Chapter 9: The fat aristocrat sees a little of the reality of labyrinth

Mitrof drew his rapier and took a deep breath, as if remembering something.
His heart rapidly increased its beating.
Sweat was pouring from his forehead and back.

“Mitrof!—are you alright?”

Grace ran towards him.

Mitrof nodded.

Grace pushed Mitrof back and, holding a knife, checked on the condition of the boss-fang.
After confirming that it was not breathing, she turned back to Mitrof.

“No injuries—my shoulder is just ripped through the fabric.”

“Yeah, that was close—you showed a great deal of determination.”

“Beasts are most terrifying in their dying moments—but still, why didn’t you let go of your sword?”

Indeed, Mitrof thought so too.

After thrusting the rapier into the boss-fang’s mouth, he could have let go of it.
But instinctively, faster than thought, his hand gripped the handle.

“I told you yesterday, I am a noble.
Nobles duel.
If I let go of the sword, the duel is lost.
As a noble, the first thing you learn is never to let go of your sword even if you die—it’s a race where honor is more important than life.”

Grace frowned deeply, seemingly finding it difficult to understand.
She appeared exasperated.

“I understand that you value your honor; however, monsters don’t care about your honor.
If you keep that up, no matter how many lives you have, it won’t be enough.”

“I know—I’ll be careful.”

Mitrof nodded obediently, his nose heavily exhaling with sweat pouring down.

“Also, you should lose some more weight to move more easily.”

Grace said it seriously.

She wasn’t making fun of him by saying he needed to lose weight; it was a logical judgment that being overweight would hinder him in battle.

That is why Mitrof can honestly nod his head.

The abundance of excess fat around his belly made it impossible for him to even see his own feet.
He was slow to step and had a delay in his movements.

The rapier was a weapon that was terribly incompatible with this heavyweight body.

“… But, you see, thanks to this weight, I didn’t lose to the boss-fang’s tackle either.”

Mitrof tried to justify himself.

Weight is strength.
If it weren’t for this excess fat, Mitrof would have easily been knocked back and maybe even more seriously injured.

Grace acknowledged that but said, “That’s the job of a shield tank—do you want to become one?”

“…I’m considering it.”

Indeed, this physique is suitable for serving as the shield tank that blocks the monster’s attacks during the party’s battles.
The problem is that Mitrof has no knowledge or mentality for it.

For Mitrof, who learned aristocratic swordsmanship, attacking means avoiding it.
He just couldn’t avoid it because of his excess fat.

Lose weight or change your fighting style.

If he continues to challenge the labyrinth like this, he will have to consider that direction.

After Mitrof’s breathing returned to normal, the two of them retrieved the fangs from the two fangs.
The boss-fang had especially fine fur.

While it seemed like taking it home could lead to a good price, due to its massive size, it would also be quite a hassle to skin the fur.

After weighing the purchase price against the effort and time, they reluctantly decided to only collect the fangs.

“Even though it’s a boss-fang, it might be more efficient to use the time spent skinning the fur to take down other small games.”

Grace says.

“You seem a bit disappointed,” Mitrof observed.

“No…well, maybe, just like how you refused to give up your sword out of pride as a noble, I, too, may have pride as a hunter.
Just taking the fangs from the hunted animal and abandoning the rest doesn’t sit well with me.
It’s bothersome.
I want to dismantle it.”

The extremely serious expression on her face surprised Mitrof a little, but he remained silent.

Maybe it was not something he expected to hear from a beautiful girl with such a refined face.

Leaving the boss-fang behind, Grace gazed intently at the area where it was.

“Are you thinking of going back?”

“…No, it’s fine—this way, we leave prey for other living beings to survive.”

“What do you mean?”

“Can’t you see it?”

Saying that, Mitrof strained his eyes, but the darkness of the corridor was deep, and he could not tell where boss-fang’s corpse was.

“People called ‘scavengers.’ —adventurers who are injured or people who have lost their jobs and can’t fight monsters anymore survive by using the remains left behind as food.”

‘I see,’ Mitrof said, nodding and continuing to look.
Soon, he thought he saw a human shape in the light of a lantern hanging on the wall.

There is still value in dead bodies.
Fur, bones, and sometimes internal organs.

Many cannot carry them with them and leave them in place.

There are people who collect and live off of these items.

Mitrof understood that this was also one of the gears that make up the labyrinth.

“Let’s go.”

Grace led the way, and Mitrof followed.

The assumption that he would become a scavenger chilled Mitrof’s heart with cold realism.

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