TWEM Vol. 2 Chapter 16
Chapter 16 – Another One Joins the Group
Ichinomiya reacted to the truth bomb by turning purple, her mouth flapping like a fish.
I ignored her for a moment and protested to Finne and Iris first.
“Hey, you didn’t have to just blurt it out!!”
“B-but I am your first wife, Sir Haruto…”
“Haruto? Does it trouble you in any way for us to state the truth?”
“N-no, that’s not the point, but…”
Frantically thinking of a way to explain the situation, I turned towards Tendo’s group.
“I’m so jealous…Haruto, I want to— ”
“Whoa, Haruto’s married…and twice to boot…”
“Look at how cute they are…”
“What will happen to Suzuno’s feelings…?”
“Is polygamy allowed in this world…? So I guess Suzuno has a chance…?”
Ichinomiya kept mumbling to herself, while the other four reacted in their own ways.
Hey? Aren’t you guys accepting it all too easily? But more importantly, I’m hearing some very intriguing words too…
Ichinomiya seemed to gather her courage, then spoke up.
“You two, how much do you know about Haruto?”
Finne promptly answered the question.
“Let me see, Sir Haruto can be merciless to his enemies, but he is very kind with the people close to him. He tries to protect his companions, no matter what happens. His favorite food is— ”
Next to Finne, Iris was busy taking notes. She probably heard something she didn’t know yet…I was honestly moved by her diligence.
“ — that’s about it, I think. Did I say anything wrong, Sir Haruto?”
Finne spoke continuously for several minutes, then looked at me eagerly.
There weren’t any mistakes in what she said. I was pretty impressed that she could observe me so well, since we knew each other for just one month.
“Nope, that was all perfect. As expected of Finne.”
I patted her head and Finne proudly puffed her chest, saying, “I’m the first wife, after all!”
Looking at us, Ichinomiya puffed her cheeks and protested.
“I-I know more about him, actually!!”
Finne turned towards her, encouraging her to go on, and Iris prepared her pen to catch any new information.
“F-for example…the store he always used to go to in the other world! Because I followed him there sometimes!”
Eh? She…followed me..?
I trembled a bit and looked at Asakura and Shinonome, hoping for an explanation.
“D-don’t look at me! I didn’t know she went that far!”
“Suzuno is a stalker? First time I’ve heard about it.”
Miss Shinonome went and said the S-word…
Ichinomiya finally realized what she blurted out and blushed fiercely.
I did kind of realize it from what they said before, but now I was sure of it.
I didn’t know what to say, though, and Tendo talked to Ichinomiya first.
“Suzuno, I think you should do what you want to.”
“Yes…thank you, Koji. H-Haruto!!”
Ichinomiya, blushing as before, looked at me nervously.
I didn’t say anything and simply looked at her.
She opened her mouth, but hesitated and closed it, then finally gathered enough courage to open it again and speak.
“I-I always liked you!! So please, let me stay at your side from now on!!”
Tendo, Asakura, and Shinonome watched over us without saying anything: they probably knew about Ichinomiya’s feelings already. Mogami, not as savvy with romance matters, looked a bit lost but managed to read the room and kept quiet.
On my side of the sofa, Iris and Finne looked at me with very serious expressions on their faces, waiting to hear my answer. As for Dillan…he had a big grin on his face. He sure looked like he was enjoying himself…
To think that one of the most popular girls in school, if not the most popular, had feelings for me…back in my homeworld, I would be jumping in joy, but now I had Finne and Iris at my side.
Ichinomiya, being born and raised in Japan, surely didn’t like the concept of polygamy. I could never abandon Finne and Iris, though.
I took a deep breath, then spoke.
“Call me Suzuno.”
“Okay. I’m sorry, but I already have someone I like— ”
“By someone you like, do you mean miss Finne and miss Iris?”
Ichinomiya — no, Suzuno probably realized I was going to reject her and interrupted me.
I nodded by reflex and Suzuno looked at Finne and Iris.
“What do you think about me coming with you? I…even if Haruto already has you two as his wives, I wish to be with him all the same.”
Suzuno’s question was answered by Finne.
“Well…if you stay at Sir Haruto’s side, he might start liking you too one day, but that’s fine by me. I think it’s a wonderful thing to like the same person, actually.”
Iris nodded in agreement.
“Yes, I think the same. I’m all for more adorable wives joining the group!”
