June 13, 2011

Akuma to Love Song [Chapters 71-72]

Originally posted @ tatsukida.pitas.com on December 1, 2010

Maria and others finally arrive at Yokosuka. Maria feels a bit nostalgic about the place but she thinks that there ought to be some changes there. Shintaro introduces Sukare-chan, a bird mascot in a sailor uniform to them. [Sukare = suka from Yokosuka and kare = curry. Sukare is short for Yokosuka Navy curry. When Japan opened to the world, it is here where curry is first introduced and the Japanese adapted it to their own taste. (Source: boingboing.net)] While Shintaro trivializes about whether the mascot is a seagull or a duck to Yuusuke, Shin notices that Maria is looking at a tunnel. Maria has remembered passing through it before. She starts running and recalling the familiar sights. The guys followed her. Soon, they found a dirty and run-downed two-story apartment. Maria recalls the time when there are a lot of people outside as her mother is taken by an ambulance. When Shin is expressing his concern about how Maria looks = pale/aghast, a woman asks what they are doing there for no one lives there anymore. The woman assumes that they are those people who would go on a ghost hunt [/test of courage type of games]. The woman complains about it being irritating since it has already been 10 years since the person living there had committed suicide. It has been affecting the neighborhood on how they are spreading rumors of a ghost there and they would leave trash all over the place [after the ghost hunt]. Soon, the woman changes her tune of welcoming Maria and others after they help clean up the place. Yuusuke uses his charm to loosen the tongue of the woman. The woman tells him that she feels that woman has not passed over since that woman who committed suicide is famous for being raped and in the end, the culprit was found not guilty. Then, later on, there’s something wrong with that woman’s brains because she suddenly decided on giving birth to that failure child. Later on, by the promenade, Shin is really angry over what that woman said. Shintaro tells him not to be that irritated for that woman is just saying whatever she wants. Maria thinks that Shintaro is right for the problem isn’t that but rather, she cannot forgive the man who raped her mother. They were surprised when Maria starts calling on her cellphone. It is a telephone operator [/directory to ask the phone number of people]. Shin takes the phone from her and tells her that she cannot talk so what she is doing. While putting the phone on his ear, Maria grabs his shirt that made Shin says, ‘Kawai’. The operator asks what the first name is. Going with the flow, Shin says that he doesn’t know but it is someone who resides in Yokosuka. Maria wanted to know more about this man from her mother’s relatives. Shin is informed that there are no guests[?] in the records for ‘Kawai’ but there is a ‘Kawai Manufacturing’ company. Shintaro tells them that he knows that place.

On their way there, Shintaro tells them that it is a small family owned company that manufactures silver. Even if it is a small factory, it suddenly grew big in the past few years. When they arrive, Shin asks Maria if that is her mother’s home. Maria shakes her head for she doesn’t know. They were surprised when Shintaro shouts for her to go in that room at the side of the building that has a display. Inside, they see the machine parts, medals and other things that the factory made. Some silver accessories caught their attraction since there are some cross pendants. Shintaro says that it is like Maria’s cross but Yuusuke says that Maria’s is more refined. Maria holds her cross pendant and thinks that it might not be her mother’s. Then, an old couple calls out and asks if it is Maria. The old woman starts crying when Maria looks at them. The old woman says that she grew up beautifully and tells Maria that she is her grandmother. Suddenly, her grandfather looks tense and is breathing hard. He asks why she came here now. He then kneels over. Yuusuke asks if he is okay. The grandmother says that it is just from shock. Maria tries to touch him but the grandfather snaps at her not to for didn’t she hate being touched by people. He kept on ranting about Maria coming there to mock them just like their daughter whom they abandoned. While his wife tries to stop him from talking, he tells Maria that the issue about the assets is already over and they already gave her a high class flat in Yokohama. “I do not want to remember again of my daughter’s disgrace. Don’t come back again!” Maria is stunned by what he said that she starts crying since he just called her mother a disgrace. Angry Shin covers Maria’s eyes and shouts at the grandparents not to insult the person who gave birth to Maria. “If I knew that her family members are these kind of people then I wouldn’t have let her come here.” Shin tells Maria that they should go. The grandmother cries and pleads for Maria to forgive her grandfather. She explains that he wasn’t like that before but he became like that because he was tormented by guilt for such a long time. It is because they ignored their child’s pain and chose money. The factory is temporarily closed before when their daughter was raped. At first, they wanted to pursue this case until the end but the military and government offered them a huge amount of money if they drop the issue. So, to denounce them who took the money, their daughter decided to give birth to Maria.

