Chapter 1/2 Sponsored by L.Q.
Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 42
Let’s Solidify a New Resolve!
By the time Haruki returned from the dungeon, three hours had passed since Oiso escaped to the surface.
While much of her time had been taken up for questioning, it could not be helped, as the aggressors were not present.
As he had not expected the special police to be watching him fight, Haruki was shocked when he first realized it.
Would they assume that he had murdered Shikama and the others?
Or perhaps he would lose his credibility as an Adventurer because he was carrying Rhea on his back.
However, when he told them the honest truth, they accepted it quite willingly.
But they had already been thinking that monster taming was bound to happen one of these days.
And so Haruki was relieved to find that they were open-minded people.
He picked up the slimy eels, which were no longer very potent, and then headed for the materials store.
Why were they always surprised?
Haruki narrowed his eyebrows as he stepped into the store.
“I’m Karaboshi. Uh, has Oiso returned yet?”
“…Ah, you’re Mister Karaboshi. Yes, go to the back.”
The clerk directed him, and so Haruki went to the backroom where he found Oiso looking crest-fallen as she sat on a chair. Karen was sleeping on a pile of blankets next to her.
“Is Karen alright?”
“Ha?! Ah, oh, it’s you, Karaboshi.”
Why did they always act so surprised?
“Could you please put that eel down? It’s so gross…”
Right. So this was the reason.
Haruki threw the eels into a trash can.
Oiso then gave him a dissatisfied look.
Apparently, she was not happy that he had thrown it away in their store.
However, it wasn’t as if he had anywhere else to put it. So she would just have to accept it.
“So, how’s Karen?”
“She just has the lacerated wound on her back. As I had some medicine for that, the wound is now completely closed.”
Karen suddenly sat up when Haruki came closer to her.
However, her expression immediately contorted with pain, and she fell back down.
“Miss Karen, you shouldn’t move so suddenly like that.”
“…Is there a problem?”
Haruki felt a chill go down his spine.
A great sword has hit her in the back.
Maybe it had done more than surface-level damage?
“She was kicked in the jaw, which caused a concussion. And she lost a lot of blood.”
A person’s back, especially the center, had numerous nerves concentrated there.
And that was where Karen had been cut.
For a moment, he had been scared that there would be long-lasting effects.
So he was relieved to hear that it was just blood loss.
Haruki touched his chest and sighed.
The centipede breastplate that Karen had been wearing was now sitting next to her.
The part that had been protecting her back was cut open.
That’s how powerful Lars’s attack had been.
It was a miracle that it hadn’t done more damage.
“I’m sure that the armor cracking like that resulted in reducing the impact of the blow.”
Whoever made that armor was clearly a very skilled crafter.
Though, it was also possible that Karen’s ‘Luck’ skill had played a part in it.
When Haruki finished telling them what had happened in the dungeon, Oiso looked at him sympathetically.
“I never would have guessed there would be a monster parade. It’s amazing that you’re still alive.”
Haruki wasn’t sure how to feel about those words.
He had survived the monster parade.
But Shikama and the others had died.
What if there had been another way?
When he started to think about it, his own mistakes seemed to be magnified. And it put him in a dark mood.
Oiso must have guessed what he was thinking, and so she spoke to him firmly.
“There is no need for you to feel bad about it.”
“It’s just karma. What you do, whether it is good or bad, will come back to you. And today, they paid for their many sins. You really shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Besides, you will also get your just deserts. But unlike them, it will be something good.”
When he left the store, all of Sapporo City was red.
He walked through it at a leisurely pace.
Karen watched Haruki’s back and bit her lip.
It hadn’t been that long since they first met, and yet she had come to understand his personality.
Haruki seemed complicated, but he was surprisingly rather simple…
He was clearly terribly depressed now.
And the deaths of Shikama and the others was the reason.
There was no need to save such amoral people.
Oiso had said something to that effect, and Karen agreed.
However, Haruki thought differently.
He wanted to save any life that was in reach, whether good or bad.
He believed that that was what the occupation of Adventurer entailed.
Had he not been like that, he would not have charged into a monster parade, when everyone else was running away, just to save a stranger like her.
He wouldn’t have faced a stampede without fearing for his own safety.
It was because Karen understood all of this about him that she bit down on her own lip.
So, she was part of the reason that he was feeling so down.
Had she been more observant, she might have noticed that Shikama and the others were approaching them.
Then she wouldn’t have been attacked in the back.
If Karen hadn’t been wounded, Haruki would not have had to fight them alone.
At least, the burden of their lives wouldn’t have only been on him.
Haruki had used his skill board to strengthen her, and this was the result.
It really was embarrassing…
She had caused trouble for him once again.
No matter how hard she tried and how careful she was, in the end, she couldn’t fool anyone.
The more she moved, the more she missed.
It was sad. She was angry and humiliated. Tears welled up in her eyes.
She had been so excited about it as well. And that made it hurt all the more.
Haruki heard Karen apologize from behind him, and he stopped in his tracks.
Her drooping shoulders were shaking weakly.
“Why are you sorry?”
“Because I’m useless. If I wasn’t there…this wouldn’t have… Owww!?”
“Stop talking nonsense. Or I’ll punch you.”