Chapter 1 – Meeting in the Past


■ ■ ■

I wanted to become Cheddar-man.

Cheddar-man was the hero of the bedtime stories father would tell me at night.

Cheddar-man was an ally of justice!
He loved peace and helping others.
Wearing a cloak and flying in the air, if he heard a voice calling for help, he would immediately head to that place to help.

He was willing to sacrifice himself if it was to protect the ones he cared for.
If there was a person who was hungry, he would tear off a piece of his cheese-face and offer it for free in order to help them.

Of course, since he was an ally of justice, he did not forgive evildoers.
If a villain arrived and caused suffering to the masses, he would immediately rush to combat them.
Even if the villain was very powerful, Cheddar-man would never run away.
By mustering his strength to fight for love and courage,
his Cheddar-punch would always defeat the villain, reforming their evil ways.
Evil was punished, and peace would return.

Back then, when I was only five years old, they were very compelling stories.
I really wanted to meet Cheddar-man, but where could he be?
I asked father once before, but with a bitter smile on his face, he merely said, “He is in a faraway place right now, so seeing him isn’t that easy… but if you are a good boy, maybe one day you’ll meet him.”
At the time however, I thought that Cheddar-man was somehow still relatively close by.
It puzzled me why I always thought that…

It was possible that the very reason was my father.
I remembered a time when father would take the time to look after poor people and give them food.
Are you hungry? Has it been more than a day since you have had anything to eat?
I remembered father asking the woman of the beast tribe who was clinging to his foot this as he distributed food to her.
What was given was some meat and cheese.

My father is Cheddar-man!
I held the conviction that my father was actually the hero in the stories I was told for a long time.
I heard from a friend of my father who was once a former enemy.
The heroic tale of when he and my father had once battled.
The very existence of a country hung in the balance on the outcome of that one battle.
Famous warriors of that era had gathered, battled, and died.
And in the final battle, he fought against my father.
In the end, he was defeated and his forces capitulated to my father’s.

While he was in the middle of recounting the heroic tale, he mentioned something.

“The me in those days had been wrong. I was evil, and your father was just. But I was far mightier, and your father had no chance of winning.”

However, he fought.
He did not run away.
For the sake of protecting his loved ones, he mustered his courage to fight and decidedly won with a single punch.

Hearing that, the me who was still a child considered it.
There was no mistake.
Father was Cheddar-man.
He was an ally of justice.

With that, father became the person I admired most.
And I thought that maybe I should also become an ally of justice.
Then, like Cheddar-man, I too could safeguard peace!
But, how can I become one?
When I asked my father’s friend, he answered it in this way:

“You can achieve it with effort. Strengthen your body, and learn the ways of the sword and magic.”

Listening to those words, I decided to learn how to use the sword from father’s friend.
It doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be taught swordsmanship or magic from mother and father, but I wanted to conceal myself and improve and then gallantly arrive at a critical moment, amazing them.

So, learning from father’s friend was the most suitable course of action.
Anyway, it was also because he was the head of one of the three major schools [North God Style] , “The North God Kalman.”
At first, my father’s friend was unwilling.
He felt that he was still too inexperienced as the head.
However, father’s boss would also advise him, so he arranged to have me instructed in the sword.
The friend of my father became my master.

While learning the sword from my master, I also was taught knowledge required to be an ally of justice.
It seems that there was a time where master also aimed to be an ally of justice as well, so he taught me various things.
Even if the villain was much stronger, you must fight on and obtain victory.
Even if you must fight, make sure it isn’t for the sake of fame or rewards.
Even if it might appear a certain way at first, do not judge good or evil solely based on appearances.
Though it seems that there were various other teachings, these three were the most important ones to remember.

In accordance with what I was taught, I enrolled into Ranoa Magic Academy at the age of 7 while always trying my best to become an ally of justice.
I belonged to the student council at school and went around suppressing all the bad guys around campus.
At school, there was the occasional upstart adventurer or influential noble’s child, but they were no match for me.
Every time they committed an injustice, I appeared and dealt out punishment.
There was never a time when all evil in the school had been eradicated, but as an ally of justice, I had managed to find a place in the school where I belonged.
I was able to make many friends, and I was popular among the girls too.
The teachers acknowledged my efforts as well.

