And So, Bell Cranel Became a Hero

Tags: Mature, Action, Romance[Harem]. Adventure.

DISCLAIMER: Danmachi belongs to its respective owners. Everything that occurs in this fanmade story is of my own creation and the characters abide by the fictional laws in the setting.


Chapter 1: And So, He's Kindly Welcomed.

Part 2

There was only place Bell Cranel had in mind after he left the small village he lived in his entire life and that was the Labyrinth City otherwise known as Orario. The only city with a dungeon, or so his gramps said, and the place where he could truly start his journey. The main reason he chose Orario was due to his grandfather's personal stories about the Labyrinth City, stories about how adventurers joined God's Familias, explored the untamable dungeon, and made a name for themselves.

Along with other perverted stuff his grandfather added, much to Bell's reluctance.

However, before reaching Orario, it could be said that Bell's journey had already started.

His first hardship appeared on his third day, and it became his very first adventure's achievement.

Bell's journey towards Orario made him travel across a vast forest after leaving his village, and it was during the third night when he had built a small camp to rest that the first tribulation made itself known.

A humanoid looking, creepy monster that charged at him in reckless abandon with the intent to kill, intent that Bell matched and employed every tactic his grandfather had taught him in order to defeat his foe. It was a long hour for Bell, one spent fighting back and forth, with several close calls, before he managed to slay the monster.

And obtain his first, true, solo kill.

And not a day later, several kilometers ahead but in the same forest, Bell acquired his second, and third, solo kills which were two goblins more that appeared in the same way as the first one.

By the end of his first week trekking across the forest, and after leaving the dangerous place behind, Bell had already killed twenty surface monsters and was extremely thankful he had left behind the wicked, monster infested, forest.

His next tribulation came in the shape of supplies; without the abundance of food provided by the forest, Bell found himself running short on food while traveling through the main road leading to Orario. Thankfully, his first wonderful taste of his uncanny luck presented itself in the appearance of traveling peddlers.

With them, Bell exchanged most of the items he'd brought along with him in his enormous backpack, earning himself a good extra amount of Valis. The merchants offered to exchange his cumbersome bag for a smaller one, which he accepted in exchange for extra supplies that they were all too happy to part with.

The second week came and went in the blink of an eye, and by the end of it, he could see the massive tower of Babel which served as the dungeon's lid far in the horizon, the sight renewed his determination to strive forward.

That second week was not without its own set of difficulties, as he had met another merchant caravan attacked by a ravenous pack of Ferals, the caravan had adventurers, most likely hired, protecting it from said pack of surface monsters.

Bell didn't hesitate to help, and his kill count passed the thirties.

In reward for his selfless act, the merchants he saved gave him a map and information about the Labyrinth City for free along with some extra Valis, all which Bell was extremely thankful for.

His third week had an amazing start, for one, he had already reached the outskirts of the city and he gazed in wonder at the massive walls with carved decorations; however, what truly drew his amazement was the massive waiting line of people wanting to enter the Labyrinth City.

The queue was so long, and moved so slow, that it took Bell an entire day before it was finally his turn to stand in front of the massive gates. The entry checkpoint were several desks lined up just outside the massive gates, manned by the city's guards, one which beckoned him forward with a wave of the hand and Bell quickly moved to his position.

A blank form slammed on the table; the guard didn't even deign to look up at Bell, only focusing on the form and wishing for it to burn, if possible.

"Alright, let's make this quick. Name?"

"Bell Cranel."

"Age?"

"15."

"Race?"

"Human."

"Reason of visit."

"To become an adventurer."

At his resolute response, the guard shifted his gaze up to see an innocent, and naïve, looking kid and snorted loudly. "Right, so how long are you planning on staying kid? You know there's a fee for entering, no?"

"Hai," Bell replied, setting down his Valis pouch on the desk. "It's 30, 000 for permanent residence, no?"

The guard glanced at the heavy looking pouch; a half-grin formed on his face. He leaned back on the chair with arms crossed, "Sorry lad, you got the wrong number. It's 50, 000 during this time of the year."

That was not what the caravan had informed him the previous week, and they couldn't be wrong as they had just left the city not two weeks earlier. Bell noted the smugness radiating from the laidback guard and frowned. It left a lot to be said about the city if its guards were this corrupt. While he could pay what this scammer wanted, it was not something Bell would subject himself to.

