Ex Strongest Swordsman 163 (Self Edited) – Tracking Down

 

Tracking Down

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As they continued to chase, Steina suddenly tilted her head. That was because she felt strange about the destination of the man ahead.

“That guy… where is he going?” (Steina)

“He is… going outside of the town, but that’s definitely strange.” (Felicia)

“…Yes. However, I don’t think he’s going to any building.” (Sheila)

“I agree…” (Steina)

In this town, there was a so-called town wall. It was a stone wall that surrounded the town and blocked the outside and the inside.

Although there was a wall to prevent monsters, people wouldn’t feel relieved if they could see the monsters outside, and the possibility of that was there. This fact was true in almost all town in this world.

Hence, that was why it was necessary to use the gates set up for the town to get in and out. Since the height of the wall was less than twenty meters, if people want to do it, they could cross over, but few would try to do it.

That way, they didn’t have to pay the toll, but if they were found out, they would be fine for nearly ten times the toll. Furthermore, the possibility to be found out was considerably high. For starters, the toll was cheap, so it was better to just pay the toll rather than committing such a risk.

There were four places where gates were installed, north, south, east and west. However, the destination of that man was a place that didn’t fall into the direction mentioned earlier no matter how they thought about it.

Their current location was southwest. Therefore, if people wanted to go outside, they had to go through the south or west gate. However, the man seemed to be heading to somewhere in the middle between the two gates.

“Could it be that… he is trying to cross over?” (Steina)

“Speaking of the possibility, I think that’s possible…” (Felicia)

It was true that there was a high possibility of being found out by doing so, and there were also a lot of disadvantages. On the other hand, there were advantages.

Passing through the gate also meant that the face could be seen. In the case of Sheila and Felicia, they only needed to see the face of someone who was with them, and they could have their way out, but still, if a person was alone, he wouldn’t be able to do anything. Either way, it was easy to identify people. On the contrary, it was inconvenient for criminals whose information was also known to other towns.

For those people, it was necessary to cross over the town wall even if it was a bit impossible to enter the town. So, there were actually methods that were hard to be discovered. Of course, the general public would never know, but there was a connection between criminals and the behind-the-scenes people. As a result, some information was shared, and… Steina knew some things too.

It was just that the wall of this town was certainly made in the era of the previous Demon King. There should be no loopholes or anything when it was combined with the nature of this town, but…

“…The destination is the town wall, is it? What are we going to do?” (Sheila)

Sheila said so because they were tracking him down around the corner as before. However, there was a possibility of losing sight of him if he jumped over the town wall. Certainly, it was in Steina’s view as well that the city wall was around that corner. Indeed, there was a high possibility of losing sight of him.

“You’re right… rather, is it alright for me to make the decision?” (Steina)

“…Why are you asking that? Aren’t you the one who decided to follow him?” (Felicia)

“…Yes, asking this question at this late hour…” (Sheila)

The two were right, so… she gave a bitter smile at them. Sheila had no doubt about it, but even though Felicia had some, if she really doubted Steina, she wouldn’t give her the right to decide. They hadn’t forgotten that was their role at times like this, but whatever it was… they were being nice to her.

She thought that everyone was nice, but… she never thought about this at all, so she let out a sigh. But if they had reached this far, it was already too late to ask that question. She decided to squint her eyes at what was in front of her.

“That can’t be helped… if he notices us, we have to give up and try to catch him later.” (Steina)

“Understood.” (Felicia)

“…Yes.” (Steina)

The reason why they were following that person was only to confirm what he was trying to do. They were also let the person set free for now, but it would be better than losing sight of him.

Rather, Steina still didn’t know why she thought that person was suspicious, but she still didn’t see any hesitation from the two who were nodding. Giving a bitter smile again, she exposed herself from the corner. All that was left was to pray that he wouldn’t notice them.

She took a breath, let it out, and stared at his back. Eventually, his back disappeared to the other side of the corner.

“Now.” (Steina)

With Stina’s signal, the three of them jumped all at once. Sheila took the lead immediately, Steina was a little late, and Felicia was even late. This was unavoidable, but there was no need to worry. In short, it would be nice if anyone could see what that man would do.

However, because of the movement at that speed, the sound couldn’t be suppressed indeed. There was a good chance that they would be noticed, and in that case, they had to change the objective to capture the man.

Sheila, who was the first to arrive, stopped moving on the spot. The fact that she didn’t move to capture… she wondered if he didn’t notice them.

Perhaps, it was likely that the man had already disappeared without being able to catch up. Steina, who caught her up a few seconds later, tilted her head when she lined up next to Sheila. Somehow, Sheila was in shock.

“What is it? Somehow, I don’t think we should lose sight of him, but I don’t see him.” (Steina)

“…Well, I was able to follow him to the end.” (Sheila)

“Does that mean that he went out from here as we expected? It’s not like there is any other building.” (Steina)

“…Yes, he certainly went out from here, but…” (Sheila)

While they were talking, Felicia was finally catching them up. The distance shouldn’t be that far, but it couldn’t be helped if she was out of breath.

