The princess, the man with the stick, the group of heroes and all but two of the Royal Guard left the summoning room and started heading back through the tunnel. The two Royal Guards remained behind to safeguard in case there was a delay in the ninth hero to appear, or that an enemy may appear to damage that room and the summoning circle.
While walking behind the man with the stick, Gram asked, “Princess, please explain to us the situation that we’re currently in?”
The princess looked sad when she said, “Right now, we are under an alien attack.”
“What? You’re under alien attack?!” Vikram exclaimed, looking mightily amazed.
“Yes,” Erza, the princess that summoned them, replied with a nod of her head. “The attacks started a month ago and we have lost several cities. That’s why I was forced to summon the heroes that once swore they would protect us in the past.”
“I see. That explains the real reason why we were summoned,” replied Gram, nodding his head in understanding. Then, looking concerned, he asked, “Still, that leaves us with the problem of not having weapons and any experience in live battle. I mean, even if I grew up with certain skills with the sword and the rest possess knowledge, it’s still not really good that we have no actual combat experience.”
“Dude! Be positive!” Vikram said loudly, with a cheerful smile on his face. “Sure! We might not all be cut out for battle, but still we’re here, aren’t we? We’re the chosen heroes, right? That means we’ve got something up our sleaves that we don’t know about yet, and I believe we’ll discover it here!”
“Don’t make light of our situation, fool. That still won’t solve our experience problems. Remember, we’re all from different worlds and times, so we’re out of place here,” replied Gram in a stern voice. “Getting adjusted to this place, this world’s predicament and what we have to do is a difficult thing to take in, let alone accept that we must do battle with no practical experience.”
“That negative energy of yours will bring everyone down!” Vikram retaliated, grinning broadly. “Think positive! Sure! We lack experience in battle, but so what? Surely there’s some kind of ability that we have that’ll compensate to that, right? Am I right?”
He asked the last question by turning to face the princess and the man, who was supporting himself with a stick. The princess was hesitant, but the man moved forward and said, “Yes. Legends describe that each weapon made for each individual hero was special and unique in its own way.”
“See? What’d I say?” Vikram asked, smiling genially at Gram. “All we got to do is summon them, and I think that’s pretty simple.” He held out his hand in front of him while everyone stopped and turned to watch him as he said, “Come forth my weapon!”
There was a moment of silence as nothing happened and as time ticked and nothing seemed to be happening, Vikram’s face began to sweat. The rest of the group stared at him with incredulously looks on their faces while Gram made a direct comment, stating his opinion.
“You look like an idiot.”
“Shut up!” Vikram shouted, glaring irritably at everyone. “It’s obvious the commands are unique as well! We fail once, so what? We try again until we succeed!” Then, focusing on his hand once more, he said in a more firmer voice, “Summon!”
There was an instantaneous flash of light that caused everyone to cover their eyes and exclaim their shock. A few seconds later, the light died down and allowed them to remove uncover their eyes to witness something quite surprising. Vikram was holding onto an object that seemed to be made of plastic, with a curve at the top while either side had round holes to fit into something.
Vikram stood there, dumbfounded, as he stared at the pair of headphones that he held in his hands. Everyone was staring at it, then at him and then back at the object with puzzled expressions on their faces. None of them knew just how to take this sign of possessing some kind of equipment to help them do battle.
“What’s that?” William asked, having never before seen such an item in his life.
“That’s called a headphone and it’s used to listen to music by placing it around your ears,” explained Gram, having recognised the item before anyone else and wore an expression of dissatisfaction.
“Oh! It’s like listening to the travelling band, but directly through that, ah? That’s nice,” replied William in a satisfied voice.
By the time he finished speaking, Vikram recovered from his shock and asked, “What… is this…?”
“That’s a headphone,” replied Gram sardonically.
“I know what this is!” Vikram replied irritably, shaking the item while looking very annoyed. “What’s I’m asking is; this is my weapon? Seriously?! What the hell were the gods thinking?!”
“Ah!” Erza said quickly, raising her voice to stop the hero from speaking anything more negative about the gods. “Please don’t speak so negatively about the mightily deities. You will upset them.”
