Novel Name : Auto Hunting

Auto Hunting - Chapter 151

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Chapter 151
No. 151
The Hawaiian Salamander’s skin was translucent green.
One could see its disgusting insides, but the most sickening sight of all was probably the yellow bodily fluids that moved through its grotesque veins.
At first, it might remind one of sulfuric acid, but…
It was several times more dangerous than any acid on Earth. In short, the beast was nothing more than a green water balloon full of poison. Despite their four-star rating, though, they weren’t much of a threat in terms of their offensive and defensive abilities.
Among the amphibian-type beasts, however, the Hawaiian Salamander had proved to be the most fertile, which in turn made the species’ threat higher than others. Their ability to reproduce was what made them such a great danger.
Even the smallest crack could have hundreds of Salamanders pouring out of it. So, given that a Storm-class crack had opened, it wasn’t strange that the whole northern part of the island was now filled with green and yellow.
With a powerful yell, Ali touched spear-shaped tattoos engraved on both his arms. At this, the tattoos filled with blue light, and Ali felt a tremendous pain in his nervous system as he activated the Tech.
However, it was worth it. The payoff was substantial.
The atmosphere fluctuated.
Ali stretched both his hands forward, and a wave of compressed air concentrated on his palms, forming a long spear.
Giri Ri Ri Ri Ri Ri Ri Ri-!
More than a dozen Salamanders, each the size of a small car, died with just a single throw of the mighty spear.
The spear itself was over thirty meters long. Yet, despite its size and power, Ali only used a small amount of CE to form it. That was the power of their Last Clan’s Tech.
It was a tattoo enchantment peculiar to Polynesia, which stood out for its long history and sophistication.
Each tattoo on the body acted as a dedicated core to a special function. The tattoo owner supplied and stored part of his CE in the tattoo on a regular basis. And, in return, they could cast an ultra-high-efficiency technique from the CE stored in the tattoo.
Of course, this did not come without restrictions. Each tattoo could only represent one technique, and a warrior could only have four to nine of them.
Because of this limit, the warriors’ ability to cope with new situations was poor. In exchange for efficiency, they were required to sacrifice flexibility.
Ali himself only had a total of five Tech available from his tattoos, and four of them were for offense. Therefore…
His strength was limited to slaughtering the beasts. He could do nothing about the yellow fluid exuding from the corpses and boring holes in the fertile soil. Fortunately…
“Joseph!” he yelled out.
Curiously, the body fluids of the Salamanders had now stopped flowing.
The amazing miracle had been brought by the Tech of another warrior, called Joseph. A tattoo on his shoulder, which had the shape of a boat’s sail, was currently shining with blue light.
Stopping the fluid wasn’t all he could do with this tattoo. The fluid made its way back from the soil to the carcasses’ dead glands. Then the trees around the area wrapped their branches and leaves around the Salamanders, sealing them perfectly into round shapes.
Joseph’s ‘Flow of Water’ tattoo allowed him to manipulate natural constructs for purposes other than combat. It was the perfect Tech to lessen the impact of the acid on the island’s soil and water.
In the meantime, Ali continued throwing his Spear to finish off a new crowd of Salamanders.
The Kowala Company had an efficient division of roles. Half of the warriors were in charge of the battle, while the other half quickly handled the acid. From the perspective of other hunter firms in the world, this division of roles was overly specific, and as such, inefficient. Processing monster bodies and liquids could have been assigned to non-hunter roles, and the hunters could have then focused on offensive and defensive Techs, maximizing their manpower. It was a waste to use such a powerful tattoo for just manipulating leaves and branches, but…
For the Kowala Company, it was a necessary waste. It was through that waste that they had been able to protect their homeland up until now.
“All right!” Ali yelled as he watched another of his spears pierce through several Salamanders.
Through a communicator, he then checked the situation of the teams scattered throughout the operation area.
-There are a few more left, but we can handle it…
Except for the overfatigue that everyone had been feeling, there had been no serious injuries so far. If the current situation continued as it was, they would be able to finish the operation without difficulty.
Ali raised his eyes toward the crack.
“We can do this! It is possible!”
It wasn’t out of self-confidence that he uttered it out loud. They were facing a Genesis-type crack, a size that they had only experienced a handful of times over the years. However, because the number of Salamanders pouring out was lower than everyone had expected, the warriors’ spirits seemed to be up.
‘Maybe we will get a success as large as this rift!’
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“Let’s all work hard!” Ali yelled out, encouraging his team.
