Tuesday, August 2, 2022 @

Chapter 34 There's No Turning Back

 Zect's POV
 "So, everyone's okay with that?"
 "Yeah, that's alright," said Lida.
 "I'm fine with it, too, if that's what Zect wants," said Maria.
 "I'm a little different... only if Zect talks and Ceres says okay," said Mel.
 "Then, don't worry! He wouldn't say no!"
 How can Ceres say no?
 Unlike me, he loved the village.
 He cared for these girls like they were his treasures.
 No way he'd pass up a chance to get these girls.
 I mean, he can only flirt with them because he only has a 4th job, but he can't go beyond that.
 Besides, after we're done defeating the Demon King, I'll have a princess and a nobleman for a wife.
 There is no problem... instead, I can ask Ceres for money to play with prostitutes while we travel.
 Just give them separate rooms, and it's a win-win.
 It makes my face relax... don't, don't let the smile slip.
 After all, the three girls look at me like they want to say something...
 So I make a sad face... and apologize.
 "I'm sorry I'm not good enough for you."
* * *
 We're in church.
 I'm prepared to be scolded because we, the hero's party, are turning back on our way to the castle of the Demon King.
 "Is the bishop here? I have an important report to make today."
 Reporting to the church is faster than taking time to go through the guild.
 The Adventurers' Guild did not give me any details because of confidentiality issues, but it seems that Ceres has bought a household slave and is really going to the village.
 'You'd better go back to the village and become a local adventurer... or find another weak party...'
 I shouldn't have said that... Normally, he wouldn't take it seriously, but now he is really going back to the village.
 So, I must head to Jimna village as soon as possible...
 "Well, well, if it isn't Hero Zect-sama, and welcome, Saint Maria-sama, Sword Saint Lida-sama, and Sage Mel-sama... is there something important that you're all here?"
 "Yeah, it's very important... we want to go get Ceres back."
 I told him what had happened so far and that I wanted to go after Ceres.
 The bishop's face, which had been smiling, turned scary.
 The friendly atmosphere he had had earlier was gone.
 "No, I won't."
 He denied me outright.
 But I can't back down now.
 "But I need Ceres."
 "No, I can't."
 "Please… could you do it for me?"
 "Even Saint Maria-sama asked me, I can't do this..."
 "I see, but I'm a hero... I'll do as I please..."
 "No, you can't. I've received a royal command from the Dhamar Kingdom, King Dhamar IV... that the hero's party can neither stagnate nor retreat."
 A royal command?
 "But, I'm..."
 "O, Hero—"
 What's with this guy? He's suddenly on his knees...
 "O hero, please... walk forward! Please... I beg you..."
 "But I need Ceres..."
 "I beg you... if you insist on going back, cut down this Demon before you go back! Cut him down! Slay him...!"
 "But I..."
 "Please, I beg you..."
 What's going on?
 All I want is to get Ceres back...
 And then I'll... do it properly.
 "Wait a minute, explain to me why all this is happening, so I understand."
 "Mel-sama... look around you!"
 Mel looks around and looks pale.
 There's nothing but a poor kid and a woman.
 "What happened to them?"
 "They're escaped from a nearby village..."
 "You're a hero... so I decided not to complain... but if you hadn't been so lazy in this town... their village would probably be safe... If you hadn't been stuck here, you would have stopped by the village and heard about the orcs' nest, and you would have killed them... no one would have died..."
 "But... we..."
 "Lida-sama, you alone could have easily destroyed the orcs' nest... if you had gone alone, these children would not be orphans and widows... there are many unfortunate people waiting for you ahead. You are the hope for all of us... please..."
 "But we are just..."
 "No one laughs when heroes and saints are covered with blood or dirty! No one laughs at the sight of them soiled to protect everyone! If they are, the church will punish them... if you are concerned, come to the church each time! We will always provide you with warm water, food, clean clothes, and a place to sleep."
 "Zect, we should stop... it's our responsibility."
 "But, Maria..."
 "Don't do it again, Zect... look... look around you... we should apologize..."
 "I apologize, we apologize... that we couldn't save everyone... but we will avenge you... that's all I can say."
 "Thank you very much, Sage Mel-sama..."
 "Well, maybe the orcs have gone... but I'll use this sword to make all the monsters and demons know how sorry you are... I promise."
 "Come on, Zect."
 "Yeah, I was wrong... I'm sorry, bishop... Please raise your head..."
 "So you understand?"
 "Yeah, I'm sorry... I'll leave immediately tomorrow..."
 It's no use...
 There's no turning back now.

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