Heading towards Hometown
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Iori let out a breath at the scene in front of him. The ground was blown away as if there were explosions, and the trees were broken as if it were crushed by something. In addition to that, some of them had cuts on the surfaces that made him felt chilly. Although he had heard most of what happened here…
“They had overdone it again… as far as I’ve heard, they didn’t have to do it this far.” (Iori)
“Yes… it makes me wonder whether they did that. However, it didn’t seem that they had acted according to the necessity. In particular, Aina-sama is…” (Butler)
“My point is, whether she is no good at going easy at the enemies… Thanks to that, it becomes problematic. Seriously, who is she taking after?” (Iori)
He said it while shrugging his shoulders. Then, he looked around.
Anyhow, should he consider that it would be better to have corpses lying around? When he thought about it, it was probably overkill. It felt like she was used to this kind of world, but… that would be another matter. This would be even more when it came to the existence called the Demon King.
“…The Demon King, is it?” (Iori)
“What do you mean?” (Butler)
“No… I just remember something about yesterday.” (Iori)
Iori recalled it almost reflexively, perhaps because it was just heard, albeit in the form of an associative game. Yesterday… it happened right after Soma defeated the Demon God.
Yes, one day had already passed since the attack of the faction of the former Demon King. The reason why Iori and others were coming to the main entrance to the castle like this was because he heard that Aina and her friend battled here yesterday.
“Are you… concerned about what Nicholas said?” (Butler)
“Well, I think it’s fine to ignore it, it’s still about something.” (Iori)
“Is it possible that he was saying something meaningless just to make you worry?” (Butler)
“If that’s the case, it will be fine. At least, it’s not a bad thing to be vigilant, right?” (Iori)
“…Surely, that’s true. There’s no doubt that it was weird.” (Butler)
As Iori whispered, he turned his eyes away and squinted. It was in the direction of the castle, and further down was where the battlefield was yesterday.
It was also a place where a man named Nicholas took his own life.
“That is that, but it still made him think about his Demon King-sama. Then, he chose death.” (Iori)
“It’s not surprising that he didn’t give us extra information soon after the Demon God was defeated, but rather he chose death… Surely, that is a worrisome saying.” (Butler)
Speaking of the Demon King-sama, it was definitely not about Iori, but about the Demon King that Iori defeated. In other words, if he interpreted according to what Nicholas said, the defeat of the Demon God would somehow benefit that Demon King.
“There was no doubt that I had brought the end of that Demon King. However, I’m well aware that he is someone who I can’t feel relieved just yet.” (Iori)
“Well, he actually revived once. You can’t use that method though, but… uhm, no. Is that why you might have tried to use that method against the Demon God?” (Butler)
“If it’s just that, I don’t think it would come to me. This time, the outcome was due to Soma’s presence, but it is highly likely I would have been killed otherwise. Rather, if I think about what that guy said, it feels like that was his true intention, but I guess it’s fine since it has been defeated.” (Iori)
“In other words, it was the next best thing. But, it seems we can deny that the Demon God’s death was used for something.” (Butler)
“Well, that’s why I’m coming all the way here.” (Iori)
In short, Iori and the chief butler came here to look for clues. If the Demon King could be directly involved, Iori was likely to be involved again. Then, it was normal to look for any clues.
“In this state, it seems impossible to look for the clues even if there is… well, there’s nothing that survived here.” (Iori)
“…Please forgive me. I didn’t expect it was going to be like that.” (Butler)
“Well, it would be more surprising if you have made an early prediction. It’s rather natural to think that it’s the same as before. With that in mind, since no one was hurt, it was all good.” (Iori)
“…Thank you very much.” (Butler)
It wasn’t a compliment but a true feeling. Iori wasn’t going to tell that, but the chief butler bowed down to his waist. Well, since the chief butler did that as always, he turned his eyes away and sighed. This time, he looked at the castle.
“I may find something if I can talk to Steina.” (Iori)
“That is…” (Butler)
“I know. I’m just saying it.” (Iori)
There was no point in saying what couldn’t be done. Iori understood that well.
