Metro Labyrinth Chapter 47.2: Abe Shuu’s Ambition
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“Hmph, I didn’t expect you to finish the subjugation in one day.” (Aomoto)
In the business office of the Sugamo branch of the Hunters’ Guild, in a small room reserved for Guild Member Representatives, are Tamiko and me.
In front of us is Aomoto, sitting at her office desk.
“I heard that it was a Hell Antlion, and a matured one at that since it was discovered so late. It would normally have taken two middle-rank guild members to find it. But you’re doing it all by yourself, huh? You’re a very impressive newcomer.” (Aomoto)
She folded her arms and sighed with satisfaction. The dignified appearance of the representative has lost none of the battle junkieness that was apparent during the interview but has taken on the dignity and authority as the head of an organization.
“I’ve asked you guys to do three quests so far, and I can’t complain about your performance. As a Guild Member Representative, I am very proud of you.” (Aomoto)
It was ten days ago that our party passed the interview and became affiliated with the city of Sugamo. Although we could start working as hunters on the same day, we could not go deep into the metro and other places until we were issued recognition cards, and at a time when we had nothing to do, we decided to take on quests based on recommendations from Aomoto and Kaike.
The first was to fight off goblins coming out of the metro on the west side of the city.
It seems that the metro on the west side of the city is inhabited by a large number of goblins of various colors – thousands of them, in fact – and that they have crawled out of the metro in search of food. They have come to neighboring villages and even to the city of Sugamo.
The green goblins are the weakest, but the familiar blue, red, black, white, and other “relatively more dangerous” goblins have also been appearing, giving Sugamo City a source of concern in recent years. As a side note, it is said that there is no novel-like development such as frightening a human woman and somehow bagging her.
My team and I were sent on a mission to hunt them down. Over the course of three days, we killed three red ones, five blue ones, and more than a dozen green ones. We are proud to say that we did a good job, earning 10,000 yen per person per day.
The second assignment was to guard the village of Rikugi, located southeast of the city.
This village, too, has been targeted by the Metro Beast. A colony of Baphomets, or Goat Monkeys, has appeared in the neighboring metro area, which emerged more than a decade ago, and has been wreaking havoc for several months, destroying fields and taking away livestock.
The Sugamo branch, out of neighborly kindness, has decided to form a “Colony Subjugation Squad”. In the meantime, the Sugamo residents took turns working as militia, staying overnight for three days to patrol the area at night.
They had to contend with a herd of Goat Monkeys (a goat’s head and lower body with a monkey’s torso), which were comparable in size to Blue Goblins. The daily wage was 15,000 yen per person, and our biggest payoff was that Noa had risen to level 25. The village chief was young and beautiful, and the old men were all good-natured. The famous Suiton soup [T/N: Wheat dumpling soup] and potato shochu [T/N: distilled spirit.] was delicious.
And the third was yesterday’s subjugation of the Hell Antlion.
If left unchecked, they can cut down forests and breed everywhere (it was reported it was in its breeding stage), so they are feared as a threat in New Tokyo.
The team of middle-rank members that was supposed to go there to subjugate it had to cancel their mission for various reasons, and on Aomoto’s recommendation, our party was sent out to fight the bug. The reward for our success was a whopping 700,000 yen. My nose is bleeding.
“Thank you very much. I’m honored.” (Shuu)
“…You don’t seem too happy about it, though, do you? What’s the matter, are you tired?” (Aomoto)
“Uh, no. It’s just that I, I missed my target… it’s nothing.” (Shuu)
I’m not sure what to complain to this person about. It would be bad if he expected so much.
“Fufu, are you saying that even with such a monstrous opponent, you felt your skills weren’t tested enough? As expected of the man who defeated me, a newbie with a temporary identification card, you can’t be seen as brazen.” (Aomoto)
“No, well…” (Shuu)
It’s not like that, but it’s too much trouble to explain, so I nodded vaguely.
And her gaze slips sideways. Around my ear, and down on my shoulder.
Tamiko clung to the back of my head trying to hide from her. She should have waited downstairs with Noa.
“…teasing, squeak…?” (Tamiko)
“I won’t tease you.” (Aomoto)
Aomoto takes an acorn out of her jersey pocket. Tamiko shuffled over to her. Tamiko takes the acorn in her hand and puts it in her cheek pouch, and then she shoves back her hand, returning to the original position. The sound of the acorns being crunched noisily plays near my ear.
“If that’s the case, we can prepare a quest with more mettle, if that’s your wish.” (Aomoto)
Aomoto wipes the blood from her nose as she continues.
