Apocalypse Hunter

Chapter 7

Chapter 7: A Hunter and a Stray Cat (2)

Leona had committed two murders in Zado. One of the victims was a robber, the other a rapist. However, Leona shrugged it off as if weren’t a big deal.

“I wasn’t imprisoned because of that.”

“Then why were you?”

“The guard captain took all my chips away as a fine. Who fines someone in a city? It’s just ridiculous.”

Leona spoke to herself, gnashing her teeth in anger. And shortly after, she smirked.

“And that’s why I looted this safe. Unfortunately, I got busted.”

Getting the full picture of what happened, Zin nodded his head. Leona tried looting the safe and got caught. She had bruises all over her body, and had probably been beaten by the guards.

“They tied me up and asked me where I hid the chips, but am I crazy? Why would I tell them about it? They were sure to kill me after I told them. So, I just shut my mouth and kept quiet. See that over there? I was tied and hanged in that thing. I thought I was gonna die.”

Leona pointed at a steel pole, saying that they’d tied her to it and left her to hang in the air.

“The guard captain locked me up in the safe when the beasts started to attack. That’s all that I know.”

If Leona were to die, there was no way for the guard captain to figure out where the chips went, so he probably locked her in the safe to keep her alive. The guard probably hadn’t thought that the monsters would annihilate the city.

So the dead people outside weren’t trying to steal from the safe, but trying to escape into the safe.

After the city got attacked, there was a possibility that they were killed while trying to take refuge inside the safe. But that didn’t matter much. Goners were goners. Zin still had his doubts as he asked:

“If you can steal from the safe, then that means you can open the safe, so why were you trapped in it? Couldn’t you have escaped?”

“Are you an amateur?”

Leona shook her head as if Zin were speaking nonsense.

“If a professional were asked to reveal her skill set, would she do it?”

As Leona spoke with a serious facial expression, Zin laughed.

“A pro… haha. That’s right. Sorry for asking.”

“You watch your tongue.”

“I’ll do that.”

“Hmm… well, actually, it’s not even that big of a secret, anyway.”

Leona whispered as if she were about to reveal a big secret.

“The guard captain dude created a tunnel leading from his house to the safe, so I just stole his home key. After I stole from the safe, he blocked off the tunnel afterward.”

“Aha, gotcha.”

“I threatened to reveal his secret tunnel if he killed me. After hearing that, he didn’t kill me. But I almost died from hunger.”

As a thief, Leona was as crafty as a cat. She hadn’t revealed the captain’s big secret, yet clung to stay alive, since dying would mean losing everything.

“Well, maybe crafty is not the right description… she has survival instincts.”

Rather than thinking through her choices, she acted based on her instincts to survive. There was nothing more important than one’s instincts in order to survive in the wilderness. Zin concluded that Leona wasn’t originally from Zado, but had arrived at Zado as a vagabond.

It was nearly impossible for a kid like this to wander and survive around the wilderness with just instincts and determination alone. Although he had yet to resolve the mystery around the Giant Wolf pack, Zin thought that listening to Leona’s story was good enough.

Then, Zin brought up the most important thing.

“Now, let’s talk about the chips that you’ve hidden.”

Leona’s face hardened.

“Those are mine.”

“They’re stolen chips. Or stolen goods.”

“Whether stolen or not, once they’re in my hands, they’re mine.”

“Well, I’ll just steal them from you. Then they’ll be mine, no?”

“Picking up unclaimed goods is not stealing.”

“Picking up something secretly, mugging someone—stealing is stealing, there’s no difference.”

Leona had no way to win the argument over Zin, since no one could justify the act of stealing.

“Are you a Reaver?”

“If circumstances call for it, I could be.”

Zin smiled as Leona started slowly backing away with caution.

“Consider yourself lucky that I don’t like taking such measures.”

If seizing things through force was the main part of the job, then there’d be no reason to become a hunter. Hunters lived by a code of rules, and although not perfect, Zin tried to live according to that code.

Unless it was a reasonable request, a hunter did not kill people to gain chips.

In the wilderness, one might kill someone for survival, but hunters and Reavers were different by nature. Hunters did not live only to steal.

“How many chips did you take?”

“… Around two thousand.”

“That’s quite a bit.”

That amount of chips would prolong at least two thousand hours of life.

“This place is surrounded by corpse hunters. Not sure if you’re aware, but they don’t mindlessly attack humans. But, in your case, it’s different.”

Hunters usually took on requests, but at times, they gave requests as well.

“Just like prey will target the weaklings, the beasts will target the weak, and you are definitely susceptible to an attack.”