“I’m the one upset here for having these as my weapons?! Seriously! What the hell do I do? Throw them at the enemy and hope like hell it does something? Ah? It that the point or what?!”
There was no response from anyone there, which Gram used to extend his own hand out and say, “Summon.”
In an instant, there was a flash of light and it quickly died down to reveal a silver sword hovering above his hand. He looked amazed and grasped the sword with his hand. As soon as he caught it, his eyes widened in amazement as information on the basic combat experience and ability of the weapon flowed into Gram’s mind.
“You’re kidding me…! You’re got to be kidding me!” Vikram exclaimed, incensed by the unfairness that his ally got a proper weapon while he got something that was not an actual weapon. He turned to look up at the ceiling and started shouting, “Dammit! I want a refund! I want an exchange! Give me something proper like his! Please gods! Please!”
There was no response as expected, which further angered him to a great extent, but Martin quickly intervened by saying, “Calm down. I think, from what the old man said, our weapons are unique and function in their own way in helping us in combat.”
Vikram turned to face him with lifeless eyes and asked, “What the hell do I do with these headphones? Ah? What do I do with them? Expalin!”
Martin leaned back in surprise from the intimidation he received from the clear annoyed aura that surrounded Vikram. It was Gram who finally spoke by saying, “Who’s being negative now?” When Vikram turned to glare at him, Gram continued to say, “You’re the one who told us to think positive, so what’s the matter with you? Get a grip and find a way.”
Vikram wanted to retort, but he realised that he would be walking into a trap and simply returned to grinning while saying, “Alright. I guess I’ve got no choice, so I’ll do what I can, but watch me, dude! I’ll prove that my weapon surpasses your goddamn sword!”
Gram merely shrugged his shoulders in indifference and flatly replied, “Good luck.” Then, as everyone else began to summon their weapons and each showed their separate reactions to the kind of object they summoned, he spoke to the princess by saying, “It seems that our items possess basic combat knowledge and skills to help us through initially. After that, it’s up to us to improve on them and get better. Quite a good thing actually.”
“Ah. I see. Thank goodness for that,” said Erza, looking quite relieved from the sadness she seemed to have become upset by the sadness Vikram showed a moment ago.
“Okay. So, I got a gauntlet?” Martin asked, staring at the gauntlets that had suddenly materialised and already equipped to his right hand. “Does that mean I punch things harder than normal?”
“I guess so,” said Fred, who was standing next to him clutching into a shield with a dubious expression on his face. “I guess I’m the Shield Hero? Mmm. I don’t know how useful this is compared to headphones, but okay.”
“Better than headphones,” commented Gram, causing Vikram’s grin to twitch as his anger for the man attempted to show on his face.
Meanwhile, Maxwell was holding onto a small object in his hand that was metallic in build and was made in an ‘L’ shape. There was a pressing mechanism at the other end of where the hand is supposed to hold the weapon, which looked like it was supposed to launch something from the weapon.
“A gun…!” Maxwell said, his hands shaking slightly as he held the object he quickly recognised and felt satisfaction from it. “Finally, something I can recognise.”
“Be careful with it, Maxwell. It’s a dangerous weapon, more dangerous than a sword,” said Gram warningly to his fellow hero.
Maxwell accepted the warning and smiled as he said, “Well, of course. It’s a given that I need to be careful with this.”
“These don’t make sense,” said Natsu, who was holding out a pair of Golden Wrist Bands that were supposed to be worn around the wrist on both hands. “Any explanation what they’re supposed to be used for? Mmm?”
At that moment, they heard a loud shout from William, who seemed to have recovered from the shock of seeing the weapon he got, which was a pair of weapon and a quiver full of arrows.
“What’s the meaning of this?!” He exclaimed, staring angrily at his weapons in disbelief. “I’m a bowman! That’s ridiculous! I’m a spearman, not some guy who sits behind enemy lines and fires things at people! Come on! This is totally wrong!”
The princess, shocked by his disapproval voice, did not know what to say as the choices of what the heroes got was not up to her. So, she lowered her head and apologised by saying, “I’m very sorry, but the gods must think you are deserving of the weapons you received.”
