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Published at 24th of October 2020 09:49:27 AM


Chapter 108

Chapter 108 : Pot


Receiving the heartwarming gifts from everyone, I began my solo mission again with courage and vigor . They were not only thoughtful gifts but also pragmatic; useful for survival in the dungeon . Rem the first held Yoshizaki-san’s axe in her hand while Arachne Rem wielded Nonomiya-san’s spear . As for me, I held on tightly to Randou-san’s panties…cough, I meant the heavenly treasure hidden in the depths of my bag .

「Huh, riding Ashidaka Rem feels better than Arachne Rem . 」

「KISHI, KYOAAA…」

Although I was overjoyed at the thought of giving my weary feet a rest while riding, I couldn’t exactly get comfortable . Since Arachne Rem’s abdomen was rounder than Ashidaka Rem’s, it caused my legs to be splayed in a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable manner . As we passed every bump, my energy seemed to fall a notch . It’s not like I didn’t have the option to crawl upon Arachne Rem’s abdomen but its spiky and hairy surface put me off the idea immediately .

「Well, you don’t need to feel sorry about that, Rem . Anyway, let’s gooo . . 」

「KISHAAA!」

Thus, Arachne Rem began to stir and advance slowly . As for the Rem the 1st, she was currently leaping around from one tree to another as she cleared the path ahead with her own body which was far sturdier than my own .

The battle against Arachne might have been my last if not for Rem’s superior mobility . She truly was my saving grace . Thank god that I used the rare materials gifted by Tendou-kun to increase her performance even more .

Anyway, the journey ahead was a piece of cake now that both Rems had superb mobility .

「BUGO, BUGO! BOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」

A great boar suddenly charged toward us from behind the thickets .

「KISHAAAAAAAAAA!」

「GAGAOOOOOO!」

Arachne Rem snapped to attention, releasing an extremely adhesive thread that wrapped around the Great Boar’s form and stopped it in tracks, abruptly halting its charge . Motionless, it seems about as harmful as a trussed up chicken . As soon as the boar’s body hit the damp forest floor with a resounding thump, Rem the 1st mercilessly swung down Yoshizaki-san’s great axe to kill it in one blow .

「Ooh, the combination of both of the Rems was strong enough to defeat the great boar in one fell sweep . 」

A sense of pride filled every inch of my being as I witnessed Ashidaka Rem and Arachne Rem take down the Great Boar so easily . In the past, it would have taken all of Ashidaka Rem and my combined strength to defeat such a ferocious beast . The coarse haired, meaty flesh parted under Rem’s groping motions . Rem’s hand moved around in the cavity, an obscene squelching noise filling the air, amplified by the forest’s utter silence . Rem triumphantly raised her bloodsoaked hand in victory, fist wrapped tight . Her crimson stained fingers unfurled to reveal the core which rested in her palm, bathed in blood . Oh, Rem . I’m ecstatic that not only has your combat prowess improved but so have your core extraction skills…you really have improved in every area by leaps and bounds .

「Even if I’m the only human, the day will come when I’ll a full team of Rems . 」

The combination of the two Rems, or rather, the two bodies of Rem was truly a match made in heaven . They disposed of these insignificant monsters that had remained a source of trouble all this time, as easily as swatting a fruit fly .

From the very beginning, the labyrinth was home to hoards of Goma and Red Dog . The forest, enclosed within its giant dome, was also host to a plethora of other monsters such as hopping monkey-like monsters who were ready to tear you to shreds at a moment’s notice . One wrong move and those sharp claws would leave your corpse looking like a torn shirt . Sunshine colored frogs which were anything other than friendly despite their colorful, sunny appearance . They were known to spit paralysing poison at anything that got too close . Of course, you couldn’t forget the small, basilisk-like small lizards who could produce powerful acid . But, those guys were no match for Rem the first and Arachne Rem . I helped them out from the sidelines using various curses like 『Blackhair Bind』 to provide supplementary support .

