Ex Strongest, Spending the Day Off as Usual
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After that incident, two more days had passed. The Royal Academy was currently on day off, but there was no progress on the matter. However, heavy mood continued to linger. That mood didn’t stop even if it was a day off. Not only that, the day off in the academy felt heavier than usual.
It wasn’t exactly the same as weekday since there was a sense of day off. But it didn’t bring good meaning though.
Since the lessons were done in weekdays, the mood stuck only within the classroom, but now, the mood was diffusing into the premises. No matter where in the Academy, the mood was all over the places.
Of course, the mood in the training ground didn’t change. The flow of event there was something like this since people were training, and there were things that couldn’t be explained with words.
“Hmm… personally, it is not something that I care much, but still, I don’t feel good about it. I feel it should be solved quickly.” (Soma)
“Stop blaming me for the things that I can’t see…! I’m doing my best, you know…!?” (Hildegard)
“No, I know that you are working hard, but it’s not something that I can ask you to work hard, right?” (Soma)
“Hmm… you are certainly right.” (Hildegard)
While having such a conversation, Soma and Hildegard left the training ground as it was. They had no particular business there.
No, strictly speaking, it should have ended at a glance, but…
“Well, aren’t you done for now?” (Soma)
“Hmm. In order to save me from the unnecessary labor, I’ve decided the order of things to look around.” (Hildegard)
As she suggested, they were walking around the school. It wasn’t an inspection. They were simply looking around.
Even though it was a day off, they were doing it for the sake of having a day off. Although there was no such thing like a strict guard order, it was a situation close to that. The students were scattered during the day off, so it was necessary to walk around regularly.
Obviously, this wasn’t the duty of Soma. It was Hildegard’s duty, and in the case of Soma, he was being a mere chaperon. Basically, he didn’t have to do that.
“I have to repeat this after I finish checking, and since this is my duty, it’s fine if you just wait.” (Hildegard)
“Even if you say that, it doesn’t take long time. By the way, if I have to spend the time at some other places, the best I can do is try to find materials in the library, or something like that. In that case, there’s not much different than accompanying you.” (Soma)
Of course, this was a more meaningful way of spending time for Soma, but at present, there was no remarkable thing Soma could do. He knew that Hildegard was working hard, and that wasn’t a lie. Fortunately, Soma wasn’t a selfish person to behave selfishly in such a situation.
“Hmm… this is… what do you call this? Am I going out with Soma!?” (Hildegard)
“…I’ve been having doubts occasionally since a long time ago, but where are you getting that kind of nonsense knowledge from?” (Soma)
“Huhu, it’s because I have [Imitation – Omniscience] skill. That much knowledge is easy!” (Hildegard)
“I guess the God of this world didn’t expect that you are using the God’s origin domain for such a purpose.” (Soma)
While exchanging such a silly conversation, they were heading to a corner of the training ground where there was the entrance of the dungeon. As always, Hildegard was going round before she went in there. Basically, she was like having a date with Soma.
People probably think that they were going to search the dungeon at such time, but actually, it was actually the opposite. It could be said so if they were exploring a common dungeon, but they weren’t doing so. Since it was such a time, it was necessary to unravel the uncertainties even a little. Anyhow, they entered the dungeon as always, but they stopped their feet after walking to a certain extent.
“Hmm… not only that there is no figure of anyone around, but there is no sign of people entering the past few days.” (Soma)
“Well, it seems to be that way. Although I said that there was nothing, I think that it was impossible to challenge for a fight here. Just to be sure, the practical training is influencing good self-restraint.” (Hildegard)
By the way, the incident a few days ago might be over, but… No, as for the accident, it was known to everyone in the Academy. Rather than informing this, it was close to being automatically known when considering about safety.
Well, in the first place, almost everyone in the elementary school knew it. Considering that it wasn’t realistic to put block people’s mouth, it was common the news known throughout the school.
Whatever it was, it seemed that that there were few people… or actually, no one here in the dungeon. However, it was a good thing for Soma and Hildegard.
