The World Is Overflowing with Monster, I’m Taking a Liking to This Life 55
During the Interlude

“…Hm?”

Rikka’s eyes opened in the dimly lit room.
Her body ached all over.

“Huh…? Where am I?”

She was covered by a blanket.
Blanket? But why?
She held her head and slowly sat up.

“Hmm…?”

Why was she in this situation?
Rikka thought about all the things that had happened.
Yes, the home center had been attacked by a group of orcs.
There had been little hope of winning, so Rikka and the others had set fire to the building. They had left the refugees as bait and ran away.
It was a pretty low method, but she believed it was the only way to survive.
After that, she and Nishino had dragged their wounded bodies in the rain and arrived in a park that was a short distance away. And then—.

“…What had happened?”

She couldn’t remember anything after that.
Her memories of fighting were always vague because of her ‘skill,’ but it was especially bad this time.
Her memories were lost in fragments, and her body was in tatters.
Even her side ponytail, which she was proud of, was ruined.

“—Are you up then?”

A voice rang.
She turned and saw that it was Nishino who looked at her while sitting on a chair.

“…Nisshi?”

“Do I look like anyone else?”

“Hmm. A ghost?”

“Don’t kill me off just yet. I’m still alive. See, I have legs.”

“Haha. You sure do.”

Rikka’s somewhat odd aura always made Nishino laugh.

“So, where is this place? I only remember running away with you and reaching some park…”

“It’s the same with me. I was here when I woke up. …It seems like someone carried us here.”

“Someone?”

“Yeah. I don’t know who it was.”

Nishino’s last memory was also of arriving at the park in the rain.
He felt like he met someone after that, but he could not remember who.

(Actually, was it even a person…? A dog? No, I’m not sure…)

In any case, they didn’t know who it was, but they were saved.
Not only that, but there were bandages, medicine and health drinks left there as well.
It was so thorough, that it made them more suspicious, if anything.
He gave Rikka a health drink.
Rikka drank it in one gulp.

“But I think we should be thankful that we were saved for now. Luckily it seems like no monsters have chased us either.”

“That’s true. Also, does that mean that that person applied these bandages?”

Rikka lifted her skirt and saw the sloppily applied bandages.
Nishino looked away.

“…You should care about others a little, you idiot.”

“Hm? Did you say something, Nisshi?”

“…Nothing.”

His cheeks were a little red.
Nishino continued as if to change the subject.

“We need to think about what to do next…”

“What to do…aren’t we going to look for the others?”

“But how? We can’t use our phones now. It’ll be close to impossible, you know?”

They had no way to get in contact.
They would have to slowly look for them on foot. And this was a world full of dangerous monsters.
It would be a different story if they had a ‘skill’ that allowed them to contact each other, but neither Nishino or Rikka had such a convenient skill

“So, what should we do?”

“We’ll move as planned. To the school. If things go well, we may meet up with the others there as well.”

“Ughh…”

‘School.’
Rikka scowled as soon as she heard the word.

“Uh, Nisshi. Why not any other public building?”

“The school is closer. Isn’t that more efficient?”

“…”

“I know what you are thinking. But right now…:”

“I understand.”

Rikka puffed up her cheeks in annoyance.
She hated school.
The school had robbed her of her precious friends.
She only had bad memories of that place.
But they had no choice but to go now.
Rikka forced herself to see it that way.

“I hope that Shibbacha and Ono are okay…”

“I’m sure they are alive. Ono and Shibata and the others. So we have to believe and keep moving.”

“…You’re right.”

Rikka thought about her new friends and smiled sadly.

“Well then, we should go. I wish we could rest longer, but time is money.”

“Understood.”

They were headed for their school in the center of the city.
They decided to keep moving and believe that the others were alive.

And—.

<<You have acquired EXP points>>
<<Ono Keita has gone from LV4 to LV5>>

<<You have met the requirements>>
<<You have acquired the skill, ‘Kindred Killer’>>

The voice rang in his head.
Ono, the student who wore glasses, was shaking.
His eyes couldn’t focus, and his lips were dry.

“Hah hah hah…n-no…it wasn’t on purpose. I…I wasn’t trying to…”

He mumbled in denial. He looked at the things that rolled in front of him.
They were wearing student clothes just like him.
There were three in all.
They didn’t move. There was no light in their eyes.
There was a red puddle.
It was getting bigger.

“Ye-yes. It was all their fault… They didn’t listen to my warning and moved on their own… I, I told them to run away…!”

After escaping the home center, he wandered through the city without anywhere to go.
As he became wet under the rain during his search for Nishino and Shibata, he reunited with the students he had abandoned.
—Yes, they were safe.
Ono was happy to see them, but they did not share his happiness.
The moment they saw him, they came at him like demons.

“How dare you hate me for it… What do you mean ‘we almost died because of you’… That’s stupid. How dare you!”

He was holding a survival knife.
It was sticky with blood.
It was just self-defense.
He had to retaliate, or they would kill him.
That’s what he thought.
So he stabbed.

His level was higher.
He also had an attack ‘skill.’
So he killed them.
It was easy to kill them.
Killed—but he hadn’t meant to—no, no, nonono!

“Uggghha…ahh…eeh…”

He vomited.
Disgusting.
He couldn’t stop shaking.
An unspeakable self-loathing pushed up from the pit of his stomach.

“It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. No, no, no, no, no…”

He mumbled words in his own defense.
He needed to in order to maintain his sanity.

“Yes, I have to find them. Nishino and Shibata, Rikka… I have to look for them. Where the hell are they? I have to hurry, hurry… Haha, hahaha…”

He didn’t wipe the blood off of his body. He barely even noticed it was there.
Yes, yes. I have to meet them all.
If I meet them, if I am with them, I will be okay.
It should be. It has to be.

“And so, so…it’s okay…okay…”

No one was there to hear those words, as he walked away on his shaky legs.

Skill: Kindred Killer
A skill that people who kill their own kind sometimes acquire.
You receive more EXP points if you kill your own kind.
Furthermore, you get status bonuses while fighting your own kind.
People who gain this skill will not be able to acquire, ‘Fear Resistance’ and ‘Stress Resistance.’

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