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140 Part 1
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Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 140
Epilogue – A Farewell for the Future
At dusk, the Self-Defense Force members that had finished distributing to the citizens gathered at the Morning Market.
Enomoto looked at the gathered members of the Self-Defense Force as if he was trying to etch their faces into his memory.
“Good job, everyone.”
Until now, ingredients from the dungeon hadn’t been available on the market, so the citizens of Hakodate had been in great distress.
It was the most pleasant thing for the Self-Defense Force to be able to provide the citizens with lumpfish soup using the ingredients obtained on their mission.
Being in the Self-Defense Force was a job where one would put their lives on the line.
Everyone who would gather to join their ranks would do so while thinking about their hometown.
Their members were able to provide food to the starved citizens. No one would find this kind of job comfortable.
A child smiled merrily at a couple who were enjoying their share of lumpfish soup while having a lively conversation. There were some amongst them that shed tears as they enjoyed their meal.
Seeing them warmed up Enomoto’s eyes.
Protect your hometown.
The scene in front of him made Enomoto experience that feeling.
That feeling was one of the things that would fill a person’s motivation more than anything.
With this distribution of food, many of the Self-Defense Force will probably want to do their best next time.
However, there was no “next time” for Enomoto anymore.
Captain Yoshioka was a person who was a little less enthusiastic than usual.
Still, he was definitely working with the citizens’ wellbeing at heart.
Though he had never been that crazy before…
(That was probably his true nature.)
That had been completely unacceptable for Enomoto.
The Self-Defense Force should never prioritize their pride, putting off the citizens.
This time around, he was glad that Mr. Masked Man had helped them.
However, without him, he would have had to put off the citizens and let his subordinates die.
He couldn’t work under him anymore.
His decision was quick.
“I’m sorry, everyone…”
Enomoto started to mutter a few words.
After that, he was thinking of continuing by saying words of farewell.
I will be quitting the Self-Defense Force today.
However, Enomoto’s words wouldn’t come out.
They couldn’t come out.
He had been overrun by memories that he had never even thought of having, no matter how hard he would have tried to remember them.
As he tried to say goodbye, he immediately felt a hot feeling that quickly began to run around his entire head.
The feeling of touch, sound, emotions, and pain that should have been completely lost from his memory…
Everything had surged clearly, and Enomoto couldn’t form the words at the back of his throat.
The members around Enomoto were at a loss for words.
Everyone was furrowing their brow as they muttered “Boss…”
He had to put up with it.
But he couldn’t, and some of them were already sniveling.
Enomoto’s apology ended up being only for his current behavior.
For Enomoto, a farewell seemed like abandoning those he had worked hard together with.
If he suppressed his emotions and stood firm, he would not betray them.
The more resilient he became, the more he didn’t have to abandon his colleagues.
But it was no good.
Enomoto couldn’t do his best anymore.
He was giving it up as hopeless.
That’s why he apologized.
It was inexcusable for a commander to be making such decisions.
He should have made up his mind, but the emotions that appeared in his chest had shaken his determination.
However, his determination hadn’t collapsed until the very end.
“You can go anywhere you want!”
“Yeah! We’ll be just fine even without you, boss!”
“We can handle ourselves against that Dungeon Lord!”
“We’re in good shape now.”
“If it’s just the Dungeon Lord of Mt. Hakodate Dungeon, then it’ll be a cinch!”
“We’re already as strong as an intermediate adventurer!”
The members seemed to be trying to get rid of Enomoto, as if telling him “Come on now, get out of here already!”
But in fact, it was clear from everyone’s eyes that they were trying their best not to allow Enomoto to worry about them.
You don’t have to worry about us.
We’re really grateful for all you’ve done for us all this time.
The members knew that Enomoto had had quarrels with Captain Yoshioka regularly.
They knew that he was reprimanded for trying to protect his subordinates, and that he was the most troubled by the suicide mission that Yoshioka had sent them on.
And then, right after finishing their mission, Yoshioka had gone and fired him…
Even though he had been ordered to go on a suicide mission on an extremely dangerous place, his command had been top notch, and was lucky enough to have Mr. Masked Man help them out during the battle, which ensured their safe return with zero casualties.
But despite these great results, he was fired by the captain.
It must have been tremendously humiliating for Enomoto.
Just how much must his insides had boiled with impotence at that moment…?
But he didn’t say anything.
No one could blame him for his departure.
Enomoto looked around once, opened his mouth, and put all of his strength in his abdomen.
“Storms, lightning, landslides, floods, earthquakes, dungeons… Various disasters will continue to hit Hakodate and neighboring towns, but as long as the Self-Defense Force is here, they will not threaten the safety of our citizens. I know they never will, because this Self-Defense Force is my pride!
We gathered under the same aspirations because we love our citizens, and we love our hometown. We trained together, went to dangerous places together, and survived almost-certain death together. You are all irreplaceable companions.
I have no words to give you now other than this…”
He said it proudly and loudly.
Enomoto saluted and slammed his leg on the ground.
“–Glory to Hakodate City and to the Self-Defense Force!!”
All members of the Self-Defense Force saluted at once.
Zah! The rumbling sound echoed in the Morning Market, which was dyed in the color of the sunset.