Iris on Rainy Days: Rebirth- Day 55
After that, the time I spent with the two increased day by day. They are the first friends that I made after coming to the construction site.
The 'rain' did not stop. In my monochrome vision, there are still white noise and countless white lines.
While we were walking from the 'gut' to the 'intestines', Lilith continued to talk happily at the other side of the rain. She's just like a chatterbox.
"The inspector shouted 'Oi, number Fifteen, don't just stand there!', and kicked Volkov."
I answered: "Is that so!"
"Then, do you know what that guy answered?"
"What did he answer?"
"He said...... 'My apologies. I'll sit down right away!' because the inspector said 'don't just stand there', he sat down. So, his huge body squashed the inspector behind him."
"That's quite dangerous."
"The shrieking noise that the inspector shouted out that time was so interesting!"
"That's quite a masterpiece."
Lilith started to laugh heartily. Seeing her sunny smile, I brightened up.
"Actually how did you meet Volkov?"
"Oh, that." Lilith raised her brows, "It's no big deal. We met at the construction site about a year ago. Volkov was already working here when I came...... I felt that he looked similar."
"Looked similar...... to whom?"
"An acquaintance from before. He's a robot called Lightning, I worked with him at a junk parts shop before this. He's really big but slow as well."
At that moment, Lilith gazed towards somewhere far away.
"So, that's why I noticed Volkov when I arrived. ...... I struck a conversation with him after that, and started talking to him......"
The blaring sirens suddenly rang. That's the message signaling lunch. However, lunch time is only a treatment for the humans, us robots don't have any rest time, the only time when we can rest is the charging time at night.
"Then I'll see you later then."
Lilith left my side, nimbly passing through the robots in front. Her bound long hair danced behind her in vigor.
I looked at the direction that she was moving towards, and saw a giant-sized robot walking forward step by step. That's Volkov. He's mass-producing enormous footprints today as well. The petite girl knocked his large body while asking 'Is there anyone in there?'.
I gazed at the familiar actions of the two, and I couldn't help but feel warm inside. It's a long time since I had this warm feeling.
I thanked the two in my heart. Though I cannot accept my current appearance, I am not as troubled about it as I was. They accepted my current appearance. To be honest, that makes me quite happy.
If I could make an expression, I would probably be smiling right now.
After the labor ended for the day, we gathered at the warehouse as usual.
We would not be arranged by identification number. Since the main reason that we're herded in the warehouse is to prevent us from being stolen and for charging, sitting anywhere wouldn't matter.
Today, Lilith sat beside me.
Lilith said in a small voice: "Accompany me tonight". A meaningful smile surfaced on her face.
"Eh? Accompany you?"
As I was about to ask her what she meant, the inspectors were already near us.
After the charging cable is inserted into my body, my switch is immediately turned off. It would be the second morning the next time I wake up— that was what I thought.
I hear someone's voice.
In the drizzle that is present as usual, I opened my eyes.
The familiar face of a young girl is in the rain.
"Ah, you're finally awake. ...... Your activation time took a long time."
Lilith pulled out the charging cable from my body, and closed the cover on my chest with a clunk.
I only noticed at that time that it was still pitch dark. Usually, rays of light would come in from the windows of the warehouse.
"...... Eh? Nighttime?"
"That's right, it's still night time. About two in the morning."
"Two in the morning......"
I look around the whole warehouse. It's the first time that I woke up at this time.
"Iris, I'll serve you."
Lilith showed me a delighted smile.
I tilt my head.
So, the girl steps backwards lightly and extends her white right hand, as though she's inviting me for a dance.
"Welcome to the night time book club."
The warehouse looks eerie at night.
My robot colleagues sat tidily in front of the charging board that were like tombstones. Of course, nobody moved. On the robots, the charging light flickered like wandering spirits. Lilith and I walked in the spaces between the hundred over spirits.
A familiar large robot sat among the flickering spirits. A thick cable was stuck to his bum like a tail, while the lights showing that he's charging emitted rays of flashing light.
Lilith removed Volkov's charging cables with her hands. After that, she opened the cover on his chest, sticking her right hand in it and started to search.
After a few seconds, a low hum echoed in the warehouse, and Volkov's eyes brightened.
