The Playboy got Sacked.
That’s what the Hero said.
‘This cliché again?’ I couldn’t help but think to myself.
It was a cramped back room in a small inn on the capital’s outskirts.
Those three heroic companions of mine accused me.
It seems the charge is “Why did you run from the Demon Continent?”
This party of four heroes:
‘Conquering Sword Hero’ ――Laius.
‘Mage Hero’ ――Aiza.
‘Saintly Hero’ ――Mills.
‘Playboy’ ――Dylan. By the way, that’s me.
Anyways, I want you to remember that we’re not exactly all equals here.
I’m just an underling to those Heroes.
I guess it’s sort of like having ranks in the army.
This party of ours formed to defeat the Demon King, enemy of all mankind. That’s why we went to that Demon Continent.
But, we were defeated and high-tailed it.
Since we got crushed that badly, it might cause a bit of bother back in the human lands. Really, sorry about that. Everyone put their hopes on us. Lots of people helped us along the way. So many peopled cheered us on. But, it turned out like this…
By the way, these ‘Heroes’ are pretty self-centred guys.
It was only three days after escaping the Demon Continent.
Conquering Sword had his head in his hands, moaning “I was going to be a hero…! I was going get my name etched into legend…!”
Mage Hero was biting her nails, “I was going to be royalty…! I could have married an Emperor…! I would have lived gloriously as the next Emperor’s mother…!”, muttering about something like that.
Saintly Hero was utterly despondent, “I was going to spread the absolute teachings of Monte…”, tears stained her face. That’s kinda scary, actually.
As for me, “…Well, our ship has sunk. A shame considering how many people helped build it”, was all that I said.
“This is all your fault, you know!”
“It’s only natural for peons like you to serve the Hero! In fact, you should be grateful!”
“A ship built with the teachings of Tamiwa, it is only natural that it would sink.”
Why is it these guys only get along when it’s to gang up on me?
Well, can’t help it.
We messed up our only chance.
Laius barks some more.
“Why did you use a teleportation crystal!? Because of your cowardice, everything is lost!
A teleportation crystal is an item that can transport you instantly to a set destination. Pretty convenient, but damn pricey.
I used it to escape from that Demon Continent.
I wanted to live.
As a result, we’re now in a small inn just outside the capital. Seems like we’re all safe.
Laius shouts some more.
“That was our last chance! Our ship is sunk, the transitional boundary was destroyed, we have no way to get back to the Demon Continent! Do you get it!? It took us an entire year to get there! We used the ‘Concealed Nimbus Crystal’ that the King gave us, the holy sword is broken and we’ve used up all our food and travelling money! We don’t get another shot! This was our one and only chance to defeat the Demon King!”
This guy is two years older than me ―― he’s 25. Maybe it’s because we were born in the same place, but his whole seniority schtick really pisses me off. So you were born two years earlier than me, why does that make you so high and mighty?
Besides, you don’t really give a damn about this being the last chance to defeat the Demon King, you’re just mad because you missed out on your chance to be famous.
“And yet you decided on your own to escape from the Demon Continent! Take us back, damn it! Answer me! Why did you use the teleportation crystal!?”
The role of the ‘Playboy’ is to keep the gears of the party turning.
These guys are just a jumble of star players on one team. They might be pretty great on their own, but they don’t really take well to cooperating. A mismatched party brought together by the Alliance who got it into their heads that a party made of the strongest people will have to be the strongest party. So, the failures get blamed on me.
It’s just how it is.
I was going to do my part as the comedic relief and laugh as frivolously as before, but…
“Don’t give me that, Laius.”
It was probably because, at that time, I was having to go through all sorts. Ever since we escaped, I had been losing a lot of sleep trying to raise funds for the party and secure accommodation.
“If I didn’t use the crystals, we’d have been wiped out.”
“What did you say…!?”
When I answered honestly, Laius’ face became stern. He’s pissed. Crap, I messed up.
From that point on, I just told them the facts.
The ship sank, the food was gone, the sacred treasure and the holy sword got trashed, and we hadn’t even beat the Demon King’s generals?
How exactly do you expect us to reach the Demon King in that sorry state?
