HWTR – Chapter 9 – The True Feelings of a Leader

Let’s take a closer look at myself here.

I was lazy. I’m a sloth. There are times when I fulfill my duty as a hero because it’s my job, especially in the past year or two.

I work hard because it’s my job. I work hard because it’s my role and that’s how it is.

But right now, my personality has nothing to do with my reluctance to be included in the Dungeon X investigation team. Mamiya-san might have thought I was being selfish. Those from [Last Puzzle] and [Double Stardust] might have thought I disliked getting dragged into trouble.

But that’s not it.

I believe that having a foreign third party inserted into a perfected party is definitely a disadvantage. This is from experience. …In other words, similar situations occurred many times within the [First Family]. Actually…

There was even a time when the Second Knight Commander of the [Terian Empire] joined [First Family] momentarily. But that’s a memory I don’t really want to remember. So, I choose not to reminisce.

Now then.

Just following me from behind was Pupumuru-chan and Hoodie-kun. After being convinced to participate, I decided to take them out of the Adventurers’ Association building for the time being. All three of us stand out too much in the [Royal Capital, Miracle], so we’re disguised in black robes.

You might think that it would make us look more suspicious, but the robes themselves are enchanted with concealment magic so it would be difficult for ordinary people to notice us.

“So, where are we headed?” (Hoodie)

In response to the voice murmured from behind, I turned around. It was Hoodie-kun who had spoken. Pupumuru-chan was standing a little behind him. The emotions seeping through their expressions seemed to be at opposite ends, as expected.

Hoodie-kun looked suspicious of me, while Pupumuru-chan seemed compliant.

…I am personally opposed to the idea of inserting myself into this investigation, but this joint party might run into issues during the investigation since the natures of their leaders are so different.

“It’s something like a hideout-like shop. Perfect for having secret discussions with the three of us.” (Saburo)

“Couldn’t we have just used the association’s room for that?” (Hoodie)

“At the association, Mamiya-san’s eyes are always on us. Plus, she’s got super sharp ears.” (Saburo)

“…Yeah, I kinda get that. So, this is something you can’t tell Mamiya-san?” (Hoodie)

“It’s not that I can’t tell her. I just want to talk about my stance without being interrupted because I know she’s definitely going to comment on everything I say.” (Saburo)

“What are you planning to talk about then?” (Hoodie)

“We’ll discuss it once we’re at the shop… By the way, Hoodie-kun.” (Saburo)

“What?” (Hoodie)

“Why are you so insistent on being the leader of the joint party?” (Saburo)

I asked out of curiosity. The reason I was curious was simple: our ways of thinking are completely different.

It’s been over five years since the [First Family] was formed, and we’ve formed joint parties a total of eight times. Shockingly, out of those eight times, I’ve never been the leader. I’ve always left everything to the other leaders in every joint party mission.

I looked at Hoodie-kun.

He tilted his head slightly, similar to Razuri’s gesture back in middle school. Razuri often tilted her head during magic class while looking at her classmates. Her expression spoke volumes, saying, “Huh? Why can’t you even perform such a simple spell?”

Indeed, Hoodie-kun’s expression was similar.

“The most competent person should take command as the leader. Isn’t that obvious?” (Hoodie)

“…I see, that makes sense.” (Saburo)

“Of course, Saburo-san. I acknowledge you. After all, you hold the record for the youngest and fastest person to pass the [Hero’s Trial].” (Hoodie)

“Well, you can’t always rely on records to tell the story.” (Saburo)

“Well, you’re also S-class so I know you’re amazing.” (Hoodie)

“I’m not amazing. It’s just that my comrades are.” (Saburo)

“But I would say that my strength lies in leadership. When I’m in charge, everyone can go beyond what they are capable of.” (Hoodie)

—In charge.

There was absolute confidence in those eyes. It wasn’t baseless confidence. It was the confidence of someone who truly believed in their abilities. In other words, it was confidence built through experience. I see. That explains why Hoodie-kun looks so arrogantly confident. He must be really talented. His future is promising, indeed. Well, he was chosen by Mamiya-san so that’s obvious.

However, for a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of Pupumuru-chan’s expression clouding. Just for a moment. But since noticing these things is a specialty of mine, it couldn’t have been my imagination.

Nevertheless, I pretended not to notice and abruptly ended the conversation. We just kept walking. We passed through the main street of the [Royal Capital, Miracle], and left the crowds behind. We navigated through deserted alleyways and beyond them lay a place that could be called the kingdom’s underworld, permeated with the smell of violence.

And there’s the shop I often visit.

—A shop run by my former stalker.

In front of what appeared to be an abandoned house, there’s a lackluster signboard just before the door. Only three letters: BAR. Truly lacking in enthusiasm. And if you casually open the door, you’ll find an empty shop inside. Well, it is something of a hidden gem known only to a few. Occasionally, there are people there.

Behind the counter stands a woman whose long bangs cover her eyes, giving her a mysterious air. Her dark atmosphere matches her dark gray hair. I heard a small, frightened squeal from Pupumuru-chan behind me, but I quite liked this mysterious air.

My former stalker—Lamp-chan—smiles when she sees me. 

“Welcome, Saburo-san.” (Lamp-chan)

“Hello, Lamp-chan.” (Saburo)

“What can I do for you today?” (Lamp-chan)

“I wanted to rent out the shop for a bit. Is that alright?” (Saburo)

“Of course!” (Lamp-chan)

I obediently rely on Lamp-chan’s approval, and then I gesture towards a table in the corner of the shop for Hoodie-kun and Pupumuru-chan.

“Well then, shall we start our strategic meeting?” (Saburo)

TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Um, excuse me MC, I would like to know more about what happened between you and Lamp-chan. 

The author really just introduced a character, called her a stalker, and ended the chapter without any other context. Well, maybe the author will explain the next chapter, but the author seems to like to wait before telling the full story.

I’m not saying that it’s bad, but I hope the author doesn’t forget to tell the story.


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