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Old 02/03/2012   #136
Ryushikaze
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Quexinos wrote: Oh that's what we need, more arguments about what PoV novels are in

But thanks for this. Thanks so much Hito. I wish I knew more so I could help... but right now you da man
We haven't had any of those yet.
Just arguments about novella POVs.
Totally different.
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Old 02/03/2012   #137
Octo
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I have a suggestion, when things are internal dialogue maybe they should be italicised? Just because otherwise it looks like its changing tense mid paragraph?


"The sound of the plate shattering rung in my ears. I felt bad about doing something so unlike me. When I've calmed down, I'll go home and talk to Mum. There seems to be a lot of stuff I don't know. But still, leaving in two days? Leaving to where? No. It doesn't matter where, I don't want to go. I'm not going anywhere with that man.

I decided to kill time for two days. Then I would go home. If I did that, Nick Foley and my mother's plans would be shot. It's probably going to be a little awkward for a while, but what can you do. Things will get back to normal soon enough—I kept thinking to myself as I walked through sector seven to the warehouse block in sector eight. The standard destination for teenage runaways. "

Does that make any sense?
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Old 02/03/2012   #138
Strangelove
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That makes sense I tried to keep the formatting as close to the original as possible, but perhaps this works unedited better in Japanese than English.
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Old 02/04/2012   #139
Strangelove
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Update: chapter 1 is just about finished, but needs final touches. I was hoping to get something out at least every 1~2 weeks, so will worry less about a number of chapters and more about the timing of releases.

also have another translator's note

- Evan's accent
He doesn't really have on in Japanese, it's just standard Japanese. And the reason he is using British words (Mum, etc.) here is because that's how I speak. But then I considered making a point of it for Evan and his mother, for no reason than The Who are English. I am wondering if this fits in with the world. Is it possible for Evan's mother to have an accent like that, and perhaps her son at least picked up the words she used?

As far as I know from the limited Youtube-video-viewing experience of the English Compilation, the only character with a British accent is Nero from DC? But maybe I'm putting more thought into this than Square did, give their "you know what G needs? Vampire accent" attitude.
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Old 02/04/2012   #140
Minato Arisato
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Serah's Cat wrote: Update: chapter 1 is just about finished, but needs final touches. I was hoping to get something out at least every 1~2 weeks, so will worry less about a number of chapters and more about the timing of releases.

also have another translator's note

- Evan's accent
He doesn't really have on in Japanese, it's just standard Japanese. And the reason he is using British words (Mum, etc.) here is because that's how I speak. But then I considered making a point of it for Evan and his mother, for no reason than The Who are English. I am wondering if this fits in with the world. Is it possible for Evan's mother to have an accent like that, and perhaps her son at least picked up the words she used?

As far as I know from the limited Youtube-video-viewing experience of the English Compilation, the only character with a British accent is Nero from DC? But maybe I'm putting more thought into this than Square did, give their "you know what G needs? Vampire accent" attitude.
Well Rosso and G both got vampire accents in the english dub, Weiss basically doesn't even have lines of his own in the engish dub, so considering the ones that grew up under Shinra's care as a seperate community and that Genesis' character in CC was barely in the planning stages, i'd say Nero's totally unique to his universe British accent makes the least sense. I mean it's all stupid but.
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Old 02/05/2012   #141
Pixel
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Reeves mother was supposed to have a scottish accent, and was from the country.
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Old 02/05/2012   #142
Squall Leonhart
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Pixel wrote: Is the whole thing written from his perspective? Dont know if I could do this as an audiobook, but i am tempted as im reading it. I would have to play him myself lol. I couldnt ask someone else to do all that work.
I'd do it.


Serah's Cat wrote: That makes sense I tried to keep the formatting as close to the original as possible, but perhaps this works unedited better in Japanese than English.
It does. I think there's less confusion about the tenses and what applies to the past versus the present in the narration with Japanese, but in English, it becomes really important. The italics for the internal thoughts are a necessary measure, I think.

I also like the idea of giving Evan the English accent. Both because of The Who connection and because ... well, FFVII needs more characters with the accent. Nero's always been one of my favorite dubbed voices in the Compilation, despite how random the accent is for him (no one else in Deepground has that particular accent, including his brother).

