World Strongest Rearguard – Chapter 27

Translator: pinky onee-sama    Editor: anirhapsodist

The Rearguard’s Evening


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Before Theresa even passed out, I managed to take her out of the bathtub.

Like a princess, I carried her to a clinic where a charming young lady greeted me. For the first time, I carried a young woman in the person of Theresa. To my surprise, she was delicate and not heavy enough.

She’s light, but as long as she levels up, her physical condition might improve. I know far too well that if health improves, so too will physical wellness.

(We still maintained our body after being reincarnated. It seems that it also has a relation to the skills that we have.)

I’m gradually adapting to it and it seems that my support skills are only using up my magical power. Perhaps I’ll come to know how it feels when my magic power becomes exhausted.

As for Theresa, it seems that she is weak to extreme heat. Her health bar decreased to a noticeable value. For the days ahead, it’s going to be lukewarm or even cold water for her bath. I’m doing this for her own good. What happened earlier raises concerns for her life.

◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇

Despite the fact that it was the correct decision to have Theresa wear that flame resistant buckler, I went up to the third floor while thinking of a good explanation of the current situation.

I can only configure the tactical order from the license when I enter the labyrinth and I fully understand that it is a necessary measure. After all, you can’t walk in town assuming the party formation. It would look surreal. Aside from that, it would definitely draw attention though I am yet to see something like that.

(…Also, Theresa’s clothes are…)

I’m grateful for the employees of the inn for helping me out when I requested immediate help for Theresa’s change of clothes. She wore a one-piece sleeping garment. It was a nightgown but she doesn’t have any underwear on.

It seems to me that demi-humans only wear the equipment necessary for their race. Except for her weapon and the shield, it seems that she has already adapted to wearing lizard leather armor. I was much opposed when I saw her in a nightgown as well.

I mean she doesn’t have underwear, so by all means, I don’t want other male seekers in our lodgings to see her like that. Definitely, I won’t allow it.

I should have asked Leila-san in detail how demi-humans live their daily lives. What they liked and what they disliked, etc..

“………”

I invoked “Aid Recovery” that restored Theresa’s health in a short while after leaving the bath. Although she recovered at once since she didn’t take a lot of damage, deep inside, I couldn’t help but worry.

“Theresa, forgive me for failing to notice. It’s because I didn’t know that you were bad at dealing with the heat.”

She didn’t nod. Does that mean that she entered the bath without knowing that it was actually heated? Wasn’t she aware that she had this weakness towards the heat?

“Next time, is it alright if you just bathe in normal water? “

“………”

“Well, we can have an option for a bathtub that’s not being used by the other customers but…”

She shakes her head. Does that mean that she wants to soak with me, even at the cost of getting dizzy? Where does her steel resolve even come from? How do I put it? Is she just being brave, or just being stubborn?

For her to enter the bath, she needs to obtain skills like heat resistance. Maybe Lizard Skin level 2 will make her more resistant to heat. For now, it is the most ideal to get an accessory which gives heat resistance since it would still be used once she returns human.

(This world is unique, you need to think about countermeasures, even when taking a bath…)

With no way for me to know what she’s thinking, Theresa took the stairs and went ahead of me. I have no other choice but to hit myself and apologize for looking upwards. This is so embarrassing. Let’s discuss with Louisa on how to make her put on some underwear.

◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇

We made it back to the room first, followed by everyone. In one way or the other, I was able to sincerely explain to everyone how Theresa entered the men’s bath.

“Well… That is serious. Since demi-humans enlisted in a party are very much welcome, little did I know that there could be circumstances like that.” (Louisa)

“T-The way you tell it to me somewhat hurts my conscience.”

“If it gets discovered that you brought a woman to the men’s bath, the other residents could issue a complaint subject for eviction, you know? That is plenty enough for a reason.” (Kyouka)

Louisa-san and Igarashi-san who sobered up both appeared wearing similar nightgowns. It was easy to see who has the true merit in terms of proportion.

“………”

“Uhm… Theresa-san, you’re not going to get angry at Atobe-kun~?” (Kyouka)

Theresa nods. With that alone, my sins have been alleviated to a certain extent. The concern that there were two people mixed in a bath was reduced to mere talk.

“Theresa-san just wanted to convey her gratitude to Arihito-san, isn’t it?” (Suzuna)

“Even so, I think that it was a bit too daring… We were completely unaware, so that wouldn’t be a nice thing, you know?”(Elysha)

Elysha doubted me at first, but when Suzuna followed to patch things up, the suspicion somehow died down.

“Onii-san, I suppose that it was just nothing aside from a lovely time bathing~. However~, how unexpectedly active were you when the both of you were spending your time alone?” (Misaki)

“I would have appreciated it a little if you would have already ended it in the first half of your statement. You’re talking too much!”

