“Then let’s move out!”

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In response to Fuyure-kun’s command, the candidates who have gathered there grab their respective equipment, rise to their feet, and begin to form a line to make their way to the exit.

If I may be more specific, those who are not injured or exhausted, such as myself, Toki-san, and Sora-san, are positioned at the front and rear of the group, with those whose combat ability has declined placed in between.

And our group is placed at the front, where we are most likely to come in contact with the monsters.

Well, this is bound to happen.

“Nevertheless, as I thought, the reason why the number of monsters coming from your route was so limited was that your group had taken care of them.”

“Though the one who dealt with them was Akira onee-sama rather than us.”

I wonder if Sora-san is conversing with Fuyure-kun because she is subtly growing bored with the cautiously slow stroll to the exit to match up with the wounded people.

She doesn’t seem to be letting her guard down, though, so I wouldn’t mention another word about it.

Furthermore, the two of them are conversing about Brush and the small monster herd that we defeated.
As a result of our effective annihilation of the monsters, it appears that fewer creatures will now approach us.

“And Akira onee-sama.
Around the next corner lies a group of enemies.”

“What kind and their number?”

“They are all small monsters like Bow and Hand, but there are about 10 of them in formation.”

“I see.
So if we go head-on, we will only be shot at unilaterally.
That’s a problem.”

“Well, that’s where I come in.”

At this point, Sora-san suddenly senses the presence of the opponents at the end of the corner and instructs everyone to halt at their positions.

I shut my left eye and begin to muster strength in my right eye.

“Can you do it?”

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“No problem.”

While tilting my head so that I can see around the corner when I jump out, all four of my limbs are on the floor, ready to dash out.

[[[Bo…]]] [[[Nu…]]]

“Too slow.”

The moment I have released the power of my right eye, I burst out of the passageway and unleash it on the monsters who have formed a formation around the corner and are starting to attack me.

As soon as my power is deployed, the arrows flying toward me, the spheres, and the monsters that launched them all turn into ice sculptures and have their movement ceased.

“It’s over.”

“This is terrific…”

“Amazing…”

“In an instant…”

When I announce to the people waiting before the corner that I have finished taking them down, the group resumes moving in response to my voice.

The only thing is, as they resume their movement, the stares directed at me, who had been watching the end of the corridor for precaution, are astonishment and…

“This isn’t a human endeavor.”

“There is no telling which one of you is the monster…”

“If this power is used against us…”

“Knock on wood…”

…a look of trepidation.

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Oh yeah, it’s the same as during the last practical training—people are afraid of the unknowable, the incomprehensible, and the uncontrollable.
What a reminder.

[You shouldn’t worry about it.]

“(I don’t mind.
If I care about this, there will be no end to my contract with you no matter how long it takes.)”

[…]

Ys is calling me out, but I really have nothing to be concerned about, so there’s no need to fret about it.

Besides, for them, this level of power may be too much, but when it comes to that woman, this degree of strength is nothing worth mentioning.

After all, as Ys said before, I don’t want to team up with these guys.
No one seems to be reliable to watch my back.

“How much farther to the exit?”

“Just past the door there.”

“All right.
Oh, and before we go any further, I should warn you, do not break the line when you get to the exit.
You never know what will occur until you are outside the ‘Maze’.”

At the words of Fuyure-kun, the members who are about to loosen their minds tighten their spirits.

I could sense the qualities of leadership in this scene.
This will prevent tragedies from happening, such as having your skull blasted off by a single unexpected blow in front of the exit.

…Somehow, I am starting to feel somewhat indignant when I recall what happened back then.
Why didn’t God lend me adequate strength at the time…

“Now let’s proceed.”

Along with Fuyure-kun’s words, we enter the room where the exit door is located and dispose of the several small monsters that have entered the room from somewhere without posing any problems while also taking it out on them at a level that could be described as mechanical.

Having eliminated the monsters, they line up in front of the black door that leads out of the maze.

“(Just for the record, is this connected to the outside?)”

[Yeah, it’s definitely connected.
You’ll be able to get out of here with no issue.]

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“(Okay.
Thanks for the confirmation.)”

I verify with Ys after eradicating the monsters, and it appears to be operating as an exit without the least hindrance.

In other words, the exit is now secured.

“Well then, let’s return through the door, starting with the wounded.”

The candidates are eventually able to pass through the black door and return to their original world with the assistance of one or two people, occasionally from the same group.

“So what about your group? Akira-san.”

Finally, Fuyure-kun stands in front of the door, and the three of us, Toki-san, and Sora-san line up side by side to face him.

Now, whether to return or not… I am not the only one who is acting alone, so I can’t say that I am staying by my own will at a time like this… 

“I will follow Akira onee-sama’s decision.”

“…”

Sora-san seems to be fine with either choice.

“It’s the same for me.
I still have plenty of energy and equipment to spare.”

“…”

Toki-san likewise has no problem continuing the exploration of the “Maze” apparently.

“So what about you, Akira-san?”

This signifies that it is up to me to make the choice.

Taking into account the information I have obtained so far and the state of the two of them and my remaining strength, I weigh the possibility of continuing the exploration of the “Maze”.

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And the conclusion is…

“They are still others left behind.
There are probably some people who don’t know the location of this place or want to confirm the truth of what Rizou-kun has told them.”

“I understand.
Akira onee-sama!”

“Got it.”

“I see.
Be very careful.”

After reaching the conclusion that I would remain in the “Maze,” I turn my back to the exit and leave the small room.

However, although I have stated that I will remain in the maze to gather information and convey it to others, my personal intention is…

“Akira onee-sama?”

“?”

“No, it’s nothing.”

Perhaps it would be more correct to say that things haven’t gone quite rampant enough yet.

That is what I thought while inwardly licking my tongue.

——————

T/N:

Well, about the three characters, Rizou Makoto, Kakitori Kio and Akakara Jiro, they aren’t really… um, how should I say… they are not exactly new characters.
Anyway, for those who are interested in knowing their identities, you can read the latest chapter of Outer World Story: Pumpkin Sorcerer posted today, specifically the author’s note at the bottom of the page.
It’s those same three people.
The author didn’t mention anything about them yet, but honestly, their names are already a giveaway of their identities. 

Those who just want hints about them, Rizou Makoto name has the word “three,” Kakitori Kio name has the word “thorn,” and Tori and Kio are names from Pumpkin’s world.
Akakara Jiro name has the word “red” in it and Jiro is the name of his isotope from the second Outer World Story series.
These are the hints to their identities.
You can tell their identities by thinking of the past Outer Word Story series, particularly, the first series.
Actually, the three of them are isotopes of characters from the second series.
There is still a bit of relation between them to the fifth series, but I will just leave that aside.

And Fuyure Saku is the isotope of Senko Saku from Pumpkin’s world.

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