Chapter 4: The heroes
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That girl’s name is Celeste. 

After the auction ended, we rode around the city for anything which might catch our master’s eyes. She recently told us that she might buy another manor. She already has two so I wouldn’t know why that’d be necessary. 

The one we live in is located in Osapolis, her own territory while her other one is in another city where her other relatives live at. She will apparently give that one to her niece, Sophia.

When Beatrice and Lady Sylvia were shopping at a department store, I came to a clothing store with Celeste. 

She couldn’t keep walking around naked so Lady Sylvia gave me some coin so I could buy her clothes. 

“…”

She only held my sleeve as we walked. Her attitude took a whole 180 when her injuries were revealed. Maybe that was the kind of person she was before the war.

Since I’m a slave, I had to provide proof that my master allowed me to buy things. I showed the Crane crest which was her new surname after becoming a duchess. 

The cashier nodded in agreement but didn’t forget to explain the rules and punishments if we broke them.

After his long sermon, we came to the female section.

“What would you like?”

I pushed her towards the clothes. She looked at me with uncertainty. 

“You can buy anything so long as it’s not over 2 gold.”

She lowered her head and hurriedly approached the clothes. Her eyes seemed to gleam in excitement at having clothes again.

We came to the section where they have winter clothes so I thought they’d have gothic Lolita style clothes as well. It seems to suit her too. 

‘I wonder what she looks like without the wig? What did her hair look like before…’

I had a bunch of useless thoughts as I looked at Celeste pick out her clothes. 

She had a gleam in her eyes and a small smile.

‘Being a slave for a girl must’ve been harsh.’

If her scalp was damaged to the extend that no hair was growing then a healing potion would work fine. Of course such potions are expensive and they usually don’t supply such expensive things to slave markets so they can heal slaves.

Slaves have no rights therefore they must survive with the things given to them. Our lives were literally in the hands of our masters.

Back when I was still a slave we’d be given a thick paste in a small bottle which they call an expired healing potion. The taste was awful and the clumpy liquid made me gag multiple times. That was the only thing we received for our health.

It honestly didn’t do much. They might’ve just wanted to get rid of the supplies left over which they used during wars. 

“…”

Celeste walked up to me in quick steps and showed me the clothes.

“You need underwear too, right? I might sound creepy but I didn’t see anything under your dress when you sat down.”

“…!!!”

Her face instantly reddened. 

“…But I heard slaves aren’t allowed to have underwear. We usually wore rags which we wash ourselves…”

I patted her head.

“Don’t worry about that. I don’t think our master would care. If something is useful to her, her entire attitude changes.”

Beatrice and I are treated very differently. I’m your average looking joe with no skills while Beatrice can check items descriptions. How well will Celeste, who has capabilities to become the strongest mage in existence be treated?

“Come to think of it…” I looked at Celeste. She only tilted her head as we looked into each other’s eyes, “What kind of skill do you have?”

“…?”

“Ah, it’s okay if you won’t tell me. Skills are meant to be secrets after all. I was just curious.”

“…Mind reading…”

I flinched.

‘Fuck, did she hear me in the carriage when I thought about how Lady Sylvia would taste after a long day of sweating?’

Dammit. I thought my perverted thoughts would never be revealed.

“C-Can you hear what I’m thinking of?”

She shook her head.

“…Seeing as how my impure mana core is interfering with my senses, I cannot read anyone’s mind at the moment.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. 

“A-Anyway, shouldn’t you be fitting on the clothes?”

“Ah, yes.”

“We’ll go to an alchemist store afterwards to buy treatment for your injuries.”

She nodded and ran to the changing room with quick steps. 

**

After we finished shopping for her essentials, we headed for the alchemist store. 1 gold should be enough for what we’re looking for.

Celeste’s entire attitude changed when she put changed into the clothes. 

“You seem different from before.” I voiced my thoughts.

“It’s because I used to like playing dress up with my mother. It was always fun for me to put on new clothes. And also…” She lowered her head with a small smile, “I can feel like a completely different person and have confidence in myself when I cover the injuries.”

My heart ached hearing her tiny voice.

