Chapter 12:

This isn’t training ( part 4: Unnatural physical strength )

The Dusk of Revenge

   As he stood before me with the same diabolic smile on his face that he showed seconds ago, he lifted his right hand to order two of the guys that were following him to capture me. The third one kept pointing the gun at Rin.

“So, I wasn’t mistaken when I said you’re a gentleman. The fear of losing a comrade made you surrender immediately.”

Judging by the situation, I didn’t have any choice other than surrendering. Resisting wasn’t an option since it wasn’t only my life that was at stake.

“Unlike you guys who don't bother worrying about each other, we cherish human life.”

“That’s why you didn’t kill any of those who attacked you?”

An arrogant smile appeared on my face as I answered with confidence: “That is called the rights of animals, I guess…”

“Trying to act cool?”

“No, I’m just making fun of you…”

The man’s smile started to slowly disappear as he replied: “You do realize that you’re under my mercy?”

I looked at the group who were trying to capture me a minute ago then sighed.

“Earlier, 15 idiots thought the same thing. In the end I left 12 standing in fear…”

Since two men were holding me, he got some confidence and punched me in the face. He wanted to show me what he’s able to do so I decided to tease him even more. I smiled as if nothing happened and continued talking. “…I think I am going to skip over my appointment with the dentist! Why don’t you use that? That will make things easier for you!”

After seeing that, Rin got a bit emotional, but she was obliged to keep quiet to survive this situation. As for the man who was smiling seconds ago, anger started to take control over his emotion, and he started throwing his punches at me randomly. He knew that the only gun they had was pointed at Rin which meant that he couldn’t finish me off immediately. Maybe that was another reason behind his frustration…

Everything was going exactly as I planned…

Asahi and Ai panicked when they heard what was happening. I heard Asahi talking with our squad members, asking them to do their best to arrive quickly then telling me to hold on for a minute until they arrive. As for me, I couldn't do anything in that situation. Waiting was the only thing I was able to do at that. As he was punching, I was thinking of how much time left for the arrival of help.

“… This is strange!” Asahi started wondering all of a sudden. “… There should be a mistake! Ai, can you check the information again? Someone from the team is running quicker than a car?!”

Ai answered with a happy tone: “… There is no mistake! When it comes to physical strength, the one you’re seeing now is the strongest member in the 10th squad and probably between all the members of the special forces!”

I felt some relief when I heard that conversation.

[He’s going to arrive at any moment now!]

I didn’t have to worry anymore since, after a few seconds from hearing that conversation, all I was able to see was the body of the men threatening Rin’s life flying in the air after receiving a direct hit from Rintaro…

Ai continued explaining to Asahi who couldn’t believe his eyes: “… It looks like you didn’t read the information file you received from Mr. Kazama when you joined the squad… Rintaro Takamoto, he was blessed with unnatural physical strength to begin with, but what you saw just now was the result of the combination of that strength and the power boost of the equipment he’s using. Every member in this squad has his unique equipment. Rintaro uses special boots and gauntlets that enhance his strength 5 times or even more.”

“That’s amazing!! If everyone uses those gauntlets and boots…”

“He is probably the only one in this world who can use them!” Ai interrupted Asahi who started imagining how things would be easy if we all had the same weapons as Rintaro. “You should have huge amounts of stamina and physical endurance to be able to use them. I told you already, everyone here has his unique equipment.”

Immediately after Rintaro’s attack, Rin jumped behind the two men holding me and knocked them down with a hit on the back of their heads…

I couldn’t get up immediately after receiving so many punches and I didn’t have to… All the enemies got knocked down by Rintaro.

[As always, he has no idea what holding back means]

“… Rintaro! You didn’t leave anything for us to do here!” Akira shouted as he was running toward us. “… I came running to see if there is anything that I can help with here, but it looks like it was in vain.” He looked towards me with a smile on his face and continued: “… I didn’t know you can do something like that, leader”

A puzzled expression was all over my face as I asked: “What are you talking about?”

“I enjoyed hearing the conversation you had with the enemy… I didn’t know you could taunt the enemy like that! It looks like both you and Rintaro had a lot of fun this early on the day while the mission just had started.”

“If you call getting punched randomly by the enemy fun then yeah, I had the greatest fun in my life. More importantly, where are Shuna and Kazuto?”

“They are looking around this area to find the hideout of the other troops of the enemy. I think it’s about time they arrive here. Oh! Speaking of the devil, here they come.”

