Chapter 5: Takatsuki Makoto gets Reunited
◇Sasaki Aya’s point of view ◇.
I woke up.
I am not dead? I touched my body. There are …… wounds? That’s strange. I remember being ripped apart.
I look around. This is the plaza behind the waterfall, where I like to hang out. Right outside the lair.
“Great Mother-sama! Everyone!”
I ran toward the lair. It was a dream! Everyone is alive! That must be the case!
My chest heaved with anticipation.
“Everyone! Where are you?” I scream out loud.
There was no response. The large rock guarding the entrance to the lair had been broken from the inside.
The cave, which had always been bustling with my family members, was empty and deserted.
The cave was empty. “……………… everyone, ……… …Where?”
This was not the usual place I used to live. It was the same as in the nightmare.
(That wasn’t a …… dream. ……)
“Uh, uuh, uuh ……”
Tears welled up in my eyes. I can’t tear myself away from the sight of everyone’s last moments. I can’t get rid of those hollow eyes. The bloodied Great Mother-sama. Why did it have to be like that ……?
The place where the Lamias lived was enchanted so that only the Lamia could enter. So there was no way for enemies to get in.
(Unless someone betrayed us.)
Elder sister-sama, no. That bitch ……. I’ll never forgive her, My little sisters, my sisters, and Great Mother-sama …….
(I’ll never forgive you! I will not forgive! Never! Never!)
I don’t know why, but I’m alive. So, I will avenge my family. Until then, I cannot die.
Then I continued to hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt, hunt monsters.
Especially harpies. I tried to crush them thoroughly in anticipation of their boss coming out one day, but they run away into the sky, so it’s hard to get at them.
Lately, they’ve been running away when they see me. Damn it!
The place where I sleep is an empty Lamia bed.
The door had been broken down, so it wasn’t as safe as before, but I didn’t know where else to go.
I thought that maybe that traitorous bastard would come back, but she never showed up. Where did she go?
Maybe she’s dead in the wild somewhere. But if she is still alive.
—- I will kill her myself, I promise.
The only thing I want to do is to take revenge on that traitor and Harpy’s boss.
But I’m not strong enough. In order to avenge them, I need to become stronger.
Didn’t the Great Mother say something like this?
“If you want to be strong, eat humans. They are blessed by the gods and have strong power. If you eat strong people, you can become strong. Just like me.”
The current me is no match for the Harpy’s boss. I need to become stronger. ……
I can’t choose my means. But …….
I don’t know if I can do that as a former human. But if that’s what it takes to get revenge, then I’ll do it.
My heart was stained black with the murderous intent of revenge.
For a while after that, I continued to fight alone.
One day. I was awakened from a shallow sleep by a loud noise in the direction of the underground lake. In a panic, I jumped out of bed. I thought it was an enemy attacking me, but it was not.
The monsters were making a racket. When I went to look, I saw that the monsters were swarming around something.
(Are those human adventurers?).
There were those human adventurers that my sisters had mentioned. And there are two of them.
A woman with bright red hair and a man with grayish clothes and black hair.
The woman seems to be a mage. She’s holding a wand.
I wonder what the man is? Light clothes and a dagger. Maybe a thief.
The woman mage has a huge amount of magic power flowing out of her body, and she feels a strong life force.
(If I attack her, ……, if I eat her, maybe I can become stronger.)
However, before that, there are those hateful harpies. I’ll take care of them first!
As I kicked the harpies away, I observed the two of them.
Needless to say, the female wizard was the stronger of the two. The man’s life force is about the same as that of a goblin. He is definitely weak. There seems to be no point in eating him.
That’s what I thought at first. But then I looked at …….
(No, ……. The man is the one who’s troublesome.)
Surrounded by dozens of monsters. The female wizard was chanting her magic desperately, screaming and running away from the giant Sea Serpent and Arachne threads.
On the other hand, the movement of that man with the dagger.
(Does that guy have eyes in the back?)
He dodged the harpy that attacked from behind with minimal movement. He easily evaded the Sea Serpent that jumped out of the water. And at the same time, he was slicing through Arachne’s threads.
His physical abilities did not seem to be high, but he handled all the attacks with ease as if he was dancing.
(And what’s with that calmness?)
While fighting for their lives on the edge. Suddenly, during a brief moment when there was no attack from the monsters.
He scratched his cheek. As if saying it’s quite troublesome.
(That black-haired man is …… the problematic one. Let’s hunt him first.)
I raised my concentration. Still, that cheek-scratching gesture.
–I remember seeing that cheek scratching gesture somewhere, but I can’t ………… remember where.
I wanted to see what he looked like, but he had his back towards me, so I couldn’t see his face clearly. It’s just that I feel somewhat nostalgic.
(It was just my imagination. ……. No way I know him. Let’s focus on the hunt.)
I quietly waited for my chance.
◇ Takatsuki Makoto’s PoV ◇
“Hmm, the number of monsters is not decreasing at all.”
Lucy fired off a spell that created a huge water splash. It’s already the seventh shot.
