Chapter SS5: True companion Episode 0 – Girl A from the hero’s village Part 1
Author note: Episode 0 release commemorative SS.
It’s the story before Ruti departs.
About a month after the Demon Lord Army invaded the Avalon Continent.
The Demon Lord Army destroyed the Kingdom of Flamberg in the west and temporarily stopped its invasion to gain a foothold.
The war front was still outside the Kingdom of Avalonia.
But soon we, the Knights of Bahamut, will also join the war against the Demon Lord Army.
That day, I returned to my hometown of Angel Village to check on the status of the village and Ruti.
The Angel Village where I was born is a rural village just off the road of the Imperial City.
The village didn’t produce any special products and the people make a living from crops and livestock which was the common characteristic of villages around the area.
I straddled the running drake as I traveled through the idyllic scenery.
I eventually saw the gate to the village.
A shadow at the gate waved at me … it was my dear younger sister Ruti.
I lightly nudged the belly of the running drake and made it quicken its step.
The running drake barked and sped up.
When I reached the village gate, I pulled the reins and stopped the running drake.
Ruti jumped into my arms after I got off the running drake.
“I’m back, Ruti.”
Ruti’s arms wound tightly around my body as she hugged me.
My cheeks loosened due to her enthusiasm.
Whenever I contact her that I will be returning, Ruti would always wait for me at this gate.
She would apparently wait since the morning but if I felt bad for her and returned without notifying her, she would be very sad.
She strongly insisted that she must be the first person from the village to say ‘Welcome back’ so I tried my best to inform her of the time I would arrive and meet up with her at the gate.
“Where are father and mother?”
“They are currently outside the village.”
“Outside the village?”
Our father earned his income from agriculture.
He would make small items at home during winter but he rarely left the village.
“ … Did something happen?”
The only possible matter … would be that the village is in danger.
Father and mother used to be adventurers.
Although they were mediocre adventurers equivalent to D rank, they were counted among ones who could fight in the village.
If monsters threaten the village, they would take up weapons and defend the village with other fighters.
“Yes, lately the monsters have become more active and there have been deaths in the village to the west.”
“So that’s why they are wary. The village seems kind of quiet too.”
“The adults are patrolling and …”
I heard a girl’s voice.
It was a girl with pink hair and a black breastplate.
“I am already 16 this year so please stop with the –chan.”
“Oops … my bad, you were still small the last time I met you so I unconsciously called you that way.”
I returned to the village now and then but my aim was mostly to meet Ruti.
I rarely communicated with the villagers and my relationship with Claudia was at the extent of talking with her a little when she was young.
“Hmm, looks like you’ve been training.”
I looked at Claudia and commented.
Claudia’s divine protection is 『Archer』. Judging by the condition of her arm muscles, it seemed that she was using a bow according to the suitability of her divine protection.
She fought against monsters well too as her divine protection level was considerably high for a youth.
She had the strength to be the top five in Angel Village.
“Of course, we are the ones who protect the village.”
There was a bite in her remark.
It seemed that Claudia was part of the vigilante group protecting the village.
I guess that was why she didn’t like me as I left the village when she was a child and became a knight.
I could understand her feelings.
“I won’t be happy just because a knight of the Imperial Capital praises me.”
Claudia muttered and if I looked closely, I noticed that her cheeks were a little red.
Even if she didn’t like me, it seemed that she was happy to be recognized by someone who was active outside town.
“A-at any rate, since it’s a vacation for Gideon-san, just keep to yourself and stay at home!”
Claudia turned and tried to leave.
“Wait, what kind of monsters will you encountering?”
I hope she wasn’t trying to evade the question.
Seeing my expression, Claudia glared at me.
“There are no soldiers here like your lordly knight that can mobilize freely! The fighting strength comes from the village so we won’t stray too far from the village!”
“Okay, I understand. May the fortune of war be with you.”
“Of course, regardless if it’s a goblin or an orc, I’ll definitely kill it with my bow.”
Claudia said with a strong-willed gaze.
A nostalgic home.
“Onii-chan, welcome home.”
“Didn’t you say that earlier?”
“I feel overjoyed no matter how many times I say it.”
Ruti said with a serious expression.
“Sit and wait Onii-chan. I’ll prepare the hot water.”
Ruti walked to the kitchen.
During that time, I took out souvenirs out of my item box and lined them up on the table.
“So many items.”
Ruti came back with plain hot water and smiled happily at both the small items lined up on the table and at me alternately.
“Yeah, I brought a lot this time as well. The usual honey vials, southern flowers, earrings that goes well with Ruti’s blue hair, and sugar candies.”
Ruti listened to my description joyfully.
Her sight was not on the souvenirs on the table but on my face.
“How is it? Anything strike your fancy?”
Ruti shook her head at my question.
“I like them all, Onii-chan coming home for me, laying out souvenirs for me, explaining to me … there’s nothing I don’t like.”
Ruti was in a good mood … I had to say that the eyes of the people in the village were like useless decorations as they and even father couldn’t understand the cuteness of her expression when she was in a good mood.
I actually wanted to be healed from the hardships I faced as the deputy captain just by staying with Ruti but …
I drank the hot water and stood up.
“Now then, I’ll set out for a little bit.”
“I knew you would go.”
“Yeah, the village might be in danger after all.”
Ruti shook her head while showing a slightly sad expression.
“I understand. My brother is that cool … I’ll say welcome home once more when you return.”
Ruti said with a smile.
Such a cute younger sister.
Outside the fence that protected the village.
Even though it was a fence, it was made of wood that can at most keep beasts out but the goblins that were rushing over could easily climb over it.
It would impede them somewhat but it was too risky to rely on the fence for a defensive battle.
“It would be best to stop them here.”
I found the location that Claudia and the others were defending and moved toward it with the running drake.
“We’ll stop them here!”
Claudia and the three men held bows.
Goblins were madly rushing at them in their line of sight.
They sat on black wolves and held stone spears.
They did not have armor but with six riders they held the numerical advantage.
Moreover their mobility was troublesome for bows.
However, Claudia and the others shot arrows at the goblins without fear.
Three riders fell.
The person who missed shouted.
Claudia deftly drew two arrows.
“Martial Arts: Double strafe!”
The two arrows shot down two goblin riders.
“Ku … !”
But the remaining rider didn’t stop.
The other three men seemed to have little experience in fighting as they didn’t pull the hatchet that was hanging on their waist out as the enemy approached in front of them and they desperately tried to hold onto their bows.
The goblin thrust its spear at the defenseless Claudia … but.
Riding the running drake, I slashed as I passed it by and cut off the goblin and black wolf heads.
That knight sword forged by a dedicated blacksmith for the Bahamut Knights and enchanted by Enchanters was a masterpiece that could easily slice through steel armor.
“Gideon-san … !”
Claudia spoke my name with relief and chagrin in her voice.