This website provides a fan translation of the Playstation 2 game Akai Ito.


A Change of Lodgings

Sakuya: What's going on!? What's this smell of blood---

What shows next in my eyes is neither the River Styx, nor widely stretching fields of flowers and dancing butterflies, but a ceiling.

As the focus of my eyes adjusts, my sight captures the thick grains of aged wood.

It is not the ceiling of the hotel that has provided for me over the last few days, nor that of the apartment I'm used to seeing every day. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to belong to a hospital, either.

For the time being, it looks like I haven't died, but where in the world is this?

Judging by the pleasant sensation of cloth against my skin, there's no doubt that I have been sleeping in a futon until now.

But, when exactly did I go to sleep?

Trying to grasp the situation, I roll up the threads of my memory.

I tried to visit the Ohashirasama, met Uzuki-san and Kei-kun, and fell off a cliff. That's when Yumei-san---

---That's it! Where's Yumei-san!?

I try to heave myself from the futon, but the energy just doesn't enter my body.

Kei: Hyu-......

As I try to call her name, what leaks from my mouth is only a voiceless, breathless sound.

And then, what answers that call is...

---: Ah, onee-san, have you come to?

...the voice of someone I don't know.

At least, it couldn't be Yumei-san. In all likelihood, it's from a girl younger than me.

Remembering the young voices of Nozomi-chan and Mikage-chan, my body gives a start, but still will not move as I wish.

Unable to run away, I can only raise a feeling of unease in the corner of my heart, as I wait to learn the identity of the voice's owner.

Making a slight creak upon the tatami, the owner of the voice, lying invisible at my side, rouses and peeks down from above.

At an age that seems fully halfway back through the Chinese zodiac, the girl, unlike the two twins, is wearing the western-styled clothing befitting the present day.

And other than her, one more. A tiny white fox, with dark eyes, stares down at me.

Kei: Ah......

As I try to speak, a grating breath leaks through my throat.

Girl: No, no, there is no need to converse. You need not exert yourself, trying to speak.

Girl: I would surmise you have many choice words you would like to say and ask, but I would be of little help in that regard, so I request your patience for just a little longer.

Neighboring the girl who can speak a tongue-twisting mesh of language as if it were nothing, the white fox nods, *koku koku*.

This little white one... I think I've---

---No doubt in my mind. I remember this gesture.

Yesterday, before I accidentally went to the Ohashirasama, my goal was to see my father's house, this Hazama Mansion.

I saw this girl in the garden out in front...

...which would make this the inside of the mansion, then?

Kei: Uuu......

Girl: Ah, onee-san, do you want some water?

Kei: ......Mm.

Girl: In that case, please wait a moment. I will bring everyone here right away.

With no time for me to ask who she might bring, the girl disappears from the room.

I look at the ceiling and ponder.

Come to think of it, why don't I know the inside of his house, even though I came to see it yesterday?

...That's because I ran out.

But why did I run out?

...That's because---

Yumei: Don't, Kei-chan. You mustn't try to remember.

My thoughts are interrupted by Yumei-san's voice.

Kei: Ah...... Yumei......-san......

Sakuya: Kei! You... you really woke up, right!?

Kei: ......Sakuya-san......?

Sakuya: I was just waiting in the mansion, when that Yumei carried you in, covered in blood......

Tangling her words, Sakuya-san covers her mouth with her hands.

Kei: Sor...... made you wor......

Sakuya: You're damned right, I was worried! Not even forty-nine days after she died, and here you are nearly getting yourself killed! Mayumi's probably turning in her grave right now! (TN: For information on "49 days," look in the post-funeral services section.)

Kei: Ahaha...... I'm sorry.

Sakuya: I don't want you to be sorry! You might not think much of it, since you're sitting there all doctored up, but you know...

Sakuya-san retrieves a crushed, flat object and shows it to me. Caked upon its surface is a mess of dry, brown, mud-like filth.

Sakuya: Do you know what this is?

Kei: My...... cell......?

Any standard shape that betrayed its origins as a cell phone was badly warped or removed, enough to make me unwittingly project a doubtful tone in my answer.

Sakuya: Isn't it terrible? Isn't it just messed up? If a hard cell wound up like this, doesn't it make you shudder just to think of how your fragile body looked then!?

Somewhere inside of me, I feel a thread being snipped away.

Kei: Ah......

You could probably say it was the string of a can and thread telephone, and at the same time, it was probably the tear ducts within my eyes.

Dripping down, the tears spill out.

Kei: N-...... no... It won't sto-......

Sakuya: Wait a- Kei!? Did I go overboard, just now!?

Kei: It's no-...... Just, when I thought I couldn't call Youko-chan, it just suddenly......

Sakuya: Aw... come on, don't cry over that. If you wanna make a call, I'll lend you mine, okay?

Kei: Y-yeah... I know that... but I just......

Yumei: It's okay, Kei-chan. There are times like that for everyone.

As I continue to spilling out tears that won't stop for a reason even I can't divine, Yumei-san encloses me in a tight embrace.

Enfolded in a soft warmth, this unstable, chaotic heart of mine slowly quiets down.

Kei: Ah......

The spilt tears blend into a lilac color on her kimono, and as I watch the thick colors spread out, I realize...

Kei: Yumei-san, it should be obvious but...... you have a body. Just like a body should be, soft and warm......

She said herself, like the image of a magic lantern, that she was fated to fade before a stronger light, and yet...

Kei: You have that shape, even though it's still afternoon......

