an English translation of the novel

Page 192-193

“In return for lending me the books, I also have to record my own experience. After all, I’m just the most recent case.”

“Don’t say that! What about treatments? Isn’t there any way to cure you?”

“There aren’t any now.”

Shun put Subaru down. The little dog waddled toward me.

“They used to think that Hashimoto-Appelbaum was related to schizophrenia, but that’s been disproven. If anything, it’s closer to having panic disorder,” he said indifferently, as if talking about someone else. “If reality were an absolute, unchanging thing, then delusions and irrational fears would be curable. But since anxiety warps our perception of reality, there’s nothing that can be done. The negative feedback caused by the discrepancy between delusions and reality creates a vicious cycle. What’s even worse is that all this occurs on a subconscious level, making it impossible to deal with.”

“Can’t we seal your cantus?”

“Sealing it only prevents you from consciously using your power. It has no effect on the unconscious mind. Still, I thought that maybe having a mental restraint would lessen the leakage, so I had Head Priest Mushin seal my cantus. It was ineffective. My cantus is like something with a broken lid, nothing can hold it back.”

I was terrified. “Could it be…I didn’t restore your cantus properly, so it can’t be sealed again?”

Unlike Satoru, Shun had been aware that he was being hypnotized at the time. Furthermore, he had already known what his mantra was. Forcibly unsealing his cantus under those conditions could have permanently removed the hypnotic anchor buried in his mind.

“No. There was never really any hope in trying to seal it in the first place. It’s not your fault, Saki.”

Tears spilled from my eyes. I couldn’t do anything but reach down and pet Subaru.


Page 194-195

“It’s about time. You should go home now.”

I shook my head, still crying.

“I can control the leakage for a short while by concentrating on a task and redirecting my cantus to it. During that time most of the ill effects can be suppressed. Right now, I’m focusing on controlling seven hundred wasp balls so that it doesn’t affect you. But I can only keep this up for ten, fifteen minutes at most. Once my concentration starts to wane, my subconscious could go out of control at any time.”

“No! I’m not leaving! I want to be with you.”

“Saki, my condition has already caused my parents’ deaths.”

His words pierced my heart.

“They wanted to help me however they could. But there was nothing they could do. I tried my best to control my cantus through pure willpower, but that’s the worst method to use. In the end, it rebounded with even greater force.”

“Shun…”

“I thought I heard the house creak, and suddenly the ground liquefied and swallowed it whole. I was saved, probably because one of my parents used their cantus to eject me from the house at the last second.”

I heard him sob into his mask.

“So hurry and leave. Please. I don’t want to see anyone else I love die.”

I stood up slowly. Despair and helplessness weighed me down.

I can’t save Shun.

I can’t do anything.

I…

At the door, I turned back to face him.

“Shun, is there anything you want me to do?”

He shook his head.

Suddenly, a gigantic animal slipped by me and into the bungalow.

It was a tainted cat with grey tiger stripes, twice as large as the black one I met earlier. It paid no attention to me and advanced on Shun, purring loudly.


Page 196-197

Slowly, the cat stalked closer; its sharp glare was petrifying, but the purring in its throat conveyed no sense of enmity. Anyone who encountered the cat would be confused by these conflicting signals and temporarily be at a loss for what to do. This was the double bind technique that tainted cats used to trap their prey.

Having already experienced this tactic, I reacted first and quickly muttered my mantra.

“Saki, don’t!” Shun’s voice echoed. “It’s enough already…”

His words stunned me. What should I do? I couldn’t stand by and watch him be killed. But…

The three and a half meter long cat reached out as if to kiss Shun, and opened its mouth wide. I was about to release my cantus.

At that instant, Subaru leapt forward with a terrifying howl.

The tainted cat glanced at Subaru and brought its right paw up to meet him. Its razor-sharp claws cut into Subaru and blood sprayed everywhere. But thanks to the hard shell on his back, the wound wasn’t fatal. Subaru didn’t falter for a second and went straight for the cat’s throat. It dodged with startling agility, but Subaru still managed to sink his teeth into a leg more than ten times his size..

