Chapter 62 – The Preceding Hero and the New Journey
Now then, although it’s great that I bid farewell to Kaito, it’s not like I know about Eri and Mana’s whereabouts so, I wonder what I should do.
Since this is after that emotional departing, going back to the classroom and asking where they are is no good. I don’t have that kind of courage.
Which would mean that I have no choice but to search for them with these legs that I received from my parents but……it really is vast, this place.
When I was thinking that, the shining light of the sun interrupted me.
When I reflexively looked up, what was there was
「Are those, white……panties!?」
I caught a peek of the white thin cloth of a young girl that was straddling a broom.
Hn? A broom?
「Is that, Mana?」
Mana, who had passed by overhead in an instant, turned her body around while stopping in mid-air.
It was a way of stopping like it was for a bicycle. It had a *Zusa~* (Skid~) feeling to it.
*Sui~*. Mana, who was flying as if she were sliding, got down from the broom in front of me.
「Breasts……Ah, no. You really do get skillful when the occasion calls huh, brea, Mana.」
「J, just where are you looking!」
Noticing my glance, Mana hid her chest.
Man, that’s just unfair. The mismatching breasts on that short body would move with a wobble after all.
Like when she gets down from the broom, they bounce immensely.
「Jeez, that’s terrible, Yashiro-san.」
「Sorry, sorry. ……I see, so what Henrietta said was about that.」
What she meant by unique equipment was probably the broom.
「Are you moving separately from Eri?」
Since the figure of Eri who was always with her wasn’t here, when I asked that, Mana giggled and kicked the ground several times with the tip of her toes as if she were knocking.
When she did that,
「Mana, you called?」
Eri appeared as if she were crawling out from Mana’s shadow.
「Yo. Were you in the middle of some kind of work? Sorry about that.」
*Koten* (Head tilt). When I apologized to Eri who had tilted her head when she saw me, Eri shook her head.
「Are you going to the school now?」
「Nope, I just came from the school. It’s great that appeared with such good timing.」
*Koten*. The both of them tilted their heads.
「Since I’ll be going to the next town, I wanted to give you two my salutations. Man, thank goodness I found you.」
When I was delighted at the fact that we met with such good timing, Mana made a face that looked like she would cry at any time now.
「N, no way! That’s way too sudden!」
Just as Mana said, it was way too sudden. However, since it was decided to be about two weeks from the beginning, it was inevitable.
「Have you……gone to Alicia-sama yet?」
「Hn? Ahh. Well, she seems to be busy with something after all. In the worst case, even if we don’t meet……」
We do have the communication stone after all. When I tried to continue on with that, Mana interrupted me.
「That kind of thing, you can’t do that!!」
Inside her glasses, eyes where a strong will could be felt were glaring at me. From the eyes that I didn’t think would come from the normally timid Mana and her shout that seemed to scold me, I unintentionally asked again.
「Even Alicia-sama is a girl, you know!? Isn’t it normal to at least say a single word of farewell to her!?」
I, I don’t really get it but……did I step on some kind of land mine or something?
「Even though Alicia-sama……thinks of Yashiro-san with great care, that’s just too cruel!」
「No, like I said, I’d probably get in her way so……」
「There’s no use in arguing with me!」
Maybe because she would take no excuses, Mana grabbed my hand, pulled it, and started walking.
「O, oi! I’ll properly walk behind you so don’t pull me!」
Just as she said when she said there’s no use in arguing, Mana just pulled my arm without answering me. I’ll keep it a secret that thanks to the way that she was pulling me was in the form of putting my arm at her side, I was happy that my hand faintly touched her side boob.
Alicia noticed us and turned around.
Unable to come up with a clever line, when I just replied to her for the time being, criticizing eyes from Mana and Eri, who were next to me, were turned towards me.
「Fufufu, ……I get it. Ei.」
Alicia made a sound ring with her slender finger. At that instant, the sounds that could be called the surrounding noise had disappeared.
「You met these two right before you began your journey……And then was brought here, is it something like that?」
「Y, you hit it right on the mark.」
Within the world where sound had vanished, only Alicia’s voice and my voice could be heard.
Maybe because they noticed that Silent magic was placed, Mana and Eri, who were beside me, silently nodded and put a bit of distance between us.
「I wonder, are they being considerate?」
「Though it’s too weird of a consideration.」
Well, it can’t be helped. It’s also because of what Alicia declared, but for Mana and the others, I am 『the Princess’s sweetheart』.
