Metro Labyrinth Chapter 138: Three Letters 2

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 After reading all of the Governor’s letters, skim through them again from the beginning. That includes the line, “The letter will automatically disappear after you finish reading it.” It did not burn on its own as the concluding sentence says, “It is a joke.”



“…How is it, Mr. Abe?” (Yoshitsune)


“Oh… Hmmm…” (Shuu)



 In other words, this is a request for a quest. To sum it up roughly, it goes like this,



 “I want you to bring Yoshitsune, who has two letters, to the village of Nakano, where the carbuncle tribe lives.


 This is part of a certain plan and one of the most important missions that will determine the success or failure of the plan.



 There is no one more qualified than you to be entrusted with this task. Not only for your abilities but also for the fact that a child of the Carbuncle tribe is your partner. They tend to be isolationist these days for some reason, but I am sure they will accept you.



 Of course, we have prepared a reward for you. Not only money but also the favors you are looking forward to.” (Chuuta)



“Um… can I ask you something?” (Shuu)


“Anything. But only what I could answer.” (Yoshitsune)


“Does Yoshitsune know the contents of those two letters?” (Shuu)


“No, not at all. The only instructions I have are to give letter ‘1’ to Mr. Abe and ask for your help, and to go with Mr. Abe and your party to the person to whom letter ‘2’ is to be given.” (Yoshitsune)


“Who is the ‘2’ letter to be given?” (Shuu)


“It’s the chief of the Carbuncle tribe’s village.” (Yoshitsune)


“Then what about the letter ‘3’?” (Shuu)


“I don’t know. But if I hand over the letter ‘2’ to the chief, he will guide me to the recipient of letter ‘3’.” (Yoshitsune)


“I see.” (Shuu)



 From my point of view, it would just incite suspicions in my mind, but Yoshitsune didn’t seem to be particularly suspicious. Is it because of his trust in the governor?



“In the first place, Yoshitsune is a hunter from Meguro Headquarters, right? You are not an employee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.” (Shuu)


“That’s right.” (Yoshitsune)


“Why is Yoshitsune the envoy? Usually this is for a diplomat? Isn’t it something that at least someone from the government would do?” (Shuu)



 Yoshitsune laughs making my brows furrow.



“Oh, I’m sorry. I mean, other hunters don’t care about such things. I think that if it’s a direct order from the governor of Tokyo, they’ll just say ‘It will be done’. Something like that, since you can talk to His Excellency.” (Yoshitsune)


“It’s a bad habit of mine to worry about small things.” (Shuu)


“You’re a ‘Master Threadweaver’ just like His Excellency. The match with the ‘Holy Silver Puppeteer’ the other day was amazing… I want to experience it and know how strong I am…” (Yoshitsune)


“Stop, don’t look at me like that. It’s enough that there’s one pervert.” (Shuu)


“Going back to the topic, I’m just a ‘deliverer of letters’. I’m an envoy in name only, so if it’s just someone who seems to be free, I think I would be fine.” (Yoshitsune)


“Well, maybe that’s the way you work, your skill, and so the governor of Tokyo trusts you.” (Shuu)



 I wasn’t saying this to flatter him, but Yoshitsune seemed extremely ecstatic.



“So… Mr. Abe, would you accept the request?” (Yoshitsune)


“Oh, well… well, the conditions aren’t bad, or rather, it’s a good one. Also, I wanted to go to Nakano once. That is my thoughts… I’d like to say yes, but before that, I’d like to discuss it with my comrades. May I?” (Shuu)


“That’s fine… but we’d like to leave Sugamo tomorrow if possible. I would appreciate it if you could all discuss and come to a conclusion by the end of the day.” (Yoshitsune)


“Okay. Well, I don’t think they’ll say no, but…” (Shuu)



 I have no complaints about what you have written. The job description and rewards are excellent.


 However, there is one thing that worries me.



“Hey… it’s this one, this part. Do you know what it means?” (Shuu)


“Hmm… I don’t know what it means either?” (Yoshitsune)



 Both of us stared at the thought-provoking words.



 This mission is connected to some kind of plan by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.


 The context suggests that this is the purpose of the plan, but it is too poetic or abstract to be understood.



“Please help us, Mr. Abe. To bring back the Lost Circle to this land—-” (Chuuta)



“What is the ‘Lost Circle’?” (Shuu)





 That evening, after dinner, the party (plus one) holds a meeting. On the agenda is the daytime matter.



“Nakano, is it?” says Noa. “…It’s like, it’s finally here, isn’t it? I mean, there’s no reason to say no, right?”


“It’s not like they asking us to fight giant worms in the depths of the metro, and the rewards sound delicious.” (Shuu)



 As for monetary rewards, no specific amounts were mentioned. In this industry, there is an approximate market price based on the toughness of the work and the number of days of restraint, but judging from the text and Yoshitsune’s story, “several times the market price is certain,” so I endure a nosebleed.



 However, in this case, it was a bonus.



“After all, this seems to be a two or three-step forward in the case of the hihiirokane.” (Shuu)



 The most powerful weapon material in New Tokyo, Hihiirokane, was obtained in the depths of Ouji.


 There is only one master craftsman in the country who can handle it, and according to Guild Master Tougou, he is currently being kept on hold because his “schedule is full for months to come and he is not available.”



 According to the governor, the master craftsman is currently working on a project that is part of the “Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Plan,” which means that my hopes will not be fulfilled until the project is completed without a hitch.



 So, as a reward, when this time’s errand is completed, the master craftsman’s schedule will be partially adjusted, and the governor will negotiate directly to have him do it in the middle. If that happens, it’s as good as saying “I’ve got Nengan’s hihiirokane sword.”




