OmaeGotoki: Volume 1 010 - Into The Depths Of Despair

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The ‘ogre’ slams its fists into the ground and the ground at Flum’s feet starts twisting in on itself.

Crrk, crakkk---

The sound of something breaking comes from the ground below her, and with a tremble her field of vision starts to lower.

She looks down at her feet.

The ground has reshaped itself into sharp bladelike protrusions and has started twisting and spiraling, just like the face of the ‘ogre’ itself. Her legs are right in the middle of it, getting dragged into the hideous shape as she watches.

“Ah… Eh?”

The sight is so unrealistic that it takes a moment to realize that the red chunks of something that have started to take flight are part of her. As she watches, her legs sink deeper and deeper into the ground---

“Aahh… agh, gya, GAAAAAAAHH!!”

The pain finally reaches her brain and she screams.

Already the earth has swallowed her ankles, her calves, and is working its way up her thighs --- no matter how hard she wills her legs they won’t move and she can't regenerate fast enough.

At this rate she’ll be reduced to mincemeat.

“Guh, ahh… My legs… won’t, mo, agh...!?”

Sara’s the only one she can turn to for help. Flum breaks out into a cold sweat as she frantically reaches out for her.

“Oneesan!!”

Sara rushes forward and sends Flum flying with a full-body tackle, knocking her out of the meat grinder.

“Agh… u, ugh…. gaha…!”

Flum tries not to look down at the sloppy state the dull earthen blades left her legs in as she struggles to pull herself further away with only her arms. The spiral lets out a low moan as it continues to rotate despite having lost its prey.

“Hah, aggh!”

She lets out a pained voice as she starts to regenerate.

The wounds may be disappearing, but the pain remains. Not even being mutilated by the anzu was as painful as this. Even though her blood is pouring out all over the ground, however, this won’t be enough to kill her.

If I don’t die I’ll be fine, if I don’t die I’ll be fine, as long as I’m still alive, I should be fine…!

It hurts. It hurts so much she almost wishes she was dead.

“U, geh… ugh…”

Unable to breathe properly, she vomits the entire contents of her stomach.

Sara heard that Flum can regenerate, but her injuries would clearly be fatal to anyone else. Thinking to at least prevent a possible death from hemorrhagic shock, she stretches her hands out over the remains of Flum's legs.

“Heal!”

Light flows from Sara’s hands and envelopes Flum’s legs.

She doesn’t mean any harm. The mid-level healing magic Heal wouldn’t be strong enough to help with the regeneration, but it might at least stop the bleeding --- but instead, Flum’s legs start to melt before her eyes with a horrendous sizzling.

“Ahh, AGGGHH!! Agh, ahh, guh!!”

Flum’s expression twists with pain as she starts to writhe in agony. She digs her nails into the ground so hard that they break and bleed.

“W-What’s goin’ on, su!? Why isn’t my healin’ magic workin’…!?”

Sara is confused, but she’s bright enough to figure out the answer a moment later.

“...Reversal, su? Did your Attribute turn the healin’ into… Oneesan, I didn’t mean to…!”

Flum knows Sara didn’t mean to hurt her. She wants to reassure her right away, but she’s on the verge of unconsciousness and can’t form her words properly. Only a pained groan leaves her lips.

She takes a few deep breaths to calm herself and take control of her body again. It’ll probably be a while until she can move on her own again, but she tries again to form words as tears start to well up in Sara’s eyes.

“I’m, oka--- ugh…!”

“Oneesan!?”

“Guh, agh… m-more importantly…”

“What is it, su?”

“R-Run… right now…”

“Run, su…?”

She’d been so worried about Flum that a slightly larger problem slipped her mind completely.

Turning, she can see the ‘ogre’ cutting through the vegetation, headed straight for them, the spiral of meat on its face letting out a disgusting squelching sound as it lumbers forward.

Flum’s legs haven’t finished regenerating yet. At this rate, it’ll attack again before she’s recovered.

“O-Okay, su!”

She grabs Flum in both arms and picks her up. Fortunately, she’s strong enough to be able to compensate for Flum’s size and weight with sheer strength.

She starts running, easily putting distance between them and the ‘ogre’.

When she casts a glance behind her, she sees it clenching its massive green fists, lowering itself into a ready stance. Realizing it’s about to use that same attack as before, she turns her attention to the ground around her.

The creature doesn’t strike the ground, however. It thrusts its arms straight out in front of it.

“Sara, cha… r-run…!”

