Jidou Hanbaiki ni Umarekawatta ore wa Meikyuu o Samayou
Author: Hiru Kuma
As a Vending Machine Maniac
I’d have gone deaf temporarily if I had eardrums, that’s how loud the explosion that filled the underground room was; looking up at the ceiling, a creaking fissure has begun to run freely.
A, it’s done for!
“I,it’s caving in-! Kyaaaaaa-!”
This is not the time to think how cute she is when she screams; go, <Barrier>!
Barely in time, the blue wall surrounded us; the collapsed ceiling that had entered the inner part of the Barrier was rejected and flicked outwards. Mou, being wrapped up in that noise, you can’t discern any other sounds; Hyurumi is squatting with her hands over her ears.
When the sound finally stopped, we are now trapped in the rubble. Originally we’d probably be in a darkness that light couldn’t pass through, but the body of a vending machine is brimming with light, so you can see the surroundings well.
“Y,you saved my ass, Hakkon. Ain’t you a capable man, ya bastard.”
She lightly thumped my iron body with a fist. It’s not exactly a safe situation, but for now we can make do. But you know, the problem is going to be from here on out.
We’ll make do with food somehow. The biggest problem is maintaining the Barrier. Maintaining the Barrier at ten thousand points, with 1 point reduction every second, is my limit. One hour reduces my points by 3600, so if we aren’t dug out in three hours, we won’t be able to do anything than get crushed and die.
If it was just me … if I raise my Defense I can probably withstand it. But, I don’t have even the slightest intentions of choosing that. If I abandon her, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Even though I’m no longer human, I’d like my heart at least to stay human.
And I don’t want to see Ramis’ crying face at all.
“Hakkon, can you keep this Barrier up forever?”
Spewing out lies won’t help any. I should convey the scope of what I can do in this situation, and find a way to save the both of us.
“Do you not have even an hour’s worth?”
“Is two hours your limit?”
“You have about three hours worth?”
“I see, we got three hours about … just about no room for error, it sucks.”
That’s right, we have no time. We absolutely have to break out of our current situation before time runs out. Vending Machine products that we can use as tools to help us escape –- don’t exist.
It’s heartless, but this is reality. I have an overwhelming lack of Points if I want to choose a Divine Blessing. If my functions had a drill option, then we’d be talking, but of course that sort of thing doesn’t exist. Even if it exists, I bet it would need an exorbitant amount of points.
No matter what I think of, I get checkmate-d, but I won’t give up yet. There still has to be some combination of things …
“Oi, Hakkon. To maintain the Divine Blessing, could it be you need money? Y’know, back when we was talking about how you can use money for other things.”
Aa, we did talk about that. Naturally, if we could gather a large amount of coins then we can make do, changing them to points to maintain the Barrier, but Hyurumi’s coins and luggage, all of it, were taken away. The kind of money we’re talking about doesn’t exist anywhere here.
“Like I thought. Then we’ll manage somehow. Hakkon, look up.”
I can’t just obediently take her word for it, but I shift my vision above to the debris-filled area where the ceiling originally was. And what do you want me to — E, that is.
“See it? That’s a bag stuffed with coins. Remember, I told you, above us is a storage room.”
A, aa, that’s right. The entire reason for this great catastrophe was because the storage room was right over head. With the floor missing, it’s obvious what’s in the storage room will fall down.
Then, let’s change the permissions so only that bag can enter the Barrier!
When it fell to the ground, from the mouth of the bag, which seemed like a child could be in it, gold, silver, and copper coins all mixed together spilled out. Alriiiiiiight, just with this, we have more than enough to keep the Barrier going. Just the coins that spilled out have the power to keep it going for a full day.
Now I just need to change the prices for the products; let’s change them to one gold coin and above.
“Alright, I’m going to buy whatever I want!”
Gold coins, silver coins, all coins were inserted in large quantities, and the Points went up like you wouldn’t believe. This is probably money those guys got their hands on through criminal acts, but I can’t return it to the victims so I’ll use it well.
If those guys’ head guy knew how all of his stashed money was disappearing, I bet he’d go crazy.
We don’t have to worry about the Barrier anymore. If we can hold out for three days, then Ramis will probably run into us, digging out the rubble. And in addition, if I let my voice out, I believe that she’ll realize it if she’s close.
My life’s crisis is fading; I’m no longer super tense.
Now all we have left to do is wait for help. Hyurumi is also completely at ease, chewing on over one gold coin, expensively priced molded potato chips. Though with her stomach full, she’s gotten sleepy so it’s quiet.
“Haa- haa- haahaa, what the … breathing, hurts.”
E-, isn’t her face color bad? Her breathing’s also rough, and she looks like she’s in pain with her hand on her forehead. What on earth could have happened, she was that energetic just a minute ago … Aa-, I’m an idiot!
Just because my own body’s mechanical, I committed a huge blunder. Right now, that girl is suffocating. Unlike me, people need to breathe. In a space buried airtight with no cracks in it, humans can’t survive very long.
Dammit, if I had just thought a little I should have realized it. Just because I won’t die I got careless, and now she’s being exposed to danger right before my eyes.
“My head hurts, haa haa haa”
What should I do? The excess time we just had doesn’t exist. If Hyurumi passes out from lack of air, I won’t be able to do anything. Once she runs out of oxygen, then … oxygen … that’s it!
I know I have it, that function. I thought I wouldn’t ever have to take it, but right now, I have never been happier to be a vending machine maniac.
I changed into a vending machine with a retro feeling to it. It’s a form change with an oblong shape that you can’t really say was good design sense; on the top, words in kanji appeared.
(Oxygen Vending Machine)
From my middle was a mask that can completely cover the nose and mouth, connected to the main body with a thin tube; from that it’s possible to supply oxygen.
“Haa haa, wh,what’s this for?”
Originally it was a system where 50 yen supplied 3000 cc’s of oxygen, but of course this time there’s no charge. Even if she doesn’t notice it, it’ll be fine because I’ll just keep putting out oxygen. Since it will be fine if I can supply the entire space with oxygen.
“Haa haa, here, haa haa haa … something’s coming out … should I, haa haa, breathe it in?”
She equipped the mask firmly to her mouth. She sucked in the oxygen greedily, and her pained face gradually became calm; looks like she’ll be fine.
Haaaaaa, I panicked. In vending machine exhibits and museums, I’ve seen them and debated it before plunging in; becoming a part of the vending machine maniac community paid off.
This oxygen vending machine was a vending machine that actually came out around Showa 40 (1965). At that time in Japan, air pollution was a big problem, so it seems like one of the links to the plan to counter-act that was to install one of these on the Ginza.
What I know about has its limits, but this is a gem that definitely enters my top strange vending machines.
I have an abundance of points, so I can keep up both Barrier and the oxygen together; there’s no problem. Now we just leisurely wait for her to get saved. Of course, this time I’m going to check that I didn’t overlook something, though.
I can provide a meal at any time; there’s a mound of products littering the floor, so there shouldn’t be a problem for a time. I even have more than enough Points for a while. In case anything unexpected happens, I’ll remain on guard and vigilant for a while. Like this, it’ll be perfect. There’s nothing I overlooked, I think.
What we’ve dealt with has been awful, and I’m sorry that there was nothing I could do, but even when I make a mistake, I can follow it up, so we’ll manage somehow. Until we’re saved, I swear that I won’t be careless.
“Thanks, Hakkon. Ya know, if you were human, you’d be pretty sick.”
With her sitting there, embarrassed with upturned eyes, even though I’m a vending machine, my chest — equipment started beating fast. But you know, even with this law of nature, I’m entrusting myself to Ramis.
Even now, though I’m not squished and broken, I wonder if she’ll cry. She should know about my Barrier and sturdiness, so she should know I’m okay, so she probably won’t overdo it.
Interrupting my one-sided thoughts, a weird sound echoed from over head. Scrape scrape, like something was being shaved off, a low bass rumble mixed with an angry sound like something heavy being dropped on the ground.
Even that sound is soon cut off – – by a certain girl’s scream.
“Hakkon! Where, where are you-! Even if it’s not safe, reply!”
That tormented voice is … crying, huh? For goodness sake, crying for a vending machine, even a maniac like me will go pale.
“Fuhahahaha. Ramis be calling you, Hakkon. Do a reply.”
Hyurumi stood up and bang bang smacked my back.
The rubble overhead was blown away, a magic light shone in, and Ramis peered in at us. Her face was wet with snot and tears, and she had cried her eyes out, so the area surrounding her eyes were swollen and red. I understood exactly how worried she was about me in a single glance.
Without any hesitation, she dove down towards me from above. I changed the permission of the Barrier to let Ramis in, and Ramis slipped through and crashed into me.
《25 damage. Endurance has been reduced by 25.》
Guwa-, ku, I took more damage than I thought. But, read the atmosphere, damage read out.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, ne. It’s because I took my eyes off you this happened.”
There’s no need to blame yourself like that. Aside from that, I’m really happy about the hug, but my body is starting to give off a bad kind of jarring sound-.
《10 damage. Endurance has been reduced by 10》
… Let’s do an Endurance recovery. If I leave it, I’ll likely lose my life after being saved. Calm down, Ramis.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so happy you’re saaaaaafe.”
I don’t have any arms to hug the crying girl, nor do I have the mouth to convey words of comfort, but I have the heart that is glad that I’ve met you. That I could meet you again, I’m really happy, Ramis.
A/N: With this, Volume 1 has concluded.
I am looking forward to our further associations.
<T/N: Ooooh, end of volume 1! Looking forward to starting volume 2. Are… how did I manage 2 chapters in 1 day?>