Do you know the Hero?
She has magical powers that go far beyond what humans are capable of, it’s said her strength is equal to that of the demons.
She’s like a guardian who protects humanity.
Mankind believes her to be a merciful person like a goddess.
But in truth, she’s not a goddess.
That young girl was just a child.
She was just a child, just many times stronger than humans.
“No way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way, no way…!”
That child hated her destiny more than anyone else.
“Why…? Why do I have to be a Hero? What does it even mean to be a Hero? Why do I have to be this? What about the demons? What about humanity? I am…”
“I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die…”
She was just a normal girl who was afraid of dying.
“I don’t want to die…”
When she tried to ask for help, no one gives it to her.
It’s because she’s the Hero who’s said to be the strongest in the world.
She always wore a smile like a mask, because she knew no one would help her.
That’s why people describe her as a goddess or something similar.
It was infuriating.
“Hey, why are you crying?”
Even though I knew I shouldn’t.
I knew I shouldn’t speak to her, but I did.
I approached her.
She looked so pitiful, she looked so poorly, and she looked like she was crying.
Every time I see her in tears, my chest hurts.
Show me your genuine smile.
She opened her eyes and saw my face.
I didn’t mean to surprise her but I couldn’t help but come up to her looking like this.
I haven’t had much conversation with anyone these days.
She’s just stunned to see me and doesn’t answer my question.
Then, should I try some small talk?
I’m not sure it’ll work but I’ll try it out.
“… It must be so frustrating to be the Hero, isn’t it?”
That was what came to my mind.
There may have been a better topic.
But I could only think of that.
“Hero, save our town!”
“Hero! Please save my daughter! My daughter…!”
“Please stand up, Hero! You shouldn’t falter in a place like this!”
“It’ll be fine! You’re the Hero, after all!”
What do they think of the Hero?
I almost vomit.
It’s just so frustrating to have all their high expectations be for naught.
No one even tries to see her as the child she is.
They don’t try to understand.
This girl has to protect people like those.
Because she’s the hero.
“You’re amazing, okay?”
She burst into tears at the words I said so casually.
I didn’t mean to make her cry but for some reason, I thought it was better if she cried till she no longer could.
“Who are you?”
She had stopped crying for a while then asked me that.
“My name is Setsu.”
“… Is that all?”
She’s suspicious but then she shook her head, laughed, and said that I was interesting.
This time, it was my turn to tilt my head in confusion.
I didn’t know what was so interesting but it didn’t matter because I saw her laughing from the gut.
“Ah, that was the first time I’ve laughed in so long! You are a strange person, aren’t you?”
“Yeah. You’re weird.”
“… Do you like weird people?”
Does she like them or hate them?
Which is it?
I’d be happy if she liked them.
I’d be a little sad if she hated them.
I heard her reply.
“I like them.”
“Yeah. I feel that daily life will be fun when you’ve got some strange people in it.”
I feel so comfortable.
“Oh, by the way, I haven’t given you my name yet. Well, I suppose you could know who I am without me telling you.”
“Yeah. I know who you are.”
“I figured as much…”
“But, I still want to hear it from you.”
“… You really are a strange person, aren’t you?”
As she said that, she put a hand to her eyes.
Will she cry again?
I was worried for a bit.
Then, she started introducing herself.
“… I’m Ritsu. I’m called the Hero but I’m just a crybaby who can only tear up in the shadows.”
“Haha, is that so? You have already seen me doing that, huh?”
It’s such a strange feeling.
She, Ritsu, feels so strange, it’s as if she’s right before me yet so far away.
I think she felt that way because her eyes looked so empty.
It’s not good to make that your default expression.
Not good at all.
Because this child is still a teenager.
There was no reason to have such jaded eyes.
“… Why don’t you stop?”
“… Stop what?”
“Being a Hero. If you think it’s such a hassle, I think you should stop being it.”
She looks at me with a strange expression again.
“… I can’t do that.”
“… Because everyone won’t forgive me if I do.”
“Everyone all over the world.”
“Just forget about them.”
