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Oct 7th, 2020
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  1. ---Glossary---
  2. Kofun (古墳): a specific category of ancient Japanese burial mound.
  4. Shishi (志士): political activists in the late Edo period, typically those opposed to the shogunate.
  6. Hokora (祠): a miniature Shinto shrine, often enshrining a local minor deity.
  8. Ryujin-sama (龍神様): lit. "dragon god". Can refer to various dragon deities worshiped in various regions, with one of the most notable being a powerful sea god.
  10. Haniwa (埴輪): terracotta cylinders or figures made for funerary purposes in the Kofun period.
  12. Dates:
  13. -Meiji Restoration: took place 1868 AD
  14. -Edo period: Approx. 1603 ~ 1868 AD
  15. -Muromachi period: Approx. 1336 ~ 1573 AD
  16. -Kofun period: Approx. 300 ~ 538 AD
  18. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  20. Episode 1 - "An Unexpected Hypothesis" (video source:
  22. Menu voice: "An objective vantage point is more comfortable for me."
  24. Mikura (quest select): Perhaps they'll contact me about the dig soon...?
  26. --------
  28. <Kosho School>
  29. <Historical Research Club - Provisional room>
  31. Mikura: .......
  32. Temari: .......
  33. Mikura: What are you reading, Kira?
  34. Temari: "The Essence of the Novel."
  35. Mikura: Ah, Tsubouchi Shōyō?
  36. Mikura: Didn't you read that one already?
  37. Temari: Indeed, I did.
  38. Temari: Yesterday, I saw a cable TV program called Literary Promenade...
  39. Temari: that happened to be doing a special feature on Tsubouchi Shōyō.
  40. Mikura: So you're re-reading it.
  41. Temari: I've made some new discoveries thanks to that program. It's quite interesting.
  42. Mikura: Bit surprising to hear that you watch TV, though.
  43. Temari: On occasion. If it happens to be literature-related...
  44. Temari: And you, Komachi...? Is that a local history journal I see?
  45. Mikura: Yeah. It's a study of a tea set on display at Mizuna Art Museum.
  46. Mikura: I happen to be acquainted with the curator who compiled this article.
  47. Temari: Hm. Is it interesting?
  48. Mikura: Well... I can't speak to that, seeing as I'm the one who wrote it.
  49. Temari: Oh? So you're checking over your own article, as opposed to researching.
  51. (...)
  53. Mikura: .......
  54. Temari: .......
  55. Seira: My senpais certainly seem to be getting along well!
  56. Temari: ...Mihono? How long have you been there?
  57. Seira: Since the part about Tsubouchi Shōyō, I'd say.
  58. Mikura: What part of this stone-cold silence sounded friendly to you?
  59. Seira: I mean, you're always together, aren't you?
  60. Mikura: Well, we do take the same train every day, since there aren't that many available for students commuting from out of town.
  61. Seira: Not just that. You're in the same class, and you're always together at lunch and after school, right?
  62. Temari: Yes. Komachi's not a nuisance, after all.
  63. Mikura: Yeah. You avoid people you don't like out of pure instinct, don't you, Kira?
  64. Temari: ...What am I, a cat?
  65. Mikura: I imagine we get along because we both tend to mind our own business.
  66. Temari: That's just the sort of thing you'd say.
  67. Temari: Strangely objective, even with regards to yourself.
  68. Mikura: ...I see.
  69. Mikura: By the way, Misono. What's that envelope you're holding?
  70. Seira: Ah, yes!
  71. Seira: The counselor told me to give this to our club leader, since I was headed over here.
  72. Mikura: To me? Let's see here.
  74. (...)
  76. Temari: ...Looks like it's a progress report on the kofun excavation.
  77. Seira: Ah, THAT one! The one you discovered, Komachi-senpai!
  78. Seira: I was so surprised when I heard about it!
  79. Seira: That whole hill behind the school, secretly being a kofun all along...
  80. Mikura: .......
  81. Temari: If you're talking to Komachi, she can't hear you.
  82. Seira: ...Absorbed in reading the report, huh?
  83. Mikura: ...Hm? Something wrong?
  84. Seira: No, I was just saying how I surprised I was about the hill being a kofun.
  85. Mikura: I was pretty surprised myself, too.
  86. Seira: You know, a conversation like this almost makes it feel like we're a real Historical Research Club!
  87. Mikura: You could've left out the words "almost" and "real".
  88. Temari: ...Speaking of which, we hadn't even formed the club yet at the time.
  89. Mikura: True.
  90. Mikura: ...It really wasn't that long ago, was it?
  92. ~~~
  93. Mikura (voiceover): On that day, I'd decided to visit the large hill behind our school.
  94. Mikura (voiceover): From what I had heard, the city had started a project to bulldoze the hill and make way for a bypass.
