Lucky Dog 1 translations 12 Giulio route 01
Part 3: Daivan
|Luchino: How’re you feeling? Do you think you can get up?|
My joints’re still sore, but it’s much better than yesterday. …Wonder if that Ivan drink actually worked…
|Gian: …Yeah, though my head’s still spinning in circles. But, ‘s not like I can stay sleeping.|
Luchino scrunches his eyebrows up and looks concernedly at me … before shrugging his shoulders.
Luchino: Honestly … you’re correct. Gian, it would be a huge help if you could come along. Down in the city… I want you to attend the funerals there.
|Gian: Funeral… O-Oh. Right … ‘cause of yesterday… How’s the city been since?|
Luchino raises one of his ham hands, cutting off my words as he calls for the men he’d had waiting outside the room – an army of hotel bellboys and barbers.
Like a Persian king, I get wiped down with steaming hot towels as I lay flat on the bed and get dressed by the hotel boys.
While that’s happening, Luchino answers my question.
|Luchino: The situation hasn’t changed. It’s just as awful as before. …This morning, a station was hit. A grenade was tossed in during the morning rush…|
|Gian: Shit…!! And the ones behind it…?|
|Luchino: According to the witnesses, it appears to be the phony cops again… The city’s cops have also caught wind of this. They’re getting jumpy.|
I throw a powerless punch into the bed. Meanwhile…
My hair was cut, combed, and even my face was shaved clean and smooth as a boiled egg, all at the same time. To top it off, they spray on some light, quiet cologne.
Luchino: You look passable for a gentleman now. …Let’s go. Can you stand?
|Gian: Yeah. But … is it all right … um … for us to go to funerals for the respectables who’d gotten whacked…?|
Luchino: Daivan’s our city, isn’t it? You can’t leave this to just a telegram. You have to attend in person and show your face.
|Gian: …To take responsibility, eh…|
I get up from the bed and kick on the expensive-looking shoes Luchino’d prepared for me … and stagger. Luchino catches me by the arm as I say,
|Gian: What a rotten business we have.|
Luchino: Being hated and being blamed are also part of our business. …The worst would be if we were completely ignored. If that were to happen, the GD would become the master of this city in a snap.
|Gian: …Wonder which is better for the city in the end…|
Luchino: …Che palle…
The hand supporting me stiffens into talons.
Luchino: …You’ve never seen how Chicago or Rockwell are now, have you? I don’t want to turn Daivan into something like that…!
I don’t answer his words. I couldn’t. …And like that, Luchino and I leave the room, leave the hotel…
I lose track of the number of churches I’ve dropped by… After the third, I don’t remember anymore, like my brain’s in denial, preventing it from being recorded in my memory…
The small church hunched in a corner of the city. The procession filled with the poor, so destitute they didn’t even have proper mourning clothes. The crying of women and children… And, the silent curses and hatred directed towards us…
We take it all in. This is our job.
|Gian: Next is … St. Rita…|
|Luchino: …Ah, that’s right… If I remember correctly, that abbey was where you were raised, wasn’t it?|
|Gian: Yeah, when I was a kid I was in the church’s orphanage. Up ‘til now that’s the one place I couldn’t break out of.|
…In reality, I want to get out of the car at one of the lights. …I didn’t want to see the abbey’s orphanage.
…Protect? It’s because of us that a completely innocent place, that the Sisters, harmless as lambs, were killed. Just how should I react…?
|Luchino: …It really is a rotten business.|
None of the scenery flying by through the car window makes it to my eye.
At the St. Rita Abbey, too, a black mourning flag drooping at half-mast greeted us. There were black shadows here, too – a small funeral procession.
|Luchino: It’s the funeral for those killed at the kitchen. Everyone there was homeless, without family, or vagrant children, so it seems the abbey will be responsible for the funeral and their graves.|
|Gian: The abbess here’s a right terror … but when it comes to this, she’s honest and kind.|
Accompanied by our guards, we set foot onto church grounds.
The homeless, shabby straight from the kitchen, are crowded around the cheap coffins holding the bodies, all dressed in similar outfits in a sudden fit of odd luck.
