Chapter 25 – Meeting with a Low-life

Chapter 25 – Meeting with a Low-life

by December 28, 2014

Chapter 25 - Meeting with a Low-life

Translated by Mecorx and Pixel

I headed toward Midgar’s central pillar, as directed by Leslie. Looking up, I used the wires running through Midgar’s steel frame as a rough guide. I couldn’t remember the way. It was, to me, a revelation about walking the slums. When I asked why he hadn’t told me earlier, he shot me down saying it was just common sense. Before long, I was right below Midgar’s Sector Six, where I lived. A huge concrete wall came into view. This general area must be Wall Market. As well as it being the red light district of the slums, it seemed to be a place where most things could be acquired so long as you had the cash. If it was that kind of place, then anyone living in the slums would knows of it. Before I met Leslie, there were actually a few times when I thought of asking about it. But asking for directions in the slums… was frankly something I was afraid of. I can’t tell the difference between a kind person, and someone pretending to be kind, in order to deceive you. The thought of being taken somewhere dark, and getting murdered scares the shit out of me. Especially now, when I’m carrying all of this money. I was so concerned that Leslie would notice how insecure I was. But it seemed Leslie didn’t have the time to think that far, today.

“Hey, Evan.”

I remembered Leslie’s parting words as he took me half way.

“Don’t use Corneo’s name in front of Marle. Ever. Got it?”

Don Corneo seemed to be the so-called “boss” of Wall Market.

“Understood. But, why?”

“If think of yourself as my friend, don’t ask again. Ever. Got it?”


Leslie replied without so much as asking my reason for going to see Corneo.


Wall Market. It doesn’t have the exhilarating hustle and bustle of a market. The air is stagnant. Must be the corruption. It was a place ruled over in silence, like a graveyard. Several men and women were squatting down all around. I was careful not to make eye contact, as Leslie told me, and headed toward a house furthest at the back. It was a pathetic house, faded like old artificial flowers, though it was nicer than everything around it.

I stood in the doorway, and rang the doorbell.


“Who is it?”

A deep, man’s voice came from the other side of the door.

“Cloud sent me… from the delivery service.”

There was no answer. I heard footsteps moving away from the doorway. Perhaps he was passing on my message. Despite feeling uneasy, I took another look around. A number of glassy eyes were staring at me. No. Perhaps they weren’t actually looking at anything. Before long, the door opened, and a man appeared. He was a giant man with a side parting, and piercing eyes. He had a long scar on his cheek. My eyes wandered. Belch.

“Come in.”


I followed after him, as if I was being taken in. The smell caught my attention. A sickly sweet smell flowed into every corner of my nasal cavity. The interior decoration of the hallway was similarly in tatters. Wallpaper was falling off in places, revealing the plaster underneath. Could I really get fuel in a place like this? First of all, what reason did I have for believing that guy from the delivery service? Was I going to let my doubts stretch that far back? What do I do? Should I make up some excuse, and come again? Oh! I almost raised my voice unintentionally. When I left the car with Reno, I should have tried asking about fuel. I could have come here after they turned me down. I, surely, definitely, made the wrong choices. Perhaps my being here now is punishment for that? I want to get out of here. Let’s escape. Yeah that’s what I’ll do… but, before I knew it, the big man and I had arrived in front of the door at the end of the hallway.

“Take care not to be disrespectful.”

The big man opens the door without knocking. I hesitate, but he pushes me from behind, and I stagger into the room.

There was nobody there, so I stood at the door, and looked around the room. It was a strange room. A large, round bed occupied most of the not so spacious room. A great many number of photos were stuck on the walls. A quick glance revealed that they were all women. They ranged from childlike girls who seemed to be in their early teens, to older women who were close to being elderly.


I heard a strange voice from the back of the bed, on the other side of the partition. It was a weak voice, like his breath was just leaking out. Before long, I heard the sound of metal creaking, and a little old man in a wheelchair appeared. He was wearing a gaudy red suit. Its gaudiness emphasized his dull appearance.

“So, I heard Cloud sent you?”

The old man, who seemed to be Don Corneo, said in a shrill voice. Below his balding head was a wrinkled face. But only one eye shone brightly. They fully contrasted, the lifeless eyes I saw outside. Maybe he wasn’t as not as old as he looked.


“Your name?”


“What is your name?”

“Evan. Evan Townshend.”

Why is it I can never lie at times like this?

“Alrighty, I got it. You’re Evan. Evan Townshend.”

I shiver went down my spine.


I wanted to take care of this business and go home. Or, really, it didn’t need to be taken care of. However, the other party directed his gaze to the wall as if to say he was no longer interested in me.

“Hmm, damn that Cloud. Meeting him was the start of my downfall…”

He seemed to be looking at the photos on the wall. I also followed his gaze.


Three women appeared in a what looked like a hidden camera shot. One was Tifa from Seventh Heaven. Even just that was a surprise, but then, there was the fact that the woman in the middle was clearly a cross-dressing Cloud. Feeling like I had seen something that I shouldn’t have seen, I quickly averted my eyes.

“Well, youngin’. What is it that you want?”

“I want to go on a road trip. I need fuel. Can you get your hands on some?”

“Can I get my hands on some? Is this old man capable of doing something like that? Is that what you mean?”

“No, that’s not what I meant…”

“Evan, was it? Don’t judge a person by their appearance. This is a fundamental part of life, but it’s easy to forget. Keep that in mind. I had a terrible experience, because I forgot that.”

