The gathering place for the patrol request was now filled with the Hunters who came back from the emergency request. Some of them were celebrating with their friends who returned alive; even if they were injured. Meanwhile, some of them grieved for their lost friends. The scene showcased that it was not only Akira but all the Hunters involved had also gone through a fierce battle during the emergency request.
But for now, Akira was just glad that he was able to return back alive.
“Everything is fine as long as it ends well. Although a lot of things have happened, it is finally over.”
Alpha smiled and said to Akira.
“Good work for today. Let’s take rest for the remainder of the day.”
“You’re right, I’ll take a good long bath today, after all, I couldn’t take one recently at all.”
Akira was beaming as he was looking forward to his bath time. But Alpha just smiled bitterly and destroyed his joy as she said.
“Akira, I have bad news.”
“…What is it?”
“The reward is still not transferred yet, so we don’t have any money to rent a room with a bath for today.”
Akira looked surprised and confused at the same time.
“W-what do you mean?”
“It seems that since there were a lot of Hunters who took the emergency request, it’ll take some time before they finish calculating the reward distribution. You can check your request history to see all the details.”
Akira grabbed and operated his information terminal in a panic to access his request history and opened the reward tab. He found out what Alpha said was really written in his terminal monitor.
“But I worked super hard in this request…”
Looking at how Akira was so dejected, Alpha smiled and tried to cheer him up.
“I bet they’ll transfer it by tomorrow. And even if you take a long bath today, there’s a good chance that you’ll fall asleep in the bath which is really dangerous. So with that in mind, let’s refrain from taking a bath today.”
Akira knew that it would be pointless to complain, thus he decided to just obediently accept her reasoning.
“Akira, putting that aside, what will you do with this bike? We don’t have enough money to rent a room in an inn with a parking lot, but if we just leave it in a random place, someone will steal it. Or do you want to sleep on the bike tonight?”
Akira frowned at Alpha’s logical suggestion. He was exhausted and wanted to avoid having to sleep in the back alley at all cost. But he also did not want someone else stealing his bike. And if he folded the bike and brought it back to his room, he might get scolded at by the innkeeper. Akira took some time thinking about his options before he came up with an idea.
“…Alright then, let’s leave the bike with Sheryl. She told me to visit her from time to time. She could lend me a parking spot. So I can visit her every time I go there to take my bike.”
Akira then rode his bike to Sheryl’s place.
Sheryl was trying to sleep in her private room when she heard someone knocking on the door of her room. She could not help but quickly get out of her bed and run towards the door, annoyed. Since she was about to sleep when she heard the knock, she shouted with irritation.
“What? I’m about to sleep here, you know!!”
“Boss!! Akira is here!!”
Sheryl immediately woke up from her half-sleepy state, she also understood very well why the other members of her gang woke her up. All the children there were too scared of talking to Akira without her around.
Sheryl immediately tidied up herself and hurried to meet Akira. She stopped right beside Akira who was waiting on top of his bike near the entrance and took a deep breath before speaking.
“I’m sorry for the wait, come in.”
“Thanks but it’s okay. Sorry for coming in this late, I have something that I want to ask you.”
“Please feel free to ask anything. I’ll do anything so long as it’s something that I can help with.”
Akira felt weird as Sheryl was smiling at him the whole time. He thought that her behavior should have gotten better since the last time he met her. But looking at this, it seemed that Sheryl’s behavior had actually gotten worse. Or this might be her real personality and this was how she would behave in front of Akira from here on out. As he was pondering about that, he decided to just drop the subject and go straight to the real reason why he came. He was already exhausted to think about anything else.
“Can you keep this bike here for me? I’ll come here again to take it when I need it.”
“I understand, I’ll take good care of the bike. Is there anything else? If there’s nothing else, would you please come in for a bit? You can go back after having a cup of coffee at least.”
As she spoke, Sheryl casually reached for Akira’s hand and stared into his eyes. She looked very happy for some reason. From her smile, the way she looked at him and grabbed his hand, how casually she invited him in… Akira thought that she was being a bit pushy. So he immediately pulled his hand back while being flustered and said.
