Scent of plums’ blossoms (5)

The sound of rainfall could be heard faintly from outside, but intermittently.

Umegae Utaha. Who on earth is she? Tons of questions needs to be answered.

The girl who is similar to Shizuka drawn in the painting. The one who drew it was Utaha’s mother. Meeting someone for the first time that can see the <shadows> other than myself. Does Utaha knows the identity of the <shadows>?

So———what is she going to do from now on?

The old lady is just there. Other than the occasional thought of she blinking, not moving and talking, there isn’t any visible movement.

When he looked fixedly at the old lady, a supposedly alleviated headache had recurred.

He was told not to take his eyes off her but dropped his line of sight, unable to endure the pain. By doing that, he could look at the intriguing picture of Shizuka and the old lady alternately.

……Shizuka.

Is this really she being drawn in the picture or simply an accidental resemblance?

However, apart from the face, it couldn’t be a coincidence that their uniform bears the same similarity.

A peculiarly tantalizing time had drifted. There is a temporary silence as if time had just stopped.

Under the artificial light was the simpleton elderly lady, a portrait of my dead childhood friend and myself, Aikawa Keito.

This is like you are being attacked by the hallucination that you are the only one left in this world.

I feel like I am going astray in the twilight where there isn’t certain, everything is vague and there is a gap between dream and reality. With the solid sound of footsteps breaking tranquility, Keito turned his consciousness that way.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.”

She approached from darkness, harboring the vision as if she is from the afterlife.

Utaha had brought paper and paintbrush that is a little oversize in one hand. It looks like she went away to take that. No idea what is her intention for using it though.

“Granny, can you tell me more about yourself?”

Utaha tried to talk to her but the old lady isn’t showing any interest in her surroundings as expected. After confirming her reaction, Utaha used the paintbrush on her hand and write down on the paper strip.

<<When the east wind blows,
flourish in full bloom,
you plum blossoms!
Even though you lose your master
don’t be oblivious to spring.>>

She then read through with a sonorous voice.

It was a poem with thirty one characters.

The word <<east wind>> sounds foreign to me. However when Utaha said those words, I got the feeling that a gentle wind was blowing inside the classroom.

Furthermore, that breeze, the scent of the plum and the words that Utaha were conveying, that spring—–the smell of the season where I lost Shizuka is coming back to me.

I saw the peaceful ray of the sea in spring at the back of my eyelid. Although that illusion lasted for a moment but it was so intense that I felt giddy.

Everything is a delusion but this proves that her words have that kind of influence.

When I recovered, Utaha and the old lady were in front of me.

The old lady’s appearance has faintly but clearly changed. There is a slight amount of light dwelling in her eyes. Her mouth which had remained shut for all this while opened a little, pushing out a hoarse voice.

<<Chikako>>

She said it again.

TL:《東風吹かば 匂いおこせよ 梅の花 主無しとて 春な忘わすれそ》is a poem by Sugawara No Michizane. They did said that 匂いおこせよ can be interpreted as “spread your scent” rather than “flourish in full bloom” but it is I think it is weird to put the name of the chapter (匂いおこせよ梅の花) “Spreading your scent of plum blossom” so I will just leave it as it is. If anyone has better name for the chapter please tell me.

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