< Running Away from the Hero! 162 #19. Life is a continuous escape (3)>

Proofread by FlawFinder

 

-I… To think that this mighty Aruketai would die at the hands of a measly little human!

Ah, aaaah… He’s gone now. Dear Sir is gone for good now.

My hope of escape, the elder dragon Aruketai, got pummelled by the hero until it passed on from this world. Even though I ardently prayed that it would try a bit harder for a bit longer…

Even though I prayed that it’d fire one more breath attack, one that devastated the capital of a kingdom!

But whenever the dragon sucked in a deep breath, that abominable hero focused all of his attacks on the creature’s maw and throat, preventing the breath attack from being unleashed.

-But didn’t you teach the hero to do exactly that, master?

-That I did.

-What an insidious man!

Only the fake villains would wait for their enemies’ sure-kill attacks.

Just look at the UXshiman, for instance. There sure were some bizarre morons in that show who would patiently wait for the human-sized laser beam to come down! [1]

If only they destroyed the laser before its completion, the number of villains pointlessly dying could’ve been greatly reduced, you know!

Unless you were talking about a professional hero called the Caped Baldy, they all had a lengthy cooldown for their sure-kill final attack, you see!

“Ah, Sir Hero is looking at me!”

While I was inwardly rooting for all the monsters and villains of this world, the princess suddenly began raising a flustered fuss.

That kind of reminded me of fangirl losing her mind after a male idol winked in her general direction during a concert.

No, before all that… I’m really sorry about this, Miss Princess, but…

I think that punk is looking for me, not you.

-Ah, he found you, master.

-Did he just shoot a glare at me? Or am I imagining things?

-Nope, definitely not your imagination~.

Was he using a magic tool or some other kind of magic? I couldn’t tell, but somehow the hero was actually flying in the air. He then changed the direction mid-air and flew towards where I was.

-Should I just run?

-Oh, and you think you can escape now?

A disciple who used to be an easy prey once upon a time had become a powerhouse that could even beat up a dragon.

I was told that humans continuously evolved all the time, but that guy’s evolution seemed a bit over the top, didn’t it?

-Although, you can’t explain that away with the excuse of evolution anymore.

-Yep, he’s way past being human now.

As proof, the hero was already making his descent even though I had only exchanged a handful of words with the metal bat.

“You worked hard, Sir Hero.”

That’s why I decided to strike first.

Since the princess was next to me, he wouldn’t dare to commit the terrible sin of yanking out his sword and murdering his dear instructor right on this spot.

“Thank you. It all unfolded just as you said, instructor.”

The hero punk sneaked a quick glance at the princess before courteously bowing his head. He seemed to have quickly read the situation.

-At least, he doesn’t seem to want to stab you, master?

-I can’t let my guard down just because he’s sheathed his sword, you know!

Even the dragon was unable to find the timing to unleash its breath attack.

On top of that, that powerful aura whip attack taught to him by the Order of Nature…!

-Master, I had no idea until now, but the Goddess of Nature and I might get along pretty well, after all!

-You could be right on that one…

In the past, I might have retorted that the metal bat was committing the worst of all known sacrileges by saying that. However, now that I’ve run into the Order of Nature’s right arm and the left arm, my opinion on the subject matter had to change significantly. The right arm was the hero while the left was the saint, of course.

Now, I believed that the Goddess of Nature might be on the same level as the metal bat, for real!

Grit.

For a moment there, I heard someone gritting their teeth. It seemed that the Goddess of Nature was quite angry at me.

“Indeed, it unfolded just as you said, instructor.”

However, the origin of the voice was the hero.

As expected of my disciple, he maintained the perfect poker face. But even he couldn’t do much about the ominous vibe oozing off of him.

“No, this was only possible through your own powers.”

To the princess’s ears, the hero seemed to be saying that the battle against the dragon unfolded exactly as his instructor had predicted. But you could also interpret his words as, “Because of you, I was forced to have a deadly showdown with a damn dragon!”

As an aside, you can interpret my reply as, “Hey, you won. So it’s all good, no?”

The dragon was dead and the princess was rescued.

With this event, the fame and renown of the Hero of Light, Swinn, would soar even higher. Even the Order of Nature would see their influences get stronger, too~.

-And also, countless people will show up in the future and cling to him while saying, ‘Sir Hero~, please help us’!

-Bingo, master!

They said that practice makes perfect and that the right environment mattered the most. Having spent such a long time with me, it seemed that the metal bat was also gradually waking up to the truth of this world.

“No, that’s not tru… Euk?!”

Just as the hero tried to grit his teeth again, the princess waiting for the right timing rushed forward to jump into his arms.

“Sir Hero!”

The scene of the princess shedding tears while sinking deep into the hero’s open arms was straight out of some kind of a fairy tale.

