Home > Unreal > Rebuild World > Chapter 278: Humane Treatment

Rebuild World Chapter 278: Humane Treatment

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

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Chapter 278: Humane Treatment

Right after Yanagisawa knocked Akira overboard, Hammerz suddenly appeared in front of the running camping vehicle. He simply put his hand forward and lifted it up, forcing it to a complete halt. With his superhuman strength, he slowly placed it back on the ground, but sideways.

When he had suddenly stopped the camping vehicle, Carol was thrown off due to the inertia. Fortunately, she was able to land safely and quickly fired her laser cannon at Hammerz.

Hammerz immediately deflected it with his arm. Carol froze from shock and did not have time to react. Hammerz then suddenly appeared in front of her and grabbed her by her face.

“Youll die the next time you do that.”

She was glaring at him, even when her eyes were filled with amazement and fear.

“…What do you mean Youre not here for our lives”

“No, I am from Saka**a Heavy Industry. And the other one is from Kugamayama city. We are here for something different. Not for the bounty. So, Ill warn you not to do anything unnecessary. You dont want to die, right And you dont want to get others killed, right”

Hammerz then released Carol. He turned and walked toward the camping vehicle.

Carol lowered her rifle. She could do nothing but stand and watch. Although Hammerz was showing his back to her, she knew that he could kill her anytime he wanted.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Yanagisawa was smiling politely at Akira with his rifle still pointed at that youth.

“Shirou-kun, you know this name, right Im actually looking for this guy, can you tell me where he is”

“No.”

Akira replied instantly, rejecting him. Beside Akira, was Alpha, who was completely flustered. However, Yanagisawa could not see her.

Yanagisawa put more force on his rifle. He started to smile intimidatingly at Akira. If he had been just another normal Hunter, Akira would have been scared to death by now. He would have already leaked Shirous location.

However, Akira was completely unfrazzled. As a matter of fact, he was glaring straight at Yanagisawa. His death stare was desperately looking for an opportunity to turn the table. To find a chance to retaliate against Yanagisawa.

Seeing that, Yanagisawa clicked his tongue and thought.

[What a pain. Well, I guess thats just the kind of person who would pick a fight with Lion Steel. He even became a bounty target, huh…]

If he was planning to throw away his life, there would have been a trace of resignation in Akiras glare. If he was looking for an opening, he would have not made a flat-out rejection. Instead, he would have tried to buy some time. However, Akira did not do anything like that. Basically, Akira did not try to compromise. He showed no concern for his own life. There was not even a single shred of regret. Yanagisawa could tell just how difficult it was to extract information from such a person.

Yanagisawa could just easily kill him but that would mean not getting any information. This was the only reason Akira was still alive.

Yanagisawa lightly chuckled and spoke, as if to scold a selfish kid.

“…Lets do this instead then. If you promise not to try anything after I lower my rifle, I will lower my rifle. So”

Akira did not reply. He simply glared at Yanagisawa in silence.

Yanagisawa immediately stopped smiling. He was gazing coldly at Akira. It was as if he was not looking at a human but an animal.

“If you cant do that, then I will just kill you this instant. Discussion, understanding each other, and negotiations. These are all important aspects of being a human since they connect people. If you cant at least do that, I have no other choice but to treat you as a monster. After all, theres no understanding between humans and monsters.”

It was not a threat to murder him if he did not reply. Instead, it was a threat to kill him if he was not willing to behave like a human. It was not so much the threat by the meaning behind it that finally moved Akira. If he asked himself,do I want to be treated like a human, then, as expected, Akira had only one answer.

“…Fine.”

Yanagisawas smile returned and he finally lowered his rifle. He then offered Akira a hand.

Akira did not even bother to reach for that hand. He pushed himself back up. He took out his medicine and gulped down a huge dose of it. Yanagisawa was only watching him with a wry smile. Akira then sighed and asked.

“…So then, what is it with you Youre not here to kill me, huh”

Yanagisawa awkwardly laughed.

“No no no, its not at all. Like I said before, I just want to ask you some questions. So, Shirou-kun, you know him, right”

“Yeah.”

“It would be great if you can tell me where he is…”

“No.”

