Extra chapter thanks to my Patreons~ Enjoy!
Chapter 27: Hero and the stormy day of past
It was a stormy day.
It was rare that a storm would reach the village.
Therefore, there were many homes not sturdy enough to withstand a storm and we gathered everyone to the village elder’s house that also functioned as a meeting place to seek refuge.
The wind howled outside. I could hear the sound of something getting blown away outside. There was an intense clap of thunder and the children around us who evacuated in the same way screamed.
At that time, I was eight years old. My younger sister Ruti was six years old.
Due to our special Divine Protections, the two of us were a lot calmer compared to the children our age.
A slight distance away, a seated girl the same age as Ruti cried out and clung to her mother. “You’re already six years old!” The mother was a little concerned with the gazes around her but she still gently patted the head of the girl clinging to her arm.
” …… ”
Ruti looked at that situation with her usual gaze … the people around said that the gaze was very cold but that was not true, her emotional expressions were just hard to understand … she stared intently at that scene.
I also looked around and saw many children similarly holding hands with their parents or siblings.
Everyone was afraid.
“What is it?”
“Are you not afraid?”
” … Of the wind? Of thunder? Or of the possibility of the building collapsing and crushing everyone?”
She indifferently asked to confirm what I meant with calm and beautiful eyes and I slowly patted my younger sister’s head.
“Any one of that, are you afraid at this moment?”
“Nope, after all, I fear nothing.”
“I fear nothing.” Ruti once had a huge fight when she said that same phrase and clashed with a 13-year-old bully.
Even though she possesses the Divine Protection of the Hero, Ruti, a child with level 1 Divine Protection and no equipment nor combat experience, would have difficulty fighting against a bully leader, a youth who developed early with level 3 Divine Protection of the Warrior, though armed with just a club-like weapon, a thick cloth as armor and an old wooden shield, so she got beaten with the club and came home.
Even though Ruti actually possesses complete immunity to fear since birth and she only said that with that meaning in mind.
… Of course, after that I made that bully leader suffer the same amount of pain … well, maybe about 1.5 times … no, 2 times the pain, yup, probably about that much and had him apologize in front of Ruti.
Thanks to that, I ended up getting treated as the bully leader for some time after that. It was a hassle so I ordered an 11-year-old boy with the Divine Protection of the Cavalier to return the situation to its original state.
From then onward, the former bully leader behaved himself and never resorted to violence. He enjoyed violence not because of his Divine Protection but because he had never had the experience of losing in a fight.
“There’s nothing Ruti fears huh?”
“Onii-chan knows right?”
Ruti tilted her head and showed that she couldn’t understand my intentions.
“I am afraid.”
“Yes. Are you surprised?”
Ruti showed a slightly troubled expression.
She still did not have complete immunity to confusion at that time. That was why I thought she could be surprised.
“I am not surprised.”
“I see, you’re not surprised huh?”
“Then, I’ll get back to topic. I am afraid … could you hold my hand?”
“Yes, Ruti’s hand.”
I grasped Ruti’s hand.
Regardless of how overwhelming the Divine Protection residing in her body was, that was the hand of a small girl.
“Are you not afraid anymore?”
“Yup, I’m no longer afraid.”
Ruti smiled gently. Others … only mothers and fathers will understand the cuteness of such a smile. It is such a waste.
That was why I hogged it for myself. Until the day Ruti meets a person who can understand that smile.
“Sorry, I lied when I said I was afraid.”
“I’m totally not afraid.”
Ruti tilted her head further as she could not understand more and more.
“I just wanted to hold Ruti’s hand.”
“Do you hate it?”
“I don’t. But why?”
“There’s no reason.”
“That’s right, I have times I want to hold Ruti’s hand for no particular reason.”
” … Why?”
“There’s no reason … but, people do actions that have no reasons behind them.”
“Actions with no reasons.”
“Yup, I grasped Ruti’s hand for no particular reason. That’s why, if you have any time you have to hold my hand for no reason, you can do so at any time.”
“I see …”
Ruti stared at my hand that was connected to hers.
“I love Onii-chan.”
That was rare.
Perhaps that was the first time Ruti expressed words of affection toward anything.
“Thank you, I’m happy.”
“I am the one who said I love Onii-chan? Why is Onii-chan thanking me?”
I gently rustled Ruti’s hair.
Her striking blue hair brilliantly reflected the candlelight as I pat her head.
“Ruti, I love you too.”
I have repeated those words to Ruti countless times.
In fact, my younger sister was unbearably cute.
“Ruti smiles when I say those words.”
Ruti looked shocked as she cutely touched her own face.
That gesture was also cute and I smiled gently.
“Smiling means happiness right?”
“In other words, I am the same too, I feel happy when Ruti say you love me. I’m smiling now right?”
“That’s why, thank you.”
Ruti deliberately pondered on the meaning of those words to understand them.
“You understand now?”
“Onii-chan, can I do things that have no meaning too?”
Ruti let go of my hand.
Eh? Did she not like it?
But Ruti went around my back and hugged my head as she clung to me.
“This is better … is it all right?”
“Sure, you can do this anytime.”
She tightened her hug. I could feel her body warmth transmitted through my back.
“What is it?”
I looked back and naturally Ruti’s face was there.
Ruti showed a ‘full-faced smile’ that only I could understand.
For people who could understand that smile, it was a cute smile that could absolutely make them fall in love.
The person who can marry Ruti is super lucky. I’m starting to feel envious.
“Onii-chan, will you always be with me?”
” … Sorry, I cannot do that.”
After this storm passes. I will have to head to the town of Andaru where the Knight that scouted me awaits in order for me to become a Knight.
As far as I know, the monsters in the vicinity of this village do not contribute well to the growth of Divine Protections. Even though I had earnestly hunted monsters from the age of six, my level had only raised from 31 to 33. An Owlbear is too weak.
In preparation for the time I journey with Ruti, I must become as strong as I possibly can.
I do not know until when I can fight alongside her but … until the day Ruti is surrounded by lots of companions. Even if the opponent is the strongest Demon, I must be able to fight it.
“But, if Ruti has anything you don’t want to do, you can call me anytime. I will do it for you.”
“I know that.”
“You have told me many times.”
“I’ll be sad if you forget about me after all?”
A small ear was pressed to my back and Ruti stayed still.
“I’ll come back when I get a break. What do you want for a souvenir?”
Ruti who was leaning on my back muttered that.
The journey to the Demon Lord and the slow life at the frontier named Zoltan.
I believed that our paths would never cross again. But,
“Are you searching for Gideon?”
A young man with black hair and dark skin said that to Danan.
Danan never had any talent for tracking and was at a loss for where to head without obtaining any leads so he was drinking in a tavern at the town Gideon broke off from them. He could not find information on Gideon no matter where he looked.
Danan was just feeling pleasant from being drunk so he glared at the youth. Actually, he did not mean to glare but Danan’s 「Eyes of Intimidation」 skill always spontaneously activated. Or rather, without consciously preventing it, his 「Eyes of Intimidation」 would activate on its own.
However, the youth was unruffled.
“I cannot compare to you but my sword is slightly serviceable.”
“Leaving that aside, you’re looking for Gideon right?”
“What about it, do you know Gideon’s whereabouts?”
“No no, I have no idea. I just want to find Gideon too.”
Dana woke up from his drunken stupor.
He lightly shook his fist and glared at the youth in combat preparation.
“Shall we search for him together? I believe the effectiveness would be better if two people search together.”
The youth merely flashed a smile.