  95. Mikura (voiceover): There was a stone monument near the foot of the hill, dedicated to the Shishi during the Meiji Restoration.
  96. Mikura (voiceover): Since visiting historical sites is a hobby of mine, I particularly liked the spot.
  97. Mikura (voiceover): ...So I wanted to see it one last time before construction started.
  99. Mikura: (There's the monument... I guess this'll be the last time I get to see it here.)
  100. Mikura: .......
  101. Mikura: (Yeah, that's right. Are they going to bulldoze the whole hill...?)
  102. Mikura: .......
  103. Mikura: (May as well take a little hike. This place won't be around much longer, after all.)
  105. Mikura: *Puff*... *wheeze*...
  106. Mikura: (This might've been a mistake.)
  107. Mikura: (Why'd I go climbing up here on a whim?! I'm still in my school uniform!)
  108. Mikura: (I could turn back... but, well, I'm almost at the top already.)
  109. Mikura: .......
  110. Mikura: Hm?
  111. Mikura: What's that over there...?
  113. Mikura: It's... a hokora?
  114. Mikura: So there was one here, of all places...
  115. Mikura: I never knew.
  117. Mikura: (It's not a particularly old hokora, either. I'd place it at about 50 years old, tops.)
  118. Mikura: (Though it could date back further, if that was just when they happened to rebuild it.)
  119. Mikura: (How did it come to be...?)
  120. Mikura: .......
  121. Mikura: (My legs are already killing me,)
  122. Mikura: (but let's take a trip to the library while we're at it.)
  124. (...)
  126. Mikura: (...Aha!)
  127. Mikura: (I knew searching the local history documents first was a good idea.)
  128. Mikura: (...I see. Seems like it's one of those hokora dedicated to Ryujin-sama?)
  129. Mikura: (Dates back to the pre-war period...)
  130. Mikura: (Maybe even before the Edo period, judging by the content of this folklore?)
  131. Mikura: (It took a while to find this journal on it-- looks like it was self-published, too--)
  132. Mikura: (but there's so many details about the folklore in here.)
  133. Mikura: (I've really got to thank the historian who wrote this...)
  134. Mikura: Huh?
  135. Mikura: (There's a different tale described in the footnotes of this magazine...)
  136. Mikura: (A virtuous monk built it as thanks for lending him a place to stay for the night...?)
  137. Mikura: (...This is completely different from the Ryujin-sama story. Guess the jury's still out.)
  138. Mikura: (Citations for this account...)
  139. Mikura: (Nice, here they are. ...Wow, there's a lot.)
  140. Mikura: (And all the sources from this point on are ancient manuscripts, to boot.)
  141. Mikura: In which case...
  142. Mikura: None of them would be kept in this library, so I guess I've just got to regroup tomorrow.
  143. Mikura: (Lastly... what else could I still look up here?)
  144. Mikura: (Old maps of the area around the hill, maybe?)
  145. Mikura: (It might've been farmland back then, or undeveloped entirely...)
  146. Mikura: (This book looks pretty easy to understand. It's got photos from recent aerial surveys, too.)
  147. Mikura: .......
  148. Mikura: Huh?!
  150. --------
  152. Mikura: Huh?!
  153. Mikura: (These *are* photos from the aerial surveys of that hill, right?)
  154. Mikura: (Recent ones, at that...)
  155. Mikura: (Uhh. Hm, but... is that even possible?)
  156. Mikura: This hill...
  157. Mikura: looks just like a kofun, right?
  159. Mikura: .......
  160. Mikura: (No way, no way...)
  161. Mikura: (It's just a particularly round hill. A *natural* one.)
  162. Mikura: (I mean, there's no way such a large kofun could still be undiscovered today...)
  163. Mikura: (The reason the land and roads around it look strangely manmade...)
  164. Mikura: (is because they were just coincidentally rezoned that way.)
  165. Mikura: (So...)
  166. Mikura: (What about the hokora, though?)
  167. Mikura: ....... .......
  168. Mikura: I can't be sure of that without going through the old manuscripts.
  169. Mikura: But a hill with a hokora that has several theories as to its origin...?
  170. Mikura: (Perhaps over several centuries, people naturally forgot that it was a kofun...)
  171. Mikura: (And since they remembered it as just a vaguely "sacred" hill, it became a subject of reverence and taboo...)
