Metro Labyrinth Chapter 133.i2.3: An Adventure Over Acorn 2

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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.



 I’ve also gotten used to the slipperiness of the pipes. Stomping firmly with the soles of my feet, diving low into its chest, and strike a horizontal sweeping blow. A red line runs horizontally across its pure white side, and blood spurts out.



“Gooooooo!” (Wraith)



 The Wraith makes a big step back and jumps up to the pipe overhead. I grabbed the pipe with hard that my fingers were sinking into the pipe, and I climbed up by swinging my body on a reverse climb.



“–Don’t run away!” (Shuu)



 I danced above its head. With my enhanced leaping ability.



“Aren’t you stronger?” (Shuu) [T/N: Cockiness is dangerous.]



 As soon as I landed in front of the Wraith, I gave it a firm smash with my toes. That’s the trick, even if I don’t have the long toes of a monkey, if I have the toe strength included with the level 58.



 I discard my hypha shield, grabbing my hypha sword with both hands, and taking a big swing at it from the bottom.


 At the same time, the Wraith, who had regained its stance, unleashes its arm.



 Just before it reaches my stomach—I swing down with all my strength.


 I swing down, with all my strength concentrated, drawing a perfect arc.


 The Wraith’s wrist gave away.



 Spattering blackened blood, I dodged the powerful arm of the Wraith, who swung at me with desperate fury.



 I was strangely calm. It was not that I was relaxed, and in fact I had been hit here and there, but my vision was still strangely clear, and my thoughts was somehow cool.



 It was Tamiko who dominated my thoughts.



 She was not within range of the Sensory Spores. Perhaps because I was too focused on the enemy in front of me, I could not hear her voice or the sounds of her battle.


 But the goblins have not come to join. Tamiko is still holding them off.



(I hope she is not being reckless.) (Shuu)



 I was worried, but more than that, I trusted her. Seeing that look on her face, she was a little uneasy but made up her mind, and I thought she had become stronger.



(Of course–) (Shuu)


(I’m not the only one who has grown.) (Shuu)



 Like a different squirrel than when we first met. I became stronger and more reliable. Her impertinence and foul mouth are from the beginning.



(The both of us–) (Shuu)


(Definitely got stronger.) (Shuu)



“Buu!” (Wraith)



 The wraith swings its fist down. Gouges an ear that just barely misses my side.



“–until we get out of here.” (Shuu)



 I, who had slipped into its bosom, raised my sword.


 The tip of my sword goes straight through the Wraith’s right eye, then into the back of its head, cutting its face in two, top and bottom.



 The sword’s swing traces the ceiling, clearing the fog that had settled in.



“Tamiko! Tamiko!” (Shuu)




 The sudden quietness of the area made me feel uneasy, and I raised my voice.


 I was so relieved when I caught the tiny shape with my Sensory Spores rushing down the pipe, and my whole body relaxed.



“Abeshuuuuuuuu!” (Tamiko)



 A ball of fur falling from overhead landed on my face. For a moment, she looked like a flying squirrel, but then she landed butt first.



“Abeshuu, I crushed them, squeak!” (Tamiko)


“…Um, me too.” (Shuu)



 When I grabbed and peeled her off my face, Tamiko was covered in blood and wounds here and there. Not Tamiko’s own, but splash back.



“Heh! Those small fries, I’m the best… I got the first, squeak, but the rest ran away from me, squeak…” (Tamiko)


“I see… but you held on well against the three of them. It was a great fight.” (Shuu)


“Abeshuu also did it. It’s revenge for that time, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“…well, the acorns did get us in a lot of trouble, but…” (Shuu)



 I held out my fist to my partner on my shoulder.



“It’s a win-win, for the two of us.” (Shuu)



 Tamiko bumped her own fist against mine.



“Well, in the first place, you did take what was mine, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“You’re still holding a grudge, huh?” (Shuu)





 As expected,


 After taking some time to carefully cross the “Pipe Forest,” we soon arrived at the “other oasis” that Tamiko had mentioned.



