Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Full Metal Panic! Volume 06

“There’s no way we could reject such an invitation, Ms. Tsuboi,” a few of the members sent from the Board of Education, along with several officers from the parents’ association, stressed to Principal Takako Tsuboi.

“Of course, we realize that this is sudden. But next year our second year students will have to prepare for examinations, so this will be the only opportunity they get. And if this field trip that has been so painstakingly arranged for them is spoiled, I’m sure the students would be very disappointed.”

“Ahh...” Principal Tsuboi said in a faint voice. She was a middle-aged woman over 50, and was wearing a simple suit. She seemed to have aged suddenly because of the waves of trouble that had hit her school ever since this year had begun.

“It’s an important memory for young people. And the hijacking. Honestly. The scars on the students’ hearts must be immeasurable. I express my sympathy once again.”

“Thank you...” Principal Tsuboi said for now. But to her knowledge, there weren’t any innocent students whose hearts had been wounded by the affair.

No one cared. In fact, they bragged about it to the seniors, juniors, and students at other schools. Instead of the original plan to tour of the Okinawa front, it ended up being like a ride at a strange theme park. Before worrying about the wounded hearts of the students, she wanted some compassion for her position of having those kids as students, Principal Tsuboi thought deep down.
The man from the Board of Education continued.

“Well, how about it? Mr. Kaneyama from the Mishima Memorial Education Foundation, who was grieved about the incident, has made special arrangements. We want the Jindai High School students to have memories of a modest trip.”

As he said this, he laid a pamphlet on the reception table.

First she saw the picture of a beautiful, enormous boat. It was a cruise boat sailing along over a deep blue ocean, underneath a clear blue sky. There were a ton of windows, as well a complex tier of decks. Its streamlined bow was kicking up the white waves.

“It’s called the Pacific Chrysalis. This around-the-world cruise liner is planning to leave from Yokohama Port on December 24th for a short overnight cruise.”

“...this luxury liner for my students?”

“Yes. They have been invited. But don’t worry- even though it’s a luxury liner, it isn’t a formal thing. Recently, cruise ships have become popular all around the world. Wearing casual clothes is okay. Well- when you look at it, it’s a theme park on the ocean, basically. It’s the same cost per person as a domestic trip.”

“Ahh...”

“It’ll be enough if you just think of it as a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. And the departure place, Yokohama, is not far by train. Since there are no airplanes involved, it’s completely safe. How about it, Ms. Tsuboi? This is a great favor from the Mishima Foundation. I urge you to think positively about it.”

Of course, it really wasn’t a bad idea. And Principal Tsuboi had not heard anything bad about the Mishima Memorial Foundation, either. They were a legitimate organization that did a whole lot of charity work. Their efforts at international goodwill, medical support for poor countries, and cultural exchanges were well known, even in North Korea. When she thought about the country which had become the setting for the hijacking drama, receiving this kind of proposal didn’t seem all that unnatural.


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