‘So that’s it…’

I wonder what bizarre things happened to her, a 16 year old girl after the fall of their kingdom. Obviously not good things. Women are the majority of the innocent civilians who experience hard times when enemy soldiers raid their houses. Getting raped is one of the things that can occur. 

I subconsciously held her hand. The auctioneer was right, I felt one finger missing on her right hand. Specifically, the pinkie.

“…W-What?”

“If you’re willing to, you can talk to me about what happened. Talking about experiences often helps in the treatment of the mind. I heard this somewhere.”

“…”

Her eyes seemed to be unfocused as she gazed at me. Her face was frozen.

“Ah, sorry, that’s none of my business…”

“Thank you….”

“Eh? Oh, yeah…”

I gave one last awkward laugh before letting go off her gloved hand. We were walking on the main street of the kingdom. I could see the royal palace a few hundred metres above the road. 

Lady Sylvia will meet us at the town square when the clockwork bell rings for noon.

Just when we were about to take a right turn, I heard a horn sound from our backs. The kingdom’s west gate also opened up with the cheers of soldiers reaching us.

“What’s going on?”

–The heroes have returned!!!

My eyes widened.

“Where are you going!? Please wait for me!”

Celeste looked frightened when I ran ahead. She grabbed the edge of her long dress and ran after me.

I had to see them. 

I had to see the heroes just once. 

“Mister Luther!”

Celeste was falling further behind and clutched at her stomach with a painful expression. I hurried back to her.

“Come on.”

There were a lot of people also running past us to see the heroes. They had the same excited expressions as I did. 

I grabbed Celeste and put her on my back.

“Kya~”

I ran faster than I ever had in my entire life.  

The five heroes left the kingdom to battle a demon monster. It was a creature from the Demon World which is under our world. I mean literally underneath our world.

There are multiple portals around the world that often open up and make demons crawl out. People call those portals Demon gates.

Seeing as how there are multiple heroes in this world, the threats are kept to a minimum.

“Why did you run so suddenly , mister Luther?”

“I have to see them. I’ve always had to live in a cell through my life as a slave. I never caught a glimpse of our kingdom’s heroes before.”

We might be late for the meetup but…

I found this much more important.

The Sword Saint, Abel.

The Saint, Adele.

The strongest swordsman, Lydia.

The Martial God, Merrick.

And also the one who has the potential to become an Archmage, Zenith.

They were the people I wanted to be like. I trained every day to become like them. Even if my body was weak, I’d train beyond my limits until my arms, legs and core hurt. I trained every day which some say is bad for actual growth since we need time to rest. But, I didn’t follow that guideline. I still trained even if I couldn’t complete a thousand punches, sword swings, thrusts and kicks a day.

My only motivation was to grow strong and become a hero. There have been many cases of some of our world’s people receiving blessings of the gods. They would become the same as those who transmigrated from another world.

Heroes.

“Waaah! Lord Abel looks so handsome!!”

“Sword Saint!”

“Lady Zenith still looks so gorgeous!!”

People were cheering them on as they rode through the crowd on their horses.

The first one I caught a glimpse of was Lydia.  

Her long and silky black hair fluttered in the wind as she waved at everyone with a warm smile. The armour she wore was a dazzling white and you could see her bountiful chest protrude outwards.

She was simply beautiful. I’ve become so numb to a woman’s beauty since I live with so many of them but she was still beautiful to me.

An ethereal beauty. Zenith could be described as being a sexy mature woman while Lady Lydia is a pure maiden.

“…?”

Amid the cheering I saw all the heroes stare at me for some reason.

They were slowly widening their eyes as they looked at me.

No, were they actually looking at me?

‘I must be mistaken.’

 A second later, they all turned around with serious expressions as they made eye contact.

It was strange what just happened but I was still glad I got a glimpse of our kingdom’s heroes.

The people's cheers resonated through the entire kingdom. The proof of their victory, a giant demon head was being pulled on a carriage.

“They’re amazing…”

I said with a gulp. 

Handsome, beautiful, rich, famous and powerful. They were everything I wanted to be.

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