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Zoku Owarimonogatari 01

a guest Feb 27th, 2019 273 Never
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  1. 01
  2. As you are aware, the story of Araragi Koyomi has reached its conclusion.
  3. I have nothing more to add.
  4. What comes now, is the continuation of the end.
  5. A world that wasn’t meant to be, an impossible future.
  6. The fallen vampire, Oshino Shinobu.
  7. The class rep bewitched by a cat, Hanekawa Tsubasa.
  8. The girl in a crab’s grip, Senjougahara Hitagi.
  9. The ghost led astray by a snail, Hachikuji Mayoi.
  10. The kouhai who wished upon a monkey, Kanbaru Suruga.
  11. The snake who was strangled by a snake, then ate a snake, Sengoku Nadeko.
  12. The little sister stung by a bee, Araragi Karen.
  13. The host of a phoenix, Araragi Tsukihi.
  14. The corpse doll, Ononoki Yotsugi.
  15. The returning childhood friend, Oikura Sodachi.
  16. The specialist troupe: the vagabond, Oshino Meme;
  17. The con-man, Saiki Deishuu; the violent onmyouji, Kagenui Yozuru;
  18. The big boss, Gaen Izuko; the dollmaster, Teori Tadatsugu.
  19. And finally, Oshino Ougi.
  20. This is continuation of their stories.
  21. A sorts of extra, if you will. But not one to be made light of.
  22. It is human nature to learn more from defeats than from victories.
  23. Let us, then, partake in this lesson.
  24.  
  25. The next day.
  26. As usual, my sisters would wake me up in a violent manner…
  27. Or not.
  28. My lovely, but foolish little sisters…
  29. Nii-chan, you’re not a high-schooler anymore!
  30. Starting tomorrow, you’ll have to wake up on your own!
  31. That’s right! Just as she said.
  32. Delivered such a declaration.
  33. Right… Right.
  34. As of today, I’m no longer a third-year student of Naoetsu high school.
  35. That was the natural state of affairs. Nothing more, nothing less.
  36. Yet I felt more at odds than against any oddity I faced so far.
  37. There was a clear difference between my recent and my old graduations.
  38. The fact that nothing was ascertained about my future.
  39. Nothing but uncertainty.
  40. By the time I graduated elementary school, my enrolment in the 701th middle school had been decided.
  41. By the time I graduated from the 701th, I had already received a positive response from my dream school, Naoetsu.
  42. Basically, graduations so far marked simple shifts in status.
  43. To put it another way, moving from one stage to another.
  44. And nothing more.
  45. This time, it’s different.
  46. While I have graduated from Naoetsu, I have no idea what will happen to my future self.
  47. In more practical terms: as of today, the 26th of March, my university of choice has yet to post any results.
  48. My prospects are unknown; my future is uncertain.
  49. There’s only myself, bereft of status.
  50. In my purest form.
  51. Not a high school student, nor an examinee. Not an undergraduate, nor a flunker.
  52. Of course, I’m not employed, either.
  53. I’m just Araragi Koyomi, without any labels.
  54. If an officer inquired about my occupation, how should I answer?
  55. After such a train of thoughts, I laughed.
  56. The weird situation made me go weird.
  57. I must be feeling sentimental after graduating, nothing more.
  58. Let’s make the best of this…
  59. This short period which, in reminiscence, will seem to have been a fleeting moment.
  60. Let’s enjoy this statusless existence.
  61. And if an officer does ask about my occupation, I can just say:
  62. I’m Araragi Koyomi. A man who’s exactly what meets the eye.
  63. I’d be put in chains.
  64. They might call reinforcements.
  65. I might be surrounded and besieged.
  66.  
  67. Huh?
  68. Shinobu!
  69.  
  70. Uh…
  71. I might still be half asleep.
  72. I’ll refresh myself with some cold water.
  73. I suppose that was more effective than cold water.
  74. As I raised my head, I only saw the good old mirror.
  75. An honest-to-god mirror, just like any other.
  76. Ah, Nii-chan. You’re awake.
  77. Huh?
  78. Nii-chan, pass me the towel.
  79. What’s wrong, Nii-chan? Is there something on my face?
  80. Ah… no.
  81. Thanks!
  82. Grab me my underwear?
  83. Uh… Karen-chan? It’s you, right?
  84. Huh? Yeah, it’s me.
  85. Your Karen-chan!
  86. Whose who-chan would I be otherwise?
  87. What are you up to today, Nii-san?
  88. Having a date with Senjougahara-san?
  89. N-no… I don’t have any plans like that.
  90. I was just thinking about cycling alone for a bit.
  91. Hmm. Well, me and Tsukihi-chan are going shopping soon!
  92. To prepare for the Fire Sisters goodbye-party, or something like that.
  93. Oh, yeah… you’re disbanding. Right.
  94. At long last, you’ve become high school students, after all.
  95. Am I imagining things?
  96. It feels like I’m hearing Karen-chan’s voice in reverse.
  97. Whew.
  98. And Nii-chan, could you get out already?
  99. I’m wearing nothing but underwear here!
  100.  
