In front of the deepest chasm of the demon kind territory.
When the hero’s sword pierced the Demon Lord’s heart, the Demon Lord staggered back and fell to the bottom of the chasm.
This is the virtue’s revenge for the living achieved by the death of the Demon Lord.
However, the dark clouds in the sky were not gone and the thick miasma remained.
The hero muttered as he peered into the chasm floor.
“I guess I can’t completely end his life.”
With that, the hero took out a small crystal ball from his waist bag and threw it to the bottom of the chasm.
He slowly turned around in my direction.
Support was the name that the heroes call me. When he called my name, I stepped forward.
The hero continued his words.
I didn’t understand what he was saying, so I replied.
“Yes. Well… uhm what can I do for you?”
In all honesty, I’m a lousy support sorcerer who doesn’t measure up to the group of heroes. Unlike the heroes, I can’t do anything great.
Responding to my question, the hero’s beautiful face appeared to be frowning.
“Jump to the bottom of the chasm.”
I let out a pathetic voice. I’m not sure if the hero demanded instantaneous movement via the use of magic? No, I can’t use such a high-level spell.
When I remained silent, the hero, with a somber expression, said to me forcefully
“For the sake of the country and for the sake of the people, I want you to throw yourself to the bottom of the chasm. By offering your soul, the sealing crystal will take effect and the Demon Lord will be sealed away forever, never to return any more.”
You want me to die?
■ ■ ■
I’ve been feeling strange about this from the beginning.
The time goes back to before the last expedition to defeat the Demon Lord.
The battle between the demons and the kingdom has reached its climax, and the regrouped heroes left the royal capital to attack the demon territory.
On the way, they stopped at a lonely adventurer’s guild in the countryside.
I was a D-ranked sorceress specializing in support, the lowest rank in that small country guild.
I’m a lowly adventurer, so it doesn’t matter to me that the heroes dropped by the guild I’m familiar with. I thought that this village was just a passing point for the heroes and that they would soon be gone.
However, the heroes did not leave the village quickly. On the contrary, he went to the meeting room of the guild and stayed there every day.
A week passed, then two weeks.
and a rumor began to leak out in the guild.
“The hero is looking for the last member.”
And so on.
The guild members were all bewildered by the rumor.
But one day, I was summoned by the guild master.
When I went to the guild’s reception room, I saw the master and the hero.
The master is usually a good person that I can rely on.
That master had an obviously confused look on his face and suggested that we take a seat.
The master started talking after 3 people were seated.
“Ricca, it’s like this… Sir Arses would like to talk to you.”
Ricca is my name and Arses is the name of the hero.
The hero said with a serious expression.
“From now onwards, the road to the Demon Lord’s castle will be long and there is no place to stay along the way. So we have decided to bring in additional members.”
“After carefully examining the various factors and conditions, we have decided that you are the best choice. We would like you to join us.”
–What in the name of.
Are you sane, sir hero?
When I remained silent, the master interrupted me.
“…I’m sorry to say this sir Hero, but Ricca is not a good choice. Ricca is not that strong of an adventurer. The guild also can’t afford to let their members participate in something too reckless.”
The master subtlely told him that ‘this person can’t help you defeat Demon Lord’. That’s good, master, I’m not confident either. Please convince him.
But the hero shook his head.
“The additional members do not need to be strong. We already have enough strength. I’ve heard that… Ricca is good at cooking in the camp, is that true?”
The hero’s words made everything clear.
Does he want a caretaker around him?
Well, in that case.
When I agreed to join the party, the hero nodded happily and said.
“I’d like to know if there is anyone you like, Ricca? Do you currently have a boyfriend?”
“No, I don’t.”
At the time, I thought, “What’s with the sudden question?” However, I quickly forgot about it because I was so preoccupied with the task of defeating the Demon Lord that was suddenly thrust upon me.
Once the talk was settled, the rest quickly followed.
The guild members who were available saw me off on my journey to defeat the demon kind.
I was usually a solo but when the guild organized a large-scale demon-hunting party, I joined other teams as a support magician, even if I was only a small part of the team and only served food to them, I knew many people thanks to that.
Everyone encouraged me with a worried look.
■ ■ ■
After that, we arrived at the territory of the demon kind and proceeded to the castle of the Demon Lord.
The members of the hero group were as follows.
First, there was Arses, the hero.
The others were the warrior Baen, the saint Franna, and the sorceress Nafen. Male, female, female.
The warrior, Baen, is a rough but good-natured man. He was about five years older than me.
He was the one that was happiest when I joined the party.
“The rest of the members are all big shots after all.”
That was his reason.
Certainly, the hero is a nobleman. The saint is one or two of the highest-ranking in the church. The sorceress Nafen is highly regarded in the magic association for her outstanding ability.
