Editors: Vysne, Gingery Klaus, Skythewood
A treasure chest appeared where the Mustard Dragon had collapsed. When I asked why nobody was touching, they all said they were afraid of the trap.
It seems they didn’t hear about how to disarm the traps from the shaggy hair yet. Of course, anyone with Thief-related skills could disarm the traps and some magic spells could detect traps as well.
The shaggy hair was probably part of the group that ran back to the town considering that he wasn’t here. Even if a Mustard Dragon dropped the chest, since it was on the first floor, there were no extravagant traps.
When the others had cleared out, I started tossing rocks at the treasure chest. A dry clack sounded and the chest opened. As mentioned before, the treasure chests on the first floors had a pattern to them and could easily be safely disarmed even without any skills.
“There wasn’t even any trap.”
When I peeked in, a bag full of gold coins and “Black Steel Sword” was visible. The sword had a blue glow about it, so it could be a magic sword. The monster may have been from the sixth floor, but the treasure chest was that of the first floor. Naturally, the contents would match the quality of the first floor.
It was a better weapon than my samurai sword, but I had no interest in double-edged sword, so it was time to pass it off to someone else.
“Hey, Shinjo Wataru-kun, did you open the chest?”
“Yea, I think I opened it by accident.”
I lied through my teeth. Once they found out the chest was open, Nanami’s group swarmed over. I didn’t need the item nor the money, so the “Black Steel Sword” became Nanami’s.
They still thrust ten golds to me as my share of the loot, so I smiled bitterly, planning to give it to Seki once I run into him. It didn’t hold much value for me, but gold was invaluable for students who were planning to live in the town.
I couldn’t wait to head off and explore the dungeon, but if I just wandered off right now, people would be suspicious. It seemed that Nanami’s group was dedicated to nursing the students who would soon pass away due to poison up until their last moments.
Another monster may show up. It made me nervous that we were tarrying so long in a place like this, but I could read the atmosphere enough to not say something like “hurry up” to them.
There were bodies piled up from the students who were cornered by the Mustard Dragon. There was no way to cremate the body, nor was leaving them as they were an option.
So, under Nanami’s commands, we had laid out a vinyl sheet in Class A to turn it into a makeshift grave. The students who took a hit from the poisonous breath had bloodshot and purplish face.
A girl who was half-eaten with part of her face missing.
A boy who was crushed by the dragon’s tail to a pulp.
The expression of the corpse were all the same: of fear and pain. There was a boy who was repeating the name of one of the corpse over and over again, and there was a girl who was putting on makeup for the dead and fixing their expression. There was no doubt that the students who died had many friends. Grievance and mourning was only natural.
I decided to come out of the classroom to patrol the corridors since I had no one to grieve for. I didn’t expect orcs to come around so soon after the Mustard Dragon had rampaged through, but you could never be too careful.
While I was just training for my Acrobat proficiency by throwing rocks at the wall, a girl who had a high side ponytail came up to me. She seemed to be walking abnormally slowly, and sure enough, she was using a mop as a cane while dragging her left leg.
“What… are you hurt?”
“Eh…. no, I was like this all along.”
I asked her what it was, and she said it was a problem with the knee joint and while she could walk, she couldn’t run. I was surprised that such student was in the group.
There was someone who couldn’t fight nor run from a monster. Meaning that Nanami’s group didn’t abandon someone like her even in the face of a Mustard Dragon.
Her mood seemed to have turned darker from my questions and extended the bag she was carrying to me with “Anyways…”
The bag she handed over was filled with empty flasks.
“.... Did you pick up all these yourself?”
“Yea. It’s yours, right Shinjo-san?”
She seem to have grabbed all the flasks I threw out.
They were dirt cheap in the shop and it didn’t matter if I left them all here or not. Still, it was rude to ignore a girl’s goodwill gesture, so I took the bag and shoved it in the back pack.
“Umm, I wanted to say I’m really grateful to you for helping us out.”
She bowed and her backpack whooshed around along with her hair. She was such a sincere girl.
Collecting useful looking item, having something to carry everything around with you is the right thing to do in this world. Though she couldn’t fight due to her leg, the fact she knew what role she could play made her a great asset.
“No, I just came in late. People who really helped you was Nanami’s group.”
“But if Shinjo-san didn’t come, we’d all be dead.”
“That’s not true. If it’s Vice-President Nanami, he’d have found a way.”
It wasn’t good to attract any attention, so I decided to play humble. But I really did think that Nanami, who knew exactly what to do once he saw me, would have found a way.
Nanami probably told everyone to hold out in the classrooms to protect those who couldn’t get away quick enough. If he had fought wholeheartedly, there was no doubt that Nanami’s group could have done it.
In that case, she might have been left to die as she was a hindrance, though I won’t say something so rude to the person outright. But, how did she know my name? The girl spoke as if she had guessed what I was thinking just by my expression.