  172. Mikura: (Which is why the hokora was built, along with a legend meant to explain it after the fact?)
  173. Mikura: (There's a lot of sites with that sort of history, but it might be too early to jump to conclusions.)
  174. Mikura: First off... let's continue with a bibliographic survey!
  176. --------
  178. Mikura (voice line): "Huh...?! Don't tell me, this hokora is...!"
  180. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  182. Episode 2 - "The First Draft of My Wish" (video source:
  184. Menu voice: "Hmm... isn't there *some* way we could excavate it...?"
  186. Mikura (quest select): If my hypothesis is somehow correct... I have to see it, no matter what! And to do that...!
  188. --------
  190. Mikura (voiceover): Having become curious about that hokora on the hill, I went to research it at the libarry.
  191. Mikura (voiceover): There, a thought went through my mind...
  193. Mikura: This hill...
  194. Mikura: looks just like a kofun, right?
  196. (...)
  198. Mikura: Next up, a bibliographic survey.
  199. Mikura: I can hardly imagine that it's actually an undiscovered kofun, but whatever the case...
  200. Mikura: I want to start by digging up everything I can about the hilltop hokora!
  201. Mikura: (The majority of the literature cited...)
  202. Mikura: (appears to be in the possession of Kamihama University's library.)
  203. Mikura: Guess I'll head to the university first.
  205. Temari: .......
  207. (...)
  209. Mikura: Hello, ma'am.
  210. Librarian: Why, Komachi-san! Hello to you too, dear.
  211. Librarian: You're here to see the manuscripts you checked out, right? I'll show you where they are.
  212. Mikura: Thank you very much.
  214. Librarian: Here's the key.
  215. Librarian: I take it you know how to view microfilm?
  216. Mikura: Yes, I'm quite familiar.
  217. Librarian: Such expertise for a high-school student!
  218. Librarian: Ah, if only our college kids here were as passionate as you...
  219. Mikura: *Chuckle*...
  220. Librarian: Well, knock yourself out! If you have any questions, give me a call.
  221. Mikura: Thanks again!
  223. Mikura (voiceover): It was tough going-- I could hardly identify some of the script, let alone translate it...
  224. Mikura (voiceover): But I managed to find one single passage that clearly described the hokora.
  226. Mikura: (Finally...!)
  227. Mikura: (This indicates that the hokora was around since the Muromachi period!)
  228. Mikura: (And even at that time, it was apparently pretty old already.)
  229. Mikura: (Well, that said...)
  230. Mikura: (This has zero to do with whether or not the hill is a kofun.)
  231. Mikura: (But knowing that it was revered since ancient times is plenty exciting on its own!)
  232. Mikura: Let's see, now.
  233. Mikura: The next thing we ought to investigate is whether they've found any artifacts nearby...
  234. Mikura: Haniwa fragments, for instance!
  236. (...)
  238. Temari: ...Komachi.
  239. Mikura: Hm?
  240. Temari: Aren't you going to eat your lunch?
  241. Mikura: What? It's lunchtime already?
  242. Temari: Yes.
  243. Temari: Which is why we took out our lunches to eat together?
  244. Mikura: Oh... right.
  245. Temari: Being so absorbed in your research that you even forget to eat...
  246. Temari: That's rare for someone as relatively normal as you.
  247. Mikura: I take offense to the "relatively" part.
  248. Mikura: You're right, though. Reading so intensely that you forget to eat or sleep...
  249. Mikura: That's more your thing than mine!
  250. Temari: I can't deny that.
  251. Temari: ...So, what are you looking into?
  252. Mikura: That hill out behind the school.
  253. Temari: Hm. I wouldn't say that's ringing any bells?
  254. Mikura: Yeah.
  255. Mikura: There might not be anything out there in the end, after all.
  256. Temari: A very prudent way of putting it. As per usual for you.
  257. Temari: ...But you've sensed that there's something worth investigating so passionately, I take it?
  258. Mikura: Yep. Though it's barely even a hypothesis at this point...
  259. Mikura: I was thinking that the hill might possibly be a kofun?
  260. Temari: Oh...?
  261. Temari: Any basis for that?
  262. Mikura: The topography here, for instance...
  263. Mikura: These are aerial photos of the region around the hill.
  264. Mikura: See the fields and waterways immediately around it?
  265. Mikura: Don't they look like the ditches dug around a kofun?
  266. Temari: ...I see. Now that you mention it, they do.
  267. Mikura: And those wide old roads that run around a kofun's vicinity...
  268. Mikura: The distance between this hill and the road is close to the same ratio as that of other kofuns.
  269. Temari: Indeed...
  270. Temari: There were other kofuns discovered in this area too, weren't there?
  271. Mikura: Exactly!
  272. Mikura: So it'd hardly be surprising to find a new one here.
  273. Mikura: If some more decisive evidence happens to show up, at least.
  274. Temari: And yet, nobody's proposed a similar theory until now...?
  275. Mikura: That's the weird part.
  276. Temari: Is there a reason for that?
  277. Mikura: Maybe there's a reason that only professionals would be familiar with...?
  278. Mikura: Besides that, if I *had* to guess...
  279. Temari: If you had to guess?
  280. Mikura: If it really is a kofun, it'd have to be extremely large.
  281. Mikura: So maybe people dismissed it as impossible right away?
  282. Temari: In any case, I suppose you have more research ahead of you.
  283. Mikura: You got it.
  285. (...)
