Home > Unreal > Rebuild World > Chapter 223: Its Fine Either Way

Rebuild World Chapter 223: Its Fine Either Way

Author:Hikoukai Category:Unreal Update time:2022-09-12 22:55:46

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Akira immediately tensed up the moment he noticed Katsuya, but the shock prevented him from immediately shooting at him.

[Since when did he get there! How did I not notice him there! For how long was I open for an attack! Why hasnt he still attacked me yet! Is he alone! Where are the rest of his team!]

Currently, Katsuya did not have enough reason to start a fight. At the moment, rather than hatred and animosity, his current feeling toward Akira was more of remorse and shame, and those feelings were not feelings that would cause him to open fire the moment he saw Akira.

There was an awkward silence between the two of them. After a short awkward pause, Katsuya was the first to open his mouth.

“…Ive heard about your offer.”

“So, are you here to check if I really killed that guy Hes dead, the flesh scattered around is his.”

“…I see. At least Ill thank you for saving Yumina from him.”

Akira inadvertently raised his eyebrows. He expected that it would turn out well judging from this mood.

“We have a deal then”

“Everyone is in the process of retreating. Theyll leave the building soon.”

Akira looked happy for a split second, thinking that his deal was accepted, but his expression immediately turned grim.

“I see, then what about you”

Katsuya did not answer back, but that silence was enough of an answer for him. Akira heaved a heavy sigh and said.

“…Well, I did kill quite a lot of you. So I guess this is nothing surprising.”

Ominous killing intent slowly exuded from Akira. It was obvious that he was planning to strike the moment Katsuya showed an opening.

“Is it that you want to kill me no matter what Or are you simply trying to buy more time for the rest of your team If its the latter, dont worry, I have no plan to attack you from behind, so you can turn back and go in peace. Or at least thats what I want to say, but… As I thought, you wont believe me, huh. The same for me too.”

“The same for you too What do you mean”

“Dont worry, its nothing for you to worry about.”

Akira himself did not believe that Katsuya would just return back in peace after all that had happened. Now that Katsuya had seen him in a badly wounded state. Even if he retreated now, considering that wound, he could just bring the rest of his team later to safely kill Akira. And even if Katsuya was really thinking of going back in peace, considering how many people Akira had killed, the rest of the team would most likely convince him to go back to kill Akira later. Akira could not help but think so.

It was exactly because Katsuya was not a battle-crazed person like Nelia. He was still a normal human who would hesitate, doubt, get suspicious, and might have a change of heart like the other normal humans. This was exactly why Akira could not trust Katsuya and his team. Thus, he unconsciously thought that Katsuya and his team also could not trust Akira.

There were no more words to exchange, what was left was to exchange bullets. As both sides understood this, they immediately sprung to action almost at the same time.

Akira swung his blade that was hanging down up until now upward. The blade released a wave of light particles that cut through the ceiling and floor as it flew toward Katsuya.

Although Katsuya saw Akira swing his blade way outside its range, he understood that it would reach him based on Akiras intense killing intent. He immediately jumped to the side to evade the incoming wave while shooting at.

The moment Akira swung his blade, he immediately went charging toward Katsuya. Due to Katsuya shooting while he was in midair, he could not properly aim at Akira. This allowed Akira to slip through the incoming bullets. As the bullets went past him, he could hear the buzzing sound produced by them. He could feel the wind blow from the shock wave of the bullets. One of the bullets grazed his cheek as he continued closing the distance between them until Katsuya finally entered the reach of his blade.

Most who learned swordsmanship in the eastern district have the habit of using a vertical slash. After all, some opponents like cyborgs would not die even after a beheading or disembowelment and this was true too to an extent against opponents with a biological body. People with emergency life support systems planted on their heads could still survive even after a beheading. They then could use a wireless connection to their augmented suits. Thus, allowing them to continue to fight even if their heads and bodies were no longer physically connected. An ambush during an opening when one just executed a slash could prove to be fatal.

