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To everyone who has picked up this book, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Zappon, a new author.

Just about one month before this book went on sale, I actually debuted with a book published by a different company, so this is my second book. At the time of writing this afterword, my first work has not gone on sale yet, so this afterword has a bit of a “This is my debut work for Sneaker Bunko!” mood to it.

I originally wrote this story for the website Shousetsuka ni Narou. Sneaker Bunko reached out to me with the proposal to adapt it into novel form, and that’s why it’s able to reach all your hands.

Novelization! By Sneaker Bunko, no less! When I was a kid, in my teenage years (and even now as a no-good adult), there have always been a few Sneaker Bunko light novels on my bookshelf. I’ll do my best to make my book something worthy of taking a spot on all your bookshelves, too.

This story has also been serialized as a comic by Ikeno Masahiro in Monthly Shounen Ace. The first chapter was published May 26, 2018! Ikeno Masahiro also wrote Red Dragon; it’s based around the Chu–Han Contention and the era of Xiang Yu and Liu Bang. That story was also published in Monthly Shonen Ace. He’s also drawn sports and battle manga in other magazines as well. He is an amazing veteran artist who creates wonderful, cool, and cute characters, intense battle scenes, and comical portraits of daily life.

At the time of writing this, the first chapter of the manga has not been finished yet, but the character designs he shared of Rit, Ruti, and the rest were alluring in an entirely different way from those of Yasumo, who handled the illustrations for this book. I can’t wait to see them come to life in the manga. If you enjoyed this book, please give the manga a try, too. It will be all the more enjoyable!

Okay, I should leave the happy meandering there and come back to the story of this book. I’ve loved RPGs for a long time and have played quite a few of them. This work is a story whose main character is a member of the party but drops out partway through.

There are lots of examples in RPGs of characters who leave the party mid-adventure, either because they’re just there to help out in the early stages or for other reasons. Whether it’s the main character’s father, or a first love, or someone who betrayed the party and became an enemy, the separation becomes a turning point in the story and can be one of the most memorable scenes in the game. If any of you reading this afterword are fans of RPGs, perhaps you might have some memories of party members who left the group?

Red, the protagonist of this work, had been given the role of that kind of helper character. This story begins after he had stretched himself a bit too far, having ignored the event where he was supposed to withdraw from the party and continue traveling, only to be finally pushed out. Red’s story is one of him receiving no reward for his battles with the demon lord’s forces, having all his equipment, weapons, everything, taken away from him, and drifting out to the frontier to find happiness for himself this time around… A totally happy story!

…Yeah. Well, even on the frontier, there are still a few threats, but this is the kind of story where Red and the people around him can nevertheless manage to go about their lives with a smile.

This story was originally published on the Internet, but for it to reach all of your hands in paperback form was thanks to the help of many different people. Yasumo, who gave my characters and their world form. The illustration of Red and Rit in the evening sun was a particular favorite of mine, so I had it printed out to put on display. I would also like to take this chance to thank the designer who arranged the long title to fit so neatly and the proofreaders who pointed out so many typos and misspellings and got this into a state where no company would be ashamed to publish it!

Also, to my editor, Miyakawa, who praised my story, suggested various areas to improve, and worked so hard on so many levels for the sake of this book, from arranging all sorts of meetings to connecting me with the illustrator Yasumo. It is an honor to have my story added to the list of projects you’ve managed. Thank you very much.

And also, thanks to all the readers who supported the web version of this story. Were it not for you, this book would never have existed in the first place.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of you who picked up this novel. If I was able to provide an enjoyable experience worthy of putting this volume on your bookshelf, then there is nothing more gratifying to me as an author.

Let’s meet again in the second book!


2018, around when the cherry blossoms began to fall

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