Barely Noticed Heroism

“So, what are you going to do, ‘Hero’? Your precious allies fell by my blade, and you still think that you can defeat me?”

“…”

To my surprise, I can hear that conversation between my leader and our force’s enemy.

I thought I died. Wasn’t I supposed to be dead? Maybe I’m just lucky.

I try to stand up. Pain flows through my body. I hear small cracks as I move my limbs. My right arm does not move no matter how much I try. My left leg…limbs don’t bend that way.

Still, I try to stand up. Maybe I shouldn’t, considering that I would probably die again. But for a soldier like me, death isn’t supposed to be a scary thing. Getting close to it is part of the job. If you don’t accept that you can die more easily in the battlefield, then you are not fit to be a soldier. What’s motivating me to stand is a different kind of fear.

It’s the fear of dying while being insignificant.

As I limp towards where the two leaders are having the typical good versus evil dialogue that I’ve read in stories, I notice that they don’t even seem to notice the clinking and clanking of my battered armor. I guess some people would say it’s a good thing, but to me, I don’t think so. It shows how insignificant I am. Sure, my leader shows that he cares for me and my fellow soldiers, but I feel like he cares too much. He shoulders the burden so much that we fail to grow stronger. His past actions–such as keeping us relatively normal soldiers out of the battlefield and in whatever dream that doesn’t involve the battlefield–shows how stupid he is. He treats us like how those old heroes treated women. I’m sure glad that one of us is quite an assertive swordswoman. Too bad she died, though. She was someone I wanted to ask out on a date.

“Try and catch me, ‘Hero’!”

“Get back here!”

Looks like they’ve started fighting. From the flapping of wings and the figure zipping around in the air, the boss villain’s winged, huh? If only my leader here had at least one archer or a javelin thrower well-trained and alive…we probably would have been able to shoot that guy down. Our archers got turned into dust by the villain’s flames right before we entered the castle. As for our lancers and mages, they were blasted along with me and the remaining troops here in the throne room when we tried to be reinforcements for our leader.

And here I am, some soldier who our leader most likely sees as weak, crawling up the wide and long flight of stairs, trying to be of use.

I was forced to stay out of the war by my leader, who asked me to find what I wanted to do in life. I said that I wanted to protect people as a soldier, but he told me that such a task is for the chosen one and no one else.

Because of that stupid mindset of his, the forces that were supposed to help him tried to protect him from the shadows. In war, we had no time and place for the dreams that did not involve the battlefield. Our dream was to restore peace, and in our lives, we have learned through victories and defeats that fighting alone is foolish.

Our leader does not understand the importance of allies.

“Have you forgotten that I’m half-god?”

“You overestimate yourself, ‘Hero’!”

Our leader may be a demigod, but he is still human, imperfect. I agree with the villain. The “Hero” is overestimating himself.

“Ugh!”

“Now, see your foolishness and die!”

Huh, the “Hero” is going to get killed, and I’ve already finished climbing up the stairs. The “Hero” is right in front of me, and his back is facing towards me. The villain is up above, about to fire a burst of black flame out of his hand.

Time to use my remaining strength for the betterment of the “Hero,” then.

I take my left arm from my right arm and use it to grab and pull the “Hero.”

I whisper the following words into his ear as I try to throw him down the stairs:

“Don’t forget me, your allies, and your weaknesses, you idiot. Now, retreat.”

And I manage to get him to crash down the flight of stairs. He has his helm, so I believe that his head is well-protected.

Meanwhile, I got blasted by black flame.

I’m flying away.

I want to scream, but my burnt throat can’t.

The stinging is unbearable.

I hear the muffled sound of crashing armor. That was probably me.

I hear flapping of wings, and I hear metal clinking and clanking away from me.

I see the blurred form of the villain just standing in front of me.

As my senses stop functioning, I feel like smiling.

So, I smiled.

“How brave of you. Perhaps you and your fallen comrades should be considered the real heroes, soldier.”

I wanted to thank the villain and laugh in amusement and pride at that, and even tell him my name, but…a silent thanks in my mind is all I could give in return.

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