Determination and Readiness
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“Dear me… I barely manage to save you.” (Soma)
While saying so and let out a breath of relief, Soma looked around.
There was a lot of blood in the room where everything was destroyed and things were scattered. The inn’s owner and Steina collapsed in the passageway, and both of them were seriously injured. Although the little girl lied down near the entrance, she didn’t have any injuries, so Soma gave priority to coming here. Apparently, that was a correct decision.
As Soma understood the general circumstances, he let out a breath again while considering the situation.
“Why… are… you… here?” (Steina)
When Soma turned to the voice, Steina was trying to raise her body. Obviously, it wasn’t a good idea to overdo it. That action itself was unreasonably reckless. While letting out a breath with a different meaning than before, he approached her for the time being and decided to give treatment first.
“Hmm…Why? Well let me say that I had a bad feeling somehow?” (Soma)
“It’s…a bother… because… it’s… sounds… true… when… you… say… it…” (Steina)
“Well, if I answered honestly, I heard it from Sheila who I met by chance in the guild.
That was why he left the rest to Sheila and Felicia, and came here.” (Soma)
Well, since he had an unpleasant premonition there, he rushed here. Therefore, the previous reply wasn’t exactly a joke or a lie.
Then, while exchanging words, Soma swung his sword, and then, Steina opened her eyes lightly. However, immediately after that, she nodded as if she was convinced what was told to her.
“I… see. It… would… be nice… if… you… aren’t… smiling. I… think… I… will… die… even… if… you… don’t… kill… it…” (Steina)
“It’s troublesome if you’re convinced that will be the direction of the day after tomorrow. Well, it’s already too much, so it’ll be faster to do it rather than explaining it first.
— The Rule of the Sword – Divine Protection of the Dragon God – Single Mind – Serene State of Mind – Void Eyes: Secret Technique – True Sword of Compassion. (TLN: In chapter 32, it’s only at the ‘Self Taught – Imitation’ level)
After swinging down the sword, Soma left Steina who was looking down on her body with a strange face. Then, he head to the inn’s owner and shook the sword in the same way. That should be fine for the time being.
After that, when Soma returned to Steina with his sword, she seemed to understand what had happened, but had an inexplicable expression.
“…Didn’t you say that you can’t use magic?” (Steina)
“Hmm? You’re right, I don’t use magic. What are you talking about? I’m just using sword technique just now.” (Soma)
“As for me, I want to ask what are you talking about, you know? I feel like… nah, that’s fine. The one who is being unreasonable this time is you.” (Steina)
Her face seemed to be inexplicable, but she seems to be convinced. Steina stood up slowly while letting out a breath.
This time, Soma wasn’t as convinced, but… well, that wasn’t something to mention for now. He decided to take care of the matter first.
“In the meantime, are the culprits of this situation have been defeated… or are they killed? Or is it just the monster earlier?” (Steina)
“You got that right. I was trying to say that. But you understand it very well.” (Soma)
“Well, half of it from the guess, and I wonder if the other half is by the experience.” (Soma)
“What kind of experience do you have to reach this conclusion from this level…?” (Steina)
“It’s nothing much.” (Soma)
In addition to the experience, there were some stories he had somewhat heard. Either way, it wasn’t something he could be proud of.
“Anyhow, it’s depending on Sheila and Felicia now I think? Well, you don’t have to worry about it.” (Soma)
“I don’t think that’s the case, but it feels like that when you say it.” (Steina)
“I think I’m trying to buy some time.” (Soma)
Soma said that and shrugged his shoulders. For the time being, that was the only conclusion they had. He thought that it would be a good idea to check each other’s information in order to know what was going on.
“The guild will probably ask us, so it will be faster to check it over there, yes? When I think I have to explain again to Sheila and Felicia, it will be a hassle to do it twice.” (Soma)
“Indeed. We can also check if things went really well. Well… what about them?” (Steina)
Steina turned his gaze toward the inn’s owner, who hadn’t regained consciousness yet. She mentioned them which definitely included the little girl.
