Owari no Chronicle:Volume13 Chapter 27
Chapter 27: Charity of Lies
What’s wrong with that?
If I don’t keep my word
You can punch me
The meeting continued inside the Kinugasa Library.
To help, Shinjou and Heo worked in Low-Gear’s waiting room and Kazami helped some too.
At the moment, Kazami showed up with the report on the question-and-answer session with 3rd-Gear. An automaton secretary had written it.
Shinjou was writing her own report while checking on the progress of the questions and answers in the library.
The questions and answers were generally a confirmation and expansion on the negotiations held during the Leviathan Road.
The conversation was all recorded in the log created by the automatons.
The log was like a script with stage directions and it included notes by the automaton in charge of its creation.
Shinjou currently held the log of 3rd-Gear’s question-and-answer session created by #73.
In it, they were confirming Gyes and Sayama’s beach negotiation that Shinjou had been present for.
Gyes was standing in for Miyako and she was cautious of Sayama.
After all, he was the person who had made Gyes, an automaton, lie.
So she began by asking him to prove that the result of the questions and answers would not be a lie.
Gyes-sama: “What proof do we have that everything you are saying here isn’t a lie? And if it is a lie, who will punish Low-Gear for it?”
- Note: Wow, that’s harsh. She really doesn’t trust him!
Gyes-sama: “Can you answer me, Sayama Mikoto!”
Sayama-sama: “Yes. I can answer with utmost ease!”
- Note: Gyes-sama grows cautious. She and all the 3rd automatons in the audience seats take defensive stances and cover their ears.
Gyes-sama: “Ready your anti-sophistry stances!! Even our gravitational control is useless against this boy’s sophistry!”
- Note: Sayama-sama nods repeatedly with a smile.
Sayama-sama: “Ha ha ha. What are you so worried about, Gyes-kun? I am perfectly safe.”
Gyes-sama: “No, you’re unbelievably dangerous!! L-Lady Miyako! The Sayama Virus is going to get in through your ears!”
Miyako-sama: “It doesn’t really matter.”
Gyes-sama: “You are so tolerant, Lady Miyako! But you still need to put in some earplugs.”
- Note: Gyes-sama digs through her pocket.
Gyes-sama: “Lady Miyako! I prepared these chocolate pencils as emergency rations, but use them as temporary earplugs!”
Miyako-sama: “I’ve never heard of ear-pencils before. It sounds pretty crazy to me.”
As she read through the log, Shinjou began to worry about the sanity of the meeting.
…Well, I’m not actually taking part, so it’s not my place to worry.
She decided to conclude only a certain sort of chosen person belonged there.
Eventually, Miyako began to take a more active role. In the log, she began speaking with Sayama after calming Gyes down.
Miyako-sama: “Sorry for eating chocolate while we talk, Sayama. But regardless…”
Gyes-sama: “W-wait, Lady Miyako! Are you sure you should be speaking with…that?”
Miyako-sama: “It’ll be fine. If he pisses me off too much, I just have to knock him over…with a god of war fist.”
Sayama-sama: “That is rather extreme, but is it a form of threat?”
Miyako-sama: “Don’t be ridiculous. If I was threatening you, I’d grab you by the collar. As long as we just have a nice chat here, I won’t have to surpass the Code of Hammurabi for some highly damaging revenge, so just answer Gyes’s question. Prove that you’re serious about what you say here and tell us who will punish you if you are lying.”
Sayama gave a single answer to Miyako’s demand.
He put forth one of the foundations of negotiation.
“The result of a discussion is not the sole responsibility of just one party.”
To negotiate was to deal with each other on equal ground.
So whether the result would be upheld was a problem for both sides.
And that was why Sayama said what he did.
Sayama-sama: “If we are truly thinking about each other and we both feel this is our duty, neither side will break the result of the Leviathan Road or this question-and-answer session. But in the unlikely event that one of us does break our promise, how about we create an organization to punish them?”
During the summer negotiation on the beach, 3rd-Gear had hinted at a certain possibility: what if they used their military might to guard the Gear reservations?
Sayama expanded on that in his suggestion.
If they did create a new world, they would need a policing organization and a punishment system for the forces of every Gear.
Sayama-sama: “And in the new world, we will need to guard against and suppress any who violate agreements or commit any other illegal acts. I would like for 3rd-Gear to help us with that using your restless automatons and gods of war. How about that?”
Miyako-sama: “Are you serious?”
