Chapter 4:

Log IV: An Unlikely Friend

Void Walker: Those Who Are Not Humane

The setting sun coloured the desert orange as Abel's bike stopped in front of an abandoned building.

He quickly dismounted and pushed his bike into the large hole on the wall. Immediately after, a blue light spread throughout the room.

"The lights are working thankfully... I haven't visited this place since that last mission two years ago, huh..."

Abel absentmindedly murmured as he parked his bike and looked outside through the hole.

The light of the day was dying out fast. The approaching night looked like a demon rushing toward him.

Shuddering a bit, Abel lit a fire and sat down.

"I should have set more camps to this side... Tomorrow's night will be harsh."

The Walker grumbled as he looked at the map spread before him. Several places were marked on the unfinished map. The rough lines and ink patches here and there proved that the map was handmade.

All Walkers used the general map released by the central server, which covered most of the continent. However, that map only marked certain places of interest and was quite vague.

As such, many Walkers who would venture into unmarked territories would create a map using their AR vision and upload it to the central server.

Doing so provided them with a generous amount of credits, so everyone tried to map continuously on their journey.

But almost no one had explored the lands beyond this abandoned building... The reason for that was...

"The forgotten city is near this place, huh... And it's classified as a red zone in the Terminal Map. No wonder the convoy was crushed."

The Terminal Map, the map issued by the central server, separated all the places of interest into four zones.

Green zones were safe spaces where one could find settlements.

Yellow zones were places where the Abyss would roam, but the higher rank beings wouldn't visit those places. One could find military bases there.

Red zones were classified as danger zones, where one could expect the Jokers, Mimics and the Abyss. Those places were extremely hostile towards humans and often hosted other mutated monsters such as ghouls or giant bugs.

Most of these red zones were previously cities which had an abundance of people... Or rather, food for the Abyss.

Thanks to that, the Abyss hunted happily, ate their victims, and became Mimics who easily mixed with the surviving locals with their human-like appearance. They then ate and hunt the survivors, eventually evolving into Jokers, who slowly spread into the areas surrounding those zones, fooling unsuspecting survivors with their humane speech and image.

But that was the furthest those damned imposters could go. Because...

"None of these zones had enough humans required to become a void walker... But even considering that, these zones are dangerous."

Abel sighed and pulled out an old ink pen from his pocket. With quick strokes, he drew the silhouette of the city on his own map.

"Finally... There's the Twilight Zones... To think I'd encounter even that around here... What a surprise."

On his terminal, a bright blue circle was covering a large area just beyond the building he was in.

The Twilight Zones... Areas owned by the supreme beings of Hell, Void Walkers.

If any of those guys had joined the war actively, humanity would have perished long ago.

But thankfully...

"I'll just not cause commotion and it should be fine... Those guys don't interact with others anyway..."

Void Walkers tended to ignore even the basic needs of being from hell. They didn't hunt humans, and sometimes they would even go out of their way to help humans. But as they belonged to Hell, the Axis Church had branded them all as monsters.

No matter how much Abel disliked the Church, this was one of the common grounds he had with them.


"All of them are monsters."

The pen in his hand bent as he gripped it too tightly. Realizing what he had done, the man sighed and pulled out a new pen.

This... this was a common occurrence for him.

With his new pen, he started working on his map again.


"This should cover the rough base... I'll need to update it later."

Abel chewed a jerky and looked at the newly drawn part of the map. He had accurately put down all the details shown in the terminal map on the paper.

Others would roll their eyes at this unnecessary work, as a single command could make the AR vision record the maps on their own.

But Abel's map was more special than that. After all...

"There's no way I can let others find my temporary bases."

Unlike most other Walkers, Abel would leave behind bases filled with food supplies and defensive mechanisms against the Abyss.

Doing so let him complete missions faster than others. Of course, he couldn't hide all of the bases and sometimes two or three of them would get looted by others.

But that was within his expectations. Even setting the bases aside, his map included more information than the general map.

He wasn't keen on sharing these pieces of information with people who were acquainted with him, let alone the central server.

"Well... It's not like they'll need it anyway..."

Muttering that, Abel closed his map and leaned against the wall. Through the hole in front of him, he could vaguely make out the shapes of the Abyss circling the building.

"Keep staring, you bastards won't be able to get inside..."

A yawn escaped his lips as he closed his eyes, the prototype taser close to his hand.


Thankfully, he didn't need to use the gun at all. The Abyss stayed away from the building due to the UV lights.

