Chapter 161 – The Heroes Are Getting Pumped!

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Hands of Vecna English Source: Hands of Vecna
Editor(s): TpstT, Keii

Together with Terra and Luna, all of the Twelve Stars, except for Leon and Taurus, were on the Argo.

Everyone was pleased to be reunited with Aquarius and Pisces, who had just rejoined the group. The latter was brought to tears when they repeatedly called him Eros, but he was relieved to find that things hadn’t changed even after two hundred years. Furthermore, he was surprised to find that Parthenos, who was deceased, had manifested via Pollux’s skill.

In any case, while waiting for Ruphas to return, they were discussing their next course of action with Pollux at the center of the discussion. Specifically, it involved how to deal with the man called Sol.

“That guy said that he’s aiming for the current hero. Therefore, his next target will be either Megrez, Merak, or Benetnash.”

“It should be fine to exclude Benetnash. She’s currently with our master. Besides, even if Sol challenges her while she is alone, he would just be countered and subdued.”

If what Sol said was true, his next target should be one of the remaining Seven Heroes…Megrez, Merak, or Benetnash. However, Libra quickly removed Benetnash from the list. After all, Sol was barely able to fight the Three Winged Knights, Terra, and Castor even though they were buffed. He probably would not be enough to challenge Benetnash. Thus, even if Benetnash was left out, she was unlikely to be defeated.

In that case, his possible target was limited to either Megrez or Merak.

“Isn’t it fine to just ignore him? I don’t really care what happens to those people. Actually, it would save us the trouble of killing them ourselves.”

“I agree. There’s no reason for us to be concerned about the Seven Heroes. Let them be killed.”

These harsh opinions came from the two extremists, Scorpius and Aigokeros. These two obsessive individuals still had no intention of letting the betrayal of the Seven Heroes go.

It would be fine even if the Seven Heroes were killed. They actually felt that it would save time if their enemies were to crush each other. This was a feeling common to most members of the Twelve Stars, even if they didn’t say it out loud.

“Anyway, is there any point in targeting the currently weakened heroes? He isn’t an ally of the demons, right?”

“I really don’t understand it either. If I was Sol, I’d put all my efforts into waking the ouroboroses.”

Aquarius pulled her upper body out of the water pitcher and posed her question, while Pisces agreed with her.

That’s right. Sol was on the side of the Goddess. That was fine…but from his perspective, there should be no reason to attack the Seven Heroes right now.

“By the way, since Aquarius is with us, can we make some nectar to boost our combat power?”

“Sorry, I’m missing some ingredients. Besides, your status is so high now that the nectar would have almost no effect.”

Aquarius shook her hand to deny the possibility of Pisces’ suggestion.

Nectar…was the name of the country that she founded. Its name was derived from the divine drink that only she could produce. It was no exaggeration to say that her true identity, Artifact: Queen of the Seas, was originally an item created to produce nectar.

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Although it was a dream drink that could boost one’s status, its effect would become weaker as the drinker became stronger and more expensive ingredients would be required.

For example, when Aries was still weak, he could boost his status by consuming nectar which had been mass-produced using cheap ingredients. However, if the current Aries consumed the same drink, it would have no effect at all.

For someone like Ruphas, boosting her status by a single point would cost tens of billions of gold. It was thus practically unusable. Although the people here weren’t as strong as Ruphas, the cost would still be quite extreme.

If one were to consider that tens of billions of gold was required to boost one’s status by a single point, its efficiency was really bad. Unfortunately, nectar was an item meant to compensate the weak.

After Aquarius explained this, the discussion returned to dealing with Sol. Then, Parthenos put her hands together and voiced out what they had come up with for the time being.

“Back on topic, does Sol want to get rid of them now because he considers our alliance with the heroes to be troublesome? Or perhaps he wants to kill the Seven Heroes and frame Ruphas-sama for it, pitting the humanoids against us.”

“That’s not impossible…but honestly, the currently weakened humanoids wouldn’t be a threat to me and the others.”

What Parthenos said was certainly not impossible. In fact, two hundred years ago, the fear of Ruphas had increased to the point where the situation became the humanoids versus Ruphas, which led to her downfall.

However, the situation was different now. Back then, there were ironically some heroes who had been trained by Ruphas herself. They were able to challenge Ruphas because the humanoids were at the peak of their history.

But now, the humanoids had fallen to the point where even the Sword Saint Friedrich was considered the strongest…No, they had actually returned to their state before the coming of Ruphas. In that case, any one of the Twelve Stars could drive the humanoids into extinction.

That’s right. They couldn’t even be counted as an enemy.

