Oh well, today we came back to the capital of Galania after a long time. That’s because the Bellmour teleport stone glowed. After I teleported, I found Mondol eating breakfast in the conference room. It looks good so I transformed into a fairy and asked for some bread.
「So, what was the call for?」
「Um, about that, we would like to ask you what to do with the heroes from now on」
Ahhh, so it was about the heroes. Now that I think about it, they’ve been in prison all this time. Six months have passed already, and I was wondering what has happened since then?
「They are currently living in a cabin. They still have their slave collars, and are not allowed to go outside. Their combat abilities and skills have also been disabled. But they are still heroes. We can’t just treat them in a really bad way……」
「I see………Hey, about those two, can you hand them over to me?」
Due to my sudden offer, Mondol was flabbergasted.
「Are you taking them to Ladaria? Why?」
「Well, you see, there’s a place that I would like to go to soon. Because of that, I will be leaving Ladaria for a while. It would probably take a few months for me to return. I don’t know when the other heroes will find out about that place. That’s why I would like to use those two as bouncers, in case something out of the ordinary happens」
「You are saying that you will use them as bouncers, but will the beastmen accept that?」
「I could just hide their true identity and grant them fake names. They will probably live a normal life, and it will be reassuring because they won’t be able to do anything even if they want to rebel」
What about human rights? Well, I would be in trouble if I offered them freedom, if they were actual murderers or assassins. I won’t deny them the chance to redemption if they ask for forgiveness. I will remove their collars once their rehabilitation finishes and after my return from our planned destination. In addition to that……
「I will show them directly, what they have supposedly taken away from those people. It’s something that must be done」
Otherwise, those collars will be left stuck on their necks for the rest of their lives. Having that collar would degrade them to nothing. It would turn into something like a curse.
「Kuh…… How long will I be trapped in a place like this」
「……As if I’d know」
It’s been three months since Kousaka and Hino have been imprisoned in the castle jail. At first, due to the hard vigilance of the place, they were only able to move their neck and a few joints of their arms. They were under such condition for about two weeks, and then by Mondol’s order they were allowed to have the freedom to move around.
Three months after, they understood that the title of Hero has a much heavier responsibility than they have thought initially. Their weapons and equipment were also stripped away from them and are currently being kept safe inside the castle. At first they were relieved by the improved conditions, but soon enough they understood that it was unlikely for them to be left sharing a room together, as a man and a woman.
「Having a good bed is already a salvation……」
「My body feels dull――wait」
After the sound of footsteps, came a knock on their door. The two then faced each other.
「Isn’t it a little too early for our meals to be served?」
「Did something happen? Did the other heroes start to move?」
In the past three months, they were staying in a room in the castle. Usually only maids would come, three times a day to deliver their meals. There were also no other people who came to visit them. That’s why they suspected that there might have been some movements…
What appeared before them though, was a girl, whom they hated so much that they only wanted for her to be killed.
「It’s been a while. Ooops」
Kousaka immediately attempted to stab Aidle with a fork she was hiding. However, the effect of the slave collar prevented her from doing so.
She clenched her teeth and tried to force herself to continue, but she couldn’t even move a millimeter. That’s why she can’t do anything else but send Aidle a murderous glare.
「Well, I have expected something like this to happen」
「How dare you……leave us in a place like this, after doing all of that!」
Kousaka continued glaring at Aidle with blood-shot eyes. Aidle just told her to calm down and put the fork away.
「I know. It was my bad. But you were trying to destroy this country. You even abducted my friends so I was really angry. Still, I want to end the hate between us today. Nevertheless, I can’t remove those collars yet」
They know. They were just doing it just for fun. They didn’t feel any guilt or remorse……but in reality, they were trying to deny it in their minds.
Until now, they probably lived thinking that this was something like a 『Game World』. After all, they have always been the strongest group, until recently. They probably thought that the inhabitants of this world were all mobs, and that only they themselves were people. No other emotions were necessary. If someone was in their way, then all they had to do was to crush it.
The same could be said about the dispatch. Asahina ordered them 『Everyone should move out to each country to do things their way. If you are able to reduce their national strength, then it would be fine to let them be after that』 and everyone followed this order.
The Martial Arts Tournament is one of those plans. That is until the irregular called Aidle appeared.
It was the first time they have been subjected to a storm of blames. They should have realized the sins that they were causing. After all, they have been ruining people’s lives, hurting them with batting an eye, and doing things that were worse than what you could probably imagine. All while thinking that 『This is only a game』.
They realized this truth after being trapped in a dark prison. They realized just how stupid their actions were.
「……so, where are you going to take us?」
「I’m going to take to the Beastman Kingdom」
「……Haaah? Ladaria is already gone」
「It has been rebuilt」
「You must be surprised. However, that is the truth. It’s currently my base, however I have to go away for a few months because of some errands that I have to do. That’s why I want you guys to be bouncers for the time being. You will be paid of course, and you will also be allowed to live normally」
Letting them live in a country that they have once destroyed. Just thinking about that is scary. But Aidle continued in order to calm them down.
The following conditions were given:
・Work mainly with the Guards as bouncers in the new kingdom of Ladaria.
・Living a normal life is allowed.
・The salary will be 20 silver coins per month.
・Combat will only be allowed when necessary to save the lives of the inhabitants or of the same equivalent.
・Helping in the suppression of quarrels. In case a Hero comes as an opponent, then the use of Holy Swords will be allowed.