However, only my youngest older sister who saw me laughed at me scornfully.

“Zeke, you are such an idiot~”

In those days, I did not understand the meaning behind those words.
But then, my youngest older sister was slightly strange herself.
She was always walking along with her pet dog and didn’t speak with people very often.
Loving mischief and naps, always doing some tiny misdeed, and either slacking off in her studies or just lying around.
A whimsical person who knew not what they wanted to do.
And so I thought those words were also just another whimsical thing spoken by my sister.

It wasn’t until after I had graduated from the magical academy that I began to understand the true meaning behind those words.

I learned the basics at the magic academy in our hometown, and celebrating my adulthood at the age of 15, I left my hometown in Ranoa Kingdom and went to a school at Asura Kingdom.
I left my hometown without telling anyone.
Though parting with my family and master was a sad thing, it was also the first step in becoming an ally of justice. Making use of what I have learned up till now, I would do my best on the next stage.
I was overflowing with such hope.

Asura Royal Academy.
It was a beautiful place, partly because many years had passed since I had last come.
The school buildings were as large as those of the Magic Academy, and the interiors were abundantly decorated in glass and lace.
The uniforms mimicking the Magic Academy were gorgeous as well, and they suited the beautiful nobles of the Asura Kingdom splendidly.
If my younger sister were to see it, her eyes would be full of pleasant sparkles.

However, the only sparkling thing as far as I was concerned was a dull gray school building.
My gray school life.

Is the current state of things because of someone’s oppression?
No.
Because I underwent such strict training by my former master, having a hundred fencer’s worth of skill coming out of mock battles, of course there’s no way any of these guys would be able to do anything.

So I was ignored.
Thoroughly.

There was only one reason for this.
Because of my hair color.

My hair color was green.
It seems to have been inherited.
This green hair color is the color of the Spelled Tribe.
The Spelled tribe is supposed to be a race of devils, and 400 years ago, many of them supposedly did terrible things.
Therefore, in the world of humankind, they still associated green as an ominous color and discriminated against those who have the devil’s color.

Up till this point, I had never really been caught up too much in regards to my hair color.
The reason was because my father and mother repeatedly told me that none of it was true.
While certainly, the Spelled had probably done some bad things during the war 400 years ago, that had nothing to do with anything devil-like.
When actually conversing with someone, that would immediately be understood.
Actually, my uncle is a member of the Spelled tribe and even a cousin of mine is as well.
When I meet with them to talk, I know I am normal.
Well, Uncle is a bit stubborn-minded though.

Actually taking a moment to mention it now, in my hometown, the matter regarding my hair color was never really discussed.
Around the time I was born, mother seemed to have been seriously disturbed about something. The first person I met surely seemed startled when he saw my hair that time, and the adventurers would walk along the road and whisper rumors as they went by on occasion.
However, it was only to that degree.
Actually, I have not heard of anyone speaking ill of the Spelled tribe in Ranoa Kingdom for that matter either.

However, in Asura Kingdom, it was very different.
When I showed up to the entrance ceremony, someone screamed out “It’s a devil!” and the place was in an uproar.
Teachers and Guards appeared and surrounded me.
If it’s always going to be such a situation, I would, as an ally of justice, make an immediate decision to fight for them.
However, at that time I had no idea what was going on.
I did not understand why I was being surrounded.

When I asked what was going on and gave my name, they somehow came to a conclusion and dissolved the encirclement.
But because the students were still clamoring, I was escorted to another room.
Then, a teacher gave me a series of various explanations.

Because the Asura Kingdom is a society primarily of the Human Tribe, the tradition of believing that the Spelled tribe were devils still remains.

In the first place, I am not from the Spelled tribe.
My uncle is so, but he’s not connected by blood, and the matter of my hair being this color is simply the result of a mutation.
Though I said so, whether or not I was actually from the Spelled tribe was actually irrelevant.
The problem was that I appeared to be -like- the Spelled tribe.

The entrance ceremony ended safely, but afterwards, I was isolated.
No one tried to speak with me, and so, I, in turn, ignored everyone else.

Nevertheless, I still intended to be active in meting out judgment as an ally of justice.
If I did that, then surely everyone would understand.
They would understand that I was a good person and would disregard the matter of my hair.
It was like that in my previous school, so it should be the same this time too.

