The girl and the criminals could only gawk in silence with their mouths agape.
“—They’re still alive! The power core is inside the torso!”
But as expected the Garestonian girl was the first to recover herself.
Shinichi didn’t have the time to verify the authenticity of her information. Immediately, he raised up his legs and stomped on the hunting dog that tried to get up.
“That was dangerous! I really shouldn’t treat these things as if they’re the real thing (beast).”
Any living creature would die after lopping their head off.
If there were any exception to that rule, it would only be the exceedingly unique or those that didn’t have a head in the first place. Creatures born from miasma were like that.
That’s why Shinichi couldn’t be faulted for tending to fight like he would against non-human opponents.
Alas, these hunting dogs were non-living machines. Even if they looked and attacked like living creatures, they themselves were not actually alive; hence, fighting them as if they were was a big mistake.
“Habits are really annoying,” Shinichi muttered as he shook his head. “Thanks… And Daigo, with this, you should understand now. I’ll be fine, so take those guys with you and go.”
Shinichi gave his thanks and implied that he would be staying behind to fight, but the one to speak to him next was neither Daigo nor the girl, but someone among those strangers he wanted to protect.
It was curious whether his words were representative of the others or not, but it was the stranger nearest to him who spoke.
“Are you… going to let us go? But why? We did all that to you, and yet… You’re going to forgive us?”
That was none other than the man who wanted to be a boxer.
He too had broken down crying. Although he hated the world, the guilt from what he’d done was greater.
It was true that Shinichi had provoked him, but there was no excusing the fact that he had beaten up a defenseless child.
Because of that he couldn’t understand why Shinichi was trying to cover for him and help him escape.
Normally, he would want to get even with him, and yet…
“AAa!? Don’t be stupid, criminal!
You and your friends are going to jail where you can cry as much as you want!”
Shinichi’s words were harsh, but they didn’t seem to have the same coldness they had earlier; hence, even though he was yelling at them, he wasn’t scary.
“Stop thinking unnecessary things and get lost already.
After everything you’ve done, you people don’t have any time left.
From here on out you’ll be branded as criminals, so you should spend your days without thinking of unnecessary things.”
His words pushed them away, but at the same time, they seemed to be telling them to live on without being devoured by their hate.
But there was no time for them to reflect on those words.
After mustering out that one word of agreement, everyone turned around and moved.
“Tch! No one’s getting away!”
“That’s my line!”
The men touched the terminal to try and stop the former criminals from escaping, but Shinichi kicked the scraps toward them.
“Don’t dawdle! Go!” Shinichi said.
“But we can’t just leave you!” Daigo argued.
“That’s right., oniichan! You have to come too!” The other boy said.
Shinichi urged them to go, but no matter how many times he tried, the two just refused to leave him be.
Shinichi clicked his tongue, but it couldn’t be helped since they didn’t understand the entire situation.
What’s more is that the reason these two wouldn’t leave him be was because they were genuinely concerned for his wellbeing.
But before he could find a way to convince them, they moved.
No, to be more precise, they were moved.
“We need to go now!”
The girl said firmly as she carried the boy in her arms while dragging a man 30cm taller than her with one hand.
Being able to carry a kid wasn’t anything to speak of, but the fact that she was able to carry a grown man like Daigo so easily despite his frantic attempts to resist painted an unbalance picture. Such a picture wasn’t so rare in these times, however.
Not willing to lose even here, anger distorted Daigo’s voice as he frantically resisted.
“Let go of me! Let go!” He cried.
“People who can’t fight will just get in his way!” The girl said.
He couldn’t just abandon his friend.
Daigo wanted to say that out loud, but the girl’s sound logic kept him from uttering another word.
He wanted to tell the girl that even then he still wanted to stay, but when he saw her expression, he gasped.
The girl’s face was twisted as if she was gritting her teeth enduring something.
This girl clearly had a status that far surpassed his, and yet she still couldn’t involve herself.
The words the girl had spoken were not only meant for him but also for herself.
‘This isn’t how it should have turned out,’ her eyes seemed to say. At that, Daigo couldn’t find it in himself to talk anymore.
