WM – Chapter 109: Epilogue (4th Arc)

◇Sun Oracle, Noel Althena Highland, Reminisces◇

I have been raised as the Holy Maiden’s reincarnation since the time I have memory.

My role is to support the hope of this world that is the Savior.

In the past, it was said that my childhood friend who has the Lightning Hero Skill, Geralt, was the Savior.

“I will defeat the Great Demon Lord!” 

The young Geralt would say this and train everyday with his sword.

I would watch this from the side as I did my training as an Oracle.

But I am not strong enough.

According to the legend of the Holy Maiden Anna-sama, she could heal the wounds of several thousands of people in an instant.

With just the singing of the Holy Maiden-sama, soldiers could become unbeatable in war.

I was far from being comparable to the Holy Maiden Anna-sama that created countless miracles.

The Lightning Hero Geralt was also lacking.

He is being called the number one swordsman in the continent, but there were many times where he would be overcome by the Scorching Hero, Orga, of the Fire Country.

In official matches, it was a result of 50-50.

The reincarnation of the Legendary Savior-sama is only on that level…? Is the kind of rumor that was going around.

Geralt ended up getting irritated as time went on.

But the monsters were getting more active as each day passed.

Around the year 1,010 of the savior era, the Great Demon Lord will revive.

That’s the oracle of the Goddess-sama.

The uneasiness of the people was slowly increasing.

It was at that time when a new oracle was given.

—The Hero coming from another world will join forces with the Goddess Oracle and save the world.

The six Oracles received that oracle at the same time.

Each nation was searching for otherworlders with bloodshot eyes, and Highland, who heard about them being under protection in a Water Country’s Temple, used their superiority as a nation to forcefully make them give away the Light Hero.

“He is the Light Hero, Sakurai-sama. Noel, you will become his fiancee and support him. This is an order as the King.” 

“Eh?” (Noel)

It was a sudden order from my father.

My arranged marriage with Geralt had been cancelled, and the Light Hero became my new fiance.

On top of that, I was moved from the throne succession, from third place to first place. It was decided that I would be the next on the throne.

All for the sake of having the Light Hero bloodline in the Highland royalty.

There was no will of mine in any of this.

But that’s the natural thing for someone in the royal family.

I silently accepted this.

(The Light Hero, Sakurai Ryosuke…a person with a beautiful face. He is my fiance…) (Noel)

From what I could see from afar, Ryosuke-sama was a good young man with a calm atmosphere around him.

But due to the highland leaders observing him as if looking at something curious, he seemed to be slightly scared.

“I am sorry for the suddenness of this, Light Hero-sama. But Highland will do their best to support you.” (Noel)

At first, I praised the Light Hero to an abnormal extent.

I must not harm the mood of the Light Hero after all.

“It is okay. I will take that role. But, about your classmates…” (Noel)

“Yes, please leave that to me.” (Sakurai)

The condition of the Light Hero-sama was assuring the safety of his otherworlder comrades.

He is relied upon by his comrades.

He was trying to answer the expectations of Highland.

On top of that, the Light Hero-sama was given several fiancees aside from me.

As an Oracle, I can’t give birth to the child of the Light Hero before the grand battle. 

But there’s the chance that the Light Hero might lose his life in the fight against the Great Demon Lord.

These fiancees are for the sake of that possibility.

However, it wouldn’t be viewed well outside if the Light Hero and the Sun Oracle were estranged from each other, so we were forced to meet once every week.

Ryosuke-sama is a well-mannered person, and he was on the higher side when it came to conversation skills.

But at that time, it wasn’t as if I liked him, and I simply did this as my duty.

I am both the Cardinal of the Goddess Church and the number one for the succession of the throne.

Doing both of those is a harsher job than I imagined, and I slowly began to feel like my meetings with the Light Hero were a pain.

I thought it was the same for the Light Hero.

He said that in his original world, he hadn’t held a sword ever, so he was being taught swordsmanship by General Yuwein personally.

He would polish his skills in sword and magic.

At night, he would learn tactics to lead an army.

It should be quite the burden.

It should be better to stop the pointless meetings.

I thought of consulting about this to the Prime Minister.

