Who Killed the Hero? Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 1

Solon’s Chapter
 

 
“He is no hero. He is just a fool.”
 
The man who was called a great sage said with distaste.
 
Wearing a purple magician’s robe, the skinny and stern-looking man seemed neurotic, giving off an air that made people not want to go near him unless necessary. This was Solon-Berkeley.
 
Called a prodigy from childhood, it was said that when he entered Pharmee Academy, his magical abilities already surpassed the teachers. And now, through creating new magic and making many magical discoveries that greatly contributed to the world, some saw him as a problem child who barely attended classes.
 
“What exactly is a hero anyway? Someone strong? Someone with powerful magic? “
 
–Isn’t it someone who defeats the Demon Lord?
 
“If you defeat the Demon Lord, you become a hero? Or you defeat the Demon Lord because you’re a hero? How foolish. It’s like the chicken or the egg argument. He had no power or magical ability. He had none of the qualities a hero should have. And yet the world’s fate was entrusted to a man like that? It’s unbelievable. He should never have become a hero, and the people who made him one must have lost their minds.”
 
–But he did defeat the Demon Lord.
 
“That’s just hindsight. He was lucky, or rather… No, with enough effort like his, anyone could have done it. It was because the rest of us were negligent and pushed everything onto him. Leon, Maria, and I should have done more. As for the others, don’t even get me started. To think those people who did nothing can just casually go on living, it’s intolerable.”
 
–Leon called the effort extraordinary.
 
“Extraordinary? Do you think you can defeat the Demon Lord by swinging a sword a thousand times every day? Do you think chanting magic a hundred times will make you capable of facing the Demon Lord? There’s no way it’s that simple, right? It’s different from aiming to become a Knight Commander or a Court Magician. You have to put in the tremendeous effort to defeat the Demon Lord. You can’t expect to defeat the Demon Lord by just making ordinary efforts. Being extraordinary is only natural.”
 
–I heard you taught Ares magic.
 
“He kept pestering me to teach him, coming to me again and again asking me to teach him magic. Apparently the magic professors refused to teach him. Of course they would. Even now, warriors aren’t taught magic at this academy. It’s inefficient and a waste of time. So he came begging me instead.
 
[Since you know more magic than the professors, please teach me] he said.”
 
–So you taught him.
 
“Just the basics. More like passing time than teaching. But instructing someone in magic led to various discoveries for me as well. It wasn’t a bad experience, I suppose. Because of him, I’ve started taking on disciples now. Without that incident, I probably would have looked down on others and never bothered teaching anyone until the day I died.”
 
–Did Ares have talent for magic?
 
“No way. Of all the people I’ve met, he was the most lacking in magical aptitude. You’ve met Leon and Maria right? Didn’t they say the same thing? He had no talents whatsoever. Neither swordplay, nor magic, nor divine miracles, he had nothing. He was just an ordinary man.”
 
–But it’s said the hero Ares used magic.
 
“Well…I guess. If it takes him chanting a fire spell to do what flint and tinder can do faster, that’s the level we’re talking about. It was something he barely managed after training himself to death. I thought it would be completely useless.”
 

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–But it turned out to be useful?
 
“It did. And not just once or twice. He was skilled at using magic. Or rather, he had good instincts for using it? For example, instead of just casting fire magic directly at enemies, he would first coat them in oil and use the spell as an ignition source. While exchanging blows with his sword, he would cast a wind spell directly into his opponent’s eyes. That sort of application. Even weak spells were highly effective when he used them. I learned a lot from him. Magic can become ten times stronger or completely useless depending on how it’s used.”
 
“In the first battle at the Great Rozolof Forest, I was so shocked when my strongest magic had no effect on the demon that my mind went blank. It’s embarrassing to admit.
 
He told me then, [Use weaker magic just to buy time. That’s all you can do for now.]
 
Normally I would never have listened to his commands, but at that time I was so bewildered I just acted like a puppet. And his advice paid off.”
 
–So that’s why you decided to join his party?
 
“Back then I was arrogant. I thought that even alone, I could defeat the Demon Lord. At most, I considered that [I could deign to join if it were with Leon and Maria.] That’s how I saw it. Leon and Maria probably thought the same way. Those two put on the airs of saints, but at their core they were just as arrogant as me, looking down on others.
 
But after having my powerlessness exposed and getting beaten down at the Great Rozolof Forest, I joined up with him. Without him, the rest of us would have formed parties with hangers-on and the like, and been killed off quickly. Each of us was certainly excellent, but without him we never would have united.”
 
–It was because Ares was there that you could demonstrate your power?
 
“Well… I’ll say this. While Leon, Maria, and I could have been replaced by others and the Demon Lord still defeated, without him the Demon Lord could not have been defeated.”
 
–Isn’t that the quality of a hero?
 
“Don’t mess with me. I told you, he was just a fool. A hero is nothing special. An ordinary man should have just quietly lived out his ordinary life. We were certainly geniuses. Relying arrogantly on our talent, we were scum. But he had nothing, and yet ended up being called a hero. It’s easy to say ‘Sir Hero’ but what do those people really understand about him? Do they know what he went through and sacrificed to defeat the Demon Lord? There were many more talented than him. Myself included. It was because we did nothing that he had no choice but to become a so-called hero.”
 
–You fought the Demon Lord as a sage. You didn’t do nothing.
 
“Of course I fought him. I’m a genius after all. Leon and Maria only fought because it was expected of them, their duty, their destiny. But he was different. He bent destiny itself and fought the Demon Lord. Even if it was what he wanted, I’d rather not have him called by the name hero.”
 
–Why did the hero die?
 
“Who knows. Are you satisfied with just that? If so, go home. This conversation is over.”
 
–What was the cause of Ares’s death?
 
“So that’s what you really wanted to know?”
 
Solon, who had looked sullen until now, suddenly laughed in amusement.
 
“As we reported, Ares was killed by a demon. There’s no mistake about that. However, we didn’t actually see him die.”
 
–He was killed by a subordinate after defeating the Demon Lord?
 
“I suppose you could say that.”
 
–Why weren’t you there?
 
“Just bad luck I guess. Is that all you wanted to ask? If so, we’re done here.”
 
–It’s possible to think you killed Ares given the circumstances, no?
 
“I see, you could look at it that way. But no, that’s impossible. We couldn’t have killed Ares. Even if we wanted to.”
 
–Because Ares was too strong?
 
“No, it was simply impossible, that’s all.”
 
–Just one last question. What was Ares to you?
 
“He was a friend. Just a friend. The only one. But in that battle, I lost him. He was a truly ordinary and humble man. Ah, but there was one quirk he had.”
 
–A quirk?
 
“When we set out on the journey to defeat the Demon Lord, the king had a painter make portraits of us all. Ares nitpicked the details of his portrait. [Make my nose a little higher] [Make my eyes a bit bigger] and such. Even without him saying anything, the painter would have flatteringly embellished it, so we all laughed at him fussing over it. We wondered if he was self-conscious about his ordinary un-hero-like looks.”
 
Solon twisted his mouth in a small smile.
 
“If you want to know more about Ares, go to his home village of Talis. To properly chronicle the hero’s tale, you’ll have to go that far, right?”
 





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