Although a considerable number of monsters were caught in the attack, but their number was still large.
“Are you okay? Lucy.”
“Y-Yeah, I am still okay in mana.”
As expected, the magic power of the Monarch Class Mage is bottomless. However, it seems that her concentration is nearing its limit.
“Lucy. Don’t use magic for a while and rest. I will continue avoiding it.”
I hugged Lucy’s wobbly shoulders and looked around.
There are more than fifty monsters surrounding us. Most of them possess a low to medium level of danger.
Among them, there were two that we had to be careful of.
One is a large crocodile-like monster, the Great King Crocodile. I found this information on a bulletin board at the guild. Apparently, it’s the master of the underground lake. But for now, it doesn’t seem to be interested in us and is attacking orcs and goblins. So I’m not that worried about it.
The problem is the other one. There was one more snake woman who was mixed in with the crowd.
(Normally, I’ve heard that snake women act in groups. ……)
This Lamia was acting alone.
At first glance, she seems to be fighting with the Harpy and the Arachne and doesn’t seem to be interested in us, but……
(She’s after us?)
The alert of my “Danger Detection” skill is going off all the time. It keeps warning me.
(And she’s really strong. Like really.)
The Lamias are a medium-level danger on their own. But this thing crushes an Orc with a single blow and tears off the Harpy’s wings like they were paper.
Or rather, the Harpies ran away at the sight of this Lamia. I was lucky in that respect, but considering the danger level of that one, I was not optimistic.
Enough time has passed since I used spirit magic earlier.
It’s about time to use one big magic and deal with the monsters……
(But I don’t want to use magic when that snake woman is after us.)
It would create an opening. I want to distract her if possible.
“Hah …… hah …… hah …… what?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
I was about to tell her to watch out for that Lamia, but she doesn’t seem to have the luxury of doing so. I’ll deal with it.
I purposely kept my back facing towards that Lamia.
I’ve got a 360-degree view from my “RPG Player” skill.
I won’t distract my attention from her.
(I wonder if she’ll take the bait. ……)
For the time being, I kept my back faced towards her and avoid the attacks of the monsters around me.
I held my dagger and waited for the right moment. After some time has passed.
The “Danger Detection” skill reacted.
(Here she comes!)
She closed the distance and closed in on me.
Turning around, I swung my dagger, but it vainly cut through the air.
“Water Magic: Ice Needle!”
I released my main objective, magic to blind her. A needle of ice was born and shot out in front of the snake woman’s eyes.
There was no monster that could avoid the ice needle that was fired at almost zero distance.
But it didn’t work.
(It was avoided!? No way!)
This is the first time I’ve ever had a monster avoid this magic.
The situation was getting tighter. Lucy and I aren’t very good at melee combat.
At close range, my eyes met with the Lamia. Blue skin, dark purple hair, blue eyes.
(…… She is a beautiful monster.)
While holding an out-of-place impression, I readied my dagger to protect Lucy. However, the monster did not attack at all. The Lamia approached us, her eyes widened in surprise and she said.
Eh? What did this monster just say?
The alarm from “Danger Detection” that had been so noisy suddenly stopped.
“M-Makoto!? That monster is right there!”
Lucy screamed at the sudden appearance of the Lamia.
Lucy must have thought it appeared out of nowhere.
The Lamia shouted in delight.
This monster shouted my full name. Somehow, the pronunciation is also that of Japanese.
(This is …… for sure. This snake woman is a classmate of mine from class A, year one.)
But how is this possible? Who is she anyway?
(Aah! This is pointless!)
“Hey, is there anywhere around here we can hide? We need to find shelter where there are no monsters!”
I asked the Lamia. Lamias use the middle floors of the Great Labyrinth as their territory.
They should know the area better than us.
She pointed towards a waterfall, one of the biggest among the large and small ones. I guess she wanted us to go behind the waterfall.
“Lucy, hold on to me.”
“Y-Yeah, I got it!”
Lucy clung to my waist. I don’t know why, but the Lamia looks a little annoyed. Even the Lamia held onto me tightly!?
“Hiih? What the hell is that?”
“Lucy, don’t worry. It’s all right.
I am just a little unsure. Just like that Arachne earlier, won’t she catch us off guard and gobble us up?
“Spirit-sans! Please help us! Water Magic: Water-Dragon.”
Different from the time with that Arachne lair, I can use all the water I want from the underground lake. A water dragon, twice the size of the previous one, went on a rampage.
As the monsters surrounding us were blown away and swept away, we fled to the back of the waterfall.
Behind the waterfall, there was a wide-open space, and there were no monsters in sight. We were able to escape.
“Haaah~, …… that was tough.”
“Haah, haah, haah, we got away ……, but why is this one even here!”
Lucy jumped away in a panic.
The snake woman was staring at us – no, at me.
I can’t help but reply. But who is this girl, ……?
“It is Takatsuki-kun. ……”
This time, she started touching me all over my body.
(Ummm… ……. This familiarity …… definitely seems to be an acquaintance of mine. And she’s a pretty close friend. ……)
“Hey, what are you guys doing?”
