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[Rudeus POV]

“So you mean, this Hitogami guy is the person that tells you about Ruijerd?”

Eris asked, while continue to swing her sword.

“Yeah, I can say that he’s the person we’re indebted to”

“Then, if he’s a nice guy. Why’d Orsted attacking us, from what the Water god said. Orsted is a bad guy right?”

“That’s…”

I don’t know, I really am confused by that. There might be some secret I don’t know about that matter.

“but, I know that Claude definitely understand something about that… I mean, he and Ash tried to talk about something with hi, even when he’s trembling from all the pressures Orsted emit…” did Eris talked about the time when I’m unconscious?

I’ve heard that Claude is there when I’m passing out, and his potion is the one that saved me miraculously. But, it’s the first time that I heard him talking about something with the Dragon god.

“Right… it might be one of his Miko powers…” I said, making assumption about the questionable negotiation he had with Orsted.

Wait, isn’t he also the one break the ceiling of the tunnel?

While thinking about that, I’m asking Ruijerd about this confusion of mine.

“He’s achieved the King rank in his mastery…”

What!

“Are you serious about this, Ruijerd!” Eris asked him excitedly.

“Yeah, that is the pressure you can feel when the Touki can be unleashed outside of your body” Ruijerd explained.

Once one achieved the Saint rank, a practitioner will starting to realize the Aura surrounding his body. different from Mana that comes from the inside, Touki is something that comes after you aligned with the nature and receive the guidance of the pure natural force.

Heck, this thing might be Ki even. Since those that trained their body can feel it, different from the Mana that generated within the body, and unleashed through the spell or imagination of the caster. Touki can only be controlled to help the practitioner to make greater force.

“I don’t really understand difficult things…” Eris said, while keeping her head down.

“This is something you will started to understand when you reach the rank” Ruijerd said nonchalantly.

even so, how can he developed so fast.

“Didn’t he just reach Saint rank when we were in the great forest? What makes him reach the rank so fast?” I asked Ruijerd.

“by the time we’re at the great forest, he’s training by himself and achieve the said rank… meanwhile, my spar with him might help him somewhat understanding more about the Touki, but his finesse in the way of weapons basically different from me. Which made him having a harder time to understand how the flow of Touki moves in my surrounding…”

What the heck did he mean?

Seeing the confusion in my eyes, Ruijerd stopped and thinking the best way to explain it to me.

“He found a better teacher than me, so he can learn about Touki faster, and achieve the rank once he felt something when Orsted leave him that time”

“Oh… That means, Isolte and Reida helped him to reach the stage huh…” As expected of the Water God, what a great teacher she is…

Though, I’m and Eris been trained by her for a while. We didn’t really have a click in what she trained us with…

I’m just getting beaten here and there, while Eris was defeated by Isolte since she used Sword God style and Isolte using the Water God style which counter hers.

It’s a good experience for the both of us, but, a sad memory where we’d always be groaning on the ground.

“In the end, what’s the thing Claude knows about this Hitogami?” Eris asked

“I don’t know about this, but, knowing that Orsted didn’t attack him all the way until he leaves. Signify that he’s not the same as me…”

“I hear some of what he says about the bleak future, where he dies…” Ruijerd suddenly said, astonishing me greatly.

Claude?

Dying?

“How can someone so strong like him die?” Eris asked, filled with confusion.

“No one can run away from death, no matter how strong a person is…” Pain filled Ruijerd face when he said that, I can see that he remembered his family that leave him behind huh…

Several days after, we arrived in Fittoa.

A vast, vast grassland.

 

While holding a sense of loneliness from that spectacle, we arrived at what you could call the only current town in Fedoa region.

 

We arrived at the refugee camp.

 

The land of our final objective.

 

Just a few steps before the entrance of that place, Ruijerd stopped the carriage.

 

“Hn? What’s wrong?”

 

Ruijerd descended from the driver’s seat.

 

I looked over the surroundings wondering if a monster had appeared, no shadows of an enemy.

 

Ruijerd walked around to the back of the carriage and said it.

 

“I’ll be taking my leave here.”

 

“Eh!!”

 

The words that were suddenly declared.

 

I raised my voice in surprise.

