DARK MODE 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 @

Chapter 12 Self-sacrifice

 “Well then...”
 
 I entered the dungeon and took a quick look around the entrance area.
 The tutorial dungeon [Sage's Playground] is a cave-like structure with a stone floor that leads to the lower floor, and marble pillars on the left and right sides. The walls are hung with torches, so there is no need for a light source.
 Since 39 classmates have already passed by, the treasure chests and other items along the way have already been removed. The only thing that appears is a monster that pops up as time passes.
 
 “Dark magic――Shadow Edge”
 
 “Pikii!?”
 
 A slime-like monster appears in front of me and I cast a spell on it. The slime melts into mush and flows on the ground. All that is left is a small light blue stone - the material item [Slime Nucleus].
 
 “The structure of the dungeon and the drop items are just like in the game... it's a piece of cake”
 
 Being a tutorial only, there are no powerful monsters or traps here. It is a dungeon that can be conquered solo with ease. I quickly find a staircase that leads to the second floor, and descend to the next floor.
 I encounter a few monsters along the way, but Zenon is second only to Leon in power. None of the monsters I encounter in this dungeon is a formidable opponent.
 At least except for "that monster" at the lowest floor.
 
 “Mhmm... more and more of my classmates are getting injured...”
 
 I was calm and composed as I went through the dungeon, but it seemed to be not so for the other students. As I advanced to the second and third floors, I saw some of my classmates resting on the edge of the path.
 Most of them seemed to have minor and not life-threatening injuries, and the ones who were not injured were giving them first aid with potions and healing spells.
 
 “They're pathetic against small fry...or maybe it's just because they're amateurs who've never dived in a dungeon before?”
 
 I know the game, and I'm using the body of a high-spec character named Zenon Baskerville. But most of the other students are complete beginners who have never even fought a monster before. They may even screw up in their first real battle.
 
 “...Come to think of it, in the game, Leon, Nagisa, and Ciel were the only three who made it to the lowest floor the first time”
 
 Except for Leon and the heroine, there does not seem to be anyone of note in this class. It is a pity that they are in the top A class.
 Then, I should probably look a partners outside of the school. If I work with bad partners, I will be slowed down and my actions will be hindered instead.
 
 As I proceeded through the game, defeating monster, I saw Aeris Centrair, one of the three main heroines of the game.
 More than ten of her classmates are gathered around Aeris, a healer, and they are being healed by magic.
 
 “Yes, please line up in order. I will heal you properly”
 
 “Ah, what wonderful healing magic...”
 
 “She is the saint of Centrair. She can heal so many people and not run out of magic...”
 
 Aeris healed her classmates with a calm expression on her face. The recipients of her healing magic, both men and women, looked at her with passionate eyes as if they were worshipping a god.
 She is a main heroine, and her face as she casts healing spells on her classmates is indeed beautiful. Her face is as merciful as an angel's, and her face is so divine that it pulls the soul out of body.
 
 “Kuh... I almost fell in love with her...”
 
 I find myself fawning over Aeris, and I slap my cheek in haste.
 Oh, no. If I had stared at her just a little longer, I might have fallen in love with her.
 I might have awakened to be a cuckolding hero in order to win Aeris from Leon. That would have led to a bad ending with the Demon King's resurrection.
 I forcefully tear my eyes away from Aeris and try to move on.
 
 “Oh...you are Baskerville-sama, aren't you?”
 
 “Mm...”
 
 I tried to walk past her silently, but Aeris called out to me.
 It was unnatural to ignore her at this point. So, I turned my head back to Aeris without any choice.
 
 “That's right... you are Centorea-san, the third place student in grade, aren't you?”
 
 “Yes, that's right. Baskerville-sama, the runner-up in grade, isn't it?”
 
 Aeris tilts her head with a gentle smile.
 And the surrounding classmates around her shrug their shoulders at the sudden appearance of the villain, but Aeris does not seem intimidated.
 She looks at me from head to toe with the same benevolent eyes that she has for other classmates.
 
 “I don't think you need healing magic, Baskerville-sama. It's quite impressive that you've made it this far on your own”
 
 “It's only a practice dungeon after all. By the way, have you been doing this since a while ago?”
 
 “of course. I can't leave my injured classmates unattended”
 
 Aeris straightens her back and puts her palms on her chest as if it were natural.
 Her huge dicey daisies sway, attracting the attention of the boys, but she does not seem to be bothered by it.
 
 “...That's very merciful of you. Don't you have to go on?”
 
 “I have the permission of my party mates. I thought it would be more worthwhile for everyone here to move forward one step at a time than for our party to reach the goal”
 
 “Well... nice friendship. That's good to hear”
 
 Aeris Centorea is a remarkable woman, the incarnation of dedication and self-sacrifice.
 She is willing to sacrifice herself to help others. In the game, she sometimes gave up her own life to save someone in need.
 Her saintly attitude is admirable... but at the same time, it made me feel irritated while playing the game.
 
(She's still an irritating one. But she's not a bad girl, that's for sure...)
 
 Many people may admire a devoted woman like Aeris.
 But for me, people who try to help others at their own cost are rather irritating.
 Every human being has the right to be happy. To sacrifice oneself for the happiness of others and to give up the right to be happy is absurd.
 
 “Well... it's not my job to tell her that. I'll leave it to the hero to lecture the saint”
 
 “Is something the matter?”
 
 “No, I'm going to move on. Just don't help people too much, okay?”
 
 With these words of abandon, I turn my back and walk deeper into the dungeon.
 It is not up to me to save the wounded saint Aeris Centorea. It is Leon's job as the hero to save Aeris and free her from the chains of self-sacrifice.
 At least, it is not the place of a villainous character.
 
 “Baskerville is leaving in style... No way”
 
 I parted from Aeris and went on, and soon found a staircase leading to the lower floor.
 This brings me to the fourth floor. The lowest floor, the 5th floor, is just around the corner.

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