Tuesday, February 13, 2024 @

Chapter 20 Anxiety and Temptation (Part Two)

Chapter 20 Anxiety And Temptation (Part Two)

 In the morning, I woke everyone up. Shimura and Kiridani Jun's swellings have not subsided yet. So, it's impossible for them to walk long distances.

 However, I knew that the bandits had left their horses at the foot of the rocky mountain. There are a total of six horses.

 The horse I rode here is also tied down below. Everyone can ride a horse and go back.

 So, I put everyone on horses and held the reins of the two remaining horses.

 Slowly, we advanced on horseback in the morning air. We stopped by the bandits' temporary hut along the way. Kashima Shougou had already passed away. I clasped my hands in front of him, who had turned cold.

 (I'm sorry, Kashima. Even though you risked your life to help, I couldn't save Nomura-san...)

 I don't know where she was taken, but all I can do now is pray for her safety. I put his body on a horse as well. To transport him to the town and have him properly mourned. Kashima Shougou wouldn't want to be left here and become an undead wanderer.

 After that, we arrived in the town of Sakurakand in the early afternoon. First, I went to the church and requested a memorial service for Kashima Shougou from the priest. Then, I bought four translators. Since I received treasures that the bandits had, our pockets are warm.

 After finishing all the errands, we returned to the inn. In the diner on the first floor, Morimura, Kondo Shuichi, Akamine Alice, Midoritani Tsubasa, and Mizuno Kaede were all gathered.



 When they saw me enter the inn, Tsubasa and Alice ran up to me at the same time.

 "You said you'd come back soon... we were worried!" said Alice.

 "Are you okay? Did you get hurt anywhere?" asked Tsubasa.

 Two persistent gazes were fixed on me. One was from Kondo Shuichi at the table, and the other was from Aoki Runa, who had followed me from behind.

 "I'm okay. But Shimura and Kiridani are injured."

 Gina came out when she heard the commotion. She looked at me with a worried expression.

 "Are you okay? I was worried because you didn't come back last night."

 "I'm fine. But we have four more people now, can we still accommodate them?"

 "Yes, that's fine. Would a four-person room be okay?"

 "No, I want two separate rooms for two people each. So please prepare two rooms."

 "Understood. Anything else?"

 "Since two people are injured, could you call a doctor? And also, please order meals for three of us, including me."

 "I'll arrange it right away."

 Gina said that and handed me the keys to two rooms, then went into the back of the dining hall. With the help of Kondo Shuichi and Morimura, I carried Kiridani Jun and Shimura to one of the rooms.

 When I returned to the diner, Alice and Tsubasa were talking to each other, but Aoki Runa and Nemoto Reiko seemed uncomfortable. I sat at the table with Kondo Shuichi and Morimura.

 Gina brought our meals. It was a risotto with diced lamb. I tasted it immediately, and it's delicious. The diced lamb seemed to have been smoked and then simmered. The spicy flavor of the seasoning stimulated my appetite.

 Looking at the next table, Aoki Runa and Nemoto Reiko were also savoring the risotto. It seemed they had an appetite too. As I savor my food, Kondo Shuichi, who was sitting in front of me, asked,

 "So, what are your plans from here?"

 "For now, I'll take it easy. I pulled an all-nighter yesterday."

 Kondo Shuichi slowly shook his head from side to side.

 "No, that's not what I mean. I'm asking if there are any plans or destinations for the future."

 I continued to eat my risotto in silence for a while. After thinking for a moment, I decided to speak up.

 "I'm thinking of entering the underground dungeon in the forest to the east tomorrow."

 Morimura looked at me with a surprised expression.

 "The underground dungeon? Isn't that dangerous?"

 "Of course, there's danger. But there's something I absolutely need to obtain inside the underground dungeon."

 Kondo Shuichi tilted his head.

 "Something you absolutely need to obtain? What is it?"

 "There are a few things, but... what I want the most is a weapon."

 "Can't you use the weapon you have now?"

 When Kondo Shuichi asked me that, I showed him my sword.

 "This is just a normal sword. It's enough for ordinary monsters, but it won't work against the powerful monsters ahead. I absolutely need a special weapon with magic attributes."

 Morimura had a pensive look on his face.

 "But, you know, secret weapons with that kind of magic attribute are usually guarded by monsters, right?"


 "Why tomorrow? If it's dangerous, wouldn't it be better to prepare more thoroughly before rushing into it?"

 Morimura had a point. But there was a reason why we couldn't afford to take it easy.

 "If we don't go to the underground dungeon tomorrow to get the weapon, there's a possibility that other adventurers will get it before us."

 It was a dungeon near the town. It had been explored to a certain extent. And in past loops, I knew that the weapon would be taken by other adventurers the day after tomorrow.

 "Did you dream about it too?"

 "That's about right."

 Kondo leaned forward.

 "Are you going alone again?"

 I looked at Kondo Shuichi and Morimura's faces.

 "I'm thinking it's too dangerous to enter the underground dungeon alone. That's why I want the guys to come with me. Of course, I can't force you..."

 When I replied like that, Morimura cast his eyes down. Kondo Shuichi also looked troubled.

 (This is a crucial moment. Will they really come with me?)

 As I watched the two, I thought so. Of course, I could cleverly take the two to the underground dungeon. But I didn't want to do that. Taking them to the underground dungeon without telling them anything would be like deliberately driving them to their deaths. So, knowing the danger, I wanted them to come with me of their own free will.

 "Can I go to that underground dungeon with you too?"

 Midoritani Tsubasa suddenly spoke from the next table. Everyone's eyes turned to her.

 "I want to fight with Akito too. I don't want to just wait like last night. I want to go with you!"

 I hesitated for a moment. She's definitely a valuable asset. But that's a discussion for another time.

 "But... Right now, Tsubasa only has a dagger as a weapon. So, even if you enter the underground dungeon..."

 "It's not just a dagger. Gina-san prepared a weapon suitable for me."


 "Yeah. It seems her father used to be one of the top hunters in the city. He left behind his bow, and she said she could lend it to me."

 While I was away, had such a conversation taken place? I did hear that Gina's father used to be a hunter. It seems this diner also started with her father acquiring fresh meat. If we have an archer, our tactical options will expand, and battles will become much easier.

 "But is it okay? I know Tsubasa is the ace of the archery club, but the bows in this world are probably different."

 The bows used in Kyuudo are long enough to exceed a person's height. On the other hand, the bows in this world are short, Western-style bows. They are more similar to archery. However, Tsubasa proudly assured me that I need not worry about such things.

 "It's okay. I have tried archery several times before. I have been able to get pretty good scores. If I borrow a bow and practice by the end of today, I should be able to use it decently."

 She seems quite confident. Upon seeing Tsubasa like that, Kondo Shuichi said,

 "I can't just run away when the girls are so motivated. I'll go too."

 Morimura also raised his right hand with an uncertain expression.

 "I can't keep relying on Akito-kun to protect me forever..."

 It seems that Midoritani Tsubasa's determination has inspired everyone's courage.

 "Got it. Thanks, everyone. Let's go to the underground dungeon in the eastern forest tomorrow with the four of us."

 Upon hearing my words, Midoritani Tsubasa, Kondo Shuichi, and Morimura Manabu nodded in agreement.

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