「We collected a whole lot of materials huh?」

Naturally, I stripped as many useful materials as I could from the corpses of those  monsters aside from their core . I obtained a number of useful items, from the cadaver of a Goma, I collected usable weapons, and miscellaneous things such as poison glands, tusks or claws from the other monsters . As for the Great Boar, since my Pharmacy Intuition told me that it was edible and delicious to boot, I cleaned it’s corpse and brought it along . My mouth already began to water as I dreamed of the rich, woody scent of barbeque .

I bundled the useful materials into a cocoon made by Arachne Rem’s finely spun thread and placed it on her back . Repeating the process on the corpse of the Great Boar, it soon became tightly preserved within the luminescent, white cocoon . Mimicking the manner in which Arachne caught its prey and dragged it along, Arachne Rem let a single thread tether the cocoon to her butt where the thread stemmed from . Although the cocoon appeared to be as fragile as a thin leaf, it was surprisingly durable . The cocoon reminded me of a beautiful, kind girl who suddenly revealed herself to be good at fighting .

Nevertheless, walking while burdened with such heavy luggage was a hindrance . Even if I wasn’t the one carting such a heavy load, motivated me to reach the nearest fairy plaza as soon as possible . If the plaza ended up being very far away, I would ditch the additional items without hesitation . Abandoning such items was a low cost compared to compromising our speed and stamina .

「GA」

Rem the first, acted as the initial line of defense and went to scout ahead for intel on the enemy’s movements . She quickly doubled back to report the proximity of the enemy forces . I jumped down to the damp forest floor from Arachne Rem’s abdomen . I turned my gaze in the direction that Rem the first was frantically pointing at .


「Uwaah! This place is seriously overflowing with them . 」

I peeked between the gaps in the thicket to glimpse the Goma village . Situated idyllically beside a river that meandered along a gentle slope, the Goma troops were relaxing at the riverside . Lying in the shade near the cool water, some of them were taking a rest . I leaned closer, trying to peer at the rest of the scene without compromising my position . The shadows caused by the looming trees partially obscured my line of vision . A group of them was blood-letting to remove any poison that might have been absorbed into the bloodstream  and the others were butchering their catches . From the distance, only the silhouette of the prey was visible . From the shape of the prey in the distance, they appeared to be Red Dog, a Monkey-like monster, and a Deer-like monster .

 

「What the bloody hell… . . . is that?」

Generally the Goma were short statured, their height about the same as mine . This particular Goma towered over the rest, he was particularly conspicuous, sticking out like a sore thumb among his brethren . That one must be the leader judging by its behavior- the tall Goma lounged around leisurely like a king while barking out orders to its subordinates once in a while .

「Aha! Could it be that this tall Goma is the one who turned into a zombie?」

Though this was the first time I had seen that variant, it seemed strangely familiar somehow . I was sure that I had in fact, seen it around somewhere before I fought a creature of the same variant which was turned into a zombie . That zombie resembled a Goma quite closely, and inspired my hypothesis that a species of tall Goma might exist . Seeing the real deal right in front of my eyes, I couldn’t refute the truth . My suspicion was confirmed to be correct .

Upon observing more intently, this particular specimen seemed far bulkier than the one who became a zombie . It was probably the leader of the Goma hunting party .

Anyway, it was clear as day that the Macho Goma was far more powerful and thus, dangerous than the average Goma . I’ll have to keep an eye out for this guy . If possible, I wanted to avoid a confrontation with an enemy that I hadn’t observed before . There was a greater chance of victory or at the very least, survival if you had studied an opponent’s fighting patterns and tactics . Then you knew how to prevent their advantage, mitigate any damage and hunt for their weakness . Since I had to face the Macho Goma either way, it was better to make the best of this situation and keep my head low . I had the element of surprise on my side, since they were currently oblivious to my presence . I intended to keep it that way- they would never see me coming . However, the most important thing was to gather fighting experience against such kinds of monsters . After all, who knew if these monsters would appear regularly beyond this point? It was of utmost importance that I be prepared for any situation that I might find myself stuck in . It might be the difference between life and death .

「Let’s do this . 」

I gestured for Arachne Rem to make the first move . Out of the three of us, she was most suited for covert action since due to her Arachne form, she was a natural hunter . She would stalk her prey slowly and then enclose it by shooting adhesive thread from a long range so they couldn’t sense her before it was too late .

