Chapter 23: A Boy Who Is Like a Landmine
Chapter 23: A Boy Who Is Like a Landmine
Akira spent his days studying inside his room. It had been 2 weeks since he placed the order for the augmented suit. As Alpha declared in the beginning, he moved to a room without a bath. He tried his best to hold back his desire to take a bath by showering. Also, he did not even step a foot outside the city. He basically spent his days focusing only on studying.
But even so, Akira was actually in a good mood. It was because he was looking forward to getting his first 8,000,000 Aurum augmented suit. His mood got even better when Shizuka contacted him to inform about the expected time of arrival of his order. Ever since her call, he could not contain his excitement.
Alpha’s methods were also really useful in teaching Akira. First of all, she started by expanding Akira’s views, so that he would notice things that he did not notice before. In order to build up an effective learning environment, she used a flying electronic blackboard and a white notebook which was filled with images and letters for teaching. Akira had bought these learning materials some time back. Her teaching methods were nothing short of perfect.
Not to mention that her method of teaching for every subject was very polished. Her explanation was very easy to understand and highly effective. She was teaching Akira one on one, so she could focus all her attention on him. That small and cheap room turned into an optimal learning environment that normally could not be created without a lot of money. Thanks to that, Akira’s growth was amazing.
Then one day, Alpha who was pointing at the writings on the electronic blackboard suddenly pointed to Akira’s information terminal.
“Akira, there’s a call from Sheryl”
Akira extended his hand to reach for his information terminal. But after he picked up his information terminal, he could not see any call notification from Sheryl. But then suddenly the display showed that there was an incoming call as the call’s ringtone rang. Akira looked a bit puzzled.
“How did you know that before it actually came?”
Alpha smiled meaningfully.
“As I explained before, I’m actually connected to that network, so I’m just leveraging it.”
Akira was wondering if she was actually saying the truth as he picked up the call. As he answered the call, he could hear Sheryl’s panicked and nervous voice.
“This is Sheryl. I’m sorry that I’m calling when you’re busy. But may I ask you to come to the base? Actually, people from the other gangs said that they really want to meet and talk to you. Of course, I did not agree, but they started saying that they would personally come to the inn where you’re staying, you see…”
Akira immediately got suspicious of something.
“They want to meet and talk to me? But you’re the boss of the gang, right?”
“They said that they have nothing to talk with me. It seems those people outside the gang are thinking that you’re the boss of the gang and I’m just your proxy, that’s why they would not negotiate with me.”
Akira took his time thinking. Because he spent days inside his room without stepping out, not even once, the part of him that was unconsciously seeking for a break, made his decision.
“Alright then, I’ll be heading there now. Ask them what they actually want to discuss with me.”
“I understand. Thank you very much.”
After Sheryl replied back nervously, Akira ended the call from Sheryl.
Alpha looked at Akira as if she did not approve it.
“I did tell you that you’re not stepping outside the room until you get your augmented suit, right?”
“Please don’t say that. At least let me step outside once in a while. It’s not like I’m going to the wasteland, after all. So it’s okay, right? I also did tell Sheryl that I’m coming there.”
Alpha smiled as if she was giving permission to a small kid.
“Geez, it can’t be helped then. Be sure to prepare everything before going out, okay?”
Akira prepared his equipment just like he used to when he was about to go to the wasteland before setting off to Sheryl’s base.
After Sheryl ended up her call with Akira, she let out a sigh while still staring at her information terminal.
[…Although it seems that he thinks it’s a pain in the ass, he did say that he’ll come. Thank goodness.]
She then turned to the people in question and looked at them with a stern look. It was a man named Wataba and his companions who sought to see Akira.
“It seems that Akira would come here. And he told me to ask what you want to discuss with him. So I’m asking you this again, what business do you have with him?”
Wataba answered back in a tone as if he was mocking Sheryl.
“I’ll talk when that Akira boy is here.”
“Are you not listening?! I was told to ask you what you want to discuss with him, you know?!”
Sheryl glared at Wataba. But Wataba did not even flinch, instead, Wataba replied back as if to intimidate her.
