The Rising of the Shield Hero - Side Story The Valentines of the Shield Hero Part 1
Side Story: The Valentines of the Shield Hero Part 1
A month has passed since Christmas. Soon after, it became February…Is that fine?
It doesn’t matter, it is now February.
By the way, the New Year was very noisy. On New Year’s Eve, I went to visit the Shinto shrine near the Church, but still to have even New Year’s in this world?
Why a shrine? Isn’t it supposed to be a Church?
As I thought, apparently the previous Heroes spread a tradition of visiting a Shrine instead of a Chruch on NewYear’s. It seems to be the custom now.
In addition, I gave out New Year’s gifts to the Villagers at the New Year’s party. They complained when I handed them money without putting them in a pouch. (ED: IIRC, in Asian countries, adults give children they are close to some money in a red envelope that looks like a charm. Too lazy to verify that, so I’m relying on you, commentator!)
Speaking of Japanese tradition, it reminds me of Glass, who always wore a kimono. That person would definitely suit the New Year’s atmosphere….But she’s not here.
I’ve almost completely forgotten about her; she went missing after the world was saved. She doesn’t seem to be dead, but I wonder what she is doing right now.
By the way, I’m currently in disguise while I head to the hideout of the Chivalrous Thief.
“This way, degojaru” (Shadow)
I gave instructions to Shadow to deliver a message to the Chivalrous Thief…How many months has it been? (ED: he’s legit now, Fumi. Don’t rob him blind again!)
The Chivalrous Thief and some other former thief are currently expanding their territory with some steady results. At first, he became my slave who improved via class up, and thanks to growth correction he become famous for his strength and power in other countries. He then started gathering the scattered thieves and bandits and made a
thief guild based in his hideout, and made it his policy to only rob corrupt merchants. The money that was collected was then given to the needy.
As much as possible, he didn’t attack carriages under my jurisdiction, and after that he became famous as the Chivalrous Thief.
Anyways, in a gathering of snowmen (ED: not monsters), I receive a message from Shadow. The Chivalrous Thief who is bound to me, and acts on my instructions…It’s been a long time since we last saw each other. I wonder what kind of face he’ll make.
Today we will have a meeting of the Dark Guild in the Chivalrous Thief’s hideout.
By the way, about Raphtalia and the other slaves. I kind of scolded them for being noisy.
The hideout was built in the corner of an underground waterway of a certain town. It appears my party is a bit hesitant to enter because of the appearance and bad smell. The guards start to glare at us as soon as we get near the hideout.
What?! That’s the password? Every time, I think this is the Chivalrous Thief’s way of harassing me. Oh well, if it’s only to this level, then it can’t be helped.
After clicking his tongue, the guard let us in the hideout. As we enter, I put on my robe’s hood to hide my face. As we enter, the atmosphere in the Chivalrous Thief’s Guild became heavy…this doesn’t bode well. The thieves who make up the Guild start raising a commotion as soon as we enter the hideout’s bar. (ED: Haven’t read far enough, but I don’t think they come with Naofumi. Everyone probably chills at the entrance, waiting for him.)
Ignoring the thieves, Shadow guides us to the counter of the bar and orders.
The bartender stares at us, then asks.
With Shadow’s reply, the bartender sighs while opening the way to the back of the bar.
Can’t you do anything about that password? How sweet do you want that milkshake, and you answer “Highest”?! If it’s supposed to be sweet, it should be condensed milk! (ED: Condensed milkshake = diabetes of the highest caliber. Bring all the boys to the yard.)
Shadow and I went inside to the back of the bar. From there was a long hallway, and we continue walking towards the inner hideout. This is too troublesome, is it that important to be this cautious? It seems this entrance is for the lower ranking members, and the back is where you find the higher ranking members.
We arrive at a luxurious room at the innermost part. The thief I knew as the boss of the Chivalrous Thief’s guild, along with the slave dealer and accessory merchant were silently waiting for me. I carefully check my surroundings, then take off my robe.
“That is the Hero of the Shield, yes.” (Slave Dealer)
“fufufu…It seems you are in good health” (Accessory Merchant)
“It has been a long time, hasn’t it, Hero of the Shield?” (Chivalrous Thief)
Everyone greeted me lightly.
