Sunday, August 21, 2016

Owari no Chronicle Volume 4-B

Chapter 10

Place of Continuation

Heo looked across a cluster of rectangular stones.
She found Japanese gravestones strange.

. . . In the US, they’re a slate to engrave the person’s name on or a symbol like a cross.
These only had the family name engraved in them and they were rectangular blocks with no religious symbolism.

She tilted her head while trying to figure out what meaning their shape had.
She looked around and saw quite a few of the gravestones. Beyond them were mountains, the sky, the sun peeking through the clouds, and the wind. It looked like there was no one else there.

“Ah.”
But for an instant the gravestones in the afternoon light looked almost like statues.

She then realized that, even if the gravestones were not shaped like people, there truly were people sleeping below them.

. . . Is their vague shape supposed to help you imagine that?
She looked forward while thinking and found Harakawa had moved on ahead with a bucket in hand.

She jogged to catch up while doing her best not to shake the flowers in her hands.
“Harakawa, is your family’s grave here too?”

“Yes, but it’s technically not my family’s grave. But what matters now is finding your family’s one.”
“Right.”

She looked around and quickly spotted a certain conspicuous grave.
“Harakawa, what’s with this bronze statue of a smiling man with his arms spread toward the heavens?”

“Oh, that. I don’t know the details, but it’s a famous gravestone here. All I know is that it says ‘Ooshiro’ at the bottom and there’s a slot for ten yen coins on the back of the head. From what I’ve heard, it plays Swan Lake or Tokyo Ondo when you put in a coin.”

“I see.” She nodded and noticed something odd about the large gravestone next to that one. “U-um, there’s a dirty magazine across from that one.”

“Yeah. I don’t know the details on that one either, but apparently that’s the grave for the family of IAI’s president.

The employees and executives supposedly bring offerings every so often. I wonder if that moron of a student council president will end up like that.”

“That moron of a student council president?”
“Remember when those four morons showed up yesterday and I had to throw you in the closet? He’s one of them.

Do you know what a student council president is, Heo Thunderson?”
“Yes. . . . It must be hard going to that school.”

“That’s for sure,” sighed Harakawa.
He faced forward again and began walking, but he did not forget to check the gravestones on either side as he did.

Heo let out a warm breath while watching his back.
She checked the wristwatch her great-grandfather had given her and its analog display was past 2:00 PM.

. . . If great-grandfather is here, I’ll have to say goodbye to Harakawa.
He had to know that as well, but he was searching for her father’s resting place instead of worrying about it. While she watched him walk on ahead, she suddenly spoke.

“Um.”
He stopped, turned around, and tilted his head.

“What is it, Heo Thunderson?”
She felt relieved that he called her name, but she realized she had not thought of anything to actually say.


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