Ex Strongest, Reporting to Each Other
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Soma returned to the inn after doing three round trips between the outside and the guild.
The reason why he stopped by the guild every time he went around the outside was to exchange information. Well, on the first round trip, one of the reasons was that he found something that could be made as a gift by chance, but more importantly, both parties didn’t know much about the present situation. He did so with a feeling of obtaining information even a little.
However, he concluded that he couldn’t get anything from the other side, but… in any case, it was necessary to stop at the guild once on the first round trip because of a gift. Considering that it didn’t need a lot of time and effort, he did that as a courtesy. It wasn’t something he cared about though.
Anyhow, when he went back, Sheila and others had already returned to the inn. They should report the result to each other, but… it was about time when the sun was about to set outside. For that reason, they decided to talk while having dinner.
“…Well, I guess that’s the situation for now.” (Soma)
Soma didn’t have much to report. He went around the town three times, and eventually, he tried to go to a place far from the town, but he didn’t find anything unusual.
At best, the reasoning they got yesterday was reinforced, and that was he saw a similar monster in the vicinity of the town. This had convinced them that this was almost artificially triggered, but it wouldn’t be so important.
From the beginning, they made plans with that fact in mind. If they didn’t have a clue to solve it, then…
“Aah, no… I can’t say that it’s a clue, but if I say that there was nothing, I’m putting it in a wrong way.” (Soma)
“Eh, did you find anything?” (Steina)
“Rather than finding something, I’m picking up something…?” (Soma)
It was during his first lap. Even after leaving the town, he never encountered a monster. This was just the point where he started thinking that he was having too much free time. Then, he sensed both signs of people and monsters.
If he had to make a deduction, there might be someone in a dangerous situation. When he went there in hurry… there was a bit of surprise there. There was a monster that didn’t move and a man in a black robe a little away from it.
For a moment, Soma thought that the monster was defeated, but from the sign that he felt, he could see that wasn’t the case. Then, if it wasn’t provoked, the monster would be considered as an adult, and… if that happened, the problem was the person in the robe. It was suspicious no matter how he thought about it, and honestly, he couldn’t say that the man was a human as well. While thinking that there might be some reason, he was wondering what to do. Then, rather than calling the man, he noticed something over there.
Soma thought that he was going to ask what that person was doing since it was convenient to do that, but… for some reason, that man smacked his lips and attacked him suddenly.
“So, of course you fought him back, right?” (Steina)
“I don’t understand why you mentioned of course, but… well, if I have to say it, that’s true.” (Soma)
“…Why did he attack you?” (Sheila)
“I was wondering about that as well, but…” (Soma)
“Uh, could it be that you got carried away and kill him?” (Felicia)
“Hey, what are you guys thinking of me?” (Soma)
Soma didn’t mean to kill that man in the first place, but he also didn’t intend to cause him to lose her consciousness. He thought that he would just simply neutralized him, so he slammed him on the ground lightly…
“…Did you get carried away and slammed him?” (Steina)
“I’m not saying anything anymore, but I think that would have been better. I mean if that can make you understand easily.” (Soma)
“…What do you mean?” (Steina)
“He lost consciousness immediately after that, and he didn’t wake up no matter what I did.” (Soma)
Soma had no choice but to take him to the guild because he was obviously suspicious, but when he stopped there for the last time, the man still hadn’t regained consciousness. By the way, the gift was for that person, but in that situation, he subtly wondered whether the gift was enough or not.
“Is it because you hit his head?” (Steina)
“No, he was put down to the ground because I only hit his stomach. So, what you said is not possible.” (Soma)
“It sounds painful, but… anyway, why he suddenly lose consciousness?” (Felicia)
“If I knew that, I wouldn’t have a hard time, but… the moment he hit on the ground, I felt that his mouth was moving. It was as if he was swallowing something.” (Soma)
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“It’s very likely.” (Soma)
Whatever means that person used, it could be assumed that there was a consideration he had to make confession. Therefore, it was rare to put oneself into a state of asphyxiation or let it sleep in order to avoid confession.
Of course, it would be a story of a distant world if the person was an average person, but…
“It’s getting more suspicious.” (Steina)
“Well, at that point, he would already confess halfway. But that means he wanted to prevent further information from being leaked. Nevertheless, he would wake up at one point where he is now.” (Soma)
“In other words, was he trying to do something in the near future?” (Felicia)
“It’s either he’s doing something right now, or he’s planning to do it in the near future.” (Soma)
In any case, after everything had ended, there was no problem with being exposed, and Soma’s group was aware of that fact.
“…Is it related to the present situation?” (Sheila)
“At least the guild seems to have considered that idea.” (Soma)
On the basis of this, they seemed to be convinced that this situation was artificially caused. Since the guild had plan to enforce the blockade from the very beginning, this could be used to persuade the surroundings about the blockade.
“By the way, do you all three feel strangely ridiculed about the discussion now?” (Soma)
“Well… before we discuss further, may I know where is the person in black robe was found?” (Steina)
“Sure, it was at the south of the town. To be precise, I think it was about a kilometer to the southwest direction?” (Soma)
Hearing Soma’s words, the three looked at each other and nodded. Then, they opened their mouth toward Soma who was tilting his neck. About what they had experienced today and who they saw.
