Metro Labyrinth Chapter 133.i6.1: Underground Tournament 4

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T/N: I’m gonna use Kure for Kure Izuho instead of Izuho. He will always be Kure for me because it sounds like Curry, and spicy curries can really burn the booty.



3rd Person Perspective



“I was watching the game the other day.” (Tommy)


“You watched it?” (Kure)


“I almost cried a little, thinking how great you’ve become. I was a little bit moved when you continued the match even though you had your arm chopped off.” (Tommy)



 His friendly smile is the same as it was ten years ago. Even if he has changed his name to Kazama Tommy and is leading a new life, it is still his uncle who stands in front of him.



“Did you come forward knowing that your opponent was me? I didn’t know you were bent on revenge against this old man.” (Tommy)


“Uncle, I think you’ve gotten bad at jokes, haven’t you?” (Kure)


“Haha, isn’t it? If you were just a cute and normal kid, I would be the head of the family by now.” (Tommy)



 It is said that his grandfather, Kure Eric, who gave up on his son’s lack of martial arts talent, “bought” a child from a poor family of an acquaintance of his disciple. Neither an illegitimate child nor a relative’s child, he was literally a child completely unrelated to the Kure family.



 I want to talk frankly with this person someday–Kure secretly thought so.



 Was it what his uncle wanted, to be invited into the Kure family as the successor? Was it what he truly wanted, to be the head of the Kure-style Martial Arts?



 Was the “unusual witnessing” that resulted in my grandfather’s death really an unfortunate accident? If my uncle had murderous intent, was it motivated by his resentment at being deprived of even the title of “Second Head,” or was it directed at my grandfather personally?



“My father’s illness and death had nothing to do with you, and that man’s (grandfather) death was just a matter of him being weaker than you in the end. I don’t have a shred of personal resentment toward you, and… I rather thought that I was the one who was resented by uncle.” (Kure)



 It was his grandfather who made a mistake in promising that the second generation would be succeeded by his grandson, not his adopted son, because he was obsessed with blood. Although Izuho himself does not feel responsible for this, he is also aware that positive conversations are not the only thing that can affect his feelings.



“Don’t worry. At that time and now, I’ve never held a grudge against my cute nephew. It’s not a lie… Ah, the cute part is a lie.” (Tommy)



 Kure is surprised to find himself feeling so lighthearted with just that one word.



 He is rather fond of his uncle. He is not a good person, but rather a liar, a coward, and a cheapskate (he has never given his an allowance or a New Year’s gift), and yet he has a natural charm that Kure cannot help but like. If it weren’t for their complicated circumstances, he is sure they would have made a delightful uncle-nephew relationship.



“…then why did you go out of your way to go on a business trip to the black market? You knew I was going to be your opponent, right?” (Tommy)


“It’s simple.” (Kure)



 Kure quickly peels off the mask and throws it over the wire mesh. It fluttered in the air and fell into Koichi’s handor so he thought, but instead landed on Hamada’s bald head next to him.



“I want to fight with the legendary champion who won in five different cities–what more reason do I need?” (Kure)



 Tommy’s scarred face formed into a smile.



“Ah, it’s those eyes. It hasn’t changed since my brother brought you 20 years ago. He had that look on his face when you challenged a student nearly a year his junior and suddenly broke his arm. You looked so happy and innocent it was truly horrifying.” (Tommy)



 Then he stepped away from Kure and began to roll his shoulders in a circle. The fist that he swung into the empty space made a whistling sound.



“I’ve never held a grudge against you. But all this time, I was scared of you. I was jealous of your talent. It wasn’t only because of blood that the old man stopped letting me take over. He knew he was done with me when you came along.” (Tommy)


“You resent me?” (Kure)


“On the contrary, I’m grateful to you. Without you, I wouldn’t be here today. I would have been sitting on my half-assed talent and acting like a Naked Emperor, or I might have been fighting with you over the succession of the dojo. Whichever way you look at it, it’s going to be a shitty life.” (Tommy)



 He turned to Kure and threw his fist through his hair. The fist stopped just in front of his nose and hit him in the face with wind pressure and a woosh.



