Editor / Formatter: A s h e s
Howdy everyone! Please consider supporting the other stories on the sites, such as Girl with Golden-Cat Eyes and One in the Chamber! Also, consider donating to
the Mafia us via Patreon! We post chapters there ahead of time and will push back public releases to give members a buffer between private to public releases Actually, that’s just me being lazy and taking my time… o w o
After having dealt with the hobgoblins, the girls and I took a short break.
“Frau-san, I need to go back and take care of something.”
“Okay, but be quick. We’ll be leaving in about 10 minutes.”
I went back out of the room’s entrance a bit, then activated the TSS. I didn’t plan to separate from the party completely. Since I was working with the girls, when we took our breaks, I would take the time to step away from the group for a bit to reload my ammo. To make it a normal thing to them, I would step away even when there wasn’t a need to reload.
Separating from the group, in and of itself, was dangerous, so normally parties would not allow it. However, considering my tracking and combat ability, I was allowed to do so in this party. That said, the girls could also manage by themselves when I did. While working with the TSS, I thought back on the exploration so far and this job. This time, I’d been requested to draw the labyrinth’s map, but the request had been swimmingly changed to labyrinth conquering. I had also given Remi-san three conditions for accepting this job…
First, to not name me as the cartographer. Second, the exploration party should only consist of me, or a few other reliable and trustworthy people at most. Third, to not disclose my mapping method or any of the skills that I’d use during the exploration. Looking back though, I had a feeling that none of these terms could be kept. That said, if I thought about it carefully, I had received this job directly from Remi-san, not through the General Guild…
It was not like I had set these terms because I thought I’d be in trouble without them. But in the future, they would need to be set to prevent any restrictions on my movements or limitations of my freedom for any job requiring direct collaboration like this one.
I’d have to ask Remi-san to have some stronger words with the General Guild. As for Rafflesia and the Knight Order that we’d meet soon, what should I do? I needed to sort through what information could or could not be made public. Small arms, transportation vehicles, mapping, tracking – these were the ones that could be revealed. But the TSS, Hearing Sensor, Gift Box, Machine Translator, other supporting equipments aside from transporting vehicles as well as the real capacity of these vehicles, and this body that never tired and healed any wounds… These were the things that just couldn’t be revealed. Aside from the people I trust 120%, I had no intention to talk about or show off any of these. These were the absolute rules, at least until I know why I came to this world.
“I’m back, is it time to go?”
“Ah, Schwarz is back, nya~”
“Schwarz, our preparations are finished. Our goal is to get to the Gatekeeper before the day is over. As soon as we meet him, we’ll begin our attack.”
“Understood, Frau-san. I’m ready to go anytime.”
When I entered the room again, the girls had gotten everything ready, so we resumed our exploration into the depths of the Labyrinth. Afterwards, we began to meet even higher-ranked monsters than before. There was no doubt that we were near the inner-sanctum.
Then it appeared before our eyes.
Ruu-san murmured. In the depths of the Emerald Demon Labyrinth, we came across another structure other than stone walls for the first time.
“It’s been a while since I fought a Gatekeeper!”
“Marinda-san has fought a Gatekeeper before?”
“Ah! Ruu and I have fought a Gatekeeper! That’s one of the conditions to become an A-Rank!”
“Stop chatting, please. We still have some time, let’s keep walking.”
The gate towering over us was made from pure-white stones. Carvings covered the gate’s posts and the door. It depicted humans, beastmen, and maybe elves in a formation as if they were fighting monsters. On top of the gate, in the center, was a small throne-like stone chair. With no one sitting on it…
How to say, it looked like Auguste Rodin’s Gates of Hell*…
According to what I could see on my map, there was a large room on the other side. The Gatekeeper was probably there. It’d be one party versus the Gatekeeper and the Dungeon Master each. Since one party had 6 members by standard, it was 1 versus 6. Sometimes if the party had more members or if it was a clan-raid, there would be more than 6 people joining the fight.
Of the parties commissioned by the General Guild, the ones that fought the Gatekeeper would be decided on a first-come-first-serve basis. The Dungeon Master would be subjugated by the Guild Investigators and the Knight Order combined; such was the custom for these jobs. While listening to this common knowledge, I pushed open the gate standing in front of our eyes.
