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 < Running Away from the Hero! 161 #19. Life is a continuous escape (2)>

Proofread by FlawFinder

 

#1 Their circumstances: A certain hero’s circumstance.

 

I felt my body float up just as my vision was dyed in pure whiteness.

And what greeted me afterwards was…

“Was it you?!”

…A voice so enraged that even a deaf person could tell how angry it was.

…And then, a large body covered in black scales… even a blind person could tell what kind of a monster this was!

“Die!”

A dragon, commonly referred to as the strongest in the land, was directing its anger my way.

“It wasn’t me, though…”

This was so unfair.

No one knew what pissed the dragon off to this degree, but even then, I could hazard a guess that it must’ve something to do with the instructor.

I mean, really! Just how many people in this world would be capable of angering a dragon so badly in such a short time?

Right, it had to be him, since he could even make that benevolent and kind Goddess of Nature to start swearing like a sailor.

“To think you’d dare to hurt me so much!”

Aha. So I was correct.

Pain severe enough to even piss off a dragon? That’s the handiwork of the metal bat, for sure.

It wouldn’t be strange for you to get angry after that accursed bat thing smacked you around for a bit.

“My problem right now is that the dragon’s rage is targetting me…”

Magic circles began engraving themselves in the empty air, then all sorts of magic spells began pouring out from them.

None of them was impossible to dodge, though. Probably because the dragon’s accuracy got affected by its rage. Even so, it’d be hard to deal with their aftermaths.

What should I do now?

The instructor said that I had a chance of defeating this dragon, but was he right?

Even though the enemy was a dragon?

That thing was strong enough to melt the terrain with just a single breath attack, so…

“…Eh?”

Right at that moment, I realised that something was weird about this situation.

My enemy was a dragon. The strongest lifeform in the land.

A monster that I shouldn’t be able to defeat even if I gave it my all!

But… here I was, thinking about some random stuff like this?

“Let’s see, then…”

I yanked out the holy sword of the Order of Nature, Exerayon, and drove in my magical energy into it.

The pure-white blade was soon permeating with the golden hue of the powerful aura.

This sword was personally blessed by the Goddess of Nature to protect its wielder, the hero. Of course, it came equipped with amazing attack power, too.

In terms of its defensive capability alone, Hill once told me that this blade should rank among the top five in the entire continent.

Since Hill saw ‘being humble’ as a virtue, it should be safe to assume that this sword ranked in the top three, not five. No, hang on. Maybe it boasted the highest defensive capability in the world, instead.

That’s why I should believe in the sword’s powers, and…!

“The Blade of Thorny Vines.”

…Activate the swordsmanship technique I learned in the Order of Nature.

“Kuwaaaaahk!”

As its name implied, the powerful aura started pounding on the dragon’s body like thorny vines!

Rather than calling it a sword technique, it’d be more correct to call this attack a whip technique using the materialised aura.

An attack unique to the Order of Nature, modelled after mother nature at work!

The attack optimised for the holy sword Exerayon proved to be super effective!

“Kuwaaaahang-aaark!”

“Huh?”

Actually, it was too effective…?

“…What’s this?”

Slap!

“Kkuwaaaahk!”

“Mmm?”

Slap!

“Kuwaaaaaaaaaaahk!”

What is going on here? Isn’t this creature an elder among all elder dragons that has supposedly lived for twenty thousand years?

Wait, could it be that its body had gotten frailer after living for so long?

If not, was it because I had gotten way too strong?

“That can’t be it, though?”

Sure, I might be a swordmaster and a hero chosen by a goddess, but I was still a weakling who couldn’t even win against a simple metal stick, you know?

“Oraa!”

Slap!

“Kkuwuuuuuhak!”

But I was definitely seeing a black dragon’s figure screaming and falling down every time I landed an attack on it.

“What is going on here?”

“You abominable human bastard!”

“Oopsie!”

The dragon roared out in pure rage, then opened its maw super-wide!

“Die… Kuweeck?!”

“Who said I’ll wait for you to finish?”

Even a dummy could see that the dragon was about to unleash the symbol of all dragons, its mighty breath attack. Obviously, I had no reason to wait for it.

“How dare you, you insidious human!”

“Only a moron would wait until you’re finished!”

Just who was the dude that taught me all these things?

My genuinely evil instructor used to keep the ‘classes’ going even during toilet breaks. That’s the kind of a man who taught me.

Seriously though, I wouldn’t be grumbling here if the breaks had been simply delayed a bit back then.

But noooo, that damn bastard sneak-attacked us even during the toilet breaks, telling us that this was also training for our own good. Since, you know, our enemies supposedly wouldn’t wait until we took care of nature’s calls.

Such a man taught me, so even I’m surprised by the level of humanity I managed to hold on to!

My original personality must’ve been so kind that it wouldn’t have been strange to call me a saint.

“Die, die, die! Human!”

Countless magic circles appeared to seemingly blanket the heavens above, but for some reason, I wasn’t scared at all.

“Why do I get the feeling that…”

It felt like my confidence was growing more and more when staring at the holy sword glowing in the brilliant golden hue.

