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58 Part 1

Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 58

 

Prologue – Following Him Around Like a Shadow

 

 

The day Haruki left for Sapporo.

Karen headed towards the garage dungeon feeling a chill down her spine.

 

That Ranker, Kagemitsu, had called for Haruki’s help in taking on the Monster Parade.

Only Haruki.

Karen had not been invited to the party.

 

There was no helping the fact that she couldn’t go with him.

Haruki had defeated other Monster Parades in the past.

On the other hand, Karen had yet to accomplish as much herself.

 

All she was doing was staying behind Haruki and drinking sweet juice.

She had been blessed, but still had achieved nothing but failures.

 

Even though she says she wants to go with him, it’s only out of selfishness.

Though she did follow him around, she didn’t have the ability to be on par with him.

She truly felt useless.

 

With that in mind, Karen timidly saw Haruki off.

 

He was climbing to the apex of adventurers with an incredible amount of momentum.

Karen couldn’t help but think that even if she were to give it her all, she would still feel helpless next to him.

 

Still, that didn’t mean that Karen was giving up.

She couldn’t give up. She had to one day be able to repay Haruki’s favor.

 

If she had time to sulk, then she had time to go to the dungeon and hone her skills.

She had to become stronger so that she could be of help to Haruki.

 

So a ray of hope was reflected in Karen’s eyes.

It was a change caused by the Divine Protection that had manifested when she was in the middle layers of the dungeon.

 

Magic was tremendously easier to use than before.

She could see glimpses of a new power welling up within her.

 

She’d make sure to make this new power hers by the time Haruki returned.

Fueled up by that enthusiasm, Karen headed towards the garage dungeon.

 

After leveling up a bit in the dungeon, Karen went back to the prefab.

Inside, Akane, who had lost herself to the room’s temperature, was melting behind the counter.

 

Akane: “Welcome.”

Karen: “Ah, uh, erm… Is Air…?”

 

Karen had never called him by his name in front of Akane.

 

She was sure Akane didn’t really care about that.

Slightly biting her lips, Karen presented today’s results.

 

Akane: “…Hmm. So you can hunt by yourself, huh?”

Karen: “Of course.”

Akane: “And here I was, thinking all you did was follow him around like a shadow, doing nothing but drink juice behind him.”

 

The way Akane was talking to her was beginning to irritate Karen.

She could feel her head heat up.

 

It was just cheap provocation.

She knew that much.

 

Karen consciously took a few deep breaths so as to calm herself down.

 

Karen: “I’m an intermediate adventurer too, you know?”

Akane: “Oh, sure. How about you start considering retirement?”

Karen: “… Huh?”

 

Retirement?

Unable to read the intention behind Akane’s words, Karen became stiff.

 

Akane: “Aren’t you Air’s girlfriend?”

Karen: “–N-No way!”

Akane: “Then what? Are you just a regular team member? Air is a sweetheart and says nothing about this, but I’ve seen you do nothing but cling on his kindness like some kind of leech. Can you really call yourself an adventurer when you’re like that?”

Karen: “–!”

Akane: “I don’t know what Air will be like from now on. But have you thought about the possibility that you’ll be nothing but a burden to him in the future?”

Karen: “…”

Akane: “If you have, then think about what you’ll do from now on.”

 

There was a certain meaning behind Akane’s words.

 

There was no telling how much stronger Haruki -having a Skill Board and all- would become in the future.

He might even be able to push all other adventurers aside and become one of the top Rankers.

Karen could sense that Haruki was such a talented man.

 

Surely Akane, who had come across several adventurers in her life, would understand that better than anyone else.

She would know for sure about Karaboshi Haruki’s potential.

 

But Karen could never let herself be swayed by her words.

 

Karen: “You have no right to say something like that!”

 

This was something between Haruki and Karen.

It was no place for anyone to poke their nose into.

 

Akane had bluntly stepped into it like it was her business, which made Karen to become infuriated.

 

The staff in her hand was brimming with power.

Her magical power gushed out from her body along with her rage.

And that power…

 

–Splash!

 

Akane: “Ah…”

 

… had gone and crushed a box of tangerines.

 

Akane: “Aaaaahhhh!! Mitsuruuuu!”

 

Akane made a shriek like a frog would when stomped on, and held the tangerine box close to her chest.

… Mitsuru?

 

Akane: “My poor Mitsuruuuuu! Waaaaahhhhh!”

Karen: “…”

 

The word “Mitsuru” was printed on one side of the box. So “Mitsuru” was that box’s name…?

But why would you name a tangerine box “Mitsuru” anyway?

 

The seemingly overreacting Akane scowled at Karen.

Akane: “What have you done to my dear Mitsuru!?”

Karen: “I-I’m sorry!”

Akane: “You’re sorry? YOU’RE SORRY!? Do you have any idea how important Mitsuru was to me!?”

 

Akane clenched her fist as if trying to prevent her anger from exploding.

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