"Get up quickly, junk."
Lilith is scolding people again.
Volkov said while maintaining his posture on the ground: "Volkov- activating- cannot- move."
"Shhh! Keep quiet when you're talking."
Lilith lowers her voice to remind him.
While waiting for Volkov to reactivate, I ask the question that I was concerned of.
"Why can Lilith wake up yourself? The power switch had definitely been turned off......"
Lilith triumphantly points at her chest with her thumb.
"My battery is the charge-activated type. Which means, my power would automatically turn on after charging ends."
I can't help but think "Ah, so that's why". That means, she could reactivate herself even if the humans turned off her power. However, another question surfaces in my mind.
"But your charge-activation switch actually didn't get confiscated by the humans?"
If robots could move all around the warehouse at night, turning off their power at night would lose its purpose.
"It doesn't matter, since it's quite easy. There's a lot of chances for you to move tools and spare parts when you stay here for a long time. That's why, I just help myself sometimes."
After that, she proudly told me about her finding a lot of household items (Only that they're broken or too dirty), books, music CDs and recorders among the waste materials at the construction site. She didn't have a hint of guilt on her face when she was happily introducing me to her 'war spoils'. I asked half-impressed, half-helplessly.
"But robots can't do actions that are against the rules, right? Why can Lilith steal them then?"
"Oh, you're probably referring to the code for prevention of rule violation in the safety circuit. That's no problem, because I— oh."
Just at that moment, Volkov stood up slowly. His large body emitted a creaking sound, creating a long shadow in the warehouse. His eyes that gave out light in the darkness was full of vigor.
"Never mind, I'll save the details for next time. Let's move right now."
Lilith walked further into the warehouse.
"Erm, is it really okay if we're only half charged up?"
"It's okay, two or three hours of use should be enough."
I turned my continuous track and followed behind her. Volkov followed behind us as well.
A small hill of waste materials were stacked up in the interior of the warehouse, remains of continuous tracks and objects that looked like human limbs were scattered all over. Those would probably be parts of robots. By the amount, it's even enough for someone to open two or three junk parts shops.
We walked past the small hill of waste materials, and arrived at a wide area not long after. Its only at this place that the materials were pushed aside, showing a space of about three meters square. A mat was placed below the square wooden table, and this scene would look just like a scene from a movie if you ignore their worn down look.
The three of us surrounded the table.
"So there's somewhere like this in the warehouse......"
I looked around in surprise. The table was completely surrounded by scrap metals, and seemed that a landslide would happen at any time.
"That's right, Iris."
Lilith searched below the table and took out a thick book.
"Can you read?"
Lilith took out a children's literary book. I read out the title of the book.
"...... Third-rate Demon God Visa Darke."
"Excellent!" Lilith cheered with her eyes gleaming, "You can read! That's great! Hurray!"
"No, it's just a small matter......"
Hearing Lilith's exaggerated praise, I couldn't help but feel rather embarrassed. It's really not such a complicated book, as 'suitable for children of eight and above' was written on the front of the book.
A young man (a rather handsome young man) wearing a black overcoat, leaning against a wall, with a sparkling white ring on his left hand was on the cover of the book. Though I've only heard of the title, it seems that this is quite a famous work.
"I can't read recently. My language interpretation parts malfunctioned. Volkov can still read, but he can't read words that are too small. ...... So this is the only thing that we could do."
Right after that, Lilith opened the book and extended it to Volkov's front. It's just like she's using the book to cover Volkov's whole vision.
Then, Volkov spoke the word 'demon'. Lilith shifted the book, and he said 'god', then he continued with 'vi' and 'sa' after repeating the procedure.
Lilith closed the book and shrugged while saying: "He could only read one word at a time. ...... So about fifty pages used up about three months."
"Volkov- tried- hard." The giant robot puffed up his chest.
"Mnn hmm, you did try hard~" Lilith smiled slightly like a kindergarten teacher.
"Volkov- did- great."
"Very great, very great~"
Lilith stood up and patted Volkov's head as if she was comforting a child. Volkov seemed to be quite happy as well. I wonder what kind of relationship these two have.
"So, how about it?"
She looked closely at my face.
