Ex Strongest, Discussing the Future Plan
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Steina didn’t really bring the lost child here, but she was actually looking for an inn. It was a coincidence that she arrived to the little girl’s house after that.
While remarkably ignoring Steina who was proud of herself, Soma’s group gathered in one room of the inn. Of course, they were discussing about what to do in the future, about the monsters and Steina.
However, even if they understood that, they came to the inn. Looking around the place as if it was the normal thing to do, they leaked out the voice of being impressed.
“Hmm… this is a really good inn.” (Soma)
“I agree… since it’s really taken care attentively, the old-fashioned style give a calm atmosphere. The owner seemed to be a nice person too.” (Felicia)
“…Yes. Besides, even though it’s still not night yet, it’s quiet here.” (Sheila)
The inn was located in a secluded place in the back alley. Conversely speaking, the possibility to hear noises was low. That would be impossible if the building faces the main street.
The interior looked fine, and they decided to stay without anyone objecting the idea, but it was really…
“It is thanks to that girl.” (Soma)
“…Yeah. After listening to you, I guess we won’t be here if the girl didn’t lose her way.” (Sheila)
“It feels weird to be thankful that she got lost, but looking from our point of view, it is exactly what it is. Aah of course, it is thanks to Steina for bringing her here.” (Felicia)
“I told you, I didn’t bring her here! Just obediently praise me for stumbling into this place, alright!” (Steina)
“We are obediently praising you, aren’t we?” (Soma)
They were fulfilling her wishes anyway.
In addition to that, it was certainly true that Steina was the one who found this place. However, her purpose wasn’t to find an inn.
By the way, when the little girl went shopping with her father, she got separated from him. To be exact, Steina went back to where she bought things, and after that she searched around again. After that, Steina brought the girl back home. The father took off his eyes of the little girl only for a moment. Of course, he thanked Steina many times earlier.
It seemed that the man had already been bereaved from his wife, and this inn seemed to be run by him alone. Unlike the daughter, Soma’s group were obviously human. Although he wondered why they were in such a place, they were guests after all. For starters, they didn’t know when they were going to leave the town, but they didn’t want to poke his nose into other people’s affairs. That was why, they didn’t ask the owner anything. They only told him that they were going to stay here for the time being.
“Well, our time is limited. It’s not only a matter of Steina, we also have an issue with the monsters. It would be better to come out with a conclusion as soon as possible, so let’s discuss it immediately.” (Soma)
“…Honestly, I can’t be convinced yet, but I don’t have any objections to the discussion, so I don’t mind.” (Steina)
“Depending on what we plan to do in the future, the preparations required will likely change as well. However, I’m basically entrusting the decision to you.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, I leave it to you.” (Sheila)
While discussing the matter, they were sitting in the proper place. The room wasn’t a large room since it was a single room. This room was Soma’s room, but there were three chairs. While Soma sat on the bed, the three of them were sitting on the chair. Hence, they were ready for the discussion.
But before that, Steina tilted her head, and opened her mouth while looking at Felicia.
“By the way, why don’t you take off your hood even though we are in a room?” (Steina)
“Aah… that is…” (Felicia)
That would be a natural question in a sense. Incidentally, it was impolite to keep hiding the face to the person who would like to travel together with them.
Well, since Soma decided this arbitrarily, there was no reason for the two not to follow it.
“Goodness, that’s not nice, you know.” (Soma)
“You’re right, but I’m going to keep asking if we are going to proceed ahead. If I can’t see the other person’s face, I can’t really proceed with the discussion.” (Steina)
“Hmm… I think you can guess what kind of face they have if they are doing so, especially in this situation, right?” (Soma)
“That is something you can do with someone you’re used to. Incidentally, the person who can do that easily is you.” (Steina)
“Uh-uhmm… Soma-san…?” (Felicia)
The reason why Felicia called out to Soma was because she didn’t see why Soma wanted to reject Steina’s request. Sheila was hiding her face together with Felicia, but she was hiding her face in order to avoid some hassle. In Felicia’s case, rather than the face… it was actually the color of her hair.
At least that was what Felicia thought… and Sheila, who was looking at her, was probably having a similar thought. Sheila was looking at Felicia, wondering what they should do.
However, Soma only put up a bitter smile. That attitude was normal since he wasn’t talking, but then, he let out a sigh.
“I don’t really want to bring trouble, you know?” (Soma)
“Hmm, well since you said that you want me to travel together with you, it’s alright to accept this much request of mine, right?” (Steina)
Those words made him bitterly smiled again, and shrugged his shoulders. While thinking what to say, he…
“Well, for now, it’s fine for both of you to reveal your face. Steina should know your identity.” (Soma)
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“…Are you really sure?” (Sheila)
“That’s true. You don’t have to tell me why you do that. I can just run away if you force me to do it. Even if my opponent is a Swordsmanship Gift Holder, I am confident that I can run away from them.” (Steina)
“…I see. It seems you know, is it?” (Sheila)
As soon as Sheila said that, she lowered her hood. The golden eyes that appeared were staring straight at Stina. It was like saying that if she did something strange, she wouldn’t be allowed to do so.
“…Haa. Understood. Certainly, I’m being rude.” (Steina)
Then, Felicia lowered her hood. The white hair that hadn’t been seen after a long time swayed lightly, and the red eyes were directed to Steina.
“I see. It doesn’t seem to be a lie.” (Steina)
“That’s normal because it’s true, but now, you know who are we, right?” (Felicia)
“…You’re not agitated at all. No matter how calm you are, you don’t normally think that there’s a Witch here. So if you don’t know who she was, you’d be restless.” (Sheila)
“I know it just by looking at it… at least, I’m confident. I can stay that either it is scary or trustworthy, right?” (Steina)
While Steina said that it was scary, she didn’t seem to be scared. Was it because she used to this, or was it because she was confident that she could do something, like what she said earlier?
