the new government, the current Meiji government, had begun to hunt the yasha. Since the time of Himiko, humans have exposed the yasha and executed them without question. As a result of that, the numbers of yasha keep on decreasing. The yasha cannot be allowed to be oppressed any longer. So although I know it is an impossible fight, I have conspired against the former shogunate.
Yasha are much more powerful than humans. I’m no exception. I wanted to kill the whole of the Meiji government, but all the killings I’ve done have made people fear me and given me the name “Snow Demon Assassin”.
At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before people find out that I’m a yasha. I have had to leave the front lines and keep myself hidden away. The former shogunate were defeated, but I still want to destroy those in the Meiji government who support the hunting of the yasha.
However, there are not enough yasha to oppose the Meiji government. We’d be outnumbered and have to admit defeat. Taking control of towns and prefectures is possible though. With the intelligence and strength of yasha, controlling the whole of Japan is more than just a dream.
Don’t say such idealistic things. The yasha will constantly be oppressed unless they cause humans pain. Humans like you who have lived peacefully probably wouldn’t understand.
Don’t worry. I won’t kill you. Of course, I won’t let you commit suicide either. Your life belongs to us, the yasha. Don’t forget that.
 The Battle of Hakodate lasted from December 4, 1868 until June 27, 1869. It was fought between the remnants of the shogunate and the armies of the new imperial government.
Hmm? Oh, you’re here.
I was in the bath. What are you doing in my room?
Ah… The goldfish, hmm.
Do you enjoy looking at that thing?
Yes… It’s probably a cold.
Of course I’m not alright. Just whose fault do you think it is that I’ve got this cold?
It’s your fault, of course.
It’s your fault for running away on the first day and making me walk through the snowy mountains at night.
My health has been gradually getting worse since then. What are you going to do about it?
It’s true that yasha don’t usually suffer from illnesses, but there are some exceptions.
Hey. Just who was it that made me push myself too hard?
Instead of doubting what I just said, why don’t you apologise to me first?
Yes, that’s right. Be sorry for what you’ve done. You should also go and get some cold medicine from Kirinosuke tomorrow. Don’t say anything about me catching a cold, tell him it was you. Understand?
I’ve got no intention of answering your useless questions. Be quiet and do as I say.
Shut up. I told you that I’m not alright.
Come to think of it… I might feel a little better if I drink your blood. Yasha can recover more quickly if they drink human blood when they’re badly hurt. So it might work on this kind of illness too.
Your hair is in the way. Make sure you tie it up when you come to my room.
The bite marks from before haven’t faded yet. So they last longer than you’d think, hmm?
It tastes awful… It doesn’t seem to be having any effect.
Yes, I actually feel even worse. You’re a useless woman.
Never mind. Just go already. I’m going to bed.
Hey. It’s already 8pm. What happened to dinner?
It’s almost ready? Hurry up. I’m hungry.
Bring it to my room as soon as it’s done.
What is it?
Hmm? I should eat here? What did you make?
Ah… Hot-pot, hmm. I suppose I’ve got no choice then.
Hey. Are you going to eat too?
How disgusting. Even eating from the same pot as the wolves would be better than eating with a human.
It tastes pretty bland. The vegetables are still hard too. I’ve decided that dinner is at 8pm, so you should prepare it in time.
And what is this? Why did you put green onions in this hot-pot? I’m sure I told you to keep those out of my sight.
As if I care about that! I’m not going to eat green onions, whether they’re good for colds or not. My cold has already been better for a while now. So don’t tell me to have something meaningless like green onions!
What on earth is this hot-pot supposed to taste like anyway? I can’t taste any flavour at all.
Miso ? It doesn’t taste like that at all.
Don’t disagree with me. If you think having a cold affected my sense of taste, then couldn’t you have made something with a stronger flavour to begin with?
The pieces of tofu and vegetables are all random sizes. You haven’t cooked for a man before, have you? If you had cooked for a man before, then I’m sure it wouldn’t taste this bad.
Hey. Don’t get depressed because of something like this.
Right… The next time you cook hot-pot, try making sukiyaki . There’s no way that could end up tasting bad. Then I’ll eat it again.
Yes, sukiyaki is the tastiest food in this world. I always want to eat it when winter comes around.
As for the restaurants around here… I like the sukiyaki at Matsudaiya. You should try it once and learn what the flavour is like. I’ll compliment you if you make something which tastes exactly like their sukiyaki.
Hmm? What’s the matter? Is there something on my face?
What is it then? If you’ve got something to say, then make it obvious.
Don’t say strange things. I’m a yasha. Why do you think I’m like a human?
I caught a cold because you pushed me too hard.
Because I’d been confined to the mansion for a while before you came, I’d become a little weaker. But if I drink your blood and get my strength up, then I won’t be bothered by that ridiculous illness again.
