There laid a lone house illuminated by the twilight from afar.
Perhaps because she was used to the darkness, even such warm and gentle light made her squint, but she ran regardless of that.
She ran, and ran— and ran…
It was as I said, that the adventurers were really out there, and my words weren’t just makeshift lies… Then—
Sofia abruptly pushed open the door with great force.
Sofia looked around the room with her resting on her knees, slowly gulping down air to catch her breath.
Inside the house, there were several familiar figures and about five unfamiliar-looking people.
…They were adventurers.
Sofia affirmed it without even needing to confirm it, and with a gulp of her throat, she bowed her head down vigorously.
“Would you please help me?!”
She raised her voice in the middle of the night, without regard to anyone else.
“Sofia! Where the hell have you been all this time…?! People have been worried sick about you!!”
The first person to speak to her was her father, Alec, who was also the village head.
But Sofia makes no pretense of taking up the conversation, as though she was unaware of such a thing, and just kept bowing her head to the said unfamiliar people.
“…Just what do you mean by that, little girl?”
“We are running out of time… If we don’t hurry up, Julius will…”
As soon as that certain word was uttered, someone immediately went out the door.
Needless to say, it was Julius’ father.
“I even warned him about this, that stupid boy—”
Looking ahead, he saw Julius’ house, to which he rushes out with a steady gait.
“What is this? Explain yourself, Sofia.”
Said Alec quietly in an angry tone of voice.
Only Julius’ father seemed to have a general understanding of what was going on, but everyone else, including Alec, had no clue of what was going on.
Everyone else, including Alec, was unable to come up with an answer.
“Julius… He protected me…”
This was the result of her own reckless behavior.
Therefore, Sofia weaved her words one by one.
Tormented by remorse, she continuously pleaded with the people for their help, spilling out words filled with emotion with the hopes of them going off to her rescue.
“Julius came to help me.
But right after that… a huge monster came…”
“…A huge monster?”
The man who questioned it suspiciously was an adventurer, the man who was arguing with Alec when Julius was listening in.
“It was a monster way bigger than Julius and I combined… He said it was an ogre.”
Sofia was too frightened to see properly at that time, so she told them exactly what Julius had said.
But as soon as they heard that, the adventurers’ faces visibly turned into stern expressions.
[Translator – Niel ]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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“D-Did you just say it was an ogre, little girl?”
“Don’t bother worrying then.”
With that, the man then slumped into a chair that has been placed nearby.
It was the equivalent of him saying that he wouldn’t go, and he wouldn’t help.
“In this darkness, even the five of us would probably suffer casualties.
Hell, I don’t even know if we could win.
I’m just glad that the ogre let you go, and you did a good job running your way back here.”
He said as if it was a given.
“I’ll say it now, but even if the situation had been different, we still have no intention of taking action at this time.
Not only is it advantageous to the monsters, but what’s the point in picking up the dead?”
“You… won’t help Julius?”
“I wouldn’t call the act of picking up his remains ‘helping’ him.”
Most likely, he was already dead.
Convincing her with his experience, he stressed the fact that if he was lucky enough to survive, it wouldn’t be long before the adventurers found him.
“Give it up, little girl.
Though, we’ll start to move when this night is over.
I could at least promise you that.”
Sofia herself didn’t think she would be able to escape from the monster.
From this moment until dawn, it’d be about seven more hours.
“ It would be too late by then.”
“That’s your problem.
It’s none of our business.”
In the midst of what seemed to be a parallel conversation in which each side was adamant in their opinions, one voice interrupted the conversation.
“Hey, does the guy who helped you….
perhaps, have ash gray hair?”
It was a woman’s voice.
Julius has ash gray hair…”
“Ahh— So it was really him, huh?”
“Do you know him?”
“No, we had just passed each other earlier and exchanged a few words.
But, I see… It was him, huh…”
Following those words, the woman got to her feet… and walked straight to the door leading outside.
“…Where do you think you’re going?”
The man asked in a low voice, somewhat different from before, with a hint of intimidation.
“I feel terrible, but do you not? My role is to be on the lookout and keep the villagers from going out, but I’ve already allowed one without even realizing it.
I was sending a boy of 10 or so years old out into the forest.”
“He left on his own volition.
You don’t need to feel responsible for that.”
“I guess so.
But… I’m a little curious.”
Somewhat delighted, the woman recalled an event that occurred not too long ago, expressing her thoughts in words.
I’m not really sure how I feel about it.”
Something that was difficult to put into words… was what I thought she was feeling.
“Besides, if the ogre gets weakened in any way, we’d better strike it before it recovers, right? Isn’t it better to at least go to the vicinity of the village and stand by?”
“You think that brat is good enough to weaken the ogre?”
“How could I possibly know that? Though, you can never know what could happen, can you?”
She looked not only at the man sitting in the chair but also at the other members of the group who had remained silent for a long time, as if to solicit their opinions.
Not a voice, let alone a word of denial— just silence.
“It’s decided, then.”
“But we’re still not going to help you, keep that in mind.”
Though, I feel like something interesting would happen.”
She put her hand near her waist, then to the shaft of her lowered sword.
“My instincts as a swordsman are going wild, I really wonder why…”
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