|Author: Kobayashi Homare
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 2462 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1226 words
I’m Freya, the hero of Lumielle, the country venerating our god Lumiere. As an orphan, I grew up in a temple, learning all sorts of things about our religion every day from a young age. I would willingly participate in our rituals to get closer to our god, while also becoming stronger physically and mentally. Whenever I saw a troubled person, I would also help in every way I could to amass good deeds. Thanks to all that, I was eventually selected as a member of the Holy Knights of Lumiere, the most elite force in our country.
As a Holy Knight, the work I had to do was different from a priest, like fighting against monsters that regular knights could not beat, participating in all sorts of ceremonies all over the country, serving as guards for delegations heading out of our borders, and in general many things were showing off was more important than my actual skills.
I also earned more than regular knights who had to maintain public order, and the pure white equipment looked really cool, so the Holy Knights always have been popular. But as time went on, I started feeling displeased with my position. I wanted to work more closely with people. I wanted to help people in a similar situation as I was when I was little, starving and not knowing if I would live to see another day.
I knew that as long as I stayed with the Holy Knights that would never happen, that’s when I randomly heard about the trials to elect a hero, and I immediately jumped on the possibility. After all, if I became a hero I would be able to help many more people. No one would give me orders, I could help anyone I saw. Being a hero basically encompassed my ideal workplace.
Of course, I was not the only one taking the trials. Anyone could take them, no matter who they were, as long as they were citizens of Lumielle, so there was a huge list of participants. But still, the first written test already disqualified many who were bad at reading and writing, then the physical test got rid of even more.
Thankfully I always had a large amount of magic power since I was small, and I had all the blessings from my service in the temple, so I came out on top of everyone when it came to practical skills. Lumiere’s blessings were all incredible and granted me many abilities. Not only was my body strong, but I also had a strong mind, so I blazed through the final tests and was elected hero. Even though I still struggled a bit more with theoretical tests.
Once I was the hero, I could go anywhere in the country I pleased and help everyone I found. At the same time, I kept training to become stronger, so I would be prepared to fight against the Demon King one day. Then one day the king ordered me to go to the neighboring country of Leble.
Leble is an empire with a quickly growing army, and they have many bad rumors surrounding them, like some say they want to attack the neighboring countries, or that they are colluding with the Demon King, or that they kidnap people from other countries to perform human experiments. If that was all just so they could fight against the Demon King I could still understand it, but if they wanted to attack other nations then it would become a larger issue, so the king asked me to use my position as a hero to investigate affairs inside Leble.
When I finally visited Leble, it felt like the air itself was silent there. All the citizens had bleak and lifeless faces and had no dreams to speak of. Apparently, very few merchants visited them as well, so stores barely had anything to show on their shelves. Around half the people walking along the streets were soldiers, so it did not seem like they had many different work options either. Being in the army is a very exhausting job, and if the army kept expanding then it would obviously have an effect on the livelihood of most people.
After many ceremonies, a mock battle broke out between heroes. It honestly baffled me that a country would have such poor manners as to provoke the guests they invited themselves. Did the emperor have no idea of how to treat guests with respect and amiability? But I also felt bad for Luvias, since given her position it was impossible for her to refuse.
At first, the fight went in Luvias’ favor. I felt like she was still a bit lacking to be called a hero, but she was part of the royal family so it made sense she would have fewer chances to build up her experience. If she fought against monsters many times, I’m sure she could become much stronger though. When I tried talking with her, she appeared like a blunt and honest person, more likable than I thought seeing how she was able to treat everyone as equals.
The difference in skill with Barbaros was clear. Luvias was going to easily win the match, but then Barbaros used a skill to suddenly transform his body and the match took a sharp turn. I had never heard of a skill that could make one’s muscles bulge like that, or even change the color of hair and eyes. The impression it made on me was really bad, and as I frowned seeing it, a divine revelation came to me. It basically said, “watch out”.
On rare occasions, I would receive messages like that from Lumiere, generally when I was in danger. So in other words, that skill was not something blessed by a righteous god, but it came from an evil place. No good person should ever use something like that.
After transforming like that, Barbaros was… simply strong. I had spent many grueling years training myself, but if I tried fighting him I would lose. The same went for Bandit sitting beside me, his face was drained of color. The pacing of the match was quickly overturned and Luvias was beaten to a pulp, one step away from death. Bandit and I tried to jump in and intervene the moment he tried to land the finishing blow, but Lapis jumped in faster.
She was faster than my eyes could follow. It was like she vanished from one point and appeared out of thin air in another. I had met her a few days before in the castle, but back then I only got the impression she was a cute girl and I never thought she was this powerful. Yet now she was literally overpowering that transformed Barbaros. It could hardly be called a fight between the two. I only began to wonder how grueling of a training one had to go through to become so strong. The way she was now, I would never stand a chance against her, the same went for Bandit at my side, or Annero, not even Luvias could match her.
If she was with us, then she would become a great asset when fighting the Demon King. The only saving grace from visiting this country was meeting her.