Who are Mion's uncles and what do they do?
Mion: "Sorry you guys. I have to go help out at my uncle's shop today."
Kei: "What? So no club activity today?"
Mion: "Yeah. Ahahaha. I'll make it up next time...!"
Mion clasps her hands as a sign of apology while snickering at the same time.
Mion: "Well you can feel free to do it without me? There's a bunch of games in that locker. Pick out anyone you like."
The locker she pointed to is that locker filled with games. It is a mystery how that small locker can fit that bunch of games. Perhaps it's connected to a fourth-dimensional world or something...? Not only that, but that locker seems to have whole sorts of junk (costumes?)...! If we were to clean out that locker, I think this whole classroom floor will become filled with junk.
Kei: "...I'll pass. If I open that locker up, I think it's gonna cause an avalanche."
Mion: "Ahahaha! On second thought you're right! That's not something for beginners. Kukuku!"
Mion started laughing as if that can be only be done by the leader of the group.
Rika: "Mii. The teacher is looking for the key to the PE storage room. Do you know where it is?"
Mion: "Huh? Didn't I return that to the faculty office?"
Mion started to check her pockets. ...judging from her facial expression, I think that's where the keys are even though she thought that she returned it.
Satoko: "See. I did believe that it was Mion-san! I absolutely, absolutely suspected her!"
Mion: "...Me too. I am correct as with Satoko."
Satoko and Rika clap their hands together in joy.
Mion: "Shush you!"
Mion hits Satoko and Rika-chan's head lightly and started going to the faculty office.
Kei: "Oh. Did you guys hear? Mion has to go to her job so there's no club activity today."
Satoko: "Is that so?! I do believe that's pretty boring."
They both look unexcited now. ...As much as I hate to admit it, but the number one reason for coming to school is to enjoy the afternoon club activity with Mion. Since that enjoyment has been cancelled, I wouldn't be surprised if they look down.
Kei: "Mion's got a job right? ...What kind of job does she have?"
Whenever Mion decided to cancel the activity, it's usually because of her job. However, I don't see her go that frequently. There are times she would go two~three days in a row, then there are times she never does. What kind of job has a flexible working day like that?
Rika: "...she doesn't have a specific place to work."
Kei: "Hm? So that means it's more like a temporary day-job kinda thing?"
I can't imagine Mion wearing a construction helmet, sweating and toiling at a construction site.
Satoko: "Mion's more like a on-call helper whenever her uncles' shops needs a helping hand."
Kei: "Oh, I see. Come to think of it, most of her jobs were about going to her uncle's place."
Rika: "She has a bunch of uncles who own businesses, so Mii's always an asset to them."
A bunch of uncles that are shopowners? There's many of them?
Satoko: "Oh, Keiichi-san. You haven't realized it yet? Mion's relatives own many and many stores in and around Okinomiya."
Kei: "Oh really? I didn't realize that. ...So does that mean they own a wide variety of stores?"
Satoko: "Yes. There's the bakery, the Ramen restaurant. There's a lot more. That toy store that we went to the other day. That too."
That's...quite a surprise there. Wow...!
Kei: "...Wow. Mion's family must have an excellent merchant blood in them or something! To have and own so many types of stores is quite amazing!"
Rika: "There's also the loan shark, the jiageya (a type of yakuza that forces people off their property for cheap price in order to sell the property more expensively), the image club, soaplands. They've stretched their hands into a lot of business."
Uh, I think I heard something that I shouldn't have, but anyway...! I understand that her family owns a bunch of businesses in the area.
Kei: "So that's the reason why when I borrow money from her, she's quite erratic in getting it back. It's because she has the blood of loan sharks in her too! Now I get it!"
Rika: "There was one time where I forgot that I borrowed some money to buy some groceries, and she came over to have it paid back or 'I'll dunk you in the bath.' (dunk you into a bath is another way of saying I'll sell you off to a brothel)"
...Rika-chan being sent off to a specialized brothel for borrowing money... Oh shit...I think I'm starting to nosebleed~
Satoko: "I do believe that's a stupid way to die. Being drowned in a bathtub? Hahaha"
...huh? I don't think Satoko realizes the real meaning of what Rika-chan just said. How naive. Both me and Rika-chan starts patting her head.
Satoko: "...?! ...wha, why are you two patting me?! ...?!"
Rika: "Satoko, you're such a nice person. Pat Pat."
Satoko still couldn't figure it out, but I think she realized that she was being pitied.
Does Shion really exist?
Satoko: "Huh? Mion's family?"
Kei: "Yeah. To say it more simply, I was wondering if she has any siblings or what not."
I asked Satoko as I was curious whether or not there really was a twin sister named Shion.
Satoko: "hmm...well...I do believe that she may have or not..."
She doesn't seem to be able to give me a clear cut answer. Perhaps she hasn't gone over to Mion's place before?
Kei: "By the looks of it, it seems like you haven't met any"
Satoko: "Yes. I do believe that I only know of her grandmother"
Hmm. Looks like my theory of Shion really existing has reached a dead end from the start.
Satoko: "Perhaps Rika might know. I do believe that such things are better answered by Rika."
Satoko waves her hand to Rika warming underneath the sun.
Satoko: "Rika~. Do you know anything about Mion's family?"
Rika was taken by surprise by such an sudden question
Rika: "....Mii has many many relatives so I don't know every one of them."
Kei: "Her family is that large? Okay...hmm...all right, is there a person by the name of Sonozaki Shion? Uhh...I may have heard it wrong so that person may or may not exist though..."
Rika: "...are you talking about Shii? Yes there is a Shion."
Huh? Really? Wow that was an interesting response. So she does exist!
Satoko: "Really? How similar sounding names they both have. I may accidentally bite my tongue when saying it"
Rika: "...I have heard that she is Mii's twin sister, but I haven't met her that much yet"
Rika-chan seems to know her, but not quite that well.
Rika: "I think I have met her once when there was a village meeting several years ago"
Kei: "Since she isn't in our class, then that mean she is attending the other school in Okinomiya then"
Satoko: "There's the possibility that she lives in Okinomiya. Besides, Mion's living separately from her parents as she lives with her grandmother."
Mion lives separately from her own parents? That's a little strange. I wonder why?
Rika: "Her family is...a bit complicated."
Satoko: "There's probably some kind of reason since her family is that big"
Well at least I learned that there is a twin sister named Shion, but her family relationship is as more mysterious as herself...
Mion: "Hey, what are you three up to? Can ojisan join too?"
Satoko: "Oh Mion-san, you came at a good time! Mion-san, is it true that you have a twin sister?'
Oh crap...it's Mion
Mion: "er....a twin sister?! umm...yeah, yes, there is..."
Mion blushes red in embarrassment in a highly unlikely fashion from her usual self. Is it just me or is she trying to seek out my response...?
Satoko: "Oh~! I did not know that~! I wonder what kind of person she is. I would definitely like to see her one of these days~!!"
Mion: "No don't! Ugh, I don't think you would want to! Uh...she isn't cute or anything and...she's also selfish and...! Ah...I only talk to her once in a while on the phone and yeah, I haven't seen her lately either...!"
...hey hey, Mion's panicking a bit. That's clearly spilling the beans that 'Shion' that I saw yesterday was a fake... But it's kinda funny to see Mion in such a state so I'll just let it be.
