The 6th level of the Labyrinth was the undead zone. Zombies and skeletons here couldn’t be killed unless their mana stones were destroyed or separated from their bodies. This didn’t suit my current combat style where I attacked the enemies vitals to kill them. On the stairway that connected the fifth to the sixth level, I activated my TSS and selection that section for weapons against undead. Light particles assembled themselves before my eyes and the black supply box appeared.
I opened the box and took out a large piece of equipment. It was the Type 1-1 Flamethrower, used to burn down zombies. It was also used in real life by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces. Flamethrowers were used frequently during the first and second World Wars, but its use gradually decreased afterward. As a result, it had not been developed further. This flamethrower had been developed from the M2 that the US had used during World War Two. Its effective range was around 40 meters. It had three tanks; two for fuel, one for air.
Its utilization frequency was remarkably higher than the M2 as normally this flamethrower could spray ten times, but this frequency was increased to twenty in VMB in order to keep the game’s balance. Its fuel tanks could also be easily filled via the TSS, but the CP cost to fill the tanks to capacity was higher than the Scar and P90 magazines. I wouldn’t have a negative CP balance if I used it now, but the cost would definitely be high if I was trying to save up CP. I had been able to keep my CP high thanks to the mana stones I had collected mixed with the reward I received from Remi-san.
Flamethrowers were larger compared to the other main weapons and it was impossible to use another firearm while you used it. To use it properly, you had to hold the nozzle in your hands all the time, since it was not designed to hang on the main body of the weapon. My sidearm was in its holster so it was okay, but I wouldn’t use the Scar or the P90 together with this so I put both into the supply box with their magazines.
I also took out some grenades from the box, the TH3. It was another option I could use to burn down the zombies. They were otherwise known as Thermate Grenades. They were 15cm long red cylinders and would blow up three seconds after the pin was pulled. They looked like a big toy firework, but its damage radius reached about 2 meters in real life and 3 meters in VMB. The burning time was about 20 to 30 seconds, enough to spread to the surroundings. With a temperature over 2000C, they could even burn a hole in a steel beam.
As my preparations for the undead zone was completed, I resumed my conquest.
I advanced while I held the flamethrower’s nozzle in both my hands, ready to spray at any moment. The 1-1 could be fired from the hip, meaning just level the nozzle at the waist level and fire. Aiming was done with the goggles’ crosshairs so there wasn’t a need to worry about missing.
I passed the site of my earlier battle and heard the moans of zombies. Like normal firearms, flamethrowers were not meant to be used in close quarters so I kept the zombies in sight while I kept in mind not to let them get too close. There were three zombies. They approached so slow that I wondered if they even wanted to attack. I squeezed that 1-1’s trigger, gliding the crosshairs, and spraying fire on them.
They caught fire and bathed in jellied gasoline. Their bodies burst into flames and crumbled in the blink of an eye. In the last battle, when the body parts hit by the bullets burst out, I thought the extremely soft bodies were their defense power. But their bodies were easily burned down. As soon as they crumbled down, they were wrapped in a black mist and sunk into the labyrinth floor; leaving behind their mana stones.
I picked the stones up while careful not to get burned. Flamethrowers caused damage with the jellied gasoline they sprayed that was ignited when it left the nozzle, but the flame itself was not that hot. The stones were a bit warm, but they didn’t melt.
I didn’t feel any radiant heat while I sprayed, probably because it was a piece of game equipment and not the real thing. To test, I faced the wall and sprayed, but I didn’t feel anything. Just like how I didn’t smell any gunpowder when I fired the other weapons, radiant heat was an unnecessary element in the game and thus, was not included. But there was no such thing as a perfect offer. The flames had also burned away the light grass. I smiled warily as I took out more light grass seeds from my pouch and threw them to the sides of the passage while I walked on.
It seemed like there were only zombies on the sixth level. To an average adventurer, what was the tricky part of this level? The smell was horrible, but the difficulty level wasn’t high. Seeing how easy it was to extract mana stones, this was a pretty delicious level if I was only here to collect the stones.
Later, I heard that just one touch from a zombie could mess with your magic and cause you to get a “diseased” condition. This condition gave you a high fever and other symptoms. However, the condition meddled with your magic to do it so it wasn’t a threat to a Manuke like me. I went in further into the level and the zombies also became more varied. There weren’t just human zombies, but glass wolves, horned rabbits, and other monsters that lived in the vicinity of the labyrinth. The speed of the wolves and rabbits were the same as the living versions so I was more cautious with them, but they were put down instantly with the 1-1’s spray.
I descended to the 7th level and the Skeletons finally made their appearance for the first time. Skeletons’ mana stones were plainly visible at the center of their chest, supported by extended ribs. As a test, I pulled the Five-Seven out, placed the crosshairs over one of the skeleton’s head and smashed its skull. It didn’t stop so that meant it was the same as zombies.
Compared to zombies, the skeletons were much more of a threat. It was the simple reason that they carried weapons. They didn’t wear any armor and their stones were visible, but they wielded short swords and an axe, some even had small shields. I used the flamethrower to spray them, the lit jellied substance stuck to their bones and raged through their bodies. Once the bones supporting the mana stone had collapsed, so did the skeletons like puppets with their strings cut.
“This is pretty powerful…”
During my days in VMB, I hadn’t used flamethrowers because they weren’t useful in PVP battles, but now I couldn’t help but reconsider my opinion about them. I didn’t know how it would perform against other enemies. Other labyrinths had undead zones so it looked like the 1-1 would be a mainstay from now on.
Some skeletons raised their shields to defend themselves from the flame, but these shields were made from wood and burned in no time, leaving the defenseless ribcage to be swallowed up by the fire.
I had to refill the tanks after every battle and that was kinda bothersome… I stopped to operate the TSS and began thinking. Then my ears caught the sound of wings flapping, which I didn’t hear before. I immediately turned towards the sound. Something was coming from the 10-meter high ceiling! By reflex, I slide-jumped to the back as a big black V-shaped mass struck the spot I had just been at.
They were labyrinth bats. They were huge… Their wingspans must have been about 2 meters. The bats continuously swooped down then rose suddenly. The moment they crashed down, they bared their fangs and snapped. I saw they had fox-like faces as I was dodging. I also concluded that this was their only attack method. I pointed the flame thrower nozzle into the air and sprayed.
They shrieked when the flame hit then crashed down while on fire. They seemed to fall head first and I heard bones snap.
The flame lasted quite a long when sprayed on living monsters. A distance away from the bats, the fire was still burning unnaturally. The fire probably burned until all their health was gone. The fire wouldn’t turn back to light particles, even if I was not nearby. I came up with this theory while I watched the bats become wrapped up in the black mist and sink into the labyrinth floor as they burned. With the appearance of the labyrinth bats, I finally encountered an enemy I couldn’t hear.
My headphones picked up sounds within 500 meters, but only sounds closer than 150 meters would show up on my map as light dots. The bats lay in wait for their prey so I couldn’t hear them until the moment they attacked.
Since this labyrinth was bright, I had set by goggles on normal view, but with the appearance of this monster type, I turned my NV on. I started to check the ceilings frequently. The passages were bright but the high ceilings were dark. I continued to be on high alert and checked above at every turn to guard against surprise attacks. Like this, I descended to the 8th level.