Written by Varrick Kwang
Art by KoolShooters

Dearest Eli,

The war is over. The Japanese have finally surrendered. They are leaving today. 

I’m glad that all our sacrifices paid off. Every ounce of suffering we went through, every drop of blood spilled, every night plotting and scheming to live and win… it all paid off in the end. 

As for what will happen from here, I do not know, but I know that I have been stashing British pounds–as many as I could during the Japanese occupation–in hopes that should the war be over, if the British return and the Japanese leave, I can use that money. In fact, most black marketers had always been using the British pound, not that joke of a Banana money like the Japanese gave us.

I’m not sure if I would like the British to be back or not–after all, they are the ones who abandoned us to the cruelty of the Japanese. I do not know who would be a better ruler for us, so for now I guess we have to make do with what we have. 

But still, other than five thousand British pounds in my trusty tin can, I have also stolen some munitions–for I have a horrible feeling that I will have to use them in time to come. The Japanese have left, yes, but I do not dare to imagine what comes after. With that said, I have done my share of savagery during the war. I have  no wish to kill any more people–I really don’t.

This is why I am not taking part in the lynching of traitors and leftover IJA soldiers that is rampant in the streets right now. Partisans parade the hanjian around, pelting them with eggs and vegetables and filth so that they can later brag about how they “fought for the country and wrought justice on the invaders.” Either that or they’re venting the rage, suffering and trauma they have been bottling up for the last three years. I don’t see the point in that myself, but apparently someone has to do it. 

Anyway, I stole one of those Japanese swords, three rifles, five pistols and nine hundred rounds. It was a lot to carry around, but nothing a box and a trolley couldn’t handle. I buried those guns and ammo with my clothes and some food–mostly tapioca and sweet potatoes, and a small bag of rice.

Tomorrow, I’m moving back to my father’s old provision shop, with the trolley in my arms and a pistol tucked in my pants-in case a mob tries to steal my possessions. 

Wish me luck from the other side, Eli. I want to retrieve the old shop. I don’t expect much food and groceries to be in there anymore, but I must take the shop first before I repair it to my ideal. Maybe I can even live in it and do away with that flimsy old hut that I have been living in for the past three years. 

If only you were still with us, then you could have seen those scumbags surrender and leave. Today, freedom is ours. 

With love,

Ding Feng