One of the guards, who were guarding Alna in the hangar, suddenly frowned and said.
“Toralt got killed.”
All the other guards near him could not help but react to that.
“Hes dead! Its Toralt were talking about here! Are you sure”
“Are you sure you didnt just lose connection because of jamming smoke or something else”
The person who said that Toralt was dead shook his head.
“His vital sign has flat-lined. Judging from the last information sent across, although its only just a guess, he might have gotten his head crushed. The vital sign check is done through the augmented suit and is also sent through it. I wonder if he took on a warhead head-on or something.”
“Was it a surprise attack… No, hes too smart to get caught off guard. It should be near impossible to launch a sneak attack on him. And if he was in a pretty bad situation, he should have run, or at least called for help.”
“Yeah, thats exactly why we sent him alone. But to think that he got killed even before he could call for help like this…”
Their faces turned pale. Although they could not go as far as to say for sure that Akira was the one who killed Toralt, most of them thought that was the case. Then the guy who was responsible for leading them said.
“We have no other choice here! Ill ask the boss for help!! You guys are okay with that, right!”
No one there objected.
On the other side of the mansion, the guy who was responsible for watching Katsuya called Rogelt.
“Yes, boss, its me… Yes, this brat is pretty useful. Those small fries are no match for him… So, I just need to take him to the hangar, right… No The other way… Ahh, I see. Roger that!”
That guy closed the call with Rogelt and yelled at Katsuya.
“Hey!! Dont just stand there! Lets go to the next place!”
“…Did something happen in the hangar”
Katsuya casually tried to gather more information, but the guy raised his voice even higher.
“Its none of your business!! You just need to do what I say!”
Katsuya replied without even trying to hide his displeasure and followed that man.
The battle inside the mansion was still going on. The interior of the mansion was already scattered with corpses, the difference of the skill, equipment, and luck between the people who were fighting there led them to two different outcomes. Those who had worse equipment, or lacked skill, or did not have enough luck were all turned into cold corpses scattered around inside the mansion.
The ones who were still left alive inside the mansion were those who had survived that natural selection. As such, even Katsuya had a hard time fighting against them.
The guy who was responsible for keeping Katsuya under his watch kept yelling at Katsuya.
“Put your back into it! If you dont work hard enough, theres no meaning in keeping that girl hostage, you know!”
Katsuya still had his displeased face on him as he put himself out a bit more, but the more he moved forward, the more dangerous his position was. But thanks to that, he could take out his enemies faster. Seeing that, the other guy relaxed and said to him.
“You shouldve done that right from the start! You damn brat!!”
Katsuya had a pained look on his face as he listened to the other guy yelling at him. But even so, he still gave his best fighting there.
One of his enemies suddenly contacted someone from behind who sent a warhead straight at Katsuya. Katsuya was able to evade it as it flew past behind him and blew up next to the guy who was keeping watch on him.
Although it only injured him lightly, it really scared him. He then sacredly and flusteredly ordered Katsuya.
“H-hey!! Come back here!! Were retreating for a bit!!”
That guy was telling Katsuya to return to be his shield. Seeing how Katsuya hurriedly returned back to him, his only thoughts were that he would be safe since he had someone strong next to him and became careless in being wary of Katsuya.
But Katsuya suddenly aimed his rifle at that guys head. Of course, that guy was so dumbfounded, but the bullet that landed on his face right at the next moment turned his face into an unrecognizable mess.
Katsuya then shot some bullets to suppress the enemies that he was having a hard time fighting against just now and hurriedly left that place.
[Judging from the disruption in my information-gathering device after that warhead exploded, it must have some kind of jamming smoke inside it too! With this, no signal should be able to reach this place! I can use this opportunity to make them think that he was killed by the enemies!! Or at least, it should buy me some time before someone notices!]
After he left that place, Katsuya ran as fast as he could towards the hangar.
[Judging from that conversation, although its only my guess, Alna must be in the hangar! And she must be under attack too! If I dont go and rescue her now, I might be too late!!]
Katsuya only obeyed Rogelts men thinking that by doing so he would eventually find a window that he could use to rescue Alna. And he believed that this was his only chance.
