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Chapter 1, Episode 27: Return of the Hero
With the Lichtein army now withdrawn, the battlefield was covered in a strange silence.
The surrounding area is in a gruesome state. There are enough corpses scattered about to fill the earth.
In the hellish place which would make one’s hairs stand on end, the victorious people of the Empire were captivated breathlessly by a spectacle in a certain area.
They were so enraptured by the sight that they didn’t even pay mind to the wafting smell of death that was enough to make one vomit.
A monster five times the size of a human suddenly appeared on the battlefield. Its skin is a ghastly pale blue.
Around it, danced an eerie darkness.
「Monsters」 are not rare in Aletia.
Though they vary in strength, large monsters require a group of men to suppress.
If someone were to challenge one alone, there’s no doubt that people would surely sneer at their recklessness. Probably all the more so if it were a soldier who had received various forms of training.
However, no one was laughing now. No one made a fool of the young boy who stood resolutely against the monster.
A young boy alternating from offense to defense and back.
—Held* Rey Schwarz von Grantz.
TL note: This was spelled “Halt” before, but after reading the next line, I realized it was the German word for hero and changed it accordingly.
He is a ‘hero’ who was praised as 「Mars」 a 1,000 years ago.
Now, he is a ‘mythical hero’ who has become a ‘legend’.
After conquering neighboring countries, he returned to his original world, but he has come back once more to this ‘alternate world’.
The young boy who leapt out from legend held a silver sword in his hands.
It is a sword which was lost, not even passed down in the legends.
Imperial Spirit Sword— 「Excalibur」.
It is a beautiful sword with a pure white guard and handle, as if coated in a blanket of snow.
The blade glitters as if an infinite number of stars twinkle across it.
An enormous fist passes by the nose of the young boy— Hiro.
A few strands of his bangs dance in the air from the air pressure. Hiro twisted his body and casually swung 「Excalibur」.
A spray of blood shoots up from the monster’s arm.
However, the wound instantly snapped closed.
Let’s say there was a life form which would not die no matter how much it was cut.
What course of action would one take against such a creature?
There’s no doubt that most would try to run. But there are surely a rare few who would fight it.
Hiro is the latter. The option of escape does not exist in his mind.
There was no fear or panic on his face, but there was vexation.
(Still too slow! I’m still lacking!)
He wants more.
He is still a far cry from his former self.
This isn’t enough to finish the monster off.
He swings 「Excalibur」 irritated. An enormous arm floats up into the air.
Had his opponent been human, it would probably have been a fatal wound.
However, though imperfect, the opponent is a monster which has taken in a spirit’s ‘poison’.
Though the monster’s blood painted Hiro’s face red, he increased his speed without so much as flinching.
It’s been three years since he returned to his original world.
You could say that Hiro had most definitely become weaker having enjoyed peace.
But having said that, he doesn’t want to use this as an excuse.
Reason being, the experience and other important things he’s cultivated until then still remain.
(I don’t want all that to go to waste.)
Every joint in his body screams. Hiro grit his teeth and endured the pain.
After a number of battles, the young boy’s body had reached its limit.
Regardless, Hiro continued to slash away at his opponent.
The silver flashes are absorbed by the monster and disappear.
Each time it does, the earth is dyed in the monster’s blood, and a roar of pain shakes the air.
(You were there. Everyone was there. That’s why I was able to continue on winning.)
He kneels on the ground and slams his hands onto the earth.
(But… everyone’s gone now.)
A countless number of spirit weapons appear around the monster.
As the monster glances side to side, he threw 「Excalibur」 high above its head.
—Not only for myself, but for the sake of the <pride>* all of you left behind too, I’ll seize hold of victory, no matter what.
TL note: Kanji is “history”.
Hiro closes his eyes and exhales softly.
The monster lunged forward to attack the young boy who was wide open.
If it made contact, a single blow would mean instant death. The monster swung his fist down from above the young boy’s head over and over again.
But amazingly, not one blow landed on its target.
