7. The Base Group
「If I’m strong, what am I allowed to do?」
「… Hah! You’re not all that important. We can smith just fine even without you. Don’t get carried away.」
「Who’s being carried away?」
Hiyama-san frowns in annoyance. The one getting carried away is absolutely Taniizumi.
「Ah? What was that? Do you also have any complaints?」
「Look here, Taniizumi-kun, when we finish hunting and it’s time to return, do you know what would happen if I purposely send you to a place filled with monsters? We’re all working together and trying to overcome this situation, okay?
Hiyama-san challenges Taniizumi without even taking a step back.
「Ah!? How brave of you! Are you threatening me?」「Being strong doesn’t mean you can do anything, alright?」
「Ha! What you said makes no sense. You’ll regret threatening us!」
Taniizumi points the sword Shigenobu made back at him. As expected, doesn’t seem like even he can point it at Hiyama-san who is a girl.
「We have Ono who can copy abilities after all.」
That’s right… There’s someone among the members of the combat group with an exceptionally convenient ability. His name is Ono Keisuke… He’s someone whose social standing has improved after the transfer.
Ono is someone who was once bullied by the delinquents of our school, starting with Taniizumi, but… His smug expression is strong.
He would say things like,『I won’t yield to the authorities』while breaking the school regulations and,『Help faster』as his first words whenever someone saved him from bullying. He couldn’t even give proper thanks. He’s quite a terrible guy.
At first, everyone, including Taniizumi, stepped up to help him from getting involved with delinquents, but his constant rebuke after being helped resulted with no one standing by him in the end. Ono has his faults, but they aren’t a good reason for bullying. However, he himself cause this situation, so now he has no choice but to accept it.1
Although now that we’ve transferred and he has acquired the copy ability, Taniizumi, with his profound gaming knowledge, took him in as convenient personnel. That said, contempt towards Taniizumi oozes from his eyes and every action. Part of him is thinking of overthrowing his boss someday.
By the way, Ono has a peculiar gloominess. My analysis is that he’s trying hard to become a loner.
「We can make armor if we have Ono. The same goes for the portal.」
「… Haven’t you heard of the limitations to his ability?」
Without even taking a step back, Shigenobu replies in defense of his classmate. According to Ono’s explanation, the copied ability only lasts for 3 hours. Even if it’s used once, it needs to be copied again to use a second time… apperantly.
「I don’t know how far I will go but, in the worst case, I will place my life on the line… Taniizumi, don’t forget that I can stop your violence.」
In other words, Ono’s ability is useless if Shigenobu disappears. There will be no one who can make weapons and armors as a result. Like this, I realized once again that risking his life for somebody else is Shigenobu’s good point. I don’t believe I, Himaya-san, or anyone else in the base group can do something like that.
「… Keh! Don’t get cocky!」
The upset Taniizumi goes away. Maybe he realizes now that he can’t be arrogant to Shigenobu,
Nonetheless… In the class, recognizing which faction to side with is still actually being decided. We were rational students in Japan one week ago. Now, a vicious atmosphere ruled by strength… permeates this place.
「Really… That Taniizumi, how can he be so violent…」
「I feel the situation is getting worse and worse…」
Hiyama-san also muttered grievingly.
「Are you okay?」
Himeno-san applies basic recovery on the throat of the class representative.
The strength granted to Taniizumi’s group through their Lv increase is remarkable. It’s reached a point where it’s possible to easily lift a person with one hand.
The monsters surrounding our base, compared to the base group’s abilities, are so strong that it’s difficult to overcome them unarmed. Even the horn rats we killed on the first day are difficult to deal with without using abilities.
Based on the norm, despite them being first stage small fries… Having little information and being unsuitable for fighting placed us a considerably disadvantageous from the start.
「I wish we also had a way to fight.」
I have a very bad feeling.
If the Lv difference widens as it is… It’s obvious that the arrogance of the already out of control combat group will only worsen. To begin with, the current situation is different from when we were in Japan… Many are starting to support Taniizumi who leads with a strong authority.
There is fewer of us sorted into the base group… That’s probably the reason, but just the influence of Taniizumi who flaunts his strength in an environment ruled by power is effective enough.
「That’s the thing though, if you smooth the material a bit more, then… It might develop an edge.」
「I see… Anyway, at least I have a knife to defend myself. I probably can fight with this.」
I have the ability to return to Japan. While Taniizumi is using something called a bone sword made from a monster’s bone, the pocket knife I bought in Japan is probably better in terms of sharpness.
I secretly hand it over to Shigenobu.
「But aside from that… First of all, how important is armor for avoiding injury? I know that the common sense here is different from Japan.」
Shigenobu answers. Everyone in Taniizumi’s group seems to have and understanding about that, so they’re picky when it comes to requesting for armor. It’s something that shouldn’t be treated lightly.
「The materials Taniizumi brings always tax me to my limit, but I think they will overhunt the monsters soon. If that happens, I might be able to swindle the raw materials and make armor for everyone.」
Using the leftovers of the combat group, we will arm ourselves with strong equipment go after them from behind.
… I’m quite doubtful that Taniizumi will allow such a reckless move. A kingdom Taniizumi will enjoy is currently being established so to speak, after all.
「Yukinari… You’ve been sharing food with everyone around you for the past week, right?」
「I heard that too.」
Hiyama-san smiles gently and holds my hand.
「I think it’s really admirable.」
We are provided with, but the distributed amount is small. Regardless of whether or not Taniizumi is aware of the situation, the combat group practically eats everything, leaving only scraps for the base group.
