Chapter 314: Will
My body’s light; it feels as if I’m floating.
I shouldn’t even be here, but I saw them–the various events, and the actions of various people.
Through Ren’s portal, the Queen and I were sent to Melromark. And we were immediately rushed to the largest medical facility there.
Both of our wounds are serious, and our consciousness faint.
I’m hurt so seriously that if I were to merely look at myself, I wouldn‘t be able to bear it.
“This is terrible… a severe curse has been inflicted. Start the preparations for the ritual magic!”
A healer shouts out, and priests are called from the Four Hero Church.
They’re probably going to attempt everything they can.
“Please get a hold of yourself, Naofumi-sama!”
Having had their wounds fully healed, the other heroes, Taniko, Sadina, and Kiel are resting in another room.
Good. Their injuries are comparatively light.
At this rate, they should be able to move around just fine.
“We’ll be starting treatment now. Everyone else should rest and heal their wounds as well.”
Raphtalia, Firo, and Fohl kept on calling out to me until the end.
And I was once again shrouded in darkness.
What I saw next are the Queen and Trash.
Her wounds are severe, and everyone could plainly see the god of death lingering over her.
“…Goho!” (TL: Coughing sound)
Trash’s hand trembles as he grasps the Queen’s hand and prays.
Luckily, he had escaped without injury, so he was permitted to stay with her.
“We’ll begin administering the Yggdrasil extract. We’ll simultaneously use our highest forms of healing magic, and our highest class of holy water. On top of that, ritual magic…”
The Healer gives out directions like a doctor as he begins casting healing magic on her wounds.
She’s undergoing extensive, heavy treatment.
But nothing seems to be eliciting any reaction from her.
“What a curse… It’s comparable to the one cast on the Hero of the Shield-sama over there.”
As if she was reacting to Trash’s words, the Queen slowly opens her eyes and looks at him.
“Your voice… your exchange… I heard it.” (Queen)
“You can’t speak right now, Queen-sama!”
The healer warns her as he continues the treatment.
But the Queen slowly lays her head sideways, and answers.
“I know… there’s nothing you can do to prolong my life, right?” (Queen)
The healer stumbles over his words, before he glares at Trash and stands back.
“What are you doing!? The one you’re treating is the Queen of this country! If you call yourself a healer, then you have to put your life on the line and heal her no matter what!” (Trash)
“You can’t… give your people impossible orders, dear.” (Queen)
The Queen weakly warns him.
It feels weird for me to come to an understanding with Trash, but I could empathize with him.
The situation is similar to how I lost Atlas.
The sadness of losing one dear.
The despair felt in one’s own incompetence.
The hatred felt against the cause.
All of those mix together, and make it so you can’t think anything anymore.
“This is… perhaps it’s heavenly retribution. My ineptitude… caused me to sacrifice my own daughter. My obsession with protecting this country, the world…” (Queen)
“Wrong! That’s definitely wrong!” (Trash)
Trash desperately refutes the Queen’s words.
“… Is that true? I get the feeling that it’s all my fault. My daughter… Malty grew to be such a child, because she emulated my own incompetence. Because of my lukewarm decisions, everything… turned out like this.” (Queen)
“That is… me… my…” (Trash)
Perhaps Trash is blaming himself for the loss of the Queen. His voice shakes.
But the Queen speaks to him once more.
“Likely, the Hero of the Whip… no, invaders will come and invade this country.” (Queen)
“Right now, Melromark is in a dire situation. Luckily, Iwatani-sama and the heroes, as well as their comrades are here.” (Queen)
“Then, the Hero of the Shield is…!” (Trash)
“You… realize it already, don’t you? Throw away your past grudges. You have to move forward.” (Queen)
A trickle of tears runs down Trash’s face.
He acts the same as I did when I wished, and Fohl did when he prayed.
I don’t know what he’s asking god for, but I felt something warm, as if I could hold it in my hand.
“Lucia… Mirellia…” (Trash)
And he lightly calls Atlas’s name as well.
“If it was the Wise King of Melromark… if it was Luge Lancerose, then our hopes would be answered.” (Queen)
“But… the Cane no longer answers to my call…!” (Trash)
“You’re wrong. The cane lent you power, not because you were a Hero. It was because you were different from the rest. More courageous than them all, and much wiser.” (Queen)
“I believe. To turn around this disadvantageous situation… to save Melromark from its imminent collapse, we need your…” (Queen)
“I am… I am…” (Trash)
“Fufu… you have so many pieces this time around. Now what move will the Wise King make to surprise me today?” (Queen)
“… Mirellia.” (Trash)
“Let me entrust this country’s future to you. Please save the world… with Iwatani-sama. As the Hero of the Cane, and as my beloved…” (Queen)
Blood runs down her mouth as she smiles at Trash.
“You used your resourcefulness to make your enemies dance. You put awe into the hearts of all that opposed you… Go let the world know your name…” (Queen)
At the same time… the Queen ran out of whatever energy she had left.
The door slammed open, and a country leader came in.
“Faubley has declared war on the entire world! Under the creed of uniting the world as one under their flag.”
The situation…. Came faster than Trash expected. And people were already pleading to him for answers.
The next scene I see is two days later.
“Why the hell is Faubley messing around with World Domination at a time like this!?”
Having finished treatment, Ren and the others arrived at the castle to participate in an allied army meeting, and they shouted out upon hearing the information.
Everyone present has a grim face.
Faubley’s military might was just that high.
And they have individuals triple our level. We knew their power first hand.
It’s not like the army didn’t want to stop them. They just didn’t have the means.
“They’ve sure done it. That cowardly Hero… When the wave’s going on, does he seriously believe he has the time to go around conquering the world!?” (Ren)
“… No, I actually think he does.” (Itsuki)
“He hurt Father-in-Law and Firo-tan, and on top of that, he hurt everyone else. I definitely won’t forgive him!” (Motoyasu)
The army is in agreement with the three Heroes’ words.
The events that transpired in Faubley were relayed to all.
Those from Silt Welt are also present.
That Genmu guy, and the Shusaku as well.
“Naofumi’s being treated… and we’re going to war with Faubley…” (Ren)
“Yes. Right now, Faubley is mobilizing their entire army. The first place they’ll attack is Melromark, then they’ll move on to my country. The countries on the way will be forced to submit to its might…Due to bombardments from their new weapon, the ‘Airplane,’ many have already raised a white flag.”
“Is there a reason why they have admitted defeat so quickly?”
“Yes. They tried engaging them in dogfights with flying monsters, but they didn’t have the means to counterattack…”
“Meaning the people riding the planes must be of quite a high level.” (Itsuki)
As Rishia lets out her speech habit, Itsuki starts patting her head.
Ren bangs his hand on the table.
“Naofumi’s wounds were severe… how is he doing?” (Ren)
“It’s not looking favorable. We’ve repeatedly tried extensive treatment on him, but…”
“That Tact bastard, just who is he!? How does he have the ability to steal legendary weapons?” (Ren)
Just as Ren was complaining.
A soldier ran into the meeting room.
“New information! Shield Freiden has formed an alliance with Faubley!”
“And the Seven Star Hero, Tact Althaulan Faubley, proclaimed to his people that he was a child of god. That his possession of numerous legendary weapons proved his own divinity!”
The people taking part in the meeting stood up from their seats. There are expressions of shock all around.
It was quite a safe measure for him to take.
Showing his possession of many of the weapons of heroes would either prove that he went against god, or that god loved him.
Since Divine Weapon worship is prevalent in this world, he’ll be treated as a special existence regardless.
Even if he’s the one who killed the heroes.
“What’s more, he stated he would be the one to save the world, the four summoned were evil imposters, and that he would use all his might to destroy them. Also, that he had already purged four of the ‘Evil’ Seven Star Heroes. He declared it to many of the world’s nations!”
“Does he think he’ll get away with spouting such nonsense!?”
“The upper echelon of Faubley’s Church accepted his statements, but the ones on the outskirts of the country faced numerous rebellions. But those that received his power already went to subjugate and quell the revolts. It seems he made quite a bit of preparations beforehand.”
At the same time, a Shadow-like person appears, and whispers into the Genmu’s ears.
I bet it isn’t anything good.
“… My country is also divided on which side to join.” (Genmu)
The situation is… taking a bad turn.
“What does the Hero of the Gauntlet think of this?” (Genmu)
Though they weren’t really acquaintances, even Fohl could understand that it had to do with his origin. That it would affect his fate.
“Should I answer as a member of the Hakuko Race? Or would you prefer me be the Hero of the Gauntlet?” (Fohl)
“You are not a pure-blood Demi-Human. I’m asking you as a subordinate of the Shield, and as a Hero. Or will you stand by my country as the descendant of Tai Ran Ga Feon?” (Genmu)
Fohl shakes his head.
And he gives words filled with certainty.
“I am the Hero of the Gauntlet, the protector of the village built by the Hero of the Shield. Lineage is of no importance to me, and I don’t plan on doing anything foolish by throwing around my grandfather’s name.” (Fohl)
“Of course. No matter what fate awaits you, my dear, Demi-Humans will always stand by the true Hero of the Shield. Blood has nothing to do with it!” (Genmu)
The Genmu Old Man looks to Fohl with blazing eyes.
“That spirit is enough for me to ascertain your standing. It is my belief that we of Silt Welt should be lending you our power.” (Genmu)
His words were continued by the Shusaku.
“Yes! The Hero-dono shed tears at the loss of our comrades, and displayed his anger for our cause. Our pride and our faith will not allow us to side with the one who caused the calamity that claimed the lives of many of our people. It would pollute the name of our entire race!” (Shusaku)
All the Demi-Humans present nod.
There’s no way they would permit it.
He’s the root of evil that killed the ones they fought alongside.
I’m not the only one wishing for vengeance.
For all that fell against Houou, there’s no way we can forgive him.
That will remained in everyone’s hearts
Fohl merely quietly gazes over the meeting.
According to the Genmu, his calm composure… overlapped with that of his grandfather.
“Now, what move should we make… Wise King of Melromark? We’ve already decided the path we must tread. How will you act on your beloved wife’s dying will?” (Genmu)
Trash remains quiet, with a strained expression on his face.
“In the first place. From his personal history isn’t there… isn’t something off? Just how much of a genius is he? Airplanes and Bombs… it’s as if he’s a soldier from our world.” (Ren)
Ren voices his complaints to the meeting hall.
And Itsuki quietly raises his hand.
“What’s up?” (Ren)
“This is just a hypothesis, but may I continue?” (Itsuki)
“Ren-san, upon hearing his history, you didn’t notice it? No, perhaps you did, but you just weren’t able to piece it together.” (Itsuki)
“What about you, Motoyasu-san?” (Itsuki)
“What could you be talking about?” (Motoyasu)
Itsuki takes a deep breath, and and continues.
“… Most likely, it exists in both of your worlds, if you search for it. It’s a common story.” (Itsuki)
Ren and Motoyasu tilt their heads.
“Naofumi-san seemed to have a vague idea, so it’s probably right.” (Itsuki)
“What is it? Just say it already.” (Ren)
Well, it’s not like I was oblivious.
But because I was sure that this wasn’t the world of Manga and Games, I didn’t want to deny the man’s personal effort.
But this incident is just too much.
Mastering magic at three.
All of his actions point to a single possibility.
“Yes. Most likely, that Tact, the Hero born of this world, was… reincarnated. He’s an otherworlder who was reborn into this world with his memories intact. At least, that’s my theory.” (Itsuki)
“Reincarnation… that thing? Samsara? The cycle of life?” (Ren)
“Yes. There are a few novels about that in my world.” (Itsuki)
“I really only play games, so… I may have read one or two, but I don’t really remember. The only thing I remember is that Game Over = Death, and respawn. With this being a world close to that of a game, it didn’t cross my mind.” (Ren)
“Oh, oh, me too!” (Motoyasu)
Ren and Motoyasu start thinking over the concept of Reincarnation.
I don’t know of the affairs of their worlds, but I’ve read books about that.
A reincarnated protagonist is born into a world of magic… a fantasy world just like this one.
And he becomes immersed in a world far off from the reality he knew.
This time, I’ll do it right. I’ll get status, and money, and women. I’ll get everything.
“So I confirmed it. In books of that genre, the first things most protagonists do is learn magic at a young age, and get higher marks than other people. Also things like using modern knowledge to invent, and other stuff that stands out.” (Itsuki)
“Something like that… I have a feeling I’ve heard about it before. One of my friends on the net spoke fervently about it.” (Ren)
“Right. I don’t think we’ll be able to get any definite proof from the individual, but something dubious is oozing out of his story.” (Itsuki)
“That means that he was summoned from another world, like us?” (Ren)
“It’s a possibility, but… what he plans to do, what he’s thinking. Do you think you can understand a little more of it now, Ren-san?” (Itsuki)
Ren crosses his arms and starts thinking.
“He’s thinking like I did before I broke the Spirit Turtle’s seal.” (Ren)
“I don’t look back to the past! I’m buried in my memories of Firo-tan!” (Motoyasu)
“… Someone get Motoyasu-san out of here. He’s in the way.” (Itsuki)
“Ah, Kuu-san, Marin-san, and Midori-san, was it? I’ll leave it to you. Go keep him busy for a whil. You can even go play. I’ll personally explain it to Naofumi-san later.” (Itsuki)
“Got it!” (Three)
“Nwah! My angels! Where do you plan on taking me!?” (Motoyasu)
And, carrying Motoyasu, the Three Filo Rials leave the meeting hall.
I have no idea why they were there in the first place.
“To summarize, he’s thinking like the old us… that the monarchy of this world was corrupt, and had to be destroyed.” (Ren)
“Yes, then things start to make sense.” (Itsuki)
“Then what’s that power he has to steal legendary weapons?” (Ren)
“Perhaps it’s an ESPer ability like one from my world. A power like that wasn’t uncommon in books from my world. Something like stealing the power of others to strengthen yourself.” (Itsuki)
“I see. If Itsuki says it, then it’s a possibility.” (Ren)
“The reason his power didn’t become famous must be because he kept it hidden, and he didn’t use it in front of others. Like how I acted before.” (Itsuki)
With a bitter expression, Itsuki started explaining to Ren.
I guess that’s possible.
Even in things I’ve read, when protagonists are granted too great of a power, they live while hiding it for the most part.
Usually, it gets exposed due to various unfortunate incidents, but Itsuki is living proof that it’s possible.
“Having it known that he could steal legendary weapons would greatly hinder his actions. But now that the die’s already been cast, he’s using it to its full extent… I guess.” (Itsuki)
“The fact that all of his comrades are women kinda reminds me of the past Motoyasu, too. So things have come together. I see.” (Ren)
Ren nods, as if his questions were all answered.
In contrast, Itsuki seems to be lost in thought.
“What’s strange is the lack of information… it’s odd…. No, we need to decode what to do now. In our fight with Faubley…” (Itsuki)
And the meeting continued.
And my dislodged conscience floated elsewhere once more.
Now I’m not anywhere. An empty space of flickering lights, looping in an endless pattern.
In that space, was me, and ___…