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The True Zodiac LegendEdit

Once upon a time in a particular place...
there lived a person.
The person was alone.
For a long, long time.
After leaving the mountains...
this person learned that many, many people lived below it.
But the person was still alone.
Even with a thousand powers and a thousand lives...
... and a thousand memories.
The person learned that such things were different from what most other people had.
And thus...
...he developed a fear of people.
Despite having many powers...
... the person was afraid...
... of being different from others.
One day...
... a cat came to visit.
The person was bewildered by the sudden visitor.
The cat bowed his head reverently.
"I have humbly watched you for a long time", he said.
"You are a very mysterious person".
"I cannot stop being attracted to you".
"I am merely a stray cat...
... but please let me be by your side".
"Please, Lord God".
From that time on...
... the cat kept his promise.
He never left God's side.
Not even for a moment.
And that made God very, very happy.
Suddenly, God had an idea.
"I see. Maybe I can get along with others...
... as long as those others aren't people".
"If they know the same feelings I do...
... maybe I can have a pleasant banquet with them".
God...
... wrote many invitations.
And sent out many, many invitations.
As a result...
... twelve animals came to see God.
God was thus surrounded by thirteen animals in all.
They all held a banquet every night the moon sparkled.
They sang, and danced...
... and laughed together.
And God, too, laughed out loud for the first time.
The moon quietly watched over...
... the inhuman banquet.
But one night...
... the cat collapsed.
His life had run out.
Nothing could be done.
They all cried.
It made them realize...
... that someday, everyone would die.
The banquets would come to an end.
No matter how much they enjoyed them.
No matter how dazzling and precious they were.
Someday they would...
God recited...
... a single chant.
And drew a circle on a sake cup.
God made the cat drink.
And then spoke to everyone.
"Our bond", God said.
"I will now make it eternal".
"Even if I or all of you die and rot away...
... we will be tied together by an eternal bond".
"However many times we die".
"However many times we are reborn"
"Just as before".
"We will have...
... our countless banquets".
"We will all be friends".
"Until the end of time".
"We will be permanent".
Everyone nodded empathetically.
The rat was the first to drink.
Next, the ox.
Next, the tiger.
Next, the rabbit.
All in order...
... they shared the drink of their vow.
When finally the boar drank...
... the cat started to cry, his breath faint.
"My lord God".
"My lord God...
... why did you make me drink?"
"My lord...
... I don't want eternity".
"I don't need permanence".
Those words...
... were unexpected.
To God and the others...
... they were words of rejection.
It devastated them.
They scolded and admonished the cat.
Even so, the cat spoke.
"My lord God, my lord God. I know it's frightening...
... but let us accept that things end".
"I know it's sad...
... but let us accept that lives depart".
"My lord God, I know it was for only a short time".
"But I was happy to be with you".
"If one more time...
... we both die and are reborn...
... and if we meet again...
... I don't want to only see you in the moonlight".
"I want to see you smiling under the light of the sun as well".
"Next time, I don't want to meet you with only those of us here".
"I want to meet you while you're smiling...
... within a ring of people".
The cat twitched his tail one last time and died.
But no one cared about the cat anymore.
They were filled with the sense that the cat had betrayed them.
Some time after that, one after another...
... the others died.
Finally, after the dragon died...
... God was left all alone again.
And then another day came.
A day when even God died.
But God wasn't afraid.
Because God was supported by the promise made with the others.
"Again".
"We'll hold our banquets".
"Once again...
... and as many times as we want".
"For as long as we wish".
"Without changing".
"I may be sad and alone now...
... but everyone is waiting on the other side of our promise".
Now it's a tale...
... from long ago.
Everyone has forgotten...
... their first memories.
Their first promise.
That first...
... promise.
At what point...
... did it become a curse?
When did it change...
... into a burden?
Those days that were so happy.
The days that were so hard to part with.
There was...
... supposed to be love there.
Time passed.
People changed.
And it became nothing but pain.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
But...
... to all of you...
... who continued to shoulder that exhausted promise...
The promise that lost its original form.
The most important thing I want to tell you...
... is thank you.
Thank you.
A story of long ago.
The first memories that everyone forgot.
It wasn't until much...
... much...
... much later...
... that the cat's wish was finally granted.

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