Rebuild World - Chapter 186,

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Chapter 186, Nelia’s Powered Suit


The secured route to Kuzusuhara ruin was fortified by a series of walls made from the repurposed buildings along the route. The soldiers posted along the secured route peeked out through the window slit with raised eyebrows. They were desperately fighting the small monsters outside the wall up until just now, but their rifles’ muzzle had stopped producing smoke for some time now. It was not because they ran out of ammo, but it was because there was no longer any target to shoot.


Countless dead monsters were scattered in front of them. Although their number and strength had put an immense strain on the defending soldiers, a particular man who just appeared not too long ago cleaned them up easily.


Rather than cheering on their victory, the soldiers were still surprised by that man’s prowess. Half of the swarm as well as the swarm made of relatively big monsters were all defeated by that man.


“W-who the heck is that…?”


“The IFF indicates that he’s a friend but he seems to be using different equipment, a Hunter maybe?”


“The IFF signal doesn’t show that he’s a Hunter though. But he’s not a soldier from the temporary base either. I wonder which squad he belongs to?”


“No idea. I heard nothing from the base either… Either way, I’m glad that he’s on our side. Let’s get ourselves ready while we have the time.”


The commander of the guards there gave his order and the soldiers started to get busy again.


On top of the countless dead monsters, a man stood and contacted his friend through wireless communication. His communication device still worked just fine despite the effect of the rain. His other equipment was also better than usual Hunters, and of course, he has the skill suitable for his equipment. It was the exact reason why he was able to clean up the monsters so easily.


“I’m done here, how about over there?”


“Yup, I’m done over here too.”


“I see. Just a question though, how were the monsters over there?”


“Hm? Just a normal swarm. Nothing out of the ordinary, anything wrong on that side?”


“I won’t go that far, but it feels like they are ordered to fight and not to withdraw. Although this is just my guess, the bigger monster is not the boss of the swarm, they’re more like the commander of the swarm. Not to mention that there are both biological and mechanical monsters mixed in the swarm. I bet these monsters have evolved to be able to take command of the other monsters. I didn’t go for them first, so I can’t really confirm it.”


“Hmmm, the boss said that this attack is not from the ruin’s defence system though. But to think that they have a commander like that, it’s becoming really fishy. Alright then, I’ll at least let the boss know about it. Tell the others to be careful too, later then.”


The call ended there and the man mumbled.


“…If the bigger monsters are the commanders, then there’s a good chance that there’s another higher command up the ladder. In that case, wouldn’t that mean that this attack might be because of that higher commander? And here I thought this would be an easy job, goddammit!”


That guy who belonged to Yanagisawa’s squad sighed.


—*—*—*—


Akira was using the buildings as covers while closing in onto the multi-legged monster, but another monster suddenly ambushed him. Right now, he was riding his bike on top of the buildings to keep his distance from the monsters while shooting at them with his SSB multi-weapon rifle.


The monster that ambushed him had a wolf-like appearance. Although its head was as big as a small shop, it had a big enough body to suit its head. Its legs were covered in fur, but it did not hide its muscular flesh as it ran toward Akira, crushing the rubbles under its feet.


The mini-missile pods fixed on Akira’s bike launched multiple mini-missiles at that monster. The explosion that engulfed that monster was only able to strip off a small part of its fur and flesh, it hardly injured the monster at all. It then jumped out from the smoke and chased Akira with great vigour.


Akira kept shooting while gritting his teeth. When he noticed that he had run out of ammo and was about to reload a new magazine, Alpha suddenly gave him an order.


“Akira, anti-forcefield ammo doesn’t really work, so don’t use it.”


“Is that so…? Wait, that thing is so strong although it’s not using a forcefield armour?!”


“At least, it’s not using forcefield armour projection like your coat or your common tank’s forcefield armour.”


“So basically it’s just simply that strong, huh!! What a pain in the neck!!”


