35.) The Road of a Hero
There is no window inside that room, and the lamp that was placed on top of the desk put out a suspicious light on that room.
Around the table, there were a few chairs arranged, and two people, a man and a woman, quietly sit on those arranged chairs. As if they both were sculptures of some sort, they just sat there not moving an inch.
But the problem was actually a man.
His face was covered with a long bang while the left side of his face was covered with a mask; right now, that exact man was placing both of his hands on top of the table and using them as a pillow for him to sleep.
Even though the sleeping man was a commoner, he was treated as if he was a royal knight.
He was laying his chin on the desk while showing a really sloppy figure.
It really didn’t fit for a rude man like him to be treated as one of the honored royal knights.
That guy’s name was Silva.
He was a man in his mid-twenties that was chosen as one of the candidates as the future Queen Karina’s Guardian.
After a long sleep, Silva finally woke up from his slumber.
And soon after that, he checked his surroundings and realized that nothing had changed so far since before he was asleep.
[…There is still no one coming, huh? Geez, how long should I wait here? Weren’t we gathered here for the announcement of what the final exam is?]
Silva was getting a bit irritated because of the current situation.
He has been waiting for a whole night since a letter came to the royal palace.
The reason he wanted to come was only because the letter was sent by an owl Rokomoko was fond of.
[When I was trying to write a reply to that letter I was taken to this place. Do the commoners also have no humanity right now?]
When he saw who sent the letter, Silva was dumbfounded.
When he finished reading the letter, he hurriedly tried to send back a reply.
But, he couldn’t even do that.
In the time between the tests to become the Guardian, some people unexpectedly came to visit the room where he was staying. He couldn’t just told them that he was busy preparing for the test.
He was told that there is some announcement about the test that will be told to him and he was brought walking down through some spiral stairs to some dull place that looked like a prison.
[This is too long! What the hell is that prick doing! I have been locked in here for almost a whole day already!]
This is a room that can’t hold even ten people here.
This place is a basement, isn’t it? Now that I think about it, I heard there were a lot of rooms in the basement that were used to confine criminals inside them.
It had passed some time since the last time Silva was making a fuss here. Then, he took a nap.
And after he woke up, he started to make noise again.
There were a man and a woman that were also sitting here with Silva and right now, those two were looking at Silva with a killing stare, but Silva didn’t even care about those stares.
[You commoner. The next time you make noise again, I will let your head get separated for eternity.]
[Ooh, how scary! Screw that, it’s almost a day by now! I can’t even tell whether it is day or night because there is not a friggin’ window here!]
[We are the candidates for the next Queen’s—Princess Karina’s—Guardian. As a guardian, we have to be prepared to exchange our life if it means Princess Karina will be safe. And the reason we were locked in this kind of room was so that we could learn how to keep our concentration no matter what happens. You can’t even understand such simple things. I am so embarrassed, how come they let such a violent commoner like you become a candidate for Princess Karina’s Guardian?]
The man who was just talking, closed his eyes and became quiet again.
And there was also a woman that was brought here together with him, but she hasn’t spoken a single word up till now.
After seeing those two people, Silva started to think.
He started to understand how Rokomoko felt. These guys are really stiff.
On top of that, he never heard from their mouth that they wanted to become a knight who will protects others.
He was only doing it because the princess was hoping for him to become someone that could direct this country from the shadows, and that is why the Cardinal made him a candidate to become the Guardian without his consent.
[…Haa, don’t turn me into a hope without my consent, damn it]
Silva only became what he is now because Princess Karina wished him to be.
[Yes, yes, I understand. I will shut my mouth now]
[Do you really understand what I said? And to let a commoner like you hold Daris’ national treasure, even only for a short time. It shouldn’t be something that someone like you should touch]
Silva looked at the sword that was hanging on his waist.
It was a sword made from a rare metal that could channel the spirit’s power into it.
No other country had such an abundant quantity of magic ore, so much that it was possible to create a sword from it.