On the other hand, a vertical slash was fatal to most of the enemies, cyborgs or not. Even if the opponents were using long-range control devices, a vertical cut had a good chance to destroy their control devices on top of making it difficult for them to launch a counter-attack, even if the attack did not destroy their control devices. It was not like the current technique disregarded horizontal strikes, it just placed more emphasis on vertical strikes. This was also true for Akira. Although, the reason for this habit for him was because Alpha could easily fend him off every time he used a horizontal slash.

Akira raised his blade crudely telegraphing the kind of strike that he would use next, and as expected, he then swung the blade down. Katsuya jumped side to side to evade them as the blade released a wave of light in a zig-zag style.

Katsuya kept trying to shoot Akira even in that state. But Akira was able to skillfully evade the bullets. The stray bullets were flying all over the room with Akira and Katsuya at the centre of it.

Akira and Katsuya continued exchanging attack and defence, one with the swing of a blade while the other with bullets from a rifle. Although there was a huge gap between their skill, the quality of their equipment, and their level of fatigue both mentally and physically, made the fight continue evenly.

Akira intentionally released a light kick as he swung down to where Katsuya moved to evade his kick. Although the kick was not as powerful as the blade, it was still a kick with the enhanced strength of an augmented suit, receiving that kick would no doubt be dangerous.

But even so, Katsuya chose to receive that kick. The kick that was more of a stab instead of a smash, broke through his augmented suits defences and the damage propagated into his body. Katsuya gritted his teeth from the pain of the kick. He used the impact from that kick to jump back while shooting at Akira.

Akira did not even have the leeway to lower his leg after that kick. Thus, he used the contact stick function of his other leg to lean forward and lunged straight toward Katsuya to chase after him. Countless bullets went past him, some hit his hair and some grazed his ears, but even so, he still pressed forward and eventually closed the distance to Katsuya, who was still in the air from the jump.

Once again Akira forced the fight into melee combat. While in the middle of exchanging blows, Akira thought regretfully about his failed attempt.

[Dammit! Hes still okay even after receiving that kick! I guess thats just how good his augmented suit is, either that or my augmented suit has already lost most of its power, either way, I dont think I have a chance to win in an unarmed fight! I have to kill him while I still have the chance or this would turn ugly really fast!]

The blade itself was actively consuming energy in order to maintain its sharpness. Every time Akira swung it, it consumed energy and also placed more burden on it. If Akira misjudged the durability of the blade, he might end up destroying the blade. While on the other hand, he no longer had that much ammo left. Akira had to finish the fight while he still had both resources, otherwise, this would be the end for him.

In contrast to that, Katsuya was slowly gaining confidence. The powerful opponent in front of him did not give him the leeway to think about anything else, it helped Katsuya regain his scattered focus. Thus increasing the sharpness of his movement. The fight that was evenly matched up until now slightly tilted toward Katsuyas favour and the leeway originated from that caused Katsuya to notice something.

[He has stopped throwing that long-range slashes. Moreover, the cut on the floor is also shallower than before…]

Katsuya had been making big leaps to evade Akiras slashes up until now since it felt like the blade would still reach him even if he was outside the blades physical reach.

Akira still tried to slash at Katsuya even when he did not have proper footing, thanks to that, his blade would oversweep and hit the floor repeatedly. But even so, due to its sharpness, the blade would be able to smoothly cut through the floor. One thing that was obvious, was that the cut left on the floor should have been deeper if Akira was still releasing the sharp light wave.

[He should not have the leeway to stop doing that just because Im evading his attacks! Which would mean that its because he cant do that any longer!]

Katsuya jumped backwards to open up some distance between them. Akira lunged forward to close up that distance. The smile on Katsuyas face and the pressured look on Akiras face signalled the one who had the upper hand in their exchange.

As Katsuya was able to invest less effort in dodging, he could focus more on the offensive. In order to face that, Akira compressed his time perception even further. The burden caused a sharp stinging pain on his head, he kept himself from fainting while desperately looking for an opening to win the fight.

But even with all that effort, it did not make their battle even. Time was on Katsuyas side. Even if they were fighting evenly, Akiras augmented suit would run out of energy first before Katsuyas. Katsuya also knew that from Akiras expression. As Katsuya understood that he would win as long as he could defend himself, he chose not to try any risky move and focus more on his defence.