"Really?" Bell airily replied, toying with the string of the pouch to keep the guard's gaze on the prize as Bell looked around the other checkpoints. He was trying to find someone, anyone, with a higher ranking than the guard in his post, and after a minute of searching, he found someone that could fit the description judging by how the others acted around them.

Eyes on the prize, the guard added to his lie, "Yup. We have had a significant influx of folks leaving the city lately and we've been forced to raise the entrance tax." The guard leaned forward, hands almost touching Bell's Valis pouch and spoke low, "So, you are payin' or not?"

"Yeah, just give me a minute to count the correct amount," Bell replied, snatching up the pouch back before the guard could get his hands on it and purposefully dug into it, rattling the coins while he aimed his palm towards the person he'd seen and 'mistakenly' flicked several coins in their direction.

The guard tried to snatch them out of the air but failed, and both watched the precious golden coin roll over the ground, and roll, and continue rolling until they came to a stop between two steel boots a few meters behind the checkpoint.

The owner of the boots bent at the knee to gather the coins while they glanced around for their owner, their deep azure gaze came to rest on Bell who had moved to follow the coins path with a fake panicked expression, though it changed into one of silent appreciation as the person stood up.

She was a tall woman with short blue hair and striking azure eyes, her presence alone felt regal and cold despite the way she was dressed. A sleeveless black tux over a long-sleeved white shirt that exposed her slim and toned stomach. A tight, black, pencil skirt with short slits on either side. Her soft-looking thighs were hidden by the black tights that dug into her skin, leaving a portion of creamy color teasing between were they ended, and her short skirt started.

The woman raised her palm, above her black fingerless gloved palm rested the valis that had rolled, and she tilted her head, one earring coming into view as she spoke with a composed, regal, and cool voice, "Is this yours?"

"Ah, hai, sorry," Bell awkwardly bowed, and then fumbled slightly as he received the coins, "Sorry, again, it's a little hard taking out 50, 000 valis from this small pouch…"

The guard sitting behind Bell paled as the blue-haired woman blinked, taken aback. "Why would you take out that much here?"

"Er, that's what the guard over there told me was the city's permanent residence fee," Bell mumbled out pointing at the tense guard behind them, and he internally smirked when he could see the guard rattling in place.

"Is that so?" Azure eyes narrowed, and the woman looked past Bell to the aforementioned guard, one that was making its best effort to make himself look as small as possible.

"Thank you," Bell's heartfelt thanks snapped her out of her thoughts, and as the boy turned around to return to the post, the woman grabbed his arm by the elbow and pulled Bell behind her.

"Huh?"

"Wait here for a minute," The woman commanded with a cutting tone, and without waiting for response, she stepped up to the guard, slamming her palm on the desk and leaned into it. The guard opened his mouth to try and save his hide but with a freezing glare, and a swipe of the form on the desk, the woman shut him up. "You have 20 minutes to find someone else to man this post, and turn yourself into the Guild," her voice went lower, "And for your sake, I hope he's the only one you've done this to."

The rattling guard nodded and fumbled out of his post in a mad dash without looking back for a single second.

The blue-haired woman sighed as she read the form while walking back towards the bewildered white-haired teen, she grabbed his elbow again and pulled him through the massive gates of the City, leading him to another desk at the right side of the city's stone road, a desk she reclined her lower back on.

"I apologize on behalf of the city guard," She began, "It seems the guard assigned to your post made a mistake and told you the wrong payment fee."

"Oh, is that so?" Bell feigned his surprise very well, yet the woman's gaze narrowed, and she easily saw through his lie.

"You knew."

Bell's surprise at her words was real, he hadn't expected for his lie to be caught so easily and he laughed nervously while explaining that he'd met merchants during his journey towards Orario, merchants that had kindly proved him information about the process to enter the city, along with the fees required.

Her palm met her forehead, and Bell lost sight of her azure gaze and for a second, he thought he would be the one in trouble before he spotted the small smile forming on the woman's lips, a smile that blossomed and Bell couldn't help but admire how breathtakingly beautiful the woman truly was, and now that she was closer, he could genuinely appreciate such beauty.

"Mister Cranel," She started, crossing her arms under bust and unintentionally pushing it up, her tux's fabric stretching to contain her assets which made Bell look away, "The permanent residence fee, as you may already know, is only 30, 000 but in your case… We'll leave it at 20, 000 and make it so that nothing ever occurred at the gates, deal?"

"Deal."