Well…if Suzuno, Finne, and Iris were all okay with it, I didn’t have reasons to refuse…
This meant for Suzuno to leave Tendo’s party, though.
I looked at Tendo, to see if he was okay with it, and he nodded. Maybe he had considered this outcome from the start.
“Thank you, both of you…! Haruto, then…can I stay with you?”
Suzuno looked at me, worried.
“…I can’t say no, can I? Okay, Suzuno, let’s go together.”
Suzuno’s eyes glowed brightly.
“Thank you so much, all three of you!! I’ll do my best so that Haruto will say he likes me too!!”
Suzuno then turned towards Tendo.
“Koji…I decided to leave the party and stay with Haruto. I’m sorry to cause you such trouble.”
Suzuno bowed to Tendo and the others, who nodded in response.
“It’s okay, you should do what you want to, Suzuno. Don’t worry about the Demon King.”
“Yeah, it’s like Koji says. Just leave it to us!”
“Suzuno, do your best to win him over, okay?”
“Do your best.”
“I will! Thank you, everyone!”
Suzuno thanked Tendo, Mogami, Asakura, and Shinonome, one by one, with a bright smile.
“Honestly, “Sir Haruto”, you’re not going to catch a break from now on…”
Dillan’s grin widened even more.
Your Majesty, I really want to smack you right now…!
Dillan, who surely didn’t even imagine I was thinking such a thing, turned against Tendo’s group.
“Noble Heroes, what are your plans? I believe Sir Tendo was going to say something before…will you return to Glicente?”
“No, we do not plan to. Judging from what Haruto said, we cannot trust Princess Mariana or Glicente, so…”
I nodded to Tendo’s words and continued.
“I think that’s better. The royal family might already know that you looked for me and we met today. In the worst-case scenario, they might try to have you guys assassinated too.”
“Right, that’s a possibility…they hid any information about Haruto from us, so they would never approve of us coming in contact with him…”
I agreed with Tendo’s conclusion and nodded, then a question floated in my head.
“…hey, Tendo. Do you think that King Glicente and Princess Mariana think that the ‘Yuki Haruto we summoned’ and ‘Haruto the EX rank adventurer’ are the same person?”
“At first, we considered that they might simply be unaware that they were the same person…but after we heard that they kicked you out and tried having you killed, I can only think that they kept the truth from us on purpose.”
Hmm, based on the circumstances, it was indeed more likely that they did know about that.
I then recalled something and turned to Dillan.
“May I ask you one thing, Dillan?”
“Yes? What is it?”
“My promotion was decided in a summit between the rulers of the Three Great States, right?”
I saw Tendo and the others react with surprise, but I continued.
“King Glicente participated in that summit too, right? Could you tell what you remember about his reactions, or anything else?”
“Why yes, certainly. Let me see, that day— ”
Dillan crossed his arms and closed his eyes, narrating as he revived his memories of the summit.
The evening following Haruto’s extermination of the monster horde threatening the capital, Dillan Arclaidh Perdis was in the conference room reserved for the king of Perdis.
On the table, before him, there was a magic item in the shape of a crystal.
The same item could be found in the personal conference room of the ruler of each country: it transmitted footage of the person sitting in front of it to the other crystals, thus allowing for real-time long-distance conferences.
The audio was also transmitted in real-time, so the kings and rulers could talk as if they were meeting in person.
That day, the summit was held to discuss the promotion of rank A adventurer Haruto. The participants were the kings and rulers of all countries in that world.
The countries and related rulers participating were thirteen in total: the Three Great States — the kingdom of Perdis, the kingdom of Glicente, the Galzio empire, the kingdom of Valna, the Holy State of Belifaire, the kingdom of Balmurg, the kingdom of Zwoelg, the kingdom of Arvelle, the Beast Kingdom of Therion, the Rubillia Republic, the kingdom of Zipang, the Ars Union and the kingdom of Legania.
Dillan, who had called for the summit, bowed to the other monarchs and began to speak.
“My deepest gratitude to you all for answering such a sudden request.”
『We are gathered today to discuss a promotion to rank S, is that correct? King Perdis.』
The first one to speak was the leader of the Galzio empire, emperor Oskar von Galzio.
“Indeed, that is correct.”
『As procedure commands, let us thus review the achievements of the adventurer in question, discuss if they are worthy of rank S, then take a majority vote…』
“That would be the normal process, yes, but this case…is rather unique, I’d say.”
