Omniscient First-Person's Viewpoint
[Translator – Tails and aquamage]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
Chapter 12 - Humans Use Tools
The alarm felt more like a pain than just a loud noise today as well.
Would a cricket made of steel make a noise like this? It felt like a razor-thin blade was chopping away at my ears.
Unable to resist, I burst out of the bed and shut the clock off. Waking up to a headache every day wasn’t the most pleasant routine. I clenched my teeth as I tried to dampen my ringing head.
“Ugh. That fucking alarm clock.”
The State’s alarms could be set earlier, but not later. No matter how late you tried to set it to, it would always ring at 8 o’clock. The screech it made was almost like an attack.
They said that the fastest way to find a corpse was to look for a house with an alarm that didn’t turn off. Only the dead could bear that noise.
The only way to guarantee yourself a nice sleep was to smash the alarm clock to bits, but being late came with its own problems. In the Military State where everyday life needed to tick perfectly like a gear in a machine, waking up late was almost a crime.
“You bastards. At least wake us up more peacefully.”
After stretching my body, I looked at my reflection at the sink. The broken mirror reflected my face, distorted from the cracks.
I was wearing a standard shirt. It was the clothes I had been given before being strapped in a straitjacket. The shirt was already heavily creased from having worn it for several days.
“I need to wash my clothes soon. I can’t just wear the same clothes every day.”
There must be clothes left somewhere. After washing my face, I headed out, looking for anything else I could wear—
And then immediately closed the door again.
I held the handle tight and pressed my back against the door.
‘Why is that furball waiting outside my door? Does it plan to drag me along on a morning walk?’
‘Nope. Absolutely not. I have so many things to do. I need to cook for Azzy since nobody else will. I need to walk her on top of that? I wouldn’t have any personal time to do what I needed to do.’
What's wrong with just a little walk? That’s the Dog King. They take walks like a king as well.
“Woof, woof, woof.”
I heard her front paws scratching on the door. The residence for workers had no locks, so the door rattled alongside my body every time her paws touched the door.
Azzy was still just scratching the door, not intending to break it yet. The problem was that it already felt like a battering ram was smashing its horns against the door. At this rate, I would tire first before the door could break.
In times of siege, the defenders often opened the doors and charged out, even if their forces were much weaker. It wasn’t because they were stupid. Instead, they would rather try something before they starve to death.
I had the same mindset as I clutched the door handle.
“It’s time, damned beast.”
I was scared.
Who wouldn't be scared to fight a monster that could separate flesh from bones with a single strike?
However, dogs were loyal to humans. The Dog King had infinite loyalty towards humans and would likely not attack me. Maybe she might bite as a rebellious struggle, but she wouldn’t tear me to shreds.
I treated her nicely till now to gain her trust, but not anymore.
Humanity will no longer kneel.
We shall not meet the demands of animals.
I will fight. Even if it means death.
With a newfound deep resolve rooted firmly in my heart, I opened the door to see Azzy staring up at me from the floor.
“What have you come here for, foul beast?!”
‘If she dares to ask me for a morning walk, I’ll collar her up. If she wants food like a pig, I’ll add in extra spices she can’t handle. It doesn’t matter that I can’t fight her head-on. It’s about the mindset. The thought that makes you want to fight! It’s time, mutt!’
Azzy crawled to my feet. She fell to the floor again, yawning.
‘Huh? She doesn’t want… a walk? Not whining for food either?’
I waited a full minute, but all Azzy did was tap my legs with her tail.
“She's just here. Phew.”
The Dog King was a dog. They required interaction with humans. However, the other humans here weren’t exactly fit for giving Azzy what she needed. The regressor was too busy, and the vampire wasn’t even alive. The only person Azzy could really interact with was me.
I lowered my tension and lowered my hand in front of Azzy. Yawning, Azzy rubbed her face into my palm.
“Now this is more like a pet. You’ve finally realized your place.”
The ruler of the world was humanity. That was why the Beast Kings modeled human flesh and spoke human words. As representatives of their respective race, they needed to be able to communicate with the rulers of the lands.
Azzy was like any other dog in how active and peppy she was, but at least you could always communicate with her. My lips twisted into a sly grin as I patted her.
“Hehehe. Yes, good girl. I don’t even need to use my hands!”
‘Nothing is better than an obedient dog. Well, I think I can make this work. It’s acceptable.’
“Follow me, Azzy! Your nose will be useful in searching the offices.”
I headed to the management offices, and Azzy got right back up to follow me.
If this were a normal prison, a large tower would be built next to the prison. That tower would rise about two stories higher than the rooftop of the prison, staring down as if they were observing an ant house. If a single prisoner was unable to be located, they would whip out their glaring searchlights and figure out a way to locate them anyhow.
Regardless, Tantalus was full of prisoners that the State couldn’t handle.
In order to continue properly maintaining the facility, the State needed to make the corresponding investment. Tantalus needed an army or someone with the combat caliber of a general.
Of course, that was impossible. Spending that much resources on a prison warden was something nonsensically wasteful.
Realizing that abandonment was cheaper than trying to find out some way to control it, they dropped the prison into the abyss and cut support. Leaving the prisoners to their own accord.
Anyway, instead of a watchtower, Tantalus had a square building shaped like a storage. It was a container building separated by a small concrete fence.
It also wasn’t even intact right now. I winced as I made my way over the fence.
“Phew. The insides are completely a mess, huh?”
One wall had completely collapsed. Looking at the gigantic palm-shaped indentation in the rubble, it seemed that someone had toppled the wall down by slamming it with their palm. On the steel plates reinforcing the outer walls were many small holes, as if someone had done target practice on it. The holes had traces of having melted.