She was sure it would be fine to leave them, but it was a bit too much to leave that monster as it was.
“Hmm… well, these people may know the situation. By considering that, should we take them with us and ask for an explanation? Perhaps, the guild will think the same way.” (Soma)
“Well, they are safe, right?” (Steina)
If there was a problem, that was to carry them or to move together when they woke up… well, it wasn’t a good idea, so it’s better for them to wake up. They might hear some explanation while moving to the guild.
In this way, Steina headed to the little girl while Soma headed to the inn’s owner to wake him up.
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In conclusion, the inn’s owner didn’t speak anything to Soma and the guild. He had consistently said that he didn’t know what was going on and why his daughter was about to be kidnapped, and other things, but… obviously, it was clear to everyone that he was lying. That was because his appearance was just too obvious.
Still, no one mentioned anything about it since he had decided not to speak when asked. Of course, the inn’s owner wouldn’t do that if Steina asked him, but she had no obligation to do such a thing. It was just that… no, there was no need to think anymore.
Steina was impressed by the appearance of the inn’s owner. There was definitely a determination. He said that he would protect his daughter no matter what happened to her.
It was probably because of that Soma and other didn’t feel like hearing the details.
In any case, it was enough to make Steina to think about the matter. About the present, the past and the future. What she was doing, what she had done, and what she was trying to do. And what she had to do.
Steina reached out to her pocket half-unconsciously. What was there was a certain monster material. It was collected before meeting Soma’s here…
“Hmm… well, what is it?” (Soma)
“Hmm? Aah, did you come back?” (Steina)
When she turned to the voice heard, Soma was just returning. He casually lowered his arm and looked at the situation while tilting his head. Like what he said earlier, he seemed to be troubled with something.
“What is it? Did they say anything?” (Steina)
“…It’s not like that.” (Sheila)
“You’re right… There are things that don’t make sense, but I think that is a good explanation.” (Felicia)
“So, what is Soma worried about?” (Steina)
By the way, they were in the Adventurer’s Guild. Where Soma’s group had been was the meeting room that adventurers weren’t allowed to enter unless they had permission. They should have been talking about this matter, so they wondered if he was told something troublesome, but it seemed to be different. What did that mean?
“Well, I will talk about it on the way to the inn. I would rather not talking here.” (Soma)
“Well, that’s true.” (Felicia)
There should be less number of people there due to the time, but there was a considerable number of people due to the situation. Rather than the adventurers, there were travelers and inhabitants who wanted to hear about this.
Since they came out from the rear of the guild in such a situation, there was no way they wouldn’t get the attention. Although they were not looked into the eyes, they noticed the attention was directed to the surroundings.
They might have been told to keep it a secret, but it was certainly not something to talk about. Wondering a little bit on what they should do, they, then, had no objection to head to the inn. Sheila and Felicia might have been told about this before since they left without saying. Then, the rest left the guild.
A certain amount of time should have passed since the situation had been solved in a way, but there was still a sense of tension in the town. Well, it was natural since the town was still sealed off and there was no official announcement from the guild.
“So, what did you talk about?” (Steina)
As she walked in the middle, she raised the question to Soma. Soma was still thinking about something, but that might have led to some conclusions. Then, he nodded and opened his mouth.
“Hmm… no matter what I was told, it’s almost a confirmation of what was found in this situation. However, there is almost nothing to understand.” (Soma)
“Well, I’ve caught people who seem to have the information, but it doesn’t seem to wake up yet.” (Steina)
“…Yes, that’s the guild’s job.” (Sheila)
“Yes. To begin with, I was also called because they thought that I might know something. Well, I didn’t want to go there.” (Steina)
That was why Soma was called into the meeting room, and Steina didn’t go because she thought that it was unnecessary. To be honest, Steina had nothing to confirm about the matter, and as she said earlier, she didn’t have the intention to tell the guild anything. She had already spoken to Soma about what she knew, so she didn’t have to go.
She only said that there was nothing wrong. Steina didn’t talk about what that girl was, or anything that seemed related to the situation. The reason for not doing so wasn’t because for the inn’s owner, but for herself.
