Volume 1 Chapter 6
My way of ending war
When I went back to the village I immediately spoke to the patriarch and decided to be hired.
It’s not that I thought about it as an atonement, but I wanted to do something in order to reduce the number of victims. Omar also came with me.
I’ve tried to talk it over with him, saying that when I take this job he probably won’t have to fight, but he refused with a smile.
“Arata, you haven’t used a real gun yet, have you? Commander should be on the field.”
I couldn’t argue with that. I was deeply thankful to him and wanted to tell him the truth someday.
I immediately begin organizing an unit. I’m going to rebuild tactical unit S from half of the team C members. Gather child soldiers, who since the attack on the village left their professional duty and came back to this village, and form a unit which will correspond to approximately 2 tactical units S.
I will make those children useful, so that they wouldn’t be abandoned or sold, including Djibril. I thought that as long as they are helpful for village defense, I wouldn’t have to use them in an emergency. For the village they are like garbage for utilization so it should be easily settled.
When I told Omar about it, he looked grateful and said that if that is the case, then our fight indeed has a meaning.
Permission was granted instantly. Djibril’s father supported it.
In the evening after arrangements, where I thanked for the permission to compose an unit, Djibril’s father saw me off to the entryway.
“I wasn’t thinking that you will use Djibril not as a wife, but as a soldier.”
“It just ended that way”
I didn’t know what he was thinking, when he patted me on the shoulder broadly grinning after I said it.
“Well, a hero’s wife must be a hero too.”
I’ve just smiled without saying anything. I thought that I will just let him speak.
After that I run to Omar. Now we’re living together.
“Omar, we have permission.”
He patted me on the shoulder broadly grinning. It seems that was an universal gesture.
“When I heard the plan it seemed like a good idea, but I wondered if it will go well with getting permission. Yet you got it. You’re really great.”
I smile bitterly. Sometimes Omar is praising me too much.
“It’s easy. They are overrating my skills. More precisely, they think my commanding skills are high.”
“I think your skills are in fact high, but what about it?”
“Of course it’s best to give me command, but there will be people who won’t be happy with taking instructions from a foreigner.”
Omar was thinking for a while and then nodded. I also nodded and say:
“That’s why they agreed to make another unit under my command.”
“This is magic. Arata, you would sell a piano to a handless tribe.”
“I admit I’m a bad guy.”
“That was an old Chinese saying.”
We laughed together without making any sound.
Anyway, for now I prevented the scattering of kids. This is the first step. For the next I must keep away those kids from dying in a firefight.
I will crawl up step by step and achieve a good ending.
Bullets and life
From the next day I immediately started to gather people and ammunition.
Sometimes a lot of ammo is a far better shield than buildings or trenches, and it will save the children.
When soldiers are under fire, they lower their heads, but in that state even if they fire back their accuracy is very uncertain. Both sides are shooting at each other behind the covers. During this time it’s crucial to not have any victims. It’s common in present-day wars that not even a single person dies under 5000 bullets. If a victim appears it means that the enemy wasn’t hiding. That is when you’re out of ammo, or the enemy goes around and cut you off.
In that sense keeping a reserve of ammunition can keep the children safe better than trenches or any other shelter. That’s why I put all my strength into securing ammunition. Compromises can’t be helped though. When there is not much ammo, there is no other option than a banzai attack, that is a rash charge.
Near my and Omar’s house I’ve made an ammo collection point and started to gather it from different places.
Most of the collected ammunition was made in China. I’ve heard that Chinese businessmen reach even to this region. Considering growing influence of China I realized that calling them a factory of the world wasn’t a lie. Anyway I’m thankful for the gathered ammo. Yet it wasn’t the level I was aiming for, so I asked Omar to reduce the use of live ammo as much as possible during the training. If there will be a lot of ammo, casualties will also decrease. I want enough ammo so that the walls and ceiling in the place it’s stored can’t be seen.
I fold my arms and think. Then someone called me.
“Arata, is ammunition gathered here?” – Djibril said and approached me. When I saw her again with a gun I was going to avert my eyes, but I endured it. She holds in both hands a box of ammunition.
From this point I can’t be deceived by anyone anymore and can never look away. From now on it’s Omar’s, Djibril’s and my story.
From now I am not going to be the deceived side, I am the one who is going to deceive. It’s a rank up from a bad guy to a genuine scoundrel. That’s what I said to myself.
