The next morning, the clouds disappeared, and the blue sky returned.
As the day got brighter, I looked at the village once more. It was completely burned down.
The few surviving villagers, they cried with their knees on the burnt ground.
They’d lost everything.
And then, there was Seto’s house which was left untouched, a weird spectacle among all that. Soon enough, the villagers might ask Seto about this.
Why was it that only his house did not receive any damage, it was not amusing for those other villagers who suffered.
Seto would have to think his next moves from now on. As for me, I was following my schedule.
After telling Seto, I walked to the remnants of my old house.
Toward the southernmost part of the village, while smelling the burning fragrance.
My house was untouched by the gargoyles’ fire attack. Wild plants grew in its surroundings freely.
Passing through the courtyard, I proceeded into the interior. Here was also dominated by wild plants.
I drew the black sword from its sheath, and used it to cut down the obstructive plants.
After a while of cutting and advancing, I could finally make out two small gravestones placed next to each other.
It had been a very long time, and since it never received direct sunlight, the gravestones were covered by moss.
Let’s take care of it quick. I slid back Greed into its sheath, and bent over.
My hands slowly peeled off the moss covering my mother’s gravestone
My mother, she died after giving birth to me. My father told me that she was talkative and liked to meddle with others. How true that was, I had no way of knowing.
「Yosh, it’s all cleaned. Next is Father.」
My father who died from disease when I was 11. Using his spear skill, my father who drove away the monsters from the village was my younger self’s idol.
My father tried his hardest to contribute to the village, so that I wouldn’t be bullied. He always smiled, I wondered how.
Back then, he taught me that no matter how painful it got, if you kept smiling, happiness would find you sooner or later. From that day onwards, I also tried hard to keep smiling.
However, father died of disease even with his smile. I stopped forcing myself to smile starting from then.
After five years had passed. I finally understood that those smiles were for my happiness.
Therefore, I smiled in front of my father’s grave.
「Father, I’m okay. I can live with my own power now.」
I also cleaned up father’s gravestone, then got up.
When would I be able to visit again? It’s unlikely as matter of fact.
If I could return alive from Gallia, I would definitely return here to share all the things that had happened to me with my parents. So for now, I won’t say anything more.
On my way back, there was Seto standing under the big tree. Apparently, he was waiting for me.
「It seems that you have concluded your visit.」
「Yeah, it’s done a little while ago.」
Seto appeared to want to say something. After waiting for a while, he bowed to me.
「Again, please accept my apology. The past……is in the past, so please forgive me.」
「Yeah, your apology, I’ve accepted it well. But……」
I quickly drew Greed out, switching it to its bow form.
When I pulled the bowstring, a black arrow was generated through my magic.
Seto’s face stiffened and became pale. Even so he stood still.
「Fate……you……could it be」
Seto was terribly upset. Uncaring, I let loose the magic arrow.
Seto shut his eyes and gritted his teeth, the magic arrow disappeared on the bushes that branched out of the big tree.
The monster’s final wail was heard, a gargoyle noir fell down from the tree.
「Uaaaaaaaaaaaaa, a monster!?」
Seto’s waist gave way upon seeing the monster, he landed on ground with his butt.
I managed to take down the gargoyle before it could attack Seto. If I were slower by one moment, Seto would’ve died.
「It seems there are still some of them out there.」
Ignoring the inorganic voice in my head, I approached Seto and gave him a hand to help him stand back.
He’s still dumbstruck. No response even when I asked.
「Oi, get yourself together！」
I slapped his cheeks lightly while saying so.
Seto regained his mind, and get back up again.
「I was surprised. To think that there was a gargoyle on the tree behind me……I thought Fate was going to……」
Seto didn’t say anything else. No, he’s unlikely going to say it.
Of course Seto thought that I was about to kill him.
Well, at that point it couldn’t be helped. I did have a motive for attacking him. There was also this debt Seto felt towards me.
Somehow, a weird atmosphere fell upon us.
Seto was the first to break the standstill. I watched him as he raised himself standing up.
「Fate, I want you to hit me once. Although it’s impossible to break even with only that, I can only do this much.」
What to do… when I was thinking, Greed spoke to me through [Mind Reading].
『Just hit it. It should be easy with your stats, fufufuu』
「Seto’s head will explode……don’t joke around at times like this.」
But even so, I also wanted to settle things down with Seto.
Here then, allow me to reply to that intention.
「Understood. Tighten your teeth、Seto」
I struck Seto’s cheek with my right fist.
The impact was rather large even after I tried to hold myself back, sending him sprawling to the tree behind him.
Was that too much….while I was thinking about that, Seto was laughing on the ground. Did that hit rattle your head so much that you’ve gone crazy?
When I ran up to him, I knew I was wrong. I knew this expression all to well.
The very same smile that my father showed to me.
Laughed off everything, and moved on. At the very least, that’s how I interpreted Seto’s laughter.
「Is it alright？」
「Yeah, since it’s impossible to continue living in that village, it’s fine.」
I and Seto’s father and daughter pair had moved back to the merchant town Tetra.
Seto had decided to leave the village. As it is, it’s impossible to maintain the village with the remaining survivors only. Moreover, he received a lot of badmouthing since only his house survived the calamity.
For Seto, it was his limit. With his father dead, he no longer had the responsibility to succeed the position.
In my view, Seto had this fresh expression in his face.
「What will you do now？」
「I think I will try to find a job here. Ah, right. Please accept this.」
Seto passed to me the 10 silver reward for the monster subjugation.
I shook my head, refusing.
「I don’t need it. Keep it.」
「No, I can’t do that……」
「Then, just use it for your daughter’s needs. As you can see, I’m not really worry about money right now.」
「If you say so……but honestly, this will help me.」
He’s about to start over in Tetra. So he would need some amount of money as keepsake.
I understanded the most how hard it could be living in the capital with so little money. Therefore, he needed a moderate amount of money.
After talking for a while with Seto, the time to part finally came. I had arranged for a carriage to head south. I couldn’t afford to miss it, since I don’t really want to spend another day on Tetra.
「Yeah, until later.」
「Bye bye、big bro」
That’s right. I would want to meet them again later, when I’m able. Waving my goodbye to the pair of father and daughter, I departed from Tetra soon after.