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Chapter 3.

(POV ???)

I can’t accept this. There is no way I can accept this.

What played out before my eyes was the delinquent banchou from my school who single handedly fought off a hundred men from the Yakuza.

There was no way this was real. How could this person be? He was like this, right? He surely had some sort of cheat ability, right? This made no sense! Why was life so unfair?

One hundred men were left sprawled out on the ground without a shred of life in them, around that lone individual, with not even a single scratch on him. Men with guns were unable to land a single shot as he cleverly weaved through the crowd and used them as shields while slicing them up into pieces with a only a blood stained knife at his disposal.

Blood dyed the ground a crimson hue on that moonlit night where I questioned reality. This person… why I was unable to defeat such an idiotic barbarian like him was an eternal mystery to me.

No matter how much effort I put in, not once had I ever come out on top against him.

No matter what field, I was unable to defeat this monster who I once looked down upon at the start.

Why the hell was a vicious barbaric animal like this the top of our class in academics?!

Saikyo Tensai, he truly lived up to his name. The strongest genius. A complete delinquent whom I had not once seen study or put in any effort. He was a person capable of everything and he always made it all look effortless. Since he first enrolled in high school, not once have I ever seen him get a single academic question incorrect.

Every single test he has taken, he has scored a perfect mark. There are even rumours his answers were so perfect, teachers were forced to give bonus marks and seek him out for lessons instead. On many occasions his answers far surpassed the teacher’s answer keys.

Of course, these were all just rumours. There was no way I believed such nonsense was possible. He had to be a cheater! Definitely. That had to be it. I’ve watched him for the last two years since the midterm result in our first year of high school came out where he was placed first in all academic subjects with perfect scores.

Even though he was so amazing, not once has he stayed awake in class. No matter what angle I look at him he is clearly just a slacker. He always slept with his head down, yet the teachers didn’t make a peep or voice a single complaint.

There was a time where I even secretly spied on him for a week and found that all he did was get into fights like this one I coincidentally came across. He definitely did not study in secret. I was nearly certain that he’d blackmailed and threatened the teachers to give him full marks on everything.

That felt far more plausible than him actually scoring those marks legitimately.

My pride could not accept any other possible answer. I felt like, if I did accept it, my entire life and self worth would mean nothing when compared to such a freakish monster.

I am the girl you would call forever second, as long as Saikyo Tensai existed at least. I wasn’t always second place, in fact, throughout middle school I was always first, but the moment high school started, I was completely crushed by his existence.

In fact, thanks to him, our school which was once known for its high academic standards, turned into a school filled with only delinquents. All the overachievers left one by one, unable to accept the cruel reality that such an outrageous person existed. Eventually I was the only overachiever that remained in the school full of delinquents. I was a girl who had taken up second place since the moment he first appeared.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no genius, in fact, I am actually a complete idiot. It took me an unbelievable amount of effort just to keep my grades as high as they were. The only thing I had going for me was my stubbornness. Until I beat him at least once, I couldn’t just run away from this monster.

When I finally did beat him, I’m sure I’d enjoy rubbing it in that bored looking face of his. However, there was one problem, he didn’t know who I was even after I’d one sidedly competed with him for the past two years. He never bothered to check results, so I was certain that not once had he ever heard of my name.

That single depressing thought always extinguished the little competitive fire that raged within my heart.

How was I supposed to beat someone like this? No matter how many cram schools I attended, no matter how many textbooks I purchased, no matter how many tutors I was mentored by, no matter how many hours I put into my studies, I had never won even once against this freak of nature.

I’d definitely had enough of it. It was to the point that I wished I could just leave this world behind and run away from it all, but because I was stubborn, I couldn’t accept such an outcome where I never won even once.

Unfortunately, although I wished for one thing, things didn’t always play out as one desired.

Fate was sometimes cruel and unexpected things far beyond one’s control always happened when one least expected it.

A few days after I witnessed that bloody scene of carnage and I locked myself up in my room; while asleep, something I never would have imagined occurred. The dream I had to defeat that man was suddenly made impossible.

When I opened my eyes, in what should have been the morning inside my bedroom, I found a man with closed eyes in front of me.

The first words that came out of his mouth were, “hero we have summoned you to slay the demon lord.”

“...”

Of course I was unable to say a thing in my confusion. I was unable to comprehend a thing related to what had happened.

When he heard my lack of response, the man in front of me opened his eyes, and puzzled, maybe even baffled said, “Eh? You’re a girl? The 45th hero is female? But the prophecy said the 45th hero was supposed to be male. What is going on here?”

Beside the man wearing a crown, a girl who looked to be about my age adorning a beautiful dress sat prim and proper with a refined look on her face. She really looked the part of a princess of a great kingdom with all the jewelry she wore.

“Royal Father, who cares if it’s a woman, we can just dress her up and have her act the part of a male hero. This suits my preferences much better anyways.”

