A Simple Survey:Volume2 Attraction01

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Attraction 01: Deadly Bullet Game[edit]

Wristwatch (40p), fish tank (15p), vase (5p), metal sheet (1500p), screw (3p), flowerpot (30p), plywood (15p), copy paper (1p), saw (30p), rubber hose (5p), flathead screwdriver (10p), nail (1p), ballpoint pen (2p), curtain (15p), adhesive (5p), paint (15p), chewing gum (2p), leather belt (10p), hat (15p), chopsticks (3p), ring (100p), stuffed rabbit doll (5p), electric shaver (30p), cell phone (40p), insect repellant (10p), contact lens (5p), cup ramen (10p), oxygen tank (100p), disposable tissues (3p), compass (5p), styrofoam (20p), rope (10p), nail clippers (5p), light bulb (5p), file folder (3p), stroller (15p), hot towel (5p), backpack (20p), rubber band (1p), spoon (10p), plastic plate (5p), USB memory card (30p), beer can (5p), plastic bag (1p), duct tape (10p), electric lead (15p), plastic drink bottle (5p), scissors (10p), wine glass (10p), postcard (1p), fork (5p), cold medicine (5p), laptop computer (50p).


Those items were scattered throughout a windowless room about the size of a school classroom. The other participants had likely been lead to similar rooms.

In the center of the room was something similar to the boards placed at the entrance of a restaurant with the restaurant’s name written on it. However, this board contained the manual for the attraction.


Deadly Bullet Game.

Your time limit is 30 minutes.

Once that time has passed, you will be shot from a distance of 15 meters.

Please create some bulletproof equipment before the shooting event begins.

However, you may not currently use the items prepared on the stage.

The current situation is similar to being handed a can of food without a can opener. However, do not forget that you can sell an “unopened can” even without a can opener.

All of the items on the stage have a set price.

You may sell any unneeded items to earn funds with which you may purchase the items you need.

Any item you sell or have used once can never again be used in this attraction.

Any survivors after the attraction has ended will be paid 200 million yen.


“Damn you people…” I muttered without thinking, but I could hardly back out now.

I needed the money. I had to do whatever it took.

A woman dressed as a bunny girl spoke with a smile from a corner of the room.

“Will you give up then?”

“You know I can’t do that. Begin! Begin the attraction!!”

“Then the 30 minutes begin. Good luck,” announced the bunny girl while showing off an analog pocket watch that intentionally made a loud ticking noise.

Now then…

I would be shot from a distance of 15 meters. As a Japanese man protected by the Swords and Firearms Control Law, I did not know exactly how powerful that would be, but it still sent a chill down my spine.

There were all sorts of items scattered throughout the room, but I could not help but think of one of them first.

The metal sheet (1500p).

It was 2 meters tall, 1 meter across, and about 3 cm thick. It was likely meant to be used for construction scaffolding. It alone was probably enough to deflect a handgun bullet.

But…

“I wouldn’t have enough even if I sold every other item.”

When I calmly added up the points, it was obvious I could not reach 1500p. If I hadn’t stopped to think and simply started selling things to buy the metal plate, it would have all been over.

But on the other hand, the plywood (15p) and fish tank (15p) would not stop a bullet.

A bullet.

I was up against a bullet.

To survive having it shot straight at me, I needed some kind of metal.

I could not reach the metal plate (1500p), but the nail clippers (5p), file folder (3p), and some other items used metal parts. I needed to gather those items until I had the same protection as the metal plate.

“If you ask me, you should divide the items between the usable ones and the unusable ones.”

“Shut up. I didn’t ask you.”

“For example, there’s the ring (100p) and wristwatch (40p). Those are useless but have a high value. I say you should go ahead and sell that sort of item.”

“I told you to shut up.”

If I sold the metal plate (1500p), I could buy every single other item. And both the ring (100p) and wristwatch (40p) used metal. It was dangerous to quickly sell something just because it gave a lot of points. Since she wasn’t explaining that, I could assume the bunny girl wanted me dead.

“What I need to start with are the duct tape (10p) and flathead screwdriver (10p).”

“Ehh? Can you really stop a bullet with a roll of tape? And a screwdriver? Wouldn’t it be even harder to deflect a bullet with the tip of that tool then how they do it with a Japanese sword in ridiculous action movies?”

That wasn’t my plan.

The flathead screwdriver (10p) was to remove the metal from the other items and the duct tape (10p) was to bind it all together.

That meant I had to decide what items to take the metal from.

