Chapter 21 - For That Handful Of Silver Coins (4)

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“I am telling you in advance, hehe! I just want to cure this disease.”

“Uh, right.”

“It is someone else from 14, not you, that I need to woe.”

“Um, okay, okay.”

“So, take advantage of my special situation and make me a slave—”

“No.”

“if you try to force me into your group—”

“I will not! Never will that ever happen, so do not even think about it! Erase the thought from the mind!”

When entering the house, someone went ‘Master~’ and didn’t know what kind of accident he had caused; the other said, ‘14! 14!!’ and ran around holding the sofa. This is a life one cannot handle.

As soon as I said I forgave him, Vex’s rampage stopped right away. After that, the first of a series of good conversations with two awkward individuals came. There is nothing about where one lives, what one does, where one farms, or one’s goal.

“Hey, Vex. It is good to clean the house, but can we just waste time like this? When, even at this moment, they are gathering like that?”

“No. If you wait, the opportunity will come.”

“Ah, you know something? As I thought—”

“Hyung.”

Rage!

“I said this before; if you talk to me one more time like that, this amazing caregiver of the world will make you pay the price and rip the hair off and hang you under a shelter turret, ratting your mouth, and that is your fate!”

What? Cold and calm? Those vanished the moment I met the miracle of Mother Nature in front of me!

“How can you be a year younger than me with that face?”

“It is because the environment of Wasteland is like that?”

“How did you live for that to even happen? Were you standing at the point of impact or something?”

“You talk a little much. With a human face—”

“Even if the face value and market pride are different, I can understand, but this is too different! I can understand that your face just looks old, but your voice is also old! You!”

“Then in the Wasteland, you want me to speak and go, Yo man! Yo woman? This is a survival strategy.”

Sagging shoulders. Dwarf build. Old wrinkled face with signs of time. Dry lips and slitted eyes

23 years old?

‘Damn it! Shouldn’t one design a human in moderation?’

My game character is also known to have an old body, but that isn’t the case in reality. This is more the Benjamin Button.

When I first heard Vex’s age, I thought the voice was the problem.

‘23.’

’… that too is hard. Well, repeat it, how old are you now?’

‘23.’

‘No, I am not asking the age you want to be. Say it with your hands, then? Tens on the left finger and the other on the right. How old are you?’

[23]

‘Yah! Don’t you know numbers!’

‘23! I am 23! I look a little old, but I am in my early 20s!’

‘Tch! Then when did the nuclear-’

‘Middle school.’

‘You! You must be lying! I will kill you!’

‘No hyung! Why is it that you don’t trust people!’

‘Hyung? Who will believe what you just said? That goes beyond the realm of trust!’

.

.

.

.

After a devastating conversation, I firmly nailed Vex to not call me hyung no matter what. I feel bad, but it felt hella creepy when he decided to call me that. Imagine calling me hyung with that face. Geeehh~

“Hy-”

Tch

“… Hepburn”

Uhhhhh, inner peace!

“Yeah, just keep doing what you’re doing. So, what happens if we keep waiting?”

“Um… it is faster to see than speak.”

Vex approached the window and looked out as he beckoned me to come.

“How many scavengers do you think there are?”

“Um… well. Even if we only count the flags, there are about… 17? 18?”

“Those people needed to show off their strength, so they arrived with flags. About 25 of the groups have gathered if it wasn’t of that level or if they didn’t require it.”

Gyosu narrowed his eyes and scanned the flags around.

‘They didn’t have to do that…. since the size of the job is large, the right scavengers much have arrived quickly.’

“Cool. Have there been a large number of scavengers since the war?”

“No. This is already a strongly crowded area, with numerous scavengers swarming around it. What’s more, those Chisels were the ones who waged a bloody battle in the alleyways. Those out there wouldn’t even dare to enter after hearing that name. They are merely meeting to check each other out right now since they cannot enter that chamber.”

Gyosu nodded. If they came out after another over a period, they could kill the ones who entered first and were coming out. And there would be more fights. However, there are a lot of variants inside, so they aren’t ready to take the risk of breaking into it.

“However, in that state, only those who enter the road first and break the path will lose money.”

“it isn’t just a loss. Imagine losing many people, and what if they nearly make it out just to be shot in the back of the head?”

Outside, Gyosu saw a large number of scavengers. Guys standing in a circle with the entrance on one side, muzzles pointed and muttering at the other. At first sight, it did not seem that they would use it.

“Finally, the battle must take place… and those who do not want to take that chance will have to relocate?”

“They have no choice but to move.”

“Why?”

“The direct trigger for treasure room is open because Raptor Society is claiming ownership and running to set it on fire.”

“Oh, they are also coming here?”

Gyosu felt like his head was aching now.

Raptor Society — with a size approximately similar to Dome, it is positioned to face the Dome as a highly well-controlled, large-scale predatory outfit. Because most of the organizations’ higher echelons are made up of ex-military men, their discipline is more rigid, their hands are more strick, and the profits are stricter.

“… How long will it take?”

“I heard they’re willing to bleed for this; that’s why they’re bringing the main unit… so, maybe in a day or two.”

“24 hours… the scavengers will get some shit done.”

“Kihehe, yes. Even my ass is trembling to see it.”

If one thinks of the typical behavior of a scavenger or a psycho gang that moves like dogs or cats through trash cans, the Raptor Society could be seen as the wolf which preys on them.

