Chapter 79: The Emperor’s World
「Is this place the capital of the Alburs Empire? 」
We arrived at the central city of the Empire governed by the Emperor Hero.
I had already seen various countries and cities, but I had never seen a city with such strong defenses as this one. Based on the construction and atmosphere, one could call this place a military city.
Most of the people passing by were soldiers. In fact, I didn’t hear any voices of people or innocent children who usually brought life to the cities.
「That’s right. People say this is a country where class discrimination is particularly severe, and it’s probably one of the worse among all countries. Those who don’t have a title are just lowly city people, and those who have a title hold power in this country.」
「Title? Are you talking about aristocratic titles? 」
Amines, who walked in front of me, answered with a disgusting tone without looking back.
「No. I was talking about “hero” titles. 」
When I heard her answer, I immediately understood what that meant.
「In this country, the title of hero is like an aristocratic title. To explain it briefly, the aristocratic class that once existed in this country has disappeared, and now the system that people call as the hero class is now spreading throughout this realm.」
「But, heroes of this world are titles that only those who had achieved a certain level of success can get, am I right?」
「That’s right. Only those who defeat monsters and earn points, or create technology that will develop the world, or even advance research, can earn the title of hero. However, in this country, those who have developed a new culinary genre can also get the title of hero.」
「Ah, a new culinary genre? 」
「Yes, of course. What are the ingredients of this world? It’s monsters, right? Then, if we can cook the monsters well and provide them as a new form of dish to the people all over the world, then it makes a worthy contribution to the world. Above all, food is one of the few elements where human beings can be satisfied with. It is also the most necessary element for our survival.」
I was a little surprised to hear that it was cooking, but when I heard her explanation, I nodded obediently.
Certainly, when I thought about it, the interest in food in this world was far stronger than my original world.
If I thought deeply about it, I realized that maybe one of the reasons for such focus were the monsters, since they were the sole ingredients of this world.
Cooking monsters was more difficult than cooking vegetables, and many of them required proper methods and care.
If a person could cook them well and establish a new cooking method, it would certainly contribute to the world.
「Does that mean that all the upper class people in this country are heroes?」
「That’s right. I know some who are hunter-specialized heroes who specialize in killing monsters. There are also technical heroes who have made new discoveries and contributions in terms of technology and research. Moreover, others who have shown excellent skills in cooking, magic, and weapons production have their lives guaranteed as people from the upper class by receiving status and honor as production heroes.」
「Lord Kyou, this country also has a hero institution and a training school, in order to train heroes from an early age.」
The explanation by Amines and Fitis seemed to answer the question I had earlier.
Was that the reason why there were few children despite walking along the main street of the city?
However, after listening to their explanations, I felt an indescribable emotion in my chest.
「From what I heard from your explanations, I can’t really say that the policy of the Emperor Hero is wrong…」
A hero was a person who contributed to the world.
If it was the purpose of the Alburs Empire to nurture the contributions and increase the talents of its people, it felt like the right thing to do for the world.
However, I felt that the composition reminiscent of this management society left a lot to be desired. Was I wrong?
「…Well, in a way. However, this country values abilities above all else. Those who become heroes and have achieved spectacular achievements will receive rewards and positions. On the other hand, those who cannot do it, even if they were once aristocrats, will become far worse than commoners. 」
With that said, Fitis suddenly turned her gaze toward the back alley.
Guided by her gaze, I saw a man who was just crouching in an alley without the energy left to live.
But what surprised me the most was that man’s outfit.
That man must’ve been born from a prestigious aristocratic family.
It was a man who wore the dignified clothes of that time while crouching on the dirty ground.
「…I never really liked the aristocratic class either. 」
Amines carried on the words of Fitis.
「The noble people were just born there, and they didn’t have any trouble. In fact, they inherited the status of aristocrats without any effort or talent, and with the majesty of their ancestors, they looked down on the commoners, while living their lives in luxury. On the other hand, no matter how hard the commoners tried, they could never join the ranks of aristocrats. I admit that the Emperor Hero tried to reform such a rotten era. 」
Amines’ statement felt convincing. Perhaps, she witnessed such environment growing up.
Certainly, in medieval Europe and other times when the aristocratic class existed, such absurdity was common.
And it would make sense for that absurdity to exist in a fantasy world such as this one.
The aristocratic class. I had seen many stories about the difference in poverty and the unreasonableness behind it.
That’s why it was a sensitive topic for some, so I decided not to talk about it right now.
From that point of view, this country built by the Emperor Hero was certainly a transformation to rescue the weak.
However, I could not feel the atmosphere where it was a blessing in a way.
「But what he wanted was not equality, but a powerful society. 」
After Fitis said those words, I noticed the true nature of the discomfort I first felt when I first saw this capital.
「Those who become heroes will be given the appropriate status and wealth. It seems that the result will be fruitful if you just strive, but that’s not the case. There are various talents in the world, big and small. No matter how hard everyone tries, there are many who do not bear good results. For them, this country is a hellish paradise that is out of reach. “Weak people who cannot be heroes” are cut off from the rest of society. That’s the reality of the Emperor’s world. 」
Correct, this was not a world built for equality.
This was not the place where one could get paradise by abolishing the aristocratic class, establishing a hero system, and making efforts to become one.
Only powerful people and talented people thrived in this society. In other words, it was a society made of selected people.
This system and society was different from the way of thinking from developed countries on Planet Earth that tried to reach out to the weak.
「I see. Is power the real justice? The Emperor Hero’s way of thinking may be close to our demon way of thinking.」
Did my sister walking next to me notice it? She said something similar to what I thought.
When I realized the true system behind this country, I began to tremble again with horror because of the person who built this country, the infamous Emperor Hero.
What he wanted were people capable of taking care of themselves while contributing to the world.
If some people were not capable enough, they would be deemed as unnecessary and cut off from society…A ruthless ruler…The Emperor Hero.
「But the reason I don’t like him is not only because of that deep Imperialism, but also because of his ability.」
「Ability, you say? Why? 」
By the way, like Amines, the Emperor Hero was one of Seven Great Heroes.
Then, it meant he also had the same creative ability as Amines and the other Seven Great Heroes…
Amines turned around and looked straight into my eyes. I took a deep breath.
「…Cultivation Hero. You’ll see him soon, but watch out for his ability. I am helpless against that ability too. In a sense, he has the worst ability among the abilities of the Seven Great Heroes.」
「Wha…What is his ability…? 」
Amines, who was never frightened of the Demon King’s Army, was now showing an expression of fear across her face.
「Recreating memories and emotions…In other words, brainwashing and domination.」
What a scary ability…