The Consequence of Saving the World
The window was left open.
The night sky and I have been staring at each other for hours by now. Whenever I closed my eyes, I could only think of the situation I put myself in. The inn’s bed was comfortable, that was for sure. Even though my body was drained, my mind was still doing laps on end.
The greatest dilemma of my life wasn’t about how I killed the Demon Lord.
No, the biggest dilemma of my life was running into my room when Sereya invited me to ‘do anything to her’.
I sighed, a long and hard one at that.
All the virgin guys in the world were probably condemning me to a special place in hell.
It wasn’t like I hated her or anything. In fact, it was the complete opposite! I really, really liked her. She was strong. She was pretty. She was wise. I didn’t even care that she only had an arm! She was perfect!
Okay, I stand corrected. Almost perfect. She’s so touchy and in your face, it was hard to concentrate at times. All the girls I knew in Breven were more...well behaved. Was this just a city girl thing?
Even then, all I did was thoughtlessly hold her hand, and she became completely different! We might need to address that. Regardless, I should catch some ‘z’s.
No matter how hard I changed my position on the bed, the pillow wouldn’t do its job properly. A bit more rustling around and I felt an itch on my neck. That’s when I realised—I still had my necklace on.
Even though so many years have passed, the past me still kept wearing the necklace mum gave me. Technically, dad gave it to mum who gave it to me. Damn it, remembering that womaniser made me even more upset. It was a good thing I didn’t do anything rash. If I did, it would make me no better than him!
The moment I took off the necklace and forced myself to stop thinking of dad, my thoughts automatically returned to Sereya. Couldn’t she take things slowly like any other normal person? Ask for the other party’s parents for permission to initiate courtship, get engaged, get married, then only raise a family?
I knew that she had known me for years, but she had to cut me some slack! I only knew her for like a day!
Also, didn’t she have feelings for this other ‘me’, Hanasuke Ryojima, the god who used this body of mine? If the person I loved suddenly turned into someone else, then why should I love that person anymore?
Sigh...it was bound to be an awkward day tomorrow.
Still, I should talk things out with her first thing in the morning. There was no point going around in circles in my head. The right thing to do was to sort out our feelings for each other. Communication.
Actually, on the topic of communication, my mind suddenly wondered how the Seven Heroes Summit was going to be like.
All I knew was that I needed to meet the Legendary Sage, while Sereya needed to attend the summit. I wasn’t sure which one was on the agenda first, but shouldn’t I attend the summit as well? I was the Hero who killed the Demon Lord, after all, even if I was powerless at the moment.
Regardless, I should leave those worries to the ‘me’ of tomorrow.
I already had an insane day, looking back. I woke up in this unfamiliar body, met Sereya who almost killed me twice, rescued Melyeze, got a kiss, survived a bandit attack and witnessed an epic battle between Sereya and Melyeze. Someone should chronicle my day to day life or something.
On second thought, that was a bad idea. I hoped tomorrow wouldn’t be as eventful as today.
Oh wait, I almost forgot—I unwrapped my little toe to have a look. Surprisingly, it looked as good as new! For a dangling piece of flesh to recover back to normal, maybe I still had the regenerative powers of the Hero in me!
With this newfound confidence and clarity of mind, I was finally able to fall into a deep slumber.
Day 2 of my new life as a hero (kinda).
Unlike yesterday, I didn’t feel the desire to sleep in. It wasn’t because of the bed, since it was still leagues comfortable to the one at Breven, but it was probably because of the day that was ahead of me.
I got up and looked outside the window. The streets of Allantheim were starting to come alive as the Goddess blessed the land with the first rays of the sun.
From my vantage point, it was a truly foreign sight. There was no sign of weariness amongst the faces on the street. With the Demon Lord defeated, I supposed it made sense that the common folk would look like this. I had to remind myself that demons were a thing of the past, that there was no reason to wake up to the smell of burnt corpses and mourning women.
After being caressed with the gentle morning sunshine, it was time to get dressed. The mirror in my room made the process a lot more troublesome. I wanted to get a better look at myself, but at the same time, seeing myself in this skin sent chills down my spine.
This body of mine was no longer that of a teenager who grew up in a village. It was older, as well as a lot more toned and defined. If I had to guess, I was also about a head taller than what I remembered. All these were fine—if anything, they were a confidence booster. It was my hair that I couldn’t accept.
White as ash, it was absolutely surreal. If it wasn’t for my face, I wouldn’t believe that I was still Evansmith Mattheld. My hair didn’t make me look old, thankfully, but it wasn’t exactly a fashion statement either. Looking carefully at the roots, either this was the work of magic, or my hairdresser was the reincarnation of a god. Still, why did past me choose white of all colours? I made a mental note of this question. Perhaps the Legendary Sage would have an answer.
After getting changed, I finally left my room. I went downstairs, but Sereya was nowhere to be seen in the lobby.
“Morning,” the receptionist greeted me with a yawn. How long was her shift anyway?
“Morning, did you see my companion leave?”
Instead of giving me an answer, she scanned me from top to toe.
“So you guys didn’t do anything last night?”
Wow, no one asked you to rub it in my face.
“We slept. Just like normal people do.”
“Bummer. Well, she hasn’t left yet. There’s still time to apologise, so good luck!”
Seriously, what’s her problem? I went back upstairs and away from the pretentious attitude of the inn receptionist. Mum was right about these city people.
My feet brought me to the door to Sereya’s room. The same door that I shut as I pathetically ran away stood between me and my companion. Taking a deep breath I steeled myself.
All it took was for a single knock. Immediately, the door started to creak open and I could see Sereya peeking behind it with one, tired eye.
She shut the door right in my face! I resisted the urge to yell out profanities, not because she closed the door on me, but because my fingers were crushed between the door and the frame!
“Sereya, my hand!”
As she opened the door widely this time, I instantly retracted my left hand and applied pressure on it with my right. The pain started to creep in.
For the love of the Goddess, someone kill me already. It hurt a million times worse than my toe getting cut. The tips of my index and middle fingers were black. Just black. Looking at them only made the pain worse. It hurt so bad, it was difficult to even think!
“Drink this,” Sereya instructed with a cold, harsh voice.
In her hand, was a blue vial. Was that a potion?
Its exorbitant price was the least of my worries. I took it and immediately chug it down. It tasted like piss.
The pain from my fingers transferred to my face. I could feel my facial muscles contorting in protest to the foul taste of the liquid. My throat burned as the thing travelled into my stomach. This was definitely not the first thing you want to consume in the morning.
The awful taste in my mouth lingered. As I gradually opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe it! My smashed fingers, which were darker than a Rabid Wolf, were back to normal. I could move them around without any discomfort again.
Sereya stomped back to her bed and sat down.
She looked like a complete mess, a polar opposite of herself yesterday. As she sat down on her bed, her hair made her look like a feather duster. Underneath her eyes were bags. No, more like body bags. They were huge.
It was obvious that she didn’t sleep at all. Guilt struck me like an iron mace.
Maintaining eye contact was a challenge. On one hand, I found it hard to take her seriously thanks to how goofy she looked. On the other hand, I knew how upset she was.
Ignoring the unpleasant sensation in my mouth, I entered and shut the door behind me. The empty vial in my hand went to the table next to me. The fact that she would waste a potion on an injury as minor as this meant that she still cared about me. I still had a chance to fix things!
Taking a deep breath, I prayed that my words were able to do just that.