The Heroes from Earth
<Kashima Kobato POV>
The D-Rank Hero, Kashima Kobato, was walking along a luxurious corridor paved with carpets.
The castle has an impression of being the same as those in your favorite fantasy movies.
The first thought that would come to mind would be that it resembles a Medieval European style.
…I feel a bit disgusted about my lack of vocabulary.
Nonetheless, this is one of the scenery that I admired.
If it weren’t for this situation though, I might have been glad.
I raise my head.
My field of view changes from the feet to the back of the human heads.
Leading the group is the goddess along with my following classmates from 2-C.
It’s like we’re on a tour trip.
[There’s one thing you all have to do before I hand over a unique item.]
The goddess said so.
I closed my eyes.
I clasped my hands together as if like I’m praying for something.
That moment when that third wolf has suddenly burned up.
At that time, my heart was seized with fear.
After the measurement, I was shrinking in the corner of that room.
There’s more than 10 other classmates along with me who were shaking in despair.
I understood what was happening with that magic circle.
There were those dreadful words that were flying about.
Kirihara Takuto, Oyamada Shougo, and even that Yasu Tomohiro had changed too.
Also those classmates who speak of abuse and mockery.
Even that goddess.
I’m scared of them.
[F**k you, sh*tty goddess!]
Tears can’t help but flow out of my eyes.
(I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I can’t do anything…)
There was once a day where I had found a cat lying down near the school gate.
It seem to be terribly weak.
Everybody ignored that cat.
It was only two boys who passed by at that time that has took interest in it.
They took pictures of the amusing cat with their smartphone.
[If we post this image on and get a lot of reactions on Insta, I’ll help that cat! Heck, if it spread all over the place, maybe I’ll be talked about on TV!]
INSTA is a social network who focuses on images.
In the end, those students did not return.
I was left standing alone on the spot.
(W-what should I do…?)
First of all, I should search for information on my smartphone with the keywords “cat” and “dying”.
My fingers were shaking.
It has always been like this.
If I don’t rely on something, I can’t make a move myself.
I can’t decide what to do by myself.
I ended up finding an image of a cat’s corpse.
The fingers that had been operation my smartphone froze.
I closed my eyes tightly.
(It’s impossible… to continue searching, I don’t want to do that anymore…)
A voice called out to me.
It’s a boy’s voice.
It’s a boy from the same class, Mimori Touka.
We have never spoken before.
He’s a boy who doesn’t stand out that much.
Or rather, he have so little presence.
I feel some familiarity with him though.
Why is that?
It’s because he doesn’t have that scary impression like from the group of Kirihara Takuto.
[Wait, that cat…]
I explained the circumstances.
And then Mimori-kun replied with “I understand.”.
[Let’s take it to the vet.]
Why haven’t I thought of going there first?
[Did you hurt yourself somewhere?]
Mimori-kun gently held the cat in his arms.
[Calm down, will you?]
(For Mimori-kun… to make a face like that…)
And so, we went to a veterinarian.
Apparently, it seems that the cat’s leg was injured.
The cat’s also weak because it’s lacking from sufficient nutrition.
The vet told us that it’d be fined if the cat would be treated.
The relieved me left the veterinary hospital with Mimori-kun.
[Mimori-kun… T- thank you…]
[It’s fine. I actually like cats.]
[Ah, about the money–]
The payment have been paid by Mimori-kun.
I had only been watching the cat.
It seems that he had paid them at that time.
I had hurriedly took out my wallet at that time.
But Mimori-kun just smiled.
[It’s fine about the money. In the first place, I was the one who suggested that we bring it to the vet.]
[It’s fine already. I’m actually the type to expend money on things that matter.]
I can’t come up with the words to reply back.
It’s always been like this.
Just easily accepting of the other party’s words.
Always been adjusting to the other party.
That’s how I avoid even the slightest sign of a quarrel.
(I have to find a topic… with a topic, even I should be able to say something…)
I made a clumsy smile.
I’m quite good at “escaping” at things with a smile.
[Say, Mimori-kun… d-do you like animals?]
[Ah, I like them.]
