Metro Labyrinth Chapter 136.1: Secret 3

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 Noa was eight years old when she learned about her origins and the identity of her “father”.



 It was after the village on the outskirts of Ikebukuro, where she was living at the time, was attacked by metro beasts and the surviving residents were scattered, leaving only Noa and her “father” in the village. The event itself was something that I had heard about before, it was a part of Abe Shuu’s biography (fake) that was made up during the hunter interview.



 “—Actually, we are not really a father and daughter. I’m your… great grandfather.”



 When he told her this, his face warped and changed into that of a completely different person. From the wrinkled, salt-and-pepper beard he had been displaying for the past eight years, to that of a much younger, healthier looking young man.



 Noa herself, of course, was so surprised that she fell on her butt. However, if it was an elderly person in the village, it would not have been a surprise for. The face was that of their king, who was supposed to have died a decade ago.



 Tsuruhashi Minato, the first chieftain of Ikebukuro. That was his father’s real name.



 For eight years, or rather, ever since the “Demon War,” he had been hiding behind a false death and pretending to be someone else through mimicry. Only a few of the Tribe’s leading figures, including his son, knew about it.



“I heard that he got tired of politics and war and all that. He left the Tribe to his son and traveled around as a recluse.” (Noa)


“But then why was he living with Noa?” (Shuu)


“…it was just by coincidence…” (Noa)



 When he returned home to Ikebukuro and secretly went to see his son, grandson, the third generation. He was more troubled than ever. His son told him “that he and his maid had had a child before his marriage”, and that the queen was furious and would not listen to him, saying that she would “execute the maid”. The queen and the maid were close friends, so she was very angry.



“No, isn’t that the king’s fault? A hundred years ago, it would be a blood bath.” (Shuu)


“Well… as someone who was born from that, I can’t say I blame him….” (Noa)


“Oh, sorry…” (Shuu)



 In any case, the situation settled down when Minato took the newborn child. By the way, her maid was banished outside the territory, and it is said that her whereabouts after that are unknown. And the child at that time was Noa.



 The fact that she was the illegitimate child of the king at that time and that the man she loved as her father was her great-grandfather, a legendary hero, was so shocking that it turned heaven and earth upside down, but that did not change her life with her great-grandfather in any way.



 Although her great-grandfather was constantly apologizing for having her destiny as a normal child twisted for the convenience of dirty adults, Noa was content with her life at the time and was rather grateful for what would have happened if she had not been found by her great-grandfather.



 But–the peaceful life of just the two of them came to an abrupt end two years later.



“Great-grandfather had always lamented… that he could not stop his son and grandson from losing their human hearts as they got older. He said that the way he raised them was wrong, that it was his fault for letting that country move towards destruction.” (Noa)



 Ikebukuro’s oppressive regime was slowly advancing at a crawling pace to distract the Tokyo Metropolitan Government from intervening. Or, to divert the people’s discontent, he would execute those who resisted him, branding them as treasonous.



“And then, on that day—” (Noa)



 August of the 99th year of the Tokyo calendar.


 A coup d’etat breaks out at Ikebukuro Tribe.



 The former regent, Mr. Margame, was executed for excessive reprimanding of the royal family. With his only son, Margame Donta, as its banner, it was successfully accomplished with the help of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Nerima Tribe. The royal family resisted to the end, and as a result, their line was cut off.



“That night–the sky over the city was burning red, and my great-grandfather left me and headed that way. He said, ‘I’ll be right back, just wait here.’ …That was the last thing he said to me.” (Noa)



 Worried that her great-grandfather would not be back anytime soon, Noa also headed for the territory.



 The walled city surrounded by high walls was engulfed in flames everywhere. Noa frantically searched for her great-grandfather, ignoring the residents and hunters who were working hard to put out the fire. Then–



 She heard voices arguing.



 It was in an alley close to the gate. Lured by the sound, Noa approached the back of the alleyway and peeked out from the shadows, where she saw two figures facing each other in the darkness.



 One was a tall, demihuman wolf. He was Giran Taichi, later to be known as the “King Slayer Silver Wolf”.



 The other was a young man. For some reason he was naked, and for some reason he was wet and slick with a mucus-like substance, but his profile, illuminated by the fire sparks, was unmistakably that of his great-grandfather.



 –I want you to kill me. Please finish me with your hands.


 Her great-grandfather said so in a feeble voice.



 Giran nodded silently, and the hypha sword in his hand was covered in red light.



 Before Noa could speak, her great-grandfather’s head flew through the air and was engulfed in a bow and fire as he murmured, “Thank you”, his final words,





“…I fainted on the spot, and when I woke up, no one was there. It seems that Mr. Giran and others took my great grandfather’s body… only a little bit of burnt residue remained…” (Noa)



 Mr. Giran confessed to me in Kanamechou Metro that he was the one who killed Noa’s great-grandfather eight years ago. He really meant what he said, and Noa was there to witness it.



“So that’s why Noa looked so grim when he met Mr. Giran at the Ouji Metro. What did you do after that?” (Shuu)


“I did not go back to my home but went to live alone in another place. I trained, raised my level, and became a hunter at the age of fifteen. I gave up my old name and still came back to Ikebukuro because… I thought I still had things to do there…” (Noa)



 That is probably the reason why Noa has been more concerned than others about her ability as a hunter and becoming stronger.



“…I’m sorry for not telling you until now. I couldn’t say it out loud when I thought about Mr. Shuu’s position so… so I just didn’t say it out loud…” (Noa)



 However,Noah chose to transfer to Sugamo. After the battle in Ouji, her feelings towards Mr. Giran, who was her enemy, must have changed. In any case, Noa chose to live with me and the others.



“At any rate, it all makes sense now. Noa was very familiar with [Master Threadweavers] from the very beginning.” (Shuu)



 Noa had lived with the real thing, so it was only natural that she would know so much about it. The story that her great-grandfather was a survivor of the Heisei era was not a lie, though he was more like a half-immortal rather than a long-lived great-grandfather.



“I don’t know what to say, but it was probably very tough.” (Shuu)



 In addition, she (though unaware of it) is also carrying the demon, Sparkle, in her body. The total weight of what she carried is probably no exaggeration to say that she is the most burdened person on the team.



“Keep quiet about such an important matter… and you’ve said that you want me to be your friend… but I just…” (Noa)



 I gently pat Noa’s head while she was still looking down. Tamiko sympathetically snuggles up next to her.



“But… what’s more worrisome than that is that the great-grandfather is still alive.” (Noa)



 The terrorist group, the “Cross Border Brigade,” stormed into the venue of the Grand Tournament and went on a rampage.


 The monster who led them called himself “Tsuruhashi Minato,” the first chief of the Ikebukuro tribe.




 The incident was widely reported in the Tokyo Shimbun, a national newspaper, and was followed by a statement from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Ikebukuro Tribe calling them “despicable criminals who besmirch name of the Heroes’ souls.” While the general public would have no reason to doubt the official statement–and it is not a statement that the public would have any doubt about.




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