“Welcome to Lanpas, Heroes of the mankind. I’m Simone Zestringer, the first princess of this country. I’m here to receive you.” (Simone)
Uhh…. What? Why would a country’s princess come here to receive us?
“Oh Simone! It’s been a long time since I last saw you. How have you been doing?” (Liera)
Oya? Seems like Liera knows her. Well, Simone is also an elf. Who knows how old is she?
“I’m doing good. What about you Lady Liera, Alicia?” (Simone)
She asked as she looked at each of them.
“I’ve been busy with many things, maybe too much.” (Alicia)
“Never been better. What about your sister and father?” (Liera)
“They’re good too. Though my father has been quite excited for your arrival.” (Simone)
“Hahaha is that so! Looks like someone is too eager to fight.” (Liera)
What’s with this cozy atmosphere that these three have formed? I’m feeling left out.
“Oh right. These three are the Heroes. This is Chloe, my precious student and the one who keeps the group in line. And this one is Sam. He’s the leader of this group. And he is Jack.” (Liera)
Liera introduced each of us respectively.
But what does she mean by Chloe keeping us in line? That’s incredibly rude ya know!
“Hello, I’m Sam. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” (Sam)
I introduced myself and extended my hand towards her for a handshake. But instead of taking it, she just looked at it with a confused expression. Don’t leave me hanging like that!
Eh? Is it possible that people of Lanpas don’t greet each other with handshakes? Damn, what a blunder to make.
I awkwardly pulled back my hand, and spoke as if nothing had happened.
“Oh, and I’m not the leader, Jack is.” (Sam)
““Huh?”” (Liera and Jack)
“Hmm? Did you not know that, teacher? Jack is the leader of this group.” (Sam)
I lied as naturally as I breathed. I don’t want to be introduced as leader in front of Simone as that would be troublesome.
Jack, as if he understood my motive, spoke.
“Yes, that’s right. Did you not know it, teacher?” (Jack)
Liera scowled at us with suspicion, but we didn’t faze. She finally sighed as if she had given up, and spoke.
“Of course, I did. I was just teasing Sam.” (Liera)
Hooh. Looks like she has also understood my reason behind naming Jack as the leader.
“Is that so? It’s nice to meet you. Anyway, shall we go now?” (Simone)
“Yes. We’ll be in your care.” (Alicia)
Simone turned around and went ahead of the carriage. Liera closed the door, and the carriage started moving again.
I raised the curtain to look through the window to enjoy the scenery outside, but what filled my vision was a horse galloping alongside the carriage. I shifted my view up, and found that a knight wearing shiny silver full body armor. The breastplate of the armor had the crest shaped like a sun, while a sword dangled from his waits. This was the symbol of Lanpas.
The soldier, upon noticing my gaze, waved at me with a beaming smile on his face. Looks like he is quite fond of the Heroes. I waved back at him and took a look around. There were similar knights who were travelling with us.
Doesn’t look like I’ll be able to gaze at the scenery. Damn. I covered the window with the curtains.
Well, not that I think about it, it only makes sense for the soldiers to be here. A princess cannot come alone after all. Moreover, the princess is travelling with her soldiers. That means we’ve already entered the territory of Lanpas.
Anyway, time to gather some information.
“Hey teach, you seemed to be close with that Simone. Do you perhaps know her?” (Sam)
Let’s start with Simone, the first princess.
“Yes. Simone used to be my student. Hmm… in that sense, she is your senior.” (Liera)
My senior? Wow. Can I call her senpai?
“What type of person is she? I mean, she didn’t even shake my hand.” (Sam)
I asked. Let’s try to dig up some more information.
Liera started speaking in a nostalgic tone.
“Ah that. Don’t worry about it. She didn’t shake your hand probably because she was just confused. She wouldn’t have expected you to go for a handshake. Despite how you might think of her, she’s actually very amicable. She’s very courageous, kind and righteous. She’s a princess who is respected by everyone in this country, ya know. However, deep down, she’s just a daughter who adores and admires her father too much. I remember, back then, she used to have a bitchy attitude and just wanted to get stronger. Since I didn’t have much to do during those times, I had accepted Reishu’s request of training her. And that’s how I became her teacher. Yes…… those were the good times.” (Liera)
That last part sure came out of the left field. Looks like Liera got too emotional while reminiscing about her time with Simone. Hold yourself together, Liera.
“Anyway, she isn’t a bad child. I think you’ll get along with her.” (Liera)
She summed up her answer with that line. Well, only time will tell whether she’s right or not.
“I see.” (Sam)
I replied as such.
“However, Sam, why did you lie to Simone about Jack being the leader?” (Alicia)
Asked Alicia while slightly tilting her face. Well, it’s only natural that she would doubt me. After all, I had asked Jack only to fight with Reishu.
“Ah, there’s a simple reason for that. If Reishu asks for a friendly battle, it’s only natural that he would want to fight the leader as he would think that the leader is the strongest among my party. That’s why I named Jack as the leader, so that Reishu would want to fight him instead of me.” (Sam)
I answered honestly. Jack indeed is strongest of us all. However, I also have another reason for not stepping up as the leader: deceit. I’m not sure what type of people the King and his aides are. So, I cannot rule out the possibility that they would turn into enemies. So naming Jack as the leader was to deceive them.
They’ll pay more attention to Jack which would make it easier for me to execute my strategies needed of safely get out of that place. But there’s no need to tell her that, is there?
“I see, that certainly makes sense.” (Alicia)
“Hey Sam, you better remember the favor I’m doing you. And this is the only time I’ll be doing something like this.” (Jack)
“Yeah I understand.” (Sam)
No, I don’t.
“Hey Sam, are you sure you are not evil? From what I know, a Hero doesn’t lie, especially not because he thinks that fighting is a pain in the ass.” (Shiggurath)
Everyone around me nodded. Why the heck are you nodding, Jack?
Just what kind of creatures do they think a Hero is? He’s still a human, ya know. A being capable of complex thought processes and feeling both positive and negative emotions. It’s only natural that I would want to avoid something what I think is a pain in the ass. But the pressure everyone, including Jack, was putting on me didn’t allow me to say this. So I just sat silently.
After travelling for about two more hours, we reached the palace.
Some Heroes don’t lie.
(Some Heroes are a pain to associate with.)
For others… if their lips are moving, they are lying.