First Outer World Story Series: The Black Mist that Devours - Chapter 18
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
(Commanding officer of the human side, Otachi Mamoru POV)
“The cause of death is peculiar?”
My brows furrowed at the report my subordinate delivered to me.
My name was Otachi Mamoru, and I was the commanding officer of the barrier monitoring unit overseeing Labyrinth X-J1. It has now been a whole day after the evacuation from Labyrinth X-J1, and to deal with the aftermath, I had been assigned the task of autopsying my deceased subordinates and saving the wounded ones. Those who had advanced in level were reviewing their newly acquired skills. Of course, supervision of the labyrinth had not been neglected.
Then one of my subordinates, who was performing the autopsy of a deceased subordinate, reported the matter to me.
“Yes. There were 10 fatalities in this operation, and the cause of death for six of them was distinctly at odds with the previous ones.”
“What are the specifics?”
“One person was decapitated by a single sword thrust to the neck, while the remaining five were pierced once in the heart and once in the head. Those who were present at the moment of their deaths testified: A cloud monster arrived out of nowhere and slaughtered them.”
“A cloud monster…? A brand-new demon?”
“It is likely.”
“Excuse me for interrupting!”
A new subordinate entered the room. As I recalled, he was entrusted with gathering information from his unit members and summarizing it.
“What’s up? Is something wrong?”
“Yes! I was collecting information from the soldiers when I came across some strange testimonies, so I came to report them.”
“Yes. It seems that during the last battle after our troops were destroyed by the cloud monster, the cloud monster also assaulted the goblins, who were supposed to be their allies.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know. However, the testimonies I obtained from multiple soldiers made it inconceivable that they were mistaken, nor was there any evidence of the application of any mental skills.”
“I see. The both of you can go now. I’ll figure it out.”
As I collected my thoughts, I shut my eyes.
A cloud monster that attacks irrespective of friend or foe. It could be a lunatic, something else that has lost its sense of both allies and enemies… no, it could even be a third force. In fact, in light of the situation, it would be more appropriate to ascribe it to a third force. If so, that voice of advice I heard shortly before I announced the order for the retreat may have been the voice of that cloud monster.
Now, the question is then, which force is on the move? Truthfully speaking, if they were in their right minds, they would have left something as painstaking as a dungeon to us, and they would have made use of their skills to accomplish their desired ends…
My thoughts were not falling into a coherent pattern anytime soon.
[Hmm. Is that the situation on your side? I mean, the Demon King of ‘Ogre’s Fortress’ is even worse than I expected.]
“I have no doubt that a Demon King should possess minimum stats of over 30, so that’s a vivid reminder that intellect does not equal wisdom.”
Right now, I was contacting Kurokiri while being outside the dungeon. After explaining everything, Kurokiri delivered the following lines.
[Well, intellect is a measure of how efficiently you can put your magic skills to use, and it doesn’t play that much of a role in decision-making and strategy planning, so I suppose you could say it’s not so strange. After all, 30 stats for a Demon King originally corresponds to 6.]
“I know such things. That’s how much of a hot-blooded idiot he turned out to be.”
I can hear Kurokiri laughing on the other end of the transmission. Did he catch onto some kind of key point?
[Oh well. I’m working on a series of things over here. You’ll have to stick to your part for a while longer. Oh, and don’t forget the promise we made at the beginning, okay? It would be a folly for the Kirijin to be exposed now.]
“(Tch) I understand.”
I replied in approval while clicking my tongue in her mind.
[Well, Ichiko. In two or three weeks, if they don’t take the Demon King’s last breath, you can expect nothing will matter regardless of what happens.]
[By that time, both the Demon King and the dungeon there will be of no use to us. Since we don’t have a clue what will become of the dungeon after the Demon King loses his life, I intend to confirm that. Oh, and once the dungeon has been destroyed, come back. We’ll have a briefing session with Ryo. So, don’t do anything rash.]
With these words, Kurokiri cut off the communication.
But still, two or three weeks to go? What do you mean? Could it be that by then the military will be plunging their blades into that Demon King’s throat?
Whatever the case may be, if I have an opportunity to meet Lady Ryo again, I must give it my all.
With renewed enthusiasm, I began preparing to infiltrate the dungeon once again.
Check out other Outer World Story series in order: Outer World Story: The Black Mist that Devours (First series), Outer World Story: Pumpkin Sorcerer (Third series), Outer World Story: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture (Fourth series)
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