(TL: I also translated two short stories you can find on the misc tab.
The Probability I can Kill my Wife Without Being Found Out, A Game to Make Him Fall)
“Uwooah, can’t see a thin’… turn back ‘f it looks like I’ll get lost.”
Tarou had cast his body into a narrow pipe likely meant as an air duct. He groped around to feel ahead, as he carefully crawled his legs forward.
“I ain’t frickin’ scared, dammit… but even ‘f I go down ‘ere, ‘f the exit’s the same as the entrance, then how ‘m I supposed to get out? Can’t force through from up ‘ere.”
In complete darkness, Tarou clumsily crept forward. Even he didn’t know why he was doing such a thing, but for now, he could only rely on the mysterious info in his head.
“Is this that sleep-learnin’ thing? Think ‘f et like that, and I can’t say it’s impossible, but that’s a bit much… ‘s the future after all, so ‘s possible that field’s become somethin’ amazin’.”
For the uncanny information in his mind, he thought up a setting where he could accept it, for now. It was evident that it would be useless, no matter how much he thought over it here, and for now, he had determined it would be fine to write it off like that.
“Ah, that was close. Branches down. ‘f I fell, I coulda died there. Gotta be careful.”
Rather than a fork leading downwards, it was more of a hole. Stroking the goosebumps on his arm that had missed its footing, he continued ahead. Some fleeting glances behind showed the light flowing in the room he had been in before growing further and further away.
“… Hmm, tinnitus? Nah, that’s not it. What’s this sound?”
The constant sound of wind flowing through the duct. A sound with a clearly different nature could be picked up through his strained ears. After looking back one more, he resolved himself, and started off in the direction of the sound. Meaning, he moved his legs deeper into the depths.
“Ah, it’s dark. It’s narrow. It’s scary. Damn, what am I even doing.”
Tarou endured the unease boiling up, continuing on. At present, he couldn’t tell how much distance he’d gained, but the feeling the sound wasn’t as distant as it had been was certain. Perhaps a baby’s crawl would have outpaced him.
“Huh? A dead end… or not. There’s a right… and a left… oh my? Oh my oh my oh my?”
Touching the wall, he felt a path in both directions. He did hesitate a moment on which was to turn, but the faint light reflected on his eyes eliminated his choice of options.
“I’m beggin’ ya. AC control room, or the nutrient supply storage would be nice too. If possible, somewhere you can send an SOS… doubt I’d know how ta use it, so maybe not.”
Letting his heart be deceived by his seething expectations, Tarou swiftly moved his aching knees. The source of the light was a room from below, and the fact there wasn’t a lid made him clench his fist in triumph.
“Kinda hoping here. ‘f it’s like this, I can get back without a rope… sorry, comin’ right in~.”
As he had already long since defined himself as cold and alone, he didn’t hesitate to let his body land on some sort of device below. Unravelling his legs, that had become stiffened in an unnatural position, he stood, and turned his eyes to the large machine right before his eyes.
“Whoooa… don’t really get it, but amazin’. What’s this? Wha’s it suppose to be?”
Tarou continued looking up at it as he approached the mass of machinery. The height was likely somewhere around twenty meters. At its center, a spherical metal, with irregular cables extending from it. Those wires connected to a number of rectangular devices. They were all fastened to a pillar that spanned past the floor and ceiling, and at times, the lamps attached to the apparatus faces would flicker. In Tarou’s memory, the closest shape that came to mind was the core of a nuclear reactor, but of course, the probability this was something like that was exceedingly low, and besides the fact that it was some sort of device, Tarou wasn’t able to understand anything from it. All that was apparent to him was that the monitor fastened to the front was likely the operating terminal.
“That one’s gotta be beyond me… way to far from my level ‘f understandin’.”
Without the slightest consideration, he rejected the idea of trying to manipulate the large mechanism, and turned over to the smaller device he had landed on to enter the room.
“Yea~h, too naïve was I. Was expectin’ something from that sleep learnin’, but guess it ain’t so convenient…. Huh, oh look, a button.”
Standing in front of the smaller device, he looked at the correspondent monitor directly to its side. There, he discovered a big red button sticking out of it. As he had assumed from the cold sleep chamber that he wouldn’t find anything analogue, trifling as it was, he received a light shock.
“Push it, and that large machine over there ain’t gonna explode, right… don’t think they make systems that go to hell at the push of a single button these days. Ah, I’m not shakin’ you know? I’m not shakin’.”
It was important, so he said it twice, as he pressed his shaking finger against the button. A somewhat archaic ‘PiPo’ accompanied the lighting of the screen, as a green line of letters was displayed on the screen.
(TL: PiPo is the startup sound of the PC-9801 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeQvDMP48Ak. First sound in this clip)
“So these sorts of things never change. Not the daftest idea what it says, but… aaaAAh!!”
His surprise made him let out a voice great enough to surprise even himself.
Of the countless options listed on the screen.
He found the ‘Japanese’ option.
“W-what should I do? Where’s the… mouse… no I can do without. At the very least a keyboard or something… damn, which is it? How do I control it?”
In his impatience, Tarou began groping around the screen. After pounding strongly against his chest to calm himself down, he carefully observed the small device.
“… Dammit!! There ain’t anythin’! Just what the hell is this? Sound recognition? Ah, no. It’s possible it’s controlled directly through brainwaves… I do believe they experimented on that in the 21st century.”