Katsuya already knew where the hangar was. Back then when he asked the other guys with him about Rogelts powered suit, they happily told him all kinds of information about that powered suit including the hangar where it was stationed. He originally asked that question trying to figure out the weakness of that powered suit, but it turned out that it was also useful for something else too.
[Just wait there! Ill definitely save you!!]
Katsuya used the full power of his augmented suit to run as fast as he could. When he guessed who might be attacking Alna, he could not help but worry.
Akira was also running towards the hangar, but at that time, he was still outside the mansion. He was frowning because of the fatigue. Alpha, who was floating next to him, noticed it and asked him.
“Akira, the hangar is just ahead, but, are you okay”
“My both arms still feel a bit weird, other than that, Im also having a slight headache.”
“Leaving your arms aside, that headache must be because you overused the time compression. Try your best not to faint, okay”
Akira smiled bitterly.
“I know. If I faint, itll cut off your support, right But still, my arms are okay, huh I thought that I dont feel any pain because of the painkillers and theyre actually still injured right now while the medicines that I took are trying to fix them, is that the reason why Im feeling this weird sensation”
Alpha lightly smiled.
“For your arms, well, even if they get torn off, I can still move them by controlling your augmented suit, so it should be alright. Thats why its not that important right now.”
“Yikes, that doesnt sound okay at all. Can we like, you know, take a short rest”
Akira was joking when he said that, but Alpha just smiled and stared back at him without saying anything. So he said while smiling bitterly.
“I get it already, you want to tell me that if Im going to complain, I might as well withdraw from this place, right But with all that Ive faced until now, and since you can control my augmented suit to some extent, it would be a waste to leave now. So help me out, Ill give my best to finish this as soon as possible and Ill go straight back home after that.”
“In that case, lets hurry up. Itll put your body in some stress though, so endure it, okay”
Alpha controlled Akiras augmented suit to force him to run faster. Akira could feel slight pain coming from both of his arms. With the current stress, his arms were trapped in the cycle of healing from the medicines and damage from the stress as he was blazing through the wasteland.
She did not tell Akira to stop nor to take a rest at all, it was all for the sake of encouraging him to withdraw from that place instead of going for Alna.
Although they had different motivations, both Akira and Alpha had the same goal, to kill Alna as fast as possible.
The guards inside the hangar quickly noticed Akira with the help of their information-gathering devices.
“Oh, here he comes! This signal must be from that brat!”
“Get into your post! Dont worry about ammo! We need to hold out until the boss is here!”
The guards inside the hangar started setting up their portable walls. They bunkered themselves between the portable walls and the hangars walls in anticipation of the enemys attack. The one with the heavy augmented suit stood guard outside the walls, while the rest were taking cover inside the walls, all of them readied their weapons in the direction of the incoming signal.
They were only able to get the rough location of Akira. The mini information-gathering device that they used had a small range, not to mention, they spread those around to avoid a surprise attack.
“How long before the boss arrives”
“He said that hell come once hes done with the tanks and the other powered suits!”
“Why the heck is even Haurias here too! Do they always have that much money to spend”
“Hell if I know!”
Their conversation was suddenly cut short by a huge explosion that left a big hole in the hangars wall. It was blown off by countless grenades that came from the outside.
All of the guards inside the hangar immediately turned toward the direction of that explosion. The guy with the heavy augmented suit did not spend any second, he quickly released a barrage in that direction with his minigun. While the other guys who were hiding behind the walls kept shooting the incoming grenades down through the gaps between the walls. Explosions and gunshot immediately filled the hangar. That frenzied shooting happened for about 10 seconds. The bullets and the explosions only served to widen the hole on the wall until they stopped.
Now that they had calmed down, the guards inside the hangar started to nervously check for the location of their enemy. But they did not find any corpse around the hole nor in the direction of the hole.
Right at the next moment, a loud explosion echoed through the hangar. The guy with the heavy augmented suit found his minigun blown off to pieces, he shuddered and could not help but to lower his guard for a sec there.
But Akira did not let that slide, he used that small opening to jump in through the hole. He used his CWH anti-material rifle on his right hand to snipe the guy in the heavy augmented suit and his DVTS minigun on his left hand to suppress the guys behind the wall as he stormed into the room. His augmented suit did not have any trouble in holding back the kickback from both guns. He then kept on shooting through the gaps of the big equipment scattered inside the hangar.
