The Fifth Key: The Crazy Dog “Tenma”
CV: Suzuki Tatsuhisa
Release Date: August 27
He’s the type who is smart but has a foul mouth and in the end is always mean to the girl he likes. He has deep hate for the humans and despite having served under them for a few years, he thinks that stupid and low-levelled living things have no worth.
**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”
Bastard, looks like you want to be bitten hard………….
Alright, I’ll grant you your wish.
Hah, being pushed down so easily by me….. Women are easy things.
Haaah? Don’t you know what you’ve done?
Didn;t your parents ever tell you not to do things that you don’t want others to do to you?
……Aah, Now I remember, you’ve lost your memory.
Then I’ll teach you right now.
That when you do something mean to others, it gets turned right back on you.
——Just like this.
……Aah？ What’s this I see….?
Don’t tell me… you’re getting aroused by my kiss?
Seriously, what a lecherous woman……！
Haha your face is messed up by tears…… Wonderfully pitiful sight.
……Aaa? What’s with that face? Don’t tell me you still don’t understand.
Or are you leading me on? That this is not enough…….
Alright then, I’ll do more.
If you try anything funny again, I’ll show you what ‘pain’ is.
To the deepest part of your body, I’ll discipline you……….
Being disciplined by your own dog, you’re a failure as an owner huh……
Story 2 “The incurable disease”
——Tenma was on his way to a castle to visit his old friend Airu, who had been keeping himself locked up in the castle these few days, and no one had seen him. Just what had happened to him….?
Having reached the door, I reached out to the knocker that had the carvings of some kind of beast. Raising it up and bringing it down onto the metal plate beneath it, A loud, dull sound resounded.
「Airu, it’s me, Tenma! Open this for me！」
——After waiting for a while, there seemed to be no one coming out. Sighing loudly, I reached out once more for the knocker. I had come with some refreshment from my brother Shian for Airu today and without giving it to him, I could not return.
Persistently calling out for a few moments, I finally heard the sound of the lock being released from behind the door. The door opened with a rusty sound.
「……What business do you have」
It was Airu himself who came. Despite it being such a large castle, Airu did not hire any servants. Well he must not need any servants if he’s able to solve everything by magic. ‘The Grand Magician who controls the world– that was Airu’s identity.
Not having seen Airu for a few days I grinned. It was not a forced smile, but one of happiness at having seen an old pal.
「Nah, I just wondered what you’ve been up to and came around to see you. Having seen the others some time back, you’ve holed yourself up here right?」
「Oh yeah. —This.」
Saying so I held out a small bag. With yellow grains all assembled on a round cone, the front of it sprouted a soft, long beard.
「What on earth is that……」
Airu knitted his eyebrows in suspicion.
「Can’t you tell just by looking? It’s corn. Stuff from Shian. He harvested it from his house garden. I’d wanted to come with him but he had work suddenly, so I came and am giving you this in his place.」
「……Isn’t it… kind of beaten up?」
「Ah– I think he said while trying to harvest it crows started pecking at it. But there shouldn’t be a problem eating it!」
Staring at the corn, the lines between Airu’s brows grew deeper. And finally, he gestured his decline.
「It’s fine. Just his feelings for me are enough. 」
「Ah? Why. Shian’s veggies are quite tasty y’know?」
「……I don’t have much of an appetite recently.」
「Eh, are you alright? Oh yeah, you look kinda thin. Anything troubling you? 」
Airu looked down slightly. His expression was dark and I felt as if I was looking into a deep abyss.
「You really don’t remember anything? You’ve forgotten everything? If that is so, why do I——」
「H-hey… calm down.」I let out a bitter smile.
