Hero Elegy (英雄挽歌) is a special story included in the DanMachi BD Volume 7 booklet.
Summary[edit | edit source]
In the dungeon, an adventurer asked Bell if he would take revenge for his dead comrade. The adventurer was holding his dead comrade, a female adventurer, in his hands. The adventurer and his party glared at the passageway where two eyes stared back at them. Bell assumed that they had run into an irregular situation in the dungeon and tried to escape, at which point Bell's party assisted them in running away. The adventurer knew that he was wrong in holding a grudge against the monster but nonetheless pleaded for Bell to defeat it. At that moment Bell realized that it was the first time he had seen an adventurer die, causing his mind to go blank. However, he knew he had to defeat the monster, and as Lili and Welf watched, he ran off to confront the monster.
Because of the dungeon, countless people died in Orario. However, if one looked at it from the monsters' point of view, they were being massacred just for the adventurers' greed. While humans refused to admit this, it would be assumed that at least the Gods would think of it. Everything had been decided the moment the monsters appeared from the dungeon and began attacking the lower world. If all of the pain stemmed from the monsters coming out of the dungeon, Ais tended to believe that the monsters should bear the hate and anger of the people.
The area dark around her, Ais heard voices. Some sounded like voices of those she knew while others she didn't know. Countless hands reached out from the darkness while pleading to her. She knew that they were the voices of those that had passed, and that they were also the wishes of those in the future. A young Ais looked down at her palm and slowly nodded. Just like others had done before, she decided to show her resolve through her weapon.
At the point her dream ended and Ais awoke. Looking around, she realized that she had fallen asleep in her own room after returning from getting her weapon maintained. Seeing Desperate and a washcloth, she recalled the memories from her dream. She recalled that she had accepted those hands as if that was all she knew how to do. Ais got up from her bed, put Desperate back in its sheath, and was about to close her window when she noticed that Orario was dark. After looking out across the city for a few moments, she realized that it was Elegia, which led her to believe that it was the reason she had such a dream.
Bell and the others returned to the surface once the monster had been killed. Despite having killed the monster, he had no feeling of having taken revenge or a sense of a mission. He believed that he wanted to stop any more sadness from occurring. Once he had defeated the monster, the adventurer that had asked him thanked him with a tear stained face.
On the way back to the surface, the Hestia Familia helped the adventurers carry the dead adventurer's body to the surface. When they reached the surface, the adventurer sat next to the body and stopped moving. Some adventurers passing by cast glances of various emotions in their direction. Eventually, Lili and Welf encouraged Bell to leave the body as there was nothing else they could do.
As they left Babel, Bell noticed decorations across Central Park. Wooden pillars had been erected across the area with strings attached between them to hang banners and flowers. Additionally, all magic stone lamps had been turned off and small candles were being used in their place. Lili and Welf remembered that the day was Elegia, causing a confused Bell to ask them what it was about. The two explained to him that Elegia was a day to mourn dead heroes that fought monsters in ancient times, and was also a celebration to praise the efforts of those heroes. As Bell watched, Lili added that people dressed in white would go around visiting each of the monuments to the heroes, finally coming back to Central Park to sing elegies. The Elegia would continue until sunrise the next day. The candles represented the dark nights the heroes lived through, and unlike any other day the city was unusually quiet. A few moments passed before Lili added that the Elegia was also a time to remember those that died in the dungeon. After thinking about it, Bell returned to the adventurers, wondering what they thought of it.
Seeing the light from the candles, Ais left the Loki Familia to walk around, troubled by the dream she had earlier. Instead of her usual clothes she wore a white one piece and tied her hair on the back of her head. Walking along the edge of the street against the flow of people, the lights made her recall the faces of those she had parted with, some of which were former members of the Loki Familia. Remembering their deaths brought back the pain she felt when they died. While some people might think that adventurers should leave the dungeon if they were scared of losing others, Ais knew that it wasn't as simple as that. She had a reason she needed to fight, and while there may be ambitions or desires involved, adventurers were depended upon.
As she was lost in thought, several children came running up to her. The children were excited that they were talking with the Sword Princess until a Half Elf child asked Ais to defeat the One Eyed Black Dragon. Once the children left, Ais reflected over what she had been asked to do. She knew that adventurers had the responsibility of killing the dragon which was dangerous enough to be known as the "living end". At the point the sound of the elegies reached her ears, making her remember that the world wished for a hero. Recalling the childrens' hopeful expressions, she commented that she was afraid of looking at the children, and hearing the elegies made her heart hurt inside. Ais had her own desire which was something different than what the world desired. She knew that when the time came she would fight for her own personal grudge, ending up as a foolish puppet bound to her own desire rather than a hero for the people. Ais silently told herself that she couldn't be anyone's hero.
Hearing the elegies, Bell stopped, causing Lili to ask if something was wrong. Bell pointed out that the Gods were also singing, noting the songs of Loki, Freya, Ganesha, Hermes, Hephaestus, and Hestia. Hearing the songs caused him to recall the various things his grandfather had told him about the dungeon. He thought he finally understood the words his grandfather said. Bell expressed his desire to become a hero but also felt sorrow.
The girl decided to offer flowers to not lose sight of herself while the boy decided to offer flowers in order to remember that events that happened during the Elegia.
Later, as the sun rose, Bell visited the First Graveyard to offer flowers at Celia's grave. When the Hestia Familia visited him earlier, Edgar had informed him that she had already been buried. The sight of the countless white graves made him think deeply about death. After leaving flowers that he had bought at a certain flower shop, Bell recalled that it was his second time visiting the First Graveyard, the first time he had visited a black tombstone in the back of the graveyard. Making his way to the back, he recognized Ais standing there alone. Sensing his presence, Ais turned to face him, though Bell thought he saw tears in her eyes. After a brief conversation, silence passed between them before she left.
After she left, Bell approached the black monument which was in memory of the ancient heroes. He made his way to the furthest monument in the back, noticing that she had been standing in front of a monument to the hero Albert. As he read Albert's name, he immediately recalled the various names that he had been referred to by, finally remembering his alias of Mercenary King Waldstein. Bell noticed the similarity between the name Waldstein and Wallenstein, suspicions growing in his heart that Ais might have a connection to Albert. Bell turned around and watched as Ais disappeared into the morning mist.