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Abstinence

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Abstinence (物忌み, Mono'imi) is an onmyōdō practice that was common during the Heian Period. During this era, when science was the underdog and fantasy reigned supreme, it was believed that illnesses or tribulations were caused due to invisible forces beyond human control or understanding. Dead bodies, falling trees, or foul stenches were thought to be grave omens, the spawning points for curses, or the catalysts for an inescapable tragedy. It was believed that when a person was exposed to such instances, the ill fortune "emitting" from the scene could poison a person's spirit. The "spiritual taint" could severely afflict his or her health or even sabotage the success of their future endeavors.

Onmyōji created a fortunetelling system to "cleanse" such defilements from harming a person. By using their readings of yin-yang and the Five Elements, they would advise a location that was considered pure from the misfortune's influence. The person would then limit their activities and remain within that particular area. People often remained indoors to avoid contact with any "lurking" evil during their cleansing. Additional purifications, such as taking a bath or restricting certain foods, were also suggested to particular individuals. The namesake of the onmyōdō practice is a traditional cleansing ritual for emperors. Emperors restricted their festivities during religious celebrations in order to keep their mind and body pure.

Another term related to this belief is Avoidance (方忌み, Kata'imi). It follows similar principles as the term mentioned above yet specifies that a person is to avoid "crossing" a malevolent region. If an onmyōji's divination for a person reads an unfavorable position in the south, for instance, he/she would be advised to not enter areas south of their home. Meetings with people in the said area would be canceled and scheduled for another day. The person could prepare food or another type of sacrifice to appease the deity presiding in the ill-fated direction with hopes that the nefarious taint would pass.

Role in GamesEdit

Abstinence and Avoidance are featured within early titles in the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de series. The explanations for why they occur in the games are somewhat different than the onmyōdō practice. Instead of the main protagonist experiencing an upsetting event the focus is placed on the unbalance found within the Five Elements. According to the Star Clan's records, the White Dragon Priestess has an uncommon sensitivity to the Five Elements during certain days. This is due to her inseparable bond with her dragon god.

Each natural disturbance is harmless to other people, but it will manifest as a wall of defilements and is an endangerment to the priestess alone. She will be warned of either Abstinence or Avoidance the night before it takes place. Each instance lasts one day and is the in-game's way of interrupting the player's progress.

Avoidance will prevent the player and their party from entering the north, south, west, or east regions of Kyou. Areas that are to be avoided will be tinged violet on the over world map. While they cannot enter the tainted locations, they can still explore other sections of the capital.

The mandatory break from all activities is Abstinence, in which an excessive amount of Five Elements and possible taints appear during the day. As a result, the priestess has to stay inside her room and cannot leave from the mansion. To pass her boredom, she may send a letter of invitation to one of her guardians to keep her company. Should they choose not to, the player can spend the day with the Star Clan princess instead (either Fujihime or Yukarihime). On the Abstinence day, the protagonist can learn other information about their guest or the history of the parallel world. These days can also be used to help remind the player of their main objectives for each chapter.

If the player desires to send a letter for a guardian, they can alter the color of letter and/or include a flower within the letter's folds. They can also light a particular incense to perfume the room for the day. These items can be earned by the player during the mini-game sessions. Flowers change based on the season, so the player might need to perform a second run for other flowers. Each guardian has their own preferences for the three items (color, flower, scent). A boost in the "Thinking" (思う, omou, in a character profile) bond will occur if the player correctly prepares one of their favored items.

During the last Abstinence day, the protagonist falls into a dazed trance as she talks with her dragon god. She will appear lifeless to others in the same room as her, as though she is on the verge of disappearing. If a guardian with high bonds is beside her during this time, he may have a special event and illustration for it.

For the game version of Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Maihitoyo, the Abstinence day is a necessary event for completing a guardian's story path. The player will need to choose a particular guardian's favorite colored paper in advance. Unlike the other titles, each color is conveniently labeled for each character during the selection event. Only one character can be chosen in one playthrough, meaning it will require numerous tries to see all of the endings in the game. The strict indoor regulations for Abstinence are relaxed in this game's story, as the priestess can wander outside with her guardian.

Designated daysEdit

Harukanaru Toki no Naka deEdit

Chapter Protagonist's innate element Date
2 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
March 6th
March 9th
March 9th
March 6th
March 6th
3 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
March 18th
March 18th
March 23rd
March 23rd
March 23rd
4 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
April 5th
March 28th
April 5th
April 5th
March 28th
5 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
April 17th
April 17th
April 10th
April 11th
April 14th
6 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
April 28th
April 29th
April 29th
April 22nd
April 24th
7 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
May 12th (all elements)
8 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
May 24th (all elements)
9 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
June 5th
May 29th
June 1st
June 6th
June 6th

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2Edit

Chapter Protagonist's innate element Date
1 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
September 21st
October 7th
September 27th
October 1st
October 10th
2 Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
October 24th
November 1st
October 21st
October 24th
November 5th
3 (first half) Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
November 19th
November 13th
November 14th
November 19th
November 18th
3 (second half) Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
November 26th
November 24th
November 29th
December 2nd
November 27th
4 (first half) Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
December 13th
December 7th
December 8th
December 13th
December 12th
4 (second half) Wood
Fire
Earth
Metal
Water
December 17th
December 21st
December 23rd
December 23rd
December 21st

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