“Nah, it’s already late today so I’ll return back to my room. A lot of things happened today and I’m really tired right now.”
Sheryl looked disappointed as she said.
“I see. Although I wanted to talk a lot with you because it has been quite a while since the last time you came, it is really unfortunate.”
“I’ll come again soon.”
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
Sheryl smiled as she saw Akira off, there was a shred of loneliness in her face.
Akira was a bit taken aback by what just happened, but he thought that it was still better than the last time. Plus, he was very tired at the moment, so he just decided to forget about it and headed back to the inn.
Sheryl told the young boy who was on the guard duty to put the bike inside the base.
“I don’t think I even need to tell you this, but be really careful when you move the bike. Tell the other kids not to mess around with the bike and also tell them that it’s Akira’s bike. I’m sure they know what would happen to them if the bike is stolen or broken. So be very careful with it, okay?”
“Okay, I understand.”
The young boy answered back nervously as he imagined the worst-case scenario.
Sheryl just smiled bewitchingly at that young boy.
“I’ll go and take a rest now. Good luck with your job tonight. Good night!”
The young boy was mesmerized for a few seconds, his face went beet red and looked flustered. Sheryl noticed his reaction before she went back to her room.
When Sheryl got back to her room, she looked at her smiling face in front of a mirror. But after that, she immediately stopped smiling.
[…It’s actually working. But why is it not working on Akira? Or is it that I just didn’t notice it?]
Sheryl knew that she had a good face and body. And she understood how to use it to coax other people. Smiling, holding hands, staring right into other person’s eyes, she knew that all of these would increase the effectiveness of her coaxing.
But it hardly affected Akira, that was why she tested it on the young boy who was on the guard duty. And just made-up gentle smile full of charm caused the young boy to react as she expected.
Her execution should have been flawless, but even so, Akira did not react at all and she was extremely disappointed by that.
“…I still have to work hard, huh?”
Sheryl mumbled those words before she prepared herself to go back to sleep.
On the next day, inside a cheap small room without a bath, Akira was sleeping like a log. He was dead tired after what happened the day before. Eventually, he opened his eyes. He was still in a daze as he looked around and saw Alpha smiling beside him.
“…Alpha, good morning.”
“Good morning, Akira. Reward from yesterday has already been transferred. You can check it if you want.”
Akira was still sleepy, but he immediately got up when he heard the word “reward” and operated his information terminal while still being half-asleep. But when he clicked the reward tab in the request history page and looked at the notification, all his sleepiness was blown away.
Akira could not believe his eyes as he took another good look at his information terminal, he finally understood that it was indeed 12,000,000 Aurum. He was so surprised that he felt like he would faint.
The details of his reward payment were written on the page. It included the basic reward for the emergency request, plus a reward for fighting against 2 swarms of monsters, plus the money from the number of Hunters that he saved, plus the payment from the medicine box that he gave to the other Hunters, minus the price of the bike that he got as an upfront payment. But Akira did not read all the details.
“Well, this amount of money might not be that much when compared to the risk that you had to take for earning it.”
When Alpha spoke, it was as if she was not fully satisfied with the amount of the reward. This caused Akira to quickly come back to his senses.
“…But still, well, it’s true that I risked my life for the request and I almost got killed back then. Not to mention, we spent a lot of ammo just like the other Hunters, but still, you know…”
Akira started to doubt the worth of the reward money. But he was not familiar with both the difficulty of yesterday’s battles and the amount of money, thus he could not make any conclusion.
But his confusion was cleared when he heard what Alpha said next.
“I guess we should get some equipment with this spare change for today.”
“Akira, stop getting surprised for every single thing.”
“Ah! Even if you tell me not to get surprised, that is just impossible in this situation!! If 12,000,000 Aurum is still just spare change, then how much does it take for it to not be considered spare change?!!”
“As long as it’s in Aurum, even 10,000,000,000 Aurum is nothing but spare change.”
Although Akira was confused and did not understand the meaning of Alpha’s words, he calmed down and asked her.
“…What do you mean?”
