Ex Strongest, Exploring the Elf Forest
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At the moment of seeing the figure, a girl reflexively suspected her own eyes first. This was because there was a boy who was not supposed to be there.
“Why is this guy in such a place…!?” (Girl)
Even if she looked at him while hiding behind the tree, the possibility of being impersonator of another was unlikely. But, at the same time, it was impossible.
“From there to here… no matter how I think about it, isn’t he incredible? Well, there will be a possibility if he rushes from there, but…” (Girl)
However, the problem was that this guy had no reason to do so. As if he knew about this in advance–…
“…No, that can’t be true. It seems to be coincidence by looking at the situation, but… what is the meaning of this?” (Girl)
Anyhow, the timing was too good. He made no appearance until now, but he appeared with this timing.
“…Could he be a spy? No, it can’t be…” (Girl)
To be honest, it was hard to consider that possibility. It was simply because he didn’t have enough manpower to make it possible. Although it was difficult to maintain the structure, she would know if there was such a thing.
Plus, no one mention about this situation. There was no attempt of spying.
It seemed that he had some kind of luck, but–…
“What kind of luck he has to be here and to come at this time…? No, perhaps…?” (Girl)
Was it because that guy desire this somewhere in his heart?
She thought that a moment, but then, she shook her head. It couldn’t be. It was impossible.
That was a mere delusion. To begin with, there was no need to over think.
“There is also the possibility of him returning without doing anything by coincidentally coming here. First off, I should observe the situation…” (Girl)
As she told herself, the girl chased after the boy who advanced to the depths of the forest.
Soma was walking alone in the thick forest. Even if he muttered, there was no sound. At best, there was the sound of trees and wind.
He couldn’t hear the noisy voices of the Elves, and he couldn’t feel any presence. Apparently, everyone seemed to be locked up in the house.
It was difficult to tell. The sun had risen, and Soma was outside because he left that man’s house. But still, the reason for staying in the Elf forest was simple. It was because Soma did not intend to leave here from the beginning.
The fact that yesterday’s Felicia was being awkward was understandable even by a fool. Hence, it wasn’t difficult to guess what she was talking about, whether everything was true or not.
No, as far as Felicia was concerned, it would at least be certain that Joseph was lying. That was because Soma had heard from Sheila.
The Elves didn’t lie, but that was just a rule. It didn’t mean that they never lied.
There was a difference of not telling a lie, and Soma didn’t think that he was confirmed about that Joseph. Even in a few conversations, it was possible to guess the extent.
Plus, Sheila certainly said that there were exceptions to the law. He hadn’t heard the detail about that, but for some reason… he thought that was the case at this time.
“…To be honest, it doesn’t really matter.” (Soma)
The most important part was the reason why Felicia and Joseph were trying to keep Soma away from that place. It was probably their law.
However, when he thought about it, that wasn’t the only thing. There were some things that couldn’t be explained by this alone. And Soma knew about it as well.
As for the existence that being feared, there weren’t many ways for these people to worship it. By the way, speaking of calming down, they didn’t need to prepare a grandiose ritual to pray in order to appease its anger and to let it became quiet. To begin with, they shouldn’t feel scared.
For such an existence, it would be one of these two options if it was divided roughly. Whether to go against it or to obey it.
However, regardless of which one they chose, the other side was in a better position. It would be too optimistic to get rid of it without any compensation.
That was the reason why the Witches came into the picture. No… In a sense, it might not be a mistake.
Regardless of the ritual and the details of it, the Witches were probably the best way to do something in exchange for the compensation. But, the questions were what was the price to pay and what was that got to do with the situation?
There shouldn’t be a problem if it used what was offered in the ritual as it was. But then, there was no need to hold a grandiose ritual in the first place. The whole day was totally a waste of time.
No… speaking of a waste of time, the last thing in the ritual yesterday was the most useless. A conversation to tell what was in the mind? No matter how Soma thought about it, it was a mere facade.
He had confirmed that the matters of people talking to Felicia and her being a shrine maiden were… In addition, these people were way too friendly. At the same time, there was a sense of sadness. If they didn’t drink alcohol, they couldn’t fool themselves.
