Finally back from holiday.
Chapter 11 – Collapse＊
Thinking back upon it, coming from the village to the depths of the ruins was nothing but a series of huge troubles, but going from inside the ruins to the outside took almost no effort at all, and ended with nothing but walking.
“…But still, in the end, was this ruin an ancient demon ruin?”
Muttered Gran, the first one to crawl out of the ruins, to Luru and Iris who were still in the darkness of the ruins.
By the time they left it, the dark curtain of the night had already fallen, so it was dim.
However, perhaps because the moon was out, it was still much brighter than the inside of the ruins, and the outside was filled with the indigo coloured darkness.
“I wonder about that. Wouldn’t it be fine to get Yuumis to investigate? She’s knowledgeable, isn’t she?”
Luru who knew it was definitely an ancient demon ruin, or at least one with some kind of relation to them, just played dumb.
According to Gran, in this age there was no way to determine if something was an ancient demon ruin or not, so he didn’t want to get involved in any unnecessary trouble.
There was also that he wanted Yuumis to investigate appropriately, fulfil her desires for her romance, and on top of that he wanted her to state her knowledge on it.
At the end of the day, no matter how many books he read, Luru had passed no more than seven years of his life, and his only information sources were basically only the books at home and his parents, the people in the village, and the merchants that came; speaking frankly, he was ignorant of the world.
There was no way he could know in detail about what was in this world.
At best, he knew the name of the neighbouring countries, and broadly about what kind of regions they were, and what they produced; there was no way for him to find out more than this.
Until he asked Gran about the state of the tools in the city, he didn’t even know that primitive Magus Tools existed.
Though it was true that from the state of the village he had expected that over these thousands of years, the technology had degenerated, there was quite a gap between what he imagined and seeing and hearing about the reality himself.
Perhaps there existed in this world, even magics and technologies that Luru hadn’t even thought of; because of that, he might have no choice but to act.
No, he had to. At least that was what Luru thought after this time’s adventure in the ruins.
That’s why he was thinking that once he got back to the village, he wanted to speak with Yuumis who seemed to have the atmosphere of quite an expert, but thinking about the details of the events leading up to now, it didn’t seem that it would be too easy.
If you thought about her interactions with Gran as an adventurer pair, you could tell that she didn’t seem the type to hold grudges[/drag things out].
However, they would still have to make up first, and Luru was feeling just a little reluctant[/pressured] at having to do that.
Whilst thinking about that, Luru crawled out of the ruins.
After the last member Iris finally crawled out, all of them gazed at the ruin.
It was already night so they couldn’t see it too clearly.
However, the sight of the ruins illuminated by the moonlight was fantastical, and beautiful.
This was where Iris had been sleeping.
Because of that, Luru was able to meet her again in this world.
Right now, she was the only brethren he had in this world.
Rusty was close to him, as were his parents, and the people of the village; there was no mistake about this.
However, Luru held many secrets that he couldn’t talk to them about.
There was nobody he could share these with, or in the true sense of the words, tell everything to.
That’s why the fact that Iris was by his side was to Luru, fortune that seemed like a miracle.
Iris was gazing at the ruins as well.
He couldn’t tell what emotions lay in those eyes of hers.
However, after she removed her gaze from the ruins, her eyes met with Luru’s, and she suddenly began to smile.
And at this difficult to describe expression that eased his heart, Luru felt that something that had been frozen in his heart had thawed for the first time since he was born.
“Well, there’s no use in watching this forever… Let’s make a detailed exploration once we have Yuumis. This ruin is that big of a find. A research team might even be dispatched from the capital. It’s sure gunna get busy, huh…!”
Said Gran with a smile.
It was what an adventurer was supposed to be doing; opening up new frontiers.
Whether they were frontiers in regards to the land, or in regards to treasure, or in regards to the sphere of research, it was undeniably the job of the adventurers.
And it was through these achievements piled again and again that their name became famous.
With this time’s discovery, Gran and Yuumis would probably become quite famous.
They might have already possessed fame and fortune, but even so, something like this wouldn’t hurt no matter how much of it you had.
“I’m so envious, Gran.”
That’s why Luru ended up saying that on a whim,.
He wasn’t jealous or anything, and it was just a joke with some irony mixed in.
They were words he spoke hoping to get a rise out of Gran, but as expected you could perhaps say, Gran wasn’t the type of be bothered by this.
While giving a manly[/hearty] smile, he declared something shocking.
“Hahahah! Watcha saying? You’re gunna become busy too, yanno?”
Luru tilted his head at Gran’s words.
As for Iris, she was chuckling quietly, and it seems that she understood the meaning behind Gran’s words.
“I was sleeping for a very long time, so I don’t fully understand the circumstances but… Luru-sama, you too explored the ruin with Gran-sama, did you not? …Being the case, it would not be strange to take you as a person with the important achievement of discovering a ruin, would it…?”
At Iris’ words, Luru finally realised, ‘Ahh, that might be so.‘ but even so, Luru was still a child.
The ones praised for such discoveries were adventurers, and because of reasons like ‘A village child won’t get dragged into that kind of thing.‘, Luru thought, ‘Isn’t that impossible?‘ and refuted Gran.
“Don’t be ridiculous… I’m just a seven year old child, you know? Even if you say that I was one of the explorers or whatever, nobody would believe you, you know?”
However, Gran shook his head as though he felt no problems at all.
“No, everybody would believe it I think. If I go around spreading it, that is.”
“My mouth is looser than a potato sack you know?[Sorry. Couldn’t think of Eng equivalent expression so made one up.] If I start drinking I’m confident that I’ll immediately start talking about what happened today… Moreover, Yuumis is mortified at having her barrier tampered with by you, so she’ll start spreading the same thing, yanno. You should already know what bad drunks we are, right? Just the other day, you saw it yourself after all.”
For an instant, Luru thought to seriously ask him to stop, but seeing how bold he was, it seemed pointless to Luru, so he gave up.
To begin with, thinking about it carefully, he wasn’t planning on hiding for the rest of his life or anything.
It was just to the degree of not wanting to start insisting in public that he used to be the demon king, and he held no reservations about using the magecraft and martial arts that he had acquired.
He was fine with these rumours being spread.
It was a topic that wasn’t a problem at all.
Having said that though, he felt like passing on both being treated like a braggart, and being looked down on.
If it was spread that a seven year old held the achievements of being a ruins explorer, he would probably end up being called a liar and looked down on.
About these problems, Luru asked Gran.
“Well, it’ll probably be fine not to worry too much about that. Though we look like this, Yuumis and I are actually quite famous adventurers in the capital. If the two of us evaluate you highly, as long as they aren’t a total idiot, they aren’t gunna pick a fight with you. Moreover, as long as you’re in the village, you won’t get involved with those sort of guys. Well, since there is a ruin, there might be more adventurers coming here than before, but, it’s just to that degree. Don’t worry about it so much… And well, honestly, that’s only if I start spreading it. In the end it was just a joke, so don’t sweat it. If you really wanted me to spread it, and you wanted merits for what you did this time, then I don’t mind since it’s the truth and all but… You don’t want that, right? I’ll stay quiet, so relax.”
Like that, Gran guaranteed him, so Luru felt relief that his lifestyle didn’t seem like it’d be getting all that difficult.
In the end, what he said just now was just returning a joke to Luru’s joke, and he probably had no intentions of spreading any rumours.
Gran was an adventurer, after all.
He couldn’t be that loose-lipped, since his responsibility of confidentiality as an adventurer wasn’t something that he could just toss away.
That’s why in that sense, it was also a relief, Luru thought.
And like that, feeling like everything they needed to say before returning to the village had been said, the three of them began to head away from the ruins.
The next time they’d be coming would probably be tomorrow, or the day after…
Thinking this, just as they began to walk, a huge rumbling could be heard from behind them, and the three turned around.
When they did, the scene that lay before them was the round, above-ground entrance building collapsing.
Muttered Gran, holding his head.
Moreover, it didn’t just stop there.
After the above-ground parts had finished collapsing, next was the sound of what seemed to be rumbling from beneath the earth.
If you put your ear against the ground and listened for where the sound was coming from, you could hear that it was coming from the ruins that stretched underground.
They were probably collapsed the same way the above-ground portions had.
