Chapter 9: Test of Courage Part 2
"Keep up Mikoto. Just step where I step or you might set off a trap"
"Roger that!" Mikoto responded in her usual happy go lucky voice.
Guess she really is happy seeing as this time around I'm the one leading our little excursion trip. Most of the time she usually does it in my past loops but seeing as I just took this test two months ago in my previous loop, I still pretty much remember exactly where we go from here without triggering any traps and to top it all off because were not disabling any traps but rather just walking past them, this saves us countless more hours to spare.
"Neh Neh, Takeru~! Have you ever gone mountain climbing before~!? And where did you learn how to detect traps~!?"
"Yes, I already went mountain climbing before and also I learned how to detect traps from a certain person whom I deeply respect in terms of survival skills, that is all" And by person I meant you.
"Wooow~!, Sugoi~! Sugoi~!"
"Mikoto keep your voice down. You might set off a sonic landmine and alert our enemies!"
"Eh? You know about those?"
"Yeah, they pretty much use them against the BETA since those guys make a hell of a lot of noise either they are moving or not. Sadly they're pretty weak so they don't really do that much damage against them "
"Hooo~!, your pretty knowledgeable Takeru~!"
"I said keep it down~!"
(Marimo's POV) (Beach)
"Yuuko, it's all done….."
"Ara~, done already? Well shall we get started then~"
"Yuuko, you still haven't told me why we're doing this, just what are you planning to do by having me give Shirogane that bracelet with a tracking device on it?"
"Oh you'll find out, cause I'm about to use it."
Suddenly from out of nowhere Yuuko took out what seems to be a remote trigger from behind her.
"Now then, click~!"
"Hmmm!?, what's wrong Mitsurugi san?" Sakaki asked me while we were climbing down a slope.
"No, nothing's wrong….it's just…..I think I heard something beep"
"It's probably just my imagination, let's take a break after we get out of this mountain"
"Alright, let's hurry along then"
Did my bracelet just beep or something?
"Takeru, what's the matter?"
Odd, I could have sworn I heard it beep, maybe Yuuko sensei might have activated it just now?, yeah that's probably it. Knowing her she must be up to something again. I got to keep my eyes open for anything unusual, but then again when your inside a jungle as big as this its almost impossible to detect any.
"Neh, Takeru~….is something wrong?...you're acting strange agai-"
Mikoto stepped on a trap, I've got to!.
"Woooah~!, Takeru ~!...that was….that was….amazing~!"
Did I just smacked those rubber bullets in midair? How the hell did I just do that?
"Let me take a look at your right hand!"
I quickly looked at my right hand which Mikoto was fuzzing over and it seems that one of the rubber bullets which I smacked out of trajectory grazed me badly at the sides and is currently bleeding a little.
"Don't worry about this Mikoto, it will heal…"
"But your hand is bleeding!, we have to patch it up at the very least!"
"Oh please, I don't have time to bleed~"
"Okay~ Okay~…no need to shout."
"Here, let me wash that out with a little water"
"Umm….how about we just treat this once we get to the check point?. It will be safer there, not to mention its already getting dark here. We need to set up camp as soon as possible."
Mikoto tried to protest but to no avail, I just kept on walking forward.
"Hora~! Hora~!, I'm leaving you behind~!"
"Hmmm….not bad, guess this hunt won't be boring with him as my opponent."
A figure suddenly came out of the bush where the trap was sprung carrying a large sack behind its back.
"Now then….off to stage two"
"Are you okay Mitsurugi?"
"Yeah….it's just this heat is really starting to get to me"
"That's odd, you don't usually get tired that fast…..are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah…..Haahaa~….just need some rest"
"…..okay then…let's rest for a while"
"Predator 2, this is Predator 1 do you read me?"
"I guess this place still has some blind spots when it comes to signal jamming"
Well at the very least I don't need to move that much, as long as I don't lose those two until night time, then I'm all good.
"What was that just now?"
"Hmm?, what is it Mitsurugi?"
"…..nothing…I just thought somebody was watching us."
"Are you sure?"
"Not really, it was just a feeling"
"I see…well then I'm sorry to cut our break so short but if that really is the case we should get a move on now, it's almost getting really dark."
"Yeah, let's go"
Takeru, please be safe.
