Nekomonogatari (White) : 061

To Black Hanekawa-san,

Nice to meet you.

Although that was a strange thing for me to say, this is Hanekawa Tsubasa.

First, please allow me to express my gratitude.

Thank you for taking all the pains in my place, during Golden Week, and before the Cultural Festival as well.

It is likely that I will be putting you through much hardship once again.

I am truly sorry for all the trouble I have caused for you.

It has truly driven home that perhaps, when I buried you after you had been ran over on the road, it was only due to my own willful ego. I doubt that the onus on me, to whom you have been bound to, is not something I can ever make up for.

And perhaps, therein lies the true meaning behind those words frequently spoken of by Oshino-san, that ‘people just get saved all by themselves’.

After all, as I had not considered whether I could truly shoulder the bond I formed with you, or this onus, as it is, it was in all regards nothing more than a makeshift solution on my part.

Just as how Araragi-kun bound Shinobu-chan to him in order to save her, I have shackled you to me as Black Hanekawa.

And yet, unlike Araragi-kun, I was not worried in the slightest and continued to live in peace without a care in the world.

How sinful I am.

Therefore, I am actually not in any position to ask something of you, but if this continues, I will end up hurting my precious friends.

The only thing I can do is rely on you.

The only one I can rely on is you.

That is why I will say this for the first time since I have been born — help.

Help me.

Please, help me.

I will not trouble you ever again, nor will I ever leave you alone again.

Please.

I beg of you.

Perhaps you have no say in the matter as you have to protect me, so my saying this changes nothing, but please, I truly must ask this of you.

It may be of use as a reference, so this time, I will write down everything I know.

Although you share my memories, it seems that this time, you are completely cut off from me (I can imagine the reason, as noted below) so it might be easier to understand if you read this information in text form.

Unlike yours, my own memory is full of gaps, so I cannot say anything with certainty, but this is probably the truth.

I don’t know everything, just the things I know.

Those are the words I use against Araragi-kun, like an excuse, but please allow me to say it to you as well.

I will give you everything I know.

Now, this is something that does not need to be said, something that you as an abnormality would already know without saying, but that gigantic tiger, the Inflaming Tiger, is like you, a new type of abnormality born from my heart.

More precisely, it is an abnormality newly cut off from my heart.

I can say this with certainty.

The major difference is that while you were based on an old abnormality, the Hindering Cat, no such foundation, no such vessel exists as a base for the Inflaming Tiger.

If anything, the base was you.

As you are a Cat, so it is a Tiger.

Something more primordially untamed.

Following the Cat, I imagined a Tiger, a creature more primordial, a beast more fierce.

The next in line, you could say.

I should have noticed it sooner, but during these few months I have gotten too used to abnormalities, including you.

He who has suffered the aberrant is drawn to it.

Those were the words of Oshino-san.

Just as how Araragi-kun has been getting accustomed with utilizing his own immortality ever since spring break, I have gotten used to treating my own heart as an abnormality and cutting it away ever since Golden Week.

Much like how I got used to wearing contacts — you can get used to anything.

And the result of my proficiency,

was the Inflaming Tiger.

I believe the reason for the various disparities between the you during Golden Week, the you before the Cultural Festival, and the you this time, are not so much individual differences but rather an expression of my proficiency.

It was simply too opportunistic for an abnormality that Black Hanekawa would appear only during my sleep, release all my stress at this time, and return to me before my waking up or needing to be dealt with by Oshino-san or Araragi-kun and Shinobu-chan, and too convenient on my part.

But it was a matter of course.

You are, after all, an abnormality born from me, for my sake.

Of course it was convenient.

Perhaps this was something you have already noticed or rather something I had been mistaken about since the beginning, but in the first place, I called you out this time, obstinately, not simply to release the stress of the house burning down.

Kanbaru-san had “thought you’d be feeling down, but it doesn’t look like that’s true”, and that is thanks to you, of course — but that is simply an incidental effect.

It is unrelated with the fire itself — the source of the fire is also the source.

This is something I was not conscious of at the time, or rather something I had no memories of, so unfortunately I can only recount it as the third party, but it is likely that I relied on you as my safeguard against the Inflaming Tiger.

Just as how I had always relied on you in the past, before I was ever hindered by the Hindering Cat.

I depended on you yet again.

The condition known as a ‘split personality’ by the public and ‘dissociative identity disorder’ by experts is challenged in modern healthcare, and I am not someone who can affirm it, but even if it may not be the correct way to express this, I doubt there is an simpler interpretation of the kind of person I am.

Some time ago,

“You scare me, you know.”

Araragi-kun said that to me.

And,

“The way Class Rep act like a saint, it’s disgusting.”

Oshino-san said that to me.

