Paper Cranes in the Rainy Night
Translated by Lickymee
Edited by IcePhantom, Ruzenor, Anivyl
“Three things to note: Keep yourself dry during rain; Keep yourself warm during winter; Maintain proper hygiene.”——First page of the ‘Another World’s Diary’.
Personally, I liked the rain, because it gave me the feeling that romantic encounters were about to happen. Although I knew that it was nothing but a misconception, I still looked forward to a rainy day during summer.
In this world, too, I looked forward to the rain. I always felt wonderful whenever I listen to the sounds of raindrops pitter-pattering on the leaves in the trees.
And, on the twentieth day, the thing I looked forward to the most finally happened.
The afternoon sky was covered with large gunpowder-colored clouds as the wind blew fiercer than usual.
She was the first on to head to the entrance while I quickly put down my book and followed behind her.
“Rain is coming.”
After our short conversation, she became extremely busy. The animal pelts on the floor were hung up by her. When she ran out of places to hang them, the pelts were neatly folded into a pile. If the pelts weren’t sorted out, I wouldn’t have noticed that they were around 40 of them.
Although I didn’t know why she was doing this, I quickly lent her a helping hand.
After the pelts were sorted out, we also arranged to bring the other stuff into the inner cave. I had somehow gotten used to calling the place, where the treasures were kept, as the “inner cave”.
The whole process was quite fast, though I was immediately covered with perspiration.
Next, we put the folded pelts at the highest part of the cave——the place where we slept.
Highest part of the cave……
I suddenly understood something……
The hell! This cave was going to be flooded! It was definitely going to be flooded!
I couldn’t imagine how the cave would look like when it was filled with water. But one thing was for sure, there would be no dinner tonight. Rather than worrying about that, I really wanted to ask her how she persevered through each flooding.
Nothing can stop the inevitable. Even Chairman Mao himself said ‘If it threatens to rain or your mother wishes to remarry, there is no way to stop them¹’, so what can I do?
Rain fell noisily as I, who had been leaning against the wall at the entrance of the cave, got partially soaked. Since I have ran out of cigarettes, and I couldn’t read any books, I casted my gaze at the bored Medusa.
“What’s the matter?”
She arched her tail up and hugged it with her arms, just like how a maiden would hug her knees, giving off a feeling of loneliness and gloom.
“Because water…come in?”
I spread my body wide like the shape of the chinese word for big, ‘大’, in an attempt to block a part of the rain that was getting through. Unfortunately, my arms weren’t wide enough, and, furthermore, the raindrops quickly fogged up my glasses.
I have managed to tease a little smile out of her. I’ve also discovered that the main reason the cave floods wasn’t due to the rain drops flying in. Rather, it’s because the cave floor juts out further than the cave’s ceiling, collecting a large amount of the rainfall from the top of the cave’s entrance. Furthermore, the cave’s floor isn’t completely flat. Instead, it slopes downwards from the entrance into the cave, making it possible for tiny streams of rainfall to sneak into the cave.
If that was the issue, then there’s a quick and easy solution to this. First, I need to make an eave². Although I didn’t know how to make one, it was fine as long as it can prevent water from dripping into the cave.
Next, we need to construct a door sill. The height of the door sill needs to be a little higher than the ground, and the gap between the floor and the door sill could be resolved by padding the gap with the pelts. As for the crafting of the door, that could be left for another time.
As I was being complacent about my ingenuity, the cave’s interior was already wet. I sat on the bed that was made out of two large stones and a stack of animal pelts.
Though, it’s not that I didn’t want to lie down on it, but that she had almost fully occupied the slightly small bed when she laid on it.
I didn’t know how long it rained, but after an hour or so, it stopped. By then, the sky had already turned dark.
Other than the reflections of a few things, the cave was filled with a grayish darkness. After some hesitation, I lit up a candle that I had previously bought from the black merchants.
As I only bought four of those candles, they were quite precious.
