Chapter 60 - Inside Out (7)

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“Okay, we’re here. The group we’re trading with today should be in front of that small basin.”

“Oh, I see it too. The sand in that area is a little weird. They dug in and covered themselves with some tarp.”

Gyosu stretched his body stiff from the long wait, then checked over his equipment.

“Hmm? Are you helping? You really don’t need to. This is just a normal trade. It will be gentle and peaceful.”

“Normal, my ass. Why don’t you put down that bag first?”

Gyosu looked at the mountain of boxes containing the trade products for today, then at Ian, who was putting that much more gunpowder into his bag.

“Hm? Oh, this? This is just a kind of comfort doll. When I carry this with me, my nerves settle down, and I talk much nicer, so we cut off a lot of the unnecessary bickering. It’s a sort of business tip of mine, y’know?”

“Vex, is that true?”

Vex just shrugged at Hwayoon’s question and then continued to check his own equipment.

“Okay, time’s up. Area [45.150.204], at 4 p.m.”

“But don’t they usually set up the trade location far away from their headquarters? That mountain of junk behind the guys’ hiding place, isn’t that their base?”

“That’s usually the case, but this one’s different. This is a pretty hefty trade. The clients are a scavenger group that’s currently in a territory war, and the enemy is watching their every move, so they thought that if they set up the trade spot somewhere far away, they would just lose all of their gear on the way back. So they risked the fact that we knew their base and decided to just trade here. In short, they were too scared to transport expensive goods, so they asked to trade right in front of their house.”

Clunk, clunk, creaak—

After packing all of the goods into the back of the Buggy, Ian put on his backpack and then started up the Buggy towards the destination. Gyosu sat in the back of that vehicle, keeping alert in all directions.

Not long after, Ian stopped the car where the clients were hiding.

“Ahem. Oi! We’re from Spicy Life! We got the goods, so come take them!”

Rustle, rustle!

When Ian yelled loudly to them, the odd mounds of sand started to move, and the scavengers revealed themselves.

‘Hm? Uh, this….’

There were twelve scavengers wearing sand-colored ponchos. Even taking into account that there were a lot of goods and that they were in a war, there were far too many people for a simple trade.

Ian must not have noticed that yet, or just didn’t care, as he put on the grin of a salesman, revealing both white and silver teeth.

The skinny man, who was the only one of the scavengers with decent clothing, spoke up,

“Woah, woah. You don’t need to be wary of us, so put away those guns! We have our own situation here, you know. Like, if the trade itself was a trap or that merciless spice merchant was actually paid by those ‘Lately’ guys to kill us……”

“Ah, we know, we know. It’s an exciting yet dangerous process of making new friends in the Wasteland. I’m glad my client isn’t an idiot. Now, as you can see, we have the goods right here, so why don’t we get started?”

“Hahahah! Sounds good! Don’t worry. I’m one of the more reasonable people in the Wasteland.”

’…..I must have worried too much. Anyway, where did this guy go? I haven’t seen him for a while now.’

Unlike his concerns, the trade seemed to be going smoothly. Gyosu loosened his grip on the trigger and was looking for Vex, when he saw something shiny blinding his eyes.

‘A mirror signal? Who is that?’

It wasn’t difficult to find the origin of the light signal. He could see something blinking like a light from the group’s base, a little further away from the trade spot. He confirmed that it was a short man shaking a little object. It was Vex.

‘This…. SOS? It’s an emergency signal?’

Gyosu immediately got prepared for battle. Vex had gone off separately to scout the enemy’s base and was now sending him a rescue signal. Due to the limited communication and the risk of the other seeing the mirror signal, he would have simplified the message as much as possible.

‘He’s in an emergency. That means this trade is a trap!’

While Gyosu was figuring that out, Ian and the scavenger were finishing up the trade.

“Boss! All of the goods count up correctly! And they’re all good quality!”

Listening to the scavenger’s comment, Ian checked the sack he received and scrunched up his face.

“Oi, scavenger. They said all the products were there. But…. I think my side of the deal is being cut a bit short, don’t you think? Do I look like an idiot to you? Or were you trying to pretend these ballsacks of metal were gold?”

