Ex Strongest, Reaching the Top of the Tower
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As Soma’s group proceeded to the end of the ruin, the number of words spoken by each of them naturally decreased.
The frequency of monster attacks had increased. Although there was such a thing, the more important thing was that everyone could learn from experience.
Before this, they had to anticipate something that they didn’t understand.
That feeling reached its peak when they took the fourth staircase in front of them.
“Now… we’re going to go beyond this point. Are you guys ready?” (Soma)
“Sure thing!” (Lina)
“…Yes, there’s no problem.” (Sheila)
“How should I put it… I don’t have anything to prepare now.” (Aina)
“Is that so? I feel like making sure of it. To be honest, I thought that Aina would be a bit more flustered, but…” (Soma)
“What do you mean? I’ve been travelling until now, you know? Stop being used to that, alright. Besides, anything can happen since Soma is here.” (Aina)
“In other words, you’re saying that it is safe when Nii-sama is here, right?” (Lina)
“I-I didn’t say that! …Well, it’s not wrong though.” (Aina)
“I have a very significant responsibility, huh?” (Soma)
“…Yup, very.” (Sheila)
While exchanging such a small talk, Soma loosened his mouth a bit.
As for practical matter, something that might be waiting ahead was supposed to be handled only by Soma.
By feeling that strength even from a remote position, it was possible to do estimation in general.
If it was compared to Albert at least, the strength was smaller, so it wouldn’t be a problem.
If problems arise, Soma wasn’t sure what would happen in the case if he was together with the rest of his group.
Speaking about the talent of Aina and others, it was overwhelming, but they didn’t have too much experience.
Even if it was a downgrade opponent, the possibility of having a weak spot would be high enough.
However, if they understood it without getting worked out, they would be able to do something.
Well, in the worst case scenario, Soma should be able to do something.
Nevertheless, this should be a good experience for them.
Then, after confirming the preparation for one last time, they started to climb the stairs.
It was the same thing of climbing the stairs until now… but this was about the last step of it.
The moment they took that step, what was spreading before them was a scenery different from the earlier.
“Hmmm… well, it is something I expected, but…” (Soma)
“You’re right… as for what is waiting, I don’t think it will be that.” (Aina)
“…Yes, given the distance we walked, it was almost time.” (Sheila)
“The feeling of ‘at last’, isn’t it?” (Lina)
What these four were seeing was not a stone ceiling.
To begin with, it wasn’t illuminated by Aina’s photosphere, but by a different lighting.
There was a sunlight on the top of the tower.
“This is not surprising.” (Soma)
“…Yes. …Black dragon. …I was expecting that.” (Sheila)
There wasn’t unnecessary amount of walls. It was just a spacious room.
There was an altar in front of them that somehow made them remember the past, and there was a statue of a jet black dragon on the inner part.
It was the same as the previous ruin.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t so strange as long as what that suspicious man said was true.
In fact, Soma had predicted that, and the rest were also the same.
So, there was nothing to be surprised, but… perhaps, there would be something over there, so nobody was going toward it.
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“That’s fine, but… eh, the other is…?” (Aina)
“I had expected this much, but there’s nothing…” (Lina)
Far from anything, it made Aina and Lina strangely nervous… Well, there was no need to think why that happened.
Those two were right.
There was nothing else besides that altar and the statue of the dragon.
However, the sensation that stung the skin still continued.
Soma let out a small breath at those two who warily looked around.
Sheila was still hiding her face as usual, but he had a feeling that she was watching in amazement like Aina and Lina.
The reason was simple.
It was for certain they raised vigilance without hesitation. Although it was necessary to do that due to the situation, the two overlooked something.
“Hmm, when you are surprised until that degree, it is also understandable when it is hard to notice…” (Soma)
“…Yes. …But, it is necessary to notice that. …That is the evidence that their vigilance is still weak for overlooking because of stereotypes.” (Sheila)
“Wait a sec… what are you talking about?” (Aina)
“A stereotype, is it…?” (Lina)
“…That’s easy.” (Sheila)
“Well, in this open space, the most annoying part if we are attacked from any direction.” (Soma)
“If we are attacked from anywhere, then…” (Aina)
“Is that the most troublesome thing?” (Lina)
Immediately afterward, the two let out ‘Ooh’ almost at the same time and their eyes simultaneously turned toward a certain direction.
They were looking above.
Whether that thing was looked, it also showed itself almost at the same time.
It descended from the air, and it crashed landing on the ground.
Moreover, it wasn’t one only.
There were dozens or even hundreds of them, and it were overlapping one after another to form a shape.
The first shape was two legs.
Then the lower body, followed by the upper body and two arms.
And finally, the head.
Even though each of them wasn’t equal to each other, half of them were bones.
Yes, that was… a huge skeleton that was shaped.
“Hmm… it is a bit unexpected.” (Soma)
“…Yes. …Perhaps I should say that it is a monster, isn’t it?” (Sheila)
Being huge was a problem but the more important problem was the way it appeared.
There was no monster doing that kind of trivial thing.
It would probably reasonable to think that someone was manipulating the situation.
Consequently, the possibility of being some sort of biological weapon than a monster was high.
It felt better if there was no mechanism in this ruin.
The body itself was a mechanism, and this alone was enough.
“Well, this is really a terrible mechanism…” (Soma)
“…But, it is quite common to see this in ruins.” (Sheila)
“Do you mean that it relates to some genius?” (Soma)
Even if the world and time period had changed, this kind of situation was still similar after all.
“Eh? Wait a sec!?” (Aina)
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Aina? Why are you in such a hurry?” (Soma)
“Aren’t you supposed to be panic in this kind of situation!? But why are you so calm!?” (Aina)
“No, I mean, I know what is coming out. It’s just that it is simply huge.” (Soma)
“…Yes, this is often the case.” (Sheila)
“This ancient ruin is incredible. As expected of Nii-sama and Sheila-san…” (Lina)
“Well, it’s true that the body is huge, but that’s it.” (Soma)
No, actually, it was sufficient enough to be a threat, but being big itself was also a significant.
At least for Soma, it was nothing but a weak point.
“…Haaa. Somehow, when I look at you, it feels silly when I become flustered.” (Aina)
“Hmm, being calm is the best, you know.” (Soma)
Besides, this was due to experience after all.
It was certain that the monster was huge.
It was huge, but when compared it to the ones he fought at the end of the previous life, Moreover, it felt like this monster was a common thing.
Aina and others would certainly think similar soon.
“…I want to say that I don’t want to be calm like you, but Sheila is also calm, right?” (Aina)
“…Yes, when you have a lot of experience, you will get used to it.” (Sheila)
“I think that there is a meaning to face difficult situations again and again, but… well, if Nii-sama has come to a conclusion, there is no choice but to prepare. If it such a monster, we can do it already!” (Lina)
“…You understood that, is it?” (Aina)
“It seems that everyone is able to get along as usual, but… apparently, the other side is going to make a move.” (Soma)
While making a creaking sound, its head slowly turned downwards.
When they saw it, they clearly understood that the arm moved just after that.
Then, Soma kicked the ground to intercept it almost at the same time.
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