“Hey! Don’t get so angry at her!” Fred said, indignantly while facing William. “It’s not up to her to decide what we get as heroes, so calm down! Seriously! You’re hurting her!”
“So, what?” William asked with a very angry look on his face.
At that moment, he sensed a dangerous aura coming from one of the heroes, and he turned to see Gram giving him a side long glance. Actually, it was more like a deadly glare than a glance because it contained both a warning and a threat.
“Deal with it, William,” said Gram in a quiet voice, which instantly made William gulp because of the intimidation he felt from the hero wielding a sword.
“Tch! Fine! It’s not like I have a choice or anything here, right?” William said grudgingly, resigning to the weapons he has.
As things began to settle in between them, they suddenly heard a voice speak simultaneously in their heads, saying, “Excuse me? Can you all hear me?”
This startled everyone and made William become very frightened, causing him to say, “Oh my god! I hear a voice in my head! It must be a devil! It’s trying to control me!”
“I’m not a devil, I’m a fellow hero like you. See? I’m standing behind you. Just turn around,” the voice directed them, and they all turned around to see the eighth member of the hero group. He was holding onto a book with his hands, which was currently open at a certain pain and, when they all turned to face him, he looked apologetic as he telepathically said, “I am sorry for not being able to speak, but this is the best that I can do to mimic my voice by speaking directly into your minds.”
The first one to react was William, who heaved a deep sigh and said, “Oh. So, it wasn’t the devil. It’s just you?”
To that, the mute man nodded and telepathically said, “Yes. Sorry for suddenly scaring you, but I found out that I could speak like this after getting this book as my supposed weapon.” He turned to face the princess and finally introduced himself by telepathically saying, “Sorry for the late introduction, princess. My name is Ward Hellbram.”
The princess blinked in surprise before realising that he just introduced himself, causing her to bow a little and smile smoothly at him while saying, “Ah. Ward. I am happy to hear you and know that you possess such an amazing power.”
“The magic book,” the man with the stick whispered in awe. Trying to find out what he could about the book the hero was holding, he asked, “Tell me, sir hero. Does the magic book, you’re holding, explain about the other heroes?”
Ward nodded and looked at his open book before telepathically saying, “It says right here that the heroes are the saviours of this world, with each possessing an item to be used in battle with uniqueness at its base. I am known as the Walmeky Hero, and the rest are the Bulwark Hero, the Gundas Hero, the Zeklock Hero, the Dynamism Hero, the Titanium Hero, the Sonic Hero, the Tempest Hero and the Solaris Hero.”
There was a moment of pause before Maxwell asked, “So, who is who? I’m guessing I’m the Gundas Hero with the ‘Gun’ in it, but what about the others?”
Ward nodded and telepathically replied, “Your weapons are the indication of who you are. Let me explain,” he listed who they with respect to their weapon.
- Walmeky Hero is him, Ward
- Gundas Hero is Maxwell
- Dynamism Hero is Martin
- Bulwark Hero is Fred
- Titanium Hero is William
- Zeklock Hero is Natsu
- Sonic Hero is Vikram
- Tempest Hero is Gram
“Zeklock Hero?” Natsu asked, looking thoroughly confused. “Any meaning behind it?”
Ward shook his head and telepathically stated, “Unfortunately, no. There is no clear indication of our abilities.”
“Eh…?” Fred said, walking over to see what’s written in the book. To his amazement, he found that he could not read the text on it, which made him chuckle and say, “You’re pretty good, Ward. You can actually read this stuff.”
“You men you can’t?” Ward asked telepathically, looking amazed. When Fred shook his head, Ward looked at the book in amazement and telepathically said, “I see. Makes sense considering I’m the owner, so only I can read it.”
As they fell silent, the ground trembled with great force, causing them to lose their foot and fall on the side walls so as to not fall.
“We’re running out of time!” Gram said, getting serious as he turned to face the princess. “Princess, please lead the way.”
“I will!” Erza said, wearing a firm expression on her face and quickening her pace to lead the way out of the tunnel.
