While they were waiting for the rain to stop, Guyver suddenly said to Dale.
“It’s so boring that we have nothing to do here, so I’m going to look for relics around here for a bit.”
Dale looked surprised and asked Guyver.
“You do know that there are no expensive relics left around this place, right?”
“It’s fine, I’m just going to search for relics to pass the time. Moreover, there are dead monsters around the area, so I might find some equipments left by the Hunters that those monsters killed.”
“…I see. Well, it’s up to you.”
Although he said that, Dale cursed Guyver deep inside his heart.
[Geh! Damn hyena!!]
There were all kinds of Hunters out there. Dale was someone who thought that it was rude to salvage equipment from the dead corpses of the other Hunters.
It would be fine if it was something that he stumbled upon by pure chance. But if he started to go to the wasteland to intentionally salvage equipment from the dead Hunters, Dale believed that it would only be a matter of time before he started to hunt for equipment from the still alive Hunters too.
Dale thought that Guyver would leave the room right after that, but instead, he went to the other side of the room, to a group of Sheryl’s gang’s members. He then started speaking with them while mostly focused on Sebla.
“I’m going to search the mansion, you guys want to come?”
Everyone there looked surprised when Guyver said that to them. Dale quickly interjected.
“What the heck are you thinking you’re doing?”
Guyver replied back flatly without a trace of hostility.
“What? I’m just inviting them to search for relics.”
“I’m telling you that you shouldn’t bring them with you without Sheryl’s permission!! Or more like, do you think they can hold a fight in the first place?!!”
“It’s not like I’m forcing them to come. Moreover, I don’t expect them to help me fight monsters, I’m inviting them to help me carry relics. I’ll do the fighting. Ahhh, are you worried that we might cause a dispute when dividing the loot? I’ll just give them the relics if they’re just cheap relics. Like I said before, I’m just looking for a way to spend time.”
The children that Guyver invited glanced at Sheryl’s direction. Although Akira’s expression did not change at all, Sheryl who was beside him obviously looked a little angry. They wanted to search for relics in that mansion, however, they hesitated to take Guyver’s offer since it might cause Sheryl to get even angrier at them.
But that was excluding one person who had already annoyed Sheryl beforehand.
Sebla cautiously asked Guyver.
“Are you seriously going to give the relics to us?”
Guyver smiled and replied.
“Yeah, I have no interest in cheap relics after all.”
“Alright then, I’ll come with you.”
As Sebla stood up, Guyver’s smile widened.
Guyver was about to bring Sebla with him without Sheryl’s permission, looking at that, Sheryl was making an unpleasant face. Dale was determined to stop Guyver if it was needed, so he asked Sheryl.
“Are you sure you don’t need to do anything?”
“I won’t stop him, but I won’t take responsibility either.”
Sheryl answered briefly without any change in her expression.
It was obvious that she had already given up on Sebla. She did not mind if Sebla died after going with Guyver, she also planned to leave him behind in case if the rain stopped and he had not returned. Of course, even if he returned back to the city after that, Sheryl planned to kick him out from the gang.
And if Sebla caused any trouble for Guyver, she had no plans to listen if Guyver came to her to complain nor she planned to apologize to him.
Guyver and Sebla then left that room. For some reason, Sheryl looked slightly relieved.
Now that Guyver was no longer in that room, Dale quickly vented his irritation about Guyver by complaining about him to Sheryl.
After Sebla and Guyver left that room, rather than starting to look for relics around that mansion, they quickly moved to another room away from where they were. After Sebla entered that room, Guyver checked his surroundings before closing the door.
Guyver then pulled a battered chair and sat on it with its backrest to his front. He then reached to his back and signalled Sebla with his head to take the other chair.
“Well, just take a seat.”
Sebla looked confused as he obediently took a seat while Guyver just kept smiling at him.
Guyver actually invited Sebla to come with him since he knew that Sebla also wanted to look for relics in that mansion but did not have the ability to do so alone, and to top it off, he seemed to be displeased with Akira and Sheryl.
