Chapter 86: Ruti looks back and laughs happily
“Thank you very much.”
I bowed to the customer who bought the medicine.
Placed under the counter was my newly purchased copper sword kept in its sheath.
The Blacksmith Mogurim complained ‘Another copper sword huh?’ but I have somewhat grew attached to this cheap weapon. It was something like a symbol of my determination to live a slow life.
“Red, I’m done with the delivery.”
Lit came back as if replacing the customer that had left.
She tidied up the now empty medicine box and sat beside me.
At the same time, I heard the sound of somebody jogging over from the back of the shop.
“Onii-chan, we have finished tending to the medicinal grass in the garden.”
It was Ruti and Tise.
The two of them had nothing to do for now after they had finished sowing the seeds in the newly purchased farm. Because of that, I started teaching them how to nurture the medicinal grass in the garden.
This morning I taught them how to prune the medicinal grass so I had them help me with it just now.
Today, I asked them to prune the medicinal grass called Red Egg.
Red Eggs were the red fruits of the Red Egg shrub that grows to a height of slightly below one meter but the shrub drops its leaves and stops all activities during winter.
During that time, I would prune some of the branches off to allow it to concentrate its nutrients. When that time comes, I could boldly cut the branches off and leave only about one-third of them.
The harvesting season for Red Eggs was during early summer so with the high ambient temperature in Zoltan, it was possible to harvest them quite a bit earlier than usual. It is a plant that tasted like eggplant despite being a medicinal grass so it could also be used as an ingredient for high-class cooking. It is effective as an antipyretic and could also be used for symptomatic relief of dangerous fevers such as the Goblin Fever.
The demand for this medicinal grass was high in Zoltan but the fruits in the wild were small. Nurturing it to bear larger fruit was quite fun and also gave a good sense of accomplishment.
It was one of the medicinal grasses that were worth growing.
“Thank you for your work, I’ll verify it later so you two can take a break for now.”
” … I’ll help too.”
Ruti said and sat down beside me on the opposite side of where Lit was seating.
“Are you sure? You should be quite tired?”
“It feels really good to sit down when my feet are tired.”
Ruti said with a wide smile.
Then, she took my left arm and hugged it to her body tightly.
In retaliation, Lit grabbed my right arm.
Unlike Ruti, I could feel her volume transmitted through my arm.
Ruti glared at Lit with a half-eye stare in vexation.
Lit, not to be outdone, returned with a complacent glare as well.
A tense atmosphere formed in the store for an instant. But,
Ruti and Lit burst out at the same time and laughed happily.
“What are you girls doing.”
While I was smiling wryly, I also narrowed my eyes in happiness at the calm atmosphere coming from Ruti.
She was no longer giving off the appearance of the 『Hero』 that Lit felt was ‘terrifying’. She was now just a regular young girl called Ruti.
“I wonder what should I do in such circumstances.”
Tise said, half with exasperation and half with happiness at seeing Ruti appear happy, as she looked at us.
Ugeuge-san on her shoulder tapped on Tise’s shoulder and seemed to be happy with Ruti’s transformation as well.
The doorbell at the store entrance made a loud noise.
Meguria-san, a staff from the Adventurers Guild, came running over.
“An urgent request came in! A group of Ogres from the Wall at the End of the World have occupied a village … and they even captured the C-rank Adventurers that went to deal with them!”
Ruti let go of my arm and stood up.
After seeing Ruti nod, I moved my copper sword to the side and passed Ruti her sword. It was a goblin blade with holes in it.
“Onii-chan, I’ll be back.”
“Yeah, be careful.”
Zoltan, a city where the only B-rank adventurer Byuui has gone missing. The party formed by Ruti and Tise was filling the void for now.
It was a side job to them at best. Ruti agreed when she was approached by the authorities for her promotion to B-rank adventurer, although on her condition that she only helped during her spare time outside her medicinal grass plantation.
Her alias as an adventurer was ‘Ruti‧Ruru’. Unlike me, she was not used to using a fake name so we settled with one where she would be called Ruru by others while those closer to her could call her Ruti.
Ruti only put on an armored coat with iron plates in it above her regular clothes.
That could not be said to be sufficient armor given she was definitely going to be fighting but for Ruti who doesn’t armor up much when fighting, that seemed to be the style she had decided on.
Ruti was no longer the 『Hero』. She no longer had a strong urge to help others either.
However, that does not mean Ruti would become a person who would not lend a hand when she sees the suffering of others.
At first, she seemed as though she was feeling some hesitation toward helping others.
However, when I told her,
“You have finally gained your freedom. You should do what you want to do without adhering to being the 『Hero』.”
It seemed like she felt a weight off her shoulder and she decided to become an adventurer who would help if she felt like helping and not help when she didn’t want to.
“As I thought, Ruti-sama is a hero after all. A hero that fights of her own free will, not to fulfill a role given by a Divine Protection.”
I nodded to Tise’s words.
That was Ruti’s slow life. To live a hero’s slow life without being imprisoned as a 『Hero』.
The back view of her gallant figure walking off was the back view of a person walking a path where she was no longer made to walk by anyone.
“Ruti! I’ll make something you like when you return. What would you like?”
When I called out to her, the young girl treading on her life’s path on her own free will turn around to look in my direction.
“I would like honeyed milk.”
After saying that, my younger sister showed a very natural and a really cute smile.
This marks the end of the Hero Ruti Arc!
The Ruti Arc was a story about the hero who was controlled by her Divine Protection transforming into a person who could live a slow life with her own free will.
Tise and Ugeuge-san were originally scheduled characters but they became characters with more presence that I had imagined. I originally planned for them to part here but they got along with Ruti a lot better than expected so they remained in Zoltan and I was able to enjoy writing the story as well!
As an author, nothing would make me happier than if this was an enjoyable story to my readers as well.