The first chapter of The pygmalion is planting seeds! enjoy!
The red-purplish flower inaudibly withered away after a slant gleam.
At the top of the pot overflowed with dirt, she was holding her knees while gazing at theempty space with her crystal clear eyes.
I gently leaned down and reached over her bare and smooth skin. Judging from the temperature transmitted through the palm of my hand, I could assume that the time for her awakening had already been set. By looking at her current expression, I can only feel that she’s calling for me to wake her up.
Just a bit more and the daylight will completely vanish, making this room sink into the darkness of the night entirely.
I need to behave before the darkness drives out the evening. Otherwise, the retainers of the night will come and take her away again.
I took the dagger and inserted the edge,cautiously, between the sole of her foot and cut off the root.
Contrary to its appearance, the root was soft like a slenderly spun silk thread and didn’t transmit the least bit of resistance to the dagger‘s blade.
After being released from her yoke, her sight did not stop wandering in the hollow.
Five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes.
Similar to a child excitedly looking forward to the start of a circus, I kept anxiously waiting for her to speak while swallowing up my saliva.
However, she kept silent the entire time, looking no different from a delicately carved sculpture. The root that was holding her down had already gone, yet she didn’t show a sign of standing up and kept roaming her empty sight straight ahead.
I started grinding my teeth.
A sad result again. It’s useless no matter how many times I try.
Where did I mess up? Is there something I’m lacking? I have no actual clue.
Even after pouring all my efforts, time and everything for her sake, this is the result.
[Why the heck?!]
My boiling anger welled up from my mouth as a loud scream, but she didn’t show any sign of being frightened.
I barely stood up relying on my desperate legs and look down at her.
My throat was dried up, and pain ran through my eyes.
The sensation of my hand had vanished somewhere, and I already stopped sensing the smell floating around the house.
People would call this place hell.
They would probably also call me a devil.
No, I’m not a devil.
I am a child picking up stones in vain. The stones that I diligently piled up will mercilessly destroy the devil, over and over again.
I am eternally performing a play in a pitiful, ridiculous, and pathetic scene.
But despite everything, I need to continue stacking up those stones. Believing that one day, she will come and take me out of this spine-chilling wasteland.
It is the only thing that I can do after all.
I moved the blade of the knife directly across her outstretched neck and pulled it out inone go.
Brand new lines of blood started streaming out in this dimly lit room.
A flower that can trigger the memories of the graduation ceremony, the first thing that usually comes to mind are cherry blossoms. In the town where I live, cherry blossoms are quite unfashionable, since they always die away, along with their light pink color before even blooming. That’s why, the image of the apricot flower that blooms at the perfect time, have the strongest impact on me rather than the cherry blossoms when recalling the graduation ceremony.
Though either way, the graduating students gathering in the front yard of the school don’t care about what flower is blooming; they are instead regretting the parting of their friends and the farewell of their typical school.
[Already graduation, three years sure did past in the blink of an eye]
While receiving the spring’s sunlight, my classmate Isezaki Akira was looking at theshining white school building with deep emotions. He had entered a prestigious private university early in the new year, and is now peacefully enjoying the last moments of his school life. A world of difference from me, who failed entirely in the first term exams, andis now waiting for the final test results while trembling in fear.
[Indeed, these three years have passed in just a moment]
My murmur didn’t seem to reach anybody’s ear due to the clatter.
A few girls entering the classroom and handing an autograph collection to the homeroom teacher catches my attention.
On that paper, my name, Mamesaki Kuuya, was not written there. I mean, not having the least idea of what to write and just dashing off some uninteresting words like: [thank you for this year, take care] wasn’t something I would bring myself to do.
[Everyone, gather over here, we’re taking a picture]
The one who called for us holding a smartphone in her hand, was yet another classmate of mine, Iruse Misaki. With her model-like figure and innocent character, many male students have fallen for her. But out of all of them, Isezaki was the only one who remained in the boyfriend’s position for the whole three years.