Soma destroyed the Demon God that attached itself to Steina. However, when the Demon God was destroyed, what was deprived by it never came back.
That was about 80% of her existence. It was more than enough loss to die.
Since it wasn’t physical, the appearance hadn’t change, but her weight was reduced by about 80%. Considering that, it was rather strange that the appearance hadn’t changed. In any case, this was something extraordinary, and it was normal to die.
If Steina was a normal person, that would have been the case.
“Steina became the vessel for summoning the Demon God because she did something unnecessary, but… thanks to that, she didn’t die.” (Iori)
“It’s ironic, isn’t it?” (Butler)
“Goodness… well, it’s just that she didn’t die.” (Iori)
Anyway, she couldn’t even walk or speak right now. Iori didn’t know how long it would take for her to speak… or rather, he didn’t even know whether that was possible or not. He wondered if he could say that he was glad that she was still alive.
“I have to take responsibility too.” (Iori)
“Indeed… it’s a headache.” (Butler)
Although he didn’t hear clearly from the person herself, Steina was probably involved with the faction of the previous Demon God. He didn’t know how far the relationship was, and even though she had become like this, he couldn’t help but to take responsibility.
That said, it couldn’t be help if Steina couldn’t speak. If she could talk, she could make it like a plea bargain in exchange for the other side’s information, but–…
“…That reminds me, didn’t Soma say something strange when he left?” (Iori)
“Something strange, is it?” (Butler)
Soma’s group was no longer in the castle. Despite all that, they were delayed for a whole day because of various things, but they left this morning and headed toward Soma’s hometown.
While seeing them off, Iori and the butler came to check this place. At the time of splitting up…
“He said something like ‘that reminds me, Steina has something to talk about.’… right?” (Iori)
“…If you were told that, then he might have said so. At that time, I found out that Soma-sama was the son of Kraus-sama and Sofia-sama, but I didn’t say anything because I had difficulties to accept it…” (Butler)
“…Well, let’s talk about it after checking on Steina. I was going to go there anyway.” (Iori)
“Is it fine to go there already? I don’t think we can find anything more than I can find here.” (Butler)
“Hmm…. it seems so.” (Iori)
Iori looked around the place and exhaled a breath. Certainly, continuing like this would only be a waste of time.
He couldn’t leave this place as it was, but he couldn’t do anything about it anyway. In any case, it was more meaningful to round it up.
“So, shall we return?” (Iori)
With that said, they started to leave the place, and… he suddenly turned around. At a glance, that must be the Kingdom of Radeus, and the Neumont Duchy. It was a perfectly good chance, and Iori shrugged his shoulders.
Well, it might not be a coincidence, but… he was sure that had nothing to do it with him.
“You’re also going to have a hard time. Well, do your best.” (Iori)
When such a whisper leaked, Iori turned back and returned to the castle.
Soma stopped his feet because he felt as if someone called for him. However, there was no figure beyond him.
“What’s wrong?” (Aina)
“No… I think it’s just my imagination.” (Soma)
When he noticed, Aina turned around to look at him. So, he shrugged his shoulders. Then, when he looked around, there was no anomaly. Without the presence of monsters, it was only a peaceful and calm sight spread in front of them.
“Hmm… I wonder until what extent the yesterday’s aftermath has reached so far.” (Soma)
He whispered so while resuming his walk. Of course, that was because he saw the mountain when they left the castle. He couldn’t see the mountain already from this location, but he could clearly see the traces. To that extent, the traces were large.
“Obviously, it wouldn’t have happened on the way here, but…! I can’t do it because I’m not you! Ugh… I overdid things yesterday.” (Aina)
“…Can I say that you were influenced by Soma at that moment?” (Sheila)
“Surely, I don’t think that’s normal. Obviously, it was too much. Well, I guess I can’t say anything about other people.” (Felicia)
“Eh? What? Wait a sec…? That much is just…” (Aina)
“Apparently, it doesn’t seem so to the person herself. Goodness, this is troubling.” (Soma)
“Don’t you dare say that!” (Aina)
While having such a conversation, Aina led the way.