Ritsu looked troubled.
I haven’t said anything wrong.
No rule said you should keep doing something you don’t like to do.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide in the end.
There’s no one you can believe in but yourself.
You don’t have to trouble yourself with matching other people’s expectations.
If other people have some effect on your life, it’s only for a moment.
It’s much better to be honest with your feelings than to bend to others’ opinions.
That’s what I think.
“If you want to run away, Ritsu, then run away. But if you don’t want to run away, then don’t change who you are.”
“… Why is that?”
“Because I idolize you.”
“You idolize…? Me?”
“You, idolize me…”
Working hard for the sake of others.
Killing yourself in the process.
Desperately coping with the desire to cry.
Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight.
Keep on fighting.
Honestly, it’s really stupid.
It sounds really stupid, but it’s incredible.
I can’t stand by and be patient about this.
Ritsu is just a child.
She’s also a courageous, cool young teenage girl.
“… I, will do my best.”
“I’m going to be someone you can keep idolizing, alright?”
She’s so desperate to have someone.
She’s still pushing forward so that she can keep being the one I aspire to.
That’s what I found so cool about her.
The Hero defeated many demons.
She kept moving forward, beating up her body.
She almost fell on the way, but she endured.
Endure, endure, endure.
The Hero will now face the Demon King.
The Demon King was wearing a hood.
The Demon King wasn’t the kind of being feared by the world.
She was a little shorter than the Hero, petite in size, and although you couldn’t tell if they were a man or a woman, there was a very delicate aura about her.
It’s so striking that the Hero’s fighting spirit disappears immediately.
“… Who are you…?”
The Hero asks the question.
It feels like she shouldn’t strike first.
It feels like she would regret it later.
Could you call it the Hero’s intuition?
The Demon King says nothing.
However, they’re staring at the Hero.
Their mouth seemed to smile a bit.
Step by step, the Demon King approaches the Hero.
The Hero took a combat stance, but still, she didn’t feel any fear.
“… You’ve done your best so far.”
A gentle, beautiful voice like a bell’s ring.
The Hero has heard that voice.
And when she heard it then, she shed tears.
At that moment, the Hero cursed her destiny.
She always hated her destiny.
But she’d never cursed it.
The Hero repeatedly asks herself, “Why?”
Even if she knew it was meaningless.
Immediately, the Demon King closes the distance between them and the Hero.
The Hero threw her sword aside at once.
Then, she threw herself into the Demon King’s chest.
The lips of the Demon King and the Hero touch.
It was an infuriating kiss that lasted less than a second.
“… It’s no use, Ritsu. You have to kill me. I’m the Demon King, alright?”
It was a voice with kindness.
It was a voice that argued gently.
It was a voice that makes you want to hug her.
As the Hero heard that voice, she couldn’t kill her.
It feels like her fighting spirit has been taken out of her completely.
“… I, I can’t.”
“… I did my best. I did my best to be the person you can idolize. But, this is…”
“… I don’t want to be the one you idolize if I have to kill you…”
It was the first time the Hero had said something so selfish.
The Hero that had worked so hard for the sake of others—this was the moment Ritsu had spoken her honest feelings for the first time.
“… Let’s run away, Setsu.”
The Hero reaches out to the Demon King.
She doesn’t care about how the people of the world would see her.
It would have been a thousand times worse for her to kill her now.
“… Is it alright?”
The Hero nods.
The Demon King hesitated but took her hand.
Like the Hero, the Demon King has lived a life where she slowly killed herself.
That’s why she was alone for all this time.
It was then that she found the Hero.
Someone who was in the same position as her, someone who truly understood her feelings.
So she wanted to admire her.
She decided to have the Hero do what she could not do.”
“I will never let you go.”
The Hero clasped the Demon King’s hand tightly as they melted into the darkness.
Afterward, the whole world said that the Hero died in her confrontation with the Demon King.
It was a confrontation with the Demon King.
But what about the truth?
No one knows exactly what happened to the Hero and the Demon King.
Only the heavens know.