Chapter 84: Snowfall in Zoltan
Five days after the battle in the Ancient-Elf ruins.
“Red! Wake up!”
Lit shook me awake.
“What is it … I’m so tired after we finally finished cleaning up the shop that Ares messed up just yesterday … furthermore, it’s cold today so I don’t want to leave the bed yet.”
“Never mind that just look outside!”
Lit dragged me by my hand and I reluctantly got up.
After yawning, I poured a cup of water from the water jug and drank it.
The water cooled by the cold night air was delicious.
Lit was urging me quite excessively today.
Just what was going on?
I immediately knew the reason when I stepped out.
White snow was fluttering down from the air.
It was rare to see snowfall in Zoltan. I have seen snow above the mountain where I gather medicinal grass but it rarely snowed in the streets of Zoltan.
“It’s snowing, Red! Even though it did not snow last year or the year before that!”
Lit was in high spirits. In the Principality of Logavia situated north, snow was a symbol of the coming cold winter but in Zoltan, it was purely a beautiful sight.
“Do you think it will pile up?”
“Nah, I think that would be hard.”
We stood outside the shop and looked up at the sky as we felt the snow touch and melt in our palms.
I was called from behind.
Looking back, I saw Ruti in a snow-like white one-piece and a white hat that matched her outfit well.
The one-piece was regular clothes that she bought with me at Downtown. It was not a magic armor.
Furthermore, there was no sword hanging from Ruti’s waist. Her magic accessories such as rings and amulets that she usually wore had now all been removed.
She looked like an ordinary girl that could be seen everywhere.
“Of course you would feel cold.”
Regardless if it is Zoltan, she would naturally feel cold if she only wore a one-piece without an overcoat on a snowy day.
Ruti had sneezed but she looked delighted.
“I’m happy that I can feel cold for the first time in such a long while.”
“You’ll catch a cold you know?”
“I have never caught a cold before. I’m looking forward to my very first cold.”
I quickly returned to the room and came back with the cloak I usually used.
“Here, sorry that it’s men’s wear.”
” … It’s warm.”
Ruti muttered like a normal girl and smiled broadly.
Ruti had not lost the Divine Protection of the Hero. Even now, the Divine Protection of the Hero was still within Ruti.
However, the unnamed Divine Protection that was born within Ruti had changed its name into 『Shin』. According to Ruti, it was not exactly a Divine Protection. (TLN: Shin was written in katakana so it can mean either True, New, or Heart etc. I will only know in the future if the author clarifies it.)
In other words, it was not a ‘Divine Protection’ bestowed by God. It would probably be a huge deal if the Holy Church found out.
There were no impulses coming from 『Shin』. That is to say, 『Shin』does not have a role to play.
Apart from those aspects, 『Shin』was fundamentally the same as a Divine Protection. It had levels and skills. In order to raise them, she just had to defeat opponents that possess Divine Protections.
The special aspect about 『Shin』was that skills from it could not be chosen freely by just raising the level but she must apparently fulfill certain criteria as well before she could acquire them.
The skill Ruti acquired was called ‘Ruler’. An outrageous skill that can disable or forcefully activate an opponent’s Divine Protection skill on touch. Now, even the legendary famed highest rank Demon Lords can probably no longer hold their own against Ruti.
However, to Ruti the most pleasing aspect more than anything else was the point where she could activate that ability with her own free will.
Now, Ruti was ruling over her own Divine Protection of the Hero and have mostly invalidated her complete immunity and impulses.
“It’s cold after all, I’ll go make breakfast so please wait a while inside.”
We walked back to the house. Before entering the entranceway, Ruti and Lit looked back once again and looked at the white snow dancing in the sky, reluctant to walk away from that sight.
After the fight ended, Theodora and Albert quickly bid goodbye the next day.
The two of them probably intended to join the front lines in the battle against the Demon Lord army.
Theodora only said a single word of parting before she left without looking back.
She tried to return the equipment that she gained from the journey to Ruti but Ruti replied with ‘You might need it for the battle that you desire one day’ and did not accept them.
Theodora would probably never return to Zoltan again.
Danan would be concentrating on recovering in Zoltan’s sanatorium for half a year. Danan had pushed his body quite excessively so even he will probably have to rest obediently for some time.
Godwin was given his freedom. Ruti no longer needed the Devil’s Divine Protection. Moreover, in this round of fighting, Godwin played a crucial role in the victory. Ruti closed her eyes to Godwin’s crimes in order to repay him for his actions.
That was probably a choice that would not be possible for Ruti when she was the Hero.
After receiving plenty of coin for the journey, Godwin set forth for the Archipelago Kingdoms to the south where the Holy Church’s influence was thin.
“If it is at the Archipelago Kingdoms, even I should be able to make a living after having made an enemy of the Holy Church with the Devil’s Divine Protection incident. Oh right, maybe I’ll open an apothecary there.”
Godwin looked at me and said with a laugh.
“This morning, we have tomato stew with bacon and white bean, pizza made with the remaining tomato and freshly squeezed orange juice.”
“”Thank you for the meal!””
The breakfast table has become a lot livelier than before.
“The food onii-chan makes is always delicious.”
Ruti smiled brightly as she ate.
Ruti was enjoying every day as though all the happiness that had been suppressed by her Divine Protection of the Hero have been released.
“You’ll be with Tise today as well?”
Ruti and Tise purchased a farm in the North District and were now growing medicinal grass there.
There was a demand for medicinal grass but it was for many different kinds of medicinal grass and their crop yield were typically small. A regular farmer would not attempt to farm them because of the bad efficiency but Ruti wanted to take up the challenge and nurture medicinal grass.
“We will be sowing the seeds soon. We’ve also prepared logs to grow the mushrooms. I will do my best.”
I never imagined a day would come where Ruti would show me such an expression.
Ruti, who has been lived her life controlled as the Hero, will for the first time challenge something that she personally wants to do.
As an older brother, I was delighted from the bottom of my heart with the change I see in Ruti now.