‘Miss Trainee Teacher! Have confidence!’
I grew quickly intimate with the villagers. Being the kind folk they were, they provided plenty of food and a rather nice place to sleep in for free, and each village maiden I came across would tacitly ask whether I needed a soft hot pack to warm a chilly night. I was on the verge of feeling sorry for not being able to receive all their generosity.
And thus a fornite passed.
“My jobless brother…”
Lanuvel played cute, pouting with a cross look on her face. Although I used to leave her behind before moving about, she was useful for fending off the ladies who came flirting at every moment. But of course, this shabby little sister was quite annoying as well.
“What’s your problem?”
“Uum… just because?”
It had now become clear that this self-styled little sister was under the influence of the teaching staff—my Divinity(Z) didn’t have much of an effect on Lanuvel. Or was it that all the Hero’s companions were like this? I thought it best to make a confirmation when the opportunity arose.
“These are the grapes we’ve harvested today. Please receive them.”
“I can’t fall asleep every night, Lord Saint. Ahh! Lord Saint!”
“I had a sad experience, but things became better thanks to Lord Saint!”
“Lord Saint, this is apple jam we made at our home”
My popularity in Start Village as ‘Lord Saint’ was through the roof. It was troubling as at times, the villagers would try to take more care of me than their own children and elderly parents. In particular, the married women—the way they eyed me wasn’t normal. And their husbands, who were understanding towards their other halves saying “That person is holy so it can’t be helped”, didn’t appear in their right minds to me either. Apparently, everything was forgiven because I was divine.
Even the merchants who periodically visited the village were unstinting in their generosity towards me; they would just hand over to me special or valuable goods that couldn’t be procured in the village for free. They were merchants who came to earn money, yet left money before going instead. This was also because I was divine.
‘Miss Trainee Teacher, it’s fine. I’m getting a real good feeling this time, you see? I think I’ll be able to easily graduate.
I didn’t hurry, as I had confirmed in the 4th Playthrough that I couldn’t graduate by defeating Demon King Pedonar in a single day. This time, I was truly making progress step by step.
I had been quickly recovering my basic abilities during the past fortnight. Physical Strength, Agility, Stamina, Endurance, Tolerance, Vigor, Five Senses… Master Mollang’s teachings had shown me the essence of ‘copy & pasting’; I reproduced my once completed physique just as it was before. Only, achieving SS-rank in the Skills wasn’t easy. I was at the point of needing to go adventuring.
As such, I had thought of a convenient means; a plan full of ambition to ceaselessly raise all the Skills I could easily rank up to S-rank in a parallel method, then use them all as offerings for my Z-rank Skill. This little trick of an idea was scrapped in just 3 seconds, however.
I had tried to offer up Stamina(F) right after having used Stamina(SS) as sacrifice, but Divinity(Z)’s limit breakthrough hadn’t progressed in the least. The same Skill didn’t have an effect, and only the one with higher rank would count as progress.
Above was Miss Trainee Teacher’s explanation. This being the case, in this 6th Playthrough, I intended on aiming to develop a variety of Skills in advance, so that I would be able to break through Dark Energy(SSS)’s limit at any time.
Couldn’t they open up that festival right away again? The large increase in EXP for my entire Status was truly a sweet experience.
“Brother! Brother! Listen to your little sister speaking, will you!”
“Don’t be like that and listen! There’s a legend passed down in our village. A beautiful mermaid is said to live in a huge pond in the forest north of the village, and that if the chosen Hero visits, she’ll retrieve the mightiest Holy Sword which lies at the bottom of the pond for him.”
Lanuvel babbled on by herself in excitement. It sounded like a story of a humble and boorish youth drawing the Holy Sword to become Hero, even though my Job was already just that. Although it did seem like the story’s plot progression was reversed, the setting being sloppy couldn’t be helped as if it was cooked up by negligent teaching staff—it was better I magnanimously overlooked this.
I looked up towards the northern sky, and there I saw a majestic dormant volcano whose peak was sunken in an ‘M’ shape. The mountain was covered in perpetual snow from middle to top. Because of its appearance, the name I gave for it was also Snowy Mountain M.
