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Chapter 05 – Around That Time, His Former Comrades Were
Far away from the countryside adventurer school that Haruto chose as his new destination… ────
In a mansion in the royal capital, there was a green-haired woman sitting on a chair and holding a book. She had a relaxed demeanor and was smiling.
After tapping the cover of the thin book that was handed to her, she turned to face her visitor.
“This is The Prophesized Resurrection of the Demon Lord, the novel that you were concerned about, huh…”
“Yes. It’s a product whose sales are competing with sensei’s writing.”
The person who had entered the room and currently sat on the sofa for guests was the woman who was in charge of editing the mansion owner’s work. Indeed, her work was none other than The Deeds of the Descendant of the Hero~ Deciphering the Achievements of the Strongest Adventurer, Haruto~.
“So I was wondering whether I could ask some questions to increase sales.”
Seeing the editor take out a memo pad and lean forward, the woman – the Monk who was Haruto’s companion – smiled deeper. 1
“Okay, just ask me anything. I’ll tell you everything I know.” 2
“Then first of all… why did Adventurer Haruto scout a healer even though you, someone with the “Monk” Job, was already a core member of the party?”
“Ahaha, I get asked that a lot. People would normally think that it’s unnecessary, right?”
The monk laughed a lot, but she didn’t seem to be offended.
“Actually, I can’t use recovery magic. We had a Magician that did use it before Mariemaia joined the party… but after Mariemaia came, she didn’t have a chance to use it anymore. The other party member is the strongest healer on the continent after all.”
“So sensei wasn’t in charge of healing.”
After nodding, the Monk asked the editor.
“Do you know what was the first big prey that Haruto subjugated after I joined?”
“Err, since it’s something that happened before the person with the “Knight” Job joined… if I remember correctly, it should be the annihilation battle of ‘Immortal King Hydwyatt’ …Ah.”
“That’s how it is. I was scouted to fight against the undead.”
Unlike normal creatures, monsters that are part of the undead could not be killed with simple attacks or magic.
In such cases, special magic that was effective against immortals was necessary.
“He had already decided where to go during the journey from the beginning, you see, but we bumped into a high-ranking undead so often to the point I was suspicious he might actually be doing it on purpose. No, thinking back on it now, it was indeed on purpose. ‘It would be troublesome if there are so many of them here, right?’ was what he said back then…”
Just because people would be troubled by that, would one normally purposefully challenge terrifying beings that transcended death?
Although the editor could understand the thoughts of Adventurer Haruto, she couldn’t empathize with them, and she slightly trembled at his priorities.
“I have my own roles, and the same could be said about my other comrades, and all of them were decided by Haruto. We were recruited exactly for the roles he wanted people to fill. For those two and a half years, he was probably the person who lived with rationality more than anyone else in the world.”
“……Then the reason Mariemaia-san got YEETed, was it because she couldn’t fulfill the role he decided on?”
“No way,” said the Monk as she shrugged, but then she burst into laughter as if she couldn’t hold back anymore.
“If she couldn’t meet the demand, it meant the concept of the Healer role would have to be reworked.”
“There are three stages of Haruto’s demand to Mariemaia ── first, he would force her to learn loneliness. Then, she would join with new comrades that would bring her out of that loneliness. And finally, she would use the love and hatred she learned during her journey to develop a large-scale anti-demon lord magic technique.”
“Hah?” the editor leaked out such a stupid squeak.
The Prophesized Resurrection of the Demon Lord, the book filled with scary speculations that aroused people’s anxiety and was said to rival the Monk’s writing in popularity, was looked at by the monk with a disdainful gaze, as if she were looking at garbage.
“Although the things he did are fundamentally different from this knockoff book of prophecy that only says extreme things so it can sell, Haruto was convinced of the resurrection of the demon lord.”
“And you are not allowed to know that. Perhaps because I always behaved nicely, you seem to have failed to notice that I was talking too much today.”
The editor quickly stood up in alarm, maybe to defend herself or to escape. But as soon as the Monk tapped the desk with her finger, the editor lost power of her lower body and ended up collapsing on the spot.
“So don’t try to compete with that lowly book of prophecy anymore. Also, don’t try to find out more about Haruto personally. Understand?”
Like a slave heeding orders the editor nodded faithfully with a vague expression.
The Monk sighed and looked outside the window at the royal capital in the distance.
I can understand Haruto’s feelings a little, though. The other three… be it the Knight, Magician, or Mariemaia, all of them are depending on Haruto too much after all.
Rather, they seemed to find joy in the fact that Haruto gave them roles.
What was he thinking and expecting?
The Monk took pride in the fact that she was the only one who had thought so deeply about their dynamics as they traveled together.
He is quite an idiot, even though he thought about a lot of stuff. It’s something about him that I know well, something that only I know well…
The monk turned her head toward the editor again.
Hearing the editor’s reply, which was deprived of her free will, the Monk smiled beautifully.
It was a captivating expression that would shine brightly even at the end of the world.
“It’s a very welcome thing if they could reflect upon their roles during this hiatus period. I really care about them as a comrade after all… But if they don’t learn and grow during this period, then don’t you think it is okay for me to take him all for myself?”
“It seems you have misjudged my ability, and will thus pay the price.” 3
In the midst of a blazing battlefield:
The female Knight, who once traveled with Haruto, spat that as the corpses of monsters piled up in her field of vision.
“Demons have become abnormally active… As I expected, Haruto foresaw this, so he ordered us to act independently.”
Even if her opponents were stronger than intermediate demons who could understand human speech, there was nothing to be afraid of.
All she needed to do was simply to kill her enemies. Kill, kill, and protect her comrades if they were around.