“Ahaha. Actually, we were talking about it in the bath but, Onii-san can’t bear it right now. Kyouka onee-san…” (Misaki)

“Hmm…? You shouldn’t have said anything unnecessary. Honestly, kids these days…” (Kyouka)

Maybe Igarashi-san just didn’t pay due attention about the talks with the bath, if she did, I can say that it’s information that would result in some sleepless nights. Eventually, there are only two beds. How do you do it with one guy and six ladies?

“Uhm, I’m going to bed, so will it be okay if we decide our places?”

“It troubles me if you say it and look at me like that, so… I’ll sleep on the sofa. Since yesterday, I have been thinking that it was a poor decision on my part to expel you out of the bedroom.” (Kyouka)

“What…? Igarashi-san, I don’t want to be over-particular and go on nitpicking about the things that are inappropriate but, Atobe-sama is the party leader. He is the Leader. He needs to rest properly on a bed.” (Louisa)

“Ah, don’t mind it, really. I can manage myself on the sofa. Will it be possible for three people to sleep on a bed?  My guess is that you’ll barely fit.”

It seems that three ladies can sleep together, but someone might fall if they are not accustomed to using a bed.

“I already used onii-san’s bed, so I’ll be okay on the floor.” (Misaki)

“Suzuna and I, both of us are intruding, so it’s okay for us to use the sofa to take our rest.” (Elysha)

“No, I’m used to sleeping on a chair, that’s why you don’t need to be hard on yourselves, okay?”

“…Okay then. We’ll be talking with Louisa-san so I’ll be resting with Atobe-kun in the bedroom. I guess it’s back to when it started then.” (Kyouka)

“Yes, I was planning to do that as well. Atobe-sama, please have a good rest.” (Louisa)

This session is rough to handle. I really appreciate everyone giving me the precedence but, I’m not very particular about sleeping on the bed. When I compare to sleeping on chairs lined up against each other back then when I was at the office, there are times when the comfort of a sofa is way better.

“Well, how about if we just decide it fairly by lottery~? Here, I’ve borrowed the feather pen that was sitting there and prepared Amidakuji!” 1 (Misaki)

“That was fast… And, do you believe that you are likely to win?” (Elysha)

“Hehe, it’s fine, isn’t it? With this, there should be no hard feelings. I’ll hand it over to Suzu-chan if I get the jackpot.” (Misaki)

“Misaki-chan, don’t worry about me. We need to give priority to Arihito-san.” (Suzuna)

Suzuna’s honesty goes beyond all honesty. For Misaki, all she can only do is show an embarrassed grin because Suzuna took it seriously, rather than paying attention to her needs.

“Even if you decide amongst yourselves, I’ll still be sleeping on the sofa. It will be troublesome if you sleep in the room with me…”

“Oh… about that. I don’t mind it anymore. That was only the first day. I was just nervous…” (Kyouka)

“Eh~! I made great efforts to prepare this, so please, let’s use it. Now then, on with the draws!” (Misaki)

Misaki makes everyone’s write their name on the Amidakuji that she prepared. Only one place was left and though I felt that I cannot win against the gambler Misaki, I decided to write my name, just in case.

◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇

–And guess what? I magnificently lost so I was back on the sofa where I initially decided to sleep. It was the same as yesterday.

“Theresa, will you be comfortable there?”

“………”

In the bedroom, it seems that it has been quite a while that everyone was talking about lots of things, but I was too tired to mind it to until it became quiet. Theresa came out of the bedroom while concealing the sound of her footsteps then sat on the other sofa.

I lay down and she follows suit. The eyes on her lizard mask gradually turned heavy, but as soon as I thought the eyes were shut, they suddenly opened.

“Theresa, you don’t need to do a night watch. As much as possible, please rest.”

“………”

Theresa shakes her head once again. It seems that she couldn’t get win over the sandman. After a while, she closes her eyes once more and resumes to sleep.

Also, before I went to bed, I had been thinking about the skills that I should acquire based on the list that I have seen previously. I will acquire skills drawing from relevant conclusions. It was good that we defeated the Juggernaut, so all I have to do is to be careful on what to acquire rather than be sorry in the long run.

“Behind the Frontlines” would be convenient, but I think that wouldn’t be necessary if there is “Backdraft”. If I can react automatically to surprise attacks from the back, then I’ll be able to prevent myself from collapsing or falling from battle.

(But if I can increase Theresa’s “Vigilance 1” then… Hmm. I couldn’t just depend on the power of Backdraft. Sadly, I won’t come to understand it if I can’t try it out.)

Skill points are precious after all, so I have to give due priority to which is more efficient with my role. Taking this into mind, the priority of the skills to acquire should be naturally decided.