And inside the church… There’s a smallish coffin, draped in white cloth, and around it are the Sisters and the kids from the orphanage, crying.
|Luchino: That’s the Sister who was shot yesterday…|
The kids … look just like me, from long, long ago – clad in an odd assortment of ill-fitting clothes and of a wide variety of ages and heights… No, I guess they’re not all that different from how I am now…
I walk towards the coffin when…
|Abbess: You are late, Giancarlo. And you too, Signor Gregoretti.|
Unconsciously, I call her by how I used to as a kid, long ago. Funny how just saying the word calls up a well of nostalgia and sets off a strange breeze of peace through my gut.
|Luchino: My deepest apologies, Abbess. In no way were we postponing our visit here—|
|Abbess: That is enough! …Pray for her, even if you only have a few words to spare.|
I can’t tell if she’s kind or strict … just like it’s always been with her. I pick up one of the wildflowers lying in the basket…
I finally notice that there’s only one coffin. …One’d been shot, and … one’d been taken.
|Gian: Abbess… This is…|
|Abbess: …Amanda. Maribel is… Earlier there was a call from the police. They discovered the body of a female that probably matches Maribel’s description in the waterway.|
I hear snapping left and right in my head. What do they mean, “probably matches”…?!
The cane that usually comes flying towards my head when I curse in the church … doesn’t.
|Abbess: I will be on my way to the police later to retrieve the body. …Come, now. Pray for her.|
I place the tiny lily that had started drooping from the warmth of my hand on the coffin. The coffin lying under that white cloth is painfully, painfully small.
…Sister Amanda and Sister Maribel were people I’d known as good as family. Amanda in the box in front of me always used to scold me.
And Sister Maribel, who’s not here, was my first crush, back when I first slipped into my teens and understood that kind of stuff. Haha … I think I even proposed to her once…
|Gian: Damn it…! Those fucking stronzo…!!|
|Luchino: …Hey! Gian! Remember where you are!|
|Gian: Damn, I can’t even avenge anyone…! …Mamma … what…! What should I do…?!|
My voice doesn’t crack with anger. I’m more whining than anything now. I’d flung the words straight at the abbess … but she only responds frankly and frigidly.
|Abbess: Do what you ought. …You may have ultimately grown to be a Mafioso, but even so, you must do your duty with God as your witness.|
|Gian: Tsk…!! God…?! When God’s not even looking this way…?! When … When he just lets shit like this slide on by?!|
For a moment, I’m struck stupid. For the first time in a long, long time… For the first time since coming back today, the abbess’s stick comes snapping towards the back of my hand.
|Abbess: How dare you say such foolish things in a House of God? Have you no shame?|
|Luchino: My apologies, Abbess. He’s … well … still slightly confused from his cold…|
Just when I’m about to open my mouth again to snap out more foolish things…
From somewhere far off, the sound of explosions rock the air. The noise isn’t loud, but still the windows on the church clatter in their frames and the Sisters and children shriek.
|Gian: Gh…!! What was that…?!|
|Luchino: …Damn!! Them again?!|
Luchino and I dash outside the church.
The people attending the procession scatter into the winds before anxiously standing stock still and looking up, their faces … turned towards the tower of smoke drifting up gray and black from beyond the treetops.
|Gian: Damn…!! It’s another attack?!|
Luchino’s Subordinate A: …It’s from the residential area! Captain, should we go on ahead?!
Luchino gulps loud … and, like never before, hesitates for a second before he swivels his head over to me and stares.
|Gian: …Why’re you looking at me?|
With the force of a punch and a shoof, Luchino seizes my wrist hard.
Luchino: Keep a cool head on…!! …Stay here. We’ll chase the perpetrators.
With just those words, Luchino takes his men and races off in the direction of the flames rising up from the site of the explosion. …And I’m left here … alone…
…Just me and me alone, the one who can’t do a fucking thing…
|Gian: I can’t do a fucking thing…|
Suddenly, Giulio’s face comes to mind. He’s smiling. His smile, his expression…
…Why, I wonder…? …What pops out of my memories isn’t those eyes from when he’s whacking others or his face when it’s smeared full of blood that was flung onto his face in his madness, but that…
|Gian: Even if I was around, I’d just cause him trouble…|
I’d completely sunk, sunk deep in the abyss of black sludge I’d dug up for myself and squirreled away in my gut, in my chest…
|Abbess: Giancarlo! What are you doing?|
I suddenly realize that a tough voice of steel’s piercing through my ears as I’m moping in the chapel. …It’s clearly her voice when she’s yelling at me about something.