To be honest, I had no idea what they were talking about then.

I am always simply myself, in my most natural state.

If you were to ask Araragi-kun, he would say that I was trying too hard for a normal girl, that I was excessively logical, and though that deduction was quite close to the truth, it still could not provide an answer as to why I had become able to do something so inordinate.

It was not something one could do simply by wishing for it.

And yet, why it is that I can manage this?

The reason is simple.

It is because I have been turning my eyes away from inconvenient truths and cutting my heart away from myself ever since my youth.

The day before yesterday, Senjougahara-san had said that I was ‘dim to the darkness’, which was absolutely true, but more than that, I was ‘blind’ to it.

I turned my back on malice and misfortune.

That is not self-protection, but self-sacrifice, I think — by cutting away the inconvenient ‘me’, I was preserving myself.

Just as how I could not see my own house from the classroom window that day,

as soon as I see something disagreeable, I cut it away as an object unrelated to myself. Even when I suffer through pains, I cut it away as something unrelated to myself.

As such, my personality would never become twisted.

I would be free from worry.

I would not even wise up to my mistakes.

However, that twistedness is something required for survival by every human being, and I made all of it disappear from my sight.

Of course people would be scared, or feel disgusted.

Araragi-kun had argued that this was all too much to call a miracle — because my way of being is not a miracle, but something much worse, the result of a bloody struggle.

It seems that, when counselling a child who is not loved by her parents, or in other words, who has been abused during her upbringing, the most difficult task is first having that child admit that she has been abused.

To admit the fact that she is being tyrannized.

To accept that you are not loved by your parents is no easy matter.

In most cases, the child will treat the truth of her abuse as ‘not having happened’. Perhaps by distorting the facts into some sort of explanation, or by simply treating the truth itself as not having occurred; there are many variations to the condition, but the point they all share is that they turn their backs on reality.

Yes, I shall admit to it now.

I was abused by my parents as I grew up.

I was abused in each, every and all ways by my parents.

Not once was I ever loved.

Not for a moment was I ever loved.

But I was never conscious of this.

I ignored my own pain, thinking that it happened in all families, to some greater or lesser degree. Even when I was struck on the face, I did not think that it was abuse. I did not think so. Just like that, I cut away this stress as the Cat, and treated it as though it never happened.

In the first place, if you were to ask me to define the meaning of ‘abuse’, it would be extremely easy and, at the same time, extremely difficult.

The act of ‘abuse’ can be established even without violence. Taken to the extreme — though this was in fact quite a common view — ‘spoiling’ is also a form of abuse.

The abuse known as education. The abuse known as discipline.

The abuse known as nursing. The abuse known as filiation.

Perhaps even the opinion that anything a parent does to a child is decidedly abusive is ultimately feasible and, depending on the argument, not something to be completely denied, and but rather deserving to be heard. After all, we do not accept such logic as abuse not actually counting as such when approved of by the victim — it is an ambiguous argument, but we simply cannot pass judgement without a comprehensive picture.

That was the reason why I could continue to assert it.

I could keep on turning my eyes away, asserting that I was not being abused.

I was not being tyrannized at all.

I was not being neglected at all.

I could not recall anything like that ever occuring.

They had done the minimum, as parents —

It is worse than sophistry.

They had only done the minimum.

The absolute lowest, that was all they have ever done.

That was how I should have thought of it.

I have been abused in the worst way, by ‘not being loved’ — and of course, they had their excuses.

However, these excuses have nothing to do with the child at all.

Parents loving their child is not an obligation to be fulfilled, but an emotion, and if it cannot be done these two adults ought not to have gotten married or bore children.

If you were able to exist without the feeling of pain and maintain a disconnection to sorrow, then you would be able to remain free of stress, constantly able to exhibit your highest performance whether it be in study, or sports, or logics, or morals.

If one could exist without feeling the pressure of failure, the anxiety of possible further suffering, and the pains of both body and mind, then one would be a perfected human being in all regards.

That is the truth of the honor student, Hanekawa Tsubasa.

The worthless answer to the question of why I am the way I am.

I can ignore the tedium.

I can be this unfair because I can leave to others the darkness and pain that is borne by all humans.

Senjougahara-san would be enraged if she heard about this.

To think that she had suffered for two years — her struggle over two years which existed only to bring her pain, and I, without suffering, without feeling pain, without a struggle, was able to put it all onto your shoulders.

‘Frustration’ would fail to describe it.

That I would create the form of Black Hanekawa after becoming involved with the Hindering Cat is of incredible interest, but as noted above, the abnormality was nothing more than a trigger for me.

You are none other than yourself.

Besides, this ‘third’ you is much more deeply cut off from me compared to the last two instances. The reason, as noted above, is because I ‘got good at it’.