  101. Ah, Onii-chan. You’re wake!
  102. Do you two see me as Sleeping Beauty?
  103. What is it? Do you want me to praise you for waking up on your own?
  104. I didn’t sense anything strange from Tsukihi.
  105. I do feel like her voice is a bit off, but that’s all.
  106. Although that must be suspicion bias at work.
  107. Hey, Tsukihi-chan… has Karen-chan been acting strange today?
  108. I just ran into her in the bathroom…
  109. Ah, she finished bathing? Then it’s my turn!
  110. With how much I sweat, I can’t miss a morning bath.
  111. Ts-Tsukihi-chan!
  112. Yes, Onii-chan?
  113. You put your yukata on wrong, again.
  114. Oh, really? I always forget which is the right way.
  115. Well, I’ll be taking it off soon anyway.
  116. Devilish Onii-chan.
  117. You seem to be thinking that the previous instalment neatly resolved each and every plot thread.
  118. But wasn’t Teori Tadatsugu under the same curse as Onee-chan, making him unable to walk on the ground during his lifetime?
  119. I recall him walking around the shrine without a care.
  120. Let’s say that since he was in hell – the world beyond death, it wouldn’t have been part of his lifetime.
  121. Making him walking around a non-issue.
  122. You’re pretty good at fixing inconsistencies, aren’t you?
  123. So hey.
  124. I suppose I’ll accept your explanation. Out of pity.
  125. I’ll be rooting for you, so keep up the good work.
  126. Also, I think it was a little hard to understand how that last scene connects to Hanamonogatari…
  127. “Annoyed”
  128.  
  129. Shinobu!
  130. While the contradicting nature of rushing out under the sunlight to summon a vampire didn’t elude me,
  131. I still kept calling out to my shadow.
  132. But there was no answer. No response.
  133. It would appear she is in a deep slumber.
  134. And no wonder.
  135. Yesterday, while skipping the graduation ceremony, I did have her go all out.
  136. And I’ve kept relying on her even until the day before that.
  137. There was scarcely a moment that I didn’t depend on her.
  138. I’m aware that I put quite a strain on her,
  139. So now that things had settled down, that she was granted respite,
  140. It’s only natural that a small nudge wouldn’t awake her from her current state.
  141. Oh… right.
  142. To think of it, this town is supposed to have a god.
  143. Don’t we have the great deity, Hachikuji Mayoi?
  144. Hachikuji! Hey!
  145. Oh… got it.
  146. Throwing money into the offering altar to summon a god – a novel idea only a select few could come up with, no doubt.
  147. Look at me and how much I’ve matured.
  148. I hear that unpleasant con-man also frequented this shrine after new year’s.
  149. Well, the ability to come up with such an idea, filled with originality, serves to show the how different we are.
  150. Nothing really happened.
  151. The doors didn’t burst open and no god sprung forth vigorously.
  152. Nothing of the sort.
  153. Araragi-khun!
  154. Did you come to see? I’m so happy!
  155. So happy, happy, happy!
  156. I was so lonely!
  157. Even though I became a god, I didn’t get any visitors!
  158. I was thinking of quitting and leaving this mountain!
  159. Lemme hug you more! Lemme love you more! Lemme lick you!
  160. Aw, stop squirming! Just leave everything to Onee-san!
  161. I promise I’ll be gentle.
  162. H-Hachikuji… Mayoi-san?
  163. Yup!
  164. Hachikujo Mayoi-oneesan, age 21.
  165. Needless to say, the Hachikuji I know is a 10-year-old girl.
  166. And not a 21-year-old deviant. Pardon, I meant lady.
  167. However, it was also true that the one in front of me was Hachikuji Mayoi.
  168. I was aware of that.
  169. What’s up, Araragi-khun? What got you gazing so intently at me?
  170. I’m sorry, but I’m everyone’s onee-san now.
  171. I can’t be yours alone.
  172. For a start, could you stop referring to me as Araragi-khun?
  173. Let me confirm this… you are a god, right?
  174. Yup. What brought that on? Weren’t you the one who made it so?
  175. Did you already forget?
  176. It seems our knowledge of events match.
  177. The overall situation remains the same, too.
  178. What happened, Araragi-kun? Did you check your test answers, only to find you failed horribly?
  179. Leave it to me. A helping hand, a little legwork and I’ll soothe your soul!
  180. Err… no, that’s not what… uh…
  181. Ultimately, I decided to share everything with Mayoi-oneesan.
  182.  