“Today is the first regular meeting of the Dark Guild. After a long time of not seeing each other, how have you all been?” (Naofumi)
“I’m fine, yes.” (Slave Dealer)
“That talk is meaningless for a merchant, fufufu.” (Acc.Merchant)
“Oh, I have achieved my goals, by robbing nobles and merchants.” (Chi.Thief)
I sit down listening to familiar words and hearing everyone’s condition. Shadow strained her ears listening at the door, making sure no one eavesdrops on our conversation. They are former thieves, after all.
“Let’s begin today’s meeting, yes.”
The slave dealer raises his hand and then begins his report. Even though these guys do dark business, they still helped save the world. Although that doesn’t mean there is no more dark business. In order to help Melty, we must take the initiative. In this World that is still in confusion and disorder, we must have the countries sit down at the negotiating table to avoid fighting.
In the first place, even Melromark has its dark side of using demi-humans as slaves, Although currently it has alleviated slightly, it still is a deep-rooted custom in this country. Even though the world is at peace, it doesn’t mean slavery is gone. Suddenly abolishing slavery and everyone becoming happy is too good a story to come true. It wouldn’t change the desire for an easy way to handle the labor force. Let the alone the world is still in confusion, in another world, the country that wins the world would probably start pillaging and marauding. It’s a phenomenon easily imagined.
Since I defeated the Witch Goddess, while enjoying the feeling of victory, I received reports a few days later of a group of marauders looting and plundering. There’s a limit to naive thoughts, like anything goes your way once you win. It’s very suspicious to see these guys as decent, when they can’t even fight fair.
“According to the investigation of Dark Guild of Zeltbur (ED: One of the other countries, I think, where the others got their Meteor Weapons), people have started slave hunting.” (Slave Dealer)
The slave dealer started explaining while holding documents in one hand. I don’t particularly intend to abolish the slave system itself. Some guys become slaves for other reasons, like poverty. Losing one’s freedom is much better than dying.
There are only a few who view this negatively. This is closely tied to money, where the poor people are no different than slaves doing hard labor. Come to think of it, even in modern Japan there are people who work hard like slaves without proper compensation. I want to improve as a person, but even if I become an excellent person, there are still a lot of hopeless people in the world. I don’t thank that will ever change, even if the world was saved
“In conclusion, they tend to expand their number of slaves, but the potential for runaways also increases.” (Slave Dealer)
That description only scratched the surface of the issue. The World of Glass was considerably messed up by Witch Goddess. Apparently, some countries recognized that Glass’s world lost the War. Like barbarians on a march, or frontiersmen in a new land, various groups started gathering slaves en masse.
The first on the list was Schildfreden, and the former country of Faubley. (ED: No Tact, no King, I’m pretty sure Author-sensei meant Faubley is not recognized as a country anymore). After launching a way against Melromark and her allied nations and losing, it was ordered to pay enormous reparations. For invading other countries, they must take responsibility.
It is sad they proclaimed it was for freedom, equality, and justice. After all, people tend to misuse the meaning of freedom. You have the right to start a war, but you don’t have the right to abandon responsibility if you lose. To selfishly use the word “Freedom” and not take responsibility for it.
However, because it didn’t become public, Melty can’t do anything about it. By using the Goddess as a smoke screen, they were able to silence any complaints. But from Melty’s standpoint, things that are owed must be paid. The world is now at peace, and just a little more decent. But to me, the world is still rotten, and won’t change that easily. Since the other party is working behind the scenes, we will also do the same.
“Anyways, it’s the World’s problem when the defeated countries start slave hunting and plundering other countries to recover their economy. What about you?” (Naofumi)
I ask the accessory merchant to give his report.
“It is something similar. It seems that art, antiques, and memorabilia are in circulation on the black market.” (Acc.Merchant)
“It is quite deplorable.” (Naofumi)
Winners are right, losers are wrong. But this is like kicking them while they are down. It’s naive to think people won’t start grabbing anything of value from the losing sides. But it’s also quite rare to hear something like this from these kinds of people.
