Chapter 11: Mercenary work? Why even bother?

“Our homeland, Elfheim, is slowly heading towards ruin. Regretfully, the current Elf King is closing his eyes and ears and still underestimates the humans. Eternal life is a blessing and at the same time a curse. The moment you let down your guard, you won’t be able to even realize your own time has frozen, after all.”

“I see you have a lot on your plate.”

“Dear me! I have disgraced myself before Hero-nim. It seems I have drunk too much in my excitement.”

“It’s fine. Haha!”

I found this Elf prince increasingly to my liking.

Level, looks, ability, insight, philosophy, manners… there wasn’t a single fault in him to be found. He was such a gentleman that I could believe him to be possessed by a reincarnated modern man of Earth.

The current Elf King was definitely a narrow-minded one.

The reason why Prince Nasus had caused a rebellion was related to the line of succession—the Elf King had put aside the first prince to instead appoint his youngest daughter as heir to the throne.

Was Sylvia queen material?

Absolutely not.

She hadn’t studied governance at all, which was the virtue of a ruler, and she was always going out of the country as she was inclined to having fun. Her Level was outclassed by middle-rank demons at the time she was appointed as the heir, and her personality was that of a cruel narcissist who would burn alive humans who approached her saying, ‘Hey pretty, have some fun with us’.

And look what end that had lead her to.

“I told Sylvia so many times not to underestimate humans, but she would always snort at my words. Although I expected a day like this to come one day, it is saddening that it has come true.”

Mr. Nasus. Your status shows you’re ‘satisfied’ though?

The current Elf King had regarded his youngest daughter Sylvia as the apple of his eyes as she was similar to himself, harboring a borderline psychotic loathing towards humans; it was to the point she had stolen the right of succession from the excellent eldest son. The king had brought trouble upon himself.

“You must be deeply heartbroken.”

“I merely fear that child’s death will become the future of Elfheim. I ask for Hero-nim to provide us with much help. We will also not spare any support in order for Hero-nim to slay Demon King Fedornar. This is my cherished sword, Endymion. It is one of the three great hidden treasures of our country, so please return it to us after you obtain the Holy Sword.”

Nasus passed over the precious sword which hung by his hip, a weighty bastard sword which didn’t suit frail-bodied Elves. I appealed to me more than the Holy Sword which was unnecessarily light.

“… I won’t forget your sincerity.”

I really won’t!

One of the three great hidden treasures of Elfheim, Elemental Sword Endymion. It was a masterpiece which I didn’t manage to get even after helping Princess Sylvia defeat Prince Nasus and putting her on the throne in the 1st Playthrough—yet to think I’d obtain it this easily!

The caliber of a true king was indeed different.

But that was why I felt a little sorry, because I had no intention of returning Endymion. I didn’t mean to break the trust and friendship between us, however. While Prince Nasus had asked me to return Endymion upon obtaining the Holy Sword, I had no plans of doing so until I gave the Demon King a thrashing.

This sword here was enough to dice up that Demon King.

“It’s a relief that Hero-nim likes it.”

“Very much so.”

Shiing-

I carefully unsheathed Elemental Sword Endymion from its high-quality scabbard made from the leather of an Azure Dragon. The refined aura of an elemental washed over me like the fragrance of flowers. Although I more preferred Demon Swords because of their exciting buck-wild nature, I didn’t dislike this kind of pure type; I could slowly shape its nature to my liking.

I had a strong feeling that we would become a good team together. Right?

Clatter…

Elemental Sword Endymion shook as if in agreement. How adorable.

“In any case, it seems Hero-nim has amazing strength. I thought you would have trouble lifting Endymion as a Level 4.”

“… I’ve always been a bit strong, you see.”

“I would expect no less of the Hero-nim, haha!”

“Hahaha!”

I realized it in that moment—Prince Nasus had roughly gauged my Level. He might have even guessed that the human who killed his little sister, Princess Sylvia, was the Hero. Had he handed over his country’s treasure in order to test this speculation? He would be a truly frightening individual if that was the case. And how had he known I was weak to worldly desires…?

The envoy group set out on their return journey home right after our chat ended. Although there were some faint-hearted Elves who went beside themselves at the sight of the Elf princess’ pretty head halved down the middle, the retrieval of her remains went without a hitch under Prince Nasus’ excellent leadership.

