A Simple Survey:Volume2 Attraction05
Attraction 05: Loser Resurrection Game
I had always thought I would be the one to torment others as I saw fit.
I had never even considered the possibility I would be on the receiving end.
And yet I had always been a step away from being both.
First, draw lots to form pairs.
You may use whatever method you like, but one member of the pair must die.
Afterwards, the other member must resuscitate them. If successful your previous losses will be forgiven.
If you fail, the surviving member of the pair will be killed.
We were gathered in a large area that might have been a supermarket or a shopping mall.
It had no windows which was not uncommon for such buildings. I could not tell if it was day or night. The relatively small number of people made it abundantly clear how large the area was.
After all, there were only 30 people in an area that could easily hold hundreds.
“…You’ve gotta be kidding me.” I squeezed out those words after reading the rules written on a board. My voice soon rose to a shout. “You’ve gotta be kidding me. You’ve gotta be kidding me! You’ve gotta be kidding me!! What kind of rules are these!? One of us must die? Then we have to revive them? That isn’t something you can just do so easily!!”
“But those are the rules,” explained a smiling bunny girl.
I’m supposed to be the one in your position!!
“And this is not a normal attraction. All of you have already lost once, right? The normal course of action would simply be to kill you. You are meant to die and yet we are giving you a chance to make a comeback from that loss. …In that case, isn’t it only fair to have you start by coming back after dying once?”
That was some messed up logic.
But they had the power to force it on us.
I felt fear as I watched what I had always hoped for from the position I had never hoped for.
I had no choice but to do it.
This was not my place. To make sure everyone knew that and to reach the place I was meant for, I had to think through this like a winner. The instant I grew timid, I would die. I would fail. I was barely hanging on now, but I would fall even lower.
“Red.” I pulled a stick out of a cylinder the bunny girl held out and spoke the color painted on the end. “Red! Who else got red!?”
Those who had drawn other colors looked around amongst themselves. I was in a group of 15 and another group of 15 stood a short distance away. It seemed the other group was drawing lots just like we were.
A small woman in her twenties timidly raised a hand when she heard me shouting.
Her outfit was incredibly plain.
There were plenty of ways to meet failure in your life, but she did not seem the type to charge toward a gamble on her own. There was only one reason someone like that ended up falling this low: someone else had kicked her down on their way up.
I could tell just by looking at her.
Losers would think and act under the assumption that they would lose.
They would claim to be doing their best, but that was just an escape.
What they actually meant was that they did not care if they lost so long as they did their best.
She was not a reliable partner for a literally life-or-death gamble, but there was nothing I could do to change that.
One of us had to die and the other had to resuscitate them.
We would be literally resurrecting from our loss. To meet the requirements of the rules, at least two people were needed.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“H-Hashinaka. What about you?”
“Kishikawa. But your name isn’t what I want to know. What did you do before ending up here? Anything that might be useful for this game?”
“I was…um… a nurse.”
This plain woman who called herself Hashinaka glanced somewhere else.
I looked over to see the smiling bunny girl waving her hand. At her feet were countless AED sets. Those electric shock-producing medical devices that could be found in subway stations and hotels were contained in bright fluorescent colored bags.
“Do you know how to work one of those?” I asked Hashinaka.
“So do you know what death would be easy to resurrect someone from!?”
“Not as much as a doctor would…”
Had I actually lucked out?
This seemed a lot better than a pair where neither knew anything of use.
“U-um, what about you?”
“You could say I’m unemployed,” I said quickly.
My specialty was collecting on debts. To put it simply, I worked for a loan shark. When those perverts found a new toy, it was my job to efficiently bring them to ruin. The name of Spider Finances was well known in the darker corners of society.
But telling her that would not help matters.
It was pathetic people like her I had made my prey. I saw no advantage in telling her more than necessary.
Winners only needed to think about winning.
Thinking about what would happen if you lost or what you needed to do in order to not lose was the beginning of losing your nerve. It was proof that the entrance to your doom had begun to open.