No matter how handsome or beautiful you were, the grim truth was that you couldn’t wash yourself or manage your looks after getting kidnapped. You’d get stressed out and as a result, you’d look like a total mess.

But the dragon must’ve been looking out for her, or maybe it hadn’t been that long since the kidnapping, because the princess still looked breathtakingly beautiful even now.

Beautiful enough to utterly entrance the hero, too!

-Look, master. Look! He’s being all shy and stuff!

-Traditionally speaking, most of the old-school heroes are like him.

The protagonists that fit the traditional hero archetype usually came with a hidden title of ‘virgin’ or something similar.

And our hero’s face was reddening considerably right now, which was remarkably at odds with his uninhibited peers. He was probably trying to uphold the tradition, then.

Looking at him helped my mind to gradually regain its calm…

…Like hell it would!

Even now, my back was soaked by the flood of cold sweat.

I’ve cooked up five additional contingency plans in case the original one failed. However, all of those plans were made under the assumption that the dragon would emerge victorious in the end.

That’s because I had never even considered the possibility of the damn dragon losing.

“Son of a…”

It didn’t look like the princess would easily let go of the hero at the moment, which meant I could…

However, my daughter was still in the royal castle. The moment I flee from this place, the hero would no doubt hurry back to the castle.

This punk was capable of fighting the dragon in the air, so even if I used the carriage to run back, he’d most likely reach the castle before me.

If it’s not that, he could just gather the magicians among the expedition on standby nearby to protect their princess. With their help, it’d be possible to teleport back to the castle.

Dammit, is this the end, then?

-Master, master! Take a look at the princess’s hands!

-I don’t have the time to give a rat’s ass about the princess right now!

-You’re gonna sing a different tune when you check her out, though?

I couldn’t win against the metal bat’s temptation and shifted my gaze back to the princess and the hero still hugging each other.

And almost instantly, I understood what the metal bat was trying to say.

-I-isn’t that…?

I almost ended up voicing what was on my mind just then.

But that’s all because of the princess, you see. Even though she was tearing up inside the hero’s embrace, her actions were the polar opposite of her expression!

-While sneakily shoving her chest in our hero’s face, who clearly lacks resistance against pretty women… To think that she’s crafty enough to fondle his entire body with her free hands!

-Yup, she’s carefully fondling every single one of his muscles as if he’s a sexy statue or something, master.

-That princess… Even though today is her first time meeting him, how could she!

-But master, that High Elf you keep talking about? Didn’t she say that fate has tied you and her together, too? And she even said that as soon as she saw your face, didn’t she?

-Mm… In that case, that princess is also another insane b*tch, then.

Not just any insane b*tch, but a scary insane b*tch, no less.

To think that she’d choose such a bold strategy and march on so bravely when her opponent was a hero she had never met before until today! And right after he had pummeled a poor dragon to death, too!

If she was making a calculated move here, then that was quite scary. But if she was moving instinctively, then hell, that was even scarier.

In that case…

-I better use that princess, then!

-Ehem! Master, you better not forget that this is all thanks to my help!

-Of course!

I was so pleased that I was almost tempted to permit her to beat up around three idiots per day.

“Your Highness. Even if you and Sir Hero enjoy such a close relationship, it is not advisable to display this sort of behaviour in public.”

The princess’s hands quickly stopped fondling the hero right then.

“Oh, my. Oh, goodness me. I didn’t even realise…”

She coquettishly held her cheeks and retreated while looking embarrassed by her conduct. And seeing this scene helped me realise something crucial.

This princess, she… she had calculated every one of her moves!

Even as she sneakily backed off, to think that she’d stand in the most optimal location and in the most arresting manner from the hero’s view!

Heh, dear brave hero? You are in deep trouble now.

Although, this is great for me!

“For the time being, it’ll be better for us to return to the royal castle.”

“Yes, Sir Naruan.”

“As for your interrupted conversation with Sir Hero, perhaps you can resume it back in the castle… No, maybe it’ll be better to continue during the carriage ride back. Just the… two, of, you, of course.”

Before I said that, the hero was looking at me as if I had saved his life. Even though he was supposed to be the hero here. But after he heard me, his expression went rigid like stone.

“Oh, my~.”

On the other hand, the princess’s expression while she looked at me indicated that she was beginning to get a favourable impression of me.

“As I grow older, I’ve begun realising that it’s rather uncommon to see a handsome young man and a beautiful young woman come together like this, you see.”

“But Sir Naruan. You are still young, good sir.” The princess replied in a friendly tone of voice. It seemed that she had quickly understood my ‘intention’ of fully supporting her burgeoning relationship with the hero.

Meanwhile, the hero in question was staring at us, having realised that something had gone terribly wrong for him. Unfortunately, it was too late for him by now.

