The Hero and His Story
"Well, come to think of it... you proposed to Rokuko or something?"
Bu-!? Wataru looked like he was punched in the gut.
"Y-yeah, no, w-well, I did. She rejected me... But I won't give up. I will absolutely persuade her."
"Rokuko is Haku-san's beloved imouto, she'll erase you if you lay a hand on her you know?"
"It's fine, I'll respect the person herself's wishes."
If it's about respecting her wishes, I just want to tell him to give up already.
"Rokuko is already my partner though."
"Oh, she still doesn't seem to have a ring though, have you still not given her one?"
"So there is a custom of giving a ring to your partner in the place Hero-sama comes from? We come from deep in the mountains, so we don't have that kind of a custom."
"Ah, then should the present be from me? I'll send it to her later if she tells me her finger size you know?"
"Ha ha ha, it's an important present for my partner, I'll somehow handle it myself."
When I took a brief glance at Rokuko, she was smiling with her cheeks blushing. Oi, isn't this course of events bad?
The conversation is progressing, but which meaning of [Partner] is it?
Ring, perhaps... is it the meaning related to marriage?
"Right, for a partner... so it goes on the ring finger?"
"Yeah, the ring finger."
Oi, what do you mean by ring finger? Is it the engagement ring or wedding ring after all?
I should have properly asked what [Partner]'s meaning was. I'm so bad at ad lib.
"Well, even so, I won't give up."
"No, please give up... Rather, why Rokuko? You're the hero, surely you're popular?"
"There are a lot of circumstances..."
Wataru looked down and began to tell his story.
It all started three years ago. Summoned to this world, Wataru Nishimi was trained as a hero, joined a chivalric order, and lived a militaristic life.
Wataru, who had been set up as a hero, was just seventeen years old at the time, a high school student. He liked games, so he aspired to be a hero.
[Defeat the Demon King]-with that slogan in mind, Hero Wataru hunted monsters to acquire strength.
And then on a certain day. The chivalric order was assigned to exterminate thieves-his first murder.
He was overcome by intense guilt.
Even if he knew that others would die if he didn't kill them, even if he had almost lost himself in the killing with his fellow knights, he couldn't evade that feeling of killing a person. As a Japanese, it was impossible for Wataru to rid himself of that feeling.
Wataru shut himself in his room.
He neglected his training for many days, unable to move due to the crushing weight of remorse.
Just when Wataru thought it wouldn't be so bad if he would just die as well, the door to his room was kicked open and he was forcibly dragged out.
[Idiot-! If Wataru died... what would I do!]
The one to save Wataru by a hair's breadth was his chivalric order comrade, Plume.
Plume devotedly attended Wataru, hearing his story. He spoke about a lot of Japanese things. He spoke about a lot of trivial things. For all of it, Plume listened to him. She never denied Wataru. She accepted it all with a smile.
Then, he was gradually charmed by Plume-and confessed.
[Un, if you're fine with me.]
Getting the OK, Wataru was ecstatic. Merrily, he struggled to store enough funds to marry Plume and accepted difficult commissions from the guild.
-To live with Plume in this world, he hardened his resolve.
[... Eeeh, no way. He doesn't have what it takes to be a leader-] [-Ha ha, right? Wataru's a weakling. Let's go on to my room.]
Then, he saw Plume and another leader go into the same room together.
... Even after that, Plume stayed with Wataru with an unchanging smile.
What he saw was probably an illusion or something, that's what he told himself. Wataru started to forget about it.
And then, that time came.
Count String was arrested, and the chance came.
[... Plume... isn't here?] [Oi! There's a note in her room!]
The message went like this: [Sorry☆ The count was arrested so I escaped! Everyone, stay healthy? Plume Zan].
The count was arrested-so she escaped. He couldn't understand how those actions were related.
However, it was immediately cleared up.
[Oi, don't go entering my Plume's room because of the emergency!] [Hah? What're you saying. Plume is my Plume!] [Wait wait wait, everyone be quiet, Plume and I are planning on marrying you know?] [I am! I am Plume's fiance!]
Those were all remarks from separate men.
And all of their savings had disappeared. After they looked around, they realized that everything with jewels were taken away.
... Plum was an assassin sent in by the count in order to ensnare the hero-an international fugitive marriage impostor.
Furthermore, somehow, Wataru's savings disappeared as well. As well as his mementos brought from Japan.-Most of all, even though he was able to buy some of it back from pawn shops nearby-Plume, the most important thing, couldn't be found.
[Plume was... was... a criminal? But surely there were reasons-] [Come to think of it, the marriage impostor Plume Zan is... a man. To begin with, women aren't allowed into the String Chivalric Order.]
What was that? All of his hopes were smashed into pieces.
"... That is what happened."
"T-that's, well, my condolences."
Somehow or another, he's went through a sublime experience huh. I didn't say it though.
To deceive those guys and their leader, that's... well, let's stop there. It's nothing but me guessing on my own.
"So then, what relation does Plume-san have to your proposal with Rokuko?"
"No, love at first sight needs no reasons."
It had nothing to do with it!?
"Aaah no! It's not that it's unrelated, umm, love at first sight, I mean, I value my instincts."
"... Is that all?"
"Yes, that's all."
Then why did you have me listen to a story about your past? What a roundabout hero.
"... However, if Rokuko-san is that important to you, you should want to show her proof of that."
"That's right. If you showed her proof of it, then I'll probably have to give up."
... Yep, I don't really get what he's saying, but I can understand a little.
"In other words, isn't it fine if I just kiss Rokuko here?"
"Hyahi!? W-wait, hold on! No no, there's no way, it's impossible!"
Rokuko refused with a blushing face, waving her hands back and forth super fast.
Oi, the hero'll have no choice but to take advantage of that if you deny it. Well, I'd probably be executed by Haku-san if I actually kissed her though.
"Hahaha, it seems that's impossible for Rokuko-san. So then, it looks like I still have a chance.
"No no, Rokuko is just shy after all. Although it looks like this, we are partners in mind and body.
I responded to Hero Wataru's cheerful remark.
"Well then, let's do it like this... I fell in love with her on sight. Please let me confirm whether or not you can protect Rokuko-san. Right, if it's an adventurer that's superior to me, I'll be able to entrust Rokuko-san to them with peace of mind."
"Hahaha, surely you're joking. A condition of being an adventurer that surpasses an S-Rank like yourself, isn't that a little unreasonable?"
"Don't worry. I was still a C-Rank before they made me S-Rank."
Oi, did that count put some pressure on them? Haku-san would definitely find out if the adventurer guild made him a high rank... Looks like the count's maneuvering was in vain as well.
"Well, that's how it is. So then let's have a match. By using that to probe-ah, not that, aren't you excited?"
Wataru corrected himself, standing up trying to pretend it didn't happen.
"A match with Rokuko-san on the line, Narikin!"
I answered immediately.