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Salavec rhaplanca
~ラプランカ伝承~ 静寂(しじま)司る魔神の手記

Salavec rhaplanca ~Legend of Rhaplanca~ Record of the Demon That Rules in Silence

大好きな君に ずっと傍にいて欲しいから 僕はゆく。

Because I want to always be at your side, my beloved, I'll go.

序章

Prologue

数年前まで、この地では酷い戦争があった。
都市王家が集うこの地方で食糧難はごく日常的な事であり、それ故に肥沃な土地を狙っての戦争が絶えなかった。
それは、この物語の舞台となる街「レレンタス」も同じであった。いや、レレンタスこそこの戦争で、一番惨劇が繰り返さ
れた場所かもしれない。
この地方のほぼ中央に位置するレレンタスは、度重なる侵攻と略奪により何度も壊滅の危機に瀕してきたのである。
だが、数年前訪れた一人の魔導師によって、その状況は大きく変わっていった。

魔導師は古の魔神を召喚し、レレンタスの街との契約を行い周辺の都市王家を攻撃させたのだ。
魔神の力は強大であり、戦争は程なくしてレレンタスの圧勝にて終った。
それから数年後。魔神との契約によってレレンタスは大いに栄えていた。
かつけてこの街を数多の略奪にて虐げた国々が今では支配され、厳しい生活を強いられていた。
そう、レレンタスは未来永劫、彼の地に君臨する事を約束されたのだ。
未来永劫続く、毎年一人の「花嫁」の犠牲と引き替えに。

A long, long time ago, a very brutal war started on this region.
There were so many cities and kingdoms over it that food scarcity and famine became commonplace all over it, and because of this, wars frequently started for the ownership of the most fertile soils.
This was too the case for the city that serves as the setting for this story: [Lelentas]. No, it might be better to say that Lelentas was the most tragic victim of this war, due to the atrocities that frequently repeated on it.
Since Lelentas was located at the very center of this land, it frequently was raided and attacked by the other cities and kingdoms on the region, and at several points, it was left at the very verge of crisis.
However, this situation greatly changed due to lone traveling Wizard that came to this city many years ago.
The Wizard summoned an ancient Demon, and made a pact between him and Lelentas so he would attack all of the cities and kingdoms around it.
The Demon's power was incredible, and thanks to it, the wars ended in an overwhelming victory for Lelentas.
Many years passed after these events. Thanks to the pact with the Demon, Lelentas greatly prospered.
The city that formerly had been the oppressed by the constant raids and pillages now controlled all of the countries that had attacked it, and strictly enforced its laws over them.
Yes, the pact promised Lelentas the rule of this region eternally and perpetually.
And for this to continue forever, they would have to sacrifice a single [bride] to Him every year in exchange.

I

Chapter I

活気に満ちあふれる街、レレンタス。
この街の人々は裕福である。
周辺の街からの税があるから、それほど躍起になって働かなくてもいい。
街は、中心にそびえ立つ神殿を囲むように沢山の商店、そして民家が建ち並ぶ。
この街の神殿は富を支える魔神を祀る所であり、ほぼ全ての市民がこの魔神を信奉している。
この魔神のお陰で他の国々を支配することが出来るのだから、信奉者が多いのは当然だ。
魔神がもたらす富は計り知れらい。
そしてそれに比べれば、その対価はあまりにも小さい。少なくとも、この街の民は皆そう言う。
魔神が莫大な富と引き替えに要求するもの、それはたった一人の娘の生き血だからだ。

そんな街の片隅、街と外を繋ぐ翔神門と言われる巨大な門の脇に、マオという少年が暮らしていた。
マオはこの街を警備する騎士。
まだ下っ端ではあるが、その剣の腕前を認められて田舎の兵から抜擢された、なかなかの有望株だ。
彼はこの平和な街で、充実した日々を送っていた。
なぜなら、マオには恋人がいるからだ。少なくともマオはそう思っている。
彼女の名はラプランカ。
小さい頃に家が送かった事もあって、よく一緒に遊んだ幼馴染みだ。
マオの両親は数年前のあの戦争で死に、ラプランカの母親は彼女が小さい頃に家を出て行ったきり。
二人はずっと独りぼっちで、お互い独りぼっちだからよく一緒にいた。
そしてそんな二人は、いつしか一緒に暮らすようになっていた。

Lelentas, the city overflowing with liveliness.
The people of this city were very prosperous.
Because they received taxes from the other neighboring cities, the life had become so easy for them that they didn't even have to work to live.
A temple was located at the very center of the city, and around it, several stores and houses were built.
The temple was the place for praying to the Demon that sustained the wealth of this city, and almost all of its citizens worshiped Him.
Thanks to this Demon, Lelentas was capable of gaining the control of the other countries, so it was natural that He had several worshipers.
The wealth the Demon gave them was immeasurable, and everything would seem inferior when compared to it. Or at least that was what all the inhabitants of this city said.
However, the Demon demanded something in exchange for this vast wealth, and that was the blood of a single girl.