There was no way in hell I would go charging into a large open field filled with my enemies and no way out . I would be easy pickings . It was basically an unusable suicide tactic, unless of course, someone is as OP as Tendou-kun . Not me for sure, I thought to myself as I shuddered . That would lead me to death like an innocent lamb headed to the slaughterhouse . While it didn’t seem to be impossible for Rem the first after her updates, I wanted to play it safe and avoid any unnecessary risks . There were just too many unknowns at this point- I still hadn’t managed to gauge the strength of the Macho Goma properly .

I’ll leave that beast for later, when I’ve completed all my preparations essential to obtaining victory .

「KISHISHI . 」

「Yup, the preparation was finally complete . 」

I ultimately decided to perch on top of the special adhesiveless spiderwebs made by Arachne Rem . The webs created an intricate network that spanned the treetops . I looked at them from above, hidden by the dense foliage of the forest . I mean, why did I need to appear in front of my enemies? It was much smarter to hide in the canopy of the forest and support both of the Rems from behind . This kind of tactic would have infuriated any of my classmates if I was in their party, none of whom would have hesitated to call me a coward . However, since both Ashidaka Rem and Arachne Rem were my loyal servants, they went along with my plan without a murmur of disagreement . In fact, they encouraged me to protect myself as their master .

「―― Spread 『Rotten Bog』」

The battle began, corpses already beginning to litter the forest floor, they appeared like ants from this height . I threw small pebbles smeared scarlet with my blood from the top of the tree . Although my actions seemed deceptively simple, these rocks were dangerous . Though it looked like a mere handful of gravel, the 『Rotten Bog』 spread over a large radius, scattering everywhere until they reached the river banks and the boundary of the forest . Unaware of my actions, those Gomas hadn’t yet noticed the poisonous bog I had formed, since they were too busy fighting the enemy they could see . I’m sure they didn’t anticipate another foe, especially one attacking from above!

 

「KISHAAAAAAAAAA!」

Arachne Rem sent a spool of thread shooting from her butt, capturing one of the Gomas working by the river banks . With a sharp twist of her lower half, she used her momentum to throw the Goma directly into the 『Rotten Bog』 .   The rest of the Goma immediately flew into a panicked frenzy, alarmed by the ambush .

The Goma currently struggling to keep adrift in the acid pool releashed a high-pitched screech which reminded his comrades of its pathetic plight . A swarm of such comrades rushed to help the poor Goma, letting out a bellowing warcry once they spotted Arachne Rem and Rem the first standing along the banks of the Acid pool . Even the Macho Goma grew enraged by the ambush and charged . It wildly swung its sword around in fury, demonstrating to its subordinates that Arachne Rem was the chosen target of their attack .

「KISHAAA!」

「――『Redhair Twine』」

Arachne Rem taunted the Gomas who were directly charging towards her by pulling out a thread that she had kept submerged inside the acid pool while I was knitting 『Redhair Twine』 in the innermost depths of the swamp . She took the acid drenched thread and began using it to whip the Gomas .

「NBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」


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「OGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!」

The 『Redhair Twine』 burned the skin of its victims at the slightest of a touch . It caused them to scream in agony and instinctively jerk their afflicted limb back, only for the rope to grow tighter around their appendage . Angry, weeping burns covered an opponent- it wasn’t deadly enough to kill them immediately but it was enough to deprive them of their strength and abilities in combat . It wasn’t a merciful death when it ended, it was a long, drawn-out sensation leading in a pitiable demise .

Although a group of 5 or 6 Gomas were rendered incapacitated by this strategy, this wasn’t enough to stop the onslaught of their attack . The acid pool was simply not enough to destroy them all . Rem the first and Arachne Rem quickly realized on their own that the current plan wasn’t as effective anymore and thus, retreated to the forest .

 

「ZOBURA, GEBU, BOAAAAAAA!」

Although I couldn’t understand the crude language of the Gomas, I got a feeling that the Macho Goma was yelling something along the lines of 「THOSE BASTARD ARE ESCAPING INTO THE FOREST, CHASE THEM!」  .   The Macho Goma headed out the back of the formation while screaming more of the incomprehensible Goma language savagely .

