Chapter 6: Labyrinth Nation



Judging them just based on the outcome of our encounter, they were nothing but a bunch of goody-two-shoes. 


That notion was prevalent in my mind; perhaps it was because I had been used as bait before.

But there was still an indescribable sense of uneasiness about that group (mainly because of that Lastiara girl).

I decided to go with the story that those goody-two-shoes made up and walked the Main Road brazenly. 


Soon, I passed by the two-women party.

However, nothing happened. 


I was tempted to ask them if I was heading towards the exit but decided not to, as I was sure that I was headed the right way from the direction of traffic on the road.


On the way, I passed various groups of people.

One group looked at me as though to appraise me, but no conflict arose. 


And then, after a few minutes of walking down the Main Road, I reached the exit. 


“I did it… I did it…!”


The sunlight singed my eyes.

The breeze carried the spirit of the season.
The clear smell that was incomparably better than the stink of the Labyrinth drifted into my nostrils.


I was back above ground.

As I was expressing my joy with my entire body, a well-dressed man who looked like a guard approached me. 


“Oi oi, you’re overreacting.”


The man smiled at me amiably.

But when I noticed he carried a sword, a lethal weapon, on his hip, I braced for the worst. 


He didn’t seem to show hostility.

From the way he was just standing by the exit, he was most likely just a guard.
He was dressed formally.
I immediately dropped my prejudice and suppressed my swelling emotion. 


“Yes, I had quite a lot of trouble in there…”


I replied blandly, testing the water. 


“Hmm, you sure look like a wreck.
I’m pretty sure you can still use the aqueduct at this time of the day…”


The man pointed to the distance with his thumb.


“…Thank you very much.
I’ll take my leave.”


I was inwardly elated when I heard the word ‘aqueduct’ while I bowed to the guard outside. 


“It’s nothing.
Just doing my job.”


I walked in the direction he had pointed.

As I walked, I realized that I should have talked more with the man.
He said he was doing his job.
I don’t know if that was an official job or not, but there was a good chance that he’d be able to help me. 


After a certain amount of walking, I found a well.

I had imagined something more modern when I heard the word ‘aqueduct’.
Nevertheless, it would be a great help.


It was the same mechanism as the wells from my world, so it didn’t take much effort to bring the water up. 

The first thing I did was refill the empty leather canteen that I took out from my ‘Item List’ with water.
The mud on my clothes was cleaned by wiping it with a wet cloth.
I wasn’t sure if washing a metal blade in water was okay, but I was more worried about the smell, so I rinsed it too. 


As I washed up, I thought about the talk I had with the guard.

There wasn’t much traffic, so there would be little chance of our conversation being overheard.

The man’s personality and looks didn’t seem bad either, so I concluded that he would be a good person to talk to if I wanted to get information quickly. 


After simulating a few conversation patterns in my mind, I approached the man, feigning naturalness.


“…Man, I’m feeling somewhat better.
The aqueduct is a huge help.”

The only entrance to the Labyrinth that got an aqueduct is this one, in the Whoseyards of the North.”

I didn’t know.
The other places don’t have one?”

“Nope, thank the Knight Nation for that.
We are the wealthiest of the five countries that cling onto the Labyrinth.”


Words I had never heard before were casually thrown around one after another. 


To be honest, I’d rather have talked about the modern-day—in other words, my own world.
However, this is a world where magic and stuff were flying about.
There wasn’t much hope in hearing about the country I was from, and asking about it would only make me look suspicious.
I wasn’t ready to bet everything just yet.


I pretended I understood everything he had said and tried to wring out more information.


“Does living in Whoseyards require a lot of money?”

“Well, yeah.
We’ve got a lot of specialized facilities built for the Labyrinth.
What, is this your first time in this country, kid?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“Man, traveling between the five countries is so easy these days.”

“So, can you tell me if there’s any place I can get to know the country better?”

“Hm, why don’t you go straight ahead from here and head to the central square first.
There’s a map with signs there.
From there, you can go to the National Library or the Public Agency to find out more.
Once you get used to the place, I suggest going to the guild or the church.”