"Hah... Today's going to be a hassle..."

Abel opened his eyes and muttered as he sensed the cold air around him. Looking at the sky through one of the countless holes on the roof, he saw dark clouds circling overhead.

"Let's get to the Forgotten City fast... I don't want to get stuck in the sand while it's raining."

He quickly freshened up using the least amount of water he could. After a quick breakfast full of artificial food, he packed his things up and started the bike.

"Engine, check. Navi, check. Rad scale, check. Cargo, also check."

He made sure that everything on the bike was okay and slowly moved the vehicle outside the crack.

"I'll need to set up a new base near the forgotten city... What a pain. Well, sooner or later, I'd have to go there so this might just be the perfect occasion but..."

His grumbles were heard by no one as he rode through the desert.

The lone walker advanced miles after miles without a single break.

After a few hours, he stopped the bike for a quick recheck of the systems.

"The lands are totally barren."

His eyes squinted under his AR Vision while checking the surroundings. He had been riding for so long, yet he had yet to see any buildings.

"The desert sand is also different... It's harder and rougher. And rad scale is picking up too..."

The radiation detector attached to his hand was beeping steadily. The radiation was rising fast. Though still not at a deadly level, he didn't want to wait for radiation poisoning to happen. He pulled out his mask from the luggage compartment and put it on. Then, he picked a handful of sand and analyzed it closely. The sand, except for its somewhat hardened texture, looked normal for now.

Sighing, he shook his hand clean and restarted the bike. But before he could go even a kilometre, the terminal map suddenly popped up with a warning in the corner of his eyes.

[You are approaching a red zone. Sounds will attract nearby enemies.]

[It is advised to go without a bike and approach the zone as stealthy as possible.]

"... Right now?"

He could see the dark silhouette in the distance, but it was still at least ten kilometres away.

"The red zone is larger than I had thought..."

He spoke to himself before getting down from the bike. He slowly pushed his bike forward and kept scanning his surroundings.

For a kilometre or so, nothing of note happened. Then suddenly, a few dark figures appeared in his vision. The figures were still far away and looked humanoid... And they were moving.


He asked himself and turned on the AR vision.

The powerful device zoomed in on the figures. Soon, Abel could see their faces.

"Soldiers? What are soldiers doing here... Their equipment looks old. Ghouls, maybe?"

He quickly pulled out his rifle from the luggage compartment of his bag and crouched down.

Then he slowly moved over to a nearby dune and kept track of the soldiers... Or the creatures wearing combat uniforms.

"Unusual movement, limping... And is that blood on them?"

His suspicions were more or less confirmed as he inched closer and closer to the three creatures.

"A car?"

A rectangular object was hovering nearby. The three "soldiers" seemed to be surrounding the car.

AR Vision zoomed in again on the car windows and for a few moments, Abel noticed movement inside.

"Damn... Do I really need to step in, now?"

Saving survivors was one of the core duties of a Walker... If he ignored the car and later the central server determined who or whatever was inside as a survivor, he could get in trouble.

But bringing a survivor along with him on this mission wasn't a good idea either. He'd just be delaying their death in that case.

"Ugh... This sucks... Fine. Have it your way."

He growled and aimed his rifle at the soldiers. He had no doubts about their identities now.

He pulled the trigger three times. A few moments later, all three of the soldiers' heads exploded with a bang.

[Destruction of target(s) confirmed.]

[Target(s) were 12% human.]

[Converting XP]

[User has received 1200 XP]

Once Abel made sure they weren't moving using the system, he got down to the car and crouched in front of the corpses. With experienced hands, he removed the chest armour while taking extra care to check the radiation meter.

It seemed fine to touch the objects with his hands. Relieved, he completely removed the clothes on the torso of the corpse. As he expected, what appeared from underneath the dirty armour was a bony white chest.

The skin was pale and blue veins were showing through it. There wasn't any hair and the skin was smooth. A large black spot was on the skin over the heart. A common occurrence during a ghoul's transformation.

"Well, that confirms my suspicion... This place is infested with ghouls."

If there was one ghoul, many would be right behind it. Ghouls never worked in packs, but they were seldom completely isolated.

"Now then... What do we have here..."

He turned towards the window of the hover-car. His eyes picked up the movement once again, but the dirt on the window didn't let him get a clear view.

Frowning, he stepped back and shot at the door lock. The door swung open and from inside rushed out a well-familiar, yet extremely rare animal.

"A... Dog?"

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon