The World Is Overflowing with Monster, I’m Taking a Liking to This Life 49
49. Encounter

At the home center–.

By the time Nishino and Rikka reached the entrance, the situation was already bad.
The students and refugees could do nothing but try and defend themselves against the orcs.

“You guys, are you okay!?”

“Ni-nishino!”
“They’re too strong! I, I don’t think I can hold them any longer!”
“What should we do?”
“Damn! I don’t want to die heeeeeere!”
“Stay back! You monsters! You! Mooonsteeeers!”

While they were relieved to see the two arrive, they barely had any time to reply.

(This was…very bad…)

From what he could see now, there were over 10 orcs here.
And each one seemed very strong.
Much stronger than the goblins and lesser wolves they had fought yesterday.

(It’s one thing for my fellow classmates to fight them, but these refugees are clearly outmatched… Damn it. They have barely even leveled up.)

In fact, several of the refugees had already thrown down their weapons and returned to the back of the home center.
They seemed very defeated after experiencing the battle yesterday.

“Damn it…useless bastards. They complained so much when they weren’t fighting, but now they were fine with being useless.”

It was now clear that those who ran back should not be counted as part of their fighting force.
But this situation was not something that they could deal with, with such few numbers.
And more than anything, he was wary of the bronze-colored orc in the back.

(…That was one obviously on a different level than the others. Was that the one that Shibata was talking about…?)

Even now, the bronze orc showed no signs of moving. He was only looking at them from afar.
Nishino felt sweat drip from his forehead.
This was not good. His instincts told him that everything would be over the moment that that orc moved.

“…Rikka.”

“Yeah?”

Nishino addressed Rikka, who stood next to him with her billhook.

“Do you think you could fight that bronze orc over there?”

“Hmm…”

Rikka answered him lazily and inspected the orc.
A few seconds passed.
Then she sighed.

“…Sorry, Nisshi. Not that one. I’ll die.”

She lacked any sense of nervousness as usual.
Still, more than anything, her reply showed the difference in power between them and the enemy.

“Even if you use ‘Berzerk’ to its limits?”

“Yeah, it’s a nope. I can’t do it.”

“I see…”

If Rikka was so sure of her defeat, then there was no possibility of them winning.
In that case, there was only one thing to be done.
Nishino decided and then shouted.

“All of you! Plan number 4! We’ll survive no matter what!”

“Huh!?”
“Really? 4…?”
“Is he serious…”
“Hey, hey! Wait for a second, I didn’t hear about any plan 4?”
“Neither have I! What plan is that?”
“Does he have some trump card?”

The opinions of those who heard him divided cleanly into two.
In other words, the students and refugees.
Nishino had different plans that had numbers from 1 to 4.
And Plan #4 was the one that took into account the worst possible situation.

In other words— ‘Leave the refugees as bait and run.’

Of course, the only people that knew of this plan were the students.
The refugees had no idea.
The students knew the meaning of his words, and their faces darkened.
The refugees didn’t understand, but they had a small hope that Nishino would think of something.

“We will slowly retreat into the store while continuing to defend! The plan will be put into effect once the orcs get inside! The back exit and the windows! Do it!”

“Understood.”

Rikka nodded without hesitation. The other students looked less enthusiastic.

“You guys! We’ll die if this continues! We must survive this! Isn’t that right?”

“…!”
“…!”
“…!”

Upon hearing Nishino’s shout, the students made their decision.
The refugees didn’t understand it, but they could do nothing but follow orders.

(…Yes, we cannot allow ourselves to be killed. Not here, never…!)

Their desperate plan was about to begin.
A plan to sacrifice the others so that they can live.

At the same time—.

That ‘bad feeling’ was getting stronger…
We were carefully navigating through the town in order to avoid any encounters with the pack of orcs or shadow wolves.
Goblins would have been manageable, but fighting monsters of the orc or shadow wolf class were impossible at my current level.
Not to mention, there was a high orc among the orc pack.
I was lucky to get away the last time, but I didn’t think it would happen again.
I could not allow myself to encounter them.

“Position-wise, we are right between the two packs right now…”

And both groups had monsters with a keen sense of smell.
It was the worst combination.
So, what was I to do in order to get through this…?
I wonder as I look up at the sky. It was dark and clouded.
A drop of water falls on my nose.

“…Looks like it’s going to rain again…”

It’s been raining a lot lately.
I wanted to make as much distance between me and the monsters as possible before it really started to pour.
For now, I would just go in a direction where I didn’t get ‘a bad feeling’ from.
I wanted to fight as little as possible for now.

“…Hmm?”

I look up and see a black pillar of smoke rising in the distance.
A fire?
Judging from the amount of smoke, it was on a pretty large scale.

Wasn’t that the direction that the home center was in?
It was also the direction where the orcs were headed.
Could it be…

It started to bug me, and so I decided to write to Ichinose about it.
Maybe she would be able to get a good view from the top of her apartment building.
I open the Mail window.
There was 1 Unread message.
Judging by the time it was received, it was sent just a minute ago.
I open it and read the contents.

‘It looks like there has been a fire at the home center. It is where the orc pack was headed, so I think there is a strong likelihood that they were fighting with the refugees in the home center. The orcs seem to be actively hunting down humans, so we must be careful. Also, about joining your party, have you not reached a decision yet? Hope to hear from you soon.”

She was fast!
I was just about to ask her, but she answered me first. This girl.
And she was really rushing things with this party business.
She was really determined…

In any case…
The smoke really was from the home center.
And they had fought against the orcs.
May they rest in peace. That’s all I can say.

“I do hope that they somehow escapes…”

Not that I had any time to worry about others now.
I avoided the direction that was giving me a ‘bad feeling’ and continued to move.
The rain got worse as we went on, and so Aka turned into a raincoat for me.

“…Mmm?”

As we walked in the rain, Scout started reacting to something.
It wasn’t a monster, but humans.
Two of them.
The place…a nearby park.
It was rare to encounter people walking about. Most people stayed indoors.
I couldn’t help but feel curious, and so I headed in the direction that Scout indicated.

And as I got closer, something started to bother me.
That’s weird…
These people haven’t moved at all ever since I detected them.
What did that mean?

I reached the place that they were.
It was a small park with only a swing and a bench.
The people were in a corner in the park, trying to hide in the bushes.

“There…”

I hide in the shadow of a building and inspect them.
They looked familiar.
Students.
One of them was Nishino.
The other was the female student with the side ponytail.
Her name….Ri…something?
Oh, whatever.
It wasn’t important.
What was important was the state that they were in.

“…They’re a mess.”

I could tell even from this distance.
Especially the girl, she was bleeding quite a bit.
It looked really bad.
Had they escaped from the orc ambush?
All of a sudden, Nishino looked directly towards me.

“…Is someone there?”

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