I, the “false hero” expelled the “true hero” Volume 1 Chapter 2 Part 3

A few days after slaying [Blast] Downburst Gryphus. In the liberated city, many praised our feats. After decade long demon invasions, at last one of the Eight Warlords fell.
Lost lives and ravaged land cannot be reclaimed. Yet people rejoiced, for hope now glimmers.
“Ow ow!”
“Does it hurt, Hero?”
“Well, a bit. But no issue. Nothing compared to what the people suffered– yeowch!”
“S-Sorry! Our skills fall far short of a [Saint’s]…”
While the populace celebrates, I undergo treatment for my injuries.
With [Saints] unavailable, healers try mending me instead. However relying on the patient’s stamina, it ultimately becomes self-healing.
Hence my outcries of pain. Worried, the female healer changes topics attempting to distract me.
“But still, as expected of the [Hero]. I heard you even devised the plan to evacuate Arthelhelm ‘s citizens?”
My mind lags processing her words.

“Yu! Why’s everything credited to me when you thought up the rescue strategy!?”
During the fight with Downburst.
I was proclaimed as planning the city folks’ escape.
Hearing that left me dumbfounded.
No. Yu was the strategist. Yet everyone unabashedly praises me for it.
So I rushed out from treatment into the garden where Yu was, yelling at him.
“Oh Foil. What’s wrong? Aren’t you still receiving healing?”
“I forced my way out for this! More importantly, why are your achievements attributed to me!?”
“Well… Lady Mary said it’s inappropriate for a worthless coward lacking any accomplishments to be rewarded. I had to decline everything…”
“And you accepted that!?”
“I couldn’t contribute much combat-wise anyway. It’s frustrating but…”
Yu explains nonchalantly without the slightest vexation that should be plain on his face.
Aren’t you amazing? Be more proud. Have some self-confidence!
“Even so–!”
“Congratulations regardless Foil! I heard you received more medals for meritorious deeds! You really are incredible!”
I see it.
I finally realized.
Yu’s gaze towards me resembles how others view me. Namely reverence and worship.
Identical to my friends’ and villagers’ eyes when recognizing me as the hero.
Identical to the priests and everyone else placing distance between us.
My supposedly close childhood friend now appearing so distant.
“Please stop… don’t look at me like that too…”
Huh? Yu tilts his head puzzled but I already fled the scene.
Avoiding Yu’s line of sight, instead of returning to the infirmary I collapse atop the extravagant bed prepared for the hero in my private chambers.
Grabbing a nearby bucket I retch into it.
“Haah, haah…”
What do I do?
What do I do?
What do I do
“Why, Yu. It’s you, you’re the hero! How can you despise yourself so easily? “
I had watched Yu for years, waiting by his side. I thought that someday, he would awaken as the [Hero], and I could pass the holy sword to him.
But the reality was harsh; Yu would never awaken as the [Hero] if it stays like this.
This couldn’t go on. If I let it drag on, Yu would resign himself to this position, never awakening as the hero. It was just my intuition, but I was convinced of it.
Because, isn’t it true?
He doesn’t care if Gladius and Mary scorn him.
“Why, no, maybe…”
So, why is that? The reason is clear; it’s my fault.
Yu believes I am the [Hero]. That I am the one to save the world. But it’s Yu who should save the world, not me.
I am… not capable. It’s impossible.
“But what to do? Even if I tell the truth, Yu won’t believe it. Besides, having two heroes in history is unheard of. No one will believe it.”
Even searching through past records, there was always only one hero, and there was no record of another hero appearing. So, I didn’t know how to handle it. I considered consulting with a [Priest], but based on the memories of past “Divine Messages,” I couldn’t trust [Priests] too much. The only one I could trust was that old [Priest] who had seen my “Divine Message” directly and had also worried about Yu, but that person had already passed away.

I don’t understand. What should I do? What should I do?
A maze with repeated answers but no solution. I had always ended up living in uncertainty, but now I had to do something.
But how?



Lost in the maze of directionless thoughts,
a ray of light pierces through.

Pa-thump, something fell. Looking over, a book slipped off the desk.
The picture book I treasured since little, carefully keeping it even after growing up.
“[Hero’s Story]…”
Randomly flipped open, on prominent display was the man I disliked as a child for constantly opposing the hero – Anglecious.

As the protagonist’s nemesis he obstructs the hero repeatedly, becoming a nuisance again and again despite accumulating injuries. Doggedly interfering no matter what.
Finally before the final battle against the demon king, the hero slays him.
Such persistence made other children dislike him. I too, hated him. Since he always obstructed the [Hero].
The recurring villain hindering the hero. However he was the separated protagonist’s elder brother. Lamenting his younger brother’s cruel fate, in order to stop him and make him give up, he kept interfering.
All for his brother’s sake. As the [Hero], his brother would be sent to battle after awakening so the elder brother obstructed to prevent that.
In the end, he perished under his younger brother’s own hands without ever disclosing the circumstances. And ironically, through repeatedly fighting him the [Hero] grew in strength.
“I see… that’s what I should have done from the start…”
I unconsciously mutter out a warped grin.
I’ll become the villain. Then obstruct Yu blocking his path. Doing so should spur his awakening as the [Hero].
This is likely too extreme. There Mei be better solutions. But it was all I could conceive in my desperation. It exemplified the straits I was pressed into.
“Oh Foil.”
Opening the door coincidentally just as she was about to knock, an elegantly dressed Mei appears.
My heartbeat skips.
“Why’d you suddenly vanish from the infirmary? I dropped by to check but was shocked to not see you there! Even Yu who I met later said he was worried after you abruptly ran off following your conversation…”
“Ah… I felt a bit unwell…”
“Truly? Bend down a bit?”
Doing as told, Mei pressed her forehead against mine.
“Keep still! Hmm… no fever perhaps? But feeling sick means exhaustion right? Did you secretly help someone out again? You really need to stop bottling things up alone!”
“N-No I didn’t…”
“If you say so… But don’t push yourself! Really now!”
The same scolding gestures from our childhood.
It healed the distress over Yu still troubling me.
“Hm? What?”

Mei flashes an innocent smile. Identical to her beautiful grin back when we were young. Through her eyes I see myself reflected.

Scary. I’m scared scared scared.
Terrified of stealing her smiles. Of her hating me. Scorned by her.
Most of all hurting those two.

Yet my mind is decided. I’ve resolved to exile Yu.
Destroying his delusions of me as the hero slumbering within to spur his own awakening instead.
To accomplish that end I’ll do anything.
Even shatter our cherished bonds nurtured together with Yu and Mei.
Only then realizing my self-deceit.
I relied on and clung onto our ties same as them. Yes I dreaded progressing onwards to avoid destabilizing this comfortable status quo.

How despicable.

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