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Perfect Memento: Hermits

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Somewhat Peculiar Humans



主な危険度: 極低

Usual threat level: Extremely low

遭遇頻度: 低

Frequency of encounter: Low

多様性: 普通

Variety: Average

主な遭遇場所: 不明

Main place of activity: Unknown

主な遭遇時間: 不明

Main time of activity: Unknown




Training according to the principles of "Shuugyou"[1], these persons have acquired superhuman-like capabilities.


However, not all of their worldly desires have been completely cast aside, rather, they are separated from the drudgeries of needing to work, and now reside in Gensokyo.


Their age and longevity may be in the hundreds or even thousands of years, but they do not have eternal youth or eternal life.


If they become carelessly negligent in the pursuit of Shuugyou, their bodies will immediately decay to ashes and simply vanish.


Unlike celestials, which are poisonous to youkai, hermits are the number one favorite food for youkai. [Translators' Note: cf. Wikipedia:Xuanzang (fictional character)


Youkai who consume a hermit may be promoted to a higher rank or ascend to a higher form.


Furthermore, if an ordinary beast consumes the flesh of a hermit, they will become enchanted with youkai powers.


In other words, to be a hermit is to become one who is the target of countless youkai.


As if that weren't enough, hermits are always beset by misfortune, the worst of which is that about once every hundred years, an assassin will come from Hell(*7).


During this time, if they are even a little careless in their pursuit of Shuugyou, and their powers weaken even a little, they will be unable to repel the threat and will be dragged to Hell.


It's difficult to continue living as a hermit, to say nothing of attempting to live as a celestial.


That group of human-like beings, as I suspected, there are many among them who are a little peculiar.


Their everyday habits really stand out, and people who don't understand the situation will mutter hostilities among themselves, eventually leading the hermits to leave from places where humans live.


However, the bonds of fellowship between hermits is profound, as soon as a new candidate for hermitry appears, he is taken in as a disciple, and in a manner of speaking, will be taken care of until he "can stand up for himself"(*8).


Everyday Life of Hermits


Everyday life is extremely modest and frugal, only eating the absolute minimum amount of food needed.


On the first day of the month, they will gnaw on several fruits and nuts from various trees and in this way, survive (*9).


Furthermore, upon reaching the age of 500, eating of any kind will become unnecessary, in other words, simply ingesting fog or haze will be enough.


From the moment their eyes open, they turn towards the sunrise and will recite sutras countless thousands of times (*10), only briefly during the day will they freely go out, as the sun sets, they will once again be engaged in reciting sutras.


Abilities of Hermits


These hermits who are the most alluring and fascinating of humans to youkai naturally possess comparable levels of power.


Also, there are many situations where hermits who, simply being what they are, make a living working as youkai exterminators.


Because their physical bodies are those of aged elders, they may appear to be extremely fragile or vulnerable, and there are many instances of hermits taking care of themselves with natural cures, even though it could be said that their bodies are tougher than steel.


Furthermore, various kinds of sorcery may be applied to the body.


If they see something dangerous drawing near to a human, they will immediately come to the aid of the person and will display the utmost kindness.

*7 生きるだけで罪を負う。長寿であればあるほど罪は大きい為、その分功徳も積まなければいけない。

7: To live is to be burdened with sin. If one lives long, then because the list of sins will grow large, it wouldn't be right to not perform pious acts to compensate for them.

*8 雑用を任せる為とも言う。

8: They are also entrusted with unusual or strange tasks.

*9 栗鼠の様に。

9: Like squirrels.

*10 転読という方法を使う。

10: They will use reading techniques that rotate the sutras to be recited.

^  Shuugyou (修行) as it is used here refers to a Buddhist prescription for behavior that these "hermits" follow that involves casting away material possessions and worldly appetites to pursue enlightenment.

[Translators' Note: "Hermit" is a terribly inadequate English equivalent for "仙人" (Sennin), the definition explained in this article above is far more accurate and is more or less what any Chinese or Japanese person will think of when they see the term "仙人". A more accurate though cumbersome definition of "仙人" would be "Cloistered Mystical Taoist Pious Mountain Wizards".]

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