V7 Chapter 2. Hero Summoning

 ***

The Kingdom of Aarl, which was once hailed as the continent’s strongest, was about to face imminent destruction.

[Enora Frau Frauro] was a beautiful blue-eyed princess with blonde hair, and she had recently been crowned the Queen.

She was only seventeen years old this year, and she had been raised under the careful protection of her parents and those around her.

However, her parents had collapsed and her brothers had perished in the war.

Hence, the Kingdom of Aarl had no choice but to have Enora ascend to the throne.

This was all because of the birth of a Demon Lord.

The Demon Lord had brought along an army of monsters in its wake, and it had been destroying the nations of the continent one after another.

The Kingdom of Aarl had tried to resist, but in the face of constant defeat, it was left with virtually no military power.

Now, the country was headed towards its ruin.

The knights in the audience hall were either extremely old or extremely young.

Able men had all been sent to the battlefield, and the knights gathered here consisted mostly of children under the age of 15.

This showed how much of a dire strait the Kingdom was in.

Enora was sitting on the throne with a scepter in hand which symbolized her sovereignty.

“Just how many trials has our Lord prepared for us?”

After hearing the reports from her subordinates, Enora felt discouraged. 

The enemies were rapidly approaching the Capital, but she had neither troops not reliable generals to rely on.

She had barely scrounge together a mishmash of retired generals, knights, and soldiers. 

It was when everything seemed hopeless that an old minister approached her.

“Your Majesty, we won’t be able to hold on for any longer. The only thing left…”

“I know…We will have to summon a Hero.”

A forbidden technique passed down among those belonging to the Kingdom of Earl.

A spell to summon forth an other-worldly Hero that can fight against the Demon Lord.

Heroes were existences capable of defeating the Demon Lord, but the summoning magic was a one-way trip.

Once a Hero was summoned, the kingdom had to take care of their needs.

In a sense, it was a double-edged sword.

If a Hero that could trump even the Demon Lord were to rebel, the kingdom would be hard-pressed to do anything. 

In addition, the Royal Family wasn’t very keen on entrusting the fate of an entire country to someone from a different world.

“We don’t have time to spare. Start preparing for the Hero Summoning!”

Her vassals replied with the affirmative when Enora stood up to give her command.

Enora herself also rushed to the room where the summoning ritual would be held.

-In a different world-

On a planet known as Earth, a high school girl was returning home from a part-time job that she had after school.

It was already dark outside.

The door to her house creaked the moment she tried to enter.

It was nothing out of the ordinary as she was living in an old apartment building that was poorly constructed.  

“I’m back.”

She told her mother that she was back, but she seemed to be sleeping with the television turned on.

It was the warm season, yet their kotatsu was still out.

Her mother used to be a beautiful woman, but there was no more trace of her former beauty.

She took out the side dish that she bought on-sale in the supermarket and began preparing for dinner.

The noise from the kitchen eventually woke her mother up from her slumber.

“Ara, welcome back. Today’s the day you get paid, isn’t it? So, how much did you earn?”

[Akui Kanami], the high school girl, handed 30,000 yen to her mother.

Her mother rejoiced upon receiving the 30,000 yen, but she was soon disappointed. 

“Only this much?”

“What did you expect from a student doing a part-time job?”

“Kanami, your studies aren’t that important right now. You want me to introduce you to a job that can bring in more money? Kanami is cute, just like me, so you should be popular with the men.”

Kanami was utterly disgusted by her mother who was implicitly suggesting her own daughter to sell herself.

“Why don’t you work then, huh!?”

As Kanami had not dyed her black hair, she looked like a diligent student at first glance. 

However, she grew up to have a foul mouth due to their poor living conditions and her constant quarrel with her mother.

She used to be much more graceful in the past.

“Nonsense! You should know that mom has no experience in working. I was even fired from my part-time job!”

“That was years ago. Stop being so obstinate and go get a job.”

“You too, Kanami? Don’t you know how much hardship your mom had to live through until now?”

“You reap what you sow.”

Frustrated, Kanami left the house to have a walk.

She felt restless with her mother being at home.

Walking down the road in the middle of the night, Kanami smiled as if she was sick of it all.

“A~a, I’m tired.”

Her life used to be much better, but she lost her father because of her mother’s selfishness.

Although he wasn’t her biological father, he was the only one that showered her with his love.

He was no longer in this world though.

Besides, when she was young, she hurt her father’s feelings by saying that she wanted a new dad.

By a twist of fate, however, she was abandoned by her new father along with her mother.

“I don’t care anymore.”

It didn’t seem like a bad idea to drop out of high school to earn money.

Just as she was thinking of leaving the house and living by herself, the ground beneath her began to shine.

“Eh?”

The magic circle that appeared out of nowhere sucked her in.

“W-wait a sec!”

And just like that, Kanami was summoned to another world. 

When she came to, Kanami realized that she was in a place that she didn’t know.

In front of her was a woman with blue eyes and blonde hair.

She was carrying a scepter and had a crown on her head.

“W-w-wha!?”

Faced with Kanami’s panic, the woman greeted her reverently.

“Nice to meet you, Hero. My name is [Enora Frau Frauro], and I am the current Queen of the Kingdom of Aarl.”

“Queen? Hero?”

Kanami was utterly confused and couldn’t keep up with everything that was happening, but as they were in a rush against time, Enora explained things in a hurry.

“We apologize for our rudeness, O-Hero from another world. We simply had no choice but to summon you.”

“Summon?”

What on earth was this woman talking about?

Kanami looked around a bit more and confirmed that she was indeed in an unfamiliar place.

She was standing on top of an altar that seemed to be for some sort of suspicious ritual, and there were old men in robes surrounding her speaking excitedly amongst themselves.

“It worked. It worked!”

“The Great Wizard Citasan-sama’s Hero Summoning was a success!”

“Uhyahyahya, endless riches and honor await us!”

These men were covered in wrinkles and missing several teeth.

Their disciples were also celebrating in delight.

Enora, their Queen, realized how frightened Kanami was and frowned.

However, she wasn’t angry at Kanami. Instead, her anger was directed towards the old men.

“Silence, Citasan. You’re scaring the Hero.”

Citasan, who was the leader of these magicians, rebuked his Queen arrogantly. 

“You can’t be like that, Your Majesty! Without us, the members of the Magic Summon Clan, summoning the Hero would have been impossible. Without us, this country would have—”

An argument ensued. 

Kanami, who was still feeling overwhelmed, just stood there with a blank face.

(W-wait, what?)

The magic circle was reacting to something, and a black-haired man appeared the following moment.

His eyes were purple, and his appearance suggested that he was in his late teens, but there was something special about the air around him.

When he emerged from the magic circle, he glanced at his surroundings in a seemingly grumpy manner.

Unlike Kanami, he didn’t appear to be surprised at all.

It was actually the people around him, Enora included, that were shocked by this unexpected situation.

“Citasan!?”

Enora demanded Citasan for an explanation; however, he was just as flustered as she was.

“B-but this isn’t what the record states! I have no idea why this is happening!”

His condescending attitude was nowhere to be seen.

From this, Kanami understood that the young man wasn’t meant to appear from the magic circle. 

She also noticed something else by observing the young man’s appearance.

(Isn’t he wearing some very expensive outfit?)

He was dressed roughly in a black trouser, leather shoes, and a white shirt, but they all looked to be of a superior quality.

He was also adorned with several accessories, making Kanami wonder who this filthy rich man could be.

For some reason, she felt nostalgic when she saw him. 

Meanwhile, the man was crouched down and complained about the magic circle. 

“What’s with this trashy design? You’re telling me that I was summoned by this sorry excuse of a magic circle? You gotta be kidding me.”

Citasan’s face burned bright red as he argued back.

“W-w-w-w-what big words you utter! This magic circle was created 300 years ago and refined by our ancestors throughout the ages to summon Heroes from another world! It’s one of a kind!”

It just looked like some complicated pattern drawn on the floor, but who was she to know what it really represented?

The man simply snorted. 

“You’ve been using this outdated magic circle for 300 years? I commend you for making no progress whatsoever.”

He was both bold and brazen.

Unlike Kanami who was befuddled by the situation she was placed in, he behaved as if he already knew everything.

“Well, since you guys didn’t try to enslave me the moment I was summoned here, I’ll at least hear you out. Is that woman over there your representative? Speak.”

He discerned that Enora was their Queen without being told and had her explain their situation.

Enora’s subjects were infuriated by the man’s insolence, but Enora held them back.

“Please excuse us. We didn’t think there would be two Heroes, and this has resulted in some confusion.”

“So this wasn’t part of your plan. You’re more incompetent than I thought.”

Citasan’s expression contorted to match the frustration in his heart.

When the man heard the full story from Enora, he laughed.

“Words can’t express how sorry we are for imposing you Heroes with this heavy burden, but please. Please save our country.”

“Save your country, huh? Ahahaha, are you serious?”

The man named himself after having a good laugh.

“You want to rely on me, Liam Sera Banfield? Me of all people?”

The people around him reacted violently, probably because he had a middle name.

Enora cautiously asked the question in everyone’s mind.

“Were-were you perhaps a noble in your world?”

“You won’t understand the full picture even if I explain, but that’s essentially how it is. Whatever. I’ll kill some time by helping you a lot. Now, guide me to where I’m needed.”

