The Dragon's Song is Ringing in the Sky - Ch 5.1 - The Siphons
Proofreader/English editor @lynn
The Singing Voice of the Dragon Echoes in the Sky, Vol.1
Chapter 5.1 – The Siphons
There was a temple in the back of the castle. In there, was where the Siphons worship the dragon god. A legendary dragon god that was said to be the founder of the Siphons. In the olden days, the prosperous and increasing number of dragons were the most cruel and ferocious creatures in the world. The dragons laid waste not only in the sky but also on the ground. They slaughtered and devoured every creature and laid waste to everything on earth.
The humans used all their strengths to oppose them. They were the only creature who would fight and rebel against the dragons, but they were no match at all. They succumbed to the dragon’s ferocious power and almost perished. Other creatures were also on the verge of extinction. The dragons invoked the wrath of the Gods and were bade to be destined to consume each other and disappear from the world.
The dragons were pushed to self-destruction and decided to give up their lives in remorse from their deeds. Among the dragons, the dragon god who had the strongest power and body, and was the most intelligent went to the Gods to plead for their lives.
There, the dragon god petitioned the Gods.
“The dragons will accept any trial or destiny, anything but extinction. By allowing us to live, the dragons will pay for our sins with our lives.” The Gods listened to the wish of the dragon god and lifted the extinction punishment. Instead, the Gods casted a curse so they could only continue to pay for their heavy sins.
The first curse, The dragon’s body was divided into two. The original appearance and the other human appearance. One life, two bodies. A dragon with a tough body that wasn’t affected by any weapon and the ephemeral body of a human that could easily die. However, because it was one life, if one was to die, the other would also die. A crippling curse was casted so that it would lead to immediate death if the human form life was lost due to an unexpected accident such as injury or illness, even if the dragon’s form survived. Also, the dragon’s body could no longer consume food, only the human body could take in food and only the amount and kind of food that were permissible for a human. The two bodies would have to be maintained by this. It was also prohibited to eat animals. Only plants and fish were allowed. In return, a special plant called Jinshe was bestowed. That plant’s fruit contained a mysterious nutrient that could only be obtained by the dragons to maintain their form. With this, the dragons who were said to be immortal had pre-determined lives
The human body would grow, get older, and would eventually live its natural life span and that life would end together with the dragon’s body. They were called Siphon and were added as a new human race.
The second curse.
The Siphon was cursed to coexist with and to keep the Alphin, the weakest, obedient and gentle race among the human race, protecting them from all enemies. The Alphin’s prosperity was their mission and should the Alphin perish, they were destined to perish as well.
The third curse.
The Siphon was forbidden to hurt or kill people. Should the Siphon directly cause harm to a person by their own hands, the same pain would be returned to them. Should they kill a person, they were also cursed to die too. The same held true for the Siphon with one another as well, and conflicts within the same race was also prohibited. It was supposed to be a curse to incur atonement for hurting and stealing lives to the dragons who wretchedly slaughtered creatures again and again.
The fourth curse.
The biggest curse of all was cast on the dragon himself, who pleaded for the dragons’ life. The dragon god was given the power to command and reign over the dragons. So that the dragons would never slaughter again, to stop cruelty and to keep the Alphin protected. The power to command was given.
The dragon god, like the other dragons, had his body divided in two. The only difference was that the dragon king would need a thing called ‘spirit energy’ to maintain his life. Spirit energy was the energy of a living human’s soul, and if too much were taken, it could kill the other person. Alphin’s ‘spirit energy’ was feeble. Should the dragon god attempt to take ‘spirit energy’ from the Alphin, it could weaken and kill hundreds of Alphins and that would violate the second curse ‘Protect the Alphins and make them prosperous’. ‘Spirit energy’ could only be obtained from humans and could not be taken from fellow Siphons.
So the dragon king had to look for humans who possess a lot of ‘spirit energy’.
He sought people other than Alphins too who lived in this world, but no matter how hard he looked, he couldn’t find anyone with a strong and large ‘soul’ who could satisfy him.
