Chapter 7.1.
Equal Exchange Stores


Vending machine.
Well, a vending machine is fine.
Sakimori and others gathered around it.
Like monkeys gathering in front of a monolith in a classic novel.

But Sakimori narrowed his eyes, saying that it might be strange.
We’ll see the power that could save humans, though it’s not intelligence.

[Coupepan: 5 F-rank monster cores]

The power to save humans is written as coupepan.
……Yeah, even coupepan has the power to save humanity.

It was written in shimmering blue letters on a green translucent crystal-like plate or monolith.
It’s just one sentence.
That’s what it said.

“What the hell is this?”

It could have been a prank, but the monolith itself was no ordinary thing.
Shingen’s eyebrows furrowed, and his expression became dubious.
Sakimori also frowns and raises his arm.

“Let’s see if we can break it.”

“Wait-nya! Why do you only think about destroying it-nya? It might be something rare-nya!”

Karin hugged Sakimori vigorously around the waist and tried to stop me.
The old man is suffering from the assault to the side of his head.

“Maybe it can be destroyed-nya.
It’s just hard as stone-nya.”

At her words, he bends his mouth and gives her a scowling look.

“You, how do you know that? …You tried it, didn’t you?”

“No, you see, I wasn’t sure what it was at first, so I hit it with a rock, and it cracked-nya.
I didn’t want it to be a mimic, so I ran away immediately-nya.”

Tehepero, the cat girl apologizes, sticking out her little tongue.
She is a shrewd girl.
Even though she has cat characteristics, she’s still an informant despite her young age.

“F Monster Core… If you think about it normally, is that it?”

No need to guess.
The heart of a monster that mentioned many times in stories in the past.
That’s the only way to find it, Shingen snarls.
The others agree.

There is also the corpse of the goblin they just defeated.

Let me in.”

Shingen orders his men with his chin, and Hei and Sakimori remove the black crystal from the defeated goblin.

“But where are you going to put it in? I don’t see a slot to put it in.”

“Just push it in randomly.”

Let’s push it in.
Wow, it’s in.”

When Sakimori pressed the crystal down, it went in as easily as if it had been dropped into water, leaving a small ripple in the monolith.

“Look-nya! The display has changed-nya.”

[Coupepan: 4 F-rank monster cores]

Karin’s eyes lit up when she saw the display.
It seems the goblins hit on F-rank monster cores.
Feeling good about the decrease, Shingen’s men throw the monster cores one after another.
When they put in the remaining four, there is a clank.
And the coupepan appears abruptly in front of the man who was putting it in.
No special sound or effect.
Just like an ordinary vending machine.

It was a long, thin bread.
It’s just a soft, ordinary-looking coupepan.
It used to be sold everywhere, but now it’s a bread made from wheat, which they rarely see.

Everyone stares at the coupepan.
They look at each other and gulp.

It’s on me.
Have a bite.”

Sakimori pats Ooki-kun on the shoulder and shows him how generous he is.
It’s been a while since I’ve had coupepan.
I’m so sweet.

“Um, aniki? My name isn’t Ooki.

Ooki smiled, but I didn’t relent.

“You did it, Ooki!

“Eat up, you little sucker!”

“Go ahead, gobble it up.
Your size must make you hungry, right?”

The people around him were yelling at Ooki.
There is no option not to eat.
They’re intimidating him.

They’re all of one mind.
Can they eat the food that appeared from such a monolith? So, there is.

Shingen’s also staring at him, so Oki says he has no choice but to relent and take a bite.
The fluffy bread was shredded without resistance and went into his mouth, and he chewed and swallowed it.

“It tastes ……… like wheat.
There’s no mixture like bread in the outer city, it’s delicious!”

Ooki-kun’s eyes wide,n and he begins to munch.
The others stare in surprise at the results.

“How’s your body? Any numbness, fogginess, or weirdness?”

“Hey, boss.
Nothing special.”

Karin turns around to see if Shingen can see Ooki-kun’s complexion, and wonders if his arms will grow or his face will come to the surface.
Karin has a terrible imagination.
So she sometimes feels a little sorry for Ooki-kun about what they did to him.

She watches him for about 10 minutes just to be sure, but everyone is relieved his face doesn’t change in any particular way.

“This thing uses the monster core that we didn’t know what to do with, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is.
I don’t know why this stuff just showed now, but…”

I nod at Shingen’s words and stare at the suspicious vending machine with a sharp, hard-boiled gaze.
I wonder what this is.
I don’t know anything, okay?

“I found one of these in another neighborhood when I was taking a walk-nya.”

“…… Where did you find it?”

“A place a little far from the dungeon-nyan.
It’s a dangerous place where monsters roam, and if you’re not careful, you can get killed.”

Sakimori thinks with his lucid mind.
Sakimori, the great detective.
He’s an old man in the brain and an old man in the body.
In other words, he’s an old man.
I mean, where does Karin always go for a walk?

“Did it get set up in a dangerous area on purpose? Did the people in the inner city create it?”

Sakimori, the great detective misled them.
I’m the culprit.

“This looks like magic to me.
It’s unnatural for so many to appear if it’s due to skill.
Hey, Karin.
You check how many of these vending machines appeared later.
A quick overview is fine.
I’ll lend you my horse.”

“Roger-nya! So, how much?”

“Three ration coupons.”

Karin nodded her head.
If it was Karin, she could probably find any vending machine that appeared in Tokyo.
Maybe 5 of them appeared in the abandoned city.

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