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Symposium of Post-mysticism: Nue Houjuu

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Nue Symposium

正体不明の正体

True Form of the Non-Identification

封獣 ぬえ Houjuu Nue

Nue Houjuu

能力        正体を判らなくする程度の能力

Ability: Making objects unidentifiable

危険度      高

Threat level: High

人間友好度   低

Human friendship level: Low

主な活動場所  命蓮寺など

Main place of activity: Myouren Temple and so forth

正体不明の妖怪、鵺である。

A nue, a youkai with an unknown true identity.

平家物語では天皇を怯えさせた妖怪を仕留めたら、頭は猿、体は狸、手足は虎、尻尾は蛇というキマイラ(*1)であった、と記述がある。そのイメージが後に鵺のイメージとなったが、実際にはその怪物が鵺だとは書かれていない。

In the Tale of the Heike there was a youkai that scared the Emperor: a chimera (*1) described as having the head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki, the limbs of a tiger and the tail of a snake. These descriptions became the image of the nue, but there are actually no written records saying that this kind of youkai was indeed a nue.

事実、妖怪の鵺とその怪物は別物であった。鵺はあくまでも、正体不明の妖怪だった。ただし泣き声だけは知れ渡っていたと言われる。鵺の泣き声がする夜は不吉だと言われている。

The truth is that the youkai nue and the monster are completely different beings. Nue is truly a youkai whose real form cannot be known. However, we do know its cry. The saying goes that nights with Nue's cries are ill-fated.

見えている姿も、何だか説明の付かない翼というか尻尾というか謎の触手が生えている。それぞれが自在に動き、見る物を眩惑する。

Her current form has mysterious tentacles that are inexplicably either wings or tails. Each of these appendages can be moved freely, which is disorienting to those who see it.

暫くは地底世界に居たようだが、間欠泉騒ぎに乗じて地上に出てきたらしい。現在は命蓮寺の聖白蓮の元で修行しているとされる。

Although she temporally lived underground, it seems that she has moved to the surface with the recent commotions going on around the geyser. She is currently training with Byakuren Hijiri.


能力

Ability

彼女は、自らも正体不明の妖怪だが、他の物の正体を無くす能力を持っている事が判明した。正体を無くすとは、物体、生物から姿形、音、匂いなどを奪い、主に行動だけを残す事である。例えば、空を飛ぶ鳥から鳥だと判る部分だけを奪い、「空を飛ぶ謎の物体」に変えてしまう能力である。

While she is a youkai with an unknown true form, she can also conceal the true nature of other objects. Her power works on both living and non-living things, and she can take away form, sounds or even smell. She usually leaves only its behavior. For example, if you have a bird flying through the sky and she takes away its identity as a bird, what you have left is "a mystery object flying through the sky".

正体を無くした謎の物体は見る人によって形を変える。見る人の心の中で、勝手に姿形を補完して自分の中だけで納得のいく形に落ち着くという。鳥の正体を無くした「空を飛ぶ謎の物体」が、結局ただの鳥に見える事もしばしば有るという。ただし、その場合は何処かフワフワとした不安定な鳥になるだろう。

Things with their true forms taken will be perceived differently depending on the observer. The form is completed by the observers themselves, and in the end it will only look like something the observers can accept. Even if it is a bird that looks like a UFO because its true form was taken, its still possible to see that it's the shape of a bird. In this case though, what people see is an illusory and unstable bird.


命蓮寺での立場

Position in the Myouren Temple

命蓮寺の妖怪は聖白蓮を中心に、皆お互い信用しているように見えるが、後から入門した彼女は立場は微妙なようだ。

The youkai at the Myouren Temple are all centered around Byakuren, it looks like they all trust each other. However, for Nue who joined much later, her position is a bit touchy.

いまいち他の妖怪に馴染めず、お寺の外れでつまらなそうにしている姿をよく見る。

She doesn't seem very close to other youkai, often looking bored outside the temple.

お寺の下から聖人が復活した時は妖怪の危機だと思い、勝手に外の世界から大物妖怪を招還した。それは聖白蓮の意思では無い。本人は良かれと思ってやっているが、命蓮寺の意向とは少しずれているようだ。

When the saint beneath the Myouren Temple was resurrected, she thought it was a threat to youkai, so she called in a powerful youkai from the outside world without Byakuren's permission. This is not what Byakuren had wanted. Nue did it because she felt it was the right thing to do, but her action ended up straying from the Myouren Temple 's plan.

ちなみに外から呼んだ妖怪、二ッ岩マミゾウと彼女は旧知の仲であり、仲が良いようだ。もちろん、二人して命蓮寺では浮いている。

Incidentally, the youkai she called in was her old friend Mamizou Futatsuiwa, they get along very well. Of course, neither of them has quite settled in at the Myouren Temple yet.


対策

Countermeasures

間接的に作用する能力なので、対策のしようが無い。

Her ability is indirect, so there's really nothing you can do about it.

よく見る街角の幽霊、人魂、あるはずの無いもの、そういった物の中に彼女の「正体不明な物」が混ざっているかも知れないが、元はありきたりな物である可能性が高いので必要以上に怯える必要はないだろう。

Yuurei that are often seen on street corners, will-'o-the-wisp, things that should not be; no one knows if these things have Nue's "seeds of unknown form" mixed in them. However since it's likely that these things have always been there, there is probably no need to be too scared of them.

ただ、直接襲われた場合は別問題である。古典的な妖怪故に妖力も強い。まともに戦うはめになった場合、「頼政の弓(*2)」の様な謂われのある武器無しでは太刀打ちできないだろう。逃げる事も難しいので、命蓮寺で見かけても「やーい、仲間はずれー」等と挑発するのは止めよう。

If she attacks you directly though, then it's a completely different story. As she is a classic youkai, she is very strong. It is very difficult to win against her if you don't have weapons like "Yorimasa's bow(*2)". Even running away from her is extremely difficult. So when you see her at the Myouren Temple , please don't provoke her by saying things like "Hey outcast".

*1 複数の動物を掛け合わせた合成獣である。主に人工的に作り出される事が多いが、たまに自然発生する。総じて短命。

1: This is a kind of synthetic beast created by combining different animals. Most of them are artificially created, but occasionally you get some natural ones. They are generally short-lived.

*2 香霖堂で売っている代物は贋作。

2: The one for sale at Kourindou is a fake.

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