I still couldn’t keep up with their conversation at all. I was just an average girl with a bit of an inferiority complex towards a certain monster. What is with all this talk of heroes? One moment I was curled up on my bed, asleep in my room having a nightmare about a certain scene I witnessed a few days prior; then the next thing I knew, I was in front of these two?

Was I actually still in a dream or nightmare? Did things take a strange turn where I thought I woke up, but actually woke up still inside a dream? I never even watched movies, so it wasn’t like I could use the excuse that I’d watched too many movies lately.

At the very least, my theory sounded much more logical than the other fear that slowly creeped into my heart. The other possibility I slightly feared was something absurd that only came straight out of works of fiction. I was summoned to another world to become a hero and slay the demon lord.

No way, right? Even if it was real, they probably just got the wrong person, right? Surely it should have been someone else. That monster was definitely more suitable to play the role of a hero in comparison to a weak average girl like me. Well, rather than that, now that I think about it, he might be more suited to play the role of a demon lord instead.

“Uh, I think you summoned the wrong person. I’m just a weak average girl who is only slightly alright in academics. Can you please send me back?”

“Oh? Send you back? You don’t even have any merits yet, it would be a waste of taxpayers money if we just sent you back without you accomplishing anything. Ehem. Sorry I misspoke. I meant we don’t actually have a method to send you back. We are only able to summon heroes from other worlds.”

It’s a scam! It’s definitely a scam! I might be a bit slow, but I’m not a complete idiot you know! You really think I’d believe there’s no way to send me back after what you just said?!

“Well… if you don’t want to be a hero, I suppose we can just use you as a sacrifice.”

“Royal Father?! What are you saying? This woman is the next hero to slay the demon lord! Of course she will live up to expectations. As compensation, I will even wed the hero after the hero has slain the demon lord.”

Are you kidding me?! Is this the so called good princess, bad king act? What a rip off. Also, I really don’t need that sort of compensation to begin with. Is she actually just a lesbian who hates men? Just for the record, I’m a straight woman and I don’t swing that way.

But it seemed like my life was sure to be in danger if I didn’t at the very least make myself appear as if I were useful. What can I really do though? I was just a normal high school student up until a few minutes ago, not a freak of nature like a certain someone I knew.

I figured it was for the best if I just played along for now and did as they said. Otherwise... I really may forfeit my life. These two felt like quite the unreasonable father daughter duo and they really didn’t seem like they’d listen to any reason I came up with.

It was only now I realized that I was actually quite calm despite my circumstances. Maybe deep down I actually really wanted something like this that forced me against my will to escape from that monster.

In regards to whether this was just a dream or reality, I still played things safe.

“Uh, seeing as there is a demon lord, does that mean magic also exists in this world?”

The king answered back as though it were a matter of fact, “of course it exists.”

“The majority of summoned heroes are boundless containers full of mana. You are no different. Surprisingly, I dare say you may be the hero with the most mana we have ever summoned to date. You would definitely be suitable towards utilizing magic. As for your ability with the sword, we will need to test your compatibility.”

The king motioned towards the guards at the side of the room. Shortly after, they brought over a sword with the appearance reminiscent to a star filled night sky.

“Hero, take a hold of the Star Cleaving Sword. It will radiate starlight when you grab ahold of it. The sword will judge your talent in swordsmanship. The more compatible with the sword you are, the more starlight will be generated and illuminate the room.”

Haha, this isn’t going to be something stupid like it radiates so brightly that I break it or something, right? I’m just a normal girl after all. What sort of ability in swordsmanship could I possibly have? I should still be cautious though.

Looking at the sword held respectfully in the two hands of the guard whose eyes were filled with reverence towards the sword, I felt a bit awkward. I easily sensed the guards passion towards swordsmanship. It oozed out from every pore of his body, to the point I felt a bit nauseous. I figured I’d just poke it a bit and retreat. I’d rather not have to get up close and personal and bathe in the blood of my enemies like that monster.

I stretched my index finger out and poked the hilt before I pulled my hand back quickly fearful that it might really explode.

The king, frustrated by my act voiced his displeasure and complained. “What are you doing? Hold it properly.”

Just as the words left his mouth, the sword suddenly jumped out of the guard’s hands of its own volition and darted straight towards me.

Luckily, I was prepared for this sudden turn of events and I successfully dodged out of the way beforehand when I expected some sort of an explosion. The sword penetrated the ground behind me before it floated up again and pointed its tip directly towards me.

“What the hell? Did I suddenly offend a sword spirit or something?”

The king seemingly shocked by something screamed out, “This?! It can’t be!”

It can’t be what?! The spirit of the sword suddenly wants to kill me? I can understand why you’re shocked. I’m just as shocked as you are.

“Why this girl? You can’t be serious! The sword has chosen its master after all these years?!”

Eh? What? It doesn’t want to kill me? It’s actually something even more cliche than I expected?

Once again the sword darted towards my direction, but I just narrowly rolled out of the way in time and dodged it. My heartbeat was out of control. What did you mean it’s chosen it’s master? It clearly just tried to kill me!

