Prologue: Unwanted Changes
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"O Renowned Heroes! You must assist the people of our country!"

This is the first thing I heard when I was dragged into the world I would come to despise.

I looked to where the voice had come and arrived at an idea regarding my situation. A man dressed in elegant garbs stood above us on a balcony. He was donned in white, and every part of him was lined with gold and jewels. He was tall and lanky, and his hat had a weird symbol on it. I knew what he was. He was probably the leader of some religious faction. When I looked around the room, I noticed a few key things.

It seems that I, Ren Hayakawa, was not at school, where I was supposed to be.

Under where I was standing was a sigil carved into what looked like marble. It had symbols that I did not recognize. The room surrounding me was made of stone, with the only decoration being where the strange man was. And turning towards other noises in the room I, unfortunately, saw the faces of my classmates.

These facts undeniably confirmed my suspicions. We were summoned to another world. There were cases back home of entire classrooms vanishing without a trace. I guess this is why? To think that those books filled with fantasies such as this were actually possible. It seems my fellow classmates were not as calm as me.

I heard the panicked curses and mutters from my classmates. Here we go. I made sure to hide myself and tucked into the back. I didn’t need to get mixed up in their fear and confusion. Being part of the mass was not something I liked to do. Alone, I get to decide what I want. There’s no betrayal, there’s no disagreements, and there’s no worrying about anyone else or how you need to be in front of them.

The strange man yelled in a booming voice unbefitting of his body.

“O dearest Heroes! Do not worry, for I shall explain everything!”

Heroes? Oh no no no no. When someone says that in this type of situation, it usually means fighting, and adventure, and things too troublesome to think about. I was not looking forward to him talking more.

“Welcome to the country of Entrendei! We are in dire trouble. The Demon King has finally started to make his move upon us humans. You have been summoned by the Church in order to help us bring security and peace to our world of Gresia! The demons must not win, at any cost! My name is Xenomyr, the Pope, and I plead to you, O Great Heroes, help us!”

The class immediately erupted into chatter. Some people were yelling, some were arguing, some just stood still and tried to process the information they were just given.

I stayed in my corner and thought on what exactly all this entailed. This was way too typical. There’s no way I just got summoned to do something that generic. Where’s the spectacle? The unique story? The twist? I don’t want to become part of some half-baked Isekai!

 If things kept going like this, I was going to fight for people I didn’t know, for a cause I didn’t care about. What if I lose my life? What if I’m not useful? I was forcefully summoned to this world, without my consent, for what? Power? It was obvious that this man… Xenomyr, was it? It was obvious that he was using us for our heroic traits, whatever they may be.

Hold on, slow down. Cool your head. Every Isekai like this had things in common. This was most certainly a fantasy world, which means there is some sort of magic and ability system. Likelihood is that my classmates and I have a higher affinity for such things. Though there’s bound to be a few duds in the population…

…As I was thinking, Xenomyr tried to get the attention of my class. Poor fool. Do you not realize what people will do when they are afraid and confused? Having high school students only multiplies the effect.

“Classmates! We should calm down and listen! I realize you all are confused, afraid even, and I am too. But if we cooperate and work together then we will be able to move forward!”

At least, it would, if class leaders weren’t a thing.

A lean, tall young man caught the attention of the class. He had placed himself closest to Xenomyr’s balcony. His shining blond hair was slicked back, and he had stark blue eyes. He had just speeched the most generic speech any class leader could speech in this situation. This was Toshio Fujimoto, our class leader. Mind you, not the representative, but the one who, by far, had the most influence in the class.

I did not like him.

He was popular with both the dudes and the ladies, and because of that he could essentially get away with anything. Those who followed him didn’t notice, but he could sway any class decision in his favor. I generally did not agree with him.

No, I did not want to do Romeo and Juliet for the school festival.

No, I did not want to do karaoke for a midterm celebration.

No, I did not want to exchange numbers with everyone in class, especially with you of all people.

And I most definitely did not want to get forced into fulfilling whatever stupid prophecy Xenomyr had up his sleeve. Oi, Fujimoto, have you read or watched any Isekai ever? The Church always betrays the Heroes. We’re about to be used and thrown away like trash to some false deity, aren’t we?

I wish I could have said something, but my ranking in the class is dead last. People think I’m mute, and if I do say something, my wonderful classmates would not acknowledge it. Then again, I brought this consequence on myself. I can’t find ways to join packs, and so I live the solitary school life. Think of me like a platypus, weird, awkward, and alone. Though I do find the animal itself quite neat.

The point is, I had no say. My fate was sealed. As soon as Fujimoto uttered those accursed words, I had no choice. The class agreed and I was forced to go along with them.

I was right about the existence of magic and abilities. Most Isekai tend to follow an RPG build, but everything here was authentic. No status points or EXP, nor item drops or status screens.  The only thing that was remotely close was a class system. The Church had a special individual to assign classes. They granted Fujimoto the Hero class, of course, and I was given the class of Rogue. I laughed to myself on how my class fit me perfectly. The one person who’s the outcast gets such a role.

From there our journey to defeat the Demon King began. I was practically unused. There was another rogue supplied by the church who simply was better at the job, and so I spent most of the time in the back. I had to pick off enemies one by one in order to get stronger. Fujimoto and his faction were mostly upfront. They held the parties and they spoke the speeches. Fujimoto was the one who landed the final blow on the Demon King and shook the hand of the Pope. I kept to myself, always waiting for the bad thing to happen, but it never came.

My adventure was one that would be forgotten in the sands of time. But that didn’t matter to me. I wanted to get home. I’ve been away for 3 years. I miss my family, my games, my room, my cat. I miss the life I had where I could just go and live through a relatively calm day. And now that the destiny the Church had pressed upon us actually happened, the promise of returning home could be put into action.

Xenomyr, who at this point looked like he was going to crumble to dust, asked if anyone wanted to go home. I stepped forward, but I heard no other steps. Wait just a minute. I turned around. Everyone was still behind me. Seriously? Was I the only one who missed their old life? I get the appeal of fantasy and being loved by the people, but, for me, that did not outweigh the alternative. My classmates looked at me like I was crazy. I ended up being the center of attention. It took my entire will to ignore them and resolve myself to my decision.

“Sir, I would like to go home. I’ve wanted to do so for 3 years.”

I said it clearly.

And so, I was taken to the same room in which I had entered this world. Goodbye Gresia, goodbye Entrendei, and goodbye classmates. I never liked any of you.

I stood upon the carved sigil. Even after 3 years, it still stayed the same. Xenomyr started to chant his strange language. Y’know, despite understanding what people were saying, I never learned the language itself, oh well. The glow of the floor surrounds me with light…

…and I’m launched through darkness. My entire body aches, and I’m thrusted in all directions. It all ends with a bang. I finally get my bearings and hear something sickeningly familiar.

"O Renowned Heroes! You must assist the people of our country!"

I’m sorry? Come again? I see Xenomyr atop his famed balcony. He’s spouting some stuff about Elves and Entrendei, but I barely listen. I scan the room to see people I don’t recognize, just as confused as my class was when we were first summoned.

I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. No this is real, and I notice something very off with my body. My skin is paler than usual, and I feel as those pillars are a few centimeters taller. My hair was messy before, sure, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t long enough to reach the middle of my back. I’m slowly freaking out at this point, desperately trying to ignore the most obvious changes in my body. These things up here stick out, just noticeable enough to see a change, and my other thing down there seems to have taken a vacation.

Wasn’t I supposed to be home?  What happened to my body? Oi, Xenomyr, you bag of bones, you didn’t mix me in with another ritual, did you?!

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