After marching our way up some more we later reached our destination and quickly found our objective well hidden within the mountain's terrain. I remembered how Marimo chan chewed me and Mikoto out for good for attacking it on broad daylight. Man what a tragedy, for a minute there I really thought the whole squad was going to fail because of our stupid mistake.
"Waaa~!…Takeru look look~!, there it is~!"
"Yeah I know, I can see it well from here so stop shouting"
"Woah~!, they really did well hiding this base here."
"Well got to give the construction worker's some credit for hiding the base in such a deep location."
"Too bad it looks like we won't make it from here. We should rest and go there when the sun is out, the traps there must be set up all over the place"
"No" I declined her suggestion with an explanation in mind.
"Eh, but why?"
"Think about it. This exam was supposedly used to demonstrate how a real option would do in any given situations were us Soldiers are put into and right now our primary goal is to escape without having any trouble following us behind our backs. So if that's the case then that base would be crawling with guards right about now ready to take our lives at any given moment we make a mistake. So if you think about it logically attacking it at night would be the best option for us to take."
Once again Mikoto widened her eyes in amazement of my strategic way of thinking.
Dam, no matter how many times I see it, her face is just too cute…wait what am I thinking, this isn't the time for that.
"Well anyways, once we find a way to blow the place up we'll leave immediately with whatever supplies we can get our hands on in the place."
"But what about the guards?, what approach are we going to take?"
"First off we need to scout the perimeter for any clear paths we could take, then we need to find a way to blow the place up without being seen, Next is it would be best for us to run a few good distance away before we stop for a rest after we blow the place up"
"Oi~~…Earth to Mikoto?...I'm leaving you behind"
I hope everyone else isn't having a hard time especially since Yuuko sensei is up to something again, and god knows what she's after this time.
"Well, let's go Mikoto"
"Right behind you~!"
(Predator 2's POV)
"Hohoo~, what a clever boy, I guess watching you do your stuff from the dark was a good idea after all instead of spying from afar via telescope"
But then again if there planning on taking out that base now, my planned introduction while they are supposed to be camping plan would be ruined.
Wait a minute, if they are planning on attacking the base at night then that means….
I just thought of something nice, but first I must notify partner.
"Predator 1, this is Predator 2, do you read me over?"
"Hmmm…guess I'm on a blind spot again"
Dam this reminds me of that time when I first went here during my squad's test, only by that time the radio didn't got a proper signal, And because of that she suffered even more because of that accident.
I can't believe I'm reminiscing about the past here while staring at an abandoned base, guess I'm getting sentimental again.
"Well, might as well get going"
I traveled with Mikoto down the base while scouting the area for any traps we might find even nor I already know there aren't any just to make sure Yuuko didn't slip one pass by me and knowing her she might actually already has everything here in this island rigged up.
"Hmm?, what's wrong Takeru?"
Mikoto asked as we make our way to the base's entrance.
"Nothing, just thinking about something…."
"Well….okay then, let's go see what we can find here" said Mikoto as she carefully went inside the building looking for any traps that might be there.
All dow I know there really isn't any, I might as well play the part seeing as this is an abandoned military base, that and it's gotten pretty dark already. I don't wanna trip on anything now would I.
"Takeru~, follow me…"
Well, I guess it's finally time for Mikoto to shine. Having her lead the way in this place really gives me assurance, even nor I practically know more about it than she does, oh well might as well point out the obvious.
"Look Mikoto, there's a Humvee over there."
"Huh?... a Humvee?... your right~! It looks pretty old and worn out, I wonder if it still works?"
"Probably not, but to make sure let's take a look at its engines"
I know that the engines have been long removed because of the accident it caused long before, but I might as well show Mikoto some proof.
"Here we go~!...Heev Hoo~!"
I opened the rusting hood of the car's engine but to my surprise there was a bag waiting for me inside it.
"Huh?, what's this?"
"What is it Takeru?"
"It's a bag inside the engine's compartment"
"Yeah, here hold the hood up I'll take it out of the car"
Mikoto assisted me in taking the bag out then after that we quickly went outside to examine what we got, seeing as it was still to dark to see clearly inside.
"Now then, let's see what's inside this thing…..Hmm?"
"What is it Takeru?"
