Akiras vehicle suddenly accelerated. Due to that sudden acceleration, the inertia hit Akira and Carol. Akira was able to keep his balance thanks to Alphas support via his augmented suit, while Carol was also able to keep her balance thanks to her own skill and her augmented suit.
Carol kept her eyes on Akira to watch his movements closely, right at that time, Alpha explained the current situation to Akira.
“Akira, there are multiple monsters ahead and Elena is planning to just focus their firepower on the front to create a way forward. Since itll leave the other monsters on the left and right untouched, be extra careful. If those monsters decide to attack us, they would surround us from both sides, so lets take them out first before they can do that.”
Akira then said to Carol.
“Carol, we have incoming monsters.”
“Got it, just leave it to me.”
Carol had already got some incoming enemy signals in her information-gathering device. She then smiled and readied her gun. Suddenly Akira said to her.
“Ill be joining in too.”
Carol sounded a little bit offended as she replied.
“You really dont trust me, do you Itll be fine, just leave it to me.”
“Thats not the problem. Or more like, I hired you as a guide in the first place. Of course, Im thankful if you help me in fighting the monsters too, but theres no need for you to proactively fight them.”
Carol just giggled and said.
“Oh my, I wont be able to ask for a reward from you if I dont contribute during the fight too. Now that Im here, I dont plan to be just content with my reward as a guide alone, you know.”
Akira smiled back.
“Got it. That also means if I can take out most of the monsters alone, then I only need to give you a small reward, right”
“No worry, Ill squeeze you dry.”
Akira and Carol smiled confidently at each other.
At the moment, the road inside the Mihazono ruin was filled with mechanical monsters. Their sizes and strength greatly varied from one and another. Elenas team blazed through that ocean of monsters focusing their firepower only on the monsters blocking their way forward, while some of the monsters were slammed by their vehicles before getting crushed under the wheels. If they slowed down even for a bit, there was a good chance that the monsters would immediately swarm them. Thus, they had no other choice but to keep pushing forward even if it meant that it would damage their vehicles.
The destroyed mechanical monsters left piles of metallic wreckages on the road. It would be really hard to drive through that road if they were using a normal vehicle. But of course, it did not pose any problem at all against the powerful vehicles designed to be used in the wasteland. As long as the pile of wreckages did not fully block the road, their vehicles should be able to forcefully push the way forward.
For those mechanical monsters, no matter how much the other monsters were destroyed, and no matter how damaged their bodies were, that would not stop them from fighting back, at most, it would only change their priority target. But if the Hunters got away far enough from them, those mechanical monsters would stop attacking and instead search for other targets closer to them. And of course, for those mechanical monsters with high mobility, they might as well decide to keep pursuing the Hunters in that case.
Some of the monsters that they passed were monsters with a lot of legs equipped with wheels. Those wheels suddenly spun so fast that it raised a cloud of dust before it started accelerating to chase for Akira and the other Hunters.
Of course, compared to Elena and Sara who were carving their way forward, those wheeled monsters were way faster since they were chasing Akira through an already cleared road. It would be incredibly difficult to lose them without shooting at them.
Akira aimed his A4WM automatic grenade-launcher at the enemies behind. He took an aim through the aiming device and was about to pull the trigger.
But before he could completely pull the trigger, the monster that he was aiming at suddenly got blown away and rolled over the ground. The impact left a big dent on that monsters body as it then collided with another monster and exploded.
Every time a gunshot echoed from beside Akira, one of those strong looking monsters would get blown away and then destroyed. It was Carols handiwork, she was carrying 2 pistols, one in each hand. The size of the pistol was huge compared to its grip, it seemed to be completely impossible to carry those pistols with one hand. But even so, Carol was carrying one in each of her hands as she kept shooting at 2 different targets. Amazingly enough, all of her shots hit their targets.
Akira looked at Carol, he was obviously surprised. Carol turned to him and smiled confidently before returning back to shooting.
Alpha seemed pretty amazed as she said.
“I see, shes indeed as strong as she said she is.”
“You can say that again. I need to hurry up or all of my shares will be taken.”
