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A Beautiful Flower Blooming Violet Every Sixty Years

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六十年ぶりに紫に香る花 A Beautiful Flower Blooming Violet Every Sixty Years
 無縁塚の風は、少し前から止んでいた。風が吹かなくても暑く感じないのは今の季節だけである。あと一ヶ月もすれば暑くてやっていられなくなるだろう。風は止んでいたが、それでもここの桜は花びらを散らすのを止めなかった。音もなく、静かに散っていく。何を散り急いでいるのだろうか。そんなに早く散ったところで、土に還るのに掛かる時間から見れば一日や二日なんて一瞬でしかないと言うのに。

The wind at Muenzuka had just stopped. Even without any wind, it was a season that offered up no warmth. It would probably be warmer in about a month. The wind had stopped, but flower petals still scattered about in the air here. They softly fell to the ground without a sound. Whatever could they be rushing towards, in falling like that? The day or two it would take for them to return into the earth after having fallen so quickly would be gone in the blink of an eye.

   
 私は、この花の異変に浮かれた幻想郷もやっと元に戻るのだろう、程度にしか思っていなかった。それもその筈、この様な花が咲く異変は別に珍しい出来事ではない。過去に何度も見てきた事なのだ。いや、見てきた筈なのだ。だからまだ生まれて間もない人間達が大騒ぎしているのを見て、滑稽であり愛おしいとも思えた。

I haven't thought about the flower incident that has been raging about Gensokyo except to reflect that it would come to an end eventually. Besides, it's not as if an incident such as this where flowers bloom out of control is that unusual. I've seen it happen many times in the past. Or, rather, I've probably seen it. So, watching the humans who had never seen such an event in their short lives raising such a fuss over it was amusing and endearing.

   
「あら、今度は何よ。『あんた』が出てきて……。花が元通りにならないのは私の所為じゃないわよ?」 "Oh, what is it this time? If you've shown up... It's not my fault the flowers haven't gone back to normal, you know?"
「あら霊夢じゃないの、って誰も貴方の所為だなんて言ってないじゃない。どう? 毎日善い行いは積んでいるかしら?」 "Well, if it isn't Reimu. When did anyone blame you for this? Haven't you been spending your days piling up good deeds?"
 霊夢は「何よ、あんたまであいつみたいな事を言うのね」と言って、桜を眺めていた。ところで、あいつ、って誰の事かしら? Reimu replied, "Geez, even you're starting to sound like her now." and gazed at the cherry blossoms. Whoever could she be talking about?
「で、霊夢が無縁塚までやってくるなんて珍しいわね。ここの桜より神社の桜の方が、ずっと華やかで綺麗なのに……」 "It's certainly unusual for you to come this far to Muenzuka. The cherry blossoms at the shrine are much more beautiful and brilliant than the ones here, you know."
「別に桜が見たくて来る訳じゃないの。私はこの花がいつ散って、いつ元に戻るのか確認に来てるんだから」 "It's not like I came here to watch the cherry blossoms. I just wanted to see when they'd fall, and how long it'd take for them to turn back to normal."
 霊夢は桜を見て、まだまだ散るのに時間が掛かりそうね、とため息をついていた。無縁塚に咲く『紫の桜』は罪の念が咲かす後悔の花。今回は、心なしか六十年前のあの時より桜の花の量が多くなっている様に見える。 Reimu watched the blossoms fall, and sighed when she realized that it would still take some time, even as fast as they were scattering. The violet cherry blossoms of Muenzuka are flowers of regret that are made to blossom by the leftover sins of the departed. It seems like there are more flowers falling now than they were at that time sixty years ago.
   
 そう、確かに今回の花の異変と同じような異変は、六十年前にもあったのだ。いやそれどころか、百二十年前にも百八十年前にも、それより遥か昔にも……同じような異変が起きていた筈だ。 Yes, sixty years ago there was a flower incident just like this one. Well, that's not all, either. 120 years ago, 180 years ago, and so on into the past... This same thing has surely happened.
 六十年より昔の出来事は、昔過ぎて既に記憶の欠片も残っていない。かろうじて六十年前の異変の記憶が残っているだけだった。 Sixty years ago is already so far into the past that most fragments of memory from that time have been swept away. I can only barely remember that incident from sixty years ago.
「私はこんなに忘れっぽいたちだったかしら?」 "Have I always been this forgetful?"
「何をブツブツ言いながらふらふらしているのよ。ボケ老人みたいよ?」 "What are you stumbling around mumbling on about, anyway? You're just like a crazy old lady."
「そうね。呆けているのかも知れないわね」 "Yes, maybe I am going crazy."
「いや、認められても返事に困るんだけど」 "You know, I really didn't want you to agree with me."
   
 霊夢はそれだけ言うと、何の気の利いたことも言わずにあっさりと去っていった。それを見て私は、霊夢は既にこの異変の原因に気付いている、と確信し、ちょっと安心した。 Having said that, Reimu left without bothering to follow it up with anything more tactful. As I watched her go, I guessed she already realized what was behind this incident, and was put at ease somewhat.
   
