The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 45

𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐰𝐚𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐁𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐰𝐚𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐁𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠

Several days have passed since the defeat of Dragburn.

The memorial for the fallen has concluded, and the Elf Village is steadily making progress on its path to recovery.

That being said, the damage to the village was minimal, caused only by the falling of the Divine Tree, which trapped a small section under it. There were very few casualties.

Work to remove the fallen Divine Tree through magic is progressing, and currently, Eltrait-san is taking the lead in applying Healing Magic to the Divine Tree continuously. It seems he’s also working hard to establish a defense network that can serve as a substitute until the Divine Tree revives.

New growth is slowly sprouting from the severed surface of the Divine Tree, and it seems like its divine protection, although faint, is making a comeback. So, sooner or later, the Elf Village will achieve full recovery.

As for casualties, the number of deaths from the final battle with Dragburn didn’t even reach three digits.

Apparently, the combination of union magic and a solid barrier significantly reduced the power of the blue flame breath that initially appeared to have inflicted catastrophic damage on the Elves.

Thanks to the rapid healing efforts of Rin, who is a Saint, the number of deaths was minimized.

Treatment by Rin is ongoing, so it’s unlikely that any more of the severely injured will die.

Blade also somehow managed to survive.

Considering the extent of the damage, defeating Dragburn was a remarkable victory.

This battle can undoubtedly be called a complete win for us.

. . . . . .However, the fact remains that lives were lost.

That’s war, it can’t be helped.

Even so, it would be unacceptable to belittle the deaths of those who fought bravely.

Absolutely.

“Allan, I’m coming in.”

Lost in these thoughts as I survey the village, I currently find myself lying on the bed in the guest room of the chief’s residence.

Shortly after the battle ended, I collapsed from exhaustion and was unconscious for several days. I finally woke up this morning.

I’ve already received a full round of Healing Magic while I was out, so there are no issues with my health, but the healer told me to take it easy and stay in bed for at least today.

Now Stella brings me meals like she is doing now. It reminds me of the time I was bedridden after being attacked by the Demon Mantis.

Even the situation where Stella offers me a spoon with a flushed face is the same as back then.

“Ah, ahh~.”

“Stop it, I can eat on my own.”

I snatch the food bowl from Stella and eat myself.

Just like before, Stella makes a slightly disappointed face.

“What a shame. You should just let yourself be pampered at times like this.”

A new visitor, who seems to have been observing us, walks into the room without any hesitation.

It’s Auntie Elle.

Apparently, this loli granny has no sense of delicacy.

“Allan, what kind of man can’t accept an ‘ahh’ from a cute girl?”

“. . . . . .I just find it embarrassing, okay?”

Saying that, I turn my face away.

. . . . . .To be honest, the “ahh” attack was always embarrassingly intense, but getting it from Stella, who is growing and acquiring the allure of a woman, is even more potent.

I can feel my face turning red.

Noticing this, Auntie Elle’s face transforms into a grin that irks me.

Ugh.

“Anyway, for today let’s limit teasing you. Allan, as the one who led the Elves, and on behalf of the absent Eltrait, I want to say thank you. Thanks to you, this village and its people were saved. I’m genuinely grateful from the bottom of my heart.”

With that, Auntie Elle bows deeply.

The Great Sage is bowing to a mere swordsman like me.

In that moment, the whimsical little girl was nowhere to be seen, only a dignified leader stood there.

“Accepting your thanks is one thing, but there’s no need for you to bow your head. I only fought to protect Stella; that victory was a collective effort, including the Elves. I’d understand if you wanted to thank us for fighting together, but there’s no reason for you to bow down unilaterally.”

“Heh, heh. You’re a kind-hearted young man, aren’t you?”

“Not particularly.”

I genuinely feel that way.

“From here on, let’s talk as comrades. Your swords look pretty worn out, don’t they?”

“. . . . . .Yeah.”

My eyes drifted to the two swords propped against the wall of the room, sheathed.

Kurotenmaru and Onryomaru.

Both are worn out, especially Kurotenmaru, which I had to push hard during the Dragburn battle. Onryomaru, too, faced an adversary far beyond its grade.

Kurotenmaru is on the verge of breaking; Onryomaru is just short of disintegrating.

If either sword sees another battle, they’re likely to shatter.

“We have spares for our greatsword, but since you joined Hero’s Party on such short notice, I’m afraid we didn’t bring any spare swords for you. Especially when it comes to weapons that can stand up to the Four Heavenly Kings, they’re in short supply and typically allocated to heroes across different regions who are struggling with their equipment. Preparing them just before setting out was unrealistic.”

“I see.”

In other words, it’s difficult to obtain a replacement sword.

If it’s just an ordinary sword, you can probably find one around here, and countries or churches that support the Hero’s Party might be willing to provide a decent blade.

However, obtaining a masterpiece like Kurotenmaru is not easy at all.

When you think about it normally, it’s an incredibly dire situation.

