In case you’re interested in the actual custom or want to fully understand this chapter, you can read about moon-viewing here.
She and Moon-viewing
Noon. As I casually took a walk in the mansion’s garden, I discovered silver grass growing.
Silver grass withers in winter. It’s unusual for it to still remain, so I crouched before it.
I absentmindedly watched the silver grass sway.
Raising my gaze into the sky I saw the moon. Today is the full moon.
I felt an itch to do something for the first time in a long time well up inside myself.
This is the so-called creative urge.
I picked up the silver grass and broadly smiled.
“I thought of a good thing”
I stood up and turned on my heel with the silver grass in one hand.
The season is winter. The time of what’s called ‘Harvest Moon’ in Japan has long passed, but I don’t mind.
Nobody knows about it anyway. There’s nobody to retort.
I headed for the kitchen.
“That’s right, let’s hold moon-viewing!”
That is to say, I’ll make tsukimi dango.
“Master, what are you making?”
Head Chef Thomas cheerfully welcomed me who suddenly rushed into the kitchen and looked at my hand with interest.
As for me, while humming in a good mood, I kneaded rice flour and formed small dango.
13 is good, but with the date being 15th, I felt like making 15.
I thought of stopping there, but the passionate gazes from my surrounding made me make a little more.
One by one I dropped the finished dango into boiling water.
“These are tsukimi dango”
I looked into the pot as I answered Thomas’s question.
With my attention focused on the pot, it became a concise answer.
After a short time, dango rose to the surface and I skillfully scooped them out.
“Tsukimi dango… is it? What in the world are they?”
He couldn’t imagine what they are. I thought of what I should say to Thomas who tilted his head. Of course, without stopping my hands.
“Hmm, I wonder if they could be called offering dango for moon-viewing. Ah, by the way, moon-viewing is enjoying yourself by watching the full moon”
When I explained that, not only Thomas but all the cooks around made complicated faces.
“Watching… the moon? By the way, which moon?”
Everybody must be thinking the same thing. They’re now waiting for my answer.
Feeling their gazes I bitterly smiled, and for now scooped up the last dango.
I understand what they want to say.
To begin with, there’s no such event as moon-viewing in this world.
Nobody expressly admires a moon to enjoy themselves.
Moons are only for telling the day of the week.
As to how it’s done, there are actually six moons in this world.
One sun and six moons.
In this world a week has seven days, same as in my previous life.
But the difference is, a moon will change for every day of a week.
Monday moon is silver. Tuesday moon is red. It’s blue on Wednesday. Green on Thursday. Gold on Friday. Brown on Saturday.
Like this, the color of a moon differs on each day of the week.
Every month each waxes and wanes, but their order never changes, so many people look up at the sky to check the day of the week.
These moons shine well even in daytime.
By the way, it may be redundant, but no moon raises on Sundays.
On moonless Sundays a sabbath was established, on that day all battles are forbidden. It’s not the case that work is forbidden.
It’s a day when all battles or conflicts are prohibited.
I can’t speak of it in detail, but this is a religious story, even if you’re at war on that one day you must always have a truce.
If you break it, you’ll receive condemnation from other countries, they may even excommunicate you. It’s quite likely to become a problem for the whole country.
The story got off on a tangent considerably, but in short because this is the peculiar common sense of this word, all our cooks are curious.
They want to ask what do I mean by expressly looking at the moon, that’s used to tell the day of a week, to enjoy myself.
I smiled, finding it understandable, and continued talking.
“Let’s see, I think it can be any moon, however it must be the full moon… Ah, but perhaps today is just right”
I raised my head and looked outside from a kitchen window. Today is Monday.
That is to say, the current moon is shining silver.
The moon closest to my previous life’s… the Earth’s moon, is in the sky.
“I’m aware I’m saying strange things, so don’t worry too much. The time is also strange. It’s just because there was silver grass. That’s all there is to it… Alright, I’m done. If everybody likes, you can eat the remaining dango”
I wish there was a sanpou, but naturally there’s no such things.
