is far apart, I haven’t a clue if I still have Noru’s passive buff.
We have also lost Estel’s combat buffs.

Team me and Shisuha can be considered more stable, with me the tanky guy that has high defence and healing from Shisuha but…..
We might not be able to handle large crowds.

And can I actually protect Shisuha by myself?

[Fumu… I wouldn’t worry about Noru-san.
They are well balanced with both melee and ranged attacks.
If anything I’m more worried about us.]

I really shouldn’t be worrying about the girls as I know just how strong they are, I should be worrying about myself more.

Like what Shisuha said they have both melee and ranged offense… meanwhile I have Shisuha who’s kinda like a Monk, who am I kidding she’s a Priestess.

I am the one who should be protecting her, keeping her out of harm’s way.

[So, let’s put our best foot forward! We won’t get anywhere by only thinking about the negative things!]

[Right…]


…we won’t get anywhere if we keep worrying huh.

Gotta be positive and press onwards, the objective is to link up our separated teams ASAP.

Shisuha’s happy go lucky and not very serious attitude is really encouraging in such times.

[Now then, since Noru-san has asked me to, I will certainly do my utmost to protect Okura-san!]

[Normally it should be the other way around though…]

Shisuha clenched her fists as she did a guts pose.
She certainly looks motivated.
(ED Note: imma bet you can almost see her biceps)

I thought I would be the one doing the protecting but… The thought of the opposite being closer to reality makes me feel sad somehow.

=====

We have been progressing for some time after the decision to do so was made, but team Noru has yet to appear on the Map App.

My team has currently reached a spacious zone, we are taking a break after confirming that there are no monsters around.

I took off my helm and sat down.
It’s tough to always keep a full face helm on all the time, so I take it off like this from time to time.

[Haaa, this is taking forever… just how big is this place.
Team Noru hasn’t appeared on the map either.]

[Indeed… thankfully the enemies here are weak.
It would have been much more dangerous if it was inhabited by stronger monsters.]

All of the monsters we have encountered so far were some kind of Goblin.
Just earlier we encountered some Red Goblins, but they aren’t something the current us couldn’t handle.

Black Goblins pop out too sometimes, they take more than 2 stabs from me to kill though.

I could instagib them when Noru was around, that confirms that we are out of the effective range of Noru’s passive buff.

As I am getting manastone income even when my team isn’t fighting at all, that means team Noru is progressing and killing monsters elsewhere.

It’s relieving to see the counter increase as that means that they are alright, but not having the full party closeby still gets me anxious.
I’ve lost count how many times I have sighed by now.

[Whewー, I never expected this to be the sort of situation I’d end up in alone with Okura-san.]

[Eh? Ahー, un.
Yes.]

Shisuha, who was sitting next to me, suddenly said.

And she did so while leaning forward and glancing at my face.

It’s kinda embarrassing to look directly at her face, so I replied while looking away.

Anybody would think she’s a decent beautiful lady when she keeps quiet….

[I’ve been thinking about it, but why does Okura-san not look at my face properly when we’re talking?]

[Ueeh!? I, I’m sure you’re just imagining things…]

[Really? Then let’s have a staring contest starting now.
Bang *stareー*]


[Uooh!? Wai-, too close face too close!]

She locked my face in place with her hands, I have now become unable to look away.

She then looks straight at me with a smile on her face.
Her face is so close to mine that I can hear her breathing.

I tried to move my head in an attempt to escape from the unbearable situation, but the vice like grip from her hands will have none of that.

I gripped the boulder I am sitting on to try and move my body to struggle free but to no avail.

Why, why!? Why are you doing this to me!?

[Uwaah!?]

[Honestly, Okura-san will still only be Okura-san.]

[Oww… What was that for! And what did you mean by that?]

At the exact moment I tried to shift my body backwards, Shisuha suddenly released her grip in tandem with my timing.
The result was me smacking my back against the wall behind me.

Shisuha was all smiles as she stood in front of me.

[How should I put it, your reactions are just so… Fresh.
When I see you getting flustered or embarrassed, it’s so cute it makes me want to tease you even more.
Your reaction when we first met is still the best one yet.]

The worst! Isn’t she the worst!? Has she always been having fun observing me react like this…

I did notice that she always had a grin on her face whenever she looked at me, I certainly didn’t expect her to have thought of me like that.

Also am I really that cute in her eyes… Hearing someone call me that gives me the chills so please don’t.
I’d rather want to be called cool instead…

[You know… That’s a wonderful inclination you got there.]

[That’s rich coming from you Okura-san, aren’t you the Pervert-san who ogled at my chest on our very first meeting.]

[Wha!?… but, tha-… It’s in plain sight…]

[Ufufu, I’m showing them off.]

Uhiiiー, so she knew I looked at her chest on our first meeting… And most likely also the fact that my eyes chased after them when they came into view.

And did she really just say she was showing them off? Seriously… have I merely been swimming on her palm all this time?

[Alright, that should be enough joking around so let’s get back to work.
We gotta regroup with team Noru ASAP.]

[Ah, yeah…]

After having a good chuckle, Shisuha stands back up and offers me a hand.
I take her hand and she pulls me up.

With the mild bewilderment still in my head, I continued onwards together with her.

And by just a little bit, the weight on my mind felt that little bit lighter.

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