I Reincarnated Into A Vending Machine - Chapter 66
The large family of 11-people, consisting of me, who is a vending machine, Ramis, Hyurumi, Leader Keryoil, Shui, the Red-White twins, the Big Eaters Brigade, and Mishael in total, went out on an expedition. There's also a boar-drawn, covered wagon with us.
I had left the community with optimistic feelings that Ramis won't be frightened with this many people around, but.
’’This is an eerie place as always.’’ (Leader)
’’I just remembered I had to do something important, so let's go back, White.’’ (Red)
’’Oh yeah, let's, Red.’’ (White)
’’I forgot my luggage at the inn -ssu.’’ (Shui)
Leader caught the members of the Fools of Whimsy Brigade who all turned around together at once and tried to go back. I assume half of it was joking around, but there was also a high degree of seriousness to it. There was a kind of feeling in the air that made me think so.
The place we've arrived at is a desolate place where weeds won't grow and tombstones stuck up out of the ground. And they're not in good condition but missing bits and pieces;as of now I haven't found one that retained its original shape.
There are dead trees without a single leaf here and there, but from the branches sways a straw rope tied in a loop.
How should I say this ... it's got taste, na. The weathered armor that's like the remains of a Hunter scattered around also gives it a high score as a horror spot.
Furthermore, the occasional roar of thunder and theatrical flashes of lightning are also points to appreciate.
Well, while I'm taking on these opinions like I'm some critic, I looked over at the expedition members, but the only ones who are composed are Leader, Hyurumi, and the Big Eaters Brigade.
’’I wonder why they made the graveyard outside the community.’’ (Mikene)
’’Well, Mikene, it's that. What's it called.’’(Shote)
’’Mikene and Shote don't get it at all. It's definitely just because.’’(Suko)
’’Really?... but even if you set out offerings, it looks like monsters would eat them, so it's a waste.’’ (Pel)
The Big Eaters Brigade, with a different sense of what to fear compared to humans as expected, aren't scared in the slightest. In this situation they're reliable.
’’When ya die in the dungeon, it seems like your grave will just appear by itself. It's a friendly design where even your name is automatically carved on it.’’ (Hyurumi)
Hyurumi isn't agitated at all either. She even has enough composure to casually approach the tombstones and wipe off the dust to check the names.
Mishael has a smile pasted on and doesn't tremble at all. At a glance he appears to be admirably calm without being flustered, but his pupils are staring fixedly at one spot. Did this guy freeze up from being too frightened?
Ramis, with me on her back, is staring only at the ground to keep the damage to her spirit at its minimum, it seems.
’’You guys, you're too panicked. Sure it's just a tiny bit gloomy, but that's it. Don't get overwhelmed by the atmosphere.’’ (Leader)
The Brigade members tightened their expressions;the color of their faces aren't by any means good, but they seem to have made up their minds.
Mishael went, 'Ha-', cleared his throat once, and put on his usual at-ease, refreshing smile.
They were a bit agitated, but these guys immediately went back to their usual selves so there's no problems, I guess. Ramis is staring at the ground still, so I can't have expectations for her in a fight, but she can manage if it's just carrying luggage. She can manage, right?
’’Haa, well, let's just search as we are able for today.’’
Leader Keryoil took off his hat in a rare gesture, scratching his head. He's probably disgusted at the fact that our future prospects will be full of hardships, but it's not like I don't understand his feelings.
At this time, if the Big Eaters Brigade turns out to be the most reliable ones, I'd also want to cry.
Going along with Leader's orders, we're walking around the area as we are able, but the enemy encounter rate is quite high. We fought over ten of them just wandering around for about thirty minutes.
While I was analyzing like that, more enemies appeared just now, huh?
The ground bulged up, and from there an arm with rotting flesh, to the point you can see the white bone inside, came sprouting upwards.
Aside from that, there are also arms already reduced to bleached white bone and skulls that pushed up the dirt from within and appeared, but true to expectation they all appeared near a tombstone.
There are eight zombie - corpse demons and bone-people demons in total, but in the span of a single breath, four of them were destroyed by long-ranged attacks, and before the remaining four could pull their entire bodies out of the ground, they were approached by the Big Eaters Brigade and smashed up by the Big Eaters' fangs and claws.
I understand that it's an efficient method to defeat them, but I pity our enemies a little.
