Ex Strongest, Receiving the Lesson of Dungeon Exploration – Part 1
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Finally, it was the time. Finally, the need to waste time had ended.
Strictly speaking, that time wasn’t over yet because there were some concerns. It was just that to reach this point of time, one couldn’t do anything but to give in. Clapping the hands, and the unpleasant times of thinking what else to do would be no more. At that time, one was thinking of another hand quietly.
It might be one could be serious by doing that. Usually, the surrounding noises were mixed, but one thought that it would be better if the noise reduced even a little.
“…Well, I guess it’s just my imagination.” (Soma)
While the words stuck within the mouth so that he didn’t have to listen to the surroundings, Soma turned his sight over there. Thinking ahead of what would happen from now, he murmured ‘Finally’, and lifted the edge of his mouth a bit.
A lot of students were gathering in the corner of the training ground. The number was really high. Other than the entrance ceremony, it could be said that this was the largest number Soma had ever seen.
But of course, it was obvious. Now, all students from the first grades of the Royal Academy were gathered here.
Today was the day of dungeon exploration training.
“There are many people indeed…” (Soma)
“Well, it can’t be helped.” (Aina)
“Ye-yes… it’s necessary to have the introduction of the meeting.” (Helen)
Due to the fact that Aina and Soma recently seeing each other at the training ground, Helen was getting used to them little by little. Soma looked at that place while having such a conversation with them. Of course, most of them were strangers, but it was funny knowing that he knew some of the people here by looking in a glance. He found it quite interesting when he thought about who would be going in with who.
As mentioned above, all students of first grade gathered in this place at the moment, and the dungeon exploration training would be carried jointly by the grade. It should be easy to say it like this. What would happened if challenging the dungeon was limited according to own department?
It would be fatal especially for the Magic department. It wasn’t much different from suicide by challenging the dungeon with rearguards only.
Of course, there would be something like vanguards, but not many of them could be one. Besides, it would be almost the same if a party consisted only with vanguards. The grade-level joint training was to avoid such a situation.
“Nevertheless, everyone is enthusiastic.” (Soma)
“It would be good if we can more or less form a party, but to put it simply, the fastest one will be the winner. Everyone is busy, after all.” (Aina)
“You’re right… if people form a party fast, they can go into the dungeon soon after that.” (Helen)
While saying such things, the battle of solicitation was happening over there. Yes, actually, the lesson had already begun. Currently, it was the time to form a party to go through this lesson. Even so, Soma wasn’t in a hurry. In the worst case scenario, no one would come to him, but he didn’t mind at all.
It wasn’t that he didn’t have the mood for the practice. Soma certainly had already been able to go into the dungeon regardless of the lesson, but even so, he was looking forward to this lesson.
Speaking of which, the reason why he hadn’t form a party…
“Err, uhmm… Aina-chan, are you going to invite someone? Or are you waiting someone to make the move?” (Helen)
“By the way, the minimum of a party would be four people and the maximum is six people. Considering that we have three people here, it isn’t necessary to make an unreasonable move, right?” (Soma)
“Eh, three people…? Excuse me, do you mean…” (Helen)
“And the fourth person has come.” (Aina)
The one who was coming and nodded was Sheila. They weren’t making an appointment, but they were thinking that she probably would come.
If people formed their party, they would choose people who they were familiar with. It seemed obvious to think so.
With this, it was a perfectly balanced party with two rearguards and two vanguards. After that…
“And the fifth person has come!” (L???)
“Alright, you go back to your job.” (Soma)
Soma knew who came from Sheila’s back and since he had a hunch what that person wanted to say, he interrupted by speaking first in order to refuse.
“What… why!?” (L???)
“That’s because you are a lecturer.” (Aina)
Being told by the two, that person floated an astounded expression, but that was as a matter of course. Soma let out a sigh while thinking it was too bad for her sister.
Yes, it was Soma’s sister who was there. At the same time, Lina was also a lecturer at the Royal Academy.
Well, to be honest, they weren’t used to Lina’s being a lecturer, but… there was nothing they could do because it was the fact. Moreover, she didn’t use any connection and this was about passing the lecturer’s exam purely based on their efforts.
Incidentally, it was Lina who was next to Camilla during the entrance ceremony, and Soma was surprised.
