Metro Labyrinth Chapter 97.2: Mutant Individuals

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



 It could not be helped. It was frustrating, but there was nothing we could do, given the timing.


 Anyway, those who still appear in the village and those who were on the upper floor are, so to speak, survivors from the previous leaders. In other words, they are like the remnants of the previous generation, and even if left alone, they will disappear sooner or later.


 So, the question is—will these mutated individuals really be a threat to the Rikugi Village and the hunters?



(Well, what should we do?) (Shuu)



 I glance at Tamiko. She, too, seems to have been listening to the conversation seriously and looks a little doubtful. Her ears are perked up, which means that she is searching for us even while we are doing this.



“…I understand what you’re saying. Ms. Utsuki, can you go back by yourself? If possible, I’d like you to go back to Rikugi Village first.” (Shuu)


“…No way, to subdue it alone…? Excuse me, but what is Mr. Abe’s level…?” (Sou)


“Ah… it’s 70.” (Shuu)


“I am 42, squeak.” (Tamiko)



 Utsuki’s eyes widened.



“Really!? At such a young age…?” (Sou)


“I’m often heard that, but… I’ve been through a lot.” (Shuu)



 Tears welled in Utsuki’s eyes. She takes my hand again. Stronger and tighter than before.


 I wonder what’s happening. The softness is different from that of the Xolotl’s paw pads. I can’t help feeling the softness.



“Ah… ‘God of Threadweavers’ didn’t abandon us… Thank you very much…” (Sou)



 Are you a member of the Metro Church?



“Please… Let me join you… To avenge everyone…!” (Sou)


“Ah, no… our job is just to investigate. I’m sorry, but…” (Shuu)



 While somehow turning my face away, I let go of her hand.



 It’s a monster that even 30 level 30 hunters or higher couldn’t subdue, it’s doubtful if we can manage it on our own. Moreover, there are still half of the followers left, and it’s not so good-looking that I can say, “Yes! I’ll do my best!”



“I’m not doubting Ms. Utsuki, but I’d like to go down to the sixth floor and check it out first.” (Shuu)



 If it looks like we can manage it ourselves, then subjugating it would probably be on the table, but of course, if it looks dangerous, we will retreat with all our might and end the survey. I can understand her frustration, but… I don’t want to be in danger from being overly confident. We are not only putting ourselves in danger, but many others as well. If we don’t do our job, we will cause trouble for many people.



 Utsuki lowers her eyes for a moment, then looks up.



“…That’s fine. Please take me too. I’ll lead you to the sixth floor.” (Sou)



 She has tears in her eyes. Her shoulders are trembling slightly.



“No, it’s better not to overdo it…” (Shuu)



 Her injuries may have healed, but she had to have consumed a considerable amount of energy and physical strength to survive this far. After all, it seems better to end the investigation here and accompany her to the surface.


 Or rather, as far as I can see, I feel like her mind is in chaos. It’s not a warrior trembling, it’s clearly mixed with fear.



“…I’m not going to slow you down. I’m a professional hunter too. I couldn’t fight to the end that time, but I… want to give another fight for everyone’s sake…” (Sou)



 Biting her lips hard, she drew blood. Is it the light of determination and preparedness that still shines in her watery eyes?


 Looking at Tamiko, she nodded slightly.


 I sighed and nodded back.



“…in the meantime, can I expect you to follow my instructions?” (Shuu)



 Her expression flashed brightly, and she nodded, “Yes!”


 Secretly I was a little taken aback by her smile.





 With Utsuki leading the way, we stealthily proceeded through the water city. Our goal is the stairs to the sixth floor.


 I see her slender back, her slim waist, and her perky buttocks. I can’t look away from her, like it’s an irresistible force.



 No, stop, I inwardly shook my head.


 Among my sexual preferences, there I don’t have any loli in there.



 It is true that I prefer larger breasts. However, in essence, whether the breasts are small or large, the important thing is whether or not they match the person’s stature. True, the bigger better, but that is not all there is to “a woman”, nor is it all there is to “my preference”. But I really prefer bigger ones.



 Therefore, it is not difficult to find being attracted with a preference that’s like a slippery slope. Because breasts are breasts, there is no hierarchy in their beauty and firmness.



(……Although.) (Shuu)



 As I said, I don’t have a taste for lolis.


 It is a path that I have never taken in my life, nor would I dare to take.



 Well, the woman in front of me is not a little girl. Her age may indeed be in the strike zone.


 But she is too timid. Not only did she not step on the plate, but it was as if she was thrown from five meters away from the mound. It is not unreasonable to think that the few remaining Heisei era rationality might refuse to swing.



 Well, it’s sexual harassment when you’re thinking about such things. When she is told things like, “Why am I judging things from my point of view?”



 So I’m not going to do it. I don’t have time to be having fun fantasizing about such things right now, because I feel the pain of my partner’s eyes on me.



 Or rather, let’s try to keep her out of my gaze as much as possible.


 I don’t know why but looking at her makes me feel out of tune. My brain starts spinning in unexpected directions. I think strange thoughts. I feel like I’m about to open a new door. This is not good.



(……that.) (Shuu)



 When I try to force my thoughts in a different direction, I suddenly think.


 Even now. Yes, even now.


 I am estimated to be 132 years old this year.


 …This means that no matter who I date, I am a lolicon, right?


 Even a grandma who celebrated her 60th birthday is 70 years old younger, right?


 Hahaha, even a grandma is like my great-grandchild.



(…I should stop. I need to stop thinking.) (Shuu)



 Let’s take our time later and come up with a theory that can be used as an official opinion for 107 years. If suitable, I can borrow the wisdom of Obuchi and others. It’s not too late to start thinking about this and that.



“……Hmm?” (Shuu)



 I stopped.


 I held my breath and focus on my senses.



“…Abeshuu?” (Tamiko)


“Tamiko, did you hear anything?” (Shuu)



 She puts her hands over her ears and slowly turns her head to the side as if to point her antennae.



“…‘animal-like’ sounds are the most common, squeak. But it’s hard to tell because of the sound of the water, squeak.” (Tamiko)


“I see.”



 My [Sensory Spores] also had a narrower range due to the fog. It won’t be half as wide as usual, less than 30 meters.


 Within that range, I had a feeling that something was nearby. It’s not a small animal like a rabbit or a mouse, but a rather large beast like Baphomet. I couldn’t tell clearly because it was mixed with noise.


 I don’t feel that now. I wonder if Baphomet’s remnants are hiding nearby.



“…Mr. Abe? Ms. Tamiko?” (Sou)



 Utsuki, who was walking ahead, returns.



“…I think there might be something nearby.” (Shuu)


“Eh?” (Sou)



 Utsuki looked around anxiously.



“No, I don’t think it’s there right now. But let’s be on the lookout.” (Shuu)


“Yes.” (Sou)




 So, three of us started walking again.





“… Hahaha. This may be the first time I’ve almost been caught tailing someone.” (Voice)


“Seriously?” (Voice)


“Is it some kind of sensory ability, or are their instincts as good as a beast?” (Voice)


“Kihihi. Deputy Commander, what is the plan?” (Voice)


“It’s not impossible. We just need to be careful. If we all work together, we can probably win, but we probably won’t be safe either. We can’t take any chances.” (Voice)


“…Then what should we do?” (Voice)


“We’ll just have to keep following them at a distance. I think I’m going to start after they collide with those goat monkeys. Hopefully, they’ll be the bait for the ‘Family’.” (Voice)



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