Chapter 5: Makoto Takatsuki chooses
–In this world, there are two types of heroes.
The first one is the hero chosen by the Goddess.
Sakurai-kun, ‘Light Hero’, and Prince Leonard, ‘Glacial Hero’.
They are the ones who were given the “Hero” skill by the Goddess.
The second one is the heroes chosen by the country. They are commonly referred to as “Country designated Heroes”.
These are often chosen from adventurers and knights who serve the country.
In the Fire Nation, the winner of the annual martial arts tournament is said to be the “Fire Nation Hero.”
The purpose is to keep a strong person in the country. Currently, there are no country-designated heroes in Water Nation. Well, I didn’t pay attention to it as it was irrelevant to me. ……
I returned to my senses. My thoughts were dwindling and I was confused.
“M-Me, a Hero? But …….”
It was unexpected. I thought it would be a prize or a title at most.
A Hero is a symbol of peace in a country. Therefore, losing is not allowed. That responsibility is heavy,…….
“This is not forced.”
Ohh? Is that so? I assumed I would be forced to take it.
If so, then I should refuse ……
“If you become the Hero, ‘Lodging expense’, ‘Food expense’, and ‘ Equipment expense’ will all be paid by the Water Nation.”
S-Seriously! Wow! Just like a Japanese politician!
“And we’ll also give you 10 million Gs every year as provision money.”
Even an annual salary!? I’m starting to get a little scared.
What will they make me do? Country designated Hero.
“In principle, Heroes are required to participate in the plan to defeat the Great Demon Lord. Currently, it would be the ‘Northern Expedition Plan’. But for the time being, there’s nothing you should force yourself to do.”
Eh? Is that so? Isn’t that too lenient?
I am curious as to what the “Northern Expedition Plan” is.
“Also, I would have preferred you to reside in the Royal Capital of Horun, but since you like Makkaren, you may stay there. In the meantime, we have prepared lodging for heroes in the royal castle as well.”
This is truly perfect. To think they would go this far.
It’s just that …… I’m an apostle of Goddess Noah. To become a hero of Water Nation, I have to convert to the Water Goddess, right? …… I can’t do that, I should refuse.
(Makoto. You can accept it. I’ll talk to the water goddess myself.)
Eh? How can you do that? The Holy Gods are enemies, aren’t they?
(Leave it to me. Water Goddess Eir is a girl you can reason with, so there’s no need to be converted.”
Do the Gods have their association with each other? I don’t understand that well.
But still, …… I didn’t expect Noah-sama to give me permission.
I turned around and looked at Lucy and Sa-san. Lucy’s eyes were moist with emotion. Sa-san was smiling as usual. I don’t think she knows what’s going on.
Nina-san and Chris-san looked surprised.
Fuji-yan has a difficult look on his face. Is he against it?
(Hey, he just shook his head, didn’t he?)
He didn’t seem to be against it. Is there something bothering him?
“Takatsuki Makoto, ……. I’m not asking you to answer right away. It’s fine if you take your time to consider it.”
Princess Sophia is too kind! What’s going on here? It’s just …….
“I’ll return and consider it.”
～A few days later…
“I’ve thought it over, but I’m going to decline.”
Yeah, it’s impossible. It’s just too rude. If I refuse, it’s now or never. In other words, if I am going to answer, now is the time.
The “RPG Player” skill was activated.
[Will you become the Water Nation’s Hero?]
Looking at the choice, I felt a vague emotion and memory well up in my mind.
It was the game I had loved when I was a child. The game was a remake of a famous RPG game.
The protagonist was a hero.
He was given a small amount of gold and a torch by the king and set out on a journey. He had no friends.
All alone, he defeated demons, raised his level, confronted dragons, saved the princess, defeated the demon king, and saved the world. It was cool. As a kid, I wanted to be a hero.
Now I’m a high school student, and I don’t think it’s childish to want to be a hero.
(……, no, I guess not.)
When I first came to the other world. I was jealous of my classmates and Sakurai-kun.
I was jealous of those guys who had powerful status and skills.
Seeing them being recruited by the important people of the country and leaving the temple one after another, I was so jealous that I couldn’t sleep at night. I even stayed up all night to practice my magic proficiency.