Once they exited the tunnel, they found themselves in a large room that was made completely of steel frames to protect he room from obvious exterior damage. There, the group of heroes found two people seated on throne like chairs, wearing clothes that clearly identified themselves as those from the royal family.
Upon Erza’s return, everyone wore warm smiles on their faces and eyed the newly arrived hero group with some scepticism. This annoyed William, Natsu and Maxwell, but they behaved themselves after receiving a piercing glance from Gram, who seemed to have become the leader of their group. In that time, Erza walked over to her parents, greeted them and showed them the heroes, who all walked forward and knelt before them.
“Why do I have to kneel before someone that’s not my king?” William asked, behaving contrary to their expectations.
“If you don’t, you’ll become an embarrassment,” replied Vikram with a cheeky grin on his face.
Sure enough, when they all knelt except for him, William realised he was standing out and quickly knelt as well, his face dying a deep reddish colour. The other heroes shuddered their laughter as the king spoke softly to them and asked them to rise to their feet so that he can address them on equal terms.
“I am thankful that you heroes have decided to help us in our time of peril. We are truly grateful for your help!” He kept saying repeatedly.
“Your majesty, it is an honour for us to help people from another world, especially those that cry out for help,” replied Maxwell readily, holding onto his gun with a tight grip with agitation.
When he finished, someone from behind commented loudly by saying, “Seriously? This ragtag bunch are heroes? Come on! Sure! They’re from another world, but can they surely fight the aliens better than us? I mean, just look at them! They’re so weak, I feel I—!”
He stopped speaking because, at that moment, there was the sound of a bang followed by a sound of impact against the wall. The speaker widened his eyes and glanced sideways at the steel wall, shocked to find a dent made by a strong impact from a projectile he never saw coming. He turned around and saw that the one identified as the Gundas Hero was pointing a L-shaped gun at him while not even facing him.
“If you speak one more word, I’ll put the next bullet in that thick skull if yours, idiot,” said Maxwell, issuing a death threat to the speaker with cold dead eyes.
In an instant, three people made their moves, one was the Royal Guards in an attempt to apprehend him, the king ordered them to stand down and Gram issuing an order to Maxwell to stop him. The Royal Guard were hesitant in stopping, but a clear order from their king was something they would not break, so they took their place to stand at attention. Maxwell, on the other hand, clicked his tongue while continuing to glare straight ahead.
“You speak in such a manner, in front of your king, when so many people were getting hurt and their livelihood stolen from them…! Really…! What kind of human are you?!” Maxwell demanded, this time fully turning to show his face to the speaker while continuing to show him the same deadly look in his eyes.
The speaker that commented badly about the hero group remained silent while hanging his head in shame. His comrades forced his head even lower and professedly apologised in his place, but Maxwell did not care. He had his eyes set on the figure of the man that commented negatively about him and his comrades in a dire time, which made him angry.
At that moment, a transmission came through the from the headquarters of the Heroes Guild, which operates by overseeing the hero activity and protection force for the society. On the large screen before them, a man appeared and spoke quickly to the princess, and she spoke firmly back to him. He, who was the commander of the operations, wanted to know information on the heroes, but she refused to give them to him, stating that she would be breaching their privacy and that they should have faith in them.
He tried to reason with her by saying, “It’s not about trust, your highness. I am worried that these heroes might not coordinate well with our men and might even get in their way.”
“In that case, please order them to pull them back. These heroes will be making their way to the site as soon as they have geared up,” the princess fired back in a firm voice, not moving from her stance for a bit.
Realising he had no choice, the commander agreed to her terms and disconnected the call. The eight members of the supposed Nine Heroes of Legends were pleased by her supporting them, which made them willing to do more to help her keep a good face in front of everyone else.
“Bring up the current situation outside,” said the king, making the large screen to flicker until a display of the outside is shown to them.
“My goodness!” Fred whispered in amazement, seeing the destruction brought upon the place where a large ship was hovering high in the air.