Despite thinking that it was great that it happened after they left, Gran held his head at the sound coming from the discovery that he and Yuumis had finally found.
It was the same as their livelihoods.
Hearing the sounds of this collapsing away gave a similar feeling to helplessly watching money melt before their eyes.
After the rumbles of the ruins collapsing had mostly subsided, Luru lightly pat Gran on the shoulder, who was drooping his head lifelessly, and said,
“Well… This kind of thing can happen too, right?”
For an instant, Gran stared at Luru with a pathetic expression, and then dropped his shoulders.
“Seriously… When I’m with Yuumis, this kind of thing happens a lot, huh… I’m kinda used to it by now. Hahhh…”
However, he was quick to recover as well, and immediately straightened his back.
“Well then, should head back to the capital? We really don’t have anything to do anymore… In the end, our harvest was just the Magus Machines in the village, and the parts of the giants scattered outside the ruins, huh?”
“Isn’t this better than nothing at all?”
Said Iris gently, with a finger on her lip.
“If I had to say, then you’re right… It’s just that…”
“It’s just that?”
Tilting her head, Iris prompted him to continue.
Gran complied, and said,
“Yuumis is sure gunna cry, huh…”
Gran’s voice resounded amongst the masses of stone that were scattered about.
When the three returned to the village, they saw Yuumis who was totally exhausted from maintaining the barrier all this time, glaring at them from the other side of the barrier.
It seems that Gran and Iris didn’t enter her eyes, and she was looking straight at Luru.
Though he was a former demon king, her gaze held enough strength that he drew back a little, and even Luru felt a little hesitant about speaking to her.
However, it seems that Yuumis had plenty of things to say to Luru.
Her mouth opened to spew a massive amount of abuse at Luru, and it ended up being a scene where Gran and Iris just silently watched them.
Luru sent a look of ‘Can’t one of you do something about this?‘, but each of them had their own reasons for not meddling.
Gran simply just didn’t want to get involved once Yuumis became like this, and from what Iris heard about what Luru did to Yuumis, she felt that it couldn’t be helped.
Furthermore, to Iris it was a somehow nostalgic scene to see Luru being scolded by someone, and because she had some rather problematic inclinations, she felt a little happy at watching it.
In the end, Luru was completely exhausted from being shouted at for an hour, and was collapsed on the ground.
On the other hand, Yuumis look completely refreshed with glossy skin, and seemed to be in a quite a good mood.
Normally yelling continuously would tire someone out, but this was different for Yuumis alone.
Though they wondered if she would be exhausted from mana depletion because she had to continuously maintain the barrier, it seems that this wasn’t the case, and instead it was mental exhaustion because she had wondered if she could fix the barrier somehow and challenged herself to try it, only to conclude after a while that it was impossible after all.
However, after letting all of this stress out on Luru, it seems she became refreshed.
With that, Yuumis let go of all ill reserves, and spoke to Luru.
“I made sure that Rusty and the others went home. Also, as for you Luru, I told your mother for you… She probably doesn’t know about your magic, right? It seemed that way, at least. That’s why I didn’t know if it was fine to tell her about it, so I just decided to say that you were safe with Gran. Making up a story that fits is something you’ll have to work out yourself, okay?”
She was surprisingly considerate and attentive.
In the end, he had left the village without saying a thing to his mother, so Luru was wondering what to do.
However, since Yuumis had said all of that for him, he felt that he’d be able to make up some excuse.
After thinking for a little, Luru nodded.
Seeing him nod in agreement, Yuumis moved onto the main topic.
“Then, would you mind taking down the barrier? It’s impossible for me… Honestly, I have no idea how to undo it…”
It seemed that she really was having trouble, so Luru decided to take down the barrier and walked towards it.
However, before he could, Iris had walked up to it and after fiddling with it for a little, in the end the barrier was taken down as though it were smashed apart.
Seeing Iris do this, Yuumis said completely dumbfounded,
with her eyes spread wide in shock.
Seeing Yuumis’ expression, Iris made a refreshed smile and declared to Yuumis,
“Well then. With this, everything should be fine, yes?”
Yuumis was lost for words, and Luru wondered just why on earth Iris had done that.
When he asked about it later, she said, “Because she had screamed at you too much, Ojisama. Though you were in the wrong as well, as your retainer, I could not hold back my desire for a little revenge, you see.”
Though he replied that she could have just stopped the screaming itself, Iris said something like “I could understand why Yuumis-sama was angry, so…” so there was nothing that could have been done about it.
With everybody becoming exhausted, Gran looked up at the dark night sky.
“Well, a lot happened today. It’s pretty late as well. I have things I want to explain to Yuumis as well, so how ’bout we break up for now?”
Things to discuss, and things to ask; there was no doubt that there was a lot to talk about.
However, truly, a lot too much had happened today.
The suggestion that going home, sleeping on things, and talk again later would be more fruitful, was Gran’s way of showing consideration.
Even with the blood rushing to her head, Yuumis understood that much, so with a face that seemed to say ‘can’t be helped, then‘ she replied, “I get it already… Well then, I’m going, Gran.” and began to walk towards the inn.
However, Gran said,
“Yeah, I’ll be escorting these kids home, so head back first. I’ll come right after!”
and saw Yuumis off.
Yuumis seemed to have a lot she wanted to say as well, but because it certainly wouldn’t do to have the seven year old looking Luru to go home by himself, it seems that she assented.
She returned to the inn, waving her hand.
However, she did not forget to get in a final word.
“Luru, and that girl too! Tomorrow you’d better explain everything properly!”
Which was in a way, a show of her concern.
You could feel from her screams at Luru quite a bit of worry for him.
At heart, she was the same as Gran; a considerate person.
It was because of this that the two of them adventured together.
Luru and Iris waved their hands at her, and began walking with Gran – towards Luru’s house; in other words, the house of only noble family in this village, the Cadisnola Residence.
/Chapter 11 END
Chapter 12 – Anxiety and Secrets＊
When Luru, Iris and Gran reached his house, they found his mother standing there, watching them.
She wore a calm expression.
It was still like the calm of an ocean, unwavering.
However, because it was Luru, he instinctively felt fear.
There was no mistaking that his mother, Medea, possessed a gentle and kind personality.
That’s why he was used to seeing her calm, but even so, there were almost no instances where she stayed wordless after their eyes met.
Usually she would find something to say in a calm and graceful way.
Despite that, this time alone, not a single word came from her mouth.
Luru felt it extremely dangerous.
And as expected, he was right.
She was calm, but she approached Luru and spoke to him in a voice that felt like she was stifling her emotions with reason.
“…Where were you?”
‘Didn’t Yuumis tell you?‘ Luru wondered, but that wasn’t what she meant by it.
‘Where were you? What were you doing?‘ ― she wanted to hear these from his own mouth.
And Luru’s judgement wasn’t so bad that he didn’t know what this was leading up to.
“…I, went to the ruins for a little.”
The very moment he spoke, his mother’s palm cut through the air.
Luru perceived this with his sharp senses, but dodging it would be unforgivable in more ways than one, so Luru resigned himself to it.
Luru’s cheek throbbed painfully.
However, the one who was truly hurt wasn’t Luru who was hit, but Medea who had hit him.
After the slap, Medea unsteadily walked towards Luru and then slowly and gently embraced him, murmuring,
“…I was worried, you know…?”
“Sorry… but I knew I had to go.”
A normal parent would have probably have replied ‘Don’t talk back!‘ or ‘Don’t speak nonsense!‘ or ‘What do you think a child could do if he went?‘.
But Medea was somewhat different in this regard.
“…I see. Then, I guess it couldn’t be helped… Gran-san. Was my son of any help to you?”
Gran was flustered for an instant at being suddenly talked to, but he immediately regained his bearing as replied.
“He was definitely helpful. I plan on explaining to the village chief tomorrow but… we found some Magus Machines in the ruins, you see. They started operating and attacked the village but… the one who stopped them was Luru. Yuumis’ barrier might have held for about a day, and there probably wouldn’t have been any casualties, but if we left it alone there was a chance that a few houses would have been destroyed.”
Were Luru not here, Yuumis would have maintained the barrier over the village, and Gran would have ended up destroying them one by one, so the possibility of that happening was certainly high.