Wonderful! It seemed as if they entered the area we had prepared in the forest with spiderweb traps created by Arachne . I was such a gracious host, raised on values of hospitality . Since they were entering our territory now, it would be rude to not give our visitors a WARM AND BLOODY WELCOME right?

「MUGO! UGAAAAA!」

The desperate screeches indicated that one of the foolish Gomas had fallen into a trap that we had set . Following the first scream was the 2nd, and then the 3rd, then a 4th scream resounded- the screams followed after one another as if a tone-deaf choir of desperation was singing . The woods were alight with their cries .

The Gomas who were attempting to flank both Rem the first and Arachne Rem . Due to my experience fighting alongside both of the Rems, it was obvious to me that they were not running as fast as they were actually capable of . The Gomas in pursuit of the Rems, were fully focused on their targets and were caught by the spiderwebs in front of them . It was their mistake to have such tunnel vision, now they were stuck . It wasn’t a simple matter to escape the multilayered, knitted spiderwebs created by Arachne Rem, I would know .

「―― Spread 『Rotten Bog』」

I activated the second rotten bog which was deeper and wider than the first since I had made it using a hexagram that I had prepared beforehand instead of pebbles smeared with my blood . Arachne Rem circled around the rotten bog protectively . Both the sides and the area behind the bog were blocked with a thick layer of spiderwebs which criss-crossed over each other, adding to the barrier’s strength . Finally, Rem the first who was invulnerable to the acid since she was basically made of clay, was submerged in the middle of the acid pool . She served as the opposite of a lifeguard, a last measure to make sure not one creature survived . The battle had finished, I thought triumphantly . A smug grin settled itself onto my face .

「BAAAAAAAAAAAAA!?」

And then, Arachne’s thread pulled its prey into the acid pool while I was busy with manipulating 『Redhair Twine』 to reduce those Gomas’ combat prowess .

Naturally, I wasn’t naive enough to assume that this plan was enough to annihilate all of the Gomas . There were still so many left . An army of Gomas was still outside both Arachne and my line of fire . I would have to tread a bit more carefully this time . The Gomas gripped their weapons so tightly that their knuckles turned a ghostly white, charging ahead towards before they stopped before the acid pool . The green acid bubbled ferociously, as if it was hungry, yearning for more . Little spittles of acid flew high in the air like flares and popped threateningly . The Gomas were clearly hesitant to plunge themselves into the acid pool, however it was the only way to get to us, who had killed so many of its brethren . The Goma were faced with only two possible options- cross the acid pool to reach us, or die . Indecision warred on their faces, broadcasted by every single movement like the shuffling of their feet as they paced along the length of the verdant pool .

「GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」

The Gomas who were caught in their dilemma, quickly became victims of Rem the first . Her axe glinted cruelly as it slashed through one Goma after another in rapid, ruthless succession . She raised a screeching war cry as she weaved back and forth through the makeshift battlefield . She was practically chaos incarnate, her fighting style disorganized and random as she dived in the acid pool and crawled back out in irregular intervals, making the fullest use of her convenient advantage of remaining unaffected while swimming in the acid pool .

「GUORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」

Gomas were dropping like flies between our combined assaults . There was a resounding, bellowing, enraged warcry as the Macho Goma finally snapped . Seeing the miserable plight of its subordinates, the Macho Goma ultimately stepped in, ready to end the fight . He came charging from the back of the formation as the other Gomas ahead of him got out of the track of his raging warpath, scurrying like little mice, trying not to get underfoot . Alright . I braced myself . The boss is coming .

「SHAAAA!」

Arachne Rem fired an extra thick bundle of adhesive thread towards the Macho Goma .

「UOGAAA!」

The bundle of sticky thread shot through the air towards the Macho Goma . He wildly waved his axe as it inched closer every second . The bundle of adhesive thread couldn’t be cut properly by the honed blade of his axe . To think that he was able to cut through some of Arachne’s thread, his blade was that shar…no, I couldn’t be sure . There was always the possibility that he used 『Martial Art』 just now . From the looks of it, I guess it used the『Slash』 attack which was often used by Kenzaki or Natsukawa-san back in the old days, when I used to party with the class rep .

