Chapter 19 - For That Handful Of Silver Coins (2)

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Swish!

“Kiraltech Shower booth set for small shelter is?”

“217,800 shillings…”

“Two Z-type air purifiers…?”

“Two for 160,00 shillings..”

“What?”

If one wants to live long in the wasteland, one should not dwell too much in the past. Is what is being said here something like, ‘ah, survivor, aren’t the days ahead too beautiful?’

The next day, I almost lost my temper and smashed Koduro in half in my sleep. And as soon as I woke up in the morning, the thought that came to my mind was ‘too late.’

Isn’t it far more cost-effective to discover a solution than simply accepting what has already been done? That’s why I’ve been in this bright living room since the morning, sorting my purchased list with half-broken Koduro.

We have to determine the extent of financial damage we have.

“Active reactive automatic turret-mounted.”

“Uh… well, I got it for cheap as the number of shelters installed these….”

“Koduro.”

“9320 shillings…”

Flinch!

“M-master, I have committed a mortal sin!”

“No. The sin isn’t to die, but the sin is to kill. Thanks to you, I feel like I am going to die.”

Ugh

In my mind, I constantly thought back on numerous things to endure this horrid situation. Inner peace~ inner peace! Why do I have to do this even outside the game!

All my fault—this is all my fault. This is because Shelter AI’s decision-making freedom is set to the highest one. This was all possible as long as the three principles weren’t violated.

It couldn’t be helped living alone in a wasteland where one didn’t know what would happen.

Right before I die, I would be like, ‘Koduro, overload the turret and blow away everyone!’ but then it would only say, ‘I apologize as I do not have the authority to destroy your shelter,’ then??

In case of an unexpected situation, I needed a colleague who could think on my behalf.

‘… and that is why it has been here for 4 months.’

Uhh, stupid Park Gyosu, ignorant one! How did you unite with this crazy idiot AI!

Bang! Bang! Bang!

“M—master, calm down! You will break your head!”

“Ah, it is fine! Because this is the punishment I need to take for my past actions. Leave me alone.”

After such a short period of agony and suffering, I was at a loss for words when the final list was seen.

===

Kiraltech shower booth set for small shelter — 217,800

Z type air purifier x2 — 160,000

Used reactive automatic turret (unknown source) — 932,000

3kg sugar — 180,000

1 kilogram of salt — 70,000

Corn seed 1 pack — 5,000

Life and Murder, Universal Armor — 90,000

Nostalgic Days fine Dinnerware Set — 22,500

Genuine Happy Blind Mountain Non motorized Alpha wave sleep inducer — 50,000

(Direct) Player DOOMgay Antique Double barrel shotgun — 420,000

Line and Murder, small secondary shield generator — 200,000

Drone repair parts set — 50,000

Total of 2,397,300 Shillings

===

“Ha—haha—hahaha—”

Right, this had to be the amount. Now, I am going crazy for real!

Clap! Clap!

The number was so huge that I began to clap.

Yah, the receipt is so huge. It’s so heavy that I couldn’t even hold it.”

“I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry! I believed that the broadcast would be amazing and did it in—”

“When should we pay for this?”

“Around 10 days… I think…”

“Fucking bloodsucking bastards.”

2.4 million in ten days.

Seeing Koduro next to me, acting all restless, I sighed. If it was me before, I would have just begun to swear at it. And when I started to write down the list of things, the things it bought were all somewhat familiar.

‘Ahh! Shower! I want to take a shower! I want a hot shower! Koduro! What is the point of a cold shower when I don’t even move!’

‘Yah, Koduro! We live in wasteland, but shouldn’t we be able to breathe at home? My ears feel like they are filled with dust from everywhere. We need to bring a vacuum cleaner or purifier!’

‘Cough! Ah, it hurts so bad. It would have been easier if there was just one more person. Did you catch all the variants that came this time?’

‘I want to eat sweets.’

‘Ah, this? Nothing, the pipe shotgun exploded again.’

‘Koduro, we aren’t going to die like this, right? H-how did we survive this far? It is like freezing to death, this… this is soo….’

‘Koduro!’

‘Koduro!!’

‘Koduroooo!’

“… having a good memory is fucking useless!”

Well, nothing can be done. Anyway, Koduro is the last family I have left. He prevented me from committing suicide too many times over the years, so maybe I should pay with my life this time?


8 AM.

“Protective clothing?”

“Check.”

“Gas mask.”

“On.”

“Goggles.”

“Yes.”

“Map.”

“Even when asleep, I will keep it safe.”

“Firearms.”

“One homemade shotgun, 24 rounds, homemade machete, 15ml of gasoline.”

“Um? Is that the end? Would you like to bring a fire bomb?”

“That will be heavy and slow. And it isn’t like we are going to war or something?”

“Right, but… well, you will be fine, so you have them all?”

“Ah, right. Carry around 10m of waste wire.”

