The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 53

𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠

𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠

“Ah, so that’s how it is. . . . . .”

The day after our date, our conversation with Rest became somewhat non-verbal (body language).

Since Ruberto-san’s schedule allowed, we also reported the story we heard from the god to Ruberto-san.

The location was a room in a mansion lent to us by the town’s mayor.

The participants were Ruberto-san and all of us in the Hero’s Party.

With Ruberto-san present, it would draw attention if we discussed it in a popular place.

It’s not preferable to have a conversation that could determine the fate of the world overheard by a large number of people.

After conveying the general idea, Ruberto-san frowned, a look of difficulty on his face.

“This world is a modified version of a past one, and in the Official World, although the Demon King was defeated, there were catastrophic casualties, including the annihilation of the Hero’s Party.

To overturn that history, we have to utterly defeat the Demon King’s Army with significantly fewer casualties than in the Official World, correct?”

Well, it sounds like a ludicrous tale.

Still, Ruberto-san didn’t dismiss it as nonsense and was seriously considering it.

“Honestly, I’d like to dismiss it as a fabrication by someone claiming to be a god,

But if this entity can make Hero-sama see it as though she’s a mass of divine protection, and moreover, can interfere with the Divine Tree and the Holy Sword, I can’t simply label it a fraud.

If that’s the case, we must act on these words or risk irreversible consequences.

Now, what should be our course of action. . . . . .”

“For starters, it would be wise to inform the upper echelons of the kingdom and other Holy Warriors.

With that done, a swift resolution would be ideal.”

“However, attacking the Demon King’s Castle at this point would be foolish.

Three of the Four Heavenly Kings still remain.

Since the tragedy in the Kingdom of Mulzim, where the current Demon King’s Army first appeared, the Four Heavenly Kings have stayed out of the battlefield, except for this one time.

Considering the Demon King’s past caution, it’s likely that they’re being conserved within the Demon King’s Castle.”

“If we attack now, we’ll have to deal with the home ground advantage of the Demon King, the three remaining Heavenly Kings, and an army of demons and monsters. That’s clearly reckless.”

“So it stands to reason that before the final showdown at the Demon King’s Castle, we should aim to defeat at least one or two more of the Four Heavenly Kings.”

“As for the other demons, we should aim to eliminate as many as possible. Though that’s pretty self-evident, isn’t it?”

The conversation was progressing quickly between the experienced Ruberto-san and Auntie Elle.

Damn it.

I missed my chance to jump into the conversation.

Frankly, I don’t think I can contribute much to strategic discussions like this.

My expertise is in direct combat abilities, not in directing armies.

Even during the strategy meeting for the Dragburn battle in the Elf Village, all I could do was barely keep up with the conversation.

Don’t expect any constructive suggestions from me.

Just as I was thinking this, the two of them turned their eyes toward me.

Why?

“You have memories of surviving the Official World, don’t you? Do you have any idea about the next moves of the Four Heavenly Kings?”

Ah, so that’s why they’re asking.

I could indeed answer such questions.

However, I doubt my input would be of much help.

“I’ve already told Auntie Elle, but you can’t rely on my memory.

I didn’t even remember that the Four Heavenly Kings would appear so quickly.

The battle with the Four Heavenly Kings should have started at least a year after the Hero’s Party set out on their journey to defeat the Demon King.

We’ve already deviated quite a bit from the Official World.

At this point, I don’t think recounting this altered history would be very helpful.”

“No, I’d still like to hear what you know.

Even if it’s not reliable for predictions, it may give us some insight into the Demon King’s strategy.”

“. . . . . .Well, if that’s the case.”

And so, I began to outline the general situation of the previous world to Ruberto-san.

I’m not very enthusiastic about it, and it’s all stuff I already told Auntie Elle when we traveled from the Elf Village to this town.

Moreover, it’s all information I gathered during my travels after hearing newspaper reports and Stella’s obituary.

The accuracy is questionable.

I can’t say anything too conclusive.

“About a year after the Hero’s Party set out, they saved various countries, repelled the Demon Army forces, and kept making great progress.

The first time the Hero’s Party encountered the Four Heavenly Kings was about a year into their journey, as far as I know.

The location was one of the front-line fortresses. There, Blade dies after certain events.”

