DARK MODE 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 @

Chapter 25, Part 2

 While I'm thinking about this, I notice a girl looking at me with a frustrated expression.
 
 "...is there something I can help you with?"
 "No, I just thought that you are a person who doesn't have any sense of humor."
 
 Murasaki Ako sighs.
 
 "To be honest, I thought you would be more egotistical and have a strong will. But this..."
 "Have I disappointed you in any way?"
 "It's not so much that I expected it. I just thought it was different from what I imagined. A servant in my cousin's keeping. I thought there would be something more. It's true that you're good at tricks, judging from our previous fight, but that's all. And I don't think you have anything in your character that would please my cousin. It's just that you're ordinary, that's all."
 
 Murasaki expresses her opinion to me as we walk through the underground tunnels. It matched my self-evaluation to a great extent. I think so, too. I don't understand why that gorilla is so eager to play with me. I'd rather trade places with you.
 
 "I'm a servant. I understand my position. So, I can't imagine competing with you. And to be honest I can't imagine you acting so arrogant after our fight the other day."
 "...I take back what I said before. You're good at flattering people, aren't you?"
 
 I'm not flattering. It's true.
 
 "I can't deny what you think. I'm simply stating my opinion on the subject matter as much as I'm allowed to. That's what I'm saying..."
 
 Having said that, I decided to turn around and check the safety. There was one guide behind me, but I did it just in case. It was also to cover up the conversation with Ako Murasaki, who was coming at me for some reason.
 
 (Well, it's standard in this kind of dungeon to be erased by the guy behind you, isn't it?)
 
 I turned around and called out to the guide behind me, half-jokingly thinking so.
 
 The next thing I saw was a lantern on fire on the floor at the end of the underground passage.
 
 "...!? Watch out!!"
 
 At the same time as I readied my spear, Murasaki and the remaining guides, who had noticed the unusual situation, drew their weapons and stood guard around us, keeping their backs to us so as not to create any blind spots.
 
 (Where is it...? Where is it hiding...!?)
 
 Forgetting to even breathing, I use all my senses to look around in the darkness. By now I'm aware of a small stirring sound reverberating throughout the underground tunnels.
 
 (D*mn, that was stupid. I've been so distracted by idle chatter!)
 
 Sight is of little use. I listen carefully to find out where the source of the sound is coming from. Where...? Where is it...?
 
 'Above...'
 "...!!!"
 
 That advice rang in my ears, and I looked up at about the same time I detected the source of the sound. A moment later, wielding a spear strengthened by spiritual power, I cut down several red and black things that flew in from directly above me.
 
 "What...!? Ugh!!"
 
 The long, string-like spears, which were probably as thick as a big man's arm, attacked me again, both sides of their severed bodies wriggling their mucous membrane-covered bodies while their bodies were cut in half. Quickly, I slam my spear down on it and throw it into the sewage. Damn, this thing...!
 
 "Is that sludge worm-senpai (糸蚯蚓先)...!!"
 
 I spit out at them, who are stuck to the ceiling walls like grotesque lumps of flesh. They were hideous creatures that earned both respect and disgust from the fans of the original game.
 
 The youkai that the player encountered in the underground tunnels and other places in the game, which are imitations of youkai worms, one of the families of youkai mothers, are small youkai at best, and even the largest ones are limited to medium size youkai, but what is truly frightening is their number and reproductive capacity. They are asexual, oviparous, and capable of division, parasitism, and reproduction by any means regardless of whether it is with their own species or a different species, and once one of them remains, the number of them will increase in a flash.
 
 In the original game, they appeared throughout the entire duration of the game as small fry youkai to be used as a reserve, and even the main character with the initial status was able to one-punch them, but they were always numerous. And what is more remarkable is that they are the youkai who came to distort the sexuality of many players.
 
 ...well, because not only did they spit out a mysterious white-colored mucus that dissolved only their clothes, but they also went into every hole and played the combo of stimulating the pleasure nerves, tentacle play, and then ahegao face ehh birthing play... Hahaha, as expected from 'Firefly of the Dark Night (Yamiyo no Hotaru)'. And due to its high encounter rate in the doujinshi community, it's only natural that they are treated as a senpai (senior).
 
 "But, now, it's not funny!!"
 
 I shout as I cut off the reddish-black tentacles that come at me, falling off the ceiling one after another. If it is a woman, there is a low probability of biological death, although she will die in a dignified sense because she would be played to lay eggs. However, if it is a male, it is a bad situation, no joke. The parasite breaks through their skin and lays eggs inside the skin. A full-body parasite is a disaster. I mean, it's bad enough that it is just like a curse of God. That's what I'm saying...
 
 "Murasaki-sama!! Let's retreat for now...!!"
 "What are you talking about!! This is just a small fish...!!"
 
