Ex Strongest Swordsman 29 is out!
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Ex Strongest, Heading Out to Save the Girls – Part 2
(Thank you for reading at bayabuscotranslation.com)
The place they aimed for was surprisingly found.
But the moment Soma and Camilla saw the place, they widened their eyes in astonishment.
“This place is more of a village rather than a town…” (Camilla)
“Hmmm… This is really unexpected.” (Soma)
Yes, they thought that the scale would be like a town, but it was obviously a village.
It was surrounded by wooden fences, and even by just looking around, there were only ten buildings.
The population was probably no more than 50 people.
“Hmmm, how should we enter this place…” (Soma)
If they went over there, there was no mistake that they would be considered as strangers.
But then, that wasn’t a problem.
Because the problem was whether they could get information or not.
If it was a town, it wouldn’t be strange if people were trying to get various information.
However, to do such a thing in this kind of place was weird, no matter how one thought of it.
And a straightforward question to that was, would they simply give them the information?
“Anyway, it can’t be helped to feel troubled. You are considering what to do because you are going to do it, right?” (Camilla)
“…Yes, I am.” (Soma)
Somehow, the result of their actions was noticeable, or they had probably betted on it, so they turned their feet towards the village.
“I will not sigh if this doesn’t meet our expectation… or even if we are completely got it wrong.” (Soma)
In the corner of the town— no, the village, Soma watched the sky alone.
From the conclusion, it was true that his expectations were completely wrong.
He tried asking the people from surroundings whenever he saw them, but they were either unable to understand, didn’t know or he was ignored.
It felt like the people were unapproachable, but the reason might be because they saw Soma as a child.
Well, this was clearly difficult.
It was normal to think that people didn’t want to be engaged.
“Hmm… I wonder if Sensei also didn’t expect this…” (Soma)
In terms of appearance, it wasn’t weird to see Camilla as a child… or rather, it was normal to see her like that.
In that case, it was highly likely that the other party also faced a similar situation.
Although both of them were separated at that time, it might still be better than being together.
The result of their investigation wouldn’t change anyway, whether they were alone or together. After all, people would understand that they were trouble with a glance.
Anyhow, thinking of what he should do now—
“…Boy, it seems that you were asking various people until now. So, what’s wrong?” (??)
At that time, a voice called out to him.
When he looked towards the voice, there was an old woman.
According to the content of the question, it seemed that she saw what Soma had been doing.
However, there was nothing to be surprised with that.
Soma also noticed that the old woman was watching him.
Soma didn’t ask that old woman since the beginning because she was watching him with wary eyes, but… he didn’t expect that she would speak with him, so it was somewhat surprising.
He wasn’t really sure what the old woman was thinking, but maybe she seemed a bit talkative by listening to her story.
There was no way to miss this opportunity.
“Uhmm, I have come here because I have a business, but I have no sense of geography of the surroundings. However, I also need to find food, so I wanted to know what was around here…” (Soma)
“I see… that was why people didn’t want to get involved. That’s for sure.” (Old Woman)
“Hmm? What do you mean by that?” (Soma)
“Well, it’s not really well-known, and it’s probably not easy to know this, but there is a certain ruin over on that side.” (Old Woman)
Whatever it was, it seemed to be an altar that was used hundreds of years ago.
It was a place to worship a certain God—
“…Could it be an evil God?” (Soma)
“Yes, it is. That’s why everyone didn’t get closer or wanted to get involved. If they are unfortunately involved, they would not know what kind of troubles come along with it.” (Old Woman)
“Hmm… I see. So, that’s it.” (Soma)
In regards to that evil God, it was supposed to be a crazy God who descended to this world hundreds of years ago.
It destroyed everything of mankind, but it was defeated by a certain hero.
By the way, it was a different God compared to the one that the Holy Doctrine believed in.
In this world, people claimed that there were originally two Gods. One of them went crazy and the remaining one became the only God.
Well, that didn’t matter to Soma, but actually, that evil God was regarded as a God that Demons believed in.
Strictly speaking, there were descendants of those believers, but… of course, that was also cooked up.
Rather than that claim, it was actually the other way around.
It was more convenient to say that the Demons believed in the evil God.
That was the reason of why the Demons were considered enemies of mankind.
It was just that by believing from that point of view, there were a few of those who believed the evil God since the beginning and they were in a position to be prosecuted.
