Story 2-Another 2 『Yuji-san』
“……….-sama! ………….-sama!” (—)
…… I could hear someone’s voice.
After being shook a few times, the fog in my head finally cleared up.
“…… Where… am I…?” (—)
Bright sunlight assaulted my eyes. Dazed, I sat up.
“Ah! Hero-sama! You woke up!” (—)
There was a man that reacted loudly. It was Rin Wade, the guard who was assigned to escort Yuji-san and the rest of us.
He looked different. From his expression, he looked to be in a hurry. I thought that he didn’t talk much during the journey because he was focused on our surroundings and grew accustomed to that but… it seems I was off.
“Yes… what’s wrong? Why are you panicking?” (Hayase)
“Ah, no… I’m fine, really.” (Rin)
Rin-san seemed to fumble over his words.
At last I regained my senses and began to look around the vicinity.
Glancing around… no one was there. Tamaki-san, Umahara-kun, as well as Minamoto-san. Even Yuji-san…
It was strange that I would be outside without everyone else. Those people aren’t so horrible that they would leave a person behind.
… I don’t know about Umahara-kun and Manamoto-san though.
I thought that because I’ve seen them bully a certain boy from the class.
At the drop of a hat, they used violence to indiscriminately bully a classmate that wasn’t guilty of anything. They would give petty reasons like『I don’t like him』.
To be honest, I never watched it happen. After all, from my point of view they were just trying to make themselves feel better by placing someone below them.
For the sake of confirming their dominance they abused another human, just wanting to belittle them.
In the end he was used as a decoy in the dungeon. However, I was also to blame for that.
It’s not like I couldn’t have done something. It was the same at school too.
At that time, if only I said something like『Stop it』. However, I was afraid that I would become the target of their bullying.
I regretted that now. If I could meet him again, even if he wouldn’t understand…. I want to apologize to him. Though it may be too convenient, I felt that we all needed to do it.
“… Hero-sama? Are you unwell?” (Rin)
“Ah, no. I was just thinking a little…” (Hayase)
While I was lost in thought Rin-san’s voice pulled me back to reality.
… Let’s think back.
We dove into the【Labyrinth of the Sleeping Trance】.
However, Umahara-kun and Minamoto-san separated from us, and Yuji-san ran after them.
Tamaki and I were waiting on standby, when Yuji-san returned covered in scratches. Then, I fainted…
… That’s right. My neck was hit hard by someone. Yuji-san wouldn’t do something like that.
Then, I must have been attacked by some demon or thief that was aiming at adventurers like us.
In other words… Yuji-san and the others are in danger!
My body moved of its own accord.
“Hero-sama! Please calm down!” (Rin)
Rin-san stopped me by holding my arms behind me.
“Please let me go! I need to hurry and help them!” (Hayase)
“With your lack of combat capabilities, even if you went in alone nothing could be done.” (Rin)
A sensitive topic was struck and I stopped resisting. My『Grand Library』was not a special ability meant for fighting.
Though it proves its worth when supporting a companion.
My statuses aren’t that high. That’s why we came to this evil dungeon and raise our level.
“T-then, what should we do? Leave them alone?” (Hayase)
I don’t want to abandon them. I will never again do something like that.
Rin-san answered my question immediately.
“Hero-sama. I have a message from Yuji-san.” (Rin)
“From… Yuji-san?” (Hayase)
“Yes. After bringing you here after you fainted, I went back into the dungeon to help the others come out. When I did so, Hero-sama reported that he wanted you to do something.” (Rin)
“W-what is it? What did he say?” (Hayase)
“He wanted me to tell you to return to the royal palace and request aid. That only Fuuko could do this. That’s his message. Because of that we should leave at once.” (Rin)
“Let’s go! To return to the royal palace!” (Hayase)
I talked over Rin-san’s words.
Yuji-san said it. The royal palace might send backup when we return. That it was something only I can do.
My enthusiasm was suddenly interrupted.
My first name was used by someone I like… This feeling…
“Hero-sama? Your face is red… Are you hot?” (Rin)
“Ah, n-no! No! A-anyway, let’s leave soon! Let’s not waste any time!” (Hayase)
“Yes, certainly!” (Rin)
We got on the horse and Rin-san guided it forward.
Please wait, everyone…!
I will definitely get help!
After several hours, I had safely returned to the royal palace and told them what happened. Afterwords, when returning to my assigned room because I was tired, I ran into three women in the hallway.
All three were part of Minamoto-san’s group. They were, from the right, Inoma-san, Niijima-san, and Horitani-san.
Each of them had a piercing, which broke school regulations and was not good student behavior.