“Carol is taking out all the monsters starting from the ones in the front, so you should focus on the monsters on the behind.”
Akiras target priorities that were shown in hin enhanced vision suddenly changed. He followed that indicator and took another aim before pulling the trigger. But the launched grenade did not hit his target, instead, it landed just in front of his target, but even so, that was enough to blow away the monsters around the impact area.
“A miss, huh. I guess I need to aim a little bit higher.”
“As long as I dont have enough data for shooting with that A4WM automatic grenade-launcher, I cant give you my usual support. And since youre shooting out grenades, at least keep in mind not to damage your own vehicle, okay”
“Got it, just stop me if it gets dangerous.”
Akira took another aim and pulled the trigger. Some of the launched grenades landed just right next to his target, some of them landed on the wall of the buildings on the side of the road, some of them hit the other monsters that he was not targeting at. Although it was to be expected that it would be really difficult to aim accurately from a moving vehicle, Akiras accuracy there was even worse.
“I just cant get any clean hit.”
“Its not surprising at all. Its your first time using that gun after all. But even if you miss, it at least slows down the monsters chasing us, so just keep on shooting.”
“I guess thats just how important training is, huh.”
Although Akiras accuracy was pretty bad, it at least would not cause any trouble thanks to Carol. His accuracy was completely different compared to when he was using CWH anti-material rifle, it was as if he was a completely different person, and he kept shooting with that accuracy until the situation calmed down.
Inside a certain building among all the buildings in the Mihazono ruin city district, a lot of Hunters barricaded themselves.
Those Hunters gathered in a hall near the entrance and they barricaded the pathways leading to other rooms. As for the entrance to that building, they used their own vehicles to block the way in. Their vehicles were already destroyed by the monsters, so those vehicles were basically useless except as a barricade, preventing monsters from flooding in.
The building itself was pretty strong, thanks to that, as long as the entrance was properly barricaded, the building itself could handle the monsters attacks. Though due to the exact same reason it was also difficult for those Hunters to escape from that room.
The Hunters in that building were taking turns to rest, but even so, all of them looked exhausted. The monsters were roaming just outside of the buildings and some of them already filled the halls and the rooms inside that building. If they were unlucky, the barricade might get destroyed, which would result in those monsters immediately flooding into the room. They were not in a situation where they could relax at all. With no means to get extra ammo or medicines, their life span only extended as far as how long their current ammo reserve would hold.
No one there tried to escape from that building. Some of them did try but they were quickly killed by the monsters that were roaming just outside the building.
Their only hope was for someone to come and rescue them, but of course, chances for that was really slim.
One of the Hunters who were on guard duty asked one of his friends who was operating his information terminal while taking a rest.
“…Is there any change”
The other guy did not say anything, he just shook his head.
“… I see.”
The Hunter who asked that question actually knew well enough that there was no need to ask that question. After all, if there was a change in their situation, the other guy would definitely show some reaction. The only reason why he ended up asking that question even though he understood that very well was simply because he was still clinging to that slim hope.
The Hunters had been barricading themselves inside that building for half a day. They went inside right before the sunset, at that time, they already lost half of their team members.
They were attacked when they were running into that building, they were attacked when they were putting up barricades, some of them got fatally wounded during those fights, and some of them tried to get out from that building only to get killed. Some of them died during the battle, some of them died while screaming in pain and agony, some of them went on a suicidal rampage before getting killed. The leftover survivors were already in extreme stress. Even if one of them decided to try to get out of that building, they already had no strength nor spirit to stop that person.
But even so, they still had some hopes to return back alive from there. After all, after they completely exhausted their options, they decided to send an emergency SOS request. So someone might come to rescue them. If they kept buying more time, someone might eventually come to rescue them.
All the surviving Hunters did not have the courage nor spirit to try challenging the monsters outside. As their ammo reserve got shaved bit by bit, their already exhausted morale clinging to that slim hope of returning back alive also got shaved bit by bit. They could only cling on that slim hope while waiting, every single second felt so long to the point that it could drive them mad.
