That night, as I walked through the corridor to Utano-san’s room to meet her as promised, I passed through many maids. It might seem unreal but women in maid uniforms are really nice to look at.
While thinking of such foolish things, I reached in front of Utano-san’s room. That said, there were only a few rooms between mine and her room. When we had been summoned, only me and her were actually adults in the group so we decided that it’d be convenient to have have our rooms close to each other just in case. There was no other ulterior motive behind it……..at least I’d like to think that.
In front of her room, I took a deep breath twice. It’s not really late at night right now but it has been a long time since I’ve visited a woman’s room at night, so I ended up feeling a bit nervous unconsciously. Also, I’m scared of whatever scolding she will probably give me as well.
Calming myself down, I knocked twice.
But there was no response. Feeling a bit letdown, I knocked again. Since I could see light seeping out from the gap in the door, she should be present in the room. I waited for a while, but still there was no response.
Is she really not in? When I tried listening inside a bit, I heard a bit busy sound. It seems like she’s in some kind of hurry.
“Please, come in.”
Just when I was about to knock again, finally a response came. I could tell it was Utano-san’s even through the door.
What the hell was she doing? As I opened the door while confused, I realized that another person was inside the room. Though at as heavy as KNIGHT I met in the afternoon, he was still much taller than me. A brown haired young man dressed in nice clothes. His thin eyes moved towards me.
“Long time no see, Renji-san.”
“Oh, Kuuki. It’s been a while.”
“Yes. It’s been an year. I was really worried when you were carried in all injured you know?”
As he walked towards me while talking, the difference in our heights made me take a step back. I’m pretty tall as well but this guy still surpasses me by quite a bit. Even in this other world, I’ve not met anyone this tall. His face gives off the impression of someone with a good personality but his height sometimes makes him feel over pressuring at times as well.
Kuuki extended an arm towards and I took it as we shook hands with each other.
“No, seriously, I was afraid you won’t open your eyes ever again.”
“Don’t speak of such unlucky things. That Koutarou’s cheat is always making me seem like I’d die already anyway.”
“Haha, true. You are always dying according to his cheat aren’t you?”
“……It’s not a laughing matter you know?”
But well, considering that I never did actually die, I guess it can become a laughing matter as well. Why the hell is his Demonic Eye’s predictions always wrong? Am I simply that easy to kill or his cheat just broken? I hope it’s the latter.
Leaving that aside,
“Did you grow in height again?”
I feel like I have to look up more than I had to a year ago. My neck is getting tired.
“It seems so…..O’brien-san also told me to ‘stop growing already’, as well.”
“It’s not something that can be stopped on an order you know…….but still, share some of your height with me damnit!”
“Renji-san, you’re pretty tall already though.”
That’s true. I’m currently 180cm. It’ll be a pain to me as well, if I grew more.
“Are you guys done talking?”
As we laughed together, a somewhat tired voice came. When we both looked towards the source of it, the master of this room was looking at us with folded arms. Right now she wasn’t in her usual robe but in a comfortable looking white negligee-like dress made of some soft cloth. Above that she also wore a thick shawl. Her flaxen hair had been undone and she was giving off a completely different atmosphere than before. Shining from the light of the magic lamp, her beauty was made even more prominent. Even I, who is used to seeing this woman called Utano Yuuko, was completely charmed for a second.
But well,…… even though she had her arms folded, there was no change in her chest area. I looked only for a second but still I quickly looked away so as to avoid getting noticed. As a man, it can’t be helped that my eyes wander like that.
The bookshelf in her room that had clearly had an increased number of books from before came into my view. She had a lot back then as well but there were only 2 shelves. But now, covering all of the walls……except the window to let light pass through, there were a total of eight shelves lined up. And each of them were filled with notes and books.
Even on her work table, there were lots of books neatly lined up. I concluded that she was quickly cleaning up her room when I came most probably. Though I think it was probably too late since Kuuki was already there. She’s not really good at cleaning and stuff like that. If it was her back then, there’d probably be books lying around not just on her desk but also the floor.
Finally, I moved my gaze towards her directly.
“Welcome, you’re late.”
