Tsukiyasha 4 – Joujou Gento
CV: Toriumi Kousuke
Thank you Nurie for your commission!
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.
You weren’t in your room… Why did you come out to the mountain in the dark?
Without carrying a lamp? If you want to think, then do it in your room.
There’s going to be a snowstorm soon. Go back to the mansion.
Hmm? Why did you look down all of a sudden?
It’s no good apologising for what happened this evening.
It was also my fault for not telling you anything. I should have told you about the great divide between humans and yasha much sooner.
I’ll tell the other yasha everything in the morning and come up with a plan to begin the war sooner. There’s nothing for you to do. Stay in the mansion and behave yourself.
The wind has gotten stronger. Let’s go back now.
What? What exactly have I misunderstood?
Ah… I certainly did say that I wanted to protect the yasha instead of killing humans. But it’s true that I despise humans. You’re not misunderstanding anything. I didn’t hesitate for a moment when I killed those men earlier.
Killing people because I want to protect the yasha makes me less of a bad person? What a simple way of thinking.
Let me tell you this. From the beginning, there hasn’t been any justice or evil. Yasha drink the blood of humans in order to survive. It’s only natural for humans to fear that, despise the yasha and try to kill them.
But the yasha have to fight back in order to keep on living. Humans and yasha are destined to kill each other.
No matter how unfortunate you think it is, this won’t change for hundreds or even thousands of years. It’s nothing that can be solved now.
Do you still want to say something?
So that’s what it is?
Right… When I was a child, I didn’t hate humans like I do now. Back then, quite a few of my friends were human. I think the villagers loved my parents too. However, when the shogunate came to the village after receiving a secret report and accused us of being yasha, no one tried to save my parents. No matter how much they had promised to trust us, it was all meaningless.
Humans and yasha definitely cannot get along with each other.
Humans pretend to be kind, but in the end, they only care about protecting themselves.
It’s as you say. It’s true that no one could have defied the shogunate, but I think humans who let friends that have lived with them get killed for that reason are worthless. I don’t want to feel like that again.
It’s started to snow, has it?
Come on, let’s go.
We’ll be in trouble if we don’t get back to the mansion before the snowstorm starts.
You came out wearing those thin clothes? How ridiculous.
You don’t know what an unforgiving place this snowy mountain is.
What were you going to do if I didn’t come and look for you?
I’d be in trouble if you froze to death. Don’t do anything ridiculous like that again.
I’m fine. I’ve been drinking your blood often recently. It seems that my strength as a yasha is greater than before. I don’t feel the cold so much now. I probably won’t get any foolish illnesses like a cold again.
The wind has become a lot stronger. Walk right behind me. If you slip…
Damn it! The lamp went out?
Hey. Hurry up and come over here. Otherwise…
I just told you…
Hey. Are you alright?
Where are you? It’s too dark to see anything.
Where are you? Call out more loudly.
So this is where you were. Are you hurt?
I don’t know. I can’t tell where we are without the lamp.
Anyway, we’ll keep moving, even if it means feeling our way with our hands.
We really will freeze to death if we stay here.
We won’t be able to get back to the mansion if we can’t see where we’re going.
We have no choice but to spend the night here.
Yes, keep on apologising. No matter how much you apologise, it won’t be enough.
My goodness. You’re a genius when it comes to causing trouble.
If you’re aware of it, then change the way you think. My strength won’t last if things like this keep on happening to me.
Your voice is trembling. Are you feeling that cold?
Come here. You shouldn’t feel the cold so much if I hold you like this.
Your hands are as cold as ice. Are you alright?
I can’t put up with this silence in the middle of the darkness. There’s still a long way to go until morning. Talk about something. If there’s something you want to ask me, then that’d be fine.
What? The other yasha, hmm?
That’s right. You should probably know something about them.
Kirinosuke was a Koga  ninja. Aside from ninjutsu, he is also good at making medicines. He knows a lot about the workings of the human body.
Shirou  was travelling throughout the whole country on a pilgrimage to spread the knowledge of Christianity. Because of that, he has an extraordinary knowledge of many different things.
Reiga is Ainu , so he is familiar with Hokkaido. When I arrived at the Reimeikan after the Battle of Hakodate, he was already living there.
Misao was a police officer working for the government, so he knows human society well.
Hayato is well informed about the underworld of human society.
Yasha probably all look the same to humans, but they are just as unique as humans.
No, I don’t particularly like them. It’s just your imagination.
We’re not what you would call “good friends”. I can trust them, but we don’t get too involved with each other.
What is it?
What? Why are you asking the reason?
I’m holding you like this because I’d be in trouble if you died.
