༺ Responsibility without Pleasure!? ༻
On a rainy day, while I was on my way to buy ice cream, a flash of lightning struck me.
I thought I’d die immediately with that, but to my utter surprise, what greeted my eyes immediately after I opened them was a whole different world.
“Damn, where the hell am I?”
It was a different world with magic and knights.
“There’s a barbarian here! Capture and sell him into slavery! Black-haired slaves are strong and healthy, they even sell twice as much as ordinary slaves!”
“I heard they are also popular as male prostitutes!”
I had landed in a world full of war and tragedy!
After struggling in this world for two years, I somehow managed to get acknowledged as a hero of the world and was thus praised by the populace.
“Long live the great hero Judas!”
“You’re our hero!”
People who, not that long ago, were rejecting me for being a black-haired savage, were now hailing me as a hero.
But, well, whatever.
The war was finally over.
And from now on, only peaceful days awaited me.
Then, on one spring day…
The Almighty King, hailed as the greatest king in the history of the Pangaea continent, told me.
“Hero Judas, countless people have been saved by your noble deeds, but the world is still in turmoil.”
What did he mean?
Almighty King Ordor was honestly quite the smart and heartless man, so I was afraid of what he was about to say.
Let’s just ask him directly.
“What are you trying to say to me, Your Majesty?”
“Hmm, without individuals such as you, our country would have already been overturned by the invaders. Here comes the issue, however. You’re a man like the wind, you won’t be able to stay with us forever.”
“Therefore, if a great hero like you gave birth to a lot of offspring, won’t our country be safe for generations to come? Speaking of which, why don’t you just get married?”
His words struck me like lightning.
I’m currently 25 years old.
It’s already been two years since I’d woken up in this barbaric world, and even before that, I was serving in the army right after getting out of university.
In Korea of the 21st century, where I hailed from originally, 25 years old was honestly still quite young for marriage. But in this fantasy land called Pangaea, 25 years was more or less the perfect age for a man to get married.
“I have compiled a list of women from the kingdom that you might take a liking to.”
“Oh… Can I choose anyone from here to get married to?”
“Yes, no one would defy this king’s edicts.”
Soon, a scroll was handed over to me.
I could immediately see portraits of women, along with their names, drawn on it.
This felt similar to the catalogs you’d see in a dating agency.
One thing was certain, however.
“The princess is not on the list?”
“Why would my cute daughter be on this list? Why would I bestow my daughter to a barbari— hmm, anyway. There are a lot of outstanding women on the list, take a good look and you will find someone you like.”
Ordor, you wretch…
You nearly cursed me for being a barbarian, didn’t you?
There was only one answer I could give in response to the king.
“Your Majesty, I, Judas, wish to choose my partner with my very own hands. I have obeyed all your orders until now so, please, reconsider this.”
“Is that so? Well, everyone has their own tastes and preferences.”
I slightly bowed my head before stepping back.
The soldiers of the palace began chattering by themselves as they saw that.
“He won’t settle for an ordinary woman. As expected of a Barbaroi.”
“I heard that he messed around with all kinds of women during the war.”
“I wonder what kind of woman this barbarian will marry.”
They were spouting whatever nonsense sprouted on their head.
What is it with me messing around with multiple women?
I’m still a virgin!
Of course, I left the confines of the royal castle without uttering such words.
A clear sky.
Swallows were flying around in the blue sky, chirping incredibly loudly.
They were chirping a goddamn lot.
What’s going on here?
I stretched out my arms toward the sky.
“Uurgh, marriage, huh?”
It was honestly something I was craving for.
A male and a female meeting, starting a family, having children, and living happily ever after.
Wasn’t this a natural thing that every living creature would dream of?
But the thing here was…
“Don’t look this way, I’m pregnant!”
This is how it is.
Even as a hero who saved the country, in this fantastical world, I, with my dark hair and East Asian descent, am treated as though I was a barbarian.
I seemed to look especially terrifying to women.
