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Prologue (プロローグ) is the prologue chapter to Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei.

Plot Summary[]

Kazuho Kimiyoshi had fond memories of watching the club playing around in Hinamizawa and Okinomiya as a little girl. Board games, card games, tag; the club was always full of energy, and Kazuho wished to join them one day. Unfortunately, that "nightmare" meant she would be unable to fulfill that wish.

In June 5, 1993, Kazuho visits the former site of Hinamizawa and desperately runs through the bushes. She didn't know if she was escaping the village or running deeper into it, all she wanted to do was get away from "that thing". A monster was chasing her, stomping and roaring. A boar-like demon making metal clanging sounds and far removed from anything that would seem living. Kazuho could sense its killing intent and desperately ran away. As she ran she wondered if this was where she would die, unable to understand how or why. Kazuho cries out as the world turns white.

Ever since the Great Hinamizawa Disaster 10 years ago, Hinamizawa had become a no-entry zone. The volcanic gas that was responsible for the incident had dissipated, and it was decided that the area was no longer dangerous. Some people who investigated the area soon after had mysteriously disappeared or became mentally impaired. Kazuho wanted to explore the place for herself and expected to be stopped by a security guard, however there was nobody there; she had no idea a monster would be there instead.

Kazuho runs some more and trips on a root that was sticking out of the ground. Before she could even express her pain, the monster was already looming over her. Kazuho scurries away as the monster slowly inches towards her. It opens its fanged face, and Kazuho briefly accepts her death before calling out for help, not wanting to die without knowing anything. Someone answers her plea, calling her a child of man and telling her to raise her head. Kazuho opens her eyes to see a girl appearing between her and the monster.

The girl asks Kazuho's name, and she responds by asking who the girl is. The girl insults her and calls her impudent, and before Kazuho can snap back a sharp pain fills her head. The girl asks again who Kazuho is, and she replies that she is Kazuho Kimiyoshi. She says they should run away before noticing that the monster is frozen in time. Amazed, Kazuho looks back at the girl, who introduces herself as Tamurahime no Mikoto. Tamura says that Kazuho must be of the "people of horns", judging by her strong aura. Kazuho is confused as to what she means by "people of horns," and Tamura simply says she is of Hinamizawan blood. Tamura then asks to see her hand and Kazuho holds it out, with fog coalescing into her palm and transforming into a card. Tamura expected this to happen, commenting that a person of horns' power can reawaken broken Fragments. Tamura tells Kazuho to speak to the Fragment and tell it her wish; it will be granted if that is what she truly desires.

Before Kazuho can comprehend what to do, the monster starts moving again, and Kazuho screams. Tamura becomes disappointed that her level of power is only enough to stop time for a while. As Kazuho questions her predicament, Tamura tells her again to speak her wish, what she desires to accomplish. Kazuho still didn't understand what was going on, but she has a wish: she wants to live. Just then, light pours from Kazuho's card and envelops her, changing her outfit into that of a fancy dress. Tamura compliments her for drawing out its power, if haphazardly. Kazuho examines her strange new outfit, comparing it to something out of a picture book. Tamura says her outfit is a weapon created from the Fragment and can now freely use its power.

Kazuho doesn't know why Tamura is speaking so strictly despite her apparent age, but after feeling fatigued from running from the monster she now feels a surge of power. The monster charges, and Kazuho prepares to fight it head on.

The monster is defeated, and Tamura congratulates an exhausted Kazuho. Tamura says that she may rest now and prepares to say something else, however Kazuho's card flies out of her chest and disappears, and her outfit changes back into its normal form. Tamura says the restoration must be difficult, as that Fragment was the strongest shining one she had found. Tamura then says she will give Kazuho a charm that will act as a "vessel" and hands her another card similar to the one she had before. Kazuho is confused as to what to do exactly with this card, and Tamura tells her that as she collects new Fragments, the charm will grow stronger, so it would be best to stay alert for them.

Kazuho still doesn't understand but she puts the card in her pocket, deeply sighing after realizing that she really did fight a monster and was saved. Kazuho asks Tamura what the monster and that transformation was all about, and she replies that there's much she needs to know. Kazuho silently questions Tamura's appearance, saying she looks like a miko from a play and has some weird wings sticking out of her head. Kazuho calls her Tamura-san, and Tamura shows discontent at being referred to with honorifics, insulting Kazuho again as Kazuho feels another sharp pain in her head; she figures that Tamura is causing this. She asks if it would be better to call her Tamurahime-sama and Tamura accepts it, asking that Kazuho remember to pay her respects.

Tamura says she is the ruler of the land of Yamato and is what humans would refer to as a god. Kazuho remembers Hinamizawa's history, that it was once known as Onigafuchi Village and was attacked by man-eating demons from hell. Oyashiro-sama was a god who made peace between the humans and demons and helped them coexist. Kazuho determines that Tamura must be Oyashiro-sama, and Tamura angrily shocks her once more, showing disdain that Kazuho would equate her with the chief of the people of horns. Kazuho apologizes as she wonders why saying the name of a god she knew was so wrong. Tamura says she ruled the land long before the people of horns did, and comparing her to "that fool" is unforgivable. Kazuho keeps this in mind.

Tamura asks Kazuho why she came to Hinamizawa, and she replies that she was contacted by someone from the village despite it being destroyed 10 years ago and wanted to know who or what it was. Tamura tells Kazuho to come with her, having something that could help her.

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