“It will take a lot of time to explain everything. When you go to Shizuka’s shop to restock ammo and buy new equipment later today, you can ask her about the equipment that you can’t buy using Aurum. I’m sure she’ll tell you about the equipment that you can’t buy with spare change. We’ll go there once you finish preparing yourself. But for now, how about you eat your breakfast?”
The moment Alpha mentioned breakfast, Akira immediately noticed that he had an empty stomach. He then remembered that he went straight to sleep without eating dinner last night because he was tired.
Filling an empty stomach took the highest priority. So Akira just put aside all the questions he had and started preparing his breakfast.
Once he finished all of his preparation, Akira headed to Shizuka’s shop. And as usual, Shizuka was waving at him from the counter and welcomed him when Akira entered her shop.
“Akira, welcome, how’s the augmented suit? Is it useful to you?”
“Yep. It’s better than I imagined.”
Shizuka looked glad as she saw Akira in a good mood. The press reported news about a huge swarm of monsters heading to the city, a swarm that was big enough for the city to gather and send the defense squad to intercept it. The report also said there were Hunters who joined the battle. Shizuka had a feeling that Akira also joined that battle, so she was worried about him. But looking at how he was doing fine today, she thought that it was a needless worry.
“That’s good to hear. I was worried that you would get killed because I picked up a bad augmented suit. You’re a prime candidate for becoming this shop’s regular customer after all. So it would be bad if you get killed, you know.”
Akira smiled proudly in reaction to Shizuka’s light joke.
“And I’m here today to take another step towards becoming your shop’s regular customer. I want to buy one more AAH rifle, as I thought, it would be bad if my rifle breaks when I only have one. And also, is there a type of rifle that works well against mechanical monsters? Since I have an augmented suit now, I don’t mind a heavy rifle.”
“So one AAH rifle and one more rifle to fight mechanical monsters, right? Well, there are a lot of rifles that you can use though, and all of them have a different price range. So how much is your budget?”
“Including the AAH rifle, I’m planning to spend no more than 10,000,000 Aurum.”
Shizuka, who was smiling at Akira, looked so surprised that she stood in a daze for a while. She then looked a bit troubled as she said to Akira.
“…I’m sorry to ask you about this, but how are you going to pay for it? I do want to sell you the rifle, but since I’m a merchant, I can’t accept credit payment, you know? Or is that you’re planning to use the credit card from the Hunter Office? Although you might be eligible to pay it in instalments, it’s no different than taking a debt, so you should rethink it.”
“I’ll pay it in one go, so it’ll be okay.”
Akira answered back in a normal tone almost immediately, but that caused Shizuka’s expression to change.
“…Is that so? You got your augmented suit 3 days ago, right? And you said that you didn’t do any dangerous work until you got it, right? In short, you only had 3 days, so how did you get that much money in such a short time?”
Although Shizuka was smiling gently at him, Akira could feel pressure radiating from her smile. He then remembered that he had promised Shizuka not to do anything too dangerous. So Akira tried to come up with an excuse in panic.
“W-well, about the money, you see.”
“I-I encountered a group of monsters during yesterday’s patrol request. I didn’t expect that to happen, thus I got some unexpected extra reward too, and it was way more than I thought. Even I’m too surprised by that.”
“So in short, you went to do a dangerous request yesterday, right?”
“W-well, about that, I was only trying my best to survive…”
“And so you did something dangerous, right?”
Shizuka’s voice carried a strong pressure.
Akira looked down and confessed. Shizuka’s worried face then turned stern.
“Are you alright? Did you get injured? I heard that yesterday’s battle was quite fierce.”
“As you can see, I’m okay. And it’s not like I’m using this augmented suit now because I’m injured and immobile.”
Akira was not lying, it was all true at least up until this point. But Shizuka locked her stare at him and he could not endure it and he confessed.
“W-well, my right leg was injured. But it was not that bad, my healing medicine was enough to heal it and it’s already completely healed now.”
But even after he confessed, it still looked like Akira was hiding something important and Shizuka noticed that.
“Come over here for a bit!!”
