< Mission Already Completed (Part 2) >
Lieutenant Charl looked at Zin, his mouth agape with astonishment. Zin had perfectly described the types of weaponry stolen as well as the appearance of the junkwagons. And, Charl, who knew about the Slaughters he was trying to locate, realized that Zin was telling the truth.
“The fact that you know the Slaughters doesn’t mean that you killed them. You could have seen them and just passed by.”
Charl had no intention of giving the reward to Zin that easily.
“Plus, if you took care of them before this request, I don’t think it makes sense to pay you.”
Obviously, if a problem has already been solved, there would be no reason to ask someone to solve the problem. Zin did not know about the request and killed the Slaughters. The Wargrave had no obligation to pay for a problem that had already been solved.
Simply put, Charl could retract the offer. Zin’s words were hard to believe, and Charl had no reason reward him.
“Valid point, but you’ll think again when you see this.”
Zin took out the heat-pressure warheads from his void storage. As soon as Charl saw the explosives, he became surprised again.
“Aren’t you supposed to retrieve all the lost weapons?”
Showing Charl that he was carrying the Wargrave weaponry was dangerous, but Zin had determined that Charl was not a high-handed person.
Charl could no longer be doubtful after seeing the evidence in front of him. He didn’t have to check the lot number because he knew that only Wargraves used such weapons.
“As you may already know, there were a lot of weapons that I couldn’t bring myself. I can provide you with their coordinates if you’re willing to pay up.”
Zin loved weapons, but he loved chips even more. Weapons were used to kill enemies, but chips were absolutely necessary in prolonging his life. Cashing in was more profitable than stocking up weapons in a peninsula he wasn’t even sure he’d come back to.
Charl had fallen into a dilemma.
He could argue about paying Zin for taking care of the Slaughters, but the coordinates to the lost weapons had practical value.
Or, it was very possible that he had to pay up even more.
“… We’re going back?”
“I’ve followed you all this way, and you’re telling me that we’re going back? Am I hearing this correctly? Are you nuts?”
“Not at all. We’re heading back to Ard Point.”
Leona lost her mind as soon as she heard what Zin said. After regaining her composure, she stared at Charl who was sitting next to Zin.
“Didn’t realize you had company, hunter.”
“She can walk fast, so you don’t have to worry about her.”
“Hmm, as long as I can retrieve the weapons, I’ll be saving a lot of time. That’ll be okay, then.”
Charl requested Zin to follow him to Ard Point because he had no assurance that the weapons were buried at the coordinates. If Charl could confirm that the weapons were buried at that location, he promised to pay 100 more chips on top of the 1,400 chips offered, for a total of 1,500 chips.
It was an amazing offer, and it would have taken Zin at least ten monster hunting requests to earn that amount of chips.
However, after listening to his explanation, Leona fell into despair.
“I’ve walked all the way here, and now I have to go back and then come back again…”
She had walked for a week. She didn’t complain much while traveling, but it hadn’t been an easy trip. Zin looked at Leona and asked:
“If you don’t want to tag along, you can stay here. I’ll be back.”
All that Leona had to do was stay at the inn until Zin came back. She did not have to walk for a week. It was up to her to stay at Shera for two weeks.
“Hmm… I don’t feel that safe staying here or following you, mister.”
Leona knew that Zin wouldn’t give her any chips if she chose to stay at Shera for two weeks. Without any chips, Leona would have to steal to survive.
Leona became concerned, and tried to think through the current situation. And in a split second, she thought of something as her
“Mister, isn’t there something not right here?”
“What’s so wrong?”
“I killed all those Slaughters, so why are you the one getting all the rewards?”
“Think about it. I blew up the chipbox and killed almost all of them. At most, you only killed six of them.”
Leona clapped her hands.
“Alright. Let’s share this fairly. Eight to two. I’m getting eight.”
“What, am I wrong?”
Zin was briefly stunned at Leona’s unexpected argument.
Leona’s words were logical. But Zin was upset.
“If I’m wrong about this, go ahead and explain it yourself. I killed most of them, but why are you taking credit for it? Isn’t that weird?”
At her words, Charl reacted.
“Wait a second… Did this kid kill all the Slaughters?”
And at his words, Leona started to nod vigorously.
“Not all, but most of them?”
“Hunter, is what she saying correct?”
