Chapter 1 – The Sprouting Grass Which Declares That “We Are A Party Of Heroes!”
Clear Earth, a world of magic and swords. In this world, death was tied to the concept of HP.
The rules were very simple.
If your HP dropped to 0, you died. If there was even 1 HP remaining, you would survive, although you would suffer from a serious injury.
However, the concept of HP wasn’t the same as it was in a game. It was only there to reflect a person’s health.
For example, hurting someone by flicking their forehead dozens of times wouldn’t reduce their HP.
Essentially, HP would only drop when you took any substantial damage.
Kagami had heard from his mother that long ago, the Great Magician had wanted to display the Status of people’s abilities. Over time though, it started to represent a person’s identity and worth, eventually becoming a tool to manipulate people.
To Kagami, however, such things were trivial.
The idea of being discovered lying down in your house leisurely, going to the opposite side of the world instantly with a incomprehensible vehicle called an airplane, or strengthening your body by doing push ups and running were now just stories from the era of legends.
Now that he was living in this world where nobody knew him, Kagami had properly recognized this world as his reality.
Rather, Kagami had concluded that this world was great.
Kagami said something similar to a catch phrase: “This era is the best.”
If he had been born back in the era of legends, he would definitely have become the legendary 【Neet】, who had been said to be good at doing nothing.
“Uooooh! Amazing, this guy is amazing! With this, it’s 48 wins!?”
Such a reality had been enjoyed to the fullest.
This was Kagami.
Ninety percent of the gold in this world was used on entertainment.
Kagami had known this since he was young.
Thus, Kagami had decided to become stronger, in order to obtain gold.
However, at the same time, Kagami had known of his own weaknesses.
Villagers only have a limited amount of power to fight with.
Even if you struggled to get stronger as a Villager, your Status wouldn’t be nearly as strong as the Status of a person that possessed a role that was worthy of being called a Role.
However, this only applied when the people being compared were on the same Level.
If you just raised your Level, even Villagers could obtain enough power to pierce Green Slimes with boogers.
That was why Kagami had earnestly continued to defeat Green Slimes with long range attacks until his Level increased. In his first battle, he had noticed that he could defeat them without taking any damage if he played chicken and only used long range attacks.
As his Level rose, he would continuously move on to monsters that dropped larger amounts of gold. He had lost plenty of sleep during those twenty years, due to relentlessly killing monsters as if he were possessed.
As a result, Kagami had reached Level 999.
Now, Kagami could fool around in those entertainment sites; venues from legendary eras of the past. In present times, Game Centers had become Holy Lands where only millionaires could play due to the high costs of energy consumption.
“That guy, who on earth is he…?”
“Who knows, but seeing that speedrun of his, he probably comes here quite often.Even if he has a capable role and subjugates monsters, he wouldn’t have that much money to spend. I wonder what prosperous merchant family he comes from?”
Fundamentally, the role in one’s Status was not available for the general public to see. When two people conversed on equal terms, Level and Status became essential for distinction. It was said to be a breach of mannerisms to claim that one method of comparison was superior another. As an example, in the past it was often said that Villagers couldn’t fight even if they bought weapons.
Therefore, the public only needed to know a person’s Role when they requested a mercenary to accompany them in business or to formal meetings and appointments.
However, even Kagami had been hiding his Role. The reason was simple. The role of the Villager was thoroughly ridiculed. However, it would be a violation of mannerisms to be revealed as one. Since it was troublesome, it wasn’t shown to the public. The answer was to have money. As long as you had money, you would become known even if your role was hidden.
“Excuse me,.. You guys look like you aren’t just watching. Let’s compete. Zeze.”
Kagami’s playfulness, which seemed to be for fun, was actually due to his hunger for competition.
“Do-don’t be ridiculous! It’s not like we can play a game where the average merchant can normally bet 100 silver! We’re just talking together because we’re on a break from work right now!”
After the conversation, Kagami left the Game Center. It was foolish to play with 100 Silver, since there was no benefit for the people who just played normally. It was possible to stay at a high-class inn for five nights with that much money.
Kagami liked playing games. There was also the minimum amount of money needed to play. He was doing everything that he thought was fun, and, of course, gambling was also a favorite.
This was because Kagami, who had reached Level 999, had grown bored of earning gold.
Earning gold was not fun. It was often said that it might be good to have a job in order to be able to do fun things.
The average amount of gold obtained in a person’s life was 50 gold. Kagami currently held a little bit more than 5480 gold. Frankly speaking, there wasn’t really a point in earning anymore. There was a limit to how much land someone could buy, and people were restricted to owning a maximum of two buildings in the residential areas of the Imperial City.