When asking her what the secret to building a card tower was, Tsukihi-chan told me, “really, it’s just a matter of getting used to it. There’s no technique, I just keep trying over and over again. Even you’d be able to do it, Hanekawa-san, once you’ve tried it twenty times.” which is a universal truth, and that is why I could cut you away from my heart more cleanly than the first time or the second.

You have been established as an individual.

You might as well call it a mental breakdown. Terrible news.

Actually, it is far worse than that.

After all, you were not the only independent abnormality I cut off from my heart this time.

Perhaps I should say that there is another amongst us.

Perhaps I should say that there is another in the clowder.

I cut away the Tiger first before I did so to you.

If you are the incarnation of my stress — then the Inflaming Tiger is the incarnation of my envy.

Just as how I would never have reached the idea of ‘a new type of abnormality’ had I not spoken with the library worker, I would never have reached this keyword had it not been for the talk with Karen-chan and Tsukihi-chan, though now that I have realized what it is I am absolutely convinced it could be nothing else, so familiar is the word to me.

Envy.

Although to be honest, the word ‘envy’ truly was foreign to me until the day before yesterday.

It did not even need cutting away.

I have never been jealous of anybody.

After all, I am someone who can take on any task without any stress, with all my vigor, a sickeningly perfect honor student.

I have never held a grudge against another.

If anything, the feelings I had were closer to dissatisfaction; ‘Why can’t everyone work harder? If only they would make more of an effort.’

This is a feeling that Araragi-kun once scolded me for, something which, now that I thought about it, was very egoistic of me. Unlike me, everybody struggles against stress in their daily lives, and it is exactly because of the way I cheat that I have never been told this before.

‘If you work hard, you can do anything.’

I turned my eyes away even from the feelings of Araragi-kun, who had told me off, someone who achieved all that she had precisely because she never worked hard or made an effort.

That is why the word ‘envy’ is foreign to me.

Well, I cannot say that I have never experienced it, but it is for certain that the accumulated amount of envy I have felt so far in my life is well below the average.

The total amount of envy that was cut away from my heart is known to me.

However, it was three days ago that this amount of envy leapt over its threshold.

I remember now.

It was on the day of the new trimester.

Being woken up by the vacuum cleaner as usual, washing my face, dressing myself, and heading to the dining room for breakfast, I found the one whom I should call my father and the one whom I should call my mother already eating.

I accepted the sight of this as though nothing were wrong, and began making my breakfast. But, just because I cut it away from my memory immediately, just because the memory was overwritten, does not mean that I did not witness it clearly.

The two of them were having the same dishes.

Although we all resided in the same house, we all lived separately, so how was it that one of the two clearly cooked a meal for both, and they ate it together?

Now that I thought about it — yes, of course.

That morning, I had to choose my cookware when making breakfast — that should not have been the case.

After all, I must have been the last one to enter the kitchen, so there should have been no need for me to choose — the other two sets should have already been used.

In other words,

this could only mean that one of them had cooked for the sake of the other — it could only be that they were eating breakfast together.

I became the outcast.

And I felt my own jealousy clearly.

…It probably sounds ridiculous that I should even bother to care about whether or not these abusive parents of mine, who reside in the same house as me but cannot even be called family, have breakfast together.

But there is no logic to this.

That illogicality is the explanation for why I felt such incredible rejection that I would burn down the Hanekawa house and force them to stay at a hotel.

I did not want to be left standing alone in that small room.

I did not mind being ‘three persons’,

but I did not want it to be ‘two people’ and ‘one person’.

Not that I ever thought of becoming ‘three’ — I simply did not want to become ‘two’ and ‘one’.

I did not want to see that, even if I had to sleep in the open.

I wanted to turn my eyes away.

Those feelings of charity I had, that this could be a good chance for them to make small steps towards each other again, were in fact nothing but the complete reverse.

They were not simply twisted.

They were completely, utterly twisted.

They were terrifying, disgusting — and foolish.

That I would not realize my own feelings, cut away what I had realized, and conversely wish for the two of them to reunite — my heart was already not that of a human being.

It should be that of an abnormality, instead.

One’s ‘true voice’, rather than one’s public face, is true because we avert our eyes inwards.

Of course, I was the reason that their relationship became strained, and said reason would be leaving Japan in half a year, so perhaps it would not be strange for changes to occur in the relationship between the two who had been husband and wife in the first place. Or perhaps the trigger, not the abnormality, was set off during Golden Week when they were hospitalized together.

But, in that case, it made no sense to become jealous of the two even though it would require a further reason on my part.

That is why there is no logic in this.

Even though I say that they might as well just separate,

even though I want the extinguished love to be relit,

I did not want to see the two of them getting along,

and no matter what, I was jealous of their reconciliation.

