Chapter 119: Ruti hugs her knees alone
All living beings in this world, apart from the Asura Demons, were given a 『Divine Protection』 from the Supreme God Demis the moment they were born.
The 『Divine Protection』 will provide strength in the form of skills as it levels up and allows the frail humans the ability to fight on more than equal terms with the Giants and Magical Beasts called monsters. Without 『Divine Protection』, humanity would have perished a long time ago.
The village priest told the children who gathered in the small church.
There were children who had a hard time sitting still but Ruti and Gideon sat on their chairs obediently. Looking at their behavior, rather than think their conduct was good, adults would find it unnatural and the priest felt it was creepy.
A young boy called Tap raised his hand. He was a charming boy with plump cheeks.
“Why do monsters have 『Divine Protection』too? Aren’t monsters the baddies?”
There were a variety of monsters and they can’t all be generalized into one category but it was true that the majority of monsters were harmful to humans and it was not just in order to eat, there were many that held brutal instincts to kill humans. To put it in another way, even embodiments of evil such as monsters possess 『Divine Protection』.
Somebody once said that … if evil did not have『Divine Protection』, humans would have flourished as a tribe of virtue like the High-Elves.
The preaching priest who possessed the divine protection of 『Adept』 once asked the same question to the village priest when he was a child and remembered the reason he set up the church.
“Tap-kun, the answer to that is our 『Divine Protection』 as well.”
“『Divine Protection』 grows by killing those who possess 『Divine Protection』. But if this world was only made up of virtuous people, then who can we kill? God-sama wants us to fight against evil to strive toward living an even more correct path. For that reason, evil was given 『Divine Protection』 as well.”
Tap seemed to have understood the priest’s words as he nodded a couple of times. The precocious boy who activated his divine protection of 『Warrior』 early seated beside him announced to his surroundings that ‘I will kill even more monsters!’. His divine protection level was 3. He had already mixed with the adults and participated in monster hunting with a club in hand.
A soft but strong voice that could be heard despite the noise was accompanied by a tiny raised hand. The rowdy children refrained from speaking as well as they turned to look at that young girl.
“What is it, Ruti?”
The priest flinched just slightly. It was the first time he was asked a question by that mysterious girl.
“What are the impulses for?”
“A-ah, that’s right. That is a good question.”
The priest held his chest in relief. The meaning of the impulses was a trivial question. It was like teaching 1 + 1 in math. The priest reevaluated that abnormal girl as she was normal despite her extraordinary interior.
“As everyone knows, the 『Divine Protection』 have impulses. In the case of my 『Adept』, my impulse is to maintain a calm mind for everyone like I am doing now and save the people who are suffering using my magical power. It was thanks to the impulse that made me think of becoming a priest.”
In addition, his impulse urges him to remain conservative without allowing new ideas but the priest didn’t feel that it was necessary to say that and kept it to himself.
“The『Divine Protection』 that God-sama bestowed to us is powerful. However, in order to ensure that power is not used recklessly, impulses are set to show us the way forward. You will feel a sense of security as you obey your impulses. Living in order to acquire that sense of security is the tip to living an enjoyable and righteous life.”
After listening to the priest, the young boy with the divine protection of 『Warrior』 clenched his fist and was raring to go.
After that day, that young boy beat up the other young boys in the village who were proud of their brawling skills and reigned as a tyrannical boy general but nobody else knew that he got his impetus from the words of the priest that day.
In contrast, Ruti’s expression was cold.
(In that case, Onii-chan’s divine protection of 『Guide’s』 impulse would be …)
It was dark outside. She could go home but Mistome-shi mentioned that they could stay a night and she didn’t have any reason to refuse so Ruti and party remained in the settlement for the night.
Ruti no longer had impulses. The divine protection skill of her newly acquired 『True (Shin)』 invalidated the impulses from 『Hero』.
Now, Ruti was enjoying every day after she had been released from the 『Hero’s』 impulses which had tormented her forever. The bright sun, the green shoots sprouting out of the soil, the omelets made by Onii-chan, the world that was filled with bright colors was something Ruti never noticed until now.
The world was so beautiful.
