Chapter 30, The Arrival of Reinforcement Boy
Akira was on his bike heading to the nearest battlefield for his emergency request. Although he had not even ridden a bike before, he was now riding one at a high speed despite the fact that the ground in the wasteland was not suitable for a high-speed driving.
Actually, it was Alpha who was driving the bike by controlling Akira’s augmented suit. Because of that, Akira was able to ride the bike that he just got as if he had ridden it numerous times before.
Alpha was floating beside Akira. Or to be more precise, Alpha was projecting such an image in Akira’s vision. She was producing a highly realistic image through a complex calculation right to the flailing of her hairs, thus she looked like she was floating to Akira.
“Although this is a small-sized foldable bike, it’s equipped with a lot of features since it is made for exploring the wasteland. And one of them is that it has a control device that can be connected to your information terminal, thanks to that, it’s pretty easy to control the bike. Akira, you got a pretty good bike, you know. Although, if I were to be greedy, I wish that it at least had a machine gun equipped.”
Akira looked surprised.
“A machine gun on a bike, huh? I do understand about the control device though, it’s a device to help me control a vehicle or a tank, right?”
“That’s right. But it’s not only limited to helping you drive them. It can also work together with other installed devices and equipment to help in aiming and reloading. A control device is very important even for a bike, you know. It also has a lot of other functions like preventing a sleepy rider from falling off, autopilot mode to run and stop safely. It can even prevent the bike from getting flipped over when driving on rough ground. Although, all of these functions depend on the type and quality of the installed control device too.”
“That’s not the point, I’m talking about the machine gun. Isn’t it impossible no matter how you see it? What would you do about the kickback?”
“As for the kickback, while you’re riding, an advanced control device would be able to handle it just fine. Not to mention that it was common during the old world era, I believe that there are a lot of Hunters who fit their bikes with machine guns too. Although, it’s still better if you can get a vehicle or a tank, at that point, you’ll only use your bike out of hobby and preference.”
Akira then imagined a scene where machine gun mounted bikes were common and so his understanding of the old world was greatly changed once again..
“So it’s a normal thing in the old world era, huh… It sounds scarier the more I hear about the old world.”
“And those Hunters are really brave frolicking in the ruins of such a world.”
“You can say that again.”
Akira just smiled when Alpha said that sarcastically.
They kept on talking through telepathy to avoid Akira biting his own tongue because of the shaking from the bike as they were rushing towards their destination. Being able to communicate even in such a condition was the greatest advantage of using telepathy.
When they finally came close to the battlefield, the advantages of said telepathy shone the brightest.
As Alpha was handling the bike control and talking with Akira through telepathy, she was also trying to analyze the reason behind Akira’s action.
Akira once saved Elena and Sara, who were strangers to him and he was depressed when they thanked him. He then accepted the emergency request that he once ignored when he heard that Elena and Sara might be involved in that request. And at this moment, he was heading to the battlefield where he did not even know if Elena and Sara were there or not.
This was a weird behaviour, which at a glance ignored all logic. If Alpha had to say anything about the reason behind it, the best answer that she could give would be that he did it out of a whim. But one thing that she understood for sure was that Akira did not decide to do this at random.
Alpha kept observing Akira, trying to understand the set of moral values that Akira abided. It was so that she could extrapolate, manipulate and eventually control Akira’s action skilfully.
The mood around the area started to change. Akira started to hear echoes from gunshots and explosions, he could see smoke rising from afar and his nose picked up the smell of raw blood, burnt meat and metal. He realised that he had already entered the battlefield.
As Akira tried to focus on the direction of the battle, Alpha helped him by zooming-in his views. She also provided extra information on the zoomed part of Akira’s vision. In his vision, Akira could see the Hunters and the monsters fighting each other.
Akira tried to calm himself and prepared his mental state for an arduous fight.
“Over there, huh? That’s pretty close.”
“Akira, this will be your first real battle in this augmented suit, so I’ll be giving you my full support. Just keep in mind that I’ll be actively operating your augmented suit from now on.”
“So you’re saying that my augmented suit will move on its own from time to time, right?”
“Yep. You might find it a little bit confusing, but try to keep your calm. Just remember the sensation you had when we were having our Close quarters combat (CQC) training. It’s basically the same as that.”
Alpha was talking about their CQC training when she controlled Akira’s augmented suit to help him remember the correct way to move. At that time, Akira was only matching his movements with his augmented suit’s movements. He remembered the feeling from that training where it was not clear whether it was him or Alpha who was controlling the augmented suit. It was that weird feeling when the augmented suit felt like it moved before Akira actually tried to move it.
