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Chapter 190 – Goodbye, Midgard!

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: TpstT English Source: Two More Free Thoughts
Editor(s): Vecna, Keii

“I see… So you’re really going home.”

This conversation happened on the land of Midgard while the morning sun shone brightly overhead.

In front of the ship Argo, which had just landed, was the Hero and his party. Beside them was Virgo, who had a meek and docile expression.

The one who was standing at the front of the group was Sei.

Now that the Goddess’s script had reached its conclusion, there was no longer any role for the Hero to play.

This world no longer had any need for an epic heroic tale. All that remained in this story was “reality”, where people carved out their own journeys through their own capabilities and wills.

As such, there was no longer any reason for him to remain in this world.

After all, he had his own life back on Earth as well as dreams he wished to realise.

“Yeah. Looks like I’m someone who’s more suited to be in the other world.”

It was not as if he had no lingering attachments towards this world.

If he was being honest, he even had this fleeting feeling which he wanted to convey to the girl who was standing right in front of him.

But… unfortunately, there was far too much of a difference in their life expectancies.

As a flugel, Virgo would live on for the next few hundred years, or perhaps even a few thousand years. Sei, on the other hand, realistically only had about eighty more years to go even if he lived a long life.

Even if he prepared himself to be rejected and confessed to her, and even if he was lucky enough to receive an “okay”, the one who would be grieving at the very end would be her.

That being the case, he believed that it would be better to keep his feelings deep within himself… This feeling of longing could never work out.

Well… even before all of that, there’s far more of a chance that I’d be rejected.

“The real issue though is my strength now. Even though Ruphas-san and the rest of you might say that I’m still weak, if I return to Earth with my current power…”

At this point in time, Sei had managed to reach level 55.

When the Goddess had previously sent the mana (experience) which constituted the ouroboroses towards him and they were stolen by Ruphas, there was a minuscule amount of it that had been left behind untouched. Sei’s current level was due to him being affected by that mana.

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Needless to say, from Ruphas’s point of view, that amount was so minuscule and trivial that she had not even noticed that it had been left behind.

Nevertheless, if Sei was going back to Earth, it would not be that negligible.

After all, where on Earth would one be able to find a human being, and still a student at that, who could run faster than a cheetah and was physically stronger than a brown bear?

Even his stamina and vitality was no longer at the level of a normal human’s.

Even if a criminal that he was apprehending had a knife and stabbed him, as long as Sei was mindful of that, they would not be able to even leave a scratch on him. Similarly, even if he was shot with a gun, he would at most feel some pain but suffer no other consequences. That was how superhuman Sei currently was.

Exactly, he was only considered weak because of who he was being compared to. He had long become a member of those who he had called superhuman.

If he felt like it, he would be able to monopolise as many Olympic gold medals as he wished for as long as he wished for. It would also be a simple matter for him to be the best in the world at various martial arts.

He might even be able to give rise to a legend of an invincible master who obtained sweeping victory over every martial art on the planet.

For him to go back to Earth while possessing such a strength… Was that something that should be allowed?

While Sei was agonising over such thoughts, Ruphas replied to him in a very relaxed manner without the slightest hint of worry.

“There shouldn’t be a problem, is there? I mean, your power is something that you acquired as a result of your efforts. There’s no need to feel ashamed about it. Take it back with you as a badge of honour.”

“Um… is that really fine?”

“Why wouldn’t it be? Even if you had power, I can tell that you’re not someone who’d irresponsibly abuse it.”

Ruphas was not saying this without giving it any thought.

She had only said what she said because it was Sei.

If the person in front of her was someone like Debris, then she would have somehow turned them back to level one even if she had to punch them into a pulp, irrespective of their will.

She was only able to declare that it wasn’t a problem because it was Sei.

From the very beginning to the very end, he was the “hero” who continued to seek the right answer without taking an easy way out. That was the reason why she was able to send him away while believing in him.

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“Besides, you dreamed of becoming a policeman, right? Then it wouldn’t hurt to have some extra strength. If you’re going to do that, then become the strongest policeman who can arrest any criminal regardless of how vicious they are.”

“Haha… After a fight like that, I’d never be able to call myself the strongest, you know?”

Sei laughed dryly as if to say “No thank you” and then turned to look at his comrades whom he had been travelling with until now.

Gants, Jean, Friedrich, the Female Knight (the Gorilla), Cruz, Kaineko and Sarjes.

There was also the canine magical beast which was sitting next to his feet. It had perhaps sensed that they were about to part ways, because it looked somewhat saddened.

Apart from them, the three adventurers, Ricardo, Nick and Shu, as well as Alfie and the ranger squad had come to bid him farewell.

Sei had always been mindful of how unorthodox his party was compared to a typical hero’s entourage, so much so that he had initially thought that it was some form of harassment. But now that everything had come to an end and he looked back at it all, he had quite enjoyed the memories that it had brought him.

Well, yeah. Good times… I think?

“Well then… everyone… thanks for everything up until now.”

“Don’t mind it. Take care of yourself over there.”

In response to Sei, who held his hand out, Jean responded the quickest by placing his own hand on top of it.