"Are these smoke grenades?, and also there seems to be something hard stuck in the middle."
I pulled out whatever that hard thing was and to my surprise.
"It's a pair of night vision goggles entangled together"
"Really~!?" Mikoto exclaimed as she looks carefully on it.
"With this we won't have to worry about moving in the dark anymore~!."
"Yes, I guess so"
"So what else is in there?"
"Well, let's see…..we have a two pairs of disposable flashlight, a med kit, and some rations"
"Wow~!, that's amazing Takeru~!, we really got lucky didn't we~!?"
"What's the matter Takeru?"
"I have a bad feeling about this. We should get whatever stuff we could get our hands on and leave this place at once"
I didn't mean to scare Mikoto or anything but as things as it is I have a feeling that it's just going to get worse and by worse I mean really worse. I sure do hope I don't get blasted by any remote control or automated turrets around here.
"Don't worry…..cause whatever happens, I got your back"
"Hmm?...what is it?"
"How very dependable~!"
Well, here we go again. Hope the others got lucky as well.
( ! )
"Sakaki, the fire is ready you should take a rest now, I'll take care of the branches you gathered"
"Sorry about this Mitsurugi"
"Don't mention it"
"So….how long have you both known one another?"
"…..well, you could say that we've known one another for a very long time"
"I see….it must feel good to know that one of your loved ones is still alive and well after not having meet for some time huh."
"If only you know…how happy I was when I was once again given the chance to meet him"
"Well seeing as your face suddenly got better I think I already know"
"I guess so huhuhuu"
Sakaki and I shared our laughter together under the deep blue sky not knowing who or what was waiting for our slumber that night.
(Yuuko's POV) (Beach Camp)
All I could do is sigh at my work which I have brought along with me during this little excursion of mine, despite being on a temporary vacation island I still end up thinking way too much for my own good, oh well it's not like I'm doing anything else at the moment might as well finish some more equations.
But before I could even start another page a familiar voice enters my tent.
"Yuuko!, what's the meaning of this!"
"Ara?, whatever do you mean~?"
"Don't even try to deny this one Yuuko!, you know what I'm talking about!"
"Like I said I don't~, now how about you sit down for a while and have some coffee~?"
"I don't need any, just answer my question!, why did you sent those two out there!"
"Hohoo~, I guess you caught up with my little plan huh"
"I knew there was something weird with the way those two where suddenly summoned back at the base without the rest of the team so I was right after all, you are planning something big for this test!"
"Well, it's not like I'm doing it just because I'm bored, believe it or not I actually have a pretty good reason for doing so"
"And that reason is!?"
"I wanted to know if his really built for the job~"
"Huh!?...what are you-" ( ! ) "Don't tell me your doing all this just to test out Shirogane!?"
"Good one, you actually figured that one out a lot faster than I expected"
"Yuuko!, if something bad happens to my student's I swear I'll-"
Marimo was about to threaten her best friend when yuuko herself suddenly glared back at her with serious eyes.
"Marimo, just because there your student's that still doesn't give you the right to oppose my way of thinking, remember they will not remain your student's forever, they will graduate and they will be mine to use as I see fit later on"
"But…an unexpected factor suddenly arrived…..so in order for my plans to work I must first see how well and how good this new factor can truly be when faced with something they have no knowledge about."
"Even soo for you to suddenly change the whole test and then send out veteran's to hunt them down, no matter how much you think about it that's just too much!"
"It's because it's too much that's why we must do it in this procedure, because it's the only way through which we can truly gather the appropriate data from that boy. "
"Yuuko….I have been meaning to ask you this but who are what is he?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't play dumb! Dammit!"
But before Marimo can even finish her protest Yuuko's Radio suddenly picked up an incoming message.
"Ara ara~, I guess they finally decided to call. Well then Marimo, to answer some of your questions come with me to the monitoring Tent."
"Mikoto stay behind me!"
"No, I'll fight as well!"
"It's too dangerous!, right now we need to-"
But before He could even finish his sentence, a black shadow suddenly attracted there attention. Then it suddenly disappeared within the facility.
There's something in here with us, I don't know how but I can feel it watching us from the shadows.
(Clang! Clang! Clang!)
Mikoto and I tried looking around the surroundings but in the end we just couldn't find anyone.