The Legendary Ruck
The kind man who told me about the statue walked away as I stood there in the plaza.
“Why is there a statue of me…and it doesn’t even look like me.”
I muttered and thought.
This was clearly the work of Eric and Goran. They had always been passionate when it came to friendships.
They must have felt grateful about my sacrifice in stopping the devils, and they had gotten a little carried away.
“Also, they totally think that I died…”
I said and suddenly realize one other thing.
That kind man had said that it was 10 years ago. So that meant I had been fighting for 10 years.
I don’t remember it being that long. Was it some mistake?
I stopped a different person who was passing through.
“I’m sorry to disturb you while you’re busy. But what year and month is it today?”
There was a moment of shock that was followed by a pleasant smile.
These people were very kind in spite of the tattered clothes I was wearing.
Perhaps they really did have some kind of policy to be kind to outsiders.
“Year 315 of the kingdom era, June 10th.”
“No trouble at all.”
The person left.
I fought against the devils in the year 305.
So it really had been 10 years ago.
Could I have been fighting so desperately that my perception of time had become messed up?
No, perhaps it was a side effect of the Marionette spell.
Controlling your own body with magic wasn’t exactly business as usual.
And I had done it repeatedly for extended periods of time.
It was not too surprising then, that my perceptions had been affected.
But I didn’t really know what the reason was.
In any case, the truth was, that it had been altered.
“…Well, this is troublesome.”
I felt a renewed shock.
I looked up and saw the exaggeratedly handsome face of the statue.
When I looked down again, there was a family happily taking a stroll.
The city seemed much nicer and peaceful than it had been 10 years ago.
That made me very happy.
“Don’t run here.”
The child fell. An adorable boy of 3 or 4 years of age.
“See, that’s what happens when you run.”
The mother rushed to her crying child.
“Be strong and do not cry.”
“You will never become like Ruck if you are such a crybaby.”
“That’s a good boy.”
The child wiped his tears away and stood up. They held each other’s hands and walked away.
“…Don’t use me to educate your child.”
I muttered to myself without thinking.
I really wasn’t anything impressive. I shouldn’t be seen as a role model.
I continued to walk as I headed for the Adventurer’s guild.
The building for the guild was the same as it was before.
The only difference was that it looked slightly older, as 10 years had passed.
“Ah, this makes me happy.”
It was somewhat nostalgic. I couldn’t help but be happy.
And so I opened the door with a feeling of excitement.
Someone immediately grabbed me by the shoulders.
“You finally came!”
“Come over here! Then we’ll talk!”
Goran had been waiting for me at the Adventurers Guild.
There was white in his hair now, and a few lines on his face that had not been there before.
With Goran’s hands still on my shoulders, I was pulled into the back of the building.
“Did you age?”
“Of course I did! It’s been 10 years! It’s you who hasn’t changed enough. If anything, you look younger.”
When we entered the back room, Goran put his hands on my shoulders again.
“I’m so glad that you returned alive…”
“Are you crying?”
“N-not at all!”
Goran denied it, but tears were running down his face.
It wasn’t just teary eyes. He was sobbing.
I didn’t know how to react to such a contradiction.