The Fourth Key: The utterly depraved scarecrow “Shian”
CV: Takahashi Naozumi
Release Date: July 23
When things don’t go well, he blames it all on others. When he starts worrying, he has a habit of going crazy and since he takes everything in a negative manner, he gets addicted to things easily. Blood brothers with Tenma.
His character design is my favourite along with Haruto’s, and what do you mean by utterly depraved?! (*´∀｀*) (Gyaku Moe!!) Like TeiStar, July is my most awaited month since my two favourite characters from two series are out. And TakaNao is the perfect seiyuu for this character!
**I ask for a very simple thing, Credit Jyuuguchi if you use my translations on your website, whatever language it is in.**
Story 1 “The door of Beginnings”
You don’t look like it, but you’re stubborn huh. You want the ‘key’ so much?
But you can’t leave this place alright？ You have to be here for a little while more.
Why? Well because……
That’s because… I’ve come to like you.
Ehー？ What’s with that weird reaction. You don’t trust my words?
Then, how about this？ ……Nnっ。
Fufu, you believe me now right？ Because if I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t kiss you.
Hey– Open your mouth..？ If you don’t, I’ll do this…
Haa……Doing this with you makes me hot….
It makes me want to do more…
……Hey, let’s do something good together…
It’s alright. You will come to feel good too.
If you’re afraid why don’t you close your eyes？Or should I help you close them？Nnっ……。
Fuっ……Your eyelids are soft too huh… And your lashes are long..
Hey, can I lick them？
But I might lick your eyeballs too… But if I did that, it would hurt huh..
Fufu… I won’t, don’t worry.
But I might, if you do anything unnecessary.
……For example, going off to search for the ‘key’ without telling me.
But, you won’t do that right?
I trust you… so, don’t shock me.
Be by my side forever……Alright？
[[Jyuuguchi: (*´Д`)ﾊｧﾊｧ ( ≧Д≦) ､ ､ ､!! It’s my favourite yandere-masquerading-as-gentleman type!]]
Story 2: “Matching”
——In a certain place, there was a boy named Shian. Shian was the gravekeeper in the village of the ‘inhabitants’ and on his occasional rest days, he visited a certain person. Who could that person be……?
「Brother, long time no see！」
Seeing my brother in front of the gate to the “humans village”, I made a big wave.
My older brother was called Tenma and was the gatekeeper of the ‘humans’ village. The ‘humans’ village was written and read exactly the way it was, and took a day’s walk from our ‘inhabitant’s’ village. Naturally I would meet my brother only when it was my day-off, but it was a little upsetting to have them think I was slacking off.
「！ Did you saying you were coming today？」
Brother ran towards me with a surprised face. He had been standing under the summer sun and sweat was dripping off his forehead, sticking to his red mesh-like hair.
「Nope, I didn’t tell you. I’d wanted to surprise you. Can i stay overnight at your place？」
「Can’t he helped……If you’re coming, say so. I have loads to prepare too y’know.」
「Eh~ But even if I told you you wouldn’t clean up your room. I went expectant to your house the other day when you said you would make something delicious but what I got was some dried squid-looking thingy… You must have randomly used whatever was left since you forgot right?」
「You sure jab me in my sore spots……」
「Well never mind that, I brought you snack today」
Saying so, I opened the bag that I held under my arm and at that instant, a sharp scent hit my nose.
Brother made a frank face and I smiled as I passed the bag to him.
「It’s medicine. I braised the herbs…… It might only be a small comfort, but it might help your symptoms…」
「Thanks as always」
「I’m sorry I can’t do more……」
Saying so I looked down.
My brother has had a weak body since young and since he wasn’t the type to show his weakness, he must be pushing himself as a gatekeeper even though he doesn’t say anything. If I had more money I would be able to allow him to recover at home but…. our home is so poor we’re better off numbered from the bottom.
Brother Tenma is my only family. An irreplaceable existence and someone I want to help over and over again. Besides, the fact that I couldn’t do anything at all for him made me irritated.