This was because Sebla was unconsciously looking down on Akira and Sheryl. He thought that Akira was only a boy who got a little lucky which allowed him to buy powerful weapons while Sheryl was only a girl who got ahead of herself after getting Akira’s support.
That was why Sebla was not really scared even when Sheryl and Akira were next to him. And although Akira was someone who might kill him in a single snap of a finger without any hesitation, his hatred and prejudice toward them dulled his sense of danger.
While on the other hand, unlike Akira, Guyver, who was in front of him right now, was simply a stranger with enough strength to kill him. He was someone that Sebla just met, so he did not know anything about the other person.
That was why Sebla felt a little scared. But in order to hide his fear, he asked Guyver.
“A-aren’t we going to look for relics?”
“Well, just calm down for now.”
Guyver was still smiling at him, but that smile did not even have the slightest trace of good-will.
“There’s one thing that I want to ask you. Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad. I just want to know your honest opinion about those guys.”
From the start, Guyver had no wish to search the mansion for relics at all. He was only interested in picking a random kid to gather more information about Sheryl and Akira.
He was actually having some problems with money. To be more precise, he had a huge debt. Although the deadline was closing in, he still had no idea how to pay his debt.
Today, he had actually lost his hope of repaying that debt. He had bought expensive information about a certain ruin where he might be able to discover expensive relics and so he was planning to find some expensive relics today to pay for his debt. Although that information came from a questionable source with questionable accuracy, it was enough for him to place his bet on that information.
Although there was a lot of frauds like that, fortunately enough, Guyver hit a jackpot. He got the information of several unexplored ruin sites where he might be able to find expensive relics.
Guyver was winning his gamble up to that point, but then bad things happened to him.
The information that he bought did not mention anything about the monsters in that ruin. When they encountered a strong monster, they had no other choice but to run away. If it was not for the other Hunters, who did not expect to find those monsters and ended up dividing the attention of those monsters, they might not have been able to escape from that ruin alive.
In the end, they ended up bringing back only a small number of relics, and of course, they still had to divide those relics among themselves. Basically, it was not even close to enough for repaying his debt even if he took all of those relics for himself.
Lending money to the Hunters in the eastern district was a dirty business. After all, the Hunters did not have any stable income, they might even die anytime without notice. And since they were armed, there were cases where they even lashed back and refused to pay their debts. So in short, any companies in the eastern district that offered loans to those Hunters had prepared themselves with enough power to forcefully collect the money that the Hunters borrowed from them.
Guyver was desperate for money in order to avoid getting sent to the infamous hellish workplace to return his debt.
So he was now trying to get some information out of Sebla who looked a bit scared of him. Of course, he expected to get slightly inaccurate information out of Sebla about Sheryl and Akira. But even so, it was enough to get the information that he wanted.
Guyver’s desperation of money had already twisted his mind. Because of that, he strongly wished that the relic pile behind Akira’s vehicle was filled with expensive relics. Rather than deciding based on the information he would get from Sebla, he already made a guess that they were indeed expensive relics. That was why he started to gather more information in order to confirm his guess.
Right from the start, Guyver already thought that Sheryl was on her way back from another ruin. And that ruin was an unexplored ruin and the information about which had not spread among the Hunters. He thought that Sheryl was trying to secretly carry out relics from that particular unexplored ruin.
There were two ways to make sure that certain important information would not leak to the public–either only tell the people that one absolutely trusted, or make sure that other people who also knew that information are dead.
Guyver thought that it was the former case for Akira. According to what he heard from Sheryl, it seemed that she placed a lot of trust in Akira. That was why she only took Akira to escort her.
While the other children were the latter case. Guyver was sure that the other children were the children of the slum city who had no idea of the value of the relics that they gathered, and even if she killed those children once they did their job, it would not cause any ruckus at all. Basically, they were the perfect expendable pawns for secretly carrying out relics. That was why Guyver was sure that Sheryl was there to secretly carry out relics from an unexplored ruin.
But unlike what he expected, according to Sebla’s information, those relics were gathered from Higaraka Residence Ruin. Although that took him by surprise, Guyver quickly returned back to his sense and made another guess to make everything click together.
