Chapter 13, A Proper Hunter
Akira spent his days by training and exploring the ruins.
The rumour of the unexplored territory filled with priceless relics where even a small kid could go, had already died down. After all, Alpha analyzed the market price of the relics and adjusted the quality and quantity of the relics that Akira brought to the Exchange Centre.
Akira also got better equipment for himself. He no longer looked like an unarmed amateur kid bringing relics into the Exchange Centre. So the rumour died down quickly and the Hunters immediately stopped coming to the Kuzusuhara ruin which was the source of the rumour.
Thanks to that, Akira was able to go relics hunting without any problem. But in contrast, he was not able to earn enough money. After all, in order to avoid the spreading of similar rumours, he was only able to sell half of the relics that he gathered and had to hide the other half.
In order to adjust to his worsened financial condition, he moved from 20,000 Aurum per night inn to a 4,000 Aurum per night inn. He was staying in 4 tatami mats wide room with no other amenities other than a shower.
Even so, it was way more comfortable than sleeping in the slum city’s alley. But Akira could not deny that he was also missing the lifestyle where he could take a bath in a bathtub every day. It was not easy to lower his life standard when he had experienced a better one before. As such, Akira frequently wondered when he would be able to get back to that lifestyle.
Alpha only smiled like usual trying to soothe Akira. She also told Akira that once he got enough skill and position, no one would doubt him if he brought expensive relics to the Exchange Centre. Then he would be able to quickly return back to the lifestyle where he could take a bath in a bathtub every day.
Behind her ever-present smiling face, Alpha kept a close watch on Akira.
Akira’s daily chores of training and exploring the ruins changed after Akira brought relics to the Exchange Centre for the 10th time. After he finished the transaction as usual and was about to go back home, Nojima suddenly called him.
“Wait for a second. Take this with you.”
Nojima gave Akira a map drawn on a piece of paper and a plastic card. It was a map of the city boundary and there was a marker on it.
“There’s just a little bit of something that you need to do, but you only need to show this card to whoever is there. Well then, good luck out there, Ajira.”
“…My name is Akira.”
Ajira was the name that was mistakenly written on his Hunter ID. Nojima laughed when he saw Akira was annoyed.
“Your name was submitted as such in the database, you know. Did you mistakenly submit the wrong name? Who the heck is the guy who did your application, that damn guy! Anyway, you can correct your name there, so get going.”
After saying that, Nojima just cheerfully sent Akira off.
The outer wall that surrounded the middle district of Kugamayama City was frequently boasted for its durabilit. It could keep the inner part safe and sound even if it was assaulted. That thick and tall wall which physically, economically and socially separated the inner and the outer side was brimming with power, so much that it would awe anyone who saw it up close.
There was a big tall building along the wall called Kugama Building. It was a checkpoint that connected the inner and the outer part of the city and it was a very important building for the city.
There was a Hunter Office inside that building and it handled a different kind of function compared to the Hunter Office where Akira applied as a Hunter. It was an office that managed all the Hunter activities around Kugamayama City.
Akira looked at the building, its intimidating appearance showcased the authority, financial power and military power that it held. It was just simply too much for a small kid from the slum.
The marker on the map led to the corner where the Hunter Office was located.
“This is the place, right?”
“Yep, let’s go in.”
Akira nervously followed Alpha who already entered the building. If Akira was alone, he would have hesitated and it would have taken some time before he could enter the building. But it was thanks to Alpha’s presence that he could muster little courage to immediately enter the building.
Akira was frozen in awe by the appearance of the huge hall filled with decorations and the Hunters who were present there. Some of them were carrying a gun bigger than their own body, some of them were using high grade enhancing clothes and some of them even had metallic skin, a common trait of cyborgs. All of them looked so much different compared to Akira, a small boy who just finished his Hunter application.
“Akira, they’re not your enemies. It’s not like they’re going to attack you, so calm down.”
“There’s nothing you can get from just standing there, let’s finish what we came here for. You do know what you should do, right?”
“This way then.”
