Home > Unreal > Rebuild World > Chapter 241: Reunion

Rebuild World Chapter 241: Reunion

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

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Chapter 241: Reunion

Erde flung open the door of the locker inside Akiras room. Because the door was only as tough as a cheap safe box, it did not stand a chance against his abnormal strength. Erde forced it open with brute force, bending it out of shape. It was no longer recognizable. His action seems to mock its electrical lock. Unfortunately for him, the inside was empty.

[…Another miss Which one is the jackpot Dont tell me that they leave this many lockers inside this big room just for this game of hide-and-seek]

He inadvertently knitted his eyebrows and reached for the door of the next locker. When he used his might to open it, he was only greeted by disappointment. He slammed the bent door shut and kicked it, completely breaking the door. If there was someone inside that locker, they would have died. That was why Erde tried to be careful. He was afraid there was someone inside.

Their mission was to kidnap their target, if it was to kill, they would have blown the whole room together when they were blowing down its door. The reason why they spread the enhanced dust particle with a speed filter effect, was exactly so they would not kill their target by mistake.

When they entered the room, they saw the door of a large locker suddenly closed on its own. It was obvious that the door was closed remotely. But they spotted a skirt caught on the door and thought that their target must be hiding inside it, so they immediately forced it open.

If it was only for opening the locker, they could have just used the light blade, which could even easily slash through the thick armour of a powered suit. But it was a different matter when the goal was to keep their target alive. They had no other choice but to slowly open the locker door with a powered-down blade and their enchanted physical strength. That was why they took quite a long time to open the locker.

But strangely enough, there was no one inside. Instead, there was only a hanger with Hikarus uniform dangling on it, it was put there deliberately so that a part of her skirt would get caught by the door.

It was a trick to buy time. Erde who understood that tore the uniform and frowned. The group then proceeded to search the room, but they quickly noticed that Akira was coming, so Erde told his men to welcome him while he would stay behind and search the room alone.

Erde broke the door to the bath and reached under the coloured water of the warm bath to check the water. Nothing. He proceeded to the toilet, still nothing. Pulled off the beds bedding to see a pile of shredded pillows that was set such that it looked like someone hiding under the bedding. Still nothing. He spotted another locker with a gown peeking out. Initially, he thought that was another cheap trick to buy time. However, another thought sprang into mind. It might have deliberately been done to trick him into not checking that locker instead. Thus, he had no other choice but to check that locker. He cautiously broke open the door and checked the inside, again, nothing. The bed, the toilet, the bed, the locker, he kicked all of them after checking them.

Normally, they would have been able to use sensitive information gathering devices to scan the room. But they had focused more on jamming instead of searching. With the high jamming power of the enhanced particle dust, they could not differentiate the signals inside the room using their information-gathering device.

Even so, it should be easier to find their target when they just opened the door. But by the time he opened that large locker, the enhanced dust particles that they spread in the hallway had already seeped into the inside of the room.

[This is not good. We have spent too much time here. How long do I have until the battle outside ends and the other escorts notice us]

And of course, the fact that he was searching alone meant that they could not search multiple places at the same time.

[…They still have not come back yet. It only means that theyre facing a pretty strong opponent. The enhanced dust particles should limit the use of rifles, so even a small squad should give them no problem at all, but even so, theyre taking a bit too long…]

Going out together with the three of them was not a good idea since the hallway was narrow. He knew that his men were not weak, that was why Erde thought that if he also went out, he would only get in their way. Moreover, his original plan was to let his men take care of the escort while he left the scene after he secured their target. Thinking that staying behind was better, Erde told his men to welcome Akira, but now, he believed that decision might have been a mistake.

Erde was not sure if it was a good idea to continue searching. But his trust in his men and his pride made him continue the search. After all, he was the one who left Akira to his men. Although, the search result was as futile as usual.

But even so, he continued searching with a stern look on his face. There were not many places left to search where his target might be hiding, but in the middle of his search, Erde suddenly stopped. He then looked at the large locker that he had first opened. Its door was broken and was still hanging half-open.

To mark the lockers that he had searched, Erde made sure to kick them and destroy them. But the large locker was stronger than the other lockers, so it was not completely broken.

Erde felt something was wrong with the door. He was pretty sure that he did not leave it like that.

“…Wait a second.”

Erde once again went to the large locker and pulled open the door. Finally, he found Hikaru only in her underwear, smiling sacredly at him.

Hikaru was hiding somewhere else at the beginning and went to hide in this large locker later, thinking that it was unlikely for Erde and his men to search the places that they had searched before. That line of thinking was not wrong, and it allowed her to buy a lot of time.

