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(Isn't this just like a game? Well, it's an easy enough system to understand… What a strange world.) Many questions arose in Hiiro’s mind. He understood why his level was one. If this was an RPG-like world, it was only natural for someone like him, who has not had any battle experience, to be level 1.
But why was his MP [magic power] so high? As he had heard earlier, this must be the benefit of being an otherworlder.
By the way, HP refers to health points, MP was magic power, EXP was experience points and NEXT indicates the necessary experience points required to advance to the next level. ATK, DEF, AGI, HIT and INT respectively represent attack power, defence, agility, hit chance and intelligence. These expressions are often used in games.
Hiiro was surprised that his agility was high, but what he was most surprised about was this:
This title perfectly explained that he was just dragged along with the other four heroes. In other words, he himself wasn't a hero; he was just an ordinary person.
Although he was concerned about his magic, he would rather think about how to explain this situation.
While he was thinking, Rudolph asked them. "How is it? 《Status》 is something only you can see but you all should have the title of Heroes, right?"
The first person to answer was, of course, Taishi. "Y-yes, it's there! Hero is written in the title column! Uwah ~ awesome, I'm really a hero."
He uttered in a somewhat excited voice. "Chika, what about you?"
The person who answered Taishi's question was Chika Suzumiya. She was a talkative and popular girl in class. Her open and direct attitude while dealing with people gave her their goodwill.
Chika had short hair which was dyed in a brown colour a bit lighter than Taishi's. Her chest was somewhat lacking, but being a sports ace, she had a slender body which was admired by both the girls and boys.
Chika: "Yeah, I have it too, Taishi."
"Good. What about Shuri and Shinobu?" He called out to the two girls near him.
Shuri Minamoto had beautiful glossy long black hair. Unlike Chika, she had a voluptuous body that attracted boys. She belonged to the tea ceremony club and the boys would sometimes come to ogle at her in her kimono. Her charm points were her drooping eyes and the mole under her eye.
The other girl, Shinobu Akamori was brimming with curiosity. She was a member of the newspaper club and it seems that she plans to find employment in that field of work in the future. She was a smart and talkative person, so everyone would often ask her for tips on the exams. Her slightly wavy, navy blue hair hung over her shoulders. Her cat like eyes gave the impression that she never let her prey go.
What these three girls had in common was that they were all without a doubt, eye-catchingly beautiful. As members of Taishi's harem, they were always with him.
Shuri and Shinobu also seem to have the Hero title too.
"Huh? Why can we understand these words? The 《Status》 is written in words familiar to us…" It was only natural for Taishi to ask this question. The other three also thought about asking the same question. Hiiro had wondered about it too but having Taishi ask it had saved him a lot of time and effort.
The citizens of this world must have understood Japanese if they were able to communicate with them. The person who answered Taishi's question was Lilith. "According to old documents, 《Status》 is deciphered and translated into the language of the world you Heroes come from. Conversations are also interpreted this way as well."
It was a very handy system. If this system wasn't in place, it'd naturally take too much time and effort to understand what the people from this world were saying.
'Well, in any case, I can't deny that it's a great opportunity…'
The language of this world is called 《Ranaris》. Written text is instantly translated into a language that Hiiro and the others understand, but if you want to write in this world's language, it is necessary to study it.
It seems that the four people here have proved that they were heroes. Then everyone turned their glazes towards Hiiro.
Rudolph: "What about you?"
"….Nope." Hiiro answered with a single word. With that, the other people started to make a ruckus.
Rudolph: "If you are not a hero… Can you tell us what kind of title you hold?"
Hiiro was annoyed that he was being talked down to, nevertheless he answered honestly, but he only gave one title. "《Innocent Bystander》…"
When they heard that, the attitude of his four classmates changed. They frowned and left their mouths agape in disbelief.
Rudolph: "《Innocent Bystander》…? Lilith, do you know what that means?"
"Eh, umm…yes. M-most likely that…" Lilith looked downwards, hesitant to answer. Hiiro sighed while looking at her and answered instead.
