< Each own goal (Part 1) >
“Are you dead, mister?”
Leona stopped the junk wagon, walked up to Zin, and looked at Zin who had his eyes open. Leona pondered for a bit as she watched Zin’s eyes as he was lying down helplessly.
“You look alive…”
Looking at Zin who had his eyes open, Leona did not realize that Zin did not have much time left.
Zin tried to tell Leona that he needed chips using his eyes, but it was hard for both of them to communicate.
Consuming Leona’s blood would help Zin, but that meant consuming Leona’s life, and Zin was not in a position to even explain that. As Leona looked at Zin, it took a while before she realized that Zin was low on energy and that he needed chips to survive.
Leona ran to the junk wagon to grab some chips, and stuffed them into Zin’s mouth.
[Blue chip consumption total 4853. Uptime increased by 4853h.]
[Remaining energy level 0.16%]
[Vital functionality restored.]
[Need devil’s blood.]
Leona had about five thousand chips stored on the junk wagon.
“Ah… my eyes…”
Zin was pressing on his eyes as he had hard time performing body language with his eyeballs. Zin dug his head down and wondered why the kid came here. He pondered why she would come all the way over here riding on the dangerous junk wagon.
Zin knew the answer, but struggled to understand it. He couldn’t figure out why she acted in such a way. And Zin could not lift his head up.
The kid whom he told to get lost and the thing that he despised the most helped save his life.
As Zin lifted his head up, Leona was right beside Zin staring at him.
“This is prepayment.”
“Do you think I’m crazy and would give away over four thousand chips for free?”
And frankly Zin did not understand how she was able to gather that many chips.
Leona looked at Zin, and spoke.
“I want you to train me as a hunter.”
It was something that Zin did not expect at all. At her words, Zin shook his head in disbelief.
“Makes want to puke up all the chips.”
“Then throw them up now.”
At her words, Zin shrugged his shoulder.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the capability.”
Zin sighed and stood up slowly. He did not understand what was going on, and why it was happening. He did not know why the devil that he chased away came back to him. He was confused about how to deal with the kid whom he decided not to hunt as an exception.
But Zin was a hunter. He was a devil hunter and a hunter.
A hunter completed tasks by accepting chips as reward. Therefore, he had to pay up for the reward.
“I never had a pupil before.”
“Am I the first one? That’s great!”
As Leona smiled, Zin smirked.
“I meant that I have no confidence in my teaching abilities.”
Leona was starting to regret what she said.
“Let’s go, things will get rowdy soon.”
Zin walked towards the fortress that became quiet. The fortress was not going to fall. It was clear that unnecessary altercation would happen when squads would come out to retrieve fallen soldiers. As Zin tried to leave suddenly, Leona talked in a rush.
“Let’s ride this…”
“I acknowledge that this junk helped you come all the way here, but I have no intention to…”
As soon as Zin started to talk that he had no plan to ride the junk wagon, the Wargrave squad appeared.
“Hey, over there! Stay where you are!”
And they shouted at Zin.
As soon as Zin cursed, he picked up Leona.
Zin put Leona by his side, and started to ride the junk wagon away from the fortress. The Wargrave troop stood still and watched Zin and Leona drive away on the junk wagon.
“Drive carefuuuullly! It’s scary!”
Zin pressed hard on the accelerator, and rode the junk wagon more violently than a Reaver did, using only one hand.
Two days passed after the SMCP fortress attack.
“Warrant officer, what are you doing?”
“… I was in shock.”
Ramphil was sitting down on the recovery room, even forgetting to salute the senior officer. The repair of his body at the repair room was finished, but Ramphil looked like he was thinking about something. More than anything, Ramphil seemed to be in great worry to the point that he forgot to salute the head of the fortress, the Warlord.
“You look too calm for a person who is in shock.”
Ramphil slowly nodded at the words of the Warlord, brigadier general Ramzier.
“It was the first time that I was injured.”
“It was a nasty foe, a devil. If it were not for you, the fortress would have been destroyed. You should be proud of yourself.”
In fact, if it weren’t for Ramphil, the special forces could not have been able to regroup, and the fortress would have collapsed from the inside. Ramphil was overpowering as he fought against the devil with not much problem.
Most forces at SMCP were in awe of Ramphil’s superior battle skills and did not think that he lacked anything.
It was the first that Ramphil was injured in a battle. And he did not understand the emotion that he was feeling his heart.
He wondered if this was the sense of defeat or sense of revenge.
Ramphil slowly organized his thoughts. The emotions that he was feeling were different that dark or terrible ones.
He was more in awe and surprise. To Ramphil, a battle was something that was extremely predictable. He knew what needed to be done, and the results followed suit. He thought that other did not know what to do were strange.
And therefore, he couldn’t understand others who were defeated and died. Ramphil was that talented. He was a talented genius that didn’t understand much about the untalented. However, in the last battle, he knew what to do for a brief moment, but he didn’t know what to do in the last moment of the battle.
He was not able to figure out how to defeat the enemy. At the moment of defeat, Ramphil didn’t feel despair, but he felt something different and exciting. And as he met an unexpected stranger at the moment of defeat, he was extremely impressed by him. He was impressed by the devil hunter that butchered the witch with a giant sword. Even though he was knocked out in the end, he didn’t just fight against the witch; he ripped apart the witch to death.
That day, Ramphil came across with two unexplainable beings.
“This world is a big place.”
“It is indeed. So big that it’s unimaginable.”
That day, Ramphil realized that he was too complacent with himself. Ramphil always took orders to fight. He became a soldier when he was asked to become one, fought when he was asked to fight, and became victorious was he was asked to win.
As the Warlord quietly looked at the officer who was out of his mind, he sensed something strong. The cyborg started to have emotions.
