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

Chapter 3: The Savior

Oro Village

“Alright, I think I’m good to go now.”
I stretch over and over with a crackle crackle, loosening up my stiff joints so my body feels more limber.
Since that incident, I was determined to head to another village but after just a short walk, my wounds started stinging painfully so I came crawling back to the original cave.
Afterwards, Iris would heal me with her [Saint] powers, make food for me. “I’ll wash your body too!” she said, laying out a cloth while breathing heavily , but of course I refused that. I mean…you know?
So I took it easy and rested for a while, and it had been three days already.
Day after day of rest and recuperation, and now I’m completely used to this cave ceiling.
“Sir Foil, do you think you can move properly now?”
Iris comes in through the mouth of the cave, carrying some berries and honeyed lotus leaves she gathered.
“Yeah, I’m much better now. Don’t think my wounds will suddenly open up like the first day anymore.”
“That really shocked me back then…you would have died without my healing…”
“Ahaha, sorry about that.”
“Honestly…fufu, I brought some fruit so let’s eat.”
These past few days I’ve been eating berries, fish, and mushrooms she brought back from outside. As a forest-dwelling elf, she’s quite knowledgeable regarding what’s safe or poisonous out there apparently.
The food she brought back is all nutritious, allowing me to steadily recover my strength. I’m really grateful to Iris.
As we chat while waiting for the fish to cook, there’s one thing I nod my head at.
“Yes. It’s probably best not to go by the name Foil directly – while unlikely, there’s still a chance your identity may be exposed. And even if not, getting stuck with some weird nickname would be annoying, no?”
She makes a good point.
If a wanted poster matches my hair color and name, people would naturally find it suspicious. Especially if I’m somewhat famous.
[False Hero] Foil is dead after all. Best not to use that name anymore then.
…Of course, it’s not like the name given by my parents means nothing to me. I want to treasure it if possible. But beggars can’t be choosers I suppose. I can’t selfishly cause trouble for Yuu and the others, or Iris.
“You’re absolutely right. But coming up with a new name on the spot is kinda tough…”
“In that case, how about Ayame? I gave it some thought beforehand.”
“Mm. Our elven names are generally inspired by flowers. Like how Iris is a flower, and my mother and father have names meaning Golden Lotus and Shooting Star. Flowers have assigned meanings – Ayame represents [Hope], so perfect for someone aiming to save many people, no?”
“I see, Ayame huh…Yeah, nice. Fits perfectly. From now on I’ll go by Ayame.”
It’s not like I’m discarding the name Foil completely, but I likely won’t have chance to use it anymore. I repeat my new name Ayame over and over, committing it memory.
Ayame…not bad.
Well, it is kinda ironic for me, who stole hope away, to bear this hopeful name, but Iris probably racked her brain coming up with it. I don’t want her efforts to go to waste.
“Success! Now I can openly proclaim Sir Ayame and I share an intimate bond! Other elves might notice, but they’re all shut-ins anyway. So I’m the only one who knows! Ehe, ehehe~”
Incidentally, the plant known as Ayame is quite closely related with Iris in botanical classification. Hence she can assert to other elves that she shares such a profoundly close relationship with this man – me.
If Ayame got friendly with a human woman, she could subtly throw that fact out to keep her in check. Obviously without telling Ayame himself. That would be embarrassing after all.
Delighted at giving a name so connected with hers, Iris can barely restrain her smile.
Lovestruck maidens have always been a calculating bunch.
“Iris, what are you mumbling about over there?”
“N-Nothing at all!”
“Is that so? Well, then it’s fine… but the face is another matter. Even if I can change my hairstyle to some extent, my face might be circulating as a wanted criminal. Even if it’s reported as dead, there’s no guarantee that nobody will recognize me. I might need to buy some clothes with a hood somewhere.”
“Oh, leave it to me! I anticipated this and made a lot of wooden masks overnight!”
“Eh, really? Do elves do that kind of thing…”
Thinking it’s something like a scarf, Iris-chan takes out the contents from the backpack she’s carrying on her back.
“So many! Are you a mask craftsman or something!?”