“Hey…? Is that thing getting ready to fire something from its belly…?” Martin asked, pointing at the
Gram looked at the place that Martin mentioned and realising the problem, he quickly turned to the king and asked, “Your majestic, it seems we’re running out of time. We wish to leave immediately for battle, but we lack armour, equipment and clothing that could protect us from major injures.”
“We will lend you,” his majesty replied, turning to his attendant and ordering him to take the heroes towards the side chambers that held the clothing that the Royal Guards wore.
Several minutes later, they returned out of the chambers wearing fancy armour that protected their major areas while keeping the armour minimal to allow them free movement. Each of them equipped themselves with cloaks behind them as it was the symbolic means for a hero, which bellowed with each stride they took and the wind that touched them.
“Oh damn! We’re too late!” Natsu exclaimed, looking shocked by the devastating wave that was being fired from the main cannon of the alien ship.
Gram turned to his hero group and said, “That city is lost, but they won’t stop there. They’ll move to another city, but we’ll intercept them and take them down before they get to destroy another city!”
“Yes!” Maxwell said firmly before others followed suit.
Vikram eyed him shrewdly and said, “You sure are a speaker, but let’s see how your plan works out in action.”
“Then, let’s get going,” said Gram, which surprised the rest of his comrades.
“Get going? How? Are they going to lend us some kind of vehicle to get us there?” Vikram asked, looking towards the princess in expectation.
The princess looked hesitant as she did not understand their plan, but Gram shook his head and said, “No. We’ll fly over there.”
“Fly? By what? An airplane? Seriously? That’s your best plan?!” The Sonic Hero exclaimed in disbelief. Gram remained silent for a moment, and Vikram realised his comrade was giving him a pitying look, which made him exclaim, “What’s with that look, dammit?!”
“Why do we need vehicles to fly when we can fly ourselves,” said Gram, which took everyone by surprise. He went onto explain, “We’re not normal human beings anymore, we’re super heroes summoned to this world from other worlds. Surely, by the powers granted to us by god, we have the ability to fly.”
There was a momentary pause before Martin asked, “You make it sound easy, Gram, but how do we do it?”
Gram turned to Ward and asked, “Well? Any ideas?”
Ward, who was searching through the book he was holding, finally looked up and said telepathically, “It seems that we simply ay ‘Fly’ and jump up.”
“Oh? That’s easy,” replied Gram with a smile on his face.
There was a brief moment of stunned silence before Vikram exclaimed, “Like hell it is! You think just because we’re super heroes means we can just fly at will?! It took fictional characters to adjust to their environment or possess some sort of item to allow them to fly! We don’t have psychic powers, Gram!”
Gram eyed him coldly and said, “We have super powers, but it’s a waste to try and explain to you, so watch and learn.” He turned to the princess and asked, “Princess, is it possible to open the hatch that’s above us?”
“Eh? How did you—?” The princess began to ask when she stopped upon seeing the knowing smile on Gram’s face. Realising something, she asked, “You have something like this in your world as well?” When he merely nodded with the same smile, she sighed and ordered the people to open the hatch above them.
In an instant, the ceiling seemed to split at the centre and begin withdrawing to either side until there was visible open sky. Seeing that there was no abnormality in the sky of this world, Fred released a deep sigh of relief.
“What’s the matter?” Ward asked him telepathically.
“Nothing actually. I was expecting two moons or two suns in this world, but seeing that it’s normal makes me feel happy. At least, this world isn’t as weird as I thought it might be,” Fred said, a sarcastic smile on his face.
“You’re weird for thinking along those lines,” said Martin, eying him in amazement.
Fred shook his head and replied with,” Being summoned to another world is not normal.”
Before anyone could say anything, Gram took the stage by saying, “Fly.”
In an instant, particles of light began emitting from him before they vanished and left him in his normal state. Then, he lightly kicked off the ground and soared into the air, taking everyone by surprise and making Vikram’s jaw to drop.
“Well? Isn’t this easy?” Gram asked, looking down at them while folding his arms in front of him.
“You look like you’ve flown before, Gram,” commented Fred, smiling faintly up at him.
