Chapter 27 - For That Handful Of Silver Coins (10)

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“To the left! A little further to the left!”

Vroom!

Tak!

“Good! Got it! Pull up!”

Gyosu’s hand reached out from the moving vehicle and grabbed the hand of Vex, who was desperately running to him.

“UUAHHHHHH! I thought I was done for Hepburn!”

“Nice timing, V.”

With all three of them on board, Hummer, the vehicle, furiously moved for the elevator.

“Uh, H! what are we going to do now? The elevator door is locked!”

“What do you mean by ‘What are you going to do?’ Hit it, of course! The power is there, so we can control it from the inside! From what we saw earlier, the walls can be broken down with this car!”

“Yah! You said I was crazy, but you are even crazier! It isn’t a wall! Even if we break into it, if the elevator gets crushed or we get stuck in size, we’re all done!”

“Then, will you get down and politely ask the ones following us to please open the elevator door for us to leave?!”

“Oh—OHHHAHHHHH!!!!”

Vroom!

Verdammater abschaum1 for a day to come when my heart trembles! Hold onto anything you find!”

“The first one to come to his senses will go and press the up bottom!”

“AHHHHH!! Hepburn! I—I really did my best. My memories are turning upside down!”

“Calm down, V!”

“You sick old man! Do not fucking leave unlucky words!!!”

Thud!

Screech!

“Ahhh!!!”

“ACK!!”

“Down 14 is hard to break! Double birth!”

Thud!

With the collision, the elevator door coolly fell, and the car, which was shaking, stopped.

“Uhh… H, V, can you move…?”

“Negative…”

“My leg is…”

“Kuaah, you should grow your bodies, you jerks.”

Kwang!

Ian stumbled away from the crumpled door and towards the freight elevator’s control panel. The sole freight elevator on the floor, with a wide side view. Thinking that the lives of the three were at stake, or maybe his passion for the automobile, compelled him to act.

“Kuahaha, cute baby, take us to heaven…!”

With a trembling hand, he pressed the green shiny up button.

Dudud!

Woong!

The elevator, which vibrated for a moment, began slowly moving up.

“Uh, huhu….”

“It is moving! Metal Jaw! It is moving; I cannot see you inside, though!”

“Hahahah!!! We live! We just got out of the fucking hell! Bye-bye, you losers! We are going up—”

“Ohhh—OHHHH!!!”

Crash!

At that moment came a terrible cry which made the three of them go silent, and the excited faces turned pale.

“Oh please, just stop, will you! Phase 3? Boss, what else now? Isn’t this too much like classics?”

“Hurensohn! That one! The big one is crawling up.”

Under the slowly ascending elevator, an abomination was chasing after them, carrying its lump of flesh into the wall. The distance between him and the elevator was rapidly decreasing.

“Damn it!!! What else is in that bag? Explosives? Any weird ammo? Anything!”

“Nonsense! Do you think I have some endless bag of explosives! No! We already used it…”

Click!

A firm angular hand desperately dug into the bag.

’… no, there is one more.’

Ian pulled out an item he had kept in the corner of the bag, something he never thought he would have to use.

[Front Toward Enemy]

A simple rectangular plastic with the size of a palm, an intuitive phrase [Enemy Direction], and the trigger.

“Uh, huhuh…”

Ian’s eyes shone dangerously as he pulled out the last thing.

Crash!

“OHHHHH!!! AHH––AHHHH!!!”

“this—that… What?”

Ian took a crumpled cigarette from his pocket, placed one in his mouth, and lighted a match with his chin. The phrase [Lucky Strike] was printed on the pack of cigarettes.

“I picked it up in the garage. Why? Do you want one?”

“No, no, no, no. What’s that one in your left hand?”

“Ah, this? Well, it’s our last hope.”

“Y-you know, I know we are in a bit of a hurry, but I can read. Claymore! Doesn’t it need a wire to adjust the direction and blow it?! It is called a directional bomb!! How are you going to target the enemy below there?!”

Swish

Hm, death. Right. This has to be the death coming after them. After smoking it a little, Ian smiled brightly and said to Gyosu, “Hey, H, pick one.”

“What?”

A grotesque smile appeared on his face as he hummed and connected an eight-meter-long wire.

“Front or back?”

.

.

.

Gyosu understood it.

“You! Do not!!!!”

“Kuahaha! Coin toss! All into the goddess of luck!!!”

Shish!

The claymore held above Ian’s hand began to fall towards the Abomination.


Wheik—

Gyosu, trapped in the car and unable to move, could witness the claymore tumble down in slow motion. If it were front, the explosion would be downward. It signifies “up” on the back.

Wheik!

Every time it turned, memories of my father, who died on my behalf, the days in the 14th unit, the time I spent in Wasteland with my mother and alone, and eventually, the brief but enjoyable time the three of us spent flashed on my mind…

Wheik

Vex was babbling gibberish from the front seat of the car. Ian was leaning on the railing in front of me, holding that object, and winked at me.

“I had a good time, buddies!”

Ian’s hand, which raised the tumb with the hand holding the weapon, slowly clenched the button.

Ah, this wasn’t such a bad life.

Gyosu felt tears sting his eyes.

Click

And with the strange feeling that stopped.

BAANNNNGGGGGG!!!

Gyosu fell unconscious.


Creak.

Fall.

It was warm and sticky. Something flowing. The sensation of sun-heated grains passing on the body.

