Ardis and co that had succeeded in forming a new covenant with the Demon Beast King returned to the village on the same day.
And the next day, Sera started working wholeheartedly. After discussing with the village chief and conveying her plans of the village’s expansion, she immediately started expanding the barrier.
The barrier became several folds bigger than before. Ardis and Rona were both busy after that dealing with demonic beings left within the new perimeter.
After five days, they had finally secured safety within the new barrier, and Sera looked really pleased.
「With this, we can accept more people. 」
「Saying is easy but, are you sure expanding it this wide is fine? Leaving aside subjugating demonic beings, wouldn’t there be a lack of personnel to patrol inside the barrier? 」
Ardis dumped cold water on Sera, pointing out the fact that there isn’t enough manpower.
There’re villagers that goes on patrol regularly to ensure the village’s safety. Certainly, there has been more people around after accepting refugees, but they’re mostly common people without means of fighting.
It’s evident that there’s a lack of people able to hunt or on the lookout for intruders.
「Isn’t there someone in store just for that. 」
As Ardis pointed out so troubled, Rona answered.
「Someone in store? 」
「Strong enough to stand against demonic beings around here despite being a coward, able to speak with humans. Wasn’t he still in Corsas Forest hiding from humans? 」
「Corsas Forest……? Aah, you’re talking about Rupus huh? 」
Thinking for a bit, Ardis recalled the name.
One species of beast known as Khlore from the same world as Ardis and Rona that got lost into this world.
He’s a beast that despite having the strength to fight Ardis and Rona on the same level, he was unbelievable coward, and so he’s living in Corsas Forest in secret now.
Due to his weak personality and the fact that he can understand words, he might get deceived by bad people, or even exploited, and so they brought him to the Corsas Forest where there’re likely no other people around.
Although the Corsas Forest is known as a demonic realm to normal people, it’s more akin to a playground for Rupus’s level with many easy preys.
Ardis had visited him few times before, and it seems like he’s living all fine and dandy.
「It could work if we convince him to come and help in patrol. Since I was also accepted relatively easily here, wouldn’t Rupus with his slightly larger body be welcomed too? 」
「That’s true……. Certainly, for both ourselves and Rupus, there’s a merit for both of us. 」
The next day, Ardis and Rona together went to the Corsas Forest. It only took a few hours going by flight from the village.
Flying at an altitude where the beasts running on the ground looks like a grain, Ardis suddenly asked Rona about the ring on his forefoot.
「Come to think of it, what did you get? 」
「Nn? This thing? 」
Rona asked back showing the ring on his forefoot. Similar to how Ardis got a pure Lesha sword, Rona as well gotten something from the Demon Beast King.
And so it was about the ring. However, Ardis didn’t know what was the ring.
It seems like when Ardis and Sera was talking, the exchange between Rona and the Demon Beast King had ended.
「Mfufu――, it’s a secret. I want Al to be surprised too! 」
「Aite aite. Then I will be looking forward to that. 」
Ardis answered suitably to Rona who seemed really smug. It’s not like Ardis was really concerned about it. While doing something like that, they eventually arrived above the Corsas Forest.
Arriving within the forests, Ardis and Rona found Rupus’s mana and landed on the ground.
「Ah, Ardis-san and Rona-san. 」
There was the seven-meter black fur beast. His appearance looked like a wolf but, his true identity is of the greater species known as Khlore from the other world.
「What’s the matter? 」
Unlike his gigantic body, Rupus tilted his head and asked. Even though he was really scared of Ardis and Rona the first time they met, he had gotten familiar already.
「It seems like you’re doing alright. 」
「Yes! There’s nothing scary here, and there’re a lot of weaker preys living here, so it’s easy for me too. 」
Rupus’s answer made Ardis smile bitterly.
The weak preys that Rupus mentioned, the demonic beings were supposed to be existences said as 『Resolve to die when met one』 by explorers or mercenaries.
Rupus who treats them as weak preys is undoubtedly strong in this world but, it seems like he doesn’t realize it at all.
「I see. That sounds great, but actually――」
If he isn’t discontent with his current living situation, then it might be hard to convince him. While thinking like that, Ardis started explaining, and offered Rupus to move.
「Eh, umm……, that……. I got used to here after all, and there’re no scary enemies here……. Somewhere with so many humans is a little……」
It was an expected response, Rupus seemed unwilling to move. If he’s living comfortably here, then Ardis understands as well that there’s no need for him to be living with other people.
As Ardis thought about not being so forceful, Rona from the side interjected.
「Hmmm――, then if anything happens in the future, you will have to handle it by yourself, you know. 」
Rupus suddenly looked unrest hearing Rona’s words.
「I mean, that’s the case right? We’ve been worrying about Rupus too, and we did come visit occasionally right? Even during that time when the war happened, I stayed here in case the Empire soldiers came right? But that’s only possible when we were living nearby before though? Since we’ve moved to the Canobis Mountain Range now, we can’t look out for you like before, and if there’re people that comes into the forest, we won’t be able to protect Rupus. In other words, if a creature as strong as us came into the forest, then Rupus have to fight for himself right? 」
Suddenly, Rupus looked really scared.
「Eh……, eeh? But no one came before……. And there’re no strong enemies here……」
「Unn, they probably won’t come, probably I say. But it’s not like it’s never gonna happen. Among explorers, I’d say there’re quite some people able to make it here, and there might be other demonic beings we didn’t know about in the forest too. 」
Rupus sounded really scared.
「But if in the village, then me and Al would fight even if any strong enemies appear, so Rupus can stay fairly safe. We won’t know if anything happened here in Corsas Forest since it’s pretty far. And since we won’t know, we can’t help. Well, I guess it’s fine if Rupus can handle it on his own. 」
「Don’t tease him that much, Rona. 」
It was Ardis that offered a saving boat to Rupus who seemed about to cry.
「In any case, what Rona said is right. It’s quite far here from Canobis, so we won’t know if anything happened here. And so Rupus will have to solve any problems on his own. Of course, I don’t think there would be anyone particularly stronger than you appearing anytime soon……」
Although Rona exaggerated it, it’s undeniable that it might happen albeit extremely unlikely. Of course, Ardis didn’t think anyone can match Rupus as well.
However, the problem was Rupus seemed easy to be swindled by people. In that regard, it’s true that Corsas Forest is too far from the village for them to shield Rupus.
Hearing Ardis’s further explanation, Rupus finally agreed to moving.
「Uuu……, I understand. ……I will go. I will follow Ardis-san and Rona-san. You will really help Rupus when I’m in trouble right? 」
「Don’t worry, we will help Rupus, we will protect you too as long as you’re within the village. 」
And so, Rupus was convinced by Ardis and Rona to move to the village. A gigantic and fierce looking beast, the villagers that met him for the first time looked very scared.
However, since Sera accepted him and also him being able to talk, on top of that, having Rona as a precedence probably helped a lot, the villagers all accepted it without much chaos.
Rather, Rupus’s fear for the villager probably helped him to get accepted as well. Similar to the twins, Rupus was tasked with patrolling within the barrier.
Rupus that can easily carry two humans on his back without any troubles increased the patrol efficiency greatly.
Of course, the problem with the sudden expansion is not just with patrolling. Food production, seasoning and drinking water, harmony between the prior villagers and the newcomers, there’re quite a few that needed resolution.
And just like that, the hidden village that had been operating without people finding out, took a step in a new direction thanks to Ardis.
Without the boundaries of countries nor churches, the village of abandoned and abused people. Accepting more people that had lost their places to go, the village continued to expand.