Chapter 49: The Burning Labyrinth
“What the hell is that? Are we all diving today?”
The man whom the president called Ishikawa spoke to me with a friendly smile.
I’ve never seen that young man before. Is he new here?”
“Yes. He’s our new rookie of the year. I brought him here today to watch.”
“Ha-ha-ha. Good for you. You were complaining about the lack of applicants. What an auspicious young man.”
“Shut up! You’ve got a new recruit with potential, don’t you? It was on TV. This is the biggest commotion since Tennoji!
Ishikawa smiled and narrowed his eyes.
“Yes, indeed. She’ll grow up to be the next generation of aces. I have a feeling.
“Hmph! If that’s what El-Seed’s evil instructor says… he’s pretty good. Well, it’s none of our business…”
The president grumbles and spits.
“Right. I’m sorry I kept you. Can I ask you one last time what your name is?
Ishikawa looked at Yuma. Yuma is at a loss for words for a moment because of the sudden question.
“Oh, um… I’m Mitaka… I’m Yuma.
“I see. Mitaka-kun. Kanzaki there is an excellent Seeker-Seeker despite his foul mouth. Support him patiently.
Yes, yes, I understand!
He seems like a surprisingly nice guy. The boss says, “Mind your own business!” but Ishikawa just laughs it off. Do they get along well with each other?
“Maika, if you get tired of the company, you can always tell me. I’ll introduce you to your next job, and if you’re as good at your job and good with people as you are, you can work anywhere.”
Yes, thank you. Mr. Ishikawa.
The president of the company is pale and says, “Shut up! Get the hell out of here!” but Ishikawa was smiling broadly. Ishikawa was smiling broadly.
“So long.” and left with the others.
“Maika-san, do you know that person?”
Yuma asks and Maika smiles mischievously.
“Well, you know, not many people used to be explorers. I know a lot of people who’ve been doing the work since the early days.”
“Hey! Let’s get the fuck out of here!
When I was talking with Maika, the boss who was in a bad mood yelled at me. He was making blue stains on his face and seemed to be very angry.
Maika said, “Okay, okay.” Tanaka beside her said, “It happens all the time.” Tanaka was laughing.
“This is the entrance to the Red Dungeon…”
The four of you are in front of a hole in the abyss.
The hole was much bigger than the one in the blue dungeon, and a stone staircase led down to the bottom. The hole seemed to be filled with heat.
We are now in a domed room, surrounded by several Self-Defense Forces personnel in camouflage uniforms, which creates a very intimidating atmosphere.
It’s a far cry from the blue dungeon where there were parents and children. Yuma gulps.
“What’s wrong, Yuuma? Are you nervous?”
The president stood next to me and asked.
“No… I just thought it was totally different from the blue dungeon…”
“What the hell. Once we’re inside, we’re still the same. Together, together. Come on, let’s go!
The president quickly went down the stairs. Maika and Tanaka followed him.
Yuma let out a breath and walked down the stone stairs. He let out a breath and went down the stone stairs.
Red Dungeon, Layer 1.
The stairs lead to a cave, and as they pass through the cave, they are flooded with light. Yuma is so dazzled that he makes a shade with his hand and marvels at the sight.
“Ho~… This is the Red… The deep dungeon!”
The crimson land stretches on forever. The sky is blue, and the sun is burning my skin.
Just like on TV. So this is the illusion of the dungeon?”
“Yes. In fact, if you go a hundred meters you’ll hit a rock wall, but you won’t know it’s an illusion until you get there.”
The ‶Mirage of the Labyrinth‶ that only occurs in deep dungeons.
Neither the principle of the illusion of reality nor the reason why it occurs has ever been explained.
“Well, it’s nice to have daylight in the dungeon. It makes it easier to work.”
The president says so matter-of-factly, and then he slings the big bag back on his shoulder.
We’re not here for one level. Let’s get to the tenth level!
The four of us walked through the scorching earth toward the lower levels. The temperature felt as if it were over 40 degrees Celsius.
I wondered if this was just another illusion, but it seemed to be really hot. After walking for a while, we found a cave in a rugged rocky terrain.
When I peeked inside, I found that there were no stairs this time, and that the slope was endlessly downhill with bad footholds.