C5: Prologue (5)
The Knight Commander tilted his head at the unfamiliar words. A murmur of doubt rises from the other knights. Even the members of the hero party who knew the meaning of the word “thief” looked dumbfounded. In spite of the confusion around him, Kagehiko continued his explanation with a sense of pride.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to be like him. I’ve always wanted to be as famous as Arsene Lupin. He is majestic like Ishikawa Goemon, benevolent like Nezumi Kozō and as brilliant as Cat’s Eye. I’ve always wanted to be a great thief, like Lupin the Third, who leaves a mark on people’s hearts. In Japan, I could never achieve such a dream, but in this world, I could, couldn’t I?”
Everyone was dumbfounded and speechless as they listened to Kagehiko’s speech. After a moment of silence, the Knight Commander asked Kagehiko, as if he had finally remembered how to speak.
“Thief……thief, you say? Do you really want to give up the honor of defeating the Demon King for something like that? Are you going to throw away your chance at a nobleman’s position in this country?”
“There’s a line from a great thief I admire. The key to enjoying life is how many stupid things you can think of. I always thought it would be best if I could go back to my world, but if that’s not possible, then I’ll just enjoy my life here as much as I can.”
Kagehiko put his hand in his pocket and took out a silver mask. It was not a magic item, but something he had picked up by chance at a general store he had stopped at on his journey to defeat the Demon King. The mask was large enough to cover the top half of his face, and he proudly placed it over his face and declared.
“Gentlemen! Do not forget this day! This is the day the first thief was born in this world!”
Declaring, Kagehiko activates his magic.
“3rd rank magic [Flower Blows Snow]!”
Colorful flower petals erupted from Kagehiko’s hands and enveloped the throne room. It was a storm of flowers with no offensive power, but the smell and force of the flowers swallowed them up, causing even the Knight Commander to fall to one knee.
“Oh, my God!”
“I can’t see a thing!”
A storm of flower petals blew, and the other knights voiced their confusion. When the storm eventually stopped, Kagehiko, who was supposed to be standing next to the throne, was nowhere to be found.
“Damn it, he’s getting away! Protect the king! The rest of you, find Sage Kurono!”
The knights dug up the king who was buried in a pile of flowers. The king, who was nearly suffocated by the petals, was rescued just in the nick of time.
“Sage Kurono! Don’t think you can get away with doing this to me! Catch him and hang him!”
“Lock up all the heroes too.”
The king froze, staring at the space where the heroes had been a moment ago. Kagehiko as well as the other three members of the hero party were nowhere to be seen.
“Find them! Don’t let the heroes escape! If they disappear, this country will be……!”
The king had already declared war on the neighboring country. There was no way he could go back now. The only thing that awaits the Brave Kingdom is a future of ruin if the hero party disappears.
“Do whatever it takes to find them.”
The poor old man’s screams echoed throughout the castle. Desperately searching for the heroes, they had not yet noticed. The treasure room in the basement of the castle has been emptied to the bone. All of the funds collected from the surrounding countries to defeat the Demon King, as well as the magic items brought back by the hero party from the Demon King’s castle, have all disappeared.