For three days, I made my way through the Wolf Fang Labyrinth before I arrived on the 20th floor. I decided to rest and took the Continental out of the Garage. Sitting on the sofa inside it, I looked at my bento’s contents. Perhaps Billy-san, the branch manager for the Marida company’s Barga branch, knew that I preferred rice over bread, specifically packed onigiri along with fried chicken, stuffed intestines, and hot vegetables in my bentos. With all that, I prepared tea before I could finally relax.
From here onward, it was uncharted territory. Only 5 floors remained – 21st to 25th floors – though I still had to transverse the endless magical rain on this floor. Speaking of which, once I defeated the guardian on the 25th floor along with its master, will it continue to rain? Perhaps I should buy another Oshkosh M978 Tank trailer and gather an extra 9,500 liters of the magical rain before I took the labyrinth’s core.
Thinking so, I opened the TSS and went to the shop to purchase it from the Vehicle Vendor. I had CP to spare, and I could recoup the losses from the water sale itself. Thus, I bought a second M978 with a light feeling… Until I realized…
I muttered when I checked the M978’s spot in the garage. The M978 Tank Trailer was a heavy-duty vehicle that transported fuel for tanks and helicopters on the go. Therefore, the new one I bought actually came with its tank filled with fuel… Thus… I couldn’t actually gather water immediately. I’d forgotten about that part. So, I decided to leave the new M978 in the garage for no. It would be a waste to just dump the fuel when it could possibly be useful later on.
Treating the TSS UI like a tablet while I ate, I was reminded of how I used to do this same activity in my original world. Even if I missed those days, it’s not like I actually wanted to go back. I just got a bit nostalgic, that’s all…
After I finished my meal, I moved on to the bedroom while I looked at the UI display. It was supposed to be a twin room with two single beds. The room’s width is equal to the length of the bed, but one could make it wider with the press of a button to make them larger. Nothing less from the finest motorhome available in-game… To be able to sleep in a modern hotel-like room while inside the labyrinth, I may become addicted to it.
However, this vehicle was a super-sized bus without any defensive plating. I couldn’t afford to summon this in a place where a monster attack was imminent. But if we were somewhere safe, say like the guardian room, perhaps I’ll use this vehicle again.
I laid in bed, set an alarm, and took a nap.
- – – – – –
I slept for about 5 hours before returning the continental back to the garage, then finally made my way down to the 21st floor. The floor was like the cavity inside a gigantic rock. Even from the outside, the neverending rain inside the dark passage could still be seen.
How should I proceed from here? Walking on foot – – is clearly unreasonable, so I pulled up the TSS and summoned a vehicle from the garage to go through the heavy rain. What I summoned was an LVTP-5, Landing Vehicle Personnel-model 5. It was a rectangular-shaped vehicle with the dimensions of 9 meters in length, 4 meters wide, and 3 tall. It moved via its caterpillar tracks instead of tires, being an amphibious personnel carrier developed in the USA: it could transport up to 30 soldiers, and it was equipped with an M1919A4 Browning Machine Gun.
I opened its front hatch and entered the vehicle. There wasn’t a lot of space inside, only rows of small chairs where people sat with just enough space to stand and walk. It was, after all, an APC meant to transport soldiers, or in VMB’s case, players. There was a dedicated space for the driver to the left, with the MG occupying the space beside the driver. In other words, you could not drive and shoot, it required 2 people.
I pressed the key to start the engine while holding my TSS display like a tablet as the controller and moved the LVTP-5 forward. The roar of the engine was outshined by the racket the rain made. Currently, there was no information regarding the monsters that inhabited the 21st floor. A party had managed to make it to the 21st floor but that’d been 25 years ago. In any case, the map was displayed on my goggles.
The forest road had become so muddy due to the rain that foot travel would be difficult. Even with the ACP’s tracks, it could only go 13-15 km/h, the same speed as if it were in the water. Still, it was faster and far more comfortable to travel in rather than on foot. Although I’m weary of my surroundings, I could only rely on the view provided via my goggles, as, between the engine and the rain, everything else was indistinguishable.
I kept an eye on the terrain, then I suddenly caught a suspicious noise. I immediately switched to the gun pod, which gave a 360-degree view. Several dots appeared on the map, quickly approaching my path. I controlled the machine gun and rotated it towards the approaching enemies. In my vision, several monsters appeared, each about 1 meter long with brown fur.
What are those?
It was easier to notice their glowing red eyes, them being monsters and all. The creatures looked a lot like otters, or maybe beavers? More of the otter monsters started to gather. Given that my focus had been solely on the gun, the APC stopped moving and it was quickly surrounded… It had fairly thick armor, so I was particularly worried about the monsters breaking through.
I could see the otter-like monsters clearly now. Their fur stood up, and their bodies began to radiate a pale light.
Looking at the display, I aligned the crosshair toward the otter to the front, then tapped the fire button; making the gunfire as the monsters let out a high pitched scream. The Browning MG spat out .30 caliber rounds in a loud, continuous rattle. At the same time, each monster gathered a ball of water that quickly compressed into a needle shape before they shoot it into the LVTP.
While rotating the gun pod, I tapped on the fire button whenever an otter fell into my crosshairs. The MG came with 250 bullets, and after the initial supply ran out, there’d be a 10 second cool down. Afterward, the fuel would be subtracted automatically to refill the MG.
As I created a ring of blood around me, the sound of water needles slamming into the APC echoed within the vehicle. Its armor gauge gradually began to fall as well as they were certainly doing a fair number on it. I continued to spin the gun, spilling more blood as the gauge dropped down to 30% by the time I finished them off.
After I confirmed they were all dealt with, I switched back to driving, urging the APC to proceed as fast as it could. Stopping would do me no good. Having more situations like that would only lead to the vehicle being destroyed. Against the siege of magic from all directions without solid protection, I would have little chance of survival.
Consulting my map, I continued to progress through the forested road…