Chapter 46 - [Gaiden] The Spice Merchants Of Area 43

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※Spoiler Alert! Deals with the story after Chapter 38 Eyelids(11).

Area 43.

Of the regions that the Gedroits Company divided into Areas, this was the one labeled 43.

In this dusty and harsh land that was like any other part of the Wasteland, there were two merchants who were dealing with some unique products.

“Bang!”

“See? It’s useful to some extent. It’s still usable, isn’t it?”

Hmmm—

“HAHHHH— Herr Gott, bitte vergeb mir, dass ich den Dreck gesehen habe. (Oh lord, please forgive me for seeing this disgusting thing.)”

It was Ian, who was nicknamed Metal Jaw because of his steel chin.

Ian was looking at the bizarre bundle of metal in the hand of his new friend who started living with him a few days ago, which he called a ‘pistol.’ Seeing the eyes of his comrade gleaming with expectancy made him lose some brain cells.

‘‘See? ‘See’ my ass. You can’t call it shooting if you bring the target 5 meters in front of you. That’s just hitting them with the barrel of the gun.“

After completely smoking his handmade cigarette in one breath, Ian pulled out another one from his pocket, reached in to take out another one, and held both to his mouth.

Like the fire coming up from his cigarette, a small fire within Ian was filled with the determination to persuade this stubborn fool.

“Oi, Vex. Don’t you even feel guilty calling that trash a ‘gun’?”

“Aghh! Don’t say that! This is my precious ‘gun’! This actually saved my life multiple times in Area 45, y’know!”

Vex, the smaller man who was standing across from him holding the crude gun, viciously argued against his new roommate.

Of course, in the small corner of his brain, his logical side reminded him, ‘But you almost died a lot more times because it misfired—,’ but he completely ignored it. He had the tendency to obsess over trivial matters, and even now, when the cause of why he did so was resolved, that habit did not go away.

He did follow Ian to this makeshift shooting range because Ian suggested that he replenish his firearms, but now that he was actually about to discard it, he couldn’t bear to throw away his handmade pistol, hence the current argument.

Ian took a deep breath, cigarettes still in his mouth. The thought that he just might smoke all of the cigarettes in one sitting passed through his mind.

“Now, Vex. Listen to me carefully. A gun is a weapon that uses the power of gunpowder to shoot out a bullet from the barrel. When you pull the trigger, the enemy in front of a gun gets a hole shot through their body. Right?”

As Vex nodded and held up his ‘gun,’ the veins in Ian’s forehead popped out even further.

“And an object that uses the gunpowder explosion activated by any sort of trigger. We people decided to call that a bomb. Huh? You hear?! A bomb! As a person specialized in both guns and bombs, the weird piece of scrap you’re holding there is a bomb, not a gun, you idiot!”

As Ian aggressively accused his precious ‘gun’ without any filters, Vex also shot back in anger.

“Don’t call me an idiot! I reinforced it so it won’t explode.”

“Reinforcement, my ass! Layering a bunch of pipes on the barrel that can barely fit a 5.56 mm and making the caliber 6 cm isn’t called reinforcement! You’re rich! Just buy a new one!”

“You said you treat your weapons like your wife! I went through years of ups and downs in the Wasteland with this thing! I won’t throw it away!”

Snap!

At that moment, Ian’s last bit of patience exploded into dust. He dares compare his scrawny piece of scrap with his precious wife, M30?

“Shut up! What you have in your hand is a masturbation kit. You can’t dare call it your wife!!!!”

Crash!

The now furious Ian charged towards Vex, and Vex quickly ran away from Ian’s barrage of attacks, his precious ‘gun’ still in hand.

The neon sign for Wasteland’s firearms and other explosives shop, [SPICY LIFE], blinked dimly through the several layers of sand covering it. With the normal daily sounds of gunshots and chaos, it was another peaceful day in Area 43.


“Let’s ask Gyosu.”

“Hm? Gyosu?”

Those were the words that left Vex’s mouth after running around Ian’s shelter, which was a bowling alley before the Great Destruction.

