Chapter 8: Takatsuki Makoto fights alongside the Light Hero
◇Takatsuki Makoto’s PoV◇
“Listen up, you bunch! Tonight’s banquet is in honor of the Light Hero who successfully defeated the Taboo Dragons!”
Tonight’s Hero’s Tavern is even more crowded than usual.
“The payment for today’s banquet will be on Highland. All of you should be grateful to Princess Noel!”
The adventurers gathered in the Great Labyrinth cheered. In the large open-air bar, some special venues have been set up, and the Sun Knights and high-ranking people are gathered there.
I could see Sakurai-kun and Yokoyama-san there. Or rather, they are the stars of the day.
“Hurray to the Light Hero!”
“Sun Knight Order, Hurray!”
“Sakurai-sama~, please look over here~!”
“The Holy Swordsman is also wonderful!”
High Pitched Cheers were flying around.
“Man, it’s quite a ruckus, huh.”
“Let’s have a party of our own.”
We were sitting at a large table that Fuji-yan and Nina-san had arranged for us, with lots of food and drinks.
After Sakurai-kun defeated the Taboo Dragon, I met up with Lucy and Sa-san.
Lucy went, “What the heck! You can even use Monarch Rank Magic!?” and pressed me for answers.
“My identity as ……,” she mumbled, but you only have Monarch Rank Skill, you can’t use it.
There were many injured members of the Sun Knights, but with the help of the Adventurer’s Guild, they managed to leave the dungeon safely.
The monsters of the Great Labyrinth have settled down, and the labyrinth city has returned to peace.
And so it connects to the current banquet.
“By the way, who’s that guy who’s been making speeches?”
It’s not someone from the adventurer’s guild, and it’s not a merchant.
“This is a nobleman from Highland. Was it the Prime Minister’s aide? Master.”
“Yes. He’s a member of the prince’s faction, and he was supposed to report to the kingdom if Sakurai-dono failed in his mission to defeat the prince, but I guess he lost his chance and is now doing this job.”
Fujiyan smiled wickedly. He really knows everything.
“But Makoto also helped out in the subjugation of the Taboo Dragon, didn’t he? I don’t like it when the Sun Knight Order takes all the credit.”
“Not really. Sakurai-dono told the adventurer’s guild about Takki-dono’s activities. I’m sure the guild will contact Takki-dono sooner or later.”
“How come you get that information faster than me?”
I retorted while munching on ale and fried chicken.
“Well, I am not the main lead here,” I said, tapping my classmate on the shoulder as I chomped on the food.
Sa-san turned around with meat on her mouth and a glass of wine in her hand.
She eats and drinks a lot. Even though she has a small body.
“Congratulations on defeating the Harpy Queen, Sa-san.”
“Yes, thank you. It was all thanks to everyone……, especially Takatsuki-kun.”
“That’s not true.”
“But if I hadn’t met Takatsuki-kun in the dungeon, I would have been ……”
Sa-san wrapped her hands around my arms and waist as she spoke.
Recently she has been touching my body more often than ever before.
I wonder if it’s a Lamia trait? Or maybe she’s just drunk.
“Wait wait! Aya, you’re too close to Makoto!”
“Not really. It’s always been like this. Right, Takatsuki-kun?”
“Y-Yeah. By the way ……, what are you going to do now Aya?”
“Now that you mention it, the sister who betrayed the Lamia tribe is out there somewhere, isn’t she?”
If Sa-san is going to be exploring the dungeon, I plan on tagging with her.
“About that, I don’t think she’s here. To be honest, the Great Labyrinth is a tough environment for a mere Lamia to live in alone.”
According to Sa-san, the Upper Floor is too crowded with human adventurers, and the middle and lower floors were too difficult for a Lamia to survive on her own, so she might have fled somewhere else.
“Takatsuki-kun and the others are going back to the city of Makkaren, right? Is it okay for me to go with you?”
“It’s natural! We’re a party!”
Lucy said before me. So manly.
“Looking forward to working with you, Sa-san.”
“Takki-dono. I am a part of this party, aren’t I~?”
“Master, master. It’s rare to see you drunk.”
Nina-san told me that Fuji-yan had been worried all the time because he had to stay behind by himself.
“Come on, Fuji-yan. We’re partners.”
“Oh! Partners! That sounds nice!”
“You guys are as close as ever.”