The guy with the heavy augmented suit discarded his already destroyed minigun and screamed in anger.
“Goddammit!! Give me another one!”
Once he got another heavy weapon from one of the men behind the wall, he immediately started shooting again. Although by doing so he would be destroying the equipment inside the hangar, he did not show any hesitation at all.
Akira kept on moving around inside the hangar while shooting at the guys behind the portable wall. He used his DVTS minigun to release a barrage on them or his A4WM automatic grenade launcher to rain them with grenades. But it did not seem that the portable walls would come down anytime soon, Akira could not help but to make a stern face.
“That thing is pretty strong! Ive been shooting at it for quite some time now, you know!”
Alpha frowned and replied.
“This place is a hangar for powered suits after all, so they might be using portable walls designed to be able to withstand attacks from powered suits.”
Akira remembered the power of the melee weapons and the guns of that black powered suit. If those portable walls were designed to be able to hold out against that level of firepower, no wonder why they were still standing strong. But that did not make his current situation any better, so he still had a stern look on his face.
“Even if thats the case, it doesnt mean I didnt do any damage at all, right”
“Of course, they dont have much durability left. So keep on shooting.”
Just like Alpha said, it did not take long for the portable walls to hit their limit. The moment their force field armours were down, they were turned into just simple metallic walls that offered almost no defensive value against bullets. Although most of the barrage from Akira only ricocheted off the armours of the guy with the heavy augmented suit since he had retreated behind the portable wall, Akiras CWH anti-material rifle did not find any resistance in plowing through them. Eventually, the guy with the heavy augmented suit could not take it any longer, a bullet ripped through his armour and straight to the guys torso. Even after 3 shots of battle stimulants and medicines, he could not save his own life.
The other guys who realized that they had lost one of their friends shot back at Akira in a frenzy, but of course, it was not enough to hold Akira back since he had regained Alphas support now. The portable walls that had hit their limits were quickly shredded to pieces while the grenades made a short work of them. The explosion also blew off some of the guys behind the walls and rendered them unconscious, but those showered with bullets drowned in their own blood and died there.
Those who were still alive started thinking of running away, they grabbed Alna and put their bets on the small chance that they could sneak away from Akira who was shooting at them from the other side of the mostly destroyed portable walls.
Unfortunately, they lost that gamble. But that was because of something that neither Akira nor they were expecting.
As Akira came out from behind the destroyed portable walls, chasing for those people, he could not help but frown when he saw what was in front of him. The guys who were running away from him were already lying dead on the ground. Furthermore, not too far from them, Katsuya was hugging Alna.
Katsuya reached the hangar a bit after Akira. He noticed Akira was fighting against the Ezont familys soldiers inside the hangar, so he decided to take a detour to avoid them as he sneaked into the hangar. After that, he hid while waiting for the right time to come out.
The adrenaline rush from the fight just now and the surprise from that sudden turn of events prevented both of them from reacting to what just happened. Akira and Katsuya just stood there, looking at each other. Both of them did not give any friendly look at each other. But unlike Katsuya who was looking at Akira with obvious hostility, Akiras expression was more of an exasperation.
“You again Or is that its your hobby to get in my way when Im already so close… Haah, I guess Ill try to say this to you one more time.”
Akira sent a sharp gaze at Katsuya.
“Give her to me.”
Katsuya refused without showing any fear and tightened his hug on Alna.
Seeing that, Akiras expression changed from exasperation to questioning as if he could not understand the person in front of him.
“…I really cant understand it. Why are you trying so hard to protect her I can understand why you did what you did back then. At that time, I wasnt using an augmented suit and I didnt carry any powerful weapons. It was fully understandable that you told me off just with a little intimidation. Im sure I only amounted that much in your eyes back then. But thats not the case right now, is it”
Akira slightly moved both of his rifles as if to show them off to Katsuya.
“Since then, I gathered enough money to buy new weapons and a new augmented suit. These things cost me about 400 million Aurum. I dont know how much your equipment cost you, and they might be better than mine, but at least the gap between our equipment has already considerably reduced. Not to mention, you have someone pulling you down and you have no friends with you right now. Or is it that you still think you can easily win against me even in this situation”
Katsuya slightly raised his guard without saying anything back, Akira looked at Katsuya with confusion.
