Chapter 8:

Log VIII: The Destination

Void Walker: Those Who Are Not Humane

Abel's eyes opened with a snap as soon as the first light of the day shined over the horizon.

"You're awake."

He heard a voice say matter-of-factly nearby. Immediately, his senses became sharp.


"Haha, still remember me?"

The young man sitting a few metres away laughed. He seemed to be tending to the plants inside the greenhouse.

"... Where's Nightshade?"

"I gave him some food. He's eating inside the shed."

"Ah... Nightshade is a male?"

Abel asked impulsively, then realized what he had done. His mouth snapped closed and formed a frown.

"You don't need to be so tense. It's not like I want to harm you."

"... A walker must always be on guard."

"Must be tiring, eh?"


"That's the only way I know of living", those words came to the tip of his tongue, but Abel kept quiet.

His guard was crumbling fast in front of the amicable young man sitting there.

"I prepared some food for you too... Though it's all vegetable. The last portion of my meat went to your dog."

"... Thanks and sorry. Give me the price, I'll pay it back in credits."

"No need, no need. I am not exactly hurting for money. Besides... When you become like me, you wouldn't need much money."

Leon gave a strained smile before standing up. He walked back to the shed where the well was and returned with a bowl of soup and some fruits on a plate.

Abel took the bowl and the plate silently and started eating. He didn't want to admit it, but his distrust towards the man was going down fast.

The man in concern just gently smiled and watched him eat for a few minutes before speaking.

"What are you going to do from here on out?"

"... On a mission."

The walker swallowed the food and replied.

"Going which way?"

"Through the city, northwards."

"Great. There aren't many ghouls around there, so you should be fine."

"Speaking of ghouls... Where are all the Abyss?"

He hadn't seen a single one since entering the city. This was a red zone, something like that would be impossible usually.


"Hiding? Why?"

"Beats me. Probably due to the Void Walker?"

"The Void Walker..."

Abel repeated those words. Then he carefully posed a question.

"Have you met it? The Void Walker I mean."

"Hm... No. Well, it does keep an eye on me from time to time, but just like the rumours, doesn't seem to be interested in human flesh."

"I see."

The walker finished the food in his hands and stood up.

"You can freshen up in the shed. Once done, meet me outside. Ah, your bike is outside too, I did some fixes on it."

"... Thanks."


When Abel walked out of the greenhouse with Nightshade, it was already past seven in the morning. He was aware that his day had started way later than usual... It would impact his journey negatively.

Feeling dejected, he looked around and saw Leon crouched beside his bike.

As the former approached the latter, Leon muttered without looking at Abel.

"The mechanic you had hired was pretty good. It only needed a few minor tweaks here and there."

"What did you fix?"

"Some issues with the handle. It should move better now."

"It was fine before, though?"

"Go on, try it for yourself and see if you can notice the difference."

Saying that, Leon stood up and stepped aside. Still sceptical, Abel went to the bike and tried to move the handlebars.

"... This is surprisingly better now. It moves better than before, this will help tremendously. Thanks."

The Walker took a deep breath and nodded.

"How can I pay you back for this?"

He hated the idea of being indebted to others. But Leon didn't want anything in return for the help he was giving Abel... Which made things complicated.

"You don't have to. Just be careful out there."


"You can't give me what I want, so forget it."

Leon smiled brightly, but Abel could see the force behind that smile. It almost felt like the young man in front of him had turned into someone else for a moment.

"... Alright. Thanks again."

"No problem. Also, here. A map of the city."

The man pulled out a piece of paper and handed it over to Abel.

"Just why..."

"Don't think too much of it. You are the only human I have met in a long time, so I am just feeling a bit generous."

Leon pushed the paper into Abel's hand, bowed slightly and turned around.

"It might rain soon, so you should be on your way. Things get nasty inside the city after the rain."

"Will do."

Abel felt lost and confused, but he replied to him nonetheless.

"Then, see you. Let's stay alive and meet again later~"

Leon waved his hand with a jolly voice and soon disappeared into the greenhouse.

"... See you."

Saying goodbye, the walker readied Nightshade and once again boarded his bike.

This time, there were no distractions and the duo soon got out of the city.


[Five kilometres till you reach the target]

A message appeared in the AR Vision as the bike moved through the dunes.

The vast desert before its passengers seemed to be never-ending, stretching far beyond the horizon.

"... I wonder if those rumours are true?"

Travelling merchants often spoke about lush green forests, turbulent rivers, and lands full of flora and fauna just beyond the great desert. But those were only rumours.

After all, no one had been able to pass through the great desert.

The epicentres of the nuclear bombs dropped by the countries were all around the desert, making many parts of it extremely radioactive to this day. There were many active gates of hell hidden around too. Those meant that at any moment, another war of attrition could start all over again.

In such circumstances, even believing that there were unaffected lands seemed absurd.

But somewhere in his heart, Abel wanted to believe that fleeting piece of hope.

A place like that had to exist somewhere... And if it did exist, then Abel wanted to be there.

Away from other humans, living his life to the end slowly and peacefully.

"... That's the only way I can pay Elma back..."

Or so he believed.

"... Let's focus on the mission for now."

Thinking about the past and the future wouldn't change the present, after all.

The duo moved forward silently, leaving behind their tracks on the soft sand.

It was an odd feeling... To be alone in this vast area. Abel always felt that whenever he went on long missions.

Though... The isolation, the silence... The lack of life almost felt serene.

[Three kilometres till you reach the target]

The AR Vision warned.

The walker wiped off the first drop of rain from his mask. A small puff of smoke appeared from the place where the drop had fallen.

"Damn it... it just had to be the worst possible type of rain... !"

The sky had turned extremely dark now, a heavy storm was going to hit the desert soon.

If the sand was too damp to ride, he would get stuck. Abel needed to reach the target before the storm hit. He wanted to take shelter in one of the abandoned fortified convoys and then wait for the storm to pass.

"Woof! Woof!"

The dog started barking as the rain started picking up. Drop by drop, it was drenching their outfits and the bike. The acidic rain was still not strong enough to corrode their clothes, but it would soon become that if they didn't take shelter fast.

"Damn it... Hurry up!"

Abel growled and pushed his bike to the extreme. The engine creaked and protested, and the chassis of the bike became extremely hot.

He already had a bad experience with pushing his engine, but...

"Almost there!"

He rejoiced as a notification appeared in front of him.

[1 kilometre till you reach the target]

[700 metres till you reach the target]

[400 metres till you reach the target]

"There it is!"

He could see several large objects in front of him. Zooming in, he saw several weapons and objects lying nearby. A few more glances revealed the mark of the Axis church on the convoys.

As soon as he reached the area, Abel jumped off the bike and rushed to the only intact car in the area. He pulled out his terminal and held it against the scanner on the door, which opened with a hiss.

The door was large enough to push his bike in and Abel did just that. In just a few minutes, the walker was inside the large carrier-type hovercar with his dog and bike.

With a press of the button on the terminal, the door closed and isolated him from the outside completely.

"Hah... I made it..."

He took a deep breath and opened his mask after checking the rad scale.

The air inside the van wasn't contaminated.

"If I had been just a minute late..."

He looked outside through the window in the front. The weapons and the exposed parts of the damaged cars surrounding one he was in had started to release white smoke.

Parts of the objects had already started to melt.

If Abel hadn't hurried up... His fate would have become the same as those melting weapons outside... No, perhaps even worse.

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