“Sorry for dragging you into this.”
“No, everyone is… thankful. We weren’t scattered and sold. It’s okay. We’re not going to lose to adults.” – she said it while smiling.
“I put you into a lot of trouble.”
“It’s fine. I will support you Arata.” – when she said that to me with a smiling face I started to doubt if my decision was correct, but I thought I should keep faith in myself.
Making a map
I don’t know when the enemy will start the second retribution attack, but either way I think it’s not so distant. At this point I think that I wasted a lot of time during my life of a prisoner. I regretted it. I was playing around like that – what a selfish man I am.
As first retribution they’ve attacked by aerial bombing, but at the bottom of the valley in this village they can’t deal much damage. After bombing they will probably go by land. It doesn’t seem at all that the enemy will stop with just an aerial bombing.
It will be sensible to say that as they had an act of betrayal from the inside, it won’t be strange if as an example they will even massacre us.
Training was conducted by Omar.
I decided to remake a tactical map. I have it in my head, but others don’t. In order to give instruction I will surely need it.
People from the village also don’t have a map of the vicinity, so I think that the map I saw had to be made from a satellite image or photographed from the air. Like Google Maps. I am pretty sure that military maps are made in the same manner.
In Japan I could have gone to a net cafe and print it from google maps as a substitute, but unfortunately in this country, although there are mountains, there is no net cafes. Probably I couldn’t use it after all, because such small populated areas have low resolution in the first place. Thinking about it I consoled myself.
Unfortunately I don’t have knowledge in surveying. That’s why I started with a failure. But I’ve heard that someone from the village learned surveying at central university and thanks to connections that person came to me in a hurry.
Important mountain roads are held by the company or American army. That’s why I chose the shortest steep road that no one passes, crossed the valley and sent a messenger that will travel on foot through the mountains.
One boy’s uncle from group C named Mujaraf made it before 5 days has passed. He has an impressive mustache and he’s got much more modern knowledge than anyone from the village. When he heard my plan at first he frowned, but in the end he agreed. Apparently he had exactly the same opinion about wanting to decrease loses.
He brought a map which was in a large extent copied from maps left by the former Soviet Union army. He was gathering them since university and brought it to me, as he thought it would be impossible to survey for the map now.
I was thinking that making a map was easier. Ashamed by my own ignorance, I was thankful for his cleverness, especially since there wasn’t any copier.
It was drawn in 1960ties. I thought that maybe it was too old, but probably it was the latest one. I was terrified by the difference we had in intelligence compared to my company and the American army, but I appreciated the fact that my memory could compensate for the lacking places.
Complaining won’t do anything.
Discussion with the patriarch
I frequently visit patriarch’s and Djibril’s place and meet with them to make arrangements.
Patriarch, who in my business terminology is a OO manager, says that he will fight till the last soldier. Another banzai charge can’t save the children and many villagers will die.
Everyday I tried to convince him for what and where we should fight and that he should think about the concessions we will get from the result of that fight.
War occurs because of the differences in opinions and ends by a mutual agreement that both sides want to end it. In this case the main source of that difference is the established transport path, which traverse this people autonomous territory. The government of this country tried to make a nice face to America, they didn’t hold enough discussions about this region and enforced it. It led to military conflict, military activity.
But this activity is limited. They can’t keep winning forever, they can’t fight forever. I emphasized that. There is a need for a mutual agreement. If possible, then at an early stage.
Patriarch was angry, but Djibril’s father nodded with interest.
“So, what are we going to do?” – he says. I looked at him and started to talk.
First thing – are they going to battle? If they are – when will they start it and how will they end it. We should assume it beforehand.
The enemies are government troops and American army, but even they can’t keep fighting forever. I insisted on that. They can’t fuss over this place forever. Company can’t go on with just undertaking such wars and conflicts. American army has to be more busy with other things.
“You’re even worried about how the enemy is going to end the war?” -said Djibril’s father as if he was just about to clap.
“If we’re going to limit the damages to a minimum, yes.” – I replied.
Silence falls for some time.
Patriarch starts to talk with a groan.
“How is it different from surrendering from the start?”
“Surrender would bring more damage. What enemy needs is a warning. Even after surrender it doesn’t change a thing. They can do two things to us. Be nice to us in their own way or just kill us.”
Djibril’s father smiles bitterly and says:
“This is madness”.
