The Sixth Key: The Great magician “Airu”
CV: Miyano Mamoru
Release Date: September 24
He uses all kinds of methods to get his hands on the thing he wants, and he holds a grudge against someone who offended him until he can do the same thing back. An extreme sis-con.
**I ask for a very simple thing, Credit if you use my translations on your website, whatever language it is in.**
Story 1 “The door of beginnings”
That dressing and that body…. You are a woman, right?
Of all colours… blue eyes… A colour that I hate.
Well, whatever. Raise your head.
……You wanted the key, huh?
Yes I know… Because I am the Great magician… And most likely, I will be able to tell you everything you want to know. But before that, there should be something that has to be done. That is, to clean up the rats. Even if it’s just one… I shall not allow it to infiltrate my castle.
By squeezing your neck like this…. I shall end it quickly.
You will die？ ……Hah, … So what?
Whether you live or die, it’s nothing to me…..
Show me your face… Show me everything…. and that face of yours twisted in pain…
Or do you prefer being forcefully taken? If so, I doubt your moral character… Should I forcefully push you face down and stomp on your heart…? I wouldn’t know the feelings of someone who accepts something like that.
——Ever since that day, I’ve been seeing a dream.
Being unable to forget must be some kind of punishment. I will not be allowed to forget… Because I’ve committed that much of a sin… Surely… I am punished for it…
Story 2 “The broken world, and you who go mad….”
——In a certain place, there was a Great magician. His name was Airu, and everyone knew him for the fact that he knew everything about this world. But Airu had a secret, that absolutely no one could know about.。
「……This has no description whatsoever」
Sighing, I closed the book on hand. I found no leads again, today, and the day was going to end like this. As I returned the book that I finished reading to the shelf, I thought that it might finally be a good time.
「As I thought, the strange one is me……」
This was the sixth day since I’d come to this world. I was tired of keeping myself sane, and I still had some strength left to keep myself from admitting it.
「……Please, someone… just tell me…」
What had happened to my body since I’d come here a week ago?
There should have been a burnt field right before my eyes. There should have been an orphanage, and I should have been standing in front of it. Yet, when I realized, I was standing in an unknown place. Where was this? People passed each other and words were exchanged. It was like a city… there were no traces of burnt places. The book which I should have been holding, and somehow, disappeared as well.
「Where… is this？」
This time, my suspicions were put into words. Even so, I found no answers, and both my thinking and my legs stopped. What had happened? Having lost such important things so suddenly, perhaps I was daydreaming. I had thought of multiple possibilities, but none of them seemed to be the answer I was looking for.
I was spoken to suddenly, by someone behind me. It was certainly my name, and I felt relieved. When I turned around, three men that I didn’t know were there.
「It’s rare, having you come here in a row for 2 days.」
One of them—carrying a crow on his shoulder, came towards me.
「Well, once he comes out for a day, the next few days he’s holed up again huh. It’s just like him.」
The next one that spoke was someone carrying a rabbit. There was another man standing behind him, but did not continue the conversation, appearing to be taciturn.
This is strange. All three of them know my name… That must mean that they know me, but I have absolutely no remembrance of their faces.
「Do you know me?」
「……What kind of joke is that」
The taciturn man at the back finally spoke. His expression was one of absolute exasperation.
「Well well Haru-Kun. This must be Airu’s form of a joke.
「It’s not funny at all.」
「Haru-kun doesn’t even laugh much in the first place.」
「That’s not true, Shian. He looks like this, but once he gets into it….」
I remember that name. It was one of the brothers I had lived with in the orphanage ten years ago. A quiet, but somehow precarious, the youngest child Shian. Now that I see it, he does have some resemblance. Saying so, I look at the other two again and….
「……By Haru, you mean Haruto And you are… Chikage?」
「Who else is there?」
The man with the rabbit—Chikage, answered me somewhat moodily. I was right, it seemed.
