Chapter 4 -The Hero and The Demon Lord

The peak of Mt. Lindholm where the fleeting spirits resides, had a harsh environment.

The climate, air and even more so, it carries an unusual and heavy atmosphere that can be felt at times and giving exactly the atmosphere of a “holy mountain”.

In addition, there are also other things that makes you feel the harshness of it’s environment.

Sometimes, there are creatures unknown to Merea that moves about in the sky.

And those creatures yet again, as for whether it was a beast or a monster, reflexively thinking its appearance will likely be described with such expression, Merea’s heart began to prickle with anxiety.

That day, in the midst of those monsters was a being with an appearance that he felt like he had seen before.

――I feel like I’ve seen that appearance before.

There’s no doubt. — It’s a 『Dragon』.

Mt. Lindholm whose altitude is specially high to the surrounding area have its peak piercing through the clouds every morning.

As a result, the clouds altitude seems lower.

And when it does, marking the clouds and looking above it, though you will be able to see seemingly numerous winged beasts flying above, in the mist of them you will also catch a glimpse of that dragon.

Upon seeing the figure of the dragon that he could only see in legends before, Merea’s heart reflexively began throbbing fast.

Facing the opposite side, up to the dragon itself, in the peak of the sacred mountain of Lindholm, where spirits numbering to a hundred resides, there was a seemingly mysterious existence of a boy mixed in front of them.

『What the.. those group of dying great spirits have come up with something interesting again huh?』

Uttering those words with a joyful tone, it began to descend on the summit.

◆◆◆

Flapping its huge wings, flying with its body moving still, lastly it began to land with gentle and light movements.

The body of the dragon was standing tall at the peak of the holy mountain.

Merea was instinctively overwhelmed by the powerful presence of the Dragon.

「Uoh! It’s really a dragon. A D-r-a-g-o-n*.」

(TN: It was a katakana, Doragon)

「To be precise, it was 〈Heavenly Dragon〉. Because there are also ‘earth dragons’, you have to remember the difference.」

「Ah.. O-Okay.」

It had only been one week since Merea reincarnated.

His daily life was surprisingly going well.

Firstly, for Merea to grow accustomed to the environment, a cave and frozen mysterious pickled meats were prepared and adding with consumption of other fruits, he managed to live somehow.

For his livelihood, it seems a fixed amount of food provisions was prepared by the heroic spirits beforehand.

For Merea, listening to the troublesome stories of the heroic spirits while shuddering in the cold winds of the mountain was really difficult.

That’s why, at first the the spirits only told him about it in moderation, and as such he managed to lived by with it.

「So.. why is a boy living in such a dangerous place like this.」

The dragon said, tilting it’s head.

The beautiful man from the spirits that brought Merea, Flounder Crow, with a warm smile in his face to walked towards the dragon and said-

「It’s because he is our child.」

「Oh, the usual “child of heroic spirits” huh? To think it would really succeed. With that, these bunch of rashly strong heroic spirits that remained were able to obtain happiness huh.」

「Well, it’s just a bunch of former heroes that failed when they’re alive though.」

「… I guess, that’s right.」

To the self-ridiculing smile of Flounder, the dragon muttered a small voice.

「But even so, what an odd appearance.」

The dragon then, turn its face towards Merea.

「A white hair seemingly like the snow, The color of the eyes was that of a fresh blood. Rather, if you were to ask me, he’s just like a ghost.」

「His white hair was inherited from 〈Lei Lace〉. And the red hair was inherited from mine. With that said, because it was combination of many essence of the spirits, it’s probably indeed peculiar. However, having Lei Lace hair is quite beautiful in itself right?」

「Oh, indeed. If it’s the hair of the that white heroine with peerless beauty, without a doubt it’s beautiful.– Then, as for that Lei Lace?」

「She’s already “gone” you know?」

「What?」

「Leilace upon watching over the birth of Merea, she already went gone. Because as for her regrets, it was not something like getting betrayed or killed but rather dying without giving birth to a child or so it seems.」

「I….. see.」

The dragon emitted a bit of a melancholic facial expression.

Though the face was that of a dragon, Merea was still able to tell.

「Well, though it’s quite saddening, for you all, such happening is a blessing itself right?」

「That’s right. Because after overcoming your regrets, you will surely become happy.」

While listening to the conversation of Flounder and the Dragon, Merea understood the existence of the spirits a little bit.

He was able to surmise the reason why Flounder and the others were called Heroes, from the words of the dragon itself.

Heroes.

Flounder called himself 『An existence within a worn-out hero』, albeit in a self-ridiculing tone, but from the way the dragon called them as such, that ridiculing tone is nowhere to be found or so he thought.

The spirits residing in this place were formerly called heroes and those heroes having to remain in this place seems like the truth.