[Isezaki and Iruse sit in the center. Ah, and everybody move a little bit to this side]
By the guidance of the voluntary male student photographer, a dozen of people were cramped in one place. Making my way inside the crowd, I took the seat right in the back of Misaki and Isezaki.
Thinking about it now, Isezaki and Misaki were in the same class for three years. Which means that they showed off their intimacy every single day to people. Misaki entered a local college, so it was quite clear that their relationship will remain this way for a very long while.
[Alright, I’m taking it!]
At the moment the shutter was pressed, a spring breeze brought Misaki’s hair odor to my nose.
As a result, my face was half strained and half slacked clinging to a shameful expression in the photo.
The eighteenth spring, youth’s frame.
A few days later, I failed at making it to university, and my new Ronin life had started.
My parents divorced when I was in the sixth year of grade school. I haven’t been told the reason.
It was my mother who left the house and me. Since then, we spent two years together before she passed away. It’s been more than six years now since I last met my father.
The one who proposed to live with me after my mother’s death was my uncle, the little brother of my dad, Haruhito.
Thus currently, I’m living under the same roof with him. Whether my father knew about my mom’s passing or not, he kept on sending 50 000 yen every month to my bank account as a child-rearing expense, to which I entirely give to Haruhito as rent.
I was recommended to enter a preparation school, but I positively declined in order to choose the ronin path instead, only because the concentration courses and the trial examinations will end up costing an enormous amount of money.
[A kid like you doesn’t need to think about unnecessary stuff like this. If it’s about money, I’ll somehow manage it, just go!]
I was grateful for his words, but having someone paying for you dozens of thousands of yen the entire year doesn’t feel right. At the end of a long discussion, the one who gave in was Haruhito.
Like this, my Ronin life had begun.
I sought the city’s library for studying since staying in the house all time made me depressed. So my intention of going out was to change my mood, more than thinking about increasing my studying efficiency.
The library I go to is separated from the house by three train stations and is situated in the city center. Every time I walk my way through the traffic jam, I become obligated to witness the busy salarymen passing near me and the active faces of the youths strutting through the ground while chattering with each other. I had a hard time acting as if I’m not annoyed by being surrounded by these kinds of people.
I leave the house at nine of the morning, devote myself to studying the whole day in the library, and when the sun sets, I take the train back home, leaving behind the nightly town that gets absorbed by the allurement and lust of people.
My regular life was nothing but the repetition of these days.
As I continued to live this routine full of ups and downs, encountering Misaki again was an absolute coincidence.
On the night of the day when the start of the new rainy season was announced, I chose to walk a different path to the station with fewer people in it this time.
Approaching a small park gulped down between the buildings, I noticed a flower vendor stall, established right below the street light. Cut flowers potted in plainly made pots were garnishing a gorgeous assortment to the sorrowful street corner.
….a flower selling stall at this time of night?
Getting all curious about this unusual combination in the street, I concentrated my attention to the client who was appraising the selling flowers while squatting.
It was Misaki.
Seeing her wearing normal clothes was a first time for me, however, after spending three years with her in the same classroom, there was no way I could mistake her for someone else. Not even two months have passed since I last saw her at the graduation ceremony and she already turned into a beautiful, mature woman.
The person who was dealing with her was a little girl wearing a black summer knit. Perhaps her parents left her to guard the store.
Gazing at her slender figure I can only assume that she’s a middle schooler at most.
The little girl unintentionally turned toward me.
What drew my attention, even more, was her mysterious beauty that stood out despite being surrounded with all of those bright flowers in their full blooming stage. Snow white skin not yet touched by anyone, black irises reflecting a melancholic sense, and a well-ordered face starting from a small nose, and continuing down to her young lips resembling flower buds. Her type is different from Misaki’s, but she was indeed a beautiful girl. If Misaki is an elegantly blooming dalia under the sunlight, then the little girl is a night–blooming Cereus waiting for the dawn light, while quietly basking under the moonbeam.