I mean, we almost got killed by that general, right?
Rather, you guys should be thankful we even got out of that place alive.
“That’s not true! I could have turned things around from there!”
Nah, when your holy sword broke you cried and begged in front of that demon general ‘Please spare me, don’t kill me!’… Well, I begged as well… Except I was just trying to buy time to use the teleportation crystal…
“That sword idiot is right for once. We could have still launched a counterattack.”
This time it was the turn of the ‘Mage Hero’ to pipe up.
She was a haughty girl from a noble family. She thought of everyone except for herself as mere worms beneath her feet.
I answered her.
“With what MP, exactly?”
“W-why do you know that…!? L-Liar! I had not run out! Don’t say such ridiculous things! How dare you speak about magic when you cannot even use it!?”
“No, I just counted the number of times you used your magic…?”
“Liar! You did no such thing! Keeping track of such a thing in battle is impossible! Or, were you leering at me throughout!? You’re disgusting!”
No, calling me disgusting is…
If anything, it’s crazy that you aren’t keeping tabs on your allies in a battle…
Then, the woman sitting next to her opened her mouth.
“On behalf of our god Monte, I shall hear your repentance.”
The Saintly Hero, dressed in a priest’s vestments.
“If you had simply let me be, I would have let that fiend meet its maker. Why did you deny me the opportunity?”
“Hahaha, so even you tell jokes? It was impossible, because back then Aiza had tried to unleash the power in her staff after running out of MP and the general’s minions who sensed it put up magical barriers. If you used that instant kill spell you have, wouldn’t it have just rebounded and killed you, Mills?”
“It is not an instant death spell! It is the Ascension of the Saint!!”
“Oh, right, sorry about that.”
“Monte is a generous God, so he shall forgive you this one trespass. But there shall not be a next time.”
“Yes yes, thank you very much. Oh, merciful Monte.”
You bitch, trying to pull me up on such a dumb mistake…
As I lapsed back into my comedy routine, Laius yelled at me shrilly.
“Oi, Dylan! If you knew all that then why didn’t you do anything!?”
“But I did, I used the teleportation crystals and…”
“Don’t be an idiot! That was the worst move! If you just killed that guy, we could have won! Why were you just watching!?!”
“Ehh… My skills are based on stealth… You should know that…”
“That’s just goddamn useless! Why don’t you pull your weight once in a while!? You’re always just hanging around us like pointless garbage!”
Here we go. It’s arrived. The preaching is about to begin. Although it’s a pretty angry sermon.
If I tried to argue back, he’d just drone on for three times as long. It’s a waste of time.
What a pain in the ass. Of course, I won’t let it show on my face. I put on my best apologetic face and…
“Are you!? Because you’re such a worthless idiot, I’ve had a really tough time! After all this, I kept you around because I thought you might eventually be useful, but now you repay me with this!?”
“…I’m really sorry.”
That’s what I said, the jester in the tuxedo.
“Enough! You’re fired! Never show your face around me again!!”
“…Okay, thanks for everything until now.”
I stand up and turn on my heels.
This is also just the usual exchange, this stupid hero is about to say ‘I’m sorry about before. Please don’t leave the party’. I waited for that typical turn of events.
Ahh, but, I wonder if this is fine?
Throwing away the last chance at the Demon Continent, I think this party is done for. If we return like this, we’ll completely lose our credibility in the eyes of the Alliance. We’ll just be stripped of the ‘Hero’ titles and some other adventurers will be called ‘Heroes’ instead.
Honestly, maybe this firing is a blessing in disguise?
Wanting to defeat the Demon King, I had endured everything up till now.
But, really, I’m sick of looking after these guys.
As I was thinking that,
“No matter how much you bow and scrape this time, I won’t forgive you. Oi, Dylan, give me all your gear and whatever you’ve got in your wallet.”
“Are you deaf? Put everything you have on the table and get out of here. You aren’t in this party anymore.”
Was he always this dumb?
You can’t even talk to those two if I don’t play third wheel.
Well, whatever. Let’s just get kicked out.
I pretended to be shocked, left my items and money on the table, and left the room.
