After I got my hands on the labyrinth core, I suddenly got mail in my VMB Mail box even though it has been pretty much unused the majority of the time I’d been here. It was the same as when I subjugated the Emerald Demon Labyrinth. This time, the mail was some sort of congratulatory message for conquering the labyrinth.
I’d gotten a Magic Identification Tag along with it, and if I wore it, it should allow me to use the transfer circle even though I’m a Manuke. To confirm this, I backtracked to the 25th floor.
At the center of the Guardian’s room was the circle. It was round with a 4m diameter and engraved with a series of multilayered runes. Looking closely, the symbols also resembled the symbols that I’d received in that mail. But no matter how much I looked, the auto translation refused to work this time.
Was it because the system couldn’t recognize the characters, or was it because it was magic?
I stood in the circle’s center before I drew my combat knife from its sheath on my leg. I intended to cut myself to drip some blood for the biometric information… But after I register it, do I really want to instantly transfer to the first floor?
All the guards outside should have heard that roar. So where should I make my escape — to the administration building? Or, should I aim to go outside? I never thought I’d use the circle, thus I hadn’t thought about it. Just in case, I activated the TSS and went to the ACM (Avatar Customization Menu), then I switched my appearance to Shaft’s.
[Kay’s E/N: I don’t want to keep typing out Avatar Customization menu, so I’m just going to shorten it to ACM.]
I summoned the supply box and rearranged my equipment. I also made sure that all my special grenades were replenished. I set the baton and the welrod on my waist. Next, I took out the AS VAL and slung it over my shoulder, making sure it was hidden on my back. Then I put my german overcoat over it and stashed 4 tomahawks in it.
Finally, some spare magazines and I was ready to go. I carried the bag containing the labyrinth’s core on my back before I used a knife from my inner pocket to make a small cut on my finger. I let three drops of blood drip onto the circle.
My chest felt warm. Perhaps it was the magical identification tag giving off the heat. I could see the circle emit light and the blood absorbed and spread throughout the circle. Now the circle was dyed red for a moment before it sank into the floor.
Will it really work? For the time being, it seemed to react to my blood was different from the time I tried without it.
But nothing happened.
I only read the simple instructions on the circle, so I wasn’t exactly familiar with how it operated. Should I infuse some power into it? No way I could do that! Is there a special chant? I don’t know!
“What to do now… Escape! Operate! Transfer!”
Perhaps it responded to the last word I shouted – the circle glowed again and spun clockwise; once, twice, and then thrice before a curtain of light appeared and blocked my view for a few seconds. But when it dissipated, I found myself outside the labyrinth in the forest.
“Someone came out! In here!”
While I was still perplexed by the sudden change in scenery, I heard a man shouting from behind. Looking back to the entrance of the labyrinth, I could see numerous guards and administrators. Apparently, I had transferred a little bit away from the entrance.
“Oooh! Shaft! It’s Shaft-san, right?!”
“Did you manage to conquer the labyrinth?!”
Apparently, they saw me from the entrance so they immediately bombarded me with questions as they came at me. The guy who had called out to me was the same clerk who handled my registration a few days ago.
“Is it really conquered?!”
“How about the labyrinth core?!”
While I was still processing the first question, they had already surrounded me.
“The labyrinth was conquered. Didn’t you hear the roar earlier?”
The guards and administrators instantly screamed in response to my reply. I had no idea if it was screams of joy or what. I was caught off guard by their praises as a guard urged me to the admin building, so I decided to go there first. Before I knew it, two guards had already mounted their horses and rode off towards Fort Barga.
In the admin building, I was basically interrogated. Like, how was I able to transverse through the 21st floor and beyond. What creatures spawned there. About the Guardian and the Labyrinth Master, and how was I able to extract the core. Of course, I was under no obligation to answer. But I politely answered what I could talk about.
I only got to leave the building after 3 hours… Along the end, a gentleman who claimed himself as the Director of the Wolf Fang Labyrinth invited me for a short meal. During which, he requested me to participate in the harvest festival. He also offered to buy the core from me and asked me to come along when he reported the matter to Duke Barga. He treated me differently compared to the other administrators. Unfortunately, I had to decline almost everything.
After this, I would be following Ashley to the southern region of Kurtmerga Kingdom. I didn’t believe I’d make it back in time for the festival. And I specifically asked Duke Barga for permission to explore the labyrinth as a member of the Mercenary Guild, so I think he’d have expected I would have raided the labyrinth soon. I don’t want to stop by his office just to say ‘I’ve done it’.
I wanted to show off the labyrinth core to the people at Marida Company, so I said that I couldn’t sell it right away. After giving an appropriate excuse and telling him I had to leave, I left the admin building.
The sun had almost set – would I make it before the gate closed?
Thinking about the labyrinth as I walked along the forest pat, I couldn’t help but feel accomplished. I still had questions about the guardian and master. Next time, if I reached the end of a labyrinth again, I might encounter a similar situation. With that in mind, I moved on quickly.
Something is coming.
I could hear it through my sound sensors – a galloping horse coming towards me. However, it sounded heavy, unlike those belonging to messengers. It was as if the rider and their horse was outfitted with heavy equipment.
I stopped and watched my surroundings. My radar also hadn’t displayed any blips, but i could already see it at the end of the road. A black knight… Not one of those Barga Knights… Something more terrifying.
It seemed to have noticed me and increased its speed. The black horse was also fully armored. One hand on the rein, the knight reached for something at its side. The next moment, it held a massive halberd in both hands and the horse sped up. This had to be a skill! WIth unnatural speed, the horse and its rider approached.
[Kay E/N: Yes, its this short… ]