On one corner of the city, at the side of the huge door called the Soaring God Gate, which connected Lelentas with the outside world, a boy called Maoh lived.
Maoh was one of the knights that protected this city.
While he still was of low rank, he was picked among the countryside soldiers due to his skill with the sword, which made him a promising recruit.
He was taken to many productive days inside this peaceful city.
And this was because he had a lover. Or at least that's how Maoh thought of her.
The name of his lover was Rhaplanca.
He was brought to her house when he was very young, and they grew as childhood friends who always played together.
Maoh's parents had perished in the war that happened many years ago, and Rhaplanca's mother abandoned her when she was still very young.
They were always alone, but since they were always together, an strong bond was formed between them.
And thus, they began living together before they had even noticed it.

II

Chapter II

マオはラプランカが大好きだ。
近所の酒場で歌姫をしているラプランカは、とても素敵な歌を歌う。
マオは、彼女の好きなところを挙げれば、挙げているうちに日が暮れてしまうと
本気で思っている。
そしてきっと、ラプランカもそうに違いないと思う。
実際にラプランカもそうだった。
マオの好きなところを全部挙げるより、星の数を全部数える方が早く終ると思う。
お互いはお互いのことが、それ程までに大好きなのだ。

だが、マオには一つ気になることがあった。
ここ最近、ラプランカが寂しそうにしている姿を見ることが多くなっていたのだ。
そんなラプランカを見て、マオは心配で仕方がなかった。
そして、悩んでいる姿を見ながら何も出来ないことを悔しく思っていた。
マオはラプランカを心配し、何度も力になりたいと言った。
だが、ラプランカは、そんな時いつも、マオと一緒にいられることが幸せだと微笑むだけ。
そんなラプランカとの関係に歯がゆさを感じていたマオは、ある日、意を決して
ラプランカに伝えた。

「僕は君のことが大好きだ。君となら、苦しいときも辛いときも一緒に乗り越えられる。
 僕と結婚してほしい」
だが、ラプランカはうつむいて言った。
「ごめんなさい、マオ。私は貴方とは一緒になれない。貴方の気持ちはすごく嬉しい。けど...
 一緒になれば、貴方を傷つけてしまう。貴方を不幸にしてしまうことになる。

 だから、これ以上この話はしないで欲しい。ごめんなさい...」
ラプランカの近事は、マオの予想していたものではなかった。

Maoh loved Rhaplanca.
Rhaplanca worked as a songstress in a nearby bar, and always sang very wonderful songs.
Maoh seriously thought that if she worked by doing whatever she liked the most, the day would pass faster, and they would be able to be together faster.
And most likely, Rhaplanca was thinking the same of him.
Actually, Rhaplanca did think the same.
Maoh continued doing what he liked the most, and the days went faster than the time one would take to count all of the stars in the sky.
This was the extent to which they loved each other.

However, there was something that made Maoh worried.
Recently, he had seen Rhaplanca with a very sad face very frequently.
He couldn't help getting worried whenever he saw her expression.
And he also regretted not being able to do anything while he saw her troubled face.
Maoh told Rhaplanca that he was worried about her, and would become her strength as much as she needed.
However, Rhaplanca merely replied by smiling in the same way she did whenever she was with Maoh.
Maoh began feeling that his relationship with Rhaplanca needed to advance to something else, and thus, in a certain day, he expressed to her his decision.

"I really like you. If I'm at your side, we'll be able to overcome any kind of difficult or hard times together.
So please, marry me"
However, Rhaplanca replied with a voice filled with sadness.
"I'm sorry, Maoh. We aren't fated to be together. The feelings you have for me really make me happy. But...
If we were together, I'd only cause you pain and unhappiness.
So, please, let's not talk about this anymore from now on. Forgive me..."
Rhaplanca's reply was something completely unexpected to Maoh.