Akira reloaded an augmented armour piercing magazine to his SSB rifle and started shooting again, driving multiple augmented armour piercing bullets to the monster wolf’s head. The monster roared from the pain, but instead of slowing down, it ran even faster. It opened its mouth, showing its red-blooded fang and its ferocity.


In contrast to that, Akira looked even more concerned. His face turned even grimmer as if to erase the concerned look on his face.


“Just how much vitality does that monster have? Alpha, can you do something about that thing? Like, you know, concentrating the missiles just like you did back then against the tank tarantula? You can control the mini-missiles, right?”


“Unfortunately, I can’t do that. To be more precise, I can’t fully control the missiles, not to mention that the rain is reducing the accuracy of the guiding system too. To be honest, I believe I deserve an award for even making them hit their target.”


“So it’s all the rain’s fault, huh!! Seriously, can it just stop already?! Or at least let off even for a bit!”


Akira started cursing at the rain. But instead of letting off, the rain that got weaker a moment ago suddenly started pouring even harder. Akira smiled bitterly at Alpha, who replied likewise.


“Akira.”


“It’s not my fault.”


“I know, I just want to let you know that you’ll need to resupply soon.”


“…Roger that.”


The bike accelerated to open up more distance from the monster wolf. It then went into an alley where his truck was hiding and was running parallel with that truck. Akira then jumped from the bike and into the truck, as he brought the huge payload of mini-missiles to the backside of his bike, the arms fixed on the backside of the bike threw away the empty payload, grabbed the new payload, and loaded the mini-missiles.


Akira quickly finished grabbing the ammo for his SSB rifle and immediately jumped back to his bike. His truck then drove away from him and vanished between the rubbles.


The monster wolf had its sight on the truck, but Akira forcefully shifted its attention to him as he started shooting at that monster. The bike slowed down to provoke the monster even more and he kept on shooting armour-piercing bullets at its head to keep its attention.


The monster chased Akira even harder, its face that was scary enough on its own, looked even more intimidating with the blood oozing from it. Every time it swung one of its 4 huge legs, it sent rubbles and debris into the air.


Seeing how the monster was getting closer and closer, Akira thought that it was about time to speed up the bike, but strangely the bike would not go any faster. Akira tilted his head and sent a glance at Alpha.


“Alpha?”


“We’ll get closer this time since we know for sure that it has no ranged attack. After all, it doesn’t seem like we can defeat that monster without shooting from closer range. So Akira, you should get yourself ready.”


Although Akira understood the logic, he still could not help but frown.


“…I know that part is my responsibility, but make sure not to get too close, yes?? I don’t want to get eaten again like back then with that big snake.”


“That’s a good idea, shooting from the inside is a sure-fire way to kill it. Want to do that instead?”


“No thanks. It’s obvious that one won’t just swallow me whole!! I’m sure it would give good chewing before swallowing its food!!”


“That’s not what I meant though. It’s coming.”


The wolf monster had closed the distance, enough to take a chomp on Akira. Right when it opened its big mouth, Akira suddenly jumped from his bike and leapt toward that big monster.


In his compressed time perception, Akira saw the wolf slowly closing its jaw to get a good bite of its prey.


But its jaw was suddenly forced open before it could close. Akira had raised his augmented suit power to max and delivered a powerful kick to the wolf’s jaw.


He could feel the kickback from that powerful kick as he was momentarily floating in the air. That was when mini-missiles went past beside him and straight into the monster’s opened mouth before exploding.


With no other direction for the force to escape, the explosions had enough force to blast open the wolf’s innards. Some of the shockwaves went out from the wolf’s mouth, towards Akira who was right in front of its mouth. But thanks to Alpha’s support, he was able to safely land on the ground.


Akira then looked up at the monster as it writhed and roared before falling to the ground.


“Alright then, that went easier than I thought, we should have done that sooner.”


Hearing what Alpha said casually, Akira immediately raised his objection.


“The heck! I’ll keep my distance even if it takes a whole load of bullets to kill that monster next time, okay?!!”


“I see. But considering the ammo expense, I don’t really recommend that. There are so many of them after all. So I hope you understand.”