I was jealous, from the bottom of my heart, of their attempt to rebuild their family after such a long time.

I was burning with jealousy.

That was all it took for my envy to cross its threshold, and for the Inflaming Tiger to be born.

Just as how I gave birth to you during Golden Week, I gave birth to the Tiger in the new trimester.

I was able to create a new, original abnormality without requiring a base like the Hindering Cat, which once again proves that you can get good at anything, as long as you repeat it enough times.

As it were, that was where the phrase, ‘no fiercer a tiger than the inflaming of tyranny’ came in, but as Senjougahara-san said, it also felt to me that Gaen-san had led me to this, somewhat.

Additionally, I believe that if I had not met Mayoi-chan that day on the way to school, the Tiger would not have been born.

It is due to my conversation with Mayoi-chan on the way to school that I found out Araragi-kun was currently away, meaning that I knew that he would not be here to deal with the Tiger, unlike your two previous appearances, which was why the it was born.

Araragi-kun acts as something like the brakes to my heart. I had been looking forward to meeting Araragi-kun in the classroom for the new trimester that day, more than I had expected myself to.

It was all simply poor timing.

This was unmistakably the reason for the appearance of the Tiger immediately after parting ways with Mayoi-chan.

In the end, the fault was mine.

The Inflaming Tiger is a spectral transformation born from the brittleness of my own heart.

The flame of jealousy which consumes all.

The reason for the burning of the Hanekawa house was of course jealousy towards my parents, and the reason for the burning of the tutorial school was similarly jealousy.

The jealousy that I felt for Kanbaru-san, for being the only one Araragi-kun had asked for help.

At that time, I was angry at Araragi-kun — or at least, I thought I was, but in truth, I was likely greatly jealous of Kanbaru-san, just as Senjougahara-san was.

That must have been the case.

The envy I discovered for the first time — was an emotion all too fitting for me.

However, this emotion was soon cut away from me and removed to the Tiger. My jealousy already had the perfect outlet of escape prepared beforehand.

Regarding the Tiger, I had expressed earlier that it was an independent abnormality like you, but perhaps it should be described as an autonomous abnormality instead.

Unlike you, who is bound to my body, the Tiger is free to move and act.

As a result,

that memorable tutorial school has been reduced to cinders.

Senjougahara-san’s conjecture, that the buildings I have slept in immediately burn down, was ultimately off the mark, but considering the special trait of the Inflaming Tiger, things might have been much better off if that had been true.

In short, the things I feel jealous for become targets for the Tiger to burn, one after another.

It would be par for the course for Senjougahara-san’s flat or the Araragi house to be burnt down completely at some point. Not because I had slept there, but because I was jealous.

The memory may already be lost to me, but having curiously opportunely been able to observe from the inside the Senjougahara home, with its resolute bond of father and daughter, and the Araragi house, built by a family backed by mutual trust, it would be impossible for one such as myself, having known neither family nor home, to not become jealous.

The way I turned my back on this jealousy, pushed it onto the Tiger, and then held such carefree thoughts as, ‘it makes me feel happy to be treated as one of the family’, made me want to put a curse on myself, but the curse I held was aimed at others.

At this point, the only consolation is that, much like you during Golden Week, the Tiger’s targets for conflagration are limited to buildings and it does not seem to be an abnormality that targets people. It seems that the value of not harming others is one that is clearly established within myself.

Most likely, this is because I knew just how much Araragi-kun had suffered during spring break, torn between the life of one and the rescue of another’s.

No, that was not it.

That was just embellishment.

During Golden Week, I more-or-less did not look to others, to victims, or to my parents at all, but simply turned my back on them and rushed to release my own stress, so their lives were of secondary concern to me (and in fact, I ended up nearly killing Araragi-kun) and I was acting only for myself.

This time is no different.

What I truly envied, felt truly jealous for, was not other people but places.

Places fit to reside in.

That is why my targets have been not so much buildings as they have been houses.

Places where people lived with one another.

It is precisely because I slept in the hallway and had no room for myself that the Hanekawa house, the tutorial school, that these places burnt down.

That is the Tiger I have given birth to.

Wanting to have some place to belong to, I became jealous of those who always possessed one as though it were only natural.

That is why it burnt homes rather than people.

It accepted all my destructive impulses which told me that houses like that should just disappear, and my envy beyond envies — that was how much I had been set ablaze.

That was how fiery my passion became.

Yes, it was irresponsible of me to say that, ‘like others’, I had destructive impulses and thoughts such as, ‘a house like that should just disappear’.

What does it even mean to be ‘like others’?

Just how painful was it to be ‘like others’?

I never even bothered to find out.

I thought that these washed-out destructive impulses, left over from all the cutting away and taking away, were emotions — I was under the impression that I was normal.