...Mion's pseudonym, Shion. ...I wonder if I can get to see her again at that restaurant? I am absolutely certain that they are one and the same person, but what is this weird feeling that I have? It's like I've just met a new friend.
Angel Mort Feature Article
A reprint from the April issue of the undefeatable skirmish photography guide "Complete Conquest Analysis (Family Restaurant Edition)":
And so, finally, the bloody hot day 3.
The super famous store located in a remote region called Shishibone City in XX prefecture that has all the maniacs drooling is this Angel Mort. Why is it that famous stores are always so far removed from the population?.... I can't think of any reason except that it must be a trial from the god of skirmish photography.
To the locals, Angel Mort is a restaurant known for its delicious desserts, but we don't care about that! If we wanted to eat expensive desserts, we could just go to place liks Fu_ya or something! (Note 1)
The sweet dessert that we're aiming for is not the food...... but the uniform-!!
Releasing sweet fragrances of sweat, you can even say that the waitress uniforms, which are a required attirement, are as good as a physical restraint in public! Are you telling me that such a humiliation play is occuring publicly at a shop with the cutest uniforms in the whole country?!
Scramble! Skirmish Photography Hunter----------!!
☆Smoking seats actually get you MAX positions instead? Aim for the chance by using the octopus cling!
Ryuu: "Since I failed at getting my seat yesterday, you see. Today for sure, I will aim for that ultimate golden seat, the smoking area's corner booth seat! Normally, an overwhelming number of otakus prefer the non-smoking seats. Therefore, from the smoking seats, we can take our aims with ease."
As expected of Hunter Ryuu. It's almost as if victory or defeat is decided the moment you picked your seat. Actually, using the same strategy, Ryuu has succeeded in getting a high-setting seat over at Akihabara's XXXXXX on it's first day.
Today, we also came in the afternoon, avoiding the lunchtime rush hour, and after confirming the availability of the seat we're aiming for, an easy get.
Using tricks like making small orders, we increase our engagement opportunities while waiting for a skirmish photography chance....
However... perhaps that thing (※1) from the other day really cursed us after all, the god of skirmish photography is not smiling down on us!!
Other than one slip-up at 3 o'clock in the series of tough guards, chances have not been presenting themselves at all.
By 4 o'clock, even our orders are being picked up by men instead, it appears that our cover has been blown.... A clean retreat if you have been marked, that's the unspoken hunter rule.......
Ryuu: "The aim was perfect, but... It appears that the fork technique we did back at 2:30 backfired on us... I guess they would be cautious after all if there's a bag placed on the floor in a booth seat---.... Maybe hidden cameras in boston bags has already become a fossil technique.... If we clinged on for half a day with double digit EGs, then we could've had a sufficiently high encounter rate, but.... what a pity."
Even then, he still managed to get a few treasure shots. ...A hunter indeed. Even complaining of poor conditions we still got this nice angle. A professional.
But what's shocking is the fact that there still hasn't been any claims from this time's Grand Trans-Japan Uniform Conquest (Family Restaurant Edition)!
A nice starting sign for the hunter who boasts of having been under the care of half the regional police divisions in the entire country?!
※1 That thing from the other day The Nagoya Miko Cuisine XX that the Hunter challenged the other day.
The Hunter was too enthusiastic that he actually got blown the moment he stepped into the store, and got placed in a booth with high priest treatment right off the bat.
Even though he clinged on for over half a day, Miko-san didn't show up at all except for the 1st order...!
An unfitting big miss for the Hunter!!
And now, it's time for the ever-so-popular Hunter's raw photograph present corner!!
We will be giving away a 3 raw photographs set piece, picked directly by the Hunter featuring Angel Mort uniforms from an all-you-can-see low angle, to one lucky reader!!
From these super hot photographs, you too can become a skirmish photographer starting today!!
(Note 1: He's probably referring to Fujiya, the famous Japanese company that specializes in snacks and desserts)
Gochisousama / Thanks for the meal
Note: although the anime showed Keiichi returning the bento box back to Shion, this TIP shows what actually happened in the game instead. Also note that at this point of the game, Keiichi still thinks that "Shion" was only a Mion in disguise (timeline wise, this TIP was received directly after the scene where Keiichi received the bento box from "Shion").
Keiichi: "Oi, Mion. Here."
Mion: "Wa, w, what is it, Keichan...!?"
I push out the bento box, which I received yesterday as a treat, in front of Mion's face.
Keiichi: "It's the bento box that I got yesterday as a treat. Thanks for the meal. It tasted great."
Mion: *blush* "...fue, ...........ah, ......,"
...Mion's face went "pa------" and turned slightly red.
......Oi oi, the one who brought me the bento was supposed to be Shion, remember...? It makes no sense for you to turn red while you're in Mion mode, you know....
At this rate, there's a good chance she's going to dig her own grave and self-explode, so for the time being, I'll do a follow-up.
Keiichi: "Yeah. I was hungry yesterday, you see. And Shion came all the way out to my house and brought a bento treat for me. Well, this is that bento box. I washed it properly!"
Mion: "Ah, ......Ahaha, I, I see! Shion sure is thoughtful~!"
What a transparent reaction. ... Was Mion actually this much of a lousy liar? ... But in a way, these expressions which are totally different from her usual self, ... looked unbelievable and cute to me.
Mion: "Well, h, how was it?"
Keiichi: "...I think she was like a perfect copy of Mion. Since you guys are twins, right? It's obvious that you guys would be alike."
Mion: "Um, ......Th......that's not it... Umm......"
Mion looks like she's waiting for an answer to something with a dazed expression. ... Maybe when she asked "how was it?", she didn't mean about Shion's looks, but about the bento's quality instead...?
Keiichi: "Ahh, of course! It was delicious."
Mion: "...Eh, ......Ah, ...Really?"
Keiichi: "I don't tell lies when it comes to comments about foods. If I say it was delicious, then it's delicious no matter who eats it! It was good enough for me to recommend it to tens of thousands of other peoples. Tell Shion that it was actually delicious for me."
Mion: "Ah, ......Y, yeah! To Shion, right! I'll tell her! I think she'll be happy for sure...! Ahahahahahaha...!"
Even though this would mean that I got the bento from Shion instead of Mion. Mion really... laughed as if she's glad from the bottom of her heart.
... I guess Mion is also capable of laughing in a way that makes others feel good too just by looking at her. Although the sarcasm was about roll off my tongue, I swallowed them back down as they are.
Mion was putting the bento box into her school bag when she noticed the clanking sounds coming from inside.
Mion: "......Keichan, there's something inside? Eh? *blush* ............................Waa......"
Geh, ...this dummy, she opened it up right on the spot...! Since the contents are a little embarassing for me, I didn't want her to open it up here. I hurriedly tried to cover them with my hands!
Keiichi: "Umm... Umm! This is you know, my mom told me to put something in as a sign of appreciation! It's not really my idea or anything, see! So don't get the wrong idea!!"
Mion: "......So pretty.... Candies...."
Inside the sparkling clean bento box is a handful of candies wrapped in pretty looking wrappers.
...Basically, while I was washing the bento box at the sink yesterday, I got "interrogated" by the mom, and was forced to tell her who the treat was from.
And then mom stated that these kind of things have to be returned with something placed inside as a sign of gratitude. ...I resisted by saying that it's embarassing, and that it's not my style, but....
Keiichi: "......A, ...nd that's why. Well, you know, ...uu......."