The candlelight was very beautiful, especially within the embrace of darkness. It felt like many happy things could be seen from the tongue of the flame with its distinct layers. A major part of the reason of human’s persistence toward flames was probably due to their fear of the darkness.
We were bored, silently watching the candlelight while listening to the sound of the boring rain.
Suddenly, I remembered something and opened the journal I had on me. Tearing off a blank page, I made a small paper crane out of it.
“Un? What’s the matter?”
I showed her the paper crane that was placed on the back of my palms.
“How you do it?”
Making a girl a happy with just a paper crane was certainly a stupid thing to do. After all, where in the world would you find a girl who would be happy over such an easily made paper crane?
But she was different. After all, Medusa wouldn’t have origami making as a hobby.
Seeing her smile, I felt very relieved and comforted. Tearing another paper from the book, I held her hands and guided her, step by step, on how to fold a paper crane properly.
Unknowingly, she had, once again, tunneled into my arms, her smooth and cold skin touching mine in the process. If two people could touch each other like this when they were together, the feelings of anxiousness and worry would surely be chased away.
Following the paper creases, a small paper crane slowly took its shape. Once the wings were done, a look of joy could be seen on the candlelight-lit face of hers.
In her soft hands, the sight of the lone paper crane made me feel uncomfortable. I pointed my fingers at myself,and put the other paper crane in her hands.
“Let’s stay together, just like this.”
If I knew how to say the words above, I would have immediately spouted it all out. Sadly, I didn’t have such a good grasp of the language yet, so I couldn’t say it.
But at that very moment, even if I hadn’t said those words, she must have understood me.
It was her turn to look like she realized something, as she took the journal and pencil from me, and started drawing a mountain on a page. She then drew a circle at the mountainside and put the two paper cranes on it.
“Like this, Un.”
Uh, it means two paper cranes living in a mountain cave……right?
“Ah, it’s raining.”
I sneakily drew some raindrops in the sky.
“Like this is no good.”
Her brows knitted into a frown as the small snakes in her hair pecked my face. Well, I guess it made sense. Paper cranes would be soaking wet and destroyed under the rain……
I drew an eave at the mountain cave, meaning that the rain wouldn’t get us. I then drew a candle in the cave.
“Why not…like this, hehe.”
She took the pencil and drew a big sun in the sky.
Although she was a monster that people took as a symbol of darkness, she was actually looking forward that much to a sunny day, huh. What did this Medusa who was showing such a pure and innocent smile on her face see in someone like me? Are monsters really that naive?
No, she wasn’t naive in the slightest. Judging by her strict and careful actions since the very beginning, it could be said that I simply didn’t have the slightest chance of escaping. Rather than that, I even tried to establish a relationship, based on trust between us, and even did that with her. Or is it because I did that with her, that I felt like I wanted to stay by her side?
Sigh, I don’t understand. It didn’t matter if it was over what lies in a girl’s or a monster’s heart, it would be best not to dwell over it. In this world, if I could see her smile once a day, it would be the best gift god could ever bestow upon me.
As I had such random thoughts. I messed with her hair. When the small snakes were tame, they were actually quite cute. No matter how I teased them, they never even attempted to bite my fingers. My frivolous attitude still can’t be changed, huh……
That’s right. I licked one of the small snakes with my tongue.
She gave a violent shudder and increased the distance between us.
The baffling expression she had on her face made me feel awkward. I coughed drily a few times as I realized I had forgotten myself.
Although she said that, her tail had coiled and forcefully went between my legs, nestling up behind my back.
A dirty thought flashed through my mind, as I’m pretty sure it did in hers as well, but I immediately understood the reason for her doing that——in such a small sleeping space, the tail behind my back could prevent me from rolling onto the wet floor while I slept.
Putting out the candlefire with my fingers, sleep came quickly with the sound of rain.
Probably because she was feeling very at ease, I could feel the two paper cranes she held in her hands amidst the stretch of darkness.
1.‘If it threatens to rain or your mother wishes to remarry, there is no way to stop them’: An old Chinese quote, means an inevitable occurrence.
2.Eaves: The part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building.