Of the scared party, the Fools of Whimsy Brigade's movements were sharp and they fought without any hiccups. Mishael also activated ikemen-mode when it comes to battles, so looks like there are no problems.
That said, the remaining one is Ramis, but when the enemy appears she only stiffens and holds her breath;she doesn't scream or try to run away, so for me, I think it's quite the progress.
From then on, even though the enemies are easily defeated, Ramis only carried me, seeming to already be giving her all, and didn't participate in battles.
Before it became dusk, we went and returned to the community and quickly withdrew to the inn.
I'm in the usual spot on the outside, spacing out and staring at the starless night sky.
After finding out that the monsters here won't harm me, I have the composure to do some fancy nighttime monster observation. I feel like the atmosphere should have me seated in an expensive-looking chair, wine glass in hand, giving horror film reviews.
Today as well, the monsters repeatedly prowl within the community, peering into the lit up windows. This is just my thoughts after several days of observation, but even though they have expressionless faces, I somehow see them as staring enviously at the things going on inside.
It might not be a baseless rumor that the monsters here are different from normal monsters, using a dead person as the base.
’’A-, A, A, Aaaaa’’
While I was deep in thought, I heard a voice from very near near so I suddenly move my sight to the front.
It had gotten quite close while I was unaware, so I ended up with the plight of seeing its rotted face, with the flesh sloughing off on one side and the eyeball fallen out from a very close range.
A, yeah, from this distance, it's pretty rough. As a bonus, the light shining from my body is illuminating it, so the contrasting shadows are sharp, giving it more impact.
’’Don't just appear like that!’’ - - that reflexive scream didn't happen. I'm bitter towards this body that has the setting for only speaking set phrases even in this situation.
I swallow back the words this body of mind produced that don't match this situation of surprise and terror. I'll just leave it and calm down.
Recovering my calm, shall I observe it closely? What's in front of me is undoubtedly a corpse demon. It's height is short, so it's probably a child.
Does it think I'm strange? It stares at me with its remaining eye while saying, ’’A- A-.’’ If it's true that a person is its base, then this corpse demon would be a child that lost its life at a very young age and became a demon?
Just thinking so made me unable to consider this corpse demon as a dreadful existence. If the child is staring at me, not to inflict harm on me but out of childish inquisitiveness, then it would be heartless not to pity it, huh?
When I called out to it, it tilted its head. It looks like that, but the person within might have retained its memories. If that's so, defeating these from now on will be tough. Well, I'm not the one fighting, though.
-tte, hey, don't pat me down. Your rotting handprints are getting all over me. Aa, geez, I'll give you this, so-.
I don't know whether it can drink, but I retrieve and drop the orange juice that even the blonde, pig-tailed young lady favored.
It reacted to the clang from the sound of the can dropping, but is it unable to understand anything? Then, I'll use <Barrier>to send the orange juice flying out.
The child corpse demon reacted to the juice that flew by its side, rolling on the ground, and turned to look, its body swaying unsteadily while taking shaky steps, towards the juice.
Looks like it's the type that reacts excessively to sound that's common in zombie movies.
Seizing the orange juice can in both hands and lifting it up, I was just thinking it was carefully looking to see how to open the top but it bit into it. Orange colored liquid flowed out between the gaps of the teeth that easily pierced through the aluminum can and soaked the corpse demon child's body.
And like that, seemingly satisfied to continue to chew up the aluminum can, it disappeared into the darkness. It was an unexpected encounter, but I probably won't meet it a second time. It was a strange night, but I don't have confused or unpleasant feelings about it.
The second day's search ended, and once again I'm spending dusk outside of the inn.
Ramis didn't participate in battle like always, but she became able to properly face forward and watch the battles. Un, just like that, keep doing your best.
’’A-u, your best.
The corpse demons and ghost demons appeared again, huh? Looks like they came once again just to do their late-night prowling.
While I was watching those monsters, there was a figure that walked directly towards me. Is that little corpse demon the same one from yesterday?
The rotted face and the way the hair is falling out looks like it, but I'm not certain. It would have been nice if it had a special trait that was easy to recognize, but it's hard to make distinctions between rotting faces. If it's the same corpse demon, then maybe I can tell if I pull out an orange juice?
Whin I used the barrier to flick the orange juice outside like yesterday, it found it and once again chewed on the can and left, satisfied. Hm? Did it become attached to me? No, couldn't be.
The night of the third day. It came again ... that corpse demon child.