Clicking his tongue at the fact he couldn’t find any UI, he found himself pushing his thoughts forward with the notion of, ‘no way in bleedin’ hell I’m gonna give up here’. And suddenly recalling something, he extended a hand in doubt.
“… It’s a touchscreen. Am I an idiot?”
Thinking back on his prior panic, Tarou’s face turned a little red. After deleting that scene from his mind, and clicking empty recycle bin, he scrolled through the complicated commands, and gazed fixatedly at the array of unknown languages.
Without any forewarning, a part of the device opened like a door, and Tarou raised a scream at the sphere that rolled out.
“No, as expected, I wasn’t expectin’ that one. What’s this? Totes terrifying.”
He took a few steps back from the mass. But that lump of metal rolled as of to follow him, and continued its approach. Tarou ran, the sphere closed the distance.
“OK, got it. For now, let’s calm down, baby. Some important guy said you can understand most things if you talk them out. Then his wife found out about his cheating, and he was stabbed. HAHAHA!!”
Driven against the wall, Tarou continued letting out words from an indescribably fear. But caring not of his plight, the sphere approached him, a red light on it flickering.
The sphere suddenly let out a voice. To what sounded like it belonged to a woman, Tarou quickly shrunk his body, before raising his face as if to see if it was safe.
“Over the lazy dog… wait, the hell?”
Silence fell. Tarou thought over whether it was some sort of code, lamenting his careless remark at the end.
Against his expectations, the sphere let out some awkward Japanese before rolling its way to the giant machine. Taken aback as he was, Tarou timidly started off in that direction. On top of a lack of the slightest understanding of his situation, he felt considerable dread, but from the joy that came from something finally reacting to an action he had taken, he was enveloped in a strange sense of delight.
“Yes, yes, I’ll be there right away, my little Koume-chan. Your big brother’s a little scared, so he doesn’t really want to go that way, though.”
He had given the mechanical sphere such a name, as it reminded him of the pith of a dried plum. He stopped his feet a little bit away from where the sphere had stopped rolling.
“Um, is there somethin’ there? I can’t see a thing… wait, you’re stuck on a cable! Though you look quite high tech, you’re a bit off, aren’t ‘ya!”
Tarou stuck in a self-retort as he reached a hand to the sphere in a life-or-death struggle to get over a cable. Surprised it was lighter than he thought, he ferried it to the other side.
“Thank You, sir.”
“Why English!? What’s more, that sounded ridiculously fluent!?”
(TL: As you may surmise, the line was in English.)
When her words were so broken if it came to Japanese, Tarou felt a strange disconsolation.
“Is it remote controlled? You’re watchin’ from somewhere, ain’t you? A moniter ‘r somethin’… where!! … Yeah, no, thought not. Wait, is this for reals?”
Agilely turning in circles by himself, and showing off suspicious behavior, Tarou headed for the sphere’s destination, and stopped in his tracks.
“That’s a Type V all right. What’s more, it’s been negatively modified… what’s that? It’s rigged backwards. Is it supposed to suck nutrients from me, and send it into that huge-ass machine over there?”
What was there was a machine of the same shape as the ones cold sleep ones in the previous room, and a device with a human-shaped intent within. Tarou swiftly understood its construction from the strange knowledge in his head, but from that knowledge, he confirmed several things that definitely weren’t supposed to be there. The most blatant ones among them was a cable connecting it to a large nuclear-reactor-like apparatus.
“I don’t want to be sittin’ in that… but by this development, I’m definitely gonna end up in it, aren’t I… let’s be blunt here. The cold sleep success rate of this ship is way too low, man? Even if it’s gotten a new version, personally, I don’t think it’s supposed to change so suddenly, you know.”
In regards to the failed cold sleep pods, he knew it was likely due to some sort of accident. In the first place, there’s no way a device with such a low success rate would ever be put to practical use, and the knowledge in his head supported that. But ignoring the reason, and strapping into the device wasn’t such a simple thing to accept.
That sphere rotating round and round on the spot to urge him on.
“Even if ‘ya tell me to get inta that… ah, whatever. Got it, ‘right. It’s that. If somethin’ happens to me, Koume, you’re gonna be takin’ responsibility.”
Tarou decided to bet on the humanity of the future people he’d yet to lay eyes on, and slowly sunk his body into the human-shaped cavity. A device created with the pretense of human use could have been made too dangerous to the pilot, or so he told himself.
“Yes, this good enough for ‘ya? Wah, aAAah!! It pricked me, yay, her it comes!!”
The pain he felt in his neck twisted his body. Tarou knew its identity was the medication that induced him to sleep, so he decided to quietly close his eyes. While he truly fell into a deep sleep, the whole process only took a mere two minutes.
“… Yes, good morning. I’m Ichijou Teirow.”
Opening his eyes with a fuzzy hear, Tarou retorted towards who the hell Teiro was. Remembering his pre-sleep memories in the shaped silicon device gently enveloping his body, He slowly rose his body.
“Good morning, master Teirow. I have made use of override (data overwrite). How does your body feel.”
On that unexpected stranger’s voice, he hurriedly turned its eyes towards its origin point. There was the sphere he had personally named Koume.
“Not… bad. But… eh? Huh? What’s this mean? What did I…”
What the sphere. And what he put to mouth were both languages he had never heard in his life.
And by it, there was something he feared.
That he had fully come to understand it.