Chapter 17: Decline
Aya-chan’s small hips are shaking before my eyes, and I wanted to grasp them.
A back kick directly hits my jaw, and I am in agony from the pain. I heard the sound of zombies approaching – probably the sound I just made. Dangerous…!”
I pick up a nearby stone in a hurry and throw it, resulting in a loud sound echoing all around in the area, indicating that I broke a car’s window. The zombies didn’t seem to acknowledge us and approached the area that made a sound.
Other zombies didn´t appear in spite of only us having made a big sound, meaning there were no zombies nearby. I was able to substitute our noise with a decoy while checking for the presence of zombies; killing two birds with one stone.
I move in a direction, not minding Aya’s glare at me. When sexual intercourse is okay and sexual harassment isn’t, then what is the standard?
“Now, Aya-chan. At once.”
I can’t leave someone out, even if it is a small person such as her.
Somehow, I continue to advance while also flattering Aya. Nothing happens in particular, and as expected, we arrived at my former high school without meeting a zombie.
“Hii, Huu, Mii, yo… a corpse?”
A zombie eating a fresh body is visible in front of the school gate. After I see the person who was once” wearing a student uniform, I somewhat feel melancholy.
However… while in a school in such a desolate world, why would you wear a school uniform? Oh, is it more mobile than casual clothing… or?
After we assume that the area is clear, the only problem is how we will pass through. The zombie is currently eating, so it won’t be drawn away by another sound. Still, it’s inevitable that this zombie´s interest will be drawn towards us when he sees fresher meat.
“Are we fine if we run?”
In response to my mutter, Aya-chan answered with an affirmative nod.
Regardless of whether I like it, the height of the school gate is approximately 2 meters. To reach the school, do I actually need to climb over the wall? Aya-chan may be overestimating my abilities – my body is still 30 years old.
However, there is still no other place where I might be able to enter safely. Since there is a zombie here, there should be more in the neighborhood… and because the most open place is the school gate, it’ll be reasonable that you can expect a threat. A surprise attack is the most dangerous.
I´m okay if I’m bitten, but if I’m caught, I can’t run away so easily, and if my neck is bitten, I will die.
“…Do we go?”
I look at the school gate once again. With a standard slide lock, it’s fixed so as not to move. It’s a girl at the school gate… so there is a gap for Aya-chan to pass through, however, if it’s me, a man, it will be impossible. It will be difficult if even Aya-chan cannot make it. Of course, because the zombie doesn’t seem to be able to move either, I will be safe if I reach the other side.
I am prepared for it.
“Aya-chan, if things don’t work out, then I’m sorry, but for the time being, I leave it to you.”
I run while asking a miserable favor from her. The zombie girl at the school gate notices me immediately and slowly stands up. I have already run through the zombie, and the gate is giving me some pain.
*Piki* my waist made a dangerous sound. After all, it was a failure to sleep in an uneven canopy.
The moment I can, I jump off with the power of my arm by forcibly climbing over the school gate… rather than that, I fell to the other side.
A strange voice came out. I find it difficult to force myself to breath. I control my breathing and stand up somehow.
The zombie stretched out its hand from the gap of the school gate desperately when I looked back.
“If it’s like this, then it’s a suitable prey.”
While being careful to avoid being caught, I break the head of the zombie, who stopped its movement.
A zombie is a zombie after all; I didn’t think of it as a former human. In the first place to me who can murder a person without hesitation, there wasn’t heartache due to killing a zombie now.
“Did she pass through??”
Because there is no place where the slender Aya-chan be caught, she was able to come to this side without having a hard time. Probably because there was a zombie whose chest was stuck some time ago unable to move, Aya-chan looked down at her chest silently. I said nothing, and when I stroked her head, I was kicked.
Without acknowledging that I am an unreasonable adult, I go towards the archery grounds. Although I thought what I should do if it were rebuilt, the archery grounds did not move from the athletic complex.
The view being wide is a good thing. Even if a zombie comes, I will know immediately and escaping also becomes very easy.
However, it is a different story with the archery grounds – because the archery grounds are indoors, caution is necessary. The entrance was shut, but there is a doorway elsewhere, and it is possible someone was infected somewhere else in the school. Even if the time when the infection spread was during winter vacation, there is probably no time when the campus becomes unmanned.
“Please, can you stand guard?”
When I called out to Aya-chan, she waved her neck and declined. What?
“Hmm… it, it is like that.”
Aya-chan set foot into the archery ground without waiting for me. I watched the outside with a view, while Aya-chan confirms the security of the inside. I am still not used to the usual flow. I don’t want to be familiar, and I think I shouldn’t be familiar… therefore I cannot do it for Aya-chan´s goodwill either.
Aya-chan’s action is correct, but still, I think that I don’t want to let Aya-chan who is a junior high student do such a thing. I’d like to try to look good as expected… however, this place is dangerous for showy people… when I thought so, Aya-chan came back.
While saying nothing, she stands next to me and begins to watch. There seems to be nobody inside.
After I called out courteously and entered inside, I noticed the most changes were in the new structure. However, the layout is still the same as ten years ago.
Even if I said I had unpleasant memories, they’re exaggerated, after all, there is a deep impression when I stand in this place. In this place, I want to indulge in sentimental memories a little longer. It was bad to keep waiting, though, and so I choose the weapon that matched up with me. It was similar to the bow I had previously which was custom-made, but I have a sense of incongruity using another person’s weapon.
While I’m afraid of acting without practice, I tried to strike, and the arrow landed in a place slightly off the mark.
“…Shit, it decreased.”
Although I could shoot one hundred shots out of one hundred in the past, this is the result I have now. Over ten years… the heaviness that I couldn’t forget remained a little, and I almost cried.
I fixed my eyes on the mark. There were a lot of causes that I excluded. Basics were not the cause, but rather, in the first place, the decline of muscular strength makes a remarkable difference in archery. Even if my posture is very pure, I can’t show off if I can’t pull the bow.
…Will I start bow-pulling training again from tomorrow?