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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 13 Intermission 2

※This story is after [Intermission: Zena Squad's Journey (3)]
※For people who don't remember John Smith, please read [Intermission: The Agony of a Transported Person]

Intermission: John Smith


After separating from Mito and the others in Zetsu Earldom, I went toward the Royal Capital by mixing myself among the walking refugees.
I thought I would accomplish my goal there, but--.

"We cannot let you see Master if you don't have a letter of introduction. Go back to downtown at once, commoner."

I was driven out by the mansion's servant in a brusque manner.
The master of this mansion is a famous expert of magic tools--especially artificial limbs, I've come as far as the Royal Capital to replace my arm which was eaten by that damn mantis.

"Damn you gorilla, you'd look better in military uniform than a butler's."

After confirming that the gorilla had disappeared beyond the door, I stood up while cursing him.

"Letter of introduction huh...."

I try remembering my acquaintances in my mind.

Soutari, the long elf-kin who taught me the language of Shiga Kingdom. She's a beauty, but she's an undercover agent, no way she would have noble acquaintances.

Next is the old man innkeeper of Puta town. I was able to continue my journey after teaching mayonnaise recipe to that old man.
He bragged that he was friends with the lord of the town, but it was probably just a big talk, I can't count on it.

Come to think of it, after that, I journeyed together with a female guest of the inn....
Haah, that guy was the worst. She almost sold me as a slave after getting me drunk.... Haah, it'd been possible to buy noble position if I just had my smartphone and memo pad at that time.

I try remembering the people of Ash Rat Principality too.
That red helmet said that he was the elder brother of the chief, so he must have been of ruling classes, but the distance is too far, and even if I got a letter of introduction from them, I don't know how effective it is in a kingdom that discriminates demi-humans like this.

Next, I try remembering the people I met in Seryuu Earldom and Lesseu Earldom.
Wasn't Lilio's plain beauty captain-san a noble. I can't quite remember her name.
She looks like a softhearted person, I think she would write a letter of introduction for me if I ask through Lilio.

I recalled Mito who was sleeping in a mysterious ruin, but she said, "I'm not a noble", and in the first place, it's questionable whether she's a human or not, counting on her is fruitless.

Lilio and the others said that they were going to Labyrinth city if I'm not mistaken.
I vacate the restaurant that I lived-in, and board the stagecoach heading to the labyrinth city.

The old man who owns the restaurant told me to stay and marry his daughter, but I refused since it's not possible for me to cook.
I keep the fact that Lilio's face flashed in my mind when he talked about marriage a secret.

"Is one-arm nii-san going to the labyrinth city too?"
"Yeah, I want to meet an acquaintance."

A kid who's sitting beside me in the coach talked to me.
Breaking my [Don't Talk to Me Aura] while I was blending in the background, he's got quite a communication force.

"I thought I should stop you if you said that you wanted to be an explorer."

The kid smiles befitting of his age while looking relieved.
I thought of getting a job in the labyrinth after meeting Lilio, but it looks like I shouldn't bring up that subject.

"A lot of my acquaintances went to the labyrinth city too, but it became half in a year, and there wasn't any one left in three years."
"....T-that sure is harsh."
"Yeah, it is. But, I'm different y'see? I was taught the way to fight by the town's gatekeeper. Defeating a goblin is easy as pie."

I said, "Is that so, do your best", to the boasting kid and shut my eyes.
What the kid was saying felt like it'd be a flag, so I talked to no one until we arrived in the next town.

"Sorry, but this is as far as I can take you. From here on, you can walk to the labyrinth city on foot."
"Oy! What does this mean! Didn't I pay you to go until the labyrinth city?!"
"It's the viceroy's requisition. Give it up."

A man and the kid who were riding with me pressed on the coachman, but there's no way that a noble decision could be toppled in a kingdom that prefer nobles like this.

The reason for the requisition is probably the swarm of meteorites that could be seen in the western sky this afternoon.
The passengers were frightened, but judging from the time of the flash and the sound getting to us, the falling point should be more than 1000 kilometers away, so it was a needless fear.
It'd be a problem if the meteorite is as huge as the one that made dinosaurs extinct, but if that happened, no use in running anywhere anyway.

I got tired of seeing the passengers harassing the coachman.
After asking for the reimbursement, I try to look for a wagon heading toward the labyrinth city.

