Camille healed the bruise on Garm’s flank, which was being hit by a flying orc as she stacked the healing on the brandished sword to cast the haste spell just before the spell’s effect wore off. As he saw dozens of the colorless magic stones scattered about the ground, Tsutomu flew to the sky to watch over the battle.
Because the game used a third-person’s point of view, it was now easier for Tsutomu to give instructions accurately since he could fly. He couldn’t use it if he confronted flying monsters like Wyverns, but if there wasn’t any, he thought it would be better to become a support from the sky.
Tsutomu realized that they had been fighting for almost an hour after looking at his pocket watch, then heaved a heavy sigh after the swarm of monsters seemed to have finally settled down.
After hunting the lightning sheep, they obtained a valuable lightning magic stone and immediately found the black gate. Because luck has turned in his favor, Tsutomu went through the black gate. On the other side, was a cliff, which was close to a group of orcs. He was at a place close enough to see the equipment they’re using, such as bows, katana, etc. Soon after, the battle began.
While the orcs were fightingWyverns and Kanfagaroo, which were monsters that looked like a kangaroo and were good at close combat. After they broke through the group of monsters, because the edge of the cliff was dangerous, they continuously swapped places as they fought. Afterwards, the group of orcs won, but quickly burst into the fight again, this time, with them. Their quick onslaught threw Tsutomu into utter confusion.
Garm received a lot of attacks till the upper half of his silver armor was partially destroyed. There was also a dent on the armor caused by the Wyverns’ splinters piercing into it. The damage on Camille’s equipment wasn’t that bad, but just as her dragonification wore out, she began to look tired and the power of her huge swings seemed to have decreased by a lot.
Garm and Camille immediately plopped down to the ground when they saw the last orc finally turned into magic stone. Tsutomu swiftly came down from the sky to where they were.
As it turns out, three people fighting against a herd of monsters was tough. Tsutomu also realized the insufficient members in his party. With this amount of the monsters, Garm alone would never be able to deal with them, so Tsutomu and Camille will have to take care of some of the monsters.
At the very least, if there was another tank or attacker… Tsutomu grinded his teeth as he imagined if Amy was here. He was confident that they would be able to turn the tables if there was one more person to assist them in the battle. But then, if he enrolled Amy, Camille wouldn’t be here, which wouldn’t change the situation.
[I wonder if Amy-san is alright…]
Amy embarked on a journey to Solitt’s headquarters by herself in the morning after hearing about that report. Tsutomu also heard from Garm that the guards had been caught. Thus, Amy went to the headquarters by the direction she made by herself and reported there. Tsutomu was so shocked he couldn’t laugh.
Tsutomu was worried that she wouldn’t be able to take the interview until she was released, but judging from Solitt Company report, it seems that they didn’t take Amy to court. The guards reported that there weren’t any censure, and the vice-captain of the guild also reported so. They also said that Amy should be released soon.
[It must be hard for them too, huh.]
Tsutomu collected the magic stones as he handed towels to the two who were crouching down to the ground, then recalled about the vice-captain of the guild. The vice-captain’s appearance gave the impression of a tired middle-aged Japanese salary man who was excessively humble. Now that he was suddenly assigned with the duty as a guild’s captain, he’ll naturally busy himself with his clerical work; more than his vice-captain role before.
Lately, his puffy cheek seemed to become somewhat skinnier. Tsutomu was seized with fear when he thought about how the vice-captain might collapse anytime soon. He had entrusted some of the clerical work to his successor, but there doesn’t seem to be much progress with the revision of the Solitt Company report.
There were three newspaper companies which have been granted the privilege to issue newspapers regarding the dungeon to the nobles who ruled the Labyrinth City. Amongst them, Solitt Company was the first to acquire the privilege. Given that the rest of the company almost didn’t give compliance, they were now under an oligopoly.
As a result, the benefits of newspaper issues, printing services, town events, etc were enormous and have a great influence on the citizens. They also have a strong connection with adventurers of major clans and popular adventurers. The guilds, which were initially on equal footing with them, could no longer be compared. As Solitt Company’s fame rose, they held more influence as compared to the Guilds.
Which was why, Solitt Company was the strong one when it came into negotiations to revise the report. Even though there was still Amy’s report for them to check, they won’t turn down the revision about Lucky Boy. Until now, Solitt Company had corrected some of the misprints on the report, but they almost never apologized about the corrections.
Besides, even if they corrected the report, Solitt Company won’t be able to apologize and compensate for a lucky adventurer who just happened to break through the Shell Crab, not to mention a popular one. The apology created an opportunity for them to take advantage of other newspaper companies and raise their ranks as the top newspaper company.
Tsutomu had received a report from the vice-captain’s guild that the attacking incident involving Amy was currently being investigated. As expected, because he felt sorry for Camille, Tsutomu asked whether they would return her. He even bowed his head to the vice-captain to take care of the problem rather than him solving it himself. Apparently, Camille had done something similar before. [She wasn’t much different from Amy, huh?] thought Tsutomu.