Shizuka then pulled Akira to the back room behind the counter without saying anything.
“Take off your augmented suit and let me check what’s under it. It’s not like you’re hiding bandages under that augmented suit, right?”
“I’m telling you it’s already completely healed.”
“In that case, there’s nothing to worry about, right? So take off your augmented suit now!”
Akira was overwhelmed by Shizuka’s pressure, so he obediently took off his augmented suit. There were no bandages on his body and it did not seem like he had more scars compared to the last time. The huge amount of medicine that he consumed was able to completely heal his broken leg and all the small injuries that he got from the crazy manoeuvres of his augmented suit.
Shizuka finally looked relieved as she tightly hugged Akira.
“There’s no need to try and hide it if you’re really okay. It only makes me more worried, you know.”
Akira did not reject Shizuka who was hugging him. But he was flustered because she buried his head inside her chest. He was also relieved that there was no need for him to tell her about the fact that he took the emergency request that he did not have to and how he was planning to go to a battlefield even if he had to run till there. After all, it would cause a bigger ruckus if she came to know that.
Akira and Shizuka then went back to the counter and she put one of the rifles that he ordered on the counter.
“First of all, this is the AAH rifle. As for the anti mechanical monster gun… You want one because of yesterday’s battle, right? Can you tell me how the battle was? I’ll think of a gun that might suit you after hearing that.”
Akira then told the story about his battle against the cannon insect swarms while omitting most of the details. He said that to be able to shoot down the resupplying robots with his AAH rifle, but he had to come close to the swarm while dodging the raining warheads. Shizuka was surprised when she heard that.
“…I see. That’s a pretty dangerous thing to do. But since you had no means to run away from them, I guess that was your only choice, huh?”
“Yes, well, so I was wondering if there’s a gun that works well against monsters like them.”
“In that case, I recommend you to get CWH anti-material rifle or DSS sniper rifle. Both can be used with most of the anti-armour ammo sold in the market and they’ll work well against strong armoured monsters. So, accuracy or firepower, which one do you prefer?”
“Since I’m planning to use it mostly during a ruin exploration, I’ll pick firepower. After all, there’re many places where monsters can hide inside the ruin, so I don’t think I need a gun that has high accuracy.”
“Alright then, in that case, I would recommend you to get CWH anti-material rifle with anti-armour ammo. Of course, you can load it with normal anti-monster ammo too, but if you’re thinking of using it in tandem with the AAH rifle, I recommend you to only load the CWH anti-material rifle only with anti-armour ammo. Although it’s a bit expensive, you can also buy the specially designed ammo too as insurance, this ammo should be able to make short work of big and strong monsters. It might be a good idea to buy a few magazines of this ammo just to be safe.”
“Well then, I’ll take that gun with those ammo, some normal ammo to replenish my reserve and some energy packs for my augmented suit too. Is there anything else that you think I should get?”
“Let’s see. Well, of course, it’s nice to have everything in case you suddenly need anything… But if you ask me, then how about buying a charm or a talisman?”
Although Shizuka was actually just joking, Akira unexpectedly took her suggestion seriously.
“I’ll buy one of those.”
Shizuka shop mainly focused on ammo and guns for Hunters, but it was also selling some other goods too. Hunters could also place an order for an augmented suit and pick the order from her shop. But Shizuka did not sell charms at all.
But seeing how Akira reacted, it was not like Shizuka could say that she was actually joking there. He looked at her with a serious face and a gaze full of expectation, he also sounded like he really meant it when he said that.
“…Wait here for a bit.”
Shizuka made an awkward smile before she went to the backroom as she rushed to the shop’s warehouse.
The warehouse which doubled as the loading area for the goods delivered to her shop housed all kinds of guns and medicines. Shizuka was searching for the object that she was looking for inside the warehouse.
“…Where did I put that thing again…? Or more like, I’m not even sure if it’s here or not. But I don’t remember ever throwing it away. So it should be collecting dust somewhere around here… Oh, here it is!!”
