Chapter 56: A proper Hero
Lit came home immediately following that conversation and was placing her groceries down.
“I’m home~! Red isn’t here? The shop is closed too.”
I hurriedly ran to the shop.
“I’m here~ I was in the living room … some guests came by.”
There was a soft footstep.
Somebody was probably peeping their face out from the door behind me.
I couldn’t see behind me but …
The groceries fell to the floor with a thud.
Lit froze and was too shocked to say a word.
“Ah~, yup, my younger sister came by.”
Even if I couldn’t see behind me, I could easily guess who was behind me by looking at Lit’s expression.
“It’s been a long time.”
Ruti greeted Lit with a soft voice.
The sound of a soft clink echoed.
It was the sound of me placing a cup of coffee on the table.
The room was currently so quiet that such a soft sound could echo in the room.
(The atmosphere is bad.)
Lit and Ruti were both focusing on the cups in their hands and were not looking in front.
Tise was staring at the jumping spider on the back of her hand.
The jumping spider was looking around restlessly and somehow seemed to be acting like it was worried about Tise.
“Ah, Ruti. Where are you staying?”
“An inn in the harbor district.”
“Harbor district huh? Aren’t the inns in the central ward or north ward better in quality?”
“It’s all right.”
“I see … but what do you plan to do? Will you be sleeping here today?”
Ruti’s expression instantly lit up but she immediately lowered her head.
“No, I still have something to do in the harbor district … but, I would like to be together after I am done with that task.”
A task huh …
“I have not asked, why did you come to Zoltan?”
“One reason was to look for Onii-chan.”
“Me … ?”
“Because Onii-chan is needed to subjugate the Demon Lord.”
Hmm … when we first met, when she announced that she would live here … and her reason which was to look for me, all of them felt a little out of place.
“Another reason was to look for a person.”
“An intellectual who was hiding in Zoltan. He possesses the knowledge necessary for the subjugation of the Demon Lord. But we have already found him so that is done.”
Lit who had been keeping silent all this while called out.
“Red … what will you do?”
Right, I had not told Lit yet.
“I will stay here. And run this shop together with Lit.”
“Really? … But.”
Lit glanced at Ruti who was showing a sorrowful expression.
“Lit, you don’t have to worry. I too … will live in this town.”
“We have to return for tonight.”
Ruti stood up.
Strange, the strong sense of discomfort that I have been feeling since a while ago was still there.
I believe whatever that was happening to Ruti’s body was not absolutely bad … but it was not entirely good either.
“Come by anytime. I will be in this shop.”
“I was about to ask that.”
Ruti lowered her head slightly.
I gently rubbed her head.
“I have not talked to you enough. We both have a lot to catch up on after I left.”
“That’s right, but this is enough for today …”
Ruti looked directly at me … and smiled happily once again.
“But it is all right, after all, I have a ton of time after this.”
Lit who was beside me was surprised to see Ruti’s smile.
Ruti left plainly.
Lit and I sat at the table and pondered intently.
“Hey, Red. Is it really all right?”
“That … I find it strange to say it but … Ruti needs you.”
“In that case, I kind of think it would be better … if you went with her.”
Lit’s expression seemed like she was suffering.
“For the sake of the world huh …”
To be honest, I can’t say that my heart was not wavering.
Recalling Ruti’s sorrowful expression certainly made a part of me hesitate.
“Let’s sit down and talk again, me, Ruti, Lit, and Tise, the four of us.”
It was not an issue that could be resolved immediately.
We needed time.
Some people might accuse us of delaying the Hero.
But if that was a crime, the blame was on me. Ruti had not done anything wrong.
After all, even if the fate of the world rested on those shoulders, Ruti was still only a 17-year-old young girl.
After leaving the shop, Ruti quickly left the location and groaned while holding her chest.
Tise rush over in a hurry.
Ruti took out the Devil’s Divine Protection from her chest pocket and drank a mouthful.
“I shouldn’t have said that I would remain in this town.”
Ruti softly muttered as cold sweats appeared on her forehead.
