Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Kino's Journey XII: Chapter 3

Enjoy.


* * *

<<Chapter 2



Chapter 3 - The Country of Investigation
-Common Sense-


It was a certain day at a certain time.

A battered yellow car arrived at a certain country.

Two people sat in the car. One was a woman of ambiguous age with long black hair. Holstered on her right thigh was a high-caliber revolver. The other human was a slightly short but handsome man. Holstered at his side was a .22 caliber automatic hand persuader.

When they entered the country proper and stepped into the plaza at the very center of the nation, a public execution was in progress.

A great many people were gathered in the square. And at the center of it all was a line of about a dozen scaffolds—gallows.

Very sturdy pieces of rope were suspended from the beams. The ends were tied in loops, which were hung around the necks of people sitting with their hands tied behind their backs.

Dozens of people of all ages, from young women to old men, sat there in a row.

Beside each scaffold was a large wheel made to be turned by hand. It was a mechanism that would raise the ropes by several millimeters each time it was turned.

“Help us,” “We’re sorry,” “Forgive us,” the people on the gallows pleaded weakly.

“Shut up,” “Die,” ”We’ll never forgive you,” the crowd chanted, swallowing their hopes.

Beside each wheel was a lineup of many of the people who were gathered at the square.

A local noticed the man and the woman. “My, a pair of travelers! Welcome to our country,”

“Thank you. May I ask what all this commotion is about?” the man asked.

“As you can see, we’re holding a public execution. Until very recently, those people sitting there on the verge of death were our politicians, critics, and civilian activists.”

“So why the execution?”

“They called themselves pacifists, claiming that war was evil and calling for the abolishing of our military. For a very long time, they stubbornly worked to disarm our country.”

“Ah, I understand,” the man said immediately.

The woman nodded. “Of course.”

“Uh…I haven’t quite finished…” The citizen trailed off in shock.

The woman said, “Those people you’re executing had been bribed by a neighboring country, correct? The other country wanted to conquer yours, and so tried to weaken your armed forces. So these people operated under the pretense of pacifism in order to disarm your country.”

The man continued where the woman left off. “‘There is nothing as sacred as peace,’ ‘War is the source of all evil,’ ‘Soldiers are murderers,’ ‘Use the military’s budget to instead feed the poor,’ ‘Let us abandon our weapons and solve our conflicts peacefully with words…’ All great things to hear, to be sure. But could it be that your innocent citizens were enticed by those words and agreed with them, saying ‘War really is evil. Let’s get rid of our military’? I think I understand.”

The citizen gasped. “You’re absolutely right… How did you know?”

The man replied easily, “This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. A bit old-fashioned, but effective. Many countries have fallen for this kind of trap—they were conquered the moment they disarmed themselves. It seems like yours just dodged a particularly dangerous bullet.”

“That’s correct,” the citizen replied, “Our country found evidence of their dealings and arrested them. At the trials, they were sentenced to death. The execution is in progress as we speak. We had to hurry to build these machines from very old blueprints, you see, in order to allow everyone to participate. We’re in the process of turning the wheels little by little, but we’ll stop once they’re up to the most excruciating point—when they’re only half-standing. In this heat, I’m sure they’ll be dead within three days.”

“A rather drawn-out execution.”

“Only the slowest and most painful death for these traitors. They tried to sell out their country and leave their people to be enslaved. We’d kill them over and over again, if only we could.”


As the two travelers went to sell unnecessary possessions and buy supplies—

“Just kill me now! Please!”

“Shut your trap.”

“Please… Help me…”

“Hey, hey! Don’t tighten that one any more, okay? We don’t want to kill them that quickly.”

Screams continued to echo through the square.

“How about this pot, Master? We needed a new one, anyway.”

“By all means, if you’re willing to cook.”

“…Oh, all right.”

The two travelers paid the screaming no mind are they went about their business at a nearby shop.


“I hope you had a wonderful time. Please come visit us again, travelers.”

A guard sent off the two travelers with a smile.


* * *


It was a certain day at a certain time.

A buggy arrived at a certain country.

It was carrying two people and a dog. One of the people was a young man with dark hair wearing a green sweater. At his left side was a sword. The other human was a little girl. Beside her was a grenade launcher. The dog was large, with long fluffy white fur and a face that made it look like it was always smiling.

When they entered the country proper and stepped into the plaza at the very center of the nation, they saw that a public execution was in progress.

A great many soldiers were gathered in the plaza. And in front of them was a line of people sitting on the ground.

The soldiers carried military-issue persuaders. Their barrels were pointed squarely at the chests of the people sitting on the ground with their hands tied together.

Dozens of people of all ages, from young women to old men, sat there in a row.

On each of the military-issue persuaders was a trigger. It was used to start the firing mechanism. One pull, and a bullet would be launched from the barrel at three times the speed of sound.

“What is the meaning of this,” “You traitors,” “Help me,” the people sitting on the other end of the barrel pleaded weakly.

“Why don’t you ask your own conscience?” “It’s for the greater good,” “It’s the obvious thing to do,” the soldiers replied calmly.

Someone noticed the buggy. “My, a pair of travelers and a dog! Welcome to our country.”

