Soon after the army of goblins summoned by the demon had been subjugated, we, the normal adventurers, didn’t return directly to Ofan and remained to deal with the corpses of the Goblins.
Taking off any equipment that seemed useful, we collected the corpses in one single place. To take care of them at once.
If we had left them like that, wild beasts or some other goblins would have been attracted to it instead. If that happened, we’d have to once again group up to subjugate them again which would be a pain.
[Why do even us have to do this……]
“Well that’s, I’m also just an adventurer after all.”
It’s for the people. But even so, Ermenhilde was low on tension.
I have only heard sighs from the morning. Well, it’s not like I don’t understand its feelings.
Just a moment ago, with Ermenhilde in my hand, we rampaged while fighting a black Ogre that had the atmosphere of the Demon God. My cover was blown. People knew that I was one of the 13 GodSlayers.
But even so, the fact that I’m mixing among the adventurers and dealing with corpses of mere goblins seems to be unacceptable to Ermenhilde. Well, it is the job of amateurs and newbie adventurers. And maybe of vagrants without any job.
But it’s fine, right? If I return to the guild right now, I’ll definitely get involved in something troublesome.
I doubt anyone would want this kind of tiresome job that I’m doing right now. The reward is good but it’s mentally tiring. The stench the goblin corpses give off is awful. In just a day, the flesh breaks apart and the blood starts giving off an incredible stench. Above all, the corpse of the black Ogre1 can’t be seen anywhere but there is a black blotch where it died. And that smells a lot as well.
“You should be fine since you don’t even have a nose. Deal with it.”
[That’s not the problem here! For Renji, shouldn’t there be a more……suitable job?]
“I hate those though.”
Above that, I’d prefer easy jobs like dealing with corpses. I’ll get a reward as well. Beggars can’t be choosers.
[So selfish……and also, this isn’t a troublesome job?]
“I’m just taking equipment off corpses and collecting them in a single place, you know? It’s super easy.”
[I wonder why, I feel like crying.]
“Well, why indeed.”
While answering to Ermenhilde like that, I skilfully removed the equipment from the corpses. We never had money troubles while on our journey to defeat the Demon God but in the past one year, I have been running out of money quite a lot. When I realized that I could get a lot of money by selling off equipments gotten like this, my skill in this aspect increased instantly.
Ermenhilde would get angry saying that such a Hero doesn’t exist but money is more important.
“I’m properly working, aren’t I? This is better than lazing around all day I believe.”
[That’s normal! I’m saying, choose your jobs better!]
“I’m not so great that I’m allowed to choose jobs though.”
After finishing removing the equipment, I grabbed the corpse’s arm and dragged it to the place decided for gathering them all.
After doing this for almost 200 times, even such a simple work really does get tiring. Participating along with me are around 10 more adventurers and 30 civilians of the Magic City. There are even some children here. It must be a chance for them to earn some extra money, I guess.
[If you tell them that you’re one of the Heroes, won’t you get better jobs automatically?]
“Not interested. I don’t want to get dragged into the petty power struggles of nobles due to that. Also, I’m not very Hero-like anyway.”
The title of ‘Hero’ will definitely attract attention.
Even now, the other adventurers are constantly glancing at me while I do my job.
I’m not ignorant enough to not know the meaning behind it but I have no intention to answer to them.
Bending beside the next corpse, I began my work again.
Ermenhilde seems to be still muttering something but I can’t do anything about that.
4 Deceased, 11 severely wounded, 31 slightly wounded.
That was the numbers of victims that the vanguard had in this battle.
The deceased were all young adventurers, boys who went to the front lines—–the ones I had talked to before the battle.
I remembered what I had said to them back then. I recalled the words I used to cheer them up.
‘you guys are lucky’?
The moment you come on to a battlefield, luck ends there itself. To stand on the battlefield at that age, there was nothing more unfortunate than that.
And in the rear guard made up of archers and magicians. 2 Severely wounded, 17 slightly wounded. That was all. Even the severely wounded would be able to return to their normal lives once their wounds heal. Their wounds were of the type that won’t leave any after effects.
They had been ambushed by the Demon. But they had been protected by Souichi and Aya as those two had maintained the front.
………thinking that, I could only sigh.
The gap between me and Souichi. The gap between the weakest God Slayer and the Brave or Grand Magus. The gap between a GodSlayer that cannot gain power without sacrificing others and those who could always fight at their strongest.
Saying that the level of danger at the vanguard and the rear guard is different is just an excuse. In the end, there were casualties. If it was an actual Hero—-he would have saved those dying boys. A hero definitely would have.
But instead I, let alone protect them, I used their deaths as my own power.
As a result the black Orc was defeated, and everybody started calling me a Hero again.
I was called one even in the guild this morning.
Even so, a Hero like that shouldn’t even exist.
[But even so, everyone will treat you as a Hero you know?]
