123. Chapter 123
Walm pricked up his ears and kept an eye on the attacker, while he adjusted his violent breathing so as not to be distracted.
The footsteps of four people echoed, and there was no sign of restlessness in their steps.
Walm couldn’t properly assess whether or not the situation of the next attack not starting at the same time as the four people entered the room was due to them being an unrelated third party. Still, the possibility that they were a backup couldn’t be ruled out, and there was also a chance that they would only be observers. In any case, it would be best to expect the worst.
Fausto’s movements were simple, in contrast to Walm, whose thoughts were partly devoted to the new visitors.
“It’s you, Merrill of the “Trimagitack”. Be careful!!! That guy suddenly attacked.”
It sounded like an improvised play. After all, under the circumstances, the best option would be to make a false accusation
Walm had no social credibility. He knew that people thought he was a weirdo who arrived from a distant, foreign land and challenged labyrinths alone. So, he vomited the blood that had accumulated in his mouth and tried to apologize, but he was stopped by a member of the Trimagitack.
“Judging from the way Fausto speaks, you guys were suddenly attacked by that person…… Hmm, but that’s strange. Of the two victims, one has an arrow piercing the eye, and one has severe burns all over the body. Also, in a sudden five-on-one fight, why are all of you guys fully armed? And, if that person is such a master of killing, it’s strange that not even one person was slaughtered by a surprise attack. I mean, I can’t see that halberd as just a mere decoration.”
Unexpectedly, it wasn’t Walm who got the suspicion, but Fausto and his party.
Walm, unable to grasp the situation, continued to listen.
“Are you out of your mind!? Merrill, you’d rather suspect us, who’ve long supported the guild, than him?”
“Umm, listen, I’ve no intention of taking either side. So, let’s let the guild sort this out. If you’re right, I’ll cooperate to deal with him. Well, if you want to hear a little bit of my thoughts. Fausto, in the current situation where you couldn’t even properly raise adventurer to reach high-rank floors but still managed to stay alive for a long time, you’re rather suspicious, you know?”
As if to give the statement an unnecessary boost, Walm agreed in a slightly hoarse voice.
“If you can make sure those performers won’t attack me, I’ll obediently follow you.”
Merrill waited for Fausto’s words, but no reply came. On the contrary, Fausto’s menacing expression returned to its original lifeless expression. It was as if he no longer cared about making a facade.
“……Fausto, what to do now?”
“Aside from their appearances, their eyes are dead serious. Well, I’ve been acting suspiciously for a long time. Can’t fool them this time.”
“What about these two and their equipment?”
“I’m more than prepared. Throw them away.”
Fausto, who failed to make false accusations, openly exchanged a conspiracy after committing the crime.
While the strangely stiff atmosphere lingered, the movement of the archer, who overlapped with the shield-wielder, made the awkwardness waver for a moment.
Even if Walm entered into the conversation, there was no way he could take his eyes off the dangerous archer.
Therefore, Walm shrugged off the archer’s quick shot, which even felt like an acrobatic feat. With a silly rattling sound, the arrow slid across the ground and spun wildly before coming to a stop at the feet of the Trimagitack member.
“You sure, have bad manners.”
“Lilo, give up. It’s a failure.”
Paying no attention to Walm, who condemned the atrocities, Fausto admonished the archer not to use the arrows in vain.
Amid this strange tension, it was the Trimagitack who broke the silence.
“So, Fausto’s party is a party of “Manhunts”?”
“To be honest, because his career is too beautiful, it’s rather suspicious, so it’s not unexpected. That being said, look at him. He killed two people in a five-to-one fight. If we hadn’t come, I’m sure he’d have killed all five.”
It was said in a cheerful tone that didn’t fit the place where blood was spilled.
“Nah, you’re just thinking too much. I mean, no matter how, he looks like a dirty worn-out rag.”
The rod-wielding woman criticized Walm. Certainly not a big mistake. Walm was now in just slightly better health than an abandoned dog.
“So, do you wanna have a go with us, Fausto?”
“My business is only with him.”
“Nice joke. If only you said it without looking at us with such disgusting eyes. You’re targeting us too, aren’t you?”
From the side, it sounded like a lighthearted conversation, but the Trimagitack was actually trying to take advantage of the situation.
“Even if that’s the case, would you take the risk to attack us?”
“I don’t think we’ll lose so easily, but, what’s with those glaring eyes? Where did your usual gentle face go?”
“People are multifaceted. Judging only from one side is the bad thing about young people these days.”