“Can you do something about the aim to reduce the ammo usage? It’s not the time to be holding back right now.”


“I’m already doing my best, but it’s not that easy with this rain, you see. I can’t increase the accuracy no matter what.”


“Dammit!! If only this rain would stop!”


Akira once again looked up to the sky. The rain felt like it got slightly stronger. Alpha smiled bitterly at Akira.


“Akira, you should stop make it rain harder, you know.”


“…It’s not my fault.”


Akira frowned, showing that he was not so sure if what he said was true or not. But then he noticed something in the ruin and quickly banished any unnecessary thoughts to the void. As he focused his vision in that direction, he spotted another huge wolf monster running fiercely in the rain.


“Again?!!”


Akira who was taking a break on top of his bike immediately accelerated to keep his distance away from that monster, but Alpha hijacked the control and stopped him from doing so.


“Akira, wait, there’s a friendly signal coming from that direction.”


“Is it chasing someone??”


Helping other Hunters was one of his jobs. So Akira was not sure if he should go and help that Hunter instead. But it seemed that it was unnecessary.


“Nope, it’s the opposite.”


“The opposite?”


Right in the next moment, the big wolf monster that came pretty close to Akira was suddenly sliced by a blue light blade and fell down. Its head that was separated from its body continued to roar even as it rolled over the ground. While the rest of its body followed its inertia and crashed until it finally stopped right before Akira.


Akira was pretty amazed by what happened. When he looked at the monster’s head, it was then cut to half by a blue light blade from behind, revealing the owner of that blue blade which was a black powered suit.


Akira tensed up the moment he saw that powered suit since it somehow looked familiar to him.


“Alpha, that powered suit…”


“It’s either the very same powered suit that you fought back in Ezont Family’s base or a different powered suit of the same type. But it’s true that the IFF identified it as a friend.”


“Not a foe then… right?”


“Probably, yes.”


Akira still had his guard up. The black powered suit turned off its blade and folded it. Once it was folded to the length of its handle, the black powered suit put it away to show that it had no wish to fight before waving casually to Akira.


Akira was a bit surprised since he did not expect that at all. But when the backside of the powered suit opened up and someone came out from it, Akira frowned. He found that person somehow familiar to him.


“Y-You…”


“Long time no see, Akira.”


It was Nelia.


Nelia jumped from the powered suit and landed in front of Akira, who immediately aimed his SSB rifle at Nelia by pure reflex. But even so, Nelia smiled amusedly at him.


“Oh my, it’s not a good idea to aim your rifle at a friend, you know?”


“…Do you really expect me to believe that?”


“It’s the truth. If you shoot a friendly Hunter in this situation, there’s no mistaking it, the City Management will see it as an act of betrayal. You won’t be able to get away from it just fine, you know? Though that in itself would be interesting.”


Nelia was smiling without showing any tension. But Akira knew very well that did not guarantee she would not suddenly start shooting at him.


“Akira. If you have no wish to abandon your request and pick a fight with Kugamayama City Management, lower your rifle. I won’t tell you not to kill her, but this is not the time and place for that.”


Akira hesitated before finally lowering his rifle.


“So, why are you here?”


Akira had a curt tone and looked at Nelia with a sharp gaze, but in contrast to that, Nelia had a friendly smile plastered on her face.


“Just hunting monsters for a job. Not that much different from you, no?”


“Job? I heard that you’re put on compulsory civil service for the City Management though?”


“Yup, that’s why I’m working hard here.”


“…In that powered suit?”


“Yes. I’m sure you’ve noticed it too, it’s the powered suit that you fought before.”


Akira had so many questions in his head. But seeing Nelia enjoying his reaction there, he decided to push aside all of his questions for now.


“So then, what now?”


“Hm? Nothing in particular, just saying hello since I spotted you.”


“Is that so? If that’s all, then just get out of my face.”


“Geez, that’s so cold of you. We should celebrate this reunion, you know.”


“I see no reason to celebrate at all.”