When Karkinos said that, there was a moment of silence, as nobody could argue against it.

“So in the end, we should think of it as a trap to divide our forces. I think we should leave it as is and regroup with Taurus instead.”

Libra expressionlessly provided a plausible solution. There was no point for the enemy to kill the Seven Heroes, and even if it really happened, it wouldn’t be a problem to them. What would be scary was that if they decided to divide their forces to protect the Seven Heroes, the enemy could move freely and take them out one by one. Even if Megrez and Merak were really killed, there would be no damage to them.

Therefore, they should just ignore it. This was Libra’s conclusion.

That’s right. One shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that they were allies of the humanoids. They were actually a third faction that obeyed only Ruphas.

“…Perhaps killing the Seven Heroes is a means rather than an end.”

However, Pollux interjected just as the discussion was about to be brought to an end. It wouldn’t be a problem to lose the current heroes. Regardless of her personal sentiments, it wouldn’t be a problem for the faction as a whole. But what happened after that could be damaging to them. That was what she thought.

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“What do you mean?”

“Aries…Aren’t the hero and his companions visiting Megrez?”

“Yes, they needed to talk to him about something or whatever.”

“Then, if Megrez was killed in front of the hero-kun, what would he think?”

“That’s…Well, I think he’d be angry.”

“Yes. Then, what if Sol were to do that and call himself a demon?”

“He’d bear a grudge against the demons?”

Aries answered Pollux’s questions with an expression as if it was only natural. However, Pollux had a stern look as she thought deeply about his answers.

“Yes, he’d probably bear a grudge against the demons, but he lacks the power to defeat them…In that case, wouldn’t it be a great opportunity for that old trick again?”

“Ah.”

“Maybe that is his goal? To destroy the current heroes and create a new generation of heroes. Orm is now an enemy of the Goddess-sama…Then, wouldn’t the Goddess-sama desire a hero who could defeat him? Furthermore, if the Seven Heroes were killed, the humanoids would be deeply enraged…Gathering everyone’s hatred and anger, then transforming it into power…It’s possible that the hero might have a skill like that.”

What Pollux said was merely speculation. But given the current situation, the possibility was rather high.

If a Level 1,000 hero was born and the adjustments of the Goddess were added, it was possible that the hero might even be able to challenge Benetnash. If the hero were to unite all the humanoids, gather their feelings, and then join forces with the ouroboroses…In the unlikely event that this were to actually happen, what happened two hundred years ago would repeat itself.

“I understand. In that case, let’s move our forces to assist Megrez and Merak. However, since this might be a trap, we should bring enough forces to be able to force our way through it even if it is a trap. I’ll go to Taurus by myself. The other members can ambush Sol instead.”

“By yourself?”

“Considering I won’t be fighting Taurus, I’ll be enough by myself to retrieve him. …Ah, I also need an Argonaut to replace Taurus.”

Libra’s proposal was to allocate all of their combat power into overcoming any potential traps. It’d be fine if they simply crushed whatever Sol was planning with overwhelming power. It might be simple, but such a forceful approach was often more effective than a complex maneuver. Or rather, this forceful approach was most effective against opponents who attempted to predict the other side’s moves.

Pollux thought for a while and then nodded.

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“Yes. This method may indeed be better, but there’s also the possibility that he’s luring us away in order to deal with Taurus. In the first place, it was suspicious that he’d reveal his next destination to us. You should stay vigilant.”

“Even if he really comes, it won’t be a problem. We’ll just counter it.”

“……”

Pollux was speechless as she looked at Libra, who uttered such reliable words. As expected of Libra, she had never once considered that she might lose.

In fact, if Sol was really heading for Taurus, he would end up facing both Libra and Taurus. Furthermore, any adjustments that the Goddess made would be meaningless before Taurus. The battle would start with Sol being brought to the verge of death by Brachium and end with Taurus beating him with his punch. Furthermore, the accompanying Argonaut wasn’t weak. There weren’t any factors that could result in a loss.

“Now then, let’s begin.”

Ruphas was probably still looking for Dina. In that case, while their master was absent, they should resolve as many of the remaining problems as possible by themselves.

With this determination, the Twelve Stars started taking action.

“You’re finally here. Welcome.”

Inside Megrez’s residence, the hero’s party and two other guests were currently being welcomed. The other guests were so remarkable that Cruz fainted as a result.

Sitting next to Megrez was a one-winged man. On his other side was a golem in the form of a dwarf. They were the Sky King Merak and a golem that was remotely controlled by the personality of the dead Smith King Mizar.

In other words, three of the Seven Heroes were here. Even Sei was amazed by this.

