Chapter 1 – To Outside ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼
Junpei was standing there with a blank expression.
That place, is a space that was filled with white.
「A-re……? This is……? Why……am I……here?」
It was white wherever her looked, and he couldn’t figure out where was the floor and where were the walls.
Only the ground infinitely continues; there might be no walls. Or maybe, there might be a wall that is very near; it might unexpectedly be a very narrow space.
Or it might be that he is on top of a sphere just like the Earth, and Junpei was standing on top of that.
It was a weird space where the sense of distance is vague, but for Junpei, it was a familiar……or it might not be that much, but it is a space that can be said had an impression from him.
After all, that is the place where his classmate Kido Shouta’s head burst out, and the place where he was told about the great sage that lurks in the deepest floors.
*PachiPachiPachi*, dry claps echoes through the white space.
When Junpei turned towards there, there was the appearance of a beautiful androgynous boy.
In other wordsーーour insane God.
Carefree just like a sunflower, with that infinitely innocent smile, the God says while clapping.
「Congratulations. As I promised before, you have cleared the five floors from when I met you before, and, you gained the rights to go out」
「……ahh, come to think of it, you were……saying that……huh」
Junpei answered like that, with a blank, lifeless expression.
「Oya, oya? What happened? It is your chance to go out, but……did you catch a cold or something? You seem unwell?」
「……uhh……how can I say this……a very strong discomfort……no, in the first place……I……after that torture man……how……did……I……come……gu!……」
Junpei crouches there, and held his temples.
「What happened? Ne〜?」
Not answering to the God’s words, Junpei only endured the fierce pain that attacks him without saying anything.
While grinning, the God observed Junpei’s agonizing appearance very curiously.
ーー*Guwan*, *Guwan*, his head shook. His vision turns around.
As if he had a terrible motion sickness, something sour comes up from his stomach.
Within the pure white space, a yellowish gel-like thing was scattered.
Junpei breathed with his shoulders. He finally calmed down after vomiting.
At the same time, his headache gradually disappeared.
「Are you alright?」
Making a full smile, *Pachin*, the God snapped his finger.
And then, the God was already holding a glass cup in his left hand.
「Now, drink it」
Junpei thought for a while with a blank expression, and finally took the cup.
He drank it all at once, and let out a deep sigh.
「What happened really? You seem to be quite suffering. Also, somehow……you seem like you’re absent-minded, it feels like your spirit isn’t there」
In Junpei’s vision, a noise ran.
A static white noise just like in old television dominates the surroundings, and on top of that, *Picon*, an electronic sound effect echoes in his head.
ーーError. Error. Memories are chaーーtoーーthe owner’s &e4p * esakiーーvalidーーated. The thesaurus points are decreased by 5, memory circuit will be reorganized.
And then, the pain in his head disappeared as if it was an illusion, and his thoughts became clear.
Junpei who regained life in his eyes, immediately glared at the God.
「……really. Since I met you, a Medusa, a Satori, an insane bastard……and on top of that, a torture man. This labyrinth is really rottenly crazy」
「Come to think of it, earlier, didn’t you mention the torture man? Like, how you were able to reach this place after that or something」
To the God who asked with sparkling eyes, Junpei answers while shrugging his shoulders.
「How was I able to reach this place? What are you talking about? I defeated the torture man with that absurd ability. After that, I opened the door towards the next floor. After that, I arrived here. Isn’t that all」
The God crouched in his place, and started laughing while hugging his stomach.
「Ihi!……Ahyu……my stomach……my stomach……it hurts……」
And laughing just like that, tens of seconds.
In the end, it started to tremble and convulse, as if he had difficulties with breathing.
It is unknown and doubtful if there was a meaning of that, but it seems like the God was trying to get calm using Lamaze Method.
Finally regaining himself and standing up, he said this while wiping his tears with his little finger.
「Uhh, you’re really interesting you know?」
「……from my perspective, you’re the one who’s pretty much like ‘that’ though?」 (TL: crazy? insane?)
Receiving those words, the God almost laughed out again, but he thought twice, and patted both of Junpei’s shoulders.
「Well, being like ‘that’ is for the both of us……I guess」
And there, once again, *Pachin*, the God snapped his fingers, and nodded exaggeratedly.
「Well, it meansーーyou, you got through the torture man’s floor, and finally gained the qualifications to go out to the outside world」
Within his consciousness that was somewhat absent-minded, Junpei whispered while opening his mouth by half as if it had nothing to do with him.
「……to the outside world, are you really letting me go out?」
「I promised a while ago right? While saying that your status are too distorted」
「Ahh, well, that’s, that’s right though」
「For example, there is going to be a magma pool in the floors ahead. Even how fast you are, you can’t dodge the heated air that fills the whole floor. And with your status, you wouldn’t be able to endure the heat. Meaning, it’s impossible for you to clear it」
“And”, the God continued.
「In the first place, in your case, even before mentioning that your status is too distorted, since your job is in the lowest, the level up bonus itself is too small. Even if you place the bonus stats from now on, you can’t reach the least needed amount. You’d die until that. If that is so, it would be against the rule of『From the time that you have entered the labyrinth’s first floor, it should be possible for anyone to clear it』. I mean, it’s already against it you know」
「I also thought about before, but, why is it bad if it was impossible to clear?」
“Fufun”, the God distorts his lips, points down once, and tilted his head towards Junpei.