Akira said bluntly before going off on his bike. But Nelia just smiled and returned back to her powered suit. After she turned the power on, she started chasing Akira.


The information terminal lent by the City Management that Akira had fixed on his arm automatically accepted a short-range call from Nelia without his confirmation.


“There’s no need to run away like that, you know. Let’s hang out for a bit.”


“…How the heck did you do that? I didn’t even pick up your call, you know?”


“Yup, I did that from this side. Since my information terminal has higher privileges, it’s easy for me to do it. Not to mention, hacking is my speciality. Ah, by the way, just to let you know, I’m using the connection for emergency broadcast used by the forward base, so it’s futile to try to cut it off.”


Akira, who was about to reach his information terminal, stopped midway and frowned.


“Oh my, you don’t have to look that annoyed.”


“How can you even see my face?”


“That was just a wild guess, did I get it right? That hurts me, you know?”


Akira’s face turned stern. Judging from her voice, it sounded as if Nelia was really enjoying teasing him.


“…Why are you following me?”


“I’m just keeping my distance so I can still use the close-range call in the middle of this rain.”


“Is that so?”


Akira accelerated his bike, trying to leave Nelia behind. Although the road was filled with rubbles and the rain reduced the tire’s grip, Akira fully relied on Alpha’s driving skill and the gripping power of the bike that allowed him to climb a vertical wall as he freely accelerated his bike. He blazed through the falling water droplets and the rubbles, a small mistake would easily throw his bike off.


But Nelia’s skill, as well as the performance of her powered suit was above it. She moved agilely as if she was sliding over the ground to evade the smaller rubble and temporarily increased the output power of the powered suit to jump over the bigger ones. She was running with such a speed that a collision would cause a loud bang and a small mistake would plunge her powered suit straight to the nearby building.


Instead of getting away from Nelia, Akira could not hide his surprise when he saw her closing up on him. Alpha warned Akira who had his attention toward his back.


“Akira, look forward, more enemy.”


“…Whoah, sorry!”


Akira immediately cut off Nelia from his attention and focused on the 2 big sized monsters in front of him. One of them was the multi-legged monster that he was unable to finish before, while the other one was a beast-like monster with the upper body of a human. Both of them had huge guns, which did not really resemble one, and aimed them at Akira.


Akira made a 90 degree turn to a sudden stop and was about to aim his SSB rifle at those monsters when Nelia jumped over him.


The black powered suit blazed through the rain, rapidly closing its distance with the two monsters. It easily evaded the shots from their cannons and vulcans as it pulled out its blade on both of its hands. The moment the monsters got into its range, it quickly sliced those monsters apart.


Before the sliced monsters were able to fall to the ground, the black powered suit sliced them to even smaller pieces. When the black powered suit stopped and turned off its light blade, the huge monsters had already been turned into diced meat and crumbs of metal.


Akira, who saw what happened in front of him, could not hide his surprise.


“…Those two monsters, so fast… Has that black powered suit always been this strong!?”


Akira was able to defeat that black powered suit once in the past although it was with Alpha’s support. So he always thought that he should be able to handle it just fine in case he had to fight it again. But after he saw what just happened, that thought was completely gone from his mind.


Alpha frowned a bit and explained to Akira.


“Although it’s the same black powered suit, its new equipment and the skill of its rider are on a completely different level from before. Furthermore, you did run away from it last time. So think of it as a completely different black powered suit.”


“Yeah, I understand that very well. It could not jump back then after all… Can we win if we fight it?”


“It would be difficult.”


“I see.”


Fighting it this time would be a bad idea. Akira understood that very well. Although getting into a fight against such an opponent was a common occurrence for him, he would rather choose not to fight if given the chance.


As Akira was lost in his own thoughts, the black powered suit came to him. Nelia’s voice came out from Akria’s information terminal again.


“Oh, you were waiting for me? Aren’t you sweet?”


“Having you chasing me would be a huge pain in the neck. You should return back to your job instead of chatting with me. I’m busy too, you see. I have no time to be talking with you.”