Hiro opens his eyes, and in those eyes, was not an abyss, but a pure light.
Raindrops wash away the splattered blood as if to soothe him.
Small particles that mix into the atmosphere grow brighter and brighter, as if to offer their blessing.
Having seen the breath of the world, the young boy was all smiles.
(Altius… Although you’re not here in this world…)
Behind him, a crimson haired young girl watches over him worried.
(Your will still remains. The past and the future are connected.)
Beginnings are sudden, and endings are inevitable.
Even if we’re apart, even if we can never meet again, we’re connected.
A world without you. A world without me.
I wonder how you’re spending your days.
Are you living happy days?
Are you living sad days?
If possible, I want you to live fulfilling days, with never ending smiles.
If you’re thinking the same thing…
—This is what I have to tell you.
(I want you to rest easy.)
He focuses on the monster.
(I don’t want you to worry.)
Every inch of his body begins to fill with the powers of a spirit.
(I’m having fun.)
TL note: This is the first part of the prologue. Went with my own translation though.
Kicking the earth beneath him—
—The young boy leaves the sounds of the world behind him.
One sword, three swords, eight swords, fourteen swords.The spirit weapons floating around the monster begin to disappear at a fearsome speed.
A sound that rips through the air spreads throughout the battlefield where rain is pouring down incessantly.
The monster is assailed by lighting fast slash attacks as its flesh is cut to pieces.
A white flash envelops the monster, and even swallows up the sounds of its groans.
But still, the fierce and intense attacks don’t stop.
This is a privilege only allowed to the one who possesses 「Excalibur」.
Now that the young boy had lost all hesitation, 「Excalibur’s」 divine protection of ‘lightning swiftness’ displayed its true abilities.
—Invisible slash attacks.
When all the spirit weapons disappeared, what fell from the sky, was one beautiful sword.
As Hiro kicks the ground below and leaps forward, he grabs 「Excalibur’s」 handle.
He tore through the monster’s head, and as he finished his swing, the tip of the sword pierced into the ground.
A thunderous roar shakes the air, and at the same time, it smashes the earth and the ground trembles.
The monster’s body is blown to pieces as if it had exploded. The pieces scatter in all directions and sink into the mud.
At the center of it all, a young boy is fighting for breath as he looks up to sky and takes in oxygen.
The rain stopped. From the spaces between the eerily squirming grey clouds, the sun shines warmly on Hiro as if to bless his return.
The crimson haired young girl— Liz rushes over to the young boy and embraces him.
Having spent all his strength, Hiro is unable to catch her and falls onto his back.
Although he wants to say something to her, his priority right now is oxygen and he’s unable to move his mouth freely.
「There’s a lot I want to say to you… but I’m glad you’re okay.」
While she grabs Hiro’s face with both hands and plays with it, Liz let’s out a sigh of relief.
As always, the young boy is unable to say anything while she has her way.
As she does, Cerberus comes to Hiro and rubs his head against his shoulder.
In the corner of his eyes, Aura was staring at him while being supported by her soldiers.
Alfred was yet to regain consciousness and was receiving treatment from the medics.
Tris and Margrave Grinda approached with signs of excitement still lingering on their faces.
「Y-You’re amazing. To think you would exterminate a monster like that all by yourself…」
Margrave Grinda pinches his own cheek to see if he had seen a dream.
And next to him…
「Hmm… Boy, just who are you exactly?」
As if that were a starting signal, a explosion of joyous screams rang out from behind.
『Amazing… That attack… Were you able to see it?!』
『Eh, y-yeah, of course I could.』
『Don’t lie. There’s no way you’d be a private if you could see that.』
『What the hell—?!』
The excitement of the boisterous soldiers soon came to an end.
A ground shaking, thunderous roar of hooves shook the air and inundated everyone’s eardrums.
There is a feeling of oppression which tightens their chests each time the gap closes.
『The Fourth Imperial Army…?!』
They might have run away if they weren’t allies.