In other words, the target of ‘revolution’ this time isn’t the ground at their feet --- it’s the very air around them.

“FUNGAAAAA!!”

Sara cries out as she desperately flees.

Oooo---!

The air starts to twist, starting as weak as a breeze but quickly accelerating to hurricane-force.

FWOOOSH!!

The twister forms a pillar of raw power, tearing everything inside it to shreds.

Sara escapes at the last second, barely grazing her back and sending scraps of white robe flying.

“Now quick, to the side!”

“Already, su!?”

Without giving them time to recover, the ‘ogre’ strikes the ground.

UUUUUUU---

Sara flings herself to the side and away from the twisting ground beneath her, but Flum falls from her arms and onto the ground as she lands.

“Oneesan!”

“It’s fine, I’m better now!”

Flum catches herself with a roll and stands up, drawing the Zweihander in the process.

---We can’t let this drag out. We’ve got to fight back.

Holding the giant sword one-handed, she runs straight at the ‘ogre’.

Sara sees Flum’s attack and stands up, feeling reinvigorated. Heaving her mace off her back, she circles around to take the creature’s back.

Their enemy is focused on Flum. Maybe she’s its objective, just as its Status suggested.

It balls its fists again and strikes the air in front of it once more.

Flum, sensing the attack, jumps to her right.

BA-DOM!!

The unseen power whips the air into a tight, ultra-high-speed rotating spiral, punching a perfect circle into the stone wall behind her as if it were a drill.

If she hadn't moved that hole would be in Flum’s chest --- but the real issue is that the attack was clearly different from all its other moves so far.

Up until then, there was a time lapse between when it swung its fist and when the attack hit. That last attack activated instantly with overpowering force, but the area of effect was narrower and the ‘spiral’ only manifested for an instant.

In other words, it can change the range and activation speed of the ‘rotations’ at will.

They can’t afford to get careless and think that they’ll have enough time to dodge; they need to be ready for a potentially lethal blow at any moment.

It’s all the more dangerous if they try to close in, but they’d be at too much of a disadvantage at range. Flum can’t use any offensive magic, and Sara similarly uses a mace as her main weapon. Even if it’s risky, they have little choice.

The ‘ogre’ fires the same attack as before at Flum, but since its body is so large its movements are easy to read. She keeps dodging as she rapidly closes in, but Sara reaches it first from behind.

“Seryaa, su!”

She jumps almost as high as the ‘ogre’ is tall and hits the back of its head with the brunt of her mace with all the strength she can muster.

GON!!

The head of the mace and the head of the ‘ogre’ violently collide, creating a deep, loud thud. Sara using the recoil of the strike to put some distance between them.

“How d’ya like that, su!”

She fearlessly laughs, a proud grin on her face.

It was a solid hit. Any normal ogre would collapse from such a critical hit.

The ‘ogre’ didn’t flinch.

It slowly turns to face her, as if just noticing Sara for the first time.

SPLURT, SPLURURT.

Blood starts fervently gushing out of the spiral.

She only made it angry.

“It didn’t work, su…?”

“How about this, then!?”

Hoping that it’s just exceptionally strong against bludgeoning attacks, Flum makes a heavy horizontal swing straight for the creature’s gut---

THUD!

---but its thick skin completely absorbs the force of her swing, stopping her sword in place.

“This thing… it looks like an ogre but it’s so much harder…!?”

Even with its strange attacks, if its body had the same durability as a normal ogre’s they should be able to defeat it.

So much for that.

The ‘ogre’ turns back to Flum and raises a fist.

“Oneesan, look out, su!”

“Kh…!”

Flum backsteps to dodge the fist as it ploughs straight through the earth. Its very body must be strengthened by that mysterious power.

She gains some distance and stares off with the ‘ogre’.

She thought they’d be able to do something if they could only land a hit or two, but those hopes were solidly crushed. Not Sara’s mace nor the Zweihander have any effect whatsoever.

“I can’t win against this thing as I am now…”

Looking past the ‘ogre’, she makes contact with Sara. They both nod.

At the same instant, the two of them run deeper into the cavern. Their enemy starts to follow them, but fortunately it seems to be just as slow as a normal ogre. They put as much distance between themselves and the monstrosity as they can.

“What’re we gonna do, su!?”

“Just keep running!”

If only the way they came wasn’t sealed off, they would be able to make it to the exit.

They dash through the trees until finally they pass through them, coming to a solid wall. A large hole just in front of the wall leads deeper underground. Judging from its size, the ‘ogre’ might’ve come from there.

