Disclaimer: I don't own the copyright of Kannaduki no Miko or any related merchandize blah blah blah. Please don't post it anywhere else before you inform me first.
1. Hi sama/Tsuki sama
In the original text, Himeko and Chikane in their last lives are called by "the sun" and "the moon" followed by a respectful suffix for their positions (usually equal to high government officers). I chose to translate them to Japanese, as "hi" is the sun, "tsuki" is the moon, and "sama" is the corresponding way in Japanese. There are a few other occasions when I used Japanese roman-spelling rather than English, but I think they are all easy to understand. As I was translating the story, I could almost hear Kawasumi Ayako and Shitaya Noriko's voices… "Hi sama" "Tsuki sama"…
2. Ame no Murakumo/Orochis, etc
Just a reminder for people, those are all original terms in the anime. Chikane's horse's name is changed to "Chasing Sun" in this fanfiction, as is loyally translated.
3. Otobashi shrine: Otobashi is the name of Chikane and Himeko's campus in the anime.
To stress the time difference, I used passive tense for the stories in the last life and present tense in this life.
Fanfiction-Kannaduki no Miko The Fantasy of Last Life I The Remnant Sun at Daybreak
……There is an ancient shrine on the moon, quietly protecting the common world for thousands of years……
She knew this story since she was very little. Two mikos were chosen by Gods, and born on those days when Gods were gone. They together took the mission of protecting the common world. Dressed in sacred miko suits, holding two-handed swords, the two young ladies were not only beautiful and elegant, but also powerful and frightening.
Mikos of the sun, and the moon.
And she, was one of them. Born an orphan without parents, her existence was destined not to be just a daughter; she was pre-determined not being able to spend her life quietly and peacefully.
Gods had their reasons for such an arrangement. She had believed so all these times.
A clear and pleasant voice softly interrupted her daily meditation. However, it also made a slight smile showing up on her serious face.
Swiftly turning around, her small figure stayed kneeing down at the wooden floor in a graceful and proper pose.
"Tsuki sama." As usual, she bowed down slightly in a respectful way, and gave the person in front of her a polite yet cold greeting. Her long hair was light –colored like tea leaves, almost shining golden, bundled towards the back in a simple and fitting style, only some hair by the ear flowing in front of her chest.
The girl that she called " Tsuki sama" was said to have come from an ordinary family. When her parents learned that their only kid was the miko chosen by Gods, they were moved to happy tears, kneeled down and thanked Gods.
She heard that they were still spending the money that the emperor granted, boasting that their daughter was the daughter of heavens, a gift from Gods.
Really… foolish folks. She sighed in her heart. Why couldn't they understand that being "normal" would be the most gracious gift that Gods would give to a child?
As she was having such thoughts, Tsuki sama had opened the door completely, so that the ray of the bright sunshine could enter their dark room—the sacred forbidden place where they had been serving God Ame no Murakumo.
She noticed that a strange look flashed through the bright and limpid eyes of Tsuki sama as she looked at the stone statue of Ame no Murakumo behind her (Hi sama's) back. That was a look of admiration and trust, mixed with a nature of fear and obedience towards Gods.
A nature of mikos.
"I am very sorry…Did I interrupt your meditation?'' Tsuki sama turned her head slightly and asked, with a few thick old books in her hands that exuded a color of yellow.
She only gazed silently at the girl in front of her.
The strong sunlight naturally shined upon her long dark hair, enhancing the softness and gloss of it. Tsuki sama had the same hair style as that of herself, yet her front hair was more stylishly disordered, slightly covering her thin, well-shaped and deep-colored eyebrows.
Wearing a deep-purple miko suit all year long, with the black hair and deep-colored eyebrows, a mature and indifferent mask of expression occupying her beautiful and elegant face—Tsuki sama looked like a person suitable to compete with and beat darkness itself.
At least this would be the first impression.
She smiled silently. She understood more than anyone else how deceiving looks could be.
If people could distract themselves from Tsuki sama's refined face and lock their sight on her deep-as-sea eyes, they would for sure find, underneath her cold look, how gentle, how purely trusting her eyesight was.
She was still a child. An inexperienced child who was looking at this world with her big, pure and curious eyes.