-One day…

(Oh no… Today was a day I was supposed to meet with the Light Hero-sama.) (Noel)

I was concentrating on my work and had forgotten the meeting.

My secretary wrote a memo of my schedule, but I forgot to check it.

It is already late in the night.

(I don’t think he is there anymore…) (Noel)

Thinking I should apologize tomorrow, I went to the meeting place just in case.

“Eh?” (Noel)

The Light Hero-sama was waiting there as always even though it was late in the night.

He must be really tired.

He is dozing off.

“Ryosuke-sama?! There’s no need to wait until this late. You have to wake up early tomorrow, right?” (Noel)

“Ah, Princess Noel. You are finished with your work?” (Sakurai)

He smiled in a refreshing manner as if he didn’t mind it.

It annoyed me.

Even though there’s no need to push yourself so hard in such a pointless meeting.

“Ryosuke-sama, you are the most important person in Highland. If you push yourself so hard…” (Noel)

“I am not pushing myself.” (Sakurai)

He responded strongly.

“…Then, why?” (Noel)

“I wanted to hear the continuation to your story about your work in the Goddess Church.” (Sakurai)

“That story…?” (Noel)

In the previous meeting, I lightly touched on the topic about my personal work regarding the annulment of the race discrimination.

It is a policy that has heavy opposition from the royals and nobles.

Honestly speaking, I was beginning to feel like it was impossible to do this by myself, and I was simply complaining.

The Light Hero-sama listened to that with a smile.

I don’t think it was a fun conversation though…

“I felt like it was the first time I heard the real you, and it made me happy.” (Sakurai)

“?!” 

I was surprised.

I have the [Perfect Beauty] Skill.

The effect of it makes it so that, no matter the person, I will give a good impression to them.

Thanks to this, I have no problems with people I have met for the first time.

But because of that, I couldn’t have a close relationship with anyone.

If I had to mention someone like that, it would be…Princess Sofia who has a similar position to mine, so I have a sense of kinship with her.

But this is the first time I have been pointed out that I haven’t shown my real side…aside from the Great Sage-sama.

“I thought we had finally gotten a bit closer. So I felt I shouldn’t miss our meeting today.” (Sakurai)

“…You are one weird person, Ryosuke-sama.” (Noel)

“But it is late already. Let’s take our time talking on another day.” (Sakurai)

In the end, we didn’t speak much that day. But…

(I should speak to him a bit more properly…) (Noel)

I grew an interest in the Light Hero, Ryosuke-sama.

After that, I interacted with him without using my skill and showing my real self.

About the stiffness of the Sun Country, about my dissatisfaction towards the racial discrimination, the internal state of the church, and about the political disputes of the royals and the nobles.

Ryosuke-sama listened to my complaining with a smile.

By the time I noticed, he became a person I could speak truthfully with.

The meetings every week became something I looked forward to.

I began to like him.

But that would become problematic.

The Light Hero has many fiancees.

There’s ones who are pregnant already.

It made me jealous.

(Calm down, Noel. I am Calm…) (Noel)

I used the Skill I learned in my training at the church and calmed down my heart.

I am the number one.

Also, I know that Ryosuke-sama doesn’t really like his fiancees.

“They say stuff like…please promote my household, or I want a higher standing…” (Sakurai)

Ryosuke-sama had a bitter smile as if he were troubled by this.

How wretched.

Even though they have received the honor of having the child of the Light Hero.

I slowly began to hear the worries of Ryosuke-sama too.

We were now close enough to speak to each other without any restraints.

Until that day…

The subjugation of the Moon Oracle in the Laphroaig site at the Moon Country.

The Prime Minister proposed this to the King in order to reduce the uneasiness of the people.

The ones performing this would be the Sun Knights as the main force. 

The Light Hero, Ryosuke-sama, was the one who did the most important role.

His Skill [Abnormal Status Nullification] was of notice.

The Charm Magic of the Moon Oracle cannot be resisted by anyone.

If she were to go serious, she would be able to restore the Moon Country.

The plan was to cut it off from the roots before that happened.

The plan succeeded safely.

But the heart and spirit of Ryosuke-sama had been worn away when he returned.

