WM – Chapter 85: Sakurai Ryosuke’s memory

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-Sakurai Ryosuke Reminisces-

If I remember correctly, it was when we were in our third year of elementary school.

After school finished, we would usually gather.

A group of five people, with 3 boys and 2 girls.

There was me and Takatsuki-kun in that group.

Takatsuki and I who lived close by were always the first ones to arrive.

“That’s not it. Sakurai-kun always rang my intercom every time. Even though I wanted to stay home.” (Makoto)

“Really?” (Sakurai)

I feel like that’s true.

“In the first place, I always said that I would go if I can, right? There was one time when I was playing a newly released game…” (Makoto)

“…You haven’t changed much from middle school, Takatsuki-kun.” (Aya)

Takatsuki-kun was feeling slightly awkward speaking about the past, and Sasaki-san was smiling wryly.

Well, anyways, we were a group of neighbors that gathered pretty often.

On clear weekdays, we would play outside.

On rainy days, we would play in someone’s house.

That’s how we passed our everyday.

One day, there was an old man who told us he would give us candy.

He was all smiles as he spoke to us.

At some point in time, he showed up in the small park we would often play in.

His appearance was normal, and didn’t look suspicious.

He looked like a really kind old man.

“Here, I will give this to you energetic kids.” 

He would always have a variety of candies.

At first, I thought it was suspicious, but he said that he was walking his dog, and when we saw the cute pomeranian, the girls loosened their guard.

The dog was so cute that, by the time we noticed, playing with the small dog and the old man had become a daily thing.

We didn’t think too deeply about it.

“Suspicious.” (Aya)

“Yeah, can’t say anything for certain though…” (Fuji)

Sasaki-san and Fujiwara-kun were showing doubt. 

Takatsuki-kun was listening with his chin resting on one hand.

He hasn’t forgotten, right?

It was fun for a while thinking that a cute small dog had become a part of our play partners. 

And then…something happened.

The old man that was always smiling…was different that day.

He didn’t bring the usual little dog.

But we weren’t wary.

It was a small park with apartment buildings surrounding it.

He told us he would give us candy and we followed.

When we were in the shadows of the trees at a place that’s hard for the surroundings to see, the man showed his true nature.

“True nature?” (Aya)

“Eh? Could it be…” (Fuji)

“Yeah, he was a degenerate that aimed for young girls.” (Sakurai)

“No…” (Fuji)

Sasaki-san and Fujiwara-kun frown.

That man suddenly punched Takatsuki-kun, me, and the boys to shut us up.

He tried to take off the clothes of the scared girls.

“N-No way.” (Chris)

The Makkaren noble, Chris-san, was holding the hand of the rabbit-eared woman slightly scared.

“It was the first time I had been punched by an adult stranger. It hurt and it was scary. But I thought I couldn’t let this continue, so I tried to face him.” (Sakurai)

“W-Wow, you have courage, Sakurai-kun.” (Aya)

Sasaki-san was surprised.

“But if it is the Light Hero-sama, there should be no problem, right?” (Nina)

The girlfriend of Fujiwara-kun called Nina-san tilted her head in confusion.

“In our world, I was no Hero no nothing, just a plain powerless child. Me and the one other boy were, in the end, beaten up by the degenerate.” (Sakurai)

It was mortifying.

We trusted a man like this. I cursed our stupidity for unsuspectingly following him.

My friends were punched, and the girls were crying. 

In this situation where we could do nothing…

“Couldn’t you just shout real loud?”, Sasaki-san asks.

“We tried to call for help, in a really loud voice. The girls were crying loud too. But the park has children playing around to begin with, and children making a ruckus is an usual thing. No one came to our rescue.” (Sakurai)

“What a bold crime this was…” (Fujiwara)

It really was.

Using a small dog to lower our vigilance, and using a blindspot in the middle of the city to commit his crime.

I wasn’t told in detail, but he might have been a recurrent criminal. 