Since it couldn’t be helped, I piled dango in a pyramid shape, first nine, then four, then two.
“It’s finished. Now please enjoy, and I’ll be going”
“Master, thank you!”
Although they’re missing the meaning of moon-viewing, they seemed to really get into the unknown sweets.
When I finished neatly piling up tsukimi dango and showed it to them, “Oooh” resounded and I could see them observing the dango from above and below.
“It will be troublesome if it gets exposed to Father, so you all eat them. As for reproducing… If you want to, feel free. They’re tsukimi dango, so I think there won’t be a demand”
If you’re not going to be moon-viewing, you don’t need tsukimi dango.
I made that remark thinking so, but the cooks observed tsukimi dango with keen interest.
I took the opportunity of that opening, and taking my own share left the kitchen.
“And, you’re going to granny’s place?”
I said I’m going out, and set out.
Finally, the house arrest has been lifted, if I go out with the same frequency as before I won’t get scolded. I want to think it’s because I regained their trust, but unfortunately, it’s different.
Brother and Father, aware of the story of me breaking through Freed’s encirclement, reached the conclusion that there’s no point in keeping me under house arrest.
As Father informed me of lifting the house arrest, on his face was written that it’s better than me running away as I please.
“Hey, why won’t you show yourself?”
I couldn’t see Cain who spoke to me in whispers.
Feeling strange hearing the voice and yet not being able to see him, I restlessly looked around.
“Don’t look around too much. It’s suspicious. It’s because Princess have guards when going out. Before it was one person, but today it’s two. They’re being extremely cautious”
“Eh, is that so?”
“It’s natural for the future queen. Well, I alone would suffice”
It seems without my knowledge the number of guards increased. While surprised about the story I haven’t heard before, I was convinced that it’s just the way it is.
“Hmph. By the way, where are those two?”
I can’t tell at all.
Looking around, I can only see myself walking alone.
“Nn, they’re at a distance where they can just barely recognize Princess. Perhaps they’ve been told to be unnoticeable. If anything happens, they’re at a distance where they can only come running”
“Hee. Ah, won’t it be exposed I’m talking with Cain like this? Is it fine?”
“I’m not showing myself. They won’t notice. Well, if it’s about shaking them off, don’t worry, they’ll leave when you arrive at granny’s. I’ll be staying close”
I received Cain’s words with a nod.
He must be close to hold a conversation with me. But I have no idea where.
Only hearing the voice without seeing him feels strange, but I think it’s also another of his techniques. It’s splendid. As expected of my ninja.
“Ah, but, it’s also the case for the people of the agency”
“Nn? What is?”
He seems to have properly picked up the word I said to myself.
I obediently said what I thought of.
“I think it’s amazing that I can’t tell where neither Cain nor the people from the agency are”
“Ha? That’s natural. Who’d blunder and be noticed by amateurs”
“… I see”
I intended to praise him, but he returned a blunt answer.
“Hello! Ms. Delris! It’s sudden, but let’s watch the moon!!”
I opened the door and went downstairs.
I put the box I brought on a simple wooden desk and opened it, vigorously presenting the tsukimi dango.
Moreover, I placed silver grass beside it.
Ms. Delris spoke with a curious expression.
“Moon-viewing? What’s this, it’s the first time I hear of it”
As Ms. Delris said once in a while I can’t understand you and tilted her head, I laughed ahaha to gloss over it.
Cain, who’s been showing himself since we entered the street, said while pointing at the dango.
“I can tell it’s an event where one enjoys viewing the moon. I don’t get the meaning. What’s fun about watching the moon?”
Cain, who seems to have sharply heard the talk with the cooks, said amazed, but there’s no particular purpose in moon-viewing.
It’s only a pretext to enjoy oneself.
Japanese had a truly good saying for it, ‘dango over flowers’.
Tsukimi dango are most important. That’s how it is.