"Great!" She clapped once, giving Bell another breathtaking smile, "Let me be the first to welcome you to Orario, the Labyrinth City. I hope you enjoy your stay and try to keep out of trouble, next time I won't be around to help you."

Bell gratefully smiled back, "Thank you, Miss…?"

"Shakti, Shakti Varma."

And so, Bell would remember the kindness he was welcomed with, and would pay it back when the opportunity arose.


- 0 – AsBBaH Vol 1 – 0 -


Part 3

Bell spent his first week in Orario solely on the west sector of the city, more accurately known as the free market district. The young would-be adventurer was careful with his purchases, as he was left with only 20, 000 after paying the residence fee and a week worth of rent at a cheap inn.

Most Orario residents could live comfortably for a month with the 20, 000 Bell had left, but his was a different case from them.

For one, he did not have a job, nor did he have any other items left to sell, and since he hadn't gone into the dungeon yet, there was no source of income for him whatsoever.

That did not meant Bell hadn't spent any Valis, one of the first things he did was go through the free-market district in its entirety until he found a trustworthy trinket vendor from whom he purchased a map of the city, and with a few extra Valis during the transaction, was told about the cheap inn he'd been staying at for the past week.

Bell's street smarts, taught by his gramps, made him visit several other inns on the way towards the merchant's recommendation, and the vendor's words proved to be the real deal as the recommended inn was the best among them all in terms of commodity and cheapness.

Thus, Bell realized very quickly, that he had to be careful with his spending.

Most inns offered 3 meals a day with the room for the night at 3, 000 whereas the recommended inn offered 2 meals and the room for only a 1, 000 a night.

At least the problem of housing was temporarily solved, and Bell went ahead to get himself his next important purchases that could help him out. Those purchases were two books, one more useful than the other.

The first being a book with information compiled about the Familias currently residing in Orario along with the location of their residences; the second and less useful book which he bought more on a whim rather than necessity, was one made of a hard leather cover, said cover having the picture of a waxing crescent moon on the left, a full moon at the center, and a waning crescent moon on the right.

He hadn't gotten around to reading said mysterious book yet, but for some reason when he saw it, he felt compelled to get it.

Among his other purchases was a whetstone for his gifted dagger, a purchase made due to the previous scuffles on his journey dulling the blade's edge, one that had its first chip at the tip from how much use it had seen.

Had it not been for Bell being an avid Heroic tale's fan, and his grandfather a veritable first-hand source of such stories, Bell would have never thought about weapons, and equipment, needing maintenance.

From those stories Bell knew how a simple failure in equipment could lead to death, and he did not have enough fingers to count just how many stories his gramps told had such failures happen amidst battle, and Bell was determined to not become another failure among them.

On the very first day of the second week Bell spent in Orario, he had finally scrounged up a somewhat proper life plan while he ate an early lunch.

First, visit the Guild. Second, double check the Familias residences he already marked in his map. Third, and most importantly, join a Familia.

After that, well… Maybe… Take a page or two out of his gramp's perverted book…

Bell left the inn after renting a room for another night, and once he was out on the streets he was once again mesmerized by the sheer cultural difference between what he was used to in his village, and the city.

Where he was used to seeing dirt, innumerable trees, and mountains in the distance, Orario was a jungle of buildings left and right, with stalls adorning every side and corner of the streets, not a single one of them without at least one customer in the midst of a transaction.

Then there were the city folk happily going about their days through the streets, sharing the road with parties of adventurers that went about their merry way towards their next adventure while children ran around playing, the rare supply cart here and there being pulled by horses, donkeys, even bulls he'd seen at one point.

There were so many differences, and it was so much livelier, that the young white-haired boy couldn't wipe the childish smile of his face as he became one more of the many walking the streets and continued to admire the beauty of the city.

During his wondrous amazement, Bell hadn't noticed just fast he'd walked and reached his first destination, that being the Guild, or more famously known as 'The Pantheon'.

The awe-inspiring building left Bell floored, and once he entered through the arched door, he immediately scouted out the insides. Numerous doors on the right side leading to private booths most likely, the left side mirrored by public wooden booths and some tables surrounded by comfortable looking sofas, then at the very far end was a long counter separated into more booths from which various tellers, and advisors, currently worked on.

Bell continued walking forward while glancing around in silent wonder until he suddenly found his face mushed between something extremely soft.

Squish

"Ah."

Bell's blinked once the resistance registered in his brain, the shape of the resistance and its heat denoting its human origins, and the white-haired boy slowly tilted his face up, the face of the person he'd walked into coming into view.