They’re probably expecting something like a template story, but, honestly, that’s a lot of responsibility for me to bear.
「So, how is it? The reconstruction work.」
「Since the modifications on the magic formation and the protective barrier were finished on that day, right now we are investigating the cardinal points of the barrier.」
「Investigating? ……Ahh, so you’re looking into the reason why the barrier broke.」
When I came to my own conclusion, Alicia nodded, and immediately had a serious look.
「With the results of the investigation, we’ve come to learn various things. ……It seems that there’s no mistake that the one that destroyed the barrier was Umbra. There were some old fashioned runes carved around the cardinal points. Runes are the usual measures for alchemists.」
「Now I get it. If it’s runes, it’s possible to invoke the magic with arbitrary timing.」
I know because even the Magic Clad Sword magic that I use is something that combines several runes and engraves them.
「You said carved……Just who carved them in.」
When I muttered a question that suddenly came to mind, Alicia nodded.
「Right, that’s the problem. Umbra couldn’t enter the academy’s barrier. It’s impossible for Umbra to enter the academy unless the academy barrier was suspended.」
Umbra is an Undead that possesses his past from when he was human. A species called a Lich, rather, it’s a class, isn’t it. Liches are the strongest class of existence among the Undead, but Baba-chan’s spread out academy barrier was an impregnable barrier that prevents the trespassing of Mazoku and monsters and that doesn’t exclude the Undead type.
Umbra couldn’t trespass it. That being said, that guy’s runes were carved.
「With that guy’s specialty of manipulating humans……」
「That’s probably, wrong.」
While getting stuck on the word “probably”, Alicia was awfully clear using the word “wrong”.
「Do you, have some kind of reason for saying that?」
「Umbra had trespassed onto this academy at one point, carved runes around the cardinal points and destroyed the cardinal points, and used magic that did something similar to nullifying the effects of the cardinal points. There’s no mistake on all of this……」
「No……Like I said, because there was the academy barrier, there’s no way he could have gotten in, right?」
I replied while having a bit of irritation in my words that seemed to reconfirm what we already knew. But, Alicia’s serious expression didn’t collapse. On the contrary, it grew even sharper.
「Yes, that’s true. ……However, if the academy barrier wasn’t activated, Umbra could easily enter it.」
「……What was that?」
That was something that was rather natural to say, but it was right here that I started to finally realize what Alicia was trying to say.
「That’s right. About two months earlier from now. Only once was there a day where the academy barrier had stopped working. Due to something I had heard after that, I didn’t think too deeply about it at that time. No. I couldn’t think about it. It’s because, in a certain way, something even more astonishing that the academy barrier was dispatched towards the world.」
More than the academy barrier……And also, two months ago, that’s……!
「That’s right. ……The present day Heroes, were summoned into this world.」
Suddenly, truly suddenly, I remembered what the Luxeria princess had said.
『 Leezelion’s and my Luxeria’s summoning ceremonies are different.
Leezelion’s summoning ceremony is something that makes use of the converged Maryoku from the alignment of the stars with an ancient magic formation that was arranged in a Leezelion manner, creates a local collection of Maryoku, and opens a world door with that enormous Maryoku.
In regards to my Luxeria’s summoning ceremony, it circulates Maryoku drawn from the leyline that is poured into a circle, and creates a stable world door.』
And then, this academy barrier, continues to draw Maryoku from the leyline, and “is invoked”.
「Because we were summoned, the Maryoku disappeared……?」
「The leyline flows from Luxeria towards Lizwadia. ……Originally, the world door was opened by pouring in the enormous amount of Maryoku generated from the alignment of the stars, and so, in order to produce something equivalent to that, it would require an enormous amount of Maryoku suitable to that. In other words……」
So it would mean that the Maryoku of the leyline that should have streamed into Lizwadia was, “for only one day”, exhausted enough that the barrier couldn’t be maintained.
「And then, about two months after the runes were carved in, Umbra destroyed the barrier of this town. What was the reason for not destroying the barrier right then and there and waiting for two months, and if we were to go even further, why did he know the timing of the Hero summoning. This event is a case that makes you consider various things.」
Leaving the speechless me, Alicia brought it to a finish like that.
「Is there, someone guiding the Mazoku in Luxeria?」
It probably couldn’t be helped that I arrived at that thought. It’s because Umbra carved in runes at the cardinal points of this Lizwadia’s barrier with the timing of when Luxeria opened the world door.
「I don’t know. ……However, it might be difficult to conclude this as a coincidence.」
That reminds me, after I had left the castle, I heard that Pretty Bo……No, Kaito had fought with Agniera. Agniera knew that we were summoned to this world.
Did she come to attack……
「This event, did Umbra come aiming for me?」
Umbra possessed Alicia and stopped my actions.
If he were going to do something to me, destroying the barrier with this timing is……No, that’s somehow lacking.
「No. ……This is just speculation but, I think that the fact that Yuu was here was an irregularity for Umbra.」
「It looked to me as if Umbra facing off against you was secondary. If not, I don’t think he would have used me to “keep you confined”.」
……I see, if he had that kind of initiative, there’s probably no mistake that he would have kidnapped Alicia.
If he did, I would chase after him and come to a situation where I would step into their encampment alone.
Despite that, he didn’t do anything to me.
……But, if that’s the case, a new problem comes to mind.
That Umbra, what did he really try to do?
「Hey, Yuu. May I ask you one thing?」
「Huh? ……Yeah, it’s fine but what is it?」
When I was immersed in a sea of thoughts, a strangely renewed Alicia asked a question.
「Do you still, not intend on fighting as the Hero?」
That was, something that I left in the corner of my mind……something that I unconsciously tried to not think about.
「Do you still only fight for yourself? ……Do you still, dislike others?」
I, can only fight, for the sake of the small world that is centered around me.
If it’s between 1 person I care about and 100 guys that I’ve never seen before, I’m a human that will cut down 100.
And then, three years ago, I came to dislike humans, myself included.
Moving only for their own sake. Moving only for the sake of their own greed. I came to hate those kinds of humans.
「Can you still, say that you like that kind of world?」
「I do like it. Because I realized that, everyone, is only desperately trying to live.」
……Olivia. The one that summoned me to this world, and then the one that died, leaving me and Sylvia and the others behind. Leezelion’s First Imperial Princess.
She, was the one that taught me what humans were.
「……I see, thank goodness.」
The young lady that was very similar to her two older sisters looked at me while shaking her eyes that were very similar to those of her older sisters’.
Those jewel-looking emerald eyes that I was reflected in, I turned my eyes, that seemed to be looking into the distance, to Alicia’s eyes.
「Hn, ……What’s wrong, Alicia?」
Suddenly, Alicia embraced me. Not an embrace with a force that could break my back, but a tender embrace that was enough to come rushing over me.
「You haven’t changed. Yuu, you’re still the same as when Olivia-onee-sama liked you. You know? I really like the Yuu that liked Olivia-onee-sama. ……That’s why, I’m so happy!」
「……I see, I really like you too, Alicia, you know? Though, that’s only after Olivia, got it?」
「Nfufu! If Sylvia-onee-sama were to hear that, it feels like she’d get really angry.」
「Ugeh, please don’t tattle that to Sylvia, okay!?」
Showing a smile appropriate for her age, Alicia laughed.
「Were you going to leave without saying a word to me? ……If you’re all on your own, this Reynbrook is way too vast, you know?」
「What the heck are you saying?」
As I tried to depart for Be Io from Lizwadia’s north entrance, right in the middle of the road, a Sister with folded arms and a “How do you like that” face spat out lines that would come from an orthodox heroine.
「Eh? Wh, what’s with that reaction? Isn’t this usually the part where you silently just smile, pull on the heroine’s arm, and ride off on the horse……since there isn’t a horse, ride off on that Kulkel?」
「You, you’re not the heroine, you know?」
「N, No way!」
Ah~, she’s troublesome as usual. ……Well, I guess it’s alright since her bare legs that extend out from her vestment and her well-shaped breasts are erotic as usual.
「So, why are you here?」
「No, no, same to you, Yashiro-san, why were you trying to go out on a journey without saying a single word to me!? Even if you say you’re a wanderer that goes from journey to journey, please at least properly say some words of farewell!」
Seeming to be somewhat seriously snapped, the black Sister clothing wearing Bernadette puffed her cheeks and drew closer to me.
Mana and Eri, who came along to see me off, nodded at Bernadette’s words beside me.
「Sorry about that, Bernadette……」
「Jeez~, there’s no helping it, is there~. Due to my and Yashiro-san’s relationship, there really is no helping it, but I’ll forgive yo, ouch!? Y, you hit me again, didn’t you!?」
「Ah, sorry, I unconsciously did that.」
My hand that involuntarily rushed out at the Bernadette that instantly got carried away hit Bernadette’s chest with a *Pechan!*
Not good, not good, it’s because I wasn’t controlling my emotions. Fuu, I’m also still green.