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Suddenly, Soma remembered a story of a certain girl when he stayed at the man’s house yesterday. He spoke after he had drinks. A story of a girl with white hair who once lived in this forest. Apart from having a mother with the same hair color, she lived well in that environment with a father who was still the chief, living with her brother, who resembled the father, and a younger sister, but… she eventually came to live with her mother.
Then, it became a story where the girl lost his father and mother a few years later.
To be exact, the girl had a very close relationship with the brother and the sister. However, it came into Soma’s mind that that matter wouldn’t comfort the girl.
“Now… I wonder what is really going on?” (Soma)
There must be a lot of things that were not told. It was necessary to ask, but Soma had judged that it wasn’t worth it.
“In the end of the day, the things I’m going to do will not change, isn’t it?” (Soma)
That was why he was in this place. He was searching for Felicia… and then…
“Well, that would be the case if I can find Felicia.” (Soma)
He muttered that. Then, he let out a breath while looking around.
By the way, Soma left the man’s house as soon as the sun began to appear. Although it was difficult to determine, it was approximately afternoon already. This forest seemed to be quite large, but it was possible to look around everywhere if there was enough time. Even so, Soma has not been able to find any trace of Felicia’s presence until now. He certainly went to that square of the yesterday.
When it came to this, there weren’t many possibilities. The most likely of them is she was in a place that Soma couldn’t reach. For example, a place like that Witch forest.
However, he couldn’t think of a concrete solution just because he knew it. The quickest way was to ask someone directly… they wouldn’t tell him even he asked that.
All the Elves were supposed to be at home, and in the first place, Soma should have already left this forest. In addition to that, there wasn’t a reason for the other side to answer if he asked that question. It would be the same for that man.
Soma was going to press it forcibly, but now wasn’t yet the time for that. The ritual would be held tomorrow. Until then, nothing bad would happen.
He was saving it as a last resort. For now, the first thing he should do was…
“For the time being, why don’t I try to slice suspicious places one after another? There are a couple places for that… Even in the worst case scenario, they won’t be half destroyed anyway. Those people might be surprised when they go out from their house tomorrow, but this much is still within acceptable limit…” (Soma)
“–Are you for real!? How come your priority turns to be like that!?” (??)
Then, a voice came from the rear when he muttered so. It was an unfamiliar voice, and when Soma turned around and check the appearance, there was an unknown girl.
“Ooh, I got you splendidly.” (Soma)
“Aah… y-you got me?” (Girl)
“Well, I noticed someone was following me from behind.” (Soma)
For starters, this wasn’t a place suitable for following. Soma thought that the girl was impressive since he didn’t noticed her at the beginning.
However, when he walked around the forest, it was impossible to hide the sign forever. Even so, he left the girl alone because he didn’t understand what she was trying to do. He decided to lure her since he had made the decision.
To be honest, he didn’t expect he would lure her with that.
“Kuh… to be exposed by such a fool… I’m not stupid, you know!?” (Girl)
“Now, now. You don’t have to belittle yourself. I think you have followed me well.” (Soma)
“That make me feel more miserable, so you don’t have to follow up with that!” (Girl)
“Is that so? Then, let me ask you directly. Who are you ?” (Soma)
The girl who gasped at this question was not an Elf from the appearance. It was obvious at the point of the color of hair, and it might be purple rather than black. Perhaps, she was a human.
Well, since Soma was here, and Doris also who had been here once, it would be possible to have people other than the Elves here. For this girl to appear here today couldn’t be said as a coincidence. However, at the time of following Soma, it was impossible to say that it was a coincidence.
Soma was aware that her behavior was suspicious, so he was wondering her motives…
“Haa… It couldn’t be helped then…” (Girl)
As the girl sigh, she didn’t particularly try to make excuses. But…
“I don’t want to answer that because of my position. In exchange, I’m going to tell you something good.” (Girl)
“Something good, is it?” (Soma)
She seemed to have given up on something, but at the same time, she had a refreshing look.
“This is the most important thing you want to know now. The place where the ritual takes place tomorrow. I will show you how to get there.” (Girl)
Such words came out from her mouth.
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