𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟎: 𝐑𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐆𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞
Since she had been here once before, the guidance went smoothly.
With Unison Human-Machine Technology’s Actanoid, messaging is all that is required, and there’s no need for voice chat. Although she’ve prepared a voice changer just in case, it seems unlikely that she’ll have the chance to use it.
Reflecting on last time, Chihaya was listening to a live broadcast with a blank face, like a substitute for a radio. It’s a broadcast by a private organization founded by actors called New World Live Broadcast, a popular streaming group that introduces places of interest in the New World and explains its creatures in an easy-to-understand manner.
“N, Nice. Passive income…”
Chihaya, who was enamored with the income from video advertising, looked at the various monitors of the All-Rounder.
The day will soon end, but they’ve already entered the Wagawa upstream mountain range. They should reach the rare metal deposit by nightfall.
As actors hired by Unison Human-Machine Technology, a company that developed Actanoid, everyone except Chihaya is a unit developed by Unison Human-Machine Technology.
The Psycholon, an Actanoid in the Rounder series with various cameras placed on each face of its square head, looks like a die.
It has an extremely wide field of view, and with its excellent posture and aim correction due to the infrared scope and the sub-cameras placed on each face, it can demonstrate high accuracy and concentration of fire, almost ignoring the recoil of any weapon.
In particular, it has a characteristic of not changing its accuracy even when shooting over its shoulder, thanks to correction by the sub-cameras on each face. It’s well-regarded as a convenient unit, despite its terrible appearance.
Husaria, a Lannoid series Actanoid that carries countless wing-like LAN antennas on its back, reminiscent of Rio’s Carnival. Its name is said to be derived from the winged Polish cavalry, Husaria.
Lannoid series Actanoids are generally weak to shock, and handling firearms affects their LAN capabilities due to recoil. Originally developed as mobile radio base stations to maintain the communication strength of other Actanoids, they don’t usually engage in combat.
However, the Husaria is a large 2.2-meter tall machine. By separating the communication antennas into the wings on its back, it has become somewhat more resilient to shock and less affected by obstacles.
It was announced as a combat-capable Lannoid series Actanoid and has indeed captured demand.
However, its tall stature and prominent wings make it noticeable, compromising its stealth abilities, and the wings make it cumbersome to move in confined spaces, so it’s evaluated as a unit that requires skill in handling.
Chihaya’s All-Rounder, mockingly called something like a jack-of-all-trades, also moves easily in this snowy mountain as long as the Husaria is nearby. Not only does it not feel much lag, but there are also no unintended behaviors due to packet loss.
She never thought she would feel so reassured just by having a Lannoid series Actanoid around.
The Psycholon, with its wide field of view and image analysis ability, promptly discovers a fern-legged scorpion hiding in the snow with only its eyes popping out.
“Everyone, please stop. A fern-legged scorpion has been detected on our path. I will deal with it.”
The Psycholon aimed its sniper rifle. It’s a Japanese-made sniper rifle 『Yoichi』 developed by Kaien Heavy Industries.
It’s challenging to handle a sniper rifle since there’s a time difference between the actor’s monitor image and the actual scene in the New World.
However, this sniper rifle features unique AI-powered hit correction. By downloading combat data, it predicts the target’s actions and enables accurate sniping. The AI can also learn each actor’s quirks to correct hand-shaking, allowing rapid firing in a short time.
It’s a masterpiece highly appreciated by actors and considered an exceptional gun.
The power to destroy the head of the fern-legged scorpion with just one shot was also amazing. Having experienced that it is impossible with the assault rifle that the All-Rounder has, Chihaya honestly admired it.
Moreover, this sniper rifle was named after Nasu no Yoichi, and at the time of its release, it was eggplant-colored, reflecting the development group’s senseless sense of humor. Due to the cold mockery, even on a level that wouldn’t even be made fun of by actors, who called it “Lame. . . . . .,” it settled down to a safe black or brown.
Guiding the cheerful-looking comrades, they made their way through the forest.
“We’re here. Around there. Yep.”
She typed a message and sent it to everyone.
The rare metal ore deposit, their destination, was again buried in the snow. Either the surrounding snow had slid, or it had developed like a shelter due to the wind. Looking carefully, the snow accumulation is less compared to the surroundings.
“Thank you. This completes the request. I’ll email the client.”
The Psycholon’s actor announced the completion via voice chat.
“The sun is setting, and it will be difficult to descend the mountain with the All-Rounder. What will you do?”
“. . . . . .Should I reply with a voice message? Oh well, I’ll text.”
“I will stay with you until we descend at dawn,” Chihaya informed through a message.
Chihaya waited for a response, and during this time, she also reported the completion to the client.
There must have been communication from the Psycholon side as well. The request was acknowledged as complete within a few seconds.
She was now free.
Chihaya looked at the delivery flyer placed under her monitor, wondering what to eat for a late-night meal.
She had let her guard down. Hwe caution had been lax with the sense of accomplishment of safely completing a job.
“The outing isn’t over until you return home,” Chihaya had once said to herself.
That’s when it happened. The sound of continuous gunfire was heard from the speaker.
Surprised, she looked up to see the head of the Psycholon who had the sniper rifle blown away, and bullet holes being gouged from above, licking down to the torso and waist.
Either a bullet had hit the clumsily dancing Psycholon’s battery due to the recoil, or it spewed fire, falling face down onto the snow.
“It’s an attack!”
Right after the Husaria’s actor screamed in the shared voice chat, the Husaria exploded.