I'm embarassed to a point that flames could be coming out of my face. ... It might have been better if an usual Mion would just laugh this all off, but ... for some reason, Mion is staring at the candies inside the bento box with a mesmerized look on her face.
Mion: "......Ah, ...Thank you." Keiichi: "D, don't tell it to me. Tell it to my mom, she's the one who put them in! B-b, besides, there's no need for Mion to say thanks, right?! Because those are for Shion, remember?!"
Mion: "............Ah, ...yeah. That's right, isn't it.... Yeah. I'll let Shion know! I think Shion will be happy too."
While looking slightly disheartened, Mion closes the bento box's lid. ...It looks like I ended up saying something a little mean after all.
- bell rings*
Rena: "Miichan feels kind of bubbly today, don't you think? Did something good happen to her, I wonder. I wonder!"
Satoko: "...Perhaps she has caught a cold or something? Her red face must be due to a slight fever. .........uh, Rika, why are you petting my head?"
Rika: "......Satoko too, will definitely become able to catch colds herself one day."
What happened to those three delinquents afterwards
Delinquent A: "Dude. Get your hands off me! Why the fuck do we have to be arrested?!"
Delinquent B: "I said fuck off! Let go you shithead!"
Oishi: "Kuma-chan, you can let go of them now. Here, have a seat."
Kuma-chan seems to have put a pretty big tighthold on these three, so they've started rubbing their arms as soon as they were let go.
Oishi: "Nahahaha. I think you are mistaken. We didn't take you guys here to be arrested. Kuma-chan, can you bring them something cold to drink? So...you guys want to drink barley that foams (beer) or the one that doesn't (barley tea)? Hmm?"
They've quit yelling but they still have angry looks on their faces as they sat down on the sofa. Hahaha, it's great to be young ain't it?
Oishi: "What? You're not drinking? Okay then, I'll start drinking all by myself. Psshh. Oh yeah...nothing beats drinking a beer while at work."
As Oishi began drinking the beer tastefully, the delinquents all looked at each other. They were still in suspicion, but they couldn't find anything wrong with drinking the beer, so they began to open their beers as well. The three popped open their beer cans and started drinking.
Oishi: "So, where are you guys from? I assume you're not from around here?"
The delinquents looks at each other whether or not they should say where they are from.
Oishi: "You guys are...college kids (in the anime, they were portrayed as delinquent high schoolers)? You guys are all friends? Going on a road trip, huh? Wow, I am so jealous."
Oishi: "So your house is not close from here, I assume. Where did you guys come from. Osaka?"
Delinquents: "Why the fuck do you care?"
Oishi: "Calm down, calm down. We've taken you here to protect you. You guys were gonna get jumped back there."
They've began recalling what just happened. They've probably were used to being jumped by rival gang members or students. But I'm as hell sure they've never experienced being surrounded by the villagers - young and old, male or female. I can expect that they must've been scared shitless.
Oishi: "People around here know to never piss off the residents of Hinamizawa. ...people there are somewhat...special. It's not like a parent coming out between a kid's fight. Oh no. In there, if you gang up on one resident, the whole village comes out to fight. I'm not joking - it's serious ya' know?"
No response from them. Well, they've just experienced it first hand.
Oishi: "If a person becomes sighted as a stern by a resident of Hinamizawa, that person just disappears as an 'onikakushi.' I'm talking Without a trace. ...You guys have any friends or relatives who will submit a missing person's report if you go missing? No? That's too bad...you'll just vanish then. unfufufufufu!"
You guys should be thankful we were passing by at the right place at the right time, or I wouldn't know what the fuck would've happened to you guys. If you guys were dragged into an alley, you guys would've probably be ended up on top of the coroner's table instead of sitting on this sofa like a bunch of idiots. Unfufufufu! Of course, I would never say that to their face...no, not yet.
But, that's still the lucky case where we do find your body. sigh...
Oishi: "So how did you guys get to Okinomiya? By train? By motorcycle?"
Oishi: "Hmmm...that's too bad. You guys still left your bikes there right? If you go back there now to retrieve your belongings, you'll definitely get jumped."
Delinquents: "W...What the fuck!! The hell with them!! Bring them bitches on!!"
Calm down, calm down... sigh...why do kids these days have such short tempers?
Oishi: "I know you guys don't want to get into any trouble right? So tell me the license plate number of your motorcycles. We'll tow it over here for your sake. Hey Kuma-chan, can you get the tow truck ready?"
Delinquents: "T..That's not necessary...! We'll go and pick it up ourselves!"
Oishi: "Are you guys out of your mind? You want to get lynched? You won't get lucky this time ya' know?"
Delinquents: "Fuck that shit! I told you, bring them bitches on! We'll take 'em all down!"
Oishi: "....yo. I'm asking you nicely. You've just drank some beer right now, eh? ...If you turn on the engine right now and I'll bust your asses for drunk driving."
Delinquents: "....F...Fucking ass cop...!!"
Oishi: "This 'fucking ass cop' is asking you nicely to tow your stupid asses' motorcycle out of taxpayers' money. Now shut the fuck up and give me the license plate numbers of your motorcycles you dumb shitwads!!"
The three delinquents somehow does not want to give the police the license plate numbers. ...They started saying things like '...well we've just bought it so we don't remember the plate off the top of their head" and what not. ....sigh, just as I expected....
Oishi: "Kuma-chan, can you go along with the tow truck and point out which one to bring them over here? I believe it was the big bulky red Yamaha one, then there was the one with the right brake lamp that was broken, and...I believe it was the white one with the seat taped over? Am I correct, fellas?"
Hmph. No answer. I must be correct then.
Kuma-chan: "Oishi-san, the tow truck's here, so I'm gonna get going."
Oishi: "Yea, yea. Thanks. Oh, and Kuma-chan, one more thing..."
Oishi: "Just to be safe, can you cross-reference the license plate with the database?"
The three's face turned blue. ...Geez, these guys are just too easy...
Oishi: "So, it's gonna be a while 'til the bikes get here. You guys want some more beer? I have some munchies too ya know? Or how 'bout the TV? There's nothing interesting on at this moment though."
Delinquents: "..the hell with this, we're gonna get going. We'd had enough of this shit!"
But, they realized that they were suddenly surrounded by 5-6 big and muscular police officers who are putting pressure by staring down at them.
Delinquents: "W...What the fuck!! We ain't got no shit!!"
Sigh, two counts each, stolen motorcycle and attempted extortion. What a bunch of losers...
It's not the first time we've met
Shion: "I told you, today isn't the first time we've met! We've been meeting each other since yesterday and the day before!"
Kei: "...Whatever. If you say so, alright then."
The person looking after Shion brought over his stationwagon to take me home. I initially refused, but she insisted and put my bike in the trunk before I could say anything.
I am currently inside her car as it drives along the gravels of Hinamizawa. Shion is on par, or even surpassing Mion as an actor, as she wouldn't budge on the things that I ask her.
Kei: "Anyway, you two look very similar. I probably won't be able to tell the difference between you and Mion if you tied your hair back like her"
Shion: "Well duh, we're identical twins! Perhaps you won't! Ahahaha. Ah, the memories. I remember we used to change our clothes and no one would suspect us! We've used to change places many times in the past to deceive people!"
The chaffeur wearing an all black suit sighs in despair.
Shion: "What's wrong Kasai? What's with that deep sigh you just did?"