“…I see. We found a person in a black robe, that he went out from the southwest of the town.” (Sheila)
“I think that there’s a good chance the person you’ve talked about is the same person who we saw.” (Felicia)
“Well, it’s hard to think of it as a coincidence, and… the time seems to be about the same time.” (Soma)
“The question is, does that person related to this situation? Even if it is, it means that we are no longer able to question him. Well, there’s no need to discuss more than this.” (Steina)
“…Yes, no one is solely responsible in this matter since this is everyone’s responsibility.” (Sheila)
“It would be helpful if you could say so.” (Soma)
Well, at least it should be enough to find out that something could happen in the near future. He had a thought that it was fine if they searched around leisurely, and there was no need to hurry.
It was possible that nothing would happen, and the current uproar had ended. The problem might still remained, but it wasn’t something Soma cared about. What they should be worried now was the solution to what was happening. It was no more or less than that.
“Hmm… for now, is this the only things to report to each other?” (Soma)
“You’re right… I mean there wasn’t much progress anyway.” (Felicia)
“Rather than saying that it can’t be helped, we should say that we haven’t gotten any clue. The guild is moving quickly as well, so I think it’s fine to think only the things we can do.” (Steina)
“…Yes, I agree with Steina.” (Sheila)
“Well, that’s true.” (Soma)
Then, the desserts were brought at the end of today’s dinner as if it were waiting for the discussion to end. It looked like a white ice cream… it was a sherbet.
This dessert only came out during the dinner, and they ate it yesterday. When they brought a spoon of it to their mouth, a refreshing flavor ran through. The meals were good, and they were satisfied enough considering the price, but this sherbet was exceptional.
To be honest, staying here today was satisfactory enough, and there was no reason to move to another inn. So, the thought of having the sherbet was actually thirty percent of the price. It was delicious.
“Hmm… this is really delicious.” (Soma)
“Thank you very much. I think my daughter would be happy if you say that.” (Owner)
Yes, the owner told that his daughter was the one who made the sherbet. The other dishes were made by the owner and only desserts were made by the little girl. He would like to ask her how she made it, but she probably wouldn’t tell him.
“I think that this alone will be enough reason for customers to come here.” (Steina)
“Haha… As a parent, I’m proud of that compliment, but we can’t make too much of it. I was satisfied with this life, so I didn’t intend to do anything else about it…” (Owner)
“You said it in past tense. Does that mean you will move to the main street?” (Steina)
“No, I think I’ve told you yesterday, but I don’t consider that. If anything, it’s rather the opposite. …Actually, I’m thinking of closing the business.” (Owner)
“…Is it because people are not coming here?” (Sheila)
“That’s not the case, but for another reason. Even if I said that, in fact, if there weren’t any customers, I thought I would fold the store around today and leave this city.” (Owner)
“Hmm… could that be you’ve gotten something in the way?” (Soma)
“No, if that’s the case, I would have refused. I thought that this was also a chance, so I decided to offer you proper hospitality and close down the business.” (Owner)
From the face of the owner, he didn’t seem to be lying. It felt like he was hiding something, but at the same time, he was probably being honest.
“I think the atmosphere is good, so it’s a waste to close the inn, but… it can’t be helped if you have decided that.” (Felicia)
“I really appreciate when you say so, but… yes, I’ve decided. However, I think that it was a correct answer as I am able to say so until at the end. Anyhow, it’s very likely that I couldn’t get out from this town today.” (Owner)
“Aah… you know that.” (Steina)
“When I went for shopping, it’s obvious to hear about it. By the way, I’m not worried since it’s not related to us, but… it seems things going to get a lot harder.” (Owner)
“It seems so…” (Soma)
The owner seemed to hear about the guild wasn’t going to issue permit to go outside with some exceptions. He was told that by a merchant. It was because the guild didn’t know who was the culprit
In other words, the possibility of the owner and his daughter couldn’t leave this town today was very high. Again, it was also true that the town would be in trouble. The guild probably would be able to take care things for a few days, but they didn’t know what would happen after a week. Before that happened, Soma would like to do something about it. Anyhow, since this matter couldn’t be overcome with strength, it caused the present situation.
In that case, Soma thought about the person he handed over, but… he seemed to be harmless, maybe?
“I just realized that it wouldn’t be good to turn Soma into an enemy, isn’t it?” (Steina)
“…Yes, indeed.” (Sheila)
“If it’s Soma-san, he probably decides that it’s not necessary to do it deliberately. If it’s him, the town will be destroyed in no time.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, that’s also true.” (Sheila)
“You guys… why do I feel like you are being strangely impolite towards me today?” (Soma)
He wondered why those three were acting in that way. Were they got excited with the discussion? It was a good thing that the three of them got along well, but he didn’t want himself to be the middle of it. While thinking about such a thing, Soma carried the last sip of sherbet in the mouth, and shrugged his shoulders to the three who were laughing.
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