Yumei: That's right. It's thanks to the power you gave me, Kei-chan.

Even as I pull away and observe, Yumei-san's appearance doesn't change, casting a deep black shape on the floor as she bathes in the sun's light.

With not a single band of phosphorescence to protect her body from the light, she merely appears to set her body there naturally, without a single difference from a dweller of the daylight world.

Tsudzura: Here, Kei-onee-san. Your water.

Kei: Ah! Umm, thank you......

Tsudzura: My name is Wakasugi Tsudzura. And this would be my compatriot, Obana.

Just as I pause, trying to say her name, she understands immediately and gives her introduction. Much as her speech suggests, she's quick on the uptake, and eloquent, at that.

Tsudzura: For various reasons, we have been taking quarter a measure of time before your arrival, as unlawful tenants of this place of residence. We thought for sure that this was a vacant dwelling...

Sakuya: Kei's tired. Just leave it at that, for now.

Tsudzura: Acknowledged, Sakuya-san.

As if to compensate for her partner, Obana-chan, as he keeps the silence, she truly has a glib manner of speaking.

Sakuya: I've already squeezed her stuffing out, so it's all good, right?

Kei: Yeah, I don't mind, really. You could say I forgot about this place, anyway, and it looks like you even cleaned up for me......

At least, the air in this room and the futon both have not a hint of mold. In fact, they seem especially clean.

Kei: ......It looks like I've caused you a great deal of trouble, but, it's nice to meet you.

Tsudzura: Kei-onee-san, thank you very much!

Tsudzura-chan and Obana-chan bow en masse. *pekori*

Tsudura: It appears we will be troubling you for a while longer, but should you have any needs whatsoever, be it cleaning, laundry, batting, storing, or spreading the futon, by all means, worry not and saddle me with your labors!

Kei: Ahaha...... please, just keep those labors to a minimum.

Sakuya: I don't think that's a line you should be spouting anytime soon.

Sakuya: Anyway, Kei. Yumei's told me about your situation.

Kei: Okay...

Sakuya: For the time being, if Nozomi and Mikage come to attack you, it'll be a problem for the other guests, right?

Kei: Yeah...

Sakuya: If I carry you in there now, I'll bet that poor okami-san'll faint on the spot. And Yumei's used to this mansion, so she probably has an easier time moving around anyway, right?

Yumei: I suppose so. It would probably cost a lot of money if we stayed at the inn, after all.

Kei: Wah......

Yumei: What is it, Kei-chan?

Kei: Yumei-san, for the Ohashirasama, you act an awful lot like one of the common people......

Yumei: Fufu! I suppose...

Floating a smile on her face that seems somehow sad, she ponders for a bit before continuing with her words.

Yumei: Just like water submits to its vessel, the livelihood of humankind, and the way of being for objects, are both easily bound to their shape.

Yumei: Just by taking human form like this, even I am bound to human reasoning.

Kei: In that case, what about disappearing, like before?

Yumei: With a form as stable as this, it's less of a burden to maintain this shape than to appear and disappear.

Kei: Ah...... so that means, you'll stay with me like you are now?

Yumei: Yes, that's right. I'll be staying this way for a while.

Kei: Wah, that's so amazing...

Sakuya: ......Kei, what's up with that bawdy face of yours?

Kei: Eh? Bawdy......?

Tsudzura: Kei-onee-san, your face has no restraint, you know?

Yumei: Ufufu! When it comes to Kei-chan, though, I think that face suits her best.

Kei: ............

Even Yumei-san is laughing at me. I'm probably beet red right now.

Sakuya: Well, that's how it is. I'll be off to vacate our rooms and bring back our luggage.

Sakuya: So, Yumei. I'm sure I don't even have to say it, but, while I'm away...

Yumei: Certainly. Leave her to me.

Nodding back at Yumei-san's answer, Sakuya-san swirls her car keys around her finger and exits the room.

Tsudzura: Ahh, well then, well then. Allow me to finish a short job of mine before it gets dark.

Kei: ......By "job," what do you mean?

Tsudzura: Since this place began bustling so quickly, I thought I might perform a cursory improvement of our living environment. Fortunately, Sakuya-san had the necessary tools and materials in her vehicle.

Kei: What are you going to do?

Tsudzura: I can explain that when it's over. It would be a shame if our endeavor failed and we excited you over nothing.

Tsudzura: So, then, Obana, let us proceed.

Tsudzura-chan and Obana-chan both head outside.

The only ones remaining in this room are Yumei-san and myself.


Kei: Umm......

Yumei: Now then, Kei-chan. Please go to sleep for a little longer.

Kei: ......Eh?

Searching for the topic that we would talk about next, my thoughts are startled to a standstill by the finality of her request.

Yumei: Come on. Don't make that face.

I suppose the shock must have shown there. Yumei-san flashes a slightly amused smile and pets my head.

Yumei: What you need right now, Kei-chan, is plenty of rest. The wounds on your body have been completely healed. All that's left is to rest and get your strength back.

Kei: Yeah......

Yumei: Don't worry. I'm not going to disappear while you sleep.

Smiling softly, she reaches out her pearly white hand.

Yumei: If that's not enough, how about I hold your hand until you wake up?

Feeling embarrassed, I sink my head under the futon covers.

Kei: ......Okay.

I grip that hand firmly in my own.

Yumei: Good night, Kei-chan.

Kei: Good night, Yumei-onee-chan...

This time, there are no scary dreams.

Instead, I think I remember it being warm and nostalgic, a dream full of happiness.