“I see. So he’s the hero? He has a good eye.”

“Is that so? I don’t see anything but a young man.”

Merak and Mizar’s golem…it’s troublesome to keep saying that, so let’s just call it Mizar. Both of them were observing Sei as if they were trying to appraise his value. It was making him really uncomfortable.

Sei had merely come to convey his conclusion after he had the conversation the other day. He was surprised to find that the number of heroes had increased.

“Uh, Megrez-sama. This is…”

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“It’s not a big deal. I was simply inspired by your appearance. I realized that if I continued to live quietly without doing anything, I’d be laughed at by future generations.”

“And by Ruphas as well.”

“Indeed. It’s been two hundred years…What have we been really doing?”

Megrez and Merak laughed in self-ridicule.

What they had been doing…They knew it better than anyone else.

—They hadn’t been doing anything.

For them, time had stopped two hundred years ago.

Ah, I wish I didn’t do that. I wish I didn’t do this. Ah, we continued to regret how stupid and wrong we were—and so we just stopped there.

If one had made a mistake, it’d be fine to simply correct it. If one had been foolish, it’d be fine to be wiser next time. However, instead of letting things go, they wasted two hundred years obsessing with the past.

They were merely wounded and cursed when they fought the Demon King for a bit, then they behaved as if they had received sufficient punishment and took no further action.

But what about this youth? After being summoned from another world, he had been running around for the sake of this world which had nothing to do with him. Even if he was weak, lacking in power, and could not slash heaven and earth apart like Ruphas, he was still desperately doing whatever he could.

Compared to him, they found themselves to be such embarrassments.

“Since we last spoke, I’ve been thinking. You’re certainly powerless. Forget about Ruphas, you can’t even compare to the current me.”

“Ye—Yes.”

“However, you have something that’s more important than your combat power. It’s the will to advance without faltering at all times. You believe in your own justice, irregardless of what a hundred other people might say. You have the power to press on in search for the correct answer…and the power to choose the right path. I’m certain that this is the weapon that will let you win.”

Megrez and the others couldn’t make this choice back then. They lost to the power of the Goddess and walked down the wrong path. Even now, the humanoids had not changed at all. They were still afraid of Ruphas and tried to repeat what had happened before.

However, this youth was searching for the right path in the midst of all this. He was desperately searching for a peaceful road all by himself. And now, notwithstanding that it was still imperfect, he was here after forming an alliance with Ruphas’s group.

Some people who heard this might say, “Anyone could have done that.”

Well, that’s true. Anyone could have done that. No combat power was necessary to do it.

Despite being summoned as a hero and told by his allies about how horrible Ruphas was, he still made his own judgment by contacting and conversing with the monster called Ruphas. He merely determined that he could get along with her. There was no need for combat power of any kind.

Not everyone could destroy a planet. Only those like Ruphas and Benetnash could do so. However, if it was just talking to someone who could destroy a planet, anyone could do it.

But if anyone claimed this, Megrez would have said, “In that case, you do it.” …Yes, anyone could do it, but nobody did. This was why the battle happened two hundred years ago. Nobody did so…Not himself, not Merak, not Mizar. Even Alioth, Phecda, and Dubhe didn’t do it. As a result, they became enemies and tried to kill each other.

That was why Megrez respected the boy named Minami-Jyuji Sei. He respected this little boy who had neither lived for even a tenth of his lifetime nor possessed a tenth of his power.

And so he thought:

It’s about time we change ourselves. What kind of hero depends on a boy from another world? What kind of Wisdom King is that? If we really regret what had happened, now is the time to support this boy with all of our might.

With such thoughts in mind, Megrez tried to contact the other heroes after he parted with Sei. Benetnash ignored it as usual, but apparently Merak and Mizar had also reunited with Ruphas and arrived at some conclusions.

Then, there was only one thing to do. Now was the time to make up for the mistakes of the past.

“Let us assist you, hero. We will move under your direction.”

The courage of a powerless boy had moved the three heroes.

bossv8p01 wn161
Cover of Light Novel Volume 8.



Author’s Notes: Nectar

This is a status-increasing item that can be created by Aquarius. This was what Ruphas was referring to as a “status-boost drink”. When one’s ability values are low, it can quickly increase them by using cheap ingredients. But when the consumer is too strong, it will require an exorbitant amount of ingredients.

This isn’t because Aquarius is being mean. This is because the anti-bodies within the consumer will resist the nectar, so stronger and more expensive ingredients are needed.

In this sense, the orcs are amazing. Anyone who eats them can increase their HP. They must be hunted to extinction before one challenges the Goddess. (A sense of obligation.)

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