“Yeah and it’s a pain.”
Saying that, I took off the equipment from the goblin again.
“I just want to casually roam and travel around the world with you though.”
“I think that’s pretty amusing in itself but what about you?”
Ermenhilde’s answer was very short and blunt.
After that, I kept on working as both of us stayed silent for a while.
Souichi and the others were currently talking with the mayor of the magic city regarding how to deal with the imprisoned demon.
I think they’d probably transfer him to the royal capital to interrogate him.
There are a lot of magicians in the city but very few who can actually fight. The students of the academy are in the end just students. Experienced magicians would either enter the royal knight orders or set up their own research labs.
With only that level of military force in the city, if the demon were to do something again, even if he’s wounded, it’ll still cause a lot of trouble. Even Souichi and the others are human, they’re weak against surprise attacks. As a result, there were casualties in the recent battle as well due to a surprise attack.
That’s why, they’ll soon send away that demon to the Royal Capital from Ofan.
“A Demon Lord that doesn’t revive the Demon God, eh?”
[—–Do you hate fighting?]
The Demon God.
One of the few existences against which I can fight at full power.
The revival of the Demon God is also like the revival of my own raison d’être. I realize what Ermenhilde wants to say but I don’t have the words to answer her.
The GodSlaying weapon that is Ermenhilde and the God Slayer that can literally fight at full power against only a God.
But, if you were to ask whether I want the Demon God to be revived then I can only say no. True, if that happens, I can once again fight as a ‘hero’ alongside my comrades.
But just like that time. In that final battle. Countless comrades had been sacrificed. Those I wanted to protect were sacrificed. Only then was I able to protect the world.
“I hate fighting. It’s scary and painful.”
“I’m a coward after all.”
“…….you’re supposed to deny that, partner.”
I hate fighting. So many people get hurt. So many people become sad. So many die.
And above all—-many have to cry.
[I was excited during the fight with Demon God’s spawn.]
[But Renji calls me his partner rather than weapon.]
[…….Don’t deny me, Renji.]
Hearing Ermenhilde’s soft complaints, I ended up feeling happy somehow.
Filled with those feelings, I gently caressed the medal inside my pocket with my fingers.
[You’re an idiot.]
I nodded in an exaggerated manner.
“I am aware.”
[You’re a complete fool.]
Now then, let’s work hard on my job now.
I, who was working hard even while listening to Ermenhilde’s gentle abuse, might actually be a masochist.
When I returned back to the town as the sun began to set, numerous shops lightened by magic light came into my view.
While shrinking back in discomfort due to being respectfully thanked by the guards, I wondered about what next to do.
Should I go back to the inn and sleep or should I head to the bar?
While deciding about it, I headed towards the inn for the time being anyway. When I realized a figure was in front of me.
“I have been waiting Renji-niichan. You’ve finally returned.”
[What happened Souichi. To be waiting in a place like this.]
“Well, I didn’t know which inn Renji-niichan was staying in so I decided to wait in a place from where the south gate could be seen.”
Oi Brave-sama, how free are you?
I ended up giving a tsukkomi inside my mind.
“What about the demon?”
“After that, they sent a fast horse to contact the Royal capital. Since not just us, even Renji-niichan was involved, maybe Yuuko-san herself would come to take him.”
“……She’ll get angry you know.”
That would be bad.
As someone who had been scolded many times by her during our journey, it was a common knowledge that she’s the last person you’d want to make angry.
Well, I’m the one who was always at fault though.
Taking minors to the city’s ‘night life’, being reckless and getting hurt, teaching the kids weird things, etc.
I know the reasons aren’t exactly great but I really feel that you should enjoy now that you’re in a different world and all. That hasn’t changed even now.
[Yuuko is really scary when angered after all.]
“She grows horns I swear, horns!”
“She might hear that you know?”
[When that happens, Renji, put me in Souichi’s safekeeping please.]
“We’ll be together in both joy and pain, right partner?”
As I began taking with Ermenhilde, Souichi started laughing.
“It’s really nostalgic.”
I shrugged my shoulders.
I have been doing this for 3 years now. Rather than nostalgic, it’s become more like normal for me.
That’s why I could only feel out of place at Souichi’s words.
“I, for one, would prefer a more gentle and ladylike personality, you know.”
Seeing Ermenhilde harden at just those words, I laughed together with Souichi.
As usual, my partner’s fun to tease.
“What about Aya and Yayoi-chan?”
“They’re borrowing a restaurant.”
“…..There’s no need to go that far.”
“They’re really happy though. Especially Aya.”
[What a half-hearted response. You’ll get buried for it someday, you know?]
Will I really get buried for just that?
I doubt she’s that short-tempered. Probably.
I followed Souichi as he began to walk while talking.
He’s probably leading me to the restaurant.
