Who Killed the Hero? Volume 1 Chapter 2 Part 2

Fragment 1

At the academy, students were divided into classes by their aspired profession – warrior, priest, magician – but you could only study your field of expertise. This was a complete miscalculation.
I thought that even in the warrior class, we’d be able to learn attack magic and healing magic to some extent since it was a school aiming to foster a hero. However, because of the inefficiency of teaching both close combat and magic simultaneously, and above all the innate aptitude required for magic, the roles were completely separated.
But I couldn’t just give up. The hero has to be able to use both attack magic and healing magic, and more than that, I felt the necessity for it myself.
“Will you teach me healing magic?”
The one I called out to was a famous person in the priest class, Maria Loren. She was a beauty with long, lovely black hair and skin as white as porcelain. Of all the people I’d met so far, she was definitely the most beautiful woman.
Of course, I didn’t call out to her because she was beautiful. While the other priest class students were desperately focused on their lessons, she alone was composed, so I hoped she might teach me healing magic.
In addition, she had a reputation as a saint, a woman of loving kindness.
“I don’t think warriors need to use healing magic, do they?”
She smiled and replied.
“I want to become a hero. So I want to be able to use magic too,” I said.
At that, Maria’s eyes widened. The other people around also murmured.
“I see… Certainly the hero is said to be that kind of person. However, it’s now considered inefficient to master both sword and magic, so it’s not recommended much anymore. You knew that, correct?”
“Yeah, I know. A teacher told me the same thing and refused to teach me healing magic.”
“Oh my, so you want me to teach you because a teacher refused?”
“That’s right. I heard you’re talented even among the priest class, and compassionate like a saint, so I thought maybe you’d teach me.”
“Don’t you think you’re being rather presumptuous, asking Lady Maria just because she’s kind?”
interjected a priest class girl with a slightly plump, stern face. Her disposition seemed more fitting for the warrior class than the priest class.
“No, I don’t mind,”
Maria gently told the plump girl.
“While it’s true I’m far from a saint and have much training left to do, guiding people is also the duty of one who serves God. When I have time, I’d be happy to teach you about God.”
Maria smiled with abundant compassion.
Upon hearing her, the people around sang praises of Maria.
“How kind she is!” “As expected of a saint.” “To preach the teachings of God even to a commoner like that.”
At the time, I also sincerely thanked Maria.
But later I would come to realize,
there was no falsehood in her words that she was “far from a saint.”


Some time afterwards, as I was swinging my sword behind the school building, Maria approached me.
“Ares, do you have a moment?”
“Oh, Maria. By any chance, are you going to teach me healing magic?”
“No, it’s pointless to teach healing magic to one who cannot sense God’s presence. It would be like teaching arithmetic to a monkey. You understand, yes?”
“….I suppose, more or less.”
I was a bit bothered at being compared to a monkey, but I understood for the most part.
“So how do I sense God’s presence?”
“Please buy me some delicious bread.”
Maria smiled cheerfully.
“Huh? Bread? What does that have to do with God…”
“You mustn’t think. You must feel. Now, go buy some bread. Hurry.”
Although I didn’t really get it, as the one being taught, I ran at full speed to buy bread.
And at the school store, I purchased what looked to be the most delicious bread I could find, then returned with it in hand behind the school building.

“What is this?”
Maria looked at the bread I’d bought with a cold gaze, as if it were an insect carcass.
“What do you mean, it’s bread.”
Maria heaved an exaggerated sigh.
“You don’t understand, do you? I told you to buy delicious bread. Did you properly speak to God? Asking ‘Where can I find delicious bread?'”
“Huh? God knows where delicious bread is?”
Could it be God was a bread enthusiast?
“God is omniscient and omnipotent, so He knows everything.
Whether it’s delicious bread or sweets.”
“You had to perceive the presence of the gods to buy bread. Trying to get away with buying bread from a nearby bakery… that’s blasphemy against the gods, you know?”
It seemed that searching for delicious bread was the first step in getting to know the gods. Or at least, that’s what she said. … But was it true?
“Well, I suppose it’s fine for today. I am a merciful person, and I am hungry.”
Could it be that I was just being used because she was hungry?
“Be more careful next time.”
Maria said this and then took the bread from me and left.

And on another cold winter day, I was summoned by Maria to the riverside.
“As a merciful person, I’ve come up with a trial for you.”
At this point, I couldn’t help but have a bad feeling.
“Well, you see, I’d prefer if you could just teach me in a normal way?”
“What are you talking about? Despite receiving guidance from Priest when you were a child, you still couldn’t perceive the presence of the gods, could you? There’s no way a normal method would work, right?”
Maria displayed an exaggeratedly exasperated expression.
“For the sake of a pitiable lamb like you, I’ve come up with this trial. Can’t you just agree?”
“I mean, yeah, I guess, if you put it that way…”
“Exactly. Shall we begin, then?”
Maria picked up a stone from the riverside and offered a prayer over it.
The stone, blessed by the gods, emitted a faint light.
“Take this stone.”
I was handed a dimly glowing stone.
“What do I do with this?”
“Throw it as far as you can into the river. The farther, the better.”
I did as instructed, but because the river was quite wide, the stone landed right in the center of the river with a loud splash.
“Then go and fetch it.”
What was she saying? This woman had suggested something absurd.
“It’s a stone blessed by the gods. If you can perceive the presence of the gods, you should be able to find it easily.”
“No, no, no, there’s no point in searching for it at the riverbed, right?”
The river appeared to be quite deep, with a strong current. I could end up drowning. Searching the riverbed like this was absurd.
“What are you talking about?”
Maria let out a heavy sigh.
“You can’t perceive the presence of the gods in your daily life, can you? So you have to place yourself in an extreme situation, don’t you? Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Well, I mean, if you put it that way, it does make some sense…”
“I’m glad you understand.”
Maria beamed with a satisfied smile.
“Then, do your best.”
For the next three hours, I experienced a hellish time in the freezing river, looking for the stone.
It was like looking for a needle in a haystack because I couldn’t even see if the stone was shining or not at the riverbed.
When I picked up a stone from the riverbed and handed it over,
“Are your eyes rotten?” she said coldly,
and without any sympathy, she threw the stone back into the river. She was a heartless woman.

Finally, after many repetitions of this absurd exercise, I managed to find the stone, and when I emerged from the river, Maria, wearing a sinister, gleeful smile, said:
“Could you feel the presence of the gods?”
“Well, in a way, I felt their presence quite close when I thought I was about to be summoned by them.”
I said this with a touch of sarcasm.
“One step closer, then.”
She didn’t seem to mind my sarcasm and just smiled.
But I thought I might die with that one step…

Maria’s trials continued every week in a similar fashion, and by the time I reached my second year, I still couldn’t learn recovery magic. The only thing I had learned was the locations of the delicious bread shops and sweet stores in the capital city.
When I pointed out this fact to Maria, she replied,
“Knowing the locations of good sweet shops can make women happy. It will be useful in the future.”
I couldn’t imagine a future where I got along with girls, even if Maria in front of me was different.
I had mixed feelings about the effectiveness of the trials, but since there was no one else to rely on for recovery magic, I had no choice but to trust her.
However, one day, a change in my senses occurred. Specifically, I became unusually good at finding delicious bread and sweets.
“Could it be that I can hear the voice of the gods?”
Thinking this, I recited a prayer I had learned long ago. To my surprise, I successfully healed one of the small wounds on my arm.
“I did it! What Maria said was true!”
To be honest, I had almost given up, so I was very moved.
What a surprise—Maria was a genuine saint!
Why hadn’t I believed in her more?
If I had believed in her and gone through the trials, I might have learned it earlier!
My heart was filled with gratitude and apology to Maria.
I immediately headed to the priest class and thanked Maria.
“Thank you, Maria! I can use recovery magic now!”


Saying that, Maria was left speechless, and her stunned expression was something I would never forget.

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