Metro Labyrinth Chapter 103.1: Fungal Genius

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~Kawataro’s Perspective~



(Oh, this is a complete misjudgment.) (Kawataro)



 I saw a young hunter with a title I had never heard before, “Slime Killer”, wielding a vicious weapon that had killed even a “Family” baphomet, I clearly felt a twinge of regret in my heart.



 When he appeared on the floor, I knew at a glance that he was a skilled fighter from his demeanor.



 He was in his mid-twenties, which meant that he was level 50 at best. There might be physical exceptions like Utsuki or talent exceptions like Toroko, but such cases are rare, only a handful in New Tokyo. I was confident that I was not that far off the mark.



 Why did that man come to such an unpopular metro?


 It’s easy to understand if you think about it. He was most likely a fill-in for the colony strike team or a member of the research and reconnaissance team. Even if that were not the case, there is no worse assumption than that. I thought I should deal with the situation based on this assumption.



 It would be bad enough to be seen with the “Family,” but even worse to be seen and have the information brought back with them.


 Should they dare to compete with the “Family”, then, let them feed on him as a source of high-quality nourishment.


 In this way, we can both keep their mouths shut and feed them to the “Family”. No matter how skilled he was, there was no way he could defeat that monster by himself.



 So, I sent Utsuki to guide him. She remained mostly unharmed in the battle and destruction of the strike force, but Mujirami injured her and soiled her clothes in a manner to “make her more believable as a survivor.” Toroko did not look pleased, but, well, it was a necessary setup. Kawataro just thought of having Akagai use [Healing] on her later and that’ll be that.



 I doubted that she would betray us, even though she wasn’t a companion from the beginning, but I thought that was unlikely. She had begged for her life, forsaking the pride a hunter and avenging her friends, so it was an obvious question as to which side she would be better off on in this situation.



 The young man and the carbuncle seemed to believe Utsuki’s words and followed her and was lead toward the “Family”. The guidance seemed to have succeeded.



 At the same time, I sent Toroko running and guided the “Family” who was coasting on the sixth floor to the fifth floor with the “Bone Flute”. The sixth floor has few obstructions, and there are many other Metro Beasts in the way. The sixth floor was not suitable for following or observing.


 She then brought them face to face. The “Bone Whistle” alerted the target and forced them to fight.



(…that.) (Kawataro)


(What an unbelievable fight.) (Kawataro)



 Within a few minutes of the start of the mortal combat with his “Family”. Kawataro, while observing from a certain distance using [Telephoto] to avoid being noticed by the man with a frighteningly good intuition, noticed that the young man’s face was dimly lit.


 That dull-faced young man–that’s not normal.



(You damned loli, Utsuki, you are a lying b*tch!) (Kawataro)



 I told her to tell us his level if she could get it out of him. The hand-signed report was “level 55,” but clearly he was far from that. He was going head-to-head with the enhanced “Family” and more than holding his own. I hate to admit it, but he was better than Troko, who was level 60.



 It is possible that the young man himself gave Utsuki a false level, but it is more likely that Utsuki had some sort of agenda. If I had known in advance, I could have considered a change in strategy. It was already too late.



 At first, he was using a [War Hammer], but what he is wielding now is a [Great Sword] – or perhaps it’s just having a strange shape. Is it some kind of hypha weapon? A [Light Blade] and perhaps a mobility skill like [Leaping]. And (although he couldn’t see it clearly), he even has a ranged skill like [Cannonball].



(No, he’s using [Ashura] and [Light Blade], right?) (Kawataro)


(Isn’t it an impossible combination even for a Higher rank Fungal Class, right?) (Kawataro)



 There is no doubt that he is a master class. And that’s not all. He has a special quality that is different from that of a normal hunter. Even in New Tokyo, there are only a handful of monsters who occupy the top ranks of the hunter ranking system.



(Similar to Toroko’s Fungal Ability… They’re called “gifted” these days, right?) (Kawataro)


(Or… a [Master Threadweaver] who can use all kinds of Fungal Skill—no, that’s not possible. That’s impossible.) (Kawataro)



 Although he is struggling against the overwhelming power of his “Family,”… his win is written in stone.


 I was in front of my subordinates, but I wanted to hold my head.



(Oh f*ck, why does it have to be this way?) (Kawataro)


(We were talking about going out on the surface tomorrow with the “Family”, right?) (Kawataro)



 The training for my men went without a hitch. Although there was some trouble with the appearance of the strike team and some other things, the mission was completed when we met up with our commander on the surface, and the countdown was on to the execution of the plan, but at the very last minute, we got the short end of the stick.



(I haven’t grown up much, have I?) (Kawataro)


(I’m still as bad as ever at pulling bad luck.) (Kawataro)



 I wanted to ridicule myself and say that this is a curse. It’s been like that since I was a child. My father, mother, friends, and other adults around me have always looked at me with white eyes. Nothing has changed since seven years ago when I got the worst stinker of all.