“I had some bad dreams, so I ended up sleeping a bit more than I had planned.”
While scratching my cheeks I moved forwards. I probably shouldn’t say that she was the one that still made me wait outside though. As I thought of that, a light, sweet smell of flowers came to me. Though there are things similar to perfumes used by nobles in this world as well, Utano-san didn’t seem to be interested in them much so I was a bit surprised. I’d laugh like crazy if right now Kuuki told me that he was using the perfume but it seems that’s not the case here.
“Hm, no, nothing.”
It seems in the past one year, she has become a bit more womanly as well. No, well, I did see her as a proper woman back then as well but she does have a habit of being careless and undisciplined when in private even though she acts perfect in front of others so I was simply a bit surprised seeing her use something like a perfume. I became a bit more conscious of Utano-san as a woman as she looked at me confusedly.
Remembering about what happened in the afternoon, another reason may be that I have simply been living a very womanless life for the past year. While I was thinking of that, suddenly my stomach rumbled in hunger. To think of food when smelling flowers…….I guess I prefer dumplings over flowers, stomach (food) before romance. The phrase truly fits me.
“Ara, have you not had your meal yet?”
“…….I was sleeping after all. Well, I’m not that hungry, I’ll be fine.”
“That won’t do Renji-san. You’re still recuperating, you need to take proper nourishment as well.”
I sat down on the sofa in the centre of the room. It felt a bit weird sitting on such a soft sofa after such a long time. Must be due to the fact that I have been sitting on wooden chairs for a while now. As I smiled wryly at that fact, Kuuki sat down on the opposite side of the table. I’ll just ignore that my stomach had rumbled just now. It’d be embarrassing if I minded it anyway.
Seeing that I had sat down, Utano-san rung a small bell kept on her table. And, as if they had been waiting for it, the door was knocked instantly and a woman in maid uniform appeared. She must be a few years younger than me and Utano-san I think.
I blankly looked at Utano-san as she ordered the maid for some drinks and light snacks. Seeing her order like that, as if she was used to it, somehow suited her. She really looked cool at times like this. Though I feel that I’ll get scolded by her saying that ‘cool’ is not a compliment for women.
When she was done and turned back towards us, our gazes met.
“What is it?”
“Nothing, I was just thinking that this sofa is really great.”
“People don’t usually come here but this is still the royal castle after all. If I didn’t arrange for at least this quality of things, others start complaining.”
Well nobody comes probably because they’re afraid of her. Deep inside she has a good personality but her eyes (gaze) is definitely scary. We can tell since we’re used to it but for others I guess it’s not that easy.
In contrast, Kuuki has a very gentle and likeable looking face. His extreme height maybe a bit of a minus but because of his thin eyes and gentle expression, he’d be the one people would depend upon in every village we reached.
“It seems the Sage has her own sorts of troubles, eh?”
“You’ll understand them soon enough as well, oh great Hero.”
Seeing her speak those words with a sense of confidence, I could only shrug my shoulders. I really want to not understand her those sorts of troubles, if possible. When I looked in front, Kuuki was also nodding his head at Utano-san’s words. Since he’s living in the castle as well, I guess he has to deal with such things as well I guess.
“I’m really not suited to be a Hero.”
“True. I’m not suited to be called a Sage either.”
“Oh no, no.”
While hearing Kuuki’s slightly sarcasm filled voice, Utano-san came and sat beside me leaving a bit of a gap in between. And with a dry sound, placed the black gem-like Demon God’s heart fragment on the table.
“So that’s the Demon God’s heart, eh?”
“It’s just a fragment though. Wait, Kuuki, you hadn’t seen it till now?”
“Yes, Only the King, O’brien-dono, Aya and your friend called Mururu have seen it till now.”
What’s up with that choice. If Aya was allowed to see, why wasn’t he? As if noticing my confusion, Kuuki raised his hand while smiling wryly. I don’t really think you need permission like that to speak, you know?
“I was away on a campaign. I came back just very recently.”
“Ah, I see.”
So that’s why there were so less people during the afternoon.
“You seem busy.”
