Fortunately, the town was located close to the border.

After all, if there was no town near the borders, there would be no way the guards could work on the walls.

I along with Frillite entered the town to have a drink at a tavern.
Inside the tavern, there were only me, Frillite, and the tavern owner.

That’s because Frillite brought out the Hero’s plague and so all the others backed down.

Even though there was only one tavern in the whole town, the town people retreated quietly.

Thanks to which, I was able to firsthand experience the greatness of power after a really long time.

“The ship that was sailing properly suddenly met a storm, and you guys found yourselves in the land of orcs? How did you and that orc you met by chance even formed a brother relationship in such less time?”

Frillite pressed her temples together as she asked.

When she asked me what I had been doing since I left the capital, I basically answered without any omissions, and this was her reaction.

Though I couldn’t quite well understand why she was doing that.

She looked at my calm face as I stared back at her and let out a deep sigh.


“Atleast you managed to survive.
If it wasn’t for your luck, you would have died several times already, you know?”

“What luck? I got through it all on my own.”

“You really… ha ha, no.
It’s all my fault for letting you go out on your own.”

“Why do I feel like you are going to say something my mother would say?”

“That’s how reckless you were!”

Frillite sprang up to her feet and reproached loudly.

“Phew, that scared me.
Why are you getting so hyped up, lady? Almost spilled my drink.”

I sipped on the splattered ale on the back of my glass.

Frillite looked at me like that with an incredible expression, and as if her pulse had loosened, she floundered and sat down back on her chair.

She crossed her arms and shook her head.

“Yeah, even if it was reckless, it’s okay as long as you got out safely.
I won’t say anything else.
But this time you have to select your companions.”

“I’m going to do that even if you don’t tell me.”

“Sigh… I’m telling you again… Hm? You are willing to?”

The time has come when I need to.”

The youth like vigor in my body is not like what it used to be.
This meant only one thing.

That it’s time to go find the big root!

The dungeon, where the big root is resting, has strict access conditions.

First, at least one of the party members must be of level 30 or higher.

I achieved this condition a while ago while reducing the monster population on the way to the border wall with the orcs.

My level is exactly 30, so the first condition wouldn’t be a problem.

‘The problem is the second one.’

The second condition for gaining the access to the dungeon is that the party that enters the dungeon must be composed of four members.

Nothing more, nothing less.

It should be a party of exact four members.

So, I have to find three temporary companions to go with me in search of the big root plant.

Upon hearing my words, Frillite’s complexion brightened.

“Well thought out.
It seems that you have also come to realize a lot of things in the meantime.
Don’t worry about finding colleagues.
I have inquired in the Empire…”

“You don’t have to.
My companions will be solicited through the Adventurers’ Guild.”

Frillite’s expression got vague.

“Through Adventurers’ Guild? Well… if you, as a Hero, recruit companions, many outstanding adventurers will apply… But, are you sure?”

“I have no intention of revealing that I am a Hero.
I’ll recruit my companions as a fellow adventurer.”

Temporary companions who will only explore the dungeon together, after that—a permanent goodbye.

Frillite frowned.

‘She also has a lot of different facial expressions.’

As we were talking, I thought of that out of nowhere.
Originally, I thought she was someone with a cold personality.

I think it was explained by a game npc, about her indifferent personality and what not…

After thinking about it for a while, I listened to Frillite again.

“You’re going to recruit your companions while hiding your identity as a Hero? I don’t understand.
Do you really need to? Why are you hiding your identity as a Hero in the first place?”

Why hide my identity as a Hero?

Welp, it isn’t that great of a reason.

It’s all because of the big root plant.

As soon as I reveal my Hero identity, my follow-up deeds will be scrutinized.
After that I will probably be tailed by some flies.
Frillite isn’t of that nature, but Gis and Lorian definitely are.

Moreover, I have to go to a dungeon to get the big root plant.

And dungeons are a kind of wonder that adventurers as well as Heroes look for with their eyes lit on.

When the flies who follow me find the ‘Big Root Dungeon’ and contact their owners, I’ll get very, very, very, very annoyed by their disturbing tricks.

This is because the dungeon where big root is resting is just as difficult to clear as it’s access conditions.

To be honest, I’m not confident in conquering it in just one try.

I don’t even know if it will be conquered at the second or at the third one…

And what if Gis and Lorian come while I’m reorganizing after a failure?

Maybe I would have to separate my attention from the dungeon and have scuffles with those punks?

…It doesn’t seem as bad as I thought, but the real problem is after that.

Just as a child’s fight becomes a parent’s fight, a Hero’s fight becomes a nation’s fight in a moment.

Others might be wondering—isn’t the solution so easy? Just kill those flies.

But that’s not a good solution either.

Just think about it.

Cloud has a docile personality, giving even his own companions to others.

That Cloud suddenly finds the tails and kills them?

The behavior itself can be packaged as having a great change after being ntred.
However, my alert level in their minds will surely rise.

Then those fookers will be sending out a bunch of flies with stronger strength one after another.

Form past example, Howl, Howl, and um, Howl?