However, somewhere inside those perfect looks of hers, I can also receive a somewhat cold impression coming out. That beauty reflected a feeling as if she had slipped up from an illusional painting, drawn by an artist who poured all of his heart and might into performing it, or in other words, a very unrealistic beauty. That is how perfect her looks were arrayed.
[How can I help you?]
A thin voice, as if ringing a brass bell, yet, its reverberation didn’t seem to leave my ears.
It took me a small while to realize that she directed those words towards me. I couldn’t act naturally at that time. It’s only normal, I mean, my mind was so full thinking about a way to call out for Misaki while I was standing like a fool in front of both them.
[Hm, is that you Mamesaki?]
Misaki raised her head. I instantly noticed the little makeup she had on her initially clear face.
[Yeah, I mean, I happened to pass by here and saw a familiar figure you see]
While being all nervous, I tried my best at making a smile.
[Are you returning from a task tonight, Mamesaki?]
[Yeah, I was studying in the library]
Although I knew very well that there was no meaning in putting on airs, I still vaguely obscured the fact of me being a Ronin.
Behaving as if she is not even interested in what I said, she answered with an “I see”, and stood up after seizing a plastic bag with a potted plant inside.
[I’d like to take my time and talk with you, but I am kinda busy right now, so maybe next time]
Swinging my hands while chasing her leaving figure with my eyes, I started considering what to do after this. I didn’t have the intention of buying flowers from the beginning. I just recognized someone I know and dropped by to greet them.
[Are you perhaps her acquaintance?]
Just when I decided to stick a random reason and leave, the little girl asked me, of course, Icouldn’t just ignore her and go on my way.
[She was a classmate of mine back in high school, does she come here often?]
[Yes, she’s a regular customer who comes here every once in awhile. Countless people call out to me without even intending to buy anything, so visitors like her are very precious]
Looking at her beauty I wouldn’t be surprised by the number of window shoppers. It’s a man’s nature to be attracted to a talking flower after all.
Thinking about such a thing I checked the price tags and was taken aback. All of them were absurdly expensive.
[Rather than not intending to buy, don’t you think that they just lost the intention of doing so?]
[Despite these high prices, some people still purchases them from me. Like a drunk customer who lost control over his wallet, or a salary man returning home in the morning forgetting about his wedding anniversary. Even after noticing that the prices are higher than the ones in the market, if he can just buy it, then he would gladly pay up]
Throwing away the innocent character appropriate for her age, the little girl started speaking in a mature manner, exhibiting my first mysterious impression I had of her. Maybe taking this attitude which is contrary to her pure and innocent outward appearance is a result of dealing with different people at this kind of place and time.
I didn’t plan on buying anything from her in the first place, so I will probably get in the way of her work by staying here for too long. I randomly attached a few words and left the place behind.
[Let me know if you have a particular flower you don’t need, I can purchase it from you]
…..A flower vendor, buying flowers from a customer?
Walking my way back to the train station, the strange words the little girl have emitted toward me remained hanging in my ears.
During the time I was on the train, I started recalling the gossip I overheard in my high school days.
The rumor of the flower vendor in the street corners.
The beautiful little girl that appears in the night street corners and sells her flowers to the bypassing people.
Besides the fact that she opens her stall at the night, nobody knows how and from where does she appear from.
Taking the same approach as a phantom and manifesting out of the blue in unexpected places, it is said that all of those who see her gets visited by good fortune.
A silly story made to grab the interest of the youth. Until graduating, I didn’t hear anybody saying they encountered her, though.
[A little flower vendor girl carrying happiness along, huh…]
Who knows, maybe they are the same person.
While thinking about the little girl, Misaki’s face overlapped as well.
Not the face of the mature Misaki that I just saw earlier, but the one that still had the lingering feelings of innocence back in my high school period.
Ronin: a person who failed every entrance exam for university and is waiting for another chance.