I was too protective of myself,

almost as though I was abusing myself.

Yes.

More so than anyone else,

I abused, and killed, myself.

Most of this self-analysis is likely correct, but all the commonalities with Golden Week so far does not mean that there is no concern of someone possibly being hurt.

It just so happened that there were no people inside the Hanekawa house or the tutorial school, and if there had been, they would have been burnt as well.

If, for example, Araragi-kun or Kanbaru-san had been in the building when the Tiger was set in motion.

I shudder at the possibility.

And it is hardly impossible for the same possibility to soon become truth with Senjougahara-san’s flat and Araragi-kun’s home.

The relationship Senjougahara-san had with her father.

The relationship the Araragi sisters had with Araragi-kun.

I could not possibly say that I had never once envied them.

It must have actually been a lie to say that I have never known envy. I felt envy for every single person I was jealous of.

I wanted a father like that.

I wanted to be woken up by sisters like that every morning.

These feelings — became a flame.

…Perhaps it was absolutely correct that I have never ‘stayed over’ at a friend’s house before. Or rather, perhaps I have always subconsciously avoided it.

No, that was not it.

If the Tiger ‘got better’ at this — if it repeatedly performed its conflagration and became proficient at it, then no home in the world would escape its flames, regardless of whether I slept there or not.

Not even the school.

Not even the library.

Not even the park.

Nothing would be left unburnt.

That,

was how much I envied a warm home.

So much so that I wanted to extinguish its warmth with a blaze.

…To be honest, I do not know what values you, as in the abnormality Black Hanekawa, hold.

Although you share my memories and knowledge, and face things that I have turned my back to, you and I are nearly completely different (there would be no point in having a split personality if that were not the case).

As such, it is unclear to me what thoughts you hold regarding this conjecture, regarding the phenomenon of the Inflaming Tiger.

Perhaps you do not see any particular problems with going along with this line of thought. At the very least, that probably is how it would seem from an abnormality’s perspective.

Perhaps you will tell me something like, although arson is a great crime, this type of case is not punishable by law and, as such, I need not worry.

It is just one viewpoint amongst many.

Certainly, I would wish to accept those kind words.

But it is time for me to end that, as well.

What would be a greater nightmare than to be able to sunder my heart at the slightest provocation, endlessly giving birth to successive abnormalities, leaving all responsibilities to others, and letting them meet horrible fates even as I continue to live on, comfortable and carefree, without realizing a single thing?

Just how many human beings have I mangled, how much suffering have I spread since Golden Week, without even knowing it?

It was as though I felt no pain even when my cheeks were being pulled.

Does that not resemble the life I have led?

It isn’t as though I wish to be an exemplar, or a good person. No matter what morals or logics I possess, it is all meaningless if I myself am standing on the backs of others.

I do not wish to live,

while standing on the backs of you, or the Tiger.

Even if this incident with the Tiger were to be resolved, might I not simply give birth to a lion or a leopard next, continuing on and on?

But even if you all were to say to me that you did not mind, for that was what you were all born to do, my heart has already been set.

This heart of mine, sundered so many times that not even its core remains, has been set.

An end must be put to it all.

No, it must all finally begin.

I will turn my eyes forward,

and face not only the Tiger, but you as well.

I will open these shut eyes.

The Sleeping Beauty who has been unconscious for eighteen years must now wake up.

So, please, Black Hanekawa-san.

Come back to me.

Please, come back to my heart.

Come back, together with the Tiger.

I beg of you.

My heart is your home.

I will never leave you by yourself, so please do not leave me by myself.

If Oshino-san is correct, when I reach twenty — or perhaps even before then, you and the Tiger may disappear.

Perhaps, once the girl becomes of age, these adolescent fantasies will ceast to exist and disappear.

Even now, you are likely nothing more than an echo.

In time,

you will likely disappear.

That should be the way things are.

But, please don’t.

Please don’t disappear. Please don’t go away.

Please, come back.

Let’s stop living apart like this.

My heart may be small, but we can live there together, horns locked, as a family would.

I won’t tell you to just go to sleep again.

I swear to you now that I will love you in your entirety: the stress, the envy, the anxiety, the pain, the worst possibilities and the darkest darkness.

It may be a brazen wish,

but brazen shall I be.

…Araragi-kun will probably be disappointed.

After all, the merit that he sees within me, or as Senjougahara-san called it, my ‘white as innocence’ purity, is simply the void left behind by the untamed part of me.

That one point, at least, I will not attempt to hide.

I don’t want him to feel dejected.

In the end, I have never once told him that I love him.

I simply fell in love, and became lovelorn, all by myself.

