Lucky Dog 1 Short Story – Anniversary 1 – Whiteness four



(Released in the 1st Anniversary collection version red.  Unserialized.  2009.)


Whiteness four

“…Gaah!  It’s so loud here!”

“You’ll get used to it eventually.  No one’s gonna be listening close if things’re this noisy, right?”

“You’re right, but still.  So?  Ivan?  Why’d you go all the way out to bring me out here again…?”

Even here in the middle of the hideout room, the ruckus from the factory outside rocks through the room with every clunk.

Down on the south end of the Daivan ports, the factories that put together and take apart the metal containers for the ships and railroads guzzle down electricity and gas and workers twenty-four hours a day as they put together those enormous, rusty boxes.

There’s a narrow alleyway down in the gap between the factory and the warehouses, walled off by the rusty, crumbling containers.  And there, in that place, in that bubble of space, is a hidden doorway.

This is where my hideout is – a hideout only I know about.

…No, that’s wrong.  Right now … he … this person … this idiot scrunching up his face into a pathetic expression as he covers his hands over both his ears … Gian … Gian and I are here in this hideout.

I look at his face.  …I look at it for several seconds before the dickhead realizes what I’d been doing and looks back at me with a smirk, so a frown pulls over my face as I turn away.

“So?  What’d you want to show me?”

I take out the tiny safe I’d hidden in this room and thrust it towards the stupid grinning idiot.

“What, money?”

“…Yeah.”

I turn the dial to the safe and open it.

…This is the first time I’ve shown someone else this place, and this is the first time I’ve shown someone else the cash I’ve saved up.

…No, he’s not just any other person.  Which is why … it’s OK.

I open the safe and line up what was inside over the jacket I’d thrown on the floor earlier.

“Whoo!  That’s quite a bit you’ve got there…  …Lemme guess, this is some more of that cash you’ve kept secret from the family, right?”

“‘course!  Even God doesn’t know about this thing’s existence.  …Though, I’ve gotta do the laundry every time I wanna use it, so it keeps shrinking.”

The money laid out on the floor … is the money I’d earned through respectable routes while I’d been working in the family.

“…No way I could use dirty money wrangled from the crumbs to buy her.”

“Huh?  What?  It’s so loud I can’t hear you.”

“It’s nothing.”

Wads of five dollar bills, rolled up and tied with a rubber band.  A single one’s 250.

Rolls of one dollar coins, stacked up and wrapped in newspaper.  A single one’s 25.

Those’re bagged in condoms to keep them from getting wet.

“This is amazing.  How much is this?”

“About ten thousand.  Uhm … a cool, shiny 10075 dollars!  Yeah!!”

“Wow!  That’s awesome.  You saved up quite a bit.  …Is this enough to buy it?”

“No…”

I exhale … calculate the reality in my head and grab the rolled up bills.

“It’s enough dough to bug your eyes out, but it’s still … it’s still way, way too little.”

“…Seriously?  Just how much did that Mercedes cost…?”

…That’s right, to buy that Valkyrie again…  To own those pure white wings once again…

…It has to be the same.  There’s no point in getting any other model.

…Because she … holds the time that I’d spent with him in her.

“Still, I’ve saved up enough to pay for a finger.”

“…So, how many fingers does it cost?”

I open up my right hand and hold all the fingers up.  Gian sees that and gags as he slumps his shoulders.

“Guess we’ve got a looong road ahead of us.  …Aah, so the car was that expensive…?”

“Yeah.  …Though, that armored limousine the old Gramps uses is more expensive…”

“Seriously?!  That thing’s worth that much?!  …And here I’d thought it was just a really luxurious Cadillac…”

“Naw.  …Before, back when, back when I tried to buy the … the Mercedes we’d rode, the guys on the Board raised a fit.”

“Mm, I kinda get why.”

“…‘How can the dirt-last captain be driving the most expensive car in the whole family?!’ they said.  Of course, I was planning on ignoring the whole lot, but then … Grandpa Cavalli…  He did yell at me a bit, but then he ordered and bought that armored limousine … which is now the most expensive car in the family.”

“How nice of the old man.”

“…Yeah.  I really do owe the Pops and Grandpa…”

After that, time passed without me or Gian saying anything … when Gian speaks up.

“You’ll be getting one, right?  Eventually.  Another one.”

“Yeah.  Count on me.  I’ll break a back and earn it all!”