「Hey, you? After breaking through the last floor, what do you think is there? Just like me, living for so long that living would be equivalent to pain, and only able to ask for deathーーthe Great Sage that I talked about before, why do you think he is aiming for that?」
「The Great Sage……unlike you, he had escaped the unlimited life of hell, and was possible to die right?」
「Yeah. But, right now, as the group leader of the ones aiming to break through the labyrinth, he had even extended his life……and was desperate to gain that ‘thing’ that is at the end of the labyrinth」
Thinking for a while, Junpei shook his head sidewards.
「……I don’t know. No, in the first place……that doesn’t matter」
「Oya, oya, you’re already a participant of the ‘festival’ you know? On top of that, with that special cheat skill, you’re competing with as a seeded one you know?」
「Kodoku(蠱毒), or maybe a lonely(孤独Kodoku) race? Well, anything’s good……this is something you can be proud of you know」
Junpei made ambiguous eyes towards the God, and whispered as if to give up.
「As usual, you’re not planning on answering my questions right?」
“Un”, he nodded, and the God laughed.
「You……shouldn’t you die at least once?」
Waving his hands, the God smiled lightly seeming as if he didn’t care.
「And, with that, you’re going to the outside world starting now……un, there’s already no time left」
While looking down at the wristwatch that shouldn’t have existed a moment ago, the God annoyingly whispered.
「……time? You who is not even allowed to die within the flow of unlimited time, you whose mind had even changed……you who are a super-class free timer……worries about time?」
“Ahh”, the God nodded and said.
「It’s true, that I have a lot of free time. So much that, really, I couldn’t handle it. So much that I would play around the fate of you humans, and create a show for just myself……it’s true that I have a lot of free time. However? Within this labyrinth, even I……no, it is because it is I, towards you who are participating in the festival, I am not able to intervene excessively」
「It is because it’s you……that you can’t intervene?」
And there, *Pishari*, the God clapped his hands, and started to talk very quickly.
「I’ll make this short. Your goal for the meantime, there are two. First is, register on the Adventurer’s Guild, and become an adventurer who is above A-Rank. Doing that, you will be able to have an advanced job. Meaning, your level-up bonus is not 5 like up until now, but becomes 15. The level up that you have up until now is also recalculated, and you will gain strength that cannot be compared with what you have right now. However, the limit is half of a yearーーif that passes, in whatever situation you are in, you will be returned to the labyrinth」
「And……the other goal is?」
The God mischievously laughed, and licked his lips.
「The ones who had teleported with you from Japan……they’re outside right?」
「That is, well……they probably are」
The God nodded in satisfaction with Junpei’s words.
「You want to……get revenge right?」
The instant the God asked that, on the back of Junpei’s mind, the numerous things that happened in the labyrinth flows like a kaleidoscope.
ーーCerberus, cannibals, homunculus, torture man……really……they were really no goods.
And so, Junpei nodded strongly, and answered the God’s question.
「Of course. To do that, I spat out blood, slurped mud, ate shit……I used anything, and was able to live up until now」
The God approached Junpei without noticing, placed a hand on Junpei’s shoulders, and nodded a lot of times as if he was happy from the bottom of his heart.
「Un, un, that’s right. Well, whoever it is……if they were forced down just like that, they would want revenge right? AndーーI want to see that. Also, it’s not only the thing that I want to see, but it would also connect to your strengthening」
「Thesaurus points………there would be huge effects on the hidden parameters. Because of the revenge……a very interesting thing would happen you know?」
「Because of finishing your revenge, there would be a change within your mind; the seal of the thesaurus points would be broken」
With a wink, the God smiled bewitchingly.
「That’s right. The seal ‘she’ put onto you」
At the same time he said that, the God held both of Junpei’s cheeks, and opened his mouthーーhe licked the tip of Junpei’s nose.
The feeling of a wet tongue. And with that moist breath, a sweet and sour fragrance were mixed.
To the too sudden happening, Junpei was petrified for an instant.
ーーif I’m correct, before, it was a kiss on my cheeks right……is this shota God really a boy……or is ‘he’ a girl.
And, thinking up to that, Junpei’s body finally reacted.
He pushes out his hands, and removes the God off of him.
The God also, he took a backstep himself and took distance from Junpei.
And, with a grinning expression, he observed Junpei from top to bottom as if to play with him.
「Really, you’re very cute」
“And, with that……”, the God continued.
ーーwhen he noticed it, the white space changed into a cave’s rock wall.
It’s a space that was about three meters wide. Junpei could see a golden colored door right in front of him.
Light moss that faintly shines. Inside the dim cave, there was no longer the appearance of the God.
*Gokuri*, Junpei swallowed his breath.
As he could guess from what they talked about earlier, the outside world that he had yearned for should have spread across this door.
“But……”, Junpei thought.
Just a while ago, he received the betrayal of his childhood friend Noriko, and was forced down to this cave.
And, the personality of that insane God……across this door, is not the outside world, but a labyrinth that is far more difficultーーit might be literally connected to hell; he couldn’t leave out that possibility.
His true goal from the continuous act. Himself who was filled with hope, thrown into the bottom of the valley……he thought that that might be the true aim of the shota God.
「Well, either way……I’d never know what might happen……」
Junpei placed his hand on the doorknob, held it, turned, and pushed open.
The first thing he felt, was cold air.
He immediately figured out that that fresh air.
It is very different, from the air of the labyrinth that is heavy, damp, and stagnate.
Junpei took a deep breath.
The smell of thick greens. The scene that spread before him, it was bluish being lit by the moon.
Forest that spread around, and a lake.
While making a dumbfounded, absent-minded expression, Junpei spoke to himself.
「Oi……it is really……」
One step, he stepped on the ground that was covered by grass.
「……it is really damn outside world」
*Sponsored by Shin Amazake-sama