The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 48

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐎𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐀𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐎𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐀𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧

From the carriage that Ruberto-san arrived in, knights began to disembark one after another.

Each of them exuded an aura of exhaustion, but at the same time, they all had smiles on their faces.

“Alright, we’ll disband here. Everyone, rejuvenate yourselves in preparation for the next battle. It goes without saying, but don’t cause trouble for the townspeople.”

“””Sir!”””

After saluting in unison, the knights scattered in various directions.

Among them were those who shouted things like, “Finally, some time off, Yahooooo!” and “The brothel! The brothel is calling meeee!”

It seems like Ruberto-san leading this group means they’ve genuinely come for a break.

Even though he’s a Holy Warrior with remarkable stamina, Ruberto-san is of an age where it wouldn’t be strange if he had already retired.

He probably needs some time to rest away from the front lines.

It’s said that at least two Holy Warriors are stationed at each frontline fortress, so it’s likely they can afford for one to be absent for a few days.

“Well, it’s been a long time, Hero-sama.

I’ve heard of your great deeds.

Defeating one of the Four Heavenly Kings right after you started your journey. Quite impressive.

You’ve truly grown magnificently.”

“Ah, no, not at all! It’s all thanks to everyone, and the Elves! Besides, Allan was the one who delivered the finishing blow!”

“You’re too modest. But is that so? He was. . . . . .”

Ruberto-san shifts his gaze to me.

Then he gives me a gentle smile.

“It’s been a long time, young man. I’m glad to see you’re doing well as Hero-sama’s companion. You’ve truly become impressive.”

“. . . . . .Thank you.”

Somehow, genuine praise from this man makes me feel ticklish, but even more so, proud.

This is a strict person who doesn’t tolerate pampering.

He didn’t allow my younger self to accompany Stella just because I showed a bit of strength. He even tested me by wielding his sword with all his might when I had proven that I had grown enough to defeat a hero.

That’s why, when you overcome that trial and receive recognition, you can truly understand that the words of praise are genuine, without a trace of flattery.

You’ll be recognized and praised from the bottom of the hearts as a great veteran hero.

There’s hardly anyone who wouldn’t be delighted.

“Keep supporting Hero-sama like this, I’m counting on you.”

“There’s no need to even say it.”

“I thought as much. When it comes to Hero-sama, there’s nothing more trustworthy than your words.”

As if that was all he needed to hear, Ruberto-san shifted his gaze away from me.

“It’s been a long time, Rin-kun. Ernesta-dono seems to be doing well, which is good to hear.”

“Y, Yes, long time no see, Ruberto-sama!”

“You haven’t changed a bit, Ru-boy. Still active at that age?”

“Of course. I’ve decided to remain active until the Demon King is defeated.

If we’re talking about age, Ernesta-dono is no spring chicken either.”

“Ho ho ho. You say that, but comparing someone like me, who still has the body of a teenager, to you who’s dragging around an old body is questionable.”

In front of Ruberto-san, Rin was visibly nervous, while Auntie Elle conversed quite casually.

Rin was apparently rigorously trained during her time in the royal capital, so the hierarchy established back then hasn’t disappeared.

But for Auntie Elle, even someone like Ruberto-san is a young whippersnapper.

They both survived through the times of the previous Demon King, a period fraught with conflict, as Holy Warriors. So they might be closer friends than I initially thought.

They even casually exchange jokes about each other’s age.

“Well, if you still wish to fight, there’s something I’d like to discuss later. Make some time for it.”

“You have something you want to discuss?”

“Yes, it’s important information we obtained from Elf Village. Stella and Al-boy should both be present. It’s better if it comes from you guys.”

“! Understood.”

“Got it.”

The fact that she specifically mentioned both of us probably means we should talk about that issue.

Certainly, it seems like something Ruberto-san should know.

He’s not just strong; he’s also highly influential.

Unlike some other Holy Warrior, he’s sure to be an asset to us.

“Well, for now, why don’t you spend some time with your grandchildren, whom you’ve finally met after a long time? You’re on vacation, right?”

“Yes, I’ll do just that.”

Being seen off by Auntie Elle, Ruberto-san turns his attention to his two grandchildren, Blade and Rest.

Both look uneasy, keeping their faces stiff and their heads bowed.

Is something wrong with Rest, as well as Blade, who messed up in the Dragburn battle?

Or are they simply intimidated by their strict grandfather?

“First of all, Blade. From your expression, it’s clear.

You finally understand your own immaturity. . . . . .or rather, you’ve been made to understand.”

“. . . . . . . . . . . .yeah.”

Blade replies in a voice as faint as a mosquito’s buzz.

The figure that once brimmed with confidence is gone.

Blade now looked like just a child, fearful and waiting to be scolded by a guardian.

The words Ruberto-san spoke to such a Blade were. . . . . .

“As long as you understand, that’s fine.

You’ve finally gotten the opportunity to grow.

Never forget your original intent, hold strong to your spirit, and turn setbacks into fuel for improvement.