Leaving the Lupes Gigantes aside, the Cannon Apis could fly so Gran might have had quite some difficulty.
Being the case, it would probably have taken time.
In that sense, Luru was of help.
Hearing that, Medea nodded.
“I see… That’s good, then. I was worried that he caused you troubled. I wonder if he managed somehow with the martial arts he learned from Patrick…”
She tilted her head a little in confusion.
Medea didn’t know exactly how powerful Luru was.
Watching his training with Patrick, she could tell that he wasn’t weak, but if she actually saw a Lupes Gigantes and somebody asked her if Luru could beat that, she would only reply that it was impossible.
That’s why neither Luru nor Gran mentioned his point.
Gran understood this, so he met Luru’s gaze and nodded.
If you translated his nod into words, it would probably be ‘It’s alright, I get it. Just stay quiet.‘
After that, Medea embraced Luru for a while, and perhaps because she had finally felt that he was safe, Medea noticed the girl standing next to Gran and tilted her head to the side.
“…Oh?[/Ara?] Who might you be? I’ve never seen you before, huh… You’re not a child of this village, right?”
As though waiting for this moment, Iris stepped forward and bowed deeply. She then spoke.
“It is my pleasure to meet you, madam. My name is Iris. For certain reasons, on this occasion, I was discovered by Gran-sama and Luru-sama in the ruins, and having been asleep for a very long time, I was rescued by the two of them…”
The smoothly speaking Iris then moved onto the topic of her future.
Once again, her tone was unfaltering and filled with emotion, and Medea listened carefully to her.
About how she long ago lost somebody important, about how she pursued their killer, about how at that time she was caught in a trap and continued to sleep in the equipment in those ruins, and then about how her parents were no longer around…
After listening to all of that, Medea who had ended up completely sympathising with Iris and was moved to tears, embraced Iris and said,
“I see… So that’s how it was… It must have been rough. At your age… To have no parents, or anybody to rely on… I know! You can live with us, then!”
Luru watched his mother say that, as though she had thought of a good idea.
Without bringing the topic up herself, but getting Medea to bring it up; Luru couldn’t help feel shock at Iris’ wiles. However, having even been invited, Iris became even more insistent.
“No, madam… It would not do to be provided even food and shelter after already having my life saved…”
Said Iris, gracefully casting her eyes down.
Perhaps because she was further moved by that act of humility, Medea brought it up with Luru.
“Not at all! Right, Luru? Luru, you want to live with Iris-chan as well, right?”
“Eh? Y-, yeah…”
The conversation was working out like he wanted, but Luru couldn’t understand at all why he was the one being convinced and not the other way around.
But there wasn’t anything in particular that he objected to, so he just nodded to show his approval.
“While we’re at it… I know! Why not join the family as our daughter? We’re lower class nobles so adopting shouldn’t be difficult, and… I’ve wanted a daughter. Dressing up a cute girl in lots of different clothes really is a woman’s romance[/ideal]. Right, let’s go with that! Iris-chan, won’t you become our daughter?”
Iris was beginning to notice Medea’s increasingly threatening attitude.
That she would be allowed to stay with them was in line with Iris’ plans, but Medea who was beginning to speak about adopting her and whatnot was as expected, something she hadn’t imagined.
“Right! This is a good idea. It’s perfect since we only have one son… so it’d be great if we had a daughter too. When Patrick comes home, I’ll have a talk with him. I’m sure he’ll immediately approve! You’re this cute, after all!”
Despite Iris flusteredly trying to stop her, Medea paid it no heed.
On the contrary, she placed a finger on Iris’ lips and said,
“That’s not it, right? MO-THER.[/O, KA, A, SA, MA.] Okay, try saying it.”
“M-, mother[O-, Okaasama]…”
“Aahh! So cute! With this, you’re my daughter, aren’t you!~?”
Like that, Medea held Iris up in her arms and span around and around.
While looking at Luru, Iris gave him a ‘What do I do…?‘ look, but he really didn’t know what to say.
When Luru shook his head, and returned a ‘Give up.‘ look, Iris drooped her shoulders and resigned herself.
Watching all of this, Gran said,
“Well, didn’t everything work out happily? Though you’re a low-ranked family, becoming the daughter of a noble family isn’t something that just comes along.”
“That might be true, but…”
To Luru, the fact that he’d be living with Iris, but in a manner a little different than expected, dropped him into a truly difficult to describe emotion.
“Well, at any rate I can stop worrying about you two. I’m gunna head back to the inn. Also, tomorrow come to the inn after you’re done eating; there are things I wanna discuss with you, and things I wanna ask you, after all. Yuumis probably does too. With little miss Iris[/ojouchan] as well, of course.”
With that, Gran gave a wave of his hand and headed towards the inn.
While still carrying Iris, to Gran who was walking away,
“For everything that happened this time, really, thank you very muchh!”
said Medea, waving at him.
Iris lay exhausted by Medea’s chest, but it was probably emotional weariness rather than physical.
But with Iris being adopted, it meant that she was now Luru’s little sister.
The daughter of his old friend, was now his little sister…
Would that make his old comrade in arms, Bacchus, his older brother or younger brother?
Thinking about this, Luru had an odd feeling about it.
“Anyway, it’s great that everything ended well, huh…”
After muttering this, Luru and the two of them returned inside the house.
Like that, their long day finally ended.
The next morning, it seemed that Gran and Yuumis were waiting eagerly for them, for at the same time they arrived,
“You’re finally here, huh.”
Medea was affectionate with Iris so she wouldn’t let go, and as a result they ended up leaving the house quite late so it couldn’t be helped that Yuumis complained.
Yesterday, Iris was wearing an expensive black dress bestowed with concealment effects via demon technology, but because of Medea’s preferences, today she was wearing something completely opposite; brightly coloured clothes that comprised a sky-blue one-piece dress and a wide-rimmed white hat for the summer. Clothes that made her truly look like a doll.
Like that, because Iris’ appearance looked like it had been extremely thoughtfully put together, it wasn’t that the clothes didn’t suit her, but the demon race preferred black that symbolised darkness, or clothes close to that colour, and because Iris was no exception to this, she almost never wore brightly coloured clothes, and felt a little embarassed to do so.
Yuumis seemed in a bad mood when Luru first arrived at the inn, but the moment she saw Iris, it seems that all of that was blown away, and because she kept glancing at Iris and seemed like she wanted to reach out to her,
“If you want to pat her, you can just pat her.”
As for Iris,
“…Is that how it is? In that case, though I don’t believe it would feel very good… please go ahead.”
she said, taking off her hat, and conscientiously presenting her head to Yuumis, so Yuumis finally began to pat her and in the end, happily had Iris sit on her lap.
Sitting opposite Luru was a hugely built man, an elf woman, and on top of that a little girl of about seven sitting on their lap.
While joking in his mind, ‘What the heck kind of family is this?‘, Luru decided that for now they would get to the point.
“So? What did you want to discuss today?”
Because it looked like Yuumis was occupied with patting Iris, Luru directed the question at Gran.
“Well, I say discuss but… they’re questions, I guess. First of all, you messed with Yuumis’ barrier, right? Just where’d you learn that kind of skill?”
With those words, he immediately cut to the heart of it.
Having said that though, Luru believed that he would definitely be asked this, so he wasn’t particularly shocked.
Luru replied with an answer he had calmly prepared in advance.
“I don’t mind telling you, but it’s an extremely important secret to me. If you want to know, then I need you two to take an oath.”
Luru didn’t particularly plan on lying them, or leading them astray.
There was no reason in particular to hide it, and he even thought that as long as they kept quiet, he wouldn’t mind telling them everything.
He was a little worried about whether they would really stay quiet, but that too had a solution.
That’s why he ended up speaking the way he did, but it seems that Yuumis was making light of Luru a little.
“I get it. I definitely won’t tell anybody.”
So she said, but Luru replied,
“That was a lie… I should mention this just in case, but I’ve cast a magic for detecting lies here. I don’t mind if you lie, but I’ll see through it all, you know?”
“…Eh? That’s the lie, right? I don’t feel any flow of mana.”
Said Yuumis, looking around in shock.