Mimori-kun’s eyes look like they are looking at somewhere quite far in the distant sky.
[They’re better than humans.]
Mimori-kun looks quite surprised.
His smile looks like he’s troubled by something.
[Ahhh– no no, just now… that’s not really the case! You know, animals don’t have to worry how they’re different around others, unlike how humans think. Besides, I really like my parents right now.]
That’s quite a vague excuse.
I feel like he’s just making it up.
If I remember it right, there seems to be some kind of culture where boys at a certain age would dare to say that they “hate humanity” just in order to make it so that they appeared to be unique from other people.
The thing is that they have a different sense of character from the others, that they would think (or make others think) that they were cooler than them.
That’s what is written on the internet. ( I often rely on the internet. Even if I’m unskillful at talking, I should still reply kindly.)
However, Mimori-kun looks like he’s really trying to steer away in a hurry.
It’s like he really failed at hiding something.
I have been having that feeling.
[Umm… a- anyway… you know— you’re quite kind, Kashima.]
[Eh? Uhmmm… T- that’s not true at all… it’s you, Mimori-kun that’s… a- anyway… s- see you tomorrow at school…]
[Ah? Ah. Be careful on your way home, Kashima.]
Since then, I haven’t talked to Mimori Touka.
I didn’t have the courage to speak.
To talk with the boys in our school.
That hurdle was too high for a shy person like Kashima Kobato.
On the other hand, there was only that one time when I talked Mimori-kun.
But I had ignored it.
After all, I didn’t have any courage.
Since then, I have always felt a little guilty towards Mimori Touka.
Incidentally, the cat at that time had now been a member of the Kashima family.
(For my classmates to be like that…)
This class is scary.
When Oyamada kicked Yasu’s seat on the bus, I was quite frightened.
I must not make eye contact with Oyamada Shogou.
If I do, I may die from heart attack.
I’m a coward.
There’s also that third wolf…
(Does a hero have to fight such a thing? That’s impossible, absolutely…)
The goddess-sama is also scary.
I can’t say it exactly, but there’s something I don’t like about her.
On the other hand, Sogou Ayaka was quite amazing.
She fought against the goddess even in that kind of situation.
Ayaka is different from me.
Even the Takao sisters.
I can’t behave that way.
Kirihara Takuto, Oyamada Shogou and Yasu Tomohiro are different.
Everyone in this class is better than me.
I look down at my feet.
(A cowardly D-Rank Hero… I wonder if I will be discarded too.)
I raise my face.
[What are you staring blankly at? Are you also anxious?]
A smiling female student talked to me while she’s walking backwards.
[Me actually… I don’t like being called being called by my surname, so I often said it back in our classroom. If you knew and yet still persist on calling me like that, 70 % of this class may ostracize you, you know?]
[I… I’m sorry.]
Her measurement should have been B-Rank…
Oyamada Shougo’s A-Rank appraisal result outshined Asagi’s B-Rank result and thus was washed away, but her Rank is still higher than most of the class.
The top of this class consists of Kirihara Takuto’s group.
However, if it’s just limited to the female’s group, it can be said that Asagi’s group have the largest power.
It would be bad if Ikusaba Asagi looks at you with a bad light.
Everybody, every girls understand that.
So, I don’t go against it.
I’d even flatter her just to be taken in.
They must see me as a harmless bystander.
I chose to be in a neutral position.
I usually try to be as invisible as the air as long as possible.
Even in breaks, I would just read webnovels secretly.
[Oh, right~? Is it okay if I confirm something, Poppo?]
Asagi often calls me “Poppo”.
Is it because of that children’s song “Hatopoppo”?
(T/N: dunno about the reference here actually. Poppo could be referred to as “choo-choo” as in the sound of train. Poppo can then be said as a nickname for her because she always the one who follows. Hatopoppo… A hat for train drivers? Hato could also mean pigeon, which can also be read as Kobato, which is her name.)
[Uh, yeah… what is it?]
Asagi moved to my side and put her hand around my waist.
I won’t let it go— my airiness.
[It’s just what I think would happen, but probably this class… would collapse sooner or later.]