  287. Mikura: .......?
  288. Mikura: Oh, here!
  289. Temari: What is it?
  290. Mikura: Excavation records for haniwa fragments. This might've been pretty close by.
  291. Mikura: It looks like there's records about them in an Edo-period source!
  292. Temari: Haniwa...?
  293. Temari: So is it truly a kofun, then?
  294. Mikura: Still can't say. This just means I've found one potential clue.
  295. Mikura: Even if the fragments were haniwa, we still don't know how close to the hill they really were...
  296. Mikura: But at least it's a possibility. Now, time for lunch...
  298. <Ding, dong, ding, dong~...>
  300. Mikura: Shoot, it's over already!
  302. (...)
  304. Mikura (voiceover): And so I continued investigating, one careful step at a time...
  305. Mikura (voiceover): "There is an undeniable possibility that this hill had been a kofun."
  306. Mikura (voiceover): Having reached this conclusion, I wrote a paper outlining my argument...
  307. Mikura (voiceover): and presented it to my curator friend at the local history museum.
  308. Mikura (voiceover): I wanted to hear what an actual academic had to say about it, for one thing.
  309. Mikura (voiceover): And... I *did* have the faintest of hopes that it might reach the ears of someone involved,
  310. thereby prompting an archaeological assessment before they began work on the hill.
  312. Curator: Mm-hm... this is quite something! Very well-summarized, I'd say.
  313. Mikura: Do you really mean that?!
  314. Curator: Yes. You've got a good eye for points to focus on, too.
  315. Curator: I doubt you'd find anyone else who's analyzed this hokora in such detail.
  316. Mikura: I heard that they're going through with plans to build a bypass here...
  317. Mikura: If there's a chance that it really is a kofun, they'd have to do an assessment pretty soon, right?
  318. Curator: Indeed.
  319. Curator: ...Unfortunately, I'm not sure if this would be enough to prompt an immediate excavation.
  320. Mikura: So that's just how it is, then...?
  321. Curator: It *does* sound very convincing, mind you.
  322. Curator: But with a kofun this big...
  323. Curator: Is it really plausible that nobody noticed it until now?
  324. Curator: Of course, I'm nowhere near an expert on the Kofun period...
  325. Curator: So I think it'd be a good idea to consult someone better-versed in that era.
  326. Curator: That said...
  327. Curator: They're still discovering new small kofuns just about every year,
  328. Curator: but one of this size...
  329. Mikura: ...Is awfully rare?
  330. Curator: I'm afraid so.
  331. Curator: Kofun excavation is a matter for professional archaeologists,
  332. Curator: and when someone's been studying a specific era or region for a long time,
  333. Curator: they tend to have a particular understanding of what's plausible or not.
  334. Curator: From an academic perspective like that, the idea of excavating this hill...
  335. Curator: ...might not be worth considering in the first place.
  336. Mikura: I see...
  338. Mikura (voiceover): I've always liked history ever since I was a kid,
  339. so I naturally became well-acquainted with the local history experts and curators.
  340. Mikura (voiceover): As I graduated to middle and high school, I even submitted some essays to local journals,
  341. but it was all essentially the domain of amateur historians.
  342. Mikura (voiceover): Archaeology, on the other hand, was a whole different beast from literature-centered historical study.
  343. It's a field that requires a lot of specialist training.
  344. Mikura (voiceover): For all I knew, I could've overlooked something extremely basic.
  345. Mikura (voiceover): I felt like I'd just been told that, compared to people who've spent decades
  346. doing research in their specialized field, I was still just a child at best.
