Ex Strongest, Guessing the Current Situation
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Soma arrived at the meeting place five minutes before the time that had been decided.
It might be because of the right time, the number of people seemed to be increasing than when he split up with everyone. It showed a moderate bustle situation. Perhaps, it should be said that this was normal since he was in the center of the town. After looking around, Soma nodded once. Not only Steina, Sheila and Felicia hadn’t arrived yet.
He thought about what he should do for now, but… it wasn’t necessary to do so. When he looked around again, a group of two people that he knew were coming from the west. It seemed the group also noticed him, and they bowed their heads as it was.
“Sorry, thanks for waiting.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, thanks for waiting.” (Sheila)
“No, it’s fine. I just arrived here and it’s time before the set time. There’s no problem.” (Soma)
Soma had a wry smile because he thought that the way of saying it was like he was waiting for a date.
And yet, they were in a town where the people here were known as Demons. However, the atmosphere surrounding this place wasn’t much different from the other towns that Soma had been before. Apparently, he got so used to it to the extent that such a silly thought came into his mind reflexively.
But soon after, Soma tilted his head. The reason is that the atmosphere around Sheila was a bit strange.
“Hmm? What happened?” (Soma)
“Eh? What do you mean?” (Felicia)
“Your atmosphere is kind of weird. Perhaps… you didn’t find a single inn, did you?” (Soma)
“Well, we certainly couldn’t find an inn, but… yes, if the atmosphere feels strange, it would be due to something else.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, we’ve been observing the outside of the city for a while.” (Sheila)
Soma was able to understand the meaning immediately.He was also concerned about it, so he nodded.
“To put it simply, you didn’t see a single monster, yes?” (Soma)
“You’ve said what I am thinking…” (Felicia)
“…As expected.” (Sheila)
“Well, I just thought about it a moment ago, so there’s nothing to be proud about. But, it seems unlikely that you were lucky enough not to see a single monster…” (Soma)
Moreover, that was the only thing they could discuss. Basically, if they had no emotional attachment to this town, there were nothing much could be done here. It didn’t matter if there were any disturbing signs, unless it came down to them.
However, if he pretended not to know when he had already noticed something, it was indeed bad to wake up if something really happened. Above all, Soma ordered a sword here. If something happened, and this town was going to be destroyed, it would be very troubling for him.
“Hmm, let’s wait for Steina first before we decide whether we want to meddle in this matter.” (Soma)
“You’re right. We can’t just decide without discussing about together with everyone. To begin with, that girl hasn’t decided what to do next.” (Felicia)
“…Indeed. By the way, how about you, Soma?” (Sheila)
This didn’t mean they weren’t worry about it. It was simply because due to the inn. However, Soma shrugged his shoulders while smiling wryly.
“If you ask me whether I found it for now in the direction where I was headed, I would be the same as you two. As a result, I changed direction, and I’ve found a few.” (Soma)
“You changed direction… was it there?” (Felicia)
“Well, if you can’t find an inn, there’s no point in staying there. Furthermore, it seems Steina has found a good place to stay, so it’s hard to say whether it is necessary to find it any longer.” (Soma)
“…Steina? Was she here?” (Sheila)
“Hmm? Aah, no. I didn’t meet her here. We were passing each other there by chance.” (Soma)
He shouldn’t say by chance, but that was fine.
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It was then that the bell began to ring. A heavy, loud sound echoed around the core of their body.
He had heard it for the third time already, but no matter how many times that happened, it felt likely to stop at the spot. But as far as he could see, most people didn’t seem to care much about this sound.
Soma wasn’t the only one who heard it. It was just that the people here seemed used to it already. In fact, Sheila and Felicia seemed to care, and those who were surprised, had just came to this town.
“This is certainly making it easy to know the time, but it is quite a concern until you get used to it.” (Soma)
“You’re right. Well, I don’t know whether I’ll get used to it for now.” (Felicia)
“…Indeed. By the way, where is Steina?” (Sheila)
The time taken for bell to echo was short. The twelve sounds of the bell ended in no time. But even when that was over, there was no sign of Steina.
“Hmm… it seems she still at it. Does that mean it takes a long time and effort?” (Soma)
“Is she looking for accommodation? Did you tell us that she had already found a good spot?” (Felicia)
“No, I’m not talking about the inn. I told you we were passing by each other right? At that time, she seemed to be helping a lost child.” (Soma)
“…Is she late because of that?” (Sheila)
“I guess so.” (Soma)
“I see… in that case, it can’t be helped.” (Felicia)
“Hmmm. Well, she wouldn’t admit it, but… she would just say there is a shadow.” (Soma)
What was beyond Soma’s line of sight was a figure of Steina who ran toward them. It looked like she was late, so she was in a hurry. Soma had a wry smile since he thought that Steina didn’t have to be like that. Then, their eyes met.
“S-sorry… I-I’m late.” (Steina)
“You didn’t have to rush. We were just talking about the situation. By the way, have you brought her back home properly?” (Soma)
“Huhu, of course. Look at who you are asking… Hey, I’m not bringing her back home! I told you, I was only preaching her, wasn’t it!? She left me immediately after that!” (Steina)
“Hoo, is that so…? Then, why are you late?” (Soma)
“Tha-that is… we-well, I’m just too focus in searching for the inn.” (Steina)
“I think you said that you have found a good inn, yes?” (Soma)
“W-well, I was thinking whether that inn was good enough for us! That was why I was looking further!” (Steina)
“Hmm… really?” (Soma)
“Yes, that’s for sure!” (Steina)
It was Steina who desperately answered him somehow. Eventually, Soma shrugged his shoulders and responded to her. No matter how they looked at her, it was obvious that she was lying. In fact, Felicia and Sheila were laughing even though they didn’t know what was going on.
“…Speaking of an older sister, she looks like Aina, isn’t it?” (Sheila)
“To say it that way… they do resemble each other. Hmm, it might be their family nurtured the character in that way?” (Soma)
“Family, is it…?” (Felicia)
“Rather than talking about that, have you guys found an inn!? I have found a good one, at least!” (Steina)
“I’ve found some of them, but… I can’t say that much. They aren’t bad inns, but I can’t say they are good.” (Soma)
“…We didn’t find any.” (Sheila)
“Well, it seems that there is no inn in the west.” (Felicia)
“Huhu, what is this? Aren’t you guys a sloppy bunch? Then, it couldn’t be helped. So, I’ll take you to the inn that I found!” (Steina)
Steina tried to move while proudly saying that, but Soma waited there. It was alright if they went to the inn first, but that would double the effort.
“Aah, can we do one more thing before going there?” (Soma)
“Yes? What is it?” (Steina)
“Can we stop by the guild before heading to the inn?” (Soma)
“Guild? Do you have something to do there?” (Steina)
“Aah, indeed. Certainly, it would be better to talk to the guild before heading to the inn.” (Felicia)
“…Yeah, it would be a hassle to come back here.” (Sheila)
Felicia and Sheila seemed to understand what Soma meant. So, they agreed and nodded at once. No matter what Steina had concluded in mind, they needed to talk about the monsters. If so, it would save them a lot of trouble if they check with the guild first and discussed about it in the inn.
But of course, Steina didn’t know what was going on, and she was somewhat dissatisfied. Without mentioning anything, her eyes that were directed to him delivered that feeling.
Soma bitterly smiled. Then, he explained to Steina including what he just heard from Felicia and Sheila.
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