「What have you been going on about? Not remembering and forgetting, when did I say anything like that? What on earth did I forget?」
「Our past…. Before we came to this world of Oz」
「Aah? What do you mean coming here? I’ve always been here. Even you.」
「That’s right. You were a brillant magician and have lived in this castle a long time ago. Shian, Haru, Kei, Chi…. We’ve always been in this world, living together. Aren’t you the one who have forgotten?」
「……You aren’t trying to trick me are you?」
「Huh? Why would I do that.」
Airu clammed up. I waited for his response but sighed. Airu was a man who walked around as if wearing clothes of calm and foresight. Having someone like him say something so strange, made me a little confused. I thought that what was happeneing must be no small matter. But seeing his tired expression made me hesistant at pursuing any further.
「You must be really tired. Here, eat this corn and get well.」
Saying so, I pushed the corn onto him. Airu said nothing, but appeared to finally surrender and accepted the corn.
Suddenly feeling a surge of discomfort, I clutched my chest. It felt as if something was tightening and squeezing my chest and breathing was difficult. My consciousness turned and my vision blurred. And as my world flipped itself upside-down, I fell kneeling on the ground.
「Oi, are you alright……！」
Airu knelt beside me hastily.
「It always happens… If I rest it’ll subside……」
「I see… You have the same disease. 」
「Huh……？ Is there anyone with this disease……？」
「……I… don’t remember who……」
Airu was saying something strange again.
As my symptoms subsided I stood up and patted the dirt off myself.
「Sorry, you had to see this pathetic side of me.」
「Don’t worry about it. Hurry home and have a good rest.」
「Yeah— is what I want to say, but I have work now.」
「Didn’t I tell you? I’ve been the gatekeeper for the ‘humans’ for a while now. Though. I wonder how long I can last with this body.」
「If it’s tough for your body why don’t you rest up for a while?」
「I’d like that but if I stopped working I wouldn’t have money for meals… Besides, if I was fine Shian wouldn’t need to worry too. I’m already a terrible brother. I can’t worry him any more.」
I said that dejectedly and Airu made a complex face, but turned his ice-blue eyes to me–
「That’s not true」
「Shian is thankful to you, saying that you always help him out, and is a kind brother. So you’re not a terrible brother.」
I winced a little at those unexpected words. I never expected Shian to say such things to Airu, and neither did I expect Airu to tell me. As I’d said, Airu was a calm and intelligent man. To top it off, he was strict and one to rely on, but he had an air of coldness which made it hard for others to approach him. There was no way I wouldn’t be surprised being encouraged by Airu.
「What’s wrong, blinking like that.」
「Uh, nothing……Just… I didn’t expect to hear that from you. Thanks. Even if it’s flattery, I’m happy.」
「Did you think I was a man who would flatter others? If so, it seems like you need a little lecture from me.」
Saying so, Airu lowered his lids like he was deep in thought. That must have been Airu’s form of a joke. Feeling warmth in my chest, smiles escaped me.
「Then I’ll be going. You don’t overwork too.」
Saying so I waved a hand. And that moment, Airu’s cold gaze seemed to loosen.
On the way back, Tenma thought of what Airu said. Thinking of what Shian said, he became happy. The time left was little…
No matter when “that time” comes, I should do what I can for Shian.
Having made a new decision, Tenma walked on the small forest path, dyed by the orange sunset.
Story 3 “The promised secret”
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——.
A month had passed since my brother Shian and I were taken in. Before we came here, so much had happened that Shian shut himself off to others but now he was gradually getting along with others as well. And I saw him smiling the other day. Being relieved, I began also to notice the girl who changed him – and that was you.
But on the other hand, I was pretty unsatisfied with things as they were. As a brother, I could not do much for Shian… and I knew it. That was not all. I would take days off from working in the underground for days, and made others shoulder my share of the work. Though I had a reason for doing so, I didn’t tell them the real reason for doing so…. I couldn’t.
As a result, I always used the excuse of ‘catching a cold’. The others always said that they didn’t mind, but being unable to be useful to them, and lying to them made me extremely guilty, and I started avoiding them. But of course, I didn’t do it openly, and was even on good terms with them, but I shut of the deep parts of my heart and did not let anyone peep into it.
