It’s been a while since I posted any translations and that is simply because of my lack of motivation to do any translations. So, here we go with some more chapters!
Chapter 14: The Night Kingdom
From the moment I entered college I was never able to make friends.
I vainly thought the lot around me were “too different” or “were nothing but a bunch of bullies.” I was at a very young and inexperienced age, but I thought that I knew everything. Not only that, but I had stronger prejudices than the other kids.
Still, no matter what excuse you attach to the situation, a lonely person is still lonely.
Having nowhere else to go, I began the spiral down into the Night Kingdom and sought companions to help me not feel so lonely. The China Town district at night was an adventure that always made my heart flutter. Anything I wanted was there and just being there made me feel free. I gave into desire and drifted around the Night Kingdom drinking heavily and absorbed myself in gambling.
Soon, I lost terribly in a Mahjong match using a gang’s money and, as a result, bore a huge dept on my shoulders. It was in this moment that my journey into the Night Kingdom was at its peak and I began working for the gang to pay off my debt.
It was a very terrible and dirty world. People deceived and cheated each other and turned the deceived into their prey. People showed no kindness as they crushed and killed others. Young girls were violently forced into women as they desperately tried to survive. It was a sad world.
Of course, there was also love in this world, but not the type of love that remained until morning. It was love that brought brief comfort to those seeking it. As I saw meet each encounter of this love, I wondered and questions why I was lonely and despaired at my small existence from the bottom of my heart.
Every time I returned home at dawn, my mother was never angry and instead looked at me with sad and lonely eyes. Those eyes were the worst form of punishment. Even with that feeling of guilt, I did nothing to change. I still needed to pay off my debt and I continued to wander in the Night Kingdom. There was nowhere else for me to go. The quantity of alcohol I consumed increased. I tried working as a counterfeiter and any money I earned was quickly lost to gambling.
It is in this way that I grew desperate and wild.
Then, one day I found a one-way ticket to Germany and 60 thousand yen on top of my desk. I was very excited. Germany was a county I had been yearning to visit.
Attached to this was a letter from my mother.
“Go find what you are seeking.”
To me, those words were everything. My reason for entering the Night Kingdom seemed so trivial. Still, that trivial reason had made me, and my mother, suffer so much.
I quickly applied for a passport. Then, wearing the suit my mother bought for me when I first entered college, I began my trip to Europe.
Chapter 15: the Inerasable Past
On day in 1999, I was doing my night patrol in Ikebukuro’s pleasure district when a young girl came flying out of an adult entertainment establishment.
“They are chasing me! They are following me! They are going to kill me! Please, help me!”
The girl who called out to me wore nothing more than her own skin.
I immediately took off my own coat and wrapped it around the girl before calling a taxi. Once inside the taxi, she fell further and further into her own delirium. Her face showed signs of drug abuse and her arms had scaring from injections. Seeing her in this state, I promised myself that I would not allow her to be re-released into the Night Kingdom.
In order to drop her off at her home, we switched from the taxi to my car and drove to Yokohama.
Clearly suffering from a drug overdose, it was very hard for her to think clearly. Despite all this, she still tried her best to tell me her story.
This young girl working as a prostitute was no more than 17-years-old.
She started venturing into the night when she was in Jr. high school and never finished high school. From that time, half of her recreation was doing drugs with her friends. So that they would not be caught, they always did drugs at someone’s home when no one was around.
Half a year earlier, the girl’s mother discovered a pipe in her room for drugs. The mother then took that to the police. When the girl heard this, she ran away from home and joined some friends of hers in a gang. In this act, her fate had been sealed. Now, everyday felt like an ant being chased by an antlion.
On this particular day, she had been suffering from hallucinations induced by drug overdoses and thought that she was dying when she ran out of the shop.
“Do you have any of it with you?”
I held her head. Before I had become a teacher, I was a citizen with good sense. One may hide a drug to not get caught, but one would never simply throw it away. Many of her troubles were removed for a brief period of time, but not permanently. Still, she had no other way to ease her suffering. I stayed with her until morning talking about various things before we went to the police so she could turn herself in.
Her wounds were deep, but someday she needs to learn not to carry those wounds on her back. If she continued to look back, she would never be able to leave the Night Kingdom. Even though she understood this, she could not help but revert back to her own ways.
Still, her surrender to the police was not a useless move.
According to her, there was an instance of the gang’s ruin. Several of the people she was in a gang with had been arrested. The adult entertainment shop she had worked at was also exposed. Furthermore, she entered a rehabilitation center to help her with her addiction and emotions wounds.
Now, she is a normal and healthy woman. She has a boyfriend, found a job, and is living happily.
She will probably invite me to her wedding soon. I will not be attending, however. I do not want her to see me and be forced to remember some of the most painful moments of her life. Not on the happiest day of her life.
Chapter 16: Influence
While I was doing my night patrol in Yokohama’s Moto-cho, I happened upon a girl who had been thrown out of a club.
