The World Is Overflowing with Monster , I’m Taking a Liking to This Life 48
48. The Footsteps of Destruction

We were going back the way that we had come in order to escape the pack of shadow wolves.
It did not feel good to retreat when we had come all of this way, but it wasn’t worth risking our lives.
Just like the orcs, the shadow wolves had a keen sense of smell.
They would have likely followed us if we stayed any longer, and I just couldn’t do anything risky at this point.

“I feel like I have some sort of connection to the shadow wolves…”

And not in a good way.
For some reason, they had specifically targeted me at the home center.
It made me wonder if running over that first shadow wolf, in the beginning, had caused them to hate me more than usual.

“Let’s rest a little for now.”

“Bark.”

I sit down on the ground and lean back against a vending machine.
Scout and Danger Detection were not showing anything nearby.
As my mouth was feeling dry, I took out a sports drink from the Item Box.
Momo looked like she wanted some, so I put some in a plate.
Of course, it was her personal plate.
Now that my thirst was quenched, I took out the butcher’s knife I had got through my fight with the orc.

“An orc knife…huh.”

That’s exactly what it was.
It was about 80 centimeters in length.
It wasn’t rusted at all and looked like it would cut cleanly.

I try swinging it around.
Yeah, this amount of weight shouldn’t be a problem.
I think I would replace my kitchen knife with this from now on.
I wasn’t going to avoid using it just because it was a monster’s weapon.

Still, my main method of attack was ambushing enemies with the Item Box. So I shouldn’t get into any real sword fights, I think.
I mean, I would be in trouble if I did.
But it was still good to have a strong weapon.
It might help me improve my Swordsmanship and Vital Strike skill.

Now that I think of it, the female student in Nishino’s group had a weapon like this too.
But hers was a billhook.

“Oh, I guess I should check my Email then…”

I open the Mail display, and as expected, there were even more Unread messages now.
…I’ll just reply to the most recent one.

“Mmm…?”

As I skimmed through the text, there was something in the latest message that caught my eye.

“She saw a pack of orcs…?”

The text said that she had seen a pack of orcs and that I should be careful.
I had received the message a few minutes ago.
Around the time that I was running away from the shadow wolves.

…A pack of orcs.
The first thing that I thought of, was the orcs from the shopping mall.
When I read the message further, I saw the words ‘bronze-colored orc.’
There was no mistake. It was him.
Were they moving to find new prey?
This was incredibly bad.
Not only that, but they were sighted not too far from here.
Near the place that we had fought the hobgoblins.

When I concentrated my consciousness in that direction, I did get a ‘bad feeling’ from it.
It was a similar feeling to the one I got when I was going to the shopping mall from the convenient store.

It seemed that Ichinose’s information was true.
I needed to thank her for it.
I’ll send her a thank you message.

…It only took a few seconds for her to reply to it.
As I said, it’s way too fast!
I mean, Ichinose, if you have time to be replying to messages, you should hurry up and get out of there.

“Hmm…:”

This really wasn’t good.
It seemed that there were more and more monsters in this area all of a sudden.
And I needed to be extra careful with the pack of shadow wolves and the pack of orcs.
The existence of these two packs was really restricting my movements.
I would have to make a huge detour from my original route.
Well, it couldn’t be helped.
It would take more time, but safety was important.

…Mmm? Wait a second.
Wasn’t the home center also close to that area?

…I wonder if Nishino and the others are alright?
Well, I had a feeling that they would make it out just fine.

Now, which route should I take…

At the same time, at the home center–.

Now that Shibata had returned, Nishino asked him about what had happened.

The returned Shibata was haggard and on the verge of panic.
His wounds were quickly treated, and now that he was calming down, Nishino decided to question him.

Shibata told him in a trembling voice.
They had decided to search farther out and headed for the shopping mall.
And then they had encountered an orc with unbelievable strength.
Everyone but Shibata had died there.
He told him everything without hiding anything.

“I see…”

After hearing this story, Nishino looked up at the ceiling and mumbled.

“I understand. I’m glad that you were able to get away, Shibata…”

He put a hand on Shibata’s tired shoulder.

“…Nishino. I’m a terrible person. I abandoned my friends, and fled by myself…damn it! Damn it!”

Shibata clenched his fists with anger and remorse.
He didn’t know where to direct these feelings.
He was usually short tempered and ill-bred, but his feelings of camaraderie were real.

“Yes, I know. But Shibata, we wouldn’t have received this information if you had died. You did well. There is no need to feel ashamed.”

“…”

Shibata looked away upon hearing this.

“You don’t believe me? Then let me put it this way. If you feel even a little bad about their deaths, then you should try to live as long as possible. If not, then for what purpose did they die? For what purpose did you abandon them? If you want to find meaning for your actions, if you want to repay them for what happened, then you must continue to fight and live… Got that?”

“…Yes.”

He couldn’t argue against Nishino. And so Shibata only nodded.
He wasn’t satisfied with it, but there was nothing else that could be done.

(…If he really isn’t able to recover from this, well, I’ll deal with it when the time comes)

Nishino thought, but didn’t allow it to show on his face.

“So, Nisshi. What are we going to do now?”

Rikka, the female high school student saw that they were finished, and raised her voice.
Nishino had to chuckle at her lack of nervousness even at a time like this.

“…Yes. With such a strong monster approaching us, we will have no choice but to relocate.”

“Relocate?”

“The school, or maybe the city office. Both places are quite far from here, but they should have better facilities than here. There will probably be more refugees as well.”

“Will they welcome us there? They probably don’t have room for any more people either.”

“We’ll have to negotiate. In any case, let’s figure out a route so we can leave as soon as we are finished packing.”

Nishino spread out a map.
A route that they could follow with their numbers.
And it had to be a safe one. This would not be easy.
He looked hard at the map as he thought about what they would have to do—-then it happened.

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo!!”

The cry of a monster boomed in the air.
It was so strong that the entire building seemed to shake.

“Ambush! AMBUUUUUSH!”
“Monsters! The orc pack is here!”

The shouts came from the entrance.

“…It seems like they arrived a lot faster than we’d thought.”

“…Looks like it.”

The two of them picked up their weapons and headed for the entrance.

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