Who Killed the Hero? Volume 1 Chapter 4 part 3

Fragment 2

When I was six years old, Zack came to live at our house. His mother was my father’s younger sister, so he was my cousin. We were the same age and had similar builds, so I was happy to have a new playmate.
Zack’s parents were adventurers, so they looked really cool.
Zack’s father was a warrior. Unlike the other villagers, he had a dignified face and his body was all muscle without an ounce of fat. He showed me his sword skills a few times, and I was amazed at how gracefully he could move. I wondered if he might be the strongest warrior in the world.
Zack’s mother was a mage. She was very smart and had taught herself magic by studying. The books and magic tomes she left at our house were tattered from being pored over so much. She showed me her magic once, and it was beautiful as it shot up into the sky.
But Zack was so ordinary compared to them that I wondered, “Is he really their child?” If anything, he was dull. However, even though he was clumsy, he had this weird tendency to persistently keep practicing at something until he got good at it, whether it was play or anything else.
When I asked Zack about this, he said:
“My family’s motto is to keep at it until you can do it.”
But I didn’t want him doing that and making play time boring, so I would stop him at an appropriate point.
After staying at our house for about a week, Zack’s parents set off on a journey to fight the Demon Lord’s army.
I heard the country of Malica was being invaded by the Demon Lord’s forces and a great battle was unfolding there, so if they could win that battle, there would be peace for some time.
“For some time? Wouldn’t defeating the Demon Lord bring lasting peace?”
I asked my mother.
“It’s difficult to have lasting peace unless the Demon Lord is defeated. But even a short period of peace earned through fighting is precious, isn’t it?”
my mother replied with a sad look.
“Then I’ll defeat the Demon Lord!”
I declared, wanting to encourage my mother.
“I see…”
she responded with a complicated expression.


“Ares, please take care of Zack,”
Zack’s parents asked me before leaving on their journey.
“Of course! You can count on me!”
I accepted without hesitation since I respected them so much.
But they held Zack tenderly in their arms for a long time.
Seeing that, I thought that we might never see them again.

The next day, I gathered the village kids and started practicing with wooden sword, telling them,
“We’re going to defeat the Demon Lord!”
I was serious, and my friends joined in enthusiastically. Of course, so did Zack.
We were just swinging wooden swords, but it felt like we had become a band of adventurers.
Our goal was to attain the swordsmanship of a warrior like Zack’s father. We all intended to strive for the sword techniques he had shown us. However…
“Ares, I’m bored of this. Let’s do something else,”
one of my friends said after about a month.
“Yeah Ares, it’s no fun since you’re so much stronger than us,”
the other friends agreed.
It seemed they had lost interest once a difference in skill level emerged from the practice.
Certainly, I was the most skilled, and much better than my friends.
Or maybe they hadn’t been serious about the sword practice from the beginning, just extending playtime. Only Zack still seemed motivated.
“I see… okay, let’s stop the sword practice then…”
I decided to continue practicing just with Zack, while stopping the group lessons.

As the village chief’s family, my father and mother were educated, so they taught Zack and I how to read and write. I quickly learned how to read characters and started reading the various books in our home. I think it was much later before Zack could read books.
One of the books I read contained the story of a hero, and according to that, the hero could use attack magic like a mage and healing magic like a priest, not just a sword.
“Alright! Then I should learn magic too!”
I simply thought. The one to defeat the Demon Lord is the hero. So I would need to be able to use magic as well.
We had the magic tomes Zack’s mother used for studying, but I figured those would be too difficult. Instead, I went to ask the village priest at the church if he could teach me healing magic.

“You want to learn healing magic?”
The priest in our village was still young and gave an impression of being gentle and timid.
“Yeah! I want to become a hero!”
“A hero? I see, a hero…”
The priest pondered for a bit.
“Get your father’s permission first. Then I can give you some simple guidance. Really, I shouldn’t teach anyone except those training to become priests, but these are difficult times…”
he said with a kind smile.



I immediately went home and talked to my father about it.
“Healing magic? I think only chosen people can use that… But if the priest says he’ll give you some guidance, go ahead and try it,”
my father didn’t seem to think I’d be able to learn healing magic.
In any case, I got permission, so Zack and I went to the church and received instruction from the priest.
Though really, he just taught us the words for a simple prayer and the proper mindset when praying.
“First, you have to be aware of God’s presence. If you can be conscious of that, your prayers will naturally gain power,”
the priest said. Apparently those training as priests are able to sense God’s presence. In other words, it’s because they can sense God that they become priests.
Since I had never felt anything like that before, I just repeatedly murmured the words of the prayer. Zack joined me in murmuring. As we earnestly prayed together, our friends came over.
“What are you doing?”
“Practicing healing prayers.”
“Healing prayers? Is Ares becoming a priest?”
“I’m going to be a hero, not a priest.”
“If you say those prayers, will you be able to use healing magic?”
“If I can sense God’s presence and pray properly.”
“Hmm, teach me too.”
“Farm work is hard on my family’s fields. I want to become someone like a priest who just prays all day.”
I thought my friend’s motive was impure, but taught him the prayer anyway. After that, more and more friends gathered and we started praying together. Their reasons were the same — that the priesthood was a “respectable and easy job.”

After doing this for several days, my friends started dropping out one or two at a time.
Of course. Just chanting simple prayers over and over again was boring and meaningless. In the end, only Zack and I remained. To be honest, I wanted to quit too, but Zack kept at it seriously. I wondered if Zack wanted to learn the healing magic in order to go be with his parents. If so, there was no way I could make him stop.