Well, it was justifiable because from those beliefs, it would destroy even themselves in the end of the day.
No matter what era of which world, there seemed to be such people.
Anyhow, it wasn’t enough just to know about those who believed in the evil God. It could be said that it was enough to make people run away in the night because of that rumor.
It was common not to be involved in this matter, and it seemed that fact was similar among Demons.
And as Soma thought so, it was possible to understand the interaction with people in the village.
When he thought about it again, there was no one who ignored or was being hard-hearted to him.
Soma just nodded because the people went away as if they didn’t want to get involved, especially when he tried to engage them.
“…By the way, why aren’t you running away, even though you know about it?” (Soma)
“I don’t have a long time to live. There is no need to be scared this late in life.” (Old Woman)
“Hmm… I appreciate your story, but… is it alright to tell me that? By the way, how long does it take to go there from here?” (Soma)
“Well, it will take a day by walking, but… I think it would be better if you don’t do that. Regardless of the evil God, there are a lot of monsters in the surroundings. I would recommend you to detour, alright?” (Old Woman)
“I would like to do so if possible, but I can’t do that.” (Soma)
Well, it was obvious.
He didn’t know what to do in such a place, but there was nothing pointless at this kind of time.
“So, is there something like a landmark around that place?” (Soma)
“…Do you have business in that kind of place?” (Old Woman)
“There is no proof, but maybe there will be.” (Soma)
The old woman stared at Soma, who nodded while saying so, as if she wanted to say something, but in the end, she didn’t say anything at all.
And then, the old woman knew the existence of the place, but since she had never been there, she didn’t know the details.
Well, if that was the case, he had no other choice then.
“Hmm… just in case, let me ask this. What else is there in that direction?” (Soma)
“Yes? Don’t you have a business in that ruin?” (Old Woman)
“Well, just in case. In case, it is not the place that I want to go.” (Soma)
“I see… there is nothing nearby the ruin, but…” (Old Woman)
Despite of saying that, the old woman had told him everything she knew.
While writing it down in the corner of his memory, Soma lowered his head.
“I was saved because you told me a lot of things.” (Soma)
“…What, there was nothing significant, but I’m glad that I was able to help you.” (Old Woman)
“Hmm, it was enough. Anyhow, are you having trouble with anything? You told me a lot, so if it is possible for me, I would like to do something. Well, I can’t do much and I don’t have a lot in my hands…” (Soma)
Far from having nothing, in the case where she asked for money, he could get it from Camilla.
However, Soma didn’t think that this old woman would ask for that—
“Troubling matter, is it? …There is no such a thing… aah, no, if that’s the case, can you listen to my story for a while?” (Old Woman)
“Hmm, story…?” (Soma)
“There is nothing interesting, but… I just thought that I wanted someone to hear it.” (Old Woman)
Honestly speaking, he couldn’t afford to spare much time.
Soma also wasn’t sure how much time he could afford.
There was nothing better than to continue on as soon as possible, but… it was wrong to ignore someone who did a favor.
After thinking awhile, Soma gave a nod.
“Hmm, if you don’t mind me listening, please tell me.” (Soma)
“Well then, please listen for a while… the story of foolish old people.” (Old Woman)
And then, the woman started to tell the story.
“It is a story of a year ago. We met the girl on that day.” (Old Woman)
“A girl, is it?” (Soma)
“She came to this kind of place, and I immediately understood that the girl was coming from another place. Of course, she was having trouble. The truth is, I should have immediately told her to go to another place, but for some reason, somehow, I felt that she must not be abandoned.” (Old Woman)
“Hmm… by the way, when you said ‘we’, there was someone else with you?” (Soma)
“Aah, well. It was my husband at that time. Now, he’s having backache, and sleeps in the house. Well, anyway, we brought the girl home, but…” (Old Woman) (TLN: The old woman called her husband Jii-san.)
Actually, the girl intended to leave soon.
Even if she was given meals, a place to sleep and enough rest, she still wanted to leave.
But, the girl’s expression didn’t get better by the next day.
It wasn’t about her physical condition. Actually, her heart was the cause.
So, when the girl said that she wanted to leave, she seemed to have wanted to die at some point—
“Well, there was nothing we could do. We gave her meals, and prepared a bed. But we didn’t know what else we could do. We understood that she had problems, but we never thought of asking her.” (Old Woman)
“Hmmm… well, that is understandable.” (Soma)
Or perhaps, it was because of his experience.