“Are we really goin’ in there, su?”

It would be reckless to just go charging into what might be the creature’s lair, but they’re being followed. They don’t have time to dawdle.

“We don’t really have a choice. We’re out of options.”

If it came down to it, she could distract it while Sara escapes, but that’s their last resort.

Flum takes a look inside the hole. It continues downwards at an angle in a perfectly straight line, and looking the walls it seems to be man-made.

She then casually looks behind her, and---

“Wha…!”

“What’s wrong, su? ...Eh!?”

Normal ogres are too large and slow to be able to move at any decent speed. They were convinced that the ‘ogre’ was the same.

They’re wrong.

The ‘ogre’ is running with its back erect, raising its knees with perfect form just as a professional sprinter would. The strain on its legs must be immense as they can practically hear the snapping of muscles as it skin turns purple from the internal bleeding, but its pace doesn’t drop, as if it doesn’t even notice. Its actions completely surpass the limits of normal living things.

Flum gets the terrible feeling that some altogether different consciousness is moving the creature.

...No, this really isn’t the time for that.

Right now they need to run with everything they’ve got. As she watches the distance between them rapidly shrinks.

If they weren’t in a cave they might be able to lose it, but there are walls all around them. Now, there’s even a wall in front of them.

All that’s left is that dark, seemingly bottomless hole.

“We’re cornered, su!”

“No, not yet.”

“You weren’t jokin’ about jumping down the hole, su!?”

Jumping down into those depths might be the same as committing suicide, but Death itself is rapidly closing in on them regardless.

“We don’t stand a chance up here with nowhere to go. If we don’t act now, that thing’s going to catch up.”

The ‘ogre’ draws closer with every passing moment.

If I’m going to die, it’s gonna be on my own terms.

She remembers the cell where she met Milkit, and the choice she made then. The memory urges her into action.

She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and slaps her cheeks. It isn’t enough to smother her fear, but it’s enough for one good step forward.

“Okay, let’s go.”

“I-I’ll follow you, Oneesan, su!”

Flum steps forward and into the pit, and Sara throws herself in after her.

The ‘ogre’ stops at the edge of the hole, staring down into the darkness, the spiral of flesh on its face simply ‘watching’.


◇◇◇


Thud.

After falling for a while, Flum lands on something oddly soft. Sara lands beside her a moment later and immediately sits up to look around. It’s dark, but not to the point that they’re completely blind.

“Where are we, su?”

“It looks like another artificial cave, but… uehh, something reeks!”

Flum tries to cover her nose, but discovers in the process that the fluid stuck to her hand is the source of the stench.

She looks down to confirm the source of the liquid.

The second she realizes just what it is that they landed on---

“Kya!?”

“What is it, su?”

Sara is worried about Flum, but she can’t be allowed to see it. Flum hurriedly covers her face with her chest.

“Ngh!? Mmg!?”

“Sara-chan, close your eyes.”

“...Nng?”

“Just trust me! And don’t open them until I tell you to!”

Sara, shocked by Flum’s sudden strong tone, simply nods. Flum picks her up and starts to work her way down the mound. Every time she feels the strange softness beneath her feet she winces.

“Sorry, sorry…!”

She apologizes over and over again under her breath as she makes her way down. No matter where she looks, no matter where she steps there are exposed bones, flesh browned with rot, and bloated faces --- the mountain of corpses seems endless. Many of them are human, but there are a few monsters mixed in as well. Among the corpses are some that are horribly twisted into a spiral, while others have had their limbs twisted and broken unnaturally.

No, it’s not just the corpses.

Even the strange grey walls of the room have deep spiral indentations in them, making Flum remember the face of that ‘ogre’.

“What is this place…?”

Flum has covered Sara’s eyes so she won't have to see the bodies, but it’ll only be until they leave the room… or so she hopes. There’s no guarantee that the area past the exit will be free of corpses. Hoping for the best, she’s relieved to find a slightly ajar door along one of the walls that isn’t warped shut.

She pushes it open slightly with her shoulder and checks the corridor beyond. No sign of monsters or corpses. Letting out a sigh of relief, she walks into the corridor and closes the door behind them before finally putting Sara down.

“Is it okay now, su?”

“Yeah, it should be fine now.”

Sara finally opens her eyes and peers around the room.

“It’s really dark here, su...”

She spots a spherical crystal sticking out from the wall.

“Should I turn on the lights, su?”

