This is the first of the three-part “Iol and Carnelia” narrative featuring MEIKO and KAITO, described as “Carved into the sides of a polished angular rock, a story of light and distortion.”
Buried deep underground, lighting the lights, the remnants of a civilization in iolite eyes
Taking those mechanical hands and rising to the decayed land
The name written on your bracelet, “Iol1”
From whom have you taken that form? You’ve come to me, from those bygone days
The heart and soul teaching us song, giving you a heart, in this world fated to ruin
And my untold song is a painful one to be left behind singing
Using up my life longer than a human, breaking and returning to stone
I will be waiting ahead
You are the one who made me shine
So take the light I leave behind to the next world
The name written on your bracelet, “Iol”
From whom have you taken that form? I’m reunited with you, from those bygone days
Together for a year, and then separated
Repeating and repeating, and created again by you
The maiden with the scarlet eyes was alone for a long, long time – until the day when she came upon a path leading into a cavern, deep underground, and came upon a single mechanical doll in a pitch black box. It was an encounter that one could call the beginning, and yet also the end.
He had violet hair and eyes, and a face just like that of someone she had loved and kept in her heart. The silver bracelets on his wrists even had the same name as him, “Iol”.
He was built so intricately that you wouldn’t have been able to tell that he wasn’t human if you hadn’t known beforehand. Just by touching the box, the frozen time within it began to move again, and as the remnants of a lost civilization started up – she became the first thing he laid his eyes on, he began to mimic her expression, and she smiled.
She gave her name as “Carnelia” to the doll, and together they emerged onto the surface and went on a journey. The civilization around them had once been flourishing with life, but it had fallen apart and become filled with sleeping rubble in a wasteland, much like a scar on the earth. Yet from the scab had finally emerged a little bit of green, spreading over the earth like a blessing, and the remaining people had made settlements there and begun to live out their days quietly.
But they were completely lacking in emotions and were getting by as living shells, existing only to maintain the seeds of life. Carnelia walked from place to place with her amber-colored lyre, playing these people her songs. Each and every one of her songs contained flourishing detail of the events and feelings of the people who had lived in an age so far past that it could no longer be even dreamed of fairy tales.
Her singing and playing caused a light to awaken in in the eyes of her listeners, and the people began to naturally take an interest in the things around them. The civilization that had frozen in time began to develop by performing excavations and research into the mysteries of the “Once World”2 and reproducing those technologies. The population that had kept at a frozen number for all that time began to grow ever so slowly. The songs that she gave them were adopted into festivals sung around a bonfire under the starry sky. They began to mourn the people of ancient times, and prayed that their own lives could continue in good health.
Carnelia herself seemed to have become revitalized by her new companion, and to Iol she seemed to be shining as they went along their journey. She was the one who had caused emotions to bloom within him, and she was the first thing in this world he’d seen that he could call truly beautiful.
Carnelia stopped at a total of twelve villages, singing different songs each time, and Iol, who kept himself close to her, memorized every word of them.
Carnelia knew many, many songs, but there was one certain song that she refused to teach Iol, because it was filled with painful feelings that he would only come to truly understand when she would inevitably leave this world long before he did.
Carnelia told Iol that as time passed, all of those songs would combine to become his “heart”, and that there was no such thing as something that could last forever.
And finally, the stars of the heavens reached a revolution, and when they returned to the same position as they were on the day they met, she told him that she wanted him to carry the light to the next world, because that light would become hope at the end of his journey. And, entrusting her light and her amber-colored lyre to Iol, Carnelia passed from this world.
- It’s more apparent when written in katakana, but Iol is pronounced “ai-ol” (after the iolite gemstone). I would honestly like to do something about the unfortunate fact that in certain fonts, parsing makes it look like a certain Internet-pervasive acronym, but there’s not much I can really do about that.
- The “Once World” is written as コライ（去来）. Normally “korai” would be written 古来, “the ancient times of tradition”, but in this case it’s written with the kanji for “past” and “future” next to each other.