xxxHolic Rei Ch. 41 Translation
Disclaimer as always: my Japanese is busted and whack, so if you see any mistakes please tell me! The guest in this chapter is a throwback to xxxHolic Chapter 197 and the following chapters. I also note this during the translation, but it helps to go back and reread. You can find the chapter raws here - as always, thanks to person who worked hard to scan them!
Splash text: (The one) who has come to the ‘shop,’ the man with a completely changed expression. He continues to support the shopkeeper from the shadows, for the purpose of what’s to come…
Vertical text: Although he’s become the shopkeeper, although he’s gone back to the 'former time,’ the pleasant unchanging everyday days of Watanuki and the other shop inhabitants. Only, what’s changed is the cleaning methods?!
Watanuki: That… by jumping around like that, isn’t the dust just flying around everywhere?
Mokona: How rude! It’s a proven method of cleaning with a long history!
Watanuki: Rather than a proven method, how about efficiency? Look at Maru and Moro.
Maru: Maru’s way is faaaaaster!
Moro: Moro’s way is faaaaaster!
Mokona: Kuikkuru – what the heck! What about a house cloth! What about a beautiful and refined way of cleaning!
(Note: This seems to be a joke about the product they’re using, which is called a Kuikkuru Waipa… a 'Quick Wiper.’ Hahaha. Apparently. I think Mokona means that Maru and Moro’s way of cleaning is… cheating. :P)
Watanuki: Rather than all that, efficiency. Something useful like this is good to use.
Mokona: Gunununu (frustrated)! But our culture!
Mokona: (small, in top corner) Oh! I’ll take it! But it’s frustrating!
Watanuki: (notices something from the storeroom)
(The sound effect is 'splash.’)
Watanuki: …it really is moving, huh.
Watanuki: The noise just now… could it be water inside?
Watanuki: Even though I don’t know what it is yet, if it’s something that’s meant to 'come at the defined time, to the defined place'… then I should too attempt to 'go to the defined place’ (with this).
Watanuki: So until that time, please rest inside this shop.
Watanuki: …it acknowledged me, so I wonder if that’s okay.
(we see Fai’s former tattoo and Celesian staff, along with the shop’s copy of Ginryuu)
Watanuki: …I hope they aren’t doing anything rash.
Maru and Moro: A visitor’s come!
Guest: Good afternoon.
Watanuki: You are…
(Note: The same girl from xxxHolic Chapter 197.)
Guest: You called me the Yaobikuni.
(Note: This is a term out of mythology. Basically, a long-living Buddhist nun that appears to be a beautiful teenager. The myth in Holic seems to be more specifically referring to a woman who ate mermaid meat to live forever and never age. In Ch. 197, the Jorougumo wanted a crimson pearl from this girl made from her tears.)
Watanuki: The Jorougumo is the same as usual, then?
(Note: Our favorite spider lady who ate Watanuki’s eye. And kissed him. Y'know.)
Yaobikuni: Yes, she hasn’t changed.
Watanuki: It’s the shamisen I lent her. I’m accepting its return. But, why did the Jorougumo suddenly want to play a shamisen?
Yaobikuni: It’s always on a whim.
Watanuki: Did it sound right? It seems it’s quite difficult.
Yaobikuni: At first, not at all.
Guest: The Jorougumo said, 'I want to talk.’ After that child went somewhere and came back, to be able to play something for him…
(Note: Would welcome clarification on this line.)
Watanuki: This is quite a good thing I’ve received.
Watanuki: This has been replaced by a better bridge (of the instrument) since the time it left my shop.
Watanuki: The Jorougumo was surely won over by this.
Vertical text: The Jorougumo that skillfully used the woman’s heart that wants to create beautiful sound. The girl that came along to the shop with the shamisen that was a request to the man (person) once formerly loved.
(Note: I can’t manage to translate any of that right. Any ideas, guys? Original line: 三味線はかつて恋した男(ヒト）を求め「みせ」にやってきた女性だった。)
(Note: According to Wiki, “The Edo period legend has it that a beautiful woman would entice a man into a quiet shack and begin to play a Biwa, a type of Japanese lute. While the victim would be distracted by the sound of the instrument, she binds her victim in spider silk threads in order to devour the unsuspecting person as her next meal.” So… have fun with that, Watanuki.)