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Saria’s Feelings and the End Line of the Heroes
「I rushed here when I heard Kisaragi and his goons were heading to this class, but…」
「I got here ‘cuz Yuka and the girls pushed me here to meet Sei-chan, but… 」
「What are you doing here?」
「What’cha doin’ here, prez?」
「No, I should be the one asking that here!」
Class F’s sudden guests, Kannazuki-senpai and Airin, were pointing at each other.
Meeting yet another new character even though Kisaragi-senpai and his group just left a while ago made the students wide-eyed, but it seemed like they chose to stay silent and watch from the sidelines.
For the time being, let us sort out the situation.
First, I could understand Kannazuki-senpai. It was very thankful, but I knew just how much Kannazuki-senpai cared for me, so I could see how she would take action when she heard about Kisaragi-senpai’s conduct.
But, what I couldn’t understand was why Airin here.
In the first place, I hadn’t seen Airin since the day we enrolled into High School.
No, I know she’s been looking for me since Junior High, but I’ve been avoiding her since.
She had finally made a friend and escaped from the loner world, if she was seen with someone like me, everything would have been for nothing.
In the end, I tried to find the reason, but…
「Oi oi, what’s happening?」
「Why’s the student council’s president here?」
「…Beats me? It just, somehow feels like a cat fight’s gonna happen…」
Since I heard voices from behind Airin’s back, I changed my line of sight over there. What I saw was a group of three girls whispering with each other, that I assumed were her friends.
「What’s the meaning of this!? Seiichi-kun! Why is Seto Airi——」
「Sei-chan, I demand an explanation! Why’z the prez——」
For some reason, their gazes that had been in clash with each other were suddenly turned against me, and when they did so, I could see their expression turned into much like Kisaragi-senpai’s a while ago.
「Eh? Ah, err…. What might be the problem?」
My question that for some reason turned into a formal language was faced with silence.
Then, when Airin’s friend saw her suddenly stiffened, they came out from their hiding and voiced their worry.
「Oi, what’s wrong? Wait——」
「Something happened? …Huh?」
「……………Is he really the rumored 『Sei-chan』? 」
Her friends, too, had their expression stiffened when they laid their eyes on me. Really, what is it!? Explanation, puriizu!!
When my head was filled with such thought, Airin who finally snapped out came near me.
「Ain’t cha way too cool, Sei-chan!? What kinda diet ya went through!?」
「Eh? …F, fruit of evolution diet…?」
「The heck’s that!? Rather, ain’t cha changed way more than I did!?」
Come to think of it, Airin was just a plain normal girl back then, wasn’t she.
And that girl is now such a pretty and popular woman. But it seems like my transformation was that much of a surprise, comparatively. Well, I did get thinner, and I’ve gotten taller, and I’m no longer balding, but still,
「Is it that much of a change? Isn’t it just my face getting thinner?」
「Just where face did that come out from!? Have ya properly looked into a mirror!?」
「Well, I have.」
Eh? I’m the weird one?
Certainly, there had been a number of times I had the chance to check on my own face since I left 【The Forest of Endless Love and Sorrow】. These would be when I used the reflection of my face on the water surface.
But, if you asked my opinion, it wasn’t that much of a change. Just like losing some pimples, is all.
When my head went toward that direction, Airin pulled me back to the moment with her tired voice.
「Sei-chan… just how low could your self-esteem be… Rather, I doubt ya can get so cool by getting thinner alone…」
「Eh? Did you just casually diss me?」
While Airin and I were going back and forth, one of her friends voiced her opinion.
「…It’s just my opinion, but is it possible that his usual profile was too harsh to look at that his judgement over his current face is clouded? Though, that in itself is sad to think about.」
「Does that kind of thing even happen? …Wait, with Sei-chan in question, it’s a real possibility.」
I don’t understand what happened, but it seemed Airin got the explanation she wanted.
It was hard to notice with the circumstance at hand, but it came to me that I hadn’t talked to Airin since junior high.
When I realized this fact, sentimental feelings washed over me.
「…It’s maybe too late to say, but it’s been a while since we talked like this, isn’t it…」
「…Really …Sei-chan’s sure is selfish, avoiding me on his own…」
「That’s… I’m sorry.」
There was no denying that I did avoid her, and all I could do was to apologize.
Airin was looking at this pathetic me with the most serious expression I’d seen.
After a while, her face broke down into a warm, gentle smile, then said so.
