Chapter 187, A Giant Amalgamation of Hatred
After Yatsubayashi let Tiol into his clinic, he made coffee with a coffee maker. He returned back with a cup of coffee in both hands and offered one to Tiol.
“I have nothing but coffee though, youre okay with it, right”
“Oh, do you prefer tea perhaps”
“I cant drink nor eat with this body.”
Tiol said so curtly, but Yatsubyaashi seemed to find it amusing.
“I see, so this body is a remote body, huh That would mean youre controlling it from another body and I bet its somewhere nearby.”
Tiol raised his eyebrows and sent a glare at Yatsubayashi.
“…You can tell!”
“Im a doctor, you see.”
Tiol raised his guard toward Yatsubayashi who was acting casual. But there was something that he was hoping for from Yatsubayashi, which lowered his wariness toward him.
“So then, Tiol-kun. What brings you here today”
“Revenge, what if I say so”
“Well, it would be for revenge then. But let me give you a warning, I dont really recommend that. Moreover, its your fault in the first place for running away while you were in the middle of the treatment. So if anything happens because of that, it wont be my responsibility. Or more like, we already have an agreement on this, right”
Tiol clicked his tongue seeing that Yatsubayashi wont even budge even after being threatened.
“…Well, whether Im here for revenge or not depends on what happens next. I want to make another deal with you. Fix me… And Im talking about fixing, not experimenting! You hear me!”
Tiol got a little emotional and raised his voice, and was breathing hard after he said those heartfelt words. Seeing that, Yatsubayashi smiled amusedly.
“Fix, huh Sure. Though I cant really say for sure if I can fix you or not without checking your condition first, I can at least promise you that Ill do my best. Though it actually depends on how much you can pay me for that. So then, how are you going to pay me Let me tell you that Ill charge you if its not for an experiment, you know”
Tiol glared at Yatsubayashi.
“…Dont get ahead of yourself, I can easily kill you here and now.”
Tiol slowly raised his left arm and pointed it at Yatsubayashi, but Yatsubayashi did not seem to be bothered by that at all.
“Hah, making a one-sided demand like that and you dare to call this a deal Youre making me laugh here, you brat.”
“Dont you know how I got away from that room”
“Ive seen the record from the camera so many times already, so you dont need to tell me. It was a good piece of information, you know. If you think that it is enough to threaten me, you need to rethink your approach. Youre free to test it though, but once you do that, youre no longer my patient and I have no need to be polite to you anymore, just so you know.”
The way Yatsubyaashi looked at Tiol changed. Between a patient and a guinea pig, Yatsubyashi started to look at Tiol as the latter. His words there were basically saying that he could easily take care of Tiol even if Tiol rampaged there.
Although Tiol was suspicious that it was a bluff, he still lowered his arm and clicked his tongue.
“…I have no money. So for the payment… My body. You can go ahead and take a look at its construction, nanomachine, and stuff like that. The other thing would be information. I have a lot of information right now, so I can answer your questions.”
“That sounds pretty enticing, but Im not sure if that would be enough. Or more like, I dont know how much I need to fix, so I cant really say for sure how much it would cost. Although youre only using a remote body right now, it looks like youre doing just fine. So what exactly do you want me to fix”
Tiol paused before replying with a pained voice.
“…I want to return to being a human.”
Seeing Tiols pained expression, Yatsubyashi tilted his head.
“Thats still pretty vague, do you mean you want me to get rid of the nanomachine that has changed your body Well, I wont be able to say anything unless I give you a quick check first. Bring your real body here, theres nothing I can gather from checking your remote body.”
“Its not that simple. I cant bring my real body here, thats why I came here in a remote body. So, if you want to get to my real body, come with me.”
“Listen here, you do know that were in an emergency over here, right There are gigantic monsters roaming right outside. I have no plans to get out from the temporary base before the situation calms down first.”
“Dont worry, Ill tell them not to attack you.”
Yatsubayashi raised his eyebrows in surprise as Tiol said so in such a casual manner.