[Well, if we could hunt down the fire dragon, the negotiations might progress a bit. We don’t want the other newspaper company to hog the news about three people who defeated the fire dragon and breaking through the Party, either.]
Tsutomu anticipated that if people heard about the three of them breaking through the fire dragon for the first time, their popularity will surely rise. With that, he wanted to make the hunting of the fire dragon a success on the first try. To make it happen, they are going to have a meeting to plan for the battle. Tsutomu called out to them after they had collected the magic stones.
“Good work. …Are you alright?”
Camille let the towel lay on her head. A few wisps of her red, long hair were stuck in her neck soaked in sweat, her breathing still rough. This was the first time Tsutomu saw Camille being exhausted since the long journey. He continued his talk as he concealed his surprise.
“I think we’ve killed most of the monsters around us. I’d really like to call it a day, but I can’t remember where the black gate is anymore…”
They immediately got into the battle right after they came out of the black gate, so they’ve moved quite a distance away, making Tsutomu lose sight of the black gate’s original position.
“Anyway, wouldn’t it be better for us to search for a safe point first?”
“Aah… That’s right…”
“I’ll look for it in a minute. Garm! I’ll look for the safe point! If you run into any monster, please use the potion inside the bag!”
“It’s alright, I’ll look for it alone. After all, we’ve decided about the distribution and characteristics of the safe point in the previous meeting.”
Camille tried to stand up by grasping Tsutomu’s hand after she dropped the magic bag off, but Tsutomu blandished her. Touching her hand, Tsutomu a burning, moist sensation.
Tsutomu left the spot to Garm who was still relatively healthy. He floated to the air and flew at a quick pace. Then, like a blessing in disguise, he found a cave nearby in the middle of a cliff that closely resembled the feature of a safe point. Because there wasn’t anything else in the shallow cave, Tsutomu immediately returned.
Garm stood still as he silently folded his arms and carried Tsutomu’s magic bag on his back. Camille was still lying down on the ground. After Tsutomu briefly spoke that he had found the safe point, Garm nodded and opened his mouth.
“Camille-san’s consciousness is fading.”
Still surprised by Garm’s calm voice, Tsutomu looked at Camille who was lying down. Her breathing was much rougher than a moment ago, and her cheeks turned unusually red.
“Let’s immediately proceed to the safe point!”
Tsutomu felt a bit uncomfortable at Garm’s slightly crisp and troubled reply as he carried Camille, who was suffering from an unusual fever. He hurriedly went to the safe point’s cave, then immediately laid the slime mat on the ground and also laid Camille down there. Tsutomu rolled the mat by the side of her head and used it as a pillow.
Camille was so exhausted that she lost her consciousness. Was the abnormal fever and sweating on her body caused by dragonification? Despite Tsutomu’s attempts to recall anything strange when she was on her dragon form, he didn’t see any abnormalities within her. For now, he’ll heal and put a medicine on her first. To cool down her hot body, he used a towel, wooden bucket, and magic tools from his magic bag to create drinking water.
He placed a colorless magic stone into the magic tool and stored water in the bucket. Then, Tsutomu took out a cylinder-shaped magic tool made of the costly ice magic stone, which he bought because he wanted to have a cold drink, it could only be collected from outside the dungeon. While it was ready for use, Tsutomu dipped the towel into water to make it cool, then loosened her red leather armor a bit and pressed the towel to cool her forehead, neck, armpit, thigh, etc.
“Garm. Could you fan her?”
Garm watched over Tsutomu passing the folding fan as Garm slightly knitted his brows, then fanned Camille. Tsutomu sat in Seiza next to Camille as he checked her temperature. He dipped the towel into water again before recasting the heal and medic spells.
Tsutomu continued to do so for about 15 minutes as he used blue potions. Camille’s temperature began to return normal and her breathing became even. The relieved Tsutomu wiped Camille who was soaking wet in sweat with a towel.
“It seems that the fever had gone down. What a relief.”
Garm made an expression like he wanted to say something when he looked at the magic tool Tsutomu was using, but upon seeing Tsutomu’s relieved smile, he loosened his expression. Then, after a little while, Camille began to regain consciousness and flinched.
“Oh, you’ve woken up. Could you drink the water?”
Tsutomu called out to Camille who had just opened her eyes. He poured the cooled water into a cup and brought it gently to Camille’s lips. As she tilted the cup little by little, she began to slowly drink the water.
It seems that Camille’s consciousness had gradually become clear, then she slowly opened her eyes. Her strength seems to have recovered too. Tsutomu poured water into the cup again and offered it to Camille.
“Can you drink it by yourself?”
“……I don’t think so. Sorry, but could you help me drink?”
“Of course, here you go.”
Tsutomu slowly brought the cup closer to Camille’s mouth. She shook her head as she chuckled.
“Are you going to do it mouth-to-mouth?”
Camille took the cup from Tsutomu who was worried yet lost. She raised her body and began to drink the water slowly.