He guessed that Sheryl used Higaraka Residence Ruin as a hidden stow or maybe a delivery place for sensitive relics that should be handled carefully. Guyver thought that Sheryl did that to disguise those relics as cheap relics.
According to Sebla, Sheryl was the one who decided which building to loot and what relics to take out from each building. And if she used slum city’s children to help her and also prevented them from knowing what they were carrying, then everything would make sense.
Moreover, if the relics on the cart were really cheap relics, then there was no need to even put on a camouflaging sheet on top of it. So it must be those relics that would give Sheryl profit even after deducting the price of the escort, transportation, and the ammo expense.
Among all the children in that room, Akira and Sheryl had obviously better equipment than the rest of the children. Sheryl’s dress also seemed to be an old-world dress which was way better than the common dress. So basically, she must be someone who had enough money to buy old-world dresses.
Even though Sheryl brought with her an escort, Guyver refused to believe that she would intentionally go out to the dangerous wasteland herself if it was not for something that was worth that risk.
Guyver’s twisted money sense because of the debt that he was shouldering caused his guess to lean more towards the direction that the relics on Akira’s cart were expensive relics.
“Say, Sebla… Was it again? Ahh, I’m Guyver, I forgot to tell you my name before. So then, Sebla.”
Sebla was overwhelmed by the ominous vibe from Guyver.
Guyver was still smiling at Sebla as he continued. It was obvious from his voice that he had made his decision.
“I have a good idea, wanna listen?”
Sebla was completely drowned in Guyver’s ominous aura.
Nothing in particular happened as Akira continued waiting for the rain to stop. Not too far from him, Sheryl was talking with Dale and Colbert. Akira was standing there as Sheryl bodyguard, while the children from Sheryl’s gang were doing various things to pass the time.
Then suddenly there was an explosion followed by gunshots. Although those sounds were drowned in the rain, the Hunters inside that room quickly reacted to that faint noise. Akira quickly covered Sheryl and scanned his surroundings. While Dale and Colbert quickly went to the window to check the source of that sound.
The moment Dale saw what was happening outside, he immediately shouted.
Dale and Colbert panicked. Akira calmly and carefully checked outside the mansion, he could see a vehicle moving away from the mansion.
Akira checked that vehicle with his binocular, it was not his vehicle.
“It’s your vehicle, huh. No one is in that vehicle, you know?”
Dale shouted as he was obviously shocked by that sudden turn of events.
“The auto-drive home function, huh!? But that’s impossible!! It should still have enough armour plating on it!!”
Dale’s guess was correct, but it did not stop the vehicle from moving away from the mansion until it eventually vanished into the rain.
Not too long after that, Guyver returned back with more stuff than when he left the room.
Dale quickly ran to him.
“Guyver!! Our vehicle’s auto-drive activated and it went back to the city!!”
In contrast to Dale who was panicking, Guyver looked completely calm.
“Yeah, I know, it was the monster.”
“A monster attacked our vehicle, well, it’s because we just left it there in the open after all.”
“What do you mean?!”
According to Guyver’s explanation, he encountered a monster when he was passing near their vehicle. Although he was able to repel the monster back, it caused enough damage to activate the auto-drive function on their rental vehicle and Guyver was too busy facing the monster to stop their vehicle. It seemed that the explosion and the gunshots were from him fighting that monster.
Guyver unloaded the stuff that he was carrying on the floor.
“Fortunately, I was able to save the relics and our ammo reserve and equipments.”
Dale frowned, but his expression quickly turned grim.
“What exactly were you doing back then? If you could save all of this stuff from our vehicle, you should have had enough time to kill the monster, right?”
Guyver turned to Sebla and said.
“This guy said that he wanted to see our equipment, that was why I took these out of the vehicle. And as I was showing it to him, the monster suddenly came at us, you know. So it’s not like we were taking them out while fighting that monster.”
“But even so, you should have been able to protect our vehicle!!”
Guyver hesitated as he glanced at Sebla again.