Unfortunately, that decision caused his downfall. Katsuya reacted to Akiras huge swing by jumping backwards, since he wasted to be sure to get away from the blade, he ended up jumping too high.

But that downward swing was actually an attack that Akira did in order to take away Katsuyas mobility. He had no plan to cut Katsuya with that swing at all, it was only bait to make Katsuya jump. Akira quickly changed the trajectory of his blade and returned it back to its sheath dangling on his side as he switched to his SSB rifle. Akira used that opening to switch his weapon, which would have been fatal in a normal situation.

Akira and Katsuya aimed their rifles at each other. But the odds were not even. Akira had his legs firmly on the ground while Katsuya was in the air. This would greatly affect their ability to evade bullets. Akiras gaze was clearly shining with his victory while Katsuyas expression was filled with defeat as both sides pulled down their trigger. This caused gunshots to echo through the room.

Katsuya was sure that the anti-forcefield bullets would deal fatal damage to him, but for some reason, he only got hit by a few bullets. Akira completely threw away his chance for victory as he leapt sideways to evade the barrage from Airi and the other girls.

Airi and the other girls arrive at a very critical moment as they immediately decide to attack Akira. Akira, who had no plan to end the fight with a mutual death, jumped away the moment he noticed Airi. He then continued running away from that place while shooting back in their general direction to keep them occupied.

Airi and the girls then ran to Katsuya who was just saved from certain death.

“Katsuya, are you okay”

“A-Airi, why are you here…”

“To bring you back.”

Katsuya had a pained look on his face when Airi replied back almost instantly.

“Im sure Ive given you my order to retreat!”

Airis gaze turned sharp.

“I have no need to listen to an order from a commander who left his own post. Yumina should have told you not to go alone too.”

Katsuya understood that Airi and the other girls came there knowing fully that they might get killed. After all, even after all those fights with Akira, which only resulted in piling up dead count on their side, they still were not able to kill him. Judging from that fact alone, there was no way they could kill Akira with only that many people.

[I ended up dragging others to a dangerous situation again…]

Katsuyas mind once again succumbed to self-loathing, but that was when Airis harsh but gentle words reached him.

“We die together. If you dont want to get us killed, then you should survive as well.”

Katsuya was shocked, he then faintly smiled.

“…Alright, lets head back then.”

Katsuya remembered his past self as he pulled himself together. He was working extremely hard as a Hunter, taking on dangerous tasks, placing himself in great danger in order to save his friends.

“Good. Also, one more thing, I have no plans to cover for you if Yumina gives you a good smacking later.”

“Uh oh, can you please do something about that”

“No can do. I think its time to let Yumina give you a good punching, but Ill at least help you tend to your wounds after that.”

“I-I see.”

Airi smiled lightly while Katsuya smiled bitterly at that light exchange. Now that Katsuya had regained his calm, he once again returned back to his team that he had left once before.

Katsuya changed gear and then said with a serious face.

“Now then, the problem is whether he would let us go back in peace or not.”

“Is it unlikely”

“…I dont know, I completely rejected his offer after all. If hes really planning to kill all of us just like he said, it would be bad to regroup with Yumina while that guy is still around. Airi, do you think Yumina and the rest would retreat ahead without waiting for us”

“I told her that Ill try to bring you back, so she might be waiting.”

“…I see. If only were not being jammed, we could have contacted them so that they could leave the moment we group up, but…”

Most of the injured Hunters who were not fit for battle were left behind in Yuminas group. If Akira appeared, it would be a bloodbath.

“It cant be helped then, sorry, but can you send someone ahead to Yuminas group Well retreat as fast as we can 5 minutes after that. Tell them to get themselves ready to leave the building immediately the moment we group up.”

Airi sent a glance to one of the girls, who quickly ran to Yuminas group although she seemed to be a bit reluctant to leave. The rest of the team who stayed behind then prepared themselves to face Akira.

“…Please just give us 5 minutes, will you”

Katsuya mumbled as if he was praying.

