Metro Labyrinth Chapter 97.1: Mutant Individuals

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A/N: 9/3 – Part of the last “conversation” has been revised.



 She calls herself Utsuki Sou, a loli girl who looks about 11 or 12 years old.


 It is a little hard to believe that she is a member of Baphomet’s colony strike team, but even this girl should be a professional hunter of level 30 or above.



“Uh, ku……” (Sou)



 Her lips let out a faint moan as she lays in my arms. Her whole body is full of wounds. Her tiny body is covered in mud everywhere, scrapes and cuts. Her green jersey is almost black with blood stains. She tries to hold back the pain.



“Are you okay? Do you need [Holy Healing]?” (Shuu)



 When I produce a white hypha ball on my fingertip, the girl bit it and sucked *slurp**slurp*.


 I let the loli girl in my arms suck my fingertips. This is dangerous. The sense of immorality is blaring. If it’s recorded in video, it’s inevitable that it will damage my reputation.



“Thank you… Thank you… Um…” (Sou)


“Ah, I’m Abe Shuu from Sugamo.” (Shuu)


“Tamiko, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“Yes, thank you very much. Mr. Abe, Ms. Tamiko.” (Sou)



 Was she able to recover with just one? So, I gently let go of her body. While I was a bit nervous, I was quite relieved.



“Oh, um, excuse me… but may I see your card, just to be sure?” (Shuu)



 A question pops up in my head when I hear the word card. I immediately thought my hunter’s identification card.



“Ah, yes. Wait a minute.” (Shuu)



 I show her my identification card that was in the pocket of my rucksack. Tamiko says, “Mine too! Let her see mine.” while pulling my ear.



“… Yes, thank you very much. Here is mine too.” (Sou)



 She pat herself and came to the realization that it wasn’t in her pockets. From what I’ve seen so far, her luggage must have been lost somewhere. that’s why—



“…I’m sorry, it’s unsightly, but…” (Sou)



 Her sickly white cheeks were slightly reddish, and she timidly rolled up the hem of her jacket.


 His white skin with a faint scar was exposed, so I almost shouted “Noo!” but was stuck a millimeter in my throat. Two types of tattoos are carved on both sides of her small navel—the city insignia of Komagome and the guild insignia of the Hunter’s Guild. My eyes were glued there.



“I am Sou Utsuki of the Komagome branch. A long-eared demi-human and Elf… Um, it’s embarrassing, but I might look like this and I’m 30 years old…” (Sou)


“Really!?” (Shuu)


“We don’t look much different even when we age… People often doubt that I’m really a hunter…” (Sou)


“Thirty… years old…” (Shuu)



 In actual age, I am a century older than her, but in years lived, she is older than me.



“I’m sorry, I look like this… I’m actually a mature lady…” (Sou)


“No no…” (Shuu)



(I see… 30 years old…) (Shuu)


(I thought she was a level 30 high school girl, but is that acceptable?) (Shuu)



“*Whisper* (Tamiko, what’s your level?)” (Shuu)


“*Whisper* (around 35, squeak).” (Tamiko)



 She may look like a loli girl, but she is a mid-level hunter. The requirement for the strike team is level 30 or above, which means she fits the bill.



 Perhaps feeling something from my rude gaze, Utsuki’s face turned even redder. I hurriedly averted my gaze.


 While averting it, my thoughts are jumbled.



(Even so, an elf?) (Shuu)


(In here, is this real?) (Shuu)


(There are pig-demihuman the orcs, so of course there are elves when there are orcs.) (Shuu)



 —a legal loli.


 Such a phrase crossed my mind, and I quickly shook it off.



“Um… I go to Sugamo from time to time, but I’ve never seen the two of you before….” (Sou)


“Well, we just joined this May.” (Shuu)


“Oh, I see……” (Sou)



 An old rookie with a Carbuncle partner is a hot topic in Sugamo. I thought she would get some kind of reaction if she knew about it, but it seems that the rumors about us didn’t even reach the other branches. In terms of the timing of the strike team’s departure, the chaos in Ouji may not have reached their ears. I feel relieved.



