Running Away From The Hero! (Remake)
Chapter 8: RATH 8 TL: Eevee

RATH 8

TL: Eevee

2. What is this. Scary. (1)

They say the three greatest necessities of man are food, clothing and shelter.

And if I were to choose, I would choose food.

If you do not have a house you can sleep rough, if you do not have clothes then you can roughly cover up, but if people do not have food, they die.

– From a certain hero’s memoires

I blankly stared at the training scene playing out in front of me.

“Die!”

“This time for sure!”

“You, suit defeat.”

Would the twilight of the gods, Ragnarok, have looked something like this.

-These, damn brats!

“Ice Buster”

-Kuaaaaaaagh!

No, if you look at the fire giant that was said to have been at its forefront getting the crap beaten out of him, it’s more than possible to think that way.

If we look back a couple of months ago when this all started.

“From today onwards, we will begin a simple fitness training program.”

Although they were only three little squirts, even if you threw them out to work as a mercenary they’d be more than usable.

Although they lack experience to be an A rank, they’d be a B, B- at the very least.

Because if they weren’t then they wouldn’t be standing here right now.

And teaching those kinds of kids is very exhausting.

The realm of genius, that realm is one where if you teach them something they’ll get at least one thing out of it.

Put another way, geniuses are the type that can learn ten, even twenty things.

And the moment I play out all my cards against those types, I become a useless instructor, and an instructor with no fear or respect is easy prey from that moment onwards.

Actually, the previous cohort started rebelling the moment they started getting used to the method keeping them in line.

So I moved onto the next step, but I need to assume there’s no way of knowing when that will stop being effective as well.

Although in all honesty I don’t think it ever will.

Because of this, for the times when I need an effective method that uses none of my cards.

“The training is simple. Just run for five kilometres.”

A simple run. But. When the last conditions are added on it becomes different.

“It matters not what methods or means you use. You just have to not kill anyone. However. The person who arrives last, does not get to eat.”

No.1000’s blank eyes ignited.

Oddly enough that child always put her life on the line when it came to food.

To be honest her appearance in the desert as she chewed a scorpion’s tail which was known to have poison was a wee bit too much even for me.

When she saw a desert fox that normal kids that age, no, even older people would normally think is cute, her bright smiling face that said she had found something to eat even appears in my dreams sometimes.

To that kid, no, that bitch, not feeding her is the worst punishment.

But it seems like No.1 and No.17 haven’t realised the severity of the situation.

#1 Their story: The future hero’s hunger

The sky is white.

I’m hungry…

Anything’s fine I just want to eat something…

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“It’s tasty!”

“It is.”

The instructor is a devil.

Not being allowed to eat aside, but why do I have to stay at the dining table with them!

Right beside me, No.1000 is happily wolfing down her food and No.17 is nibbling away with a satisfied look on her face, and I realised what was holding me back.

To be honest, as a potential successor to a duchy I had my pride.

Just for food!

I still had my pride to focus on something as petty as that!

It was on the third day when I realised I needed to throw that pride to the dogs.

But still as a man, I couldn’t let girls starve for something as simple as food but on the third day, I was at my limits.

The direct descendant of a duke.

Looking at it differently, it meant that as a direct descendant of a duke, starvation was unthinkable.

Sometimes in protest of my father’s plans, his advisors went on a hunger strike, and now that I think about it they were very admirable people.

How did they last a week, a month.

Thinking about that when I did my best to run for lunch, a dagger flew in front of my face.

“Hey, wait!”

I hurriedly pulled out my sword and parried the dagger. I nearly died zoning out. If I die here then only my damn brothers will be happy about that.

Maybe No.1000 felt she couldn’t relax with the gap that opened up, but after throwing the dagger she started to run like her life depended on it.

And closely behind her, No.17 ran with a slightly faster speed.

“Oi, at least give me one meal at least!”

I’m hungry!

As I put strength into my legs while yelling that in my mind, all of a sudden I could see the sky.

As I shakily stood, I looked at the ground to see that it was covered in ice.

While the heat is passing by, it’s not even autumn yet.

But ice!

“These little…”

Grind. I grit my teeth and started running as fast as I could.

Sure, circumstances being what they are, but still. Their comrade is this hungry!

The instructor did say to not care about means nor methods, but she really tried to kill me!

I swung my sword, used magic and ran like hell.

I narrowly caught up, I was attacked, I fell behind, then I realised.

‘I can’t use my full strength because I’m hungry!’

They say a healthy body is a healthy mind.

To put it literally, in a hungry body, a hungry mind sets in and you can’t bring out your full strength.

I should have noticed this. The opposition are in perfect condition.

Compared to them I’m simply a golem running low on mana.

When a golem runs out of mana, they become a simple rock statue.

But it took me too long to notice!

A day, two passed and oh my gods it’s already been a week since I ate anything!

The skies looked truly white and the rocks looked like fruit.

Now, when I truly am down to my last resort.

Dinner time, a light run before mealtime.

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But as I no longer had any strength left I collapsed on the starting line.

Aah, even though I felt like I was going to die the instructor still didn’t give me anything to eat.