“Princess Noel, in my eyes, the people of Laphroaig were living a poor life with the best of their efforts. Was there any point in killing those people who were protecting the Moon Oracle…?” (Sakurai)

“That’s…” (Noel)

“I was scolded by the Moon Oracle… That we are pillagers. That they simply wanted to live in peace…” (Sakurai)

“……”

In the report, it was written that the people protecting the Moon Oracle were charmed with her magic, but it is not like she was doing anything evil.

But aside from the Moon Oracle herself who can’t be killed because of her Retribution curse, all the people around the Moon Oracle were eliminated.

The ones who did that were the Templars.

The one who gave the order was the Pope.

Ryosuke-sama wasn’t in favor of that plan.

At the very least, I think he is feeling distrust towards the Sun Country now.

Since that day, Ryosuke-sama began meeting with the Moon Oracle.

“Ryosuke-sama, you are meeting with the Moon Oracle…?” (Noel)

“Yeah, I have only heard the side of Highland until now. I should have listened to the opinions of other people aside from Highland too.” (Sakurai)

The words of Ryosuke-sama were right.

But I was uneasy.

Even I was on the verge of being charmed by the Moon Oracle with just one glance, and yet, he is meeting a person like that.

Has he been charmed?

I was feeling fuzzy.

I pondered anxiously for a plan, and in the composition of the units that will be subjugating the Taboo Dragons that showed up in Laberintos at the Water Country, I added the unit of Ryosuke-sama.

The request for reinforcements from the Water Country was a welcome endeavor.

I wanted to leave the country together with him.

I wanted to have him change his mood.

He had a gloomy face when he was leaving.

That expression of his changed when he soon arrived at Laberintos.

“Saki! I met with Takatsuki-kun!” (Sakurai)

“Uhm, Takatsuki-kun, as in, our classmate…?” 

It had been a while since Ryosuke-sama showed a joyful expression as he spoke to one of his fiancees, Yokoyama Saki-san.

“Ryosuke-sama, did something good happen?” (Noel)

I was interested in it and tried asking about it.

“Princess Noel, I was able to meet with a childhood friend of mine! I haven’t heard about him since the talk about him remaining all the time in the Water Temple, so I was worried about him. I am so relieved…” (Sakurai)

This is my first time seeing Ryosuke-sama so happy.

My interest was piqued, so I tried investigating the history of that adventurer.

“Takatsuki Makoto…Iron Rank Adventurer?” (Noel)

He is an otherworlder, and an adventurer from a rural area called Makkaren.

His speed at climbing as an adventurer is somewhat fast.

But for an otherworlder, this is a plain history.

I didn’t place much mind to it and just left it at a corner of my mind.

The next time I heard about him was after the subjugation of the Taboo Dragons.

“…He dragged two Taboo Dragons out with Monarch Rank Magic?” (Noel)

“Yeah, that’s Takatsuki-kun! I knew we should have had him help out from the very beginning.” (Sakurai)

Ryosuke-kun spoke with excitement.

In the report, it said that Takatsuki Makoto is an Apprentice Mage.

There’s no way he can use Monarch Rank Magic.

But all the knights who were there said they saw it.

“I should meet him once…” (Noel)

I have [Discerning Eye: Superior Rank]. 

It is not on the level of the legendary [Mindread] Skill, but I am confident that I can see through someone.

If he really is a capable person, I would like him to come to the Sun Country.

It seems like he is a person that gets along with Ryosuke-sama after all.

It would make me happier if there’s more people supporting him.

“…I am Takatsuki Makoto.” 

My impression of him at a glance was…that he is a normal young man.

He doesn’t look like a skilled mage or a strong warrior.

He looks like a good person, but slightly undependable.

A normal person you can find anywhere.

That’s what my [Discerning Eye] told me.

But my instincts told me…

(What…is he? It bothers me.) (Noel)

I couldn’t understand.

But I couldn’t invite him strongly with Princess Sofia here.

And it seems like he decided to remain in the Water Country.

So, I called him to the Sun Country to reward him for his work in the Taboo Dragon subjugation and have a negotiation with him. 

That’s what I was thinking.

“Eh? Takatsuki Makoto-sama has become the Country Designated Hero?” (Noel)

It surprised me.

It hasn’t been long since we returned from Laberintos.

It looked like Princess Sofia and him weren’t on good terms.