Fortunately, within an hour I was able to ride on a wagon that was carrying shafts of spears, axes and hatchets.
It seems growing plants is hard around the labyrinth city, so these kinds of woodworks are carried from the neighboring cities.

It might be a seasonal thing, but there's a lot of young people heading to the labyrinth city.
From children younger than even junior high school students to ones who are of high schooler age.

"There are many explorer applicants this year."

The peddler who's driving the wagon talked to me while gazing the young people walking on the street.

"--Is that so?"
"At this time of the year, it's usual for many youngsters who aspire to become explorers to come out of the woodwork every year, but this year there are some people who defeated 『Floormaster』 and became nobles. A lot more kids are probably inspired by it."

I see, not American Dream, but Labyrinth Dream huh.
While thinking such a thing, the wagon entered a village protected by barrier pillars. When the wagon stopped at a square, a village-head like man in good clothing negotiated something with the peddler.

Judging from the pattern of our lodging in villages so far, he's probably negotiating the rent for the wagon, water well, and selling woods for the fuel.
The price for these is just several big copper coins, but it seems to be an important income for the village.
The peddler traded some things required by the village like ointment and nails to decrease the cost.

I watch the back of the wagon for thieves while the peddler is negotiating.
According to the peddler, the danger of thieves is more prominent inside such a village than during the journey.
During the season where a lot of youngsters are heading toward the labyrinth city, the Royal Capital's knight order regularly patrol the highway, so thieves and such hide themselves far away.

Besides us, there are a lot of youngsters in traveling clothes doing preparation to camp in the square.
That said, their 'preparation' only consist of them putting their mantles on the ground and napping on it, or preparing for meal. There are a lot of people who are only making bread porridge that consists of dried vegetables and black bread stewed together.
It seems to be normal around here, but I was surprised when I saw black bread being stewed for the first time.

"Thank you for waiting. Let's have a dinner. Can I leave it to John today too?"
"Yeah, leave it to me."

I draw water from the nearby well, and then put it on the pot on top of the stove the peddler put.
When I have the fund, first thing first, I'll make hand pumps and spread it to villages.

The moment bubbles came out in the water in the pot, I put cereals and jerkies to make a risotto. The lump broke when the hot water boiled, and good smell from the spice overflowed.
The other people in the square are looking here with envious look, but we don't have enough to split for them.

It's the peddler's job to put the cooked instant risotto to the bowls.
It's troublesome with just one arm you see. I'd eat directly from the pot when I was alone.

"Yup, it's good. Don't you want to sell this? I think it'll sell well."
"Sorry, but it takes too much effort to make them."

I bluntly declined the peddler's offer for the umpteenth time.

I do want to mass produce it and get some nice profit, but I just don't have enough fund.
There's no doubt that I can profit a lot if I cooperate with someone, but I can only see the future where my partner runs off with the profit afterward, so I don't intend to cooperate with anyone.

I once heard that Echigoya Firm in the Royal Capital is buying idea, but I don't want to get close to it.
Someone who named his firm like the name of a [corrupt merchant in a historical drama] can't be good.

From I heard in the rumor, the firm seems to be peerless even against nobles, there's no doubt that he's probably a reincarnated or a transported person with administration cheat.
Sooner or later, it looks like I'll clash with him, but if possible I want to do it after gaining enough power to.

After crossing the mountain range before the labyrinth city, I saw the labyrinth city and the bald mountains behind it beyond the wasteland.
There are more mountains even beyond that, and it seems to be the desert after that.

Now I can finally rest easy from any more mountaineering.

As we get closer to the mountain foot, the temperature gradually rises.
Sheesh, the climate of this world is too free. It makes me doubt whether it's round.

The temperature rose every time we got closer to the labyrinth city.
It's almost unbelievable that the other side of the mountain is in spring climate.

"Geh, my water bottle is empty."
"No wonder when you drank that much. There's a well at the rest station you can see over there."
"You serious."

I feel like I'll lose to the thirst.
Sheesh, there should have been some vending machines if this is really a highway.

I miss being in Japan.

I look at the airships flying in the sky over head, trying to forget my thirst.
....Impossible. It won't be hard if I can forget my thirst by just doing that.

"If you're thirsty enough to look like you'll die, why don't you just drink from the beria over there."
"You don't know? It's the one growing along the highway with spines for leaves. You can pluck off its long thin body or the leaves."

I nod to the peddler, and collect the aloe-like succulent plants nearby.
Following the instruction of the peddler, I cut off the top tip, and then eat the emerald green flesh with a spoon.

