Deep inside the Goblin Forest, the corpses of the hobgoblins and the ogre were lying all over the place.
“Collecting materials from oni-type enemies is pretty mentally taxing. I don’t really want to do it…”
Nick complained as he took off the horns off the ogre’s head with a tool.
“Uwah, so that’s how you do it.”
“This looks pretty difficult…”
“Don’t talk like it’s someone else’s problem. There’s a lot of them so come help me.”
Nick said as he handed pliers the other three.
“Hobgoblins are like ogres, so pull their horns out too. It’s like pulling out children’s decayed teeth. These actually have magic energy, so we can sell them for a lot more than goblin ears.”
“Uu… Being an adventurer isn’t easy…”
Tianna and Sem’s shoulders dropped, but they started working just like Nick said.
But Karan stayed by Nick’s side.
“Hn? What’s wrong Karan? Don’t you know how to do it?”
“…Sorry about before.”
Karan couldn’t move right away.
It’s not like something else got her attention and she got careless, she was trapped by her fear.
“If we come across a situation like that again, think for yourself what you should do and that will be fine.
If you don’t know something I’ll teach you, you don’t have to pretend you know everything.”
“…Nick, why are you helping me?
“How should I put this…”
Nick looked away and scratched his head.
“I can’t explore or take down an ogre like that by myself. I can cut it and take it to the ground, but I can’t finish it.”
“Anyone can just back someone up in battle. That’s not it.”
“What is it then?”
“…Well, it’s fine.”
Nick put his pliers on the horn of a nearby hobgoblin and twisted it off.
“You do it too.”
Nick tossed the pliers to Karan, who caught them and put them around the hobgoblin’s head just like she saw Nick doing.
Nick stayed by her side watching her work.
“I don’t want to trust partners anymore.”
“I really hate people that say nice things and then betray other people.”
“But I will keep my promise. I don’t want to be betrayed, but I don’t want to be someone that betrays other people.”
“…I’ll do my best.”
Said Karan as she pulled the horn, which came off smoothly.
She did it even more skillfully than Nick.
“Hey, you’re pretty good.”
“Yes, leave it to me.”
Karan wiped the sweat off her forehead and smiled.
On that day, the four of them got not a momentary feeling of pleasure, but a true sense of accomplishment.
The adventurer party, Survivors, kept that momentum as it conquered the remaining two labyrinths and was promoted to F rank.