Translated by narumo/narumonster on Vocaloid Otaku.
Everything was still there: the feeling of a definite connection between two ends, their voices overlapping, the sound of someone calling him, but...
“...I feel it’s getting weaker.”
Len muttered with a sigh as he stared absent-mindedly at the firewood bursting with a dry sound.
From the deep darkness created by the trees of the forest, an owl’s cry could be heard; above, stars spread across the heavens. The air was full of the coldness of the night; his fingertips grew colder as their temperature was snatched away. Len opened and closed his hands, moving them several times as he breathed on them.
Barely escaping from a slumber, his consciousness was hazy and began to slip again naturally towards sleep.
But Len shaked his head.
Though that was more like an attempt to repel drowsiness, the voice then said.
“...No, I’m just not that sleepy.”
Len, laughing weakly as he answered, turned his gaze to the man greeting him.
The young man, probably keeping watch, was making notes on a small book on his hand, and turned to look at him from across the fire.
“Is something bothering you?”
The imperial scholar had an air of calmness due to his extensive knowledge. Even though he was hard to approach, you could also feel at ease with him.
Len had learned many things from him since their meeting. About the world, about the Diva, about the internal state of the Empire; in summary, everything he was told about was unknown to Len, and surprised him.
Len opened his mouth, internally grateful for the concern shown by the scholar, who never pried into other people’s business.
The sound growing weaker: a premonition of loss, as if the thread that connected one end to the other since birth was going to break.
His twin had been taken just after birth as the dragon’s Diva; and he could feel the bonds that kept a definite connection between, despite the distance, growing weaker little by little.
He remembered crying, when he first learned the name of the girl, his twin, through their shared consciousness, a link between the edges of their hearts.
“Rin’s voice, her sound, I feel it growing weaker.”
Len looked down at his hand as he made a fist, and nodded at Kamui’s questioning voice.
“I’ve come searching for Rin to this day but, little by little, I feel her voice growing weaker...”
The sound he could feel in their linked consciousness, the voice he could hear, was losing strength little by little.
Not only that gentle voice, like the love of sunshine, but also the tender will he sensed in it seemed to be gradually going away. It was a difficult feeling to convey in words; he was closing the distance between them for sure, yet it seemed she would slip through his fingers if he stretched his hand.
It is a rare for the consciousness of people that are independent and separated from the start, to be shared potentially.
Rin, the older sister taken away as Diva, and Len, the younger brother brought up normally.
To know each other’s name and voice; to call each other from places far apart; perhaps it was a miracle, born of the mysterious bond as twins.
“...This is one of my theories, but...”
“When Meiko-dono heard you sing, she said Light.”
“Len and the current Diva, if you are linked together by the edge of your consciousness as twins, perhaps your abilities may also be split halfway.”
Like your souls, your powers are also linked.
“What do you mean?”
“Originally, the songs of the Diva hold together Light and Darkness. Light and Darkness, that represents all things in nature.”
“Light represents the sun, the day, protection and judgment. Darkness represents the moon, the night, fear and peace.”
“If there is Light, there is Darkness, and because there is Darkness, we can recognize Light. With these two that represent everything in the world in her possession, the Diva binds down the being called dragon.”
“The Diva must be one person, but there may be more than person with the abilities of a Diva. If Meiko-dono said she could feel Light in your song, that is probably true.
“If we say I am Light,...If the power is split halfway, is Rin Darkness?
“There is such possibility.”
After nodding and closing his book, Kamui looked up to the skies.
Again the sound of the firewood bursting tickled their ears, and silence fell.
“Light and Darkness, if having both is the power of the Diva..., if Rin only has Darkness, wouldn’t she be unable to become the Diva?”
“I don’t know many details about the abilities of the Diva, but that doesn’t seem to be it.”
I don’t get it, thought Len. If she is to chain down the dragon by reflecting all the elements of nature using Light and Darkness, wouldn’t it be necessary for the abilities of Diva to hold them both?
“The songs of the Diva convey her will to the dragon, and have to power to make it obey...since ancient times.”
“To make him obey?”
