“Hey, why are we leaving? Aren’t they your acquaintances? Won’t you meet and talk to them?” (Lucy)
“We are not that close. I think they have already forgotten about me.” (Makoto)
We left the place of the Sunshine Knights with quick feet.
It is true that I am not that acquainted with the Light Hero, Sakurai Kun.
But close by, I saw the face of someone I didn’t like.
The Water Oracle, Sofia Rozes.
The woman that glanced at me once and decided that I have no talent.
But to think that even the princess of the Water Country Rozes would come as well.
Looks like it must be a fairly big matter.
“Hey hey, did you see? That was quite the gathering of big shots, wasn’t it? There was even the princess!” (Lucy)
“You are not giving a good reaction there. The one in the number one spot to inherit the throne of the Sun Country, Princess Noel. She had quite the aura.” (Lucy)
“Eh? There was someone like that?” (Makoto)
“What are you saying?! She stood out a lot!” (Lucy)
Hooh. I had my eyes taken by the Water Oracle.
Now that she mentions it, there was an extravagantly dressed woman close to her.
But why are there two princesses in this small city?
“Well, that’s fine. It doesn’t have anything to do with us. Let’s go to the bar we are supposed to meet up in!” (Lucy)
“Before that, let’s go to the guild and turn the Minotaur into money.” (Makoto)
“Leave that for later! I am hungry!” (Lucy)
“Alright alright, got it.” (Makoto)
I am also in the mood for a drink.
Let’s meet up with Fuji-yan.
We soon found the Hero Bar.
Rather than calling it a bar, it was more of a gigantic beer garden.
There are tables and chairs here and they are set in an open-space.
What a rough bar.
There’s adventurers drinking around the place.
Maybe there’s not enough chairs, some are sitting on the ground.
It is a festival, this is the venue of a festival.
“Takatsuki-sama~! Lucy-sama~! Over here~!”
Nina-san was hopping up and down with her long ears shaking to the sides as she waved her hand.
“I heard you defeated a Minotaur already! As expected of you guys-desu zo!” (Fujiwara)
There was already a mountain of food placed on the table Fuji-yan was sitting in.
“The speed you get your information, as impressive as ever.” (Makoto)
“Waah, this is delicious!” (Lucy)
Lucy is munching on a giant bread and bacon.
I ordered ale and took a seat.
“What were you doing, Fuji-yan?” (Makoto)
“I was negotiating a fixed schedule for the travels of the Flying Ship.” (Fujiwara)
“I see. Did it go well?” (Makoto)
“No problems-desu zo. First I plan on connecting Makkaren, then Laberintos, the Water Country’s capital, and then the Sun Country’s capital.” (Fujiwara)
“Makkaren seems to be out of place within those.” (Lucy)
Lucy really says things straight.
“It was the strong push of Christiana-dono.” (Fujiwara)
“Can’t go against your sponsor, huh.” (Makoto)
Must be rough.
“Ah, by the way, I heard that Sakurai-dono has come to this city-desu zo.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan says that while munching on a big boned piece of meat.
“I saw him just now. He had an expensive-looking armor.” (Makoto)
“Ooh! The rumoured Light Hero-sama?! Takatsuki-sama and Goshujin-sama are acquainted with him, right?!” (Nina)
Even Nina-san has her eyes glittering.
Does everyone like heroes that much?
“Takki-dono, it is true that a hero is a skill that’s popular among people, but Sakurai-dono is famous because he is the Light Hero-desu zo.” (Fujiwara)
“Is it different from the other heroes?” (Makoto)
I drink the ale that has become slightly lukewarm as I ask this.
“Makoto, are you seriously saying that?” (Lucy)
“Takatsuki-sama, that’s a bit too lacking in common knowledge.” (Nina)
The two girls retorted.
Huh? I am the weird one?
“The ones who hold the Skill of Hero are normally affiliated under the country. The Glacial Hero of the Water Country, Rozes; the Blaze Hero of the Fire Country Great Keith; and the Wind Tree Hero of the Wood Country, Spring Log; are the famous ones.” (Fujiwara)
“There’s in general at least one person with the Skill of Hero in each nation, and they receive the highest of treatments.” (Lucy)
“I see. That’s envying.” (Makoto)
“But you see, there has only been one Light Hero until now.” (Nina)
I thought it was a famous Skill.
It is a Skill even I know.
“The Savior Abel. The Skill only he had. That’s the Light Hero-desu zo.” (Fujiwara)
“Now he is the second.” (Nina)
“Makoto, no one has had the Light Hero Skill in 1,000 years since Savior Abel-sama.” (Lucy)
“Huuh…I see.” (Makoto)
No wonder he is gathering attention.
