As the sun rises, the people of La Veil Radd wake up. Then, they all go outside together, and the first thing they do is pray to the rising sun. The rising sun can be seen through the huge gates of La Veil Radd, allowing sunlight to reach all of the buildings.
When the prayers were over, everyone began to pray towards the castle, where the Pope lived. But it wasn’t the Pope that they were praying to.
It was the Hero, the hero who saved this world.
「 Hello, Cielo? I’m surprised, you know? That’s just incredible. Why is it that the curse I placed on Cielo-chan has completely disappeared? It’s strange, isn’t it? I’m so sad that by the symbol of my love has disappeared, you know?」
Cielo was sitting on the bed in his room. He was kneeling in front of Cielo, rubbing his cheek against the back of Cielo’s hand as he spoke those words.
「… Is that your way of showing love, to make monsters go into a frenzy and attack me? Is that really what you call love?」
「 Oh? Oh, well, I suppose. The poor little Cielo being attacked by demons must be looking at that useless piece of trash and thinking『 Oh, please help me, my Hero! You’re the only one who can help me! 』, right? That’s when my love will be felt… So, what do you think? Did you get the message?」
「 You’re making me nervous already, Cielo-chan…」
Cielo, who had been repeating this exchange forever, felt only physiological disgust at Goutani’s inability to hold a proper conversation.
「 Ahh! Who is it that’s interrupting our time!!!!」
The moment he heard the knock on the door, Goutani flew into a rage, released his holy sword and glared in the direction of the person on the other side of the door. However, he quickly calmed down when he heard the voice of the other party.
「 It’s me.」
「 Ah, I’ll let myself in.」
It was the other Hero, Hinomoto, who came in, and since Goutani was far below Hinomoto in the pecking order, he couldn’t ignore what she had to say, and though his gut was churning from being interrupted from his time with Cielo, he tried to keep his cool.
「 It’s the usual time.」
「 Oh?… You should go.」
「 I have my work to do. Don’t you think you should do your job too? It’s the position you want.」
Then he turned to Cielo again with a grin and a smile and squeezed her hands.
「 I’m sorry, Cielo-chan! I’ve got some shitty work to do. I’m going to have to finish my work, but I’ll be back soon, so please wait for me while I kill time with this boring girl! I’ll see you later.」
That’s what he said and quickly left the room.
Only the two women were left. Hinomoto let out a sigh as she walked up to Cielo and bowed her head with a bitter smile.
「 I’m sorry, I have no way of stopping that thing. I know this is hard on you, but… I’m not going to do anything bad to the citizens. I just need you to trust me on that.」
「… Why can’t you stop him?」
「 Hmm… Because that’s what I’m ordered to do, I guess.」
「… No way.」
Cielo slowly examined Hinomoto’s neck. Then she noticed a device attached to it, one designed to take away a person’s dignity.
「 A slave… Collar?」
「… I understand. I’m sorry, it’s hard for you too…」
Hinomoto waved her hand as if to say it was nothing.
「 You don’t have to feel sorry for me. It’s more of a status report. Your companion is the one I can’t help you with at the moment, because Goutani is trying to kill her.」
「 Oh… I see.」
「 And one more thing…」
Hinomoto drops to her knees and takes Cielo’s hand.
「 In a week, you’re getting married to Goutani.」
「… No reaction? Well it’s obvious I suppose.」
Cielo’s head is slowly stroked as she begins to cry quietly. The tears don’t stop, however.
「 You are now being treated by the people as a Brainwashed Priestess, and the Goutani let it happen. And those three will be made out to be the main culprits. They were originally going to do that to just Sakurada-san, but the more of them there are, the easier the people will be convinced… And…」
「…How can he do such a terrible thing?」
「 Well, I guess it means he’s 『 broken 』 too. We all know that the war was the trigger… But it’s not your fault.」
This is a story about the invasion of Ladaria, a country that Cielo predicted would be destroyed. And the story of the heroes who destroyed it.
