119. Chapter 119
Walm was modestly engaged in slaughtering monsters with his halberd, only up to the 20th floor. From the 21st floor, his fighting style clearly changed significantly. The wall was scorched by the flames, which manifested by mana, and the remains, called the claw marks of agony, could be seen on the floor. The halberd, which could be called an extension of the hand, was pushed into the now had been reduced in the capacity magic bag.
If it was like the monster up to now, the blade would have scattered pieces of flesh into the surroundings like a slaughterhouse, and the fresh blood that spurted out would have stained the wall artistically. Now there were only rocks and sand remained. That, of course, should be the case. The monsters that Walm dealt with had no flesh and blood. They were monsters that in some cases, would be created by humans to serve as walking shields on the battlefield. Golem, that was the name. It was a strong monster with a core, a magic stone that was present in its body and could store natural mana. On the battlefield, its uses were very diverse, depending on the types.
“Really? I’m too old to play with sand you know…”
The type of golem Walm faced was extremely simple. It had no armor on its back and was thick only on its front and arms. On a battlefield, such a weak golem would either be bypassed or destroyed by attacking its weak point. This time, however, the dance floor was a confined space in a labyrinth. A place where a golem could show off its dance moves.
If three friendly golems approached in a row when in a passage, it was equivalent to facing a moving wall. Sure Walm could 《Strike》 to cut off a thick strong arm, but a half-hearted offense would only lead to a painful counterattack. After all, the Golem, which put resources only for its front armor, was light despite its large size. The healthy Walm wouldn’t like to be beaten by thorny arms, nor that he liked to be hugged and rubbed down by them either.
In this case, retreat would be the only option, but at that moment Walm, who was in a passageway, had already been surrounded once from the front and back with walls of golems and was about to be trapped. So far he had dived more than 20 floors without using magic, but he concluded that it was a good time to use it.
Walm shot a fireball at the row of golems in front of him, their shoulders scraping each other as well as the inner wall but didn’t stop walking.
The fireball, accompanied by writhing heat, shook the air as it struck the target, the golem in the center, demonstrating the power of the mana it contained. Flames danced from the passage from which there was no escape, and hot air and flames raged there. Fortunately, for Walm, who had an excellent aptitude for fire attribute, a flame of this magnitude was no different than a light summer breeze.
The head of the golem that received a direct hit scattered, losing the core magic stone. Like a building that had lost its pillars, the collapse spread down throughout the body.
Walm expected the aftermath to spread to the left and right golems, only to realize that it was nothing but a dream. Some parts were scorched with flames sticking to them, but they didn’t seem to lose any of their functionality and kept moving without extinguishing it first.
On the contrary, the golem crossed its arms to protect its head while closing the distance. At this point, Walm had given up on destroying the head together with the thick arm. He fired his next pitch at the giant leg stomping on the floor. Although the golem had legs like pillars that support its giant body, not all joints were covered with a thick layer of sand.
The fireball that hit near the heel fully demonstrated its effectiveness. Like an exploding landmine, one of the golem’s legs was enveloped in a fierce flame.
Leaning forward, the golem dug its claws into the wall, trying to resist the fall. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a definitive solution. After all, it had been ripped apart from its knees down. That much wouldn’t be enough to support its weight.
If they were human, others would probably try to protect a comrade with such injuries or even retreat, but unfortunately, they were nothing more than artificial monsters who only accepted simple orders.
The golem which was in a state of madness, couldn’t keep up with its comrade and was left behind. This time, Walm opted for a physical solution to deal with it. As expected, he wasn’t crazy enough to have a wrestling match with an opponent who weighed more than him.
Gripping hard the handle of the mace, its weight was conveyed. Walm began to run while pulling it to the back. Unlike the halberd, it was a weapon with a short range of one or two steps. So, he needed to close the distance.
In order to catch Walm, the fingers that were clenched were opened. Other than the claws, he could be scratched by the thorns on its arm. And if it took full advantage of its physical strength, Walm might become ground meat instead of chopped meat.
Rapidly tilted the stance without hesitating and kicked off the ground. While going around to the left side, Walm handled the protruding arm, an unprotected right arm stretched out toward him.
As expected, ‘there weren’t many people who couldn’t cut the Sahuagin on the cutting board’.
Walm 《Strike》the elbow with the mace. In addition to being clad in mana, the mace was good for striking. Really, a suitable combination to destroy the elbow.
“Better stop resisting”
The golem didn’t listen to Walm’s advice and swung its broken right arm around as if to ward off bugs. The cracked and shattered elbow couldn’t keep up with that sudden extreme movement, and the arm shot far into the ceiling as if it was released by a jet propeller. If this flew towards Walm, he would have been stunned. Fortunately, the pathetic arm only wanted to leave a brand-new scratch on the ceiling.
Holding a mace, Walm wrapped around the golem’s torso and hit its right knee from the side. It tried to support itself with its right arm, only to stretch out nothing. The golem, which had reached the limit of its posture control, fell to the floor.
It tried to stand back with its remaining arm, but the mace was quicker to smash its head off. Without even having time to check the whereabouts of the ejected head as well as its arm, a shadow covered Walm.
The last golem, which had lost one leg due to the fireball, caught up and tried to attack. Walm, who left the position quickly, escaped the heavy press. From far away, it would be nothing different from debris on the ground, but it could still move and had not yet malfunctioned. Without giving time, Walm jumped on its back and slammed down his mace like slamming a stake to the ground.
The back of the golem’s head squashed greatly. Even so, it didn’t start collapsing and tried to stroke its head with unnatural movements like a rusty machine. Twisting the mace while it was still biting into the head was enough to stop the resistance. And so, the golem’s body turned into soil.
