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Episode 4: Preparing for ExplorationEpisode 4: Preparing for Exploration
Up on the surface, Lydia watched on as Yuuyami installed the solar panels.
Once this work was finished with, they would be able to use sunlight to generate electricity.
“No matter how many times I look,” Lydia said, “there really is nothing left in the world.”
Lydia had already been brought to the surface by Yuuyami countless times. This was so that she could experience clear skies, cloudy skies, and even rain.
“I suppose so.”
As Yuuyami was engrossed in her work, she wasn’t watching Lydia.
Lydia twirled around, taking in the sights of all four cardinal directions. But no matter what direction she looked in or how many times she looked, this world had no horizon to be seen.
And as this area seemed to have originally been a city, there were no mountains or valleys either.
According to Yuuyami, the area was once packed with buildings. But now, not even a trace of them remained. There truly was nothing. Nothing but an endlessly spanning wasteland.
But in a month’s time, snow would fall once again and color the world in silvery white.
Having finished installing the panels, Yuuyami pretended to heave a sigh. But since she had no need to breathe, no actual breath was exhaled.
Lydia found these actions to be strange and had previously asked her “Why do you sigh?”
Yuuyami answered “I am aware that it is an unnecessary action, but it’s also one that was incorporated in me from the very beginning. Perhaps it’s due to the humans’ desire for Autodolls to seem more lifelike.”
Lydia plopped down onto the ground and kicked her legs about.
Her gaze was affixed on Yuuyami, who was fiddling with her tablet.
“Well Lydia, that’s one project completed.”
Yuuyami showed Lydia the tablet.
Lydia examined it thoroughly, and not a single error code could be found. Systems all green. It was perfect.
Smiling, Lydia clapped her hands.
“Thank you very much.”
Showing a faint smile, Yuuyami did a little bow.
Every day, Yuuyami had been replicating the parts needed to construct the solar system in the simple parts maker, and of course was assembling them bit by bit every day as well.
The simple parts maker was a modified version of the simple food maker. A unit that created parts instead of foods.
As the library contained four simple food makers, two of them had already been converted into different types: a simple parts maker and a simple dress maker.
The latter was a unit that replicated clothing and accessories, and had been used to produce the clothing that Lydia was currently wearing.
As Lydia liked western clothing, a large number of them had been replicated.
Enough so that Yuuyami once scolded her, saying “Your clothes are filling up the library. Please don’t create any more than necessary.”
Currently, Lydia was wearing a snowy white coat.
But underneath that coat was a black cardigan. And underneath that was a white blouse. And also, a wine-red circular skirt. To protect from the cold, her legs were covered by black tights and a pair of snow boots.
Lydia came to enjoy wearing different clothes every day and showing off her appearance.
“Thanks to your assistance, it was completed according to schedule.”
Yuuyami was wearing her usual maid outfit. She had no interest in dressing up, and owned many copies of the same thing.
Be it summer or winter, her clothing never changed. Because she wouldn’t die from being too hot or from being too cold.
“You’re welcome. It definitely looks like we’ll be able to generate a lot of electricity today,” Lydia said while looking up at the sky.
It was a fairly clear day, with a blue sky and white clouds.
It felt somewhat strange to consider that the sky was the same color as it had been prior to the destruction of the world.
“And now,” Yuuyami said, “I think I’ll go exploring once spring arrives. Would you like to come along with me?
Lydia answered immediately with a smile.
“Hey Yuuyami, let’s start with the place where you found me!” Lydia said, flapping her hands around in her excitement.
“Understood. That’s fine, but……”
“Umm, first we’d need something to ride, right? Ah, but didn’t you always go on foot before? I want to ride a motorcycle!”
“Yes. I walk, yes. But anyways……”
“Ah, can I take care of the bike’s design?”
“Yes, of course you can. But before that……”
“I’m really looking forward to this,” Lydia giggled. “But it must get lonely seeing nothing but wasteland, huh.”