Shingle!

As Ian threw the heavy sack in front of the scavenger, the man started to let out a menacing laugh.

“Keheheh…. You should have pretended not to notice and just left, Metal Jaw. Quit the macho act. You don’t have any lackeys with you, and I know that it’s just you and that guy. Hey, I already gave you a hint. I’m a ‘reasonable’ person. Reasonably thinking, if there were two idiots that brought a bunch of valuable goods up to my front lawn, should I pay the full price for them or just kill the two idiots and take the goods for free?”

The scavengers hanging around and the ones moving the boxes from the Buggy were all snickering. After sending Gyosu a look, Ian’s expression also spread into a vicious smile.

“Kehehe. So, if we leave all this gear and take those brass knick knacks, you’ll spare our lives?”

While Ian was buying time, Gyosu slowly walked backward and tripped the guy who was moving the boxes.

Trip— stumble!

Crashh!

“Oh my! I’m sorry!”

“Don’t think of doing anything funny, and stay there! We’ll let you off easy if you listen to the boss. Damn it. Everything spilled out.”

The scavenger crouched down to pick up the grenades that fell out of the box.

Clink.

The skinny man picked up the sack of brass that Ian threw back at him.

“I don’t know. That was if you took this the first time. After you threw this at me like an idiot, is there any reason for me to keep you alive?”

“Heheheh. I see, so that’s how you’re gonna come out…..”

“Damn it. The boss is going to flip if we lose even one of these….”

The scavenger moving the goods was picking up the spilled grenades.

23, 24…. Where did one of them go?

“Here you go.”

“25. That’s all of them. Good. Now just stay put, hmm? This one…..”

A confused expression passed over the scavenger’s face as he looked at the grenade that Gyosu had kindly picked up for him. There were definitely no defects when he first checked, but the one he was holding did not have a safety pin.

“Uh, uhhhhhh…..”

“Kehehe. So this is how it ends once again….”

“Don’t blame me. It’s your dumb fault for being so defenseless in the Wasteland.”

“Defenseless, you say? I don’t know….”

As Ian pulled out a cigarette from his front pocket and put it in his mouth, he quickly flipped the gun aimed at him upwards and used his other hand to pull out his beautiful pistol and shove it into the scavenger’s mouth. The hard steel barrel shattered the scavenger’s yellow teeth and pressurized his throat.

“Ghrk! Ghhhh! Mghhhh!”

“We need to fight to find out who’s the defenseless one, don’t you think? The trade is off, you idiots.”

Bang!

Kla—bam!

A gunshot and explosion rang out at once, and the silent Wasteland started to sing out an explosive tune.


Bang!

With the last gunshot, Gyosu shook his head as he put his gun back in its holster.

“Are you satisfied now? You finally got to shoot the gun, so shut up now for goodness’ sake!”

**[Wooooooahhhh! This is cool! Vessel! Let me borrow your body for ten minutes! I won’t do anything else. I just want to touch this thing called the ‘gun!’ I want to see it, touch it, taste it!]

“Damn it. You’re just like Metal Jaw.”

Gyosu roughly wiped off the blood on his face as he looked around the place.

The battle itself didn’t last that long. They were outnumbered and surrounded, without a single place to hide. The only way to win was to pull off a surprise attack.

‘It was a close one.’

After the grenade he threw at the dumb scavenger blew up, Gyosu had already shot off two of the others’ heads before their smirks wiped off their faces.

He dislocated the arm of another and shoved a knife into his side, then used him as a meat shield as he shot the other ones down.

Right before the last one standing pulled the trigger on him, Gyosu tackled him down, pulled off the AK that was in his hands, and gave it to his own left hand to calm down Hyde, who had been going crazy ever since the grenade went off.

While he was wiping the blood off his face, Gyosu realized that the blood was not only from the enemies but also from a decently big graze wound on his temple. He didn’t even know he was hurt because of the adrenaline.

“What? Gyosu, you hurt?”

He was wrapping his head with a bandage he had in his pocket when a large shadow enveloped him, and he looked up to realize that it was Ian.

