Chapter 275: Tamed Monsters
After Akira jumped off the vehicle, he immediately started running toward the direction where the encirclement was the thickest. As expected, the enemies were still far from his reach. Furthermore, with obstacles in between them, it was impossible for Akira to directly aim his shot. He kept running while calling for his bike.
Meanwhile, he shot down some of the incoming warheads. He even used the LEO multi-rifle on his right hand to shoot down some of the warheads that were not heading towards him. It created a furry of firework-like explosions up in the air. Those explosions alerted his attackers. Informing them that he was heading in a different direction, away from the vehicle. While he was doing all of this, he was about to end his call with Elena and Sara, which was hosted through Alpha.
“Of course, until next time then… Alpha! The bike is heading this way, right”
“Im driving it right now, so dont worry. But before that, lets clean those up first.”
Alpha then pointed at the signals that were heading toward him. With his vision augmented to see as far as it could, Akira could not help but frown.
“Monsters Whats going on”
These signals were coming from large-sized carnivorous monsters. Their bodies were half-mechanical, as if they got turned into cyborgs. They were covered in blueish armour plates as if they were born with metallic hard skin. In between their armour plates, four limbs were extending out. They were moving nimbly, as if their 6-meter long body did not impede them at all. The wreckage and the rubble were helplessly crushed under their large legs.
It was obvious that the monsters were not from around Kugamayama city. It would not be strange to find such monsters way out to the east, maybe around Zegelt city. That was the first thing that shocked Akira, the next thing was that they were heading toward him.
It could only be described as unfortunate for monsters if they were escaping from a hail of warheads. However, the current situation was far too strange. These monsters were running straight to where those warheads were landing. If they wanted to destroy the source of bombardment, they would head in the same direction Akira was heading, not towards him. As Akira was still uncertain as to what to do with those monsters, they suddenly stopped midway. It was as if they thought it was a bad idea to get too close to him and started to move around him.
Akira was even more confused. However, his confusion got completely annihilated as suddenly, the bombardment got even more intense.
“That was rather sudden.”
Up until this point, the bombardment was aimed at the general area around Akira. Therefore, some of the warheads landed a bit far away from him. However, suddenly, the target area narrowed down. The intense bombardment was not due to the increase in total number but because the targeting area got narrowed down. This showed that they got a better grasp of his location.
Monsters that were behaving strangely and the sudden increase in accuracy. Alpha immediately noticed their connection.
“Akira, those monsters are working as reconnaissance for the enemy. Shoot them down immediately.”
Akira raised his eyebrows. He did not expect that at all.
“Reconnaissance But they are monsters, no Why are monsters helping the Hunters who are after me”
“I bet they captured and modified them. Modifying a mechanical monster is relatively easy after all.”
It was not rare to capture a powerful monster and tame it to help Hunters. Biological monsters had the embedded instinct to attack people so it was extremely difficult to tame a biological monster. However, for mechanical monsters, depending on its biological and mechanical structure, Hunters might be able to interfere with its programming. For example, rewriting the control device or even replacing it altogether.
Especially for mechanical monsters that imitate biological creatures. Sometimes, it was easier to manipulate their programmed instinct compared to complete drones. After all, most of the time, their brain was connected to a nervous system. Even if it was impossible to manipulate the control device, they could simply replace it with another control device. Most of the time, control devices for powered suits were used as the replacement. Afterwards, they could let it run some machine learning program to study how to control the monsters body and over time, if lucky, take full control of it.
There were cases where the new control device caused the biological portion of the monster to go berserk. Naturally, this happened because the new control device was made with the current eras technology. It was easier than having to analyze the monsters control device, which was made of an unknown substance and unknown technology. Moreover, this process, using familiar technology, made it easier to analyse and control the captured monster.
If they were able to do well manipulating the captured monster, they might be able to use the old-world mechanical monsters parts. Although these parts were made of metallic materials, they were able to be repaired as if they were biological parts. Some even had the weird capability to fix themselves in an instant if induced with certain medicine. Some could work even without an energy pack or a generator. In order to study those parts, many mechanical monsters were captured.
The monsters that Akira was facing were called Blue Saber, the Hunters hunting him tamed them. The reason why the bombardment accuracy suddenly increased was because their blue monsters were conveying all kinds of information to them. Like the contours of the region and the general coordinate of where Akira was.
“Akira, you already did very well as a decoy, can we get serious now”
The reason why Akira was deliberately shooting down more warheads than needed, was simply to act as a decoy. This was so that they were more focused on him instead of Elena and Sara. Akira knew that shooting randomly upwards would expose his location, they just needed to retrace the bullets trajectory, but he still did so.
