As soon as the gate was opened, Zin heard the ground emit a strange tremble. Leona’s face stiffened, and Zin stopped in his tracks.
-Crack! Cack! Kick!
“What...what is that…”
“Shhhh. Be quiet.”
Zin slung Leona over his shoulder as he looked up at the shaking ceiling. Leona had enough tact to know that this wasn’t a time to complain. She stayed quiet on Zin’s back. Slowly, Zin walked up the stairs, barely breathing and with muted steps.
The hunter thought about the situation.
‘The sound of walking... a different, bipedal race. Large.”
‘The sound of a cry. Coming from a body.
-Chomp! Chomp! Chew, chew.
‘A monster eating.’
Zin organized his thoughts as he slowly walked upstairs,. There was a possibility that the building would collapse, so Zin had to flee from the basement quickly. He didn’t rush, however. Just from the sounds he heard, Zin tried to determine the identity of the monster.
‘I wonder if it’s a corpse hunter-eating, large bipedal monster of a different race.’
Rather than leaving the building, Zin continued to walk up to the roof of the building. Soon it would be dark, but turning on a lantern was a suicidal act.
The monsters fled, frightened by the predator’s arrival, and they screamed as they were being eaten. Another loud scream pierced the night.
‘That was a completely different sound. It sounded like it had more than two vocal chords; it must be a heteromorphic species.’
Whatever it was, it was made up of several different things put together. Rather than a normal set of organs, it was made up of a haphazard collection.
Death and corpses are overrunning this place. This monster eats corpse hunters.
The hunter tried to determine his next move.
Born from the anger of having its death contaminated by a corpse hunter, maneaters hunt and eat corpse hunters, expanding their bodies.
It was an aggregate of vindictive spirits, formed in a place full of lemures and vengeful spirits.
A monster that hunts monsters: a maneater.
The way to deal with and destroy monsters varies, depending on the type of monster. As soon as he was certain that monster was a maneater, Zin ran blindly to the roof.
From a 50m distance, Zin saw a 6m length monster wreaking havoc. Of course, Leona also saw this scene.
“That’s crazy...what...is that?”
Leona turned pale and stared at the horrifying monster, shocked. The monster looked like it was formed with chunks of skin, and clumps of wispy hairs swayed like tentacles all over its body. These tentacles grabbed fleeing corpse hunters and shoved them into three mouth openings in its head.
Walking upright, the monster used its tentacle-like hairs to eat the corpse hunters.
With a ghastly sound, the monsters turned to blood. This maneater could terrorize people with its appearance alone.
Leona had never seen a monster like that before, and never even imagined that she would face a giant monster of that size. Leona wasn’t frightened, however.
“It really looks like shit.”
This was an expression of disgust, not fear. Just like Leona showed how disturbed she felt, Zin also said something unexpected.
“Like you said, we must have good luck.”
“Good luck? Even when a huge thing like that is going crazy right in front of us?”
Though Leona wasn’t afraid, she was still aware of the danger lying ahead of them, so she looked at Zin as if he was ridiculous.
“That will get rid of all the corpse hunters around here.”
Like Zin mentioned, a hunter can survive because he knows monsters.
“To that monster, humans not a priority. It will probably take care of all the corpse hunters around here first before attacking us.”
They were safe for the time being.
Only for the time being.
The world is the wilderness, and humans are not an advantage of the food chain. Therefore, monsters fight and eat each other. Humans are just one of the many things that monsters eat. Monsters don’t only eat humans, and there are some monsters that don’t care about humans at all.
Leona was watching the maneater loitering around the collapsed Jado city, eating corpse hunters. All of the monstrous birds, ghouls, and poisonous dogs were getting devoured and sucked in by the maneater’s tentacles.
“Zin, you said that we’re safe for now. Does that mean that in a bit we’re not going to be safe anymore?”
“Then I think right now is the time for us to run away.”
Leona snapped at him, but Zin shook his head.
“If that thing eats a lot of monsters, what do you think will happen?”
“....It will probably get full?”
Zin thought that this was such a simple and obvious fact that he almost burst out laughing, but given the fact that there was a giant monster right in front of him, he bit his lip. Other than this fact, however, Zin looked like he was enjoying himself.
Leona couldn’t laugh when there was a monster that looked so horrendous.
“Does that monster look pretty to you? What’s with the smile?”
Zin was once again amazed at Leona’s way of speaking, but he was too sophisticated to criticize someone for their tone of voice.
Zin was definitely staring at the maneater with a satisfied expression.
“It’s so generous to do the hunting for me. How can I not be happy?”
“What are you talking about?”
“A monster that eats other monsters will throw up the chips that belonged to the monsters that it ate.”
Leona couldn’t understand this in one shot, and her face grew dark.
“Are...are you saying that you’re going to hunt that thing?”
The maneater will hunt for Zin, and Zin will hunt the maneater to reap the rewards of all its hunting.
Leona thought more than anything else that they should be running as fast as they could in the opposite direction. Zin looked at Leona as if he couldn’t understand her.
“Is it a strange thing for a hunter to hunt?”
There was actually nothing strange about it. Of course, a hunter should hunt. It was all correct, but Leona nodded her head.
