A Simple Survey:Volume2 Attraction03
Attraction 03: Bang, Bang, Bang!!
I was truly a pathetic person.
When I succeeded in something, I would naively assume I could succeed the next time too. Even if I was in the middle of possibly the most crucial competition of my life, I would forget the risks of failure and assume I would be fine.
When I did that repeatedly, it was only natural that I would fall through a pitfall.
And then the only way to crawl back out was with a once-in-a-lifetime gamble.
I had believed I would succeed because I had succeeded before.
But that was not how life worked.
No one remained on an upward path forever. Nor was anyone set on a path of never-ending failure.
That did not mean I was naïve enough to think everyone had the same amount of luck.
I was on the grounds of an abandoned factory on the coast.
I held a handgun with a single bullet loaded.
Five people in similar circumstances had been gathered and a bunny girl had given simple instructions after providing us each with a handgun.
“Kill everyone else. The last surviving person will be given a new identity and a path to escape to a happy new country.”
The rules were so simple that there was no room for interpretation.
Everyone gathered here wished for a new world to live in in order to escape loan sharks or gangs or something similar.
“This has got to be a joke,” a fat boy had said as he stared down the barrel of his own gun.
In the next instant, he had blown out his right eye and collapsed to the ground. No one wanted to touch the disturbing corpse.
The handguns were real.
The attraction was real.
Anyone would panic when thrown into a situation like this, but I recovered from the shock relatively quickly. I had experienced this sort of cruel game several times before. And I had always believed I would survive somehow or another. That was why I had already prepared myself by the time I detected that characteristic scent. From here on, the rules we had learned from our parents and at school would no longer apply.
This would still be the first time I had actually killed someone with my own hands.
“This is no different. The losers were just killed where I couldn’t see them before.”
Once we had understood the rules, it was obvious we first needed to go hide. Without exchanging a word, the other three remaining participants and I had scattered throughout the abandoned factory, leaving the fat boy’s corpse lying in the starlight.
The biggest problems were the handguns we each possessed and the single bullet in each one.
We each had the power to kill a single enemy in a direct confrontation. But using that trump card would inform everyone else of our location in the form of a gunshot. …And it would also inform them we had used our only bullet.
No other information could be more useful to any participants who still had their bullet.
But on the other hand, killing the other participants without using the gun would be difficult. The enemy only had one bullet, so it would be over for them if you could make them miss. However, could we really make that gamble? If we were hit anywhere on our body, it was game over. Even if it was not a fatal blow, we would be injured too much to move much. The enemy could then finish us off with a metal pipe or something.
I did not want to use my gun.
The others did not want to use their guns.
Unless there were any other idiots who ended up shooting themselves in the head, every other participant would have reached this same mental stalemate.
I had three enemies to deal with.
I had a single bullet.
It was a powerful weapon, but it alone was not reliable enough to survive to the end of the attraction. If I simply tried to shoot my way to the end, I would hit a dead end.
“What am I supposed to do?” I muttered without thinking.
People’s lives were filled with waves. The moments of success and the moments of failure were alternatively mixed together. That was my theory. It was important to have a moment of success prepared when it truly mattered. I wanted to use up a moment of failure on something unimportant ahead of time in order to prepare success for when it mattered. It was similar to diminishing losses by knowing when to fold in a game of poker.
According to that reasoning, the worst thing to do was to stop thinking. That would just get you repelled by the swirling “luck” of both varieties and lead to a horrible fate.
I wanted a starting point for my first action.
I needed something that would put me a step above the others.
I knew I had to use my gun to win, but was there a way to use it besides shooting someone?
“…Wait,” I muttered as I checked on my surroundings from behind a pillar.
I could see the fat boy’s corpse from where I was.
It was a bit dangerous because he was in an open area, but it looked doable.
Two gunshots rang through the night within the abandoned factory.
People are shooting at each other?
Myself included, there were four remaining participants. I had heard two gunshots, so either two of them had run across each other or the third participant had led them into a conflict.
If I was lucky, the two had killed each other, but if I wasn’t, they might both have survived. The third participant and myself had the two remaining bullets. If both shooters had survived, that meant I would need to use something other than a gun to kill the last person.
Had I used up my “successful turn” when I saw the fat boy’s corpse and came up with my idea? I had not intended to make a real gamble yet at that point.
A possible need to kill someone without a gun had arisen.
I was all for gender equality, but as a woman, I was unsure if my slender arms would be up to the task.
I wanted to believe the two shooters had killed each other.
If that was the case, I simply needed to kill the final participant with my bullet.
“I guess I need to check on the situation.”
I was most afraid of not knowing whether they were alive or not. If I did not check for myself how many had survived, I could not come up with a proper strategy.