I could not allow myself to lower the purity.
I was a winner.
“To get straight to the point, I want to know what the safest way to die is. I know that sounds stupid, but you know what I mean. The AED will have instructions, but they won’t say anything about how to die. What type of death is that electric shock used for?”
“Please, just answer. My knowledge isn’t gonna help here. You’re the only one that knows how to resuscitate someone. That makes it obvious who needs to die and who needs to do the saving, right?”
“It’s simple division of labor. But I need you to tell me how to die. So please tell me, nurse. The AED, the defibrillator, the electric shock, or whatever you want to call it. What is the ideal type of death to use it on?”
“B-but…just using the AED does not ensure you can resuscitate someone. You cannot decide that division of labor so-…”
“Come on now.”
I cut her off in irritation.
Losers really would always be losers. They just did not understand what was important.
“Listen up. Let me make this very clear. There are winners and losers in life. Which side you are on is determined from birth. A winner can drop down to being a loser, but the opposite is impossible. Do you get what I’m saying?”
Was she asking why I was here?
Or was she asking why anyone would make any attempt in a game made up of losers?
She was too naïve.
“Those great reversals you occasionally hear about are not actually reversals. That is when someone who was originally a winner has ended up a loser due to some kind of mistake. It is only natural that they win and it is only natural they end up back in their rightful spot. That winner’s greatest enemy in that time is cowardice. He is only temporarily in the spot of a loser, but he will truly become a loser if he ever begins to doubt his rightful spot. That is the biggest reason why winners become unable to win.”
“So do not think about what happens if you lose or if you fail. Thinking like that will leave you an ugly duckling forever. If you want to be a winner, you need to remember what it is like to win. There is no other way to win.”
“I don’t know how much you have lost in your life. But you drew the lot that paired you with me. That person is no simple loser. People lose because they think they will lose. Their cowardice trips them up. Is that what has happened to you? Are you going to keep doing what has always led to failure in the past?”
“Wait a second,” said Hashinaka.
She took a few shallow breaths.
And then she answered.
“An AED is a device meant to restart a stopped heart. In other words, it cannot help with anything else. Stimulating the heart will not help resuscitate someone with a destroyed organ or extreme blood loss.”
“Come to think of it, you don’t really picture people being given electric shocks after being stabbed or shot.”
“But even so…A death that causes a lot of damage to the chest would be a bad idea. You cannot give CPR to a patient with broken ribs.”
Hashinaka let out a groan as she called up all of her knowledge.
She knew she was needed.
Fortunately, she was not the type to get ecstatic over that fact.
“You usually see CPR being used on people involved in water accidents, right?” I said.
That was a death due to lack of oxygen.
In other words, suffocation.
The quickest method to pull that off would be…
“N-no! I do not think you should do that.”
“Most people do not die of suffocation when they hang themselves. Their entire weight is placed on their neck, so they usually die from a broken neck or a lack of blood to the brain. Neither of those can be resuscitated using the AED.”
“Then what about strangling by hand?”
“Y-you want me to do that…?” said Hashinaka with tears in her eyes.
We had only just met, so she obviously did not care about me personally.
She simply did not want to become a murderer even if she was going to resuscitate me.
But this was obviously no situation for that kind of thinking.
“Would it work?”
“It depends, but it might be difficult. It would all be over if the neck broke in the process of constricting the throat.”
“That leaves…actual drowning, I guess. Would a method using water be good?”
“That would prevent breathing while not putting a burden on the rest of the body.”
The bunny girl had said we were free to use anything within the large store. Other than food, it also contained simple furniture, appliances, and tools.
There were industrial refrigerators, tool sets, stainless steel knives, metal bats, vacuum cleaners, water servers, bathtubs, microwave ovens, handheld game systems, bread makers, wardrobes, desks, electric guitars, wall clocks, dryers, laptop computers, lamps, extension cords, and more.
