The Deer King - Volume 1 Chapter 0
I started reading “The Deer King” after I saw an announcement for the upcoming anime film, which will be out in September of this year, and thought I might as well share it 🙂
The boy came rushing into the room, raising a voice that was tinged with sadness. A man who was at the prime of life put the books he had been leafing through down on a desk, and asked, “What’s wrong?”
The boy’s face distorted, gasping as he said, “It looks like the shining leaves have died.”
The man pushed his chair in and stood up. Then he headed towards the room where the shining leaves were being grown with the boy in tow.
An enormous aquarium was placed in the room where the sunlight brightly entered through the large windows in the courtyard, and green weeds swayed in the clear water. Drifting below the weeds were ashen, discolored things resembling fallen leaves.
The boy looked at the tank, then raised his eyes at the grandfather, lips quivering, “Even though I took care of them properly, and changed the water just as you said……”
The grandfather put a hand on the boy’s shoulder, “It’s not your fault, so please calm yourself.”
“Calm down and take a good look. There, don’t you see something where the weeds are at?”
The boy knitted his brows, pressed his forehead right up against the aquarium, and stared hard at the weeds.
Attached to the weeds were countless tiny beads. The boy’s eyes widened and he looked up at the grandfather.
“Are these eggs, grandfather?”
The grandfather nodded.
“Yes, they’re eggs.”
He spoke while watching over the aquarium, “The “shining leaves” lay eggs, and then die soon after, all at once. There is no exception.”
The hint of gloomy shadows flashed in the boy’s eyes.
Not raising any children, they just die?”
The grandfather nodded.
Once they’re born, these living things survive by their own abilities without any help from their parents, but this isn’t the only thing about them. There is surprisingly much more to them.”
The boy gazed at the aquarium patiently while thinking about something.
“But why did the shining leaves die? Something like suddenly dying after laying eggs is weird. Did the eggs kill them?”
The grandfather’s head shook, “That’s not it.”
Watching those things that resembled foliage waft about without a sound, the grandfather spoke, “Within their bodies are the seeds of disease.”
These shining leaves are living things with the seeds of disease lying dormant in their bodies.”
Put into the hand the grandfather placed on the boy’s skinny shoulder was a dim strength.
“Each of these living things exists concealing the seeds of disease in their bodies. If their bodies can continue to embrace the disease and do not give in, they live. If they give in, they die.”
“It’s the same with everything else,” the grandfather spoke as if sighing.
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