“I’ll chip in, too.  …Let’s go for a drive in the middle of the night again.”

“Yeah.”

“You know, when I ride the family’s cars or a taxi, I’m always sitting in the back, right?  Why is it when I ride that car – the Mercedes – and ride shotgun it’s always like it’s my first time sitting in a car?”

“…Haha, is that how it is?”

“Yeah.  Once I’m the Second and I’ve gotta sit in the back, maybe I’ll feel the same if I sit back and lie on the seat.”

“Stupid.  …Your seat is right next to me.  Thought that was obvious, dickhead.”

“…Yeah, you’re right.”

Gian, the stupid idiot, looks at me with squinted eyes … and laughs a little.

I turn my eyes away from his face again … and…

“Shit.  It’s already been decided way back, so of course…”

…Why is it…?

Suddenly, I remember something that happened super long ago.

◇                ◇



I’d … been waiting for this for a long time.

I’d been waiting for this and yearned for it and pursued it.

And then, it came.


“Phew…”

In the closed space, I sink myself into the comfortably cool air and the sense of solitude, into the whole atmosphere and fragrance that the metal creature lets off.

“So this is the white Valkyrie, huh…”

The new model Mercedes Sedan.  The 8-cylinder, 7.7 liter engine rumbles at a low, guttural idle, but the inside is several times quieter than I’d imagined.  Just what you’d expect from the world’s best car.

The leather and wood on the wheel are also the best, and there’s no way the seats sit any worse than Boss Alessandro – than the Capo’s chair.

Plus, this isn’t one of those open-tops that those European royalty use to go out on parades.  This one’s a sedan, with the body and the top and the massively thick windows.  On top of that, you can take off the top from the driver’s seat and drive it open like a convertible.

“…Fucking shit, this is the fucking best.”

The perfume of the best leather money could buy, the smell of metal, and the faint whiff of oil fill up the car.  Even if I don’t have Wagner’s record playing in my ears right now, I can see the scene play around me.

“The white…”

It took a long time to get her.

Even before I was a captain in the family, I’d started earning and saving like crazy to get this car.

Tons of things got in my way.  And sometimes … some people helped me out.

And finally, this week, the car’s mine.

The test drive’s done.  I’ve looked at the engine and tried out the horn that’s connected straight to her heart, and I’ve had a run with the Valkyrie’s warcry, with the supercharger.

Everything is the best.  This is the best car.  Everything’s better than I could ever have imagined.

“Fucking shit, this is the best.”

I repeat the words over and over again.

The Valkyrie, this new model Mercedes, is mine.  It’s Ivan Fiore’s.

I’ve achieved what I was striving for.  I’ve gotten my hands on the best, on something others wouldn’t even dream of getting, on the envy of every man…


“It’s all … mine…  …Shit!”

I sit deep into the seat and look up at the black leather-covered ceiling.

Then … I pull out my 45mm from the holster in my jacket.

It shines a dull silver like the night mist.  A white reaper.  The Colt 45.

This was expensive, too.  I had to have the nickel finish custom-ordered.  I had it made from scratch, taking only the best parts from around ten guns and the mechanical parts built only from the best steal and springs.

The white Valkyrie and the white, shining, silver reaper.

“I … got them…”

I absentmindedly think.

Before the Mercedes’d arrived, I thought I’d blow a shithole and go crazy once she’s mine.  I was thinking I’d even have to remind myself not to show off too much in front of my guys.

But … now that she’s here in my hands, now that I’ve taken her out for a run under the best of circumstances, I…

“Shit … just what is this…?!”

This isn’t funny.  Why the hell do I feel so empty?!  My life’s just starting!  I’ll earn more and more, and I’ll get the best car, women, money…  And I’ll have my own organization, not some stingy Mafia like this!  And then I’ll…!  I might even abandon my life as a gangster and open up a big company!  Or maybe I’ll use my money climb up in the world of politics.  If those chimpanzees could make it to the Senate in this country, then I could become the President…!

“…Yeah.  That’s right.”

I point my 45 at the empty air.

I’ll get what I want!!  Yeah, everything’s just starting!!

“I…”

What I want … desires … ambitions … … … dreams…?

“White … dream…”

I wonder … how it was for her?

When she’d arrived at that town on that beautiful island, the girl who’d been so worried about her red hair, Anne, had nothing but stumpy hand-me-downs and rubbish with her.

At first, Anne’s dream … was to have a white dress.  That was all.  If I remember right, that was it.