For now, the journey was going well. However, that was natural since it hadn’t been that long since they left the castle. They didn’t want to have any problems.
If things went smoothly, they would be able to arrive at the academy much earlier than originally planned, and that was also thanks to Aina’s presence. Even if they considered about what happened in the town before this, and the fact that they visited the Demon King’s castle, they still had ample of time. Even if they stayed in the castle for a few more days, there would be no problem.
“By the way, are you glad that we came out today? I mean, you alone could stay there more if you want, Aina. Haven’t you talked to Steina yet?” (Soma)
“I won’t deny that, but you said this morning, right? I can always have the opportunity to talk with her again. That should be enough when I come home next time. If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be able to get back on time, right? Even if I stay for a few more days, I’m sure I’ll be back sooner than you guys.” (Aina)
“Hmm… that may be true, but if you say that, it’s a bit counterproductive.” (Soma)
“…Agreed. Want to try?” (Sheila)
“It’s fine if you want to do it, but I’m with Aina-san, alright? How to say this… I can’t keep up with them.” (Felicia)
“I would rather have a handicap like that, but… no, in that case, do you need a handicap for Aina who has the advantage?” (Soma)
“You’re just saying something rude, right?” (Aina)
“…But, that’s the truth?” (Soma)
“Well, yes. As expected, I can’t use this.” (Felicia)
When Felicia said it, she touched her neck with her right hand. No one could see from the outside, but there must be an unadorned necklace.
Soma squinted his eyes as he tried to see it, but he couldn’t feel anything in particular.
“Hmm… that reminds me, it seems you’re able to use it without any problems, is it?” (Soma)
“Yes… luckily. I don’t think there’s a problem for the time being.” (Felicia)
“…Yeah, it looks fine to me.” (Sheila)
“Is that so? Then, it’s alright.” (Soma)
After talking about such a thing, Aina noticed what they were talking about slightly later. She tilted her head slightly. Then she nodded as if she was convinced.
“Aah, is it about that? Yes, at least, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. However, I was surprised.” (Aina)
“…I’m sorry.” (Felicia)
“There’s no need for you to apologize. Certainly, it was Felicia who did it, but if we look at the origin, it’s probably Soma’s fault.” (Aina)
“…Yeah, that perception is correct.” (Sheila)
“Well, you’re right, but… you can’t say that it’s my fault as if it were a matter of course.” (Soma)
“What are you talking about now.” (Aina)
So, Soma didn’t say anything more, he just shrugged. Needless to say, he understand the extent of which was the worse. Whether that was convincing or not would be another matter.
Still, everyone was smiling. So, there was no problem.
When they left the Elf Forest, they never imagined that she would go to the Demon King castle. There were a lot of things before and after that, and it made her think about what would happen. However, in the end, it ended with not a bad result. They hadn’t reached his hometown yet, and not even the academy, but something might happen again.
Suddenly, the story Soma heard from Steina came into his mind. It would be better if it was just his imagination… now what was the matter?
While thinking about it, Soma stepped forward to disperse the sudden uncomfortable feeling he had. Still, he walked together with everyone as he thought about the future.
- That’s the end of the volume 5. Next chapter is the start of volume 6.
- I forgot to write the assumption because I’m so used to the author’s writing style haha. But, here you go. Please be in mind that these are solely my assumptions.
- The location mentioned in this chapter is somewhere nearby to the castle.
- Based on the strategy of the previous Demon King’s faction in the town where Soma met Steina, this faction uses diversion strategy. One in northwest where the Demon God is, and another one in northeast where Soma goes.
- So, it’s not unusual to have the third diversion (which isn’t mentioned) that try to attack the castle and steal some treasures (similar to what happened during the rebellion two years ago).
- What Steina wants to inform remains unknown, we may know it in the future chapters.
- What kind of the unadorned necklace Felicia has is also unknown. It may be an artifact that hide presence, or make her fly, or you can guess it yourself haha.
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