Chapter SS6: True companion Episode 0 – Girl A from the hero’s village Part 2
“I see, so the goblins attacked from the west.”
“Yes, before today there had not been any instance of goblins coming all the way to our village from far away … I wonder if the monsters are becoming active because the Demon Lord Army is here?”
“Hmm … such rumors have been circulating.”
I fell into thought after listening to Claudia.
“It hasn’t happened before?”
“Even if they came here, they would stay in the nearby forest or in the mountains to the north and has never bred black dogs and approached the village.”
That was worrying.
At that moment.
“The people who went to the west to investigate are back!”
A person from Claudia’s party shouted.
Turning our gazes over, we saw five people walking toward the village.
“There are three strangers.”
“Yeah, I don’t recognize them.”
Claudia replied to my murmur.
I left the village when I was little so I didn’t know many of the villagers’ names and faces but I could still notice that three of the five men had different appearances from the villagers.
The woman from the village that brought the outsiders exclaimed when she saw my face.
I walked about ten steps toward the approaching blue-haired woman.
“I’m home, mom.”
“I feel encouraged to see you here.”
She was my mother, Pirietta·Lugnason.
Mom held a short spear that could be used with one hand with her left hand and smiled at me.
“Those people are?”
Mom turned to look at the men after my question.
“People who escaped from the western village.”
“ … Acquaintances from the western village?”
“No, I don’t recognize them and in the first place, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet the people of the western village … we have to help each other when in trouble.”
“I see, yes you’re right.”
When I looked at them, they had their faces down and didn’t say a word, probably from fleeing the village attacked by monsters.
They had worn swords on their waists.
“Oh this? I got it second hand from a peddler and used it to hunt monsters all the time.”
“Could I take a look?”
The man looked up toward me perhaps due to surprise.
The face of the man was pockmarked probably due to sunburn and he certainly looked like a farmer who worked in the fields.
“ … It’s just something cheap.”
“I’m not going to claim it, I just want to tell what kind of monsters you fought by looking at it.”
“Ha-haha, you’re kidding, right? There’s no such skill.”
“No, it’s my unique technique, I’m a knight.”
For just a short moment, the men exchanged anxious looks.
“It was goblins who attacked the village.”
“Well, from the viewpoint of regular farmers. There might have been some other monsters mixed in so I just need to take a look at your sword. Or do you have a reason why you don’t want me to look at it?”
“N-no, no reason …”
The man’s eye swam with uncertainty before he slowly drew his sword and passed it to me.
“It is well used.”
“Ye-yeah, it’s second hand after all.”
“Please take care of it better, there are rust and chips on the blade.
I returned the sword to the man.
“Would you like me to sharpen it for you?”
“N-no, it’s okay … ”
The man sheathed his sword with a relieved expression.
“Gideon, they are very tired.”
“I understand, sorry for taking your time.”
“It’s fine, I could never understand what you do after all.”
“ ….. ”
Mom and the men returned to the village.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that …”
Claudia commented as she looked at me.
“The exchange between me and my mother?”
“Should I say it was lukewarm … considering a son who came back after becoming a knight in the Imperial Capital, I would imagine my mother hugging me to an annoying extent … I heard that the amount of remittance was amazing too.”
“I’m just sending what I believe to be the right amount to live in the village. I would be unhappy seeing all that gold that I can’t find a use for.”
“ … Mother and father can’t understand me and Ruti. So our relations are bad.”
Unlike us who were born with special divine protections and destinies, mother and father lived in this world with mundane divine protections.
As a 『Warrior』, my mother probably felt that living as an ordinary person was painful.
“I guess Knight-sama has a hard time too.”
Claudia didn’t seem to understand my circumstances but … she showed some sympathy for me.
“Well then, I’ll go take a look in the west for a while.”
“Take a look … !?”
“I leave the village defense to you!”
“Gideon-san, what are you planning to do!!”
“I’ll explain later!”
I urged the running drake forward without answering Claudia.
I have to quickly end this and return to Ruti.
Two hours later.
After returning to the village, I headed to the small hut where the three people who came from the western village were.
When I opened the door, the men who were huddling together talking about something turned and looked at me in a saze.
A man with cavities and blackened teeth complained to me.
I tossed a sword I brought instead of answering.
“As thanks for showing me your sword, I have something to show too.”
The men’s complexion changed after seeing the sword.
“Do you recognize it?”
“N-no, I don’t!”
“It belongs to the bandit chief who was hiding in the nearby forest. It’s a good sword but sadly has been poorly maintained.”
“I-I see … those bandits.”
“I killed them all.”
The men were stunned by my words.
“I told you that I could tell what you cut with your sword just by looking at it … that sword have cut quite a number of humans.”
“Although there have been rumors that monsters have become more active because of the Demon Lord Army, this time was different. You guys raided the goblin home and chased them out to raid this village.”
That was the truth.