 私は、紫の桜が音もなく散るのを見ながら、六十年前の記憶が急速に消えていっている事を実感していた。六十年経ったことでこうなる事は理屈では判っていたが、実際に味わうと若干の不安を覚える物である。ただ、全ての記憶が消えるわけではない。『記録』に残っている出来事だけを残して、その他の『記憶』が消えていくのである。 As I watched the violet cherry blossoms fall silently, I became aware of my rapidly fading memories of the incident from sixty years ago. I knew what was happening because something like this had happened sixty years ago, too, but recalling the sensation as it happened made me uneasy. Still, it's not as if all memory of the incident would vanish. Any events left to "the record" would remain, but any other "memories" would begin to fade.
 記録に残っている出来事。それはすなわち歴史と言うことである。六十年を境に残っている物は歴史だけとなり、歴史という物は非日常を集めた物である。ちなみに非日常時は時間が止まるのである。それ故に、六十年前より昔は時間が止まっているのだ。それを言い換えれば、時間の進む日常の寿命は六十年であると言う事である。六十年前の記憶が消えていくのは、日常に寿命が来たからである。 Events left to the record. In other words, history. Anything that passes the sixty-year boundary becomes mere history, and history is a collection of unusual events. Time grinds to a halt during these unusual events, and this is why time practically stops at points past more than sixty years ago. Or, to put it another way, what is "ordinary" has a normal lifespan of about sixty years. My memories of more than sixty years ago vanishing means that the death of their "ordinary" qualities is at hand.
 では何故、その周期が六十年なのか。六十年前にも同じ事を考えて結論が出た様な気がしたが、私にもボケが来たのかちょっと思い出せなかった。滑稽かつ愛おしい人間達は、何故六十年なのか理解しているのだろうか。 But, why is that cycle sixty years? I thought about this sixty years ago and I have the feeling I came up with a theory, but perhaps due to the onset of a senility I can't remember what it was. Why do those lovable, ridiculous humans understand things in terms of sixty years?
 ちょっと巫女の他の人間がどうしているか気になったので、人間達が居そうな場所を覗いてみる事にした。 I started wondering what some of the other humans were doing, so I decided to go take a look at the places where other humans were likely to be.
   
「うわ! 誰だ? どうやってここに来た? って『あんた』か」 "Whoa! Who's there? Why are you here? Oh, it's you."
「どう? 魔理沙。六十年よ? 理解しているかしら?」 "Well, Marisa? It's been sixty years. Do you know what that means?"
「何だよ、突然家の中に現れておいて禅問答か? 本当に姿も中身も神出鬼没だな」 "What the heck? You show up in someone's house all of a sudden and start quizzin' them? Guess your mind really is as random as your appearances."
   
 魔理沙の家は、魔法の森の奥にある。魔法の森は花が咲くこともなく、いつも通りの不気味さを見せていた。ここは時間が止まることはない。それはすなわち、ここには歴史が無いと言うことの裏返しである。 Marisa's house is deep within the Forest of Magic. There were no flowers blooming here, so it was blanketed in the same ominous aura of mystery. This is not a place where time could stop. In other words, it is an upside-down world where history does not exist.
「あら、随分と色んな花を集めているのね」 "Oh my, that's quite a bouquet you have there."
「ああ、こんなに花が咲くことも珍しいからな。今のうちに一番見事な花を集めていたんだよ」 "That's because it's so weird for flowers to bloom like this. I've just gone around gathering up the best flowers."
「そう、貴方には珍しく感じるわよね」人間にはこの花の異変は珍しく感じるだろう。六十年という月日は、人間には少々長すぎる。 "Yes, you'd think it's unusual, wouldn't you?" Humans would think an incident like this is unusual and rare. Sixty years is a little too long for them.
「何か言い回しがおかしいがまあいい。で、六十年がどうしたって?」 "Somethin's odd about the way you're saying that... But whatever. Anyway, what's up with this sixty years thing?"
「六十年後には貴方は何をしているかしら?」 "I was just wondering what you'll be doing in sixty years?"
「あと六十年か。生きているのか判らんな。お前みたいな妖怪じゃないんだから」 "In sixty years? I don't even know if I'll still be alive. I'm not a youkai like you."
「何故六十年に一度、花が咲くのか判る?」 "Do you know why the flowers bloom like this once every sixty years?"
「六十年に一度? 竹の花のことか? そうだなぁ、後の五十九年は咲くのをサボっているからじゃないのか?」 "Once every sixty years? Are you talking about bamboo flowers? That's 'cos they're slacking off from blossoming the other fifty-nine years, right?"
   
 魔理沙は何の気の利いたことも言わなかったので、私は少し落胆し次の人間の元を訪れる事にした。森は日常しか存在していなかった、言い換えれば普通しか存在していないのだ。今回のような異変が理解できなくても仕方がない。 Marisa didn't have anything else intelligent to say, so I went to visit the next human, feeling a bit dejected. There is only normal, everyday life in the forest - or, to put it into different words, nothing is unusual here. It's only natural that she'd have no idea about what's behind an incident such as this.
   
