I am a tiger. My name is the Inflaming Tiger.
Although I have some notion of where I was born, the only memory I have is of weeping in that dim, sodden place — I am made up of not only envy, but all dark emotions.
I am a product of the darkness.
A darkness that one would wish to turn one’s eyes away from.
However, what I am or what my name is, where I was born or what I am made up of, it all makes no difference.
The name of the ‘Inflaming Tiger’ instead only troubles me. A tiger dies and leaves its skin, a man dies and leaves his name, or so they say, but being made only of dimness and darkness, and existing as though I was dead to begin with, I plan on leaving behind neither.
I plan on leaving behind not even the trace of ash.
Not a single pillar will be spared by the flames.
Everything will be burnt.
The only thing important to me is this searing sense of obligation that burns up within me.
The Inflaming Tiger pays no heed to the past.
It must be burnt. It must be burnt.
What must be burnt?
Everything must be burnt.
The moment after I came into this world, I saw the mother who had given birth to me.
Or perhaps she should be called my older twin sister.
It would seem the flame residing in my heart comes from her — my strong, firm, fearful, and fragile sister, the one of pure white.
Pure, clean white. Bright white and brazen lies.
My beautiful sister, quite unlike myself.
She truly was beautiful.
To think that I can support such beauty,
such purity — it fills me with pride.
But it makes no difference.
It makes no difference as to how the fire is lit.
It makes no difference as to how the blaze burns.
The only thing within me is a sense of obligation.
If I possess no sense of ‘acting on her behalf’, then what I do will not harm her, unlike what the cat also born of her had said.
I have no establishing characteristics.
You could say I am merely a flame.
A white flame is what I am.
I have been given neither consciousness nor will. It may appear that I am thinking and speaking right now, but it is simply an act, nothing more than a pretense.
I am a natural phenomenon.
I simply burn that which ought to be burnt.
There is nothing in this world which does not burn.
Everything must be burnt.
I feel an envy for everything and anything within myself.
For fathers. For mothers. For friends. For underclassmen.
They should simply disappear.
They should simply leave.
They should suffer. Grieve. Fall into depression.
They should mourn. Sink into the depths. Be overwhelmed.
They should cry.
Cry, as I have cried.
And perhaps those tears can weaken, not the tyranny, but the flames.
Now, let us set something ablaze tonight.
Let us find something to throw into my fire.
Although everything will be burnt one day, there should still be an order to things.
There should be due process.
For now, it will be this building.
As soon as I thought that, no, even before I thought that, I was already there.
I have no will. I have no intent.
That is what I am.
I am that which is here now.
I do not arrive before, nor do I arrive after.
Wherever it may be, I will appear.
Wherever it may be, I will spread my flames.
Looking up at my target with deliberation, I surveyed it.
It seems this will be easier to burn compared to that detached house or larger building.
Well, it makes no difference whether the task is simple or bothersome.
Now that my objective is fixed, hesitation is meaningless.
It is all the same.
I don’t know everything.
But I can burn everything.
Baring my fangs, I open my mouth wide.
And now, the flames.
in that instant, between me and my target — there came a cat.
A young silver-haired cat fell from the sky, as though having sprouted wings upon its back, and cut into my path.