Kasai: "Pardon me ma'am. ...It's just that I thought you haven't changed"
I could see the chaffeur's toils and endurance that he has lived through by looking at his reflected face on the back mirror.
Shion: "Anyway, Kei-chan. Is this the correct way to your house? Kasai doesn't really know Hinamizawa except for the route to the Sonozaki main household, so if you don't give directions, we might end driving all the way to the riverbed."
Kei: "Wha? Oh, okay. Sorry, you can drop me off at that narrow street coming up to your right. I'll take it from there."
The car stopped at the place that I requested. Kasai-san took out the bicycle from the luggage compartment.
Kei: "Oh, thank you... Thank you for driving me home"
Kasai: "Your name was...Keiichi-san, am I correct?"
Kei: "Huh? Oh yes, it is."
Kasai: "...I can foresee that you are bound to get into a lot of trouble [dealing with Shion], but try your patience out and these will just become a routine day."
Kasai-san seems to have put on a very deep expression of pity towards me. I can tell he has gotten all the runaround dealing with the Sonozaki twin sisters since they were little kids.
Kasai: "But she is just like Mion-san. She is very kind at heart"
Kei: "...You mean she is troublesome just like Mion?"
Kasai-san showed a slight snicker, but didn't say anything out of respect. Hey c'mon, what's that supposed to mean?
Shion: "Good night Kei-chan! See you again tomorrow! Say hi to my sister to me, okay? Hmm...perhaps I should start going to Hinamizawa from tomorrow?"
Kei: "...Please don't. If you transfer to Hinamizawa, I'll transfer to Okinomiya."
Shion: "Oh, that's uncalled for Kei-chan...!"
We were interrupted by a short honk. Kasai-san waves at good-bye and starts driving off. The car disappears into the darkness of the night, leaving behind a small fog of dust in the air.
...What a day this has been. I still could not get the image of Mion's surprised expression of my head. She really must've been in shock to see me with Shion right in front of her.
<About Oyashiro-sama's curse.>
What the Onigafuchi village feared the most was Oyashiro-sama's curse. There's very little left that describes what kind of punishment Oyashiro-sama eventually dealt.
Among the various legends about the village, several disturbing ones that looked like the village was completely destroyed stood out, as "He'll open the gates to hell", "Demons will flow out", "The infernal miasma will come out and kill all of the people in the village without leaving them a chance to escape." It's easy to think that this dreadful divine punishment, matching other religions descriptions of hell, was but a way to coerce people into obeying the doctrine by making them believe they would avoid this fate if they did.
Provoking Oyashiro-sama's wrath is tantamount to breaking one of Onigafuchi's taboos. Once one was broken, Oyashiro-sama was said to be "angered", and to calm down his anger, a Sacrifice Ritual was carried out, as described below.
<The Sacrifice Ritual>
The Sacrifice Ritual was carried out very simply: by drowning. The victim was drowned into the scared site called the Onigafuchi Marsh.
One of the most unique aspects is that in Onigafuchi village, the victim was slowly drowned into the marsh over the course of three days and three nights. This was perhaps because the point of the ritual was not to "kill," but was a pun to "put down." ("put down" meaning to putting the victim down into the marsh and to putting down/quelling the evil spirits)
Considering this theory, there must've been many methods and ideas that were conceived to slow the drowning of the victim into the marsh. Unfortunately, no record exists on what kinds of methods were used for that ritual.
My theory is that they used a log as a mini-boat and used it as an altar, tied the victim up with ropes, and slowly lowered the victim down into the marsh according to the day of the time. However, if that was the case, such contraptions must be safely stored somewhere as a "saigu." ("saigu" literally means "festivity item." This term will come up over an over again, so it will be much easier to remember this terminology)
<Saigus used at the rituals>
The ritual equipments used are known as "saigu," and are safely locked away at the Furude Shrine and in the storages of the other gosanke.
However, these "saigu" are all of contemporary form and none of them reveal the true nature of the dark history of the Onigafuchi village. Had these been lost along with the rituals when the era changed from the end of the Edo period to Meiji? I do not believe so. I sternly believe that the real "saigus" used during the nights of Onikakushi and sacrificial rituals still exist. They exist right here and now, at somewhere in this village of Hinamizawa.
I have 90% certainty where they might be stored. For some reason starting from this year, the place that I suspect stores these items have been changed from a tightly secured lock to a simple padlock. I'm pretty sure that such a cheap lock can be picked open very easily by that man.
However, the village meetings are held very close to that location with high human activity. But I do not give up. The night where all of Hinamizawa will be attending is approaching. That is the prime time to go under the darkness as a blindspot.
It's almost the time for Watanagashi.
(gosanke: literally means "The Big Three Households." This will be explained in detail in Scrapbook VII.)
It's time for the festival
Police Investigator A: "Man, you're tired already? Tomorrow's the big day! You'd better put yourself back into shape cuz you're gonna work from dawn to midnight, alright?!"
Kuma-chan: "Yes sir! I'll give it 120% sir!"
PI A: "Yeah, that's the spirit! That's how young ones should be!"
PI B: "Good night y'all! Tomorrow's Watanagashi. Make sure y'all get good sleep tonight to build up strenght for tomorrow!"
Tomorrow is Watanagashi.
There are two sides to a festival - one is the side that enjoys it, and the other is the one that provides it. In the former, all one needs for preparation is their excitement. But for the latter, you need the will of the body, the power of the mind, and a well coordinated plan. While everyone is enjoying the festival, we must be constantly stay focused to provide security. Why?
PI A: "Duh! It's because the beer tastes great after everything's done!"
This what I love about these athletic type guys! They give it all they've got for the reward that comes afterwards!
Kuma-chan: "Ooh, he's here...!"
Oishi-san steps in. Everyone jolts and stands up.
Oishi: "It's okay, relax. There's no need to stand. How's it going, you guys?" Everyone: "Very well sir!!"
Even though these investigators are much more veterans than me, they hold high respect towards Oishi-san. They talk like the members in cheering gangs that are addressing their superior.
This is Oishi Kuraudo-san. He's a lone-wolf type of guy who doesn't do much these days. He is spending his last year here until his upcoming retirement. He often uses indecent languages and has the image of a lecherous old man. But according to these veteran investigators, it seems he had built a lot of legends during his tenure. ...Anyway, his presence in this room is lot larger than the section manager that came along with him.
Section Manager: "I thank you all for preparing for tomorrow's Watanagashi."
Everyone listens to the section manager's words.
Section Manager: "As with last year, we will be there to prevent any unusual activity that may occur touted as a part of the serial murders. Please give everything you got to prevent such a crime happening once again."
Everyone: "Yes, sir!!"
Oishi: "Sure, it'll be best if nothing happens but....be wary that it is going to happen again. It will be ideal to prevent the thing from happening, but there's probably no use. One person is going to die and another is gonna go missing. There's no use denying it. Unfufufufu!"
Everyone but the section manager started to chuckle.
SM: "Oishi-san, you can't say that! You've gotta handle this more seriously..."
Oishi: "The goal isn't to get through the with festival. ...It's to bite down hard on what's gonna happen tomorrow night and never letting it go. Squeeze up your asses y'all!! We're going to bust down and rip open the truth of the Oyashiro-sama's curse!!!!"
Everyone: "YES SIR!!!!"