Erde politely smiled.

“So youre here. Weve been looking for you. Now, we need to evacuate. Ill take you to a safe place.”

Hikaru replied, still with her scared smile.

“I-Im sure Im in an already quite safe place at the moment.”

“Please dont worry, we have even a safer place ready. Lets go. Come with me.”

Erdes smile vanished, his hand extended and reached for Hikarus neck.

“Stop fighting back. I want to bring you back unharmed if its possible. That being said, I dont mind breaking your neck if its needed. But dont worry, well connect you to a life support system, so you wont die. Got it”

“O-Okay.”

Erde still had his hand on Hikarus neck as he turned toward the hallway and shouted.

“The target is secured! Were leaving now!!”

Now he just needed to regroup with his men and leave the premises. If his men were in no position to regroup, he was planning to run away alone. In order to confirm that, Erde scanned the hallway. That was when he noticed a signal blazing in the rooms direction. He thought that it was from his men, so he decided to just wait. Someone then jumped into the room.

But that was not his men, it was Akira.

Akira had the rifles on both his hands fixed in Erders direction. Erde reacted by putting Hikaru in front of him. In a split second that was extended into eternity from the adrenaline, Akira and Erde were locking gazes, trying to probe how the other would react. Erde was the first to make a move.

[This guy! Hes going to shoot for real!!]

Erde quickly stepped in front of Hikaru and released a kick toward Akira. Although Akira was obviously outside that kicks reach, Alpha still controlled his augmented suit to evade that kick.

After Erde released his kick, there was a short pause, Akira was then blown back as if he had received an invisible attack. However, since he had enough time to reposition himself, the damage was suppressed. Though, it still threw him off balance.

Erde used that opening to push Hikaru back into the large locker, closed the door, and kicked it. This caused Hikaru to be locked inside the locker. Because of that kick, the door was severely bent and stuck, closed. Hikaru alone did not have the power to open it from the inside. The large locker that she had used to hide herself had turned into a cell to trap her in.

Akira stood back up and Erde once again turned toward Akira. Both of them had a stern look on their faces.

“Alpha, what was that It was from that guys kick, right”

It was still understandable for the knife that was extending out a light blade back in the hallway. But that kick just now completely left no traceable method of reaching him. He was certain that kick did not make physical contact with him. It was clear that he received a shock wave a moment after Erde finished executing his kick.

“Yep, it was from his kick, he used the speed filter effect to propagate that shock wave.”

“The heck is that”

“He kicked in such a way that created a dense layer of air, which activated the speed filter effect. He then directed that dense layer of air and increased its drag force even further to send a shock wave.”

“Seriously, just what the heck was that attack Is it normal to do this further to the east There was a huge flying monster that looked like a floating island. Cannon that was as large as a building sticking down towards us, huge-monster swarms. I have two rifles with me and Im still having trouble against people with knives. Now, a guy that can kick from afar shows up. Just because were further to the east, isnt all this just a bit too crazy If its already this bad here, I cant imagine how bad it is in the easts frontline.”

“Well, one thing that I can say, its just out of this world. Were talking about an area thats filled with old-world technology after all.”

“Alright then. Lets never go any further to the east of Kugamayama city ever again.”

“Its fine for me too, but first, we need to survive this place, right”

“I know.”

That exchange happened in a split second since it happened through telepathy, but even in the middle of that, Akira was eyeing an opening from Erde. Erde tried to guess what Akira was thinking since he was only standing in silence. Although it was only for a few seconds, both of them understood that even the slightest opening would be fatal.

Erdes gaze turned sharp, there was a clear rage behind it.

“Youre that girls escort, right Are you seriously thinking that its better to get her killed rather than letting me abduct her Thats so typical of someone from the Corporate Government. Dont you think theres anything wrong with that line of thinking”

Akira did not reply, Erde interpreted that silence as an answer as his expression turned to disgust.

“Humph, no response, huh I guess its thanks to your education as an agent. Reborn to a loyal dog and used like an object under your corporate overlords just to die like an expendable article. Without any complaint at all. You guys are really messed up in the head.”

Although Akira already noticed that Erde was having a huge misunderstanding, he still did not reply.

“Since youre here, it means that you defeated my men, huh Im Erde, whats your name”

Akira still did not answer, Erdes disgust toward Akira grew stronger.

“Humph, still nothing, huh Or is it that you dont have a name I guess the most that an object can have to identify itself is its product code, huh Born as a human, educated to live like an object under the Corporate Government, and then die like an expendable item. How pitiful.”