However, now, he could stop. He quickly hid his presence using his camouflaging coat and stopped shooting down the warheads. He then quickly turned toward one of the blue monsters.
This blue monster was constantly keeping a distance. It was as far away as it could be, while keeping Akira barely within its sensors range. However, once he activated his camouflaging coat, the monster was no longer able to detect where he was.
Because of that, the bombardment had lost its target. They started shooting randomly around the area, prioritizing coverage over accuracy. After all, they concluded that Akira should be around the area. Since Alpha could accurately predict the trajectories of the warheads, this random bombardment did not cause any trouble for Akira. Meanwhile, the boy was calmly running toward that one blue monster, closing the distance between them.
The monster immediately went to the area where Akira suddenly vanished. It was trying to once again ascertain his location. However, with the constant explosions from the warheads, dust and smoke veiled the area. This caused it to be even more difficult to find Akira, who had his camouflaging coat on along with Alphas support.
Even so, the blue monster increased its scanner power. Therefore, it eventually detected Akiras signal again. However, that was only after he had decided to move quickly. Although he knew that he was jeopardizing his position, it was worth the risk.
Akira knew that he did not have to get that close if he used his rifle. However, he still chose to use a blade. It was to avoid having the enemies locking down on his position from the sound of the gunshot. If he could take down this monster, it would greatly reduce the accuracy of the bombardment. He was prioritizing hiding his presence. At least, until his bike came so that he could quickly close the distance to those surrounding him.
The blade handle was connected to an energy tank on his back through a tube. That way, he could transfer energy to the blade. Increasing the sharpness of the blade through the strengthened forcefield armour, increased the risk of it crumbling to dust. It was thanks to Alpha keeping a very subtle balance that the blades sharpness could be pushed to its limit without destroying the blade. She was even able to control the minute detail of the blades output as it was swung toward the blue monsters head.
The time between the monster detecting Akira and the blade reaching its head was minuscule. If it was a biological monster, that opening was only barely enough to make a surprised expression.
However, a mechanical monster was not subjected to such pointless emotions. It did not even waste its time. It immediately obeyed its programming to attack Akira. It opened its jaw wide, which was filled with electric needles instead of teeth. The electric needles created a bluish flame that gathered in the middle of its mouth. It was creating a ball of energy. It aimed that energy ball at Akira, which fired to transform into a burning blue ray of light.
At the next moment, Akira sliced through the beam and even past the blue beast.
He swung the blade from a low stance, releasing a sharp wave of light that split the blue beam into two. It scorched the terrain to his left and right, leaving two clear charred lines on the ground. Akira increased the speed of his body using his suit, which added to his initial inertia to quicken his swing. With masterful execution, the blade cut through the heavily armoured head and pierced through the torso of the monster.
As the blue light died out and the monster was split cleanly into two, Akira stood in the middle of its carcass. He then looked back at the scorch marks on the ground and frowned.
“Ah! That was dangerous! That is not something that I can just take on and walk off fine, right”
“Yep. It would have killed you if you had taken it head-on.”
“They even have these kinds of monsters, huh Just who the heck is hunting me right now”
“Whoever they are, I bet their Hunter Rank is high enough to hunt a 50 billion Aurum bounty target.”
“I already know that, but still…”
Even in the eastern district, where guns reigned supreme, there were still those who forwent blades and fought with their fists. Those who had survived for so long, even after making such a foolish decision, were powerful Hunters.
It was the same for taming monsters. Doing such a thing with the goal to increase ones fighting power was considered foolish. If it was only for the sake of increasing firepower, it was safer and cheaper to get a tank or better equipment. Therefore, those who tamed monsters not for the sake of research or business, mostly did so for the sake of their hobby.
This meant that those hunting him right now were the people with enough money or power to indulge in such an ineffective activity. It could even be both. With such people attacking him, it reaffirmed his identity as a 50 billion Aurum bounty target. Thus, Akira let out a sigh.
He then changed gear. He once again slipped into the noise created by the raging battle and moved away from this place. Since he had killed a recon unit, he believed it would be easier for him to hide his presence now. He jumped off the dead monster and continued heading forward.
However, the next surprise caused him to frown. There were two more Blue Sabers heading in his direction.
“There are still more this close, huh”
“It seems like theyre heading here from another location. Since they approximately know where you are, they no longer have to search the other areas.”
From his last encounter, he knew that these monsters had the ability to shoot from afar. Therefore, this time, he chose to use his LEO multi-rifles and aimed each of them toward a different blue monster. The rifles released a barrage of C-bullets toward their targets with pinpoint accuracy.