III

Chapter III

その夜、マオはうなだれて家を出ると、町外れの岬に向かっていた。
辿り着いた岬には、綺麗な弧を描いた細かい三日月がかかっていた。
その月をぼんやり見上げながら、岬に座り自問自答していた。
ーラプランカの想いを、今まで自分は勘違いしていたのだろうか。それとも、自分の想いがまだ足りないのか...。
 このまま自分はラプランカを諦めることが出来るのか?いや、そんなこと出来るはずがない!ー
マオは力強く立ち上がり、その弓のような月を見ながら摘むように指を掲げる。この弓弦の月のような指輪を
彼女にプレゼントしたい。
マオはラプランカと共に歩もうと決めた日の事を思い出していた。
幼い頃からずっと一緒にいたラプランカ。ずっと共に歩んできたラプランカ。
ラプランカのいない人生など、僕にはあり得ない。全てを共に分かち合いたいと思っていた。
その事を伝えよう。そしてもう一度伝えよう。ラプランカと共に歩みたいと。

その時ラプランカもまた、涙を瞳に湛えながら窓の月を見ていた。
ラプランカは知っていた。この月があと少し欠けて闇夜が訪れるとき、自分の命もまた消えてしまうことを。
そして自分はもう、発たなければならないことを。
「刻の歯車止めて永久に二人過ごせたら 他に何を願うことがあろうか...」
ラプランカは静かに一つの詩を囁いた。

夜が明け、マオはラプランカに会うため、生まれ故郷の村へと向かっていた。
ラプランカはあれから実家に帰っていた。ラプランカの実家は村の外れにある貧しい農家だった。
その日、マオがラプランカの家に着くと、家の前は神官が沢山いる。
その異様な光景にマオは慄き、神官達を押しのけてラプランカの家に入っていった。
そこには見たこともないような白く美しい装束を纏ったラプランカがいた。
「ラプランカ!」
思わずマオは声を掛けてしまった。
その声に身体を震わせ、顔を上げるラプランカ。だが、またすぐにうつむいてしまう。
神官はマオを無視し、ラプランカに立つように促すと一緒に家を出て行こうとした。
マオはとっさに手を取る。このままだと二度と会えなくなりそうだったから。
「気安く触れるでない!」
瞬間、神官から雷のような声が飛ぶ。
「この娘は神の元へ捧げる供物。人が触れていいものではない」
すぐさま数人の神官によって羽交い締めにされ、マオはラプランカから引き離された。
ラプランカを求めもがき、暴れるマオ。その視界の先に、儚い微笑みを浮かべ、ラプランカは佇んでいた。
彼女の青白い頬を、零れ落ちた涙が伝う。

その時マオは全てを理解した。
ラプランカは神への生け贄だったのだ。
生け贄になるものは、その事を誰にも伝えてはならない。
もし伝えてしまったのなら、その者は魔神の呪いにより死ぬことになる。それも魔神との決まり事の1つだった。
だからラプランカはマオに伝えられず、ずっと一人苦しんでいたのだ。
ラプランカの姿が神官の列と共に消えていった。

That night, Maoh, downcast due to Rhaplanca's reply, left their house and headed to a cape in the outskirts of the city.
When he reached that place, he gazed at the beautiful arc drawn by the slender crescent moon.
He absentmindedly raised his eyes to contemplate it, and sat down in the cape's ground, wondering to himself about the events of the day.
"Did I misunderstand Rhaplanca's feelings all this time? Or it's just that my feelings for her aren't strong enough...?
I'll be able to give up on marrying Rhaplanca with how I'm right now? No, that's something I'll never do!"
Maoh strongly stood up again, and moved his fingers as if he were to pluck the bow-shaped moon that he continued gazing at. He wanted to present Rhaplanca with a ring that was similar to this bowstring-shaped moon.
He then remembered the day in which he had decided to walk alongside Rhaplanca.
They had been together since they were children. They always had walked together.
To him, something like a life without Rhaplanca was simply impossible. He wanted both of them to share everything in their lives.
And then, he decided he would tell her that. He would tell her that once more: that he wanted to try walking together with Rhaplanca for the rest of his life.

At that moment, Rhaplanca was also looking at the moon from the window of their house, while her eyes filled with tears.
Rhaplanca knew it. Once this moon waned a little later, a dark night would come, and her life would disappear.
And she herself didn't want to die yet.
"If we could stop the cogwheels of time, and stay together, I wouldn't have to wish for anything else..."
This was the song that Rhaplanca quietly whispered to herself.

