Putting the Pieces Together
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Melancholy of the Shrine Priest (Piece #27)
[Pre-requisite: Rika and Satoko’s chores]
[Pre-requisite: Meeting between the Priest and the Irie Facility]
The headquarters for the Onigafuchi Defense League was in the village meeting place within the compounds of the Furude Shrine. The place is usually calm and quiet, but there are now flags and protest boards against the dam project everywhere.
Within the headquarters, there were 30 members that lead the Defense League debating on what to do next. Even though the meeting place is open to the public, it is still a part of the Furude property, it was agreed upon that the use of this meeting place will only be up to 9:00PM. Of course there are times where the meeting may go past that time during a heated debate, but usually the meeting adjourns when the clock strikes nine. And if the meeting adjourns early, the members stay there until nine for the usual village socializing. This is how it works in Hinamizawa.
But since they are in the middle of the dam war, most of the topics during such socializations are about the dam project. One would hear the villagers talking about how they were mistreated at the local government office, how someone was illegally arrested disregarding his or her right to protest, how the dam construction workers piss them off, etc. etc.
And many of these topics also include bad-mouthing about the Houjou family.
“…and she had the nerve to say that she threw away the circulation note! Who the hell does she think is?!”
“That woman has a loose screw on her head. Did ya’ hear about the quarrel she had with Makino-san’s wife at the local trash collection area?!”
“I tell ya, they are just rude and impolite. Especially that husband of hers! I never met an irrational person like him!”
“You didn’t see him how he acted during the project meeting? Oh, man, you should’ve see the nerve of the guy! He went so far to say that, yet the guy has the nerve to stay here! Don’t have the money to move! Ha! Has he no shame?!”
“Irrational, you say? Man, that woman is also irrational more than him! Wahahahaha!”
“I guess it’s hereditary! That little girl of theirs doesn’t have the decency to say hello whenever I meet her at the store! Seeing her ungratefulness, now we just pretend that she doesn’t exist!”
“Speaking of which, that boy of theirs also seemed depressed all the time too! Uhahahaha!”
By this time, the formula that the Houjous were the enemies of the entire village was set. Hence, bad-mouthing the Houjous became a common topic that anyone can jump right into.
…Anyone residing in this village knows how much influence the gosanke, and especially the Sonozakis have in this area. Added with knowing what kind of person Oryou-san is, no one would dare to go up against her.
The Houjou family and the villagers.
Even if they weren’t involved in the village as much as the others, they still would’ve known what kind of person Oryou-san was like. …He would’ve easily imagined what kind of backlash they would expect if he went out against Oryou-san in a public gathering like that. …Yet, he let his anger take over his rationale and spurted out such abusive words against her.
Hence, no one here feels any pity for the Houjous’ being ostracized in the village. Moreso, they all believe that they deserve what they get for bringing it upon themselves.
If they wanted to make a deal with the government to move away, all they had to do was to do it under the rug. Yet he was foolish enough to spill his beans at a place like that. The Sonozakis started to go after the Houjous soon thereafter. Because of this, many who were pro-dam became afraid of becoming a scapegoat like the Houjous and they reluctantly switched sides. …These people also began to hold a grudge against the Houjous for ruining their plans of receiving just compensation from the government.
The Houjous became further isolated as they became the target of hate from both the anti-dam league and the former-pro-dam supporters...
Furthermore, the Houjous were known for being hot-blooded. If they would’ve kept calm and let the wind subside, they might’ve been forgiven much sooner. They get into a heated argument whenever someone challenges them. Because of this, even the few handful that took pity towards the Houjous began to distance themselves from them as well. …By now, there was no one here that took pity towards the Houjou family. It’s pretty apparent just by hearing the conversations in this meeting place…
Rika is helping set aside the teas that were handed out to the guests. I’m sure that she can overhear these traducements. …And the criticisms that fly here include those about her best friend, Satoko-chan. …It tears me to think how hurt she might be when such backbites are said about her best friend…
…As the head priest of the Furude Shrine, I become conflicted whether I should budge in to stop this nonsense. The Oyashiro-sama is also a god that makes peace between enemies. When humans fought against the demons, it descended from the heavens and quelled the war between the two sides. …As the head who oversees this shrine, I must put and end to this before it goes too far…
I sat next to Oryou-san who was spatfully bad-mouthing about the Houjou family.
Oryou: “So that ass shitted out such crap out his mouth!! So the hell with him!! He’ll definitely have the Oyashiro-sama’s curse handed down upon him!!!”
The elderly members all agree as they listened to her. …If I barge in right now, I’m certain it won’t turn out to be a peaceful resolve…
But as the duty of the Furude Shrine’s priest, I must do this for the sake of Rika’s best friend, Satoko-chan.
Rika’s dad: “…Oryou-san. …I think it is best to stop this belittlement towards the Houjou family now. Don’t you think it has gone a bit too far…?”
Oryou: “Whaat?! What the hell you say…!!”
Rika’s dad: “…I’m sure that Houjou-san didn’t mean it as much as he said. The way they are treated looks very pitiful when it lasts this long…”
Oryou: “Shaddup!!! Weren’t you the least bit pissed off when you heard what that shit said?! Shit pissed me off!! Fuck, Fuck!!!”
…Oryou-san is the head of the Sonozaki family. She is the heir of the demon. She never forgives a person that goes up against her. There was no way that my plea to forgive the Houjou family would reach her… My comment only flared up the tempers of Oryou-san and the elderly, and they wouldn’t hear none of it.
I asked the members of this league to cool down when I told them that the dam project would be gone soon. …I said this because I overheard the people working at the Irie Clinic that the government is putting some kind of pressure to halt this project.
But to them, they must’ve taken me for being a pacifist. …And then, criticisms towards me began to become the topic within the group. …From this day forward, I will realize that I have become branded as a pacifist in this dam war…
……If a demon would come to the compromise table to listen, then peace can be achieved. …But how can I make peace with people who refuse to listen in the first place? I’ve destroyed their mood, so all I could do was give up into silence…
But then, a small hand touched my back.
Rika’s dad: “Oh, Rika. ….It’s already past your bedtime. You should go to sleep.”
Rika: “…No matter how much we do, …it is in vain.”
Rika muttered as if she’s looking farther away in the distance.
Rika: “…The polluted vice of this town cannot be cleansed by polluted residents like us… But, I will not lose hope. …Soon, …there will be someone who will come and smash this contamination. I believe…no, he must…!”
Her eyes shone as if she was peeking through the future that only the priestess of Furude can see…
Last edited by kj1980; 2006-10-26 at
. Reason: Translated by kj1980
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