On top of that, Gants put his. Thereafter, the others in the group also started stacking their hands on top of the batch.

At the very end, Virgo laid her hand. At this moment, Virgo and Sei’s eyes met each other for a brief moment.

“Sei-kun… I wish you all the best. I… won’t forget you.”

“Ahh. Me too… I definitely won’t forget you.”

The two of them removed their hands from the crowd almost reluctantly. Seeing that their farewell had ended, Ruphas snapped her fingers.

When she did, a crack in the space-time continuum appeared right in front of Sei, creating a path which led to Earth.

It was not just an ordinary gate. Ruphas had combined it with Dina’s skill to make it a gate which would send Sei back into the past.

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The other side of the gate led to a Japan of the past, during the year 2015. In other words, he would be sent to the time immediately after when he was summoned to this world.

While Sei had only lived for a little short of a year in this world, his age was still rewound back by rewinding his time by the same amount. After all, at his age, a few months of time resulted in a significant difference in how he looked.

“Once you pass through this gate, you’ll be met with an everyday life no different from before you came to this world. I’ve already set it so that you’ll arrive back at your original location, so you don’t have to worry about getting sent somewhere overseas.”

“Thank you… for everything.”

“Don’t worry about it. To begin with, you were only caught up in all of this because of our world’s selfish actions. It’s pretty much my duty for me to send you back safely.”

Hearing what Ruphas said, Sei laughed a little, then headed towards the gate.

He looked back reluctantly just one last time… at Virgo, then decisively charged into the gate as if he was getting over his hesitation.

In all likelihood, this was his first love… as well as his first time experiencing a broken heart.

Although Sei had managed to subtly realise this, they went their own separate ways before Virgo even became self-aware that it might very well have been her first awakening of love.

Looking at the two of them, Dina quietly spoke.

“He was a good kid.”

“Yeah. While he didn’t have the power to fight… he was different from someone like me who could only resolve problems through violence. He really was a hero.”

What Minami-Jyuji Sei had achieved was small, yet big at the same time.

While he did not have powers like Ruphas or the Thirteen Stars, if he had not made the decisions that he had made, things would not have progressed as simply as it had.

Perhaps he was not even aware of it himself, but he alone was the only one who had consistently not acted the way that the Goddess was anticipating him to.

If one considered how even those like Ruphas or Benetnash had periods when they had moved the way the Goddess had wanted them to, Sei was truly commendable.

“By the way, you’re not planning to leave this as a tragic love story, are you?”

“It all depends on that young boy Sei. If he continues to think about Virgo even after going to the other world, and if Virgo becomes aware of her own feelings… I’m thinking that perhaps it might be possible to summon him back to this world as an Argonaut after he passes away. In the end, I have no intention of forcing them together, so everything will depend on what the two of them choose.”

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Having gotten this far, no one wished for a bad ending. But there also couldn’t be a free pass.

Therefore, if the two’s hearts continued to stay connected to each other, when the time came, Ruphas was scheming to fiddle a little with the reasons and principles behind how the world worked.

Above all else, she was definitely not interested in seeing Virgo cry.

As such, if Virgo wished for it, she did not even mind sending her to Japan or bringing Sei back to this world after he passed away. Every option was within consideration.

Nevertheless, Ruphas considered their wishes to be of utmost importance. This meant that their choices and their decisions were an absolute prerequisite before anything could be done.

“Well, we’ll wait and see for a while. We have to respect the answers that those two younglings come up with.”

“You’re talking like an old person.”

“I’m no different from an old person. How many centuries do you think I’ve lived for?”

“But you know, Ruphas-sama, if we consider how your time was stopped while you were sealed away, you’re technically still around sixteen or seventeen by human terms, right?”

“……… Eh?”

Flugels were a race which matured fast, but took a long time to grow old.

They matured fast to the state where one’s mind and physical strength was at peak condition, which corresponded to their late teen years. From then onwards, their outer appearance no longer changed any further, so it became impossible to tell their age just from how they looked.

Until now, when she had thought of how old she was in terms of human age, she had considered herself to be in her early twenties… but in fact, if she subtracted the time that she had spent sealed away, she was surprisingly still young.

She was bewildered from that sudden epiphany. Consequently, the sight of her counting her age with her fingers was strange and silly.

*

“No way! Why am I the one that has to stay behind on Midgard!? If I do that, won’t I just be insignificant like air until the very end!?”

“Well, honestly, I can only say that you just got onto the stage too late…”

“To be fair, you only showed up right before the final battle, so…”

“Isn’t it all because you left me alone by myself until the end!? I was in the sea that whole time. If anything, I should be saying that you could have come and gotten me first! And you, stupid horse! Cut it out! Wear your pants properly!”

On the other side of the Argo, amongst the small group of Thirteen Stars who had had to stay behind on Midgard, Pisces was relentlessly quibbling and complaining.

Although Sagittarius and Aigokeros were trying to calm him down, their attempts were not very effective.

But it couldn’t be helped. After all, unlike the others, Pisces had a vast kingdom in the sea and its citizens to take care of. If he ignored them and migrated to the Moon by himself, it would trouble the people that he left behind.

