Lucky Dog 1 translations 04 Bernardo Route 03
Part 2: Escape
Dusk’s approaching, but we still have to drive further into the forest to hide the car.
Other than stopping for bathroom breaks several times, we trudge along in the car without stopping. Perhaps it’s because of the path we’d chosen, but we haven’t seen a single house nor a place that even remotely resembles a shelter.
We pass by countless forks, the ones that are drawn on the map, and currently we’re wearing our treads down over unmarked paths.
Thanks to the map, we know where we are. Well, not exactly, but we’ve got a general idea. If we just continue on like this, we’ll pull through this patch of forest, no problem, and arrive at our destination, the patch of farmland to the north of the woods.
|Gian: Hey, Luchino, don’t fall asleep!|
|Luchino: I was just daydreaming a little…|
Umm, no. I saw your consciousness merrily drifting off on a rowboat down the stream. You were the one who’d whapped Ivan awake from behind when he’d been the first to drop, too!
All through the day, the only water we’d put into our systems’d been that mouthful of whisky in the morning. The thirst is starting to transform into fatigue. If we could collect some dew somewhere, then at the very least we could wet our tongues…
|Giulio: The sun … should be setting, yet the sky … feels brighter than before…|
I think Giulio’s trying to say that the branches above us are gradually getting thinner and thinner. It’s probably because we’ve passed the center of the forest and are now working towards the other side.
|Bernardo: If we leave the woods, there’ll be nowhere to hide the car. Should we stop now? There’s only two units of gas left either way.|
We pull the car into the next side road we happen upon. It’s one of the unmarked forest paths not on the map. We grab some random bushes by the side of the road and stuff them around the butt of the car to hide it.
All of us jump off the car and breathe a sigh. …Solid ground feels so nice.
The forest path stops just ahead and dissolves into a mere animal trail.
I keep saying “forest,” but it’s more like an ordinary uncultivated patch of woodland, so the trees aren’t very thick.
Ivan: Let’s split up here and look for water.
Giulio: It would be best if we could find a spring…
|Gian: We should find a place to get some shuteye for the night, too.|
Bernardo: If we don’t, we’ll be camping on bare ground tonight.
Shoulders slumped, Bernardo’s chuckling a bit … but the exhaustion is heavy on his face.
Luchino also seems to have noticed Bernardo’s condition and says,
|Luchino: Bernardo, why don’t you take a rest? You must be pretty worn out from all that driving.|
|Bernardo: No … I’ll be fine.|
Bernardo fixes his glasses and shakes his head irritably.
…From where I’m standing, I think Bernardo’s probably horribly tired, and he sure looks the part.
But, if he himself says he’s fine and I try to force him to rest, it’ll just hurt his pride.
|Gian: Hey guys, why don’t we all split up and look around and see if we can find anything useful. We’re gonna stay the night here.|
I settle things without waiting for them, and as I set out, I take a hold of Bernardo’s wrist.
|Gian: C’mon, let’s go, Bernardo.|
Luchino doesn’t say a word. Bernardo and I set off into the bushes.
Ivan: …Hey, if we find anything, we just come back here, right?!
|Gian: Yeah! Don’t get lost now, you hear?|
Ivan: Hell I would, jackass!
Ivan and the others scatter, to each their own direction.
We start searching around the vicinity.
After walking a bit, Bernardo tries to shake off my hand as though to say he’s all right, so I let go.
For a while, we continue into the forest in silence.
When I can’t sense the others anywhere near us anymore, I find a nice looking log.
I stop and wave Bernardo over.
|Gian: Bernardo, I’m pooped! Let’s sit for a bit.|
Bernardo: We haven’t even walked that much…
I ignore him and settle my butt down. Resignedly, Bernardo sits down beside me.
|Bernardo: …I’ve worried you.|
He really is tired. His voice sounds like it’s being weighed down.
|Gian: Not really? I also wanted a rest, too.|
|Gian: We’ve also gotta set up rotations for watch tonight, right? If you rest first right now, your rotation’ll be easier, you know.|
|Bernardo: …My body’s … not really all that tired.|
|Gian: Buuut your complexion tells a whole different story.|
I point, and Bernardo makes a funny Ghk sound in his throat.
Bernardo: It may have slightly touched upon my heart, though…
Bernardo places a hand over the center of his chest and takes a few deep breaths. He catches my eyes and gives a troubled smile.
After some hesitation, he scruffles up my hair and speaks close into my ear.
Bernardo: It’s a secret, but I’m not good with narrow places.
|Gian: What’s that?|
I’ve never heard this before.
|Bernardo: I’m fine with something about the size of that cell, but…|
|Gian: What do you mean by ‘not good’?|
His response, accompanied by dry laughter, was strangely specific.
|Bernardo: Like being crammed into a bag, or being shoved into a narrow hole and being buried alive.|
My brows furrow in a frown.
Does that mean that yesterday’s escape hit the phobia straight on the head?
I cock my head over and rest it on Bernardo’s shoulder. I feel Bernardo give a light chuckle.
There looks to be a slight wind outside the forest. I can hear the leaves from the canopy.
|Gian: Must’ve been rough…|
|Bernardo: It looks … like I might have pushed my limits and ground away at my mental endurance a little…|
I feel bad for not catching it.
|Gian: Something like that happen to you before?|
|Bernardo: …In the past. In prison…|
He falls silent.
A secret… So I’m the only one he’s told…?
I wonder if it’s all right to ask for more details. I measure him up from the corner of my vision.
Bernardo’s eyelids are shut. He looks like he’s dozed off.
His arms are crossed, wrapped around his waist, and he’s breathing slowly. I don’t know if he’s actually asleep…
I quietly get up so I don’t wake him up just in case he really is asleep. I’ll let him rest a bit.
I look into the brush around us and look for some edible fruits or roots or something.
After a trip around, my few pockets’re already bulging out. Maybe this is enough… Just as I think this, I hear Bernardo’s voice.
Bernardo: …You’ve been gathering for a while now… Is that even edible?
Bernardo: So lackadaisical.
I return to the log and stand in front of Bernardo.
I grip Bernardo’s hand, which he’d left at his side. It’s a tad chilly.
|Gian: It’s a bit tough ‘cause we haven’t got the water. You wanna try working up some dew from the grass?|
|Bernardo: No, that’s all right.|
|Gian: You feel better now that you’ve sat a bit?|
|Bernardo: Yeah. I’m recovered now that I’ve had a nap.|
He shakes my hand off and gets up.
Bernardo: The sun’s practically set now. Let’s return.