A Serious Error in Chihaya-chan’s Reputation – Volume 3 – Chapter 17

𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐀𝐧𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬𝐧'𝐭 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟕: 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐀𝐧𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫

A group was climbing the Spear Mountain Range with trained movements.

This was a unit of forty Actanoid troops led by key members of the Kaien Heavy Industries-affiliated Kaien Squad.

Kaien Yoshitoshi, in command of the entire unit, advanced at the front line in his beloved Order-series Actanoid, “Patriot.”

Including Patriot, there were many heavy rounder-types in the unit. This formation also included a mixed unit of Lannoid and Shepherd series, and Conductor series, detached from the main force for reconnaissance.

The plan was to scour the area for the Renegade Warrior, lure it to the main force upon discovery, and strike it down.

While summarizing terrain and reconnaissance information shared by his subordinates, Kaien Yoshitoshi looked at the subordinates in the same control room.

“What’s the movement of the other forces?”

A subordinate, who also acted as an operator, quietly responded so that his voice would not enter Kaien Yoshitoshi’s microphone.

“The Intensive Hunting Club has posted a discovery report of the Renegade Warrior on Clanpage.”

“The usual deception, right?”

“Yes, the usual. It seems to be the lower members of the Intensive Hunting Club in the corresponding area.”

Muttering that it was a risky thing to do, Kaien Yoshitoshi looked at the monitor.

The battle against the Renegade Warrior had become a melee with various forces mixed in, further confused by deceptive information, surprise attacks between forces, and reprisals by stray Actors caught in traps.

The Intensive Hunting Club’s way of posting on a webpage that leaves evidence was risky. Leaving lower members in the corresponding area must be an alibi.

They were probably positioning a unit that suffered significant losses in a recent three-way clash.

“The problem is the location of the main force and the Order Actor.”

Subordinates were ordered to report not only on the Renegade Warrior but also on the mechs suspected to be from other forces. Including the traces, it was vital information for building tactics.

One of the subordinates who received such an order reported via voice chat.

“I found the carcass of an Ulti. There are arrow wounds as well. Probably the work of the Renegade Warrior. According to the thermography, it’s still warm. It might be rotting as well.”

Since they could only obtain information through the Actanoid, they couldn’t distinguish by smell if it was rotting.

But more than that, what couldn’t be ignored was the species of the killed animal.

“He dared to go after an Ulti? This could get messy.”

Ulti were ferocious animals that formed packs. They periodically checked where their companions died and attacked any animals found there. If a member of the pack was killed, they would persistently chase and try to kill the creature that killed them.

The Renegade Warrior might have been being tracked by a pack of Ulti.

It seemed they would have to exterminate wild beasts before the Actanoid battle.

“Follow the tracks of the Ulti. The Renegade Warrior should be ahead.”

“Understood.”

With the information, the Kaien Squad began tracking. Along the way, they integrated a fragile Conductor into the center of the main force and prepared for battle. The Shepherds, having parted with the Conductor and become lighter, dispersed in front of the main force to conduct reconnaissance.

As they reorganized their formation and advanced through the forest towards the depths of the Spear Mountain Range, there was an explosion in their direction of progress.

A report from a subordinate controlling the Shepherd immediately came in.

“Confirmed detonation by grenade.”

“I heard it too. Report the situation. The main unit is pausing.”

“Reporting the situation. Five hundred meters ahead of the main unit, a swarm of Ulti are engaging with what appears to be a rental All-Rounder.”

Upon hearing about the rental All-Rounder, the atmosphere tightened, even over voice chat.

Kaien Yoshitoshi, the Shepherd, poses a question to the operator.

“Bomber?”

The operator silently sent a hand sign. It seems he doesn’t know.

After the three-way conflict, there has been individual research about Bomber. The account has been identified, but it’s an eerie Actor whose connection to any faction is hard to read.

The Shepherd reports.

“It appears to be carrying parts of a mech. It might be a regular Actor making small change by recovering Actanoids defeated by the Renegade Warrior.”

“If so, it shouldn’t engage with Ulti. There’s also the previous incident where it threw bombs rigged in arms and legs. That might have been Bomber, maybe trying to set up booby traps.”

“What shall we do?”

Kaien Yoshitoshi hesitates for a moment.

