Metro Labyrinth Chapter 133.i1.2: An Adventure Over Acorn 1

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T/N: I’m using the old Outsuka Metro terms because this is a chapter before meeting Noa and knowing all the standard terms.



(Still…) (Shuu)


(If she stays like this, that’s it.) (Shuu)



 The goal of our group is to get off this floor. To do that, we need to get stronger, hunt more, and eat more sporangia. I can’t let her stay here forever.


 However, I feel that it is not right to force her to pull out of this place with her motivation at rock bottom. She is still a child, after all, and even though it was also a coincidence, I was the cause of the problem. After I told her that the acorns I ate in my sleep-addled actions were bad, she wouldn’t talk to me for two weeks.



(Even after I turn every stone.) (Shuu)


(Seriously, I can’t find it.) (Shuu)



 Although there were not many, I have seen them outside of the oasis from time to time. The probability of finding them is not zero. But when it comes down to it, I can’t find them at all. My treasure sensor is working too hard.



 One hundred years ago on earth, even in Tokyo, I could have found at least one in a park or vacant lot. Most of them are dotted with dandelions, which have the vitality to emerge from cracks in the asphalt and reproduce using self-fertilization, sending out fluff with a bang. I wish they could have shared their toughness with their junior.



 Acorn Dandelions are in unprecedented short supply. Not only Tamiko but also other small animals must be at a loss. The only thing to do now is to wait for the acorns to come back into stock naturally, but I wonder when that will be.



“…Hey, Tamiko. Are there other places like this oasis?” (Shuu)



 The 50th underground floor of the Outsuka Metro is huge, and the area that we have set foot on is only a small part of it. The possibility of acorn dandelion paradise remaining in some undiscovered place cannot be ruled out.



“There’s another… Ooh!” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko stood up and turned around.



“…I know, only one other place. It’s a place just like this oasis, squeak!” (Tamiko)


“Seriously! Then let’s go!” (Shuu)


“…but I can’t, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Eh?” (Shuu)



 The look on her face cleared up, but then it clouded over again.



“You’re going through a very dangerous place, squeak. The place my mom said I shouldn’t get too close to…” (Tamiko)


“What’s scary?” (Shuu)



 I’ve already fought most of the major metro beasts on this floor. Will there still be unknown strong enemies at this stage?



“… ‘Pipe Forest’ squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Eh?” (Shuu)


“That’s what mother calls it. ‘Pipe Forest’… It’s a very wide place, and it’s the home of monkeys.” (Tamiko)





 The 50th floor has been crowded with wolves and monkeys for many years. The hideout where Shuu and the others were staying was right near the border between the two camps, and it was lucky that it was a relatively safe area because it was a little far from their territory.




 To the right of our hideout were a series of areas infested with ape-like metro beasts, including a goblin village and an ogre meadow. Tamiko’s “Pipe Forest” was just beyond these areas.



“… incredible.” (Shuu)



 As Tamiko’s Mother implies, it was indeed a pipe forest.



 The scene the Pipe Forest paints is a huge gas plant facility left behind after the collapse of civilization. As far as the eye can see, there are countless metal pipes running up, down, left, and right, with mycelium vines crawling through them as if they were trying to cover the entire area.



 The visibility is poor due to the fog, and it is impossible to see how far the pipes go. In addition, we could not see up and down, the ceiling or the bottom of the earth. The airflow and sound reverberation that I could feel on my skin indicated that the area was quite large.



“Tamiko, the only way to get to that ‘other oasis’ is through here, right?” (Shuu)



 Tamiko nods on his shoulder. The sulking furball mode was temporarily put to rest.



“I’ve only been there once, but it’s not lithe before, squeak. Sometimes the Metro is strange, and I end up in a different path, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“I see.” (Shuu)



 The labyrinth that is the Metro changes its shape from time to time. One day, an unfamiliar room suddenly appears, and the passage that was connected yesterday is suddenly blocked (although it doesn’t happen often). It seems that such a mysterious phenomenon is called “Metro Shift”, but Tamiko says that she does not know the principle or regularity.



“My mother told me that she went through here by herself, squeak, but she was not able to come back because it was a place monkeys stay, and it was dangerous squeak. But I can get to another oasis from here, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“I hope that loophole hasn’t been destroyed by the Metro Shift…” (Shuu)


“Abeshuu, be careful, squeak. This is a busy place with all kinds of metro beasts, and beasts are always getting into fights, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“That’s troublesome… Let’s go carefully.” (Shuu)



 We decided to go down to the very bottom. It was indeed tough to walk across the top of the pipe, not knowing how wide it was.



 I jumped on a pipe and it creaked ominously but did not collapse or break. The pipe was covered in rust, but it seemed to be a solid foothold. Checking the footholds one step at a time, I slowly made my way down.



 After about 20 to 30 meters, I finally reached the ground. However, it was an ankle-deep marshy area, making it more difficult to walk than on the pipe. We had no choice but to climb up the pipe again and go straight to the end.



 It was like walking through a huge jungle gym. If we had been in a private space, I might have enjoyed it a little more, but unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to do so. The top of the pipe was slippery due to the humidity, and if I accidentally stepped on moss or leaves, I would slip, and there were beast-like cries coming from all directions.



(Seriously, there are various presences detected by my sensory spores.) (Shuu)


(I wish I had learned what the white acorn is.) (Shuu)



 It was more than half a year ago that I challenged the boss slime and got turned back. I’ve been training hard for revenge, and I’ve raised my level three times since then, to 58 now. I have learned one new Fungal Skill, but the fourteenth one, a mysterious white acorn made of hypha, was sealed up, not knowing how to use it or what its purpose was.



(Like it would work on that slime.) (Shuu)


(I wish I could learn something with high firepower.) (Shuu)



“Abeshuu!” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko shouted in my ear. My Sensory Spores caught it at the same time – a presence approaching at breakneck speed from above.



“Gyagya!” (Red Goblin)


“Gigyagya!” (Red Goblin)



 Two Red Goblins. They kicked at the pipes and came at us from overhead accelerating using gravity. It’s a maneuver born from mastering this athletic environment.



“Ha!” (Shuu)



 I repelled the first one, which was holding a hypha knife, by striking it with my hypha shield. At the same time, I calculated that I would use my hypha sword on the second one, but at the first blow, my foot slipped, and the sword cut through the air.



(Oh no.) (Shuu)



 The second with a hypha club fell down towards me, and I twisted my upper body to dodge it just in time.



“Kuh!” (Shuu)



 At the same time as my dodge, I pressed the blade against my opponent’s stomach swung it out, and pulled it back. With a biting sensation in my palms, I sliced the body of the second one in two, up and down.



“Woah!” (Shuu)



 The momentum was too much for me and I almost fell off the pipe. I hopped over to the next pipe, rested my back on the vertical section, and readjusted my stance. I still hadn’t finished the first one.



“Abeshuu, on the right!” (Tamiko)


“I know!” (Shuu)



 Before I knew it, I found myself surrounded. The sensory spores only caught small presences of the goblins, which was a blessing.


 But they are a menace on this foothold until I get used to it. The advantage of the field is more than I thought, and even though the difference in level is as great as the difference between heaven and earth, I can never let my guard down.



“Gyagya!” (Red Goblin)


“Gyaah!” (Red Goblin)



 A well-organized assault was coming from the front, back, left, right, up and down. Shifting my footing, I dodge the encirclement, intercepting them one by one, and making sure to finish them off.



(–eh?) (Shuu)



 A strange feeling came into my mind.



(I also used beast-repellent spores, right?) (Shuu)



 Or rather, I’m still spreading them. Normally, low-level goblins would not attack us.



(Is it because of the fog?) (Shuu)



 That may also be it. The sensory spores are a little noisy, and the beast repelling spores may be less effective.



(However…) (Shuu)


(Maybe that’s not all–) (Shuu)



 A chill ran down my spine.



 From beyond the fog, something flew at high speed and without a sound, piercing through the area of the sensory spores.


 The hypha shield, which barely caught it, was knocked back, and my stance collapsed, my legs slipping.



“–Ngh!” (Shuu)



 At the moment I was thrown into the air, I hooked my hypha shield on a nearby pipe and spun around in reverse like a reverse ascent. I jumped up and landed on another foothold. I was so brilliant in my recovery that I was extremely proud of myself and said, “Wow, I’m awesome!”



“…Abeshuu…” (Tamiko)


“…I know.” (Shuu)



 The attacker’s outline was captured by the sensory spores. Also, it was already visible to the naked eye.



 A huge ape with pure white body hair, reminiscent of a ghost, was standing above the heads Tamiko and me.



 It was a monster that boasted the strongest class of killing power on the 50th basement floor of the Outsuka Metro. It was a Wraith.



“…that guy…” (Shuu)



 My heart began beating faster.



“…no way…” (Shuu)


“… Bobo.” (Shuu)



 In response to my murmur, it cried out a short menacing cry.



 The face was badly burned and scared, and one of its eyes was hollowed out.




T/N: Time to tie some loose ends.



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