Even now, I don’t understand what happened. After generations of selective breeding, bulldogs should have completely lost their violent tendencies. The Subaru I knew was always aloof toward other dogs, and never went beyond barking or occasionally baring his teeth at them. You could almost describe him as being sullen.

So what was going through his head at that moment? What had happened to suddenly reawaken in him the bloodthirsty nature that his ancestors were known for?

As he viciously attacked an animal that, in all probability, was going to kill him, I remembered the legends that named bulldogs the strongest fighting dogs that would take on animals many times their size.

Subaru clamped his jaws tightly and shook his head from side to side. His upturned nose made it possible to breathe no matter how deeply he buried his teeth into enemy.


Page 198-199

The tainted cat yowled with pain. But as a beast created to hunt humans, it had been endowed with more cunning than normal animals. It deftly flipped Subaru over with its other paw and held him on down on his back.

“Stop!” I screamed.

Razor-sharp claws came slashing down on Subaru’s soft belly.

Everything that happened next seemed extremely surreal.

The cat flew up to the ceiling, legs spread wide like a giant flying squirrel. All eighteen of its claws were extended and its fangs were bared in a furious hiss, but its body was as stiff as if it had been crucified.

A thousand sparkling crystals appeared out of thin air and covered the cat completely.

The crystals melded together and turned into a half-transparent, shining jewel.

The tainted cat vanished.

Air rushed into the vacuum it left behind and created a small whirlwind.

What in the world did Shun do? All I could think of was that he had transported the cat to a different dimension.

Moving something without touching it probably meant surpassing the laws of physics. However, under normal circumstances, we are unable to manifest anything we can’t picture in our mind. 1

In the short time since the door to Shun’s unconscious had opened and turned him into a karma demon, he had acquired skills beyond any cantus expert’s level.

I realized that Shun was kneeling beside Subaru’s corpse.

“Poor thing…”

He had already stopped breathing. The floor was covered with blood. The cat had split Subaru open from stomach to heart in a single stroke.

“Shun,” I crouched next to him.

“He tried to save me. Despite how futile it was.” Shun said quietly. “I tried to leave him behind so many times. But he kept following me. …no, perhaps I was the lonely one. I’d be all alone without Subaru.”

Not sure if this footnote is necessary, but I feel like her explanation is kind of weird. Basically, she’s saying that even though they’re not physically touching anything when they use cantus to move stuff, they picture hands doing it in order for it to work. For example, Satoru imagines a fist covering the blowdog explosion and Saki imagines hands twisting the tainted cat. So for Shun to transport something without using a hand image is unusual, like imagining something that doesn’t follow the laws of physics.


Page 200-201

He rubbed Subaru’s chin.

“I should have made my decision sooner. If I hadn’t been so indecisive, Subaru wouldn’t have had to suffer like this.”

“It’s not your fault,” I said vehemently.

“It wasn’t the cat’s fault either. It’s here simply because it was ordered to end my life. …I’ve taken too long to decide on what I should have done.”

Shun pointed at a cupboard on the wall. “There’s a bottle of pills in there, filled with different types of poison. They gave it to me before I came here. Don’t you think it’s a cruel parting gift?”

So that was how the adults handled Shun’s situation, by making him end his own life? The thought didn’t surprise me. Maybe I had been exposed to so much shock in rapid succession that I was now numb.

“I’m glad you didn’t take any. You should throw them all away.”

“I took them all.”

“Huh?”

“But they didn’t work. It was too late. I guess it’s easy to change poisons on a molecular level. Though I was surprised when even arsenic couldn’t kill me. It seems like my Shadow, the part of my unconscious that doesn’t want to die, is capable of altering even basic elements.”

I put my hand on Shun’s.

“…I think it’s coming,” he said to himself.

“What is?”

“Saki, hurry and get out of here!” he drew his hand away and stood up.

The house gave a loud thump. The wasp balls rose high in the air, vibrating intensely, then clattered to the ground.

“It’s the same as that time. When my house was swallowed up… Isn’t it funny? It’s almost like the Spirit of Blessing. But instead of blessing you, it brings death.”