Ex Strongest, Confirming with the Reunited Girl
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“It’s been a long time, Aina… again” (Soma)
“Why did you emphasize the word ‘again’… you can just say it’s been a long time. Well… yes, it’s been a long time, Soma. To be honest, I never thought that you would be here.” (Aina)
“That’s also my line.” (Soma)
Soma shrugged her shoulder to Aina who turned her eyes. He understood what she wanted to say, but he also wanted to argue. It wasn’t like he wanted to be here. Since that part was easily transmitted, she was probably doing that on purpose.
Some time had passed since he happened to meet Aina in front of the house which seemed to be the village head’s. Outside the window, the sky was blackening, indicating that the night was just around the corner.
And as the words ‘outside the window’s were used, Soma’s group is inside the house. However, it’s not the village head’s house or the inn. This was Aina’s house.
Strictly speaking, whether it should be said that this was Aina’s house, it actually something close to a holiday house. The size wasn’t much different from the surrounding houses, but it was enough for four people to stay. There seemed to be no stockpile of food as expected, but it wouldn’t be a problem since they brought some.
As he looked around while thinking about such a thing, Aina let out a sigh as if she had given up.
“…Well, it’s fine. I’ll tell you more about that later… It’s unexpected for you to be here.” (Aina)
As Aina said so, she looked at Sheila. There was an unreasonable impression on the face, and she agreed with it. If it was a matter of someone else, she sure that Soma would have thought the same thing.
By the way, Sheila took off the hood since there were no other people. The blonde hair flowed smoothly at the time when the head moved in the shape of a whisper.
“…Yeah, to be honest, this was unexpected for me as well.” (Sheila)
“Well, I’m pretty sure a lot of things have happened. If Soma was there, there was no reason why it wouldn’t be. For now, it’s been a while.” (Aina)
“…Yes, it’s been a while.” (Sheila)
They made the reunion greetings easily as before, but they moved immediately because of the current location. That was Soma was doing the same thing.
“By the way, why do I feel that I’ve been told something outrageous just now? What do you mean there was a lot of things had happened just because I was there?” (Soma)
“Are you telling me there was nothing happened? Are you going to say that there was nothing unusual?” (Aina)
“…There were a lot of things.” (Sheila)
“Well, that’s certainly the case, but it wasn’t because I was there, no?” (Soma)
“Is that so? If Soma wasn’t there, both Sheila and I would be here now, and we wouldn’t have been caught up in the trouble in that previous town. So I can say that Soma was involved, right?” (Felicia)
At the moment when Felicia entered the conversation, Aina’s appearance became a bit suspicious. She should have done a light self-introduction, but apparently, it seemed that the shyness was still there. However, it would be another matter whether the shyness would go away in one or two months.
After that… Felicia’s appearance might also be related. Unlike Sheila, Felicia was still wearing a hood. It was natural because she cared about it more than necessary.
“Well, if you say something like that, it’s not true, and… isn’t that a bit far-fetched?” (Soma)
“Is that so? …Sheila, what do you think?” (Felicia)
“…It’s Soma, it can’t be helped, right?” (Sheila)
“I don’t get it…” (Soma)
“That’s because of daily activities. Even so, you seem to have been as usual. You seem to have it hard too… uhm, is it alright if I call you Felicia-san?” (Aina)
“I don’t mind with just Felicia. The tone is like a habit, and I’m not used to have honorific attached to my name. …That is what it is.” (Felicia)
Felicia felt hesitant for a moment, but she took off her hood. Aina was slightly breathless when looking at the white hair and red eyes that appeared. As expected, there was no reason not to notice the meaning.
But then, Aina let out a small breath and immediately scattered the air of hesitation. Or perhaps, she had been convinced.
“Yes… Then, I’ll call you Felicia. You can call me whatever you want.” (Aina)
“I understand. Aina-san. May I ask you something?” (Felicia)
“It’s fine. What is it?” (Aina)
“Well. Uhm, are you concerned about me? I mean…” (Felicia)
“Are you talking about you being a Witch? It would be a lie if I don’t have any concern. In fact, I do. But I don’t think I need to be concerned about it.” (Aina)
“Why is that?” (Felicia)
Along with that question, Aina turned her eyes to him for some reason. With a sigh as well…
“That’s because of the idiot there. There must be something going on with him, and you have decided to travel together. In that case, you don’t have to worry. It’s just that I experienced the same matter myself.” (Aina)
“…I see. I’m convinced.” (Felicia)
Soma was a bit worried that they both were looking at each other as if they understood something… then, he secretly let out a small breath. It was a relief that they seemed could get along without problems.
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He thought that it would be fine, and that was why he told Felicia in advance. Nevertheless, there was a possibility that Aina would act the opposite way. However, such a concern seemed unfounded. Because of that, Soma became more confident that it would be safe to return to Radeus as it was, and he loosened his mouth.