“Such skills… Does this mean the raw power of a human knight is actually able to reach such heights just for the sake of their nation or god…?!”
The demon, who was bleeding profusely from a head wound, could no longer fight back and glared resentfully at the female Knight.
After a few seconds of silence, the Knight’s beautiful blue hair rippled like a waterfall as she shook her head.
──Haah? The demon could only let out a grunt of confusion, because with a single smooth swing, the upper half of the demon’s head was cleanly taken off.
“It is neither for the good of a nation nor for the sake of a god that I can reach such heights of my power. The one that I pledged allegiance to…”
This Knight was the daughter of a concubine. And if that wasn’t controversial enough…
The Knight’s mother was a demon. So she was born half-demon.
Since the power she was born with was different from that of a human, she had been isolated in the mansion she was born in since her childhood.
Since the old butler assigned to her was once a knight, she spent her days learning the sword to pass the time.
When the butler eventually died, nobody came to replace him, so she continued to live on her own while honing her sword skills.
At some point, the place she lived at became known as a terrifying mansion where a half-demon lived, and ordinary people stopped coming.
But non-ordinary people came instead.
At one point, there was someone who had grand expectations of her skill and invited her to become a mercenary.
She was quick to realize that the person only saw her as a consumable pawn.
When she refused the invitation after that person returned, she was insulted profusely. She was told that since she wasn’t human, but instead a freak of nature, the fitting role for someone like her was to use her life for the sake of humans and their nation.
At one point, a man appeared who said he loved her, not her power.
If his words were true, her heart might have moved a little ── but her excellent hearing overheard the man’s plan to tame the woman with beast-like strength and sell her off.
After she refused his visits several times, he cussed her out too, saying that it was only because of the mercy of humans that half-humans like her were still alive.
Enough, she thought.
If the humans really thought of her that way, then so be it. Then it was fine to be thought of as a demon instead of a human. She wanted to withdraw, so she stopped answering the door, and when she went to buy food, she wouldn’t talk to anyone.
One day, a man who called himself an “Adventurer” came to visit.
Rather than “came to visit”, it was more that he suddenly talked to her when she was shopping.
[“I found you! The party is finally complete! Now let’s go, our journey already began!”]
[“……Who are you? Are you really talking to me?”]
[“Yes. Oops, this one is the Monk, this is the Magician. Then you’re the Knight, nice to meet you! I’m Haruto, the man who will become the strongest adventurer!”]
[“What the hell are you talking about…?”]
She thought he was a strangely bright man who talked about ridiculous things.
She wondered whether he could even see that she was blatantly shunned by townspeople to the point they were hesitant to sell her even a single fruit.
However, the man took advantage of the fact that she was too confused to react and grabbed her hand and started swinging it around.
[“I did my research, so I think you’re the best match. And there’s no reason to refuse, you don’t have any friends, right!”]
[“……Are you here just to insult me?”]
[“Oops, that one totally came out wrong! No, no. I came to scout you.”]
After forcibly shaking off his hands, she realized she could have hurt him with the strength by which she’d grabbed his wrists.
However, the man remained calm. Even though he was shaken off by a woman stronger than a horse, he didn’t seem to be hurt at all.
Rather, he was smiling at her strength and excitedly telling his companions that he didn’t invite the wrong person.
[“I’m going on an adventure to become the strongest party, and I need your power to achieve that!”]
[“……I see. So you need power.”]
The half-demon wore a thin smile.
There was anger and killing intent hidden behind her smile to the point both the Magician and the Monk immediately jumped out in front of the man.
[“You mean this power? Do you desire this abominable body with demonic blood?”]
[“……Eh, what’s with that? Do you mean that in erotic manner…? This is supposed to be an all-age game, right?”]
[“O-of course you’re wrong, you fool! I don’t mean it in an immoral way, but do you really desire me for this inhuman power?!”]
As the half-demon showed her anger, the man called Haruto went silent for a few seconds.
Then he opened his mouth with a serious expression.
[“Yes, I need it! So what if you have demon blood in you? You’re just strong for that reason, there’s nothing wrong with that!”]
She was at a loss for words.
[“Besides, I was worried since I heard you don’t meet people often, but you can communicate perfectly! Wonderful, you’re impeccable! It seems the spot to be the strongest party has already been decided, hahah! …… I mean, kuhahahahah! The two of you, no, three of you! I know we have some celebratory liquor somewhere…we’ll drink it all today!”]
[“Why do you proceed with the topic as if it’s already decided? Well, I can understand that just by looking at her face, though.”] The Monk rolled her eyes, but she didn’t seem upset at all.
[“This person is really stupid. I’m really sorry……”] The Magician could only apologize in place of Haruto’s over-enthusiasm. 4
……While he spoke to me, both Monk and Magician covered their faces as if saying “Geez~.” I originally thought they didn’t understand how serious this situation could have been, but I understood the meaning not long after. They most likely felt familiar with this turn of events.
[“Do you……really need me?”]
[“Yes, I need you! Let’s reach the position of being the strongest together!”]
The female Knight could remember that day, those conversations, word for word.
It was probably her first time speaking properly to a human.
That was also probably her first time she made friends with a human.
“……I was told that I was needed for the first time. Not a part of me, but all of me. I’m sure you guys will never understand.”
In front of the mute corpses of demons, the female Knight dropped her sword and touched her own hot cheeks. 5
In the field filled with blood, fire, and death, her brightened face shone like the brightest star.
“Fufuh… Haruto, you should be glad that I’m a patient woman, okay? Even though I needed you more than you needed me, you’re still making me wait…what a terrible man.”
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