Chapter 44:

Chapter XLII – Flesh in the midst of metal.

His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)

The bricks of the dungeon crackled once more as the metal threads began rotating once more. Crack, crackle and a snap, the giant death robot marched on towards Ayomide and Shinasi once more.

Shinasi had to quickly sidestep once more to avoid the crazed machine. “What does this thing have against us in particular?!” He wasn’t too happy to have drawn the attention of the crazed metal beast.

John Brown, currently busy with not being chased by a giant death robot, was able to get a clearer analysis. “When this thing was shooting,” he pointed at the bullet holes on the roof “it was aiming too high, and all of the bullets were passing through the ball of light you’ve got over there.” As if confirming his statement, the giant death robot took a swing towards the magic light again.

Ayomide dodged the incoming arm by promptly ducking. She began taking a few steps back. “So I just need to get this thing off my tail?” She then ‘threw’ the ball of light to a deserted corner of the room, or to be more accurate, she made a motion as if she was throwing something and the ball of light slowly floated over to a corner. The giant death robot then followed the light as if it was a cat going after a ball of yarn. Just like a cat, the giant death robot continued taking swipes at the ball of light, the major difference being that a giant death robot’s swings were somewhat deadlier than that of a small cat.

The robot’s futile attack continued while the group in the dungeon chatted at a somewhat more leisurely fashion. “I’d say that it’d be prudent for us to make our way out.” Brown dusted off his coat, beard, and hands and got up, looking excited to get out of the dungeon. Watanabe and Rabanowicz had already made their way out of the room, presumably towards freedom. Only Shinasi seemed to be the one who was reluctant to leave. His eyes were fixated on the corridor which they hadn’t explored, his adventurer instincts telling him to just barge in there and hope for the best.

“I’d love to leave, but…” Ayomide’s eyes were focused on the ball of light she was maintaining. “Magic gets weaker the further you get away from it. At one point the light would be completely gone and who knows what this beast will get up to after that point. It’s pretty quick so I’m sure it can catch up to us.”

“Then we can do some kiting.” Shinasi found that no one in the room seemed to have any understanding of what a ‘kiting’ was, so he had to explain further without the odd gamer lingo. “You’ll be in the back with the ball of light while the monster follows you at a safe rage.”

“That may seem prudent to you, young man. We’d save ourselves; I assume that this thing is going to begin battling the sun once it’s out.” Brown was quite curious as to why the giant death robot focused so much on light, but he put those thoughts aside while continuing his theorycrafting. “What happens after the sun sets, however? It’d probably attack anyone carrying any source of light. Or brightly lit houses, those would be a target too.”

“You are right…” Shinasi looked at the metal beast still clawing away at the magic light. Unleashing such a thing didn’t seem like a good idea. “How do we defeat it then?”

“I don’t know how you’ll defeat it, but I’d like it if your brains could work faster!” Ayomide’s mouth had formed into a small frown, her brows fere furrowed, and a small drop of sweat had begun making its way down her forehead. “I can’t exactly keep this thing shining all day!”

Brown began pacing around while thinking more frantically. Shinai stood still, he was more the type to tap his foot and cross his arms while thinking. The young adventurer intended to approach the robot to take a closer look. Despite his adventurous spirit however, he couldn’t exactly bring himself to get closer to a few tons of giant death metal. Brown on the other hand gathered all the faith he had in the Lord and proceeded to charge at the robot with his saber (courtesy of the late Jacob’s late patron). As expected the sword couldn’t penetrate even through the rusted metal of the robot. All Brown managed to achieve in his attack was chipping a few pieces of rusty metal off as sparks flew from the meeting of metals. It seemed that faith in God couldn’t melt steel beams no matter how much Brown tried. “It’s no use, young lady.” he said before giving one last whack of desperation to the giant death robot’s body. “All I can do is remove the rust from this thing.” After all sixty years of his life, the thing that had managed to finally defeat John Brown was a giant death robot.

“I think you’ll be helping this thing if you remove the dust from it!” replied Shinasi, who had gathered a bit of courage and began poking the giant death robot with his spear. Javelins may be useful against armor as a certain nation under invasion may attest to, unfortunately for Brown and co stuck in the dungeon, Shinasi’s spear was a primitive model which was a whole lot less effective against armor. “Though, this thing is so rusty that I bet you could get in its innards just by smashing all the rust out.”