Facing the next Four Heavenly Kings without your trusted weapon would undoubtedly result in death.

But well, it’s not like we should be too pessimistic.

Fortunately, there is some hope of improving our equipment situation.

“Auntie Elle, have we decided on our next destination?”

“Hm? No, nothing’s been decided. After defeating one of the Four Heavenly Kings, we were planning to go around hunting demons as originally planned. Do you have a place in mind?”

“Yes, I know of a place where someone can repair my swords.”

Kurotenmaru is a magic sword.

Born from constant exposure to the magical energies of the labyrinth, it’s a miraculous piece of workmanship beyond human capabilities.

Onryomaru, while not quite reaching the realm of magic swords, is something similar.

There’s only one entity capable of performing significant repairs, practically a reforging, on them.

While Stella seems clueless, Auntie Elle seems to understand everything with just that much explanation, murmuring, “I see.”

“『Dwarf Village』, huh? Indeed, if we could borrow their expertise, we could probably get your swords fixed.”

Exactly.

Only skilled Dwarf artisans can work on magic swords and other magical items.

It’s no surprise that Auntie Elle, who’s lived for a long time, knows this.

“But be warned, they’re quite stubborn. Even if you’re a member of the Hero’s Party, if they don’t take a liking to you, they might turn you away.”

“What?! But we’re trying to defeat the Demon King and save the world. If we can’t defeat the Demon King, even the Dwarves could be in peril, right?”

Stella voices a completely reasonable question, but Auntie Elle simply shakes her head sadly.

“Even so, those guys take an extreme level of dedication to their work, one that can’t be explained by aesthetics or pride alone. Even if the end of the world was upon us, they would never compromise their craft. Perhaps that strong belief is what led them to master the godlike skills required to forge magic swords and magic items.”

Just like Auntie Elle said.

Dwarves are often stubborn and eccentric people.

Moreover, the better they become at their craft, the more these traits seem to stand out.

It’s even said that you can’t truly excel as a craftsman unless you’re that kind of person.

But Auntie Elle need not worry.

“Don’t worry, I already know the person we’re going to meet. Most of my gear was adjusted by them.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. We crossed paths during my training days.”

Feels a bit nostalgic.

I first visited that place and met that person three years ago.

It all started when I wanted them to modify the kimono of Sword Saint Shizuka after defeating the Old Witch Demon and parting ways with Rin.

At first, they just told me to “go home, brat,” and didn’t take me seriously, but I kept coming back. Slowly but surely, as I brought in battered windproof leg guards and mithril, they began to recognize my efforts.

Eventually, they even started to care enough to adjust my gear as I grew, becoming a true benefactor.

They may be a stubborn old man, but they’re a good person.

“You keep surprising me with your past experiences. . . . . .Well, I guess that’s what one would expect from a 『savior』.”

The word 『savior』 that Auntie Elle casually mentioned.

As you can tell, she talked about my conversations with the god to our companions and Eltrait-san.

In fact, Stella apparently explained everything while I was knocked out from overwork.

Honestly, I’m amazed they believed such an absurd story.

It must have been because the extraordinary phenomena at the Divine Tree left such a strong impression.

We still don’t know how this will impact our fight against the Demon King’s Army, though.

“Well, leaving that aside. When we talk about Dwarf Village, they’re settled in mountain ranges and caves all around the world. Which village did Al-boy go to?”

“It’s in a place called the Celestial Mountains. It’s on the very edge of the Sirius Kingdom.”

“Hmm. That’s quite a distance from here. If we go the shortest way, we’ll need to stop by a town near the front line to resupply. That will take time. In that case, this will do nicely.”

Saying this, Auntie Elle took something out of her bag.

That bag, upon closer look, was the magic bag from which Rin had pulled out a pot.

I wondered why she would bother to bring out something like that, but then my trivial thoughts vanished when I saw what she pulled out.

“What is this. . . . . .!”

“It’s a humble gift and a token of farewell from the Elves.”

The items that Auntie Elle took out.

They were two wooden swords, one big and one small.

Even though they were wooden swords, they had been meticulously crafted, and I could feel their tremendous strength, all the way down to the guard.

“These are carved from the broken Divine Tree. While they may lack sharpness due to being wooden swords, they’re very sturdy. They’ll serve you well in a defensive fight, just like your final clash with Dragburn. Use them until your sword is repaired.”

“Hey, hey. . . . . .Are you sure it’s alright to carve the object of your faith. . . . . .?”

“Our staffs are also made from the twigs of the Divine Tree, so it’s not an issue. Besides, the Divine Tree would probably prefer to help protect the world.”

Elves are impressive.

Just as I was thinking that, Auntie Elle pulled out another wooden sword, no, a wooden blade from her bag and handed it to Stella.

“Here, you should keep this one too, Stella.”

“Is it okay?”