“Madness? This village also, while sending them soldiers, waited for the right time to strike, so for them it’s as complicated as it is for us.”
Djibril’s father looks at me and laughs. He reminds me of Lanson. It was like a father’s expression, who is looking at his talented son.
“One is not a hero with just being brave. Are you really going to bring dawn to this land?”
“What’s this about?”
Djibril’s father says without answering me:
“Do you have any plans for beginning and ending the war?”
“I do. Please listen.” – I replied.
Handshake under the clothes line
I decided to send soldiers on a patrol, just like I did at the company. Although the scale is smaller, like a single squad of an unit.
I made a strict order to absolutely avoid fights, just run away. I also won’t make them hold weapons. If we can’t win anyway, it’s better not to carry too much weight.
If an unrelated person is going to be attacked, this land’s order and war situation will turn into a quagmire. Because population feelings will extremely worsen. I counted not on enemy’s conscience, but on their good sense and common sense.
“You’re becoming more and more greedy. No matter how low is our war potential, you can’t take advantage of enemy’s common sense.”
I was speaking to myself, while drying laundry before battle. My necktie and suit. Omar laughed, while polishing a rifle. When I scowled at him he looked at me seriously.
“A guy with a military talent doesn’t show that he has one if he’s not in the military.”
After putting gun on the knee Omar said to me:
“You’ve always been living in peace. I think that talent was just sleeping all the time.”
“I thought that I would be always leaving it unused.”
“But thanks to the fact that you awoke it, victims in children will decrease.”
“Allowing them to have guns, that is?” – I spasmodically retorted, cooled my head with a wet hand and then said:
“Sorry Omar. I’m getting nervous. I’m grateful to you. Very.”
“We’re friends, right?”
“Thanks. Without those words I wouldn’t make it to this point.” – I answered.
And then not minding where we are we shook hands.
I took a deep breath and opened my mouth. If there is something to say I thought that this is the only chance.
“Omar. When I was in the rookie training, I saw a similar thing to that deserted village. There is a possibility that I’ve done it. Training camp was in another country, so I have no way to make sure, but…”
“That’s what I thought. You’re always so bold, but just at that time you were acting weird.”
Omar’s response was more calm than I thought. His eyes looked gentle. I felt like crying.
“I am not bold. Just stupid.”
“It’s the same. You can’t decide someone’s value yourself. Surrounding does.” – said Omar.
“I am proud that I have a friend in you. And that’s your surrounding evaluation.”
The day when the enemy was caught in the patrolling net which children make, was a day exactly one month after the attack on the camp.
The net becomes thin along the outside, so near the outermost rim it spreads only along the road. Farthest patrol line is in the distance of 40km. And that’s the place from where the response came.
According to the patrol, the enemy formed a long row of cars – trucks and armored vehicles. Apparently their average speed per hour is falling under 50km.
When I received that report from the radio, I decided to close down the patrolling net.
I withdraw the children, leaving only a minimum number which sticks to the enemy, and send the rest back to the village. Next time I will use them as soldiers.
I contact the village.
While it’s still dark, little by little I send people from the village to take shelter in the ruins. Through the night children are coming back successively.
While I was packing bullets into a rucksack, I said to the children that it’s okay to waste them and send them out, each to their positions.
Omar who started moving together with children said it will be fine. I didn’t have any basis that it will be, but I decided to smile. I didn’t smile because of the present situation, I smiled to Omar.
I was left in the village by myself. While humming I pasted a lot of maps on one of the walls of the children’s room.
Two partners with a radio. Let’s pray that there won’t be any interceptions or jamming. Although I’ve heard about such amazing electronic weapons only from Omar’s stories. I didn’t feel that I want to meet one of them today.
My half of the work is done.
I see Omar and a donkey from the window. But not that broken robot, a real one lent from the village. They’ve started to move – Omar, children, and donkey in the middle.
It looked just like a big black merry bro was going with children to a picnic. I bitterly smiled.
In order to take the dried necktie and suit I went outside from the entryway. Under it there are a 4 step stairs, on which I saw Djibril, sitting and holding her knees. I said to her to help me with taking the laundry. She said okay and confused got up, then came along with me.
I wanted to gently brush her head, saying she’s great, but I restrained. When I was a child I resented it myself when someone did that to me.
Thoroughly dried clothes feel good. Sun must have been strong.