“Yes, very much so. Recently, monsters have been a bit too active.”
“The Knight Orders are a bit low on people right now. The 1st Order till the 4th Order are especially busy right now. Especially Yuuta-kun1, since he specialises as the [shield].”
“You’re being depended upon a lot, eh?”
“I’m happy for that but, really, I want to take some rest now.”
I could only give a wry smile at seeing wish for that so desperately. Kuuki’s cheat is [The Shield of Protection]. He simply has no replacement.
After all, with Kuuki there, everyone would be safe even if a dragon-class monster appeared. Kuuki Yuuta wished for a [Shield to protect everyone]. That was made true as a protective barrier created by Kuuki with him as the centre. It even had the ability to decided what all the barrier would protect voluntarily as well. Whether it be a dragon’s breath, a high ranking demons magic, and even Aya or Koutarou’s catalysm-like magic that don’t differentiate between enemies and allies, his shield has protected us from all that countless times.
Since he has such an ability, he must be leaving for the front lines countless times.
“You’re attached to the 3rd Knight Order, right?”
“Though I’m still inexperienced, I have been made into the vice commander as well.”
“That’s an amazing achievement.”
When I said that, he scratched his cheeks embarrassedly. Seeing him like he always did, I felt happy as well.
“He goes on dates with the princess as well so, though busy, he’s pretty happy it seems.”
“……..hou. You did get along with her back then as well, I guess.”
“Renji-san as well!”
Seeing such a tall and handsome guy blush like that, now I feel jealous. Goddamnit. To have a princess as your lover, how envious is that? But still, finally he did it eh. Soon after we were summoned here, he did quickly get along with her. Before anyone realized even. Seriously, just when we let him out of our sights, he instantly got close to the country’s princess. Unlike his face would suggest, he gets to work fast. That’s how he is. This might be just my own opinion though, since everytime I say that, he denies it with all his strength.
“So when are you getting married?”
“I can’t right now!?”
“hmmm, ‘not yet’ eh?”
Well, their feelings aside, they also have both their positions to mind as well. The princess and the saviour (Hero) of the country. There’s also the status inside the castle as well—–well, once he becomes the commander of the Knight Order, there won’t be any problem.
“Aah, c’mon. This conversation has gone off topic too much. Yuuko-san!!”
While I teased Kuuki who was red-faced, I picked up the black fragment from atop the table. I gripped it with full strength but it didn’t break. I guess it’s useless without Ermenhilde.
“Is it fine to just destroy it?”
“It isn’t as simple as it looks. The Spirit God is involved as well after all.”
“I guess that’s true as well.”
“……….And now we’re suddenly back on topic, can you guys stop already?”
While listening to Kuuki’s tired voice, I returned the fragment back to the table. The Demon God’s heart. Since I was the one who once broke it, I know. The Spirit God does have the ability to break a fragment like this. Probably, better than me. But since he sent it to Utano-san without doing that, he must have a reason to do so. In the first place, I broke it one year ago on the Abenelm continent. How the hell did it get here after so long?
“I just want to destroy this as fast as possible, to be honest.”
“You can’t. it might be necessary to the world from hereon.”
At her words, my gaze once again went towards the fragment.
“The heart of the Demon God that tried destroying the world?”
“Recently, monsters have been acting very weirdly. You should have realized that as well, right?”
Fumu, I put my finger to my chin
I could remember quite a few examples. An Ogre that appeared inside a village out of nowhere, a descendant of the Demon God, the army of goblins and the Demon controlling them.
Kuuki seems to be busy due to the erratic movements of monsters as well and even that lazy Spirit God decided to take action. There must be something happening where we can’t see right now.
“Now that I recall, that Demon who attacked the Magic City was talking something about resurrecting the Demon God and whatnot.”
“Yes, I heard about it as well. That also seems one of the reasons.”
“What do you mean?”
“The ones who created this world were the Goddess, the Spirit God and the Demon god, those 3 pillars, right?”
Saying that, Utano-san raised 3 of her fingers. And then, she bent one of them. We killed the Demon God. That means, this world is currently being supported by the Goddess and the Spirit God.