・Holidays will be 2 days each week.
「And so, what about our collars……」
Aidle then used 『Fairy Magic』to alter and hide their collars.
「And with this, no one else would be able to remove it, other than me. After all, it would be troublesome if you were to ask someone else to remove it」
The two didn’t have a choice, they could only nod and accept the proposal……
Aidle then took them to King Mondol, who was waiting in the conference room. Upon entering the room, Magenta was also present. Aidle immediately approached her with a smiling face. There’s nothing more lovely than beautiful women after all.
「Hello Magenta-san. A Barrier?」
「Ah……It’s to prevent escape. It’s ok for you to enter, and this is my job after all」
Magenta gave her a 「Thank you」 after saying so. In reality, she is a really big fan of Aidle, so this encounter is making her really happy on the inside.
（Ahhh, Aidle-sama is so cute…… I want to take her home…）[ED: Get in line, and expect to wait for quite some time]
But this side of her is never shown on the outside. Aidle then turns to Mondol.
「I will be taking the heroes then, they have accepted the offer」
Mondol turns his face towards the heroes. There was no anger or hatred on his face. He stood up and came before the heroes, then told them with a gentle expression.
「We are alive, and not just part of a game. This is what I want you both to remember……」
Both Kousaka and Hino faced down……and gave a small nod.
「Then we will be going. Do you have any message for me to deliver?」
「For Queen Forna……just tell her I have some people to nominate once more」
「Alright, see you again」
I grabbed the two and teleported to Forna’s homemade teleportation gem. It seems like she was waiting in the audience chamber, and when I appeared, my face was planted in her stomach.
「Oops, I’m back」
「Welcome back Aidle……those people are the heroes, right?」
「I brought them as helpers and they can work as soon as possible. Are you OK with that?」
「Yeah. I have already informed Ojas, he should be arriving soon」
The heroes, who got forcefully teleported, were still confused because of the beastman girl right in front of them, and started furiously trembling after knowing that they were before the current Queen, Forna. In addition to that, Kousaka,
「……Fo, the third Princess Forna…… and this place is… Ladaria Castle」
「Is this the real thing……」
「It’s been a long time. Heroes…… *Tei」
A piece of bread was thrown at Kousaka’s face. It definitely didn’t hurt. It wasn’t supposed to hurt… and despite initially facing each other without expression, Kousaka’s face soon distorted in a pained expression.
「I know that you did all of that for everyone. Would you please pick that up?」
「……are you really sure that just doing this is enough?」
「Yes, for now. That will be it for the time being. For now, let’s put that aside…… From here on, please take care of us」
She offered her a hand. However, Kousaka was unwilling to receive it.
「Right now is not a good time. Maybe when the collar is removed……」
After a while, Ojas finally appeared. He bowed slightly towards Aidle as they faced each other, and then kneeled in front of Forna.
（Seeing Ojas changed like this is really strange……）
His boastfulness and arrogance completely disappeared, and he is now giving the impression of a warrior who is faithful to his duties. Everything is now done out of pure loyalty.
「Queen, were you in need of my assistance?」
「Yes, these two are going to be part of the guards starting today. I’ll leave the assignment of their dormitories to you. Are you okay with this though?」
「……Human, what is your name?」
Being asked that suddenly, the two were troubled. They were unable to think of an alternate name to use. When Ojas stared at them with suspicion, Aidle opened her mouth and spoke up. Go with the flow.
「The woman is Risaly, and the man is Blair. Please take care of them, Captain-san」
「You can’t just」
「……Is that so. Well then, Risaly and Blair. Let me guide you to your dorms. Please follow me」
「Oi, what’s your reply!!!」
The two followed Ojas quietly. When the other two were left behind, Forna was suddenly hugged.
「That was amazing Forna……」
「…That’s not really」
Aidle acknowledged Forna as a true Ruler. Kousaka was supposedly the one who killed her sister, which was transformed into a demon, and it happened right in front of her. If that was really what happened, it wouldn’t be a surprise if she cursed or hit them to return the pain. However, she endured and suppressed her feelings. An 8 year old girl, patient enough to suppress her feelings without even shedding a tear.
When Aidle suggested for the heroes to become guards, Forna told Aidle a story about her sister. Even so, Forna still listened to her suggestion and accepted the offer in the end.
She understands that the incident back then couldn’t be helped, and that the chain of suffering should end.
「Those people were 『Ordinary People Forced into This world』. Probably because of that, they couldn’t accept the reality of this world and thought of it as a『Game』, like that battle board game. Those two, and other heroes, probably believed that they were the players of this game world. That was in order to fight the demon king……and they were only able to do so because they were thinking that this was just a 『Game』. They managed to erase their guilt and fear because of that. Ethics and morality also didn’t matter」
「But, they were unable to think about what to do next, after the match, and the people that remained as a result of that」, Forna continued while looking dignified.
「We can start over again. We could definitely do it. I know that what the heroes did was really terrible, however it’s not impossible to reconcile after that. After all, even after that, we continued to live…we could still understand each other…」
「But you know…… you can also simply cry when you are among your friends……After all, Forna is also just a person」
When I lend her my chest, the only sound echoing throughout the room was her sobbing……
「And so, today, our body pillow will be Forna」
「Good night Forna～Aidle～♪」
「Un, go, good night……though I’m getting really nervous about this…」
（Hmmm, so precious）A recording crystal was activated.