The grassland that led towards Svalinn .
There, eight men were struggling in a fight against over thirty magical beasts .
The young man with black hair… Sei was swinging his weapon “Katana” which was entrusted to him by the king, in order to ward off the beasts which were assaulting him .
These beasts had the appearance similar to that of hyenas you might see back on Earth, however, their hair appeared poisonous with purple and pink colour . These beasts were called [Fool] and had an average level of 20, and were something that could easily be handled by trained warriors and knights .
Nevertheless, that was a statement that only applied if there were a limited number of them . There was no doubt even these mobs were a troublesome enemy if there were many .
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Notwithstanding, even at this time, Sei’s heart was not broken and his feet continued to move while he continued precisely to swing his sword .
He, who was forced to see two of the world’s scariest entities at the same time, had become desensitised and resistant to something like this .
Whoever the enemy and however strong the magical beast, all he could think was “compared to those two last bosses, these are nothing . ”
Additionally, his weapon was extraordinary .
The weapons from The Royal Tomb of Black Wings cut so well that it was scary . It also served to compensate for Sei’s inexperience and unskillfulness .
Looking around, he noticed that Cruz was using divine magic to support the allies whilst Jean was using various weapons to crudely cut down the magical beasts .
Gants swung his battleaxe and cut down multiple magical beasts in a single swing . Friedrich, on the other hand, had acted as if he had regained his wild beast instinct, crushing the Fools with his feet, tearing them apart with his claws and biting them to death… . .
Hey, use your sword, Sword Saint .
The sword saint howled causing the magical beasts to become intimidated .
It was said that wild beasts were sensitive to those stronger than themselves, thus these magical beasts had likely sensed instinctively that Friedrich was stronger than themselves .
They quickly ran away in all directions and the silence returned to that location .
“… . . Uu, pu . ”
As the fight ended, tension dissipated .
When that happened, Sei was assaulted with the feeling of wanting to puke everything out .
He quickly covered his mouth and forcibly held down the stuff that was going up his throat .
Even though he had gotten quite used to it, he still had some instinctual hesitation in killing living things with his own hands .
Although he was now a hero, he had been living in the peaceful country of Japan until quite recently . Even the meat that he ate was the one he purchased from supermarket shelves that were pre-made and packaged .
The only living things that he could recall killing by himself… were limited to bugs .
He did not particularly feel anything when he squished mosquitoes during summer . However, if that were to be replaced by cats or dogs, it was needless to say that he would feel some unpleasantness and hesitation .
It was the same as that .
Nevertheless, he could not do anything unsightly like vomit .
He was well aware that his title of the hero was nothing better than a title of a clown . From the eyes of the people that held real power, he was no different from a bug . He was literally a small fry that did not even enter into their sight .
Yet, there was a thing called pretension .
Even if he did not possess any real strength, even if he was not deserving, as long as he had the title of a hero, he would be considered and be called as one . As he had accepted that role and a title, he had the obligation to act like one .
Even though he was like this, there were people who called him a hero . There were also people did not know any better and relied on him .
As such, he did not want to act pitifully .
Inside himself, there existed a hope that would be crushed if someone blew on it . But all his weak self could do was to keep up a thin veil of pretence .
As such, he wanted to at least keep that up . Because it was his obligation once he answered that call for help .
The stuff that had climbed out of his stomach and up his throat – the stuff that had already reached his mouth, he forcibly swallowed it back down .
“Oi oi, you’re still not used to it, Sei? Isn’t it about time you at least manage to kill the magical beast casually? If you can’t, it’s going to be a bit tough going forward . ”
“… . Yeah, might be . ”
Although he affirmed Jean’s prompt, inside, he was still hesitating .
I’m fine with this, somewhere deep inside of him, he felt this way .
Indeed, if he were to hesitate in killing even the magical beasts, he would not be able to last long . He knew that .
He had to get used to it . Not wanting to get used to it was just his selfishness . He knew that .
But at the same time, he thought that he did not want to become a human being that could mindlessly kill a living thing without feeling anything .