I wonder if it has childish tastes. Even after it became a monster, the residual habits and instincts of a child might remain, even just a little, in that decaying body.
This might not mean anything to it, but I offered an orange juice to that child today as well. I'm not sure what I'm expecting, but I've begun to enjoy the late night interactions with this child.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth days pass. The search has been going well, so today is the first time we're searching outside the community at night. That said, we're not going more than 10 minutes by foot from the community, so if anything happens we can run and take cover.
I'm apologetic to the corpse demon child who has appeared every night since then. I can't hand over an orange juice to it today. Maa, we're returning tomorrow, so bear with it for a day.
’’Hakkon, let me sleep near you today.’’
Everyone is circled around the fire, but I've been set at a spot a little bit away to avoid the direct flames. In front me Ramis, wrapped in a blanket, leaned her back against me and sat down.
For the entire day today she had endured the scary things and done her best, after all. I can at least happily let her sleep together with me.
’’Thank you, Hakkon.’’
Her spirit is probably worn out from the extreme tension. Ramis was immediately lulled to sleep.
You've worked hard, Ramis. Let's work hard together tomorrow too.
In order to protect the at-risk Ramis, who's sound asleep, I'll watch our surroundings cautiously. Today's night watch are Mikene and Shote from the Big Eaters Brigade, the relatively reliable combo. And also the Red-White twins, rounding off the line up.
If it's those guys we're on point for both spotting and dealing with enemies, so I could safely leave it to them, but you never know what can happen in this other world. There's no disadvantage to increasing the amount of people keeping watch.
Today no one felt like cooking in this kind of place, so everyone purchased my products;it wasn't a bad profit.
As midnight approached, around the time when those in charge of keeping watch let down their guard a little, I picked up a faint sound.
A corpse demon, huh? There's just one, but it seems to be coming this way, since this way, since its voice is gradually getting louder.
’’Red, should we wake everyone?’’
’’If there's only one then we'll be fine, White.’’
The two from the Big Eaters Brigade are going to continue keeping watch;seems like the Red-White twins are going to deal with the sound that's coming our way.
The two are standing next to me, so I increase the intensity of my light so they can see better.
What came looming from out of the darkness is a little corpse demon ... -tte, that one is-!
’’A child, huh? It's a bit pitiful, but rest in peace!’’
In order to stop Red, who flew out, I yelled with my largest volume setting, but without turning, he thrust his spear into the corpse demon child's stomach.
’’What the, Hakkon? What happened, you suddenly yelled.’’
Without understanding my meaning, Red looked over at me with a bewildered face, but who cares about that? This corpse demon child, it can't be that one who comes late at night ... right?
’’What the, the spear tip is caught in something. E, this is, the container for Hakkon's drinks. Where did this guy get a hold of it?’’
What his spear pierced through was, without a doubt, was a fragment of the orange juice can.
I understand that getting mad at Red would be misplaced anger. For him, a corpse demon child is just a monster. It's even admirable that he dealt with it quickly, so there's nothing to blame him for.
I understand, I understand, but ... when I see that child, with its hand stretched out lying on the ground, my circuits feel like they're shorting.
Surely this child found me and came to get a juice like normal. It's just that, this is all just my speculation, so it might have also come to attack people.
That's right, today it came much later than the normal time. This child is a monster, so attacking people is in its instincts
’’Red, doesn't this have something in its hand?’’
When my field of vision flew over at White's words, in the outstretched hand of the corpse demon child was a coin.
’’No way, was it going to buy something? No, impossible, na, no way...’’
’’I don't know if it was this corpse demon, but there was something watching us from far away. It didn't seem to want to make a pass at us, so I ignored it, though.’’
The one who intruded on the conversation was Mikene. If its these nocturnal guys with night vision saying it, then they're probably not wrong.
In other words, this child saw my companions buying things with coins and wanted to imitate it and put coins in me...?
You idiot, it would have been fine if you didn't act so much like a child. And what you have is a copper coin, it's not even enough.
Even after the other two lost interest and left, I couldn't keep my eyes off that child.
I turned into the <Coin-Operated Vacuum>, and although it was a tough battle, I sucked up the copper coin, became the usual vending machine, and added orange juice to my products.
Making it purchasable with a copper coin, I dropped the orange juice and tossed it towards the child.
I offer up my first and last words of gratitude towards that child.
’’Thank you very much’’