Wataru's Side of Things
The mock fight ended in Wataru's complete victory.
"Well, if you can get me out of this circle, it'll be your win. If you win, I'll tell you something good in secret behind Kehma-san's back."
"Ahaha, it's alright. I won't lose."
Having five matches, as he said, he never stepped out of the ring of approximately one meter in radius.
In the first match, Setsuna got hit head-on and rolled backwards on the ground.
In the second match, she was thrown high into the sky and got caught in a princess carry.
In the third match, without even a slight movement, she was tripped up and was sent rolling away.
In the fourth match, he easily avoided Setsuna's fierce assault in the circle and placed his sword against her neck at some point.
In the fifth match, he suddenly seized Setsuna's head with his arm... unable to move, she surrendered.
It looks like the Hero got that strong in the four years of serious training he did. And he's still improving.
... I wondered if he might be a good reference for the golems, but there's no way. Their levels are just way too different.
"Ah, would Kehma-san like to have a mock fight as well?"
"Haha, do you even think I could win?"
"You've gotten strong right? I can tell. How should I say this... you have a 'something' trying to hide about you!"
The heck do you mean 'something'? At least say something with a feeling like atmosphere or aura.
In truth, I have [Super Transformation Lv3] on me so I probably have gotten stronger as a hero, but as expected of Wataru to see through that. Ah, it might also be because of the clothes golem's enhancement.
"Nkyuu! I want to see Village Chief-san and Hero-sama fight!"
"Right, I'd like to see Village Chief-san get kicked a few times."
"See? Setsuna-san and Nayuta-san said so too. We can even go with the same rules."
"... Alright, then could I use a weapon?"
"Sure, go for it."
And so I went to prepare my weapon.
I brought my futon. Laying out a cloth, I placed my futon on top of it.
"Um. Your weapon?"
"Alright then, let's start this mock fight, shall we?"
"Eh, the heck are you doing!? Hey!"
"Don't worry. Well, good night then."
I crawled into my futon... Yep, this mock fight has a fatal loophole.
There's no defeat conditions for me at all.
In other words, I can go to sleep right next to Wataru, ignore him and even go back home. So long as I don't acknowledge my defeat, it's not my defeat.
"It's alright. Feel free to let me know whenever you can't take it anymore and need to use the bathroom. But it'll be your loss the moment you take a step out of that circle. You know what? I'm good to keep this mock battle going till you starve."
"It's not a mock fight at this point! Aaah mou, I get it, rule change!"
"Nn? What're you saying. The rules will stay. Why're you trying to change them on your own? You accepting your loss?"
"... It's my loss! Kehma-san's mean!"
With that, I won the mock battle against Wataru.
But even though he admitted defeat, Wataru was laughing. Did he hit his funny bone or something?
"Village Chief-san, I don't think that's what you should've done."
"... My opinion of you has raised a little."
Setsuna was obviously unsatisfied by it since she was expecting an intense fight, but it got surprisingly good results from Nayuta. I was probably raised from being scrap, though.
"There's no way I'd win against you if we went head on. I'd be a joke."
"It really looked like you just intended on sleeping."
"Me laying out my futon right in front of him was to get him to give up quickly. If I did it seriously, I would've went back to sleep and wait for you to leave the circle."
"I see... so then could you start over and do the mock fight normally?"
I'm a mage in the first place. I'm not recognized much as one since I don't use magic in front of people though. I don't even go out in public much after all.
"Then how about you attack with magic? I won't attack back. If you can put me out of the ring in a minute, it'll be your win. How about it?"
"Refused. I'll be taking my win and leaving."
Wataru persistently tried to change the rules, by magic is a mage's trump card. It's not like I'd easily expose my hand to adventurers who aren't even my party members.
And even if I used [Create Golem] to flip him over like I did with Misha, Wataru could just take advantage of the rules that allowed him to move within the circle and trample the golem. Rather, this Hero... can he fly?
"Eh? Aren't we bonding? I want us to get closer, that's why I'm reducing my debt."
"Then how about I double the debt amount as interest? Maybe I will. I mean, that way, our relationship will double."
"Sorry, please spare me from that..."
Wataru bowed spontaneously.
It was mostly a joke to start with, so let's forgive him.
Seeing us talk to each other like that, Nayuta was frowning like she'd eaten something bitter.
"... Even though Heroes are existences that should inspire fear and awe... no, maybe this Hero-sama is a special case...? Or perhaps Village Chief-san is.. un, Village Chief-san is suspicious. Setting everything else aside, Village Chief-san is beyond suspicious.
"Hey, that's not something you should say right in front of someone."
"It's alright. I'm saying it so that you'll hear it."
Tentatively, I'm the most famous person in the village. The village chief.
"You're a figurehead, right? I know Rokuko-sama's background. As well as how Village Sub-Chief Wozuma-san handles everything himself."
Rokuko's background... as a Dungeon Core? No, it's gotta be about her being the empire's head's (Haku-san's) little sister.
So Rokuko is the most famous person in the village. I see.
I'd heard that beastkin were fussy about pecking order, but it's like that? I'm at a pretty low spot in Nayuta's mind? So that's why she's been talking to me with that sort of attitude.
She reported that I was strong to the point of being a good match against Setsuna, so although I should've been-what was it, [Promising]? Well, although I should be that, what kind of evaluation criteria did Nayuta have for me to be so low in her books? Maybe it's more about ingenuity than battle prowess?
Maybe it's because it looks like I just sleep everyday and eat delicious food without doing anything? I even recently refused Gozoh's invitation for preparing for an emergency after all. I was sleeping though. 
Well, I decided to leave Nayuta alone and ask Wataru something.
"By the way, Wataru. Why Nerune? You could get anyone you want as a Hero."
"... That's just it. I'm a Hero. Women either draw close to me because of my title or stay away like I'm some monster. Then it turns into stuff like marriage fraud by some country's spy..."
Wataru had a distant look to him. Heroes have it pretty tough, huh.
As he said the word 'spy', Setsuna's tail twitched. Anyone other than me would've missed it.
And with her having Wakoku's confidential information... so it's like that? Looks like her identity suddenly offered itself up on a silver platter.
... Hmm? But thinking about it more, didn't she practically say she was a spy? She even said that her employer was Wakoku's Daimyo. Is it alright for her to actually say that?
"On that point, this inn is nice! I'm not treated any differently and it's comfortable like when I was in Japan! Kehma-san even looks Japanese-ish, so I practically want to just live here."
"What, you're an M?" 
"I'm not! But you, Rokuko-sama and Nerune-san all just talk to me, not caring about my title..."
Seeing his lonely expression, it's pretty hard for me to say anything in response.
This guy... so he had a lonely attribute to him? Maybe I should go a bit easier on him...
"Also, Kehma-san's the first person to beat me in a mock fight since I debuted as a hero!"
"Oi cut it out. Don't go off saying that I beat a Hero or anything."
"I knew you'd find it troublesome, Kehma-san, that's just like you. I won't say anything. Ah, but in exchange, about my debt..."
"I won't be reducing it at all. That's the compensation for wagering Kuro."
"I understand. I will pay it off with everything I have."
Right then, he bowed and gave a true apology.
It might be a bit late to think about it, but he even sent his dignity as a Hero to the wind, huh.
... Or did he not have it from the start?
I don't recall ever seeing that invitation... something 'off screen' perhaps?Return
M -> Masochist Return