“Why wire?”

“Use it as a rope. Tough, high friction, and resilient. There is nothing else like this. Remove it from the list.”

Before going outside.

After filling in my stomach with the tasteless calorie bar made by Koduro, I cross-checked everything.

“Still, I am glad that there is one good deal. If you do it right, maybe a refund.”

“What is the name of the player? ‘DOOMgay’…? I thought it was a bit strange because there were direct trades among items posted on the exchange on the marketplace, but do I really need to trade face to face?”

“Consignment sales. I’m not sure why, but they want to trade face-to-face, yet in our world, people who claim such are nearly often scammers or robbers. We conduct direct transactions with a trustworthy vendor on the marketplace.”

Marketplace is the name of a huge merchant association that controls Dome’s commercial area. They are famous for selling good things at bad prices, but they at least don’t scam people, so they have a good reputation.

“Anyway, will you be busy today?”

“Yes. The place we decided to meet is near Area 43. While I am on my way, I have something to look for and meet the seller and convince, and while I am at Area 43, I need to meet Mr. Woojin and get some medicine. I might not be able to come back for a few days.”

“Umm… did you take food?”

At Koduro’s question, I silently showed it the brick-like bars and water bottle placed inside the vest.

“Come back safely this time.”

“Right. And you have forgotten what to do at home, right?”

“Yes! Of course!”

Nearly 2.4 million going into debt.

Two individuals, a human and an AI, are ambitiously talking because of a ray of hope.

Last night, just in case, I tried to connect with GG again. It is a known fact that the character died, but there must have been some merit to the actions, so I thought there would be some money placed during the funeral or grave. Even if that was received, he could exchange it for coins.

Even if the death got processed, the system window would open with ending credits, so I longed in think that I should transfer down the money-

Tring!

[Cannot connect. Character ‘professor’ is out of control/ 145: 23: 33/]

“… Uh?”

Tring

[Cannot connect. Character ‘professor’ is out of control /145:24:31/]

It was the same, no matter how many times I tried. No access. It wasn’t that the character was dead, but out of control.

I heard of cases like this. Undoubtedly, the character will end up being in jail or be subdued…

“And fall into a coma!”

I didn’t die. I didn’t die! Ahh! I was so big and fragile, yet, I survived!

The timer next to it is probably when this ‘Out of Control’ thing ends, and I don’t know how things are going, but it isn’t like there is no way to raise money if the character isn’t dead yet.

“For 140 hours, about 5 days, if the broadcasting side’s money-making is normalized, there will be no need for other things, but since I am not sure that it will happen in the meantime, I am moving in my own direction to make as much money as possible. In the meantime, Koduro will tell the people in the chat room that the character is a bit messed up and cannot enter the game now and to keep looking at the character’s status. It was said that there were sudden awakenings in coma cases.”

“Yes”

My character must survive for as long as I do. It’s like a much-needed thing. Please, Gyosu, remain alive.

“I am going. Take good care of the house.”

“Yes. Be safe!”

With such a hopeful heart, I left the shelter.


Shh, shhh, shhh.

A man was carefully tracing the sandy road. The 40th division is the farthest area from the range of nuclear warheads which have fallen around.

Thanks to this, compared to the other areas, the population density couldn’t be expressed… but well, there were few people and fewer buildings of old times left. In particular, in Area 45, between Area 47 and Area 43, a building maintained its neat shape after the war.

‘A three-way intersection with 10 story building. It is attached to the left wall and is safe till 3 steps.’

And the well-preserved city turned into a holy place for plunder to acquire even one more extra resource in the chaos that followed. Scavengers who gathered there were entangled with resentment and interests due to numerous battles, so resources were scarce. I ended up sitting down in the city. The result is what it is now, Area 45, Looting Arena,

Gyosu took out a map full of almost unrecognizable graffiti and marked the point that looked like a reference point with a small charcoal X.

‘The 6th floor of the building on the left of the three-way intersection. Suddenly there is a barricade on the window. There is no way there are any resources left in this area, so it is safe to say that the silver structure is for cover. Then… from here to the inner road, I have to think everything is on a diagonal line.’

The structure with all of the windows blasted out. Debris dropping onto the road from it is a good structure for sneaking up on passing motorists. Numerous memoranda on the map served as a kind of guide written in footsteps with highlighted locations that could be directed from the building and the diagonal life in the blind region. After killing one of the scavengers and obtaining the map a few years ago, it had been quite dependable due to the regular replenishment every time he traveled through Area 45.

’…uh. No matter how I look, it seems like one person is waiting over there….’

There was no indication of an enemy being there, just instinct. A strange discomfort. A remnant that was never seen before was now seen.

I looked at the broken mirror at the end of the intersection and clicked my tongue. The reason I came to this was that I could look both ways through the curved mirror from a safe location, and if I looked at the stones and bullet marks around, this was a place with a recent battle or fight, and in process, some mirrors around had fallen down, and the curved mirror was completely down.