…Jeez, I’m not one of the kids here. I’m not one of your kids anymore.
|Gian: Gh!! Ngh, ow!! …What’re you doing?!|
An angry spike of pain stabs through my ass, sharp enough to draw tears.
I unconsciously yelp out as I twist around to catch the abbess’s eyes, looking at me from much lower than I’d expected. …Has Mamma always … been this small…?
|Abbess: It appears your habit of not listening to other’s words has not been cured. You don’t have the time to stand around doing nothing, am I correct?|
|Abbess: Go do what you ought.|
|Gian: …But, I… Mamma…! I can’t even get revenge for the Sisters…|
|Abbess: Amanda and Maribel, and everyone who passed today have been entrusted to the hands of God. It is not something you need to trouble yourself over.|
…‘God,’ again? …Things’d be a walk in the park if I could believe that!! Just as I’m about to snap out the words without bothering to hold anything back…
|Abbess: Did you not ask earlier … if God created and bestowed everything upon this world, why do such tragedies happen upon this Earth he watches over…?|
The voice contains a hint of a smile and a drop of tiredness, and her eyes focus far away on something distant.
|Abbess: In the past, I was troubled over the same thing.|
|Abbess: There was even a time when I became skeptical about the very existence of God… But, now … I have come to think of it this way.|
|Abbess: We humans are born as children of God, and under his watchful eye, we are nurtured, and we grow and mature. We cannot stay in the cradle of Eden’s Paradise forever.|
|Abbess: The outside world is filled with many painful things and many ugly conflicts. There are frightening beasts and foes, and thorns and poisons. But, unless you walk the road yourself, you cannot grow…|
|Abbess: You also remember your time as a child? It is the same. All we did was provide you with food and shelter, and a little teaching so that you would not lose your way. That is all…|
|Gian: Haha … though nothing’s changed in all this time except now I’m taller and bigger.|
|Abbess: Even so, now you can survive on your own. That is what I believe God’s existence and love to be. If He were to keep His children trapped within the confines of the cradle forever…|
|Gian: …then that’s not love. He’d just be a guy to really watch out for. …Thanks, Mamma. I’ll give thinking that way and believing that a shot…|
At my unclean words, Mamma narrows her eyes a bit.
|Abbess: You do not have to understand nor believe it, as you should find the true answer yourself.|
I don’t say anything, nor say anything back…
|Abbess: You have become the Second Capo, have you not? Del Salto chose you because you were the only one who could fulfill that position.|
I’m surprised at Capo del Salto’s name dropping out of the abbess’s mouth so casually, but how’d she know about my succession, too?
|Gian: I haven’t gone through the whole ritual and oath yet, though. …Besides…|
His disappearance isn’t really something I can bring up, though.
|Abbess: If… If you have time to be lost, then go do what you ought.|
|Gian: ‘Ought’…? But…|
Again, I turn my eyes away from Mamma and look down…
|Gian: I can’t avenge them, and I can’t look for the guys who did it… I don’t have the strength to go beat up the GD! All I’ve got’s this underhanded luck that’s a tad better than other’s…|
If this is what I’ve got, then what can I do? The Boss’s seat’s just a decoration when such a worthless Capo’s been forced onto the leaderless CR:5…
…Capo…? I’m the family’s Capo…
Something slowly creeps into my mind – cold against the parched empty ruins that’d been all that’s left inside my head…
Like cold water, gushing forth, spreading over and seeping into everything. …I’m the CR:5 Capo. Its Boss… Almost no one knows this yet…
|Gian: Shit… What is it…? What is it…?! There’s something…!! Shit! I’ve got the card but I can’t see the hand…!!|
I can do something…! There’s something I can do…!!
The hand I need… …Yes. I had the card, but I’d screwed up and lost it.
I shoot up and swivel around, and, surprisingly, the abbess’s still standing behind me, quietly watching over me.
|Gian: …Mamma!! Sorry, but let me use the phone!!|
|Abbess: …There is one in my room. Keep it short.|
I give my thanks and take off running. I know what hand I need now. If I can just draw the last card…
…We’ve got a game!