HWTR – Chapter 2 – I Was a Lucky Fool


“Hmm… So, Sabu-senpai, you were a dumb kid in the past?” (Dark-chan)

Dark-chan said as she plunged the empty mug into the barrel. Then she energetically scooped up the ale. 

*Gulp Gulp Gulp*

It was strangely fitting for Dark-chan to gulp down while making a throaty noise. She had always been a wild girl since her younger days.

“Yeah, that’s right. I don’t really blame my past self, but I was definitely a dumb kid who couldn’t objectively view myself.” (Saburo)

“Well, it’s okay not to be able to see yourself objectively as a kid, since only geniuses can do that. Most kids are like that, or rather, they have baseless confidence in themselves. Some adults too, even.” (Dark-chan)

Dark-chan’s words were filled with kindness. But all I could do was return a wry smile. Of course, it wasn’t a wry smile directed at Dark-chan’s consolation. It was a wry smile directed at my childhood—a genius did exist. It was frustrating.

The first misunderstanding would probably start from when I met my childhood friend, Spica.

With her bluish hair, Spica’s distinctive feature was her long hair that resembled the wet feathers of a crow. And she was popular regardless of gender because of her good looks. Rumors of her being a prodigy had circulated even among adults before she entered elementary school.

My parents were frivolous1 people. So, they had the advantage and disadvantage of not changing their attitude even if the other party was a noble. And as expected, they also interacted the same way with Spica’s well-off parents.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we lived in the house opposite Spica’s, and on top of that, Spica and I are close in age—meaning we became childhood friends.

In other words, it was inevitable that Spica and I would become close.

“Oh, Spica-san. I’m familiar with her. Well, it might be rare to not know her in the kingdom.” (Dark-chan)

“Yeah, she’s unquestionably a genius—or rather, a prodigy.” (Saburo)

“So, she’s been amazing since she was a kid. That’s news to me. You two were childhood friends, right?” (Dark-chan)

“Yeah. We were childhood friends. Or rather, we might have crossed the boundary of just being childhood friends.” (Saburo)

Spica and I had been close ever since I could remember. Too close, perhaps. We were always together up to a point where it was no different from being family. While I had both older and younger siblings, Spica was an only child.

Perhaps she felt lonely, as it was only a matter of time before Spica started to think of me as either an older brother or a younger brother. Well, it’s unclear who’s the older or younger sibling in our relationship. Anyways, the girl named Spica became just as close to me as my family.

And so, I want you to imagine.

Living a life where you’re constantly with a genius, a genius that you wouldn’t find even a hundred of in the world.

…Perhaps for some, that would be a difficult environment. There might even be alternate realities where people become twisted with envy, thinking, “Why can they do this and I can’t?” 

But I was just a dumb kid.

So whenever Spica reassured me with words like, “It’s okay, Saburo-kun. You can do it too. You have talent, Saburo-kun! You’re even better than me, Saburo-kun!” I took it as truth rather than mere flattery. I have an incredible talent! I’m just as much of a genius as Spica! Or so I thought. In the end, I kept deluding myself more and more.

“Hmm… well, I suppose that’s how it is for kids, isn’t it? That’s what I think, anyways. Well, Dark-chan has a reputation for being kind to children so maybe you shouldn’t ask me for thoughts on the situation.” (Dark-chan)

“Well, Dark-chan does indeed seem kind to children.” (Saburo)

“Hmph. You don’t have to praise me all of a sudden.” (Dark-chan)

“Anyway, there are various lines for what constitutes childhood, don’t you think? What age do you think is the cutoff?” (Saburo)

“Well, no matter how you estimate it, isn’t it around fourteen? That’s about the age when you enter high school.” (Dark-chan)

“I see.” (Saburo)

Those days of piling misconception upon misconception. Saburo, the boy who had deluded himself into thinking he was special, would eventually make a promise with Spica in a park at dusk.