“It’s just a graze. There was a pretty quick one from those scavengers. I almost died.”

“Heheheheh. This is the norm in this business. In Area 43, about five scavenger groups were wiped out like this, so they usually didn’t try to pull a trick like that on me. But it must be because we’re in Area 45. They must have thought they could take us on with just a bigger headcount. I thought they would feel more threatened because it was two people this time, but guess not.”

“Two? That reminds me, Vex suddenly disappeared and signaled me back there. Was this already talked out?”

Draaag—

Thump!

“Guys like these always have a second group waiting at the base. In an open field like this, the ones that are outnumbered are always at a disadvantage, so he went to cut them off. The guys at the base said something about killing you guys, so that’s why I sent a signal.”

Vex had collected all of the firearms and bullets the tattered corpses were holding and dragged them towards the other two, then sprawled out next to Hwayoon and gulped down water from his canister.

“Ah, can I have some too?”

“Hmm? Did you not bring yours, Hepburn?”

“I drank all of mine.”

When Vex handed his canteen over to Gyosu, he sprayed the water over his head. The feeling of the water droplets after the vigorous battle felt fantastic.

“Ugh. I hate the feeling of dust plastering itself onto you after you wet yourself like that.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t help it.”

And after a short break, the three of them went around the area and looted anything remotely useful and crammed it into the back of the Buggy. Most of the weapons were worthless ones, like pipe shotguns, but there was a decent amount of scrap in their bases, so it took a while dragging all of them to the Buggy.

“There wasn’t anything extremely valuable, but this is still a huge profit!”

“I was wondering how you guys made that much money….”

Honestly, in Gyosu’s eyes, Ian didn’t look like the type to be rich. He recklessly threw around expensive explosives when he wanted to and bought what he liked without considering the price, so it definitely looked like he was using more money than he had gained.

‘He said the deal was off [this time again]. It’s no wonder he makes money, finding deals like these that make over double the profit.’

Even though Ian was a famous merchant, he was still a private seller. Most organizations that actually had the money usually sent an order to the Dome’s Life and Murder Co., not someone like Ian.

“Was this what you were aiming for?”

“Hmm? What do you mean?”

“This. A decent quality, but decently shabby as well. Just the type of business lackeys with no money would go to buy weapons. To guys like these, it’s a win to sell weapons for profit, and even if they attacked, it would be a win by just shooting them down and looking at their goods.”

Ian’s face turned serious at Gyosu’s statement.

“Oi, Gyosu. My business looks shabby to you?”

“Isn’t that what you were trying to go for? You don’t even have a catalog for your items. All of your advertisements on the Community just say, ‘Selling Various Weapons.’ and that’s it.”

“It’s supposed to be in style for only the regulars to know your business! And do you know anyone else in the Wasteland that knows guns better than I do? The customer just needs to say, ‘I’m using it at a party. A bold and heavy one, please’ and I’ll choose the right one for them. It’s my own unique service, you know?”

“Not even the neighborhood drugstore works like that man….”

“But it still pays well?”

“How is this making money from selling? You’re just using the goods as bait to reel up the idiot fish.”

“It’s okay, Hepburn. I thought it was ridiculous at first, too, but you get used to it after a while. Kehe!”

“Oi, Vex. You have a hole in your arm.”

“What? I just went to the hospital today and already got another hole!”

“Just use this bandage for now. My house isn’t far from here. You can get proper treatment when we get there.”

“Oh! Already?”

“Yeah. My house is on the outskirts of Area 47.”

Thunk, thump!

So they packed up all of the goods they brought and the extra scraps they looted into the trunk, and then the three of them melted into the seats of the car, exhausted.

[Life definitely won’t be boring with these guys around!]

‘Boring’s not the problem. They’re just going to be a pain in the ass.’

Not long after, Hwayoon let out a sigh as he saw the outer scenery slowly becoming the familiar place he knew.

“Way down~ we go~ ho- ho- ho- ho~”

“Snoor-gghhhhh! Snort! Ghhhgt! Sgnnn, cough cough……. snore—”

He finally felt like it was really happening. He was going to be living with these chaotic guys.

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