 

Eris’ eyes were opened wide as well.

 

“Wai-wait just a minute.”

 

We got off the carriage as if we were about to fall over and went to face Ruijerd.

 

Isn’t this too fast?

 

We only just arrived at the refugee camp.

 

No, we haven’t even arrived yet we’re just standing outside of it.

 

“At the very least how about taking it easy for one day or so, No, at least come together with us into the town?”

 

“That’s right, after all…”

 

“There’s no need.”

 

Ruijerd looked at us with those blunt words.

 

“There’s no need for a warrior here. There’s no need for protection.”

 

“…”

 

Eris went silent in response to those words.

 

Honestly.

 

I might have forgotten about it a bit.

 

Ruijerd came along only just to see us up to our hometown.

 

Now that the objective has been completed, it’s only natural for us to separate.

 

Even though I thought we would be together forever.

 

“Ruijerd-san…”

 

After opening my mouth I hesitated.

 

If I try to detain him, will he stay I wonder…

 

No, after re-thinking it, I have brought a heavy amount of troubles onto this man.

 

There were certainly plenty of times where I have troubled him, but the times when I showed him my shameful parts were common.

 

Even though that’s the case, he recognized me as a Warrior.

 

I don’t think I can depend on him anymore than this.

 

“If it weren’t for Ruijerd-san, I’m sure we wouldn’t have been able to make it here in three years.”

 

“No, if it was you then it should have been possible.”

 

“There’s no way that’s the case. Since there are places where I’m lacking, I think I would have stumbled somewhere.”

 

“As long as you can say that you’ll be all right.”

 

There were quite a few situations where I had no solution.

 

For example, the time when I was captured in Shirone, if it hadn’t been for the existence of Ruijerd, I would have panicked more, I’m sure I would have been more distracted.

 

“…Rudeus, I said it once before, but.”

 

Ruijerd looked over me with an even more peaceful face than usual.

 

“You’ve already accomplished yourself as a magician. Even though you possess that much talent you haven’t grown arrogant. You should hold self-awareness that you were able to do that much at such a young age.”

 

I received those words with complicated feelings.

 

Even if you say youth, the age of my experiences has already gone over 40 years.

 

The reason I haven’t grown arrogant is because I still have memories of that time.

 

However, even if I said it’s 40 years, if I look at it in comparison to Ruijerd’s age, then it would enter into the category of young.

 

“I…”

 

Here is where I should I have started to talk about my bad portions.

 

However, I had a feeling that would have been just too shameful.

 

In front of this man, I want to stand a bit tall.

 

“No, I understand. Ruijerd-san, we’ve really depended on you quite a bit until now.”

 

After saying that and lowering my head, I was caught and stopped.

 

“Rudeus don’t lower your head to me.”

 

“…Why?”

 

“You might think you’ve been depending on me, but I think I’ve been depending on you. Thanks to you, I have the feeling I’ve been able to see hope for the recovery of my family’s honor.”

 

“I haven’t done anything at all. I couldn’t really do much at all.”

 

In regards to the Magic Continent, I think we did end up making the name Dead End into something agreeable, but that was limited to just the framework of Adventurers.

 

Since our established reputation couldn’t be used in the Milis Continent, while I was thinking about different methods to approach it, it just kept being put off.

 

In the end, since the time we came to Central Continent, we haven’t done anything.

 

Up until now, I feel that the influence has started to come around a bit.

 

However, that is limited to just a bit.

 

Putting aside the largely remaining history of persecution in the world and of course the prejudice towards the Superd race, we weren’t able to do anything.

 

“No, you were able to achieve a variety of things. You were able to teach someone like me who only knows how to honestly save children that a variety of methods exist.”

 

“However, all of them had weak effects.”

 

“However, it certainly has changed. I remember everything. According to your scheme in the Town of Rikarisu, the words of the old woman who said she didn’t fear the Superd race. The happy faces of the adventurers who laughed without fear after hearing the name Dead End. The closeness to the Dedorudia race warriors who came to recognize us even after hearing the name Superd race. The Shirone soldiers who thanked me in tears after being reunited with their families.”

 

Putting aside the first two, the two after were all Ruijerd giving it his best effort.

 

I haven’t done anything.

