Saturday, February 10, 2024 @

Chapter 10 Split Away (Part One)

Chapter 10 Split Away (Part One)

 After the Muto incident was over, we went up to the second floor. There, six girls, looking completely exhausted, were sitting as if in a daze. When I asked Kondo Shuichi if they had eaten anything, he replied, "We didn't have time for that." So, I took out three bottles of water and six pieces of pastry from my backpack.

 "Let's start by sharing these and eating."

 I said as I distributed them to the seven people who arrived later and hadn't eaten anything yet. Everyone gathered around the bonfire and naturally formed a circle.

 "Have Akito and the others eaten already?"

 Kondo Shuichi asked.

 "Yeah, we're done eating."

 "You're really well-prepared."

 That was Kiridani Jun, the sunny one, who said that.

 "If I'm really well-prepared, I would have prepared enough for everyone. I just distributed them, so these are the last of the water and food."

 I replied to dodge the conversation.

 "Alice, eat it."

 Tsubasa said so and tried to hand a pastry to Akamine Alice, but Alice shook her head from side to side.

 "In this situation, I don't have any appetite."

 It's not surprising. She came to school as usual, but suddenly she was thrown into this situation. Moreover, she was even attacked by a monster that shouldn't exist in reality. It must be unbearable for Akamine Alice, a princess-like beautiful girl. But... I said to Alice.

 "You should eat it, even if it's forced. We have to walk tomorrow too. You won't have the stamina."

 She looked at me with resentful eyes.

 "Akito-kun is right. Eat at least a little."

 Midoritani Tsubasa split the pastry in half and handed it back to Alice. Alice seemed to have given up and reluctantly put it in her mouth.

 "Hey," and this time Aoki Runa, a gal-like beautiful girl, called out.

 "Is this building really safe? Will zombies come in?"

 Outside, the moans of zombies can still be heard, and there are continuous sounds of knocking and scratching on the door.

 "It should be fine. The door is made of thick wood, and all the windows on the first floor are boarded up."

 "What do you mean 'should be'? I can't feel at ease with that!"

 Aoki Runa expressed her dissatisfaction to me. In response to her, I spoke coldly.

 "Feel at ease? What do you expect me to do? If I were to guarantee safety, would Aoki-san be satisfied? But those words mean nothing. Monsters will come when they come, and if they attack, we can only protect ourselves. If we can't do that, we'll just die."

 Aoki Runa looked at me with a pale face.

 "Hey, you shouldn't talk to a girl like that. Everyone is anxious. It's not okay to say things like that."

 Kiridani Jun defended Runa. He has a special relationship with Runa. It is said in the class that the two of them are dating.

 "I am speaking the truth. In this world, relying on others will only lead to death. No one will protect our lives, let alone guarantee our safety, even if we pay money for it."

 I said this with a push. I didn't say this only to Kiridani and Runa. I told everyone present. Even though I don't want to say such things, I don't want to be the hated one.

 But to survive, people need determination. A strong determination to say "No one will protect us. We must survive." I wanted everyone to understand that.

 Now, I look at everyone's faces.

 There are six boys: me, Morimura Manabu, Kondo Shuichi, Kiridani Jun, Shimura Yasuhiko, Kashima Shougou.

 There are six girls: Akamine Alice, Midoritani Tsubasa, Mizuno Kaede, Aoki Runa, Nemoto Reiko, Nomura Mika.

 On my left, the usually quiet Morimura is sitting, followed by Shimura, and then the kendo club president, Kashima.

 On the opposite side are the lively Kiridani Jun and Aoki Runa.

 On my right, there's the beautiful first-year student Akamine Alice, the all-around athlete and archery club member Midoritani Tsubasa, and the quiet Mizuno Kaede, forming a close trio.

 Between those three and Kiridani and Aoki are Nemoto Reiko and Aoki Mika.

 (That makes twelve in total. Seems a bit few.)

 Thinking this, I asked everyone,

 "Are there no other survivors? Have you seen anyone else?"

 Everyone exchanged glances. Eventually, Kiridani Jun answered,

 "We haven't seen anyone else."

 "What about Iigaki, Kuriyama, or Tamori?"