「あら、『貴方』 どこから入ってきたのかしら?」 "Oh, it's you. How did you get in?"
「どう? 咲夜。六十年よ? 時を扱う貴方なら判りますよね?」 "Well, Sakuya? It's been sixty years. Someone like you with power over time would know, right?"
「って突然言われてもねぇ……」 "What do you expect me to say to that...?"
   
 ここは湖の畔にある紅魔館、紅い悪魔の棲む家だ。その派手な壮観は幻想郷には不釣り合いだったが、此処ほど自己で完結している場所も少ない。内部は、外の影響を受けず、反対に外に影響を与えることも余りない。咲夜はそこで働く人間のメイドだった。 This is the Scarlet Devil Mansion on the shores of the lake, the home of the Scarlet Devil. Its gaudy appearance clashes somewhat with the rest of Gensokyo, but there aren't many places that seem so complete by themselves, either. From the inside, you can't see anything outside, and from the outside it's almost impossible to get a glimpse of the interior of the mansion. Sakuya is a human who works here as a maid.
「騒がしいわね、ここは。いつもこんななのかしら?」 "It's awfully noisy here. Is it always like this?"
「今は花が見事なので、みんな少し陽気なのです」 "Everyone's a little excited because the flowers are blooming so splendidly."
「建物の中にいたら、その見事な花も見えないでしょう?」 "But you can't see those splendid flowers from inside this building, can you?"
「実は、切り落としたバラの花も再び花を咲かせているのです。そんなことが起これば、それは陽気にもなるでしょう」 "As a matter of fact, some roses we'd trimmed a while back have started blossoming again. Anyone would get excited over someone like that."
「バラも生き返ったのね」 "Even the roses are coming back to life, aren't they?"
「バラも、って、他に何が生き返ったのかしら?」 "Even the roses? Has something else come back to life?"
「ところで、何故六十年に一度、花が咲くのか判る?」 "Incidentally, do you know why the flowers bloom like this once every sixty years?"
「六十年に一度? 何の花の話でしょう?」 "Once every sixty years? What kind of flower does that?"
「今起こっている花の異変は、六十年に一度、繰り返して起こる異変なのです」 "This flower incident right now is something that repeats itself once every sixty years."
「そうなの? そんなこと、あの人は言っていたかしら? で、何で六十年に一度なの?」 "Oh, really? Didn't she say something like that? Well, why is it, then?"
 あの人、って誰の事だろう。ちょっと気になったがそれより今は目の前のメイドをからかう方が優先だ。 I wonder who "she" is. I'm starting to get a little curious, but first it's time to play with the maid here before me.
「それを貴方に問うているのです」 "That's what I'm asking you."
「そうねぇ。花の異変を起こした犯人が、五十九年寝込むくらいコテンパンにやられたからじゃないかしら?」 "I see. It must be because whoever's the culprit behind it is beaten so badly they have to sleep for the other fifty-nine years."
   
 咲夜も何の気の利いた事も言わなかったので、私はまた落胆し次はあの子の元を訪れる事にした。あの子が難しい事を理解しているとは考えにくいが、性格が真っ直ぐ故にたまに面白いことを言うのである。その子は、死んだ後の者が住まう国に住んでいる。 Sakuya didn't give any indication of knowing about this incident, either, so dejected once again I went to call on that girl. It's hard to imagine she could understand anything complicated, but she's very straightforward, and she says amusing things. That girl lives in the land where people go after they die.
   
「あれ? こんな昼間から珍しいですね。幽々子さまならお昼寝していますよ。きっと」 "Hmm? It's unusual to see you here in the daytime. If you're looking for Lady Yuyuko, I'm sure she's taking a nap."
「いいえ。今日は妖夢に用事があって遙々冥界まで来たのです」 "No. Today, I wanted to see you, Youmu, so I came all the way to the Netherworld."
「何か、嫌な予感がしますね……」 "I have a bad feeling about this..."
   
 冥界。顕界と空気の温度が違う。だが、今はそれよりもっと見て判る違いがあった。 The Netherworld. It has a totally different feeling about it, compared to the world of the living. But at the moment, there were much more readily obvious differences.
「あの世はそれ程まで花が咲いていないけど……今、この世は花が凄いことになっているって気付いていたかしら?」 "There aren't nearly as many flowers blooming here on the other side... Did you know that the flowers are blooming magnificently in the world of the living now?"
「ええ、勿論気付いています。幽々子さまは特に何も言いませんが、ちょっとおかしいと思って一人で調査に出たりしていました」 "Yes, of course I did. Lady Yuyuko hasn't said anything in particular about it, but I thought it was a little odd, so I went to investigate a bit."
「あら、偉いじゃないの。でもね、その花の異変について何故幽々子が何も言わないのか、は気にならないのかしら?」 "Oh, aren't you something? But didn't you wonder why Yuyuko didn't say anything about this flower incident?"
「ええまぁ……。ただ、いつも何も言わないですから……幽々子さまは」 "Well, yes... But, she never says anything about anything, so... "
「あら、幽々子に言いつけちゃおうかしら? 妖夢がこんな事言ってたって」 "Hm, I wonder if I should tell Yuyuko you said that?"
「ああ、いえいえ冗談ですってば!」 "Oh, no, no, I was just kidding!"
「ところで、何故六十年に一度、幻想郷に花が咲くのか判る?」 "Incidentally, do you know why the flowers bloom like this every sixty years in Gensokyo?"
「唐突ですね……。六十年に一度、うーん、何処かで聞いたような気もします」 "That's a strange thing to ask all of a sudden... Once every sixty years... Hmm, I think I've heard that somewhere before."
   