“Well then, shall we move right away? As expected, I don’t know what will happen today.” (Soma)
“I imagine that this has something to do with you, but… well, I don’t think you can afford to relax. Then, let’s go.” (Hildegard)
As Hildegard said so, she took out a fist-size white sphere from the pocket. While holding and lifting it up with right hand, Soma held Hildegard’s left hand. And then…
“– Spatial Transition.” (Hildegard)
Immediately after muttering that, the surrounding space shook slightly. However, it was just a moment, and once it settled down, the surrounding scenery had a complete change.
“Hmm… although I have gotten used to it, but I somehow feel a sense of incongruity.” (Soma)
“Well, let’s go a bit deeper into the labyrinth.” (Hildegard)
Needless to say again, what happened just now was a spatial transition. To put it simply, what Hildegard used was a magic tool for spatial transition. This tool was a very rare thing. Usually, the inside of the labyrinth prevented spatial transition.
One should say that there was an exception like that Teleport, but whatever it was, the tool was created by analyzing the dungeon. However, there were drawbacks. First, it was only available within same dungeon, and it could set two destinations only. In other words, it could only set the entrance and the exit. It Sylvia’s case, it wasn’t use this way because of those reasons.
By the way, there was no one, so it was convenient to be used in this way. There were also times that she didn’t want unrelated person to be involved in this, but as mentioned earlier, it was a very rare tool. More importantly, it would be troublesome if people knew where they were going. She always used the tool in order to avoid people’s eyes.
“Well then, shall we proceed?” (Soma)
Beyond Soma’s sight, who leisurely said so, it was a staircase that led to the lower layer. Last time, they went through this layer, but they ended here because they were only verifying things. When considering that the time to rescue Sylvia, Soma wasn’t sure that they were lucky or not to stop venturing beyond that layer.
The current position was the 86th layer. In other words, there would be an area boss at the 90th layer. Without getting worked up, they braced themselves for a bit, and went down the staircase.
They reached the bottom within less than a minute…
— Ruler of Swords – Divine Protection of Dragon God – Battle Ready – Special Rank Presence Detection: Surprise Attack – Null.
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What resounded at that moment was a high-pitched sound. A dark grey blade approached his face in a place where less than 30 cm away from his face. While preventing with his own sword, Soma let out a sigh.
“Well, as I expected, this is really nasty.” (Soma)
“You basically can react even now, but… well, it surely nasty.” (Hildegard)
It was a vast hall. It was too vast, and the vision didn’t reach the whole labyrinth, and the edge of the hall was covered with darkness. Soma wondered how big was that place…. At least, he didn’t think that it was a few tens of meters only.
Moreover, it was the same as the layer above them. There were a lot of wide holes like a well. Beyond that, it was still shrouded in the darkness. Well, regardless of upper layers, there might be only one hall for the whole layer when considering the width. It was an unprecedented type of layer.
Did this mean that people would be occupied with the atmosphere and got done in an instant? It was really nasty and bad in nature.
“It is like how you can understand what kind of appearance in one glance.” (Soma)
While saying that, Soma kicked the ground. He didn’t kick too strong. He retreated probably because he judged that the opponent should also take a distance. As the whole appearance exposed, Soma nodded while watching it.
“How should I say this… It’s quite small.” (Soma)
“Am I thinking that your sense of danger is getting dull since you said so? Well, I was thinking the same as well.” (Hildegard)
But, that thinking was inevitable. Anyhow, the existence before them was approximately three meters only.
Fundamentally, the strength of the monsters was proportional to the size of the body. There were some exceptions such as if the size of the body was the same, there would be other criteria of evaluation. Well, that was usually the case.
By following that basis, the more people descended, the bigger the monsters became. Hence, it was unusual if the monsters went beyond ten meters in 89th layer. Besides, it also responded to how deep was the layer… So, when people thought about it, it was normal to think that the area boss here was also quite large.
And yet, it was only about three meters. So, it was obvious to think that it was small.
“Hmmm… I feel somewhat let-down by this area boss.” (Soma)
“Nonetheless, there are no other signs of monsters in this layer. That is definitely the area boss… I mean, if a typical kind of boss makes its appearance here, the difficulty is too high at a stretch.” (Hildegard)
“It is indeed true.” (Soma)
In other words, it was similar type of layer as the 40th layer. However, unlike the area boss, the area had no closed space.
“So, what are you going to do? If you are likely to withdraw, I will prepare myself then.” (Hildegard)
“Hmmm, you’re right…” (Soma)
While giving that reply, Soma looked the boss before him, and squinted his eyes.
