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Chapter 9: Scavenger

The entire inner room that was hidden behind this faulty door, was filled with all sorts of insane items. Or in the current situation, I should be rather calling them the artefacts of the civilisation lost.

Stacking one against the other on the shelves, the way in which everything was placed allowed to quickly scan the state of this tight warehouse. With so many items in store, something simply had to work!

Fighting down the excitement in my soul, I took a few deep breaths before slowly stepping into the room. Despite all the dry decay that surrounded it, this place was somehow clean. Unless this entire civilisation was wiped down just a few moments before my appearance in this world, then I couldn't find any way to explain how could this room remain so neat and tidy.

Only after making sure that no other unhappy surprises awaited me inside, I finally dared to place foot in this treasure trove of a way more advanced civilisation than anything that I ever saw even in movies.

Taking a short stroll amongst the shelves, I was mesmerised by the thoughts about how the worlds could differ so much. Running my finger against the simple, steel shelves that decorated the room, I finally allowed myself to stay down for a moment.


Right in front of me, I could see an orderly row of the bracelets that I noticed before. Most of them was still covered in some kind of protective screen, just like one's new smartphone would have its screen wrapped in special, thin plastic foil. Even in this kind of details, the civilisation of this world was aeons above my homeland. Instead of using this material extensively, there was only the minimal amount of this thin, see-through plastic-like substance. Yet, it seemed like this protection didn't work at all.

Nearly as soon as I reached forth with my hand and grabbed one of those bracelets from the shelf, a strange wind hit my back. For a moment, that was the only thing that I felt… But then it happened. Swirling in the air, the orange sand that this thing I saw before turned right after its appearance instantly rushed towards my fingers.

With how tiny the pebbles were and how a relatively small amount of this sand was created out of the thing I saw before, nothing really happened to me. It was as if someone threw a handful of dry sand at my hand while playing by the shore of the sea. But what happened in the next instance, baffled me.

The clock that I was just holding, flashed for a moment. Right after that, it was hit with the wave of the tiny, orange sand. And even before I could react in any way, the entire item broke apart into a small amount of the same, orange sand.

This scene by itself wasn't all that much shocking. It was pretty similar to what I saw just a few moments ago, so there should be no reason to be bothered by it? No, it wasn't the events that I saw occurring that scared me. It was the implication that this conjecture projected on the reality of this world.

If everything that was somehow related to the civilisation of this world would turn into this sand, and this sand would most likely be attracted to anything of that destroyed civilisation…

Once I thought about it, I realised that I was most likely in the middle of a graveyard of the civilisation. In its the literal sense. Seeing how quickly the process of turning the bracelet into the sand lasted, I could see how the entire world could collapse in a matter of a few moments.

And I couldn't help but shiver when I dared to think about what this sand could do to me.


Sensing a shrill travelling down my spine, I gnashed my teeth against each other. A 'medium' difficulty world, right? Now it was starting to make sense…

Yet, standing in the literal middle of one of the only areas that weren't overwhelmed with the ocean of the sand, I could momentarily calm myself down. So far, the system provided me with exactly the things that I most longed for. Unless it was all a scam, a typical prince from an African country that turns out to be your distant cousin, and eager to send you a few millions… only after you send him a few thousand for the tax fees.

But it didn't feel like it. Ever since I appeared in this world, I had this distant itch, urging me to do something. An itch that no matter how much I tried, I couldn't scratch. But once I started looking at the sand and the items placed on the shelves…

Struck with a sudden idea, I took one of the few items that remained in my backpack.


After placing the cover of a natural skin of the fabric made from before the apocalypse, I once again reached towards the same product that I attempted to grab before. And this time, nothing happened.

If my conjecture was right, then this strange bracelet would only activate upon the direct contact with a human's skin. Doing so, would most likely turn it on, which would, in turn, attract the orange sand. And given the two examples from before, I was quite sure what would happen if those two things met.

But there was one thing that I could do, that could potentially provide me with quite a lot of information. Shaking my head, I gently placed the item back on the shelf before moving back to the main hall of the building. From there on, I spent quite a long time looking around before I found what I wanted.

The single thing that kept working. A single piece of equipment that unknowingly was so common for me, that I somehow managed to miss it until now.

The sound of ventilation.

After a quick research, I realised how this could happen. With the entire system split into the core that did all the work, and a complicated set of fully mechanical filters, all the sand that could damage the machinery behind the ventilation would be cleaned from the system. And that meant that it was possible to avoid being affected by this sand. Even if only for the shortest moment.

Satisfied with what I found, I returned back to the storage of the shop and picked up the artefact that I was interested in with my gloved hand. First, I carried it towards one of the vents that sucked all the air from the room before replacing it with the fresh one. Reaching with my hand as far as I could inside the vent, I kept the item in said hand for as long as I could keep my hand up.

The ongoing and quite violent circulation of the air gave me hope of cleaning all the residual sand that could somehow remain on top of the bracelet. Only then did I pick up the pace again, this time moving to one of the control rooms in the building. While obviously nothing worked in this place already, after just a small bit of handiwork I managed to direct the flow of air from the tube into the room. After keeping it going for a few moments, I could see that nothing outside of the stuff bolted to the floor had any chances of remaining in this place.

From then on, the preparations were quite simple. An arduous journey back to the desert in order to pick my clothes up. I would have a use for them now. By the time I returned to the building, the sun was already on the verge of setting for the night. I knew that if I wanted to do something, then without any artificial light, I could entier spend the night in this world, or fail to ever accomplish anything in it.

And given how close I was to actually trying my idea out, I knew that there was no way I would give up now.

Hauling everything that I could make any use off into the control room, I made sure to repeat the cleansing stage with every tiniest piece of cloth or equipment that I brought into the place. I didn't know how long would my primitive defences against the sand hold, so I wanted to be able to test as many things as I could before everything would be gone.

The one only reason behind picking this particular room outside of the manoeuvrable vent beside it was the fact that it had a pretty simple door. Made out of ordinary metal, it seemed that while this sand could eradicate anything powered by the energy of this world, it was powerless against the standard methods that humanity on earth developed too.

With all my preparations done, I closed those doors behind me, cutting the majority of the last bits of light that the sun would provide for me today. Using those last few moments, I stuffed my clothes into every single piece between the door and its frame where the sand seemed to have a chance to appear. Even with all that done, I still covered it with a hefty amount of water from my backpack, hoping that even if the sand would manage to get in, it would still stick to the wet cloth. And then, to top it all off, I once again pushed the vent's opening against the doors.

With everything set in place, I finally dared to take down my gloves. Turning towards the area where I accumulated the artefacts of the lost civilisation, I reached towards the same kind of bracelet that I was testing before.

And then the sun completely vanished behind the horizon.

Yet I could still see everything in the room. The bracelet lit before a hologram appeared above my fingers.


[Host solved the initial task]


[Host obtains the class: Scavenger]


[Middle phase finished. Host can now freely return to earth.]


[Medium difficulty worlds' language pack obtained and installed.]

Looking down, I saw the hologram. It no longer contained several rows of strange hieroglyphs. Now, it was filled with the familiar letters, joining together to create clear words set in my mother's tongue. From the top to the bottom, I could see the rows of information appearing, seemingly informing me about every single step of the processes that were happening right now.

And then, it stopped.

The holographic wall of text projected by the bracelet suddenly vanished, replaced by a strangely pale, woman's face.

"It's is advised to instal the framework on one's hand for the calibration to proceed. Welcome, new citizen. May the blessing of the Hasshna brighten your day!"

MotivatedSloth MotivatedSloth

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