WM – Chapter 75: Takatsuki Makoto makes a choice

In this world, there are two types of heroes.

The first one is the heroes chosen by the Goddesses.

Sakurai-kun who has the Skill: Light Hero.

Prince Leonard who has the Skill: Glacial Hero.

These are the people that the Goddesses gave the Hero Skills to.

The second one are the heroes chosen by the country.

For this one, the adventurers and knights serving the country are the ones who are apparently the most chosen ones.

In the Fire Country, Great Keith, the winner of the martial arts tournament that is opened every year, becomes the Fire Country’s Hero.

The objective is to keep the strong people in their country.

The Water Country currently doesn’t have a country designated hero.

Well, it didn’t have anything to do with me, so I didn’t pay it any attention, but…

“Takatsuki Makoto?” 

I returned to my senses.

My mind had flown elsewhere for a bit.

“M-Me, a Hero? But…” (Makoto)

To think I would be told this.

I thought that I would be getting money or a peerage at most.

A Hero is the symbol of peace for the country.

Because of that, they are not allowed to lose.

The responsibility is way too big…

“This is not forced.” (Sofia)

Oh? Is that so?

I thought for sure she would be ordering me.

Then, it should be okay to refuse—.

“If you become the Hero, the lodging expenses, food expenses, equipment expenses, will all be shouldered by the Water Country of Rozes.” (Sofia)

Seriously?! 

Wow! It is like a japanese politician! 

“Also, you will be getting 10,000,000G every year as a prearranged payment.” (Sofia)

Even a salary.

I am getting a bit scared now.

What are they gonna make me do as a country designated hero?

“The Hero in principle will have to participate in the subjugation of the Great Demon Lord. Currently, it would be the Northern Expedition Plan. The plan will be taking place from next year on, so this year will simply be preparations. There’s no other plans for any big job.” (Sofia)

Eh? Really?

Isn’t that a bit too lenient?

I am interested in what this Northern Expedition Plan is though.

“Also, regarding your residence, I would like it if you were to live in the capital of Horun, but it seems you like Makkaren, so it is okay to continue staying in Makkaren. We do have a lodging for the Hero in the capital if you so please.” (Sofia)

Truly given everything.

To think they would go this far.

Just that…I am the Apostle of the Goddess Noah.

That would mean I would have to convert into the Water Goddess’s religion in order to become the Water Country’s Hero, right?

…I can’t do that. Let’s refuse.

(Makoto, you can accept if you want. I will speak to the Water Goddess about it.) (Noah)

Eh? You can do that?

Aren’t the Holy Gods the enemy? 

(Leave it to me. The Water Goddess Eir is a girl that you can reason with. It is okay to not be converted.) (Noah)

Do Gods have their associations between each other? I don’t understand that well.

I have been given the okay from the Goddess.

Uhm…

I look at my back.

I look at Lucy and Sa-san.

Lucy seemed to be moved, her eyes were going all damp.

Sa-san is making a face of ‘isn’t that great’.

Nina-san and Chris-san were making faces of surprise and positive smiles.

Fuji-yan being the only one who has his mouth wide open in shock is bothering me a bit though…

“Takatsuki Makoto… I won’t tell you to answer at once. You can take your time and think about it.” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia is way too kind! 

What is going on? 

It is just that…

“I will consider it.” (Makoto)

~ A few days after ~

“I thought about it carefully, but I think I will refuse.” (Makoto)

Yeah, it is impossible.

That would be way too rude…

If I am going to refuse, I have to do it now.

In other words, if I am going to answer, now’s the time.

RPG Player Skill activates.

[Will you become the Water Country’s Hero?]

Yes

No

Looking at that choice, a fuzzy feeling and memory resurfaced in me.

The game I liked when I was young.

The remake of a famous RPG.

The main character was a hero.

He received just a little amount of gold and a torch from the King.

He didn’t have comrades.

He defeated the monsters all alone, raised his level, faced a dragon, saved the princess, defeated the Demon Lord, and saved the world.

It was cool.

The me at that time wanted to become a hero.

Of course, with me being a highschooler now, I don’t think about becoming a hero though.

…No, that’s not it.

At the time when I arrived in this parallel world, I was jealous of my classmates and Sakurai-kun.

I was burning with envy towards their powerful Status and Skills. 

Being scouted by the important people of the countries, I watched as they went off one after the other, and was unable to sleep at night from the jealousy.

