MTL & Editor : A s h e s
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The day after my exam, I took a carriage by myself to the Wolf Fang Labyrinth so explore it again. While the carriage rocked back and forth, I was using the Avatar Customization. After thinking further on everything that happened in the labyrinth the first time, it was apparent that my 5.7 and P90 wouldn’t be enough to deal with large groups quickly enough before the status effects wore off. As anyone who played shooters knows, most firearms shoot one bullet at a time, thus logically, can only deal with one target at a time. What I needed now was something that would deal a killing blow immediately to a good portion of targets when they are in a group
It was a bit of a pain to choose equipment while having to keep the CP in mind. Was the cost to return ratio worth it and then I have to keep in mind the amount I can reasonably carry. In the avatar outfits, I kept tinkering with my loadout. Belt, vest, and other clothing configurations. The end results were that I chose to keep my firearms the same along with keeping the flashbangs, but I also an M67 Fragmentation Hand Grenade[*1] and TH3 Incendiary Grenade. [*2] I also picked out a Powered Battle Suit that was form fitting like underwear but with a rugged design. On top, I wore an M-1965 field jacket[*3] over the suit and attached a utility belt that had magazine pouches and other stuff.
“Hello, I’d like to enter the Wolf Fang labyrinth”
After arriving at the Labyrinth, I went forward to the management building and I was greeted by a “receptionist”, using the term loosely. It was a man in full guard gear sitting at the reception desk.
” Welcome then, please hand over your guild card and fill out your form with all the relevant information.”
The guard-ceptionist handed over a form to me as I handed over my guild card. On the form were sections for my name and exploration details such as how many days, and floors I was planning on exploring. I filled out the details and put down for the time frame for 1 day and floors 1 to 5. After I handed the completed form back, my thoughts wander towards the evolution scale of this world and felt a little uncomfortable with it.
The form I filled out was made on paper that I could only compare to Washi paper[*4] or traditional Japanese paper by the texture. I haven’t seen anything like the modern white paper I’m used to in my original world and even the writing utensil I used was a feather pen. There were Flush Toilets as well and baths, but just not for the common people. There were also different variations of board games about that I’ve seen in my world. To be exact, the reason I feel uncomfortable is that I think they may be other people from my world here with such disparities in technology in certain sectors.
“Well, he’s your card back and doesn’t push your self in there by yourself. The most important thing if that coming back alive.”
He gave me some advice after finding out I was exploring for the first time on my own. I thanked the Guard-ceptionist for his advice. It was a given that recklessly exploring places such as a labyrinth would lead to certain death, but I kept it in the corner of my mind as he was kind enough to say something to me as I felt the building and entered the Labyrinth
Heading down into the Labyrinth, I pulled out my P90 and 5.7. Their loadout was the same last time with tactical light and suppressor on the P90. The pistol only had a suppressor. However useful these attachments were, they added a little bit of weight to the front ends of the weapons making them awkward to hold, but it was something that could be fixed over time as I got used to the weight.
Today’s plan was to explore the entirety of each floor from B-1 to B-5[*5], filling in my map of each level. In the VRMMO game, VMB, maps were a matter of winning or losing. Being able to have the information about the environment the battle would take place in would certainly give the largest advantage in winning. Being able to know the various key positions such as choke points, areas that would make perfect ambush points, and even positions that would make great sniper vantage point would allow you to utilize them way before a team that didn’t have that information on hand. That didn’t change just because of the Labyrinth was an enclosed space, but actually made it a matter of life or death. If you were running away, you wouldn’t want to run into a dead end and have your escape cut off.
From what’s been explained to me, there doesn’t seem to be a gimmick such as an Instant Death Trap anywhere within the Labyrinth so I can rest easy about moving slowly throughout the Labyrinth to check my environment traps. Since I’m by myself, I don’t have to worry about anyone else, I can focus on the monsters and lighting up my map. With that, I went on in a good mood.
Since I already had a portion of the map filled in from yesterday’s exam, so I decided to take another route close to the filled in portion so to fill in the map route by route. Up ahead I could hear something coming from a room on the right side. After posting up at on the wall next to the door frame, I peaked in and saw Horned Rabbits…
In the small room, there were rabbits about 50cms long with a long horn growing out of their heads and beady glowing red eyes. Fundamentally, the monsters of large rooms won’t attack unless you enter the room, but after I stuck my head out, they began to charge at me, so it doesn’t apply to small rooms. I took the initiative to strike while there was still distance between us. I trained my iron-sights on the front-runner’s main body then fired in short 3 – Round Bursts. The sound of dampened gunshots filled the room and hallway as the first Horned Rabbit tumbled to the floor before sliding and stopping dead, but that didn’t faze the other two as they continued charging towards me.
I came out from behind the door frame and charged forward before jumping to the left and sliding low. Although there wasn’t any clear terminology, in VMB, power would be channeled into the power suit’s leg allowing you to slide forward with speed. I called it a Jump Slide for simplicity. With this, I slide about 4 to 5 meters out, then I slide to the right while striking the rabbits.
I let out a sigh unconsciously as the last two fallen rabbits were wrapped in a black haze before they slowly faded into the labyrinth’s floor leaving only their magic stones. I checked the rest of the room after collecting the stones, but I didn’t find anything. It was just an empty room now. In the labyrinth, regardless of the room size, there was a change for magical items to be found, but they were rare. I continued on with mapping the first floor. When I came along any monsters moving my way in the corridors, I would ambush them. For groups that were found in the small or large rooms, I made quick work of them using a combination of Flangbangs, fragmentation grenades, and incendiary grenades. I ended up falling into a rhythm by the time I finished mapping the first level before I left for B-2.
It was similar in the corridor’s size with the first level, bringing up the map I got from the Guild. It held only a rough layout of the floor leading to the third level, so I continued with my method of mapping, route by route. It seems that the Labyrinth would always make five layers in the beginning, but as it devoured more and more lives, it could possibly add another layer.
In this labyrinth, there were around five layers that were populated only by Goblins, Grass Wolves and Horned Rabbits that lived in the nearby Eastern Forest, but apparently…
There was one more monster residing here.
Leaving the main corridor, the number of Light Grass began to slowly decrease. As began to get too dark till eventually, I reached the end of the light grass trail, thus telling me that no one went this way. I stuck my hand into a small cloth bag that was attached to my utility belt. I then pulled out a little seed of light grass then threw it into the darkness ahead. The path ahead wasn’t transversed, which meant anything could be down this path.
To my surprise, a glowing bud sprouted from the seed in the darkness at a visible pace before my eyes, first a stem and then within a few minutes, it began a fully matured white flower glowering in the darkness, illuminating its surroundings. The best way I could describe it is like those time-lapse videos where they show the plant growing all the way till it’s mature. It was such a moving scene that I let out a small voice of surprise, but it didn’t last long.
In the distance, the sound of heavy footsteps and rough breathing reached my ears.. It didn’t match the sound of the other monsters I’ve found here, but there was a possibility of another monster, one that I heard them mention, but not really confirm…
A Red Bear…