"I'm just an ordinary person. I just happened to be in the classroom at that time and got mixed up with these guys. Right?"
Lilith: "Uh… Uhm…"
"Hey, wait! Okamura! What's with that tone?" Chika said while pointing at Hiiro. He completely ignored her and continued talking.
"Originally only four people should have been summoned here, that's these four here. So to speak, I'm an irregular existence. So how do you intend to correct this?" Hiiro stated indifferently without any hostility or murderous intent. And yet, Lilith turned pale as she had been the one who had summoned them.
Hiiro: "Well, it's not just about me. These guys were also called to this world by your own convenience. I'm sure our families back home are worried sick about us."
Lilith's expression became more and more heartbroken. After hearing how sound Hiiro's statement sounded, the surrounding people started to cause a ruckus. Rudolph then raised his hands to silence them.
The King said in an apologetic voice, "You are right, I did not think about your circumstances when I summoned you." Hiiro thought that the king would make up excuses, but it seemed like the King was unexpectedly aware of the significance of their actions.
Rudolph: "But, we were left with no other choices."
Hiiro: "Well, not like I honestly care about it anyways."
"Huh?" Time stopped for everyone upon hearing Hiiro's words.
Hiiro: "I have no connection whatsoever with these four."
"Hey, hey Okamura! Aren't we classmates?!" Taishi shouted at Hiiro angrily.
Hiiro: "Yeah, we're classmates. But that was something that the school decided. The only connection we have is studying in the same class, right? I think the bond we have is pretty much non-existent."
Taishi: "Th-that's going too far…"
"Yeah, after we finally got put together in the same class~"
Shuri and Shinobu also shared their opinions.
Hiiro: "So you say but it's been five months since we got put together in the same class and I haven't spoken a single word to any one of you."
It was true. Hiiro basically liked to be alone, so he kept his distance from everyone, not just these four. Sleep, eat and read; that was Hiiro's routine.
Eating and sleeping were Hiiro's purposes in life.
If the gluttonous gourmet Hiiro heard that there was delicious food outside of his prefecture, he would go out of his way to ride his bike there.
If he heard that there was a limit of 100 super delicious Daifuku being sold, he would line up the day before just to get his hands on it. People have often called him a 《Food Pursuer》.
As for reading, whenever Hiiro had time he would stop by the school library, because of that there were students and teachers who called him the 《Library Dweller》.
He would even travel to libraries that were further away to fulfil his thirst for knowledge.
He was so enthusiastic about reading that there were times when he shut himself inside of his room and read books borrowed from the library without eating or drinking for three days; there were even times when he collapsed from shutting himself in.
They were certainly classmates, but they've never talked until now. Hiiro didn't need any friends if he could eat and read.
Taishi and the others thought that Hiiro was someone whom was very hard to approach and so they never tried talking to him.
Upon hearing Hiiro's words, the four could only remain silent as they weren't able to refute his statement.
Hiiro: "Now then, as I said earlier, I have nothing to do with these people. The ones you want are these four heroes, right? So you shouldn't need me here."
"Mm-mmph…" Rudolph groaned with a difficult expression. He was perplexed about how to answer.
Hiiro: "Since they're heroes, they're able to fight with the demon-kin in some way, right? But I'm just an ordinary person. You wouldn't seriously suggest that someone like me should go fight opponents as dangerous as that, would you?"
Rudolph: "… Then let me hear it. What would you wish to do?"
Hiiro: "Can I return to my original world?"
"The documents say that the 『Demon King』 should know of magic able to return you to your original world."
Rudolph's words resounded throughout the throne room and Lilith's expression darkened at once. Seeing that, Hiiro quietly shut his eyes. Then Taishi interrupted their conversation.
"S-so we just have to hurry up and take out the Demon King!"
(What an idiot.) Hiiro thought. Even if the Demon King knew of such magic, why would you defeat him? Hiiro was disgusted at Taishi's thoughtless statement.
