Chapter 55: Swallowed by a bitter vortex
My younger sister was in my arms.
My younger sister who I thought that I might perhaps never see again or at least until she defeated the Demon Lord.
Ruti squeezed with her arms that were wrapped around my back.
Ruti was smiling, smiling while crying.
Gonz who was beside me and the Chikuwa-loving child who entered with Ruti were shocked stiff with their mouths wide open.
I have to say something …
First, I tightly hugged Ruti back.
I was happy to be reunited with my younger sister too. From the bottom of my heart.
After a while, once Ruti had finally calmed down, I softly squeezed Ruti’s shoulder and she obediently separated from me.
Her expression had returned to her usual expression too.
She was smiling even now but those who did not know Ruti would probably see it as an expressionless look.
“Onii-chan … you’re wrong.”
” … ? What are you referring to?”
“I do not feel anything for Ares.”
Was she referring to the time when Ares hugged her when I left?
“Really? I was sure that …”
Ruti denied it with a strong tone which she rarely used with me.
That was Ruti’s way of expressing her denial where there was no room for discussion so I honestly gave in.
“All right all right, it seems that I was mistaken.”
Ruti corrected me sadly. I see, so she did not have such a relationship with Ares …
While I was partially happy, I was also sad as it meant that Ruti did not have anybody to rely on in the end.
… I guess it was about time I explained to those around us.
But how should I explain it?
“Onii-chan so that girl is Red’s younger sister?”
“Onii-chan so the person in front of me is Gideon-san?”
Gonz and Chikuwa-loving girl both tilted their heads in confusion.
Hah, how should I explain this?
Lit was out buying dinner.
I will have to explain all kinds of matters to Ruti before she returned.
At the same time, I had to explain to Gonz as well.
Gonz was not exactly a tight-lipped person but he was still a person who could distinguish what not to speak about.
I’ll close the shop for a time.
After all, I could not manage the shop in this situation.
“Er, firstly, Gonz.”
“This child is my younger sister. But please do not tell those around us for now. I’ll explain to you properly another day so it would help me if you quietly went home for today.”
“Sure, I don’t really get what is going on but I can certainly tell that you both like each other.”
“Younger sisters are good.”
Gonz had Nao too, his younger sister.
The two of them got along well and he treats her husband Mido and their son Tanta like his own family.
Gonz stood up straight and pat my shoulder.
“Erm, younger sister-san. Red … or perhaps your real name is Gideon? I don’t know your circumstances but this guy is a great and reliable guy for this Zoltan’s Downtown district. He has not done anything bad so you can relax.”
However, it seemed to me that there was a shadow on her expression.
In the living room were me, Ruti, Chikuwa-loving girl … she was apparently called Tise, an Assassin that replaced me by Ares’ recommendation.
I felt that my role and that of an Assassin was quite far apart though.
“Ah — where should I start?”
“What is it?”
“Who is living with you?”
Ruti asked after taking a look around the room.
Ugh, she noticed even before I explained huh?
There wasn’t anything in the room that indicated Lit’s presence.
However, she probably realized that another person apart from me lived in this house from the arranged flower and flower pot as well as the sense of dishware.
I was a little nervous revealing it to my younger sister.
“I have someone I live together with.”
” … I see.”
“She’ll probably be back soon but you remember that shotel-wielding princess-sama Lislet who acted with us in Logavia?”
“That person huh?”
Ruti said a little sadly.
I guess it was really my mistake to think that she liked Ares instead of me.
Since we traveled together … no, since we were young, Ruti only had eyes for me.
“In any case, tell me the truth as to what happened to lead to this. I believe I asked Ares to say that I left the party to do scouting because I felt it was hard for me to fight.”
“After that, Yarandorara started claiming that Ares killed Onii-chan even though he claimed that Onii-chan ran away.”
That Ares bastard, he didn’t keep his promise huh?
Although it might not be my place to complain after I had left the party.
I told them my circumstances where I was told by Ares that I was a hindrance to the party and to leave the party, fell into despair, ended up in Zoltan, opened an Apothecary and ended up living together with Lit.
“I intend to live like this together with Lit. I plan to eventually marry her.”
I was a little nervous to clearly speak the word marriage.
Lit was a princess while I was a Knight with nothing more than a single generation of peerage.
It was not quite a case where our standings matched but … Lit and I were both prepared to abandon our social standings.
My expressions probably told Ruti that I was serious. Ruti did not say anything about the difference in pedigree and just quietly nodded.
“I’m sorry for leaving without telling you.”
” … It was Ares who was wrong. But.”
Ruti looked at me directly.
“I will silence Ares. So, is it all right?”
” … ”
“Lit can come along too. Onii-chan, let’s journey together again.”
Ruti said as if she was begging me.
Pain ran through my heart.
I … thought that there were others Ruti could rely on apart from me.
Ares, Danan, Theodora, Yarandorara.
They all had their weaknesses but they were stronger than me and were her companions who mastered their respective paths.
Even without me, Ares’ magic, Danan’s fists, Theodora’s spear and miracles, Yarandorara’s power to manipulate plants … I thought that they would be able to support Ruti.
“The party can’t hold without Onii-chan. I can even expel Ares. We need Onii-chan.”
Ruti explained the current situation of the party.
That Ares failed to accomplish my work on his own.
Danan left to look for me, Yarandorara left the party thinking I was murdered.
Tise entered the party to replace me but having one to replace three did not add up.
” …… ”
They defeated the Wind of the Four Heavenly Kings so I thought that the Hero party was doing well.
However, the Hero’s journey was not going favorably at all.
Just like the misgivings Lit had, huge issues surfaced after I left.
If I wish to return, I still had a place in the Hero party.
I could return to my days of adventuring once again if I wished for it.
However, even so … despite all that, I.
“Sorry, Ruti. I have already found my meaning in staying here.”
Not just Lit, this shop, this daily life have become my purpose in life.
This Zoltan … had already become my home.
Ruti quietly answered, having seemed to had a hunch midway through.
“In that case, I’ll live in this city too.”
My beloved younger sister said with the determination to abandon her adventure as I did.
Selfish words that carried with it the meaning of escaping from the war which determines the fate of the world.
However, I wonder if anybody could condemn those words.
Today will probably be a long day.
What should I say? What can I say?
My thoughts were swallowed by a bitter vortex.
But I did not feel that it was painful.
Because in front of my eyes was my beloved younger sister, a young girl who endured unbearable sorrow with an expressionless face.