TWEM Vol. 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 2 – Status and Exile
After a short while, we arrived at the audience chambers.
The door had luxurious decorations all over it, as expected for a king’s audience hall.
“As explained previously…you shall now have an audience with His Majesty the king, noble heroes. When you approach the king, kindly bend one leg on the ground and bow your heads.”
“Yes, we understand.”
We all nodded after Tendo’s reply.
Mariana then knocked on the lavish door a few times.
Soon enough, a voice from beyond the door ordered us to proceed.
At the same time, the doors opened and we followed Mariana inside the audience chambers.
The room was much larger than the one we were previously in and had knights lined up on both sides. At the opposite end of the room, there was a throne-like chair and an old guy, probably in his late fifties, sitting on it.
…though I guess “old guy” would be disrespectful since he was likely the king.
Mariana walked forward a few more steps, then bent one leg on the ground and bowed her head.
We followed suit a bit later, delayed by our lack of familiarity with such customs.
“Raise your heads.”
We complied and saw the king looking over at us with a very serious expression.
“I thank you for answering our summons, o heroes. I am the king of this kingdom of Glicente, Geil Forla Glicente. I have summoned you for there is something I must request of you.”
The king’s speech too was pretty much standard stuff.
So I guessed that his “request” too would be a classic “please defeat the demon king”.
“Currently in this world, the human kingdoms are under threat by the leader of the demon armies, the so-called demon king. Thus my request would be for you to defeat the demon king and their forces. You would receive training first, of course, then you will gain further strength through exploration and conquest of dungeons, ultimately leading to fighting against the demon king…will you accept our plea?”
Yep, just as expected.
I was starting to feel annoyed at how we were forcibly summoned, when one of Tendo’s childhood friends, Orihara Shoya, spoke.
“Your Majesty, before we give our answer, may I ask a question?”
“What is it?”
“Will we be able to return to our world?”
After Orihara’s question, all of us looked seriously in the king’s direction.
Being able to go back or not was a very important question: all of us surely wanted to.
The king, however, answered in an apologetic tone.
“…I am truly sorry, but at present, there is no way for you to go back.”
“What does that mean?”
Orihara pressed immediately, a touch of anxiety in his voice. The king nodded gravely and continued.
“As the legend says, when the demon king is defeated a divine prophecy will be received, detailing how to return to one’s former world. We do not know, however, what kind of method that is, at the moment…”
It all sounded pretty suspicious to me.
Despite what the king said, there was actually no way to return…was another classic of these “different world” stories.
In that case, the heroes would be treated as nuisances after the demon king was defeated, or they would hear threats like “If you want to know how to go back, do as we say” and be forced to do the king’s bidding…
Of course, there was the possibility of a way to go back actually existing…but if we couldn’t go back immediately, we were still forced to participate in the demon king extermination mission.
Maybe because he realized it, one of the classmates started shouting.
“Enough with your crap!! You summon us here and even force us to fight!?”
He was followed by several other similar voices.
“Don’t go decide everything on your own!!”
“This is your world, so do something about it yourself!!”
“Don’t drag people from other worlds into your mess!!”
The protests were getting louder and louder until Tendo dominated them.
“Everyone, please listen to me for a moment!!”
The audience hall turned completely silent for a second, as everyone present turned towards Tendo.
I kind of imagined what he was going to say, so I frowned.
He was probably going to say to accept the king’s plea and to defeat the demon king.
Tendo was a really good guy, someone who could never leave someone in trouble alone. That was why he was well-liked and respected by the other classmates, and the teachers valued him highly too. He had what you’d call charisma.
The reason why Mitsurugi and the others’ antics did not escalate to real bullying was mostly thanks to Tendo too.
Honestly speaking, however…I couldn’t really speak badly of him since he helped so many times, but Tendo was too much of a good guy sometimes.
The king’s suspicious “request” was better off refused, if you thought about it a little.
I was going to stop Tendo from continuing, but—
“I am thinking of fighting against the demon king, for the sake of the people of this world.”
I didn’t make it in time.
Aw, shit. He really went and said it.
You should have thought about it some more…is what I was thinking as Tendo resumed speaking.
“If it will save at least one person, I am going to fight. If we are heroes, we should be of some help. Everyone, will you fight with me!? I know this sounds selfish, but…please!!”
Tendo then lowered his head to everyone. One of his childhood friends, Mogami Shinya, was the first to answer.
“You always for the sake of other people, don’t you…I’m with you, man.”
I expected the musclehead-type Mogami to say that, but sighed and whispered “You too…?” to myself all the same.
That first approval, however, triggered a slew of others.
“If you’re going, I’m coming too!”
“I will fight too!”
“As your teacher, I approve too!”
Not only the students, but even the teacher joined in. Nothing was going to overturn it anymore, I thought.
I didn’t have enough guts or proof to go against such a mood, so I kept quiet, showing I was agreeing too.
I think I saw the king smiling at us…but wasn’t sure if it was a genuine smile or a grin.
After a little while, when everyone calmed down, the king spoke again.