「Hey, don’t made such a gloomy face」
He flicked my forehead.
「You were thinking of something bad again right? Always being so negative is a bad habit of yours y’know？」
「Don’t apologise. Seriously… your expression is as if you’re the one who is sick…. it can’t be helped huh.」
Saying so he put his hand on my shoulder and flashed me his pearly whites.
「The person doing the takeover will come soon. Let’s go for a walk！」
——We walked to the lake nearly and an occasional cool breeze would blow. And if I turned my head, the sparkling waters of the lake would reflect the bright sunlight, as if jewels were rising up from the water… and I stared entranced by this scene for a while
「Being like this reminds me of the past.」
Brother said that as we walked the perimeters of the lake.
I cocked my head as I walked beside him
「Remember? There was a lake like this in the village of the inhabitants too. Didn’t we play there often?」
「Mmm…. Was it so……？」
「What, have you forgotten？」
「How old were we then？」
「We were…. Hmm, how old again…？」
He had been on a roll, but now stopped with a curious look on his face. Despite furrowing his brows and thinking hard, he didn’t seem to be able to remember.
「This is strange… I remember playing there…」
「It happens to me sometimes. When I try to remember something from the past, it’s like there’s mist in my head. Besides——」
I averted my gaze. If I brought up ‘that issue’ it would surely worry him. I occasionally see the same nightmare over and over but unable to find the cause of it I’ve been worrying…
「Well don’t force yourself but tell me if something happens」
With a cheerful voice, he said that and gave me a small pat on the back. Basking in his gentleness, I became both happy and guilty. Despite wanting to be a good brother who didn’t make him worry, things always ended up in the same pattern-with him being sensitive to my feelings…
「Oh yeah, there’s some legend about treasure here.」
Returning his gaze to the lake, brother said that blandly. Was he trying to change the subject?
「legend of treasures？」
「Yeah. Some noble had buried it in the past and it’s sleeping underneath this lake. But well, it’s what the humans said so it’s suspicious.」
「Hmm. But if there was really treasure, we’d get rich real quick！」
「Well yeah. Alright! Since we’re free, let’s dig around the area a little.」
Saying so I lowered my scoop. My favourite scoop that was always used to dig graveholes.
「Why’re you carrying something like that……」
Brother said that with a curious look.
「Is it weird？ Haru-kun walks around with an axe too.」
「That’s because Haru has to watch over the woods」
「Me too. Corpses might be lying around somewhere here.」
「That.. would be kind of rare…」
「It’s fine. Let’s search for the treasure. Oh yeah! Brother, search for the treasure with your sharp sense of smell!」
「Wha- isn’t that stretching it abit too much?」
「Ehhー you can’t？That’s too bad, I really respected you…」
Brother muttered something and looking around, he pointed at the ground and said “Wouldn’t it be here?” H was being kind of random, but it’s not like I had any other spot to look for. Putting my scoop to work on the spot he pointed at, a grainy sound followed as I continued digging. And half an hour later–
「……！ A treasure box！」
What appeared was a box that couldn’t be carried unless I used both arms. It looked like something from a painting and a lock was on its lid. Heaving it up together and breaking the lock with my scoop. We swallowed as we stared at the box that opened so easily.
「I can’t believe a treasure box really appeared……」
「Y-yeah……But is it alright to find it so easily? Maybe it’s really a Pandora’s box and all kinds of disaster will befall us once we open it..…」
「How negative are you, really… I’ll open it then」
Saying so, brother put his hand on the lid and opened it slowly with great strength.
「……What.. is this…？」
What was sleeping in the box——Were badges made of a hard material of sorts. One with a scarecrow, one with a dog, and all sorts of other pictures…
「Huh… Here as I thinking it’d be something good since the box is so big…」
Brother lowered his shoulders in disappointment and weariness.