Not too far from where they were, Akira was watching their movement through his information-gathering device. For Akira, Katsuya and his team who were just standing there without making any moves looked as though they were waiting for more reinforcements. He could not help but think that Katsuya arrived first, ahead of the rest. Airi and the rest who arrived on the brink of time were only able to reach this place because they went to help Katsuya without thinking about their own safety. Meanwhile, the rest must have stayed behind in fear of Tiol and it was only a matter of time before they too would arrive there.

If Akira could kill the head of the team, the rest might disengage. That was his original plan and he had come close to achieving that, only to be foiled. Not to mention, he even ended up using his ammo. There was not enough left to get away from them. Akira could not help but lament the situation that he got himself into.

[What should I do Is there anything that I can do to turn the table here]

Katsuya himself was too much for Akira to handle alone, it would be too much for him if the reinforcements came too. He was already almost out of ammo. Although he tried to calmly think of a way to win the fight, his rational side kept telling him that he did not have any chance of victory.

In order to shake off that pessimistic voice from his mind, Akira shook his head.

[No, lets change how we look at this. Try to think that I have the upper hand at the moment. Depending on how I look at it, is it possible to interpret this situation as advantageous for me]

Akira forced his mind to see his current situation with optimism. It caused him to accept things that were only in the realm of maybes and other convenient assumptions as he thought of his next move. Once he found a way to fix his situation, he also realized that it was a completely reckless move, but he could not think of anything else.

“…I guess I have no other choice…”

Akira renewed his resolve. Of course, he had the choice to just wait there until Katsuyas team left. But Akira did not even notice that option, and even if he did, he did not trust such an option.

Katsuya and his team were watching Akira through their information gathering devices without leaving the room that Akira had just left. Since they used their respective information gathering devices to work in tandem while scanning different areas, they were able to watch over a wide range. This was also one of the advantages of using their coordination support system augmented suit.

Normally, they would have sent the data to the support system, which would analyze the data for them and increase the accuracy of their data. This would allow them to better support each other. But under the current jamming, it was impossible to do that. Even so, it was still possible to do a limited one through the close-range communication line. Thanks to that, they were able to more or less track Akiras general position.

Katsuya was watching the hallway where Akira ran to. Akira was not further away down that hallway.

[That guy is not moving at all from there. It doesnt seem like hes planning to escape either. But hes not in a position to attack us anytime. Is he waiting to see if were going to leave first Or is it that hes afraid were going to attack him the moment he tries to escape Its not like Im going to do that even if he does anyway, well just leave too, but…]

Katsuya smiled bitterly.

[…We dont trust each other, huh.]

They would have been able to save themselves from the unnecessary fight had they trusted each other. Although both sides knew that very well, they still could not trust the other side. That one point was the only thing that Katsuya and Akira completely agreed on and that fact really made Katsuya feel weird inside.

Akiras signal suddenly showed some movements. Katsuya and the rest of the team immediately tensed up as they aimed their rifles at the hallway.

Akira leapt out from his hiding spot, Katsuya was able to follow him with his eyes, but there was something strange. Akira had his SSB rifle in his hand, but he was not holding it by its handle.

Akira then threw his SSB rifle at Katsuya as hard as he could. The rifle flew and spun in the air. A moment later, it suddenly started spewing bullets indiscriminately.

The SSB rifle could even be used as an autonomous mounted weapon. It could be fixed on the extra arm commonly found on a wastelands bike and set to shoot automatically. Because of that, the rifle had many extra settings to help with that method of usage.

Akira set his SSB rifle to empty its magazine after 10 seconds. He then waited just before that 10 seconds ran out before he jumped out and threw his rifle at Katsuya. The rifle spun and flew almost horizontally as it released a raging bullet storm that did not differentiate between foe or ally. The kickback from the shots threw the barrel off its original trajectory, it was near impossible to predict where it would shoot next.

Although the SSB rifle spewed out countless bullets, none of them were properly aimed. Katsuya and his team had the equipment to take some shots, but not multiple consecutive hits. It was doubly true for the team members who did not have equipment as good as Katsuyas. So instead of focusing on Akira, Katsuya inadvertently gave orders to prioritize protecting the rest of the team.

While on the other hand, Akira completely ignored the flying bullets, he recklessly pushed through the barrage to close the distance between them. He set the output of his defensive coat to maximum and compressed his time perception to almost stop time. Je only had his eyes on the small space in between him and Katsuya as he forced his way forward.

