Ex Strongest Swordsman 36 is out!
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And They Go on a Journey…
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Going on a Journey
Sofia let out a sigh as she raised her face from the report at hand.
To briefly put her present feelings in words, it was something like ‘What is this all about?’ or ‘What’s with this place?’.
She was thinking that she was bringing troublesome matters back home, but she couldn’t blame it, after all.
While thinking about such things, she dropped her gaze to her hand in order to confirm the contents again.
What was written was the incident that happened this time and the explanation regarding the kidnapping of Lina.
Although it wasn’t surprising now, because she had already confirmed it once, it was still something that made her unexpectedly sigh.
The reason that the report was expressively written, rather than giving a verbal report, was because there was a high possibility that it became a problem, depending on the situation.
Camilla, who was the writer of this report, brought Lina back home from where the Demons lived.
It was natural to assume the worst-case scenario.
“Well, it seems that it wasn’t the worst case, but…” (Sofia)
It was good news, when she knew that the other side didn’t wish for war.
However, the written content was merely a substitution, but by no means was it something to rejoice about.
It was assumed that the purpose of the enemies was to resurrect the previous Demon King.
Furthermore, the ones who planned it were very likely by the believers of the heresy.
It wasn’t a fabricated matter. In fact, these people truly worshipped heresy.
Wishing for the collapse of the world, they were the real enemy of Mankind in the true sense.
Plus, there was a Demon Heavenly General amongst them.
As for the 4th seat’s situation, Sofia would probably overthrow him and let someone else replace him, but… it might be in the worst case, to say the least.
“It would be too convenient to think this happened by chance… I wonder if I should consider that the root of evildoers is already deeply stretched amongst the Demons?” (Sofia)
Rather than thinking that one of the few evildoers became a Demon Heavenly General, it was more natural to think that the number of evildoers that could be selected as a Demon Heavenly General were increasing.
Or possibly, not in the form of fabricating that the story about the Demons became the enemy of Mankind, which was probably not even true.
But still, it was one of the possibilities.
Even though such a concern was mentioned for caution’s sake, she wouldn’t take any further action.
Well, if that Demon Heavenly General was still alive, it would be another story. But since he was destroyed, it wouldn’t be necessary.
That was one of the good news…
“…Nevertheless, if I hand in the letter like this, Camilla will be regarded as the one who defeated him.” (Sofia)
She was bitterly smiling because she knew it was impossible for Camilla to do it.
Rather, Sofia was thinking to keep Camilla’s talent to herself, if she had enough abilities to make it possible.
This wasn’t a favorable view as a friend. It was an objective evaluation as one of the Seven Heavens.
Originally, it was the reason why she invited Camilla to the mansion.
It wasn’t confirmed whether Camilla realized this or not, but Sofia didn’t think of her as a Skill Appraiser. She evaluated Camilla as a fighter.
However, Camilla had given up that path… So, if it was the Camilla until now, the format of the report would have been slightly different.
It meant that someone who wasn’t Camilla had defeated the Demon, and there was no mistake that she clearly understood how he was defeated.
It was possible to see something unacceptable like taking someone’s credit, but… Sofia’s understanding was different.
Camilla didn’t mind to be recognized… Anyhow, since it had come to this point, it was something similar to the declaration of resolve.
Of course, it might be due to Sofia’s imagination, but she wasn’t going to confirm it.
Sofia thought that it would be nice if it happened that way.
Anyway… it was obvious to think of it at this time, but Sofia was almost convinced that people other than Camilla were involved in this incident.
The report didn’t mention anyone, but she had no doubt.
Even though Camilla had abilities to win in the first place, in reality, Camilla would not be about to do anything against the Demon Heavenly General in her present condition.
Therefore, she was almost certain that someone was there and that person defeated the Demon Heavenly General.
In other words, she probably didn’t have to guess who that person was.
“If Camilla took action, I wonder what I would see over there. …I will break it and you will fix it. Isn’t it ironic, in a sense?” (Sofia)
While muttering so, Sofia’s expression was a bit lonely.
Despite saying that it was irrelevant to this incident, Sofia saw what the additional information was written in the end of it.
But, Sofia read through the report one more time and crushed it with her hand.
At that moment, flames spilled from her hand, turning everything into dust.
