Metro Labyrinth Chapter 133.i3.2: Underground Tournament 1

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3rd Person Perspective



 Only about 10% of the total population of the “threadweavers” have Fungal Classes, those who have mastered their Fungal Skills and can attain level 10 or above. Although there is a disparity in the number of Fungal Classes by region, according to the number of members in the guild branch, the number of Sugamo is slightly smaller than the others.



 Osaki has been training the orphans he has gathered in his garden as his own offspring. Some, like Koichi, are made to work as professional hunters, while others are kept on hand as guards or henchmen. Although the total number of these men must be less than ten, it is probably far more cost-effective and more efficient than employing a hundred [Peasants].



 However, Koichi himself is seldom asked to take care of Osaki. This is because Hamada holds the reins of his collar.



 The connection between Osaki and Hamada is deep. Hamada is tolerated by Osaki’s advocacy of “necessary evil,” and Osaki accepts bribes from Hamada. It is no exaggeration to say that these two practically run the underbelly of Sugamo. How much do the mayor and other city council members know about this? Do they know about it, and do they just dismiss it as a “necessary evil” and turn a blind eye to it?



 At any rate, Koichi was accepted by Hamada from the time he was an apprentice, and he became Hamada’s protege as Osaki had handed him over to Hamada.



(Rather than being used by that old crook.) (Koichi)


(This is a hundred times better.) (Koichi)



 Even if he becomes an outlaw, he is more likely to be treated by an underworld boss who values honor and humanity than a man who is an incarnation of an abacus, a man who can only measure everything in terms of profit and loss. In fact, Hamada has always looked out for him, and Koichi is able to send money to the garden because he gives him more reward for his underworld work. It is also true, however, that he has been beaten half to death many times because of the reckless fixed matches he has been involved in.



(That Hamada clan too.) (Koichi)


(At the brink of eating or being eaten.) (Koichi)



 The battle that will take place in a week’s time. It will be a big match that will determine the survival of the clan and the future of Sugamo’s underworld.



 The “Strangely Naked” (I’m not sure what the definition of “semi-gray” is) is a semi-gray group that has emerged as a major force in the Sugamo underworld over the past few years and has now become the second largest group. They are a hundred to a thousand times worse than the Hamada clan.



 Their leader, Sakota, is rumored to be a wanted criminal in another town, and the members of the group are all bad guys in terms of behavior and appearance, just like their boss. They commit violence in downtown and backstreets, regardless of whether they are professional hunters or not. And yet, they are even better than Hamada at sniffing out and handling money and are not bad at being remembered by Osaki and the town’s influential people, so they are hard to deal with.



 The Hamada clan engages in a match for the survival of the organization with such guys. Each other’s representatives will compete, and the losing side will be under the umbrella of the winning side.



(Why would they do that?) (Koichi)


(And at this time.) (Koichi)



 Whichever side wins, the situation in the back alleys will change drastically. No, if the Hamada clan loses, it will be more than that.



(Yoshimoto garden too.) )Koichi_



 What will happen to Osaki’s financial power and influence when the Hamada clan, which has supported this town from the shadows for many years, disappears? For Koichi’s work. Above all, the operating funds for the garden.



“…we can’t lose can’t we…” (Koichi)



 For the director who raised him. For the sake of his younger brothers and sisters who adore him.


 But what can he really do?



“I don’t think Abe Bro will go… if I ask him to, maybe?” (Koichi)





 The next day.


 Koichi headed for the Sugamo branch office.



 According to Hamada’s story, “Strangely Naked” had invited a prominent player from the outside for the next bout. Koichi himself had been in and out of Underworld Tournament, so he had at least heard of the name.



 The “Tokyo Underworld Tournament” is a mysterious fighting organization that organizes Underworld Tournaments in various parts of the country. One of the fighters hired by the “Strangely Naked” is one of the legends of the Underworld Tournament world, who has won the championship belts in the rings of many cities.



 is hard to imagine how “Strangely Naked” managed to get such a superstar on their side, but at least there is no one among Hamada’s protegees who can compete with him (Sugamo, which is always short of talent, has only four masters to begin with).