“Yes. It’s better to save the power of the Holy Sword, imbued with the Divine Tree, for battles against anyone other than the Four Heavenly Kings. Ideally, I would’ve brought a spare famous sword, but I didn’t because the Holy Sword is so reliable that it neither breaks nor gets lost. So please make do with this for now.”

“No, this is more than enough. Thank you.”

With that, Stella took the wooden sword and placed it at her waist next to the Holy Sword.

Hmm.

I can use this in my duel with Stella too.

It’s probably safer than barely stopping a real sword like before.

Although, given her incredible strength, it might not matter much.

“And one more thing.”

Auntie Elle then took out something else from her bag and placed it on the table.

It was a tusk, covered in cracks.

“What is this. . . . . .?”

“It’s a fang from Dragburn. I’ve also dismantled his remains to get some materials. Using these when repairing your sword could not only fix it but make it stronger.”

. . . . . .Dismantling Dragburn’s corpse, huh?

Surely, using materials from such a strong being would yield an incredible sword.

Still, to dismantle the body of a creature that could communicate, even if just a little. . . . . .Elves are truly impressive.

“Alright, that’s all I had to say. I’m off to assist Eltrait. You two can enjoy some alone time. Ho ho ho ho!”

“”We’re not going to!””

Damn it.

I reacted too strongly because of the embarrassment from her teasing.

Stella also seemed to have residual damage from the teasing, reacting much like I did. Watching this, Auntie Elle left with a smirk.

How annoying.

“”. . . . . .””

We both sit in silence, faces flushed.

Lately, these awkward moments are occurring more frequently.

I can’t shake the feeling that this atmosphere is artificially created by Auntie Elle and Rin.

I’m restless and can’t calm down.

Yet, strangely, it feels fulfilling.

This is bad.

I have a sinking feeling I’m getting drawn into something I don’t understand.

“A, ah. . . . . .uh. . . . . .”

I open my mouth to change the topic.

My eyes wander and land on the wooden sword I just received.

Alright, this will do.

“Want to help me get used to this sword with some special training?”

“Y, Yes! Sure!”

After that, we went to a nearby open field where our special training escalated into a full-blown duel.

I got scolded by Rin, who heard the commotion and found out that I’d been doing strenuous activities right after being ill.

On the other hand, the awkward tension between Stella and me disappeared, and we laughed while dueling. So let’s consider that a win.

◆◆◆

And then, a few days later.

The day of our departure has arrived.

To see us off, many elves including Eltrait-san came.

Eltrait-san said he wanted to see us off with everyone if possible, but due to the large number of people and the entrance to the village becoming the farewell location, they reluctantly conducted a fair lottery.

What are you doing?

“Hero-sama and company, we will never forget the kindness you’ve shown us. If you ever need us, we will come at any time to wield magic for you.”

“Thank you.”

Lastly, after exchanging such promises, Elf Chieftain Eltrait-san and Stella shared a firm handshake.

With that, we boarded the carriage.

And then, we spurred the two swift horses and left Elf Village.

“May the Divine Tree’s blessings be with the departing warriors!”

From behind, we heard Eltrait-san’s loud voice.

At the same time, beautiful magical fireworks lit up the sky across Elf Village.

Their beauty rivaled even the particles of light when the Divine Tree shone, bidding us farewell.

I watched the spectacle from the coachman’s seat, deeply moved. . . . . .when I suddenly noticed that Rin, sitting beside me, looked troubled.

“What’s the matter? We’ve got this grand send-off, why the long face?”

“. . . . . .Huh? Was I making a face?”

“You were. Do you have some sort of problem?”

At that question, Rin hesitated for a moment before starting to speak with a resolute look on her face.

“It’s about Blade-sama. . . . . .He’s been acting a bit strange these past few days.”

“Blade?”

“Yes. He occasionally makes a terrifying face and has been constantly swinging his sword. It’s as if he’s possessed by something.”

. . . . . .Well, if it’s for self-improvement, it should be good, I suppose.

“Maybe he’s acutely aware of his own inadequacies? He’s always lacked a sense of urgency, so this could be good for him.”

He probably got his act together after almost dying and learning that he actually did die in the Official World.

Given that the fire under him is the flame of Dragburn, it’s understandable that he’d be desperate.

“If that’s all it is, that’s fine. . . . . .but I feel like there’s more to it. I hope I’m just overthinking it.”

Still, Rin’s face didn’t clear up.

Perhaps it’s what they call women’s intuition.

. . . . . .If that’s the case, I can’t ignore it.

Stella also intervened in my fight with Demon Mantis because of that intuition.

Something’s off with Blade, huh?

I’ll keep that in mind.

And so, leaving behind a small seed of worry, we continued on our journey to our next destination.

Our next stop is Dwarf Village.

To be precise, it’s the town of Jamour, which serves as a transit point near the frontline en route to there.

Our journey is far from over.


Image description Styled Links Random Banner
Advertisement

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset