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Chapter 1: Please Give Up On It
『…Eh? In other words, humanity has confined itself behind a wall and live mostly underground? What the h.e.l.l. I was only stuck in a castle and I already found it unbearable!』
It was a cylindrically shaped structure where humanity resided.
Its rather lengthy structure was the result of digging further down into the Earth whenever the colony expanded.
Thanks to the existence of food production plants within the colony, there was no need to cultivate fields outside.
Even so, the living s.p.a.ce for humans on earth was greatly reduced.
Complaining with a pale expression in front of Leo「I was confined for a month by my wives. What the heck… Why couldn’t I leave?」was【Lyle Walt】— once known as the founding father of the last empire that ruled the continent.
Referred to as the Divine Emperor, he became the subject of many tales and epics.
And to Leo… he was a distant ancestor of【Leo Walt】.
Although the lineage was considerably distant, Lyle still considered Leo to be a successor.
The biggest reason was the pendant that hung around Leo’s neck. A blue gem— the【Blue Jewel】embedded in a silver pendant was proof of Lyle’s successor.
Unsure as to how he should address him, Leo added「sama」for the time being. However, Lyle rejected him with a carefree wave of his hand.
『It’s usually Your Highness, Your Majesty, or something like that right? But you’re my descendant so you don’t need to use any honorifics. Actually, you can use my nickname! How ‘bout you call me Lay-chan?』
「…There’s no way I can call someone that looks to be in their late 20s Lay-chan.」
Lay-chan— Lyle’s figure appeared to be a man in his prime, somewhere in the early 30s.
Yet Leo got the impression that he was even younger than that.
It could be said that he had youthful face.
『Good comeback! Leo-kun has the tsukkomi attribute huh? I was worried that I was going to be lonely inside this gem by myself but that’s not the case anymore!』
「…somehow, it feels like the image I had has been shattered.」
His Imperial Majesty— Leo was surprised to learn that he was a descendant of such a great person, but carefully thinking it over, he realised it had been over 2000 years since the Empire’s founding. Surely there must have been many descendants who have inherited his talents.
Sitting on the chair, Lyle crossed his legs. He leaned back and put an elbow on the armrest. Tilting his body a bit, he rested his face in his hand.
『Now then, how about we stop with the jokes here? I was quite surprised to hear the current condition of the world but the human race is tenacious so they won’t have a problem surviving.』
Mankind once ruled over the entire continent. However, with the introduction of magic tools and the completion of the colony, humanity was ironically deprived of their land by demons.
『However, when humanity became stronger thanks to breakthroughs in magic tool development, they confined themselves in labyrinth-like structures. It’s the reason how the demons were able to reverse their positions.』
Nowadays, the number of hunters challenging them had decreased.
Only high ranking hunters armed to the teeth with magic tools dared to tackle them.
Yet, to Lyle, the colony resembled a labyrinth.
The sky could not be seen from any layer below the middle layer.
The colony stretched down into the ground.
The narrow pa.s.sages were no different from a labyrinth.
『Oh well, now it’s my turn to tell you about the jewel, right?』
When Leo finished explaining the current circ.u.mstances, Lyle began his explanation about the jewel and how Leo was able to dive into it.
The jewel— was a tool capable of recording【Skill】but have been mostly replaced with magic tools in the present era.
To pa.s.s on the skill, Lyle who was a skill user could teach Leo how to use it.
「B— But, I… I have barely any proficiency with magic tools.」
To the Leo muttering in frustration, Lyle gave him a puzzled look.
「I can’t even use magic tools embedded with a skill. I’m incompetent…」
Maybe, even if Lyle teaches me the skill, I still won’t be able to use it. Leo’s current train of thought was as such.
Leo opened his mouth.
「Even though you’re willing to teach me, I just don’t have any talent for it. My proficiency with magic tools is almost non-existent and I’m garbage at handling skills…」
Lyle straightened himself.
『An adventurer. No, you want to become a hunter right?』
「…I do. But, I don’t have a suitable magic tool so I don’t know if I can possibly become a hunter. Yet I still want to become strong. Otherwise, I can’t prove that my father wasn’t an underdog.」
Listening to Leo’s circ.u.mstances, Lyle displayed a disgusted look.
