The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 96

𝐌𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝

“Ruberto-san. . . . . . .”

After defeating Fezard, I searched for Ruberto-san, who had been blown away by that guy’s attack.

I found Ruberto-san right away.

However, he was in a state I hadn’t wished for.

“So you’ve won, boy. . . . . ..”

Ruberto-san, who spoke as if murmuring in a weak voice. . . . . .had lost his lower body.

Presumably, he was obliterated protecting me from Fezard’s attack.

Even the highest-grade Recovery potion, or even the touch of the top-tier healer Rin, can’t heal this kind of damage.

It was a fatal injury.

“Heh, don’t make that face. I told you, old soldiers become the nourishment for the young. It’s fine like this.”

Looking at me, who must have been showing a pretty miserable face, Ruberto-san gave a troubled smile.

Despite standing on the brink of death, he smiled quite peacefully.

“I’ve avenged my son and daughter-in-law. I’ve managed to connect your young life to the future.

I’m satisfied.

As the death of a pathetic man who couldn’t protect his son and daughter-in-law, the previous Hero-sama, and even let my grandson die, there’s nothing more fitting.”

“Ruberto-san. . . . . .”

“Go on, boy. No, 『Sword Demon』 Allan.”

Said Ruberto-san.

With a weakened voice, but clearly, and with strong resolve, Ruberto-san said, “Go.”

“Hero-sama is still fighting this very moment. You don’t have a second to spare.

Move forward, using my corpse as a stepping stone. Aim for a world without the threat of the Demon King, aim for a happy ending.

And make sure you seize it.

Do not let my death, or the deaths of many other brave warriors, be in vain.”

“. . . . . .Yes!!”

I answered Ruberto-san’s words with all my might.

I will not let it be in vain.

How could I let the death of this respectable man, a great hero who has protected many people since the era of the previous Demon King, be for nothing!

I will defeat the Demon King with this life that Ruberto-san protected.

I will protect Stella and seize a happy ending.

This is how I’ll repay my debt to Ruberto-san.

“Ruberto-san. . . . . .Thank you!!”

“No need. . . . . .for thanks. . . . . . . Tell Blade. . . . . .I’ve left the rest to him. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

“Yes!”

After expressing my deepest gratitude and taking his last words, I looked forward.

Dragging my battered body, I aimed for Stella.

Damn it!

My right arm and left leg won’t move.

Every other part of me is battered too.

Finding an uninjured spot would be more challenging.

However, even in this severely wounded state, with the power I have now that has returned to its peak, I should be able to help Stella.

If I find a healer along the way, or get some Recovery potion, even better.

There’s hope.

So move forward, even if you have to crawl!

“Ah. . . . . . !”

However, my body didn’t follow the commands of my spirit.

The damage left by Fezard was worse than I thought.

I almost collapsed and. . . . . . was supported by someone midway.

“You don’t look okay, boy.”

“Doug-san. . . . . .”

The person there was 『Hero of the Sword』 Doug・Byte-san.

Come to think of it, he was also there when I encountered Fezard.

After being blown away and losing consciousness from hitting my groin, he had flown off somewhere.

It seems we’re all right after all.

Although slightly bow-legged, there are no major injuries to be seen.

What a relief.

“Shamefully, I’ve just regained consciousness from fainting.

To think that all of this happened while I was out. . . . . !.”

Doug-san clenches his teeth in frustration.

His gaze turns toward Ruberto-san, his expression now on the verge of tears.

He reacts as if he’s lost a beloved master, like a dog would.

It just goes to show how much Doug-san respects Ruberto-san.

“Doug.”

“Huh!”

“Please, look after him.”

“Understood!”

The final conversation between the two was just a brief exchange.

But that was enough.

As knights who live for battle, they must have prepared for this outcome.

Ruberto-san relaxed, relieved, while Doug-san, his face a mess of tears and snot, looked forward, carrying me, and began to run.

Ruberto-san’s figure grew increasingly distant.

“Don’t look back, boy!”

“!”

I had inadvertently looked back at Ruberto-san, and Doug-san sharply rebuked me with a tear-choked voice.

“Ruberto-sama has fulfilled his mission! Now, we must do what we have to do!

Your job is to rest as much as you can, and be in the best possible shape to assist Hero-sama!

There’s no time for looking back!”

With that, Doug-san reached into his waist bag, pulled out several Recovery potions, and placed them in my left hand.

“Drink! After that, move as little as possible! Even the energy to turn your head should be saved!

That would be the best tribute to Ruberto-sama!”

“. . . . . .Understood.”

I simply said that much and drained the Recovery potion.

Without speaking another word, I used that energy to regulate my breathing.

I thought that would be what Ruberto-san would want.

“Target spotted~!”

“Where do you think you’re going with that baggage!”

Enemies ahead.

Two demons.

One is a portly demon that looks like a pig, and the other has the upper body of a human wielding a spear with the lower body of a snake.

Both seem to be on par with Doug-san in terms of strength.

“Out of my way! Move it!!”

Doug-san bravely engaged the two demons.

Carrying me on his back and bow-legged, he faced off against two enemies of equal strength without retreating a step.

He dodged the pig demon’s charge and parried the snake demon’s spear.

Being mindful not to let any vibrations reach me on his back, Doug-san fought the two demons with the utmost caution.

“Doug-san. . . . . .”

“Be quiet! If you get more worn out, we’re going to lose either way!”

“Guh. . . . . .!”

I forcibly swallowed my frustration.

Doug-san is right.

Although the Recovery potion has helped a bit, my right arm and left leg are severely injured and still immobile.

I’m also almost out of energy.

Even if I manage to move with sheer willpower, I only have enough for one more battle.

I must save that for the fight against the Demon King.

I have no choice but to leave this to Doug-san!