The Witch ran with all her might to follow them. It was normal to get tired.

However, it was clear that Felicia was not able to catch up. It would be nice if she was seen alone by anyone, so she slowly walked towards them, but… she didn’t do it probably because of her personality.

While thinking such a thing, Steina met her while smiling wryly.

“Haa… so, what… happened?” (Felicia)

“It’s fine if you do not overdo it and adjust your breath. Well, I’m also asking for it now. I know he went outside, but why are you so surprised?” (Steina)

She wasn’t really overemphasizing though. In the first place, they must follow him. If they had given up here, that meant that there was no meaning to chase after him anymore.

They couldn’t afford to jump over by themselves, and they didn’t have to go to the gate now and move to the other side. The other side of this wall was just a wide grassland spreading, so they thought that they wouldn’t lose sight of him soon. However, they had to get out from this place in order to do that. Anyhow, they didn’t understand what the man was trying to do.

However, Sheila, who might know what had happened, didn’t try to open her mouth. It was just that she didn’t understand what she saw.

“…That man was walking through it to go out. He didn’t jump over it or do anything else. It’s like there’s no wall.” (Sheila)

She opened her mouth in that way.

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“I wonder what happened after all.” (Steina)

While they were discussing what was going on, Sheila and the other two went to the west gate. She didn’t feel like going to the south. When she was wondering which direction to go, she was somehow in the mood of going to the west direction. It wasn’t because the tattered buildings she would see on the way to the south.

By the way, she had verified the wall that she heard from Sheila earlier, but…

“When I checked it, it was a normal wall. So, did he used magic?” (Steina)

“…I don’t think so.” (Sheila)

“In the first place, there would be a response on the town wall if magic is used, but… Aah, I mean, that is possible around that part? Well, it’s not like I can’t try it, but I don’t think I’ll be able to come to a conclusion right away.” (Steina)

“Speaking of trying it, are you talking about using magic?” (Felicia)

“Yes, more or less. Since I can’t use detection skill, I didn’t say anything before when we went out.” (Steina)

“…Hmm.” (Sheila)

Rather than showing dissatisfaction, Sheila displayed that she was somehow frustrated, and Steina knew why. She knew it while searching various matters about the Elves.

However, it was just suspicious to hear not from the person herself. She didn’t want to be bothered. Just in case, Steina pretended not to know and tilted her head.

“Hmm… if you think about it, I would say that there was some special trick in place, so… didn’t he do something strange?” (Steina)

“…As far as I could see, I didn’t think so? But he seemed to be muttering something, so it might be magic after all?” (Sheila)

“If that was the only thing, he could have used some kind of trick, but… well, it doesn’t really matter.” (Steina)

Steina understood that it was a profound mystery, but she didn’t know how it was done. Although it was visible in the wall, it was just a hallucination. If there was a hole there, the man wouldn’t hesitate to use it, but it was irrelevant if they couldn’t go through it. It was better to go out from the gate and chased him.

As she was thinking that…

“…Yes? We can’t go through?” (Steina)

“As I said, you need a permit to get through here. The situation will be explained to you if you go to the adventurer Guild, and a permit is issued if it is deemed necessary. That’s all. Move on.” (??)

They were rejection without hesitation, and the hand was shooing them away. Honestly, there was no point to mention what was going on here. Therefore, they had no choice but to back down.

It was possible if they wanted to go through by force, but… when Steina wondered whether she had to go that far, it was questionable.

“So, what should we do?” (Felicia)

“…Give up?” (Sheila)

“I guess it can’t be helped. I don’t think we will be able to get a permit in the first place.” (Steina)

Perhaps, it was possible to discuss about this matter, but… Steina hadn’t discuss about this just yet since she didn’t think the situation was this serious. But if Steina really considered about those girls, she probably should discuss with them…

“…No, it’s not like I mind about these people, but…” (Steina)

“…Steina-san?” (Felicia)

“Aah, no, it’s nothing. Well, I’m afraid we have to give up. Anyhow, should we search on this side next time?” (Steina)

“…Yes.” (Steina)

“Understood. Even so, Soma-san should have done something about this, right?” (Felicia)

“It’s true that Soma would have done something quickly, but… I don’t think he hasn’t gone out yet.” (Steina)

Although that couldn’t be denied, it wasn’t true. It was better to think of other possibilities.

“…The guild staff are more dependable than expected?” (Sheila)

“It seems so.” (Felicia)

“However, when it comes to that… can Soma-san get out from here without problem?” (Felicia)

“…I feel like he has gone out.” (Sheila)

Steina also felt the same. Even if Soma didn’t force his way out, it feels like he was able to get out for some reason.

While they were discussing about her, it turned out that Felicia also had a similar thought. So, Steina nodded with a wry smile.

“Well… rather than worrying about that guy, we should worry over here. We can’t get a clue if we leave things like this.” (Steina)

“It’s regrettable, but… is there any other way to say it?” (Felicia)

“…Yes, let’s do our best.” (Sheila)

They turned to the southwest direction once, but as Felicia had said, it was inevitable to do this again. As they turned forward to regain their mind, they resumed their search.

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