Even then, Kagami, who was constantly chasing after monster subjugation quests, did not have a residence. He had considered hiring an exclusive house-maid, but since it would have been bad to drag someone around, he decided against it. As for casino management, although he would probably obtain money faster than if he kept defeating monsters, he had reached the conclusion that beating monsters was much more enjoyable.
Even while searching for another hobby, Kagami continued to earn gold.
If Kagami was asked if there was something he wanted, he would probably answer “No”, but he did have another reason for making money.
“…4515 gold now, huh? It’s still far away.”
After he left the Game Center that he had visited on a whim, Kagami went to the quest issuing Guild’s window, which had been his original goal.
The Adventurer Guild was a recognized organization that issued quests for monster subjugation on behalf of the Imperial Capital, which controlled the politics and industry of the country.
The Guild paid compensation for completing their quests. Kagami had spent the week defeating monsters and completing quest after quest, earning a total of 5 gold, which was a lot of money.
Although 5 gold was a lot of money, it was not rare for there to be people holding that much inside the Guild. Even people who only had physical strength could diligently subjugate monsters.
Normally, Kagami would carry his bag of gold coins as if he were trying to hide it, but here he could carry it without worry.
Strong warriors were walking back and forth as they admired the newly issued quest that had been put onto the board, while groaning men quickly walked by behind them.
Kagami took the displayed parchment to the Guild’s window and then left.
This parchment was the Kingdom’s request for Adventurers. In addition to the request’s goal, the product list recorded items, weapons, and armor that could not be obtained normally.
Although you had to buy them with money, it was well worth it. Among these items were potions that could be bought anywhere, and equipment that contained unique magical powers.
The Kingdom handled a wide variety of goods, which included limited-edition furniture from the best districts in town, somewhat dangerous toys, pets, exclusive maids and butlers purchasable from nobles, and even rights to slaves. However, these maids and butlers varied in prices as they differed in values. Generally, maids started at 20 gold while butlers at 50 gold. However, their price changed depending on their place of origin. If they came from the best areas in the district, they would cost up to 1000 gold, while being sold by nobles further increased their value to 2000 gold.
Items worth 5000 gold included unbreakable and treasured legendary swords that were said to be able to cut through any object, though there was no one who had bought an item for such a high price.
Above that were 6000, 7000, 8000, and 9000 gold legendary class goods, although he had never heard of someone wanting to buy them.
The reason was obvious. Such equipment was unnecessary. Even if you bought it, it didn’t mean that you would defeat the Demon King with it. Would anyone putting their life on the line for the sake of their world buy such things for that much money?
People who were that stupid didn’t exist.
However, there was one such idiot.
That person was Kagami.
Kagami’s goal was to buy something that was priced at 10000 gold. Well, what was it? He didn’t know what it would be. It had been declared to be an item that a Kingdom had never seen, in exchange for 10000 gold.
No one had ever seen a person obtain this item. They were apparently called Unknown Products. This 【Something】, was equivalent to paying 200 times a person’s lifetime earnings. Nobody had tried to obtain it because they didn’t know what it was.
Kagami had been put here to enjoy life to the fullest. It was a completely unknown item that nobody had managed to obtain. There were no other products that could make his heart dance this much. If anyone were to get an unobtainable legend, only that person would know of it’s true form.
The exhilarating sense of superiority felt after obtaining such items, coupled with the image of greatness, became the driving force for Kagami to earn gold.
However, although this was Kagami’s final goal, it did not mean that he was in a rush to obtain it. He wasted money at his own pace, even as he steadily amassed the required amount of gold.
“Today is…over there. It’s sushi.”
He was also trying to splendidly spend the 5 Gold he had earned today.
Despite the fact that he had only been able to consistently earn one silver until recently, Kagami couldn’t forget the flavor of high-grade sushi. As he walked in the middle of the street, he drooled like an idiot as he imagined the taste of it.
This town was located southwest of the Imperial City, which was in the center of the world. It was said to be the eighth biggest town relative to the Imperial City. Its location near the sea caused many peddlers, traders, and traveling merchants to gather in order to purchase or sell rare goods. They were followed by people who were involved with monster subjugations, ranging from the members of the guild to mercenaries and even adventurers.
Although it had a much lower population, the town called Balman was just as vibrant as the Imperial City.
Even though Kagami did not have a base here, he often visited this town. It was because there were many interesting things here that attracted many people. The Game Center was one of those things.
“Haah-, as I thought, the town square is over there. Interesting.”
Kagami muttered while licking the ice cream that had captivated him on the way to the restaurant.
Recruiters often recruited party members, such as Guild members and skillful Adventurers, at the town square in order to complete quests. They often delivered speeches at Villas.
There were people attempting to recruit party members here and there, but today was slightly different.
An abnormal crowd of people were surrounding the lectern in the center of the Square.