 冥界は気持ちの良い風が吹き、既に完全に散った桜の枝を揺らしていた。桜は散って緑色に染まる事で初めて生を感じさせる。今の幻想郷と比べれば、冥界の方がずっと生を感じさせるというのは皮肉だろうか。 A pleasant wind blew through the Netherworld, making the bare branches of the cherry trees sway back and forth. The cherry trees were colored a faint green now that their blossoms had fallen, giving the impression of a new life beginning. I suppose it's somewhat ironic that compared to Gensokyo in its current state, the Netherworld felt much more like a place of life.
「って、六十年に一度という言葉を何処かで聞いたような気がしただけですね。まさか、六十年に一度今回の様な異変が起きているのですか?」 "...But I don't know much more than that. Don't tell me something like this happens once every sixty years?"
「あら知らなかったの?」 "Oh my, you didn't know?"
「私はそんなに昔から生きてはいませんから」 "I haven't been alive that long, so... "
「今も生きてはいないでしょう?」 "But you're not really alive now, are you?"
「ああ、そうですね。六十年前はまだ生まれていませんから、六十年に一度花の異変が起こる、って言われてもそれは知らないです」 "Well, I suppose you're right. I hadn't been born sixty years ago, so I wouldn't know anything about a flower incident that happens once every sixty years."
「ではもう一度問います。何故六十年に一度、幻想郷に花が咲くのか判る?」 "Well, then I'll ask you again. Do you know why the flowers bloom like this once every sixty years in Gensokyo?"
「判らないって言っているのにー」 "I already told you I don't know anything..."
   
 妖夢も駄目か……。やはり人間は――妖夢は半分だけ人間だけど、長く生きていないだけあって知識も経験も浅い。とっさの質問に対して、面白い事の一つも言えない。僅かに残された六十年前の記憶には、当時も同じ質問を人間にしたという記憶もある。その時人間はどう答えたかなんて事は記憶に残っていない。でも、何となくもっと優れた答えを返してきた気がする。 So Youmu's no help, either...? Really, humans are so... Well, Youmu's only half human, but she hasn't lived all that long, so she's somewhat lacking in knowledge and experience. Nobody said anything interesting about the question of the moment. In my faint recollection of what happened sixty years ago, I can remember asking humans the same thing at the time. I can't remember anything about how they responded. I seem to remember being more satisfied with their answers, though.
   
 それは、時間が見せる錯覚だろうか。我々妖怪に流れる時間は、人間の間で流れる時間より非常にゆっくりと流れる。それでもやはり、少しずつ記憶の中の過去は美化していくのである。それは人間であれ妖怪であれ、あらゆる生き物にとって、生きていく事は辛いことの積み重ねだからである。過去を美化出来ていないと「あの時はもっと悪かった、それに比べれば今は幾許か良い」という諦めの念が支配するようになり、生き物は悪い方へ進んでしまうだろう。過去が美化していく事は、生き物が長く生きるために必要な事であり、これを持ち合わせず何時までも過去の悪かった所しか見ていない者には未来がないに等しい。 That's probably just nostalgia coloring my recollection. Time flows much more slowly for us youkai than it does for humans. Unsurprisingly, we have much fonder memories of times past. This is probably because both humans and youkai, indeed all living beings, live out their lives in a series of harsh experiences. Living creatures who can't do this become controlled by a sense of resignation since everything that has happened in the past was so much worse than the present, so they probably tend to see everything as bad. Being able to look fondly on the past is a necessity for the long of life; those who are unable to do this and always think that what's happened in the past was bad essentially have no future to look forward to.
   
 私は庭掃除をしている妖夢と別れたが、答えの分かっているだろう幽々子に質問しても面白くないので、幽々子には会わずに冥界を後にした。 I left Youmu to her gardening duties, but it wouldn't be any fun to go ask Yuyuko, who probably knew the answer, so I left from the Netherworld without going to see her.
 私は再び無縁塚に戻り、紫の桜を眺めていた。先ほど、霊夢と会ったときの方が桜が綺麗だったような気がしたが、それも過去を美化する生き物の特性だろう。 I returned to Muenzuka and gazed at the violet cherry blossoms. I had the feeling they were much more beautiful when I was here before with Reimu, but this was probably just my tendency, as a living being, to glorify the past.
   