“Ooooooooo!!”

“Wha━ You. . . . . .Gah?!”

Doug-san seized the spear of the snake demon with his left hand and smashed its head with his right, taking it down.

As a result, Doug-san’s left hand, which had grabbed the blade, was covered in blood, and he lost his balance, taking a punch to the groin from the pig demon.

Adding insult to injury?!

I can’t even begin to imagine how excruciating the pain must be. . . . . .

“Hauh?! Woaaaaaah!!”

“Buh?!”

Yet, even while taking a punch to the groin, Doug-san mustered his willpower and retaliated, piercing the pig demon’s brain through its eye with a single jab from his right hand.

The pig demon convulsed as it collapsed.

It was Doug-san’s victory.

“Haa. . . . . .Haa. . . . . .Ugh?!”

However, despite the win, Doug-san was battered.

He quickly took out a Recovery potion and drank it, but the potion wasn’t enough to heal all the damage.

Still, Doug-san didn’t stop moving.

He moved forward with his beaten body.

Every time he encountered demons, he protected me while sustaining injuries himself.

I couldn’t say anything.

I couldn’t undermine Doug-san’s resolve.

All I could do was honor that resolve.

Just as he said, I remained still, conserving my energy for the battle with the Demon King.

“Damn it!”

But fate was against us.

A large number of demons appeared ahead.

Their numbers were over twenty.

Several fallen warriors lay nearby.

Demons, who usually don’t flock together, had amassed in such numbers probably to confront them.

Moreover, worst of all, one among them was a high-ranking demon.

A hulking demon with a black body and two horns protruding from its forehead, resembling an ogre.

It was nearly on par with the Old Witch Demon, even when including her zombie minions.

Much stronger than a regular demon.

Clearly a higher rank than Doug-san.

“Boy, have you recovered enough to run?”

Even facing such foes, Doug-san didn’t show a hint of hesitation.

“I will draw all of them away. While I’m doing that, you run and go ahead.”

Doug-san was prepared to sacrifice himself.

He was ready to give up his life just to preserve my energy.

“But. . . . . .”

“Don’t argue. Use all your energy to assist Hero-sama.”

In silence, yet with powerful words, one can be persuaded, leaving nothing to say.

“Alright, let’s complete our final task.

『Hero of the Sword』 Doug・Byte! Let’s go!”

After setting me down from his back, Doug-san charged into his final battle, grinning at the demons who were overwhelming him with their sheer power.

I can’t let his resolve go to waste.

I activated the storm leg armor on my remaining right leg and tried to slip through the path Doug-san was cutting open. . . . . .

“『Judgment of all Attributes』!”

I stopped when I saw a powerful spell flying from the side of the demons.

A blinding light, a mixture of seven-colored magic, engulfed the demons.

As a result, all of them were annihilated, except for a high-ranking demon who used his comrades as a shield.

The demon also sustained serious injuries.

“Y, You bastard━━!”

The demons seethed with anger as they glared in the direction from which the magic came.

What stood there was not the familiar, youthful-looking Great Sage. . . . . . It was someone else.

A handsome man with the same silver hair as the Great Sage I knew.

It was Eltrait Yggdrasil, the current chief of the Elves.

“Ta-da!”

In addition to Eltrait-san, another familiar face appeared.

A middle-aged woman carrying the magical hammer 『Mjolnir』, crafted by the world’s greatest artisan.

She was Imina-san, the granddaughter of the Dwarf chief and the 『Hammer Saint』.

“『Thunder Hammer』!”

“Guhaaaaaa?!”

With one strike from Imina-san, the Holy Warrior, the last surviving demon was also crushed.

Doug-san came back, his face an indescribable expression, as though his resolve had been in vain.

Along with Doug-san, the two also ran toward me.

“Allan-kun, Doug-sama, glad you’re safe.”

“Safe? They both look pretty beat up!”

Imina-san hurriedly panicked, while the composed Eltrait-san cast Healing Magic on the two of us.

“. . . . . .The injuries are severe. It will take time to heal Allan-kun, even partially, as healing is not my main profession.”

“What kind of monster did you fight to get this beat up, Allan?!”

Imina-san exclaimed.

What kind of monster, indeed.

“We fell behind the last of the Four Heavenly Kings. He was undoubtedly the strongest among them.”

“The strongest of the Four Heavenly Kings. . . . . . Allan, you’ve done well.”

Imina-san patted my head.

Her touch reminded me of the kindness of a mother.

“Alright! From here on, I’ll be the vanguard!

Doug-san, carry Allan on your back and Eltrait-san, continue the healing!”

“U, Understood!”

“That seems like a good idea.”

The three of them moved swiftly.

Doug-san carried me again and started running, Eltrait-san ran alongside us, continuously casting Healing Magic, and Imina-san went ahead to engage the demons.

Suddenly, everything felt more stable.

“. . . . . .Thank you, all three of you. You’ve made me feel incredibly reassured.”

“No big deal! We’re just returning the favor for protecting our village!”

“I feel the same way. I need no reason to help you, who is both a benefactor and a comrade.”

“Don’t get me wrong! I’m just carrying on the legacy of Ruberto-sama!”

Three different responses.

But what remains unchanged is that all of them are my benefactors who have come to my aid.

. . . . . .Fezard.

If there was a difference between you and me, it was the difference in our comrades.

That’s about the only difference that existed between us.

And it was a gap that your efforts couldn’t bridge, no matter what.

There are hardly any decent beings among the demons.

Almost none who genuinely care about their comrades.

I was more fortunate than you.

That’s all there was to it.

Savoring my own good fortune,

At the same time, feeling an indescribable sadness for what must have been your challenging circumstances,

I moved forward, supported by the three.

The signs of the battle between the hero and the Demon King are near.

Wait for me, Stella.

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