「Sorry. It has been ten years……」
As usual, Haruto answered me with a suspicious face. The other two made an ambiguous expression.
「It has been ten years, hasn’t it? Ever since we left the orphanage, I had not met with anyone——」
My words stopped in its tracks. I felt it was better to stop there. It was because I saw that the three of them made a face which showed that they were looking at something mysterious, something they didn’t know.
「Erm… We met yesterday?」
Weren’t they making some kind of mistake? But they don’t seem to be playing a trick on me… Rather, it seemed as if they were trying to tell me to stop making bad jokes.
This is strange. Something is not right.
「Airu-San… Are you feeling alright?」
Chikage finally spoke, in a concerned voice.
「……Where is this…?」
I spoke of my suspicions again.
And the answer that they returned was like a blow to my face.
「This is the world of Oz」
The world of Oz…. I had heard about that before…
Ah… I must have become weird after receiving too big a shock.
The place I was led to by Haru and the others was a castle that stood a little way off from the village. According to them, I had been staying in this white-walled castle for a long time now. But of course, I had no remembrance of that. To be honest, the only thing I remember is that this castle looks like the one I had seen in a picture book somewhere, a long time ago.
My brother left without asking anything when I said I wanted to be alone. To them, their old friend was saying something strange and must be thinking it weird. But it was the same for me too. Who exactly was the strange one? Me? Or them? Or… everything was strange….?
For now, I decided to look and search around the castle. There was no way I could take all these in calmly sitting down.
There was nothing strange about the place other than it being spacious and having little windows. There was a tower for overlooking the country on the top floor, and I could see the village where I met Haruto and the rest, and a forest where thick trees grew. Despite viewing a 360degree of everything around me, I remembered none of this scenery. After that, I wandered about the castle grounds, only to find that the more I tried understanding this situation, the more I felt suffocated. There was nothing I knew. Trying to preserve my sanity in such a state was painful.
It was sunset when I found a locked door. Curious, I’d touched the key, and a bright light, as if like fireworks shone, and the next moment, the heavy key was lying on the floor.
「What was that light?」
My palms were hot. It was as if my fingertips had a magnetic force, and it was a strange feeling. It couldn’t be… but did I do something to make the key unlock?
Just having the door open by putting my hands on it, this can’t be magic.
The room that was locked was like a library. One side was a shelf filled to the brim with books, and it reached all the way to the ceiling. With the nostalgic smell of ink and paper, I began to relax.
I began reading the book from the corner. To calm myself down, and to find some leads.
After living like this for a few days, I heard someone knocking on the door of the castle. After hesitating, I opened it, and there was another man who knew my name. He was Tenma .
「Everyone had been living together in this world for a long time. Aren’t you the one who had forgotten?」
The faint hope that I carried in that question, was betrayed by his answer.
The one who is acting strange, is really–
——That was yesterday. The sixth day after I came to this world.
Let’s make this the last. Thinking so, I took tens, no, perhaps hundreds of books. If these books didn’t have the answer I was looking for, I will admit that I have gone crazy. Having decided so, my heart became lighter.
As they said, I had been in this world since I was born, and have been living in this castle since. I did not meet them in the orphanage, and the fact that the orphanage had been burnt to the ground leaving nothing also doesn’t exist. I had been seeing a dream. It was by far better to say that I was mentally ill since I had been thinking that a dream was real, rather than be told that dream was real. But this world is cruel. I knew this long ago, but I am reminded of this fact…
I turned the pages with fingers stained with ink. The opened book contained all the answers to what I wanted to know. Where this place was, what it had, and ways to obtain it… It had all the answers I wanted. It was a book that contained the world. And written here, was— another world, the world I once saw.
My fingers that turned the pages grew heavy. The more I knew, the more where this world was was drummed into me. And at the same time, it pointed out that the nightmare that I had been seeing was not a dream. As I arrived at the last page, a familiar picture came into view. Keys with motif of lion, heart, rabbit … And beside these keys, were the names of six people.
