HWTR – Chapter 7 – The Impromptu Party


“If it’s you, you can fulfill the role of a hero even in parties other than [First Family].” (Mamiya)

Huh. What on earth is this glasses-wearing beauty saying? Hmm? A party other than [First Family]? What is she talking about?

While I was confused, Mamiya-san got up from the sofa opposite me. If I don’t speak up here, I’ll be left behind—that’s what my intuition told me. So, I hurriedly speak.

“Um, Mamiya-san. I can’t quite grasp what you’re saying. What exactly do you mean by that?” (Saburo)

“I’m saying that I trust Saburo-san above all else. I believe that you, no matter the situation, can act as a hero.” (Mamiya)

“No, no, that’s an exaggeration. I can only be a hero because I’m part of [First Family].” (Saburo)

“There’s no time for debate. Excuse me.” (Mamiya)

My words are casually brushed aside. All I can do is foolishly freeze up.

In the meantime, Mamiya-san swiftly leaves the room, leaving me all alone. I don’t even have the composure to finish the remaining tea.

…What? What’s going on? What did I just get dragged into? What’s going to happen? What does Mamiya-san intend to do with me? The role of a hero? In parties other than the 【First Family】? Does that mean…?

I feel like I already know the answer. But I don’t even want to face the reality of it. So, as if escaping from reality, I pull the binder left on the desk closer to me. And I start reading through the documents it contains.

Inside were documents that Mamiya-san probably discovered by touring the libraries throughout the kingdom. Specifically, they detailed what happened in a dungeon at the northern end of [Roland Continent] 120 years ago.

However, all the information was exactly what we had just discussed. The contents state nothing more than “The exploration team of Dungeon X went missing, and a month later, a war with the demon race broke out, and it originated from a village on [Roland Continent].”

What could be the connection between the war and Dungeon X? It’s possible there is one. But it could also be just a coincidence.

“Now then. What should I do?” (Saburo)

I mutter to myself, perhaps because I’ve always had a habit of talking to myself. Or perhaps it’s because I’m burdened with tension and anxiety.

It would be reassuring to have my companions at times like this, and having my friends around would bring me peace of mind. In other words, it means that [First Family] is the best party for me. After all, they are both my companions and friends.

The most surprising thing I found when I started my journey as an adventurer was how flexible parties can be. In other words, it seems quite rare and unusual for a party to stay together with exactly the same members for five years, like us. Generally, it’s natural for one or two members to change within a year.

Why does that happen? Well, it’s probably because of the differences in growth rates among individuals. After a year, those who have improved in strength will part ways with those who haven’t. The ones who have improved will be scouted by other parties, while the ones who haven’t will be let go.

Considering this, it’s surprising that everyone in [First Family] (except me) has grown equally. And it’s even more surprising that they’ve all reached Class A within the past five years.

By the way, there’s a reason why I’m S-rank. It’s one of the benefits or rather the uniqueness of being a “hero”. It’s also part of a tradition that has been in place since 120 years ago.

“I want to run away, but I can’t, huh.” (Saburo)

120 years ago, there was a war with the demon race, and the entity behind that war was a being called the Demon King. The adventurers who sealed away this formidable opponent were called “heroes”, which is how the profession of being a hero came about.

Isn’t it somewhat presumptuous1 for an ordinary person like me to call myself a hero? Even I feel embarrassed about it. Yeah. I can’t help but feel sorry for my past self that I ended up like this. As I was pondering about this…

—There’s a knock on the door.

Since I’ve heard the sound once before, I know whose knock it is. And I understand the general flow of what’s to come. So, I remain motionless on the sofa, turning into stone without reacting.

But reality always walks in from the other side. Even without a response, the door opens. And as expected, it’s Pencil-san. Her red-haired dog ears were twitching. I wonder what emotions lie behind those movements. I feel like asking, but I refrain from saying unnecessary things.