「…Well, all’s fine. I got to meet with Sei-chan again, after all.」
The ambiance between us was awkward due to the reunion, but Airin’s atmosphere suddenly took a 180 degree turn.
「 …By the way, Sei-chan. What’s the meaning of this?」
「Meaning of what?」
「Playing dumb don’t work on me. Sei-chan, you got a special relationship with the prez, don’t cha? Tell me how it become like that!」
「Even if you say special… we’re just childhood friends, you know?」
「Naaaw! That not it, no matter how you slice it! My intuition is telling me something’s happening! Just spit everything out!」
「What can I spit, that’s all there is to it…」
As Airin was rampaging mad bull, her attack was finally directed onto Kannazuki-senpai.
「You too, prez! You said you didn’t know anything about Sei-chan! You liar!」
「Hello, you hear me?」
Even when Airin had been calling out to her, Kannazuki-senpai was unresponsive.
Come to think of it, Kannazuki-senpai has been silent for a while… what’s wrong with her?
When I leaned my face on her to check her state, she suddenly opened her mouth and asked so with dignity.
「Let’s get married.」
「The hell are you talking about!?」
Just what’s going on in her head!? Rather, where did the talk about weddings come from!? Isn’t she way outside the topic!?
Both Airin and I were surprised, but even in the midst of it, Kannazuki-senpai continued her talk, still in the same state as before.
「I had the resolve to control myself, but now that I see you, my thoughts have changed. What should we do about the reception?」
「You only changed the words, not the context!」
The retort that jumped out from my mouth, followed by Airin who also couldn’t contain her disagreement.
「Wh, whawhawhat are you talking, prez! Do you have a loose screw in your head!?」
「Y, you’re right! Tell her more!」
「I’m the one who gets to wed Sei-chan!」
「You’re the one who’s saying nonsense!」
It wasn’t just Kannazuki-senpai who had a screw loose.
「I, I can’t help it, can I! I already loved you in the first place, and when we met again, you got so cool!」
「Hah? Love, you said… EEEeeeeeehhhh!?!??」
「I, too, have been in love with Seiichi-kun since long ago. I can’t hold myself back anymore.」
Airin loves me!? Not only that, Kannazuki-senpai too!?!? Crap, too much information is flowing into my brain I can’t keep up with what’s what…!
「Sei-chan, make your choice! You’re going to wed me, aren’t cha!?」
「No, it’s me. You’re going to choose me, aren’t you!? Else, I’ll kill you then myself right after!」
「What’s with this risky option…!?」
It’s weird, it’s weird on so many levels…! Just what has happened to my body!?
I, who was cornered onto the walls, was in literal trouble.
And then, suddenly, I found my right arm coiled with someone else’s.
「Y… You can’t! Seiichi’s bride——is me!」
——That was, Saria.
Kannazuki-senpai and Airin were shocked by her sudden arrival.
It wasn’t just them, I too, was surprised.
All this time, when I dated Al, Saria never showed an ounce of anger nor jealousy——And it was the first time I was exposed to that emotion from her.
She was holding my right arm tightly and stared into Kannazuki-senpai and Airin with eyes of angst, but not ones that had lost their reason.
As we were lost in confusion, Saria finally came to her senses and questioned her own action, just as bewildered.
「E, eh? Why did I say…」
When I tried to get her attention, bewildered still, she looked to my eyes.
「Seiichi… I’m, weird. When I heard Kannazuki and the other girl say they wanted to marry Seiichi, I… somehow, I felt really displeased…」
「Even though I never felt something like this before… What should I do…?」
Saria anxiously asked.
Looking at her like that, I——.
「…Saria. Will you forgive me?」
When I told her so, Saria’s expression changed into a befuddled one.
Watching the diverse in her expressions made me laugh bitterly, before I faced the other girls again.
「Kannazuki-senpai, Airin, I am truly happy that you feel that way to me, but I already have Saria. I’m terribly sorry.」
My head was bowed low before the two.
…Indeed, I also had another lover, namely Al, but our relationship was already approved by Saria.
But, it seems like the three of us need to sit down and properly talk it out….
With my head still lowered, first to be heard from was Kannazuki-senpai.
「Seiichi-kun… I understand your feelings. However, don’t expect me to just back down and shut my own feelings.」
「I’m the same. Just when I get to meet ya and tell ya my feelings, and ya told me to get it over with… I hate it.」
Toward such a pathetic me who could do nothing but bow, Kannazuki-senpai declared so.