Great work on the translation so far, hito.
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Old 02/06/2012   #143
Dashell
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Pixel wrote:
El Diablo Gato wrote: I would have to play him myself lol.
I'd do it.



Personally I think if he doesn't have an accent, don't give him one. But maybe it's just me.
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Old 02/06/2012   #144
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Personally I think if he doesn't have an accent, don't give him one. But maybe it's just me.
How can he not have an accent? Theres not a human on this planet without one
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Old 02/06/2012   #145
Strangelove
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The trouble is who gets to say what counts as an 'accent' (as in different from the norm)? To me, American English is an 'accent'

Japamese accents/dialects don't translate directly to English ones. It's just a choice you make putting stuff into English. FFXII didn't really have particularly unique accents to warrant giving characters like Balthier British accents (those more thought seemed to have gone into the geographic influence on accents there than with the Compilations). And English accent doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be filled with "ey up ah kid, how's dee doin'?" or random Cockney slang. In writing, it's the difference of a few words here and there. (Though I notice know Nick might have a bit of one as well, at least in terms of lexicon.)
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Old 02/06/2012   #146
Stilzkin
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Hm, I think this is one of Nojimas better openings of a novel if you compare this to some chapters from On the Way to a Smile. To write in Evan’s PoV is a nice choice. Altough he seems to be a little bit to much of an annoying teenager.
Xcomp italicised internal dialogues in his OtWtaS translation as well. So it will be easier to see the differences.
Thanks, Hito!
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Old 02/14/2012   #147
Pixel
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Hey, sorry, i meant to do this sooner. I just went throught and corrected a few little things, stuff in green is stuff im not sure of
chapter 1 or part of it When I was fourteen, I took in this grey cat. I found him on the roadside, making the most pathetic meow you could imagine, and brought him home. While I was busy thinking about giving him a cool name, my mother started calling him Grey. That was the kind of person my mother was. It's a grey cat, let's call him Grey. I complained, but in the end I couldn't offer up an alternative.
Grey completely ignored the chair and cushion we prepared for him, and spent his time all around the house, pondering cat stuff and sleeping. Then half a year later he must have come to the conclusion that he didn't belong here, because Grey disappeared somewhere. I was fifteen. I don't know how old he was.
“Maybe he didn't like it here?”
“That's what boys do, they leave home.”
There was a knowing look to my mother's face when she said this one night while we were reminiscing about Grey. I'd never thought of leaving home and leaving my mother behind. I wanted to start earning my way so I could help her out.
My mother worked in a café during the day, and in a bar from the evening until late into the night. She was constantly exhausted. But when I found a job, there was always some reason to give up on the idea. I think it was down to the illness I used to have. It was my heart. But I had surgery when I was five, so it should be all clear, and since then it's been absolutely fine. I've been the picture of health, if I say so myself.
“Hey, I've been thinking, I really do want to work. That'll make it easier for you, won't it?”
“Thank you. But in two years. When you're seventeen,” she said as she was playing with the waves of her beautiful, though reeking of tobacco smoke, blonde hair with her fingers.
“Why seventeen?”
“Because I'm sure Grey was seventeen.”

It didn't make any sense at all. Why would working and leaving home mean the same thing. I thought we should have talked it out, but it was painful to have to talk with her when she was drunk.
Half a year later, I saw Grey in the street. Well, a cat that looked like Grey. He had turned into a stray, missing the tip of one of his ears and covered in scars. I called out Grey, and he just looked at me without a hint of enthusiasm. But he soon looked away and started walking off. I followed him, and without even turning around he climbed up the fence of a nearby house and made his way up to the roof. He was now completely out of reach.
I want to work, wait a bit—the same conversation played out at regular intervals. Most of my friends were working, and even if they weren't, they must have at least been earning their own spending money. It felt like they were all up there on that roof, laughing at me.