What she was looking for was a cardboard box that was left deep inside the warehouse. Looking at how much dust was blanketing it, it seemed that it was left there for a very long time. Shizuka lightly blew off the dust and opened the box. Inside, she found a collection of small objects.
There were small objects like an aiming device or medical products that could not be recreated using the current technology. Those were goods that were created using old-world technology. But among them, there were also other goods that did not hold any financial value. For example, there was an artistic painting, a bunch of inks and papers; these things did not have any technological value at all. Thus the hunter office deemed these goods as worthless.
Those goods were normally thought as worthless in the market, so the Hunters who came back with them would bring them to other places hoping that they could sell them somewhere with a high price. Some of them would be given to their acquaintances as a souvenir from the ruins, some of them were used as a chip in negotiation and some of them were given to random people thinking that it was better rather than just throwing them out. Shizuka got quite a lot of these goods.
She gathered the goods that did not interest her and put them in the warehouse; that was the origin of the goods inside this cardboard box. She went to look for the box since she remembered that there was something that could be used as a charm inside it. She then picked some small objects and went back to Akira.
“Sorry for the wait. I don’t have much though, but do you need any of these?”
Akira was looking at the small goods that were lined up on the counter with a serious face. But he did not know which one was good as a charm and which one was not.
“Do you have any recommendations which one is good?”
“Well, charm is outside my speciality. But all of these goods were found in the ruins. I have no plan of restocking them and I can’t guarantee their effectiveness. In the end, a charm’s just an object to make you feel calmer after all. That’s why I think it’s best if you choose one yourself.”
Akira nodded while still looking confused, but then Alpha suddenly pointed to one of the objects on the counter.
“I think this one is good.”
“Is there any reason why you picked that one?”
“It has a lucky number carved on it. I think it’s some kind of a charm to increase luck used by someone during the old world era. After all, exploring the ruins also relies a lot on your luck. So I think that one will be a good choice.”
Akira then pointed at the object that Alpha recommended.
“I’ll take this one.”
“Alright. Since I can’t give you insurance for its quality, I’ll give it for free. Wait here for a bit, I’ll bring the rest of your order here.”
As Shizuka was gathering all the goods that Akira ordered, he was staring at his new charm. He looked genuinely interested in that small object.
“Alpha, you said it has a lucky number, right? So what exactly does this number mean?”
“People usually get a load of money when this number comes up. That’s why it’s a lucky number.”
Akira thought that people in the old world also needed money so much that they would even get a lucky charm like the one he was staring at. It made him interested in the fact that there were actually more similarities between the old world era and the current era.
Shizuka returned back with all the ordered goods.
“Sorry for the wait. If you have the time, I can explain the details of the goods if you want.”
“Alright then. The CWH anti-material rifle is mainly used to fight thick armored mechanical monsters…”
Shizuka started her explanation in a good mood.
Among all the types of the gun, the CWH anti-material rifle was made specifically to fight mechanical monsters.
Most of the mechanical monsters were autonomous battle robots or facility guardian drones. They were much harder to kill compared to the biological monsters. Their thick armour and hard metallic body were the reason.
If anti-armour ammo could pierce their thick armor and destroy their control devices, these monsters could be defeated with the least effort. And for those Hunters who were aiming to get their hands on the parts of these monsters, defeating these monsters while inflicting the least damage possible could earn them more money. Thus it was doubly beneficial for them to use anti-armour ammo.
Some of the Hunters who loved this CWH anti-material rifle earned their money by hunting tanks in the middle of the wasteland. They would load the specially designated ammo to their gun and destroy only the control device of a tank, then they would take that tank to the repair shop to install a new control device before selling it.
Of course, there were other types of guns that the Hunters would use for fighting big mechanical monsters. But the CWH anti-material rifle was a staple gun for such situations. That was just how good this gun was.
“The specially designed ammo for the CWH anti-material rifle might be expensive, but I can guarantee its efficiency. If you have enough knowledge about the inner part of the mechanical monsters and have the confidence to snipe their inner part, this ammo will work very well. It can be used to turn the table in one shot when you get into a pinch fighting a monster with thick armor. I don’t think I have to say this since I think you understand it very well, but you shouldn’t look forward to being in such a situation, okay?”