In terms of group size, combat, proficiency, equipment, and all aspects, they are unparalleled in their power. So even the other scavengers need to run fast.

Vex’s finger touched a part of the map.

“The scavengers should know about Raptor Society. Living in Wasteland, half-mad bastards are in a situation where they have to kill. They are now in a situation where they cannot even reach the treasure right in front of them and have every right to be under pressure. Will there be a fight tonight or tomorrow?.. is the question.”

“That is when we take advantage of that….”

“We need to pierce through. A few people out there might have the same strategy as us, so we need to be careful of them.”

Gyosu pictured everything in his mind. A fight that ensues and that is known… If that battle breaks out, he and this man will start to make a fuss and enter as they hide in the chaos.

“Well, the operation is simple. It is shot and run, right?”

“Yes. It is impossible to get caught while infiltrating, but it isn’t going to do good if we move too aggressively, as many others might expect this to happen. And then someone has to deal with variants too.”

“Then what is the limit to this operation? Until the Raptors arrive?”

Vex opened his mouth as he piled out small stones and knocked them down.

“No, we have less time than that. The Happy Blind moved before Raptor Society.”

“What? Why are those fanatics… ah, those old-fashioned idiots.”

“Well, Since Happy Blinds are comings, the Artists Union will also move.”

“… this is a really huge thing. How many giant groups have come?”

Happy Blinds, Artists Union. They turn their eyes when they find something like old-time relics. The extreme purist Happy Blind wants everything they can see, and Artists Union wishes to preserve one more relic.

Both are prominent ones in Wasteland.

As the world went mad, living in small shelters, dozens or hundreds of bizarre ideologies got created.

“We should at least get what we need and get out within 16 hours of entering.”

Vex shattered his perfectly organized clutter, pulled out a dusty calorie bar from within, and handed it to me. I took a hard bar out of mine and showed him.

“I have mine.”

“Then good. Rest well, Hepburn. Once it starts, we will not have time to rest.”

“Yes, you should sleep when you can. I was tired of moving. Ah, Vex? Is there water?”

“Not anymore. If you lick the cracked pillar in the dawn, you can drink dew from it-”

“Don’t bother. Ugh, it is hard to live outside.”

Gyosu leaned lightly against the bag and closed his eyes. As Vex said, resting well is essential for survival.


Tang!

Shot!

When the gunfire was heard, Gyosu jumped up reflexively and pulled out his gun from the bag.

‘It has started.’

As soon as he moved to the window with his backpack, Vex was already watching the situation outside.

“Ah, Hepburn.”

“… you didn’t sleep?”

“I woke up due to the noise. It seems to have started.”

Thud!

“… indeed. The signal was too flashy to use a flare.”

In the distance, gunshots could be heard from the place they were seeing.

“Hepburn. Do you need anything else? I do not have much. If there is something you want, I can bring-”

“Nonsense.”

Gyosu picked up his bag and threw out all the miscellaneous things except for water, food, power lines, and weapons.

“It is not just about taking what we need but getting in and bringing out what we need, am I wrong?”

Seeing this evil side of Gyosu, even Vex smiled brightly.


“Ugh, You!”

“No need to hide the noise, thanks to the gunshots!”

Tap!

“Man! Nice.”

Puak!

“Ack!”

“Similar to us.”

Slash!

“The problem is that there are more people than we thought.”

“If it was quiet, we could have just passed. Why do we have to hold guns and knives?”

Vex, who was beheading the guy next to him, replied while turning the neck of the Scavenger hiding near the entrance where Gyosu had already killed three at the same place.

“Isn’t this better? You are a member of the 14th Unit Forces. You don’t know the area as well as I do, yet you can keep up with me and subdue adversaries quicker than I can. Oi the 14th, what were you most in charge of? Special? Stealth? Charge? Support? Or team captain?”

“Dog shit… no purpose then? Um? Me? Well, it isn’t something great.”

Gyosu looked down at the scavenger, who was suffocating in his arms.

“Supply. It is a supply unit only for the 14th.”

“What? Special forces have a supply unit? Little… well, anyway, you are a precious ally who can mark the enemy, and they used you as a supply unit? It makes no sense.”

“Right? It doesn’t. But it is always in the military for strange things to happen. Later I heard that a high-ranking person falsified documents of people entering the 14th unit and put them in others he knew to fill the vacant spots, and I got forced to join in for supply. At that time, I was quite needy.”

Gyosu sighed, thinking about the past.

“The most useless member of the unit. At first, the members would also swear until their mouths turned dry, but it ended up as just another work.”

Thud!

Gyosu and Vex lay flat on the floor. The smell of unrefined gunpowder from homemade weapons was scattered throughout the area. They peeked behind the cloud of dust from the explosion.

Tak!

Immediately, both of them jumped at the same time without even having to give the signal. Those hiding nearby saw this as an opportunity and moved in the same direction as the two of them who were fleeing.

‘We don’t need to stop them…. It is hard for the 2 of us to deal with the variants within.’

Gyosu raised the muzzle back up.

“Kua-”

“Ack-”

“Variant!”

“Leg! Aim for the leg!”

A shout could be heard not far from where the Scavengers were previously there.

“Vex! Go in and fix it in an unexposed place before the jackpot in the guard room you talked about gets touched!”

“Fine!”

“Then from now on, we can talk with hand signals instead of voices! Be careful! If you cannot take them down, make sure to just not get caught by them!”

With those words, the two of them ran into the pitch-black darkness without a word.

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