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Interlude 3 – Dream’s End (Part 1)

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library

Translator’s Note: The Interlude is told from Ichinari’s perspective. I will let you know if the perspective switches at any time.


As we stood face to face at the training ground, Toriyama’s eyes looked cold, as if mocking me.

I didn’t like how it seemed as if he felt nothing, as if he didn’t think about us at all, despite him being the murderer. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the face murderers had.

I worried that if things went on Toriyama could kill Sion.

One of the 25 people from Earth, or the kingdom’s first princess which had helped us greatly until now. If I had to pick between them, I would choose Sion. Rather, I didn’t even have to choose.

After all, he’d murdered one of the kingdom’s maids which had helped us all this time, and was even threatening Sion. Despite this, I still felt sentiment towards him.

“I’ll give you one last chance. Break your Contract with Sion.”
“No.”

His stubbornness was truly something that had exceeded its boundaries.

None of us in the class agreed with what Toriyama had done. Couldn’t he hear how the members of our class were accusing him, or did he hear them and still decide to respond in such a way?

I was starting to believe Sion’s words about Toriyama being dangerous. He’d managed to fool me back on Earth, but I wasn’t going to be fooled any longer.

And it wasn’t just me. None of our classmates were willing to overlook his inhuman deeds. Which is why it was up to me to take the lead.

“This is farewell then.”

My classmates had my back. I pointed my sword at the expressionless Toriyama and used Ability Increase, one of my Hero Skills. My body became light. Strength filled my steps. My raised sword easily pierced through Toriyama.

It was a thrust that went straight through his heart. With this, Toriyama would die. However, strangely enough, I didn’t dislike this feeling. Rather, I was filled with satisfaction.

Toriyama had done as he pleased ever since coming to this world, and now I had cut his path. I had protected my classmates from the murderer known as Toriyama. I had managed to live up to my classmates’ cheers.

And most importantly, I had managed to free Sion from the hands of evil. This is what a Hero was all about. This was the Hero’s power. Toriyama, whose skills were significantly inferior to those of our fellow classmates, was unable to even notice me because of it.

After being wounded, Toriyama’s eyes went wide in shock as he saw the wound. And just after that he screamed.

If I were to try and make sense of his cries, they would probably say that he was hurting or that he needed help.

(Did Miss Alks scream in the same way when Toriyama killed her, I wonder? Though I guess she didn’t. Toriyama likely shut her down with his Skill.)

However, from today onward no one would have to live in fear of Toriyama. That was a wonderful thing indeed. I was proud that I had been able to slay the world’s enemy with my own two hands.

My whole body was aching from the pain that came as a side effect of using Ability Increase, but even that pain now felt somewhat pleasant. It was like the kind of satisfying fatigue one felt when giving their all in a club tournament and winning.

Furthermore, my classmates also admired my decision. I felt like I’d truly done the right thing.

Toriyama, who still had my sword stuck in him, didn’t scream for long and ended up tumbling to the ground.

(So this is what it is to die.)

Although Toriyama was a bad person I still felt somewhat sick when I saw him die like this. Though, due to this being Toriyama, the feelings didn’t linger long.

Ultimately, we would be facing an evil that was similar to Toriyama. We would have to get used to this eventually. After all, we were doing the right thing. We were told that the castle’s staff would take care of the cleanup, and just like that, today’s training came to an end.

◇◇◇

When I returned to my room, I collapsed on the bed against my will. Although it wasn’t even noon, I felt extremely tired. It was as if my body didn’t belong to me. I realized that killing a living being really did take a toll on one’s spirit.

Given that we had the rest of the day off, I decided to sleep and refresh myself.

◇◇◇

It was now the night of the following day. Given that we’d taken a day to rest, our training today had been more spirited than usual. Or maybe it was because we had reaffirmed our mind that we were going to protect this kingdom.

Regardless, I felt as if I’d gained more of Sion’s trust thanks to yesterday. Although she was the first princess, Sion was nothing more than a normal girl. She too had worries and fears.

Which was why I, as the Hero, had to protect her. And when she finally approved of me then we could maybe do this and that… As those thoughts filled my head, I suddenly heard knocking at my door.

“Sir Takatoshi, may I come in?”
“Sion? Yes, come in.”

The door opened and revealed the owner of the clear, high-pitched voice. It was Sion. She straightened her posture, and her stride was definitely one that attracted the gaze. Her meticulous attention to every movement underscored the undeniable fact that she was a princess.

I was initially somewhat dissatisfied that she had a maid accompanying her, but the moment she saw me and her face lit up with a smile, all my dissatisfaction melted away.

“I apologize for not coming yesterday. It must have been hard after all that.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s sad that there was such an evil person among my classmates, but I also realize that he couldn’t be left alone. Rather, I’m glad that you came to me for help.”
“I see. Thank you very much, Sir Takatoshi.”

Although I called her Sion, she addressed me as Sir Takatoshi.

