Chapter 18 – Hero-Long-Legs

FFF-Class Trashero, 28.03.2019

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▷Bewildered: You murdered the imperial princess and the Sword King. It is said that you must take off your hat before the past, and take off your outerwear before the future. One must not ignore past mistakes, but let them go for the future. As someone who has failed before, would you not have been able to lead the both of them to a better future?

‘Oh! Professor Morals. You’ve come back quick.

‘I don’t know about a good future, but don’t worry about me slipping up. After all, no one should’ve caught on to the truth that I assassinated the imperial princess!’

It was no problem at all to my reputation. The innocent citizens of the Holy Empire didn’t have to experience the sufferings of a struggle for power either.

Cleanly killing the power-lusting imperial princess rather than changing her for the better was the safest and most guaranteed method. And it was easy to boot, yes?

As for Alex, he wasn’t even worth talking about.

▷Headache: The greatest victory is to win against your own heart. I meant for you to put down the resentments of the 1st Playthrough… A sage who rages is no longer a sage. Should not a foolish human be given the chance to repent? Magnanimity is an important virtue that a Hero must have.

‘Professor’s nagging a lot today. He’s going to tell me to be generous with the Demon King at this rate.’

▷Negative: That would be contradicting the Hero’s reason for existence.

‘We’ll see about that~’

A startled clergyman and magician came rushing over. After checking Alex’s pulse, their faces turned ghostly pale.

“He, he’s dead…”

“The greatest swordsman of the kingdom, gone in such an absurd…”

“My god…”

It seemed Alex’s death came as a shock. I could somewhat understand them trembling from uneasiness, however, since the man who had protected the royal family and the kingdom had passed away to become a cold dead body.

I could also feel the weight of what I did.

Even now I still thought of Alex as a son of a bitch—were I given the chance to kill him again, I would do so without hesitation. And I was going to honorably shoulder the responsibility for the action I took.

“Don’t worry! Just leave it to yours truly, the Hero?”

I gave a smile meant to instill a sense of security in the powerless masses.

I was quite confident in this area.

“Gasp!”

“Eek?!”

“Hic!”

… These guys were so scared because they weren’t part of the powerless masses. They were sure to have committed wrongs in secret.

‘I should remember their faces.’

“Palace knights! All assemble! Or don’t, if you don’t want to live.”

“Gasp?!”

“A-assemble-!”

There was no palace knight who objected to my command. They promptly gathered before me and stood in rows.

They had imposing demeanors the very picture of military discipline. One of the sights which had bothered me, when I had begun the 2nd Playthrough, had just disappeared. The palace knights were looking at me with eyes of admiration.

It was just what I wanted to see.

‘That’s right! You should at least do this much for a normal man who’s been sent back in time!’

In this 2nd playthrough, I had shortened to 10 days what had taken 10 years to achieve in the 1st Playthrough. With the current level of unity, with these people all gathered under the Hero’s wings, the problems all over the kingdom could be solved quickly.

That was what we were going to do starting now.

“Gentlemen. As you can see, Captain Alex died in the middle of live combat training. It’s something that often happens during such training. The most important ability in live training isn’t violence, but insight. If you ignore that and run wild, then you end up kicking the bucket like Alex. Are there any would-be-suiciders who failed to understand?”

“…”

“…”

There were no retorts.

It seemed every one of them had accepted my teaching.

“Good. I’ll end my orientation here, and from now on we will be swiftly removing the problems eating away at this kingdom. Mm? I see you guys look like you don’t understand? Then I’ll be taking questions with your hands on the line. Any knights who have something to ask, raise the hand you want cut off up high.”

“…”

“…”

It seemed their curiosity had cleanly vanished.

How nice to make quick progress.

“I’ll be splitting you all into two teams starting now. The half of you lot lead by Lanuvel will go to the queen’s villa and open a purple closet, which will reveal a secret passage. You’ll find an assembly room upon reaching the end of that passage, where you’ll wipe out the demon worshipers there and seize all the related evidence. As for the queen? It’s fine to kill her if she whines too much—she’ll be going to the gallows anyhow. The rest of you will be cleaning the inside of the kingdom with me.”

This should originally have been a premium service, but I had a debt to pay and responsibility to fulfil due to killing Alex. Even without the likes of that barbarian Sword King, I was going to cleanse this Kingdom until peace and public order could be maintained—cleanse it so properly that no one could nitpick about it later!

I was going to exhibit the skills that I had trained while being cursed by the Holy Empire citizens.