That guy kept his eyes on the information terminal in front of him. Suddenly a call came into his information terminal, he immediately pulled himself together and checked his information terminal to reconfirm if it was only an illusion since something like that had happened multiple times before.
There was a sudden call through a local connection. That man then checked the location of where that call came from and started laughing. He had no idea whether it was a dream or an illusion or reality. But, whichever the case, his next action was the same. He operated his information terminal to accept that call, and when he did that, a girls voice could be heard from his information terminal.
“Were Hunters that accepted the SOS request from Alhain insurance company. Are you Cocolens-san”
That guy was flabbergasted. Although he heard everything that girl said very well, he was in no position to process that information.
“Can you hear me This call should be connected to Cocolens-san who is in contract with Alhain insurance company though Or am I mistaken”
That guy started panicking. He was still so confused if this was only a dream or an illusion.
“Are you wounded to the point that you cant talk In that case, can you give the information terminal to someone that we can talk with I want to confirm the situation over there.”
That guy could not say anything back, the girl then continued.
“Can you hear me If you cant talk and theres no one around, can you at least send me a text message Or is it that this information terminal is set so that it automatically accepts local calls even if the owner is already dead Hello Anyone there”
That guy finally snapped back to reality. He realized that the girls voice was real. Right in the next moment, that guy used all his leftover voice to scream at his information terminal.
That guys voice echoed through the hall, all the Hunters in that hall turned to that guy.
The girls voice from that guys information terminal was Elenas voice, she was heading to where that guy was.
Elena and her team kept pushing their way forward inside the Mihazono ruin. The road was wide but it was filled with monsters. If they stopped even for a few seconds to fight those monsters, they would be surrounded by so many wreckages from the monsters that they would kill to the point that they would not be able to drive their vehicles through those wreckages.
Akira and Carol were shooting at the small tank monsters chasing them from behind as if they were competing against each other. Number wise, Carol was leading Akira. But even so, there were still enough monsters for Akira to be able to shoot enough grenades to get a good feel of his A4WM automatic grenade-launcher, so Alpha should have gotten enough data during that battle.
Akira suddenly complained.
“Arent there too many of them Theres just no end to these monsters.”
Carol answered Akiras question.
“It seems that the Hunter Office is building up a defense line around its branch using their influence. So that might be the reason why the monster density outside the defense line is so high.”
“So, the Hunter Office is doing something like that, huh How did you get a hold of such information”
“I heard from Shikarabe when we were taking a break. It seems that during the night, they dispatched humanoid weapons inside the predetermined line of defense to clean up all of those powerful autonomous weapons behind the line of defense. It seems that theyre focusing on barricading the main road and securing the safety around the area at the moment. I also heard that the squads dispatched by Drankam are participating in that operation.”
Akira remembered the wreckage of a huge monster surrounded by humanoid soldiers that he saw not too long ago. That might be the leftover from the battle last night. But at the moment, they were outside the defense line, thus they might encounter that huge monster somewhere.
Akira looked a bit annoyed.
“Is the situation outside the defense line like this no matter where we go If thats the case, I can see why no one would accept that SOS request without taking any insurance. I really get it now why people are taking insurance.”
“Im sure those insurance companies did not expect something like this to happen either, so I bet theyre losing a lot of money at the moment.”
Akira was having a conversation with Carol while fighting the monsters. Compared to yesterday when they had to fight a swarm of monsters inside the Seranthal building, their current situation was way better. Normal Hunters would be desperately fighting the monsters in that situation, it really showed just how strong Carol and Akira were compared to those common Hunters.
Elena then gave orders to everyone in the team through the information terminal.
“Our rescue target this time has barricaded himself inside a building 200 metre ahead. Shikarabe, stop your APC in front of the entrance to that building and carry everyone into your APC regardless if they are still alive or not. The rest of the team will hold the entrance and keep the monsters away from the entrance. Since the rescue target is staying in a room close to the entrance, theres no need to go too deep into the building or securing the escape route leading to the entrance of the building.”
Shikarabe then asked a question to Elena.
“How much time do I have for getting them into my APC”
“10 minutes. If some of them are taking too long, just leave them behind.”
