Chapter 1 - I’m a Hero!?
It had been two days, since he was reincarnated as a human male child, This was when Artpe came to a decision.
“I have to kill the Demon King.”
It was a really fucked up situation, but he had to kill the Demon King.
The reason was obvious. A Demon King's 1st priority was to kill all of humanity.
Artpe was a human now!
Would he have been better being reborn into the Demon race? No way.
The reason why the bastard was trying to kill all the humans was the fact that the Demon King’s Innate Ability didn't allow him to dominate over humans. His Innate Ability only worked on the Demon race, and the Demon King had been thorough in catching all the demons. He had put all the Demons under his rule.
Since the Demon King existed in the same era as him, there was no way he’ll become free unless he killed the Demon King.
Artpe had lamented when he was confronted with this decision. He wanted to be alive to see the hopes and dreams of the future.
‘Why in the hell did I have to be sent back to the past! If I was born 3 years after the hero or the Demon King was killed, I could have lived in the countryside without any ambitions. I could have just lived, while I tended cows!’
He could somewhat guess at the mechanism behind his reincarnation. His Read All Creation had evolved into its second stage. He didn’t know the exact cause, but he knew this was all related to his ability.
He always knew his ability was unusual, but he never expected it to be able to bend time and space. No, the fact that there even was a Step 2 to his Innate Ability was a surprise for him!
However, the problem he now faced was the fact that his Innate Ability had distorted not only time, but the cause-and-effect relationship of events.
The door opened in the same fashion as two days ago. A bright light entered into the hut, and Artpe already knew the name of the girl entering the hut.
“I knew you would come, ‘Maetel’.”
“You were waiting for me! I'm so happy!”
The girl let out a bright smile in front of Artpe. She looked very young, but he was sure that she was one of the heroes in his memories, who had invaded the Demon King’s castle. He had also verified this fact through his Read All Creation ability, so it was irrefutable.
“Why would I wait for you? Just looking at you make me feel anxious.”
“Anxious? …..Ah, jeez~ Artpe~ ”
The 12 year old hero was under a false impression when she heard Artpe's words. She squirmed and twisted her body in embarrassment. Artpe groaned when he saw the young hero fall into a delusion.
During his past role as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King’s army, the Demon King had ordered Artpe to gather information about the hero. In truth, it was a task beneath even the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly Kings, but that fact wasn’t important right now.
The important part was the fact that the past hero didn’t have a childhood friend.
“Let's go play being heroes, Artpe!”
“I'm sorry, but I'm sick of both the heroes and the Demon King.”
“Then you can be one of the Demon King army's Four Heavenly Kings!”
“That is one thing I'll never do!”
Artpe pushed aside the hero, who came at him in a playful manner. He kept letting out a sigh. He had wished for a life where he wasn’t entangled with the Demon King, so this time around he was entangled with the hero. If he had the opportunity to meet the goddess of fate, he would most definitely flip her off!
Instead of being entangled with the hero, he would have preferred to live life as the normal Villager A. Then he would be able to focus on his profession, while leaving all the problems of this world to the hero. He could just put his trust in the hero, since her unlimited growth potential would let her overcome everything.
If he was unlucky enough to chance upon the hero’s party, he would just say, ‘If you follow down this road, you will come upon the Demon King’s Castle!’ Or he would tell them, ‘Our town’s population of wildcats have gotten out of control. Could you help us catch them?’
He would just tell them some half assed excuse to get rid of them!
‘This world is already different from the past I knew’
To be precise, Artpe had reincarnated as the hero’s childhood friend. From this point on, the future would be in flux. Even if he ran away from the hero right now, the changed timeline wouldn’t revert back. It wasn’t a realistic possibility.
“Eh-whew. Artpe is trying to play by himself again. Then I have no choice. I'll stick by your side.”
“No, I really don't need you right now. Could you leave me alone?”
“But I need Artpe.”
Artpe despaired. What the hell did he do before he became aware of his previous life’s memories? Why was he in such a good relationship with the hero! It was so bad that even if he managed to run away, he worried the hero would track him down!
The hero let out a simple and honest laugh as she sat next to Artpe. It seemed events weren’t going to proceed in accordance to Artpe’s wishes.
This was a problem. Artpe’s biggest worry was the relationship he had with the hero.
A hero was literally a walking box of storm and calamity. Even the most peaceful town would be put in danger when the hero became involved. Moreover, anyone who encounters the hero becomes embroiled in the hero’s business.
In the past, there was a very famous story about the hero taking every valuable item when passing through each town. The most insidious part about this story was the fact the townspeople had an irresistible urge to give whatever they possessed to the hero. If the hero fulfilled a request, one would have to give up a treasure as recompense!
So what would his life be like as the childhood friend of the hero!
‘No. I don’t know how the future will unfold. This girl might not awaken to become a hero.’
If a Demon King existed, a hero always appeared. However, Artpe had reincarnated as a human, so the future had changed. It wasn’t a certainty that Maetel would awaken as a hero.
“Still, I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Maetel would become a hero, and as her childhood friend, he would get swept up in her business.
In truth, that scenario was the most likely one to come true. In this world, the most talented person was chosen to become the hero. Artpe had used his Read All Creation to verify the talent possessed by the 12 year old Maetel. She was so outstanding that it made one wonder if the gods made a mistake in creating her.