Just what were they shooting? Even fire arrows can’t do something like this.
The roof had collapsed halfway down. The reason was obvious. A gigantic metal beam, like the ones you’d find at construction sites, had been smashed through the roof. One of the corners of the building had also completely disappeared, leaving teeth marks in its trace, as if something had bitten it.
But there’s no creature that has a mouth that big… right?
‘Just what happened?’
As I crouched down, advancing carefully, the ground suddenly shook. Looking down, I saw that someone had cleanly cut the concrete floor like cake. This was likely done by the regressor.
Something must’ve happened, but all I could read were minds. I couldn’t tell what happened here in the past. All I could guess was that some massive wave of violence and chaos swept through this place.
I scratched my chin as I turned back to Azzy.
“Azzy, do you remember what happened?”
“Woof! Everyone fought!”
“Uh, so who? Why did they fight? Can you tell me exactly what happened from start to finish?”
“Never mind. I shouldn’t have asked you.”
Azzy probably didn’t take a side. Loyalty to all humans meant that she was equally ignorant of all humans. Even if I gained her trust, she probably wouldn’t help me out if I fought against someone else.
The thought pissed me off. What was I doing all of this for?
“Ugh. All my efforts are worthless. No matter how many times I feed you and take you out for walks… A dog is just a dog.”
“I like walks!”
“I know. I don’t.”
Azzy opened her eyes in shock. Was the fact that someone doesn’t like walks that much of a surprise?
Almost as if she had gotten worried about her future walks, she hopped up and down, talking the most fluently I’d ever seen her.
“Woof! Walks are great! You see so many cool things! It’s so fun!”
“Walks are really, really good. It’s wide open! You can run all you want!”
‘So what? Is she trying to convince me? Even if I’ve become a prisoner, do you think I’d be so easily convinced by a dog?’
As Azzy used some ‘high-level’ vocabulary to tell me the positive aspects of walks, she stared back at me with shining eyes.
“You don’t like walks?”
“I don’t mind them.”
It was too early for her to rejoice. Watching her spin around in joy, I added to my statement.
“But I prefer laying down and taking a nap.”
“We’ve wasted too much time. Let’s get going.”
‘Haaa… I’ll have to figure things out on my own.’
After continuing a conversation lowered to her level, I stepped past the door that was in three pieces into the control room.
Just what did they do to make the door rip like paper? It was still a metal door.
Should I head back?
The building was completely dark due to a lack of lighting. If the roof was intact and the walls standing, it would’ve been too dark to see. Thankfully, the newly added gaping holes allowed enough light to seep in to distinguish the outlines of objects.
As expected of a control room, I saw many things that used to be part of machines. The reason I said ‘used to be’ was because they were broken to the point where I could barely recognize them.
Scattered bolts and nuts. Split gears. Half of a control panel. A golem missing most of its limbs.
The machines and magic golems that would’ve resided here were completely eliminated by a raid on the building.
“They must’ve broken everything during the jailbreak. I get that sentiment.”
I agreed with that mindset of revenge. Muttering meaningless words, I rummaged through the mountain of scraps. I was hoping to find something that the State hadn’t collected from the heap already.
However, the room was too dark, and the amount of rubble was too large. I wasn’t sure where to start, and I ended up sweating as I dug through the piles. On top of that, the rubble was heavy enough that I was groaning with all my might as I tried to lift it.
Even if a treasure was hidden in the trash, I wasn’t really capable of finding it.
As I was about to head back, Azzy perked up and dove into the pile.
Gigantic pieces of scraps groaned and flew as Azzy dug with her hands. I waited behind the sunken roof for the mess to end. After tossing out a steel-beam-impaled concrete block and a large antenna, Azzy pointed towards a small cabinet.
Realizing what it was, I forced my body back up.
“That’s the valuables cabinet, right? Nice job, Azzy.”
“I did good?”
“Yeah, good girl. You’re the best doggy.”
After petting Azzy with the compliment, she hopped around the cabinet in circles. I pulled the cabinet’s handle, but with a deep indentation in the side, it refused to budge. It seemed like something had broken or bent the wrong way inside. Not that I wasn’t strong enough.
But who am I? A human with wisdom. And human wisdom culminates in their tools.
“First, second, and third-class. What type of lever do we need here?”
“Woof?! I’m not an idiot!”
I shoved the metal beam into the bent opening of the door and pushed hard.
…It didn’t work.
Hm. But who am I? A human with wits. And when my strength isn’t enough…
“Azzy, can you help me out?”
“Woof? I’m not an idiot!”
“Yeah, yeah, alright. Just doggy punch this.”
“Yeah, just slam this part with your paw. Hard.”
“Woof? Like this?”
As soon as I saw Azzy raise her arm, I turned and ran. Her arm swept through the air.
With a gigantic noise, the cabinet flew three meters into the air. The tight door flew off, spinning in the air until it impaled itself in the ceiling. The metal rod used as a level was now in the shape of a ‘V’.
The cabinet landed headfirst on the ground.
That doggy punch was strong.
“Aw, good girl. You’re the best dog in the world.”
“Yep, the best.”
“Woof! Me, best!”
Leaving Azzy behind, I looked inside the cabinet.
There were a few crystal orbs, likely made as spares, and some paperwork.
‘Is that all?’
Continuing to search, I saw a lead-colored round object in the corners of the cabinet. I’d missed it initially because of the dark.
I shoved my hand in deep and took it out.
Then I let out a gasp.
“Holy—This is still here?”
Now this… this was something I could use.
Translator – Tails and aquamage
Proofreader – yukitokata
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