Metro Labyrinth Chapter 103.3: Fungal Genius

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~Kawataro’s Perspective~



 The two have stopped chatting and are crossing blades again, after I blasted them with a scattering of [White Bullets].



(…not good, huh?) (Kawataro)



 By picking up the horns of the “Family”, there was even something like a leeway in the offense and defense of “Slime Slayer”. Perhaps the mystery has been broken, and he has begun to respond to the movement of Toroko’s unique skill [Gliding].



 In contrast, Toroko’s movements are beginning to show some problems. Perhaps something got to her during their earlier chat.



 And as usual, she still hasn’t made an attack that can directly end his life. At this point in her life, she has devoted herself entirely to making her opponents incapacitated.



(No matter how much time passes, her naivete won’t go away) (Kawataro)


(That’s one of the good things about her, though.) (Kawataro)



 If that nightmare had not come that day eight years ago, her life would have been completely different. No matter how much talent she had in her body, she definitely would not have chosen the bloody path she is on now.


 A talent she did not want. A fate she did not want. Still, she had no choice but to choose the path so that her heart would not die.



(…it’s all my fault, after all) (Kawataro)



 Then, as I have been doing for the past eight years. Just get your own hands dirty.


 I’m used to it by now. From the beginning, before I met her, my hands were dirty. I was not a gentle person who was bothered by it.



 I focused my attention on my left hand. The hypha that emerged from the palm of my hand took shape. A long, thin bullet with a spiral groove carved into it, twice as long as a [White Bullet].



 [Spiral Bullet]. The bullet, which spins at high speed as it flies, has several times the speed and power of [White Bullet], and has a longer range, making it possible to shoot from a greater distance.



 Because of the bullet’s length, it is difficult to flick with the thumb as with the [White Bullet]. Also, if you flick it on top your palm, your palm will be shredded. Since [Snipers] have neither [Healing] nor [Self-Regeneration] some hunters carry special items.



 I lay it on my palm, raising my  hand, and take aim in my line of sight.



 The [White Bullet], which has a large air resistance, may cause a slight deviation in the aim. I was using it as a check and cover to prevent misfiring on Toroko, but with the [Spiral Bullet], even while the two of them were striking each other, I could certainly shoot only the enemy. Like her, my skill, which I have been training for the past eight years, can do that.



(It only takes a moment.) (Kawataro)


(When his legs stop, I will shoot him) (Kawataro)



 The speed of the bullet is different from the previous [White Bullets]. Even the “Slime Killer,” with his incredible reflexes, would not be able to dodge the onslaught of my bullets. It was a shot that I had been saving for just this one moment.



 I sharpened my nerves for this one shot, keeping the young man’s figure in the palm of my hand.



“—Thread is a curse———–” (Kawataro)



 The “Country’s Chant”, which has neither commitment nor attachment, unconsciously spills out of my mouth. After that, I inadvertently let out a small smile. Am I trying to add some justification to shooting an unrelated young man in the head? What is it that I’ve done so much until now?



(Well, I do feel bad about it, but…) (Kawataro)



 Perhaps due to blood loss and fatigue, the young man’s movements are becoming sluggish. He is on the defensive against Toroko, who is trying to incapacitate him, and his legs stop.



(This is the end—) (Kawataro)



 At that moment, suddenly,


 The line of sight of my [Telephoto] is focused into a different place than Toroko’s target.



 In the midst of the fierce attack and defense, he sees the Carbuncle clinging to his right shoulder. I believe she was called “Acorn Eater”.



 Despite its stocky physique, the Magical Beast, which had so far boldly stood up to Baphomet and Mujirami, had so far made no move in their fight. It is still clinging to its partner so as not to be swept away by his violent movements, and it is still silent as if it is hiding from the situation.


 The two were in a different league of strength, and they were probably not at a level where they would be able to interfere easily.



 In that way, I was at least a little wary. Even at that minimal size, it was not impossible to make a target of the [White Bullet], and I thought that I could deal with anytime I wanted.



 And something comes to mind.


 So far, even when the two were exchanging words, it hadn’t uttered a single word.


 When had this happened? When did its body color fade to a whitish hue?



 I didn’t even think I took my eyes off it. When did they switch?


