The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 78

𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐇𝐞𝐫

“Enough already, Blade-sama!!

You’re always reckless, look at the mess you’ve gotten yourself into!!

What’s the matter with you?! Do you want to kill me from worry?!”

“Ah, umm. . . . . .”

After a slap, Rin leans in close to Blade, grabbing him by the collar, and shouts angrily at him.

Blade’s focus shifts from the voice in his head to Rin in front of him due to her intense outburst.

“I know Blade-sama is struggling with feelings of powerlessness! I know you’re desperate to become stronger! I know you’re pushing yourself too hard!

But if you’re suffering, please rely on those around you!

If that’s too much to ask, at least rely on me!

Otherwise, you’ll break, Blade-sama!

I don’t want that! I can’t stand it!!”

Rin shouts.

She shouts while tears stream down her face.

Words she could only previously convey gently, considering Blade’s frailty.

Now, she hurls them at him with raw emotion.

“Please. . . . . . ! Don’t get hurt anymore. . . . . . ! Don’t suffer anymore. . . . . . !

I can’t bear to see my precious benefactor, my greatest hero, suffer alone. . . . . .!”

Finally, Rin clings to Blade’s chest and starts crying like a small child.

She, too, had reached her limit.

It’s not just the person suffering who hurts.

Seeing a loved one suffer so greatly and yet not being able to do anything about it is agonizing.

Rin was also hurting, seeing Blade in pain.

In fact, the emotional toll might have been even greater for her than for Blade, who was lost in his own world of swordplay as a form of escapism.

And Blade had not even noticed.

He didn’t have the luxury to look around, nor did he try to.

He had been too busy distracting himself from the pain that tormented his heart.

But now, looking at the girl crying on his chest, hearing her lament, feeling her warmth, being struck by her tears.

Blade, who had been shutting himself in his own shell, was forcibly made to focus on this one girl, Rin.

His consciousness, which had only been directed at himself, was dragged out by Rin and forcefully redirected towards the outside world.

And in that outside world, there was someone crying for him.

Despite considering himself a failure, a worthless man who had given up on himself, someone was crying for him.

He only now realized that she had always been there beside him. . . . . .

(Ah, what am I doing? Because of my pathetic self, I’ve made Rin cry.)

Such were his thoughts.

The tears of a Saint strike the heart of a Sword Saint.

Instead of looking at himself, Blade thinks about Rin.

She had called him her benefactor, her greatest hero.

So what is a hero?

As he thinks this, many faces appear in his mind.

His grandfather, Ruberto, who was called a legendary Sword Saint.

His parents, Sievert and Asuka, who risked their lives to defeat the Demon King and protect the future.

Stella, a 15-year-old who carried the fate of mankind and fought as a hero.

And Allan, the Hero of No Talent, who fights alongside her despite not having divine protection.

Living through hundreds of years, battling numerous Demon Kings, and even now supporting the Hero’s Party—The Great Sage, Ernesta.

The dependable older-brother figure, Doug.

And then Rest, the brother who fought against the demons with his life on the line and managed to smile even at the brink of death for the woman he loved.

Rin, who was suddenly placed in the role of a Saint and should be overwhelmed taking care of herself, yet has continued to support Blade like this.

There are already so many extraordinary people around him

Every single one of them is incredibly impressive.

He feel pathetic compared to them, with nothing but his titles and divine protection.

But even so, Blade is a hero.

Rin calls him that.

For her, who cried for him, who has always supported him, and who called him a hero, Blade’s heart screams that he must be her hero.

That is the last shred of pride left in Blade, who once completely gave up, shattered, and broke.

What’s the point of making the girl who believes in the hero cry?

What’s the point of worrying the girl who thinks about the hero?

(That would just be lame to the extreme. . . . . .!!)

In his heart, crushed by despair, Blade desperately fanned the tiny flame of hope called a man’s pride, gently patted the continuously crying Rin’s head, and then stood up.

He can’t and doesn’t want to show any uncool sides of himself in front of her.

With such petty thoughts as his final support, 『Sword Saint』 Blade・Valkyrias stood up.

“Blade-sama. . . . . .?”

“Rin, sorry for worrying you. I’m okay now.”

He was able to naturally smile.

A smile that he had been unable to form lately.

Though he’s not as okay as he says, he puts on a brave face.

Maybe now is the time to rely on Rin just like she advised, but he just had to act cool now.

Even without doing that, Rin has already saved Blade.

She lit a fire in his broken heart.

Blade uplifts his spirit and faces forward.

What he sees is the Mountain Giant and its controller, the Four Heavenly Kings, Asgard.

As he takes a step forward filled with determination towards the enemy who had tormented him. . . . . .

『Wait! Wait, wait, wait! Why are you recovering on your own? Don’t you want the ultimate power?!』

A voice echoed again inside Blade’s head.

However, strangely, it doesn’t resonate with his heart this time.

『You can’t do anything with your power! You will just be crushed helplessly by Asgard! You need my power! Cling to me! Rely on me! 

Then you will become the supreme. . . . . .』

(Ah, I’ve had enough of that)

Blade thought so, quite casually.

He felt as if the voice’s owner was at a loss for words.

(You might be the darkness in my heart or something, but sorry.

I’ve decided I want to be a hero that makes Rin think, “Wow! So cool!”

