Thursday, August 25, 2022 @

Chapter 69 Freedom and the Crisis That Lies Ahead

 Zect's POV
 I arrived at a nearby church with the three girls.
 "The Pope has spoken with me... and I ask that you return the holy equipment."
 "I'm sorry."
 """I'm sorry."""
 "It's truly appalling... the Hero (Yuusha), Saint, Sword Saint and Sage... there has never been anyone in the history of the world who has given up their glories, has there? I've heard of one or two people being injured, but... all of them? It's really sad, and now Ceres-sama is the only one in the Hero (Yuusha) party."
 "Wait a minute! Didn't Ceres quit?"
 "Huff~ Zect, you're just a villager now. From now on, watch your language. Please call him Ceres-sama and call me Priest too... And listen, Zect... if someone runs away from the responsibility, someone else will have to take the responsibility... Poor Ceres-sama, he has to take the responsibility because you ran away... Really, I don't want to see your face now because you run away without fulfilling the responsibility given to you by the Goddess. So, leave."
 I couldn't say anything... and the four of us had to remain silent.
* * *
 "Zect-sama, please submit the name of your party."
 "What are you talking about? I'm Zect, the leader of 'the Lights of Hope'."
 "The 'Lights of Hope' is registered as Hero (Yuusha) party, Zect-sama and other 3 members lost that title, so Ceres-sama who has the title of 'Hero (Eiyuu)' is the temporary leader... Please ask Ceres-sama to rejoin the party if you want to join."
 How can I ask him to 'rejoin' when I've already forced everything on him...
 And I tried to expel him too...
 "Zect... Are you okay with the way things are going?" said Lida.
 "Yes, it's fine."
 "Then, let's do so..." said Maria.
 "I agree, let's do that," said Mel.
 After that, we walked away.
 Perhaps the three girls are thinking of quitting the adventure.
 And we need to talk about the future.
 So, I find a nearby inn.
 "Then, what do you want to do now?"
 "I'd like to retire from being a front-line adventurer. I'd like to go back to the Countryside and live a life of dealing with Orcs and the like," said Lida.
 "Well, I would like to return to the village and relax before thinking about anything else," said Maria.
 "I also want to relax for now, and I want to work in an office... Of course, I agree with going back to the village. Jimna is a peaceful place, and I hope there are jobs like that around there..." said Mel.
 "Then, let's go back to the village for a trip and then we'll see what happens..."
 I split all my money, 120 gold coins (12 million), into 30 pieces each.
 Now that we have separate wallets and are no longer a part of the party, our bond is practically nonexistent.
 The question is...
 "I want to ask you three, what do you want to do with me?"
 I no longer have the right to be a Hero (Yuusha).
 Polygamy is no longer legally allowed.
 So, I can only marry one of these three people.
 "What do I want? Well, who among the three of us are you going to choose? Isn't it Maria? I mean, considering your original relationship," said Lida.
 "Yes, if Zect chooses me... I'd like to start with your girlfriends, not your fiancée... Before, I didn't know what to do since we all went from getting married together to Ceres... But now that I'm free, I'd like to take my time and think about it," said Maria.
 "It's not me, that's for sure, isn't it? Lida? Maria? Whichever you choose, I congratulate you!" said Mel.
 Now I have no more marriages with princesses or noblemen.
 And when I saw these girls crying, I knew we could not make the journey.
 But I didn't want to see them die.
 So I did this.
 Still, I had no idea what would happen next.
 I am no longer obligated to live as Hero (Yuusha) because I am no longer part of the three main jobs.
 And since we will be together for at least a few years, possibly more than 10 years, I had no other choice.
 But now that we are free, we can have a real love affair.
 I don't know if they will choose me again... or if they will choose someone else.
 We'll have lots of time to think about it.
 "Well, for now, we can start all over again... and let's all go back to the village... There's plenty of time for that... unlike before."
 """I agree."""
 We have plenty of time now.
* * *
 The door of the inn was banged on with great force.
 A demon tribe has just entered the town and is rampaging through the streets... and I, Zect, an S-class adventurer, have received an urgent request to defeat them.
 "How many are they? What kind?"
 "One, humanoid... other details are unknown."
 An urgent request must be received by A-levels or above, or there's a penalty.
 I think the four of us can handle just that one humanoid.
 Lida, Maria, and Mel look at me as if they heard the voice.
 "It's urgent. Let's go!"
 We accept the request, put on our equipment, and head for the demon tribe.

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