Even after that, Akira still did not say anything. Erde finally stopped trying to have a conversation with him.

“My men died under my command. So I was planning to at least present your name to avenge their death, but no name, huh Well, at least Ill balance their bad luck with your death.”

Erdes expression turned solemn, he had completely changed gears. But before he made a move, Akira suddenly said.

“Akira.”

Erde raised his eyebrows, but Akira did not say anything any further.

“…I see, those two are Torpa and Salza. Feel free to carry those names to the afterlife.”

In a time-constrained mission, to use a precious second to ask the name of his opponent was unnecessary. Nonetheless, Erde still chose to spend that much time because of his respect toward his men. Thus, Akira gave the least-needed respect toward a man who showed respect to his deceased comrades.

In the next instant, both their expressions turned solemn. There was no longer even a trace of disgust or hatred on their faces, what was left was only the wish to accomplish their respective mission. In short, the death of their respective opponent. Instead of keeping distance, both of them leapt forward, challenging the other to a close-range fight with a mix of rifles and fists. Both wanted to end the fight in the shortest time possible. For Erde, it was for the sake of his mission, while for Akira, it was because of the limited energy in his augmented suit and the narrowing time where he could continue to compress his time perception.

Bullets filled the room in the next instant, just like usual. The speed filter caused them to suddenly lose momentum and fall down to the ground. That speed filter became a medium to propagate shock waves from Erdes kicks. They were jumping around inside the room during the high-speed fight while destroying the places where they could safely step. Just under a few seconds, floor, ceiling, wall, furniture, everything inside the room was wrecked as if they were devoured by a storm.

—*—*—*—

Inside the command centre of the transport convoy, everyone finally breathed a sigh of relief since the battle outside had finally calmed down. So, they proceeded to assess the damage on each transport vehicle. But after the death report for the Hunters reached them, their calmed faces turned cloudy.

The commander sighed.

“…To be honest, I want to celebrate since weve survived that ordeal, but theres nothing to be happy about with this situation. Continue the emergency alert and keep the SOS signal up. Theres no report from numbers 6 and 8, whats going on there”

“We still cant reach them. We are still working on it.”

“Send someone to directly check on them, we at least can do that much, right”

“Weve already sent someone. But they havent come back yet. I believe that its because the transport vehicle went into lockdown, so we might need some time to reopen it.”

“I see. Either way, tell them to hurry up. Ask the other Hunters to help as well. Im sure they can at least go to check those two transport vehicles.”

“Roger that!”

They quickly broadcast the order and collected all the information that they could get, but even so, they still had no report coming from transport vehicles 6 and 8. The commander frowned.

“Whats the progress with numbers 6 and 8 Its taking too long. Tell them theres no need for a detailed report, an overview is enough.”

The staff conveyed that to the Hunters. After hearing the reply, the commander tensed up. The report basically said that the Hunters who went to check had not returned. Even after sending several people a few times, no one returned. Even the Hunters started to notice something fishy was going on, that was right when they asked what was their next plan.

The commander made his decision, he had a worried look as he gave his order.

“Tell the Hunters to secure transport numbers 6 and 8!”

“S-secure”

“Yes! Tell them that its okay to even damage the transport vehicle! But make sure to keep the damages within the limit! Get numbers 6 and 8 under our control immediately!!”

“Do you mean that someone took control of those two transport vehicles!!”

“Yes!! Tell them to make their move with that assumption in mind!! Its fine even if its an unnecessary worry! Get them to move out as soon as possible!!”

In that situation where it was just a guess, worry started to ripple inside the command centre. Everyone wanted that guess to be wrong, but unfortunately, they were not mistaken.

—*—*—*—

Erdes kick landed on the ceiling. The decorative layer of the ceiling cracked to pieces and peeled off, exposing the inner part of the ceiling. Akira who was there a moment ago jumped backwards with his head still pointing at the floor, both of his rifles aimed at Erde. His distance to Erde was closer to when the speed filter would take effect. Thus, getting shot from this distance was fatal.

But no bullets touched Erde. All of them flew past beside him. The shock wave from the kick threw Akiras aim off target.

Erde quickly closed the gap, Akira kicked the ceiling and returned back to the floor. The moment he landed, he kicked straight up and was met by Erdes kick straight down.

As their kicks made contact, the shock wave shook the room. Due to his augmented suit, Akiras footing was reinforced with forcefield armour, but even so, it still left a huge crack and completely shattered the floor.