“I die first?! What do you mean by ‘certain events’?”

Huh?

Hadn’t I told you that Blade was the first to die?

Ah, no, I had told Auntie Elle and Stella.

I spoke to Auntie Elle during an inquiry, and Stella had pestered me to tell her about the previous world.

But upon reflection, I hadn’t told Blade himself.

I had been careless.

“Well, anyway.”

“Anyway?!”

“In that battle, it wasn’t just Blade who died. The entire fortress fell, and nearly all the local forces were wiped out.

Even the reinforcements who arrived were killed.

However, it seems they were able to kill one of the Four Heavenly Kings.”

“””. . . . . . . . . . . . .”””

Hearing this, everyone fell silent.

Ruberto-san thought hard with a serious look on his face, and Auntie Elle seemed to be ruminating over the reconfirmed information.

Stella looked as solemn as when she first heard it, and Blade was speechless, finding the story less amusing than he’d thought.

Rin looked at Blade with concern.

I continued my explanation.

“After that, many battles erupted at the front lines with the Four Heavenly Kings leading large forces.

The battles went on for an extended period, draining both sides, until at one point, Rin dies, in exchange for defeating another of the Four Heavenly Kings.”

“I’m next, huh. . . . . .”

Yes, you’re next.

At this point, both the Sword Saint and the Saint are dead.

What irritates me is that none of this was reported in the newspapers.

Sure, they wrote about significant losses, but they glossed over it with the good news of the second Four Heavenly Kings’ defeat.

Maybe they did it to not stir up public panic, but I still can’t accept it.

Even if I had known the details back then, what could I have done when even the time for training was grossly insufficient?

This irritation is probably directed at both the world and myself.

Swallowing those bitter feelings, I continued my explanation.

“In a long-term battle, multiple fortresses fell, and a portion of the Demon King’s Army broke through the front lines.

They attacked the cities in the rear, which had been depleting their military power by sending reinforcements, and caused massive destruction.

In an attempt to stop this, the two remaining individuals continued to force march, and as a result, they ended up clashing with the third of the Four Heavenly Kings and Auntie Elle, who ambushed them in her exhausted state.”

“Well, that’s what happens when you push an old body too hard.”

Auntie Elle, who had already heard about her fate in the previous world, was not shaken.

In fact, she wasn’t even shaken the first time we spoke.

As expected of a seasoned veteran.

In this regard, I can only respect her.

“And so, the Hero’s Party was wiped out, leaving only Stella behind.

Even Stella sustained severe injuries in exchange for defeating the last of the Four Heavenly Kings, and with no Saint around, she couldn’t be healed.

For some reason, they then decided to charge the Demon King’s Castle with the remaining forces, resulting in total destruction.

Although they weakened the Demon King considerably, they left a wound in my heart that will never fade.”

“I’m sorry. . . . . .”

“Seriously.”

Well, the worst was me, powerless, ignorant, and doing nothing.

Still, in the previous world where Stella didn’t value her own life, there are so many things I want to say to her.

Actually, if I were to say it, I’d probably get hit with a “Who are you to say that?” and it might turn into a fight.

In fact, it did turn into a fight.

When I told the current Stella about throwing my life away for revenge.

“Then, over the course of several decades, the surviving Demon King’s Army trampled over humanity, who had lost their hero, to their heart’s content.

Although humanity resisted, it seems that God said that 70% of the world’s population was killed.

In the end, I, consumed by revenge, clashed with the weakened Demon King and that was it.

It’s doubtful whether enough forces could be reorganized to prepare for the next Demon King.”

That’s the end of my story.

This is all the information I gathered from survivors and others, back when I was tracking Stella’s movements before turning to revenge.

I don’t know any more details.

I couldn’t find anyone who did.

Most likely, those people died in battle.

So, all I know is an objective record of the battle from the perspective of ordinary soldiers.

I will never know what Stella and the others thought while fighting, or why they died.

Such a tragedy must never be repeated.

With these bitter memories, I swear this in my heart once again.

Unlike me, Ruberto-san was carefully examining the information he gathered from me.

“I see. That’s very informative.

There are many things to think about, but the most important piece of information is that the Four Heavenly Kings are likely targeting the Hero.

And probably not alone, but in groups.