“Until now, we’ve been making exceptions for you, or rather, we’ve had you accept quests that don’t fit your rank on the recommendation of Ms. Kaike and myself, but it looks like that won’t be necessary anymore.” (Aomoto)
Two cards are taken out of her desk drawer.
The cards are the size of a gift card and are made of transparent resin. The upper right corner of the card has a rough image printed on it. They are an out-of-focus baby-butt smooth face and a close-up of a squirrel, or rather, of Tamiko and me.
“Oh… this is…” (Shuu)
“Sorry you’ve been waiting ten days. This is your official identification cards. Please make sure all the information is correct.” (Aomoto)
“My! My identification card, squeak! Pigya!” (Tamiko)
Tamiko, excited, begins to jump repeatedly on my shoulder. I took my card in my hand and checks the contents. Of course, I am somewhat, or rather very happy, but I tried not to show it on my face.
“Um, erm… we’re starting from the third kyuu, is this right? Is it…?” (Shuu)
Hunters have a ranking system established by the guild. It’s the so-called “Golden Adventurer”.
Rookies start at third kyuu, then second kyuu, first kyuu, then first dan, second dan, and third dan… highest rank is fifth dan, but it is an honorary rank, so the highest active rank is fourth dan. [T/N: Both kyuu and dan/tan are ranks for martial arts in Japan. If you play Tekken, you might be familiar with this.]
The guild approves rank advancement based on the number of quests completed, the amount of commission received from the sale of materials, and the amount of taxes paid. The higher the rank, the wider the range of quests that can be undertaken, leading to not only social credibility, but also to further increase in income. Noa, who has done very few quests, and the newcomers, Tamiko and me, should still be at the third kyuu.
Both Tamiko and I were written as “first-kyuu”.
“Fufu, I was finally able to surprise that baby face.” (Aomoto)
Aomoto laughs mischievously.
“It’s quite common to raise the starting rank according to the level when you registered. Considering it’s you, even if you start from second dan, let alone first dan, it would not be enough, but there’s no precedent… As is customary, you will start at first-kyuu. You can blame us for our ineptitude in having no choice but to settle things as peacefully as possible.” (Aomoto)
“No, that’s enough… Thank you very much.” (Shuu)
I really appreciate it. The higher the rank and starting salary, the better.
“Look, Tamiko here.” (Aomoto)
“…teasing, squeak…?” (Tamiko)
“I won’t tease you.” (Aomoto)
A new acorn is offered. I apologize in my heart for calling her a battle junkie, but I’ll leave that for another time.
“The first kyuu has a different set of quests. You may not be up to the task yet, but in that case, you can consult with me or the staff. We will do what we can to help you, provided it is in the best interest of the branch, of course” (Aomoto)
“Yes, thank you.” (Shuu)
“Hmm? Will you be taking a break for a while?” (Aomoto)
“No, I haven’t discussed it with my companions yet… I think we’ll dive into the Metro first.” (Shuu)
There was something I had been secretly keeping in my heart for a while.
—I want a weapon.
I woke up to a fantasy world infested with monsters. And I had been registered as an adventurer.
Then the next thing to do was to level up or procure equipment, right? Of course. Don’t underestimate the gamer generation.
Well, if you think about it, you might say, “You have hypha weapons, so you don’t need real weapons, right?” I can understand that, however, I disagree.
But that’s not the point. It’s about romance. It is emo. It is a chef’s spirit. [T/N: He really said “emo”. Do we have the same definition of emo?]
Besides, there are items with special mycelial effects in this world. The catoblepas cloak of the pessimists is one example. Then there must also be weapons with special effects. Why wouldn’t you want to get your hands on one?
From a practical standpoint, daggers are preferable. Weapons that specialize in standing at shorter distances than swords. It would be even more emo if I could use dual daggers.
Just as I was embracing such ambitions, I had a chance encounter with that Hell Antlion.
With its fearsome jaws and strong pincers, I was delighted to see that it was the very material that would make a good weapon, and I took it down with as little damage as possible. But then.
This morning, I showed Obuchi the subjugation trophies jaws, and scissors, but he did not give me a good answer. He said, “No matter how you process it, it can’t beat Mr. Abe’s hypha weapon, maybe it’s a material suitable for farming tools.”
I want to find it, no matter what it takes. I want to find a weapon that is strong, durable, and has an emo special effect.
If that’s not possible, armor or accessories would be fine. I just want equipment. I want to be surrounded by such equipment.
(I’m going to hunt for materials as much as I can—also it means leveling up a lot!) (Shuu)
A new Metro challenge begins.
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