In this respect, I’m an adventurer just like him. So on the way to defeat the Demon Lord, the two of us were complaining about the guild and talking about trivial things.
He wants to use the reward for defeating the Demon Lord to dig up a hot spring and build a hot spring resort in a remote place.
What a gambler.
Saint Franna is a real saint.
She has a pretty face and a gentle personality. Her holy spells are also perfect, and she would cast recovery spells even on a lousy fish like me who makes a lot of mistakes.
The saint is always smiling, but once after entering the demon territory, she let out a whine just once.
“I want to eat something sweet, I really want to eat something sweet.”
So I made her a pudding with tonnes of precious sugar secretly, without telling the other members.
I didn’t have a strainer so I apologized for the dull pudding but the saint was very pleased.
The smile on her face as she took a bite of the pudding with a spoon in her hand was priceless!
But on the other hand, I realized that her usual smile was just a fake.
I’ve heard that power struggles in the church are tough, and I guess the saint has to wear her smile mask all the time.
Church officials, please don’t put the unnecessary mental burden on the saint.
The sorceress Nafen is literally a cannon.
The basic tactic of the heroes group’s battle is for the hero and the warrior to draw the enemy agro in front of them to buy time for Nafen to chant and then zap them with the large magic that she has finished chanting.
This is the pattern most of the time, except for enemies that can only be defeated by the sacred power of the hero and saint.
She is calm, cool, and clear-headed.
She is a real intellectual who looks like a cool beauty despite her round glasses.
She usually doesn’t talk much, but when you ask her about magic, she starts talking endlessly like an endlessly flowing river. She is what we call a witchcraft geek.
She seems to be perfect, but she is also a clumsy person.
She often freezes up when she starts thinking about something. It’s usually when she comes up with a new magic theory, but when she does, she becomes so lost in thought that she can’t see what’s going on around her, so I used to pull her sleeve.
She can’t come back to her senses without being yelled loudly, you know.
Sir Arses is a man who is hard on himself.
He is a perfectionist who wakes up at the crack of dawn to swing his sword, and even though he’s so talented, he still spares no effort in training.
He is an open-minded person who doesn’t mind doing troublesome things even when camping.
He often preached the spirit of self-sacrifice to me.
At that time, even if I, the weakest of the group of heroes, died on the journey to defeat the Demon Lord, he said,
“It will not be in vain. Don’t regret it.”
I thought he was speaking to me out of kindness.
By the way, it’s not only the hero who call me “Support”, but also the others.
In the demon’s territory, there is a nasty demon called the copyman that will copy your appearance if it knows your name. As a countermeasure, the heroes decided to call themselves by their occupational names in the demon territory.
“Hero”, “Warrior”, “Saint”, “Sorceress”, and myself “Support”
■ ■ ■
The scene returns to the beginning.
The hero continued to look at me with his back to the chasm.
Of course, I didn’t know what to say.
“That’s the first time I’m hearing this.”
From behind me, I heard a low voice that sounded like an echo from hell.
It was the warrior.
This was the first time I’ve heard the warrior’s angry voice, since it is usually the hero who talks to any intelligent enemies.
I was overwhelmed by his deep voice, which was different from the time I had silly conversations with him, and I became even more frozen in my spot.
But the warrior’s voice didn’t faze the hero.
“It’s a hard decision for me to make too. That’s why I didn’t tell you guys.”
He continued to frown with a pained expression.
“We may have to face unknown enemies again, and when we do, I, warrior, saint, and sorceress, will continue to be indispensable.”
I put one hand on my chest and clenched my fist.
I don’t want to hear it. His next words.
The alienation I felt when I got involved with the other members of the guild.
I’m not like them anyway, I’m not strong enough. I’m about to be confronted with that fact yet again…….
But my stagnant, dark thoughts were interrupted by the trembling voice of the saint.
“That…why is he? There is no mistake that we defeated the Demon Lord. Yet he is standing…from the chasm.”
The hero quickly turned back towards where the saint pointed at.
“What! He’s not supposed to revive this fast.”
The hero leaned downwards from the edge of the chasm to stare into the bottom.
At that moment, the warrior also rushed to the scene.
Or he looked like so.
However, what he did towards hero’s back when he ran with such a strong momentum was…
Giving a kick.
My voice came out unconsciously.
The hero, being kicked and with his two legs floating above nothing, turned around for a moment.
’Why, me?’ was written on his face.
After that, the hero fell to the bottom of the chasm.
After a while, a gentle sound of “fuuu” echoed around the area, the dark clouds broke up and several strands of light poured down. The miasma that had been drifting in the air was rapidly being sucked into the chasm floor.
It took about a minute.
The rough land remained as it was, but the whole area transformed into a clean place and the warrior who had been facing the chasm floor looked back at me.
“Well, what’s happened can’t be helped.”