It was a painful time of training at the Water Temple.
(…… It was a while back, but it feels nostalgic.)
In front of me was a beautiful princess with a beautiful face. The person who did not give me a blessing at the time. That princess is asking me to be the hero.
I will be fully supported. The nation will provide me with plenty of money and equipment. There are reliable comrades. And there’s even a Goddess to give me hints when I’m in trouble.
I’m much better off than the hero of that game.
( Wasn’t an isekai a trash game. ……? )
No, wait. The important thing is that I’m not really strong. Don’t get me wrong. I am an Apprentice Mage who can only use beginner-level magic. The main character of the game had the bloodline of a hero.
That’s why he’s strong enough to defeat the Demon Lord all by himself. He’s not like me.
But ……, you can be a hero, you know? Aren’t you going to regret turning it down?
…………………… No good.
I can’t get my thoughts together. My mind is a mess.
…… At a time such as this, I…
“Y-yes. What is it?”
Princess Sophia is making a nervous face.
I didn’t have a good impression of her when I first met her, but it has changed a lot.
[Will you become Water Nation’s Hero?]
“I gratefully accept the title of hero.”
–I made my choice.
“……! Is that so? Then, from today, you are the ‘Hero of Rozes’.”
Princess Sophia smiled a little when she heard the reply.
–If in doubt about the choice, choose the one that seems more difficult.
(Because the payoff will be greater that way, right?)
Always choose the one that’s more fun. It’s my gameplay rule.
After the hero appointment ceremony. Princess Sophia approached me.
. …… It’s a bit embarrassing to be called Hero Makoto, my body feels a bit itchy.
“Yes, Princess Sophia.”
“I’d like to talk to you later. Can you please come to my room?”
“Y-Yes, I understand.”
What is it? Will she be lecturing me on how to be a Hero? It’s likely …….
“Makoto! A Hero, that’s great!”
“Yeah, but it’s more like a hired Hero, you know?”
“It’s amazing! This the best of days.”
Lucy and Chris-san praised me immensely. It makes me feel just how important Heroes are in this world.
“Takatsuki-kun, you did it!”
My classmate, Sa-san, is …… like that. Yup, you don’t know any better.
“Takki-dono ……, did something happen between you and Princess Sophia?”
Fuji-yan asked me something strange.
“What do you mean?”
“No, it’s just that drastic change in Princess Sophia’s heart. ……”
Change of heart? What do you mean? I do think her attitude has softened a bit.
“Takatsuki-sama, Takatsuki-sama. You’ve been invited by Princess Sophia, haven’t you? Please be careful this time so you don’t make a mess. ……”
Nina-san with her great ears warned me.
“This time? What do you mean, Nina?”
“Takatsuki-sama had a fight with Princess Sophia in the Great Labyrinth.”
Hey, hey, Nina-san. I won’t say anything like that anymore. I’m an adult now.
“Hero-dono! Congratulations on your promotion!”
A sudden loud voice spoke to me from behind. It was the former guardian knight old man.”
“I’m glad you’re doing well, old man.”
“Ha! Your words are wasted on me.”
“…… Can you stop that tone of voice?”
I’d prefer you to act like a big shot like before. It’s unsettling.
“But we have to be clear about the difference in our positions. ……”
This old man is very sports-minded. Very strict about hierarchy. He’s also very serious.
In fact, many people in Water Nation are serious people. I’m sorry that I got him out of his position as a Guardian Knight. I should ask Princess Sophia to restore it.
“Makoto-san, from now on, let’s work together as Water Nation’s Heroes.”
“Prince Leonard. Yes, I look forward to working with you.”
That’s right. I have to be a Hero to protect this nation together with him. I should do my best.
“Let me show you to my sister’s room.”
“Please don’t, we can’t have the Prince be the guide! Let us do it for you.”
A lot of people from all over the castle gathered.
In the end, one of the knights guided me to the room.
“Princess Sophia! Makoto-sama, Water Nation’s hero, is here!”
“Let him pass.”
The guard in front of Princess Sophia’s room called out, and a clear voice came back.
“Excuse the intrusion. ……”
I was the only one allowed into Princess Sophia’s room.
When I entered, Princess Sophia was waiting alone. So it was just the two of us.