Though Ramphil was a warrant officer, he was a very important person at SMCP fortress. He was so important that the Warlord himself came to check on Ramphil after his recovery.
“… Do you remember the first time we met?”
Listening to his words, Ramphil looked at the Warlord.
“It was at a Slaughterhouse arena.”
“You remember very well.”
Ramzier was born and grew up in SMCP fortress. He was in charge of searching and destroying a group of fearless Reavers that attacked a Wargrave squad. During the conquer mission of the Reavers, Ramzier first met Ramphil at the Slaughterhouse that was the size of a regular city. The Reavers took civilians as prisoners and enjoyed watching the arena battles between the prisoners.
And Ramphil was a warrior that survived in the arena for two years. At that time, Ramphil was only ten years old.
Wargrave troops only took revenge on the Reavers and left the prisoners unharmed. Ramzier didn’t bring Ramphil with him for any special reason. Among the surviving prisoners, no one came near Ramphil.
“At that time, I took pride in myself for making the best decision of my life bringing you with me.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Ramzier knew that Ramphil’s eyes were those of a cold and calm soldier. His gut told him so. Ramphil had all the traits of a soldier at a young age. He had the coolness in the midst of rapid changes, and he had a facial expression that he was ready to persevere any hardships. And out of all, Ramzier was impressed that Ramphil remained calm without displaying happiness or sadness as he watched the deaths of the Reavers who persecuted him.
Afterwards, Ramphil was trained as a soldier under the supervision of Wargrave. Under dangerous circumstances, Ramphil acted as the hidden card for the SMCP fortress. And this time as well , Ramphil fought off the devil to save the fortress.
And now, Ramzier was looking at Ramphil who appeared to have lost his composure for the first time.
“Officer, I will give you a special order.”
“What would that be sir?”
“It’s an order from the Central Asia division.”
“What is it?”
“Eradicate the white witch.”
“As you can see, we sustained heavy damage. We received too much damage to form a new squad for this mission.”
The SMCP fortress became too weak to form a new squad to attack the witch. And Ramzier was asking Ramphil to take the mission to eradicate the witch by himself.
The data about Ramphil’s battle against the white witch and Ramphil’s battle skill level were going to be a good proof that the SMCP was compliant with the Central Asia division’s order.
SMCP was in a situation where if it formed a new big squad for the mission, the fortress would not have the minimal force to defend itself.
It was better for Ramzier to send an elite soldier by himself for the mission. He thought that it would be sufficient to please the Central Asia division.
“I will grant you status as a temporary executor. It’s not official, but you will be able to receive support from other fortresses.”
Ramphil did not agree or disagree to the Warlord’s comments. Ramphil was a soldier, and he only needed to comply with orders.
Ramphil did not say anything else. He did not argue that it was an unreasonable order. The next day, Ramphil gathered some equipment and left the fortress. He bid farewell to Ramzier.
As Ramzier returned to his office, one of his aides spoke.
“What a pity. There he goes… I was hoping to catch up with officer Ramphil.
At his words, Ramzier stared at him.
“Is that so?”
“… What do you mean, sir…”
“I asked if you are really thinking that way.”
Looking at the stunned aide, Ramzier laughed.
“Ramphil has been with us for eleven years.”
“I know that, sir.”
“These eleven years, he has not made a single friend. He has not spoken to anybody privately.”
At Ramzier’s words, the aide’s face hardened.
It meant that he wasn’t a robot, but a human who was practically a robot. Ramzier brought Ramphil to the fortress, and he trained him as a soldier.
“He has never talked casually with anyone.”
Nobody approached Ramphil, and he never approached anyone. Like a machine, Raphil did not move unless he was given an order.
He did not read books or chat with others.
He didn’t do ‘anything.’ Ramphil was a genius, and he was regarded as the savior of the fortress, yet everyone in the fortress feared him.
“I need soldiers. A person who can take down a devil by himself cannot be considered a soldier. This order worked out well for us.”
In a sense, Ramphil was kicked out from the fortress. Ramphil was too strong to be called a soldier. And it was better for Ramzier to let him go. The Central Asia division’s order to eradicate the witch was an impossible task for SCMP, and Ramphil’s skill and battle data was a good method to avoid any repercussions.
He was able to perform missions that required a brigade. If Ramzier sent the data to the Central Asia division, he would be off the hook for sending only one soldier for the mission.
It was the best decision for Ramphil and Ramzier as well.
Ramzier tried to treat Ramphil like a son. He brought him to the fortress himself and was most likely fond of him. Ramzier also gave him the name Ramphil.
Although Ramphil thanked Ramzier, he did not display love towards him. As he was given the order to leave, he briefly said goodbye and left that day.
The aide could not look straight at the Warlord.
The Warlord was also feeling miserable for sending Ramphil to an impossible mission because he did not have confidence in handling Ramphil.
Ramphil did not feel any emotions as he walked through the wilderness for the first time in eleven years. It was still barren and lonely. For Ramphil who had no motivation to live, he was always given the reason to live by others. In the past, he killed enemies in the arena; in the fortress, he was under orders every moment.
Currently, he had a simple mission engraved in his mind.
Eradicate the white witch.
It was a mission that did not tell ‘how.’ And therefore, Ramphil did not face such a mission that was open to interpretation.
But after facing the white witch, he knew that it was not an easy mission. The Warlord had given him a very irresponsible mission, and he had to think of how he would accomplish this mission.
I would need to join up with the Central Asia division, but they are too far away.
In order to attack the target, the white witch, the Central Asia division’s largest force would be on the move. But it would take a long time to get to them.
I will have to go to the devil hunter.
Ramphil thought that it would be more effective to look for the devil hunter who would be around the area. Ramphil came across the two types of incomprehensible forces, and he believed that the devil hunter would lead him to the devil.