Just what in the world happened?

Then, the Rozes Hero, Takatsuki Makoto, arrived at Highland.

(He won against the Lightning Hero, Geralt…) (Noel)

Rumors about him were filling the castle.

Moreover…

“Eh? …You want to hear about Hero Makoto…? Noel-sama, he is the Water Country’s Hero!” (Sofia)

Sofia-san’s attitude since Laberintos had made a 180° change.

“Y-Yeah. It is okay, Sofia-san. I won’t try to take him into the Sun Country.” (Noel)

“Promise, Noel-sama.” (Sofia)

The change in Sofia-san who is called the Ice Sculpture Princess…

Her eyes shone whenever she spoke about him.

There wasn’t even the need to use my [Discerning Eye].

Is this a maiden in love…?

However, to think that Sofia-san who said ‘I will offer my body for the sake of the Water Country. I will never marry’, would turn out like this. 

People really do change.

I want her love to bloom.

I don’t know if there’s anything I can do, but I want to cheer for her from the shadows.

Even so, to be this respected by Ryosuke-sama, and be able to steal the heart of Sofia-san.

That Takatsuki Makoto…he really does have something.

The next time he showed up, I was shocked.

“T-The Guardian Knight of the M-Moon Oracle?! Makoto-sama, w-what are you thinking?! Even though you were together with Princess Sofia.” (Noel)

The Water Country members suddenly requested a meeting late in the night.

Moreover, together with the Cursed Oracle.

But what they told me was even more shocking.

The beastkin in the capital had been afflicted with curses since more than a decade by the Snake Church.

And it was supposed to activate in the form of a rebellion tomorrow.

(N-No way… Symphonia will fall before the Great Demon Lord even revives…) (Noel)

When I was on the verge of falling into despair…

“And so, this is my plan.” (Makoto)

The Rozes Hero, Makoto, proposed a plan to get out of this as if it were nothing.

To use the rain as an intermediary for the Curse Dispel magic of the Moon Oracle.

“And so, Great Sage-sama, please control the weather.” (Makoto)

“What a slave driver. It will be expensive.” 

“Blood as usual, right?” (Makoto)

He easily asked the Great Sage-sama to control the weather that’s supposed to be difficult…

And Symphonia escaped from sure destruction.

After that, he stopped the attack of the Snake Church and defeated all the 1,000 year monsters.

There’s already no person who doesn’t know of his prowess.

According to Sofia-san, he himself isn’t that aware of it though…

On top of that, there’s that rumor.

I thought I should talk with him about that no matter what.

◇Takatsuki Makoto POV◇

Highest floor of the Highland Castle.

Deep inside the big door that’s protected by golden knights is where the meeting room of Noel is apparently at.

“Excuse me…” (Makoto)

I nervously take a step in.

Princess Noel was in front of a big window, smiling with light shining at her back.

Like right out of a painting.

“Glad you have come, Hero Makoto-sama. I heard you will be returning to the Water Country. You could have taken your time here, you know.” (Noel)

“Strangers come every day for me, so I can’t relax.” (Makoto)

“Oh my, is that so. Ryosuke-san was sad that you were going to be leaving, you know?” (Noel)

“…Aah.” (Makoto)

Now that she mentions it, I haven’t spoken to Sakurai-kun since the incident.

He always seemed busy, so I ended up refraining and haven’t met him. 

“Please let me talk to you a bit about the plans for the Hero-samas in the future.” (Noel)

-About the Northern Expedition Plan of next year.

-About the regular meeting of the Heroes of the Six Countries and the chief members of the nations.

-About cooperating with other countries when problematic monsters like Taboo Monsters appear.

-About how no countries accept the Snake Church.

It was that kind of talk.

That’s normal.

It is not something that’s really required to have the Princess personally tell me.

“By the way, I will be derailing a bit here but…” (Noel)

Princess Noel’s expression changed.

From her serious expression of before to a teasing one.

“What do you think of Sofia-san?” (Noel)

“Eh?” (Makoto)

What’s this all of a sudden?

“I am grateful for being made a Hero.” (Makoto)

I gave a safe answer.

But it seems like it was different from the response Princess Noel was expecting.