“Gentlemen, don’t you want to change this world? Leaving your mark eternally in history…Don’t you want to become a legendary hero? That’s what I think! And…I want to release this world from suffering!”
“Why don’t Monsters disappear? Why isn’t the Imperial City issuing quests? Even if you move from town to town, won’t you only be hired as mercenaries?”
“Why must children…hold swords from an early age? Why do they have to rely on strong people? It’s because there are Monsters!”
A blond, friendly, and handsome youth, who wore a circlet decorated in jewelry, stood at the lectern.
He was well-dressed and wore a Protector that covered his vital areas, as well as elegant white clothes and a cloak that was neat, even though it should have been dirty.
Although the youth didn’t look strong with such clothes, he was hotheadedly saying things to the Adventurers.
By all rights it would be natural that people who couldn’t judge his power would consider him weak after seeing his tidiness, but this man was an exception. A Status Window was displayed next to the man, showing the Role 【Hero】clearly written there.
It was the Role that was called the rarest of the rare, since there were so few of them in the world. Few people were lucky enough to meet one, so almost no one ignored the speech, instead crowding around him.
“Shut up, you’re troubling the neighborhood.”
This was Kagami’s first thought after meeting such a rare entity.
While it was good to give speeches and it was interesting since heroes were so rare, the people in the neighborhood should be considered as well. This was what Kagami thought as he reminisced about an abnormally loud old man who had lived in the neighborhood in the past.
“The one controlling the monsters is the Demon King! That’s right, if you don’t defeat the Demon King, who is the root of all evil, peace will never come! In order to defeat the Demon King, I’m recruiting people who are confident in being able to fight together!”
“Follow me! It’s such a rare chance!”
The tough men in the Square grew excited. There hadn’t been anyone who had managed to defeat the Demon King yet. However, there had been those who had barely managed to reach the Demon King’s castle, and there were parties that had even managed to corner him. These parties always had someone who held the Role of Hero, which was the reason for the excitement.
With the possibility of one’s accomplishments going down in history, they all jumped at the chance to help the Hero.
“Hah…so sexy, a chance to go down in history. Moreover, wouldn’t it be a pleasure to go on a trip with such a beauty?”
“And it’s not just that. Look at that lady’s Role, she’s a Sage right? Their party doesn’t just have Heroes, but also Sages. If that’s the case, then perhaps this time we will be able to succeed in subjugating the Demon King.”
There was a woman standing, in a cowering position, next to the beautiful blond youth on the lectern. She had long, indigo hair and the bulge of her chest was large enough to be seen through her shirt. She was a stylish and slender woman who was shorter than the hero and looked somewhat innocent. It could be seen that she was still young enough to be called a girl.
Although she looked as if she wanted to sleep, she had a beauty that would cause people to turn around and stare if she walked through the town. The Sage was wearing many robes that were still able to expose her skin’s whiteness and a miniskirt which prioritized ease of movement. There was no reason for a healthy male to not be enthusiastic.
“Although, weren’t there Sages and Heroes who partied with each other in the past? Despite this, the Demon King remained undefeated and his strength has gone down in history. He was so powerful that he was known in legends as a fierce monster.”
“Idiot, a party isn’t perfect just because it has Heroes and Sages. Weren’t the other allies weak? In fact, wasn’t there a party that had made it to the Demon King’s castle even though they didn’t have any Heroes and Sages?”
One of the brawny warriors muttered something like “I’m only a strong man,” and laughed loudly.
In fact, although one didn’t require a Hero to reach the Demon Lord’s castle, a party without one would be seen as a group who fought dirty to get where they were.
This was the reason that Heroes and Sages would eventually end up placed into a party to go against the Demon King.
“Oi, Hero-sama! I’m 25 years old, and after doing monster subjugations, I have confidence in beating the crap out of monsters! How’s that? Won’t you take me?”
The big man who said this raised his hand straight up into the air.
The Hero who had been standing on the lectern directed his line of sight to the Role that the man displayed.
“…Warrior huh? Fumu. What Level?”
“Hehe, listen and be surprised…it’s 86! I absolutely won’t become a burden!”
The big warrior proudly opened and showed his Status Window as he said this. The surrounding people who were gathered in the Square raised their voices in praise with an “Ooh-”.
“86 is…no good. Next.”
“H-hey! Don’t screw around with me! Why did you say that it’s no good!”
Everyone gathered in the Square raised a voice in question at the way that the Hero had cut off the man with a single blow. Actually, the rejected big man cried out out so loudly that they couldn’t understand it.
“You’re no Warrior…If we’re talking about close combat here, then that’s my Role. You wouldn’t be able to do more work than me, so I can’t take you into the party.”
As the Hero said this, he opened and showed his own Status Screen.
The number 90 was clearly displayed beside the Level.
