Running Away From The Hero! (Remake)
Chapter 3: TL: Eevee

1. I didn’t know then. (3)

Silver rain falling from the sky.

The moonlight flickered off the small fragments as they fell down to where everyone was, and the sight of objects being crushed under their fall was truly spectacular.

“Th, the rock just broke to bits!”

“Help me!”

Total chaos.

Traditionally, for any member of an evil organization, silence is life.

That’s exactly why these chicks won’t cut it.

Even if a dragon is snoozing right in front of your eyes you should be thinking about silencing your breath and fleeing.

The ones who panic this noisily are the Villain 1, Villain 2 set menus you so commonly see getting slaughtered by a charging hero.

“If you move you die!”

Ohh. Looks like there are still ones that stand out even in this chaos.

The first one who correctly identified the ‘umbrella’ and the one who’s just staring up the sky at the silver rain like someone watching a meteor shower.

The former is one that knows about magic, while the latter is either a lunatic or just simply that insanely skilled.

Either way is fine. Those ones survive quite well.

Especially the latter. Whether they’re insane or insanely skilled, the fact that they can afford to act like that in this situation means that it’s worth expecting things from them.

Up till now there’ve been a few of that type. If nothing else they’re fiendishly good at staying alive, you know?”

“Umbrella, use the umbrella!”

The kid who first recognised the magic held up the umbrella I gave them and shouted.

“You crazy bitch how the hell is that an umbrella!”

A dumb one picks a fight in the middle of it. If you don’t have the eyes to see you need to be able to trust people.

No, if someone without the eyes to see blindly trusts people doesn’t that make them a pushover?

“A crazy bitch is better than a retard. You, the one with pure water instead of brain fluid in that sparkling clean cranium of yours. Listen up. If this is rain, then humanity, no, life as we know is completely screwed during the rainy season. Like that other guy said, this is the Empire-style bombardment developed during the last great war. And this is very much an umbrella, a protective staff with engraved with magic defense spells.”

That was it. When it rains, one opens up their umbrella. It’s a special staff made specifically to block that silver rain of death.

To be honest, it’s simply because they didn’t think of it, but that magic bombardment isn’t something just anyone can use.

Naturally once the Empire used it, all the horrified world powers immediately copied it, and same for the Merdeia kingdom that was completely totaled by the bombardment.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, everyone started using this strat, and on the contrary, the majority of the mage divisions were annihilated.

What’s there to hide! My favorite phrase is ‘to be cut in the foot by a trusted axe.’

And responding to that faith, what my previous workplace’s bosses and I came up with was this defensive strategy!

Under the line of thinking that this magic bombardment strategy would almost certainly be used by the enemy sooner or later, we just simply thought our hardest for ways to give our enemies a giant middle finger, the result of which is that defensive magic staff.

+1 point to the kid who identified it first. For the record, at 10 points you get to graduate early.

“But only the Empire’s soldiers know how to use it!”

“If we don’t know how to use this, we’re dead. Find how.”

This batch seems quite usable? It’s not like there were ones who didn’t recognise what that staff was in my previous cohort, but then there were idiots who just ran off with the staff after hearing those words, that moment was when I nearly recorded my first casualty in my entire time as an instructor.

My previous boss and I weren’t morons so taking into account the possibilities that they could be stolen on the battlefield, leaked by spies in our allies or troops, or like me, who stole the finished product and secretly sold it off to the enemy nation for a massive price, so with those considerations in mind we made it so that you couldn’t block the bombardment with the staff alone.

To begin with, the bombardment method is carried out by a two mage per team group, not using ice magic, but directly freezing the moisture in the stratosphere and dropping it, so even if they block ice magic with magic barriers, it’s a simple chunk of ice with nothing but mass and a very high velocity so the magic barrier goes splat, and as a bonus people also go splat!

As a result, the method of activating that staff is different to activating all other conventional staves. And it’s Class 1 imperial classified information.

But so the saying goes. Catch not fish for a man, but teach a man how to fish.

So let’s not catch fish for them and teach them how to go about catching fish instead.

“Let’s narrow it in a bit.”

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“Narrowing in.”

Don’t they say people perform the most spectacular feats right when they’re on death’s door?

Seeing as how these kids still can’t find a solution, I decided to kindly give them a solution instead.

The solution being that if they couldn’t find a solution then they would die.

“It’s getting closer!”

“Those of you at the edges, run to the center!”

“Damn it! They’re seriously gonna kill all of us!”

Sounds of the truly desperate. When humans are on the verge of death, their abilities skyrocket.

Right now their brains are turning over very very quickly. So let’s oil their brains a bit to help them turn over even quicker.

“Mix in a few big ones.”

“…Are you serious about not killing them?”

