nd up in a state of isolation.

 In that sense, it is not bad to have a relationship where they can express their feelings immediately.

 The only problem is that if during this test of mine, their relationship deteriorates to the point where we can't work together…….

 

 I was wondering what should I tell them when Renge said,

 

“Oh, I understand without you having to tell me.
You want me to do my job properly in battle, right? I know that much.
Maybe that Imp do, too.”

“I-I see…then there's nothing left for me to say.
But you really understand, don't you?”

“Yeah.
……I'll apologize when I get a chance.”

“Good.”

 

 Then Yuki came.

 

    “Master, it’s fine.
Imp-san also said that she will fight properly in battle.”

 

 As expected of Yuki.
She understands my thoughts without me having to say a word.

 

“Thank you.
Sorry, but please keep an eye on her for a while.”

“Yes.”

 

 The little girls turned their heads away from each other so as not to look at one another.

 I secretly let out a sigh at the disturbing atmosphere that had begun to drift into our party, which was previously known for its good atmosphere.

 

 

Episode 15 Renge-san is really strict with his juniors. ②

 

 A few minutes later.

 We resumed our exploration.

 Along the way, Renge and Imp did not talk to each other more than before, and Imp talked only to Yuki, while Renge talk only to me.

 We eventually arrived at a small room and engaged in another battle, and both Imp and Renge did their jobs well.

 I was relieved to see that, but I still felt that the gap between the Imp and Renge was getting bigger.

 As we proceeded in such an unfriendly atmosphere, the Imp suddenly said,

 

 

“……Hey? That wall over there looks a little funny, doesn't it?”

“Huh? Really?”

 

 Yuki said and looked at the dead-end wall, but it looked like a normal wall to my eyes.

 

“….I can't really put my finger on it, but it does feel a little different.”

“Nn.
I'm sorry Eliza, but would you mind checking it out?”

“Yes, Master.”

 

 Eliza started to inspect the wall in detail.
But she can't find anything.

 

“My apologies, nothing is found.”

“Is that so…….”

 

 I was hoping it might be a secret path, but…

 

 Perhaps Imp was starting to not trust her own intuition, but she looked glum.

 There, Renge took a step forward.

 

 

“I see,……
shit, that's how it is.”

“Renge?”

“Well, just look.”

 

 After saying that, Renge fired a barrage at the wall.

What the hell are you doing…!?

 

 The next moment, our eyes widened.
Blue liquid spewed out from the wall with countless wind holes.

 

 Is this wall a mimicry of a……
monster?!

 

 Renge spat out in frustration,

 

“We were fooled by the assumption that there would be no enemies in the corridors.
But it stuck itself at the entrance of the room, mimicking the wall.”

 

“Damn, we were completely deceived.
Good job, Imp, Renge.
Alright, let's go!”

 

“Yeah!”

 

As soon as the wall-mimicking monster – probably Nurikabe – disappears, we rushed into the room.

 Waiting for us inside was just one little monster.
It was a squirrel-like creature about the size of a small dog, with a red jewel on its forehead.

 I had never seen this monster before, but I knew what it was.
It was a monster so well-known that it would be no exaggeration to say that every adventurer knew of it.

 

“Carbuncle! Uooooooh! Don't let it get away!”

 

 The moment it saw us, it turned on its heel and tried to run away into the hallway at the back of the room, and I shouted in a panic.

 At about the same time, the Imp's slip activated.

 The carbuncle let out a small shriek and turned over with a stutter, but Renge immediately stomped on it with her foot.
She then attempted to release a light bullet—


 

“Renge! Wait! Stop! If possible, please let the Imp finish it off.”

“Aah?”

“M, me?

 

 I explained about carbuncles to the two who looked doubtful.

 

 Carbuncle is a rare monster that can be found extremely rarely in dungeons of E-rank or higher.
It has almost no fighting ability and runs away as soon as it sees a human being.

 If you are a game enthusiast, this feature may have hit home, and as you may have guessed, defeating a carbuncle can significantly grow your combat power.
However, only the card that put an end to the carbuncle gains experience, and other cards do not grow at all.

 Normally, it would be more efficient to have Renge, who has the highest growth limit, to finish it off, but ……

 

Renge, who received my gaze, gave a small chuckle.

 

“……
Okay, I get it.
Hey, you can finish the job.”

 

“Eh, but…”

 

 The Imp hesitated at the warmth of her supposedly unfriendly comrade.

At that, Renge said while a little embarrassed,

 

“…
it's your credit for finding this place, so this much reward…
is fine.”

 

“……………………okay.”

 

 The imp also nodded shyly, then she attacked the carbuncle.

 

 Seeing that, Yuki and I patted our chests in relief.

 

 Really, the kids get into fights right away and make peace right away.

 Honestly, I'm a little envious.
As I get older, I don't get angry easily, and that makes reconciliation more difficult…

 I recall when I was a kid, I had a fight with a friend over a trivial matter and we made up right away the next day.
That time, ……
yeah, I remember we exchanged trading cards that the guy wanted.
Then I got the card I wanted, too, and…….
we stopped seeing each other when we went to different junior high schools and now I can't even remember his name.