“Is there any priority target”
“That would be a Hunter by the name of Cocolens, hes contracted with the insurance company that issued this request. In case if hes already dead, bring his body into the APC, or at least, bring back his information terminal. And in case we cant find his information terminal, you have 5 minutes to look for it, just give it up if you cant find it in 5 minutes.”
“Cant you get in contact with him”
“Well, at least I was able to get in contact with someone who claimed to be that person just now.”
Shikarabe sounded obviously annoyed.
“…Got it. Roger that.”
Shikarabe had been working as a Hunter for a long time, thus he knew what Elena was talking about, that was also the case for Carol and Sara too. The only person who did not understand what was going on there was Akira.
Elena then asked Akira.
“Akira, are you okay over there It seems that there are more monsters than I predicted. Theres no need to be reckless, okay”
Taking that question from the positive point of view, it sounded as if Elena was worried about Akira out of care. But taking that from the opposite point of view, it sounded as if she was worried about Akira who was the weakest in the group, and Carol, who Elena did not know well. If Akira gave a worrying answer, in the worst-case scenario, Elena might stop their rescue operation there.
Akira then firmly replied back.
“Im good, no problem at all over here.”
Elena then excitedly said from the other side of the information terminal.
“I see, in that case, lets go.”
They headed straight to the building where the Hunters were barricading themselves with Elena leading in the front.
All the monsters surrounding the building where the Hunters were, suddenly shifted their attention to Elena and her team. The monsters with guns and cannons aimed their long-range weapons at Elena and the other Hunters, while the monsters only equipped with close-range weapons started running towards them.
Then, right as they fixed their aim on Elena and her team and was about to shoot, they were suddenly blown away and turned into a pile of wreckage due to the barrage from Elena and her team.
The machine gun fixed on Shikarabes APC spewed out countless bullets. That machine gun was strong enough to injure even a bounty monster when used from up-close. Thus, those bullets could easily pierce through the monsters armoured body and blow its innards to pieces.
Elena and her team released a barrage of bullets to all the monsters surrounding that building. Sara readied her automatic grenade launcher and started shooting too. As countless grenades rained down from the sky, they exploded and blew the monsters to smithereens.
Akira and Carol shifted their aims to the entrance of the building and started shooting at the monsters who were trying to crawl their way into the building.
The monsters tried to force their bodies through the big entrance into the building, there were so many of them that they almost completely blocked the big entrance that was wide enough for few vehicles to pass through at the same time. But Carols barrage and Akiras grenades made short work of them and blew them to pieces, thus turning them to just metal wreckage.
As the other monsters tried to push their way forward while trampling the wreckages leftover of their dead comrades under their feet, Akira used the other rifles fixed in the backside of his vehicle to push those monsters back, leaving them either completely destroyed or half-destroyed. Thus turning them one by one to just another metal wreckage.
The area around that building immediately turned into a battlefield riddled with explosions and gunshots.
The Hunters inside that building saw the battle happening outside through the small openings of the barricaded entrance.
“Theyre here!! Someone actually came to save us!!”
“Quickly, open the entrance door!! We wont be able to go outside with the barricade there!!”
“For those Hunters with an augmented suit, help me move away the vehicles blocking the entrance!!”
“Leave the wounded near the entrance!!”
The Hunters there immediately sprung to action. If they let go of this chance, they would have no other chance to survive. Everyone in that building understood that very well. They squeezed all of their leftover physical power and spirit to start working again.
After they cleared the monsters around that building, Shikarabe stopped his APC just right in front of the entrance, the back door of the APC opened and he stepped out from the APC.
The entrance was still blocked by the vehicles that the Hunters left there. One of the Hunters from inside the building was trying to desperately squeeze his way out through a small opening in that entrance.
Shikarabe then just stood there and released a powerful kick at those vehicles, blowing them a few metres aside.
Shikarabe then shouted.
“Well leave in 10 minutes!! Get everyone inside the APC, it doesnt matter if theyre alive or not!! And also, which one of you is Cocolens!”
When one of those Hunters passed aside Shikarabe and was about to enter the APC, Shikarabe suddenly grabbed that guy and stopped him. That guy immediately shouted.