Yanagisawa laughed. Akira sulked. Meanwhile, Alpha was still as flustered as before.

“Theres no need to be that annoyed, you know Im sorry for being a bit violent there. But like, you know, youre a bounty target now. If I dont do that, I dont think you would even listen to what I have to say, right”

“Not my problem. And also, just because I know him, that doesnt mean I also know where he is.”

“But you did meet him recently, right”

“Yeah, back then during the intercity escort mission.”

“Not that one, you must have met him on another occasion, no”

“Yeah, back in Mihazono ruin. That incident was really troublesome.”

“…No no no, there must be more, no”

“This isnt a negotiation if Im just answering all your questions. Ive answered 3 of your questions, Ive repaid what I owe since you lowered your rifle. Now leave.”

“Eeeehhh!”

Yanagisawa pouted with his usual flippant attitude. Akira looked at him with contempt.

“Dont give me that. In the first place, it is Kugamayama city that declared me to be a monster. If youre working for them, I have no reason to help you. Like hell with treating me like a monster. You guys already recognize me formally as a monster. Its all your fault that I have to spend my days out here in the middle of the wasteland like this.”

“Whoah, you really hit where it hurts. But in reality, I have nothing to do with that though.”

“Again, not my problem. So, just leave.”

Seeing that Akira did not show any willingness to negotiate, Yanagisawa playfully shook his head and came up with a suggestion.

“Alright. In that case, I will take back your monster designation. How about that”

Akira could not hide his surprise. He raised his eyebrows and looked straight at Yanagisawa.

Yanagisawa realized he finally found something that interested Akira once he saw his reaction. However, Akiras eyes were quickly filled with doubt.

“Can you even do that”

“Of course. As a matter of fact, although I look like this, Im a high-ranking officer in City Management. Though, it should be a given that Hunters of your calibre already know of me. I am Yanagisawa, the Yanagisawa, you know!”

Yanagisawa said so and made some boisterous poses while pointing at himself.

Akira felt like he had heard that name before as he hummed and searched through his memory. Finally, that name came up.

“Yanagisawa, huh… Ah! So, youre the guy that Kibayashi was talking about! He said something like no one in Kugamayama city can go against you or something like that…”

“Yep! Thats me! Do you believe me now That I can cancel your monster designation”

Akira was convinced that Yanagisawa was indeed able to do something like that. But for some reason, he still did not want to say anything.

“In that case, you can come back to me once you have done that.”

“What Now is not ok”

“Yeah.”

Yanagisawa secretly sighed inside his heart while silently scolding Akira, who was as troublesome as he had expected. Although he was certain that he could convince Akira if he had enough time, unfortunately, he did not have the luxury of time at the moment. He needed information about Shirous whereabouts, and he needed it, fast.

The more time he wasted, the further Shirou would get away from him. Fortunately, he still had a good chance to find Shirou right now. It was true that he only knew of the general location where Shirou might be, fortunately, he had the power to completely search the area.

Therefore, Yanagisawa showed an attitude as if he was backing down.

“How about this then You basically dont like to live out here in the wasteland. Thats because you cant go back to the city, right Although I cant cancel your monster designation right away, I can at least let you get into the slums of the city right now. You have a gang down in the slums that youre supporting, right You can sleep there for now. So, what do you think”

“…Wait a second.”

Akira evaluated his options before finally pulling out his information terminal and calling Inabe.

“Akira, huh Im glad to see youre okay. But if you call me from a public line like this, people will be able to track your location. It might even leak the contents of this conversation. Call me again through the encrypted line.”

“Nah, that is not necessary. I just have a small question that I want to ask you.”

Inabes interest was piqued, Akira then explained what was going on to Inabe. As expected, even Inabe could not hide his surprise.

“…I dont really fully understand what is going on over there. Especially if you only explain this little. But its true that Yanagisawa can do that. Personally speaking, I hope you would accept his offer, I will tell you why.”

Even if it was someone as powerful as Akira, if someone with monster designation entered the city, the defence squad would have no other choice but to remove them from the premise. This was one thing that even Yanagisawa could not stop. However, if it was only until somewhere close to the city, he could do that. Technically speaking, the slums were located outside of the inner wall and City Management also treated it the same as the wasteland.

