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.”
“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!”
“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.