“Lydia. Please allow me to speak.”
“Hm? What is it?”
Lydia tilted her neck, and the way she did so was so cute that Yuuyami couldn’t help but smile a little.
“Considering the possibility of enemies being in the area where I first found you, I believe it prudent to bring weapons. Would you like to choose them?”
“Yes. I’ve compiled a list of ones that you should be able to use.”
Yuuyami fiddled with her tablet.
“Eh? But I don’t want to.”
Yuuyami looked up from her tablet.
“You mean that you don’t want to choose?”
“No,” Lydia shook her head. “That’s not it. I don’t want to carry any weapons.”
“Well they’re tools for harming other living things, aren’t they? I don’t want that. I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
Upon hearing Lydia’s words, Yuuyami displayed the mannerisms of a person deep in thought.
And exactly three seconds later, she nodded her head.
“Very well, we can forget about the weapons. But in exchange, will you wear the clothing that I design?”
“I’ll make clothing with extremely high defensive properties, so please wear them. I won’t bring you along with me if you don’t.”
“Why are you being so mean?”
Lydia’s expression warped.
Yuuyami felt a stinging pain in her heart.
“I’m not being mean, this is for your own safety.”
However, she had to ensure Lydia’s safety.
“But it might not be dangerous.”
“But it might be. That’s something that we won’t be able to determine without exploring. I just don’t want you to get hurt, Lydia. You’re very important to me. So would you please listen to my request?”
“Uuu… alright,” Lydia folded. “But make sure it’s cute, okay?”
“Understood. I’ll do my best.”
“Then I’ll take care of the motorcycle, okay?”
Lydia switched on her own tablet.
“A motorcycle…” Yuuyami said. “…a vehicle which originally ran on fossil fuels, then batteries. In the end, they utilized power cells. Despite being extremely inefficient and only being able to hold a limited amount of cargo, they were quite popular. Particularly amongst males.”
“But I want to ride one and I’m a girl.”
“Yes, I would like to ride one as well.”
“Eh? But I’m the one who gets to steer.”
“I would also like to steer.”
“How about we take turns, then?”
“Understood. Let’s take turns steering.”
“Then I’ll draw up the blueprints.”
“And I shall put together a subroutine.”
Standing up, Yuuyami returned to the library.
Lydia opted to continue working outside though, since the weather was so nice.
“Let’s go with an offroad type,” she thought. “One that looks cool.”
Besides, this world had no proper roads.
Lydia rolled around on the ground. She’d been working out the construction of the motorcycle in her head for about two hours, and decided to take a break because she was getting tired.
The earth, lacking in both softness and kindness. When she took a deep breath, she could smell the dried soil. Though the air inside the library was far cleaner, this scent wasn’t bad either.
While watching the clouds pass by, Lydia thought about the bike.
For its shape, a typical offroad shape was best. She had no intention of adding any strange decorations.
So that the petite-framed Lydia would be able to handle it, she’d make its length, width and height suitably small. And the seat elevation would conform to her as well. As far as weight went, she wished for it to be as light as possible.
Through the usage of an autogyro system, it would be able to stand on its own. A motor output of 23 kilowatts would be enough. And the intended top speed was 130 kilometers per hour.
She made that decision after determining that that was the highest speed that she would be able to control the bike at. As she’d watched many videos of motorcycle races, this estimate shouldn’t be too far off.
Lydia breathed a little sigh.
“This doesn’t count as a break at all.”
The sky was high up and calm. The season was winter.
Lydia was able to feel the seasons by going outside the library like this.
Remembering the snowball fight put her in a playful mood.
And then her thoughts turned towards Yuuyami.
Her beloved Yuuyami. Though she may be of a different race, she was always so kind to her. Her one and only friend.
But sometimes, she felt pangs of jealousy towards her.