“Ah, of course.”
Akira nodded firmly, to which, Shizuka looked satisfied as she nodded in return.
“Good. Now then, don’t try to use its specially designed ammo on some other guns just because it looks similar, okay? In the worst-case scenario, it might cause an explosion that would take your whole arms off. So don’t even think of trying to do something like that. Do you have any questions? You can ask me about the other guns too, you know? If it’ll make you buy more guns, I can tell you everything I know.”
Akira thought for a bit before replying.
“In that case then, please tell me about the AAH rifle fans.”
Shizuka went silent since she did not have much to say about it. But she then smiled and looked at Akira with a gentle gaze.
“AAH rifle fans, huh… Akira, you’re too young to become an AAH rifle fan, you know?”
Although he did not understand why, he realized that he just asked something weird. Thus he tried to give more explanations about his question.
“Ah, it’s just that one of the Hunters who I was with yesterday said that. So I was just curious. That Hunter said that either I or Shizuka-san must be an AAH rifle fan after he took a good look at my AAH rifle…”
“Is that so? If that’s true, then that means you did a pretty amazing job back there.”
“Do people get misunderstood as an AAH rifle fan if they did something amazing?”
“Well, what can I say here… It’s complicated, you see.”
Akira looked confused, thus Shizuka smiled bitterly as she started explaining about the AAH rifle fans.
There were a lot of types of guns circulated in the eastern district. Some of them stayed around for years while some of them were popular for a short time before vanishing. The AAH rifle had survived such strict competition for more than 100 years. Thanks to its high performance to price ratio, the AAH rifle was a popular rifle even now.
And among the Hunters, there was this group of people called the AAH rifle fans who really loved this rifle. They loved it so much that they tended to get their priority backwards.
They would try to defeat every monster using the AAH rifle because of their love for the rifle. They would even try to kill monsters that normally could not be defeated with AAH rifle’s firepower just to showcase the greatness of the rifle. Some of them would heavily modify their AAH rifles to increase its performance and firepower. In short, these people would do all kinds of things for their beloved guns.
There were a lot of factions among the AAH rifle fans. Some of them despised any form of modifications and aimed for effective tactics using the basic AAH rifle. Some of them allowed modifications as long as it kept its basic design. Some of them allowed modifications as long as the core parts of the AAH rifle were still kept intact. Some of them would add extra functions on the rifle by adding extension parts. And finally, some of them did not really care about the inner parts as long as it still had the appearance of an AAH rifle. They would fight and help each other and spread the popularity of the AAH rifle.
One thing in common among the AAH rifle fans was that they were very zealous people. Although some of them were great Hunters, one might get swept and turned into an AAH rifle fan if he or she was not careful. That was why some people have trouble handling them.
“There were a lot of AAH rifle fans among the merchants too, but I’m not one of them, okay? I heard that people like them would strongly recommend buying the AAH rifle and they secretly sell modified AAH rifles with increased firepower. And among all the guns that they sell, some of them were jackpot guns. I’m sure that’s the reason why that Hunter said that to you.”
Akira then remembered what he did yesterday. He did say that the AAH rifle deserved its popularity and he destroyed the mechanical monster cannon insects using only his AAH rifle. So it was to be expected if that Hunter mistook him as an AAH rifle fan.
“Once they get a jackpot, these Hunters would buy a big number of AAH rifle hoping that they would be able to get another jackpot. Although, normally, they would not be able to get the same amount of firepower unless they use a gun that is sold in Chrome. Some people even say that its level of firepower comes from the old world technology that is utilized in the rifle. But seriously though, I wonder who would spread such a rumour.”
There were cases where Hunters who mistook a merchant as an AAH rifle fan ordered a huge amount of AAH rifle. It might give that merchant a temporary financial boost, but if that merchant ever got obsessed with it and by chance had bad luck, he would end up with a warehouse full of unsold guns which might even cause their business to crumble.