“Well, uhh, I know that it’s my fault, but I can’t really protect the vehicle while also protecting this guy. So I ended up fighting that monster while using the vehicle as our cover, you see. It was also because I was caught off-guard since I couldn’t detect that monster thanks to the rain…”
Sebla looked apologetic and said.
He then bent his neck so deep that no one there could see his face, because of that, Dale chose not to reprimand him any further. Since he thought that it was not a good thing to strongly blame Sebla in front of Sheryl, Dale just clicked his tongue and decided to hold himself from asking him to take responsibility.
But it did not change the fact that they lost their vehicle now. In that situation, in contrast to Dale, who was making a grim face, Guyver looked completely calm. It caused Dale to become even more annoyed.
“…You look pretty calm there, you know? How can you stay calm like that? We just lost our only means to return back home, you know?”
Guyver smiled lightly and said in a relaxed tone as if he was trying to calm Dale down.
“Just calm down. It’s true that we lost our vehicle. But fortunately, there’s still one vehicle left in this place, remember?”
Guyver then turned to Sheryl. Dale and Colbert followed suit and looked at Sheryl too. Sheryl’s expression stiffened.
Dale then apologetically asked her.
“Well, that’s how it is. So like, can you please give us a ride back to the city?”
Guyver too smiled and asked Sheryl.
“You’ll basically get 3 more Hunters to escort you for free, so I think it’s not a bad proposal, right? We can even drive the car for you if you want. It’s hard to fight monsters while driving the vehicle for your Hunter there, right?”
That was not a bad offer for Sheryl, but she then glanced at Akira to check with him. Being the escort was Akira’s job, if Akira seemed to have any objections, Sheryl would have to come up with some kind of explanation to reject that offer.
Akira did not change his expression as he carefully said to Sheryl.
“We don’t have much choice, let’s give them a ride.”
Sheryl then lightly bowed to Dale and his friends.
“Very well, Dale-san, Guyver-san, Colbert-san, we’ll be counting on you on our way back.”
“Just leave it to us.”
Dale confidently replied as the representative of that team.
Akira kept his eyes on Dale and his friends, to be honest, he was against giving them a ride back to the city. Although it was true that they would have more Hunters to help in case they had to fight monsters, it would also increase the unpredictable factors that he would have to handle.
But with that being said, if Akira declined that offer and left them in the wasteland, they might even start a fight. So to be honest, it was not like he had any other choice as he reluctantly agreed with their offer.
“Alpha, what do you think?”
“You definitely need to keep your eyes on them.”
Akira also figured that all of his good predictions would betray him and any of his bad premonitions would come into reality. Which in that case, he had to prepare himself to face it.
If he knew that his bad premonitions were accurate, then he could reduce the possible loss by getting himself ready to brace for it. If he did that, he would not sustain much damage even if it really happened. That was what Akira was telling himself in order to sustain his mental stability.
In the middle of the rain outside the mansion, there was a vehicle that was traversing the wasteland without any driver inside it, it was Dale’s vehicle. A part of its armour plating was crumbling down. Because of that, the control unit installed in that vehicle judged that the vehicle would be destroyed at this rate. As such the auto-drive function inside it activated and drove the vehicle back to the city on auto-pilot.
The display of that vehicle’s control unit was showing the reason as to why the auto-drive function was activated. It based its results on the findings of the diagnostic device installed in the control unit of that vehicle.
It was saying that the auto-drive function was activated because of the damage caused by gunshots or explosion. The scanning device installed in that vehicle did not detect any monsters around when that happened. The display was also showing a warning that shooting at the unit might cause a misunderstanding, in which case the evaluation of the customer might be lowered because of that.
The vehicle kept on heading towards the Kugamayama city while displaying that message which no one read.
It had been quite a while since Guyver returned back. Dale was checking the stuff that Guyver retrieved before their vehicle left. After checking the relics, he proceeded to check the equipment and the ammo reserves, his face suddenly turned grim.
“Hey! The decoy device is not here, nor the ammo.”
The decoy device referred to any type of device that could be used to attract monsters’ attention. There were a lot of ways to use them in the ruin, they could be used to gather monsters in one place and then take them out all together in one go, or they could be used to sneak from the monsters as they gathered in a certain place. These devices used all kinds of means like sound, heat, smell, light, or vibration to attract monsters.