Sa-san was laughing as if she was amazed.
“By the way, how did Light Hero-sama slew the Taboo Dragon? Makato was able to see it up close, right?”
“Yeah, his sword shone, and the enemy has torn apart in an instant.”
“Be a bit more detailed, …….”
It was finished in an instant, I couldn’t see.
“Oh, this pasta is delicious.”
“Now, Sasaki-sama. It’s a big plate, you have to take a portion before eating.”
We were moderately drunk and excited.
The big shot from the Sun Nation shouted out loud.
“Adventurer of Makkaren, Takatsuki Makoto. Be honored, Princess Noel has given you a word of gratitude. You may come forward!”
The adventurers of the Labyrinth City all turned to look at me at once.
Ahh, ……, I sobered up. I have no good memories of the princess.
“Takatsuki Makoto, an adventurer of Makkaren. Don’t keep Princess Noel waiting!”
You don’t need to call me by my full name, I can hear you.
“Do I have to go?”
I tried asking my friends.
“Of course you have to! This is the princess of the largest kingdom on the continent we are talking about!”
“Takatsuki-sama. you must not make a careless mistake.”
“Since Sakurai-dono is there, I’m sure he’ll follow up.”
Okay, I guess I should go.
Sa-san, who was chewing on roast beef, waved at me.
(Damn, thinking it’s someone else’s problem.)
With heavy footsteps, I headed to the corner where the knights and nobles were gathering. Something about the tables and the food was completely different from the ones at the Hero Tavern.
On the elaborately designed tables, there were expensive-looking bottles of liquor and elegant dishes.
Can I have some of that?
“Oh, Sakurai-kun. I was called here for some reason.”
“I told Princess Noel about Takatsuki-kun, and she said she’d love to meet you.”
(So it’s your fault!)
I looked at him with a resentful look. “Sorry, sorry,” he apologized, and I was brought in front of a noble-looking woman. Next to her is the old man who’s been in charge of this place for a while now.
If I remember correctly, he’s the assistant to the Prime Minister?
“You are Takatsuki Makoto, huh. Hmph, that’s no attire to appear in front of a princess.”
What is this old man saying, after calling me out of the blue? This old man.
“What is your profession?”
“…… I’m an apprentice magician.”
I am a Spirit User, which is a skill, not a profession.
So, I spoke what was written in my Soul Book.
“Apprentice, you say! You are not one of the heroes who came from another world? Such a lowborn thing……”
“Robert, I called him. Refrain yourself.”
“Yes, my apologies.”
The old man who was called Robert stepped back reluctantly.
I don’t think I can get along with this guy.
“Nice to meet you, Makoto-san. I am Noel Altena Highland, Sun Priestess. Your help in the subjugation of the Taboo Dragon was greatly appreciated.”
Her clear voice was as pleasant to the ear as the sound of a musical instrument. She has beautiful blonde hair and big blue eyes.
A princess drawn in painting was right in front of me.
“I’m Takatsuki Makoto. Thank you for your praise and ……. But Sakurai-kun was the one who defeated the Taboo Dragon by himself.”
“That’s not true. Thanks to Takatsuki-kun, there was no single casualty.”
Sakurai-kun came from the side.
“Oh my, you two get along well.”
Princess Noel was smiling.
Her smile was charming and reminded me of the idols of my previous world.
I heard that she was a candidate for the highest power in the largest country on this continent, but she was more friendly than I had imagined.
I’m sure she must be popular with the people.
“I would like to thank you formally at some point. But for now, I’ll just say hello.”
“Uhm, ……..I am honored.”
No good, I don’t know what to say.
Sakurai-kun! Help me.
I glanced at my classmate.
“Princess Noel, he is a skilled mage. How about inviting him as a guest to Highland?”
No! That’s not what I meant, Sakurai-kun. Read the mood!
“It’s rare for Ryousuke-sama to say such a thing. But he is a citizen of the Water Nation. Sophia-sama will scold us if we were to take him home without permission. Isn’t that right, Sophia-sama?”
Oh, yeah, there she is.
I glanced over and saw that Princess Sophia, the priestess of the Water Goddess, was standing there.
“Yes, he’s a citizen of my country. Nice to meet you, Takatsuki Makoto. Thank you for your hard work on this occasion.”
This girl, has she forgotten about me?
Well, I guess a princess can’t remember every single person she met once before.
“How insolent! You’re in the presence of Princess Sophia! Kneel down!”
The knight next to me shouted at me as I pondered whether I should say hello to her.
The guardian knight of the priestess of the Water Goddess. Oh, this guy too? It’s been a while. He’s still shouting as loud as ever.
(But, ……, maybe it’s not allowed to stand in front of the princess?)
I glanced at Princess Noel.
” Today is the formality-free day,” she said, laughing.
Hmm, how generous. Princess Noel has a lot of flexibility. On the other hand, ……
Princess Sophia continues without smiling.
“It’s okay, Takatsuki Makoto. I’ve heard that you are an excellent magician. I shall grant you the divine protection of our Goddess. You will be welcomed as a guardian magician of our prestigious Water Nation.”
(What? What the hell is she talking about?)
“You should be grateful for Princess Sophia’s kindness! From today on, I’ll be disciplining you.”
The haughty knight next to her is saying something.
–Ah, it’s pissing me off.
You guys gave up on me back then, didn’t you?
I wanted the Goddess’s protection from the bottom of my heart, but you told me ‘not enough training’ and left.
You took one look at me and said, “some other time,” and forgot about me, didn’t you?
And now you’re just going to show up and bestow protection on me?
My anger from two years ago flared up again.
“I shall pass.”
Princess Sofia’s guardian knight came close to me.
“You bastard, do you even understand your position?”
“Takatsuki Makoto. What is it you are unsatisfied about?”
Ah, these people. Really, naïve.
“Two years ago, when I desperately expressed my desire to become a believer of the Water Goddess, you didn’t pay attention to me, but now you want me to become one? That’s a very selfish thing to say.”
These words came out of my mouth involuntarily.
Wrong. These people are royalty and aristocracy, and they are important.
This is not Japan, but a different world ruled by royalty.
So it’s natural for them to be selfish, and it’s not a good idea to go against the royalty.
But I just couldn’t bring myself to shake my tail and become one of them.
“……, could you possibly be…”
Princess Sofia seemed to have remembered something.
“You bastard! How dare you speak with such tone to Princess Sophia! Don’t think you can stay in the Water Nation.”
The knight next to her threatens me in a straightforward way.
“Then, I’ll leave. Like hell, I’m going to work for you guys.”
(Aah, I said it.)
I went too far…
(Oh my god, Makoto. You have quite a temper.)
I know, right? I was too immature, Goddess-sama.
“Oh? Takatsuki-san. If you have nowhere else to go, Highland is always ready to welcome you.”
Princess Noel suggested smilingly. That might not be a bad idea.
Princess Sophia next to me looked a little displeased.
“Takatsuki-kun, ……. If you are troubled by anything, you can always tell me.”
“Yeah, ……, thank you, Sakurai-kun.”
I bowed lightly to Princess Noel and Sakurai-kun.
I did not make eye contact with Princess Sophia or the knight next to her, and I left.
(Hmmm, did I mess up ……)
With somewhat heavy steps, I returned to the others.
When I returned to our table, Nina-san and Lucy spoke to me with a dumbfounded and worried look on their faces.
So these two with good ears heard me.
“Takki-dono. I heard you were rude to Princess Sophia…….”
“No, Fuji-yan. I messed up.”
I responded with “hahaha”.
“Takatsuki-kun, eat something sweet and calm down.”
Sa-san recommended a cake. There was such a thing, I didn’t know that.
“I was surprised. I didn’t expect Takatsuki-sama to be so angry.”
“But, two years ago, when he was desperate to ask for the blessing, they brushed him aside. And now they forgot that and even asked him to join them? You had every right to be angry!”
Lucy is emotional, but she’s always there for me.
I appreciate that.
“Takki-dono. Are you going to leave Makkaren and move to the Sun Nation?”
Fuji-yan said sadly.
“Haah, I was told to leave by the Princess’s bodyguard, …….”
“Are you going to Sakurai-kun’s country?”
Sa-san is eating a donut and a pancake. Aren’t you eating too many sweets?
“I have no other choice.”
“Then, I am going there, too.”
Hmm? I looked at Sa-san.
“Why are you looking at me like that? I am the one who has no other choice but to go with Takatsuki-kun.”
She gulped down the wine with a look that said, “It’s obvious.”
Donuts and wine don’t mix together.
“Hmm~, Highland huh……”
Lucy made a complicated expression.