  348. Curator: As I mentioned a moment ago, I can't say anything for sure about this.
  349. Curator: But as luck would have it, my old university professor is quite an authority in that field.
  350. Curator: He happens to teach class at Kamihama University.
  351. Curator: If it's alright with you, perhaps I could show him your paper?
  352. Mikura: Really? Could you?
  353. Curator: By all means! I hope you can muster up a lot of courage in the meantime, though.
  354. Curator: We might get a pretty blunt response.
  355. Mikura: That's fine by me.
  356. Mikura: I'm sure it leaves a lot to be desired, from an expert's perspective.
  358. Mikura (voiceover): The next day...
  359. Mikura (voiceover): I showed the same paper to my school's history teacher as well.
  361. Teacher: Quite a strong argument! You've researched your sources nice and thoroughly.
  362. Mikura: Thank you very much.
  363. Mikura: If at all possible... I'd like there to be an excavation before the bypass gets built.
  364. Mikura: Suppose they suddenly start in on construction, and the burial chamber gets demolished...
  365. Teacher: Well, I'm sure that construction would be halted as soon as they dug something up, at least.
  366. Mikura: But it'd still be rather tragic to assess a kofun that's already been destroyed.
  367. Teacher: I can guarantee that if you asked a researcher,
  368. Teacher: they'd want to excavate the place even if there was just a 10 or 20% possibility...
  369. Teacher: But it's often hard to make that a reality, considering things like budgets and land ownership.
  370. Teacher: That hill is municipal property, so it'll probably be difficult without convincing the city government.
  371. Mikura: I showed this to a local museum curator, for what it's worth.
  372. Teacher: What did they have to say about it?
  373. Mikura: He said he'd show it to a professor at the city university.
  374. Teacher: Sounds like confirmation that your paper's worth looking at.
  375. Teacher: If an authority in the field speaks up, they just might consider an excavation.
  376. Mikura: I suppose a high-schooler speaking up wouldn't do much on its own...
  377. Teacher: It could be a flimsy theory from an expert's perspective, after all.
  378. Teacher: You'd either have to get a well-known professor's stamp of approval, or become a well-known professor yourself...
  379. Mikura: So then... if that professor happens to contact me...?
  380. Teacher: You'll be one step closer to getting that excavation, yes.
  382. (...)
  384. Professor: I see...
  385. Mikura: (Ugh, I'm so nervous...)
  386. Mikura: (I can't believe the university professor actually called me.)
  387. Professor: Yes, I'd say this is a very strong argument.
  388. Professor: You didn't spare any expense in analyzing your sources!
  389. Professor: I'm honestly astonished that you wrote this while still in high school.
  390. Professor: That said...
  391. Mikura: *Gulp*...
  392. Professor: There's two noticeable weak points in this argument.
  393. Mikura: I see...
  394. Professor: The first are these haniwa fragments, reportedly from the Edo period.
  395. Professor: I'm impressed by how you found this record of them, as it's fairly obscure.
  396. Professor: But as far as the fragments' origin goes...
  397. Professor: the academic community has essentially reached a consensus already.
  398. Mikura: Oh...?
  399. Professor: You know how there's several small kofuns in the hill's vicinity, right?
  400. Mikura: Yes.
  401. Professor: Based on where the fragments were discovered, there's a high likelihood that they came from those surrounding kofuns.
  402. Professor: Secondly...
  403. Professor: If we suppose that this hill is a kofun, the main issue is its shape.
  404. Mikura: Its shape...?
  405. Professor: Yep.
  406. Professor: Since the hill's round, it'd be categorized as an "enpun"-- that is, a circular kofun.
  407. Professor: If it's the real deal, it'd be quite a large enpun indeed...
  408. Professor: But every other large-scale kofun discovered in this region has been a "zenpou-kouen-fun"...
  409. Professor: That is, a keyhole-shaped kofun.
  410. Professor: Perhaps it was built in a different era than the ones around it... but that's also hard to imagine.
  411. Mikura: So... if it were a kofun, it'd have to be an outlier among outliers?
  412. Professor: I'm afraid so.
  413. Professor: Without logical explanations for these two points, it'll be difficult to overturn the established theory.
  414. Professor: It was very convincing, though. After all, we've found plenty of small-scale enpuns in the area...
  415. Professor: it'd be easy to believe, if only the hill were smaller.
  416. Mikura: (I was naive...)
  417. Professor: Still, though, it was a very well-written paper!
  418. Professor: I hope you keep up your studies. I can tell that you're going to be an amazing researcher some day.
  419. Mikura: .......Thank you very much.
  421. --------
  423. Mikura (voice line): "A primary historical source...! This is priceless!"
  425. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  427. Episode 3 - "The Final Draft of My Answer" (video source:
  429. Menu voice: "Kira was the only one who had faith in my theory..."
  431. Mikura (quest select): I was *so* sure it was a kofun... but I guess I was wrong, in the end...?
  433. --------
  435. Mikura (voiceover): I was naive.
  436. Mikura (voiceover): All I could do was nod along as the professor explained what I'd missed.
  437. Mikura (voiceover): It was common knowledge among experts... which explained why nobody had ever thought it was a kofun.