Akira who grew up in the slum had no idea what he should do here, it was thanks to Alpha’s support that he was able to proceed without any trouble. The reception counters of the Hunter Office were located on the first floor. He headed to an unmanned reception machine that functioned as a ticket printer, he used the card that he received from Nojima to registered his name on the waiting list. He then moved to a corner to wait for his turn so as to not bother anyone else. When his name was called, he moved to the counter and showed his ticket and card to the girl who was working behind that counter.
“I was told to show this, but…”
The girl showed a formal smile. Her expression and fake smile were suddenly shaken when she saw the card that Akira was showing. But she immediately remembered her position as an office worker and regained her composure. She then took the card and used her terminal to read the card.
“Please let me confirm it, are you Ajira-sama?”
Akira answered back nervously.
“Ah, yes. Wait, no. My name is Akira, the name submitted into the database was a wrong name.”
The girl then bowed and apologized.
“I apologize. Well then, Akira-sama, congratulations on your promotion to a Rank-10 Hunter. Please allow me to reconfirm the registered information and reprint the card. Shall I give you a guide for the reissuance of your Hunter ID and the steps to correct the wrong information?”
“Eh, ah, yes, please.”
Looking at how Akira was behaving, the receptionist thought that he was not really knowledgeable about the process. As such, following her duty as a receptionist, she politely offered her help to Akira and continued to give an explanation about what he should do.
The Hunter Office sorted the Hunters by their ranks. The lowest was Rank-1. People would regard Hunters with a high rank in high regard.
In order to climb the rank, you would need to do business in the Exchange Centre affiliated with the Hunter office or accept quests from the Hunter office or the companies affiliated with it. In short, the more contributions you offer to the Eastern district Corporate government, the higher your rank would be.
If you climbed to a high enough rank, you would be able to access and gather relics from ruins that were restricted under the authority of the Corporate government. The higher your rank, the more priority you will be given in the waiting list.
You would also be able to get your hands on high tech weapons, those that normally would not be offered for sale to low-rank Hunters due to its cost, size and firepower. You might even be allowed to handle forbidden guns.
There were some quests issued by the Hunter office and the companies affiliated to it also had a rank restriction. Only high ranking Hunters were able to take quests with a high level of privacy and restriction, after all, lower rank Hunters would not even know the existence of these quests.
Other than these benefits, many Hunters were climbing the rank for popularity and honour.
Akira was at Rank-10. It was the starter rank for those Hunters who registered their name with their company employee ID or citizenship ID. In short, it was an amateur rank for commoners.
Slum citizens who did not even have a personal ID would start as Rank-1 Hunter when registering themselves as a Hunter. They usually registered their name using a piece of paper with their name written on it. Then after they brought relics to the Exchange Centre for a certain number of times and earned a certain amount of money from those relics, they would start getting recognized as someone who was motivated and had the skill to be a Hunter. Then eventually the Hunter office would recognize them as someone with potential and rank them up.
And after reaching Rank-10, the Hunter office would finally recognize them as a Hunter.
The card that Nojima gave to Akira in the Exchange Centre was a proof that Akira was already raised up from Rank-1. Not many people could get that since most of the people would just give up or get killed midway. Then among those who were ranked up, some were seen as very potential Hunters and got special treatment. One of them was a free first reissuance for their Hunter ID.
After finishing her explanation, the receptionist gave Akira a small booklet, it was made with high-quality paper with the logos of the Eastern Corporate government and the Hunter office printed on its cover. It was filled with all kinds of information about Hunters and everything related to it.
She then continued Akira’s registration process.
“Akira-sama. Since your request was to fix your registered name, can you please tell me your correct name again?”
Akira answered back with a puzzled look. The girl asked again with a serious face.
“Akira-sama, the registration today is different compared to the temporary registration that you did before, the information registered today will be forwarded as a full registration and basically added as a complement to the missing information. Moreover, we will accept today’s change in the registered data taking into account the fact that we had mistakenly registered your name. From now on, any request for change will need a thorough inspection and depending on your reason, your request might even be rejected, so please remember it. The name registered in your Hunter ID will be the name used to identify you and anything related to you such as your family, land, country, class et cetera. With that in mind, are you sure you want to change your registered name to Akira?”
