Pygmalion Is Planting Seeds V1, Chapter 8
“‘ey there young man, wanna have a good time? How about two, no, one thousand yen?”
When I was returning from Ando’s apartment, an old woman who was hiding in the darkness of the alley, behind the shopping street, waved her hand to me.
She’s probably one of those old prostitutes called. ‘the thousand yen grandma’ in this town.
In the red light district I’m living in currently, witnessing the sight of prostitutes standing on street corners were not that rare. In the end, this place is the fallen remains of an old, well-known land of prostitution.
It is often said in rumors that these grandmas were old timers from this extinct land, but you can tell that by just looking at them.
Leaving that talk aside, the “thousand yen grandma” nickname, apparently originates from the price that they request. I’ve already heard about this weird bit of information long ago, however, this is my first time meeting the real deal.
For a young man, he would most likely refuse to sleep with an old hag, even if she offered him the thousand yen instead. Though, in my case, I approached the thousand yen grandma while gulping.
“Are you really fine with one thousand?”
I took out a thousand yen bill from my wallet and handed it to the old prostitute. Once I got closer I was able to take a good look at her. She looked as thin as dried persimmons, and an intense scent of sweat and garlic was emanating from her body.
[Admin: Oh, boy… this guy]
The grandma’s confused sight kept switching between me and the thousand yen bill.
A few seconds later, she smiled at me while showing her uneven teeth.
[Proofreader: Oh god, no]
“Hehe, thank ya, thank ya! You’re a pretty handsome boy, aren’t you?”
After spilling out some obviously fake flattery, the grandma took the bill and quickly pushed it into her bust. It appeared she was one of those who didn’t like to use a wallet.
Following this action, she dragged me by my sleeve and brought me to an old shop in a small alley. The lights were turned off, the outer walls were full of cracks and the window pane at the entrance door was smashed and shattered everywhere on the ground.
The shop doesn’t seem to be in use.
“There’s no electricity in this place, so sorry about that. Be careful not to trip.”
I realized the door’s lock was broken.
She’s obviously using this ruined shop as a workplace, without permission
Following after the grandma, I walked inside the shop. The wide open roomed with a concrete floor, seemed to be used as the actual workshop. It was connected with a living room far back in the interior, and right under the style of the room, an empty soy sauce drum without a label was set as a shoes holder. When the grandma placed her shoes in, the drum echoed a disturbing sound. Then I saw it…
[Admin: I don’t know what he saw, but I’ll leave it to your imagination… (probably her butt or something)]
[Proofreader: I like to think he saw nothing, it doesn’t work]
“You can go for it raw. Big sis is already done with that phase after all.”
Who’s the big sis?!
Before I noticed it, a near-dead battery lamp was releasing a faint light, illuminating the dark place.
The grandma went above the laid out futon, and started to hastily undress. Her dried skin and pale limbs were revealed as she slipped out of her short, faded out dress. Of course, I saw no erotism in this. I wondered who her customers were, paying a thousand yen just to embrace an old hag like this?
The reason I accepted her offer was not because I desired her withering body.
[Admin: What? I am completely, and utterly shocked. These guy is such a schemer]
It was in order to achieve my plan to bring Misaki back to life. If I want to have the fish, I’m going to need to get in the water and get my legs wet.
From the moment I saw the moving Shishikuibana in Ando’s apartment, I felt a burning desire inside of me, but I remained hesitant, unsure of whether it was possible for me to snatch away someone else’s life for Misaki’s sake.
As I stopped wavering and perfected my resolution, I happened to pass by the old woman. She was someone who made a living off prostitution. I believed there was no way she could have someone to rely on. Even if she disappeared from this word, I doubted no one would grieve.
[Admin: That’s sad]
And so, I will kill this ‘thousand yen Grandma’.
It would have been much better if I could turn Misaki human without having to use this method, but in the end, I had no other options left.
