First Outer World Story Series: The Black Mist that Devours - Chapter 7
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Please note that there are some cruel descriptions in this chapter.
(Alpha 3 POV)
I was a member of the National Military’s barrier monitoring force’s Alpha Squad, known as Alpha 3.
A year ago, a mysterious sphere known as “barrier” made its sudden entrance into the world, and my mission as a member of this squad was to investigate and eradicate it if possible.
Since the barriers were indestructible even with nuclear weapons, it was practically a leisurely post, and I myself had nothing to do but train daily.
I hadn’t been in excellent form since this morning, though. Although I couldn’t pinpoint where my feelings originated from, I kept experiencing a tingling sensation in some part of my head.
And the source of that sensation was caused by the barrier itself.
The ominous wall, comprised of trees and concrete, was impervious to the latest explosives, and the mist billowing out from the wall was so dense that not even a ray of light could penetrate it. Not only that, even the ground was extremely muddy on closer approach.
The higher-ups designated it as “X-J2” and, of course, assigned the barrier monitoring unit with investigating this revolting phenomenon.
On further reflection, I probably should have opted out of the investigation squad by any means necessary.
That was what I thought after entering.
“What are you doing, Alpha 3? Stay alert and vigilant.”
“I simply thought we have landed in a very unorthodox place.”
“Well, I can understand why you would feel that way…”
After entering the dungeon, the first thing my eyes registered was a mist so thick that only two meters could be seen ahead. Although it was good that I can faintly glimpse my footsteps, if a lack of attention was exercised, my companions will be lost in no time.
“The ground… appears to be made of the same substance as the outer walls…”
I inspected the footing after hearing Alpha 6’s voice, and it looked to be constructed of the same substance. However, there were some minor irregularities that may cause someone to trip if they panicked.
“Alpha 1, it seems that all communication devices and GPS are ineffective in this dungeon.”
“There shouldn’t exist a ceiling here but… Just what kind of technology is this that can have a ceiling at such a place?”
As Alpha 2 reported back to the captain, I inspected the GPS in my hand and confirmed that it was indeed displaying an error status.
“In addition, there are some bizarre noises coming from the surrounding area.”
“Yeah, I’m hearing… children’s voices and dogs, maybe? In all likelihood, I doubt there would be any normal children in a place like this.”
Upon receiving reports from Alpha 5 and Alpha 4, I listened attentively, and sure enough, the occasional “Kyahahaha!” and “Aohhhh!” that was similar to the howling of a dog can be heard.
“And the only way forward is going through the swamp.”
The captain noticed something as he stooped down at a distance of only a few feet between us.
The only decent foothold proved to be around the entrance apparently, while the rest of the area was a swamp.
The captain muttered, “This is a labyrinth, but it’s more like a dungeon in a video game…”
Even I can only surmise so based on the restricted number of people at the entrance and the conditions inside.
“Well, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of the situation, in order for us to leave this place, we have to be at least 1km away from the entrance. We’ll proceed with the utmost caution.”
And so we all exchanged nods with each other as we moved into the swamp, densely clustered together.
Has it been half an hour already?
Navigating the swamp in the mist while retaining a sense of alertness proved to be an unforeseeably arduous and nerve-wracking endeavor.
The swamp may suddenly deepen without warning, and even if we were vigilant, we could slip into the depths and drown. Such a situation could have arisen if we had been careless.
Furthermore, not only did the GPS but also the compass malfunction in this environment. Under normal circumstances, we should have been able to reach a distance of roughly one kilometer with ease, but it would likely be better to have crossed only half that distance for us.
And now, what distressed me the most was…
“Are you okay, Alpha 3?”
“I’m fine, Alpha 2, just a slight headache.”
After entering the labyrinth, the tingling sensation escalated.
It was as if a reaction to something lurking in the labyrinth was underway.
“Sorry for all of this, Alpha 3, but you should see a doctor at once when we get out.”
The moment I answered the captain’s words, the itching in my head swiftly shifted to discomfort, and with the sound of something slicing through the air, the captain’s head shot off before my eyes.
“What…” “Eh…?” “Ah…?” “!?”
There was a momentary pause that engulfed all members of the squad.
Then the pause resumed as the captain’s head crashed into the swamp and his body collapsed with a resounding splash, only to be accompanied by screeching all around the area the next instant.
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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