If you do so, you can still become much stronger. Both in mind and body. ━━ I’m looking forward to it.”

“!”

With just one word of expectation, Blade suddenly looked up.

Ruberto-san’s words were not criticism but encouragement.

As he gazed at his grandson, who resembled the reckless, defeated me from the time when I was a weak and feeble child and challenged the Sword Saint, he directed a gentle smile, just like when he saw me back then.

This is that.

Though still inexperienced, it’s the face he shows when he recognizes me as a warrior, even in my inexperience.

Literally, it’s the face he shows when he expects that future.

Until now, Blade had not been recognized by Ruberto-san.

But now, having experienced defeat and abandoned his arrogance to begin making an effort, it seems Ruberto-san acknowledges him to some extent.

Whether from special joy or not, Blade lowered his head for a different reason this time, struggling to suppress a grin and responded strongly, “Yeah.”

After the Dragburn battle, his unstable heart seemed to regain its balance.

Seeing this, Rin appeared genuinely relieved.

Ruberto-san also nodded with satisfaction and shifted his gaze towards his younger grandson.

“Rest.”

“. . . . . .Yes.”

“Have you reflected on your actions?”

“. . . . . .Yes, Grandfather.”

In stark contrast to Blade, harsh words and a piercing gaze.

Receiving this, Rest further bows his head.

His face had an air of solemnity, entirely different from Blade’s embarrassment.

His small frame appeared even smaller.

“. . . . . .Huh? Rest-kun, did you do something?”

Stella looked at Rest with concern, then cautiously asked Ruberto-san.

Ruberto-san sighed, “Ha,” before explaining the situation to Stella.

“Rest recently sneaked into the supply carriage of a squad going from the royal capital to the front lines, and rashly joined the battle against the Demon King’s Army without permission.

As a result, he was utterly defeated by a demon and wandered the edge of life and death in a state of unconsciousness.”

“””What?!”””

Stella and the others gasped in astonishment as they stared at Rest.

Although I, who don’t know much about Rest, and Auntie Elle, who has the composure of an elder, didn’t raise our voices, we still looked at Rest in disbelief.

“Rest-kun! Why would you do something so reckless?!”

“That’s right! You’re not in training like Allan-kun!”

“If anyone other than that crazy Allan did this, they’d be dead!”

“Hey.”

Why are they suddenly trash-talking me?

Even I wouldn’t recklessly charge into the main force of the Demon King’s Army without a plan.

During training, when I took on demons and the like, I at least had some risk management to make sure I could come back alive.

I’ve never lost a limb, let alone my life.

And for that matter, I’ve never lost consciousness either.

If you lose consciousness while traveling alone, you’ll almost certainly die.

“I’m sorry. . . . . .”

In response to Stella and the others’ words, Rest simply apologized with a somber face.

He doesn’t want to discuss the reason, it seems.

. . . . . .Perhaps, Rest did something reckless for a reason similar to mine.

Maybe he wanted to catch up to Stella and sought battles with formidable enemies to become stronger.

Or perhaps, he wanted achievements and honor so that he wouldn’t be overshadowed when standing next to Stella.

If that’s the case, no wonder he doesn’t want to talk about it.

You can’t say something that uncool in front of the woman you love.

Well, this is just my speculation since I don’t know much about Rest.

It could be completely off the mark.

But, if it is true. . . . . .I can somewhat empathize.

“Rest, you’re still a child in training. There’s too much you lack to step onto the battlefield as a lone warrior.

If you want to fight, if you want to be acknowledged, first grow stronger. Understand?”

“Yes. . . . . .”

“Good.”

Ruberto-san nods in a magnanimous manner.

“I’ll send you back to the royal capital when the time is right. Before that, I’ll personally train you.

Come to the training ground after I’ve filed my return report. Doug, I’m entrusting the town’s defense to you during that time.”

“Aye!”

“Ah, if that’s the case, we would like to join the training as well. . . . . .”

“No, you heroes must be tired from your long journey. Please rest for today.”

Ruberto-san gently refused Stella’s offer.

Still looking like she wanted to say something, Stella felt Blade’s hand on her shoulder.

“Can you let it be for now? Leave it to the old man.”

And so, Blade quietly calmed Stella.

Well, Rest probably wouldn’t want to be seen in a pathetic state by the woman he likes.

Blade sensed this and stepped in as a big brother should.

“. . . . . .Understood.”

When treated as a family issue, Stella has no choice but to back down.

With that, Rest left with Ruberto-san and Doug-san.

Their figures recede into the distance.

“By the way, Blade, was it okay for you not to go?”

I was wondering if it would have been alright for Blade to intervene since it’s a family matter, so I asked.

“Yeah. . . . . .He doesn’t like me that much. He’s my cute little brother, but me giving advice would probably backfire.”

As Blade said this, his expression twisted in complexity.

. . . . . .Until recently, Blade wasn’t recognized by Ruberto-san either. It seems that the household of the Sword Saint has its share of difficulties.

It’s complicated.


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