“I see.
Thank you very much.”


When I bowed deeply and thanked him, the man scratched his cheek embarrassedly and said that there was no need to thank him. 


“No problem, just doing my job.”


I didn’t think I could stall the conversation any longer.

I might have a chance to talk to him again, seeing how much he took care of me—his job notwithstanding.
I decided to leave the place before he got suspicious. 


“See you later, then…”

“Yeah, later.”


I waved lightly and followed his advice to head straight to the central square. 


On the way, I turned around.

Because I was some distance away, I was able to grasp the full extent of the Labyrinth behind me. 


The Labyrinth that I had come out of was a massive ruin.

In the center of the ruin, a huge tree that seemed to pierce the heavens stood.
Its branches were decorated with muddy gemstones; the gemstones were similarly massive.
Maybe there was an open space inside, and there could be another Labyrinth, too, for all I knew.


I turned my head and walked away from the strange ruin.

I savored the fact that I had managed to make it out of there alive—


* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator – Mab

Proofreader – ilafy

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* * *


—Then, I reached the city.


The landscape of the city was the very picture of a typical RPG itself.

The culture tended to be Western, and the time period seemed to be around the Middle Ages. 


Uniquely enough, the road was oddly well maintained.

The road's edges seemed to be decorated with beautiful minerals that looked like gemstones.

Just like it was with the Main Road within the Labyrinth, the lines of gemstones stretched out without a break.

Perhaps gemstones aren’t so precious in this other world.


As I continued walking along the road, I found many houses.

They ranged from wooden to brick and were lined up irregularly.


The people walking around the city were vibrant and diverse.
Some were dressed in simple clothes, while others walked around with heavy steel equipment clattering about.
People of various skin tones intermingled, with the occasional beast-like features in the mix—I resonated that they must be those half-human half-beast races.
Some of them bared their sharp fangs, and some had long ears, some had bushy tails, some others had a beautiful pair of wings—I saw all sorts of fantasy races living there.


The gap between this world and my original world was tremendous.

Naturally, seeing this sight was like common sense and insanity were thrown into the same blender and mixed around like a smoothie.
At the same time, I could hear the sound of something important within me crumbling away.


There were so many people around, yet I felt so alone, as if there was no one else in the world.

The sky was so big, and yet it felt so stagnant.

It felt like the time I had gotten lost in a huge department store when I was a little kid. 


Aah, this isn’t the world I’m from…

Right now, I’m-I am…——


【The '???' Skill Has Gone Berserk】

Your mind has been stabilized in exchange for some of your emotions

Confusion is adjusted by +1.00




The ‘Display’ announced those words.

I looked at it with my mind eerily quiet. 


The symptoms were exactly as they appeared on the ‘Display’.

I gained clear thoughts at the cost of frustration and anxiety.

The ‘???’ thing made me feel uneasy, but all I could conclude was that the skill was helping me.
Without it, I would have been in the stomach of a giant wolf. 


With my mind clear, I checked around again.

There were no familiar faces or building around.


Some tremendously believable, real, and enormous surprise project, some kind of attraction of a foreign country, or maybe some undiscovered land on Earth—all those wishful theories had been stripped away. 


Yeah, there’s nothing I can do.


I was prepared for this.

What’s more important is to consider my prospects even if this isn’t real.

There’s nothing to be gained by just feeling sorry for myself.

I calmly formulated my next move in my mind. 


“First, the signboard.”


I regained my energy and walked through the city with a bold demeanor.

Fortunately, I didn’t look out of place in my attire.

Some people were neatly dressed, but many adventurers were also equipped with mix-and-match getups of swords and cloaks. 


After a few minutes of walking, I found the square.

It was the size of a baseball dome but with a fountain and stone benches. 


There was a big fountain in its center, and next to it stood a signboard.

No one was looking at the signboard.
Or rather, no one stopped and stood by in the square.
Perhaps the land was the kind that would be reserved for public events and was just a road on any other day. 


The signboard had some maps on it; it also had some history of the country on it.

