This website provides a fan translation of the Playstation 2 game Akai Ito.


From the Twilight Window

My fretfulness at having forgotten to turn my cell phone into manner mode blows away the lingering sleep into which I had lapsed.

Frantically using both hands, I pay heed to my surroundings as I search for my cell.

My right hand touches the device right as I feel the relief of seeing no annoyed faces around me.

Me: Yes, hello?

Girl's voice: Yoohoo, Hato-chan.

Me: Ah, Youko-chan.

Without seeing her face, this person whose identity I know across the phone with one phrase is my classmate, Nara Youko-chan.

Having become close friends with her by the difference of one seat number, I have a surname with the "ha" that directly follows "na," and my full name is Hatou Kei.

Thus her "Hato-chan" comes not from my given name, but my surname.

Youko: How've you been?

Kei: I'm alright, somehow. Everything's just settled down.

Youko: Is that so? Then that's great. You can't expect anything less from me. Miraculous timing.

Is that really so? If it was truly miraculous, I don't think you would be jostling people awake...

Kei: Ahaha......

Youko: Anyway, Hato-chan, it's been a while.

Kei: I guess so. About one week?

You normally wouldn't call it "a while," but I suppose I feels that way since, during school days, we would normally see each other's faces every day.

No, that's not it.

It's because so much has happened to me.

Youko: So, Hato-chan, are you free?

Kei: If you can call it "free," I suppose I am...

Youko: Alright! That's good. I had the feeling I was in the way.

Kei: ......?

Youko: This faithful-hearted Youko-chan thought, "maybe I should start broadcasting my Hato-chan-exclusive waves of love!" or so I thought, but I just called you instead.

Kei: Okay.

Youko: You were sleeping, weren't you, Hato-chan?

Kei: Wah, how did you know?

It couldn't have shown up in my voice...

Could I have been blurting out all of those things I was thinking just now?

Youko: For god sakes, you shouldn't sleep with your mouth hanging open like that. You can't do that at your age.

Kei: Ehh!? My mouth was open!?

Youko: It's sad, but the one most unable to see yourself is you. Come on now, wipe off that drool.

As I extend my hand to my mouth.

Er... handkerchief, handkerchief.

Youko: Not there, the other side.

I wipe at the other side.

Kei: Did I get it off?

Youko: ......kkgh!

Youko-chan's desperately held laughter. No way.

Youko: Pwa~ ha ha ha!

Was I deceived?

When I think about it, were we to suppose there was drool (I stress that this is mere supposition), it's not like she could see it. We're on the phone.


Youko: Oh, boy, Hato-chan, you're truly funny. As to be expected of my patented toy No. 1.

I'm being be referenced in a rather cruel manner.

Maybe I should hang up right now.

Kei: ......And? What's your business with me?

Youko: That's right. If you're free now, you're free tomorrow, right? I'm open too, so let's go somewhere and have fun.

Kei: Not gonna work.

I tell her as coldly as I can manage.

Youko: ...........

Kei: Impossible.

Added refusal. Switching to Keigo for stranger treatment.

Youko: ............

Kei: ............

Youko: ............

Youko: Uwaaa, are you mad? Did I piss you off?

Kei: I'm pissed off.

Youko: Sorry, sorry. I'll treat you to something tomorrow, so forgive me!


Kei: If you say you'll go that far, then I guess I can find it in my heart to forgive you.

Youko: Thank you, I love you, Hato-chan. I'll even splurge and add a dessert for lunch.

Kei: You're rolling in the dough, aren't you, Youko-chan?

Youko: Papa and mama are both on vacation, and I'm left with house duty, so I received a bit of special income.

Kei: You couldn't get them to take you along?

Youko: Ugh... well, there were circumstances involved. Circumstances.

Judging from her voice, perhaps it'd be best not to press the issue.

Kei: Hmm... So that's why you're free.

Youko: That's how it is. So, then, tomorrow at ten-

Kei: I'm sorry. Tomorrow really won't work.

Youko: Why?

Kei: Because I'm not there, now. I guess you'd call it "away from home"?

Youko: Eh?

Youko: ......Hato-chan, where are you right now?

Kei: In a train. Can't you hear the bumping?

The vibrations of the train kicking at the iron rails have a rhythm much like that of a heartbeat.

That reassuring cradle-like rocking probably is the reason I could fall asleep so easily.

Or maybe I was just tired.

Kei: How is it? If you can't hear it, I can put my cell to the floor...

Youko: That's alright. I could hear it. But for the inside of a train, isn't it really quiet?

Kei: Totally empty. I have the whole box - or rather, the whole car - to myself.

I lift my waist to confirm.

That's right. I'm the only one.

The reason I can use my phone, let alone converse in a casual tone like this, can be traced to this state of exclusivity.

I, Hatou Kei, disapprove of bothering train passengers with troublesome phone calls... but, setting that aside...

Kei: It's amazing. Looks like there aren't any people in the connecting cars, either.

Youko: To come across a situation like that, at the height of summer vacation, at this time of day... where in the world are you going?

Kei: It's really rural.

Youko: Thanks for the frank explanation. So at the very least, you're not close by.

Kei: Yep, it's really far. I've already been riding for the whole day.

Thanks to that, my butt could be in a bit of pain.

Youko: Good work for that, Hato-chan. So, going that far, what's your destination?

Kei: Umm, a place called Hemidzuka. Apparently my father had a house, there.

Youko: ...!?

Youko: Hato-chan, whaddaya mean!? ...Going to your father's house...!

My ears are left with a slight ring.

I'm just going to my father's house; what's with the reaction...

Or so you would normally think, but in my case, there are circumstances involved that I generally can't talk about.

My father has been gone for a long time, and I can't even remember his face. Youko-chan knows that.

My household consisted of mother and daughter.

And to say "consisted" in past tense means that, this summer, my mother...

It's not like she'd gotten into an accident or anything... It just seemed she wasn't feeling well, and the moment I thought that, it was over. She'd passed away, quickly and quietly.

From something like exhaustion, so they said.

Youko: Could it be... are you moving!? Are you changing schools or something!?

Kei: Ah, not that. I don't think so. It's not like I have a grandfather or any relatives, and I'm not going there for a place to live.

Youko: Phew˜˜˜

In response to my carefree voice, I can hear Youko-chan let out a long sigh.

Youko: ......So then, why?

Kei: I was just checking to see if there were any heirlooms or an inheritance, and they told me I had a house in Hemidzuka.

The tax counselor who was taking care of everything told me about it, and I accepted the key.

Considering the property taxes and whatever else, it seems like a good idea to decide quickly whether I inherit or release it.

Kei: So, at any rate, I thought I'd go and take a look.

Youko: Sounds like you're having a rough time, too.

Kei: You bet I am.

Youko: I'm free, it's summer, and we're on break. If you'd told me, I'd have gone with you.

Kei: Ah, I didn't think of that.

I hit my knee at the realization.

Kei: Going to a place you don't know by yourself is pretty nerve-wracking.

Youko: Ahaha, you'd think someone so nervous wouldn't be falling asleep and drooling everywhere.

Kei: I'm telling you, I wasn't droo-

Kei: Eh, wha? Youko-chan? Youko-chaan?

Shiin. (Silence)

Looks like the train went into an area where the waves can't reach.

For now, I'll just try calling again.


No good.

Kei: Haah......

A single sigh. By the time I turn my eyes to the window overlooking the western sun, the scenery is already rather different from before.

The sun had begun sinking a long time ago, and a deep mixture of green and orange has spread across the horizon.

Kei: My father's countryside, huh?

For someone like me, used to the stiff world of glass, concrete and asphalt, the scene spreading ahead is imbued with newness.

Checking the cell phone, still in my hand, I see that some time has passed since the I last looked.

We'll probably arrive at my destination very soon.

Goton, goton... (sound of the train on the rails).

Gatan, goton...

Adjusting my posture deeply into my seat, I entrust my body to the swaying of the train.

Goton, goton...

Gatan, goton...

I drop my eyelids lazily to the hypnotic rocking.

Goton, goton...

Gatan, goton...

Even if I close my eyes, the world of twilight remains.

Having fallen level to my line of sight, the evening sun shines transiently through the blood rushing underneath my eyelids, and dyes the world in a vermillion haze.

Yet again, I see a dream.

A dream of vivid scarlet...