 

“…That is Ruijerd-san, your own power.”

 

“No. I couldn’t do anything myself. It’s been 400 years since the war, I moved around alone and I wasn’t able to advance even one step forward. The one who allowed me to take that step forward was you, Rudeus.”

 

“…However, that was always under the advice of Hitogami.”

 

“Things about a god that I’ve never seen don’t matter at all. The one who actually saved me was you. I don’t know what you think, but I feel a debt of gratitude towards you. Therefore, don’t lower your head, you and I are equal, rather than thanking, look with your eyes.”

 

While saying that Ruijerd faced me and held out his hand.

 

While I was looking him in the eyes.

 

Without averting my eyes from there I grabbed his hand.

 

“I’ll say it once more. Rudeus, thanks for the assistance”

 

“We as well, thank for the assistance.”

 

While tightly holding onto his hand, the strength of Ruijerd was conveyed.

 

The inner corners of my eyes got hot.

 

This shameful I, this I who made nothing but mistakes, Ruijerd recognized me.

 

After a short while, we quietly released our hands.

 

That hand moved to the side and was placed on top of Eris’ head.

 

“Eris.”

 

“…What is it?”

 

“Is it fine if I treat you like a child in the end?”

 

“It’s fine, really.”

 

Eris bluntly responded.

 

Ruijerd lightly smiled and caressed Eris’ head.

 

“Eris, you have talent. You should have enough talent to become far stronger than me.”

 

“That’s a lie, after all… That guy…”

 

Eris linked her lips together in a frown and made a sullen face.

 

Ruijerd suddenly laughed a bit, normally, he would have said words about training.

 

“You fought against someone with the name of God, and received their technique. The meaning of that…”

 

Understood?

 

Eris was definitely glaring at Ruijerd.

 

Before long, she opened her eyes wide.

 

“…I understand.”

 

“Alright, good girl.”

 

Ruijerd patted Eris’ head and then removed his hand.

 

Eris continued with her lips shaped in a frown and grasped her fist tightly.

 

It looked like she was on the verge of crying but desperately tried to endure it.

 

I asked Ruijerd without taking my eyes off her.

 

“Ruijerd-san, what are you going to do from here on out?”

“I don’t know, I intend to search around for survivors of the Superd race in Central Continent for a short while. If it’s just me alone, then recovering the honor is just a dream within a dream after all.”

 

“I see, please give it your best. If I have any spare time, I’ll try playing some kind of hand.”

 

“…fu…Then I as well, if I have spare time I’ll look for your mother.”

 

Ruijerd said that while facing me.

 

Preparations for a journey are unnecessary for him.

 

He can live and walk on with just the clothes on his back.

 

However, he suddenly stopped.

 

“Come to think of it, I still needed to return this.”

 

While saying that, Ruijerd took off the pendant that was hanging around his neck.

 

The pendant I received from Roxy.

 

The Migurd race pendant.

 

It was the only item that connected Roxy and I.

 

“That is, Ruijerd-san please hold onto it.”

 

“Is it fine? Isn’t it a precious item?”

 

“It’s because it’s a precious item.”

 

After saying that, Ruijerd nodded silently.

 

It seems like he’ll accept it.

 

“Well then, Rudeus, Eris… Let’s meet again.”

 

While saying that Ruijerd left us.

 

The time when he decided to come along with us, he talked about all sorts of things, but during the time he leaves, it’s in an instant.

 

I had a lot of things I wanted to say.

 

Meeting in Magic Continent and coming together with us to the Asura Kingdom.

 

Really a lot of things happened.

 

Enough that you can’t even put it into words, a lot of things, a lot of feelings…

 

The feelings towards an ally who I don’t want to part with.

 

“Let’s meet again.”

 

I summarized those feelings with just those words and watched Ruijerd’s back disappear into the distance.

 

That’s right, it’s fine if we meet again.

 

I’m sure we’ll meet again.

As long as we’re both alive, definitely.

 

Eris and I watched Ruijerd’s figure until we could no longer see him.

 

Just quietly, packed together with our thanks until now.

 

 

Just like this, our journey came to an end.

 

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Mushoku Tensei FF Chapter 74: Claude’s mystery and Parting

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