Of course, all of Ard Point’s riches were plundered, then disintegrated in the explosion.
That being said, there still may be something salvageable.
The supplies of the slaughters, not Ard Point, were left.
“These bastards...what did they rob Wargrave Fortress or something? All of these weapons…” said Zin, who saw for the first time the cargo junkwagon full of weapons. He was too busy rushing into Ard Point yesterday that he had missed it.
There were heavy weapons used by soldiers of days past, such as RPGs, bazookas, and Panzerfausts, and even some missiles.
“What is all this?”
Like most people on the Peninsula, Leona was oblivious when it came to weapons. She had no idea what she was looking at in the full junkwagon.
Yet there was a dangerous air about them, that made it clear to anyone that they weren’t normal objects. Remembering the weapon the slaughter had used to attack her yesterday, Leona’s complexion turned pale.
“One of those bastards was shooting something that crushed an entire building. Is this what it was?”
“Ah, that’s this one here.”
Zin lifted a launcher and a rocket.
“It’s called an RPG. This is a 7-type.”
“Is it an ancient weapon?”
“Yeah, some people call it that.”
Ancient weapons - they’re only about 200 years old; Zin found the name laughable. To be precise, all of the weapons Zin used would be considered ancient. Upon his inspection, however, Zin believed that this RPG series was produced after the fall, not before it.
“Can I shoot it? How do you use it?”
“I’d rather destroy all these weapons than watch you try to fire it.”
Zin shook his head as he imagined Leona trying to fire the rocket launcher. Leona was pestering Zin with question after question. Zin ignored her as he eyed to contents of the junkwagon.
‘Not one gun...only heavy weapons. How could their weapon balance be so out of wack?’
The rocket launchers and RPGs were sorted into piles according to their distinction. There were also special grenades called chipbusters.
Zin found himself most dumbfounded whenever we saw high-level explosives used for anti-aircraft or ground fixed-artillery. There was no usable weapons, but they had ammo. Made no sense.
‘These pricks really must’ve hit the jackpot somewhere.’
They have weapons they don’t even know how to use. They don’t even have guns - how could they be armed this heavily?
‘It’s a shame they don’t have any ammo…’
At the very least there should have been some 5.56 or 7.62 mm rounds. Try as he might, however, Zin couldn’t find any. Most likely they had robbed a heavy weapons depository and were in the process of hightailing it to safety.
“This is a good score, nevertheless.”
Zin took the RPG and rockets. Leona shook her head as she watched Zin put the rockets in his bag.
“Are those expensive?”
“More so than expensive, they’re…”
Zin struggled to find the right words. Finally, he blurted out,
“You can’t buy these, even if you have the chips.”
What he was trying to say was that it’s impossible to put into words how hard it is to get your hands on them. Leona’s expression lit up, comprehending fully comprehending Zin’s attempt at explanation.
“So they’re basically priceless! Lemme get some too.”
It was obvious that there were too many weapons for Zin to take all by himself.
“I think you misunderstood me,” replied Zin.
He grabbed Leona’s shoulders and continued, “You can’t buy them anywhere, and you can’t sell them.”
“How can you sell a weapon to someone who doesn’t even know what it is? On the other hand if you sell this to someone who does know what it is, you’re instantly a target. Do you want to die the minute you reach a town? Where would you put them, anyway?”
Leona’s leather bag wasn’t big enough to carry even one rocket.
“And this is just a guess of mine, but I think these belong to those Wargrave bastards.”
“Wargrave? Ah, those...are you talking about those soldier assholes?”
“Yeah, nobody besides those assholes could have this type of firepower.”
Only a military organization could get ahold of this amount and type of weapons. Zin was at least half-sure of his speculation.
“I don’t know all the details, but I think the slaughters robbed Wargrave. Taking anything from Wargrave and parading around with it on display is akin to a deathwish.”
“Yeah, I guess…” replied Leona, staring at Zin.
“But you’re gonna take them too, Mister.”
“Yeah, but unlike you, I plan to put them somewhere nobody can see” answered Zin, pointing at a crack in the air. Leona’s head dropped.
“This is so unfair...”
Zin didn’t have unlimited space in his void container, so he could only carry a limited number of the rockets.
‘Since I’ve got the launcher, I can carry at least ten rounds if I really pack them in there.’
Zin always made sure to leave some room in his void container, just in case he needed a place to put the spoils of his hunts. After a bit of deliberation, Zin had decided what to take and what to leave.
He chose five rounds of heat-seeking missiles.
“How are those different?” asked Leona. She was intrigued by Zin, who was scrutinizing the weapons.
Zin struggled over what to say next, as he placed the heat-seeking missiles in the void container.
“If the slaughters shot these at you yesterday, you’d most likely be dead. And that building wouldn’t be standing.”
The weapons that Zin chose were that strong. They had the firepower of a large monster. This model was also updated and manufactured after the collapse. One round was enough to take down a large monster. Small monsters stood no chance.
Leona just shook her head, unable to grasp the firepower that Zin was describing.
Zin had gotten paid, and scored some pretty powerful missiles. If he converted the heat-seeking missiles, along with the other missiles the slaughters had into chips, he would easily have three or four thousand. They were in perfect condition and powerful.