  183. Hm… Araragi-kun. Let’s go over this again.
  184. Your tall sister, Karen-chan became shorter.
  185. The expressionless Ononoki-chan turned expressive.
  186. The former Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade wouldn’t answer your calls.
  187. And the little child, Hachikuji-chan turned into Mayoi-oneesan, right?
  188. Yes, that’s about it.
  189. So everyone had a different spin to them. Does that sound right?
  190. Different spin…? Sure…
  191. That’s one way to put it… But there weren’t any changes Tsukihi. No different spin.
  192. That in itself could only make things more complicated.
  193. That’s true. Well, we can think about that later.
  194. But wasn’t didn’t she also put on her yukata reversed?
  195. Reversed?
  196. Right. Left side under. If that’s what changed about her…
  197. That makes her case the simplest, in a way.
  198. Not a spin… but a reversal.
  199. Reversed, as the image in a mirror.
  200. Not an illusion, but a reflection. Left and right reversed.
  201. It would also stand to reason, then, that Shinobu wouldn’t answer my call.
  202. After all, vampires aren’t reflected in mirrors.
  203. It’s something I have experienced myself. Which means…
  204. Which means, Araragi-kun… Even if everyone has changed, even if the world is different,
  205. It doesn’t mean that you yourself changed in any way.
  206. Only that you wandered over to this side.
  207. You’re inside the mirror.
  208. While I had already reached the same conclusion myself earlier, after being slapped in the face by the truth,
  209. I couldn’t help but ask:
  210. Are we really going with this flimsy setup?!
  211. I don’t think the situation is as light as you make it sound. Aren’t you backed in a corner?
  212. What do you mean?
  213. Well, there’s no method to return to what would be your original world, is there?
  214. True. The flimsiness of this setup caught me off guard, and I didn’t think that far.
  215. There. Don’t worry, don’t be afraid.
  216. It’ll work out just fine. I’ll guarantee it.
  217. I have nothing to base it on, but I’ll promise, as a god.
  218. Still… what are we supposed to do?
  219. As I recall, you travelled 10 years into the past once to save me from a traffic accident.
  220. How did you come and go that time?
  221. How, well… That time, we used this shrine’s torii as a gate.
  222. Then wouldn’t you be able to return by recreating that gate?
  223. Uh, that’d be…
  224. We’re inside the mirror.
  225. Wouldn’t that mean that Oshino Shinobu – that is, the former Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade
  226. Would never have existed to begin with?
  227. Then again, without Shinobu’s existence, I couldn’t have met Hachikuji back in that park either.
  228. How would that inconsistency be explained?
  229. Constistency… wouldn’t have to matter, not in our case.
  230. By our case… I mean this world.
  231. There are no paradoxes inside a mirror.
  232. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that everything is a paradox.
  233. Because I know about Oshino Shinobu – about the former Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.
  234. At the same time, I know that there are no vampires in this world.
  235. Why would I know the name of an oddity that isn’t supposed to exist? Why do I not feel weird talking about her?
  236. That moment I looked into the mirror this morning and it stopped following my movements…
  237. It’s the world at that specific moment that got reversed, but not the past accompanying it. Something like that?
  238. That might be it.
  239. But Araragi-kun… Not everything has been reversed.
  240. That could complicate matters even more.
  241. How do you figure?
  242. For example, take Karen-chan as example. If everything got reversed, she would be the older sister, and you the younger brother, right?
  243. Not everything has been reversed… Then what is reversal based on?
  244. It seems like that fact that your other sister, Tsukihi-chan saw no great changes will be an important clue.
  245. Anyway, to sum everything up, there’s only one way for you to return to your world.
  246. Only one? How did you narrow it down so fast?
  247. The only way is to have the former Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade open the gate for you!
  248. What’s with the unsatisfied look?
  249. As far as I know, that oddity killer was an overpowered character who could do everything!
  250. I’m sure creating a passage to the world of mirrors will be a cinch for her.
  251. Yeah, I guess, she should be able to do that…
  252. But Shinobu doesn’t exist in this world, right?
  253. It’s a world of mirrors, so vampires can’t exist.
  254. Even if she’s not here, she could open it from the other side.
  255. If she’s not here, that would mean she’s over there.
  256. Having been severed from you, that famous legend should now be free of her shackles, back to her former power.
  257. So, this is “The Only Neat Thing to Do”!
  258. One of the top three coolest sci-fi book titles!
  259. I haven’t read it, though.
  260. For reference, what are the other two?
  261. “Aryaryagi-san”
  262. “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
  263. Haven’t read either.
  264. “Hm!”
  265. So you haven’t read any of them…
  266. “Eeeh?”
  267. Then the problem is finding a method of conveying this plan to her in the other world.
  268. What if you wrote a letter and left it at your desk, would it appear over there?
  269. No… it would seem that what I do here and what happens there isn’t linked.
  270. It was only that one moment that got snipped off.
  271. Then… what about giving up on Shinobu-san, and waiting patiently in front of the sink where you appeared first for the gate to open again?
  272. Spending 24 hours a day in the bathroom, all while paying attention sounds impossible.
  273. I can’t just live my life in a bathroom.
  274. Although, as a benefit, I could jump into the tub whenever I felt tired.
  275. But I’m not sure that’s worth it.
  276. Ah!
  277. Why did you shout all of a sudden, Araragi-kun?
  278. Kanbaru’s house!
  279. The bath at Kanbaru’s house was, if I recall…
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