Damn mosquitoes and flies.

I haven’t slept for nights, so even my mentality feels pissed.

Yeah, right.

…actually, it doesn’t really matter if those flies come after I have obtained the big root plant.
After that, it doesn’t matter if the alert level goes up or not, I’ll just kill waves after waves of those buggers.

In any case, even if there’s such a situation, I can’t tell Frillite about it.

Because it’s the same for her, a powerful monster like Hero, to go crazy about dungeons.

I said with a wistful expression on my face.

“Of course, it’s because of the worry that those guys Gis and Lorian will follow my back.”

“Are you worried about them doing something to you? If that’s the case, don’t worry.
No matter how strong they are, they will not be able to harm you directly.”

“Yeah, they can’t do any harm to my body directly as you said.
But can’t they interfere indirectly?”

It was a moment, as if she had remembered something, Frilite’s movements paused.

Did she remember those three women who went to another party?

If that’s the case, she doesn’t really have to worry.

If all the three original companions have ntred in the middle, I can just find three new companions.
The problem is that I can’t go to pick them up at the moment.

“…you are right.
Those idiots have already messed around a lot.
It all makes sense now, why you are hiding your identity and why you lied about being my friend.”

Frillite sipped from her wine glass with a bitter expression.

“Yes? What does that mean?”

“Didn’t you say that? You can’t reveal your Hero’s identity because you are worried about those guys playing some tricks again?”

“No, not that.
The second part.
Why is that a lie?”


Frillite looked at me with her puzzled eyes.

“Isn’t that a lie too? Are we friends?”

“Weren’t we friends? Welp, I thought so.”


Frillite’s eyes filled up with embarrassment.

Yes, that’s understandable.
If it were me, I’d wonder if this punk had gone crazy.

But I can’t help it.

I can’t break free from the taste of power I hadn’t tasted in a long time!

I said calmly, folding my fingers together in position to convince her.

I continued, “We drank together, worried and comforted each other, and even tried to help.
There is no interruption in the conversation and our flow matches as well.
Isn’t this enough to be considered friends?”

“Is that so?”

“What was that vague reaction? Did you not consider me as a friend? Well, I’m a little saddened.”

“No, that… it’s because it’s the first time that someone ever called me a friend, so…”


“What are you talking about? Don’t you have any friends?”

You don’t have friends with that face?

What the fuçk?! Are you deceiving me?

As I looked at her with a mixture of surprise and astonishment, she hastily added an explanation.

“I’ve been holding a sword ever since I was a kid so I didn’t get the chance.
When I was a little older, I went out to subjugate monsters to gain practical experience.
So, I didn’t have the time to socialize with my peers.
It wasn’t because I wasn’t sociable or something!”

“Uh… uh, yeah.
Yeah, I got it.
Now calm down.”

“What, what’s with that reaction?”

Frillite grumbled, frowned at me, and took a sip of her drink.

Then she grinned and muttered.

“Friend… that’s doesn’t sound half-bad.”

“Then do you recognize me as a friend?”

“Didn’t you proposed it first? It’s an offer I don’t really need to turn down.”

All right, the plan’s a success.

Now, if I run into trouble while roaming the Empire, I can sell Frillite’s name.

If I told them I was Frillite’s friend, everyone would be definitely surprised.

This is power!

There’s no obligation I owe by having this power.

Truly, a pleasure without responsibility!

Thrilled by the feast of beautiful future, I couldn’t help but tremble.

Of course, only inside.

On the outside, it’s an amiable friend, Cloud.

“That means I’m your first friend?”


“To commemorate meeting your first friend, the drinks will be on your tab!”

“All right, drink as much as you like… Wait.”

As she almost spoke with a grin, she suddenly closed her mouth as if reminiscing about something.
She narrowed her eyes and started staring at me.

“Didn’t I paid for the drinks last time? Why should I buy this time too?”

…I was going to seal the deal, why are you so needlessly quick-witted, madam?

“Last time I bought it, this time you pay.
I have heard that friendship is not a one-sided relationship, but a relationship of giving and receiving from both sides.”

You don’t even have friends, why do you know that?

I raised both of my hands towards her.

“I don’t have money.”

“You don’t have money?”

Frillite opened her eyes wide in shock as she asked.

Actually, it’s not that I don’t have money.

Because there’s still a lot of money I got from the Battleground Championship.

However, after deducting the amount that’s needed to be kept for Lina and Mars, even the future travel expenses are quite tight on my part.

“Are you saying that you have already used up the funds you received from your kingdom?”

“I don’t have any such funds.”

“You didn’t receive any funds? Why?”

“It’s the money I have to spit out after gobbling it.
It feels dirty and cheap.
If that’s the case, I rather won’t accept it.”

“That’s right, but…”

“So let’s do this.
The person who loses the bet pays.”

“You want to have a bet? So, what bet?”

“What else, my lady? We are in a tarven, isn’t it already decided?”

I said raising my glass of ale.

“The one who falls first loses.”

Frilite laughed too.

“Are you going to challenge me? That’s fun.
I accept it.”

Frillite and I clinked our glasses.

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