Ironically, Ruti who was born a hero to protect the world only began to start loving the world after she lost her divine protection of 『Hero』.
(This is a world with no impulses.)
The wood grain of the red pine pillars illuminated by the glow of the burning candle on the candlestick was mesmerizing.
In the dead of the night outside the window, the restless frogs waking up from hibernation were crying.
The beautiful full moon in the sky. The moon shone faintly through the thin clouds hanging in the sky.
(Even though I have been traveling this whole time. I saw the world differently. Everything was gray except Onii-chan.)
In Ruti’s memories, Red looked up at a mountain with a look of deep admiration.
In front of their eyes was the Wood-Elf’s Holy Land, the sacred mountain called ‘Rarael’s Footprint’. The appearance of the mountain protruding out from the surrounding forest seemed to elicit some kind of a unique emotion from Elves and humans.
Red muttered. The mountain was triangular as if shaped by a ruler and the peak was thinly colored due to the clouds covering it, giving a stark contrast to the surrounding green mountain which might be the reason why the mountain was considered special.
Ruti thought to herself while not feeling particularly moved.
(If I did not have impulses at that time, I might have been able to share the beautiful scenery with Onii-chan.)
Ruti thought back a little sadly. Seeing insects lured by the candle glow fly in through the window, Ruti closed the window.
(I have been released from my impulses. I see the world differently. In that case, what about Onii-chan’s world?)
Just like how the world she saw changed after no longer having impulses, does that not mean that the world Red saw with his impulses from 『Guide』 differ from the world Ruti was seeing?
(If that is the case … when Onii-chan no longer has impulses, I wonder how will he see me?)
Just imagining it caused Ruti’s spine to tremble with fear.
Ruti was able to resist the impulses from 『Hero』 and retain her personality entirely because of Red’s existence.
If she became the 『Hero』, she would lose her feelings toward Red. Even if Red passed away, she would not shed a tear and would only show sadness because the people around her expect the 『Hero』to be sad when her brother dies.
Ruti could absolutely not accept something like that. She could not endure herself becoming such a person. She would not lose her feelings toward her brother even if God wanted to snatch it away. That was the core (Shin) of Ruti’s heart.
That was why no matter what impulses she received, Ruti did not stop being herself.
Red doted on Ruti. Ruti was well aware of it.
After all, Ruti’s parents found her existence to be different and she was in a state one step away from child abandonment. Only Red, her brother, pour her all the love as a father, a mother and a brother and continued to protect her from the curious and evil gazes of the villagers as well as from 『Hero』.
In a world where she was forced to save others, Red was the only person who saved Ruti.
To Ruti, her brother Red was an existence that was hard to describe in words.
She held love for him as a parent who brought her up, love for him as a brother who protected her, love for him as a benefactor who saved her, and love for him as a lover to spend a lifetime together.
Ruti felt immense love, as if all the love that exists in the world was condensed into one spot, for her brother.
In other words, at a level where she could not live on if her brother hated her.
“U, uuuu …”
Sobs leaked from her mouth involuntarily.
Even when her internal organs were crushed by dragon fangs, Ruti would reproduce them with ‘Healing Hand’ without batting an eyebrow but she was now suffering from the doubt of a ‘maybe’ that was only in her head.
What if Red’s love for her was only due to his impulses and he actually did not like her at all and was being forced to like her.
Just the thought of it caused the strength to leave Ruti’s body and she sat down on the hard bed.
Before she knew it, tears were spilling from both her eyes.
If … if she had to part with her brother like Mistome did …
“I don’t want to.”
But what if her brother was suffering from the impulses from 『Guide』 just as how she was suffering from the impulses from 『Hero』? At the moment, she could temporarily eliminate the impulses of another person she touches. If she could save her brother with that …
(I don’t want to be hated by Onii-chan. But I don’t wish for Onii-chan to suffer. I just want him to be happy.)
Her thoughts went around in circles as Ruti hugged her knees and cried alone.
At that moment, there was a knock on her door.
“Ruti. Can I come in?”
The voice she heard was her beloved Red’s voice.
“Onii-chan … yes.”
Ruti hurriedly wiped her tears and answered with a slightly hoarse voice.