Is it because everyone around here seemed so princely that I looked ugly in comparison?
I thought that after becoming a hero, my fame would make women flock my way and say things like “You’re so wealthy! Let me give birth to your child!”.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Women of this world seemed to value love more than fame or wealth.
It was actually great that they had this kind of devotion.
The issue then was the fact that this devotion of theirs was simply too strong, and all I had to offer to them was wealth and fame.
Even if I chose to forcefully marry a girl from the list that the king gave me, I’m sure our relationship would be doomed to fail at one point or another.
That’s just how forced marriages were, after all.
“I have a dream.”
I clenched my fist.
My dream was to be a loving husband and father.
I also wanted to find a place to call my home in this world I was sent to after getting struck by lightning.
People would just laugh at me if I ever said those words aloud and would probably say “Such a romantic dream for a savage!”
But I was very serious about this dream of mine.
And because of that, I had already decided… I will go on a trip around the world to look for a bride.
First of all, it would be nice if she was kind and also a virgin.
I’ve been single for my whole life, after all.
So meeting someone like me would be for the best since I didn’t want to get compared to other men.
Other than that, it would be great if she was pretty, had breasts on the bigger side, and was good with housework and cooking.
And also… Anyway!
“I will escape my fate as a wizard before the end of this year!”
I, Judas, could even survive the calamity of being suddenly abducted into another world.
Wait, no, I’m Ha Tae-Ho, not Judas.
Humph, I played an active part in the war and even reached the status of a Hero.
How hard could it be to get a girlfriend?
* * * * * * * * * *
“I give up.”
Dating women was difficult.
What happened to me in the past few days deeply reminded me of this harsh truth.
How the hell am I supposed to talk to a girl?
Cutting the throat of an enemy general is a piece of cake in comparison.
To be frank.
I actually did find at least one woman who approached me and said that she liked me.
But it was a spy from an enemy country.
She was basically just trying to steal information from me.
“Is there no one in this world who will really like me?”
I don’t know anymore.
What is love?
Did such a thing really exist?
I found it hard to accept that the only reason a woman would approach me was to basically use me.
Is it really impossible for someone to love me?
Do I have no choice but to live alone for the rest of my life?
Just as I was shaking my head with such gloomy feelings churning non-stop.
A thought suddenly flashed in my mind.
“No, it’s not that I can’t be loved, I just don’t want to. The only reason I’m not getting married is because I don’t want to. I’m doing it by choice. I’ll be single forever!”
That will be my fate.
Judas— the staunch bachelor.
“Marriage? Parenting? Not my thing at all. It’s already hard enough to support myself in this world!”
From now on, I shall be called Judas, the staunch bachelor—!
Just as I declared that in my heart.
Someone was knocking on the door of my humble cabin.
“Who is it?”
Is the pizza I ordered finally here?
How long has it been since I ordered it from the tavern? Why is it this late?
It’s way past dinnertime! I was going to hit the bed already!
This was unacceptable.
Just as I opened the door and prepared to yell at the delivery guy…
But I couldn’t see anyone when I opened the door.
Only some gloomy streets were in my field of vision.
Did someone just knock on the door and run?
Did I just get pranked?
Just as I was falling into a daze.
I could hear a faint voice.
A voice so very faint that it seemed out of place in my rough and messy life.
As I lowered my head, I saw a little girl wearing an old and dirty robe.
Five years old?
I couldn’t tell.
I found this kind of stuff very hard to tell apart.
It was because I wasn’t particularly good with kids.
Because they’d always be too busy crying whenever they saw me.
This was very weird.
Why is this little girl not crying?
Was she some sort of panhandler, looking to sell me flowers or gums?
Even though it was spring, nights around this part were quite chilly.
Not only that, but she was also barefoot.
She had black hair and black eyes.
Was she like me? A barbarian?
No, no, I’m not some uneducated barbarian but an intellectual and cultured individual from 21st-century Korea. Was this girl from the feared race of this world, the Barbarois?