The night ended, and once dawn came, Maoh headed to the village in which both of them had been born to meet with Rhaplanca.
She had returned to her parents' home, which was a very poor farm located in the outskirts of the village.
That day, when Maoh had arrived at the house, he noticed that there were several priests before it.
This strange view gave a feeling of dread to Maoh, and pushing the priests aside, he entered into Rhaplanca's house.
There, he saw Rhaplanca dressed with a beautiful white dress that he had never seen before.
"Rhaplanca!"
Maoh didn't event stop to think before screaming.
This scream sent shivers all over her body, making Rhaplanca rise her head. However, she immediately lowered it again.
The priests ignored Maoh, forced Rhaplanca to stand up, and exited the house with her.
Maoh immediately took her hand. At this point, he understood that he would never see her again.
"She isn't something that your filthy hands can touch!"
The voice of the priests resounded like a thunder.
"This girl is the offering that we will sacrifice to our God. She isn't something that any person can touch"
Maoh then began to be pulled away by the many priests, and at end he was separated from Rhaplanca.
Maoh then tried to violently reach for her, but saw how Rhaplanca merely stood before him, with a faint smile.
Her pale cheeks and the tears falling along them were telling him something.

At that moment, Maoh finally understood.
Rhaplanca had been chosen since long ago as a sacrifice for the God.
These chosen ones were forbidden from telling about it to anyone, because if they told it to anyone, these people to which they told that would fall dead by the curse of the Demon.
That too was one of the laws the Demon had imposed.
Therefore, Rhaplanca never told Maoh anything about this, and was always suffering by herself.
Then, Rhaplanca vanished together with the row of priests.

IV

Chapter IV

マオは決意した。だから今ここにいる。
自分に誓った。ラプランカを決して一人にはしないと。
だからこそここにいる。
例えこの世界の全ての人がラプランカの死を望んでいても、僕だけは彼女の生を望むから。
例えそれが許さないことであったとしても。
「魔神よ、少女を花嫁に」「魔神よ、少女を贄に」
「魔神よ、この街に繁栄を」「魔神、恒久的な富と力を」
「魔神よ、1人の血を飲み干せ」「魔神よ、999の人の幸せを約束せよ」
「魔神よ、来たれや!」「魔神よ、来たれや!」
生け贄の儀式は、レレンタスの街から遠く離れた森の中で行われる。
魔導士が魔神を召喚した場所、そこに生け贄の祭壇はあった。
木立に身を隠しながら、マオは様子を伺っていた。
茂みの向うでは、数名の神官がラプランカを囲んでなにやら祈りを捧げている。
足はすくみ、逃げたいという気持ちが襲う。
それはこれからの戦いに対しての恐れもあるが、それだけではない。
ラプランカを救うことは、この街にかけられた魔神の加護を失うことに繋がる。
それはレレンタスに住まう者にとって一番の大罪だ。
何よりこの街に住み続けてきたマオこそが、今まで毎年の犠牲に甘んじ、平和な暮らしを営んできた一人なのだ。
それを今更、自らの幸せのために壊そうとしている自分がいる。
そのようなことが、許されるのだろうか...。
そんな考えが頭をよぎる度にマオは罪悪感と、破滅に対する恐怖で凍りつき、そしてそれを振り払うように「逃げない」
という決断をし続けた。マオにとっては、ラプランカが全てだったから。
例え全ての人々に恨まれることになろうとも、狙われ殺されることになろうとも、
命尽きる最後の一瞬まで、僕はラプランカ
の命を守ってみせる。僕が護らなければ、一体誰がラプランカを護るというなだろうか。

Maoh was decided. That was why he was here now.
He pledged to himself that he would never leave Rhaplanca alone.
That was why he was here.
"Even if everyone else in the world wished for Rhaplanca's death, I'd wish for her to live,
even if that was an unforgivable sin".
"Oh Devil, make this girl your Bride" "Oh Devil, we sacrifice her to you"
"Oh Devil, give prosperity to this city" "Oh Devil, give us perpetual wealth and power"
"Oh Devil, suck dry the blood of this girl" "Oh Devil, promise us the happiness of these 999 people"
"Oh Devil, come now!" "Oh Devil, come now!"
The sacrificial rites were conducted inside a forest, far away from the city of Lelentas.
In the same place in which the Wizard had summoned the Devil, there was a sacrificial altar.
While he hided in the trees' grove, Maoh surveyed the situation.
Beyond the thickets, there were several priests offering prayers while surrounding Rhaplanca for some reason.
His feet got frozen, and he was attacked by feelings of wanting to run away.
While part of this came from the fear he had for the battle he was about to fight, that wasn't the only thing he felt.
Saving Rhaplanca was also directly related to making the city lose the divine protection the Devil provided to them,
which was considered to be the greatest sin by the inhabitants of Lelentas.
Given how much he wanted to live in this city, Maoh had resigned himself to these yearly sacrifices, and lived peacefully
in it as other of its citizens.
And now, he was going to destroy all of that for the sake of his own happiness.
"Could such a deed be forgiven by anyone...?"
Everytime that thought crossed Maoh's head, he filled with guilt and terror for the destruction that would ensue, which froze him in the spot.
However, to fight off against that, he continued repeated to himself his decision to "not run", because Rhaplanca was everything to him.
"Even if this will cause everyone to hate me, even if this would lead to me getting attacked and killed, until the very last instant of my
life, I'll continue protecting Rhaplanca's life. After all, if I don't protect her, would there be anyone else doing it?"