“First off, this one. This is already a masterpiece. I made it from a tree called ‘Fragrance Millennium Tree,’ said to protect us from illnesses among us elves. Can’t you feel some kind of power? I also came up with the advanced design. How about it?”
Iris-chan confidently takes the mask into her hands.
In a word, it’s scary.
The mask is pointed like a bird’s beak, and the black patterns make the viewer uneasy.
While trying to control my almost twitching face, I gently decline.
“N-no, that’s a bit too much for me, or rather…”
“Is that so… then, how about this? I imitated something used in a ritual in a certain region, a protective mask made of fern leaves! It was tough to paint patterns on the leaves!”
“Nah, I really appreciate the enthusiasm, but this one… is it something used in a devil summoning ritual? It would stand out too much.”
“In that case, how about this? I made it from a tree known as the ‘Black Spirit Tree,’ said to house a spirit. I named it the ‘Hannya Mask’ as it exudes strength. What do you think?”
“I feel like I’d be targeted for subjugation as a member of the Demon King’s army.”
“How about this one? While it completely hides the eyes, the chivalrous spirit it radiates can’t be concealed. You could call it Mr. Bushido!”
“It somehow looks like I would get in someone’s way each time.”
After trying on various masks and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t,
Iris-chan seems to have made quite a few masks. It seems like she’s enjoying herself, though.
“Well, this one seems the safest.”
After trying a few, I settled on one mask
a mask that covers the right side of my face, with simple flower patterns. IIf I hide my face completely, it would be suspicious, but with this mask, it can be used to deflect attention, citing an injury.
Come to think of it, is it okay to keep my hair color the same as before? Well, I can’t dye it right away, though.
“Mmm, but with this, Ayame-san’s resolute face is hardly visible.”
“No, no, the others have flashy masks, so you’ll actually stand out more. Sorry, Iris-chan.”
It seems Iris-chan is somewhat dissatisfied with this choice.
In fact, in terms of facial exposure, I think the first mask covers almost nothing.
Having an overly strange mask might increase the likelihood of getting restrained quickly. This one seems just right.
And well, while changing hair color is not possible, let’s change the hairstyle. It’s okay, I’m used to messing with my hair.
“Is that so… but yes, with this mask, not only can you hide your face, but it also makes it harder to expose your identity.”
“Yes, on the upper part of the mask… ah, there. Are there patterns carved there? The original material is called the ‘Mist Conceal Tree.’ It’s originally a timid tree that, when fierce beasts approach, can conceal its presence or deceive recognition. So, I incorporated those patterns to make use of the characteristics of the ‘Mist Conceal Tree.'”
“Oh, I see. So, if I wear this, no one will be able to recognize me?”
“It’s more of a supplementary role. If you just pass by, people won’t be able to recognize you perfectly. But if you stay close for a long time, it becomes noticeable. So, I can perfectly see Ayame-san’s resolute face in the uncovered part!”
“Oh, thank you.”
I feel a bit overwhelmed by Iris-chan’s enthusiastic explanation.
“Plus! Ta-dah! Authentic elf-crafted custom cloak! It can block lighter cuts too! I also stayed up all night making this!”
“Eh, if you already had that then the mask was kinda pointless…”
“Ah, no no! I don’t mean the cloak is unnecessary! I’m super grateful for it! I’ll treasure it, really!”
Seeing Iris shrink dejectedly, guilt wells up and I hastily feign delight. Hamming it up, I put on the cloak.
“Thanks Iris. Both of these make me happy.”
“Oh please, I had fun making them too.”
Seeing my reaction, Iris looks pleased. Can’t forget these were prepared specially for me after all.
It would be rude not to show gratitude.
“Seriously, thank you.”
Blushing red as she grabs her head, I finish my preparations as Iris looks on.
“Alright! With that, it’s time to embark on my journey as the [Savior]! Let’s get going!”
“Oh! Then please leave it to me. There’s a village near here called Oro – that’s where I got the food and newspapers. We’ll pass through there first to reach the city!”
“Sounds good. Let’s head out right away!”
Following Iris’s suggestion, I make for the nearby village of Oro.
Stepping out the mouth of the cave, bright light streams in. The sky is clear with a pleasant breeze blowing.

scene transition

I’m not a poet, but.. It’s like the world itself is blessing my departure.
A fine day to set out on.
From here on I’ll save the people I couldn’t back when I was the [Hero]. No matter how difficult a road lies ahead.
With such determination in my heart, I stepped out of the cave…
…Yet despite my enthusiasm at becoming the [Savior],
the very first step of my journey, I was detained as a suspicious individual in Oro Village.

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