After that fight, we separated without getting to talk much but it’s nice that they aren’t saying anything to me.
Well, they’ll probably ask a lot now though. What I have been doing till now and whatnot. How should I avoid it? I gazed at the sky while thinking.
It’s not something very cool after all, I have been literally lazing around. But I don’t want to hide much from the children either. I don’t intend to lie but let’s dramatize it a bit instead.
“Please be gentle with Aya alright? If Renji-niichan made her angry, I’m the one who gets the bad end of it, you know?”
“That’s sounds fun though.”
“Oh please no…..”
He says that but, Souichi himself enjoys messing around with his childhood friend.
He’s really easy to understand I think. Really.
To the extent where you’d end up wondering whether there’s something more between them than being just childhood friends.
“Leaving that aside, Souichi,”
“Don’t leave it aside…….what is it, Renji-niichan?”
“Don’t I smell? I bathed in goblin blood sprays and was dealing with their corpses as well till now after all.”
“Well now that you mention it, you do.”
[You’re going to have dinner now right? Do you intend to go like this?]
If I actually went like this, not just Aya, even Utano-san will do something bad to me. And I mean mentally.
“Can I return to my inn once? I want to take a bath. Need to change my clothes as well.”
“Yeah. If you went with bloody clothes, I’ll be the one who gets buried…..”
[Well, can’t you both get buried together? Happily?]
Anything but that.
It’s dark, cramped and difficult to breath alone anyway.
[Maybe if that happens, Renji would also live more properly afterwards.]
“Can you please not talk like I’m not a proper human.”
[It’s true though, Renji.]
You say such harsh things, partner.
As I shrugged, Souichi luaghed.
“Didn’t Eru-san get a bit more mellow2 nowadays?”
“It’s been round from the very start, it’s a medal after all. You won’t get……fat, right?”
“……Not that way.”
Souichi looked so cute as he dropped his shoulders that I started laughing.
On that, he glared at me with puffed cheeks. His actions are still really childish. Should I say, as expected of an 18yr old kid or should I say, even though he’s already 18 he’s still like this.
“In the beginning, it was more formal, called you Renji-sama, right?”
[……I have no such memory.]
“Yeah, back when it was still pure and graceful.”
[Should I talk about various things to Aya, Renji?]
Does it really want to deny that it ever happened? Well, it’s not like I want to talk about back then much either.
I was just a company employee and was suddenly being called with a ‘-sama’ suffix. It’s an embarrassing memory.
“Talking about back then, Souichi hasn’t grown much in height from back then eh?”
[Don’t mind him. For men, it’s what inside you that counts Souichi.]
Wow that’s harsh in its own Ermenhilde.
Being told that, Souichi only averted his gaze and sighed.
In fact, since his face is also pretty androgynous, if he grew out his hair, won’t he look like Yayoi-chan?
“It must be nice for Renji-niichan to be so tall.”
“I pretty average I think.”
“Then I’m even below average. Even in class I’m the shortest.
[It’s fine. I know a lot of good points Souichi has.]
Like I said, you aren’t consoling him that way Idiot! I hit Ermenhilde from above the pocket.
I said that to change the topic but Ermenhilde seems to be dealing the final blow instead.
“Well, you’ll gain height sooner I’m sure.”
“I’m still drinking milk everyday by the way, you know.”
So you still are?
“You sure are leading a healthy life. Well then, let’s quickly go to the inn and then meet up with Aya and the others.”
“……yeah. if we made her wait any longer, she’ll get angry again.”
“No, it’s nothing, Eru-san.”
Did she get angry at him for some reason?
Seeing the easy to understand Souichi, I feel bad but still ended up laughing.
“You sure get along well with Aya.”
“I wonder? Well, we are childhood friends. I can somehow understand what she’s thinking.”
“Well isn’t that amazing.”
When I said that, Souichi looked up at me happily.
“Well, I wonder?”
[You’re not honest, as usual.]
“Nothing like that, really.”
But—–I’m really not envious, I feel that because those 2 have such a relation they can do that.
That wasn’t envy but more……jealousy.
“Well, I don’t have such a person in my life, that is.”
“What about Eru-san?”
“That’s more like we’re just stuck together.”
The Brave who protected his comrades. Trusted by everyone, I held very slight jealousy towards Amagi Souichi.
Hiding that, I teased Ermenhilde to change the topic.
An adult that’s jealous of child 10 years younger is simply unsightly.
The comrades that fought with me died. Lost their lives.——-only then did I gain the power to fight.
Haah, I sighed inside my mind.
“Me and Aya are also the same, Eru-san.”
[…….That isn’t really consoling, Souichi.]
“It’s payback for earlier.”
I’m envious of Souichi who can smile so straightforwardly like that.
Why is it that you get better at forced smile as you become an adult I wonder?
Or is it that you become an adult when you get better at forcing your smiles?