When I tie my necktie Djibril is looking at me from a very close distance. That is at a stretch of a hand.
“Is tying a necktie so rare?”
Djibril is embarrassed.
“Just now I saw wings on your back. Magnificent golden eagle’s wings.”
“What’re you talking about?”
I laughed. I don’t know if a golden eagles make a cute face or a scary one. Or maybe it’s a Djibril’s tribe legend.
“Now when you mention it, you often call me a golden eagle.”
“It’s an animal which flies magnificently in the sky. It brings dawn.”
I silenced myself as I tend to say negative things and put my arm though the sleeve, showed Djibril my back and asked if it’s neatly stretching on my shoulders.
She reservedly pulled back on my jacket and said that it’s fine.
“I think of going back to Japan, when this war ends.”
Unexpectedly my face turned red. I realized on this stage, that Sophie was always asking me if she can go to Japan with me.
Djibril sadly with both hands pulled her headgear and hid her face.
Just don’t slap me – I thought and at the same time I got depressed by my own insensitivity, realizing her situation, so I smiled.
“Oh I was thinking about setting up my own private military company, you know. As Omar says, I apparently have a military talent.”
Djibril couldn’t say anything interesting and was just nodding.
“Omar will probably go with me. I would also be happy if everyone could go with me. Well, for now we have to literally earn war funds to cross over to Japan.”
Djibril returned the position of her headgear. She looks at me with teary eyes.
“But I will be happy if you could come without any of that disgusting manner. Will you come?”
“It’s okay. I’ll come.”
I nodded, while wondering if I didn’t make a mistake in English on a crucial part. What if she took it as asking for a disgusting manner.
Anyway, I was struck that her teary eyes change a little to a smile, so I couldn’t resist and gently brushed her head. I thought that adults just can’t help themselves and brush heads.
Well, I will solve misunderstandings later, work’s first.
I was thinking that Sophie can say idealistic things because she is from a country, where there is such climate. In that case I should take Djibril and the abandoned kids and bring them there. It’s not that they should be like Sophie, but I want to give them a choice to carve their own path.
I was in the kids room and was viewing the map on the wall with a radio in one hand.
“It’s Omar. I’ve reached the position.”
“OK Omar. Let’s proceed calmly.”
“There’s no doubt. You’re used to that.”
“OK, let’s go.”
I took away my hand from the radio’s transmit button and gazed at the map. I hear his voice and imagine the situation.
Enemy is halting march in a location 20 km away from the village, because they noticed the scattered land mines on the road. Seems like one vehicle is damaged and created a massive jam.
Distance between vehicles shrinks considerably.
Then from every direction firing with rockets is beginning.
I hear Omar saying BINGO. It seems like a truck exploded flashily and blazed up.
I guess that at the time of the attack soldiers jumped from the truck, but because of that, chaos on the road is probably even bigger.
Bullets from machine guns are flying there.
If they held back the infantry and carefully examined every direction, the could avoid that, but they probably didn’t expect that at this distance from the village they will fall into a trap. It’s a mountain road after all. Width is small, so sending infantry on patrol to different places slows down advance to around 3 km per hour. I estimated that they will get back to moving in the vehicles at the last moment, until enemy’s threat drops near the bottom.
I repaid them here for what they’ve done to me during the rookie training. That’s what happens when you’re feeling safe because there is still distance to your target.
You should have conducted a patrol, but sorry – this area is under my jurisdiction.
I receive a report from the kids of team A. Enemy has losses in soldiers from the machine gun.
I imagine the situation, while hearing the report.
In military machine guns are common, they can’t cause any damage to opponent. It’s a weapon to make enemy hide. Fact, that it actually caused damage to enemy, points out that they can’t even properly hide.
“It’s okay if you overheat the gun barrel. You can use up all the bullets. Please shoot ceaselessly.”
Now it’s time to make use of the situation. Well, in 10 minutes I guess.
I receive a report from kids of team D that at the rear of the column of vehicles, which are still safe, soldiers who got off are beginning to take a detour. I give instructions to begin corresponding offensive.
Team D begins firing. Detouring forces are stopped. This group contains skilled ones, who’re operating as a sniping team. For a trained infantry, snipers who’re hitting accurately are more frightening than scattering bullets of machine guns. That’s why they stopped. If they show guts ignoring losses and just move on with the detour… there’s no way they will do that. Enemy knows well from what kind of sniper rifles was the last firing. Whole unit will be wiped out.
