People compete and bring each other up.
It is by clashing between equals that techniques and records are surpassed.
This doesn’t change no matter the world.
I think that’s not something that should change.
You are competing, so there’s obviously winners and losers.
That border should not be diluted by saying things like ‘you did your best’, but properly changing your treatment between 1st place and 2nd place.
It is when you do that that a competition functions properly and even higher peaks are opened.
The world would definitely shine a new light and should become even better.
The world should be painted anew and become better.
As a result, the fruits of that labor don’t only benefit the other ones at the peak, but flow to even the lower strata of society.
Right now in Japan, almost all children have compulsory education for 9 years, and it isn’t strange for middle schoolers to hold smartphones. It is an outstanding change and result compared to 100 to 200 years ago.
There’s no point in competition in the first place if the defeated can’t get back up.
That’s why I hate war.
There’s no redo for the dead after all.
How many chances were there to avoid the worst case scenario before it reached war? Seeing the war history between hyumans and demons depressed me.
By the time I was called to the Limia Kingdom, the war was already a dirty mess.
Even the common people are wishing for the ruin of the other side as if it were natural, and it is as if they don’t even have an inkling of just how much blood would be spilled in order to reach an end.
Also peace…is just a dream within a dream.
Even with a special standing like a hero, it is not like I can suddenly have my word influence the policy of the war. I also picked up the sword and took lives. I think being bathed in killing intent and bloodlust has become daily life for me.
I think I am beginning to see the lives I take and the lives that are lost for my sake in an objective manner now.
But this is completely different in nature.
I am doing as I have done in Japan. I always see what’s in front of me and move to my best with the next situation I have predicted in mind.
There was antipathy, and there would even be times when I would take away the other party’s standing and dreams, but I thought that couldn’t be helped either.
At the very least, I have only made a few severe decisions that would deal fatal wounds to the internal affairs of the country and to the diplomatic state of the neighboring countries. I have also left them chances for a comeback.
I have done everything I could.
That’s why we can at least avoid the worst case scenario.
A corner of my heart somewhere…thought this.
That there’s no problems that have no way of overcoming them if I were to do my best.
I was too naive.
The General of the demons had outrageous power. I was shown even more despair from the gap compared to the first time I tasted frustration against that black spider. I don’t think I would be able to win against that giant even if I were to do my everything in forming countermeasures.
And then, I let my first friend in this world, Naval…die because of my own naivety.
It is painful.
I feel sad.
It is suffocating.
It is a natural emotion to have when a friend dies, and I expected it could happen, and yet, I can’t process it at all.
This isn’t something you just prepare yourself for. I don’t know if you could endure it even if you were prepared.
I don’t know how to face this at all. The worst kind of feeling and the worst kind of mood.
“A hero must be someone who can change this reality and wrestle away victory at any cost…”
I am still being called a hero despite not being able to do anything at that time.
Should I not have calculated my best and just rushed headlong?
It is the choice that I avoided because I felt like I would end up overworking myself and wouldn’t be able to make calm decisions at pivotal moments.
But if Naval survived in that future…I should have done it.
I should have spoken more with her.
Before she prepared such a dangerous and certain death trump card like that.
…If so, we would have been wiped out there?
Haha…that’s not good then.
Should I have been more proactive in teaming up with the Empire’s hero?
I don’t resonate with his way of thinking on a fundamental level, so I don’t think it would have gone well.
But if that connected to a result where Naval…didn’t die…I…!
Are there things to gain even when you fling away even your own beliefs?
…I don’t know.
My memories aren’t too clear here, but the battle has already ended and we are returning to the capital.
I don’t feel like moving even though the morning sun is peeking out.
I don’t want to sleep either.
I am scared of meeting her in my dreams.
I couldn’t do anything.
In the end, the capital was protected by the person that the Goddess called, and we are still alive.
We completely lost in terms of strategy and battle tactics.
The hateful foe that I have burned in my eyes.
Naval has already put an end to him already.
I could tell that the swirl of disgusting feelings that have no destination is being sucked in by the whole race called demons.
I can’t do anything about it.
Even when I know that this is wrong, I can’t stop it.
So this is how I will eventually end up hating the demons as if it is natural, huh.