Midgar's sector six. The end of a business (busy?) street lined with shops and restaurants. Our house was just down an alley nestled between a bookshop and a weaponsmiths, that was damp and reeked of rust. Houses with the kind of basic shapes you'd see in a kid's drawing, made of some material that looked like brick, were nestled together. It was apparently used as a housing area for lower level Shinra Company employees for a while after Midgar was completed. Later on, company housing was moved to sectors seven and five. The area was supposed to be demolished, until some rich guy who ran a couple of pubs(bars?) leased them from Shinra for the workers in his businesses to live in. The rent was dirt cheap. A lot of the people who had come to Midgar from the world below, that is rural areas or the slums, with dreams of making something of themselves lived there. Everyone was poor. This was the sort of place for people who didn't make it among the relatively wealthy populous of Midgar. But everyone agreed that it beat living in the slums.

It was about one week before my seventeenth birthday. The sound of the phone woke me up. I could hear Mom talking to someone in a quiet voice. When I got up, she was cleaning the kichen/dining room. Cleaning and tidying—in other words, maintaining order in the home—was my job. Studying at the(my?) teacher's home, talking with my friends. Wandering around town. Staring at a TV with bad reception. For someone all but devoid of actual responsibilities, this was my sole contribution to our life. I've never cut corners with it. When I argued that I had done it yesterday, she told me that we had a guest coming over.
“I'd like you to meet him, so can you go get changed?” she said, without looking at me. Something felt wrong about it, and that hunch proved true.

Nick Foley was in his mid-thirties, like Mum. His tall frame was covered by a well-tailored grey suit. Above a light pink neck tie with white dots sat his little, handsome face. He stood in the doorway, a pleasant smile across his face as he looked down at me.
“Call me Nick. I work at the Shinra Company's business department.”
With the way he was smiling and introducing himself, it was like he thought we were friends already. If I let my guard down, I might have actually ended up calling him Nick.
“You take after your dad, don't you.”
Judging from the look on his face, Nick Foley wished he hadn't said that.
“You knew my dad?”
My dad had died in Wutai right before I was born. There's not even a single picture of him, so I don't know what he looked like.
“What, no, I just meant that you don't look much like your mum. I've heard what happened... Sorry. But you're a good-looking lad, aren't you. I bet you do well for yourself with the girls.”
I must have been making quite a face, because Nick Foley started looking at my mother for assistance.
“Do you want some of this cake Nick brought? It's from Mrs. Tosca!”

She made too much of a noise as she set the plates on the table and placed a slice of that overly-decorated cake on them. Eating one of Mrs. Tosca's insanely expensive mounds of sugar and cream was a treat my mother reserved for when she got paid. She liked to take her time to enjoy it, this little reward to herself.
“Come on you two, sit down.”
“So here it is. Been wanting to try these cakes ever since I heard about them. Normally I don't care for sweet stuff at all.”
Nick sat in my seat as he rambled on about some pointless crap. Oh God, just die. The smile vanished from my mother's face. There were three chairs around the table. Out of the remaining two, I sat opposite the enemy. My mother's seat. She sat in on the chair saved for the rare visitor. Nick Foley must have noticed the chill in the air too. He let out a heavy sigh and looked right at me. He put his elbows on the table and folded his hands in front of his face.
“I had wanted to meet you a lot sooner, but I could just never find the time. It's really cutting it close now. You've heard about me, right?”
Nick Foley looked at my mother. In a barely audible voice she said she was sorry, she couldn't bring it up.
“—Great stuff. But the arrangements are all set now, so we can't move the date. We're leaving Midgar in two days. Get your things ready.
“What are talking about?”
“I've talked it over with your mom several times. You're just going to have to come along. You are family, after all. I'll head off home now, but if there's anything you want to know more about, your mum will—“
After sweeping the cake off the table along with the plate, I slammed my foot down on the floor as I got up, and went straight out the front door.

