A few days after leaving the battlefield.
We had arrived in the capital of Grayfield, and were visiting the palace.
Seated on the throne is the King of Grayfield.
He is still young, in his forties, and his eyes are full of power.
"...Is it true what you say? Has the hero betrayed us?"
"I saw it with my own eyes. Sain, the hero, was taken by the demon king to the Dark Kingdom."
"The person who was supposed to defeat the Demon King has betrayed us!? This is terrible!"
The king pounded his fist on the armrest.
There was a heavy air in the courtroom.
To my knowledge, there has never been a hero throughout history who has allied himself with the Demon King.
Maybe there was, and they have been erased from history, but what is certain is that there has been no betrayal by a hero in the last five hundred years.
I have already informed King Armand with a message scroll.
As soon as possible, King Barseille will receive the news of Sain's betrayal.
"This makes the situation very complicated. There is no other hero possessing a sacred weapon at the moment. Also, we don't have enough troops to defeat the demon king. Maybe if we had a little more time..."
"One thing at a time. This is a war we cannot afford to lose. Both the demon king and the hero have become our enemies, they must be defeated."
"Hmm, your former lover and best friend - are you sure you're ready to kill them?"
I answered bluntly.
Honestly, it's not for the good of the world or for peace or anything like that.
This is entirely a personal grudge.
Sain, who played with Nei and Soara's minds and feelings.
And Lisa, who murdered my parents.
I simply cannot forgive those two.
I have to solve this with my own hands.
"Very well. Then I give you the title of hero."
I didn't understand what he meant, I could only make a silly face.
Am I the new hero?
What's this, a new joke?
"But it will be Armand who will be in charge of awarding that title. What we need now is for you to take the hero's seat as soon as possible. I would also like to make it public that you were the hero destined to defeat the demon king from the start."
"Wait! I'm not the hero!"
"The morale of nations is at stake. If it is known that the hero has betrayed us, pessimism and panic will become widespread. I would like you to take on this role to keep hope alive."
Wait a moment. Don't just make such sudden decisions.
I do not agree with this.
I will agree to take it upon myself to assassinate the demon king and the hero, but I don't want to be one.
Once I do, I will be the center of attention at all times until the day you die.
As I have said many times, I don't like to stand out.
I don't want that title.
"From the sounds of it, you're having a hard time accepting it."
"Of course. I'm sorry, but I don't want to be the hero."
"I think being a hero is a great honor, you will make a name for yourself in the history of the world. But I would like to know why you are not satisfied."
"I don't like to be the center of attention..."
I'm a little embarrassed by the reason.
That's because I'm honestly happy to be chosen as a hero.
But I've always been bad at being the star of the show.
I am not the type of person who can take on a lot of responsibilities and obligations.
I'm just an ordinary guy, born and raised in a small town, who became a warrior because he looked up to his best friend, and felt like he could do anything.
I don't like to carry a lot of weight.
Being a hero is too heavy for me.
"Then let's give the Manyu Brigade the title of hero. If you agree to this, they can keep their names and identities hidden, and remain active."
"Oh, no, not again."
"Don't be so negative. It is already whispered that the Manyu Brigade are the real heroes of the world. We would only be backing up the rumors. If you don't want to be a hero, you're free to disband the party right now."
I see, we can disband and reunite under a new name.
Thus, we will be free of titles and will be able to return to our free lives.
But is it okay to become a hero even if you don't have a hero's job?
I understand that I am only a substitute, but a simple warrior being a hero....
"I would prefer that you not venture into the Realm of Darkness. The fortress has fallen, but the defense is still solid. Can you stay in this city for a while and then leave?"
"Very well. So what do I do while I wait?"
"Take a bath."
The people of Grayfield are famous for their love of baths.
The best example is the popular bathhouse, where anyone can bathe.
Reportedly, the strongest man in Grayfield bathes three times a day.
Also, the milk served after the bath is very special. Anyone who doesn't bathe at Grayfield is a fool.
Anyway, this country revolves around bathing.
It is a feeling that I, as a person from another place, cannot understand.
"Fuuuu, this is great."
I immersed myself in the bathtub and relaxed my body.
Strange men are also immersed in the hot water, with towels on their heads and unhinged looks.
I wonder if I look like that too.
But I feel so good that it doesn't matter.
Maybe I've had too much going on lately, and I'm just tired.
As I immerse myself in the warm water, my tiredness and weight seem to melt away.
"How's the hot water?"
"Hey, why are you here?!"
Before I knew it, the king was by my side.
Why are you here?
You are the king. This is the kind of facility that commoners use.
"Don't worry. There are several guards here. And it's not the first time I've been here. It's usually once a day."
"Do you come here every day?"
Does this king really work?
I looked around, but no one seemed uncomfortable with his presence.
They even saw him and greeted him saying; "How do you do, Your Majesty?"
What kind of country is this?
"By the way, would you like to move to our country?"
"You would be the hero of Grayfield. Or in this case, the hero of all countries."
What he meant was to relinquish the title of Armand, and receive the title of Grayfield.
It is not impossible, but if I do, it will surely incur the wrath of King Armand.
And also that of King Grayfield.
"I'd rather not. I want to be on good terms with Armand, and I want to give them back the title of hero in the future."
"You are selfless."
"No, I'm not. I like my freedom. In case you've forgotten, I'm an adventurer. I can go wherever I want, do whatever I want and eat whatever I want. I'd even consider myself to be greedy."
The King said, "I see. You certainly are greedy," as he leaned his back against the edge of the tub.
"Do you think you can defeat the Demon King?"
"Well, considering my previous relationship with her and feelings, I'll do something about it. Besides, there's a considerable difference between our abilities and powers that I wouldn't know what to do if I had her in front of me. I'll have to raise my level first."
"You are an honest man. I like honest people."
Perhaps the king came here because he wanted to know my true intentions.
After all, I am the one who knows the demon king and the hero who betrayed us.
It is normal for him to be wary of me betraying mankind as well.
It is an unnecessary concern.
"I understand you have two slaves."
"They are more than that, they are my partners."
"Then go to the two Sacred Weapon temples in this country. If they have the right skill, they will be able to increase your strength."
In other words, I have to get Kaede and Frau to acquire their own sacred weapons.
Come to think of it, Kaede's iron fan is in need of repair.
And it's not like the weapon is made of such tough materials either.
If the two manage to get sacred weapons, It would definitely be a significant increase in strength.
"Also, I would like to consult with you about the possibility of getting a guide for your party during your stay, someone who can brawl a bit and is very knowledgeable about our country."
"I would appreciate it very much, thank you."
"I'm glad to hear that. I just happen to have one waiting outside."
The king smiles and stands up.