In the first place, it was not a journey with a clear destination. What Ardis and the twins needs is a quiet place that wouldn’t be disturbed by anyone.
Even if the place is inconvenient, or infested with demonic beings, it doesn’t mean much to Ardis. So in that meaning, the village in the Canobis Mountain Range suited quite well.
As about ten days had passed, Ardis told Rona the decision to stay in the village.
「Since Angel-sama had given her approval in advance. We will too, welcome you. 」, the village chief said so, and Ardis and co were accepted into the village.
The fact that Nere introduced as Sera’s niece probably helped the most, as well as sympathy for the twins in the outside world.
Because of the name of Angel-sama, the villagers naturally directed their respect to Nere who looks exactly like Sera. But of course, they have no reason to treat anyone else other than Nere preferentially.
In the first place, it’s a village made from refugees. For Ardis and co who are outsiders, they have no obligation to provide food to them.
Leaving the house that was provided to them in the beginning, Ardis and co built another one a little ways from the centre of the village.
About a month had passed after they settled in the village. One day when Fillia and Riana both just about had gotten used to the new lifestyle fairly well.
「O――i Fillia, Riana! 」
The girls who were sweeping the house front with a broom noticed the approaching boy.
「Ah, it’s Deen. 」
「Huh, was it time already? 」
Not bothered by people’s gaze, the life that didn’t need them to be under anyone’s condemning eyes changed Fillia and Riana’s expression by the day.
Especially Deen and Karina, because of their similarity in age, and them being twins as well, they’re on good terms with each other.
「Sorry, we haven’t prepared yet. 」
「Ah, no. It’s alright, I decided to come early abruptly after all. 」
Panickily waving his hands left and right to Riana who was apologizing, Deen said so.
「Is Karina not together with you? 」
Fillia questioned since the person that she thought would be together with Deen wasn’t here.
「Ah――, Karina will be joining later, I think she will need another thirty minutes. 」
「Since we’re waiting for all four of us anyways, isn’t it better for you two to come together? 」
「But if it’s like that……」
Deen muttered softly seemingly a little depressed at Riana’s honest opinion. Riana pointed towards the entrance of the house while tilting her head at his expression.
「We’re about to finish cleaning up already, please enter and wait for a while. 」
「No, let me help too. 」
Saying so, Deen took a dustpan that was nearby and came closer to Riana.
「Umm……. Unn, then please. 」
Fillia thanked honestly while Riana was slightly confused. The twins had opposite responses.
Finishing the cleaning, the three sat around and waited for Karina while drinking tea prepared by Nere, they left the village after all four of them gathered.
Of course, they’re not planning to go anywhere where demonic beings appear.
Their allowed activity radius is an hour walking distance from the village, in other words, around where the four met for the first time.
Within that distance, thanks to Sera’s barrier, there won’t be any dangerous creatures that would attack humans. It’s a generally safe area.
The four’s purpose are to patrol around the radius, and also procurement of food supplies by hunting. Even children that aren’t adult yet are considered a valuable workforce in the hidden village that only have a little more than a hundred people.
Deen and Karina as well when they were just over ten, followed the adults around and learnt to hunt.
Being acknowledged as an adult at fifteen, they could finally form a pair on their own to work but that’s when they encountered Fillia and co.
「Where are we going today? 」
Karina answered Fillia’s question.
「Let’s head east today. We will walk around the forest for the morning like yesterday, and start hunting afternoon. 」
「Sorry. Because of us, you have lesser time to hunt……」
Riana agreed with Fillia who was showing an apologetic face.
「That’s true. We mustn’t cause more trouble, let’s memorize the path as soon as possible. 」
「It’s alright. We were taught the same way by the adults too. We’re a year older than Fillia and Riana after all, it’s natural that we’ll have to take care of you. 」
「Yeah. For me, I think it’s fun to hunt with you two, and I think our group of four is good. Even if it’s two or three years, you can take your time to memorize. 」
「I agree with you at face value but, ……somehow it reeks of your own desires. 」
Karina’s gaze was cold at Deen.
「W-www-what desires! 」
「It was so obvious, you think I wouldn’t notice? 」
Having pointed out, Deen could only stay quiet without going against Karina. Although Riana seemed to have an awkward expression, Fillia looked like she had no idea at all.
「Well, it’s true that it will take a few years normally. But for you two’s cases, both of you are already proficient enough in hunting. Rather, it’s amazing that you can pick it up so quickly just after getting familiar with the surroundings, or is it a pity that we can’t teach you much…… 」
Thanks to Ardis who is an exceptional existence beside them, and under Nere’s unconventional guidance, Fillia and Riana’s strength aren’t below Kyrill who is known as the strongest in the Mariules Academy.
They even had experience dealing with Twin Swords and Ractors in the Corsas Forest. So, they wouldn’t be in trouble if hunting beasts that are comparatively weaker.
