I, the “false hero” expelled the “true hero” Volume 1 Chapter 2 Part 2

“Yes Foil?”
“We will definitely succeed with this plan… So, we’ll win this!”
“O-Of course!”
Bumping my outstretched fist, Yu copied me by bumping his fist against mine.
“Hey hey, don’t leave me out!”
Mei jumps in, stacking her palm over ours.
We exchange smiles.
“Let’s go rescue the people from the demon army!”

The operation succeeded.
With me as bait, Mei and Yu helped evacuate the hostage townspeople via the waterways while I kept Downburst occupied, swiftly escaping outside.
“Damn you! Demeaning I, Downburst Gryphus of the Eight Warlords, to the lowly earth! Making me, the [Blast], fall to the ground! Unforgivable! I will not stand for this!”
Raging gales, storms, cyclones.
Battering winds threatening to blow us away if we relaxed our guard.
My first meeting with one of the dreaded Eight Warlords, the [Blast] Downburst Gryphus was a demonic beast with gigantic wings and talons resembling an eagle. Hovering aloft using wings on his back, upon seeing the hostages rescued he immediately resumed aerial bombing with the gales that earned him his epithet. At first we were overwhelmed by the sheer bombardment but enacting Yu’s plan, we ambushed him severing a wing sending him crashing earthbound.
But achieving that came at great cost.
That fool sustained grievous injury shielding me as I brought Downburst down.
With Mei tending to him, the gashes seemed critical.
I tightly gripped my holy sword, ashamed at forcing my childhood friend into such mortal peril yet resolved not to waste this chance Yu created. I steeled myself that I absolutely cannot lose.
“[Venom]’s and [Pestilence]’s already beaten! Now only you remain, the [Blast] Downburst!”
“Ha! So two of the Three Talon Scars I lead have fallen! Do not get cocky just for managing to down me!”
“Everyone, get back!”
I gave my attention while he swung his claws.
The pillars around the straight path of his claws were cut in two, collapsing.
“To think just swinging those claws could have such cutting power!”
“Hah! What a joke! It’s just a desperate struggle! [Shining Swift Sky Slash]!”
“Even if you fall to the ground, it won’t make a difference! [Flaming Dance of the Gale Formation]!”
Gladius’s slashing attack that tore through the air.
Mary’s gust of flames burning the air.
An encirclement from both sides, but Downburst glared at them with sharp eyes like a bird of prey.
“You disgusting inferior race! Don’t come near me! [Mad Wind Wing Strike]!”
“What!? Gah!”
“My magic!!? Ukyuu!!”
Downburst moved the remaining wing and a tremendously powerful wind, like an explosion, brushed away their skills. The two were thrown far away, crashed into a pillar, and lost consciousness.
To prevent Downburst, who was preparing to finish them off, I approached. Downburst noticed and stopped swinging his claws, intercepting the holy sword.
“Sorry, but I can’t let that go!”
“Hmph, protecting the weak, huh. But you can’t defeat me by protecting someone! Your next target is that kid! Insolent, trying to deceive me! They’ll definitely kill you!!”
“! Then, I can’t afford to lose even more.”
“Shut up! It’s you who dies first! [wind chipping nails] [Wind Claws]”
“[Holy Sky Slash]!”
To counter his [Wind Engraved Claw], I unleashed [Holy Sky Slash], a flying slash attack. It was a skill similar to the [Vacuum Slash] that [Warriors] and [Swordsmen] could use, and it resembled the [Vacuum Slash] but was enhanced by the holy sword, capable of cutting through attacks of various demon races.
Just before [Holy Sky Slash] made contact with Downburst’s [Wind Engraved Claw], the behavior of [Holy Sky Slash] changed.
Dodging [Holy Sky Slash] like a swirling wind, Downburst, taking advantage of my carelessness, cut through my body.
“Fool! Do not get arrogant just for clipping my wing!”
Although hastily defending with my sword prevented a mortal blow, blood loss was still severe.
Prolonging combat would eventually kill me through exsanguination at this rate.
(Without a healing [Saint] like heroes of the past had, this isn’t good!)
The [Saints] with miraculous healing capable of mending all wounds, recorded in history to accompany the [Hero] when battling the demon army.
Yet their existence still hasn’t appeared in the world. Somehow the reason felt obvious though. Because I’m not the true [Hero].
Tearing my overcoat into makeshift bandages, I tightly bound the wounds to temporarily halt bleeding. But it was still just first aid. I had to end this quick.
“Trying to stop the bleeding? Futile!”
“[Soap Bubble Dream Spheres]!”
Suddenly myriad soap bubbles manifested before me, blocking Downburst’s attack.
No need to guess who it was. Mei.
“I’ll support you, Foil!”
By the collapsed Yu nursing his earlier injuries, Mei obstructed Downburst with water magic. Noticing something, crippled Yu beside Mei warned her.
“Mei… above…!”
“[Mage], I’ll shred you for hindering Lord Downburst! [Spiraling Talon]!”
From the sky dived another demon slashing at the pair. Shielding Mei, Yu’s body was pierced by the sharp talons, wounding Mei as well.
Blood rushed to my head.
“Don’t you dare hurt them! [Holy Sky Slash]!”
“What!? Guh!”
Instantly brandishing my holy sword, I desperately try to smite the demon with [Holy Sky Slash]. Although it dodged suffering only a shoulder injury.
“Damn you, [Hero]!”
“Get back, Onyx!”
“But Lord Downburst-!”
“No matter! Your intervention already allowed me to complete it!”
“I see! Hah!”
Hearing Downburst’s words, the demon that attacked the two took to the skies, flying far away. Wondering why, a gale brushes past my cheek.
“This wind is…”
“Futile! You can no longer approach me, not even a step! Taking your eyes off me was a mistake! You will crawl and die miserably on the ground!”
Despair stretches out before me.
“Howl, [Eagle King’s Screech], rage! Wretched humans, behold terror! I am the [Blast]! Ruler of the skies!”
He conjures a tornado around himself, unleashing his [Gale Talons] to shred everything. While I went to save Yu and Mei, he completed a sturdy cage of winds.
Encircling Downburst, the raging [Eagle King’s Screech] and slashing gales on the ground prevent my advance.
But I don’t give up. I can’t give up.


