Just what is this guy?
The criminals were confused and afraid just as the boy had expected.
These men were skilled at many things but they weren’t particularly good at any one of them.
They were thugs with no blood or tears to shed for others. They were the sort who wouldn’t balk at the idea of committing murder even for a paltry sum.
They have been living like this even before the cultural exchange 8 years ago, so as far as they were concerned, the change in times only meant more money for them.
By being able to adapt to the change in technology and having some decent stats, they came to be valued, and as people grew more and more displeased with society, so did the opportunities for their work increase.
Their work this time was simple. They were to start a commotion on the appointed day.
How they were to cause that commotion didn’t matter as long as they could get the attention of the Countermeasure Department and keep them preoccupied.
Given the requests of their client, these men thought that locking themselves in an area would be a good way to go about it.
So until the appointed day, they picked out a place for their operation, set up the equipment they’ve been lent, and recruited people and incited them.
The easiest kind of people to gather and incite were those who’ve lost something in the exchange with the otherworld.
Such people also made it easy to cover their tracks once they were doing with them.
Everything had gone without a hitch.
In a short time they were able to gather about 30 people including those that they hired with money.
They even prepared some small arms both for camouflage and to help them start their commotion.
Any other equipments they needed, they were able to get from their client for relatively cheap. Their preparations were perfect.
They would cause a commotion somewhere, leave when the time was right, and blame everything on the people they incited.
It was an easy job that paid remarkably well… Or at least it was supposed to be an easy job.
“What is this guy!?”
The boy that stood in their way was strange from the start.
He did not fear guns and even after he was sent flying and was surrounded, he never once stopped hurling abuse.
No matter how much he was beaten, the sharp glint in his eyes and his attitude never waned.
He caught bullets with his bare hands, instantly destroyed dog-type drones unarmed, and even after they showed him their simplified exoskeletons, he just smiled at them as if nothing was amiss.
The boy was abnormal. So much so in fact that it was almost creepy. That’s why the criminals used their weapons against him without mercy.
Unfortunately, because they didn’t think they would actually need it, they only had a few weapons with them.
Specifically, the only weapons they had on them were the HF Vibration Knife and the Pistol-Type Beam Gun.
That was the limit of the pseudo photon equipment meant for the general public.
After all, regardless of their access to the black market, management over the pure photon equipments was simply too strict.
They were not something some half-baked mercenaries like them could procure.
“Damn it, damn it! Why isn’t it working!?”
But even then the weapons they had should have been excessive against an unarmored human opponent.
Their knife could cut iron like butter and their guns could penetrate iron plates as thick as 20cm.
And yet despite relentlessly shooting at the boy, who only stood still, and consuming up to 20% of the photon energy in their magazines, the beams merely dispersed when they hit the boy. He didn’t even have to dodge.
The monitor in their headgear kept telling them ‘Bad Shot (Miss)’ but they didn’t believe it and just thought it was broken.
After all, they were indeed hitting their target. It just so happened that instead of perforating a hole, the beams just kept on scattering.
‘Impossible!’ They yelled internally as they continued to shoot haphazardly at the boy.
Already, the only reason they were still hitting their target was because of the Aim Assist System.
“So these are considered weak weapons?” The boy remarked. “They pack quite a punch, don’t they? They’re fairly accurate too.”
When the boy calmly praised their weapons despite being completely unfaded by them, the criminals became even more terrified.
It was as if the boy was merely taking a stroll in the neighborhood as he coldly walked up to them and calmly analyzed the strength of their weapons.
It was that calmness that struck fear into their hearts.
There are very few people who could remain unaffected in the face of an existence who could walk unconcerned under a rain of beams, and in an act of desperation, one of the criminals drew his knife and faced the boy.
He went for his face, and the boy’s calm eyes seemed to penetrate him.
When the criminal saw those eyes, he shuddered.
Fearful eyes. Angry eyes. Resigned eyes. Vengeful eyes. Excited eyes.
He has seen many eyes in his work, but eyes that could remain so calm in a situation like this scared him.
That’s why he wanted to get rid of those eyes.
But while he might have wanted to get rid of them, that didn’t mean that the boy would let him.
“H-HyaAa!? Impossible, impossible! This can’t possibly be real!”
The knife that struck out extended into a straight line and penetrated the palm of the boy, but it couldn’t penetrate the flesh and just stopped short of it.
The boy’s calm eyes looked quietly into his eyes.
At this point, even passing by someone along the busy streets would have elicited a more human reaction.
The boy was so calm that the criminal didn’t even dare think anymore why that was.
“Fool, don’t group me with the likes of you over something on this level”
The criminal had to muster all of his courage just to hurl that abuse at the boy, but the boy didn’t care about it.
This was someone who could stop an HF Vibration Knife with his bare hands. And that was while he was much smaller than him.
He didn’t even budge an inch, and when the criminal had struck out with his knife, it felt as if he’d struck a giant rock rather than a little boy.
Never before had the criminal thought it was pointless to struggle against someone with a greater status than his own, but this situation was simply too strange and different. It was completely unlike anything he knew.
“Now then, let’s see how sturdy these things are.”
“Huh? Oh, heh heh heh…”
As the boy held the vibrating knife, he took his other hand and formed a clenched fist with it.
It’s okay. It was an unarmed fist, so it couldn’t possibly hurt him.
Even if the armor the criminal was wearing was a simplified version, it was still the same protector that made small arms worthless.
No matter how powerful the boy’s punch may be, the protector is shrouded by a film-like energy barrier. There’s no way he could penetrate that.
Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to the criminal that the only reason he was thinking that was because his brain had long been paralyzed by fear.
“Heh heh—” The man’s face broke into laughter as he tried to escape reality, but in one fell swoop, his face suddenly twisted. “—GAHA!?!?”
The chest part of his protector had suddenly caved in.
The sudden impact choked him, and before he knew it, his world had been dyed in white as his consciousness left.
A confused voice resounded as the man who had been hit fell down on his back.
The portion of the armor covering his chest cracked, and upon hitting the ground, it broke apart.
“Is this barrier? I feel like I’ve punched something similar somewhere before, though.”
That nonchalant curious attitude of his terrified the other two criminals even more.
When things had finally reached this point, the criminals finally realized that this boy was not an opponent they could take on.
Flames shot out from their boosters as their protectors that already bolstered their agility propelled them even faster.
“—Oh? Where do you think you’re going?”
The two remaining criminals tried to run as fast as they could, but a voice suddenly resounded from behind them.
They immediately stopped in a panic, but the boy only greeted them with a smile so bright it was creepy.
They didn’t even have the right to leave anymore as their screams resounded throughout the floor.
Fortunately, the girl and the hostages had already gone down to the second floor, so they didn’t hear them.