The monsters they bring…There are plant-type monsters and also monsters that are harvested for meat. Those monsters are now our food. Since there’s nothing aside from that, there’s no choice but to eat them.
Me? I eat all my meals at home, so what? My lunch is the bento my mother made.
… Anyway, everyone in the base group is starving, except for the person with the cooking ability, the person with the barrier ability, and Shigenobu.
Shigenobu and Hiyama-san share some of their food with everyone, so I should tell them not to worry. The motto of Taniizumi and his group is that those who don’t work should not eat. That’s how it is, but I can only see him leading so that he doesn’t have to work. But, because of that, I can’t bring myself to eat that little amount of food we’re given, so instead, I share it around.
In the first place, what should you do to join the combat group? The base group can go with them as luggage carriers, Shigenobu even proposed it, but there are no signs that the idea will be accepted. Probably, Taniizumi fears that base group’s level will rise and he won’t be able to control everyone anymore. As such, he’s probably cornering the base group by reducing the food supply.
「I feel sorry but… You can resent me for not being able to stop Taniizumi’s reckless behavior.」
「What are you saying? I’m fine without eating so just share it with the others.」
I stealthily hand over a cheap black chocolate bar with English letters written on its surface to Shigenobu and Hiyama-san. Mother brought some home and I in turn brought a couple here. It’s not strange to have this much. It’s something that my classmates right now will gratefully accept with tears in their eyes. I just want to return to Japan with everyone, that kind of feeling is rising.
「I still have some left in my bag. I’ll give it to someone hungry and let them eat secretly.」
It’s not my first time sharing sweets. For the past week, for some reason, I’ve been sharing them to those who are hungry Was I seen in some way or did someone speak up and reveal that I was distributing snacks?
No, I don’t have any complaints about my handing out sweets is being revealed. The problem with it becoming known is that the amount that I can give out becomes limited. I already shared a considerable amount after all… Maybe, I’m not worried about that issue right now, but everyone will would notice that the amount I have is strange if they think about it a little. How many sweets do you bring to school? There would be conversations like that.
… I messed up. I wish I had said something like I can use my ability to summon things from Japan from the start. Now, if I say I can bring things from Japan by spending points, they will ask why was I hiding it until now?
I am very cautious in order to keep away from the gazes of Taniizumi and Ono. I notice earlier, but… Can you at least supply the food? They would say something like that.
… Anyway, there’s also a limit to what I can do. Naturally, I don’t have enough money to cover all my classmates’ food expenses. In order to bring things from Japan, I naturally need Japanese money.
Even now, I’m budgeting my pocket money to share it around. A mere student like me has a limit on the money that can be spent. I did consider using my teleport ability to shoplift, but I can’t still do something like that.
「Don’t worry. You see… It’s that, I don’t like sweets anyway.」
Shigenobu is moved to tears. Somehow, Hiyama-san is also making a deeply moved expression, but I wish they would stop. I feel very guilty. I’m actually having a satisfying meal every day, is something I can’t say…
But I can’t tell my secret to everyone in here.
I trust Shigenobu and Hiyama-san. I don’t doubt them. However, I don’t know how far the secret will leak. Like my distributing of sweets was revealed
Taniizumi wants to rule his kingdom. Otsuka wants to go home. The others probably have each of their own thoughts too.
In such situation, what kind of expressions will everyone make if they found out the truth that I am the only one who can return?
It’s still fine if they’re just envious, but it certainly wouldn’t end with just that.
Taniizumi is a dangerous person who can remove any means to return and Otsuka is coward who will keep it to herself. It’s also possible that I will be targeted by Ono. That guy is not trustworthy.
I doubt he can really create a perfect copy too. For that reason, I casually contacted Ono and let him use my ability. It felt that Ono himself was unwilling from his troubled expression. Anyway, he was able to get the feeling and teleported himself somewhere.
… However, Ono wasn’t able to return to Japan. I would have felt something off if Ono returned to Japan, but that was not the case. At any rate, Ono himself treated my ability as trash and reported it to Taniizumi.
Moreover, I heard him complain by saying something like don’t waste my time. He said that the teleportation range is even shorter than that of Hiyama-san. Although, I feel that it wouldn’t be like that if I tried…
What does this mean? In Ono’s ability, is there a limitation in copying or something like that? That reminds me, despite him being able to copy Shigenobu’s smithing ability, Taniizumi makes Shigenobu do it as much as possible.
… It probably consumes more points than the original or maybe the quality of what is produced drops. That might be the case. For the same reason, even if Ono uses my ability, he might receive some restrictions.
… Anyway, I have to find a solution to this deadlock in one way or another. However, there’s no way to fight. There’s no way I can help everyone even if I can return to Japan.
Lv can be raised by asking a trustworthy member of the combat group for help, but… because of Taniizumi’s tyranny, taking selfish action like that is dangerous. Moreover, those in the combat group don’t want to be like the base team, so cooperation is hopeless.
It may be because the teacher was seriously injured, even after the injury was healed, he shows fear whenever somebody approaches him. Well, anyone who experience what he did would be the same way.
Surprisingly, a human’s true nature becomes clear during times of survival.
「For the time being, we should wait. We will do something about it.」
「Okay, Hanebashi-kun is someone who will do anything he can for everyone. We should also do our best.」
「No need to worry about me, so you two… Three if Himeno-san is also included, please do your best for our plans.」
takes Shigenobu a week before he can swipe materials and points from the combat