“But you know what? But,” said Kure, “it sure sounds shady. Yoshitsune doesn’t need an escort, and he’s got a skilled man like Shuu to help him with the job of carrying the letters. Well, from what I’ve heard about Nakano, the person they need the most is probably Tamiko.” (Kure)



 All eyes turned to the chabutai.


 The person in question has been fidgeting since a few minutes ago, licking her arms and polishing the jewel on her head. I had expected her to react to show that she was so excited that she couldn’t stop jumping from side to side.



“Tamiko, what do you think?” (Shuu)


“…Actually, I don’t really understand, squeak…” (Tamiko)


“Haha, so you can’t really feel it yet?” (Shuu)



 She had always had the desire to go there, and she always talked about it every chance she could. It wasn’t just Tamiko, Noa and I were the same.


 However, suddenly such a new comes, and her feelings have not caught up yet.



“Can we really go to Nakano, squeak?” (Tamiko)



 I nodded, and Tamiko grabbed my hand and tightly hugged it along with her tail.




“…I want to go there, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Of course, it’s your hometown.” (Shuu)



 In actuality, Otsuka Metro may be the true one, but Nakano, where her family lived and where her parents were born and raised, should be said to be her true hometown.



“You might be able to meet your father and hear about the Carbuncle tribe.” (Shuu)


“Father, I want to, squeak!” (Tamiko)


“Okay, then it’s decided. Let’s go to Nakano.” (Shuu)


“Sqeuak! Let’s go to Nakano, squeak! Pigyaaa!” (Tamiko)


“Oh, there’s that repetitive horizontal jump.” (Shuu)



 Noa gets up and starts preparing for the trip. Kure is also eagerly collecting his personal belongings, but I wonder if he can somehow be made to stay home again (but I don’t know if the same thing would work again).



“Nakano is far away, so you might want to bring a change of clothes with you.” (Shuu)


“Ah, about Ms. Utsuki, what are we going to do with her?” (Noa)



 She has not returned since she was abducted by her sister. She’s probably still in Komagome.



“Isn’t it fine if you report it with a messenger bat?” (Noa)


“I guess so. I’m going to Yoshitsune’s place.” (Shuu)



 Before leaving the living room, I saw Tamiko’s smiling profile, and my steps toward the inn where Yoshitsune was staying became peppier.





 Actually, I’ve heard this before, but it seems that Nakano Village is currently not a land that anyone can casually set foot in.



 You need a residence permit issued by the government of the country, partner cities, or various guilds, and if you wander around without this, you’re an illegal trespasser—so at the very least, it’s almost impossible to enter or stay in the settlement. Though it is possible, it seems that even Noa didn’t know about the rule, which was tightened relatively recently.



 So, we decided to stop by the guild before we left. Yoshitsune told us that the letter from the governor should have the same effect as the permit, but it wouldn’t hurt to go through the proper procedures.



“I want to go to Nakano, can I get a permit?” (Shuu)


“Ah, yes… please wait a moment.” (Receptionist)



 When I asked the lady at the reception desk, she started to have a secret discussion with her boss behind the desk. When she came back, she was smiling as usual. I wanted to ask for Ms. Kaike, but it seems she is off duty today.



“By the way, is it possible to issue a copy for someone from another branch?” (Shuu)


“Yes, if you bring your recognition card, it will be fine with the other branch.” (Receptionist)


“Great.” (Shuu)



 Me, Noa, Tamiko, and of course Kure. In addition–



“Oh, I’m fine, I came here from Komagome.” (Sou)



 It’s Utsuki who just joined us.


 I was expecting her to say, “Well, have a nice day,” but I didn’t expect her to go out of her way to come along. I don’t think she’s interested in squirrels, and she doesn’t seem to have anything to do with her master’s mission.



“Well then–I will prepare a permit for you. Please take a moment and have a drink in the back. The guild will pay for it.” (Receptionist)



 This was the first time he had offered to buy me a drink. It would take that long?



 I thought I was going to have a beer, but the two kids stopped me, so I ordered coffee. While Ms. Utsuki was looking for a young man, and Kure was happily talking to a young hunter named Hamada (who I believe was the boy we met in Rikugi Village).—



“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting.” (Voice)



 A bunch of plastic cards with straps on them are thrust out from behind me.



 And the one holding it is Ms. Aomoto.



“…thank you…” (Shuu)


“Okay, let’s go.” (Aomoto)


“…Where are you going…?” (Shuu)


“Nakano, of course. Oh, that’s my permit. This is yours.” (Aomoto)



 She was carrying a huge backpack on her back, and if I looked closely, her face was sweaty, and she was out of breath. [T/N: Fluff maniac spotted.]



“…Do you have some business with Nakano, too, Ms. Aomoto?” (Shuu)


“No… it’s not like that… I overheard you guys were going to Nakano, and I thought one day this would happen… so I set up a net… no. Sugamo City has a partnership with Nakano Village, and as a representative of the chapter, I’m going to supervise the people there so as not to be rude to them…” (Aomoto)



 Ignoring her excuses, I turn around and quickly look away from the receptionist. She must have been the one who told Aomoto, or she must have been told to “give me a shout when the Abe party tries to go to Nakano” or something like that. It’s not easy being a staff member.



“Come on, a dreamy paradise awaits us… and friendship with the magic beast tribe is an important duty of a hunter… Oh, and the treasured acorns are properly packed in my bag… hmmm, a fluffy paradise…” (Aomoto)


“Your nose is bleeding.” (Shuu)



 We’ve become an unprecedentedly large party, but let’s go, to Nakano.




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