Translator: Suzuran Editor: JackOFallTrades
「Hahaha! Anyways, let’s deal with that later. We finally reached the end of that path of mean-spirited traps!」
It was times like this that made me consider dropping my patience and backhanding the girl with my fan-blade, but I stayed calm and inspected my surroundings. The room was done in a style near-identical to the starting room. It was only a fourth the size, but there was a spring of water in the corner just like the one in the starting room and the floor and walls were designed with the same strange material that looked rough yet was surprisingly comfortable.
The only thing that was different was the lack of the corridor going to the monster room. In its place stood a gigantic metal door.
That’s probably the door that leads to outside.
「What are you doing grinning like an idiot. Now’s not the time to let down our guard. Then again, it did say that this was the exit, so that means we finished the maze!」
The redheaded girl smiled good-naturedly, so different from the insults and fights up to this point. It finally struck me that we actually escaped the trap zones.
「Huh, I guess we can finally leave. We’re probably not going to see each other again after this…」
「Feeling lonely? Well, if you want to work as my chef I’d be glad to hire you.」
「Sure, Little Miss Arrogance」
I brushed off her offer with a light insult, but she didn’t seem at all upset by it. She’s definitely as happy as I am about conquering this mountain of traps.
「It’s been ten days. I don’t know if it’s day or night anymore, but it’s going to be amazing to breath in the air outside.」
I stood up and walked toward the door. The redhead followed me.
「The sunset is starting right now.」
「How do you know that?」
「That’s what my gut is telling me. Speaking of guts, I’m going to need a meal when we leave here.」
She then licked her lips with a hungry look in her eyes.
「I must have spent half of my time in here cooking for you. When I first took up the responsibility, I had no idea it would get this crazy.」
Then again, I also didn’t know back then just how long I would be stuck here.
「The world sure is full of surprises. Who would have thought some generic-looking guy could make food that an incredibly powerful beauty couldn’t. Suspicious, definitely suspicious. Maybe you put something strange in it?」
「No matter how many times you ask, my response will be the same. And are you accusing me of something? How rude.」
The two of us stood before the double door, each holding one of the handles.
「Hey, since it’s going to be the last time, I’ll make so much food that you would collapse before eating it all!」
「That’s a wonderful idea! I won’t have to suppress my appetite anymore.」
「What! That was you suppressing your appetite?」
「Isn’t it obvious? Food is my reason for existence. If I get serious I could easily eat ten, a hundred, a thousand servings. So however much you make, I will gladly eat.」
「What’s up with you? You’re like a full-body stomach. Your stomach acids could be high level anti-monster weapons.」
That’s what I said, acting all surprised, but my mind was already racing to figure out exactly how much I could make.
Then, we both pushed the doors open. The metal let out a deafening shriek as it scraped against the ground. When the doors stopped, we could hear the noises of the new room, a chaotic maelstrom of clicks and screeches and whines and rustling.
Then, we closed the doors in wordless synchronization.
「Nope nope nope nope!」
That was when we started to freak out.
「That thing just now, am I hallucinating?」
「This can’t be happening, there’s no way this can be happening.」
Praying that I was just hallucinating from sleep deprivation, I rubbed my eyes. Then, we both looked at each other, nodded in agreement, steeled our nerves, and opened the door again.
No matter how much we wished otherwise, the sight behind the doors remained unchanged, and it was not a sight of a clear blue and open sky.
「Nope nope nope nope!」
Cockroaches, centipedes, slugs, worms, spiders, maggots, moths and mosquitos, bugs of all sorts sized up to the height of large dogs slithering about. That was the sight that greeted us as we opened the door.
In addition to the nastiness of any of them individually, the image of that countless multitude of bugs squirming on every surface evoked an involuntary reaction of denial.
Both of us averted our eyes from the view before us and closed the doors once more.
What was that? Like, actually, what was that? There’s something wrong about this.
We both just stood there in silence, scarcely able to think. The redhead curled up in a ball on the ground, covering her eyes with her hands.
「What’s going on? I thought there weren’t supposed to be any monsters in here.」
I barely caught her whisper, but it broke me out of my shock.
