Who Killed the Hero? Volume 1 Chapter 2 Part 1

Maria’s Chapter
 

 
“He was a hero to me too,”
 
When asked about her relationship with him, she smiled warmly and answered.
 
Maria-Loren, the priestess who was the healer in the hero’s party. She now oversees the operations of the church as a bishop. Since she had freely bestowed the miracles of healing magic on people regardless of status since childhood, she was called Saint Maria.
 
“Our relationship began back in our academy days. One day, he suddenly called out to me.
 
[Won’t you teach me healing magic?]
 
At first, you know, I thought he was trying to hit on me. When men approached me, it was always for that purpose.”
 
Maria grinned mischievously. With her long, silky black hair and skin as white as porcelain, and mystical eyes,
 
she was still as beautiful as she was praised to be in the hero’s epic, if not more polished now.
 
“But when I listened to him, I realized he was serious. He had the mistaken notion that the hero was a warrior who could use both attack magic and healing magic.”
 

The hero was originally supposed to be a warrior who could use both attack and healing magic, and that should still hold true, but was it really such a strange notion?
 
“It was strange. Or rather, back then, having the innate talent for both attack magic and healing magic as well as excelling as a warrior was deemed impossible.”
 

“But isn’t he the hero who can make the impossible possible in order to defeat the demon king?”
 
“When you put it that way, I suppose so. However, for over two hundred years, no such person had appeared. I heard that in the beginning after the academy’s establishment, they trained warriors who could use both attack magic and healing magic, but they soon stopped because it was so inefficient. In the first place, attack magic and healing magic are incompatible.”
 
“Magic is the art of perceiving and utilizing the principles of the world as mana, but we priests perceive the principles of the world as God’s grace and use that power on God’s behalf instead. Because our fundamental concepts differ, it’s difficult to reconcile the two.”
 
-The differing nature of attack magic used by magicians versus the miracles of healing magic was still a subject of debate. While there were some who could do both, there was the disadvantage that both ended up at a low level.
 
“Add to that, the training of a warrior is different from the training of a priest. The academy divided classes by profession to specialize and improve efficiency.”
 
-“So did you teach Ares healing magic?”
 
“I was interested, so I did. Whether someone without talent could receive God’s grace or not…”
 
Maria was a woman full of compassion with an unwavering smile, but her remark was somewhat provocative. What exactly constituted talent as a priest anyway?
 
“Whether they can sense God’s presence or not – that’s it. How devout they are doesn’t matter.”
 
She flat out denied any connection with devotion.
 
“While greater devotion can come from sensing God’s presence, one doesn’t start sensing God’s presence just because they’re devout. I’ve seen many people more devout than myself. But when it comes to sensing God’s presence, they don’t.
 
“This is simply talent.”
 
-While it was common knowledge that priests required innate talent – God’s grace – denying the connection with devotion to this extent was rare, and from a bishop at that.
 
“It’s not taboo or anything. There are just many who don’t want to acknowledge it.
 
-But let’s get back on track. He was someone without any talent or even devotion, who thought, ‘If God exists, why do evil creatures exist?’ Quite the audacious remark. But it’s not uncommon for those like warriors who actually battle evil creatures to think that way.
 
When it came to the relationship between God and evil creatures, there was often debate, but priests uniformly avoided giving a clear answer, saying, “It is God’s deep, unfathomable will.”
 
“So I became interested. Could someone without talent or faith use healing magic – I wondered. That’s why I started teaching him.”
 
-“Is it simple to teach someone healing magic?”
 
“No, it’s not simple. Especially for someone without talent. Telling a person who has never sensed God’s presence to ‘perceive God’s existence’ is quite difficult. It’s like teaching words to a dog.”
 
-“But you succeeded, didn’t you? The hero’s legend says that Ares could use God’s miracles.”
 
“It succeeded—did it? Well, I suppose it did. After receiving guidance from me, he gradually began to sense the presence of the gods. And after more than two years, he finally managed to learn basic recovery magic.”
 
— Ultimately, if he managed to learn it, isn’t that a success?
 