It was evident that Leona would be attacked by the corpse hunters if she were to walk out.

“I will take you safely to Ard Point. However, I will take half of your chips.”

“You said that you need me anyway, which is why you’re taking me, right? And you’re trying to take chips as well?”

“Now you’re an amateur.”

Zin laughed as he shrugged.

“Pros do not work for free.”

Leona stood with a hollow look as Zin threw her words back at her.

Request fees always fluctuated, and it depended on the urgency of the request. Even if the work had to be carried out, no request was free.

Hunters were beings that were more stingy than the Reavers.

“Now aren’t you a con artist?”

Leona was staring at Zin as if she couldn’t believe what she’d heard.

“If I were in your shoes, I’d rather deal with a con artist than a robber.”


Zin was logical in his reasoning, making him a very malicious person who exploited others with his way of thinking. Leona pondered as she looked at the cold-hearted hunter.

If this hunter had bad intentions, he could just kill her and take away all the chips. He could easily decide not to keep his word. The hunter could attack Leona at any time if he found the place where the chips were hidden.

Leona was caught in a dilemma and she didn’t know what to do.

“I know what your dilemma is.”


Zin tossed a palm-sized metallic box to Leona.

“Keep in mind that a hunter considers a requester’s doubts as well.”

“What is this?”

“It’s called a chipbox.”


“Hunters use this to store chips. It will not open without entering a set password. If forcibly opened, it’ll explode.”


“You can set the password, and if the box is not opened with the password, the box explodes.”

Zin explained to Leona how to set a password into the chipbox, how to open it, and how to store the chips. It wasn’t a typical item seen around the Ancient-Korea region, but most of the hunters in the broader continent carried them around.

A chipbox worked as a purse as well as a defense mechanism from the Reavers. A chipbox became a more powerful bomb the more chips stored inside it. Therefore, the Reavers avoided the hunters. If they were to attack the hunters and the chipbox exploded, they would lose the chips as well as kill themselves in the process.

And the item was also used to instill confidence to requesters on bodyguard requests.

“You can store your chips here and pay me when we arrive at Ard Point. Then there’d be no concern on your end.”

“But what if this doesn’t explode? What if you know how to open this forcibly?”

“Good questions, but I’ve been using this chipbox all this time myself. If this can be opened forcibly or doesn’t explode, that spells trouble for me. There is a way to open it forcibly, but it needs to be taken to the chipbox manufacturing plant.”

“Where’s that plant?”

“It’s about a half-year’s walking distance.”


Leona seemed more amazed at hearing of a place that far rather than the fact that it was really far. She was surprised that such places existed. Leona examined the chipbox here and there, touching it all over. The chipbox was empty with no chips, but the box looked as if it could explode at any time.

“I feel cheated, but what can I do? You can’t change your heart in the middle of the request, so I’ll accept your deal. You’d better protect me well.”

“You came to a decision pretty quick after some thought. Are you sure?”

“If I want to survive, I gotta take my chances. Remember that.”

Leona put her hands around her waist and talked back to Zin, who laughed. Here was a kid giving survival tips to a hunter.

Of course, Leona was right. At times, one needed to pick one of the poisons and just hoped for the best. At least Leona had the guts to make a decision.

Zin had lived for a long time, but he was amused to see such a bold girl.

Leona laughed.

“And I am pretty lucky when I gamble.”

It was a more sinister laugh than a bright one. Leona appeared quite energetic for a girl who had starved for a long time.

“Mister, can I tell you something?”

“What is it?”

Leona stood and started searching the dark corner of the safe.

“Those who get things stolen look for their things all over the world except one place. Heave! Heave!”


Leona moved one cabinet that was used as a safe with all her strength. Behind the safe, there was soil between the collapsed walls. Leona crawled between the cracks of the wall, and swept something up. Shortly after, covered in dust, Leona crawled out of the cracks with a smile.

“And that place is where the goods got stolen!”

Zado’s stolen chips were still in the same safe. But they were in a different location within the safe. Zin had to acknowledge that the kid was no ordinary kid. She didn’t take the chips outside little-by-little, but instead created a hole, hid them, and planned to get a large sack to steal them at dusk.

Zin couldn’t help but laugh at her impressive intelligence. From Zin’s point of view, this kid was indeed clever.

“Let’s go. You know that you need to protect me, right?”

“Nope, you forgot something.”

“What’s that?”

“Prepayment. Half of the payment you owe me.”


Leona took out chips from the chipbox, grumbling as if she’d taken a bite of raw ghoul meat.

The kid was a clever pro, but Zin was a seasoned pro.

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