Tch .  Even though it was just a Goma, it had the potential to learn martial art . The Goma seemed doubly dangerous, not only due to its towering frame but also because it had the ability to wield the martial arts .

「What a nuisance…」

Oh well, it’s not like I didn’t have any plan to counter his attack . You could study battle tactics, all you wanted but, it couldn’t compare to getting bloodied on the battlefield . Real life experience was the best teacher, those lessons really stuck with you, you know? One nugget of information that I learned in battle was to always prepare a back plan .


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「KISHAAAAA!」

「――『Blackhair Bind』」

Arachne and I worked in unison, communicating our strategy wordlessly . Arachne began to spit her gooey thread from all 3 of her orifices at the same time . Spindly white thread shot out of her mouth, butt and both of her hands, streaking through the air in a flash of white as I began to activate my skill of 『Blackhair Bind』simultaneously .

Though the Macho Goma once again tried to use 『Slash』,  he was only able to cut through the length of thread that Arachne Rem was launching from her butt . The Macho Goma got caught in our trap as it failed to defend itself from the thread that was emitted from Arachne Rem’s mouth which caught it by surprise as it came from another direction . All throughout, while the Macho Goma was distracted, my use of the 『Blackhair Bind』 technique created these writhing, black shadowy tentacles which entangled Macho Goma’s feet .

「MUGAGAGA, NGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!」

While Arachne Rem’s thread disabled the Macho Goma’s ability to use his arms, mine wrapped around both its calves and thighs, binding its legs altogether . Like a trussed chicken .

「GUGAAAAAA!」

Rem the first didn’t miss that opening . Her keen eyes didn’t miss a single detail

「GAGA!」

However, Rem the first’s attack was far from over . She traced along Macho Goma’s previous wound and aimed her axe directly between the open wound, which was gushing rivers of blood . Her aim rang true and she ended up slicing his body in two on the second strike of her axe . However, just like me, Rem the first was not the kind of person to take any chances . She swung hard, swerving her whole body and using all of her momentum before finally decapitating Macho Goma on her third and final attack . She lightly kicked the corpse of the once ferocious beast, scoffed and stalked in another direction .

「GAGAAA!?」

「BUGEAAAAAAAAAA!」

Upon witnessing their leader’s death, it seemed that the reality of the situation was starting to settle in . The quick, effortless defeat of their boss seemed to cast a gloom cloud and destroy their motivation . They quickly dropped their weapons and escaped at breakneck speed, whizzing past my eyes as if they were running and the speed of light .

「Pfft, seems like those guys aren’t a big deal after all . Thank you, girls . 」

 

Around 30 minutes after we defeated that Macho Goma and its army, we finally arrived at the Fairy Plaza .

「Haah…finally, a resting place . 」

The Fairy Plaza was like a safe haven, its value doubled for soloers such as me since we came to it utterly exhausted, drained by fighting alone .

I sprawled across a length of lush, verdant lawn as soon as I threw the various pieces of luggage from Arachne Rem’s back . Relieved, I felt boneless as I lay down, the fatigue slowly draining out of my body, I instantly felt a blanket of sleep begin to cover me before my eyes closed and I was lost to the world .

I woke up with a start, it felt like only a few minutes had passed but the sky was already shaded into a gradient of deep, majestic blues and light purples .

 

「… . Uhn?」

I slowly emerged from the sea of dreams to be greeted by the crackling and popping sound of the camp bonfire . Blearily, I tried to open my eyes . My head felt funny, as if it was loaded with cotton . The golden glow cast by the dancing flames didn’t hurt my eyes as they finally got accustomed to the light . Upon taking a closer look, I discovered it really was a bonfire .

「GAGA!」

「Ah, morning . 」


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I snapped my head in direction of noise before realising it was only Rem . She moved until she stood in front of me . The beginnings of a playful grin were surfacing on her face before she gave an extremely exaggerated greeting by bowing her head . I couldn’t help but bark out a laugh at her antics before catching up on the events that had taken place while I had been lost in the land of sleep . It seems that Rem had made a bonfire for me after I had passed out cold . Beside the bonfire, rested a slab of rose colored meat with faint streaks of white running through it placed on top of a huge leaf . My stomach rumbled rebelliously in hunger .