“Wha– Cover your front, your front!”
“Hm? Ah. Tsutomu was the one who took off my clothes, though?”
As Camille got up, her loosened leather armor came off, revealing her black innerwear which clearly took the shape of her loose bosom. Camille, who had a change of clothes, smiled mischievously at Tsutomu who was facing backwards.
“You always have that passionate look when you glanced at my back, don’t you? Hmm?”
“Yeah. I’ve always been wondering what would happen after the wings that grew in your dragon form disappeared.”
“……That’s a secret.”
With a gulp, Camille drank the water up, then Tsutomu passed a salted candy and another cup of water to her. Camille threw the salted candy into her mouth and rolled it around like it was really delicious. Garm also got one from Tsutomu. After receiving it, he wagged his black tail to left and right.
“Anyway, is your condition alright?”
“Yep. I thought I was certainly going to die–”
Camille looked around as she crunched the salted candy before she halting her words when she saw several empty bottles on the mat and a cylinder-shaped magic tool that still has ice magic stones within them.
“Magic tool with ice magic stones…… There were even potions…… What the hell are you doing?”
Camille stared at Tsutomu as she narrowed her slit eyes, uttering some words filled with a bit of anger. Tsutomu absentmindedly tidied the items to his magic bag.
“It’d be good if you just collected the equipment and let me die. It was such a waste, no?”
Tsutomu’s slow understanding of Camille’s words left him in silence for some while. After all, if he just left her to her fate to collect the equipment and return instead, he didn’t need to waste the ice magic stone and potions.
“Don’t you think so, Garm?”
Garm quietly nodded as he watched Tsutomu’s actions. He felt that if he was in Camille’s position, he would think the same. They could be revived anyway, so there’s no need to waste any materials.
“But Tsutomu would be against it, right? He’d rather go through all this trouble.”
“Seems like you already understood, Garm.”
Seeing Tsutomu laughing satisfactorily, Garm slightly raised his lips. Tsutomu exclaimed happily as he tried to high five Garm, but Garm did not respond in kind and the atmosphere soon became awkward.
“Uh, well, that’s what I feel.”
“Wait, what are you feeling?”
Camille became calm after seeing Tsutomu talking like he had been deceived. Upon letting out an exaggerated sigh, Tsutomu turned his head upward as he summarized what he was talking about. Then Camille stared at him motionlessly as if to see if they could understand each other’s thoughts.
“Ah, I hate it when it hurts. You already know that I hate it when I get stung, right?”
“So it’s obvious I don’t want to die. You two might be able to die peacefully, but not me. If possible, I don’t want to die again.”
Experiencing a death because of being burned by the corrosive breath of an ancient dragon was a memory that could seize Tsutomu’s nerve just by recalling it. Tsutomu didn’t want to experience the pain of being gulped down by a giant creature and dissolved by stomach acid anymore.
“Which is why, I didn’t regret spending money to avoid death. If Camille dies, then I’m more likely to die, too. So I want Camille to live as much as she could even if it means I have to spend money. I want her to become my shield.”
“Aren’t I the one who’s the shield?”
“Ah, yeah, sorry. Camille will become my spear, then.”
Tsutomu apologized to Garm who interfered with him midway, then continued talking.
“Therefore, if Camille dies, I’ll be surrounded with troubles. So it’s alright to spend some money.”
“Isn’t the adventurering more suited for this?”
“Ahaha, definitely. I’d like to do it if possible. It’d be kind of fun, don’t you think so?”
Despite the likelihood of returning to Japan, Tsutomu couldn’t ignore this. He didn’t dislike the idea of surviving in the dungeon, either. There was also the fact that he didn’t know whether he could die like them. If by any chance he died, it’s not guaranteed that he could be revived, too.
“Uh, well, that’s what I feel.”
“……Not wanting to die, huh. I’ve casted that kind of feeling away a long time ago.”
How many times has she died before she barely managed to reach level 58? Camille, who had stopped counting from the day she had her hundredth death, laughed at herself.
“I don’t want to see you suffering! If it’s for you, then I don’t mind spending some funds! Would you feel happy if I said that?”
“……Nah, not really. You’d surely used resources for me, but that goes for Garm, too. It’s an inviolable rule that healers are to treat their party members equally.”
Tsutomu replied as he gazed into the distance, recollecting about the game era when people preferred to touch the sensitive topic of mental health after establishing their own clan, even personally cooked meals or make presents to give to their friends.
Camille: “Kukuku. I see.”
“Ah, could you move already?”
“Yeah, no problem. I feel much better than before when we went through the gate.”
“Good to hear so. Well then, since our equipment had been broken, let’s immediately retreat.”
Camille embraced Tsutomu, who had just gotten up from Seiza position, from the front. Camille let go of Tsutomu when he was still flustered.
“Thank you. For saving me.”
Seeing Camille’s dazzling smile, Tsutomu was a bit taken aback before he responded to her..
Silavin: Not sure how regular the releases will be for this novel. The translator seems to have a chronic illness so :/.