Wednesday, May 18, 2022 @

Chapter 66 Protagonist and Villain

Bonus chapter...
 "Fight... Why are you suddenly doing this!?"
 Leon raises his voice in agitation at the sudden declaration of war.
 Leon apologizes for the trouble he caused at the school, and I accept his apology. This means that we have made peace.
 But then I asked him to fight with me, and he must be in a confused state.
 But... that's what I brought Leon here to the park for in the first place.
 "Hey, Leon. You said it at the entrance ceremony, right? 'I'm going to be a hero.'"
 "Oh, yeah. I said that, but... what about it?"
 "So... what have you been doing in the last few months since you joined the academy? Have you been making a real, full effort to be a hero?"
 "That's... of course, I'm trying. I was trying to be strong!"
 Leon nods his head firmly, though his words are slightly slurred.
 But I laugh it off nonchalantly and lift my lips in mockery.
 "Then why is Nagisa under me? She said that even if she works with you, the Brave, she won't get the power she wants!"
 Leon gasps, his eyes wide with astonishment.
 In the first lesson on dungeon exploration, Leon, Ciel, and Nagisa fought against gargoyles together.
 Their joint battle led them to form a party, and they continued to share the same fate until the decisive battle against the Demon King, which is the scenario of the game as it should have been.
 However, in this world where the game has become a reality, Nagisa has been working together only for a short period of time after the battle against the gargoyles, and soon Nagisa has been acting alone.
 She has come to the Slayers Kingdom with the goal of avenging her family's death, and she has set herself the supreme mission of gaining the strength to avenge her family's death.
 For this purpose, she has given up Leon as a partner.
 "If you were serious about making great progress in your quest for power, Nagisa would never have left your party. So, are you really aiming for the top with all your might?"
 "B-But Seikai-san..."
 Leon opens his mouth to defend himself, making a bitter face at my questioning.
 "Seikai-san left of her own volition. She didn't like the fact that Ciel and I were helping the other classmates to overcome the dungeon, and she didn't like the fact that we were working together with everyone else, so she left the party."
 Well, Nagisa had told me earlier that Leon was leading the lower-performing students to the dungeon.
 The reason for the difference from the scenario is probably that Leon is no longer seeking more power than necessary after I saved Jean from the gargoyles.
 Leon is probably doing a great job as the head of the class, taking on dungeons with the rest of the class who can't do it. But he was not a good match for Nagisa, who was looking for the power to avenge her father's death.
 "...I'm not going to go along with a weak guy, huh? That's just like Nagisa."
 "But... is that my fault!? Is it wrong to act for the sake of classmates in need!? Doesn't Baskerville think so too?"
 I sniffle and glare at Leon, who is questioning me in the opposite direction.
 "I'm not talking about right or wrong, okay? I'm just asking, 'Is that how you strive to be a hero?'"
 "...Yes, it is. Helping people in need, that's what I'm trying to be a hero for!"
 "Haha! I disagree. A hero is a person who can do what no one else can do. Not the majority who stands out from the crowd. They are the minority that stands out above the rest!"
 Still, I don't think what Leon is doing is wrong at all.
 Help the weak.
 Stand in line with others.
 It's not about one person taking 100 steps. But everyone should take one step together.
 I am sure that this is a very moral and honorable way of thinking in a peaceful country like Japan today.
 If Leon had been an ordinary boy in Japan, he might have been a popular boy in his class with a strong sense of justice and leading everyone.
 But that is a far cry from being a 'hero'.
 There are many monsters in this world. There are people who are more corrupt than monster. Moreover, there is the Demon King who is a greater threat than monster.
 So, it is not 100 ordinary people who can stand against the Demon King. It is only the individual with overwhelming strength that can defeat the Demon King.
 "I don't say it's wrong to help people. I'm also not saying that it's wrong to feel sorry for the oppressed and weak. But... if you keep walking along with the slow runners, you'll never get to the top of the mountain you're aiming for in your life, will you?"
 "The hero you're aiming for... will never be as heroic as the hero who once sealed the Demon King and saved the world. I assure you... you will remain an ordinary man for the rest of your life."
 "...What do you know about me!"
 Leon's rage is finally getting the better of him as I repeat to hit him with my words.
 He stands up and grabs my chest... but I throw him away without mercy.
 Leon exhales in pain as his back is slammed hard against the ground.
 "That was neither skill nor technique. It's a judo technique called 'Koshi Guruma'... but that's okay."
 Leon gets up from the ground with a groan of pain and glares at me.
 I throw the sword I took out of the item box at Leon's feet.
 "Use it! You're not carrying a sword on your date, are you?"
 "Baskerville. You're not seriously..."
 "We're not trying to kill each other. This is just a mock battle."
 I looked around briefly. The streets are deserted as the sun is setting.
 It is a good time for a fight. Even if it is a mock battle, it would be troublesome to explain if the guards are called.
 "Part of the reason for your fall is that I killed a gargoyle and saved our classmates in the first dungeon. So, I'll take the responsibility and open up your mind."
 "If you are truly proud of your efforts to be a hero, take up the sword. Prove yourself right by winning!"
 "...All right. If you say that much, then I'll do it!"
 Leon picks up the sword lying on the ground and stands up.
 His will to fight surges through him. The aura of a warrior that permeates the air tells me that the man in front of me is a talented man.
 "I got a better score in the entrance exam than you! Don't regret it!"
 "Yes. That's what I want!"
 I laugh, my lips pursing into a smile, and pull out another sword.
 Leon Brave, the hero who takes the right road.
 Zenon Baskerville, the villain who takes the wrong path.
 It's the first time that these two men faced each other head-on, without the company of their comrades.

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