「I must be really crazy….」
I laughed. It couldn’t be helped. In such a situation, there was no other way to think.
“The world of Oz”. The world where I—- where we were in, another world. A place that I know. A magician. A book that knows everything about the world. The more I tried denying it, the more evidence I collected about its truth.
「This is her-」
At that moment, the door of the castle was knocked. I could hear my brothers’ voices mingled between the knocks. They wouldn’t have realized. Where this place, and what they really were…
The knocks didn’t stop. But, I no longer had intention to open the doors. I was different from those unknowing people. I knew everything. And because I knew, I couldn’t meet with them.
Or rather, I must not meet with them.
If I had their company, I would one day forget about the sin I committed. I would think that what I did was a dream, and conveniently forget about it. That was wrong. I had to live by myself, lonely. As they had lived lonely. Even if what I do doesn’t become an atonement….. In my head, someone had been singing continuously. Don’t forget. Don’t forget. Don’t forget. Don’t forget your sin…. Since that day.
Since that day, the door to the castle was shut. As if reflecting how his heart rejected others, Airu himself could not opent he door as well. But Airu felt that that was alright. As once his sister sought to carry the sorrow by herself, he decided to do the same.
To obtain the key, one must have bonds that would allow him to give up everything. Airu thought about what was written in the book. And at the same time, he realized that there was no way he could obtain the key on his own. The only one he would give up everything for was his sister, but she was no longer here.
And so, no one visited the castle of the Great Magician again.
Until you came.
Final SS “The promised day”
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——.
I had a sister who was much younger. Gentle parents, and a cute sister. We lived happily in the countryside, 4 in a family….. until my parents died one day.
What took our parents away from my sister and I was the infectious illness in town. Red dots would suddenly appear on the skin and the time it took to spread throughout the body differed from person to person, and some lived tens of years suffering… but my parents’ symptoms were bad and they died quickly.
My neighbours helped in the funeral preparations, and even now, I remember the sound of dirt scraped and thrown onto the coffin, and the sound of my sister’s crying as she held my hands tightly.
「It’s alright. From now onwards, your stew and strawberry pie will be made by me……so don’t cry」
As I gripped her hand tightly, I said those words holding back my trembling voice. As her brother, I could not cry. From now onwards, I had to protect this small hand.
With nowhere to go, both of us were taken in by the orphanage. But even saying so, we were the first ones there. There was no one else and it could hardly be called an orphanage.
The orphanage was like a part of the church, and there, the priest’s orders were absolute. We were given menial labour and small tasks, and for us who had no where else to go, we did not resist these orders, and the days went by as we played our roles as “good children”.
A while later, three children came. Three boys.
Even though the number of children came, the workload didn’t change much, or rather, I felt that it simply increased. Well that, was because the priest was inhumane, and was only wearing the mask of a saint. He was greedy and looked for self-gains, and did not have a human heart. In the basement where we worked—we were making items for killing others.
「Is this something that takes away life？」
My young sister asked as she waved around a piece of metal. In that unfitting scene, though I was a child, it was shocking to me.
「Because of us…. people are going to die？」
「……It’s not our fault. It’s the fault of the adults.」
That’s right. It was the fault of the adults. To have such an innocent child hold such a thing and say such a thing… It was all the fault of those dirty adults.
「If those who died can go to a happy world, it’ll be good」
That time, we gathered together on one of our rare holidays and were chatting. That “one day we would escape from this place and create a new world in which all of us can live happily together.” With hard work and treatment, even if we wanted to run, there were adults watching us at every corner. It was like prison. With life as if we were tied down to this place, anyone would hate it.
I couldn’t say anything more than that with a smile on my face.
After a while, even more brothers came. With them initially quiet, they too, began to add to the noisy atmosphere.
