TN: Changed titles Hero – Dauntless and Champion – Hero
So Saine is now Dauntless, rather than a Hero.
The next day, we head out to retrieve the stone at the bottom of the earth. It’s said to be on the mountain side so we push our way through the forest.
[What comes after the stone again?]
[Stone at the bottom of the earth, white fruit, tears of a cobble.]
[So we’re just getting the stone for today. We won’t find the white fruit unless it’s evening, and the cobble will be in the early hours of the morning. Either way, the cobble won’t come out on the mountainside.]
We decided to get the stone today then go to where the white fruit and the cobble are.
Both water and food can be found in the forest. The guards have learned how to survive in the forest. Before learning this skill, it was said that a lot of guards have lost their lives.
[There are two ways to become a guard, one is to enter the Guards Guild. The other one is to work under a Hero.]
[When you say Hero, it’s that, right? Guards who kill monsters.]
[To be precise, they’re guards who kill monsters like crazy. We also kill them, but it’s out of necessity. There are monsters in our destination or objective that get in our way so we kill them. But Heroes chase after monsters and kill them.]
[……How is that different?]
[It’s the m*ssacre.]
Saine’s low voice overlaps with our footsteps.
[To say it crudely, yes. There are also a lot of harmless monsters. Yesterday’s armored bug isn’t really a monster but there are those who are like it. There are those that are gentle and some that are laid back, however, there are also those who just cry* and jump around. We don’t fight those but Heros kill them all without distinction.]
[But that’s…… not a Hero then, right?]
When I said that, the two guards looked at me.
[After all, don’t heroes protect everyone? They help the weak and discourage the strong, that’s what heroes are. Not only humans but animals are also gentle. Even if they get hurt, they protect those who are weak. It’s the same regardless of whether they’re human or not.]
As I was nodding my head in agreement to myself, Saine and Dole were looking at me with weird expressions.
[Huh? Did I say something weird?]
[Yup. It’s absolutely not weird.]
The two’s voices sound glad.
Haruka’s first husband was a Hero. There are around 10 Heroes in town. The moment Haruke appeared at the Ceremony, his husband immediately made a reservation for the next Ceremony. Then, he took the Ceremony again 3 days later.
Haruka’s next husband was the Hero’s subordinate. The Hero forced Haruka to his subordinate. For free. The Hero doesn’t lack money and the subordinate can’t disobey the Hero.
I thought he was just a subordinate but I learned after hearing Dole that he was a Guard apprentice. If he aims to be a Hero after becoming a guard, he probably has no choice but to obey the order. I can also understand that, but he hated Haruka.
He hated the male Reincarnator that was forced on him and he ab*sed Haruka. He also beat him. I thought that that kind of terrible guy won’t be able to become a Hero, but he’s a terrible man so he aspires to be a Hero.
It was a mystery why Saine didn’t become a Hero even though he’s strong. Once he becomes a Hero, he will be prioritized to take the Ceremony.
But I learned what Heroes are, so I understand why Saine doesn’t want to become one. Things like fame, money, and the order for the Ceremony, there are a lot of privileges in becoming a Hero but he doesn’t become one. I found Saine and Dole cool.
We arrive at the hole. I peeked inside but I can see absolutely nothing. Olphynn descends towards the total darkness without any hesitation.
[Is, is it okay?]
He goes down a single rope. Dole, who went down first, should be waiting there.
[Are they alright?]
I’m so worried that I restlessly walk around the hole. Maybe I should have also gone there with them. I may not be able to help but sharing each other’s difficulties is a man’s comradery, but I’m terrified of the dark and couldn’t go down.
[I’m really hopeless. Truly, I’m such a coward……]
I hate myself for being pathetic. Even though I’m a man, why am I scared of the dark? Even though it’s just darkness.
[It’s pointless for all of us to go down. One must remain and prepare for monsters’ attacks.]
Saine keeps a close eye on the surroundings.
At that moment, there was a faint noise and a yellow bird showed itself. It’s huge.
The round-eyed, yellow bird pulled its face close to me, looked at me up close, and walked away with a grin.
[Wha, what on earth, is that?]
My heart pounds hard. A bird that’s as big as me looked at me and laughed, you know? And at such a close proximity that its beak almost touched my nose.
[It just said hello.]
[With that action!?]
It was a grin with a big connotation..
[Since you didn’t take an offensive stance, it simply greeted you and left.[
[What would’ve happened if I attacked it?]
[You would’ve been eaten.]
Being told that calmly, I jumped at Saine. Saine caught me without flinching as I literally clung on to him with both arms and legs.
[Just now, was that a monster?]
[That’s right. When it’s on its bird form, it’s harmless. If we attack it first, it will transform. It will be dangerous then.]
[Is, is that so……]
[Be calm when facing monsters.]
[Will it help to stay calm?]
[……So hald of the time I’ll be saved and another half means that I’ll be eaten, huh……]
[Half of the monsters are harmless. The other half are dangerous.]
[If I get separated from Saine, I’ll try to stay as calm as I can. Since if there’s a 50% chance that I’ll survive, I may be able to meet Saine again.]
I jumped off of Saine. The rain continued to fall, and the wet grass caught me gently.