Chapter 48: The Story of a Certain Man (2)
The man’s perspective.
After the first encounter, I stayed in this town for a while and saw how the monster cultivator and those around him live their daily lives. However, there was a series of surprises.
I thought that it was strange that the boy named Kyou cultivated in his own garden. I never heard of cultivating monsters before. As far as I knew, some types of monsters were difficult to find. Many were out of the standard type. While other monsters were difficult to raise properly, much less cultivate them naturally.
「Listen, Kyou. Aren’t you scared of monsters? 」
「Eh? No, I don’t have that kind of feelings. 」
「Is that so? Most people are afraid of monsters, and wouldn’t even dare to cultivate them.」
「Ah well. At first, a bird that resembled a kiwi attacked me. And shortly after, I was attacked by the first Killer Plant I tried to cultivate. Since then, the monsters I raised were relatively quiet monsters, so I’ve never thought much about that.」
I had the impression that everyone’s perception of monsters was universal. Certainly, low-ranking monsters had a kind nature, but as their rank went up, their danger increased as well.
For humans in this world their main product source was by hunting monsters. In addition to food, clothes and daily necessities were often obtained from monsters in the wilderness. Moreover, timber and minerals were taken from places where monsters lived. The higher the rank, the higher the quality. For these reasons, and for humans in this world, monsters were both enemies and resources for everyone’s daily life. To put it in this way, most of the human deaths that occurred in this world were due to monsters’ attacks.
What this boy was doing in this context was a harmonious thing that transformed the production and hunting style of this world. Cultivating and taming resourced monsters would reduce all risks and efforts from hunters. If this spread globally, the production system of this world could be overturned.
I believed that it was an impossible task. No one in this world had the means and skills to grow such a variety of monsters. No, actually, there was a slight hope in history to be precise, but the general popularization of this idea ended up being just an empty theory piled up in desks. But, if it were successful, this method could change the whole world.
「An Utopia…I wonder. 」
A world where people wouldn’t have to fight for resources and could rest without hesitation. Dreaming about such a world, the man named Ferid watched attentively the boy called Kyou, who cultivated monsters with such an earnest heart. However, if such a world were to be born, many people wouldn’t accept it. After all, the current social system of this world wouldn’t allow it because it would disturb the benefits of hunting, the Guilds, and the profits that came with it.
「Oh? So, you’re still here. 」
I, Ferid, answered without looking back after I heard the voice of the person who appeared from behind my back.
「Yeah. Did you also come here to see that boy Kyou? 」
「Well, I wouldn’t put it that way. But, I came to say hello because I couldn’t come here for a while…」
I could see some depression in Lily’s expression.
「It looks like something is troubling you. Should I help you? 」
「Eh? No, it’s okay. It’s nothing. You don’t have to force yourself in order to help me.」
「Please, don’t say that. Think of it as a repayment. You helped me after all.」
With that in mind, Lily sighed positively when she saw me standing up while carrying a sword on my hip.
「Okay, I don’t mind it. But, I don’t know what lies ahead. So, I don’t take full responsibility for you.」
Despite saying that, this girl was smiling upon accepting my request to help her. She was probably unaware that her heart was very gentle.
「A Dragon, huh. It’s rare for one of them to be around here. 」
「Yeah. A Dragon flew to the mountains around here about recently. And that information spread around. Therefore, a request from the kingdom reached me. They want me to get rid of it.」
「A request to you alone? 」
「My opponent is a B-rank Dragon, and a team of adventurers on this side of the kingdom escaped when they were in the middle of an expedition. They got wounded in the process, including the Dragon. So, I heard that the Dragon’s injuries weren’t healed yet. Therefore, this task ended up falling at my shoulders. They thought that I could handle this on my own. So, that’s the reason why.」
「Is this task going to increase your Hero Points? 」
Lily looked back upon hearing my words.
「Yeah, that’s right. A person who wants to be a hero in this world will only be recognized as a hero if a person’s points are accumulated to some extent. Moreover, if one doesn’t keep earning designated points from their country of origin, the Guild will force that person to abdicate of the title of hero. Summing up, he or she will be regarded as someone incapable of showing talent and skills worthy of being a hero.」
「That’s a very troublesome system. 」
This aspect was another common sense of this world. This was another reason why people hunted monsters outside of production and necessities. That reason was the system that took in charge of evaluating the performances of this so-called Hero Points.
As mentioned earlier, accumulating points would earn a hero’s title, and points were needed to maintain that position after gaining the title. And the most efficient way to earn points was to defeat monsters. It was a system built into every nation. It made society a slave because they were obliged to hunt monsters and increase productivity. And, as a result, it played a major role in this world. However, I thought that this system was one of the main causes of unnecessary wars that happened in this world. Most of the wars that I was caught into were because of reasons like this.
Those who became heroes were promised with a variety of assistance, including national support and immigration passes to travel to each continent and country. Therefore, once they enjoyed the luxury of that position, more of them would hunt monsters more than necessary in order to protect their lavish lifestyle.
However, as a result, this rotten system became the trigger of war against the Demon King. A part of the demon’s side that had been disorganized until then was unified into an army under the command of the Demon King. After that, conflicts with the Demon King’s army began to occur in each country in an unprecedented way.
「Are you defeating a Dragon monster by yourself in order to earn some points? I see, so is Lily a hero after all?」
Lily answered my question with ease. I knew it. I felt something different from her when I first met her. I thought that she had that hero vibe. I wondered why she was so attached to that title. I wanted to ask more about her intentions, but I refrained from doing so after she said “YES”. It was probably a sensitive subject. I felt that somehow. Therefore, I decided to stop this topic here and now.