The moment the princess set her sights on you, you no longer had any choice left, you know?

If you were still one of the potential heirs to the Raina Ducal Family, then sure. But as a hero acting on your own, there wasn’t a whole lot you could do in the current situation.

You could hunt a dragon down using brute force. But as far as politics were concerned, you were still just a dumb little rookie!

“Your Highness, soldiers should be waiting for our return nearby our current location. It is advisable to quickly go back so that they won’t worry about us.”

“Yes… And the kingdom’s subjects should also be trembling in fear of the evil dragon, so… We must hurry back and inform them of the vile dragon’s defeat!”

Was it because I already had prior experience serving someone similar to this princess? We were in perfect sync with each other.

Even the lady-in-waiting didn’t want to interrupt us, it seemed. She silently circled around the princess as if she wasn’t even there to begin with.

“What are you doing, my disciple! Let us depart already!”

Only the hero stood there looking like a victim of some petrification spell. He glared at me, silently asking what kind of a crazy scheme I was getting into, but let us kindly ignore him for now, shall we?

Let’s be honest here, me ensuring your marriage to the princess just isn’t all that romantic, wouldn’t you agree?

Since ancient times, romance played a pivotal role in the hero marrying a princess, after all!

 

#3 Their circumstances: A certain hero’s circumstance

 

“Kkyaaahk! It’s Sir Hero! It’s Sir Heeeero!”

“Get out of the way already, I also want to look!”

“The Hero of the Light, Sir Swinn! Hooray!”

“The Dragon Slayer, Sir Swinn! Hooray!”

“The hero who saved our kingdom, Sir Swinn! Hooray!”

Voices loudly cheering me on could be heard coming from outside the carriage windows, but I couldn’t worry about them at the moment.

“Is there something bothering you, Sir Hero?”

But that’s because of a bright smile belonging to a blue-haired beauty in front of me.

Vera rick Neidon.

She was the princess of this kingdom who got kidnapped by the evil dragon, Aruketai.

“No, Your Highness. Nothing at all.”

“But Sir Hero, your expression didn’t seem settled at all just now. I was merely concerned for your wellbeing.”

“Ah, I see. It’s just that the injuries I picked up during my battle against the dragon are acting up slightly…”

If I was being honest, I was cramping up because of my instructor who was no doubt cooking up some other nefarious scheme right about now. But my mouth thoroughly trained by him automatically came up with a natural-sounding excuse on the fly.

“Oh my goodness!” Princess Vera looked genuinely worried after listening to my excuse, then carefully extended her hand towards me. “Where does it hurt, sir?”

“I, uh, I’ll be alright, Your Highness.”

“You were injured for my sake, yes? Then I won’t be alright at all, sir.”

I waved my hand as a sign of refusal, but the princess’s hands didn’t stop and began touching all over me to find the so-called injuries.

“I’m really fine, Your Highness.”

“Please seek medical attention as soon as returning to the royal castle, Sir Hero.”

It seemed like her resolute words contained this inexplicable power.

“…Your body isn’t just for one person anymore, after all.”

“I’m sorry?”

Even though she murmured in a quiet little voice, I didn’t miss a thing she said.

“It’s nothing, my Sir Hero~.”

My body wasn’t for one person anymore…? Could it be that she’s thinking of using me to calm the populace? Since they might have gotten worried after their royal castle was half-destroyed?

It seemed that I’d have to go around here and there and act as a symbol of hope that defeated the evil dragon.

“Is that so, Your Highness?”

“Yes, it is!”

The end of this conversation brought about a weird little silence inside the carriage, even though it remained quite noisy outside.

Well, I had been feeling a bit uncomfortable travelling together with a woman, anyway. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise.

That’s why I decided to focus on coming up with various plans to restrain the instructor until we reached the royal castle.

“Ah, we’ve arrived, Sir Hero!”

Around the time I came up with the 26th scenario…

The moment we reached the royal castle, the princess informed me of our arrival with a strangely excited expression on her face.

“Shall we get going, Your Highness?”

“Yes.”

The coachman opened the carriage’s door. I offered my hand to the princess and deftly escorted her outside.

“Sir Hero, Sir Swinn is entering the royal castle!”

The massive castle gate facing me and the princess opened up. Our party, including the instructor, all passed through it, and then…

“Eh?”

About one month later, I belatedly realised that I couldn’t leave the royal castle at all.

 

[1]: The “UXshiman”, as far as I can tell, refers to a 1983 Japanese manga/anime series, Mirai Keisatsu Urashiman. I could be wrong, though. What an obscure reference this is if I’m right.

[P1]: Caped Baldy gotta be one hit man, right?… Ok, there are other caped baldies I guess… like Majin Buu…

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