“…I can win this thing?”

Just a single sword swing of mine split apart dozens of magic circles. The second swing split open the dragon’s scales, and my third swing caused the dragon to vomit blood and wail in despair.

“How, how can this be! How can a measly human…!”

Watching the dragon furiously roar automatically awakened all those things my instructor had instilled in me from their slumber inside my head.

“Ng? What did you say? It’s kinda hard to hear a loser dragon when it’s getting its arse kicked by a measly human, you see?”

“Kuwaaaahk!”

As I thought, the instructor’s provocation technique was top-notch.

If there was a problem, then… maybe it was too good?

The dragon, its entire figure now trembling from pure rage, gritted its teeth and roared out loudly.

-Die, human!

I didn’t hear that voice with my ears, but my soul reverberated from it nonetheless.

The ‘language’ referred to as the core of ancient magic or sorcery! The unique power only the ones called the masters of magic, the dragons, could use!

An attack of ‘Draconic Word’ rammed straight into me.

“…Eh?”

“What is the meaning of this?!”

Although, it didn’t even work on me!

“I don’t get it, but anyway, let’s continue, shall we!”

“T-this is impossi… Kkuwaaaak!”

Just as the dragon fell into a bout of fluster, I began smacking it all over its body, causing the poor creature to scream tragically.

…Right until its dying moment, that was!

 

#2 Their circumstances: Gods’ circumstances.

 

Two creator gods created this world. Then, to maintain the balance of the world after they left, they also gave birth to other gods.

These gods observed the world of the mortals from their own independent world called the ‘Divine Realm’. And when the balance of the world was threatened, they would lend their powers to their apostles.

And right now…

It had been a while, but a situation where these gods had to lend their powers to a human hero had finally come.

“Hey, grant him more of your blessings, will ya?!”

“Hey, my own hero is doing a lot of work lately, so I gotta save up on my blessings, you know…”

“Nothing’s more important than what’s happening right now, though?!”

“Even so…”

“Shut your piehole, and just dump all of your usable blessings on that guy! Hurry!”

When the Goddess of Nature, usually a calm and gentle figure, began yelling at the top of her voice, other gods clamped their mouths shut and began pouring out all their blessings onto a single human hero.

“Still, aren’t we going overboard with this?”

“Right. A lone human defeating a dragon is a bit too much, don’t you think…?”

“And not just any dragon, but an elder dragon that lived for twenty thousand years, too…”

Other gods grumbled softly, but the Goddess of Nature remained adamant.

“Listen here, it’s because his opponent is an elder dragon that all of your blessings are needed to win today!”

She began raising the decibel of her voice even higher while saying that her chosen hero needed to get as many blessings as possible.

“Wouldn’t it be better to just dispatch other heroes to keep an eye on that man?”

“Well, there are a few heroes currently plying their trade in the north, so…”

“No, I think the Goddess of Nature is on the money this time. Think about it for a second. It’s only because they are acquainted as an instructor and a disciple, the insanity has been kept down to a manageable degree. If that hadn’t been it, that man would’ve beaten up the hero and fled by now.”

“You’re right. And the Hero of Nature is not too shabby himself, too. Since he’s so knowledgable about his target, he always considers the threat of that man fleeing before making his moves.”

“Well, yeah… If it was my hero, he might have gotten scammed and stabbed in the back, allowing that man to escape.”

“If you get it now, squeeze out more of your blessings and grant them to my hero already!”

“Dang it, I guess I won’t have blessings to grant my own hero for a while.”

“Yeah, me too…”

One by one, the grumbling gods activated their divine authority and began granting their blessings to the Hero of Nature.

At the same time, they proceeded to steal away the dragon’s strength bit by tiny bit so that Aruketai wouldn’t notice.

-Ng? What did you say? It’s kinda hard to hear a loser dragon when it’s getting its arse kicked by a measly human, you see?

“H-hey, Goddess of Nature! Regardless of whatever else, isn’t that provocation a bit too uncouth for a hero?”

“That’s right! Look, the dragon’s so pissed now that it’s about to use the Draconic Word!”

“It’s an insta-kill attack! Block it!”

“Bloomin’ hell, isn’t this like, cheating?”

“You think there are other ways to keep an eye out on those punks if my hero ends up dying?!”

The gods suddenly went deathly quiet when the words ‘those punks’ entered their ears. And then… they unleashed all the powers stored up inside them.

“Dang it, since the dragons don’t believe in us… I’m sure it’ll work out somehow.”

“R-right. They are a disrespectful race who don’t believe in any gods, so… Yes, this is a divine punishment!”

“Right, divine punishment… Let’s call this that.”

All thanks to the gods unleashing their powers, the Draconic Word was cancelled out.

“Very good. With this much, that dumb hero punk should figure out what is… Why the heck is he rushing up to the dragon?!”

“Dammit! Next time when you’re selecting heroes, make sure to look at their personality, too!”