Snowy Mountain M was a sight spot located literally in the center of Fantasia’s middle continent, and happened to be clear proof that this was the northern continent.
If I didn’t know wrong, then the one and only Holy Sword which could be acquired within Fantasia’s continents was Holy Sword 1 with its plethora of automatic features, and it was hidden in the ‘previous hero’s grave’ on Snowy Mountain M.
It was in no way related to the blatant bait that Lanuvel was setting, the ‘pond in the forest’. Was it perhaps a defective item like my Holy Sword 2? I did hear from the angels the other day about there being numerous Holy Swords…
‘Not at all.’
I was currently already in possession of Holy Sword 2. Like how only one sword could be sheathed in a scabbard, a Hero and Holy Sword had a one-to-one relationship of partners. In short, I couldn’t use other Holy Swords. And I had the confidence to beat down the Demon King without a Holy Sword too.
‘… Miss Trainee Teacher, speak truthfully. You’re being curious yourself, aren’t you?’
But Miss Trainee Teacher’s words did have a point; my goal wasn’t to experience a fantasy adventure. How many times had I slain Demon King Pedonar alone? I was going to escape from this tiresome fantasy word and return to Earth, and to do that it was necessary to faithfully carry out the education curriculum—volunteer work included of course.
“Lord Saint, I’m worried that my daughter is sick.”
Villager K, whom I had coincidentally come across, said this to me out of the blues. Children would often fall sick when their growth spurts started, but why was this person telling me about this?
At that time, Lanuvel suddenly interrupted.
“Uncle Groom, where does your daughter hurt?”
“She has a serious fever. In order to make fever-reducing medicine, I will need refreshing windflower that only grows beneath the blue rocks in the northern forest, as well as the clean pondwater blessed by the mermaid living in the pond of legend. Although I want to go into the forest and procure them myself, I don’t dare because of monsters appearing frequently as of late.”
It was unnecessarily detailed like a script prepared beforehand. Besides, shouldn’t he not mention it in the first place if it was dangerous due to monsters? What Villager K, concerned for his daughter, was saying was basically “It’s dangerous but you gather those things”. Was he and his daughter the only people worth caring about? What a rotten personality. And it wasn’t just Villager K who was like this, but all the natives of this world in general.
But I upturned my lips into a smile.
“What will you give me?”
There was nothing I couldn’t help out with so long as the price was right.
“I will give you the fresh horse milk I drew this morning. It’s from a young and healthy mare, so the taste and nutrients are plentifu-…”
“That’s ridiculously lacking. Your daughter’s life is worth mere horse milk? Raise the price while thinking about your daughter struggling with high fever even at this very moment.”
Villager K, who had tried to work me hard for nothing, became bewildered. If it were in the past then I would have been a target of criticism, questioned as to how I could think money regarding an issue that concerned someone’s life. But I had wanted to throw such words right back those accusatory people and companions—you’re shifting the dangerous work to another, yet it’s okay for you to get off with lip service?
In any case, I was divine.
“Since it is the words of the holy one…”
“My dear groom, I’m so disappointed!”
“You, do you really love your daughter?”
“You are much too divine today as well.”
The other villagers who had been listening in took my side, and together they criticized Villager K who had compared the life of his daughter with horse milk that would be finished with a single slurp. Having realized his own fault, Villager K knelt down and repented.
“Sob-sob! I was foolish!”
And so we began the negotiations anew. As a result, it was decided I would be given a foal recently birthed by a young and healthy mare. Naturally, the horse milk initially promised to me was included.
The Skill proficiency was a bonus.
Afterwards, Lanuvel and I moved toward the shabby stabling for the sake of curing Villager K’s ill daughter.
Villager K’s daughter, who was lying down on a cheap bed made of horsehide, was in a perilous condition, seeming as if she might die at any moment now. This showed clearly in her Status as well.
With the exception of truly peculiar cases, having ‘Near Death’ in your Condition meant you were on the brink of breathing your last; you would at most last a day. What had Villager K been doing up to this point? But I put aside all the blame in my heart and questions in my head, as I knew well from experience that it would only grow more wearisome the more deeply you thought about it.
Lanuvel, who had tagged along, said, “Greedy Brother! Refreshing windflower that only grows beneath blue rocks and clean pondwater blessed by the mermaid who lives in the pond of legend. If we hurry now, we can procure both within half a day!”