V

Chapter V

祈りが途切れた。神官達が油断したようだった。
今がチャンスと飛び出たとき、マオはとてつもないものを目の当たりにした。
それは、そびえ立つ岩のような巨大な影...この街に富をもたらす魔神。
とてつもない恐怖がマオを襲う。だがそれは、魔神の目の前に横たわる娘の姿を見た瞬間に消えていた。
魔神が槍を振り下ろすよりも早く、マオはラプランカを抱き転がる。
「迎えに来たよ、ラプランカ!」
魔神は怒りに吼えた。神官達は怒れおののき、地面にへたり込んだ。
「我の娘をこちへ...さもなくばこの街を破滅へ!!」
襲いかかる魔神。ラプランカを抱えながら避け続けるマオ。
最初はラプランカと共に逃げようと考えていたマオだったが、どうやらそれは為し得られそうにない。
こうなっては、魔神と戦うしかなかった。
マオはラプランカを背に庇い、魔神と戦う決断する。
魔神のひと突きは地面を降起させ、地震を起こした。
マオも魔神に対抗する。素早く動き回り、魔神に剣で斬りつける。
マオの力はなかなかのものであった。少なくとも人間相手であればそう簡単には負けはしないだろう。
しかし魔神は傷ついてもすぐに体勢を立て直し、傷はみるみる回復していくのだ。
このままでは、いつかやられてしまう...
マオは心が絶望に染まり挫けそうになった。
その時、マオの視界に一体の剣が入った。

それは、魔導士が魔神との契約に使った契の剣。
マオは考えるよりも早くそれを引き抜き、そして魔神めがけて突き刺した。
手応えのある感触。瞬間、断末魔の悲鳴をあげて暴れる魔神。この力によって荒れ狂う空と大地。
マオはラプランカを抱きしめ庇い、その衝撃にただ耐えた
魔神は大きな咆吼をあげながら、徐々に空へと消えていった。
神官達は、瓦礫の下敷きになったり、暴れた魔神に飛ばされて死んでいた。

魔神の姿が消えて、後に残ったのは静寂。
だがすぐにここも騒がしくなるだろう。
マオはラプランカの傍に駆け寄った。

The prayers were interrupted, as if the priests weren't prepared for completing the rites.
Making use of this chance, Maoh jumped out of his hideout, and something unbelievable struck his eyes.
In that place, a gigantic shadow towered like an enormous rock... it was the Demon that gave the prosperity to this city.
An incredible terror struck Maoh. However, that vanished as soon as he saw the figure of the girl standing on the side of the Demon.
Before the Demon had tried to stab him with his spear, Maoh rolled to Rhaplanca's side, and began circling her.
"I've come for you, Rhaplanca!"
The Demon roared in anger. Then, he scolded the priests, who fell to the floor in their knees.<br? "Bring that girl to me... Otherwise, I'll destroy your city!!"
Then, the Demon attacked. Maoh continued circling and protecting Rhaplanca.
While Maoh initially thought about running away with her, he soon understood that this would be impossible.
Therefore, he could only make a choice: fight against the Demon.
He decided that he would fight against the Demon, while protecting Rhaplanca.
The demon then thrust his spear into the land, which triggered a large earthquake.
Maoh also attacked. He quickly moved around the Demon, and slashed him.
Maoh had quite a notorious strength, or at least he would have had a hard time losing against a human opponent.
However, even if he had managed to harm the Demon with that slash, he quickly retook his posture, and the wound healed almost immediately.
At this rate, Maoh was going to be defeated at any time...
His heart was colored by despair, and was on the verge of breaking into pieces...
When a sword fell before his eyes.

