Editor: Thor’s Stone
I’m Mozuya Kou, a guy who works at a factory that manufactures automobile parts. I’m just your average twenty-two-year-old working adult.
An alarm suddenly rang out within the worksite. The surroundings became wrapped in tension.
“Was there an accident?”
At the time when everyone was frantically rushing about due to the emergency evacuation– my consciousness got cut off.
When I next came to, I was standing within a large square. Around me were people who worked at the same factory. It was a bit hard to tell everyone else’s expressions due to their bangs obscuring their faces, but they all seemed quite agitated regardless. There was a large aircraft in front of us. It seemed to be a military model; not a civilian one. Lots of people were boarding it one after another.
“Everyone, please hurry and get on board,” an announcement from the plane streamed out. “We can only stay in this place for five minutes. If you want to be saved, then please hurry up.”
I couldn’t wrap my head around this situation. I scanned the surroundings and found a mountain of rubble. It was a giant humanoid silhouette. Was it wreckage of some sort?
Still dazed, I headed for the end of the long queue in order to board the plane.
“Sorry bout this.”
Suddenly, somebody cut in line.
It was Yoshikawa. He was a senior at work I didn’t exactly get along with. Because we had similar hobbies, I ended up quite close to the chairman and his grandson and earned Yoshikawa’s ire as a result.
I just kept silent. If I argued with him now, I don’t know what he’ll do to me later.
A majority of the people have already boarded the plane through its side door. The last section of the queue had also entered. We stood on the section near the door. Inside was like a crowded train during rush hour.
“I’m closing the door now. Please mind yourselves.”
At the moment when the announcement rang out and the sliding type door started to close–
I felt an impact run all throughout my body.
The next moment, I realized I fell outside on my backside.
The instant before the door closed completely, a sense of malice seeped out from within–
It was Yoshikawa, who was grinding his teeth in spite. The fact that I was thrown out finally hit me.
I knew he couldn’t stomach the sight of me, but he’s really willing to go this far? I was shocked speechless.
The plane started to move. I lowered my body to avoid being caught up by its wake. My white-colored overalls and hat were blown away by the resulting gale.
Inside the plane, Yoshikawa screamed out.
“Ah! Mozuya is outside! Please stop this thing right now!”
“What did you say?!”
“Look at the window. He’s outside!”
“Somebody! Please stop! We have to save Mozuya!”
Yoshikawa shamelessly kept screaming his lungs out. But the plane still mercilessly flew away. I could only look on helplessly.
I regained my composure after some time. I still didn’t get my situation, but it isn’t good to stay still and not do anything.
I saw a crowd of people in the distance. It’s probably those who found that plane suspicious and didn’t get on. The moment I decided to start walking, I abruptly halted my steps.
It was a large machine. I saw a machine that looked like some sort of insect. It had a silhouette somewhat resembling that of a mantis.
It was greater in size compared to a large trailer truck.
I had a really bad feeling.
The people ran up to it in order to seek help. They went further away from where I was.
Something popped out from the back of the unfamiliar machine. It was a gun barrel. Accompanied by the sound of bodies being blown away, the group of people were bathed red in blood and turned into mere stains on the desolate ground.
My body froze up in fear.
Was it really so easy for people to die?
At this rate, will I also die as well?
Even if I called for help, I knew there’s already nobody around. There’s nothing I can do.
I’m sure I heard a voice. I wonder where it came from?
“Get those legs of yours moving.”
That’s right. I didn’t want to die yet. I had to get away from here.
The moment I decided to escape, my legs naturally regained their ability to move.
I ran in the opposite direction while being pressed by the mysterious voice. I still didn’t get what’s happening.
I rushed past the mountains of rubble; as far away as possible – away from that horrible murder machine.
And then I encountered something unbelievable before me. The one which appeared from within the ruins was—
This feline was the first to genuinely greet me after I was transported to this crazy-looking world.
The cat let out a soft meow and jumped right in front of me.
It had fox-like features and gray fur – it looked pretty familiar. It was a Russian Blue.
“Why is it in this sort of place?” I thought. But the cat started to walk away, only to turn its head back towards me after a few moments; as if it was telling me to follow.
I decided to follow the cat while still completely bewildered about what’s going on. After the cat made sure I was following, it suddenly sped up.
We entered further and further inside the ruins. It led me towards an opening wide enough for one person to fit. I cautiously entered inside. The cat had disappeared.
It seemed that way, but the cat actually went inside another opening. It only showed its face, and then disappeared once again. I checked the hole it jumped into and found a spiral staircase leading straight down.
If I went in here, I bet that the murder machine wouldn’t be able to follow.