But, Anne … bad things happened, but she got many, so many more things so much more wonderful than a white dress.

…I…

…might be tired.  I strained myself pretty bad to get my hands on this…

…which is why I’m thinking such stupid things…

“Oh right…”

In the story, did Anne ever get a white dress in the end?

…I don’t remember anymore.  I’ve heard it so many times, but I can’t remember anymore.

Anne … probably got so many things more wonderful than a dress that … since she got so many things … she doesn’t remember it anymore.  I…

“…A pure white dress, huh…”

I sit in the driver’s seat, rumbling just from the idle engine, and absentmindedly think.

I remember the expressions on the others’ faces when they saw her.  Bernardo and Luchino, the bastards, looked like they didn’t give a shit, but I’m sure they’re actually seriously pissed.  Grandpa Cavalli gave me a short lecture on how I shouldn’t drive it myself and how I should have a chauffeur.  No fucking way.

And … I remember the expressions on my troops.

When they saw her, the expressions floating across their faces were envy, jealousy, excitement, and ambition.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.

And…

“That’s right…”

There was something I’d decided I had to do.

Once I get my hands on this Mercedes, I would have the best woman sit by me in the passenger seat and we’d drive through the city, and I’d show her off to everyone all through Daivan.

But…

Yesterday night, all through the night … I drove through my turf with her, practically pushing through the crowd of shrieking girls as I scrutinized and searched for the best one.  But…

“Fuck!  It’s not like I’m some virgin priest…!”

In the end … I couldn’t decide.  I’d think, “She’ll do,” but the moment her ass touches the seat I’d change my mind and I’d drive off alone with her angry shouts seeing me off.

It’s probably … no, this is definitely the reason why.

“The reason why I’m feeling shit awful … is ‘cause I still haven’t had the best partner sit next to me yet…”

Which is why … it’s because I haven’t completed my goal yet that even though I’ve finally got my hands on her, there’s still some part of me that feels empty.

The best woman…

“Shit…”

Who is that?  One of the girls on my turf?  Or one of the ladies in my shops?  Or…

“Shit!”

I … step on the gas, rev the engine, and shift gears.

The world’s best car starts moving forward, smooth as the world’s best watch.


An hour later…  The time was Friday, 3PM.

The front gates of the St. Patricia Academy for Girls was held captive by a painful silence and tension, as though a mountain of needles had been tipped over onto the ground, and by a distant murmur.

As a prestigious girl’s academy with the dormitories linked to its church, on the weekends the young ladies who are students there are picked up by a throng of cars – hired or owned – for the trip back to their mansions.

At this time on Friday, usually there would be an orderly (sorted strictly by class status) line of high-class cars accompanied by their drivers, but…

“J-Just what is the meaning of that car…?!”

“S-Someone call the police…”

“Don’t speak nonsense.  If you do that, then the school’s name…!”

The teachers and the guards, and even the sisters had no idea how to deal with that.

There, in the lot where the girls usually board the cars … was parked an enormous sedan, sparkling in pure white, that they’d never seen before.  Its presence overpowered all the people present into silence.

Compared to the Mercedes, the other high-class cars were like pigeons gathered around an egret.

On top of that … there was no way the man standing by the Mercedes with his arms crossed was an ordinary citizen.  He wasn’t even wearing a driver’s uniform.  He wore a jacket befitting of a young gangster.

The man … appeared to be waiting for someone.  …Who could such a hoodlum be waiting for?  …No one approached him, even to just tell him to move…

If he intended to do something to the girls, everyone at the academy were probably ready to shut themselves behind the gates and gulp in their fear as they prayed to God.

Then…

“…?!  A-Ah!  Y-You mustn’t!!”

The voice of a teacher calling for her to stop rang through the grounds … but she didn’t listen.

From the shadows of the group of students stiff like frightened chicks came one girl who was even smaller than the rest.  She walked briskly, without faltering, towards the white beast on the other side of that door.

“Oh…”

Ivan had been building a mountain of butts at the side of the Mercedes when he noticed her.

The girl, clad in a white sailor uniform and with the wavy hair gathered at her nape – let down from their plaited braids for school for that day – walked forward, her steps crisp and expression set as though slightly angry.  She stopped in front of the man.

“H-Hey, Miss…  It’s been a wh—”

“What is the meaning of this, Ivan?”

The voice of tinkering bells rang through the area controlled by the strange silence.