“I’ve learned a lot. So, what’s the answer?”
“Well, I’m quite busy. Young people should deepen their friendships themselves. See you all.”
The probing for information ended, and Fausto’s party disappeared into the transport room, ending the strange triangle relationship. At last, there was only one side to which Walm could devote his attention.
“What should we do, Merrill?”
“I don’t think there’s an ambush waiting on the surface, since there are guards there, but let’s give a little time. That said, why’re you still looking so doubtful?”
With opened arms, Merrill said to Walm, who had kept a certain distance and was glaring at the Trimagitack members.
“You, really. We helped you, you know. Can’t you at least say “Thank you” first?”
Said the woman with a rod, furrowing her eyebrows in a bad mood.
“……Yeah, you’re right. You’ve saved me. But, after all, I’ve just had my throat literally slit, by someone who spoke to me in a friendly way. I can’t help but be doubtful.”
“Hmm… a backup when in a bad situation or failed, is that what we look like?”
“It’s not an impossible scenario.”
Said the warrior-monk, nodding obediently to the possibility that the party leader mentioned.
“Hari, which side are you on?!”
“Don’t be so angry, Marianthe.”
“I mean, even though he’s the oldest, he lacks any consideration. Instead of training in the labyrinth, you should train your head first.”
“Got it, I’ll do the best that I can.”
“Now, now… Look, we wouldn’t do such a tedious thing. And if we are Fausto’s companions, nine of us would’ve crushed you from the start.”
What a frank remark, but indeed quite refreshing to hear. Still, it was the truth. Walm had trouble even with five people. With two parties able to reach the 30th floor, Walm would probably be crushed if he didn’t use 《Demon Fire》.
“So, what should we do with him?”
“Do you need help?”
“……I’m suppressing the bleeding with a magical barrier. If I can return to the treatment center on the surface, there won’t be a problem.”
“Yeah right. Your character is twisted. For real.”
“I’m glad that you can still talk so much. And guess, you’re still doing fine on your own. Anyway, we’ll carry the corpses. If there’s no one in the safe room, the corpses and belongings will be swallowed after all. So, it’s better to drag them along.”
“Come on, Yuna. Hold the leg.”
“I’m not good with heavy things. Why not let Hari carries both?”
The archer, who had been watching from the sidelines, refused to lighten the load.
“If Hari carries them all, both will be in even worse condition before we can hand them over to the guild staff. Come on, don’t be lazy.”
One corpse was carried by a warrior monk named Hari, the other by an archer named Yuna and a rod-wielder named Marianthe.
“You won’t help?”
“I’m the escort”
“You mean the observer, right?”
Although they were having a light talk, Walm had been under observation since Merrill entered the room. The colorful eyes caught Walm and never let him go. In doing so, of course, Merrill maintained a position and distance that was enough to fend off Walm’s surprise attack.
The same was true of the other Trimagitack members carrying the bodies Walm had just created. They were alert and watching over him, even if it wasn’t so obvious.
“Oh, you’re aware of it? As expected of someone who could handle Fausto’s party. It’d be nice if I could see your battle with them.”
With a smile like that of a child whose mischief had been discovered, Merrill continued.
“The exit and entrance are paired. It looks like you came from the one used for those focused on the low-rank floors, so I don’t think you’ll run into Fausto, but still, I suggest you jump a little later. I’ll make arrangements with the guild staff to send you a healing magician.”
“I’m sorry. And, thank you.”
“Hm? Seems that when you’ve calmed down, you can say thank you properly. Well then, see you on the surface.”
The Trimagitack members carrying the corpses were swallowed by the black whirlpool and disappeared. As Walm watched their return to the surface, he heaved a sigh and lowered his tension by a notch.
“Those performers, sure did a terrible job.”
Even if two of them were killed, the price Walm paid for reaping skilled adventurers was by no means cheap.
Walm checked the condition of his neck, which had the deepest wound, and wrapped the bandages around it. If the attack had been off by only a few millimeters, his artery would have been severed.
Next would be the broken ribs. He didn’t feel it reach his lung, but still, he was really annoyed by the pain. Aside from these two, there were numerous lacerations and bruises all over his body.
Walm rested his body, but as time slowly devoured him, his heart felt heavy.
In any case, Walm must return to the surface first. The innumerable wounds were too deep and numerous for a short natural recovery.
Calmly Walm counted the numbers and when it reached three hundred, he jumped into the black whirlpool.
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