“I really don’t understand this at all,” said the bunny girl in a sweet voice that sounded like background noise while she wiggled her hips around. “This is only for 200 million yen. 200 million. While that is a lot of money, it’s still small enough that a normal salaryman could earn it if he worked hard enough. And yet more than 20 people are risking their lives in this attraction for that much. What is going on?”

“I’m sure we all have our reasons for needing the money.”

“True, but didn’t you win 5 billion yen in the lottery? Why do you want even more money? Life sure is full of mysteries.”

“…”

People often said that you didn’t need to worry as long as you had money, but that was a lie.

No one had won the lottery in a while, so the value of the grand prize had grown to 5 billion. And when a certain someone won that grand prize, it was all over the national news. They had supposedly hidden my personal information, but that information leaked out right after I transferred the money into my bank account. I don’t know how they did it, but it seems there are loopholes that allow people to acquire that sort of information.

It may have been a mistake to accept it as a lump sum.

By midnight that night, a group of masked men broke into my house through a window.

I managed to escape with only the clothes on my back, but I found my house burned to the ground when I returned at sunrise. Naturally, my bankbook and seal were missing. The police officer who appeared to be secretly enjoying my misfortune suggested I freeze my bank account, but it was empty by the time I did. I received a confusing explanation filled with terms like “foreign banks” and “online banks”, but it boiled down to the fact that there was no regaining what was lost.

And despite all this, I was still pursued by people for all sorts of reasons: inviting me into their religion, asking me to help unfortunate children, asking me to pay off their debt, begging me to buy them medicine, etc.

What I needed now was money.

I needed money to erase all information on the current “me”, so I could start fresh with a new life.

“The nail clippers (5p), the electric shaver (30p), the stroller (15p), the file folder (3p)…oh, and the beer can (5p) and oxygen tank (100p), too. …I guess those are the items with usable metal parts.”

“Oh? But won’t the gunshot make the oxygen tank explode?”

“If I empty it first, it’s just a metal tube.”

That said, I wasn’t a diver, so I didn’t know how thick it actually was.

“Well, it doesn’t matter to me. But don’t forget you need funds to purchase those tools. What will you sell?”

“The metal plate (1500p).”

“Eh? Should you really do that? It looks like the thickest and safest tool to me.”

“I said I’m selling it, so I’m selling it! It’s the most blatantly obvious trap!!”

“Fine, fine. You could have used it in other ways than its thickness, though. For example, you might be able to use its weight to crush the empty oxygen tank (100p) to create a flat metal plate.”

No matter how many ways it could be used, I could never earn enough points to buy it.

The biggest item I had was the oxygen tank (100p). I emptied it of air and then used the duct tape to attach the other various metal parts around it.

“Now then, will that tank be thick enough? You see them explode after being shot in movies a lot.”

“Shut up. You can’t trust what you see in movies.”

“Everything up through removing the air may have been a good idea, but…”

“?”

With a metallic click, the pocket watch in the bunny girl’s hand stopped its ticking.

The 30 minute time limit was over.

The long-awaited shooting time had arrived.

The thought of that caused a great amount of sweat to soak my body. My breathing grew unbelievably shallow and fast.

I had assumed I would be led to some other room, but that was not the case.

The bunny girl reached into her cleavage and pulled out a shiny black semi-automatic handgun.

It was covered in plastic and almost looked like a toy.

But the situation changed after the smiling woman pointed the barrel upwards.

Her index finger moved.

A great noise exploded out.

It was like lightning had struck a nearby tree. I seriously thought I jumped a few centimeters from the ground. My heart hurt. Something was wrong with my pulse. I could not move a single finger, much less my head, so I looked around with only movements of my eyes.

The bunny girl continued smiling all the while.

“Now, please move back behind the tape on the floor at the end of the room. Well, you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but being closer puts you at a disadvantage.”

I followed her instructions, but I was driven more by that barrel with smoke wafting up from it than from a desire to participate in the attraction.

I could not rely on this handmade bulletproof item.

I started to doubt whether my plan would work.

It was handmade and based on an amateur making guesses on top of guesses rather than on actual data. My trust in it had completely crumbled upon seeing the force of that properly manufactured handgun.

No matter what I attached around it, it was still just an empty oxygen tank.

Just as the bunny girl had said, they were often detonated by bullets in action movies.

Would I be okay?

Would I really be okay?

Would the bullet really, really not shoot straight through it and kill me?

“Okay, how about we begin?”

“Wai-…”

“Bang.”

In the next instant, I heard an explosive noise, my vision spun around, and my breathing literally stopped.