“About that, how about we help each other? Your job is to take care of the big monsters around this area, right? My job is pretty similar to yours.”


Akira sent a glare at the black powered suit.


“No. Do you seriously believe that I will accept that offer? Have you forgotten what happened between us?”


“I do. But, I’m not someone who would let myself get dragged down by the past.”


“Hell if I care!”


“Geez, don’t be like that. Like they said, yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend.”


“That won’t even be a reason for us to work together. And also, there’s another saying that is more appropriate, today’s friend is tomorrow’s enemy.”


“Yup, exactly. You know it very well. The most important thing is today, just focus on the fact that we’re allies for today. Both of us, today, have the same job.”


“Listen here, you…”


When Akira was about to say something, Nelia suddenly interjected. Although her voice was, as usual, amused, it was a few times colder than usual.


“That’s right, we have the same job for today. We had a fight in the past since we were enemies, then we can work together today since we have the same job. And if we become enemies again tomorrow, let’s fight then.”


Akira finally understood Nelia’s real intention as he was slightly overwhelmed by her. In that split second, he could imagine the logic behind the person who said it, and the past which enforced that line of thinking as he shut his mouth in reflex.


He aimed his rifle at her once before and she let that go. Not to mention, if he kept refusing her offer to work together, she might really turn into an enemy today. Akira thought that working together with her was better than having to fight her in that place.


“…Fine then. Let’s work together, but I won’t be obeying your command, okay? Although I will at least stay around and help you out, I will be basically moving on my own discretion.”


“Sounds good to me. Well then, let’s enjoy our time together. You can just help me out randomly, there’s no need to be too worried about that part since I’ll do the same too.”


The black powered suit lightly waved at him and went ahead. Akira frowned while shaking off his worry and followed it.


Alpha found it rather weird for Akira to do that.


“Akira, are you really okay with it?”


“…It’s a good thing that I get someone to help out with my job. Moreover, she was able to kill those monsters like it was nothing, so I don’t want to fight her if possible.”


“Is that so?”


“Yeah.”


Alpha smiled teasingly. Akira sulked and looked away. He understood that Alpha knew what he said was nothing more than an excuse for him to compromise.


Back then, he did not compromise at all when Katsuya offered to work together. But this time, he did. Akira himself did not know if it was because of the situation that he was in or because he had the leeway for him to think this time, which gave him the chance to consider the choice of compromising. But since Alpha looked at him with her teasing smile, it made him think that it was the latter.


***


When the sound of the battle in the forward base was drowned by the heavy rain, a certain someone closed into the forward base while concealing himself in the rain. He had an outlook of a small boy and was donning a distorted looking augmented suit.


He came to Yatsubayashi’s clinic and knocked on its huge armoured wall. Although there was no reply, he did not stop knocking. After a few seconds of non-stop knocking, Yatsubayashi answered from inside the clinic through the speaker.


“Don’t you see the notice that we’re not open today? Go to the base’s clinic.”


But that did not stop the boy.


“Goddammit, you should go back home while you have the chance. If you think that I won’t leave an injured person just because I’m a doctor, you’re sadly mistaken.”


Yatsubayashi was threatening the boy when he said that, but the boy knocked even harder on the gate. In response to that, the outer arms of the clinic aimed their guns at the boy as well as the outer camera fixed on their aims.


“This is the last warning, go away.”


The boy stopped knocking and looked straight at the camera.


A surprised voice could be heard from the outer speaker, then the outer arms retracted their guns and the armoured wall started to slowly open. Yatsubayashi welcomed the boy with a big smile.


“Though I did tell you to come out, I didn’t think that you would actually come out.”


“You said that you would welcome me, so here I am.”


“But of course, come in, Tiol-kun.”


Yatsubyashi welcomed Tiol and went inside the clinic. Tiol came into the clinic with a stern face. Due to the heavy rain and all the fighting happening outside, no one noticed Tiol entering Yatsubayashi’s clinic.


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