Shuna stepped out of the car while holding my sword. “… Don’t tell me you don’t need it anymore?!” She said while giving it to me. I stood up and looked around at the unconscious body everywhere. You can’t tell whether they are living or dead just by looking at the scene from far. If it wasn't us who knocked them down, I would’ve thought they were all killed. For criminals, they surely received nice treatment. Now, since we secured this area, the roaming bots will arrive in a few minutes to take them to arrest them…

We made sure that we didn’t leave any weapon with them here and then we tied them together and left that area. Kazuto and Shuna took us to a nearby area where the main forces of the enemy were hiding. It seems that they left quickly when they got the information that we discovered their location. They expected us to attack immediately so they collected all the important stuff they needed and started moving toward their target.

Judging by the trails left on the ground we deduced that they split their forces into two major groups each group headed toward a different area.

[So, they are going to attack both wards after all… In the end both me and the commander were correct!]

We called the commander to inform him about the situation and to receive orders. Of course, I got a lecture for moving recklessly and thanked me at the same time since my actions were the wisest option at that time…

Since all the squads are waiting in the Setagaya ward the commander ordered us to try intercepting the enemy before they arrive at the Ōta ward. He is going to join us with two other squads: the first and the fifth squad. The other seven squads will intercept the other group enemies…

Since we were trained to fight against the Red Claws specifically, we didn’t need much back up unlike the other squads. That’s why they decided to send only two squads. However, I was surprised to know that the first squad won’t help to protect Setagaya.

 Since it is the oldest squad in the special forces, they have more experience than any other squad. They even combined forces with the second squad and fought against the Red Claws 6 years ago. Now, since I put some thought into it, I think this has to do with the special permission we have to act as we see fit to save the people. 

If by any chance they send weaker squads or they didn’t send anyone we won’t be able to move freely, and we’ll be obliged to stay in a designated area to protect the people there.

I was thinking of the traitor in the special forces who gave such important information to the enemy. Because of him, the enemy had a chance to escape… I asked Asahi and Ai to start searching between the other members of the special forces to find him. They have to track the calls that happened at that time. That won’t be difficult for them if they work together.

We have the car that the team used to arrive here and the hoverbike I used. The commander asked me secretly to keep an eye on Rin. That's why we decided that I’ll be going with her on bike to intercept the enemy while the others arrive in the car after us.

It’s guaranteed that we can reach and intercept them before they arrive at Ōta if we’re going on bike. This meant that the two of us will be obliged to fight in order to hold them back until the rest of the team arrives.

This time, for security reasons, we had to drive slower than the last time. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we were able to prepare an ambush to the enemy before they reached the city…

While waiting for them Rin decided to talk a little after all what happened. She thought of apologizing for what happened today…

“You don’t have to apologize!” I replied “We all fell into the enemies’ trap. Someone in the special forces informed them just as you told us in the emergency message”

She looked at me with a sad face as she explained: “I was hiding in the building waiting for the perfect chance to escape when suddenly a man appeared behind me and pointed a gun at my back telling me that it was a normal gun not an EMP. He then gave the gun to one of the enemies there and disappeared…”

“Who knows, if he is with the Ōta group you can fight him and pay him back for his sneaky attack that caught you out of guard.”

She laughed a bit then answered “That’s what I am going to do obviously. If that time comes, can I rely on you to ensure that it would be a 1v1 fight?”

“I can protect you when you go all out fighting him. That won’t be a problem.”

“I just want you to prevent any intervention. I don’t want you to risk your life to protect me.”

“Preventing them and protecting you is the same thing, I guess!” I replied as I looked away to verify that no one has appeared in the road yet.

Rin bowed her head and started talking with a shy tone: “Up until now, you’ve risked your life to protect me twice. That’s more than enough…”

“Today I didn’t do anything to save or protect you… After all, I failed to lure them all away and you got captured in the end…”

“I wasn’t talking about…”

I looked at the road then said: “The times when I helped you with your training doesn’t count as protection… Don’t mix things up… Anyway, the enemy is approaching. Get in position…”

I seriously thought that she was talking about training when she said twice but in reality, she totally meant a different thing… I couldn’t give her any better answer at that time. I didn’t have the time to think about anything other than the enemy that we’re going to face seconds after we ended the conversation…

This time, I will make sure that no one escapes, hides, or does anything that may ruin this mission. The first mission which is protecting citizens and capturing the members of this terrorist group dead or alive starts now!