Metro Labyrinth Chapter 125.2: I’ll Give It All Out

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T/N: Argghh! Make it stop. If Maria is a Demon I could accept this, but it’s really hard to believe that would be the case.



 I strike the [Rapier] user with a downward swing, and then, without a moment’s pause, unleashes a winding strike at the [Axe Spear] user on the flank. It’s an attack that puts a lot of effort into knocking it off, but the two puppets staggered only slightly, but they covered the gap and did not allow any follow-up attacks.



 I used my legs to turn sideways. Like searching for a path that leads to the manipulator.



 But the puppet immediately stands in my way. It seems that the puppet is thinking that direct close combat is too risky, which will not allow me to easily enter near her.


 Circling around Hakuou, the puppets and I fight fiercely. With my shield down, I was hit more often, and my wounds were carved here and there.



“Rah! Gaah!” (Shuu)



 Still, with an animalistic roar, I continue to attack. Continuing to swing my arms, spraying blood.


 To break this stalemate and to pull the thin threads that lead to her.



 Threads–yes, she and her puppet are connected by threads. Threads from her five fingers attach to the puppet’s shoulders, the base of the thighs, and the torso.



 At first, I thought she was using strings to control her movements like an ordinary puppet, but her movements are too precise for that. Her fingers are not moving so fast, and those strings are not taut to begin with. In other words, she is not pulling the strings to move them.



 Perhaps they are controlled by her own brain waves like [Asura]? Thoughts? It seems that they are doing something like that. The strings are merely the cables of the controller that transmit the information.



 While desperately handling the three weapons, my legs wobbled as I dodged a thrust from the [Rapier]. I slipped on the sand.



 In order not to miss the chance, the two bodies approached with breathless movement.


 I grinned while my side was gouged out by the thrust of the [Axe Spear].


 I hold the [Axe Spear] between my left arm and armpit and catch the [Rapier] with the [Katana] in my right hand.



“–Where is my ball?” (Shuu)



 The [Axe Spear] user’s mithril mask would not have been able to see the hypha ball that flew above his head in a gentle arc.



 —The puppet did not even give you an opportunity to close the distance between you and the manipulator.



 If I try to use [Leaping], the moment I positioned, it will be crushed. Even if I could have done so, I have to consider the possibility of “a trap that dares to lure me in”. I would have been surrounded from three directions.



 In other words, even if I were to hit the manipulator, it would be meaningless unless I stopped the puppet first.



 Boom! A pillar of fire rises up behind the [Axe Spear] user. With a flick of my fingertip, a [Fireball] burns away the strings connected to the puppet’s back.



 The puppet’s shoulders slump. Through the [Axe Spear] in my grasp, I am sure that its power is gone.



(Here it is!) (Shuu)



“Gaaaah!” (Shuu)



 With all my might, I brush the [Rapier] aside, take a step to the side, and run my left [Katana]. The thread connected to the [Rapir] user is severed.



“-!” (Hakuou)



 Hakuou’s eyes widen. The distance between me and her is about ten meters.


 I gathered strength in my thighs and used [Leaping] horizontally. Straight at her.



“Tsk!” (Maria)



 Hakuou releases strings from the fingertips of both hands—she intends to reconnect them.


 I read it, too. I cut off the threads that pass by my side with my [Katana].



“Shhhaaa!” (Shuu)



 She is unarmed, but I do not hesitate. This is my only chance to win.


 With my momentum, I slam the shiny blade into her body.



(—fast!) (Shuu)



 Convinced that the match was won, the blow that was supposed to slice from her left shoulder to her right side.


 But, however, my [Katana] was caught by blades. The two [Rapier] we swung, created just in time.


 It was almost instantaneous, an impossible hypha weapon formation speed.



“Ooh!” (Shuu)



 So what? I silenced the puppet, all I had to do was to go at it with her.



 With a quick slash, I pushed her off and struck my two swords against her two swords. The two swords would exchange blows, with quick slashes coming at her like a beast, and her overpowering me with skill.



 As her reputation has shown, she is strong in swordsmanship alone. She is a master of swordsmanship, and she is probably on the same level as me.


 She is as skillful and accurate as her puppet. She seems to be a defensive fighter, using her slender sword to parry her opponent’s gains and deliver counterattacks in small increments.



 Still—much easier to fight than the two puppets. After we had fought each other, I understood firsthand that the difference in physical ability was not as great as the difference in level. I may not have the speed, but I have the power.



 I will not let the “Holy Silver Puppeteer” connect with the “Holy Silver Puppets”. I’m going to push through…



“You think you can win?” (Maria)



 A grinning Hakuou.


 At the same time, my spine felt shivers.



 I duck to avoid a high-speed thrust through the area of the [Sensory Spores]. The thrown [Axe Spear] passes right in front of my nose.



 At the same time, the silver-clad [Rapier] user comes down from the sky. I leap forward and swing down with my sword, but a split second later, I am slashed in the back. It is Hakuou.



(How–) (Shuu)



 The puppet, which should have been disconnected, is moving. They are attacking.