Right now, the ceremony of Watanagashi is a village festival held in June of every year, however, if we were to trace it back to its origin, we will actually discover a bloody ritual.
Originally, Watanagashi was a cannabalistic banquet where, based on a predetermined cycle, a "sacrifice" entrusted by Oyashirosama would be selected, the villagers would then kidnap (Onikakushi), dismember, and then eat the person through ritualistic methods.
(There are many mysteries regarding to the laws of the cycle. Because the intervals between the rituals were very irregular. One explanation suggests that the intervals were decided though fortunes based on readings of the stars, but it lacks believability.)
The inhabitants of the ancient Onigafuchi village deeply believed themselves to be mystical beings (sennins) of half-man, half-demon that are a higher existence above other human beings, and made it well known throughout the land.
Perhaps the act of abducting people and eating them was carried out as a way of showing superiority within the food chain?
This is just a hypothesis, but perhaps in a situation when some form of dissatisifaction has been solicited within the Onigafuchi village, which was an isolated environment, the ritual of Watanagashi was actually a political event that would be carried out to serve as an outlet or distraction? If this was the main objective for holding the ceremony, then it also helps in explaining its irregular cycle.
<Why are so many ritual equipments required?>
Almost no descriptions regarding to the concrete shapes of the "Saigus" (Ritual Equipments) can be found. However, there is no doubt that they exist, and in many wide variations at that.
According to one reference book, over two hundred ritual equipments were used in the ceremony of Watanagashi alone.
The question that arises at this point would be "why is it that such wide variety of items were required?"
The ceremony of Watanagashi is the dismemberment and eating of the people who were kidnapped through Onikakushi. From that, we can anticipate the existence of tools used for dismemberment or restraint, but over two hunreds would simply be too much.
Normally, the evolution of a tool is the forage towards a certain goal point. Usually, once a certain level of efficiency has been obtained, no futher evolution would be asked for. In spite of that, what is the reason for the development of this much variety then?
One culture that has diversified along with the ages is entertainment. The tools used in entertainment evolves together with the passage of time, and diversify.
Unlike regular tools, when entertainment tools reach their goal point, they hit a dead end (slump), but they could also split into numerous sub-variations in search of the next goal point.
Then, is it not possible to think that entertainment values could rest within these "Saigus", said to exist in over two hundred variations, as well?
Of course, this is also simply a hypothesis, but perhaps the process of dismembering a human being was treated as a type of entertaiment (show)? In order to avoid boring the audience, various innovative and eye-catching "Saigus (dismemberment tools)" were developed one after another by the successive heads of the Great Three Households.... It's not an impossible way to think about it.
There's no doubt that all the tools are being enshrined within that ritual equipments chamber.
The night of Watanagashi is almost here. Even though its original meanings has already been lost, I am about to solve the mysteries of the ritual equipments chamber on the night of a refined traditional ceremony. ... I can't hold back the swells within my chest. Watanagashi, it can't come soon enough.
Inside the station at midnight, tension is in the air.
Amidst the silence, some station employees look back and forth between the clock and the telephone while the stifling time passes by. Kumagai-kun dashed into the room together with some other young'uns.
Kuma-chan: "Oishi-san, we got the autopsy inquest! Jii-sama has also arrived just now!! I'm also on Stand By OK!! We're going to head straight towards Gifu!!"
Oishi: "Kuma-chan, things have gotten a little bit more complicated. It appears that the body over there is in a state that makes it very difficult to determine its identity."
Kuma-chan: "It can't be that, it's in pieces...?!"
Oishi: "Nope. They say it's been toasted rather nicely." Although it was said in a jokey tone, it carried a heavy meaning.
...Sighs escape from the station employees.
Kuma-chan: "From top to bottom...?"
Oishi: "Completely burnt up, they say. That kind of stench must be hell. I sure feel bad for the Gifu guys." No belongings and toasted. On top of that, thown away outside of the prefecture....
If we're unlucky, it might even take a whole week before we can get an identity. ... Being able to sniff it out within tonight will be big.
Oishi: "Right now, Komiyama-kun's group is doing a thorough night ambush on Okinomiya's dental clinic. There's no other way except to do a dental record check... Excuse me! Can somone go and buy me two packs of Ultra Mild?"
A young one answered and dashed out into the hallway.
Kuma-chan: "......This year, we did a good job finding the body, didn't we? ...Perhaps all the missing persons in the past were also offed outside the prefecture like this?"
Oishi: "Then why not just bury them? Just put a weight on them and toss them into the Sea of Japan or Lake Biwa or something."
Kuma-chan: "...But why? ...Isn't the pattern up until now supposed to be 1 person dying and 1 person disappearing?"
Oishi: "Kuma-chan. The victim was toasted inside a drum can without any restraints, remember? I believe the victim was probably burned on purpose after being done in first. Being discovered was an anticipated event." Kuma-chan: "Then, in other words..., do you mean to say that there was no intention to hide the victim right from the beginning for this year?"
Oishi: "Rather than saying there was no intention to hide the victim, I'd say it's something completely different from that. Forget hiding, it feels almost as if a statement is being made instead."
Kuma-chan: "In other words... Are you saying that this is done as some kind of warning?"
Oishi crosses his arms, and let's out a long sigh that's been building up inside his chest for a while now.
Oishi: "If this happened within the city, then that's a possibility too. But if the body was sent that far away before being burnt, with bad luck, we wouldn't even find it. If this was a warning, then it should've been done closer to Hinamizawa....... Wanting to make a claim about the kill, yet doing it in a far away location where the effect isn't guaranteed. Do you want to make a claim or do you want to hide it?......... Just what exactly is Oyashirosama thinking this year, I wonder~"
The ring tone of telephone slices through the heavy silence. A nearby station employee picks up the receiver.
Employee: "Oishi-san! It's Komiyama-san!! They got it! The victim was at the Okinomiya dental clinic 3 years ago for a wisdom tooth treatment!!"
Oishi: "And the record?!"
Employee: "It's got the X-rays and everything!"
Oishi: "Well..., I really owe the dentist an apology for all the commotion this early in the morning. Kuma-chan, please depart once you get the records from Komiyama-kun."
Employee: "Ah, it's the chief!! Thanks for your hard work this late at night!"
Chief: "Oishi-san, sorry for being late. What's the situation?!"
Oishi: "Hmm, ...things are finally about to get interesting. I'm getting fired up! Wa~o!!"
<The Motive of Watanagashi>
Watanagashi. To kidnap the victim and feast upon it. It was thought that this absurdity was in fact, a part of entertainment. (It was believed that they were higher beings than normal humans by enjoying such an abnormal act).
However, I have came across a historical document that might cast a stone into that theory. As this is a secondary source based on oral history, it cannot be put into actual historical context. However, its contents are of some interest.
According to that document, the villagers of Onigafuchi were doing this ritual to instigate fear into them. Girls and children turned pale along with trepidation while hemophobics vomited at the sight and the stench of blood. Yet, they were all forced to watch the feast (mutilation process).
This puts a whole new perspective into the light. Before reading this hypothesis, I had the impression that the villagers of Onigafuchi were "high" as they did their acts. Before this, I believed that the villagers dissected the victims like fish to reinforce their belief that they were superior to "low-life humans." However, if the villagers did not attain some sort of "high" but acquired "fear" instead, then meaning of this ritual changes dramatically.
If so, then the possibility of the people in power using this as a propaganda tool to keep people under their control comes into play.
