Metro Labyrinth Chapter 108.2: Return

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 I had no idea that the shark with whom I had a chat until late at night over grilled fish was one of the top VIPs in the country.



(Seriously… a real Beast King…) (Shuu)


(That’s right, I thought he was just some special shark, and he’s not just any shark…) (Shuu)



 I was blabbing on about grilled fish without realizing that there was a nuclear bomb right in front of me. I was glad that the person I was talking to looked like a mild-mannered old man, but if I had acted like a delinquent sitting on the best seat in a train with my legs stretched out, this whole Metro Area would have been burned to ashes.



 I wonder if I have said anything that would have caused any offense. I think I’ll be fine, but I may not be able to sleep deeply with my pillow today.



“Oh, I didn’t realize it at all… I should have remembered, I’m unaware…” (Shuu)


“Frankly, I’m not familiar with the west side of the city, and the guilds don’t seem to think it’s too dangerous. I guess you wouldn’t have known.” (Sou)


“I knew, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Liar.” (Shuu)


“Even among the Five Great Beast Kings, he is the most plain and humble. Konnyakku instead of meat and potato stew. However, in Akihabara Headquarters, he treated like the root of all evil.” (Sou)



 I wonder if it was something they did a few decades ago. I want to ask him what he did, but I’m afraid to ask.



“We’re not doing anything rude, are we?” (Shuu)


“Surprisingly, he doesn’t care about that kind of thing. The master has a vicious face, but he is a shark that you can talk to better than most people. Along as you don’t step on any landmines, even if you say a few rude words, he will respond kindly.”



 Land mines- demon-related? Tamiko stepped on it unknowingly, but luckily it only cost my trousers.



“I’ll just say one more thing, but when reporting this incident, it’s better to keep quiet about Master. He won’t get angry at Abe and Tamiko, but it’s just going to cause unnecessary complications.” (Sou)


“Right.” (Shuu)



 If possible, let’s report it to someone other than Kaike.



“…you know, it just occurred to me.” (Sou)


“What?” (Shuu)


“The Beast King and a [Master Threadweaver] are both extremely rare individuals, but I’m the Beast King’s apprentice, and now I’m a [Master Threadweaver]’s companion, so I’m the rarest, right?” (Sou)


“Sure.” (Shuu)


“You never know what will happen in life. I’ve lived forty-eight years and I don’t know how many times I’ve been able to do what I wanted to do…” (Sou)



 My legs stopped. A few steps later and Utsuki too.



“…Ms. Utsuki.” (Shuu)


“What? Oh……” (Sou)




 She seemed to have noticed it herself and hurriedly closed her mouth, but I kept going.



“When we first met, you said you were 30 years old. You are actually 48 years old…” (Shuu)


“……” (Sou)


“I knew it, you are a loli-hag, squeak!” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko’s tail swung. *Smack*! And Utsuki’s big butt makes an interesting sound.





 The conversation continued without tension from the middle, but we were on our way back home without any problems. The Metro Beasts are one thing, but we must also be wary of the ambush by those Kawataro and the others. I kept on dispersing the [Sensory Spores].



 After a short time on the second floor, Tamiko’s head shoots up above Utsuki.



“Abeshuu, there’s something strange up ahead.” (Tamiko)


“You don’t think it’s them, do you?” (Shuu)


“No, it’s probably a Metro Beast, squeak, but it’s a something I’ve never seen before, squeak.” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko put her hand to her ear and turned her head to find the reception angle like a satellite dish.


 After moving forward for a while and suppressing the sound of our footsteps, there was an opened room at the end of the passage, and me and the others stopped in front of it and looked inside.



“Ugh…” (Shuu)


“Gross, squeak…” (Tamiko)



 It’s the first metro beast I’ve seen. However, it’s more like an evil god than a beast. If you just look at it, it is much more like a final boss than Satou.


 If I had to describe it in one word, it would be a bipedal giant octopus, or a giant with an octopus on its head. It stands on the ground with wriggling octopus legs dangling from its head, and with webbed feet similar to those of a Sahuagin. Its body surface is a dull green color, and its entire body is slick with mucus.



“It seems like it’s really strong…” (Shuu)


“…it doesn’t look like it’s very strong.” (Tamiko)


“Really?” (Shuu)


“It’s about level 30, squeak.” (Tamiko)



 Well, it’s quite a strong enemy to encounter on the second floor of the metro, but it’s a level that doesn’t pose a particular threat to Tamiko and I. In terms of level, though.



“Gracos,” Utsuki said. “They are found in the west side of the country and in Metros with lots of water. Usually they are a bit stronger, but I think the ones around here are not as strong. Even so, it’s still a boss class in such shallow waters.



 It’s a little disappointing, but it’s hard for [Beast Repellent] to work on that type of thing. If the opponent doesn’t back down, there will be no choice but to fight. I am not very good at the gross type, but it was a little better than slime, so I had no choice but to do it.



“Ah, Ms. Utsuki.” (Shuu)



 I turned to Utsuki with a thought in my mind.