“You even stood us up for our dinner last week, so why are you here this weekend without any warning or appointment?”

“…I-I couldn’t help that…  Last week, the car was getting delivered, so—”

“You couldn’t have called?”

Ivan’s words choked in his throat.  It was then, as though they’d just remembered their duties, that the Cavalli family chauffeur and guards came running towards their mistress, towards the young lady they’d been bound to protect.

“Miss!  You shouldn’t…!”

“You!  Fiore!  What is the meaning of this?!”

At the men’s voices, Ivan made a face as though he’d chewed gum with a cavity and turned towards them.

“I’m picking up the Miss.  You guys can go head on back.”

“Wh-What did you say?!  Are you taking me for a fool, you bas—”

“Those should be my words, dipshit.  Should I give you a lesson on the kind of attitude you should have towards a captain, hm?”

The guards took in the meaning behind the words and the aura Ivan was radiating before faltering backwards.

It was then…

“Stop this at once, Ivan.”

Again, the tinkering voice rings.

“Wha—  But … they…”

“Those people are men serving the Cavalli family.  If you make fun of them, I won’t forgive you.”

This time, it was Ivan who hung his head.

The girl, Miss Rosalia, looks up at the face that had been creased in anger the whole time … and gives a small smile.

“Mr. Driver.  Mr. Guards.  I will be having a short word with Signor Fiore.  Please wait in the car.  I will be there shortly.”

“But…”

The drivers tried to argue against those reckless orders … when they remembered their status and the Miss’s personality.  They gave a deep bow before leaving for the parked car.

“Sigh.”

Rosalia closed her eyes, opened them … and looked up at Ivan.

“So?  Just what is the matter today?”

“I-It’s just…”

“Mmhmm?”

Ivan started to light a new cigarette before his eyes widened and he remembered who was standing before him.  He pockets the stick.

“U-Um…  Y-You’re … heading home … back to the mansion today, right…?”

“Yes.  Because today is Friday.  You drove me in the past, remember?”

“S-So, which is why, um… …Agh!  Just, get in!  Already!  Into her!  R-Right?!  Isn’t she the best car ever?!  You want to ride her, too, right?  Those cheap cars can’t even compare, right?”

At the sight of the flustered man rambling on and on, Rosalia gave a little sigh before looking at the car behind the man.

“Would this … be the car you’d been wanting?”

“Y-Yeah.  Th-That’s right.  …So you remembered…”

“It’s a wonderful car.  Congratulations, Ivan.”

“Th-Th-Thanks.”

“Did you come to show this to me?”

“Y-Yeah.  No.  I mean, that is … get in.  I’ll … drive you to the mansion.  Straight there.  You’ll get there in no time.”

“Is that all?”

“Huh…?  Wh-What?”

“That shouldn’t be all.  Didn’t you say before, or have you forgotten?  Ivan, you said … your dream was to drive this car, when you obtained it, with the ‘best partner’ sitting by your side.”

“O-Oh…  Um…  I-I said that, didn’t I?  Huh … Ha … haha…  S-So I said that to you…”

“Has that person already ridden with you?”

“…N-No.  Um…  I couldn’t find a cool girl to…”

Rosalia breathed a small sigh once again.  She opened her closed eyes and lightly beckons with her hand.  It’s the sign she’d always used to make the tall Ivan crouch at eye level with her.

“Wh-What?”

In front of the crouching man, the girl beams a smile like a flower bud opening to blossom, her cheeks lightly dusted pink.

“Then … would that perhaps mean I’m the ‘best girl’…?”

“…Th-That’s … that’s no— N-No, I mean, um … girls shouldn’t ask that sort of thing…”

“Thank you, Ivan.”

“E-Eh…?”

In front of the foolish man who couldn’t seem to find the right words, the girl … clasped her tiny hands before her chest and closed her eyes as though to look up towards the distant sky.  She looked as though she were embracing the memories in her heart.

“…Uh … it’s … nothing to thank, right?”

Ivan, muttering ‘fuck’ in his mind over and over again, stands with an exhausted face.

“…”

“S-So, um.  The passenger seat.  Get in.  …It’s a special seat, you know.  No one’s sat on it yet, so it’s still a brand spanking new virg—  Ah.  Urgh.  Um…”

In front of the man panicking for spewing vulgarities, the girl gently, softly, runs her finger along the pearl-like body of the Mercedes.

“It’s a wonderful car.  Very wonderful.  It suits you, Ivan.”