Emperor Oskar cocked his head to the side, perplexed, and Dillan nodded.
He looked at the faces of all the participating rulers, then continued.
“Allow me to first inform you that just yesterday, the capital of my kingdom of Perdis was *almost* attacked by a large monster horde of over ten thousand, including dozens of disaster class monsters, unleashed by one of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King’s army, ‘Gheel the Temptor’.”
Dillan’s words were met with loud whispers and murmurs.
A ten thousand-strong monster horde was already an emergency, but it was even led by one of the Four Heavenly Kings. Normally, the Perdis capital would have been razed to the ground, but king Perdis seemed perfectly safe and sound.
『It was *almost* attacked? What exactly does that mean?』『How could Perdis survive such a disaster?』『Who could have stopped the monsters?』
Questions and theories flew back and forth between the rulers until Dillan raised a hand to call for silence and continued.
“Please calm down, I will explain…the Heavenly King, as well as most of the monster horde, were dispatched by a single adventurer.”
Dillan’s words caused even more confusion.
A single person defeated a monster horde containing dozens of disaster class monsters? And a Heavenly King too? How could that be possible?
The buzzing commotion grew even louder, but this time Oskar was the one to stop it.
『Please, my excellent brethren, regain your composure…King Perdis, I trust you have evidence of your words.』
The conference turned quiet again, as all eyes verged on Dillan. The latter calmly extracted a magic tool, a crystal used to capture visual footage, and put it on the table.
“Certainly. Please, watch this.”
Dillan poured magic power into the magic tool, which started playing the footage recorded in it.
The magic tool, set at the frontlines, had captured the entire battle against the monster horde.
The sudden approach of the monsters, the construction of emergency lines of defense, the fierce battle. Then, the arrival of a young man clad in black clothes. The various magic spells he used — which normally required several individuals to be cast. How he slashed through the monster horde with his sword. The final meteor-like spell. The only thing left after the smoke and dust cleared — a massive crater.
“ — this is my evidence. We do not have footage of the Heavenly King, but the adventurer responsible for this feat claims to have killed him…and only “Gheel the Temptor” could have controlled such a large number of monsters. There is no doubt that he was in the area, and as there were no other suspicious movements after this, I believe we can conclude that the adventurer was speaking the truth.”
Would the other rulers accept Dillan’s words?
After watching the footage, they all seemed too stupefied for words.
A hushed whisper eventually broke the silence.
It perfectly captured what all the rulers were thinking — except one.
“Hahaha…Demon King, you say?”
That one ruler, Dillan, was barely holding back his laughter.
『King Perdis, what has gotten into you?』
Oskar found his reaction peculiar and inquired about it.
“Actually, ‘Demon King’ is one of the guild’s proposed second names for this adventurer. Truly fitting, I must admit.”
Oskar, while mentally contemplating that it was no laughing matter, asked another question.
『Thus you wish to propose for this adventurer to be promoted to rank S?』
“Actually, before the battle against the monster horde, this adventurer already completed the exam to be promoted to rank S — the extermination of a mutant wyvern. I also believe that such fighting ability cannot be contained by the current rank S. I thus wish to propose the institution of a higher rank — we may call it ‘EX’ — for this adventurer to be promoted to.”
Many of the rulers nodded to Dillan’s proposal, while others expressed their doubts.
『It does seem that he has more than enough ability…but isn’t there the chance he turns against us?』
『King Perdis, could it be that you have already secured him in your service?』
『If he has such power at his command, can he be of sound character?』
It sounded more like an interrogation than a series of questions, but Dillan answered with perfect composure.
“First, I can assure you that he will never engage in aggressive behavior unless he himself or those close to him are endangered first. Second, I have tried inviting him to join my ranks, but was refused: he specifically said that he values his freedom over anything else. I doubt he will ever change his mind. Third, I believe there is no problem at all with his character, and he is also held in high regard within the guild. He has no mercy for his enemies, but…as long as we do not do anything to him, he will be a kind, gentle boy who cares deeply for his companions.”
Dillan’s words seemed to convince the other rulers, who nodded in response.
『…I think the words of King Perdis can be trusted. What is this adventurer’s name? If he has such ability, I am sure some of us might know him already…』
“My apologies, I did not realize I had not mentioned it yet. The name of this adventurer is Yuki Haruto. He has registered as an adventurer only recently, so I do not think his name is already well known, though.”