Again, he was left speechless by how beautiful the face looking down at him was. What with the wild mane of red hair framing her full, mature, face and bringing out the golden color of the owner's irises looking down at him.

"Woah," Bell released a wondrous breath, the two soft things caressing his cheeks shifted the slightest bit and that's when Bell's brain finally caught up to his position, and situation. From the base of his neck to the roots of his hair, Bell turned tomato red, and jumped back, knees bending midair with hands meeting over his forehead, not a single motion wasted before he landed the perfect dogeza form on the Guild's floor.

"I'M SORRY!"

"Haa…" A deep sigh followed his exclamation, and the mature woman crouched to lift Bell's head from the floor. The woman in question was none other than Rose Fannett, one of the many employees of the Guild, and so far, her day had been a royal pain in the ass since her co-worker called in sick, and she had been forced to attend from early morning both her, and her co-workers, desk.

What made her day so bad were two adventurers she was forced to attend during the morning as both had given her the creeps; however, as Rose looked into the trembling teen's crimson eyes, ones filled with nothing but remorse, his face still completely red as he sputtered excuses for his misbehavior, she could easily spot how different the boy was to those two cretins.

"I'm so sorry miss! the guild - register - you - looking - sorry-"

"Stop."

"Hai…"

"You're new around here, aren't you?"

"Hai…"

Rose nodded and pulled the teen up to his feet, she glanced at a clock on the wall and noted her lunch break was still an hour away before glancing back at the conflicted boy. "Follow me." She wasted no time, turning on the dime of her feet and walked towards one of the many doors on the right side of the building.

"Hai…" Bell mumbled defeated and followed with his head hung low, he could feel many eyes on his back, and none felt friendly whatsoever.

It didn't take more than a minute to enter what he correctly guessed were the private booths with the Guild attendant, and during that minute Bell already imagined 10 different scenarios of how things would go down, and 9 out of those ended with him being thrown to jail.

What a way to start his adventure…

"Sit."

Rose didn't even finish her command when Bell was already rigidly sitting on the wooden chair in the middle of the room, one set around a low, empty, table. The Guild Lady took her sweet time gathering what she knew would be the required paperwork for the newcomer, an action she did to test the teen's composure and silently gauged just how well he managed being under pressure.

Every 30 seconds she glanced back, and each time the teen was sweating and looking even paler, and after he looked like he would keel over any second now, she stopped her little, if funny to her, test. She sat across him on the opposite chair, then laid out the paperwork on the table.

"Let's start properly, my name is Rose Fannett and I'm one of the many Guild employees in charge of adventurer's paperwork among other duties; however, for today I am also an advisor to new adventurers."

Bell oh' ed, his fears eased slightly, and his demeanor did a 180 as soon as the first mention of the word 'adventurer's left the lady's mouth. He leaned forward to give her his full attention.

'He looks like a puppy…' Rose shook her head, dispelling that though and swiftly took the pen clipped to her breast pocket and let it rest over the first form, "What is your full name?"

"Hai!" The thought of him being a puppy returned again, "My name is Bell Cranel, nice to meet you, Miss Fannett."

Rose cordially nodded, "Age?"

"15."

"Race?"

"Human."

"Birthplace?"

"Ah…" Bell scratched his cheek, "Uh, I'm not sure. I've lived my whole life in Mylvia village, northwest of Orario."

Rose raised an eyebrow at his unsureness, but nodded, nonetheless.

"Family members?"

"…"

"Mister Cranel?"

"None left, sorry." Bell sniffed but immediately tightened his face.

Rose looked up at that, noticing the unshed tears on Bell's crimson gaze.

'And now he looks like a kicked puppy…'

"I apologize if the questions feel too personal, but we are required to know all these pieces of information for safety measures, and future uses."

Bell steeled his resolve and nodded, "It's okay Miss Fannett, you don't need to apologize. I've already come to terms with it, please let's continue."

Rose felt compelled to pat his head like she would a puppy, but obviously didn't.

"Current residence?"

"I'm staying at the Laid-Back Fish Inn on the western district."

"What kind of experience do you have? Be it as an adventurer, merchant, farmer, whatever you believe may be important for the Guild to be aware of."

Bell looked up, "I was a farmer back at the village with my Gramps, though he would sometimes take me along for wild animal hunting expeditions, as for adventuring… Not much? I've slayed some Goblins and Ferals on my journey to Orario but that's about it."

