HWTR – Chapter 15 – Departure


What would have been the ideal start to a day? Would it have been having hope as you emerged from the depths of sleep? Or perhaps it was the moment you enthusiastically declared, “Today will be a great day!” as you rose from bed.

My day began with rubbing my bleary eyes.

Haa… I exhaled heavily as faint sunlight seeped through the curtains. Maybe it would have been a better start if I had no plans at all. But today was the investigation of Dungeon X. Great.

I rose from the bed and pulled the curtains aside. Then I opened the window. …I liked the morning sun because it was clear and gave off a special feeling. I also liked the morning breeze for the same reason.

I yawned deeply, tears forming in my eyes. Slowly, I got up on my feet. And by late morning, I must have had my mind sharp as a tack.

I checked if there were any message birds waiting. Perhaps my companions had returned, or Mamiya-san had found any information regarding the “Devils”. Unfortunately, not a single message bird was awaiting me. Well, that was fine then.

I decided to have a light meal in the morning. I took out three fruits from the fridge, blended them with water in a mixer, and gulped them down. After a light nutrient intake, I changed my clothes and took a stroll around the neighborhood, making sure to soak up as much sunlight as possible to energize my brain.

Once back home, I took a quick shower and then indulged in a bit of laziness. This time was blissful. There was rarely a moment where I truly appreciated just lazing around like this. However, I didn’t just lie around playing games or watching videos or streams. I simply lazed around without taxing my brain.

It was crucial to conserve energy without exerting my brain too much. At least, it was important in my adventurous life. After all, there will definitely be moments when brainpower is needed. Though, I hoped they wouldn’t come today.

I checked the time and got up. After taking a second shower and tidying up my appearance, I had a proper meal. It was a balanced diet, considering nutrition. Vegetables, meat, and rice were included, along with dairy products like cheese and eggs. Finally, I topped it off with fruits and sweet treats for dessert. Perfect.

After brushing my teeth, I went up to my room on the second floor. I checked one last time if any message birds had flown in. Unfortunately, the result was disappointing. Well, at that point, I decided to give up. Giving up was something I was good at, after all.

I took out a disguise robe from the closet and put it on. As usual, the robe was enchanted with a spell to conceal my presence. After making sure everything was locked up, I left the house.

I headed towards the commercial district located to the east of the royal capital.

As I walked, I checked my condition. But there were no issues. My health was perfect. My brain might not have been fully awake yet, but it would start functioning smoothly soon.

As for emotions… There’s no fear. Just a faint sense of tension. Even if I’m a bit rotten, I’m still a hero. I’ve overcome countless crises. So, there’s no reason for me to be scared of the unknown at this point. It’s just troublesome at this point.

At the gathering place, a suspicious group clad in black robes had gathered.

I couldn’t help but think it was a bit too obvious, but I refrained from saying anything and instead counted the number of people. Yeah, it seemed like everyone was present, even though it was a few minutes before the meeting time. They’re all so serious. Alright.

I raised my hand to the two leaders of the black-robed group. First was the leader of the magic party [Last Puzzle], Pupumuru-chan, with her short pink hair swaying in the wind. She’s a B-rank hero.

Next was Hoodie-kun, the leader of the well-rounded party [Double Stardust] with his short, spiked blue hair like the dawn sky. He’s also a B-rank hero.

The two of them were in positions as if they were deliberately avoiding each other, not engaging in any conversation. Upon closer inspection, it seemed that the two joint parties were also not conversing with each other. Since you’re a joint party, you should at least talk to each other… is what I thought, but I kept it to myself. I knew that my words could cause trouble.

So, I made an effort to cheerfully speak up.

“Good morning! …No, maybe ‘good afternoon’ is more appropriate? Even though it’s still before the designated time, everyone’s so punctual and impressive! Unlike the [First Family], where being late is practically the norm. I’m really impressed.” (Saburo)

“Oh, uh, good afternoon kamodesu1! …Um, so, when should we head off, Saburo-san? Everyone seems to be ready for departure, at least.” (Pupumuru)

Despite Pupumuru-chan’s hesitant inquiry, it wasn’t me who answered. It was Hoodie-kun, who had likely been strategizing with [Double Stardust] until then, who turned around and spoke.

“Five minutes from now. Don’t make me repeat myself. I’m the leader. If you have questions, ask me.” (Hoodie)

“…I don’t understand why you’re acting so high and mighty.” (Pupumuru)

“Because I’m the leader.” (Hoodie)

Hoodie-kun replied with a snort. 

“…Is that how it is?” (Pupumuru)

Pupumuru-chan’s murmured question seemed to dissolve into thin air. And I couldn’t answer. Because it depends on the party.

I’ve traveled through various countries in the course of my adventures. And I’ve encountered all sorts of parties. Among them were many one-man parties where the leader was absolute. There were also parties where the leader truly behaved like a king, and they were incredibly skilled. So, I don’t know. What is right and what is wrong?

If it’s working out well, then that’s fine.

“Saburo-san.” (Hoodie)

His face was already tense. It was the face of a warrior before heading into battle. Quite an appropriate demeanor for what’s to come. I nodded in response, and Hoodie-kun continued.

“As we discussed yesterday, I’d like to ask you a favor. I want you to follow behind. Basically, don’t interfere. Of course, you’ll follow my instructions…” (Hoodie)

“Yeah, that’s fine, that’s fine. I’m just a third-party. I’ll adapt to the movements accordingly. I’ll follow your orders too.” (Saburo)

“Sorry. I appreciate it. …Well then, three minutes left before we depart. Make sure you’re ready!” (Hoodie)

Only the members of [Double Stardust] reacted to Hoodie-kun’s voice. Neither Pupumuru-chan nor the members of [Last Puzzle] responded. However, they seemed to have the intention to follow the instructions given. Each of them proceeded with their preparations for departure.

As for my belongings, I only had my usual survival pouch and a backpack. Inside were various tools useful for survival. …Survival. They weren’t tools for fighting but tools for staying alive.

I waited for the departure time leisurely while gazing at the blue sky.

Soon, Hoodie-kun’s energetic voice resounded.

“――From here, we’re heading to the [Toto Dungeon] in the [Yoimai Forest] for investigation. Our first objective is to identify the cause of the abnormality known as ‘high-density mana eruption.’ …Our second objective is for everyone to return safely. Let’s go.” (Hoodie)


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

I’m pretty sure MC’s goal is to just survive until [First Family] arrives and let them carry the mission. I can only imagine the number of things that will go wrong in this mission.


Footnote:

  1. So I never mentioned this before, but Pupumuru ends most of her sentences with “kamodesu”, which means ‘maybe’ or ‘perhaps’. I don’t really know how to add it in without sounding weird so I just left it as it is.
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