[The Protagonist, Coming into the Stage]

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It was a place filled with beautiful flowers.

A paradise of plants that the Horticulture Committee to which Tayte belonged had cultivated with utmost care—there, an out-of-place, angry shout reverberated.

“B-Barrett…” Tayte grabbed the hem of my clothes and looked up at me with an uneasy expression.

……Now that she had shown me such a look, I must do something about it.

I gently touched Tayte’s hand holding my clothes and gave her a nod.
Tayte appeared to catch my drift with that, as she nodded and let go.

Glad I brought the Holy Sword just in case.

Having it around was really reassuring, after all.

As I slowly made my way to the source of the shout, the trees gradually thickened and it became increasingly difficult to walk, but soon after, an open space appeared in front of me.

There, a boy was surrounded by five other boys.
Did I just stumble upon a bullying scene?

Staying hidden in the thicket, I tried to get closer.

The student who was surrounded was—

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“Raul?”

Raul Lorenz, the《Protagonist》of this world.

Come to think of it, it was described that Raul had a terrible school life because of his receiving the Demon Sword.

It was a relatively short past arc in the original novel, but Raul had to go through even the parts of school life that weren’t described.

The arc closed with brief words: “It was terrible,” but to Raul, the experience must have been—

“For you to receive the Demon Sword, you must really be a bringer of disaster!”

As I was lost in my thoughts, one of the surrounding boys, who had a rather bigger build compared to the others, shouted and pushed Raul back.
Raul, having fallen on his rear, didn’t say anything and endured by biting his lips.

That guy’s name… I thought I knew it.

It was… Patrick, wasn’t it?

His father was a well-known merchant, and even the Alberses were patrons of his.
Therefore, Patrick was always currying up favor with the original Barrett.
Simply put, he was one of his followers.

In fact, I knew the name of all five boys.

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Charles, Leon, Kyle, Billy… all these boys were my followers in the original storyline.

The five of them shared a few things in common.

First, their fathers were merchants.

Second, their fathers’ main patron was us—the Alberses.

Yes.

The original Barrett thought they were his friends, but to them, he was nothing but a pain in the ass.
If they did something that he found even the slightest bit displeasing, he’d cut off his family’s dealings with their fathers—meaning, they’d be forced out onto the street.

That was why their fathers sternly told them:

Never go against Barrett Albers.

Barrett himself was aware of that, so he behaved overbearingly toward them.
Especially in Raul’s case—

“…Mm?” I realized a certain fact as I was recollecting the original storyline.

The cause of Raul’s terrible school life was—me.

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Yeah, come to think of it, Barrett was the one pulling the string behind Patrick and the others’ harassment of Raul!

In other words, the terrible situation Raul was in right now was my fault.

“S-stop!”  I rushed out without thinking after coming to the conclusion and stopped Patrick and the others.

“L-Lord Barrett!?” Patrick and the others couldn’t hide their surprise at my sudden appearance.

Ahh… in the original storyline, Barrett himself never showed himself to hide the fact that he was the main culprit behind the bullying, wasn’t it? But there was a mention that he was directly involved at the later stage of the school life arc… eei! That was beside the point right now!

“Everyone, I’m sorry, but please end this here.”

“Huh!?” Patrick shook.

But without a pause, I turned to Raul.

“I’m truly sorry.” I bowed deeply.

The act further confused the surrounding boys.

“W-why are you doing this, Lord Barrett?!” Patrick exclaimed.

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“To you guys as well… I’m truly sorry for everything.
I’ll talk to you guys later, so can you leave me and Raul alone for now?” I requested with a serious tone, looking at the five boys.

In response, Patrick and the others took their leave.

“Can you stand, Raul?”

“Ah, y-yeah.”

I reached out my hand to Raul.

“I really am sorry for everything.
I—”

“It’s okay.
Don’t worry about it.
Farewell.”

Raul interrupted my words and promptly left.
I tried to call him to stop, but Raul kept on walking away.
His back looked as though screaming, “Get away from me.”

“Raul…”

Raul, someone who had summoned the Demon Sword and was seen as an oddity by all people in the academy.

The wounds in his heart seemed to be even deeper than I had thought.

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