Kugamayama city only considered a limited area under the inner wall as a part of the city. As for the lower district, City Management worked together and formed contracts with various security contractors to maintain the security in this area. Therefore, for the sake of convenience, the city treated this area as a part of the city. The reason why City Management would do something as cruel as periodically pruning the slums, was exactly because the city treated it as a part of the wasteland.

Of course, even in the slums, Hunters who want to get his bounty would still attack him. Though, they could not simply bombard a part of the slums. Doing something like that so close to the city would only invite retaliation from the city defence squad. At the very least, his enemies would lower the intensity of their attacks to hand rifles. Which would grant Akira the upper hand.

Moreover, due to the connection between Inabe and Sheryl, there was a continuous stream of relics from the area under Tsubaki to Sheryls base. To ensure that no one would rob those relics, a considerable level of security was put in place. Although it was far from enough to face an assault from those after a 50 billion bounty target, it would at least provide some level of support to Akira. At the very least, it would be safer compared to the camping vehicle.

Inabe quickly completed his explanation and then advised Akira with a serious tone.

“Honestly speaking, I dont want you to die. For the sake of your safety, I want you to accept Yanagisawas offer. Also, I can at least guarantee that guy has no interest in your bounty. After all, if a city officer takes down a 50 billion Aurum bounty target that those high-rank Hunters are after, it would only cause a fight to break out between us and them. Moreover, hes not someone a mere 50 billion Aurum would move. Thats why I can guarantee that he wont kill you solely because of the money.”

“…I see.”

“But, I didnt expect he would go that far for you. To be honest, I didnt see this coming at all. I wonder what he asked of you.”

“Sorry, but I cant tell you anything.”

“Of course. Or more like, dont tell me anything. It has something to do with Saka**a Heavy Industry, right Unfortunately, I have no desire to get involved with them.”

The reason why the Hunters, who were attacking Akira suddenly stopped, was not because they had given up. It was because Yanagisawa stopped them. As he came here accompanied by Hammerz, he broadcasted through the general frequency that Akira was in the middle of negotiations with Saka**a Heavy Industry.

Although those Hunters ambushed Akira while he was in the middle of negotiating with Kugamayama City Management, they did not dare do so with Saka**a Heavy Industry. If they did that, Saka**a would perceive them as hostile. For the Hunter in that area, it was nothing short of suicide.

This meant that once they were done with their negotiation, there was a good chance that the bombardment would recommence. Therefore, it was better if Akira accepted that offer and had Yanagisawa escort him back to the slums.

After Inabe made his suggestion, he then concluded.

“This is all. I will end the call here. For my own sake, I hope that you will continue to survive. So, make sure you make the right choice.”

Inabe then closed the call. Akira glanced back at Yanagisawa, who was smiling at him.

“I hope you believe me now. That I can do that much. So, let me ask you again, where is Shirou-kun”

“…I cant tell you.”

That answer caused Yanagisawas smile to vanish. But, at the very least, the answer changed from a simpleno tocant say. This showed that there was some room for negotiations.

“Why cant you tell me”

“Im a Hunter. So, I cant just freely give information to everyone who asks me. Thats why, instead of that…”

Akira then operated his information terminal and turned it to face Yanagisawa.

“Go ahead and ask him yourself.”

In Akiras information terminal, Shirous frightened face was on full display.

Shirou flusteredly connected to Akira through telepathy and screamed.

“What do you think youre doing!”

“Its originally your problem, so at least try to do something about it yourself.”

Even Yanagisawa was surprised by Akiras action. However, it did not change the fact that it was still beneficial for him. He extended his hand and took that information terminal from Akira and smiled at Shirou.

“Nice to meet you. I am Yanagisawa. I was hoping to meet you inside that inter-city transport vehicle. Still, Im glad that we can finally meet each other albeit not directly.”

“Ahh, yeah, right, sorry about that. I suddenly wanted to get some fresh air; you see.”

As Shirou was laughing awkwardly, he could not help but to make a stern expression. Seeing that, Yanagisawa was certain that the on the call was really Shirou. Although the background was set to complete white, which prevented Yanagisawa from guessing where Shirou might be, he believed that would not pose an issue. He quickly tried to retrace the call.