“Even if you can easily win against me, what exactly do you get from saving that girl to make you even come to this gigantic base all by yourself Is she actually a rich lady from some big family or something and youre offered a huge amount of money for rescuing her”
Katsuya looked at Akira with scorn and yelled at him.
“Its not for money!! Im sure someone like you will never understand it!!”
“Then, is it like you actually knew her before and youre indebted to her, then she meeting you in the lower districts street the other day was not a coincidence, but its because you told her to come to you if shes in trouble or something”
“That was the first time I met her!! All of your guesses are wrong!!”
Akira did not believe that Katsuya lied there. Because of that, he just could not understand Katsuya as he was making a rather troubled face, he then said in a rather serious voice.
“So why then Its not for money, not because youre indebted to her, and shes not your friend. I cant understand why would you go this far for a total stranger.”
Akiras gaze was sharp, it was as if he was trying to see through something that he could not understand at all.
Katsuya felt slightly pressured under that gaze, but when he felt Alna shaking under his arm, he made his resolve and yelled at Akira as if to shake off his fear.
“Its because Ive promised her that Ill save her! I dont need any other reason!!”
Akira looked slightly surprised there. Then his expression changed as if he finally understood what was going on although he still found it surprising.
“Youre indeed a good person.”
Someone who had the pride of fulfilling just an oral promise, not because of money nor debt. For Akira, it was something understandable, as a matter of fact, it was something that he could respect. Even more so when it was a goodwill promise to save someone. Hostility vanished from Akiras gaze for a few seconds.
Katsuya was taken aback by what Akira suddenly said. Akiras short sentence was nothing more than just a compliment and he felt that too. His resolve slightly wavered thanks to that.
But Akiras next sentence completely reverted it.
“Unfortunately, you wont be able to keep that promise.”
Akira was there to kill Alna. Respect was not enough to change his mind. There was no ill-will nor hatred in his eyes. But he was looking at Katsuya with hostility simply because Katsuya was blocking him from killing Alna.
Two people stood there, confirming each others intention. One came there in order to kill Alna, while the other one came there to rescue Alna. And both of them were just one step away from accomplishing their goal.
Even the slightest hesitation would lead to certain death. If any of them made a move, they would be able to kill their opponent, but if any of them made any slight moves, it would get them killed. Because of that, both of them only stood there without making any moves as the tension slowly rose between them.
But a third party suddenly appeared in that situation.
A black powered suit broke through the shutter and stormed into the hangar. Akiras intuition told him to get away from that place, but due to the tension from just now, he could not move his legs that quickly, and the same happened to Katsuya too. That small opening was enough for that black powered suit to close its range on both of them.
Rogelt saw Akira and Katsuya through the external camera of his powered suit and immediately yelled in anger.
“Damn brats!! I knew it, both of you are actually working together, huh!! Taking me for a fool like that, Ill kill both of you!!”
In his head, Rogelt thought that Katsuya only accepted his offer in order to buy time while Akira went to save Alna before regrouping.
Because of his misconception, there was no chance to straighten his misunderstanding now, Akira understood at least that much. Katsuya also thought so, but his train of thought was different from Akira, so he made a suggestion to Akira although it was against his will.
“…Hey, lets work together here. How about a truce until we can do something about that powered suit and get out of this place”
Akira replied back instantly without any hesitation.
Katsuya was dumbfounded, he did not expect that Akira would refuse in that situation.
“You… Are you serious!”
“Im here to kill that girl. Something like this is not enough for me to change my priority and help you save her. If you really want my help no matter what, that would be after that girl is dead.”
Akira replied so casually. But if Katsuya would accept that proposal, he would not be in that place in the first place. So Katsuya inadvertently yelled back.
“Are you kidding me!”
The pointless exchange was forcibly cut short when the black powered suit raised its arm. The chainsaw-like weapon made a loud ringing sound as its teeth spun fast. Akira and Katsuya inadvertently looked at that chainsaw, then that powerful-looking chainsaw came down at them.