“Uhh, I’m Rindou Kazuha. We were both in Class F, don’t you remember?”
“Yea, I guess. I’m sorry.”
I thought I might recall who she was, but it seemed I didn’t pay much attention to girls in the class either. Even if we were in the same class, I purposefully didn’t talk to others based on stupid reason like “no need to associate with those lesser than me”.
The only one who tried to talk with the obstinate me was Seki.
Kazuha blushed and spoke faster.
“Is… is that so… I guess Shinjo-san wouldn’t be interested in someone like me. But you helped me once before.”
“Yes! When we were picking for the class representative and they were trying to force it on me, you stood up for me and said “Don’t decided it amongst yourself while ignoring her!”. I was very happy when you said it…”
“So, you didn’t become the class representative thanks to me?”
I didn’t remember any of it, but nice job past me.
You were usually quiet, but being a delinquent who saves girls in trouble was super cool. Guess you were a man when it came down to it.
“So you really don’t remember me. I’m shocked. I’ve been the class representative since then after all….”
“Crap, I guess I didn’t save you after all.”
Oi, myself from the past, this ain’t quite right. If you were going to save a girl, do it right. Not that it mattered much since I didn’t remember any of it, but looking from an objective point of view, I was pretty heartless.
“But you did stand up for me, Shinjo-san. I wanted to repay your kindness for a while now, but there wasn’t any chance to talk to you. Every time I thought there was an opportunity, a pretty girl was always around you.”
Ah, Kumiko. She did turn into a stalker ever since the confession incident. The atmosphere became weird since a popular girl from Class A kept coming around Class F.
“When she wasn’t there, you were sleeping, so it was hard to try to talk to you. Time just kept passing by, and I was worried….”
“It’s all good. Conversely, I should be the one saying sorry.”
“Don’t apologize! I just wanted to say it before I die, so I’m just glad that I got to say it.”
“What do you mean die? We just saved you.”
This place was dangerous, so her words alarmed me.
“You did, but I can’t move properly and I’ll just be a hindrance. I’d probably die soon anyways. I was just lucky that Shinjo-san was around to help.”
I felt weird at the fact she thought she was going to die so easily even after surviving through all the others death. How sad must she be under that smile? It made me wonder if Rindou Kazuha was the kind of a person who was prepared for death even with all this dire environment around her.
A regular human would think that “I will survive” as others die all around him. That kind of silly obsession won’t dissipate until the moment right before death. I was no exception, of course.
To be frank, Kazuha was right. We were in a situation that nobody knew who the next person to die would be.
I could feel the loneliness emanating from the girl who could smile while saying something brutally honest like that. I almost said something irresponsible like “I’ll help you”, so I bit down hard on my lower lip.
Oi, Shinjo Wataru-san. Just what were you thinking you were going to do to this poor girl after letting so many other students die?
There was no absolute safety in Genocide Reality. Nobody could guarantee anyone’s safety. Even a little bit of carelessness could end up activating a trap that would kill you with an arrow or a fireball.
Even right now, we didn’t know when the next invasion would happen with something like a demon or another dragon popping up somewhere. The chance would be miniscule, but if something stronger than a Mustard Dragon appeared right now, I’d abandon Kazuha and run immediately.
My life was more important than others’. I was a cold bastard like that.
Mentally speaking, it was harder to listen to Kazuha say “I’m going to die anyways” than listening to others blame me for not saving them earlier or criticize that I am a heartless person. Why would anyone think that way?
The worst was that I knew she was not sarcastic about that comment. She was truly thankful towards me from the bottom of her heart. I had forgotten about it, but I had already tried to save her once and failed.
“Ha…. how troubling.”
I let out a deep sigh, took one of the flask and chanted “Lo Lith (Beginner Health)”. Blue liquid started to pool in the flask.
“Hey, Rindou-san, can you drink this?”
“This is a healing potion, right? But I haven’t been injured.”
Rindou Kazuha held the flask with both her hands and gulped the content down. Then I touched her left leg which she had been dragging.
“Try to put some strength into it and stand.”
I felt her leg from the ankle to the thigh to check and confirmed that she was indeed able to use her muscle. Her left leg, which was bent until now, was straightened out.
“You’re kidding… I can stand! I can walk!”
“It seems the health potion helps even with pre-existing conditions.”
It was a little awkward, but Kazuha could walk without a cane. I was sort of expecting this outcome. In the dungeon, one could contract illness or other seriously debilitating injuries. If health potion couldn’t cure that, then it wasn’t doing its job.
“You can make health potion by chanting “Lo Lith”. Make one as soon as you have the mana. It might not be completely cured the first time, but if you keep drinking the potion, you’ll be fine.”
Kazuha was trying to say something with her tear choked voice.