Akira could not immediately answer that question.
Akira had no relatives at all. He had no family and not even a record about his family. When he first began understanding the world around him, he already found himself in the slums of the Kugamayama city. He even had no love for the slums. He stayed there just because he had no ability to get out from the slum, so it was not like he felt any sense of belonging or anything.
He also did not belong to any faction inside the slum city. He was always alone. If someone asked him to identify himself, he could not say anything else than his name. That was why, when he thought that he could change his name here, he realized that he actually had no restriction whatsoever in changing his identity. Changing his name now would not cause him any kind of inconvenience. After all, there was no one who was using his name for calling him, of course save for Alpha who was a special case.
After a short silence, Akira said with a serious look.
“Akira, my name is Akira. Please register me with this name. If I want to change it, I’ll just change it later. But if my request is refused, then it might mean that I should not change my name after all.”
After operating the terminal, the receptionist handed over a new Hunter ID to Akira.
Akira kept staring at his Hunter ID that he just received. It changed from a cheap-looking piece of paper into a card made of hard plastic. There was a deep meaning in the change of material.
“Please be careful not to lose it. Another reissuance would require more money and another inspection. And in the worst-case scenario, all of your past achievements might even get erased and your rank might be revoked back to Amateur.”
Then the girl smiled and bowed.
“That will conclude your registration. I sincerely pray for your success ahead.”
Her politeness was just a formality. But it also meant that he was finally regarded as a real Hunter. Akira smiled back and left the place.
He exited the Kugama building while happily looking at his new Hunter ID. Looking at his action, Alpha smiled and congratulated him.
“Akira, you finally became a Hunter. Congratulation!!”
“Thank you… So I wasn’t a Hunter all this time, huh?”
“You were just a self-proclaimed Hunter all along. Sadly enough, you’ll only get laughed at if you showed that piece of paper and say that you’re a Hunter.”
As Akira was looking at his new Hunter ID, he made an expression as if he just realized something.
The name written in this Hunter ID was his correct name, Akira smiled when he read it.
“This means that I finally can actually call myself a Hunter, huh…”
This Hunter ID also functioned as Akira’s ID. Although if he showed that card to the shops, they would only regard him as an amateur, even so, this card was more useful as his ID. Akira felt that it was a huge improvement. At least, he was no longer a denizen of the slum city with no identification.
People would say that one was able to reach success as a Hunter only after they piled up achievements and made their Hunter ID a revered Hunter ID. Having a revered Hunter ID would carry a lot of meaning. And on this day, Akira finally took his first step to reach success.
Noticing Akira, who might just spend all his time staring at his Hunter ID if left alone, Alpha made a bitter smile and warned him.
“How long are you going to keep looking at it, just put it away already, you’ll look suspicious if you keep doing that.”
The area around the Kugama building was well maintained compared to the other places inside the lower district. If Akira got caught here because he looked suspicious, it would be far more troublesome compared to if he was arrested in other places. As such, Akira immediately put away his Hunter ID in panic.
“Now then, you have registered as a common Hunter. So let’s immediately go buy the thing that a common Hunter like you must have.
“A thing that I must have? What am I going to buy?”
“An information terminal.”
Hunters usually bought, sold, shared and exchanged useful information such as the location of ruins, the map of ruins and the details about the monsters who live in the ruins on the internet. It helped them to effectively work as Hunters, bring back a lot of relics and make the eastern district prosper.
The widely available information terminal was the foundation of the information network. When the Tatsumori Manufacturing finally completed their cheap but advanced product for the livelihood of the Hunters, the information terminal quickly spread among the Hunters. Even now, the market for Hunters specialized goods was monopolized by Tatsumori Manufacturing, as such, the Tatsumori Manufacturing had risen up in power and now is one of the companies in the Corporate government.
Moreover, the information terminal produced by Tatsumori Manufacturing is regarded as an important product in the eastern district because of its influence, as such, for the benefit of the eastern district, the information terminal was mass-produced and sold cheaply. So even someone like Akira is able to buy one for himself.