“Bloomin’ hell. I also couldn’t be bothered, so I sent an oracle saying that they should just pick anyone as a hero as long as the candidate has the aptitude and talent…”

“You better change that quickly, then. What will you do if your hero also turns out like that guy?”

Gods continued to grumble away, complaining about how annoying this was. But even they had to clamp their mouths shut in shock when the hero asked the twenty-thousand-year-old dragon this: “Are your parents still alive, punk?”

“Hey, Miss Goddess of Nature…?”

“Shut up… To defeat evil, you need people like that, too. Probably…”

Yes, he’s a necessary evil. A bloody necessary evil!

While glancing at the Goddess of Nature yelling that out, other gods maintained their silence and continued to flood one human hero with their blessings.

…Until the elder dragon that had lived for twenty thousand years, Aruketai, was about to kick the bucket in the most hollow manner imaginable.

 

***

 

“Oii…”

“Sniffle… Dear Sir Hero…”

The princess broke down in tears next to me. Seeing her sobbing away also made me want to cry, though.

-Master, was your disciple always that strong?

-No, of course not…

Sure, I could accept that that idiot did possess a talent that transcended the level of an average human being.

He looked a bit slow-witted compared to his peers back in the days of being the evil organisation trainee. However, when considering the overall balance, he was definitely the most excellent seed among them all.

Even so, wasn’t this way too over the top for him to raid a dragon solo?

That’s no longer on the level of transcending regular humans but straight into transcending a dragon among dragons, you know?!

Um, excuse me, dear gods managing this world?

There’s a cheat player here, you know?

Even if his talents were too good, and that caused some issues with the character balancing, isn’t this a bit too much?!

“Sir Hero… He’s so wonderful…”

“You’re right, Your Highness.”

From where I was, all I could see was a criminal destroying nature’s food chain. No, a character out to wreck the balance of this world, even.

But, it seemed that our hero came across as ‘dashing and magnificent’ to the eyes of the princess and her faithful servant.

“He’s fighting an evil dragon all by himself just for my sake…”

No, little miss. The hero had no choice but to fight after your older brother the prince made some behind-the-scenes political manoeuvring, which happened to align pretty nicely with my own schemes.

I mean, the hero punk looked like he’d be the first one to flee if given half a chance right up until the fight began, you know?

“Ah, aaaah… My dear hero…”

Completely oblivious to any of these facts, the princess could only see the hero as a dashing prince riding on a white horse.

Hell, I’d have believed you if you told me that her irises were now in the shapes of a pink heart. Meanwhile, her mouth couldn’t utter any proper words or sentences other than, ‘Oh, my dear hero…’

…Hang on, isn’t this a bit, you know, ‘that’?

-Ng? What do you mean by ‘that’, master?

-Her face right now… It’s like I’ve seen that expression quite a lot in the past, you see?

-The princess’s expression? Isn’t that an expression of a maiden falling madly in love?

-Well, it’s kind of similar, but it’s also heading in a bit of a concerning direction.

-What do you mean?

-Should I say that expression reminds me of how a few of my disciples used to look at me?

-…! Hero, you gotta run! You created a creature far more dangerous than a dragon just now!

The metal bat instantly understood what I was saying and hurriedly called out to the hero. But too bad, her voice couldn’t reach the idiot in the distance who was getting carried away in the task of beating up a dragon.

In the meantime, the princess’s continuous muttering of ‘My hero…’ was now interspersed with ‘Haaa-ah…’ and ‘So cool….’

In fact, her worsening symptoms even prompted her loyal lady-in-waiting to gradually create some distance away from her!

Around the time I could no longer tell whether the princess was muttering or moaning…

-Kuwaaaahk!

“T-the evil dragon, it…!”

My final hope, Aruketai the evil dragon, screamed desperately and began rampaging around.

“N-no, it can’t be!”

Anyone could tell that the boss mob, its health bar now in red, was throwing its final desperate struggle!

The evil dragon, screaming tragically every time the golden sword light slapped it around, looked so pitiful that I couldn’t help but wonder if that was really a dragon.

-Die, die, die!!! Why aren’t you dying!

-Just because you said I must die, you think I’d roll over and die for real?

The lady-in-waiting next to me must’ve been using magic because the hero’s conversation with the dragon could be heard oh-so clearly.

-Is that what your parents taught you?!

-Kuwaaaaahk!

Was it because of all the pain from getting hit by the sword light? Or was it rage directed at the hero who suddenly called upon the spirits of the dragon’s parents, dead since at least thousands of years ago? A thunderous roar that could’ve been either one of those exploded out to rock the surroundings.

-How dare a little human…!

-And how dare a measly dragon getting a one-sided smackdown from that little human!

“As expected of my hero… His words are so mesmerising…”

Hi, little miss? Can I ask, what’s so mesmerising about the hero’s utterances full of one-sided insults about the dragon’s deceased parents? I’m actually starting to pity the dragon here, you know?

-Master, this princess is far too gone now…

-Right. It seems that our idiot hero has woken up a very strange girl who should’ve been left alone…

But before I could start worrying about the hero…

I gotta contemplate the best way to flee from this situation first.

 

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