There were even times when I would pull all-nighters training my magic proficiency.

(Even though it wasn’t that long ago, it feels nostalgic.) (Makoto)

In front of me, there’s the beautiful Princess.

The person that didn’t give me Divine Protection at that time.

That Princess is telling me to become a Hero.

The support being given is thorough. 

Gold, equipment, everything was being given by the country.

I also have reliable comrades.

Even a Goddess that would give me hints when in trouble.

I am way more blessed than the hero of that game.

…This is weird.

Wasn’t an isekai a trash game?

No, wait.

I myself am not strong though?

Don’t misunderstand. 

I am an Apprentice Mage.

The main character of that game had inherited the blood of the hero.

That’s why he was strong enough to defeat the Demon Lord on his own.

I am different.

And what of it?

You can become a hero, you know?

Aren’t you going to regret it if you were to refuse it?

No good. 

My thoughts are not collected.

…At such a time, I…

“Princess Sofia…” (Makoto)

“Y-Yes? What is it?” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia is making a nervous expression.

The first time I met her, I wasn’t good at dealing with her.

But my impression of her has changed a lot.

[Will you become the Water Country’s Hero?]

Yes

No 

“I will gratefully accept the title of Hero.” (Makoto)

“…! Is that so. Then, from today on, you are the Hero of Rozes.” (Sofia)

—When you don’t know which choice to make, choose the one that is the most fun.

I have always followed that gameplay rule when deciding.

 “Hero Makoto.” 

After the hero appointment ceremony.

Princess Sofia called me.

…Hero Makoto gives me goosebumps in my whole body when I hear it though.

That way of calling me is a bit embarrassing.

“Yes, Princess Sofia?” (Makoto)

“I have something to speak to you about. Will you come to my room for a bit later?” (Sofia)

“Understood.” (Makoto)

What is it?

Is she going to give me a sermon about how to act as a hero?

That sounds plausible…

 “Makoto, a Hero! That’s amazing!” (Lucy)

“Yeah, but it is more like a hired Hero, you know?” (Makoto)

“It is amazing! This is the best of days!” (Chris)

Lucy and Chris-san were singing praises at me.

It makes me feel just how important a Hero is viewed in this world.

“Hey, Takatsuki-kun, you’ve done it!” (Aya)

My classmate Sa-san is…like that.

It seems like she is celebrating that I have become a Hero like the ones in the games I like.

I prefer this level of celebration.

“Takki-dono…what happened between you and Princess Sofia?” (Fujiwara)

“Eh?” (Makoto)

Fuji-yan says something weird.

“What, you ask?” (Makoto)

“No, it is just that drastic change in Princess Sofia…” (Fujiwara)

What’s the matter?

“Takatsuki-sama, Takatsuki-sama, you have been called by Princess Sofia, right? Make sure not to be rude this time around…” (Nina)

Nina-san with her outrageously good ears advised me while excited.

“This time around? What do you mean by that, Nina?” (Chris)

“Takatsuki-sama had a fight with Princess Sofia when at the Laberintos City.” (Nina)

“Eh?!” (Chris)

Hey hey, Nina-san.

I won’t be saying that again, you know?

I am an adult now.

“Hero-dono! Congratulations for your promotion!” 

A sudden loud voice resonates from our back.

The former guardian knight.

“Old man, you look well. That’s a relief.” (Makoto)

“Yes! Your words are wasted on me.” 

“…Can you stop talking like that?” (Makoto)

I prefer your haughty tone of before.

This is unsettling.

“But the difference in standings has to be shown clearly…” 

The old man is strict in his social hierarchy standards, huh. And he is straightlaced.

There’s a lot of zealous people in Rozes.

I kinda feel bad that I got him out of his position as guardian knight.

I should try asking Princess Sofia to return him to his original position.

“It seems like Makoto-san isn’t good with people that humble themselves to him. Let’s do our best together as Heroes of the Water Country.” (Leonard)

“Prince Leonard.” (Makoto)

I see. We both are now Heroes that protect this country.

I have to do my best.

“I will guide you to Nee-sama’s room, okay?” (Leonard)

“The Prince himself?! I can guide him.” 

A lot of people were beginning to gather around us.

In the end, one of the knights ended up guiding me.

◇◇

“Excuse the intrusion…” (Makoto)

I was allowed into the room of Princess Sofia.