However, it didn’t seem to be a surprise for Aina and Sheila, since they came together.
‘Goodness, this is troubling in so many ways.’
Well, leaving that aside–…
“So, do you have something else?” (Soma)
“Aah, yes.” (Lina)
Saying that as if nothing had happened, it seemed that she was kidding just now…. No, half of it was probably her true feeling since she seemed really going to come if he agreed. Anyhow…
“Just now, Nii-sama and everyone else are trying to form a party, right?” (Lina)
“After all, it is the best to form it with people who we already know.” (Soma)
“I understand that well, but Nii-sama, Aina-san and Sheila-san are loosely connected.” (Lina)
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“Hmm… I am certain that there shouldn’t be any restrictions on forming parties, right?” (Soma)
In the case of leaving it to the students’ decision, it should be no problems even if the party is consist of six rearguards. Soma wasn’t mistaken because that was said at the beginning.
However, what was bad for Soma and the rest to form a party?
“That’s because it will not be a practice if you form party among yourselves. That’s the truth, isn’t it?” (Camilla)
“Eh, Camilla-san has arrived, huh?” (Lina)
“I guess I should explain more than the least. I looked a bit at you guys and decided to come here, but at this moment, it’s not posing any big troubles.” (Camilla)
“What do you mean by that?” (Soma)
“This is strictly my proposal, but obviously, you have to agree, you know? The reason why I decided that is because of this. Ask after you hear me once, but I wonder if you can refuse.” (Camilla)
“I guess… no.” (Aina)
“…Yes. …You are right.” (Sheila)
As for Soma, he didn’t get it.
Soma could have gone to the tenth layer alone. Moreover, he had plenty of time to spare.
If Aina and Sheila joined him, he wasn’t sure how deep they could dive in. Well, there was such a thing, but… it was true that this was a part of the lesson. When he was told on how to do about this, he became unsure.
“Hmm… well, I can’t do much, I guess.” (Soma)
“By the way, Soma and Sheila are prohibited from forming a party with other vanguards. As for Aina, you aren’t allowed to join other rearguards.” (Camilla)
“Eh… you mean, the rest of my party would be vanguards?” (Aina)
“…Am I only with the rearguards?” (Sheila)
“You got that right. The reason is almost the same as before. If you get into a party with same role as yours, you will definitely get that role, right? So, it won’t be a practice for other people.” (Camilla)
“I understand for both of them, but… I’m from the Magic department. So?” (Soma)
“Do you mean that there will be mage like you?” (Camilla)
Soma would like to say that was a discrimination, but he lost his words because there was no one else who couldn’t use magic. Because of that, he had no choice but to accept obediently.
“Hmm… I got it.” (Soma)
“Well, it can’t be helped. Alright then, I’m going. Since I am completely late, I have to find more than three vanguards immediately.” (Aina)
“…Yup, me too.” (Sheila)
After saying that, Aina and Sheila started moving out. It might be because the people at the surrounding were waiting, they immediately formed parties, and there was no need to worry about being left out.
Rather, it would be better to be for Soma to worry about himself.
“Now. I have to look for someone else, but… I have to wait until Sheila finishes forming her party, so the leftovers would be available, right?” (Soma)
“That remind me, why no one came to Nii-sama? I think people will mostly likely gather for you…” (Lina)
“Well, the news about those two having Special Rank is already known, but no one really know about Soma. That’s the difference.” (Camilla)
“Hmm… I can’t accept that.” (Lina)
“Whether they know me or not, there is nothing else I can do other than looking for people. So, Helen. Do you know anyone else other than those two?” (Soma)
“…Eh? I… I…?” (Helen)
After being astounded for a moment, Helen started looking around, but she knew no one but Soma’s acquaintances only. Perhaps it should be say that why was she having such a strange look?
“Hmm? I’m thinking to practice without break for the rest of this, but … is it bad?” (Soma)
“Eh, I… I am just late… or rather, I’m a… nuisance…” (Helen)
“No, if you say that you are a nuisance, nobody will join us…” (Soma)
According to what Soma heard, Helen had Advanced Rank magic skills. If he excluded Aina, she was the highest within the academy. So, Soma couldn’t that Helen was a nuisance.
