I take Merlin along and walk through the labyrinth.
After lots of crying, she calmed down a little and she treated me with a gentler attitude.
After talking about myself for a bit, I apologized for surprising her when we first met.
Also, If I didn’t make a contact with them, the 3 people may not have stayed overnight in the labyrinth, they could have left.
However, she said with brave heart 「Since I became an adventurer, I knew something like that could happen」, she didn’t blame me.
I who was chased around the labyrinth only because I sought warmth, was apologized to instead.
However, after all, my mind is not settled. Therefore, I suggested to accompanying Merlin who doesn’t have a weapon to the exit.
Although I say that, because I don’t know where the exit is, I leave the guidance to her.
And thus, the two people walk around.
Merlin recovered a little from the shock of losing her companions and chatted with me while walking.
Those two people were her childhood friends, it seems the three of them were always together since they were young.
From her childhood memories to recent events, she talked about various things.
Though the communication was very enjoyable to me, it was pitiful at the same time.
However, if she can feel a little better by talking, I will lend her an ear.
She reported「The exit is close」soon after.
My legs suddenly stopped and I looked behind.
…… This is.
It’s there. On the other side of the darkness.
An existence with powerful life force. It’s just around the corner.
The moment I sense that『Existence』, the chillness I felt increased by several times.
It’s already near us. Merlin didn’t notice yet, it’s at the level I want to flee reflexively.
I who is dead understands the strength of living beings to some extent.
Most likely, or perhaps unconditionally・・Can’t win. Escaping would be nearly impossible as well.
That thing should already noticed us. Slowly, but certainly getting closer.
Such thing is first. My body in which the metabolism already stopped, receives an illusion of breaking into a cold sweat.
There’s a wide difference in presence between it and the monsters I encountered so far.
This fellow is without a doubt the 『Predator』. There’s no way it’s something else.
I quickly think about turning around and a way how to correspondingly repel it.
However, the result is always the same.
『Impossible』. It’s impossible to succeed in escaping. That presence of dense life force vividly shows it.
If that’s the case, the thing I can now do is.
I forcibly send Merlin alone towards the exit and block the passage by myself.
I don’t feel any other signs of life in the passage from here to the exit. She may escape from here safely.
…… No matter what Merlin says, I’m partially responsible for the death of her friends.
Therefore, the least I can do is to help her safely escape.
It’s the only thing that the current me can do.
Merlin’s heat behind me gradually weakens and then completely disappears.
According to my heat detection, she safely left the labyrinth.
From that, a slightly troubling hypothesis comes to my mind, but now is not the time to think about it.
…… Because I’m definitely going to die for the second time.
The『Predator』is coming with faint footsteps.
Probably in another 30 seconds, it would reveal its appearance.
And then――it appeared.
…… It’s over.
When I think that my life is over, I thought about the priestess.
About 1 meter in height, an unexpectedly tiny body.
Very slender limbs, but I understand that they are tough almost whip-like.
The whole body covered by white scales, sharp claws that could easily cut iron in one strike.
The information about the『Predator』flowed into my mind when I could see its whole figure.
So much information flows through my mind that it comes with a headache.
A monster which mainly inhabits cold regions, and likes dead flesh above all.
In the countless number of creatures, it’s at the top of food chain, the difference in status is immense between it and the undead me.
It is a 『Dragon Class』――『Corpse-Eating Dragon』(Hannibal).
Give me a break.
Salivating, one of the dragon’s red pupil fixes the sight at me and shines dully.
I can’t feel relieved even though it’s this small. Its abnormal strength is being transferred to me vividly.
If I saw the appearance of the『Predator』without knowing its strength, I would underestimate it.
But in reality, the situation was far beyond imagination.
Defeating it aside, I know that even running away would be impossible, but there was a small hope.
I didn’t abandon the hope until I saw its appearance.
However, the hope was dispersed.
『Corpse-Eating Dragon』(Hanibal), it was such existence.
The guy looks at me and groans in joy like it found the finest game.
It doesn’t seem like it will let me escape.
That’s only natural. The kind called Hanibal should prefer a『Dead Flesh』.
After killing its prey, it will leave its flesh for a few days then eat it.
But it will never eat『Decaying Flesh』. They live in the cold regions because the meat won’t decay due to the coldness.
And my body is moving through the labyrinth for 20 days after the death.
To him, there won’t be a better meal.
This fellow checkmated.
Hanibal leaped at me with a terrific force, I jump to the side and somehow evade.
A big scratch is left at the place I was standing before.
Before I get up, Hanibal swings it’s whip-like arm again.
…… This is bad. I can’t dodge like this.
But, I should have earned enough time for Merlin to escape.
With a monster with such overwhelming strength as my opponent, I abandon all hope.
I died once before anyway. If this second life can save one life before it disappears, there may have been some meaning.
If that’s the case――
――Ah, it’s no use.
Even if it’s like an undead or something else.
I don’t want to die yet.
I wanted to live more, if possible.
Even at the very end, I’m so uncool.