『That… even though I had an idea, it’s worse than I thought.』
「Tha— That can’t be! Do you mean that because I can’t use magic tools I should give up!? There’s no way I ca—」
Lyle quickly waved his left hand.
『No. That’s not it. To regain your father’s honour. That, well, I personally don’t agree with it but it’s admirable. But you know? You’re making a fundamental mistake.』
「A— A mistake?」
Lyle stood up from his chair and swept his right hand aside. From within the jewel, many memories were projected.
『I was also involved in the development of magic tools you know. Actually, it became my past-time after I handed the throne over to my son. Well, I guess you could say the advancement of magic tools were because of me.』
In the era where Leo lived, the performance of magic tools greatly outstripped those of Lyle’s time by leaps and bounds. However, Lyle continued to speak,
『First and foremost, Leo-kun— no, Leo, your dream of becoming a hunter using magic tools… give it up.』
Gritting his teeth and clenching his fists, Leo hung his head down.
「NEVER! Even if that’s the case, I won’t give up. Just because I can’t use magic tools it’s hopeless!? Do I have to keep being treated like a fool!? Father… Father fought to defend the colony… he’s not an underdog.」
Lyle watched Leo while putting a hand to his chin. When Leo finished his outcry and was trying to hold back his tears, Lyle called out to him in a gentle voice.
『Will you hear me out until the end? Also, I never said that you had to give up becoming a hunter. Your affinity with magic tools is bad so I wanted to show an alternative.』
「Not using magic tools?」
Leo was not able to comprehend those words. A hunter was someone who defeated demons using magic tools. It could even be said that【Hunter = Magic Tools User】.
Lyle caught Leo’s attention and directed it at one of the memory projections floating around the room.
『Magic tools in this era are really amazing, right? It’s quite a difference when compared to my time. But you know…? That’s why the people of my time weren’t so weak. Look.』
The figures of multiple people squaring off against a demon could be seen. They did not carry any magic tools and their equipment looked like toys compared to current magic tools.
And yet… the hunters… no, the adventurers, how did they defeat that huge【Land Dragon】?
『On the other hand you guys have amazing magic tools, and yet why do you live in a labyrinth-like… co— colony? I find it very difficult to understand why humanity lives in hiding. I mean, you don’t even need to rely on magic tools. Isn’t that what a hunter is? One that defeats demons right? Then, they’re not any different from adventurers in my time. It’s not like they suddenly became experts. It’s easy.』
Lyle smiled as Leo gazed at him with sparkling eyes.
The possibility shown to Leo.
The way of fighting without using magic tools.
『I was also an adventurer before I became an Emperor you know. Well, even if things have changed quite a bit, you don’t need magic tools to defeat demons. Well, since you’re not a n.o.ble, I can help you become a hunter. If you’d like, why don’t we aim to become the strongest together?』
Leo stood up from his chair and pumped both his fists.
「I’ll aim for it! I’ll aim to become the strongest in the world!」
However, Lyle shook his head from side to side.
『Ahahaha, there’s no such thing as becoming the strongest in the world. Even though I was pretty strong, I was never able to win against my wives. Haa… for all 251 of them to go against me, so cruel.』
Seeing Lyle sigh, Leo became slightly uneasy. However when Lyle cleared away the surrounding memory projections, Leo seated himself again and waited for Lyle’s next words.
『But, there’s one condition for my cooperation.』
「Condition, is it? Uhm, what sort of condition?」
Lyle directed his gaze at Leo, all traces of joking had disappeared from his face.
『Don’t worry, it’s not an outrageous condition. You just have to be able to use all 24 skills recorded in the jewel and master them up to their third stage. The last one is— 』
Skills have a third stage?
At the same time, Leo was also surprised that the jewel held 24 skills.
In fact, isn’t the jewel too amazing?
『I don’t mind if you become hunter and become strong. But you know… I won’t permit using your father as a reason. I want you to seriously think about your own motivation.』
When Lyle finished speaking, Leo’s consciousness was ejected from the jewel.
When he opened his eyes, he was back in his own room.
He jumped out of bed and looked around his room. The damage the room sustained before was gone, and everything was tidied up.
Leo grasped the silver pendant that had fallen from his neck.
「Was that… a dream?」
Was the scene that he saw just now only a dream?
Wondering what just happened, he heard a sound from the kitchen neighbouring his small room.
It was the sound of cooking.
Although he tried standing up in surprise, his body felt abnormally dull.
