Chapter 1 : Everyone Calls Me ‘Donketsu-Hanna’
*/Donketsu : someone with the lowest rank, place, or level among others
I’ve always loved reading adventure stories.
The legend of the hero who defeated the demon lord.
The history of a saint who calmed a devil.
Anecdote of a thief who challenged the great labyrinth.
I saw myself as the main character of the story and enjoyed the adventures over and over again.
Combining forces with comrades, defeating strong enemies, overcoming difficulties, and fulfilling the mission…… It’s so cool, isn’t it!
Everytime I turned a page, my hands trembled, my heart pounded, and my head… became dumb for some reason.
My favorite story was a story about an elf who manipulates a rapier sprinkled with jewels.
The story of the Sword Princess, Laney.
With the rapier that could penetrate dragon scales, she killed dragons, wiped off flocks of silver wolves, and pierced the heart of a vampire.
There were plenty of stories about her who has been adventuring for hundreds of years.
But, I admired her not only because she was strong and coolー
「Hanna, what are you reading?」
I was engrossed in reading a book until someone called me.
She was an elf with golden hair and emerald eyes.
Yes. She was the Sword Princess, Laney.
Long ago, my hometown was attacked by monsters and perished.
Laney happened to pass by my destroyed hometown and found the only surviving baby.
She then decided to raise the baby. Yes. That baby was me.
For a long-lived elf, ten years might be a short time.
But still, for my sake, a famous adventurer like her, left the front line and focused on raising me. Isn’t it amazing?
「I’m reading the book about you, Laney」
「Again!? Haahh…. Just from whom you always got books about me?」
「Honestly, I’d really like to hear the story directly from Laney」
「N, No way! That would be embarrassing! Hanna, listen. It’s half nonsense and half exaggerated story, you know! Never believe those books!」
Not only strong, cool and kind, Nelly was also shy. That’s why I love her.
However, I couldn’t call her “Mom”. That’s because I’ve always felt indebted.
Besides, our race is different, our look is different, our ability is different. Even if we walked side by side, no one would think we are mother and daughter.
But, I’ve always been wondering, if I become an adventurer, can I get even closer to her?
「……Laney… If I become an adventurer someday… can I join you in your adventure?」
After I asked that, Laney stiffened, and then she smiled.
「Hanna… You don’t have to be an adventurer」
「Eh!? But why? Is it because I’m slow and not suitable for being an adventurer?」
「No. Not that. I just don’t want my sweet Hana to be in danger」
Laney stroked my head.
I felt so fluffy~ But! I won’t give up!
「It’s gonna be okay! If I’m with Laney, there’s nothing dangerous at all! Right? Right?」
「…. A, Ahh… You’re right. When you become an adventurer, maybe it’s not a bad idea to travel with you…」
She said that, but for some reason, I had a feeling that Laney really didn’t think that I could become an adventurer.
But anyway, she gave me her word.
There’s still a chance for me to go on an adventure with the Sword Princess Laney!
She promised already! She can’t say that it was a lie anymore!
And all I have to do is just become an adventurer. It’s gonna be easy peasy~
………That was what I thought when I was young.
And now…… The scene is changed to the current time.
In the courtyard of Sortlarc Adventurer School, the place where the future heroes were raised, Hanna wasー
「―― Hanna Falsett! Stop fooling around!」
ーscolded by a teacher in the middle of thrusting practice with a rapier.
「Y, Yes ma’am…」
「Look! You play around again! Don’t try to make your teacher laugh!」
When I was wondering how to make an excuse, my classmates burst out laughing.
「Senseiー Actually, Hanna was doing it seriously, but as you can see, she sucks!」
「She has a permanent ‘level 0 sword’! Hahaha」
I turned my face down while holding tears.
「Hanna, are you really doing it seriously?」
She was a new teacher, so she probably didn’t know.
Yes. I didn’t have sword talent at all.
I unbelievably suck at swords.
Laney once told me this before she left me.
『You should cherish tools. Every single tool. Because God dwells in them』
In this world, tools can be leveled up.
If the level of a quill pen increases, you can write faster and better.
If the level of a kitchen knife increases, the sharper it will be and the fresher the food that is cut using it.
If the level of a magic staff increases, you can control the magical power around you and become better at using magic.
Not only will you be better at using the tools, but it will also affect your abilities as a user, such as the ability to think fast and have a stronger body.
It’s to adjust your body when using a high level tool so that you can use it well.
It is said that if you level up even if it’s only one level, you will see the world differently.
But me, Hanna Falsett.
Entered the Sortlarc Adventurer School at age 12.
Sword level still…. 0.
I’ve been refining my sword technique for two years, but… I can’t say my sword skill has improved even just as a flattery…
A weak-kneed stance, swaying sword tip, sluggish thrust…
Let alone killing a monster, my thrust is so slow that it can’t even kill an insect.
With my short height, bob-cut hair, out-of-date hair ornaments, and country-side-like fashion, I look really lame when I’m wielding a sword.
Even though I always stayed and practiced after everyone returned home, my sword level didn’t rise even or a bit.
After I thought I really didn’t have sword talent, I tried to use other weapons.
However, after I tried using a spear, an axe, or a magic staff, the level remained zero.
I also tried using magic, but, nope…
Let alone controlling a weapon, the weapon itself controls my life!
「It can’t be helped, because… You’re Donketsu-Hanna!」
「I bet it’s easy to live as a permanent donketsu, because you have no worries about being overtaken by others」
「Yeah, she’s always fighting against herself. Hyuu~ so cool~!」
I didn’t know when they started to call me like that.
Contrary to【Sword Princess】, the nickname which I admire, everyone gave me a disgraceful nickname.
「Donketsuー! Donketsuー! Donketsuー!」
The word that meant the weakest in the adventurer school.
「Donketsuー! Donketsuー! Donketsuー! Donketsu-Hannaー!」
Every time they call me like that, my heart becomes dull and the light slowly fades from my heart.
I felt like I’m the worthless human being ever who wasn’t worth living. Trash among trash. A pig that only waste food.
Oh, wait, a pig is useful, right? It can be eaten by people, so I’m less than a pig, huh?
All I can do is maybe… being everyone’s stress-relieving tool?
BUT! Even someone like me has PRIDE!
Even if I was covered in blood and mud, I would never throw away my dream!
I must and I will become an adventurer, so that I can see Laney again! After that, we are going to go on an adventure together!
Believing that, I continue to struggle to become an adventurer.