“You’re so noisy!! I’m telling you that I’ll only talk when that boy is here!! So just shut up!!”
Wataba glared back at Sheryl and her friends. He was actually a part of Sibea’s gang, so he knew pretty well about Sheryl. And since he knew her position back in Sibea’s gang, he was looking down at Sheryl.
Wataba had other business to do the day when Sibea brought some people to attack Akira, that was why he could keep his life till now. For a few days after Akira killed Sibea, he was still wary of Akira. But as time passed by, he started to think that Sibea was killed just because he was unlucky that day.
Wataba thought that Sheryl was merely a girl who could do nothing but entice men and Akira was just a boy who got manipulated by Sheryl and ended up supporting her gang. Both of them were nothing big. His behaviour here was motivated by these thoughts.
Sheryl was on her limit glaring at Wataba and his companions. She could not pressure them to tell her what they wanted to talk about. Although she had a gun with her, it was the same for Wataba too. She had no will to pull the trigger for a fight.
It could also be felt by both Sheryl and Wataba that mockery and superiority feeling was spreading among Wataba’s group while nervousness and the feeling of being cornered were spreading among Sheryl’s group. And it only got worse the more they waited. Wataba even stopped being wary of Akira. Akira was a hunter, so Wataba had to at least be more careful when dealing with Akira. But that sense of wariness had already been gone from him.
Then right at that time, Akira appeared. Everyone immediately shifted their attention to Akira. Akira was able to feel the mood inside the room and immediately understood that it would definitely turn into a problem. Everyone’s attention still focused on Akira as he walked and sat down beside Sheryl. He then looked obviously annoyed as he asked Sheryl.
“So then, what is it now?”
As Sheryl was stumbling on her words, Wataba laughed and said.
“That girl could not get anything from me, you know! She could not accomplish what you ordered her to!”
Sheryl turned and glared at Wataba, her gaze was filled with despise. But Wataba ignored her.
Akira let out a sigh before asking Wataba instead.
“So, what do you want?”
Wataba then answered Akira’s question firmly.
“It’s simple, give me this base and its territory.”
Sheryl and the other kids tensed up when they heard his demand.
Sheryl’s gang inherited the territory from Sibea’s gang. But it was hard for them to take care of that huge territory with their current members. An unclaimed territory in the slum city would only attract problem and that would be a bad thing both for Sheryl and for the other people in the slum city.
Wataba’s boss, Shijima, thought that it would be easy to at least get those surplus territories that Sheryl’s gang could not manage from Sheryl by having a small negotiation with Sheryl’s gang. He thought that at most, they would need to use little intimidation during the negotiation to obtain it. Thus he sent Wataba, someone who already knew Sheryl, to have a discussion with her gang. But then Wataba got ahead of himself after seeing how Sheryl’s gang treated them, so he changed the demand without asking for any permission from his boss.
Of course, it was not something that Sheryl could accept. Thus Sheryl reflexively shouted back at Wataba.
“Are you kidding me?! There’s no way we can accept that!!”
“I’m not asking you, so just shut up.”
Wataba shouted back to intimidate her, Sheryl winced and shrunk back when she heard him. Wataba looked annoyed as he was staring at Sheryl with a mocking expression. He then turned back to Akira and asked him in a fashion as if he knew what Akira would say.
“So, what do you say? Of course, you’re going to give them to me, right?”
“No, Sheryl also made it clear just now. So don’t ask me.”
Akira answered back casually and firmly, something that Wataba did not expect.
Wataba was dumbfounded from Akira’s reply, but it was immediately replaced by irritation. So pushed by that irritation, he asked Akira.
“I’ve heard about you before, this gang is yours, right?”
“This gang and this base are Sheryl’s. Sheryl is the boss here. It’s not me, so don’t ask me. Go ahead and ask her instead. If you had asked her, I wouldn’t have had to come here like this, you know. Sheryl, don’t just call me for every single thing. So that’s everything, right? Just go back home now, I’m leaving this place after this too.”
The way Akira behaved fueled Wataba’s irritation to anger.
“You! Boy! Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? I’m part of Shijima-san’s gang, which is on a different level compared to this shitty weak gang filled with small kids. We also have a lot of members and a huge territory! So don’t think this will end well if you refuse!!”