In a nutshell, it was a skeleton. However, despite being a skeleton, it was uselessly dressed up on the whole body. It was completely like a noble with a mantle and other stuff, but… that really didn’t suit the monster.
No, even if the face was completely a skeleton face, the compatibility with what it had in its hand was the worst. It was huge unrefined sword with a total length of five meters, and that sword was much larger than its height.
It couldn’t be helped to wonder in many ways why the monster dressed up in that way…
“Well, I guess that’s it. If you are ready to go to the next layer, then it is necessary to make the preparation.” (Soma)
Anyhow, while kicking the ground, Soma thought whether that was related or not.
— The Rules of Swords – Divine Protection of Dragon God – Swiftness: Ground Shrink.
As the other side was doing the same thing, the distance beyond ten meters disappeared in an instant. Their right arm swung almost at the same time. The sword flashes began–…
— The Rules of Swords – God Killer – Dragon Killer – Divine Protection of Dragon King – Absolute Slash – Lighting Speed: Lightning Sword Flash.
At that moment, it moved.
Soma also moved as the monster matched with his blow and counterattack with its sword, but.. that made Soma raised the edges of his lip. Immediately after that, a high-pitched sound reverberated, and brilliant shines appeared at the same time in midair.
The face before him was all bones, and there were hollow parts in the eye socket. However, it was obvious that the monster was surprised… But, there was no need to wait for it to settle.
When Soma took another step, that monster moved as it was panicked–…
“–Too slow.” (Soma)
— The Rules of Swords – God Killer – Dragon Killer – Divine Protection of Dragon God – Absolute Slash – Sword of Ten Thousand Demons – Unrivalled Strength: Six Poetry Immortals.
There were six sword flashes. The limbs and the next were severed from the body. Moreover, the torso was cut into two.
Everything happened in an instant, and as the accelerated consciousness returned to normal, they simultaneously fell in accordance to the gravity. That monster was cut into seven, and it felt like its mouth opened just before it hit the ground.
However, there was no sound at all except the sound of something falling. Soma let out a breath to relieve the fatigue that wrapped his body.
“Phew. I suppose that there is no problem in this layer. So, shall we quickly go to the next layer… hmm? What’s wrong?” (Soma)
Accordingly, Soma tilted his head because Hildegard was looking at him with an astonishing face. Unfortunately, he had no idea why she made such a face.
“No, I totally lost my strength just now. Well, it’s true that I thought that there would be no problems, but… it is unexpected that you killed it instantly.” (Hildegard)
“Is that so? It wasn’t a weak opponent though…” (Soma)
Speaking who was strong or weak, it was true that Soma was on the strong side. However, it was weak compared to the dragon who called itself Fafnir. Moreover, from that incident with the dragon, Soma had been doing a lot of comparison by using that dragon as the basis. So, it was probably normal to think in that way.
“That is your basis, really… aah, I don’t care anymore. Rather, I’m thinking why are you preaching your common sense to a former Dragon God? It is usually the other way around.” (Hildegard)
“Even if you tell me that, I don’t know why.” (Soma)
On the contrary, Soma was wondering if this former Dragon God was solemnly smeared by human secular life. As Soma thought so, it didn’t matter to him what she was going to say, so he just shrugged.
Then, he looked forward.
“Look, why don’t we make a move now? We don’t want to spend long time here, right?” (Soma)
“…Well, yeah. It should be safe to proceed forward. I guess there would be no obstacle from now on.” (Hildegard)
“Is there something at the bottommost layer?” (Soma)
“There shouldn’t be anything. If this was a common dungeon, there must be a boss that protects the core of the dungeon, but this is an establishment for sealing purpose to the last. There should be only a fragment of the Evil God power in the 100th layer.” (Hildegard)
“Hmm… Understood.” (Soma)
If that was the case, it might be difficult to reach there today. The next time they went in, they probably would reach there. He didn’t know what would happen once he got there. To begin with, that wasn’t his purpose, but… well, he had already been this far anyway, so why not? Even though it was unlikely to obtain clues about magic, he wanted to keep her company until the end.
While thinking so, Soma began to move to the next layer for the time being.
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