< Running Away from the Hero! 153 #18. What did I even do? (2)>
I’ve learnt a couple of crucial professional techniques from the evil organisation.
Namely, pursuit and escape!
As an instructor, I obviously had mastered those two techniques quite thoroughly. It’s my job to teach my disciples in the ways of those techniques, after all.
Yes, I taught them how to plan for all sorts of potential situations, prepare for variables and never panic no matter what. I made sure that my disciples could always stay calm during their pursuit or escape.
And my teachings…
“So, this was where you were, instructor.”
…My disciple, who grew up into a truly excellent specimen, was using my teachings against me.
“I merely put to practice what you taught me, instructor.”
The sight of him huffing heavily away while sweeping his hair back kinda pissed me off, but there was no denying that he did look cool doing that.
I bloody knew it, the gods of this world definitely include ‘looks’ when scoring potential heroes, don’t they!
-I don’t think so, master?
-No, no. I’m right about this one. It has to be. I mean, a hero serves as their representative, a supermodel in other words! So their faces must count towards the hero scorecard!
To think that even gods followed the doctrine of lookism!
-I’m telling you, master, it’s just you…
It sounded like the metal bat didn’t want to acknowledge it, but I was dead sure about this.
Hell, my first batch of disciples who betrayed the Organisation to become heroes were all good looking, weren’t they!
-Even though you’re a villain, you still raised up three heroes, master. You must be chuffed with yourself, right? And you even became a member of the hero party, too!
-What the hell?!
I had no choice but to clamp my mouth shut at the fact bomb hitting me without mercy.
“Dad… That strange uncle showed up again…”
While I was dithering about, it seemed that the dear brave hero was dealt a fresh shock to his senses by what my daughter said.
“Aren’t you an uncle…? Now that I think about it, dad taught me this. If a strange old man keeps following me around, I should shout out, ‘There’s a stalker here!’, or something like that.”
“If not, a lolicon?”
“That’s not truuuue!”
“Kkyahk! A pervert is yelling at me!”
My daughter cried out before quickly hiding behind me. Her actions prompted even the cat and Coco to leer at the hero with eyes full of suspicion.
“It, it’s not true…”
It seemed that the hero received even more profound damage when my daughter and the two animals glared at him with so much contempt.
Huh, to think that my adorable daughter oh-so easily subdued the hero like this!
-So teaching her the art of silver tongue was all worth it, master~?
-Yup. A person should know how to run their mouths off as a minimum standard, after all.
Indeed, it’s not for nothing that there was an old idiom of ‘one word paying off a mountain of debt’. Or some such. Besides, you’d see scenes like this in mangas and animes all the time, right?
All those protagonists using nothing but their silver tongues to turn yesterday’s enemies into today’s allies!
My daughter was already equipped with a perfect silver tongue capable of turning yesterday’s enemies into today’s male lead candidates, though.
“Well done. My dear child, nice work. You remembered it so well.”
“Thanks, dad. And also, you taught me to call any nearby soldier uncles on patrol duty if uncles like this person keep following me around!”
“Listen, my disciple. If you wish to avoid being labelled as a pervert hero, I advise you to distance yourself from my daughter.”
“I-instructor…” The hero alternated his gaze between my daughter and me while looking rather fed-up.
“Want to get beaten up, then?”
I don’t really care if you look at me that way, but you won’t be forgiven if you dare to stare at my dear daughter like that.
I warned him while sending the metal bat forward, and that prompted him to quickly avert his gaze altogether.
-Master, how could you send such a frail little girl like me to the clutches of a despicable evil(?) hero like him! 
-I guess every frail little girl in the world is dead or something, then?
Let me remind you once more; the toughest-ever durability in existence, guaranteed. On top of that, automatic repair function, too. This punk boasted both of those characteristics so if such a thing could be called ‘frail’, then not many objects in this world would survive the abuse they were subjected to.
“I shall protect my little sisterrr!”
“Big sis, please hit that pervert hero three times for me!”
“Leave it to me!”
“H-hang on a minute! I haven’t done anything, though?!”
What do you mean, you haven’t done a thing? Didn’t you chase us all the way out here even though we tried our hardest to escape from you?
While I stood there leisurely spectating on the cat-and-mouse chase between the metal bat and the hero, the priest shedding thick teardrops walked up to me.
N-no, wait a minute. Before all that…
“…Who’s Sir Sage?”
“You are, sir. I’ve heard about you from Sir Hero. He said that you’re a sage who rejects the notion of interfering in the mundane world…”
As expected of my disciple.
To think that he actually took an instructor from an evil organisation and turned him into a wise sage…
I was getting really tempted to have a chat with the goddess of nature who selected such a guy as their champion.
Maybe there weren’t any better prospects for a hero these days? Picking a scammer like him as a hero and all!