The fifth curse.
The dragon god was promised the power to govern all dragons until the last generation of his bloodline. However, the child who would inherit the bloodline of the dragon god could only be made possible with a human, not with fellow dragons. Moreover, the dragons were cursed to self-destruct when the dragon god had no more descendants.
The dragon god consorted with women humans while searching for a human with ‘spirit energy’ but the human women could only bore human children and couldn’t raise the shell of what should be dragon king’s egg. He also tried it with human males but because they don’t have enough ‘spirit energy’ to grow a shell, they weren’t able to conceive an egg. The curse that was casted on the dragons was too difficult, it was almost as if saying ‘to go extinct’. Knowing the weight of the sin they were supposed to redeem the dragon king was in despair. One of the Gods who was most benevolent took pity on the dragon god, who was the only one who righteously tried to hold on to reason and gave him one chance.
“I will give you the power to travel to another world.”
“In another world different from this one, exists a country called ‘Yamato’¹ The people there have a great deal of ‘spirit’. If you can bring back the people of that country, you can save your life… However, you will only have one chance. You may go to the other world and search for someone to your heart’s content but you will only be able to bring back one person. Just one person. You are smart. You understand what it means, right?”
The dragon god thought deeply.
“If it’s just once… even if I was able to take back that person, it would only be nourishment to prolong my life… What about my descendants?”
The God nodded at the dragon god’s words.
“Make a contract with the Yamato.”
“If the Yamato exchanged a contract with you and promised to come to this world on their own, In the future they will come for your descendants.”
The God said this and gave the dragon god a ring.
“The person who wears this ring will be marked to belong to the dragon king. That is an existence that shouldn’t be in another world so they will be forcefully brought back to this world. In short, If a Yamato wears this ring, he will be sent to this world. To give you ‘spirit energy’…. Think carefully… If the contract with the Yamato fails, there will be no one left to give you ‘spirit energy’. For the Yamato, leaving home to come to another world will not be easy. If you cannot convince the Yamato people to come to this world on his own free will, if you only try to forcibly take them back, then you probably won’t be able to obtain ‘spirit energy’.”
The dragon god went to another world using the power of the God. There, he very carefully observed the country of Yamato and ascertained the people of Yamato. They were a people with small physiques but with overflowing vitality. They worked hard, swore allegiance to their liege and fought with their lives. On the other hand, the disparity in status was severe. In a small village in the depths of the mountain, the dragon god witnessed the sight of people praying to God while starving. At that time, the country of Yamato was in the Sengoku² period and battles were happening everywhere. After the battles passed, villages were plundered, the fields laid to waste, the able bodied men were put to battle and the small villages lost the food they needed to survivelive for tomorrow. That village was faced with the same plight of starvation. And the pious villagers were trying to pray with tribute to the God they believed in. In that village, the dragon god felt someone who held a very strong ‘spirit energy’.
When the dragon god appeared in front of the village head, he really believed that God had appeared. The dragon god gave them a promise of prosperity in return for a tribute. The village head acknowledged it and offered the most beautiful woman in the village, the village head’s daughter. However, the dragon god noticed that the older brother who was with the daughter had a stronger ‘spirit energy’. The dragon god ordered the older brother to be the tribute. The older brother who was offered as a tribute had the same beautiful appearance as the daughter so the dragon god was very satisfied. The dragon god with his promise of prosperity to the village head and others, pierced his own right eye and gave it together with his golden scale. The golden scale and right eye transformed into a silver mirror and a ring. The village head accepted the mirror and the ring, and signed a contract with the dragon king.
Village head – The Moriya family was promised eternal prosperity, and he promised that if a fine boy like his son who was offered as tribute was born with the mark of the dragon god, he shall be named ‘Ryuusei’ and be given the ring on his 18th year and be offered as tribute.
The dragon god’s mirror and ring were dedicated to the house shrine as a Moriya family’s sign of protection and the promise was kept and passed on for generations.
²Warring states period.