Brown didn’t seem too pleased with Shinasi’s sarcastic remark. “Too bad we didn’t bring a pickaxe then!” Still, he switched to smashing the giant death robot with the hilt of his saber which was a whole more effective. Shinasi followed by pommeling the rusted body with the shaft of his spear. The pair looked like a bunch of angry cavemen or a pair of Luddites who had unexpectedly encountered technology. “Young lady, do you think you could hold on until we get this beast sufficiently ridden of rust?”

Ayomide saw what her comrades-in-arms were attempting, and couldn’t help but sigh. They weren’t making much progress; sabers and spears weren’t efficient mining tools. The light she was providing had begun to get dimmer and dimmer as the seconds passed on. “Don’t think I can.” Then Ayomide had a bright idea, or, an idea that was only metaphorically bright. “I think I can help you, but…”

“But?” Shinasi’s arms were beginning to get tired of constantly pommeling the giant death robot in futility. “We really need help here.”

“…the lights might go out for a bit.” Ayomide sluggishly approached the robot. There wasn’t much energy left in her after having been a living and breathing light source for so long. “Alright, I hope you aren’t too afraid of the dark.” She touched an especially rusty part of the robot, took a deep breath, and then chanted as loudly as she could: “[Derust]!” The magic light suddenly went off. The only thing anyone could hear was the sound of crackling and the giant death robot’s motor.

Things were fully silent for a minute, except for the robot swinging wildly, before Ayomide’s light appeared as dim as moonlight during a crescent moon. She was on the ground, out of breath and barely conscious. Such intense derusting wasn’t easy on one’s body. “Go- Go for it before I pass out!” she cried out with the last of her energy. Her body wasn’t moving at all, save for her eyes whizzing around to get a view of the scene.

Brown was quick to find what damage had been done: a giant hole had been opened in the giant death robot’s hull. Shinasi joined him in examining their patient, who was now busy with the dim light. “What are these? They don’t look like the organs of any beast.”

“I believe that this is some sort of machinery, young man.” Brown quickly leaned in to take a closer look. There were gears, wheels, shafts and a million other bits he couldn’t name. “Stick your shaft into the hole. Let us see what we can break.” He took initiative by doing his best to knock off some gears with his saber.

Shinasi began using his spear like a lever to bend the thin shafts spinning inside the giant death robot. Soon there were gears and broken shafts jumping around the machinery making a hellish noise. Having its innards turned into steel soup, the giant death robot eventually made a few sputters before giving up on movement. After another few seconds its engine stopped as well. It’s lifeless metal body became even more lifeless.

“Phew. That’s the beast dealt with.” Shinasi took his shaft out of the hole and wiped his brow. The near-death experience with the giant death robot wasn’t exactly the most pleasant thing to experience. “Ayomide, are you still alive down there?”

Ayomide gave a weak thumbs up while still laying on the ground. “Could use some help with getting up.” Shinasi quickly took ahold of Ayomide and got her up. She wasn’t in a state to walk unassisted, or so it seemed, so she wrapped her arms around the young adventurer for support.

“Thank the Lord for getting us out of this mess.” Brown spent a minute or two praying fervently while the others got their footing once more. “Now, I assume you’d like to go outside now?”

Shinasi’s eyes were still locked onto the dark corridor. Now that Ayomide’s light had dimmed, he noticed something interesting: the end of the corridor was shining a dim green. The giant death robot had only served to heighten his curiosity as to what it was protecting. “Captain, this giant death robot came from that room. There seems to be no more commotion coming from over there, I think there’d be no harm in us taking a loo- Puah!” His suggestion prompted Ayomide to tighten her arm coiled around Shinasi in anger.

However, Brown had gotten intrigued too by this point. “I’d say that there’s no harm in taking a look.” With God on his side, he’d surely be fine. “Let us venture forth and see what this ‘dungeon’ may have in store for us.”

And so Brown and co marched on into the corridor. It wasn’t as long as it initially seemed, and in a minute of walking they were in another dimly lit room. What was intriguing was what this light was emanating off of: a large green orb, with shiny green liquid floating inside it, in the middle of the room about the size of a ripe cabbage which was held by several coiling vines. The rest of the room was covered in these vines as well. These vines were pulsating and sometimes giving a dim shine themselves, a scene both mesmerizing and terrifying in equal measures. Compared to the cacophony of the giant death robot, the room was absolutely silent save for the breathing of its three visitors.

Brown stood silent for a while, admiring and contemplating the scene. He then only had one thing to say: “Pray tell, what is this?”

Steward McOy