Oooooooh, my Gooooood, you make me siiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!!
…… I can’t do it though! It might have made me feel a lot better to yell it out, but I can’t.
Actually, I want to straighten out the princess who is bad-mouthing me, but no matter what I say, I would only come off as vindictive, and that is worse.
So all I could do was pretend I didn’t hear a word and walk away, showing my pride.
“It’s a shame, Earth. But don’t be discouraged, keep pushing yourself again and again and become stronger.”
As I was about to leave, Taek, the instructor who officiated the mock battle between me and the princess put his hand on my shoulder and gave me a passionate shout.
“You know? Your father ‘Hiro’ also suffered as many defeats as you from ‘Solja’ who was the strongest in the academy when he was the prince. But at the end of the day… he earned a spectacular victory in their [Graduation Commemorative Match]. So keep it up!”1
The instructor gives a thumbs up and some encouragment. Following his lead, my classmates send encouragement after encouragement one after another.
“That’s right, Earth. Let’s see you awaken your heroic genes at the end of the day!”
“Oh yes, Earth is the son of hero, ‘Hiro’!”
“Will he show the talent that could defeat even the Great Demon King?”
Every time I receive such encouragement, I’m moved by my friends’ consideration. But what about you guys? I mean, you’re worse than I am in the rankings, so first you should do ‘your’ best! And enough with the ‘Herioc genes’ already!
However, I do not say any such thing.
I just walked away from everyone and responded with only one word.
On the whole, the first place is occupied by a genius who is called a prodigy even though she is a nuisance. My efforts are probably pointless. I’ll admit it.
So, there’s no shame in not being able to beat her. In this country, there actually aren’t that many of a same age that can beat her.
Even these guys have lost to the princess. And yet, they don’t look frustrated at all, nor do they have any intention of winning in the first place.
So, well, it’s vexing, but I’m beginning to think that I have no choice but to accept that I can’t win.
However, enough about this, because there’s something else I can’t get my head around.
“How many consecutive wins does the princess have over Hiro’s son?”
“No matter how much of a prodigy the princess is, it’s pathetic that the son of a hero can’t win even once.”
I heard voices from the corner of the passage way of the training ground.
Grown up voices. Perhaps the Imperial Knights are chatting.
They were talking about me without knowing I was listening.
“Well, the child of the Hero is not a hero.”
“The princess is exceptional, but… ultimately, the level of the generation below us is still lacking. Well, it’s also proof that we’re living in peaceful times.”
“This year’s Academy Graduation Match will be attended by royalty from other countries. I’m worried that they will be disappointed when they see the incompetence of Lord Hiro’s son.”
“Even though he is the son of Lord Hiro, his writing and practical skills put him in second place. It’s shameful that he can’t take first place even once.”
“That’s true. And the second place is also a problem. It’s because ‘those two’ aren’t here.”
“Oh, them. ‘Those two’, who are currently studying abroad have already fully demonstrated their talents and were awarded medals by the King of another country the other day, right?”
“Yes, it is. In other words, Lord Hiro’s son being second in the absence of ‘those two’…… actually places him in fourth, so disappointing.”
I heard this kind of talk in many places.
When I was a child, I was able to get perfect scores on tests and show better magic than others, hence they would always say “as expected of the Son of the hero, Hiro.”
Then, at 13 years old, I joined the Academy and competed with others for the ranking.
As a result, I always kept the Academy’s Top Class ranking.
But, second place was my highest and I never took first place.
However, the Academy is a warrior training institution where excellent children from all over the Empire and aristocrats would gather and enter after passing a difficult exam.
In other words, a gathering place for the Empire’s elites.
That’s why I think it’s a great achievement to be ranked second place there.
But, people around here don’t believe so it seems.
At my words, two men who seem to be in their thirties look back.
Adorning armor engraved with the symbol of the empire.
“I’ve showed something pitiful to the Imperial Knights…”
They appear slightly anxious with my appearance, but they laughed to cover it up and spoke to me in a friendly manner.