“Yeah, Gyosu. He is the sanest one out of the three of us. Honestly.”

“Hm…. That’s true.”

Ian thought back to the flashy events that happened a few days ago. Logical judgment. Alertness that analyzes the situation in mere seconds and the boldness of carrying out a plan without hesitation. His opinion would definitely have credibility.

‘And above all, that shortie actually listens to that guy.’

If it were Gyosu’s opinion, he would be able to persuade that stubborn tin can head.

Ian was almost ashamed of himself for not thinking of this sooner.

“Okay. Let’s ask him right now. You said he’s doing some kind of game stream?”

“GG. In Area 47’s chatroom.”

Ian turned on the pod in the corner that he used for trading. Thankfully, they had another pod they received as payment, so Vex was also able to join the chatroom.

“Now, let’s see what amazing game he’s playing that made him reject my recruitment.”

Ian entered the Area 47 chatroom just a little bit excited. His friend was a streamer. It felt like he had a famous person as a friend.

Ping!

The display turned on, and they saw a weird stone building.

The two were at a loss for words after witnessing what was happening.

“Brrrgbrp!”

“Puwahhgh!”

Splash, splash!

“Get out! Get… get out of my head!”


-DomaKisaRamoon: LOL what’s wrong with him?

-iwoduf3872: dunno. he went in there to hide from the mutes, now he’s going crazy. He’s saying something about his mom?

-Jokasss: Is he in trouble? He’s been doing well until now, but this is realistic mode. He might have gone crazy all of a sudden.


Ding!

[Player ‘Shuckles’ has donated 1000 Shillings to ‘Professor’!]

[Player ‘borgir’ has donated 1000 Shillings to ‘Professor’!]

[Player ‘GuiGui2201’ has donated 5252 Shillings to ‘Professor’!]

A massive, muscular man in ragged clothes was struggling with an invisible being in a bathtub with murky, dark water inside a weird room with blood splattered around it.

And people were laughing at that view.

‘I-Is this the [Explicit Content] I’ve heard about?’

Something, something filled up in his heart. While he and Vex were bickering over an insignificant topic, Gyosu was struggling out here by himself.


-LordLandLord: I’m telling you, it’s more power efficient to use a pump than a water purifier.

-Footstepoop: And where you even gonnna pump that water from? Don’t you know how polluted the underground water is? Why don’t you just go and put in cesium to make it taste like sparkling water, just how the Psycho Gang likes it?

-PomPomCodo: Oh, that sounds good.

-Oswaldo: Hee hee! Dirty picture attack!

-Soygaybar: W-What dis….

-Speedwagon: You’re in the wrong chatroom.

-Noru_is_druig: Ayeee, thank you for the rare treasure~


Gyosu, who was swinging his arms around like a clown in front of that crazy audience, had a very painful expression on his face. He seemed to be fighting a fierce battle with something inside of him.

‘It must be a sort of performance art.’

Ian realized that being a gaming streamer must be a job with more depth than he thought.

After a while of struggling, Gyosu settled down, and with a sort of tired but tranquil expression on his face, he opened his eyes.


-DOOMgay: Oh, prof is awake.

-NEET: Oh he is. He’s moving now? He was screaming and going bats*** crazy before, is he good now?


He was about to say hi, but something told him he shouldn’t. Ian was an adult with common sense. It was sometimes better in a relationship to pretend something didn’t happen.

Pshhhh- thunk!

Ian got out of his pod as soon as he saw Gyosu’s eyes open. Vex must’ve also had the same thought, as he was also walking out of his pod.

“….Let’s go work, Vex.”

“Mhm…. Okay.”

“You can keep that thing if you want to. All men have their favorite guns. You can have both that one and another one on you.”

“R….ight. Is it true that this one doesn’t have much firepower? Can you recommend one? A gun?”

The two people who witnessed the hard life of Gyosu seemed to have had a new realization. The fact that, because two of the three of them had serious mental problems, the final one had to give it his all.

Of course, Gyosu did not know that he was the subject of such a ridiculous misunderstanding.