By putting one’s hand to a magic lamp’s activation switch and channeling magic energy into the crystal it’s possible to turn it on. The shape of the switch is different from what they’re used to in the Capital, but it should work the same way.

Flum nods, and Sara puts her hand to the crystal and channels energy through it. The magic lamps lining the corridor above them illuminate. Finally getting a proper look at the place, they’re left speechless.

“I wasn’t expectin’ anythin’ like this, su...”

“It looks kinda… I dunno, futuristic?”

“It doesn’t look like that ogre thing’s chasin’ us anymore, but it looks like we found somethin’ just as unbelievable, su.”

Flum grazes the grey walls with her fingertips. It feels cold to the touch; it must be made of some sort of metal.

Since they fell through that hole, however, they should be underground right now. The amount of money, let alone the level of technology that must’ve been needed to make this facility is mind-boggling.

You could count the organizations in the Kingdom that could do something like this on one hand.

“More importantly, there might be some way out through here.”

“Yeah, su. There’s a lot of stuff down here that doesn’t make sense, but our lives are more important, su.”

The two of them continue down the corridor until they come to a fork in the path. The hallway to the right is still dark; they probably need to find another light switch for that corridor. The hallway to the left quickly comes to a dead end, but there’s a door along one of the walls. They should probably start there.

Flum puts her ear to the door to listen for any sounds of life on the inside, then slowly opens the door with one hand while gripping the Zweihander with the other.

She reaches inside and feels at the wall beside the door until she finds a crystal embedded in the wall. Back when her Magic was zero she couldn’t use magic lamps. She’s a little nervous using one for the first time, but the basic principle is the same as casting Scan, except she has to channel the energy into her hand instead of her eyes. Closing her eyes, she focuses her magic energy on the crystal and the lights on the ceiling flicker to life. It isn’t a real accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination, but she’s moved nonetheless.

The inside of the room is well-furnished with a wooden desk, a shelf, and two bookcases. Near the door is a low sofa and a table, likely for visitors. While the room is far smaller than the one with the corpses, it’s large for an office. Whoever used this place must’ve been important.

“There’s nothin’ on any of the shelves, su.”

“Hmm…”

Sara heads right for the bookshelves in hopes of finding a map or something similar, but Flum’s attention is drawn to the walls.

The wall is covered in spiral indentations of various sizes. Following the grooves with her hands, she finds that they’re quite deeply indented. It might’ve been caused by the same power that they’d just encountered a short while ago---

“Oneesan, did you find anythin’, su?”

Sara walks up beside Flum and nears her face to the wall.

“I don’t know, but that first room had the same indentations.”

“It looks like it’s a spiral, su.”

“That ogre thing’s face was the same way, all twisted around just like this.”

“Yeah, that was really creepy, su.”

The clockwise-revolving wall patterns, human corpses, and even the monster. This facility might’ve once dealt with that shape --- or rather, that ‘power’.

There’s no point racking our brains about it now. We need to focus on getting out of here.

Returning to the search for a way out, Flum starts searching the desk. Only one drawer refuses to open, no matter how hard she pulls.

“It won’t open, su?”

“Yeah, it must be locked or something.”

“Just bust it open, su. There’s nobody here to care anymore, su.”

What Sara suggests would normally be criminal, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Flum draws the Zweihander and stabs around the drawer, breaking anything that could be holding it in place, then opens it.

The only thing inside is a worn notebook. Flum opens it and Sara trots around to read over her shoulder.

[Two days have passed since we lost control of it. Finally we received word from the higher-ups. They told us to destroy all our data and ignored me when I asked when they’re sending help. Maybe we’re part of the ‘data’ that they want destroyed.]

The writing is too sloppy and spontaneous to be a diary. There’s no date, but judging from the condition of the notebook it must be about ten years old.

[I wish I was never born into this family. I never wanted to come to a hellhole like this to begin with. I wish I could’ve just stayed up on the surface and become powerful the normal way instead of being forced to carry on this damn research. How’d it get to be like this? We’ve locked up all the test subjects in that room, but the energy they’re giving off has started to warp everything. We’ve even had researcher casualties. We’re dead. This really is the end.]

Despair practically leaks from the letter.

Test subjects --- Flum remembers the room full of corpses.

“It sounds like they did some sorta experimentin’ down here, su. Maybe that ogre…”

“It might be man-made. It sounds like they weren’t able to control it, at any rate.”

The letters weren’t pretty to begin with, but now even the lines of text wave and crook across the page.