◆Skills Acquired◆

Support Defense 1: Reduce the damage taken by a frontline member by 10 points.
Support Attack 1:  Increase the attack power of frontline members by 10 points.
Aid Recovery 1: Recover the health of frontline members by 5 points per 30 seconds

☆Enhanced Support 1: Increase the morale of frontline members by 10 points.
☆Falcon’s Eye: Improve the ability to perceive a situation when you are positioned at the rear.

Remaining skill points: 1

The skills with a  are those that were newly acquired. Although the skills allowing me to grasp the situation were important as they may look like, I don’t have the slightest clue of what would actually happen.

(…Huh? I can see clearly over a distance… Moreover, I can clearly assess what’s present in my field of vision. This skill… for a Rearguard… may not be that bad…)

As I closed my eyes in this dim room, my consciousness rapidly sank. If we move to the royal suite, then the problem with the beds will be settled. This might eventually be the last time that I will have sleep on a sofa.

By the way, I forgot to ask Igarashi-san her opinion about moving to another lodging. Anyway, we still have tomorrow. Nothing yet is too late.

–What’s this? A whispering voice approached me.

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“…Why is everyone…? I also woke up….” (Louisa)

“I am wondering on what I should do. If it is like this, I won’t be able to sleep anymore…” (Suzuna)

“I knew it… Even if I am at a different room, I remain anxious the moment I lay in bed…” (Kyouka)

“Is everybody experiencing the same feeling? What the heck is this…?” (Elysha)

“Hey, why don’t you act more responsibly? Onii-san is sleeping.” (Misaki)

“W-Well, you know… that is… it’s because…” (Elysha)

“…Good night. Sleep well… What a cute sleeping face…” (Louisa)

Everyone seems to have gotten up, but I’m very sleepy. It should be okay if the bedrooms are separate. Are they having difficulties sleeping because of the drinking party? That should be the case.

(…Please give me a little more time to sleep… If possible, until morning comes…)

The room becomes quiet. Whether this is a dream or reality, I am really not certain. I just want to sleep right now.

◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇

I hear the birds chirping. I got up from the sofa and then stretched my arms.

Theresa slept in a rolled position and used her arm as her pillow. Her blanket slightly fell, so I fixed it and looked around the room.

It felt like I was in bed while I slept. Also, it felt like everyone got up and talked to me while I was sleeping…

“…Am I just frustrated, perhaps?”

“…Oh, Atobe-kun”

“Ah, Igarashi-san. Good morning. Sorry for muttering something strange.”

Igarashi-san who came out of the room seems to have overheard me talking to myself. I shouldn’t be giving vague excuse just because of a strange dream.

“L-Last night, you were sound asleep, weren’t you?”

“Ah. Yes. I fell asleep and was sleeping like a log.”

“O-Oh, I-I see. Everyone got up already. We are going to change our clothes, so please do not enter the bedroom.”

“I understand. When Theresa gets up, I’ll tell her to change her clothes over there as well.”

“…Were you really able to get some sleep? Not once did you ever get up? You were sound asleep, right?”

“Maybe I got up, but I really don’t remember it well. My memory is vague…”

“P-Probably because you were drinking, that’s why your memory is vague, am I right?”

She seems to be all flustered. Well, I’m pretty sure that I got a little blanked-out and my body felt wobbly. There was still some alcohol remaining in my system.

“Then I’ll wash my face so you better get up.”

“E-Eh? Be careful then.”

Since the washroom is common for every floor, we have to go out of the hallway. It was somehow very pleasant to see Igarashi-san being very friendly. I think that it would be a good chance for her to get accustomed in this world while she molds her character.


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  1. Ghost Leg (Chinese: 畫鬼腳), known in Japan as Amidakuji (阿弥陀籤, “Amida lottery”, so named because the paper was folded into a fan shape resembling Amida’s halo) or in Korea as Sadaritagi (사다리타기, literally “ladder climbing”), is a method of lottery designed to create random pairings between two sets of any number of things, as long as the number of elements in each set is the same. This is often used to distribute things among people, where the number of things distributed is the same as the number of people. For instance, chores or prizes could be assigned fairly and randomly this way.

    It consists of vertical lines with horizontal lines connecting two adjacent vertical lines scattered randomly along their length; the horizontal lines are called “legs”. The number of vertical lines equals the number of people playing, and at the bottom of each line there is an item – a thing that will be paired with a player. The general rule for playing this game is: choose a line on the top, and follow this line downwards. When a horizontal line is encountered, follow it to get to another vertical line and continue downwards. Repeat this procedure until reaching the end of the vertical line. Then the player is given the thing written at the bottom of the line.

    If the elements written above the Ghost Leg are treated as a sequence, and after the Ghost Leg is used, the same elements are written at the bottom, then the starting sequence has been transformed to another permutation. Hence, Ghost Leg can be treated as a kind of permuting operator.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Leg

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