墜ちた声 | Ochita Koe (novel)

Based on the song from the album Tasogare Elegy.

Humans are troublesome creatures. But I think my own attachment to them is also very troublesome. But I am a youkai. No, despite I am a youkai.
The usual forest, the usual nighttime path. The usual humans who wander and get lured by my songs, and then they are attached by darkness. Such usual events. But there is one thing that is not “usual”.
That human saw me. He shouldn’t have been able to see anything in the pitch darkness, but our eyes met for sure. And then he smiled. “Was that you who was singing that beautiful song earlier?” he said. With a gentle, kind smile.
Yes, I did. How foolish I was, I had replied. Some humans have good instincts. I’ve been spotted before, and I’ve gotten away with it. Most of the time they were either scared or cursed me and left.
And yet he praised my song. The song of a youkai that is now going to eat him, a trap for that purpose. I’m a fool, but he’s a fool too. I lost my appetite, and I suppressed a laugh, in a silly manner.

After that, he came to see me almost every day. He wanted me to sing. I sang to him every day. I was happy to be asked to sing, and sometimes it was fun to sing with him.
On the days he didn’t come, I missed him. And so I thought a lot about the time I spent waiting for him. Why can’t we be friends if we just sing together? Why am I having fun with a human, who is food? Why am I having fun in the first place? Thinking about such things all the time makes me feel hazy and uncomfortable in the back of my head. This feeling is not something I know about. When I try to sing a song to blow it off, my voice doesn’t come out of my throat. It doesn’t come out. I can’t get it out. And yet, a drop of tears fell from my eyes. And then I got a result I didn’t want to arrive at. A conclusion too cliché to reach.

“When you are in love, girls become beautiful!”
Somebody said this. Who was it?
Then what am I now that I’ve become something disgusting instead of beautiful? A dry laugh spilled out of the corner of my mouth and fell out. I’m all alone and no one will find me.
Why can’t I eat him? Why can’t I speak when I think of him? A flood of question marks surrounds me. Each one of them looks at me like a child and sneers at me, saying that it’s because I’m obsessed with humans.
It was a strange beginning. The fact that I have feelings for him is a sin in itself. I couldn’t tell anyone, of course, not to him, not at all.
At least I want to sing the song he praised me for. Because my only value to him is singing. But when I think of him, I can’t sing. The process repeats itself.
I was knocked off.

“Come on, sing to me again today”
Knowing nothing, he smiled and said the same thing he always did. I said, wilfully. I didn’t want to leave him, but it’s better than the way things are.
“I’m sorry, I can’t sing anymore”
Oh, his kind face clouded over. I’m in trouble. I want to touch his hand. I’m sure it’s warm. But I can’t. He will break it. I said it so that he wouldn’t break it.
He’s choosing his words, and he’s worried about me. Even his kindness hurts, and I kept saying I was sorry.
“…I guess it’s because I am a human, that’s bad”
“No, it’s because I am a youkai”
I flew away from him, continuing to say I’m sorry, I’m sorry. He stared at me for what seemed like forever.

The moon is close. A nice breeze blows through the air.
Will I be able to sing songs as before, or will I and these thoughts rot away?
I shouted on impulse. My voice came out. It was exactly the appropriate roar that my youkai self deserved to emit.