“But the fact that you accepted this survey means that you are at a certain level…?” (Sou)


“Well, yeah. I don’t think we have a problem in that part.” (Shuu)



 A hand that was as cute as a maple tree tightly grasped my hand.


 Ooh, so soft, so small.



“Please… let’s take on those monsters together…” (Sou)



 I exchanged a glance with Tamiko, receiving those eyes that were desperately clinging to me.



“Um, can you tell me first? What happened to the strike team, what happened here—” (Shuu)





 According to Utsuki’s story, a strike team of 30 hunters from Sugamo and Komagome arrived at this floor nine days ago.



 Preliminary investigations had indicated that the majority of the colony and the boss were located here, but when they ventured in, they found that the place was almost completely deserted (though not as deserted as it is today). The majority of the goat monkeys, which had been so numerous during the survey phase that it looked like some kind of festival or event, had disappeared without a trace.



 The team scoured the entire spacious fifth floor, exterminating the unhealthy-looking ones that had attacked them. In the end, there was no boss to be found on this floor.



 After consulting with each other, they decided to go to the sixth floor.


 They did not know that their decision would result in their complete annihilation.



“Waiting for them there was a mutated individual…… a Baphomet.” (Sou)


“Mutant individual?” (Shuu)


“The mass breeding of Baphomets has resulted in a unique individual, different from both the normal and the mature individual. This is a rare case in colony outbreaks.” (Sou)



 They devour other beasts and continue to give birth.


 They continue to devour and lay until the vegetation decays.


 The colony is formed by such an unrestrained breeding cycle.



 Among the hundreds and thousands of lives that are born in this process. If the probability of the occurrence of a mutation is constant, it is not surprising that it is realized in the course of the colony’s vast trial-and-error process. It would be a rather natural process.



“This is our guess…. but that mutated individual, for their species, seems to be even more different from the normal Baphomets, even more, heterogeneous among mutations. The proof of this is that… that individual was cannibalistic, which is not normal.” (Sou)


“Ugh…” (Shuu)



 Noa once told me about this. The creatures of New Tokyo do not level up taking in sporangium from the same species. So, cannibalism occurs only very rarely, even among Metro Beasts.



“In the case of a chronic food shortage, such as the explosive expansion of a colony, there are rare cases where weaker individuals of the same species are sacrificed as ‘food’. However… I am still speculating, but I think that this guy gained his strength through cannibalism. Conversely, because it was born as an isolated species, it was able to grow more powerful through cannibalism… Otherwise, there is no explanation for its strength…” (Sou)



 It is only a hypothesis of the strike team, but that means that it is so strong that such an outlandish hypothesis would not be impossible.



“Umm… Ms. Utsuki, what is its level?” (Shuu)


“…I think you would have to be a master to be able to stand up against it.” (Sou)


“Seriously?” (Shuu)



 The Baphomet’s growth was said to peak at 30 or so at the most. It is certainly a monster to reach double that level?



“In addition… That creature had a dozen or so followers under its command. I think it is using only the best of them as its limbs, like an elite unit. We, the strike team, were barely able to fight…” (Sou)


“Everybody except Ms. Utsuki is annihilated…?” (Shuu)


“…We defeated about half of its followers, but we couldn’t reach that mutated individual… I’m an [Illusionist], and I was supporting everyone from behind… but my friends let me go when we were about to be annihilated… I was so wounded that I left all my items behind… and the potions… I left all my potions and stuff behind… I bide my time and get here without fighting as much as I could.” (Sou)


“I see.” (Shuu)



 For the time being, we were able to ascertain the safety of the strike team and the current status of the colony’s anomalies.


 The Baphomet’s colony self-destructed like an organism undermined by cancer cells due to the mutants they created. The Baphomet colony has transformed itself from a large family of mutants into an elite group with the mutants at the top, and it is continuing its activities. The strike team that attempted to defeat it was unfortunately wiped out, leaving only Utsuki.




(We flew pretty fast, but we didn’t make it in time, did we?) (Shuu)



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