「Though you’re called heroes, you all are unexpectedly lenient. For your greatest joy to be something like ceasing to exist.」

The Holy Mountain of Lindholm, even to this world was a unique place.

A place where the world allows those who should’ve been dead to fool around.

At the same time, because it’s a place for regret-ridden spirits to “finish something”, it was place that the living seldom visits.

-Well, Flounder themselves seems like normal though.

Merea knew after spending time with them for a week.

That they are not very different from the living.

No, because he still haven’t met with any living being in this world, he cannot confirm as such, but at the very least as for the living in the world he formerly resided in, they are not any different from the living.

However according to the heroic spirits, there are also spirits that obtained a body seemingly belonging to those of the living on the lower level of the mountain.

(TN: Okay, that i’m not very sure)

–Because of their regrets

「Anyhow, if that’s the case, there are only 99 of you remaining.」

「Those will soon have to rely on Merea.」

「–Will he really become the savior of the heroic spirits.」

「I do not know. However, I think he will become a splendid hero.」

「That’s the most common regrets for you all. Sacrificing yourselves for the sake of the world but not being able to remain a hero to the very end, an unfortunate existence. — However, remember this. 『The world is moving.』 The world will change. And before you realized, the future that you all wished for may no longer be possible to be obtained any longer.」

「Having the heavenly dragon who watches over the world say that, the persuasive power is pretty strong.」

「Right. …….Well however, I am also concerned on how you plan to raise Merea, That’s why when the clouds became lower yet again, I will take a visit.」

「I’m counting on you. After all, it seems Merea won’t be able to make friends currently.」

–The parent declared tinged with loneliness.

「Because there is probably no other benevolent living being that will come to the sacred mountain again after all」

「Un- Well then, fare well」

「Yes.」

Saying that, the dragon once again flew back into the sky.

–Though the spirits are occasionally mysterious, this world is really seemingly fantasy-like.

Merea, knowing that the beings that once only belonged to people’s fantasy came to being, his heart throbbed and was tinged with anxiety at the same time.

Fantasy too stronk* (TN: Jk~ it’s Fantasy is overwhelming)

Supposing that those kinds of beings were to oppose him, will he still be able to live in this world properly?

◆◆◆

–I understood that I could live, if I did as if it was a matter of life and death.

Huh? This is not putting the cart before the horse! It feels as if, for one to live here, he must also know what death is like.

Another week has passed since the Heavenly Dragon took a visit.

That day, Merea has been running about in the peak of the holy mountain of Lindholm.

With that said, it was actually due to the 『Fire balls』 blazing and burning vigorously, chasing him.

「Hey, try to escape even desperately, This is a special training for you since you got used to living here!」

「Just what is this for anyway!?」

「A training for the purpose of becoming a great hero, obviously!」

–This is tyranny.

Listening to the stories of the great spirits, I’ve already known their reason for calling me here.

—Apparently, they want to make me become a hero.

A savior of a nation. A hero to save the world. A hero to help others.

There are various reasons, but basically a “hero” is basically a splendid title. A title that the spirits residing her were once called.

However, due to some gruesome incidents, their various last moments were seemingly met with a tragic ending.

Being betrayed by their former comrades, being made to be a human sacrifice, being disposed of after being used.

Among those stories told, there are times that the word “Demon Lord” resurfaces.

In this world, it seems the word “Demon Lord” once held a very special meaning before.

A special meaning, though that was still a vague way of describing it, this was because the word “Demon Lord” had various meanings from different times or era.

There wasn’t really a clear explanation about it.

However, if you connect the words of the spirits,

〈Demon Lord〉 was a 『label』 that is changing.

or so according to their words.

As for if the spirits themselves have bitter memories with the ones regarded as 〈Demon Lord〉, they didn’t speak in detail.

Because of that, the probability of them being involved on the tragedies, felt quite lacking.

But even so, by intertwining the fragmented information from them, I was able to roughly guess the meaning of the word 〈Demon Lord〉.

It was an existence that is both 『outrageously powerful』 and a『personification of evil』.

――or it was probably close to that.

I was able to guess that much.

After checking the answers, I came to Flounder to inquire about it.

At that time, Flounder while smiling wryly,

『Probably pretty close or something.』

or so he answered.

After listening to the other spirits,

『You see, in the past…..』

『There was a time were I was addressed like that.』

And

『The meaning had already changed from the time that I was alive.』

and so fort, but there seems to be no fitting answer.

The meaning has changed?

Changed from what? And to what kind of meaning did it changed into?

After running around and asking other spirits, lastly I was able to find myself returning towards Flounder’s place.