“Please take a seat.”
A glass table with expensive decorations was lined with cookies and other sweets.
Next to it, there was a teapot and two teacups. The Princess made a pot of tea with an unfamiliar hand. …… I wonder if the Princess does this kind of work herself?
Isn’t this usually the work of a maid or something? I sat down on a fluffy chair.
Unlike the benches at the adventurer’s guild in Makkaren, I felt restless.
When I picked up the cup, a sweet scent like muscat wafted out.
“Here you go.”
I sipped a little of the brewed tea. It’s …… a delicate taste.
Must be a top-quality product. It’s delicious, but I can’t tell the difference in flavors.
Princess Sophia looked at me with piercing eyes.
I straightened my back.
“Thank you very much for the assistance. Also, forgive me for my rudeness at the Water Temple.
She bowed her head deeply. ………… Eh?
“Umm, …… Princess Sophia. It’s okay, I don’t mind what happened in the past anymore.”
Having the Princess lower her head so deeply, I could only feel guilty.
“You have a big heart.”
Princess Sophia raised her head and smiled a little. I like it better this way.
“You look better when you smile.”[TN: Smooooth]
Ah, shit. I said it out loud.
“Ah, no. Sorry about that. ……
Ahhhh, I feel like I screwed up the conversation. She glared at me again.
Her face seems to be a little red. …… Is she embarrassed? No way.
“By the way, is it okay for someone like me to be a Hero?”
Let’s change the subject.
“You defeated the Taboo Monster and saved the capital. It was a monster that Leo, the hero, could not defeat. Of course, you would be a hero.”
“That was something that I and Princess Sophia took down together, right?”
“Two of us ……, yes. Do you feel overwhelmed?”
“No no, I will get stronger so that I can live up as a Hero.”
Noah-sama taught me how to use spirit magic.
So I should be okay if I can become strong enough to take down the Giant by myself.
“Then, I am counting on you.”
“Yeah, Leave it to me.”
Princess Sophia smiled a bit. Yep, she looks cuter when she smiles.
“By the way, Hero Makoto. About my guardian knight, …… if it’s okay with you …….can you”
Ah, right. I have to tell her this.
“Princess Sophia . Can you please return that former guardian knight to his original post? It seems that he had to move because of me.”
“…………………………, I understand.”
Hm? She seems somewhat displeased. Did I say something strange? I didn’t, did I?
Noah-sama? Why the big sigh?
(You don’t understand a woman’s heart.)
I-Is that so? The Guardian Knight Old man’s defense was amazing.
(That’s not what I meant.)
…… What do you mean then? Let’s ask Fuji-yan about it later.
Princess Sophia was glaring at me, looking a little sulky in front of me.
However, her eyes are not as cold and condescending as before.
“Leo wanted to talk to you. I heard that you’ve been called to Sun Nation, Highland, but there’s still sometime before your due date. Please stay here for a while.”
Well, originally we were talking about going to Sun Nation, weren’t we? As a result, I’ve become a Hero and I am thinking of learning more about the Water Nation.
Our conversation stopped. We stared at each other in silence.
Umm, I guess that means the conversation is over. However, it was easier than I thought.
I wonder if I should close the distance a little more as Noah-sama said.
From now on, we’ll be working together, and Princess Sophia is my boss. I offered my right hand.
” ……well, what are you doing?
“I’m looking forward to working with you.”
After I held out my hand, I suddenly realized that it would be impolite to ask the Royal Family for a handshake.
But I can’t pull it back now.
After a few moments of hesitation, Princess Sophia responded. She grasped my hand strongly. It was a little …… painful. We kept staring at each other while holding hands for a while.
” Thank you very much for the tea.”
Letting go of her hand, I left the room. Hmmm, this is complicated. I’ll have to talk to Fujiyan about how to deal with noblewomen next time. Upon exiting Princess Sophia’s room, the guards in front of the door closed it.
–Bafuu! And then I heard a sound as if someone had dived into the bed inside.
I couldn’t help but look at the guard.
“Sophia-sama. Can I help you?”
The guard called out.
“It is nothing.”
Princess Sophia replied in a cold voice. Was it my imagination?
I greeted the guards and returned to where my friends were.
—Part I end—
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