The most powerful people who controlled Onigafuchi were The Big Three Households known as the gosanke. Further research on the gosanke will be necessary to get down to the truth of the Onigafuchi village.
The gosanke signifies the three most powerful families that controlled matters in Onigafuchi village.
These three are the Kimiyoshi Family, the Furude Family, and the Sonozaki Family. All three exist to this present day. (Even though they do not wield that much power as historically written, they still weigh tremendous influence within the region to this day). The gosanke are said to have inherited the highest concentration of the demons' blood in their bloodline.
<The Kimiyoshi Family> Formerly, the Kimiyoshi Family was the strongest and held the leadership position within the gosanke. However, it seems that they have lost influence in the present time.
The current village chief (Kimiyoshi Kiichirou) is a member of this family. It is believed that this is the reason why the Kimiyoshi family always held the position of the village chief before the idea of elections were introduced. Of course, since there are no other candidates, there hasn't been any change for the Kimiyoshi family being the head of the village even in our post-war era.
<The Furude Family> They have been the center of faith, and they are responsible for the preservation of the shrine to respect the Oyashiro-sama. They have been revered as the spokesperson for the voice of Oyashiro-sama. However many of their branches had died off during the war, and only the main branch of their household exist today. Furthermore, the only living person of this family is a single female child (Furude Rika), and it is in danger of going into extinction.
There seems to be custom of especially revering the female member of the Furude line, so many of the elderly villagers take a huge reverance to Rika.
<The Sonozaki Family> They are believed to be the enforcers of the practice and customs for Onigafuchi village. They were among the weakest of the gosanke, and were always the last to be addressed. However, it is interesting to note that this power balance has shifted in the present times as they wield the largest influence within all of the gosanke. It is safe to say that they now control all the matters and decisions of Hinamizawa.
The three gosanke must agree upon a matter to take action, but this is just in practice only. In reality, all the decisions are handled by the current head of the family, Sonozaki Oryou.
The Late Night Call
Kimiyoshi family member A: "Hello? I'm so sorry to call you at this late night. This is Kimiyoshi. Is this the head of the family? ....Yes! No, no, I thank you for that. Yes. ....Well, ...I apologize in advance in asking you this question at this time of hour but, we were just wondering if our grandfather was at your place right now. ...Yes, that's what we thought too! Once again, I'm sorry for calling you this late in the evening. Oh no, thank you. Good-bye. Yes, good night to you too...."
Kfm B: "So? Looks like he wasn't there either?"
Kfm A: "Hmm...this is strange. He always gives us a call whenever he's running a bit late in excitement!"
Kfm B: "You called everyone in his regular Go members right?"
Kfm A: "Hello! This is Kimiyoshi."
Mion: "This is Sonozaki. How is it going? Has the village chief been found?"
Kfm A: "Oh Mion-chan. ...No. We've tried everyone we could think of, but had no luck. Where could he be? We're starting to get a bit worried..."
Mion: "We've called on our end to see where he might be, but we had no luck either."
Kfm A: "......"
Mion: "I've discussed this with grandma, and she mentioned that we should call out the youth corps."
Kfm A: "At...at this time of the night...? And it hasn't been judged that he went missing yet..."
Mion: "It's right after Watanagashi. If we still can't find him, we should notify the authorities in the morning. Whether we find him or not, it is best to do what we can do right now to avoid the pain in the gut."
Kfm A: "Did Oryou-san say that?"
Mion: "Yes. If you don't believe me, I can put her on the phone for you?"
Kfm A: "Oh no, that isn't necessary. Alright, we'll convene the youth corps and start a search. And if by chance we can't find him...we'll go to the police in the morning."
Mion: "Thanks. Please use the proper channels to bring out the youth corps. I'll also be joining to represent my grandma"
Kfm A: "Oh, thank you. We'll start calling them right now."
Mion: "Yes, thank you."
<The gosanke in the present day>
As mentioned before, the current gosanke meetings are in name only as the dictatorial powers are vested by the Sonozaki family. The Kimiyoshi and the Furude families had not retained the strengths that they used to have, nor do they seem to have the desire to hold onto to their ancestors' traditions.
On the other hand, the Sonozaki family has held a firm grasp onto their beliefs, traditions, and power to this date. It is assumed that the most recent "Watanagashi" incident reported back in the end of the Meiji era was also under the supervision of the Sonozaki family head at that time. (see family tree of the gosanke families at the end of Meiji era) The Sonozaki family gained further influence in Hinamizawa as they took the leadership role of helping its economy.
Furthermore, while the chairman for the group against the dam contruction project several years ago was lead by the Kimiyoshi family, it known that the Sonozaki family were the real leaders in this massive demonstration. As the Kimiyoshi family fought against the project through legal and civil means, it is rumored that the Sonozaki family aided the anti-dam construction effort through dark and shady methods. Most of Hinamizawa do not doubt that the numerous subversive activities during the anti-contruction demonstrations were carried out by the Sonozakis. For example, one of the most well known incident that many believe that the Sonozakis were behind it was the kidnapping and extortion of the Minister of Contruction's grandson.
Henceforth, it is touted that the recent murder-homicides were executed by the Sonozaki family. These murder-homicides symbolizes a revival of the old "Watanagashi" festival. Perhaps they are trying to make the villagers remember the rules and traditions of the old Onigafuchi village by carrying out these "watanagashis" on the day of the Watanagashi Festival?
More research on the Sonozaki family will be necessary to complete the research on this subject. Should entering the Furude Shrine's warehouse be successful, I shall focus my next attention towards the Sonozaki family. Although the security around the Sonozaki household complex is very secure with surveillance cameras and the like, I am fortunate enough to know members of the Sonozoki family, the heiress Mion and her twin sister Shion. I would like to utilize this connection to further my research.
4 people's sins won't be the end of it
Someone : [ Don't worry about it. Somehow, when I eat oden here, I spend as much as a year's worth of fuel. So you can just order another glass. ]
The man, whose face was already more than red, disappeared into the neons in front of the train station.
Oishi : [ Kuma-chan, you still need to learn a few things. Because in the end, humble people live the longest. Huhuhu. ]
Kuma : [ Was that story earlier true ? ]
Oishi : [ We don't know that. But whether it's true or not, there must be a reason why it's spreading that fast. ]
Kuma : [ And could it be a motive to go after the village's head ? ]
Oishi : [ I'm telling you this all the time Kuma. A motive just has to be enough for the criminal. You need to take difference of values into consideration. Lady, another drink. ]
Despite information being withheld, Tomitake and Takano's death were already a widely spread rumor in Hinamizawa. Their deaths were believed to be due to provoking Oyashiro-sama's wrath by breaking into the forbidden sacred shrine. According to the rumors, 2 other people were there : Sonozaki Shion and Maebara Keiichi. And rumor had it that those 2 would be hit by Oyashirosama's curse. But it seemed responsibility wouldn't only fall on the 4 people that broke in. The door had a massive lock until last year, but it being changed to an easier one made the shrine more likely to be broken in. Or so did the rumor say.
Oishi : [ Did you ever see it, Kuma ? I went there on a job a long time ago and I still remember it well. ]
Kuma : [ I'm sorry, I can't remember. ]
Oishi : [ The lock was so secure it was almost scary. A heavy bar completely sealed the door. It felt like a bank vault. ]
And this year, it changed to a simple and cheap padlock.