The sound of the plate shattering rung in my ears. I felt bad about doing something so unlike me. When I've calmed down, I'll go home and talk to Mom. There seems to be a lot of stuff I don't know. But still, leaving in two days? Leaving to where? No. It doesn't matter where, I don't want to go. I'm not going anywhere with that man.
I decided to kill time for two days. Then I would go home. If I did that, Nick Foley and my mother's plans would be shot. It's probably going to be a little awkward for a while, but what can you do. Things will get back to normal soon enough—I kept thinking to myself as I walked through sector seven to the warehouse block in sector eight. The usual destination for teenage runaways.
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Old 02/20/2012   #148
Strangelove
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1: First off, a little about myself

(SPOILER)

When I was fourteen, I took in this grey cat. I found him on the roadside making the most pathetic meow you could imagine and brought him home. While I was busy thinking about giving him a cool name, my mother started calling him Grey. That was the kind of person my mother was. It's a grey cat, let's call him Grey. I complained, but in the end couldn't offer up an alternative.
Grey completely ignored the chair and cushion we prepared for him, and spent his time all around the house, pondering cat stuff and sleeping. Then half a year later he must have come to the conclusion that he didn't belong here, because Grey disappeared somewhere. I was fifteen. I don't know how old he was.
“Maybe he didn't like it here?”
“That's what boys do, they leave home.”
There was a knowing look to my mother's face when she said this one night while we were reminiscing about Grey. I'd never thought of leaving home and leaving my mother behind. I wanted to start earning my way so I could help her out.
My mother worked in a cafe during the day, and in a bar from the evening until late into the night. She was constantly exhausted. But when I found a job, there was always some reason to give up on the idea. I think it was down to the illness I used to have. It was my heart. But I had surgery when I was five, so it should be all clear, and since then it's been absolutely fine. I've been the picture of health, if I say so myself.
“Hey, I've been thinking, I really do want to work. That'll make it easier for you, won't it?”
“Thank you. But in two years. When you're seventeen,” she said as she was playing with the waves of her beautiful, though reeking of tobacco smoke, blonde hair with her fingers.
Mum was playing with the waves of her beautiful, though reeking of tobacco smoke, blonde hair with her fingers as she spoke.
“Why seventeen?”
“Because I'm sure Grey was seventeen too.”
It didn't make any sense at all. Why would working and leaving home mean the same thing. I thought we should have talked it out, but it was painful to have to talk with her when she was drunk.
Half a year later, I saw Grey in the street. Well, a cat that looked like Grey. He had turned into a stray, missing the tip of one of his ears and covered in scars. I called out Grey, and he just looked at me without a hint of enthusiasm. But he soon looked away and started walking off. I followed him, and without even turning around he climbed up the fence of a nearby house and made his way up to the roof. He was now completely out of reach.
I want to work, wait a bit—the same conversation played out at regular intervals. Most of my friends were working, and even if they weren't they must have at least been earning their own spending money. It felt like they were all up there on that roof, laughing at me.

Midgar's sector six. The end of a busy street lined with shops and restaurants. Our house was just down an alley, nestled between a bookshop and a weaponsmiths, that was damp and reeked of rust. Houses with the kind of basic shapes you'd see in a kid's drawing, made of some material that looked like brick, were bunched together. It was apparently used as a housing area for lower level Shinra Company employees for a while after Migdar was completed. Later on, company housing was moved to sectors seven and five. The area was supposed to be demolished, until some rich guy who ran a couple of pubs leased them from Shinra for the workers in his businesses to live in. The rent was dirt cheap. A lot of the people who had come to Midgar from the world below, rural areas or the slums, with dreams of making something of themselves lived there. Everyone was poor. This was the sort of place for people who didn't make it among the relatively wealthy populous of Migdar. But everyone agreed that it beat living in the slums.

It was about one week before my seventeenth birthday. The sound of the phone woke me up. I could hear Mum talking to someone in a quiet voice. When I got up, she was cleaning the kichen/dining room. Cleaning and tidying—in other words, maintaining order in the home—was my job. Studying at my teacher's home, talking with my friends. Wandering around town. Staring at a TV with bad reception. For someone all but devoid of actual responsibilities, this was my sole contribution to our life. I've never cut corners there. When I argued that I had done it yesterday, she told me that we had a guest coming over.
“I'd like you to meet him, so can you go get changed?” she said, without looking at me. Something felt wrong about it, and that hunch proved true.