Sayama-sama: “Yes, I am. So if, after this meeting has ended, Low-Gear has been forgiven and allowed to exist, I would like to create a 3rd-centric police agency for the coming world. But the other Gears also have plenty of combat-oriented races. Open the door to them and create an enjoyable and open punishment agency that the people will accept. UCAT’s planning department will surely assist you.”
Miyako-sama: “Wait, wait. I wouldn’t make a very good police officer.”
Sayama-sama: “But what about Apollo-kun? Why not make him chief of police?”
With that, the question-and-answer session with 3rd ended.
The question-and-answer session with 4th had apparently been starting when Kazami had taken the log out to the waiting room.
4th had said they “want to work” and Sayama had begun speaking about working in a medical facility.
With that thought, Shinjou set down the log and reminded herself that Sayama and the others were working hard.
“I need to work hard too.”
As she neared the end of the report, she began discussing the postwar period and her parents’ generation.
…There’s still a lot to write.
However, she had written up a general plot the night before and Sayama had checked through it.
He had taught her how to minimize the amount of actual text by using photographs and quotations effectively.
Now, she only had to write it all.
Their greatest defense was to convey only the truth without including any guesses about what they had seen, what they had learned, or what they did not understand.
What had happened and what had not happened? There were a lot of unknowns, but there were no lies in what they did know.
It was neat hearing Kazami’s surprised comments next to her.
Just once, she directly addressed Shinjou while doing her job.
“That must have been tough, but you must be glad.”
Was she wrong to think that short answer was enough to get everything across?
If the world was not destroyed by the activation of the negative concepts, then she wanted to learn about much, much more. After all, she had not seen much of Izumo where her great-grandparents had lived and she had yet to see Professor Kinugasa’s home.
…And a certain someone says he left that cabin without taking down the posters of me he didn’t have permission to make!!
Once spring came, there was a danger of hikers wandering there and anyone would find it bizarre if they saw brand-new posters hanging in a run-down cabin in the mountains.
Shinjou then heard Heo sigh.
“What is it?” she asked.
Heo rolled her shoulders a bit and smiled with the ends of her eyebrows lowered.
“This isn’t going well.”
“It can’t be easy thinking up all the different patterns,” agreed Shinjou.
Kazami turned to Heo, too.
“Isn’t it about time for your question-and-answer session? I’m glad I don’t have one of those.”
She was referring to 5th-Gear’s question-and-answer session. Harakawa was sitting out there for Heo, but she would need to head out once the questioning began.
Kazami crossed her legs, took a breath, and stretched her weary arms forward.
“I thought I would end up as a representative for 10th-Gear, but it seems they and Jord have come to an understanding in their view of Low-Gear.”
She closed her eyes just a bit and some resignation filled her voice.
“The gods of 10th-Gear can be pretty exclusive. Kaku sometimes exposes things, though.”
Heo gasped at that.
After a short pause, she looked to Kazami and slowly asked for confirmation.
“Izumo exposes himself?”
Kazami silently stood from her chair, so Shinjou focused on her work.
She heard Kazami snap her fingers and Heo frantically speak up.
“Ah, w-wait, Kazami. My, um, uh, Japanese still isn’t very good, so…!”
“Yes, that way I know no one outside will be able to understand your protests.”
Heo gave an extended shriek as Kazami began cracking the smaller girl’s arms and other joints.
She was using a body of techniques known as seitai.
Heo cried out as she fell to the classroom floor and was forced into a strange pose.
“Ah, ahh! Kazami! If you do that…it’ll get rid of my stiff shoulders! Eek! Ah, n-no! You’re improving my blood flow so much my joints feel warm!”
Just listening to this is harmful, realized Shinjou just as Heo asked for help.
“Sh-Shinjou, why weren’t you Low-Gear’s representative?”
“Sayama-kun was the one who decided that.”
She had wondered why Kazami had been chosen, but…
“I think he wanted to be as fair as possible. I have some Top-Gear blood, so I could help to hold back Top-Gear if I stood on Low-Gear’s side, but…”
She looked to Kazami’s back as the girl massaged Heo.
“If anything, I think Kazami-san was the stronger candidate.”
“You just thought that up on the spot, didn’t you!?”
“Kidding. Just kidding. Kazami-san, I think you were perfect for the Low-Gear representative because you’re a perfectly norm-…someone who has no connection to the National Defense Department!”
“You changed your wording mid-sentence, didn’t you?”
“It sounded that way to me too,” added Heo.
