Metro Labyrinth Chapter 131.1: Closing Ceremony 1

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~3rd Person Perspective~



“…up! Wake up! Senior!” (Voice)




 He was shaken so much that his neck felt like it was going to fall off. “…ng… what…” Giran mumbled and cursed. He had just pushed Kiyomi to the point where he knew “about the color of today’s underwear”. He was so weak that if he lost one more time, he would have no choice but to take off his fur.



“…wrong!” (Voice)



 He gets up and shakes his head. Drool splatters all around him, but he has no time to worry about it.




(Was I asleep?) (Giran)


(When did it happen?) (Giran)



“Hey, Tomato…” (Giran)


“Senior?” (Voice)


“No, it’s nothing…” (Giran)



 This was not the time to be having dreams. The king is in the middle of a preliminaries match, and there’s a king next to him who he should be guarding.



“…Where is–” (Giran)



 In an instant, the blood in Giran’s body froze.



“Eh?” (Voice)


“Where is the king!?” (Giran)



 He was about to wake Giran up when he was attacked by his junior guard, Tanoue Tomato. He is a large man with a sloppy appearance and shakes his head with his eyes wide open.



“By the time I woke up…” (Voice => Tomato)


“…what…?” (Giran)



 The empty waiting room fell silent. The king, Donta, who was supposed to be sitting there until just a moment ago, is nowhere to be seen.



“How long have I been asleep!?” (Giran)



 Giran’s memory of how long he was asleep before he lost consciousness is hazy. After the match with Aomoto Rin, he was here chatting with the king and his juniors. They were talking about how they had to get back to our seats before the final match, etc. …That’s all Giran can remember.



“I don’t know. I just woke up a little while ago, too, and he woke me up…” (Tomato)



 Ahead of Tomato’s line of sight, a young man who looked like a member of the management staff was standing there with a frightened look on his face. The young man seemed to have been scared off by Giran’s angry voice earlier.



“Um… The closing ceremony is about to take place… but the Ikebukuro Tribe members haven’t returned, so I went to pick you up… but you were asleep…” (Staff)


“Tomato, let’s go find them!” (Giran)



 He stood up and hit his foot on the table. The paper plate of yakisoba and grilled corn on the table was pushed up and shook with a clatter. It seems to have already cooled down.



 As soon as he saw it, vague memories came back.



“…Suika, Suika!” (Giran)



 The other escort, Mizutani Suika.


 They came back with yakisoba noodles and grilled corn, and Giran accepted them.


 Just as he turned his back on the watermelon to place it in front of Donta.


 His mouth and nose were covered with a palm from behind.


 And, before he could shake it off, his consciousness—



(It was some kind of Fungal Skill.) (Giran)


(It was able put me to sleep.) (Giran)



“Yes…” said Tomato, also pale. “They got me, too…”



(After she put us all to sleep.) (Giran)


(Where did they take the king?) (Giran)



“…what a blunder…!” (Giran)



 Blood trickles down his gums as he bites down on his fangs. The hairs of his whole body are raised to the sky by the resentment towards himself.



(I have [Poison resistance].) (Giran)


(How could I faint in an instant?) (Giran)




 Moreover, it was deep enough he dreamt (the content was also terrible). It’s a hypnotic ability with a strong hypnotic effect.


 Perhaps it is different from [Hypnosis] under the Dust Skills, but more powerful than that. It is hard to believe that the [Knight] Suika had such an ability.



 Even if she has been hiding it all this time, what is the purpose of her abduction of the king?


 Personal grudge, complicity with other forces, or revenge for the old regime…



(…this isn’t the time to think.) (Giran)



 It is hard to believe that Suika is the kind of person who would be involved in such a dark plot, but the king himself has too many good reasons to be kidnapped. Giran believed it will all become clear when they find the two of them.



“Follow me, Tomato.” (Giran)


“Yes!” (Tomato)



 Despite the staff’s confusion, the two men kicked open the door and left the room.



 Giran hasn’t used his werewolf ability for decades. Even without it, it’s not so difficult to follow the scent of the king, who is familiar to his nose, and he also has a [Enhanced Nose] that enhances his sense of smell. He is ready to chase him to the ends of the earth.



 Giran’s legs, which started running with such enthusiasm, suddenly stopped before he had advanced more than ten meters.



“…senior?” (Tomato)


“…Tomato, she—do you remember what Suika said?” (Giran)



 As soon as they started running, a question suddenly crossed his mind–why didn’t she kill them?


 He had fallen asleep so deeply that he was indulging in silly dreams. It should have been a no-brainer. Even so.



 —I’ll keep you alive.



 Just before Giran lost consciousness, Suika’s voice whispered in his ear.






(She.) (Giran)


(Who is she?) (Giran)





~Shuu’s Perspective~



 Even though it was just before the closing ceremony, the venue was filled with an indescribable atmosphere.




 The incident in which Noah and my friends were attacked earlier was not announced to the general public. Even so, the fact that the closing ceremony had not started even after the scheduled time, and the sight of the management staff and security personnel scurrying around behind the scenes, created an atmosphere of disquiet, as if something was going on, that oozed from everywhere in the venue.



 As I stood there at the center of it all, standing idly by the announcer’s side, I felt slightly, or perhaps very, very uncomfortable.



“Um… I’m sorry, Mr. Abe. Please wait a little longer…” (Announcer)


“Oh, sure…” (Shuu)



 The announcer also looked uncomfortable. He was an old man in his late thirties with a naturally permed hair, and as he said, he looked apologetic and bowed down.



 I was to attend the closing ceremony as “a representative of today’s contestants” and receive a certificate from the Governor of Tokyo and a “word of thanks” from His Eminence. It was almost 10 p.m. and time was running out, so I was allowed to enter the venue ahead of the others (without any announcement).



(I mean.) (Shuu)


(I don’t know why I’m doing this.) (Shuu)



 I would have preferred to stay with Tamiko and the other members of the staff who had brought me along. Or I’d like to join the search for Hagumi and Susuyama (Real)? Susuyama (Impostor)?



 I am not sure if that man is connected to the Rikugi Metro guys that we were initially on the lookout for. Nevertheless – although we only had a brief encounter with him – I know that he is no ordinary hunter.



 This unknown villain may be plotting something somewhere while hiding in the shadows.



 Aomoto said that she had been told by her superiors that they would never allow the event to be canceled.


 However, the incident actually took place, and there were even deaths. How much sense does it really make to continue this event in such a carefree manner?



(Is this to save face?) (Shuu)


(Well, two heads of state and religion.) (Shuu)



 This is not the peaceful Japan of the past. As an unshakable stronghold for the people, there may be times when they should choose to take a firm stand, even if it means taking a few risks.



 However, I feel that the situation has already progressed to a rather bizarre point.


 Or to the point where there is no turning back.



(If that is the case.) (Shuu)



 What if the decision to continue was made in anticipation of that?



 And the noise in the hall grew louder.



“Hey, hey!” (Announcer)



 I looked up, too, as the announcer’s shocked voice is heard.



“…Are you serious…?” (Shuu)




 —The Governor and Founder are walking in the air.



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