Metro Labyrinth Chapter 135.1: Secret 2

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 Time passed in a hurry as we gathered people, had a strategy meeting, and made final preparations.


 Just before the mission, the light of the firefly moss begins to turn slightly bluish. Night is almost upon us, and the hunters begin to move in order to get things done by then.



 The preparations for subjugating the Wormjaw are already in place; all that remains is to put them into practice.


  It’s easy to put it into words, but no matter what happens, it is me who has to put my body on the line the most, and there is no doubt that I have the most dangerous role to play.



 That’s fine. It’s much better than Tamiko or Noa having to go through that.



 Besides, it was Noa who did the most in the preparation stage. She was so exhausted that she could no longer stand up, and I want to live up to her expectations.



 But—But I’m still worried–



“I was imagining someone more rugged.” (Hunter)


“He looks like he won’t be alive tomorrow.” (Hunter)


“Rather, the squirrel on his shoulder is the main body, isn’t it?” (Hunter)



 The peanut gallery, or rather, the hunters, totaled 30 people.



 The majority of them were novices in the 10s and 20s. This time, it was me who took the brunt of the work, but their efforts were a major key to the success of the operation.



 They are young people around 20 years old, and they were lively and boisterous from start to finish during the strategy meeting. I was a naive sniveling kid myself when I was in college, so I can’t complain, but I frankly thought to myself, “Our girl Noa is just very mature.”



 At any rate, if I did well, the chances of defeating the enemy would increase significantly, but if I messed up, I would be putting their lives in danger. I slapped myself on the cheek.



“Abeshuu, go for it, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Leave it to me. Tamiko, take care of Noa.” (Shuu)



 My eyes met Noa’s, who was slumped against the rock wall in the back of the crowd. I nodded to her and left.





 The sound of footsteps on the sand echoes in the distance.



 It is nighttime in the desert, but this is the underground, so it is not cold. It was a good thing I had taken off my shoes and cloak right then and there, because from here on out, it was better to be as light as possible.



 I stopped in the middle of the desolate sandy ground with no cover or barriers around me.


 In my right hand, I held a [Katana] and in my left, a [Great Shield]. The hypha forms a shape, and then the I breathe in.



“…come out!” (Shuu)



 As if in response to the call, a small earth tremor increases. The sand spills over and makes it hard to keep your feet on the ground.



 —And then, Wormjaw peeks out its huge head from the ground, and we confront each other. Let’s fight.



 —It’s not a fight. This is a wild world, and there is no way that a samurai-like battle cry will be heard.



 In other words, the battle had already begun.



 I jumped away from the spot with all my might. Immediately after that, it caved in like an ant hell, boom! And the impact rushes up like a bombardment.



“…I wish you didn’t have to go out.” (Shuu)



 In front of the hulking figure far up in the air, I instantly retract my previous statement.





 Its total length is estimated at around seventy meters. Its girth is at least five meters in diameter.



 It leans its head back like a long-necked dragon, its jagged teeth clattering at their tips. It does not seem to have any organs similar to eyes, but it is shaking its head from side to side as if to evaluate the annoyance in front of it.



(It’s too big, you know.) (Dhuu)



 Like the rook golem in the depths of Ouji, I never had a direct encounter with that one. This is the first time I have fought such a huge opponent.



 Is this what it feels like to be a Self-Defense Force member facing Godzilla? It made me realize how tiny I was.



 The moment he peeks into the pitch-black abyss like a black hole behind the circular rows of random teeth–it comes down to swallow me in one gulp. I avoid it as I dive onto the sand but is blown away by the aftermath of the impact and the wave of sand. I rolls down the sands like a pebble.



“No way!” (Shuu)



 I quickly get up and shoot a [Fireball] from my fingertips. A bullet landed on the torso, “Boom!” And that’s it. The Wormjaw barely flinched and was almost motionless.



 The head comes down again. I timed it right, pulled back just in time, and swung my [Katana] as I dodged. “Woosh!” The white tip of the blade swung up at an angle and sliced straight through its epidermis.






(It didn’t reach it.) (Shuu)



 I can tell by the response. The skin is ripped open and the flesh is shallowly stroked.