“H-Huh?  …R-Right?  Thanks…”

“But, I refuse.”

In front of the man with “Huh?” on his face, the girl throws out her tiny chest before saying,

“I thanked you earlier, but now it’s different.  I’m a little angry because, Ivan, you only came to me after you’d spent a long time puzzling over other women, am I correct?”

“Urk…”

“To think I wasn’t the first.  So cruel.  You’re making a fool of me.  …Even though it’s … me…”

The last words the girl had whispered embarrassedly.  They didn’t reach the ears of the confused, foolish man standing before her.

“Ivan…”

Rosalia, with her tiny hands, took up Ivan’s rough hands, causing his eyes to widen.

“You said back then that you would … have the most important person in the world sit by your side, didn’t you?”

“…Y-Yeah.  Th-That’s right…  Which … is why…”

“I wonder if I’m that person.”

The man with a gaping expression tried to search for words … but the girl continued, as though pressing for answers.

“I think I might hate indecisive men.”

“…”

“Which is why, Ivan, I won’t be sitting by your side today.”

“…Y-Yeah.  …Sorry … I must look so stupid…”

“If the day comes when I truly do become the person most important to you … then that time, say it clearly before my Grandfather as well.  And then, then I will…”

“Q-Quit joking.  Gramps would kill me.  The old man’s really scary.”

“Yes.  I know.”

The girl smiled, as though dreaming.  Embarrassed, Ivan turns away.

“…The most … important person…”

Ivan whispered this.  He put his hand on the Mercedes’ door handle.

“I’m sorry, for causing all the commotion.  …Oh.  Sorry, you won’t get yelled at by the teachers for this, will you…?”

“Who knows.  Come on, get in, or else the others won’t be able to return home.”

Ivan’s eyes wandered left and right before he opens the Mercedes’ door – a door thick enough to be the door to a safe – and climbed in.

“And also, Ivan.”

“Wh-What?”

“The dinner next week.  Don’t miss it.”

“…I-I know.”

“And also, when you are driving such a wonderful car, you should pay more attention to your clothes.  Your current appearance, and especially because you are driving the car yourself, are blatantly Mafia.”

“…”

“Until next time, Ivan.  It was fun.  …Thank you.”

The girl peered into the car and gave a smile.  And then, as though nothing had happened, she slowly returned to the students and teachers watching over the procession of events from afar.

“…The most … important person…  Huh…  Haha…!”

Ivan revved up the gas, shifted the gears … and the white giant started gliding forward.


…That’s right.

Even though I’ve got this Mercedes now, there’s still one more – just one more thing that I wanted.

It’s something practically out of a dream.  No way I’d be able to get something like that in this fucking, shitty world, I’d thought.

It was a dream, in more ways than one.

I’d forgotten that.  …No, I’d tried not to think about it.

“…Thanks, Miss.”

Thanks to her, I’d remembered.

The fearless face of the small but iron determination, steady as a Colt 45’s aim, floated before Ivan’s eyes as the Mercedes drove out from the lot, as though riding on wings.

END

(Tennenouji, 2009, Poll Result SS –Unpublished– )


<< Back to Lucky Dog 1 Short Story Menu

Advertisements

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vivian Hau
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 17:39:44

    Awwwwwwww sooooo sweet!! Gian is Ivan’s most important person =DDD . I swear I adore this couple so much! Thanks for the translation keep up the good work ^_____^

    Like

    Reply

  2. Trin
    May 19, 2013 @ 01:10:36

    Thank you thank you thank you! I love this pairing so much > <

    Like

    Reply

  3. Trin
    May 19, 2013 @ 09:41:06

    “…It has to be the same. There’s no point in getting any other model.

    …Because she … holds the time that I’d spent with him in her.”

    Too adorable.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Bống
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 01:39:49

    oh my goddd~ ~ .<
    Finally Ivan had his most important person in this world by his side, good for him haha

    Like

    Reply

  5. SoapyToast1
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:04:31

    Something that’s been bugging me a tiny bit though is that I’m fairly sure in Anne of Green Gables its a puff sleeved dress not a white one? Not sure this really makes any difference or anything its just been on my mind.
    Still thank you sooo much for translating not only the game but the short stories too – your the best!!

    Like

    Reply

  6. Lanxin
    Apr 02, 2016 @ 18:12:59

    Ughhh, now I really have to read Anne of Green Gables…

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: