Ayanokouji Atsuomi’s Monologue
WEALTH, POVERTY. FINANCIAL disparity.
Highly educated, poorly educated. Educational disparity.
Urban and rural areas. Regional disparity.
Disadvantaged young people, privileged old people. Generational disparity.
Japan is a disparate society. These are just a few instances I mentioned, but they truly represent the difference between heaven and hell. The important thing to remember is that not all realities are not stagnant. The poor can rise to become wealthy, and the wealthy can fall to become poor. For example, if you don't like regional disparities, you can move to the city.
Although I understood the logic, I had nothing. I was born in the countryside, extremely poor, and pitifully uneducated. I was not blessed with endurance, nor was I a hard worker.
If I had to name one aspect that would’ve made me a strong fighter, it’d be my youth. However, I didn’t make the most of it and spent much of my time in idleness. You could say I had a slow paced life.
There was no bright future awaiting me, and there was a possibility that I would simply lead a miserable life. But I opened up the future with my own hands.
It was because I had something grander than others, That is — unbridled and ever-expanding “ambition.”
I will rise to the top and stand at the top of this country.
With that in mind, I continued living my life until today. That ambition was the only thing that sustained me throughout my life.
When I turned twenty-five, I faced my first tribulation.
I had saved up three million yen by working part-time jobs. With this, I would become a politician and a member of the Japanese parliament, and build up huge wealth and prestige.
A fleeting and poor dream. I underestimated the election and lost miserably. It’d be lucky if that was all, but since I didn't even reach the required number of votes, they confiscated all of the three million I slaved myself to collect.
The government was not only trying to solve poverty, it was also trying to create a clean political environment, combat the declining birthrate, raise wages, and fight for the “NO WAR” movement.
I assumed it wouldn’t be difficult to get elected if I just went around carelessly spouting all the beautiful things I could come up with without giving them too much thought. However, that would be a shallow and stupid idea.
Everyone comes up with such shallow thoughts.
What’s important to win elections is which organization you belong to and who you work under, and whether you can discern enemies and allies while being wrapped up in a long game.
What happened afterward? You thought I had fallen?
I joined the ruling party, the Citizens' Party, and began taking my first steps as a politician.
Yes, two years later, I once again put my name forward in an election and won. In two years' time, I had succeeded in getting into a position where it was possible to pour my whole life, heart, and soul into politics.
This may have made me a winner, but for me, getting elected wasn’t the goal.
Above all, the world of politics isn’t that easy.
No, in some ways it was the deepest and blackest world out there. No matter how ambitious I am, I’m just another young member of the parliament with no backing or power.
Most of the people who’re able to rise to power are second and third-generation people who were given the right to do so at birth. The sons of big politicians who are ignorant, dumb, and unaware of the danger they are in, who keep repeating their insipid empty remarks on TV, day and night.
Sometimes, they’ve even made the transition from show business to politics, using only their face and name recognition. Most of them are nothing more than mascots, but they still have more potential than a “have-not” like me. It’s ironic. How do I make a name for myself as a politician? My options were limited from the start.
I had to take on the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do. If I failed, my political career would be cut short immediately, and in some cases, criminal charges would be filed against me.
By taking the initiative in undertaking these tasks, I gradually strengthened my presence within the party. Eventually, I was known as the hidden sword of “Naoe-sensei,” who united many factions in the Citizen's Party. I didn’t hesitate to commit any kind of evil deed—pandering to underage girls, bribery, and espionage activities for hostile organizations.
Once I was entrusted with this project, the boundaries between right and wrong were removed for the sake of success. There were times when I connected with the yakuza or lesser gangs and resorted to violent means.
I had no time to rest, and I continued challenging myself. Before long, I was gaining influence within the party, and at the age of 36, I had one foot in power. But... from here on out, to jump into the very center of the political world, I would need further achievements and transgressions.
A newborn baby, one-month-old.
The first time I saw my child through the glass, he was staring blankly at the ceiling. No special feelings came to mind.
If I had to say, the only feeling I felt was relief that the key to move the higher-ups had arrived.
I’d been waiting impatiently for this moment for almost a year.
“Health check complete.”
“There are no problems at present. The results of the DNA analysis were a match.”
Tabuchi, who had completed all the tests, gave his report while looking at the results of the detailed examination.
I see. We can't get caught in the preliminary phase. Because that had been cleared up, we can say that the first stage has been accomplished.
“We could have you come in direct contact with them now.”
“No need. Start the experiment immediately, just as you’ve done with the previous children.”
The White Room project is already in its fourth phase. There’s no need to waste time. I stopped to look at my child, who was about to be carried out of the room as instructed. If I put him in the White Room, I won't see him for a while, right?
“Wait a minute.”
I headed down to my son, who was behind the glass that separated us. Being directly in front of him, I could once again feel the little life close to me.
His head was not set, so I slipped my palm behind his neck and gently picked him up.
“You really are Sensei’s son. You're about to undergo a rigorous education, but I'm sure you'll achieve great resul-”
“What are you talking about? Get ready to start shooting.”
Tabuchi was stunned as if he didn't understand what I was trying to say.
“I'm sending my child, who is more important to me than my own life, into the White Room. Capture that determination and tension on camera. It will be an important piece of propaganda to use at the next collection party.”
Parents who are not interested in their children or parents who don’t want to give up their children but are willing to give them up for the future.
One doesn't have to wonder which will catch the gallery's eye more.
“What...? Ah, yes.” Tabuchi hurriedly took out his cell phone and took pictures and videos of me holding the child.
After a minute or so of this, I put the baby down.
“Take him with you.”
I cut my gaze from my child as he was being moved and began to prepare for the coming event.
“Anyway, all the necessary preparations are now in place. Put me through to Sakayanagi.”
It’s been almost a decade since I stepped into politics. Ostensibly, I've been laughing and slurping muddy water, but that ends today.
I'm starting a life for myself here. I will use and cut down anything I can, even my own children, and reach the top. Naoe-sensei, who reigns as the absolute power, is no more than a stepping stone. He is an enemy that must eventually be overcome and crushed.
“If you don’t want to die, you’re on your own Kiyotaka.”
Whether you are a baby or an adult, in the end, you are on your own. Your situation may be the worst, but unfortunately, ours is similar. If you’d been raised as my family, it would’ve been more like neglect. In that sense, I guess you could say I'm still blessed to have had a good start.
I closed my eyes in silence, alone in the room where the child had disappeared. But you never know what life will bring.
I never thought that I would have a child of my own blood in any way.
The turning point came about four years after I started working for Naoe-sensei.
That was when I learned about the existence of the White Room Project.