(No way–) (Shuu)


(Need to escape–) (Shuu)



 Same as before. The two “Holy Silver Puppets” and Hakuou approached from the front, behind, and above at the same time.


 There is no escape.






 A flash of light is heard with a high-pitched explosion. When Hakuou and the puppets are out of their momentary stun, I use my [Leaping] to keep my distance. I fail to land and am still crawling on the ground.



 At the same time I was surrounded, I created several [Thunderball] and fired them at the [Axe Spear] user who was closest to me. Just before the electric shock was released, I used [Leaping], but I couldn’t dodge my opponent’s attack, and my right cheek and left thigh were slashed. The wound on my back is also deep, painful, and bleeding badly.



“……Fuck……” (Shuu)



 I stood up, thrusting my sword into the ground with a sloppy motion. I’m still cramping in my legs and feet thanks to the electric shocks I’ve been subjected to as well.



“…I’m really surprised, even now I can’t finish you.” (Maria)



 Hakuou regained her composure and stood still with her puppets serving her.



“…can you manipulate them, even if they are not connected…?” (Shuu)



 I ask questions to buy time. Regardless of the wound, I have to get rid of the numbness.



“That’s right, I can’t move it as precisely as I can when it’s connected, though.” (Maria)



 It had been wired all along, so I thought cables were a must, but I didn’t realize that they are even wireless-supported.


 I should have suspected that possibility. Even [Squirrel Avatar] can be operated remotely to some extent.



I’m not trying to hide anything, but this is the first time I’m showing this off in public. I must give you credit, you’ve driven me to the point where I had no choice but to do so.” (Maria)



 Laughing with her chin up, Hakuou quickly thrusts her arms forward.



“…tonight, I’m going to give you a big treat. I’m also going to show you this… a special gift from the ‘Holy Silver Puppet’ Hakuou Maria.” (Maria)



 The threads from the fingertips are bundled together to form a human form.


 The [Magic Woman] – if you can call it that – is a white hypha puppet without the mithril mail. It’s body is also female in shape.


 The third puppet—by the time I thought it was possible, the fourth and fifth puppets had already been born.



 I involuntarily stagger on the spot.



“…Are you serious…” (Shuu)


“That’s the limit of what I can control at the same time… Although I’m sure it will increase as my level goes up.” (Maria)



 In addition to the two silver-white bodies, there are five white dolls. Each holding an [Axe Spear] or [Rapier], stood side by side to protect their creator.



“…that…” (Shuu)



 Even two puppets are so strong that it’s ridiculous, but there are seven of them.


 On the contrary, it makes me laugh. I wonder if that’s all—I wonder how extraordinary the sixth-ranked hunter in the country is.



“—Come on, stand up. A woman has exposed herself this much, right? I won’t allow you to run away in fear now.” (Maria)



 Once again, I stood up, straining my legs and feet.


 My body wobbles. Is it because of the repeated damage and bleeding, or–?



“… no good, I’m no match…” (Shuu)


“Eh?” (Maria)


“Impossible, I don’t feel like I can win.” (Shuu)


“…I don’t hate honest men, but if that’s what you really mean, it’s a little disappointing.” (Maria)


“Yes, I’m serious. I can’t win… as Sugamo’s Abe Shuu.” (Shuu)



 The audience was filled with a variety of voices. Not only the groans and cheers for Hakuou, who first demonstrated her hidden skill but also the unchanged voices pushing back against me.



“So from here on… I will fight as Abe Shuu, as I really am.” (Shuu)



 Winning itself was not the goal.


 It’s just a tool. To save Noa, revenge for Tamiko.



 It was not just about winning.


 If possible, I wanted to protect my own position and life.


 Even if I lost, I would be able to find another way. I knew that.



“…what do you mean?” (Maria)



 For the sake of the girls–of course, that comes first, but there is a part of me that is burning with the desire not to lose.


 There is me, who thinks that losing without any means to do this is as disgusting as death.


 For those who hoarsely cheer for me–more importantly, for myself.



 What an idiot, I thought. “Just do it”, says the inner Shuu.


 First of all, I’m going to win. Absolutely win. Then we’ll think about what comes next.


 Isn’t that good, Abe Shuu? Isn’t it good? What’s with the plain-ass face?



“What is that expression?” (Maria)


“From now on, I’m going to give my all…” (Shuu)



 With the numbness gone, I firmly grasp the ground. Spread my arms shoulder-width apart and let my arms relax.



“Oh, did you notice? My back was cut earlier, but there were holes on the back of my jersey.” (Shuu)


“Sleeves on your back… Huh?” (Maria)



 Hakuou must have guessed from just those words, and her eyes widened.



“… no way…” (Maria)


“I came back from Ikebukuro and had my girls sew me up… two more sleeves… and then added them to my back.” (Shuu)



 Gently I close my eyes and focus on my back.



 Threads come out from around my shoulder blades. Two places.


 Two threads are also produced from about two fist lengths below the shoulder blades. Two places.



 The white threads bunch up and weave through the four arms.



 The 16th Fungal Ability of Abe Shuu, [Ashura].


 its evolutionary ability.




“—[True Asura].” (Shuu)



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