129. Chapter 129
The Cyclops, having lost another brethren, swung the club wildly, smashing the cobblestones and scattering the pebbles around the area. At first glance, it looked like the one-eyed giant had the upper hand in the fight, but in reality, it was cornered.
Every time the Cyclops’ limbs moved chaotically, some parts of its body were scraped away. On the other side, the dwarves and beastman attacked accurately without losing sight of the one-eyed giant in the sea of dust. The battle became one-sided after the Cyclops’ ankle muscles were severed by the faintly glowing blade of the battle-axe.
The resistance ended in vain, and the limbs were scraped by the 《Strike》. It looked like a bunch of adults playing a Daruma-Otoshi. [TN: Daruma Otoshi, is a traditional game played with a daruma doll in five pieces, usually in the colors of the rainbow, from top to bottom]
It wasn’t long before the head was severed along with the only eye. The turmoil turned the room red, and the demon’s guts, exposed to the atmosphere, gave off a strong, foul odor.
Even if it was a floor that wasn’t regularly thinned of monsters, if so many were defeated, there should be no reason for more monsters to appear by chance in front of Walm for a while.
Walm watched the battle to the end, and he was forced to come out from the spectator seat.
“What the hell are you!!! Staring at us since a while…”
The bearded dwarf raised his eyebrows as he used a cloth to wipe the axe blade clean of fleshy fat and blood, and complained to Walm.
Although Walm was in line to pass the room, he watched the fight without averting his eyes. He didn’t intend to stare, but the dwarf’s remarks weren’t far from the truth.
“Uhm? Haven’t seen your face. Which party are you?”
Walm wanted to apologize and make an excuse, but he was interrupted. And perhaps to properly judge the spectator who suddenly came, the dwarf, with his battle axe in hand, closed the distance
Walm was confused as to how to react. The Fausto case wasn’t so long ago. So he wanted the dwarf to stop approaching him too much.
Nevertheless, Walm was at a loss as to what to say after the great spectacle he had witnessed. Fortunately, another dwarf, who was busy dismantling monsters, rescued Walm from this predicament.
“Whatcha slackin’ off!!! Hurry up, help!!”
“How loud. Can’t you even give me a minute?! Look, there’s an unfamiliar guy over there.”
“You, did you drink the alcohol alrea――who the fuck is that guy?!”
“Not that I know! He was suddenly there when we were fighting.”
“Oi, y’all, look, there’s a new face!”
With the beastman following behind, the scattered dwarves gathered under Walm as if they had found a strange object. Although the dwarves were no taller than Walm, the thickness of their bodies gave him a feeling of oppression. Moreover, their voice was so loud that even Walm couldn’t believe that they were in the labyrinth.
No wonder the monsters from the surrounding area gathered. Walm didn’t even have to think much about the reason.
“Are you alone?”
After a short noisy quarrel among themselves, their interest turned back to Walm again.
“Yes, I’m alone.”
In response to Walm’s reply, the dwarves yelled in a way that he couldn’t tell if they were angry or mocking him.
“Cocky yet calm, eh?!”
“Hah! Better than suddenly crying.”
“For a scout, you sure have a bulky halberd, eh?”
Albeit late, Walm understood. That it was just how they spoke, not that they were angry or making fun of him.
“So, where are the other companions?”
“I’ve no companions”
“No? Hell, why did you abandon your companions?”
“No, that’s not――”
The beastman who kept more distance than the others and remained silent suddenly interrupted the conversation.
“That guy must be the one who fought Fausto’s party. He smells like death.”
Although Walm was in the labyrinth, he intended to keep his appearance in order and did what he could. However, for the beastman, who had an excellent sense of smell, he stank in many ways. Nevertheless, the dwarves didn’t care about the warning of the beastman.
“Ooh, so he’s that mercenary? And there was a person who tried to hunt someone who can come this far alone? Fausto, you sure were a fool.”
“But, that’s an unusual armor you are wearing. Where did you come from?”
“Wait, that design… Northern countries?”
Walm moved only his eyes at the dwarf who gave the correct answer.
“Ahaha, look who’s a good guesser, this guy who’s familiar with armor.”
The dwarf, who had noticed Walm’s gaze, puffed out his chest proudly. With the thick beard and puffed chest, it became a dignified appearance.
“Stop acting like a fawn. Don’t need to be that alert. If you keep this up, the irregular won’t be attracted. Besides, we’ve got our proud equipment, no one needs something that you have.”
The dwarves laughed at Walm, who didn’t let his guard down. And even after they knew of his conflict with the Manhunts, they still spoke without restraint. Whether it was a trait that they developed after diving into the depths so many times or because of the roots of their race, whatever the reason might be, the dwarves didn’t give any unpleasant atmosphere.
And after all, Walm had been born in a peasant village and had stood on the battlefield. Of course, he wasn’t of noble blood, nor did he care so much about what they called “courtesy.” As a soldier on the battlefield, he hadn’t shown any consideration, not even a glimmer of modesty, as these had meant nothing for the army. Having experienced that, he saw the trust in the dwarves who were bantering with each other, even in the middle of the room with foul flesh and blood, and their laughter as something nostalgic.
“It’s rare to see a new face these days. Even those greedy big fellas of Maylis pulled up their units, and have stopped dispatching younglings.”
“Are there few people who dive beyond the 35th floor?”
“Both hands are enough to count those parties. And most are like us, someone dispatched from other countries.”
“Thirty, forty years ago there were guys with guts.”
“The veterans who experienced the Unification War and those who had those people’s teaching were good. People these days only think ‘bout money, they’re drowning too much in fake power.”
“Did you forget that we were also dispatched after the last ones? And, it’s only been 30 years. For those who know the Unification War very well, we’re like a young chick.”
“Hmmph, how noisy… well, let’s stop talking nonsense here. We’ve been talking here for too long. We’ll go after dismantling them. There, you can move on.”
“Yes. This place isn’t suitable to have a nice talk.”
If this were a tavern, Walm’s mouth would be lighter, but this place was on the high-rank floor of the Labyrinth. It wasn’t suitable for holding conversations and deepening friendships.
“Hah, listen. Sure, I’ll praise your fighting ability, but let me give you some advice. No offense. But, give up going deeper than the 35th floor. It’s kinda breaking point. The deepest of the labyrinth ain’t something manageable with one person’s skills. Even if we manage to go, can’t think we all five will return alive. And, if you don’t have comrades with the courage to jump into a deadly place, you will die in vain. Such foolishness ain’t something I recommend.”
“I’m grateful for the advice, but unfortunately, I’m not blessed with fruitful encounters.”
“Hmmm, you sure give those vibes. Well, just remember, “don’t rot, don’t rush”.”
“… Yes, I’ll be patient.”
After finishing the words, the dwarf ended the conversation as if he had done his business. The only exception was the beastman, who pricked up the animal ears even though the hands continued to work.
To stay longer would be futile. So Walm quietly left the room alone.
As Walm walked down the passage, he murmured about the things mentioned in the earlier conversation.
“Don’t rot, huh?”
Even if Walm’s heart wouldn’t rot, his eyes certainly would if he continued to wait.
“Really, it’s a world where things don’t go the way you want. That I’m living in.”
Walm’s monologue disappeared without being heard by anyone.
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