Both Deen and Karina were speechless when they witnessed the two swiftly casting wind blades chantlessly to chop off the head of the beasts that would run immediately after sensing danger.
Nere’s judgement was they wouldn’t be inferior to the majority of mercenaries as long as they get more experience and learn more methods.
Ardis looked like he had something to say to such Nere but, it’s probably only something Fillia and Riana knows.
「Having said so, Ardis-san is even more amazing. Didn’t he went outside the barrier to subjugate demonic beings? 」
「Yeah, it’s true that he’s not normal. Just the day before, he went to Reiten and back within a day……. It’s impossible, is what I think. From Sieg-nii’s story, wasn’t it supposed to take half a month for a round trip……」
Karina agreed with a serious face but, it seems like the twins weren’t able to understand what they were talking and were tilting their head.
During that time, Ardis just reached outside the barrier, and was swinging his sword to dispose of the demonic beings inside the forest.
「It went your side! 」
While cutting the Grinder that came his way, Ardis warned Nere who was behind him.
With a short response, Nere raised her arm up, and along with her movements, multiple sharp ice shards appeared, and along with her downswing, they were all fired towards the other Grinder.
The Grinder raised an anguished death cry as the attacks landed on its neck.
「Eight more! 」
Sera who was a little ways from them dealing with two more Grinders announced the number of remaining foes. There were three persons fighting, Ardis and Nere flying in the air, and also Sera wearing her usual black robe.
They were facing against a group of Grinders that hunts in the sky in the demonic beings’ habitat closest to the village.
Grinders normally doesn’t form groups. However, when their mating season closes in, they would start to form groups.
If left alone, they would multiply by themselves, and so, they would have to periodically quell them in order to keep the dangers for the villagers that goes out to buy supplies low.
Facing the Grinders, Sera had a bow that was glowing. Pulling back the mock bow that’s according to herself, a 『Physical manifestation of mana』, she released her grip on the bowstring without aiming.
At the same time, arrows made of light flew towards the Grinders. The light arrow split in the air, and each of them stabbed into their targets.
The two Grinders that were shot down fell into the forest while blood can be seen spurting. Although Sera is still an existence with many mysteries in Ardis’s eyes, as expected, her strength isn’t inferior to Nere.
They easily cleaned up the remaining six Grinders, and dismantled the parts that can be sold.
「As expected of the both of you. I can rest easy if the village in your hands, and splitting up can widen our coverage too. 」
Till now, apparently Sera was the one who goes to subjugate nearby dangerous demonic beings, but during her absence, there’s nothing she can do if anything happened.
But of course, her barrier was there to prevent that in the first place, and the villagers knew well enough to not tread into areas outside the barrier, so anything grave never happened.
「Even so, it’s reassuring to know that I can leave the village without worries. Having you staying at our village is really helpful. 」
According to Elma and the village chief, it seems like Sera would stay for at most ten days in a month, or the least, three days.
And of course, with Sera not around, any problems that arises must be resolved by the villagers. However, there’re only three people in the village that can fight properly.
And even those can only face carnivorous beasts at most, they don’t have enough power to fight against demonic beings. Even more so when the Canobis Mountain Range has the most terrifying demonic beings.
If something happened with the barrier, then the village wouldn’t even stand a chance, even if that’s not the case, it’s undeniable that they don’t have enough power to fight outside the barrier.
On top of that, what Sera worry the most are the mercenaries that manages to arrive in the village occasionally.
It’s not guaranteed that all mercenaries that are powerful have good personality. With no one able to resist, it’s not impossible for mercenaries that wants to take the village for themselves appear.
Naturally, they will be gone when Sera return but, it’s still an undesirable outcome.
「At the very least, if Ardis and Nere is around, demonic beings and mercenaries aren’t a problem right? 」
「No, it’s not like I will be in the village everyday though? 」
「Even if it’s just Nere around, it’s enough. I can stay behind if you two tell me in advance if both of you are going somewhere. 」
「Well, it’s fine if it’s like that. 」
Ardis replied after a while and continued his working hands on dismantling the Grinder. They were not hunting the demonic beings around the village entirely for safety purposes. Although not really valuable, it is still necessary for the village to buy supplies and survive by selling the dismantled parts.
Ardis’s role in the village was set to be 『Disposing demonic beings nearby the village』 and 『Dismantling valuable parts』.
Just like that, Ardis and the twins have secured a place in the village, and started their new life as one of the villagers of the village.
Now that Ardis had found a place that the twins can settle down without minding other people’s opinion, Ardis finally have room to move only for himself.
Elmenia Empire, Alburn Kingdom, and the countries west of the Canobis Mountain Rnage. He needs to go through all the countries he hadn’t investigate yet, and find clues to return to his original world.
「Ah, right. There’s still Sharu to worry about huh……」
The remaining question was what Sharu’s work would be. Ardis decided to head to Alburn with Rona after cleaning everything up here, as he started to plan for the future.