In a busy and rustling city amidst the cloudy night sky, the bus stop area along the sidewalk was filled with a crowd of standing people under the ten-meter-wide waiting shed. Some were sitting on the bench under the shed, looking intently at the phone in their hands. There were also people walking through the crowd on the sidewalk, passing the standing flock of people.
Along the crowd was a boy with black hair and brown eyes, so average that it can be found everywhere. He took his smartphone from his black pants' right pocket, turned it on, and checked the time. As if he felt that he was already late, he let out a tired internal sigh.
Sigh. It's already seven in the evening, and there are still many people waiting for the bus.
The people under the waiting shed were indeed waiting for the next bus to take a stop. Dark nimbus clouds blocked the moonlight of the first full moon of the month.
Seeing that, many predicted that it was going to be a heavy rain tonight. As a result, the ones who used to walk to go to their destination were waiting by the bus stop to take a ride.
Mom's going to scold me if I'm late again. Better hurry and get a ride.
He had not yet informed his mother that he would be late home. Every time he gets home late, he always gets reprimanded by his mother due to her fear of him neglecting his studies. He is a scholarship student, after all. He began typing on his phone to inform his mother of the reason for his lateness.
'We were working on research; I'll be late.' and send.
After sending a message to his mother, a pair of lights suddenly appeared before his eyes. He reflexively covered his closed eyes with his left arm.
What the heck was that? I thought I gonna die.
Thinking about what just happened, he heard the footsteps of the others in a certain direction. He slowly opened his eyes when the lights dimmed. He turned his head and looked at his surroundings to find out what just happened. What he found was a stampede of people desperately trying to get inside the newly arrived bus.
He could see that only a few of the dozens of people managed to get inside the bus. When the bus had its maximum capacity of passengers inside, its big wheels began to move, slowly increasing their acceleration, and it departed from the bus stop.
Seeing the bus getting smaller and smaller, the boy slumped his shoulders so low. After lamenting for a while, he regained the strength of his back and decided that it was too early to give up.
It's fine. I just have to wait for the next…
While thinking that, he felt that something wet had just touched his left hand. Then he felt the same feeling on other parts of his body. His nape, both arms, and even his white uniform felt the drop of water.
He hurriedly ran as fast as he could to the nearby shed when he realized what it meant. Countless water droplets rained down from the cloudy sky.
Man, how unfortunate am I? I guess I have to use my last resort.
He waved his hand to stop an approaching empty taxicab. He usually commutes by riding a bus to get home. He rarely rides a taxi due to the distance between his house and school.
It was several kilometers from his home to school by road. He used to ride the bus to save money to buy his favorite manga and light novels.
When the taxi stopped, he opened the door and took a seat. He told the driver his home address, and the car started to move.
Inside the taxi, the boy laid his back on the chair and relaxed his body. Both his body and mind were exhausted from the workload of their research with his classmates.
He closed his eyes for a while and opened them again. He stared at the window and noticed the raindrops flowing down the glass window.
Water just goes with the flow. Yeah, let's choose a raindrop and have a race.
He leaned his body against the window, put his elbow on the window, and let his head rest on his hand. He rolled his eyes upward and peered at the top of the glass pane. He observed the new flowing droplets and began selecting his favorite raindrop carefully.
Hmm. Let's choose this little one.
What he chose was a small raindrop compared to the other ones. He watched as the raindrops from the same batch flowed down the glass. While many flow at constant speed, his proud raindrop accelerates at first, then stops, then accelerates again.
Hey, hey, not bad. My victory is absolute.
Certain that his victory was guaranteed, he looked up and noticed a big raindrop had entered the battlefield. The raindrop then follows the track of his chosen one at incredible speed.
Wait, hold up! Don't—!
Despite his desperate internal cry, the big raindrop continued its way toward him. Then the big raindrop collided with his and absorbed the tiny drop of liquid, which resumed flowing through the bottom.
A moment of silence
Only the sound of the rain and the noise of the car's engine can be heard in the cab. The deafening silence occurred as if they were in a sealed vacuum.
He internally screamed as he readjusted his position by leaning his back on the chair. He could not comprehend what had just happened to his absolute and unfathomable victory just now.
Impossible. It was supposed to be my victory. Sigh. I guess it's my unlucky day today.
He sighed as if to accept his fate for the day. This is not the only time he's been unlucky today.
Right when he woke up in the morning, he was almost late for school because his phone had not charged properly the whole night, and he had to charge it again in the morning.
At school, he got injured during PE class because he hit his dominant right hand on the corner of the board while playing table tennis. Because of that, he could not take notes properly for the test the next day.
