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On the Street Corner of Covent Garden (Prologue)



Tarot reading

It was The Hierophant card that Kumi drew from a pile of tarot cards on the table. The illustration on the card represents bridges between humans and God. The man, wearing a sparkling golden crown and holding a stick, sits in a chair in the temple on the card. 
Alice says cards refer to not only sub-consciousness but also to heart and soul, and bear a hidden meaning of the Universe and the secrets of God with allegorical pictures. Life is a series of monstrous events. Kumi was wondering what it meant in the trials and pain of life that people face. 

Yuji was sitting in a chair and looking around Alice’s shop in Covent Garden sipping a cup of tea. Alice’s shop is a 10 minute walk from Covent Garden station. The Covent Garden market is a shopping centre for young people, and street performers are doing tricks and amusing people on the cobbled street.

Alice runs her shop and deals in a variety of goods such as herbal tea, essential oil for aromatherapy and organic cosmetics. All the walls are white and studded with flowers, pretty and clean, the sun gets in through the window. It looks a warm room beyond Kumi’s expectations because she imagined tarot reading was very mysterious with crystal ball and candle in the dark room. Yuji is her friend that she met during study abroad in London. He lives in the same flat with Alice and introduces her to her as the shop owner. Yuji is a humorous and kind boy. Alice is tall and slender with blond hair, and looks a clever lady. As she is always wearing jeans and shoes, she think it makes a boyish impression on people.

Tarot cards are composed of 22 Major Arcana cards: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement and The World. It seems to her that these mysterious cards such as the stick of The Magician and angels’ trumpet symbolize and prophesies the future. Angels in the Holy Bible are messengers of God, and the stick of The Magician arises about Almighty God and power. Other than these cards, there are 56 Minor Arcana cards of Pentacles, Swords, Cups and Wands. Each pair has King, Queen, Knight and Page. Alice explained to her that prophecy was something that could happen in the future. You could get the result and change your future for the better although it’s insecure.

“Are you worried?” asked Alice.
“It’s nothing but I start thinking of my pathway to the future” said Kumi..
“Oh, right. Concentrate on studying at the moment. This card symbolizes that you should think better of the background of your values.” said Alice. “And then you will have a new friend.”
“Like who?” said Kumi. She was ingrigued.
“I think you and Yuji will be friend with him all together.”

It was at six o’clock in the evening when she left the shop. The sun shone bright on her face although it was already September. The busy street was flooded with people, so she pushed her way among the crowd and caught a train for Kings Cross with Yuji. They had dinner together.



Ancient Onmyoji family

“You said you had thoughts about your future when Alice mentioned it, but what are you going to do from now?” said Yuji.
Pop music blasted from the speakers in the restaurant. Yuji spoke to Kumi with a loud voice.
“Actually, I’ve started thinking of my future and family.” Kumi said with a sigh. “My aunt on my mother’s side serves as a priest. There is a history of ancient Onmyoji in my family since Heian period (AD 794-) in Kyoto, Japan. She wants her son to succeed her, but he doesn’t want to.”
“Ancient Onmyoji family? What a great family!” Yuji drank off his beer in one gulp.
“My second cousin is a University student in Tokyo and wants to work there after graduation, so my aunt is asking me if I want to succeed her in the future.” said Kumi.
“Will you go back to Japan then?”
“Of course not! It’s not my business!”
“Fair enough”
“By the way, Alice is a nice woman. She has been very kind to me since I first met her. Is she older than us? You live in the same flat as her, don’t you?”
“Yes. She is late 20’s I think. We have another flat mate called Jeremy, who is a medical student. I rarely speak to him though because he is very shy.” continued Yuji. “The flat I live has three stories. I live on the second floor which has four rooms, and one of which is a spare room.”
“Have you got used to living in the flat?”
“Yes, but I have a problem.”
“Problem? Oh, yes. You used to say that you saw a ghost in your room! Are you still worried about this?” Kumi suddenly remembered his story.
“Fortunately, I’ve not seen it recently!” Yuji laughed wryly.
“My aunt is a priest, so it’s not a marvel that you met a ghost. But I think it would be scary for me if I actually saw it!”
“Any way, I finished my essay and enjoyed my summer holiday” Yuji breathed a sigh of relief.
“You are studying political philosophy at the University, aren’t you? It must be difficult.”
“Yes. I’m studying about Aristotle now.”
“What did you write about him in your essay?” said Kumi. Then Yuji told her about the contents of his essay:

The Renaissance in medieval times in Europe means regeneration. The ideas of God shifted toward the thought of human’s existing before Christianity spread. New consciousness developed in art, music, literature, philosophy and science, and the relationship between religion and science was eased. Although many people doubt the existence of God, both religion and reason overlap each other when searching for the truth.


Platform 9 3/4

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