“It’s for show anyway. Fire them quite far off.”

At my words, the communication mage hesitated a bit before contacting the mages in the air, and shortly afterwards human-size blocks of ice started to form pits as they fell.

Thud!

The grand finale right over there.

As a block that seemed roughly 50 metres in diameter left a crater in the ground, an odd quietness fell on the trainees.

“Ah, fuck. That’s straight up unblockable.”

Everyone was silent. As the kid that was the most proficient in magic, the one that had been coolly taking charge swore, the ones that had only barely calmed down started panicking again.

“Aahhh, looking good.”

“This is?!”

It was a comment to myself, but it seems to have been overheard.

It’s probably just me in thinking that the communications mage that was standing beside me took a step back while looking at me as if I was a devil or something.

Right?

“Isn’t it? A helpless crisis. A crisis that won’t ever be resolved no matter how much fight with despair and frustration. Normally the beings called heroes are ones who actively overcome those.”

In any event, the beings called dragons are creatures you face while staking the survival of a small country on. But in old hero tales, dragons and demon kings are defeated as par for the course.

“This is not a place where we train heroes.”

“Indeed. It is not. The complete opposite. However. When those beings called braves or heroes did appear, every time our organization has suffered tremendous losses.”

Even if we look like this we’re still the Empire’s largest evil organisation.

Even though we cull off hundreds of brats that proclaim themselves a hero every year, the number of times we get seriously unlucky and get fucked over by a genuine hero is at least a two-digit number every year.

“And because of this we need heroes of the villains.”

Looking at the sector in turmoil, I smiled slightly.

Ahh. Grow. Grow big and strong my incentives!

But back then I didn’t realise. That the creature called a genuine hero would actually be born from this place.

#3 Their Story: The Future Hero’s Story

Raina Rel Swin.

Even if I look like this I’m from the Raina ducal family, one of the military pillars of the Karuan Empire, the strongest empire in the continent.

The strongest nation in the continent, and among those one of the greatest nobles which had imperial blood running through its veins.

It sounds good when you hear about it.

But because of that I’m 37th in line to the throne.

Being in the line to the throne is great. It’s a chance to be the greatest power, the Emperor himself!

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But that, you need to be ranked high for it to be worth anything. 37th isn’t even worth ranking. Rather, a perfect condition to get myself killed off quietly in a ditch somewhere.

Plus, the succession problem is already half – no, pretty much completely over.

Two princes and a princess were in a three-way war, but one day the princess pushed all her backing onto one of the princes.

Even now, it’s said that if the princess had been a boy, this entire succession fight would never have happened.

The other two princes had been half-cooperatively wary of her, but since all her might went behind a single person, game over.

Because of this, my brothers quickly gave up their plans for the throne and aimed for the duke’s position instead.

That’s right. It’s good. Succession rights. To a dukedom!

The next best seat after an emperor! A man must have big dreams!

But you know, I don’t really give a crap. I just wanted to eat and have fun in the territory!

But to keep that me in check, while spouting the biggest damn bullshit such as ‘for the empire!’ or ‘for His Imperial Majesty!’ they gave me a secret mission as a duke’s son.

You call it a secret mission. Oi. To infiltrate the evil organization Howling, that’s pretty much been around since the start of the empire.

You all fucking mad? If you’re that devoted to empire and emperor then you go!

But due to my upbringing as a military family, actually no, a clan that existed purely to fight from birth, under my training as a Raina child I recorded great results in my days in the lower barracks. I received the highest designation of 1, and entered hell.

“Now my fresh hatchlings with eggshell still stuck on your feathers, welcome. I am the one in charge of Squad 1, Instructor Naruan.”

The man speaking to us from the pedestal was Instructor Naruan, a name which we heard of even the lower barracks and had been frequently brought up by the instructors themselves as well.

Apparently, a man cursed by the gods. Because of that, he couldn’t feel mana, nor could he use it.

Apparently, a man with the mark of the devil. Because of that, the moment the devil’s magic weapon in his hands sound out, even gods could only grovel under his feet.

Apparently, the greatest career pathway course in the entire organization. Simply enough, as long as you could safely survive the training course, vice-captain was a given, you could even become one of the ten people at the absolute top of the organisation, the greatest course to success.

Allegedly, the organization’s greatest recycler. Trash would be separated out from humans by his hand.

But my first impressions of him were simple.

‘That’s not a man. That’s a devil!’

The instructor looked down at us with a cold expression.

But I saw. The faint, but definite smile of a child whose parents just bought them a new toy!

“Other instructors start training from today, but Just. For. Today. I’ll be giving you kids the day off. If I talk any more my mouth will hurt and you’ll only get pissed. Go to your assigned dorms and for today, enjoy your day off.”