“Eh? And Makoto? What happened to Makoto?” (Lucy)

“…”

The red haired elf, Lucy-san, shook the shoulder of Takatsuki-kun.

Takatsuki-kun must be remembering that time, his eyebrows were furrowed.

It is rare to see him make that face.

“And so, and so?” (Aya)

Sasaki-san urges me to continue.

“I thought we were done for. My whole body was in pain from all the punching, and I couldn’t shout in my state either. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what was going to happen, but my body was trembling in fear. The other boy lost consciousness. It was despairing.” (Sakurai)

At that moment…

Pang!

We certainly heard a strange sound.

The degenerate didn’t hear it.

His concentration was directed on the scared girls.

At the moment when he stretched that vicious hand of his…

Pang, pang, pang, pang!

That strange sound resonated consecutively.

“Not even 1 minute after, the people in all the apartment buildings around came out. Moreover, the police too. We didn’t know what was happening.” (Sakurai)

“““???”””

Fujiwara-kun, Sasaki-san, and Saki were making dumbfounded expressions.

Maybe I jumped way too much?

“Uhm, I don’t understand well, but…” (Lucy)

Lucy-san, Nina-san, and Chris-san were making troubled expressions.

“Takatsuki-kun, what did you do?” (Aya)

Sasaki-san asks Takatsuki-kun to explain.

He said in a bad mood.

“…Even if I shouted, no one would come help us, so I created a situation that forced them to come.” (Makoto)

He explained, excluding what he did.

“What do you mean by that?” (Fuji)

“In the time when we were distracting him, Takatsuki-kun broke the windows of the first floor apartment buildings close by, and caused a ruckus.” (Sakurai)

I concluded.

“““Eh?””” 

Saki, Fujiwara-kun, and Sasaki-san once again opened their mouths wide.

Takatsuki-kun had a bitter expression.

Why?

“…If you break windows, help comes?” (Chris)

Chris-san made a questioning look.

A person not of our world would make that kind of reaction.

“In our world, one broken window makes quite the uproar. It is a peaceful city with no monsters after all.” (Makoto)

Takatsuki-kun says in a mutter.

“Takatsuki-kun, it wasn’t just one. You broke ALL the windows of the apartments close by.” (Sakurai)

This was something I learned about later though.

I was surprised at how he could do that without hesitation.

“Huh…but how? Were there rocks just lying around for use? The area around the apartment buildings Takatsuki-kun lives in are well-maintained and don’t even have small rocks lying around, right?” (Aya)

Sasaki-san has gone to the apartment of Takatsuki-kun? 

Takatsuki-kun made a displeased expression at that question and said…

“…I carried them around. A whole lot of iron balls to break windows.” (Makoto)

“““……..Huh?”””

Sasaki-san, Fujiwara-kun, and Saki look at Takatsuki-kun.

Yeah, that shocked me too when I heard it.

Takatsuki-kun begins speaking with a pout.

“…At that time, I was into western games. There was a game where a whole lot of police officers would gather when the main character rampaged in the city. In that game, you shot guns and threw grenades, but that’s impossible in Japan, right? I thought that, instead of that, I could, you know…break the windows of private houses. I wanted to test how many police officers would gather.” (Makoto)

“That’s why you were carrying stuff around to break glass?” (Aya)

Sasaki-san said in admiration. 

“I thought there would be a time when I would get a chance to try it out… A cute prank of a grade schooler, don’t you think?” (Makoto)

Takatsuki-kun says sulky.

“Cute…is it?” (Fuji)

Fujiwara-kun was confused.

“Takatsuki-kun, gamer brain…” (Aya)

“Shut up, Sa-san. It is a dark past of mine! After that, I was scolded a whole lot by my teacher and my parents!” (Makoto)

Takatsuki-kun held his head and shouted ‘Agh!’.

Aah, I see.

That did happen.

He said he was dissatisfied that he was scolded.