When I thought, ‘She must be feeling cold, being barefoot outside,’ the girl suddenly spoke.”
* * * * * * * * * *
To be honest.
I was pretty calm and intelligent compared to the ignorant buffoons roaming this world.
I would have died 10 times already if not for that.
This sort of unexpected situation never failed to make me flustered.
“Daaaad…! Daaad…! I finally found you…!”
“Dad? Who? Me?”
I looked around.
Was there anyone else around she could have been actually talking to?
But this barbarian little girl was clinging to my leg while crying.
“Dad! Don’t leave me again! I’ll be kind and obedient! Waaaaaaaaa!”
“No, who are you? Why are you calling me Dad? Go away! Since when did I have a daughter like you?”
I couldn’t even get married, let alone have a daughter.
Let alone getting married, I have never even held the hand of a woman.
But this little girl was quite stubborn.
“Don’t abandon me! Waaaaaa!”
How could someone cry this badly?
In my young days, I didn’t cry this way, even when the mean adults in the neighborhood stole my candy.
Soon, people opened their windows or doors and grumbled in response to the commotion.
“Did that barbarian abandon his daughter?”
“I thought the saying that Barbarois felt no attachment to their kids was just a rumor, but it seems true after all.
“Even if it’s spring, isn’t it too much to abandon a little girl this late at night?”
“What, that face, don’t you think it’s familiar?”
This is bad!
I barely managed to get a good enough reputation to be called a hero, but wouldn’t I be seriously fucked if a story about how I abandoned my daughter spread around? Everyone will think of me as garbage of a human being!
And she wasn’t even my daughter!
I quickly grabbed the girl by the neck and swiftly took her inside the cabin.
I then slammed the door shut and covered the girl’s mouth.
She was crying a lot.
Wouldn’t an outsider think it was a picture-perfect scene of a man-eating Barbaroi silencing and abducting a child?
I’m actually the victim!
After 30 seconds, the child finally calmed down.
Her nose was running, her shoulders trembling, but at least she wasn’t crying any longer.
I then spoke to her.
“Little girl, I think you’re just confused because I may look like him, but I’m really not your father.”
“Noo! Dad is Naru’s dad!”
That was her name.
I actually didn’t want to know her name at all.
Karma gets deeply entwined once you know someone’s name.
‘That little orphan’ and ‘That little girl named Naru’, didn’t have the same feel to them, right?
I don’t know, damn it.
I can’t just leave her alone like this.
I’m a hero, after all.
Moreover, I was a kind and compassionate person of both ethics and intellect.
Let’s find this girl’s real father.
“Uh, yes, Naru. Can you tell me what your father is like? Is there anything specific you remember about him?
“Uh, black hair and… black eyes…? Also. Two arms… two legs… And, hmmm, ten fingers… Mom also said that Dad was kind-hearted… But a little foolish too…”
No, that’s not what I meant.
Is she a little slow?
I really wonder who her dad is.
Well, properly teaching a child in a world where primary schools didn’t exist did seem pretty tough.
Not to mention, she seemed to be the child of a savage.
It would be hard for her to enroll in the academy.
The entrance fee is quite expensive.
Finding her dad seems like a difficult task.
If so, let’s try something else.
“What about your mom? Do you know anything about her?”
Naru raised her hand at my question.
“Mom is… pretty! The prettiest in the world! She’s also the kindest in the world! And she’s super strong! And she strokes Naru’s hair every day!”
According to her, this mom of hers sounded like a really good person.
She must have been a ‘wise mother and good wife’ to have her child love her this much.
This was the kind of person I wanted to marry.
But how could such a mom let her daughter roam outside at this late an hour?
Did she abandon her or something?
Seeing me fall into deep thoughts, Naru carefully watched my reaction and then added.
“Mom told me to go find Dad… Dad might be in danger… She also said to ask Dad to find Mom… Dad, you need to find Mom…!”
What is this nonsense?
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