Walm began to descend listlessly on the foothold that had turned into a small sandbox, but the trekking pole (mace) caught something.
“What is it?”
Digging the greyish-yellow sandbox with the tip of the mace, Walm found something with a luster. When he picked it up, the sand that had covered it fell down, revealing the item.
It wasn’t something special. Just a silver bracelet with a crimson grass motif. It wasn’t impossible to wear it, but it was too cute for his style. If he saw a male comrade-in-arms with such a bracelet, he would be worried about something unwanted trying to get open his backdoor.
Even if I bring it to a pawn shop, probably it’ll get me a drink… ah…
“…Isn’t it just right for a tribute?”
Too expensive will only confuse her after all…
Walm touched it a few times and checked the quality, before putting it in the magic bag. He would have liked to appreciate it for a little while longer, but it wasn’t possible. After all, the monsters in the labyrinth were really enthusiastic about their work. Fit for being a soldier, if only they were humans.
Looking at the approaching monsters, Walm said,
“Dog-shaped gargoyle, and mud golem? After playing with the sand, guess next is time to play with rocks and mud.”
With faint hopes for having a fun time, Walm gazed at the rocks and mud he would be playing with. As expected, no one answered the soliloquy. Despite having gotten used to such a lonely fact, Walm welcomed the new guests.
The chilly cold air and the stagnation typical of enclosed spaces could be felt in the room. And in such a dim room, Giesel, one of the rulers of the underworld, received reports from his underlings.
“Combining the information of the target, he seems to have no fixed place to sleep and moves from one cheap hotel to another. And mostly sleeps in the labyrinth. He also doesn’t seem to have a particular favorite restaurant either. Lastly, no report of him entering a bar or red-light district.”
Giesel tapped his fingers on the desk. There were many eyes hidden that he had sent throughout the city. He included people that no one would notice as someone who would collect information, ranging from someone inside brothels, bars, inns, shops, and even inside the guild. Even so, the information he received wasn’t enough for him to grasp the actions of a single wanderer.
“In other words, most of the time, he cages himself in the labyrinth, and his movements on the surface are unsteady, is that it?”
Hearing Giesel’s flabbergasted voice, the underling hurried to fill in the loopholes.
“I’m very sorry. He mostly stays in the labyrinth overnight, and we can’t continue the monitoring while he’s there.”
Kicking an underling out should be easy, but Giesel had to admit that there was a point in his underling’s words, albeit reluctantly. Unlike on the surface, people didn’t like crowding inside the labyrinth. Even if personnel to monitor was arranged, the deeper the target dived in, the more necessary it was for the personnel to fight monsters, and the more likely it was to be noticed by the target.
“How deep he had dived now?”
“Up to the 25th floor, alone.”
“Disgusting… Really, what a freak… So, he’s an extremely socially unsociable person and the kind of person who can get by on their own, is he?… If he can sleep safely in a labyrinth, means, he’s also an extremely cautious person. It’s already difficult to identify his behavioral patterns, and he’s that type huh? Aiming for scratching his neck in an inn or poisoning him at a bar will also be hard too.”
Giesel knew that no matter how strong a person was, when it was time to satisfy the three main needs, vigilance would drop and a vulnerable moment would come. He had dealt with countless targets to come to this conclusion. And from his experience, someone who didn’t get caught up in such essential needs was, troublesome.
Even if Giesel couldn’t fully grasp the man’s identity, based on the armor alone, there was no doubt that he was a soldier of a ruined country, the Highserk Empire. From the information he got, although the Highserk Empire was destroyed at the end of the war, there were still local communities that survived. Those who escaped from it or those who were wandering alone, were mostly criminals, hated people, and greedy people who wanted wealth and fame. However, Giesel’s target, the Highserk soldier, didn’t seem to be the case.
“In the first place, there’s no need for him to throw himself into the labyrinth alone… He’s either extremely uncooperative or inflexible and obstinate. And he has no interest in women or alcohol, which are common traits of soldiers. On the other hand, even though he’s a disciplined person, he recklessly keeps challenging the labyrinth alone. But, he doesn’t seem to be a stupid fellow either…… Perhaps, is he searching for a suitable place to kill himself?”
Connecting the few pieces of information, Giesel tried to guess the exact type of person the target might be. In fact, there were a few cases of people visiting the labyrinth in search of a place to die. It tended to be common among aristocrats who lost their homes and territories, broken knights, and soldiers in despair.
Giesel was lost in thought for a moment, but his consciousness returned to reality when he heard a voice from the darkness.
“Either he’s a “seeker”, or a “pessimist”. Whatever he is, there’s no doubt that the destruction of his homeland has influenced the principles of his action. A hasty attack on that kind of person is a bad move. Use my force.” [TN: Seeker in here is a seeker after one’s way]
“Are you sure, old man?”
“I’m about done collecting bodies. My force isn’t busy now. Besides, not getting that good body in this situation, would be a shame… Even though the “pointy” and “blockhead” are cowards, it’s a fact that they’re difficult opponents.”
Gathering materials that would be a delicate seasoning to finish the revenge, was important after all.
The old man, who raised Giesel, was also a dedicated revenger. Although, the depth of it and the tenacity for it were incomparable to Giesel’s.
Giesel, who wasn’t so picky about how to take revenge, ordered his subordinates after giving some information. In short, the man should die. No matter how, as long as the man’s heart was put to stop and let rot away. That much should be more than enough loyalty to show to his foolish younger brother.
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