“Hell if I care.”
Wataba was shouting in anger when he said that. But Akira seemed like he did not give a damn and replied as if it was someone else’s problem.
As things did not go as he expected, and seeing how Akira mocked him, Wataba’s mood considerably worsened. His face warped matching his mood. But even so, it did not affect Akira at all which only made him more irritated and angry.
But his face immediately turned back to relaxed expression mixed with mockery. Then Wataba smiled invincibly.
“Hey kid, do you really think that we know nothing about you?”
Akira finally reacted to that as he looked a bit surprised.
“…What exactly do you know about me?”
Wataba’s expression relaxed after Akira finally reacted as he expected.
“As I said, my gang has a lot of members. So it’s an easy thing for us to find where you’re staying, you know?”
Akira called Alpha through telepathy.
Alpha got what Akira meant from that short signal.
“This position is not good. So you need to move.”
Akira then stood and walked to the location that Alpha pointed to and he stood leaning against the wall. After that, he replied back to Wataba as if he was mocking him.
“You found out the inn where I’m staying, huh? So then what? Are you going to gather people and attack the place next? Are you stupid? Are you seriously thinking that I’m the only Hunter staying in that place? You’ll make an enemy out of the security people contracted by that inn, you know? Are you even sane? If you want to kill yourself, do that without causing a problem to other people, will you?”
Seeing how Akira did not show even a trace of fear after knowing that they found out where he was staying, Wataba became obstinate and shouted back.
“T-that’s not all!! We also investigated the shop that you frequent too!! Are you really okay if anything happens to that shop and the owner of that shop?!!”
Akira let out a sigh while intentionally hiding the dark feeling that was welling inside his heart. He carefully reached for the gun behind him trying not to get noticed as he warned Wataba and his companions.
“I’ll at least let you know this out of kindness. That weapon merchant called Katsuragi might look like a normal weapon merchant from the outside, but he’s strong enough to even sell his goods to the Frontline. If you underestimate and try to attack him, you’ll only end up killing yourself, you know?”
After hearing that, Wataba smiled vilely. It was enough for Akira to make his decision on what to do next.
“Alpha, I’m counting on you.”
“Akira, you might want to rethink abou-“
Alpha understood what Akira wanted to do and tried to stop him first. But before she could say anything, Wataba laughed confidently and said.
“Not that one. I’m talking about the girl-“
Suddenly a gunshot echoed through the room. As the anti-monster bullet tore through Wataba’s chest, it sent his body flying straight to the wall behind him. Wataba’s face was frozen in surprise as it fell forward and made a bompf sound as he hit the ground. He was killed instantly. The blood and flesh that was sent flying when he was shot dyed the wall red and the blood flowing out from his dead body formed a pool on the floor.
No one expected that Akira would suddenly shoot and kill Wataba without even a shred of hesitation.
The other men that were accompanying Wataba were so shocked that they were frozen in place. Then the unlucky guy who regained his composure first tried to reach his gun only to get shot on his leg by Akira and rolled over on the floor. His leg that was shot with an anti-monster bullet was blown to small pieces.
That man was assaulted with intense pain as he was spouting curses while writhing on the floor. Akira then pointed his gun towards the other men to stop them from doing anything foolish.
The small children there finally started screaming. Some of them could only stand frozen there. Some of them ran to the corner of the room. And some of them ran outside the room. The negotiation turned into a fight and there was only a handful of them who knew how to handle a fight.
Alpha then asked Akira with a stern expression.
“Akira. Was there any need to kill him?”
Akira answered back firmly and swiftly.
Alpha let out a sigh of exasperation and a little bit of irritation before smiling like usual.
“I see, it can’t be helped then. It’s not over yet, so don’t drop your guard.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Although Alpha did not care how many people Akira killed, she wanted Akira to at least avoid any meaningless killing.
Despite the fact that Akira did not like problems, he was actually making a problem for himself here. He thought that it was all because of his bad luck, but the truth was that he kept doing things that attracted bad luck. Akira himself did not realize his contradictory behaviour. It was the vague moral standard inside him that pushed Akira into doing such a thing. Wataba’s remark there was the thing that was deemed unacceptable by Akira’s moral standard and incited the fight.