Since the information terminal had completely assimilated in the Hunters’ life, companies and the Hunter office usually sent their request through the information terminal. Even now, they said that the information terminal was an absolute necessity for Hunters.
Akira then went to an information terminal specialist shop near the Hunter office and bought an information terminal by following Alpha’s instructions. Akira spent almost all the money he earned for buying the information terminal. And also, the terminal was actually a simple information terminal made especially for amateurs. Akira had no idea to set up the terminal, so he had the shop clerk set it up for him.
While the shop clerk was setting up his information terminal, he said to Akira that he would need Hunter ID to finish the setup. Akira thought that a chance to use his new hunter ID had finally come and happily showed his Hunter ID.
After returning back to his narrow room, Akira started thinking seriously. He had calmed down after getting his new Hunter ID and information terminal. So, he started thinking that he would work hard in the future since he had become a common Hunter now, but then he suddenly realized something and got worried about his current condition.
“Alpha. I’ve used all my money to buy the information terminal, so I don’t even have any money to pay for the room tomorrow… Are we going to be okay?”
Akira thought that Alpha must have thought of something and expected a reassuring answer from Alpha. But Alpha just smiled and said.
“Nope, we’re not, that’s why we’ll go hunt for relics tomorrow.”
Akira was a bit shocked and looked at Alpha, but she returned back with a smile and they just kept staring at each other for some time. Akira then let out a sigh and ended the silence.
Akira knew that he could not win if he argued against Alpha. Since he spent almost all of his money on the information terminal, he could only assume that the information terminal was worthy of that money. He thought that he would be able to accept her argument if he decided to ask Alpha the reason anyway.
Moreover, exploring the ruin took a lot of stamina, as such, rather than spending his energy trying to argue with Alpha, Akira thought that he should quickly get rest instead. And so, although he had a lot of questions, he just decided not to ask them.
“You still have some ammo left from before, so I think you’re alright for the ammo.”
“Starting from tomorrow, you’ll use the information terminal for exploring the ruin. So give me a hand in setting the terminal.”
“Hm? Didn’t we finish that in the shop before?”
“It’s the setting frequently used by a common Hunter. Now we’re going to set it to suit your need, Akira. We need to completely overwrite the setting so that it’s easier for you to receive my support. But I can’t operate the terminal, so you’ll have to help me with it.”
“So basically, the information terminal will be set such that it’s easier for me to use, right? I understand.”
“It might take at least until midnight, so give your best, okay?”
Akira was surprised and looked at Alpha. He could see that Alpha just smiled as usual but she was not joking. As such, he suddenly felt so tired and his face loosened.
Akira kept working on the terminal setting by following Alpha’s instructions. What he did actually was only operating the buttons on the panel that also functioned as a monitor, inputting information and choosing options, Akira actually knew nothing about what he was doing.
When Akira put in symbols, characters and numbers that he did not understand, other unknown symbols, characters and numbers were displayed. Akira just kept choosing options following Alpha’s instruction as if he was a robot. It was a series of mundane actions that Akira did not know the meaning behind, it was torturous enough to make people lose their minds.
All of these repeated meaningless mundane actions made Akira’s mind wander into strange directions. He had no idea what he was doing, was he really setting the terminal? Or was it one of the rumoured magic from the western district? Or was it some kind of ritual for calling an unknown entity?
Just like what Alpha said, the setting was not finished even after midnight. But Akira just kept doing it with a blank mind. And finally, it was finished.
“Akira, it’s done.”
“…It’s finally over, huh.”
“Actually, there’re still some parts that need adjustment. But it doesn’t look like you can do it now. I’ll do the rest so you can just go ahead and sleep.”
The date had already changed. Realizing that, Akira suddenly felt more tired. He just dove into his bed while leaving his information terminal lying on the floor. Then he let tiredness lead him to sleep.
The information terminal kept working on its own while Akira was sleeping.
The next morning. Akira woke up from Alpha’s voice just like usual. But when he turned towards the source of the voice, he did not see Alpha.
