This one was really tricky to work with… I’ll let you find out why.
I need to find a better way to prop open these books when I’m translating :'(
Published in 2016/03/03 issue
The man sits alone in front of his PC, typing in silence. He seems to be writing some kind of document. FFXIV is open in the background, and the game’s BGM and sound effects can be heard every now and then. Next to the PC is a coffee mug, an ashtray stacked high with cigarette butts, and what appears to be a bag of prescription medicine. If you look closely, you can see the words “my body hurtsss” in the FFXIV chat box. He’s clearly caught the flu that’s been going around. Incidentally, the current date is February 7th, 2016. He’s an unlucky man.
Let’s jump back to another day. He has an interview with a certain media outlet at his company’s office, and his fatigue must be plainly visible, because his colleague comments that he doesn’t look well. Of course I don’t; I’ve just gone through hell. Nevertheless, the interview goes well, laughter is heard, and all seems to be fine. However, the conversation shifts to another topic, and he grimaces as he says, “Man, that was so rough…”
Backtrack some more, and he’s in Kagoshima. It’s a sunny day—perfect weather for a stroll. The man is walking around with several of his colleagues. One of them had mentioned that the statue of Takamori Saigo was nearby, so they are heading there. There’s a photo spot on the sidewalk on the other side of the road. One of the colleagues asks the man to help him get a Kagoshima-esque shot, and the man agrees, because why not? He ends up striking a humorous pose with Takamori Saigo.
Going back again, the man is at an event venue. He’s surrounded by people, and they’re all talking at him enthusiastically. He does laugh here and there, so he looks like he’s enjoying himself—but if you say to him “It must be tough”, he’ll frown and whisper, “I wish they’d give me a break.”
The man is at an event venue, but the only people around are staff. Everyone looks exhausted—it feels as though a long event has just concluded. Words of desperate encouragement lifelessly ring out in the air: “Just a little longer until we can go! Keep at it!” It’s already 9:30 p.m. The only words uttered by the man are “I’m starving…”
The man is at Kagoshima Station. He stretches and says, “We’re finally here.” Despite his words of relief, his face is unenthused when he looks up and sees rain falling from the black, starless sky. He then disappears into a taxi, lacking the will to even look around.
On that same day, he finds himself at Kumamoto Station. One of his colleagues is lamenting about losing his phone, his face drained of colour. Unfortunately, no one in the group has the energy to give it any sort of priority, and they shrug it off with generic advice like “Why don’t you try calling the bus company?” The colleague calls them and says, “I was on the 16:40 bus to Kumamoto Station,” and the man points out that he got the time wrong, but the colleague only blinks in confusion. The man is too tired to provide further clarification and leaves it at that.
In the end, the party lands at Kumamoto Airport. The airport has a famous mascot called “Kumamon”, and several of his colleagues are taking photos of it. Apparently, it’s to show that they’re in Kumamoto. The man wonders how many hours have passed since their journey began, but he can’t be bothered to count, so he steps outside the airport, only to be greeted by dense fog. It feels like it’ll start raining any time now. It must’ve been a difficult landing. The man shudders at the thought.
“So, land or air…” the man mutters to himself while observing his colleagues’ faces. They are in the airport lounge, where the ground staff had just explained the situation, and they didn’t seem to have many options. The staff apologetically adds that all of the flights to their destination have become conditional flights. In other words, no matter which flight they take, there’s a chance that it’ll have to turn and go back. “We’re screwed if it gets turned back, right?” “Well yeah.” “It’d take 7 hours to get there by land.” “7 more hours of this…” The man asks the staff, “Where’s the closest alternative destination that we can fly to safely?” The staff looks down at his papers and answers: “Kumamoto.”
The aircraft that the man and his entourage are aboard takes them to Haneda Airport at a terrifying speed in an unbelievably short amount of time. During the flight, the captain announces that they’re going at “full speed”, and that the control tower is guiding them on “a different route from usual”. It’s good that they’ll arrive early, but he would’ve preferred to have gotten dropped off at Kagoshima Airport instead. If not there, then at least somewhere closer like Fukuoka Airport or Kumamoto Airport. He later finds out that this situation is called “Air Turn Back”, but having this information doesn’t benefit him in the slightest, because he’s already spent 4 hours on the plane.
“Due to poor weather conditions, we are unable to land at Kagoshima Airport. We have been circling above, waiting for the weather to improve, but taking the remaining fuel into consideration, we must return to Haneda Airport. We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.” The man will never forget the long sighs from every passenger on the plane when this announcement is made, especially when they hear the words “Haneda Airport”.
Tokyo was fairly cloudy that day. The man woke up at 5 a.m. and left his home before 7. They were holding an FFXIV player event the next day, so the plan was to arrive the day before to set it up. It was a 9 a.m. flight, and no one was late. They made idle conversation while waiting until the departure time. “Let’s take a nap when we get to the hotel.” “Let’s eat their specialty shaved ice!” They were all excited for the trip. The man and his comrades boarded their flight from Haneda Airport to Kagoshima Airport on January 29th, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. This was where it all began.
 See interview with Famitsu on February 1st, 2016. TL note: This is probably referring to Yoshi-P screwing up his DPS rotation while showing off the SSS dummies during a live letter (because he didn’t have his usual peripherals, stuck everything on the 1st crossbar, and ended up not having any time to practice).
 January 31st, at 10 a.m. The photo was posted publicly on Twitter. TL note: I cannot for the life of me find this photo, sorry.
 January 30th, at the Kagoshima F.A.T.E. venue.
 January 29th, at 9:30 p.m. – Setting up the event.
 January 29th, at 8 p.m. – The bullet train from Kumamoto Station arrives at Kagoshima Station.
 January 29th, at 6:30 p.m. – The bus from Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto Station took 1.5 hours. The phone was recovered at a later date.