「Hm? Are you resting today?」
It was a day when the breeze had started to smell of summer, and I sat on the veranda, looking absent-mindedly to the distance when you spoke to me. In your right hand you held a duster, bucket in your left, and wore a triangle-shaped handkerchief on your head.
「Tenma-kun, you’ve been sick for pretty long, are you alright？」
「Well yeah, are you going to do cleaning now？」
Hearing you ask about my health, I cleverly shifted the topic of conversation. Without suspecting anything, you nodded.
「The priest told me to clean the fireplace. Since it’s summer soon, we wouldn’t have to use that anymore.」
「You planning to do it alone？」
「Hah. There’s no way you can do it alone. Isn’t it pretty tiring to clean the fireplace? It’s dirty and if you’re careless, you’d get hurt too.」
Saying so, I remembered the time I worked at the previous house. My family worked for a Noble’s family and we were made to clean the fireplace pretty often.
「But everyone else is working underground and I can’t ask them to help……」
You made a complicated face, and sighing, I stood up from the veranda. I took the duster from your hand silently and you stared at me with a blank face.
「I’ll do it for you. You rest there.」
「Eh……But Tenma, aren’t you feeling unwell？ You are the one who should rest……」
「I said to rest so don’t talk so much and rest！」
Leaving you behind despite you wanting to say something, I walked away. For me who’d been feeling as if I lagged behind everyone else due to resting from work, cleaning the fireplace was more than I could ask for. Besides, allowing a weak girl to do hard labour was not something I could do.
——By the time I finish, the sun was already sloping.
Seeing me again, you came running hurriedly. You must have been worried. I deduced that seeing that you were restless.
「Are you alright, did you get hurt？」
「Yeah.……Y’know, don’t get so close.」
I put up a hand to stop you since I didn’t want to get soot on you. Besides, I became pretty embarassed when your face neared mine. But for some reason, you took it another way and lowered your head.
「I’m sorry. I thought I should do it, but I ended up pushing it to you……」
「Ah？What are you talking about? I did it because I wanted to, you have nothing to apologise for. I didn’t do this to make you have such a face.
「Un……Erm, thank you Tenma kun. It’s all thanks to you!」
Saying so, you grinned, and it was as if sunflowers had blossomed in the summer garden. It was such a bright smile that I squinted my eyes, and led on by you, I grinned too. It wasn’t as if I wanted thanks, but only this smile of yours was sufficient for me. Cleaning the fireplace was so hard it was like breaking bones, but if you would smile like that, I would do it everyday.
But even saying so, I was a little tired and sat down at the veranda for a rest. Making a little signal with my eyes, you caught it and sat down as well.
「The sun is going to set soon……」
You said so as you looked at the sky which began to change colour.
「I don’t really like the sunset」
「Because the night comes after that……I hate nights」
Is it? I said so unbothered. Rather, it was all I could say. When I realised that there was a deeper meaning to your words, it had already been 10 years. And I, at that time, could only see things as they were–
「What, you’re scared of ghosts？」
And teased her
You returned a flustered reply
「Then what？ Shall we do a courage test now」
「Let’s go to the cemetery tonight. There were many people buried after dying in the riots, and there are rumours that spirits appear… Perfect for a courage test.」
「No-noway……For me to do that……」
「What, you must be scared」
「Like I said, no……！」
「Uwah, there’s a spirit there!!」
As I pointed to the cemetery and shouted, you screamed loudly. You looked around flustered as you checked the truth of what I said, and when you found that there was nothing, you turned back to me and puffed your cheeks.
「There’s nothing! Tenma Kun’s a liar！」
「What? The one who falls for such a stupid trick is the one in the wrong/ Stuu-pid.」
Saying so, I let out a teasing smile. It wasn’t as if I disliked you. Rather, it was the opposite: I wanted you to notice me. Seeing tears form at the corners of your eyes, I grinned even more, feeling the success of my great trick.