The rush team could be seen coming out of the crack, and the fluctuations had begun.
The pulse breaker had been triggered. It was only a matter of time.
Finally, the Kowala Company had successfully closed a Genesis-type crack without calling for external support. The warriors exchanged joyful and relieved glances.
They’d really done it. What was more, they hadn’t even suffered any deaths or casualties, as confirmed by their communication channels.
“Don’t be careless! There are still quite a few Salamanders in each area, so don’t let up until you’ve got them all!”
Amidst the cheers from the communicator, Ali reminded the group of their duties. Still, even he could not suppress the smile forming on his lips. That was, until…
-Captain, we need you at the center now…!

“What is it?”
A breathless Ali immediately growled at the sight of unwanted visitors in the control center. They were none other than the mainland hunters who had arrived on the island last night by yacht.
The LOC (League of Carnivore).
It was one of the biggest firms in the American Midwest. They were known for their excellent skills; however, their notoriety far exceeded their achievements.
LOC hunters were known for their ‘manners.’
Several of their members had been involved in the way they interacted with other firms.
Ali ran his eyes over the crowd before him. Their numbers were well above three digits by his estimate, far greater than all of the Kowala Company hunters combined.
“Wow, don’t look so wide-eyed right from the beginning.” A man wearing sunglasses stepped forward.
Ali recognized him. He was Milo Cox, the CEO of LOC.
“Because we’re not here to inspire you.”
“If you mean ‘provoke,’ I think you’re doing well enough.”
Holding back his anger, Ali took a step closer. However, in one sense, he felt relieved.
‘Whatever they’re here for…’
“The situation is already over.”
“Is it?”
Milo winked at him and smiled. At that, Ali felt indescribable anxiety.
“Is it? What the hell do you mean?!”
“Well, as we can all see, the crack is closed… but you just can’t tell what the world wants to happen, right?”
As he spoke, Milo turned to his men, who were all chuckling and smiling with him.
“I mean—” Milo turned his eyes back to Ali, “—perhaps something will happen to make you need our help…”
“Cut the bullshit…”
A roar from the sky.
Without even turning to look, Ali knew what that sound was. It was a damn familiar sound, one that he had heard countless times as a hunter.
He turned to look, and horror filled his expression as his eyes confirmed what that sound was.
The crack that had been closed a few minutes ago was back. Ali felt his knees weaken, and his thoughts zoned out.
Neither the frantic control center employees nor the noise of hunters running and yelling registered in his brain. Then…
He smashed the desk in front of him as he turned his furious gaze on Milo.
“You! You damn…”
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“Me?” Milo acted as if what Ali was about to say were ridiculous. “If I could do that, I wouldn’t ‘just’ be a hunter.”
Milo and his men began to chuckle again.
Meanwhile, Ali was dumbfounded. What Milo had said made sense.
As far as Ali knew, it was impossible for anyone to create an unclosed crack. However…
‘These guys knew this was going to happen…!’
They must have been certain this would happen. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been waiting in the south of the island. Milo wouldn’t have brought his troops here after the crack had already been closed.
‘And that confidence…’
“It’s not really a big deal. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so now I can tell if a crack will open again,” Milo continued as if reading his thoughts. “Maybe… I can also tell what will happen next. Someone, perhaps a CEO of the sole Hawaiian firm, will ask us for help to handle the monsters…”
“Fuck you!” Ali screamed in frustration before heading to the central monitor of the control center. He wanted to jump into the operation area right now, but he couldn’t leave these LOC opportunists alone in the control center.
‘Who knows what they would do to sabotage us further?’
Instead, Ali tried to take control of the situation via the monitors. He anxiously watched his subordinates’ action cams and yelled direct commands through his communicator.
“Inrush tank, with spare pulse breaker…”
“Oh, oh. Are you trying to do this on your own still? I didn’t know you’d be this cool!” Milo remarked to the focused Ali.
At this, Ali gritted his teeth and ignored him. ‘Now is not the time to pay attention to that idiot.’
Still, considering that it had been a sudden situation, the Kowala Company’s hunters were performing very well. The rush team quickly brought a spare breaker into the rift.
A greater number of Salamanders poured out than in the first operation, but it was somehow still manageable. However…
-Oh no, Captain!
After the second pulse breaker detonated, the crack regenerated once more after less than a minute.
This time, the third monster wave appeared instantly, and more Salamanders than before poured out.
The problem was the Kowala Company wasn’t done with the Salamanders from the second wave. Now, the inrush squad was out of spare breakers.