“I know more than anyone else that you’re a real genius. But even so, a half-genius who has trained himself to death is better than you. So today, I’m going to let you witness the dignity of your uncle, so get ready.” (Tommy)



“This match will be held according to the ‘Death Arms Rule’.” (Referee)



 The referee in the clown mask gives the final confirmation to the two fighters.



“Any use of Fungal Skills or weapons will result in immediate disqualification. The duration of the match will be a fifteen-minute bout. The match will end when a fighter gives up, or I deem the fighter incapable of fighting. The same applies if the opponent dies, but please note that if you intentionally cause the death of your opponent, you will be penalized as stipulated in the rules for subsequent fights. If the match cannot be decided within the time limit, I will decide the winner.” (Referee)



 While the Grand Tournament is a “no use of specific types of Fungal Skills,” the Under Ground Tournament is a “Death Arms Rule,” meaning that both fighters fight bare-handed. The use of Fungal Skills itself is a disqualification, and the referee who judges it is said to have the appropriate ability and eyesight, as well as rare fungibility such as [Mind’s Eye] and [Perception]. It is a waste of human resources to be part of an underground organization.



 However, this does not include the always-activated fungibility, such as Kure’s [Self-Regeneration] and Shuu’s [Immortality]. These abilities, which cannot be controlled even by themselves, are tacitly approved. What the management and the audience are looking for is a “flesh-on-flesh contact,” so the minor discrepancies are trivial.



 According to preliminary information, Tommy has [Self-Regeneration] and [Pain Reduction]. This is an ideal combination in the “Death Arm Rule,” but from Kure’s point of view, it is not that threatening. All you have to do is break his limbs, strangle him, and drop him.



(That’s not what I should be concerned about.) (Kure)



 It’s his uncle’s personality and a special environment called the Underground Tournament Ring.



(If it’s this person…) (Kure)


(He will definitely do it.) (Kure)



 The question is, what abilities will he use and how will he hide them?



“–Come on. Let’s do it, Izuho.” (Tommy)


“–Yes, uncle.” (Kure)



 Kure, who had moved away from the center to take his starting position, checked his surroundings, removing from his mind the clamor of the crowd, a mixture of cheers and jeers from the audience.



 Koichi, who is taking second position, looks like he is praying to the gods. Hamada, who was standing next to him, looked the same.



 Diagonally behind Hamada, there is a man wearing an eye mask that resembles a butterfly, which is in poor taste. According to Koichi, that is the city councilor, Rokuo Osaki.



 And there was another person he was looking for–on the catwalk on the second floor. He could tell at a glance that he was wearing a flamboyant red jacket. That short man in his thirties is Sakota Toshimichi, the leader of the “Strangely Naked” group.



(The actors are all here.) (Kure)



 What was the purpose of this arrangement? What is waiting for us after this match–even though Kure thought it has nothing to do with him, it’s true that he has become a little more interested in it since he came here.



“You think you can afford it, huh?” (Tommy)



 Kure looked back at the front of the room and saw Tommy scratching his head and chuckling.



“Concentrate–If this ends before you’ve had a chance to taste my growth, it won’t be worth all the hard work I’ve put in until now.” (Tommy)



 He’s right. What’s done is done.



 Now is the time to concentrate all of yourself on the battle in front of you. The joy of their reunion will be conveyed by the sound of bones shattering, and the proof of their growth will be expressed in the way one looks down at the other lying on the ground. That is all he needed to think about and seek.



“–Kure Izuho, I’ll beat you.” (Tommy)



 The referee swings his arm down, and the sound of a heavy gong shakes the hall.





 In the center of the boiling gazes, the two men brace themselves, staring at each other.



 As usual, Kure puts his hands loosely out in front of him and lowers his center of gravity. He is poised like a cat, ready to pounce on its prey.



 Tommy, on the other hand, lightly clenched both fists in front of his chest, half-crouching and swaying his upper body.



(His stance hasn’t changed.) (Kure)



(No, he seems to have become more forward than back then—) (Kure)




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