Chapter 59 - Inside Out (6)

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That cheeky grin. A straight drive to my location. These guys—they knew I was here.

‘With the tracking skills I saw from Vex in Area 45, it’s more than possible for them to track me down.’

‘But if they were going to follow me like this, why didn’t they just come with me to the hospital?’

“Heheheh. You seem confused, child. Just get on first. There’s still some time to Area 47, so we can talk on the way.”

Human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.

“Area 47? Are you guys….. coming to my house?”

“Yeah. You don’t want to walk through this sandstorm for twenty hours, do you? Just get on first.”

“Uh, right. Thanks.”

“Hey! Wait! I want to get on too!”

“Scram, oldie. Car’s full.”

“Full, my ass! You could fit more than three guys like me in there! And besides, the sandstorm is getting worse, so I can’t ride on that tattered buddy over there. Let’s just tow that one, too, and ride together. I already linked it up.”

“Mmm. We’ll slow down, then. Just eat some sand for a bit, can’t you?”

Vex flipped up his middle finger to Ian as he shoved his body into the passenger seat.

“Oi, Vex. It’s been a while.”

“Kehe! It sure has been, Hepburn.”

After greeting Gyosu, Vex settled down between the passenger seat and the driver seat. The sheer size of the car made it feel like there was room left over, even with the three of them sitting together.

“And more than anything, it’s more fun with all three of us together.”

“That’s true. Oi Gyosu, you know the rule, right? The one in the passenger seat does the talking.”

“That’s from eons ago….”


“You don’t want to? Then let’s do a majority vote. According to tradition, I vote that the person in the passenger seat needs to entertain the driver so they don’t fall asleep.”

“Add a vote to that side by Vex.”

“…..I didn’t expect you two to get along this well.”

With the engine’s loud roar, the Raptor’s armored car carried the three people into the abyss of the sandstorm.

Inside the blinding sandstorm, the three of them were idly chatting with one another.

“So, since when did Vex start to drive? You said you couldn’t drive back into the Area 45 bunker.”

“Keheheh. Of course, I taught him. A man who can’t drive? I can’t just let that be!”

“Bullsshitt! How is tying up a sleeping person in the driver’s seat of a car without brakes and setting it on full axel teaching me how to drive?”

“But I only put in thirty minutes’ worth of fuel! And you can drive now!”

“And thanks to that, I stopped in the middle of a bunch of mutants that were attracted by the car sounds!”

“So? I saved you!”

“Why do you need to make a situation where you save me?”

Yap! Yap!


‘They sure know how to keep a conversation going.’

[This is fun! Funnnn!!!]

It had only been about a week since he bid farewell to these two guys in Area 45, but there must have been a lot of things that happened since then because whatever little conversation he started, they added a big story to it.

“Hepburn, want some peanuts?”

“Oh, peanuts? Is it some preserved kind?”

“Not ours. We killed about six guys that attacked us during a trade, and these were in their pockets. We threw away the jerky and just took these.”

Crunch, crunch.

The rowdy environment and the salty and savory taste of the peanuts made it feel like the three of them were on some kind of picnic.

They weren’t going to be attacked in this sandstorm, and the vibes were settling down just right. It was time to ask them now.

“So, why did you guys follow me all of a sudden? You two said you had something to do. My pride hurts a little, you know. I thought I was pretty skilled in the Wasteland life now, but you tracked me down so easily.”

“Aw, the eye of a scavenger and a survivor that stayed in their shelter all day has to be different. The sign that you erased your tracks was too obvious.”

Vex seemed proud of his observation skills, as he grinned brightly when he explained.

“Well, that’s what he’s claiming. I couldn’t tell the difference at all. We didn’t do much. We just went to pack our stuff back home.”


“Yeah. The reason I did business in Area 43 was that it was always a war zone. You know what Area 43 is famous for, right?”

Gyosu recalled what he saw in the Area chatrooms. He thought he heard several stuff about the place…. What was it?

[Let’s see…. Isn’t it this? ‘Area 43 was previously an active place for its steel industry, so there were a few factories still left in the area. Groups were always fighting over the possession of those factories, and the ones who died in battle turned into mutants, and other mercenaries and scavengers who live by killing those mutants also swarmed in, so the sound of gunshots never stopped at any time of the day.’ is what it says. ]


They say the human brain archives memories that just passed by, and Hyde must be able to read those memories that even I forgot. This guy, aside from all the dangers, is really convenient.

“The steel factories, most likely?”

As Gyosu recited the information Hyde had just told him, Ian looked at him as if he were a bit surprised.

“You seriously know your facts. People usually just think that the place is a graveyard to pick off gear from the corpses. But anyway, there are a lot of mutants and people to kill, so it’s the perfect place for a spice merchant like me to do business. But the business has been dying out lately. One of the factory machines completely shut down, so the cost and profit weren’t matching up. Seeing that the leading group in Area 43 is starting to get a little antsy, I could see that business here was going to die off soon.”

Crunch, munch.

Ian took a fistful of peanuts from the bag Vex was holding and shoved them into his mouth.

“Guys like them usually do the place over before leaving. I guarantee you, they were definitely drooling over the treasure trove of my shop, just waiting to shove their asses in there. So we left a step before them.”

“I needed to stop that crazy bastard from taking out the gunpowder, saying that he was going to kill all of them. There’s no reason to fight them. Even if we somehow win, it’s just a loss to use up all of those resources. So, I stopped him. It was a big pain in the ass.”