“Wh-what! Just let me in already!!!”
“You guys that can still move are for later, get those who cant move on their own first.”
That guy then shook off Shikarabes grab and went to the APC.
“Shut up!! Ill definitely return back from here!!”
Shikarabe immediately grabbed that guy and threw him back into the building. That guy landed hard on the floor and lost consciousness as he rolled over on the ground.
Shikarabe glared at the other Hunters, few Hunters who were about to do the same thing immediately stopped.
“Ill say it one more time!! Get everyone inside the APC regardless if theyre alive or not!! Either its only a corpse, or it has lost its head, or its nothing but a head, it doesnt matter, just get everyone inside the APC! And also, which one of you is Cocolens Or at least, which one of you was on a call with us not too long ago”
One of the Hunters who was helping a wounded Hunter to stand up pointed his finger.
“…I-Its that guy over there.”
Shikarabe then signalled that Hunter who just answered his question to get inside the APC. That Hunter sighed in relief and boarded the APC. The other Hunters started helping the Hunters who could not move on their own regardless if they were already dead or not.
Shikarabe looked at the Hunter who spoke to Elena not too long ago, that Hunter looked completely terrified.
As Shikarabe was getting their rescue target and the other Hunters into the APC, Akira, Carol, Elena, and Sara were still fighting the monsters outside. The number of monsters just outside the entrance to the building site and around that building already decreased significantly.
Akira lightly sighed.
“Well, after killing this many monsters, its not like well get another wave of monsters, right”
Carol smiled and said.
“Akira, do you think I can get a lot of rewards this time”
Akira just smiled bitterly at Carol, but he sounded a little bit amused as he said.
“At this rate, Ill have to pay you a huge amount of money.”
Carol smiled satisfied.
“It seems that I was able to show you that Im not the same as yesterday. So, it means that I can look forward to my reward, right”
“I cant say anything for now. And also, its too soon for you to relax, dont drop your guard just yet, okay”
Akira and Carol smiled confidently at each other.
Alpha then gave Akira an order.
“So then, to make sure that you wont lose your share of reward, lets go kill some monsters. Akira, change back to CWH anti-material rifle.”
“Roger that. Geez, even after we killed that many, there are still some extra reinforcements, huh.”
Akira then changed back to his CWH anti-material rifle as ordered, he obviously looked annoyed.
“Well, to be more precise, its not like theyre new monsters. Theyre already here right from the start.”
Alpha then pointed her finger toward the building. When Akira also looked at the building, his vision immediately enhanced. Thanks to that, he was able to see the monsters that were hiding behind the walls of that building. He immediately aimed his CWH anti-material rifle at that building.
Carol noticed that and aimed her guns toward the building too, but she did not see anything that resembled a monster. She could only see a strong-looking wall, a pile of dead monsters scattered around it, and Shikarabe and the other Hunters carrying wounded Hunters into the APC as well as Sara and Elena who were standing guard near them. There was nothing suspicious at all.
Carol then looked at Akira. He was aiming at the building with a serious look.
When she looked back at the building, a monster suddenly jumped out from one of the windows on the third floor. She was a bit surprised by that, but she was surprised even more when Akira immediately sniped that monster, it then just crashed into the ground and stopped moving.
The other monsters immediately started jumping out from the other windows too. Akira was able to snipe them down one by one accurately. The sniped monsters then fell off regardless of the damage from the impact of the sniping and crashed into the ground. Some of them crashed into the APC and made a loud banging sound which caused the Hunters inside the APC to start screaming.
Akira was able to firmly grasp the location of the monsters thanks to Alphas support, and with her aiming support, he was able to snipe the monsters weak points only with one shot. He kept shooting down the monsters that jumped out from the building one by one.
Elena and Sara immediately noticed that and started helping out, Carol also did the same. The pieces of the destroyed mechanical monsters rained down from above.
Carol then thought as she kept shooting at those monsters.
[Again, Akira was able to detect enemies faster than anyone else. How exactly did he do that We didnt notice them at all until those monsters started jumping out from the building. But it doesnt seem like hes carrying a powerful information-gathering device either. I wonder if its that intuition that those top-ranking Hunters have.]
