The next morning...
The sun had just risen in the sky, making it too early to be awake. The pale blue sky stretches out far into the horizon, clouds spread and scattered in sight. A gentle breeze seeped through the window of the house.
Leo opened his eyes and strained as the sunlight covered his face. After a few seconds, he stood from his bed and opened the window. The comfortable breeze caresses his cheeks as it blows through the air and inside the room.
After fixing his bed and hair, he left his room and headed towards the living room where he heard the sound of someone cooking. He went to the kitchen and saw his father preparing the food.
“You’re early today, father.” Leo said as he watched his father.
“I’m the one who should be saying that.”
Leo took a seat at the dining table while his father finished preparing the food and served it on the table. Leo took out the spoon and helped himself. His father also did the same. The food was a simple warm soup paired with egg and vegetables. Leo slowly put the spoon in his mouth with a slurp.
After they both finished their breakfast, Leo’s father stood up from the table.
“I’m going to be late today.” he said.
Leo cocked his head in curiosity.
“Some stuff came out from work and it looks like it's gonna take some time.”
His explanation was vague but Leo felt no need to ask any further. He simply nodded at his father’s words. His father smiled and patted Leo’s hair. Leo made an uncomfortable expression as his father messed up his hair.
Before he could say something, his father interrupted him.
“I heard that you recently made friends.”
Leo’s eyes widened. Ignoring his surprise, Leo’s father made a teasing expression.
“Be a good man and take care of Rui-chan, okay?”
There’s something about his father's gestures that annoyed Leo a little but at the same time, for some reason, he made a flustered expression when his father mentioned Rui’s name specifically.
“H-huh? Why?” Leo was confused.
However, his father simply smiled and grabbed his sheathed sword lying on the side of the wall. “Maybe you’ll get it when you're old enough.”
He stared at the back of his leaving father together with the sword he put on his waist
Leo’s father worked as an adventurer. He knew that. In fact, it was one of the reasons he was training. He had hoped that one day, his father would take him on his work as adventurers. But he knew his father wouldn’t allow him to do that. Not now.
The village they were living in was located in the eastern part of the continent. While it was far from the ongoing war with the demons, the possibility of an attack wasn’t zero. Apart from the demons, there were still monsters that lived nearby.
Which is why those who are capable of fighting are a necessity in case the worst happens. In order to gather those who are strong enough to protect the village, the elder hired adventurers and offered them a high pay for the job.
However for Leo, who was still young, the only thing he could do right now was work hard on his training to become strong enough one day that he could also fight with his father. Those were his goals. But did he still have time?
News had reached their village that the demon’s ongoing attack wasn’t slowing down and it looks like it wasn’t going well for the kingdom that was currently fending off the demon’s army.
Leo shook off the uneasiness he felt and gripped his hands in a ball. After his father left, it was nearly time for his daily routine. Before that, however, he cleaned the table and started washing the dishes they had used.
Just then, Leo heard someone knocking on the door. When he was about to wonder who it was, a familiar voice called out to his name.
“Leo? Are you there?”
Leo went to the door and opened it. When he did, he saw Rui, who he had just met yesterday, waiting in front.
Rui smiled. “Good morning ,Leo!”
Leo was surprised not expecting Rui to come.
“You said I could come here anytime, right?”
Leo scratched his cheeks. “That’s true... I did say that. I just didn’t expect you to come so suddenly and this early.”
Rui smiled again and puffed her chest almost as if she was planning for this.
“Anyway, can I come in?”
Leo welcomed Rui in.
Just then, he heard someone running over in the distance. Leo strained his eyes and saw another familiar figure.
“Rui!” Aron called out as he ran over the house with exhausted breaths. He bent over his knees as he caught his breath.
Leo watched him with a troubled expression.
“Umm... are you okay?”
“Haah... Haah... Oh, Leo.”
After taking his breaths, Aron looked up to Leo and asked him where Rui was.
“Rui is inside... err... why don’t you go inside as well? I’ll prepare some drinks.”
Leo let Aron inside as well.
“Excuse me.” Aron removed his slippers and left it neatly near the entrance. When he arrived at the living room, he saw Rui comfortably seated in front of the table.
“Ah, good morning, Aron.”
“Don’t ‘good morning’ me! I looked away for a second and you were gone! It’s so hard chasing after you!”
“It’s not my fault you’re slow. Maybe you should also train like Leo.”
Leo listened to them with an awkward smile as he prepared the drinks. After a few minutes, he came out from the kitchen with drinks in hand. He handed them over to Aron and Rui who seem to have just finished arguing with each other. He had hoped that they would calm down after having their drinks as he served them.
“Here you go.” He passed the drinks to Aron and Rui.
“Ah, Leo, thank you.”
“Thank you, Leo!”
After that, they gulped down the drinks in one go. Leo was relieved since this was the first time he ever had guests come over. Leo sighed in his mind watching them quiet down after taking their drinks.
Leo suddenly remembered to serve them snacks as well. I think there’s some in the kitchen. Leo walked over to the kitchen to check if there were snacks he could offer. Meanwhile, Rui, having finished her drinks, put the glass down at the table then asked Leo something.
“Aren’t you gonna train today, Leo?”
Leo made a faint stop with his movements when he was asked that question.
“Umm, I was about to, but... “ He took a glance at Aron and Rui seated in the living room. He had thought that he can’t just leave the guests alone and do his training so he was planning on skipping for now. Besides, he was slightly embarrassed to have someone watch him train.
Just then, Rui seemed to have brought that up.
“Then, can I watch? Rather, can I train with you?”
“Huh?” Leo was surprised that his hands stopped moving for a second.
Rui then came over to the kitchen which surprised Leo even further.
“I also want to train!” her eyes full of gleam as she comes closer to Leo in the kitchen.
Leo’s cheeks grew redder as he struggled to figure out what to say.
Aron also came into the kitchen.
“I also want to train with Leo.” he said with a smile on his face.
He stared at Aron and Rui then asked them.
“Umm, is there a reason why?”
Both Aron and Rui tilted their heads to the side, curiously. Watching that made Leo think that they were really twins.
Aron was first to speak. “Nothing in particular. I just wanted to do what you're doing since it looked pretty cool.”
Rui then cheerfully agreed. “Me too, me too! I think it’s really cool so I'd like Leo to teach me!”
Leo scratched his cheeks with a troubled expression.
“But, I’m also currently in the process of learning how so I think I wouldn’t be able to teach you that much... “ Which is why he was practicing everyday in order to properly learn the ways of wielding and fighting with a sword. He may have learned some basic steps, but that was only a start. He still has a long way to go when it comes to his sword training.
He thought they would be disappointed to hear that but it seemed like his worries were misplaced as Rui smiled and came up with an idea.
“Then, let’s all learn together!”
Leo widened his eyes.
Aron nodded in agreement. “That’s a good idea. We should just practice together. But do you think you could at least tell us how to hold a sword?”
Apparently, both Aron and Rui hadn’t touched a sword once in their life. Despite that, they wanted to learn how because they thought it looked cool. Leo was taken aback by their reaction but after that, he made a faint smile.
“If it’s that, then I would gladly tell you.”
Both Aron and Rui smile in excitement.
There should be extra wooden swords in the shed if I remember correctly.
Regaining his composure, Leo grabbed the snacks from a cabinet and handed them over to both Aron and Rui.
“Before that, how about some snacks first?”
Aron and Rui gratefully took the snacks and went to the living room to eat them. After that, Leo would be teaching and practicing together on sword training with them. Thinking about it, he couldn’t help himself but to smile.
Apparently, he was eagerly anticipating practicing with them.