In this entire world, there were only 10 of these enchanted swords ever made; one of them was Daris’ national treasure.
And Silva was granted one of those 10 swords, an elemental sword with the blessing of the Great Light spirit on it.
The last test for the three people was to test their compatibility with the Great Light Spirit, and that was why the Cardinal Maldini strictly told Silva to always keep the sword by his side.
[That is why I always told them I am not someone who is worth to be hoped on]
[You are still saying things like that… By the way, I also heard some rumors about you. Hey commoner, I heard you are that fallen wind’s—Slow Dening’s— former knight]
[Oi! Just stop it! You are the one who is getting distracted! That is how men are!]
It was the only woman in this room.
The woman that since the very beginning was just meditating without any expression, just now told the other off.
[Pardon me, Coomer-dono. Because of this ignorant commoner, I unintentionally did it]
And after that silence came back to that small room.
Silva bend down his head a little, and secretly laughed.
He recalls about the letter that was sent to him by the boy who was called the fallen wind.
[…Fallen wind eh]
Silva remembered how moved he was last night as he took the letter from Rokomoko’s favorite owl.
He will never forget how his body trembled as he finished reading that letter.
The contents of the letter from Slow, his former employer and also his friend, were very simple.
[[I know it was too late to realize it just now, but it was impossible for me to do it alone]]
Silva was troubled seeing that.
Seeing how that letter has become so tattered.
Imagining how much he corrected the wording he used on that letter times and times again.
And on that letter, there was one sentence that truly shocked Silva after all these years.
[[Silva… I… The truth is, I always had someone in my mind since a long time ago]]
Silva laughed seeing that sentence.
In this entire world, besides Slow, there is only one other person who knew about Slow Dening’s most famous act.
Yes, only Silva knew about it.
The girl that was saved from the slaves’ market.
She should have turned into a girl with a nice growth on her since that time.
[…Young master. It will surely be found out.]
Seeing Silva laughing by himself, the other two people were seeing him with difficult in their faces.
[[The thing I dreamed of in the past. I finally realize that the fairytale was actually tied with the girl’s happiness]]
…Silva became somewhat troubled.
He thinks what the heck is that dream young master Slow is talking about.
And then, little by little he remembered about it.
The day that a child called Slow Dening met with me, a commoner.
It was when Silva was taking a fun trip into the forest.
There, he found a baby was taken hostage, a child that was holding a cane with a troubled face, and countless corpses of monsters he had never seen lying around.
While he was hiding and listening to their conversation, he knew which side was bad.
That is why, he helped.
Seeing that the child that was calling forth various magic as he swung his cane was actually the rumored wind child prodigy made him surprised.
After that, the wind child prodigy and the other guys talked about various things.
The child prodigy and the other guy were talking all night long about their dreams that they couldn’t tell anybody else.
[[If you are also the same as me, someone who still hides his dream in his heart]]
These two guys’ dreams, he was glad they were truly one and the same.
[[Together with me my friend, once again let’s challenge that dream]]
Since Silva was young, there was only one dream he always sought while swinging his sword.
As time goes, he now became so frustrated that he almost gave up.
It was impossible for him who could only swing a sword to attain it.
For him who was just a commoner, Silva already knew that his dream was already impossible to attain and put it away deep in his heart.
[[I was just realizing that it’s actually quite simple to make this world a peaceful place…]]
For the sake of seeing his dream in the future I took up a sword on my arm as a commoner.
He couldn’t remember exactly when, but he began to forget about his reasons to hold a sword in his hand.
For him who was starting to get swept away, he was only following what that sleepy–eyes Cardinal said and took the exam to become the guardian.
[——-in the near future, I will go to the northern empire site where the demon lord rules the monsters]
When he finished reading the letter, Silva already decided his future.
Silva had remembered the reason why he was amassing power.
[…growing old is really unpleasant. I even forgot about the dream I had that day. Aah damn it, I can’t help remembering those days. Young master, as I thought you are really damn great]
[You commoner! You are noisy!]
[Aah… Sorry… uuh, what?]