Nick Foley was in his mid-thirties, like Mum. His tall frame was covered by a well-tailored grey suit. Above a light pink necktie with white dots sat his little, handsome face. He stood in the doorway, a pleasant smile across his face as he looked down at me.
“Call me Nick. I work at the Shinra Company's business department.”
With the way he was smiling and introducing himself, it was like he thought we were friends already. If I let my guard down, I might have actually ended up calling him Nick.
“You take after your dad, don't you.”
Judging from the look on his face, Nick Foley wished he hadn't said that.
“You knew my dad?”
My dad had died in Wutai right before I was born. There's not even a single picture of him, so I don't know what he looked like.
“What, no, I just meant that you don't look much like your mum. I've heard what happened... Sorry. But you're a good-looking boy, aren't you. I bet you do well for yourself with the girls.”
I must have been making quite a face, because Nick Foley started looking at my mother for assistance.
“Do you want some of this cake Nick brought? It's from Mrs. Tosca!”

She made too much of a noise as she set the plates on the table and placed a slice of that overly-decorated cake on them. Eating one of Mrs. Tosca's insanely expensive mounds of sugar and cream was a treat my mother reserved for when she got paid. She liked to take her time to enjoy it, this little reward to herself.
“Come on you two, sit down.”
“So here it is. Been wanting to try these cakes ever since I heard about them. Normally I don't care for sweet stuff at all.”
Nick sat in my seat as he rambled on about some pointless crap. Please just die. The smile vanished from my mother's face. There were three chairs around the table. Out of the remaining two, I sat opposite the enemy. My mother's seat. She sat in on the chair saved for the rare visitor we had. Nick Foley must have noticed the chill in the air too. He let out a heavy sigh and looked right at me. He put his elbows on the table and folded his hands in front of his face.
“I had wanted to meet you a lot sooner, but I could just never find the time. It's really cutting it close now. You've heard about me, right?”
Nick Foley looked at my mother. In a barely audible voice she said she was sorry, she couldn't bring it up.
“—Great. But the arrangements are all set now, so we can't move the date. We're leaving Midgar in two days. Get your things ready.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I've talked it over with your mother several times. You're just going to have to come along. You are family, after all. I'll head off home now, but if there's anything you want to know more about, your mother will—“
After sweeping the cake off the table along with the plate, I slammed my foot down on the floor as I got up, and went straight out the front door.

The sound of the plate shattering rung in my ears. I felt bad about doing something so unlike me. When I've calmed down, I'll go home and talk to Mum. There seems to be a lot of stuff I don't know. But still, leaving in two days? Leaving to where? No. It doesn't matter where, I don't want to go. I'm not going anywhere with that man.
I decided to kill time for two days. Then I would go home. If I did that, Nick Foley and my mother's plans would be shot. It's probably going to be a little awkward for a while, but what can you do. Things will get back to normal soon enough—I kept thinking to myself as I walked through sector seven to the warehouse block in sector eight. The usual destination for teenage runaways.

And then I got caught in the sector seven plate incident. The several support struts which lift up the massive weight of Midgar's giant, circular base from the ground below. The seventh strut was blown up by terrorists, bringing the plate down onto the slum below. A lot of lives were lost.
At the moment of the explosion, I was at the border of sectors seven and eight. When the city shook from the blast, I instantly ran away in the direction of sector eight. At first I had no idea what was going on. I ran without thinking, following the droves of people. Eventually I learnt that sector seven had collapsed. There was news that sector eight was safe, but nothing certain. I was worried about my mother. I tried to go back home via sector zero in the centre of the city, but that route was sealed off by the Shinra Army on lookout for the terrorists. Having no other choice, I decided to work my way backwards, going through eight, one, two, and so on. The people were afraid of where the next explosion would be. These deranged terrorists had just blown up the sector one mako reactor recently.