“I am grateful for your cooperation. Now we shall confirm which Gift each of you has received…Mariana, my official duties await. I shall leave the rest to you.”
Mariana looked at the king exit the audience hall, then turned towards us and started explaining.
“Noble heroes, we shall now check your status and Gift. Gifts are god-given boons, granted to you during the summoning. As recorded in ancient documents, Gifts are also proof of being a Hero.”
As Mariana talked, the knights brought a table and a crystal next to her, clearly preparing for something.
Mariana waited for them to finish, then spoke again.
“This crystal will show your status. Please come here one by one, place a hand on the crystal, and think of the words ‘Open Status’ and it will be displayed…who shall be the first?”
“Very well, please come.”
Tendo followed Mariana’s instructions and put a hand over the crystal placed on the table.
The next moment, a video game-like status window appeared in front of Tendo. It was big enough for me to see it even from a distance.
Holy Sword User (Ability to wield all holy swords. Sword Arts and Light Magic levels increase more easily)
Sword Arts LV 1
Fire Magic LV 1
Water Magic LV 1
Wind Magic LV 1
Earth Magic LV 1
Light Magic LV 1
After looking at Tendo’s status, Mariana and the knights reacted with surprise.
“He’s level 1, and yet…!”
I couldn’t tell if that meant he was strong or weak, so I looked on curiously.
“Normally, a level 1 individual would not have so many abilities. Most people can use only one element of magic, two in rare cases, three in extremely rare ones…which are said to have the potential to achieve incredible powers…in other words, this status is incredibly promising.”
After that premise, Mariana explained about statuses in simple terms.
A “level” was the value of one’s cumulative experience: increasing it meant greater physical abilities and the possibility to learn more powerful skills. One’s magic power capacity increased too.
A “Gift”, as Mariana explained, was an ability unique to Heroes.
“Skill” was the general name for abilities that those with a status could use, ranging from martial skills, magic skills, and techniques such as Appraisal and Language Comprehension. Skill levels increased as one level did, reaching a maximum of 10.
Elemental magic such as fire and water were available in some form to almost anyone, apparently.
There were also “Unique Skills”, though Tendo apparently did not have any. They were very powerful skills that did not belong to any category and were very difficult to obtain, apparently.
Finally, the “Title”…was pretty much its literal definition, something like a description.
After the explanation, Mariana continued to check our statuses, one by one.
I wasn’t too keen on the whole thing, so I stayed back and looked, thinking I’d go last.
All of the students and Ms. Usami too had Appraisal and Language Comprehension in their skills, as well as multiple elemental magic and other skills. Appraisal, by the way, was a skill that allowed you to see information about the target.
Eventually, my turn came up, so I put a hand on the crystal like everyone else had done.
The next instant, the knights around me reacted in surprise.
“H-how can this be!?”
Mariana too seemed very surprised.
The reason was my status window.
“All summoned heroes are supposed to have a Gift…but there is nothing here…there isn’t the title of Hero either!!”
As Mariana said, my status was as follows.
Not only did I lack a Gift or the Hero title, but I also didn’t even have one elemental magic skill. What I had were only Appraisal and Language Comprehension skills.
“How can this be…? Well…in any case…I shall report to His Majesty. Noble heroes, please wait here.”
As soon as Mariana left, Mitsurugi and his two lackeys came up to me, the usual nasty smiles on their faces.
“Whoa, whoa, have you seen how useless this guy is?”
“Seriously! Worthless trash should get lost!”
“You said it! With a status like that, what could he even do?”
Again with your crap…I grumbled to myself, when Ichinomiya approached us, glaring at Mitsurugi and the others.
“Don’t you think it isn’t right to talk like that?”
Mitsurugi’s group, however, replied in their usual flippant way.
“Hey Ichinomiya, you should get away from a useless guy like that.”
“C’mon Ichinomiya, leave the trash alone and come with us instead.”
In response, Ichinomiya, tears welling up at the corners of her eyes, cried to them.
“How can you say such cruel things!? He’s one of our classmates!”
Tendo and his group, who were chatting a bit farther away, noticed the commotion.
Mitsurugi and the other two, however, simply shrugged.
“Even if you say that useless is useless…”
“We haven’t said anything weird, have we?”
Ichinomiya turned away from the unrepentant group and bowed to me.
“I’m sorry Haruto, I can never get them to stop…”
“Please, raise your head. You don’t have to worry about that.”
“But then you…”
Ichinomiya looked at me apologetically, but I didn’t really care much.
Mitsurugi and his group’s jeering was a pain, but reacting would just excite them more. In the end, ignoring them was the best choice.
Soon after that, Mariana returned to the audience hall.
As soon as she came inside she walked straight in my direction.
“Sir Yuki, my humblest apologies, but could we continue our conversation in a separate room? Everyone else, please wait here.”
I kind of figured out what she was going to say, but I had no choice but to go.
Ichinomiya called my name, with concern in her voice. I glanced at the other students and saw Tendo looking at us, worried.
I talked with Ichinomiya as gently as I could, to put her at ease.
“Don’t worry, it’ll all work out.”
“They’ll probably kick me out now…but we’ll meet again somewhere.”
