Chapter 311: A Hero’s Heart
I didn’t really know who started calling it by that name in the first place. By the time I realized it, everyone was calling it by that name with an abundance of fear and overflowing hatred.
At first, I heard that it was just an increase in the number of demon beasts.
The demon beasts that shouldn’t have formed a group became a large herd, and races that were originally supposed to be incompatible with said beasts gathered together to set their claws at Fort Suzif in the northwest area of the Gharast Kingdom.
That happened at first.
Most people didn’t notice or care. Of course, the northwestern part of the Gharast Kingdom was often a place exposed to the threat of magical beasts.
Everyone thought such occurrence would happen once in a while. The same was true for the people of the Gharast Kingdom as well as the people from other countries. For a while, the majority of humans only had that level of awareness.
Humanity’s perception was finally tarnished after the hero who guarded the robust Fort Suzif was killed by a demon beast during the thirteenth defensive battle.
Then, it happened. It was the first time the demon had ever appeared on stage and came victorious. A prelude to a catastrophe.
Of course, it was just a story that I heard, so it was highly possible that it deviated from the original history. After all, a story could change its appearance greatly depending on who passed said story.
Of course, I didn’t want to lose myself in those thoughts after that. After the fall of Fort Suzif, the demonic beasts spread across the land as if it belonged to them and began to invade human settlements.
Magical beasts were supposed to live in the cracks of the human world, but now humans were living in the cracks of the magical beasts’ world.
It was like going back to the primitive age, yes, to the age of mythology. If I thought about it, from that time on, humans were no longer the conquerors of earth.
Of course, it was not like humans didn’t do anything. Soldiers from each country took spears and gouged out the throats of demon beasts, and magic ran through the sky and crushed the skulls of their enemies.
Many heroes went to the battlefield, and many brave men were born. At some point, it was no longer a war between the nation and the demon beasts, but a war between mankind and demons, where each other’s right to exist was at stake.
Humanity joined hands with the elves, who were originally incompatible, and blew away a hundred years of hatred, joining shoulders with neighboring countries. I could say that they did everything they could to avoid death.
But…even so, humanity was useless.
The demon beasts scattered not only from the Gharast Kingdom, but also from all over the world, and they raised their fangs to the ground like eroding mud.
If a human started to bud the earth even a little, the devil would reap its roots. In the end, even the existence of myths became the enemy of mankind.
Heroes were slain by the demon’s jaws, and brave men sink into the battlefield. Such days continued for several years.
At some point, no one called this a war campaign. War meant that those who possessed a fighting power exchanged spears with another worthy opponent. It only worked if there were things that could oppose each other.
But that was different. There was only a predator side and a prey side. Humanity had been reduced to an existence that could only be eaten by magical beasts.
That’s why humans referred to that series of invasions by magical beasts as…a catastrophe.
「…Ann. Would you like to write in my place? My handwriting is so dirty, it’s not something I could hand over to someone.」
Well, with this dying body, even if I tried to write seriously, my handwriting would only be distorted.
I spoke those words while gazing at the window where a deadly blizzard roamed free. Thoughts in my skull were completely uncoordinated, and I didn’t know what to say if I wrote in the letter myself.
However, only my eyes were wide enough for me to understand.
When Ann nodded in confusion after hearing my words, she asked back with a questioning look, “Are you going to talk to Lady Matia?”
Who else was there? Ah no, she certainly hadn’t given Matia a reply that looked like a proper reply until now. But wasn’t it good once in a while?
My lips wiggled as I forcibly formulated the words in my head. Although my mouth stopped here and there, strangely enough, my words licked the air very smoothly.
「Also, if possible, I would like to send a letter to Ghazalia as well. After all, the princess is still asleep.」
Like that, I spelled out the words roughly, and the parchment was filled with the words. Even if there were some slips, Ann would probably sum it well. I trusted her that much.
But I felt strange. Why was I struggling to move forward in front of a catastrophe?
It was called a catastrophe because there was nothing the humans could do about it. Was it not a nightmare that many brave heroes faced their demise?
It was too late for me alone to face this horrible nightmare. I thought there was no way I could grasp anything during this era of crisis. That’s why I kept looking away. I strongly gritted the back teeth. Behind my vision, I could see the figure of the hero I once longed for.
At the end of the letter, I let out a sigh and snapped my fingertips. I gritted my back teeth again. Then, ignoring the sharp pain, I raised my upper body with a single breath.
My body made me feel a great deal of pain just by moving a single muscle. It seemed that my body was appealing with all my heart that I should not move now, that I should rest.
I was thankful. No matter how unreasonable I was, only my life took care of my body. But unfortunately, it seemed that my mentality was still foolish. Advice never made any sense.
Engaged the joints that didn’t mesh and raised the barking spine. What, I didn’t understand the reasoning, but this body had become uncomfortably strong. Please listen to me a little more despite the nonsense.
I got up from the bed and let out a hot sob as I poured the wine from my bedside directly into my throat. Perhaps because of the warm room, the wine was lukewarm. Even though the best thing to look forward was the cold wine during the season of dead snow.
「Hey…Wha…What are you doing! You still have unhealed scars in your body. Do you want to enter the graveyard by yourself!?」
Philos Trait shouted as if she was taken aback, wondering if I was an idiot. It was a voice that echoed in my ears. She wanted me to stop moving. Because of the sharp voice, an extra dull pain seemed to ooze from my bones.
I opened my mouth while distorting my lips.
「That’s why I must stand. No one will forgive me for taking it easy and peaceful.」
Even so. Being able to live each day in peace and entrusting everything to others was the privilege of ordinary people. Difficulties were the prey of heroes, and ordinary people had no choice but to sit and pray for the end.
It was not about whether it was good or bad. It was just the way it was. A living person had a role to fulfill.
That’s how I defeated my hero…my own resting place, Helot Stanley, with my own hands.
Then, there could be no more excuses. Was it possible for me to hide under the curtain with a face that didn’t know anything at all?
I decided. In front of me was nothing but troublesome things.
How I could banish the evil spirit that inhabited Ariene’s body, how could I kick away the catastrophe, and so on. The small ones counted endlessly.
I shall carefully consume each and every one of them. Even so. No matter how mighty Altius was, no matter how great the catastrophe itself was, every single one of them was a threat. I had no reason to turn away.
…You should feed your pale cowardice to a rat. Don’t let those worries dwell in the heart of a hero.
The treasure sword emitted a purple light at my waist. Then, I said while pointing at the one with a white eye.
「Philos Trait. I’m fine. I want you to cooperate with me. There is a mountain of things that you have to do.」
I distorted my cheeks and said those words. Behind my thoughts, something dark was whispering while laughing. It felt like a long time ago. Suddenly, in my skull, I remembered the words of my teacher Richard.
…You have talent. You’re a villain, just like me.
Have a good sunday everyone! 🙂
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!
I was under the impression that the elves didn’t exist as a group in the previous timeline after Eldith failed to step up as a queen?
Also, I have a nagging feeling that Lugis will save that new female character who’s supposed to die and she will keep trying to kill him! ^^
Thanks for the chapter. I wonder how they’ll overcome that catastrophe!