“Lucy, are you against going to Sun Nation?”
“Takatsuki-sama, the Sun Nation has a human supremacy policy. It’s a country where elves like Lucy-sama and beast-kin like me would find it difficult to live.”
Eh? Is that so? I didn’t know that.
“The demi-humans and beastkin are treated inferior to the human race in Highland. I don’t like it that much. Unlike other nations, Rozes have a low level of discrimination, which I like.”
“So you’ve taken your hobby over your business, Fuji-yan?”
A friend that doesn’t break character.
“Nina-san, you don’t like Highland?”
“The nobles and merchants in that country are quick to sexually harass beast-eared people. Even so, I cannot ignore the customers, so I have to be careful.”
Hmmm. It seems that Nina-san does not have a good impression of Highland either.
“Moreover, if a Lamia like Sasaki-dono were to be exposed, it would be an instant loss. You will definitely be hunted down.”
“I see. ……. Now that you mention it, is it bad if my belief in evil gods is also discovered there?”
“””It’s bad no matter where you go.”””
The three of them, except for Sa-san, retorted.
Oh, I see. ……
“When I think about it, I’m going to miss Lucas-san, Marie-san, and the skewer owner. I’ll also miss Jean and Emily …….”
“Rethinking about leaving the country?”
Fuji-yan asked hopefully.
“Hmmm, should I bow down to Princess Sophia …..”
After daring so much, I was very hesitant. Should I ask Sakurai-kun to do it? No, but… While I was pondering such a thing.
“Hey, that was a tough one back there.”
The one who came was Sakurai-kun, our fresh and handsome hero.
This bastard! Whose fault do you think I am suffering from!
“Sakurai-kun, you called me to the weird gathering, and I got into great trouble. What will you do about it?”
For now, I’ll just accuse him with a blank stare.
There’s Yokoyama-san at the side of Sakurai-kun, positioned in a way as if hiding from us.
“It’s okay. If you enter the Sun Knight Order, I will do my best to help you.”
Sakurai-kun smirked. What do you mean, I don’t know what you’re talking about?
“I’ll never join.”
The Sun Knight Order is in essence an army, right?
I’ve always been a go-home club member, so there’s no way I’m joining a group that’s the pinnacle of athletics!
Stop it! I’m confident I’ll drop out in a day.
“T-Takatsuki-kun. Thank you for …… today.”
Yokoyama-san bowed to me. It’s rare for her to talk to me.
Or rather, is she a little frightened of me?
“I didn’t do anything big.”
“W-What are you saying? You used Monarch Magic that only a handful of people in Highland can use, and you were the second biggest contributor to the defeat of the Taboo Dragon.”
A lot of people pointed out that, but I need to prepare for seven days before I could use it once.
“Well, leaving that aside, do you need anything? Sakurai-kun.”
“Yes. In fact, the Great Sage-sama wants to meet Takatsuki-kun ……, or rather, the Spirit User.”
“W-Wow! The Great Sage-sama, who rarely appears in public! You did it, Makoto.”
Lucy was as happy as if it were her.
“Ehh, ……, I don’t want to see any more big shots. Can I pass?”
I had a bad experience earlier. I was partly to blame, though.
“Takki-dono, ……. The Great Sage-sama is said to be the third most powerful person in Highland. It is best to accept it honestly…..”
“Takatsuki-sama, ……. The Great Sage-sama is currently in a higher position than Princess Noel.”
My comrades were pressuring me. I really have to go, huh.
“Do I have to go alone?”
“No, she said it’s okay if you come with your friends.”
“Okay, Lucy and Sa-san. We’ll go together.”
I don’t feel safe going alone.
“Are you sure? Yay!” Lucy was jumping with joy.
“Eeh, that’s too much trouble. I am fine.” Sa-san made a disapproving face.
“You can’t say that. You’ll have to come.” “Ehh, that’s tyranny!”
I’m going to drag my friend, who’s been eating lazily all day, into this.
“What about you, Fuji-yan?
“Hmmm, ……, I’d like to meet her, but I can’t leave this table empty, so I’ll stay.”
“Takatsuki-sama, don’t pick a fight with the Great Sage-sama.”
“I won’t do that. ……”
Nina-san gave me a worried look. This is the face of an older sister staring at her hopeless brother.
Then we’re taken by Sakurai-kun to the Sun Knight Order’s base.
—-Part III end—