 So now, the entire Hamada clan is searching for a promising player. The reason why they went out of their way to ask Koichi for help was probably because they were clinging to a straw. It is not so easy to expect that they can really invite the “Hero of Sugamo”.



(But still…) (Koichi)


(I might at least give him a call, just in case.) (Koichi)



 But what should he say to him? He stopped in front of the entrance of the guild and pondered for a moment.


 It is true that he knew Abe Shuu. He had only met him once in the village of Rikugi and called him “Abe Bro” (he might not even remember his face).



 Sugamo’s golden rookie suddenly appeared. And now he has become the man of the hour thanks to his victory over the infamous “Witch of Komagome” in the concluding match of the recent Grand Tournament.



(Indeed, that match.) (Koichi)


(It was a very emotional moment for us.) (Koichi)



 Koichi was one of those who were watching the fight. When he recall the moment when he raised his arms to the night sky, he almost cry. He can only vaguely recall his face, though.



 His popularity has skyrocketed to such an extent that it dominated the conversation of the children at the garden last night at dinner. “He’s so handsome”, “He’s got the strongest magic beast on his shoulders”, “Brother Koichi, what is a virgin?”



 He wants him to participate in an underworld (an almost completely illegal) black market? He wants the “Hero of Sugamo” to get involved in a dispute between thugs?



(It’s impossible.) (Koichi)


(If they find out, he might lose his livelihood.) (Koichi)


(But… is there anyone else who could win?) (Koichi)



 Still hesitating, Koichi pushes the door open.



 It was lunchtime, and the ground floor eating area was busy. No alcohol is served (with a few exceptions), but everyone is talking, chomping down on sandwiches from the signature menu. Koichi looks around the restaurant, exchanging a quick hello with his friends of the same age.



 At first glance, Abe Shuu doesn’t seem to be here.



 He was relieved to see that Abe Shuu was not here, but he shook off his hesitation and looked around the restaurant. He wandered around weaving his way between the standing tables, and he is met with quizzical stares from the senior staff.



(As expected.) (Koichi)



 Then, one man caught Koichi’s eye.



(Him.) (Koichi)


(This person.) (Koichi)



 He is alone in a corner of the space, resting his cheek on the table and chewing on a piece of fried chicken. He has red hair, which is uncommon to this branch, and a face so well-defined that even someone of the same sex would be unable to not look back. If you look closely, you can see through his jersey that his pectoral and brachial muscles are well-developed.



“…him–” (Koichi)



 He unconsciously called out to him. The first time he saw him, he was surprised to find himself a beat behind, but he couldn’t back out now.



“… what is it?” (Kure)



 He looked up with a graceful gesture and brushed his hair to the side, which had spilled out. It’s so elegant that it doesn’t even annoy Koichi.



“No, um… You’re Mr. Kure from Senju, right? You were in the match…” (Koichi)


“Oh yes. What is it?” (Kure)


“I’m Imada Kouichi from Sugamo. Can I have a few minutes of your time?” (Koichi)


“Oh, I don’t mind. I’m all alone right now, as you can see, and it will take me a few more minutes to finish my meal.” (Kure)



 Kouichi faces Kure across the table. He swallowed down his hesitation, struggled to formulate the words in his head, and took a deep breath.




“Um, Mr. Kure, you are an acquaintance of Abe Br… Mr. Abe Shuu, right?” (Koichi)



 Kure’s eyes widen, and then nodded slowly.



“…acquaintance, huh… ah, that’s right.” (Koichi)



 And then he chuckles softly.



“Certainly, I know Shuu. And I want to pour my love in his butt.” (Kure)


“Haa???” (Koichi)



 Maybe it’s just a weird expression in Senju?



A/N: This is a story that is slightly trailing from the last of the previous arc.



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