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Unformatted text preview: Copyright So I’m a Spider, So What?, Vol. 4 Okina Baba Translation by Jenny McKeon Cover art by Tsukasa Kiryu This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental. KUMO DESUGA, NANIKA? Vol. 4 ©Okina Baba, Tsukasa Kiryu 2016 First published in Japan in 2016 by KADOKAWA CORPORATION, Tokyo. English translation rights arranged with KADOKAWA CORPORATION, Tokyo, through TUTTLE-MORI AGENCY, INC., Tokyo. English translation © 2018 by Yen Press, LLC Yen Press, LLC supports the right to free expression and the value of copyright. The purpose of copyright is to encourage writers and artists to produce the creative works that enrich our culture. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book without permission is a theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like permission to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), please contact the publisher. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights. Yen On 1290 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10104 Visit us at yenpress.com facebook.com/yenpress twitter.com/yenpress yenpress.tumblr.com instagram.com/yenpress First Yen On Edition: November 2018 Yen On is an imprint of Yen Press, LLC. The Yen On name and logo are trademarks of Yen Press, LLC 5s69wer. The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Baba, Okina, author. | Kiryu, Tsukasa, illustrator. | McKeon, Jenny, translator. Title: So I’m a spider, so what? / Okina Baba ; illustration by Tsukasa Kiryu ; translation by Jenny McKeon. Other titles: Kumo desuga nanika. English | So I am a spider, so what? Description: First Yen On edition. | New York, NY : Yen On, 2017– Identifiers: LCCN 2017034911 | ISBN 9780316412896 (v. 1 : pbk.) | ISBN 9780316442886 (v. 2 : pbk.) | ISBN 9780316442909 (v. 3 : pbk.) | ISBN 9780316442916 (v. 4 : pbk.) Subjects: | CYAC: Magic—Fiction. | Spiders—Fiction. | Monsters—Fiction. | Prisons—Fiction. | Escapes—Fiction. | Fantasy. Classification: LCC PZ7.1.O44 So 2017 | DDC [Fic]—dc23 LC record available at ISBNs: 978-0-316-44291-6 (paperback) 978-0-316-44295-4 (ebook) E3-20181026-JV-PC Table of Contents Cover Insert Title Page Copyright Table of Contents 1: Clear Blue Sky S1: To the Great Elroe Labyrinth Interlude: The Demon Lord’s Aide Sighs at a Meeting Again 2: Spirit Battle vs Mother S2: Entering the Great Elroe Labyrinth 3: Mother Attack S3: Navigating the Great Elroe Labyrinth 4: A Brush with Death S4: The Terror of the Great Elroe Labyrinth 5: Evolution S5: Escape from the Great Elroe Labyrinth 6: Guerrilla Warfare S6: The Dark Secrets of the Other World Interlude: God’s Hunting Dog 7: Demon Lord Attack S7: Reincarnations 8: Returning Monster of the Week Always Gets Killed Right Away S8: The Elf Village 9: Water Spider S9: The Reincarnations in the Elf Village 10: Playing with Dolls S10: The Reincarnations Gather Interlude: The Administrators’ Reincarnation Allies 11: Matricide Interlude: Demon Lord Interlude: Chief of the Elves Final Chapter: First Encounter Afterword Yen Newsletter CLEAR BLUE SKY Looking up, I see not the familiar ceiling of the labyrinth but an endless blue sky. When I lower my eyes, instead of colorless rock walls, there’s only colorful scenery. Well, it’s a little hazy right now, but still. Yeah, the cloud of dust hanging over me makes it a little hard to see everything clearly. Still, I never knew the world could be so rich with color. I feel like I could switch jobs and become a poet right now. I’m not talking the embarrassing kind of stuff most teenagers write. I mean real, beautiful poetry! Just so we’re clear, I’m not actually gonna do it, but I definitely could if I wanted to. Look, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m acting a little hyper right now. But come on, I finally, finally, and let me say it one more time, fiiiiinally — —made it out of the Great Elroe Labyrinth! That seriously took a while. Since there’s no difference between day and night in the labyrinth, I don’t know exactly how long it’s been since I was born in there. But one thing’s for sure: It’s been ages. I mean, I’ve been living in that labyrinth since I was first reincarnated. I’d call that a long time, wouldn’t you? Long enough for me to come near death more times than I care to count. They should make an epic about my amazing spider life. Man, for real. The Great Elroe Labyrinth is the biggest labyrinth in the world, right? Isn’t that place a bit too intense to toss a weak little spider monster into without any kind of warning? I mean, the very first thing I saw in my new life was my spider-monster siblings all killing and eating one another right before my eyes. Yikes. And our own parent was taking part in the carnage! Mother is scary. After that, I struggled with all kinds of monsters in the labyrinth, got chased around, and had my home destroyed by humans before finally fighting the kind