Ex Strongest, Receiving Explanation of Current Situation
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What was appearing on her face was an expression as if something incredible was seen. Her gaze slowly descended and fell on the chest. There was a small, but still certain hole in it… Then, a surprise mutter leaked from Doris’ mouth.
“That’s… absurd…” (Doris)
“The absurd one is you, isn’t it? Goodness… Don’t use a human figure to do whatever you want, alright.” (??)
And with the exact same voice, another gunshot resounded, and a hole opened in the forehead this time. The whole body melted and collapsed as if it was melting… No. In fact, the body collapsed without being able to maintain its original shape.
“Wh-what is…?” (Aina)
Before that scene, confused voices were heard from behind, but Soma didn’t respond to it and let out a breath. He merely shrugged his shoulders toward Doris who was standing behind that thing.
“I was going to move when it did that, but I guess it’s not necessary.” (Soma)
“When you say that, does that mean you’ve seen through everything?” (Doris)
“I’m not sure about everything, but… I know roughly, I think. I was aware about that monster before it showed up, and I also knew that Doris was hiding behind it. Once I know that, I can somehow guess from the situation, right?” (Soma)
“It’s not easy as it sounds, you know. Dear me, you haven’t changed. I don’t mean the way you talk.” (Doris)
When she said so, Doris made a smile mixed with the feeling of amazement, but she thought it wasn’t really hard to guess. To put it simply, the monster was imitating Doris and it was trying to get them through this opening.
“…Wait a sec. What are you saying? The thing that appeared wasn’t Doris-san…?” (Aina)
“…? Well, of course?” (Soma)
“Soma is the only person who can say ‘of course’ in this kind of situation, but… no matter how I think about it, Sheila was deceived by that thing, isn’t it?” (Felicia)
“Hmm? Apart from the two of you, wasn’t Sheila earlier acting to cover Doris?” (Soma)
“…? …??” (Sheila)
“She seems really confused, though?” (Aina)
“Eh, that’s weird…” (Soma)
After all, Sheila could feel the other side’s presence, so Soma thought that she could see it through, but… apparently, he seems to have got it wrong. To be honest, this was rather unexpected.
“…Certainly, if it was the usual Sheila, she might have noticed it, but I suppose she worried about Doris-san. Hmm, I’m a bit jealous.” (Felicia)
“It will be a lie if I say that I’m happy, but then, I have a feeling that Sheila is still inexperienced. Again, I’m not talking about the way you talk, but you should prepare yourself especially in that situation.” (Doris)
“Hmm… I’m concerned about the way it spoke and acted. So, does it not only imitate Doris, but also a part of your memory?” (Soma)
“Well, I’m going to explain it to you including everything. You aside, the other three don’t seem to understand the situation well. Plus, there seems to be a new face here.” (Doris)
Indeed, it would be better to talk properly first. Regardless of Soma, he also didn’t understand everything that had happened here. There was no way the other three could understand about the monster that imitated Doris being defeated, melted and disappearing on the ground.
“Anyhow… the first thing to do is to clean this place up.” (Doris)
“That’s right…” (Soma)
It looked like neither chair nor table could be used, so they wouldn’t be able to start the discussion if it was like this. Looking at the town, he didn’t think that there were other places where they could talk properly. Therefore, the quickest way was to clean up this place at least.
Having that in mind, Soma and Doris began to clean the place, while urging the other three, who were still confused, to do the same.
After cleaning up, they sat down where they wanted.
However, the place was the ground, and there was nothing to lay on it. It would have been nice if there was something that could serve as a chair, but they could only find pieces of wood. If they looked into the town, there might have been something, but it became as it was that nobody cared. Of course, apart from Soma and Doris, the other three might simply be wondering what they ended up with.
Was it because they gave priority to cleaning up the place, they were showing inquisitive look and not looking confused. And when Soma and Doris looked back at them, they were smiling bitterly. Anyway, it would be better to explain first.
About the earlier existence…
“…Shadow Eater?” (Sheila)
That was… what it was called.
No, strictly speaking, it should be the name of the monster. They knew that it was a monster, but as expected, Soma also didn’t know the name.