But, wait a sec.
[Hey. right now, how do a noble go to where the northern empire site is?]
[Commoners are really stupid! Right now, the northern empire is being ruled by the demon lord and his subordinates, and is also currently fighting with the country on the south! The demon lord himself has already declared war against all of humanity! If there is a case where a Daris’ noble enter the northern empire site on their own, the country will have nothing to do with them! It’s a reasonable stance of a country against a person that has abandoned their own position! At the beginning of the northern empire’s demise, there were some nobles that threw away their own position and did what they thought was right, but right now there are none of them left! Because that place has already become a paradise of monsters!] (I think they wanted to say that if they go to hughjack empire then they will abandon their position as a noble in Daris)lose their position, yes.
[Aaah, of course it is. Thank you.]
[Oi, you guys, I told you both are too noisy! That is why men are…!]
After it was destroyed by the Dostork empire, the Hughjack empire was ruled by the demon lord and its subordinates.
Because he thinks about how that guy was always in a bad position in his life.
Because, if he goes to the place where those wicked creatures are———.
——–then, he intended to throw away his noble position in this country.
[To the candidates for Princess Karina’s guardian position! Your final test has finally arrived!]
It’s a surprise attack.
The sturdy door came out flying with great power, the two people that were meditating on their own were taken aback and looked at the spectacle in front of them.
At the place where the door had opened, lined up there was a man that had the same power in Daris as Duke Dening, that man was the leader of this test to become princess Karina’s guardian.
He has a bald head and pointy eyes, he is the Cardinal Maldini.
[The goal is the city of Yolem and the Kurushu Magic Academy! And this time you will come along to accompany the princess’ pilgrimage with half of the royal knight and also myself!!!]
An unpredicted destination, princess’ pilgrimage, the departure of the royal knights, and also Cardinal Maldini’s visits, after receiving that kind of information there would be nobody who could stay composed.
[We have an urgent business with the headmaster of Kurushu Magic Academy, sir Morozov! Forest of the lost! A royal knight called Rokomoko Highland also gave us information about an outbreak of the dungeon in the forest just outside the academy! This is the perfect chance for the Royal knights, no, for the Duke Dening to owe me a favor!]
A dungeon had just born at the forest just outside of the academy.
There was no doubt that it was a big blunder done by the military.
The military was owned by the great noble Duke Dening, while the Royal Knights were owned by Cardinal Maldini.
The military affairs were left to Duke Dening, while the internal affairs were left to Cardinal Maldini.
Even a child knew these two are always in bad terms.
[And there is another piece of bad news! It was not about the dungeon, and this is the reason why the Royal Knights, Princess Karina, and also the Cardinal himself are going there——]
Something worthy for the Cardinal Maldini.
After realizing who the old man who was standing in front of them is, the Guardian candidates stand and fix their posture.
[—–we have confirmed there was a sight from the Daris border, a black dragon flying on top of the northern empire site! There seems to be a fight happening between the dragon and the monster that occupies the northern empire! As the fight with the black dragon goes on, the monster slowly but surely brought the dragon along to the border of Daris. If this continues, they will come close to the city of Yolem! That is why we need to arrive in Yolem with haste! If there is a one in a million chance that something did happen, the princess has commanded the Royal knights to protect the citizens! Even though it was just miniscule, I want Princess Karina to taste how it feels!]
[Cardinal Maldini…? What is the princess’s task?]
[To the candidates for Princess Karina’s Guardian position! Hold your enchanted swords, our Daris’ treasure, tightly and prepare to gives us your live! You three will assist the princess to conquer the dungeon! Yes! Defeat the dungeon master, and the one who earns the princess trust the most will become the Guardian! Become the one who will stand beside Princess Karina, and the path to become a hero will open!]
With much vigor, the Cardinal raised both of his hands towards the Guardian candidates.
After seeing each of their faces, he told them with a loud voice.
[Only a “hero”, will match up with the “lovely princess”! Yes! The birth of a “Hero” is how Daris will live!]