5-11. Maze of Trazayuya (2)
Satou's here. When I was a child, I was good at solving the maze quiz that appeared on the corner of newspapers.
When I became an adult, the only experience involving maze that I had was from the one on theme parks.
The maze's entrance is a tower of about one and half meters high. The tower is hidden by the vegetations, so ones wouldn't find it if they didn't know about it in the first place.
There are some traces of people going in and out, but even those are few. According to the map, there's a back door used for monsters to go in and out.
I open the door and go inside the tower. It's carelessly not locked.
I was contemplating to wear the silver mask before I went in, but since the magician is the same kind as Arisa, he probably had seen my name. Since it's better that silver mask = Satou is not known, let's not transform into the silver mask this time.
I look up the enemies information inside the maze to prepare the necessary weapons. The majority of them are flying ants at level 5-8, and skeletons are at level 1-3. The slightly stronger ones are the level 18 bone golems and the level 15 wood golems.
The other curious ones are like slime-based enemies and homonculus, but they're small fries at level 5.
It's just that, I'm a bit interested with the [Nature Art] that the homonculus have. What kind of skill is that? Is it the same kind as Nature Magic?
If the situations allow, I'd like Liza and the girls to learn it.
The high level ones are the iron golem located in a large room in the center of the maz, and the magician in the master room.
My equipment will be a saber rather than a shield, and a submachine-gun-like magic gun. I'm not using the usual magic gun since this one seems to be stronger.
Actually, this is a high performance gun that could fire 50 bullets per second when charged with magic power once, but since it needs 10 minutes cool down once it fire all the bullets at once, I haven't used it until now.
For this occasion, I choose to use [Scatter] shoot mode since I don't have to worry with friendly fires. Even though the power is lower than usual, it's enough for fighting the small fries.
I put on the overcoat that I took off when I feel into the lake. It's different from what I wear just now, it's thick but cheap thing I've bought on the east district of Seryuu city. This is good enough for the blood of my victims.
I go down the spiral stairs while straightening my equipment.
I've entered the maze after I got out of the stairs.
The ground is different from the resin-like thing on the underground, but although it looks like stone pavement, it somehow feels like plants. The visibility is good since lights are leaking through the crevices on the floorboards.
This is good since I don't have torches like when I was in the labyrinth.
I could hear some light metal clang-clang sounds from somewhere, although I don't know what kind of thing could produces that sounds. Since I still don't understand even after listening to it carefully, I decided to put it in the corner of my mind.
Since I have no intention of fighting steadily, I look up for the shortest route to the master room.
I kick and destroy the skeletons that I meet, and throw bones on any flying ants who come up, eliminating them.
Even though I've prepared a nice gun, it didn't get any turn at all.
Still, this skeleton's skull is not that of human. It's probably from rat-man tribes.
This maze isn't like the one typically in a game where you go to lower level every time you clear a level. Rather, the blocks are connected in three-dimensional formations and you might go up and down in complex structures.
Even on this stair I'm descending right now the wall-like object isn't touchable making it feels like a trompe l'oeil making me unsure whether I'm descending or ascending.
This is like a theme park somehow.
While thinking about that, a skeleton that I kicked left out a big magic core. Since the magic core got out in bare, I pick it up. It's impossible to do it for the ants.
I thought that it's strange so I checked on the log, it turns out that the thing that I just defeated was a bone golem not a skeleton. The level difference is 6, but it didn't feel different from the other small fries.
The enemies resistances are weak, I'm advancing through the trap smoothly too, however the road becomes dead end in front of me. According to the marker, there should be a path here though?
I check on the map, it's certainly a dead end here.
After double-checking, I understood that this maze is changing its joints with the passage of time. The sounds that I occasionally heard signified the changing of its joints.
What a uselessly amazing gimmick. It's something that even modern science would be hard-pressed to reproduce in a way.
I continue advancing the maze while checking the map whenever I hear the sounds.
Since I was running while minding the map, I'm plunging into a passage where a lot of slimes gathered.
It's finally the turn for the rapid-fire magic gun. They all die in just 3 burst, but the ground becomes slimy it's disgusting.