「I don’t know whether those things actually count as monsters, and also the rules only stated that there would be no monsters inside the maze.」
I thought back to the rules written so long ago on that mocking banner. If going through those doors counts as “leaving the maze”, then the room beyond isn’t in the maze itself and rule is technically true.
「Somehow I thought that when we got out of the maze we would be on the surface. Didn’t the rules say we could leave if we cleared it?」
「Maybe it’s because we cleared the maze but haven’t cleared the dungeon yet.」
I look at the door more closely. It resembles the doors I’ve seen in other dungeons right before bosses.
「What? Do you have a plan?」
「Not yet, but look! There’s a really hard to see engraving that says “Guardian Room”」
I punctuated my statement by pointing at the top of the door. It didn’t stand out because it was the same color as the wall and because it was written with small letters in contrast to the massiveness of the door, but it definitely said “Guardian Room”.
Again we fell into an awkward silence. Then the redhead began to shout and wave about.
「Nope nope nope! Since when does “Guardian” mean that? This is impossible, there’s just no way. How could someone be this evil?」
「Wait… Guys like bugs, right? And girls are bad with bugs. Therefore, it’s obvious you should deal with it.」
「What do you mean “it’s obvious”? Sure, some guys like bugs, but those things are a whole different story!」
「In that case… Yes! You still owe me a favor, and I’m calling it in right now! Go and deal with those bugs for me.」
「No way! The debt, um, is… I, uh, let you insult me a bunch of times, so we’re even!」
「Huh? You’re going to shirk on your favor like a coward? That’s absolutely unforgivable. Someone who doesn’t fulfill their obligations has no grounds to call themselves mature.」
「What are you even talking about?」
No. There’s no way.
If I fought, I would be chewed to pieces before I could make use of my strength.
I can fight against normal monsters no matter how gross they are, but the image of an already gross bug suddenly becoming huge was too much. I would’ve killed for some bug spray.
「Besides, it would be criminal to make such a beautiful woman fight for you, you good-for-nothing.」
「Who exactly is the good-for-nothing one here, redhead? You’re definitely the more uncaring one! All of my attacks are close range, so I would have to get really close to those things, and there’s no way that’ll happen. It would destroy my sanity.」
「You could… fight with your eyes closed?」
「Don’t say crazy things! And besides, I fight with a sword. If I attack them I’m going to get drenched in their blood and guts no matter what I do.」
「Isn’t that a good thing? I’ve always heard well-moisturized men are the most attractive.」
「They weren’t talking about blood when they said that!」
And now I have a horrific image of someone covered in the innards of giant bugs flexing. Not attractive at all.
「I certainly can’t do it. I can still picture them all rustling and squirming in their clusters as the light reflected off their mucus and their muscles twitched.」
「And yet you think I would charge in willingly? What a joke!」
And so our fight about how to deal with those most powerful enemies continued.
A short while later…
「How many times do I have to say no? You’re the one with the long-range magic. Can’t you just use the magic you’re so good at to incinerate them or bury them alive or something?」
「If you’re as good at fighting as you say you are, can’t you just jump out of the way of the blood? And besides, can’t you use the monster corpses in your bag as some sort of ranged weapon?」
Each of us freezes at the other’s words, before speaking in sync.
「That could actually work!」
But then a sense of exhaustion seized my body. If only we could have come up with that solution before we went off onto a bunch of tangential arguments.
「We were so focused on the thought of fighting them that we lost our composure.」
「I can see that now. Those things aren’t something to fight, they’re abominations to be exterminated.」
We calmly turned to the door once more.
What we even afraid of? Even if they are huge, a bug is still a bug, and bugs get crushed.
No matter what, having an ugly argument in front of the doors isn’t going to make things better.
「Who cares about bugs anyway!」
「It’s time for an extermination, you pests!」
Together we kicked the door open and charged into the boss room.
Fuelled by desperation we charged in, but that weak courage gave out almost immediately.
Our hopeless battle starts now.
Can’t wait to see more? Want to show your support? CLICK HERE to be a patron and get additional chapters ahead of time!