Geil Forla Glicente, the ruler of the Kingdom of Glicente, had been silent throughout the summit — but suddenly raised his voice.
“Is there anything wrong, King Glicente?”
“Oh, no, nothing…the young man in the footage had black hair too, but…no, the names are probably similar, that’s all…”
King Glicente mumbled the second part of his sentence, so Dillan couldn’t make out what he said and decided to proceed.
“Let us then proceed with the vote, concerning the promotion of adventurer Yuki Haruto to rank EX.”
『The Galzio Empire votes in favor.』
『…the Kingdom of Glicente is in favor too.』
『The Kingdom of Valna votes in favor.』
『The Ars Union votes in favor.』
『The Holy State of Belifaire votes in favor— 』
In the end, Haruto’s promotion was approved with a rare unanimous vote.
Dillan breathed a sigh of relief, then moved to the final decision of the day.
“Thank you all. Our kingdom of Perdis shall proceed with informing adventurer Haruto and holding the promotion ceremony…lastly, concerning his second name, we have several proposals, with ‘Absolute One’, ‘Annihilator’ and ‘Demon King’ as the most favored choices…”
『It has to be “Demon King”.』
『What else could we choose?』
Before Dillan could finish speaking, Oskar voiced his opinion and the other rulers quickly agreed.
Haruto’s second name was thus decided to be “Demon King”.
“ — and that’s how it went. Now that I think about it, King Glicente’s reaction was pretty understandable: he believed Haruto to be dead, after all.”
Dillan concluded his retelling of the summit, paused for a moment, then commented about King Glicente.
I reflected a bit about what Dillan said, then spoke.
“Judging from the king’s reaction, it’s likely that he hasn’t noticed, then…”
“There is a high probability that he suspects the Haruto he exiled and Haruto the EX rank adventurer to be the same person, though. He might not be sure of it, but it would definitely be inconvenient for him if someone finds out, so he kept any information about Haruto the adventurer from us, I think.”
Yeah, it’s probably as Tendo said…
“All the more reason not to go back to the capital…or rather, you shouldn’t go near Glicente at all.”
Tendo nodded to me.
“Right. Maybe we’re thinking too much, but better safe than sorry.”
“What do you plan to do, then? Stay here, or travel to another country, maybe?”
Tendo thought for a moment about Dillan’s question.
“Our first goal was to find Haruto, and we accomplished it, so we could return to our plans of traveling while boosting our level…but now I’m not so sure anymore that it’s right to continue traveling, following the instructions we received in Glicente…”
Mogami, Asakura, and Shinonome also nodded in agreement.
I had come up with something, so I proposed it to them.
“…guys, what do you say about sticking with me for a while?”
Tendo and the other three looked at me, wide-eyed.
“Your level is around 60 on average, right?”
I had checked their level via Appraisal and Tendo confirmed it was right.
“Regardless of whether you will follow Glicente’s orders or ignore them, you guys are Heroes, so you’re going to fight the Demon King’s armies eventually, right? But your current level is too low, so I’m going to train you.”
Asakura reacted, with a touch of anxiety in her voice.
“Is the Demon King’s army that strong?”
“Well, yeah. I defeated one of the Heavenly Kings, right? His level was 137. I don’t know if the other Heavenly Kings are the same, but they’re probably close.”
Not only Asakura and the others but also Dillan, Finne, and Iris froze.
“Whoa, whoa, for real…? Wait, that means that the Demon King must be even stronger than that…”
Mogami, a tense smile on his lips, replied and I nodded to him.
“Right. In any case, you don’t stand a chance as you are now, right?”
“I never thought the gap could be that big…”
Shinonome looked like she had lost all hope.
In contrast, my tone was pretty lighthearted.
“No need to look so down, guys, I said I’ll train you.”
“Is it really okay?”
Tendo looked at me straight, sincerely.
So I responded in the same way.
“Of course. I don’t want you guys to die…well, my training might be pretty harsh, though.”
I grinned and Tendo lowered his head with great momentum.
“…thank you! We’re in your hands!”
Mogami, Asakura, and Shinonome all followed suit.
“Sure, leave it to me.”
I smiled warmly as I imagined what kind of training I could come up with for them.
“…I gathered all my courage to confess, but…was there a point…?”
Suzuno was sulking, alone in a corner of the room. Er…what can I say…sorry.