That was the same Sword of Pledge the Wizard had used for making the pact with the Demon.
Before he could even think, Maoh took that sword, and stabbed the Demon with it.
He began feeling an strong vibration as he stabbed. Immediately, the Demon raged, while screaming in his death agony. The strength of his screams enraged both the skies and the land.
While circling Rhaplanca, Maoh understood that this attack had been enough to end the battle.
As the Demon continued with his enormous roar, he slowly began disappearing into the sky.
The priests were buried by the rubble that the raging Demon had sent flying around himself, and thus were killed.

Once the Demon disappeared, the only thing that remained was the silence.
However, this place too immediately filled with noises.
Maoh then ran to Rhaplanca's side.

VI

Chapter VI

ラプランカは目を醒ました。
満点の星空が視界を被っていた。だがそれはすぐに、マオの姿によって隠される。
ラプランカが目を醒ましたのを見て喜ぶマオ。つられてラプランカも微笑む。
だがそれも束の間、ふと思い出したある事が彼女の顔を曇らせた。
「マオ...私は魔神に捧げられたはず。なのになぜ?」
マオは語った。
ラプランカは追いかけたこと。魔神を倒したこと。
そしてマオはラプランカの手を取る。
「さあ、早く。ここから逃げよう!」
だがラプランカは、震えたまま動こうとしなかった。
「何て事を...私が生け贄にならなければ...魔神との契約が無くなってしまったらこの街は...。
 マオ、私は貴方と一緒に逃げることは出来ない。
 私がここで自らの命を絶ちます。そうすれば、この災いをマオが起こした事は誰にも知られることはないから。
 お願い、マオ。どうか生き延びて」
しかしマオはつないだ手を離さなかった。そして優しくて強い眼差しをラプラン
カに向けていた。
「僕は君を置いては行かない。ずっと一緒にいる。君がここにいるというのなら僕もここにいる。
 僕はラプランカとずっと一緒にいたくて、今ここにいるんだ。
 僕も怖かった。ラプランカを救うことで、この街に災いが満ちあふれるかもしれない。
 沢山の人が悲しい目に遭うかもしれない。あの死んだ神官の家族のように、愛する人を失うかもしれない。
 だけど、それでも...その罪を一人で背負うことになろうとも、僕は横わないと思った。
 何度考えても、僕にはラプランカが全てなんだという答えは変わらなかったんだ。
 そして僕は覚悟を決めた。
 全ての人に恨まれても、石を投げられても、君の笑顔が傍にあれば僕は生きていける。
 僕が君に降りかかる全ての苦しみから君を護る。だから僕と一緒に生きてほしい」
その言葉を聞くと、ラプランカは堰が切れたように声をあげて泣いた。
マオの胸に顔を埋め、只ひたすらマオの名を叫びながら、ただ大声をあげて泣いたのだった。

ごめんよ、ラプランカ。僕がしたことは独りよがりかもしれない。
でも、例え999人がラプランカの死を望んでも、君自身が君の死を望んでも、僕だ
けは君が生きることを望み続ける。
君と一緒に歩みたいから。共に幸せも苦労も分かち合いたいから。
街に起こした災いはずっと僕たちを呪い続けるかもしれないけど、ラプランカと
一緒なら僕は耐えていける。
咎を受けるのは僕一人でいい。
何があってもずっと、君を護り続ける。
僕の命ある限り。

Rhaplanca awakened.
An sky filled with stars greeted her eyes. However, that view was immediately covered by Maoh's figure.
He was greatly glad to see her awake, and his joy made Rhaplanca smile too.
However, a moment later, she suddenly remembered everything that had happened, and this darkened her expression.
"Maoh... I was supposed to be sacrificed to the Demon. Why I'm still alive?"
Maoh told her,
about how he had followed her, and how he had killed the Demon.
Then, he took Rhaplanca's hands between his' own.
"Come, let's hurry. We have to run away from here!"
However, Rhaplanca began shivering, and couldn't move at all.
"But this means... If I'm not sacrificed... The pact with the Demon will be rescinded, and this city will...
Maoh, I can't run away with you.
I'll have to extinguish my life right here by myself. If I do so, no one will have to know that caused this disaster.
Please, Maoh. Live a long life for the two of us"
However, Maoh didn't let her go. And then, he gave Rhaplanca an strong, kind gaze.
"I won't leave you behind. We'll always be together. If you'll stay here, I'll stay here as well.
I'm here just because I wanted to always be at your side.
I was afraid, too. I might have caused a disaster that will engulf all this city by saving you.
It's likely that I'll also encounter a great sadness in the eyes of a lot of people, and that many of them lost some of their loved ones, just like the families of these priests that just died
However, despite that... I though that I wouldn't mind at all carrying these sins all by myself
No matter how much I consider it, the fact that you're everything to me won't ever change.
That's also the decision I took.
Even if I'm despised by everyone else, even if everyone throws stones at me, if I have your smiling face at my side, I'll keep on living.
Because you have passed through so much suffering already, I'll protect you. So please, allow me to live at your side"
Upon hearing these words, it was like the dam on Rhaplanca's feelings had broken: she began crying, and her tears flowing.
She buried her face in Maoh's chest, and just continued crying, sobbing, and screaming Maoh's name.