It was a greatly satisfying trade. I had started over with nothing yet struck it rich within three days:

Abundant travel funds.

Level 204.

Elemental Sword Endymion.

And a luggage-carrier plus archaeologist as a bonus.

The brilliant Hero and extra company swiftly finished preparations for their journey by wringing the king dry and set out on an exciting adventure!

To the village where the ‘great being’ resided in.

*
*
*

The journey was smooth-sailing.

Although we were briefly delayed right before we set off due to Alex opposing us going, saying it was dangerous, we came to an agreement to hold that joyful ‘orientation’ which he so eagerly anticipated ten days later.

The distance to our destination was so great as to take a year to cover on foot, but the mind-blowing transportation method called the spatial transfer magic circle drastically shorten that time—that one year was cut to a single second. This technology was so convenient to the point of making me want to introduce it to Earth no matter what.

Just like how there were many terminals at an airport, spatial transfer magic circles were placed in public facilities called ‘tower of a magician’ and could be used for a fee. Abbreviated, they were called Magus Towers.

But why were they placed in towers?

My 1st Playthrough companion, ‘Sage’, had answered as follows.

Being a magician was an occupation which required a lot of research funds and rare materials, since no matter how much of a genius you were, there was a limit to how far you could go with theory alone. You couldn’t move on to the next stage if it wasn’t proven through experiments.

Therefore, a magician needed to receive many sponsorships, and had no choice but to either live in a land that had plenty of material supplies or belong under a country receiving a high wage. But this was where the problem began.

Magicians and cities were like oil and water. That reason being—

1) It’s dangerous when magic explodes.
2) Can’t concentrate because it’s noisy outside.
3) The industrial smoke covers the stars.
4) Have to watch out for thieves.
5) The purity and density of magic power decreases.

There were more aside from the things mentioned above, but these were the five major points. But because research itself was impossible without full backing, the magicians of old racked their brains in order for them to live in cities—and the solution to that was a high tower. It could perhaps be said to have the advantage of a high-rise apartment building. All of the problems were solved in one go.

Even in large cities, the buildings in Fantasia didn’t go higher than three-storeys. If a ten-storey tower was built smack dab in the middle of a city, its peak would be an exclusive private space of a magician, isolated from the outside, and behold: the completion of a shut-in.

“And because they lose any chance to meet women, they inevitably become virgin Archmages…”

“Thank you for visiting our Magus Tower~𝅘𝅥𝅮”

“… Though that’s not always the case it seems.”

An amiable-looking beauty welcomed us in, her black cone hat and short skirt reminding me of a witch. That attire of hers was no more than eye-candy intended for business, however; she was a receptionist who handled customers for the spatial transfer magic circle. The magician who would activate the magic circle was at the back with his hands clasped behind him, looking over here with a satisfied look. Looking at the receptionist’s thighs that is, not us.

I felt like I knew why ‘Sage’ was the only person to have attained the level of Archmage.

“Please present an item that will prove your identity~”

Things like passports were needed even in Fantasia, because outlaws or enemy spies couldn’t be allowed to escape out of the country.

“Here. His Majesty’s seal and permit.”

We skipped a large part of the checking process thanks to the Dumpling King’s handwritten letter. We didn’t even need a waiting number.

This is what you call the power of money and influence.

“Magician-nim? Magician-nim…!”

“… Mm? Ahem! R-right. Where do I need to send them again?”

“Ugh! Concentrate a little will you? Being like this again.”

“I’m sorry. I was immersed analyzing the abyss of mysteries, you see… It’s stuff about magic. Ahem-hem! I’ll buy you a cake after work as a token of apology.”

“Wow! That’s a promise then, Magician-nim!”

“You bet!”

This magician gave off the smell of crime, but it was no problem to me so long as he properly activated the spatial transfer magic.

The magician began to incant the activation spell.

The magic circle shined brilliantly and…

Flash!

We had saved and shortened a year’s time and distance, freed from the inevitable troublesome encounters that would have popped up on a journey.

It was truly satisfying.

“… Um, Hero-nim.”

“What?”

“Our journey doesn’t feel like a journey.”

Lanuvel complained beside me, pouting.

I would have absolutely left behind this annoying chit if not for the fact she was skilled in cooking and daily life magic. Although I had felt euphoric on the first day when Lanuvel was eliminated by being buried alive in the 1st Playthrough, the inconvenience from the next day on wasn’t easy to tolerate. There was a clear difference between games and life.