But before they hit their targets, they suddenly got deflected. Instead, a bluish spark was left in their stead. Once the sparks cleared up, there was a translucent bluish-white glass-like layer, cracked and almost close to shattering. It was now clear that the monsters had used a forcefield shield to deflect his barrage.
Akira knitted his brows and then raised them the very next moment. From behind the forcefield shield, the monsters had already opened their jaws. They were about to release their laser attacks. Akira quickly jumped behind the dead monster that he just killed. A few milliseconds later, the area was completely devoured by blue.
Since the ray attack was focused more on area coverage instead of firepower, it did not inflict that much damage on Akira. Even so, with two of them shooting at the same time, it had enough power to blast the carcass of their dead friend away, leaving Akira exposed. Although he was also blown away, since he had focused on his defence, he was able to avoid any injury.
Akira quickly reaffirmed his footing right away once he landed.
Now that he was once again exposed, he thought that he should at least shoot down one of them. Thus, he was aiming both of his rifles at one target.
“Alpha! Which one should I take out first”
“We need to kill them both. Even if you manage to get one, the other one would still be able to relay your location.”
“You know that I cant do it. Thats why Im thinking of taking one of them out first. Im asking which one I should take out first! If youre not going to answer, I will decide on my own.”
“Dont worry, itll be fine.”
“What do you mean”
It was a telepathic conversation through his compressed time perception. Therefore, even a long conversation would only take a short time. Even so, Akira did not have the leeway to have a long conversation. Even in that situation, Alpha was smiling like usual. She was returning replies that did not mesh well with the situation, causing him to be even more bewildered.
Right at the next moment, the two monsters had their heads pierced through by a single laser each. The first monster had its control device on its head accurately pierced by a concentrated beam, while the second monster had a hole drilled through its head.
Seeing that, Akira was completely flabbergasted and glanced at Alpha. Seeing that, Alpha just smiled back with her usual smile.
“See, its fine, isnt it”
Akira agreed and gave a nod. He then frowned and looked toward the source of the lasers. He could see a bike heading in his direction with an AF anti-material cannon perched on its back. He quickly realized that it was his bike and Alpha was controlling it. However, he did not know where the other laser came from.
As the bike came to view through the smoke, Akira finally realized where the other laser came from. At the same time, he was caught by surprise. Carol was on his bike with a large cannon in her hand. Even with that huge thing, the bike did not even seem to slow down as it approached him. As the bike passed him, Akira grabbed Carols hand and jumped on board.
As Akira took the back seat, Carol glanced and smiled at him.
“Sorry for the wait, was I late Though, from my point of view, it seems like I just came right on time.”
“Yeah, thanks. But why are you here Even without you on it, the bike should be able to get here just fine.”
“Oh my. I didnt expect you to say that when I came all the way here to rescue you. Just like you saw earlier. Im not going to slow you down, you know”
Toward Carol, who was voicing her honest complaint, Akira frowned and replied.
“Its safer for you to remain inside the camping vehicle. Just so you know, Im still in the middle of my bodyguard job duty as well. As your bodyguard, I wish to protect my target. I dont want you endangering yourself just to help me out. Just like earlier, I do not have a lot of leeway to protect another person, you know”
“Then, it was the right decision for me to come here. I will fight together with you and help you as much as I can. Isnt that what we agreed on when you accepted my bodyguard request If youre that cornered right now, then let me help you. That was the deal and that is just how deals work, no”
“Youre not wrong, but…”
Seeing Akira sheepishly try to deny her, Carol became a little obstinate as she firmly stated.
“Just so you know, even if you say you want to cancel your bodyguard job because of this, I will still come to help you, okay This is also partly instruction from Shirou, after all. Since Im also basically working for him, this is also part of my job, so I wont back down. Alright”
Although Carol made such a claim, they were actually not formally working under Shirou. As he had thought, Shirou intentionally manipulated Carol using her misunderstanding. He quickly connected to Shirou through telepathy and asked him.
“Shirou, what do you think youre doing”
“It would be bad for me if you die, you see. So, I asked Carol to rescue you. Although youre not working for me at the moment, I can still employ Carol as an individual and separate her employment from you. So, I dont see why I should be criticized by you for that.”
“Just so you know, I dont owe you anything for this.”
“Sure. Your condition doesnt really matter if you die, after all. But well, if this is enough to kill you, its meaningless to hire you in the first place. So, make sure to get back here alive.”
They then went silent, but behind that silence, their wills were clashing against each other. Thanks to telepathy, their emotions were being conveyed to one another even without any words spoken. After a short moment, Shirou was the first one to break the silence.