「ようやく見つけたわ。一体何処に行っていたのよ」 "I've finally found you. Just where did you go off to?"
「あれ? また霊夢じゃないの。さっき神社に帰ったんじゃないの?」 "Oh, Reimu, you're here again. I thought you went back to the shrine earlier."
「なんかね。あんたに聞けば、この異変のことがもっと理解できるんじゃないかと思ってすぐに戻ってきたの。そしたらすでに居なくて……何処に行っていたのよ」 "Well, I thought I'd be able to find out more about this incident if I asked you, so I came right back. But you were already gone... Where did you go, anyway?"
「ちょっと散歩に行っていただけですわ」 "Just out for a bit of a walk."
「散歩って、あんたの場合は一瞬で何処にでも行けるから便利というか、迷惑というか……」霊夢はそう言うと、紫の桜の木の元に座り込んだ。 "A walk? You can go anywhere you want in a flash, but I wonder if that's really convenient or if it's just troublesome..." Saying this, Reimu sat beneath one of the violet cherry trees.
「お疲れ様でした、って何へたり込んでるのかしら? こんな危険な場所なのに。何か私に聞きたいことがあるんでなくて?」 "I suppose I should commend you for your hard work, but should you be so at ease in such a dangerous place? What else did you want to ask me?"
「いや、具体的な質問はないんだけど、この花の異変について何か知っている事があったら教えて欲しいかなと。いや、原因は何となく判っているんだけど……なんか釈然としなくて」 "Well, I don't have any specific questions, but if you know anything about this flower incident I hope you'll tell me. That is, I think I understand what causes it, but... I'm not really satisfied with my answer."
「そう。それでは少しだけ教えましょう。外の世界とこの花の異変の事を」 "Yes. Why don't I tell you a little about it, then? About the outside world, and about our world."
   
 私はあらゆる境界を操ることが出来る妖怪である。その力は、幻想郷も外の世界も、この世もあの世も、人間も妖怪も、夜も昼も関係無しに及び、あらゆる結界を無にする事が出来る。この私が、霊夢に今回の異変のことを教えようと考えたのは、おそらくもう二度とその機会がないだろうと思ったからだ。人間にとって六十年は長い。殆どの人間は、今回の異変を一生の内に一度経験するだけである。今回のチャンスを逃すと、もう二度と目の前の博麗の巫女に教えを説く事は出来ないかも知れない。本来、そう言うことは『適任』が居て妖怪である私がやることではないが、まあ面白そうだったし、ちょっと巫女をからかう気分で外の世界のことと、今回の異変のことを教えた。 I'm a youkai with the ability to control the boundaries between any and all things. This power allows me to remove the boundary between anything: Gensokyo and the outside world, the worlds of the living and the dead, humans and youkai, even day and night. I decided to tell Reimu about this incident because I thought I'd probably never have the chance to do so again. Sixty years is a long time for a human. Most people will only experience an event like this once in their lifetime. If I let this chance get away, I probably won't get another chance to explain this to the Hakurei shrine maiden sitting before my eyes now. This isn't something a youkai such as myself would generally do, but I thought it might be fun, and anyway, it gave me a chance to tease the shrine maiden a little bit, so I told her about the outside world, and the incident that was occurring now.
   
「ふーん。何処まで本当か判らないけど、何か大変そうね。外の世界の人間も」 "Hmm. I don't really understand what's going on, but it seems pretty important. Same for the people of the outside world."
「今年は、外の世界の人間にとって特別な年だったのよ。何故って? 特別な年の六十年後だったからに決まっているじゃない」 "This was a special year for the people of the outside world. Why is that? Because it's the sixtieth year, of course."
「何よそれ。それじゃあ、六十年おきに特別な年が来ちゃうじゃないの」 "What do you mean? Something special happens there every sixty years?"
「来ちゃうのです。というか来続けているのです」 "It is. Or rather, it's in the middle of happening now."
「どうもあんたの言うことは信用できないのよね。外の世界で大きな地震が起きているって? 幻想郷は揺れてないじゃないの。外の世界で津波が起きて壊滅的だって? 地震だって本当に起きたのか信用できないのに。台風と洪水だって? いつから日本はそんなに雨が降るようになったのよ。戦争やそれに伴う非人道的行為だって? それに伴う非人道的行為ってのが何なのか判らないけど、戦争だなんてそんな前時代的なこと……今の外の人間がやるわけないでしょ? だって……外の文明は幻想郷より遥かに進んでいるって。実際にその進んだ文明の道具だってよく店に落ちてじゃないの」 "Somehow I just can't trust what you're saying. Is there a huge earthquake outside, or something? We can't feel it in Gensokyo. Is everything going to be destroyed by a huge tsunami? Not likely without an earthquake. What about a typhoon or a huge flood? Those are just about as common as rain here in Japan. What about a war, or some other man-made disaster? I can't imagine what other disaster could happen, but it seems unusual to think a war would happen right on schedule like that... So, it's not something the humans outside are doing now, right? But... They say that society outside has progressed far beyond us here in Gensokyo. We can even see that from the sorts of tools that fall into that shop here."
「店には落ちてないでしょう。店にある道具は落ちている物ではなく、落ちていた物ですよ」霊夢は納得している様には見えなかった。私ってそんなに信用なかったのか……。 "Come now, it's not like that. They aren't fallen, they've simply been dropped." Reimu didn't seem to take it seriously though. Does she really trust me that little...?
   