「 After all, it’s nobody’s fault. That war was. The only thing that matters is what the heroes did afterwards. Including me, who had given up… In that sense, Sakurada-san did more than any of the other heroes, didn’t she?」
After saying that, Hinomoto stood up and left the room. Then, before leaving.
「 If you still have friends in the country, let them go. If they try to help, I’ll have to move, and as long as Goutani doesn’t know I’m there, I’ll help. So…」
「 It’s fine.」
Cielo looked at Hinomoto, smiling as best she could.
「 I won’t lose, you know!」
「 Haha, well, that guy is just as much of a bastard as I’ve heard. No wonder you guys are running away.」
「 Hahaha, I’ve never been trapped like this before as well.」
「 「 Hahahahahaha!」」
「 This is no time to be carefree…you know?」
At that time, the dragon, Hero, and the fairy were in the dungeon of the castle together. All of them had shackles on their hands and feet, and slave collars around their necks. Quad could have easily gotten out of the dungeon by undoing his 『 humanization 』, but that would have been a problem, so he stayed in the dungeon quietly.
However, both La Veil and Quad have smiles on their faces, so Mika was the only one who felt frustrated.
「 What should I do? I didn’t think Set-chan would be here…」
「 Oh, you do know, Mika? What do you know about that monstrous Hero?」
「 『 Monster 』 is not the right word.」
「 Oh, there she is!」
「 Hey, Sakurada-san. I hope you don’t talk about me like I’m a monster.」
In the midst of all this friendly banter, Hinomoto appeared from outside the prison, and La Veil asked: 「 Hey, you want to fight?」as if inviting Hinomoto to join them, like in a convenience store, while Quad smiled and gave her a heads-up as if he were looking at his grandchild.
Hinomoto gave a wry smile to both of them.
「 You know, despite the circumstances, you and your friends are hilarious.」
「 Ha, don’t worry… I know a few more hilarious ones.」
「 Oh, I see…」
Hinomoto coughed lightly and got down to business.
「 Now, you are to be executed in a week for seducing a priestess, a national treasure, in front of the people.」
「 Please don’t say it so casually!」
「 Even so, it can’t be helped since that demented man is saying it. And as for me, I’m extremely unwilling. Besides, why did you come back? If you had just gone into exile in another country and lived in secret, no one would have done anything, you know?」
「 How could I leave her alone? Cielo is my friend!?」
Mika instantly snapped at Hinomoto’s comment. Hearing those words, Hinomoto checked Mika’s status in 『 Appraisal 』 and was amazed. It was hard to imagine what Mika’s status would have been a few years ago, and her skill ranks had risen dramatically.
With this status and the holy armor, it would not be impossible for Mika to defeat Goutani, Hinomoto thought.
「…I see, you’ve been desperate to become stronger for your friends in this other world. As I recall, you said that Mister Quad was from a dungeon. Did you train there? It looks like you were forced to raise your level quite a bit.」
「…That’s right, because of everyone’s help, I’ve become so strong… I can’t do anything if Set-chan is here though…」
Mika cried out, knowing the strength of the 3rd place in the rankings, Mika was in despair, the strength of the Hero in the top 5 was far superior due to the fact that they defeated the Demon King. Even in Mika’s case, which had led to her being dispatched in the past, it had been Hinomoto who had come to her rescue.
The opponents were a trio of delinquents who were known for their bad behavior, but Hinomoto calmly took them all on and defeated them unscathed. Not even using her holy sword properties…
The fact that Hinomoto had come to La Veil Radd was a huge miscalculation on Mika’s part.
「 Mika, I’m sure Master will take care of it for now, so don’t be so disheartened.」
「 Oh, there is still someone out there.」
「 Wait, La Veil, why are you saying that?」
Mika became impatient as she mentioned the rest of her friends’ names, but La Veil and Quad continued talking happily, and the scene began to relax again.