She then added.
“It’s a little weird.”
Even if you’re a hunter, hunting a thing like that seems wrong.
The maneater wandering around Jado City wasn’t nimble, but its tentacles were swift. The tentacles reached far out like they were snakes, grabbed its prey and shoved it into the maneater’s mouth.
Leona spoke, in a cold sweat.
“Is it just me or does that thing look like it’s getting bigger?
“That’s correct. Compared to before, it’s expanded at least 30cm.”
“Can I run away by myself?”
“Then the deposit of 500 chips is all mine. It’s a higher fee than a typical job, so it’s no loss for me. You can go if you want.”
“Excuse me, mister. Aren’t you supposed to do what your client wants?”
“I agreed to be your guard. I didn’t sign a master and servant contract with you, so there’s no reason for me to follow your commands.”
“I don’t know what an command is, but you’re basically saying that you’re going to do as you please, right?”
“Good thing you understand so fast.”
Leona gritted her teeth, knowing that she had no choice but to stay with Zin. No matter how much guts she had, it was near impossible for her to break through this monster zone. Diving into an even more dangerous situation to avoid the current danger was a crazy thing to do.
Of course, it was hard to determine which decision was more dangerous, but Leona was drawn to this mad hunter’s ruthless confidence. Leona and Zin were both wanderers in the wilderness. Also, what kept Leona alive all this time wasn’t hostility or guts.
It was more of following her sense of intuition that led her to survival. At this moment, Leona’s intuition told her to stay with Zin.
The maneater was still too immersed in eating to pay any attention to Zin and Leona.
‘Should be about time.’
Zin took out from his coat a lantern replica the size of his pinky. It looked more like a ampoule than a small lantern, with black stains inside the glass panels instead of embers.
Leona tilted her head to the side as she stared at it, clueless as to what it was, but she was mesmerized by the small miracle it was producing.
With a loud echo, the lantern started to spill darkness, forming a basketball sized cloud around it. Specifically speaking, it wasn’t darkness.
It was as if a piece of darkness was cut out from the night sky or a small universe was summoned. A sky with small stars and planets floating around could be seen inside of it.
Zin resolutely dug his hand inside and took something out of it. Leona was speechless at the supernatural scene she was witnessing.
With a strange sound, Zin took out a large gun and bullets.
“Wha..what is that?”
“I’m using a talisman to borrow a part of the void.”
“...What does that mean?”
“Think of it as a bag that you don’t have a carry. Even though there isn’t a lot of space…”
Zin inspected the bullets in the sniper rifle and looked through the scope to check the condition of the gear.
“There’s enough space for at least a few guns.”
As soon as Zin turned off the lantern, the void disappeared. Its official name is “Void Container,’ a small talisman made with Alien blood. The talismans used by devil hunters use strength from sacrificed blood. The strength is not the devilish and horrifying one that the monster used, and it can only conjure small miracles, but it can be efficient if you use it correctly.
The talisman is too weak to use to kill someone, but Zin uses it to store things that are too big or heavy to carry, and takes it out whenever he needs them.
Truthfully, the most difficult part about being a wanderer is not the monsters you face, but the heavy baggage you have to carry on your back.
This void container cum mobile garage was not the strongest talisman he owned, but it was the talisman he used most often, and he called it a ‘bag’ instead.
Leona was still dazed from the miracle that happened right in front of her eyes, but when she spoke, she was extremely practical.
“That must be so convenient.”
Leona blinked as she thought about all the times she had to throw away things she couldn’t carry. More importantly, Leona had never before seen a gun, and therefore couldn’t tell what this piece of metal was used for.
The maneater continued to devour its prey, oblivious to what they were doing. Zin quickly finished his inspection of the gun. In hunting, other than defeating your enemies, cost-effectiveness was crucial.
Using 30 chips to kill a monster that returns 10 chips wasn’t a worthy hunt.
You needed to produce maximum efficiency with the smallest amount of input. Therefore, Zin didn’t take out a large caliber gun.
What Zin took out was a .308 Winchester, a Leamington M700 custom model that uses 7.62mm bullets. The sniper rifle wasn’t new, but it adorned a clean exterior won through consistent maintenance and part replacements.
Regardless of the sniper’s efficiency and destructive power, you needed a tank gun to kill a monster of that size.
However, Zin loaded two bullets into the rifle. The monster was just 300m away. Zin didn’t even need to look through the scope.
Aiming skills are important, but not necessary when killing such a large target.
Despite that fact, Zin carefully looked through the scope.
Zin aimed at one of the monster’s three mouth openings and fired.
“Aahhhh, wha...what is that?”
Leona jumped at the roar and the blue flash of the gun. A shocking scene was unfolding before their eyes.
As soon as bullet hit the monster, one of its mouth openings burst. It was so explosive that it was unbelievable that just one bullet hit the monster. It was as if a trench mortar hit the monster’s mouth.
This 7.62mm bullet was filled with blue chip powder, which bursted once more upon coming into contact with the target.
It looked like a normal rifle cartridge, but had the power to spread an explosion like a shotgun bullet.
A subminiature tank gun, aka missile. That was the bullet Zin just used.