The day after Kyle swore to become a hero, he sat in his room thinking.
He was thinking about how he was going to be a hero.
“Heeey~ Do you mind?”
While Kyle was deep in his thoughts, Seran came in without knocking.
“Whoa, what’s up with your room?”
Seran was shocked at what he was seeing.
The desk Kyle was facing had books spread everywhere. Everything surrounding his desk was filled with books as well.
All of the books were brought over from Seraiya’s collection. The genre of the books spanned a wide range.
Books dealt with topics ranging from legends, heroes, knowledge on magic, and lifestyles of demons and historic battles.
“I’ve never been thankful of my mother’s collection until today. All the knowledge I need right in front of me. Anyways, what’s up?”
Kyle closed the book he was reading.
“Umm…are you serious about be coming a hero?”
Seran sat on the bed and popped the question.
“Yeah, no doubt. And I need to be one fast.”
He replied without looking at Seran.
“But you can’t be a hero just because you want to be one.”
“That’s why I’m struggling…do you have any idea how I can become a hero?”
He asked Seran.
“Well~ defeat the demon king and you’ll instantly be a hero!”
“…If that was possible, I wouldn’t be thinking this hard.”
Kyle let out a big sigh.
“There’s no method that’s guaranteed to make anyone a hero…but I’ve began to realize what’s needed. Seran, do you know what I’m talking about?”
“Of course….you need strength…right?”
All the past heroes were praised for their extraordinary strength.
“Well…obviously…In my opinion, it’s money, connections, and luck.”
“Seems strange. But it’s somewhat convincing.”
“First, money. This is because heroes shouldn’t expect anything in return. For example, let’s say you’re in a rural village that’s been attacked by demons and you’re coincidentally there. What would you do?”
“Well...if it’s my first time there, I’d look for cute girls.”
“You’re off from the start. You’d need to ward off the attack. When you do, you’d most likely receive compensation. But what if you don’t receive the award? What if you say that helping those in need is your obligation? And just walked off?”
“That would be overwhelming. I’d probably be a legend in that village.”
“A courageous act without demanding anything in return. Doesn’t that sound heroic? This can’t be done without any spare money though.”
“I see what you mean now. If you say so, you can do a lot with money.”
Seran nodded in agreement.
“Next, I need connections. This goes hand in hand with money, but whenever someone tries to do something, connections come in handy. The more respected your connections are, the better it would be.”
“Ah, I see. Being backed by respected people in power would help a lot.”
“In essence, it’s give and take.”
“You’re slowly moving away from your goal of becoming a hero.”
“Anyways, if I’m associating with highly respected people, my reputation will naturally rise as well. If I have money and a good reputation, I can accomplish a lot. But I still can’t become a hero with just those two.”
“So the last thing you need is luck?”
Kyle said this was the hardest part.
“I see….luck…that’s something you can’t really work for.”
“And plain luck won’t suffice. The luck a hero needs is different from ordinary luck.”
Heroes shine in times of war, sadness, confusion, and grief.
Also, the worse the situation is, the brighter they shine.
“In other words, I need the luck to be there when something terrible happens. Only then can I become a hero.”
“Are you saying…………”
“Relax, I’m not planning anything bad to benefit myself. I don’t even have to do anything bad; the world has a lot of danger already. Something bad is always happening somewhere.”
“I know….but to be placed in those situations is completely dependent on…luck…You can’t do much about it can you?”
“Well…I have a trick to make it happen, so nothing to worry about.”
Kyle flapped the thin notebook that was on his desk.
The things written in this notebook are filled with terrible things that are to happen in the next four years.
Other than large-scale invasions that can’t be helped, there are some things that can be prevented with adequate preparation.
There’s too many things and too little time to handle all of them, but something that’s too easy to handle won’t amount to much heroism.
Heroes always act swiftly when something comes up.
It might hurt more people in the process but if it means changing the seemingly hopeless fate of the world, it must be done.