She was terribly disheveled
An employee had attacked her with dirty words, spit on her, and beat her. You knew at first sight that she was suffering from drug abuse as well. I held on to the abused girl and asked her what we should do next: I could either take her to the police or escort her home. Breathing deeply and speaking reluctantly, she told me her home address.
Her home was a luxurious mansion. We were met by the housekeeper and taken to a magnificent waiting room. Everywhere you looked, it appeared as though the home had been built and decorated for royalty.
According to her parents, her life had been going smoothly until high school. Her studied had been excellent and she had many friends. However, ever since she was a small child she had an extreme fear of dying. Even when she was a high school student, this fear did not subside. She was unable to sleep by herself and every night she would hid herself in her mother’s blankets. She loved to dance and would often spend her weekends at clubs where she danced until dawn.
On this particular day, she had drank juice spiked with ecstasy and suffered from terrible hallucinations that exploited her fear of death.
Her parents had no knowledge about drug dependency and she had decided to never get over her so called addiction. First thing to be done was fix her parents’ lack of knowledge and then have her put in a specialized rehabilitation home. Drug addiction is a serious illness. No matter how much you talk to someone about their addiction, they will never realize that they are trapped.
After she had received the appropriate treatment in the hospital, she had changed beyond all recognition.
Even now she is still on medication to help her recover, but she helps around the house and is painting. Now, she is able to fly solo and has opened her own art gallery. The gallery is located next door to the club where her and I first met.
Her paintings are beautiful. While she still does not like to talk about herself or how she is feeling, her paintings do all that for her. Every time I am shown one, my heart is moved and healed in some way.
Chapter 17: Escape
While still being enrolled in college, I traveled to Europe and found myself in Paris where I met a Japanese woman.
It happened when I was on my way home from drinking with friends in a bar on the outskirts of the city. I was about to take a shortcut through an alley when I saw a women dressed to the 9’s standing there. Apparently, this area was a famous red light district.
She was standing with other prostitutes of various nationalities, but she was the one who looked the most miserable. I wondered what a Japanese woman was doing in a place like this. curious, I approached her while my friends continues on their way home. I invited her to a nearby hotel.
She wore a very vacant expression. No matter how many times I spoke to her, the expression on her face did not change and it was almost as if she could not hear me at all. The moment we entered the hotel room, she began undressing as though she wanted to get something over with quickly.
Sex not being my intention at all, I stopped her and invited her to just sit down and chat.
She had a mysterious look on her face and, perhaps it was because I looked so young, she said “OK” without the slightest bit of caution.
She was originally from Niigata prefecture and was only 26-years-old. She had worked as an office lady in order to save money to pursue her dream of studying in Paris to become a fashion designer. She then fell in love with a man she met in Paris. Up until this point, her story was one that I had heard before. The problem was that her lover was a gigolo for the mafia. Her happy lifestyle soon came to a stop as she began begging him for money and, when she eventually became penniless, she was forced to sell her body.
“Why didn’t you run away?”
When asked this, she shook her head sadly.
“You can’t sun away from this place. This place is in the fists of the mafia and they are always watching.”
I thought about her words for a while before I spoke.
“I am going to help you. I am going to go and talk to the Japanese embassy.”
The next day, just as I had promised her, I went to the Japanese embassy. However, when they heard the graveness of her situation and who she was involved with, it was me who was left confounded. No matter how desperately I begged them, the embassy’s response was “We cannot make an movements from here. We can only protect her if she comes here.”
“What a worthless embassy,” I remember thinking to myself.
Still, my mind did not change. I was going to save her. My feelings ablaze, I came up with a new strategy. I talked the idea over with my friends at the youth hostel I was at and they agreed to go out on a limb for me. Maybe, just maybe, my plan would work.
The following Saturday night, my plan went into action. The plan involved all 150 people staying at the youth hostel. First, two of my friends, who knew Paris like the back of their hand, would get in a car each. One car would be located at the end of the alley where she always stood. The other car was waiting on a road near the embassy.
The remaining members were all pretending to be drinking wine as they walked down the alley. The alley wasn’t very wide, so 150 people walking down it at the same time caused great chaos. Wondering what was going on, people began popping their heads out of windows. Some were watching in silent confusion while others began shouting at us. Still, we all remained calm and continued our march. While all the chaos was happening, I covered the woman in a long coat and hid her among out crowd.
As the group began to approach the alley’s exit, I could not help but feel uneasy about the chance of our success. However, she got into the first car, we shook off out pursuers, changed cars, and arrived at the embassy with no problems. We had accomplished our goal.
That day, we all celebrated our victory at the youth hostel until morning. Of course, I paid for all 150 people’s drinks. Since she was now under the protection of the embassy, I was unable to learn anything about her.
I believe that now she is a mother living a happy life somewhere. It doesn’t matter is she forgets about her encounter with me. All those bad memories of that terrible past should be behind her now.