Extra chapter thanks to Yi, Raphael, Kenneth and Anonymous5 🙂 Enjoy!
Chapter 63: The talk between three people and an arachnid
The next day.
Tise and Ugeuge-san came to my shop again.
I heard from Lit about what they talked about in the bath yesterday.
I first lowered my head to Tise and Ugeuge-san who were seated directly opposite me.
“There’s no need to thank me. Ruti-sama is my friend too.”
“I am thanking you for that. Thank you for being Ruti’s friend.”
Ruti had always been alone.
The skills granted to her from her Divine Protection of the Hero gave her greater courage than those around her.
But at the same time, it also brought about a sense that she was a distant existence that those around her could only be at awe at.
Even her companions drew a line when interacting with her. I was the only person who always stayed beside Ruti.
I was saddened when I misunderstood that Ruti no longer needed me after Ares took my spot but at the same time, I was also happy that she found a companion with which she could speak freely to apart from myself … but I was quite mistaken.
However, now she has made reliable friends: Tise and Ugeuge-san.
There’s nothing that makes me happier.
“In actual fact, it should be Ruti-sama who told Gideon-san … I should be calling you Red-san here … Red-san that but it’s a difficult situation at the moment.”
“I understand. I don’t mind.”
Lit and I both noticed Ruti’s strange behavior.
She was never capable of laughing or crying so expressively before.
More importantly, the impulses from her Divine Protection of the Hero would never allow her to say that she wants to live in Zoltan.
“I trust the two of you and I will tell you whatever information I know.”
Tise briefly told us the things she saw and heard.
I could not hide my shock from finding out that the incidents which happened in Zoltan could impact Ruti who was so far away.
Even though Zoltan should have been a remote border which was completely unrelated to the war with the Demon Lord army.
“I never expected that the Contract Demon would encounter Ruti.”
Even Tise did not know the exact words the Contract Demon told Ruti.
Ruti, who captured the Contract Demon, performed the interrogation on her own.
“So that’s where she found out about the effects of the Devil’s Divine Protection and its recipe.”
“Hey, Red, can’t you give Ruti the medicine you used on Ademi to treat him?”
“It won’t work, that medicine won’t have any effect on Ruti.”
The medicine that I gave Ademi to suppress the impulses from his Divine Protection would be treated as poison by Ruti’s Divine Protection.
It would have no effect on Ruti who possess complete resistance toward poison.
I experimented with that medicine because I wanted to temporarily release Ruti from the pressure she faced from her Divine Protection but it was impossible with that medicine.
“What do you think will happen if she continues to consume the Devil’s Divine Protection to suppress her Hero’s Divine Protection?”
Tise asked while she thought about it.
If she continues to ingest it … the figure of a suffering drug addict overlapped with Ruti’s figure in my mind.
“I have no clear idea about the principle on which the Devil’s Divine Protection works but it should be fine as long as she retains her resistances from the Divine Protection of the Hero. However, the Devil’s Divine Protection should have the effect of lowering a person’s innate Divine Protection level.”
“So you mean she would show symptoms of addiction if her level drops until she loses her absolute resistance?”
“The probability of that is high.”
Newman’s place has seen many patients with addiction syndrome due to the Devil’s Divine Protection.
It causes high dependency and, when overdosed, symptoms such as excruciating migraines and paralysis of the cardiopulmonary system. However, those symptoms were limited to patients with low Divine Protection levels.
The Devil’s Divine Protection works the same like a regular narcotic, although overdose can cause abnormalities in body functions, in cases where there is sufficient Divine Protection level, the body’s own vitality and resilience brought about by the Divine Protection will be stronger than the influence from narcotics.
In the case of the Devil’s Divine Protection, the situation becomes a little complicated because it decreases a person’s Divine Protection level but as it decreases, the subsequent increase in the Axe Demon’s Divine Protection will similarly compensate to withstand the addiction symptoms.
The issue of dependency and the Axe Demon Divine Protection’s dominant impulse to go on a slaughter should not be a problem in Ruti’s case.
“No, wait a minute.”
“What is it?”
Lit asked worriedly after seeing my expression change.
“I did not investigate the compounding recipe but I recall that it should require demon hearts as the raw material.”
“Those are certainly hard to obtain but it should not be an issue for Ruti?”
Certainly, with Ruti’s strength, she could acquire dozens of demon hearts just by attacking a Demon Lord army camp.
However, this is Zoltan. A remote region far away from the front lines against the Demon Lord army.
“It seems that the medicine Ruti-sama is planning to make does not require demon hearts.”
What does she mean? I believe the Devil’s Divine Protection should be a drug that suppresses a person’s innate Divine Protection by raising the level of the demon’s Divine Protection?
