This is not what a monster parade was supposed to be like…

The red, glowing eyes.

The monsters that filled the tunnels.

Karen had seen a stampede, and it was at a much larger scale than this.

“Could it be because of Karaboshi?”

Maybe he was slowing them down along the way.

But, how?

His presence was thin, so perhaps he could attack the monsters without being noticed.

However, surely he could not kill half of the monster parade all at once.

So, what had happened?

Could it be that the main group was coming later?

While Karen worried about these things, the Self-Defense Group started to be pushed back.

The reason was that they were getting tired.

While they trained daily, they were not used to fighting a stampede.

And as this emergency situation was so different from normal disasters, their stamina was depleting much faster.

Due to this loss of stamina, they were easily wounded. And one by one, they fell back.

As there were fewer people fighting, they were able to be pressed back by just a small number of monsters.

Some stubbornly remained in spite of the loss of stamina, and they were likewise wounded.

The defense line was in bad shape.

Karen’s hand quickly went towards her bag.

Her hand went into the magic bag and she searched for something to treat the wounds.

Haruki had given her the bag because it would not look strange for her to be holding it.

It was a type of camouflage.

However, this camouflage would have no meaning if she pulled out medicine after medicine from her pochette.

He gave it to her because he trusted her. She would never regain that trust if she let someone take it from her.

And so while it was an emergency, Karen remained very careful.

She took out the medicine and ran over to a wounded man.

It was painful just to look at, but when she tried to apply some to the wound,

“Hey, you… Ugh, don’t touch the wound with your bare hands.”

Something hit her in the face.

It was a pair of rubber gloves.

The person who threw them was the clerk who she met often—Akane.

“What are you-”

“Do you know what will happen if you apply a salve with your bare hands? It will get infected. Not only that, but it will spread if you touch other people’s wounds with those hands.”

Well, she did have a point there.

It was important to avoid infection when treating injured people.

If a dangerous virus spread because she started touching everyone—like hepatitis, she could not take responsibility for that.

It was true.

And yet, the pit of her stomach was filled with negative emotion.

“You’re right. However, what about you? They may not have been wounded had you fought with them in the defense line!”

“…What are you talking about.”

“Don’t play dumb with me! I know that in spite of working at the store, you have an Adventurer’s license–”

“Shh!”

Akane raised a finger to her mouth and narrowed her eyes.

That was all it took to silence Karen.

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