Chapter 208: The Hero Talk
The gentle sunlight covered the Sanyo Plains. In the center of the plain, the shadow of the two horsemen facing each other grew slightly. The tall vegetation trembled with the wind.
「Heroes are part of history, but not a part of reality. You know that fact better than anyone, Lugis.」
The old man Richard said in a light tone while touching his white beard with his finger. I listened to his voice with a firm expression. The old man repeatedly spoke about heroes while the chilly wind caressed our faces.
What was this talk, I wonder? Of course, heroes were part of history, naturally.
However, there was no hero who saved everything in this world, and the hero who repainted fate as a product of history no longer existed. Only their feats remained in the parchment of history. Yet, the injustice in this world remained intact. Babies abandoned by their parents screamed without anyone reaching out, and the persecuted woman would die because of stone-throwing without the help of the so-called saints.
「When you were starving to death in the slums, did anyone help you when you reached out? C’mon, you know the answer. Also, do you how many of your peers have survived?」
What a disgusting old man. My peers, the humans who grew up with me at the orphanage, were most of them dead? Their lives would be miserable even if they were alive today.
If it was a man, and if lucky, he would become an adventurer or a mercenary and die by the sword. If he was unlucky, he would become a slave apprentice and die by the master’s hands. There were even those who escaped but were persecuted or even died from starvation. If it were a woman, if lucky, she would become the rich toy of an aristocrat; otherwise, she would be only worn down in a brothel.
Was there a reason why they should wish for a long life? Most of them didn’t have a reason to cling to this world for a long time. If you die quickly and easily, then that’s the best option.
After all, there was certainly salvation and happiness in this world, but none of them were shared with the poor.
Neither the hero chosen by fate nor the hero who received the favor of God existed in this world, but the poor couldn’t voice their grudge and die. This was such a place. Everyone understood it from the bottom of their hearts. But even though everyone knew, those stories consoled their souls. Therefore, the people relied on the existence of heroes.
What the old man Richard said was correct. Cruelly correct. I wanted to clap my hands and praise it.
When I raised my gaze that was staring at the ground, there were eyes that pierced straight at me. His eyes illuminated the fire so seriously that I had never seen it before.
「Lugis, let’s stop this hero show. For a human being like you to be called a hero, you can only wait for a catastrophic end at best.」
The voice of an invitation naturally permeated my ears. I blinked my eyelids for several times and took two deep breaths.
Then, while shaking my strangely dry lips, I returned the words to the old man. I could feel the voice that leaked out of my throat was awfully clear.
The shadow reflected in the Sanyo Plains was shaking in my field of vision.
The voice that reached Richard’s ears caused his eyelids to ache slightly.
「…It’s too bad, old man. I’ve already exposed my hands. It seems that I’m not allowed to get out of this game now.」
The words leaked by the former student were within the conjecture for Richard. But still, it felt a little unexpected somewhere.
Richard was well aware that his student, Lugis, had a character that clearly disliked places in the sun, and naturally evaded places on the front stage. However, Richard himself did not know whether that character was born or created by the environment.
Actually, by the time Richard recognized Lugis’ existence, he was already there. That was why this invitation should have been meaningful, even if he declined.
The invitation, which may sound terribly attractive to his former student’s ears, probably shook Lugis’ heart a little. It would’ve been a great benefit to embed confusion in the heart of the opponent, who was not just the captain of the enemy’s army but their hero.
Richard knew Lugis too well. He knew that his words would sway his heart a little. Lugis knew how unjust the world turned out to be when he almost died from starvation. Heroes were just tales to warm the heart. Heroes did not save the lives of the poor. Why would he try to become a hero himself? That title didn’t suit his nature.
That’s why Lugis’ reply was surprising. Richard thought that even if he refused his invitation, there would be a little more hesitation in giving a response.
However, the current Lugis didn’t show any hesitation in his eyes or mouth.
