Metro Labyrinth Chapter 106.1: The Search of the Traveling Shark 2

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“It was about two weeks ago that I visited Rikugi Metro. It had been five years since I picked up Utsuke in the deep sea.” (Satou)


“Yes, it was a nostalgic day… And that fateful encounter is still vivid in my mind.” (Sou)


“I don’t really care about that.” (Shuu)



 The Loli is a pouting loli.



“I’m a traveling shark, wandering from Metro to Metro with that little brat there, looking for something. But that’s just a long winding story from an old man, so I’ll spare you the details.” (Satou)


“I mean, the metro is connected by a stream of water.” (Shuu)


“Not all of them. I heard that a hundred years ago, the metro was an underground road that connected all over the country. An old friend of mine said that the water flow in the metro might be a remnant of that.” (Satou)



 I also wondered about that too.



 The Metro infested the underground of New Tokyo. There are several entrances and exits like the Rikugi Metro, but the Metros are not connected to each other.



 The labyrinthine Metros flooded out of the Tokyo metro. Why was this connection severed? The people who survived the “Tokyo Judgment” have not been able to solve the mystery, and in this day and age, no one even wonders about it anymore.



“Putting aside Mr. Satou, is Ms. Utsuki also swimming across Metros?” (Shuu)


“No, no, as you can see, I have neither gills nor fins. It is thanks to my master’s Fungal Skill.” (Sou)



 When Satou turns his hand upward, a thin film is formed and expands. It looks like a giant soap bubble or a transparent balloon. It reflects the light of the bonfire.



“We call it a [Bubble Membrane], a thin film of hypha filled with air. You can wear it on the head. I used it to bring you here.” (Satou)


“I see… thank you for your help.” (Shuu)


“Thank squeak.” (Tamiko)



 The [Bubble Membrane] is a solid soap bubble and will not break even if Tamiko pokes it. The surface is smooth and not sticky. When she stuck her finger deep into it, a hole finally opened, and the air slowly escaped.



“Of course, she’s the only one who swims with this on. I sometimes wonder why I’m traveling with baggage.” (Satou)


“It’s good service when you can give your cute disciple a piggyback ride, isn’t it? I like your shark skin too, you know?” (Sou)



 Half-truth, half lie. I expect. If it was me, it wouldn’t be a problem, but Satou, who seemed to be used to it, just shrugged.



“Oh dear, I’m getting sidetracked again. Anyway, when we came here, that group and the mutant Baphomets were running amok on the fifth floor. The humans had hunted the Baphomets, who had reproduced abnormally and had built up their strength. The colony must have been a perfect hunting ground for them, as they kept popping up whether they were hunted or not. At the same time, they were manipulating those mutant individuals with a whistle-like device, ruthlessly encouraging them to cannibalize each other.” (Satou)


“Ugh…” (Shuu)



 Forcing cannibalism is the darkest thing I’ve ever heard.



“They said it was a ‘bone flute’. They didn’t tell me what kind of bone it was from, but it’s not a good thing, is it? I mean, old men are so considerate, blowing bones and all. They smell like feet and sneeze loudly.” (Sou)


“That’s prejudiced. Tamiko, don’t look my way.” (Shuu)


“The strong stench from that goat was similar to that of those damned mycelial slugs. I was convinced that thing must be one of the demon’s “Family” because I have confidence in my nose.” (Satou)



 Satou pointed on his shark pointy nose. I read on the Internet that sharks have a particularly acute sense of smell among fish, and that they can react to a drop of blood dropped into a 50-meter pool.



“A Demon……” (Shuu)



 Apparently, the Demons have not been seen to the world for 50 years.


 But for some reason, in the two months since I reached the surface, I has had to deal with them twice. Is this a coincidence or is there some kind of fate or destiny—I don’t really want to think about it.



“…In that tragic war, many lives were needlessly lost. Not even my old friends who taught me the language and principles of the human world. Fifty years have passed since then… Still in the world today. They are still trying to bring disaster—those damned monsters.” (Satou)



 For a moment. The air around Satou visibly changes. As if the anger from earlier had been condensed into his body, a dense killing atmosphere is wafting through the air.


 Cold sweat trickles down my back. I fill my water bottle and quench my thirst.


 Satou—has he even been through the “Demon War”? As his tone suggests, he is a very old man. A shark over 400 years old has finally been discovered, this is also knowledge I can get from the internet.



“I know I’m a little out of order here, but we’ve been observing them in secret. We didn’t care what they wanted, but we couldn’t leave them behind if they were involved with demons. It was then that a group of hunters from the ground arrived. Their mission seemed to be to defeat the boss and subdue the colony… Unfortunately, they were no match for the ‘Family’. After they were all killed, I sent Utsuki to them as a survivor of the hunters and brought her into contact with them.” (Satou)


“I got down on my knees and begged for my life, ready to lick their feet, and I succeeded in worming into their heart.” (Sou)



 Utsuki’s chest was puffed with pride. [T/N: Okay the traitorous loli is actually a spy. Still a few squirrel-slaps wouldn’t hurt.]



“From that point on, it was all mine. I was going to lower their guard and use my body, which was packed with deliciousness, to seduce a lot of younger, good-looking boys, just short of the restrictions within the shounen manga genre, and squeeze out all the information I could, naked, literally… But…” (Sou)



 Utsuki clears her throat.



“I’m really sorry, I didn’t get any good information. Tehe~” (Sou)



 Utsuki sticks out her tongue. No one said anything, so I sat down on the floor suddenly feeling exhausted.



“I’d rather you throw painful words. Ignoring someone hurts the most.” (Sou)


“Well, your incompetence is nothing new.” (Satou)


“Because those boys were all young. [Charm] didn’t work well, and even before that, they were all wary of me and didn’t let me get too close.” (Sou)


“[Charm]?” (Shuu)



 Utsuki lightly waves her palm. I can see the tiny dust-like particles fluttering from her hand, just slightly reflecting the light of the bonfire.



 I was about to think, “No way…” when my head snapped back.


 He holds his mouth in a panic. The grinning face of Utsuki looks slightly better.



“This is [Charm]. This is the ability to spray spores with ingredients similar to pheromones and lightly seduce the person who inhales them. It can instill goodwill, weaken hostility, and even make people listen to very simple requests. It’s a pretty rare Fungal Skill.” (Sou)


“…that’s really a cheat skill…” (Shuu)


“No, no, it doesn’t have that strong of a hypnotic effect. For example, it’s impossible to do something while you’re actually killing each other. The spore dispersal type is good for ranged attacks, but its effectiveness is lower than that of a hypha weapon or hypha ball.” (Sou)


“…should the person who inhales it be a man or a woman…?” (Shuu)


“It seems that it depends on the user. In my case, I have not tried all the patterns, but I have found that males are more likely to be affected by it, whether it is a metro beast or a human being, but for females, it almost has no effect. It’s not so effective on those with [Poison Resistance] or [Mental Corruption Resistance], though. It’s also not very effective against adults or young children, and on the contrary, it doesn’t make me happy, but it’s strangely easy for old men to be affected.” (Sou)



 I felt my blood freeze. The [Charm] spores are colorless, odorless, and almost invisible in poor light. In a sense, it’s the most unbelievable fungus I’ve ever seen.




 And this woman—




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