「Enough. Since you say that, I won’t tell you anything.」
You turned away from me, becoming angry.
「What is it, tell me」
「I said I won’t tell you！」
「If you say something like that it only makes me curious. Okay okay, I was wrong…. I apologised so tell me.…」
I tried taking the submissive position and you, whilst still puffing up your cheeks, threw me small glances as if you had given in.
「……Let’s play Oz-hide-and-seek」
「I said, let’s play Oz hide-and-seek!」
You stressed on what you said, but I had absolutely no idea what you were talking about. Seeing that, you began to explain. Well, it seemed like a game based off the Great magician Oz… and to relieve the unhappiness we felt each day.
「Tenma, which role do you want？」
You asked me, but I couldn’t give you a reply right away. I didn’t have intentions to play this game, and courage tests would seem so much more fun. But you seemed serious, and I didn’t want to hurt you by saying I didn’t want to play. While thinking of a good way to turn you down, I clammed up.
「……Hm? What happened here？」
I suddenly realised you said something. What you were looking at, was my right arm. It must have been when I scraped myself cleaning the fireplace. The sleeve was torn, and a small hole had opened up in my shirt. After blinking twice or thrice, you reached out a hand, “Let me see, I’ll sew it up” and said that.
「っ……！ Don’t touch me……!!」
Reflexively, I smacked your hand away. when I realised it, it was too late, and you were looking at me with your blue eyes wide open.
「Mm……。What’s wrong, Tenma Kun？」
「I said there’s nothin’！ ……Enough」
I cut the conversation short and stood up. If I had hurt you, I knew I should apologise, but I didn’t want anyone to know my ‘secret’.
——That night, I didn’t sleep easily. I felt ill, having said things in such a manner to you that evening. The sound as the hands passed over the clock face seemed especially loud that day. If I forced myself to close my eyes I wonder if I would sleep… As I thought such things, another sound traveled to my ears, and it was not the ticking of the clock hands.
I got up slowly, and looked around. Just then, I saw you exiting your room and wondered where you would be going in the middle of the night. It wouldn’t be the toilet since that was the opposite direction…. Don’t tell me, you were really going for a courage test…?
I thought of many possibilities and decided on none. As I thought to return to bed, my thoughts somehow traveled to you. Perhaps because your face lit up by the moonlight was somehow pained. As I made sure not to step on the others, I made my way out of the room.
「……Where on earth is she going?」
I peeped into each room as I walked down the hallway but I could not find you…. What was going on? Was she sleepwalking? The next moment, I peeped into another room and-
I fell squatting on the ground as strong palpitations began. Though I pressed a hand to my chest, I knew it wouldn’t stop. Once it started, my heart squeezed and made breathing difficult. I was dizzy and unstable on my feet, and fell, hitting the door of the room.
As I heard your voice from far off, I opened my lids that were already half-closed. Under the blue-white moonlight was your worried face peeking into mine.
「Why… are you here……？」
I asked with a strained voice.
「I heard a loud voice and came to see what happened. Tenma Kun, are you alright? You said it was a cold, but isnt it an illness?……？」
「Not really… it’s nothing」
「It doesn’t look that way. Besides——」
Saying so, you looked down, and as I wondered what you were looking at, I followed your gaze, and swallowed–
The arm cover that I had wound around my right arm had slipped from its place. It must have fallen off when I fell against the door. The showing skin had red dots on it, and it was a sight that anyone would be disgusted by and reject— A sign of an incurable disease.
I covered my arm and looked down. I feared to see your expression.
And to you who stood unmoving before me, I said with a voice full of self-depreciation-
「Don’t be standing there like an idiot, go somewhere else」
「……But, I can’t leave you alone」
Saying so, you reached out to my right arm. You must have wanted to fit my arm cover back on, but reflexively, I hit your hand away.