“What’s important is the atmosphere. While enjoying such a mood, it’s nice to eat dango. I wonder why you don’t understand”
“Don’t know. It seems about eating. Wouldn’t be fine to just eat them”
“Cain, that’s too much down-to-earth”
Seeing that Cain can’t understand, I think it might be a feeling peculiar to former Japanese people.
In my previous life it was common to make reasons to enjoy unrelated events.
Of course Japanese events, but events I didn’t believe in, like Christmas or Easter too. Halloween, no problem. Or recently, I’ve taken to Walpurgis Night.
In any case, I’m extremely fond of events.
Well, let’s leave it be.
I especially made them. For now, let’s hold moon-viewing.
As I insisted on what moon-viewing is to Cain, Ms. Delris put out the usual unpleasant tea.
“I’ve lived for a long time, but I didn’t know of an event like moon-viewing. Here”
“Ah, thank you. Let’s drink! … Guha”
This is already the rite of passage when coming to visit.
I downed the tea in one gulp, and loudly coughed.
It’s as bad as always. Or rather, I don’t really understand the taste.
“Kh… Today too you’re in a perfect form, Ms. Delris. By the way, what is the effect of today’s tea?”
“Hmm. It has a light mental stabilization effect. But it doesn’t seem to work much on you”
I feel like I was told something I can’t overlook.
Cain next to me spurted out.
“… So you’re saying Princess is too annoying for the medicine to be effective”
“Well, calm down a little”
Broadly smiling she showed me a chair, and I obediently sat down.
I felt just a bit ashamed having my excitement pointed out.
“So… Sorry. It’s been a while since I’ve made a new product, so I got excited”
As I curled myself up feeling despondent, Cain sat next to me and continued talking.
“But look, what’s there to see other than it being red, green et cetera? That emotion. I can’t imagine having it for something like that”
“… I guess. I also wouldn’t even think of moon-viewing if it was red. But, today it’s silver?”
“Because it’s Monday”
Cain nodded like that’s obvious.
Even though I call it silver, it’s silver close to white. Today’s moon truly resembles the one I looked up at in Japan.
That’s why, I wanted to try moon-viewing.
“… Isn’t it fine. Let’s try. And? What do we do for this moon-viewing? Should we go outside?”
As I was overcome with nostalgia, Ms. Delris unexpectedly joined in.
“Let’s see. We don’t necessarily need to go outside, but we should offer tsukimi dango where they can look up at the moon and decorate with silver grass… That’s the standard… It’ll be a little difficult from here”
“Because it’s covered by a barrier”
At Ms. Delris’s nod, I shifted my gaze to outside of the window.
The scenery outside the window is different due to the solid barrier. Only gray surface stretches out.
“To be honest, I did not think of the scenery outside the window here”
The basic idea was a haphazard moon-viewing.
Honestly, I only thought of enjoying myself together with Ms. Delris and Cain, I didn’t consider the details.
If it’s impossible, it’s impossible. It’s enough to decorate with silver grass and enjoy dango with everyone.
Thinking so I was about to speak, when Ms. Delris stood up.
“… Wait a moment”
As I tilted my head, she brought a large washtub from a corner of the room. Placed it on the desk. Filled with water.
Cain too observed Ms. Delris’s actions with curiosity wondering what she’s up to.
Holding her hand above water, Ms. Delris chanted something.
After a while a magic formation emerged on the surface. Few seconds later it disappeared, and on the surface shining like a mirror soon showed the silver moon.
“Wow… It’s… the moon”
Surprised, I intently stared at it, when Ms. Delris said like this, I guess, sitting on the chair.
“Granny, this magical art is?”
Ms. Delris provided a brief explanation to Cain, who similarly fixed his eyes upon it.
“This is an application of the far-sight magic. What the ‘Eye’ can see is simply being transferred here. Well, it’s different from viewing it directly, but it shouldn’t be a problem?”
I couldn’t resist that expression.
Staring at the moon’s shape on the water’s surface, I recalled a phrase.
――――The moon reflected on water.