So, I can’t be swallowed by such dark feelings anymore.)

『. . . . . .Hmph, don’t joke with me! How could you tolerate this?!』

Blade felt as if the voice was reaching out to him in his mind.

However, that hand never reached Blade and was deflected by something.

『What?! Unless I exploit a moment of weakness, I can’t break through the divine protection!

What’s going on?! Why isn’t anything working?! Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it. . . . . .』

The voice gradually fades away.

In contrast, Blade’s heart inexplicably clears up.

As if the invisible weight he’s been carrying has gradually disappeared.

『Damn it?! I’m fading away completely!

Don’t mess around! I haven’t left anything behind yet!

Even my last hope is cruelly crushed!

I won’t forgive you! I absolutely won’t forgive you! Curse you all! Curse, that. . . . . .! Curse. . . . . .!』

The voice had become so small that it could no longer be heard.

Without paying it any mind, Blade began to run.

And then, he swung the large sword high.

What he had to do didn’t change much.

He swung the sword with all his might, and all he did was strike the enemy with all his might.

However, the current Blade was clearly different from just a moment ago.

“RAAAAAAAH!!!”

This time, aligning his strike with the wounds inflicted by his comrades, Blade unleashes his slash.

Naturally, since he aimed at the weak point, the damage inflicted is far greater than before.

However, that alone won’t be enough to defeat the giant.

The giant, as if swatting away annoying bugs, fires shards of shattered rock at Blade.

In response, Blade. . . . . .

“Rin! Help!”

“! 『Sacred Barrier』!”

At Blade’s call, Rin instantly activates a dome-shaped barrier that envelopes Blade.

However, the output of the barrier isn’t sufficient as it’s an incantation-free spell.

Instead of a Holy Shield Barrier focusing magic at one point, it’s an even less effective Sacred Barrier spread in a dome to block incoming rocks.

The rocky shrapnel breaks through the barrier, not completely stopped but slowed, closing in on Blade.

However, he uses the split second bought by the barrier to leap backward, blocking the slowed rocks with the flat of his greatsword.

The impact that couldn’t be fully blocked is dissipated by leaping back.

The defensive technique refined under the tutelage of Allan and Stella comes into play.

That’s the application.

“『Stream Flow』!”

“『Moonlight Blade』!”

Then, two attacks from his comrades follow, sensing Blade is fine.

A Stream Flow to weaken the giant, and a concentrated blade of light that won’t interfere.

Both attacks widened the opening had made for Blade.

“RAAAAAAH!!! 『Great Destructive Sword』!”

Once more, Blade lunges forward after a brief retreat.

This is different from his earlier reckless charges; it’s an attack balanced with knowing when to pull back.

He successfully lands a barrage of blows on the giant, slashing the walls of the labyrinth and exposing the magical metal within.

But Asgard’s response is calm.

Without showing even a shred of impatience, it immediately counters.

A massive rock is formed right in front of the giant’s face and is rapidly fired.

The target is Blade.

It likely knows that, based on the battle so far, Blade is the easiest target.

With his sword still in the follow-through of his attack, it would be difficult for Blade to avoid this.

“『Sky Rebellion』!”

However, Allan’s follow-up was timely.

The boulder shattered into countless fragments, as the impact from Allan’s strike combined with its own momentum to explode at its weakest point.

Everyone understood that it wasn’t just good luck.

The timeliness of the follow-up wasn’t because Allan had hurriedly managed it.

It was because Blade was in a position where Allan could assist him with ease.

In other words, ━━Blade was able to fight while being aware of his surroundings.

As Rin had told him, he was able to fight while relying on those around him.

Therefore,

“Finally back in action, huh.”

“Seriously! Took you long enough!”

“My bad! Sorry for the trouble!”

“”You better be!!””

Allan and Stella simultaneously unleash their complaints on Blade.

But, both of them were smiling.

“Blade-sama. . . . . .”

“I told you, Rin! I’m fine now!”

“. . . . . . Yes!”

Blade wore a frivolous grin, just like the old times, and seeing this, Rin also smiled genuinely, even as tears streamed down her face.

“Well, well. It took some time, but it seems that the current Hero’s Party is finally complete.”

Ernesta nods, full of sentiment.

Though young and inexperienced, Stella has attained a skill level comparable to past heroes through her days of rigorous training with the Sword Demon.

Allan, although lacking in natural talent, has been an unrivaled companion to the hero, bringing out more of Stella’s abilities than her own raw strength.

Blade, the current Sword Saint, who overcame the darkness within and used it as a stepping stone for growth.

Rin, who stood beside such a Blade, serving as a bridge between him and his companions.

Including Ernesta herself, the whole party was finally united.

This Hero’s Party might be fragile and considerably smaller in numbers compared to the past, especially in these times of dwindling resources.

However, Ernesta strangely felt the same level of comfort with this party as she did with the Hero’s Party she had previously belonged to.

She could confidently declare that this party was strong.

“Alright, let’s proceed to the current Hero’s Party’s first real battle. Everyone, listen up! I have a secret plan. The key is you, Blade-boy!”

“Huh? Me?”

With a sly grin, Ernesta conveys the outline of the plan to everyone.

Finally functioning as a 『party』, their first joint operation begins.

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