I lie down on the bed in the guest room and rest my body.
Ah, indeed it’s heavy. When I lie down, I can really feel it. The effects of the curse are strong and quite severe.
The sun has set already, what can I do.
By the way, Firo is with Melty. Their relationship is quite close.
“Thank you for your hard work” (rishia)
Rishia voices these words of gratitude.
“Come to think of it, you’re not wearing the costume” (naofumi)
“Ah, Yes. I thought we weren’t going to fight for a short while so I took it off, but is that displeasing?” (rishia)
“No, it’s just become habitual, I wasn’t telling you to wear it” (naofumi)
“Rishia-san is, how do I say it…. it seems like you enjoy wearing the costume” (raphtalia)
“Yes. When I wear that costume my body becomes lighter.” (rishia)
That’s because there are various enchantments on it. It’s quite convenient.
“It was amazing, Naofumi-san” (rishia)
“Ah, at last you call me by my name” (naofumi)
“Eh, ah….” (rishia)
“Don’t worry about it. I’m not particularly angry.” (naofumi)
Perhaps Rishia gained some courage after prevailing in a big battle.
This is a joyous thing.
“There’s territory. There’s also court ranking…..this is quite a big promotion” (raphtalia)
“I was originally a hero….. it doesn’t really excite me though” (naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama, what is your desire?” (raphtalia)
Raphtalia asks me with distrust in her eyes.
Speaking of which, she started to speak out when I specified the territory I wanted to the queen.
“Is this about today? It’s just as I said. It’s unfortunate but the allied troops just aren’t reliable. Judging from the tough battle from before, if we don’t make a private army of troops, it’ll be quite relentless from here on.” (naofumi)
“But still, why the damaged area from the first wave?” (raphtalia)
“That’s also in accordance with what I said during the day, we’ll be doing a variety of thing so please be prepared.” (naofumi)
“Hah…..good grief, it seems as though we won’t have any peace if we’re together with Naofumi-sama” (raphtalia)
“This is all just until we finish overcoming the waves. Please bear with it” (naofumi)
“I understand” (raphtalia)
“Fufu, you look just like an old married couple” (rishia)
Rishia dropped a bombshell-like announcement.
Well, Raphtalia is the one who I’ve known the longest in this world, I kind of understand.
We’re not a couple though.
“Wha-wha-what are you saying!?” (raphtalia)
Raphtalia yells, her face colouring in embarrassment.
Ah, indeed, Rishia has stepped on a land mine and brought on imperial wrath by mentioning that love affair.
Originally she was just an ordinary slave, but Raphtalia is a more kind-hearted and meddling person than others.
She lost her family, her home was snatched away; I can easily imagine her grief.
In other words, Raphtalia is fighting so there won’t be more people in the same situation as her.
With such a noble purpose, Raphtalia wouldn’t be thinking of love affairs.
To begin with, Raphtalia’s outer appearance may be that of an adult however, in terms of age, she is still a kid.
She’s not old enough to be falling in love.
Well, Rishia is in love with Itsuki so those kind of feelings are, for better or worse, a woman’s.
Which reminds me, how old is Rishia? Her appearance gives the impression of a middle school student…..so around 14 years old.
It seems a bit premature but it is another world.
“That’s right, Rishia. Raphtalia doesn’t like those kind of jokes. Be careful” (naofumi)
A blushing Raphtalia regained her composure.
There there, provoking others isn’t good.
Rishia tilted her head in confusion whist staring at Raphtalia and I.
“Well then, we’ll be engaged in a variety of things tomorrow. Rishia, what are you going to do?” (naofumi)
“What do you mean by ‘what am I going to do’?” (rishia)
“I’m referring to resetting your level. Since the wave has been pushed back considerably, if you want to re-level up, now is a good time” (naofumi)
“Eh, ah!? Tha-that’s right isn’t it…..umm” (rishia)
“The one to decide is Rishia. Consider your actions properly. Seeing as this is a good opportunity” (naofumi)
“Okay. I will think about it for a bit” (rishia)
Thus, we rested thoroughly and prepared for tomorrow.
“Now then” (naofumi)
After eating breakfast at the castle, we have a quick chat with the queen.
Since the timing was just right, I ask Rishia.
“Have you come up with an outcome?” (naofumi)
“Ah, yes…… I also want to become as strong as Raphtalia-san! Therefore I have decided to start over” (rishia)
“Is that so, well then….” (naofumi)
When I turn to face the queen, the queen also nodded.
“Then I will give instructions to perform the service by means of the Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era” (queen)
“That’d be a great help. Today we’ll be occupied with a lot of things” (naofumi)
We leave the castle and travel to the Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era.