“But thanks to that we were saved.” (Sakurai)

“Yeah! Even though it was my quick wittedness at work here, the next day, the heroes were Sakurai-kun and the other boy! I had to write 20 pages of apology! That’s not fair.” (Makoto)

“Aah, is that so. By the way, how many windows did you break?” (Aya)

Sasaki-san asks as if sympathizing. 

Takatsuki-kun grinned at that question.

“Number destroyed: 11. Accuracy: 90%. Quite good, don’t you think? I wrote that in my apology.” (Makoto)

“You didn’t reflect at all!” (Aya)

“I was scolded even more. Wonder why.” (Makoto)

“Are you an idiot?!” (Aya)

Takatsuki-kun and Sasaki-san were doing a comedy routine there. 

It has been a while since I have spoken to Takatsuki-kun this much. It is fun.

He really doesn’t change.

He walks to his own tune, always talking about games.

He is the same as in the past.

Memories of those times flow back to me.

“That just now was in our 3rd year of elementary school. Next is at our 4th…” (Sakurai)

“Sakurai-kun! How about we stop talking about the past?!” (Makoto)

He hurriedly poured alcohol to the glass that’s in front of me. 

I am a non-drinker though…

But I don’t want to refuse the alcohol that Takatsuki-kun poured for me.

“Now, drink drink.” (Makoto)

Takatsuki-kun offers me the drink.

It has been a while since I have been able to relax and talk to Takatsuki-kun like this.

I take the glass of alcohol offered to me, and gulp it down in one go.

-Takatsuki Makoto POV-

“…Zzzzz.” 

Sakurai-kun fell asleep with one glass.

Eh? Is Sakurai-kun hella weak to alcohol?

Doesn’t the Light Hero have immunity to abnormal status effects?

“Ryosuke is an abstainer. Also, the Sun Goddess’s Divine Protection weakens at night, so he ends up drunk.” (Saki)

Yokoyama-san explains.

“Heeh, is that so. That’s unexpected.” (Aya)

Sa-san pokes the cheek of Sakurai-kun.

He certainly isn’t showing signs of waking up.

“It was a drink offered by Takatsuki-kun, so I think he must have forced himself to drink it.” (Saki)

“Eh?” (Makoto)

Really?

Hmm, I shouldn’t have pushed that hard.

Was that alcohol harassment? 

But if I left it like that, I felt like he would speak about all my dark past…

“But Sakurai-dono seems to be tired. I felt that when I met him before too though.” (Fuji)

“Really, Danna-sama?” (Nina)

“Yeah, he looks slightly worn out.” (Fuji)

Ooh, I didn’t notice at all.

Fuji-yan has good eyes.

Hearing this, Yokoyama-san makes a weary expression.

“Ryosuke is the light hero, right? In this world, he is called the reincarnation of the Savior, and they have their hopes placed on him. He became the fiancee of Noel-sama that’s next for the throne. There was a time when the first prince and second prince gave him poisoned food or tried to curse him. He has been attacked by assassins a lot of times.” (Saki)

“““……”””

We were at a loss for words.

What difficulty.

Sakurai-kun had it quite hard…

“But…” (Saki)

Yokoyama-san furrowed her brows slightly. 

“Because of the Divine Protection ‘The Sun Goddess Althena’s Favour’, Ryosuke is immune to poison and curses. Even when attacked by 10 assassins, he can defeat them with his bare hands. In the first place, he doesn’t get even a scratch from those. Moreover, when he bathes in the sunlight, all wounds are healed. Isn’t that unfair?” (Saki)

“““…Yeah…”””

Oi oi oi. 

Ain’t he invincible?! 

Is there someone who can defeat Sakurai-kun in this world?

“Well, it would be bad if he were attacked at night, so we knights protect him in shifts though.” (Saki)

I see.

In the day he is the invincible Hero, but it would be dangerous if he were attacked at night.

“Now that I think about it, you are also engaged to Sakurai-kun, isn’t that right, Saki-chan?” (Aya)

Sa-san asks nonchalantly.