And so Flounder, with a reluctant expression,

『From being used to refer those outrageously powerful and personification of evil existences to just being used to refer to those outrageously powerful.』

—answered as such.

Was the personification of evil definition was removed from those called as “Demon Lord”?

Was it removed on its own, or was it removed intentionally by someone?

–Just what kind of existence is a demon Lord?

By the end of it, the hazy feelings regarding that was etched to the chest of Merea.

◆◆◆

「Even to this day, Is there still a reason for me to do this!?」

「Of course! Definitely! What are you going to do if your opponent is the demon lord? Demon lords often have a peculiar way of 『Researching Power』 to improve themselves you know? There are also those filled with talents at birth, there are also those who have techniques similar to secret ceremonies. In my age, that’s how it is.」

But even so, I’ve been hearing nothing but those words from the mouth of the spirits, nowadays.

On the other hand, Merea using his own methods other than the spirits’ has slowly began to gather information regarding the “Demon Lords”

「The existence of that Demon lord is pretty much still vague to me though!!」

「Eh.. well, time will come for you to properly ask Flounder about that.」

「That way of shunning the subject is not fair!」

Merea said as he evaded a blazing fire ball.

However immediately spun the next words.

「—— The demon lords of the current age seems to be on the decline though~」

 

That’s an information regarding Demon Lords that he managed to secure with his own methods.

Though it’s just a piece of information, it’s an information that did not came from the spirits.

To the words of Merea that was as if baiting to obtain an information, the male spirit with a huge body who oversees the training of Merea, Tyrant, widened his eyes seemingly in surprise.

「That story, where did you heard it from?」

Immediately, Tyrant’s facial expression suddenly changed into a consenting one.

「—Oh, from Clautice huh?」

It was the name of the Heavenly dragon who visited the summit of sacred mountain the other day.

The own method of Merea was in fact just merely asking the heavenly dragon rather than the spirits.

「Certainly, that guy knows various things after all.」

「I didn’t hear anything other than that though – Oops!」

The fireball came towards Merea’s foot.

Avoiding while strandling, Merea kept on it.

「So.. what about that?」

Though Tyrant remained silent for some time as if thinking about something.

「Even if they are indeed on a decline for the time being, a being similar to that will just come one way or another.  Only the name changes.」

Words that felt strangely realistic have came out of Tyrant’s mouth.

Before Merea even gets to ask the meaning behind his words, as if being pressed for an answer, Tyrant began to elaborate his words.

「How they call it doesn’t matter. The problem is, if that kind of being will oppose you, for example, a moment where it will make a move against one of your comrades, having the capability to protect them yourself is better isn’t it?」

「Well, that is also correct but…..」

The purpose of this training probably lies in those words.

A training for the purpose of being a hero that could save others.

「Then, do your best. Don’t worry, your body have fine sets of muscle. With this even if you are thrown in various situations you will be able to bite on it just fine. I knew it, the resolve of those who died once are different, in regards to the desire to live.」

Tyrant, while speaking rapidly had successfully diverted the topic.

On the other hand, Merea realizing that the topic has diverted, after looking at his surroundings, with the fireballs making idle talks a waste of breather as it beginning to hasten it’s speed floated, he reluctantly went along with the flow.

「I don’t remember being given time to ascertain my resolve though!」

Merea never had regrets in his past life. He had lived with all his got in his own way.

Though his life was short lived, he already did what he must have done.

However, the latter half of his life up to his death, the sorrow of having his heavy body deprived of its freedom was carved on his mind.

That’s why being able to live again with a body that can move freely was already enough for him to be grateful.

Even if someone were to be reincarnated after death, there’s no guarantee that you will be given a body that could freely move after reincarnation.

And judging by the fact that his life before didn’t have memories of his former life, there’s no guarantee that his former memories will take over the body of his next life.

— The fact that I can remain “myself” on my next life, is probably only for this time.

Retaining my memories and knowledge, being able to cross worlds like this must have been just this once.

With those thoughts in mind,  Merea, desperately lived up to the present.

The reason of being able experience reincarnating once, must have been due to one’s prudence.

「Alright, I’ll be back in two hours.」

「In two hours!?」

「Its fine, its fine, haven’t you gotten used to the current level. I will play board games with Flounder over there so try keeping up with the fireball until then. Bye then.」

Saying so, the spirit with the huge body, Tyrant, fluttering while waving his hand, turned his heel afterwards.

As Tyrant headed towards Flounder whom had a beautiful smile on his face, Merea managed to steal a glance while running away.

Just looking.

And never stopping on his tracks.

――Even the beautiful smile on Flounder’s face seemed quite sadistic.

And so Merea who’ve gotten tired of seeing such state.

「Uwoh~! Dangerous! My hair is burnt!」

—continued avoiding that fireball.

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