One day as we were headed to the basement, the priest called out to my sister and told her not to go to the basement since there was nothing a weak girl could do. She would be sent to do other chores.
It was true that my sister was not suited for such work in the basement. But something was strange… but I couldn’t put it to words.
「I am worried, so please let me go too.」
But the response was a single “no.” In this prison, the priest’s words were absolute. With no choice other than to go down the basement, I sent my sister off with worried eyes.
And that night, what awaited me was my worst nightmare of my life. surely, even worse than the death of my parents. In the dark room, my sister curled up in a ball with a blanket covereing her from head to toes, and hugging her knees.
She must have been tired being made to do work she was not used to. At the moment I touched her toes that were peeping out from the blanket–
She slapped away my hand and jumped up. My eyes widened in surprise.
While thinking if I frightened her so much, I realised something strange. Even in the pale darkness I noticed. Her eyes were swollen with crying.
「……Did anything happen?」
「No.. nothing. Not at all.」
Her repetition only served to heighten my suspicions. Her shaking her head and forcing a smile was suspicious in itself. Suddenly, I noticed that the hand holding her wrists were trembling.
「What happened to your hand?」
Half-forcefully, I took her wrists. They were weak and thin for her age… no, maybe even thinner. There were red marks that even my hands could not cover. Marks of fingers…. the shapes were strange. I realised instantly as I pieced the puzzle together. I knew who had left those marks.
Apart from her wrists, there were no other visible marks. At least here I could see. but she had been crying, curling into a ball as if to protect herself. And more importantly, she didn’t want to be touched.
——It couldn’t be.
「……It’s nothing, brother……」
Her trembling voice sounded like a confession. The marks were from someone who had hands larger than mine. The fingers of an adult man.
「……Who was it.」
Who was the one… who dirtied my sister…? Who the hell was it who made my sister bear a mark that would never disappear for her entire life…? An indescribable anger welled up within me.
I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you kill you kill you kill you!!!!! I’LL KILL YOU! KILL THAT PRIEST RIGHT NOWW!!! WITH THESE HANDS!!!!
There was nothing that could become a weapon. Even so, I flew out of the room in my moment of anger. But my feet stopped as I took a step out of the door.
——What would happen after I killed him?
Inside of my head which had gone red as blood rushed up in my anger, such a thinking came to me. Was it really a smart move to kill the priest now?
The answer came straightaway. Even if I killed the mastermind, the priest now, the consequences were apparent. The adults would see me as a rebel and get rid of me. If I died, who would protect my sister? This little girl, who could only curl up and cry?
And the priest would surely try to silence her. And if he knew that I had knowledge of this incident, he would think she had asked me for help. And he would do worse things to her in return.
My feelings and reasoning were mixed inside of me. What was right or wrong, I no longer knew. Even if he was such a person I-
What brought me back to my senses was the voice of my sister.
「I’m alright. As long as brother is here with me, I’ll be fine.」
What exactly did you mean by alright? With that face and that voice?
「……Don’t say you’re alright. It’s fine not to say it.」
Despite knowing she might hate it, I took her in an embrace. I could not find anything else I could do for her. Even so, my anger toward that vermin for tainting this pure sister of mine was burning in my chest. And at the same time, I was agtated at my own weakness. How could I ever save her form the hands of the demonic adults? I thought about it everyday. Killing them, or running away, or having both of us die….. I thought hard about all kinds of methods. Nothing seemed realistic. If just of ronce, I acted before I thought about it, it might have gone well. But I couldn’t. We were children, and helpless. The enemy was an adult, and strong. The weak were held in check by the strong. It was the way of the world.
And the weak me, could only watch as my sister was brought away to the place where the strong were. Everyday, the time I waited for my sister to return home became painful. Why was I even here now? Why didn’t I save my sister? I blamed myself so much that one day, I just stopped blaming myself.
