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The sun was starting to set, and a twilight stretching across the sky began to shine.

Someone called out my name as I continued to swing the broken hoe in my hand.

It was a voice that I knew all too well.

A rather husky voice, one that belonged to my father.


“Have you seen Sofia-chan?”


The words that followed seemed to be somewhat urgent.

Words that were filled with emotions and were not typical of my father.
I wondered if something had happened.




With that in mind, I answered with a slightly concerned expression and shook my head.


“I’ve seen Sofia once, at lunch earlier… Did something happen?”


Normally, my father would be already dragging me back to the house for supper after dark and would rebel in response by not stopping swinging, but for some reason, today was different.


“As for her whereabouts…”


The words came back to me immediately.

Continuing to ask questions as he disregards mine, he seemed to be in a state of frustration.


“She’s probably by the same river she usually goes to.”

“So she’s outside the village, huh…”


The expression on my father’s face changed to one of bitterness, him letting out a sound of annoyance followed suit.

It wasn’t unusual for Sofia to go out, so why did he have such a difficult look on his face today?

Having no idea why, I couldn’t help myself.

So I called out to my father, who was already about to run without a second thought.


“…What’s going on?”


It was obvious that my father had no time to waste, and that his business was urgent.

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But I still went out of my way to ask again.

No, I couldn’t help but ask.


“…There have been sightings of monsters outside the village.”

“That news is already—”


The thing that I was about to say.

Because the presence of monsters had already been confirmed about a month ago.

That’s why the adventurers who were commissioned to take it down were coming tomorrow, which made it hard for me to believe that my father needs to be in such a hurry.


“Yeah, that’s right.
If the monsters had been goblins, we wouldn’t have had to be in such a hurry.”



I was at a loss for words.

The way my father said it, sounded as if the monsters he had seen outside the village were not goblins.

…No, I’m sure he dared to include that intention in his statement.


“…There have been ogres spotted outside the village, apparently.”



His voice came out reflexively hoarse.

My thoughts went blank for a moment, as I heard my father utter something so unrealistic.



They’re demon-like creatures.

While a goblin’s subjugation level is an F, an ogre is said to be several ranks higher, from a C to even a B.

Its defeat rank fluctuates depending on the size of the individual, and in terms of threat, goblins and ogres have a difference in level comparable to that of babies and full-grown adults.


…No matter how we looked at it, we could be just wrong.

A thought similar to a wish came into my mind, but I quickly drowned out the thought.


Forests were where monsters usually resided.

In the villages located near the forest, people of the village were first taught the minimum knowledge about the monsters that were out there.

Goblins, orcs, and ogres.

This was because if such monsters were seen but left unattended, there was a possibility that the whole village could be thrown into chaos.

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That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to simply assume that we were misjudging the situation.


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[Translator – Niel ]

[Proofreader – DVN-L ]

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“Fortunately, or unfortunately, the adventurers are coming tomorrow…  If those monsters are indeed ogres, we have no other choice but to wait for them.”


Fortunately, the sun hadn’t set yet.

My father concluded that there was still a good chance that Sofia would come back home.

The chances were better if, of anything, it was just goblins.

But if it were indeed ogres, no untrained villager would be a match for them.

If there was anyone who would stand up to it, they would just be seen as someone who wanted to die.

I agreed with my father regarding this issue.

But, still…


“What if Sofia’s still not back by nightfall, father?”



For some reason, my dad didn’t give an immediate response to my question.


“…We’ll figure something out, then.”


I knew right away that my dad probably meant “we” as with other adults, not with a kid like me.

It wasn’t for a child to think about.

The idea, which he included in his speech, was surprisingly easy to understand.


“Hurry up and go home, Julius.
Your mom is worried about you.”


If it had been me who got out of the village instead of Sofia, my father might have reacted differently.

Despite the situation, Sofia was only a neighbor’s child to him.

Was she of other people? Or was she like family?

The difference often came to light in situations like this.


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Sofia’s always been out there, but for once, I felt more or less responsible for her.

If only I had nodded my head in response to her offer.

It may have been just a matter of inevitability, but it was probably because I’m in this kind of situation.

Such “what if” scenarios started to bug me.


“I’m going to the village chief, and let him know about this matter.”


My guess is that my father came running to me first upon hearing the news of Ogre sightings to let me know how dangerous it is out there.


“Head back and go straight home.
Do you understand, Julius?”

“I heard you.”


Did he not trust me at all?

My father would always keep asking me to confirm things.

It wasn’t as if Sofia’s possibility of coming back was zero; I wouldn’t dare to make any sudden actions.


“…Hey, Dad?”

“What is it?”

“Are you by any chance thinking that I’m worried sick about Sofia?”

“Isn’t that the case?”


He stared back at me with a straight face, as if to say that it was a given thing.


“Isn’t Sofia the only one here who you get along with?”

“…Well, yeah.
That’s the case.”


It was a bit of a misconception to say that we get along well.

Rather than getting along well, she was the only one who wanted to care about some dream as ridiculous as “Star Slaying.”

So on the contrary, Sofia was just trying to kill her boredom by taking care of an outcast like me.

I didn’t know why I couldn’t get over the fact that people say that we’re good friends.


“As I’ve already told you—”

One quick preamble.

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“No matter what happens, just don’t get too conceited about this situation.”


My dad was what they called a hunter, a villager who was a bit more skilled with a bow.

They’re villagers who sometimes hunted birds and monsters for food.

There were about three other hunters like my father in the village.

However, goblins are vicious monsters that act in groups.

So being as cautious as they were, they chose to ask for help from adventurers just in case.

A sound reason.


“Even though physical training is just an essential part of living as a villager, do not think that you’ve gotten stronger just because you’ve been swinging around a piece of stick for four years.
You’d be making a grave mistake.”


My father must have been worried.

Worried that I was going to bravely face the ogre on my own.

That I was overconfident, thinking that I got stronger.


“I understand what you’re saying.
You don’t need to tell me such things.”


However, his concern wasn’t even necessary.

Because I knew that I, Julius, was the most self-reliant person in this world.

It was outrageous to be so overconfident.


Did I think that I was the chosen one?

Would circumstances warrant me miracles?

Would God come down and help?

Was I the strongest person out there?


I remembered the life of a swordsman who wielded his sword with the utmost honesty, and there were no other people in this world who knew their place as well as I did.

Therefore, if there was ever a time to be reckless, it was probably when you were willing to throw all reason aside for the sake of something.

It was when you were confronted with something that you want to achieve so badly.


“…It’s all good, then.”


He said as he turned his back on me and proceeded to go to the village chief.

I saw a familiar back.

And yet, somehow, reflected in my eyes, my father’s back appeared much smaller than it usually seemed.

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