A week has passed since Shinji joined the Running Wolf.
The adventure was going well, and the party's rank had risen from lower intermediate to mid-intermediate. Taking advantage of this, the party was visiting a new dungeon.
"I'll lead the way, Al and Mil in the middle. And Shinji will be at the back."
Renka started leading the way. Shinji also calls Freri, his contracted flower's spirit, on his shoulder and entrusts her to guard the rear. Alvin and Milis also started walking with a nervous look on their faces.
When the monsters in the dungeon are defeated, they disappear and drop an energy crystal called "Magic Stones". The stronger the monster, the more energy it will drop, but the weight tends to increase in proportion. If the stones are exposed to the open air for too long, the energy will drain out, so a special bag is provided for collecting them, so only one person can carry them. Therefore, it is important to decide who will carry the magic stone.
"Shinji, are you sure you want to handle this?"
"I don't mind. It's more reasonable to expect a ranger to move quickly than a wizard on the battle."
When Renka was about to take the bag, Shinji stopped her. After Shinji explained his rationality, Renka decided to leave the bag to him.
Until now, when Shinji was not around, Renka had been carrying the bag. If she gives it to Alvin, who is in the vanguard, the weight of the bag will interfere with his movements, and Renka herself has rejected the idea of letting the younger Milis carry it.
When Renka was about to take the bag, Shinji stopped her. After Shinji's lecture on rationality, Renka decided to leave the bag to Shinji.
In the absence of Shinji, Renka had been carrying the bag. It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for and what you can do to help.
"Honestly, it's a big help. After all, it was a hindrance when shooting."
"Really, Renka? If you don't mind, I'll take it too."
"Thank you, Renka-chan... I'm sorry I wasn't more considerate"
"You're the vanguard, Al, you can't be too heavy! And It's okay Mil, I didn't want Mil to carry it."
Shinji's impression after spending a week with her was that Renka often took the initiative, partly because she was older than Alvin and Milis. He guessed that they were not used to relying on others.
"From now on, as friends, I want you to rely on each other where I can. Of course, I'm counting on you too."
Renka stopped and looked back at Shinji, who spoke in a light tone. Renka's expression was one of embarrassment and happiness, a smile that was hard to describe.
"You're right, we are friends. I'm counting on you, too."
With that, she turned and started walking forward again. Her pace slightly quickened.
"You were embarrassed, right?"
"Renka-chan... you're so cute."
"Come on, you two. It's not good to get too far apart. Let's move on."
Shinji urged Alvin and Milis to move on, who were whispering to each other. Their response was calm, and even Alvin, who was trying to make fun of Renka, calmed down. Milis felt that it was very mature of him to say something that made people embarrassed in a normal state of mind.
"Let's take a break."
When the monsters had been defeated to some extent, Alvin said so, and all three replied in agreement, gathering in a corner of the room.
"Shinji-san, how deep are we in the dungeon?"
"It's about 60% of the way there. I don't think there's anything wrong with the pace if nothing happens. I will check the bag."
"I'm glad... Here's your water and snacks"
"Thank you! Mil"
Shinji placed the bag in the middle of the gathered people. Alvin rechecked the contents of the bag, while Milis prepared water and portable food for everyone. Alvin took the bag and quickly drank it up and ate it. Renka, on the other hand, did not accept the food, but continued to look around. So what does Shinji do?
"Renka, I want you to rest first. I'll be on the lookout for you."
So, when it was to take over the watch. Renka couldn't help but argue with him.
"No. I'll do it."
"You've been moving around more than I have, haven't you? I want you to leave this to me."
Renka looked at Shinji, suspecting that he was just trying to look good. But Shinji is still very normal and natural. He's not wrong, and Renka's body needs the water. After a few moments of silence, Renka replied, "I'll leave it to you."
"Then, I'll do it later."
With that, Shinji left the corner of the room alone.
"I'm sorry, Renka-chan. I've been relying on you all this time and I didn't even realize it until now."
When Shinji had left and finished eating, Milis turned to Renka and apologized. Renka was panicked by this.
"No, it's okay Milis! I was doing it on my own!"
In fact, without consulting Alvin and Milis, Renka took the initiative to do the tasks that were hard to notice. Alvin, too, was unable to use his usual light tone and looked apologetic.
"No, I should have known. I didn't think anything of it because Renka took it voluntery, I'm sorry."
"Even Al... That's enough! Shinji said he would do it for me from now on!"
The two of them nodded in agreement to the words that came out of the panicked Renka.
"Well, we'll do what we can to help."
"Shinji-san, you're an adult. You're very caring... thanks to you, I realized that I've left a lot to Renka."
"Well... yeah. But, you're not wrong either."
Fuuhh, Renka turned away from him. Alvin felt that Renka had accepted Shinji as a friend from the bottom of her heart.
Edited by Kanaa-senpai
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