 With an angry voice, Ako Murasaki swung her flaming sword. At the same time, a muddy stream of flame instantly burns away at youkai only. In less than a few seconds, the hundreds of earthworm creatures are charred to death, but...
 
 "They're coming from the other side too...!!"
 
 One of the guides screams and shouts. I looked in that direction and saw a large number of monster worms leaping out from one of the side passages of the intricate underground tunnels. Hundreds and thousands of these worms, some as small as a rope and some as thick as a cow's neck, gathered into a single organism, wriggled around, and charged toward us.
 
 "...!?"
 "Stop dawdling! Let's get out of here!!"
 
 I run away from the hordes of worms, probably because I have seen them in the small and dimly-lit underground aqueducts, and I pull away from Murasaki, who is intimidated by their grotesque appearance.
 
 "D*mn! F*ck! Stop!? Get away from me!! Noooo...!?"
 
 One of the two guides who had escaped together was caught by the worm that jumped out of the ditch and fell down. The guide desperately swung his dagger and stabbed the worm that grabbed his leg... but just a few seconds later, the mass of the worm swallowed him up. The guide quickly disappears from sight, and his screams are heard only a short time later.
 
 "D*mn...!!"
 
 I turned around for a moment to look at the scene and resumed my escape. I had no intention of abandoning them... but there was nothing I could do against that many monsters, and more than anything else, there was no time to save them. It would have been suicide to jump into the middle of them.
 
 "Haahh... Hahhh... Eeek...!? If we keep going like this, they'll catch up with us...!"
 
 Shouts Murasaki in an urgent tone as she runs out of breath with her hand being pulled along. Behind her, a huge amount of worms, enough to fill the entire not-so-wide passageway, were coming at us at a tremendous speed. It's a traumatic experience, by any chance.
 
 "I know it! Hahh... Hahhh... Everyone, cover your eyes and ears!"
 
 I warn Murasaki and the remaining guides and pull it out of my pocket.
 
 "I tried it before, but...!! Please work!?"
 
 I threw the fist-sized lump ball at the worm with my muscles strengthened by my spiritual power as soon as I turned to face it.
 
 The ball was thrown with a speed comparable to a professional baseball player's hard pitch, and it crushed the head of the worm in front of me, and... the moment the worm swallowed it, a white smoke and a flash of light spread in the underground waterway.
 
 '......!!!!!?????'
 
 The earthworms thrashed about as if in agony, and more than a few of them fell to the floor or into the ditches with their bodies convulsing.
 
 "What...!? Was that...a bomb!!?"
 
 Murasaki shouts. Actually, it's a little different. In this underground water system, if a bomb is used, it could collapse and bury the victims alive.
 
 So, instead, I used a white phosphorus shell, a white phosphorus ball, which is one of the gadgets I made myself to prepare for the dangers of this underground tunnel.
 
 White phosphorus is a difficult substance to handle because it is highly toxic and easily ignites spontaneously upon heat or impact. The smoke produced by its combustion is highly dehydrating. Of course, white phosphorus rapidly becomes harmless in the air, so even though there were cases of burns and other injuries caused by white phosphorus smoke bombs used by the military and police in my past life, their killing power was infinitesimally low due to the ingenuity of their design.
 
 The reason I designed this was precisely to prevent this worm. If it were a regular youkai monster, it would have no more effect than dazzling it, just like a normal smoke ball or a flashlight. However, the worm is vulnerable to dryness, and its soft skin, which is almost hairless, is not resistant to the heat caused by white phosphorus and the toxicity of direct contact with it. They have photoreceptor cells that sense light all over their body, so the light produced by combustion may confuse them. The effect is even more powerful because of the confined space.
 
 Well, phosphorus is not so easily available in the local market, so it took me a lot of trial and error to perfect it after I came to the capital...
 
 "Here it comes...!"
 
 Because of the closed area, the smoke is gradually moving toward us. Hopefully, it's oxidized and harmless, since we're far enough away from the detonation point...!
 
 "Cover your mouth! Don't breathe this smoke!!"
 
 As soon as I cover the purple girl's mouth, the smoke comes down on us. I'm engulfed in smoke and I look around and yell...
 
 "Guide! Where are you? Come here! You can't leave us!!"
 'It's no use. He ran away on his own.'
 
 The old man's voice whispers in my ear. It seems he talks to me through the shikigami.
 
 'Close your mouth. This smoke is not so good for you, is it? Try to get away from here anyway. I will guide you.'
 "......"
 
 I think about it for a moment, but then I accept his proposal with a look.
 
 "Murasaki-sama, I'll lead you away. Let's go...!!!"
 
 With these words, I started to run with nothing in front of me but the guidance of the shikigami, without any lights...

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