“Why do you keep dodging it?! Insolence! Are you rejecting the sword spirits desire to make you its master?”

The king kept saying more incomprehensible things.

“You’re kidding right? I’ll die if I don’t dodge it!”

“Are you stupid? Why would the sword spirit kill the one it has acknowledged as its master?”

Once again the sword floated up into the air and pointed directly at me.

“Please we can talk this out. I’m really not interested in being your master or anything. Why don’t you go pick the guard oozing jealousy over there who was holding onto you earlier? I’m sure he is far more suitable than I am.”

Without waiting for me to say another world, the sword zoomed directly towards me. Just when I thought my head was about to be pierced, the sword skimmed past the side of my cheek and flew out of the room.

“Ah! Look at what you’ve done you insolent girl! The sword spirit fled in embarrassment from having her confession of love rejected… Ehem. Sorry, I misspoke, I meant being rejected by the one she acknowledged as her master! This is a clear display of rebellion towards the kingdom. Guards, send her to the gallows to be beheaded and toss her into the pit after she is executed!”

Eh? What? No no no. Don’t give me that!

“Wait! Please give me a second chance! I was just a bit flustered by the sword spirit’s sudden confession?... Or acknowledgement? And I didn’t know how to react.”

What did they mean it fled in embarrassment anyways? Can swords actually feel embarrassed?

“You have one hour! Become the master of the sword or be executed!”

Everything had been nothing but confusing ever since I got here. What was I even supposed to do about this situation?

Guided by guards, I was directed along the path the sword had escaped. I walked through several grand hallways before I left the palace and was brought near a large pit. Directly above the pit, floating in mid air was a sword that appeared quite lonesome like it wanted to plunge itself downwards into the abyss below out of pure depression.

“Sword spirit! Please think about this carefully! So what if that girl rejected you just now, it’s nothing that you should lead you towards thoughts of suicide over. Nothing that enters this abyss has ever returned to see the light of day. Please don’t be impulsive over a youthful blunder.”

The guard that initially brought the sword to me was somehow having a strange conversation with the sword that appeared to be contemplating suicide by descending into the pit below.

Can swords even commit suicide? Actually, better yet, why is this sword spirit acting like a maiden who was rejected by her first love?

I really can’t keep up with this.

“You! You say something to the hurt sword spirit as well! Can’t you see how much agony she is in after you heartlessly rejected her? Are you a demon?”

Do I really need to?

Ugh. If I want to live, I guess I have to.

“Oh holy magnificent sword spirit, the moment I laid eyes upon you, I felt as though I were unworthy of you. Please don’t taint yourself with such thoughts of ending your... life?... and plunge into this pit. Such a death would be far too unbecoming of a perfect being like you.”

The sword vibrated a bit and let out a hum as the flowery words, that seemed slightly effective, flowed out from my mouth.

I felt like a bad uncle trying to deceive a child right now, but it appeared to be working. The sword had inched a bit closer towards me as though it were now a bit interested in what I had to say.

Why is this sword so damn fickle and similar to a human?

It still looked slightly hesitant to fully believe me as it swayed back and forth a bit in mid air like it didn’t know how to react. Don’t be so indecisive now when I’m now in the weaker position. If things keep going this way, the sword spirit might think I’m a bit too easy. I realized I had come on too hot in my approach and I needed to now pull back a bit.

“Of course if the sword spirit no longer wants me as it’s master, I suppose it can’t be helped. I will just need to resign myself to my fate and die.”

It was a gamble, but I wanted to make the sword spirit think my death would be due to its hesitation to act. I didn’t want to give it too much time to think things through, so I acted immediately and walked over to the pit and looked over the edge. When I did, there was nothing but a pitch black darkness as far as the eye could see. It was such a mysterious looking abyss and I was slightly curious as to what could be hidden within the depths.

Without realizing it, I had gone into a trance like state and I lost myself in the world of the abyss below. It was strange, it felt like I was presently falling even though I was clearly still standing right at the edge of the pit still. For some inexplicable reason, while I was slowly drawn in, I saw two blood moons peering up at me from below. It felt as if they were trying to pull me into the abyss.

Unconsciously, I lifted one foot off of the ground and it hovered directly over the pit. Just as my center of gravity moved towards the pit, like a lightning bolt, the sword in front of me plunged directly into my skull. I was pushed backwards from the swords momentum and blood sprayed out everywhere in all directions.

“Ahhhhhhgggggggg!” I naturally let out a loud scream due to the endless pain that followed my skull being penetrated.

Although the pain was unbearably excruciating, I somehow still managed to retort in my mind.What the heck? See? Wasn’t I right? It really did just want to kill me after all!

Like that, the world I had just been summoned to disappeared before my eyes as my consciousness faded to black. The only thing that remained in my mind within the pitch black darkness were the two blood moons that floated about mysteriously like they were observing me curiously after their interest had been piqued.

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Kira Minoru

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