「That is why, all I ask is to be your first concubine!」
「A, you cheat! I get to be the first concubine!」
Following Kannazuki-senpai’s sudden declaration, Airin also raised her hand.
「Hm? What is there to be surprised about? Polygamy is a common practice in this world, isn’t it? So, if you choose Saria as your first, then…」
「N, nonono! Just hold your freaking horses! We’re not talking about that, are we!? Are we!? Saria!?」
「I’m the first wife right? Then it’s okay!」
「Oh dear me, I got the okay!」
Just what in the what!? Is this a problem that can really be solved as simply as that!?
As my head met dead ends after dead ends, oblivious to it, Saria spoke with glee.
「Of course I really love Seiichi and I want to marry Seiichi, but as I said before, I’m not thinking of monopolizing Seiichi to myself.」
「And also, the two of them have known Seiichi long before I do, and they have been thinking about Seiichi all this time, right? I think it’s wrong to tell them to give Seiichi to me who suddenly showed up.」
「…That… might or might not be correct but…」
With my mouth threw out words I didn’t really process, Saria just smiled wide and uttered.
「It’s okay! I’ll just do my best to stay to be your first! Okay?」
Really, I just can’t win against Saria.
Thinking of Saria from the bottom of my heart, the person in question watched over Kannazuki-senpai and Airin who were still competing over the second position or whatever it was.
「But since there’s Al, isn’t the second position is already taken?」
「Ha ha ha…」
I only could laugh dryly.
Then, from among the students who’d been the sideline watcher, I heard Flora mumbled with a stiff smile.
「This may sound late and repeated over and over again, but…. Just what are you, Seiichi-sensei?」
That’s what I want to know!
「Fucking shit! I’ll fucking get him back…!」
「Fucking made a fool of us…」
「Aah… fucking disgusting.」
Kisaragi’s group was crowding the corridor with profanities after their little visit to Class F and being dealt with by Seiichi.
The other students were fast on their feet to leave as they noticed this particular group of Heroes who bothered not to hide their displeasure.
Then Kisaragi, who was leading the group, voiced his suggestion to the other heroes.
「That’s right… why don’t we level up a bit right now?」
「Ahn? Why so sudden?」
Ooyama was confused with his sudden proposal, but the answer he expected came with a dark overbreeding smile.
「We’re gonna level up to kick that bastard Seiichi in the balls. We’re the Heroes, no one else. Our status go up way faster than the others, am I right or what? If so, let’s just level up and teach that guy who’s the boss.」
「You say that, but… what level is he?」
「Beats me. Who fucking cares about that. We’ll be able to snap that guy in half once we level up. That’s all we need to care about.」
With his grin that never left its post, Kisaragi planned their next action.
「For now, we need to recover our MP enough to level up.」
Having said that, they strode toward a certain classroom.
——They were still oblivious. The things that would occur to them, they hadn’t the slightest idea…
In the middle of their cruise to said classroom, as they were climbing the flight of stairs——it happened.
For no reason at all, Kisaragi found himself missing one step on the staircase.
As the lead stumbled and fell, like the domino effect, the other heroes behind him just fell through the whole staircase.
「T, that huuuurt!」
「M, Masaya! Look where you’re stepping!」
「Y, you think I did it on purpose! …Hm?」
With all of them practically stuck on the floor, Kisaragi noticed something on the stairs, which he believed was the reason for the slip.
After everyone managed to pull themselves up the stairs, carefully this time, what they found was a dripping wet wallet.
「Shit! Which fucker dropped his wallet here…! No matter who, I ain’t letting anyone go away!」
Kisaragi slammed the wallet back on the floor with rage.
After Tougou and the other guys calmed him down, they reached out to the classroom they aimed, then throw the door open.
「Hey, bring out the mana recovery potion!」
「Who do you think we are!? Heroes, you know! Fucking bring it out already!」
The classroom they went into was a laboratory where pharmaceutical classes were held, and there were many medicines and similar raw materials stored within.
Even though the students in the pharmacy lab were doing their best on their experiments, Kisaragi paid no mind to any of it, he just grabbed the nearest student and yelled his order.
As the heroes’ ill reputation was circulating around the whole campus, the students in the pharmacy lab could only obediently obey.
While indeed they were studying there, it was not like they knew every kind of concoction the lab stored.
But, the student knew pleading that would only add insult to injury, so he was desperate to look for what was told.