“What do you think of Sofia-san, as a girl…?” (Noel) 

“Uhm…” (Makoto)

What’s this?

While I was having trouble giving a response, Princess Noel sighs and smiles.

“Makoto-sama, you became the Guardian Knight of the Moon Oracle, right? You haven’t been charmed, I hope.” (Noel)

“It is okay. It seems like charm magic doesn’t work with me at all.” (Makoto)

Noah-sama gave the seal of approval on that.

I have now learned the hidden effect of RPG Player.

“I honestly can’t believe it though… But I am relieved. Please continue helping out Sofia-san, okay?” (Noel)

“Of course. I like the Water Country after all.” (Makoto)

I have no issues with that.

Is this what she wanted to hear?

After looking as if she were musing about something, Princess Noel speaks.

“By the way…do you know what they call you here in the Sun Country, Makoto-sama?” (Noel)

Princess Noel makes a slightly hard to describe expression.

“…No.” (Makoto)

A nickname?

I have something like that?

After a brief pause, Princess Noel says.

“The lover of the Great Sage-sama.” (Noel)

“Eh?” (Makoto)

What did she say just now?

“Lover of the Great Sage-sama…that’s the nickname they have given you, Makoto-sama.” (Noel)

“Wait, what’s with that?!” (Makoto)

That’s worse than Goblin Cleaner! 

“It is because of the celebration party the other day.” (Noel)

That, huh.

But just with that?

“Thanks to that, there’s no person in the Sun Country who can go against you now, Makoto-sama.” (Noel)

“…Huh?” (Makoto)

What does that mean?

“I will explain. The standing of the Great Sage-sama in the Sun Country.” (Noel)

“…If I remember correctly, she is the third most important person in Highland, right?” (Makoto)

Fuji-yan told me this.

“That’s the public understanding. In this country, the comrades of the Legendary Savior Abel-sama are treated like gods. The King of Highland succeeded the country that Abel-sama founded. The Goddess Church’s Pope succeeded the spot of the Holy Maiden Anna-sama. The Great Sage-sama…is the descendant of the legendary mage.” (Noel)

“She is actually the person herself though.” (Makoto)

Princess Noel nods at this.

“That’s right… In other words, the Great Sage-sama is close to being a god.” (Noel)

“……” 

“The King…my father and the Pope can’t raise their heads towards the Great Sage-sama. The Great Sage-sama is a personage that has no interest in political influence, so her title is only that of being the Great Sage, but her authority is the highest.” (Noel)

“Is that so…” (Makoto)

She has been the magic teacher of Lucy lately, so I was able to speak with her pretty worry free.

So that’s not good, huh.

“Looks like you didn’t notice. It was as Sofia-san said.” (Noel)

“Did Princess Sofia say something?” (Makoto)

“Hero Makoto-sama doesn’t have any awareness about the things he himself does.” (Noel)

“…That’s…” (Makoto)

(True.) (Noah)

Noah-sama?

(Reflect on your denseness.) (Noah)

Eeh, I am the cautious player type though.

(You are cautious before clearing the scenario, but you don’t pay much attention after clearing it.) (Noah)

Really?

It is true that after finishing the events, I don’t pay them much attention…

“Makoto-sama?” (Noel)

Princess Noel peeks at my face.

You are a bit too close there.

“Thanks for the warning. I will be careful.” (Makoto)

“Yes. And please get along with Sofia-san from now on too, okay?” (Noel)

“Okay.” (Makoto)

She really pushes Princess Sofia onto me, huh.

She also told me that if I have the time, to meet Sakurai-kun too.

You are loved, Sakurai-kun.

I gave my thanks and left.

…It looks like the matter of Noah-sama was not exposed.

That’s a relief.

◇◇

“What did she tell you at the meeting, Makoto?” (Lucy)

“Takatsuki-kun, let’s go eat~.” (Aya)

“You are late, my knight.” (Furiae)

Lucy and Sa-san were waiting for me at the entrance of the Highland Castle.

Furiae-san was wearing a robe with a hood that was worn deeply to the point that we can’t see her face.

“Sorry, made you wait. Let’s talk while eating at the Flying Ship of Fuji-yan.” (Makoto)

A lot happened, but I did what I could here.

Let’s return to Makkaren.

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