「それで、何故六十年に一度、花の異変が起こるのかしら?」 "So then, why does the flower incident happen once every sixty years?"
   
 しまった。私はうっかりしていた。もしかしたら紫の桜が見せる罪深き壮観に呆けていたのかも知れない。私が霊夢に尋ねて愉しもうとしていた質問を、まさか先に霊夢から尋ねられてしまうとは。 Blast. I was careless. Maybe I was distracted by the sinful violet spectacle of the cherry blossoms. I can't believe that Reimu had asked me the question I'd been looking forward to asking her.
   
「そ、そうね。それは別に他の五十九年間花がサボっている訳でも、五十九年間寝込んでいる訳でもないの」 "W-Well... It's not as if the flowers are slacking off or asleep for the other fifty-nine years..."
「そんなことあるわけないでしょ?」 "Of course not, that's silly."
「それはね……」 "Yes, you see..."
   
「あら。こんなところで逢い引き? それとも何かの密約?」 "Oh. A rendezvous in a place like this? Or is this some sort of secret meeting?"
 突然聞こえた声は、そのおっとりとしたしゃべり方で誰の言葉かすぐに分かった。 I immediately recognized the voice that had suddenly sudden interrupted us by its gentle demeanor.
「想像将棋よ。それにしても珍しいわね。幽々子が一人でこの世の墓場まで来るなんて」 "We're playing imaginary shogi. Still, it's so unusual for you to come here alone to the graveyard of the living, Yuyuko."
「想像将棋って何?」霊夢はそう言うと、露骨にやっかいな奴が現れたと言う顔をして、また紫の桜の木の元に座り込んでしまった。 Reimu asked, "What's imaginary shogi?", her concern that someone who's really trouble had shown up clearly written on her face as she sat down again beneath the violet cherry trees.
「将棋って、相手の手を何手も先まで想像して、その中から最善の手を見つけ出す遊びでしょう? だったら、最初から頭の中だけで闘えばいいのよ。実際に駒を置かなくても、あらゆる相手の手を想像して、全てにおいて勝つ自信があるわ」 "In shogi, you try to imagine what moves your opponent will make and pick the very best one, right? So, why not just play the entire game in your head? You don't have to worry about losing pieces, and if you can imagine any move your opponent will make, it gives you a lot of self-confidence."
「何を言っているのよ~。そりゃ頭の中だけで闘ったら、自分が勝つに決まってるじゃないのー」 "What are you talking about? If you just play it all out in your head, of course you're going to win."
   
 霊夢はすっかり戦意喪失してあさっての方向を向いていた。折角、この私が、『何故六十年に一度、花の異変が起こるのか』を教えてあげようと思っていたのに。 Reimu lost all of her fighting spirit and began to face the next battle. And here I'd thought I'd be able to tell her why this flower incident happens every sixty years.
   
「ところで、『貴方』? 今、幻想郷は花でいっぱいみたいじゃないのぉ。これって何故かしら?」 "By the way, you. Gensokyo's all full of flowers now. Why is that?"
「本気で質問しているわけじゃないわよね? 幽々子」 "You're not seriously asking me that, are you, Yuyuko?"
「ううん。一割本気」 "No. Only a little."
「あら、結構本気なのね。六十年前の事、覚えている?」 "Oh my, you're quite serious, aren't you? Do you remember sixty years ago?"
「昨日の晩に何を食べたかも思い出せないのに、ねぇ」 "I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday."
「昨日も六十年前も大差ないでしょう? って、昨日も思い出せないのね。それじゃあ仕方がないわね」 "There's not that much difference between yesterday and sixty years ago, is there? Well, if you can't remember yesterday, I guess it doesn't matter."
「それで、六十年前がどうしたって言うのぉ?」 "Well, what happened sixty years ago?"
「六十年前も同じようなことがあったのよ」 "Essentially the same thing happened sixty years ago that's happening now."
「そうだっけ? 覚えてないわ」 "Oh, really? I can't remember at all."
 そう、私も話しながらどんどんと六十年前の記憶が消えている事を実感していた。 Of course. I was aware of my own memories of sixty years ago fading away even as we spoke.
「何故、六十年に一度、花の異変を繰り返しているのか……」そう言いながら私は必死に思い出そうとしていた。何故だっけ? 六十年前に何が起こったんだっけ? 僅かに残された六十年前の記憶を辿っていた。六十年前に何が起こったんだっけ? 僅かに残された六十年前の記憶を辿っていた。六十年に一度……。 "Why does the flower incident repeat itself once every sixty years..." As I said that, I gave everything I could to remembering what had happened. Why was it? Just what had happened sixty years ago? I wracked my brain for my faint memories of sixty years past. Once every sixty years...
「六十年前ねぇ……。そうだわ! 六十年前大変だったのよ。冥界がいつもの何万倍もの無数の幽霊に占拠されちゃってねぇ。あの時、花は咲いてたかしら? ちょっと記憶が曖昧だけど……ってそう言えば今年も幽霊の量が多いみたいね」 "Sixty years ago... Oh, I remember! It was terrible. The Netherworld was full of spirits, thousands and thousands more than usual. And the flowers were blooming then too, I think? I can only vaguely remember it... Hm, it seems like there are lots of spirits here this year, too."
   
