an English translation of the novel

Page 398-399

“Saki! Watch out!”

Satoru suddenly crashed into me. I flew backward into the tunnel with him on top of me.

I was just wondering what had happened when tons of soil started falling from the ceiling. Covering my face with my hands, I waited for the cave-in to stop. I couldn’t even open my mouth to scream. When it was finally over, I was covered with dirt, and my legs from the knee down were completely buried.

“Are you okay?” Satoru asked worriedly.


“That was dangerous. We were almost buried alive.”

Thinking logically, trying to bring down the ceiling of the room you were in was stupid, but our instinctive drive to survive caused us to act without thinking of the consequences. And in the end, it proved to be fortunate.

We extricated ourselves from the dirt and confirmed that the path was completely blocked. And just to make sure, we patted the mountain of dirt to make sure that it was solid enough that gas couldn’t pass through.

“Hey, look up. If you brought more dirt down, wouldn’t it go through to the outside?” I asked looking up at the gouged out ceiling (of course, I couldn’t actually see anything).

“You can’t hear anything coming from the outside though. There’s probably still more than three meters to go. It would be impossible to dig out from here. We’d be buried alive for real.”

In the end, we sat down on the dirt again.

In the commotion of blocking the path, I mistakenly believed that we were making progress. But now that I thought about it, our situation hadn’t changed a bit. Compared to earlier, we were in an even narrower space, and if the gas suddenly came from the open side of the path, it would be all over for us. If we collapsed the other side of the tunnel too, we’d soon run out of air and suffocate.

This time, we were doomed.


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