「 I’m sure that Master will do something spectacular anyway. And maybe she knew this would happen somehow. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to leave us alone.」
「 Yes, I agree, I’m sure Miss Aidle will do something interesting again. So until then, we will just have to be spectators, Mika.」
「 Eh, eeh…」
「 Kukuku, Mika’s friends are hilarious.」
「 Wait, don’t laugh… I think she’s really going to do something…」
The conversation continued in a strange atmosphere even though they were enemies, but then a follower of Heroic Spirit appeared, gave Hinomoto an earful, looked at Mika once, and then quickly left again.
Hinomoto opens the door to the prison and lets Mika and the others out, but only freeing their feet.
「 There will be a speech in the morning by the Pope. That’s where they’ll announce you, so I want you to come with me. The slave collar will prevent you from speaking. I just don’t know what that guy is going to say, so just be prepared for that. I’m probably going to laugh.」
「 Okay, okay…」
In the castle, there is an opening for the public to see the Pope. However, the figure of the Pope is blocked off, and only his shadow is shown.
Today, the Pope was there again, only in shadow. The people all bowed their heads and were not allowed to see him. Normally, a Hero would just stand silently beside him, but this day was different.
「 My people, my followers. Today, I, the Hero, have something to say to you. Please, raise your heads today.」
With Hero’s words, the followers raised their heads one after another to see Goutani. His face was covered by a mask, and he looked down at them with a gentle smile.
「 As a matter of fact, the other night, I finally managed to save the miko-sama and break her brainwashing.」
「 Are you serious, Hero-sama?!!」
The believers in the plaza had a picture-perfect expression of joy on their faces, and there was a flurry of questions about the truth. Goutani stopped them with his hand.
「 Of course, of course. Let us all welcome our priestess, Lady Cielo Forbranad La Veil Radd.」
Without saying a word, Cielo appeared in front of his beloved people. Many of them fell to their knees and began to pray for his safety, while Goutani continued with his madness.
Goutani went on saying something even more insane,
「 Thank you, the priestess is pleased to see you. Now, I have something even more exciting to report. It will take place a week from now. I, Goutani Shiji, and Cielo Forbranad La Veil Radd will be having a marriage ceremony! And the execution of those who masterminded the abduction of the miko will also take place! 」
As soon as the proclamation was made, the people rose up in an uproar: Hero and priestess would marry. It was a joyous occasion for the believers. Everyone congratulated the couple on their marriage. Goutani looked on with satisfaction, while Cielo kept her face expressionless and stared down.
Then, the three cloth-bagged people were strapped to the cross in front of the platform.
「 Now, these are the faces of those who caused the great sin!」
The cloth bags were all taken away at once, and among the three who showed their faces was a person the followers knew, causing a commotion.
「 Yu, Hero-sama…?」
「 Why is Mika-sama…?」
Goutani spoke with increased anger about Mika, who had come with Goutani years ago, confirming the fact that she was being held as a sinner.
「 Hero Mika is the great sinner who deceived the priestess this time. And she and her collaborators plotted to assassinate the Pope. In order for them to become the rulers of this country! I don’t want blood. However, I can’t let fools who follow the Demon King and the demon tribe, who have no blood or tears, live!!」
La Veil’s cheeks were puffed out as she struggled to keep herself from laughing, and Mika’s shoulders were shaking as she struggled to turn her face sideways.
「 Then you must be condemned by a swing of the sacred sword. Then, with a new 『 Heroic Spirit 』 in our hearts, and under the guidance of the 『 Priestess 』 and 『 Goddess 』, we will regain our stability! Perpetual peace!!!」
「 「 「 Perpetual peace!」」」」
Raising the holy sword and using holy attribute magic to let light shine from the sky, the storm of praise became even more violent and swept through the country… In the midst of all this…
『 Hello, La Veil, how was it yesterday? 』
『 Oh, we’ve been waiting for you, Master. 』
『 Good Morning~La Veil~ 』
The two fairies arrived in their usual manner.
『 It’s really good production, isn’t it? I wonder if you’d be willing to teach me how to act? 』
『 What’s wrong with you Ma-… 』