113. Chapter 113
Without long, the darkened field of vision, dark enough to lose one’s sense of balance, cleared up. Luckily, Walm’s feet grasped firmly on the unknown ground. He was welcomed by the unknown area where it was hard to say that the visibility was good, but on the ground, walls, and ceiling grew clumps of luminous moss that illuminated the surrounding.
‘Traces of the Gods interfering with the world’, ‘The playground of the Gods’, and ‘The world outside of reason’, were the exaggerated names that Walm had learned when investigating the labyrinth. He couldn’t even laugh at those who gave such names. Even for Walm, who was accustomed to a different world with some different principles, this place was just too different.
That being said, Walm was neither a scholar nor a researcher who was itching to unravel the mysteries of the world nor who would not be satisfied to simply pass over them without trying to unravel them. Above all, worrying about the mystery of the labyrinth more than necessary would only slow him down. He had already experienced a world where different laws and principles applied, so he was open-minded enough not to get confused at every single moment like this.
Breathed repeatedly to calm the excitement.
After his body regained its mobility, Walm listened to the footsteps of those who had gone before him. It shouldn’t have been long since the preceding adventurers had jumped into the black hole, but he couldn’t see them. He lowered his hips and searched around his feet, but there was no brand new trace to be seen.
Considering the information, Walm got his brain into gears.
“Are the start points separated?”
Otherwise, the labyrinth challengers sent in one after another will create a traffic jam.
I wonder how big this place is...
Considering the amount of supplies that commoners without military service or war experience could carry on their backs, and considering the fact they could return from the low-rank floors, it should be possible to traverse in a day at the longest, or less than half a day at the shortest. At least, that was what Walm thought.
Also, considering the equipment of the adventurer party with the greenhorn, even Walm alone should be able to deal with the enemy in this area. Although Walm was never complacent about his own combat abilities, he understood very well how far he could push himself because of his long combat experience.
Walm readied his halberd and started walking down the passage.
The ceiling was unusually high, and the passage was wide enough for two wagons to easily pass through. The passage led to a small room, from which several new passages appeared. After choosing one of them, there was the same passage and the same small room. After repeating this procedure several times, Walm could roughly grasp the structure of this low-rank floor.
Basically, it resembled a grid pattern. The lines were passages, the intersections were small rooms, and some paths were cut off and became dead ends. The ground was mixed with pebbles and fallen luminous moss, and also, weeds which seemed to be struggling to survive.
Again, Walm left the small room and walked through the passage. This time, however, he noticed a shadow approaching from the front. The pattering sound of footsteps was somewhat silly, it didn’t fit the atmosphere of the labyrinth, and on the contrary, it was even eerier. So when Walm braced himself, the figure of the shadow emerged.
The appearance of a familiar monster didn’t change even in the labyrinth. It was a humanoid monster, about the height of a child, and had canine teeth more developed than those of humans. Its ears were smaller and more pointed than a human’s, and its skin was still pimply and green. Among low-ranking monsters, it was smart enough to run away if it was put in a disadvantageous situation. It was supposed to be.
However, the goblin that saw Walm rushed towards him, perhaps feeling the domination by powerful individuals and different species. The goblin’s state was similar to a frenzied state under the Great Outbreak.
Walm, who had lowered his hips, thrust his halberd at the goblin which lunged at him. The tip of the spear part of the halberd bit in and the goblin’s head danced freely in the air, before bouncing around on the floor several times.
Without relaxing, Walm vigilantly searched for signs of the surroundings, but there were no further attacks.
“Well, yeah, it’s just one goblin.”
Walm, who had loosened his stance, approached the corpse. Just to be sure, he poked at its heart, but there was no reaction. It was a bare-handed goblin, wearing nothing and not even possessing a weapon. Then he examined the damaged head, which was also no different from what he knew.
“Did it attack because I got close to a certain distance? Or just that it was wandering around?… I guess both.”
After finishing his investigation, Walm tried to leave the place, but a new sign was approaching. Must be a monster lured by the sounds of battle.
Must be another goblin…
――Walm hesitated whether to intercept or not, but chose to flee. He wasn’t crazy enough to get pleasure in killing naked goblins.