And once again, he looked at the photo on the wall.

“You probably think I’m just some weak, old guy, but I’m not that old. Well, I’m not young, either. My body is like this now, and I can’t do things the way I used to, but hey, I’m filthy rich.”

Corneo pointed his right hand, which was covered with gaudy rings, at photos around the room.

“As long as I have these, I can get my hands on most things, and keep most people quiet.”

I immediately understood what Corneo was saying. This guy’s a low-life asshole.

“…Except for dear Cloud, here. He’s just about the only one who treats me like some handyman. A real something, he is. Anyway, the fuel. At dawn tomorrow, the main avenue of Edge. The south end. I’ll have it brought there. Is that okay with you?”

“Alright, I’ll pay you then.”

“I don’t need money. Instead, tell Cloud that it was free.”

“No, I want to pay.”

“You don’t want to be in my debt? Then do as you like.”

“How much is it?”

“All of your money. Free, or all of the money you have on you. Difficult choice, ain’t it? Well, you’ve got some time so think it over. By the way, Evan.” Corneo narrowed his eyes as he looked at me. “Are you related to Shinra?”

My heart rate jumped.

“People sometimes say I look like the idiot President. Unfortunately not.”

“Is that so? Well then, have we met?”


“Hoo-wee, I see, so that’s how it is? Wait just a minute.”

Corneo’s wheelchair screeched as he disappeared to the other side of the partition. I went to a photo with Tifa in it, and quickly tore it off while keeping an eye on the partition. This shouldn’t be here. Then, I took a look around the wall. Countless photos of dressed up or half-naked women were stuck on it. That moment, Marle’s smiling face disappeared. I remembered Leslie’s expression when I mentioned Corneo’s name. Near the end of the wall, I found it. She looked thinner than she was now, but it was definitely her. I tore off the photo of the Marle, and shoved it in my pocket.

“I found it, I found it,”

As Corneo returned in a good mood, I gazed innocently at pictures on the wall.

“I’m pretty sure it was right here…”

Corneo was flipping through a thick album on his lap. Then, he took out a small photo from it, and showed to me.

“That’s you, isn’t it.”

I looked grumpy in the photo. I was wearing a stupid looking party hat. It was a photo my mother took for fun on my 15th birthday. It was her favourite and I was sure that she carried it around in her wallet. Why did Corneo have it? No way! I flipped out. I looked at the photographs of the wall. My Mom was a…!?

“What? Oh, no no. That photo was posted on some bulletin board. I ordered my men to bring me that sort of thing from all over the place. Until about a year ago, information on missing people was worth quite a bit of money, you see. Check it out, there are contact details written on the back of the photograph. Guess this means someone out there is looking for you.”

“Who… would be looking for me?”

“5000. No, you’re an acquaintance of Cloud, 1000 Gil will do.”

“Annette Townshend?”

“Nope. Bad luck. I’m not giving you any more hints. 1000 Gil if you want to know the answer. It’s a bargain.”



“There are people who couldn’t be reunited, because you tore off those photographs. Did you think of that?”

“You’re exactly right. But, why would I care?”

“You scumbag.”

“Oh, Evan. It seems you’ve seen through me. That’s great, kid.”

I pulled the shoulder bag hanging by my waist around to the front and was about to take out the money. Rufus ShinRa’s pistol came in contact with my fingertips. The money or the gun, which one?

“Evan, look here.”

As I lifted my head, I saw that Corneo had taken out a revolver without me noticing and pointed it at me.

“If what comes out of there is something other than money, I’m gonna shoot.”

This scumbag probably shoot for real. I wasn’t about to be shot dead by Corneo in a place like this. I inserted my hand into the paper bag, pulled out a roll of bills, and threw it on the bed. Then, I grabbed the photo.

“Pleasure doing business with you.”

Corneo said while smirking.

“I’ll deliver the fuel. I’m a man of my word.”

I thought that was hardly something to be saying while pointing a gun at someone, but I just wanted to leave as soon as possible.

“Hey, kid. If there are any photos on the wall that you’d like, take as many as you want. I have copies of all of them.”

I left the room while cursing the shallowness of my own cautiousness. I walked further, exited, and took a deep breath. The air outside was better than inside the house, but it still left me feeling depressed. I left Wall Market without stopping, without looking back. I took the photos out of my pocket as I walked. First, I looked at the one with Cloud in it. What the hell were Cloud and Tifa doing? Who’s the other person? When I turned the photo around, it was marked “Cloud, Tifa and Aerith”. Aerith? This girl is Aerith? Aerith, the Ancient. She told Kyrie that her parents had died, was kidnapped by Shin-Ra, and then died. Aerith was connectioned with Cloud and Tifa.

《A number of things happened》

I remembered Tifa’s half-hearted smile. I tore up the photo of Tifa and company, and scattered the pieces at the roadside.

《If you think of yourself as my friend, don’t ask》

I recalled Leslie’s words. I tore up the photo of Marle, and discarded it the same way. Finally, there was my photo. Nick Foley’s name, and the phone number of my house were written on the back. He must have put my photo up on the bulletin board, assuming that I had already gone down to the slums. Then, he went up to Midgar, and expired at Mr. Arde’s home. If I had seen the photo on the bulletin board, then we might have been able to be reunited. Even though Nick was about to lose his life to Geostigma, we might still at least have been able to meet briefly. I might even have found out where my mother was. I was robbed of that opportunity by that low-life scum.

Next Chapter