Ruti was currently suffering an attack from the fierce impulses of her Divine Protection.
Even though the impulses should have been weakened by the Devil’s Divine Protection, when the Hero stated her desire to abandon the very role of a Hero, the world strongest Divine Protection, the desire to pursue justice protested with pain that could crush a person’s heart.
“It has not weakened yet.”
Tise was worried.
As she expected, the current Hero-sama was somewhat strange.
Tise had definitely not traveled with the Hero for a long time but her current condition was undeniably abnormal.
That was they heard a scream.
Tise responded quickly.
But Ruti had rushed over even before she did.
Outside the Downtown district, at the water canal that bordered the harbor district.
A single High-Elf woman was grabbed by her hair and pull to the ground.
“Hey, who let a long-ear do business here huh?”
There was an oden stall overturned in the vicinity.
The oden ingredients that the High-Elf Oparara made with care were scattered miserably on the ground and there were two red-faced drunk men grinning as they stepped on them.
“This is a human-sama town, demi-humans like you showing your faces here would damage the aesthetic of the place.”
There were human supremacists like them in any town.
In most cases, most humans frowned at their actions but there was a sufficient number in their community so they exist in every town.
They seemed to be filled with twisted joy when they looked at the red-faced Oparara due to their beatings …
It happened in the blink of the eye.
The next instant, there was a punch directly in front of him from a young girl with her legs in a wide stance.
There was no time at all for him to protect himself.
He lost the air in his lungs and following that, he was wrecked by intense pain as if his internal organs were mashed and crushed.
Ruti held herself back so as to not kill the man.
However, that was not due to mercy. She aimed to hold back just enough so that he would not lose consciousness but be in such pain that he would wish that he had died.
That single punch would probably remain as a lifelong mental trauma for that man.
The man bent over doubled and pressed against his stomach as he moaned while his tears and drool flowed freely.
The other man tried to escape in a hurry but Tise had already wrapped around him.
Tise grabbed the man’s arm which he extended to thrust her away and she tossed him into the air with a turn.
Pressing onto the joint of the man that crashed into the ground, Tise softly pressed her finger to the man’s side.
He screamed so loudly that it felt like his throat would tear.
She had applied the Human Body Destruction technique.
An attack that only applied pain to the opponent without causing any injury.
“Chikuwa … what a waste.”
Looking at the trampled chikuwa, Tise pressed a little harder with her finger.
By the time the two thugs were handed to the Guards who came rushing over after hearing the commotion, the two of them were already crying and cowering without worrying about their appearances.
“With that, they will never do it again.”
Ruti murmured when she saw the condition of the two thugs.
Tise nodded too.
“Thank you for your help.”
The Guards seemed that they were outraged by the two men’s actions so they did not say a word about Ruti and Tise’s violent actions and dragged the two men away after thanking them.
Tise was a little satisfied.
As an Assassin, it was rare to help others like that. It was unusual … but it didn’t feel bad.
In contrast, Ruti slumped her shoulder a little.
“Th-thank you! You saved me!”
Oparara approached them while holding a wet towel to her cheek that was punched.
Ruti placed her right hand on that cheek when she saw her face.
Tise warned Ruti when she realized what she was about to do.
However, Ruti activated ‘Healing Hands’ without heeding her.
Oparara released a voice of shock.
In an instant, the pain from her cheek and body disappeared and neither of the wound or the swelling from her previously red and swollen cheek remained.
“I still can’t abandon the people in need.”
“Sorry, even though you told me not to use my skill.”
“N-no, it is all right … I’m sure that was the right thing to do.”
That was right, that was what being a Hero meant.
Tise was convinced and a little proud that she stood alongside a person who would do the right thing.
Ruti stared at her right hand that fought against the strong and protected the weak.
The suffering she felt from her impulses until just now was resolved by helping the High-Elf. After some time passes, the Devil’s Divine Protection would kick into effect too.
She came running precisely because she knew that doing this would dispel her Divine Protection’s impulses.
“I wonder if this is the right thing to do.”
Ruti asked her own Divine Protection in a voice soft enough that nobody else heard it.