 そう……今やっと思い出した。何故、六十年に一度花の異変が起こるのかを! そして、何故忘れていたのかも思い出した。 That's right... I've finally remembered. Why the flower incident happens every sixty years! And why I'd keep forgetting.
   
「六十年。それは幻想郷の自然が持つ属性全ての組み合わせを、一巡するのに掛かる年月なのよ。昨日の晩に何を食べたのか忘れてしまうような幽々子に教えても無駄かも知れないけど」私は気持ち早口で話した。それは忘れないうちに話したかったからである。 "Sixty years. That's the time it takes for the natural cycles of Gensokyo to run their course one full time. I don't know if there's any point to explaining it to someone who can't even remember what she had for breakfast yesterday, though." I was speaking quickly and excitedly. I wanted to say it before I forgot again.
 思い出してみると何も面白いことはない。だから忘れてしまうのだ。普段から意識していない知識などすぐに忘れてしまう物だ。ましてやこんな面白くもない知識を六十年もの年月も覚えていられる筈がない。 You can't remember anything uninteresting. That's why you forget. Any knowledge that doesn't distinguish itself from what's normal isn't something you'd hang on to. There's no way you'd remember something so uninteresting after sixty years.
 霊夢に目をやった。既に私達の高度な会話には全く興味を示していなく、桜の元で呆然としていた。今の紫の桜は只の桜ではなく、罪の意識が咲かせた桜である。その為、ここで惚ける事はちょっと危険かな? とも思ったが、霊夢に何があろうとそれは自業自得だと思ったので、放っておくことにした。 I looked at Reimu. She'd already seemed to lose interest in our high-level conversation, and was looking on in a daze beneath the cherry trees. These violet cherry blossoms weren't normal cherry blossoms, but were made to bloom by their awareness of sin. I was a little concerned about her spacing out in such a dangerous place, but it would be her own fault if something happened to her, so I left it alone.
   