It was three days later when I reached home, after having gone nearly full circle around Migdar. It took me three days what would have taken one day of walking the shortest distance without resting. I got lost in the unfamiliar streets of sector eight and got into a panic. Before long it was night. The cold breeze that came from the gaps between the warehouses mercilessly sapped the warmth from my body. Cursing my body for its weakness, I looked for a place to lie down. Finally I stumbled across an empty warehouse, and collapsed onto an abandoned mattress. Then out of nowhere appeared a couple of guys looking at me with a nasty glint in their eyes. They were the same age as me, but if I were a house cat, these were strays. They insisted I pay them to use this spot. Claimed those were the rules around these parts. But I had no tender or tributes to have over. In the end giving them someone to vent their dissatisfaction on was how I paid up. It was killing me where they had kicked my back and stomach.
A night's rest didn't do much in the way of making me feel any better. But I didn't want to pay the charges again to stay here. More than worrying about my mother, I just wanted to go home. I mustered up the energy and left the stray's den.
I staggered along, taking frequent breaks on the way, and managed to arrive home past noon on the third day. The house was okay. Mum was out, but this is usually when she's at work. I took some cold medicine and crawled into bed. I fell to sleep as I decided to go see my mother when I got up. It was night-time when I woke. Still wasn't feeling great. But probably good enough to make it to the pub and back. First I took a shower. I dried myself off with a towel and went back to my room, put some underwear on, and some black pants. I picked an oversized sweater which hid my body to wear on top, a navy blue one. This was the most grown-up combination of clothes in my wardrobe. My tall-but-lanky build was the target of ridicule at the pub. I was certain to end up barraged with the same old remarks, telling the kid to have a glass of milk and run along to bed.
Just before I headed out of the door, the thought of leaving my bed a mess started bothering me. When I was straightening out the thin blanket and pillow, I noticed an envelope that had been placed under it. Inside was large sum of money and a letter from Mum. I read the letter. I'm going with Nick as we planned. We will contact you to tell you where we are as soon as we have settled down. Use the money in the envelope to live on and wait for me to call. Leave half of it to pay for the trip to our new home—the whole thing was utterly impersonal and business-like. The sector seven incident had happened on the day I ran out of the house. She must have known about it and the extend of the damages. But she left with a man without even making sure her own son was safe. And she seems to think that I would just come running when she tells me where she is. I didn't get it.

I went to my mother's room and opened the closet door. On the hangers were a few outfits for her daytime job that looked a bit too youthful for her age, and several horrible ones for her night job. It looks like she left her work behind too. The clothes she wore off-work that were usually strewn in a mess beneath them were gone. I sat on my mother's bed for a while, absent-minded. Then I suddenly remembered our family's little secret, hidden in the ceiling.
I brought a chair in from the dining room and placed it in the middle of the room. I got up on it and stretched out my hands, removing one of the ceiling tiles. I gently threw the tile onto the bed, and looked up at the square hole that had opened up in the ceiling. Mum had hidden a chest there. Inside there was money and treasures. The money was her weekly wages, and the treasure were my “first somethings”. My umbilical cord, hair from my first haircut, the first baby tooth I lost—each one creepy anyway you looked at it, but to my mother I guess they were all irreplaceable treasures.
As I stuck my hand into the ceiling my fingertips hit the chest. It seemed to have gotten pushed back and I couldn't grab hold of it. I grabbed hold of the edge of the next tile with both hands, and lifted my body up. I was going to stick my head in to check it out, but the tile broke. I fell, losing my balance atop of the chair, and nearly falling over I landed on the floor. In front of my eyes were pieces of the broken ceiling tile and the treasure chest. There were also two paper bags. When I opened the chest—it was an old wooden cheese box, that I had draw the purple apples I used to like on them in crayon when I was little—all the treasures were still safely there. And the money, which I guess was what was left of her wages. In other words, the money under my pillow wasn't the money that was here. Then where did it come from? Nick Piece-of-Shit Foley's wallet?
Next I opened one of the bags I hadn't seen before. It was white and brand new. When I looked inside I couldn't believe it. Mind-bogglingly would be the perfect adjective to describe the amount of money in the bag. I could live comfortably for a year. The money, like the bag, was new. The wrapper on one of the stacks of bills was loose. The money under my pillow seems to have come from here. I felt like I had gotten to the bottom of that mystery, and it started to make sense. But that was not the heart of the problem. Where did all this money come from? I could only think of one person. Nick Fucking-Loaded Foley.
The other paper bag made of a thicker, pale green paper. When I took the tape off the opening, there was a dun-colour leather bag. It had a sturdy build, with a flap with a metal fastener, with the kind of drabness you'd expect from military equipment or something. It had a strap you could adjust the length of. It was the kind of shoulder bag you'd think would belong to a grown man, and a hardened adventurer at that. When I opened the flap there was a small card inside the bag.
“Happy seventeenth birthday. I hope you become the kind of strong man worthy of this bag. Mum.”
My mother had prepared a birthday present for me, hidden it and left. Disappeared with some good-looking man. Left behind a pile of money and her son. How does all of this fit together. I sat on my mother's bed and thought about it. But it didn't seem like I was going to find the right answer. My mother would contact me someday. I guess I just have to wait until then. For now, I decided to fix the ceiling.
I picked up the broken ceiling tile and got up on the chair, and returned it to its original location. Next the first tile I removed. This one didn't fit in place properly. My arms started getting tired while I was working on it. I started getting irritable, and had no choice but to face up to the unpleasant reality I just couldn't shake out of my mind. My mother was short, and even if she stood on a chair she couldn't reach the ceiling. When I had grown taller than Mum, it was my idea to use the space behind the ceiling as storage. Since then I had been my duty to taking things out of and putting things into the chest. That's how I knew how much my mother made, how much she had left, and how poor we were.
And therein lies the question. Who put the money and the gift I just found behind the ceiling?
The tall man who looked down at me in the doorway. Nick Son-of-a-Bitch Foley. That man had been in my mother's room while I was gone.
I abandoned the work and went to the phone next to the front door and pulled the cable from the base. They're going to see how angry I am.