While letting off such enormous aura of intimidation, the entire army, which stretched out as far as the eyes could see, came to a uniform stop.
Two horses at the head of the large army approach Hiro.
The Sixth Imperial Princess and three others stood before General Loring.
They were all looking at the general with cautious eyes.
The general can guess why. They probably want to question him as to why they appeared at this particular time.
No matter how they press him, he just needs to dodge their questions evasively.
Loring gallantly dismounts his horse and put his hand to his chest. He then knelt before the Sixth Imperial Princess.
「Your Highness Celia Estreya, I truly apologize for our late arrival. The rain which fell until a while ago slowed our army’s advance and it seems we did not make it in time.」
As he lifts his face, he looks at the young boy being held by the Sixth Imperial Princess.
Even if he was a failure, to think he would defeat a ‘warlock’…
If there was one capable of defeating him, he thought it would have been the Sixth Imperial Princess, the possessor of 「Laevateinn」.
But that’s only if it were a group effort.
He never would have imagined anyone could destroy the monster alone…
And the young boy looked about the same age as the Sixth Imperial Princess at that.
(This is… interesting.)
The young boy’s battle lit a fire within the commander in chief.
He wants to test him. He wants to see just how strong he is with his own two hands.
But Loring squeezes his hands tightly enough for blood to seep out and he resists his urge.
It wouldn’t be any fun to defeat a weakened opponent.
Defeating the young boy right now would be as simple as taking care of a chore.
(I’ll save the fun for a later time. That isn’t my objective right now.)
And then, he noticed it. There was a bloodlust emanating from beside him.
「… You’re a dangerous one.」
The one who quietly muttered was First Imperial Prince Schtobel.
He looked like a supreme ruler atop his horse as he gave off an overwhelming presence.
His ruffled golden hair resembled a crown.
Without hiding any of his intent to kill, the sharp glint in his eyes pierced through the young boy.
(This is bad…)
Loring’s face stiffens.
「… He might become a nuisance.」
「Please wait. In this current situation—」
A lightning strike surged out from Schtobel’s hand.
It was impossible to follow it with the eyes.
By the time he realized what happened, the young boy’s body was thrown into the air.
Everyone looked on dumbfounded at the young boy who flew up like a scrap of paper.
The first one to scream out was Liz.
She rushes after the young boy who came slamming down onto the ground.
Schtobel jumps down from his horse and approaches in long strides. In his hand is one of the Five Imperial Spirit Swords, the battleaxe 「Mjölnir」.
「Elizabeth. Get out of the way.」
「Don’t be ridiculous! Why did you do this?!」
As if resonating with Liz’s anger, flames spiral up from 「Laevateinn’s」 blade.
「Mjölnir」 rages with electric shocks in response to a worthy opponent.
「… To think you would point your blade at me. You don’t actually think you can beat me, do you?」
「I don’t care if I can’t win. I won’t let you lay a hand on Hiro!」
This is what you call an explosive situation. A fight to the death could begin at any moment.
No— Liz would likely be one sidedly made sport of and killed.
There is that much of a gap between the strength of the two.
「All I’m doing is trying to exterminate a pest following my dear little sister around.」
「You’re saying Hiro is a pest?」
Although Loring thinks this to be a bad situation, he’s unable to think of a way to stop them.
If he ends up killing Liz here, it would be impossible to hide it from the Emperor.
There are too many witnesses.
If the possessor of 「Laevateinn」 were to die here, the throne would surely move further away.
He should be aware of this. So why?
(Does this mean he sensed that much of a threat from him?!)
Schtobel opened his mouth annoyed.
「Is that man that important to you…? Or is there a reason he has to be so desperately protected?」
「Yeah, there is. If you kill him, I doubt father will forgive you.」
「What did you say?」
It may have been a difficult decision for her.
After glancing at the young boy lying on the ground, Liz’s face was dyed in a deep sadness.
「He— is a descendant of the Second Emperor.」
—The die was cast.
—The world begins to move centering around the young boy.