「Ku, Kuu~. Wh, what are you doing to a maiden’s chest……W, well, putting the anger for what happened just now aside for later, since there’s something I need to tell Yashiro-san first, let’s have that take the privilege of being priority.」
Bernadette, who was patting her chest with teary eyes, corrected her posture, and, *Kohon*, made a light cough.
「I, the enforcer Bernadette, have been given the duty of being Yashiro-san’s guard, and it was decided that I am to protect you from the attacks from other enforcers. And, with that being said, please take care of me from now on!」
Sticking her hand inside her slit skirt, Bernadette pulled out a rolled up scroll and said that as if she were giving a verdict.
「Eh? What’s up with that, that’s kind of bothersome for me.」
「P, please don’t hate it in such a real way!」
Ah, I tried to act a bit bothered by it but it seems that it was more damaging than I thought.
「Wh, what are you doing all of a sudden!」
「Is this some kind of ceremony!?」
In order to stop Bernadette from bursting into tears, it was the secret technique allowed to be used by protagonists, 『Make the one whose head you’re patting (nade) fall in love with you and, *Po* (blush), make their cheeks go red』, so 『Nadepo!』 for short.
There haven’t been any successful trials until now, but I didn’t have anything else but this, so I bet it all on this technique. The result was,
「Ugah! The hairdo that I went through all the trouble of setting has gone to waste!」
Bernadette, who repelled my patting with a banzai, howled like a kaijuu.
Yup. Naturally, I didn’t think that it would work. After all, the only ones allow to use that are Pretty Boys.
「You’re so mean, Yashiro-san. Just what do you think a maiden’s hair is!?」
Her teary eyes had disappeared but Bernadette was angry as she brushed and fixed her hair.
「So, does that mean you’re coming along with me? ……Weren’t you searching for the Hero?」
I asked that last part in a small voice. Since Bernadette was an agent sent to kill me, the Hero, if I don’t fool her now, who knows when the truth will get exposed.
Doing something like travelling together with the agent aiming for me, you’ve got to be joking. ……Putting Bernadette’s temperament aside, though.
「About that. When I did a report about Yashiro-san to my superior, since there was a possibility of you being troubled by those related to the enforcement, I was temporarily resolved from my duty and was told to be Yashiro-san’s guard. Well, it can’t be helped, right. Seeing as how you’re close in age, and your features such as your appearance and your names match, there is a very high possibility that you’ll be aimed at by an enforcer.」
Maybe to match me, Bernadette said that in a small voice.
No no, you should still realize it! ……Is, is this religious organization really okay?
When I worried about the Ulquiorra Religious Organization, Bernadette put the parchment away under the slit of her skirt, and looked at me with eyes that seemed to be expecting something.
……Bernadette is looking this way looking like she wants to be a comrade. Will you make her a comrade?
Bernadette has joined as a comrade.
「Ohh, I sort of feel like I’ve been added to the party.」
「You’re going to stay in the ranch, got it?」
「Isn’t it a bit too excessive of you to be treating me the same way you would a Kulkel!?」
Well, if I were to say my real motive, I was also thinking that traveling as a lone guy was lonely, and although Bernadette’s speech and actions are annoying, I don’t hate it.
Rather, I’m at the point that I think of it as enjoyable.
Plus, I’d be weirdly suspected if I refused……I guess I don’t really have any particular reason to refuse.
「Let me say this formally, pleased to be travelling with you, Bernadette.」
「Fufufu! Yes, it’ll definitely be pleasing to be travelling with you!」
She has an awfully high tension, this girl. Did somethin’ good happen to ya?
Well, I guess it’s fine.
「Well then, we’ll be going.」
「Un. Be careful, Yuu.」
When I lightly wave my hand and say that, Alicia nodded and replied like that.
Iyah, Eri really is a girl whose facial expression doesn’t change.
Even though this is a time of parting, I don’t see any change in her somehow sleepy-looking stare. ……No, tears are coming out a bit.
「……Thank you, very much!」
And then, Mana, taking a step forward, greatly lowered her head and shouted with a tearful voice.
「I, I! I’m going to be a splendid magician……magic swordsman like Yashiro-san!」
「One like me?」
When I reflexively asked in return to the words that she said while fumbling them, Mana vigorously nodded.
