Metro Labyrinth Chapter 122.2: Match End

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 Kure’s tongue is tangled, and he is unable to speak.



(–I.) (Kure)



 He’s speechless.


 Kure then collapses forward.


 He kneels down and leaned his head on Yoshitsune.


 Gently, without force, without any sense hostility or harm. Gently, as if hugging him.


 He wraps his arms around Yoshitsune’s right leg. Then, Kure lifts his leg and pushes it with his head, putting his own weight on it.



 Just quietly and casually.


 That’s why I can pierce the void.



“Eh, woah–” (Yoshitsune)



 Yoshitsune panicked and fell on his buttocks.  Kure grins as he clings to his lower body.



(Did I win?) (Kure)



 The referee yells, “Match end!” the gong rings along with the thunderous cheers.


 With blurry eyes, he watches Yoshitsune’s hands and buttocks outside the ring rope.



 After that, Kure lost consciousness.





 On the bed in the infirmary, Kure reaches down to take a bite of his second piece of nutritious skewer.



 He sniffs. Stretching out his upper body, he sniffs around the area and spots a chair by the bed.



“I can smell Shuu’s scent… He was here a while ago. From the strength of the smell, it must not have been long since he left his seat.” (Kure)


“Mr. Abe Shuu? He was waiting for Mr. Kure to wake up. He heard that the sixth match was over, so he went to prepare for his entrance.” (Nurse)



 The nurse replies without wondering, since a Fungal Skill of the Physical Manipulation System has a sense of smell enhancement ability called [Smelling], but Kure has not mastered such a thing. What’s more, it’s just his own sense of smell, specialized for the smell of just one man.



“Is that so… Fufu, did he come to visit me… Hau~, could it be that my wounds are healed by Shuu’s [Holy Healing], I received Shuu’s balls…?” (Kure)


“No, just a normal [Healer] doctor who belongs to the Church.” (Nurse)



 Said the nurse, perhaps suddenly feeling something disturbing is happening, while desperately trying to hide the twitching of her mouth.



“Oh, that’s right… He’s going to have his match soon… I can’t afford to use my physical strength…” (Kure)




 But if the game ends safely, it’s different. While wishing him a good fight, Kure planned to beg for Shuu’s balls, saying, “My body still hasn’t fully recovered.” I’ve worked so hard, so he won’t let me down. Those thoughts bring back the heat to his body. Mainly in one body part.



“The pervert, squeak! The pervert is alive, squeak! Pigyaa!!!” (Tamiko)


“Are you okay? You looked so gross just now, was your brain cut too?” (Noa)


“Good job, Kure. It was a very passionate match, wasn’t it? The clash between handsome men was a sight for ladies to behold.” (Kure)



 The women who knew each other rushed into the doctor’s office just before Kure’s fantasies was about to progress. Noa, Utsuki, and Tamiko who is on the mayor’s daughter’s head.



“What happened everybody?” (Kure)


“What happened, we’re here to visit you. In the sixth match, Mr. Ide hustled so much that the ring got all messed up, and we have about ten minutes of break time left.” (Sou)



 By “Mr. Ide,” I assume he means Sugamo’s Ide Kenzo. He was a veteran [Illusionist], and if Utsuki’s words are to be believed, he may have scattered hypha balls around.



“Even so, in a way, you were like Mr. Shuu, continuing the game even if you were covered in blood and had his arm slashed.” (Noa)


“It’s the norm with Abeshuu, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“The audience was a little bit surprised, but when the match was over, they cheered loudly. Awhile ago, a boy was begging his parents, ‘I want that mask.’” (Sou)



 Kure smiled shyly and scratched his nose.


 There is some embarrassment or shyness, since he didn’t expect that they would even visit him.



“Well, I won the match, and I—” (Kure)


“We’re going to go now. We’re going to run out of time to buy yakisoba at the food stand.” (Sou)


“I think you should just stay here for the night, don’t you think? To tell you the truth, someone sleeping in the kitchen can be a nuisance in the morning.” (Noa)


“You won in the last minute, squeak! I brought you an acorn, squeak!” (Tamiko)



 An acorn is smashed against Kure’s cheek. The women were leaving the doctor’s office in a hurry. Tamiko taking one of the nutritious skewers as a trade for the acorn.



 When the noisy girls are gone, the infirmary falls silent. Before he knew it, the nurse from earlier has also left the room. The only two people in the room are Kure and—



“They were a lively bunch, weren’t they? Are they friends of Mr. Kure?” (Yoshitsune)


“…Well, something like that.” (Kure)



 There is only one bed with the curtains closed. It was Yoshitsune who came out of there. He changed into a hunter jersey.



“Your arm seems to have healed.” (Kure)


“The doctor said it’s a clean fracture, so it should be an easy one. I honestly wondered if I really had a broken arm.” (Yoshitsune)




 Yoshitsune said as he swung his right arm around. He sat down in the chair Shuu was previously sitting on.



“Um… Hello again. It’s my loss.” (Yoshitsune)



 Yoshitsune lowers his head. Kure shakes his head in reply.



