(153) Monster-less labyrinth
Since it was a hot spring, it really stung my eyes when I dove in with my eyes open. No matter how much I trained my body, the pain felt by the eyes could never be negated. Although I do know that pain is the body’s danger signal and it should not be negated.
Furthermore, even though the ice was cooling down the surface, perhaps the effects weren’t conducted deeper down as I felt it steadily get warmer.
After diving vertically down all the way, I found something like a cave tunnel. It had taken roughly 40 seconds. I felt that I still had about 1 more minute left to dive so I decided to peek into the tunnel.
— There’s light shining out of it?
A faint light. It seemed like the monkeys came from there.
Looking at it closely, I could faintly feel the flow of water.
Using my Detect Enemy skill, there didn’t seem to be any monsters.
It was steadily getting hotter.
I made my decision and entered the tunnel.
And then, the upper portion of the tunnel led to a hole and it connected to an underground space.
” … I’m surprised … to think that there’s such an amazing place underground.”
Stretched underground was an orchard. There were trees heavily laden with fruits like bananas and papayas.
The walls and ceiling were emitting a faint pale light so I guess they used that for photosynthesis.
And there were pipe-like objects around the trees. Hot water was probably channeled through those pipes to adjust the room temperature?
Even though I was in a southern country, it wasn’t a place warm enough for bananas to grow naturally.
I wonder if the monkeys live here?
“Petite Wind —”
I plucked a coconut with wind magic, opened a hole with a pocket knife and drank a little.
It was coconut juice.
I used Ice Magic to freeze the surface just a little and tried drinking. It was cooling and extremely delicious.
Nevertheless, what exactly is this place?
The metal pipes were clearly man-made but the walls and ceilings indicated that it was a labyrinth.
But even though it was a labyrinth, I couldn’t detect any presence of monsters.
The mystery remained but I guessed that it was safe to call Carol out.
I took off my wet clothes and kept them in my item bag, took out new clothes and wore them before casting 「My World」.
“It’s amazing, this fruit called a banana is extremely easy to eat.”
Carol put the thick and long item into her mouth and chewed.
If it was made into a video, this scene might have been repeated continuously but I couldn’t show it to anyone.
I ate a mango while having such idiotic thoughts.
I roughly ate the fruit and passed the seed to Pionia for now.
When I explained to Pionia the vinyl house-like system here, she eagerly said that it was most likely possible to achieve in My World too. I wonder if Pionia is actually the type that likes inventing and crafting? (TL: Vinyl house system refers to the heating system that uses liquid tubing hidden underneath floorboards or wall panels.)
“I wonder where does this hot water flow from?”
“Don’t touch it, it’s hot enough that you’ll end up with a burn.”
“Temperature that is only hot enough to cause burns would just be regularly hot after all.”
While having such pointless question and answer,
“It might be circulating the hot spring. If that is true, there may be a boiler somewhere.”
I thought it was a natural hot spring but turns out it might be an artificial hot spring.
Labyrinths are originally an apparatus to accumulate and purify miasma so the possibility of this being a labyrinth is high.
However, the fact that there was no monster presence was strange after all.
“What do you think Carol?”
“There has not been any sign of human entry for at least 10 years. Normally an island labyrinth like this would be regularly purified by the Church’s Labyrinth Knights but perhaps this labyrinth’s monsters are being exterminated by those monkey-sans.”
Said Carol. Monsters would spill out of a labyrinth when the miasma within the labyrinth overflows but given that there weren’t any monsters there, the speculation that the monkeys were not labyrinth monsters holds.
“Perhaps those monkeys were trapped in here. It’s not definite but it would be impossible that they could not swim and return to land before the ice cooled down the hot spring …”
“I guess so. There are no traces of monster leftovers or excrements so it has probably been absorbed by the labyrinth.”
Ah, labyrinths are convenient in that aspect. Because the fruit trees were photosynthesizing, the place won’t have a lack of oxygen too. It’s not to the extent of My World but this place might be the most optimal place to hole up.
“Those monkeys didn’t seem that strong so if the monsters can be defeated by the monkeys then there’s no worry. To be safe, I’ll go investigate until the end but what does Carol want to do?”
If there was a boiler, I would definitely want to take it with me.
If I could do so, then I might even be able to create a hot spring inside My World.
“Carol will accompany you.”
“I see, then, let’s go.”
“Since Ichino-sama has to look for the reason that you were forcefully transferred here.”
… Ah, now that she mentioned it, we’re here to investigate that.
I was too excited about the hot spring that I completely forgot about it.
As expected, there were no monsters in the labyrinth.
Moreover, compared to the layered structure we’ve encountered for the labyrinths to date, this labyrinth spread out in a flat plane.
” … There’s nothing.”
“Yeah. Would this long passage be the last?”
Carol was sketching the map of the labyrinth.
Just like the grid paper mapping I did for old dungeon games.
Apparently, that mapping was regularly performed in labyrinths without maps.
“Ichino-sama has been relying on nothing but Haru-san’s olfaction until now after all.”
That’s true. Haru’s nose is able to tell if we had passed a certain location before or if a lot of people had passed through there before so there was no need to do this kind of mapping.
“Looking at this map, this place seems to be an artificial space after all.”
“Maybe there would be something like a hidden door.”
Carol doesn’t know about it but last time there was a hidden door when I went to save Norn-san. It looked like a regular wall but just like a hologram, there was nothing when I went to touch it.
Maybe there was something similar here.
As we have not encountered a boss room until now, perhaps the boss room or staircase was inside that hidden space.
While pondering that, it happened when we entered the long passage to investigate for now.
— 『Gaban!』(TL: Slam!)
Along with that loud crash, a wall appeared at the end of the passage. Not only at the end. When I turned around, there was also a wall at the place we entered from.
Just as I had that thought, the walls started shifting closer.
Moreover, at a considerable speed.
“Ichino-sama, this —”
“Shit, I’ll break the walls!”
I pulled out my steel sword from my item bag.
And released a sword wave with it.
“No way, there’s not even a scratch. Even though I have the confidence to even crush rocks.”
“Ichino-sama, labyrinth walls are indestructible!”
“Oh right, I forgot!”
I immediately place the sword horizontally.
To serve as a rod.
I also took out other long objects from my item bag.
The walls closed in to about 50 cm when it stopped. Rather, it was still shifting slightly but the steel sword had become a jamming rod.
“Shit, it’s narrow — Carol, are you okay?”
” … I’m okay … since I don’t have anything to get stuck with.”
Carol touched her own chest and said somewhat regretfully.
“Chest size doesn’t matter at all now … More importantly, wall! Why don’t you give up already! Is there no system that automatically opens when a foreign object is caught like for elevator or train doors!?”
After I shouted that, the steel sword could no longer withstand the pressure — and broke.
“” …. Shi— !””
The next instant, the walls were almost stuck together, leaving just a minute gap.
Then, the walls returned to their original position and there was nobody left moving in that passage.