Metro Labyrinth Chapter 127.1: In The Heart Of The Dustbowl

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A/N: Thank you for waiting.



 Sometimes, after I have been on the surface.


 I suddenly wonder why an ordinary person like myself was given such a grand Fungal Class like a [Master Threadweaver].



(Why now?) (Shuu)


(At times like this—) (Shuu)



“Ugh!” (Shuu)



 While blocking the slashes of the six-armed Hakuou, receiving them with the flat side of my three accumulated [Katana], I thought for a moment that I was in the wrong place.


 Shaking off the distracted thoughts that crossed my mind for a moment, I opened my eyes and focused my attention on evasion and defense.



“Hey, hey! If you keep running away, I won’t get wet!” (Hakuou)



 Due to the weirdness of the complex cradle raider hag, I am pushed back more and more. Even though she jokes like this, Hakuou approaches me in pursuit, trying not to let me swing my huge [Katana].



 The tip of the blade is waiting for her as he passes through the diagonal slash.


 The tip of the [Axe Spear] flies at the same time as I jump back while my cheek is scratched.


 As soon as I think I’ve deflected it with the belly of my large [Katana], the [Rapier] grazes my open flank.



 The blade curtain was unleashed continuously and I could not even blink.


 Boiling my brain, squeezing my lungs, and my vision flickering, I am in a state of overheating.


 I dodge, flip, and parry the blades that are just a few millimeters away from me.


 I am not allowed to do anything other than evade and defend. That is the only way to go now.



(I don’t get it.) (Shuu)


(How many times have I thought this?) (Shuu)



 –She’s strong.



 So strong that it almost makes me laugh. To the point of being nonsensical.



 She thought she would have a better chance to attack than a perfect pair of mithril puppets or a platoon of seven puppets.


 Or that she would have to smash through using mithril armor to win.


 That’s why I chose to use long-range and maximum firepower accumulated [Katana].



 –But it’s impossible.



 This fusion with the puppet is neither a desperate attempt nor a last-ditch effort. It’s a real move that makes her the queen of the hunter world.



“Hah!” (Shuu)



 Just when I think I’ve somehow managed to keep my distance, the [Rapier] and [Axe Spear] are thrown directly at me. She managed to repel my attacks ready to skewer me, and as I thought that, she had already picked up another weapon that had fallen and returned to her six-weapon style.



 She is manipulating six weapons with six arms. The density and precision of her attacks clearly exceed those of the Mithril Puppet duo.



 Her greatest advantage, in my opinion, is her spatial grasp, which allows her to manipulate the puppet with unparalleled accuracy from a distance, and her predictive calculation ability, which allows her to read her opponent’s movements several moves ahead and then layer the puppet’s actions on top of them.



 It is no wonder that her precision and agility in the movement have improved dramatically, as she is freed from the overuse of her brain, which would have surpassed that of my [True Ahura], and can manipulate the puppet that has fused with herself as if it were her own limbs.



 In fact, it doesn’t seem like she’s imagining itshe’s noticeably more lively than when she was concentrating on the puppeteering. The corners of her mouth are up, his eyes are bloodshot, and he clearly enjoys wielding his weapon.



“Aaah! This feels good!” (Maria)



 Her breathing is ragged and her expression is intoxicated with excitement. The ruthless violence, as if he is taking out all the frustration he has felt up to that point. This is what it means to have your skin peeled off.



“I should have done this from the beginning! Please don’t die until I’m satisfied!” (Maria)


“Even if you’re satisfied, I don’t want to die!” (Shuu)



  The little bit of strength I had muscled out was sucked into the hypha arm, and it became a ball of mycelium at my fingertips. You said you were going to stop hitting, that was a lie (although you didn’t mean it, and I am close to my limit).


 A [Smokeball] from close range, thrown with a flick in the narrow space between the strikes. The ball is already cracked, but if there is an opening even for a moment, it can be folded up at once.






 In the space of a breath, the [Rapier] picks up the hypha ball just before it falls to the ground with its belly, and quickly disperses it to the side. Boom! Smoke explodes in the direction of the day after tomorrow.



(Are you serious!?) (Shuu)


(The hypha ball did not even pop!) (Shuu)



 She must have read the moment the hypha arm let go of the ball, but the skill with which she was able to do so in the midst of the exchange of blows was unbelievable.



 However, as expected, the rhythm of the attacks was broken. Immediately, I took a step forward and unleashed a wide sword swing.


