Utsukushihime (うつくし姫 The Beautiful Princess) is a short story from the Monogatari series written by Nisio Isin and included in the <Monogatari> Series Heroine Book No. 3 Oshino Shinobu
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This is Kiss-Shot’s origin story and so spoilers for Shinobu and Kiss-Shot!
The Beautiful Princess
Text : Nisio Isin
The story that is going to be told now is based on real events that happened about 800 years ago.
But, I want you to listen to it as though it is a made-up story.
Because, it is too old an story for the truth of it to be verified; as far as morals go, this story says there is no saving grace – so it is better if such a story is believed to be a lie.
About 800 years ago, in a country which no longer exists in the present time, there lived a very beautiful young girl.
She was the only daughter of an influential noble family. If we are to talk about her beauty there was no one in the country who did not know of it. More than that her portrait was hung in every house.
The silky golden blonde hair, the big eyes in a small head, the red lips, the thin neck, the almost translucent skin, the fingers like a pure-white fish, the small, high hips and slender legs that seemed to flow from those hips.
Men and women of all ages, irrespective of their status were charmed by her.
For just her beauty she received a title from the Imperial Emperor and was called as “princess beauty” by everyone in the country and was loved by all.
Wanting to see the girl from the rumours for themselves, people from all over the country formed long lines in front of the castle where she lived.
And to the beauty of the “princess beauty” which always exceeded their expectations greatly, they gave many gifts.
Day after day, the mountain of presents in front of the castle kept growing.
“I’ve composed a song about the princess’ beauty. Please let me offer it.”
said the musician and began to play his violin.
“I’ve written a poem about the princess’ beauty. Please let me offer it.”
said the poet and began to loudly recite his poem.
“I’ve created a sculpture of the princess’ beauty. Please let me offer it.”
said the artist and finished carving his white sculpture.
But, none of these presents made the princess smile.
The princess was gazing very sadly at the mountain of presents, but the anguished expression on her face was so beautiful that no one noticed that she was not smiling.
“Nobody sees me.”
The princess was crying by herself in her room.
“Though they keep on praising my beauty, they don’t say anything else. These people do not know what sort of a person I am. They don’t know who I am inside.”
This was the “princess beauty” ‘s grief.
Of course, everyone is charmed by her beauty.
And they praise her.
They look at her with the most importance.
But all they do is look only at her beauty. They do not look at what she is doing, or what she is saying or at any of her actions.
Nobody knows who the princess really is inside.
Nobody even tries to know.
No matter what she does, no matter what she says, the only word she gets is “beautiful”.
Whether she succeeds or fails, whether she does good things or bad things, the evaluation she receives is always the same.
Everything is beautiful.
Whether she sleeps or wakes up, it is beautiful.
The phrase “princess beauty” was well used.
Such a beauty, isn’t it more like magic?
“It is like it doesn’t matter whether I have a will or not. Am I not like a slave to those who look at me? This beauty that I have is something that I got by chance of my birth. Such a thing is only a hindrance. I wish for people to see not only my outer appearance but who I am inside.”
A old magician (witch) who had resided in the country since olden times was moved not by the beauty but by the strong will in her heart.
Though the old witch sneaked into the castle at night because of her curiosity about the rumours she had heard, she was able to grant the princess’ wish.
“Princess Beauty. I will turn your beautiful looks transparent so that no one can see it. In exchange, I will make your heart visible to everyone around you. From now on everyone will talk about who you are inside only.”
When the old witch chanted a spell and waved her wand, the princess’ translucent skin became fully transparent.
“Thank you very much. Thank you very much.”
The “princess beauty” thanked her from the bottom of her heart.
That heart was endlessly and completely visible.
The princess’ outer appearance which was removed, was in no comparison to the white brilliance of the princess’ heart.
The true nature of the princess which had been covered by her outer beauty till now was now visible due to the old witch’s magic; and that shine from the castle reached every corner of the country.
The princess’ father was ashamed that he had not seen his daughter’s heart till now. After exchanging the morning’s wishes he jumped off the balcony and took his life.