The warrior’s mouth was twisted a little but his expression was unconvincing.
After a short pause, someone behind him muttered.
It was the sorceress.
When I turned to her, the sorceress continued talking while pressing her glasses up.
“I’m sorry. The hero suddenly said something strange, so my head is stuck in a loop right now…. What was that speech and conduct? Was the hero hijacked by the Demon King? Or is it his own will?”
“It’s his own will. It’s probably premeditated too.”
The warrior answered the sorceress’s question.
I can’t follow up with the suddenness of the event.
The warrior continued.
“You see, we heroes were having a hard time finding the final members of the guild at the frontier. I asked the reason from the guild master who was helping with the selection. The most important requirement for the members the heroes were looking for was that they had no relatives.”
I lost my parents early, and I have no brothers or sisters.
The warrior’s words reminded me of something.
“I was asked if I had a boyfriend before I left.”
That was the final confirmation.
The sorceress let out a sigh at my confession.
“…isn’t his heart pure black. That is to say, the reason why he was persistently preaching self-sacrifice to Support is to reduce the mental burden as much as possible.”
The sorceress felt nauseous, after adding that she closed her mouth.
–Well, if I was convinced to sacrifice myself, the heroes won’t have to worry about anything else…
Thinking so, I trembled.
With what kind of feeling did the hero talk to me during the journey?
When I was trapped in a question without answer, another voice came from my back.
“If he had consulted me beforehand, I would have offered myself.”
It was the saint.
–She’s the real holy woman.
When I turned to the saint, she was already turning her back.
“There is no longer any meaning in staying here. Let’s depart home.”
I turned around and started walking.
Looking at the back of the saint as she walked away, I felt a sense of tightness in my chest.
–If I remember the hero and saint are…
The back of the saint was getting smaller due to our distance.
The sorceress called out to me as I continue to watch the saint with an unsupressible emotion.
I asked. “Uhm … were the saint and the brave not in love with each other?”
To my question, the sorceress frowned and shook her head.
“No, I don’t think that’s the case, because we’re a rush party organized just to subdue the Demon King.”
The look on her face said she had never heard of it.
“Eh, but the hero said something along the line that he was destined to be connected with the saint after the journey was over. That’s why the saint is sad right now.”
The sorceress waved her hand in front of her face as she denied my reasoning.
“Sad? No, no, no way. Just think about it carefully.”
Then the sorceress continued to sigh.
“You can’t see the bottom of the chasm from where the saint was at that time.”
The warrior, who had finally caught up with us, began to speak.
“Right after her words, the saint faced towards me and gave a hand signal to drop the hero down the chasm you know.”
■ ■ ■
With the feat of defeating the Demon Lord, everyone is in festive mood after we returned from the demon territory.
I declined to return in triumph but I was kidnapped to the royal capital and given a reward by the king.
Of course, it was a reward worthy of a D-class adventurer but he was quite generous, perhaps he had money to spare due to the missing hero.
Afterwards, we attended the celebration party.
I was forced to sit at this as well because there were already four custom-made seats.
During the party, the saint kept a sad expression on her face and kept holding up the remains of the hero in front of her body.
She said, “If you do it like this, everyone will misunderstand on their own.”
In fact, many of the people who rushed to the party saw her as a saint grieving over the loss of her heroic lover.
According to the saint, popularity in the world leads directly to power in the church.
After that, there was an interview about the defeat of the Demon Lord.
The warrior and the sorceress agreed to alter the actions of the hero. The testification that hero sacrificed himself.
In order to prevent the saint from breaking her oath to God that she must tell no lies, she kept sobbing and crying as soon as the hero was mentioned, and ran away, making a situation where no one could talk to the heartbroken saint.
–Ummm, they are all actors, aren’t they?
Two months after the trip to defeat the Demon Lord, I received a call from a warrior.
He said that he had dug up a hot spring.
What an incredible luck!
He was going to build a hot spring town and become the representative of the town, so he asked me if I wanted to help him.
He said, “Support, you’re good at making food so why don’t you work as an innkeeper?”
The warrior said he wanted to build a town where retired adventurers could live.
I had originally started out as an adventurer because I didn’t have anyone to rely on or any money to start with but I was painfully aware of my lack of aptitude, so I decided to take the warrior’s offer.
With the reward for defeating the Demon Lord and the warrior’s loan, I opened an inn.
Since a hot spring had sprung up near the remote village where I had been living for some time, the older guild members began to visit me frequently.
The saint and sorceress also came to visit occasionally to take a break.
On such occasions, the warrior and I are usually the ones who listen to their complaints.
Both of them have important jobs.
“Even though I get paid a lot of money, I’m too busy to spend it.”
Or something like that.
That’s really tough.
Compared to that, life in the hot spring town is pretty relaxed.
A lot happened on that trip, but I’m happy now.