VendM 046: Extinguishing Fire

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Jidou Hanbaiki ni Umarekawatta ore wa Meikyuu o Samayou
Author: Hiru Kuma

Extinguishing Fire

From then on, every day, when it became late in the night, I changed forms and dropped large amounts by myself. My speed was increased, so it flowed down in forceful waves.

Because the inside of the hole is quite cold, it hasn’t melted at all; that’s what Mikene, who dangled in the hole in order to check, said.

At my drop opening, Hyurumi has installed a wooden slide like thing, so it falls into the hole without clogging up.

Doing it late at night is because there’s the two hours per one day limit, so if I do it on the last two hours of the day, the day will pass and the Form Change time limit immediately resets.

Even so, late-night work is fundamentally work done alone. Ramis and the others said they would get up to be with me, but I politely refused. If you’re going to do that, then doing it in the usual night-watch way is enough, see.

If Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma (flames-big-bone-demon) has the same traits as Honoo-Hi-Atama-Ma (flames-rook-head-deomn), then if the fire part is extinguished, attacks will go through. But, if it’s just to the degree of water and ice, then it doesn’t feel like it (water and ice) will do anything other than evaporate in an instant.

“Hakkon, are you thinking about something?”

I’ve changed back to the original vending machine as the day changed, and from behind Ramis popped her head out.

But man, I wonder how she can tell I’m mulling something over? Even though I should be the usual, unchanging vending machine.

“I don’t think you noticed, but when you’re thinking about something, the light flickers and gets a little dimmer.”

Is that so. I totally didn’t notice at all. You’re really observant, Ramis.

“Hakkon, can I ask you something?”

It’s rare that her smile vanishes, and her gaze is earnestly seeping into me. It seems like it’s not a scene where I could poke fun at her or play dumb here.

“Welcome.”

“Does Hakkon want to return to being human?”

That’s a difficult question. Normally one would think about not being a vending machine and returning to being a human, I guess. Here is a vending machine maniac, so normal is…

At first I also wished to return to being human. The wish to be able to return to being a human and trade words with Ramis is here even now. But, I realized it. The me who returns to being human and is no longer a vending machine – is there any benefits?

Right now I am aware I’m useful to Ramis and the others. However, returning to being a human means returning to a common me without this benefit.

Thinking about that is frightening. I would probably be happy that I returned to being a human at first. However, my usefulness is widely known, so everyone would be happier during the time when I was a vending machine … I can see that future where every mouth would be saying that.

And then, even if I learn <Telepathy>, at the time when I have a conversation with her, I’m beginning to have a sense of uneasiness of whether I’d disillusion her. For me, whose mouth wasn’t that well-versed when I was a human, can I have a good enough conversation to satisfy her and the others? If I try to talk to them, then I might only disillusion them as being an uninteresting man.

And that’s why, at that time, I might have unconsciously avoided taking <Telepathy>. Right now like this I can make the bare minimum communication, sticking that kind of ‘it’s enough’ reasoning to it, I let go of the chance to talk to the girls myself.
It’s shameful, na. To have more confidence in the vending machine I am now than as a human.

“Congratulations. You have won another bottle.”

“You don’t really know? Me, one day I want to be able to talk with Hakkon and do all sorts of things together. A, I said it before though, but I want to eat your home cooking too!”

If I had arms, I can also hug this girl who’s smiling without a care in the world. If I had legs I could, instead of being carried on her back, walk side-by-side together with her.

Just that is more than enough, na. If that’s what she wishes, I will make making it work my goal. No matter what the result may be.

After several more days passed, with quite a bit being stored up inside of the hole, it seems like it was time to focus on the plan. The plan’s rough outline is, first to locate Honoo-kyou-hone-ma (flame-big-bone-demon) and lead it to this pitfall.

And we’ll call Honoo-kyou-hone-ma (flame-big-bone-demon) over with the covering on top of the pitfall. And when it’s gotten on top of the pitfall, we’ll activate the trap and drop it in, and on top of the fire going out, we’ll add attacks onto it; that’s about the extent of it.
For that reason, there’s a ton of small rocks in the cart. That’s the declaration of war from Ramis.

It’s just, it feels like the rocks aren’t that big. For Ramis, she’d be able to grab and lift much bigger rocks, but the cart-boar can’t withstand that kind of weight so it seems that there’s no rock of that handy large size.

It’s difficult to say anything without giving it a try. As long as the opponent that falls into the hole can’t climb out, the dangerousness is reduced. Just that, though, will give the attacking side an advantage, I think.

“Leader, looks like Red’s come into contact with a Honoo-Hi-Atama-Ma (flames-rook-head-demon).”

“Righto, like that, lead it over here.”

With his hand to his ear, White explained what was going on to Leader Keryoil. I think, if I remember right, the Red-White twins’ unique Divine Protection was, no matter how far apart they were, limited to the two of them, it was possible for them to transmit others’ voices.
Although it’s only limited to the two of them, it’s a convenient ability, na. Well yeah, Leader also uses them conveniently.

“Just like you heard. We’re waiting for a little ways away from the hole. We’ve asked Mikene to move into position with a hood on and mantle wrapped around him.”

“Understood.”

Completely wrapped up in a mantle the same color as the wall, Mikene is established in front of the pitfall’s activation switch. When he turns his back, it looks like he assimilates into the wall; it’s likely that if you don’t look carefully, you wouldn’t realize he’s there.

We are all waiting at the wall facing the hole. Now it’s just buying time until the Level Ruler is called, and then implement the plan.

“Hakkon, be honest with me. How do you see this? Ya think this plan’s gonna be a hit?”

Hyurumi brought her mouth close to me and muttered.

I think this kind of thing depends on the luck of the moment, but her intent isn’t for me to tell her if it will go well or not; she just wants me to say that it will go well.

“Welcome.”

“I see. For me too, I want to think that it be a hit. But ya know, there’s rumours about Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma havin’ enough firepower to instantly evaporate water. Who knows what will happen to an amount of ice that satisfies that hole…”

Aa, I see. What Hyurumi is worried about is that, huh? I want to clear away her worries, but I don’t have the techniques to do that.

“Pretty soon, Red is going to be here!”

“We Fools of Whimsy Brigade will take the role of waiting on top of the hole. For the love of god, don’t let go of the lifeline!”

“Leave it to me, Leader-san!”

“You can rest assured.”

The ends of the lifelines wrapped around their waists are being clutched by Ramis and President Bear. And Leader’s lifeline is wrapped around my body. I wonder what would happen if I form changed … I’m curious, but let’s exercise some self-restraint.

Red leaped out from a side-path, and from behind him, three Honoo-Hi-Atama-Ma (flame-rook-head-demon) are floating and chasing him. So he was able to lure out this many.

“I’m going to make it look like I’m having a somewhat tough fight between two of them and barely defeat them. The one left over is up to you guys.”

“Roger!”

The Fools of Whimsy Brigade leapt out with vigor. Those guys’ abilities don’t fall behind a Honoo-Hi-Atama-Ma (flames-rook-head-demon), so I can watch without worrying.

Actually, they have more than enough ability to leisurely deal with them, so now we only have to wait for the one we want to appear. When there was only one left, with that one as well being slowly whittled away, from the ground there came a sense of faint oscillations.
Looks like it’s the actual arrival of the guest of honor. At the place where the side-path connects, I can see that the air is wavy. The phenomenon from extreme heat, no doubt.

“A-lright, you guys know what to do!”

“Hai!”

They immediately defeated the last Honoo-Hi-Atama-Ma (flames-rook-head-demon), and the Fools of Whimsy Brigade took up positions on the middle of the pitfall. The place all members’ gazes were collected on was the giant skeletal hand clad in crimson flames. And then, with a heave, a flame clad skull came up from near the top of the wall.

“So at this range, it’s already this hot.”

Hyurumi wiped the sweat from her forehead, motionlessly glaring at Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma (flames-big-bone-demon). Everyone’s expressions are stiff. It’s understandable; after all giant skeleton alone is bizarre, but within it is heat that can melt the wall.

“It would be better if we stepped a bit further back.”

President Bear, with Ramis and Hyurumi, stood back a bit further.