Things started getting back to normal. I was going to my teacher's, talking with my friends, watching TV. I thought about splashing out with the money. But when I thought that it might be Nick Foley's money I decided against it. No. The truth is I just couldn't think of anything to do with it. In the end I put the money in the shoulder bag and decided to forget all about it.
For nights I couldn't sleep. One evening I struck on the idea of reading a book. Reading was my mother's sole hobby. In her room were several books she had finished. I picked out “Escape From Wutai – Part 1”. Because it was the last one on the end. That's all. It was an old novel written during the war. The beginning consisted of a lot of scenes of the Wutaians using some weird martial arts to kill the prisoners in the camps. Eventually five of the prisoners slip past a stupid Wutaian and escape the camp. Three men, and two women. There's one man too many. I figured that someone was probably going to die. Probably this Shinra military officer wanker. However the officer defied my expectations and lived, and started acting like the leader and pushing the other four around. I wished he would die soon. I got my wish near the last page. The officer was blown to bits by one of the land mines the Wutaians had planted. The way he died shocked me.

“He was blown to bits by a Wutai landmine.”

This was the only story my mother had told me about my father. Maybe she got it from this novel. Did she project my father onto this man who was bound to die? That was probably the case. She must have really hated him. I admired how she could have raised the son of a man like that. No. Maybe it's exactly because I was the child that man had left behind that, when the time came, she was able to abandon me like this. I thought I was loved, but was that just a mask for her hatred. I threw “Escape From Wutai – Part 1” against the wall. Like I gave a toss what happened to the other four in the Part 2.
I went back into my mother's room and looked at her book collection. I could tell from the titles that they were all adventure novels. On the covers were illustrations of what looked like the main characters. They were different sorts of characters, but all women. So my mother loved that kind of novel. The sort of sights and adventures missing from her real life. And, though I didn't want to think about it, maybe she liked the romance. Was life with me that boring? Was it painful?
That's enough. My mother left, and I'm left behind. I'm just going to stop thinking about her. I need to think about living on my own.
The next day I visited the café she used to work at. The manager, a man with the square forehead and broad shoulders of a retro robot, ranted at lengths about my mother suddenly quitting. I had kind of prepared for this, but it got to me more than I imagined. After a stream of complaints he seemed to remember to ask what I was here for. I told him I wanted a job. From the flow of the conversation I figured I was in for rejection. But the manager called up the owner right then and there. I couldn't understand what was going on in his mind, but then again I didn't know how my own mother felt. It's no wonder I wouldn't understand a stranger.
Surprisingly, I was able to start work soon. The delivery truck that transported the food and drinks to all the owner's businesses. My job was being his assistant. My predecessor had gotten a job with the Shinra Company and had just gleefully quit this job.