Why was that? It caught Richard’s curiosity. It was a foolish thing to do, but it amused Richard to some extent.
Richard spoke, while trying to guess what was in Lugis’ heart.
「Why are you so obsessed in being a hero? And why are you with the Heraldic Order? Are you following someone, for example, a lover?」
Upon hearing those questions, Lugis shrugged his shoulders and raised his eyebrows.
「Do I need a specific reason? Also, I’m not involved in anything at all. In general, I’m not someone who can lead people, and I don’t think that I’m worth that much. After all, I was born in a slum and grew up in a ditch.」
It was a true manner of speaking. As usual, Lugis’ words remained him of the past. Then, it was supposed to be no different from the time they’ve spent together.
However, Richard had a tingling sensation on his skin. Lugis’ words pierced his ears again.
「But, there are those who call me a hero, and there are those who even tried to grab my hands.」
Lugis explained it briefly. The sunlight slowly floated in the hollow and cast a shadow over the Sanyo Plains.
「Then, I have to do it. 」
At the same time Lugis professed those words, the sun was rising from behind his back, illuminating his body with the first rays of light. The morning scene made one feel strangely fantastic.
It was as if the sunlight itself was blessing a birth of something.
How idiotic. Richard’s old-fashioned eyes narrowed, oblivious from the glare of the sun.
「There should be no heroes in this world. There is no savior to reach out to, nor a hero to change the world… There is nobody around us that can hear our complaints. 」
Richard muttered with his heart.
How bad. Now Richard could hear the sound of a shell breaking down in his ears. It was something loud and irritable coming from an undesirable direction.
「…Truly sad. I can’t believe that my former student is trying to get rid of me now. I intended to teach you a lot.」
It was an unbelievable joke that came out of his former student’s mouth. A faint laugh got engraved on Richard’s cheeks. The usual frivolous smile he had during the daily life. It was a way of laughing that made someone a fool of something.
The sunlight shined at the edge of his eyes. Richard saw Lugis move his cheeks as well.
「Yeah, that’s right. The rough education I received from you has kept me alive until today. I’m grateful and I have no regrets. I still believe meeting you was a blessing back then.」
So, in a calm voice, Lugis continued his words.
「That’s why, old man…I came here today to break the ties I have with you. I came here to get over you and kill the former me.」
Richard naturally raised his right hand lightly. He knew that Lugis’ words weren’t a joke, but words that leaked from the depths of his heart.
Richard and Lugis. The once frivolous smile disappeared from Richard’s face. Now, both of them had a hard expression, as if they were in a tense atmosphere.
「I see. 」
Richard gave a short reply. His eyes, which did not lose the light even after many years, were distorted. In the brief moment after saying that short reply, Richard whispered in the back of his chest.
“…This guy has to be killed here.”
This was the perfect chance to act. Lugis showed dangerous talent and qualities. That’s why Richard must kill him here. His brain said that if he did not do so, the root of his life would perish instead.
Richard dropped his right hand, which he had just raised lightly, straight down. That was a signal. A sound echoed as if it had been decided to echo from the very beginning.
At that moment, the sound of the wind rang. A sharp and familiar sound on the battlefield when one used a bow and arrow.
There were many tall wildflowers in the Sanyo Plains. That was exactly the amount of wild grass suitable for keeping bows and arrows hidden. The wildflowers pointed their iron weapons at Lugis and fired them, as if they spit them out on their own.
Richard had a smile at the corners of his mouth while listening to the sound of arrowheads tearing through the sky. It was not a cheap smile, but a smile that showed pride in preparing himself in advance.
On that very instant, Lugis uttered a few words that further increased the momentum.
「Old man, I became a little bit smarter too. I’ve learned to rely on people a little bit.」
The moment Lugis’ words shook the wind.
The surrounding sky roared, and a whirlwind of magical power and a ray of silver flash appeared before them.
Yay Lugis!!! He finally let the girls stand by his side!!! It kinda makes me teary 😉
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!