064. Nepia Sidewinder

On the first day, we avoided battle as much as possible to save on time.

In the labyrinth, there are certain well-used roads almost like highways which have a lot of pedestrian traffic on them and due to this, not many monsters appear if you use them.

As we originally planned we were able to arrive in the 5th ward on the 1st floor where the stairs down to the next level are located within the day.

We’ll camp here tonight and set off down to the 2nd floor first thing tomorrow.

The labyrinth mimics the outside seasons so it’s very cold at the moment due to it being midwinter.

I’m glad I bought a lot of firewood.

We kept a medium fire in all night and slept huddled up close to each other.

 

We advance smoothly the next day and my guild card changes to ninth rank as soon as I reach the 2nd floor.

Due to this being my second time it didn’t really leave much of an impression.

Here on the 2nd floor my natural enemy the skeleton resides.

My main weapon is firearms that deal piercing damage but skeletons need smashing up to defeat them so I have the worst compatibility with them.

My handguns are useless and the hummingbird’s attack is not much better.

Meg got angry with me last time because I used grenades that cost 3000 rims per shot.

It’s apparently prohibited to go into the red when calculating our income and expenditure.

Because of that, I’ve tried making more economical weapons this time.

Why was my grenade launcher wrong?

Because the grenades are expensive!

That’s how it went so there should be no problem if my projectiles are cheap!

“Ossan we’re entering the skeletons area soon. Stay at the back.”

“Fuu. Jean, did you honestly think I wouldn’t have prepared something to restart my war with my mortal enemy?”

“Have you developed a new weapon?”

“Naturally. Behold! This is the Hydro Cannon Deluxe!”

Everyone is surprised by my new weapon.

“Ippei-san, isn’t that just your old grenade launcher?”

Meg is staring at me with a scary face.

Certainly, the shapes are similar but they are different.

“No, it’s different! The previous one shot grenades but this one shoots water. No, not any water either. Holy water!”

Yeah okay, its basically a high-performance water gun.

“And how much was the holy water?”

Meg asks while looking at me with reproachful eyes.

“The priest wasn’t very pleased when I asked for a bucket of holy water but when I gave him 1 gold coin he agreed.”

“That’s 10,000 rims!”

I quickly start soothing the furious Meg.

“Hold on a second Meg. Certainly, it cost 10,000 rims, however, I can shoot over 1000 shots with a bucket! That’s less than 10 rims per shot!”

Meg is still dissatisfied but she seems to have accepted it due to the less than 10 rims per shot.

As we finish talking the skeletons conveniently appear.

Gather together and come at us. I’ll shower you in holy water. (1)

Die peacefully!

“Leave it to me.”

The Hydro Cannon Deluxe has a short range of 17 meters but that’s fine as my enemy the skeletons don’t carry ranged weapons.

Eat this!

Eeh?

Why hasn’t it fired?

Ah!

“What’s up Ossan?”

“The holy water has frozen………”

“Enough already! You idiot! Let’s go Gobu!”

The same destroyer formation as last time. Gobu in the centre and Meg with her holy attribute mace completely obliterate the skeletons.

The battle had ended before I had thawed the water using life magic.

…………..Let’s call it a draw this time around.

My eternal battle with the skeletons continues.

 

We entered the 4th ward of the 2nd floor at about 10am.

The skeletons have already stopped showing up.

In the end, I had no chance to use the Hydro Cannon Deluxe.

A while after entering the 4th ward the stone pavement floors disappear and become bare rock with rugged uneven edges.

The ceiling which is about 7 meters up as well as the walls are also bare, rugged and uneven rock.

Basically, this part of the labyrinth has turned into a rock tunnel.

The uneven rock floor was very hard to walk on and mercilessly robbed you of your strength.

I had heard that this 4th ward was the most unpopular hunting ground and now I can see why.

It’s hard to walk, there’s no resting points and there’s hardly any demons.

Very occasionally a rabbit monster as big as a dog will burst out of the rocks but as soon as you counterattack it runs away back to its hole.

We only managed to kill one and that was by Kuro using his handgun.

Kuro’s becoming very quick with drawing his gun and shooting.

I decided I’m going to start practising like a western gunman as well.

Though the 4th ward gives you many hardships we can have the small comfort that the rabbit pelt is a high-quality material known for its comfort. The meat is tasty too.

I butcher it and pack up its pelt to take back with us but since it’s near lunchtime I decide to use the meat in a stew.

I salt and pepper the meat, grill it, dry tomatoes and onions, add a leek, carrots, garlic, turnips, thyme, bay leaf and cook them all with white wine and water.

When it’s cold you can’t beat a warm soup.

“Ippei…..”

“What’s up Bonnie-san?”

“I’ll feed you…….”

The eye’s of Bonnie-san are coquettish.

How do you do that with your eyes while looking up?

“Yes…….say aan……..”

This is bad. She’s really cute.

But………

“……Eat your carrots yourself.”

*tch*

After our lunch, we enter the 5th ward.

 

There it is. The snake that more than 10 meters in length.

It’s like the Anacondas of Southeast Asia and South America.

Back on Earth when talking about venomous snakes the King Cobra is considered the biggest one at 5 meters long.

Here the Nepia Sidewinder fills that role though its classified as a demon and is more brutal than a King Cobra.

Though they can be 10 over meters long, a lot are around 5 meters long but their thickness is completely different.

They are probably equivalent in thickness to an average male’s thigh.

It’s venomous and injects a neurotoxin from the fangs in its upper jaw.

It’s eyesight is not very good since it lives in the dark labyrinth so Hikaru-kun does not work on them and throwing sand in their eyes is equally useless.

On the other hand it’s sense of smell is very good.

It perceives smells through an organ in its mouth.

It supposedly exceeds a dogs sense of smell.

It can also see in infrared and is sensitive to vibrations.

It usually hides in the rocks and is very good at ambushing people.

It’s another bad match with me who’s weak at melee.

Eh?

There isn’t a single demon I have the advantage against!

My basic are to find the enemy first and make a preemptive strike from the distance.

I’m going to need a golem that specialises in searching for the enemy.

 

I heard a rumour that there was already several parties in the 6th ward and one of them has a very impressive way of fighting.

A wizard shoots fire into the snake’s nest while the rest of the party stand outside the other exits and attack them as soon as they emerge. It’s a very efficient way of hunting.

“Oi Ossan. Can’t you do that too?”

“My magic is life magic. It’s fine to boil water but that’s about it.”

Jean pokes a nest with a stick but there’s no reaction.

Because there’s so many people around the snakes are not attacking.

Have they escaped? I guess they are right at the back of the holes.

There were parties talking about using the snakes as food. It seems like they may be edible.

A lot of snakes were edible back on earth.

I’ve never tried any but I saw them on TV. Serpent soup sold in Taiwanese market stands, snake with yakisoba and snake donburis.

The presenters said the taste was a bit watery in the soup but was delicious fried.

Guess I’ll try a bit later. If the taste is a bit weak then I’ll need strong flavouring.


(1) Apparently, you could read this as a bit of a dirty joke if you wanted to as holy water shares the same kanji as urine but urine when talking about golden showers etc so you could read it as he’s going to give them a golden shower.

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