「Could it be that is the Great Boar’s meat?」

「GUGA . 」

Rem nodded in agreement, as if saying yes .

「KISHISHI . 」

There I saw Arachne Rem holding on to the water-filled PET bottle and fairy nuts .

「Thank you, you guys are lifesavers, I seriously needed this meal . 」

A wave of emotion flowed through me as I looked upon the Rems . They had grown so much, in terms of skill and emotional intelligence . I had never imagined there would be a day that Rem would prepare a meal for me, especially without me having to request it . They were so thoughtful and took such good care of me .

Although I had just woken up, I was eager to dig in . If my memory serves correct, the last time I had gotten to eat meat was when I ate those broiled snakes with Randou-san and the rest of the company at the fairy plaza in marshland . My already starving stomach raised a revolt as I tried to wait for Rem to finish grilling the meat . Her technique of grilling the meat seemed to resemble Mei-chan’s somewhat roughly, although she didn’t have the same amount of experience and skill . Well, it was fine, she didn’t have that much time to learn from Mei-chan anyway .

「――Um, it still retained a bit of its originally gamey smell, but it wasn’t anything unbearable . This much was fine by me . 」

Yup, as I thought, the taste and texture was pretty close to pork . It was a definite possibility that the gamey smell would disappear from the meat if the meat was prepared a bit better, in a correct manner . If Mei-chan was here, she might have been able to turn this Great Boar into a splendid ingredient, the likes that would upon being combined with her natural talent for cooking would end up being an amazing, flavorful meal . My mouth was dripping with saliva just upon the thought of it .

I resolved to meet up with her as soon as I could so that I could make my dreams come true and share this boar meat .

「Thanks for the meal . 」

Well then, after a peaceful, refreshing sleep and partaking in a hearty meal, I guess it was time to think about my next move . There was a high probability that I would be exploring the dungeon by myself , at least for the time being . For now, it seems as if the route I had chosen, which passed through the incoming inner part of the dome forest was my best bet . That was the direction pointed by the dungeon compass anyway, so I should trust in that path .

「I want to go to the next checkpoint as soon as possible but… . 」

Although Rem the first and Arachne Rem were extremely reliable comrades, I couldn’t help but feel slightly anxious . I didn’t have any other allies besides the two Rems right now . Both of the Rems had improved immensely but somehow, I couldn’t picture our current line up winning against something like the boss of underground lake, the alligator-like lizard man .

「There’s no point needlessly and obsessively worrying about it . Well, the best I can do is make the adequate preparations beforehand so I wouldn’t be caught off guard if the situation really did arise . 」

Whether it was Mei-chan or Randou-san and her company, I wanted to meet up with them as soon as possible . It felt like forever since I met them . I felt a nagging feeling rise up within my mind- caution . That was right, I guess nothing good ever happens if you try to rush through it . Finally, I made up my mind . It sounds like a great plan- let’s take time to prepare as much as we can .

 

「Come to think of it, I haven’t had the chance to test this out yet… . 」

 

『Witch Kettle』:Literally what it sounds like- a witch’s kettle . It was most definitely not something as commonplace as a mere cooking tool . It was actually a tool of chaos, used to create poison, curses and other forms of magic .

 

Yes, Ruinhilde-sama gave me “Vessel”’s series, namely 『Vessel of Poison』 along with 『Vessel of Chaos』 .

I had obtained this curse much earlier . She had given it to me when I had defeated that terrifying basilisk . I was in possession of this curse ever since but so much had happened that I never found myself with a chance to test this “Creation” curse’s series . My reunion with Higuchi then a fight to the death against him, being picked up by Randou-san…this string of rapidly changing comrades kept me too busy .

「I’ve got just the right materials to create poison too… . . 」

Even though it has been quite a while since I received my official designation as a Shaman, I guess the time was finally ripe for me to make my debut as a poison master . I couldn’t help but smirk in anticipation . Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a wild ride . Even though it has been quite a while since I received my official designation as a Shaman, I guess the time was finally ripe for me to make my debut as a poison master . I couldn’t help but smirk in anticipation . Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a wild ride .



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