On the contrary, he’s watching me closely to see if I’m sneaking anything to eat.

To think I’d die of starvation like this!

Not even my brothers that threw me into this mess would have predicted this!

“…Hey, are you alright?”

Ah, she’s here. It’s No.17. I never really expected anything from No.1000 to begin with.

No.1000 is something that lacks a human conscience.

I don’t know what it is, but it’s not human. I confirmed that in the mountains, the sea, the desert.

That bitch is someone who’d shave off and eat the ice from a glacier in the tundra.

Compared to her, thankfully, No.17 still had traces of humanity left.

“… uh…ma.”

“Hm? What was that.”

While she used her comrades to confirm the enemy snipers during training, it seemed that she still felt pity for someone that collapsed from hunger.

She still had the conscience to ask the instructor if I was allowed a single bite as I stared at her, drooling.

“uuu…. Uhh…”

“Haa. Speak slowly and clearly.”

At my faint and cracking voice, she sighed and brought her ear close to my mouth.

Ah, sorry. But it’s your fault for not noticing.

The instructor didn’t let me eat, it wasn’t like he didn’t let me drink.

There’s no way that my water-filled belly would ever lead to my voice cracking.

Although my conscience stings a bit, my hunger takes priority.

I whisper in the ear that came close to my mouth.

“Magic seal, magic chains.”

“Eh? Eh?”

Her flustered eyes look back at me.

Sorry. But I’m hungry.

I’d covered the pre-drawn magic circle with my body.

There’s only one way to hold down the best magician out of all of us with magic.

An ambush with a pre-prepared spell.

If I were to use magic at the same speed as No.17 I would never beat her.

Of course, even if I tie her up first, she’ll break it with time. So.

Ka-chink. Ka-chink.

“Oi, wait! What the hell! Release me!”

I shacked the cuffs and bindings I’d prepared earlier on her while and slim wrists and ankles.

In the gear storage that the instructor had said was freely available to us for training use, there were also handcuffs.

When he saw me taking these, the instructor looked at me passing by with a quaint smile, but that didn’t matter right now.

“Sorry.”

“You little shit!”

I could hear all sorts of curses from behind me, but I installed additional sealing magic circles and soundproofing magic circles beside her.

Ah, just in case, I also put the remaining handcuffs on her as well.

To be honest, it would have been great if we had the magic-sealing shackles we’d had on in the desert, but unfortunately they weren’t in the storage.

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Well, these will tie up No.17 for long enough.

And that day, I could eat food in second place.

It was truly delicious.

***

Training went even better than my predictions.

I never actually thought things would proceed this far.

The ones that had the best relationship between their peers, the second cohort that I was in charge of chose the order in advance and logically sorted out their eating schedules.

Even the previous cohort that were at each other’s throats ended things simply as testing each other’s skills, not with their lives on the line.

“Move!”

But this cohort is insane.

Over food at that.

“Die!”

The earth shook, knives flew. As if the idea that it was a shame for a swordsman to let their swords leave their hands was bullshit, he simply tossed his favourite sword at attacks he felt he couldn’t block.

The incoming magic collided with the sword and exploded.

He pushed through the space where the poor sword met its end and charged forward.

“All of you. Get lost.”

And a blue light flashed in front of No.1’s face.

Sword ki at that age.

Even named swordsmanship clans’ successors don’t have many cases of sword ki users at that age.

Meaning that those geniuses are rare even in families where kids get a toy wooden sword at the age of three and hold their first actual sword at seven.

And a trainee at an evil organization, and one that hasn’t been learning the sword for a few years using sword ki is nothing short of insanity.

And the process was even crazier.

Once, just once. No.1000 came last.

Maybe she let her guard down, or she took a coordinated attack by the other two, I don’t know.

Because it’s not like I keep an eye on them running all the time.

However in a corner of my mind I thought that it was natural that No.1000 would be in the top ranks, and it was like that every day, but that day there was an unexpected incident.

And the scene where she cried tears the size of chicken gizzard while watching No.1 and No.17 eat is still in my head to this day.

And after mealtime ended, as she swung her sword as if she was furious, sword ki formed at the end of her blade.

What kind of bullshit is this.

If you made her fast for a month then she’d become a swordmaster.

Or stick a sword in my stomach before that.

The training sessions that became even more fired up, the brats that improved on their own.

And so I decided to add some more fuel to the fire.

“If you come in first place I will give you a special meal.”

At those words, the kids that thought it was okay if they weren’t last, started to fight even harder to claim top spot.

In all honesty I wasn’t going to go this far either, just experiment with it for 2-3 months, but since their skills naturally improve just with a single person not getting to eat, I can’t give it up.

After that, No.1000’s overwhelming victories continued.

The differences in sword ki grew. Cutting magic, cutting swords.

To fight against that you need similar sword ki or even stronger magic.

And so No.1 awakened sword ki as well. All to block and dodge the sword ki aimed at his face.

Like an animal adapting to survive to its natural environment, No.1 awaked to sword ki in the face of No.1000’s attacks all by himself!

And as the second round began to play out, No.17 came to me.

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“I want to get stronger. Stronger than anyone else.”

With a very powerful rage and determination.

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