“…I’m not a sage.”
“Sir, you don’t have to be so humble to me. The hero already informed me of your true abilities, so I’m well aware of your capabilities.”
Judging from how the priest was staring at me with sparkling eyes that even made me feel uncomfortable, it seemed that dang hero had pulled the wool over this priest real good.
-As expected of master’s disciple!
-Hey, you. When you beat him up, land three more hits for me.
I left the fleeing hero to the metal bat for the time being since I now needed to spit-roast this priest personally. “I’m not knowledgeable enough to deserve a title like sage. It’ll be fine to just use my name.”
“Understood, Sir Naruan.”
I succeeded in changing my unofficial title, but the priest’s burdensome stare meant for me didn’t dissipate at all.
“I’m not sure what that idiot told you about me, but it seems that an explanation is in… Mm?”
Since this idiot was gullible enough to fall for the hero’s scam, I figured it’d be even easier for me to pull a fast one on the priest. However, the priest suddenly clutched his chest and began frowning deeply. “An… oracle… from the goddess of nature…”
“Another one?” The elf standing a bit behind the priest began scowling unhappily.
The priest began trembling like a wet dog, then, for the first time ever since our meeting, he actively avoided my gaze while conveying the divine oracle. “It, it’s the oracle. It’s not my opinion, but the goddess of nature’s will!”
His behaviour was certainly unbecoming of a priest, but even then, he repeatedly emphasized that his opinion didn’t match that of the goddess of nature.
“The goddess said… you… cute… or else.”
“I’m cute? What?”
“…Better …be …cute or else…”
“Can’t you speak more clearly, please?”
The priest was whispering so quietly that I couldn’t help but request more clarification.
“Keuk…” That prompted the priest to squeeze his eyes shut and yell out loudly. “The goddess of nature said that you better stop being cute or else!”
“Stop being cute or else! That’s what the goddess said!”
I stared dazedly at the priest. His face was all red, possibly from embarrassment, while muttering to himself, ‘Oh god, why did you bestow upon me this sort of trial?’
I then tried to ask something. “Could it be that it’s a fake religious order you’re serv…”
“Of course not, sir.”
Since the priest was making a face that said, “I would’ve preferred if that was true!” I couldn’t bring myself to ask any further.
-As expected of a goddess’s power of insight, master! To think that she managed to see through master’s underhanded schemes ahead of time!
I should’ve guessed it back when my disciple was selected as the hero.
You sure are a piece of work, oh goddess of nature!
“According to the divine revelation of the goddess herself… ‘I’ve won the bet, so you better stick to the promise’, or so she said, sir.”
Honestly speaking, I didn’t expect anyone to remain standing even after a good beatdown by the metal bat. I made that promise thinking that it’d be an easy victory, yet I ended up losing.
Dang it, if that’s the case…
“Since when did I promise anything?”
I stared at the flustered priest and tilted my head this way and that. “Do you perhaps have proof of this promise?”
What would be my reason for still holding onto five rolls of the uber-expensive geass rolls?
Sure, I might have purchased them after cooking the books back in the organisation, but it was still a pretty dangerous thing to do, regardless!
Even so, the whole reason why I tried so hard to acquire these geass rolls was…!
Because the creator god crafted them to be the greatest contract documents in the world. Not even the current crop of still-surviving gods could go against the geass rolls.
This document rendered every type of scam impossible to pull off.
…Of course, I was still spending like there’s no tomorrow since it wasn’t my money, but still!
“But sir, you definitely made a promise!”
“Uh-huh. I can’t seem to recall anything.”
Verbal promises were effective in this world, but I didn’t have to acknowledge anything, and that’d be the end of it.
Since there’s no proof and all!
“Even though there’s proof right here, sir!”
I was dumbfounded by the small object the priest suddenly yanked out from his inner pocket. “Is that a watch?”
“It’s a magic tool, sir.”
With an audible click, the watch began emitting light in the air.
-If I manage to endure for five minutes… We’d like you to accompany us on our journey.
-It… has… been… five min… utes…
“Because of Sir Hero, I’ve learned to always acquire the proof for everything!”
I gotta ask, just what kind of an ordeal did the goddess of nature and the hero put this poor priest through until now?
Just what kind of torture did he have to suffer through for a priest to carry around an image-capturing magic tool to secure proof just in case?!
“What kind of…”
…Horsesh*t is this?!
-Hey, have you captured the hero yet?
-I’m still in the middle of a commemorative beatdown since it’s been so long!
-Finish him off.
The sound of ‘toushi, toushi’ began ringing out from a corner over there accompanied by a squealing pig noise.
Dang it, I didn’t expect to get captured by the hidden camera of a priest, of all people! I’d never even imagined such a thing!
“We now have proof, sir. Will you finally accompany us in our journey?”