“I will do anything to be a hero. Even if it’s unfair.”
“Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of being a hero?”
“Don’t worry. I’m only say this kind of stuff in front of you.”
“I see…I forgot to ask the big question. Why do you want to become a hero?”
“I suppose you’re curious huh?”
Seran initially thought that Kyle was going through puberty and that it was messing with his mentality.
If that was the case, then Seran would have fully supported Kyle. But it was different.
He sensed that Kyle was determined more than ever.
“I can sense that you’re serious about this, but for some reason, I sense that your goal isn’t to become a hero; rather, you’re trying to be a hero to achieve some other objective.”
Kyle wasn’t expecting Seran to see right through his intentions, but it shows that they’ve been close friends for a long time.
There will be a time when Kyle will confess his true intentions. But it’s too early.
“You’re my best friend. You’re absolutely right. I do have a goal in mind. Regardless of whether you’ll believe me or not, I decided that it’s too early to tell anyone. I just hope you trust me on this one.”
“If you say so.”
Seran sat up straight. He knew it was pointless asking any further questions.
“Well, good luck my friend. I’ll always be supporting you.”
Seran waved as he left the room. Kyle just stared back at him with a puzzled look on his face.
“…Why does he sound like he doesn’t care?”
Kyle’s plans involved Seran.
“Whatever. I’ll deal with money by doing this and I want to meet that guy too. In terms of fame and reputation, I’ll just prevent the Arcane incident ….but my schedule is really tight.”
Either way, there’s not much I can do around here.
Kyle looked out the window. He knew he had to embark on a journey soon.
“So. I’m gonna go on a trip.”
The next day, Kyle reported his plans to Leila.
“Did you tell Seraiya about this?”
“I did…she cried a little, but she understood.”
“She is overprotective….what did you tell Lowell?”
“Lowe….? Oh…my father….wait…when’s he coming back? Did he come back? Whatever. I’ll just tell him when I see him.”
“Show some respect. I do think that going around on a trip is a good idea. With your current strength and power, you’d be able to handle most problems along the way. By the way, take Seran with you.”
“That was my original plan. Are you sure that’s fine with you?”
“Use him to block arrows or magic. He has other uses. He can be your substitute and you can sacrifice him if you feel like.”
“I’m not going to waste him like that. Unless I absolutely have to, I won’t sacrifice him.”
“You’re seriously debating this right in front of me? Give me a break.”
“What about my opinion?”
“You have no say. I’ve always wanted you and Kyle to explore the world to understand the harsh reality.”
Kyle knew that regardless of anybody’s intentions, he would be forced on a journey within a year.
There were some problems here and there, but Kyle remembered that it was a good journey overall.
“You had no future in this town anyways.”
“What are you saying? I have my future planned out you know?”
“Tell me then.”
“Finding two or three beautiful, rich, and sincere maids who’d let me do anything to them. I’d be surrounded by them for the rest of my life.”
Leila pretended not to see her son who was being very serious.
“I’ll be fine if he’s alive. Do as you wish.”
“I suppose I can use him in a lot of ways.”
“To be honest, I was being conservative when I said 2 or 3 maids. I’d like around 10.”
Leila let out a big sigh, knowing she failed in raising Seran. Kyle comforted her saying he was born with the weird personality.
That evening, Kyle was at the hilltop practicing his sword as usual.
Just as he was about to go home after experiencing some muscle pain, Lize stopped by.
Kyle saw that Lize was just out of it.
“Seraiya came over to complain to me. She told me that you were dumping her.”
“I’m really sorry about my mom. I really am.”
Kyle bowed deeply.
“So. Is it true that you’re leaving on a journey?”
“Ohh….yeah….I need to prepare first, but I’ll be on my way within two or three days.”
“Where are you going?”
“My first destination is Mallad. The capital. I have to prepare for a lot of things.”