I glance sideways. Through the roaring winds I glimpse Mei shielding the injured Yu.
(Yu responded to me. Then I must also answer him. How can I face him otherwise!?)
To bring Downburst down, Yu devised a strategy.
It required him to impersonate me to draw Downburst’s attention. Naturally Mei objected.
Yet Yu pushed onwards.
“I know his stubbornness. And that I’m not the true [Hero]…”
I unconsciously mutter.
But now I’m the only one who can somehow stop Downburst. I’m the only one who can save everyone!
“I’m the [Hero] now! I alone can break this deadlock! So Holy Sword Arianrhod, grant me the power, the courage to protect them!”
The holy sword shines radiantly. Gripping its hilt tightly I charge towards Downburst.
“Foolhardy. The winds shall shred you apart!”
“[Holy Sky Slash]!”
I unleash [Holy Sky Slash] straight at him. Blocked by the thick winds, it disperses. Still I fire again and again. Downburst sneers derisively.
“No matter how much you struggle, approaching me is… What!?”
Battered and bloodied, I emerge through a gap in the raging winds, surprising Downburst.
“You, you used the holy sword’s power to carve an opening!?”
He manipulates the winds by manifesting his demonic miasma. Therefore, attacks imbued with holy aura can nullify it somewhat. Especially the holy sword.
However, it’s not perfect. Relying solely on [Holy Sky Slash] to penetrate not enough to dispel the slicing gales besieging me completely.
As a result, what I failed to negate still lacerated me. But no matter, reaching him is enough.
“There is but one path forwards! Then I shall head towards it! Relentlessly… onwards!”
Despite bleeding heavily I continue approaching Downburst.
“Guuh, with my wing gone the winds have cracks… Are you insane!? But I’ll attack first! You’ve no chance of victory! Scatter like cotton!!”
Noticing an opening, Downburst starts gathering winds around himself to blast me away.
Whether he or I will be faster. It was a gamble.
Time felt elongated. Though the actual delay couldn’t have been more than a second.
The moment my holy sword shone radiantly and Downburst’s winds roared,
a dull thudding sound echoed.
The source was Downburst’s severed wing impaled by Yu’s sword. A meaningless act of desperation.
“Onwards my friend… Go, Foil!”
Yet to Downburst, the self-proclaimed sky ruler, it was an unforgivable humiliation.
Forgetting my presence before him, on pure reflex he whirls to face Yu.
“Shine, [Holy Light Manifest]!”
No way I’ll miss this chance. Gripping my sword tightly, it unleashes a tremendous radiance.
[Holy Light Manifest], a skill only wieldable by the [Hero].
The strong yet gentle white light emitted from the holy sword illuminates the surroundings.
Downburst’s wind barriers all vanish. Now there is nothing obstructing me from him.
Panicking, still he continues glaring at me.
“You lowly earth-crawling beast! How dare scum like you show such disrespect to I, the ruler of skies!”
“I care not who or what ruler you claim to be! If you hurt others, then I will strike you down! So fall, [Blast] Downburst Gryphus!!”
“D-Damn youuu, [Hero]!!”
“[Sacred Ray]!”

scene transition

The holy sword pierces Downburst’s sturdy body.
After burrowing deeply, I swipe it out sideways to paint his silver wings crimson.
“I-Impossible… fool… I, lying pathetic on the filthy earth…”
Robbed of his wings that were his pride, his dignity shattered, Downburst collapses limply.
The raging stormwinds also fade into a gentle breeze.
Seeing that I catch my breath and declare our victory.

We managed to free all the hostages. Everything went according to Yu’s plan.
Working together we also took down one of the dreaded Eight Warlords.
There were minimal casualties despite the city nearly razed. I felt vexed yet also proud of Yu’s achievements. Surely this will make people acknowledge him now.
Yu has no Job Class. Known as the [Classless], facing discrimination. But his accomplishments here outweigh that stigma. Finally he might be freed from scornful eyes. I truly believed so then.

that’s how I sincerely thought at the time.

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