Apocalypse Hunter

Chapter 9

Chapter 9: A Hunter and a Stray Cat (4)

As soon as it hit the maneater, the beast was left shell-shocked. It started to swing its tentacles wildly, but it was unable to identify its attacker. Zin did not stop there and cocked the rifle again. Shortly after, he fired another shot.



Leona lay flat on the ground, covering her ears from the loud sound and the flash of the gunshot.


This time around, the bullet did not explode, but it struck the shredded mouth, flaring it up. Within seconds, one of the maneater’s mouths started to burn up from flames, covering it with white smoke.



Because of the flames, the maneater was swinging its tentacles in pain, destroying all the buildings around it.

Zin loaded three more rounds. Two of them were of two different types: a 7.62mm buckshot that exploded upon contact; and the just-fired #76 firebomb that had engulfed the maneater’s mouth in flames. Blue chips were infused into regular firebomb ammo to manufacture this particular firebomb. On a 7.62mm jacket, this special ammunition delivered great destructive power and flames even with just a small amount of powder. Leona looked in awe at the burning maneater which was brightly lighting up the night sky.

“What the heck was that…?”

“It’s over.”

Zin watched the maneater rampaging in pain.

He’d overpowered the maneater with two bullets.

“How in the world is this possible?”

“A beast’s blood is highly inflammable.”

Past or present, fire was the enemy of beasts. Leona wasn’t sure what Zin meant; he continued to stand still.

“Hey, mister, by the way.”


Leona felt uneasy as she looked at the struggling maneater.

“Hey, I think the maneater just spotted us. Am I seeing things?”

Leona couldn’t help but feel that the maneater was looking at them. Zin nodded.

“I think you’re right.”

“Really? Then—ackkk!”

Zin yanked Leona away and started running with her on his shoulders.

“We’re out of here.”


—thud! thudthudthud!!—

The enraged maneater started charging towards Zin and Leona with great speed, and it was terrifying.


Zin ran without looking back, but Leona, who was hanging onto Zin’s shoulders, looked straight at the maneater as it charged towards them, destroying the buildings in its way.

“Faster! Run faster!”

It was a terrifying scene for Leona as the beast covered in flames was charging toward her.


“Mister! I think the maneater is saying that it’s going to kill us? Right!?”


Zin jumped onto the other building’s rooftop, running further away from the maneater. It was not a great sight to see.

Since all the corpse hunters had run away, the only ones left in Zado City were Leona, Zin, and the flaming maneater. The maneater had grown about twenty feet in size, and Zin could barely outrun such a beast. Retreating was probably the best option in this case. Zin was running as fast as he could.

—thud! thud!—

Zin ran in between buildings where the maneater couldn’t get into. He ran to spots where the maneater had to destroy to get past,

—bam! wham!—

The maneater was mowing down the buildings that Zin passed through, slowing it down in the process. When the maneater managed to get through one building, Zin would again run away into another building.

“Why hasn’t that thing died already!?”

“Probably because of its size! It’ll take a while for it to burn to death.”

It was clear that the flame-covered maneater was slowly dying. But it didn’t look weak yet, and it was setting the city of Zado on fire as parts of its inflamed body dropped to the ground.


The maneater’s body parts exploded into flames as they fell off.

One hour.

That was the time it took for the flames to subdue the gigantic maneater.


Breathing hard from running away from the maneater, Zin and Leona stared at the maneater’s corpse as it lay dead on the ground, no longer twitching. The two sat down on a tile of concrete, waiting for the maneater to cool down enough for Zin to extract the chips.

Leona wasn’t so impressed by Zin, even though he’d taken down the maneater with two shots. Leona started grumbling.

“You know, I thought a hunter only needed a few seconds to take a beast down, and it’d be more exciting, too…”

Leona had some fixed perceptions about hunters, and they weren’t too different from other people.

People imagined hunters hunting down beasts in a flashy battle, with clashing weapons, using swift and smooth moves. Zin smiled.

“Only amateurs fight in such a way.”

A real hunter wasn’t flashy. One hunted with minimal effort. And one reaped the maximum profit. And it was more relevant for Zin whose survival depended on the chips. Leona also nodded; flashiness had nothing to do with profit.

“You’re not too afraid of beasts, are you?”

Zin asked Leona. Leona screamed from time to time, but not out of terror. Leona replied as if it were nothing.

“I won’t be afraid, even if I can’t fight against them.”

Terror led to atrophy, and atrophy led to certain death.

“Being terrified has no benefit.”

As Leona laughed, Zin acknowledged that the kid was a pretty special one.

“Your attitude definitely matches your name.”

“Name? What about my name?”

Leona shook her head. Names were just names, and nobody really cared for the origin or meaning of names.

Not afraid, even though one can’t fight against them.

Zin thought that Leona’s words were pretty cool.

“What about my name!?”

“Nah… nothing.”

Although it no longer exists in this world… Leona, a female lion.