My chest hurt. I couldn’t breathe. A pain that was unpleasant to even think about writhed throughout my body as if my blood vessels were being stretched to their limit.

My field of vision was pointed up toward the ceiling.

It took several seconds before I realized I had collapsed to the ground.

But then something else happened.

I saw the bunny girl peering down at my face.

“Hmm… Oh, you’re alive. Then I guess you pass.”

“…?”

“When you fell down right as I fired, I thought you were done for, but it looks like you only passed out for an instant due to the shock of the gunshot. There is no trace of the bullet passing through your impromptu bulletproof item made from that oxygen tank. Looks like you definitely pass.”

I did not feel like I had survived.

I still did not feel like I was breathing.

I felt so little like I was alive that I would have believed it if someone told me I was having an out-of-body experience.

But the bunny girl had just announced my victory.

Which…

Which meant…

“I won the attraction…”

If that was the case, I had won 200 million yen. I could regain the life I had lost by having my information leaked after winning the lottery. I could not imagine what exactly it took to completely erase my personal information, but surely I could manage it with 200 million yen.

I could finally see the light of hope.

I tried to reach my hand out toward it as I lay on my back, but then the bunny girl said something else with the same smile as always.

“Okay, that ends the first round of the attraction. Now let’s move onto the second round.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………What?

This time, it was not my breathing that stopped; it felt like time had stopped. And yet the bunny girl did not take it back.

She did not take back what she had said.

“Oh, it’s nothing hard. You don’t need to learn any new rules. You just have to repeat the exact same attraction is all.”

“N-no! Don’t screw with me!! You said I would get 200 million yen if I won the attraction!! You explained that at the beginning!!”

“Yes, and you will get that money once you do clear the entire attraction,” said the bunny girl while tilting her head in an obviously feigned look of puzzlement. “Remember the rules?”


Deadly Bullet Game.

Your time limit is 30 minutes.

Once that time has passed, you will be shot from a distance of 15 meters.

Please create some bulletproof equipment before the shooting event begins.

However, you may not currently use the items prepared on the stage.

The current situation is similar to being handed a can of food without a can opener. However, do not forget that you can sell an “unopened can” even without a can opener.

All of the items on the stage have a set price.

You may sell any unneeded items to earn funds with which you may purchase the items you need.

Any item you sell or have used once can never again be used in this attraction.

Any survivors after the attraction has ended will be paid 200 million yen.


Any item you have used once.

Any item you have used once.

Any item you have used once.

That means…!!!!

“The attraction is meant to have multiple rounds. That is what that means. Oh, but it would be boring to just repeat the exact same thing, so the caliber of the gun gradually rises. Round one was a 38 caliber, round two is a 45 caliber, and round three…well, by that point a handgun isn’t big enough.”

“Round…three? How many rounds does this attraction have!?”

“I have no obligation to tell you that. But you can assume it has at least three.”

People could remain happy while faced with something unreasonable by rejecting it as unreasonable and escaping from reality.

But they would eventually realize that would not work forever.

For me, that moment came when I heard the ticking.

At some point, the pocket watch in the bunny girl’s hand had begun moving once more.

The time limit.

The next time limit was approaching.

That was when it happened.

I finally felt as if a cold wind was blowing through that hot room.

The problem I had to think about first and foremost was…

“Wait. Wait!!”

“What is it?”

“I just used everything I thought I could use for a bulletproof item. I can’t do anything for a second round!!”

“I see. Then you’re in quite a bind.”

It was obvious what her smile meant.

She knew.

She knew from the beginning this would happen!!

“Why you…!!”

Blood rushed to my head, but the feeling disappeared a moment later.

I saw a dark hole.

It was the 45 caliber barrel of the gun that would be used in the next round.

It was clearly larger than the previous one.

It was obviously more powerful.

“You have 24 minutes and a few seconds left,” announced the bunny girl while still smiling.

She knew I could not do it.

“I will fire the same as before once the time comes, so do your best to create a solid shield.”


Someone spoke within a dark room somewhere.

“What do you think?”

“You still don’t get it? He sold the metal sheet (1500p), so he can buy all the other items.”

“Will that help him?”

“If he realizes he can stop a bullet by filling the fish tank with water or piling all the paper up, he might be able turn this around.”

“But it seems he is completely focused on the metal due to the guidance of the ‘employee’ we dispatched.”

“That’s what she is supposed to do. Playing a thankless role can be hard.”

“So will he be able to last through all 10 rounds?”

“He’s going to have a tough time of it. But there is no easy way of getting rich quick.”