Liam yawned despite the presence of the armed knights in the room.

While this was happening, swarms of people were rushing around inside Liam’s mansion.

Magicians serving under Liam were examining the room where their master had disappeared with pale complexions.

They were being monitored by Marie, who was furious beyond words.

“What in the world were you guys doing!?”

The magicians shivered at the sight of her holding her weapon.

“P-please forgive us! Dozens of layers of security have been laid on this mansion to prevent summoning magic from activating successfully. To bypass all of them, one would have to be incredibly—”

The blade of Marie’s sword flashed in front of the magician’s neck.

“From the recorded footage, it’s clear that Lord Liam was kidnapped by someone through a summoning magic while he was in this room. In other words, the responsibility falls on you guys. Am I wrong?”

“N-no, ma’am!”

“It’s a pity that I can’t kill you yet. I’m not allowed to dispose of you without Lord Liam’s consent, but don’t think that this is over. Now, go search for clues!”

The magicians and Liam were not amateurs. 

In fact, they were among the very best, and they were promised handsome rewards for their services.

Under normal circumstances, it would’ve been impossible to bypass the magical security that these people laid down.

However, now that things had progressed in this direction, Marie would’ve loved to have the person in charge of the magicians say goodbye to his head along with everyone else had it not been for the fact that they were needed to search for clues of Liam’s whereabouts.

She thought of replacing them with a new batch of magicians, but she dismissed the idea as things could go very wrong if others were to hear of Liam’s disappearance.

“If it’s revealed that Lord Liam disappeared, the faction that he has built up could very well crumble.”

Looking rather pale, Rosetta approached Marie who was venting her frustration.

“Marie.”

“Lady Rosetta!? Men quickly escort the lady to her room! My Lady, you’ve just woken up after fainting, so please refrain from carelessly leaving your room.”

Rosetta had collapsed when news reached her ears that Liam had been summoned somewhere.

That was why she was being accompanied by an entourage of maids and doctors. 

“I’m sorry, Marie. I insisted on leaving the room. That aside, how goes the search for Darling? We’ll be able to find him, right?”

“—Of course, My Lady. Now, please head back to your room.”

Truth be told, an entire day had already passed, yet they hadn’t found a single clue as to where he could possibly be.

The magicians that analyzed the footage all reached the same conclusion, which was “How did such a primitive type of magic circle bypass all our security measures!?”

Tia, who was keeping an eye on them, flipped out when she heard this and instructed them to continue analyzing the footage. [1]

After confirming that Rosetta has left the room, Marie stepped hard on the ground beneath her to call Kukuri out.

“What a violent way of calling people.”

The magicians were scared witless when they saw that a face had appeared on the floor.

Marie warned the magicians that she would kill them if they slacked on their work.

Then, she brought her face close to Kukuri’s.

“Kukuri, I’ve misjudged you. Lord Liam has been whisked away, but you’re still alive to hear the tale. Do you know how to spell the word ‘shameless’?”

“It’s hardly convincing when you’re the one saying that~”

Sparks flew between them, but Kukuri backed down first.

“I’ll admit that we are partially at fault. That said, one of my subordinates have also gone missing along with Lord Liam.”

“Did you appoint a useless subordinate to guard Lord Liam?”

Kukuri laughed off Marie’s provocation.

“Kuhihihi—he’s one of our best. Although he’s young, his skills are without a doubt first-rate. This is the proof.”

The subordinate that was hiding within Liam’s shadow had left behind a memo.

Marie received it.

“It’s encrypted?”

“He tried to cancel the summoning magic, but it failed for one reason or another. The interesting thing is that the magic was of a primitive type. There’s something fishy about this.”

The magic circle had been exceedingly simple, too simple, in fact, that it was hard to tell what their opponents were trying to accomplish with this sort of magic.

Marie tossed away the memo in her hand.

“You guys are to search for Lord Liam’s whereabouts as well.”

“That goes without being told, but remember one thing—you don’t have the right to command us. We only serve Lord Liam.”

Kukuri laughed in an eerie manner and disappeared as if he was sucked into the floor, but not before directing his killing intent towards Marie.

Marie smiled coldly and shook off Kukuri’s attempt to agitate her.

“But are you sure that you can do me in?”

With Liam gone, the unity among the members of the Banfield Family was about to fall apart.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Wakagi-chan ( д ) : “…Why is everyone’s expectation towards the World Tree so great when it hasn’t even appeared yet? There’s a chance that its personality is worse than mine, you know? I might even seem cute in comparison.”

Brian (´;ω;`): “The postscript section has been hijacked again. It’s painful.”

 

[1] Yes, the raw says Tia, not Marie. I’m assuming that Tia’s with a different batch of magicians that are solely dedicated to analyzing the video.

 

Notes

N/A

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