The Rock of Curses
|Part of Volume 3|
|Title in Japanese:||呪い石|
|Romaji Translation:||Noroi Ishi|
|Previous:||Chapter 11.5: Yuuko-san of the Toilet|
|Next:||Chapter 13: Shadow Yuuko|
The Rock of Curses (呪い石, Noroi Ishi) is the twelfth chapter of the Tasogare Otome × Amnesia manga series.
Teiichi wakes up from a terrible nightmare, one involving Yuuko's painful experiences as she slowly died beneath the school grounds. He is then startled by Yuuko lying down beside him. Before he could shout out, Yuuko covers his mouth. Teiichi is a bit shocked that Yuuko is still awake, and moreover, watching him sleep.
Yuuko then decides to invite Teiichi outside, despite the fact that it is already past 4 am. Teiichi, unable to reject Yuuko's offer, lets her change into a pair of tights and a woolen cardigan before going out with her.
Outside the Old Night Duty Room, Yuuko asks Teiichi about the Rock of Curses. According to Yuuko, the rock is rumored to curse someone whose name is written on it. Yuuko thinks that if the rock cannot be found then it — and the curse — should not exist, but upon reading the contents of the night duty log, it confirms the rock's existence. The night duty log says that a teacher found the stone and saw his name on the rock, causing the teacher to quit to escape the curse.
Teiichi soon finds that the log mentions the Rock of Curses as one of the Seven Mysteries of Seikyou Academy, and he realizes that Yuuko's eagerness to find it comes from the possibility that it is related to her death. Yuuko soon pulls Teiichi and they run to some place, oblivious to the fact that someone is watching them.
Meanwhile, a sleepless Kirie opens her eyes, annoyed at whatever she suspects Yuuko and Teiichi are doing. She was unable to find Teiichi inside the room, and as she speaks to herself about being unable to win over Teiichi's feelings, she tries to return to sleep.
Yuuko and Teiichi soon arrive at the Old School Building Courtyard, where the rock is supposed to be located according to the night duty log. It did not take long before Yuuko finds it, and Teiichi is shocked to find out that the story is true... and he discovers his name written on the rock.
Teiichi realizes that he had been cursed, and soon Yuuko shows up with a felt-tip pen on her hand.
Yuuko was responsible for having his name on the Rock of Curses.
Of course, Teiichi is angry at Yuuko's prank at him, but soon Yuuko tells him that there's another reason why she took him to where the Rock of Curses is: it is to spend some time with him on a nighttime stroll. According to Yuuko, she has never felt the importance of a single day before, and it was a feeling she was never used to.
Soon, Yuuko goes to check the rock and she feels somewhat alarmed at the sheer number of people cursed by the rock — and the number of people who would curse them. Yuuko believes that curses work in a different way than what people think; to her, curses cause people to develop anxiety and the effectiveness of a curse depends of the person's mentality.
Teiichi decides to take a closer look at the rock itself. He finds a neat row of names on the stone, barely readable due to the names of others scratched into the rock. Yuuko suggests to Teiichi to use his phone's light to shine on the rock, and there, they discover something startling:
Year 27 of the Showa period (1952) — there was an epidemic — many students have perished.
Teiichi realizes that the Rock of Curses is a cenotaph which was made in honor of the students who perished in an epidemic which occurred over 60 years ago. And among those who possibly perished in the epidemic is written in the cenotaph: Yuuko Kanoe.
Yuuko immediately runs away upon the revelation, and Teiichi manages to reach her inside the Old School Building. She is disillusioned by the truth unfolding in front of her, but Teiichi tries to explain everything to her.
The plague and her remains found underground do not fit in with each other. However, it does not disprove the other clues that they found... the Seven Mysteries themselves.
Recalling four of the Seven Mysteries... Yuuko "was buried as a pillar"... the skeleton in the "Old School Building's Big Mirror"... a girl that was cursed and spirited away... and the owner of one of the names carved on the Rock of Curses. To add all the details up, Yuuko was buried 60 years ago as a sacrifice to stop the plague.
To Teiichi's surprise, Yuuko suddenly becomes calm, as if accepting her fate as a sacrifice. She realizes that the reason for her lack of lingering attachments because she volunteered herself to be a sacrifice.
Unknown to Teiichi, Yuuko hates the feeling deep inside.
By order of appearance
- Old Night Duty Room, Old School Building
- Old School Building Courtyard
- A cenotaph is a stone which is erected to commemorate a certain individual or individuals whose remains are located elsewhere.
- "I wanted to show you another side of this school. Wondering when the sun will come up and wondering about fun times like these if the sun would never come up again. It's weird. I never thought of things like this before. Usually, the night seems to pass in a second..." — Yuuko's statement about experiencing the importance of time to a ghost
- "A curse isn't something with substance. I guess you could say that a curse is something like a bad feeling... it would definitely be enough to make someone worry. People don't realize that if they can't decide to believe or not believe, they might subconsciously believe, which is how the curse takes effect." — Yuuko's insight on curses and how they work