Its first target was Akira. Akira matched the movement of his Alpha-controlled augmented suit to evade that chainsaw and jump away from that place. Just a split second after he jumped off, the chainsaw came down at the floor where Akira was standing a few milliseconds ago. It left a huge crater on the floor and threw pieces of the floors all around the area. Some of the big pieces hit the equipment inside the hangar and made loud banging sounds which showed how hard they were thrown.
If Akira got hit by that, there was no question about it, he would have turned into minced meat. He could feel a chill run down his spine as he made a stern face and evaded the incoming pieces of the floors inside his distorted time perception.
“Why is he coming for me! Shouldnt he prioritize taking on that guy since he has someone slowing him down!”
But Alpha replied back calmly.
“Im sure he plans to kill everyone, so he decided to go for you first since you have nothing slowing you down.”
“Isnt it a better idea to go for the one whom you can kill for sure first”
“That kind of decision varies from person to person, you see. So its not like I can do anything about it even if you complain to me.”
For Akira, it was normal for another person to aim for him first given the option. So he was not really that surprised when it happened, he just ran as fast as he could toward the hole on the hangars wall.
“Lets run into the mansion first. Im sure that black powered suit wont come chasing for you all the way into the mansion.”
“How about that guy then”
“Im sure hell run into the mansion too, well kill that girl there.”
“And if he doesnt”
“If he decided to run outside the mansion, Im sure that black powered suit would catch up with them and kill both of them. If that happens, it means that youll have your work cut short.”
Akira jumped out through the hole and exited the hangar. Immediately after that, the black powered suit forced its way through the same hole, chasing after him. There was no need for Akira to look back to understand what happened, he just kept on running toward the mansion. He then jumped and broke through one of the glass windows of the mansion which was already cracked from all the fighting.
Akira found himself in one of a big hall. As he went straight to go deeper into the mansion, he could see Katsuya and Alna also jump into the hall from the other side. Akira who noticed that immediately shot at both of them out of pure reaction.
But his aim was interrupted by Alpha. Because of that, his shot landed away from Alna on the wall next to her.
Right at the next moment, a huge blade suddenly grazed the air right in front of Akira. The black powered suit cut into the mansion from the outside with its huge blade. But that attack did not only cut through the wall, it simply destroyed the whole wall. Akira could not help but frown.
“If you want to kill that pickpocket, do it once we are deeper inside the mansion.”
Alpha controlled Akiras augmented suit to get him back on his feet and Akira immediately blazed into the mansion after that, away from the black powered suits melee range. Behind him, the black powered suit exchanged its melee weapon with a heavy rifle.
Akira was still running as he forced his hand to shoot his A4WM automatic grenade launcher behind him without even looking back. Of course, the grenades did not have enough firepower to destroy the black powered suit. But the explosions were enough to disrupt its aim.
The black powered suit released a powerful shot using its gigantic gun. It went right past Akira and hit the wall in front of him, turning it into a pile of rubbles. Akira used the hole made from that shot and vanished into the mansion. He could not help but frown after witnessing the power of that shot.
“What the heck was that Its not something that you would normally use against normal humans, you know!”
“It was a warhead designed to fight gigantic monsters and powered suits. So judging from that, its indeed not something that you would use against normal humans. If you have the time to be surprised, you need to hurry up. If you get shot by that, no amount of medicines would be enough to save you, you know”
Akira ran as fast as he could into the mansion to get away from the enemys line of fire.
Rogelt was furious inside his powered suit. Even after he used his prided powered suit, both Katsuya and Akira were able to get away from him. That fact really ticked him off. He opened a line to all his men and yelled an order to them.
“Ill send you the location of those brats!! Find them and kill them!! If any of you encounter them, immediately send your location to me!! Ill snipe them from outside the mansion! If you cant handle them, drive them outside the mansion and Ill take care of the rest!! Yall got it!”
The black powered suit made a loud sound as it moved away. It patrolled around the mansion while using its information-gathering device to scan the inside of the mansion. And when he found some of Haurias men inside the mansion, it angered him even more so he cut up the mansion wall. His powerful blade turned the furniture together with the Haurias men, who were even using a sturdy augmented suit, into mincemeat in an instant.-