……It’s kind of like, although that makes me happy, this is extremely embarrassing. No matter how many times I taste this feeling, it doesn’t feel bad. But,
「Stop it, stop it. Don’t mimic the way I fight. If you’re going to have a model, make it a magician like Yuri Ro……Henrietta. That style is probably closer to Mana’s way of fighting. In the worst case, don’t be like me.」
「B, but! I!」
「Ah~, that’s not it, don’t get it wrong. You probably got attracted to it from seeing that fight with Henrietta, but at that time, the magic I used was 『Magic Clad Sword』 only. After that, everything was done through force.」
Mana and Eri’s facial expressions hardened. Jeez, they stopped with a *Pita!* (Petrified) feeling.
「? What are you talking about?」
「Things will get complicated so keep it down.」
Thinking about it now, I’m thankful that Bernadette wasn’t there. If she saw how I fought, she’d definitely think I was the Hero……Is it wrong of me to think that I still might be able to deal with her if she did?
「Is, is that true? B, but, that fighting style, unless you use high-ranking magic……」
「It’s truly true. After all, I don’t have any Maryoku.」
When I get on Silber, who had luggage on his back, Silber cried with a Kukeh and started walking.
With Mana’s shout behind him, Silber trudgingly started walking.
When I wave my hand while riding Silber, away from the dumbfounded Mana, Alicia waved back.
Let us meet again, farewell my teacher! ……Just kidding.
「Yashiro-san, please let me ride as well.」
「Shut up, ba~ka.」
「H, how could you say that to a maiden!」
「It’s fine if you’re behind me, you know? However, you have to put your hands around on my stomach and be glued to me.」
「You’re scum! There’s scum here!」
「Numbskull, people call me a gentleman, you know?」
While making a fuss like this, Bernadette and I left Lizwadia behind us.
The silver-haired young girl, Alicia, asked the dumbfounded brown-haired young girl, Mana.
Mana only nodded to Alicia’s question.
Dumbfounded……And in addition to that, she also felt discouragement.
It’s not that she was discouraged by Yuu. Probably, having realized that she couldn’t be like Yuu, she was discouraged from her own ability.
「……I think「Don’t be an imitation of someone else, become your own self」is what Yuu probably wanted to say.」
To the discouraged and starting to get depressed Mana, Alicia spoke those words that she seemed to be familiar with.
「Don’t, be an imitation of someone else……」
「It’s fine to make it as a model. However, if you continue to be an imitation of someone else, your own merit will be lost. That’s, what he wanted to say.」
While gazing at the man, woman, and Kulkel that had gone into the distance, Alicia said that in the utmost tender tone of voice.
「……Were those, someone’s words?」
She didn’t know why she thought that. However, Mana couldn’t help but ask that.
After a small pause, it was the time when Alicia opened her mouth to talk.
「Your Highness Alicia~!」
A middle-aged teacher wearing a Lizwadia robe came running up to her while gushing out sweat from all over his face.
「S, so you were……*Ze~, ze~* (heavy breathing). Here.」
「Professor Conwell? Has something happened?」
When Alicia asked that, that man, who had a beer belly sticking out a bit, wiped his sweat and shouted with a loud voice.
「It’s terrible! It’s absolutely terrible! A young girl appeared from the destroyed Dragon Zombie’s, no, Ancient Dragon’s core!」
Amagi Kaito was confused.
Having gone to welcome the 『Witch of Time』 and guided her to the ruins of the Ancient Dragon just like that, it was the time when he was helping in the cleaning up of nearby rubble since he had the opportunity to.
The corpse of the Ancient Dragon that had turned to bone still remained within the town. The amber core had scattered about in the surrounding area. It was a time when he discovered a strangely round and large piece remaining among them and, thinking it was mysterious, approached it.
Soul Desire (You, who crave my soul).
A voice resounded within his head, and in the next instant, the Ancient Dragon’s core started to dissolve.
He was surprised that the core that was as solid as crystal had suddenly turned to a liquid state, but Kaito had received a shock that surpassed that.
From inside the core that had started to dissolve, a young girl with ashen hair had appeared.
He didn’t know if it was because she was unconscious or if she had died but, when the surrounding core that she was imprisoned in had completely dissolved, the young girl that didn’t put any effort in standing collapse.
When he promptly extended a hand and supported her, it was faint but there was the sound of breathing.
When he was relieved that she was alive, her eyes slowly opened.
Beautiful emerald eyes, that just seem to suck you in, stared at Kaito.