「It must be what kids buried for fun on a whim and forgot all about it.」
「Ah? What’s wrong?」
「Well…. I thought we’d be rich……」
I was dejected. I thought I could finally help brother with this, thought I could finally give him an easy life… but the world is not made such a way. I felt sorry towards brother and felt a tightening in my heart.
But– At that moment brother took up the badges. I wondered what he was going to do He pinned the one with the scarecrow motif to my belt suspenders and clipped the one with the dog to his chest.
「We match huh.」
Saying so, he grinned. I spaced out for a while but seeing brother’s smile, my face relaxed into a smile and began laughing with him.
——Having finished their walk at the lake, they returned to Tenma’s house.
On the way home, Shian smiled over and over as he glanced at the badge. But he did wish for money afterall. If treasure didn’t make it, was there any other thing to rely on…? Tenma answered his question after thinking for a while.
「Getting something rare？」
Rare…… Shian thought for a while and eventually arrived at an idea.
——That’s right. Something extremely rare exists in this world of OZ….
Despite being hated by all, it’s craved after for its usefuless…… If he caught that and sold it, it would certainly bring money…
As Shian brought his fists together smugly beside Tenma who made a curious face, a dark grin appeared on his face.
Story 3 “The memory of promise”
Long long ago, there was an orphanage in a certain place. There, a girl lived with six brothers, and that girl is — yes, you.
The seven of you have been taken in by the orphanage under a variety of circumstances. You who had no place to go, was extremely happy to be living under a roof. However, it was definitely not a fun place to be in. The priest who was the owner of the orphanage, treated all of you badly. Let’s get out of here one day. Not here, but another world, where we can all live happily——The six brothers and you spoke happily of such things and strove to live each day.
This is a story from back then——.
When Tenma and I arrived at the church, it was almost spring.
「There seems to be new children coming to the orphanage」
Hearing that from A-chan, Airu, you waited at the entrance of the orphanage for us. We only knew it later, but you had been excited that we were coming and spoke of it even at mealtimes. “What kind of children are they? Will we become friends?” were the things you thought of expectantly.
「Konnichiwa, I’ve been waiting」
The moment we arrived, you came running to us.
「Nice to meet you, Tenma and Shian kun. I live here too, let’s get along.」
Saying so, you extended a hand towards us smiling and your hair, like silver threads swayed on your shoulders. If it was someone other than me, they would have thought that it was beautiful. But I didn’t feel anything in particular. That silver hair and blue eys did not sway my heart one bit.
「Yeah, please take care of us」
Saying so, brother returned a handshake. Grinning, you then turned to me.
「Shian too, let’s get along」
I averted my eyes without a word. Neither did I return her handshake. Seeing my reaction you hesitated, and brother too was making a troubled face. Even so I kept quiet and did not look at you.
「My bad. This guy seems to be a little sick.」
Brother smiled as he said that white lie and ended the strange atmosphere.
That orphanage was the worst place ever. To put it accurately, the priest in charge of the orphanage was scum. The neighbourhood called him “the gentle priest who takes in the poor orphans” but that was merely a mask. In reality he was a merchant of death– selling weaponry to countries and organisations regardless of how shady they were, for his own benefits. He was someone without the slightest shred of a good heart.
And the priest’s evil doings did not stop there. To create those weapons, he used us. Creating a factory in the basement of the church, he forced us to work there. We wanted to escape right away, but adults were always surveying the grounds, and even if we left the orphanage we had nowhere to go. Simply thinking that having food was enough, we endured hard days.
Being in such an environment I wanted less and less to have anything to do with anyone. You tried to get near to me by speaking persistantly but I ignored that. At mealtimes and at work, I kept my mouth clammed tight.
「Hey Shian, let’s draw this」
One day, you said that to me and took something out. The moment I saw that I froze–it was an egg.
「It’s a celebration for church today. Every year, we draw an egg and decorate the picture somewhere, so Shian too. 」
You passed the egg into my hands. That moment, past memories churned in my head. The sound of people being hit with rods. The sound of brother crying silently beside me. And, mother and father lying on the cold ground.
