The Lying Counselor’s Eloquent Reasoning - Chapter 57
“Are eye issues certainly beyond your area of expertise?”
“I wonder. There are many kinds of eye issues. I may be able to contribute to you in some way. Would you mind elaborating?”
“A-Actually… I have an evil spirit of a black cat haunting my left eye!”
The man shouted boldly, but Uroma responded, “Oh, I see. Evil spirit, is it?” with a weak reaction. The man seemed to be slightly taken aback.
“So, what will specifically happen? Does the spirit of the black cat rise up to your bedside night after night? No, it’s a cat, so it won’t be standing up… Or is it like catloaf?”
“No, nothing of the sort. I mean, do spirits even exist?”
“If you consider it a spirit, then yes. In this space, that’s basically the rule.”
“Uh, ah, yes…”
“Please continue your story. What exactly does the black cat spirit that’s haunting you do?”
There, the man removed the gauze eye patch from his face. His left eye was exposed. Its eyelid was secured shut with a skin-colored tape. It was as if it was a seal.
“Whenever I open my left eye, the shadow of a black cat enters my vision. Everywhere, all the time. That’s why I can’t open my left eye.”
“I see, that’s why you wear an eye patch.”
Liberally, Uroma clapped his hands in agreement.
“But with that symptom, it’s just like myodesopsia. It’s probably nothing more than a small shadow in your vision that gives you the perception of a cat.”
“No, it’s not! It’s true that my left eye used to be affected by myodesopsia! But the shadow never appeared to be a cat. Until just the other day.”
“So you’re saying that just the other day, your vision abruptly shifted? The shadows that swam in your field of vision due to myodesopsia assumed the form of a black cat?”
“Yeah. That’s why I’m in trouble since I can’t open my left eye…”
He further shared that he had had his eyes checked at various hospitals before arriving here, and they found no abnormalities other than a mild case of myodesopsia. The only abnormality in his left eye was the shadow of a black cat, and his vision, eyesight, and color vision were fine. Of course, he had his brain examined as well, but no abnormalities were identified.
“After the hospital visit, I went to a shrine to have an exorcism performed. Even so, the evil spirit of the black cat in my left eye wouldn’t go away…”
“By the way, why is it an evil spirit?”
“Even if it was a spirit, it would only play a little trick on your vision. I wouldn’t even necessarily label it as an evil spirit. Rather, it may be a guardian spirit that resides in your left eye.”
“No, it’s an evil spirit! That thing must have a grudge against me!”
“That thing? A grudge?”
“Yes, I accidentally struck… a black cat with my car exactly one month ago that night.”
The man drew a heavy breath there. It seemed like an experience he didn’t want to relive.
“I was working until very late that day, and it was after dark when I drove home. From my office to my house, I had to cross a mountain. That day, I was driving along the mountain road at night as usual. Just as I was approaching a curve, a black shadow unexpectedly leaped out of the bushes on the side of the road, and when I came to my senses――”
“So you struck it?”
“Yes. The next thing I know, there is a powerful dong… Right before I hit it, the black cat briefly looked back at me, and I could see the glint in its eyes.”
“Hah. Then, if I may ask, did the shadow of the black cat reside in your left eye immediately after that?”
“Yes. I can only describe it as the evil spirit of a black cat.”
The man nodded, wondering what could be done. He seemed to be in a deep state of distress.
“I see. From what you’ve told me, I can only assume that you’re being haunted by the spirit of the black cat you ran over and killed. It’s like the ‘Black Cat’ from Poe.”
“Poe? Is he a writer or something?”
“Yes. Edgar Allan Poe.”
“Ah, I know him. He wrote The Fiend with Twenty Faces, right?”
“No, that’s the author who was the source of Edogawa’s pen name. The ‘Black Cat’ is one of his works. The main character is a man who falls ill in his life of drinking and one day kills his pet black cat named Pluto. Eventually, he changes his mindset and acquires a new black cat, but gradually he begins to be afraid of it because he recognizes the face of Pluto, the cat he once killed in that cat.”
“Oh, so it’s a phantom of the dead black cat. Well, a black cat is a symbol of bad luck.”
“Have you ever heard or seen this story before?”
“No, this is the first time I’ve heard it.”
“So it’s not as if you’re unconsciously recreating the illusion of a black cat, inspired by Poe’s work.”
“Unconsciously, you mean… So you think that this anomaly in my eyes is psychological?”
“Well, yes. It is my job to question everything in that way.”
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