It was a fulfilling life. This was the 'joy of work'. I enjoyed the total change of scenery. Of course, there was never a day I didn't think about Mum. But still, it got me away from being affected about it 24/7. I put the phone cable back normal about ten days after unplugging it. Maybe my mother had tried to contact me during that time. It's possible that the phone rang while I was out of the house as well. However, the phone wasn't the only way to get in touch. The fact there was nothing is a sign that she did abandon me after all. But, whatever. Mum, I hope you'll be happy. I'm enjoying my life. The truck driver was a hard boss to work for, but I knew he needed me more than anyone else. I'd never had that experience before in my life. Regardless of the heavy labour, I wasn't worried about my heart at all. I'd gotten confident about that too. What do you think about that, Mum.

I started to think those days would last. But the situation quickly changed. The channel seemed to have turned itself over in the middle of a show. Meteor had appeared in the sky above Midgar. This thing that had just suddenly appeared in defiance of all astronomical knowledge looked like a massive black void in the sky. There were rumours going around that the world would end in seven days. Giant monsters had appeared in the north and around Junon, and even Shinra's prized weaponry couldn't defeat them. The city was in chaos with dodgy rumours, like you'd be safe if you hid in the mako reactors or there was an underground shelter Shinra had built in Kalm. The only thing anyone knew for certain was that Meteor was getting closer day by day. The arguments about the truth about Meteor and how to avoid it soon subsided too.
The owner closed his shops and left Midgar, and the neighbourhood was filled by the din of people getting ready to evacuation. My friends, the truck driver and other workmates asked me to flee with them somewhere far away, but I just thanked them and declined.
Seeing Meteor was the first time in my life I considered death. Then all I could think about was my mother, and the awkward circumstances we had parted in. If I left the house, it felt like I'd lose all connection to her. I spent the time looking at the few pictures of me and her. There were all taken at the photographer's on my birthdays. I was standing next to my mother, gradually growing up. After I had gotten taller than her, I started pulling a sulky face in the pictures. My mother was always smiling. I looked at that smiling face and realised how stupid I had been. Mum wouldn't abandon me. All the things I should have done ran through my mind. If I had gone to the Shinra Company, I might have found out where Nick Foley was. I probably should have put the phone back normal right away and installed an answering machine. And then the answers to the questions I didn't even try to think about came to me. The purpose of all the money left behind the ceiling. Wherever it had come from, the reason she'd left the money was because she planned on coming straight back. Or perhaps for me to bring it to her. That seems likely. Mum never even considered living away from me for a long time. And there was my birthday present. My mum took birthdays very seriously. She would have made some arrangement so I'd that shoulder bag on the right day. Wrote about it in the letter, or put it somewhere easier to find. But she didn't. Because she planned on contacting me soon. I should have just shut up and waited by the phone. The joy of work? I'm an idiot.

And then that day came. I survived the day the mako energy, or rather the Lifestream, burst to the surface and wiped out Meteor. For seven days after that, I waited at home for my mother. On the night of the seventh day, I step outside and ended up going down from Midgar to the slums.

Now I'll tell you about something that happened two years later. I'll probably talk a bit about some of the stuff that happened in those two years as well. I'd like to pick the best route possible as to avoid getting sidetracked. But as I already said, I'm not great with making choices. Hopefully you'll bear with me.
I'll also sometimes bring up things I shouldn't really know about. Times likes those I'll use the facts as the basis, and use a bit of imagination to fill in the rest. For example, something like this.
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Old 02/20/2012   #149
LicoriceAllsorts
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Oh god, cliffhanger!
Great job, Hito. So far, I'm enjoying it a lot. Evan comes across as a believable teenager; I like the way his atitude keeps changing. The mystery of Nick Foley is intriguing (I've already forgotten your summaries). I think my favourite bit is the dodgy rumours, like you'd be safe if you hid in a Mako reactor. This kind of wild rumour-spreading is just the kind of thing that happens in real life.
Midgar seems huge. Three days to walk from sector 8 to sector 6? Even going the long way round instead of straight across, that makes for an enormous city. Mind you, if they made the game nowadays I'm sure Midgar would be unimaginably vast.
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Old 02/20/2012   #150
Pixel
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Nice I like how you've translated it. I particularly like the wanker line lol. Are those nick foley insults direct translations, or have you had to rewrite those?
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