of dragon you’d expect to find in the last dungeon of a game. Oh, but I guess in terms of scale, the Great Elroe Labyrinth actually would be the last dungeon here. Still, it’s because of that harsh environment that I became the spider I am today. Those hellish days are what made me strong. Yep. In fact, I might be even stronger than I thought. Oh, right. At this very moment, directly in front of me are the dusty, crumbling remains of a fortress. It was a puny one to begin with, just big enough to hinder the passage of monsters. I guess it makes sense that people would want to take certain measures to prevent monsters from exiting the world’s largest labyrinth. This isn’t a game, after all, so there’s no guarantee that monsters won’t leave their dungeons. Anyway, as soon as I escaped the labyrinth, the first thing I saw was a wall blocking my path. If monsters came out of the labyrinth, they’d be trapped by this wall, and the soldiers stationed there would take care of them. That was probably the idea, anyway. I assume the plan was something like that, since while I was staring up at the wall like an idiot, some soldiers attacked me. I instinctively reacted by setting off a ton of magic, and, well, here we are. Some arrows flew at me, too, so when I dodged ’em, I reflexively shot some Black Bullets at the archers, y’know? With just that, the archers and the fortress all came down in pieces! Boom! Oops! Well, time to play dumb. I have no idea what happened here. The fortress just collapsed in some mysterious freak incident. It had nothing to do with me. The only other witnesses have passed on to the next life by now, making it the perfect crime. The statute of limitations’ll be long over before you get any proof! Smell ya later, suckers! I flee the sce— I mean, I leave the collapsed fortress behind, trying to stay out of sight. I am a spider monster, after all. If any humans catch a glimpse of me, it ain’t gonna end well. Especially since I’m the culpr— Ahem, I mean, since I’m this close to the area where that mysterious incident occurred. Ugh, how could anyone do something so awful?! I could easily be mistaken for the culprit! I’m innocent, I tell you! Okay, self-suggestion complete. Even a lie detector won’t catch me now. Seriously, though, because I look like a spider and all, of course I don’t want any humans to see me. I have major doubts that there are any weirdos out there who would look at my body and think, Hey, a new friend! Sure, it might be possible to find one or two people like that after searching the whole world over. But I’m guessing most humans would react in one of three ways: run, fight, or freeze in terror. In my case, the Intimidation skill and Fearbringer title do a solid job inducing primal fear in anyone who lays eyes on me, so even the purest child probably wouldn’t act friendly. A little boy who loves giant insects with all his heart would still probably run away screaming and crying. Why do so many boys like beetles and stuff anyway? I don’t get it. If a bug-loving boy wound up in the same situation as me, would he cry tears of joy? Yeaaah, no way. Just picturing that creeps me out a little. Actually, it goes past that and straight to gross. If someone like that really exists, I’ll be happy to let him take my place. He’d probably die within a few days of being born. If anything, he’d probably die right away. Because Mother would eat him. Of all the dangerous creatures I’ve seen in my life as a spider, the scariest of all is Mother, who I encountered moments after being born. This is life on hard mode. With no continues. And I’m still documenting it all in the present tense. That’s pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. Anyway, speaking of Mother, I’m currently locked in a rather unusual battle with her. Now that I’ve defeated the earth dragon Araba, the only thing left for me to accomplish in the Great Elroe Labyrinth is to overthrow Mother. If I can defeat my mother, who as far as I know is the strongest monster in the labyrinth, then I’ll be the head honcho of the labyrinth, in both name and reality. As long as my ultimate goal is to become an administrator, then it’s probably inevitable that I’ll have to defeat Mother first. I bet I’ll get a crapton of EXP if I beat her, for one thing. But I don’t think I could defeat her if I took her head-on. I mean, even the arch taratects, which are one step below Mother, had stats on par with Araba’s. I was able to defeat them by teleporting them with me into the Middle Stratum, a total hellscape for the spiders that are naturally weak to heat, but it would’ve been a much tougher battle if I didn’t use such a dirty tactic. And since Mother is even stronger than those guys, I seriously doubt I can beat her in a fair fight. If I can’t win a fair fight, why not just make it an unfair one? That’s why I’m currently in the middle of waging an unusual attack on Mother. I guess it’s like a super-long-range