70 Part 1
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Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 70
Let’s Take On A Certain Ranker!
The shadow gradually revealed itself.
A sky-blue armor covered its body.
A long sword hung from its waist.
Its dark, glossy hair was tied up in a ponytail.
The walking figure showed no signs of being careless.
However, there was a rather vague expression on her face.
When Haruki realized, his whole body trembled.
He had seen that figure many times in a certain blog’s top page.
She was one of the Top Rankers from ”Narou”.
After posting that she was going away on an expedition, she stopped posting any further updates.
Her teammates commented on her blog, lamenting how they hadn’t been able to contact her back when the Stampede happened all over Japan.
Haruki could have never imagined he would encounter someone like her in the garage dungeon of all places.
“Ah, um… aren’t you Shigu–huh!?”
Haruki’s own astonishment interrupted him.
She had been more than 50 meters away from Haruki, and before he knew it she appeared to be only 1 meter away.
It was as if she had teleported in front of him.
The wind that followed behind Shigure’s movement gently brushed Haruki’s mask.
Shigure’s lazy expression changed into wonder.
It was the first time Haruki heard Shigure’s voice.
Her thin voice didn’t seem to match her dignified appearance.
Then, Shigure’s hands touched Haruki’s body.
Haruki’s head overheated.
Wait what why!?
Those were the only three words repeating themselves inside his head.
“W-What are you doing, Karaboshi!?”
Karen’s worked up voice, and Rare’s murderous intent.
Haruki was well aware of both, but he couldn’t move an inch.
It wasn’t because his brain had melted down after being touched by this Top Ranker he had been looking up to.
Every time he tried to get away, she anticipated every one of his moves before he could even make them.
Shigure’s ability to read someone else’s moves was terrifying.
Haruki’s moves were completely sealed by Shigure, blocking away all possible escape routes.
“You’re that rumored masked guy, aren’t you?”
“Uh… I guess?”
Haruki didn’t know about any rumors.
But as far as he knew, he was the only adventurer that wore a mask.
Haruki’s cheeks, which were hidden behind his mask, turned deep red.
Could it be that his presence had increased so much without realizing and now even Rankers are hearing stuff about him?
–What should I do?
–This calls for a party, right!?
His brain had indeed melted, but for another reason.
“Hmm… you seem much more normal than I thought.”
Haruki’s chest went cold after hearing those words from Shigure.
–Much more normal…
There’s nothing wrong with being normal.
Rather, Haruki had been longing for a normal presence for the past 27 years of his life.
So being called “normal” didn’t rub him the wrong way.
Instead, it brought him satisfaction.
Still those words did hurt him a bit.
They had hurt his pride as an adventurer, which he had been accumulating little by little.
The number of intermediate adventurers didn’t go over 10 percent of the total number of adventurers.
So Haruki couldn’t help but feel he was a bit special for becoming an intermediate adventurer.
That word downright denied him that.
Of course, from the perspective of a Ranker such as Shigure, Haruki must seem normal.
Thankfully, he wasn’t seen as someone below normal.
Still, that word stuck to Haruki’s chest like a thorn that wouldn’t come out.
“Um… what kind of rumors are you talking about?”
“Someone cleared the Monster Parade on the upper floors of Chikaho by yourself, and then defeated the one on the middle floors together with Kagemitsu. That was you, right?”
Shigure was touching the edge of her mouth with her index finger as she tilted her head to the side.
Seeing her make that pose made both Karen and Rhea seemed to be enraged.
They both seemed to want to jump at her throat.
Haruki, on the other hand, suddenly became calmer than before.
“It’s true that I fought together with Kagemitsu. So that turned into a rumor?”
“Right. A mask that floats in mid-air, feathers growing from his neck, and a plant on his back that attacked with its tentacles. And a scaly body that repelled all monster attacks.”
“Oh, but I’m not like that.”
He wasn’t some kind of monster.
Haruki shook his head in denial.
Then, he felt a thorn prickling him on the back, as if saying “Eh?”.
–No, you’re wrong.
–You’re totally wrong!
“Your mask is floating.”
“You have feathers growing out of your neck.”
“They’re not growing–”
“Is that a plant?”
“And you have scales too.”
“And are those tentacles?”
“No no! I don’t have any tentacles!”
“Then what are those?”
Shigure pointed at Haruki’s bag.
THe other day, Haruki had attached the two Slimy Eel figurines that he got as a drop from the boss on his bag.
Depending how you looked at the Slimy Eels, they certainly could pass for tentacles.
They could look like tentacles, but still…
Shigure pointed at Haruki, who was at a loss for words.
“It has to be you.”
The evidence was conclusive.
Shigure’s eyes looked sharper, as if urging Haruki to confess.
Haruki was the one who fought alongside Kagemitsu against the Monster Parade in Chikaho.
There was no problem there.
But admitting to that also meant that he would confirm the disgraceful rumor that he was a masked tentacle man who grows plants on his back, feathers on his neck, and scales on his body.
Haruki was worried.
He kept knocking around both affirmation and denial.
No matter how much he wants his presence to increase, he wasn’t sure he wanted to accept that.
But before Haruki could answer…
“Say, Mr. Masked Man.”
Shigure continued to speak on the assumption that Haruki was the person she had heard about.
He could feel both Rhea and Karen snickering behind him.
–Damn it, just you wait!
“Would you like to play a game with me for a while?”
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
Fighting between fellow adventurers is strictly forbidden.
However, there are loopholes around it.