Eating food is just an interest of mine. Yasha sometimes eat for their own enjoyment. I just happen to eat often. So it cannot be said that I’m like a human.
Yes, that’s how it is. Never mind that, the green onions are in the way! What if the other vegetables end up tasting like green onion? They’ll probably be inedible!
Be quiet! Having them inside the pot is bad enough!
What have I done wrong? It was you who decided to put them in the pot, so you should take responsibility and eat everything by yourself.
My goodness. What a pointless thing to do.
I had no choice about eating it. It tasted awful, but I shouldn’t waste food. Make some better food next time.
Why do you look so happy?
Ah… Now that you mention it, I probably haven’t eaten with anyone else for a long time either. Eating with a human makes me feel bad though. Anyway, I’m surprised that you can take food from the same pot as me now.
Did you feel as if you were eating with another human? I may look no different from a human, but I’m a yasha. Our differences begin with the fact that we are a different race. If you think about it, we don’t have the kind of relationship that would make us eat from the same pot. You should think more carefully before you act. Or didn’t you consider that you might catch my cold?
What? Be quiet. I was fine a moment ago. But I started feeling sick again because I ate hot-pot with green onions. It’s your fault.
If I passed my cold onto you and you got a high fever, your empty mind might improve a little.
How can you be sure you won’t catch it just because you ate green onions? Do you worship green onions or something?
It’s fine. I’m full now. I’ll go back to my room.
 Miso is a seasoning made from fermented soybeans.
 Sukiyaki is a hot-pot style dish made from vegetables and thinly sliced beef, cooked in sugar, soy sauce and rice wine.
Who is it?
Oh, it’s you. Come in.
Have you come to feed the goldfish again?
Come to think of it… Haven’t we almost run out of food?
You probably used up most of it for yesterday’s hot-pot.
I thought so. I’ll go with you in the morning, but you should learn the way soon and become able to find your own way down the mountain. It’d be troublesome for me to keep accompanying you.
What? The goldfish food has run out too? It’s quite a hungry goldfish.
I’m surprised you can keep taking care of it without getting bored though. What’s so interesting about that fish?
It doesn’t seem cute to me at all. To be honest, I’ve become tired of having it in my room.
It annoys me when it splashes around just as I’m about to fall asleep. I even thought about throwing it out the window.
Well, it’s not my goldfish, so I don’t care what happens to it.
I’ll understand what makes it cute if I feed it?
Hmm… Give that to me.
Oh… Ah. It ate the food.
Ah… Hey. Aren’t you going to have some more? There’s still some food stuck there.
Look! It’s over here.
This won’t be enough to break the bowl.
I said it’s over here!
Don’t hold onto my arm! Let go!
Ah… Hey! The goldfish is wriggling about!
It’s going to die like this. What are you going to do?
Stop jumping about! The water will splash everywhere!
Forgive me, goldfish. I didn’t do it on purpose.
Ah, you’re back.
The floor is covered in water because of you. What are you going to do?
That’s not true. It’s because you pulled my arm! This wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t done something unnecessary.
No, it’s your fault. All your fault.
I suppose it is partly my fault. I’m sorry.
Why are you smiling?
Unexpected? What do you mean? Even I know the difference between right and wrong.
I’m suddenly feeling tired.
However… I understand that this fish is somewhat interesting. Watching it eat isn’t so bad. I’ve changed my mind about throwing it out the window for now.
Well… A lively fish like this one probably would make you feel a little less lonely.
Ah… You haven’t forgotten why I bought that goldfish, have you?
I told you I would drink your blood when you came to my room to look after the fish, didn’t I?
Come over here.
You can clean the floor later. I’m going to drink your blood first.
I’m still feeling weary after recovering from my illness.
Come on, bring your neck closer to my mouth.
Hmm? That’s strange. Your blood seems sweeter than the first time I drank it.
Hmph. Could it be that you’re beginning to trust me?
It would be strange if that were the case. Humans and yasha cannot get along with one another. Not a shred of emotion is necessary either. Abandon those foolish feelings.
Love between humans and yasha only brings misfortune.
Come on, show me your shoulder next.
Ah… When your blood tastes this sweet, drinking it isn’t so bad.
Hmm? So it feels different depending on where I drink from…
Then show me somewhere else I can drink from. I’ll see what kind of reaction you’ll have. Its taste doesn’t really matter, but there’s no harm in your blood becoming a little sweeter.
Come on, come closer to me.
Did I say you could refuse?
You’re food for the yasha. Do as I say if you don’t want to get hurt.
It looks like my body is more used to your blood than before. At this rate…
What are you doing? Make sure to hold yourself up. You’re heavy.