「幻想郷の自然には、全く干渉の受けない属性が三系統あるの。その三系統全ての組み合わせで自然は全て説明が出来る」 "There are three classes of attributes in the natural order of Gensokyo that absolutely can't be interfered with. All natural things can be explained in terms of these three classes."
「そうなの? 自然の三系統って、何かしら? 桜と桜餅と柏餅かしら?」 "Really? And what are those? Cherry blossoms, cherry blossom rice cakes, and oak leaf rice cakes?"
「惜しいわね。三系統とは、まずお日様とお月様とお星様という一系統。お日様には人を惹きつける絶対的な魅力と、お月様もお星様も消してしまうという傲慢さを持つ。お月様は満ち欠けで自らの姿を変えるところに、協調性と優柔不断さを持つ。そしてお星様は動かない北極星から、動きに惑いを見せる惑星、一瞬だけ顔を見せる流星、と多様性と非協調性を持つ。このお日様とお月様とお星様、三つを併せて『三精』と呼び、それが自然の気質を表す属性の一系統にあたる」 "Good guess. The first of these classes is made up by the sun, the moon, and the stars. The sun hopelessly fascinates everyone to it, and has so much pride that its presence makes the moon and stars disappear. The way the moon changes its shape throughout its phases indicates a cooperative, indecisive personality. And the stars show a very uncooperative nature with all their different forms, from the unmoving north star, to the wandering planets, to comets that disappear in the blink of an eye. Together, the sun, the moon, and the stars are known as the three auras, and they indicate general disposition."
「へえ~。ちょっと話が長くなりそうだから座って良い?」 "Hmmm. It looks like this might take a while, so do you mind if we sit?"
「駄目よ。早く話さないと、私の記憶から消えてしまいそうだもの」 "We can't. If I don't say this quickly, I feel like I'll forget it."
「残念。もう座ったわ。さあ続きをどうぞ。後の二系統は何?」 "That's too bad, I'm already sitting. Please continue. What are the other two?"
「三精の次は、お馴染みの『四季』ね。これは誕生を意味する春、成長を意味する夏、成果と衰退を意味する秋、そして死を意味する冬の四つ。生命の流れを意味する属性の一系統が四季。このくらい幽々子には判るわよね」 "After the three auras come the well known 'four seasons'. These are Spring, which symbolizes birth, Summer, which symbolizes growth, Autumn, which symbolizes maturity and decline, and finally Winter, which symbolizes death. The four seasons symbolize the flow of life. Even you should know that much, Yuyuko."
「じゃーん、桜餅ー。家の戸棚に置いてあったのでこっそり持って来ちゃったわ」 "Ta-da, cherry blossom rice cakes! They were placed in a cupboard at home, so I snuck some out with me."
「そう。そして最後の属性は、物質の属性。形なき激情の火。全てを無に還す水。力強く優しい木。冷たく沈黙の金。そして、全ての物が還る先となる再生の土。この五行が最後の属性の一系統となるの」 "Yes and the final class of attributes are material attributes. Fire, shapeless and passionate. Water, returning everything to nothingness. Wood, strong yet gentle. Metal, cold and silent. And finally, the earth, to which all things must eventually return. These five are the third class of attributes."
「ああ、しまった。お茶を持ってくるのを忘れてた」 "Oh no, I forgot to bring the tea."
「これらの三系統で、気質、生命、物質を表現し、これらの組み合わせで全ての自然を表すことが出来る。そして、その組み合わせの種類が……三精と四季と五行を掛け合わせた数、すなわち六十なのよ」 "So, these three classes of attributes represent personality, life, and material, and you can represent all of nature in terms of combinations of them. And, when you take the number of combinations of the three auras, the four seasons, and the five elements, it comes to sixty."
「さっすが貴方ね。数字に強いわねぇ」 "Ah, that's just like you. You're so good at math."
「この程度の掛け算なんて誰でも出来るでしょう? それとも幽々子にはきついのかしら?」 "Anyone could do simple arithmetic like that, right? Or are you saying it's hard for you, Yuyuko?"
「きついわ~」 "Yes, it is~."
「って、まだ話は終わりじゃないわ。自然は、三系統を独立して順番に回しバランスを取ろうとする。すなわち、日、月、星、日、月……という風に毎年属性を変える、同じように、春、夏、秋、冬……、火、水、木……、と言う風に属性を変えるの。そうするとどうなると思う? 六十年で組み合わせが一回りする事になるのよ」 "Well, that's not the end of the story. Nature maintains its balance by alternating through each sequence separately. In other words, each year we go from sun, to moon, to stars, to sun, to moon, and so on. At the same time, we go from spring, to summer, to fall, to winter... From fire, to water, to wood... Each class changes its attribute. What do you think happens then? You see the same combination once every sixty years."
「それで? 六十年に一度何で花が咲くのかしら?」 "So why do the flowers bloom like this every sixty years?"
「今年は、日と春と土の組み合わせの年なのよ。それは六十年に一度しかやってこない。そしてそれが意味する所は、あらゆる物の再生」 "This year represents the combination of the sun, spring, and wood. That only happens once every sixty years. And together, they represent the rebirth of all living things."
   
 そこまで語った所で、何やら大きな気の動きを感じた。目の前の紫の桜が、脅えるように散っている。その大きな気に気が付いたのか、私の話を全く聞いていなかったであろう霊夢が立ち上がり、辺りを見回していた。 As I finished my explanation, I could feel the activity of a very strong presence. The violet cherry blossoms scattered before my eyes almost as if they were frightened of something. Reimu stood, having probably not listened to any of my explanation at all, but she could probably feel that presence too, and was looking around.
   
「幽々子。この気はあの方の気よね」そう私は幽々子に耳打ちした。 "Yuyuko. This atmosphere... It's that person, isn't it?" I whispered to Yuyuko.
「あの方? うーん、誰かなあ。でも、何となく判る気もする」 "That person? Umm... Who do you mean? I think I know who you mean, though, somehow."
「きっと、罪深き紫の桜を見に来たのよ。あの方には逆らえないから、ここは退却した方がいいわよ?」 "They must have come to watch the violet cherry blossoms. We're no match for them, so we'd better leave, okay?"
「さっきから思っていたんだけど、紫(むらさき)の桜って、貴方の桜みたいで面白いわ~。自分で罪深いとか言っちゃったりして。ねえ、紫(ゆかり)?」 "I've been thinking this for a while, but I think the violet cherry blossoms seem like they're your flower. I wonder what that says about the sinfulness of your character, Yukari?"
「あら失礼ね、私は紫の桜ほど悪い事はしていないわよ」 "My, how rude. I haven't done anything bad enough to turn the cherry blossoms that color."
   
 そう言って、辺りを警戒する霊夢を横目に、聡明な私と幽々子はここ無縁塚を後にした。 And so, casting a sideways glance at Reimu, who was still surveying the area, I gathered my wisdom and left Muenzuka with Yuyuko.
   
   
(東方花映塚エキストラに続く、のかも知れない) (To be continued in Touhou Kaeidzuka extra stage, perhaps.)

Source

A Beautiful Flower Blooming Violet Every Sixty Years/Original Text

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