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[Midnight, the very beginning of the sixth day in the thirteenth week, every Hitomi begins to broadcast. Those who are sleeping will find themselves jolted suddenly from sleep; those who are distracted will suddenly find their attention drawn to the device.

It may be that those who have been in Kannagara for a while were expecting the unearthly pale face of a very irate woman. But the face on the screen now is serene, and the picture is dark, unfocused and grainy at first, an image out of place on such a sleek device. And when the picture becomes clear after a few moments, and the face, the skin which seems to be made of shadow, the black hair, falling over her face in uneven chunks, the endless pits of her eyes, from which light does not escape - unmistakably, it is the face of a corpse.

Presently she begins to speak.]

Good morning.

[She speaks demurely, quietly. One would have to look quite closely to see the ohaguro, the black paint on her teeth.]

I'm very glad that I can speak with all of you. I've been wanting to ever since you arrived. But it was very hard to use the device. And none of you ever stay long enough to get to know us.

Sometimes I think you'll forget about us.

[A pause.]

But it's all right now. I haven't forgotten about any of you. I learned all of your names. And I have a very good memory for names.

I heard a little about some things you all did. I heard you had a party.

[And here she smiles, just a hint of black teeth, as sweet a smile as a woman might give a lover. The tone of her voice does not change from its soft lilt, steady as the movement of tides.] It sounds like it was very nice. Even if it was all the idea of the idea of that cunt, Ame-no-Uzume, I guess you all enjoyed yourselves. I guess you must have forgiven her, for snatching you away from your homes. Even though you were so angry with her. When she called. And all of your harsh words. All of your protests. The conceit of rebellion. Your free will, you forgot.

I guess the food was very delicious.

I'm thinking of throwing a party myself.

I wonder if any of you might want to help me get ready for it. If some kind soul might bring something to my shrine. It's only just outside Raisato.

And I would be so grateful.



Kannagara - The Way of the Gods

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