“I knew this was going to happen, but I didn’t expect that they’d come while you’re still in the village, and have taken it for granted.
There’s no way to hide it now, so I’ll tell you… You know, what you saw was… harassment from the people of the royal capital.”

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I went home after getting told to, begrudgingly and reluctantly.

My father finally came home and told me with a bitter expression on his face.

 

“…Harassment?”

“Yeah… It’s either we send out people from our village or they’d increase our taxes, which is a regular press they do to us.”

 

Even though we live in such a remote village, we still paid taxes to the capital.

I knew about this because I had opportunities to hear about it from the village chief, Alec, several times.

…I also knew that if we refused their request, we’d be forced to pay more taxes.

And from the way my father talked, if we even dared to resist… we’d definitely end up dead.

 

Sending people out knowing they would die.

Ah… I understood.

How nefarious of them.

If that was what they intended on doing, this village would definitely break.

And if that was the case, there was only one option available to us, which was to refuse their request and pay more taxes.

Surely, there’d be no better way to harass people than that.

 

“Listen carefully, Julius.
No matter what happens, don’t get involved with the Warrior Princess— Viera Islebark.
I heard that most of the knights who serve her die within a few months, and their replacements are already reassigned in that span of time.
She’s known as the ‘Grim Reaper.’”

 

My father emphasized how high the death rate is, and that it was rumored that Viera Islebark was killing her allies.

 

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“…You’re rather well informed, father.”

“…That woman’s bad name even reached such a remote village like this after all.
If you understood what I just said, forget about today’s matter and leave the village tomorrow.
I don’t think there’s any chance, but if she catches your eye, you’ll end up in a very bad way.”

 

Despite all those words exchanged, my father was certain that what he had in mind wouldn’t happen at all… and I somehow knew why.

 

That woman, Viera Isebark, was probably a kind of person who was hopelessly disinterested in other people.

From the first impression that I had of her— I thought she was like a doll —perhaps I wasn't wrong.

 

“Just so I know, what would happen if I go with that Viera or whatever she’s called?”

 

A feeling of dismay was visibly plastered on his face, as if he was still thinking about such a thing after saying all the stuff that he said, and he looked at me accusingly.

And a deep sigh came belatedly.

 

“There is a town called “Minaura” southwest of this village.
A town that is ravaged by monsters that appear regularly in the vicinity, and Viera Islebark is one of the people in charge of the task of defeating said monsters… And with that being said, she will probably use you like a rag having you fight them.”

 

To fight at least until all the monsters were suppressed.

And that meant most of the people that’d fight there wouldn’t live to see the end of the defeat of those monsters… or so my father said, so I suddenly wondered.

If the majority of people died, then why is Viera Islebark safe and sound?

It was hard to believe that this was the first time she had been to this village, judging from the way my father talked about it.

In addition, it would have made sense if she had only been giving instructions in the shadows, but it was hard to believe that she would have done so, given her appearance, which could only be described as that of a swordsman from all accounts.

 

“Even if I’m wrong, don’t do something unnecessary, Julius.
I don’t want you to die, understand?”

***

Reaper Scans

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[Translator – Niel ]

[Proofreader – DVN-L ]

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***

 

I knew.

Hence the reason why my father told me to wait for two years.

 

But, my greed…

It was getting in the way.

I knew in my head that Sofia was waiting for me in the capital and that my father taught me things so that I wouldn’t die.

But the fever of “Star Slaying” kept getting in the way of my attempts to make a rational decision.

Be strong.

Go beyond the walls that would rise before you.

Break your limits.

Those whispers sounded to my ears.

I knew that it took experience and skills that were unthinkable for ordinary people to accomplish being a “Star-Slayer.” And I learned firsthand two years ago that in order to gain even a fraction of what I was trying to achieve, I had to put my life on the line.
Because otherwise…

 

I wouldn’t be able to reach it.

If I didn’t take the appropriate risk and surrender myself to the effort of struggling and fighting through it, I’d never be able to reach it.

A voice that I wasn’t familiar with kept whispering to my heart.

A voice delivering such disgusting whispers with a definite persuasive power.

And I was sure that this voice would not cease to whisper until I nodded my head and obeyed what it said.

 

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“…Julius.”

 

My father gritted his teeth firmly.

The reason for it was that I didn’t respond to him.

He knew that two years ago, I was a daredevil who had to face an ogre without even a sword in hand, and that was why his expression was grimmer than ever.

 

…He didn’t have to look at me like that.

But I knew in my head, everything was just my own fault.

 

I yearned and longed for it on my own.

I set it as my ideal on my own.

I was afraid that I might not be able to reach it.

 

I was just being crushed by my own selfish longing of wanting to be a “Star Slayer.”

I was just being troubled by it.

 

“I… know.
I understand what you’re saying, father.”

 

At the time I had the ogre incident, I had a clear objective:

To save Sofia.

I could’ve run away if I wanted to, but I had a reason to confront him

 

But this time, I didn’t have a reason.

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Just as I tried to force myself to accept it, something suddenly overtook everything.

 

There were plenty of reasons, or so the devil whispered to me.

As long as I went with them, the tax on my village wouldn’t be increased at the very least.

I could just head to the capital and dive into dungeons like anyone else.

Oh man, would that make me happy.

 

There was no doubt that everyday happiness would come.

But then, “Star-Slaying” would be just a dream, as an auditory hallucination coming from somewhere taunted me.

Then I fully understood.

The reason why I wanted to go with Viera without hesitation, despite the fact that Sofia was waiting for me.

It was because I knew somewhere in my heart that I had to go.

I thought it was because I wanted some kind of barrier… a wall to overcome.

 

The wall that would stand in my way must be higher and greater than me.

That’s what I learned from the battle I had with the ogre.

 

“I’m really keeping that in mind, so don’t worry.”

 

I said those words with no conviction at all.

But my mind was focused on what I had just said, not on my father…

And that was Viera Islebark, the ‘Warrior Princess.

The one who had the excuse to have our village in her hands.

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