“But, those 2 alone cannot support this world. That’s because this world was created in such a way that it needs three pillars to sustain itself.”
“Yeah, I know that as well.”
During my journey, I thought about it many times as well. Since those three created the world, would there be no effect if one of them was killed? Is Utano-san thinking that it’s due to that the monsters are acting like this?
That demon said that they wanted to revive the Demon God. I don’t know why or how they’re using the Demon God’s descendants for that though. The descendants are born directly from the power of the Demon God. Monsters were birthed by the Demon God as well but the descendants held power far more than them so they stood above normal monsters and even the Demons. That’s why normally, the descendants would be the ones to use monsters and the Demons for their use, not the other way round.
“I’m still looking into it but I think, since we killed one the 3 pillars, the balance of the world has been destroyed.”
“The fact about how the Goddess creates humans, Spirit God creates demi-humans and beastmen and the Demon god creates monsters and Demons?”
“Yes, according to my expectations, there must be some kind of affect showing on the Abenelm continent.”
I see. I guess that would be the first place to be affected. But since it was related to only monsters and demons, I didn’t think much about it. Since she said that she was looking into it, did she send people to Abenelm. That sounds like trouble, really. Monsters, demonic beasts, and giants rare on these continents run rampant over there.
And if it really is as she says, then I’m not unrelated to this problem. After all the reason behind the weird actions of the monsters……….the one who killed the Demon God was me after all. Karma works in weird ways, I ended up giving a sigh. And above all——if the Demon God is necessary for the world means that we have to revive him, that fucking asshole.
“About that, I think we should get an Oracle from Astraera about it. Did you hear anything?”
“Why are you asking me? I have heard nothing from her in the past one whole year.”
“……..well, you’re the most probable ones she’d contact after all. After all, she only gives you all sorts of work.”
“Don’t make me remember. I get depressed.”
“Isn’t that a good thing? You’re liked by Astraera-sama. It would be considered an honour, you know?”
“Shut up. That woman is nowhere near as nice as it sounds.”
She isn’t annoying but she is kind of a pain sometimes. In any case, she troubles me a lot, with all of her requests. Normally, that should be the job for the Brave, Souichi. But I guess reality doesn’t work like fantasy. What kind of side character gets more problems than the main hero?
As I bent my lips in dissatisfaction, the door was knocked. When Utano-san gave a reply, the maid from before came in with a large tray with alcohol and some snacks. Though carpeted, I guess its as expected of a maid to walk without making a single sound.
“Well, let’s leave the troublesome talk for later.”
The maid quickly arranged everything on the table. The alcohol kept on the table was high class, I could tell with a single glance.……..Well, I guess it’s to be expected.
Making the maid move away, Utano-san poured the for me. In replacement, I poured the alcohol for her and Kuuki. The three glasses were filled with an amber coloured liquid and the smell of the liquour mixed with the smell of those flowers from before. Suddenly, I remembered something. If we began drinking and we really will stop talking about the important stuff.
“Utano-san, where’s Ermenhilde?”
Wait, I’ll be the one troubled if you look at me so confusedly, you know?
“You haven’t met her yet?”
“Well, neither Yui-chan nor Anastasia knew about it. Fafnir didn’t either.”
Instead, I was completely seen through by Fafnir.
“She’s at the place you want to go to the least right now.”
I instantly knew where she was from just those words. Having understood that, I gave an awkward sigh again.
I wonder how she saw my reaction, Utano-san took a sip from her glass while looking at me amusedly.
“Oh right, I thought it was oddly silent. So Eru-san wasn’t with you.”
“I’ll tell Ermenhilde later that Kuuki was calling her noisy, definitely.”
“Why did it end up like that!?”
Just somehow. As I teased Kuuki to take out my frustration, Utano-san looked up towards me happily.
“I’m glad you’re safe.”
“Even I was worried a bit, you know? I thought that maybe you’d really die.”
Utano-san said that to me slightly moist (warm) eyes. Using that expression here is really cheating. Normally she doesn’t even laugh but she’d use such expressions only when we are around. Recalling the kiss again, I became oddly concious again.