I'm sorry, Rhaplanca. It might have been just because I didn't want to be left all alone.
However, even if 999 people wish for your death, even if you yourself wish for your death, I'll continue wishing for you to live,
because I want us to walk through life together. Because I want us to share both our happiness and difficulties.
Even if the catastrophe I've caused to befall on this city curses us eternally, I'll endure it if I can be at your side.
It's okay even if I'm the only one that has to receive a punishment for all of this.
No matter what happens, I'll continue protecting you forever.
For as long as I live.

終章

Epilogue

深い森の中で慎ましい暮らしをする夫婦に、その噂が流れてきたのは数年後のことだった。
道に迷った旅人にお茶と一晩の宿をもてなしたとき、旅人が語ってくれたのだ。
レレンタスという街が、周りの街から攻め落とされたという。
街は魔神をの加護を得ていたが、それを失った事で疫病と飢餓が蔓延した。
そして魔神を失ったという噂を聞きつけた周りの国々によって、襲撃を受けて陥落したのだそうだ。
攻め入った兵士の話では、魔神を失ったきっかけは、一人の騎士が生け贄の姫を助けた為だとか。
嘘か本当か知らないが、何にしてもその話は各地で話題となり、
今では「1人と999人の戦争」という物語として、沢山の街で語り継がれているという。
そう、近隣を支配し豊かになってからも、レレンタスはずっと戦いを続けていたのだ。
大切な街を護る人達と大切な1人を護る人との、あまりにも残酷な戦いを。
そしてこの話は、どこの世界でも毎日このような戦いは続いているのだと教えてくれたのだ。
「だからアンタも、せめて奥さんくらいは幸せにしてやんなよ?」
旅人はそういって、話の幕を下ろした。

This was a rumor that was initially told by a married couple, which modestly lived inside a deep forest, many years later.
They once received a traveler, and since they didn't have any tea, or space to allow him to stay for a night, they told this story to him.
About how the city of Lelentas was attacked and fell into ruin from the attacks from the nearby cities.
The city once had the divine protection of a Demon, but once they lost it, both plague and famine rampaged through it.
And then, once the rumors of Lelentas losing the Demon reached the ears of the nearby countries, it fell from the constant attacks it received.
According to stories from the soldiers that raided the city, Lelentas supposedly lost the Demon because a lone knight saved the princess that was going to be sacrificed.
No one knows if this was truth or fake, and it became a popular topic throughout the land,
being now known and transmitted in several cities as the story of the [War Between 1 Person and 999 People].
Yes, even after its neighbors ruled over it again and attained prosperity, Lelentas continued fighting for a long time.
A very cruel battle, in which many people fought to protect their precious city, and a single person fought to protect his precious one.
And thus, it's said that somewhere in this world, a similar battle is being fought everyday.
"So at least, make sure that you can at least give happiness to your precious person"
And thus, they finished telling this story to the traveler.

~説明~

Explanation

この物語は、PS2ゲーム「アルトネリコ2」の舞台となるメタ・ファルス地域に伝わる神話の一遍です。
その名を「ラプランカ伝承」と言い、今回の物語「静寂(しじま)司る魔神の手記」以外にも沢山の物語は存在します。
既に登場しているものでは「死せる魂の手記」と「命湛う大樹の手記」という物語があります。
前者はゲーム中の挿入歌「EXEC_HIBANATION/.」「METHOD_IMPLANTA/.」によって表現されており、後者は「EXEC_with.METHOD_METAFALICA/.」によって表現
されています。
これらのラプランカ伝承は、メタ・ファルスという独特な文化体系のコミュニティ育まれており、そのテーマは一貫しています。
それは「真の理想郷とは何か」という、理想社会輪のようなものです。
メタ・ファルスという地は道徳教育が盛んで、また険しい山岳地帯に存在する地域です。
そんな過酷な環境に置かれていたからでしょう。民は皆、理想郷を自分たちで創り出すことを使命として、毎日研究に、そして仕事に精を出していたのです。
彼らはその理想郷伝説を何篇もの神話として書き上げ、そしてまとめていきました。
それらの神話は、ほぼ全てが理想郷に向かって頑張る人達を描いた物語となっており、「信じて頑張れば理想郷は訪れる」という結果を描いたものが主体に
なっています。
ですが、極希に例外もありました。この「salavec rhaplanca」はまさに、その例外の一遍です。

