Metro Labyrinth Chapter 69: Jaguar Golem vs “Master Threadweaver”
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A stone sword and a white sword with a bluish-white light clashed.
The opponent was a jaguar golem nearly three meters tall. The difference in size between the two is about the same as that between an adult and a child, and I caught the swing from above.
“Guu… woo!” (Shuu)
It pushed down with a force that crushed the cobblestone pavement. I flicked off the stone sword, using the recoil to push my body, pulling both my knees up to my stomach, and launching myself like an arrow. A drop kick came down, but I used [Leaping] at the moment of impact. A direct hit to the chest pushes the jaguar back, but It holds on and avoids falling as it thrusts its stone swords and scrapes the cobblestone pavement.
“Noa! Take him (the chihuahua) and run away to the forest!” (Shuu)
I yelled without looking back, and throwing off my cloak as I shouted.
“I will catch up with you! Go ahead!” (Shuu)
“Little Shuu, I too–” (Kure)
I glance back at him. He seemed to be trying to join me, but the jaguar was already in a fighting stance again.
“I’ll take care of this. Take care of Tamiko and Noa.” (Shuu)
“Oh, leave it to me! Carry them to safety and I’m going back to your butt!” (Kure)
“Is my butt a place to return to?” (Shuu)
The jaguar comes up to me, stomping its feet. No time to take off my jersey, as I expected, my mycelial arms poking through the back of my jersey. I’ve learned since I bought it that the hunter’s jersey is specially made. It’s blade-proof and resistant to impact (no wonder everyone loves it). Even old ones are quite resistant for my hypha arms to tear through it.
Anyway, the four-[Katana]-style with the precious weapon coating. My style that specializes in firepower, I have to eliminate this guy as quickly as possible. Before the zombies that are wandering around gather here.
Like a gray shadow hanging over us. The stone sword’s blade came at me from above. I jumped backwards and crossed my [Katana] to receive it, and I swung back repelling it.
The jaguar quickly steps in and strikes a second time, slashing diagonally from above. I roll sideways to dodge and moved back by pushing the ground with my hypha arms holding [Katanas]. The sound of air tearing and blowing away echoed
It is clear at the time our blades clashed. There is no chance of me winning in a simple match of strength.
Perhaps it is because of its small mass, compared to the scorpion on the 30th floor, even if it has a monstrous strength, it is within the realm of common sense. Even so, it is still a golem, and it is around level 70. The difference in physical strength is obvious. It would be too dangerous to collide with it head-on.
I slashed at the body of the jaguar that rushed toward me. The stone sword easily blocks it. My mycelial arm thrusts in for a follow-up attack, which is also repelled with a single swing.
The jaguar twists its hips. The tail running right next to me grazes my right side. A nasty creaking sound can be heard, but I’ll get better soon, so I don’t worry about it.
I howled, slashing with all four of my arms creating dancing rays of light.
If power has no chance. Then, how about speed and mobility?
A rain of high-density slashes. Particles of light flashed and scattered like sparks as they collided with the stone sword.
I swung my arm so hard that there was no time for it to respond. I poured all my energy into hitting the target.
The giant backs away slowly. But…
(I can’t hit it!)
Even though he is overwhelmed by the number of moves, even though he is striking each blow with all his might.
But the stone sword was catching every slash. It is as if it were a precision machine, a sword of unparalleled accuracy. Perhaps it is a master of swordsmanship?
I have fought many times with goblins, ogres, and other Metro Beasts that use hypha weapons, but only as far as “wild beasts that wield sticks with brute force.” I’ve never seen a Metro Beast wield a sword so skillfully—more skillfully than my own self-polished skills.
I took a step back and threw the sword in my left hand. It was easily repelled, but at the same time, I ran up the wall of the building next to it. Leaping into the air, I thrust out my left hand.
The resulting [Great Shield] covers the jaguar’s head.
The jaguar’s twin swords crossed like scissors to catch it and cut it in two with a flash! Cutting it in two.
The [Great Shield] breaks in two and falls, but beyond it, there is no sign of me.
I leap once more, kicking the shield, and spinning around behind it.
As I land, before the jaguar can turn around, I dealt multiple strikes on its back and flank with my three blades.
(—Take this!) (Shuu)
The golem froze only momentary. Woosh! The tip of its tail extends and gouges out my left cheek and half of his ear is also torn off.
I threw a [Smoke Ball] at it as I backed away. Boom! A plume of dark gray smoke envelops the area.