I took out the blackjack ordered by mail from my back pocket [note] a tool with the shape of a spoon covered in leather and filled with lead. A blunt weapon made from simple ingredient, however still have enough power to wound and kill a person [/note] and snuck behind the grandma who was steadily folding her clothes.
A sudden loss of nerve struck me, making me almost drop the blackjack, but when I recalled Misaki’s face, that carefree smile she made while she was still alive, my lack of resolve began to dissipate. It was then I noticed the old woman’s hand still holding the slip dress.
Don’t hesitate! Do it!
Pushed by inner thoughts, I aimed for the back of her head and struck. I heard what sounded like a flower vase breaking, followed by the sound of her body sprawling on the floor.
Without giving her a chance, I struck her a second and third time in the head while her body still spasmed. It was only a few moments, a short time, although it felt like a long time to me, she finally stopped..
I breathed in heavily and looked down at the woman. I stopped feeling the blackjack in my hand, and my legs began to tremble. My heart throbbed to the point where It felt as if it was going to break through my chest.
“SHtoP iT, CusTOmer!” The old woman suddenly got up, as though she was possessed by a certain something, and began screaming. Her bra slipped off from the movement, exposing her wilted breast and dried dark brown nipples.
I was taken aback, and fell on my backside.
The old woman bent her neck toward my face and scowled at me with eyes that were now tinged with yellow.
A few moments after she made her second scream, ‘the thousand yen grandma’ collapsed on the floor after letting out a huge a fart and moved no more. The smell was so bad, my vision swarmed and I choked from the smell.
I distanced myself, getting some fresh air before I cleared my throat and hit her head three more times till even her eyeball flew out. I had to be sure.
Her eyeballs were glossy, although her body seemed rigid. I got lost in thought for a moment as I looked at them. Snapping out of it, I went to contact Erisa.
“I acquired some flesh and I want you to take care of it,” I said. After informing her of the location, I chose to wait outside. The stench of the corpse inside the room was about to make me faint. The smell churned my stomach, but not to the point of vomiting.
[Admin: For the readers out there, if there are any at this point, fresh bodies can stink. Once they die, they can release their bowels… So when she farted, it must have been then.]
I looked at the dirty glass of the outside door, and noticed my own reflection. It looked very distant to me… almost as if I couldn’t recognize myself.
Erisa arrived at the designated place twenty minutes after I contacted her. Dressing in black from head to toe, she looked like a grim reaper coming to harvest a soul.
[Proofreader: I’m pretty sure it’s you that just killed someone, not her]
“The body’s inside?”
I nodded and asked her about how she will transport it.
“It’s not me who will transport it. Cooperators will take care of the job.”
I heard a squirming sound coming from the dark alley right after Erisa finished speaking. Several short shadowy figures, wearing worn out clothes, appeared from the darkness.
I recalled the people who snatched the hanging body from the branch in the copse a few days ago.
“They are the Mogura.”
It seems that’s how they’re called, according to Erisa.
Judging from their timing, it looks like they were concealing their presence in the dark near me while I was waiting for Erisa.
The instant I realized this, a cold chill ran down my back. All this time I was standing defenselessly in the dark, unaware of this goblin-like group right beside me.
“There’s a river around this area that became a closed conduit. Currently, water has already stopped running through it so these people are settling within its laid out remains. They reside in the darkness and make their living from eating human flesh. The reason they’re called as Mogura is because they rarely crawl out above ground during the day.”
When Erisa whispered them instructions, the Mogura went inside the room.
Although I can hear the sounds of their operation, not a single voice reached my ears. Come to think of it, they were also quiet the last time I saw them taking care of the hanging body.
Maybe they don’t have a language, or perhaps they had a regulation against talking on the job in order to avoid unnecessary disturbances. Regardless, I wasn’t going to go out of my way to find out.
“Did you know them from a long time ago?”