Gram smiled a little and said, “That’s enough chitchat. Now, get up here and let’s get on our way before we waste more time on needless chatter! Come on!”
As such, one by one, the heroes began to activate the spell by saying its name out loud and soaring into the air. The only ones remaining on the ground were Vikram, Fred, Ward and William, with the latter refusing to fly because of all that he had to take in.
“What is this sorcery?!” He exclaimed in a quiet voice, staring up at the floating figures in the sky in awe and fear.
“Oh geez. Stop sweating because of the stuff you don’t get. Go with the flow,” advised Vikram.
“It’s too much to take in all of a sudden! I can’t do it!” William retorted, glaringly irritably at him while gritting his teeth.
“What are you doing? Fly already!” Martin called to them while hovering above them in the air.
“Uh… We’re good on the ground. Yup,” replied Fred, wearing a nervous smile on his face. “I don’t think I can handle flying just yet. Just saying…”
“You’re not going to come by flight?” Gram asked, staring down at Vikram with an expressionless face.
Vikram shook his head and grinned as he replied with, “Nope! I’m gonna’ run there! Yeah! I’m better of on the ground than fly like some idiots in the sky. I’m not a bird,” he added the last sentence while winking at them.
“Vikram! This isn’t the time for jokes!” Maxwell called, but did not say anymore when Gram held a hand out to halt him.
Gram now wore a serious look on his face and said, “Fine. We’ll go on ahead.” He paused for a second before adding as an afterthought, “Don’t be late.” Turning to face in the direction of the alien, he said, “Let’s go!”
Activating his flight magic, he shot off in that direction while Maxwell, Martin, and Natsu flew off after him. On the ground, the remaining members of the Nine Heroes of Legends watched them go before turning to face each other.
“You know you could’ve flown after them, right? What’s your problem, oldie?” Vikram asked William in a sarcastic voice.
“I’m not an oldie…! Get that straight!” William said irritably. “Also, this is sorcery! I need to get my head around it, so no way can I just fly off and pretend it’s nothing!”
Shaking his head, the Sonic Hero turned to face Fred and asked, “What about you? Got some problem with flying?” When he saw the Bulwark Hero wearing a sheepish smile on his face, he correctly guessed the problem and asked, “Fear of heights?”
This time, Fred laughed half-heartedly and said, “Haha. I’m some hero that’s scared of heights, right? It sucks.”
“Who ever said heroes don’t have issues of their own? Sure. There is the belief of heroes being warriors that protect the weak and stop the suffering, but behind that mask, hidden inside that shell is the fact that they are human, just like everyone else. So, your issue is what makes you human and it’s a good thing compared to many others that choose to be… something else,” said Ward supportively for Fred, who smiled and thanked him for the kind words.
“Okay. If you’re done with your cliché filled dialogue, I’m gonna head out now,” said Vikram, ignoring most of what he just heard as he had read such lines from characters in fictional novels back in his home world.
“Are you serious? You’re really going to run all the way there?” William asked out of curiosity.
“Yeah!” Vikram said, thumping himself on the chest while holding his headphones. “You see, after realising what Gram said earlier about receiving basic combat experience and stuff, I thought something might happen if I try putting these on. I’m the Sonic Hero after all!”
As soon as he finished speaking, he put the headphones around his ears, covering them in the process. For a moment, he remained normal but then, as if a light had lit up in his mind, his expression changed to that of great excitement. Whatever information he received from the headphones, he began to churn with the energy to do something with it.
“Alright! Now, this is really something! Never expected my power would be something like this. Makes sense why I’m the Sonic Hero,” said Vikram, winking at them and taking a running stance.
“W-What are you doing, Vikram?” Fred asked, unnerved by the sudden excitement that his comrade was filled with.
“I’m gonna run hard and run strong!” The Sonic Hero said before leaping into the air with incredible force, causing the ground to shake and the sudden wind to buffet everyone.
He soared through the air and out of the opened hatch before landing firmly on the street. The whole place was deserted, with vehicles of different sizes and shapes placed in random places gives the sign of the rush they were in while evacuating from the place. He was thankful that the coast is clear because he was about to do something that could’ve harmed many people.