“I don’t need a refill of tea.” (Saburo)

“Huh? Oh, um, it’s not about the tea refill, it’s just, um, I want to take you downstairs.” (Pencil)

“I don’t want to.” (Saburo)

“Huh!?” (Pencil)

“Seems like you don’t know, Pencil-san. I’m actually quite lazy. When I don’t want to move, I don’t. That’s my creed. And right now, I don’t want to move. So I won’t go downstairs. I won’t work as a hero. It’s a shame.” (Saburo)

“But, um, Mamiya-san passed on a message… Um, if Saburo-sama doesn’t come, she’ll contact the vice president off-duty.” (Pencil)

“I guess there’s no helping it. Shall we move then?” (Saburo)

The vice president of the Adventurer’s Association. I recall his irritatingly handsome face and his refreshing smile. Then I remember his relentless chatter that’s enough to make anyone annoyed. 

Haa. But what’s the point of being off duty if you’re just going to get called back? That guy… No.

Knowing Mamiya-san, she probably didn’t actually intend to call him back because she knew it would be troublesome.

I give up and get off the soda. Then, like a playback in reverse when I was escorted into the room, I was led by Pencil-san back to the first floor of the Adventurer’s Association.

—Accepting adventure requests. Handing over rewards. Dining hall. Tavern. And a multipurpose space for recruiting parties.

Looking around again, the Adventurer’s Association is spacious and bustling with people. It seems chaotic and lively, as usual. Although many eyes turn towards me as I descend from the second floor, no one continues to stare for too long.

“—Oh, Saburo was here? Well, that’s a relief.” (Adventurer)

“So, I guess it’s true that heroes rush to places where they are needed.” (Adventurer)

“I might not be a hero, but I need to step up my game too. I can’t fall behind.” (Adventurer)

“I wonder what’s the difficulty level of the [Trial of the Hero] now.” (Adventurer)

“The guy who attempted it a month ago apparently came back as a corpse.” (Adventurer)

“Guess it’s not something to dream about, huh? Ordinary folks should stay ordinary.” (Adventurer)

“Anyways, where should we go for our next adventure?” (Adventurer)

As the surrounding conversations flow into me, I follow Pencil-san’s towards the multipurpose space at the edge of the association.

Mamiya-san was standing at the back of the multipurpose space.

And near her, there were about eight people gathered.

I cast my gaze over them. …Young and old, men and women. There are even beastkins among them. Are they all adventurers? They seem to be quite skilled. If I observe them a bit more carefully, I might be able to gauge their exact abilities. But if I look too intently, Mamiya-san might scold me for being intimidating.

In fact, there have been times in the past when I’ve frightened or even made people cry by looking at them too closely. Since then, I’ve resolved not to stare excessively at others.

“Ah, Saburo-san, you’re here. Allow me to introduce you. These are the members of the adventurer parties, [Double Stardust] and [Last Puzzle].” (Mamiya)

“…Hold on a second. What exactly is going on here?” (Saburo)

“Hmm? You understand, don’t you, Saburo-san? Since [First Family] isn’t here, we have no choice but to form an investigation team from other parties.” (Mamiya)

“I get that part. But I don’t understand why you’re introducing me to them.” (Saburo)

“You’re lying again, Saburo-san. You haven’t changed since the old days.” (Mamiya)

Mamiya-san’s teasing tone had a strange allure to it. And while I felt my heart skip a beat for a moment, Mamiya-san continued without care.

“You’ll be the leader of the investigation team, Saburo-san. And you’ll lead both [Double Stardust] and [Last Puzzle] parties. Rest assured. I can vouch for their abilities.” (Mamiya)


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Are we just gonna ignore that she assembled the team in like 5 mins? In the short time that MC was thinking, she already got the substitutes ready.

Here’s something random. [Last Puzzle] in Japanese raw is [虹色の定理(ラスト・パズル)] with the bracket being the furigana (characters above the word to define pronunciation). Without the furigana, it would be read as [Rainbow Theorem], which I think is a way cooler team name than [Last Puzzle]. A bit disappointed that they weren’t called [Rainbow Theorem].


Footnote:

  1. Presumptuous means failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.
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