A couple of hours later, Zin plugged the extractor into the body of the maneater, smoke still rising from its flesh, and extracted the chips. It extracted 108 chips from the maneater, along with the chips from the beasts devoured by the maneater, coming to a total of 229 chips. Taking into account the cost of the two shots, the profit was 168 chips; it was a very efficient hunt.

Zin had profited pretty well from his investigation efforts in Zado considering that he would get the request’s reward, the chips from Leona, as well as the chips from the maneater.

[400h uptime added.]

Zin had profited, but the fact that he had to consume most of the chips hadn’t changed. Leona was astonished to see Zin pour hundreds of chips into his mouth.

“Zin… you crazy? Why the heck are you eating all that?”

It was understandable that Leona would be surprised. People used blue chips as a currency in the age of the Apocalypse, and the blue chip was the only source of energy. However, blue chips contained a poison called CP, and it was not for human consumption. Back in the pre-Apocalypse days, it would be like drinking petroleum.

Zin wiped his mouth, and talked as if nothing had happened.

“It’s okay to eat. So don’t worry.”

“Isn’t it weird to eat them just because they’re okay to eat?”

Four hundred chips were enough to sustain the energy consumption of a village for a couple of months. The two lodged at an abandoned building in Zado City, one where all the beasts had fled away from. They were planning to leave the following morning and Zin’s mission would be complete as soon as they returned to Ard Point for the reward.

For unknown reasons, Zin had given up on trying to understand the unexplainable events in the world. Zin started a fire and put the pot on top of it. He took out a slab of meat and glanced at Leona.

“Is that… from the maneater?”

Leona shuddered at the thought. Ghoul meat had been terrifying for Leona, and she wondered how horrible the maneater’s meat would taste like.

“If you’d like to taste the fire-bombed, flame-grilled meat, I can bring you some.”

Zin did not eat meat charred by poisonous fumes. Aside from the poison, the meat would taste nasty. And ghoul meat wasn’t any better.

“So… you’re saying it’s not from the maneater, right?”

“Yeah, it’s ghoul meat.”

“…that doesn’t make me happy at all…”

Maneater or ghoul meat; either choice would be bad. But Leona knew that it was about choosing the lesser of two evils. The boiled ghoul meat smelled bad, but Leona readily dug into it since she was already used to its flavor.

“You adapt pretty well. Probably explains how you survived so far.”

When Leona first ate the ghoul meat, she had felt nauseated, but now she was laser-focused on her meal. Zin started to wonder why she was wandering around in this terrible world.

But he stayed silent. Leona started to speak again.

“Mister, what’s your name?”


“Single syllable name. Pretty unique.”

“There are unusual names just as there’s a name for each person.”

Leona sat by the fireplace, absent-mindedly watching the fire burn.

Zin was an old man who didn’t sleep much, and Leona wasn’t a good kid who’d go to bed early.

“You had many opportunities to visit different places, right?”

“You could say that.”

Leona looked at Zin and asked:

“Is there any good place you could call home?”

“A place like home?”

“A city where a little kid like me can live. Point, Castle, anywhere.”

Zin pondered for a bit.

What’s the criteria for one to call a place their home?

From Zin’s perspective, there was no such place in this world. However, he did think of a relatively, or somewhat of an okay place.

“As soon as you’re done with your request, I’d like to live in such a place.”

“Isn’t a city where you can live by stealing considered a good place for you?”

“After getting beat up so many times, I’d rather make my living with a job. I don’t want to go back to my old ways.”

Leona shook her head. Zin slowly glanced over her and said:

“A castle would be good.”

“A castle?”

“If you entered into the lord’s harem, you’d have no trouble living.”

“Harem? Would they take in a kid like myself?”

Leona had no reluctance about becoming a member of a harem, rather she wondered if they’d accept her in the first place. In a world where integrity no longer existed, survival was more important.

“Well, it’s not too surprising that those kinds of castle lords exist when there are thugs who’ve tried to rape me.”

Leona answered as she giggled.

“A harem would be better off than a prostitute, right?”

A little kid wouldn’t have much power in this world. Being powerless meant that one was a weak being, and the weak were always in danger. They weren’t able to work and they were not entrusted to work by others.

Regardless if you were male or female, little kids without guardians would end up exposed to prostitution. Obviously, some kids with guardians could still become prostitutes. They would prostitute themselves either because their parents forced them to, they were abducted, or they needed chips. Leona didn’t express any signs of dignity or sadness in her. And neither did she show agony or sorrow.

It became a natural thing in this world. Zin felt this difference between the old days and the present.

“Why are you looking for a place?”

“I ran away from home?”

“And why?”

“I killed my own father. Murderers weren’t tolerated in that village, so I took off.”

Leona left her hometown as a murderer. And she’d wandered around for a new home. As Zin looked at Leona, she murmured:

“Mom was a prostitute and dad was a pimp.”

Leona described her short life in pretty simple words.

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