 It was a slightly smaller space than the oasis near us, but it was very similar in appearance. There was clean water, lush mycelium plants, and no sign of dangerous predators.



 After a few minutes of searching for the thing, we were looking for, we easily found it. The familiar, pretty yellow petals and an ill-fitting nut wrapped around them. Acorn Dandelions were blooming in tight clusters.



“There it is! There they are, squeak! My acoooorns!!” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko is so excited that she bites my ear for some reason. Are you some dog?



“I’ll take it all, squeak! There is no price equivalent to this! They are all mine!” (Tamiko)


“I know what you mean, sort of, but calm down. I mean, you can’t take all of it.” (Shuu)


“Eh?” (Tamiko)



 A genuinely shocked expression painted Tamiko’s face. Was she really going to replant all of it?



“If we take all of it, it will be just like the oasis near our place.” (Shuu)


“… but… everything over there is gone, squeak…” (Tamiko)


“That’s true, but… that kind of thing doesn’t happen very often, so Tamiko doesn’t have to do it.” (Shuu)


“…but…” (Shuu)


“There are others who need them, rats, birds, insects. That’s how the Metro goes around, so even these Acorn Dandelions are here. But if we take it all away all at once, it’s going to affect a lot of individuals, just like it’s affecting us now.” (Shuu)


“…I don’t understand, squeak…” (Tamiko)



 It may have been a little difficult to explain. I, myself, wasn’t even sure if that was the correct answer.


 Still, I may not be wrong. The way of thinking about only oneself will come back to bite you sooner or later. Therefore, it is better to share a little with everyone so that it does not happen.



“So… let’s just take seven for the time being, just enough for one week. You can eat one a day, and when you run out, we can come back here again.” (Shuu)


“…if the next time we come back, squeaks here won’t be gone, too…?” (Tamiko)


“That’s right.” (Shuu)



 I patted Tamiko’s head and nodded.



“I’ll even look with you again, somewhere else.” (Shuu)



 I was embarrassed to say that, but it was still my dear partner’s favorite food, so I kept it to myself.



“That’s right, even the flowers were plucked over there. Don’t you eat the flowers, Tamiko?” (Shuu)


“My mom said I shouldn’t eat the flowers of the acorn dandelion because they will make me sick to my stomach, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“I see… Well, I’ve been eating and drinking tea several times, but why didn’t you tell me? Look me in the eye and answer me.” (Shuu)





“After that, two or three days later, it was back to normal in the oasis, and the acorn depletion problem was solved.” (Shuu)


“It’s a daily blessing, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“It’s been a tough time. …I mean, really, all the souvenir stories from the Outsuka Metro are hard ones. I’m getting sick to my stomach just thinking about it.” (Sou)


“Hey, Noa. I never succeeded in home-growing acorn dandelions, do you know how those are propagated?” (Shuu)


“Ah, yes… if you’re interested…” (Noa)


“Oh, are you serious?” (Shuu)


“Let’s grow them in the yard, squeak! I’ll eat it all, squeak! Pigya!” (Tamiko)


“It spreads by sending out fluff. Haven’t you seen it?” (Noa)


“No, I don’t think so.” (Shuu)


“It is through the Carcasses of the Fruit-Eating Animals.” (Noa)


“Eh?” (Shuu)


“Eh?” (Tamiko)


“The fruit is a mass of mycelium, and when the animal dies with it undigested in the stomach, the mycelium uses the animal as a nursery to multiply and produce fluffy spores. Finally, the stomach swells up, bursts open, and they spread. Oh, it’s all right, as long as you’re alive and can digest it.” (Noa)


“……” (Shuu)


“……” (Tamiko)


“The flowers are poisonous, by the way, and if you eat them with the fruits, animals with a weak immune system or tolerance will die. I guess that is also a survival strategy to expand its habitat.” (Noa)


“Abeshuu, I am a ‘poison’ eater, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“What a coincidence, I thought so too.” (Shuu)



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