“…Are you the one behind this attack”
“…I cant answer that.”
“That answer is more or less the same as ayes, you know”
“…I cant answer that.”
Yatsubyashi gazed at Tiol with suspicious but serious eyes. After a short ponder, he then smiled amusedly and said.
“I see. So basically, youre under a leash from a higher system, huh And because of that, you cant give me a straight yes. Truly interesting, but in that state, you wont be able to give me the answers that I want to know, right So you wont be able to pay for the treatment at all.”
“If this attack is successful, most of this restriction will be taken off. Thats the deal that I have with her.”
“Her Who Judging from the fact that youre attacking the forward base, is it the ruins AI manager”
Tiol frowned even more.
“…I cant answer that. And also stop there, giving you this answer is already hard enough for me.”
“Hard I see, so youre feeling some kind of pain or discomfort for fighting back the system restriction, huh. But even if its something that the AI cant fight back, you can still more or less resist it. Which means… Is this AI trying to win her freedom by using you”
“…Stop it! Didnt I tell you this isnt pleasant at all!”
Tiol raised his voice again, his glare was filled with hatred. But even so, it only served to get Yatsubyashi even more interested.
“Does the restriction get triggered just from recognizing the question and thinking of the answer Or is it judged as a slip in the system and thats why you can still say that Its a pretty lax system, to be honest, is it because you have a higher privilege over that half-baked system that you can somehow fight back the restriction If I have to make a bet, it must be some kind of makeshift system then. If only I can get rid of that pain, or even isolate and deactivate it, then I can get all the good parts and…”
Tiol, who was gritting in pain and filled with hatred, twitched and aimed his shaking left arm at Yatsubayashi. It seemed that he was on the edge of his sanity.
Yatsubyaashi noticed that Tiol was pushed to the edge and flusteredly tried to calm him down.
“Okay okay! Ill stop here! We can continue the rest once you get rid of the restrictions! Fixing your body should help out too!… So calm down, alright”
Tiol was breathing heavily as he lowered his arm again.
“…We have a deal then”
“Yeah, although its not really how I usually make a deal. It seems that I can expect enough payment from you. We have a deal. Ill properly fix your body, so dont worry.”
“…I see, Ill take you to my real body then.”
“Alright, get on the passenger seat. Its over there.”
Tiol got up and dragged himself toward the passengers seat while swaying left and right. Seeing that, Yatsubayashi let out a sigh of relief. His alerted face slowly changed into a smile, a suspicious smile.
[…Hes pretty unstable. I wonder if its because hes at his wits end or is it because of the repression from the system. Though I want to take my time examining it, well, the job comes first.]
Yastubyashi hopped on the driver seat and excitedly said.
“Lets go! I just need to get out from the forward base and into the ruin, right”
“Yeah… Do you have an information terminal that I can use”
“Are you okay with the one fixed into the vehicle”
“Its fine as long as I can connect to it.”
Yatsubayashi handed a terminal to Tiol, who then thrust that terminal to his head. Since there was no opening on his head, the terminal opened a wound on his head and blood dripped out from that wound.
A 3D holographic map appeared in the vehicles display. It showed the current location of the clinic as well as the destination and the big monsters around the area.
“Thats pretty convenient. But I have a wireless one if you would have asked, you know”
“Non-wireless is easier to hack in.”
“So youre hacking on the system level, huh. Thats pretty scary. Its my vehicle, so dont break it, okay”
“…Ill try to be careful.”
Tiol sulked a bit. Seeing that, Yatsubayashi just smiled bitterly and started the mobile clinic.
After they agreed on temporarily working together, Akira and Nelia were hunting huge monsters in the area. Although it was a deal that they made on a whim, and one of them was using a bike while the other one was using a powered suit, they were able to work together efficiently. Sometimes, one would act as the decoy while the other delivered the killing blow, pincer attack, long-range barrage, close-range slash. So, they were able to easily take down the gigantic monsters one by one.
Seeing how that black powered suit performed up close reminded Akira of how amazing it was. In the eastern district where firepower was everything, a huge body would only be an easy target to shoot at. But these gigantic monsters vitality, viciousness, and speed made up for their size. They even posed more danger than the smaller monsters because of that. But even so, the black powered suit was able to defeat them with its light blades, although it was an ally, Akira could not help but to make a stern face.
On the other hand, Nelia was also amazed by Akiras movements. Although they did not communicate at all about how they were going to move, Akiras support was nothing short of amazing. He targeted the legs to slow the monsters down, sniped with the long-range gun and forced the monsters to close combat, peppered the large monsters that he could not take down himself with bullets to keep their attention on him, and if it was a monster he could take care by himself, he did so quickly. It was as if Akira always presented the situation so that Nelia could easily deliver the killing blow in the shortest time.
Nelia thought highly of Akiras skill and Akira was wary of Nelias skill as both of them defeated any big monsters that they encountered.
Nelias voice suddenly came out from Akiras information terminal.
“Were doing pretty well. Were really in sync, dont you think so If were really this compatible, we should really date each other, you know”
“No thanks. Like hell I would go out with someone who keeps saying she would kill me.”
“Itll be fine, were allies right now, right I have no plans to kill you for now.”
“Thats not the problem here.”
“Geez, youre so hard-headed.”
Nelia was having the time of her life talking with Akira, but in contrast to that, Akira replied back bluntly. Although they did not exchange information about how they would move in the middle of their idle chit-chat, they were able to keep their perfect combo.
“Just to let you know though, Ill immediately leave the moment I run out of ammo, so do your best alone when that happens.”
“If you dont have a blade, I dont mind lending mine, you know”
“Im not going to fight those monsters up close! That aside, you only have melee weapons with you, dont you Even powered suits can use rifles too, you know Didnt you bring any rifles with you Is it because you cant or something”
“Hmm, to be honest, I dont really like guns. They just dont fit me for some reason.”
“Just because you dont like them Is that all the reason why you didnt bring rifles with you”
“Oh my, things like this are very important, you know There are many people who mock me for that, but for some reason, all of them died before me. And it all happened because they decide to let go of the weapon that theyre most comfortable with.”
Nelia sounded sad as if it was an old wound when she said so, Akira, who heard that, quickly let go of his anger. It was rather convincing although it was a vague excuse, he could not tell if it was the real truth or just some kind of occult thing.
“…Well, it doesnt really matter. That aside, theres just no end to these monsters. Just how long will this take us.”
“The swarm might disband if someone kills the boss of the swarm. Though Im not sure if the disbanded swarm would just return back to the ruin or we would still have to fight them.”
“I heard that the bigger monsters are taking command of the smaller monster swarm to attack the supply route. It seems that the bigger monsters are acting like commanders to the smaller ones and theres a good chance theres another monster commanding the bigger monsters. Well, its just a guess from another squad though, so theres no evidence to support it. They just told me to go after the bigger monsters when I spot them.”
“Hm I havent heard anything about that though”
“It was more like an idle chat between squadmates after all. So its not a formal order from the forward base.”
Akira felt that such important information should be broadcasted to all Hunters, but he bet that it had something to do with the squad that Nelia belonged to. He stopped himself from thinking too much about it and instead focused on the subject of the commanding monsters.
“…A boss monster commanding the other monsters, huh. I wonder if its an even bigger monster.”
“Well, even if theres one, it should be somewhere deep inside the ruin. Either that or its concealing itself in the swarm heading to the city. So people like us who work near the ruins outskirt have nothing to do with them.”
While Akira was fighting and talking, the rain had considerably weakened. Although it was not completely gone, the sensitivity of the information-gathering devices started to recover.
Between the 3 of them, Alpha had the best detection ability and she actually detected a big monster hiding in the buildings. But she did not tell that to Akira to avoid getting roped into more trouble. So instead, she looked up to the sky and spoke about something else.
“Akira, the rain is letting off.”
Akira followed suit and looked up too.
“Youre right… Wait, I shouldnt jinx it again…”
Akira smiled bitterly. But this time the rain actually weakened, slowly turning his bitter smile into a genuine one.
“Oh! Its really letting off.”
“Yup, that seems to be the case.”
Alpha said serenely. Akira found it weird since he expected her to say something to tease him.
“…Uhhh, is there anything bad if the rain stops”
Alpha smiled with a hidden meaning behind it.
“I just thought that if only it had stopped sooner, I would still have my detection skill and there would be no need to work together with that black powered suit. I wonder why your luck is just so bad.”
“No idea. Well, since its stopped, lets just be happy with it.”
Although the sky was still covered with thick clouds, there was no water droplet falling from the sky. Akira was happy about it, but Alpha was not.
Yatsubayashi drove his modified APC, which functioned as a mobile clinic, deep into the ruins. Although he encountered some large monsters on the way, they completely ignored him.
He was having a good time driving as he glanced at Tiol who was sitting on the seat next to him.
[They really didnt attack us. I did consider the possibility that it was nothing more than a lie, but this confirms that Tiol-kun has something to do with those monsters. This ability to explore the ruin without fighting the monsters is invaluable, even if it only works in Kuzusuhara ruin. You can get enough money to buy a city with it, but it seems that he doesnt know about this yet.]
Tiol noticed Yatsubayashis gaze.
“Nothing. Im just enjoying this sensation of being able to explore the ruin without fighting the monsters.”
“…The bigger ones under my command wont attack you, but its a different story for the other monsters, so you should get yourself ready in case we encounter normal monsters.”
“Roger that. Dont worry, this vehicle is well-equipped to handle relatively weak monsters just fine.”
“I see. Tell me if you need help, I can get rid of some of them for you.”
“Thanks, I will be very grateful.”
Yatsubayashi said so while he thought of something else in the back of his head.
[This means that Tiol doesnt hold command over all monsters in the ruin, is it territory based then Security monsters usually only roam around the area that theyre assigned to and normally they wont go outside that area. Saka**a Heavy Industry considered the strength and the distribution of the monsters in the area when they erected Kugamayama city near Kuzusuhara ruin… If this can be changed, it might endanger the city…]
Tiol noticed Yatsubayashi was looking at him while still in deep thought. So Tiol frowned and called him out.
“Seriously, what is it”
“Nope, nothing. I just thought that youre a very interesting sample for both medical doctors and scientists. Sorry if I bothered you.”
Tiol clicked his tongue but did not pursue it any further.
Yatsubayashi finally arrived at his destination. It was a small valley between two tall crumbled buildings.
“Were here, is your real body inside that big building”
“But the destination indicator ends around that building though.”
“Not inside, outside.”
“Ohh, theres no need for you to wait outside for me, not to mention under this rain too…”
“I cant enter the building.”
Tiol pointed near the big building. Yatsubayashi shifted his gaze toward that direction, looked up, saw what was in the valley between the two buildings, and smiled.
“I just want to confirm this. That is your real body, right Youre not saying that your real body is inside that thing, right”
“…I see. No wonder why you cant come to my clinic with your real body. Giving you a check-up would take a lot of work.”
“We have a deal, Ill have you fix me.”
“Im not even sure where to start. For now, I will try to regenerate your whole body…”
As Yatsubayashi moved his clinic to that valley, Tiol suddenly started acting strange. He started convulsing, his face started twitching, and his eyes were out of focus.
“Hey, whats wrong”
When Yatsubayashi called him, Tiol suddenly slumped down and went limp. The 3D map on the vehicles display also vanished.
“Is his… Connection cutoff What exactly just happened…”
Yatsubayashi had all his attention on Tiol, trying to understand what was going on. But right in the next moment, a huge monster jumped out from the rubbles and kicked Yatsubayashis clinic. Although it was a heavily armoured APC, the kick sent the clinic flying.
By this time, the rain had also completely stopped.
Akira and Nelia noticed the sudden signal from a big monster almost simultaneously. When they turned toward the source of the signal, they were welcomed by an APC flying straight at them. A moment later the thing that sent that APC flying towards them, showed itself.
This monster resembled a giant donning a heavy powered suit. It was so huge that it made Nelias black powered suit seem tiny. Its left arm was assimilated into a big gun that looked like the main cannon of a battleship, a belt connected to its back resembled a huge magazine, while its right hand was holding an object that looked like a handle.
While Akira was still frozen from the shock, Alpha launched the mini-missiles from the missile pods fixed to his bike. The missiles flew around following Alphas guiding system which adjusted their flight time to strike their target simultaneously.
From the handle on the right hand of the big monster, liquid metal that radiated light extended out against the gravity. It did not take that long for a blade large enough to slice a battleship to form. This monstrosity fixed its stance and swung the blade to sweep away all the missiles.
The missiles spontaneously combusted into an explosion the moment they touched the blade. Since Akira emptied his missiles in one shot there, the explosions were so large that it swallowed the monster too.
Akira desperately fought back the shockwave from the explosions with the help of his augmented suit while watching the display in front of him.
“Did that do it”
Akira thought that an explosion that big should be able to take out that monster. But as the fire died out, it revealed the big monster was still standing just fine without a scratch. Akira could not hide his shock.
“Unscatched! You got to be kidding me!!”
Alpha then said in a calm manner but still transmitted the severity of the situation.
“That slice was executed so that the missiles did not explode at the same time, thus killing most of its combined firepower. Furthermore, it has forcefield armour projected on its whole body. Unfortunately, that attack did not deal any damage to that monster.”
“So, its because of that armour which looks like a heavy powered suit, huh. How did it get a powered suit that big Is it custom-made”
“That might be the case.”
Akira was only saying that as a bad joke while smiling wryly, but Alpha replied back in a serious tone. So he found it rather weird.
“…Wait, it is”
“‘Ive scanned its body construction, one thing I can say for sure, it doesnt harden its skin to armour itself and it doesnt project forcefield armour from its skin either. Its inner body is separated from its other body. So in short, its using some kind of suit just like your augmented suit.”
“To put it simply, its different from the other monsters, huh.”
Akira prepared his stance and psyche to fight that monster. The moment he and the monster made eye contact, it opened its mouth and bellowed. Its humanoid head opened its mouth wide, exposing its fangs and was making sounds as if it was saying something in human language.
Akira had no idea what it was saying, but he understood well the hatred and the killing intent that was expressed in those incomprehensible words.
“For some reason, I feel like its saying that it would kill me no matter what. Alpha, did I do something to that monster in the past”
“You just shot mini-missiles at it just now.”
“Well, thats true, but for some reason, I feel like its hating me so much for a reason that has nothing to do with the missiles.”
“Hmm, I dont really have an answer to that. But one thing is for sure, we know that a peaceful solution is not possible. So just forget about trying to end this peacefully and get yourself ready to run away.”
Akira looked at the big monster and threw away the possibility of getting out of this situation peacefully. As it aimed its humongous left arm cannon at him, Akira accelerated his bike as hard as he could ignoring the g-force that he would have to bear. At the same time, a large warhead a little smaller than the cannons muzzle launched out.
The first shot pierced through multiple buildings, turning the already half-destroyed building into rubble, and pieces of debris that were thrown up to the sky rained down.
Alpha was able to accurately predict where those rubbles would fall. So using her advanced driving skill, she knitted through the gaps between the raining rubbles with the highest speed. Akira gathered his focus, compressed his time perception into maximum, and evaded the incoming rubble while kicking and punching the rubbles that were blocking his way.
Even in that situation, the monster did not stop shooting, crushing the falling rubble into even smaller pieces. Akira could not evade or block all the rubbles falling at him, when some of those rubbles crashed onto him or his bike, he endured it with the help of his forcefield armour. But even so, it still threw him off balance, and when that happened, Alpha executed an even more extreme manoeuvre to get his bike back up, straining both him and his bike.
