Metro Labyrinth Chapter 90: A New Quest and Noa’s Determination

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 Now that we have found a way to raise money, we decide to take on a quest.


 Noa left the room first because he had some business to attend to, and Tamiko and I went with Kaike to the reception desk on the first floor.



“Mr. Abe, do you remember Rikugi Village?” (Kaike)


“We were there as a guard before, weren’t we?” (Shuu)



 It must have been about a month ago. One of the quests I received before heading to Ouji was to guard a village that was being harassed by a group of Baphomets. That was the village of Rikugi.


 I stayed there for three days to guard the village and exterminated about ten Baphomets that had tried to harm the livestock and villagers under the cover of night. The villagers were so hospitable to me, I thought I would like to go there on a personal visit.



“Actually, after that, a [Baphomet Colony Subjugation Squad] was dispatched to Rikugi Metro. They were tasked with identifying the boss and his nest, but they left the village… ten days ago and haven’t returned yet.” (Kaike)


“That’s……” (Shuu)


“Either they are still working in the Metro, or they are in some kind of trouble…” (Kaike)


“I see.” (Shuu)



 It seems that the guild did not expect this.



“The subjugation team was formed jointly with the city of Komagome, but all thirty of them are individuals with Fungal Levels Thirty or higher. The squad is not expected to be annihilated unless there is something goes very wrong…” (Kaike)



 Baphomets are metro beasts that operate in families or herds and are often found on the ground or in shallow Metro areas. They are reasonably intelligent, but their individual killing power is not that high. It only takes a few villagers armed with farming tools to deal with them, and if you are a hunter, they are perfect for newcomers to gain experience.



 The problem this time, however, was the number of them. They appeared night after night, no matter how many were exterminated, suggesting that a colony had sprung up, a type of Metro Beast that reproduces in large numbers and occupies an area inside or outside the metro.



 In a sense, the number of metro beasts increases like a pandemic, and Mature and Mutant individuals are more likely to occur. If left unchecked, the surrounding ecosystem and human settlement will be affected in no small way, so it will be necessary to thin out the colony’s considerable numbers, including the colony bosses, and bring them to a close. The words from before are from Professor Noa.



“Since it is possible that some kind of unforeseen situation may have occurred, I wanted to ask someone above 1st dan to conduct a scouting, but unfortunately everyone was quite busy with the Founding Festival…” (Kaike)


“By ‘scouting’ you don’t mean taking over the task of defeating the colony, do you?” (Shuu)



 No matter how small they are, it’s hard to deal with hundreds of them with just my party. They might be stronger than Ouji’s zombie army.



“Yes, first we need to investigate. I want you to dive into the Metro and find out what’s going on in the Rikugi Metro and the colony right now. If the strike team is safe, it would be helpful if you could help them. …If not, I hope you can bring them back. In the unlikely event that—-that happens, we’d be happy to just get their IDs.” (Kaike)


“By the way, is it just us? With another team or something?” (Shuu)


“If that is what you want, I will ask the others to join.” (Kaike)


“If we are just going to check on them, not take them down, it might be easier for us to go alone.” (Shuu)



 The Rikugi Metro is not that large and the deepest level is the fourteenth floor. If it’s just looking around, it would be quicker for us to move alone.



“I understand. Then will you accept…?” (Kaike)



 I looked at Tamiko and she nodded. I would have liked to check with Noa, but she would not have said no, given the level of difficulty and the reward.



“Yes, I’ll do it. I’ve always wanted to go to Rikugi Village again.” (Shuu)


“Thank you! If it’s Mr. Abe and the others, we will feel at ease as well!” (Kaike)



 I don’t feel bad when a gentle beauty smiles at me like that. Tamiko’s tail slaps me on the cheek looking quite annoyed. I could only say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I’ll give her belly rubs when we get home



“In this case, your top priority is to bring back any information, no matter how small. I’m sure that at the level of Mr. Abe and the others, you will be able to return safely… Please don’t do anything reckless.” (Kaike)





“Oh, welcome back.” (Noa)


“Um, what?” (Shuu)



 When I returned home, Noa was hurriedly packing up her belongings. I haven’t informed her that I had received a quest yet.


 When I told her about the quest, she just nodded her head.



“Well… is it okay if I leave?” (Noa)


“What?” (Shuu)


“Squeak?” (Tamiko)


“I’m sorry to bother you on such short notice, but… I’m thinking of going back to Ikebukuro.” (Noa)



 Tamiko and I had our jaws drop after hearing Noa.



“What? Why all of a sudden?” (Shuu)


“Noa, you’re leaving squeak…?” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko and I were flustered. Noa suddenly wanted to go home, did she felt that I sexually harassed her? I didn’t do anything to disrespect her, right? …Maybe.