“No, no, no, no, No, I can’t be helped with the princess. The princess already has the power of the 【Advanced Warrior】 class at the moment.”
“But you can’t be too relaxed either, can you? Your father acquired the 【Advanced Warrior】 at the age of 16, just a year after graduating from the Academy, and he defeated the Great Demon King when he was 18.”
“After graduating from the Academy, the 【Aspiring Warrior】 is, of course, recruited as an 【Imperial Knight】, right? The current academy standard is quite rudimentary, so your training will be restarted from scratch, Young Master.”
“That’s why as the son of a hero, you have to give it your best.”
And…… that’s what I was told by the people I was most familiar with.
Instructors, classmates, and even people I just met say things like this.
Of course, even my real parents say it…
“That’s right! By all means, please treat my dumb son well once he graduates!”
Uugh!…. He’s here……
“L- Lord Hiro!?”
“Hey, don’t be like that. Training hard? You got an advanced promotion exam soon, right? Good luck with that.”2
“Oh, thank you!”
“You’ve got a baby on the way, right? Gotta show em how great Daddy is!”
“How did you know that? I’m humbled….”
With the same scorching red hair as mine. He always has a cheerful laugh and a friendly demeanor and is loved by everyone. I heard he has a fan club in the Imperial City, the members are mostly women in their early twenties.
His sword skills and magic power have been classed one of the strongest in the world, and if you combine the two, his [Magic Sword] makes him the strongest hero in the world.
As a kid I admired and respected such a father with eyes shining… But now…
“Hey, Earth. I had some work to do and came to the training ground, but… I heard you lost to the princess again.”
The father who taunts me with a nasty grin. So annoying.
“Her father Solja and I were in the academy together. I never won a match against His Majesty other than the [Graduation Commemorative Match]. But your opponent is a girl, right? Isn’t losing every match pathetic?”
“Well, unlike you, your dad was in a pinch before graduation because of the written exams, so you might be better off. In the end, what truly makes a man is this.”
Saying that, my father gently hit my jaw with his fist.
Is the man trying to say, “Power is what makes a man”?
“…… Well, then again my dad could help with my sword training. If you taught me the swordsmanship the Hero used to defeat the Great Demon King… could I beat the princess?”
Half serious and half in jest, a little, I asked my father to examine my progress.
But my father laughed.
“I don’t know… I’d like to guide you, but I’m too busy with work. So, diligently follow your training instructor or Sadiz. Besides, you can’t use [That Sword] yet. So, we’ll see.”
Again, it’s the same as always.
“Well, you’re the type to grow slowly. Take your time and do your best.”
I’m my father’s son. Yet, I have never been taught swords, magic, etc. by my father.
I am compared to my father even though he has never passed on his skills and teachings to me.
And to top it all off, when he was my age, he was inferior to me as a student, but I’m the one being looked down on.
“Tch… I…… presently….. aren’t I working hard enough?”
“Type that grows slowly……? Such an unreliable thing to say.”
It’s annoying. That’s why I want to shout like a kid.
“Why… Why am I a disappointment? I’m content! I’m second place in the Academy ranking! Isn’t that great!? Praise my efforts a little instead of consoling me! Were you ever in second place? Yet you’re disappointed? Second place isn’t good enough for you? Why do I have to be in first place?”
A pitiful kid… I can’t control it even though I’m aware of it myself, but I’m still a kid and I’m full of self-loathing.
“…… tsk… I’m fine…”
Before I knew it, I pushed past my father and ran away.
Thank you very much for appearing on the day.
Since there is a stock to write 200,000 characters in Golden Week, Post every day for a while, so I will continue to post more than one day to see the situation, thank you in the future.
[S1]So, remember those naming conventions I said to look out for? The Hero is actually called “Hiiro” and the emperor name sounds like “Soldier”.
[S2]Enter the man himself. From the description I opted to give Hiro a super casual speech pattern, regardless of who he speaks with. Unless the mood calls for a more serious atmosphere.