Lucky Dog 1 translations 04 Luchino Route 03



Part 2: Escape

Chapter 4

Sexy Potato

     

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.

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.



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After a bit of thought, I break off to search by myself.

If I have to work with someone, I’ll have to watch myself around them, and that’s more than I want to deal with.

Giulio and Ivan have both already gone off to the left, so…

gianescape301 Gian: Why not this way?

I set off to the right, where Luchino had disappeared.

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I idly wade through the forest on my own.

On the way, I suck on some grass stems I’d found, ones that had dew drops sitting at the end. There’s a bit of dirt mixed in, but the moisture alone’s worth it.

Ain’t there some form of food around here? Or a clean watering hole…?

As I wander deeper into the forest, I eventually spot what looks like a huge stripey boulder plopped up ahead.

…It’s Luchino, squatting on the ground.

gianescape301 Gian: What’re you doing?
luchiescape101 Luchino: Oh, it’s you, Gian! See this? I was thinking, if I could pull this out, maybe there’ll be tubers…

He’s lost me.

Luchino has some kind of vine wrapped around his hand. I close the distance and crouch down next to him. What greets my eyes is a patch of earth, bulbous and lumpy.

gianescape205 Gian: …Oh. You’re right. It just might!

I recognize the shape of the leaves and the vine. I don’t know the name, but if I’m right, it’s some kind of tater.

luchiescape301 Luchino: I thought if I could dig it up, we’d have some vittles. Lend me a hand.

The two of us work together to uproot the plant bit by bit. Maybe the compost is making the soil looser, but the roots come up easier than expected.

We dive in with both hands to rifle through the dirt for the second half.

It’d snapped in two, but a startlingly long mountain tuber(?) comes up.

gianescape208 Gian: Booyah! Food!

The root is forked with each branch looking kind of like human thighs at first glance.

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Luchino: …What a sexy potato.

gianescape105 Gian: Moonbrain.

Luchino: This part has really nice curves…

gianescape101 Gian: I really don’t get you sometimes.

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I leave Luchino and return to the tater vine as I gather up the fruit attached there. If I remember right, these are edible, too.

luchiescape302 Luchino: These root hairs … feel just like leg hair.
gianescape310 Gian: …You’re really different from my first impression of you.

This is kinda amusing.

luchiescape101 Luchino: Oh, really? Do tell, what impression did you have?
gianescape302 Gian: I thought you’d be more arrogant. Harder to get along with.
luchiescape102 Luchino: When one starts jumping at shadows, others start seeing you the same way.

Before I can retort, one of his huge hands grabs my jaw.

Wh…at…?

With a somewhat fond grin, he brings me in closer.

My breath suddenly catches under his stare, intense like it’s caressing my cheek.

Luchino: I’ll say this. I have nothing against you being boss, so don’t go off spinning conspiracies about me in your head.

He sounds more like he’s enjoying this rather than actually threatening me.

Luchino: I’m actually rather fond of you.

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His tongue peeks out from the corner of his thick lips, reeling in my eyes like a magnet.

Guy or not, it brings out a shiver. You’re way sexier than that potato just now.

gianescape214 Gian: Oh? What part of me?
luchiescape310 Luchino: This and that. Not to mention, I’ve always had a soft spot for the gutsy ones.

Guts, eh… I guess I have that? I mean, I’d have to for the thought, ‘Man, he’s must primp his eyebrows,’ to come up in a situation like this.

gianescape103 Gian: You’d welcome a new Boss Giancarlo?
luchiescape301 Luchino: Of course, if Daivan’s handicap worsens because of you, then that’s another matter. So you better do a proper job.
gianescape209 Gian: …So basically, so long as I do the boss thing right, you’ll be on my side?
luchiescape102 Luchino: Heh. Well, that’s the gist of it.

Luchino chortles and lets my chin go.

Hmm…

I rub at the area where I can still feel Luchino’s large fingers grasping as I think.

On my side, huh…

The thought of him being fine with siding with me actually feels kinda nice.

bg00     bg37

luchiescape302 Luchino: The sun should be setting soon.

Taking advantage of the change in topic, we take the taters and head back to where the car’s parked.

The others’ve also come back with a couple edible-looking foodstuffs.

Plus, Giulio had found a mountain cabin and a well or some such, so we decide to leave the car and move base.

<< Back to Chapter 4 – On the Road

Onto Chapter 4 – Restful Night >>

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