“I can’t give it to you.”
“Even for your generation, you seriously lack communication skills. Aren’t you saying that you don’t want to give it to me, rather than you can’t give it to me?”
“When I first made the request, I indeed had quite a lot of chips. I’ve burned through them too fast, sadly. You should have taken care of the issue a little faster.”
The filthy man stared at the pile of monster ears that Zin laid down as if they were rocks. His attitude had completely changed from before. Even just three days ago, he seemed like he would kiss Zin’s feet, but after the monster herd was taken care of, he’s been acting like he was never like that, stubbornly claiming that he can’t offer the agreed upon payment.
“I don’t remember discussing a reduction in payment based on time.”
“That depends on the situation. Anyway, we don’t have any chips left. How can I give you something I don’t have?”
“Hmm...No matter how isolated this zone is, and how this town is seen as the boondocks, you should know that it isn’t wise to not pay a hunter his wages.”
Despite Zin’s warning, the man just laughed.
“Ha, even if you were a devil hunter, I can’t give you something I don’t have. And c’mon, you must have collected a lot of chips and whatnot from capturing the monsters. That probably adds up to more than the wages. Why don’t you just forget about the measly payment?”
The man suddenly stared at Zin with a different gaze. It didn’t seem like it was coming from a person who didn’t give money because he simply didn’t have any.
“Especially if you want to return safely with the chips that you collected.”
“There must have been a misunderstanding.”
Zin didn’t budge even with that kind of threat.
“The chips that you promised aren’t what’s important.”
Zin continued, his face unflinching.
“What’s important is the act itself of not providing compensation to a hunter.”
A man who doesn’t want to provide compensation vs. a man who must receive it - this problem has been ever-present since the hunters appeared after the Doomsday. The man responsible for this town of only twenty or so residences was doing his best to refuse payment to Zin.
He decided to play the ace up his sleeve to corner Zin. The man leisurely took out one of his hands, previously hidden under the table. Zin looked at his hand with an amused gaze.
A metallic clank rang as he pulled the slider back.
“Surely you know what this is?”
“That there is a gun.”
The man leisurely looked at Zin as if he had already won. Zin’s expression remained resolute.
“It’s probably time to move along, don’t you think?”
‘Before I shoot,’ the man seemed to say as he laughed in Zin’s face. Zin merely let out a relaxed breath, as if he wasn’t obliged to pay the gun any mind.
“Such a hillbilly…”
Zin contorted his face. Rather than anger, his face was showing frustration at the ridiculousness of the situation.
“Do you even know what a gun is?”
“Of course. It’s a weapon that can destroy someone in one shot, hunters being no exception.”
“Look here...first of all, you’re holding it wrong.”
The man was holding the slider of the gun, rather than the handle. The only thing you can do holding a gun that way is smash another man’s head in.
“And your gun doesn’t even have a trigger.”
The part of the gun where the trigger should have been contained only a trigger guard. There was no trigger to pull. That was proof enough that the man didn’t know how to use the gun.
“Nor is there a magazine!”
There was nothing loaded in the part of the gun that should hold the magazine. Zin was boiling over with frustration, that he not only had to explain these obvious things to the man, but that he also had to sit and be threatened by the same man. The man remained confident nonetheless.
“It seems like you think you can rattle on just because you’re a hunter. I’ll have you know that this gun has killed more men than you can count on both hands.”
It was clear that the man thought he could prevail in any situation by tricking people with this magazine-less gun. He probably obtained his position of town leader thanks to this shell of a gun he probably found laying around somewhere.
Zin informed the man of yet another glaring fact.
“Look here. You need bullets to shoot a gun. It’s useless if you only have the gun.
The man still managed to snort in laughter.
“I’ve never heard in my entire life that a gun needs balls - not even a penis - to be shot.”
The man had clearly misunderstood ‘bullets’ for ‘balls.’ Zin was becoming more and more frustrated.
“Do you really think that a hunter can’t recognize a real gun?”
The world had fallen into such backward ruin, that a moron like this was trying to put one over on a hunter. Zin took a deep breath, and slowly removed a silver revolver from his chest. He was done with petty argument.
“Guns are not things to brag about.”
“They are meant to be shot.”
Fire exploded from the barrel.
The man let out a loud scream.
The man could feel the bullet as it screamed past his ear, and he instinctively realized what a gun really was.
“That’s a real gun!”
If the hunter had aimed a few more centimeters towards his face, the man wouldn’t even have been able to let out a scream. The man collapsed on the floor, finally realizing that he was bragging about his mane in front of a tiger.
“Oh, my lord! I have mistaken you for another.”
“Whatever, just pay me my money.”
“Is there be any doubt?!”
“And give me that too.”
Zin took the shell of a gun, dismantled it, and threw the pieces on the floor before it made a fool out of another man. The man quickly scoured the storeroom and took out 80 blue chips. Zin calmly counted the chips and gestured with his hand to the man.
“Yes, yes, is there something else you need my lord?”
“This is something that is used against shitty customers like you. Speaking in gentlemanly terms, let’s call it an additional fees negotiation.”
“Additional fees - 20 precisely, for unnecessary psychological exhaustion.”
“For example, when I have to work extra hard because the exact distance to the target wasn’t given to me, I charge an additional fee of 20. It’s like that.”
“I, I don’t know what you mean…”
“When I arrived, the number of monsters was 30% more than you initially said, so I’m adding 40 more.”
“What...what are you talking about…”
“Upon my return, it rained and ruined my mood, so an additional fee of 10.”
“Altogether, an additional fee of 90 chips. Plus, a separate fee of 40 for the bullets, so you owe me 130 extra chips in total.”
Obviously, the amount that Zin requested was unrealistic. The man jumped up and down in anger, exclaiming that this was violence.
Zin teased and prodded him with the cool gun.
“The bullets or your balls - shall we test which is stronger?”
Zin collected a payment of 80 chips plus an additional fee of 130 chips from the man, who basically gave Zin his whole fortune, then coldly addressed him.
“If you don’t want to ‘negotiate additional fees,’ it’s best if you always provide a hunter with proper compensation.”
The hunter’s negotiation is not a negotiation.
If he had originally given the hunter the 80 chips that he owed, he wouldn’t have been robbed of an additional fee of 130 chips. Still, there was no use in regretting his actions.
Even though he threatened the hunter, he was able to walk away with his life. It was nevertheless profitable business for the man.
The man stared at Zin with a dazed expression, then moved his gaze to the disassembled pieces of the automatic revolver on the ground.
‘A gun can only be shot if it has balls!’
It seemed like this fool still had a lot to learn.