If she explained halfway, her identity might be exposed and she might be suspected of having been involved in this case. Although she didn’t think so, it was necessary to consider the case in the unlikely event. That was especially true when there were strangely sharp people.
However, that didn’t mean that Steina was no longer able to know what that girl was… Well, what she ended to know was something else. Besides, she had a consideration together with that thought.
Steina had heard it before. She forgot who said it, but they were planning to use a live weapon during the previous revolt. Most of them failed at the production stage, and the only successful example was taken away by the traitor before it was decided to do it… For Steina, that wasn’t a problem.
“So, what was the problem after all?” (Steina)
“There was no problem with the discussion itself. I explained that the little girl was aimed for some reason. It was done by the same person who caused the problem with the monsters, and the person was already dead. Aah, I wonder if they are fighting over how to deal with the magic tool.” (Soma)
“Why they are fighting over it? Didn’t you decide to give it to the guild since the tool was left as it was?” (Steina)
“…It seems the guild didn’t try to accept it.” (Sheila)
“They probably think that it’s a hassle. Well, it’s obviously a tricky one.” (Felicia)
“Even though I was told to deal with it, I have no responsibility. I managed to push it over there somehow, and moved to the next discussion…” (Soma)
“Next discussion? About what?” (Steina)
It should have been just to confirm this situation. Could it be that there was something more, and that was the problem?
“No, the next discussion is just a different discussion. The matter this time have been solved, but then, it’s a discussion about what we are going to from now on.” (Soma)
“Is it about when they are going to release the blockade? I think we’ve already solved the case, but it could be just in case.” (Felicia)
“As for that, they have no choice but to ask from the culprits who are still alive, but is that what the guild thinking about? Why they were discussing about it?” (Steina)
“…I suppose they want to pass the responsibility even a little?” (Sheila)
“…Is this guild alright?” (Felicia)
“Well, it’s not something that we care about, and the fact that we’ve been alright until now means that it’s alright.” (Soma)
For the time being, it seemed that they were able to escape safely. The release of the blockade would also take place tomorrow… or rather, it would be until today…
“That was why they were thinking about what to do.
“…I see. That’s how it is.” (Steina)
In other words, Soma was worried whether they would get involved in this matter to the end.
Although the situation was almost over, the surviving culprits would be interrogated, and there might still be something else. Did they have to stay here until those concerns disappeared? Or will they leave this town early tomorrow since their business here finished? Soma was considering these options.
“What do both of you think?” (Steina)
“…I’ll leave it to Soma.” (Sheila)
“Well, there’s a reason for both options. I won’t say anything, so I’ll leave it to Soma.” (Felicia)
“Yeah… In that case, I’ll as it as a part of the advice. I think that it is good to leave tomorrow.” (Steina)
“Hmm… do you have something in mind?” (Soma)
“We’re outsiders after all. We’ve done enough so far, and we should leave it to them. It’s different if you aren’t planning to do anything, but you have a plan, right? Then, I think it’s even better, and we should give priority to that.” (Steina)
While shrugging his shoulder, that was his original plan. It was in a double sense though. In a sense of that he actually thought so and wanting to do so.
As long as they promised to travel together, the trends Soma’s group would be synonymous with Steina. That was why he wanted to do it for themselves to fulfill the purpose.
“Hmm… I wonder if that’s the case. As a thank you for cooperating with this situation, the guild gave me enough rewards, so we no longer have to make money here.” (Soma)
“I see. Then, it’s good. …I already decided to do that too.” (Steina)
On the last word came out from the mouth, Steina turned her gaze forward. There was a crowd of people who were still making noises. While narrowing her eyes, she let out a small breath.
There was no such thing as to why everything was going to work out so well. Nothing changed regardless of being harmed, and even if they seemed to have changed, there was no change in reality. The past couldn’t be changed, the present was depend in her hands, and the future has been decided long ago.
There was only one choice. Therefore, Steina decided to prepare for it.
Then, while thinking about the future, Steina turned her foot the back alley that led to the inn.
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