“(Hey, Spica. When I grow up, I want to be a hero! I saw it in a picture book, a hero!)” (Saburo)

“(A hero? Yeah! I think it suits you perfectly, Saburo-kun!)” (Spica)

“(What about you, Spica?)” (Saburo)

“(Me? …Then, I’ll become Saburo-kun’s companion!)” (Spica)

“(A companion?)” (Saburo)

“(Yeah! You’re first companion! I’ll go on adventures together with Saburo-kun! …Is that okay?)” (Spica)

“(Of course! Alright. Follow me!)” (Saburo)

And so it went.

“Wow, that’s heartwarming, isn’t it?” (Dark-chan)

“Well, yeah. We’re still at the age before elementary school, after all.” (Saburo)

“You really don’t have to be so self-deprecating about misunderstanding your own talent back then.” (Dark-chan)

“Yeah, I get it. Dark-chan is kind, after all.” (Saburo)

Now then.

After that, I entered elementary school in the royal capital with Spica.  The elementary school system consisted of education for five years. From six to ten years old, it’s mandatory for citizens to receive education.

And the problem arose when I advanced to third grade—where I encountered Dragon.

Dragon. Not as in the legendary creature, but a human. This Dragon was of a different kind. Incredibly violent and ruthless. If you got into a fight with him, he’d escalate it a hundredfold. Even when he was just a kid, if he got angry, he’d throw punches at even adults. And with an indomitable fighting spirit, he’d never back down. He was nicknamed, “Dragon” for his ferocity.

That’s right.

I ended up befriending the notorious troublemaker known as Dragon. And somehow, Dragon even acknowledged me, further fueling my misunderstanding of having talent.

Furthermore, in middle school, I met Razuri, who had been scouted by the First Division of the [Kingdom’s Magic Corps] at the age of eleven for her talent in mastering numerous spells and magic since childhood. …Razuri was another one who fueled my misunderstanding.

Furthermore, in high school, I became friends with Shirayuki, who had graduated early and had the ability to perfectly copy any martial arts or technical skill she saw just once. And, as usual… well, you know the drill by now.

“Shirayuki-san, huh. I’ve never met her since she graduated early.” (Dark-chan)

“That’s a shame. If you met her, Dark-chan might fall for her too. She’s nicknamed the Prince, after all.” (Saburo)

“What do you mean ‘fall for her’… Anyways, Senpai, you’re seriously guided by some extraordinary luck. Normally, you wouldn’t just casually encounter geniuses like that, let alone become friends with them.” (Dark-chan)

“I told you, didn’t I? I’m lucky.” (Saburo)

“It’s like you’re blessed by the gods.” (Dark-chan)

“Am I really though? Sometimes I feel like I’m hated by them.” (Saburo)

And thus, in my delusion of having talent at the time, I made a mistake. That mistake was recruitment—I approached not only Spica, but also Dragon, Razuri, and Shirayuki, saying, “I’m going to become a hero, so let’s form a party together!”

That became a reality when I turned eighteen.

By the way, after graduating from high school at seventeen and working in society for a year, all my delusions were dispelled by the magic of labor. Ah. I’m not special after all! I’m just an ordinary person! So let’s work normally, earn normally, and live happily normally!

So when I reunited with them after a year of training and they all became B-rank adventurers, I was completely surprised. And at the same time, utterly perplexed.

But in the end, I couldn’t bring myself to say it. I couldn’t tell them that I wanted to stop after seeing them go this far. It was just a dumb misunderstanding from my childhood… That’s what I keep telling myself.

As a result, everything led to where I am now.


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Imagine spending a year preparing for a competition only for your coach to tell you that you’re not actually participating in the competition. Well, since they’re geniuses, I’m sure it isn’t that level of bad, but Dragon might go on a rampage.

FYI, no idea if the MC is actually strong or not.


Footnote:

  1. Frivolous means not having any serious purpose or value.
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