Metro Labyrinth Chapter 63: No Fanfare
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The masked warrior Goblin Mask clears his throat slightly trying to regain his composure.
“Even though I thought it was uncouth to eavesdrop, I couldn’t stop myself. Shu–I was so fascinated by the sound of your voice. Forgive me.” (Goblin Mask)
I’m not sure what was different about the first “Getting to know”.
“I just happened to see you guys on this floor. I was secretly following you, watching for any danger you might be in. It’s Goblin Mask’s role to protect the peace of the innocent Baby Face.” (Goblin Mask)
Goblin mask. Their true identity is obvious, but they seem to have followed us from outside the range of my [Sensory Spores]. I’m afraid that in addition to being a pervert, he also seems to have the qualities of a stalker.
“As far as I know, the deepest level of Ouji Metro should be here on the 30th underground floor. However, to my surprise, you guys seem to have found a stairway to the lower level… which should not be here. It’s truly a historic discovery, and I’m honored to have been there. I won’t be so tactless as to ask for a share of the credit.” (Goblin Mask)
“But I’ve heard in the grapevine that you and your colleagues are feeling lost. The road ahead may be more dangerous than ever before. You don’t think it’s a good idea to continue on. You want to go! But you can’t go! So!” (Goblin Mask)
Noa’s eyes show disgust, and Tamiko’s ears are flat, as if to say, “I’m so sorry but you’re in charge the pervert.”
“I don’t mean to ridicule you for being cautious. It is natural for a wise man to hesitate when faced with a new path. The unknown is both a joy and a terror, and to step into it without hesitation would be reckless arrogance.” (Goblin Mask)
“Yes, protein.” (Shuu) [WTH? What do you mean by “protein” that you have to write it in Katakana? I don’t get it.]
“I’d say the young lady there is in her mid-twenties in level. It would certainly be a burden on Dear S—Leader to take her from here on out, and there’s also the possibility of an accident if to occur with the level of risks.” (Goblin Mask)
Noa leans forward, but just bites her lips. She can’t argue, because it’s the truth.
“However—there is someone here who can cover that. Yes, it is I, Goblin Mask!” (Goblin Mask)
Even if I’m told by a master.
“I can guard the young girl and the little one, and also protect the leader’s behind. I’m not very good at fighting with more than one, but I’m a ‘wrestler’, and my specialty is to take a lot of hits. I’m the best choice to be the defensive wall for your party. Well, if you want to move forward, why don’t you hire me.” (Goblin Mask)
“Hire you?” (Shuu)
“That’s enough of this… Mr. Kure Izuho.”
Noa interrupts with a frigid tone.
“What’s with the Goblin Mask, you’re so obvious. Mr. Shuu told you that he doesn’t want to see you again. You’re asking us to trust someone, who would even approach us under pretenses, hiding his true nature?” (Noa)
Noa, who didn’t even hesitate to break the rule of revealing the masked wrestler’s true identity, made both Kure and the man he had been daring to go out with flinch.
“I don’t know if you are after Mr. Shuu or the treasure, but do you think I would entrust my back to someone who would suddenly attack us from behind? You set us up for a duel and now you want to be friends? Our business is none of your business.” (Noa)
Noa’s sharp tongue lashing took everyone’s breath away. Only an ear-splitting silence remained. [T/N: The Waifu has spoken. Sorry, Little Tamiko. You’re just the first candidate. LOL]
Goblin Mask rips off his green mask. His red hair dances around, revealing an annoyingly handsome face. No one is surprised, as it is all too obvious it is Kure Izuho.
“…you’re right. It’s not what a martial artist should have done, trying to get in by disguising his appearance with trickery.” (Goblin Mask => Kure)
He falls to his knees. Then he bows his head. I wonder why this tradition remains in the Senju Tribe, The Dogeza.
“This is what I should have done first… Little Shuu, Ms. Ikari, Little Tamiko. Give me a chance… please?” (Kure)
“A chance?” (Noa)
“Unfortunately, your impression of me is terrible. That’s true, isn’t it? I forced you into a semi-intimidating duel, and I know I deserved it. I realize that.” (Kure)
I immediately nodded my head, Kure looked hurt upon seeing that.
