There were no other demons nearby the Demon King’s room; they weren’t so clueless as to steal glances at the clandestine meeting between a man and a woman which crossed the racial barrier, and my surprise attack met no obstacle thanks to that. It couldn’t be a more perfect timing.
“You stay out of it, lady!”
I charged up to the throne in the span of a breath and launched a hard kick at the tight buttocks of the Elf Queen sitting on the Demon King’s thigh, clearing her to the side.
The bothersome hindrance was gone, and now what remained was…
I stabbed the point of Holy Sword 2 deeply in the chest of Demon King Pedonar, who was reduced to a defenseless state. The Demon King, whose Level had plunged to Level 1, couldn’t even stand up from his throne, let alone dodge the attack. It had gone just as according to plan.
“A hero being so cowardly as to resort to assassination…! Cough!”
It seemed Pedonar was more shocked at my heroism rather than his own imminent death.
“This is what you call a tactical victory! Surprised?”
But the Demon King who had already drawn his last breath couldn’t retort; his vitality and even recovery ability had decreased as his Level fell to Level 1.
“Haeung… Just what in the heavens…”
I ignored Madam Elf Queen who stood up in an alluring manner while rubbing her sore behind. Now wasn’t the time to be eyeing another’s woman.
‘Now then, quick!’
The grading began immediately.
Wasn’t this too lacking of sincerity, humanly speaking? I had formed no bonds at all in the 4th Playthrough.
But I magnanimously looked past that point with a smiling face because, according to my calculations, I would be able to graduate for sure this time around. There had been nothing which could have been used as some pretext by the grader.
‘Now! Get out with my report card already. Come on~’
‘A monster, is it. How saddening. I would like to be called an intelligent student.’
The only flaw was that my combat ability was evaluated low due to being Level 1, but it wasn’t particularly at the level of being an issue. Graduating wasn’t decided by the average grade anyhow. You only had to pass the minimum standard in each subject and that would be it.
It was the same as university entrance examinations. You only had to achieve the grades required by the university you were aiming for. Of course, it wasn’t certain if you’d manage to meet that standard due to the competition between examinees, but this test I was taking wasn’t based on relative, but absolute evaluation. There was no need to worry at all.
The result came out as expected.
I became able to escape from this barbaric fantasy word and return home.
Tears of emotion sliding down from my eyes obscured my vision, and as even my nose felt sour, I found it hard to speak as well.
“Hah! It was too long!”
I was locked up in this place for around 11 years. How should I explain to my parents upon returning to Earth? That I was abducted away to the experimental lab of sinister aliens? But that didn’t matter right now. It wouldn’t be too late to think on it after going back.
‘What are you saying? Miss Trainee Teacher helped too. It was enough that you didn’t nag like Professor Morals did.’
‘Alright. Not just friends, but secret friends, alright? I’ll pray that Miss Trainee Teacher will become a wonderful teacher.’
Apparently the teaching staff were also surprised by my elaborate exam strategy. Now this was how you took a test.
“Look here! Teaching staff. Are you listening? It was stressful being with you lot all this while, and I hope we won’t ever meet again even by coincidence!”
My god! There was a certificate award!
But this also smelled thickly of a half-hearted copy-paste job, and the B-rank Hero phrase was irksome as well. However, I had achieved my goal of escaping from this fantasy word and so, the rest was whatever.
Miss Trainee Teacher was a crybaby!
I liked it, because she was more humane than Professor Morals.
A ray of light warm like the womb of a mother shined down upon me, beginning to envelope my body. There didn’t seem to be much of a difference from the times I regressed, but… I was surely just imagining it.
‘Mr. Earth! I’m coming to meet you now!’
The moment I came to my senses, I examined my surroundings.
“… Is this a cave?”
I had opened my eyes in a pitch-dark room. Sitting on a primitive throne that seemed as if carved from rock, I was gazing at a way out from which a faint light leaked in. I glanced around me, and saw there was no path aside from the tunnel in front. It was as if I was being blatantly told, “Dear Customer, the exit is that way.”
First, I checked the state of my body which was most important of all.
The movements of my limbs were fine. Sight, hearing, smell and such were working normally as well. Next up was Status.
I wasn’t able to tear my eyes away from my Job. For some reason, ‘Hero’ had disappeared.
“My god! Jobless. I’ve become a bum? They said they appointed me as a Hero, yet not only did they not get me employed, they took away what I had as well. What tyranny is this?”
But that was fine. The Job of Hero was simply excessively outrageous; there were plenty of Jobs that were alright. Assassin, Champion, Tracker, Swordsman, Thief, Great Villain… When looking at the aspect of specialization, they were even better than Hero. The worst case scenario I had speculated was my Status disappeared like a ‘shit dream’. Compared to that, this was within the scope of what I could handle.
Currently, my attire was only comprised of a drooping, brown, cotton t-shirt and cotton pants. To my surprise, I wasn’t even wearing underwear! My hands were empty as if it were only natural, and my pockets didn’t even contain basic livelihood funds.
In short, I was a poor bum.
“Hah! Really! Doesn’t the Fantasy God even have a conscience? Seizing everything cleanly without giving a single graduation gift.”
After lightly grumbling my discontent, I stood up from the throne, and activated Black-Box.