Although Carol only checked Akiras equipment based on its outlooks, from what she could gather, she did not think he was carrying a powerful information-gathering device and it did not seem like he was faking the appearance of his equipment either.
There were many Hunters among the top raking Hunters who could accurately detect enemies locations which were not supposed to be detected unless with a powerful information-gathering device. They themselves could not exactly explain why they could do that. Since they could not exactly explain it to the other Hunters, people just called it as intuition.
[Theres also that too. During the fight, he fully left the driving to auto-drive. Although there were that many monsters and we were in such a situation, did he really trust the auto-drive function that much Or is it that he was driving the car through remote driving Is that even possible in the first place]
There was a limit on how good an auto-drive function could be. Unless it was supported by a specially designed control device, it would be almost impossible to traverse the old-world ruin fully relying on the auto-drive function. Even more so when they were in the middle of a fight. In the worst-case scenario, relying on the auto-drive function could throw Akira and Carol off the vehicle.
It was not impossible to remotely drive the car with the help of a camera or something else to see what was in front of the vehicle and displaying that video in the goggles. But the real problem was whether Akira was able to do that or not. Watching both in front and behind him, driving the vehicle, and fighting the monsters chasing the vehicle from behind, most Hunters would not be able to do all of those things at the same time. Or at least, Carol could not do such a feat.
[If I trust my intuition, I dont think thats the case though… But I feel like its a bad idea to poke Akira about that… Seriously, this boy is a real enigma.]
Carol was smiling confidently while thinking about all of those things in the back of her mind.
She had gathered some information about Akira from Shikarabe, she knew that Akira was a Hunter who was worth more than 100 million Aurum, she also knew that he participated during the bounty monster hunt at Shikarabes invitation, and he did very well during that hunt. She also knew that that information must be true and she knew well just how strong Akira was judging from what happened yesterday inside the Seranthal building. That information really pulled up her evaluation of Akira to the point that she was sure he was one of those top-ranking Hunters.
Hunters risked their lives in order to obtain money. Some of them went to dangerous old-world ruins to bring back relics and sell them for money, some of them obtained money from accomplishing difficult requests. Carol felt pleasure making those Hunters spend their hard-earned money just to be able to sleep with her.
Carol thought that she gave a pleasure worthy of that money. Even if those Hunters, who once slept with her, would try to go to a more dangerous ruin or challenge a more difficult request to be able to sleep with her again just to meet a foul end, she would just laugh it off. Or more like, she might as well feel happy knowing that some Hunters would even try to go over their limit and do something reckless just to be able to sleep with her again.
As Carol thought how much money Akira would be willing to spend on her if she seduced him, she could not help but smile, but her face suddenly twitched with unpleasantness for a split second.
[…But until now, Akira didnt show any interest in me though. Shikarabe also has no idea about the type of girl that Akira might like. Moreover, it seems that when Shikarabe invited Akira to a pub that was in the same building as a brothel, Akira did not seem to mind at all. Those Elena and Sara, if Akira is going along with both of them, that means that its not like he has no interest in girls at all. I dont understand, what about me that he doesnt like. Figure wise, I think Im more or less as beautiful as those two though, is it because he has some kind of particular fetish or something]
Carol decided to stop thinking about that and focus on the current battle. The situation that they were in did not allow her to divide her attention any longer.
Akira and the other Hunters were able to deal with the incoming monsters for a while, but as more and more monsters started to jump out of the building from the higher windows. The wall of that building started to get covered with monsters. Some of them even started to latch their bodies on the wall of that building and shoot at Akira and the other Hunters. Although they prioritized the monsters with long-range weapons, the number of bullets raining down from above their heads just kept increasing.
“Judging from this situation, Im sure that building is filled with monsters up to the brim. Im glad we only need to fight the monsters from the outside.”
Carol focused on the monsters in front of her while smiling and shooting at them. Although she did not have enough leeway to think about something else in that situation, she was not hard-pressed either since she came there with her expensive powerful equipment.