89-89 Reunion

──── I thought I was dead.

 I managed to land on the ground, and as I looked around, someone called out to me from behind.

"...... Hey, [stakeout]. What the hell did you just do ...... to me?

 I turned around and saw a group of people in armor behind me.
 I've seen that armor before.
 They must have been the soldiers who entertained me earlier.

 As I was looking at them, the man in the strange armor who called me [Stake Driver] came walking up to me.
 I remember this man's name.
 I think it was ────.

"You are Sigil of ────[saving].
"────[moment]. It's [moment]. Just call me Sigil. There's no need to try to remember two names. ...... Why are you falling from the top? I thought I told you to wait downstairs. ...... No, what was that monster back there anyway? I'm not sure what to make of it.
I'm not sure about that either, to be honest. ......

 I believe that the demon was a skeleton.
 I'm not sure if that's true or not.
 I'm getting less and less sure.

 Astira said it was a skeleton, but to be honest, I'm not sure if I can call it a skeleton.
 That thing I just saw was hardly a bone monster.
 It's more like a creepy "meat on the bone" monster.
 But I don't have any knowledge about it, so I don't know how to explain it. .......

 As I was struggling for an answer, I heard a small moaning sound coming from behind the big hole where the monster had fallen.

I thought I was going to die. ......!

 I looked and saw a familiar woman crawling out of a large hole in the floor.
 It was Astira.
 When she found me, she looked at me with a slightly tired look on her face.

"...... Noor ......? What was that, ......? Why is that thing suddenly falling down like that ......? I was almost caught in it. ......

 I'm not sure what to make of this.
 I'm not sure if she was following that monster up that hole from the back of the labyrinth.
 And then I knocked the monster down. ....... I see.
 I was so desperate to protect myself that I didn't pay attention to that.
 Well, even if I had noticed, I don't think I could have done anything about it. .......

"I'm sorry, I didn't pay that much attention. Maybe it's my fault.

It was you, after all. ...... Well, I was able to dodge it just in time, so that was good. But when it came at me from above, I really thought I was dead.

 Astila laughed a little, then looked around and made eye contact with Sigil, who was standing beside me.

Oh, there's a person at ...... hello. Uh, ...... who are you?
"Your eminence, ────?
Just in time. Sigil, you should ask her about that monster. She'll know a lot more than I will.

 I was a little relieved when she appeared, but Sigil and the other soldiers in front of me all knelt down facing her.

"Your Eminence, have a safe trip.
"...... Well, well, ......? You mean ...... me, your eminence? Who the hell are you people, ......?
"...... play. There is no other master that we serve, except you.

 Astila seemed puzzled by their actions.
 Regardless of her state of mind, Sigil continued.

"──── Your Eminence. I have something to report first. We were ordered to capture the man, but our port side alone was no match for him. I must first apologize for returning without fulfilling your orders.

 Sigil and the others bowed their heads to the ground and waited for Astira's answer.

"...... Well, ......, what is this? I'm not sure what you're talking about ......? Hey, Noor ......?
"......No, you don't have to ask me. ......?

 As Astila and I were both puzzled, we heard a familiar voice again.

──── Let me explain that to you.

 The owner of the voice was the Prince of Mithra.
 Lean was right behind him.

"Dr. Noor, be safe.
Lean too.

 When Lean and the others came to us, Sigil looked up and asked the prince.

"Your Highness. What the hell is wrong with ...... your eminence? You seem a little out of sorts.
"Yes, that's right. Your mother is a little confused right now for some reason.
"...... Well, ......? Your mother is ......? Am I ...... or ......?

 As Astira tilted her head in confusion again, the prince leaned closer and overheard her in a quiet voice.

──── I'm sorry, but I need to talk to you right now. I hope I can explain the situation to you in due course. ......
"......Well, okay. I'm not sure, but I'm your mother now, aren't I ......?
"...... Yes. You are my "mother" and the "Pope" of this Holy Mithraic nation. In this situation, it's better to keep it that way (・・・・・・).
"......Kyo......KyoKyo......? ......Wow, I get it. ......Anyway, leave it to me. ......! I'm still pretty confident in my acting. ......!

 I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who can't wait to get started.

"At ......, Mother. I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.
"Yes, ...... yes. Yes,......, well,...... my memory is a bit foggy at the moment,...... so I'll leave the rest to him,......, Mr. Tyrence!
""...... you?"

 The six people who were kneeling down to her all tilted their heads and looked at each other.

The six people kneeling before her all tilted their heads and looked at each other. "......It appears that Your Eminence is quite confused. ......Tirens, what the hell is going on down there?
"It's a genuine emergency. I won't go into details, but the Labyrinth of Sorrows is currently active. That's why there's been such an upheaval in the city.
The Labyrinth of Sorrows? No way. ......? Didn't you already go through ......?
I don't know why, but the Dungeon Master is back, and your mother was injured in the fight. On top of that, demons are still sprouting up at an alarming rate,......, and we need to deal with them quickly. How many available soldiers do you have now?