“Yeah, from my father’s generation. Whenever I needed someone to deal with a few bodies, I turn to them for a request. It’s also the main reason why I go set my flower stall and deal with those window-shoppers in uncommon places. And of course, the Mogura require half the body to do the job”
Then does that mean that the man I earlier observed riding in the car with her, is one of her regular customers?
“Give and take for the sake of coexistence, is that it?”
“That’s right. The price I suggested to you that time doesn’t leave me any profit. If I can take only a small portion to fill my stomach from the other half left for you, then that would be enough.”
Now I feel all ashamed for thinking of her as a greedy profiteer.
[Admin: … Be ashamed of yourself.]
[Proofreader: We already got that straight, she’s a cannibal, not a capitalist… though I can understand the confusion]
As if sensing my regret, Erisa made a meek expression.
“It’s fine if you think of me as a cowardly woman, who abuses any opportunity to acquire flesh without any labor.”
“I wouldn’t think of you like that. You’re the only person who could dismantle the body for me, and in the first place, I wouldn’t have acquired it if I didn’t meet you.”
“Hearing that puts me at ease.”
The Mogura troupe exited the room holding a huge bag, working as fast as the last time I saw them.
After seeing them off, the tail of their coats disappearing into the darkness, Erisa walked back to her car stationed near the alley.
“Leave the rest to them and come with me to the shop. They would have already delivered the body by then as they are pretty familiar with the underground system.”
She didn’t even ask me who the person was or how I obtained it…
While the car was bounced from the jagged road, I kept gazing at the distant night view. I wonder how many thousands, no… how many millions of lives were lost in place and in moments like this. Maybe among those lost lives, many of them were suddenly snatched away in the way I did tonight with that old woman.
“You finally crossed over.”
I didn’t ask her about what she meant.
[Proofreader: For once he isn’t confused, they grow up so fast *wipes away tear*]
[Admin: Sniff Sniff]
The only reaction I had was a loose acceptance of the fact that I had become a murderer.
Upon seeing the wrinkled corpse cut apart in front of her, Erisa revealed a confused frown.
“What could this be?”
“What shall I do with the unneeded parts, Milady?”
“Throw them out, or give them to the Mogura, what a waste. If only they gave us the lower half. Can’t be helped now.”
“Is something wrong?”
Adding oil to fire with my question, Erisa answered me with a grim face.
“Yes. A big something! Leaving aside a nonexistent freshness, the age you picked is too old. It goes without saying that nobody would eat this. Quality drops through aging after all. Didn’t you know that the flesh of an old person was not delicious at all?”
[Admin: So they were looking for delicacy, eh?]
“I never tasted it so I can’t tell.”
“The second problem is this…”
Erisa took a meat cleaver and cut through the ‘thousand yen grandma’s’ abdomen. Then without caring about the blood spilling, she extended the cut slit with her hands.
“As expected…..hey, stop making that pale face and look over here. All her internal organs are suffering serious damage. Looks like she had a hard time finding something to eat.”
Erisa used the cleaver again to cut a blackish organ peeking from grandma’s ribs [note]probably her liver[/note] and dark red blood started dripping down a straight line.
[Admin: So basically, he killed the old woman for nothing. Well, it seems the old folk should be safe from our MC and Ms. Erisa moving forward.]
“Did you know, the taste of blood changes depending on the stress the person receives before they die. A sudden move, fear, pain, intense excitement, starvation, and even sickness. The stress takes away a huge amount of energy from the flesh, which also drops its quality”
[Proofreader: While I can’t say for sure, as i have never eaten human meat, I’m pretty sure this is BS]
[Admin: What kind of foolishness are they spouting?]
Erisa carried on talking while holding a part of the corpse’s stomach and inspecting it.
“The Shishikuibana’s growth condition is also influenced by the quality of the flesh. The more inferior the quality, the more negative the influence. It is preferable for the body to experience an instant death with the least possible amount of pain. Accident and jumping suicides, or in general, the situations where the person is not aware of their death are the best. Comparing the flesh you brought to the earlier anticipations, I can’t give it even a passing mark.”