 I don't know why I suddenly felt lonely, even though I never remembered him before.

 

“…………”

 

 I shook my head and brought back my mind.

 When the carbuncle died, it left behind a magic stone and a large red gemstone.
This gemstone is another reason why adventurers pursue carbuncles.

 

 The gem is called the carbuncle garnet, and is particularly popular among garnets as it brings good luck, and is traded at a very high price.

 Even a stone the size of a fingernail should fetch no less than two million yen.

 You can sell it, or you can give it to someone.
With a grin on my face, I put the garnet away in a soft cloth bag.

 

 There was one more thing to look forward to.

 I looked toward the golden treasure chest.

 

 It's a gold box of disappointment that appears only when a Carbuncle is defeated.

 The gold box is said to be many times more likely to produce a lucky hit than a normal disappointment box.
However, as a matter of course, there are usually some disappointments.
A disappointing box is a disappointing box even if it is gold.

 

“All right, Eliza, open it up.”

“Yes.”

 

 Eliza, who had become much more adept at navigating her way around these floors, began to wrestle with the gold chest.

 

 Please, don't be a failure this time~

 

 As we were all praying while staring her way, Eliza looked back at us.
Her face seemed to have a smile on it.

 

“It's open.”

“Ohh!”

 

 Everyone rushed to the golden box.
And when I lifted the lid of the box with a twinkle in my eyes, there was…

 

“S-skill orb! We hit the jackpo–ot!”

 

 Everyone cheered in unison.
The color of the orb is ……
blue! It's a magic skill.

 

 Skill orbs can be roughly identified by their color.

 Since it contains a magic skill, it will go to either Renge or Imp……

 

 I glanced at the two.

 

 Honestly, I'd rather give it to Renge rather than to Imp.
It's because she has higher magical power and future potential.

 But it is hard to say in this subtle atmosphere.

 

 I'm not sure what to say, but I'm having a hard time with it.

 

“……, what are you doing, why don't you use it quickly?”

“Eh?”

 

 The Imp said while looking away from the surprised Renge, her ears heartlessly red,

 

“There's no point in me using it…
right?”

 


 I nodded at Renge who asked with her eyes if it was okay, and then she timidly reached out her hand to the orb.

 

“Thanks…….”

 Renge murmured in a small voice, audible yet inaudible, and used the skill orb.

 

The zashiki-warashi card glowed for a moment, telling me that she had acquired a new skill.

 Renge asked me with a twinkle in her eyes,

 

“So, so? What kind of skill is it?”

“Whoa…ah”

 

I stiffened when I saw the skill that appeared on the card.

 

“Hey…
seriously? Something like this…”

 

“Eh? Is it that great of a skill, Master?”

”Or is it a ……
shitty skill?”

“O, oi……
what the hell did I get?

 

 I replied with a cramped face to Renge, whose face suddenly turned anxious,

 

“…
It said ‘Elementary status ailment magic’.”

“What?”x3

 

 The surrounding froze.

 Everyone turned their gaze to the Imp for a moment and then immediately turned away.

 Renge looked up to the heavens.

 

“……
Imp, I didn't hate you in any way.
Even if you go to a new place, do your best…….”

 

“Haaaaa!? Hey, don't be kidding me!”

 

 The Imp instantly seethed at the seemingly roundabout notice of dismissal that Renge told her.

 

“Why that skill at this time?! How much do you hate me?!”

 

“It’s not like I know that this is going to happen!!”

 

“Return the skill orb now! Don't take my job!”

 

“Don't be absurd!”

 

 I took out the cards of Imp and Renge while smiling wryly at the two who were quarreling.

 

 There, an exact same skill was newly inscribed.

 

 

 

[Race] Zashiki-warashi (Renge)

[Combat Power] 310 (5 UP!)

[Inborn Skills]

・Misfortune and luck are like a rope

・Hide-and-seek

・Elementary recovery magic

 

[Acquired skills]

・Zero existence

・Free-spiritedness

・Elementary attack magic

・Friendship linkage (NEW!): Can link skills with those who have friendships with each other.

・Elementary status ailment magic (NEW!)

 

 

 

 

[Race] Imp

[Combat Power] 130 (65 UP! MAX!)

[Inborn Skills]

・Devil fairy

・Elementary wizard apprentice

[Acquired Skills]

・Little devil’s heart.

・A single-minded heart.

・Friendship linkage (NEW!): Can link skills with those who have friendships with each other.

 

 

 

Ahhh, I guess I can't sell this card anymore.

Name, I have to come up with a name.

 

 I put the cards away and intervened between the two.

 

[Tips] Skill Orbs

 A special magic item called skill orbs appears from the treasure chest in the dungeon.
Skill orbs can be given to cards to make them learn new skills easily.
If a card has a different skill, it will be absorbed as experience and will increase the possibility of skill rank-up, so it will never be wasted.

 If you can sell it, it will be worth a lot of money, but you cannot sell it because it will disappear if you try to take it out of the dungeon.
Also, it’s a gamble because it is not always possible to get only good skills.

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