Alpha thought that it would be hard to predict Akira’s behaviour as long she did not understand that vague moral standard Akira was holding on to. Thus she decided to continue observing Akira for now.
Akira kept his gun pointing at the rest of Wataba’s men to keep them in check as he warned them.
“Throw down your gun…. 5… 4… 3…”
The men who were still standing there threw down their guns. Only the man who was shot on the leg was still writhing on the ground while applying pressure on his open wound. Akira kept counting down while aiming his gun at the head of the man who was on the ground.
“… 2… 1…”
“Wait!! I’ll throw down his gun!! So please don’t shoot!”
The other men tried to stop Akira in panic. He then took the gun from his friend who could not do that because of his injury and the pain. After that, he took his own gun too, dropped them on the ground and kicked them away. Only after that did Akira finally lower his gun.
Silence finally returned to the room. Everyone was terrified and looked at Akira who shot Wataba without hesitation or warning. But it did not bother Akira at all.
Akira then asked the rest of Wataba’s men.
“So then, you guys are also members of that Shijima’s gang, right?”
“Y-yes. Don’t shoot, please don’t shoot, okay?”
“Take me to him. Sheryl, come with me”
Sheryl could not comprehend what just happened and was frozen in place. But once her brain finally caught up with what had just happened, and understood what Akira said, she once again was shocked frozen for a different reason. She finally regained her composure as her face twitched.
Shijima’s gang was just like Sheryl’s gang, it was one of the many gangs inside the slum city. But unlike Sheryl’s small and weak gang, it was a medium-sized gang with a lot of members and a large territory.
Akira and Sheryl went to the base of Shijima’s gang.
The hall inside the base was filled with Shijima’s subordinates. Akira and Sheryl were able to pass through that hall because they had Shijima’s gang members, who came along with them to guide them through.
Shijima knew of Akira’s arrival from one of his subordinates who came to him in a panic. He was still thinking whether to meet them in person or not after hearing the report from his subordinate. After all, his report was hard to believe. But considering that Sheryl, who was the boss of the gang that inherited Sibea gang’s territory, coming here together with Akira, who was the Hunter supporting Sheryl’s gang, he finally decided to meet them in person.
As Shijima entered the room where Akira and Sheryl were waiting for him, Shijima came to understand the truth of the report from his subordinate.
Akira was standing there with a calm look while Sheryl looking scared beside him. Beside them was his subordinate who was trying to keep the pressure on his shot-wound as his friends supported him. And finally, there was Wataba’s dead body that was dragged all the way here as its traces were left on the floor.
Akira dragged that corpse himself all the way here to meet Shijima. Everything that Shijima saw inside that room confirmed the report that he had heard from his men.
The guy who lost his leg was kept there to give Shijima his report. But then Shijima said.
“…That guy may go. Help him treat his wound. Hurry!”
Shijima’s men who were supporting that injured man helped him to exit the room. Shijima saw them off before he turned back to Akira and calmly asked him.
“Are you the one who did that? Ah, right, I’m Shijima, the leader of this gang.”
Akira answered back in a calm tone.
“Yes, I did that. I’m Akira, and this is Sheryl. Although she did not do anything about killing this guy, she’s accompanying me here since she’s still involved in this case. So I think it’s better if she understands the situation too.”
“I see. So then, why are you here?”
“To confirm a few things about the negotiation.”
“I see. Well, have a seat.”
There was a table in the middle of that room, sofas were placed around that table. Akira respected Shijima’s words and took a seat. Shijima also took a seat after him. Thus Sheryl was left standing alone there.
But Akira then casually called her.
“Sheryl, are you not going to sit?”
Akira had real guts that no one would expect from a small kid who was in the middle of the enemy’s territory.
Shijima then followed him.
“Won’t you take a seat?”
He was acting normally although they killed one of his men.
Sheryl awkwardly took a seat beside Akira. Her reaction was to be expected since she was inside the base of a gang that was superior to hers and she came with the person who killed one of his gang’s members.