Ah, we should put on a robe to obscure our face. If we don’t do this, guys will be following after us in groups, even the queen
“I heard the story from the queen” (soldier)
A soldier guides us to the Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era.
……As I thought, the hourglass has stopped.
For some reason, the sand has solidified and doesn’t fall.
“Originally this is only used as a punishment for criminals though” (soldier)
“Just a bit” (naofumi)
“I heard the rumours. The Hero of the Shield’s comrades possess strength rivalling that of the heroes’, so what’s the secret to that strength?” (soldier)
What a nosy soldier.
It would be a burden to get involved in something strange. I limit my answer to something ambiguous.
“No, it’s just simple harassment. This kid is a subordinate of someone I hate, you see, I thought I’d reset her level and send her back to him” (naofumi)
Rishia lets out a dreadful cry.
“I-is that how it is!?” (rishia)
Read the atmosphere.
Raphtalia looks at me with a shocked face
Where is Firo looking? She’s gazing into the horizon.
Sigh….I bring my face close to Rishia’s ear and whisper.
“The harassment thing is a lie. If I tell the truth to that kind of fellow, mercenaries and adventurers will swarm us, wanting to be strong. Your Itsuki also had a habit of concealing, right?” (naofumi)
Jeez, I’d like you to sense these things.
What adventurers, in the end it’d just be a gathering of ruffians.
After they acquire a certain amount of power, guys who are really eager should enlist to become soldiers in a country somewhere.
Even if they reach the level cap prior to a class up, guys who become adventurers either don’t want to enter a guild or are wannabe criminals.
What I want to make is a private army who will listen to my instructions, not guys who are just strong.
After the weak become strong, complaints will be raised. At any rate, I would have to deal with those kind of guys in the distant future.
“And, how do I reset the level?” (naofumi)
“Firstly, put on this choker and stand on the magic circle in front of the Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era” (soldier)
I give Rishia the choker that the soldier was holding out.
Rishia put on the choker and stands on the magic circle just like the instructions.
Perhaps some sort of power of resistance will be removed by wearing the choker.
“Is this really alright?” (naofumi)
Rishia’s decision was firm.
Hm? There are people to help with the service, just like during the class up, but they had prepared a stretcher.
“There is a reaction from the resetting. A few days of rehabilitation will be necessary, I think” (soldier)
That’s right, if the stats that were natural until suddenly drop, the body will become heavy….
Since I’m already like this, I think that if someone returned to level 1, then they would become unable to move for sure
“There are individual differences though” (soldier)
While saying that, the soldier starts the ritual.
The Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era shines, filling the magic circle with power.
It’s similar to the scene from the Class Up.
“Right now in this place, there is someone here to release their power for the sake of choosing a new path. Oh, world. Show this person the path and give them a chance.” (soldier)
Rishia moans in the centre of the magic circle.
“A feeling of p-power escaping is…” (rishia)
As I thought, it’s that kind of feeling.
Before long, something suddenly emerges from Rishia and I affirm it scattering in all four directions.
“It’s over. How’s your body’s condition?” (naofumi)
Rishia repeatedly opens and closes her hands.
“It doesn’t feel very different” (rishia)
“Was it a failure?” (naofumi)
“That shouldn’t be the case?” (soldier)
I slowly check Rishia’s status.
It’s returned to level 1.
It’s just that…. there’s almost no change in stats.
The bit that rises from levelling up is almost non-existent, so there’s no sense of discomfort even when returning to level 1.
….. If this was reversed, it would be considerably harsh.
If she has no disposition for battle, then what should I do.
I can’t just depend on the shield’s growth correction.
“By the way, should Raphtalia and Firo do it too?” (naofumi)
“No…..I am….” (raphtalia)
“Firo doesn’t want to do it either” (firo)
Well, these two don’t really need to.
Growth Correction started when Raphtalia was level 25 so it’s not like it would be meaningless.
Firo also has the Philorial Series Growth Correction to depend on so there shouldn’t be any loss.
Well, if we don’t proceed gradually, offensive power won’t be enough and we’ll become unable to fight.
Moreover…. it seems that the moment Firo resets her level, she’ll become a baby chick.
I don’t know what kind of growth Philorials have though.
Fixing her upbringing is good but since the one in question doesn’t want to do it, there’s no need.
“Is that so, then let’s head to the next place” (naofumi)
“We’re ready whenever” (soldier)
The soldier in charge bows his head.
The interaction is considerably different from before.
I’m aware that I’m staring back and inspecting him.
He’s a bit childish but…..my evaluation of him rose a little.
“Thank you Hero of the Shield-sama~!” (random citizens)
“Hero-sama~!” (more random citizens)
I was heading towards the castle however, because Firo had already gone ahead, I rode in the carriage provided by the queen and the citizens of the castle town waved at me like I was in the middle of a triumphal return.