The princess’ mother was very proud that she had given birth to a daughter with such a splendid heart. She felt that all her duties in this life were over with giving birth to her daughter and so after breakfast she died peacefully.
The musician felt that the kindness of the “princess beauty” cannot be made into a song. So, as a gift that would match it, he offered the princess his most important possession, that which was more important to him than his life and cut of both his hands at the wrists which he needed to play his musical instruments.
The poet felt that the cleverness of the “princess beauty” cannot be made into a poem. So, as a gift that would match it, he offered the princess his most important possession, that which was more important to him than his life and cut out his tongue which he needed to read out his poems.
The artist felt that the bravery of the “princess beauty” cannot be expressed in a sculpture. So, as a gift that would match it, he offered the princess his most important possession, that which was more important to him than his life and carved out both his eyes which he needed to look at the materials for his sculpture.
Everyone in the country threw away the portraits of the princess which had been so precious to them till now into the fire.
They wondered why they were taking care of such a boring thing so carefully.
The said, instead of that let us look upon the nobility of the “princess beauty”
Let us look upon the honesty of the “princess beauty”
To think that such a worthy heart existed in this world.
Isn’t that what is known as true beauty?
But it is not as though everyone has something that is more important to them than their own lives.
And so though they felt that their lives would not a gift that would be suitable enough for her, they reluctantly and unwillingly gave up their lives for the princess.
This own lives, the lives of their parents, siblings, the lives of their children, the lives of their grandchildren. They offered it all.
Instead of a mountain of presents a mountain of dead bodies was building up outside the castle. It didn’t take very long for it to become taller than the castle itself.
“aa!! What a tragedy? To think something like this would happen!”
Despairing over the mountain of dead bodies and the river of blood that was offered to her so naturally, the princess decided to get the magic spell undone and called on the old witch.
But, it was already too late. The old witch who saw the princess’ inner nature before anyone else had given the princess what was more important to her than her life and had cut off her head that was full of all her knowledge.
The princess cried and broke down in front of the freshly severed head of the old witch.
The figure that invites such sadness, the tears that were being shed for the people of the land, all of it made the country’s citizen more and more charmed.
They started competing to be the first to give up their lives or in some cases the things that were more important to them than their lives and offered it all to the princess.
In order to comfort the princess, they threw away their bodies one after the other.
They were very happy because they felt that without being deceived by the outer appearance they were able to see her true heart and they were able to die for that heart.
Of course the mountain of dead bodies that was growing and a castle full of dead bodies got a bad name that was being whispered in the imperial capital and even in neighbouring countries. But even the army which came here soon felt the influence of the “princess beauty” and threw away their prejudices and narrow views; their hearts were cleansed and happily and of their own choice, they became a part of the castle of dead bodies.
“It is enough. Everyone will die. Everyone will die for me. But I cannot save anyone.
The more I try to do something or say something, the more people die. I too want to die now.”
But she was not able to die.
The strength of her heart would not let her kill herself.
It would not let her lose her mind either.
“If that is the case, go on a journey.”
The freshly severed hear od the old witch said so.
The tears that the princess shed had created a miracle.
Just for an instant, the old witch came back to life.
“It might be possible someday to save all those who have died for your heart that has gone beyond all magic.
Till that time comes, stay away from people.
Don’t get close to anyone and live alone.
You should never stop in one particular place.
If you do, soon everyone will start coming to you and offering up their lives.”
Saying so, the old witch died again.
And so leaving behind the castle that was stained red by blood, the castle that had become a mountain of dead bodies, the “princess beauty” set out on an endless journey, following the curse-like warning of the old witch and to prevent any further deaths
She cannot walk on the same path with anyone, she has to run away by herself.
Though she became a vampire a little after this, the princess’ – Kiss Shot Acerola Orion Heart Under Blade’s blood-covered legend truly began from here.
Whether she was able to save any of the lives that were offered to her is the story of the next 800 years.
(The Beautiful Princess — The End)
Other Short-Stories: Here
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