Underground Canal 2
When Kimishima woke me up, I saw several streaks of light coming down from the ceiling. Most of the buildings were destroyed, so there was a lot of extra light coming in. Especially since we had been in this darkness all night, our eyes were getting accustomed to it.
“Oh … sorry, did I sleep long?”
“No, but I thought it was time to wake you up, okay?”
“Thank you, no problem.”
I got up and stretched out, too. As expected, I felt a little pain in my joints. I stood up and relaxed my body even more, and took a bite of my portable food again. I was a little worried about asking Kimishima, a high school girl, to take the night watch and sleep, but if I said that, I would be unable to sleep forever. That would be dangerous. When I reached my limit, I woke Kimishima up and asked her to take over. If she got sleepy, I told her to wake me up again.
Even so, it seemed she was able to get a fair amount of sleep.
For today, we intended to continue along the water network and see how far we could go. Maybe the river connected from inland to the ocean, and if we couldn’t figure out a way to get there, we might as well go that way. If there were only toilet holes, we would have a hard time getting out of the water network, but my guess was that it would lead us out of the city and join another river.
The map we were given showed the course of rivers, which was an important clue to where people might be.
The canal had water flowing in the middle, and there were some steps along the walls around it, so we walked along them. The clothes that had gotten wet when we fell in yesterday were dry enough that we didn’t mind.
We walked slowly together. Light leaked in, but we couldn’t see much of the water in the canal. The fact that we couldn’t see something made us feel a certain amount of fear. Perhaps there were fish in the water. I ducked down every time I heard the occasional bouncing sound.
Somehow the light leaking through the holes in the toilets seemed to diminish. Soon after, a trickle of water began to drip from the toilet.
“This isn’t the toilet … Rain.”
“I guess so. I’m glad I don’t get wet here.”
“Yes… that’s right.”
After that, the rain got a little heavier and the leakage from the toilets became more and more intense. It was true that we wouldn’t get wet here, but …
Soon after, we came to a place where we were out of the city, and the holes in the toilets that dotted the waterway were gone. We took out our flashlights from our packs and kept walking.
Not knowing how much time we had, we sat down and rested against a wall and took another bite of our portable food. At the moment, I felt like I could go a whole day with just one. It would be great if I could at least replenish that many calories.
“Are you okay? Are you tired?”
“I’m not tired, … I’m fine.”
“Well…, take it easy. You have to be able to move to escape.”
When I sat down and didn’t move as much as possible, I also turned off the flashlight magic tool. I did not know if it would burn out if I used it like a light bulb, but I could not waste it in order to conserve magic power, because it was necessary to keep the magic flowing while it was on in order to keep it lit.
Well, unlike me, Kimishima, who had a reasonable amount of magic power, was in charge of the lighting.
“… Something about the water flow is getting a little intense, isn’t it?”
“…You still think so?”
“Hurry up a little…”
I wondered if it was still raining outside, and I didn’t know what was going on in the mountains in the first place, but I turned on the light again and prepared to leave. I checked the water in the canal and the water level seemed to be rising a little. It was still about 1.5 meters below where we are walking, but…
Everything is okay, right? … I told myself that and moved forward.
After walking for a while, I heard a strong sound of flowing water ahead. When we reached the location of the sound, there seemed to be another sewage canal on the right, and the two canals merged.
Considering the layout of the city, there must be several such canals dug lengthwise. We walked along the left side of the wall. Therefore, meeting the waterway on the right side would not be a problem…
I had a bad feeling.
Still, we had no choice but to keep going. We continued on and reached another junction of waterways. This time, it was the junction with the waterway on the left side. In other words, the foothold on the left side we were walking on ended at the junction, and we could go no further.
Damn… that’s bad.
At the junction, there was a complex confluence of other waterways from the right side, and there was plenty of water swirling around. Looking at the wall of the merged left channel, there was a scaffold-like ledge at a similar height.
“Should we go up a little to the left from here?”
“That’s the only way.”
“When the rain stops, the water level will probably not be as high as it is now.”
The confluence of multiple currents, each with its own unique characteristics, created a whirlpool that made the muddy water seem as threatening as a monster. We turned sharply at the confluence, holding on to the wall so as not to fall in. The footholds at the junction were very thin, and I winced in fear.
We successfully turned safely and proceeded a little further along the canal, the scaffolding gradually becoming wider and wider. My mind relaxed a little.
Rattle rattle rattle!
Suddenly the rock on which I stepped collapsed. I grabbed desperately at the scaffold and escaped falling, but … I ended up in the muddy water up to my knees.
I desperately tried to hold back from being carried away by the current. Kimishima desperately tried to grab my arm and pull me up, but it was an impossible position because the foothold was not yet that wide … I-impossible…
“Ki-Kimishima…, let go…, you’ll get caught in it.”
“I don’t want to!”
“Wait, really… let go.”
Damn… flowing water was such a bad idea. I desperately tried to lift my legs up to get them out of the water, but the current kept grabbing my legs and wouldn’t let go. The water level was gradually rising.
“Please don’t… let go!”
The strength in my fingers was becoming more and more doubtful. I could no longer respond to Kimishima’s cries …
“I’ll be waiting for you at the end of the river… You can come slowly and calm down…”
Kimishima cried out, kneeling on the scaffolding and trying to grab me by my sides.
At that moment, the scaffolding collapsed further.
Along with it, the rocks around Kimishima’s feet also collapsed.
The two of us were swallowed by the muddy water…
Access 10 Chapters ahead of the Novelupdates release on our Patreon. <3