With a puzzled look, Akira turned to the source of the voice that was somehow different from usual. He saw an image of Alpha smiling and waving at him from inside the terminal that was lying on the floor. He realized that Alpha’s voice came out from the terminal rather than sent directly into him. There was also a limit on the sound that an information terminal could produce, that was why it felt rather strange for Akira.
Akira took the terminal and held it in front of him, he could see Alpha smiling at him.
“What do you think? Impressive, isn’t it? I put myself inside the information terminal, you know!”
“…Eh, ah, yes.”
Akira was still disoriented just after waking up, so his reaction was rather dull. Seeing his reaction Alpha looked rather dissatisfied.
“That was a weak reaction. Are you’re not surprised?”
“Compared to the sudden appearance of a girl who I can see but not touch, which really gave me a paradigm shift, this is nothing. By the way, are we going to communicate with each other through this terminal from now on?”
“I don’t mind if you prefer either way. So which one do you prefer?”
After taking his time thinking for a bit, Akira answered back casually.
“Let’s communicate like before. It’s too much work if I have to take out my terminal every time I want to talk with you.”
Alpha suddenly vanished from the terminal and appeared beside Akira just like usual. With the presence and voice which felt so real that they could not be compared to the one from the terminal, Alpha happily made a mischievous smile while coming closer to Akira’s face and said in such a provocative voice.
“As I thought, compared to the small monitor of the terminal. You would rather have me beside you like this, right?”
“Ah, yeah, right, you’re not wrong.”
Akira was flustered and turned his face away as he just blurted out a random answer. Alpha smiled satisfied looking at how Akira’s face turned beet red.
Akira was heading to the Kuzusuhara ruin for relics hunting again, he was very excited as he was traversing the wasteland near the Kuzusuhara ruin. The reason why he was excited was not because this was his first relics hunting after he became a real Hunter, but it was because he was expecting to make money on this trip. He almost ran out of money after spending it on the information terminal.
If he returned back from this relics hunt with empty hands, then it would mean that he would go back to sleeping in the slum’s alley again. He who had already gotten used to living in a small cramped room of the inn which was way better than sleeping in the back alley of the slum city would have to return back to the days when he was sleeping in the middle of the road inside the alley. Akira really wanted to avoid that, as such, he took a deep breath and pumped himself up as he was heading to the ruins.
“Alright then, let’s go.”
“Wait for a second.”
Alpha was making a dissatisfied look at Akira who was brimming with excitement. It could be taken that he was able to make that expression since they had that leeway, but it was only until Alpha opened her mouth.
“Since you got better in using guns, we’ll change the difficulty of your training starting from today. To be more precise, I want you to be able to move around without my enemy detection support. We will still keep diving into the ruin, but you should take actions assuming as if you have no enemy detection support from me.”
Akira was visibly shocked, Alpha’s enemy detection was Akira’s lifeline. He could not even imagine what would happen to him if he did not have it.
“…A-am I going to be okay?”
Alpha smiled naturally toward Akira who was filled with anxiety and hesitation.
“You’re not going to be okay. That’s why you have to train yourself.”
“W-well, you’re right, but…”
Akira was thinking of insisting, but he was in so much shock that he could not say anything. Alpha suddenly made a serious face.
“If you get better as a Hunter, you’ll be able to explore other ruins too. After all, you can’t expect to keep looking for relics in Kuzusuhara ruins only. Also, my enemy detection is significantly weakened outside Kuzusuhara ruins.”
“…be more precise, how far it’s weakened?”
“In the worst-case scenario, it won’t even work at all.”
Akira’s face inadvertently puckered. For Akira, that would be simply lethal.
“Of course even in that condition, I’ll still give my utmost support. But it will be limited. That’s why I want you to get used to moving around the ruin while we still have the chance, you understand?”
“…I understand… This is only a training though, so do tell me if danger approaches me, okay?”
Alpha smiled as she nodded to Akira.
“Of course, but you should properly move around the ruins carefully. Otherwise, it won’t be training.”