“No, it’s called winning the game and losing a tournament match. If that was a normal duel, I would not be alive today.” (Kure)


“You may be right, but you won because you didn’t give up until the very end, wins. After my big talk, this just shows how inept I still am.” (Yoshitsune)


“Even if you said that without showing your best at all, it won’t be any different for me.” (Kure)



 Once the conversation stops, the silence returns. Kure rubs his numb right elbow.



“Even so… Even though it’s unique, I didn’t expect you to be that strong with just that single sword… You only have that one Fungal Skill, right?” (Kure)



 Yoshitsune’s eyes widened, then he gave a small nod.



“…Yes, I only have one Fungal Skill [Indestructible Sword]. Nothing else. Even if I raise my level in the future, I might not be able to learn another Fungal Skill… Also, the stamina consumption is very bad. Until just now, I was too exhausted to move.” (Yoshitsune)



 It is indeed a powerful Fungal Skill. At his current Fungal Level of 57, it was more than equal to the [Light Blade] of “Transcendent”, it was quite frightening.


 However, powerful abilities also have disadvantages. Unique skills and fusion Fungal Skills will eliminate the future where you could have been able to acquire other Fungal Skills. He is the so-called specialized type.



“That’s why… I’ve just been honing this one thing. I’m still in training, but I’m still to the point where I’m rumored to be the strongest swordsman.” (Yoshitsune)


“Oh, it was more than I expected. With my current level of skill, we could do it a hundred times and I could lose a hundred times.” (Kure)


“But… this is all I have. That’s why you…” (Yoshitsune)



 Yoshitsune clenched his fist and his head hung low.


 Kure also vaguely guessed. Why was he so irritated by Kure “not using anything but grappling throws”?



 Yoshitsune was given only one path, and he had no choice but to continue to refine it.


 Kure dared to fight only on a limited path. This must have appeared as a kind of arrogance in Yoshitsune’s eyes.



(Though I don’t think so…) (Kure)


(I feel it is like “the grass is greener on the other side” situation.) (Kure)



 He is so gifted that he has reached the top of his field, and there is no need to look down on himself.



“It is true that I have other Fungal Skills that I have learned… but not using them does not mean that I am being lazy or belittling others. I’ve honed myself to be able to fight through without them.” (Kure)


“…Yes, I understand.” (Yoshitsune)


“But… it’s true that I’ve wavered a little.” (Kure)


“Eh?” (Yoshitsune)



 This time Kure was the one at a loss for words. With his palms facing up, he tried squeezing and opening them a few times.



“If it was me just a little while ago… I never thought I would be afraid enough to think of surrendering my beliefs. I have thought that I would be fine with living without the Kure-style Life or Death martial arts. With the sword in front of me. The truth is that somewhere in the back of my mind I was afraid of your sword. I didn’t want to die there.” (Kure)



 It is difficult to determine whether that emotion had a positive or negative effect on the match until I cooled down a bit more.



“The origin of my beliefs are full of contradictions, well, it’s a long story. …But anyway, I had a lot going on back home, and I’ve been alone my whole life. Until now, I have had no one behind me.” (Kure)



 Martial arts are for the weak—he almost turned away from that belief, refined his skills just for himself, and lived only for himself.



“But now I have someone who I is important to me… someone more than a friend. It’s surprising to me, but I’m comfortable with them. So, I kind of think about it. I wonder if this belief is enough to save them when they are really in danger.” (Kure)



 A few months ago, I would not have worried about this. I had no idea that the encounter at Ouji, my defeat, would change me so much.



“I’ll take my time and think about it. Don’t hold it against me if I’m a different me the next time I challenge you, okay?” (Kure)


“You’re more than welcome. I won’t lose next time.” (Yoshitsune)



 Yoshitsune laughs and holds out his hand and Kure grabbed it back.



“Me too… I won’t lose next time.” (Kure)



 And then there is a commotion outside the room. The announcer can be faintly heard announcing the event and the cheers of the audience.



“Oh, it looks like seventh match will be starting soon.” (Yoshitsune)


“I should be recovered by the time the eighth match starts. I have to go cheer for Shuu.” (Kure)


“Um…can I ask you something?” (Yoshitsune)


“What is it?” (Kure)


“I’m sorry if I’m wrong, but the important person you were talking about earlier is Mr. Abe Shuu.” (Yoshitsune)


“Yes.” (Kure)



 Yoshitsune had an indescribable expression directed to Kure, who nodded with a light of hunger.



“It’s only been a little over a month since we met, but I’ve been watching his bu—back all this time.” (Kure)


“You tried to say butt, right?” (Yoshitsune)


“He is… in a sense, was the polar opposite of me. No matter what kind of adversity he faced, no matter how strong his opponents were. He would struggle for his own sake and for his friends, even if he was exhausted… he was for me. The strongest, most beautiful bu—person that I’ve ever known.” (Kure)


“Did you mean his butt?” (Yoshitsune)




T/N: Is being a pervert (anime/manga not IRL) a blessing, buff, or something. Happosai (Ranma 1/2), Tio Klarus (Arifureta), Gin (Gintama), Jiraiya (Naruto), Master Roshi (Dragon Ball), etc. they are all perverts, but they are very strong. May the anime/manga perverts be OP and their hentai/ecchi levels remain pg-13 or lower.



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