“How will it suppress the Divine Protection impulses without the demon hearts?”
The three of us fell into silence in face of that question.
All of us, as adventurers and assassin, have a certain degree of knowledge in medicine.
Although I am the only one who makes medicine, Lit and Tise both are on the side that uses the medicine and possess greater knowledge if compared to ordinary apothecaries. And they probably applied that knowledge to their own body to avoid falling in battle.
For that reason, they realize that the contradiction in the medicine Ruti was drinking was not a trivial matter.
“What’s the meaning of this? That drug was created by the Demons. How is it possible that it doesn’t need the demon hearts if they had actually killed their fellow race to obtain the raw materials.”
“It’s unnatural. Sorry, I should have paid more attention.”
However, it was not unreasonable for Tise to not have noticed at that point in time.
After all, until she came to my home, she believed that the Devil’s Divine Protection was needed to subjugate the Demon Lord.
She didn’t know that the Devil’s Divine Protection was meant to suppress the impulses from the Hero’s Divine Protection.
” … Tise is an assassin who travel with the Hero party due to Ares’ request. Are you sure you want to do this?”
Ares’ request was to report to him and accompany the Hero party.
Ares, who is bad at maintaining relations with his companions, probably wanted companions who obeyed him.
“I am fulfilling the request by accompanying Ruti-sama.”
It seemed that Tise did not have any opinion against the possibility that the Hero Ruti might give up on subjugating the Demon Lord.
Perhaps it wasn’t a huge deal to Tise, considering how subjugating the Demon Lord was not her goal.
“I too believe that it is wrong for just a single Hero to shoulder the fate of the millions of people who live in this world.”
Said Lit. Lit said the same words when she first encountered us.
That belief was the reason she rejected us and tried to protect Logavia with her own strength.
“But it was useless.”
Lit showed a complex expression.
In the end, it was the Hero Ruti who saved Logavia. Without Ruti, Logavia would have shared the same tragic fate as many other cities occupied by the Demon Lord army.
“Regardless if it is to continue to fight the Demon Lord or to give up, that is something Ruti-sama should choose of her own will.”
” Tise … that’s right, Ruti’s thoughts on the matter should come before we talk about the fate of the world.”
“That’s right. Everyone else in the Hero party gathered of their own will. Neither I nor Ares received a royal decree to do so. I fight for the sake of staying with Ruti, Ares fight for the sake of regaining the glory of his fallen house. Theodora fights to save the world with her martial arts and quit her position as the martial arts instructor of the Cathedral Knights. Danan joined for the sake of revenge against the Demon Lord army that burnt down his hometown and dojo. Yarandorara joined because of her sense of justice. Everyone was not ordered to, they participated willingly … apart from Hero Ruti who is forced by her Divine Protection.”
I recalled the faces of the companions whom I fought alongside with.
There were also other temporary companions. Two warriors who accompanied us due to the orders from their lord, the monk from the Holy Church who accompanied us as a watchdog.
But such companions never accompanied us to the end.
No matter how much authority was behind the orders, it was difficult to continue risking their lives fighting against the Demon Lord army that has overrun the continent just for the sake of orders. Even more so after acquiring, multiple times to boot, enough riches in battles to spend the rest of their lives in leisure.
“I am not a companion by that definition. After all, I am participating because it is a job from the Assassin’s Guild.”
“That’s not true.”
I immediately denied Tise’s words.
“Tise would not be seated here if it was just for the sake of a job. Aren’t you here, of your own free will, discussing what we should do to save the Hero?”
Ugeuge-san raised its arm with a snap.
“Right, Ugeuge-san is here not because I ordered it to be as well.”
Tise smiled gently and nodded at Ugeuge-san.
“To save the Hero … to be honest, I have searched for ways since the past.”
My words caused Lit and Tise to return to serious looks.
I searched for methods to suppress the impulses of Divine Protections during my free time between journeys.
I discovered the medicine that I gave Ademi through that and likewise, the advice I gave to Al who was troubled about his Divine Protection.
However, the Divine Protection of the Hero causes overwhelming impulses in exchange for the greatest power.
I even consulted the Wild-Elf elder when I infiltrated the Wild-Elf village in the past.
I still vividly recall the words we exchanged during that time.
“If you wish to suppress the impulses from the Divine Protection of the Hero, the only option is to die.”
Even the Wild-Elf who, as far as I know, possess the greatest knowledge on Divine Protection in the Avalon Continent, find it impossible to suppress the impulses from the Divine Protection of the Hero.
“I’ll brew a new batch of tea.”
It was an issue with no exit in sight. The only option was to take time to exchange our thoughts.
However, to a problem which I once could not solve on my own, I now have Lit, Tise, and Ugeuge-san.
I believed that we would surely find a way to save Ruti.