“That feeling, huh? Okay.”
“In order to take out those monsters in the most effective way, I’ll be controlling your augmented suit rather forcefully. To be honest, it’ll put your body under an immense burden. If you’re not going to back down, then just grit your teeth and endure the pain. Are you ready now?”
Akira answered back with a serious face.
“Okay, after all, resolve is my responsibility.”
Alpha smiled to embolden Akira’s resolve.
“Alright then, let’s go.”
Akira grabbed his AAH gun with his right hand as his left hand was still on the handle. After that, Alpha took total control of the control device and accelerated the bike to its maximum speed. The bike blasted through the wasteland and quickly reduced its distance to the battlefield.
Akira lowered his gun and aimed its muzzle at the monsters that he could see from afar. Of course, he was not in a condition where he could aim properly, but since Alpha was adjusting his aim through his augmented suit, he was able to shoot accurately as if he was on stable ground.
Akira pulled the trigger and held it, countless bullets flew out from the gun’s muzzle. Sound of gunshots echoed throughout the area. All the bullets that Akira shot hit the monsters in front of him, not even a single bullet was wasted. And so one by one, these monsters fell down and died.
The kickback from the continuous shots shook Akira, and so his augmented suit exerted its power to keep Akira in place and preventing him from falling off the bike. Because of that, the shaking from the kickback was transferred into the bike and Alpha adjusted its 2 wheels to absorb the shakes. With that, Akira continued blazing through the wasteland while shooting. He just kept on riding, passing through the corpses of dead monsters on his right and left.
“Whoah, this is amazing.”
Akira voiced his amazement towards all the sensations that he was feeling. His ability to ride the bike and his accuracy when shooting, all of them felt like impossible feats to him.
Alpha smiled smugly.
“It seems that you once again got to experience just how great my support is. Akira, be sure to follow my movements.”
Akira and Alpha charged right into the battlefield just like that.
There were 2 trucks that stopped deep in the battlefield. The trucks were surrounded by corpses of biological monsters and wreckages of dead mechanical monsters. It was a proof that the Hunters were trying to fight back desperately, and those Hunters were still in the middle of the battle.
Normally, a big group of monsters that came out from the Kuzusuhara ruins would head to the city in a straight line. The centre part of the group would clash with the main defense force of the city. Compared to that area, this area was away from the main group, thus the number of monsters around here was smaller. So just to be safe, the Hunters in the truck decided to meet up with another truck to boost their fighting power. The Hunters thought that they should have enough fighting power at that point.
But their luck was not all that great. Among the monsters that they encountered, most of them were mechanical monsters that housed powerful firepower inside their body frame.
Those mechanical monsters looked like big cannons that grew countless small legs. It was as if someone made them just to screw around. These monsters then used those small legs to hold the kickback. They shot rounds at the truck with the appropriate firepower for those legs to handle the kickback.
Although their shots were not that accurate, most of the cannon rounds managed to hit the truck. Even worse, it destroyed the control device and driving device of the truck. So these Hunters were stuck in the middle of the wasteland while frantically trying to repel the incoming monsters.
But it was worth it so long as they were able to somehow repel all the mechanical monsters. Unfortunately, the Hunters could not be sure if they managed to destroy them, or if the monsters just left them alone, or if the monsters only temporarily withdrew to refill their ammo.
And thus, at this point in time, they were fighting the monsters that had left from the group that previously attacked them. They were also not in a situation where they could leave the truck and walk back to the city. It was because the trucks were their cover from monsters with long-range attacks and they were a good landmark to notify any incoming reinforcements. Other than strategic placement, they already had heavily injured Hunters who just could not leave that place.
Every time they spotted a ferocious and strong monster charging at them, they would concentrate their shots at that monster and kill it. Although they were only fighting the leftover monsters, some of those monsters would creep under the corpses of their fellow dead comrades or circled the trucks while slowly closing in on the Hunters; as if they were looking for an opening. The Hunters were having sporadic battles against those monsters while keeping their eyes peeled open for any monsters creeping close. But these Hunters were slowly getting cornered.
One of the Hunters, who took cover in the truck, was watching his surroundings. He looked pale and very tired as he asked his friend.
“Hey, how many monsters have you already taken down?”
His friend said with exhaustion.