「P, perhaps… this one…?」
「How long do you want to make us wait!? Here, give it to me!」
Kisaragi, who was already fuming, took the concoction that the student held, and drank as much as he wanted, before giving the rest to the other heroes.
Tougou, Ooyama, and the others did pretty much the same until the bottle was dry.
「Phew… that’ll fill some.」
「Th, that’s troubling! If you drank all of it…!」
「What? Who do you think you’re speaking to?」
Being exposed to the heroes’ gazes all at once, the student held his breath unwittingly.
Looking at his state, Kisaragi snorted.
「Hmph…. you small fries have no right whatsoever. All you have to do is just stay silent and follow whatever we say. …We no longer have any business here, let’s scram.」
Done kicking a fuss, Kisaragi pulled his group out and went away.
——But, they hadn’t noticed it.
The concoction they drank was nothing close to Mana Recovery Potion.
If only one among them bothered to use 『Appraisal』 on it, the future might have changed.
After all, this is what would appear if they had used 『Appraisal』 on it.
『Anaphrodisiac』 …….A concoction made for creature with high fertility, i.e. orcs and goblins. A super potent drug; one sip will result in complete failure of the genitals. Subject will be rendered incapable of sexual activity regardless of how aroused they are.
Without them knowing, they had completely lost their function as a male.
Still oblivious of that, Kisaragi and his goon who believed they had recovered their mana stepped their feet on the forest just outside the academy.
「I heard that this is the best place to level up for students. For the time being, let’s just go wild.」
They delved into the woods to get some levels, yet they could find nothing.
They were oblivious of the fact that it was the same woods where Demiolos did his massacre upon the monsters.
Therefore, the students were prohibited to enter the woods as the ecosystem and the food chain were greatly disrupted.
However, Kisaragi’s group was oblivious of this warning as they stepped in.
Some time had passed, and the heroes were clearly unpleasant at the current state of affairs.
「Why the fuck they ain’t appearing!?」
Kisaragi who finally reached his boiling point, blew up.
「Where’s the slime? The fucking goblins!? Why ain’t even one show up!? Ain’t they just small fries…!」
「You’re right… Isn’t it weird that we can’t even see a shadow?」
「This is what I’d call a useless school.」
As they were having such back-and-forth during their search, suddenly, the sound of trees breaking was heard.
「Hmm? What’s that?」
As they turn their attention toward the source of the sound, 『It』 showed itself.
「T, that’s a…!」
What appeared before them was a bear monster that originally would never show up in the vicinity of the academy.
「Finally one shows up… To top it, it’s one that’s good enough to level up, ain’t it.」
They were stunned for a moment when they realized it was a bear monster, but a ferocious smile started to show up when they realized it was their long-awaited prey.
And then, Kisaragi put his hand toward the bear.
「Well, why don’t we kill it fast and look for the next one? 『Fire Lance』!」
Kisaragi had casted the spell, and yet there was no indication that the spell would materialize.
「Stop kidding around… Here, I’ll do it instead. 『Wind Shot』! 」
As for Kisaragi had failed his spell, next was Tougou to use his own magic, but the result was just as similar.
「Hah? W, why…」
As they were in total confusion just because their magic failed to work, the monster that was on alert till then roared.
Kisaragi and everyone there was oblivious of this, but a monster’s roar packed magic to cause panic, and that was just what befell them.
「D, don’t be a coward!」
「Y, you guys use your magic too! Do it!」
「G, got it! 『Fire Lance』!」
The other heroes, Kobayashi and his crooks, followed Kisaragi’s command and chanted their spell, and yet no magic formed.
「Wh… why it won’t come out!?」
The reason why their magic wouldn’t form was simple.
They never drank any magic restoration potion in the first place.
Since what they feasted upon was a concoction called 『Anaphrodisiac』, not even a single drop of mana was recovered.
That being said, it didn’t mean that they were completely out of magic.
However, for Kisaragi and his goons that neglected their fundamental magic practices, they were incapable of deploying spells with the tiniest amount of mana, as it would require detailed techniques to accomplish.
Kisaragi and his group were thrown into a frenzy just because they were incapable of deploying magic, the fact that there was a bear monster that inched closer by the second was completely outside their mind.
With his hips ready to give in, Kisaragi suddenly cried out as though he just remembered something.
「R, right! You lot, use the 『Holy Sword』!」
「I see! Monsters are just like demons, aren’t they!」
「Eat this you shit!」
Each of them pulled out their sword and blindly swing it around, with no arts or technique to support it.