“It’s the truth. Hmm… Then, I’ll ask you a few questions, so just reply; it doesn’t matter if they’re lies or truth. What’s your favourite food?”
“The name of your best friend?”
“If you could be reborn, what would you want to be?”
“…In order, they were a lie, a lie, and the truth, right?”
Spoke Luru, slowly.
Yuumis widened her eyes in shock.
“It really is cast, huh… But it’s not like I’m planning to go spreading it around or anything, you know?”
“Even if you don’t plan on spreading it, you still plan on telling somebody, don’t you?”
“Well, yes. We’re adventurers. We have the obligation to report to the guild head.”
“I understand how you feel, but in the end, that’s still telling somebody. I said that in that case, I wouldn’t speak, right? …By the way, if you do want me to speak, I’ll be casting a contract spell. If you’re not fine with that, I have no intention of speaking.”
Seeing their back and forth, Gran spoke to Yuumis.
“See? It was your mistake to think of this guy… to think of Luru as a normal kid. Didn’t I say to think of him as an equal?”
“Isn’t that just your impression? I still had no idea what kind of person this boy was! There are things you can’t grasp without having a chat with them, you know… But, well, alright. I didn’t think that he’d even bring up contract magic. Sorry for speaking like I was testing you. I heard about yesterday from Gran, but I wanted to get to know your character a little more deeply…”
From Luru’s perception magic, it seemed that her words weren’t a lie.
“But you still want to report it, right?”
“Honestly, it’s true that it wouldn’t do to stay silent after hearing about it. However, I intended to speak about it as little as possible. Even so, the guild chief has a little authority so… if you consider the case where he decides to exercise it, I wouldn’t be able to guarantee that I’d definitely stay silent. That’s why I thought there’d be trouble in that regard… But if you don’t feel like talking, I wasn’t really going to ask you, you know? I’m interested but… I couldn’t help but feel that if I heard about how to change the magic sequence, and then reported that to the guild head, it would just become a bothersome situation. If possible, I want to avoid situations like that, so wouldn’t it be fine if I didn’t hear anything? There wouldn’t be anything to report.”
It seemed that she was telling the truth.
“Then you won’t be asking? Even though we came here already?”
“That’s what the plan was, but… you can use contract magic, right? If I agree to being bound by that, won’t you tell me? If I can’t speak about it, then I wouldn’t need to fulfil my obligation anymore, right? Wouldn’t that be fine?”
“I don’t think that’s a good thing to do but… Gran, what about you?”
Gran nodded in reply.
“To begin with, I wasn’t gunna say anything. If I was properly following the guidelines of the guild then I’d have the obligation to report, but… In the end, nothing came out of our little adventure. Wouldn’t it be alright to overlook this? Moreover, there’s what Yuumis reasoned out just now as well, so there’s no problems, right?”
In the end, the two of them didn’t intend to absolutely fulfil their obligations.
They were a really irresponsible pair that just went with the flow.
It seems that Luru’s impression of them from when they just arrived in the village wasn’t mistaken.
“Well, in that case… I guess I’ll speak? Iris, are you fine with it too?”
“Yes. As you desire, Luru-sama.”
And thus, Luru cast contract magic on the two of them, and began to talk.
“It is my pleasure to meet you, madam.” The word ‘madam’ here is 奥様（okusama）、and is just a way of addressing the lady/wife of the house.
/Chapter 12 END
Chapter 13 – Confession＊
Though it was established that it would be fine to talk about Luru and Iris’ situation, where to begin was one of the remaining problems.
It was just that Luru was of the demon race, but there was the problem of whether he should also tell them about his being the demon king.
However, he had also thought this through yesterday.
Right now, Gran and Yuumis were one of his few information sources, and they made for a good sample for finding out about the common sense of this era.
He wanted to know how normal people felt about the ancient demon race, and the demon king.
And since he cast a contract spell on Gran and Yuumis, no matter what they heard, they weren’t in a position to make it public.
The two might have thought it possible to remove the spell one day, but the contract magic that Luru used was quite a strong one, so at the very least, somebody who wasn’t at a level where they could easily rewrite Yuumis’ barrier magic would find dispelling the contract magic more or less impossible, you could say.
And if Luru were to believe the two of them, almost nobody in this era possessed such a level of magic sequence alteration skill.
In other words, they wouldn’t be able to so easily dispel Luru’s magic.
On top of that, even if hypothetically they could undo the magic, even if they did reveal his past, it wouldn’t really be that big a problem.
To begin with, if they went about saying that the son of a lower class noble family in a small village was the resurrected demon king from thousands of years ago, just who on earth would believe them?
It was hard to think of it as any huge problem even if they went around spreading such a rumour.
On the contrary, it would be a bigger problem if his skill with magic was leaked out.
However, from here on, in order to protect himself, as well as in order to investigate the ancient demon race in this era, they were skills that he had no choice but to use.
It would probably be difficult to completely conceal it.
In other words, this information was something that would eventually be leaked.
Having thought like this, Luru decided that there was not a single thing about his circumstances that he needed to actively hide.
It was nothing more than some conservative thinking about not wanting to reveal it immediately after casting the magic on the pair.
Having thought that far, Luru finally opened his mouth.
“…I wonder just where I’m supposed to start? To begin with, I don’t think you two will believe me, but…”
It was a preface, perhaps you could say, or some words to defend himself later, but it seemed to damage Yuumis’ mood, and she said,
“You’ve already cast the contract magic, so just speak without reserve already. If this turns out to be nothing big, then it’ll be like, ‘Just what on earth were all these constraints for?‘, you know?”
Being told that, Luru realised that she was right, and thinking that he’d stop with the troublesome way of speaking, he decided to just frankly state the facts.
There was also the fact that he almost completely believed in Gran and Yuumis.
Even if they’d betray him, it would only be at a forgivable level.
“Well, you’re completely right, I guess. It seemed like a good idea… but I’ll speak frankly. I, and Iris as well, are of the ancient demon race.”
Gran and Yuumis lost their words at the truth that was spoken so frankly, as though it were nothing.
For at least a moment, the two of them probably thought that he was lying.
However, were that the case, they couldn’t understand the point of Luru going as far as preparing a contract spell.
Even if they spread such a lie, nobody would believe it.
Also, thought it wasn’t as though there was no possibility of this being a trap for the two of them, it was much too roundabout a method, and since he was skilled enough to create a barrier that even Yuumis couldn’t escape from, harming them directly would be a quicker, and more surefire choice.
Having thought this far, there was no choice but to accept what Luru said as truth.
Coming to this conclusion in their minds, unexpectedly, the first of the two to regain their footing was Yuumis.
“…’What kind of nonsense is this?’ ― is probably what I should be saying, huh?”
“I wonder about that. Honestly, I don’t have much common sense, you see… Iris as well. Neither of us can accurate grasp just how rare an existence the ancient demon race is, or how they’re viewed. That’s why I can’t even imagine what a normal reaction would be… But from what I can see about your reactions at least, it seems that just like the book I read, we demons seem to have become almost legendary or something, huh…”
To Luru who said as such, Yuumis jumped up and said,
“Obviously! Something like the ancient demon race… This is coming from someone researching it like me, but it’s a world of lies, fakes and delusions you know!? For something like that… to be before your eyes… Even if you said that, nobody would believe you, you know… To begin with, just how on earth can you prove this?”
“If you say that I’ll be… troubled, but for proof… at the least, the reason Iris and I could alter your barrier spell was because of that. It’s not something that anybody can easily do, right?”
Being told that, it seems like Yuumis’ words were stuck in her throat because she just muttered, ‘Uu…’ and sat back down again.
It probably hit where it hurt.
Yuumis’ skill was a certainty.
From Luru’s point of view, there was nothing but a feeling of oddness about the fact that despite her skill in magecraft, her ability in magic sequence alteration was so low.
It was because of this that Luru supposed that the technique he used basically didn’t exist in this era, and thus he said what he did.
After that, having watched Luru and Yuumi’s discussion and seemingly coming back to himself, Gran began asking questions in an apologetic and timid manner unsuited to his large build.