“Corner! Ugh-”
The action cam footage from one warrior blacked out.
Almost simultaneously, the action cams of the other warriors on the same team also blacked out one by one.
Ali yelled out desperately, but he couldn’t reach their communicators. There was no response. What had happened was obvious.
“Oh no.” Milo whistled. “It’s my first time watching other hunters from a control center. It’s just like a movie, right? Cameras blacking out one by one… it’s really no joke.”
The very next moment, Milo found himself struggling to breathe because Ali had rushed in and grabbed his throat.
A few of Milo’s men had stood in the way, but they weren’t able to block the big man who had been upon their CEO in an instant.
Ali was shaking with anger, but he suppressed himself. His massive fist hung in the air, inches from Milo’s face.
“Well…” Milo gasped. “It’d be nice if you stayed rational… You will need our help soon. And, oh, look! Another bunch of monitors just blacked out.”
Ali turned, just in time to catch more action cam footage shutting off.
‘That’s it.’
The deaths were occurring on a team-by-team basis, not individual units. At this rate, the line of defense could not be properly maintained. Ali turned slowly to Milo, with the eyes of a man who had lost everything.
“I’m asking for support.” His booming voice had withered into a whisper. It was impossible for Kowala to hold on anymore.
Every minute, no, every second he delayed it, the more casualties would occur. All those lives were his responsibility. They had already lost everything.
The least he could do was to keep his friends and family alive.
“Good. But please wait a minute.” Milo smiled at him.
There was no urgency in the LOC CEO’s voice or expression.
“Hey, you!” Milo turned to one of his subordinates. “Get the bidding confirmation form. I left it in my car.”
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Veins popped out of Ali’s forehead as he understood what Milo was trying to do.
“You crazy motherfu-!”
“Ah, but shouldn’t we go through this properly? I can’t just trust your words, you know.”
The bidding confirmation form.
It was a requirement for hunters intruding on another company’s operation. It was a way for the supporting group to prove that the initial group had really sought their assistance and a way to claim loot afterward.
However, this was a life-and-death situation.
There was an unwritten rule implicitly laid down in the industry that, in these situations where every second mattered, even a verbal contract would suffice.
The contracts could follow once the emergency had been addressed.
“How can I just trust your words? You’ve been acting greedy all these years; how do I know that you won’t deny requesting our help when this is all over?”
Ali couldn’t even respond to Milo’s question.
With his mouth wide open…
“Ah ah ah ah ah ah!!!”
A scream, a groan – a sound that could not be identified escaped his throat.
“Fuck. It’s very noisy.”
Milo wasn’t scared at all.
Ali couldn’t touch him.
If Milo didn’t intervene, the operation would fail.
Salamanders would soon get beyond the barrier line, and the entire Hawaiian island would literally become a killing field.
They would be lucky if the residents could be evacuated in time. However, it was certain that all the infrastructure and farmland would be unrecoverable after the Salamanders were done with them.
“Oh, you’re back.” Milo nonchalantly approached his subordinate, who had brought the contracts.
He took a glance at the monitors, half of which were already off, before signing the documents. Then he brought the papers to Ali.
“Just sign here… Oh, look at that. Hold on. I need to review this for a moment.”
Ali’s knees lost their strength, and he found himself sliding to the ground.
‘This man… he won’t bid until Kowala is completely wiped out.’
He slowly turned his head to the monitors and watched the screens continue to shut down.
It seemed as if an eternity passed.
Finally, all of the monitors went dark.
“Oh, that’s it now. We’re ready. Sign here, please?” Milo brought the papers to the forlorn Ali.
A sheet of paper fluttered and fell before Ali’s dead eyes.
“Don’t procrastinate. Come on. We have to save the island,” Milo pushed him with faked urgency.
Ali slowly reached for the papers. His arms were heavy, and his wrists seemed to have no strength.
[email protected]##%^#&@@$^@#
Suddenly, a foreign language broke through his communicator.
Milo and his men heard it too. The control center personnel, who were in despair and weeping, raised their heads.
Everyone stopped talking and listened hard.
It was a language no one knew, all except for one person.
“Well, there…” Danny opened his mouth to respond. “Like this… You’re telling me to…”
As if he weren’t aware that everyone’s eyes were on him, Danny turned to Ali and began speaking as if he was hypnotized.
“He says…” Danny paused before looking around the room.
“Surprise, losers!”
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The monitors in the control room, which had turned dark, regained their light all at once.
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