Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: Engrossed with reading a visual novel called Sakura Dreamers lately. While the target audience it aims at is a little young, it has some rather interesting looking grotesque monsters. Anyone who can read Japanese may want to try it out!
Chapter 155: Flaring Spectator’s Grandstand [Part 1]
“A so-called body double’s job is to race on behalf of the racing stars brought up by the team. This is an open secret among all racing teams. The trophy cup will never have a body double’s name, and naturally the award money even less so. The award money won by the body doubles are completely turned over to the racing team, before the person in charge of the racing team rewards them based on their personal feelings at that time just like a donation. If you win then you at least get a donation, but the unlucky ones who lost their lives directly gets nothing. They can only vanish in a puff of smoke and dust amidst the spectators ridiculing boos.” Udoze lay on top of the steering wheel and said unhappily.
Although people like them obviously possessed superb racing skills, they could only live in secrecy. When they headed out, they wore helmets so that their real faces could not be seen clearly, just like the shadows of those bright stars. The ones the crowd saw and cheered for were always the racing stars who could stand on the platform and hold up the trophy while laughing and throwing air kisses at them. They did not know that the people who finished the race in their cars a moment ago were the gray and boring native citizens whom were regarded as inferiors, and were so poor that they could only stay in their humble stone built houses.
Countless native racers were buried in a race fighting for fame and glory that did not belong to themselves. As compared to the official racers of those racing team, they, the body doubles neither owned a car of their own, nor a competition that belonged to themselves. They could only ever add bricks and tiles to another person’s life.
They were both humans. Life was cheap, and that was all there was to be.
In Acallela’s flying car racing competition, there was once a body double who had died from an accident. However, in the media’s report they only mentioned that that racer was severely wounded and survived by chance of luck. Not long after, the racer had appeared again in a bombastic fashion. It was just that he had gotten a new body double. As for his previous body double, if they were lucky they would get a sympathetic burial fee. Otherwise, they would get nothing at all.
Udoze let out a rough smile that was not much better than a cry, “The most funny thing is that these unfair slave contracts were signed by no one but ourselves. In fact, there were many people who sharpened their heads and did their utmost to show off their skills to those people, hoping to get a slave contract. It is because even a pact as unfair as this one will met us several times higher the wage than some labor work.”
“I heard that a competition’s profit can reach up to several hundreds of millions.” Cillin said.
“Yeah, it is several hundred millions. Even if they lose, the racing team will still have tens of millions of income, and if they win the money will be more. Several hundred millions is a common thing. The racers will get a few hundred thousand, and the lucky ones will get close to several millions. As for those racing celebrities, they will get several hundred millions of income. But for people like us? Several thousands… or ten thousand probably on a good day.” Udoze raised his head and looked outside the car window. God knows how many bodies were buried beneath those sand, all of them scapegoats.
“You never thought of leaving?” Cillin asked.
“Sure I do, but I couldn’t leave. If I’m going to leave I’m definitely bringing my mother with me, but according to Acallela’s law, a native citizen must submit five hundred thousand credits of processing fee each to leave. That five hundred thousand for one person, and one million for two people. This sum is seriously not much to those official racers, but it is practically impossible for us body doubles. We may even lose our lives to get that kind of money.”
“I heard that there are bets for racing competitions. Have you never tried it?”
“Those are aimed at foreigners; a native citizen would be fined if they were caught betting. But we do use fake identities to win some small sums of money in secret.”
“Do you know about Hunters?” Cillin changed the subject and asked.
“Sure I know!” Udoze’s eyes shone brightly, “I once saw a bounty hunter before. He was really strong! I also know some Hunter regiments; last year there was a Hunter regiment who came to Acallela to check out the triphibian flying car racing championship. Those racing team managers who normally looked at people with their nostrils all acted cautiously in front of them. The investors of the racing team ‘Storm’ were acquainted with that Hunter regiment. They are a very famous Hunter regiment, and I heard that they were ranked among the top five in Sector F. You must have heard of them before!”
“Oh? What are they called?” Cillin asked full of interest.
“They’re called ‘Golden Rose’!”
“…” Cillin raked through the information inside his brain, and he went through even the latest top 100 names in GAL’s ranking in the authoritative publication ‘Hero’. Then, he said affirmatively, “I’ve never actually heard about them.”
“Come on?! You’re a little too uninformed now aren’t you!” Udoze blurted with a look of disdain, “That’s the top five Hunter regiment in Sector F, you know. I heard that every one of their hunters were veterans of a hundred battles, and they had gone to countless planets and seen countless fantastic things of every description. They had killed quite a number of alien beasts too! In fact, there is a big statue in our racing team that is provided by them. At night, the statue would glow with dazzling five-colored light…”
Five-colored light… and you aren’t afraid that the level of radioactive elements would go past the limit? Cillin laughed involuntarily.
When Udoze talked of Hunter regiments, his depression just now was tossed to god knows where. He even made his descriptions with body languages, making threatening gestures and looking very excited.