In the first place, being called to a woman’s room at night is troublesome in its own way, yeah……..well, I still did end up coming readily though. While thinking about Ermenhilde and the current situation, I took a sip from my glass. It smelled a bit like whisky but its not that strong.
“That’s right, both Yuuko-san and Aya-chan didn’t sleep at all out of worry, you know?”
“Even I didn’t expect to run into a monster like that on this continent after all.”
If I knew about it, even if it took time, I would have avoided going through the forest. That shitty skeleton. Frankly, I would have definitely died if it wasn’t for Mururu. She was that strong.
“But for a monster to corner Renji-san so much…….”
“It’s not like that. Without his covenants released, Yamada-kun is only as strong as a normal knight after all.”
“………..you’re correct, but aren’t you a bit too harsh?”
“I am making a perfect evaluation in my opinion. You have a habit of facing enemies above your own strength after all. Fix it, really.”
I have no such habit. I wanted to refute it but I held back.
In truth, I have fought enemies far surpassing my own strength too many times. Supported by my comrades, saved and protected by them as well. It was the same this time as well. I am always made to realize the fact that without my comrades I cannot fight at all. And would have died without them.
“I want to avoid fighting completely if possible though. Wounds hurt like hell and I’m scared of dying as well.”
Moving my gaze away from Utano-san, I picked up a snack to eat. It was probably smoked Orc meat, it really went well with the liquor. I took another gulp from my drink as I dampened my throat with it. It’s been a long time since I drank together with these two. I can’t not get drunk tonight. It seems those two had the same opinion as their drinking pace increased as well.
The cheeks of the woman sitting beside me became redder and her reddish eyes beneath her glasses became moist. Was she always this quick to get drunk? Or was she that stressed from her daily work? Since I figured it’d be boorish to point out that she was drinking a bit too quickly, I just kept on drinking at my own pace. Well, getting completely wasted at a woman’s room late at night would be troublesome in its own way after all.
Kuuki, unlike his appearance would suggest, could really hold his liquor well. Maybe because he has a big body, or maybe it was simply in his constitution. Even when we were travelling together, I have never seen him get completely drunk.
“Seriously, it’d be nice if this problem with monsters would end already.”
“Even after the Demon God was killed, I guess some things never change, eh? This truly is one busy world.”
As I took another gulp, Kuuki began to pour into my glass again, In return I filled his glass and we both gave a small thanks to each other.
“But still, that’s why I want to use this power for the sake of others as much as I can.”
“Ou, do your best. Just like that, you’ll steal the princess’s heart as well.”
“Enough of that already…….”
His physique aside, he isn’t used to such conversations at all. Well, maybe that’s what makes him popular, a gap in his personality. I really think the princess has a good eye. Kuuki is a nice guy.
“Me aside, Renji-san you should talk about yourself.”
“What were you doing for the past year?”
“I was relaxing in villages with Ermenhilde.”
“You get along with her as usual.”
“……..It’s not that simple though.”
Aah, my left leg hurts. When I looked to my left towards Utano-san, she was still sipping from her glass with an even redder face. Seeing her hold the glass with both hands was really cute. But her right foot that was stepping on my left just kept on getting stronger and stronger. Kuuki might not be able to see it due to the table though. He was still smiling as usual. Aah, it really hurts.
“Well, I still have many things I want to do. If I am going to die, I’ll do it 50 years later while relaxing on a bed.”
“That’s true. I guess the threat of monsters should reduce a bit by then at least.”
As we continued talking while drinking, finally I was freed from Utano-san’s foot.
“Stay in the capital for a while, I have a lot things I need to get you to do for me.”
Giving her a reply in a single word, I sipped from my glass again. Whether it be due to her cuteness or her scariness, I got so nervous in replying just a single word. As she gave a slight shiver I quickly hid my smile that came up on my face from her.
“Then, Renji-san, you won’t travel anymore?”
“Well, I wonder about that. I have things I want to do but for now at least, I’ll stay in the capital, let’s just say that.”
When I answered Kuuki, Utano-san looked up towards me. The red in her cheeks was probably not just because of the alcohol, I think.