No, Soma wasn’t going to take custody of that girl, and he wasn’t really going to do anything, but… whether he could help the old woman with something or not, that itself still remained the truth.
Or maybe, if he didn’t come here, he still wasn’t sure whether he could do it.
“But, the girl became cheerful one day. I was told that she was able to make friends.” (Old Woman)
“Hmmm… friends, is it?” (Soma)
“After that, even little by little, she started to show me a smile. We didn’t do anything, but we were happy… We couldn’t have children, but before we realized it, we probably saw her as our grandchild.” (Old Woman)
However, even the girl became cheerful, she didn’t disappear.
And the opportunity to see her like that had lessened. She suddenly looked very lonely and showed a bitter expression.
“…But, this was something that happened recently. That girl was smiling.” (Old Woman)
“Hmm…? Do you feel like saying she gradually started to show a smile?” (Soma)
“Yes, even so, it was a smile from the bottom of her heart. Although, we couldn’t do anything, we immediately understood that someone surely saved this girl.” (Old Woman)
“We were happy… we really did…” (Old Woman)
“…Old Woman?” (Soma)
The reason why Soma called out to herwas because her voice was trembling while speaking with joy.
And through Soma’s eyes and ears, it wasn’t joy, but it was anguish.
“…To tell the truth, we knew who she was. But we couldn’t say it… even if this is the place, we hear a lot of things. But… but… I just wanted to say… everything was fine… because she was happy.” (Old Woman)
“What do you mean?” (Soma)
“The girl is alright.” (Old Woman)
Well, that was her story.
There was nothing wrong with it.
Yes, there was a ‘but’.
For example, a girl from ‘somewhere’ ran away from that ‘somewhere’.
Although the girl’s whereabouts was unknown, for the old woman to suddenly say that she was alright…
According to the old woman, the whereabouts of the girl wasn’t synonymous?
“…We didn’t think she would come back. And that made me suddenly remember. We couldn’t tell that we were lonely because she probably went back home, but we tried to think… that there was nothing we could do… when thinking about our difference in status…” (Old Woman)
Perhaps there was no basis in that.
Or the old woman just felt guilty.
Thinking whether they had done something unnecessary or something undesirable that made the girl go home…
That might be the cause of her regret…
Maybe, she was convinced the moment when she saw Soma.
Just as Soma was convinced the moment he saw the old woman.
Because Soma heard from Aina about what kind of person who took care of her.
If that was the case, there was nothing strange for the old woman to listen to what kind of friend the girl had.
The old woman was wary of Soma in the beginning, maybe because of that reason.
“…I’m sorry for asking you to listen to a foolish story, but…” (Old Woman)
“Hmmm? What is it?” (Soma)
“Can I ask you for another thing?” (Old Woman)
“Hmm… it depends.” (Soma)
“Oh. Well, if you see her, please say this for me…” (Old Woman)
Accordingly, the woman stopped her words once, and she stared straight at Soma’s eyes.
Deeper and deeper, until she lowered her head.
“…Would you tell her… that we are sorry?” (Old Woman)
How much had these old people felt regret?
Soma wasn’t so sure because she didn’t say more than that, but even if she said more, Soma still wouldn’t understand it.
However, he understood the part of having regret.
He could feel from her words, how severe the feelings were.
“Hmmm… I have to refuse.” (Soma)
Yes, he refused because of that.
“…Ha, haha… No, you’re right. Such a situation was too convenient. I’m sorry for asking you to listen to a foolish story and a foolish request…” (Old Woman)
Soma shrugged his shoulders at the old woman, who was still lowering her head.
Looking at the shaking shoulders, he turned around.
He got the information needed and had repayed the favor.
“Well, I will surely bring Aina back, and it’s better for you to tell her that yourselves. There must be other things you wanted to say, and Aina also would be the same.” (Soma)
“—Wha!?” (Old Woman)
Together with the old woman’s surprised voice from the rear, Soma could feel that she raised her head, but he didn’t look back.
He left just like that while swinging his hands.
To be honest, Soma wanted to ask many things, but the other side also probably had a similar idea.
But, he could leisurely listen when everything was over.
Well, Soma didn’t know if that opportunity would come.
For the time being, there was another reason why Aina must be brought back.
Yes, it was just that.
While thinking about such a thing, Soma quickly went to the meeting point that was planned to rejoin Camilla.
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