The self-styled little sister was more full of motivation than I was, making me recall my companions in the 1st Playthrough who would act as they pleased.
“I can’t think straight so pipe down a bit.”
“You’re being too much just because I don’t look like you!”
Ignoring the whining Lanuvel, I approached the sick girl and placed my right hand on her forehead that was flushed red with heat.
And that was it.
The face of the girl, who had seemed like she would pass away at any moment, grew peaceful. Perhaps the terrible nightmare she was seeing had disappeared as well, as a smile even hung by her lips.
There was no need for something like medicine—my holy hand was just that.
“H-how can this be…”
Villager K and his wife were astonished, but soon after they got on their knees and praised me while tears ran down their eyes. They took out and treated me to the horse meat they had been saving. In particular, the cheese made of horse milk was superb; this alone was better than what the royal palace chef of the kingdom could make.
‘Should I ask for some more when I leave?’
“Sniff-sniff! Mom, I’m hungry too…!”
Greatly hungry due to having struggled against her fever until now, the girl shot out of bed upon smelling the savory fragrance of food. Was my treatment excessive? The girl was simply bursting with life, to the extent of momentarily overwhelming Lanuvel who perpetually played cute.
I didn’t hurry, spending time in the stabling. It was obvious the villagers would ask something of me again even if I were to go out early, after all.
“O Holy One! Thank you.”
“Thank you for saving my treasure.”
“Thanks for curing me, Brother.”
We left their home right before night fell. I decided to leave the foal at the stabling for the time being, as I couldn’t be bothered to raise it myself. It couldn’t be helped if I ended up leaving while having forgotten about it.
With this, the problem was settled.
“Brother, you’re really too much.”
Lanuvel grumbled at me, pouting her lips.
“You’re discontent even when a problem’s well solved? What would you have done if the girl died while we were off procuring materials for the fever-reducer?”
Lanuvel’s nature hadn’t changed even if her setting had become that of a little sister; she wanted to go about problems and situations the hard way when they could be easily solved or simply ignored. And that went for her playing cute too.
She needed a proper education of the mind.
‘Miss Trainee Teacher, don’t worry. I’ll make sure to take a look at that Holy Sword later.’
For this 6th Playthrough, I decided to move in the direction the teaching staff wanted me to in. I treated Lanuvel, who would cause my fist to itch, as my little sister, and gave good counsel and sent back the villagers who would come bother me with their requests.
Up to this point, there had been no abnormalities.
… Or so I had wanted to think, but alas.
Village Maiden B, who had been walking along the streets, suddenly let out a scream. I quietly turned to see what was going on, and saw that her wrists were caught by some men armed with blades and leather garments. They were nothing like village thugs.
“Oh! Ain’t she quite fetching for a bumpkin wench?”
“Damned girl, don’t make a fuss and come into my embrace.”
Similar events were playing out simultaneously throughout the village. It seemed that while I was being treated to a meal in the stabling, mercenaries had come in from the outside. Numbering around a hundred, they weren’t few, and the mercenaries weren’t only pestering the women.
“We’ll be taking the fruits here. Money? Is this old fart mad?! Open your ears wide. Our mercenary company should normally have received money instead for protecting this village for a day, so be grateful. Haha!”
They soon discovered Lanuvel and me. Was it because they were healthy males? They gulped down their saliva while looking at my shabby little sister’s body. When the mercenaries turned to look at me, however, they lowered their fifth limb and inched away in retreat.
“… These scum are making me mad.”
Lanuvel and I weren’t something like a couple, yet weren’t these contemptible vagabonds in front making a misunderstanding on their own? If I were to spare this bunch, there would bound to be rumors that went along the lines of “Neh~ Neh-Neh-Neh~ Neh~! Those two are going out, apparently!”.
I flicked a finger.
A holy wave of force originating from me blanketed the shabby village, and with that, the situation came to a close.
‘… That so?’
I summoned forth Holy Sword 2, and then let loose a shout.
“I am none other than the Hero!”
There wouldn’t be any rumors due to the mercenaries being cleanly wiped out, but plot-wise, there was no problem at all.