I wasn’t particularly fond of the “Sir” treatment, so even from the beginning I’d told her to drop it, but she’d come back with the response that I was one of the heroes fighting for them and that she couldn’t afford to be rude.

However, nowadays I didn’t mind being addressed as “Sir” by a beautiful woman like Sion. Rather, it was one of the dreams of all men.

“Still, I am worried that you are burdening yourself. After all, you are a kind person Sir Takatoshi.” Sion said as she softly wrapped my hands in hers.

Although she wore gloves, I could still feel the softness of her small hands. These touches had become more frequent recently, and I couldn’t help but believe that if I improved some more, it might continue to escalate.

“I’m fine. I can do anything as long as it will make you happy, Sion.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I actually came here today to give you something, Sir Takatoshi.”
“Give me something?”

Sion called the maid over and took something from her. She then proceeded to give the small present to me.

“A ring?”
“This ring will be proof of your identity as a Hero, as you travel around the kingdoms.”

Sion explained and I looked at the ring once more.

Although it didn’t have a jewel on it, it was wide and finely decorated, giving it a very expensive feel.

“Does this mean that I have to go somewhere, given that you’re handing me this?” I wasn’t fond of the idea as I wanted to stay in the castle and get closer to Sion.

However, Sion then quickly shook her head sideways, denying my suspicions.

“No. You’d eventually receive it before heading out, but I wanted to give it to you as a sign of trust.”
“A sign of trust?”
“This ring shows that you hold power that is no less than that of a noble. Just by showing it, you’ll be able to cross the borders and even go into places where commoners aren’t allowed. That just shows how much it can be abused.”

(So it’s something that I’ll need during our travels. This ring may be extremely valuable and dangerous at the same time, given that it can aid me even in the other kingdoms.)

“But why now?” I asked.
“Originally, this ring was to be given immediately to the Hero as a sign of trust. However, the king, my father, was very careful and didn’t want to give it until he had a better understanding of the heroes.”
“I get the gist of it… There was Toriyama after all. I believe it was right of him to be careful1.”

If Toriyama had been given power, then he truly would’ve been able to do what he wanted in this kingdom.

However, it also felt as if they were telling me that they hadn’t trusted me until now, which angered me a bit, but I wasn’t a child to dwell on that. I could understand that running a kingdom was not an easy task.

“I’m glad that you understand. This ring is specially made and will perfectly fit the finger it is placed on, so please choose a finger of your linking.” Sion said.

I then turned my gaze to the finger.

The idea that the ring could fit on any finger felt unreal. I couldn’t help but wonder if magic existed in this world, but then I remembered that I could use a bit of magic myself.

Given that Sion was telling me I could put it on any finger, it likely meant only one thing.

Her delighted expression, which seemed to indicate which finger she wanted me to use, along with the fact that she had told me I could use any finger, made my decision quite straightforward.

The ring finger of my left hand. I slipped the slightly larger ring through my finger, and sure enough, it shrunk into the perfect size. I couldn’t help but think that if this was present back in Japan, it would be a great surprise gift.

Although I’d simply put the ring on, I felt quite ecstatic, almost as if I was completely different from before. I instinctively raised my left hand and looked at the ring. Sion, in turn, let out a soft chuckle and I was reminded of her presence.

I felt somewhat embarrassed, but when I hurriedly turned to check her expression, she looked quite satisfied and happy, so I decided that there was no need to worry.

I was rather embarrassed that she felt so happy to see the ring on that finger. The air between us was just like that of a married couple. A genius idea suddenly popped into my head and I spread my arms wide for a hug, to try and deepen our connection, but Sion ignored me, looking somewhat puzzled.

However, I simply brushed it off as a difference between cultures.

“By the way, the matter with Sir Toriyama…”
“You don’t need to add Sir to his name.”

I felt uncomfortable hearing Sion say his name, and instinctively spoke.

This left Sion surprised, her eyes blinking in shock, but she quickly rephrased herself.

“He did a truly terrible thing, but despite this, we really do not wish for the heroes to be fighting amongst one another, and hurting yourselves.”
“I understand. You’re too kind, Sion.”
“So please, from now on, I don’t want to see the heroes fighting amongst themselves.”
“Of course. I doubt there are others like Toriyama.”
“And please do not hurt people in the castle like he did.”
“That’s not funny to say even as a joke.”

I could tell from Sion’s tone that she was joking, but no matter the case, it didn’t feel good being lumped in with Toriyama. Sion seemed to reflect on what she’d just said and quickly apologized with a serious tone.

“You must be tired. I will be taking my leave. Please enjoy your last dream2.”
“Good night.”

In reality, I wanted to spend more time with her. If possible I even wanted to spend the night with her. However, it would be lame to act greedy now. I had been so excited by Sion’s unexpected visit, that I hadn’t even noticed the disturbing nature of her final words.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Silva: That’s the slavery ring, wear it, wearrr it!!
  2. Silva: last dream, she’s not being discreet anymore ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    but of course the hero is too dumb to figure it out

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