Something mysterious is overflowing from the hole in the yard.
Hiroki’s doubts regarding that hole continue to deepen.
So far, he hasn’t had any problems with his body.
In fact, he’s feeling too good.
He wondered, could it be that the chemicals leaking out of the hole are making him superhuman……?
I suppose I’ve been reading too many American comics lately.]
A spider dude bitten by a spider, a speedster struck by lightning…… Hiroki feels troubled if he had to wear tights at his age.
Work has been good for Hiroki lately.
The money in his account is growing.
With less work and less worry about the future, most people certainly would become healthier.
Hiroki thinks that the fact that he was able to overpower hooligans was probably due to the muscles he developed through physical labor and the confidence he gained through work.
[For the time being though, the local university’s labs that do geological and environmental research…… I still don’t know what to do with them.]
There are so many different fields of science at universities, but with Hiroki’s level of knowledge, he had no idea whether he should start with the chemistry department for whatever the chemicals the hole was exuding, the physics department to investigate the radiation, or for an environmental assessment from the architecture department.
[Hmmm, maybe I should just send an email to the admin office first……]
With that thought in mind, Hiroki contacted the university’s main office and was easily introduced to the laboratories he wanted.
Since the incorporation of national universities, there has been a depressing lack of funding for university laboratories.
Also, since the secretariat was promoting the idea of industry-university collaboration with local companies, Hiroki’s wish was fulfilled in exchange for a modest amount of research funding.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A few weeks later, the university sent equipment and personnel from several laboratories to do the assessment.
As expected though, the professors themselves didn’t come, as the staff was mainly composed of associate professors and postgraduate students.
[So, President-san, you want us to investigate the environmental pollution of this land?]
[Yes, that’s right.
It had already been surveyed by the prefecture, but since the site is so close to some houses, including my own, I thought it would be better if more detailed tests could be conducted so that the people around could feel more secure.]
[I see, so you’re focusing on business sustainability and regulatory compliance huh.]
[Yes, that’s right.]
Ishida, the graduate student from the lab he had been sent to, talked a lot.
What did he mean with that sustainosomething or compliwhat?
Hiroki couldn’t understand the language used by intellectuals.
He thinks that they’re probably some kind of academic terms.
Clueless about what Ishida was talking about, Hiroki just affirmed in response.
The day before the survey, Hiroki had covered the area around the hole with galvanized iron sheets so that no one could enter.
It would be troubling for him if anyone accidentally falls into that hole after all.
[What kind of tests are you going to do?]
[Let’s see…… In accordance with the Soil Contamination Investigation designated by law, we will test for heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and pesticides.
Thus, the method we’ll be using is a combination of Soil Dissolution, Soil Content Investigation, and Soil Gas Investigation.]
[Huhh…… That sounds difficult, aren’t they?]
Today, we’ll be taking topsoil samples from several locations in your yard, and after doing a boring investigation, we’ll be using the university’s equipment for analysis.]
[What is it?]
[By boring, you mean digging deep into my yard’s soil, right?]
[Yes, that’s right.
Though I say that, we’re really just going to dig a hole of a few centimeters in diameter, so you don’t have to worry about the groundwater.
We’ll make sure it won’t affect the nearby buildings.]
Hiroki felt anxious at his words.
If the hole in his yard had stretched wide, the laboratory’s boring drill might have arrived at the garbage he had thrown into the hole so far.
Despite Hiroki’s worries though, the people in the lab began to prepare for the boring by setting up a tripod made of steel pipes.
Of all places, they were setting it up near the galvanized iron sheets hiding the hole!
[……Are you going to dig there?]
This is far enough from the residential buildings that it won’t affect them much even in the case of an accident.]
Researcher Ishida made a good point, so Hiroki couldn’t object.
[Then, digging start.]
With his words, the boring drill was lowered from the tripod, and with the power of the jack, it dug deeper and deeper that an extension pipe was even added.
[……It’s digging quite deeply.]
Judging from the length of the extension pipe, they must have dug about 4 meters already.
If there was an underground cavity underneath the hole, they would have breached through it by now.
[It will be alright.
The guys in the lab are used to this.
So far, it doesn’t seem like we’ve hit any rocks or groundwater.
The surrounding area used to be farmland, isn’t it? I think the ground around here is very solid.]
[Is that so?]
Did the area they buried just happened to have no underground cavity in it?
In any case, Hiroki felt lucky.
He secretly breathed a sigh of relief.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
That night, after sending off the people who had been dispatched from the university laboratory, Hiroki happily opened a can of beer.
[Well then, I’ll send the test results to the company later.
I still wouldn’t know the details until after the analysis, but from what I see, I don’t think there will be any problems.
After all, even for a waste disposal site, this place is very clean.]
Researcher Ishida assured him as such.
Even so…… Hiroki wondered if the young researcher Ishida noticed anything about the secret of the hole.
Even among the many young people in the lab, he was a man of leadership, and he’s eloquent, even when talking with the older Hiroki.
Thinking that such a person would eventually rise to the top in his organization, Hiroki slumped down a beer with a strong bitter taste.
Hiroki thinks that he should just leave the smart work to the smart people, while people like him will do the work appropriate for him.
Tomorrow morning, he’ll start working on throwing all the piles of garbage brought by the hopeless people into the hole.
Hiroki could feel it…… He has to fill that hole.
To do that, he has to collect more and more garbage.
The conviction to do this steadily rose within him.
Crumpling up the empty beer can with one hand, Hiroki threw it into the trash can in the corner of the office.
Thereupon, Hiroki heard the sound of a stray cat running away, startled upon hearing the sound of a heavy metallic trash can being dented.
As the full moon shone brightly in the night sky, the black hole in the ground opened up.
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