The capital city of Mallad is about a five day walk away from where they currently live.
Lize’s face turned serious.
“Umm…Can I ask you something?”
“I have no intentions of bringing you along.”
Kyle knew what she was going to ask, so he answered the question before she could ask.
“Why?! Seran’s going with you right?”
“I can’t throw you around and put you in danger.”
“I won’t be obstructive!”
“I know your strengths.”
Her actual power is very strong. Especially these past few days.
Kyle is gifted in the art of swords, and Lize was skilled in martial arts. From when she was little, she trained with the guards of Kairis.
Lize was skilled. Not as much as Kyle, but to make up for it, she worked diligently.
She always said that she would make use of it when she grew up.
Lize’s father died in a war before she was born, so her mother definitely would have wanted Lize to live a more peaceful life.
Lize’s mother died two years ago and since then, she’s been helping out at her aunt’s house. She still continues her training but doesn’t bother anybody other than Kyle or Seran.
When Lize heard that Kyle was going on a trip, she couldn’t stand it.
Given her strength, Lize would probably a great addition to Kyle’s team.
“If it’s about your mother, I’ll apologize.”
“It’s not just that. It’s also me being selfish. I just want you to be in safe. I never want you to be in danger…”
Kyle thought about the moment Lize died in his arms.
He never wanted to go through that experience ever again.
“Listen to me. I also need a home. Knowing I have a home to return to empowers me.”
Kyle grabbed both of Lize’s shoulders and looked at her straight in the eye.
“I’ll report my return to you before anybody else. And I want you to welcome me home before anybody. So…I need you to stay home and wait for me.”
Kyle leaned in and gently touched her lips with his.
Lize’s face turned bright red.
“I knew you’ve changed. You weren’t using these tactics before. Now….I have…no choice…but to listen…”
“We’re the same age.”
“…I meant mentally.”
Kyle looked at Lize in a friendly way and squeezed her. Lize didn’t resist.
“Promise me you’ll come back. It’s hard enough knowing you’re gone.”
“Relax. I’m not going to be gone forever. And I won’t do anything crazy.”
This was a lie. Kyle knew he would do anything to achieve his goals.
Kyle felt a little guilty, but he hugged Lize anyways.
“Let’s go home.”
Lize seemed reluctant at first, but she grabbed Kyle’s hand.
In order to get home, they had to walk through several busy streets. They were sure that they would run into their friends. But it didn’t really matter now.
“Yeah. Let’s go.”
With a big grin on her face, Lize squeezed Kyle’s hand.
(The first time I kissed someone was when I was 18…I was quite shy…)
Kyle started walking with silly thoughts spinning through his head.
The sun was setting when the two were walking down the main street of Rimaze.
It was rush hour, and the flow of workers going home made the street very busy.
The stores along the road were trying to grab their last customers before closing.
Lize found an area that looked a little different from everything else in the street.
Some journeyman was gathering a lot of attention.
She had on a sturdy cloak, and a dagger in her waist. The lady had all her belongings organized neatly, just like a typical journeyman.
Nobody seemed to care.
“Ah! An elf….”
The elf was walking towards Kyle and Lize.
The elf belonged to a rather isolated species; they hardly ever leave the forest on their own.
There were no nearby elf villages, so it was quite rare for an elf to be strolling the streets here.
Beautiful figures and long ears were the defining characteristics of elves. This elf, however, had a different kind of elegance that was special.
She looked straight forward. Her eyes were filled with determination.
She left such a strong impression on people passing by, that everyone turned to look once more.
“I knew elves were beautiful. If Seran were here, his eyes would be glued to her.”
Lize said that if that happened, she’d have to smack him.
But Kyle wasn’t paying attention at all.
Kyle let go of her hand, and started walking as if he was being pulled towards the elf.
Lize seemed anxious.
Kyle didn’t answer.
He just kept staring at the elf in front of him.
And then he whispered.