「Don’t touch me……!!」
「Why don’t you go?! I said go away!! Or do you want to become sick too? You want to be infected!?」
It wasn’t an infectious disease. But having been seen in such a state, it would be more impossible to believe that it wasn’t. No matter what I said, no one would believe me. The more I tried to explain, the more others were afraid of me, and distanced themselves. And each time others rejected me, I drew further away, carrying wounds not of my body. This way, I could reject tohers befor ethey rejected me, and my wounds would fade…. Thinking such things, I lied to you.
「In the first place, it isn’t infectious right？」
You said that with a straight face. For a moment, I raised my face, not hearing what had been said. your blue eyes were looking intensely at me.
「Why do you lie? I know that disease. It’s not infectious.」
「Why… would you… know…」
「My parents had the same disease. They died after it became worse… And I came here with my brother.」
Saying so you reached out for my right arm again and held up my arm cover carefully so as not to rub against the dots on my arm. I looked on absent-mindedly at the caring gestures before me, and as our eyes met, you smiled. Being unable to control my feelings, I embraced you.
「Te, Tenma Kun? What’s wrong……？」
「……Don’t tell anyone about my illness.」
I said that as I buried my face in your shoulders.
It was because of this illness that I lost my belonging, and my parents. And indirectly, caused deep wounds on my brother’s heart. That was why, I made sure not to let anyone know about this int he orphanage. I wanted to be here. I didn’t want to lose anyone else anymore. I couldn’t say these things, as my heart squeezed itself and words would not follow.
You said nothing and simply put your hands on my back.
「Un. I won’t tell anyone. It’s our secret.」
Saying so, you released yourself form the embrace and held out your pinky. Perhaps because the space between us was too little, your pinky only raised a little, and smiling in spite of myself, I wound my pinky around yours tightly.
——Since then, you started noticng the things I did. I had always been comfortable with you, but as time passed, my feeligns for you clearly turned a different direction.
「Ah, you came.」
Summer night. You called out to me as I sat on the veranda. It was a night when shooting stars would come, every few decades. I had thought of getting the others along, but thinking of wanting you all to myself, like a child, I invited only you.
「Everything’s done for today？」
I asked as you sat down. I knew that you were going off somewhere every night, but since that night, I stopped asking where. I felt as if it was something I shouldn’t probe about.
「Un. It’s fine.. today……」
Saying so, you suddenly raised your head to the night sky. This talk is done with— as if you were saying that to the darkness. It wasn’t satisfying, but I didn’t want to think further. And suddenly–
You said with a voice that sounded like the chiming of bells. One, two…. Above the black veil of the sky, white veins of light were flowing by soundlessly. e just watched, absorbed by the stardust that set the skies aflame. We forget that time passed… it was such a feeling.
Suddenly, you put your hand together in front of your chest.
「Ah? Whatcha doing？」
「——A wish. If you wish to the stars, it’ll come true right？」
「Well, yeah. I forgot. Hey.. what did you wish for? That your scaredy-cat bit would be gone?」
「Oh, of course not. I wished that your illness would be healed.」
Saying so, you closed your eyes again and wished. I missed the chance to say something great, and averted my eyes by pretending to look at the night sky. My heart was beating loudly, so much that I feared my chest would rip. I wanted staightaway, to hug you, and tell you things like “I like you” or “I love you”… but to a child like me, something like that was difficult.
——If you would make wishes for me, I would live for you.
As Tenma gazed at your sideview, he made this decision in his heart.
I want to protect you, but I don’t know how much this body can do. I wouldn’t ask for a luxury of becoming strong like a lion. But at least, I wanted to be closest to you… to protect your heart.
Thinking so, Tenma said this to you later:
During Oz Hide-And-Seek, he wanted to be Dorothy’s loved dog Toto—.
But in the coming separation, Tenma would lose his belonging, you. But that’s, another story.