Lucky Dog 1 translations 04 Giulio Route 03
Part 2: Escape
Off by a Beat
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.
I agree with Luchino and press the point some more.
|Gian: ‘Fine?’ You don’t look the part, Bernardo.|
I ignore the sullen glare he sends my way telling me to be quiet, and continue. Logic is the best way to go here.
|Gian: If you’re going to hold that steering wheel tomorrow, get some rest. We were just along for the ride, so we’ve got energy to burn.|
|Luchino: He’s right, Bernardo. We’ll be taking turns keeping watch tonight as well, so it’ll be a big help down the line if you take a breather first.|
With this, Bernardo finally seems convinced.
Bernardo: …Then I’ll take you on your word and rest ahead of you…
Bernardo slumps down on the hood with a deep sigh. He pulls a cigarette from his pocket and slowly lights it.
|Gian: Then let’s go look for water and anything that might be useful. Hm, why don’t we all split up?|
Ivan: Yeah, my throat’s completely dried out…
Giulio: If we find something, we should return here, then?
Luchino: Let’s assemble here before sundown.
We leave Bernardo and the car behind as we start exploring the area around us.
|Gian: Now then…|
There’s relatively few weeds around here. Even if I stray off the trail, it looks like it’ll make for a pretty easy walk.
Which way should I head…? But by the time I look around me, the other three’ve already scattered and gone their own way.
Luchino’s to my right. Giulio and Ivan to my left.
Luchino’s back disappears into the trees in an instant. His stride’s so huge. Good to know he has so much energy left…
I turn the other way, towards where Giulio and Ivan disappeared off to. The two of them are each just about to enter the bushes from different spots.
After a bit of thinking, I decide to chase after them.
I’ll just catch up to one of them and pull up some small talk. Walking alone is boring anyways.
I give a wave to Bernardo, who’s lying back on the backseat of the car, before dashing to the left the next moment.
I can’t see Luchino anymore. I can chase up to either Giulio or Ivan … perhaps?
The wrinkled leaves and brittle branches crackle and snap under my feet.
I hurry along after Giulio, who looks back at me, surprised(?) for some reason as I tap him lightly on the shoulder.
|Gian: Hope you don’t mind me tagging along.|
|Gian: No? Don’t want?|
Giulio: Of course not … please.
As usual, I’ve only got a fuzzy feel for him and no clue what he’s thinking, but I don’t feel an ounce of hostility from him.
Relieved, I start walking alongside Giulio.
Giulio and I cut through the trees and move further into the woods.
There’s no real topic to talk about, so the silence continues. But I don’t mind. I already know by now that Giulio’s not the kind of person to start launching into an avalanche of words, no matter who the person.
|Gian: Wonder if there’s any water around here?|
The only words we trade now and then are short and to the point.
I seriously can’t get a reading on the guy.
But, it’s not like he’s a scheming, calculating person … or at least it doesn’t feel that way. He feels more … naïve.
I grab some fruits that look maybe kinda sorta edible and pick some soft-looking grass or shoots and stuff them into my pocket as I go along.
I find some dew stuck to the stem of some grass and suck on them, too.
No matter what I do, Giulio doesn’t make much of a comment. He just silently keeps pace.
It’s not bad, having someone around even if there’s no conversation.
Someone around … eh… I wonder if it’s OK to consider him my ally?
|Gian: Hey, Giulio.|
|Gian: Once we head back to Daivan, and I become Boss … you’ll help me, right?|
It’s a bit of a pathetic question, like I’m trying to win him over or something. Even I think so.
A simple answer. His eyes don’t seem to hold a trace of doubt.
|Giulio: If that is what Signor Gian wishes.|
|Gian: Really? Thanks.|
Maybe I should press the point, just to be sure?
|Gian: If you’ll work with me, then you’ve got my thanks. You want anything? Anything I can do, that is.|
A cloud passes over Giulio’s expressions.
Giulio: Nothing in particular…
|Gian: You can ask for anything, you know? If you think of something, talk up.|
Even for me, it’s a bit underhanded and wheedling. It’s not anything I can do when others are around.
Even so, I want to secure some help… I want a promise of sorts.
I feel the air grow heavier and heavier.
|Gian: Let’s have this talk some other time.|
I sense Giulio’s worsening mood and cut the conversation short.
…It’s like I’m dealing with a wild animal.
For quite a while now, we’ve been walking down what looks like an animal path.
|Gian: Is it just me or does it look like someone’s swept the branches aside here and there?|
|Giulio: It appears to be a path used by humans.|
We push aside the branches where they’re less thick, and…
|Gian: …Hey. That. Is that a cabin?|
…we discover a mountain cabin.
We dash towards it, keeping our senses peeled for any other people nearby.
Is it there for making charcoal? Or maybe it’s a hunter’s lodge? There’s some chopped up logs piled up outside.
I check out the surrounding area, but it looks like it’s been a while since there’s been anyone around.
I pull open the door, and it makes a creeeeak sound as it opens. I peek in. There’s at least a roof, but nothing else, not even a desk. It’s wide enough inside, and, luckily, there’s a plenty load of straw there, too.
Looks like we can use it to kip out for the night.
Giulio: …There is a hand-pump well in that direction. It appears usable.
Giulio, who’d gone out back, returns just as he’s shaking off water droplets from his hand.
|Gian: Seriously?! Let’s head back and tell the others!|
Excited, I stand up.
|Gian: Bernardo’ll feel better once he’s had something to drink, too. Let’s head on back before the sun sets.|
He nods at my suggestion before he starts walking away.
Before I realize it, I’ve reached out and grabbed Giulio’s shoulders. Even I’m surprised at my own action.
…I’ve got no basis for this, but Giulio looked depressed. It was the saddest expression he’d had on all day.
Even so, I don’t even know why I stopped Giulio.
My hand still on his shoulder, Giulio’s feet stay rooted, and he rotates only the top half of his body back.
|Gian: …You don’t wanna go back?|
The hell am I saying?
But, I’ve already said it, so it’s spilled milk. I wait for Giulio’s response.
Giulio timidly tries to wiggle his shoulder out of my grasp.
‘I’ve gotta say something,’ I think.
|Gian: Um, thanks. …For finding the well, I mean.|
Giulio: The sun is setting. Let us hurry.
At the sight of the slightly relaxed lips, I feel relieved.
I feel like I’ve seen this expression somewhere before… It’s kinda like a kid’s…
Am I getting too carried away when I think that he doesn’t show this expression to anyone but me?
Onto Chapter 4 – Voyeurism >>
The next chapter is NSFW!