As I predicted – according to the report enemy movement has stopped. I was glad that enemy is sensible. Thanks to that damage on both sides will be minimal. If war is a way of rough dialogue, this time it’s enemy turn to talk. I want to get along with them.
Although we succeed in stopping them, their overall number is bigger. If we give them a chance to take another detour it’s over. In the end we’re going to be devoured.
10 minutes passed. Now it’s probably the time when the enemy is going to recover from that chaos.
I declare the end of the battle and retreat all units. As long as there are no victims we will run. I made them leave shooting machine guns. They don’t have a function like an electric fan to move automatically, so enemy probably will notice our intentions, but I think that for now it’s fine.
There’s no use for machine guns so let’s leave them all. I’m giving instructions to shoot away all rockets also. I tell them they can also leave the donkey if they want.
Children without ballast are disappearing into mountains and retreat. Comparing to the magnitude of mountains, human is small, but even that small human in military sense is important.
Because he’s hard to find.
Enemy will continue the battle, so they probably won’t abandon the equipment. That being the case, our light forces can run away. In mountains it makes huge difference.
I thought that if the enemy is moving 4 km per hour, well 3, then we have 4 hours.
For now I want to take a piss. I can’t get wet in front of the children.
End of long reminiscence
Enemy is smoothly getting closer.
Naturally he’s not putting any tactical units on the road, which leads to the village. It troubles me.
I ordered adults to leave defense of the village and go around the enemy’s back.
Then they can do as they please. I tell them they can attack or not attack, but with strict order to not give any prisoners. I told them that if someone is going to be a prisoner, it’s better to die for the sake of the village. I said them just that, that if they’re going to attack, I’m not going to help them.
Two hours before the scheduled arrival I finish a meal and start leaving the village with Djibril. I looked up at that fields similar to rice terraced ones. I smile. I can’t wage a war being sentimental. That’s why I turned my back. But still, I had overwhelming curiosity to look at it a little.
And then I took position in a place quite far from the village.
I was stationed in a place that doesn’t protect the village, in a created trench in a place opposite to where I predicted that the enemy will attack.
There are some trenches prepared for traffic roads and there are also some fake ones. Three platforms with machine guns made by Omar. It was a genuine encampment. In a place overlooking the village.
There is one tactical unit S preparing. I personally will take command of it. We’re not going to do anything difficult, so it will be fine with me.
Enemy has stopped at the entrance to the valley. Not even 2 km to the village.
Suddenly I’ve heard something like a voice from a megaphone and bent backward.
“…” – I’ve heard only the last part, which suggested some request.
It was a female’s voice. Moreover in English. I remember it. It’s elvish English.
“I repeat. It’s a warning. Release the prisoner, release Arata. If he’s dead hand over the corpse. If you can’t do this, we’ll attack the village.”
Djibril opens her eyes widely and looks at me.
I’ve got a headache. Sophie. Why do you always do things out of place.
Without noticing a bitter smile is appearing on my face. When I hear that voice I lose the strength to fight. No, from the start I didn’t honestly think about fighting.
Probably she volunteered for government’s troops OO. I imagine Sophie with that setting. Has she left the job, or is company also involved in this? I think probably the latter. For business results retribution is probably necessary. But they don’t want losses in their war potential or contractors, so they are lending OOs.
I carefully listen to the broadcast. Sophie speaks with a voice she had never before – with seriousness and sadness, she’s saying about returning my body.
I realize that someone grasps my sleeve. It was Djibril. She shakes her small head.
“You must not go to the demon’s place Arata.”
“It’s not a demon. It’s more like a djinn you know.”
“It’s an evil djinn.”
Dumb djinn. Nope, more like an unlucky djinn. Also with a horrible intuition. I smiled bitterly, thinking that whatever she is, she’s not evil.
Djibril holds her breath in a way as if this moment would last an eternity and looks at me.
“It’s fine. I’m not going there.”
With headgear put on her head she is wiping tears with the back of the hand.
“I’m glad to hear it. I really am.”
“But now I have a problem.”
I’m safe, but now as I turned into an enemy I can’t make contact anyway.
I haven’t honestly thought about fighting, but if I give my name here the plan will go to waste.
I think for a bit. I feel very bad for Sophie, but I don’t have any other choice but to keep silent.
