Metro Labyrinth Chapter 116.1: Kanamecho Metro

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A/N: 1/21: Changed from [True Machine] to [Magic Woman].



 I moved to Tokyo from my hometown, Gyoda, when I entered university, and it was in Kanamecho, Toshima Ward, where I first started living alone.



 My first “castle,” a 30-year-old 1K 6-tatami mat apartment. For four years, I took the Yurakuchou Line (and rode my bicycle during months when I was short of money) to attend Law School in Iidabashi. Although the apartment was reasonably old and had some problems with soundproofing and heat insulation, the rent was more reasonable compared to the market rate, transportation was convenient, and above all, I could walk to Ikebukuro, which was a privilege (a characteristic of a Saitama resident).



 After graduation, I joined a web advertising company in Shibuya, but I never moved out of that apartment. I didn’t feel dissatisfied or inconvenienced with the apartment as it was, and I didn’t have any women to invite.



 Even though my body and mind were getting tired from my new life, which had become ten times busier and harder than when I was a student, the house still accepted me and healed me. I wish I had five minutes, or at least enough time to talk about those fond memories.



 Abe Shuu, a hunter in the Country of the Threadweavers, would like to say to the Abe Shuu, who was enjoying his life in Kanamecho at that time,



 Your basement will be a dungeon in a hundred years.





 Kanamecho Metro is an advanced version of Ikebukuro Tribe’s proprietary “Metro for training affiliated hunters.”



 Although there are only four underground floors, it is ridiculously deep at the first underground floor. It is necessary to descend as many as 3,000 long flights of stairs, and that alone is too much of a training experience.



 When you finally reach the destination, the floor is as wide as the deepest level of Ouji, and from the very beginning, you will encounter a lot of beasts that are estimated to be over level 20. And of course, the lower you go, the more powerful the metro beasts become.



 If that were all, it might be an exaggeration to set the entry condition to be “level 50 or above at the first floor, or the majority of the team has cleared that floor,” but there is a reason why it is designated as an advanced level section. This is due to the presence of extremely powerful metro beasts that are distributed throughout almost the entire area from the first floor to the fourth floor.



“They are coming! Get back in formation!” (Giran)



 Giran, standing at the front of the group, shouted just as we entered into a melee with a mixed force of metro beasts in the 30s, including a Gaki [T/N: Hungry Demon] (a hunchbacked, skinny carnivorous ape) and a Manticore (a lion with a face like an old man).


 I am aware of this without being told. Then a black shadow floated on the surface of the subterranean lake and began to rise.



 Soon, the huge body appears in a flash—a Behemoth.



 A powerful monster, a familiar foe in fantasy. It has sharp horns like a bull, muscular limbs reminiscent of a large feline, and a hippopotamus head. It may look silly, but it has inherited the potential of being a candidate for the strongest monster on the surface of the earth in my original era.



“Boooooooooooo!” (Behemoth)



 Behemoth shudders, sending the water everywhere, and its feet pound heavily as it rises to the ground.


 It is a four-legged beast, but it stands more than four meters tall. It is two times larger than the grown-up Catoblepas of Outsuka, and in terms of intimidation, it is close to the Ouji Boss Met. Its average level is over 55, which is an exceptional level here on the third underground floor of the Kanamecho Metro, and even that rating is not enough in terms of killing power.



 In both name and reality, it is the pinnacle of this metro’s ecosystem. The lower you go, the more powerful and huge it becomes, and it seems that there are only a handful of hunters who can challenge this third floor even the current Ikebukuro.



“Me and Abe will do it! The rest of you guys, please!” (Kure)


“Squeak!” (Tamiko)


“Yes!” (Noa)



 Tamiko and Noa responded, and Kure responded by snapping the manticore’s neck, which was in a bare chokehold from behind.


 I stand alongside the furry silver-haired werewolf and confront the behemoth. We glance at each other. We have faced death together to the extent that we can communicate just by glancing at each other.



“I know, I’m sure when this is over, it will be time for Ms. Ikari’s homemade lunch, right? A girl’s homemade cooking is always exciting, no matter how old you are.” (Giran)


“That’s true, but not for you.” (Shuu)


“Booooooooooo!” (Behemoth)



 The behemoth rushes forward with a roar. Giran jumped back and took a big leap to the side, while I stooped low and braced myself.


 I dodged the charge of its right horn, then grab both horns while using [Iron Fist], and dig my fingers into it.



“Ugh!” (Shuu)



 I continued to dig my heels. The muscles in my back and lower body scream, but I still managed to kill the momentum when I was pushed about 10 meters. A shadow jumps in from the side and slashes at the beast, it was Giran with a [Knight Sword] covered with a [Flame Blade].



