Metro Labyrinth Chapter 136.2: Secret 3

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 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.



“From Noa’s point of view, did he look real?” (Shuu)


“…Aside from those burn scars, at least he had the same voice and face as his great-grandfather. And he knew my old name, too… but…” (Noa)


“But you said the man who raised Noah wasn’t a villain or a monster.” (Shuu)


“Of course, he wasn’t! The great-grandfather I knew was a bit eccentric and misanthropic in some ways… but he was…” (Noa)



 If Noa’s memory serves her correctly, her great-grandfather, Tsuruhashi Minato, was decapitated by Mr. Giran’s [Flame Blade] and his head was burned.



 That is why we run into the first question. Is there any creature that does not die?



“The Mature Baphomet that we defeated in Rikugi Metro was, according to Mr. Satou, a ‘Family’ of the devil. I think he was saying that. In other words, does that mean he’s a demon who took over your great-grandfather’s body after the coup d’état?” (Shuu)



 A demon is a parasitic organism whose main body is called a Fungus Stone. It is also thought to be influenced by the “personality and memories of its host,” like Sparkle and Arato on Ouji. If so, it makes sense that he would know Noa’s old name.



 Noa looks down again and bites her lip.



“…Noah, do you want to go after that self-proclaimed Tsuruhashi?” (Shuu)


“…It’s just a hunch, but I think that person will appear in front of us someday.” (Noa)



 If her great-grandfather was really alive, I would be happy for her. But if it is only a corrupted visage of a loved one.



“…If that’s the case, then does that mean that your great-grandfather wasn’t dead at the time of the coup d’état?” (Shuu)



 No matter how much of a cheat demons are, it’s hard to imagine that it resurrected a corpse that had been burned and even lost its head. Both Mr. Giran and Sparkle said that the Fungus Stone was a parasite inside the brain.



 Mr. Giran said that he had killed him. At least that is what Mr. Giran believed.




(Maybe.) (Shuu)


(…did he survive with [Immortality]?) (Shuu)


(I mean, how does a [Master Threadweaver] die?) (Shuu)



“…whatever it is, I’d like to hear from Mr. Giran.” (Shuu)



 And let’s not forget the audience with the Tokyo Governor. Because of the mess at that time, the “audience with the Tokyo Governor and Founder,” which was the reward for the victory, had to be postponed. I have to find out a lot of things about demons from them.



“Noa… are you okay with Mr. Giran?” (Shuu)


“Now that I think about it… That person probably knew my great-grandfather from before. So that time too… something happened…” (Noa)



 Noa clenching her fist tightly. She must have had some hidden thoughts for that man, but she raised her head, nonetheless.



“So… next time we meet, I’ll ask him directly.” (Noa)


“Got it, we are going straight to Ikebukuro when we get out of here.” (Shuu)



 I’ve received several requests from Sugamo, but none of them are urgent except for this one. I can afford to go to Ikebukuro, catch Mr. Giran, make him spill, and eat the garlic ramen that I miss.



“I have something on my mind, too, squeak.” (Tamiko)



 The conversation continued to be a little difficult, but Tamiko read the air and listened without dozing off. She raised her hand to Noa and me.



“I want to know Noa’s real name, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Oh, me too, me too.” (Shuu)



 Suddenly, Noa’s face turns red.



“No… well… I’ve been Ikari Noa for eight years now, and now I’m Sugamo’s Ikari Noa. It’s embarrassing…” (Noa)


“It’s fine. Tell us.” (Shuu)


“Tell us, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Um, I’m hungry, so let’s get some meat.” (Noa)


“Don’t run away.” (Shuu)


“Squeak!” (Tamiko)



 That’s how the game of tag between us three begins. Some people laugh and smile, some men have a cold expression saying “Riajuu explode.”. Ahaha, today I am the winner.





 After leaving Gokokuji, we headed for Ikebukuro, but unfortunately, Mr. Giran was not there and was too busy to meet with us.



 Judging from the sight of military police and hunters roaming around and the atmosphere surrounding the entire town, it seems that Ikebukuro is on high alert. Since terrorists claiming to be the ancestors of the royal family that was destroyed in a coup d’etat had appeared, it was understandable to be on the lookout for when this place might become the second Sugamo.



 We had no choice but to leave Ikebukuro after a bowl of garlic ramen and go on to complete other quests.



 Or we could dive into the Myogatani Metro or go all the way to Ouji to soak in the hot springs and shop for chihuahua merch, or wander around the drinking district in the town of Itabashi.



 We roamed here and there under the brilliant sun.


 Sightseeing, shopping, and hunting beasts.



“Well, it’s August, but it’s not that hot.” (Shuu)


“Is it? It’s over 30 degrees Celsius every day.” (Noa)


“So hot, squeak… it’s too much, squeak…” (Tamiko)


“No, no, it’s alright. I grew up in the northern Kanto region.” (Shuu)



 We visited Ikebukuro several times after that, but we never met Mr. Giran.


 Just like that, A month went by, and as August drew to a close, the group finally made their way back to Sugamo.



 Before returning home, we went to the guild and made a report on various matters.



 Currently, the only people in the Sugamo branch who know about my true identity are the upper echelons of the guild staff, including Ms. Aomoto, Ms. Kaike, and Mr. Shimoyanagi. I had no choice but to tell them, but thanks to the gag order issued by the Tokyo Governor, I was able to avoid a major public announcement.



 Anyway, it was less than a month ago that I was bombarded with questions from my colleagues because of the parade of cheat Fungal Skills I had used at the Grand Tournament. Although I received a few “Welcome back” and “It’s been a while,” no one came to forcefully question me. It seems that the heat had died down nicely.



 It suddenly occurs to me that I should stop by the locksmith before going home. I had left my duplicate key with Kure so that he would stay at home, but I thought it would be a good idea to replace it with a new one, just in case.



 Sure enough, when Kure greeted us, he had buried something in the yard with a sad look on his back, so I guess my hunch was right.



“I did my best to live up to the expectations you have placed on me to take care of your precious house. I cleaned the house every day so that there was not a trace of mold, and I refused all newspaper solicitations. What do you think, do you have a souvenir for me?” (Kure)


“Thank you very much. Now you are free. You can go anywhere.” (Shuu)


“You guys must have had a hard time working, but we’ve had problems too. That’s right, there’s something from Shuu. Why don’t you two go out for now? I really want you to see it. My… your booty.” (Kure)


“I don’t want to show my butt.” (Shuu)



 And so, after a long time, I spent a few peaceful days at Sugamo.


 A visitor came, and me and the others had to leave Sugamo again.




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