Wednesday, April 27, 2022 @

Chapter 15 My First School Friend

 “Well then...”
 After defeating the gargoyle and collecting the magic stone as a drop item, I looked back at my classmates behind me.
 The man called "Jean" was healing his friends. All three of them were unconscious, including Arisa, who seemed to be his girlfriend. Arisa is in particularly bad shape. Her chest is bleeding and her face is pale from the loss of blood.
 “Are you all right?”
 “Oh... I'm sorry, Baskerville. Thank you”
 Jean, who was treating his friends, turns to me and bows his head lightly. He immediately turns back to his friends and resumes first aid.
 It seems that the wounds of his companions are too deep to be treated with only the healing medicine he has on hand. I take out several bottles of potions from my toolbox and place them beside Jean.
 “You can use them, don't you need them?”
 “Are you sure? I don't have any money”
 “It doesn't matter. It's a cheap one anyway, so don't worry about it”
 Jean looks at me hesitantly for a moment, alternating between my face and the potion, but soon puts the lives of his companions ahead of his own and proceeds to give them the potion.
 Their wounds, which had knocked them unconscious, disappear in a green recovery effect. Their color improves and they will wake up soon.
 “You look okay. It's good to see you all alive”
 “Sorry, Baskerville. Thank you so much”
 After confirming that his friends were safe, Jean turned his body toward me and bowed deeply. I responded with a light wave of my hand.
 “Don't worry about it. We are classmates, after all. It's only natural”
 “...I see. Thank you so much. And thanks for the medicine, but also for defeating that crazy enemy”
 Jean looks at the place where the gargoyle had been a moment ago, his face contorted in vexation.
 “I didn't know there were such strong monsters in this dungeon. I didn't mean to be so careless...”
 “That monster is probably an anomaly. Don't worry about it”
 “And yet, my friends were injured because I, the leader, was not good enough...? Damn!”
 Jean spat in frustration as he hit the ground.
 Apparently, this man has a strong sense of responsibility. He seems to feel a heavy responsibility for the injuries of his comrades. He is an honest man. It would be a shame to leave him in the mob.
 “If you feel responsible... you should be strong. Next time, be strong enough to protect your friends”
 I didn't know what to say to him at a time like this, but I said the usual words of comfort.
 It may not have been a witty comfort, but it brought a slight smile back to Jean's face.
 “Yes... be strong. Like Baskerville, I must be strong”
 “You don't have to follow my example, though... you have a long school life. Just do your best”
 “Yeah, thanks. And I'm really sorry”
 Jean looks mysterious and says sorry for what seems like the umpteenth time.
 “I already heard you say thank you, didn't I? Enough of your pestering”
 “It's not that... uh, I guess I misunderstood you. I just wanted to apologize for that”
 Jean scratches his cheeks awkwardly with his fingertips and starts to talk.
 “I thought you were much more of a jerk. You have a scary face, and... you know, I never hear good things about the Baskervilles”
 “...Ah that? I know it”
 “But you were a good man. You could've left us alone, but you risked so much to help us. You gave us medicine. I'm sorry I misunderstood you and ignored you in the classroom. Please forgive me”
 Jean takes the trouble to stand up, bends at a right angle at the waist, and bows his head. He is an upright man.
 This may be the first time for me to talk to my classmates in a straight face, since I have been a bit of an outcast at the school. I don't know what to say back to him, and I turn my face away from him with a subtle look on my face.
 I feel a little embarrassed and take out an item from my tool bag to hide it.
 “...Don't worry about what happened so far. It's true that I have a scary face and that the Baskervilles are villains. I'll go on ahead and you can use this to get out slowly”
 “This is...?”
 What I handed to Jean was a consumable item called [Amulet Incense] that drives away monsters. It only works on weak monsters, but if it is an enemy of this dungeon's size, they should be able to escape without encountering them.
 “...Thank you again. I'll be sure to return the favor”
 “Just pay me back with a promotion and you'll be fine...see you later”
 I said bluntly and left the place with a wave of my hand.

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