Actually I really feel that I am doing something very bad. Damn you Sophie. I have a problem. We haven’t been agreeing about everything, but I also had feelings toward that peculiar friendship.
Although, even if I go back to the company, future of the village and the children will be dark. My plan is collapsing.
Eventually I looked again at Djibril’s worried face and made up my mind. If I have to choose between a girl and children then a reasonable choice for a 30 year old will be the children. Though saying a girl, I can’t imagine that she could become my lover, or rather I’m even shaking when I imagine that. If we were together my nerves would surely be shaved off with a sandpaper daily, until in the end it would kill me.
I put my hand on Djibril’s head. She looks like she’s going to cry. It’s time to show the acting ability of a 30 years old. I thought it’s good that I’m 30. As a teen I was too pure, and as 20 I went with the flow, so I wouldn’t get out from this for sure.
“We’re going on with our strategy. According to the plan.” – I said with dignity. Frozen children came alive and looked at me. They’re taking up positions.
Sophie’s patience ended after 10 minutes from that.
Bombardment. Piercing whistle. Shell misses, exploding away from the village.
During my stay in the company I never saw anything like that, but it seems to me it was a mortar. As it is a simple cannon, since it was invented, it is frequently used here even at present. I heard that apparently some extremists once aimed it at the imperial palace.
Mortar shells are fired continuously, one might even say – with certain grace. This loud sound is like a music of the battlefield, similar to the sound of paper popper. So I thought that if it goes like this any longer, soon it will start hitting the village. It’s possible that in the past people also killed each other while listening to this stupid war music.
Oh well, now it’s irrelevant, time for thinking is after. Or before.
Putting on earmuffs I said as seriously as I can: “Many times have I thought of ways to end this war. For now it goes well. Let’s remain calm to keep it that way.”
Boys and girls around nod their heads. I don’t want at least my eyes to betray me. To tell the truth that’s why I tried to put such seriousness that didn’t suit me in this speech.
While setting the formation I went with my thoughts back to the past. To the times in Tokyo when I didn’t have a penny to my name.
I smiled. I made only failures in the past, and can’t say it’s okay now. But I just can’t let it end like this.
“Even if one war ends, then comes another. Just remember the place where we’re going to meet.” – I said that and waved my hand as a sign to begin.
Buildings in the village started to take hits from bombardment. They’re burning and being blown away. It looked like already enough things was blown away, but maybe because of delayed raction or just some spare bullets, scrupulously bombardment was repeated. I was looking at it, suspecting that those are bullets for destroying houses.
Destroying a building has meaning. Normally when enemy confines himself in the village and adopts a strategy of holding a castle. You surround one building and firefight has no end. It’s essential to omit that labor. If buildings are not essential, it’s better to destroy them – that’s the way of thinking in our business.
I see armored vehicles breaking into the village. Gun turrets on them are moving and firing. I wonder if they mistook even one of the swaying curtains?
I smiled, thinking that there is not a single person there. Kids whose houses were destroyed are not happy, but I said to them:
“As long as people don’t die it’s fine.”
Apparently I have a calm disposition toward things. But I don’t plan to change that.
Destroying the village is important to my ritual of ending the war. I gaze leisurely at all that.
Next they are arriving one after another. Soldiers are getting off from the armored vehicles.
They look left and right. Now is the time.
I waved my hand. Simultaneous attack from above is beginning. Houses are burning and due to smoke vision is bad. Aim will be uncertain, but it’s not like I want to watch enemy’s corpses so I thought maybe it’s okay that way. I also pity Sophie for reducing her score.
For the second time today, attack from an unexpected spot is causing huge chaos.
Even if they know our position, guns from armored vehicles don’t have such angle of elevation to be able to shoot here. If they climb up the terraced rice fields they will be shot from above without a possibility to fire back. Next thing they do is probably changing the aiming spot of mortars.
I wait 10 minutes. Mortars begin to land. They’re still drifting to the west. Today wind from the east is also strong. Aerial bombing was drifting to the west as well.
From mortars explosions there is even more smoke. Enemy must be probably climbing using that screen, that is shield from the smoke.
Well, we were also waiting for that smoke. I’m really glad that it’s not me, but Sophie that first opened a retreat path – I thought and gave directions to hide in the smoke and withdraw.
Perfect withdrawal. Now we can throw out all weapons. Limiting causalities to the minimum and giving the opponent a political win. That was my plan for ending the war.