“No idea. But I should’ve taken down quite a lot of them. Dammit!! They better properly record this battle!!”
“Well, they should, that is if the information device inside the truck is not destroyed yet. But if it did get destroyed, then the reward will only get shared equally among all the other Hunters. Of course, that is if we can get back home safely. I wonder what’s going on with the reinforcement?”
“Like hell if I know anything! The Hunter Office staff was blown to pieces by those damn small legged mechanical monsters. Let’s just hope that guy did his job properly before he got blown to pieces.”
The Hunters were trying to hide their fear by complaining. Though, having the time to complain like that also showed that they were not that cornered yet. But there was no guarantee for how much longer they could stay like that. There were still a lot of monsters surrounding them. They were in constant fear of more monsters appearing as they were stuck in that place with zero possibility of breaking out from the encirclement. All the Hunters there understood that they were in dire straits.
At the heat of the battle, the Hunters suddenly heard gunshots coming from another direction. Thus they carefully approached the source of the sound to check if the small legged cannon monsters were back, but instead, they saw Akira riding on a bike while shooting at the monsters.
After arriving at his marked location, Akira stopped his bike and looked around. He saw the flesh of dead biological monsters and wreckages of the dead mechanical monsters scattered around in a circle with the truck stopped in the middle of it. He also found that there were a lot of monsters still alive.
Akira was taken aback and frowned after looking at the number of the corpses lying around.
“That’s really a lot. Although they killed so many, there’s still this many left, huh?”
In contrast to him, Alpha looked calm and relaxed.
“I wonder if they’re a part of the bigger group. The trucks are even surrounded by so many corpses. I wonder if this is just a small breather after they had such a fierce battle.”
“So, even this is considered a small breather, huh? Not to mention that I encountered quite a lot of monsters on my way here too. I can only wonder just how fierce the battle was which created these pile of corpses.”
“It seems that the Hunters here already took out all the monsters with a long-range attack capability. Let’s keep our distance and clean up the rest.”
Akira readied his AAH gun again while still on top of the bike. Alpha then controlled Akira’s augmented suit to adjust his pose and centre of mass into the best position.
As for the Hunters who were in the area, the corpses and wreckages of the dead monsters became obstructions and made it harder to shoot at the monsters. That was why Akira could easily snipe those monsters from his position. Akira took an aim at the monsters while still riding the bike and pulled the trigger of his rifle.
His sniping shots were highly accurate due to Alpha’s support and he kept shooting at the monsters in front of him. All of his bullets hit the weak points of the monsters like the gaps between their scales, the fragile parts of their armours, their joints and their connecting edges of their armour plates. The biological monsters would howl loudly when they got hit on their weak spots while the mechanical monsters would make weird sounds when a part of their bodies was blown to pieces and they both would fall down to the ground and die.
Some of the monsters changed their target from the Hunters near the trucks to Akira. They judged that Akira as a bigger threat to them than those Hunters.
Akira kept a safe distance from those monsters that were charging towards him and shot them down one by one.
“Although some of them have started charging our way, we can still keep our distance using the bike, so I don’t think they would be able to swarm us with numbers. Compared to when we were together with Katsuragi, this is way easier.”
“After all, there were some monsters that were living further to the west mixed in that group of monsters that attacked us back then. We’ll move away if they get too close to us. Since you have a bike now, we should use it to the best of our advantage.”
It was a one-sided fight with Akira shooting at those monsters while keeping his distance using the bike.
The Hunters who saw the scene that was unfolding in front of them were astounded.
“A reinforcement!? How many!? Do they have a vehicle?!”
“Just one person!? Where are the others!? Is he just a forward scout or something!?”
“Just a single boy!? What kind of joke is this?!”
Among the Hunters who started making a commotion, one of them took up his gun and shot one of the monsters that were chasing Akira. His shot tore right through the monster’s head and killed it instantly.
“Stop making a ruckus here!! Take your gun and start shooting!! You should be able to hit the monsters easily now!!”
“But still, is that boy our reinforcement?!”
“It doesn’t matter if our reinforcement is just a single boy!! We just need to kill the rest of the monsters. I don’t care whatever it is so long as it can help us go back home alive!!”
The other Hunters hurriedly picked up their rifles as they heard such fierce encouragement.
The Hunters started to help Akira. And due to Akira’s position, he got a clear shot at some of the monsters while the Hunters got a clear shot at the rest of the monsters.