"Is it that bad?"

It's slightly sour on top of smelling grassy.
The coconut milk-like texture isn't so bad, but it's not something you'll eat by choice.

It feels like I'll get diarrhea if I eat too much of them, so I throw them away to the side of the road after quenching my thirst.

The next day, we got into the labyrinth city after passing through a gate protected by huge stone statues.
I part way with the peddler on the main gate, and head toward the west Explorer Guild to see if Lilio and the others are there.

"Huh? Isn't it John."

Looks like I have a good fortune.
The person I was looking for found me instead.

"What's wrong? Didn't you run after that beauty-san and went to the Royal Capital?"
"I have some business with Lilio--"

I told Lilio about the letter of introduction.
After telling me, "I think it's no good", Lilio brought me to Marientail-san, the captain.

"Letter of introduction?"
"Yeah, I can't ask them to make me an artificial arm without a letter of introduction from a noble."

Marientail-san's expression darkened after hearing me.

"I'm sorry. I am a member of nobles, but a letter written by a noble who isn't their relative will only get laughed off. It has to be at least written by the head of the house with baronage peer or higher..."

--No good huh.

"Can't Iona-san do it?"
"I'm from the house of a baron, but we're a branch family. If I wrote a letter of introduction carelessly, I might be scolded by the head."

Lilio tried to talk with her sexy-onee-san co-worker, but it was quickly shot down.
It's understandable, it's like asking a job from a former boyfriend of your friend if this were in the modern japan.

"Geez, you're really unlucky. It'd have been better if you came before Satou-san departed."


"What kind of person is he?"
"U~mm, you see--"

I'm convinced after hearing Lilio's story.
That guy is either a reincarnated person or a transported one. Moreover, judging from the story of Marientail-san's beginning of romance, the identity of the silver masked hero who had a fist fight with the greater demon in Seryuu City must be that Satou guy.

Considering it's said that he has black hair and plain Japanese-like face, he must be a summoned hero.
The current hero of Saga Empire should be called Masaki, so this Satou was probably summoned by another country.

From the story of Saga Empire's spy, Soutari of the long ear-kin, the people who were summoned by Rumooku Kingdom didn't have any cheat just like me, therefore, that cheat guy must have been summoned by someone else.

Suddenly, I'm reminded of the meteor swarm from the other day and the [Stars Fall] thing that I just heard.
Did that Satou guy use it by any chance?
If that's true, then who the heck summoned Satou?

If he was summoned by a country, then that country would have used that power to unify the whole world.
It seems wars are happening on the eastern and western parts of the continent, but there's no sign of it in the center Shiga Kingdom and the neighboring countries.

Therefore, the summoner should not be a country.
Since he's fought against demons, it doesn't seem like the demons or the demon lords did it too.

....Perhaps, the summoner was the God?

I imagined such a baloney.

Marientail-san offered to ask for the letter of introduction from that Satou guy, but I flatly refused.

Satou must be a cheat main protagonist type of man.
There's no doubt that disturbances will happen in the places where he's at.

I don't want to approach such a dangerous place.

Moreover, Satou's girl--Marientail-san is in this labyrinth city.
Applying tales to real life is dangerous, but from my experience, this world has high affinity with tales. This place should be safe as long as she's here.

Even if anything happened, Satou probably would appear to remove the danger before she got into crisis.

I remained in this labyrinth city with a reason unsupported by anyone.
Of course the reason is not just that.

"John, are you delving alone again?"
"Won't you go with us?"

I refuse the invitation of a rabbitfolk who's wearing a blue mantle, and delve into the labyrinth alone.
My objectives are treasure chests.

Recently I've found pieces of magic recipe using beria's fruit inside treasure chests in shallow floors.
My intuition tells me that this is Satou-shi's doing.

From the rumor I've gathered in this labyrinth city, this Satou-shi guy is a [Good-natured Japanese]. That guy probably prepared the treasure chest event.

Putting that aside, searching for this recipe pieces is attractive.

Certainly the recipe will make me some profit, but there's another point to be excited about.
Several days ago, the viceroy of Selbira city announced that the explorer who found the last piece would be given the chevalier peerage.

According to the rumor in the city, this was initiated by the viceroy's follower, Baron Dyukeli, but even if they can't give me a peerage, a Marquis should be able to write a letter of introduction.

While checking my home-made map, I break through unexplored area.
It's going to be difficult for the day trip soon.