“Is that so I can totally understand that! I sometimes feel like that too, you know But wouldnt it be fine for you to return back already Im sorry to trouble you, but I actually have something that requires your help. It would be great if you return back sometime soon.”

“Uhh, sorry. But Im rather busy as well over here, you see…”

Yanagisawas tracing had already narrowed down from the whole Aurum economical area, to around Kugamayama city, to the wasteland around where he was right now. He smiled, as he thought [As expected, hes close by].

“I see. If you need extra help, I can send someone, you know Though I dont know what youre working on, it seems like you cant ask Saka**a for help. In that case, how about I help you instead”

“Well, I dont think I would be able to accept that offer of yours either…”

Yanagisawa thought that he could go further and continued tracing Shirous location.

“How about money then Im sorry if I sound rushed here, but Im in a bit of a hurry, you see. Thats why I hope you can help me out soon. I can give you up to 20 billion Chrome, you know”

Shirou could not hide his surprise.

“So, what do you think”

Shirou seemed to hesitate, but he still did not accept the offer.

“…Thank you but I have to refuse. I dont think were that close that you would just lend me that much money.”

“Theres no need to be modest, you know”

At that point, Yanagisawa already deduced Shirou was around 200 meters from where he was standing. He inadvertently smiled and nonchalantly scanned his surroundings. Naturally, his eyes went to the camping vehicle. Since he suspected Shirou to be there, he quickly narrowed his search area to that location before Shirou noticed his backtracking.

As it finally narrowed down to the millimeters, Yanagisawa frowned and looked a bit confused. The location of the backtracking pointed right to where Akira was standing.

“…Shirou-kun, where might you be right now”

“Where, you ask Im over there, no”

Shirou smiled smugly, signalling that he was playing some kind of trick.

“Youre the one who found me in Mihazono ruin, right Like hell I would fall for the same trick again.”

Yanagisawa finally understood that Shirou was well aware he was currently backtracking the call. Furthermore, Shirou deliberately allowed the conversation to continue.

“I bet Hammerz is over there too, right Tell him that I apologize for wasting his time.”

This indicated he was guessing. Therefore, Shirou was not in a position where he could confirm if Hammerz was really there or not.

“And also, I dont recommend picking a fight with that Hunter, Akira. You might have Saka**a Heavy Industry behind you, but it is still a bad idea to pick a fight with Tsukisada Construction, right”

Seeing Shirou stated with such a level of smugness, Yanagisawa believed his words. With this, both Yanagisawa and Shirou misunderstood Akira as an agent from Tsukisada Construction. Yanagisawa inadvertently turned toward Akira.

[And here I thought he is an old-world connector. So, he is an agent from Tsukisada Construction, huh No wonder his story doesnt make sense. That is unless he had their support. And right now, Shirou is using him as a proxy. Is Shirou using him to intervene with the Hunters…]

In the past, Yanagisawa did something similar for the same exact reason too. Thus, it all made sense to him. He then glanced at Hammerz, who was close to the camping vehicle. Hammerz, who noticed his gaze, lightly shook his head.

[So, hes really not around, huh… Even if he is, searching the inside of that vehicle is meaningless at this point.]

If Shirou was inside the vehicle, then it meant Hammerz was lying. That would mean Saka**a Heavy Industry had no wish to let Yanagisawa have Shirou. At least, not here and not now.

Back when they failed to capture Shirou in the Mihazono ruin, Yanagisawa was curious and did ask Hammerz about that. However, judging from Hammerzs answer, it seemed like Hammerz was entirely serious when trying to capture Shirou.

Everything led to one conclusion. Shirou was unlikely to be around here. Even if Yanagisawa bet on that small possibility, went to search the vehicle, and found Shirou there, he might have to fight Hammerz afterwards. Even if he survives, he might need to take on the whole Saka**a Heavy Industry later. It was not worth the trouble. Therefore, Yanagisawa had no other choice but to stop his search. He then turned back to Shirou.

“I see. Well, its not like I have that much time to chat with you. I guess I will end the call here. Feel free to call me if you change your mind. Ah, you have my number, right”

“Yeah.”