Such materialistic guys.
Well, I knew that the population has that kind of simplistic thinking from anime and history.
I waved back with no problems. If this was a few months ago, there wouldn’t even be any trash flying around.
No matter what, I was the devil of the shield.
Speaking of which, after we overcame the first wave, I was glared at as if saying ‘why are you there?’
I’d be delighted if I could just receive the proper appreciation but I just get cheated.
Before long, I entered the castle and proceeded to the conference room.
The troops from the Allied Forces were waiting together with the queen.
“Hero of the Shield-sama, this is in appreciation of your efforts in suppressing the Spirit Turtle, really, thank you very much” (queen)
“Your introduction is good. I’d like to hear the status report. In relation to the wave” (naofumi)
The status of the wave and others, I have a mountain of things I want to ask.
The Spirit Turtle was a state of emergency so everything is in chaos but there should be a lot that they’ve investigated already.
“……I understand. Currently, the Hourglasses of the Dragon’s Era throughout the world have stopped.” (queen)
“Throughout the world?” (naofumi)
“Yes. Every hourglass has stopped” (queen)
“There was a blue object inside the Spirit Turtle that resembled an Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era, that too?”
“Ah, Naofumi-sama” (raphtalia)
Raphtalia raised her hand.
Raphtalia and Firo came back after fighting in the heart so maybe they know.
“This is about when we suppressed the Spirit Turtle but when we were returning from the heart, I saw that hourglass go *poof* and disappear” (raphtalia)
“Everything disappeared, I saw it turn into a light and vanish” (raphtalia)
What did that mean?
I looked again at the hourglass with the time of the invasion of the next wave.
As I thought, there’s about 3.5 months remaining.
“That matter is currently in investigation. We will report it in due course” (queen)
“I understand. I don’t know if only the heroes can realise it but even on my side, the hourglass’ arrival prediction time has stopped” (naofumi)
“Alright….. We’ll also ask the Seven Star Heroes about their side” (queen)
“However, three and a half months is projected on another hourglass. Objectively looking at that…” (naofumi)
Immediately, the atmosphere became heavy.
I don’t think I was wrong to reveal that, like in a chain reaction, there would be an appearance of a monster after the spirit turtle.
Since it was the four spirits, there should be Phoenix, Kirin and Dragon.
“The time limit is 3.5 months. To prepare until then would be the appropriate action” (naofumi)
“As you wish” (queen)
“What’s the damage count?” (naofumi)
“……it’s fortunate that only 7 towns, 4 fortresses and 2 castles have been decimated. If more villages were included…..” (queen)
“I see…..” (naofumi)
“The victim total is……the count has not been finished yet” (queen)
It’s not looking great. There’s still the danger of the more appearances of monsters that will cause this much damage.
“Jeez, what’s become of those 3 heroes?” (naofumi)
To do this sort of thing and leave it behind yet not showing themselves.
They weren’t inside the Spirit Turtle and they didn’t come out from the back.
Where was Itsuki – who Rishia was worrying about – wandering about.
The most likely scenario was his death.
However, the image of them dying didn’t cause any excitement in me.
Those guys are irritating rascals and annoying with their fake heroics.
“Is there no report of seeing them anywhere in the Spirit Turtle?” (naofumi)
“Not at present. We sent out a search everywhere but we don’t even know they are” (queen)
It’s an enigma. What were they trying to do by breaking the seal.
I hope that it’s not something like there was a strong weapon hidden in a labyrinth underneath where the Spirit Turtle was sealed.
If that’s the case, it won’t be forgiven with just a punch.
“And, this is concerning those heroes who broke the seal but…” (queen)
“Hm? Do you have something?” (naofumi)
“In order to avoid more disorder, we’ve concealed the identities of the ringleaders who broke the seal” (queen)
“We’re concealing it for now but, an inquiry about who’s responsible will produce a big risk so….” (queen)
……Indeed, that’s the case.
If the country announces that this great disaster happened because of the heroes, it’s quite capable of causing a disservice to unrelated heroes as well.
Three of the Four Sage Heroes caused this calamity. It’s not necessarily true that other heroes won’t do it.
But before that, the chaos……in this case, it’s the heroes credibility.
Looking at the triumphal return, I can sympathise with how much the inhabitants of this world expect from the heroes.
If it was discovered that heroes were responsible for this, there might just be a riot.
And having to suppress the riot and the waves simultaneously, until finally everything falls together in mutual destruction.
The country should choose not to publicly announce the truth, but that the Spirit Turtle was defeated by the hidden heroes. That sort of visage is better.
This feels like the so-called result of ‘playing hot potato with the responsibility issue’.
It’s a common occurrence but, it’s quite…..
