|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2601 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1247 words|
“I realize we can’t let you go just to die, so we decided to think of something else. We can’t change your position as a hero, but we found the people to rely on if you want to stay alive.”
“Staying alive…? What are you talking about?”
“Have you heard about Bordaule? The training schools they have there. There’s this one with a very talented instructor who can make anyone’s abilities increase many times over. We asked them for help.”
I had heard that story before. Recently all countries around us had started building those training schools, even here in Zelvis we had them, though with a different name. With just a small entrance fee, anyone could take part and train to become stronger much faster. But there were stories of one particular instructor in Bordaule who was said to be strong like a beast. That instructor supposedly was strong enough to destroy an entire army led by a lich single-handedly, or could leave Leble’s hero half dead. I felt most of that was way too exaggerated, but at least it had to be a good instructor for such rumors to start.
“So you’re saying I should go there and become strong enough to fit as a hero? But then I’d just be taking the same training as other people, right? If that was enough to become a hero, then Bordaule would be overflowing with heroes by now.”
That was an obvious doubt. If by going to a training school I could become strong like a hero, then the entire crisis we were facing would have never even started. There would be plenty of fighting power to defeat multiple Demon Kings, maybe even hundreds. Instead of making such a big fuss about finding heroes, we would only need to send a couple of soldiers and magicians to a training school and everyone else would remain safe.
“I get where you’re coming from, I’m not that naive. You will attend that training school in Bordaule, but I’ve also arranged it for you to join a party with competent adventurers.”
“A party? You want me to be in a party with people I’ve never met before?”
Hearing that only gave me a bad feeling. It was hard to get under my skin after being in the military for this long, but the only reason why I even stayed with this job was because the military is a systematic and decent organization. But he wanted me to leave that to join some brutish adventurers and form a party?! Seeing my disgusted reaction, the president looked at me in disbelief.
“Diaria. It seems you have a really narrow view of adventurers. Don’t think they’re all some rowdyish and unmannered savages. There are plenty of adventurers that are the spitting image of righteousness, noble people with strong ideals who would never let an injustice pass.”
He might have a point, but the vast majority of adventurers fit much more closely to the image I had. Adventurers are people who take dangerous jobs to earn their daily meals, and since they already live so close to death all the time, they lose respect for life and become much more vulgar and rough with others. They were meatheads who did not have the spine to become either soldiers or mercenaries and just lingered in between. Then again, I had never really interacted with any adventurer in the past, all I knew was what I saw on the streets of the city.
“Why do you look so doubtful and suspicious? Sure, I might get a thrill when a girl looks at me with scornful eyes, but I’m not lying.”
“You perverted old man…”
Usually, if the elf running the council, the organization maintaining order in the entire country, said things like that randomly he would get arrested or at least removed from that position. But whenever the president spoke with me, he always said things like that, in a tone that made it hard to know if he was being serious or just joking. All in all, that was probably only because he let his guard down when around me, his niece.
“I know you loathe adventurers, so I would’ve never done this knowing they were bad people. But the governments of both Zelvis and Bordaule can vouch for their integrity.”
“The government would vouch for some mere adventurers?! Who even are they?”
“They’re Bordaule’s hero party. With the third royal princess Luvias as their leader, two adventurers that have risen in power really quickly lately, and the last member is your mentor in the school you’ll attend to, Lapis.”
A princess?! That was surprising enough, but they were the hero’s party on top of that?! Usually, the hero was someone representing an entire country, their party formed with the most elite members. How would someone like me even fit in with them?! Sure, I could trust they would be well-behaved people, and strong to boot, but they were way out of my league to join them. My abilities at close-range combat are really bad, so the most I can usually do is stand aside and shoot arrows from a distance, or use a limited amount of spiritual magic. If I was in a party with them, I would just hold everyone back and embarrass myself!
“Refusal is not an option. This is the best way for you to stay alive, and it was our side that begged for this to happen, and they agreed out of the generosity of their hearts. It would be rude in the extreme to cancel everything now.”
My hands were figuratively tied. The president simply knew me way too well, and predicted exactly how I would react.
“Diaria, please stop being such a coward already. I know your luck was a big reason as to why you won the tournament, but an event like that isn’t one you can simply go through so effortlessly with luck alone. Your own skills also played a big role there, so be more confident already and show us what you’re made of. Grow even stronger and make us proud, prove us right for having chosen you. And show how wrong all those who looked at you with disdain were.”
His face was dead serious as he said all that. His usual joking and light-hearted presence were completely gone, leaving only the man responsible for keeping this country together standing there.
I could only sigh. After everything he said, after everything he prepared for me, there was no way for me to refuse anymore. I was never the most patriotic of people, but I did not want to embarrass my entire country because of my selfish actions. I did not want Zelvis to be known as the country with a cowardly hero that always ran away or leeched off Bordaule’s hero.
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I strongly hit my cheeks with my palms. It was time to make a decision, take that strenuous training, and let that rumored instructor make me stronger. I had to become strong like a hero and not become a blemish in my country’s history.
“Alright, I’ll do it.”
“Ohh! I knew you’d turn around!”
The president stood up and firmly shook my hand. I had not wished to become a hero, but now I was set on doing my best. With my mind set on that goal, I left for Bordaule.