A grand welcome party was held in the royal palace’s garden for the people who had transported here, and even the castle town surrounding the royal castle was getting excited by the party.
The welcome party was held just two days after the grand royal palace announced the arrival of heroes from another world, all with equal or higher strength potential. With such a welcome party, the residents of the castle town were immediately convinced and exclaimed “They’re here!”
The adventurers inside the taverns and guilds went “Really?!” to confirm the situation. Some felt envious, held a premonition that their generation was over, and began to drown themselves in alcohol. Others were in excitement because now they had allies besides fellow adventurers and began to raise a toast across the town’s homes in congratulations.
Normally, angry roars of nightly fooling around would be heard from far away in the neighborhood, but since most of the homes were being congratulatory at this time, there were few people who raised attention inside the neighborhood.
As if a festival had suddenly begun, everyone was joyful.
────Most of the people in the kingdom were smiling. Yes, most of them.
A night wind blew across an edge of the garden that was vacant.
Exposed to the moonlight, a beautiful girl with red hair had a slightly painful mood, leaned her back against a wall, closed her lovely blue eyes, and felt the comfortable wind swing past her red bangs.
Alicia, while taking no notice of the friendly conversations going on in the background, opened the eyes she had previously closed.
While looking up at the light of a full moon, Alicia muttered,
Alicia reflected on what happened.
Today, even though I had spent little time with Shun…He somehow feels like a friend I’ve known for many years.
Alicia felt a strange affinity with Shun when she first met him.
She didn’t know the reason why, and she was uncertain about how to look after him.
In addition, as a knight, she sighed about how she felt delighted whenever Shun addressed her as Teacher.
I feel uplifted whenever Shun calls me Teacher even though I haven’t him anything yet, but…I don’t have anything to pay back the favor with. Of course, I’m willing to train him starting from tomorrow, but it seems we’ll have to start with swordsmanship and footwork…
Alicia contemplated about tomorrow, thinking about the various forms of training. But, she only had one concern.
I’ve…recently been told by the head of knights that “I’m too strict,” so I need hold back as much as possible…After all, Shun’s an amateur of amateurs so he might collapse before I even realize it…
Indeed, Alicia was not aware of her own strictness, so Athrel, who held the top position in the chivalry, had to tell her personally, and Alicia realized the seriousness of the matter for the first time, resulting in a bitter experience.
I have to persevere…! As a person who made a vow to the king…!
Alicia grasped both of her hands in firm resolution.
Next to the head of the knights’ teachings, I’ll make you the strongest in the kingdom…Shun!
While thinking so, she separated from the wall and once again returned back to where the welcome party was being held.
───The one who was supposedly going to be the strongest in the kingdom, Shun, had finished feasting on an extravagant evening meal and was immersed in the aftertaste.
“────Whew…I’m full, I’m full~”
“Ha hah…That was quite the spirit you had Shun, wasn’t it?”
“Well…since the seasonings of this world are unfamiliar to me, it sort of caught my interest…not to mention how delicious it was…Someone, stop me~”
“Nah, I’ve already finished eating…”
While Shun and Karin were laughing in their conversation, Yuuna had made a retort.
Most of the classmates had disappeared, the boys went to go explore the area a bit, the girls went to chat with their friends away from the tables and underneath the trees, so the only ones at the dining tables were Shun, Karin, and Yuuna.
Since Shun was absorbed in his eating, when he came to, he was a bit surprised by the scene.
Yuuna and Karin had come here, and Yuuna had teased Karin, who had regained her usual appetite, by whispering “What a pure heart he has, don’t you think?” into her ear.
Since Shun was in front of Karin, she could not strike back, so she endured it while having a red face.
Shun tilted his head towards Karin, who seemed to have arbitrarily began to blush.
“K, Kondou…Don’t worry about it, okay? Yuuna was just whispering to me about those kinds of things───!”
Karin could no longer endure and from beneath the table, kicked Yuuna’s shin.
“Ack…! Aha, ahaha. No, don’t pay any mind to it, Kondou…”
Since Yuuna was aware that he was in the wrong with his teasing, he put up with the pain and acted like nothing happened.
“I, I see.”
No, something’s definitely going on! Maybe there’s some kind of scuffle going on under the table? I mean, the desk definitely rattled!
Although Shun had some intriguing inner thoughts, he didn’t want to engage, so he pretended to go along with them this time for a bit.
“T, that reminds me. Minesaki, how long have you and Asakura been friends?”
Shun quickly asked a question to change the mood.
Yuuna, who was still bearing the pain, was soon taken aback, and after going “H~mm…let’s see…” while thinking, he replied,
“Since first year junior high school, I think…?”
“Wow…that’s quite long.”
“Right. There was an opportunity where Yuuna started a conversation with me, who was shunned at the time, right?”
Shun tilted his head when hearing that Karin was shunned.
“Well…even if she says that she was shunned, it was probably just Karin thinking so and that there was some other factors at play…”
“…Huh, is that so?”
The two made a retort in their minds at the same time.
Was Karin being shunned because it was hard to talk to a cute, flawless beauty like her that excelled in both academically and physically…? If she was really being shunned, then she would have been in low spirits when I met her, right? She couldn’t have shunned that much, was she?