What other reason could there be?
No. I’m not doing it to protect you. I’m doing it to protect the yasha.
You didn’t like the answer I just gave you?
Then what was the answer you were expecting from me?
Did you want me to tell you that I was keeping you alive for a more personal reason?
Don’t depend on me. Why do humans always cling to someone else?
At the very least, you shouldn’t expect that from a yasha like me.
I don’t have any special feelings towards a human like you.
What is it?
Your ice cold hands reached around my back. Then you held me as tightly as you could. Inside the deep darkness, all I could hear was the sound of your heartbeat. For a while, your words came out little by little.
“I’m trying to understand what you think of me. However, I can’t consider you as being distant from me just because we’re from different races.”
As I listened quietly, your feelings became greater.
You then called out to me in a tearful voice.
“When my parents died and I came to Hokkaido, I thought my sorrow would break me. But since coming to the Reimeikan, I’d completely forgotten about it. I think that was because I’ve always been by your side. When going to town. When having dinner. Before going to sleep at night. No matter what the reason you stayed by my side was, I’d forgotten that I was alone because you were there.”
So what about it? You understand too, don’t you?
I had to stay by your side for the sake of the yasha. What’s so wrong with you being lonely?
Humans and yasha can survive alone. I’ve lived alone since my parents died.
I’m not asking for anything from anyone. I just want to protect the yasha in Japan as it is the duty that comes with being born into the Joujou family. That’s the only thing I want.
What is it?
I can’t see the expression on your face in the dark. So how did I know you were looking at me so intently?
Your straightforward gaze went right through me. I wonder where that strength comes from.
You said “If you’ve forgotten your emotions, then all you have to do is get them back. I don’t expect you to trust humans again right away. But if yasha and humans can talk to each other, then there must be a way to compromise. So I think you and I just have to get to know each other better. So will you please trust me? I promise that I’ll never betray you, no matter what happens.”
“I promise that I’ll never betray you.”
I felt as if I’d heard those words somewhere before and remembered them as I absent-mindedly stared at the darkness. Those were the words my mother said to my father a long time ago.
That’s right. My mother never betrayed my father. The feelings that had been imprisoned in my memories began to release themselves.
Yes… I was always looking at them from behind and thinking that I wanted to be like them one day.
When I was younger, I wished for that deep inside my heart.
Trust you, hmm? It’s easy enough for you to say that.
Tell me. How are you going to prove that you won’t betray me?
You’ll always stay by my side?
Ah… I certainly did say I had no plans of letting you escape. But do you know how hard it will be for you to do as you say?
If I am hunted down, then you’ll end up getting caught too. As long as you stay by my side, you’ll be in danger for the rest of your life.
You’re trying to say that you’ll never leave my side from now on, no matter what happens?
Don’t agree so easily. I’m sorry, but I cannot return the feelings that you want. Making that kind of promise won’t be any good for you.
What? Talking together often doesn’t necessarily mean that feelings will develop. How can you always think of such positive things? Even if they do, what will you want after that?
A world where yasha and humans can live together? Are you an idiot? Do you really think you can create a world like that?
Where does all that confidence come from?
Living together, hmm…
Fine, I’ll try to trust you for once. Don’t forget the words you just said though. Use your life to prove that you won’t betray me. Then I might feel something for you.
 Koga is an ancient school of ninjutsu (a type of martial art practised by ninja) which is said to have existed since the 1500s.
 In Japanese history, Amakusa Shirou was a Catholic who led an uprising against the shogunate.
 The Ainu are indigenous people of Japan who were historically resident in Hokkaido.
Hey. How long are you going to sleep for? Wake up now.
You’ve been asleep for a whole day since we returned to the mansion. You really do sleep a lot.
You don’t even know where you are right now?
You’re in my room, of course. You’ve come here plenty of times before.
Never mind that. Eat this.
Don’t seem so surprised. As you can see, I’ve made some sukiyaki. Hurry up and eat it.
Why do you look so confused?
It’s especially important to eat when you don’t have an appetite.
I put in green onions because you like them so much. Your body should warm up a little if you eat this.
You’re no good at waking up.
Open your mouth. I’m going to feed you.
What? You’re so fussy.
There you go. Eat it.
I made it. Of course it’s good.
Eat the rest by yourself.
Hey. Show me your forehead.
I’ll check your temperature.
Hmm… It’s better than I expected it to be.
So it shouldn’t matter if I treat you a little roughly.
Hayato taught me that the other day. He called it “dekopin” . It’s pretty lethal, isn’t it?
You’re lucky that was all you got. I wanted to give you a few more.