The last three-way conflict was literally sparked by Trigger Happy’s shooting at Bomber. This time as well, there could be another faction hiding, so attacking Bomber carelessly might be a bad idea.

More importantly, if a battle begins, the Renegade Warrior might spring a surprise attack. If the Renegade Warrior can act without lag through AI control, initiating the attack should be from their side, or the damage could be more significant.

The operator chimes in.

“It’s possible that Bomber got engaged with Ulti while pursuing the Renegade Warrior.”

“That’s conceivable. If so, the Renegade Warrior might be keeping an eye on Bomber nearby.”

Although Bomber’s affiliated faction is unknown, the possibility of targeting the Renegade Warrior is high.

With Kaien Yoshitoshi’s information and common sense, no other explanation fits the bombing.

“Prioritize finding the Renegade Warrior while guarding against intervention from other factions. If Bomber is taken down by Renegade Warrior or Ulti, strike the survivor.”

Ulti’s ferocity should not be underestimated. There’s the risk of exposing the location to the Renegade Warrior, but Shepherd’s sniping can take care of that before they intervene in the battle.

A question came from the reliable Shepherd.

“What if Bomber takes down the Renegade Warrior first?”

“Against my principles, but we’ll seize it.”

Kaien Yoshitoshi, proud of his strong sense of justice, had resolved that he would rather get his hands dirty than let the Renegade Warrior be captured and misused by someone else.

Kaien Yoshitoshi takes a sip of mineral water, resting until the battle between Bomber and the Ulti is over.

His subordinates also began watching the fight between Bomber and the Ulti, taking a break.

“. . . . . .Nevertheless, it’s a fierce fight, Bomber. Even with equipment not intended for combat. Should have at least brought a light machine gun.”

“This level doesn’t warrant full armament, I guess. The attitude is disrespectful, just like the previous climb. It’s annoying.”

“――Why?!”

Although she was merely recovering the mechs, Chihaya was being relentlessly attacked by a swarm of Ulti, screaming in terror.

Although she had brought enough ammunition to get through a battle, the Ulti, due to their nature, wouldn’t stop until they had destroyed the Actanoid or were all wiped out.

A quagmire of battle ensued, with Chihaya firing her assault rifle 『Breakthrough』 to keep her distance, retreating into the trees using a wire.

Ulti are endothermic animals with conspicuous sexual dimorphism, where males and females are significantly different in shape.

Females resemble squirrels but are gigantic, with a height of up to two meters, sharp horns on their foreheads, and sharp talons on both hands for climbing trees.

All the Ulti attacking Chihaya’s All-Rounder are female.

The female Ulti naturally rush up into the trees.

“Don’t, don’t come!”

Throwing the arms and legs of the recovered Actanoid to knock the female Ulti to the ground, she moves to another tree using a wire and winch.

Unaware, the female Ulti that had run up the original tree found a time bomb attached to the trunk. Right after the Ulti moved to a branch to follow Chihaya, the time bomb activated, blowing several of them away.

Chihaya aims her assault rifle at the Ulti on the ground from the top of the tree she moved to. Understanding the barrel’s direction, the Ulti scatter to surround the tree, but she takes down two of them.

“This is bad, I’ve had enough!”

Predicting the behavior of an Ulti climbing the trunk, she makes a deviating shot and shoots one dead.

Realizing that there should have been another Ulti she saw on the screen, Chihaya looks around and notices an arrow’s feathers in the monitor’s corner.

With a chilling sensation, as if an ice rod was thrust directly into her head, Chihaya immediately makes the All-Rounder jump to the ground.

The tip of the arrow is visible.

The last Ulti’s neck was pierced by an arrow. The moment she landed, there was a loud crash, the main camera disappeared, and red error messages lined up on the system screen.

The All-Rounder’s head had been blown off by the incoming arrow.

“Huh.”

She can’t even scream anymore.

She hides the All-Rounder, whose head has been blown off, in the shadow of the tree, checking the situation with the left and right cameras on its shoulder.

Judging from the angle of the arrow that appeared on the main monitor, it was a snipe from the middle of the mountain.

Chihaya only knows of one machine capable of shooting arrows from this distance. Yes, 『Renegade Warrior』.

“. . . . . . It’s over.”

The moment she resigned herself to a huge loss, gunshots echoed from afar.


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