“I’d thought that you weren’t a normal kid, but for you to be an ancient demon… But in that case, ain’t it weird? For starters, your parents are definitely nobles of this nation. They have a recorded family tree, and you can easily guess that there weren’t any ancient demons or anything in those records. But despite that, you say that you’re an ancient demon? As for Iris-jouchan, she was sleeping in those ruins. Because of that, it’s not like I can’t imagine it but…”
It was a completely justified doubt.
But there was the question of whether a human could understand the explanation.
The idea of reincarnation was a concept endemic to the demon race.
However, having throught that far, Luru remembered － ‘Come to think of it…‘
“Ah, right. A while ago, I asked Yuumis about what she wanted to become if she could be reborn, right?”
“…? Yeah. I wanted to become a bird. What about it?”
“You understand the concept of rebirth?”
“Well, yes. I do. It’s when the soul transmigrates, isn’t it? It’s romantic, right?”
At Yuumis who seemed like she was dreaming of something a little as she replied, Luru and Iris received a huge shock.
“Luru-sama… Just what does this mean?”
“I don’t know either but… it seems that she really does understand, huh…”
Yuumis wasn’t a human, but an elf. However, even so, in the past, such words coming out of an elven mouth was impossible.
The concept of reincarnation was endemic to the demon race; a religious faith.
The demon race had in the past, been dealt defeat.
This being the case, the religion of the current era should have been unified, and the likes of the ancient demon faith should have been consigned to the dark oblivion of history, but it seems that at the very least, the idea of reincarnation remained.
Religion was quite lacking in the village, so there were no establishments of the church there meaning that Luru hadn’t thought very deeply about it, but Luru now realised that it was something he needed to investigate.
Having said that though, right now this wasn’t what they were supposed to be talking about.
They were discussing Luru’s identity.
Getting back on topic, Luru continued.
“Well… If you understand the concept of reincarnation, then this makes things a lot quicker. I’m not an ancient demon, per se, but somebody reborn from an ancient demon into a human. That’s why my body is that of a genuine human, and my parents are both humans as well.”
“Re-, -born… So there really was rebirth after all…!”
“It wasn’t a lie, huh…? There’s still something after death, huh…”
Both Yuumis and Gran’s eyes were widened in shock.
Luru understood their feelings quite well.
In truth, even Luru and Iris who were of a faith that believed in this couldn’t hide their shock when it happened to Luru himself.
Luru continued in a way that didn’t interrupt them.
“It’s not a lie. The reason being that I died in my previous life. Iris can attest to the fact that there’s no mistaking that. In truth, Iris and I were originally acquaintances. And for some reason I don’t know, the two of us reunited in this era… Ahh, it’s not as though I stuffed her in there, by the way. It was all just coincidence…”
“Meaning… Hang on. Was the explanation you gave me in the ruins a lie, then?”
Gran looked at Iris a little accusingly.
From the point of view of Gran who had sympathised with her, if it really were a lie, it was something he felt a little sad.
However, Iris shook her head.
“No. Not a single thing was a lie.”
“Then what does this mean?”
“In the past, I lost a very important person to me… That person was the very personage sitting right here, Luru-sama.”
“In the past, because Luru-sama was the very good friend of my father, he was kind even to me. Luru-sama was a personage who should have been busy enough that they had no time to spare on the likes of a child like me, but despite this, he came to visit me in various ways… On my birthday, he would unfailing come with a present in hand to celebrate, and would play with me very much. Because of this… it did not take very long for me to develop a deep, deep affection for Luru-sama.”
Having said all of that in a breath, Iris cut off her words temporarily.
And then suddenly looking into space as though she was recalling something, her eyebrows knit into a sad expression, and she began to continue speaking.
“However, in those days… it was a chaotic era of war. Absolutely no one could escape from the fighting, and Luru-sama was a personage who was constantly in the centre of it. On the eve of my seventh birthday… Luru-sama… was killed. As Luru-sama was, as I stated a moment ago, constantly in the middle of the war. From when I was very little, I had prepared myself for the fact that something like this might one day happen. However, the way he died was much too grand… so not a single one of we retainers could see him off when he passed…”
Gnawing on her lip, Iris continued.
The next expression on her face was wrath.
“I felt regret. I felt mortified… So I decided on revenge. Not against the ones that killed him… But against the world that killed him, I would raise a beacon of rebellion, I thought. I would crush war, and the reasons that caused it, as a memorial service for Luru-sama, I thought. However… In the end, my determination came to an end halfway. Along the way, I was kidnapped by an unknown somebody, and was thrown into the equipment in those ruins… After that, it is as you know, Gran-sama. I saw you and Luru-sama, and in my half-awoken daze, I immediately attacked you as well… and like that, we arrive at this point.”
Once she reached the end of what she wanted to say, Iris returned to her normal calm expression.
Hearing that, Gran made a difficult expression,
“You had those kind of circumstances… Sorry, for doubting you…”
As for Iris, she replied,
“No. What I said to you in the ruins was not a lie, but… neither was it accurate. And the intent was to conceal the truth. That I was doubted was a matter of course. On the contrary, I would like to thank you for forgiving me…”
“It’s fine. Don’t worry… I get it now… But leaving Luru aside, Iris-chan… just how old are you? You didn’t reincarnate or anything, right?”
It was something that was on Luru’s mind as well.
Before Luru died, certainly she was a girl who was intelligent beyond her age, but he had no memories of it being to this extent.
Iris thought about it for a little, and spoke.
“…When Luru-sama passed away, I was seven years old. I went about fighting on the battlefield for roughly another five years, so… that makes me 12. In regards to my appearance, because of the ancient demon race’s special trait… my growth is just a little slow.”
12 years old.
When Luru thought about the fact that this girl fought for 5 years after that, he didn’t know what to say about the trouble he had put her through.
However, he thought that having said that, apologising might be the wrong thing to do.
This girl didn’t wish for an apology.
Not an apology, but instead facing forward, and thinking about what to do from now on, would surely make her happier.
Thinking this, Luru decided to risk not apologising.
However, though it was the truth that the ancient demon race grew slower, even that had its limits.
In particular, up until they matured as an adult, the grow of the ancient demon race was not all that slow compared to humans.
In that case, Iris’ growth was…
Thinking that far, Iris noticed Luru’s gaze, and looking down at her own body sadly, she sighed and said,
“…I am still twelve, and there remains the possibility of growth…”
She muttered, looking down with her cheeks dyed red in embarrassment, Luru felt that it would be pitiful for him to consider this any further, and decided to stop.
Seeing Iris act like that, the heavy atmosphere lightened just a little, and Gran opened his mouth.
“…Got it. Still, for your age you’re quite the clever little miss[/jouchan], aren’t ya? Are all ancient demons like this?”
Luru replied to Gran’s question.
“No, I think Iris is special. The others weren’t any different to humans. There was a considerable difference to humans in their control of mana but… there wasn’t much difference on the inside.”
“Heh[/I see]… I had absolutely no idea I’d ever hear something like that from an ancient demon themself though. Hearing this, it seems ridiculous that they’re called a legendary race or whatever.”
Said Gran, seeming to have come to some conclusion － about the fact that Iris and Luru were of the ancient demon race, as well as what they spoke about just now.
You could say that a magnanimous person referred to this type of man.
Yuumis was a little different, and perhaps because she finally digested that Luru and Iris were ancient demons, it looked like she was little by little becoming excited.
Though you could say it was a just hobby, the things she had been pursuing for a long time were now before her eyes.
Her joy was probably immeasurable.
Moreover, it seems that Yuumis had picked up on a word that she couldn’t overlook.
“That you two are ancient demons… is something I understand now… But just a moment ago, there was something that Iris-chan said that I haven’t been able to forget about, you see.”
“My…! Just what did I say?”
Iris tilted her head to the side.
Yuumis then spoke.
“You said it, you know… ‘Retainer’ or something… Luru is an ancient demon, and you are too, Iris-chan. I’m fine with the story up to there. But… just what kind of position did Luru hold? Your words sounded almost as if you were serving him… If you mention an ancient demon… who was served by other ancient demons…”
From her manner of speech, Yuumis had probably more or less guessed at the truth.
However, she wasn’t convinced about it, and it was nothing more than a thought that she had come up with.
And then, Luru already had no real reason to hide it.
That’s why he spoke frankly.
“Yeah, you’re right… In the past, I was the one who the ancient demons followed… The one who led all of the demon race into battle… In my past life, I was――”
――――The 100th Demon King Luruslia Nord.
