Putting the Pieces Together
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Join Date: Nov 2003
The New Wind (Piece #34)
[Pre-requisite: Ryuguu’s move back to Hinamizawa]
[Pre-requisite: Sonozaki’s watermelon]
Uncle Hiroshi: “Oh, look at the time. I should get going now. Thanks for the tea.”
Oryou: “No problem. Come back anytime.”
Mion: “I’m back! ..hey, Uncle Hiroshi! How’s it going-!”
Uncle Hiroshi: “Hey, look who’s here, it’s Mion-chan! Just came home, eh? I was just about to leave to give pick up the prospective buyers.”
Mion: “Buyers? Oh, it’s about your real-estate business, I see.”
The Sonozaki family is one of the largest landowners of the Hinamizawa area. However, much of these lands lay rusted and undeveloped. Recently, the lands owned by the Sonozakis were put onto sale in lots. There were debates within our family during the family meeting about whether it was the right choice to start selling off lands that were handed down through our ancestors, but grandma shut them up with her usual stingy vocal snap. Several of the unused fields were reformed into vacant lots, and were released to the public for sale in lots.
But, …even I had my doubts to my grandma’s decision at first. Yes, I guess you can say that the Sonozaki family is rather rich. We have bunch of land, and a bunch of money. So, I couldn’t figure out the rationale of why we had to sell our lands.
What surprised me the most was that grandma herself was the first one to bring up the idea to sell our ancestral lands to some strangers. I would’ve thought that she would’ve exploded in anger with vein popping out on her forehead if anyone dared to bring up such a thought.
Uncle Hiroshi: “Well, come by to my place the next time you are near the train station. I’ll treat you to some nice cold barley tea.”
Mion: “Thank you. How’s the market going?”
Uncle Hiroshi: “Actually, I’m surprised how so many urbanites are taking interest in our area! I don’t comprehend why these nouveau riche would be so interested in living in such an inconvenient place”
Mion: “My, my. I suppose there are so many curious and whimsical people out there!”
Uncle Hiroshi: “We even had a call where one wanted to actually
here. He said he wanted to build an art studio out here. I think he’s some sort of artist or something.”
Mion: “Really? That’s interesting!”
Uncle Hiroshi: “Oh shoot, look at the time! I’ve gotta go get the bus!”
He set up the real-estate tour, and he was the one driving the bus. I guess it’s almost time for the sales pitch to end. Uncle Hiroshi hurriedly walked out of the house for his awaiting visitors.
Mion: “…Can I ask you something, grandma? I know you dislike outsiders. But then, why did you decide to sell our land in lots?”
Oryou: “I do hate outsiders, and especially urbanites. …But this village needs new air. It’s like re-freshening an old house.”
Mion: “You’re prospecting that…some kind of positive effect to occur for this village by bringing in new people?”
Oryou: “This village is a great place. …But the world is changing at a fast pace these days. Before, very little change occurred even after ten or twenty years passed in this village.”
Mion: “Yeah, well that rural life for ya! In this village, there’s nothing different between yesterday, today, or tomorrow. …To me, it’s pretty boring!”
Oryou: “But you gained a friend, didn’t ya? Ryuguu’s Rena was it? She moved back here and she instantly became your friend. Even you said it that you were happy to finally have a friend close to your age.”
Mion: “Yeah that’s true. It is fun to become friends with someone so unexpectedly.”
Oryou: “I remember you always saying ‘I’m bored, I’m bored’ when Rena-chan didn’t go to your school. Kukukuku!”
Mion: “So you’re saying that this is just one example of a positive effect of brining in new people here?”
Oryou: “No matter how cold the winter, you need to re-freshen the stale air that got built up inside. Otherwise, you suffocate with the polluted air that gets built up from the fireplace. So you brave the chilly air and open up all the windows.”
Mion: “…Will a new person be able to re-freshen this village?”
Oryou: “Of course. And that person will bring in fresh air and polluted air like us will need to be shoved out.”
If I uttered the word about the Houjou family here, I’m sure she’ll blow her anger. …But I can tell that grandma is actually talking about the need to rejuvenate all the negative aspects of this village, including the lingering ostracization of the Houjou family by the villagers. …Though she might still might be pissed off she is reminded of the verbal argument she had with the Houjous at the meeting several years before, deep down inside, she probably wants to put an end to this whole stigma.
But forgiving someone for their actions is a bit difficult for grandma’s age. In order to save face of her reputation, she can’t openly say that all is forgiven.
…I think she shows signs of a
personality trait like a schoolgirl where she actually likes that person but puts on mask that she doesn’t in order to repress her true emotions
. …Perhaps people return to children once they age old enough. This holds true to all the elderly in this village. …And this soil promotes the evil practice of this village.
This is probably the true meaning of grandma’s rhetoric in using the symbolism of “bad air.” Polluted air will never be cleansed no matter how much you try to circulate the air within a closed space. One must open up the windows and let the new air in to purify the stale air.
Mion: “Well, I still dunno if anyone wants to move here. Besides, isn’t it a bit too much a burden to hold the new person with such a high expectations? Kukuku!”
Oryou: “Well, even you changed a lot with just Rena-chan moving here. This whole village will change even with one new family. …All I hope is that their kid will be a energetic young’un who has the charisma to lead the village from our hands by wreaking some havoc in this little village. That young’un needs to be like the one who’ll put us old folk down away into the neverland.”
Mion: “Kukuku…what the heck is that? Are you talking about grandpa again?”
Oryou: “Dumb-ass! Who said that I was talking about your grandpa!! Here, shoo. Go help the housekeepers and carry these cups of tea back to the sink.”
Mion: “Yeah yeah, sure sure.”
Oryou: “…The day Houjou Satoshi disappeared. ….You confronted me.”
Mion: “…Oh yeah, I think I did that. …Ahaha.”
Oryou: “That was when I opened up my eyes. …All this time, I thought this whole thing against the Houjou family would go away when all the old folks like me die away. …But that takes too long. I need to get it resolved faster than that.”
Mion: “But since you can’t do it yourself…you’re leaving that task up to an outsider?”
Oryou: “…….It’s the only option that I could do.”
Mion: “No matter what bad of a hand you have, if you draw another card that hand might become a hand that might change the course of outcome. …And perhaps, it is a good strategy to start drawing more cards from the stack of cards…”
Oryou: “Mion, the new wind that’ll be coming in will be in the same generation as you. …Welcome the new wind in to our community. And you are going to be driving wind within our community who is going to provide momentum to that new wind. Your task is to create a gale so strong, it’ll blow us stale air out into the horizon.”
Mion: “Salvation by others, eh? Sheesh. You’re the one who started the fire, but you ask your grandchild to wipe your ass.”
Oryou: “…Oh come now. I want you to welcome the new wind into the village…and I’m saying that to you as the incoming head of the Sonozaki household.”
Mion: “….If it’s the job I have to do as the next head.”
Oryou: “…Thanks. Mion, I’m old. The only role I have left is to be despised by others. That’s all.”
The wind-chime clinked softly.
I will recall this moment later that soothing cool wind was a foreshadowing of the gallant storm that was about to come…
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