Lucy was looking a bit shocked from a distance. From an outside perspective, it must have looked like being hugged by a monster.
And the Lamia was ignoring Lucy. Or rather, her eyes were only on me.
Those deep blue eyes gazed into mine. Are they a little teary?
“Well, you know…”
I have no choice but to talk to her. She is an acquaintance of mine from the first year A class, and someone who has been talking to me in a friendly manner. Aside from Fuji-yan, I can only think of one other person. She looks completely different, but she’s …….
(Well, I will apologize if I’m wrong.)
“Um, Sa-san, right?”
“Why with that questioning tone? …… Perhaps you didn’t notice me earlier, Takatsuki-kun?”
Uwa. She sounded very unhappy.
“Well, you know. You look completely different from before.”
“Ah, that’s true. Then “Human Transformation Magic”.
Ooh, She was becoming more and more like a human…… W-Wait a minute!
“You should at least put some clothes on!”
Lucy was right. Her transformation from Lamia to Human was completely naked. I turned around in a panic.
“Sa-san! Don’t you have anything to wear?”
“Well, I’m a monster. So why do I need to wear anything?”
You’ve lost all sense of shame, haven’t you?
“I’ll lend you this,” Lucy said, handing the cloak to Sa-san.
“Thank you.” and she wrapped the cloak around her like a dress.
“Also put this on,” I said, giving her my jacket to put on.
Good, now we can talk face to face.
“Long time no see, Sa-san.”
“Takatsuki-kun!” She hugged me. A soft and fluffy feeling was placed on my body.
“Hey, Makoto. Who is this one?”
Lucy complained. Yes, I should introduce her.
“Sorry, sorry about that. This is Sasaki Aya. She’s from another world, just like me. Sa-san, this girl here is Lucy. We’re from the same party.”
Lucy and Sa-san stared at each other doubtfully.
“…… Nice to meet you, Lucy-san.”
“…… Nice to meet you, Aya. You should get away from Makoto for now.”
“It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. It’s okay. …… Are you Takatsuki-kun’s girlfriend?”
“No, I’m not!”
Sa-san took a small sigh of relief.
“It’s not a problem then, is it?”
I don’t know what’s the matter here. Lucy seems to have backed off.
“Sa-san. By the way, how come you’re here as a Lamia?”
I have so many questions.
“Takatsuki-kun! Listen to me!”
She hugged me even tighter.
Lucy glared at me with vexed eyes.
Now, Lucy. I’m sure Sa-san had a hard time, so let’s be nice to her.
“You know, I…….”
“…..and, That’s what happened…”
Sa-san told me about her stormy life as a Lamia.
“I’ll never forgive them, those harpies and that traitor! I will blow them away with my magic, Aya!”
“Uh-huh. Thanks, …… Lucy-san.”
Lucy, with her hot-blooded nature, seems inspired and angry. She’s a good girl.
“Takatsuki-kun? What’s wrong?”
I was shocked. Sa-san’s story of being reborn as a Lamia.
Her life in the dungeon. And battles with the monsters.
( She had her life in far harder difficulty mode than mine………)
To be honest, when I came to this world, I realized how low my status was in the temple.
I thought I was the person who was struggling the most in the other world.
(Compared to Sa-san, I was having a pretty easy time!)
“I should work harder……..”
“It feels like you’re also had it rough. Takatsuki-kun.”
For some reason, she looked at me with sympathy.
“You’re the one who has had it rough, Sa-san. By the way, we want to go up to the Upper Floor of the dungeon, do you know da wae?”
“Upper Floor? I know a way to get to the top of the underground lake because my sisters told me about it.”
“Alright! Lucy, let’s go. Looks like we can make it back.”
“Hey, can I …… also come with you?”
Sa-san looked uneasy.
“It’s only natural, let’s go back together.” I won’t leave her.
She hugged me again. Lucy, don’t look at me like that every time.
We headed for the Upper Floor of the labyrinth.
“It’s a little narrow, so be careful.”
“No, I wouldn’t say it’s narrow.”
“It’s just barely ……”
It was not a path, but a hole.
“It would be easier if I were a lamia.”
“Ugh, my knees are hurting from all the rocks. ……”
“Sa-san, how much further?”
“We should be out by now. There’s the exit.”
The exit was indeed the Water Cave.
“There’s no one.”
“Probably because it’s early in the morning.”
“Eh! We have been here that long?”
Lucy shouted in surprise.
“So, This is the Upper Floor.”
Sa-san was looking around the dungeon.
“Is this your first time here?”
“Yes, I’ve heard it’s dangerous because there are so many humans up there.”
“So the Upper Floors are more dangerous for the demons in the Middle Floors…….”
“Makoto, where are we in the water cave?”
“Probably halfway between the entrance and the Great Waterfall.
I confirm with my mapping skill. I’ve been using my mapping skills to see if I can detect any signs of monsters.
“For now, it seems we have made it out safely.”
We were able to get out of the Great Labyrinth within a day.
When we got out of the dungeon, the sun was rising after the dawn.
—Part I end—-
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