そのもの; ‘that thing in and of itself’, ‘per se’, ‘the very thing’
/Chapter 13 END
Chapter 14 – Conditions and Prospects＊
“D-, Demon King…!?”
It seems that when people reached the summit of shock, they became unable to properly speak words.
To Yuumis who flapped her mouth about, seemingly wanting to say something, but unable to get the words out, Luru continued to speak.
“Now this has no proof. All of it is just my own assertion. That’s why it doesn’t matter if you believe me or not. The important part is that Iris and I were ancient demons, and the part about me being a demon king doesn’t really have meaning…”
However, it seems that Yuumis had a different view.
“What are you saying!? It’s super important! Demon King… Was Luru really the Demon King? Iris-chan…”
Said Yuumis, looking to Iris for confirmation.
As for Iris, she spoke about Luru’s past glory as though seeing a dream, so it seemed that Yuumis completely believed her.
After that, Yuumis began to ask various questions about the ancient demon race, so seeing this, Gran sighed.
“…Well, once Yuumis becomes like that, there’s no managing her. Let’s leave them alone for a while… Hey, Luru. I was surprised about you being the demon king in the past, but… why’d you tell us? The thing about you being an ancient demon as well. Just what do you mean by telling us all this?”
If you had to say, between Yuumis and Gran, it felt like Yuumis bore more of the intellectual jobs whilst Gran carried more of the muscle, but it seems that feeling was a little off.
Gran’s question was extremely composed, and extremely sharp, thought Luru.
It might have been unmistakable that the more knowledgeable of the two was Yuumis, but the one who skilfully held the reins of the party and led it in the right direction might have on the contrary been Gran.
Up until now, Luru had never seen Gran become particularly agitated.
He was the type of warrior who was always thinking, and even in battle he didn’t stop.
If you considered that Yuumis was on the contrary a whimsical person who went with their feelings, then the two of them fit quite well together as a pair.
As for how to answer, Luru wasn’t worried about it.
There was no reason for him to hide anything, and it was also for the sake of keeping good relations with Gran and Yuumis from here on out.
A person who travelled across the world and saw many things with their own eyes was in a sense, a hard to find existence for Luru, and on top of that if their personalities were good, it became extremely obvious that they people that Luru didn’t want to cut ties with.
That’s why Luru answered Gran frankly.
“It’s not really anything too difficult… I wanted to reveal myself and get along better with you two. I… am certainly an ancient demon, a demon king reborn, so I hold a mentality that doesn’t match with my age, but my position in society is still a seven year old child, and there isn’t a lot that I can do. I like to think that the magecraft training I’ve been doing up until now has been okay, but even so, there’s still a long way to go. And my parents have raised me up until now and lived with me. I love them too. And I don’t hate the village. On the contrary, I like it… This kind of peaceful scenery was something that I could have never seen in my previous life, even up to my death, you see. In a sense, my lifestyle right now is basically the dreams I had in the old days, made reality. That’s why… leaving the village immediately isn’t really an option for me.”
Having spoken that far, Gran seemed to have guessed his intentions as well.
Digesting Luru’s words, and then after thinking for a little while, Gran spoke his guess.
“In other words… You want us to act as your window to the outside? That’s what you want from us?”
His guess was correct.
Truly, this role was what Luru was hoping from them.
However, it wasn’t something as cold as the way Gran said it, and Luru wasn’t coldly and calmly seeking this from them.
“More than windows… It’s more like, on the level that I’d like it if you guys occasionally came to the village, and just talked to us about the outside. Since we explored the ruins together, I know what kind of person you are. More than anything, you guys are skilled adventurers. The city is for sure, but you’ve been to other countries as well, right? I don’t feel like leaving the village. But I want to know about the world. I want to search places like the ruin that was near the village… That’s why, for that, I want information.”
Listening to Luru’s words, Gran scratched his head and replied.
“You’re expecting quite a lot from us but… There’s heaps of stuff that we don’t know, and our knowledge isn’t that plentiful, yanno?”
His words sounded like a refusal, but you could tell from his expression that it wasn’t so.
His smile seemed to say, ‘My, my…[/yareyare]’ after all.
“Just that is fine… It’s not like I was hoping for expert level information. I’d be happy just to hear about general knowledge, or the feel of different regions, broad things of that kind of level. In other words, the stuff that you talked about the other day in the bar. …More than anything, I want to talk to you guys occasionally. Is that no good?”
It was close to an entreaty, but it wasn’t as though there wasn’t that kind of reason as well.
The village had very few stimuli.
Just having adventurers come on occasion could make the village lively.
The bar was like that, and children like Rusty were like that as well.
He was also thinking that it’d be nice if they dropped in by the village on occasion, even if there wasn’t anything to do.
Perhaps understanding what Luru wanted to say, Gran replied.
“It’s not like we can’t, but… Geez, you’re being quite straight with me, aren’t cha? If it’s just that much, it’s fine… Or so I’d like to say, but…”
Contrary to expectations, Gran’s words stopped.
Luru tilted his head in confusion.
After that, Gran held up a finger and continued.
“We’re adventurers. We can’t just come down here that often. Moreover, coming down here just to talk with no reward at all is, you know? So… I’m thinking of giving you conditions.”
While questioning just what kind of conditions Gran could make him swallow, Luru decided to listen for now.
Compared to his time as the demon king, right now he had few fetters of obligations.
As long as it wasn’t anything crazy, he was fine with one or two conditions.
“Yeah, conditions… Won’t you enter my clan?”
In the adventurers guild, it was one of the types of groupings of adventurers.
Unlike parties, clans had the point of being quite large scale organisations.
Put simply, it was said to be a grouping of a number of parties, and entering one bestowed various benefits.
For example, clans based around people from the same birthplace[/homeland] would proactively take in novice adventurers, and drive knowledge and skills into them to guide them into being full-fledged adventurers existed, and because these were useful to the guild as well, they were acknowledged by the guild.
In the past the guild didn’t have this sort of system, and had nothing but parties, but in those days, it seems the death rate of beginners was a lot higher.
As expected, inheriting skills from experts was something incredibly important.
That’s why being invited into a clan by Gran wasn’t really something you could call a condition.
On the contrary, it was a benefit.
Being invited into the clan was the same as being asked to become an adventurer, but to begin with, Luru was planning to becoming one in the future so he was fine with that.
And he knew that clans weren’t something that strongly compelled you to do anything, so there was no problem with that either.
However, as for the one problem that did exist…
“Gran. I said so earlier, but I’ll be staying in the village for a while. As for registering to become an adventurer, no matter how strong a backer I may have, I shouldn’t be able to do it if I’m below 14. That’s why…”
Gran nodded at Luru’s answer.
“Yeah. I know. That’s why this is for when you turn 14. …Well, having said that though, right now Yuumis and I aren’t in a guild, though.”
“…Oi, then whose clan am I supposed to join?”
“It’s like that. Before you turn 14, we’ll create one… How’s that?”
Asked Gran, with a smile.
To Luru, if they were willing to be that accommodating, he had no reason to refuse.
Saying that they’d go out of their way to create a clan meant that they probably weren’t thinking of tying him down.
Were this a party invitation, Luru wouldn’t be able to move about as freely. Parties had quite some obligations.
However, a clan didn’t have such bindings. When all was said and done, they were just mutual aid organisations, and there was fundamentally nothing that bound the people associated with a clan.
That’s why Luru decided to nod.
To implement this he would have to work out various problems, but to begin with, they were problems that he would have to work out anyway.
“Alright then… When I become 14 and I register as an adventurer… I’ll enter you and Yuumis’ clan. That’s as the condition for you two to periodically visit the village…”
When Luru said this, Gran smiled and held out his hand.
It was a handshake.
Luru firmly grabbed back at that large hand, and smiled.
After that, the villagers held a huge farewell party at the bar for Yuumis and Gran, and after drinking lots, they departed for the city that served as their base.
They were a pair that came and left like a storm, but also a pair that helped Luru gain a number of things.
“Well then, I’ll be looking forward to seven years from now!”