We could use any one of them to kill our partner or resuscitate them.
Nothing was off limits.
I called over the bunny girl.
“Hey, we need that bathtub.”
“Have at it☆”
“You’ll provide us with water, right?”
“As long as you don’t mind a cold bath.”
The preparations took only about 15 minutes.
The other participants cautiously watched us from a distance. Their pathetic thought process was probably to use us as an experiment to learn how to succeed.
A bathtub filled to the brim with water lay before me.
I breathed in and then breathed out.
This was hardly the first time the organizers behind the bunny girl had shown their cruel tastes, but this attraction made me especially aware of what a human life was. If only I could have been one of the ones smiling as they watched on from a safe place.
“K-Kishikawa-san. Um, Kishikawa-san.”
“A-are you really going to do this?”
“It’s the only way to survive this.”
“B-but…” Nurse Hashinaka looked at the full bathtub. “Can you really kill yourself in that? This is not like a deep reservoir. You can easily raise your head above water once it gets painful. And even if you put weights in your clothes, it would be difficult to create a situation where you cannot bring up your head.”
So that’s what she’s worried about.
I kept my face as expressionless as possible as I grabbed Nurse Hashinaka’s arms.
“You don’t need to worry about that.”
“Eh? Um…Kishikawa-san? Um…”
She looked puzzled, but she would catch on eventually.
I wanted to get it over with before she did.
“It would be hard to drown oneself here. But that just means we need to use some other method. Like having someone else hold your arms back like this and shoving your head underwater.”
“Wait…you don’t mean…”
As Hashinaka stood in that awkward position, she finally figured something out. With an expression that could have been crying or smiling, she tried to force her head around to look me in the face.
I ignored her and said, “Remember what I said? I’m mostly unemployed, so I need your knowledge to win this attraction. But only the knowledge.” Once I had gotten that knowledge out of her, I needed nothing else. “Winners win because they know they will win. I simply needed the materials to pull it off.”
I had received the nurse’s relevant advice, so now I shoved the struggling victim into the bathtub.
The AED came with instructions.
It was made so normal people could use it.
So as long as I knew the ideal way to kill her, I could do the rest on my own.
The smiling bunny girl looked own at her pocket watch and made an announcement.
“Ten minutes until the time limit!”
I held the electrodes for the AED in my hands. Each hand held an electrode on the end of a winding cable similar to that of a landline phone.
The device was made to save lives.
It was made to start a stopped heart.
“Shit, shit, shit!! What is going on!? I’m doing exactly what the instructions say!!”
Hashinaka lay soaking wet on the ground and her eyes would not open.
They would not open.
And if she was not resuscitated, I would lose the right to eliminate my loss!
The bunny girl answered my question in a tone that made it sound obvious.
“This kind of resuscitation doesn’t always work.”
“But!! That’s why I asked her for the ideal method!! I am a winner. I gathered everything I needed to win! I can’t have messed up. I did everything right!!”
“Well, even in an ideal condition, the resuscitation isn’t a sure thing. But more importantly, Kishikawa-san, you have been reading the instruction while also using the AED. Are you absolutely sure you have been using it correctly?”
“Oh, the instructions haven’t been altered, so don’t worry about that. But can a medical amateur like you really understand all the intricacies of using the device? Also,” added the bunny girl. “Kishikawa-san, did you know the odds of a successful resuscitation drop considerably as time passes? Might you have spent too much time reading all that small writing?”
“You really should have left it up to the professional nurse. Come to think of it, why was it you were fired by Spider Finances? Didn’t you interfere with a colleague’s mark in your haste to get promoted and ended up putting too much pressure on the mark so he committed suicide?”
This was my final hope.
I pressed the electrodes against the limp nurse’s chest once more and the bunny girl spoke in a regretful tone.
“She’s already dead.”
The sound of the pocket watch stopped. She then patted me on the shoulder. It felt like some kind of sign.
And she whispered in my ear.
“And so are you.”
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