When she opened her palm, the debris fell apart, and it disappeared.
And that was the real end of this incident.
There was nothing about this incident from the beginning.
It was just a coincidence that Lina had been kidnapped, and all those who plotted it were all but destroyed.
If that was the case, it was for the best, then.
By causing extra conflicts with the Demons, those who opposed this country would rejoice.
Of course, they would secretly protest to the Demons, but that was it.
There was no reason to have war, and… together with this information, she had probably settled down with lending two favors to the Demons.
Her thoughts were similar with what was written at the end of the report.
By the way, Sofia didn’t receive any other reports.
However, there was one person who disappeared from the mansion, but Sofia didn’t know that.
Well, in the first place, that person shouldn’t have existed, so he really didn’t exist.
There would be no change for this house.
Yes… it was just a bit, but Sofia was somehow lonely.
“…Originally, this world was too narrow for you. Go out, and learn. The vastness of this world… And you will find the place where you can really shine.” (Sofia)
She knew that such a day would come.
The only difference was whether it was sooner or later.
Therefore, Sofia closed her eyes.
Although she wasn’t in the position that she could pray for safety during the journey, she wished that the destination would bring so much happiness.
It was a while later that Sofia noticed there was a person who wasn’t in the mansion anymore.
“Well then, shall we go now?” (Soma)
As Soma carried some luggage on his shoulder, he said so while looking behind.
They were at the boundary that was the Demon Forest.
Soma was looking at the girl who did the same thing as him.
Aina was shouldering some luggage packed with clothes and other stuff, and she was anxiously looking at Soma.
Even though Aina was anxious, it wasn’t because they were about to go on a journey.
No, of course, that was also the other reason to be anxious…
“Hey… are you sure?” (Aina)
No matter how many times she asked that, Soma simply shrugged his shoulders.
After confirming many times, Soma’s answer didn’t change.
“By the way, won’t it be weird if you tell me to stop now? I have prepared so much until this point. And I even bade farewell to Sensei. So, if I stopped right now, what kind of face should I make when I return home?” (Soma)
“Well, it may be so, but… You didn’t say anything to Lina-san.” (Aina)
“Aah, yeah, I felt regret for a bit, but it is not necessary anymore, rather…” (Soma)
Aina was puzzled, but Soma purposely didn’t talk about the details.
It was clear that he would feel troubled again if he told Aina especially when she asked for it.
Well, originally, after saying that, he was wondering how to deal with the small figure that was secretly hiding behind him, but unfortunately, he couldn’t stop it.
Or perhaps it should be said, rather than stopping her, he couldn’t see the future of forcing the person who was hiding to come together, so he decided to give up.
He probably realized who he would talk to.
He leaked a sigh as if it was something strange.
“Well, there is no need to worry about that. If you are not coming with me in the first place, what are you planning to do?” (Soma)
“Tha-that… that is… I will somehow manage it, you know? Even a year ago, I managed to do something.” (Aina)
“Is that what you think? In my opinion, I don’t think you have any real experience.” (Soma)
“That’s right, but… even though you said that, it is same for you, right?” (Aina)
“I learned about it a lot, that’s for sure. So, I will somehow manage, even if I don’t have experience… Anyhow, does Aina properly understand the common sense of the Mankind?” (Soma)
She was lost for words because she was aware of that.
Although she realized that, she was wondering whether she should be pleased or grieve over the obstinacy.
Well, whatever it was, the end result wouldn’t change.
“…By the way, it is not necessary to travel on that side. It would be dangerous in various ways… if I am exposed.” (Aina)
“I am not denying it, but speaking of which, why do you want to travel on this side? Well, you have reached that village one year ago, so you had no choice but to come to this side if you want to travel further from there, right?” (Soma)
“That’s true.” (Aina)
Soma let out a sigh because of that obstinate attitude.
One night had passed since Aina and Lina were rescued.
From now on, Soma and Aina would travel in the territory of Mankind.
Aina decided to do that because if a similar incident happened again next time, it would probably give trouble to that village.
Apparently, she had no option to return to that village in the first place.
The reason why she went out once before was different.
They went to that village in the middle of the night, and brought everything she had now in her luggage.
Incidentally, she left a note as she did so, without being seen by the elderly couple who had taken care of her.