“Things to do?”
“Yes. I want to show the world to Ermenhilde and then quietly retire in some village and relax there. There are others as well.”
“What a great dream. When you retire to the village, won’t you invite me as well?”
“Well, that’s only if you still have not found a good man till then.”
“um………could you two stop flirting alone like this?”
“We aren’t really though?”
“In fact, that’s my line Yuuta-kun. Everytime you’re there at the training ground constantly talking with the princess. I can see the ground from my room’s window you know?”
As we three laughed, I took another sip. Just as Kuuki said, I did feel that the distance between me and her had shrunk a bit. I know of her feelings as well. And Utano-san knows that I know about her feelings as well. She’ll always come close to me but it was always me who takes a step back. Our bodies have come together as well, and we have sought warmth from each other as well. As adults of similar age who were summoned here, I guess its normal for us to have similar wants. It was a completely different kind of relationship than with Aya, it felt really nice.
Maybe someday I’ll have to decide where to take this relationship of ours but for now, I just want to get spoiled by her kindness. Maybe that’s the main reason I’m often called as incompetent I guess. Recalling Anastasia’s words, my thoughts came back to reality. Maybe because she was drunk, even her usual cold gaze was slightly moist.
“Now that I remember–”
After slightly glaring at me silently for a while, as if she recalled something, Utano-san stood up. As she went close to her desk, she returned back with something kept hidden behind her table. Her face was red but her steps were still perfectly straight.
And I knew of the thing that she held in her hands. It’s the mithril sword that I had sold long back in that village. Why is that here? I tilted my head in confusion.
“This, is not an item for sale. You shouldn’t let go of it so easily, Yamada-kun.”
“Did something happen with the sword?”
“Well, yeah, a bit.”
“This guy sold it for dirt cheap at some village because the village had no money. I had to quickly spend a lot of money to get a peddler to buy it back for me.”
Saying nothing, I kept on sipping my drink. Well, I was out of money which is why I sold it, but I’m not gonna say that. For the sake of my life. If I did, she’ll definitely bury me.
“Till you payback the cost to me, you’re not supposed to run away, okay?”
And as expected, I had no choice but to take the mithril sword back from Utano-san sitting beside me. The amethyst studded to the end of the handle was proof that it was mine. Since I had no magical energy, I couldn’t use it but when you do, the royal insignia would appear, proof that it was an excellent sword.
“You sold a sword you got from the king?”
“And that too, at an extremely cheap cost.”
Stop, my ears hurt. Let’s continue drinking. While listening to those two talk, I kept on drinking while feeling a bit ashamed.
“10 silvers. You have to return it okay?”
What’s up with that scary amount!? Kuuki’s hand, holding the glass, also stopped in mid air. When I looked to my side, her drunk eyes were directly looking at me.
100 golds equal 1 silver so………1000 gold coins. Further converting it to copper, it’d be 100,000 copper coins. By the way, currently I have ten something copper coins on me right now.
I looked back towards the sword in my hand. Since she bought it for 10 silvers, I can sell it again for 10 silver right? I quickly thought losing all the drunkenness inside me. No, wait, but then she’d buy it again and I’ll be in her debt again!?
Due to the sudden incredible amount, my head wasn’t working properly at all.
“You have my condolences.”
“Oi. Stop joining your hands like that, you bastard.”
Seeing our banter, Utano-san gave a short laugh. She really is completely drunk, this woman. Seeing her like that who’d normally wouldn’t even smile, I stopped caring about even the 10 silver debt. Well, that doesn’t make it any better for me though.
In any case, since I couldn’t think of anything anyway, I decided to leave it for later. I feel like I’ll get scolded by Ermenhilde later. As I poured more liquor, I realized that the bottle was empty.
“I guess we should call it a night soon.”
“Ah, we’re out already?”
“That, and I have something to be depressed about now.”
“Well, isn’t it fine. It’ll be nice to stay at the same place for a while you know?”
“With that big of a debt, I feel like I’ll be staying here for the rest of my life though.”
Even I could tell that my face was cramping at that.
“Ara, I would be totally fine with that though?”