Me alone.

When I entered, Princess Sofia was waiting there alone.

“Come in, take a seat.” (Sofia)

At the expensive-looking glass table, there are pastries that look like cookies.

At the side of that, there’s a teapot and two teacups.

The Princess pours the tea in a way as if she is not used to this.

…Is this something the Princess herself does?

Isn’t this normally the job of a maid or someone like that?

I sat at a fluffy chair. 

Different from the worn-down bench of the skewer stall, this one is hard for me to calm down.

It can’t even be compared.

A sweet scent like that of muscat wafts around.

“Go ahead.” (Sofia)

“Thank you very much.” (Makoto)

I take a sip of the poured tea. 

…It has a delicate taste to it.

Must be high quality.

It is tasty, but I still can’t tell the difference in the flavours.

“Hero Makoto.” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia looks at me with eyes as if piercing me.

“Y-Yes?” (Makoto)

I straighten my back.

“Thank you very much for this instance. Also, forgive me for my remarks at the Water Temple.” (Sofia)

She lowered her head deeply.

Eh? 

“Uhm…Princess Sofia, what you did wasn’t that big of a deal, and I am not bothered by that anymore, so it is okay.” (Makoto)

Having the Princess lower her head so deeply in such a fashion, I felt like I was doing something really bad here.

“You have a big heart.” (Sofia)

Princess Sofia raised her head and smiled slightly.

She looks better this way.

“You look better with a smile.” (Makoto)

“Eh?” (Sofia)

Ah, shit.

I said it out loud.

“Ah, no. Sorry about that…” (Makoto)

“…”

Aaaah, I feel like I slipped there.

She glared at me again.

I feel like her face is a bit red though…is she that angry?

“By the way, is it okay for someone like me to be a Hero?” (Makoto)

Let’s change the topic.

“You defeated the Taboo Monster and saved the capital. A monster that not even Leo could defeat. Of course you would be a Hero.” (Sofia)

“That was something you and I defeated together though?” (Makoto)

“Together… Right. Could it be that it is too much to bear?” (Sofia)

“No no. I will get stronger so that I don’t lose as a Hero.” (Makoto)

I was taught by Noah-sama about how to use Spirit Magic after all.

Basically, it means that it should be okay if I just obtain enough power to defeat that Giant on my own.

“Well then, I will be counting on you.” (Sofia)

“Yes, count on me.” (Makoto)

Princess Sofia smiles slightly.

Yeah, she is cuter when smiling.

“By the way, Hero Makoto, about my guardian knight…if it is okay with you…can you…” (Sofia)

Ah, right.

I have to tell her this.

“Princess Sofia, can you please return that former guardian knight to his original post? It seems like he had to move because of me.” (Makoto)

“……Understood.” (Sofia)

Hm? She seems somewhat displeased.

Did I say something bad? 

I didn’t, did I?

(Haah~.) (Noah)

Noah-sama?

“Leo wanted to talk with you. It seems like you have been called to the Sun Country, Highland, but you still have time till your fixed date, right? Please stay here for a while.” (Sofia)

“O-Okay.” (Makoto)

Hm, looks like our conversation is over.

But it was easier than I thought.

Should I do as Noah-sama said and close the distance a bit more? 

We will be working together from now on after all.

I extend my right hand.

“…Uhm, what are you doing?” (Sofia)

“I look forward to working with you from now on.” (Makoto)

Was it rude to ask for a handshake from royalty?

“Likewise.” (Sofia)

After hesitating for a bit, Princess Sofia responded.

Princess Sofia held my hand tightly. 

For some reason…she isn’t letting go.

We held hands for a while looking at each other.

“Well then, thank you very much for the tea.” (Makoto)

“…Yes.” (Sofia)

I let go of the Princess’s hand and left the room.

Hmm, this is complicated.

I should try to consult with Fuji-yan later about how to communicate with girls.

After leaving the room of Princess Sofia, the soldier in front of the door closed the door.

*Poof!*

The sound of someone diving onto the bed came from inside the room.

““……””

The soldier and I reflexively look at each other.

“Did something happen, Sofia-sama?” 

The soldier calls, and…

“It is nothing.” (Sofia)

The voice of the cold Princess Sofia responded.

We were hearing things, huh.

I gave my greeting to the soldier-san and returned to where my friends are.

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