“Also, the heroes are extremely powerful beings and so we will be needing an equal strength to administer justice” (queen)
……Catching them will also be a pain.
Which is why we have to conceal the truth.
“However, isn’t this truth already well-known?” (naofumi)
“It’s still at the stage of gossip. That said, it seems each nation being silenced so there won’t be much influence on the support of the populace. We’re persistent and announcing that this incident was from a wave” (queen)
One’s livelihood will also be affected when the heroes they believe in, even when there are waves that hint towards the end of the world, in promote havoc.
It can’t be helped, you can’t even understand it.
“……Nevertheless, there are still rumours” (queen)
The queen added a supplement.
“I’ve spread a rumour about being punished so so that it won’t appear to the other heroes as anything more than simple gossip. Of course, I’ve mad a large publicity campaign about the Hero of the Shield, Iwatani-sama, being very active but…. just from looking at the status quo in the castle town, it doesn’t seem very necessary” (queen)
“Half-hearted! Catch the ringleader! Just fighting the waves! Isn’t this all just punishment for me!?” (naofumi)
Couldn’t put up with it all, guys raising a commotion appeared. [??]
In this case, catching said people and turning them into a slave would be good but….they can’t do that, can they?
If enslaving was possible, it would have been more efficient to enslave us four when we were first summoned.
With the high-grade slave crest, it could even be hidden from the masses.
To begin with, the fact that that Trash didn’t enslave me is proof enough.
It seems improbable even if I enquire about it now.
The problem is that hard to handle guys would be useless as slaves.
Well, thanks to that, I didn’t end up becoming a slave.
“Have I mentioned it’s because it was determined that Iwatani-sama and the Seven Star Heroes could do this?” (queen)
“Grr…Nevertheless, couldn’t you just face everyone and say ‘we are the country’ or some other meaningless line!” (naofumi)
There problem is that isn’t it.
Even if they’ve become rotten, those guys are still heroes so it’s hard to tell their followers to arrest them.
Stopping a riot is also a pain.
If it was me, I’d fight but it’ll be quite sever to fight with my status having fallen to just 30%.
At the least, I shouldn’t be fighting until I’ve had a full recovery.
I do have the option of leaving it to Raphtalia and the others but I don’t know about trying that.
I don’t want to burden them with that risk.
“If course if it’s possible, I’ll have you participate in waves as you’ve been doing until now. However, heroes are people who possess power. There’s always the danger of them going on a rampage. Can’t you understand that we can’t even say that there are no countries who watch vigilantly for the opportunity to try to assemble heroes?” (queen)
“Melromarc, you vixen! Are these your words!?” (naofumi)
“Certainly our country has its faults. But this argument should have already finished. What do you intend by bringing up this political question again? Are you saying that there aren’t people who would use powerful heroes as government tools?” (queen)
If Melromarc and the other countries could just offer heroes a prize and not penalise them, the heroes would immigrate to a nice country by themselves, but there’s a risk of becoming a tool of the government.
That’s why I can’t judge them strongly.
I had already rejected any invites from nice countries before I even knew of them so I couldn’t have done that though. If it’s them, it might be possible that they have.
Really, this group is too much, we’re not getting anywhere.
There’s even 1 person in the party, me who also thinks that…..
“I understand the hero’s treatment. Also, in regard to just this disaster……is reconstruction possible?” (naofumi)
The tension of the Allied Forces suddenly dissipated with my query.
Ah, indeed it was quite intense.
“The Allied Forces have taken damage from the infiltration and induction”
“I’m sorry for not being able to defend against it all”
As the Hero of the Shield, I originally had to take action so there won’t be any victims. In spite of this, a substantial amount of damage has been dealt.
“No…. they would have been satisfied, everyone who participated in the infiltration said that they could avoid death thanks to the Hero of the Shield-sama being there” (queen)
“I’m pleased to hear that” (naofumi)
“The neighbouring countries took a lot of damage and much time is needed to rebuild” (queen)
“……I see” (naofumi)
“To be honest, supporting Iwatani-sama is also quite difficult” (queen)
I could only nod at this. If they said they could still give me a lot of assistance even after suffering such devastation, I’d be concerned about where they would get the money from.
“We will assist as much as possible, but when compared to what we had planned……” (queen)
“Yeah, I know. If I want money, I’ll do something about it myself.” (naofumi)
At this point, you should be gathering money for reconstruction instead.
I saw the damage in the castle town when I was coming here.
¼ of the castle town had been crushed by the Spirit Turtle. Land reclamation is essential for the sake of the people who lost their homes.
“Hey, aiding with something that’s not money is okay right” (naofumi)
“Yes, it would be more helpful for us if it was something other than money with the current conditions” (queen)
This would solve the Allied Force’s issue, as well as the thing I thought of so far.