「Can I talk to you?」
The Hero approached me and tapped my shoulder when I was in the inn’s hallway.
Well, I had already guessed what kind of 「talk」 it was.
「… Oh. Okay.」
After my response, we both head to the bar downstairs.
「What do you want to order?」
The bartender asked.
「I want watered down Shochu1」
(1Shochu is Japanese distilled beverages less than 45% alcohol by volume. It is typically distilled from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or brown sugar, source:Wikipedia)
「For me, Gin Tonic」
After ordering so, the Hero got silent.
I lit a cigarette and waited for that guy to speak.
And when the glass is put on the counter table, the hero finally began to talk.
「… It doesn’t feel real. We’ve made it this far.」
I replied to him with a mutter.
「But, I want to advance this party to one more stage. Specifically… I’m thinking of actively subjugating the 「Demon Lord Class」 from now on」
「That’s good. I think everyone strong enough to do it.」
「… Yeah. Then, I thought that we should review our 「party formation」… … Well, umm …. From now on, anyone who could not handle quests for the Demon Lord Class will only be a burden, and surely it would be bad for them. You understand, right? 」
「That’s why …」
I understand how you feel, so please don’t make that painful face.
「I’m sorry, but I will have you quit the party.」
With his forehead wrinkled, the Hero declared so.
「Let’s make a party, you and me. Let’s reach the adventurer’s 「Peak」!」
6 years ago.
It was Cross who invited me like that.
I think it was when I was in the 『After graduation, what career path you’d take? 』 period when I was in Magic Academy.
I was someone (albeit it was me who is saying this) got a satisfying result for magic exam, and when it came to employment, I was someone who 『Could select my own employer』
I’ve also been scouted by the royalty and the nobles.
「Well, no matter how good it is to serve the royal family, there are so many people in the world who is also like that, you know? That kind of success, it’s not that big of a deal…. Well, perhaps you can get a steady income. But, living like being bound in a rail like that, I don’t like it at all.」
Cross persuaded me with his childish words, made me spill out my laughter from the corner of my mouth.
「Muh, what the hell, dude…」
And then Cross looked like he was disgusted.
Well … although I laughed, but I was thinking about something similar as Cross’ thought lately.
After all, even if I end up serving Royalty, I don’t have any territory-based obligation to swear my allegiance wholeheartedly to that lord.
I’m sure, for getting the monthly salary; at most I’d go to the workplace I am reluctant to go to and pretend to work.
Certainly, I’d hate that.
I wanted a position where I could be freely using my own ability for my own self.
I don’t want to be buried under the mundane works that anyone could do.
I wanted to do a job that only I can do, so I would be appreciated because of it.
And then I could get more attention, become famous …
That’s what I thought.
However, on the other hand, I also self-conscious that was embarrassed to admit that I have such a cheap thought that describes that I’m 「certainly a young man」.
Because, 『I hate living bound by the rails』 I tend to dream too much and don’t you think it’s too clichéd?
Regarding that, because that frankness of the natural ego-centric guy called Cross who doesn’t have any sense of embarrassment, I’ve cringed so many times because of his actions. Nonetheless, at the same time, I certainly felt 『envious』 of his honestly.
「Let’s do it. An Adventure, you and me, two of us.」
When I answered so, Cross laughed and said 「Really—as I thought you’re like that.」 as he placed his arm on my shoulder.
I was embarrassed and I sighed.
Towards my decision, Magic Academy’s teachers and my other friends said 「As I said, you’d better not do that!」 and stopped me.
Well, of course they’d say that.
When it comes to adventurers, glamorous legends stand out, but on the practice only a handful of the adventurers are being able to succeed.
Among 100 adventurer parties, only one or two will remain after five years.
It’s like gambling with your own life.
However, even if it’s called gambling, it was a gamble which has its chance of winning.
That 「chance of winning」 is Cross’ talent.
Well, although Cross was a student who would fall into the category of a dropout when looking at the results of Magic University, there was something he’s excellent that nobody knows it.
That is his 【Hero】 Class.
A super rare attribute appearing once in 100 years
If you have a [Hero] at your party, you will be able to stand on the same level as legendary adventurers. It’s that kind of superior Class.