 The flesh is tough, like a thick rubber tire. Even if I put all my effort into cutting into it, I could never reach the back of the body without [Light Blade]. And the wound would soon be completely healed. It’s a regeneration ability that even a “Master Threadweaver” would be proud of.



“Ngh!” (Shuu)



 A thrust with a blast.



“Kuh!” (Shuu)



 A bite or even a crushing blow with his teeth.



“Woah!” (Shuu)




 Alternatively, it lengthens its torso and does a body slam.



 The almost disastrous onslaught continues as I desperately avoid the onslaught.


 It moves fast despite its figure. Beyond that, the range of its attack and damage is too wide.


 In contrast, the sandy footholds reduce my maneuverability. I cannot find an opening to easily counterattack.



 The sand sticks to my cold sweat. Breathing heavily, I run away while my body is shaking with fear. Even a single blow is enough to send me to the afterlife.



(However…) (Shuu)


(Isn’t it going to use its fungal skill?) (Shuu)



 Their attack patterns are monotonous. They use their huge bodies to their fullest to fight of the bullets, and their destructive power and speed are off the charts, but that’s all there is to it.



(Noah was right.) (Shuu)



 A sneaking suspicion tickled my heart, thinking that there might be something it can’t do.



 If I use all the firepower I have, there will be a fair amount of risk involved, but I feel I can win even in a one-on-one fight.



 There was no need to go out of my way to put my juniors in danger. Let’s leave the small details at this point, and let’s go all out from here and fight leaving no hard feelings…



 And the next moment, Wormjaw turns its head backwards.



“Eh…?” (Shuu)



 It’s the first time I’ve seen it do this. As it spins around, its tail rears up and pounces on me with a roar.



(Oh no!) (Shuu)


(Duck!) (Shuu)


(No way!) (Shuu)



 I catch it with my [Great Shield]. The impact like a dump truck crashing pierces through my clenched teeth.



 The shattered [Great Shield] is scattered into pieces, and I, who has been thrown into the air, catches it at the edge of my vision. My body bounces on the sand, rolled, and ends in a crouch.



“…Uh…” (Shuu)



(I thought I was going to die.) ((Shuu)



 Kicking the ground just in front of the body to kill the impact, but what’s with this power? If it had been a direct hit, my entire body might have been like the [Great Shield]. It was also fortunate that the ground was soft sand.



 I stood up, coughing up blood mixed with bile. Before I could even think about how many feet I had been blown away, Wormjaw came whizzing by me, rolling up the sand.



(This is the moment to withdraw my previous statement.) (Shuu)



 I slapped my unsteady legs, turned my back on the approaching enemy and started to run.


 I should let the juniors do their things, right?





 Running in the sand is not good enough. Wormjaw easily catches up to my frantically moving pained arms and legs, then it bared its fangs to take a bite out of my back.



 I never looked back while showing my back, but still continued to dodge the attack without stopping. I wonder if there has ever been a situation in which I felt more grateful for [Sensory Spores] than I do now.



 With such a loud sound, there was no need to send any kind of signal. With this thought in mind, we soon entered a straight road surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides.



 About a hundred meters away.


 Almost there.


 Just a little more.





 I turned around and swung my right hand.



 A huge red ball of mycelium, a charged up [Fireball], is thrown out and hits Wormjaw right in the neck. It explodes and bursts into flames.



 The epidermis is gouged, and the flesh is scraped off, and as expected, the giant worm is momentarily frightened, but even so, it has not sustained any serious damage. It clenched its teeth to reveal its anger, and tried to chase after the giant worm again, which had opened up the distance between them.



“—now!” (Shuu)



 Me and the Wormjaw,


 A wall of sand rises up to separate us,


 Then something wraps around the Wormjaw’s head.



“Pull it!” (Hunter)


“Yeah!” (Hunter)



 The shouts echo from the tops of the rock walls on both sides. A total of thirty fishermen—no hunters, stand in a row.


 They are pulling frantically with their hands tied around the cord, their bodies buckling as they do so.




 —It was a [White String] net created and spun by four [White String] users, including Noa.




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