“Even if the art is similar, appraising it is quite difficult, so the price does not go up.” (Merchant)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
So at present, the world’s civilization is similar to Glass’s. I wonder about the difference between East and West, as there seems to be a country similar to Japan in the East. The World of Glass seems to be Japanese in culture. I wonder if elves and dwarves wear kimono there, too? Wait, there are many other races there, too. The rare racial slave trade will be popular in this sense…it seems there there are also those kinds of people in the world. Guys who like to collect (ED: Think former King of Faubley). However, the purpose is to collect and gather the demons and demi-humans and not to kill them.
The problem is when they die. A collector might just use taxidermy and stuff them. But since they’re rare, they might explode in price, and…I should correct this, it’s getting scary.
“Hey, do you understand?” (Naofumi)
I glare at the Chivalrous Thief. Overwhelmed by the silence, he gulps and nods.
“I think there is an underground auction in Zeltbur. We can attack them and seize the goods.” (Chi.Thief.)
“That’s fine, the goods are likely to be overpriced as much as possible. We can risk the hit if they say anything. At worst, we can use the Heroes.” (Naofumi)
Currently, Rishia and the others are saving the world from evil. I could send them to stop the theft and slave hunting from Glass’s World.
But it’s easy to label something as evil. Plunder is evil, unless you sympathize with them and find reason to partner with them. We should ask for the reason when we catch him. But it’s difficult to do so. If we are too conspicuous, one of the Heroes can butt in openly and judge for themselves.
“At the moment, they aren’t moving, but I don’t know what will happen next.” (Chi.Thief)
The air becomes heavy after his words. Everyone hasn’t resigned enough to let a Hero stop it, but it is quite depressing. Light glistens in the darkness, but it’s not good to be so bothered by it.
“So for the time being, I plan to get everything under control while emphasizing security. We also must cooperate with the Dark Guild of Zeltbur.” (Naofumi)
“What do you want me to do?” (Chi.Thief)
“First, we must create a rule against the shameful act of slave-hunting, but it will be difficult.” (Naofumi)
There are also rules in the underworld, and those who break the rules are labeled as the lowest of people. It would become a hurdle to those who want to perform this crime. But it’s quite difficult to make. We need to create a situation that will necessitate such a rule.
I could have a Hero watch over the area. That way the Dark Guild itself is in danger if anyone breaks that rule. Profitable it may be, the risk is too big. That’s why even the Dark Guild will punish them.
In order to reduce the burden, we would have to use the Shadows. To compromise, I’ll ask Rishia and Itsuki to watch over the area.
“Do you think the Heroes will understand and act accordingly, yes?” (Slave Dealer)
That’s a good point, them knowing about the slave trade would be terrible.
“We will carry on with the business even if Hero-sama is against it, yes.” (Slave Dealer)
“Well that’s about right. I’m not here to abolish slavery itself. The problem is forcibly taking slaves by slave hunting.” (Naofumi)
“Oh, it seems the Hero’s aim is to abolish it, but the Hero of the Shield’s standpoint is different.” (Slave Dealer)
“With my position, it is unlikely, but if someone wants to start an anti-slavery movement, let him do it. But that’s not now.” (Naofumi)
In the first place, I, the Hero of the Shield who uses slaves has no right to start an anti-slave movement. I never intended that from the beginning.
“All I can say is now is the time to move according to the words of the Hero, yes.” (Slave Dealer)
Well, if you say so. I am the Hero who saved the World from darkness. Put black and white together, and white becomes black. When I do something bad, it does not reach the ears of the public. Conflict might happen to the world after, but it is what we should do to have as many happy people at a time. (ED: Archer, no!)
Well, it feels contradictory when I say to abolish slavery, but a compromise is necessary. It’s impossible to make everyone happy. Therefore I act to make some people happy. It is the obligation of the Heroes who remain on this World.
The title of Hero bears a heavier cross than you might think. It’s quite useful itself, and makes people comfortable around you, but there is a catch. A person with the position of Hero requires the characteristics of one.
Though I’m out of character, I should do it like a Hero. I receive a lot of benefits, so I have no right to complain. Although it’s troublesome in many ways.
“Well, please continue with your report.” (Naofumi)
Afterward, we continued to talk about the next measures. The accessory merchant reported on areas that are dangerous to step into and that can bring in the most profit. The thief investigated the neighborhood and made a list of dangerous items with the help of the accessory merchant’s acquaintance. Thus, the story of slave hunting and plundering steadily solidified.