strike? If I had to make an analogy, I’d compare this fight to a battle between a gunman and a swordsman. The gunman wins if he can keep his distance. The swordsman wins if he can close that distance. I don’t know what Mother’s stats are exactly, but they’re definitely higher than mine. If it comes down to a face-to-face fight, I’ll definitely lose. But as long as I can keep my distance from her, I have a chance at victory. And at this point, I’d say my victory is all but guaranteed. ’Cause I’m outside the Great Elroe Labyrinth now. An enormous creature like Mother would never be able to get out of the labyrinth. I mean, the exit I emerged from not long ago is way too small for her to pass through. In fact, at her size, her movements are pretty limited even within the labyrinth. She could probably get around well enough in the spacious parts of the Lower or Middle Stratum, say, but the Upper Stratum has way too many narrow passages for her to move freely. That’s exactly why I made my base in the Upper Stratum. So that Mother couldn’t come attack me. The fact that she sent that spider army with the archs and stuff after me just proves that she couldn’t get to me herself. My victory was ensured as soon as I wiped out her troops. Now that I’m free from the Great Elroe Labyrinth, Mother has no way of chasing me down. I just have to wait until she can’t withstand my attacks any longer. Of course, I’ll do some sightseeing in the meantime. Well, then. Now that I’ve accomplished one of my biggest goals in life, escaping the Great Elroe Labyrinth…what do I do next? In the beginning, the idea behind escaping the labyrinth was basically to get away from the tons of dangerous monsters that live there. But if you really think about it, there’s a new threat out here in the form of humans. I don’t know if they’re any less dangerous. Somewhere along the way, my goal shifted from “getting out of danger” to “wanting good food.” I mean, all I had to eat in that stupid labyrinth were monsters! And most of them were super-freaking-gross, too! Come on! It’s only natural to want to eat delicious food after all that, right?! However, considering my (literally) monstrous appearance, I’d get exterminated as soon as I set foot in a human settlement. On second thought, considering how easily I brought down that fortress back there, I don’t know if they’d actually be able to defeat me that easily. I could certainly try to sneak into town burglar-style, eat a bunch of food, and run away, but I’m not eager to try something that risky. Better stick with my original plan of staying away from humans until I can finally evolve into an arachne. See, an arachne is a monster with the lower body of a spider and the upper body of a human. I’d still be a monster, but my upper half would be humanoid, meaning I’d certainly look more like a person than I do now. With a human upper half, I could probably talk, too, meaning I might be able to communicate and even establish friendly relations with humans. However, the path to becoming an arachne is long and far away. Besides, I don’t even know the language of this world, so I wouldn’t be able to communicate my intentions. Either way, I can’t make contact with humans just yet. For the moment, I’ll have to get a hold of tasty food on my own somehow. I use Dimensional Maneuvering to launch myself high into the air before taking a look around. Not far ahead of me is a human town. The buildings have that vaguely medieval European feeling you often see in fantasy settings. At a glance, I don’t see any machinery or anything. As I suspected from my encounters with humans in the labyrinth, this civilization doesn’t seem terribly advanced. Anyway, I’m just gonna ignore this town. I’m sure no good would come of trying to enter it. To the left are some plains. To the right are some more plains. Beyond the plains is a forest, then eventually some mountains. Since the Great Elroe Labyrinth links two continents, I kinda thought it’d let out near an ocean for some reason, but the exit I used seems to be pretty far inland. Hmm. Forests and mountains, huh? I bet there are all kinds of nature’s bounties in there. I guess I’ll check it out. Maybe there are fruits and mushrooms and stuff. Most of the monsters in the labyrinth were disgusting, but maybe wild animals in the mountains will be tastier. Besides, I’m kinda curious about what’s beyond the mountains. If there’s an ocean there, I might be able to get a hold of some seafood. Considering how delicious the eels and catfish were in the Middle Stratum, I bet genuine sea creatures would taste even better. Well, no use just hanging around. Let’s get going! TO THE GREAT ELROE LABYRINTH We’re traveling toward the elf village to stop Hugo. He’s plunged the country into chaos using the power of brainwashing, seizing control over both the church and the empire. My older brother Leston’s informants discovered that Hugo is currently leading the