“Hayase. We heard, you….” (Horitani)
“Playing dumb!? We know you ran away from Kureha’s group without helping!” (Horitani) [TN: Kureha was Minamoto’s given name]
I was unable to conceal my astonishment from Horitani’s words. Why, why would she think that?
“Y-you’re wrong! That isn’t what happened! There was a monster house, and I would have just been a hindrance!” (Hayase)
“Monster house!? You, why did they go somewhere that dangerous!?” (Horitani)
“We tried to stop them! B-but Minamoto-san and Umahara-kun went in anyways.” (Hayase)
“I won’t believe that Kureha would do something like that!” (Horitani)
She swept her palm down and smacked my cheek.
“Anyways, you just unreasonably tried to gain praise! Then abandoned them like we did Katsuragi!” (Horitani)
“T-that’s not it! Listen to me!” (Hayase)
“You’re annoying! Shut up!” (Horitani)
I received a large impact to my stomach. Horitani-san’s fist stuck into me.
I crouched down, unaccustomed to the pain. Then, I was hit with a kick to the side and showered with verbal abuse.
“This murderer!” (Horitani)
I defended my head with my arms, but I couldn’t endure this unreasonable violence.
How long do I have to experience this pain? How much suffering do I need to endure?
Tears overflowed. Why did this sort of thing happen? Did I make a mistake somewhere?
“… Tch! Come on, we’re done! We’ll tell everyone about her!” (Horitani)
Satisfied that I was knocked down, the three of them walked down the hallway.
I looked outside and saw that it was nighttime. I should’ve gone to the dining room. That would’ve been normal for me, but no.
I leaned against the wall.
“Why… Why…!” (Hayase)
My tears stopped streaming. Instead, they were replaced with frustration and worthlessness.
I am powerless.
Because I am weak I am no good. Because I am weak…
“Starting tomorrow… what will I do?” (Hayase)
Horitani-san said that she would tell everyone. Then, they will label me as a『murderer』, targeting me with violence as well.
I know. Because, there was an example of this in the past. For our convenience. I will receive a similar treatment.
To be stared at like that… to be treated painfully like that…
“……… I’ll just die.” (Hayase)
My hands rose to my neck. If I shot magic here, it would be instant death.
At that moment, Yuji-san’s face came to my mind. He was the first to treat me kindly, a man that recognized my existence.
He encouraged me so much, pushing me to persevere.
“……… No.” (Hayase)
I don’t want to betray his words, and put down my hand.
“…… What should I do, Yuji-san……” (Hayase)
The hallway was empty.
Nevertheless, a voice answered the question.
『Do you want power?』
I look around, and see no one. However, the voice comes again.
『Sorry. I will not show you myself. I will not tell you my identity.』(—)
“Eh? Eh?” (Hayase)
『Calm down. My words are heading to you directly, using magic. So, the answer to my question?』(—)
“Ah, y-yes…” (Hayase)
『Good, obedience is good. Then, first of all, I will let you know—your Yuji-san is alive』(—)
“——–!? R-really!?” (Hayase)
“Y-yes. I’m sorry.” (Hayase)
I bowed my head out of habit though there was no one.
But, that didn’t matter.
Yuji-san was alive… That filled my mind.
『Tamaki Yuina also lives. However, the other two died in an unexpected accident. As he was unable to defend them, the man who let them die will be punished.』 (—)
“T-that’s…! But, those two ignored us and went anyways!” (Hayase)
『The world is cruel. That would be taken as an excuse. And so, those two are going to the next dungeon to recruit companions. Here is my question for you.』(—)
“A question… is it?” (Hayase)
『Yes. If you become their companion, do you swear to support him?』(—)
That was a silly question. I can become his strength. Next to him I can support him.
Something like that would make me happy.
“I swear it. I will support Yuji-san through any pain.” (Hayase)
『――That’s what I expected, child.』(—)
The voice seemed to laugh in my mind.
『Then, I will give you power.』(—)
『Yes. I will make sure later. I wish for you to help him with that power. He wants you.』(—)
“H-he wants… me…” (Hayase)
『They are heading towards a dungeon named【Scorching Execution Ground】. You will leave early tomorrow so that you won’t be found, and go there. Understand?』(—)
“Yes. Absolutely… I will go to Yuji-san…” (Hayase)
When I said so, she made a sound like a laugh and ended the conversation. The voice was not there anymore.
So then, there was only one thing I can do. The pain naturally lessened. Was it because my feelings were improved?
Though I don’t know why, Yuji-san wants me. I am wanted.
So, I will respond.
Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san, Yuji-san……
My mind is dyed with his color.
I enter my room, and begin preparing to travel.