Re-test, as in going back in time.
The protagonists who lived pathetically and died pathetically in regret. Without any reason they would go back to the past and make a new start. They wouldn’t be told the reason for the return.
I had subjugated Demon King Pedonar. Cleanly accomplished the role of a hero. Thoroughly exterminated the demons so that they could never again threaten the peace of humanity. I had even shattered the Demon King’s soul so that he couldn’t revive for eternity.
It was a perfect conquest that didn’t leave any room for future trouble.
I could understand what was being said.
Isn’t this guy here to preach because I’m not repentant?
Locking horns with the Demon King seems easier.
This homework was a headache.
“Uh… Hero-nim, are you hurt somewhere? Gripping onto your head all of a sudden… Dimensional transfer is a magic that still hasn’t been tested. There might be an unknown side-effect, so please let me know if a problem occurs in your body.”
Lanuvel had been no more than a cat’s paw. The mastermind who had ordered her to kidnap me had appeared.
… Professor Morals.
I did remember that right after defeating the Demon King, I had received a one-sided notice that a special instructor would be dispatched. But I hadn’t taken it seriously as it had been much too absurd.
Yet to think it was real!
‘All of the teaching staff, is it…?’
I surmised that they were a group of instructors who trained heroes. Like how students who liked to play were locked up at school or in an academy to study all day, could they be kidnapping ordinary folk to this savage world and raising them into warriors under the name of ‘hero’?
I couldn’t tell the goal of this organization, but it was certain they had no malice or hostility towards me. Otherwise, there was no way I would still be alive like this out in the open.
These people were capable of effortlessly sending me, someone who had demolished the Demon King, to the past. If they became displeased, they would be able to kill the likes of me anytime.
As such, I decided to cooperate for now. Until I managed to find a clear plan to oppose them.
“… Lanuvel. Lead the way to the king.”
Professor Morals said that modesty was a virtue, did he?
While I could understand what he was trying to get at, that was a one-dimensional approach. This was a fight between the king and I to hold the initiative. I was neither a citizen of this country, nor did I have the obligation to obey a kidnapper.
I was no hunting hound.
I wasn’t a free volunteer either.
I was going to fight for my fair rights as a human. I wasn’t going to submit to the likes of a ruler who would only sit on his throne, nodding his head and ordering, “Fight against the demons with your life.”
It was just that, since I wouldn’t be able to return to Earth if this world was destroyed, I planned on reaching an adequate point of compromise like the relationship between a worker and his employee.
Professor Morals words had a point as well. Although I liked a fight for initiative where it was obvious I would win, wouldn’t showing a beautiful appearance of conceding first as a cultured person of Earth also a worthy approach?
I thus decided to go over myself first.
“Hero-nim! It’s this way!”
Lanuvel had been stamping her feet under her robe, at a loss on what to do. Her face had brightened upon hearing that I would go meet the king on my side. Apparently, it was her first time meeting a hero like me.
The expressions of the palace knight which had been stiff as stone gradually eased as well — after all, they who lived on honor and pride had the stable job of protecting maidens and the king. The romantics of the fantasy world.
Regrettably, they weren’t on the hero’s side.
“Hero-nim. Please watch your words before His Majesty.”
A palace knight asked me this as he intimidatingly looked down on me.
Imagine it. Imagine yourself surrounded by large men the size of German tanks, Russian brown bears. It wouldn’t be strange if your heart shriveled in on itself.
“What are you glaring at. You gonna hit me?”
But that wasn’t enough to make me cower.
I was the Hero-nim. The only hope of taking down Demon King Pedonar. If I were to die or didn’t cooperate, this fantasy world would be ravaged by the Demon King and ultimately fall into ruin. That’s why these men didn’t have the guts to beat up the Hero. As long as I was careful of that guy who didn’t care for the likes of humanity’s future…
“Ooh! Hero! Good spirit!”
This voice couldn’t be—
“I’ll hit you as you wish!”
Laughing heartily, a giant who was about a head taller than the palace knights, who had the large frame of bodybuilders, came charging over.
I couldn’t react at all.
A fist the size of a stone pot lid came flying at my face.
‘I’m gonna die.’
That was the only thought in my mind.
The me at the end of the 1st episode would have easily dodged it, but right now I had the crappy body of a high schooler which couldn’t even avoid a fast pitch of a baseball.
Why did this bastard appear here?
It was a miscalculation.
I was complacent.
The giant’s fist grazed past the rim of my left ear. Had it surpassed the speed of sound? A fierce wind blasted by my eardrums a beat later.
The inside of my head buzzed as my ears rang. Blood trickled out of my ears; perhaps my eardrums had bursted.
“Mr. Alex! Are you planning on killing Hero-nim?!”
Lanuvel scolded the giant with a face drained of color. But the giant who was reprimanded passed it off with a laughter as if it were nothing.
“Hahah! It’s a test of courage I tell you, a test of courage. Look. He isn’t dead, right?”
Yes. This was what I didn’t like.
These savages would kidnap innocent people and use violence on them. They would set you on a pedestal calling you “Hero-nim, Hero-nim”, but they would actually treat you lower than a human. Like hunting hound or toy to be disposed of after use.
But it was going to be different this time.
‘Professor Morals. This is self-defense.’
I took a step with my right foot to the giant’s side and slightly bowed my hips. I thrust my right hand inside the left pocket of my pants. Inside the pocket, as I had expected, was a mechanical pencil. Although it couldn’t be compared to fangs or blades, the 0.3mm mechanical pencil I had used in my school days could be considered quite sharp.