 It’s always like this at the most critical times. I always chose between two choices that I can’t miss, and then I pick one. However, just before the finish line, I jump into the “back to square one” tile. And the ones who get the short end of the stick are the people around me, even more than myself.



(I don’t believe in the Metro Church.) (Kawataro)


(God must really hate me.) (Kawataro)



 Not only will we lose the “Family” we scouted, but if they return to the surface with Utsuki, our existence will come to light. Although I have not told Utsuki anything about the details of the plan, we will still suffer more damage than the failure of the mission.



“At this time, we’re going to have to change our plans.” (Kawataro)



 I told my men about the plan. I’ll give up on the “Family”, but I’ll make sure to kill that young man (and Utsuki) here.



(No matter how strong that brother is…) (Kawataro)


(If he’s against my Toroko.) (Kawataro)



 The home of the Toroko no longer exists, the hidden Metro that has been passed down through the generations.


 In the depths of the hidden Metro reigned a monster called “Calamity Tail,” which has a curse on its tail.


 The cursed knife “Evil Azure Dragon’s Tail” was carved from its tail.



 In order to realize our long-cherished dream of revenge, God or the Metro sent me the only possibility in the world.


 With that in her hands, Toroko could kill any monster or hero. I believed so.



 No matter how strong that man was, as long as we could block his Fungal Skills, he would surely be able to defeat him. There is no one in the world who can survive a surprise attack by Toroko, who is trained as an “assassin”.



(Well… but my Toroko.) (Kawataro)


(Well, she hasn’t killed anyone yet, though…) (Kawataro)



 The cute, spoiled brat still succeeded in casting a curse on the young man who had defeated my “Family,” just as I had planned. All that remained was to band together and make sure he was killed.



 Even before the effect of the curse appeared, the complete surprise attack was repelled. Engawa and three others were wounded. From the beginning, they should have focused their attack only on Toroko’s surprise attack and made sure that we concentrated only on encirclement.


 After stalling for time through dialogue, the long-awaited curse has finally appeared. I thought, “Now that we’ve come this far, this time it’s going to happen.”



(I didn’t expect them to go this far with the “Fungus Sealing Curse” in place.) (Kawataro)



 The curse is certainly working. The young man who called himself the “Slime Killer” had been deprived of his fungal ability, and his physical functions were severely impaired.



(Normally, the higher the level, the more they will weaken.) (Kawataro)



 Still, he did not break. Although his movements were clearly sluggish at first, he quickly regained his footing and began to push the three back. That brother, with his thin “I’m not good at fighting” face, was more of a brute than most Metro Beasts when he peeled off his skin.



(Our ace Toroko, the former hunter Mujirami.) (Kawataro)


(Kohada and Isaki, which I trained as the last finishing touch withing Rikugi.) (Kawataro)


(Still… I wonder why we can’t finish him.) (Kawataro)



 Their every shot was dodged, covering fire was missed at every turn, and to top it off, he even got Kohada and Isaki. The “Slime Killer” continues to bare his fangs while building up unexpected attacks that make one want to cover one’s eyes.



 My upbringing and life experiences have given me a strong tendency toward self-flagellation. Although I have no trouble admitting my own mistakes, this time it was accompanied by a strong sense of regret and self-loathing.



(It’s not just the bad draw.) (Kawataro)


(It shouldn’t be because of my stupid leadership.) (Kawataro)



 There is no point in shifting the blame to something unseen, like God or fate.


 “Maybe it was the right decision to give up the position of Commander to that old man.” I thought I wasn’t even attached to it in the first place.



(It’s all my fault. I just made a mistake in my judgment.) (Kawataro)



 Sloppy strategy, a naive outlook, and thoughtless compulsion. The ones who got hurt paying the price were the children who had followed me, and who adored me. I wanted to shoot myself in the head.



(But–it’s still not yet impossible.) (Kawataro)



 At least an hour until the effects of the curse wears off. That’s enough time.



(That wound, that amount of blood.) (Kawataro)


(That brother is human too, he will eventually run out of strength.) (Kawataro)



“—Let’s go.” (Kawataro)



 Regret it later. I’ll reflect on it for as long as I have.


 This time, I will finish him off even if I have to risk this old man’s life.


 If I still can’t reach him – I’ll even draw my last trump card.




T/N: Nope. Kawataro is still a piece of sh*t. I still want their whole party to die. Toroko should also die for helping them to kill other people. Thieves are one thing, but murderers and their accomplices should suffer and die or just straight up die. A tragic background is not an excuse or alibi. Utsuki can live after Tamiko beats the stuffing out of that traitorous loli piece of sh*t. But that is just my opinion. Fufufu…




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