Ex Strongest, Going Back Home
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While looking at the building in front of him, Soma had a surprisingly nostalgic feeling. Certainly, it had been about three years since he last saw it. He really came back to this place. This was the place where he met his family. If he did poorly, he might not feel nostalgic about this place, but…
“Hmm… well, there have been various things since I left this place. So, it’s normal to say that I feel nostalgic, right?” (Soma)
“I also have the same feeling, but most of the various things that happened were because of you, so I don’t feel well satisfied with that, but… again, it doesn’t matter.” (Aina)
Soma shrugged his shoulders to Aina who exhaled a sigh as she said so. Suddenly, he saw Felicia exhale at the edge of his sight. However, she didn’t let out a sigh. Actually, it was a reaction that she was somewhat impressed or seeing something unexpected.
“Is this were Soma was born and raised? Somehow, I think it’s a bit surprising.
“Yes? Surprising? What do you mean? I don’t think there’s anything unexpected…” (Soma)
“…I feel that it’s too normal for Soma to be born and raised in this place.” (Sheila)
“Yes, that’s it. The place where Aina-san was born and raised was that place, so I wondered if the place where Soma-san was born and raised was more amazing.” (Felicia)
“…Having said that, surely, it’s incomprehensible for Soma to be born and raised in this place.” (Aina)
“I should be the one who says incomprehensible. What do you think of me?” (Soma)
To begin with, Aina knew about this place better than the other two girls.
After shrugging again, Soma turned his eyes to the front again. It might be needless to say again now, but there was a familiar mansion there. It was his parents’ house where he was born and raised.
“For now, there’s nothing to do here. So, let’s go inside. It’s about time we should take a rest for Felicia.” (Soma)
“Well, I won’t deny it, but… come to think of it, why did you come back so quickly? As far as I’m listening to you, I feel like we should have come back a bit more slowly. In that way, Aina-san is also…” (Felicia)
Felicia looked at Aina when she said that because they had passed through the village near the Demon Forest where Aina had been taken care of for about a year. And yes, there was no reason to rush back home.
There were about two weeks more before school started, and there was enough time from here. If they stayed at that village for a day, it wouldn’t be a problem. Plus, it could be said that it was human nature to take a break.
However, Soma didn’t dare to do that, and he said it along the way here. Only a week had passed since they left Iori. They were definitely rushing. If he considered about Felicia, he should have come back a bit more slowly.
Even so, Soma ignored all of them knowingly, and he came back rushing.
“You don’t have to worry about me because I stopped by that village before going back to the castle, but… yeah. I understood that you were rushing, so I thought there was a reason for that. I didn’t dare to ask why until now, but…” (Aina)
“…Yeah, it’s about time we are worried. Strictly speaking, we were always worried.” (Sheila)
“Well, I don’t think you should be bothered.” (Soma)
Nevertheless, they probably didn’t ask him why because they trusted him. Soma appreciated that and he also trusted them as well. But still, Soma didn’t talk about it because there was no good reason to say anything.
It was simply because there was no confirmation.
It wasn’t without reason, but it was just an intuition. He couldn’t say that easily. Perhaps, if the girls asked him, he might still have answered, but it was a meaningless assumption if he wasn’t asked.
Well, at the moment, he was asked why…
“I will tell you everything including that, but first, let’s go inside. Maybe, it’s going to clear up the matter.” (Soma)
“…I don’t understand, but if you say that, let’s do that.” (Aina)
Not only Aina, but also the other two girls seemed unsatisfied, but Soma couldn’t say anything at this stage. However, given the current situation, he thought that it was almost certain.
Then, Soma’s group headed into the mansion first.
The inside of the mansion was gallant. That was in a literal sense.
There was not a single noise, and there was no sign of a person in the first place. It might be suitable to call this a husk.
“Hmm… there’s no evidence of being devastated. It feels like people have disappeared suddenly.” (Soma)
He looked around and came to a familiar room. He took a breath. It was the room where he lived.
Therefore, it was normal to feel familiar. Since it was regularly cleaned, it was unlikely that dust or something similar was accumulated.
“…I see. Are you concerned about this?” (Aina)
Soma shrugged back at the words of Aina who came into the room after him. It was right in a sense, but it was also wrong in a sense.
Indeed, it was true that he thought that there might be something going on. So, he came back in a hurry like this, but…
“Hmm? To be honest, this is unexpected to me. I never thought that the house would be unattended.” (Soma)
“I don’t think you were too surprised for that, right? I mean, you didn’t seem surprised when you didn’t see anyone in the mansion.” (Felicia)
“Well, the moment I stepped into the mansion, I noticed that it was unattended. There was certainly no surprise in that sense, but I was surprised when we got here, you know?” (Soma)
That was also true. However, since he didn’t really act that he was surprised, Felicia and the rest thought differently.
“After entering the mansion, did Sheila also notice that this place was unattended?” (Soma)
“…Yeah? Rather, I thought everyone noticed that.” (Sheila)
“Don’t lump us together with you guys, alright…” (Aina)
While shrugging to Aina who sighed, he looked inside the room again. There was nothing interesting about it. It was just a room that gave him nostalgic feelings. Anyhow, it was a clean and well-equipped room. It was as if someone was there to clean it until yesterday.
It was the same for the other rooms in the mansion. Although there was no sign of people and there was certainly nobody, it didn’t give a feeling that this place had been abandoned for a long time.
If there was no one today, it could be said that people were here until yesterday, or… everyone had disappeared suddenly. There was a feeling of life in this mansion. So, it made him feel uncomfortable.
The only thing that wasn’t the case was his mother’s room. It was similar to the office of the acting head of household. Originally, there should be a lot of documents. However, only those things were gone completely.
What did that mean?
“…Well, I’m concerned but I can’t do anything about it.” (Soma)
Despite the unexpected event, there was no difference in what he would do. In other words, they were going to take a rest here.
But when he told them that, everyone looked surprised.
“What do you mean by ‘Eh’? Didn’t I say that when we entered here?” (Soma)
“You’re right, but… are you sure?” (Felicia)
“About what?” (Soma)
“It’s nothing. Uhmm, this is the house where Soma-san was born and raised. Originally, the mother should have been there, right?” (Felicia)
“Hmm, yes?” (Soma)
“…Isn’t it just right to look for clues? Including the surrounding area…” (Sheila)
“Aah, is that it?” (Soma)
An inexplicable glance was pointed at Soma, who nodded.
But Soma just respond with shrugging shoulders. That was because it was unnecessary.
“Unnecessary, is it…” (Aina)
“Aah, it’s not that I don’t care, but don’t worry about it, alright. We have been looking around the mansion, and even if you explore the surroundings, Felicia still needs to take a rest, right? And how about you, Aina?” (Soma)
“That is… you’re certainly right. I’m sorry, if I have more stamina, I would…” (Aina)
“No. I should be the one to apologize for forcing us to hurry. Besides, for the time being, we have confirmed that something seems to have happened. The actions taken so far aren’t wasted. There is no problem because it is somewhat clear what should be done by tomorrow. If anything, let me apologize and you guys take a rest today. I want you to have energy for tomorrow and days after.” (Soma)
“…I understand.” (Felicia)
“Got it. I’m surely a bit tired.” (Aina)
“…Yes, I’ll take a good rest today and do my best tomorrow.” (Sheila)
The girls didn’t really have to worry about it, but he was smiling and feeling thankful because they said those words seriously. Then, he turned his eyes out of the window.
The view from there was somewhat higher than what he remembered. However, it was still a nostalgic scenery.
Soma narrowed his eyes while looking at it, wondering what had happened.
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