salavec rhaplancaでは、この物語の理想郷として表現されているであろう街「レレンタス」は最後的に壊滅してしまいます。
それは、レレンタスが誰かを犠牲にして成り立っている街だから、すなわち「業」があるからその報いを受けるのだ、という事をテーマにしているからとい
う考え方があります。
ラプランカ伝承は理想郷について語る伝承ですから、もちろんこの考え方は間違ってはいないでしょう。
ただ実はもう1つ、この物語には、これとは別の解釈の仕方があります。
それは、マオとラプランカの二人の側を理想郷とする考え方です。
salavec rhaplancaでは、圧倒的な人数の違いはあれ、利害が対立する人達が争う物語です。
マオはラプランカと共に幸せに過ごしたいからラプランカを助け、街の人達は自分や家族のためにラプランカを犠牲にしようとするわけです。
マオは結果的に沢山の人達の幸せを奪いましたが、何もしなければ街の人にマオとラプランカの人生を潰されていました。
マオがしたことを非難する人もいるでしょうし、共感する人もいるでしょう。それはどちらも、その人の中での正解であり、他の人にとっての不正解でしか
無いのです。
そこにあるのは、皆が皆の価値観で幸せを求めているという事だけです。

この物語は、そういった意味でも、他の結末が定められた物語とは一線を画しています。
ハッピーエンドもアンハッピーエンドも、貴方の心が決める物語なのですから。

This story is part of a series of myths that have been passed down during generations in the land of Metafalss, which serves as the setting for the PS2 game [Ar tonelico 2].
They are called the [Legends of Rhaplanca], and aside of the current one, titled [The Record of the Demon That Rules in Silence], there many other stories.
Among the ones we have already presented to the public, there are the [Record of the Souls Bestowed With Death], and [Record of Cultivating a Tree Despite a Life of Difficulties].
The former one was represented by the insert songs from the previously mentioned game [EXEC_HIBERNATION/.] and [METHOD_IMPLANTA/.], while the latter was represented by the song [EXEC_with.METHOD_METAFALICA/.]
These Legends of Rhaplanca are what gave birth to the community based on an unique civilization that we now call Metafalss, and all of them have a consistent theme.
Said theme is [What is the true utopia?], and it's like a cycle of searching for an ideal society.
The people of Metafalss are brought with great importance on their moral education, and it's also a region surrounded by several steep mountains.
They are pretty much inhabiting a region that barely can shelter life. Due to this, the people made their lifelong mission to create an utopia by themselves, reason why they research and work diligently everyday.
They investigated everything they could about the utopia myths, wrote them up, and finally, compiled them all.
Since in almost all these myths the main characters are people working their hardest for the realization of an utopia, their core is giving the lesson that [if you believe and work hard enough, the utopia will come to us].
However, there are extremely rare exceptions to this. One such is the story we previously told, the [salavec rhaplanca] one.

In salavec rhaplanca, the city of [Lelentas], which was represented as the utopia in this story, was destroyed at the end.
This is because Lelentas was a city created from the basis of having to sacrifice someone, in other words: invoking the concept of retribution we know as [karma], which is one of the ways in which we could interpret its themes.
And since the Legends of Rhaplanca all tell stories about utopias, that way of interpreting it wouldn't be incorrect either.
However, there's actually one and more different way of interpreting story.
That interpretation is the fact that the utopia to Maoh and Rhaplanca is both of them being at each other's side.
salavec rhaplanca is also an story that depicts the fight between overwhelmingly different numbers of people due to having opposing interests.
Maoh saved Rhaplanca because he wanted to spend days filled with happiness at her side, while the people of the city wanted to sacrifice Rhaplanca for the sake of themselves and their families.
While Maoh stole the happiness of many people in the end, if he hadn't done anything, the people of the city would crushed his hopes of living alongside Rhaplanca.
There will be both people that will attack Maoh for what he did, while there will also be others that will sympathize with his cause. Thus, there can't be a single conclusion among everyone if what he did was right or wrong.
This is merely due to the fact that we all have different values, and different ways of seeking happiness.

This story has too this kind of meaning, that even if an story has a single ending, several conclusions can be taken from it.
This is because if its ending was happy or unhappy, that's something that only your heart can decide.

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