“What is it, Kazuha? It’s dangerous out here.”
Nanami Shuichi hurried over here. He looked different than usual. After he went over to Rindou Kazuha, he glared at me while standing in front of me.
What… It’s not my fault Kazuha was crying. I definitely didn’t do anything to her.
“Nanami-kun, I’m fine. Shinjo-kun helped me.”
“Kazuha, stay behind me.”
I smiled after seeing Nanami’s serious face. Aaahh~ so the girl Nanami liked was Kazuha.
Rindou Kazuha looked frail and didn’t stand out. She was a modest girl who didn’t wear any flashy accessories, but she didn’t look bad either.
Her eyes were slightly drooped, and her moist eyes made her look very innocent and genuine. She had a bit of dark circle under her eyes, but it wasn’t too bad. For sixteen year old, her chest and her ass was rather well developed. She was the type who was more cute the more you looked at her.
You needed to look at Kazuha for a while to say “Wait a minute… Isn’t that girl really cute?”. Even I, who was in same classroom as her, didn’t notice. She could be a real hidden beauty. However, it was a bit unexpected that she was the target for the most handsome guy in the school’s affection.
Nanami was easy to figure out as always. He always called everybody by their full name, but he called on Kazuha as if he was a good friend.
That was sufficient evidence that there was something going on between them. I didn’t care much for making friends, but if there was a love gossip, I wanted a slice of the action.
Especially since he kicked aside the beauty Kumiko (even though she’s a slut on the inside), and picked the rather plain looking Kazuha. I was bursting with curiosity.
“You guys look more friendly than I expected.”
“No, no, Shinjo-kun. I’ve known Nanami-kun from long ago, that’s why he’s looking out for me.”
Hohoho~, Kazuha was blushing and looked nervous. This kind of pure reaction. There was definitely something between those two. Nanami finally seemed to have calmed down and spoke in a gentlemanly tone.
“I was in the same school with Kazuha since kindergarten. We’re childhood friends.”
A childhood friend. In other word, a strong bond. Nanami Shuichi stood beside Kazuha as if he was stuck to her and kept speaking.
“Shinjo Wataru-kun, I’m grateful that you took care of Kazuha. But she’s my precious childhood friend. I want to be the one to protect her.”
He was a cool guy.
Any girl in the school would go crazy if they heard that kind of line from Nanami.
But Rindou Kazuha was a particular girl, too. She stood with her head down as if she was saying sorry to me. An average girl would be proud of being so loved by someone like Nanami. Even though such a cool childhood friend was so devoted to her, she wasn’t cocky. That was a rare trait on its own.
She was very humble. For a cute sixteen year old girl to be this calm and collected was amazing.
Kazuha was genuine, nice and most of all, didn’t try to lead around the guy who like her by the reins. She was not obsessed with “winning” or “losing” either. Compared to demanding girl like Kumiko, Kazuha’s hidden traits shined even brighter.
Kumiko was the kind of a girl who walked around with aura of arrogance about herself and she wasn’t the only one. I thought all girls were arrogant and cocky creatures.
Kazuha remember even small things from half a year ago and became nervous when she couldn’t pay me back for it. She was a girl who was hard to run into now a days. Nanami might be weak to those kind of girls. Perhaps Kumiko had approached Nanami the wrong way.
“You guys are an unexpectedly well-matched couple.”
“No, no, Shinjo-kun. I just lived near Nanami-kun’s place and we’re not a couple.”
Kazuha swayed her head with her head still tilted down. Her sideway ponytail shook with immense force. It seemed she was denying it fervently, so maybe it was better not to poke too deep. I was interested, but there was also something fishy.
Being Nanami’s girlfriend might be too much of a burden for her. Officially, Nanami didn’t have any girlfriend. They might have something between them I didn’t know about, so I decided to just leave it be.
I didn’t want to step on a landmine and other people’s problem didn’t interest me.
“We’re not going out together right now, but I always wanted to be a man who’s fitting for Kazuha…”
Nanami let out a confession no one even asked for. It was a genuine confession. I wanted to laugh out loud. Shouldn’t it be Kazuha who’s trying hard?
“Vice-President Nanami, I think it’s about time we get going.”
I offered my suggestion. It was good to mourn the dead, but time wasn’t on our side.
It was about time for the monsters, which cleared out like an avalanche, to start showing up again. The remaining survivors weren’t used to fighting either, so it would be a chore to escort them all back to the town.
“Ok, Shinjo Wataru-kun. I’ll get everyone together.”
Nanami Shuichi grabbed Kazuha’s hand and dragged her with him. Kazuha looked as if she wanted to say something to me, but since Nanami was there, I just let it be.
Human relationship was a cumbersome thing. His love issue didn’t have anything to do with me.
I decided to return to the town with Nanami’s group.
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