I fell squatting on the ground and hugged myself. My trembling would not stop. My chest tightened and I couldnt breathe. As my tears blurred my vision of the broken egg, I pressed a hand to my mouth. In my head, the ‘voices’ were echoing. It was your fault. Your fault that my parents died. — I continued repeating this in a whisper to no one in particular.
「Shian?! What happened, are you alright……!?」
Squatting beside me, you reach out a hand to my back. Don’t bother with me, I don’t need your concern… was what I tried to say but I could not speak anymore.
That night, I was clearing the plates with you. The incident in the afternoon had forced a little distance between us but since it was our turn for the duty, it couldnt be helped. Carrying the plates to the well behind the orphanage we placed them on the ground.
「Shian, what kind of food do you like？」
Immersing the plates int eh water you spoke to me. As I ignored you, you continued to speak to yourself.
「I like strawberries. In the past, my brother used to share them with me. Strawberries are sweet and soft… eating them makes me happy. What about you, Shian? Do you have food that you like?」
「Hmm… Then, what about colours？ For me, it’s pink. Ah, but blue is good too. The violets blossoming in the backyard are really cute.」
「……Hey Shian… did I do something to make you mad？」
You asked hesitantly as the hand that was washing the dishes stopped.
「I’m insensitive, so if I did anything to make you angry…. I apologise. So please, won’t you speak to me? I want to be friends with you.」
Your two eyes were looking straight at me. Those blue eyes were so beautiful that they was almost fearsome. I averted my eyes instinctively and bit my lips. Everytime you spoke to me I felt as if I would say something. Being treated so gently all the time, I wanted to rely on you even though I had no right or power to do so. Because I had commited a sin. An unpardonable sin…..
Seeing my silence, you made a pained face and returned to the dishes. Thinking to do the same, I reached my hand out to the plate but–
The plate slipped form my hands and fell to the ground. Making a loud sound as it broke, the shards flew.
「Are you alright, are you hurt!?」
You took my hands worriedly. Seeing I had no wounds, you let out a relieved sigh and threw a glance at the broken pieces.
「What should we do… the priest will be mad…」
You said it with a frightened voice. Being mad was still fine. What was worse was if he was in a bad mood, it might even lead to being locked up somewhere. The one who broke the plate was me, but since we were together, you would be punished too. My heart trobbed with pain and seeing your frightened face, the guilt in me grew. And then–
「It…. It’s your fault! Because you kept speaking to me, I was distracted.」
And I said that. If not, my guilt would never disappear. And because of that, seeing your bewildered face, my guilt grew only further. Gathering the pieces and burying them under the root of a tree, you looked worried but I remained silent.
——It was next day when you spoke to me with a cheerful voice.
「So you were here!」
You spoke to me a I was sitting at the balcony absent-mindedly and I turned around. Coming close, you sat beside me with a smile. Having such a thing happen yesterday, I thought you would have learnt, but you acted as if nothing had happened. Hesitating as I saw you speaking to me, I averted my eyes from you.
「……What do you want？」I spoke, mumbling to myself.
「You know, we were thinking of playing ‘Oz-hide and seek’ sometime.」
「……？ What’s that？」
「Remember the story of Oz the magician？ We will play based on that story, but just following it is boring, so we changed the details a little. Shian, which role do you want to play?」
「……You’re telling me to play too？」
「Is that, a no…？」
「……Why do you bother with me？」
You cocked your head curiously at me question.
「Why do you bother with me? I don’t want to speak with you. I don’t want anything to do with you. And not just you, but with everyone…….」
「Isn’t is better to leave me alone? You wouldn’t be troubled as well. So why do you keep bothering with me? Tell me why?」
I asked persistently and you looked at me, confused. You seemed as if you wanted to say something but could not find the right words to. I looked down seeing that. It wasn’t as if I wanted to trouble you, or be mean, but I couldn’t accept your kindness. It as because I had done something bad… making my brother cry, and having my parents die… It was all my fault…. everything was completely my fault.