[Who cares about some divine revelation? Who gives a damn about what’s best for the country? I sure don’t. I was only trying to do the right thing by joining the team. Don’t people make the country? Aren’t I a part of the country!? I don’t get it. I don’t get what those lunatics are thinking.]

[I did everything they wanted me to. My only problem was that I wasn’t perfect. Maybe I didn’t have enough connections, or maybe I wasn’t open enough with the team. I didn’t know everything, so that makes me wrong? No, they’re wrong, they have to be wrong. I’m right, dammit!]

[I’m me. I’m me. I’m me. I’m spinning, no, I’m not. I’m me, so I must be right. But what’s really right? Ahh, I’m connecting. I can feel everyone connecting. If spinning knowledge leads to wisdom, does that mean it’s right?]

The writing is now so large and messy that ten letters fill a whole page, making it almost impossible to read. Flum can practically feel the author losing their sanity as they write.

“Spinning wisdom… Connecting, su...”

“I don’t really get it, but I think this is thanks to that leaking energy or whatever.”

“...I think so, too, su.”

Does that mean that 'power' can even affect our minds?

Turning the page again, the writing has grown so messy that Flum has to follow the letters with her finger as she reads.

[I want to connect. I want to be connected. That’s how you gain true wisdom. I finally get it; all of us, from the beginning, aimed for this, desired this, believed in this. We’ve finally found it, so why am I holding myself back?]

[All the other researchers are connected. Soon I’ll go, too. Where? Death? I don’t know. True wisdom is beyond the reach of the human body, so that’s exactly why I need to overcome the human body. But, ahh, what if I’m not fulfilled there either? True wisdom, true peace, needs to be brought about by punishment, subjugation---]

The writing has a strange sort of regularity to it, however, so following it with her finger is more than enough to make sense of it.

The text on the final page---

[FLUM APRICOT]

---is in the shape of a perfect spiral.

“...”

They both stare at the page in silence.

Flum’s shaking grip starts to crumble the edges of the notebook.

“...Again?”

“Oneesan...”

“This is a pretty old notebook, right? It should’ve been written back when I was just a little girl, living peacefully out in the country… Why’s my name here!? This just isn’t right!!”

Not even she knows whether her overflowing emotions are terror or rage --- she throws the notebook to the floor, shoulders heaving with every disoriented breath.

“All I wanted… All I wanted was a normal life in my hometown. Even if that’s impossible now, after I met Milkit, I thought I could maybe, just maybe live an ordinary life with her in the Capital… I came here by complete coincidence, so why the hell is this happening!?”

“I-I’m so sorry, su.”

Sara is undeniably the reason Flum is here now. She herself feels the weight of that more than anyone. She regrets her carelessness as she balls her fists, her eyes moist.

“...Ah.”

Seeing Sara on the verge of tears, Flum comes to her senses. It isn’t enough to dispel terror eating away at her heart, but it is enough to make her remember that she can’t just lash out at random.

Crouching down to meet Sara’s eyes, she puts a reassuring hand on her head.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like I was yelling at you.”

“No, it’s all my fault, su. If I hadn’t found the notes on this cave, things might’ve ended a lot better, su.”

“That’s not true. If you hadn’t found those notes for me I’d probably still be looking for information on the chiaraly.”

“Oneesan...”

A fat tear falls down Sara’s cheek, not out of sadness but because of Flum’s kindness.

“I’m sorry, su. You’re probably really scared right now, so I should be the one cheering you up, su...”

“Really, it’s fine. I feel a lot better now.”

Forcing a big sister act is enough to calm Flum down a lot. If she was alone she’d probably still be panicking. She’s honestly and completely thankful that Sara is with her right now.

“It doesn’t look like there’s a map in here, so let’s check out a different room. Okay?”

Flum wipes away Sara’s tears with her hand.

Sara, feeling the warmth of Flum’s hand and managing to draw some courage from it, finally smiles again and nods firmly.


◇◇◇


They continue searching for a map or for any door that might be an exit, but they come up with nothing. The facility proves to be a lot larger than either of them had thought, and it looks like it’ll be some time still until they’ve searched everywhere.

The deeper in they go the more warped the walls become, and at some points the corridor itself has been twisted like a screw.

The ‘power’ responsible for all this must be truly immense. No wonder none of their attacks worked against that ‘ogre’.

“This place really is something, isn’t it?”

“Whoever made this place must’ve been doin’ some really important research to have made it so big, su.”

“Well, if they could properly control that twisty power then it’d be a powerful weapon for sure.”