“But still, how did you manage to tame someone like her”
“What are you trying to say”
“Though it might be weird coming from me since Im the one who sent her to help you. But, when I did so, she did not utter a single complaint and just went to you, you know No matter how you look at it, between leaving the safety of the camping vehicle or going out straight to where it rained warheads and having to fight against Hunters who were strong enough to hunt a 50 billion bounty target, normally, I would expect her to say one or two complaints. I can understand it if shes a veteran soldier, but that doesnt seem to be the case. Are you guys dating or something”
Shirou casually threw that question, believing if that was indeed the case, he might be able to use it for his goal. However, Akira did not answer except for a telepathic sigh.
“Shirou, make sure to protect the camping vehicle. All my reserve ammo is over there. If I lose it now, it would be really bad. So, make sure to protect it, I will owe you one if you do that.”
“Sure. Good luck out there.”
Akira then closed the telepathic connection, heaved a long sigh, and became solemn.
“Carol, like I said before, I cant guarantee your safety in this situation. So, you might get killed if you stay with me. To be honest, I would prefer to have you head back to the camping vehicle. You know this already and still want to help me here, right”
“Yep, isnt that what I said back then”
“Are you really sure This is your last chance to withdraw.”
“Geez, youre so stubborn, you know”
Carol pouted. As expected, with Akiras numerous warnings, she started to wonder if Akira saw her as nothing but a burden. Someone who would only serve to slow him down.
“… I see.”
But after hearing her confirmation once again, Akira lightly smiled which quickly escalated into laughter.
“Alright! Help me out then!”
Carol was taken aback by Akiras sudden change in mood. However, he ignored how surprised she was and continued.
“First of all, we need to swap places, so get to the back seat.”
As the bike was moving haphazardly to avoid the pouring warheads, Akira forcefully swapped places with Carol. He did not hold back and grabbed her chest and legs as he casually took the front seat. Although it was slightly rough, Carol was frozen in disbelief since Akira never treated her like that before.
“Alright then. Lets get serious. Carol. As I said, I dont have the leeway to protect you. So, I will be making pretty extreme moves. Hold on tight and make sure not to get thrown overboard.”
Carol coiled one of her arms around his chest, sticking close to his back.
“Compared to the first time we met, youve grown quite a lot. Wouldnt it be fine to graduate from being a boy soon”
“Ill think about it. Now we are going!”
Although it was just for a split second, Akira responded back positively, which he had never done before. Even Carol did not expect that. However, the one surprise after another event was not over. The bike suddenly made a sharp turn. However, it was neither to the right nor to the left. The bike suddenly went up with the help of invisible platforms under its wheels.
“Whoa! Wha-! Akira!”
Carol yelped. Akira heard her, but he simply smiled in amusement and ignored it.
After they got to about 300 metres above the ground, although they were still facing a storm of warheads, Akira saw it as positive. They no longer had to worry about the shock wave when the warheads hit the ground. Even the explosions could no longer reach them. Compared to the ground, the sky was a relatively calm place. Though, Carol looked a bit frightened, being at that height with no visible footing. She tried to calm herself down as she asked.
“Akira, I dont think our situation changed that much though. So, whats next”
“Well, although they have a better view of us from down there, that is also true for us from up here. It would be difficult to shoot when on the ground with everything in our way. So, this is much better. Carol, Ill send data of their location to you, feel free to shoot them the moment they get in your range.”
Carol added the information she received to her display. She could see several enemy signals coming from the front. Due to the contour of the terrain, it was impossible to snipe them from afar. However, from up here, it was no longer a problem. Moreover, Akira was moving toward them, thus closing the distance. Although the enemies were trying to move away and keep their distance, thanks to the clear sky with no obstacles, Akira and Carol were moving much faster.
“Alright. Lets get started. First one.”
Carol fixed her aim and Akira also did the same. Even the bike took aim as well.
Akira and Carol lightly smiled and zeroed in on their targets. Without even exchanging a signal, they pulled the trigger at the same time. Akira, Carol, and the weapons on the bikes arm all shot at the same time.
The 3 LEO multi-rifles released a barrage of fully charged C bullets. Meanwhile, the AF anti-material cannon released a high-intensity laser beam. It was focused more on firepower than spread. Carols cannon released a stream of condensed energy in the direction it was aiming. All shots pierced through the air, drawing long lines in the sky. They headed straight toward their respective targets.
The nearest tank took the full brunt of that attack. Its forcefield armour was torn down from such an assault. There was no doubt that everyone inside the tank got either turned to ash or were full of holes.
Akira did not waste a single second as he quickly turned his bike toward the next target. It was a scene of him laying waste to everything in his wake. The cries and screams from the battlefield seem to say that 50 billion Aurum was far too low for someone like him.-