Shinjou averted her gaze and continued working.
…Stay calm! Stay calm!
With this group, it was normal for horrible things to happen when you got something wrong, but that had a way of strengthening their bonds. She decided to dub it “cannibalism”.
And the best way to avoid getting caught in the middle of that cannibalism was to turn your back.
“But Sayama must be keeping a cool head to choose someone other than Shinjou for Low-Gear’s representative.”
“Heh heh. That’s not it, Heo. In Sayama’s mind, Shinjou is a resident of the thirteenth Gear: the Sayama Gear.”
Shinjou wanted to jump at that bait, but she resisted and focused on her work.
She wanted to correct them more than anything, but she resisted. Unfortunately, Heo replied with a very American kind of surprise.
“Oh, my god! What kind of aggressive concepts rule the Sayama Gear!?”
“Heh heh heh. Heo, that’s a difficult thing to describe. Or rather, I don’t want to describe it.”
“Can’t you overlook that last part and tell me!?”
“Fine then. Heh heh. To put it simply, when you say ‘no’, it transforms into ‘yes’. Also butts.”
“I-I’m not sure how to describe it, but it has a lot of touching and chance meetings to it, doesn’t it!?”
That’s surprisingly accurate!! thought Shinjou as she kept her eyes on the monitor and focused on her work.
“Do you know why Shinjou always resists what Sayama does?” asked Kazami.
“Y-yes. That’s how she gives permission, isn’t it!? The Japanese don’t know how to just say no!”
“That is not it!!”
When Shinjou finally turned around and shouted at them, she found Heo and Kazami smiling her way.
“Then what is it, Shinjou?”
“I’ve known you for a while now, but I certainly didn’t expect a denial there.”
“Yes?” asked the two smiling girls.
“Heo-sama, the question-and-answer session with 5th-Gear will be starting soon. Please get ready.”
The door opened and Sibyl entered, but something sounded off in Sibyl’s voice.
“D-did something happen?”
Shinjou turned back and noticed Sibyl’s eyebrows were a bit raised.
“I do not think it is much of an issue, but Sayama-sama is having some trouble with 4th-Gear’s question-and-answer session.”
That was the Gear he was closest with, so if he was having trouble…
…What’s going on?
Sibyl must have seen something in her expression because she breathed in to gather her strength and reformed her smile.
“At any rate, the meeting is in progress.”
#8 was unsure what to think.
But not because 4th-Gear’s two representatives had left their seats and walked all the way up to Sayama’s desk.
It was because Sayama was having a bit of trouble handling what they were saying.
At first, the 4th-Gear residents had asked if they would be “given food”. They were animals that lived off of heat, so they wanted a place to acquire that.
…And Sayama-sama said UCAT would build a medical facility.
However, the plant creatures then asked something else.
“Sayama bullied. Why?”
#8 could guess it was an honest question. In a question-and-answer session, the answerer was on the defense and the 4th-Gear residents were describing that as Sayama being “bullied”.
They were worried because they trusted him and the two of them asked him about it with identical thoughts.
“Bullying uncool. Bullying bad. So why? Why Sayama bullied?”
“Is it enough to say this is necessary?”
“No. Not necessary.”
The 4th-Gear residents pleaded to Sayama.
“Sayama with everyone.”
“Bullying Sayama is bullying everyone.”
“4th-Gear with Sayama.”
“4th-Gear feels it. Feels being bullied.”
All motion vanished and everyone was left speechless.
#8 wondered if the residents of every Gear and representatives of every UCAT had realized the danger of 4th-Gear.
4th-Gear did not doubt those it trusted. If it trusted them, it doubted them as little as people doubted themselves.
And because 4th-Gear trusted everyone, it felt everyone’s pain, even in a simple question-and-answer session.
Could one really speak with someone like that?
However, the 4th-Gear residents did not even understand that.
They were simply worried for Sayama.
“With Sayama, but Sayama bullied. 4th-Gear bullying Sayama too. At odds? Not together?”
“Want to be together, but not?”
Sayama reacted to that question. He crossed his arms and opened his mouth to say something.
But just as he did, a dignified voice rang from the darkness by the counter.
“It is not a contradiction!”
#8 saw a girl in a uniform standing below a new light that activated by the counter.
She continued walking and spoke with a powerful smile.
“This is Kazami Chisato. As Low-Gear representative, I will answer as assistant negotiator.”
|Back to Chapter 26||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 28|