It had been a week since MC and the others had been summoned into another world.
They had been taught various lessons about history, magic, sword fighting, etc.
The so-called Heroes got stronger and stronger while MC felt inferior. He got stronger but only for a short amount. Even though Ichinomiya had sworn to protect MC from Ryan and the other bullies, he was still beaten up every time they had time. Every time Ichinomiya scolds them they just shrug and deny her, saying,
“Do you even have proof? We don’t know why you’re blaming us, but don’t make us the villains,”
“That’s right, Akari. Although we were bullies just a week ago, we turned into a new leaf now that we’re Heroes,”
“It’s too horrible for you to say that, right, Ryan?”
This made Ichinomiya more irritated. Although she was very kind, she can also be angry. Mark, on the other hand, also believed that Ryan and the others were bullying MC, but couldn’t do anything. Plus, he was busy with accompanying Princess Alicia, as per the King’s request. That’s why he just laughed it off by saying, “Justice will always prevail,”
His other classmates and friends, bit by bit, were isolating him. He had noticed this by the fifth day. The knight who was teaching them, Sir Vidad, was acting like he was not there. This had made it worse. By the fifth day, he was already spending most of his time in the library. The peaceful library of the castle that made him felt secure. He was even safe from the bullies, safe from harm. Plus he thought there was nothing wrong in skipping training. He was never strong to be counted on anyway.
The library was large, full of shelves with books. The wooden built of the library and its chandeliers had made it more elegant than the rough rocky walls of the castle. The librarian had already recognized MC’s face due to his frequent visit. And due to him being frequently lost, she had to help him. The librarian was aloof and quiet. She spends her time reading fantasy books(lol) and romance, by MC’s observation. He had tried to talked to her a few times but was thoroughly ignored and ended up reading books.
“Tomorrow, we’ll be training in the dungeon near the town of Schweinz,”
Dungeon, a nostalgic name towards a place full of monsters. Another gaming term that is almost common sense to all people. It is mostly seen in fantasy MMORPGs. Or just RPG. Anyway, Sir Vidad told the students including MC who was coincidentally there.
This made them shiver. Even though there was nothing to fear. They were Heroes. Called to be the strongest humans. Strongest ‘humans’.
It would’ve been better if they were called “World’s Strongest”. It would raise their morales but as a side effect, their pride, too. After that, they anxiously continued training. Waving their anxiety, they recalled how kind Sir Vidad was. Never letting one injured nor dying. That was their impression of Sir Vidad. A worthy knight, a fierce fighter yet had kind-hearted. He would never let his students fight what they can never defeat.
MC, who was never bothered by it, continued to walk towards the library.
He greeted the librarian and received yet another cold glare. She had an elegance posture. Holding a book in one hand and drinking tea on the other hand. He was thinking of ridiculous things such as, maybe she had a gun on the book she was holding or maybe the book was a grimoire. But those were all his imaginations playing inside his head. He went towards the table near the librarian and stared at her gracefully drinking her tea.
She was too bothered by his gaze that she voiced it out. Her deep voice resounded. He smiled wryly, not knowing how he would respond to her sudden voice.
“Uh, well, it’s just that the way you drink is very refine,”
“Is that so? Shall I take it as a proposal?”
“No, never mind,”
He was surprised. Her speech was not connected to his compliment. Or that’s what he thought.
In this world, complimenting how a woman would drink her tea was somewhat between the lines of saying she was very beautiful. Since long before, girls had always drink this way, so it is very unnatural to compliment them.
“I, I see,”
She continued to read her book as if nothing had happened. MC stood up, ignoring the silent atmosphere and went to the shelves where he saw Princess Alicia carrying tons of book.
One, two, three…
… Eight thick books all were covered in green. And yet, she was still looking for more. Her thin arms seemed too fragile to carry the thick books.
She went out of balance. Having books wave to left, right, left right and then started to fall. MC luckily caught it before it could fall.
“Th-, thank you,”
She sighed in relief. She thanked him, and he quietly nod. He was too much afraid in speaking to the princess. At most, he wanted to avoid her as much as possible. He walked off taking a book on the shelf nearby and went back to his sit near the librarian.
“So? How was the princess?”
“How, you say?”
She, again, muttered something out of the blue. She did not raise her head to see him and continued to read while drinking her tea.
“You’re awfully talkative today,”
“Does it kill you?”
His remarks was rewarded by a harsh reply. After that, there was no more conversation between the two of them. The aroma of the tea spread as MC and the librarian read their books silently in the large room of the library.