Several months later, rumors of the war between Malica and the Demon Lord’s forces reached our village.
The army led by General Müller in this country succeeded in driving back the Demon Lord’s forces, but because their arrival was late, the country of Malica was destroyed. It seems none of the volunteer adventurers fighting on the front lines survived.
The night after hearing this news, my parents told me and Zack:
“From today, Zack is part of our family.”
Zack silently nodded.

That night, Zack was quietly crying in his bed. From the next room, I could faintly hear his sobs as I offered up prayers for Zack’s parents.
I think that until then, I hadn’t understood the meaning of the prayer words at all. I was just reciting them without thought.
When I prayed earnestly for someone for the first time, a faint light dwelled in my clasped hands.

The next morning after working that small but divine miracle, I went to the church to show the priest.
“Amazing. To be honest, I didn’t think this was possible, but this is certainly a miracle of God.”
The priest placed his hand on my head and praised me.
“However… unfortunately, I don’t sense that strong of power. At most, even if you master it, it will probably only be basic recovery magic. Do you still want to continue?”
I nodded firmly without hesitation.

After receiving several more months of instruction from the priest, I became able to use simple recovery magic.
Unfortunately, even though Zack received the lessons together with me, he was unable to produce any divine miracles.
Word that I could use recovery magic quickly spread through the village. Or rather, my grandfather the village chief happily spread the news.
According to my father, when my grandfather found out that Zack’s mother, his daughter, could use magic, he boasted about it all around the village as well.
Because of that, villagers started coming to me to get minor injuries healed. It was good practice for healing magic, so I was grateful for it too.
However, just as the priest said, I soon reached my limit. I could only use beginner healing magic, and couldn’t invoke any greater miracles from God.
To be honest, I felt like this was completely useless, so I decided to study attack magic instead.
I had another reason for wanting to learn attack magic — I thought it would be pointless for Zack to try and learn more recovery magic. Since his mother was a magician, I figured it would be better to teach him attack magic.
When I talked to Zack about this, he said
“Okay, if Ares says so, we’ll do it together.”
He seemed a little reluctant to give up on recovery magic, but we started studying together to learn attack magic. We had to start with learning the ancient language to be able to read the magic books.
We read and studied hard together using books Zack mother had left behind.
Word spread around the village that we were studying attack magic. Then our friends came wanting to study together too.
They simply thought “People who can use magic become great.” But since they couldn’t even read or write, they had to start there.
Having to learn to read and write, then the ancient language, and then read the magic books — the long road ahead made our friends quickly give up and disappear.

Studying magic took a long time. It was difficult to study, and we could only do it in between helping with household chores and sword training, so progress was slow.
In the end, I successfully cast my first spell when I was twelve years old. It took over five years. Without Zack studying together with me, I would have never been able to continue. However, Zack was unable to master attack magic himself.
Around this time, the Demon King’s army started invading again. The number of demons increased, and their activity became more vigorous. In the village, a self–defense group was formed, and the villagers also started training with weapons.
We participated too, but since we had been training with swords all this time, I was far stronger than the adults. Sometimes I even started defeating demons that appeared near the village.
As things progressed like this, being able to use both the sword and healing and attack magic, I came to be treated as a genius. My grandfather loudly proclaimed “This child may be the hero!”
But I didn’t think so. I knew Zack’s parents. I was inferior with the sword compared to Zack’s father, my attack magic couldn’t match Zack’s mother, and my recovery magic was nothing compared to the village priest.
In other words, everything about me was half–baked. I had no idea at all how I could defeat the Demon King like this.

Just then, a despairing event occurred.
A prophet appeared in the village.
[The hero who will defeat the Demon King will come from this village]
In front of many villagers, the prophet declared thus.
The villagers looked at me as one.
(Please stop! Don’t look at me like that!)
I wanted to shout that. There’s no way I can defeat the Demon King. My body shook, my legs felt weak.
I glanced at Zack next to me, seeking help. But he was staring straight at the prophet.
Unlike everyone else expecting something from someone, he seemed to be trying to find the possibility of a hero within himself. Come to think of it, even though he was worse at the sword and magic than me, he never gave up on himself even once.
Seeing him like that, I was able to regain my composure.

In the end, I was celebrated as the hero, but I accepted it silently.
After consulting with my parents, I decided to head to the capital for now and enroll in Pharme Academy. Fortunately, my parents alone were thinking calmly and understood that I was not yet a hero who could immediately defeat the Demon King. Rather, they were skeptical about me even being the hero, but the mood in the village was such that they couldn’t say that to the villagers. My grandfather, the village chief, had already started celebrating, saying “Ares really was the hero!”
From that day onward, I stopped helping with household chores and threw myself into special training with the sword and magic. I took the lead in defeating demons too. I was desperate.
I was very uneasy, but Zack was always by my side.
No matter how many times I failed, he kept working hard together with me.
I think I’ve been encouraged all this time by seeing him like that.
I don’t know if I’m really the hero or not.
But it seems like what’s needed to be a hero isn’t skill with the sword or magic.
Somehow, I felt that Zack was more suited to be the hero.

My friend Meerkat has started translating Light Novels. Please visit their website at: localizermeerkat.pages.dev



Kindly click on the green button above and contribute to filling the green bar if you’re interested in having another LN from the request page translated.

Also, every donation is being used to purchase the source material and to fund more English translations.

Please consider joining my Ko-Fi membership. By becoming a member, you’ll also gain access to 2-10 additional chapters of all of the novels from this site translated into English. Last but not least your support will also assist me in upholding the translation quality and speed. For more information, please follow the link.

Donation for faster release is always welcome

Additionally, I am now accepting translation requests.


Spread the translation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *