El lets out a small shriek.
Flowers are scattered, and small birds fly away in panic.
It’s the sight that was burned into my mind that day.
And just like that day, ‘that’ appears.
I hear a very loud noise.
A black wave appears from beyond the hills, and it’s coming this way.
But it’s not a flood.
Upon closer inspection, it’s clear that things inside the black wave are squirming, like they have a will.
And this wave is headed right into our hometown.
“W-what… Is that…?”
“…A monster stampede.”
This sight is burned into my brain.
The goddess calendar, tenth day of the fourth month of the year one thousand two hundred, six o’clock.
The first demon king is born in a dungeon in a south western town of the Kingdom of Historia, named Almana.
And the monster stampede that accompanies this event runs through said town.
One thousand two hundred and eleven people die, leaving only one survivor.
This is how the calamity that’s about to happen in front of me was described.
El is completely overwhelmed by this apocalyptic vision in front of her.
In the meantime, monsters are approaching this once peaceful town with vicious fury, and are about to end the hero Elluna’s story before it has a chance to begin.
If it’s like the first time, the stampede will hit the town in ten minutes.
“…T-the town… At this rate…”
I heard that last time too.
El’s power as a hero awakened here… And she abruptly lost her life.
And the only survivor was me, who did nothing but stand here in this field of flowers.
…If I grabbed her hand then…
I’ve regretted it ever since.
If I didn’t let her go, at least she would’ve been saved.
I was just a powerless boy, who had no idea what to do.
No matter how much I regretted it, I had no way to take back what I lost.
But now, here, I can do it.
“El, don’t go.”
I grab her hand.
El turns around with her eyes wide open.
I can feel her hand trembling.
“L-let go! I have to go back right away! If I really am a hero, I might be able to defeat those monsters…”
“El, calm down.”
El looks dazed, probably because I feel different than usual.
“Right now, you’re just a normal girl.
You can’t beat those monsters.”
“You don’t have to become a hero or anything.”
“If you’re scared of fighting, you don’t have to fight.
If you want to stay in this town forever, you don’t have to go out on adventures.
You don’t have to carry that heavy duty.
You don’t have to save the world.”
“B-but then… Who will save everyone…”
I smile gently to try to reassure her.
The evening glow paints the sky crimson, and an army of monsters is descending on my hometown to swallow it completely.
As I stand here, watching what looks like the end of the world, I say what I was too weak to say that day.
“I will save everything from here.”
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