Chapter 85: Hero
Gonz entered the shop.
“Tanta has caught a cold.”
“Cold medicine then. Give me a moment.”
I retrieved a week’s worth from the shelve and wrapped it in a bag.
“Did the issue with your younger sister go well?”
“Yeah, it’s all right now.”
Gonz showed a relieved smile after I said that and passed the package to him.
“That’s good to hear. Introduce her to me properly one day.”
Gonz was worried for me even though I didn’t explain the situation to him.
Just like all Zoltan residents, he did not try to pry into our past. He has a loose tongue but he was capable of discerning where to draw the line.
Nevertheless, I wish to properly introduce my younger sister. Even though she was laying low for now, I want to let my Downtown friends know that I have a younger sister called Ruti.
“All right, I’ll bring everyone over the next time.”
Not just Ruti. I wanted to introduce Tise and Danan as well.
They were my battle buddies that fought alongside us after all.
Ruti, Tise, Danan and I arrived at the church in Zoltan’s Central District.
“O Supreme God Demis. Today, your faithful child has come for his first and last pilgrimage. The path a child walks is engrave in their 『Divine Protection』 and their sins will return to your side alongside their 『Divine Protection』. If your child’s 『Divine Protection』is filled with virtue, please guide him to Nirvana. If the child has not obtained the qualification to pass through the gates of Nirvana, until the day you gift him with a new 『Divine Protection』, please award your faithful child, Ares’, soul with peaceful sleep.”
The priest said before he sprayed perfume on the face of Ares who was lying in the coffin. The scent of the snow rose perfume universal to the Avalon Continent spread through the air thinly.
It has a pleasant smell but as it was used for funerals, the snow rose perfume always carries an image of passing. As the church uses it on a daily basis, all churches have their own snow rose flower bed which might also be one factor that solidified the image that follows the scent of that flower.
Speaking of snow roses, the poets of the Avalon Continent will, without fail, compose at least one poem on the snow rose in their life. I have no talent in reciting poems but I still felt something linger in my mind.
There was four of us in attendance while two people were helping the priest.
It might be a very lonely departure for a hero’s funeral.
But Ares who was lying in the coffin did not have voice any complains and was just lying quietly with his eyes closed.
According to the teachings of the Holy Church, the crimes committed in life are recorded in your 『Divine Protection』. When the 『Divine Protection』 is returned to God Demis, those crimes are removed from the person and in their next life, they are reborn as an innocent soul after receiving a new 『Divine Protection』.
But to those who do not follow the teachings of God Demis’, in other words the doctrine of the Holy Church, the 『Divine Protection』 is not taken back by God Demis, the soul burdened with sin will apparently suffer eternity as a slave to the ‘Demon Overlords’ in the seven layers of hell called the Seven Hells.
The priest rang the bells he had in his hand.
I followed tradition and placed a piece of firewood inside Ares’ coffin. Similarly, Ruti, Tise and Danan each placed a piece of firewood.
The priest prayed one final time. In order to express to God Demis just how faithful Ares was to him.
“The funeral procession has ended without any issues. As you all know, the cremation will happen on the 7th day after death so you may return to meet the deceased on that day if you wish to see him again.”
” … No, it’s okay.”
I hesitated for a little but I refused.
Ares had finally been released from his battle as the 『Sage』. I hope he will rest peacefully.
The priest smiled faintly and rang the bell once again. Thus, the funeral for 『Sage』 Ares came to a quiet end.
After leaving the church, the sun was already red and on the horizon.
The last time I borrowed formal wear from the clothes rental shop was during the party for the opening of my shop.
This time it was for the funeral of a companion.
That felt somewhat strange to me.
“What is it?”
“Sorry, I am always burdening Onii-chan.”
I pat Ruti’s head.
“Thank you for worrying about me.”
I do not regret cutting down Ares. I do not regret it but even now, I honestly felt that I do not want to have to do it ever again.
“As expected, a carefree life here in Zoltan suits me better.”
I had not even purchased a sword to replace my broken copper sword. At that moment, I didn’t have a single weapon on my waist. I could not get myself to buy a replacement until Ares’ funeral was complete.
“I have finally changed as well.”
When I just started my slow life in Zoltan, I avoided battles but I could not feel calm without having a weapon on me at all times.
When Gonz came to seek my help for Tanta’s white eye disease, I had a sword on my waist as well when I left my house. I chose to carry a copper sword instead of a steel sword because I was trying my best to resist my fighting habits which I could not seem to drop.
“Let’s go home.”
Ruti held my arm and smiled. Ruti did not have a sword on her waist either.
I replied with a smile as well and we seemed like an ordinary pair of brother and sister walking the streets of Zoltan.
In this world filled with fighting, it would probably be hard trying to live without a weapon in hand. Even I have plans to purchase a new copper sword the next day.