‘I did see an arrow, and one side has to be a hound scav, and the others… who are hostile to the Hound Scab? Benny Anarchist? Wanderer?’

Knowing the identity would help fix some information. Hound Scavs are everywhere, so that isn’t useful information.

I, who had stopped breathing, listened to the noise and softly sighed as he pulled a shotgun from his pocket and loaded it. Apparently, there is no way to get out of this alley without a risk.

-clack!

At that moment, the sound of a heavy 12 gauge bullet settling in the city center filled with only rustling wind came in, and I gave strength to my leg.

Tak! Tak!

Crack!

A dusty hand protruded from behind the wreckage where the enemy was supposed to be hiding and threw three stones in my direction.

It was a signal when used in the military, a sign when encountering unknown troops in a place voice cannot be used.

Three stones flew at me. Well, it meant, ‘I know you are there.’

‘… avoiding fighting is the best way. If we fight here, all the scavengers around will come up. And if this is a trap….’

He felt a bit confused at that as Kodura said, what if he had brought a Molotov cocktail? How important will a throwable bomb be in a street fight? Even the opponent looks to be from the military. When faced with enemies, the most dangerous ones are military ones.

After thinking for a while, Gyosu made the decision. He fumbled on the nearby floor, picked up three small stones, and then three to the opponent’s rubble.

Tak! Tak!

First of all, it was communicated that they didn’t intend to attack, and I pushed the gun out…

Step-

On the other side, a crouched man dressed like me too slowly walked out with hands above his head.

Step, step.

Being vigilant like me, the man who approached the wall spoke in a voice resting with anticipation and anxiousness.

“Hey, hey, foreigner. Gun down. If you shoot here. You and I will both die. What are you doing?”

“… I am a passerby. You?”

“… well, then, I am a scavenger. What unit did you serve?”

“Are we close enough to answer that?”

“Hehe, you ignorant jerk.”

He said so, but Gyosu was lowering the guy. The other side had exposed himself first, so he thought he had to adjust slightly.

“…. I am moving to the next area for a while because of money.”

“Oh, that is an obvious reason. But the next area… the 47? Am I right?”

I nodded, and the man giggled.

“You came at an amazing time.”

“Did something happen?”

“Um, yes. About a very annoying one.”

Clack!

Suddenly the man’s hand moved to the side of Gyosu, who immediately aimed the gun at the head of the guy.

“You are quite a sensitive friend. If you stay in this town, you might have your nerves burst with how sensitive you are.”

“What are you doing?”

“What? I am about to favor a comrade who is slow with the latest information.”

The man who grabbed the map from Gyosu’s pocket took the pencil from behind his ear.

“Oh, you made it so nicely. This is quite good….”

The man observed the map with joyous eyes, picked up a pencil, and began pointing at the entire Area 45.

“You, what are you doing!”

“Ah, wait. Since everything has a meaning…”

In an instant, the map Gyosu made was covered in black, and the man spat on his finger as he erased a dot on the underground in a circle.

“Okay, there. The latest information of Area 45.”

The man folded the map and handed it back to Gyosu.

“… I had a great time meeting you, comrade. Bye.”

“Hehe! You are a friend with a taste for playfulness.”

Tak

The man’s squiggly fingers touched Gyosu.

“There was a pretty big battle yesterday. The raptors came to do something and accidentally touched a group of scavengers, so they and their allies came out like bees, and a battle broke out. I could hear gunshots and bombings all night long, so it has been a while since I slept, hehe.”

No wonder. The atmosphere in Area 45 was slightly different from usual.

“On point.”

“Friend, your personality is so… not a living for long type. The area where this battle took place was the only uninhabited area in Area 45.”

“The block with the largest building in the area, but when this building collapses, several buildings that are in danger of falling will start to fall one after another. Well, it wasn’t like I was planning to go through it, and I knew it would be a place to get robbed. But in this battle, the bombs exploded, and debris flew around. And do you know what was there?”

Gulp

Gyosu gulped. A city with many things around and known to be an arena for gangs. An area closed at the beginning of the war.

“No… was there something left?”

“Hehehe! No! There was absolutely nothing left on the ground.”

“On the ground?”

“So, still not interested?”

No, I am interested. Enough to see the vision of Shillings vanishing from the head.

Looking at Gyosu with his mouth wide open, the man lowered the scarf on his head and laughed like a bad boy.

“Right. Under that wreckage, there was an underground structure that no one knew about! Rumor has claimed that a big shelter complex will be built by the wealthy, understanding that Area 45 is a worthless zone. All of Area 45’s scavengers and those with knowledge obtained from here are swarming here!”

The man spoke with a dreamy face as the voice got lower.

“A huge treasure chest that had been sleeping softly with the whole block in ruins has now opened up five years later!”

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