Those three people I formed a party with, who I traveled together with for three years,
None of them said a word as I walked out the door.
◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
“For now, guess I’ve gotta earn some cash.”
I mumbled as I played with the empty wallet in my hand.
“It’s been quite a while since I’ve done street performance.”
Fortunately, I’m in the capital. There’s a lot of pedestrians. In other words, a lot of customers.
I set up the magic tool I hid in the middle of the street.
Now if I turn my hat upside down on the ground, it’s all ready.
Why did I hide a magic tool instead of some money, you ask?
The answer is simple. Because I can start earning right away.
My Jester level is 99.
“Alriiight, let’s get started ―― Dance”
I dance and twirl around on the spot. In time with my movements, a band of light forms around me and pulsates.
The Jester’s skill, Dance, is sort of like magic. Instead of using MP, I just need to keep dancing.
“Wow, it’s pretty!”
“Oooh, a street performer!”
“Nice, dance dance~!”
“Oh gosh, they’re like flowers!”
As I dance, flowers of light begin to bloom here and there.
My Dance captures people’s fascination.
Basically, I bewitch them.
Phantom dancing girls appeared out of thin air beside me and danced in time with my rhythm.
Ah, how nostalgic. Using a dance like this, I could dazzle an entire group of monsters and Aiza would wipe them out using magic.
“Next up it’s time for ―― Magic Trick.”
I take out a pack of cards from my breast pocket and begin shuffling.
Then from my palms even more cards shot out.
The cards don’t stop.
Wrapping around me and piling into a shape on the ground, they eventually form into a dragon.
And that dragon, it moved. Mounting the dragon made out of playing cards, I took to the sky and circled above the spectators.
“Wowwwwwwww! That’s amazing!”
“A dragon made out of cards!”
“Eh? Magic? Is that magic!?”
People scream with delight.
Yep, this feels great. I missed this feeling. I sometimes put Mills on a dragon like this, letting her reach injured people far away.
“Last but not least, Teleporation!”
With a puff, I vanished.
At the same time, the playing cards crumpled and fell.
“Wha-!? Where did he go!?
The playing cards on the floor shifted as if they heard the reactions of the crowd.
The cards shifted and stirred, then formed the shapes of many people.
Then they collapsed once more, revealing a copy of me inside every stack.
From the cards that had crumpled to the floor, we now basked in the spotlight.
” “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!” ”
The spectators rushed to have a look.
They’re full of bewilderment and excitement. Ah, it’s such a thrill. Ah, even this is nostalgic. When that idiot Rios got himself into a pinch, I’d bail him out with my alter ego.
The copies made from beneath the cards collapse into cards themselves.
What’s more, all the playing cards burn away with a pop.
“It burned, they burned up!”
Eventually, the flames form into a human shape.
“――Did you all have fun!?”
I finally revealed myself.
The people of the city seem to be pretty dumbfounded by the display.
As soon as I point out my upside down hat, it’s filled to the brim with money before I can even blink.
I picked it back up and nodded.
“一This should be good for about a month, I think.”
When I was partying with the ‘Heroes’, I was always forbidden from doing stuff like this because ‘It’s beneath a Hero to give street performances’ and so on.
Hmm. Yep. Doing a little public show like that feels really good after such a long time.
Organizing the cash in my wallet, I pocket it casually.
“Oh, Dylan…! That’s Dylan, is it not….? The legendary jester…!”
It seems like there’s someone who knows me.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been called something other than ‘Dylan the Playboy'”.
“I knew it! Now, Dylan! Why don’t we partner up and have you perform for the nobles!? We’ll be filthy rich!”
I see, it seems to be a merchant who has his ins with the nobility.
As much as I love money, I shook my head.
“Sorry, but I’ve got other plans.”
“W-what a waste! What could possibly be better than this!?”
“――A change of job.”
Turning my back on the stunned merchant, I walk off.
――Hey, Heroes. Do you guys know?
A Jester who has reached level 99 can become a ‘Sage’.
“Hey, life, let’s have a rewrite.”
I’m done playing the clown.
From here on out, I’m going to be taking the leading role.