The room was spacious, with no pillars at all – just a vast space. In the center of the room was a monster with emerald green skin. His upper body was much bigger than a goblin and his legs, though short, were bulging with muscles. He was over 2m tall. He wore a leather breastplate to protect his shoulders and chest, as well as worn cloth pants. His right hand was covered by a large hand protector and he carried a large war hammer with detail engravings. He also wore an iron helm that hid half his face. The only things visible were his fierce red eyes and large tusk-like teeth protruding from his between his lips.
“That’s an Ogre… A fighter…”
I heard Frau-san murmur. A high ranking Ogre, which was superior to Hobgoblins and normal Ogres – that was the Gatekeeper of the Emerald Demon Labyrinth.
The Gatekeeper’s roar reverberated throughout the room. Our group spread out, with Frau-san and Lali-san started chanting. Marinda-san stood at the front with Mitche-san and Ruu-san by her side.
I crouched down by Marinda-san’s side, aiming the P90 down range and placed the crosshairs on the Ogre’s head. It was still howling its threats at us from the room’s center. I squeezed the trigger and fired 2 rapid shots. The bullets hit, but with a dull metallic sound.
I didn’t know how thick its helm was. If 5.7×28 couldn’t pierce it, how big would be sufficient…
But not all the shots was repelled – I didn’t only aim at his helm. One bullet grazed his cheek, and the wound bled slightly. The Ogre seemed angered at being attacked and let out another roar.
“Careful! It’s his skill [Roar]! If you get close when he roars, you won’t be able to move!”
Marinda-san shouted out. A skill…? So monsters could also use skills. At that moment, Frau-san and Lali-san finished their chanting and bestowed something on our 3 vanguards – I could only to hear “Strength Boost” and “High Agility” at the end. After receiving the bestowal, the 3 advanced and the Gatekeeper readied his war hammer, running towards us.
My chance to attack had decreased, given the situation. There was a possibility of friendly-fire no matter what, so I just couldn’t shoot with ease. With this battle formation, I was a bit off to the side with 3 members ahead and 2 behind. I then moved towards the Ogre’s right side.
I aimed for his leg as the 3 in front advanced in an arrow formation. I crouched and aimed down the iron sights. While paying attention to both the Gatekeeper and the three’s movements. I placed the crosshairs on one of his knees. The three attacked and while the Ogre was defending himself, I fired at his knee.
The Ogre pressed on his right knee and crouched down. I wasn’t sure if I had completely destroyed the knee, but the rounds looked like they caused enough damage to the Orge’s flesh*.
The Ogre looked in my direction, his red eyes growing redder as if they were bursting into flames. He let out a growl. However… Should he be distracted by me? As he was preoccupied with his knee and motionless, the 3 girls advanced on him with Frau-san and Lali-san’s magic attacks descending on him.
Within a blink of an eye, our attacks mercilessly rained upon the Ogre. His body becoming bloodied and while listening to his angry roars turn to a hitching groan, I shot his right knee again, completely destroyed it.
The Ogre’s groans turned to an angered roar again; he was using his skill [Roar]. The air-shaking vibration ran through the 3’s bodies and mine, but I didn’t feel anything strange. It seemed like the skill also worked by interfering with the target’s magic power. I did feel something run through me, but that was it.
The other 3 were affected by it, however, and stopped moving. The Ogre was still holding his busted knee while he raised his war hammer to bring it down on Miranda-san, who was frozen in the middle of raising her shield. Before he could swing, however, I fired a shot, and the hammer landing by Miranda-san’s side. I had shot at the monster’s face again, but I hadn’t aimed for his helm this time.
I had aimed for his wide-open mouth.
It was to both prevent him from landing an attack on Miranda-san and stop his troublesome Skill. The beast let out something similar to a scream, or maybe he was trying to say something? Whichever, he let go of his war hammer and pressed his hand on his face.
Ruu-san and Mitche-san, who had recovered from the monster’s skill, advanced on it from in a pincer attack. Mitche-san’s short sword dug into the Ogre’s nape and the monster, shocked at such an attack, moved one of his hands from his face to his nape. In conjunction with Mitche-san, Ruu-san had unsheathed her sword and slashed the Ogre’s defenseless neck in one smooth stroke. Blood burst from the wound – the monster’s neck was cut off halfway.
Marinda-san, who stood right before the Gatekeeper, had recovered from the Skill’s effect and brought her double-edged sword down on the Ogre. Her swing split the monster’s neck apart exactly where Ruu-san had cut him. The force from the swing sent the Ogre’s head flying upwards toward the ceiling.