I, the “false hero” expelled the “true hero” Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 7

After that, at her words “You can come in now” I entered with some caution but Iris-chan had changed into night clothes for sleeping, much to my relief.
“Fwaaah, soooft~”

After a while, Iris-chan had a blissful expression enjoying Jamama’s dried fur.
Seemingly comfortable, Jamama was squinting happily.
“Fufu, fluffy. So fluffeh so fluffeh~”
“That much?”
With curiosity piqued seeing Iris-chan repeatedly bury her face in Jamama’s belly and stroke it with an enraptured expression, I unconsciously reached out to touch it.

But Jamama batted my hand away with its own. And glared wildly.
“Geez, so cold.”
“It can’t be helped. Sir Ayame is directly Jamama’s parent’s enemy after all…this child understands what you said. Just bad phrasing.”
“Facts are facts. I don’t intend to lie or anything anymore.”
I’ve done nothing but lie until now. So I don’t want to lie anymore.
Smiling wryly a little self-deprecatingly.
After staring fixedly at me like that, Iris-chan stood up.
“It can’t be helped. Since Jamama doesn’t want its fur touched, I’ll let you touch my hair instead.”
“Um, I can’t follow that conversational leap but…”
“Don’t worry. I’m confident my hair rivals finest heaven silkworm silk.”
“It’s not about silk or anything. And what’s heaven silkworm?”
“Silkworm relatives.”
I don’t even know normal silkworms.
Holding Jamama, Iris-chan forcibly sits on my lap. Then going “Mm~” brought the back of her head right up to me.
Thinking refusing further would be rude, I touch her hair. It feels silky smooth. I’m reminded of the one time I stroked it long ago. I suddenly notice Iris-chan’s hair is still a little damp.
“Iris-chan, your hair’s still a bit wet.”
“Is it? I might have been sloppy, absorbed with drying Jamama. But it’ll dry soon.”
“No good, you have to take care of such pretty hair. Any hair care tools around?”
“There’s some in my handbag.”
Iris-chan hands me a pouch.
With the towel inside I lightly pat her dry, then brush with a comb. Iris-chan sways lightly left and right, seeming comfortable.
“You’re skilled Sir Ayame. Aside from mother I’ve never had anyone brush my hair, but you’re as good.”
“Ha ha, thank you. I have experience from brushing Mei-chan’s hair since we were young. I’m accustomed to this sort of thing.”


Uh-oh. I might have stepped on a landmine. I can’t see the face, but I feel pressure.
Cold sweat drips down. Iris-chan puffs up her cheeks.
“What’s this, what’s this! Despite having a woman like me, you keep thinking about past girls! If that’s the case, I’ll overwrite it with my hair, the up-grade!”
“Ouch, ouch! Don’t press your head against my jaw! It hurts! And Jamama, don’t bite me!”
Iris-chan says, “Come on, remember my hair well,” pressing her head against mine.
In solidarity with her owner, Jamama also nibbles on my head.
“Ouch, it hurts! Don’t bite my head; I might go bald!”
Oh, something smells nice. Wait, it hurts!?
After the commotion, we were scolded by the person in the next room for being noisy. We apologized sincerely to the landlady as well.
Man, here I am trying to be the [Savior], and I’m just causing trouble for people…
That night, I deeply reflected on my actions and went to bed.


I dream.
Twisted faces of people in despair, those I couldn’t save.
The anguished faces of Yuu and Mei-chan.
I, who emerged in the dream with those images, involuntarily sit up.
“Hah!? Ha, ha.”
My breath becomes erratic, and my palpitations won’t settle.
For a while, I press my chest while waiting for my palpitations to subside.
“As expected, overcoming it isn’t so easy, huh?”
After a few minutes, my palpitations finally calm down, and I mutter.
Then, I realize I made quite a loud noise.
Looking to the side, I see Iris-chan’s golden hair. Apparently, she managed to sleep through without waking up.
“Good grief, I can’t believe, Waking up at this time.”
Even though the wooden window is closed, there’s a slight gap.
Although there was no light coming through, I knew it wasn’t morning yet.
I drink some water and open the wooden window to feel the night breeze.
“…The moon looks beautiful.”
A bluish-white, perfectly round moon.
I wonder when was the last time I saw the moon like this.
“Is Yuu okay…? And Mei-chan…”
Now far away, childhood friends I can no longer meet.
Are they doing well? Are they not feeling down? Are they not hurt by the fact that I deceived them?
I feel like tears might come, so to distract myself, I gaze up at the moon.
The moon, like when I first met Iris-chan, is full.
I noticed a small shadow near the moon.
It’s too far away, barely recognizable like a sesame seed. I squint my eyes to try to reveal its identity.
Due to opening the window, cold air entered, and Iris-chan sneezed.
I quickly close the window and check on Iris-chan.
Holding Jamama in her arms, she sleeps blissfully. Jamama, too, is quiet, behaving unlike its earlier rampage.
I gently pull up the blanket that was carefully laid over to avoid catching a cold.
In doing so, she stirs slightly, grasping the hand that held the blanket. I confirm the sensation of her gripping my hand and she lets out a soft, sleepy sigh.
“Seeing it like this, she really looks just like a little girl.”
Well, she’s an Elf, so she’s probably older than me. But, her sleeping figure looks just like that of a normal girl. The long ears deny it, though.
“Or rather, I wonder how she explained it to her family?”
I hadn’t thought about it before, but I became curious about how Iris-chan ended up following me.
My parents are no longer around. When I was young and fell ill, my parents went to town to get medicine for me, only to be attacked by magical beasts and died.
My grandparents, who raised me, also passed away during the war with the Demon King’s army. They succumbed to old age in the midst of the battle.
Well, it was sad.
I hardly remember my parents’ faces, and I heard that my grandparents died in the middle of the war through a letter from Yuu’s parents. I couldn’t be with them during their last moments.
But, I wasn’t lonely.
Because Yuu and Mei-chan were with me. Yuu cried more than I did, and Mei-chan tried to cheer me up with her bright demeanor.
Thanks to these two, I never lost heart.
However, Iris-chan is different.
When I first met her, she was about to return to her village, and she should have a family.
But now, she’s by my side.
“I can’t easily imagine she secretly followed me without telling her family. Or is it normal for Elves to stand on their own at this age?”
Elves have long lifespans.
Even after many years, their appearance hardly changes as they age, making them a slow-growing race.
We, as humans, use the definition of adulthood that applies to humans, but I don’t know if it also applies to Elves.
Moreover, there’s practically no interaction between the current human race and Elves, so I have no way of knowing their customs and traditions.
There are many unanswered questions, but thinking about it won’t provide any answers.
“We have plenty of time to talk. I want you to tell me when you wake up again.”
I spoke to her gently. As if to respond, she stirred slightly.
I then try to get up to return to my own bed.
“Hmm? Oh wait, my hand won’t… hey, you’ve got quite the grip there!”
“Ayame-sa~n… Airisu is staying right here~”
Her small, soft hand grips mine tightly, refusing to let go.
While thinking that maybe the usually well-behaved Jamama was unable to escape after being caught by Iris-chan rather than having warmed up to her, I end up unable to do anything about it and lean back on the bed still holding Iris-chan’s hand.

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