The things that most wore out the Hero wasn’t the likes of a powerful demon—it was unhygienic toilets and sleep-disturbing insects. To give a statistic without exaggeration, mosquitoes had drawn more blood from me than the late night assassins sent by Demon King Fedornar.

And this was where Lanuvel shined. Her daily life magic solved all these various discomforts. It wasn’t perfect, but it was to the level where a modern man could endure.

Her ability alone was to my liking.

“Lanuvel. Are you dissatisfied with coming over comfortably using my money? Why? Why don’t you complain about breathing ‘cause that’s easy too?”

“Aww…”

Lanuvel, who was pouting like a goldfish, was instantly silenced. But then our other companion, the large luggage-carrier who was holding a spear in his right hand, spoke up in her defense.

“I think Miss Lanuvel also has a point. We get no chance to raise our Level and Skills if we travel instantly like this.”

“I didn’t ask you. Shut it.”

“…”

I surveyed my surroundings after silencing the luggage-carrier who was under the wrong impression of having really become the legendary Hero’s companion. The scene here was similar to what I saw first upon being kidnapped to this fantasy world.

A huge magic circle was beneath our feet and outside of it were guards on standby in case of emergencies, nodding off where they stood. Besides that, I could see flags of the kingdom and its aristocratic families which told me we had safely arrived at the Magus Tower of an allied country.

Spatial transfer magic itself was convenient because no time was taken to travel, but there was no method of directing reaching your exact destination—you had to go from Magus Tower A to Magus Tower B. You would only be transferred between magic circles that were linked in advance.

Like how you would take the airport bus, subway or the like upon arriving at an airport, from now on we had to use a different method of transport.

“Lanuvel, Luggage Boy. Follow me.”

We quickly went through customs and existed the Magus Tower.

A bustling city street lay before us, a scene which existed in my memories.

“Hero-nim. I’ve been here before so I know the way around well! The mercenary agency is that way!”

Lanuvel pretended to be knowledgeable. As an archaeologist, she was a wayfinder who had gone to all kinds of places. She was familiar with all the cities and landmarks in the middle continent of Fantasia.

But in response to her indication, I said flippantly, “Why would we go there?”

“Eh? Well, that’s because there might be a merchant caravan heading near our destination. We can help out in business, we’ll also get a free ride on carriages, we can defeat bandits, raise our reputation, make money, get to know people, raise our Level, take night watch together…”

Lanuvel rattled off a list of the pros to being a mercenary.

“We have no time to spare on such a worthless part-time job.”

“Part-time…?”

“There’s something like that.”

I turned down her suggestion.

Moving together with a merchant caravan loaded full of goods would slow us down. There was no reason to help out somebody’s business just to earn a pittance. That, and I didn’t want to hang around filthy mercenaries either.

“Why? We’re not in a hurry.”

“Who knows when the resurrected Demon King will attack us? Can you still say that we’re not in a hurry?”

I wasn’t at all pressed for time. That gentleman of a Demon King would wait a whole 10 years for me, though Lanuvel didn’t know this truth.

“Th-that…”

“Understand? Even if you don’t, shut up and follow me.”

“Aww… okay.”

*
*
*

We safely arrived at our destination.

We didn’t hear anything like a desperate cry for help from a merchant caravan that had fallen into danger on the way. It was just my imagination.

The village before us looked just as I remembered it in the 1st Playthrough. This journey had taken two days, perhaps? And Professor Morals, who had given me advance warning, had come as well.

▷Sigh: How could a Hero avoid adventuring? A rolling stone gathers no moss. Please do not abuse your Hero’s EXP 500% perk and raise your Level through normal adventuring.

Starting with a lecture right off the bat, and saying to my face to roll like a stone to boot.

▷Perplexed: I did not mean that as a curse so you would unconditionally suffer! They say the heaviest burden to a traveler is an empty pocket. Having set out on a journey, should you not achieve something?

That’s reasonable.

If it’s achievements, then there’s going to be some starting now.

After entrusting our exhausted steeds at the village inn, we headed towards the village chief’s house where the ‘great being’ resided at.

Upon arriving there, I knocked on the door as I called out courteously, “Master Mollang. This unworthy Hero requests for your teachings!”

 

Translator : Hunnybuttachips

Editor : Fujimaru

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