Shijima looked at Akira. To him, Akira looked like a normal boy without anything extraordinary about him. But in this very room, there was a corpse of the man that the ‘normal’ boy just killed, the boss of the gang that man belonged to, and the other members of that gang who were equipped with guns and looking at him with an unfriendly look. And the ‘normal’ boy was here in the same room with all these people, but he was acting without any care as if all these things did not bother him at all. Thus it was obvious that he was anything but a ‘normal’ boy. Moreover, looking at how Sheryl nervously sat beside him, it only served to make him look even more out of the norm.
Sheryl was trying her hardest to put on a front, but she could not do that as she was trembling and sweating profusely. She tried to look away from Shijima, only to end up looking at Wataba. Thus, she tried to look away again in panic. She just could not calm down.
As Shijima saw how Sheryl was behaving, he put down his guard on Sheryl but became more wary of Akira.
“Confirming a few things about the negotiation, huh? I don’t know what exactly happened, but well, you can go ahead.”
As he said that, Shijima pulled out his information terminal and operated it. He was trying to show that he had no intention of seriously hearing what they had to say.
Sheryl knew well the strength difference between her and Shijima, thus she did not think that Shijima was rude for doing that. Or more like, she was thankful that the rest of the gang did not kill them even after they saw the corpse of one of their comrades.
Akira then casually warned Shijima.
“It’ll only end up with both of us dead, so you better stop.”
Shijima who was operating his terminal immediately stopped his hand right before he sent a notification to gather everyone in his gang who could fight.
Originally, Shijima thought that Akira had come here to apologize after killing one of his men when their negotiation turned into a fight. But once he met them for real, putting Sheryl aside, Shijima understood that Akira did not show even a trace of sign that he was here to apologize.
Shijima understood what Akira was trying to say. If he sent that notification to his gang members then both sides would be killed before they could gather up. Akira would slaughter everyone in the room. It can be inferred from his words that he had the ability to kill all the people here. And Akira was not just signalling that to Shijima, he actually said it.
Shijima understood that Akira warned him to stop if he did not want that to happen.
Shijima started thinking while trying not to make any changes to his expression. Even if it was only a bluff or simply intimidation from Akira, there was no doubt that people would get killed if it turned into a fight. Moreover, it was almost a certainty that he would be one of the people that would get killed and he did not want that to happen.
Shijima thought that if he could call for more reinforcement in secret, he would be able to kill Akira without getting himself killed. But Akira noticed it and stopped him from doing that. Although to be more precise, Alpha noticed that and informed Akira about it, but there was no way Shijima would know that. But even so, Shijima’s behaviour did not change much. It reminded him again how mysterious this Akira was as he became more vigilant of him.
[…It seems that this boy was able to kill Sibea not because of Sibea’s bad luck alone, huh. After all, this boy looks like just a normal weak boy. I bet Sibea was fooled by his appearance, became careless, and then got killed instead. This boy is just like a landmine.]
Shijima slowly and carefully put his information terminal on the table. He then stayed calm as he said with the dignity pertaining to the leader of a gang.
“You’re pretty confident in yourself, huh?”
Akira answered back with a firm and strong voice.
“Here’s better compared to the wasteland or the ruins. After all, those monsters won’t run when their friends get killed.”
“I see, only Hunters would come up with this answer.”
Sheryl could not understand what was going on, she could only silently listen to their conversation. But she could feel the strange mood welling around her, so she tried to recall what Shijima and Akira had said. It did not take much time for Sheryl to understand what just happened. They almost started shooting at each other just a few seconds ago. As she realized that Shijima decided to just back off from that situation, her face immediately turned pale.
Akira then continued.
“What I want to confirm is something simple. No matter what my reason was, I killed one of your men and injured another one.”
“So then, what will you do from now on? Are you going to wrap this up like some stupid guy in your gang did a foolish thing and got himself killed? Or are we going for a full-scale war until one of us is completely destroyed? In case if we’re going with that, how many people should die until you’re willing to end the war? I’m here to confirm that, I’ll give you an example, in Sibea’s case, fortunately, it only took 6 men for the rest of his gang to stop hunting for me. Right, Sheryl?”
