79 Those In The Background(1)

--- Bell's POV ---

A Week before the War.

"...I will stand in the front lines, Hestia-sama. If what they told you is true, then I have a duty to avenge her," I said, my voice trembling with grief.

My words caused everyone to turn their heads toward me, and I could see concern etched on their faces. But I couldn't back down now.

"But..." Lili started to protest.

I shook my head, the pain of loss gnawing at my heart. If those responsible for what we went through were truly connected to the ones we lost, then they had to pay for their actions.

I won't forgive them.

I gripped my dagger tightly, my knuckles turning white. Memories of her and the Takemikazuchi Familia flooded my mind, and my gaze became lost in those bittersweet moments.

Even if it meant staining this dagger with their blood, my determination wouldn't waver.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to live in this World, not after the pain they've caused us. I will make sure justice is served, for her sake.

"In that case, you'll have to take us along, Bell," Welf insisted, his determination clear in his eyes. Although I could have refused him, I saw the same anger burning within him, mirroring my own. But the one who seemed to carry the most profound anger was...


She had been the closest to Yamato Mikoto, and this whole situation had hit her the hardest. She hadn't eaten for days until we practically forced her to, and her vacant stares reminded me of my own lost self before I found my purpose.

So, I approached her.

I didn't try to console her with empty words. Instead, I made a promise to her—I swore that I would find those responsible and put an end to them.

I knew it would take time for me to grow strong enough for such a task, but I didn't care. As long as I was alive, there was hope.

Finally, my words caught her attention, and her once lifeless eyes locked onto mine before she replied, "...I will assist you."

How could I refuse such an offer? All I could do was nod in acceptance.

Yet, little did I realize the glimmer behind her eyes as she spoke those words...


The day of the War.

I saw everyone around me eager to fight, but some seemed wary of the unknown enemies we were supposed to face. Instead, a group of masked individuals appeared, babbling about their 'Lords' or some nonsense, which only made the adventurers laugh their asses off.

However, I didn't underestimate them just because of their fanatic beliefs. I could see a little of myself in them, as I, too, clung to my dream of becoming a hero for so long that when I lost my way, I felt like a puppet with its strings cut.

It hurts to admit that I needed the death of a friend and fellow Familia member to realize my foolishness.

This world is harsher and uglier than I ever imagined, and to survive, I must be just as ruthless. My hero fantasy has to be grounded in reality.

But that doesn't mean I've given up on my dream; I wouldn't know how to face my grandfather after death if I did. It's just that I've come to accept I can't be the same as I used to be.

As I slit Twelve's throat, I couldn't help but wonder if I would have had the courage and determination to kill a non-monster before. However, now was not the time for such thoughts, as I noticed them regenerating at an alarming speed, similar to the monsters from the Dungeon.

They must be connected in some way.

While stealing a glance at the main character, Ren Von Seraphis, who was battling the strongest among them, I almost smiled.

I wonder why he didn't dispose of an annoyance like me when he had the chance.

Struggling to end Twelve's life, I couldn't help but admire his power.

He effortlessly overpowered the strongest among them, proving himself to be the true hero compared to me. However, he never entertained any fantasies of being one. Everyone relied on him subconsciously at this moment, but he seemed indifferent to it all. As long as Ais-san was safe, he probably wouldn't even bat an eye if the rest of us died.

I respected his way of thinking. He didn't form strong attachments, nor did he rely on anyone else.

Still, this was an opportunity to learn from the strongest. So, I focused on them while trying to take down as many masked individuals as possible...

Some of them proved to be too formidable as they started to group up. Just when one of them was about to strike me, a wooden sword intercepted the blow.

"Are you alright?" a voice called out.

"Ryuu-san! I didn't expect you to be here," I said, surprised to see her.

I knew she didn't particularly enjoy fighting after what she had to go through, so I had assumed she'd stay back in Orario. It seemed she had her reasons to be here, or maybe she wanted to protect the city too; I wasn't sure. Nevertheless, I was relieved to see her alive.

Amidst all the turmoil we faced, there was no time to visit the Hostess of Fertility. I could only hope everyone was safe until now, but hoping and actually seeing the safety of our friends were two different things...


Author's Note:

Some break to see from someone else's POV, also the dynamic behind this will be explained further and we'll introduce some characters from the Original. Of course, all the Numbers so far are also original characters, as stated already by Malachi's POV.

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