Contradiction – he did not want to show his pitifulness . Yet, he did not want himself to be able to kill a living thing without feeling anything .
It was not possible to have both ways, yet Sei continued to cling onto both .
He wanted to continue feeling the weight of snatching life away . If he were to forget the weight of that, he would lose the sense of justice that he believed in .
The country of Japan that he would eventually return to was a country governed by law . There, laws existed so that people could exist, there were things called morals, and there were things called common sense .
He did not want to become someone that would not hesitate to kill a person when he had to go back .
Of course, a policeman had to arrest a criminal . If required, they would even fire a firearm and take a life .
However, the moment that policeman merrily pointed the gun at someone, to be excited in firing that firearm and be joyful that they get to kill someone, they would no longer deserve to be called a policeman . They would simply be a murderer who used the law as a shield .
But in this world, it was justice . Someone that was able to enter more battlefield and kill more magical beasts without hesitation was considered to be a greater warrior . And they were the ones that became a hero .
Although this greatly resembled Sei’s goal of following his father’s footstep, it could not be any further in essence .
I knew it already but… . I’m not suited to being a hero inside a game… .
I knew I was being naïve .
It was not “kindness” . It was “naivety” .
I lacked a resolution . I did not have the right mental attitude .
Even though I answered a call for help out of my own free will, even now, I still had not set my feet down yet .
Indeed, my feet were physically touching Midgard’s soil, nevertheless, my heart was still stuck in the peaceful country of Japan .
As such, I always became a burden on my allies and could not avoid prioritising Japanese common sense and moral over Midgard’s .
If it was just to jump in recklessly, it was easy . If I tell myself that the actions I took were for justice, it was possible to move forward .
However, I did not have the ability to make that possible . I did not have the right mindset to make it possible .
His actions were not courage but recklessness . As a consequence, Sei did not believe himself to be a hero .
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The way I’m acting… is called reckless, isn’t it?
I was asked to defeat Ruphas and the Demon King .
However, it was impossible for him . Or rather, they were not individuals that could be defeated by living things .
Even though Sei clearly knew that it was impossible for him, he continued to move forward . That was what you called recklessness .
That was why he was not a hero . He was not qualified to be called that .
Even then, everyone called him that and placed their hopes onto him . As such, he could not betray their expectations .
In this way, he thought that at the very least, he would try and become a hero .
He wanted to change his mindset which had not even reached the starting line . To change from recklessness to courage at the very least .
He did not want to walk while looking away from fear . He wanted to walk while acknowledging that fear .
If he could not do that, he would not even be able to make the distinction on what was right and what was wrong .
Someone that only looked at things that were in their favour and looked away from all that was unfavourable to them . Someone like that would never be able to make a correct judgement on things .
Everyone is terrified… They don’t try to look at things clearly .
‘Ruphas Mafahl is scary strong . Thus she is evil . We should defeat her . We want her to go away . ’
… . . I’m also the same . I don’t want to ever meet her again if I can help it .
But… . It’s, ‘but’…
Sei had one question .
Something that he could not ask his allies, a question that he kept to himself .
A hypothesis based on the unbiased view that only he could have due to having been brought from another world .
— Was Ruphas Mafahl actually an enemy?
Somehow, everyone is hostile towards her to a surprising amount .
Even that conversation with the Demon King… No one is thinking deeply about what was being said . They barely brushed it off as a conversation between two evil entities .
But to me, that conversation was something different .
The Demon King stated even the battle from 200 years ago was the work of the Goddess .
… . Then… “Maybe the current battle is also the same?”
In the first place, it was strange for the 7 Heroes that should have been her allies to take her down .
Mind control? Manipulation of the heart? Amplification of the subconscious fear? I don’t know what kind of trick it was, but… perhaps it was active even now?
The goal of coming to Svalinn was to meet and talk with the Wisdom King Megrez and ask him about possible hints on how to defeat the Supreme Ruler and the Demon King .
Additionally, they hoped that Megrez would know how to strengthen the power of the hero .
After all, Megrez was a man who once reached the pinnacle of level 1000 .