Since olden days there’s been a habit in Japan to enjoy oneself by watching the moon reflected on a pond’s or sake cup’s surface.
Unexpectedly experiencing the tradition of ancient times, I instinctively covered my face with both hands and hung my head.
I don’t really understand, but I felt something inside my chest welling up, as if wanting to let out a cry, so I tightly closed my eyes.
With a trembling voice I somehow managed to thank Ms. Delris.
“… It’s anything but enough, it’s above that, Ms. Delris…”
Thank you. As I said that, she nodded yup.
“… I see, then that’s good”
Enjoying the elegance is in Japanese culture. My tear glands loosened at the unexpected nostalgia.
This is bad, my vision blurred, and I frantically endured to not let the tears overflow.
“You stay silent”
Cain called out to me who was simply watching the moon on the water’s surface unmovingly, but Ms. Delris quietly admonished him.
I suppose she understood my state is strange, so she asked nothing.
I’m thankful for that.
… I don’t particularly dislike this world.
I don’t remember the cause of my death, but my life in Japan ended.
Understanding that, I’ve decided to live this life to my utmost.
The world I live in is here.
That’s why, I don’t want to return to that country now.
But, I simply find it nostalgic.
The inexpressible nostalgia squeezed my chest.
Japan that I’ll never see again.
Even so, I could experience its traces like this.
I drove the tears away, and smiled at the two of them.
“I am sorry. I’ve become a little moved. I’m fine now”
“Your state was strange, are you okay now?”
“Yup, it’s truly nothing”
I answered to Cain who was worriedly peeking at me, and pointed at dango.
“Now, let’s decorate with decorate with silver grass and eat tsukimi dango? I’m quite confident in them”
“Sweets you make are delicious. I’m looking forward to them”
As I said to gloss over it, Ms. Delris read the air and joined in.
Her consideration made me so happy it sank deeply into my mind.
Someday, I’d like to talk to her about my previous life. I feel so.
“Yeah, of course. Please eat lots”
Confirming the two of them picked their tsukimi dango, I also ate mine.
Until now I’ve never thought that while eating Japanese sweets, but perhaps under the influence of unexpectedly seeing the moon reflected on water, I found it nostalgic.
I think it’s temporary, but I might have become a little nervous.
“This is delicious… Rather, I think watching the moon like this might not be so bad”
What Cain said made me smile happily, but I couldn’t say anything to his next words.
“But, after all it’s not the red moon”
… Ah, yup. Certainly it’s not red.
While imagining it, conversely I felt bad.
I lost my appetite too.
Moon-viewing is good because of this color.
“Hm, I want tea. I guess I’ll use the one I treasure”
Ms. Delris, satisfied with the taste of dango tried to stand up, but I desperately stopped her. Cain followed.
I have nothing but a bad premonition about her treasure.
“Wai… Wait a moment! Ms. Delris!! That tea is no good, right?? Water! Water is fine”
“Wa… water for me too! Water is okay!”
At the same time, Cain paled and his complexion turned bad.
Probably my face is similar.
Tsukimi dango with Ms. Delris’s tea?
What a combination.
I don’t want to imagine how they’d be like together.
Precious dango will be spoiled.
I thought so, but her opinion seems different.
“Really? That’s a shame. I think once you get used to drinking it, it becomes an irresistible habit”
“… That’s a lie, right?”
Cain stiffened in shock. My eyes also opened wide in surprise.
As expected of the Medicine Witch.
I’m a little concerned about the words get used to drinking it, but when you reach that level, it seems like it functions as ordinary tea. What a dreadful story.
I firmly refuse eating dango together with aojiru.
What she’s saying is in other words like that.
“… I am sorry, I don’t want to drink it so much it becomes a habit”
As I said that with a straight face, Cain next to me nodded many times me too, me too.
Ms. Delris, seeing us panic like this, laughed happily from the bottom of her heart.
I’m happy she’s laughing.
… Let’s hurry up with green tea development.
While reconfirming the manufacturing method in my head, I seriously thought so.