I took a few steps away while being shrouded in smoke. I crushed a [Holy Healing] in my face. Liquid pours down and seals the wound. Leaving it to my [Immortality]’s regenerative power would consume more of my stamina, but it can’t be helped so I could stop the bleeding.
(It was one blow, or rather, three blows, with all my might.) (Shuu)
I slashed with all my might at the rocky body. But there was only a shallow gouge on the surface.
The body is smart and specializes in speed, precise movement, and hardness. The body is so strong that it is not even affected by the [Light Blade].
(I need to find a weakness as soon as possible.) (Shuu)
Perhaps because of the excessive attention to detail, there are almost no flat surfaces. The patterned part, which is usually the weak point, is invisible. Like the scorpion golem on the 30th floor, it may just be made extremely difficult to see.
Nevertheless, in terms of space for the main body to fit, there can be no other place but the torso.
First of all, I need to pry open a crack or a gap to smash it inside. To do so, if one shot is not enough, three shots are needed, but since that didn’t work, ten or even twenty shots are needed.
I’ve got its position with [Sensory Spores]. I’ll take advantage of the smoke and fire two or three more shots.
As soon as I take a step forward, the jaguar rushes forward. Straight to where I was.
A dash at the same speed as [Leaping]. At the same time, a thrust aimed at the chest my chest rumbles out.
I ducked and dodge just in time. Then a pitch-black mass suddenly covers my vision. I quickly guard against it with my hypha arm—the impact felt like I collided with a truck—thus, blowing me back, crashing against the wall of the building.
“Guh… Ah…” (Shuu)
(A drop kick!) (Shuu)
I staggered to my feet, spitting blood and swearing in my head. I didn’t expect the golem to return the favor.
They’re very capable learners—I remember now that Kure had said something like that.
The fact that it was able to pinpoint my location in the smoke is because it recognize its surroundings not by sight, but by vibration and sound. Even though I have [Sensory Spores], it was a bad move to choose the ineffective [Smoke Ball].
Gradually, the smoke cleared. The sound of jaguar footsteps approached.
“…I knew it, but…” (Shuu)
Isn’t it ridiculously durable?
Moreover, it is really good at direct attacks. Impregnable because of its simplicity. I can’t find any gaps.
I thought quickly.
Running away is an option. Tamiko and the others had probably moved away from me by now, I had already bought some time. If I could use my [Leaping] to get away from it, I could escape…
No. With the dashing power it had just shown. Even if it were to chase after me, I would be at a disadvantage. In the worst case scenario, I would have to join them with this guy in tow.
Even if I were to run away, I would either have to create an opening that would prevent pursuit or inflict enough damage to impede its ability to run.
And the jaguar swung its stone sword on the spot. The distance between me and the jaguar is seven to eight meters.
The stone face, expressionless, seemed to have the corners of its mouth twisted into a smile.
A shiver runs down my spine, and I jump back from the spot at the same time as it swings down.
Crash! And a crack runs through the building behind me. The wall was slashed diagonally, and it slides and crumbles.
Is this a manga? Was that just from the sword’s pressure? Ridiculous. A kamaitachi? Is it Rurouni K*nshin?
Then the jaguar then swings twice. The air screams. The [Great Shield] with [Light Blade] creaked, and the shock was transmitted to my arms, as I hid behind. It barely managed to cut it, but it’s ridiculously sharp.
“…a thread, huh?” (Shuu)
A fine thread has fallen under my feet. It was mycelium. A sharp mycelium, like a steel wire, had flown from the stone sword. I didn’t know this kind of Fungal Skill existed.
(I can’t retreat, can I?) (Shuu)
As soon as I turn my back, I can only expect to be chopped to pieces.
The jaguar swung its twin swords again.
Woosh, woosh, woosh! The slash comes at me, slicing through the cobblestone pavement. As soon as I dodged a blow by throwing away my shield, a second and then a third blow followed almost hitting me.
High-speed flying slashes attacked in all directions, without pause.
Buildings around the area were easily smashed like cakes, and debris piled up. Dust mingled with the fog clouded my vision.
It’s not enough to prevent them, all I can do to avoid them. The direction and timing can be measured from the movement of the sword and arm, but the speed and power are tremendous. A direct hit to my body would cut me in two.
“Whoa! Oh!” (Shuu)
The flying slashes jump over the side, cleave, and slide into the ground. I sprawled, dodged, and fell back.