There were times when Hunters came to Shizuka’s shop because of something similar. But Shizuka always made them pay the full price of the guns upfront before placing their order for the guns. There was once a time where someone bought a truck full of AAH rifle from Shizuka, and of course, Shizuka was dumbfounded when that happened.
“Shizuka-san, what is that Chrome? Is it something different from Aurum?”
Shizuka was a bit surprised when she found out that Akira did not understand what Chrome was. She looked sorry for a split second, but she immediately replaced it with her usual smile.
“Akira, do you not know what Chrome is?”
“No. This is the first time I heard that word.”
“It will take some time to explain everything. Is that okay?”
Shizuka then started explaining about Chrome to Akira.
There were 2 kinds of currency in the eastern district. The currency issued by the Corporate and Chrome. Aurum was a currency issued by Sakashita Heavy Industry, one of the 5 biggest corporations in the eastern district.
The corporate currency was mostly used in the regions under the management of that corporation. Aurum included, there were 5 types of corporate currency, each issued by the 5 biggest corporations in the eastern district. And anyone who bought and sold stuff using one of the corporate currencies could be thought of as someone who was under that corporation. The spread of the currency depended on the sphere of influence of that corporation and it was the pillar that supported that corporation.
The very act of trying to counterfeit the corporate currency could be treated as a declaration of war against the Corporate Government. There were cases in the past when such a thing happened and the Corporate Government always obliterated them without mercy.
Besides the Corporate currency, there was Chrome that was used everywhere in the eastern district. It was called the currency of the old world, a type of electronic currency discovered as a relic in the ruins. It cannot be reproduced using the current world’s technology. There were many methods to get this Chrome, and one of them was from an object called a Chrome card. It was some kind of an electronic wallet that contained Chrome.
Chrome had an absolute value in the eastern district. One could go to the Corporate Government to exchange a Chrome for a large amount of corporate currency. One might also exchange corporate currency to a Chrome which is sold at a very high rate. This was also one of the factors that raised the price of Chrome in the eastern district. Most of the transactions between big companies were conducted in Chrome.
And because of all of these, Chrome was able to hold its value and used as the currency from the old world.
Among the ruins of the old world, some of the factories were still operational. Of course, there were operational guardian drones patrolling these factories, and most of the time, even great Hunters or the Corporate Government military could not fight against these drones that were manufactured using the overwhelmingly advanced technology of the old world. As such, it was near impossible to collect relics from such ruins.
But it was possible to negotiate with the advanced AI that managed such a facility to get the extremely invaluable and extremely hard to create goods that were manufactured in such a factory. And this Chrome would be used in such a transaction. Although it was originally a secret, the truth slowly spread among the residents of the eastern district.
Not to mention that with Chrome, one could use the vending machines scattered in the ruins to obtain medicines that could even regenerate severed limbs in a short time.
Some people did try to force their way to get hold of such medicine from the vending machines in the past. And when that happened, they had to fight the security system of the vending machine. Most of the time, they would not only end up destroying the vending machine but also increase the piles of corpses that were already scattered around it.
Rumour had it that some of the companies in the eastern district would use their Chrome to buy military goods manufactured in the old world factories. This caused a shift in the sphere of influence among the Corporations in the eastern district.
Because of that, the Corporate Government was trying to collect Chrome. And in order to do that, they would sell powerful and advanced equipment which could only be bought using Chrome.
Shizuka then finished her explanation with a summary.
“So there, you have it. There’s also a rumour about a super-advanced AAH rifle that can only be bought using Chrome. I really want to see one if it really does exist.”
After knowing there was equipment that could not be bought using corporate currency, Akira finally realized the reason why Alpha said even 10,000,000,000 Aurum was just spare change. He then bowed politely to Shizuka and said.
“Thank you for all the explanations, that was really an eye-opener.”
“Is that so? I’m glad to hear that.”
For those Hunters who already had an augmented suit or were planning to buy one, it was common sense for them to know about Chrome, but Akira did not know about it. Shizuka’s heart hurt a bit when she discovered this, but she was trying to be considerate to him by not showing that in her face as she smiled to Akira like usual.
Silavin: lol. Reminds me of Inflation to the point where they had to change the currency.