Ex Strongest, Receiving the Lesson of Dungeon Exploration – Part 2
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“So, I would like you to join our party.” (Soma)
Sylvia made that noise because it was too sudden. Since they weren’t talking anything beforehand, she completely didn’t know how to react. When she was blinking in surprise, the boy he knew tilted his neck.
“Hmm…? …Uh, oops. By the way, Aina is not here. If it is the usual, there should be some harsh retort here, but… it can’t be helped. Helen, I leave this to you.” (Soma)
“Eh… Wh-what…?” (Helen)
“It isn’t an unreasonable request, you know.” (Lars)
Even the two who came together with him, their faces were those that she knew.
But even so… no, that didn’t really make sense to her. Sylvia didn’t understand the meaning of this because it was too sudden, but in other words, they were probably came to invite her.
However, there was no such a thing.
It wasn’t the case of seeing this situation pessimistically. It was just that not even a single person asked Sylvia until now.
Perhaps… it was because Sylvia was disliked. If it was the usual situation, it would be something like people asking who she was. To think that as a behavior among friends, that itself was overly optimist.
Then, speaking why nobody was talking to her was actually because of the present situation which was the dungeon exploration. It was because everyone understood how dangerous it was.
Although this was a practical training… rather than a practical training, a sudden accident was easy to happen. There were actually one or two people died every year.
Of course, those who disliked this wouldn’t be here from the beginning. Sylvia was no exception.
At the same time, she was prepared to expose her own body to danger. It wasn’t enough to let others to take the responsibility and being royal family members wasn’t something that she could boast.
At least, Sylvia couldn’t say it cold-heartedly. Even if Sylvia was the most end of the royal lineage, she was still a royalty. There mustn’t be anything, so she couldn’t allow anything to happen.
If there was something causing Sylvia to lose her life, that party members wouldn’t be able to see their family anymore. Since that fact was well known, nobody spoke to Sylvia, so she didn’t say anything.
Yes, the voice of invitation to Sylvia should be–…
“Well, aside from a joke, this is basically an invitation to our party. So, what do you think? If you don’t like it due to our prior engagement, I will not–…” (Soma)
“There is no prior engagement, and I don’t dislike it! …Aah.” (Sylvia)
After saying that reflexively, she thought she had made a mistake. It was true that she didn’t dislike it. In fact, it was something that she wanted.
After all, it was that Soma who came to invite her. In other words, he had the feeling of willingness to accept the lesson of this practical training. Even though he was still reading books in the class…
She could think that because this lesson wasn’t really in a classroom, but even so, she had no objection as long as she could take it with Soma. What happened during the entrance exam, or the first day of swordsmanship lesson… such things might be seen again.
If that’s the case, there was no way Sylvia would feel displeasure–…
“With this, we have four people. So, for now, we can probably do the practical training.” (Soma)
“Haa? Don’t you want to get two more?” (Lars)
“Ye-yes… I know that Soma-kun is strong because I heard it a lot from Aina-chan, but…” (Helen)
Apparently, among these three people, it seemed that Sylvia was the one who had prepared. Well… in that case, it couldn’t be helped.
Even so, in order not to disturb those three, Sylvia relaxed her mouth a bit while thinking so.
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“Uhmm… well then, let me do this once more, please take care of me during the practice!” (Sylvia)
“Hmm, nice to meet you.” (Soma)
“Ye-yes… nice… to meet you too.” (Helen)
It was a situation that made Sylvia to worry for some reason, but it seemed that that worry had been blown away. Somehow or rather, Soma could understand what Sylvia was thinking, but it was probably fine. Either way, anything could happen.
As Soma and the rest returned their greetings to Sylvia who cheerfully greeted them, and they continued discussing as it was.
“So, what are we going to do now? I’m thinking that we should go to the dungeon at once.” (Soma)
“Are you really sure we would be fine with just four of us? Uhm, well… yeah, I also know that Soma-kun is strong.” (Sylvia)
“Aah. You also think the same huh? Oi, are you really sure?” (Lars)
“Hmm? When you ask that, does that mean you have no confidence?” (Soma)
“Haa? You, are you asking for a fight!? I have the confidence…!” (Lars)
“Uh, uhmm… to be honest… I’m not confident.” (Helen)
“Yeah… I don’t have anything to say, I think? I am confident that I can do this reasonably, but I have never been into the dungeon. So, I’m worried, in a sense, I guess…” (Sylvia)
“In short, one agree, one against, and one neutral, right?” (Soma)
If they decided by majority vote… they probably couldn’t go in yet.
It was a dungeon that they were going to go into now. Even though it couldn’t be helped to worry, if Soma asked them unreasonably, it would become the source of accident. Not to mention Helen, Silvia was the same in the sense.
Soma wished he had words of magic that could reassure such people, but unfortunately, he didn’t. If that was the case…
“Well, although it is said to be impossible, I would like to go with these four. If you think that it is no good, we will return back. At that time, it would be good to invite another person.” (Soma)
Party members decided today would be fixed for the future, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t change at all. Sometimes, it became impossible to do it anymore, or someone would be temporarily withdrawn due to injuries. For those reasons, it was possible to move between parties freely to a certain extent as long as there was consensus among party members.
Incidentally, the number of the party members wasn’t strictly fixed. Although four to six people were said to be the best, doing it with ten people wasn’t a problem and even doing alone was also fine.
