Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story XVIII "Onmyōji"

(Onmyōji begins at 15:50)

It was late in the evening and the moon was out. A mother together with her sick daughter paid a visit to a soothsayer whose name was known throughout the capital. While the way they were dressed gave away the fact that they came from a respectable family, the pallid face of the daughter who was breathing heavily showed that something was horribly wrong.

According to the mother, her daughter had married about three months ago and had been living healthily together with her husband when a bird had strayed into their garden, and as she had tried to feed it, it had pecked her hand causing her to collapse right there.

The soothsayer who had been quietly listening to the mother's story opened his eyes and said: "That is most likely a shikigami someone has sent. Your daughter has been cursed. I do have the power to reverse that curse, but I am not sure whether it is a good idea for me to do so."

Having heard that, the mother clung on to the soothsayer in tears, begging him to turn that curse on the one who had cast it on her daughter. Unable to look at the desperate mother who was rubbing her forehead against the floor at the feet of the silent soothsayer, softly taking her by the hand, the man renowned as the most powerful sorcerer in the capital opened his mouth.

"Listen. A curse can become good or evil depending on what is in the heart of the one who uses it. It is exactly like light and shadow. Shadows will always be born when there is light. When light makes one shadow disappear, it will only create a new shadow. You must never forget that."

Having told the mother so, with the girl in her arms, he started chanting a spell of protection. His chanting lasted all the way until the growing light of the dawn. When it was all bright and you could hear the singing of the birds, the girl's cheeks rapidly recovered their color, and as if her condition last night had only been a dream, with a steady step she and her mother left the soothsayer's mansion after thanking him profusely.

Having returned home, the girl wanted to show her recovery to her husband right away and called his name. However, there was no reply at all. That's strange she thought, and as she stepped out into the garden, what she saw there made her scream out of horror.

In the garden that was bathing in the morning light, there were two corpses lying in a dark-red pool of blood. One was that black bird that had pecked her finger. The other one was her husband whose eyes had been gouged out by that bird's beak and whose heart had apparently been impaled.

For some time after that, there were various rumors about the tragedy that had happened in that good family, but the truth remains uncertain. The only thing certain is that no one has seen that girl since then. Could it really be that the soothsayer was the only one who had foreseen it all?

陰陽座百物語 第拾捌話「陰陽師」










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