 Mujirami had one in his hand before. A decoy clone made of hypha.



 A chill runs down my spine and I turn around.


 A tearing sound travels across my skin. At the same time, I feel a sharp pain in my neck.



 I wonder why I allowed them to approach me, no matter how small they are. I wonder about that. It was as if it had disappeared and crept up near me. It was as if they were a ninja I had read about in a book when I was a child.



 My eyes widen as blood spurts out. The Carbuncle who tore my neck and passed through. A bushy tail that draws an afterimage like a meteor.



(If I notice it a moment too late.) (Kawataro)


(I would definitely be done for…) (Kawataro)



 A surprise strike aimed at the artery on my neck. An attack that is the exact opposite of Toroko’s, and one that has no hesitation in taking their opponent’s life.



 “Acorn Eater” lands on the ground with a thud and bares their teeth. The small body, with its hair and tail standing up on end, is filled with a murderous energy. Pure viciousness.


 I want Toroko to follow suit. No, I don’t want her to emulate me. At the same time, I want too. I almost laugh as I squeeze my cut neck with my right hand.



 When the fur ball jumped at me again, I quickly threw away the [Spiral Bullet] and then attacked with a [White Bullet] with my left hand. They graze a bit of my eyes and nose! But I hit it directly, and it is repelled with a big “Pigya!” and falls towards the clearing.



 Judging from the sound, they were probably protected. Although I could not see it clearly, it was about to deploy a Fungal Skill similar to [White Armor] on its body surface to counter the counterattack. Even so, it would not have been completely blocked, you could at least share some pain.



“Gu… Ah…” (Kawataro)



 Blood spilled sporadically from the gap between my fingers, drawing reddish-black spots on the stone roof. The wound is deeper than I thought. That furball really did it.



“Kawa!” (Toroko)


“Tamiko!” (Shuu)



 Two people in the square shouted at the same time. I look at them, nodding on my knees, and saw that both of them had completely stopped. They are just like each other.



(Oh, what a mess.) (Kawataro)



 This was before I had a bad pull. I underestimated that little animal. I laughed at Mujirami, but I was even dumber than him.



(Not bad.) (Kawataro)



 Putting aside “Slime Killer”, Toroko was clearly upset. Once that happens, that child is fragile and can’t get back on her feet.



(Both as a teacher and as a guardian…) (Kawataro)


(Sorry for being clumsy.) (Kawataro)



 As a self-deprecating thought, I don’t mind being put to death like this, but unfortunately I can’t afford to die in a place like this. And at the very least, even if we can’t kill that young man and the Carbuncle, I have to get the Toroko and the others out of here.



(What can I do?) (Kawataro)


(From here, how—-) (Kawataro)



 There is something that jumps to the edge of my vision.



(—Mujirami.) (Kawataro)



 He is baring his gleaming teeth and swinging his [Cudgel] as hard as he can.



“Gaaaaaa!” (Mujirami)



(No, no, that’s impossible.) (Kawataro)



 A suicide attack that can be said to be barbaric, a full-body attack. “Slime Killer” easily dodged and kicked Mujirami’s stomach in return. He was thrown like a ball before crashing into the stone statue at the edge of the square. It collapses along with the rocks.



(Oh, is that so…) (Kawataro)



 While I was wondering what he wanted to do, a Akagai appears on the roof. Apparently, they were stalling for time to heal their clumsy leader, who was not doing so well. I wonder if there wasn’t a little more I could have done.



“Mr. Kawa!” (Akagai)


“Hey……” (Kawataro)



 If I can stop the bleeding for the time being, I can still move. There is still work to be done.



“Please stop the bleeding… huh?” (Kawataro)



 Right after. “Rumble!”, a dull sound echoes from underground.


 And “Boom!” The ground sways vertically, like it is throbbing. Toroko and “Slime Killer” near the center of the square are bracing their bodies in a crouch.



(……what?) (Kawataro)


(At the last minute…… what did I draw?) (Kawataro)



 The cobblestones of the plaza crack with a resounding crushing sound.


 Rising from the crack is a huge pillar of water.



T/N: Please die Kawataro. You hurt Tamiko, she’s the heroine of this series. Please pay for your sins with your worthless life. Ufufufu…




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