It would’ve been easy since you were fast asleep. Just who do you think waited until morning and then carried your heavy body all the way here?
Listen carefully. Don’t do anything foolish like going into the mountains on the day of a snowstorm again. If you can’t see what the weather is going to be like, then don’t go outside at night. If you’re going out, then tell me first and bring a lamp or something with you. You should watch your step from now on too. You keep falling down the slopes because you don’t do that. You don’t even realise how clumsy and weak you are anyway!
You should know yourself before you try to do something. Try and put yourself in the shoes of the person who’s always rescuing you. That’s all.
Why are you laughing? You should be feeling sorry. Are you even sorry at all?
This is the first time I’ve cooked something for a human. It felt better than I thought it would. I hope that I seem to feel something for you now.
Do you remember what I talked about yesterday?
I tried to understand your feelings. I certainly was prejudiced against humans and didn’t try to understand their feelings. Of course, I’m not thinking about getting to know all human beings. But now I think that I could get to know you, the person who is by my side.
If you’re that persistent, then I can try to compromise with you a little.
Hmm? You still haven’t had enough sleep?
I see. You really do like sleeping.
Never mind. Just go to sleep and get your strength back.
Hey. Make some space next to you. I want to sleep for a while too.
Of course I am. This is my room.
Be quiet. I’m in a better mood than I usually am.
This is unusual for me. Don’t ruin my good mood by saying no.
You’re too far away.
It doesn’t matter if I hold you, does it? We were like this all last night. You were as cold as ice back then, but now I can feel your warmth.
It’s strange. When I’m like this, I don’t feel like drinking your blood at all. Lying here like this feels much better.
That’s right. It’s not just warm, it feels hot. It’s not so bad though.
Now that I’m lying down, I feel tired. I couldn’t let myself fall asleep in the middle of that cold weather, you see. It’s your fault that I didn’t get enough sleep.
Don’t make me worry too much again.
No… You don’t have to apologise anymore. I already gave you a dekopin too, you see. I won’t as you to apologise again.
 Dekopin refers to flicking someone’s forehead with the tip of your finger.
I heard the wolves howling just now… It seems like something has happened.
I see. So the Meiji government is already here? This is sooner than I thought it’d be.
I’m surprised you’re here. I see you’ve got enough determination to climb this snowy mountain in middle of the night.
However, I cannot let you get near the Reimeikan. There’s something I have to protect. I’m going to get rid of you right here!
So the government’s dogs are all small fry. You shouldn’t think that’ll be enough strength to beat the yasha!
Just how many of them are hiding here?
So that’s all of them?
Why’d you leave the mansion? Don’t come over here!
Is this really the time to worry about me? The government are coming to hunt down the yasha. If you get discovered now, then they’ll come after you too!
It’s dangerous right now, so go back to the mansion quickly! Otherwise…
Just stay back…
My chest… I got hit in the wrong place again… If only I’d just been hit on my arm instead.
Why are you holding out your arm?
Ah… For me to drink your blood?
If I had been a pure yasha, then I would have recovered a little more.
Come to think of it… There’s something I’ve been keeping from you all this time…
I haven’t told any of the other yasha about it either.
I’ve always said that I hated humans, but there is human blood running through my veins too.
I’m a child of two different races. My mother was human and my father was a yasha.
My parents lived among humans before because my mother was human. It should have only been my father who was hunted down. However, my mother was also killed as a punishment for living with a yasha.
The reason I caught a cold, ate the same food as humans and why it is meaningless for me to drink your blood is because I’m half-human.
So it doesn’t matter anymore. I probably won’t get better, even if I drink your blood. I always hated myself for being incomplete. So I abandoned the human side that I hated and decided to live as a yasha.
However, it’s not so easy after all.
This reminds me that I’m human.
When we went to the town together and we saw the child of a Japanese person and a foreigner, you said that child might become a bridge between Japan and other countries.
To tell the truth, there was a time during my childhood when I dreamt of that too. That’s because I was a child who didn’t have a desire for blood. I didn’t know anything about how difficult things were.
I remembered that dream because of what you said to me. I can’t do anything now though.
No, it’s already too late. I’m probably going to fall into a long sleep now.
Everything will be over. I wasn’t able to do anything in the end.
Don’t say such stupid things. It might have some effect if I drink more blood, but I could end up killing you if I do that.
If that happens, then the future of the yasha will be even more uncertain.
I can’t kill you here. I’m the only one who should die.
I’m not sure… It happened in an instant, so I don’t really remember it.
However… At that moment, I probably would have protected you whether you were Himiko’s descendant or not.