To be honest, it has always felt strange to me, the way I became so fascinated by him even though I had never spoken to him before spring break, and how, even now, I am still deeply, stubbornly in love with him, but I finally understand it now.

He was such a radiant figure to me, because I knew of no one else who would face his own weaknesses so directly.

He was so dazzling, I would be blinded if I looked straight at him.

I still remember fondly that night when I bad-mouthed Araragi-kun together with Senjougahara-san — although I had thought that she would be the same as me, the insults Senjougahara-san had for Araragi-kun were, in fact, all praising him.

That he was too soft, for example.

Everything she said had been along those lines.

The anger she had for him was in fact the most honest of affections.

The feelings I have for him are the only things I have not cut away.

Even when I became you, I still deeply loved Araragi-kun.

…As he tells me, he saved the dying Shinobu-chan even as he cried in fear of death.

If it had been me, I probably would have saved her with a smile.

Yes, that was it. If there was one moment when I truly fell in love with him, it would be when I saw him fight Shinobu-chan to the death, even as he cried.

Because I have never cried before.

And so, I fell in love with the crybaby Araragi-kun.

Episode-kun said that I had become normal, but if I ever lost any more of myself,

if I ever ended up becoming ‘me’, Araragi-kun would likely cry again.

I truly did not wish for that.

But I will no longer turn my eyes away from things I do not wish for.

I wish to become one with both of you, even as I face the reality that it would disappoint Araragi-kun.

And,

this is so that I can continue to love him, as well.

Black Hanekawa-san.

Now that I think about it, that name is too cold.

‘Me’.

Are you the other me within myself?

That feels off the mark, as well.

I am sure that, to me, you are something like a little sister. I thought so when I saw Karen-chan and Tsukihi-chan.

I am a bad older sister. I am sorry.

I am sorry for making you worry all this time.

This is truly my last wish.

This is the last time I will force you to take the most painful role.

Please, save our other little sister.

She has run away from home, lost in her mesmerizing game of fire, and I really don’t know how to approach her at all, but I will wait for her return, no matter how long it takes.

I will love you both, and love myself.

Sincerely yours,

PS: Please excuse my brevity.

…Well.

I finished reading the letter Mistress wrote just before she went to bed nyah.

You have got to be kidding me nyah.

I’d always thought that Mistress was a clever one, unlike idiots like me nyah — but it looks like she might be just as stupid, if not stupider than me nyah.

I’d thought that she wrote this letter because she’s just smarter while I’m stupid, but I’m starting to doubt even that.

Even if she hadn’t left behind some letter to ask for help from a stray like me, I’ve got no choice, character establishment-wise nyah, but to do as she wishes anyway in order to support her intentions — if she’d just gone to sleep as usual, I would’ve gone out tonight to beat the crap out of that tiger anyway nyah.

Seeing as I share memories with Mistress, I would’ve realized the true nature of that tiger — of the Inflaming Tiger just as she did, without losing anything in the process anyway nyah.

No, Mistress already understood all that nyah — that’s what she wrote nyah.

Does that mean this was something she had to ask for herself despite all of the above nyah?

I guess you could call it being conscientious, but in the end, Mistress will never realize that it’s this sort of thing that makes her beyond ordinary nyah.

That’s the biggest tragedy of all nyah.

“Nyah,”

I left the note on the desk.

I actually have the memory of when Mistress was writing this letter, so there is in fact no reason for me to even read it nyah. So maybe I’m not one to talk about Mistress when I’m the one taking my time reading the whole thing nyah.

In any case, I’ve already got a grasp of the current situation nyah.

The Inflaming Tiger.

And the seat of the disease born by Mistress.

Everything’s been detailed nyah.

That said, it looks like Mistress has still got a few misunderstandings nyah — though I suppose, seeing as she was conjecturing with a lack of data to base her decisions on, these mistakes couldn’t have been avoided nyah.

Plus, both the style and context of the letter are all over the place by Mistress’ standards — it definitely wasn’t something written while she was calm nyah.

It isn’t a situation to be hoping for full marks anyway, so getting an 80 for an A-grade is good enough nyah.

“But I just don’t get this. Nyah, I mean, it’s like I kind of do. But it feels like the question of why Mistress, who felt so jealous for homes and houses that she starting burning up, wouldn’t feel envious about Senjougahara Hitagi and Araragi Koyomi going out, just sort of sticks out nyah.”

The strongest emotion in Mistress is love nyah.

It doesn’t even need explaining, if you just think back to the transformation before the Cultural Festival nyah.

Basically, the bastard’s younger little sister was correct in first linking ‘fire’ to ‘love’.

But in that case, the truth would be that the first thing Mistress ought to have burnt shouldn’t have been the Hanekawa house or the tutorial school, but none other than Senjougahara Hitagi herself nyah —

Did Mistress not think of that nyah?