When the Warrior man saw this, he was at a loss for words.
“Although I don’t know what kind of life you’ve come from, I also had the resolution to get to this point. If someone who has a Role that specializes in close combat wants to go with me, they have to be at least Level 100.”
Many people raised a heartbroken voice at this declaration.
“Wait a minute! What exactly is the Level of the Sage-sama?”
“The woman is Level 42. That’s enough, isn’t it?”
“En-enough you say…! Her Level isn’t even half of mine!”
“She is a Sage. She will definitely become an existence that can support me. She has far more value than you to begin with. Also…she is a princess of this country.”
No one in the Square, with the exception of one person, could hide their surprise. The one person who wasn’t surprised didn’t care.
“She is the third princess of the Imperial City Hexal Doria; a righteous woman who received her fate as a Sage during childhood and has continued to practice since then. If she could defeat the Demon King…If a blood relative of the King were to defeat the Demon King, wouldn’t the world become peaceful at that time?”
The Hero said something that was completely suspicious politically. However, at that point the large Warrior no longer had the energy to retort.
“Also, I’m recruiting up to two people! As it has been publicly announced, we still need to grow. As a matter of convenience, it’s impossible to afford to go on a journey with a big group! I can bet you that we will recruit again at the time of the decisive battle. Those who just want to be invited to slay the Demon King can gather at that time!”
After the declaration, the Adventurers who had gathered began to leave the Square one after another. Half of the remaining people were curious spectators, while the other half were uselessly trying to become members of the party.
By the way, exp could be obtained by defeating enemies. The value of exp dropped as the Level rose, but it would eventually make one stronger, and if you formed a party, it would be evenly distributed to each member.
It was more akin to being invited to a battle, rather than a party. Therefore, it was necessary for a party to have four people. As for formidable enemies, if one only wanted to defeat it, it was best to attack it with a large number of people.
“We-well take me along! I’m a Level 80 Monk!”
As the next person, a middle-aged, bearded, and slender man, introduced himself, he opened his Status Window.
“Nope, next please.”
“The possibility of this becoming a long trip is high, and I do not know how many years it will take. It will be troubling if your movement suddenly worsens after a few years…and also, your defense is too low.”
The middle-aged Monk fell onto his knees, mutter “N-No way.” Even within roles and Roles, the Status wasn’t necessarily equal. A slight change in Status could be caused by one’s living environment, training that didn’t generate exp, or even eating habits. Skills and Magic had to be remembered too, so even if it was the same Level Monk, there would be a difference.
Kagami thought that if the Hero had managed to see that much, he would have to be considerably skilled.
“Well then, how about me! I’m a Level 73 Monk and I’m 20 years old!”
“No good, next.”
This time a slender young Monk introduced himself and, once again, was immediately refused, causing Kagami to change his mind about the Hero.
“You don’t have the goal of getting stronger in the future. Sorry, but give up.”
Honestly speaking, being able to see through them to that extent was normally impossible. Rather, it was impossible.
Kagami began to wonder if there was a certain evaluation criteria that this Hero used.
That was…the importance of enjoyment.
“U…Um, how about me? My Level is 50 though…”
The next one to call out was, like the Sage, a very young and small woman who had peagreen hair in pigtails that reached down to her shoulders.
Although it wasn’t like she was very beautiful, she did have big, adorable eyes which released an aura that made men unconsciously want to protect her.
“Fumu…accepted. Come join the party.”
The girl Monk’s expression brightened at the words of the Hero. At the same time, a storm of boos rushed in. Although one of the onlookers listened to reason, it was impossible to only respond to the crowd with the puzzling reason of “Her future is full of promise.”
Although this was only Kagami’s point of view, it was possible that the Hero’s role wasn’t actually suited for close combat and he would probably welcome others into the party if their Level was higher than 40.
However, that only applied to women.
The enjoyment the hero was planning to have was that of a fun harem trip as he was surrounded by beauties. Then he could obtain honor by subduing the Demon King. This was probably the most accurate conclusion. That’s right, the Hero was a pervert.
“Yes, ye–s! Woah, what about me! I’ll be helpful!”
As a trial test, Kagami raised his hand and only displayed his Role.
“A Villager? Ha… perhaps you’re raising your hand in order to get closer to the Princess and me without even understanding your own position? Next. We only have room for one more person.”
Sure enough, the Hero completely cut him off without even looking at his Status.
Normally, even if someone who had the standing of a Villager raised their hand, you would still look at their Status, but the Hero didn’t even try to see it. At this point, it was utterly hopeless for him as a person.
Unless he was extremely strong, he would probably not be welcomed into the party.
Kagami lost all interest in the Hero who was overflowing with a teenager’s lust and walked away from the area as the Hero chose a voluptuous woman who held the Role of Magician.