  439. Mikura: (In the end...)
  440. Mikura: (I just got complimented on doing a good job "for a high-school student.")
  441. Mikura: (If I wasn't a kid in high school...)
  442. Mikura: (he probably wouldn't have even bothered to call.)
  444. Temari: Komachi.
  445. Mikura: Hm?
  446. Temari: It's time to go home.
  447. Mikura: ...Oh. Yeah.
  448. Temari: .......
  449. Temari: What's wrong? You've been acting oddly all day.
  450. Mikura: Yeah... I'm in a funk.
  451. Mikura: It looks like...
  452. Mikura: the hill wasn't a kofun after all.
  453. Temari: It's not?
  454. Mikura: Yep. I went to see the university professor,
  455. Mikura: and he pointed out the flaws in my theory.
  457. (...)
  459. Temari: ...I see.
  460. Mikura: I mean, I knew that archaeology was outside of my wheelhouse?
  461. Mikura: I've always been too much of an omnivore. Picking up an interest in everything I could...
  462. Mikura: Not just Japanese or world history, but local history, ancient art history, etcetera...
  463. Mikura: My history teacher practically begged me to just pick one.
  464. Temari: What about archaeology and kofuns?
  465. Mikura: I guess I've read a lot of books and essays? I was really hooked on it for a while.
  466. Mikura: But... it seems like my theory was pretty outlandish.
  467. Mikura: The sort of thing that an expert with college or grad school training would dismiss out of hand.
  468. Mikura: I was able to run this far with it because I'm a high-school amateur...
  469. Mikura: ...and that's the only reason the adults paid me any attention, either.
  470. Temari: Is that so?
  471. Temari: .......I'm curious about why you intuited that it was a kofun to begin with.
  472. Temari: I imagine it's difficult to put into words, but you felt something kofun-like about it, right?
  473. Mikura: Yeah.
  474. Temari: While you may not be an expert, you've still stockpiled quite a lot of literary experience.
  475. Temari: I can easily imagine something from that experience telling you, instinctively, that it was a kofun.
  476. Mikura: Yeah, now that you mention it...
  477. Mikura: That's what I thought as soon as I saw the aerial photos.
  478. Mikura: The roads around a kofun come in patterns that differ from natural topography.
  479. Mikura: ---?!
  480. Temari: Something the matter?
  481. Mikura: Nearly all the large-scale kofuns I've seen before in photos were keyhole-shaped.
  482. Mikura: The aerial photos reminded me of those old ones, which is what prompted me to think of a kofun to begin with.
  483. Temari: But the hill is circular.
  484. Mikura: Yeah. So I was convinced that it'd be a large circular kofun...
  485. Mikura: I didn't consider that it could've been a keyhole type!
  486. Temari: But the hill isn't keyhole-shaped at all, right?
  487. Mikura: ...Exactly. That's why I overlooked this possibility.
  488. Mikura: The possibility that it could've started as a keyhole kofun...
  489. Mikura: and ended up as a regular, round hill after the rectangular part eroded away!
  490. Temari: Aha.
  491. Mikura: Sorry, Kira. I can't go home just yet today.
  492. Mikura: There's something I want to re-investigate.
  493. Temari: Got it.
  494. Mikura: Thanks for the advice! Kira, I love you!
  496. Temari: .......
  497. Temari: ...Looks like she's bounced back.
  499. (...)
  501. Mikura: I knew it. The land here...
  502. Mikura: It could've originally been a keyhole kofun!
  504. (...)