Those words pushed me into a deep feeling of despair. After I was finally able to steel myself and obtain a corpse, it ended up near useless to me. All I did was nothing but a waste of labor.
“You don’t have to get all dejected like that. If we choose the useful parts, you should be good.”
After Kanade finished cutting down the corpse, muttering “useful” and “useless” as she did so, she sorted the flesh into two piles. The useless pile was the biggest.
“Erisa, why do you eat humans?”
In the free time during Kanade’s work, I inquired Erisa about something that had been bothering me for a while now.
“Is this your curiosity asking?”
“You did tell me about cannibalism being not wrong nor right last time, but you seem to be conscious about it being socially not allowed. I want to know why because despite knowing what you know, you keep on seeking the hardest things to obtain.”
“It’s like you’re asking me why does a koala feed on eucalyptus.”
[Proofreader: They do it because that’s what they’ve evolved to consume and do it rather efficiently, your excuse?]
Erisa began her explanation while Kanade didn’t remove her sight from her task.
“There are various kinds of reasons as to why people conduct an act of cannibalism. Eating the flesh of your enemy in wars is a way to convey revenge. Sometimes it’s done in order to steal the strength, the experience, and the wisdom of the prey, and gain a new vitality. For ranking up with one’s self and having a chance to interact with God. To show sympathy to the dead. To expel a disease eating into one’s body. To make one’s stomach as a substitute for a grave. Gluttony. And even for the sake of surviving in a critical situation.”
I heard about this in a class once, in times of severe famine, when eating cats and dogs became unsatisfying, people resorted to eating the flesh of those who’d died by starvation in order to avoid the same fate.
[Admin: I’m pretty sure they just ran out of cats and dogs.]
“Those kinds of emergency conduct takes place in lots of countries. The long established cultures and morals have exterminated cannibalism, however, its dark shadow still exists in everyone’s heart waiting for a chance to make its appearance again”
“Out of all these examples you told me, which one is in your case?”
“You can say that my case applies to one of them while at the same time applies to none. My eating habit doesn’t exceed ten percent of the eucalyptus a koala eats, but what’s certain is that I follow the same unbalanced diet they do.”
“I still don’t have the least idea what you’re talking about.”
[Proofreader: For once, you’re not alone in this]
During our short chat, Kanade finished her work.
A considerable amount of the flesh left on the grandma’s body seems to be useless. The quantity of useful meat was about the same size as her head.
Kanade took the biggest half of that amount, stuffed it into a plastic container and gave it to me.
“Sometimes I think about this. Perhaps the Shishikuibana is the negative legacy of the taboo that humans abandoned during the process of their evolution into an intellectual being. Maybe inside the Shishikuibana lurks the black records of the human history which was not even allowed to be left for the future generations.”
While parroting these words, I fell into a deep thought. The miserable Shishikuibana that were forcefully brought back because of humanity’s ego. If Erisa’s approach was correct, then that meant the inside of Misaki, who’s waiting for me to feed her flesh, was hiding a black history of humanity that should be locked away. The blood of the same color it bears should manifest the redness of the sins that humanity have carried along. If we boil down that blood in a pot, it is possible that a deep and muddled black color would result from it.
[Proofreader: Actually you’d get a brown mixture, then if you burnt that, you’d get black]
“I wonder how did the first person who performed cannibalism think about eating his kind.”
“Maybe he was curious to know how it would taste like. Who knows, the prohibited fruit which Adam and Eve ate when breaking their promise with God could’ve been that.”
If Erisa was an inhabitant of paradise, she would have definitely stepped up and leisurely stuff the fruit in her mouth and gladly get herself expelled.
The pleasure garden for her only exists above ground where humans live.
Am I also banned from that paradise now that I have killed?
[Proofreader: No my child, You can still PRAISE THE SUN!]
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.