“I want to be friends with you guys. I want to get to know you, not only Little Shuu but also Ms. Ikari and Little Tamiko. So… let’s start again with a contractual relationship between professionals. I will surely do a good job. And I will regain your trust.” (Kure)
It is a strange thing to say to regain something that was never there, but I don’t need to mention it.
“Um… are you saying you’ll go down there with us and protect Noa and Tamiko?” (Shuu)
“If that’s what you want, I’ll do it, I’ll protect your behind as well. In the name of Kure-style Life of Death Technique.” (Kure)
The two girls’ eyes rolled back—but it’s not a bad idea.
It’s a proposal not worth considering if I am taking emotions into account, but if I look at him as a simple fighting force and workforce, he’s perfect. There’s an unknown number of Metro Beasts that we might deal with, but with his level of strength, it is possible for him to become a wall defending Noa and Tamiko. And as a matter of fact, there is no need to hide my Fungal Skills. If something were to happen, I would be able to do my best to deal with it without fear of repercussions.
And surely, if we bind him in the form of a contract, he will not break it. He would not harm us, nor would he abandon the job in the middle of it.
“What is your price?” (Shuu)
“That’s right… How about ten percent of the loot, then?” (Kure)
“Ten percent, really?” (Shuu)
I don’t know the market well, but 10% seems modest indeed.
“I’m not interested in gold or other precious metals from the beginning. I promised Little Shuu that I would give him what little I had, so as long as I can earn enough money for the time being, that’s all that matters.” (Kure)
“Then, I will pay you ten percent of the loot from the 31st floor and beyond, or the equivalent in cash. In addition, I will return the property you are going to give me (I don’t need it).” (Shuu)
“Huh, is that okay? As long as I can help you, I don’t mind.” (Kure)
“Tamiko, Noa, are you okay with this?” (Shuu)
They looked at each other, both of them with delicate expressions on their faces.
“Are you sure you want to do this? A tiger at the front, a wolf in the butt.” (Noa)
“How clever.” (Shuu)
“Abeshuu will take care of it, squeak. You don’t need to feed them, squeak.” (Tamiko)
“Let’s put him on duty. Let’s all take care of things.” (Noa)
Kure stood up and faced Tamiko and Noa.
“I will definitely help you. I will protect your backs. I promise.” (Kure)
The two women received a straight stare and didn’t push back any further.
(Well, the rest is up to me.) (Shuu)
(If I can hold the reins of this guy, he can be a great asset.) (Shuu)
(I don’t like it. I really don’t want to hold anything on this guy, whatever they are.) (Shuu)
“We’ll just have to trust the contract between professional hunters here. If anything should happen, I’ll take care of it.” (Shuu)
“It’s because I don’t have enough strength. That’s why I ended up giving Mr. Shuu trouble… I’ll feed you properly.” (Noa)
“You’re going to start from the bottom, squeak. You’ll do exactly what I squeak.” (Tamiko)
“Hey, newcomer, go and flatter your superiors.” (Shuu)
“Here’s an acorn I picked up along the way as a token of our friendship.” (Kure)
“You know what I’m squeaking about. I’ll take it as a toke of our friendship, squeak.” (Tamiko)
“Boss, you’re too easy.” (Shuu)
I closed my eyes for about a second and sighed. He’s unbelievably prepared.
“…Then the contract is set. You’ll be our friend for this one time. You’ll have to follow our instructions.” (Shuu)
“Thank you! I won’t let you down!” (Kure)
He held out is hand. When I looked at Tamiko and Noa, they both nod in agreement.
Tamiko and Noa looked at me and both of them nod their heads lightly, urging me to take hold of his hands. I then kick him in the shin to get him to let go.
“Nice to meet you! Little Shuu, Ms. Ikari, Ms. Tamiko!” (Kure)
No fanfare, at all. I don’t accept that he’s officially a member of our group.
But, at any rate, I’m not going to let that stop me. With the addition of a pervert with plenty of ability as a cannon fodder, we were ready to go this time. [T/N: Shuu said bullet sponge, but cannon fodder seems more appropriate.]
“Okay, let’s go.” (Shuu)
“Oh, let’s go together!” (Kure)
The four of us step into the pitch-black staircase that spreads out before them.
Our real adventure finally begins.
To challenge the unknown, to the phantom 31st floor of Ouji Metro.
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