That said, exploring the labyrinth alone overnight is nonsense.
I can declare that continuing the exploration without sufficient sleep even in the best condition is impossible.

When I was thinking that I should go back soon, the stone monument in the passage began to blink.

--This is bad! It's a Gushing Hole.

I throw the stink ball to the ground, and run away from that place.
However, I was too impatient and didn't mind my steps.

The moment my foot stepped on a large slate on the ground, that slate broke, and a pit appeared.

I immediately threw the rope on my waist, but I had no hero revision that would make it coil around the passage's lumps.
The fact that it was not a vertical pit, but a sloping one was my sole help.

--I have a good fortune.

I wonder how many days have elapsed since I thought that.

It looks like I've fallen to the passage just after the Gushing Hole where monsters appeared.
According to the rumor in the labyrinth city, in 100 years, the only people who treaded upon the end of a Gushing Hole and came out alive were Satou-shi and his companions.

At present, every time I met a monster, I sneaked past ones I couldn't win against, and only fought against ones I could win like goblins and mock-wolf, while advancing through the underground passage.
This underground passage continued deep until a large room filled with spider webs, a dead end.
Of course, there's probably a passage on the other side of the large room, but I know that the goblins presiding in the large room would be my end, I couldn't bring myself to recklessly challenge them.

I was able to survive thanks to mayonnaise jar and rock candies that I always brought just in case, and water trickling on the passage wall.

However, it's getting bad.

I had ran out of mayonnaise on the second day, and the rock candy that I just ate was the last.
Above all, a mantis bastard got stuck on the trap right beside the water source. My life would be in precarious state if I couldn't drink water.
The special bullets, three remaining.
Although, even if I use the gun, there's no way I can win against that mantis bastard.

"Aah.... this is the checkmate huh."

A bullet for the death with dignity--.

"You half-dead person over there, can I have your time?"

--Is it an auditory hallucination?

"If you can give me the knowledge I seek, I can grant you one wish you see?"

--Or perhaps the devil?

Even the devil's fine.
Cure me from this thirst.

"Give me water."
"Here you go."

The water I got was a cold water that was so good it couldn't be expressed in words.
It feels like it's penetrating deep into my body.

After escaping from the extreme situation, I talk to the man with my brain that finally starts to work a bit.

"What do you want to know?"

It's fine if it's just the way to make smokeless gunpowder or internal combustion engine, but it'd be bad if he asked the way to make nuclear weapons.
It'd be the worst if he asked the way to make potassium cyanide or sarin.

"Teach me how to make dried gourd."

I unintentionally let out a stupid voice.
What, did he just, said?

"You don't know how to make 『Dried Gourd』?"
"No, with bottle gourd, you--"

I teach the man the way to make [dried gourd] while recalling it from my memories.

"I-it is that simple?"
"Yea, the 『Dried Gourd』 that you want for sushi roll should be with that recipe."

Apparently, he really wanted to know that.
I can't see well with my hazy vision, but the man's delight didn't sound like an act.

"Thank you! D-don't tell me you know how to make cola too?"

I answered the questions the man asked.
I feel like I even answered knowledge that I shouldn't have known too, but that must've been my imagination.

"Kuro-sama, this boy is?"
"Treat him like a guest of honor. I've promised him to grant his wish, so call me when he's awoken."

I feel like I've heard those while being half-asleep.
The next morning, I woke up in a canopy bed that looked like it was made for nobles, and had a superb feast prepared by a beautiful maid-san for breakfast.

--This is a dream.

I should have been in the bottom of the labyrinth with no way to escape.

--This is the revolving lantern seen before you die.

I mean, my arm which should have been bitten off by that mantis bastard one year ago has been regrown.
I move my fingers and ascertain its touch.

It's fine even if this is a dream.
With both hands, I can create administrative cheat items that I couldn't create up until now as much as I want.

I noticed a letter by the pillow when I was trembling with delight.

Parameters like from Yamato Stone are written on the letter.

John Smith. It's my name in this world.
Level 13. It seems my level has increased by one during my exploration.
I recognized my skills too like, [Skill: Burying, Concealment, Evading], and the last was an unfamiliar one, [Lost Knowledge].

Looks like I got the skill in the labyrinth.
It seems my another world life has turned upward somewhat.

After leaving a thank you letter and a letter written with knowledge of cooking for my lifesaver, I left the mansion behind using [Burying].

My story in another world starts now!

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