“W, well…I see. I understand that you’re quite kind, Asakura.”
“T, that’s not true.”
Yuuna was being modest, but Karin, who was next to her, agreed with Shun.
“No, you’re indeed kind, Asakura! Your consideration for others is even better than mine!”
Shun continued with a bitter smile while thinking ‘I think Minesaki is plenty kind…’ after hearing Karin talking about Yuuna’s kindness,
“Since Minesaki herself is saying it…and I’m also saying that you’re kind, you lose by majority rule, Asakura…Accept it.”
“Why are we talking about winning and losing from a conversation of being kind…?”
“He’s right, you lose, Yuuna.”
Karin had agreed.
She let out a wry smile that said ‘this is payback for when you teased me.’
“Like I said, why───”
“You are kind!”
Shun said so while giving a thumbs up, like the one Yuuna gave to Karin, and let out a bold smile.
With Shun’s smile and his few words, Yuuna, who found it tiring, took a deep breath and hung her head in fashion that said ‘I’m done.’
Shun was slightly amused at Yuuna’s pose and Karin made a triumphant face that said ‘Ha-hah! How’s that?!’
Yuuna looked at the two, and while Shun’s laughing was fine, in response to Karin’s triumphant expression, she wondered ‘Is this really anything to be triumphant about?’ and burst out like she was getting irritated.
“There are so many people…”
After Shun finished his laughing, he looked over his surroundings, and had bluntly spoken his thoughts.
“That would be natural since most of the nobles in this country are here…”
Karin had replied to Shun’s complaint.
“Oh…now that you mention it, that was indeed the case.”
Yuuna continued the conversation, despite Shun’s befuddled expression towards what Karin said,
“That’s a bit too exaggerated, wouldn’t you think~?”
Shun nodded in agreement towards those words.
“I agree…In fact, it’s pointless to even try to work this useless person here…”
When talking about a useless person, Shun was referring to himself.
The three were silent after Shun said his words.
Even the person who said it himself was in low spirits.
…I’m the worst for ruining the flow that these two were setting up…! Well, that can also be said as my appeal!
“Ahaha…” “Ahaha…” “Ahaha…”
“───Everybody, listen up!”
As the three bore a bitter smile, there was suddenly a very loud, dignified voice, and Shun turned his face towards that voice, which he was familiar with.
The friendly chat that encompassed the garden just a while ago halted and a brief silence emerged.
“…That’s the king?”
In front of Shun, who had to squint his eyes to see, there was the king raising up a cup from a podium.
Everyone’s gaze within the garden were focused on that podium.
“───I am deeply grateful for those of you who responded to this sudden call today…”
After saying those words, the king quietly bowed, and after having thanked the big crowd in front of him, let out his dignified voice once more,
“───Currently, the world has lost its peace with the sudden emergence of the “Demon Lord Army”…It’s no exaggeration…Furthermore, this “Demon Lord Army” is searching for the “Seven Swords of Legend” within this world, trying to obtain an overwhelming power.”
“….” “….” “….” “….”
The king’s voice turned uneasy as he began to delve into serious matters───
“───However, we only know the whereabouts of one of the “Swords of Legend.” It’s probable that this sword is “The Sword of the Holy Spirit・Gladius.” The Sword of Legend in which resides the Savior・Alecus, who helped out in many disasters and lives on after having skillfully crossed over into the realms of the sprite spirits as the Holy Spirit.”
“…Oh?!” “…Oh?!” “…Oh?!” “…Oh?!” “…!” “…!” “…!”
While the nobles, soldiers, military officers, classmates, and everyone, even the mentors who were teaching the people transported here on how to fight, were in wonder, Shun had his concerns.
Gladius…That’s the kind of sword name you would hear in a game…It would be a superior weapon you would get during the middle of the game, but I don’t think it would have been one of the Swords of Legend….That reminds me, I also said that when Leele was explaining the “Swords of Legend.” Well, I guess that’s the result of this world not following the doctrine of a game…
When he saw his status paper, Shun thought that this world was actually like a game.
The reason being that while combat ability could be evaluated with ABCs, for Shun and the others who never had gotten into a battle, it would be impossible to accurately calculate that with only their stat values.
However, since Shun was enthusiastic over having an RPG-like experience, and did not get see what Gladius, one of the Swords of Legend, looks or sounds like, he cast aside his concerns and decided to only think about how to survive.
The king raised his hand to restrain the garden that was getting noisy, and once it immediately turned silent, he continued,
“So…before the “Demon Lord Army” finds that sword, I’ve decided who will go out to seek it. They are───”
In an instant, the king began to shout,
“Thirty heroes who have been transported here and hold equal power!”
“Oooooooooooooooooh!!” “Oooooooooooooooooh!!” “Oooooooooooooooooh!!”
“…?!” “…?!” “…?!” “…?!”
Everyone in the class could predict what the king would say, but could not predict the excitement around them.
“Two days ago, the large announcement of the “Demon Lord Army” had indeed dealt a blow to many, but now at last they have arrived!”
“Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
“…?!?!” “…?!?!” “…?!?!”
While there were cheers of joy in the surroundings, there were some left in the dark.
“This is my vow. I will make these people genuine heroes within the span of two months without fail…and we will regain our former peace!”
“Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” “Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
“Huh…?” “Huh…?” “Huh…?”
Shun and the others, who were not able to keep up the entire time, all had the same thoughts.
(A live concert…) (A live concert…) (A live concert…)
Getting riled up and fierce while explaining the current state of affairs, it felt like the king was standing up on the podium like an idol, where the audience nearby were letting out an explosion of cheering one by one such as “It’s the stadium!” or “I’m getting pumped up!” right before an idol was going to sing, as if there was a Johnny with a mic and another Johnny with good looks in the far back. (TLN: Johnny’s are a term for male entertainers/idols hired by Japanese talent agency ‘Johnny & Associates’)
It would have been wonderful had the king and the citizens united together as one country at this one moment, but Shun and the others were surprised at how they could not coordinate, and concluded that it would be to pitiable to ask the king about how he had kinda messed up, so they agreed not to talk about this matter from this point onward.
The reason for that certainly had to do with being considerate towards the king, but it was mostly because they would have died of laughter if they called back on this moment.
“───Enough with the talking. Now it’s time for a celebration…So, let’s welcome the people who were transported here…Cheers!”
Once the king had shouted, all the citizens in the garden, except for Shun and the others, raised their cups and downed their drink in one gulp.
“Cheers!” “Cheers!” “Cheers!”
The citizens had each clashed their cups among themselves and the king.
Shun couldn’t hide his surprise
In his field of vision, Shun gazed at all the citizens coming together to down their drinks in unison against the “Demon Lord Army.”
“…” “…” “…”
Of course, Shun’s other classmates also did the same.
This is another world…This is war…
───Afterwards, the welcome party came to an end, and the nobles and citizens who got drunk off of alcohol left in swarms.
However, many of the remaining people were knights on holiday being mobilized for the role of guiding people around, and such work continued on for them endlessly as the number of people increased. The ones that had nothing to do were giving something to do.
Also, during the welcome party, Shun and the others seemed to have not seen the three occasions where a brawl broke out between drunkards.
Athrel and the officers had responded in those cases, and stopped them before the fuss turned huge.
As Shun and some others had wary of, there were cases of pick-pocketing happening, along with repeat criminal offenses by drunkards causing sexual harassment or by perverts.
In this welcome party where various things had happened outside the knowledge of Shun and the others, Shun had become aware of something.
“The skill…definitely said [Concealment]…”
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Kondou?”
Karin tilted her head towards Shun, who had suddenly spoken out loud.
“Oh, it’s just something on my mind…”
“I see…so what is it? What’s on your mind?”
After hearing that, Shun went “Hmm…”
I don’t know if I should talk about this with Minesaki…since what’s on my mind is about the methods of obtaining skills~…It’s really unlikely that she’s experienced with games, but perhaps that’s part of the diligent Minesaki’s appeal…
After thinking briefly, Shun decided not to answer Karin’s question, even if it pained his heart,
“Well, it’s nothing much in particular…”
There was an awkward atmosphere between the two.
Karin then changed that atmosphere.
While saying that, Karin looked shyly at Kondou’s face, her cheeks reddening, and also had to look upwards due to the height difference.
Shun’s heart jumped a bit after seeing Karin like that.
“A while back…at that time you were talking with Asano, you talking about a beautiful scene, right…?”
“…? Oh, I did make a proposal about that───”
“───Then, Kondou…do you want to go see it together?”
Shun, who got interrupted, was surprised at the words Karin had interrupted him with.
Various feelings crossed over within Shun, and after settling on a “There’s no choice but to do it!” feeling, Shun gave his reply,
“S, sure. If you insist, Karin…”
“Thank you! Kondou!”
The number of people had diminished and within the empty garden, a boy-girl pair were facing each other and conversing with one another.
At this scene, they looked like a couple going on a date.
That’s why Leele, who saw this sight from a short distance away, made a daring smirk and muttered something,
“I will not…hand Shun over.”
With that smile, a misunderstand about Shun was born,
It was the same smirk she made during that time there was a misunderstanding surrounding Shun, and now she was making it towards Karin.
A war between two beautiful girls was unfolding and would lead to a battle one day, with Shun in the center of it.
Minesaki with her eyes facing upwards…is so cute! Minesaki must already be proficiently using the strongest skill, [Upturned・Eyes]…A natural gift of hers.
He thoughtlessly acknowledged this technique by giving it a skill name.
I think I can pull off the skill [Wall・Slam] if I try…actually…let’s not. That’s only an empty dream…
While Shun was dejected, the moonlight shined down on the middle of the road as he brought Karin along it, and then they arrived at the beautiful scene that he had found.
“Here it is…Perhaps it’s only beautiful under only my sense of tastes, but what do you think Minesaki?”
She was in sudden admiration.
The beautiful scene that Shun had found was far beyond Karin’s imagination and appeared mystical.
Karin gazed at what stretched ahead───
───There was a mystical lake that shined a light-blue color.