「…It’s here. 」
I saw a Dragon resting with its wounded wings at the foot of the mountain.
「A Wyvern Dragon, huh. 」
This type was a relatively major category among dragons. This race was not very valuable as a food resource, but their scales were valuable as materials for various weapons and armor.
「Hey, you can fight a little, can’t you? 」
「Well, a little bit. 」
I nodded while holding up my sword alongside Lily, who also held her weapon. At this time, the Dragon noticed our presence and spread its wounded wings. It roared high, but there was no sign of it soaring into the sky. Normally, the main fighting pattern for Wyvern Dragons was to fly high and aim for their prey from the sky. But, it was likely that the wounds were so deep that he couldn’t do so.
Lily immediately noticed her immovable opponent’s condition and tried to pierce it with her sword. However, the tough scales similar as iron were impenetrable, and she couldn’t knock it down with a single shot. Even hurt, the Dragon swung his claws to fight back against Lily. However, I quickly dashed to the front and cut off those claws. Lily showed a slightly surprised look at my instant support. Still, she immediately listened to the roar of the Dragon’s pain and pierced her sword again at an unprotected area on the belly that was about to fall on her back. Lily’s sword pierced the area where the Dragon’s scales were thin, and the Dragon quietly died with a faint roar.
「Many people aren’t good at confronting Wyvern. Ah, well, of course, it all depends on the skills, but they are usually great foes.」
Lily, who wrote in something that resembled a communication diary after the battle ended, suddenly opened her mouth.
「Because I’m living in this world, I have to keep hunting monsters whenever it’s needed. However, I dislike hunting monsters just for earning points. I hate it even more when I confront a monster that it’s hurt and desperately trying to escape.」
I looked at Lily’s expression as if I were seeing myself. Actually, killing monsters was not itself evil. But, I believed that hunters and adventurers didn’t have to kill more than necessary. I believed in a world where we’d have to hunt for the minimum amount necessary for our survival. Before I could speak, Lily closed her diary.
「Okay, that’s it. It seems that an artisan will come to recover the remains of this Dragon later on. Anyway, our task is completed. So, let’s go back.」
She put her hand on my shoulder and walked ahead. Nonetheless, on our way back, she turned around as if she remembered about something relevant.
「Ah, that’s right. You are surprisingly strong. You were helpful. 」
Lily thanked me with a beautiful smile on her face. But, at the same time, her smiled seemed lonely as well.
「Ohh! Lily! You came at the right time! Look at this, if you try to grow soybeans inspired by the beans of Jack O’ Lantern, it would have this super increase!!」
「You are such an idiot. Normally, Jewel Beans are as fertile as weeds. According to what I’ve heard, it grows itself pretty fast along with the monsters around it, because it makes self-growing nutrition.」
「Oh! Is that so! So, it grows up without me doing anything! Well, as expected of the field expert! You’re seriously a great help!」
「Hey, it’s better for you to plan everything carefully before you start growing monsters without much knowledge about them…Eh, ahhh! Something is popping between the flowers!」
「Whoahhhhh!! The peanuts are maturing and dispersing its fruits like stars! We…We’re evacuating!! Evacuating!!」
When we returned, Lily had an unusual but energetic exchange with the boy named Kyou. However, her expression seemed to be very lively and enjoyable, and her smile was not lonely anymore. She had a pure smile on her face. Looking at them both, a warm smile naturally appeared on my cheeks.
「Well, are you really leaving now? Ah! How about you take some peanuts and Jewel Beans on your journey?」
「No, it’s enough. You’ve already gave me lots of fruits from the Killer Plant. 」
「Is that so. Okay, then. Be careful. 」
After that, Kyou took care of me for a while. But, I decided that it was time for me to leave. The reason why I was leaving was because I had a clear purpose after spending time with these people.
「I’ll try to aim for the creation of a world where people and monsters live in harmony with each other, and be truly productive without unnecessary conflict, just like you do.」
「Ah? I’m not sure what exactly do you mean with that, but do your best at your goal!」
He smiled at me while showing me his thumb. Afterwards, I thanked the girl who stood next to him.
「Lily, I truly thank you for what you did to me. You took great care of me. Thanks to you, I’ve been able to think about a variety of new paths.」
「I didn’t do anything special, you know. But, I shall give you my thanks. I’m grateful that you helped during that time.」
With that said, I reaffirmed that this girl was truly a kind-hearted person.
「Because of you, I feel that the sight of a battlefield became much brighter. All thanks to your stunning appearance. I truly feel like standing amidst of a tough battlefield, while having optimistic thoughts thanks to you, the beautiful flower that showed up to give me hope.」
Lily’s face became red in response to my heartfelt praise and shut herself down for some reason. Did I say something that touched her? I knew it. I should have called her a butterfly instead of a flower. I thought that a flower was more suitable since this was not a festival. But, apparently, I did a mistake, huh. I waved my hand at Lily, who looked petrified, and at Kyou and his monsters. I went down the hill quite vigorously.
There was no destination from now on. But, if I could spread what that person called Kyou was doing to this world, even if a little, it could result in a big and positive change for this world and people. I thought deeply about it while walking down the road.
「Hello. It’s been a long time, Ferid. 」
In front of me, stood the figure of someone I knew.
「You are… 」
「I need your strength. Please, give me, no, give us your help to achieve our plan.」
I was confused by this person’s request for cooperation. I hesitated to answer the unlikely offer. However, the next time this person opened its mouth, I was utterly shocked.
「Ferid, one of the Seven Great Heroes, the “Brave Hero”. Please help us change this world.」
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Nice twist! I guess he could be their potential ally in the future!