A girl appeared with a ladle from the kitchen because of the noise he made when trying to get up.
「Oya, did you just wake up? I cleaned your room of my accord. Well, there was a lot of damage but everything is good as new at the hands of this Monica. Oh and I also borrowed your kitchen.」
「…Mo— Monica… san?」
A red maid outfit. With her red irides and blonde twin tails, she smiled at Leo.
「Monica, please call me so. Or even Poyopoyo if you like. Actually no, just call me Monica. Although Poyopoyo is alright, it feels a little…」
Monica looked like she was seriously mulling over something.
Noticing Leo’s troubled expression, she smiled at him again.
She put away the ladle and performed an elegant bow.
「Even if all the chick-samas are no longer fledglings, I’m glad I’m able to meet a legitimate successor of chicken-d.i.c.kwad. And so Leo-sama… will you allow this Monica to stay by your side?」
「Stay by my side? Uhm, but I don’t have any money so your salary—」
However Monica only shook her head, her twin tails waving beautifully.
「It doesn’t matter. I want to take care of you. I don’t need money either. Only, I want to serve you. Because that is this Monica’s joy.」
Leo was at a loss at what to say to the Monica bowing in front of him…
『…You, you’re not still thinking about raising no good kids now, are you?』
…Lyle’s voice was heard. As if she heard him too, Monica looked up with blus.h.i.+ng cheeks.
「UOOO!!! It’s been a while since I’ve heard chicken-d.i.c.kwad’s disproving voice. This drooling Monica is deeply moved… oops, can’t do that. Maids can’t drool. You were just disappointed because the chick-samas did not grow up into the ideal chick-samas we imagined. 」
Leo tilted his head in confusion.
『Well, it was a miracle they grew up into respectable adults when you kept trying to spoil them in secret.』
Lyle spoke with as if recalling a fond memory while Monica gnawed on her ap.r.o.n in annoyance.
「It’s regrettable that the hybrid chick-sama from the useless Shannon-san ended up exceeding all our expectations! I wasn’t able to be satisfied with raising chick-sama since chick-sama was such a good kid.That’s why, I’ll raise Leo-sama to become a s.h.i.+ning symbol of useless kids.」
Monica stiffened up at Leo’s instantaneous reply. She immediately returned to the kitchen and the sound of boiling could be heard.
Lyle spoke in astonishment. However, a trace of nostalgia could be heard from his voice.
『She hasn’t changed at all.』
「Uhm, Monica-san, what in the world are you…?」
Leo asked about Monica when she returned with the cooked food.
「Well, I’ll tell you about one day but for now, let’s eat. Leo-sama, I’ve examined your diet but it’s really unhealthy. There’s only frozen food in the fridge, don’t you have anything else? You need to keep a balanced diet. You’re currently in the midst your growth period. No good is a no-no, but this no good won’t be permitted alright?」
「Eh, no, but… it’s because I don’t have time to cook and even if I did, I live alone.」
Leo was an orphan.
As long as the meal filled his stomach, he was fine with it.
Even when he bought some cheap food, he was often not able to finish all of it.
As a result, he started eating only frozen food before he knew it.
Monica muttered in a low voice. Hearing the exchange between Leo and Monica, Lyle spoke up.
『Monica… you, why’d you step on a landmine? You usually avoid these kinds of issues.』
Monica began to panic and hurriedly arranged the dishes on the small table.
「Le— Let’s dig in! This Monica is confident in her cooking you know!」
That was when Leo noticed something about the meal.
Monica revealed a smile.
「Did you notice? This is this Monica’s masterpiece of n.o.ble origin from 2000 years ago. It was the soup loved by all the wives’ chick-samas.」
It was the soup his mother was most proud of.
Seeing it again brought Leo to tears.
It had a nostalgic smell and the taste closely resembled the one his mother made.
「It’s slightly different but, this was mother’s flavour.」
It was a soup not seen anywhere else.
Remembering his mother’s flavour, Leo wept quietly.
Monica smiled gently when she saw his state.
Lyle(； ・`ω・´)「The battle was endless you know, previous head-samas. It was a 1 on 25 battle… it was so cruel! Besides, I was confined for a whole month. When I was finally able to see the sky again the tears are… the tears are…」
Leo(；・∀・)「…Is it really alright to follow this person？」