No one has had it for 1,000 years.
Moreover, the Skill of the person that saved the world.
“At the time when we came to this world, the ownership of the Light Hero was apparently claimed by the Water Country. They were the first ones to shelter him after all. And so, they say that the Sun Country put pressure on them and stole him away.” (Fujiwara)
“Hoh, something like that happened at the back, huh.” (Makoto)
I didn’t know.
“I am surprised you know something like that, Fuji-yan.” (Makoto)
“It is something I learned after becoming a merchant-desu zo. In exchange for giving up the Sun Hero, the Water Country Rozes apparently gained the right to freely scout the remaining otherworldlers.” (Fujiwara)
And the one in charge of that was the Water Oracle, huh.
She certainly was looking at us pretty intently.
“Thanks to that, the Lightning Hero has had his standing worsen.” (Lucy)
“Right now, the Hero Sakurai-sama is engaged with Princess Noel after all.” (Nina)
“Eh? Seriously?” (Makoto)
That’s what’s been happening with Sakurai-kun?
“Moreover, there’s rumors that the Water Oracle, Sofia-sama, is also engaged with him.” (Lucy)
Meaning that he has the princesses of 2 countries after him?
I now know the reason there’s 2 princesses at a place like this.
“Ha! The main character of this world is Sakurai-kun, I see.” (Makoto)
I gulped down my second mug of ale.
“It is not all sunshine and rainbows-desu zo.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan says with a bitter smile.
“I heard that the Highland Princes are aiming for his life. That’s just rumors though.” (Nina)
“Well, if you get the position of king taken away by a guy that suddenly appeared…” (Lucy)
“Aah, I see. Of course there would be a lot of political strife.” (Makoto)
“Our classmates Yokoyama-shi and Kawamoto-shi seem to be having it hard too.” (Fujiwara)
The girls around Sakurai-kun, huh.
With their rivals being princesses, it must be rough.
“There’s rumors that the Taboo Dragon subjugation is part of a conspiracy by the Anti-Light Hero faction.” (Fujiwara)
“Where did you hear that rumor?” (Lucy)
“Fuji-yan gets information way too fast.” (Makoto)
It is a shocking information network.
After that, we talked about how we fought the Minotaur in the Water Dungeon.
How in the past Nina-san had gone to the Mid Floor of Laberintos.
The fact that the Hero Bar actually purchases a massive amount of liquor from the Fujiwara Store.
We were caught in the atmosphere of the surroundings and drank a whole lot.
Maybe I drank too much?, is what I thought as I sipped on my water, and then…
“Is this seat free?”
That man appeared out of nowhere like the wind.
A refreshing voice like a wind chime.
Lucy and Nina-san had their eyes wide in shock.
“This is surprising”, Fuji-yan said.
“We were talking about you just now”, is what I said.
“It has been a while, Takatsuki-kun, Fujiwara-kun.”
The one who appeared was the target of attention from the whole continent, the Light Hero, Sakurai Ryosuke.
- Chapter 37: Sakurai-kun doesn’t change
“It has been a while.”
Sakurai-kun takes a seat without waiting for our approval.
His attire is different from the one of before, simple clothing that looks like that of a commoner.
But clothes that don’t have a single spec of dust or wrinkles stick out like a sore thumb in this bar with a lot of dirty adventurers.
“L-Light Her—Mgh?!” (Lucy)
Lucy was about to shout out loud, so I hurriedly covered her mouth.
“N-Nice to meet you… I am honored to be able to meet you.” (Nina)
Nina-san is letting out a rare nervous voice.
“I am surprised you could tell that we were here.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan speaks out the natural question.
“I had a report that the Fujiwara Store had given us Knight Order a great amount of supplies, you see.” (Sakurai)
“Fuji-yan, you were even doing something like that?” (Makoto)
“It was simply a bribe. The Sun Knight Order is the largest army of the continent. There’s no loss in getting along with them.” (Fujiwara)
Is ‘bribe’ something you say while laughing?
I wonder if Fuji-yan seriously is the same age as me.
“There’re many members who are big fans of the whisky of Makkaren. This contribution is greatly appreciated.” (Sakurai)
Sakurai-kun says with a refreshing smile.
“To think even Takatsuki-kun is here. I am glad I made the time.” (Sakurai)
“Y-Yeah, it has been a while. You are looking good.” (Makoto)
He is slapping my shoulder like an american, celebrating our reunion.
Each gesture of his really stands out.
He really hasn’t changed at all.
