Chapter 62 – Separated Party
At the moment when my field of view was fully obscured by the light of the Magic Formation, the feeling of the ground beneath my feet suddenly disappeared.
Followed immediately by the sense of floating in midair then of falling.
My body was falling downwards to god knows where.
There was a strong impact to the back of my body from making contact with the ground.
Then as if to add insult to injury, something landed on my crotch, the one spot that wasn’t protected by my armor.
Oh the pain the horror… wha, what just happened?
[Owow… What’s going on…?]
The intense pain from the lower part of my body rendered me immobile, but I could hear Shisuha’s voice from on top of me.
Looks like she was what fell on me.
[Uwwah!? O, Okura-san what are you doing!?]
[Y, you were the one who landed on me…]
Noticing me who was under her, she dramatically jumps off of me.
“What are you doing” she says, it’s not like I chose for you to crash land on my crotch…
[Ow ow… good lord, gimme a break man.]
[Sorry about that… Anyways, where are we? And where’s Noru and Estel?]
I got up and looked around as well, we are in a room surrounded by glowing green rock walls.
This place reminds me of the Labyrinth.
And there was only me and Shisuha here.
I got up and walked around a little, there was no sign of the other girls.
[A, are Noru and Estel separated from us?]
[Looks like it’s only us here.]
[Wha, what should I do… Right! Put down a Beacon―― I don’t got anymore extras!? Wh, what about the Escape Device… I can’t use that either!]
As I panicked, I pulled out my smartphone in an attempt to use a Beacon.
I cannot connect to Beacons that are outside(of the Labyrinth), but it should work if it was on the same floor in the Labyrinth was what I thought.
(ED Note: he’s thinking of summoning the other girls to him if it isn’t clear)
However, I installed the last one I had at our new house yesterday.
So I don’t have any more extras on me right now.
Next I thought of using the Escape Device, then I remembered the description saying something about proximity of party members.
That means if I used it now chances are only me and Shisuha are getting out.
This is bad, this is really bad.
I might have to proceed with only Shisuha by my side.
This is giving me anxiety issues.
Also are Noru and Estel alright? What if they were sent to some weird ass room…
(ED Note: filled with tentacles maybe? lol)
[Okura-san you need to calm down.
You won’t solve anything by panicking.
So the Beacons aren’t viable, then what about attempting to contact them with the Transceiver?]
Tha’s right, there’s still the Transceiver!
Shisuha’s calmness encouraged me, I then tried using the call function on my smartphone to contact Noru’s Transceiver.
『Hello hello, this is Noru speaking.』
After the ringback tone tutturu’d a couple of times, the call went through and Noru’s voice came through.
Ahh, thank goodness.
So the Transceiver is still usable inside the Labyrinth.
[Ooh… thank goodness.
Are you girls alright?]
『Sounds like you are alright as well on your side…..』
Although I am unable to physically see them, it relieves me to learn that the girls are safe.
I switched to speakerphone so Shisuha can be heard as well.
And from Noru’s voice, you can tell that she sounded relieved too.
Perhaps their side was also worried from noticing the absence of the remaining party members.
[Estel’s there with you yes?]
Shisuha’s there with you too yes?』
[Yeah, she is.]
Before we got teleported, I was in closer proximity to Shisuha while Noru and Estel were slightly further behind us.
Maybe our current predicament was caused by that subtle difference in distance.
But that’s just a conjecture on my part, maybe the trap was designed to separate the party in the first place.
[Then, do you know where you are right now?]
『Why of course I have no idea.
Though I’m guessing you are also somewhere in this Labyrinth-like place too yes?』
The walls be glowing green around you too?]
『Indeed they are.』
A Labyrinth isn’t the kind of place you’d call scenic by any stretch.
So there’s no guarantee that we are in the same place just from surveying our current surroundings.
But I have a hunch that we’re still in the same place.
My anxiety issues are gonna strike back if I think otherwise.
『Just the walls alone certainly isn’t enough evidence, but we shall assume that we are in the same place for the time being.
We’ll just have to meet back up the old fashioned way.』
[Right you are.
I’ll be searching with the Map App as we move on our side, I’ll call if I see you girls in range.
Call back if you come across anything significant too.]
Okura-dono, do be careful.
And Shisuha, please protect Okura-san in our place.』
[Yessu~, roger that~]
Now that we have come to a consensus to link back up, I concluded the call.
The Map App isn’t omnipotent, the range it covers inside of a Labyrinth is awfully limited.
A look at what’s shown in my current position shows red dots(monsters) scattered around us, while there are only two blue dots(party members) which are me and Shisuha.
So we need to explore around to map out the place first.
When that’s done I can backtrack as needed to regroup with team Noru, regardless of whether we missed each other or not.
[It’s good to hear that they’re safe.]
[Yeah, I’m really glad… Now I can worry about other things.
Are we going to be okay without our 2 main damage dealers? Will they be alright with the Potions I handed to them?]
If I were to worry about anything, it would be the massive drop in DPS on our team.
Now that we are this 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!]
…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.
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.
[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!?
[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.]
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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