empire’s huge army toward the elf village, despite the fact that a war against demons has just begun. If we let him run wild like this, it’s obvious that the demons will take advantage of the resulting confusion. We have to stop him, no matter what. However, the elf village is on Kasanagara, so we have to get there from Daztrudia. There are two ways to travel between the continents. You can either use a teleport point or cross through the Great Elroe Labyrinth. The ocean isn’t an option: It’s the domain of powerful water dragons. Any ships that try to cross come under attack and sink immediately. Unfortunately, Fei can’t fly long enough to take us across by air, either. A teleport point would be safest, but since those are highly valuable magic tools, every major nation exerts direct control over any in their regions. Since we’re wanted by our kingdom, and probably the church as well, I doubt any other nations would give us permission to use their teleport points. The only remote possibility is the kingdom where my older sister, whom I’ve never met, married into the royal family. However, it would be too dangerous to rely on others for help when we don’t know how far Hugo’s influence reaches. Our best bet is to work only with the people we know we can trust, meaning the current members of our small band. In which case, a teleport point isn’t an option. The only remaining option is to traverse the Great Elroe Labyrinth. However, as its name implies, it’s an enormous dungeon where monsters abound. Monsters that have evolved independently, closed off from the rest of the world. Many of them are poisonous, making countermeasures a must. Not to mention that the labyrinth itself is dangerous all on its own. It’s said that the Great Elroe Labyrinth is so incredibly large that you’ll never make it back alive if you lose your way even once. Because of that, anyone who wants to cross the labyrinth needs to hire a specialized labyrinth guide. At least, that’s what I’ve gathered about the place so far. Unlike a teleport point, traversing the Great Elroe Labyrinth is dangerous, not to mention time-consuming. Fortunately, we still have a little time to spare. The empire is a long distance from the elf village, and since a large army is weighing Hugo down, it’ll take that much longer for him to travel anywhere. Calculating back from the information we were given, it should take the empire’s army longer to reach the village than it will take us to get through the labyrinth. The problem is that the Great Elroe Labyrinth is an unspeakably dangerous place. Out of our group, the only two people who have entered it before are Hyrince and Anna. When our teacher first came to this continent with Potimas, the friendship ambassador of the elves, they used the teleport point in our kingdom. Hugo has since destroyed that teleport point. Hyrince mentioned that he went into the labyrinth with my brother Julius on a few occasions long ago, for monster extermination and other duties. Anna entered only once, to travel through it. Katia, Fei, and I have never even left the kingdom. This will be our first time in the labyrinth, of course. Unlike the places we visited for exercises at the academy, our lives will truly be in danger here. All in all, having to face the labyrinth is a little nerve-racking. We rode on Fei’s back and flew through the sky before finally arriving here, the entrance to the Great Elroe Labyrinth. “I knew it. Empire soldiers.” Activating Clairvoyance, I scope out the entrance from a long distance. It’s surrounded by a fortress that seals it off. The Great Elroe Labyrinth is the only land route that connects the continents. If demons want to attack this continent, they’ll have to come through here. The fortress serves as a breakwater for that, but demons have never come through the Great Elroe Labyrinth. A maze so enormous that it would be impossible to ever escape it without a guide. Full of dangerous, poisonous monsters. The Great Elroe Labyrinth is like a natural fortress in its own right, the most impregnable citadel. At any rate, demons have never used it as a route to attack humans, historically speaking. The main role of the fortress is to prevent people from trespassing into the labyrinth illegally and to make sure that no monsters escape. There wouldn’t normally be any empire soldiers around the entrance, though. This isn’t part of the empire’s territory. Without a doubt, this is Hugo’s work. He must have set up guards here to make sure we can’t simply cross the continental border. “What should we do?” “Can we use Stealth and other techniques to evade the soldiers, perhaps?” Ms. Oka offers a suggestion. But I shake my head. There certainly are skills for concealing one’s presence, but they won’t work on someone with stronger perception skills. That old mage Ronandt is a perfect example. He was able to sense us even though we we...
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