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The stone walls of the labyrinth are cold and sometimes a draft comes from the door sounding like the groan of a ghost.

I look at everyone’s sleeping faces while I add more wood to the fire to shake off the desolate atmosphere.

Everyone’s in a deep sleep due to being tired from hunting all day.

Every single one of them looks so innocent, even Jean looks cute and innocent.

So I didn’t disturb the others I moved to the corner of the room where I had a smaller fire going which Gobu was tending to.

I’ll try to be as quiet as I can

“Right then. Let’s make my new weapon.”

“Uga.”

Gobu’s reply was also quiet to avoid waking the others.

He’s grown enough to be aware of being considerate for others now.

I gather all the materials together and prepare.

I’m going to make an assault rifle so I search the database for what materials will combine with this demon stone.

The labyrinth’s environment is harsh after all. There are days where it’s literally freezing and I’ve heard there are areas with lava as well.

Whatever material I use needs to be highly resistant to both extreme heat and cold to avoid deforming. Reliability is also key so it doesn’t jam or fail due to a bit of mud or sand.

Eventually, I reach the best compromise with the materials I had on hand.

Appraisal

[Name] Taikmat Wasabinikov (TW-47)

[Type] assault rifle

[Attack] 301

[Attribute] None

[Notes] Effective range is 600 meters. Number of bullets 30/90. Semi-automatic and fully automatic. Consumes 2 MP per shot. [Shooting/Sniping] skill will be acquired. No recoil.

This is probably the best I can do with the materials I have on hand.

I’m thankful there’s no recoil due to it using magic and it seems like I can be a bit more precise with my shooting, however, I’ve heard that the demons further down are large and heavily armoured so I don’t know if even this assault rifle will be good enough.

There’s also the fact that with it being a gun it’s attacks are linear. If I wasn’t in a group I would have to consider using a shield as well somehow. Fortunately, I have my friends.

Our range of tactics should expand as well with this weapon.

On a side note, since everyone’s levels have been steadily rising I might look at renewing their weapons.

I’ll talk to them all and see what weapons they would like.

Leaving Gobu on watch I fall asleep satisfied.

On our 4th day in the labyrinth, we head to the 3rd ward. Everyone else has been there but I haven’t.

The River Styx flows through the 3rd ward and it’s where everyone goes to top up their water supply.

I have life magic so water is of no concern to us but I wanted to see it anyway. Also, we will be going to the 3rd floor soon so I wanted to see the lay of the land as you have to pass through the 3rd ward to reach the third floor.

The 3rd ward is unexpectedly huge.

Normally each ward is sectioned off with walls everywhere leading to little compartments and halls but the 3rd ward has no walls at all. Moreover, the ceiling is also bright and there are loads of plants everywhere.

Since it’s winter the trees have lost their leaves but it would be quiet a gloomy forest in spring to autumn.

You could think of it as a super huge indoor botanical garden.

I have no idea how the ceiling is being supported nor how it’s generating its light. It’s giving off the perfect fantasy quality and feeling.

We advance cautiously through the forest as we don’t know where the enemy will come from.

There are three types of demon in the 3rd ward. Beast type, insect type and reptile type.

As we continue my new weapon Wasabinikov is performing very well though I miss the 3 point burst my handgun had. I’m currently wasting a lot of bullets so I’ll look at improving this in the future.

We arrive at the river Styx right on schedule late in the morning.

A river in a forest. Such an incredible thing to find in an underground labyrinth.

It’s 15 meters wide and has various crossing points by using stepping stones. There’s also a fish called the Nepia trout in the river which is apparently delicious.

Kuro’s eyes are shining and his tail’s wagging about too.

“You going trout fishing?”

“Yes!!”

This kid really loves fishing.

Under Kuro’s direction, I made a fishing rod for him.

Other members expressed their interest as well so I made another 3 rods.

Leaving the 4 people to go fishing I started preparing lunch.

The main dish relies on Kuro’s ability. I’m going to do b.u.t.tered trout so while I’m waiting I move onto the side dishes first.

Today’s menu is turnip and carrot salad, onion soup and b.u.t.tered trout.

I make a stock with what’s left of the rabbit’s bones and start flavouring it with vegetables.

“Uga!”

Gobu raises a happy voice in the middle of the cooking.

Aah, I see. A group of beautiful women has entered his line of sight.

Looking more closely I realise it’s [Angel Wing] and that’s Patty leading them at the front.

“Ippei!”

As soon as Patty noticed me her face which had been stern relaxed and broke out into a smile.

Patty is so cute.

All I want to do is flirt with Patty but I’ll have to restrain myself under the gaze of so many people.

“You on your way home?”

“Yeah. It’s been 7 days. I’m missing the sky a bit now. I want to take a long, slow bath and have some wine.”

Even a veteran like Patty thinks such things. The wine is impossible though.

I use life magic and use washing on Patty.

“Aah………fuu……..so refreshing. Can you do that for the other members of my party later? They also care about their smell.”

“Sure. Do you want some soup Patty? I’m making a stock out rabbit bones at the moment.”

“As diligent as ever. People don’t usually eat this well in the labyrinth.”

“You should eat your wife’s food once in a while.” (1)

“That’s true. Please give me a lot of affection.”

We can’t touch each other so we have to flirt with whispers instead.

Including porters, Patty’s party consisted of 11 people so we had to prepare extra food quickly.

A Higher ranking member of [Angel Wing] called Cecily-san also helped out. She had tawny hair done up in a high style and gives off an impression of being a n.o.ble but she’s not. Her parents own a bakery.

She looks to be about my age so I defer to her.

“Here you go. Please wash these vegetables in the river. I’ll cut the vegetables and start boiling the water. Jenny-sama please make some more black tea.”

Cecily-san is impressive. She’s the oldest in the party and gives off an atmosphere that you can’t go against.

“Hey! The onions are burning. Keep stirring firmly!”

She looks like the beautiful intellectual type but is actually the scary type.

She isn’t fat but rather on the plump curvaceous side and pulls off her tight leather suit very well.

If I were the president of a company I’d want her as my personal assistant.

“Injured people should be resting! Concentrate on healing not helping!”

She speaks in a very rough and strict tone but you can tell she’s kind.

Patty obviously trusts Cecily-san as well.

After a while the 4 members of [Phoenix Company] return.

“Please look Ippei-san! I caught a lot!”

With his silver hair shining Kuro has a full smile on his face.

There were easily more than 20 trout in the bucket.

Seems like we’ll have enough for everyone.

Eh? Somethings wrong. The atmospheres changed.

Looking around I notice the sense of my discomfort.

Cecily-san has gone quiet. She’s looking down and chopping vegetables quietly.

“It’s started again.”

Before I knew it Patty’s best friend Jenny-san was next to me as if she had sensed my doubts.

“Cecily’s bad disease has flared up.”

“What is it Jenny-san? I’ve got various potions in case of an emergency.”

“Her illness is incurable.”

“What’s the name of the disease?”

“Shotacon.”

“That’s…….”

“It’s very advanced and malignant………”

While looking at the deeply blushing Cecily-san who was furiously chopping vegetables Jenny-san issued a deep sigh.

(1) For those that forgot, Patty and Ippei have a running joke between them about Ippei being Patty’s wife.





CHAPTER DISCUSSION