▷Surprised: Student Kang Han Soo. What change of heart is this?

‘Ah! You were still here?

‘Professor Morals. Watch and give me some good marks in reputation. I’ll work really hard.’


***


Abducted to a savage fantasy world, I had solved countless incidents over the course of 10 years for almost free of charge. It would be a lie to say that I had solved them all perfectly, but I was confident that I knew very well regarding the origins and solutions to the problems plaguing this kingdom which summoned me. It was no different than serving a young dragon whelp on a platter.

It took exactly 5 days.

In the central plaza which lead to the main entrance of the royal palace. Here, an event which involved killing all the vermin of the kingdom took place. Although these vermins were currently still bound and captured, they would soon be dealt with.

The organizer of this event was naturally me; however, the protagonist of today wasn’t.

“Porter. You ready?”

“Yes, Hero-nim.”

There was no water tank that remained clean forever. The water would turn dirty unless you cleaned it periodically.

The public safety of this kingdom was no different. In order to maintain the purity of 1st class water, a second Alex was absolutely necessary. And a smart one that was loyal to me at that.

That’s why I picked Porter.

“You know just how much I value EXP, right?”

“Yes, Hero-nim! I know extremely well!”

Porter, who was gripping an impressive spear instead of heavy baggage, replied valiantly. It was worth sitting him down and educating his mentality for an entire day.

Our surroundings was simply swarming with lumps of EXP. They were the criminals who had been tied up like dried corvinas, row after row, and gathered here all neat for the sake of today’s event.

They were originally scheduled to be buried at sea, but such plans were always bound to be changed.

The occupations and personalities of the criminals varied as well.

“Your Majesty! Your Majesty! Please save me! The Hero has gone mad!”

There was still one pal among them who hadn’t given up. It was truly regrettable seeing how that tenacity of his was used from a young age to kidnap people, and rape and torture them. His status abilities were quite excellent as well.

Information
▷Race: Human
▷Level: 116
▷Job: Noble(Pedigree=Elegance↑)
▷Skills: Elegance(C) Murder(D) Tactics(D) Business Management(D) Politics(E)…
▷Status: Dislocation, Minor Injury, Fear

Nobles raised their Level through various methods in order to live a long and healthy life. Elixirs that could be bought with money were the most popular, but because of their rarity and formidable prices, EXP hunting was preferred as the main method.

However, there was no rule saying you should only kill monsters—people gave EXP too.

Those of military backgrounds who frequently took part in wars between humans or subjugation of monsters were still better off as they had many opportunities to gain EXP.

The problem was those of poor lineage. They desired to retain youth and live long and healthy, but were reluctant to spend on elixirs or had no money to do so, and neither did they wish to venture into battlefields or hunting grounds where they might be hurt or die. They didn’t want to spend any effort to get what they wanted.

And this naturally leads to murder.

No noble becomes a serial killer right off the bat. Even if they do kill, they start with criminals or slaves who have no connection to anything. It wouldn’t become a problem if they stop at this point, but it becomes serious if they lay a hand on innocent commoners.

It’s the death penalty without question.

“Kill them.”

“Yes.”

Porter’s spear pierced through the chest of a noble.

“Whooo!”

“Hero-nim! Hurrah!”

“Serves you right!”

The citizens who had come to spectate cheered. They were rejoicing in the deaths of these wicked nobles who had kidnapped their family members and neighbors, and turned them into EXP. This was nothing but an appetizer, though.

The main dish was going to be served next.

“Oh my beloved! How aggrieving this is! Your Majesty~!”

A haggard beauty was tied to a wooden pillar by herself, in contrast to the event-use dried corvinas, who cried out pleadingly while gazing towards the royal palace.

It was truly difficult inviting her here.

Information
▷Race: Human
▷Level: 36
▷Job: Queen(Favor=Devilishness↑)
▷Skills: Charm(B) Elegance(C) Devilishness(D) Evil Miasma(E) Sociability(E)…
▷Status: Inner Turmoil, Fear, Breakdown

She was the Dumpling King’s pretty wife.

Any woman would wish to become as beautiful as a flower. If they were already beautiful, they would want to keep that beauty for a long time. The most common way to achieve this was to obtain EXP and raise their Level, but women who found this difficult would find their answer in Skills: Charm, Devilishness, Eternal Youth, Blessing, martial arts, magic… But these were far harder to improve compared to Levels.

This was because of Skill proficiency.