 The prince looked around.
 There were many soldiers in armor lying around in the large domed room.
 There seemed to be at least several hundred of them.
 Some of them were standing, but they were somewhat listless, and they were all looking at us from a distance.

"Your Highness.

 A large man stood up from among the fallen soldiers and approached the prince.

"...... Ryba? What is this look of the soldiers, ......? ...... No. Is this you, Lean?
...... Yes. I think I may have gone a little overboard.

 I'm not sure what to make of this.

"As you may have guessed, I tried to capture the guest there on your eminence's orders, but I was no match for ....... On the contrary, this is what happened.
"Even though I was a little uptight, ...... I think I was a little rough. I apologize for that.
"──── No. I was the one who was rude to the guest first. Fortunately, most of them are lightly wounded,......, and the strength that has recovered is about 80%,......, but there is no one else who would want to turn on you.
...... Oh, that's good. That order is no longer valid. From now on, those who can fight should surround the cathedral and deal with the demons that are coming out. Don't let a single one of them get out. And those who cannot fight, lead all the citizens of Mithra out of the city. ...... as far away as possible.
All citizens of Mithra are to be evacuated out of the city. ......?

Did you see that monster? That's the dungeon master. He'll be here again soon. This time with a lot of demons in tow. We'll be too late if we don't hurry and evacuate the citizens. Ryba, you're in charge.
"....... But what about your eminence and your highness?
Your mother and I will stay here and hold off the demons. As soon as the citizens are evacuated, we'll flee too. ──── Hurry up. Don't waste a second.
"──── Yes, sir.

 As the big man called Leyva led his troops out, suddenly the cathedral building trembled and debris fell from the ceiling.

"...... what is ......?

 The shaking continued for a while.
 The shaking seemed to be coming from deep underground.
 From the depths of the hole where the monster had fallen, I could hear the shocking sound of something hitting the ground over and over again.
 All the while, the building continued to shake, and cracks began to appear in the floor.
 The decorations on the ceiling had fallen and the walls were already crumbling.

 Everyone in the building seemed to have been evacuated by order of the prince, except for Sigil and us, but wouldn't we be in danger if we stayed here as well ......? It's a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of trouble.

 A golden-haired woman in silver armor and a familiar boy.
 Rollo and Inez.
 Lean called out to them as they ran up to us.

Inez, Rollo. Are you all right?
"Mr. Linneburg, be ready. The demons are coming. I've killed as many as I can so far, but there's no end to it. This is a labyrinth stampede on a scale rarely seen in the history of ────.

"...... Yes, I've seen the situation. I'm sure you're right.

And ...... I think he's going to come out of this with more energy. I'm sorry ...... that I fed him so much.

 When Rollo said this, the earth ──── shaking at the bottom of the earth suddenly stopped.

 Immediately, countless eerie moans echoed from deep within the hole. ────
 This time, there was a series of shocks like explosions at the bottom of the earth.
 They gradually approached the ground and became louder and louder.
 The buildings collapsed and tilted in time with the tremors.
 Now, I can see that something huge is climbing up here.

 ──── It's that thing, no doubt.

It's probably a battle for the survival of our country (Mithra).
 ...... Honestly, I don't think we stand a chance.

 The prince said in a tense voice.

So ...... lean. You guys need to get out of here.
"...... Prince Tyrence ......? But then ────

 The earth rumbled closer and closer, drowning out the voice.
 The impact caused the roofs of the buildings to collapse, ──── revealing a reddish-black sky.  

"──── Thank you so much for your help so far, Leanne.
 If it weren't for you, it would have been a lot worse.
 But this is our country's problem.
 You don't need to get involved in this anymore.
 ...... And your mother, of course. So you can stay here at ────.


 Lean interrupted the prince.

I think I misunderstood you a little bit.
 Earlier, I said that I would only help you as a neighbor, as long as it served my country's interests. Then there is certainly no reason for us to stay here any longer.
 But ──── from here on, I will join you as your only friend.

"...... Lean ......?

"So don't worry about it.
 Let us fight with you.
 We don't want to leave our friends behind and run away.
 We don't want to abandon our friends and run away. ...... That's right, Dr. Noor.

"Well, that was the plan all along.
...... I'm sorry I got you into this mess again.
No, no, no. It's more ────

 We're standing on a stone floor with a big crack in it that's ──── collapsing.

It's ──── coming.

 A roar.
 Something huge came flying out of the hole in the floor with great force.
 The impact blew the entire cathedral building apart and it exploded.
 As we used the crumbling floor of the cathedral as a foothold.
 As we used the crumbling floor of the cathedral as a foothold, we looked up to where the object that had come up from underground had flown to. ────

 There was a "skeleton" ...... that had grown a size or two larger than before, or rather, an unfamiliar humanoid monster (or something) whose bones were completely buried in flesh and had swollen to the point where you couldn't find them anywhere. "────


 With countless mouths open all over his body, he let out an out-of-this-world scream as he floated above us, covering the entire sky.