“Yeah yeah. The drunk should go to sleep already.”
As if she wasn’t happy with my attitude, Utano-san puffed her cheeks. Seeing such a rare expression from her with a side glance, I rested my chin on the table. Just how she serious is she? Thinking of that, I finally stood up shaking my head.
“Well then, let’s clean up shall we?”
But, the moment I was about to start, my sleeve was gripped. When I looked that way, a thin finger was cutely holding onto me. I moved my gaze towards the owner of those fingers.
Kuuki, pretending he didn’t see any of this, quickly cleared everything away and had already reached the door.
“Well then, see you later.”
Saying that, without any hesitation, Kuuki left the room.
I want to be praised that I didn’t shout that out loud.
I walked through the corridor late at night. The cold breeze touching my skin gave me shivers but my body was still warm due to the alcohol. It was a stone corridor but due to the carpeting, my footsteps weren’t loud, almost nil. As I passed through some of the soldiers doing night guard duty, they bowed to me everytime they saw me.
Decorated shelves, pretty flowers, a silver knight armour set, and a small magical light. All these set along the corridor shone in the darkness of the night.
It felt a bit scary so I ended up fastening my steps. My silent footsteps became slightly noisier.
My destination was the chapel at the end of this corridor. Utano-san said that Ermenhilde was at the place I wanted to go the least. Then, it could only be the chapel. Decorated with the silver statue of the Goddess, the place we were all summoned. The place I got Ermenhilde from Astraera.
After coming to this world for the first time, surrounded by the king and the others, only kids in their teens and twenties appeared. But even so, the country treated us all very kindly. Supported all of us who possessed neither fighting skills nor knowledge. And they even fought alongside us.
They were all good people. Everyone was. That’s why, I thought that I’ll work hard for this world. For the people of this country, I decided to fight. I was afraid to hurt and get hurt and true, to kill and to get killed was frightening. But still, I picked up my weapon. I tried to do what I wanted to. Hoping that I could repay the debt to these people.
How long did I walk through the dark corridor? Finally, in front of me, was a giant door. It’s appearance was the same as before and the place had not changed at all from my memories. I don’t whether I was happ or sad but I pushed the door open with all my strength.
Back then, my breathing would go rough and I was worn out just by opening the door but now I could open it almost effortlessly. Maybe I have grown a bit as well. Thinking of that, I felt a bit weird.
“This place has not changed at all.”
When I muttered so, my voice echoed in the empty chapel, among the fantastically beautiful, in the cold air—–and at the statue of the Goddess, at the furthest of the chapel.
Hearing her somewhat angry voice, I, instead, felt slightly relieved.
My partner I was searching for was lying in the hands of the Goddess’s statue.
“Sorry. I got late.”
[Seriously. I had to wait for so long.]
Taking Ermenhilde in my hand, I sat down on one of the wooden chairs inside. *ping* As I flicked the medal with my thumb, the ringing sound resounded through the chapel. And the silence was broken again. But, I don’t care about that.
Catching Ermenhilde twirling in the air, I opened my palm. It was Heads.
“Hm. Looks good.”
Taking a deep breath, I slowly breathed out. The cold air felt nice on my body warm dur to the liquor.
[How are your injuries?]
“I’m fine. Did I make you worry?”
Saying that, I gripped Ermenhilde in my palm and stood up.
“Do you remember, this is where we first met.”
[Was that so? Sorry. I have said it before as well but maybe due to having fought the Demon God, I can’t recall things before than too well.]
“No, it’s fine. It’s nothing great.”
On Ermenhilde’s words, I gave an uncaring reply. Even if you don’t remember, even if you have forgotten, even then, I will—–
I began to walk. Just before leaving the chapel, I turned back towards the Goddess’s statue.
I don’t know if that’s the right thing to say but I spoke that towards the goddess.
<Welcome back home.>
Did I just hallucinate that? But, I felt as if that voice gave me a slight push in the back.
[What happened Renji?]
“No, I have something I have to tell you.”
“I’m in debt.”
“Of 10 silver coins to Utano-san.”
While mistaking the way I use my courage, even then, I will——-.