Translator(s): Hasr11 Editor(s): Yuzuha, Moxi Proofreader(s): Yuzuha TLC(s): Yomigaeru
Introduction – The Day My Childhood Friend Became a Hero
We were a bunch of noisy kids, the kind you’d find in any town.
Running around the whole place as if it were our own garden, climbing up walls and trees, playing by the canal, enjoying a mock sword-fight with the wooden swords we had bought by pooling our pocket money, we were mischievous children.
Amidst such a bunch as ours, a slightly older noble boy nonchalantly joined.
The first time I saw his face, I was so shocked by his beauty that I wondered if he was a girl. His behavior and his polite way of speaking were also beautiful; even if he disagreed with us about anything, he’d come to our side without hesitation, and become shy and enviously say 「Take me in your group too」.
We gradually got used to seeing his delicate and childlike figure that always trailed behind us, and before I knew it, playing along with him became the norm.
After a certain incident, he stopped being the boy who always walked behind me.
Always taking my hand, he started walking with somewhere in mind.
Though he seemed more childlike than me, I was a girl, and his height overtook mine in an instant. Even though he was busy with his privileged life, he still held my hand tightly and didn’t let go.
I’ve known it ever since then.
The reason why he, yearned by everyone, held my hand without letting go even though I was tiny, not at all beautiful and had nothing of value worth offering.
If I had said 「That’s enough already」or 「Let go of me」or 「Let’s end this now」earlier, I think it would have probably been better. I, who was childish and had the misfortune of losing my family to top it off, had now been taking advantage of his warm hand for quite some time.
Even if I didn’t tell him goodbye, I’m sure if I left behind a single chance for us to separate, we, who lived in different worlds, would have forgotten our relationship somewhere far away.
Be it timing or my lack of courage, I couldn’t say the word 「Goodbye」 until we finally reached a crossroad where it was time for us to let go of each other’s hand.
All those around us called out saying, 「It’s the second coming of the hero」, and he who had become a gallant and beautiful youth, admirably met the expectations of the King and the commoners by defeating the King of the Half-Demons, was formally affixed the title of Hero, and so received fame while going down in history.
I wished for his success from the bottom of my heart.
I had somewhat forgotten the grief that I should not have had to bear, and was happy that he could finally experience true happiness.
The birth of the Hero, showed me how the world shone.
Seeing his proudly smiling face from far away, the figure that seemed as if it had finally left behind the trauma from childhood, was blinding.
For me, who had wished for a natural separation, this was perfect timing.
If I ever got the chance to meet him again, I feel like this time for sure I could finally say the parting words I had always been putting off.
During that moment I’ll apologize for the invaluable time of youth I robbed him of, and bid farewell to the past long gone by. As mutual friends from those trouble-free times, shouldn’t we go on to live happily in our separate worlds befitting our respective statuses?
Like all my other companions, who went on out to the outside world after becoming adults, I thought that I should get going too.
When I thought so, though it didn’t make me happy, I saw a new future shining in front of me.