"Hmm. That is exactly right. Besides our country is magnificent, I am sure you will find it to your liking. You are all basically a part of my family now." Seeing Rudolph desperately trying to persuade him. Hiiro thought that he looked pretty pathetic and shrugged his shoulders.
"Ah, well it's not just Okamura. I'm also worried about the family I left behind." The others also felt worried, not just Chika.
"Th-there is no need to worry about that. Isn't that right?" Rudolf addressed a nearby scholar. The scholar was shaken by suddenly being asked and looked down many times while answering.
Scholar: "Ah, y-yes! A-as a matter of fact, any records of your existence has been wiped from your original world!"
"Wi-wiped you say?!" It was quite a shocking statement. The other three also had shocked expression on their faces just like Taishi.
Scholar: "Ah, no, please do not worry! There are forces at work in your original world keeping things coherent. When you return, everything will go back to normal… Yes."
Taishi averted his eyes. Hiiro thought about the suspicious behaviour of the scholar.
(That's… A lie.) Hiiro definitely felt that from the scholar's actions.
'They've surely told nothing but lies so far. It's most likely some excuse to meant to convince us. Return magic, in other words a way for us to get back to our original world… Doesn't exist. At least not right now.'
He looked at the other four to see if any of them had realized this fact.
Taishi hadn't notice at all. Chika was the same. Only Shuri and Shinobu were frowning at those words, Hiiro wasn't sure if it was because they realized that what was being said to them was suspicious or if it was just because they were too shocked to move.
'Well, it's not like I care if we're able to return or not. I… Can live just about anywhere.'
Hiiro Okamura was raised in an orphanage. It wasn't like his parents left him there, they had passed away in an accident when he was still young.
After that, he was brought to the orphanage and raised there. He made some friends there, but he loved books even more than that so he pretty much spent most of his time reading various books.
He thought that books deserved to be called his friends more than humans did.
Of course he had other relatives, but there was no reason for him to return to his world. It wouldn't trouble him even if they didn't find a way to return.
Lilith who knew that there was no way to return had a clouded expression on her face for a while now. She was probably feeling guilty over lying.
After hearing from Rudolph that there was no way to return, Taishi and the girls started to talk about what they should do from here on.
"Certainly, like Okamura said, you called us here at your own convenience. I think that was very selfish of you to do." Rudolph looked sullen at being told that by Taishi as well.
"But still…" While saying that, Taishi looked at the three girls. They all chuckled and he once again looked at Rudolph.
Taishi: "We'll do it!"
"Re-really, you will?" Rudolph raised his voice.
"Yes, we were just talking about wanting to travel in a world such as this back in the classroom."
"Yeah! The four of us played a lot of MMORPGs together!" As Chika had said, it seems that the four of them played MMORPGs together in their world.
They would often meet up after school to discuss about which places to venture to next. Right before they were summoned to this world, they had been discussing their desire to venture into a game like world like this one.
Rudolph: "Th-then you're up to the task!"
"Yes, but in exchange…" Shinobu spoke after the king.
Shinobu: "From what I can see in the status, we still seem to be level 1. In other words, we're still beginners, right?"
Rudolph: "Y-yes, that is correct."
Shinobu: "I think that it's impossible to fight the demon-kin like this. So…I want you to teach us how to fight."
Rudolph: "You do not need to worry about that. That matter will be…"
At that time, a person clad in armour appeared from among the soldiers.
"I will explain things from here Heroes." As he spoke he kneeled down and lowered his head.
"My name is Vale Kimble. I was entrusted with the duty of teaching you how to fight."
Rudolph: "Incidentally, he is the captain of the second division of our army."
He was a handsome man with a sharp face. You could tell how well trained he was by looking at his body. He had short green hair and a sense of great willpower shone through his eyes.
Naturally, the gazes of females focused on him. Only Chika stared at him emotionlessly because she wasn't interested in him.
