Metro Labyrinth Chapter 133.i7.2: Underground Tournament 5

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3rd Person Perspective



 In his current collapsed position, he could not dodge it. A direct hit would blow his neck off, and if he took it, his left arm would be broken. Either way, Tommy will win–at least that’s what Tommy seems to believe.



 However, Kure’s resolution was already set.



 Kure guards his head with his left arm. At the same time, Kure felt his arm fracture, he thrusts his right hand forward.



 It can’t be used for striking; if Kure grabs him, Tommy will just shake him off. The right hand that had been belittled by Tommy that he had become less vigilant.



 Kure’s hand does not move into a grabbing curve, does not extend his fingertips like a stabbing hand, and leaves the palm open carelessly as if scratching at the sky.



 Tommy’s right shin snapped Kure’s guarding left arm, and with the force of momentum, it dug into Kure’s neck.



 At the same time, Kure steps forward diagonally to support his collapsing body, his right palm straining against Tommy’s chest.





 Perhaps his uncle was right and Kure’s father’s Kure-style Life or Death Techniques are just “self-defense tricks for the girls”.



 Abandoned by his grandfather, Kure’s father devoted himself to establishing a “martial art for the weak” suitable for the powerless [Peasants] in order to affirm himself. In the process of this endeavor, which was cut short halfway through, there was an empty theory in the name of profound principles that my father continued to pursue, calling it “the strongest fang that even the weak can possess.”



 Most of the creatures in this country that have mycelium inside their bodies, such as the “People of the Thread” and Metro Beasts, have an organ called a mycelial vessel. They are spread throughout the body like blood vessels, connecting the mycelium produced in the sporangium to the cells. It can be a muscle cell, a nerve, or the brain.



 All living things in this country have the power of mycelium in their bodies. Even the [Peasants], who do not have Fungal Classes.



 What Kure’s father was trying to practice was the art of directly outputting this power without relying on Fungal Skills. The theory was never completed by the end of his father’s life, and it was buried in a page of a book of secrets as a secret technique without a name.



 And his son, Izuho, realized this phantom technique.


 Within three days of his recent stay in the metro area, he had easily accomplished it. He even managed to develop it to a level where it could be used in actual combat.



(Oh well…) (Kure)


(I thought I could do it from the beginning.) (Kure)



 What I learned from actually trying it was that, contrary to his father’s intention, whether or not he could master the technique depended greatly on Kure’s own personal qualities and sense of style. In fact, Koichi could not reproduce even a glimpse of it in three days. Even a hunter who usually have the ability to manipulate the mycelium inside their bodies are like that, so there are probably only a handful of people who can reproduce it.



 —Kure wondered if he could add something that went against his father’s philosophy to the list of techniques he had left behind.


 It’s true that there was a feeling of hesitation in Kure like that,



(But well…) (Kure)


(This match…) (Kure)



 He discarded his grandfather’s skills.


 However, with his broken right hand, his father’s techniques alone cannot beat his uncle.


 That’s why,



(Due to various things.) (Kure)


(I can’t afford to lose.) (Kure)



 Replacing the word “resolve” with the excuse of pretending to be.


 It was a last-minute compromise, so he decided to accept it.



 What Kure is conscious of is—to communicate, to get the message across.


 The image of connecting the mycelium of the whole body and making it vibrate.


 The image of concentrating the vibrations generated in one place.


 The image of transmitting the collected power to the opponent’s body.


 And then–the image of letting it burst inside the other person’s body.



 Tommy’s first sensation, or in the eyes of the audience,


 “Pom.”, it’s probably just a light palm strike on the solar plexus.



 But—just with that,


 Bam! A heavy, dull sound explodes.


 Tommy’s back bends.


 Dust dances around in the air from the shockwave that pierced through his body.


 Tommy slams and rolls around the ring while throwing up bile and blood.



 Amidst a roar of cheers, Kure looks down at his uncle, not even bothering to follow up.



 Or rather, he can’t. The damage done by Tommy’s kick is more than Kure expected. The blow to his neck, more than the fracture in his left arm, has struck him in the core, making him weak and dizzy.



“I-Izuho… You…!” (Tommy)



 Tommy kept his distance and sat up,



“Just now… Fungal Skill… [Vibration]… No… Different… Referee…!” (Tommy)



 Tommy looks up at the referee with blurry eyes.



“That’s not true… that’s not my Fungal Skill, it’s my father’s legacy.” (Kure)



 Kure answers to his uncle, or rather to the referee.



“It’s a technique that even [Peasants] can use if they want to.” (Kure)



 Kure’s eyes meet the eyes of the referee peering through the two holes in the clown mask. The referee nods once and crosses his arms urging him to continue. It’s a gesture of “get up” and “fight.”



“That’s a lie… Oy…!” (Tommy)



 Tommy can’t believe it, but he’s still trying hard to get up. Because he knows the referee’s judgment is absolute in the Underground Tournament.



“Well… even if it’s a Fungal Skill–I don’t think uncle should say anything about it.” (Kure)



 Tommy’s sweaty face scrunched up. This kind of easy-to-understand nature is one of the things that make him so hard to like.



 “Tokyo Underground Tournament” is a place that eschews Fungal Skills and shows a clash of raw skill between fighters. However, the reality is that the higher up the ladder one goes, the more effort and ingenuity is spent on cheating to “block the eyes” of the spectators and judges and use fungus ability. The fact that the management seems to be enjoying this makes it even more of a farce.



 Of course, it is impossible to fool the discerning audience with half-baked skills.



 For example, how many people in the audience noticed that Tommy’s left fist extended unusually long after Kure’s stance collapsed? The subtle and instantaneous control of using just a few centimeters [Extended Arm] in the split second of swinging his fist is something that even a master hunter would not be able to easily imitate.



 The fact that his right fist became unusually stiff and heavy in the middle of the swing was probably due to the instantaneous use of the [Iron Fist]. This can only be speculation since Kure could not confirm it with the naked eye, but the bandage wrapped around his wrist was probably not to protect his fist, but to camouflage it.



(Also the Itabashi champion…) (Kure)


(They did something similar.) (Kure)



 It’s not match-fixing if it doesn’t get called-out. That’s a fair argument, but this was one of the reasons why Kure didn’t really get into the Underground Tournament.



 Anyway, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Is it accepted that Kure’s secret technique is not Fungal Skill and Tommy’s foul play is tacit or unnoticed? Either way, the referee, who is now in charge of the situation, urges the continuation of the match.



 Then there is one thing to do.



“…Let’s get this over with….” (Tommy)



 Tommy finally stands up as he says this. His legs are still wobbly. The results of an experiment showed that the Green Goblin who had been hit by a test blow died in agony, with blood spurting out of every orifice in his face. Not only would he have suffered severe damage to his internal organs, but he would also have had difficulty breathing, judging from his complexion.



 Since Tommy, who has [Pain Reduction], was in this condition, unless he was bluffing, Kure think it is safe to say that the winner had already been decided.






“… that’s right. We have to finish the match properly or the guests won’t be able to leave.” (Tommy)



 Tommy held his heavy arm in the upright position, and Kure bent with his broken left arm behind his back.


 Without waiting for the referee’s signal to resume the bout, the two kicked the ground simultaneously.



 If it had been an exchange of techniques, if it had been a pure clash of strength and power, Kure might not have had a chance to win.


 However, a match is all about the result, and victory or defeat has already been decided.



 Even so, neither of them stopped.


 Both sides stretched their arms forward, trying to seize what lay ahead.



 Kure, who had evaded the curtain call of the left jab, which had lost its momentum, thrust his second deep strike into the opponent’s body.


 He comes around behind Tommy, who is on his knees, slumped, and wrapping his right arm around its neck.


 Kure grabs him with his broken left arm and squeezes Tommy behind his back, squeezing with his last ounce of strength.



“Let’s do this again, uncle.” (Kure)


“…heh… You’re horrible…” (Tommy)



 Kure’s uncle, swearing in a muffled voice, did not show any willingness to give up until the very end.



 The moment his hands fell to the ground and the referee crossed his arms over his head, the audience exploded with cheers so loud that they shook the air.





 A stretcher was brought in through the opening of the wire fence, and Tommy, who was bleeding so profusely from the mouth, Kure became a little worried, was placed on it. Even so, he still seems to be conscious, so mater level is indeed tough. He also has [Self-Regeneration], so Kure believed he won’t die.




 At the center of the ring, the crowd of masked men and street thugs applauds and cheers for the fighter. Kure didn’t really like it, but he knew it was his duty as the star of the show to respond by raising his arms in the air.




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