I replied thus to Ichinomiya’s feeble voice, then followed Mariana out of the audience hall.
Then, in another room—
“ —that is all.”
Mariana told me exactly what I predicted.
“I see. Basically, having someone without a Gift or title with the other Heroes would just be troublesome, so get out…is that it?”
Well, I kind of understood her point, to be honest.
I wouldn’t have liked to stay with the others if it meant holding them back.
Since I was in a different world and all, I kind of enjoyed the prospect of seeing it by myself.
“I am grateful for your understanding. As a token of apology…please accept this sum. It should be enough to support you for at least three months.”
Mariana then gave me a leather satchel.
Inside I found three golden coins and several silver ones.
Not knowing about the cost of living in this world, I couldn’t be sure they would really last me three months…but I guessed it was always better than nothing.
“In addition, if you stay in the castle town too long might lead to encountering the heroes’ party, so I would like you to leave for the neighboring town of Waxe as soon as you have acquired the necessary equipment in town. Once there, you may start working normally, or become an adventurer, someone who generally undertakes requests of transporting or exterminating monsters or escorting people…you are free to live as you wish.”
“…understood. Please tell the others that I have left on my own.”
Well, I planned to leave on a journey anyway, so the departure just came up earlier, in a way.
Becoming an adventurer sounded pretty exciting too. My status right now wasn’t worth much, but if I leveled up I could probably get stronger, maybe catching up to the others one day.
Mariana smiled at my words.
“Yes, please take care of yourself then. May god’s blessings be upon you.”
The knights then escorted me out of the building we were in — the royal castle.
Looking at it from outside, the royal castle was an impressive complex — and the surrounding castle town seemed very active too.
According to the knights who escorted me out, the closest town was located beyond the forest near this royal capital. The forest could be crossed in less than half a day, apparently, so I decided to quickly fix my equipment and leave.
My school uniform definitely stood out, so my first destination was the weapons and armor shop near the castle, where I bought an adventurer-like set of equipment, a black mantle, and an iron sword.
I never used a sword before, but it was better than nothing.
While shopping I looked around the castle town a bit and gathered a general idea of prices and the actual worth of the local currency.
The unit here was called Gould: one piece of Gould was more or less equal to one yen.
There were bronze coins, large bronze coins, silver coins, large silver coins, gold coins, and large gold coins, worth 10 Gould, 100 Gould, 1000 Gould, 10.000 Gould, 100.000 Gould, and 1 million Gould respectively.
Above the large gold coins, there were also white gold and black gold coins, apparently, but I didn’t think I was going to see something like that so often…
I received three gold coins and several silver coins from Mariana, for a total of about 300.000 yen. (*About 2800 USD)
Considering I would have to pay for a place to sleep, I surely couldn’t afford a luxurious lifestyle, but if I started working as an adventurer things would hopefully work out.
With such thoughts in my mind, I left the royal capital and headed for the forest.
When I reached the entrance to the forest, the sun was already high in the sky. At this pace, I would probably reach the next town by sunset.
A few minutes after I penetrated the forest, I heard the sound of hooves coming up from behind.
I turned around and saw three knights on horseback approaching me.
They caught up with me quickly, got off their horses and called out to me.
“Sir Yuki, we finally found you. We have informed the heroes’ party that you have left on your own will, so please rest easy.”
“I see…and you have come all this way to report that to me?”
The knights answered my question by grinning and unsheathing their swords.
“No — as you can see. The order came from His Majesty the king and the princess, so please don’t think badly of us, okay?”
Wait a second, is that what they meant by me *leaving*??
“So this is what happens after all! Shit!”
I tried reaching for the sword at my waist, but the knight was faster.
The next instant, his sword was piercing my chest.
The knight pulled out his sword and blood gushed out. I collapsed on the ground like that.
My chest wound felt like it was on fire, but by contrast, the rest of my body was getting colder and colder.
My consciousness was fading quickly, but I managed to wring out a few words in the knights’ direction.
“Gah…! You all better remember this…! One day, I’m definitely…going to…kill…”
I had no strength to say anything else. As my vision faded while I laid helpless on the ground, the knights’ words reached my ears.
“Okay then, we’re allowed to take his money once we’ve killed the guy, right?”
“Hey look at this, the guy’s loaded! We’re going to have a feast tonight!”
“You said it! Hahaha!”
Damn you all…even taking away what little I had…
One of the knights then seemed to recall something.
“Hey, is he still alive?”
“Hm? Wait, let me check.”
Another knight kicked my body belly up.
I didn’t feel any pain anymore and my sight was almost gone, but I managed to glare at the knights.
The knight who kicked me, however, snorted in derision at me.
“Too late to look at me like that, you’re a goner already. No need to waste any more time or effort here.”
The other two knights nodded.
“Yeah, you’re right. He can’t move or call for help anyway.”
“Right. We didn’t see anyone on the way here, so if we leave him here soon enough the monsters will be attracted by the smell of blood and will come to eat him.”
I was infuriated by their words, but my conscience completely faded.
—and before I realized it, I found myself surrounded by white light.