Sharp enough to use as a weapon.
I was in an unstable posture with my torso lowered and the center of my weight leaning forwards, but I didn’t panic and used that momentum like an athlete.
It was too crude to be called Iaido; my body wasn’t capable of performing the technique. But still the deftness of my hand was in a different league compared to laymen. I was different from a lenient instructor of a Kendo club who had never killed a person before — I was a hero with 10 years of experience.
I had confidence when it came wounding others.
With my murderous intent hidden like an assassin, I stuck close to the giant in a natural manner and blocked his lower vision.
I then swung the mechanical pencil in my hand. I would have aimed for his heart or waist had I had a proper blade, but there was only one part that could be injured on this giant whose skin was hard like stone.
“This, this punk?!”
The giant retreated in fright.
My surprise attack had been perfect, but his movement was swift despite his lateness in noticing it.
My 0.3mm mechanical pencil only managed to rip a straight line down the crotch of the giant’s pants.
Regretfully enough, there had been no sensation of tearing flesh. It didn’t work out as I wanted because my body was slow, even though it would have been a success had I recovered even 1% of 1st-episode-me’s physical abilities.
I had unfortunately failed in turning him into a eunuch.
It wasn’t simply on the level of taking revenge. I strongly felt that, of all people, I could never lose to this giant at least. He could be counted among the top five in terms of those whom I harbored the most resentment towards.
Sword King Alex.
In the 1st episode, five days after having an audience with the king, I met Alex for the first time in a orientation that took place in the royal training grounds. And I was beaten like a dog by him from the first day.
Under the excuse of practical training.
But in this 2nd episode, because I made a commotion without panicking, it seemed I had drawn his interest early. For starters, he was my teacher in swordsmanship as well.
“Mr. Alex! Quickly apologize to Hero-nim!”
Lanuvel, whose face had become beet red, yelled loudly. Alex, who had become just as red in the face, protested as he pointed with both hands at the ripped crotch of his pants.
“Lanuvel! Look at this! I suffered too-”
“Just what do you want me to look at?!”
Speechless, Alex shot daggers at me, the culprit. But he shrunk back when Lanuvel who stood beside me opened her eyes wide in a glare.
“Kugh! An assassin with a frail body like that? Interesting. Very well, damned Hero. If you best me, Palace Knight Captain Alex, I will officially kneel before you and apologize. I promise you this upon my honor as a knight.”
He didn’t apologize even until the moment of his death.
“Swear on your two balls?”
“Don’t get cheeky.”
Alex left the scene growling like an injured tiger, looking ridiculous with both his hands covering the crotch of his pants. Watching his retreating figure, a slight change came across my way of thinking.
Returning in time.
I got the thought that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps it was a divine revelation that I should release the stress that had piled up in the 1st episode as much as I wanted. There was a saying that if you can’t avoid it, enjoy it, no?
I felt dizzy as if seasick. Alex’s test of courage hadn’t only ruptured my eardrums. It was certain that either the semicircular canal or vestibular organ in the deepest region of my ear had been affected. These two organs maintained the body’s sense of equilibrium.
If they malfunctioned?
It would feel like the world is turning upside down.
“Hero-nim. I will heal you with magic.”
I was swaying where I stood when Lanuvel lightly grabbed my right arm and supported my with her slim body. She was pretending to truly worry about me.
Coldly shaking off Lanuvel’s hand, I closed my eyes and focused my mind.
It was without a doubt that I had lost all my abilities upon coming back in time. But that wasn’t a cause enough for me to become weak.
Turning my 10 years of effort into nothing?
How truly laughable.
The flow of blood from my ruptured eardrums abruptly ceased. My posture became stabilized as the dizziness stopped as well.
“Eh?! Hero-nim, Hero-nim! What kind of power is that?”
Having noticed my subtle changes, Lanuvel asked with round eyes that sparkled with curiosity. Even though I had warned her just now to not act cute…
“Are you curious?”
“I’ll specially explain just this one time, so clean your ears and listen well.”
I organized my thoughts once, and then opened my lips to speak.
“After manually activating the autonomous nervous system in the human body, you fix the damaged semicircular canals. How do you know it’s the semicircular canals you ask? If something had gone wrong with the otolith of the vestibular organ, the world would have felt like it was tilting, but it only looked like the world was spinning around me where I stood. That means a problem had occurred in the lymph, the sensory hair or sensory cell of the semicircular canals. Now! Since we’ve understood the cause, what comes next is simple. You temporarily cut off the auditory nerve that is sending wrong sensory information to the cerebellum, and if you concentrate on raising the natural healing ability of the semicircular canals, ta-da! Oh my! It’s already healed! It’s simple after listening about it, isn’t it?”
Lanuvel stood there blinking her eyes, having utterly failed to understand. What was the point in explaining about it in detail to an inhabitant of a fantasy world who didn’t even know about microscopes and anatomical charts? Like talking to a brick wall.
But the theme of today was modesty.
I consoled her with a benevolent smile on my face.
“It’s fine if you don’t know. It has no effect on life.”
Lanuvel pouted as she pretended to be cute again. But this time I went over it without scolding her — before I realized it we had arrived at our destination.
A palace knight cried out in a resonant voice.
“Your Majesty! The Hero requests an audience!”
I never requested an audience?
Although I wanted to tie up these bastards who treated me as an inferior as they pleased like dried corvinas and toss them into the sea, I decided to establish friendly relations for now.
I turned up the corners of my mouth into a beaming smile.
Professor Morals had told me to become an ocean. It was a good metaphor.
I’ll become an ocean and drown the lot of you.