Rose blinked twice, a little bit of disbelief crossing her features. There was no way the little puppy in front of her had dealt with surface monsters, he looked far too innocent for such a claim, but his words were nothing if not sincere, "How many Goblins and Ferals are we speaking about, exactly?"

"Ah, hmm. About twenty goblins, and around ten wolves, but I had help for the wolves!" Bell smiled at the memories, "You see, there was a merchant caravan being attacked by the Ferals' pack and while they had some adventurers defending them, I decided to join and helped them fend the Wolf-like monsters off, so it was mostly just me doing last hits rather than complete fights, but the Goblins were all me!"

Rose admired how proud the puppy was of his feat, and the urge to pat him returned with vengeance as he proudly puffed out his chest, but she squashed the urge down. What she couldn't squash down was the smile that formed on her lips from his delight.

"Hoo, is that so? Then you mustn't have had any problems joining a Familia with such experience."

Bell scratched the back of his head, "I… Haven't applied to any Familia yet, Miss Fannett, I thought I had to register at the Guild first before doing anything else."

Rose nodded at that, he was not the first to think like that and certainly wouldn't be the last to have done the same thing.

"Very well, we'll leave the Familia spot blank for the moment. Now, for the last question." Rose gathered her hands in her lap, and Bell noted for the first time the animal ears that twitched atop Rose's red mane, "Why do you want to become an Adventurer?"

Bell went silent for a moment, then his voice came out strong, yet soft, "Ever since I was little, my Gramps always read me tales about Heroes; How common men would stand up against impossible odds for what they believed in, how weak people were capable of doing incredible feats, how one single person could change the course of history, or create a miracle that would be sung and told for ages to follow…"

The white-haired boy's fingers tightened into a fist, his determination filling his voice, "It's my dream to become someone like those heroes… Even if I can't have a story of my own to be told and passed down, as long as I can become the Hero for someone, anyone, in their time of weakness, then my dream will become true and I will be happy, but for that I need to become strong, stronger than anyone else, and I will do so emulating those very same Heroes from the tales of my Gramps."

Then Bell's crimson gaze connected with Rose's golden gaze, an almost palpable determination radiating from the boy, "And maybe… Somewhere down the road… I wish to be the Hero that will protect my future family from anything that would threaten them…" Bell finished shyly, cheeks reddening after whispering the last part.

It was the very first time he told anyone besides his grandfather and Miss Kat of his dreams, after all.

Rose went into silent wonder, mostly because she expected his response to be something like the many other young adventurers, those being 'Because I want to become famous' or 'I want to become rich', even the rare 'I want to be the strongest' however… She truly didn't expect for the boy she had been comparing to a puppy for the last thirty minutes to have such a strong, and profound, reason to become an adventurer for someone so young.

"That's a really admirable goal, Mister Cranel." Rose snapped out of her astonishment, and gave Bell a soft smile, "And I personally hope you accomplish your dreams."

"Thank you, Miss Fannett!"

The next thirty minutes flew by as Rose explained the Guild functions to the 'White Puppy', the nickname she gave Bell, not that he knew of course.

She explained minor details such as the different Guild Attendants' working hours, how the teller was always open for monster cores and material exchanges. She also explained the more important details such as the dungeon being available to anyone, with or without a Familia, as long as they were registered with the Guild.

Other details included such as how the Babel Tower contained various shop where Bell could purchase equipment ranging from novice levels up to the most expensive adventurer gear imaginable.

Not that Bell could afford any equipment whatsoever since he was down to 11, 000 valis after all the purchases he made.

Rose was also kind enough to give him a stack of papers with which she taught Bell how to make a proper Familia Admission forms, and she had to admit with how the White Puppy hung to her every word like it was the most important detail in the world, and with how fervent his desire to accomplish his dream was, he became one of the most exciting things to occur in her simple life, at least for the past six months that is.

It was quite disappointing for her when she realized that this would be the one, and only, session she would be his advisor, as it was a role she long left behind.

Bell, armed with a stack of papers, formally bowed once the session was over, "Thank you so much for everything you've done for me, Miss Fannett. I promise to do my best!"

Rose curtly nodded, "I will hold you to that, Mister Cranel."

And so, they both left the booth. Bell with a million-watt smile on his face, and for those that paid attention to Rose, the subtle satisfied smile on her normally cool and stern features.


- 0 – AsBBaH Part 3 End – 0 -