The queen, who nevertheless still wanted to easily retain her beauty and youth, found the solution to her dilemma in a cult which had been eating away at the kingdom—she made a contract with a demon and borrowed the ‘power of a demon’. The Skill ‘Evil Miasma’ was proof.

She had betrayed her husband and sold her country and people to a demon for the sake of her own beauty. And yet she didn’t know what she had done wrong.

So, the verdict?

“Kill this bitch too.”

“… Hero-nim. Isn’t there leeway for rehabilitation?”

“Looks like this damned porter still hasn’t been educated enough. If you let someone off for being pretty, or for being the queen, then who among the people would believe in the Hero and the country? You wanna die in her stead?”

“I, I understand.”

Stab-!

The body of the queen who wished to live long and pretty fell limp.

She became good EXP.

The queen was caught red-handed on the scene of the crime and the evidence was also clear, so there had been no loophole for her escape through. Despite that, though, the Dumpling King had wanted to quietly hide her away.

It was because of the matter of choosing a successor.

Imagine an ‘ill-omened creature’ born of a demon worshiper becoming the next king of your country—none among the populace would accept this quietly. That was why the Dumpling King had wanted to cover up his wife’s regrettable crime by confining her to the underground prison, and pass off the matter by saying the queen was murdered during a demon raid.

But I didn’t feel the need to that.

Because—

“Mother…!”

“Queen mother…!”

—the two princes fighting over the seat of successor would soon be taking their leave as well.

It was disturbing enough that brothers who shared the same blood were trying to kill each other, but they had even stooped to all sorts of filthy corruption and shady dealings in order to procure funds for their activities: monopolizing market stock, loansharking, gambling, contract killing, political marriage, blackmailing…

These guys had no leeway for rehabilitation.

“If you brothers go to hell, then don’t fight among yourselves but be filial instead. With twice the sincerity. End of verdict, kill them.”

“Yes!”

Stab! Stab!

The two princes whose Levels were around 200 were stabbed to death by Porter’s spear. The spectating citizens, while surprised, didn’t appear too shocked. They accepted this situation as a matter of course. This wasn’t something that could happen normally; after all, royalty were existences that were like the clouds in the sky in a fantasy world.

And that was why I dragged these people down to earth. I mitigated the shock by having the queen killed after declaring her a demon worshiper, and executing the princes she gave birth to in following.

This was the answer to this matter. No one raised an objection to my verdict, and with this the atmosphere had become just how I wanted it to be like.

“Porter. Quickly take out the rest of the garbage.”

“Garbage? Ah! Yes! Hero-nim!”

Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab! Stab…

The citizens now merely looked on, taking things in stride. In this situation where even the royals were executed, would they care for the death of nobles and celebrities? The matter quickly came to a close without complicated trials.

The more wicked a noble was, the higher their Level. Thanks to that, Porter’s Level shot up as well.

Information
▷Race: Human
▷Level: 325
▷Job: Adjudicator(Criminal→Judgement↑)
▷Skills: Judgement(A) Tenacity(B) Survivability(C) Spearmanship(C) Courage(D)…
▷Status: Tense

Just half a month back he had been a Level 286 slave; however, having swiftly developed with the help and encouragement of the brilliant Sir Hero who had 10 years of experience under his belt, Porter had transformed into the great manly man he was now. Even his Job had changed from a cheap Mercenary to Adjudicator, and his Skill set was truly of quality too.

“Let’s see… Right. Now all you need is a fine woman by your side and you’d be the picture of a hero!”

There was a very suitable woman for that position—the princess of the kingdom. To think that after having investigated her down to the very last detail, nothing came up except for teddy bear underwear… Tsk!

She was a character beloved by the people, so an unknown man of mercenary background wouldn’t have been able to even dare dream of associating, but an opportunity had arrived due to the queen causing trouble.

You only live once.

“Hero-nim? No matter what, that’s a bit…”

“Why?”

“I murdered the family of the princess…?”

‘Aha! And I thought it was something else.’

This porter was a hulking chicken as usual.

“Get it right. It’s not murder, but execution. Somebody would have had to do it. The queen and princes will live forever eternal in your heart… as EXP. We’re already one family!

Even if nothing but teddy bear underwear turned up in the princess’ closet, she would never be able to escape from the disgrace and suspicion from being the ‘daughter of a demon worshiper’—her value as a princess had taken a nosedive.

“And so someone like you is more than a match for her. Be confident!”

“I might be poisoned to death on our first wedding night…”

“I say! Just trust in this great Hero~”

‘I’ll raise you up till you’re king!’