Vex was loading the merchandise of the day onto the buggy inside Ian’s base. Ian definitely seemed to be one of the richest solo survivors in the Wasteland. Other people didn’t even have a single vehicle, and it took an entire day to travel to another area. But this crazy explosion addict had a big armored truck with a Raptor symbol on it, the buggy they usually used, and now an antique item called the Hummer.

Looking at the bullet marks left on the Hummer’s blue body reminded him of that day once more.

‘Hepburn….. You’re doing okay, right?’

He couldn’t get the bizarre scene he saw on the stream out of his mind. He knew the man would work hard wherever he went, but he didn’t know he would work hard like ‘that.’

It must be because of the debt he talked about. It had to be.

‘Hm……. I should lend him some money.’

After filling up the back of the buggy to the brim with boxes that had guns and bullets in them, he had a thought.

It might actually be better this way. If Gyosu couldn’t manage to pay off his debt and went bankrupt, then the only people he could seek help from were Metal Jaw and himself.

‘If Gyosu joins us, we can sell the key and use that money to buy a nice, sturdy generator. And we have three cars, so we can each drive one around the Wasteland, and find a nice building to live in. Then we need to buy a shield, a protection field, and an underground water pump….’

“We need to earn a lot of money…….”

“Oh, shortie, you look pumped up. That’s a good mindset!”

At some point, a fully armed Ian joined him and started checking the items on the buggy.

“Two AKs, eight apples, and ten bundles of industrial-grade dynamite……. Wow. Vex, you bastard, you’re not bad at organizing. I don’t even need to check it anymore. It’s even organized top to bottom in A to Z order.”

After Ian checked the load, which could even be called ‘precise’ due to its neat organization, he took a pitch-black gun out of the bag on his back and threw it to Vex.

Kachink!

“Whoahh! What is this?”

“What do you mean what? You asked me to recommend you a gun.”

Vex looked at the heavy firearm with suspicious eyes. He was an experienced survivor of the Wasteland, but Vex was a scavenger who usually did not come across usable firearms. But the gun he was just given was so famous that even he knew what it was.

“USAS-12?”

“Keheheheh. Isn’t it a darling? It’s incomparable to that piece of scrap you have.”

“Yeah, it’s a nice gun and all, but I……”

When Ian said he would find Vex a gun, he told him exactly what type of gun he wanted. Since he wasn’t the main firepower in a battle, he wanted a light, easy-to-maneuver, and, if possible, a good one-shot type weapon. He didn’t exactly say the names because he didn’t want to burden Metal Jaw, but what he was expecting was a small submachine gun like a scorpion or uzi.

But what he actually received was a huge revolver shotgun with a large butt and a barrel that stretched out like a broadsword beneath the scope, not to mention that it used a ‘drum magazine.’

“Did you even hear what I asked for?”

“Hm? Didn’t you want something easy-to-maneuver with good, instant firepower? This is a USAS. ‘Universal ★Sports★ Automatic Shotgun.’ It’s sporty, ain’t it? And it’s easy to carry around.”

“Universal sports, my ass! It should stand for ‘Ultra Savage Auto Shotgun!’ What kind of crazy sport even needs a gun that shoots out 360 12-gauge shotgun rounds per minute?!”

“Hey~ try it, try it! Don’t be so harsh like that. Try it out first! If you shoulder it and start shooting, the recoil will make your heart flutter. You won’t even need separate CPR if your heart stops working.”

“%$#@&^^?{&**%^!!!”

It was his fault. Asking a madman who loved firepower to choose his gun.

“Just give me a—”

“We’re late. If we stay here for even five more minutes, we’ll be late for the trade.”

He lost. Ian had already calculated the time when he brought out that gun with him.

“Ughhhhh…. I want to see Hepburn….”

“It’s okay, buddy. It’s hard at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time!”

Ian started the buggy with a depressed Vex in the passenger seat next to him.

“Now then, let’s start today’s business, shall we?”

Vrrrrraaaoooom!

The garage door opened, and the buggy that was customized to Ian’s tastes roared out onto the Wasteland dunes. The scratchy and sandy winds of the Wasteland greeted the pair, who were still bickering in the car.

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