From around me I could hear the sounds of idiots being happy.

Ahh, you morons! Did none of you get it? His meaning when he said he would rest us ‘just for today!’

And training really did begin the moment today turned to tomorrow.

-WOOOOOOOOooooooooWOOOOOOOOOOooooo~

-Rise and shine, soldiers!

“Shit.”

They said that there would be an early start. They said it would be hard from the word go.

So they said rest up and grow fast.

So the majority slept at around 2200 hours. Even the ones later to bed slept at around 2300 hours.

But compared to them who were sleeping peacefully, filled with an anxious unease I didn’t sleep, but prepared.

Dawn at the earliest.

But rising at midnight on the dot!

And add to that I could even see the precursors to bombardment magic outside the window!

“What the hell!”

“Wake up you nutcases!”

Four to a room. I kicked aside the ones who were still sleeping and jumped out the window.

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I chose the first floor which was comparatively safer to escape from than a higher floor, the results were successful.

And what I could see in the sky were countless magic formations.

The sight really was impressive, but thinking how their targets were the rooms that I had been in just now sent shivers down my spine.

“Oh ho. That’s one up and ready.”

And looking at the lodgings being half-turned to dust as if he was amused by the sight, was Instructor Naruan as he turned to me.

O gods! What crimes did I commit in my past life, to let alone be sent to an evil organization, but to be fated to be sent off to this devil of an instructor?!

Shortly after I was lost in my frustration and despair, I heard Instructor Naruan’s satisfied voice.

“49 people successfully awake.”

What kind of training has half its cohort drop out when it hasn’t even started!

“It seems that the primary training was quite tough for you. I am not an evil instructor. For your peers that needed sleep, I will give them plenty of time to get it.”

The 51 that couldn’t wake up is probably headed for an eternal sleep. From what I heard, they’re being sent back for primary training again.

The ones whose skills are okay will probably go back for higher training, but the rest of them will probably made into high-quality meat shields?

“Now then, the first training.”

The instructor tossed me a sheet of parchment as I was standing in front.

“Hm current time 00:34. Hmm… Alright, leisurely make your way over to the place marked on the map by 0300 hours.

Listening to his words, I stared blankly at the place marked on the map.

If my orientation skills I learned in primary training weren’t different to here, the place marked on the map is at least a two hour run at full sprint.

The ‘leisure’ time the instructor spoke of was barely 20 minutes. And also, it takes OVER two hours at a dead sprint.

If people run at their highest effort then they need to rest, and walk slowly. Namely, an impossible condition.

“Oh, if you feel like you can’t make it to the destination then feel free to give up. You can just come back and sleep together with the rest of your peers.”

He said as if to reassure us, but looking at Instructor Naruan’s quaint smile, I, no, everyone standing here thought the exact same thing.

– If you fall behind you die.

And I saw the limits of humanity.

TOTAL SURVIVAL.

It was a moment where we could see just how much fear could drive us onwards, just what humans were capable of.

But hell hadn’t even begun yet.

“Ooh. I’ve heard forty nine had survived the first attack, but to think forty nine would be here as well… As an instructor, I am exceedingly happy! Really, I am so proud of you who were called the most promising cohort in recent history! I am so, so, soooo happy, in fact, it feels like I might as well be crying tears of joy right now.”

Frivolous words. But his face was as cold and expressionless as ever. That made it even more frightening.

“Ahh, it is said that the teachings of a teacher is akin to the heavens itself, but to think you’d make me cry… The gods above must be crying in joy with me as well.”

His eyes turned slightly to the skies as his words carried a hint of mania to them as well.

Because he did, my own eyes naturally turned upwards as well.

Clear sky. Sparkling stars. Weather which seemed like it would never, ever rain with this cloudless sky. Because of that, I shivered. I’d heard of it before.

The imperial soldiers, and in particular, the units under direct imperial control used the word ‘rain’ in their slang.

“Right, the tears of the heavens. It seems like the ground will get wet from the tears that turn into rain, and it would be a problem if my dear disciples caught a cold from the rain. So use your umbrella.”

“Wait, this?”

The staff that someone tossed to us at the instructor’s words. And another trainee let out a horrified shout.

What the fuck!

I was screaming internally yet it felt as if the words were caught in my throat.

That was the special magic bombardment defense tool that was developed by the imperial forces. Why was a Class 2 defense tool which was strictly monitored by the imperial family themselves doing here of all places!

“Oho. So there’s already someone who can recognize the umbrella. This’ll be simple, then.”

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Grand magic defense staff. The special forces of the empire call it an ‘umbrella.’ in that case, the rain that we had been hearing of all this time could mean only one thing.

“Make it rain.”

And with those words, silver rain blanketed the sky.

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