The single girl defending the shrine, Furude Rika, didn't like the heavy lock and talked about it to the village's head. He changed it a to a simple padlock.
Kuma : [ Then the village's head and Rika are both responsible ? Then isn't Furude Rika in danger ? ]
Oishi : [ That's is very likely. Send an urgent message to the camouflaged patrol cars in Hinamizawa. Make them patrol in the vicinity of the temple. ]
<The Sonozaki Family>
The Sonozakis gained their current strength from the post-war era. The head at that time is the current head of the household, Sonozaki Oryou. Sonozaki Oryou is quite elderly today and it is difficult to see such a old woman wielding so much influence. However, it has been noted that her leadership was the strongest and the most brilliant out of all the heads in their family history. With the exception of going out to learn traditional activities, she currently spends most of the time at home due to her age. Most of the ceremonial events that require her leadership have already been passed down to her grandchild and heiress, Mion. (It is well known that the grandchild was given full rights rather than her own daughter due to a quarrel between the two on marriage.)
It is difficult to see such an active young girl like Sonozaki Mion to have the title of heiress on her shoulders. However, she holds the blood of the Sonozaki and has inherited the [kanji letter for] demon in her name, it is imperative that one should not let their guard down when speaking to her.
What about the elder head of the Sonozaki family?
Kuma-chan: "Yes. It appears that the post office worker didn't spot her either. ... Apprantely, for the Sonozaki main house, a name stamp is left hanging by the mailbox, so even for registered or express mails, the mailman can just stamp the receipt himself and deposit the mail."
Oishi: "Na-ha-ha, well that's careless. ... Then, when was the last time anyone has spotted her?"
Kuma-chan: "Her greeting during the opening ceremony of Watanagashi was the last time. It seems like she immediately returned home after that."
Oishi: "She's quite old, after all. ...From what I hear, doesn't she attend to some practices several times every week? What about that?"
Kuma-chan: "Every Monday, she practices Japanese koto (harp) at the village assembly hall, but it appears she didn't go this week."
Oishi: "Any calls saying that she was going to be absent? And has anyone tried to confirm that?"
Kuma-chan: "No, nobody did. It seems like she takes breaks every now and then, so nobody thought of it as strange."
Oishi: "Tomorrow, let's try calling around 10 o'clock pretending we're from the city hall. Please confirm that she's home."
Kuma-chan: "10 o'clock. Understood!"
Ever since it felt more and more likely that Hinamizawa's old customs are involved in this, the police has been secretly monitoring the gosanke (great three houses).
Up to today, the head of the Kimiyoshi family of the gosanke and the head of the Furude family has disappeared.
There's one remaining family head. The head of the Sonozaki family, Sonozaki Oryou. Seems like an old grandma.
Even though she hasn't lost her authority, she rarely show herself in front of others, so they're having a hard time getting a confirmation. ... And that last family head too, has not been seen by anyone ever since she was last spotted on the day of Watanagashi.
Is she still alive and well inside the Sonozaki main house right now? ....Or is she......already?
Kuma-chan: "According to Sonozaki Mion, it seems like she has fallen sick and is staying in bed."
Oishi: "Is she really resting in bed, I wonder? I'd love to see her face and take a pulse...."
Kuma-chan: "..................You're totally right."
The two of them spits out a large cloud of cigarette smoke....
Kuma-chan: "Oishi-san, ...about the search warrant for the Sonozaki main house and Furude shrine. Do you think the application will go through?"
Oishi doesn't answer, and spits out a cloud of tobacco smoke again, and literally shrouded himself in smoke....
<About the hidden 「Demon」>
Within the village of Hinamizawa, whose residents believe that the blood of demons flow within themselves, the word 「demon (鬼)」 is considered to be sacred.
For example, the usage of the word 「demon (鬼)」 in first names is a privilege given only to the heads of the Kimiyoshi and Sonozaki family.
As an example, for the current head of the Sonozaki family, Sonozaki Oryou (園崎お魎), we can see that the 「ryou 魎」 in her name has a 「鬼」 in it. This is the proof showing her to be the legitimate head of the Sonozaki family. The same goes for her successor, Sonozaki Mion (園崎魅音), we can see that the 「mi 魅」 has a 「鬼」 in it. Oryou's own daughter, who didn't succeed the family and is also the mother of Mion, Sonozaki Akane (園崎茜) also had the name of 「蒐 (Akane)」 before she was disinherited.
By the way, for the name of the village chief 「Kiichirou (喜一郎)」, the 「Ki」 in it can also be interpreted to mean 「鬼 (Ki)」.
Also, names that makes use of 「demon (鬼)」 in them are not restricted to only the successors of the Sonozaki family. We can also find 「demon (鬼)」 within the surnames of the gosanke. For example, the 「Kimiyoshi (公由)」 of the Kimiyoshi family was probably created by taking the word 「鬼」 apart. If we were to write out the strokes "由" and then "公" in order, the word 「鬼」 can be written out nicely.
For the continuing Furude (古手) family, since they were a family working the sacred Shinto posts throughout generations, and were the 「fortune tellers (占い手)」, we can take the name 「占手」, add a demon's horn onto it so that 「占」 → 「古」.
As for the Sonozaki (園崎) family, perhaps because the demons have already been included in their first names, we can't find the word for demon (鬼) in the surname. Since they were a family who were responsible for running the ceremony of Watanagashi, it is believed that their surname came directly from the contents of the ceremony. Swap out the word 「崎 (saki)」 for 「裂き (saki, to tear)」. As for 「Sono 園」, since its shape suggests a square wrapping up a complex content (organs), it's probably suggesting 「a human body」. In other words, it's possible to interpret 「those who tear stomaches」 → 「Sonozaki」.
Investigator A: "Oh, you're back sir!!"
Oishi: "Well? Anything new while I was gone?"
...everyone shakes their head in despair. You can see the exhaustion on these guys faces. I don't blame 'em, they haven't had any sleep since the night of Watanagashi.
Oishi: "Section manager, can you give them a break in turns, starting from the young 'uns? It's gonna be a long investigation so we should rest when we can."
SM: "I've been telling them to take a nap but they don't seem to go by my words. Can you tell them with your own words Oishi-san?"
Oishi: "Guys, guys, I don't want you to work yourselves to exhaustion ya know? Komiyayama-kun, tell them to start taking a break, young 'uns first."
SM: "Komiyayama-san, please do so."
Komiyayama-kun agreed and left his chair.
Oishi: "And, SM. How 'bout my request? Is it still not going through?"
SM: "It's just a village rumor at this point right? It's difficult for that request to pass unless we have something more concrete."
Oishi: "But that concrete evidence might be inside there"
SM: "We need the proof that the evidence is housed there!"
Oishi: "SM~, we're not playing a riddles here... Two people outta four that went into the forbidden storage house died. There was someone who witnessed them going inside! How much more proof do we need?"
SM: "You say a lead, I say it's a rumor. You don't have concrete proof right?"
Oishi: "Well yes I don't have a photo of the four sneaking in, but I'm certain that they saw something inside the storage! Something big enough to make them disappear!"
SM: "Big enough for them to disappear? What is that then?"
Ugh...I don't know what's inside! That's why I'm petitioning to get the search warrant approved in the first place...!