It was then when all of them were knocked away at once.
The monster simply swept his arm sideways.
That was all what needed to blow the heroes away without them recognizing what kind of attack it was.
If only they kept their cool and acted accordingly, such an attack wouldn’t have been received.
However, with them under the influence of the monster’s roar and losing their temper over their magic, that scenario was just a pie in the sky.
Every last one of them slammed into the surrounding trees with great momentum, the unfortunate ones were directly exposed to the monster’s devilish claws and had their arms severed.
「It hurts it hurts it hurts IT FUCKING HUUUUURRRTTTSS!!!!!」
「Ugh… Oegh… Groaaaan!!」
Was it due to luck that no lives were taken, but there was no mistake that they were already a step into their graves with just a single attack.
But the hardest blow would be the sight they had to behold right after.
Much to their surprise, their prided 『Holy Swords』——snapped in half.
「N, no way…」
「T, tell me this is a joke. Hey…」
The broken 『Holy Swords』 were reduced into particles of light, then disappeared into thin air.
They were still in shock to see their 『Holy Swords』 became scrap, that they didn’t recognize the big change that was happening to their status.
Along with the loss of 『Holy Sword』——they also lost the qualification as a 『Hero』.
As a matter of principle, a 『Holy Sword』 wasn’t such a brittle artifact.
On the contrary, in the account of it did break, its wielder wouldn’t lose their qualification to be a hero, as the sword would be restored once they resummon it.
However… Kisaragi and his goons lost their qualification.
That meant they could no longer summon the 『Holy Sword』 to their cause.
And the 『Holy Swords』 weren’t the only thing they had lost.
As they lost their status as a hero, they also lost their 『Holy Attribute Magic』, and their growth rate reduced to that of an ordinary person… nay, as they were a resident of a peaceful world, their growth rate was as low as it could be, to the extent that even a child from this world could single handedly defeat them.
However, the only thing they had in mind was that they just lost their 『Holy Sword』, completely unaware how much worse things actually were for them.
And in front of them was a bear monster who cared not of how they fared, swinging its devilish claws down unto them.
Kisaragi dragged his body around with the last of his breath, trying his damndest to avoid direct hit.
「M, MY FACEEE! MA, MAI…… MAII FAAACEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!」
Kisaragi who couldn’t evade in time received a large slash across his face.
The injury was so large, his prized idol face was nowhere to be seen.
The monster then pursued other heroes who still were having a hard time accepting their reality.
Tearing, striking, stomping——.
With these ex-heroes reduced to lower-than-commoners, they became nothing but fishes in a barrel.
Each last of them had their faces contorted, destroyed, changed for the worse, until none of them could even call themselves Idols as they had boasted just a while ago.
However, lady luck was still watching them over.
Why, for people who were weaker than even a level 1 commoner, the monster could only see them as playthings that had no need to be killed.
However, the monster couldn’t forever play with their lives.
The bear monster who had grown tired of its toys opened its maws, ready to feast on its Kisaragi-shaped lunch——when that happened.
「And here I thought I’ve told everyone that it’s prohibited to enter here.」
A single strike flashed.
Swayed between his consciousness and pitch blackness, Kisaragi saw the moment when the monster’s neck fell with a plop.
「Now that’s some gruesome injuries… I can save your lives, but can’t say the same for these nasty scars. You reap what you sow.」
So Altoriasaid as she entered the forest’s clearing, for she was here to investigate the woods.
She was requested by Barnabas to check upon the forest, since Demiolos’ deed had made the power balance within it go awry.
Altoria frowned when she was exposed to these students’ injuries.
Why of course, what seeped out of their bodies was not only blood and sweat, but all kinds of bodily fluids. Having a dance with death made them lose control of their bladder.
All of those mixed around and resulted in a pungent, horrific smell.
「I’ll give y’all the recovery potions I got on hand, but do know that it can’t restore the blood you lost or completely relieve all the pain. Other teachers are on their way here, so hold on till then.」
It was just as she said, the other teachers briskly arrived for rescue. They managed to relieve Kisaragi and the others’ of their pain, but they were too late to tend to the injuries.
By now, Kisaragi and his goons no longer had a future as an idol.
They felt relief wash over them for now, but the road ahead was nothing short of distraught.
However, just how did they stumble upon disaster after disaster in such a world where even the gods had left behind?
——It was because this very World was trying to please a single 『Human』.