The Fools of Whimsy Brigade have also begun moving back, as if they’re frightened of their opponent, but they seem to have the leisure to glance at their feet.

When it takes a step, just like last time the ground sinks in into the same shape as its skeletal foot. Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma should be slowly walking forward with its dull movements, its walking speed increased; right now it’s already doubled its pace.

The intensity of Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma approaching while simultaneously melting the ground and causing tremors isn’t normal at all; if you look at it objectively, the despair wouldn’t be half-assed.

“We got him! Everyone run through!”

The Fools of Whimsy Brigade are truly running like crazy for their lives as the fire skeleton drew closer. It swung its arm about but it didn’t even come close; even so the hot wind that was stirred up violently ruffled their hair.

“Hooooot! The heat, the heat!”

“Leader, please complain afterwards.”

“Covering just yourself with water is cheating, Vice-Leader!”

“Don’t you have no heart to care for your subordinates-?”

“Water over here too!”

Hearing their screams, I turned my eyes to the Vice-Leader, and certainly she’s coated herself entirely in water. Accordingly, she was the only one with a calm face.
Whatever you say, it looks like they have the room to flap their lips, na.
They left the pitfall area followed by Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma (flames-big-bone-demon), and when it approached,

“Now, Mikene!”

“OK!”

President Bear yelled, like he was howling, and Mikene who was camouflaged to the wall, activated the trap.
With the ground underfoot disappearing, Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma (flames-big-bone-demon), with an outstretched hand, disappeared from sight.

“Guys, the steam’s gonna come billowing out! Don’t get close to the hole yet!”

At Hyurumi’s loud yell, the feet of those guys moving closer to check inside stopped.
But, when the steam didn’t billow out no matter how long they waited, all eyes gathered on Hyurumi.

A,are? The water should evaporate but … what’s this mean?”

Unable to understand, Hyurumi groaned with folded arms.
Seemingly unable to withstand his curiosity, Mikene near the wall timidly peeped in.

“Everyone-, the skeleton’s fire is out!”

“I don’t get it, but if it’s out that’s all that matters! Commence the throwing!”

With Leader Keryoil’s order as the trigger, everyone began to through giant stones.

Why the fire was extinguished is something that probably I alone know about in this place. What I dropped into the pitfall wasn’t ice, actually – it was dry ice.

Dry ice is carbon dioxide hardened into a mass, so when Honoo-Kyou-Hone-Ma fell in and the dry ice melted, the hole was filled with carbon dioxide.

From here it’s content from elementary school science, but if there’s no oxygen then fire won’t burn, and carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen so it collects at the bottom. In other words, that is why that thing’s fire went out.

This is something to be happy about that it went well; if it was a blunder, I would not be able to stand it. It was something I did with my own judgment, so honestly I’m really relieved.

Now then, like this, if they can defeat it with nothing else happening that would be the best, but. While watching they drop stone after stone, I hoped for such a thing.


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<t/n: Thank you Robert for your donation!
I’m sorry for dropping out for a while. Some things happened… maa, I will try to pick everything back up in a timely manner.>

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28 comments

    1. I imagine Hakkon is gonna be thrown by Ramis (he being so heavy and durable is an ideal weapon for her) as the finishing blow, and Hakkon will be rolling in even more points just like that alligator.

      Like

    1. Dry Ice is handled normally in Japan. It is not at all rare there. If you go to a Baskin Robbins and buy ice cream they will put a chunk of it in with your ice cream to keep it cold until you get home.

      Dry ice is not really dangerous as long as you don’t do something stupid like touch it with bare skin. Since it is so common in Japan most everyone older then small children know about it and what not to do with it.

      It is kind of unfornutate that he didn’t try and explain to Hyurumi that it wasn’t water ice. Saying something like Yes/No when she said that it is ice would probably have gotten more questions out of her that would have led to an understanding.

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  1. Can you buy dry ice from vending machines? Where?

    Now, how are they going to get the coin when it is full of CO2 and bellow freezing there?

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      1. CO2 is denser than air, though, and high concentrations of it can form deadly ‘puddles’ inside depressions. When this happens with volcanic gasses, they’re called “Mazuku”. Watch this video, it’s got a pretty chilling demonstration:

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