That can’t be it nyah.

Was this what she meant by turning her eyes away nyah?

But if Mistress is really not turning her eyes away from the truth anyway, but staring right back at it, then she’ll come to that reason eventually nyah.

Though I wonder if she can bear it nyah.

Bear that harsh reality — when she can no longer cut away her own heart.

“Love us both — and love yourself. I don’t think she understands just how difficult that will be nyah. Mistress may be an extreme case, but everyone turns their eyes away from stress or envy to some degree nyah.”

There’s no such thing as a human being who can look straight at the world without turning away nyah. Why does Mistress have to be chained to these shackles all by herself nyah?

Why does she have to be chained to me and the Tiger?

Cutting everything away from yourself,

doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt nyah.

In fact, can you imagine the pain of cutting at your own heart?

“The biggest misconception of all is calling something like me ‘family’ — nyahaha, I’m just the house cat, y’know.”

No, I’m just a stray.

Besides, I was male when I was run over, so it’s weird to call me a little sister — and in the first place, even though my base was the Hindering Cat, seeing as I was created by raw material cut off from Mistress, my gender isn’t just vague, it’s undeniably a grey area between being a sister and being a brother nyah.

What’s the point of asking an abnormality about its gender, anyway?

And calling that gigantic tiger a ‘little sister’, that’s really something nyah. You do realize female beasts tend to be the fiercer ones, right?

It would have been fine if she just asked me to take it down or exterminate it, but it’s ridiculous asking me to drag it back to her heart nyah. So, it’s not even a ‘Dead or Alive’, just plain ‘Captured Alive’, right?

That’s crazy nyah.

I was planning on beating the crap out of it anyway. But now she’s asking for even more nyah.

It’s kind of like what that Aloha specialist said: “Don’t think with violence. Abnormalities and humans have to coexist.” That human bastard said stuff along those lines too nyah.

Even though we are both new types of abnormalities born from the same Mistress, unlike me, it has no abnormality as a base — it has no vessel nyah. In the end, Mistress just doesn’t understand what that means, seeing as she’s not an abnormality herself nyah.

She doesn’t understand just how free it is, to be an abnormality described in no text, found in no record, and unmentioned by the mouth of any human nyah.

Frankly, I don’t even want to imagine nyah.

Simply put — that Tiger has no blind spots, no weak points.

It would be tough just facing off against it, not to mention bringing it back nyah.

I will have to face it directly,

and crush its strengths nyah.

“Haaah.”

I sighed.

Things feel really heavy on my shoulders nyah.

They weigh like a ton of bricks on me nyah.

“Really, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m an abnormality who works only for Mistress, so to be honest, even if her parents’ house gets burnt, or some memorable place gets burnt, or a friend’s place gets burnt, or this house gets burnt, I really don’t care. I mena, I’d probably get a kick out of watching the flames go up.”

Fundamentally, there isn’t much difference between the Tiger, the incarnation of envy, and me, the incarnation of stress nyah.

It even said to me that we are the same kind of abnormality nyah — so if anything, I understand how the Tiger feels.

The other difference between us is that it’s independent from Mistress, whereas I’m stuck nyah.

In truth, I doubt there is any meaning to this.

As Mistress knows well, an abnormality like me will go away someday, no matter what — I’m just an echo that will disappear in time nyah.

Maybe the Tiger is like that too.

Maybe if you leave it alone, she would be able to cut off all the flames of her emotions, and they will all extinguish without a trace — so maybe there is no need for Mistress to burden herself with all this nyah.

This isn’t just something unnecessary.

This might even bring about the opposite effect nyah.

It’s definitely a load on her for me to come out like this, after all — it’s not something to be accepted, but something to be erased.

It ought to be terminated nyah.

It’s not difficult at all, and in fact very simple. As long as Mistress wishes for it, I will disappear nyah.

But that was not the choice Mistress made nyah.

She’s trying to take us back in, after cutting us away.

Strange, isn’t it?

I mean, me and the Tiger,

we’re just a nuisance to Mistress.

That’s why she shouldn’t just stubbornly accept it — if Mistress really is clever, she’d be able to do it —

“That’s why — there’s no meaning to this nyah.”

Senjougahara Hitagi has changed.

That human bastard’s changed too, I suppose.

And Mistress has changed as well.

But just because you changed yourself doesn’t mean you change anything about the world nyah.

Just because she’s changed doesn’t mean she can make the past go away. Just because he’s changed doesn’t mean he can make the past go away.

It cannot be changed, cannot be replaced, cannot be faked.

A man is himself for life nyah.

Mistress might have created us during spring break, when she was wandering the town hoping to meet a vampire, but it didn’t change anything — which is why, the best thing to do is to just let us disappear nyah.