“Thank you.” The young man asked, “May I ask what all this commotion is about?”

“As you can see, we’re holding a public execution. Until very recently, those people sitting there on the verge of death were politicians, critics, and civilian activists.”

“So why the execution?”

“They called themselves pacifists, claiming that war was evil and calling for the abolishing of the military. For a very long time, they stubbornly worked to disarm this country.”

“Ah, I understand.” The man said immediately.

The dog nodded. “Of course.”

“Uh…I haven’t quite finished…” The soldier trailed off, shocked.

The young man said, “Those people you’re executing now had been bribed by your country—the conquerers—correct? Your country wanted to conquer this nation, and so tried to weaken their armed forces. So these people operated under the pretense of pacifism in order to disarm this country.”

The dog continued where the young man left off. “‘There is nothing as sacred as peace,’ ‘War is the source of all evil,’ ‘Soldiers are murderers,’ ‘Use the military’s budget to instead feed the poor,’ ‘Let us abandon our weapons and solve our conflicts peacefully with words…’ All great things to hear, to be sure. But could it be that innocent citizens were enticed by those words and agreed with them, saying ‘War really is evil. Let’s get rid of our military?’”

The man gasped. “You’re absolutely right… How did you know?” 

The young man replied easily. “This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. A bit old-fashioned, but effective. Many countries have fallen for this kind of trap—they were conquered the moment they disarmed themselves.”

“That is correct. Last week, our nation conquered this country. Our plan had worked, and they had only just disarmed themselves. It was quite simple to take over, and we were relieved that there were no casualties on either side. From this point on, this country’s riches and food will be brought to our land. The citizens will be enslaved. And as for those people you see on the ground… They are filthy traitors who were enticed to sell of their own country. We cannot allow such untrustworthy people to live under our command. We are taking care of them because their role is complete.”

“I see.”


“Let’s move on to the next country,” the young man said.

As the two humans and the dog turned away to sell unnecessary possessions and buy supplies—

“How could you?! We did everything in our power to help you!”

“Soldiers! Load your persuaders!”

“Please…please, spare us!”

“Aim!”

“You liars!”

Screams and orders echoed from the plaza in turn.

You’re the only liars I see around here. Fire!”

After a sharp burst of gunfire, the plaza became very quiet.

The two travelers and the dog finished their business in the country.


“I hope you had a wonderful time. Please come visit us again, travelers.”

The newly assigned guard sent them off with a smile.


* * *


It was a certain day at a certain time.

A motorrad laden with traveling gear arrived at a certain country.

On the motorrad was a young person with short black hair. Over the traveler’s right thigh was a large-caliber revolver. A .22 caliber automatic hand persuader was strapped horizontally behind the traveler’s back.

When they entered the country proper and stepped into the plaza at the very center of the nation, they saw that a political rally was in progress.

A great many people were gathered in the plaza. And at the center of it all was about a dozen speakers waiting their turn.

In front of the podium was a banner that read, “War is evil! There is no excuse for violence!”

Dozens of people of all ages, from young women to old men, sat there in a row.

A local noticed the traveler and the motorrad. “My, a traveler! Welcome to our country.”

“Thank you. May I ask what all this commotion is about?” the traveler asked.

“As you can see, we’re holding a political rally. Those people sitting there are our politicians, critics, and civilian activists.”

“And?”

“They call themselves pacifists, claiming that war was evil and calling for the abolishing of our military. For a long time, they have been stubbornly working to disarm our country.”

“Oh, I understand.” The motorrad said immediately.

The traveler nodded. “Of course.”

“Uh…I haven’t quite finished…” The citizen trailed off, shocked.

“Never mind, I apologize. I was talking to myself. Thank you for the information.” The traveler said, then walked away from the confused citizen.


The motorrad said to the traveler, “Those people up there were probably bribed by a neighboring country. The other country wanted to conquer this one, so they’re trying to weaken their armed forces. So these people are saying they’re pacifists in order to disarm this country.”

The traveler continued where the motorrad left off.

“‘There is nothing as sacred as peace,’ ‘War is the source of all evil,’ ‘Soldiers are murderers,’ ‘Use the military’s budget to instead feed the poor,’ ‘Let us abandon our weapons and solve our conflicts peacefully with words…’ All great things to hear, sure. But the naive citizens might be enticed by those words and agree with them, saying ‘War really is evil. Let’s get rid of our military.’ Just like I heard from Master.”

“One of the oldest tricks in the book. It’s a bit cold-fashioned, but…”

“You mean, ‘old-fashioned,’ right?”

“Right! That’s what I meant to say. It’s a bit old-fashioned, but effective. Lots of countries were conquered like this, being attacked as soon as they disarmed themselves. I wonder what’s going to happen to this one?” the motorrad asked.

“That doesn’t really concern me. Anyway, I wonder where I can find that delicious deep-fried shrimp everyone’s talking about? I’d like to give it a try before I leave…”

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for the chapter :)

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  2. Thank you for translating!

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  3. thank u for this!!

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  4. thank you for this, i appreciate it! good healths to u

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  5. This is amazing! Thanks for doing this Kino no Tabi project!

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