Oishi: "I suspect something that deals with the Sonozaki syndicate. Perhaps a mountain of Tokarev TT-33s, an opium processing lab, oh the possibility of the Sonozaki's hidden cash can't also be ruled out too."
SM: "Oishi-san, I understand your feelings! But that storehouse is a sacred site in the compounds of the Furude Shrine. It's a sacred site and we need to take into consideration of the local residents of that area!"
I heard that the chief was grilled by Assemblyman Sonozaki for over an hour. Perhaps the SM was given a warning by the chief?
SM: "Anyway, unless we have concrete evidence, we cannot obtain a search warrant for that storage. The same goes for the Sonozaki main household! Besides, the Sonozaki compound is an area that is handled by Section Four(1) and the Boutai(2). It takes months of preliminary fine-tuning to make it happen!"
Oishi: "If it's fine-tuning you want, I can go and ask them right now? Section Four was Shige-chan right? And the Boutai was Yamami-san. Man, I can talk to them playing at the mahjong place right next door."
Police A: "S...SM! There's a person who wishes to speak with you...ah, please wait...!"
A yakuza-like old man dressed in traditional men's garb shoved aside the guide. ...oh dear. I guess he wasn't satisfied with just a phone call?
Assemblyman Sonozaki: "I'm Assemblyman Sonozaki! Who's the man in charge!? Hurry up!!"
SM: "H...Hello! I am the Section Manager, Takasugi!!"
AS: "I don't need your business card!! I can send you off to an unimportant post in a snap! And I'm not satisfied with just you! Where's this guy named Oishi, the fucking bastard who has the nerve of asking for a search warrant for a sacred site like Furude Shrine!!"
SM: "Uh...I'm sorry sir! Mr. Oishi is currently on an investigation and we cannot reach him right now! I would be happy to answer your questions on his behalf...! Please, have a seat!"
The SM makes eye contact with me to get the heck outta here. ...I guess I'd better take his kindness right now... I think I'll get some much needed shut-eye in the resting room.
AS: "You listen carefully!! The Furude Shrine is a sacred site which spans over 2500 years out of the 2600 years of our country's history!! The shrine holds the spirit of the gods and the Oyashiro-sama, protects and looks over Hinamizawa from dusk to dawn, day and night!! And you guys have the nerve of barging in there with dirts on your fucking shoes!! Besides, freedom of belief and religion is a right written in our nation's constitution!!! And the motive for using this as an excuse for your fiddled investigation!! How dare you!! You won't get away with this easily!? You hearing me you asshole!!! Yeah you better be scared, cause I'm going to make you regret the day you pissed the shit outta me, you got that!?"
(1) Section Four - was a section in the police department that handed investigations on organized crime
(2) Boutai - was a section in the police department that checked and oversaw crime syndicates
<The disparagement of twins>
While it is not that unheard of elsewhere, the gosanke of Onigafuchi village had a huge discontempt for twins being born as a potential heir. It is believed that this was because they wished to avoid a possible civil strife between the three houses that balanced the power in controlling the matters.
A historical document noted that should twins be born, they should both be killed immediately. Should this be true, it is interesting to see the heiress Sonozaki Mion and her twin sister Shion well and alive today. (Perhaps the current head Oryou felt sorry for them?)
However, the twins are not treated equally. The heiress Mion leads a different way of life compared to her twin sister. (While Mion and Shion look very similar, it is said that the majority of the talent and abilities were given to Mion. ...However, it is hard for me to agree from my own perspective of those two).
As tradition, the heir/heiress to the Sonozaki family is given a elaborate tattoo of a demon on his/her back as a symbol of "inheriting the demon." Should this tradition be practiced, then it is highly possible that Mion has a large tattoo on her back.
I've heard that the current head Oryou has a very detailed demon's tattoo on her back. Then, I wonder what kind of demon is imprinted onto Mion's back? ...I'm now interested in getting a glimpse of Mion's back.
Mahjong Club "Suzu"
All seats are reserved for today. ~Mahjong Club "Suzu"~
Owner: "Well there, Ku-chan. You're the slowest one, you know~? All the young ones are already here."
Oishi: "Na-ha-ha-ha.... Now then, madam, if you'll excuse me."
Oishi hands over a convenience store bag with a carton of cigarette in it to the old lady who owns the Mahjong club, and she cleverly vanished off to somewhere else. ...It's all part of the drill now.
Young Officer: "Oishi-san! Thanks for all your hard work!!"
Oishi: "What's this, did you all seriously wait for me? You guys could've played some Sanma or something." (Note: Sanma = 3-player mahjong)
Sitting at each mahjong table lined up inside the narrow store interior are Oishi's men, but there are no mahjong tiles out on any of the tables.
Oishi: "Everyone, I'd like to thank you all for your continuous investigations without sleep for these past few days, good job."
Young Officers: """Yes sir!!"""
Powerful replies fill the mahjong club. ...The atmosphere in the place is no longer that of an entertainment spot.
Oishi: "The situation is not looking good. It appears that the chief has surrendered to the threats by the Sonozaki assemblymen. Soon, the Takano murder case will be handed over to the Gifu prefectural police, and the disappearances of the village chief and the others will be treated as missing-person cases and turned over to domestics."
...That grasshopper chief. The veteran officers swear out.
Oishi: "Our requested warrants have all been rejected as well. I have been told by our section manager to stay away from the Sonozaki family lands. ... Really, really, this is a headache. By the way, there's also an order out for me to report to police headquarters for trainings starting next week. After that, I was even told to take my remaining vacation times and digest them over at Izu. ...Well-, that doesn't sound too bad either~."
Oishi lets out a bitter smile. ...It's not a laughing matter, but there was nothing to do except to laugh.
Oishi: "This goes for everything, but cases are very similiar to locking your car keys inside your car. The key to opening it is always locked within it. If it's a car, we can call the JAF and get them to pry open the door for us. But if it's a case? Kuma-chan, the diagram."
Kumagai flips the white board over. A diagram of the residence has been attached to the back side with magnets.
Oishi: "I have al-----ways been in this line of business, so I have confidence in my own instincts. However, just this once, it's possible that this could be a flop, alright? So if any of you cherishes your retirement money, please leave before I count to 10."
When Oishi begins to count to 10, everyone else begins to count as well. ......This is the famous 10-count of Resolution by Oishi and the others.
Oishi: "9, 10!! Ah~ah~, nobody's leaving. Everyone, please think about your families more, alright? N-fu-fu-fu!"
Officers: """Wa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...!!""" Everyone in the place laughs gallantly to help add to the mood.
Oishi: "Individuals, confirm the data in your hands. Please memorize the locations of the surveillance cameras and their blindspots. Kuma-chan will be on stand by in the command car. In an emergency, I'll be asking you to take over command for me. Komiyama-kun will head Assault Team A. Atsu-kun will head Assault Team B. Surveillance team 1 through 8 will monitor from specified locations. Bonchi-kun will follow our time tables closely. Please manage our rotations so that we don't cause any suspicions back at the station. Now then, the team on stand-by gets the biggest job, you know? If the section manager askes where I am, please make up some kind of excuse."
Oishi: "I'll be playing the escort role for our guest. I'll be bring him to the event grounds with me for sure, so everyone, please wait for us patiently."
Officer: "......... He's not gonna drop out, right? Maebara Keiichi."
Oishi: "From what I can see, he should be good to go by tommorow or the day after. It's all in a flip. N-fu-fu-fu!"