Having said that, as expected, even if he wanted the entirety of Skidbladnir to migrate with him, the Moon was far too small.

Even back when they were shoved into the Ark, the portion allocated to Skidbladnir alone, unlike the other kingdoms, effectively only constituted the bare minimum of their kingdom.

The ones watching this go on from the sidelines were the fairy siblings, Pollux and Castor, as well as Orm, Terra and the other members of the demon race, who were standing some distance away.

Seeing the whining Pisces who was unable to let go of the others, Saturnus made an exasperated sigh.

“When I think about the Tyrannical Twelve Heavenly Stars, they’re supposed to be the very symbol of fear for our race… but, looking at this… how do I put it? They’re like a bunch of very stupid fools.”

“The Twelve Stars actually are a bunch of very stupid fools. Though, I guess it’s Thirteen Stars now…”

Pollux concurred with Saturnus’s words and the two of them sighed at the same time.

Perhaps because the both of them were too honest for their own good, they unexpectedly matched well with each other.

Saturnus then turned around and spoke in a mocking tone.

“Although… being a fool also applies to us. Isn’t that right, Mr. I-Recklessly-Went-Ahead-And-Died-For-No-Reason?”

“… Sorry about that.”

Saturnus was looking at Mercurius, who had previously died at Draupnir.

As he stood there, he was no different from how he had previously looked. He had been resurrected back to the world of the living as an Argonaut, despite having a constitution completely opposite of what his original body was.

After hearing what had happened to him at the very end, Pollux somehow managed to perceive him as a hero, thus she was able to successfully summon him. But, seemingly uncomfortable with what had been said to him, he looked away.

There were also others who had passed away, such as Jupiter, but he had wished to move on and reincarnate. Therefore, he was not present here.

The reason he gave them was, “I want to forget about that scary golem (Libra), so I want to live a new life.”

“By the way… what about Mars?”

“Sorry. However much I try, I just can’t perceive him as worthy of being a hero.”

Although Pollux responded to Saturnus’s question apologetically, Saturnus thought that it was only natural.

Indeed, it would be impossible. While it might have been possible to recognise Mercurius as a hero if one changed their perspectives, even after a change of perspective, Mars was still nothing more than an idiot.

Thinking of him, she couldn’t help but imagine the sight of his face looking down from the sky with a smile whilst saying, “Is it still not time for me to come back?” As a result, she randomly fired a few magic bullets into the air and dispersed a cloud that looked like that image.

“No, it’s fine. You’ve done enough for us. I owe you one.”

“It’s whatever. This is nothing. You don’t have to mind it too much.”

Orm started speaking to Pollux gently and refreshingly, but Pollux replied back to him coldly.

Of course, she was not trying to be cold. She was only displaying this attitude because they had known each other for a long time, and it was only normal between them.

“Besides, if we’re going to start talking about who owes who a favour, then I owe you a lot of them. Didn’t you come and console me every time I felt down in the past?”

“W… that’s… I suppose…”

“Actually, I’ve been wondering about it for a while, but why have you always been so kind to me to that extent? I mean, technically, on the surface, we were supposed to have been enemies with each other, right?”

“That’s because… err, I wonder why.”

After being questioned by Pollux, Orm awkwardly looked away from her.

Seeing this, Saturnus reached the answer before Pollux. She had finally figured it out.

I see, I see. So that’s why. No wonder His Majesty was always overly mindful of the Fairy Princess.

At the same time she realised why that had always been the case, a sense of helplessness assaulted her whole body.

“Ahh… I see. So even His Majesty is a man at heart. I’m so beat… Forget having my heart broken, I hadn’t even managed to get on the stage to begin with.”

Saturnus had an affection towards Orm that she could not voice out loud.

She had hidden her own feelings because she thought that it was inappropriate for her to think of her own master in that way.

As a consequence, she could not even consider it a failed love. After all, the conclusion had been reached before she had even managed to get onto the stage.

That being the case, it did not mean that she would not feel hurt.

“Saturnus… you…”

“That’s right, is there a problem? Just like you, I lost before I even got to participate in the battle. Both of us are nothing but side characters. I mean, even though you got resurrected, it’s not like you’re going to go ahead and confess to her, right?”

“…”

While Mercurius had an unrequited love for Luna, he had not even gotten her to realise those feelings. To top it off, Luna and Terra mutually liked each other. Mercurius was unable to get between them this late in time.

Similarly, by the time Saturnus had realised her own feelings, everything had already concluded.

Although, in her case, because Pollux had not yet realised Orm’s feelings towards her, Saturnus still had some kind of a chance… but because one was the Fairy Princess and the other was a mere individual of the demon race, there probably wouldn’t even be a competition. She could already see how things would turn out.

“I’m going to drown myself in drinks today. Hey, you. Since you’re free anyways, come and keep me company.”

“Yeah, sounds good. I’m feeling like drinking myself.”

The pair of demons, who were both victims of unrequited love, turned their backs on everyone else and walked away from that place.

… Digressing a bit, the two of them would proceed to marry each other ten years later and become husband and wife, but at this point in time, neither of them had any way of knowing that was what was going to happen in the future.



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