That was why, I deserved punishment. I deserved to worry, to agonise, to drown in painful emotions…… I had no right to be treated gently by you. I should be treated with more hideous words, and blamed.
I grabbed the sleeves of my shirt. My chest throbbed painfully and before I knew it, tears were forming in my eyes. It was painful and agonising…. so much that I’d rather disappear– despite thinking that I should be punished, such feelings also arose.
You peeked into my face worriedly. Trying to get away from you I went down from the veranda, and—
「……’Scarecrow’ is fine..」
「You asked me, didn’t you? Which role I wanted to play. I’ll be the scarecrow. To have my head blank like a scarecrow. Then, I wouldn’t need to think fo anything, anymore….」
Saying so, I ran away without waiting for your reply.
——I heard it much later, but after I ran away, you spoke to Tenma.
「Did anything to Shian？」
Brother hesistated at a reply. But if I kept quiet, Shian would never be able to get along with others…. Thinking so, Tenma spoke a little of their past. We were serving under a Noble family. But one day I stole an egg from the Noble’s kitchen. My parents protected me and were beaten to death with rods. Since then, I couldn’t even take a glance at eggs again….
「Shian stole the egg for me. I was feeling… unwell… and it was a time when things were becoming depressing. He tried to cheer me up. It was my fault that Shian has such a heavy wound… It was my fault that Shian became like this. So I can’t console him…. I have no right to. 」
That moment, I was curled up under a maple tree, not wanting to meet anyone. If I could disappear, it would be best, but I couldn’t. Burying my face in my knees that I brought up close, I listened to the sound of the leaves rustling in the spring wind.
…… In that sound, small footsteps were heard.
I raised my head at the voice and you squatted before me, smiling gently as always.
「I heard from Tenma that you were going to the back mountains.」
「So you came….? Why?」
「Isn’t that obvious? Because I’m worried about you.」
「…I don’t get it……」
Holding my tears back, I said that.
「Why do you worry for me？ Why don’t you leave me alone? don’t want to see you so I came here. Why don’t you get it? Or are you trying to make me uncomfortable?」
「Shian, calm down, I just wanted——」
「I’ve had enough……!!」
Screaming that, I pushed you away violently and tried to run, but you grabbed my hand and hugged me from the front and I turned around.
「What are you doing! Let go……!!」
「No I won’t. I won’t let go until you listen to what I have to say！」
Trying to push you away, I struggled as you held me in your arms. I pinched you and pulled your hair, but you did not let go but instead held me even tighter as if trying to share your warmth. Strongly…. strongly…
「What the hell…. what’s with you……」
My voice was streaked with tears… that I had to reject you, that I had no other choice to…. But my body would not move even a centimetre anymore. You loosened your grip a little and looked straight at me. I was reflected fully in those blue eyes.
「——You’ve been struggling alone..」
You said that as if you were the one who had been through my pain.
「So much that you don’t want to think of anything else. So much that you want to be a scarecrow…. Always, always, suffering alone….」
「But it’s alright now. Shian has been pained enough. Cried enough, struggled enough. Blamed yourself enough… so it’s enough. Don’t blame yourself anymore.. don’t try to be alone. You’re not in the wrong….」
Saying so you embraced me again. I felt your heartbeats directly…. A gentle sound, more so than any sound in this world. I put my arms around you, and embraced your small body. I did not want to show you such an uncool side of myself but I could not stop my tears anymore.
——After that, Shian slowly came to befriend the others.
And while Oz hide-and-seek with everyone.
You said it wasn’t my fault but it was a fact that I stole the egg. I had to face up to my mistakes, and think about what I had to do from now on.
「That’s why I chose scarecrow.. Because he attained wisdom last——」
Saying so, Shian smiled at you for the first time. It was a smile like that of a sunny spring day. If you are here, I can smile. No matter how painful things are, if you, as a light, are here, I can live…. Shian thought so. But in the ‘farewell’ that would come in the near future, “darkness” would once again fall on Shian–
But that’s another story.