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The Traitor of the Hero Party
Chapter 3 The hero party
Lulu lead him to the dining hall, Full Moon.
It was where the hero party always gathered up when they came to the capital.
The food was good there and they were already familiar with the staff there so they didn't need to feel reserved.
They have been going there for so long that the most innermost seats were exclusively for the hero party at this point and nobody else would even use it.
On those seats, the usual members were seated.
Seating on the front, the person waving towards Hak and Lulu with a smile was the leader of the party.
Having both the divine protection of the Gods and spirits, he could use all types of magic and was gifted with natural fighting skills, making him the strongest human — Alfred Fingaro.
People close to him call him by Alf.
A refreshing smile really fits him. He was still young, being only 19 years old.
Next, sitting diagonally to the right of Alf was Sharon Kururu.
She is of the same age as Alf and is a pretty girl with chestnut-colored hair. She normally likes to wear a sharp, pointy hat which was now on top of her knee.
Her clothes were the same as always — a magician's robe.
That was of course because she was a magician. Her specialty is healing type magic and mostly all support magic so, with her support, the ones at front can rampage without worrying.
And, beside her was the eldest man in the party, the country's expert magic combatant, Edal Group.
Being around 35 years old, he was the leader of the group 'Shana Code' which is directly under the king himself.
He came to the hero party when it was formed but he could return anytime he wished.
He had an unshaven face which suited him well and at first glance, one wouldn't think of him as a magician.
Additionally, he is also Sharon's teacher and a reliable father or elder brother-like figure in the hero party.
"Sorry to keep you waiting! I brought Hak~"
Lulu said, slightly waving her hand, and went on to sit beside Alf and in front Sharon.
Following her, Hak also sat beside Lulu.
"Uwah, Hak is worn out again. Are you okay?"
After being surprised at first, Alf spoke to Hak with a worried voice.
And Hak replied with 'I'm fine' as always with a smile.
But there was someone discontent with that. It was Sharon.
"Hak, you are also more or less part of the hero party, you know? Don't lose to those stray dogs."
Sharon said, crossing her arms and inflating her cheeks.
"Now, now, don't say that, Sharon. Hak is kind. He wouldn't do anything to such small fries."
Edal defended Hak. To that, she became even more discontent and turned to look away.
"I feel like your wounds increase in number every time we come to the capital, Hak."
"Ahaha. That might be true. But, it is certainly true that I am not as strong as the others so it can't be helped if someone stronger than me gets jealous."
To be frank, everyone in the hero party didn't really know why Hak was part of the hero party either.
Just that he was introduced by the king himself during the first meeting of the hero party.
And so in the society, the general opinion is that he is using his father's fame to get into the party.
Hak's family, the Elstone family, was a noble family which had quite the history in the capital but had already gone under. If one excludes the fact that they don't have that much power anymore, that logic does make sense.
Being the eldest son of the family, it wouldn't be weird if he had pulled some sort of strings to get into the party.
"Don't be so modest now, Hak. I am happy we could form the party with these members, including you."
Alf said with a refreshing smile.
"I am happy you think that. I will try not to pull you guys down somehow."
"Don't say that. We are a group. We will follow each other up when needed."
"Hmm. Thanks, Alf."
He said again with a smile.
"Now then, you two, let's get to the main topic now."
Edal said while tapping the desk with his index finger. It isn't that he was annoyed, it's just what he does when he wants to move forward with the conversation.
"Ah, sorry. Yes, let's do that."
"Yes, let's get over with this meeting~"
Lulu demanded while tapping the floor with her foot.
Although, for the party to be gathered at this time, the details of the meeting could be guessed.
"We are gonna move out soon, right?"
"……Yes. Because of some tasks I needed to finish, we had to come back to the capital but we need to move out to subjugate the demon lord soon."
It was half a year earlier that these people were gathered at the royal castle for the subjugation of the demon lord.
And they returned from their trip to the capital one week earlier for political reasons.
In the first place, the reason they had to suppress the demon lord lied in the deterioration of the relationship with the empire, which was the kingdom's neighboring country.
First of all, the Kingdom lies between the Empire and the Demon territory.
And the relation between the Kingdom and the Empire is on very shaky terms. Every time something happens, they dispatch their army to the borders and the situation gets worse.
So where does the demon lord subjugation fit into all of this?
To get rid of future problems.
Recently, in the Demon territory, a demon lord has been enthroned after a few decades. According to the rumours, he is still very young and full of vigor.
Having heard that, the upper echelon of the Kingdom deemed it as something which could cause problems in the future.
Who knows what he might do. To have that at their back in a war situation with the Empire… if one looks at it from that perspective, their decision was quite logical.
And so, they decided on defeating the demon lord with an elite group.
Normally, one would be wary of retorsion but the demons really lack cooperation and they also fight among themselves daily.
If they just get rid of their lord, then the demons would naturally fall into a civil war once again to decide on the next demon lord. That was the Kingdom's upper echelon's thought process.
In short, it was extremely bothersome for the demon lord but because of the time and the Empire, nobody went against that decision.
In any case, one must not forget that this demon lord subjugation, which at first glance might look like it's for justice, is actually because of political reasons.
And also, the reason the hero party returned to the capital was also related to that.
"A message to us from the senator."
He started to speak with a sigh and then said with a lower voice,
"That the war is near so to be done with the demon lord subjugation already."
"……That's quite a difficult thing to do."
Sharon said in anger.
And in fact, it was more than difficult as they had to step into the demon territory where the demons have dominance and not only that, they had to defeat the demon lord who was in his castle full of dangerous demons.
Even with such excellent warriors and the Kingdom's strongest human, the hero, it was an unreasonable demand.
However, no one among them thought it to be completely impossible.
Excluding Hak, everyone there were experts at hunting demons.
Lulu even boasted that she didn't think she would lose even against a 100 demons.
"Well, even still, we just have to do it."
"Right. It's as you say, Alf."
"With this lineup, I also think we can do it."
"I can deal with the small fries no matter how many of them come~"
All of them agreed with each other and looked at Hak together, who had not said anything yet.
"Uhhh, me too. I also think if it's you guys, you can defeat the demon lord!"
"You… why are you leaving it all to us?"
"Now, now. Hak, you will help too, right?"
"Of course. I will do everything I can."
Alf nodded with a smile. Sharon was still discontent, though.
"We depart tomorrow morning. Let's rest up properly today. Well then, that's all."
Alf concluded and the hero party meeting came to an end.
Even now, Hak was still wearing his usual smile.
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