“Daigo, someone has to stay behind,” Shinichi said. “And besides, I don’t want you to see me fight from here on.”
Perhaps it was because Shinichi felt his confusion and sentiments despite his back facing them that even as he stomped on the remaining heads and bodies of the robot dogs, he spoke with a misplaced soft voice just to try and persuade them.
“And kid, you should go ahead. I’m sure your mom is waiting for you,” Shinichi said.
“M-My mom!?” The boy replied.
“I’ll handle the situation here, so I’ll leave the rest to you,” Shinichi said.
“Yes! Please leave it to me!!” The girl replied.
Only a few words were shared between Shinichi and the girl, but the girl understood what he meant.
She seemed really moved when she responded to Shinichi. After that she took the reluctant Daigo and the boy whose attention had been turned to his mother away.
Shinichi didn’t have to look to know that they had left. His ears were enough. At that, a smile appeared on his face.
“Why is it that a childhood friend I’ve known for decades is so disobedient, whereas a stranger I’d only met today is so meek?”
He actually knew why, but he still found it strange and smiled because of that.
From the looks of things, he had gained her full trust because of the fighting.
Moreover, she was really smart and was even able to get an inkling of the truth behind the incident as well as Shinichi’s expectations.
Shinichi wasn’t sure though if it was because her eyes were that sharp or because he had exposed too much.
“What are you laughing for, brat!”
“How dare you get in our way!”
The men got rid of the scraps that had been kicked at them and yelled at Shinichi.
The smile abruptly vanished from Shinichi’s face and he turned to them with an expressionless gaze.
“Y-You’re not getting off lightly anymore! Do it!”
The three of them slapped their hands into their terminals.
They moved just like Rinko did when she tinkered with her wrist-watch type terminal.
It was curious whether that was the official way of doing things or that was simply how to use the terminal when in an emergency, but before Shinichi could ponder on that, the three men’s outfit changed.
Is this that rumored thing? Shinichi wondered as he watched on with an emotionless gaze full of interest.
A gray armor that covered only their limbs, chest, and head. A simple exoskeleton (protector).
A simplified version of the pinnacle of Garesto’s personal armor – the power suit that made use of the best equipment among Garesto’s technology
But because it’s a simplified version, it’s possible to carry it even with a normal terminal.
“Hmm, not having to lug your armor around sure is convenient.”
Shinichi was more interested in the portability rather than the fact that these men were wearing it, however.
Of course, the downside to that portability was that losing the terminal meant losing the armor too.
“What are you talking about?” One of the men asked.
This was a child who could fight in a melee without any fear. He could not be underestimated.
That was why they had put on their protector, but strangely enough, not even that could move the boy.
These protectors were the very reason why the small arms market crashed. Not only were they popular, they were also inexpensive.
Although they were lacking compared to exoskeletons, they were still more than able to keep one unharmed from a rain of bullets.
They also boosted one’s physical abilities, so regardless how good one was at martial arts, these protectors were not something that one could take on unarmed.
They were feigning to be proponents of anti-garesto sentiments, and so had no intentions of showing these off, but the situation had deteriorated such that they had to. Consequently, the fact that they were wearing these now meant that they now seriously intended to destroy Shinichi.
Unfortunately, they failed to notice that this was exactly what he wanted.
“…There’s one thing I should thank you for.
Thanks to you I can finally experience the abilities of those things for myself.
The security cameras have all been destroyed too… With that, there’s no need for me to hold back anymore.”
A crescent moon bloomed on the face of the boy.
They had more people on their side. And although they didn’t have that many weapons, they had the latest technology with them while their opponent was an unarmed boy.
This should be an unlosable battle, and yet instinctively, they knew that they were the prey here.
Although afraid – No. That’s precisely why. – The man gave the order, and the three of them took out their weapons and jumped on the boy.
—Like this the curtains were drawn upon the violence of a fantasy world against a science world.
Tl Note: We’re caught up with TMPG now, so KmF will be the new main series and will be taking over TMPG’s schedule and donation bar. That’s four regular releases and three extra releases at least. Each release will be at least a thousand words, and significantly longer ones will be counted extra against the queue. At the very least, there should be at least 7000 words translated each week for this series.