In the fountain next to it stood a statue of a man.
Maybe it was some kind of monument to the nation.

I started looking at the signboard, trying to memorize all the information. 


—From what I could gather, it seemed like the country was a ‘country for the Labyrinth'.


To be more precise, it was an allied country.

The full portrait was that five nations that shared the same religion were following their teachings by surrounding the enormous Labyrinth and attempting to conquer it.
According to the lore of said religion, if you managed to pass the '100th Trial' of the Labyrinth, 'any wish will come true'.


I thought that it sounded just like a clearing condition.

If I wanted to go back home, I would have to dive into the 100th floor of the Labyrinth. 


My brows furrowed a little, but I continued reading. 


The country I was in is called the Whoseyards country, located north of the Labyrinth.

It’s a country centered on nobility that valued chivalry, with a great knight as its founder. 


The map showed in detail where I was in Whoseyards.

It seemed like there was a tradition in Whoseyards to divide the city into hundreds of numbered districts, and the smaller the number, the more the members of nobility lived in the area.
I was in the 21st district.
There was a shopping street down in the 22nd district, while the Public Agency was in the 20th district. 




Relying on that information, I decided to first head towards the library that seemed to be in the 20th district. 


The library was a conspicuous building if I ever saw one; it looked as if it was the symbol of the city.

Hence, I didn’t get lost and reached it in no time. 


I walked into the building, hiding my anxiety.

The attendant looked at me briefly but didn’t stop me from entering. 


It was a large, wooden, western-style building.

It was very quiet inside and looked no different from the public libraries I knew of.

I picked up a few books that might help me with my situation and sat down at one of the tables provided. 


I opened the book and began reading it… before I began to question the very act of reading itself. 

To be more precise, a fact that I had blissfully ignored came forward. 


“Why… I can read…”


I muttered.

In response to it, the people who had been quietly reading their books raised their heads and looked at me. 




I bobbed my head slightly.

They soon lost interest in me and returned to their readings.


It’s also weird that my apology was conveyed to them.

Some were blonde Caucasians; others had fluffy animal ears and tails.
They weren’t exactly people who had a knack for Japanese, and yet they responded to my Japanese.


The book that I held was most particularly strange.

If you looked at it closely, it was made of a strange series of symbols that couldn’t possibly be English or Japanese.
And yet, I picked it up because my mind recognized it as something that could help me better understand the world. 


My Japanese was being interpreted into some weird language, and that strange language was translated back to Japanese for me, all by itself.

Call it magic—maybe that’s a better explanation.

But if it were to happen in my original world, it would be a huge commotion.

Since that meant I should have undergone a huge modification to my brain.
My brain would have to be tampered with, and my memories and personalities would have to be added and subtracted and whatnot.
Then, the image of scientific vivisection came to my mind.
Just, horrible—


【The '???' Skill Has Gone Berserk】

Your mind has been stabilized in exchange for some of your emotions

Confusion is adjusted by +1.00




The fear sloshing around in my brain was suddenly swept away.
I was no longer allowed to regret any repeated failures, and my head was clear once again. 


I’m sure it helped me a lot, but it also brought about a bad premonition. 

The trigger seemed to be something in my mentality.

I needed to limit my thoughts as much as possible and try not to be overtaken by too intense an emotion…




I took a deep breath and calmed down.


But perhaps that calm wasn’t necessarily a good thing, but rather, something else entirely.

On the ‘Display’, the parameter of ‘Confusion’ under the ‘Abnormal Condition’ column kept getting higher and higher.
And yet, contrary to the word ‘Confusion’, my mind was clearing up.
It was an odd feeling.

The skill ‘???’ itself might have the effect of disabling ‘Confusion’, but the status ‘Condition’, ‘Confusion: 2.99’ on the ‘Display’ was deeply unsettling.


That being said, there was no point pondering about it further.

I concentrated on my quiet, unperturbed mind.

Then I read the book I had taken. 


This world, this country, this culture, this Labyrinth thing… I needed to know about all of it. 

I resolved to endlessly learn about them, so long as time permitted.

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