At the very end, I was able to feel something for humans again, just like I did in the past. That’s been enough salvation for me. I’m glad I met a human like you again.
Small flakes of snow fell from the sky. Your face, which I saw directly above me, had faded into the darkness and couldn’t be seen clearly. Drops of water fell onto my face. I hoped that cold sensation was snow. I wonder why it is that I don’t want to see your tears anymore.
Amidst the spreading silence, I faintly heard your voice.
“Even if I keep on living, that won’t bring an end to the fight between humans and yasha. So you shouldn’t die. I’m sure you’re the only one who can change this world. Please drink more of my blood. The two of us might be saved.”
I wonder if this world really will change if I survive.
A world where humans and yasha can live together. There is almost no possibility of that happening. However, as you say, it’s a paradise that only I can create. I’ve been made to realise that. If I still have time, then would I be allowed to count on that small wish?
You always tell me such honest things.
You say things that are simple, yet puzzling. However… That might be why I have the impression that I can make my dream come true.
Will you…give me some blood?
Tell me right away if it starts to hurt. I don’t want to lose you.
The blood from your lips tastes sweeter than any of your other blood. This is the first time I’ve desired someone else’s blood like this. I don’t think I would’ve felt this way if it hadn’t been you.
It’s strange. Even though I never cared about you at all…
Your lips… Your neck… Your small ears…
I wish I could keep them all to myself. You’re so dear to me that I can’t bear it.
This is the first time I’ve heard your voice sound so beautiful… How do you make me feel like this? Although I thought I’d be able to live alone forever… Now I can’t bear the thought of losing you.
Hey. Are you alright?
Your strength is at its limit. I really shouldn’t go any further…
How can you sacrifice yourself like this? You must know that drinking any more blood from you would be dangerous. So why don’t you try and stop me?
You don’t have to say anything else. The feelings you tried to tell me are probably the same ones that are flowing through me.
If I say them out loud, I’ll feel as if I’ve been betrayed by you again if you really do die.
I told you to stay by my side, didn’t I? So don’t die like this.
That’s right. I can’t die until I hear those words myself.
The both of us, hmm? We certainly will say those words to each other.
I’m going to believe in you. So you believe in me too.
I hope the both of us will wake up.
If we do, then I’ll feel as if I can regain a little of my happiness.
Ah, it’s you. How are you feeling?
I see. I’m glad to hear that.
Me? My wound still hurts a little.
It should heal soon though. There’s no need to worry.
What is it?
No… The police officers won’t come to hunt for yasha at the Reimeikan again.
After we lost consciousness, Kirinosuke realised what was happening and made some fake bite marks on my neck.
Then he pretended to be a human when the other officers turned up and told them everyone lying there had fallen victim to the yasha. So they won’t attack this place again. Don’t worry.
By the way, did you want something?
Ah… You’re right. There wasn’t any food left when I looked in the kitchen earlier.
We’ll have to do something then. Shall we go into the town?
I’ll take you there, so get ready quickly.
No, I’ll come too. There’s something I want to see.
Ah… We need to buy some food for the goldfish too. There’s one more fish now, so we need more food than before.
Hmm… That’s right. I didn’t tell you before. When I was returning home after seeing the doctor, the goldfish seller was there again, so I bought another one.
There’s no particular meaning to it. Keeping one fish in the bowl on its own just seemed a little dull. Two goldfish are better than one, aren’t they?
Humans and yasha are the same. It’s easy for them to live alone. But since I began spending time with you, I realised that was something lonely. It’s happier to live with someone else supporting you. Aren’t goldfish the same?
You’re smiling so much that it’s almost annoying. Your cheeks look like steamed buns.
You’ve got so many different expressions. I never get tired of seeing them.
Come on. We’re going shopping, aren’t we? Let’s go before it gets dark.
It’s warm today. So spring is already here?
There’s something I want to tell you.
I’m not going to start a war now. I was always trying to make a paradise for the yasha, but now I’ve found a different paradise. It’s the world that you told me about, one where yasha and humans can live together. Becoming a bridge. An ideal that only I can achieve. Now I’m going to make an effort towards achieving that.
As you said, I’m going to start by getting to know other humans. So I want you to show me the human world. I’ll go down into the town and see many different places. Will you show me what humans feel and what their expressions are like?
I’m counting on you.
Come on, take my hand. Don’t let go of my hand, not even when we go into the town. It worries me that you might disappear somewhere as soon as I take my eyes off you.
No, that’s no good. You’re going to stay by my side the whole time.
Ah. There’s one more thing. Tell me what you were going to say that night.
Don’t be embarrassed. What did you want to say about me?
Yes. I feel the same way too.
I love you.
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