Shinobu: "In other words, that hunk is going to train us?"
Vale: "Yes, right now matters have quietened down at the borders, but before things start to heat up again, I want you heroes to grow stronger."
Shinobu: "Ah, where will we be living?"
Rudolph: "We have prepared rooms for you here in the castle. Lilith will show you around later."
The discussion steadily progressed and Taishi and the others seemed to have decided to fight. After that, Lilith finished with explaining the common knowledge of 【Edea】.
After the discussion was finished, Hiiro immediately raised his hand.
"Sorry, but I'll be moving on my own."
Upon hearing those words, everyone was flabbergasted as if time had stopped again. Hiiro thought that these people were crazy.
Hiiro: "No, no. Since I don't have any obligations to this country, there's no reason for me to fight. Besides, I'm not a hero like these guys. So, there's no reason for me to be here."
Rudolph: "Argh… But."
Hiiro: "Sorry but I'm not as sensible as those four. Well, since I'm finally in a different world, I just want to do as I please. You don't mind, do you?"
Rudolph looked pensive as he observed Hiiro.
Hiiro was indeed no hero, but just an ordinary person. He didn't look all that strong either. He had black hair, dark pupils, was 173 centimetres tall and his body wasn't really muscular.
Hiiro's only charm point was that he wore glasses. And he himself knew that in terms of looks, he was inferior to Taishi.
If someone was to look at Hiiro, they would think that he was so ordinary that he wouldn't be able to fight. Rudolph who had been observing Hiiro must have also thought this as well.
However, it was a fact that they had summoned him here. Rudolph thought that it was unreasonable of him to throw Hiiro out without doing anything for him.
Rudolph: "Uh… Umm… There is nothing else I can do but give you my heartfelt apology. Is there anything you want?"
Rudolph: "No-nothing, you say?"
Hiiro: "Yeah. Also, it's not like I resent you. It seems like there are rare books in this world, so it should be quite interesting."
Hiiro was also a guy, so he also yearned for adventure. He didn't need to have great adventures like the ones protagonists from his books had, but he did want to travel this world and see it for himself.
"Well, I've no more business here so see ya." With that remark Hiiro moved to leave but Taishi grabbed his arm.
Taishi: "Hey! For a while now you keep saying that you're unrelated to this situation. How can you call yourself a man?!"
"What?" Hiiro uttered in an annoyed voice. In order to convey his anger, Taishi had put all his power into grabbing Hiiro.
Taishi: "The people of this country are bowing their heads to us! Don't you think you should at least try and help them out a bit?"
Hiiro: "I do not."
Taishi: "Why not!?"
Hiiro: "Because I'm not a hero. Or what, do you plan to use me like a bulletproof jacket?"
Taishi: "Bu-bulletproof jacket?"
Hiiro shook his hands away when he felt that Taishi's grip had loosened.
"Just leave him be, Taishi." Chika said with a sharp look. It was obvious that she was unimpressed.
Taishi: "Hey, you two agree with me, right?"
"Err…I'm…" Shuri casted her glaze downwards feeling perplexed. She opened her mouth as if to say something. Shinobu just stared rudely at Hiiro and chuckled.
"Ahaha, yeah sure, ain't it fine? This all feels like a game, but it's more or less reality. So basically, we're puttin' our lives on the line here. We're all heroes, so from now on we'll only get stronger. But it's different for Okamura-cchi, he's jus' an ordinary guy. So try puttin' yourself in his shoes." Since Shinobu made a sound argument, the other three shut up. This wasn't a game. As a matter of fact, people had died in an attempt to summon them to this world. They were serious about it.
"Ri-right. We'll do this with just us." Taishi consented.
Hiiro glanced at them and tried to leave but he heard a voice.
"Uh-uhm!" The voice belonged to Lilith. Hiiro stopped moving and looked over his shoulders.
"Umm… I-I am so sorry!" She looked at him with a worried expression. Hiiro turned his head back and said.
"Don't worry about it." This time he left for sure.
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