Taking the knife that lay nearby, he quickly made himself a sandwich.
He uttered an apology to the former residents, now long gone.
This was the second theft in a short period of time.
This time, it also involved breaking and entering.
But no matter how much he self-flagellated, he needed to investigate in order to survive, and there would be many opportunities to borrow things according to the situation.
He couldn’t just apologise every time and expect to get by.
He was being selfish, but he had to come to terms with his actions, swallow his pride, and endure until he was out of this situation.
So at least, when he received something from the village later on, he would offer his maximum gratitude.
He finished his meal quickly and left his seat.
He was a bit parched from the saltiness, but there was no faucet at the water source.
There was a large jug placed there, but he didn’t feel like drinking from it.
He decided to head towards the well he had seen before leaving the village.
The well was easy to find, and he quenched his thirst.
His hunger was sated, and he felt better.
It was time to resume his investigation of the village.
He began going from house to house, starting at the village’s edge.
None of the houses, including the ones with damaged doors that he had seen along the way, had any living people inside.
Though he wanted to look carefully at the medical station or the forge, and there were many things that caught his eye besides his lantern, he decided to prioritise finding any survivors for now.
He proceeded to check the houses in sequence, starting with those facing the central square.
The house in front of him now was larger and more magnificent than the others.
Perhaps it was the mayor’s residence or some kind of gathering hall.
The entrance was destroyed.
As he entered and opened the rooms one after another, he found people haphazardly lying down on the floor.
But all of them were corpses.
He was about to leave the room when he heard a faint sound of breath.
“Hey, are you still alive?”
There was no response, but he could hear breathing.
He touched the body and felt it was still warm, and he thought he felt some movement in the fingers.
The person was alive, but in a bad state.
The body was lying on its side with a knife stuck in its belly.
What should he do?
No, there was no time for hesitation.
“Just wait here for a moment.”
He fled the room and hurried to the medical station he had stopped at on the way.
Entering the building, he searched the room that seemed to be the treatment room and found gauze, bandages, and clean cloth right away.
There were also sutures, needles, and scissors, so he gathered those as well.
Ideally, he would also want antiseptics, disinfectants, painkillers, and antibiotics, but…
When he opened the medicine cabinet, he saw bottles of various sizes lined up.
As he feared, or rather as he expected, he couldn’t read the labels.
He was in a predicament.
But there was no choice.
He didn’t have time to worry or to examine these medicines.
He let go of his worries and his desire to examine the medicines and gave up on them.
After quickly making a decision, he grabbed a water bucket he saw by the side of the water source, gathered the things he had secured, and rushed outside.
He drew water from the well, grabbed the things he had collected, and ran to the old man.
“Hey! Are you still alive?”
As usual, there was no response, but I could still hear breathing.
He’s still alive.
I cut his clothes with scissors to reveal the area where the knife had penetrated.
Now, let’s start playing doctor.
I switched my ID support mode to full-auto mode and…
…my body started moving on its own.
The full-auto mode is used for difficult tasks that people have no experience in, especially ones where failure is not an option.
There isn’t a clear distinction because the ID’s motion is customizable depending on each individual’s preferences and thoughts, but the support mode has three general stages and includes a complete stop for some people with special circumstances.
The main three modes are normal, assist, and full-auto. To put the differences simply, it’s how much the individual’s own will affects body movement.
The normal mode only offers support through voice guidance and AR visual assistance, without making any corrections to movements.
The assist mode provides corrective assistance for desired movements, but the starting timing and what the target is should be preset.
The full-auto mode is self-explanatory. Once the purpose and goal are set, the ID will automatically operate the body from the start until the goal is achieved or the operation is forcefully stopped, taking the best and safest actions.
This is possible thanks to the ID’s complete access to the body and brain.
All the movements, finger work, etc. of outstanding athletes, engineers, artists, etc. have been digitised through the ID and have been studied, improved, optimised, and accumulated over many years.
In short, if a 32nd century human is physically capable, a primary school student or an elderly doctor can do the same things, and even an inexperienced person can perform dances reminiscent of the best ballerinas.
Even the neck problem can be relatively easily and quickly strengthened by applying the ID’s complete access and repair function to the physical.
HCS-ID is truly the crystallisation of the humanity’s research and wisdom.
As I watched the operation with my eyes, even the eye movements controlled by the ID, it seemed like it was almost over.
I sutured the wound, placed gauze on the injured area, and wrapped it with a bandage.
“Task completed. Switching to normal mode.”
(Good job. Full-auto is convenient, but not something you want to use all the time.)
It’s probably just a matter of getting used to it because it’s not something that’s used frequently, but it still feels strange to have my body move on its own.
But more importantly, the old man still showed no signs of waking up, so I carefully lifted him up like a princess and moved him to a bed in a corner of the room.
I let out a sigh and started thinking about what to do next.
At least we’ve done what we could to prolong his life for now.
We should focus on finding survivors.
If we can show a local the old man’s condition and the medication in the clinic, they might know what to give him.
There’s still a possibility of infection even though I tied up the bleeding, and we don’t know if the old man can handle it.
If we can’t find any survivors, we’d have to investigate the medication, and that would mean relying on the ID to check since there isn’t an analysis device available… which means using my own body.
That’s something I’d like to avoid.
There’s one more option as a last resort, but I’d rather not use it.
So let’s hurry and search for survivors.
“Hey old man, don’t die!”
I shouted before leaving the room.
Once I was outside, I went around the back of the house to gather firewood and returned to the kitchen in the mansion.
I stared at the stove-like device.
I want to light the firewood. Unlike a lantern, it seemed to have a switch.
It must be this.
Based on my experience with the lantern, it might even produce a fireball, but I pushed it while feeling a bit excited.
Or so I thought, until I felt heat on my skin after a while.
Apparently, it didn’t light up a flame, but rather the metal plate on top of the stove heated up directly.
I was disappointed because I had expected it to work differently.
What’s the deal with the technological system in this world?
Flying ships with mysterious technology, floating lanterns, and refrigerators that are just a block of ice inside, not to mention waterless wells.
It seems a bit inconsistent compared to Earth’s standards.
It seems like it will take a while to light the firewood with this type of equipment.
A cooking utensil like this one probably only heats up to a maximum of around 300 °C.
That’s enough to cook, but it will take time for the wood to burn.
Oh, I see.
There’s an easier way.
I hurriedly went outside and headed towards the burning house that collapsed and fell.
Even though it was early in the morning, the smoke hadn’t completely dissipated yet, and the fire wasn’t completely extinguished.
I lit the firewood there and returned to the front of the mansion, where the old man was.
I piled up a quantity of wood that wouldn’t easily spread fire to the mansion but was enough to keep it burning, and I made a bonfire.
If new smoke rises, someone might notice it.
I drew an arrow on the ground with a piece of wood that was charred at the tip and pointed it towards the mansion.
The old man is still in danger.
I want to increase his chances of survival as much as possible.
That should do it.
“Now, let’s resume our search for survivors.”