Kino no Tabi:Volume11 Epilogue
“The Camera Country, Part A” —Picturesque A—
The country Kino and Hermes entered had not any technological progress, but one that carried on a very simple lifestyle since the days of yore.
In the walls made of stone, the people never changed despite the centuries, maintaining their incredible self-sufficiency for that same length of time.
Their clothing were all of natural fibers like hemp and silk, their food organic grains and vegetables, and surprisingly, the country actually led a rather wealthy but peaceful life.
Having not seen visitors (vehicles, actually) in a long time, Kino and Hermes were welcomed warmly. Treated to their meals, Kino was impressed by the taste, cleaning the plate every day.
A relaxing three days passed, and it was on this morning, when Kino and Hermes were about to be sent off by all of the country’s people.
“Kino and Hermes. Would you be willing to do us a favor?”
This was spoken by a resident, who came with a camera in hand.
It was a black camera. Single-lens reflex with interchangeable lenses, which used 35 mm film, as Kino often saw sold within metallic tubes in other countries she visited.
It was fitted with the standard 50mm manual focus lens, with a cloth strap attached that enabled a person to hang the camera from the neck.
Scrapes covered it here and there, but there was no significant damage and the camera was in perfectly useable condition.
Kino cocked her head. Seeing that none of the other residents were surprised, Hermes made the inquiry.
“That’s a nice model. What’s up with it?”
“This, you see…”
The one who held the camera explained the story.
Over a decade ago, a traveler made his way here. A young man in his twenties, he suffered fatal wounds on his journey, which caused him to fall seriously ill.
In spite of the country’s best efforts, they were in vain and the man was due to pass in several days. It was then that—
“It’s my most valuable treasure… Here’s my thanks… I give it to everyone… Thank you…”
—he handed this device to the residents as his gratitude.
“Even now, it’s our country’s most prized possession. We take turns handling and maintaining it. Its name is No More Film.”
“That’s what it’s called?”
To the surprised Kino and Hermes,
“Yes. That was the last thing the man said.”
“…ahh, I see.”
“Hm, so that’s how it is. So, how do you use it?”
“Ah, yes. We didn’t know how to use it at first, but everyone put their heads together and after some inquiry into the matter, we confirmed it. First, you turn the round end to someone. Then, he or she shows up as a picture in this little window to the person who’s holding this. When you turn this tube, you can make the picture clearer. It’s a surprising mechanism.”
“I see.” “Go on.”
“On the right side, you push this lever out. When you let go, it snaps back. Then it allows you to press this bump here just once. May I?”
“Go ahead.” “A-okay.”
Granted permission, the cameraman closed his left eye, looked at Kino and Hermes with his right through the finder, and then pressed the shutter.
A leisurely metallic sound was audible.
“Just now, when I pressed on this bump, you two disappeared for a moment. In that instant—”
The cameraman continued happily,
“I was able to preserve your image in my mind. Thank you very much.”
“See, this mechanism allows the picture to be stored in my head. From my right eye to my head, the image of you two comes in and properly puts itself in storage. This way, I’ll always be able to remember now as a wonderful memory. So that’s why it disappears for that instant.”
So said Kino, waiting for his next words.
“With that, may you allow all of us a chance to use this device to remember you?”
Kino smiled and nodded.
“Of course. May everyone get in the picture, too?”
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