 The blow smashes through the cross-guard of the [Rapier], and Hakuou leaps up softly using the force of the blow. Kicking my sword, he leaps over to the back of the sword, spinning around and slashing acrobatically. Gah gah gah! The swords of my [True Ashura] that catch it let out a deafening screech.



(—Fuc!) (Shuu)



“The eyes on your back! I want to know the identity of that skill!” (Maria)



(Just as I thought.) (Shuu)



 As we face each other again and strike, I come to a realization.


 She is aiming for my hypha arm. The reason why she went behind me earlier was because she wanted to do that.



 There is no way to restore the damage once created from hypha, including [True Ashura]. If I want to regenerate my missing arm, I have no choice but to cut it all off and create it again (probably [Magic Woman] is the same).



 Hakuou must be aware that I have [immortality] (or have near-indestructible regenerative capabilities). Rather than inflict enough damage to render me incapable of combat in my current state, she intends to defeat [True Ashura] and subdue me all at once.



 Certainly, if I lose even one arm, it will be difficult to handle my attacks. She won’t even give me the chance to recreate it again. In other words, she is acting like a raging tyrannical queen and is steadily trying to choke me out.



“Kuh!” (Shuu)



 Without even finding a clue to counterattack, the wounds on my body and hypha arms only increased.


 Blood spattering down onto the sand in reddish-black patches.



 I am being pushed further and further back. The [Sensory Spores] is letting me know that the wall of the auditorium is closing in.


 Being in “almost the same conditions,” I am reminded of this.


 The current situation, in which I am gradually being pushed closer and closer, is the “difference” between her and myself.



(What is this?) (Shuu)


(I knew it from the beginning!) (Shuu)



 I have heard this from her sister Utsuki. She is unquestionably one of the top ten geniuses in this country.


 Not resting on her talents, she has worked harder than most people behind her pompous queenly behavior. She has passed through countless metros to accumulate levels, bloodied herself to the bone to hone her martial arts and swordsmanship, and over the course of more than a decade, she has sublimated the [Magic Woman] into an invincible ability.



“You’re sloppy! If you keep running away from such a nice girl, you will remain a virgin for the rest of your life!” (Maria)


“Shut up! Don’t break the code!” (Shuu)



 Her eyes are blazing with joy. But behind the arrogant expression on her face, you can see that she is determined not to be defeated.



 In each of these continuous blows, which are delivered without pause, everything she has cultivated is carried without reserve.



 The weight is different. The thickness is different.


 No wonder, no wonder – there is no way she can lose.



(No!) (Shuu)


(I can’t lose!) (Shuu)


(I am the same!) (Shuu)



 The voices of the audience are almost overhead.


 I dare to catch her full-force swing and use the recoil to leap backward. I land on the wall without looking back.


 A momentary pause in the [Leaping], and the wall cracks open.



 I swing my huge sword and rush in a straight line toward Hakuou, and at that moment–






 She is already right in front of me.


 Her eyes widening with joy, she crosses her six weapons and leaps into the fray without hesitation.


 It was as if she had read the counterattack from me. As if she was trying to squash my initial action.


 She comes straight at me as if she has no intention of escaping or avoiding me.



(It’s just that…) (Shuu)


(Yokozuna Sumo!) (Shuu)



“Gaaaah!” (Shuu)



 With my teeth bared like a beast, I kick at the wall.


 Staring only ahead, I swing the three swords in my grip.


 At the moment of impact, my vision is blown white.





 The vision spins as if thrown into a washing machine. The sensation of being swung around as if your body is about to be torn apart.



 When it stops, I am lying on the ground.


 A cough escapes from my mouth, brushing against the sand.



“… it’s over…” (Maria)



 I look up at the voice.


 Maria Hakuou is standing a short distance away.



 The two mycelial arms of the [Magic Woman] have fallen off, and the mithril mail has peeled off from her chest to her waist.


 Her hair is frayed and blood is pouring from her forehead, using the [Axe Spear] as a staff.



“… I had fun, but as expected, you can’t do it anymore…?” (Maria)


“…*cough*…” (Shuu)



 I tried to reply, but a liquid that smells like iron rust begins to overflow from the back of my throat.


 A [Rapier] grows on the left side of my navel. Like an umbilical cord penetrating all the way to the back.



“Abe! Can you still move!? Do you surrender!?” (Referee)



 Immediately, I can hear the yelling of the referee from above. Come to think of it, I think.



(I wonder if I can do it?) (Shuu)



(The other hunters were not as tough.) (Shuu)





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