I pulled a small bag out of my pocket, took a candy out of it, and tossed the candy into my mouth. This was a superstition of mine. It was soda flavored. That was my favorite flavor of the different colored candies, but I grimaced.
Why am I using up my success here?
I had hoped to use up a failing turn on something insignificant just before this important gamble.
I slowly walked through the weeds as I moved along a wall in the abandoned factory grounds. Sweat oozed from the hand holding the handgun. I had only one bullet. I understood what an overwhelming advantage that bullet was, but it was all over if I missed. Could I really gain the full value of that single bullet?
While still hiding behind the crumbling outer wall, I peered into the factory that was missing any equipment.
I could see someone inside.
The building was too dark to see whether it was a man or woman, but it was definitely a participant in this attraction.
Was this one of the two shooters?
Or was this the third participant who did not take part in that shootout?
The answer to that would tell me whether the person had a bullet in their gun or not. My movements naturally grew more cautious. And then…
I heard a rustling from the side.
I immediately turned in the direction of the noise and found a middle-aged participant aiming his gun at me. And the figure within the abandoned factory frantically aimed their gun at me after hearing the same noise.
…Both of them?
I had heard two gunshots. That should have meant only one other person had a bullet left.
It was possible one of them was bluffing, but if that was not the case…
(Were those two gunshots a decoy!?)
One of the other participants might have recorded the sound of the fat boy shooting himself at the beginning. They may have originally been intending to record the bunny girl’s promise regarding the reward, though.
At any rate, they had used that.
No one had used their gun.
I had nowhere to hide. I frantically tried to leap to the side but did not make it in time.
I heard a much deeper sound than before and a dark red hole opened in my right side.
This was a horrible failing turn…!!
I did not have time to fire back. I could not stop my momentum of trying to escape, so I collapsed onto the grass-covered ground. The middle-aged man then took the gun from my hand.
“Don’t think badly of me. I just used up my bullet, so I need to get a new-…”
The man’s words were suddenly cut off.
They were replaced by a gunshot.
I had just shot the man in the middle of the chest with another handgun in my hand.
“You’re holding the gun that belonged to that fat guy who killed himself. That’s why I didn’t move it over into this hand.”
I had intended to pretend to give up at some point and shoot my opponent when they let their guard down, but the situation had advanced too quickly.
The moments of success and moments of failure continued to intertwine.
With a look of shock frozen on his face, the man collapsed backwards.
I doubted he could be saved at this point, but at least he was able to look up at the stars as he died.
But some problems remained. I had used my gun. The fat man and the middle-aged man’s guns were out of ammo too. But I knew at least one other participant who knew I was here was inside the abandoned factory. And the final participant was still unaccounted for.
“And I definitely have a failing turn coming up. This is bad.”
I could not use any of the guns.
Or could I?
There had been two gunshots. Three handguns lay on the ground.
It was too soon to give up. The other participants did not know the details of the situation, so could I trick them into thinking one of the guns was still loaded?
Two enemies remained with actual loaded guns and I had only one empty gun to use as a bluff.
I pulled a candy out of the small bag in my pocket.
I placed it on my tongue and tasted mint. I hated mint.
I grimaced at the flavor, but still smiled.
That was a good omen.
I had used up my failing turn. I would surely be successful next.
And after a few more gunshots rang out and a few more people died, the attraction reached its conclusion.
The bunny girl gave a carefree announcement.
“Okay, the attraction is over.”
A single figure sat up in the center of the abandoned factory grounds.
It was the chubby boy who had thought the attraction was a joke, peered into his own handgun’s barrel, and shot himself in the right eye.
He held his right eye that was visibly red and wet even in the starlight.
“Oh? If it’s over, does that mean the other four all killed each other? Then do I get my ticket to a new life?”
“You do. To be honest, the others were much more fun to watch. I feel like giving them an award for effort.”
“But the winner is the last one alive, right? It doesn’t matter how many people I killed.”
“True.” The bunny girl stared into the dark red hole where the chubby boy’s right eye had been. “But I can’t believe you did that as a bluff.”
“I needed a safe way out of the deadlock between the five of us. One eye seems a fair price to pay.”
When the boy had been given his handgun, he had taken out the cartridge and replaced the bullet with some paper while the other participants were focused on a map of the area. He had created what was known as a blank. But even a blank created enough of a blast to easily crush an eyeball when fired at the face from close range. The paper used in place of the lead would have been perfectly harmless at a distance of a few meters, but it was dangerous enough at a distance of a few centimeters.
“By the way, what were you planning to do if someone tried to check the body?”
“I was just banking on that not happening. I panicked a bit when that pretty woman came to get my gun.”
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