 A flash of reddish-orange was aimed at the neck, and the Behemoth twisted its body and caught it with the shoulder of its front leg. “Booaaaaaa!”, the Behemoth groans in pain and shakes its head to throw Giran off as I grab its horns. The [Flame Blade] is inferior to [Light Blade] in terms of sharpness, but the pain caused by the high heat of the attack is unimaginable.



“Sorry, I missed.” (Giran)



 Giran, standing beside me again, said.



“This is pretty exhausting.” (Shuu)



 I said with a bit of resentment.



“Behind you—it looks like they’re in good shape.” (Giran)




 Tamiko, Noah, and Kure are steadily reducing the number of enemies in the crowd. Kure kills them one by one with his grappling skill, and Tamiko and Noa protect everyone’s backs. Cooperation is also quite stable thanks to Noa’s level up.



“But we can’t let him head that way. I’m counting on you, Blocker Shuu.” (Giran) [T/N: A wordplay on Abe (surname) and Kabe (Wall/barrier).]


“I hate it, don’t call me that.” (Shuu)



 My two [Great Shields] then clashed against the Metro Beast.


 The Behemoth turned around with a shudder and stared at us with eyes overflowing with anger and pain. It sniffs hotly and exhales steam, its paws plowing the ground.



 With all my strength and weight on the ground, I caught the charge with my shields, which are covered with [Light Blade]. I am not allowed to avoid it, since this is also my training.



 The front legs swinging down, biting, cleaving with its horns, and kicking up.


 The Behemoth attacks in all directions, with such violence that the terrain of the Metro changes.


 I dive headlong into the onslaught of the strongest monster of Kanamecho Metro.


 Giran’s attack goes through, and the damage accumulates. Even as the weight of the Behemoth forces me to turn my body toward him, I focused on its front and push it back.



“Ooooooh!” (Behemoth)



 The ground is scraped under my feet, but I still pushed back forward. My spirit, guts, and muscles will not betray me.


 This was my tenth battle against Behemoth. Since I was forced to play the role of a wall that takes the opponent’s attacks head-on, my shoes have long since fallen off, and I now wear socks made from Behemoth skin. They are thick, tough, and resistant to friction, but the soles of my feet still hurt.



 When my body starts to creak all over, the behemoth finally gets down on one knee and continues to fall to the ground. Its eyes filled with resentment; it still seems to be trying to hold on to life. Giran lands the final blow.





“—whoa!” (Shuu)



 Back at the campsite near the stairs, he stuffs two softball-sized sporangia of behemoths into his stomach. A strange feeling comes over me.



(It’s finally here…the body is creaking!) (Shuu)



 It is the sign of the long-awaited level-up.



“Oh, yes! It came and I leveled up! We did it!” (Shuu)


“Well done! As expected of my Padawan, squeak! Pigya!” (Tamiko)



 Both man and squirrel are too excited and danced. Noa and Kure applaud and celebrate with us too.


 While the other members were getting along well and moving up one level at a time, only I was lagging behind. Today was the last day of the training camp, and somehow I made it.



“Congratulations, you are now level 71,” Giran said. “You’ve improved your level in just a little over a month since your last visit… and you’ve also evolved one more Fungal Skill. You being a “Master Threadweaver”, I envy your ability to grow.” (Giran)


“Good job Shuu, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“In the end, though, I couldn’t close the gap with Mr. Giran.” (Shuu)



 This man was also leveled up to 73 the other day (after that the Behemoth sporangium was mine). He says, “It’s the first time I’ve felt this in two years. To tell the truth, I had half given up on the idea and believed that I was at my limit, but it seems that I can aim a little higher.” He tried to keep his composure, but it was probably no coincidence that his howls the next morning were twice as loud.



 As a result, we sent salt to Aomoto’s opponents, and as the Sugamo group, we felt sorry for them. We can only hope that she has improved more than that during her training at Ouji. I don’t know if she’s been hanging around the Chihuahuas more.



“But you have already surpassed me in power and toughness, maybe speed. You’re so stupidly strong that I wonder if you’re buffed by [Beast Warrior], especially in your level range.” (Giran)



 Perhaps it’s the black sporangia that have boosted my stats, or perhaps it’s the fact that I have been beating up ogres, golems, the Boss Met, and other monsters that pride themselves on their strength. It seems that I have grown stronger in such an environment.



 However, the growth of a hunter’s physical ability status is largely dependent on the Fungal Class, but there is no data on this in the case of my case. And when I realized it, I was one foot in the brain-muscle type.



 As for me, I was hoping to be a “speed-type”, which is common in “manga” but this is something that can’t be helped. It’s not something I can directly control.



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