Ah, this is bad.
Strong drowsiness is attacking my whole body at this point in time.
Even though I don’t want to sleep… I hate this feeling of my consciousness leaving my body.
I am going to fall asleep…
Please, don’t show me a dream.
Strength is leaving my whole body. I hated myself for thinking even for a bit that this is a comfortable sensation even at a time like this.
My equipment is honestly heavy equipment.
That’s why it feels pretty refreshing when taking off all of it.
I honestly would like to wrap it up a bit more smartly, but my strong point is to perfectly bring out the power of strong equipment.
I should at least try and enjoy those few moments where I can take them off.
Also, war is by no means something fun.
A whole lot of people gather and a bloodbath happens.
If possible, I don’t want to stand in the battlefield.
But I can’t.
I am needed in this country, in the Gritonia Empire, as a hero.
It is by no means a joke. Expectations have been placed on me as the ultimate hero.
Not the me that’s one of the many, but me who is the only hero.
“That giant called Io. What was that? That was way too dangerous.”
A small mutter leaked out from me.
A day has passed since the day we left that battlefield.
I was reminiscing about that battle after I woke up.
The Demon General that I saw from the flying dragon…I attacked him once, but he was quite the dangerous guy.
Even though I didn’t see the depths of his strength or anything, I could tell clearly that I could win.
Leaving aside his attack power, his defense and technique were crazy.
Fighting against something like that in a battlefield where you don’t know what would happen the next moment…? That’s impossible.
Hibiki intended to fight, but if she intended to win, she is an idiot.
If she stayed there to sacrifice herself, she is even more of an idiot.
We are heroes.
If she understood that we are special humans with no replacement, she wouldn’t have been able to do something like that.
The best scenario would be that someone in her party died and they ran away; at worst, Hibiki dies there.
“You idiot. That would only increase my burden and everyone would end up from this. She can’t even do math?”
Even if a soldier dies, someone can still take their place.
I look at Lily and Ginebia who are sleeping at both of my sides.
Lily who is the child of the emperor, yet does her best for my sake.
The royal guard Ginebia who joined my party despite her normally not being able to move away from the imperial capital because of her duty to protect royalty.
I once again feel the warmth of their bodies.
There’s no easy replacement for my party members.
Soldiers obviously have their families.
Ginebia is a knight and, as a noble of the Empire, her family owns territory.
There’s surely acquaintances and friends of hers within the soldiers that were sent here, and there might be some who have died from unfortunate circumstances there.
I myself would want to save a friend of Ginebia if I could.
But I would be putting the cart before the horse if I were to end up heavily wounded because of this.
I am the Empire’s hero.
It is because I stand on the battlefield alive and trample the demons that everyone can be at ease.
Even if demons were to attack, they can hold hope that the Empire won’t lose because I am there.
That will eventually change from the Empire to the hyumans.
Make use of it.
I think we heroes can’t allow anyone…no, anyone aside from our comrades…to see our banners fall or be dirtied.
You can’t call yourself a hero unless you have at least that much resolve.
Admit that the other side won strategically and just aim to win by a landslide on the next one.
I will become hope.
A flag that anyone would want to cling to and support.
Even when I exposed my weak side to Lily, not as a hero but as Iwahashi Tomoki, she accepted me.
I have even made a whole lot of allies.
Not only do I have to live perfectly, but I have to answer the expectations of everyone…
I will defeat the demons and make the Empire into the number one hyuman major power.
I will end this war at once and will create a nation where me and everyone can live happily…!
“Next time I meet you, I am going to roast you whole, Demon General…!”
Fighting spirit was welling up from me just thinking about the four armed giant.
I will increase my level even more by the next time and I will improve my gear even more.
It was my first large scale battle. Coupled with how we couldn’t coordinate well with the Kingdom and the fact that the hero over there seemed like she was a battle junkie, there were a lot of irregular factors.
However, this is a fantasy world of sword and magic.
If I raise my level and gather rare equipment and allies, no matter if it is war or a Demon Lord, I just have to punch them with all of my strength and it will be solved.
I will do it. This time for sure.
I entrust my body to the drowsiness that had come back as I silently resolve myself.
I am not the same…as back then…