…Well, she herself mentioned it to Soma.
She was unusually late when she came back, and her eyes seemed red, but it was probably his imagination.
“Are you sure you can go on a journey like this? It hasn’t been long since the time you collapsed.” (Aina)
“Well, it is certain that I feel pain in every part of my body, but it is still fine to travel. It will be fine after a while, and the pain will be healed in the meantime.” (Soma)
Soma collapsed at the last moment after rescuing Aina and Lina, but that was simply because his feelings of anger subsided.
He’s supposed to have considerably grown stronger because of various things since one year ago, but doing things at the degree of the battle earlier was still putting too much burden on his body.
However, it didn’t give pain until the point where he couldn’t move at all, so there should be no problem.
On the way back, he was helped by someone for about half of the time, but he had already recovered.
Although there were some muscle pains, they were within an acceptable range.
By the way, the reason why Soma was going out on a journey was because he was thinking about it when he was asked about it. Thus, he thought that this was a timely opportunity.
Rather than a child traveling alone, it was less objectionable when there were two children, and since Soma was simply worried about Aina, they decided to travel together.
It could be said that Soma made that one-sided decision, but Camilla also agreed with it.
He also entrusted Camilla with anything that would happen afterward. After putting only the minimum necessary items needed for the journey, Soma had successfully invited Aina to stay with him for a while, but…
“Hmm… I understood that. So, what do you think?” (Soma)
“You want to go on a journey alone, correct?” (Soma)
Although Aina resisted, her face was slightly cloudy because she didn’t expect to be asked that.
But, Soma was making a bitter smile, and…
“I am also going to travel alone. Well, our destination will probably the same, and… since it is a coincidence, it can’t be helped then.” (Soma)
“…What is that? It’s not the same, you know?” (Aina)
“I mean, just give up. By the way, what is so bad about it? You agreed once before, and you also understand that it is better to do it with two people than to do it alone, right?” (Soma)
“Well, that’s true, but…” (Aina)
“…I, uhm… I don’t want to give trouble to Soma.” (Aina)
Soma let out a breath of relief when she said that.
“Come, we’re going.” (Soma)
“Eh? Wait a sec!?” (Aina)
Since she was hesitant, Soma grabbed her hand and forcibly walked away.
While Aina was flustered, she tried to complain, but…
“It is my wish for you to follow me, and even if anything happens, it doesn’t bother me at all. Besides, I was late when I tried to rescue you. That’s not the only concerned matter, but… this time, if anything happens, I can protect you right away.” (Soma)
“Aah… y-yes…” (Aina)
She nodded when Soma said so. While timidly grasping his hand, she responded with a slightly stronger grip.
After that, Soma let out a small sigh that wasn’t noticeable by Aina.
He didn’t know what to do until he arrived in this different world, but… that couldn’t be helped.
Unlike his previous life, aiming for only one thing wasn’t a good thing to do.
Of course, he could do it like always if he thought of doing it, but… if he did that, there was no mistake that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself.
More importantly, Soma didn’t dislike being such a person in such a situation.
While thinking about it, Soma suddenly looked up at the sky.
What was spreading there was a similar blue sky that he last saw in that world.
However, the person nearby was not someone he should defeat, but it was someone that he should protect.
Furthermore, they were likely to be three people later, but that was a different matter.
It was completely different from his previous life.
There were also things that he should aim for, even if it hadn’t touched the fingertips yet.
In fact, there were a lot of things.
He was reincarnated in a different world, after all.
Then… there would be times also like this.
“…God is in His heaven, and all right’s with the world, is it?” (Soma) (TLN: Based on Pippa Passes, but I don’t get it myself.)
“Eh, what is it?” (Aina)
“It’s nothing… but I was thinking that it is alright if the journey is fun, even if is difficult.” (Soma)
“Aah… y-yes… you’re right!” (Aina)
Soma didn’t say it to create another misunderstanding. Indeed, that was what he really thought.
Therefore, when Soma looked back while smiling, the presence that gradually approached them was also smiling.
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- This is the end of the first arc of this novel.
- The raw of this chapter was so vague and it successfully wrecked my brain. Therefore, I’ve made changes here and there according to the flow of the story. If it is not consistent, please let me know. Thanks. 😀