Tuesday, August 23, 2022 @

Chapter 66 [Short Story] The Legend of a Hunter - Formerly Titled: Don't Go with the Hero, Lili - Part 1

 Mammon the Strong-Armed, also known as the Hero Slayer.
 No one has ever faced him and won.
 Not even the Hero (Yuusha) can defeat him.
 He is the deadliest enemy of mankind.
 But against Mammon, there was one man, who stood up to him... and wounded him... and that man was Rudy... and he was the only one to survive.
 This is the story of the nameless Hero, the only one who fought and died against Mammon.
* * *
 Rudy's POV
 My name is Rudy... and I was born in an ordinary village, a villager's son.
 I have a lovely childhood friend.
 Her name is Lili, and she's a very cute girl who really, really I don't deserve.
 But we've been together since we were little and I thought we'd get married in the future even though we're still children.
 Not so long ago, It was really true.
 But now I have given up on marriage with her.
 She and I will never be together.
 It's because fate has already decided it.
* * *
 On my tenth birthday, I regained my old memories.
 I was just a middle schooler who loved light novels in Japan.
 I realized I was in the world of a story called "The Silver Hero."
 In that story, Lili is the heroine who will become a saint.
 I play the role of a hunter who gets cuckolded by the Hero.
 If everything goes according to the story, Lili and I will get engaged.
 But then an oracle comes down from the goddess that a saint will be born from this village.
 After that, Lili leaves with the Hero, who comes to pick her up.
 After the journey, I am rejected and betrayed, and the Hero and Lili get married.
 Then, the villagers, fearing the Hero will hate them, take my property and drive me away.
 That was the story.
 And when I regained this memory, I could not stop crying.
 Even though I regained the memory of my previous life, I still loved Lili to the point of being effeminate.
 The closer I was to her, the more I felt helpless to reach her.
 I don't know how many times I thought, 'If only the hero dies,' 'Maybe I can kill him,' but that would be the end of the world.
 Sometimes I thought about killing Lili and dying, but I couldn't do it.
 Seeing Lili's smile, I was helpless.
 'Damn it!'
 So, I have to give up. And recently, I finally came to realize something.
 I like Lili so much... But we will never be together.
 After all, that was the story goes.
 By the time the Hero returns after defeating the Demon King, Lili and I should be 24 years old.
 Unlike in my previous world, it is normal for a 24-year-old to have two children in this world.
 Then, it was very difficult to find a marriage partner. But at that time, I should have been driven out of the village by the villagers who feared the Hero... and finally, I died alone and lonely in the slum.
 Unlike the Hero who lives in harems.
 And in the end, I decided to give up on Lili.
 I thought I would smile and live until she became a saint and the Hero came for her.
 But I vaguely remember that the heroine's name was not Lili but Lilia in my memory of my previous life... or maybe it was not.
 Maybe it was a different woman from Lili.
 So I thought... if Lili was chosen as a saint, I could leave the village without telling anyone... if not, I could stay as a villager.
 Fortunately, the job I got was hunter, according to the story.
 Not a villager or a farmer, so I can survive in other places.
 It's not Lili's fault. It's just 'that's how the story is meant to be.'
 So why don't we just live happily until the two of us are fourteen?
 This cute girl likes me and stays with me, even if it's just for a while.
 Isn't that good?
 I'll be happy... just think of it that way.
 And now, at 12, Lili asked me to marry her.
 I was going to blur it out, but I couldn't.
 In the end, Lili's smile won me, and I accepted.
 Perhaps this is a story correction.
 Lili, the story's heroine, and me, the cuckolded person... I may not be able to part from her until I am cuckolded by the Hero, no matter what happens.
 And now, the two of us are 14 years old.
 Lili became more and more beautiful.
 In six months, Lili and I will be adults.
 And then I will get the hunter job, and Lili will get the saint job.
 Six more months, and then we say goodbye.
 I love her... and... she loves me now, but she betrays me later.
 I love her so much... she loves me so much... but all I see is a future of misery.
 Still, tomorrow is the day of the coming-of-age ceremony, the day we receive our jobs.
 Tomorrow Lili will become a saint.
 And I will become a hunter.
 And in a week, she will leave with the Hero and never come back to me.
 Still, my first love has come to fruition.
 I was incredibly happy.
 I guess that's all that matters... at least I've never been so happy in all my life.
 So, tomorrow, I will celebrate as much as I can.
 And when the Hero and Lili leave, I'll send them off with a smile... But will I be able to smile?
 Still, I'll go on a trip after that to forget Lili...
 And everyone will be happy.
 But why can't I stop crying?
 I'm so happy... but why?
 I washed my face in the well, thinking about this.
 Still, Lili... thank you for the memories... thank you so much... I love you.
* * *
 And then came the morning of the coming-of-age ceremony.
 "What's wrong? Rudy, you couldn't sleep?"
 "Yeah, I couldn't sleep..."
 I was sleep-deprived. I wish I had a better job.
 But she's gonna be all right... because she's gonna get the saint job.
 I tried to smile, fighting off the urge to cry.
 Because this is the last week, I'm going to spend with Lili.
 "What job do you want, Rudy?"
 "Well, I'd like to be a hunter... I can make a good living and protect myself."
 After all, that's a definite choice.
 "I see~ I don't want to leave Rudy either, so I'd like to be a Seamstress or a Weaver."
 "Yes, I hope it's the job we both want."
* * *
 As I thought, my job is a hunter.
 "Congratulations, Rudy! You got the job that you want."
 "Yes, thank you..."
 "Why are you not in good spirits, Rudy...? Oh, maybe you've always wanted to be a knight or an adventurer?"
 I have to smile... I don't want to ruin Lili's smile.
 "Well, I don't really care what job I get as long as I can be with Lili."
 "I see. I'm a little embarrassed... Thank you!"
 Now it's Lili's turn.
 Just as I did, Lili lined up with five others from the neighborhood.
 She receives a piece of paper from the priest and prays with the priest's staff.
 Then her job appears on the paper.
 Usually, that's all, but an angel comes down to Lili in the book I read.
 As I thought!
 People around are so happy and excited, but it's a nightmare for me.
 The angel came down... and headed straight for Lili.
 The angel put her hand in front of Lili and hugged her gently.
 Then, after a while, the angel left.
 Now, I pray that happiness comes to Lili…
* * *

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