While remembering the misfortunes he experienced on this day, the taxi overtook the bus from before. It seemed that the bus was loading and unloading passengers.
He just peeked at it for a while and then remembered his misfortunes for today.
Minutes have passed since the boy lost the raindrop race. The taxi had escaped the rush hour of the downtown and was now strolling the highway that has a 60-kilometer per hour speed limit.
The boy once again fixed his gaze at the window of the cab. He saw the lights emitted from the houses and establishments in the area. People are taking shelter under the roofs of various structures.
Blooming businesses still occurred amidst the rain, showing the citizens' resilience. Customers are pouring in and out of the buildings as they help the economy by moving money around.
The boy just watched the liveliness of the city night when he sensed that the taxi stopped. He turned his gaze to the front and saw the traffic light turn red.
Pedestrians, wielding umbrellas in their hands or equipped with raincoats, began to cross the intersection as they saw the color of the light emitted by the traffic light.
Moving people filled the line of vision of the boy and the driver. The boy looked around the taxi while waiting for the green light. The dashboard had a small stuffed toy of a dog and a bubble-headed figure of a famous English rock band vocalist.
So he listens to their songs, huh?
He scanned the taxi again and fixed his eyes on the mirror. Stuffed dice were hanging around the mirror just like typical taxis. He stared at the mirror and noticed that the driver was already staring at him.
The two of them looked at each other for a while. The driver was still in his late twenties. The driver was the first to avert his eyes and then look in the side mirror.
Then, a pair of lights can be seen in the mirror. Seeing this, both the boy and the driver turned their bodies and looked at the rear.
It was the same bus that the boy missed and that the driver had overtaken earlier. But the bus' atmosphere was different from before. Instead of slowing down for the red light, it runs over the highway's speed limit with no signs of slowing down.
The bus was honking its horn loudly and repeatedly. The volume of the horn was so loud that it made the pedestrians cover their ears. There were also the shouts of the panicked passengers mixed in with the noise.
Seeing that both the boy and the driver had begun to panic
"H-hey. Isn't that bus going to hit us with such speed?"
The boy asked the driver if what he was seeing was right. The driver set his foot to the pedal and was ready to set off, but there were pedestrians still crossing in front of them.
"Move aside immediately!"
The driver poked his head out of the window and shouted to the pedestrians.
The pedestrians turned their heads upon hearing the driver's cry. They hurriedly ran to the sidewalk when they saw the honking bus rushing towards them.
The boy stopped thinking for a while. He came to his senses when the noise became louder and louder.
I have to get out of—!
When he was about to grab the handle, he heard the sharp creaking sound of clashing metals. The bus had already hit the rear of the cab. The bus dragged the taxi past the already-emptied pedestrian line.
"I'm going to die!"
The driver and the boy shouted as they were on the verge of despair. The boy compared this situation to how the big raindrop absorbed his raindrop in the race.
The boy and the driver panicked because they didn't know what to do. The bus, with its broken brakes, continued to drag the taxi until someone large was blocking the way.
The thing that was obstructing the intersection was a truck loaded with gravel. The taxi, dragged by the bus, crashed into the left side of the load of the truck.
The bumper of the taxi went under the truck, while the metallic edge of one corner shattered off the taxi's wind shield. That same metal also crushed the upper body of the driver in the process. The driver died on the spot.
The impact of the collision also sandwiched the body of the boy between the seats. The truck moved a little due to the collision.
"Ahhhhhh! It hurts like hell!"
The boy is suffering from intense pain that he has never felt in his whole seventeen years of life. The boy could not ever feel both of his legs. Blood gushed out of his mouth. broken bones all over his body.
I'm really going to die for real this time.
The bus finally stopped after sandwiching the taxi against the truck. The pedestrians immediately ran to the taxi to check on the condition of the people inside. Seeing the upper body of the driver missing, the people went haywire.
"The driver's already dead, but the passenger is still breathing!" One pedestrian cried. "Quick, call an ambulance!"
The passengers of the bus immediately poured out of the bus.
Ahh, what an unlucky day for me! I'm sorry, mom, I cannot go home anymore. I'm sorry for my classmates for not helping with the research again.
Slowly closing his teary eyes, he endured the intense pain just to apologize to the people who would be troubled after this incident. He narrowed his mind, ignoring the pain as best he could, while apologizing in his mind.
<Pain Resistance has been acquired.>
Ahh, I'm having hallucinations now.
Hearing the electronic voice of a woman in his head, the boy brushed it off, thinking it was just an imaginary oasis in the desert.
If I have a chance, I wish that I get reborn just like in the light novels...
Losing his body's strength—that was his last thought as his life gradually faded away.