“If you aim to be a priest, you could learn it in about a month, even if you’re slow. In fact, if you have the talent, you could unconsciously perform it. However, in his case, he made no progress for two years. I couldn’t understand why he continued to put in the effort.”
 
— Even if he didn’t achieve any results, isn’t it because he aimed to learn recovery magic that he became a Hero?
 
“Do you think so? At first, I found it intriguing. [Ah, indeed, miracles from the gods won’t happen to those without talent], I thought. But he continued to practice recovery magic, which showed no signs of progress even after two years. An ordinary person would have given up after three months of no results. Perhaps with talent or faith, one could persist, but he had neither.”
 
— Why couldn’t you understand why Ares practiced recovery magic?
 
“There have been rumors that the ancient legendary Heroes could use recovery magic, but I don’t know if that’s true. Furthermore, for over ten years until now, the roles within a party have been well-established. As long as the warrior class functions as the vanguard, there’s no need for them to use recovery magic. That’s common sense. So, not only me but everyone at the academy felt it was strange that he was practicing recovery magic.”
 
— Now that you mention it, indeed, front-line warriors don’t necessarily need to use recovery magic. It would be convenient if they could, but as long as they function well as a party, the need for it is minimal.
 
“That’s right. However, I only taught him about the existence of the gods, and I didn’t constantly monitor his practice. I did give him advice a few times, warning him that he had no talent, but ultimately, I couldn’t stop him.”
 
— But Ares managed to learn recovery magic?
 
“Even without talent or faith, it was proven that he could use recovery magic. However, he only learned basic recovery magic, so I didn’t think it was of much significance.”
 

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“With just basic healing magic, all you can do is soothe small wounds and bruises.
 
“That level of minor wounds and pain will heal over time anyway, so it’s not considered to have much significance. Even among us priests, it was common sense that such insignificant damage didn’t need healing during battle. We’d have no end if we had to care for every little wound. But he understood the importance of healing even such minor wounds.”
 
“Is it important to heal even small wounds?”
 
“Even if it seems trivial, leaving it unattended accumulates and clearly slows you down. Rather, any wound, big or small, hinders movement to some degree, so if you want to keep moving at full strength, you have to heal everything.”
 
“I healed his major damage, and he healed his own minor damage. The tenacious fighting style of the hero wouldn’t have been possible without basic healing magic.”
 
“The hero’s epic praises Ares’s indomitable spirit, never succumbing to any hardship or adversity. So the secret was in basic healing magic.”
 
“Yes, I’d say so. Or rather, he understood the importance of accumulating all those minor things. Even when impossibly strong monsters appeared, he defeated them by accumulating minor wounds, and when seemingly insurmountable difficulties blocked his path, he broke through by steadily accumulating effort. It’s easy to explain but it took a very long time to do those things.”
 
“There were times we battled an enemy for three days and three nights before defeating it, but afterwards we’d all just collapse on the spot unconscious. If we’d been attacked then, we would have been annihilated.”
 
Maria smiled fondly as she recalled those days.
 

“But wouldn’t the journey have become considerably longer if you did nothing but that?”
 
The hero’s journey didn’t seem that long.
 
“Oh yes, if we left everything up to him the journey would have taken forever, but Leon, Solon and of course I were excellent, so we usually resolved things quickly. We’d say to him, ‘If we left it all up to you, the demon king would die of old age.’
 
We were all contrarians, so maybe we were trying to look down on him. But at times like those he’d just laugh and scratch his head and say ‘Thanks, you saved me.’ It made us feel like the stupid ones.”
 
“It sounds fun, but did you love Ares?”
 
“I’ve answered that question many times. And each time I give the same reply – that I didn’t love Ares. And that’s the truth.”
 
There was no lie in her expression.
 
“There are rumors that you can’t forget Ares and have remained single because of him, but…”
 
“You ask very personal questions. I simply missed my chance to marry. If I’d had a little more courage, I could have married long ago. They call me a saint, but the real me is a very timid person.”
 
“Why did the hero die?”
 
“It’s sad, but that must have been God’s will. I can’t explain it any way but that Ares’s role as a human being was something like that.”
 





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