There’s a high likelihood that all of the Four Heavenly Kings teamed up.”

“Probably so.”

“Huh?”

Why do you know that?

Or rather, I didn’t even know that.

“It’s hard to believe that the Hero’s Party of four, along with the equivalent of one frontline fortress’ worth of the finest troops, including reinforcements, would fall behind when facing just one of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Although the fortress might not match up to the Elf Village, it has considerable defensive power. Moreover, it is staffed with about ten thousand of elve’s elite, at least two Holy Warriors, and more than ten individuals with divine protection.”

Ah, I see.

Indeed, by comparing our own forces, we can estimate the enemy’s capabilities.

With elite forces of about 10,000, at least two Holy Warriors, and more than ten with divine protection, their strength is nearly equivalent to that of the Elf Village that has been holding off Dragburn’s attacks.

By cooperating with those Elves, we have managed to defeat Dragburn with casualties only in the double digits.

That’s even after he is weakened by the Divine Tree Protection and used his trump card at the cost of his life.

Of course, these results were possible because we almost completely destroyed the dragon forces led by him, and then everyone on our side was able to gang up on him. But even so, the likelihood of the Elf Village, including the Hero’s Party, being destroyed by one of the Four Heavenly Kings was low, considering we were almost able to completely seal him off until he used his trump card.

So naturally, the likelihood of a frontline fortress with nearly equivalent strength being wiped out by one of the Four Heavenly Kings—even with the assistance of the Hero’s Party and despite calling for reinforcements—also seems low.

In that case, it’s natural to assume the enemy wasn’t just one of the Four Heavenly Kings, but multiple.

Come to think of it, during the battle at the Elf Village, Auntie Elle mentioned that Dragburn’s best move would have been to call the other Four Heavenly Kings.

He ignored that and acted based on his fighting instincts.

“So the countermeasure is. . . . . .we should join forces at the fortress, and fight them off with concentrated strength?

It’s risky to use the same strategy as in the Official World, but fortunately, one of the Four Heavenly Kings is already down.

If we closely coordinate and can quickly send reinforcements from other fortresses, we might be able to defeat them with minimal casualties.”

“That seems like a reasonable judgment.

However, there’s a possibility that the Demon King will change his strategy now that one of the Four Heavenly Kings is down.

It’s dangerous to assume too easily.”

“Yes, I understand.

This matter will first be discussed and decided upon after sharing information with others.

But just to be safe, I would like the Hero and his party to be within striking distance of the frontline fortress at all times.”

“Very well. Is that okay with you, Stella?”

“Yes, that’s fine.”

With Stella’s nod, our course of action is decided.

Well, it’s a rather rough plan to just stand by near the front lines for now.

“But what about the Dwarf Village?

It seems to be barely within reach, but it’s located in the mountains, making it difficult for messengers to reach.

It would be bad if communication is delayed. . . . . .”

Huh?

Stella is surprisingly thoughtful.

The next destination, the Dwarf Village in the Celestial Mountains, is about a week away if we hurry with the Hero’s Party’s carriage.

I was casually thinking it would be fine, but now that she mentions it, it could be problematic?

. . . . . .Or rather, the fact that Stella is becoming surprisingly intelligent might be a bit problematic for me.

It’s probably the result of Hero training, which is good, but it makes me feel relatively dumb in comparison.

. . . . . .Once the Demon King is defeated and I have some breathing room, maybe I should also work on improving my intellect.

“. . . . . .Indeed, that could be a bit problematic.”

“But we can’t avoid fixing Al-boy’s weapon.

Having Al-boy as a combat asset is the greatest difference from the Official World.

We’ll have to ask the craftsmen to hurry as much as possible.”

“There’s no other choice, is there?”

So, we agreed to keep our stay in Dwarf Village as short as possible.

We agreed, but. . . . . .will it be okay?

I can’t imagine that stubborn old man compromising his work because of time constraints.

Well, but, that grandpa is also top-notch when it comes to working quickly.

It should be fine.

Let’s just assume it’ll be okay.

And so, my conversation with Ruberto-san came to an end.

The details will be discussed later, perhaps within the fortress, after the higher-ups of the country and other Holy Warriors have been briefed.

Thinking about such things, we left the town chief’s mansion where the discussion had taken place.

And then, we saw hell.


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