“Akira!! Make sure not to fall off!! Youll get buried by the rubbles if you do!!”
Akira forced his way forward by punching or kicking the rubbles blocking his way. To make sure that he would not get thrown off the bike from the recoil, he raised the output of his augmented suit to the maximum to fix himself on top of his bike. Since he was pushing his body beyond its limit with the help of his augmented suit, sometimes, his body could not keep up and gave up first.
The medicines helped out with reducing the pain. The intense cycle of injuring and healing his body caused Akira to fear that it might eventually break his body. But he ignored his screaming body and focused more on surviving the fight even for just another second.
Yatsubayashi somehow got himself out from his mobile clinic which was tipped over at this point. He looked at the Tiols real body through the binocular connected to the clinics detection device. The monster was running, shaking the earth with each step, while trying to shoot at Akira, moving further and further away from Yatsubayashi.
“…Tiol-kun. If youre not going to let me treat you, you should have told me sooner.”
The monster was so strong that it had enough power to change the contour of the ruin. But if it was targeting someone else, Yatsubayashi could take his time observing Tiol from afar.
Yatsubayashi glanced at his mobile clinic. Tiols remote body was still in the passenger seat and still not moving.
[I bet he can control his remote body if he gets too far away from it, and I bet it cant be that far. Thats why he had to come close enough to the forward base to be able to reach my clinic. Im sure the main body also has some kind of camouflaging ability. So he must have used that camouflaging ability and hid his presence with the rain to get as close as possible to the forward base. He then somehow found out where I was, and came to my clinic to make a deal with me, before finally bringing me all the way here… But its all for nothing I really dont understand his logic.]
Yatsubayashi tilted his head. He thought of any possible explanations, but he could not come up with any convincing guesses.
The reason why Tiol cut off his connection to his remote body was simply because he no longer had the leeway to keep that connection. Most of his copies that he had sent to another place were quickly removed one by one. Tiol would have been able to handle that information just fine if he was nothing but a part of the system, but now that he had regained some of his consciousness, it threw his mind into chaos.
Then the reason why he prioritized killing Akira rather than finishing the rest of his deal with Yatsubayashi was simply because his self-defence mechanism kicked in, throwing him into a rampage fueled by hatred to keep himself from getting drowned by the system.
Tiol hated everything that had happened to him which led him into such a pitiful state. Although Yatsubayashi was included in that list, he was somehow able to keep himself from killing Yatsubayashi since he had presented a way for Tiol to fix his body.
But that was not the case for Akira. Tiols feelings toward Sheryl and the feeling of inferiority toward Akira were mixed together into utter hatred toward him. Furthermore, if Tiol held back any of his hatred, he feared that the system might swallow his consciousness again.
Because of that, once the rain died down and he recovered his detection ability, Tiol was able to detect Akira and immediately threw himself into a rampage fueled by hatred.
Yatsubayashi was deep in thought for some time after that, but he decided that it would be meaningless to think about it any further.
[…Well, it doesnt really matter. As long as I keep his remote body, he might contact me again later. I dont want to get involved in that fight after all. I guess Ill just head back home for now.]
Yatsubayashi stood next to his mobile clinic, placed both his hands on it, and applied some force to push it. When he did that, the clinic slowly started moving. After he gritted his teeth and pushed the clinic further, he eventually got his armoured APC to land with its wheels on the ground.
Yatsubayashi actually had a body that he had enhanced himself using his knowledge as a doctor. It was also to keep himself safe in case a Hunter who he was dealing with went on a rampage, but more importantly, it was also the result of experimenting on his own body. The reason why he allowed Tiol into his clinic, and was still relaxed even with a rifle aimed at him was simply because Yatsubayashi knew he could handle it just fine.
Yatsubayashi returned to the driver seat and placed Tiols remote body in the passenger seat. He then said with a cunning smile.
“Tiol-kun. If youre not going to pay for your treatment, it wont be a treatment but another experiment, you know”
Of course, Tiols remote body did not reply back at all.-