Metro Labyrinth Chapter 73: Return of the People of the Thread
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T/N: I didn’t remove the woofs. Nai stopped saying woof.
The line “five years ago” at the end of this story has been corrected to “three years ago”.
According to Chief Nai, the Xolotl tribe began with only ten beasts.
More than a hundred years ago—after the [Tokyo Judgment], they are not sure how they found themselves on the 31st underground floor of the Ouji Metro.
(I guess you could say they developed an ego…) (Shuu)
(Did a normal Chihuahua become a magical beast because of the [Super Fungi], and then they grew an ego…) (Shuu)
(Or did they come to this world from somewhere and just lost their previous memories?) (Shuu)
Anyway, the Xolotls built a modest base in that ruined city, and gradually increased the number of individuals to form a pack. Fortunately, at that time, gremlins and minotaurs were neither as strong nor as large as they are now. They thrived while their numbers increased and decreased while competing for survival with the Metro Beasts.
Then, more than seventy years ago.
The first “human” visited this land.
The “Giant Hairless Gremlin” called itself “People of the Thread” who live on the surface. They had only their own primitive language, which they could not understand.
Perhaps because they liked the Xolotl so much, the “People of the Thread” settled in the area and patiently kept their distance from their people. At first, they were wary, but gradually they opened their hearts, realizing that they meant no harm.
The “Master Threadweaver”, who called himself Masuo Oyama, brought many things to them.
A language that enabled detailed communication, counting, arithmetic, the concept of a calendar, hunting techniques, building technology, and wisdom for daily life. Oyama was very happy when he talked about his homeland, the “Land of the People of the Thread”.
Karate, the unarmed martial art, was also taught with great enthusiasm, but it was difficult for short-limbed people to master it. Unfortunately, it is now almost extinct.
“Oyama Masuo was a language teacher at a school in the ancient world. He also taught karate to volunteer students,” adds Kure. So he is both a Japanese language teacher and a karate club adviser?
It was with Oyama’s advice and cooperation that they were able to discover the 32nd floor and build this fortress. They and Oyama formed a deep bond, and Oyama remained in this underground world for seven years.
At first, Oyama proposed the name “Chihuahuas,” but when they learned that they were helpless lapdogs, they were furious. The name “Xolotl” was given to the tribe. The name was derived from the name of a god who was worshipped in a place that resembled a prehistoric city of ruins.
When it was time to say goodbye, Oyama asked them, “Would you like to come to the surface with me?” they declined then.
Oyama respected their wishes and swore to protect the secrets of their land. He said, shyly, “I would be very happy if someday when another group of “People of the Thread” appear, you and they become friends through the words and knowledge I have taught you.”
In a day or two, the stairs that Oyama had walked through would be blocked by the changing of the metro. No one seemed to have noticed it after Oyama came and after he punched a hole in the wall again to return.
For almost sixty years, the Xolotl lived in isolation, never forgetting their debt to him or his teachings, until his return to the surface and the revelation of his secret again by another group of people.
“This is our text… Oyama’s legacy. It has been handed down to the chiefs so that the words of the ‘People of the Thread’ would never be lost.” (Nai)
Nai brought a thick, tattered bundle of papers bound with string. The chief, a few members of their entourage, and a candidate for the next chief—Makko, apparently—can read and write.
“Without this, the words will be lost further and further. I’m glad you came here before they were completely lost.” (Nai)
“As you can imagine, we don’t understand the Mau language either.” (Shuu)
“Yes, squeak.” (Tamiko)
Giran put a paw on Shuu’s shoulder.
“How did you guys discover the secret paradise that only the legendary ‘Master Threadweaver’ could discover?” (Giran)
“Ah… um… it’s a complete coincidence…” (Shuu)
Kukulkan is the name of a giant snake that lived near that ruined city.
It was Oyama who gave it its name. It is the name of the twin god of Xolotl in Mesoamerican mythology.
It was stronger and more agile than any other beast, with poisonous fangs, scales that repelled all attacks, spitting flaming debris, and a life force that would not die no matter how much it was wounded. Oyama estimated that the mature individual would be at least level 80.
“How interesting… A huge, undiscovered Metro Beast… ” said Giran.
For the Xolotl or the Metro Beasts of the 31st floor, Kukulkan was at first an absolute force to be reckoned with, like a natural disaster. Many of their people fell under its fangs, were burned, and became its food.
But at the same time, it was like the guardian deity of this land.
More than ten years after Oyama’s departure, countless golems appeared on the 31st floor, devouring the Metro Beasts and causing mas chaos. The Xolotl tribe also suffered many casualties.
As the catastrophic damage was spreading, Kukulkan took the lead in kicking out the army of rock dolls. The Xolotls could not help but be in awe of their god of destruction and protection.
“Kukulkan has no partner but it can lay a single egg.” (Nai)
It is something called parthenogenesis. I’ve seen on the net that there are snakes where some females lay eggs, even though there are males.
“When the eggs hatch, the parents take care of them for a while and then die. Their last job is to feed their young. Their lifespan is about twenty years.” (Nai)
“Wow, that’s amazing.” (Shuu)
It is the exact opposite of filial cannibalism, where the parents eat their children. Letting children eat themselves is the ultimate in food education. As I recall, there was a spider like that in the deserts of the Middle East or something. My source as usual the Internet.
“The eggs hatch within 10 years after they are laid. It hatches exactly 3,600 times after night falls. That’s the way it’s always been.” (Nai)
“Exactly? So, the eggs stay that way for ten years? That’s amazing.” (Shuu)
Even dinosaurs had only been in their eggs for a few months, I think.
“But we never encountered such a snake, did we?” (Shuu)
“I didn’t even notice it, squeak.” (Tamiko)
If we had suddenly encountered a level 80 giant snake in the jungle, all the members of my party would have wet their pants.
“… Kukulkan is gone now.” (Nai)
Nai stared blankly and shook his head.
“He was killed three years ago by a second individual who came here…” (Nai)
The others and I were at a loss for words.
A second individual? Three years ago?
Killed that? A level 80 monster?
“There are only seven days left until the next Kukulkan is born from the egg left behind. We must do whatever it takes to retrieve the egg trapped in that altar before then.” (Nai)
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