 The three people I mentioned are delinquents. They have a certain level of physical strength and a clever way of doing things. While these two traits may be a nuisance in school, they can be weapons in this world. I don't think they would be easily defeated.

 "I don't know. We didn't see them. When we were running away, they entered the forest from a place far away from us. So they might be alive, but I don't know what happened."

 "I see."

 There's no point in thinking about it anymore. If we're lucky, the others might still be alive, and if we're even luckier, we might meet again.

 "Understood. By the way, sorry to bother you when you're tired, but we're taking turns to keep watch. We still have 5 hours until dawn. I'll keep watch for another hour, and then we'll take turns in pairs every two hours."

 Kondo Shuichi immediately responded to that.

 "Got it. Then I'll do it next. Is there anyone else who can do it with me?"

 Kashima Shougou (captain kendo) raised his hand.

 "I'll do it."

 "Then I'm next. Runa, can you keep watch with me?"

 When Kiridani Jun said that, Aoki Runa made a displeased face but didn't object.

 "Alright, let's have everyone else besides the lookout go to sleep. It might be hard to sleep, but let's rest our bodies as much as we can."

 Saying that, I picked up my backpack and moved to the window. Looking outside, more zombies were gathering than before. They were making eerie groaning sounds and trying to climb the walls of the church by scratching at them. But zombies can't climb walls, so there was no need to worry.

 Everyone looked at me with suspicious eyes, but eventually, each of them lay down. The crackling of the bonfire and the moaning of the zombies from outside. Listening to this unmatched sound that I have heard many times, I spent the first night in this repeated otherworld.

 One hour later, I woke up Kondo Shuichi and Kashima Shougou and asked them to change guard duty. However, they, like the others, were not asleep. After changing the guard duty, I quickly lay down with my backpack as a pillow. They seemed to look at me in wonder once again.

 When the sky began to turn white, I naturally woke up. After experiencing multiple world transfers, even when I was asleep, a part of my consciousness became able to constantly perceive the outside situation. I would wake up immediately if enemies approached and I was sensitive to changes in the situation.

 I sat up and looked around. Everyone was sleeping lying down. Akamine Alice, Midoritani Tsubasa, and Mizuno Kaede, the trio who were always close, were sleeping with their bodies close together. Nemoto Reiko and Nomura Mika were the same.

 On the other hand, the boys were sleeping with some distance between them. It seems that even in a place like this, there is a difference between boys and girls. And Kiridani Jun and Aoki Runa, who were supposed to be on guard duty... were sleeping leaning against the wall in separate places.

 (Although they were supposed to be on guard...)

 That's what I thought, but maybe it can't be helped on the first day. Besides, nocturnal creatures stop being active a little before sunrise. Perhaps the zombies' activities have also subsided, and Kiridani and the others have fallen asleep, their tension released.

 Quietly getting up so as not to wake everyone, I peered out the window. As expected, the zombies were already gone. Or rather, they had turned back into their original corpses. I went downstairs, removed the latch on the door, and went outside. I started walking through the sunlit grassland. It's not like I went for a walk just for the sake of it. I have a specific purpose. I stared at the ground, as if my eyes were saucers.

 (There it is.)

 Thinking that, I picked up the shining object hidden in the grass. It was a necklace with a magic stone. In this world, magic stones are very valuable. They contain various magical powers and often bring certain benefits to their owners.

 Unfortunately, this necklace doesn't seem to have much power. It's probably something that a soldier's family gave as a charm, praying for their safety.

 (Although it probably didn't have any effect on the dead body)

 While thinking that way, I put the necklace in my backpack. After all, we don't have any money in this world. The paper money in our world is just pieces of paper here, and the coins have almost no value.

 That's why I'm doing this risky thing, like a scene from a fire, to collect things that might be valuable from dead soldiers. At the same time, I pick up any weapons that still seem usable. At the very least, I want everyone to have one weapon each.

 After exploring the area for about an hour, I gathered a decent amount of magic stones, ornaments, and weapons. With this much, it should cover the expenses for a few days. When I returned to the church with the weapons in hand, Midoritani Tsubasa was standing in front of the door.

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