 Noa looked up at me and Tamiko while feeling a little embarrassed and shy.



“…I thought I’d take this opportunity to officially transfer to Sugamo. So I wanted to go back to Ikebukuro and go through the formalities.” (Noa)


“Oh, seriously? You are moving here.” (Shuu)


“It’s easier for us to work as a team, and it’s also easier for us to go through the procedures in the future. Truthfully… I would still like to stay over there and do some things that I want to do…” (Noa)



 Noa narrows her eyes looking a bit regretful and lonely. As someone who was born and raised in Ikebukuro, she seems to have some regrets. Or she’s stuck on something from her past—



“…But seeing what happened in Ouji, about the mayor’s daughter, and seeing Mr. Shuu and the others being active, I thought I’d like to do my best as a Sugamo hunter together with Mr. Shuu and Sis. I’m sorry that I decided on my own without consulting either of you.” (Noa)


“Well, it would have been better if you had consulted me.  But I like your idea. What do you think?” (Shuu)


“Squeak! We’ll always be together!” (Tamiko)


“Yes, thank you!” (Noa)



 Tamiko and Noa are playing with each other.


 That’s good That’s fine, but—



“But…does that have to be done right now?” (Shuu)


“I think it will take a few days to process, so I thought it would be better to do it soon as possible.” (Noa)



 Sounds troublesome. Or rather, I’m worried.


 Doing the quest without Noa, and that means we’ll be without the brain of our party.


 But more than that—I’m worried about being away from Noa now.



 From the time we left Ouji until today, the mysterious presence in her has not been seen even once.


 I went to the library and read the materials available at the Church’s branch office, but there was nothing more than the information I had received from Giran regarding demons and [Demonic Disease]. I was beginning to think that if I wanted to know more, I might have to go deeper into the Church.



 At any rate, for the moment, the situation is quiet and I don’t see any signs of it. Maybe it’s nothing that can’t be fixed right now… but still, to be separated from her for a few days–



“Hmmm… I’d like Noa to come with us if you can…” (Shuu)


“It’s about investigating the inside of the metro, isn’t it? I’m not sure if I can be of much help right now. I can’t be too much help to you if I don’t have the right skills.” (Noa)


“No, but without… Noa, we’ll be in trouble in case of an emergency. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a way to get the job done quickly. You are in charge of our tactics.” (Shuu)


“Shuu and Sis are studying a lot, right?” (Noa)



 What should I do? If I confess, that it is about the quest or transferring.



 Should I cancel the quest and accompany her to Ikebukuro?


 No, it seems they are short on staff right now, and seeing Kaike’s happy face, I can’t bear to cancel it.



 Ah, the word I said to Noa earlier boomeranged. Please consult before accepting. A century since leaving the company, the importance of “HouRenSou” [T/N: Houkoku/Report, Renraku/Inform/Update, and Soudan/Consult/Advise] seems really important.


 At the very least, someone who knew what was going on should go with Noa. It would have been a blow, but I had no other choice but to put Tamiko on Noa’s side.



“Pigyah!?” (Tamiko)



 Tamiko lets out a scream.


 I turned my gaze to the glass door of the living room, along Tamiko’s line of sight.


 A red-haired man peeks through the gap in the curtains, his face stuck to it.





“Hey, it’s me.” (Kure)



 It’s Kure.


 He opens the glass window and enters. I won’t let him through the front door.



“I didn’t give you my address, so how did you know where I was?” (Shuu)


“I followed the smell of Little Shuu and found this place.” (Kure)


“That’s creepy.” (Shuu)


“Fufufu. That’s a joke. I remembered hearing that the a was rented near a bakery, so I searched all over Sugamo for a bakery. It took me all day.” (Kure)


“That’s creepy.” (Shuu)



 Kure took off his shoes and tried to get into our home. I tried to stop him with all my might, but I changed my mind and welcomed him in.



“You went back to Senju, right? You returned quite early.” (Shuu)


“I’ve already done what I came there to do. Regarding the history of Lord Oyama Masuo, Senju is going to send a special envoy directly to the Doggy Tribe. From there, the story about the Demon was passed on to the chief, and he was very concerned.” (Kure)


“Well, it’s a national crisis.” (Shuu)


“Well, when I told the Chief that I had mastered grappling, he was very excited. It was hard to go on and on about joint training classes and sparring.” (Kure)



 As one would expect from a brain-muscle tribe.



“In a sense, it was the earnest wish of the Tribe to have my Life or Death Technique recognized. I’m still in training, and I want to hone my skills rather than teach others. Because I’m also a member of Team Abeshuu.” (Kure)



 I don’t recall ever having heard of such a team, nor do I recall ever having allowed myself to join it. And the female members of the team, as expected, are looking at me with white eyes.



 In a sense, however, this was the right time for him to join the team.



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