“I heard that you came here to subjugate a Taboo Dragon?” (Makoto)
“That’s right. They pushed a troublesome job to me just because I am a newbie knight.” (Sakurai)
The Light Hero says this with a slightly troubled expression.
“It should be easy for you, Sakurai-kun, right?” (Makoto)
“That’s not true. I just arrived today. Right! If you know Laberintos well, Takatsuki-kun, will you guide us?” (Sakurai)
“Alright! We will do i—MGH?!” (Lucy)
Lucy was about to make a mistake here, so I once again covered her mouth.
“We just arrived today as well. I am sorry, but I don’t think we will be of help.” (Makoto)
“I see, that’s a shame.” (Sakurai)
There’s no way he was seriously asking for us to guide him, right?
After that, we listened to the stories about his pains as a hero which Fuji-yan pulled out from him with his speaking ability.
It was for around 15 minutes, I think.
At the end, ‘I have some other business, so see you later’, is what he said and left.
What did he come here for?
He didn’t drink one sip.
Did he come here to have a casual talk?
“Man, that was nerve-wracking.” (Nina)
Nina-san who was stiff from nervousness says this.
“What’s that about ‘maybe he doesn’t remember me’?! You were crazy friendly with each other!” (Lucy)
Lucy was super excited.
“Well now, that was surprising.” (Fujiwara)
“Were you close with Sakurai-kun, Fuji-yan?” (Makoto)
“No, not at all-desu zo. Isn’t he close to you, Takki-dono?” (Fujiwara)
“There’s no way that’s the case.” (Makoto)
I have never spoken to him in class.
“Makoto! Why did you refuse to guide him in Laberintos?! What a waste.” (Lucy)
“Are you an idiot? Their objective is to slay a dragon in the Lower Floor. There’s no way we can guide him. Don’t take him seriously.” (Makoto)
“Sakurai-dono seemed like he was somewhat serious though.” (Fujiwara)
“When Goshujin-sama says it, it has convincing power.” (Nina)
It is not like Nina-san knows he can read minds.
“Well, I don’t really understand, but let’s go back to drinking.” (Makoto)
I munch on a fried potato.
It is cold already.
“Why are you so calm…?” (Lucy)
Lucy looked at me with a face of amazement, but I met him everyday at the time when we were classmates, you know.
It isn’t really something to make a fuss about.
“Ah, crap. We haven’t decided where to stay.” (Makoto)
“If that’s the case, there’s no need to worry-desu zo. I have already reserved the lodging of you two.” (Fujiwara)
“Thanks as always.” (Makoto)
Fuji-yan had made reservations in an inn where merchants stay.
The soft futons have a whole lot of feathers in it.
To think there were feathered futons in a parallel world.
The next day, Fuji-yan said he had some negotiations to make and went somewhere with Nina-san.
We should aim to go a bit deeper in our exploration.
Second day of the Laberintos exploration.
“What will the route of today be?” (Lucy)
“Water Cave.” (Makoto)
“Eeh, again?” (Lucy)
“Now now, look at this.” (Makoto)
I showed her the map of the Upper Floor.
“The Grand Waterfall of Laberintos?” (Lucy)
“I heard that it fights for the top spot of the best views in Laberintos.” (Makoto)
“Hoooh… It is popular with couples too. It says that the Adventurer Guild is accepting tours to view the Grand Waterfall… Is this place really a dungeon?” (Lucy)
It is true that if you only look at this, you would think of it as just a touristic spot.
“There’s a lot of monsters lately, so the number of customers is low apparently.” (Makoto)
“Hmm, couples, huh…” (Lucy)
“Lucy, what’s the matter?” (Makoto)
“Eh? No, it is nothing! If Makoto wants to go no matter what, I’ve got no choice but to follow, huh!” (Lucy)
It is now the second time we have been going to the Water Cave since yesterday.
But there’s the chance that Minotaurs are moving around there, so we can’t lower our guards.
The water dungeon is pretty dark and gloomy, but there’s light stones here and there, so the cave itself is being lighted up in a blue hue.
The deeper we go, the bluer it gets, and it turns into a fantastical sight.
(Dungeons are nice.) (Makoto)
The monsters showing up are weak, so we were able to take our time exploring.
Maybe because the Minotaur showed up yesterday in the Water Cave, we didn’t pass by too many adventurers.
We slowly moved forward with my Detection skill on.
I felt an irregularity when we were quite a lot deeper than yesterday.
It is not monsters. Something is following us close behind.
When we changed directions, they would imitate us.
(This is…) (Makoto)
“Lucy”, I whisper.
“We are being followed.” (Makoto)