With such feelings in my chest, I helped rescue a timid, lone boy on the other side of the school building who was being accosted by many other boys.
However, even though I helped him, he would not speak to me.
Though when I think about it now, if he were to have conversed with me, he would definitely have been bullied even more…
At that time though, I couldn’t understand the reason for it.

Still, I intended to be an ally of justice.
If I pressed on, then surely it would become reality.
The reason why was because this is what I was taught by my master.

However the next day, some senpai had come.
He explained the influence of the “Top Class” at this school, that the guys I beat up belonged to it, and how they were the next in line to become the heads of their families. He arrogantly told this to me as well after stressing how much influence those nobles carried inside the Asura Kingdom.

“Your father has our gratitude. If it was not for the friendship Her Majesty has with your father, you, with your green hair, would have certainly been kicked out before the day ended.”

Gratitude to my father.
Those words became like a sharp thorn which deeply pierced my chest.

Father was a great person.
He established a base in Magic City Sharia, he’s one of the [7 World Powers] , and he’s a trusted friend of the Dragon God Orsted.
It’s no exaggeration to say he’s Top Brass.
He even had a private army at his beck and call.
[Ru-do Mercenary Corps] they’re called, and besides that of Ranoa Kingdom, there were branch offices all over the world that can even be organized into a great mercenary organization.

Besides, the King of the world’s largest country, the famous Asura Kingdom was also a close friend of his.
And at one time, she had even gone to this same school.
Not only that.
Father is old friends with the headmaster of the Magic Academy. Plus, he’s also the public face and manager of the town’s Ru-do Mercenary Corps. He also associates with presidents of other large companies. In fact, in every country across the world, he has connections with powerful people.
And it’s not just about connections.
He himself is a remarkable magician. He acquired the knowledge to develop the powerful armament [Magic Armor]. He can peer ahead several seconds into the future with the [Demon Eye]. He can move around at super-high speeds, possess powerful magic which can even kill a dragon with a single blow all while manipulating two things at once.
And on the subject of power, even my Master, who is the head of the North God School, acknowledges the superiority of my father.

Just on the above-mentioned things, my father is considered to be one of the people with the greatest authority in Magic City Sharia and the Ranoa Kingdom.

And I… am the son of such a father.
The words of the Senpai cause me once again to realize that.

And at once, all the days I lived in Ranoa Kingdom were remembered at the same time.

Even if I walloped someone, in my self-assumed role of an Ally of Justice, no one ever said anything.
Everyone put up with me.
Ah, that’s right.
In the Magic City Sharia of Ranoa Kingdom, with me being the son of my father, who could bring themselves to complain?
Ah, that’s right.
Though I self-importantly proclaimed that I was an ally of justice, saying “Stop doing these kinds of things!” as I went to clobber them until they quit, there was never anyone there to oppose me.
And it wasn’t because I was right.
The reason they didn’t defy me was because they had no idea what my father might do if they did so.
Even if father had no intention of intervening in any way, it made no matter.
The only important thing was that I was his son.

And thanks to the thorn stuck deep in my chest, I completely understood it for what it was.
Under the umbrella of my father’s influence, I had just been lording it over everyone.

And here, in the Royal Academy of the Asura Kingdom, was somewhere my father’s heavy influence did not extend to.
It was only as far as the Magic City Sharia’s reach…
Still, I am afraid of no one.
However, senpai seems to know to the bitter end the level of his house’s influence and in fact recognizes that his house is greater here; that’s why he spoke his complaint.
Even with just the trivial reason — the color of hair, he could cause me to be completely disregarded.
It may be because there are so many nobles of high status attending the Asura Royal Academy.
However, it might be the case that even the students of the Ranoa Magic Academy might have done the same to me if my father was only a mere merchant or something.

I wasn’t an ally of justice.
Backed by the influence of my parents, I was just a brat foolishly imitating one.
This is the reality of my life.

But even if the reality was so, I did not ever fail to believe in the heart of justice.
Even if I misunderstood and was under a false pretense, I cannot believe the very effort I put in to dispense justice would have made things any worse.
However, the meaning of the words of my older sister, “Zeke, you are such an idiot~,” once I understood them, I felt as if I had been finished off.