"No, I just finished the meditation for today."
Tsuki sama looked obviously relaxed, then smiled shyly, and walked over slowly and agilely. The way that Tsuki sama walked was not exactly delicate, but straightforward like boys, yet more elegant and dashing. Maybe it was because that she was taller than herself? She wondered with curiosity.
"The priest suggested me to ask you about these books."
Crouching down, Tsuki sama's shy smile approached her face. She then realized that Tsuki sama and she were having a distance way too intimate, as she even saw her own reflections in the other girl's blue eyes.
Moving backward without a trace, she maintained a polite smile on her face. "Are you still studying hard on these ancient books, Tsuki sama?"
"Yes. Because I has not been here since little, like Hi sama. I am not very clear about many things regarding the rites, legends or ceremonies…" As Tsuki sama was explaining, she put aside the books in her hands and kneeled down straightly on the floor. "So the priest said I could ask you what I don't understand…Can you teach me what's in the books?"
Her expressions were so candid and upright, and her eyes were serious and trusting. Who could possibly refuse them? She whispered in her heart. "Certainly. Where do you not understand?"
As soon as she stopped the sentence, Tsuki sama responded with her radiant smiling face.
Just as usual, she started to have an uncontrollable disorder of heart beat.
After this, no matter how hard she tried to meditate, to keep her mind in a state free of random thoughts, these gentle eyes and sincere smile could always invade her heart without warning, and waste every effort she spent maintaining a calm mood.
This sudden hurricane of the moon had been tantalizing her rioting soul to be freed from this mission.
Maybe this was why the second miko was needed. No matter how the sun shined upon the land, it could never reach the darkness deep inside itself. When the darkness devoured the sun at the end, at least there would be tender moonlight generously shedding in the world. At least, there would be a gentle and beautiful light warming up the world.
"……First we summon Ame no Murakumo, and then, we will fight Orochis……right?" Tsuki sama asked, while concentrating on the sentences in a book.
She straightened her suddenly-stiffed body. "Yes."
"And what next? I looked into quite a few books, none of them recorded what mikos should do after defeating Orochis."
"…Do you really have the confidence to defeat Orochis?"
Tsuki sama switched her eyesight from the book to the face of the young lady in the red miko suit in front of her.
Her piercing blue eyes looked deeply into the other brilliant pair.
"If I were alone, that might be a little difficult." Carefully choosing the words, Tsuki sama spoke slowly, "Because…there are eight Orochis, right? One versus eight, it would be difficult, no matter how you think about it."
She couldn't help chuckling at her naïve reply.
"It is true." Somewhat unsatisfied that her serious reply was laughed at, Tsuki sama continued her explanation. " If one can be invincible as long as she is by God's side, why do you need two mikos? One person can accomplish nothing……to protect people, or to live a life. We can't— "
"I can live by myself." Interrupting Tsuki sama's words, her indifferent tone contained disagreement.
Tsuki sama's young and profound face looked disappointed and hurt. "Hi sama…you don't want to be with me?" Her clear and melodious voice failed to cover the sudden sobs from her throat and became sore and weak.
This unreserved sincerity smashed her heart into pieces, which she had been defending so hard. "It is my fate to be with you." She bit her teeth so badly that her chin was tense and aching. " Such arrangements must have their reasons……I never doubt it, nor do I run away from it. "
"Even if you are not at all willing to……right?"
The silence froze the air, and their heartbeat replaced the time flow. A certain flame was slowly rising, and bloomed into a beautiful, neon brilliance, just like the water droplets under the sun.
"……Why aren't there any records about what's happening after defeating Orochis'……You mean Tsuki sama brought this up to you? "
The old priest raised his hoarse voice with surprise.
She lit up a candle on the table, so that after the routine evening lesson with the priest, she could safely walk back in such darkness to her dorm by the usual route.
"Yes, she did." She emphasized her tone and nodded. /I have told you all about it, now can I leave/
"Tsuki sama……did she ask you anything else?" The old priest sounded very anxious.
"No, just that." Please, I want to go back
He put his hands behind his back and stared at her solemnly.
"Did you……tell her anything?"
"I only talked about what I know." She relied neglectfully, lifted the candle and started to step out of this spacious Japanese style living room.