It wasn’t even an edible monster, and even if the corpses could be pulverized and turned into fertilizer, it wasn’t enough to make him actively hunt for it.
Walm quickly left the place while suppressing the sound of his footsteps.
After crossing a few passages and small rooms, he stopped and looked for signs. There didn’t seem any pursuit as he had feared.
Even after that, Walm, who continued his exploration by mowing down the weak spots of the few unfortunate goblins he encountered, arrived at a room different from the one he had been used to, and found something.
The stairs were wide open, as if telling him to go down.
Walm probed the floor and railings with his halberd and poked around, but there was no change. So, he obediently descended the stairs.
Footsteps echoed, but no other sounds were mixed. After going down about 100 steps, he arrived at a room he had grown tired of seeing.
“If it’s like this, there’s no choice than walking around again to look for stairs.”
Lightly hit the shoulder with the handle of the halberd as saying so.
Walm remembered the information he got. He was told that the deeper one went down, the tougher the enemy would become.
And sure enough, as if to confirm it, a goblin appeared in front of Walm, who had braced himself, but this time, with a club in its hand.
“You learned how to use a club huh.”
Walm said admiringly. It was really a great growth after all.
Holding the club high in the air, the goblin approached.
Walm stuck his halberd in respect of its bravery. The sharply extended halberd point decapitates the goblin’s neck just as before.
The club that the goblin was holding in its hand made a crunching noise and fell to the floor. So pathetic.
Walm picked up the club and swung it several times. Better quality than he expected. Even with the physical strength of a goblin, if hit repeatedly, it might be possible to crush a melon or even a human head.
Stowed the first memento into his magic bag. If it became a waste of space, it could be used as fuel for a bonfire.
After that, Walm casually cut down the goblins that stand in his way. To put it bluntly, it wasn’t hard enough to even called it a fight. He killed about seven goblins and dived further down.
Walm braced himself to see what kind of monster he would meet after the descent this time.
Walking through, it wasn’t just a single footstep that could be heard from the passage.
“Pressing by numbers huh? Certainly not a bad idea.”
Two goblins swung their clubs and rushed in. As if giving proof that he had gotten used to decapitating goblins, Walm unleashed his halberd like before to kill one.
The other goblin rushed over without flinching at the death of its partner. For some reason, it was too obsessed with Walm. He retracted the halberd and swung it to the approaching goblin’s neck, smashing through its spinal cord. With most of the neck severed, the goblin simply continued to spasm, staining the floor with the blood spurting from its arteries.
Walm moved forward as if nothing happened.
Perhaps because it was the floor where multiple goblins attacked at once, the sound of battle accompanied by roars resounded out of nowhere.
It must be a party that came to hunt in the low-rank floors. Walm hadn’t encountered any yet, but he learned at the tavern that Orcs and Silver Wolves were popular on the low-rank floors. The reason was that, Orcs were good for meat, and silver wolf pelts could be sold for a good price. Although, it was impossible to reach the floor where the monsters they preyed on would appear, without killing the goblins that appeared on the way.
In principle, fighting together with more than five people was prohibited. It wasn’t something the guild liked to set rules for, but it was established based on the major principles written on the stone tablets that were excavated when the labyrinth was discovered, also by the result of testing sacrifice. Something always happened when more than five people went together. Although the details were unknown, it was said that the parties that broke that rule had never returned to the surface.
It was also stated in the rules that were given by the receptionist for Walm to read. Basically, it wasn’t recommended to get close to any fighting party. In short, nothing good would come out of breaking the rules. So, Walm decided to move away from the sounds of battle.
Right when Walm crossed the dim passage and stepped into a small room, he found something strange on the ground.
At the end of his gaze lay a goblin that had been defeated by the challenger before him. It wasn’t much different from the goblins that Walm had been playing with until then, just that, it was as if half of its body had melted into the labyrinth and was about to be fully swallowed.
“Is it the labyrinth’s self-cleaning action? It’s like digestion.”
It wasn’t just monsters. Abandoned weapons, armor, and even human corpses would be swallowed up by the labyrinth. It wasn’t certain if dying in a labyrinth would take even the souls, but this spectacle had a certain amount of persuasive power for it.
Feeling an indescribable eerie atmosphere, Walm slipped past the liquefied corpses and hurried ahead.
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