Skills SSS-rank, SS-rank, S-rank. My Status was filled beautifully like the Milky Way on a night sky.
I was able to summon forth Holy Sword 2 without particular restrictions as well. Its function of amplifying Skill effects also remained the same.
The upgrade of my physical body was also finished in no time. I had become reborn again as the warrior race specialized in surviving in a barbaric fantasy world. Strong, flexible, and intelligent.
“Return preparations complete.”
My heart thumped with anticipation that couldn’t be hidden. Now, all that remained was to leave this cave and fully enjoy the life on Earth. The first thing I would do was to find and meet my parents, and then binge watch all the movies and dramas I had missed out on. There was a mountain of things to do.
Before long I came out of the dark cave.
And then I came to a realization.
“Now matter how I look at it, this isn’t Earth…?”
After taking in the open scenery outside, I felt in my bones that something was wrong. Or had the environment of Earth changed drastically in my 11 years’ absence?
A forest of huge trees the size of tall buildings… there were no such species of trees that existed on Earth at all.
2 moons up in the sky… I had never heard of the moon giving birth to a baby.
“Hey! Teaching staff! What bullshit is this now? Explain right this instant!”
And they really began to explain.
‘Capiche my ass, moron. Why don’t you look at your own brazen behaviour of insisting that I cheated instead?’
They turned the fault into the student’s after having half-assed the exam and grading standard themselves. Their character and conscience was FFF-grade level.
“Anyhow, where exactly is this?”
I couldn’t see the dimension transfer magic circle and Lanuvel, who would have spouted, “Welcome, Sir Hero!” had I regressed normally.
“Hey there! Is it your first time here?”
Instead, a woman I was meeting for the first time suddenly approached to ask me this.
I was about to completely ignore her and pass by when I came to a pause.
‘What? This woman…’
I took a new look at the woman who came talking to me.
Her pretty face was done up with light makeup, and her outfit and accessories didn’t originate from a boorish fantasy world, but used the polished designs and materials of modern Earth. Was she perhaps a hero summoned like Sieg?
I swiftly scanned through her Status.
She wasn’t Level1, and her Job also wasn’t ‘Hero’. Then had I seen wrong?
I needed information.
“It’s my first time like you asked. I was dragged over here without knowing why and so am very confused. Beautiful lady, pardon me for asking you this at first meeting, but can you tell me where this is? I’ll definitely return the favor.”
I attempted communication in the language of gentlemen.
“Yes. This is, you see… Yah!”
The woman, who had seemed as if she was going to explain kindly with a smiling face, drew the sword hung by her waist and came thrusting it towards my throat.
But I was faster. After ducking my torso and summoning forth Holy Sword 2, I severed both ankles of the woman’s outstretched legs.
Right before the woman’s scream could escape her lips loudly, I stomped down hard on her chest using my shoeless bare foot. Her scream turned soundless as the air in her lungs emptied, and with that the situation came to a close.
I had noticed what was up from the moment this woman had approached with a friendly face, as that expression was something I was extremely familiar with. The imperial princess of the Holy Empire… the woman’s expression was the same as that princess’, who had used her beauty and tears to mislead the Hero’s party and in the end, risen to the seat of the Holy Empire’s empress.
I lifted away my foot that was pressing down on the woman’s chest, saying, “Shut up before I stuff your trap with your guts.”
She immediately became well-behaved.
“Pretty bitch, I’ll ask again. Where is this? It’ll be best for your mental health if you reply while I’m talking foul.”
“I, I give.”
Swallowed by fear, the woman gave an irrelevant reply.
“… Right. We were still strangers, weren’t we? We should first converse with our bodies and then resume the talk—Eh?!”
The bloodied woman before my eyes disappeared all of a sudden, leaving not a single trace like ‘logging off’ from an online game. What kind of magic was this?
I desperately needed somebody to kindly explain this to me. I felt like wanting to borrow help from even Professor Morals.
… That didn’t mean that I really wanted help from him, though. Could it be they couldn’t tell apart jokes and earnest words?
‘Welcome, Miss Trainee Teacher. I feel that, as we’ve been together since my entrance in the 4th Playthrough to my graduation, we don’t need to keep up false appearances. We’re good friends. How about it? Are my words wrong?’
‘Hey now! Miss Trainee Teacher. Did you forget your promise already? I’m an alumni now too. A member of society, yeah?’
As expected! It was like Miss Trainee Teacher to get it so quickly.
While pointing towards the forest, I asked, “Where is this?”
The attire of the woman who I had just encountered was exactly like that of an Earthling; however, this place wasn’t Earth no matter how you looked at it. I could only vaguely guess that this wasn’t a simple re-test, a regression which began with the wannabe cute Lanuvel’s “Welcome, Sir Hero!”.
Miss Trainee Teacher answered without reserve.
It was perhaps something like an alumni association? I could only feel an ill omen.
‘Defeat? You mean kill?’
‘Mhm. I’m listening closely with my ears wide open, Miss Trainee Teacher.’
Hero Festival. In order to take three people’s worth of the prize, I had to simultaneously deal with the last remaining three participants apart from me.
‘Thanks for the advice, my secret friend. It would’ve been truly terrible if I didn’t know!’