In this world, I, Ookawa Shouryuu, was a hero summoned from another world.
The people here seemed to have a hard time pronouncing Japanese names, so my name got adapted to Shal. For the record, I desperately tried to make them call me by my name. But, they rejected it, so that was that.
I was on my way home from work when, as soon as I got off the train, the surroundings completely changed. Then, an army of mysterious people in white robes gathered around me, and cried out, “Oh, Great Hero!”
A princess laughed at the king’s obvious intention of using a woman to win me over, and delivered a templated explanation.
“This world is under threat from demons, so we summoned a Great Hero from another world. Please, save us.”
“By the way, there is no way for you to return home, so what are your plans? If you serve us, we will guarantee you food, clothing, and shelter.”
Would you call it free will, if you were not given any choice? Well, how should I say this… Shouldn’t they have chosen someone younger, who would enjoy these kinds of things? I was a twenty-six-year-old man, with no particular dreams and aspirations, completely turned into an exploited corporate slave at a black company.
That being said, they mentioned that humans from another world were considered guardians, so they didn’t grow weaker. And, their lifespan was longer than that of normal people.
Give me a break. Don’t set me up to working for a long time!
But, I guess, it was similar to ‘one who does not work shall not eat’.
I was titled as the hero, but was conveniently sent out to do rough jobs as a handyman for the kingdom.
I was ashamed of it, but had I been driven out to live on my own, it wouldn’t take long before I end up a victim of abduction. They allowed me to study for a while back then, so I knew that this world was not very welcoming to a Japanese who came from a peaceful modern era.
Thus, I was forced to do all sorts of things, and once the kingdom had become a strong nation… I was suddenly kicked out of the castle, telling me to defeat the demon lord all by myself.
Rumors and public opinions, such as, “Apparently, the hero will become the next king, since he was the one who put all the work?” seemed to have become unfavorable for them, so they perfectly thought of a discreet way to get rid of a nuisance.
After all, every successive demon lord was damn stronger than any demon lord in history. In all the history, no hero had ever been able to defeat a demon lord. I heard that whenever they incited all powerful men to coordinate an attack, they would be sent back bundled up together, wrapped in a bamboo mat.
There was just no way I could defeat him by myself.
Still. As someone so ignorant of this world, never had been let out of the castle except for work… There was just no way for me to survive, and live in this unknown world without any companions. Even though it seemed reckless, I must kill the demon lord; else, there wouldn’t be any reason for me to return home.
For that reason, I fought to my certain death. I did all that I could. I was pretty desperate, after all.
And so, I lost. The demon lord was overpowered. Just how many stages of forms did he have?
In that way, my eventful life as a corporate slave worker in another world was just as disappointing as it sounded. As I sank in my own blood, I prepared for my death, and let go of my consciousness.
I can finally rest——or so I thought. Yet, for some reason, I woke up again.
“You can’t put an injured person inside a cage, y’know?! It’s my fault for accidentally turning into my final form anyway…!”
“That won’t do, my lord! That hero is a dangerous berserker who hunts monsters! What would you do if you were bitten?!”
I opened my eyes and blinked slowly a few times. There was a cold feeling against my skin.
If I was not mistaken, I was defeated by the demon lord… But, for some reason, my body wasn’t hurting. I looked around with only my eyes, and gathered information despite being half-asleep.
This cold feeling, is it because I’m inside an iron cage? I see. But why is it placed on a canopy bed? Also, there are two people arguing in the middle of this excessively luxurious room.
A refined beauty characterized by their long, beautiful hair extending down to their waist, which looked orange and red when illuminated; large sunset-colored wings protruding from their back. An extremely beautiful person, but he was probably a man.
Then. A man, somehow being scolded, had deep, night-colored hair, dressed in ornate Asian-style black clothing. Intimidating, yet with well-defined features, and clearly good-looking.
Rather, he was the demon lord who I was just fighting to death with.
For some reason, I didn’t see any of his subordinates when I was running through the demon lord’s castle, so I didn’t know who the red one was… But, since the demon lord was here, this place was probably his castle.
I was too far from them, so I couldn’t exactly hear what they were talking about.