Akira immediately retracted his leg and exchanged it with rifle muzzles. Erde did the same but exchanged his leg with fists. The shockwave from the fist hit the muzzles. Although it did no damage due to the muzzles being protected by forcefield armour, it was enough to throw Akira off target again.

Erde slightly shook Akiras aim, causing an opening in his barrage of bullets. While at the same time, he created a forcefield armour platform in the air to propel himself to the side, using the opening on the barrage to get away from Akira.

After that, neither of them tried for a second attack. Akira and Erde just stood facing each other in silence.

Akira had an extremely stern look on his face. He had his rifles pointing downward, although that was purely by chance, he did not point them to the Erde because he had no wish to escalate the situation at the moment.

“…Alpha, hows my leg”

“The augmented suit is still okay. It is still fully functional. But that kick shaved quite a lot of energy since I had to increase the forcefield armour output past its limit.”

“…How about my body”

“Arent you glad that you took quite a lot of medicine beforehand”

Although Akira could not see it, he knew that the inside of his legs was badly damaged. The expensive medicines that he took helped him to fix those injuries as fast as possible. But even so, he did not want to even make a move immediately if it was possible. The backlash from the third reality manipulation was severe, the fatigue assaulted his brain in the form of an excruciating headache. At the moment, he tried to lighten the effect by focusing it only around where Erde was.

“This is harder than fighting those two. Seriously! Why are these guys aiming for Hikaru”

“If he was in that fight, you would have been dead by now. Its at least one good thing among all the bad things that you faced today, right”

“Just why in the world does my luck only give me the least to survive situations like this… It wont be strange if I at least have some more, no”

“How about retreating to buy some extra time If you still have some luck, you might still be able to return back safely.”

Akira smiled wryly in reaction to that suggestion. The moment he opened his mouth, his opponent might take that chance to attack him. But even so, he still said something to Erde.

“Say, what is the chance of you letting me go”

Erdes stern face coloured with a tinge of confusion.

“That was out of the blue, why be sheepish now”

“Its not like I have any personal grudge against you. When I accepted my mission, no one told me that I would be fighting someone this strong. So, I just thought that running away from you wont mean that Im breaking my mission so it should be alright.”

“…Thank you for the very tempting suggestion, but Im afraid I cannot accept that. You already killed two of my men, its too late to retreat now.”

“Well, it cant be helped then.”

“Yeah, indeed.”

After a short pause, it was Erdes turn to make a suggestion.

“Let me make an offer this time, wont you leave If this fight is not in your job description and you think it isnt worth the trouble, you can just retreat. Though it might violate your mission, I think its better to just accept that loss, isnt that just how Corporate Government works”

“Hmm, unfortunately, thats not a choice for me…”

“Why Judging from your reply, you dont think this is worth the trouble, no”

“Im here because she asked me to help, I would hate myself if I retreat just because I found out the opponent is too strong.”

He felt that doing something like that would exhaust whatever little luck that he had left. Akira of course could not say that. So Erde, who took that as a simple matter of feeling, tilted his head, showing that he could not understand Akira.

“But you were just about to shoot her, no”

“I did, but I would make sure to miss my shots, even if they hit, they would not be fatal. I also still have some medicine left. The moment you used her as a shield, shes equivalent to being dead already. Its the negotiators job to find a way to save her in that situation and Im not a negotiator.”

“I see. So basically, although youre strict in deciding that it was too late, it was not like you did not have the wish to save her, huh”

After another pause, Akira broke the silence.

“So then, why are you guys targeting Hikaru Although it might be weird to hear this from me, I think shes not that important of a person for you to go this far.”

“Let me ask you this instead. If shes not that important, then why are you escorting her”

“My job is not to escort her, its to escort the transport convoy. Im just helping her on the side of my job.”

“Do you really think I would believe that”

“Even if you say that. In that case, what makes you so sure that shes that important”

“Simple, its because shes an old-world connector from Saka**a Heavy Industry.”

Akira raised his eyebrows in surprise. Because he himself was someone who could connect to the old-world domain, there was a tint of another emotion mixed in his surprised face. Erde who saw that was sure that his guess was correct.

“So it was correct, huh Im glad that we did break the group into smaller teams.”

Akira raised his voice so that it reached Hikaru that was locked inside the huge locker.

“Hikaru! I dont know whats going on here, but it seems that this is a huge misunderstanding! Do you have any idea how to clear up this misunderstanding! Or is it that youre actually an old-world connector from Saka**a Heavy Industry!”

Hikaru, who heard that from inside the locker, was greatly surprised. She then shouted back from inside the locker.

“How the heck did they end up thinking Im an old-world connector!”

“Like hell if I know! That guy is telling me so!”