“Yeah, both Eri and I.” (Saki)

“I-I see. Doesn’t it bother you?” (Aya)

Sa-san was making a slightly complicated expression.

“Yeah, at first.” (Saki)

Her kind gaze when looking at Sakurai-kun had the beauty of a wife.

“Ryosuke is engaged to more than 20 people. Moreover, all of them are numbered. I am 18 and Eri is 17. I ended up not caring anymore.” (Saki)

“W-Wow.” “Twenty…” 

Lucy and Sa-san say in surprise.

A harem of 20, huh.

Is he a king?

Aah, he is engaged to a Princess, right.

“But Ryosuke doesn’t look like he is having fun at all. Cause, in order to leave a descendant of the Light Hero, he was ordered by the King to make as many children as possible. He would spend every night with a woman he hasn’t met for long, and there’s no time for him to relax. At day he has to put order to a knight division of more than hundreds.” (Saki)

“…He wouldn’t be able to rest his heart like that.” (Fuji)

Fuji-yan says in pity.

When hearing it like that, it certainly doesn’t sound like an envying situation.

The best probably would be like Fuji-yan with 2 wives.

I have zero though.

“That’s why he can relax when he is together with old acquaintances like me and Eri. In the past, I didn’t get along with Eri fighting over Ryosuke, but right now we are like comrades in arms.” (Saki)

“Is that so…” (Aya)

Sa-san makes a complicated expression.

Lucy was listening to Yokoyama-san as if impressed.

“Hey, Takatsuki-kun.” (Saki)

The number one beauty of our class looks straight at me.

When we were in class together, she didn’t call my name in this way.

“What?” (Makoto)

I answered naturally.

“Ryosuke may be asked for help a lot, but he himself doesn’t have anyone he can rely on.” (Saki)

“Really?” (Makoto)

“Ah, that’s true. Sakurai-kun is always the leader after all.” (Aya)

Sa-san agrees to the words of Yokoyama-san.

Now that she mentions it, yeah…

A group would always be made with him at the center.

People would gather around him.

“That’s why him getting saved in the past by you left such a big impression on him. At that time when you helped him in Laberintos with Monarch Magic to defeat the Taboo Dragons, he said he was really happy.” (Saki)

Yokoyama-san chuckles.

“He said: ‘Takatsuki-kun really does help me out in ways I can’t even imagine’.” (Saki)

“…I-I see.” (Makoto)

No, it was a coincidence.

The Laberintos Spirits were just very cooperative.

“Help him out again, okay?” (Saki)

“…Yeah, got it.” (Makoto)

Guess I should help out an old friend of mine in what I can.

“Ryosuke seemed to be having fun today.” (Saki)

Yokoyama-san brushes the hair of Sakurai-kun as she laughs.

“It seems he actually wanted you to enter the Sun Knights, Takatsuki-kun. But you have become the Hero of Rozes, so he can’t invite you anymore, which made him sad.” (Saki)

“I-I see…” (Makoto)

Sakurai-kun was serious?! 

I won’t join the army…wait, Heroes are in a sense from the army, huh.

“Then, Ryosuke has fallen asleep, so we will be going now, okay?” (Saki)

Saying this, Yokoyama-san princess carries Sakurai-kun.

Seeing the slender Yokoyama-san carry Sakurai-kun so easily, it does make me think that this really is an Isekai.

“Meet with Ryosuke again, okay?” (Saki)

After saying this, she left.

“Sakurai-kun and Saki-chan are having it tough, don’t they…?” (Aya)

“Being the Light Hero-sama is tough, huh…” (Lucy)

Sa-san and Lucy saw them off in worry.

The atmosphere has gotten sullen here.

“Takki-dono, how about next time we are the ones who go meet them?” (Fuji)

Yeah, that’s true.

Last time and this time, they were the ones who came to us.

“Let’s bring souvenirs when we go hang out.” (Makoto)

Just like in the past, in a lighthearted manner.

The members are completely different from that time in 3rd year of elementary school, but this kind of stuff doesn’t sound bad.

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