Bitterly reluctant, Zin slowly nodded. Leona had paid Zin for his dues. Therefore, it was true that Leona wiped out most of the Slaughters by herself. Zin received the initial request, but Leona had the right to claim most of the reward.
“Yeah. It’s right.”
Zin acknowledged the fact unwillingly. With her hands on her waist, Leona continued to argue with Zin.
“Mister, I also rightfully demand my fair share for this request.”
It was impossible for Zin to refute her. As Charl saw Leona talk, he realized that she wasn’t just a little kid following a hunter, but rather someone quite strange. Zin was neither a thief nor a Slaughter.
Zin did not act by any moral standards or conscience—he acted by the code of the hunter. He tried to abide by the code as much as possible.
“What are you going to do, mister?”
Zin reluctantly started speaking again.
“Yeah… let’s… do as you said… I mean… that’s the right way.”
“… are you mad, mister?”
As Leona asked, Zin frowned.
“Not at all.”
Zin started walking down to the inn’s first floor, feeling unhappy. Leona and Charl watched Zin walk down and looked at each other.
“He looks pretty mad?”
At Charl’s words, Leona clicked her tongue.
“Isn’t he cute, though?”
Leona shrugged her shoulders.
They went down to the first floor to get something to eat. Zin was about to buy food for Leona, but then paused. Leona was acting for herself, so technically Zin could have gotten the money for her meal from her. That would put Leona under pressure since she was penniless at the moment.
Zin thought for a bit and then shook his head.
What am I thinking…
Zin thought about how cowardly he was acting. A small kid had taunted him, and he was now acting like a kid himself. Leona would have complained had Zin started acting picky. Zin thought of himself as a practical person, but not a childish person.
The meal was steamed sweet potato and corn on the cob. For a single chip, the meal was neither small nor big. Zin looked at Charl and said:
“Can it be considered that the request has commenced?”
“Hmm, you could say so.”
“It’s the hunter’s principle that the requester pays for the meals when the requestor accompanies the hunter.”
Leona looked at Zin astonished, and Charl nodded in agreement.
“Is that so? I didn’t know about that. I’ll pay up. Hello there, three portions, please.”
“Yes, yes sir.”
Charl had no problem with paying the three chips. Zin didn’t realize how stingy he looked.
Charl was looking quite generous since he was willing to pay for the meals. For whatever reason, Leona blushed and had ducked her head down. Zin was glad to eat a meal for free, and nodded his head pleasantly. It was not a principle that Zin had come up with out of nowhere. However, a person was not necessarily wise just because they’d lived for a long time.
The meal was prepared but it was not a grandiose meal. The inn owner was scared because of the presence of a Wargrave soldier in front of him. He was so scared that he didn’t have the guts to ask for the commission. Zin hinted at Charl, who promptly paid the commission to the inn owner.
“People are treating me like I’ve annihilated a whole town.”
“People are scared by the fact that you have that ability.”
Charl nodded at Zin’s words. Amazed, Leona was checking out Charl who was spotless in terms of appearance. It was natural for Leona to be amazed at seeing a Wargrave soldier whom ordinary people would never pass by a single time in their lives.
As Charl peeled the sweet potato and started eating, Leona felt surprised.
“What are you doing?”
“I am eating a sweet potato.”
“Why would you peel it?”
“…It doesn’t taste good if you eat the skin together?”
Charl was amused to see Zin and Leona eat the sweet potato with its skin, and Leona looked back at Charl with astonishment.
Leona started eating the sweet potato again. She couldn’t understand how one could eat food and think about its taste. She would always eat whatever possible, and she never thought about whether the food tasted good or bad.
Of course, she avoided ghoul meat and poisonous dog meat because they were a dangerous type of food to consume.
There was no problem eating the sweet potato with its skin, and she thought it was a waste to throw it away.
Isn’t he a spoiled bastard?
Feeling annoyed, Leona stuffed her food in her mouth, felt her eyes get watery, and drank a cup of water.
On the other hand, Leona was happy to meet a person who seemed part of another world. They had to walk for a long time. She felt that he wouldn’t have the luxury to take off the sweet potato skin in the wilderness.
Ghoul meat is still very terrible even with its skin removed.
Leona became excited thinking how Charl would feel when he’d get to take a bite at some ghoul meat.
Leona was a pretty tenacious one. And especially in a negative way.