“After getting back, establishing a clan… Just when did this get decided…? Well, whatever. Seven years later we’ll have such a super huge clan that it’ll shock you senseless! Next time it’s our turn to surprise you! Well… Until then though, we’re planning on coming here once in a while…”
Saying that, the two of them headed away from the village.
You could say that they were looking forward to what the future actually held.
The promise was between Luru and Gran, but it seems that Iris completely intended to come along.
“In seven years, we will be adventurers, won’t we, Ojisama!”
In fact, Iris’ skill was more than enough, but Luru was still unsure about bringing Iris somewhere dangerous.
However, Iris was also an ancient demon.
Though she was a girl, to she who was a soldier who lived through that era of war, Luru thought that worrying about this was a little rude, and decided to stop overworrying.
After this, the problem that remained was explaining to his parents but…
His family being a noble family meant that there were troublesome parts that came with it, and honestly he was worried about how to break the topic to them.
However, when he spoke about this worry,
“If you ask honestly, I don’t think there will be a problem, but…”
According to her, their mother Medea had noticed that Luru was thinking of one day leaving the village, so perhaps she would give him permission to leave.
Certainly that made sense but… he didn’t know how it would go in reality.
He felt at least a little anxious about it.
However, if he didn’t speak about it, nothing could begin.
Luru nodded at Iris’ words in agreement, and decided to just ask honestly.
Luru’s worries turned out to be needless.
As for when he realised this, it started when he timidly said to Medea,
“I want to become an adventurer when I turn 14.”
and with an expression that seemed like he was saying the obvious, she replied,
“Eh? I know that. You’re going to leave the village, right? Or rather, that’s quite late, isn’t it…?”
It was around this time that he realised it.
When he asked about her response in more detail, Medea said that she noticed that since Luru had been aware of things, he would look off into the distance somewhere with eyes of longing, so she thought that he would probably leave the village, and would one day speak to her about this.
However, she had expected it to be earlier… That’s why rather than 14, she thought that it wouldn’t be odd if he said he wanted leave at 10 – no, even at 7, which is why when she realised that she would have another 7 whole years with him, on the contrary it made her happy, she said.
Rather than eyes of longing, it was eyes of reminiscence, and rather than looking off into the distance, he was recalling the days that became history that he could never get back, but there was no way his mother could know that.
In the end, however, the result of this was that her guess was surprisingly accurate.
Luru felt it was good luck that things were progressing in a better direction, and more tidily so, than he had expected.
Iris also told their mother that she would be tagging along, and as expected, Medea had already thought it would happen.
Or rather, Iris was constantly following Luru around, so on the contrary you could even say it was to be expected.
When she was asked what she felt about this impression,
“It is my honour!”
she said, and Luru felt that it was already past the point of being able to do anything about it.
Not that he wanted to stop it to begin with, though.
And like that, the path to being an adventurer steadily unfolded before Luru and Iris, when suddenly Medea muttered something worrying.
“…I’m fine with it, but Patrick is… you know? …I wonder if it’ll be alright.”
His mother was a broadminded person.
That’s why she easily accepted it.
However, it might have been risky to think that his father would do the same.
His father was by no means a stern type, and though he was strict when it came to swordsmanship, he was ordinarily a gentle and kind person.
However, within that gentleness lay a strong and intense person… In other words, he was a person that became scary when angered.
In the end, would this type of father readily accept them leaving the house at 14?
He wasn’t that difficult of a person, but he was the type that couldn’t just say “Sure”.
Once he voiced this prediction to his mother as well,
“Well… Right, when it comes down to it, what if you settled it with a fight? If it’s Patrick, then he’d allow it if he lost, you know?”
she said with a smile.
It was most reasonable.
His father was extremely strict when it came to swordsmanship.
And his attitude towards swordsmanship was extremely earnest.
That’s why if he tasted defeat in that kind of fight, it was thinkable that he would listen to the victor as a good sport.
However, the problem was that Patrick was quite strong.
Of course, if Luru used all of his mana, as well as the swordsmanship he had learned as a demon, he could probably win.
However, a match with Patrick was fundamentally one that used the Orthodox Swordsmanship of the kingdom.
They were rules that Patrick came up with at the start for the sake of their mastery of the Orthodox Style, so it wouldn’t be forgivable to break them.
When it came to Patrick, he had to hold back the mana in his body, and fight with the mana volume and strength of a seven year old.
To Luru as well, it was obvious to fight with Patrick in a fair and square match.
When he thought this, all he felt was that he was at a severe disadvantage in a fight against Patrick.
It was probably that 9 times out of 10, he wouldn’t be able to win.
However, even so, Luru had no choice but to win.
Imagining the time of the fight, Luru sighed.
/Chapter 14 END
Chapter 15 – Father’s Homecoming＊
It was two weeks after that when Luru’s father returned home.
Around noon when the sun was high, his father who was riding a carriage from the neighbouring town was wearing neither sword nor armour, and was lightly dressed like any old villager so from a glance you could not really tell that he was a skilled swordsman.
He had a gentle and calm atmosphere, and in his luggage were a number of heavy books, and even now was reading while wearing the Magus Tool that he always put on when he did so. Because of that, rather than a knight, he seemed more like a scholar.
Alighting from the horse carriage left at the entrance of the village, with a few books and a large-ish bag, he noticed Luru who had come to meet him and leisurely waved his hand.
“Hey… It’s been a while, huh, Luru. Have you been well?”
His father spoke in a kind tone, befitting of his appearance, and though it wasn’t as though they hadn’t met in years, Luru thought that it was something he missed.
“Yeah, I’ve been well… It’s been a while. Will you be able to stay a bit longer this time?”
His father, Patrick, worked in the royal palace in the royal capital, so he didn’t have that much leave. That’s why Luru asked what he did.
Normally his family should have been living together in the capital, but his mother took a liking to this village, and his father didn’t want to take Luru and his mother to the capital either.
It seems that his mother had lived in the capital in the past, but after marrying with his father they came to this village, and she had lived here ever since.
Perhaps it was because the two of them didn’t like metropolises, or perhaps there was some other reason they didn’t mention so Luru didn’t know, but anyway, because of their circumstances, Luru hadn’t been to a large city yet.
“Let’s see… This time… I don’t think I can stay for too long either. Though it’s not like I have to go back immediately either. So there’s enough time to train you and Rusty.”
Said Patrick with a smile.
Each time Patrick came home, he would teach Luru and Rusty.
There were quite a few people who had learned swordsmanship in the village, but the only one who was skilled enough to teach people properly was Patrick.
Because of that, he would often teach the children of the village swordsmanship when he came home.
While he was in the village, Patrick was completely on holiday without anything else to do, so he had a lot of free time.
Having said that though, there was no way that a knight could let his skill decline, so he trained in the sword every single day, and it seems that the children who saw him do so asked him to teach them, and that was how it began.
There were a few children who learned under Patrick, left the village, and became adventurers, and Rusty was working hard to be the same.
“I think Rusty’s burning up this time. He’s probably frantically trying his best, so… could you tell him not to overdo it?”
“Mn? Did something happen to him?”
“We’ll tell you about that later… There are a whole bunch of things we have to tell you, after all.”
“I see… Speaking of which, where’s Medea?”
“Ah, she’s inside making lunch with Iris. We didn’t know when your carriage would arrive, but she was here up until just a moment ago.”
Saying that, Patrick nodded with a ‘hmm’.
“Iris huh? I read the letter but, adopting her, huh? The letter wasn’t detailed, but just why are we adopting somebody…?”
He was probably talking about a letter that Medea sent.
It was a letter that she sent regularly, that detailed the things that happened in the village, and the conditions of the family and estate.
It took a week at the least to reach the capital, but it seems that this time it had arrived relatively quickly.
But even so, it seems that she hadn’t had time to write about it in detail.
“Iris herself said that she’d be fine being a maid but… Mum[Okaasan], you know…?”
Luru’s tone suggested that he had some things he wanted to say about it, so Patrick made an astonished expression.
However, it seems that he wasn’t exactly against it, and asked Luru a question.
“Medea is being unreasonable again, huh… Well, that’s fine though. Are you all right with it as well, Luru?”
He was probably indirectly asking to see if Luru was in shock about a stranger suddenly becoming family.
From Patrick’s point of view, Luru was a small child.
It was obvious concern for him.