He took a running stance, then with an energetic smile on his face, he said, “Ready! Set! Race On!”
The moment he kicked off to start his run, an extremely powerful force was unleashed from behind and it sent a strong wave of wind in the opposite direction, blasting the vehicles away and destroying the windows of buildings. He moved forward and, with each step he took, the ground shook and sank beneath his feet like it was made of sand, as his legs cycled forward at an unimaginable pace. For one moment, he was at the location of the royal hideout and, the next, he was very close to smashing into the buildings lined in front of him.
“Wow!” He yelled in surprise, trying his best to stop himself by using his feet in a stopping motion, but this resulted in him digging a grove into the ground in the process. Realising his futile effort, he shouted, “Damn!”
Changing his posture, he kicked off the ground and soared high into the air at super speed, causing the rush of wind to make his hair stand up on ends. He had closed his eyes previously in the event of crashing into the buildings, but as there was no impact, he reopened them and, upon finding that he was flying above the buildings at a great height, he formed a very wide grin on his face.
“Woooohhoooooo!!!!!” He yelled, his voice carrying to all sides as he flew very far and long due to the dramatic running start and leap he took.
Inside the protective shell of the royal evacuation room, Fred, Ward and William were staring after their comrade and heard his scream of joy. Fred sighed lightly and touched his face in incredibility of the situation they found themselves in while Ward and William made small remarks about him.
“That guy is really… something!” William said, blinking in surprise.
“One of a kind,” remarked Ward telepathically.
Fred decided to not comment and turned to the princess to kindly ask, “Princess, is it possible to arrange a transport for the three of us to get to the battle sight?”
“Eh?” The princess asked, suddenly taken aback by his request before recovering to respond with a smile, “Of course, sir hero! Please wait a moment. I’ll arrange a transport that’ll take us all there.”
“Take ‘us’ there?” Fred asked, finding something strange in the use of her choice of words. “Are you coming with us, princess?” When she nodded, she immediately shook his head and said, “No way. Please! You’re better of safer in this place than come with us.”
“But, we must assist you! It’s our job as people responsible for bringing you to this world and asking you selfishly to help us!” Erza said, insisting with a pleading look on her face.
Fred looked surprised and he went to say something in protest, but Ward placed a hand on his shoulder and telepathically said, “In that case, that will be wonderful. We are unaware of the places in this world, so a guide will be really helpful in case the others got lost.” Then, when Erza smiled brightened up, Ward spoke to only Fred by telepathically saying, “Fred, I understand what you are thinking but, believe me, having the princess come along is rather a good thing. Trust me.”
The Bulwark Hero looked at Ward for a moment in silence before nodding silently in reply, showing that he understood. He also realised, at the same time, that there was the point of them not knowing their way around, even with an escort there to help them. As such, he resigned to the fact that the princess would be coming with them, along with a few of the Royal Guards to protect her as well.
A minute later, an armoured man hurried into the room and said, “Princess, the vehicle is ready!”
“Good. Let us depart at once, heroes,” she said with a sweet charming smile that would melt away any man’s heart.
As Fred, Ward and William followed her out of the room while brought a few brought up the rear, the king sighed in his chair and the queen asked him, “What’s the matter, dear?”
“The heroes… they’re nothing like what I imagined them to be…” he replied, sighing once again.
“Mmm. Yes. They are quite different to what the legends say about them,” his wife said, smiling a little. Then, she turned to look at the open hatch, which was closing now, and said, “Still, I like our daughter’s optimism. So, let’s have faith in her and believe in our heroes.”
The king silently nodded while inwardly praying for the safety of everyone as the hatch closed. At that moment, the entire building shook as a massive tremor ran throughout the entire place, causing the surrounding wall of metal to make banging sound and even bend inward. The Royal Guards and the different hero teams quickly clicked several buttons on the devices attached to their wrists and conjured barrier magic to protect everyone in the room.
As soon as the tremor lessened, an enormous eruption occurred somewhere nearby, followed by an explosion of force that further caused the room shake violently, making the extremely worried king exclaim, “Wha-What’s happening?!”