“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.