Outside, Maria is furious that there is only pain for her mother and her relatives wherein they had come to hate themselves. She blames it all to that man who did that to her mother. Shin and Yuusuke look flustered and helpless over her. Shintarou has this arrogant look. He tells Maria that this is the first time he saw her with that kind of expression so how about eating some sukare for a change of mood. With a smile, he tells her that he is going to bring her to the place where she wants to go. As they walk, Yuusuke asks Shintarou where they are going. Shintarou tells him not to ruin the surprise. Looking at really flustered Maria, Shin worriedly asks if she wants to go back already since she has that kind of expression since they left that place. Maria shakes her head and wonders if she has such an ugly expression. Maria manages to clear up her mood and remembers that she went there in order not to make Shin worry about her. Soon, Shintaro says that they are in the place where Maria really wanted to go. Yuusuke is surprised for it is a church. They are also surprised when Shintaro says, “I’m home’. They realize that this is Shintaro’s house. Maria notices a sign = Gospel Marianne Church. Weekly Worship starts at 10 o’ clock. Priest – John Cross [/Kurosu]. Her eyes widen upon seeing that name. Some children welcome Shintarou. Shintarou asks where Father John is. A kid says that he is watering the flowers. Another child says that John’s back hurts and he should rest as told. Someone says that they are already going to eat so they should call Father John. A glasses girl apologizes to Maria and others for not tidying things up since Shintarou suddenly just brought guests. She apologizes for the noisy kids and asks if they eat curry. Another boy exclaims that their sukare is the delicious and it is John’s specialty. Shintaro explains that even if it is church, it is also a child welfare institute. He then says that he is hungry so they should first eat. He opens the door to the garden and shouts, “Father John! It’s time to eat--”

Maria then sees a priest wearing a sun hat with a ribbon, watering the plants. The priest looks at them and Maria recognizes him as the same John Cross in the picture of that newspaper clipping. Shin looks at Maria who looks really flustered over this. Shintarou offers to introduce John to them. John is a priest who brought up children who has no one to depend on and let them stay at that place. “He is also sempai’s father.” While everyone including John looks surprised, Shintarou says that everyone should go eat while talking. He then asks John to let Maria and others stay there for today. After a pause, John says okay. He is telling them about the rooms on the second floor when he trips on a stone and falls flat on his face. Maria and the other two guys are speechless over this. Shintarou asks John if he is okay. He says yes. When he removes his hat, John’s nose is bleeding. John still seriously says that he is okay. Soon, the other children help wipe his bloody nose as they ask if he is really from the military before, why he wears that kind of hat, etc. Maria looks really aghast over this happy scene for she couldn’t believe that the guy who caused her mother so much pain is living happily in that place. Shin can only feel helpless as he sees Maria crying again in anger and frustration. Yuusuke asks Shintarou what’s going on and how is this related to him. When Shintarou is going to explain things in detail, Shin has already grab his collar and shouts that he already knew this from the start yet he brought Maria there. Shintarou says that he wanted to show Maria the current situation of her father. Shin shouts if he even considered Maria’s feelings. Shintarou says that he did but he feels that it is more [important?] for Maria to know. He didn’t finish what he is saying since Shin already punches him in the face with his right hand. Shin shouts that it is better for Maria not to forever know about this if she is only to [feel] hatred [over it]. Everyone including the children is surprised by what Shin did. Unfortunately, Shin just re-opened his hand injury that it starts to bleed. [If the scene isn’t too serious, I would call Shin stupid for using that hand. ^^;] Then, one of the kids starts crying. Yuusuke apologizes for startling him. While he tries to pacify the kid, Yuusuke tells Shin that the wound has re-opened so shouldn’t he go to the hospital.

While gritting his shaking hand in pain, Shin says that he is okay. Maria is already crying and thinking ‘no’ as she worriedly looks at Shin’s hand. Suddenly someone grabs Shin’s wrist. Shin shouts at John what he is doing. John says that he is going to help him stop the bleeding and sterilize it. Shin winces in pain as John tells him to relax. He tells Shin that even without putting strength [/doing it consciously], his fingers are stretching so his tendons could have been damaged. If he ignores it, he can no longer curve his fingers. After a pause, Shin asks why, when he obviously was able to curve it. [<- to form a punch] John says that it could be because he used too much strength that it caused another injury so tonight, he should rest and they go have it checked on the hospital tomorrow. Later on, at the church’s nave, Maria looks at the cross in front and thinks that she doesn’t believe in God that she hasn’t asked for help in prayer but right now, she prays that Shin’s hand to become well. She apologizes for only considering herself and for not properly worshipping before. It is alright if she cannot recover her voice, and if there is any painful thing that will happen again, she won’t cry again. She will do her best not to let herself have a heart of hatred. Just when she is praying for Shin’s recovery again, she notices that someone comes in. She looks flustered upon seeing John. John tells her that it is cold there at night so she should go back to the room. While Maria is promising God that she won’t hate John, John notices her necklace and comments that she is also wearing that, just like her mother, who told him that it is a friendship ring [-type of] protection charm. Maria is surprised when John says that if her mother is still living, she would have been able to see the current Maria. “Seeing you happy with your friends, but right now, she is in heaven watching over you. Definitely..” He stops talking upon noticing furious Maria who is about to slap him really hard. In the end, Maria has succumbed to her hatred that she thinks that no matter what, she hates this person.

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