“Basically, you just need to move around as you like. If you do anything dangerous or do something that you should not do, I’ll give you a warning. So then, let’s start.”
Akira took a deep breath trying to calm down. Although it was only a training and Alpha’s detection was still working, but he had to think he had no enemy detection support as he was going to explore the ruins. Now suddenly the ruins became a very dangerous place in Akira’s mind.
Moreover, in reality, the ruins were more dangerous than he thought. It was just that Alpha’s existence made it look safer before. It made Akira realize that he was actually spoiled up until now as he was not used to the feeling that he is feeling now. But even so, he steeled his resolve and stepped forward.
He got a warning right on his first step.
“Right off the bat, huh?”
“You should confirm the safety of the ruins from here using your binoculars first. Confirm whether there are monsters or not. And if you spot a monster, think whether you can win against that monster or you should withdraw. Think carefully before you make any decisions.”
It was ultimately correct. So Akira could only smile bitterly remembering that he was about to step into the ruins carelessly. So then he took out his binoculars and looked at the ruin. He did not spot any monster. They might be just hiding but it was way better than stepping forward without checking anything.
“It looks alright to me.”
“Before moving forward, look at your information terminal.”
Akira then looked at the information terminal that was attached to his arm. Since it was a product especially made for Hunters, it came with a strong belt that Akira used to fit the terminal in a place where he could easily look at. There was a chibi Alpha displayed on the terminal monitor and it was giving an instruction to Akira. After Akira followed that instruction, a map popped out in the monitor.
“This is the map of the Kuzusuhara ruins. Even if you are only going to hunt for relics, rather than searching aimlessly, you should decide where you want to search and which route you want to take. Although it is important to choose places where the probability of finding relics are more, it is even more important for you to think of an escape route in case you encounter a monster. So plan carefully and adjust your action according to the situation around you.”
“Even if you tell me so much, I still don’t know what exactly I should do.”
“It’s also a form of training for you to think about it.”
Akira kept staring at the map with a grim face. There was a lot of information written on the map but for Akira or even for other people too, it was hard to analyze that information and plan on a route. But even so, Akira racked his brain and tried his best before moving towards the ruins.
The outskirts of the Kuzusuhara ruins were filled with abandoned buildings. Akira had some memories of calmly walking through this place, but the place was very different from what he remembered. As such, Akira was making a grim face as he walked through it.
He walked slowly and carefully trying to watch his surroundings as much as he could. Although he watched his surroundings very carefully, it did not have much effect on Akira’s survivability. Akira who was moving around without enemy detection was like a total amateur, there were so many different places around him where enemies could lay waiting for him like from the windows of the abandoned buildings or from behind the wreckage around him.
But if he kept worrying about his enemies’ existence, there would be no end to it and he had no time to check all the nook and cranny around him. And if he failed to check and there were actually enemies hiding, then during a real fight it would spell the end of Akira’ life. The ruins were simply such a dangerous place.
But even so, many Hunters put their life at stake diving into the ruins looking for relics. They would either end up reaping profits in exchange for risking their lives or lose the bet and their lives in the ruins.
The training continued. Akira got a warning every time he took a few steps forward. How to move without making any sound, how to check whether a route was prone to surprise attack or not, the posture that would allow him to immediately make a counter attack and how to keep that posture in places with difficult footings, the priority of things that he should check from around him, Akira was lacking all these skills.
Because of that, Akira took about an hour to pass through the place that usually took him just a few minutes. Although he did not encounter any monster, the strain that he got from surveying his surroundings greatly exhausted him.
Compared to Akira, Alpha knew better just how exhausted Akira was. So she decided that it would be dangerous if they continued and stopped the training there.
“Let’s stop your training here today. There’s no danger around so you can rest easy.”
Akira loosened up a bit and let out a big sigh from the exhaustion. He then looked back to see just how far he had come. He could see that he just passed the border between the ruins and the wasteland, he then let out a sigh realizing just how incompetent he was.
“…So I only went this far huh? It seems that I have a lot of things to work on in the future.”
“You’ll be able to move faster with more experience. Moreover, once you get a better information terminal, it would be able to greatly help you in detecting enemies. Keep up with your training, get better equipment and let’s become a capable Hunter. Don’t worry, just leave everything to me.”
Looking at how Alpha was smiling brightly and gently at him, Akira was able to reassure himself.
“…You’re right, I just can’t rush this kind of thing.”
“That’s right. Now then, we should go looking for relics. So let’s continue forward with my enemy detection support. Let’s go!”
Akira just left the enemy detection to Alpha as he delved deep into the ruins. He was able to traverse through the same distance that he took an hour alone, in just a few minutes.
As he moved deeper into the ruins. The road that was actually designed for easy access, turned into a labyrinth due to the wreckages from the buildings that were blocking the roads.
Akira kept comparing his surroundings with the map as he was walking. And then he made a puzzled look.
“Alpha, about this map though, isn’t this map wrong in many places?”
“Of course, it is.”
Akira was surprised when he heard just how casually Alpha answered that.
“So it is indeed incorrect, huh. And it’s to be expected, huh?!”
“That map is download for free from the internet after all. So it was an inaccurate map. As for a more accurate map, you would need to pay money and get it from a source that you can trust. Moreover, the map displayed is from the time when that terminal was produced, so there’s no guarantee in its accuracy. There are cases when powerful monsters went on a rampage and completely changed the contours of the place, there are also cases where Hunters who were trying to destroy a wall for searching relics but ended up destroying the whole building too. There are many other things that happened and changed the condition of the ruins. So with that in mind, you should also train yourself so that you can use the map as much as possible despite all of this.”
Among the Hunters, there were those who were known as map brokers. They used all kinds of methods to make a map of ruins and earned their living from selling those maps. Their maps were filled with useful information containing a detailed map of the inner part of a dangerous ruin, the type and number of monsters that roamed the ruin and the list of relics that were found in that ruin. Sometimes, the value of the map of ruin could even go beyond the value of the relics that you could find in that ruin.
Akira was listening closely to Alpha. He only had a shallow knowledge of Hunters. He had thought that Hunters were people who only explored the ruins, killed monsters and earned money from collecting relics. So he was a bit surprised when he heard that some Hunters earned money through selling maps.
“So you can earn money from doing such a thing, huh?! Is it really that profitable that you can make a business out of it?”
“Rather than charging into a ruin carelessly, your survivability rate will be way higher if you go inside a ruin with a detailed plan. If you can buy your safety with money, then there are a lot of Hunters out there who are willing to buy it, even if they have to pay a big amount for it.”
“So the ability to collect information about a ruin is also an important skill for a Hunter, huh?”
“Yep, that’s right. I’m sure you know it yourself just how dangerous it is to get into a ruin without having any information beforehand, right?”
Akira smiled bitterly as he remembered the time when he hadn’t met Alpha.
“Well, it’s true that I would have died if I didn’t meet you back then. So thank you once again!!”
Alpha smiled with invincibly.
“Please show your gratitude with action. To be more precise, work hard so you can fulfil my request. I’m not rushing you or anything though.”
“Ah, please be patient about that.”
“I have a high expectation from you.”
Akira replied back casually but there were no lies in his words. And it was the same for Alpha who was smiling at Akira. But it was a different problem as to how sincere it was deep inside their hearts.
After finishing their relics hunt for the day, Akira reconfirmed the relics that he was bringing back.
“Alpha, is it just me or did we really bring more relics than usual today?”
“You’re a real Hunter now, so I thought it might be a good idea to increase the relics. I’ll keep increasing the quantity from now on, but of course, I’ll adjust it according to your ability. So let’s work hard earning money for buying better equipment, ammo, training, study and for taking breaks too. Even for you too, I’m sure that you want to stay in a room with a bathtub.”
Akira nodded strongly.
“Yes, I want to. So like, should we get more relics…?”
Alpha just smiled to Akira who got motivated so easily.
Alpha smiled mischievously as Akira hung his head low, disappointed.
Silavin: Hmm… Their hearts are different eh… Seriously. I wonder what her request is. Doesn’t seem to be something good for him…