He followed this thread of logic to come to his previous conclusion.
He had to kill the Demon King.
“My life as a demon… No. My life as a human is really….”
Artpe wrapped his head with his hands as he despaired. Maetel consoled him.
“Hang in there, Artpe! We have to endure, and we have to live five times the life we have already lived!”
“Where did you learn such a phrase?”
“I learned it from Artpe.”
It seemed he wasn’t a normal guy even before he recovered his memories! Artpe’s head started to hurt more. Maetel, who didn’t know his inner thoughts, kept smiling.
“I only want to live a quiet life.”
“You always say those words, Artpe.”
“However, the world won’t leave me alone.”
“That is also one of your favorite phrases you like to speak.”
“It isn’t really important how I got here. How should I proceed from now on…. Mmmm?”
He grumbled as he started responding to Maetel when a flash of light illuminated the inside of his mind.
Until now, he had assumed that the future was distorted, because he had reincarnated as the hero’s childhood friend. However, was that actually true?
In the past, Artpe had used his Read All Creation to track the hero’s whereabouts. Of course, he also had a complete grasp of what developed in the human world.
Would everything he remembered change just because of Artpe’s presence? He was only a single person.
‘There’s no way that would happen.’
Yes. At best, an additional male child was born in a mountain village. There was no way such an event would cause the war to be canceled or a king to be poisoned!
However, how could that be the only implication? He knew the location of legendary thief’s grave. The grave held riches. He also knew the locations of the Archmage’s ruin, Balrok’s Nest, and Archmage Rain of Louin’s Magic Tome. They would be in the same place as the locations in his memories!
He finally realized the whole truth, and a shiver ran up his body. His Read All Creation ability allowed him to remember what had happened in the human world and the demon world. It didn’t matter if a lot of event in his future would change. He still had many information that he could use to his advantage!
There were many riches, many magic, many skills and many hidden hunting grounds!
“If I can acquire all of this with her….”
Maetel’s cheeks turned red. Artpe had mumbled his words, and it seemed another big misunderstanding had occurred. However, Artpe was too excited to worry about it.
“If that happens, maybe······.”
He’ll be able to compress the development process of the hero, and she would be able to gain items that were never in the possession of her previous self. If he could let her gain everything he figured out with his Read All Creation ability, the killing of the Demon King might not be a problem!
If he could make that happen, he would be free! Moreover, he could use the position of being the hero’s childhood friend to lead a peaceful life!
The future he could foresee was letting out a radiant golden light. Artpe suddenly stood up from his seat. Maetel also stood up.
“All right. Leave everything to me, hero.”
“Hero? As expected, you do want to play hero!”
“I'm not talking about playing house with you. I’ve never been as serious as this moment in my life.”
“······ah, all right.”
The hero’s face had turned red, and she kept nodding her head.
“I'll leave everything to Artpe.”
“You just nodded your head. You can’t take it back.”
“This is true for Artpe too! You can’t back out of this!”
Artpe was satisfied with Maetel’s answer. At this point in time, the two of them completely misunderstood what each of them were promising. Artpe was dreaming about a peaceful future, so he hadn’t realized this fact.
“All right. Then you should head back for now. I’ll have to be thorough in making a plan for us.”
“A plan... You are being very earnest about this. All right! I’ll go wait patiently for you!”
Maetel turned around, and she opened the door to the hut. She was about to exit when she said, “Oh”, as if she had just remembered something. She called out towards Artpe.
“You do know what is happening in the afternoon, right? Baptism Ritual!”
“Baptism Ritual? Ah!”
When one was born into the Demon race, one possessed all of one’s abilities from the start. Demons had to be ready to fight as soon as they were born. However, humans were different. Humans had to contact the gods through the priests, and a Class was given to each human. The Classes ranged from carpenter, farmer, adventurer, warrior, etc. A human’s station in life was determined at that point. The humans call it the Baptism Ritual.
“What Class will I receive? I’m looking forward to it!”
“I’m also looking forward to it, but I could already guess what my Class is.”
“That's amazing, Artpe!”
There was limit on what Class one could acquire, and it depended on one’s station in life, and one’s ability. One cannot become a knight unless one was a noble. One cannot become the heir to the throne unless one was the son of a king. If one didn’t have the ability to manipulate Mana, one couldn’t become a magician.
Still, it didn’t mean one couldn’t escape an already chosen Class…..
Artpe smiled as he felt the unrefined Mana circulate around his body.
Was it because he was a Demon in the past? Currently, he was only a 12 year old child, yet he had a large reserve of Mana. Moreover, he could wield the Mana freely. Unless something went wrong, he would probably become a magician.
“You’ll probably become a hero.”
“Hero? Of course, I do like to pretend and play at being a hero, but…..”
Maetel let out a timid laugh.
“Truthfully, there is one thing I want more than me being a hero.”
“Ah. Is that so?”
“I would love it if Artpe was able to become a hero!”
Artpe couldn't hold back his laughter when he heard those words.
“Yes. It would be hilarious if that happened.”
“Oh god. Please give guidance to this child's path!”
“Yeah yeah. I beg of you. ”
[You've earned the 'Hero' Class.]
When he really became a hero, Artpe could no longer laugh.