After that, Shirou closed the call. Yanagisawa returned the information terminal back to Akira and asked him a question just to be safe.

“But still, if you dont know where Shirou-kun is, you could have answered withI dont know instead of ano, right”

Akira looked at Yanagisawa with contempt and mocked.

“Theres nothing I have to say to someone using the threat of force just to ask me something.”

Yanagisawa smiled bitterly with a mix of exasperation.

[He wouldnt even tell me that he doesnt know, huh To think that he would go that far for his pride. Though, Im not in the position to criticize someone else. That part of him is really troublesome though…]

But on the other side, it explained why Akira did not falter against Lion Steels threat and still dared to murder a member of its founding family. He even managed to get a 50 billion Aurum bounty on him and got designated as a monster. Judging from how Akira did not falter in the slightest, Yanagisawa believed Akiras words. He really did not know. Thus, he smiled in amusement.

“Is that so If thats really the case, I guess I will just leave then. Ah, as thanks for giving me a chance to talk with Shirou-kun, Ill arrange for you to be able to enter the slums of the city. Though, I wont cancel the monster designation. After all, you basically told me nothing about Shirou-kun whereabouts.”

“Yeah yeah.”

“Also, if you know where he is, do call me. If possible, please turn him over to me. If you do that for me, not only will I cancel your monster designation, but I will also do something about your bounty as well. Later then. I will be waiting for your call.”

Yanagisawa smiled at him and left.

Akira heaved a huge sigh and frowned.

“Alpha, sorry.”

Alpha smiled wryly.

“Youre safe now and that is all that matters. Moreover, it is way too late to be complaining about that side of your personality. Lets just change gears and get ready before those Hunters start their bombardment again.”

Seeing Alphas smile, as if she really did not mind, Akira lowered his tense shoulders.

“Youre right, lets get moving.”

Akira pulled up his bike, which was lying nearby and rode it toward the camping vehicle.

Hammerz, who received a long-range message from Yanagisawa, lightly sighed and mumbled.

“So, it ends up with nothing, huh”

He then turned the camping vehicle, which he had laid on its side, back on its wheels. He casually apologized to Carol.

“Were leaving now, sorry for the trouble.”

“…If you really feel bad about it, how about leaving something behind as compensation”

Watching her ask so daringly while looking straight at him, Hammerz was a little taken aback. He then changed his attitude to show some respect for her courage.

“Im sorry, I came here empty-handed. But well, I will try to arrange something for you later.”

Hammerz smiled cheerfully and left with those parting words.

After Hammerz was too far to be seen with the naked eye, Carol sighed in relief.

“Good grief… Just what is the deal with that guy”

Hammerz was a powerful opponent. It was for the best if he would just leave without causing anymore trouble. Once she calmed down, she smiled wryly. [I should not have said that… I gave him a reason to come back to look for me….]

That was when Akira returned.

“Carol, are you alright”

“Yeah, somehow. Im glad to see that youre also okay. Now then, lets immediately leave this place.”

Akira and Carol returned to the camping vehicle. Since it was lying on its side just now. The insides were a huge mess. Shiro, who was there, also looked like a mess.

“Akira, how was it”

“They left.”

Shirou sighed in relief.

“Thank goodness that worked… It was dangerous, but that aside…”

Akira suddenly interjected through telepathy.

“Carol is here, so dont say anything unnecessary.”

“I know I know. I didnt expect you would even be able to fool someone like Yanagisawa. Was that some kind of secret technique from Tsukisada Construction”

“Just shut up.”

“Yeah yeah.”

Shirou lightly joked and decided not to say anything more.

Shirou was not the one who changed his location to where Akira was. That was Alphas doing. Alpha only did that because Akira asked her to do so. He also asked Shirou to collaborate with his story.

Akira and Carol then hurried off from that location. They were rushing to leave before the Hunters started shooting at them again. However, even after some time, no bombardment came. Akira found that to be very strange.

“Hmm, this is strange. Have they really given up on us”

Shirou sulked for some reason.

“What are you talking about You just made some kind of deal with Yanagisawa, you know The Yanagisawa.”

