An ordinary person in an extraordinary situation?
322 – The boy who should have been a minor character
My overall impression of Yamada-kun, is that he’s ordinary. Both in Wakaba Hiiro’s memories and my memories from the current world.
In Wakaba Hiiro’s memories of Yamada-kun, he was a plain boy that you could find anywhere. Grades – average. Reflexes – moderate. Appearance – ordinary. A schoolboy without a single conspicuous factor – the very definition of ordinary. If he appeared in a story set in modern times, he would be a mob character who wouldn’t stand out from the background. That is Yamada-kun.
Well then, just where did Yamada-kun, who was an ordinary person in his previous life, end up in this life? He’s like a protagonist amongst protagonists. The prince of a major country. The biological younger brother of the Hero. Born with cheat level abilities, yet he still steadily put in effort without conceit. If the opportunity had arisen, even without his Hero title he would have become a considerably influential person amongst the humans of this world. Also, after taking over from his dead brother, he had the determination to stand up for the sake of the world as the Hero. It makes me want to sarcastically remark just how protagonist-like this all is.
However, Yamada-kun’s essence hasn’t changed. For better or worse, Yamada-kun is ordinary. Under normal circumstances, he’s not the sort of person who’d try to take the lead role in the middle of this huge stage. It would suit him to live outside of the stage, living a quiet and calm life. Without being the prince of a big country, without being the younger brother of the Hero, without his cheats. If he had been simply been born ordinary in this world, then most likely Yamada-kun would stayed a commoner and lived his life without incidents or poking his head into trouble I’m sure.
The reason why Yamada-kun became like a protagonist was because of the situation he was in. He was the prince of a major country. If it had just been that then it might have been fine. However, Yamada-kun was in a very delicate position. He was the child of a concubine with low standing. However, his elder brother was the Hero. In addition, the queen’s son was not good enough. Finally, Yamada-kun himself was a reincarnator. A genius is considered to be someone who demonstrates their greatness from a young age. What unfolded from there was, basically, something that frequently happens in storytelling.
With him being so capable, that’s probably why a faction appeared that wanted to push aside the first prince who was the son of the queen and raise up Yamada-kun to be the next king. Because the queen feared such a possibility, Yamada-kun didn’t receive proper education. However, the half-elf and muscle-woman who were his attendants took charge of his education instead. On top of that, because Yamada-kun was also a reincarnator he could grasp his position as a prince, so he was fortunate to be able to conduct himself appropriately by learning from the example of others. Completely betraying the queen’s expectations, Yamada-kun continued to be renowned as a child prodigy. On top of that, not allowing him to receive education backfired upon her instead – he was regarded as a child prodigy who exceeded the average despite not receiving a proper education.
It wasn’t something that he himself realised, but to others it would likely have been an awkward situation. Having the powerful support of his elder brother the Hero, he was called a genius. It was rather inevitable that the first prince got flustered. After all, even though Yamada-kun himself didn’t want it, it had became a situation where those around him were supporting him in that way. If Yamada-kun himself had been allowed to be educated properly, he wouldn’t have suffered the agonies that he did though.
Indeed, Yamada-kun didn’t realise the situation that he had ended up in. If he’d been a true genius, then he would likely have noticed that fact and taken some kind of appropriate measures. He should have had some suspicions about why he wasn’t able to receive proper education for a start, and also shouldn’t have been unaware of the restless state of the royal family. Because he was unaware, Yamada-kun is therefore ordinary. A mere highschooler wouldn’t normally be able to understand the common sense and political circumstances of another world. Yamada-kun was treated as a genius because of what he had learnt in his previous life, which he then made use of since the time he was a young child to learn even more. It’s not the case that he was a genius. It was simply that he had developed early.
In addition, to Yamada-kun’s misfortune, a true genius was close by his side. In other words, imouto-chan. Like a cloth absorbing water, imouto-chan immediately learnt everything she was taught. As a reincarnator who had built up various things since his previous life, Yamada-kun was provoked into feeling that he mustn’t lose to her. Yamada-kun, who had simply developed early, began to put in hard work. To those around him, he was a complete genius who worked hard.
And then, while still being in the same situation where he couldn’t receive proper education, he unstintingly piled up the efforts that he could and he entered the academy while having made certain unusual connections with others. The duke’s daughter, Ooshima-kun. The candidate for the next Saint of the Divine Word Religion, Hasebe-san. Sensei the elf. He also had a rival in Natsume-kun who was next in line to become the Sword Emperor of the Empire, and not only that but Yamada-kun was ahead of him. He was at the center of such an outstanding group of people. Everyone paid attention to Yamada-kun.
Even in such a situation, for Yamada-kun himself that was simply the normal state of affairs. I think it’s likely that Yamada-kun considered himself to be ordinary and that an ordinary person like him wouldn’t become the king. For a mob character like him, being able to offer some small support to his brother the Hero would have been good enough. Even that might have felt excessive to him.
Such a Yamada-kun became the Hero due to some kind of fate, and because he had this weird skill called the Divine Protection of Heaven it put me on the alert and he got thrown into the abyss. If he hadn’t been born as the prince of the Kingdom, if he hadn’t been a reincarnator, if he didn’t have a genius sister, if he hadn’t been the younger brother of the Hero, if he hadn’t become the Hero or if he hadn’t possessed the Divine Protection of Heaven. If any one of those had been missing, then Yamada-kun wouldn’t have become a protagonist. And he wouldn’t have suffered so much either.
However, there is just one aspect to Yamada-kun that isn’t ordinary. That is his sense of responsibility. He didn’t want to shame himself as the prince of the Kingdom, as the Hero’s younger brother or as the elder brother of a younger sister. The reason why the ordinary Yamada-kun earnestly worked so hard until now, is because of that sense of responsibility. So that he wouldn’t be ashamed of his own position in life. Which is why, after becoming the Hero, he probably felt that he must take action befitting the Hero so as to not feel ashamed.
Which is why right now, Yamada-kun is fulfilling his responsibility as the elder brother.
「Sue, I cannot allow myself to be killed by you. Because I can’t believe that would actually help you.」
While staring firmly into imouto-chan’s eyes, Yamada-kun speaks to her. Imouto-chan has frozen such that she is unable to even avert her eyes.
「Sue, I cannot respond to your feelings. However, I will always be able to be at your side. As your brother. Is that so bad?」
……That was a pretty decent way to turn her down flatly.
「Onii-sama, I, I was……」
「The past cannot be changed. However, we are alive in the present. And, we are able to think about the future. Therefore, could you please consider a future of living together with me?」
……Eh? In a complete reversal from turning her down just now, doesn’t that now sound rather like a confession? Isn’t imouto-chan going to misunderstand due to the way you phrased that?
Yep. Going by her beet red face, that finished off imouto-chan. And Ooshima-kun has an incredibly hard to describe expression on her face. Like this, I feel that the scene of carnage has simply been postponed, but well, whatever.
In Japanese, telling someone of the opposite sex that you want to be with them for the rest of your lives can be taken as an indirect marriage proposal.