That sudden counterattack left me speechless.
The one and only me, me who lived half of my life through fast-talking…!
To think that I would have to shut my mouth up after getting sucker-punched by the symbol of purity, a man of the cloth!
Not even the Imperial Princess couldn’t pull that feat off in the later years, you know!
How on earth did the goddess, her hero, and even this priest manage to fluster me to this degree?
You’re truly strong, aren’t you, the Order of Nature!
“My apologies, but…”
“No, there’s no more need to listen to you, sir! The goddess of nature has already sent an oracle. Meaning, it’s already been decided! And I’m obliged to follow her oracle no matter what!”
In that case, why the heck were you asking me all that crap earlier?
“That’s why we shall set off on our journey properly now, Sir Naruan!”
“D-dad, that person is weird…”
My daughter hiding behind me while holding onto the hem of my shirt began tugging at me.
“Yes, dear. That type of person is what we call a religious fanatic. When you happen to encounter people like that, you must flee as quickly as possible, okay?”
I whispered to my daughter’s ear, teaching her yet another valuable piece of common sense of the day.
“Ng, got it.”
My daughter seemed to understand me because she readily nodded away.
“W-what are you two talking about…?”
“Oh, this. I was merely teaching my adorable daughter some common sense.”
“O-oh, I see…” The priest heard me and made a somewhat unconvinced expression, but from the sound of it, he seemed to have decided to overlook it for now. “And so, sir. I’ll have you fulfil your promise.”
“What if I don’t want to?”
“Then you shall become the enemy of every religious order out there.”
The priest declared with a serious face but too bad for him, I was already stuck in a similar situation, so the revelation didn’t leave much of an impression on me.
I was on the run from the strongest nation on this continent, so would there be more problems just because some religious orders were added to the list of my pursuers?
-But master, I’m sure there will be more problems, though?
-Don’t say something so obvious, will ya.
In my previous life, a lot of people believed in religions because of some stories found in their holy books. Hell, wars even broke out over religious tension, didn’t they?
Let’s not forget that gods directly displayed their powers to intervene in this world. People might believe in different gods, but nobody here was what you’d call an atheist.
In other words, every single sentient being of this world – whether they were humans, demi-humans or even demon kinds – believed in one god or another.
That prompted me to ask again. “Just what is the real reason for this?”
“I cannot tell you that, sir.”
Meaning, it’s not personal but the will of the gods?
“In that case, it can’t be helped.”
“Thank you for understanding, sir.”
This priest was also an unfortunate victim caught in the middle like me, helplessly getting smacked around this way and that by the tide of fate.
So, I shouldn’t go out of my way to torment him, then.
“Hey, Aru? Keep beating up the hero until we find out the real reason.”
That’s why the best option right now was to keep pounding on the fool who should also know the truth.
“Start talking already!”
“S-Sir Sage?! Aren’t you going overboard with your own disciple?!”
“This is how our relationship always has been.”
If you were to point out the key differences in our dynamics now, then well, the former trainee of the evil organisation had morphed into the hero, while the wooden bat had become a metal bat, instead.
But other than those two points, what’s happening now didn’t look any different from the past events.
“I, I’ll tell you! Kuwahk! S-stop hitting me!”
“But if I let you talk, I won’t get to satisfy my craving, you know~?”
The hero uttered some things that would’ve made the real devil sue him for defamation, before going on to explain the truth behind the dogged pursuit.
“You say I’m unique?”
“Yes… that is… so…” The hero replied while still collapsed on the ground.
Rather unbecoming of his handsome face, he was drooling away like an invalid right now.
The priest was hurriedly casting holy magic to heal the hero from the side, but too bad, you should save your breath.
He’s already 100% recovered by now.
“What’s this? It’s not like I’m the player living on the sixtieth floor of the Hell difficulty, so why…”
To summarise the situation, the omnipotent gods capable of spying on every living being in this world could not ‘see’ me. And that’s why they wanted to stick their eyes and ears right next to me.
Makes sense now why the priest couldn’t readily tell me the truth, in that case.
I mean, who in their right mind would say, “Fantastic!” when some weirdos want to install hidden cameras right in front of your face?!
“I see. If that’s your reason, I shall accept it.”
“Thank you so much, sir!”
And so, here it was.
-Master, are you a pervert~?
-This is all for the sake of a bigger picture.
If all the gods really were butting in to pile on top of that priest…
If I didn’t agree and tried to flee again, then there was a good possibility of the damn gods summoning other heroes from locations nearby.
I’ll be a goner for sure if that happens!
That’s why I needed to put these punks at ease for the time being, and then…
-Then, we escape when they have let down their guards!
It was a perfect plan, alright.
Except that… I failed to notice that I made a single error in my calculation.
The error of forgetting about how well my disciple knew of my quirks.
: the question mark is from the raw.