“Eh He said he wont help retract the bounty though”

“Thats not it. Even right now, the broadcast is still saying that you are negotiating. Thats why they havent started firing again. Didnt you ask them to do that”

While Akira and Shirou were looking at each other confused, Carol, who was standing next to them, guessed that it must be Hammerzs compensation. She smiled bitterly, now thinking that it was worth it – saying those words that she thought she should not have to Hammerz.

Their difference in power was simply overwhelming. If they had fought, the ending was obvious. Akira and Carol somehow managed to get through that situation with their pride, hard work and a pinch of good luck.

However, the reason why those Hunters stopped attacking Akira was not because of Hammerz.

—*—*—*—

Takt, who took over the leadership position after Gelgus death, was furious. He wished he had offered himself to take over such a dangerous task in place of Gelgus. His motivation had already changed. He no longer wanted to kill Akira for the sake of money. He wanted to do it for the sake of revenge. He was about to proceed forward despite the losses due to his rage.

But suddenly, he received a message from Saka**a Heavy Industry. If he was only after money, he would have stopped. However, since vengeance filled his mind, he could not. His face was emotionless as he turned at Latis and Pamela, seeming to bottle up the inferno churning inside of him.

“I have a question. If we keep attacking Akira in this situation, can you use the influence of Lion Steel to evacuate us out of the territory under Saka**a Heavy Industry If yes, can you add that as an extra reward on top of the bounty”

That request was not solely for Takts sake. It was also to acquire help from the other Hunters. Latis could understand that from Takts gaze as he lightly nodded.

“…I will make the arrangements.”

“Alright then!”

But when Takt was about to give the command to restart the bombardment, the alarm suddenly blared. It was followed by a voice that echoed through the vehicle.

“Takt! We are being attacked! Theyre already inside the vehicle!”

“What! Who are they and where are they from!”

Takt immediately suspected it to be another team who were also after Akiras bounty. After Gelgus death, they found an opportunity to take down their competitor. However, the scream took him by surprise. His enemy was not the one he had imagined it to be.

“Theyre from the Lion Steel company!”

Takt immediately turned toward Latis and Pamela, but seeing that they were equally surprised, Takt understood that they had nothing to do with this attack.

Suddenly, a canister exploded that filled the room with nanoparticles. These particles had a powerful speed filter effect. Now, rifles were useless inside that room. From another point of view, it also protected the people inside the room from bullets.

At the same time, it forced anyone inside that room to only resort to close combat. Two women who specialized in close-range combat quickly jumped inside the room.

One of them swung her blade at Latis while the other one launched a powerful punch at Pamela. They rapidly closed the distance between them in a blink of an eye. The face of the one with the blade was filled with killing intent and a sense of loyalty. Meanwhile, the other one had a similar face. One filled with the same killing intent but with insanity in her smile.

Latis evaded that slash and frowned.

“…You-!!”

“Long time no see!”

Pamela blocked the punch, deflecting it to the side and frowned.

“…You!”

“We meet again!”

It was Shiori and Kanae.

Latis deflected Shioris next attack with a knife. Sparks flew from the contact point between the blade and the knife. They were glaring at each other as they forced their weapon forward, toward their opponent.

“What is the meaning of this! What are you scheming this time!”

“Scheming You endangered my masters life. Isnt that enough of a reason”

“…I see. Then, it was indeed stupid of me to ask!”

Latis extended the blade of his knife, negating the advantage of Shioris reach. As they jumped backwards, opening space between them, they swung at each other. They released a flurry of strikes before they even landed. The floor and wall in between them were filled with countless slash marks.

Although Latis and Shiori were mostly even, Kanae was pushing Pamela back. Since her speciality was commanding a group of maids using long-range control, she was unable to match Kanaes ferocity.

“It was a mistake not to take your beloved long-range control terminal with you here.”

“Oh shut up!”

“Well, I have no plans on wasting my time with pointless chatter too. So…”

Kanaes presence suddenly changed. She pushed aside the part of her that wanted to savour the fight, even in this situation.

“Just die.”

As her usual smile vanished, Kanaes single strike broke through Pamelas defence and blew her body away like a rag doll.-

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