“It seems so. Though despite saying that, I am considering that maybe it is closer to a prayer.”
“...In other words, now there is another reasonable thing that is necessary to the original qualities of the Diva?”
“It must be like that.”
With mutual understanding as premise, one more thing for the Diva; in order to seal the dragon, she seeks Light and Darkness, which represent all the nature of the world.
He felt he somehow knew that it wasn’t just one person that could rise as candidate for Diva.
Meiko, who was traveling with them, was also a female that had the characteristics of a Diva. They had heard from her how she was considered a candidate when the Diva before Rin had been chosen.
“So, not all the people who have the characteristics of a Diva have Light and Darkness...?”
“No, probably they do have them, generally. It’s just that there seem to be differences in their abilities.”
And that’s why the duration of the terms of the Divas who kept the balance of the world was so variable.
If she was a brief Diva, it would be two to three years. If she was a lengthy one, it would be a decade to several decades.
More than one decade had passed since Rin’s birth, and she continued stabilizing the world. Even though as she taken away as Diva when she was only a baby, it was due to how powerful Rin’s abilities as Diva were.
“Kamui, this is too difficult. I don’t get it.”
“Aah. I’m still speaking in hypothetical terms...Let’s take this in parts.”
“The Diva has some characteristics that allow her to reach a mutual understanding with the dragon, using songs as a medium.
The songs that bind the dragon are associated to the powers of Light and Darkness. Therefore, in the songs of the Diva, there must be Light and Darkness.
A younger brother and an elder sister, who are twins; two people whose souls are connected.
The younger brother also has the power of the Diva, which originally only females should have. In the songs of the younger brother dwells the power of Light.
There is the possibility that only Darkness dwells in the elder sister. But her abilities as Diva are strong. Hence, she was chosen as Diva...”
Len nodded his head as Kamui smoothly repeated just the main points of his theory. He understood so far. But from there, what was the connection with the feeling Len had of Rin’s existence growing weaker? He couldn’t see how that was connected to Kamui’s hypothesis.
Shaking lightly his head, Len suddenly voiced the question in his mind.
“Kamui..., If Rin doesn’t have Light, even though both Light and Darkness are necessary for the songs that seal the dragon, how has she managed so far...?”
Hasn’t the dragon remained contained this last decade?
“Light also represents Life.”
At the same time the slightly lowered voiced made his eardrums vibrate, and the sounds were interpreted in this mind, Len clenched his fists without realizing it.
So in other words...
If Rin only has the power of Darkness, yet has continued to stabilize the world...
“Life is Light?”
If she is using something that amounts to Light as a replacement for Light itself, for the songs that require Light and Darkness...
“...Is Rin shortening her life?”
By singing. Because she keeps singing the songs for the stabilization of the world.
She shortens her own life, with her gentle voice gently wishing for peace. If she sings for the salvation of this world, even to that price.
The word born in his throat was not voiced. Len was on the verge of tears.
How could Rin keep singing the songs for the salvation of the world, to the point of shortening for own life, of using her own existence?
“There’s a possibility this may go on to the end.”
Slowly shaking his head, Kamui said this to Len, who was covering his face with his hands.
He knew his own words couldn’t bring him peace of mind. Due to the link between the Diva and Len, there wasn’t anyone else but Len who could sense the Diva’s condition, being well attuned to her despite being far apart.
His voice as he answered was low, yet clear. For that reason, Kamui added nothing more, surrendering to silence.
Then, no other sounds reached their ears beyond the voices of the birds hidden in the night.
Len softly closed his eyes, yielding his consciousness.
He could hear a song. A warm and gentle song. A song sung of salvation. This was unmistakably the song of Rin’s life.
...Rin is singing salvation, but I...
Despair overwhelmed him. Even though the world was cruel, unfair, not at all kind, the song Rin sung for the world was kind.
There was no doubt he was unable to sing a song to save the world; Len whispered those words with his arms around his knees.
The stillness of the night received Len’s words leaving nothing behind.
And seemingly unable to be heard by anyone, the sound fading in the interlude was hidden by the night.