Although the SSB rifle was only shooting for a few seconds, it felt like an eternity from Akiras point of view. After it emptied its magazine, it just went forward with its momentum before crashing into the wall. Katsuya and his team quickly peeked out to shoot at Akira, but before they could pull the triggers, Akira threw his other SSB rifle.

Inside the slow-moving world, Akira had his eyes fixed on Katsuya.

[Youll prioritize the safety of your friends now that theyre here!]

The SSB rifle flew toward Katsuyas team, although it was already broken, Katsuya and his team had no means to know that.

[In this situation, youll have no other choice but tell your men to stay back and put yourself in the front!]

Akira pulled his blade out of his sheath with the full power of his augmented suit.

[And to save your men, youll focus on shooting down the rifle first instead of me!]

That assumption came from Akiras experience fighting Erios team. There was no guarantee that Katsuya would also do the same as well, but even so, Akira decided to put down everything on this bet.

If it was purely about talent, Katsuya had the upper hand. If they were equally talented, Akira, who had received training from Alpha and had better equipment, would have demolished Katsuya.

Although Katsuya was very talented and had sharpened said talent, he was receiving support without even knowing it. This caused him to have a rather crooked evaluation of himself. But in this situation where the jamming caused him to lose that support, the sharpness of his movements was reduced, his ability to fight was greatly diminished.

But even so, the ongoing battle up until now together with his talent quickly made an adjustment to that. Katsuya who had slowly regained his original strength quickly shot down the SSB rifle and shifted his aim toward Akira, who had been exuding a killing intent that gave him chills. Katsuya was only able to fight back that sense of terror due to his strong conviction to protect his friends.

Right before the deciding moment, Akira and Katsuya exchanged gazes. Then in the next second, blood was scattered all over the floor, the winner and the loser had been decided. A body cleaved clean into two fell on the ground. 

Katsuya was killed on the spot.

Katsuya moved exactly just like what Akira had predicted. He pulled his men back, stepped forward, and shot down the SSB rifle. If he had changed priority even for a bit, if he had chosen to shoot Akira first, or to abandon his men, Akira would have been the one to die there.

Akira understood that even if Katsuya was dead, it did not mean the fight was over. His next move would be to use the chaos to get away from that place or to clean up the rest of his enemies. But neither happened, the moment Katsuya was killed, suddenly, Akira felt multiple presences appearing out of nowhere around him.

[What! There should have been no one else here!]

Akira reflexively swung his blade. But even with the full power of his swing, it was easily stopped. Akira froze in shock as well as because his opponent held his blade.

“Long time no see!”

Tsubaki had Akiras blade in between her middle finger and index finger as she threw a gentle smile at him.

—*—*—*—

A small transport aircraft went over Kuzusuhara ruin. It came from the forward base and was now already deep inside the expedition area. It was flying slightly above the tall buildings in the area. It then opened both the left and the right sides of its chassis.

Sara and Shikarabe stood in front of the left door while Valga and Yamanobe were on the right one. They had large rifles in their hands, aimed below them. Meanwhile, Elena was sending them the location of the enemies that she had detected using her information gathering device.

Sara used that information to fix her aim. Deafening explosions followed suit. A rain of warheads obliterated the monsters below. Shikarabe and the rest were also doing the same. They made short work of the monsters that were trying to attack the transport aircraft.

Shikarabe once again showed his amazement at the rifle that he was lent.

“Elena. How the heck did you get this thing Its not some kind of illegal weapon, right”

The guns and the aircraft were both from Nelia. The aircraft was the one parked in the forward base, while the guns came from Yanagisawas teams reserve armoury. Since she was given permission, Nelia went and lent them to Elenas team.

“Im sure I did give you a short explanation about it before. I dont know anything more than what Ive already said. If you dont feel safe using it, you can use your own instead.”

Shikarabe still had some questions in mind but decided to stop questioning. Judging from Elenas tone, it seemed that Elena had the exact same questions as he did. However, she also decided to just leave it unanswered. Thus, Shikarabe saved those questions for later and focused on the monsters in front of him.