Literally desperately holding on for dear life, a smile forms at the corners of my mouth.
Because I can’t help but laugh.
The power of the sword is so great that it easily surpasses my own.
Swordsmanship that can match the four-[Katana]-style without difficulty.
A defense that even the [Light Blade] can’t penetrate.
Dashing ability to keep pace with [Leaping].
And then there is the cheat skill, flying slash.
When it’s this clear, you have to admit it.
This jaguar golem is like a rival stronger than me.
Is it any wonder that I have no chance of winning in a head-on collision?
It is super compatible with the [Holy Knight] Abe Shuu.
And that is not my true form.
(I am an [Master Threadweaver].) (Shuu)
Muttering to myself, I smiled while facing death.
Even while desperately dodging the attacks, I was slowly being cornered behind.
I was being pursued back toward the altar in the back, directly opposite to the forest side where my companions fled.
As expected, I am short of breath. My body is being torn and gouged here and there, and I am desperately trying to get air through my mouth and nose.
The jaguar seems to be exhausted as well. I doubt if the golem has a system for running out of breath, but at the very least, there is no way it can carry out that many attacks indefinitely and forever. Obviously, the number of attacks is decreasing.
“Whoa! Damn!” (Shuu)
But—to make matters worse, it is beginning to imitate and predict my movements and was targeting me. It is even mixing in slow and steady attacks and feints. It is learning its opponent’s moves.
It becomes harder and harder to dodge. The wounds I received have become deeper. Thanks to [Immorality] the wounds will eventually heal, but how much blood have I shed?
I backed away. The jaguar closes the gap immediately.
After all this time of observation, even I am aware of the nature of the attack.
The range of the tentatively named “Hypha Kamaitachi” is about ten to fifteen meters.
At a distance of more than that, the threads lose momentum and sharpness. The ones that fall to the ground are likewise just a weak thread that can be snapped off by stepping on it with my foot.
The jaguar measures its range precisely. If I am too close to the target, it will move forward, and if I am too far away, it will shoot from a safe distance. It is torturing me from a safe distance. Like a machine, the jaguar is calmly and coolly devoted to this task.
That’s why—if I dared to retreat, the jaguar would follow me mechanically.
Completely, unaware of the trap.
I rolled to the side to dodge the slash, and while I was on one knee—I flicked my thumb.
I flicked off two [White Bullets] with precise shots. The other one explodes at the jaguar. The other one explodes just before its feet.
—Jaguar does not recognize the red hypha balls mixed in with the shattered cobblestone pavement.
When I was at Outsuka Metro, there was a time when I was enthusiastic about the “Burning Mycelium Mine Operation”.
As it turned out, it did not produce good results.
Red. Suspicious. Too small. Even if I scattered them haphazardly on the ground, they would easily be avoided, and even if I lightly buried them in the ground, I would not know if I stepped on them, or I would forget where I had buried them. I tried many other ways, but in the end, I came to the conclusion that it is still better to use them directly.
I had no idea that this strategy, which did not even work against Ghost Wolves and Goblins, would be useful against such high-level opponents.
While rolling on the ground from the constant slashing attacks, I diligently scattered the red hypha balls. To something, who perceives the world through sound and air vibrations, they were so tiny that it could not distinguish them from a pebble. There was a fear that it might have exploded during the scattering, but it seems that I was lucky that I have been practicing this before.
The [Fireball] that was hit by the [White Bullet] created a small explosion and a pillar of fire appeared. It burned and destroys the surrounding [Fireballs] and [Thunderballs], causing a chain reaction. The balls turned into a huge pillar of fire with the jaguar at its center, creating a blast so powerful that it blew me away.
Fog literally dissipates and a cloud of dust settles in the air. At the center of it all—the jaguar with its arms crossed in front of its chest—still standing. I focused on it.
So I’m already kicking off the ground.
The jaguar tries to move, but its limbs have slowed down as if they’ve run out of fuel.
It swings its stone sword to release the “Hypha Kamaitachi”. At the same time, I jumped close range.
“Yo, I’m back.” (Shuu)
I’m finally back. At a distance where I can ignore the Kamaitachi. And at a distance where I can strike with my most hard-hitting attack.
My clenched fist glowed silver and is covered in light. [Iron Fist] + [Light Blade].
Kaboom! The stone body, which had boasted of its durability, screamed as I slammed my fist into it with all my force.
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