an English translation of the novel

Page 404-405

“Not at all. But I could tell how long it was. It’s not that long.”

“Yeah, yours too Saki. It’s about the same,” Satoru said looking relieved.

He crumpled up the paper and set it on fire. It was reduced to ashes in a matter of seconds.

“…but did you see even one word?” he seemed unusually anxious.

“Not a letter. Your writing is so awful I couldn’t read it at all.”

He was finally convinced and left the room. I went over and looked at the stack of papers he had written on. Satoru pressed down hard when he wrote, so it left a distinct impression. I shaded the paper lightly and the words appeared.

I looked it up in the library and found that it was the mantra of Akasagarbha.

 

It would probably go smoothly. I held my breath and focused on Satoru.

He was breathing quietly as if asleep, but once in a while murmured something unintelligible.

Right now, Satoru’s consciousness was at its lowest, almost like the state you’re in when you’re hypnotized. If you could bring out all the thoughts that are usually suppressed, like what happened to me earlier, then it wouldn’t be surprising if you could control someone through their hallucinations.

The hardest part about hypnosis was bringing down the subject’s level of consciousness. If you could do that, then the rest is easy. After all, I already knew the mantra buried deep inside Satoru’s mind.

Nonetheless, failure would be unforgivable. If I fail, we would both die here. I rehearsed my lines mentally over and over. I took deep breath and spoke in my strictest voice.

“Satoru Asahina.”

Since I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t tell if there was any response.

“Satoru Asahina. You have broken the rules and gone where you were not supposed to. Furthermore, you have allowed your mind to be poisoned by a demon. The real problem, however, lies much deeper.”

I felt him stir.

“You have violated the very foundations of the Code of Ethics, the last of the Ten Precepts, ‘Do not desecrate the Three Jewels’. You have fallen for the words of a demon and questioned the teachings of Buddha. Therefore I must seal your cantus immediately.”


Page 406-408

Satoru gasped and started crying.

I felt terrible for him, but steeled myself and continued.

“Look at the flames.”

I didn’t hear a response.

“Look at the flames.”

Still nothing.

“Your cantus is sealed inside this emblem. Do you see it?”

A deep sigh, then, “Yes.”

“The emblem is cast into the fire. Everything has been burned away. All your worldly desires have been burned away. The ashes return to the vast, wild earth.”

I raised my voice, “Look. The emblem has been eradicated. Your cantus is now sealed!”

Satoru let out a painful wail.

“Cast aside your worldly desires. To reach nirvana, cast everything into the cleansing flame.”

I was getting closer and closer to the critical moment. I approached Satoru.

“Satoru Asahina. In your devotion to Buddha, you have abandoned your cantus,” I said as gently as I could, trying to penetrate deep into his consciousness, winding around his mind, binding him with my suggestion.

I wholeheartedly want to save Satoru. Although this is the fastest way, I apologize for making him suffer. I’m also thankful for his efforts to help me. All of my feelings swelled and threatened to drown me. My voice shook.

“Now, by the compassion of Buddha, you will receive a pure mantra, a new spirit, and your cantus will be returned to you.”

I hit him on the shoulders, bent down, and whispered in his ear, “Namo ākāśagarbhaya oṃ ārya kamari mauli svāhā.

For a moment, nothing happened.

But, slowly, light started spreading slowly around us.

“Satoru!” I shouted, crying.

The spear was glowing. The obsidian tip gave off a burning red light.

“Satoru, you’re doing this, right? You see? Your cantus is back!”

“Yeah…looks like it,” Satoru said, as if waking from a long dream.

“Hurry! Blow a hole in the ceiling! Get rid of all of this!”

“Okay.”

“Oh, wait. There might be poison gas outside too…”

“Don’t worry. I’ll blow it all away,” Satoru grinned reassuringly. “There might be a vacuum for a second. Cover your nose and ears.”

I managed to plug my nose and ears with my thumb and middle finger. Above me, the dirt started shaking and rumbling as if there were an earthquake.

The next second, there was a roar like a hurricane and the ceiling vanished.