“It might even be enough to beat the demons, su.”

Given all they've seen so far, it’s all but certain that the Kingdom itself is involved. Since the entirety of the Human Realm has been unified, the only reason why they could possibly desire power would be to stand against the demons. In other words, the organization behind this facility is the same royal family that cooperated with the Church to drive out the apothecaries. It’s common knowledge that they’re corrupt, but not even Flum would’ve expected them to dabble in something as foul as human experimentation. She bites her lip in irritation.

Then, as they walk though the dull grey corridors, they can faintly hear a strange sound coming from ahead of them.

“...eeee...”

The facility has been completely silent up until that moment, so they both notice the faint sound instantly and stop in their tracks.

“I think it’s a voice.”

“There might be someone else alive down here, su!”

Sara tries to run ahead, but Flum stops her. There’s no guarantee that it’s a human; it might be a monster of some kind.

They proceed slowly and carefully.

“Aaa… mee…! Somebo… eee…!”

The closer they get, the easier it is to make out the sound. It’s unmistakably a woman’s voice.

“Aaagh, help meeeee! Somebody, help meeeee!”

She’s calling for help. Far in front of them they can barely make out the voice’s owner.

The woman has her white hair tied back into a braid and is wearing a long white coat. She’s sitting right before a turn in the corridor, her knees curled up by her chest as she faces the ground --- maybe that’s why her voice sounds somewhat stifled.

If she’s calling for help, why’s she facing the ground like that?

Flum, wary of her contradictory actions, motions for Sara to wait there as she approaches the woman alone.

“Aaagh, help meeeee! Somebody, help meeeee!”

Even when Flum is right behind her she continues to repeat those same words.

She almost definitely heard the sound of Flum’s footsteps.

Maybe she thought Flum was a monster, or maybe she’s lost it.

Regardless, she’s probably been through something terrible.

“Aaagh, help meeeee! Somebody, hel”

The instant Flum lays a hand on her shoulder the woman stops screaming.

Flum lets out a sigh of relief that she’s finally been noticed and casually addresses the woman.

“Are you okay? Don’t worry, I’m human, not a monster.”

The woman slowly turns to face Flum.

No, maybe it’s incorrect to say she ‘faces’ Flum.

She doesn’t have a face, after all.

A hideous spiral of meat twitches, squirms, and spirals. Not only her long bangs but her knees and the front of her clothes are stained crimson with blood.

A spurt of the viscous red fluid hits Flum in the face and she shrinks away in horror.

Then, the monstrositywoman speaks.

“Fooound yoooou.”

Its voice didn’t sound muffled because it was facing the ground; it was strangely stifled to begin with.

It nimbly grabs Flum’s hand off her shoulder and forces it into the exposed flesh on its face.

Squelch.

The spiral absorbs even the gauntlet on Flum’s arm, and the repulsive lukewarm sensation of raw human flesh causes her skin to crawl.

“Eh, AAAAAAAAAAHH!!”

She lets out a cry of fear and tries desperately to pull her arm out, but the strength of the ‘woman’ is otherworldly. Not even the effect of her cursed equipment is enough to even budge it.

With perfect timing, the sound of a certain something’s footsteps comes from around the corner just in front of them.

It’s nothing like the sound of Sara’s padding feet as she rushes to help.

The abnormally quick footsteps suddenly stop just around the corner. Then, as if peeking in on the situation, it sticks its head out from around the corner.

“Ah… aaahhh…”

Its face is a large spiral of raw flesh.

Its skin is green, stained almost black with blood in places.

Its body is far larger than that of a human’s, its muscles bulging out of its monstrous form --- it’s the ‘ogre’ they left on the surface.

“N-No… NOOOOO!!”

Flum violently shakes her head back and forth as she tries to deny what’s before her own eyes.

It’s large enough that it shouldn’t be able to even fit through the narrow corridors, but it somehow manages by crawling like a hamster through a pipe.

It must’ve also set up the trap in front of them, forcing the woman’s ‘corpse’ to repeat its dying cries over and over again while it waited impatiently for them to come and try to save her.

“Let go! Let go, let me goooooo!!”

“Oneesaaan!”

Flum’s and Sara’s cries echo emptily through the corridors. No matter what they try, the spiral in the middle of the ‘corpse’s face doesn’t let her go.

She can’t run.

If she takes a direct hit from it at this range, she’ll no doubt die instantly.

The ‘ogre,’ determined to finish what it started, raises its arm.


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