Saturday, June 4, 2022 @

Chapter 99 Epilogue: Another Heroic's Tale

This is the last chapter of Volume 1!

 "Oh, if it isn't Baskerville-san... What are you doing here?"
 On the way to the rooftop of the school building, where I was supposed to meet Leon, I met Melia Sue, a member of Leon's party.
 She is a serious-looking honor student with glasses and pigtails, and comes down from the top of the stairs, waving her hand nonchalantly.
 "I need to talk to Brave. I want to meet him."
 "Heh... I see... just kidding. I know it because I heard it from Leon."
 "...Then don't bother me. It's a waste of time."
 Feeling fed up with Melia's 'teasing' tone of voice, I slip past her and head for the rooftop.
 "Heheheh, why do you want to meet with him? Even though you have three or four girls in your life, are you now going to make a move on Leon?"
 "Tsk... Annoying."
 Melia spoke to me from below in a tiresome tone.
 And I click my tongue at the girl's nerve-racking voice and try to leave the place quickly.
 "...Don't worry, you're doing fine."
 But... Melia's voice changes abruptly.
 Her voice is mature and calm, though it is hard to believe that it comes from the same person.
 "I am confident that I made the right choice in choosing you. I believe that if you have the same 'love' and 'anger' as I do, you will defeat the ending created by the sh*tty creator and lead this world to the real true ending."
 I turn around and look down the stairs.
 Melia is already gone. The girl with the pigtails is nowhere to be seen.
 Has she already gone down the stairs?
 "...Daydreaming? It seems I've been working out too much at night. I'm pretty tired too."
 I shake my head and heads up toward the rooftop.
 I think she said something very important and meaningful... but strangely enough, the words are hazy and quickly fade from my memory.
 By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I could no longer remember having even spoken to Melia.
* * *
 I open the door to the rooftop and there, as promised, is Leon Brave.
 His childhood friend Ciel, who is always with him, is not there. He is unusually alone.
 "Hello, Baskerville. It's unusual to see you alone."
 "I'm sorry... I brought you all the way out here."
 "No problem. So, what is it you wanted to talk to me about?"
 Leon is standing leaning against the fence on the rooftop, but his body is a little more muscular than it was before the summer vacation began.
 Apparently, he had been training hard during the summer vacation. I have seen him a few times at the guild, and he must have been taking on commissions.
 "Hey, Brave. Do you still want to be a hero?"
 Leon's eyes go black and white at the sudden question.
 He must have been expecting something more important than that, considering I called him all the way up here.
 Maybe he thought I will challenge him to another duel.
 "Well, of course... I still want to be a hero... is that bad?"
 Leon says angrily.
 "Even though I'm not strong like you. But...I still want to protect the people I love. I want to protect this country we all live in. I don't want to see a scoundrel like that guy Shinya from the canyon left alone."
 After a pause, Leon clenches his fists and speaks.
 "I'm going to be a hero. Just like my ancestors were, a hero who will never be defeated. I may be losing now... but I will catch up to you someday!"
 "Ha! That's good! I'm relieved to hear that."
 I chuckle and look away from Leon to the outside of the rooftop.
 I could see the whole capital city where we live from the rooftop of the school building.
 The auction house where I bought Urza. The coffee shop where Aeris and I went. The marketplace where I walked with Nagisa. I could even see the Baskervilles' mansion where Levienna would be waiting for me.
 "I want to protect it, too. I'd like to protect this view with the people I love."
 "Actually, Brave. I wanna be a hero too. I've always wanted to be a hero."
 Before I came to this world, before I became Zenon Baskerville, I always wanted to be a brave man, a hero.
 I wanted to be the kind of hero that protects people, protects the town, protects the world... the kind of hero that everyone wants to be.
 "I am not a descendant of heroes. I have no special power. But I will protect this world in my own way."
 And I've already begun to do that.
 I will use the power of the Baskerville family to defeat the Demon King.
 —Is it really true that the resurrected Demon King can only be defeated by Leon Brave, the hero?
 It was 300 years ago that the previous hero sealed the Demon King.
 Leon has the power of a hero because he has the blood of the previous hero, but is Leon the only one who has inherited the power of a hero?
 Is Leon the only descendant of a person who lived 300 years ago? Is it possible?
 The answer is no.
 Lineal or collateral. Whether the blood is thick or thin, there must be other descendants of the hero.
 Even other descendants must have the power of the hero.
 I have already ordered the Baskervilles men to begin a search for the descendants of the hero.
 It has not been an easy search, as there is no convenient evidence such as family registers or family trees... but eventually I will find the descendants of the hero.
 If I produce them and raise them as 'Second Heroes', maybe the Demon King can be defeated even without Leon.
 "Baskerville... What are you talking about all of a sudden...?"
 Just as Leon let out a doubtful voice, a loud laugh from someone was suddenly heard.
 It was a deep, dark, fear-inducing laugh that seemed to echo from the depths of the earth, sending chills down one's spine.
 "Huh... !? From where...?"
 "Where the hell are you looking? Look up, Brave"
 "Huh...? Huhhh!?"
 Leon follows my gaze and looks up.
 The sky is clear and cloudless... but then a huge figure appeared, blurring out of the blue sky.
 It's a man with long black hair. The upper half of his face is hidden by a silver mask, and golden eyes like the full moon looked down through holes in his eye sockets.
 'Listen, humans! I have returned!'
 A menacing voice descends from the sky.
 The man's lips lift, and a blood-red tongue peeks out from the corner of his mouth.
 "Is that... a Demon!? How could he be in capital..!?"
 "Calm down, Leon. It's a phantom. It's not the main body."
 Leon rushes to ready his sword, but I warn him in a calm voice.
 An abnormal situation is currently attacking the capital. It was an event that had also occurred in the game scenario.
 'Listen to me with impatience and fear! My name is Ajagash (アージャガッシュ). I am the Demon King who has come back to this world after 300 years of history and who walks the path of supremacy to the abolition of mankind!'
 "The Demon King!? No way, he's back!?"
 Leon exclaims in surprise.
 Ajagash, the Demon King. It is the Demon King who was imprisoned by Leon's ancestors 300 years ago, and the last boss in [DunBrave].
 This is the 'Demon King Resurrection Event'. This event is the one that the Demon King announces his resurrection to mankind and the battle against the Demon King's army begins in earnest.
 "Finally, the Demon King has resurrected. This is the turn of the scenario."
 I murmured in a calm voice while Leon was confused.
 The event of the Demon King's resurrection. I have seen this scene many times in the game. There is no need to panic now.
 Now, above my head, the Demon King smiles more evilly than Zenon and flips his cloak wide.
 'Now, be afraid! Despair! Fear! Now is the end of the world. This is the beginning of the extinction of mankind! Tremble and wait for the inevitable doom!'
 The Demon King, projected on the screen in the sky, smiles broadly and disappears at once.
 From the schoolyard, the streets, and all over the town, a murmur of confusion and agitation rose up. The people who knew that the Demon King had returned are terrified and screaming in mourning.
 "The Demon King...!"
 While everyone is in despair, Leon is the only one who clenches his fist and stares up at the sky where the image of the Demon King was projected just a moment ago.
 He is a hero. He is not a hero with no pretensions or drunkenness.
 Leon's eyes are burning with a sense of mission, not a bit despairing.
 He seems to harbor a fierce righteous indignation against the Demon King who has declared to destroy the humankind.
 "Haha, hahahahahahahahahahahaha!"
 "Baskerville...? "
 Leon's face makes me start laughing.
 Leon looks back at me suspiciously and squints his eyes doubtfully.
 I smile a big smile at him and spread my arms out to the left and right.
 "Hey, Brave. How about a game?"
 "Huh? What are you talking about, at a time like this?"
 "Let's see who can defeat the Demon King first. You and I have been through a lot since we entered the academy but this will be our last real showdown!"
 Ignoring Leon's words of censure for my imprudence, I raise my index finger to the sky and declare with pride.
 I point to the sky, where the figure of the Demon King had just floated in the sky, and laugh with my fangs peeking out.
 "Whether Demon King or Hero. I'll beat them all up without mercy. I'm the strongest and most invincible villain!"
 A villainous character. Zenon Baskerville, the demon dog who controls all evil in the Slayers Kingdom.
 The heroic tale of evil supremacy (Brave Soul) begins here.

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