“That was my planning from the beginning.” (Soma)
“Ah, I… I guess so… Are you sure…?” (Helen)
“Rather asking me, I should be the one who ask that. I would like you to partner with me by all means.” (Soma)
“Aah… uu, yes… please take care of me…” (Helen)
“Muu… I’m jealous.” (Lina)
“Come. We have to go back to our job soon. There are two people that I feel like they’re going to be in trouble very soon.” (Camilla)
After saying that, they went to two spots where confrontation occurs. This time, Soma and Helen were staying here. What were they going to do from now…
“To continue from before, do you have anyone in mind?” (Soma)
“Eh, uhmm… I’m not sure whether it’s good to say this, but you Soma-kun… haven’t you been watched by that person since earlier?” (Helen)
“Aah… hmm, I do notice it, but… well, I don’t mind.” (Soma)
When he turned around, he looked at that person… No, his eyes met with the person who was staring. The boy had his shoulders trembled for a moment, but he kept staring without looking away.
Soma was aware what the boy did all the time. He was wondering what to do, but the situation seemed good to him.
“Hmm. By the way, you… hmm? What is your name again…” (Soma)
“It’s Lars Hofmannsthal! Don’t you remember my name…!” (Lars) (The name in raw is ラルス・ホフマンスタール)
“No. Even if you say that, this is my first time you told me your name, you know?” (Soma)
Every time Soma showed up in the training ground, he saw Lars. Soma knew that the boy had been staring at him, but seriously, this was the first time Soma heard the boy’s name. No, strictly speaking, they did introduce themselves to everyone in the first lesson, but as expected, Soma didn’t remember such a thing.
“Cheh… so, what do you want?” (Lars)
“Well, it’s about the party.” (Soma)
“Hah, do you want me to enter your party? How am I supposed to say this… to be invited by you, when you have that kind of attitude–…” (Lars)
“Aah, I don’t have anything in particular, so if this is about the past, I don’t care–..” (Soma)
“Since it can’t be helped, I’ll join you!” (Lars)
Soma didn’t think that he was a troublesome person, but it might be easy to understand in a sense. Well, the tone was rough, but there would be no problem because he seemed not a bad person.
“Hmm, please to meet you.” (Soma)
“Ple-please take care of me…?” (Helen)
“Cheh. It’s fine!” (Lars)
Contrary to his words, his mouth was loosened, but Soma purposely not pointing that out. Anyhow, with this, he needed at least one more person–…
“As I expected, everyone is about to form party… I can’t seem to find any indication from that two spots, so it’s better to leave those alone.” (Soma)
“Ye-yeah… 3 or 4 people. It’s a lot, but… basically, vanguards are everywhere, isn’t it?” (Helen)
“What? We can’t have vanguard?” (Lars)
“Did you hear the talk earlier? I was told that I can’t party with other vanguards. Well, that was why I asked you. You are a mage who also can become a vanguard.” (Soma)
“Hmm, hmmm, is that so? Be grateful that I haven’t partied with anyone yet!” (Lars)
“I earnestly appreciate it, you know?” (Soma)
Leaving the boy, Lars, who turned away while clicking his tongue, Soma moved onto the next one. Nonetheless, as Helen said, they were many parties of three formed already, but as expected, they were no rearguards. It was easy to understand that everyone else was equipped since there was a possibility of entering the dungeon immediately after.
Now, what could Soma do in this situation? At this time, he had no choice, but… to wait for that confrontations died down.
“You need one more person, but… Isn’t that just right?” (Lars)
“Eh… whe-where…?” (Helen)
“Over there. There is a single person over there who is not doing.” (Lars)
“…Aah. Really… Bu-but… that person is…” (Helen)
When Soma looked at the direction pointed by Lars, there was certainly a girl, but she looked bored. Nevertheless, there was no mistake that the girl was a rearguard.
The reason why he thought that was simple. It was because… he knew that girl.
“I see. You are right.” (Soma)
“Of course.” (Lars)
“Hmm? Do you have objection, Helen?” (Soma)
“Tha-that’s not what I meant, but… y-yes. I agree with you…” (Helen)
“I see, that’s good. Well then, shall we invite her immediately?” (Soma)
The name of the girl who Soma was going to invite was a name that he knew.
She was a girl who often sit next to Soma in the class. Sylvia Heidrich Radius.
She was the princess of this country.
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