While Leona was aware that they were dangerous, she was also fully conscious of the fact that they were valuable. She licked her lips, sorry to have to let them go.
“What about the other ones?” asked Leona.
They couldn’t carry them, and they were too dangerous to just leave lying around.
“We bury them” answered Zin.
Zin found a shovel in one of the junkwagons and begain digging quietly. He was strong enough to make it seem like he was digging through jelly. He was soon done digging.
‘Surely he doesn’t mean to come back again and get these missiles? How could he, the world being so big?’ wondered Leona as she stood and watched. Zin hadn’t asked for help - so she didn’t offer.
In actuality, Zin did have a habit of burying or hiding weapons and ammo he couldn’t afford to carry with him. He could easily come back and find them again if he stored the coordinates in the darkborn system. He preferred that to selling them or leaving them in a place where others might find them.
Zin’s hole was big enough to fit three junkwagons.
What happened next was even more of a sight.
If he just buried the launcher and rockets, they would quickly rust from the moisture. Zin pried the metal siding off the junkwagons and made a kind of large metal box. Zin put all the missiles in there and welded the edges shut, so that no water could get in. Leona had never seen a handheld welding device, so she stood there incredulous, shaking her head.
Zin again raised the shovel to bury the box. He didn’t stop once to rest until he had finished burying the box and evening out the soil. Leona watched Zin as he completed such a monstrous task, saying,
“You looked like a dog burying his bone just now.”
“Well, you’re not exactly wrong. That makes me even more angry.”
He wasn’t exactly the same as a neighborhood dog, however - seeing as he had ‘bones’ buried all over the world.
“Are you finished now?” asked Leona.
Leona yawned as if it say, ‘there’s more?’ as Zin silently started one of the junkwagon’s reactors.
“What is it now?”
“Gotta take whatever we can.”
Junkwagons run on chips. Zin planned to take the reactor’s fuel. While all the junkwagons were unique in appearance, they all used reactors for engines. Zin stripped all of them of their fuel, not leaving a single chip.
That bit of extra effort awarded Zin 280 chips. Taking into account the rockets as well,
hunting these slaughters, while not a proper job, was quite profitable.
“And I thought I was badass,” said Leona, terrified.
“Yeah, what of it?” answered Zin.
“No no, I mean, you’re the best, Mister” said Leona, raising her thumb into the air.
“You’re the most badass person I’ve ever met.”
“Is that meant to be a compliment?” asked Zin.
He had taken the rockets, salvaged the junkwagon fuel, and buried the weapons he couldn’t bring - all without complaining about being bored or tired. It was enough to make Leona think that he may be crazy.
Now that everything was done, all that remained was leaving.
“We’re not gonna take on of these?” asked Leona, motioning to the junkwagons. She’d never actually seen one moving, but she could tell just by looking that they were meant to be rode.
“I don’t have any interest in riding around in a bomb” replied Zin.
“Why? It’s gotta be better than walking. And our legs won’t hurt. If these assholes could ride them, why can’t we?”
“There’s something you need to understand” answered Zin, stopping to look Leona in the eyes.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t like. The thing I hate most is dealing with danger. The things I hate most after that? Loud, obnoxious, screwed up things.”
“Junkwagons check all of those boxes. I’d rather ride the back of a monster than get on one of those.”
Zin was resolute in his determination to not ride the junkwagons. Zin despised them - enough to make that hatred one of his core beliefs. The sound of their engines either made monsters run in the opposite direction or towards the sound. Screaming ‘I’m here! I’m here!’ as he traveled was 100 percent not Zin’s style.
“Are they really that dangerous?”
“Let me show you.”
Seeing something with your own two eyes is always better than hearing it.
Zin approached one of the junkwagons and pushed it with the bottom of his foot. The side of the car began to dent as it creaked and groaned. The whole car sank sadly. Leona’s mouth fell open as she watched the car transform into a pile of metal.
“Wh- what the…”
“The biggest reason people call slaughters crazy is for riding around these pieces of shit.”
Leona’s desire to take the junkwagons disappeared as soon as she saw Zin level one with the flick of his foot. Zin set off without a word and Leona followed, flabbergasted.
“Hey - I know those things are dangerous, but maybe you just kicked it too hard?”
“It was an average kick.”
“There’s an indent of your foot on the side of the car!”
“You must’ve seen wrong.”
The side of the junkwagon was clearly dented. The size of the dent lined up nicely with Zin’s foot.
Leona wondered if the problem lie with the junkwagon, that could be destroyed with one kick, or with the hunter, who could destroy a junkwagon with one kick. Or were they both problems?
Zin just kept walking, however, until he was quite a distance away.
“Hey! Can you go slower?”
“Hurry up and follow me.”
Leona picked up her pace behind Zin.
Neither Zin nor Leona spoke of the death and destruction that had taken place at Ard Point.
The two were well aware that nothing would change if they talked about it.
They were similar in that respect, and they both discovered this similarity through their mutual silence.
Leona and Zin just turned around and left Ard Point behind them, as if they never planned to return.