"You didn't say anything about what mikos have to do after defeating Orochis, did you?"
Clenching the bottom of the candle holder, her hands became slightly white. She questioned indifferently, with her back still towards the priest, "You mean the truth of this mission……that we have to kill each other after eliminating the enemies? "
Even without looking back, she could detect from the congealed air the priest's disturbed breathes and ashamed feelings.
The people who knew the truth had hid it, because they believed that destiny could not be altered. They believed that a sacrifice of one or two maidens' lives for the future restoration of the world was a good deal, a very honorable task.
If Ame no Murakumo were willing to protect these selfish people, he himself would not be some God of justice. While showing a taunting smile, her expressions were also filled with bitterness and sorrow.
"Tsuki sama is a noble miko. She is the one with pure body and soul, the only one who can accomplish our goal. " She comforted him softly, "I understand this…… I do. "
"Nobody have told you about this, if only I didn't let you read through those ancient books…… Maybe now you wouldn't have known—" The priest shut up abruptly, as he also realized the irresponsible and irrational blame in his own words.
So she couldn't help answering sarcastically, " I wish I'd be slower and more stupid in my next life, maybe that will be better for everybody."
Then she ignored the next would-be reply from the priest and stepped away from the house to her dorm. As she was passing by a corner of the corridor, she witnessed under a big tree in the garden the presence of Tsuki sama.
Tski sama was dressed in a thin and light unpadded white garment, long enough to reach the ground. A blue gown was thrown over her right shoulder. Unlike usual, her long hair was released and totally unrestrained, each of them freely dangling in the evening breeze, eventually merging into the gloom.
The silver-golden moonlight seemed to care for her and her alone, as if Tsuki sama was the only bright existence in this pitch blackness. Compared to this young miko, the candle in her own hands appeared so dim and laughable.
Suddenly, the hot wax from the burning candle dropped on her hands. The pain withdrew her attention back from the present dreamlike scene.
Her faint gasp finally made Tsuki sama found out behind her back the figure standing still in the corridor.
At first Tsuki sama's limpid eyes opened wide with surprise, then her kind and sincere smiling face said her welcome. "Good evening, Hi sama."
"Good evening……" She mumbled.
"Did you finished the evening lessons for today with the priest?"
"Yes, I did." Satisfied that her fluttering calmed down to some extent at last, She asked in a soft and gentle tone, "Did your martial art practices also last till just now?"
"No, it was over a while ago……my master called it a day after he lost to me for the fifth time." There was embarrassment in her shy smile. Tsuki sama had always been so modest, and she never felt that defeating her master was something worth bragging about.
"If so, why are you still here……"
"Relishing the moon."
"Huh?" She looked puzzled.
That strange girl just looked up and glanced at the moon. "Look, we have a half-moon tonight. The one I like the most in every month. "
At her words, she looked up curiously at the bright half moon hanging in the sky. "Why do you like the moon at this time? Only one half is there……" The sad half, she continued silently.
"I like it now because it is only one half." Tsuki sama smiled, "In poems, the moon often represents poets' yearning for a special someone. Because the moon is too far to be reached, always hanging in the vast night sky all by itself, it becomes the medium of their longings."
"To show their lingering thoughts for the other unapproachable person?"
Tsuki sama had another slight smile. "Yes……these thoughts turn into the silver-white moonlight shining upon the darkness, as well as stating poets' painfulness".
"Such a……sorrowful existence……" She murmured sympathetically.
The young lady shook her head. "People have their own feelings……However, I think as long as the moon can help the sun during the day to continue the brightness at night…… then its existence is fully meaningful. "
"Are these your feelings as the miko of the moon?"
Tsuki sama stared at her silently, and a firm determination showed up on her face instead of her usual kindness. Then, she answered tenderly, " The moon exists to help the sun, and I……was born in this world to assist you."
A bitter smile filled with understanding appeared on Tsuki sama's face. She continued, "So please don't tell yourself anymore that you are alone, don't try to persuade yourself that you can live on your own—because you are NOT alone, nor am I."
The current underneath her eyes quietly generated a blazing mist, which made her no longer able to see the other girl's face clearly.