“Even so, I’ve heard about you from Soma-san beforehand, but I was actually relieved when I heard it with my ears.” (Felicia)
“Eh? Soma did…?” (Aina)
“Well. We were talking about it since there was a lot of time while traveling to here.” (Felicia)
“…Yeah. I’m not very good at talking, so Soma was talking about you mainly.” (Sheila)
That was true, but it felt only half of it. Certainly, Soma talked a lot to kill time, but not just Felicia, Sheila also was talking about her. In the end, Soma and Felicia were talking 40% each, and the remaining was Sheila.
However, it wasn’t something that Sheila dared to deny, so she heard quietly.
“Th-that… may I ask what Soma was talking about me in particular? Ye-yeah, what did you talk about, because I’m concerned?” (Aina)
Felicia turned her eyes for a moment to confirm whether it was fine to say. Therefore, Soma shrugged his shoulders. It wasn’t like he was talking bad about her behind her back, and it wasn’t something to be embarrassed about.
“There were various things, so it’s difficult to put it together in one word, but… nevertheless, if I have to use a word, I guess you are an interesting person?” (Felicia)
“…Hey, Soma, what did you talk about…?” (Aina)
“Calm down, Aina. I remember telling the story myself… well maybe.” (Soma)
“…Yeah, it was quite interesting to make fun of. Especially me…” (Sheila)
“I see… this is exactly what I had heard.” (Felicia)
“Hey… even you, Felicia…!?” (Aina)
“Well, let’s stop talking in half-joke manner…” (Felicia)
“Is that what you call talking in half-joke manner…?” (Aina)
Even if Aina said so with her glaring eyes, Felicia felt that she wasn’t bothered at all. Should she say that this was something unexpected about AIna?
“You look gentle when you seriously answer, but you’re not. It feels like you’re a wicked person, aren’t you? Well, as far as I’ve heard, it’s just my impression.” (AIna)
“Y-yes… should I say thank you?” (Felicia)
“I feel like something is different, but… let me just say, you’re welcome.” (Aina)
It seemed a bit awkward to say so, but the two were able to smile as they shortened the distance of the relationship. As expected, it might be difficult to shorten it at once, but Soma was satisfied when looking at the mood.
“Even so…” (Aina)
Then, Aina tilted her head while looking at Felicia. Aina looked wondering about something…
“Uhm… are you concerned about my hair? If it is so, I’ll wear the hood.” (Felicia)
“Aah, sorry, that’s not it. I mean, Sheila and Felicia are sisters, right? In addition to that, the age difference seems reasonable. I’m convinced if you tell me that you are sisters, but I cannot see the difference in age.” (Aina)
“I see. Is that it? Well, it may be difficult to guess because of who we are.” (Felicia)
“…Yes, the age difference between me and Nii-san is a lot farther.” (Sheila)
“Hmm… I honestly don’t care at all.” (Soma)
“Hey, please do care. Your age is about the same as mine.” (Aina)
That being said, although Soma knew about the fact, she didn’t realize that it was too much to worry about. Or maybe, it was because he knew the existence that lived way longer than them.
However, the reason for connecting to the next conversation was that he thought that was a good opportunity. Even since he met Aina again, he had always wanted to ask her.
“That reminds me, speaking of sisters… do you have a sister, Aina?” (Soma)
The intention was obvious. Sheila and Felicia seemed to have noticed, and they held their breath. However, Aina didn’t notice it. While turning her eyes toward him, she frowned and tilted her head.
“Yes? No, I don’t have a sister? I’m the only child, but… didn’t I tell you that before?” (Aina)
“Yeah, I remember you said that. It’s just that I want to confirm. The only child by chance is Aina, or could it be that you may have forgotten or something?” (Soma)
“No, I’m not forgetting anything. What are you trying to say, anyway…” (Aina)
It was a really difficult excuse he could come up with, but he was confirmed by this. Steina, who called herself the Demon King’s daughter, wasn’t Aina’s sister.
However, why did she claim that?
“Aah, that reminds me.” (Aina)
“Hmm? Is there still a sister who survives?” (Soma)
“No, that’s not it. I don’t have any, but… there was a person like a sister who grew up in the family.” (Aina)
“But, I haven’t seen her much. She said that she was going to be independent a few years back. I wonder what she’s now.” (Aina)
Aina probably remembered the person since her eyes looked distant, but… Soma, Felicia and Sheila weren’t like that. That was because they were convinced.
However, if that was the case, it would be a good idea to explain, but… could she skip that part because the explanation was troublesome? Although it didn’t make sense… there was no way to understand if they tried to assume. Even if they tried to confirm the fact, the person herself wasn’t here.
However, it seemed that the suspicion was cleared up, and it deepened. While thinking about the girl who had just parted, Soma let out a small breath while narrowing his eyes.
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