So I decided to go down the stairs. There were a lot of doors lining the walls below. The cat continued to walk without pause.
There was one door that was open, and the cat went inside. Was this an infirmary of some sort? There were a lot of beds inside. There were also a lot of bottles lined up on the shelves. However, the room was a terrible mess.
The cat jumped up on top of a desk and poked a bottle with its paw repeatedly.
I remembered the cat we used to have at home. Was it some sort of cat food?
When I opened the bottle’s lid, I found a lot of capsules inside. I spread them all before the cat.
The cat pushed just one capsule towards me.
I could only think of one thing it possibly wanted me to do.
“Do you want me to take this capsule?”
It cried out excitedly while squinting its eyes.
“Sure, I can take it. But it would be nice if I had some water.”
While stroking the cat, I picked up the capsule and swallowed it down. I lost consciousness once more.
I felt something repeatedly hitting my cheek. My nose was then plugged up by a paw. I finally woke up from that.
“W- What the heck!?”
The cat actually talked. It spoke in an androgynous-sounding voice.
“Do you now fully understand what I’m saying?”
“H- How the heck can a cat actually talk!?”
Have I finally gone completely crazy? I got more confused than ever.
“Calm yourself. The capsule which you took had nanomachines that are able to modify your language center. You lost your consciousness yesterday due to them optimizing your language faculties.”
“To the point where I can even understand a cat?”
“I’m actually not a cat. But that’ll take too long to explain. I would’ve talked to you sooner, but the language in this star system is English-based. You Japanese aren’t that good with English right?” it grinned and chuckled.
“This star system? What the heck’s going on here man!?”
“Oi, oi. Don’t panic kid. I’ll explain everything to you okay. You can address me as Master. What’s your name son?”
“My name’s Mozuya Kou. You can just call me Kou.”
“Very well, Kou. I shall tell you everything you need to know.”
I, Kou, properly gave my greetings to the cat. The cat, who wanted to be addressed as Master, cried in acknowledgment with a single meow.
Master first taught me about the whereabouts of food, water, the toilet, and a place to sleep. The available food seemed to be rations. I tried a bite and found that it tasted like sweet konjac jelly.
“Well then, where to begin? Basically, you were sent to this timeline from the 21st century before a bomb blast completely obliterated your bodies and caused your deaths.”
“A bomb? So we’re all supposed to have died from that? Just where is this place anyway? Where on earth is this place? Don’t tell me we’re in a different world or something?”
“No, this is not a different world. Not exactly. I already said this earlier, but do you think there’s an isekai where the main spoken language is English-based?”
“Why is it English-based anyway?”
“From the spread of the internet at the end of the 20th century, English has played a major role as a universal language. That trend still continues to this day.”
I don’t know jack about the relationship between the English language and the internet, but I might have stumbled into something vital here.
“Is the internet available in this world as well? How about smartphones?”
“Nothing like that is available as of the moment. Please just give up.”
Master shot me down mercilessly. And it looked like such a nice cat too.
“How far in the future are we from the 21st century?”
“More than twenty thousand years. Just a couple thousand years more than twenty thousand, I suppose.”
“Simply put, countless years have passed ever since your time. I will tell you about it in detail later. First, you need to focus on surviving. It’ll take a long time to explain everything in its entirety after all.”
“That’s true I guess… There’s also that monster lurking above us.”
“Come with me.”
I followed after Master and started walking. We passed a number of complex corridors and finally arrived in front of a huge door.
“[Junkyard]? It’s really written in English huh. A waste disposal site?”
“It holds the key to your survival.”
The door opened. Inside was an incredibly wide space. A lot of machines were placed within – seemingly abandoned. Many of them were humanoid in shape.
It was my first time seeing such kinds of humanoid machines. Some of them simply stood idly in a corner while others had one knee on the ground as a single hand propped up their huge frames. Others had both knees and hands thrust to the ground below.
They were at least as tall as a three-story building – more or less 8 meters. Their mechanical limbs were thicker than their torsos. There were not a lot of thinner-looking models. Most of them gave the impression akin to that of an armored vehicle. They were most likely for military use.
There was quite a variety of head designs as well. From two-eyed and mono-eyed ones reminiscent of Japanese robots in a certain anime series to ones entirely without eye cameras installed or sporting huge antennas.
Guess it has to do with their intended roles or something. They also did not have parts that corresponded to noses or mouths.
They certainly looked fitting in a junkyard; many of them were already half-broken, but some still looked functional for the most part.
Those lacking limbs were all gathered in one spot. Whether or not they were still functional was unclear, but the ones with a complete set of arms, legs, and heads were parked messily on another spot.
Maybe those things over there could really still be used.
“What exactly are these things?”
I turned towards Master and asked.