I had not seen Eric in a while, and he too had aged quite a bit.
“Eric, you look really old now.”
“Of course, I do. And yet you have not aged at all. Could you even be younger?”
“You think so?”
I asked, and Goran and Eric nodded.
“Ruck, you look abnormally youthful.”
They said and handed me a mirror.
“I don’t really see it myself… Just seems like the same me as always?”
But as far as not aging, they were probably right.
“10 years have passed. It is incredible that you have not aged at all.”
“Well, he’s gotten younger, if anything. That’s amazing, Ruck.”
“Now that you mention it, it is quite strange.”
It must be an effect of being in the place between our dimensions. Or perhaps it was an effect of absorbing the life force through Drain Touch.
I wonder if I could make a killing off of dimension or Drain Touch beauty tricks.
As I considered this,
“It’s been 10 years…10 years…”
Eric’s voice seemed to crack.
“What is it?”
Following Goran, Eric too burst into tears.
It was surprising, as Eric had seemed so calm. But perhaps it was just a feigned composure.
I really did not know what to do with crying old men.
When Eric finally stopped crying, I explained to him what had happened in the past 10 years.
While I drank the rice water that he had brought.
It tasted unbelievably delicious. But it was probably an effect of fasting for 10 years.
My explanation went smoothly, as I had already told it all to Goran once.
And in spite of hearing it for a second time, Goran nodded and listened intently.
I drank the last drops of rice water as I finished my story.
“I always thought this stuff looked disgusting, but it’s really good.”
“I see. You must have been starving. You did all of that for our world while starving…”
Goran’s eyes filled with tears again. I think he’s become a little too sentimental.
It must be his old age.
“And you even ended the Devil King that we failed to kill. …Didn’t he, Eric?”
“Indeed he did. I will have to think of some kind of medal of honor.”
Eric said with a serious expression.
“No, I don’t need anything like that.”
“You don’t have a choice. But do not worry. I am currently the king of this country.”
“…You’ve…really come up in the world.”
Eric the Hero had always been a prince. But he wasn’t the crown prince.
I was sure he was somewhere close to fifth in line for the succession.
“The former king abdicated as a way of rewarding Eric for his achievement.”
“So, Eric is the king now. What about you, Goran?”
“Some job called Grand Master of the Adventurer’s Guild.”
I was glad that they had both risen in the world.
As a friend, I could not be happier.
“Ruck. Tell me what you wish for. I can make it a reality, within reason.”
“Hmmm. There is nothing really.”
I said. Eric and Goran looked a little troubled by this.
“It can be anything. Gold, honors? Even lands?”
“None of that really grabs me.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Well, I really cannot think of anything. Give me time.”
“I see. You have been between two dimensions for 10 years after all. You should settle down and take the time to consider it.”
After that, Goran pulled out a leather bag. It was full of gold coins.
“One million rucks. Setting aside a possible fortune as your reward, you’ll need living expenses until then. You will be able to live for one or two weeks with this much, I think?”
“That’s true, no, wait. …one million rucks?”
The monetary unit I was hearing now could not be ignored.
“Is one million not enough?”
“No, that’s not it. One million rucks? What is that?”
“Ah, that’s right. You don’t know that the monetary unit has changed. One million rucks are the equivalent of one million gold. Do you want more?”
The equivalent of one million gold was enough.
One million gold would allow an adult man of the poor class to live frugally for a year.
But that wasn’t the issue here.
“No, it’s not about whether or not its enough… It is enough. But why ruck?”
Eric looked triumphant when I asked this question.
“The first thing I did after becoming king was to change the monetary unit.”
“Are you serious…”
The people must have been greatly inconvenienced. I wonder if the economy wasn’t thrown into chaos.
Now I was worried.
“But that is how much this country and the world felt its debt to you, Ruck. Without you, the devils would have caused great damage.”
“That’s right. The world may have even ended.”
“…I’m flattered…but…I don’t think I like being made into a monetary unit.”
Goran ignored my discomfort and continued.
“By the way, the next thing that Eric did, was to construct a stone statue.”
“The one in the central plaza?”
“Oh, you have seen it then? Isn’t he handsome?”
Eric said smugly. I was a little irritated now.