Hikaru was so confused, but she finally understood what was going on. If they were here to kidnap an old-world connector from Saka**a Heavy Industry, then it was not strange for them to cause such chaos. At the same time, she got even more panicked. She had no idea how to convince the attackers that it was a huge misunderstanding.

On the other hand, it might be counter-effective if she ended up convincing Erde that it was a misunderstanding. Up until now, the attackers were holding back in order to kidnap her. If she was able to convince them, then they would not have any more reasons to hold back. When that happens, they might as well blow up this whole transport vehicle. Hikaru was stuck in between a rock and a hard place.

“A-Akira! I dont know whats going on but do your best! Im counting on you!”

“Good grief, dont be crazy…”

Akira smiled wryly. Judging from that reply, one thing that Akira could catch was that trying to convince Erde was not an option. Erde chuckled and said.

“Theres no need to stay behind if you cant get along with your superiors crazy antics, you know Like I said before, you can just retreat. If you really didnt know that shes an old-world connector, then this mission is way too dangerous for you. Im sure you wont get penalized.”

Hikaru, who was listening from the locker, shivered.

“Wait! Dont leave me! Please! Help me! Ill do anything!”

“…You better make sure I get a suitable reward, alright”

“O-Of course!”

Akira then lightly smiled at Erde.

“Well, it seems that this will be worth the trouble.”

Erde lightly chuckled.

“Is that so As far as I know, as long as you cant take that reward to the afterlife, it wont be worth the trouble though.”

“Dont worry, Ill make sure to spend it in this world.”

“Hm, that would be impossible for you, unfortunately.”

Both of them smiled confidently at each other as both sides thought that the time for talk was coming to a close.

That exchange of words was nothing more than for buying time for Akiras leg to heal up and his brain to recover. Erde also used that time to rest his body for a bit. That clash of their kicks was equally damaging to both. If the opponent did not move, they would prefer to wait until their body healed up. As both of them mutually agreed on this, they took their time for silly banter. After all, it was equally a preferable move for both of them to heal up their legs.

But as the more time they wasted, the scale was slowly tipping toward Akiras side. The enhanced dust particle was slowly dispersing with time, lowering the effect of the speed filter, which increased the range of Akiras bullets. At the same time, it also made it more difficult for Erde to execute his long-range kick.

To top it off, Erdes mission had a time limit. He had to kidnap his target before the escort team could find him. If the escort team also joined the fight, Akira would undoubtedly win the fight. So, the longer he waited, the better Akiras chance would get.

Before the time was stretched too thin, Erde decided to make the first move. Akira knew that would happen. His smile vanished; his gaze turned sharp. He had to finish the fight as soon as possible in the next confrontation, and he resolved himself to end it with the death of his opponent. His intense focus made time feel like it was expanded.

In the middle of that, Alpha then said with a stern face.

“Akira. It seems that hes planning to use his trump card.”

“Yeah. I bet so.”

“According to my calculation, youll lose the next exchange.”

“Its not like I can do anything about it even if you tell me that now.”

Akira lightly smiled, Alpha then put her face close to Akira.

“Thats not the point. But its also true that youll be dead at this rate. Thats why, with that information, is it okay to do an equally dangerous thing to get out of this predicament I need your permission here.”

Akira was a bit confused.

“You know what You should have told me that sooner.”

But Alpha replied with a serious tone.

“Just like last time, I didnt have the permission to ask for your permission before. I can only do that because were in this situation right now.”

“I see, its about that pain-in-the-neck permission thingy, huh.”

“Let me remind you that my position is that of your requester. My support is upfront payment for your reward, thats why I wont deliberately put you in unnecessary danger. Thats why I want you to trust me and give me your permission.”

Akira replied instantly.

“Come on now, isnt that a little bit too late for that I dont know what youre planning to do, but I dont want to die. So just do it.”

Alpha smiled happily, then her expression turned neutral.

“Due to the emergency situation, in order to give better support for the subject Akira, requesting permission to per-recognition information processing as well as thought intervene-”

“I allow it.”

With the permission already formally given, Alphas expression returned to normal. She was smiling happily with confidence toward Akira.

“Thank you. As long as you have my support, everything will be fine.”

“Im really counting on you for this one. A guy that strong is coming at me so desperately, please do something about it.”

“Just leave it to me. But this will put your body under immense stress, so make sure youre ready.”

“Alright, taking care of that part is my job after all.”

Akira and Alpha exchanged a smile. That smile also represented the re-establishment of their connection, which was once cut by the jamming back in Kuzusuhara ruin.-

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