If war is a method to achieve a political goal, when the enemy can achieve that goal he loses any meaning to continuing the fight. That’s what I concluded. More concretely, while the enemy took damage to some extent, his base – the village – was destroyed, large quantity of weapons and ammunition is seized, and the enemy himself is forced to retreat, it’s considered as a good thing. It’s enough with that. Such are the fruits of war I am explaining above. It doesn’t matter how many of us or civilians they’ve killed on that occasion. It won’t be reported if there’s any. Because even 0 won’t matter.
Being arrogant behind Sophie’s back I think about what must be the position of the enemy’s commander. Because the enemy suffered some causalities, the commander will need some guarantee after such a fierce fight, so he will probably be highlighting to the maximum the fact that he destroyed the enemy’s main base – the village. It’s okay. Other side has probably the will to fight unless they win, but for sure not to the extent to fighter after the win.
Assuming that for the enemy topographically it is just a waypoint, he will probably want to pass it while avoiding trouble in the region. There’s no doubt that once finishing the capture of the village, he will leave that unpleasant land. On the other hand for people from the destroyed village, although there is no human casualties they caused a suitable severe blow to the enemy. Village can claim their own victory and then war ends with both sides proclaiming a victory without engaging. And here I reached a point of compromise – that is what I was aiming for in my plan. I expect realistic judgment from each responsible sides after this. – I summarized.
From now on I won’t worry about it. I will worry about myself and those around me. That’s what I’ve decided.
I decided to leave one map at the military encampment. On the back of it I wrote in English: “Take care Sophie.”
Probably she won’t notice, or if she does it probably will make her unnecessarily sad, but I thought it’s better than nothing.
Walking in the middle of the dug out communication canal which went from the trenches, I fixed a wrinkle on my tie.
I make a smile. Waiting Djibril shyly extends a hand to me. I take it, slip into the smoke and escape.
I begin somewhat of a picnic, with children who only had lunch boxes. I really want to make one at Japan’s hills and fields once. Take children and a donkey. From the bottom of my heart I’m thinking about making a picnic with them. Today it was meant to be a rehearsal of it.
Going back to Japan
Japan from a plane was always strangely the same. Or that was country itself which doesn’t change.
I look behind my seat. There are 24 kids, so everything is fine. Now they’re going to enter the country with a tourist visa. Some are nervous, some can’t calm down without a gun, some are sleeping like a log, and some are looking at me. One that looks at me is Djibril. Well, everyone is probably anxious. They haven’t flown an airplane and they know Japan only from stories as a land of anime.
Landing’s soon. I smiled and looked at the front.
We’re landing. It’s written in Japanese: Welcome to Japan.
Narita Airport as for the entrance of Japan is more shabby than Haneda. I wished to show them Haneda so much – I think dully.
“It’s more quiet than you thought, isn’t it?” – I say, while pulling a suitcase and the girl with a headgear agreed with disoriented eyes.
“Is it really that quiet?”
I smile. Well, wanting to show a flashy airport is so childish. I must behave more like an adult. If I don’t Djibril and the others would have to hurriedly become one.
“What about Omar who went ahead?”
“I’ve heard that he’s eating tempura.”
“I see. Shall we also eat?
Djibril agreed and came with me.
And when we walked around the airport, she revealed her face and after looking at the women walking around she rushed over to me with a trot and asked if I don’t feel ashamed.
I think for a while and smile bitterly.
“To tell you the truth I’m a little ashamed. I was away from Japan for too long.
I didn’t return to Japan, I’ve began advancing into it. Whether it’s Takeshima or some other place, in this country there’s lot of dormant demand. Might as well make a fund raising campaign on the Internet about using a military force in future problems. There is a lot of potential customers.
Advancing into Japan will surely go well.
End of Volume 1
^1. For those that didn’t get it – it’s a suicide charge (shouting is optional).
^2. This refers to the attempt to push Djibril onto Arata as a wife. He wants her to come with him without any ulterior motives. And yeah, I do think it’s confusing.
^3. There is only a part of the sentence which suggests request and it’s pretty much impossible to translate into English, hence “…”. But wait… weren’t they supposed to speak in English there? Oh well, details.
^4. And here we are at the start of the story. For those that didn’t realize, this is a copy paste from the prologue, as in we ended the reminiscence part of the story.