And now that I completely comprehended it all… it became near impossible to continue on as before.

On that day, I stopped being an ally of justice, and my gray-colored school life began.

That gray school life continued for several months.
There is no one I talk to, and there is no one who talks to me.
Of course, I don’t even play at being an ally of justice.
I wonder, even if Cheddar-man was ignored by the people he helped, would he find it difficult to remain an ally of justice?

With the state of my affairs like that, my older brother who had entered school a year before me came to visit me once or twice. But that still did nothing to change the situation.
I, in my isolation, gradually stopped going out for classes anymore.

Of course, it’s not that the classes were boring.
The lectures about the cultural differences between Asura and Ranoa were interesting, and the lessons on mathematics and economics because of the noble’s study requirements were far above the Magic Academy’s.
However, as far as I was concerned, I was relatively indifferent to those kinds of classes, and the will to learn soon faded.
Skipping classes, lying down in the yard behind the school, and watching the clouds instead became the way to go.

It was the rule in my family that I must attend this school for three years.
But to be honest, I thought I would quit halfway through.
I don’t have any friends nor any desire to learn.
Going to school in that kind of situation, what kind of meaning is there in a life like that?

If there was possibly someone I could consult, then somehow I might get a reasonable answer.
For example, my older brother.
But, having come so far, the shock of being so completely denied is too big for me to handle, and I didn’t even have the mental capacity to even talk to someone about it.

However, such a gray school life that I had abruptly ended on a certain day.

I met HIM.

No… should I say that I encountered him? Perhaps it’s better to say I found him.
When I was sitting down in the shade of a tree in the yard behind the school and watching the students, there was one boy who noticeably stood out.

It seemed like he was in a similar situation.
Isolated, ignored by everyone, given the cold shoulder.
All this time I thought I was the only one.
However, unlike myself, he didn’t screw around and properly attended classes.
Though he had to endure his peers and even the cold attitude of his teachers sometimes, he still studied hard.

And just when it seemed I had finally found him, it seems he also had found me.
He, on that certain day, came before me.
He raised a hand and began talking to me in a relaxing way.

“Say, are you not going to class?”

Looking closely at him, he was very peculiar.
Is he a dwarf? Or perhaps just some blood of the dwarf tribe flows in him? He was low in height and wide of breadth.
Yet somehow he looked decidedly solid; it was only at first glance that he seemed fat.
However, it was not his figure that stood out.

“Will you not go together with me? I am looking for a school friend who I can learn together with… Is it because of your hair color? Is that why you aren’t able to make any friends?”

His hair was a brilliant blue.
It was a different color than to mine.
However, it was a color which would very much stand out in this school.
He was ignored in the same way as me and treated coldly.

“…”

“Please treat me well!”

I was silent as I stood up, did he regard it as me giving approval? He stuck out his hand before me.
Someway, somehow, I reached out and grasped that hand.

“My name is Pax. And yours?”

“Zeke.”

Thus, that is how I became friends with him — Pax.

■ ■ ■


TL Notes:

Zeke – ジークハルト Ji-kuharuto (Seighardt, Zieghardt whatever) They call him ジーク here, and I’m just not calling him Jeeku or something stupid. Zeke is a badass name for the hero we don’t even deserve. Son of Sylphiette and Rudeus, honorably named Saladin (middle name) by Perugius as some form of an honorable thing. Web chapter 235 if you care to check it out.

Cheddar-man – Clearly a play on Anpanman. Look it up. Funny stuff. (Even ‘Ren and Stimpy’s’ Powdered Toast Man is applicable here, and to be honest, it was the first person that came to my mind while he was being described.)

Spelled – Yes, the dreaded “what is SUPERUDO???” as far as I’m concerned, all the SUPERUDO tribe got a spell cast on them by Laplace and become SPELLED (cursed). Going with it, deal. B-but they have spears for tails even… Speared? Don’t care. I put it in Jap TTS engine, it comes out ‘spelled,’ It’s Spelled.

Baka-Tsuki – The only permission I give to them is a link to here, where it will be properly hosted. There will be 15 chapters in total, and completed before Aug 31.


TOC Next Page

Advertisements