The bandits used the rumors to think of a way to pillage the village.
They first chased the goblins to attack the village and lead the village forces out. Although they were monsters that can be driven out by just bandits, the villagers would feel more threat due to the rumors that the monsters were becoming more active because of the Demon Lord Army. With just a small number of monsters attacking, the villagers would be led to believe that more monsters will attack.
They would then act as villagers fleeing from attacked villages and infiltrate the village to sabotage from within. They were probably told to either unlock the gate or set it on fire.
Then, the plan was for the group of bandits lurking nearby to attack and plunder the confused village.
“The bandit chief’s name was Wamar. He had a tiny bounty of 800 Peryl.”
I placed my hand on my sword handle.
“D-do you plan to cut us down too!”
“This is not the Imperial Capital so there is no court and well, murderers would get the death penalty either way.”
The bandits reached for the sword on their waists.
However, the first person raised both his hands and shouted.
“Is there any evidence!”
“Evidence that we are bandits as you claim!”
“Hmm, that’s some unexpected words.”
“He, hehe ….”
“You’re right, there is no evidence and I just decided it was so.”
“I-in that case, you can’t just cut us down!”
I wonder if he worked in a merchant house?
“No, I’ll still do so.”
“It is enough once I deemed you to be the enemy.”
“Eh, ah, don’t screw with me! Such lawlessness …”
“A bandit talking about lawlessness?”
I laughed and the bandit replied angrily.
“We are not bandits if you don’t have evidence!”
“Haha, so naïve.”
“There is no judge here so who do I present the evidence to if I collect it? I am a knight. Do I bother to gather evidence to kill the enemies on the battlefield?”
“Ah, ahh …”
“I have deemed that you people planned to attack the village my precious younger sister live in.”
I drew my knight sword.
“So I will kill, with no hesitation.”
The bandits tried to draw their swords in a hurry.
But it was too slow.
“Even if you are worthless bandit members, you are underestimating me too much if you let a person with better skill draw their sword first.”
My sword sliced through their bodies before they could beg for their lives.
I kept their wounds to the minimum so they would not bleed that much but the blood still started pooling from the fallen corpses on the floor.
“ … Could I leave the cleanup of the bodies to you?”
I called outside and a little pale Claudia came in from outside.
“I-I was curious what Gideon-san planned to do …”
“I’m not angry. I am pretty much an outsider so it is normal for Claudia who protects the village to be concerned if I behaved suspiciously.”
“Knight-sama is different from us after all.”
“ … That might be true.”
Claudia closed her eyes tightly before opening them.
“We will deal with the bandit corpses but their belongings …”
“You can do whatever you want with it. They probably don’t have much on them but it should serve as a small tip.”
“Then I will do just that. It’s just nice since I wanted to give some reward to my companions who worked hard for this uproar.”
“That’s a good thought.”
“ … I am just a village girl. I am just able to use a bow a little and do not have the frame of mind of Knight-sama.”
“Is that so?”
“But I am resolved to protect our village.”
Claudia said to me with clarity.
“Those are good eyes.”
But there is danger.
Her resolve involved protecting ‘our’ village.
Perhaps what really mattered to her were her companions … there is a chance that difference could lead her to make a wrong choice.
But it wouldn’t make sense for me to point that out here.
Words from an outsider would not reach her resolve.
So I ended it with just those words.
After finishing what I had to do, I returned to the home Ruti was waiting for me.
“Why do you have such a happy smile on your face?”
“Today is a good day. I could say welcome home many times to Onii-chan.”
I was saddened that my time with Ruti was shorted because of the bandits but I was happy to hear Ruti’s words.
“It’s a good day for me to as I could say I’m back to Ruti many times.”
“That’s great, a good day for Onii-chan makes me even happier too.”
I wanted to become stronger for the sake of Ruti who will someday set off on a journey.
Now that the Demon Lord Army has begun their invasion, that day will be in the not too distant future.
When that day comes, Ruti will continue to fight undesired fights for others.
I felt that was saddening but … I plan to become capable of staying beside Ruti from that day.
I ended up looking forward to those days a little.
“I made dinner for Onii-chan.”
“Ruti made it for me?”
“Yup, Onii-chan worked hard outside so I worked hard at home.”
“I look forward to it.”
“I’ll bring it over now.”
That day, my dinner with Ruti was a lot of fun.
I would return to the Imperial Capital the day after tomorrow so tomorrow I could spend the entire day with Ruti.
One and a half years later.
The Demon Lord Army finally reached Angel Village.
And from that day forth, 『Hero』 Ruti’s days of journey began.
Gideon had a very different personality from Red.
Unlike the main story, in the old days he was full of motivation to solve anything by himself and full of love for Ruti.
And he was a wee-bit brutal protagonist.
This Episode 0 part is a prologue to a prologue for the main series. Feel free to get it if you enjoy the story and want to know more about the story before what transpired in the main story.