However, that was completely off the mark.
Iris was the daughter of somebody who had been like his family since long ago, and as for Luru himself, he had built up a bold enough personality in his previous life that he would be fine with living with a stranger.
That’s why there was no issue at all.
“I don’t mind at all. Iris is polite, and a good girl…”
It seems that Patrick felt something other than just simple approval from Luru’s manner of speech, so he stroked his chin and said, with his glasses glittering,
“My, my… Your girlfriend?”
Mixed into his words were a bit of teasing.
It was a bit of bonding between parent and child.
However, Luru had already passed the age at which he’d be taken in by such teasing in his previous life, and so it probably couldn’t be helped that he just replied in an astonished tone,
“A person who’s going to be my younger or older sister from now on isn’t somebody I’d be thinking of making into a girlfriend, right…?”
Not only that, but speaking frankly, she was the daughter of his friend.
The mental hurdle for making her his girlfriend was much too high.
However, Patrick rebutted with a reasonable argument.
“Marriage between non-blood related siblings is not forbidden by law, you know. Well, in those cases they become the adopted daughter of somebody else in name, though.”
It was the truth.
This was written clearly in the laws of the kingdom’s charter.
However, that wasn’t the problem.
That’s why Luru said,
“It’s not a matter of legality…”
And after all of this, seeing that Luru didn’t seem to be thinking of her romantically at all, perhaps Patrick finally understood because he said,
“Hm… From what I can see, the possibility is low, huh? It feels like you really see her as your little sister…”
They were some oddly sharp and insightful words.
After that, Luru took a few books off Patrick’s hands, and started walking towards the Cadisnola residence.
Patrick followed after him, and after a while, they arrived at their home.
When they arrived at home, Medea and Iris, as well as a maid, were awaiting Patrick.
Patrick greeted them one by one, and hugged them.
The maid as well.
Was it because he was a lower class noble, or was it just unique to him? Luru didn’t know because he hadn’t really met any other nobles, but Patrick treated people without much distinction, and he was social and open with both the villages and the maids.
It was enough that he even said it was fine to address him without honorifics.
If he took a step in the wrong direction, it would end up as a personality that was unbefitting of a noble, but the villagers were careful, and around people from other villages or travellers, they would properly attach ‘-sama‘ to his name, so there wasn’t much to worry about.
There was something to worry about when it came to children, but to begin with, not many people came to the village, so for now there didn’t seem to be anything that would cause trouble.
After that, Patrick organised his luggage and left them in his room, and gave Luru a few books that he had brought with him.
Each time Patrick came back from the capital, he would bring Luru books as souvenirs like this.
Luru remembered that when he asked Patrick why he brought these even though books were expensive, Patrick had replied that he had a friend with a large book collection, and because that friend often bought books, he could get them at a cheaper price.
Perhaps because they were obtained through that channel, they were slightly old editions and sometimes pages would be missing, but even so it was a good source of information, and was no problem to Luru.
Whilst eating the lunch that Medea and Iris had made, everybody sat together and chatted.
Patrick knew a lot, so he would speak about the conditions of the capital, but the contents were simplified things that a child of Luru’s age could understand, so even the detailed conversations were appropriate for a child of his age, and it seemed difficult to talk about things beyond this, so Luru felt that he was lacking information.
This was why he wanted to do the deal with Gran and Yuumis, and while thinking that it really was a good idea, Luru had a chat with his father for the first time in a while.
The conversations he had with his father had interesting contents, but as expected, it was quite different from the perspective of an adventurer, and though he could grasp the atmosphere of the capital from it, his father didn’t often speak of things like international relations.
Even when he did talk about it on occasion, they were mostly rumours or very general information, and rather than seeing these things himself, they were things he heard from others or knowledge he had learned from books.
The reason he didn’t speak about things in detail was because Luru had the appearance of a seven year old, so it might have been inevitable, but as expected, Luru felt a little disappointed about this.
Unlike adventurers, Patrick couldn’t just freely cross over to other countries, and as a knight who had sworn allegiance to the kingdom, he couldn’t touch on subjects that were classified and wouldn’t thoughtlessly speak about these things.
So in general, you could say that his father had the exact opposite character of carefree adventurers.
While they were having their meal, Patrick heard from Medea once again about adopting Iris, and readily agreed with a nod.
It was likely that after having a chat with Iris and making sure there was nothing wrong with her character, he judged that there were no problems.
As for the paperwork, they decided to have him hand in the forms when he returned to the capital.
The story about how the adventurers came to the village also came up.
While talking about that, Medea told Patrick about how Luru went to the ruins, but he wasn’t that angry, and it ended with him telling Luru not to try anything excessive.
And then, the most important topic came up.
Luru quietly began to talk.
“Also… Dad[/Tousan]. There’s something I need to talk about.”
It seems that Patrick sensed that something was up about Luru’s formal attitude, for his cheerful smile turned into a serious expression as he watched Luru.
“What is it?”
“I want to become an adventurer when I turn 14… Would that be alright?”
Without any pretences, Luru immediately cut to the point, and Patrick smiled at that.
“…That’s fine. Though we’re lower class, we’re still nobles so it isn’t as though there aren’t problems, but… That can just be solved by adopting a son from a relative. We’re still young too, so there’s the possibility of having a younger brother for you. But… Luru.”
When Luru was wondering if Patrick would accept without issue, Patrick’s words trailed off, and Luru’s was not so bad at guessing that he couldn’t tell what Patrick wanted to say.
Luru slowly nodded, and waited for his father’s words.
“The adventurer occupation is easier said than done. So I’m thinking of giving you a challenge to complete.”
“A… challenge, huh…?”
Just what kind of challenge would Patrick be giving him?
Luru could somehow guess.
While his father was gentle, his real character was that of a knight.
A challenge that a knight would give.
It went without saying.
“Yes… Until your fourteenth birthday, you have to get me to acknowledge your swordsmanship. If you can’t do that, even if you become an adventurer, you’ll just die, you see… Is that fine?”
Having said that, Patrick’s eyes blazed and housed a strong will different to the kind smile up until now.
Luru could feel an intensity from Patrick that was in no way inferior to the warriors that challenged him back when he was a demon king.
So Luru answered.
He understood that he couldn’t refuse; it was the same both today, and in the past.
“Yeah… I got it. Until my fourteenth birthday, I’ll show you that I can become a swordsman you can acknowledge, Dad[/Tousan].”
Whilst receiving Patrick’s intensity, Luru declared this without hesitation, and Patrick smiled once again.
However, that smile was as expected not his gentle one… but the very smile that a warrior gave having found a worthy opponent.
“As expected of my son. Now then, since that’s decided, it’ll be special training for you tomorrow, okay? I have confidence that you’ll become stronger.”
Having said that, his father’s expression returned to normal.
In the end, could Luru become strong enough to defeat Patrick?
Patrick was strong.
He was certainly not this country’s strongest, but his skill was guaranteed.
It was because his occupation was none other than the sword instructor of the Royal Knight Order, known as the strongest in the country.
If you wanted the Kingdom of Lezaad’s strongest, you would normally say it was the Head Knight of the Royal Knight Order, or the Head Magician of the court mages.
However, in swordsmanship alone, there was probably nobody in the country who could beat Patrick.
In swordsmanship, his talent was beyond a level that anybody could follow.
His strength was enough that you could declare this.
Sensing that he could become an adventurer with a normal level of determination, he quickly tidied the lunch table, and headed to the garden with a wooden practice sword in hand.
From now on, each day would be intense training.
Otherwise, something like beating Patrick would be beyond a dream.
So Luru thought.
Patrick uses ‘boku‘（僕） to refer to himself which is both humble, and not so formal. I suppose it’s to highlight his soft and gentle atmosphere.
‘Whilst receiving Patrick’s intensity‘ 威迫 means ‘making somebody obey by threat, by showing your power’. So it means ‘threat’ if translated, but it’s not really the threat you’d normally think of（脅迫） so I did it as ‘intensity’.
~Whilst being forced accepting Patrick’s terms (because of his intensity)~
‘beyond a dream‘ 夢のまた夢 means ‘a dream within a dream’. So like, a super far-fetched dream. Beyond your wildest dreams. An empty dream. That kind of thing.
/Chapter 15 END