  506. Mikura (voiceover): Several days later...
  507. Mikura (voiceover): I visited the professor's research lab again, with a newly-rewritten thesis in hand...
  509. Professor: .......
  510. Professor: I see...
  511. Professor: So you're saying the hill was originally a zenpou-kouen-fun, as opposed to an enpun.
  512. Mikura: Yes. I've written a list of sources cited as evidence...
  513. Mikura: which you can see there.
  514. Professor: ...Another of Kamihama's traditional manuscripts, I see.
  515. Professor: I'm familiar with this one, too. It's from the early Edo period,
  516. Professor: but it's a reliable historical source for records of natural disasters.
  517. Professor: So there's something important in here, eh...?
  518. Mikura: Yes. First, as we're both aware,
  519. Mikura: there's a river close to the hill with an old bridge built across it.
  520. Professor: Indeed.
  521. Mikura: Which brings me to a particular passage I found in this source.
  522. Professor: ...Ah, here. Hmm. "After several days of dense rains..."
  523. Professor: "One of the twin hills finally collapsed"...?
  524. Mikura: Right.
  525. Mikura: Then "the lost soil was carried away by the flooded river"...
  526. Mikura: ..."leaving one half of the hills as barren as undeveloped land."
  527. Professor: A very interesting passage indeed!
  528. Professor: This brings us a step closer to the "former zenpou-kouen-fun" theory.
  529. Mikura: Though the question remains:
  530. Mikura: Does the phrase "twin hills" really refer to our hill after all...?
  531. Professor: Yes. That's the next point of interest.
  532. Professor: But... oh, what's this?
  533. Professor: Now that's a surprise! This text...
  534. Professor: It describes the relative positions of the bridge that was over the river at the time...
  535. Professor: ...and the "twin hills."
  536. Mikura: Yes! Exactly.
  537. Professor: Your bibliographic survey was already extremely precise, as of your last paper.
  538. Professor: I suspect this excerpt is every bit as trustworthy too.
  539. Mikura: Thank you very much.
  540. Professor: ...And the bridge is even in the same location today, I see.
  541. Professor: It's been rebuilt in the interim, but it's in the exact same spot.
  542. Professor: Hm... there's "a river one road across from the foot of the hill" that was lost in the flood,
  543. Professor: and "the bridge is built across it"...?
  544. Professor: ...With this many resources at our disposal, we can determine its position quite precisely.
  545. Professor: Let's take a look at today's map.
  546. Professor: If we posit that the hill originally extended up to the location of the bridge here...
  547. Mikura: ...It forms the shape of a zenpou-kouen-fun, doesn't it?
  548. Professor: Quite possibly! As do the roads and waterways surrounding it.
  549. Professor: They're all indicating the former presence of the kofun.
  550. Mikura: When I saw those aerial photos, I just got this sense that it was a kofun for some reason...
  551. Professor: A keen observation! I imagine some scholars must've thought the same thing.
  552. Professor: The fact that none of them followed up on the possibility of it being a zenpou-kouen-fun...
  553. Professor: We experts must have been terribly lazy, eh?
  554. Mikura: Do you think there's any merit in assessing the hill...?
  555. Professor: If you ask me? There's plenty!
  556. Mikura: .......!
  557. Professor: There's just one problem, I'm afraid...
  558. Mikura: What's that?
  559. Professor: The budget for the bypass construction...
  560. Professor: passed through the city's budget committee just yesterday.
  561. Mikura: What...?
  562. Professor: Compared to finding it intact in a preliminary assessment,
  563. Professor: finding a kofun in a damaged state after construction starts...
  564. Professor: Well, it's a lot less valuable from an archaeological perspective.
  565. Professor: There's still time before construction actually begins,
  566. Professor: so I, for one, hope to yell 'til I'm blue in the face about the need to assess it...
  567. Mikura: But as for whether they'll be able to excavate it in time...?
  568. Professor: If I'm to be completely honest with you,
  569. Professor: it'll be difficult to make it a reality this late in the game.
  570. Professor: Not without outside help, at least.
  571. Mikura: .......
  573. (...)
  575. <Outside Kamihama>
  577. Mikura: .......
  578. Temari: .......
  579. Temari: You did what you needed to, Komachi.
  580. Mikura: Yeah... it still sucks, though.
  581. Mikura: There could be ancient nobles that nobody knows about buried under that hill...
  582. Mikura: There could be evidence of all those people who lived in that era, but...
  583. Temari: ...So it was a kofun after all, then?
  584. Mikura: The professor seems to think so.
  585. Mikura: At the very least, he said it's valuable enough to try excavating it.
  586. Mikura: *Si~gh*... I really wanted to see it.
  587. Temari: You really are perfect researcher material.
  588. Mikura: Huh?
  589. Temari: You haven't said a word about "oh, I wish I could've been named as its discoverer!".
  590. Mikura: True... all I've said is that I want to see it, know about it.
  591. Mikura: The protagonists of history are the people who actually lived through it, after all... not us researchers.
  592. Mikura: Maybe I could've made it in time if I'd tried harder from the start...?
  593. Temari: Do you regret that?
  594. Mikura: ...Yeah.
  596. ???: It seems you're having some trouble.