Sheryl was taken aback when Akira suddenly asked her in the middle of their cruel conversation. But Sheryl immediately answered back in panic.
“Eh? Ahh, right! No one in my gang would think of killing Akira!! I can guarantee that!”
But then Shijima looked disgusted as he said.
“Just because that shit is dead, no one would ever think of taking revenge on you. Or more like, there are a lot of us who are happy to know that he is dead, including me.”
Shijima then returned to his usual calm demeanour.
“Well, let’s not be hasty here. Of course, there are cases were putting out the conclusion from the start would make further conversation smoother, but there are also cases where properly listening to the back story can change your view on the problem. If we’re going to talk about this in caution, it’s important to know what happened. So let’s hear it, why did you kill him?”
“It’s because he threatened me.”
“…Is that all?”
“If I have to give you more reason, it was because he threatened me and made me want to kill him. We’re not close enough to let his intimidation to pass as a joke, so he should have been more careful with his words. And even if he did try to explain that in all sincerity, there was no guarantee that it would be conveyed correctly. The listener has the right on how to interpret what he or she hears. I’m a cowardly person, you see. If someone said that he or she will kill me, I won’t be able to sleep at night unless I kill that person first. After all, all the people who said that to me really did try to do that, thus I always killed them before they could kill me.”
Akira locked his gaze on Shijima. Shijima took his words as “I’m being careful with my words here, so don’t you dare threaten me” and he did not think that Akira was bluffing when he said that.
“To be more precise, it was because he demanded Sheryl to give up her base and her territory. By any chance, was he sent to declare war on us and get killed?”
(Athena13: Basically, someone is sent to declare war to the other side while the person who sent him knows that the person he sent would be killed for sure.)
“…That shit, did he really say that?”
Shijima turned to Sheryl asking for a confirmation, to which Sheryl was flustered but firmly nodded.
“Y-yes, he did say that.”
Although it looked like she said that as if to only match up with Akira’s story, it did not seem like she was lying. That was what Shijima thought as he let out a sigh and rested his head on his hand.
It was to be expected that Wataba’s words might be interpreted as a declaration of war to her gang. Shijima understood that well. Considering the fact that it did not seem like Akira had any misgivings in fighting and killing, Shijima started to think of a way to talk it out peacefully.
“Well, it seems that we’re also at fault here. To be honest, I only wanted to talk about the territory, you see. A territory that is not managed properly will only attract danger. You do know that too, right? I just wanted to avoid such a thing. Considering what happened to that Wataba due to his foolishness, I want to talk this out peacefully, you see.”
Shijima then looked at Akira, waiting for his reply.
“Me too. I want to avoid any needless killing.”
Akira then looked at Sheryl after saying that, Shijima followed that gaze and looked at Sheryl too. Sheryl who was only an outsider in their conversation up until that point panicked since she just became a part of their conversation. Thus she could only answer back while being flustered.
“…Ah!? M-me? O-of course I wish we can solve this problem peacefully too.”
Shijima looked back at Akira and said.
“Now then, since all three of us agreed to solve this problem peacefully, let’s talk about what to do next. No matter what the reason was, you killed one of my men and injured another, so I hope you also put this into consideration. But it’s not like I can shoot some of your people too since it’ll only cause another problem. So how about we solve this with money?”
Shijima took some time thinking for a bit before saying.
“…Let’s see. How about 1,000,000 Aurum. We’ll forget about this incident and even befriend your gang so something like this won’t happen again in the future. I don’t think this is a bad deal since we have to take care of a few things because you killed one of my men. So what do you think?”
Akira casually looked at Sheryl and asked her.
“Sheryl. He said 1,000,000 Aurum.”
Sheryl went silent and looked confused for a while since she could not comprehend what Akira was saying. But after she realized what Akira meant, her face immediately went pale.
There was no way she could pay 1,000,000 Aurum all by herself. But if she refused, she feared that it would end the chance to solve the problem peacefully and it might even turn into a fight. Sheryl was crushed under the pressure, thus she could only answer back in a voice that sounded as if she was screaming.