However, Soma was more interested in other matters.
“Hmm…when you said trustworthy, could that be…” (Soma)
“Well, we have to come out with a decision first since the time is limited, but I have decided to go with you guys for the time being. I thought about it a lot, but it seems that it’s convenient. However, that is if you are still planning to travel with someone suspicious like me.” (Steina)
Soma shrugged his shoulders at Steina who uttered those words. Steina had said that many times, but Soma was aware that Steina was suspicious from the beginning.
“…If that’s the case, please treat us well.” (Sheila)
“That’s right. Well then, please take care of me as well.” (Felicia)
“Eh, eh!? Are-are you sure? Regardless of Soma, aren’t you suspicious to what I’ve said!?” (Steina)
It must have been quite unexpected for Steina that they nodded. Instead of became panicked, they had a wry smile on their face.
“Well, it’s true that you’re suspicious, but… I’ve seen what kind of person you are, even though it is in a short time.” (Felicia)
“…Yeah. Besides, if you are suspicious, I’m sure Soma won’t invite you to travel together.” (Sheila)
“I’m also a bit embarrassed about this, but… that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Well, you’ve underestimated these two.” (Soma)
“Ugh… I didn’t expect that they would accept it easily. Is this something I should expect to those who become your companions, Soma?” (Steina)
“I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to me.” (Soma)
It was just Soma has an eye for people.
The rest was as what Felicia said. He saw that person, and wanted to travel together.
It couldn’t be help if she thought he was acting.
“…Goodness, what a strange bunch of people. Well, nice to meet you all… let’s proceed to the next matter! It’s about the monsters…” (Steina)
She immediately changed the topic might be because she was embarrassed. It was indeed something they had to discuss, so Soma just kept on smiling and went along with it.
In fact, that was the focus of this discussion.
“Hmm… Anyhow, the guild didn’t seem to know much about it. If we noticed something, we wouldn’t have to return to the guild. By the way, do you have any idea, Steina?” (Soma)
“I know the feeling that you want to hear from a mysterious and beautiful girl like me, but unfortunately, I don’t know anything about it. I’ve never heard of this before.” (Steina)
Although it was like a joke, but it was true. At least, there was no feeling that she was lying.
“If there is such a thing that the monsters suddenly disappears, it won’t becoming a big topic. If it is old tales or folklore, I have heard it, but…” (Steina)
“Aah, well, it’s another thing if you expand the scope of the topic up to that point, but I wonder if it will be helpful.” (Felicia)
“..Even if we talk about it, we will get stuck.” (Steina)
“…Yes, I guess the information is still not enough.” (Sheila)
“That’s true.” (Soma)
They had spoken a little while before, but they still didn’t have sufficient information. Even if they made the decision, it was still too much. Although it was a topic they were focusing on, they had little to discuss.
“Speaking if the situation is a problem, there’s no problem.” (Soma)
“What do you mean by that?” (Felicia)
“Are you saying there won’t be a discussion unless we have something to talk about?” (Steina)
“No, there are other things we can talk about, right? However, it’s one thing, but at the same time, it’s the most important thing. Ultimately, that’s the only thing that matters.” (Soma)
“…Does that mean we have to decide whether we should stay here and get involved in the matter?” (Steina)
“That’s true.” (Soma)
If they had a lot of information, there would be more information to make judgments, but it wasn’t impossible to judge without it. It was possible to judge the matter even though the information wasn’t enough.
“For starters, if we don’t want to get involved in this kind of matter, we can just leave this place tomorrow. On the other hand, if there is a willingness to get involved, that would be the conclusion. Well, at least I can say that I don’t have anything to do with this.” (Soma)
“Me too. But then, I can’t say that I definitely won’t get involved with it.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, me too. If I have to say, it will be hard to remain here for a month, right? The holidays are over.” (Sheila)
“Aah, if you say that, I’m also like that. To put it simply, everyone is fine with any decision, but… what about you, Steina?” (Soma)
When Soma turned the water, Steina stopped trying to say something. The mouth which was about to be opened closed, but after a while it opened again.
“I’m… I’m also don’t mind any decision. I don’t really have any attachment on this matter.” (Steina)
“Hmm, in that case… what are we going to do next?” (Soma)
“I think it will be fine for Soma to decide. If… If I can say something, would it be… alright if we remain here?” (Steina)
“Well then, shall we remain here for the time being? From here on, it would be a good idea to make a sequential decision on what to do with the information obtained.” (Soma)
“I have no objection.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, I have none.” (Sheila)
Steina looked surprised at the decision that was easily made.
She tried to give her opinion, but she didn’t think that it would be accepted. She made that kind of expression.
“Th-that easily… is it alright to agree with my opinion easily!?” (Steina)
“Well, your opinion is similar to everyone else, right? So, it’s fine. On top of that, you’re the only one who said to remain here, so that decision is inevitably chosen, no?” (Soma)
“…I have a feeling that you are incredibly good at playing words, aren’t you? Did you purposely doing that on me?” (Steina)
“It’s just your imagination, isn’t it?” (Soma)
For starters, Soma had his concern in this matter. But at the same time, it was true that he thought it didn’t really matter. If no one had a reason to remain, he would have left this place without hesitation.
However, even if he didn’t say anything, it seemed Steina was worried about the situation here. Therefore, it was decided for them to remain here.
It had nothing to do with Soma’s purpose, but Soma had received a favor from Steina. There was nothing like this convenience.
As Soma thought about it, he shrugged his shoulders at Steina who was glaring at him.
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