Valga smiled wryly and spoke, full of suspicion.

“Shikarabe. Rather than where these guns come from, I think its more important to question who the heck is that girl.”

Valga was looking at Nelia, who was running in the air as if she had some kind of footing under her feet. She danced between the flying monsters, slicing them one by one with blades on both of her hands. The monsters that she sliced obeyed gravity and fell down to the ground. It was a surreal scene.

“I know that theoretically, you can use forcefield armour fixed under you to make footing while youre in the air, but Ive never seen someone actually do that before. Shes not right in the head, normally youll never go that far no matter how much you prefer close-range weapons, right”

Yamanobe, who was looking at the same thing, also smiled wryly and said.

“I heard that those who specialize in close-range combat are crazy. Well, as far as I can see, those words must be true. Shes a beauty, but I would rather have her at least 3 meters away from me at all times. Well, if its about her face, cyborgs can have any kind of face they want. Although they have different preferences, most of them have beautiful faces.”

Right about then, Nelia finished taking care of the monsters around the aircraft, so she returned back to the aircraft and stood beside Yamanobe. She then smiled at him and said.

“Just to let you know, this is actually my original face.”

“I-I see.”

Nelia was only stating a fact. She had no intention to scare Yamanobe. Nonetheless, he could not help but frown, his back drenched with cold sweat.

Nelia continued walking through the aircraft, exchanged the energy packs in her blades, and was about to jump out from the other side of the aircraft when Sara stopped her.

“By the way, although it might be too late to ask this, and were grateful that you lent us these powerful weapons as well as this aircraft, why would you go that far to save Akira Are you that close”

“Hm Its simply because theres no unused powered suit left.”

Nelia only said so and jumped out of the aircraft. Sara could not understand that reply at all.

“Elena, what does that mean”

“No idea.”

Elena had the same confused look as Sara.

If there was still an unused powered suit back in the forward base, Nelia would have opted to use that instead. But due to Inabes order, all the powered suits were distributed to the powered suit squads that were dispatched with the reinforcement Hunters to take control of the ensuing chaos in the expedition area. 

Not to mention, at the moment, Nelia prioritized Akira more than the powered suit squad where she was originally assigned to.

Shikarabe then said.

“So then, Elena, where is Akira You still cant find him We dont know his exact location, right I hope were not just flying around randomly hoping to spot him somewhere.”

“Well be doing this until that girl decides to go back. Its not like we dont have any hints at all. Im using the powerful radar installed on this aircraft to look for the signal from the information terminal lent to Akira. It can use both long-range and short-range communication frequency. But, if only this jamming could go away… I would be able to quickly detect his whereabouts…”

Elena knitted her eyebrows. Seeing that, Shikarabe also frowned but for a completely different reason.

[So basically, well keep going on as long as we have the ammo and enough energy for the aircraft, huh… I guess it was a mistake accepting this request.]

Due to his job from Drankam, Shikarabe could not join the expedition, but he was still posted as a reserve Hunter at the base. Although he was then sent to join the reinforcement team under City Management, he felt like he would be sent to save Katsuya. He was going to be tasked to save a boy who made rash decisions like it was his bread and butter. Thus, he did not like that post at all.

That was when Elena called him, Shikarabe did not think much and quickly accepted the request to save Akira. He wanted to get out there without waiting for the rest of the reinforcement team, he rather chose to go to look for Akira instead of helping take control of the expedition area. That was why he did not expect to be loaned such powerful guns and a transport aircraft. The furthest he could have expected was this mysterious girl that accompanied him.

Shikarabe already heard from Elena and Sara about the invisible flying drones encircling the expedition area. They allowed people in but not out. However, either it was because the flying aircraft was out of their expectation or that they did not allow anyone who once got out to get in again, those monsters immediately attacked the aircraft when they got close.

He had no wish to blame it on Elena or anything, but it still caught him off-guard. The battles that would have been difficult without the powerful guns continued on.

[…No matter how much I hate Katsuya, this isnt worth it at all! I guess it has started to cause trouble for me as well, huh]

Shikarabe regretted his decision as he continued shooting at the incoming monsters.-

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