Lydia saw Yuuyami as a nearly perfect existence. She’d never won against her in chess, Shogi or Go, nor could she win in terms of rate at which they acquired knowledge.
She couldn’t win against her in terms of pure strength either, and even came to lament her own lack of power on occasion. She even cursed the incomplete nature of humans.
“The driving subroutime that Yuuyami’s making is probably going to be perfect too, but I still don’t want to lose to her,” she thought.
But she didn’t know what exactly it was that she didn’t want to lose at.
“Are we really standing as equals?”
Lydia had never once won against Yuuyami.
“If humans had continued to evolve, how would they have ended up,” she wondered.
Perhaps it would be a lifeform that even surpassed Yuuyami.
“Umm,” Lydia groaned, “but that seems like it’d be impossible.”
Lydia rolled around on the ground. There wasn’t any deep reason for it, she just felt like doing it. And while rolling around, she came to a sudden realization.
“Yeah, let’s make a garage. We should definitely have one.”
When it came to that type of sudden inspiration, Lydia was superior. Yuuyami had never even had such an experience before.
Lydia felt happy to have realized one of her own good points. Humans weren’t something to be thrown out just yet.
She thought that red would be a good color for the garage.
And the bike’s color was decided as black. Because it was the color of her beloved Yuuyami. If it shared her color, she’d definitely be able to treasure it.
Lydia got right to drawing up blueprints for the garage.
There was a size limit when it came to what the simple parts maker could replicate.
As such, it was necessary to assemble the garage from many smaller parts. Even though she was on the verge of tears, Lydia put her all into its construction.
First, the blueprints were input into the simple parts maker. Then the necessary parts would be replicated. Those parts would be taken outside.
The planned location for the garage was right next to the library’s entrance.
Carry as many parts as possible, then assemble them in order starting with the outer wall. Then repeat.
After three days had passed, it was so high up that Lydia was no longer able to reach. She needed to put together something to stand on. And this put her back on the verge of tears.
Even though the garage in the computer was constructed so simply. That’s why she thought it would be no big deal to recreate one in real life. This was a huge mistake.
Lydia realized this on the first day, but she didn’t want to turn back. But now she was at her limit, even though she’d made it this far. She had no strength to go on. She’d thrown her all into this.
“Shall I assist you?”
Having just completed her driving subroutine, Yuuyami said this.
But Lydia refused. Because it’d make her feel like she’d lost, and she didn’t want that.
“Is that so……”
Yuuyami showed an extremely saddened expression. Even immediately prior to the end of the world, no living thing had ever boasted such a miserable face.
Lydia was struck with a severe sense of guilt and self-loathing.
Yuuyami’s figure as she turned her heel and idly walked away. Seeing that, Lydia felt it hard to breathe.
“Wait! Wait, Yuuyami! I want you to help after all!” Lydia practically screamed.
Stopping in place, Yuuyami spun back around towards Lydia. And then she smiled.
Seeing such an expression suddenly filled Lydia with an incredibly strong feeling of affection for her. So she raced to where she was and embraced her.
“I’m sorry, Yuuyami. I was holding a grudge against you.”
Yuuyami gently returned Lydia’s embrace.
“Yeah. I felt kinda like we didn’t actually stand as equals……”
“I saw myself as inferior to you, Yuuyami.”
“That’s not true. I gave you that certificate, didn’t I? Yours is an existance that is equal to my own.”
“You don’t believe what I said to you?”
With Yuuyami’s words, Lydia finally realized.
To think that she was a lesser lifeform was to not believe in Yuuyami’s certificate.
She shook her head while still resting it Yuuyami’s bosom.
“I believe you. I really believe you. Sorry for saying such weird things.”
“It’s alright, humans grow uneasy sometimes. Don’t worry.
Yuuyami stroked Lydia’s hair.
“I love you, Yuuyami,” Lydia said.
“I love you too, Lydia,” Yuuyami replied with a gentle smile.
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