“Ms. Utsuki is around level 35, right?” (Shuu)


“I’ve received [Discovery] too. To answer, I’m 36 now.” (Sou)


“Can you defeat it alone? We are to fight together in the future, and I want to see how Ms. Utsuki fights.” (Shuu)



 The perfect strategy is to push the gross thing to Utsuki while checking out her skills and her ability.



“Eh, well, it’s fine, but…” (Utsuki)



 Utsuki looks reluctant and she doesn’t seem too keen on the idea.



“Do you have a problem?” (Shuu)


“I’m a [Mage] and I’m basically a “boom-boom-dead” type of person. [Fireball] and [Iceball] are my main weapons, and as far as I know, [Fireball] is more effective… So, the corpse will inevitably be charred and useless.” (Sou)


“Huh.” (Shuu)



 Are you saying you don’t like it because it makes you feel bad? Though I am a hunter, I think of myself as weak.



“The legs of the gracos are a delicacy known only to those in the know, and when chopped and dressed with wasabi, they make a perfect snack. If I kill it with a [Fireball], it might ruin all of that—” (Sou)


“Okay. I’ll do it.” (Shuu)



 Without waiting for an answer, I stepped forward while drawing out my [Katana]. Let’s make a triumphant return to Rikugi Village with this as a gift. The special potato shochu awaits.



 The blade, covered in anticipation, kills the Gracos in an instant. No hard feelings, the only way to repay them is to eat them with relish.



 I leave all the processing to Utsuki. She begins dismantling it without any sign of reluctance, separating the legs, chopping and rubbing in some grass to remove the slime, and wrapping it in another grass to prevent it from rotting. She is a very experienced hand, that’s a point to her.



 After that, we hurry back home at full speed with [Beat Repellent], going up to the first floor at a steady pace, and then reaching the stairs to the surface.



“…Are you two ready?” (Shuu)



 I looked back towards the stairs. Both of them nodded timidly with slightly nervous expressions.


 Up to this point, we had not encountered Kawataro and the others, nor had we found any traces of them. Are they still in the Metro, or have they already escaped through other entrances and exits?



 Nevertheless, there is no possibility that they are waiting for us on the surface. We didn’t want to be ambushed like we were last night.



“Then let’s go.” (Shuu)



 Deciding to go, we carefully climbed the stairs one step at a time. My [Sensory Spores] are well-dispersed so as not to miss even the slightest anomaly. Tamiko’s ears are probably the same way.



“Abeshuu, I need to pee, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Muu! You should have gone earlier!” (Shuu)



 The sky was spread out beyond the staircase. It seems to be sunny today.


 I looked around for presences while holding up my [Katana] and [Great Shield].


 The wind is blowing and the forest is rustling. There is no clinging humidity, but instead the temperature and the sunlight tell us that it is early summer.



“…phew.” (Shuu)



 There seems to be no sign of them. There are no people or beasts in the vicinity. Tamiko nodded as well.



“I’m sorry to say, Ms. Utsuki, but it looks like they’re not here.” (Shuu)


“We are not going to be bumping into them here. They’ve been back on the surface for a long time, so I’d rather take a bath and sleep on a futon than play tag.” (Sou)


“That’s right.” (Shuu)



 After that, we started walking on the forest road that leads to the village. Looking out for ambushes along the way, being very careful.





 But Shuu and Tamiko are oblivious.


 They are unaware that there are four eyes peering at them from several hundred meters away with [Telephoto].





~3rd Person Perspective~



“–Ah… as expected, they are quite though.” (Kawataro)



 Kawataro muttered with a bitter smile.



(Aside from that monstrous brother.) (Kawataro)


(To think the Carbuncle and Utsuki are still alive.) (Kawataro)


(Will what happened be reported to the guild as well?) (Kawataro)



 This may cause a big problem for our future plans.


 However, it is a blessing in disguise that we were able to find them here. We can finish them off here and now and keep them from talking.



(However.) (Kawataro)


(Toroko’s curse is probably already broken.) (Kawataro)


(If he’s regained his Fungal Skills, we might not be able to beat him even if we band together.) (Kawataro)



 Yes, if we were on our own.


 But now we have this person. This person would be able to defeat even that man in a direct confrontation.



“…kuku.” (Commander)


“Commander, what’s wrong?” (Kawataro)



 Next to Kawataro, the man called “Commander” laughs, his voice hushed, the edge of his mouth lifted up to his ears, looking amused.



“Is that the man who killed my ‘Family’?” (Commander)


“That’s right… but what’s funny?” (Kawataro)



 The commander turned on his heel and began to walk in the opposite direction of his men.



“Why aren’t you doing it?”


“…I’ve seen that baby face in Komagome before. He looks a lot like an old acquaintance of mine. In the war fifty years ago… He was also tenacious. He was a ‘Master Threadweaver’.” (Commander)



 The commander looks up at the narrow sky slipping past by trees and stretching out wide. His footsteps are in a good mood.



“…Haa, now, it’s more fun.” (Commander)



A/N: We finally escaped from the Rikugi Metro.

The Rikugi Metro Arc will continue for a little while longer.

T/N: Yep, commander is most likely a demon or a Beast King. I edited chapter 52.b2 to match this chapter. Please die Kawataro.



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