But, I do not want to carry a weapon for the sake of my 『Divine Protection』 but to willingly carry it to protect those important to me. I also wanted to swing the sword and use the skills from my 『Divine Protection』 on my own free will.
I thought to myself as I walked with Ruti.
It was after Ruti, Tise, and Danan had dinner. I asked Lit to help to clean the dishes and look up into the night sky.
I heard a voice from behind. It was Danan.
“It was delicious. Your meals are the best after all.”
“I won’t be able to eat it once I return on my journey. Such a pity.”
“As expected, you’ll be leaving once your medical treatment is over?”
“Yeah, I have vowed to never forgive the Demon Lord who destroyed my hometown.”
I would probably still see Danan for a while but that would likely be for only about half a year.
The path that the 『Martial Artist』 Danan walks was different from mine as I have stopped fighting.
“Hey, Red. I’m dull so I don’t really get it but … this incident, how do I put it, I feel that there are still many worrying parts. You should have noticed as well, right?”
” … That’s right, such as why was Shisandan still alive? How did Shisandan know the whereabouts of the Sacred Avenger and why was he seeking it?”
I heard from Theodora that the sword Shisandan held was the legacy of the first generation Hero. Similar to Danan, Theodora had also warned me that this incident felt strange to her.
And above all else,
“Why were there five Sacred Avengers?”
The Sacred Avenger was a longsword with a total length of about one meter.
Needless to say, humans and Elves only have two arms. Two swords would be more than sufficient for dual-wielding.
So why was there five of those swords?
” … I’m guessing they are not meant to be spares.”
“I don’t think God will be that generous.”
A legendary sword bestowed by God. Apart from the Sacred Avenger, there were other weapons that appeared in legends and myths but they were all single items. I had never heard of having spares.
“From what Ruti heard from Shisandan … most probably.”
Most probably, those five Sacred Avengers were not too many but actually ‘insufficient’. Because the second generation Hero was holding onto one.
“I believe there are originally six of them. If that is the case, the numbers would match.”
Yeah, six swords would be sufficient.
Dark Continent. The underground world, Underdeep. Within it, the Asura country ‘Asura Cuchetra’, the Demon Lord Castle that was the capital.
A huge figure sits on the throne. He was a giant that would surpass five meters if he stood up.
His six arms and body composed a warrior’s body trained to the ideal, his face expressed rage while the third eye on his forehead was open, housing a flame.
Demon Lord of Fury, Taraxon. He was the king of the Demon Lord Army that was invading the Avalon Kingdom and he possessed the figure of a great warrior of the Asura Demons.
Taraxon was a usurper who destroyed the race of the original Demon Lord of Fury, the Ras Demons, and snatched the position.
Taraxon was moving four of his arms as if in search of something. His remaining two arms formed a seal in front of his chest and were stationary.
Eventually, light gathered at Taraxon’s feet.
The light intensity grew and became a huge lump.
Then, the light settled into shape and gained mass.
The light ultimately transformed into the shape of Asura Demon Shisandan.
Shisandan knelt with a practiced motion and hung his head down.
While looking down at his figure, the Demon Lord stopped moving his arms and spoke.
“Ooo, O Hero. So disappointing to see that you died.”
The souls of the Asura Demons that were not the creation of God Demis existed outside the great circulation of souls.
Asura souls will always return to the Asura King and they will once again be reborn as the same Asura.
The Asura were by no means a strong race from the beginning. When the world was filled with 『Shin』, the Asura Heroes were defeated time and again and killed.
But the defeated Asura learned from their defeats, again and again, they continued to fight without giving up after being killed countless times and eventually destroyed the King of 『Shin』.
That indomitable will was what made a ‘Hero’. That was the philosophy of the Asura.
“You may train to regain the power you lost, Hero Shisandan.”
Shisandan nodded strongly. Even though he is an Asura, once he dies, he would lose his magical power and much of the strength of his trained body.
However, defeat gives them the courage to obtain power beyond what they had originally. Therefore, no Asura is afraid of death or defeat.
(If I train further.)
Shisandan recalled the single strike from Ruti. He was awed by that destructive power.
Would he be able to reach that realm? The path was long but that was what delighted the immortal Asura above all else.
Shisandan smirked with his head looking down.
The next chapter will be the final chapter for Ruti’s arc!
The plot that I planned from the beginning will end with the next chapter but thanks to having so many blessed readers, I wanted to write more.
The next arc will be on the life of a normal young girl working hard in Zoltan with Tise, Red, and Lit’s slow life as the theme, a ‘Hero’s Slow Life Arc’.
I have already planned the plot so I will continue writing without pausing!
So I will continue to do my best to write a fun story for you all and thank you all very much!