Shatei Kyokufuri – 132

Data.124 – Old Bowman, Hospital of Death

The next day, I found myself walking under a dark, cloudy sky in the morning.
This area wasn’t so much night time, but a humid, lazy afternoon.
Weeds grew everywhere, and unknown fragments littered the abandoned land…
And yet there was a ‘road’ that made it clear that someone had passed through here many times, and it stretched out to a certain building.

“So…this is the Z Hospital.”

The rusty iron fences had a small gap in them.
Just wide enough for one person to pass through.
Someone was in a place where they had no business being in… That was what it seemed to suggest.
As this was one of the terror spots you were supposed to go to, it only made sense for someone to be here.
Besides, it really helped with the atmosphere.

And so we passed through the gap and went inside.
The shape of the building was that of a general hospital.
There were no visible fantasy elements, which made it feel right for a horror setting.
After all, the interior would have a labyrinth-like structure.
I had been sick in a hospital once, and remember getting lost inside.
Well, maybe I had started wandering around because I was anxious…

“Ah, this place isn’t actually called the Z Hospital, but the Yomotsuhirasaka General Hospital! It’s written right up there!”

“So it’s just commonly called the Z Hospital…”

Yomotsuhirasaka is the place between the world of the living and the dead.
In other words, enemies that are between life and death would appear here…
They wanted to make it very obvious!

Zombies!
We would be fighting zombies here!
Zombie movies were their own genre independent from horror now, and continued to be established even in this century of scientific discovery. That’s how great they were as monsters.

As for countermeasures…I couldn’t think of any!
Because zombies could be anything and anything could be zombies!
In general, zombies were corpses that were reanimated by curses, or people who were infected by a virus. But these days, they could be part machine or inorganic objects as well.

Well…I didn’t know a lot about them, as I didn’t care for them. But it was a big genre where anything could happen. That was my understanding.
As someone who hated them…!

“Anne… I suppose you’re fine with zombies as well?”

“Hmm. I would say that I am fine, but not hugely fond of them. After all, I am not a big fan of splatter films.”

“Huh, is that right?”

“After all, what living human would not be scared at the sight of someone being harmed! Blood rushing, limbs flying and entrails falling out… It is only natural to feel fear and disgust!”

“I suppose so.”

“The occult that I like is not so much about fearful things I wouldn’t want to happen to me, but about the excitement and idea that the world would be more interesting if they were true. Like ghosts, yokai, UFOs… Of course, perhaps it might not just end at being interesting if all that was real. Some of the works are even more dangerous and grotesque than zombies. But if they were friendly, the world would be a much bigger place! That’s what I mean!”

“Yes, I understand!”

“VO…the virtual occult is like that! If this technology made by humans results in people awakening to mysterious abilities, that would be so interesting! And so I want to believe in Virtualiens! Besides, I think there is a really good chance that they do exist!”

“I hope you’re not talking about…me?”

“Yes! You are indeed one candidate! I’ve enjoyed adventuring with you, and think that Virtualiens help make the world a funner place!”

“Uhuh… Well, if say it’s fun, then I won’t protest too strongly.”

But she was likely the only one to see me as some kind of evolved being.
The truth was I was just some guy who quit his job in order to play games all day.
…Though, perhaps that was a kind of evolution if you think about it!

It was with such thoughts that we invaded the hospital.
The glass of the automatic doors were shattered, and the sensors were also broken.
I walked carefully so as to not get cut.
Now, where would the zombies start jumping out…

“Hmm? The computer at the reception desk is on…?”

While it was a very old type, it was still a computer.
I had never seen a computer in NSO before…
There was only one icon on the desktop, which read ‘Entry Reception.’
I used the mouse to click around the screen, but nothing happened.

“I guess we have to click this icon then.”

“Yes, let’s try that.”

Click…gyun!

In the next instant, we were warped to a different place.
It was a…nurse station!?

“Oh! The matchmaking finally finished! Hello there!”

A large man who was at least 2 meters tall waved his hand at us.
What power…
On top of that, his equipment was made with weathered leather and furs, which made him look like a veteran Adventurer.

“Oh! I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Oliver! I’m with the New Gloria Warriors! They call me Greataxe Oliver! But just call me Oliver! We will be comrades for now! Haha!”

And his voice was so loud…!
In any case, he had introduced himself, so I better do the same…

“I go by Kyuji. So you can just call me that.”

“I am Annemarie Gothnoir! Just call me Anne!”

“Anne! And…Kyuji? Are you that old bowman people talk about!?”

“Ah, yes…I think so.”

“Indeed! It’s an honor to meet you! I would have rather fought you in a duel. So it is unfortunate that this is a place of cooperation!”

Comrades, cooperation…
While his passion was overwhelming, I did not miss those words.

“Um, cooperation…?”

“Ah! I should explain! Though, I’m not really good at it, so it would be better if you read the manual over here. But to put it simply, 7 players are supposed to fight off the zombies that try to enter this nurse station. And if you survive for a certain amount of time, then you get the stamp!”

Hmm. I didn’t know if there were more detailed rules, but he did summarise it well enough.
It was the typical zombie siege then.
Super markets were maybe the more popular setting, but hospitals were up there.
It had both medicine and food.

“And since there are seven of us including the Unisons, in 20 minutes, the battle for survival will begin! So you should read the manual and learn the rules while you can!”

“Thank you. By the way…where are the other three players? I don’t see them in the nurse station…”

“Ah, my mates have gone off to explore the rest of the floor! This is the 10th floor, which is the highest floor. So we can assume that the enemy will climb up the stairs from below! We must first know where the stairs are and think of the best way to fight them. And if necessary, set up some traps! Also, there are special rules concerning items, so we must prepare for that as well!”

“I see. You sound like you’ve fought in this hospital many times already?”

“Not at all! This is my first time! But I’m a pro gamer! While this may be a different game, one zombie shooter is much like another! Haha! And so you have no need to worry!”

Apparently, I was quite lucky with the players that I encountered.
I had been a little overwhelmed at how strongly he came off at first, but I knew now that he really was a good gamer.
And yet he had said that it was ‘an honor’ to meet me.
And I had just enough pride to not want to let him down.

With these siege battles, if one person fell, the whole thing could collapse.
And so I had to understand all of the rules first.
Oliver seemed like the kind of person who wouldn’t care too much if you caused trouble a little, but that was why I had to be careful.

“Now, with 20 minutes, I can practice swinging 1000 times! Because it’s about quality, not quantity, so I can’t rush it!”

…Still, he was a strange person.

“This is so exciting, Mr. Kyuji! While I did say that I’m no fan of zombies and splatter, it is rather exhilarating to mow them down in hordes! Hehe…I can’t wait to use my weapon!”

Anne was already swinging her iron ball around.
…She was also quite strange.
I kind of hoped the other three were a little more…normal.

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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