However, no one else knew about that… even Cross himself.
It was only me who know about that.
Why [only] me who gets to know this guy’s Class?
That’s because my 『Skill Major』 at Magic University was 【Training】 and I was able to receive 【Goddess’s Eye】, which is the highest grade of Training magic (I hid them even to the seminar’s professor).
According to this [Goddess’s Eye], I could understand the following:
1 『What kind of occupation is suitable for someone』
2 『What skills and magics can they gain from now on』
With only one glance
With that, I found out that 『Cross can be a hero.』
So I bet on the 『adventure』 where I make a party with this guy.
In reality, when we started adventuring with only both of us, it was extremely difficult.
Cross who wasn’t quite bloomed as his Hero class was extremely weak, and I often admired myself that I wanted to become an adventurer together with this person.
Somehow I managed to beat slime and such with the basic magic I learned in the general education class, and that’s all I could do to continue working as an adventure.
With that, we can’t even buy food so both of us also worked on a part-time job.
However, there was one more magic in my 【Training】 Class skill, it was 【Total Blessing】.
【Total Blessing】 is a super-high rank magic that if the caster belongs to a party, all the party members would earn double experience points.
Thanks to that, Cross who was super weak at the beginning gradually grown so he could be able to fight.
The fights after that makes us little by little recognized by the Adventurers and it became easier to recruit comrades for our party.
With my 【Goddess Eye】, I could ascertain their Class characteristics and their acquirable skills so our party increased to three, then four members.
Thus, our adventure little by little went as planned.
Inside the tilted glass was the liquor and ice.
「It has been six years since that time, huh?」
Cross who evidently became a 「Hero」 muttered so.
「Time flies by, huh…」
「Yeah, ‘Cause we’re so engrossed in becoming adventurers.」
The party grew stronger and stronger while we became engrossed to our repeated my adventures.
On the other hand, my importance in the party was getting lower and lower.
【The Goddess Eye】 was extremely useful until the party’s formation was finalized.
【Total Blessing】 could only be appreciated until a certain point,.
But now those are skills that are not necessary for advanced parties who are going to take 【Demon Lord Class】 quests.
Because, this party has already had the vanguard and rear guard covered so there’s no need to increase party member any more.
In addition, when everyone is at this level, rather than relying on simple numerical value, it reaches the stage of 『How much the user hone their skills (Their familiarity of the usage of the skill)』 so there’s practically no need for the double experience buff.
Also, my own combat ability was not particularly good as my neither offensive nor healing magic outside of my class wasn’t beyond the middle tier.
So for each passing day, I understand more and more that I won’t be able to keep up with the advanced level adventures.
Rather, the reason why I haven’t been kicked out of the party yet until now was that… I think that everyone was being considerate to me as I have contributions to this party at some degree.
It was just as I’ve expected, so I quietly accepted the Cross’ dismissal.
「Well then, I’ll return all of the items and equipment to the party sometime today.」
「Nah, dude… those are yours so you take them all yourself.」
「Are you really sure, it was decided that 『All private items and equipment, will belong to the party』 you know, Tiana is definitely going to be angry, you know? 」
「Haha. its fine, its fine. Tiana knows well how much you have contributed to this party. Moreover, I’m sure you’re going to do your own adventures again, right? Without any equipment and start from zero, that’d be rough, dude.」
「Hm … Thanks, man…」
I decided to receive his sympathy obediently.
When I noticed it, both I and the Hero emptied our glasses.
「We will head to Zahalbert by boat tomorrow evening」
It was where the Adventurers’s guild headquarters located. It was a place that is called the 「City of Flowers」 by the adventurers.
「So, your farewell party would be held at noon tomorrow.」
「The hell with farewell party… as always, you’re so clingy, dude.」
「Ugh, it’s okay, isn’t it? Oh, please consult to Tiana after the Farewell Party. Only Tiana who knows about item and equipment allocation.」
「Ah, I see. I’m going to sleep now, kay?」
「Okay. Umm… Aga. ummm… thank you.」
「About what? 」
Cross murmured and turned his face away.
I wondered how I should reply, but,
「Hmm, I see….. Well then, see you.」
After that, I got up from my seat.