Tanaka muttered the name of the tea he had smelled. Yet, the librarian responded. Her face changing from a cool and silent expression to a more gentle one.
“Ah, Chamomile…, is my name,”
“Oh I see,” he murmured as Chamomile, the librarian, hung her head in embarrassment. She must’ve thought that he was calling her name, not the tea.
“You must like your name,”
“Is that what it looked like to you?”
She drank her tea. Neither the two of them were looking at each other and was immersed in what they are reading. MC’s book was called “History’s Great Inventions!”. As mentioned in the title, it is about the inventions made in the history. While Chamomile’s was “Spells Even Idiots Understand!”. A very rude book, indeed.
“I hate my name, you see,”
Chamomile started. She folded her book and laid it on the counter. She stood up and walked. Her boots made creaking sound, telling that the floor was old.
She sat down in front of MC who laid down his book and quietly listened.
“I was named after the plant Chamomile. A medicinal plant soaked in water. It was a medicinal plant that killed my father, my mother and my sister. That is why, I hate my name,”
She declared. Without any remorse in her. She faced him straight. She stayed quiet after. She did not intend to explain everything towards MC. What, why, how, when, and where did this happen?
He sat quietly, and stared at her. Somehow, he felt as if time had been slowed down. The silence brought them the awkward atmosphere which was broken down by the bell which tolled loudly signalling that it was already evening.
MC stood up and walked towards the exit, looking back once more at Chamomile who sat, staring at the table. Without a word, he left, closing the door with a creaking sound.
MC found his classmates eating at the dining room, where the long tables can be seen being occupied by the students.
His classmates glared at him by the moment he entered the room. Murmurs filled the room, making MC more wary of his situation. He smiled wryly and sat down on an old table where no one sat on. The wooden chair creaked and broke down, making the surprised MC fall down with a bump.
Laughter filled the room. Although Ichinomiya tried to help him, Mark stopped her from doing so.
“Ahahaha, did you see the look on his face?”
“The FAKE fell down the chair? How hilarious,”
“I could die from laughing! Ahahaha!”
MC gritted his teeth. His miserable face could be seen. He stood up and left the room, making Ichinomiya feel more guilty.
She left the room, following after him. The long hallway seemed longer than before. She ran hoping to catch up to MC. She wanted to comfort him. Wanting to save MC from the darkness of the world.
The winding hallway, same doors left to right, candles that melted under the red moon peeking through the square windows.
Her breathing was rough. It showed that she had ran through the long hallway, not stopping to catch breath.
She found him, standing at the window of his room looking up at the sky. Calling upon his name, he turned to her.
He had a dark expression.
“Ichinomiya, why did you follow?”
“It’s because I promised, right?”
“That…, was for your own sake, right?”
She didn’t understood what he meant. Was it some kind of figure of speech? Or was it because he didn’t believed in her?
“I mean, you did it because you were guilty, right? Because you want to remove that guilty, you want to help me,”
“N-, no that was not I-,”
She stopped. She knew he was right. MC was right. She was guilty that’s why. But why was she guilty?
She cannot understand. She cannot understand everything. Ever since they went to this world, she could not understand a thing. Why was she so helpless? The one who aced her scores in tests, the one that was admired by everyone. Why was she so helpless?
She just wanted to help. Help the one who was helpless. Was being guilty wrong for helping? What was the answer to everything?
She had finally understood everything. She now had confidence, because she had finally came to a conclusion.
“Yes, I want to help you, because I’m guilty,”
MC was surprised that she admitted it. She had a determined face, full of confidence.
“I want to help you, because I’m guilty. Is that wrong?”
“T-, That is wrong in everything,”
“Then, what if I change my reason, will you accept it?”
MC was surprised by her declaration. What if she changed her reason? To create another reason to help? How desperate to help can she be?
“What other reason do you have for helping me? A trash, no, a dirt that is to be thrown away by the wind?”
He ridiculed himself, as if it was no deal. This had made him more pitiful. But she didn’t waver.
“I found my reason just earlier, ehehe,”
She laughed wryly, but the bewildered MC just listened.
“I’ll tell you this,”
The wind blew through the open window, as the red moon’s light illuminated the room. Leaves rustled, bats flew gently through the night breeze. A moment of silence, comes with a faint smile of Ichinomiya, cutely holding her hands on her chest.
The breeze did not stop until she said, “I love you,”