That bastard, and the Aloha, that has to be what they want too.

I’m a burden and a nuisance,

and so is the Tiger.

“But, nyah. I did get asked nyah.”

I wonder what this feeling is nyah?

Whether I’m asked to or not makes no difference in what I am about to do — so why do I feel so eager?

The load on my shoulder should be just weighing me down.

So why does it feel so comfortable?

Why does it make me feel like I can do anything, just knowing that I am no longer aimless — that I have a place, a home to return to?

It’s like I’m actually happy nyah.

It’s like I’m about to cry nyah.

“Still, you won’t see any tears from me — I’m a cat. You won’t see any tears, but you’ll definitely hear me cry nyah.”

Mee-ow.

I purred — and opened the lock to the window.

My coming and going got found out by Mistress because I’d forgotten to lock this window last night (though seeing as there was a lot of other evidence, I guess she would have found out anyway) but I won’t be coming back to this room again as myself anyway, so there’s no need to care about this now nyah.

Apparently, Mistress picked the clothes I am wearing now because they are easy to move in, but to me, it’s easiest to move while I am totally naked nyah. But that wouldn’t be good for Mistress (and I feel bad about going out wearing only her underwear during Golden Week) so I am just going to accept this favor of hers nyah.

But I’m still not wearing anything on my feet, thank you.

Just as I put my feet onto the sash of the window though, I thought of something nyah.

I suppose this is what people call a ‘whim’ nyah.

Just like how Mistress will no longer be herself, I will no longer be myself no matter how this ends nyah.

I’m not just talking about the individual differences between the Black Hanekawas — after this, I won’t ever come out again.

After all the postponing in May and June, the abnormality that I am will finally be resolved nyah.

In that case, I’ll leave behind a few lines too.

Though I guess, in my case, it’s more like a will nyah.

Nyah, never mind.

I’m not going to die or disappear. I’m just going to go back home.

Even though I’m pretty late nyah.

“So, time to serve Mistress one last time nyah.”

I don’t plan on writing anything long nyah.

After quickly scribbling one more line after Mistress’ handwriting with a pencil, I finally leapt out of the completely open window and into the moonlit night.

“I’m off.”

37 comments

  1. SANAGIMAN-RUSH!

    There is no way Black Hanekawa would have been able to read all that… But then again, she probably already knows the contents of the letter.

    Fine work canonwrap!

    p.s. I would also fall in love with crybaby Araragi.

      • Dycrisis

        Isnt onimonogatari about 400 years ago? The story of kissshot? I thought Kabukimonogatari took place at the same time.
        I’m not really sure though, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Triune

      The 25 chapter jump was a result of Black Hanekawa, Hanekawa’s (feline) alter ego taking center stage. The ‘missing chapters’ are, I believe, the subject of Nekomonogatari White’s partner book, aptly named Nekomonogatari Black.

      The chapters aren’t really missing at all, they’re just extended bits of (valuable) material from Black Hanekawa’s point of view! If Canonrap translates Neko Black, then we’ll get to see what we missed.😀

      • nekocha

        you’re wrong, nekomonogatari black is event during golden week. The missing chapters are materials for onimonogatari: shinobu time. It would be great if we can read translation of onimonogatari after this.

      • Triune

        Re: Nekocha

        D’oh, So you’re right. Looks like I jumped the gun a bit at that!
        It would be pretty great to read Onimonogatari after this, to fill in those missing spaces though.

      • Teaz

        wonder why it’s called Shinobu time, whilst its Hachikuji who got the spotlight…

  2. zweihaender

    >Some time ago,
    >“You scary me, you know.”
    >Araragi-kun said that to me.

    Is the ‘you scary me’ deliberate, or should it be ‘you scare me’/’you’re scaring me’?

  3. Naavi

    Thank you very much Canonrap.really appriciate your work.:-).

    wandering the town hoping to meet a
    vampire, but it didn’t “changed” nything .
    it should be”it didn’t change”

  4. naotasati

    is all about feelings, how important Araragi was for her peace of mind… She was dying to see him on the first day of the semester… he was the brakes of her heart.
    Araragi is soo ALPHA, he cant help it, helping a mistress in danger is not an option.
    will the tiger go back to Hanekawa? will both abnormality erase each other?
    Araragi Koyomi!!! Where are you!!!

    Thansk for the translation canonrap, i believe translating from Araragi´s point of view is way better.

    • Teaz

      don’t think so…
      certainly, in his relationship-tier, he’s an alpha, but according to his attitude, it’s almost like he’s a beta

  5. random

    Hanekawa Tsubasa, just *when* did you turn into Kanbaru Suruga? You two should form a club for Girls Whose Incarnate Jealousies Run Around Fucking Shit Up…

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