I've finally arrived at the large room in the center. This place is unmoving, serving as the halfway point. It's 5 meter high and 20 meter wide here.
When I got into the room, the door automatically closes and the magic formation on the center begins to shine.
An Iron Golem pushes out of the magic cirlce. Beside it, a beautiful blond woman like the one in the master room stands. This golem is fastened with rivets, looking like a pre-war thing.
I see now, this girl is a homonculus. That explains why there are several people with the same faces. Judging from their faces, I wonder if Mia is the base?
I change the rapid-fire gun mode from scatter to convergence.
The iron golem is close to 4 meter high. There are the same letters as the stone golem from the labyrinth on its forehead.
"You did good to have come this far, explorer-dono."
It's an easy-to-listen charming voice even in this situation. Though she's speaking in monotone so it breaks the immersion.
"I'm a merchant though."
"Merchant? ...O explorer! You did well to come here."
After looking puzzled while tilting her head, she tilted it back and continue to talk. She's moving like a doll.
You're insisting me to be an explorer huh.
"I'll give the excellent you the right to fight the guardian. If you could beat the guardian, I'll admit that you have the qualification to advance ahead. The winner will be given a reward from the master of the maze."
She was still speaking in monotone. It feels like in an elementary school festival.
The beautiful woman doesn't mind the unamused me and continues the talk, following the scenario.
"Now, let the fight begin. O iron giant, there is no need to hold back."
The woman gets to the corner of the room after finishing her long speech. Her face looks satisfied, or rather, proud.
After the woman got to the corner of the room, the iron golem starts moving.
I pierce the character on the golem's forehead with the rapid-fire magic gun. Changing [EMETH] to [METH] by destroying the [E]. The golem stops moving as according to the anecdote. Yes, like the anecdote from our world.
Probably not expecting this to end in an instant, the beautiful woman on the corner falls into confusion.
I ignore the woman and head toward the exit.
The beautiful woman attack with a rapier from behind while talking in monotone. It looks like she used some kind of reinforcing magic, her stab is reasonably faster than her level tells.
While being careful as not to break the woman's hand, I stop the rapier.
"Come to think of it, what is the reward for the winner anyway?"
She tilted her head like before, and said so after hesitated for a bit. Why is it a question.
Apparently she didn't prepare any reward since she didn't think that I would win.
I make the woman faints, and take the rapier as the reward. Since the hilt design is cute, let's give it to Lulu or Zena-san as a present.
I lay the woman on the floor and advance ahead.
Afterward, I arrived at the master room without any considerable setback. The latter half had traps, but since I avoided all of them with trap discovery skill, I didn't even know what kind of traps there were.
The magician is in the interior of the master room. There's Mia on the throne, but she seems to be still unconscious. Her HP has fully recovered, but her stamina is still only at about 30%.
"I really did not think that you would come this far so fast."
"Is that so? If possible I'd like to avoid fighting and just get Mia back."
The magician laughs.
I continue to step forward to the throne while talking. I'd rather not get thrown again into the underground lake if I ignore the magician.
"Impossible, that's impossible. You have shown your qualification by defeating the iron giant."
The magician's solo performance continues.
"However, your title is insufficient to go against me. I'll have you fight formidable adversaries so you could gain the title 'Hero'. As for your reward, I'll give you this holy sword, Gjallarhorn."
The magician pull the sword on his hand.
The AR indicates that the sword is a holy sword, Gjallarhorn. Its performance is inferior compared to the holy swords I have, but it's still incomparable to common magic swords.
I don't understand this guy's real intention.
Does he really only want to commit suicide?
"Your opponents are them."
The magician's shadow expands to the center of the room as he speaks. And then, 3 iron golems appear from the shadow. Moreover, five beautiful women come out from the door beside the throne and line up behind the golems. Their faces are the same as the beautiful woman earlier, but since their hairstyles are different, they're probably not the same person.
"However, you would merely get killed by strong enemies like this, while the title hero is attained by overcoming life-and-death struggles."
From this guy's viewpoint, my level is 10. It shouldn't be possible to beat 3 level 30 golems.
The magician spreads his hands toward the heaven and continues his words.
"Therefore, I'll give everyone the blessing of my god--- Limit Break."