142 – The Unyielding Hero and The Black Sorcerer
The Unyielding Hero Altreed.
About ten years ago, the leader of the party that shone at the top of the world as the 1st rank, albeit only for a year.
The last time I saw him was ten years ago, and inevitably, the passage of time can be felt from his appearance.
However, he is still youthful enough to make you think that he isnt a day over fifty. Since he still trains Adventurers to this day, he probably hasnt neglected his own training.
If he said he would dive into a Dungeon right now, I would be far more excited than worried.
Looking at him like this, he really resembles Wraith. No, wait, I guess it should be the other way around.
But the reason I couldnt see that straight away was because of the difference in hair and eye color.
Wraiths hair is a dark blue as deep as the sea, while his fathers hair is brown and so are his eyes.
「Hm? Ah, Wraith takes after his mother.」
Guessing from the way I was looking, Altreed said that.
Im probably staring too much.
「Oh, no I… Sorry for staring.」
「Not at all. You noticed our connection without anyone telling you, right? Which means that theres something that my son and I have in common, huh? Wonder what it could be?」
Somehow, I dont think Wraith told him himself. Wraith probably let it slip to Aerial and then he told Altreed.
Although its not exactly true that no one told me.
It wasnt until Fenix mentioned it, but I did have a sense of deja vu when I first saw him. And that was…
「Your…facial features, I guess.」
「Oho! That makes me happy. Ill tell him that next time.」
He smiled a wide child-like grin.
「Im sorry to interrupt your excitement, but why dont we ask Lem to sit down first?」
We were in the private room of a certain restaurant.
It is not an open place where people usually eat and drink, and there are dividers to protect the privacy of the customers.
「…! Oh, thats right, forgive me. Go on, take a seat. Of course, if you dont want to…」
「Not at all!」
I said that louder than I thought I would.
Face burning red, I sat down across the two of them.
Aerial and Altreed were sitting side by side.
A meal with the current and former 1st rank. Just what have I gotten myself into…?
They are not just strong, they are both beings I admire. And also nervous around.
「Sorry to bother you today. I heard from Aerial that my son has been particularly attached to you, so I wanted to meet you once, if at all possible.」
「No, please. For me to be able to meet you…it is an honor.」
「Ahaha, youre a good kid.」
「Lem isnt just flattering you. I believe he truly is a fan of yours.」
I nod excessively at Aerials follow-up.
「Oh really? That makes me happy. I never thought a young man like you would know about me.」
「When I was little, I always watched you.」
「Is that so? That…mustve been rough.」
Certainly what kids came to like were flashy, magic-slinging Heroes.
There were many kids who called those that fought roughly uncool.
「I thought you were cool. You always gave me courage.」
In front of Fenix, I had a calm face, but when were in a scuffle with a lot of bullies, my heart was beating like crazy.
Even so, I went to help him, so I cant afford to lose.
Even though I wasnt a strong person who could gallantly run around, defeating everyone in an instant.
No matter what I had to do, Ill achieve my goal of helping someone. I will assuredly Clear this Dungeon without giving up, just like the Unyielding Hero.
This time, Altreed reacted honestly.
「I see…Im glad that that was enough to inspire you to become an Adventurer.」
「Im the same as Lem.」
「Ahaha, since when were you so honest?」
Now that I think about it…Aerial did say that he was friends with Wraiths father.
I dont think there was any information about any particular interaction or anything like that between them.
However, considering that Aerial called me after he told him that he wanted to meet me, and their interaction just now, you can tell that theyre friendly with each other.
「Youre right, please forget about the time when we just met.」
「That young boy who said「Theres no way I could become a Hero.」 is now the worlds 1st ranked.」
Aerial scratches his cheek in embarrassment at Altreeds teasing.
「…You never change.」
「I heard that you two were friends.」
「Yeah, were friends. He may be the strongest Hero right now, but a long time ago… Hey dont glare at me like that. You dont wanna destroy your juniors image of you, right? I get it, Ill stop.」
Its probably obvious.
Everyone has several faces. Their face for work is different from their face when at home.
In more detail, faces can be divided into different categories like the face with a loved one, the face with a friend or the face with family.
When youre with allies, when youre with juniors, when youre on TV.
And when youre with an older friend who youve known for a long time.
Aerial is making it very difficult to see that face.
He is the best of the best and an elder person among the Adventurers.
「Were not here today to reminisce, you have business with Lem, right?」
「Ahaha, youre right. Forgive me. As I mentioned earlier, its about my son.」
「Thats a little…He…told me that Im worrying about things I shouldnt have to worry about.」
I dont think I should be the one to tell him about his problems.
But from the looks of it, Altreed seems to be aware of it.
I suppose its only natural.
Because he watched from the beginning, the whole process that turned Wraith into what he is today.
「…Did Wraith tell you that?」
「Of course. Its just…I know its pathetic, but he just wont talk to me.」
Wraiths goal is to succeed using the Unyielding Heros methods and proving to the world that it is right.
His existence is what made Altreed choose to retire. Wraith cant forgive himself for that.
Altreed doesnt think of his retirement as a mistake in the first place.
They have a conflict of opinion, and Wraith doesnt plan to respond to discussions or persuasions.
As a result, the son ignores the father.
「I wonder if this is just his rebellious phase…」
Altreed is understandably depressed.
If anything, I think he respects his father…too much.
He thinks that his father is a strong and cool Hero, enough for him to deny himself.
「When I talked to him about Lem, he said「If you like what my senior has to say, you might listen to him.」.」
Aerial might have heard about what I noticed about Wraiths father from Wraith himself.
Apparently, he didnt talk about the subsequent conversation.
「These things can, yknow, become more complicated if youre an interested party, right?」
That time I left the Fenix party. Fenix tried to stop me, naturally, and then he e-mailed me later to follow up.
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