Gyosu, who felt odd, slowly began to move.

The broken machine was on fire. The freight elevator was exposed. Not the sand blowing in the wind and the rotten stench of a variant too, but the familiar smell of wind and dust could be felt.

“This is…”

He forced himself to get out of the car. Not far away, collapsed buildings and smoke was rising.

“Outside Area 45… was the elevator connected to this side?”

So far, no one has been able to locate it. It was a ground-level entryway. Even their tracks will not be detected once he has traveled a short distance.

‘Did Vex… get thrown out?’

Vex could be seen lying not far.

“Yo, Vex. You alive?”

“… Hepburn. I think I need to go to church. It is my first time feeling like this.”

“Odd, me too. Instead of Christmas, I might celebrate the birthday of Buddha.”

“Ugh.”

A groan could be heard from the elevator’s sand-covered region on one side. His leg caught between the automobiles was ripped out by the collision, but there were no serious injuries other than a little scrape. Gyosu directed his wounded body towards the groans.

“I—Ian… are you fine?”

“Damn… it. There is no way I can… be… alright… a few… ribs…. Down…”

Rustle!

Ian got up from the sand, looked at Gyosu, and started sniffing.

“Why… why are you laughing…”

“Y-Your eyebrows… Huhahaha!”

“And you think you are that handsome? Your nose looks so crushed…”

“Kuahahah! Hahaha!”

Chik!

“Kihe, both of you look… kihehehe.”

Even Vex was crawling out.

“Kuahah…”

“Ahaha…”

.

.

.

.

“Kuahahahah!!!!”

“Puahahaha! No, oh god!”

“Heheheeh! We are practically alive! Well, the three of us are fine!”

“Kuahah, old man, are you fine? Kuahaha!”

“In this Wasteland, this is equal to a mosquito bite!”

In the end, the laughter they had been holding and the tension driving them till the end burst.

“This was just half a chance for us, right?”

“Hehehe! I was so desperate, so maybe 51% chances? That was the most dangerous risk I had taken in my life! Phew!”

“Kihehe, your brain muscles don’t seem to…”

“Ah, I cannot stand this. I cannot just let a moment like this go away!”

Ian opened the bag with an expression that said his chest ached, and when the lid was opened, the smell of alcohol wafted out from a bottle.

As time passed, the breath calmed them, and a forgotten scent entered them.

“Damn it, a few bottles were broken.”

“D-did you have them in such a crazy situation?”

“It was sitting on the shelf, man. The bag was empty, so I just swept it in. Ah, don’t worry. The car can be sold, and we can share it equally.”

Swish!

Ian threw the bottle wrapped in a cloth to Gyosu, handed one to Vex, and took one for himself as well.

“You careless bastards. A Wastelander has to be agile and fast. As I said in advance, if you think about taking the drink and selling it, you will die in my hand.”

“Puah! What? You cheeky bastard!”

Gyosu smiled and opened the bag.

“Where is Nroom in Wasteland? Each of us has to take care of ourselves.”

“That… is that?”

“Ehehehe! It was a shelter and a few garages and so many things! That must have been the only precious thing around! While you were putting your eyes only within the garage, I went around the house to see if anything useful could be found to use as light!”

What came from Gyosu’s bag was a watch and a luxurious box.

“Watches and necklaces are fine, but this picture is the real deal. It is the only picture the rich man intuited about the destruction of the world and took them, so this has to be quite expensive than that car, right?”

“Hehehe, you a thief?”

Between Ian and Gyosu, who were talking, Vex opened the bottle.

“… Ah, sorry I didn’t think of you.”

“Don worry, old man. We can do something.”

“Kihehehe, who needs to be cared for?”

“Um? From the way you talk, it seems like you got something too?”

“Old man, you don’t have a bag. Did you shove it in the pocket?”

“Um? Right. You lost the bag you were carrying, right?”

Hulp

“Kuah!”

Vex, who drank it down, took out a key the size of two fingers from the pocket.

“What do I need a bag for?”

“Um? A key? How much will one get for that?”

“No… wait. Vex, is that…”

“Kihehe!”

Vex, who showed them the metal key reflecting the sunlight, waved it to the two of them.

“Correct, Hepburn. That is right. It is one of the two security keys in the general system panel.”

“..!!!!”

“!!!!!”

“Kiehehe! I told you I prefer small things.”

Gyosu looked at the security key in Vex’s hand as if possessed. Eventually, that facility will fall into the hands of someone. It will be a race, so the group that wants to bring it under will want to get the facility working, starting from the system panel. But what will they do if they cannot use that because there was the second key missing?“

“If… that is sold…”

“Kiehe! Well, there is nothing we cannot do if they decide to make another key… but this key isn’t so easy to make. And above all, normalizing the time is vital for them. Would they attempt to make one? I will sell it then. Perhaps they will accept any price since they need it right away?”

“Woahhaha!”

“Woah…”

After they looked at each other blankly, they burst into laughter.

“Well, to say the least, in the end, we are good Wastelanders.”

“I don’t like the fact that this Metal Jaw lost to this bastard.”

“Kiehehe! I don’t hear you!”

Under the sunset in Wasteland, three men lifted their bottles.

“Huhuhu, for a heartwarming life.”

“For death without regret.”

“Old grace!!”

Cheers!

The strong drink glowed in amber in the sunset and shone like a jewel.

  1. Translation: Damn it ↩️

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