"I'll thank you, so can you read the book for me?"
"Mnn, it's okay......" I took the book from Lilith's hands, "Where should I read from?"
"It's better if you read from the start. It's such a pity if you finish it in one go. ...... Ah, Volkov, you can go back now if you want to."
Lilith said with a bullying voice, while Volkov's eyes brightened.
"Volkov- wants to know- story."
"Oh, is that so."
"Only Lilith- too sly."
"I'm joking, I'm joking. ...... I really can't joke with you."
Lilith started to laugh. She seems very happy whenever she teases Volkov.
"I'll start reading then." I turned to the first page, "Third-Rate Demon God Visa Darke. First Volume 'The Demon God who Can't Use Magic'. ...... er, prologue."
Just like that, the three of us started our 'night time book club' meeting.
" 'And then?' Darke said coldly, 'Are you saying that destroying the world is the job of a demon god?' After hearing his questions, the ring answered unhesitatingly: 'That's exactly the case, Master Darke.' ."
I slowly read the book.
Lilith sat beside me, leaning her body forward from the table with her large eyes gleaming. On the other hand, Voklov kept his silence, but his eyes would light up occasionally. Both of them seem to like this book very much.
After about thirty pages, I gained a rough understanding of the story of 'Third-Rate Demon God Visa Darke'.
The main character, Visa Darke, is a demon god. He is a lord that commands part of the demon world, comes from an exalted family, but is uninterested in his job as a demon god. The cause that he dedicated himself to is not using his powers to invade other countries or causing disasters in the human world, but to fix the tools collected from all around the demon world so that they could be used again.
The magic ring that served Darke is 'Flo Snow'. She is an exquisite ring that is white as snow, while her voice is clear like ice. Having a serious personality, she often berates her master who always fixes tools, putting aside his obligations as a demon god. However, Darke forgot about his job again today, not learning from his mistakes at all. He hid the truth from Flo and sneaked out of the city—
"Iris, what's next? What did Darke say?"
Lilith pulled on my elbow, urging me to carry on with the story. I just read until the part that she hadn't reached, which is why she is harrying me with words like 'Faster, faster' 'What's next' in a rapid-fire speed.
"Okay, let's continue. ...... 'Hey, Flo. My magical powers are very weak. So isn't it okay if I rely on magical tools a bit?' Darke spoke to Flo Snow in a lazy tone as usual. So, Flo immediately admonished him with a displeased tone. 'That's just an excuse, Master Darke. Your magical powers aren't weak, you just lack practice. Ahh, this is too tragic. If this goes on, you would be unable to face your deceased ancestors.' "
On the night after their conversation, one of the magical tools that Darke brought back suddenly turned into an abominable monster after Darke lied down on his bed. The monster snuck into Darke's bedroom—
Suddenly, Lilith placed her index finger in front of her lips.
"Turn off the lights!"
Volkov immediately switched off the lights in his eyes. I turned off the illumination system in my visual settings as well.
"It's the patrols."
Lilith's index finger stopped in front of her lips, while her sharp gaze was focused on the entrance of the warehouse.
After that, I saw a dim light moving in the warehouse. Probably it's a patrol holding a torch. The searchlight flitted from one sleeping robot to another.
As a lot of junk are piled up around us, 'this place' can't be seen from the entrance. Even so, we would still tremble in fear every time the lights shone onto here.
After five minutes, Lilith said lightly 'I think he's gone......' after glancing outside from the seams between the junk, then returned to the side of the table.
I was relieved, then lightly rubbed my chest. Volkov gave out a 'Hu~" noise as well.
"We actually didn't get exposed."
Lilith said in a light tone: "It's no big deal. The patrols just shine the torch here an there. They wouldn't count the number of robots."
"What would happen if we were found out?"
"Who knows...... Probably they wouldn't just dismantle us to scrap metal. ...... However, they would probably confiscate these."
She took the book from my hands, hiding it beneath the table.
"Aren't we going to continue?"
"Though I really~ care about it, that's all for today. They'll get suspicious if our batteries aren't charged to the max."
The meeting of the book club ended just like that.
As for what Darke saw after he heard the strange noises, that would have to continue tomorrow, two in the morning.
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