Hear no evil.
The group makes an attempt to relax.
We meet another prisoner, Toni Anji, who is another escaped prisoner from Abashiri. He was used in one of the labor camps, where he and many other prisoners, had to mine for sulfur. Because of the sulphuric acid that is unearthed while mining for sulfur, many of the miners died, and Toni was blinded from the labor. He remains extremely bitter of the event that crippled him and wants revenge against warden Inudou of Abashiri, as well as revenge against the miners. However, he currently runs a band of bandits that have recently taken to robbing Ainu villages for supplies.
In the middle of Sugimoto and Toni’s fight, Sugimoto fights back against Toni’s ideals. Toni claims that they know that what they’re doing isn’t morally sound, but it’s a necessity due to the fact that they wouldn’t be able to support themselves otherwise. Toni claims that even though they’ve used violence, they make sure not to harm anyone that they deem to be innocent. Of course, this itself is pretty subjective, as that relies on perception and not necessarily on fact. In a crisis situation, especially where chaos tends to muddy what’s happening, it can be very hard to tell who is ‘good’ and who is ‘bad’, unless you’re going by usual conventions, that being who is violent, and women and children. Even that, as we know, isn’t always a standard, especially in a series where Asirpa, a young girl, can handle herself exceptionally well in battle.
Sugimoto also points out that there will always come a day where that standard won’t or can’t be upheld. There are always accidents, and even if the bandits mean to harm nobody innocent, there can come a time when someone gets caught in the crossfire. As someone who lived through the war, where everyone is just fighting to stay alive or is there because of orders, innocents being tangled with violence is normal. Morality is blurred on the battlefield, and sometimes you have to kill those who are defending their lives. In committing random acts of violence, you open yourself to that very real possibility.
Toni has something to say back to Sugimoto, and that is that if Sugimoto understands that on a deeply personal level, then there’s no way that he can return to his old life. Sugimoto only wants that- to go home, to comfort his friends again, to enjoy a civilian life the way he used to. That he can’t strike a chord of fear in him- this realization is everything he never wanted.