“The world is seriously a hellhole no matter where you go, huh….”

“It isn’t easy doing business, man. Especially in a crazy world like this, it’s a coin toss to guess if the customer is going to go rogue or not.”

“So are you just taking this chance to move to an entirely different Area?”

“Yeah. Thankfully, the spices of this great Metal Jaw are well known across the cities as high-quality products, so I have a decent client base in other areas as well. I just haven’t been selling to them because the cost of gas didn’t match up with the profit. And I just happened to find a client that has a big order, so I’m using this chance to get some cash and set up a new shop.”

“There really is no time to settle down in the Wasteland, is there? So, where are you setting it up? If it’s near Area 47, I could give you some pointers.”

“Oh, really? That’d be appreciated. I did actually need your help.”

“You’re really coming near us? That’s nice. We’ll see each other often then. Any specific area you’re thinking of?”

Gyosu could feel his heart flutter a little bit. If he was being honest, he enjoyed being around these guys. Area 47 was pretty large, but they would still be able to meet pretty often. They could get together sometimes and talk about what was happening in the world and maybe open a nice bottle of booze when they found one.

Ian turned toward Gyosu with an expectant face and smiled back.

“Your place.”


“We’re going to live at your place.”

“What the fuck?”


Gyosu’s happy imagination of a joyful Wasteland life shattered into pieces.

“Definitely not. My shelter is tiny. There isn’t any room for two more people to come in.”

“It’s just a figurative speech. We won’t be living in the same shelter.”

“Phew. I knew it. Then where—”

“Right next to your house. We have a generator and all of the necessities, so we just need to buy a shelter kit. It only takes about two weeks to build a medium-sized shelter.”

“That’s basically the same thing! Living right next to each other isn’t like being next-door neighbors!”

You couldn’t think of this matter like it was before the Great Disaster. It was better to live in the same shelter than build a new one right next to it.

“By any chance, you have a large protection field?”

“Don’t even have a small one. Why use precious energy to hide? We could just kill them all.”

“Oh, my goodness….”

There was a reason why shelters were built in a dome shape. That was because the shape protection fields and shield generators outputted at their maximum efficiency. Protection fields were especially sensitive to these factors, so if any other protection field or shield was near it, then the wavelengths crashed together, rendering it useless. Because several small protective fields interfered with each other, you usually needed a medium or large protection field for bigger areas, but since they didn’t have one, he couldn’t use his either.

“Do you guys even know the social system of Area 47? This place has a Dome city. If there are more than two shelters nearby, they’re considered a ‘community’ and are constantly monitored by the Dome patrollers. And we don’t have a protective shield, so we can’t even hide.”

“Then why don’t we take this chance to grow as a community? We even have a name. HIV.”

“And we used that name to mess around with the Dome and the Raptors. Do you seriously want to get bombed?”


“Don’t ‘aha’ me! Unlike Area 43, Area 47 is relatively peaceful, even though it’s a large region! And do you think that’s a coincidence? Of course, there’s some kind of system going on! Did you guys not even research your market before moving here?”


“Well, we weren’t thinking of it. Doing business.”

As I started to rant out of irritation, Vex quietly slipped into the conversation.

“The business and stuff are all an excuse.”

“Hey, oldie, we shouldn’t say…..”

“It looks like everything’s gonna get really messed up with how things are going. Hepburn, we talked with Old Man Woojin after you left the treatment room, and we decided that you shouldn’t be left alone.”

“Me? Why?”

“What do you mean, ‘why?’ You’re crazy. They said that mental diseases get worse when you’re alone. Since you don’t have anyone to talk to, you start muttering to yourself like Vex, or even start seeing things and sometimes split personalities as you did. It’s much better to have someone to talk to.”

“So, you moved your entire business just to care for me?”

“Hey, did you even hear what I said? We had a genuine reason to move our shop, and you just happened to be a patient that needed to be spoon-fed, so this and that reason led up to us moving here, that’s it.”

While Ian explained the situation, becoming a little red, Vex took out a large needle-free injection cartridge and main body.

“Old Man Woojin asked us a favor too. He said he’d give us this, so we could consider this mercenary work. This is more than enough compensation for us.”

The cartridge in Vex’s hand was familiar. Something that every single person in the Special Forces 14 carried around during the Great Disaster days.

“A revival kit?”

“You got it. The best drug of the Old Days that guaranteed four hours of maximum strength as long as your head and chest weren’t dead. It’s basically called a second life, and because they were all used up in the Great Disaster days, this is a product that has a very limited supply. It’s a very high reward for just taking care of a friend.”

“The old man really cares for you.”

“Why’d he do something so unnecessary….”

Hwayoon just sighed at the sudden serious environment. His so-called friends just picked up their entire lives and brought them with them to help him out, and the old man he thought he was just kind of close with gave them all of his valuables to ask them a favor. How could someone who wasn’t a psychopath reject them? They’ve already basically made everything happen.

Gyosu, who was no longer able to stand the puppy eyes Vex and Ian were sending at him, finally said to them,

“……Let’s go for now. We could talk over dinner.”



“And I won’t use a shitty name like that! Just for your information!”

[Yess! A bunch of fun humans!]

“I’m getting a headache…..”

Gyosu buried his head in his hands as he thought about how chaotic his life was now going to be with these two, no, three brainless idiots.

Of course, he couldn’t stop himself from laughing through his hands. Nope. That’s not me. It’s Hyde that’s laughing.

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