It was reasonable to think that he knew a special strengthening method the people of this current generation did not .
Nevertheless, Sei had a separate goal in mind .
Out of his group, only Sei was going to meet Megrez for a reason other than to defeat the Supreme Ruler . He was looking to find out what really happened 200 years ago .
By personally meeting and talking to the Wisdom King himself, he wanted to find out the circumstances and deduce what Ruphas was thinking .
He could not continue forward without finding out . He could not continue fighting .
He could not limit his field of vision and blindly accept other’s judgement that she was evil .
It was not a simple issue where he could blindly fire first, then later say; “Oh, it turns out I was wrong . Sorry mate . ”
He recalled what his late father who was a police officer told him .
“Do not point your gun towards someone by mistake . ”
Police officers stood behind a shield called the law . They had the power to arrest criminals .
But that was exactly why the police officers had to look at the other party impartially and properly .
They could not just listen to one side of the story . They had to listen to both sides of the arguments, then only once they have fully understood the situation, they had the obligation to reach a correct answer fairly and justly .
“Your father made a mistake… I once caught someone that was innocent, and ruined 15 years of his life… and as a consequence of that mistake… he took his own life . Ahh Sei, your father’s no longer an ally of justice… That’s why… you mustn’t become like me . Whatever you do, you mustn’t become someone that blindly follows that feeling of justice and make a mistake . ”
Saying that, Sei’s father drowned in his guilt and stress until all his hair turned white, resulting in him escaping to alcohol every waking moment .
His father was a man of justice .
Whenever it was, his father dreamed that he could be an ally of the weak . Someone that could bring kindness and happiness to all .
As such, his father worked every day without rest . Looking at his father’s back, Sei believed it was someone that he could be proud of .
He told himself that one day, he would become just like that man he was boastful about .
That feeling had not changed even now .
It’s fine father… Somehow, I’m still rational .
Well actually, I was flipping out quite a bit, but I think I’m still fine . Maybe, probably, most likely .
‘Don’t make mistake’, did you say? Yeah, I’m not going to make my judgement after listening to just one side of the story .
I’m not going to point my gun toward someone I shouldn’t be pointing towards .
… . Well, I guess what I’m actually holding is a katana though .
I don’t even know why there’s even a katana in a different world though . But then again, this world was full of strange things I can’t understand .
But, it’s fine . …… . I’m… definitely not going to make a mistake in deciding what should be in front of the gun .
The young man who was called a hero but believed himself to be insufficient thought strongly in this way .
That he could not become a god of death that would be able to ruthlessly kill the enemies in the name of justice .
He knew that he could not become the hero that was expected by the people of this world .
Nevertheless, the pillar in his heart did not give way . The sense of justice that was passed on from his father still remained strong inside his heart .
That was why he was determined to find it . Not “a hero” that could mercilessly cut down the enemy as people wanted him to be . But “the hero” in his heart .
In its hand would be a lethal weapon called the “justice” .
And above its head would be a title of “hero” to justify whatever its action . Behind it, would be a shield called a country .
That was why he must not make a mistake . A mistake could and would never be forgiven .
Not someone that blindly fulfilled justice because they were given the objective, but someone who used their courage to rightfully reach a correct answer .
He believed that was what it truly meant to be the hero .
…… The question is .
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He glanced behind himself .
What he saw was a hunting ground of a tiger who was howling and culling the magical beasts who had long lost the will to fight .
There was neither justice nor evil involved . Only the beast-like instinct of wanting to fulfil themselves by taking down an enemy in a hunting ground .
‘There’s a prey in front of my eyes . It showed its back and is running away . So I will chase it and eat it!’ That was everything!
It had no interest in what the enemy had to say . It would eat if it got hungry . There was no concept of good or evil in this .
The wild – they did not care what was logical!
This feels like a party that will definitely make a mistake on who it points its spearhead towards… .
Looking at the tiger who was gobbling up the magical beast, Sei’s eyes lost focus .
He thought… If you’re considered humanoids, at the very least, cook your meat before you eat it .