I had forgotten that your body needs to get used to this too.
It’ll be no good if you become anaemic this quickly. You need to build up your strength.
Hey. I’m finished for today, so go back to your room.
You can’t move? I’ll have to do something about that then.
My goodness. How many times will I have to carry you like this?
Listen carefully. I need to be able to drink more of your blood. So you should hurry up and get used to it. I can’t build up my strength by drinking the blood of animals.
There will be a war in spring. I don’t have much time.
Hey. Are you listening?
You sleep really deeply.
Love between humans and yasha? How ridiculous.
You just wouldn’t wake up, so day has already turned to night.
Did you forget that we were going down into the town today?
We’ll make it just in time, but it won’t be long before the shops close.
This won’t happen again.
Hmm? Ah, that’s right.
The types of people in town at night certainly are different. That’s because there are more people going somewhere like the theatre at night.
No… Things like that just remind me how times have changed. It seems that Japanese people are having relationships with foreigners now.
What? You think that’s wonderful?
What makes you think that it’s wonderful? Tell me.
How would a child born to two people from different races know about a world that’s unfamiliar to us? You’re just having strange delusions.
At the very least, saying a child like that could change this era is expecting too much.
That’s true… A child like that might make Japanese children interested in foreign culture. But the opposite could happen too.
They’ll become like a bridge linking Japan with other countries? You say some strange things.
It’s useless to think about that. It’s nothing more than an empty dream.
I’m sure that child will eventually become disconcerted by himself, as he is neither a Japanese person nor a foreigner. He might even end up despising his parents. That’s how a child born from two different races is. He will eventually begin to hate himself. Isn’t it impossible for someone like that to become a bridge between two things? You don’t understand anything, do you?
Some things just don’t come true, no matter how hard you wish for them.
Anyway… No matter what you say, it’s only a matter of time. Children can laugh happily like that, but the day when they hold darkness within their hearts will eventually come. Happiness doesn’t last forever.
This pointless conversation doesn’t matter. Hurry up and keep walking.
Hmm? What is it?
If you weren’t feeling well, then you should have said so sooner. You’ll be causing trouble for me if you collapse. From now on, if you don’t feel well, then you should tell me before we go down the mountain. I don’t want to climb the snowy mountains while carrying you again.
We’ll go back to the mansion after we rest a little.
What? The food for the goldfish?
Fine. I’ll buy it, so you just sit there and behave yourself. I’ll be back soon.
Hey, I’ve got it now…
I told her to stay here. Where did she go?
I don’t think she tried to run away again.
Hmm? Is she an idiot?
Why is she surrounded by those men?
Hey, you. I’m sorry, but she’s with me. Could you let her go?
You stay back!
What are you doing? Let go!
Why did you stop me?
One of them escaped! Just what were you thinking?
Be quiet! I don’t want to hear your excuse!
Someone already called the police officers?
We’re leaving! Come on!
Damn it. We’re in trouble now.
What do you mean “why”?
Our lives were almost in danger. We would have been killed!
What? It seems that you’ve completely misunderstood.
Although those men certainly didn’t start talking to you with the intention of killing you…
Anyway… I didn’t kill them because you were in trouble.
They grabbed you by the collar of your kimono, didn’t they? I clearly saw the bite marks on your neck at that moment. They noticed too.
If I had let them live, then they would have secretly informed the Meiji government that a yasha was living in this town. Naturally, the Reimeikan would end up being investigated too.
One of them escaped because you stopped me. I’m sure I would’ve been reported in secret whether or not the officers came here right away. What will you do if the yasha become hunted again? All the yasha living in the mansion might be killed.
Never mind. It’s too late for you to be sorry. The Meiji government will definitely come to look for us.
Whether it’s possible to change the outcome of the investigation all depends on luck. But I know of an occasion when that wasn’t possible.
It happened to my parents. They were unable to escape and were killed by those who were hunting the yasha.
The way you think that yasha see humans is quite naïve. I’ll tell you a story of the hostility between yasha and humans.
It was more than ten years ago. My family and I lived among humans. We hid the fact that we were yasha. So we were able to live peacefully for a while.
However, when I turned ten, I remember that I had the urge to drink blood for the first time. One of the other villagers saw me secretly drinking the blood of an animal. He reported me to the shogunate and the whole village became a hunting ground.
I’m alive now because my parents helped me escape. However, my parents were unable to escape and were killed.
It’s strange, isn’t it? We lived in the village for at least ten years without any trouble. Because we didn’t do anything to hurt the humans, you see.
However… We became a target just because someone said we were yasha. My parents were killed just because of the fear that we might do something.
You asked why I recklessly kill humans, didn’t you? You should realise that I don’t kill humans because I hate them. I just want to protect the yasha.