Of course, if they were not careful when using the decoy devices, the Hunters could end up attracting powerful monsters from the deeper part of the ruin. There were various ways to activate them, some of them could be activated using remote activation, or time-set, or even by sensor trigger. Some of them could even be launched like a projectile.
These decoy devices were of course much more expensive than a normal bullet. And the decoy devices that they lost were all owned by Dale. So no wonder his face turned grim.
But then Guyver answered apathetically.
“They’re not there? They should be still in that vehicle then.”
“You didn’t take them out of the vehicle?”
“It’s not like I took all the equipment out from the vehicle. I only picked out the equipments that boy wanted to see.”
“…Dammit! Those are expensive, you know?”
Dale was extremely frustrated. If he knew this would happen, he would have used all the decoy devices when he escaped from that ruin. Even in the middle of that rain, they should at least still have some effects. If he had used the decoy devices to fool the monster back then, he would have had no need to take shelter from the rain in this mansion.
While Dale was still lamenting his loss, Guyver suddenly stood up and was about to leave the room again. But Dale annoyedly shouted at him.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’ll patrol the area while looking for relics in this mansion. After all, there might still be some monsters around.”
But then Dale snapped back at him.
“…Isn’t it because you roam around aimlessly that the monsters easily spot you? Isn’t that also the reason why our vehicle got attacked?”
Dale was basically blaming him for loitering around their vehicle and getting their vehicle attacked.
Guyver just laughed it off as he said.
“Even if you say so, there might still be some monsters around, you know? So it’s better if we keep our guards up, ain’t I right? Don’t worry, I won’t go near Sheryl’s vehicle. After all, I too don’t want to have to walk back to Kugamayama city.”
Guyver left the room after he said that. Sebla then followed behind him afterwards. When Dale saw that, he shouted at Guyver.
“Are you seriously going to bring that boy too!?”
“This boy also feels guilty about what happened and he’s trying to make it up for that blunder. So just let him do it, will you? You just stay here and protect Sheryl and the other children. If you don’t do at least that much, I feel like they won’t give us a ride back home after all. Later then.”
Guyver then left that room together with Sebla.
Akira kept looking at the door through which Guyver and Sebla exited the room. His bad feeling would not go away.
“Alpha, can you check what that Guyver guy is doing from here?”
“Unfortunately, they are outside my detection range. The rain really reduced my detection range after all.”
“I might be overthinking this, but in case if they mess with our vehicle, would you be able to tell from here?”
“If that’s the case, then there’s no need to worry. I’m connected to the control unit in your vehicle. Although I set the detection range to the minimum to conserve the energy, it would leave a record if anyone tries to approach it. You can look at that record from your information terminal, although, you won’t get the latest record unless you’re within the data transfer range.”
“Then it should be fine, huh…”
“Are you suspicious of them?”
“Yeah, I have a bad feeling about them. I always have a good sense when it comes to dangerous things, you see. There were times when I was saved thanks to that. Well, it’s not like everything will be fine as long as I don’t have any bad feelings, so I can’t completely put my guard down too.”
Alpha thought that since Akira could connect to the old-world domain, he might have been receiving some kind of information without him even realizing it. He then might have been analyzing and interpreting that information unconsciously and mistook it as his intuition. After all, if he could come up with something without any basis, that would be easily interpreted as an intuition.
Although it looked like Alpha was smiling like usual, she was telling herself that she needed to be careful about that. Akira noticed that Alpha was staring at him. So he tilted his head and asked her.
“Hm? I was just thinking that you are being a bit too paranoid. It’s true that it’s a good thing to be careful of any possibilities, but it’s impossible to consider all kinds of possibilities in the first place, not to mention that it would be highly ineffective too. You can just leave that kind of things to me, I have confidence in my calculation ability after all!”
“Well, that’s true, I’ll be counting on you then.”
“Just leave it to me!”
Alpha smiled invincibly but gently to Akira.
Silavin: Ah! Damn it! This was the wrong time to try to brainwash him Alpha!