  598. Mikura: ...Hm? What was that voice just now...?
  599. Kyubey: It was me.
  600. Mikura: Huh...? What's this animal?
  601. Temari: I can't imagine we're both experiencing the same auditory *and* visual hallucinations...
  602. Kyubey: I'm not a hallucination!
  603. Kyubey: Although there aren't very many girls who can see me.
  605. Mikura (voiceover): The creature introduced itself as "Kyubey," and informed us...
  606. Mikura (voiceover): ...that we had the potential to become Magical Girls.
  607. Mikura (voiceover): And that, in exchange for bearing the duty of fighting monsters called Witches...
  608. Mikura (voiceover): He'd be able to grant us any one wish.
  610. Temari: ...A contract that can grant any wish.
  611. Temari: That certainly sounds like a rather demonic sort of proposition.
  612. Mikura: Kyubey, is all this stuff you're saying true?
  613. Temari: ...Komachi?
  614. Kyubey: Of course it's all true, Mikura Komachi.
  615. Kyubey: Do you have a wish that you'd like to be granted?
  616. Mikura: ...Yes.
  617. Mikura: I want to know.
  618. Mikura: About the thoughts and feelings of those ancient people, who might be buried in history soon...
  619. Mikura: Who might be forgotten without anyone ever knowing about them...
  620. Temari: Komachi, wait. Are you seriously going to make that contract?
  621. Mikura: Yeah. If this is true, and I let this chance go...
  622. Mikura: I know for a fact that I'll regret it even more.
  623. Mikura: So.
  624. Mikura: I want... to make the excavation of that kofun a reality.
  625. Mikura: I want to feel the breath of those people buried in history!
  626. Kyubey: ...So that's your wish, then.
  627. Kyubey: A piece of cake!
  628. Mikura: ----?!
  630. (...)
  632. *Ding-a-ling ♪*
  633. Mikura: Huh...? ...From the curator?
  634. Mikura: Hmm...
  635. Mikura: HUH?!
  636. Temari: What's the matter?
  637. Mikura: He says the university's officially scheduled the excavation!
  638. Temari: Of the hill?
  639. Mikura: Yeah!
  640. Temari: But what about the budget committee?
  641. Mikura: He said that the professor and a council member who was in his class got to work on it...
  642. Mikura: And the bypass construction might be completely canceled!
  643. Kyubey: .......
  644. Mikura: No way. It really worked...
  645. Mikura: Haha...!
  647. Seira: Hm?
  648. Seira: (Komachi-senpai and Kira-senpai, from second year...?)
  650. ~~~
  652. Seira: ...And upon excavating it, it was a bona-fide kofun after all.
  653. Mikura: Yep. The end.
  654. Temari: And since it was a very large kofun...
  655. Seira: And since a high-school girl's thesis had prompted its discovery, it went on to make headlines...
  656. Seira: Which made you into a total celebrity, Komachi-senpai!
  657. Mikura: ...That was just because the council member dragged the media into it on purpose.
  658. Mikura: Since making a news sensation out of it might push the bypass project from "on hold" into "fully canceled"...
  659. Temari: "University Professor Doffs Hat to Genius Schoolgirl!"
  660. Mikura: Stooop, you're embarassing me.
  661. Mikura: Well, it's true that they found the burial chamber perfectly untouched as a result.
  662. Mikura: So I guess it was alright.
  663. Seira: And since I got to take advantage of Komachi-senpai's name recognition amidst all the commotion...
  664. Seira: to open a so-called "Historical Research Club" where we can do whatever we want,
  665. Seira: I say it's all OK in Mihono's book too!
  666. Mikura: .......
  667. Seira: So, that report. Is it really that interesting to read?
  668. Mikura: For me, at least. Want to have a look?
  669. Mikura: These are the interior photos, hot off the presses.
  670. Seira: They're beautiful.
  671. Temari: These grave goods and murals... they're in almost mint condition, aren't they?
  672. Mikura: I know, right?
  673. Mikura: Nobody expected it to be this big of a find, so the academic world's in an uproar!
  674. Mikura: ...Ooh! I hadn't seen these grave goods before.
  675. Mikura: Thank goodness... I'm so glad they weren't ruined.
  676. Temari: .......
  677. Temari: (Could artifacts from over 1000 years ago...)
  678. Temari: (really have been preserved in such miraculous condition?)
  679. Temari: (I wonder...)
  680. Temari: (Just how much of this was part of the miracle Kyubey caused?)
  681. Mikura: This is thanks to you too, Kira.
  682. Temari: Huh...? It's thanks to Kyubey, though.
  683. Mikura: If I had given up back then, the excavation would never have happened.
  684. Temari: Ah... yes, I suppose.
  685. Mikura: The reason I bounced back from that was because you believed in me.
  686. Mikura: So, thanks.
  687. Temari: ...My pleasure.
  688. Seira: Yeah, exactly!
  690. --------
  692. Mikura (voice line): "I hope your enjoy your time in our 'Historical Research Club'."
  694. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  696. Extra (Memoria descriptions)
  698. -Mikura's personal: "It Began With a Detour"
  700. "A tiny hokora that had stood quietly on the hill behind our school,
  701. which I'd climbed while visiting a historical site...
  702. Because I wanted to know the massive secret hidden beneath it, to feel the
  703. breath of those people buried in history, I wished for a small miracle."
  705. -4-star featuring Mikura: "My Friend, the Archives"
  707. "Privately-published volumes that never saw a wide release, rare ancient manuscripts,
  708. local history documents... they all sleep in museums across the world, forgetting
  709. even the passage of time. Turning their thoughts to the dreams of someone who
  710. isn't there right now, who engrosses herself in reading those archives' documents."
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