One of the objectives of this practical training was probably about trial and error, or to ascertain the matter mentioned earlier. Anyhow…
“I have a feeling that the new members would be the remaining people here, but… it doesn’t pose big difference in the current situation, isn’t it?” (Lars)
“Yup… Surely, I’m not sure what will really happen at the end of this. If this is done as a practice, I guess it should be fine, right?” (Sylvia)
“I guess so… Uhm, we aren’t pushing ourselves, yes?” (Helen)
“I promise. Besides, I have been to the tenth layer alone by myself. Even if something happens, I think it’s possible to let you three to escape in the worst case scenario.” (Soma)
“Haa…? Oi, going into the dungeon is… I’m sure you aren’t allowed to do so unless you are in the middle school…!?” (Lars)
“Actually, there are other ways than that. Well, from the standpoint of being taught about this matter, it seems you guys will also be taught about it someday, so I can’t say anything beyond that.” (Soma)
For the time being, all of them had agreed, and they headed to the dungeon as it was. The dungeon exploration practice was basically used all of lesson hours on that day. Therefore, they should have enough time to slowly see the first layer.
Nonetheless, it was necessary to see the lecturer for the first time. It was bad to go in on their own. Moreover, they couldn’t go in with only four people. As for that, the lecturers were scattered in the immediate vicinity of a building near to the labyrinth.
Since there were no other lessons, most of lecturers that taught elementary school were coming to this place, but everyone seemed busy. There were only two places that were likely to be in big trouble, but it looked like there were some arguments and discussions going on. Well, it was obvious because that place was where parties seeking people to be their members.
However, when Soma thought that it was impossible for them to go soon especially in this situation, there was a single lecturer who seemed to be available. The discussion with a group of three students continued happening on that spot while that person let out a breath. The lecturer was the most familiar person to Soma, and she was Carine.
Whether Soma would miss the chance, he looked at the three students, and he immediately headed toward her location and started a conversation.
“Hmm? Oh my, it’s you Soma-kun. What is it? You don’t give an air of wanting to discuss something. Am I right?” (Carine)
“Hmm, basically, I’m thinking of going into the dungeon now.” (Soma)
“Is that so? In that case, your group is the first one.” (Carine)
“Eh, is that true? It looks like some people have already decided, so I thought some people are already inside…” (Sylvia)
“That is usually the case, but it seems pretty much everyone is cautious this year.” (Carine)
“Cautious, is it? Or they are scared? Goodness, they don’t have the guts.” (Lars)
“Bu-but… that is expected, right…?” (Helen)
“Oh my. Personally, I think you are right. Having discussion is also important, but for now, no one has the experience. Even if you know how dangerous it is, it doesn’t really matter unless you know that you will be fine.” (Carine)
“I guess… you are right…” (Helen)
Helen became slightly anxious, but it looked like she was relieved for a bit after listening to Carine. Soma let out a small sigh as if small amount of strength came out of his body. When Soma looked at Carine to express his gratitude, Carine smiled a little.
“Anyhow, is it alright if you go into the dungeon now? Well, uhmm… ah, that’s it. Kurt-kun, come here.” (Carine)
“Aah, yes, I got it.” (Kurt)
The one who nodded when Carine called him was a young boy who was behind her. There were other boy and girl who were in the similar situation nearby, but they didn’t seem to be lecturers.
No, of course, they weren’t lecturer.
“Hi, I am Kurt. I’m a third grade of middle school student and I’m from Spearmanship department. Nice to meet you.” (Kurt)
As he told them so, he was a student, just like Soma and the rest. However, he was third grade of the middle school student. In addition, he seemed to be the top performer. Today, he was coming to be the leader of Soma’s party.
Although this was a practical training… or even if it was a practical training, it was certainly dangerous for first grade of elementary school students to go into the dungeon. The upperclassmen were ask to lead since the number of lecturers wasn’t enough to accommodate the large number of students.
Well, strictly speaking, these upperclassmen wouldn’t intervene if the party didn’t encountered a very dangerous situation, and they would only help during emergency. Anyhow, the upperclassmen for Soma’s party was this boy named Kurt.
“Hmm, nice to meet you.” (Soma)
“Ooh, ouh, nice… to meet you?” (Lars)
“Ni-nice to meet you…?” (Sylvia)
“Ni-nice… to meet… you…?” (Helen)
However, the three of them were somehow hesitated when exchanging greetings, and that might be due to Kurt who wasn’t seen as an upperclassmen. It was because Kurt was just a little bit taller than Lars, and his body size was about the same. However, rather than the feeling of being told that he was in the same grade as them, there was no uncomfortable feeling.
Even so, Soma wasn’t bewildered because of the air around him. The reason why he was calmed down was because he was convinced enough that Kurt was an upperclassman. He gave an air of calming people… well, there was obviously such a people.
Nevertheless, they were too rude in a sense, but Kurt didn’t get angry. Perhaps, Kurt understood the reason himself. He merely smiled a bit though.
Even if this was unusual, the feeling was similar to Camilla who was short for her age. Kurt was probably among that kind of people. As expected, since no one would ask anything during the first meeting, everyone said nothing. Anyhow…
“Well then, shall we go soon?” (Soma)
While seeing everyone nodded, Soma headed for the underground dungeon together with four people.
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