The Hunters shot and killed the monsters that went out from their cover to chase for Akira who was moving on his bike, while on the other hand, Akira could get a clear shot from behind the monsters that were charging towards the Hunters. All of those monsters were eradicated in this pincer attack. The Hunters had powerful firepower, thus they were able to make quick work of the monsters.
As Akira rode his bike towards the trucks, one of the Hunters stepped up to welcome him. When that guy got a closer look at Akira, he was obviously surprised by the fact that it was a single boy who helped them, but he did not look down at Akira at all. Age had nothing to do in Hunter’s profession. Or at least, he thought that only amateurs would judge other Hunters by their age.
There were cases when Hunters disguised themselves as a small kid to lower their opponent’s guard. Some of them used their child-like figure to disguise themselves while some of them used medicine from the old world to turn back their appearance to their younger self. Either way, only good Hunters would do something like that. After witnessing Akira’s skill in bike riding and monster shooting, that Hunter assumed Akira to be one of those skilled Hunters.
“Thank you for the help, you really saved us. You came as our reinforcement, right?”
“Yeah, I came here because I accepted the emergency request.”
“I see, I’m sorry but can you sell me some of your healing medicines if you have some? We have some badly wounded Hunters with us.”
There were badly wounded Hunters lying inside the trucks’ trays. They were in such bad shape that the floor of truck’s cargo tray was covered in blood and blood was also dripping down to the ground from some corners of the tray. And in one corner of the tray, there were already 5 bags filled with dead bodies.
Akira lowered his backpack, took out some medicines and handed it to that man. It was the medicines he found in the Kuzusuhara ruin that he saved for himself.
After receiving the medicine, that man’s face turned stiff, he knew that the medicines he received were of high quality.
Those medicines were of better quality compared to what Hunters would usually trade in the middle of a battle, after all, they would not be able to use them for themselves if they sold them. It was the same as selling the lifeline that might save their lives. That man was afraid that he did not have enough money to be able to pay for those medicines.
“…You have pretty good medicines with you. Well, I’m sorry but…”
As the man was about to start a negotiation about the price, Akira quickly interrupted him.
“We can do the negotiation later. In the worst-case scenario, you can just take them for free. Since I’ve come all the way here to help out, it would leave a bad taste if I leave you, the very people that I want to help, to die.”
“Thanks, you’re really great help.”
After the man thanked Akira, he went to heal the injured. He administered some of the medicines orally and the rest were administered directly onto the wounds by opening the capsule of the medicines. When he did that, the injured Hunters were assaulted by severe pain and started cursing.
“Endure it. This will save your life.”
That man knew well about the healing power of the medicine, so he just ignored the curses and kept giving treatment to the wounded Hunters.
Another man then approached Akira and asked him a question.
“Say, are you the only reinforcement? Are there any other Hunters coming?”
Akira hesitated, but he knew that it was pointless if he stayed quiet or lied to him. Thus he calmed himself down and answered back.
“I was close by when I accepted the emergency request. I don’t know if there are any more Hunters dispatched to this place.”
The man reacted much calmer than Akira thought he would. Akira was both surprised and amazed by that.
“That’s pretty amazing, he’s not surprised although his reinforcement is just a single boy.”
Alpha smiled and voiced out her opinion.
“I guess he’s someone with an iron will and getting almost killed won’t even scare him. He’s not like most of the other Hunters. You should aim to be a Hunter like him, you know.”
Akira then asked the man.
“Can you ask the Hunter Office staff about the reinforcement?”
“The two of them are dead. But since you came, it means that they did send the SOS request before they got killed. Although, it’s too bad that the SOS senders are already dead when you arrived.”
“Is there any reason why you guys can’t move from this place?”
“It’s because the truck got badly damaged due to those monsters. And of course, we could not fix the truck when we were fighting against the monsters. Or more like, no one here knows to fix the truck. So we were planning to get back home by riding the truck that comes with the reinforcement or have that truck tow ours, you see…”
That man smiled bitterly at Akira, thus Akira replied back with a bitter smile.
“I’m sorry. I tried to come here as fast as I could by riding a bike, so I arrived here faster than scheduled. You wouldn’t believe me if I said that I was about to come here by running. So let’s just focus on the brighter side since you’re in a better position now.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I really am glad, you know. It seems that we still have some luck left with us, after all.”
That man thought that Akira was joking as he laughed. Akira realized that but he had no plan on correcting him. After all, if he was in that man’s position, he would have also thought that was a joke.
Silavin: It’s kinda insane that a young boy like him needs to do so much.