When Udoze had finished talking to himself, he noticed that Cillin had already closed his eyes and fell asleep at the backseat.
While staring at the guy at the back seat, Udoze had the feeling that he was playing the lute to a cow*. He curled his lips and said, “What a strange person.” then, he started the flying car and shook all the way back to the courtyard.
*meaning to preach to deaf ears
When Cillin got off the car, the horizon was already starting to glow with hazy light.
Patting Udoze’s shoulders once, Cillin said, “Do your best. We’ll go and watch the race the day after tomorrow and cheer you on.”
Udoze tugged at the corner of his lips and said nothing. After locking up the top lid of the car, he then headed inside the house. Shadows who lived in secrecy like them would never hear their own names from the crowd’s cheer.
When he returned to the house, Tang Qiuqiu opened her eyes wide and stared at Cillin in dissatisfaction. She complained, “Brother Cillin, how dare you go out and play on your own.”
“What can I do, don’t tell me you want to sit in that shabby car of his?”
Tang Qiuqiu shook her head strongly, “That guy’s technique is too poor!”
“Too poor? Not at all. On the contrary, his car handling skills are very good. Have you seen anyone else who can drive a shabby car with a calcium deficiency style Charley horse like that and go around safely?”
“That is true.”
“Let’s go watch that guy’s competition the day after tomorrow.”
“Okay.” Tang Qiuqiu let out a yawn, rolled up her blanket and continued to sleep.
The next day morning Cillin was gargling water when he heard a sweet cry from downstairs, “Miss~ Sus~ Ven~ To~”
Cillin immediately spat out the gargle water in his mouth and shook the goose pimples on his body once.
What kind of madness had gone over that stupid cat again?
When Cillin went downstairs, he immediately saw Mrs. Vento working on a handiwork at the first floor. Meanwhile, that stupid cat was crouching by the side and staring unblinkingly at her work.
Mrs. Vento was truly a handicraft veteran with many years under her belt. With just a piece of cloth, a pile of fine sand, a needle and a thread, she was quickly able to sew something that looked pretty good. Right now, a cat shaped doll filled with fine sand was being made quickly in Mrs. Vento hands. The shape of the doll was the gray cat’s appearance, and even the cloth itself was gray in color. This type of gray cloth was considered low quality cloth and was found very commonly at this place. Every family here had a lot of it.
In the past, Mrs. Vento made her handiworks with colorful or bright colored cloths. This was because those colors could attract buyers, and the amount of dolls that were made from gray cloth was pitifully few. Even if she did make one, no one would buy them.
However, the gray cat just happened to see Mrs. Vento making handiworks when it returned from hunting today. Suddenly, an idea popped up on the cat’s head, and it pretended to be cute asking for her help to make a cat-shaped doll for it.
No wonder it had cried out so sweetly just now!
The doll did look quite good, however. Although this type of cloth was coarse to touch, it was also tough. Wind City also had a special kind of fine sand that very soft to touch, so after the doll was filled up with fine sand it had a very solid feeling to it. It was made at a 1:1 ratio too. Moreover, Mrs. Vento had very patiently sewn the eyes, the mouth and so on onto the doll. Normally, the eyes of a handmade doll like this was either stickied with different objects, or drawn. In comparison, the outcome was much cruder than a sewing machine’s. However, Mrs. Vento had obviously invested a considerable amount of effort into this cat doll. She had sewn the features of the cat thread by thread.
Knowing that the work wasn’t easy on Mrs. Vento, Cillin paid her a hundred GAL credits for the doll – the rest of Mrs. Vento’s doll were only priced at ten GAL credits.
Mrs. Vento tried to turn down the payment, and Cillin stuffed the money directly into the cloth basket and said, “Please accept it, Mrs. Vento. This cat is very troublesome. I have to thank you for your patience.”
Mrs. Vento smiled and waved her hands, “No, it’s very smart. This is the first time I’ve seen such an intelligent cat that even knew how to talk.”
While speaking, Mrs. Vento took out a fist-sized little cloth ball. Fine sand filled the inside of the ball, and the outside of the ball was sewn together with a few layers of cloth. It would not hurt even if it was tossed onto a person’s body. Mrs. Vento gifted the cloth ball to the gray cat as a toy.
The gray cat lifted the ball with a sweep of its tail, before tossing it into the air and played with it directly with his tail. This drew cheers from Mrs. Vento.
The relationship between the upper floor and lower floor had obviously improved by a lot for these few days. At first, it was just the gray cat running downstairs often to freeload on her food. Later, Mrs. Vento told Cillin and Tang Qiuqiu to have their meal downstairs directly. It would save her the effort from making a different portion later.
Cillin did not eat without pay. He took out some jerkies, and Tang Qiuqiu gifted some sweets to Mrs. Vento. These were things that could not be bought at this place. Both Cillin and Tang Qiqiu had also enjoyed a novel taste of the local food of Wind City.
In the blink of an eye, the day of the race had arrived.