“No way I can pay that! Ah, but it’s not like I don’t want to pay it, it’s just that we don’t have that much money! We don’t even have a working plan to get that much money!!”
Akira’s expression turned stern.
“I don’t have the leeway to pay that money too, you know? I’m not lying. Buying new equipment and ammo takes a lot of money. I’ll get killed if I cut down the money I spend on those things. so I have no surplus money.”
Shijima then said in a menacing tone.
“We’re also risking our lives here. Just try to think about it, the news would spread that we sent some of my men to a gang filled with small kids and they intimidated them just to get killed, but we let that slide without any repercussions. After hearing this, other gangs would look down on us and attack us. This place will turn into a battlefield. So even if we are to resolve this with money, it’s not like we can let this slide with a small amount of money. We’re already compromising here the moment we said that we’ll accept solving this problem with money although you killed one of our men, you know?”
After that, no one said anything for a while. Every single person involved in the negotiation had their own reason and could not back down. The tense silence continued for some time. Akira broke the silence first as he let out a sigh and made a suggestion.
“I’ll pay 500,000 Aurum upfront and pay the remaining 500,000 Aurum later. How about that? I can only pay 500,000 in cash right now.”
“When can I get the rest of my money?”
“There’s no guarantee when I can get more money since I’m a Hunter. I’ll only pay the rest if I get some surplus money.”
Shijima went silent as if he was thinking for a while. Half of that was only an act, but half of it was him thinking about what would happen if he refused it. He then came to a conclusion.
Akira reached out to his rucksack and put out 500,000 Aurum on the table. It was the money that he withdrew from his bank account in case he needed emergency money.
Shijima nodded to one of his men, he took that 500,000 Aurum and exited the room.
“Until the rest of the payment is done, I’ll put this problem on hold, till then, I’ll assume that we’ve solved it peacefully. So then, you can go back home now. I have to explain a lot of things to my men, so I’m busy here.”
Akira stood up and left the room without saying anything as Sheryl awkwardly followed behind him.
Shijima just silently watched them as they exited the room. He stayed inside that room while waiting for one of his men to report back to him. It did not take long before one of his men entered and reported to him.
“They’ve left the base.”
“…I see… GODDAMMIT!!!”
Shijima screamed furiously.
“What the heck is wrong with that boy?!! He came here expecting a fight, didn’t he?!! Is that boy really okay in the head?! And here I was thinking it was good that damn Sibea is dead. But I never thought someone crazier would take his place like this!! But that boy came up because that stupid Sibea attacked him, right?!! Doesn’t that mean it’s all his fault from the start?!!!”
Some of Shijima’s men who were relatively close to him then asked him as he was trying to calm his breath.
“Boss, are we really going to befriend that gang of kids?”
“Yeah, but only on the surface. As long as that boy is still alive, just act as if we’re getting along with that gang. I want him to pay the rest of the money, after all. And about that Sheryl, there’s no need to be overly hostile to her as long as she’s the one dealing with that dangerous boy.”
“And what if Akira gets killed?”
“If that boy is dead, we don’t need to do anything, Sheryl’s gang will crumble on its own. We can take their territory, men and money after that happens. We also need to negotiate with the other gangs about how to divide the territory though… Even this time too, if that Sheryl did not create her gang, Sibea’s territory would’ve been peacefully divided among the other gangs. It was because that girl aimed for Akira and created her gang that this trouble happened. But that Sheryl was originally from Sibea’s gang too, right…? As I thought, it’s all his fault. Dammit!”
As Shijima tried to calm down, his sight wandered onto Wataba’s dead body. So he burst out again.
“…Now that I think about it. This guy was originally one of Sibea’s men. I only accepted him since he came here bringing some expensive things. But now he brought me something more troublesome than that!! That damn Sibea is still causing me trouble even after he died!! Dammit! What a pain in the ass!! Somebody, just throw this garbage out of here!!”
Wataba’s dead body was dragged out of the room and the room was cleaned up.
People risked their lives in the wasteland. People living in the slum also risked their lives. Anyone who blundered and did something stupid would die first, be it wasteland or the slum. Then they would end up joining the pile of corpses that were thrown away without a single care.