"Can't help it even if you aren't willing to." Tsuki sama smiled, as a breeze was fondling her dark and soft long hair. "Since you are destined to be with me, it's better to get used to it soon, Hi sama."
She also smiled. This facial action triggered her tears to overflow out of her eyes. The ample warmth, extreme ease and complete peacefulness fulfilled her chest. For the first time in her life, she learned what was gratefulness.
Grateful for her fate arranged by God, this inevitable destiny.
She was fated to be with her. 。
"As you wish."
At her granted positive reply, Tsuki sama beamed with happiness. "When we are both sixteen, can I ask for a birthday gift from you?"
Birthday gift? She looked at that strange girl with doubts, "……If it isn't beyond my ability……"
"Call me by my name." Tsuki sama spoke softly, "please call my name on my sixteenth birthday."
Just that? She nodded.
"Great!" The young lady exhaled relaxingly. "Then what do you want as a gift, Hi sama?"
"Birthday gifts are for those children who still have their parents."
"Who made the rule?"
"This is the tradition."
"I want to give you one, can't I?" Tsuki sama just wouldn't give up.
She lifted her head to look at the moon, feeling somewhat defeated. "Then……can you give me a name?" Embarrassed by her own sudden request, she added awkwardly, "If you want me to call you by your name, then you can't call me 'Hi sama' anymore, right? It would sound so strange, as if you were my servant or—Er, I don't mean to have you as my servant, I mean, I, I don't have a name, so—"
Oh God, someone please come and finish her off right there. She cried out to herself with shame and frustration. As she lowered down her head, her voice was also dimming.
"……Do you want to be someone besides 'Hi sama'?" The girl with limpid eyes asked knowingly. 。
"……Maybe it is too late already……" She stared at the corridor floor. "I don't have the slightest idea about how to be a girl besides 'Hi sama'."
"You are fine like this. I like your stuttering nervous look."
Her face turned into a gorgeous red immediately at that low and genuine voice. She managed a weak protest, "P…please stop making fun of me, Tsuki sama."
"I swear! You are so cute when you blush!"
She had completely hidden her head in front of her chest.
Suddenly a warm hand raised her chin, and made her look into those lake-like clear eyes. Without any notice, Tsuki sama had come to only one step away from her.
Tsuki sama's slender white fingers gently slid her tea-colored hair aside from her forehead. The remnant warmth from those fingertips transmitted through her skin, bringing a strong wave of shock and burning pain.
It seemed that her eye sockets were getting hot again.
Tsuki sama did not say even one more sentence. Instead, she just wiped off the crystal-like tears with the back of her hands away from her cheeks. Even if that young miko were wondering why she couldn't stop her tears, she obviously hid it very well.
--So well that she wanted to throw herself into her arms right there, right now, and willfully enjoy all the understanding and comfort provided by her companion.
Yes, this person was her companion; the other one to share the destiny, the other half to shoulder the mission together with her.
She was not alone. From the beginning to the end, her life had been interwound with a peculiar someone, no matter how far apart their physical existences were, no matter if there were mountains and seas in between them. Life after life, incarnation after incarnation, her being would always be only a half.
She would be yearning forever for this person in front of her to fulfill her soul.
Even if in her next life she could not remember the gratefulness that she had right now, she still believed that this person would always be patiently waiting for her.
Waiting for the moment when they could stare into each other's eyes once again.
"Ah—Wait, slow down!" Himeko is running out of breath. She doesn't know how many miles she has been following that little lost puppy for, the only thing that she does know is that she has never exercised this much in her life before.
The puppy has sneaked into the rose garden of the school. She looks around awkwardly, and when seeing no other people are about, she also sneaks in just like that little cutie.
"Ouch!" Himeko screams out, for her hair is caught by the bushes. Why is she always so clumsy, even if she just wants to get into a garden?
"……Is this your puppy?"
From above her head comes an unbelievable charming female voice, cool and calm.
With surprise, Himeko raises her head and in the next moment, she looks into those beautiful eyes as clear as lakes.
…… There is an ancient shrine on the moon, quietly protecting the common world for thousands of years……The thousand-year legend goes on and on, with the ever-lasting cycle of encounter and sorrow……Here, the two young ladies have initiated their story of this life.
The End of The Remnant Sun at Daybreak