I saw but pretended not to. I realised that it was the best way. I wasn’t adult enough to fight with them, but I wasn’t such a child that I would fight while going against the way of the world. Every night in the dark room, I opened a book and, immersing myself in the world of books, I kept myself sane.
If I couldn’t save you, there was no need for me to be by your side. After some time, I took distance from my sister. Even though she was hurting, she kept on a cheerful demeanour, and despite knowing that I could do nothing for her and I hated that.
That’s right. I was running away. After deserting my beloved sister.
「If we go to the world of OZ, we can become happy」
My sister said that one night during our rest day. She had a few pieces of paper and things were written on it in pencil.
「We played Oz hide-and-seek. The tinman was Haru-chan, the lion was Kei-chan, chi-chan was..…」
It was what they were playing this lunch break. It was based off the great magician of Oz, and it seemed they each took on a character and played. I smacked away my sister’s hand that beckoned me to play, and I could only watch from far away. I had no right to be with them.
「Everyone here lives happily. Hey brother, what would make you happy?」
My sister never failed to give me her smile. But that hurt me.
「I don’t need anything, but I would like to know everything about that world」
I responded in a cold tone and returned to my book. I wanted to know everything. Ten maybe I could find a way to save you. And before I let that slip, I closed my mouth. She must have been tired, for she fell asleep soon after, holding the pencil. As she slept, I breathed a sigh of relief. Only at times when I heard her deep breathing as she slept would I fele that even such a terrible brother like me could be near her.
As I covered her with a messy blanket, I threw a glance at the papers. Everything about OZ was written there. What kind of world, how to get there, what was happening…. It was like a picture book, and with her included, there were 6 other characters.
——No, not six… With me included, it was seven.
It was written that ‘Airu’ was the magician, and had a book that contained all the information of the world.
「……I’m sorry. For being a brother who can’t do anything.」
As I kissed the cheek of my sleeping sister, for the first time since the death of my parents, I cried.
The next morning, the priest who saw my sister’s picture book got extremely mad. He had the wrong impression that the brothers collaborated to create an escape plan. And before we create any trouble, he would sell us and tear us apart from each other. It was what a vermin like him would think.
And not long after that, the seven of us in the orphanage were sent to 7 different places. We were not told to where or whom we were going to, and even if they were blood-related brothers, they were mercilessly forced apart. And of course, my sister and I were not any different.
The day before our final goodbye, it wasn’t certain who suggested it, but we assembled at the maple tree , which was our playing area.
「10 years later, December 25, let’s meet here again」
I said nothing as I saw my brother exchange this promise. Even if ten years passed, I would not be forgiven. I could not have the same feelings as them, who were full of hope for their futures. Even if the world still saw me as a child, for me who was much older than the rest of them, I would become a filthy adult… I had already taken a step towards that path.
And so, one by one, the children left the orphanage. They were all certainly lonely, but that promise made them stronger.
And finally my turn came. And the last one to leave would be my sister.
「Forget everything that’s happened up to now, and move forward.」
My sister listened quietly to my words.
「……Yeah, even me.」
I was shot by those blue eyes. Since when… since when was it that I become frightened whenever I see those blue eyes?
「It’s fine to forget painful things. Forget…. everything.」
It would be your happiness.
「Understand? It’s our promise.」
Forgive me for only being a brother at times like this.
I couldn’t hug her. My outstretched hands petted her head at the level of barely touching her, and we parted like that. Not knowing that it would be our final goodbye.
Forget. I beg you, just forget…. As Airu wished strongly in his heart, he left the orphanage. No mater what happens, I’ll protect you. Even that feeling which he once held so strongly, were all gone now.
But that feeling would once again be remembered in the coming “meeting” –but that’s, another story.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
Finally we have a happy end for the SS. I’m currently listening to Airu’s CD, and I really hope it’ll be a good end! つД｀)･ﾟ･｡･ﾟﾟ･*:.｡..｡.:*･ﾟ