“What do you mean when you say that you don’t know?” (Aina)
“Even if you say that, I don’t know about it.” (Soma)
“So, how did you know that thing was a monster?” (Aina)
“Again… I just know it was a monster, alright? Rather, I think I’ve said it earlier…” (Soma)
He had no other reason, and there was no need to have one. Certainly, they looked very similar, but the presence was different. Sheila didn’t notice it because she was probably off guard, but if she watched it closely…
“Now, how should I say it? It’s true that Sheila is still inexperienced, but… no matter how wary she was, she probably wouldn’t notice it because of the presence.” (Doris)
“Hmm? Why is that? Sheila’s ability to sense presence shouldn’t have been so low…” (Soma)
“Whether your ability of sensing presence is high, it has nothing to do with that. Shadow Eater is such a monster.” (Doris)
It was called Shadow Eater because it ate shadows. It was a monster that ate shadow and became the other party who was eaten.
Not only appearance, it also ate memories. Then, after replacing the person itself, it also ate others without letting those around it knew. According to the records, it wasn’t uncommon for a village or a town to be destroyed because of one monster, and even a country was once destroyed. Its classification was a Disaster class. In other words, it caused the same damage as a Demon King.
“Hmm? Considering all that, didn’t Doris defeat it way too quickly?” (Soma)
When he looked at the place where the monster collapsed, it had completely disappeared without leaving remnants. There was no sign left, so the monster certainly had been defeated.
If it was said to be on the same level as the Demon King, Soma thought that it was ridiculous…
“Even though it’s the same Disaster class as the Demon King, Shadow Eater is just the worst case. As I said before, Shadow Eater changes shape depending on whom they eat, but that’s also including the abilities. If it eats me, they will have the same abilities as me, and if it eats Sheila, it will have Sheila’s abilities. I’m not sure whether it will get the same abilities as you, but the possibility is undeniable.” (Doris)
“Surely… it can be said as a Disaster class.” (Aina)
“That’s right… Honestly, I don’t want to think that there’s a monster rampaging around with similar abilities as Soma-san.” (Felicia)
“Yeah, the presences are the same. At least, it was hard for us to tell that it was a monster…” (Aina)
“I’m not sure about that, but I surely felt the presence of monster from it, you know? Well, it was a little bit, but it was almost the same as Doris.” (Soma)
“…Soma, don’t you feel strange if there’s something like that?” (Sheila)
“Well, I haven’t heard various things from Sheila. Even so, it’s not strange. Plus, it was easily defeated because it didn’t eat me completely.” (Doris)
“Are you saying, it ate you only to a certain extent?” (Soma)
“Indeed, that’s the truth.” (Doris)
The moment Sheila heard the word, she rose up vigorously. Well, that concern was understandable. However, Doris smiled and asked her to sit down with her hand.
“Calm down. As you can see, I’m fine. I was hurt a bit, but that’s about it. However, it seems that the monster didn’t make much out of it. By the way, half of my memories were taken away, and that made me really impatient.” (Doris)
“Memories… are you alright?” (Felicia)
“Yes, it’s probably because I defeated that. Now, I got it back.” (Doris)
“I see… that’s why that thing knew about us.” (Soma)
“Well, that’s because you guys were in the memories that were taken away.” (Doris)
“In that case, we were really in danger. Well, since there was Soma, we would be fine anyway.” (Aina)
“In other words, you guys would be in danger if Soma wasn’t here. Although it is said that Shadow Eater eats shadow, it’s also an existence with an indeterminate form of shadow. However, once it eats the opponent entirely, it became whoever it eats. If I came a bit late and after you were eaten, I wouldn’t even know that you were here. Even if I defeated that, the only thing that came back was my memory.” (Doris)
Soma stopped a moment when he heard those words. That was because he was concerned about something. That was of course…
“Hmm? What’s wrong?” (Doris)
“Speaking of being eaten by Shadow Eater, does it completely become the other person once it finishes eating? I mean, is it absolute?” (Soma)
“I don’t know everything, but it becomes the other person after killing it. Then, it eats the whole thing. So, what do you mean by ‘absolute’? I’m not sure why, but I don’t know whether the village inhabitants disappeared because of it, but still, the damage has increased. Then, what’s wrong?” (Doris)
There was no way it should be like that. That was because he saw that kind of scene.
And then, the Shadow Eater showed up here. This place was in contact with the Neumont territory. What that meant was…
Doris looked at Soma suspiciously, but he decided when he let out a breath. There was no way he wouldn’t talk about it in order to verify the situation. Besides, he couldn’t leave this matter to someone else.
Then, Soma looked back at Doris, and told her about the Neumont territory that they had seen so far.
- Shadow Eater and Shadow Taker (chapter 157+) are two different monsters. I will change the word used in previous chapters accordingly.
- This chapter doesn’t explain how people disappear. It only says Shadow Eater eats shadow but it doesn’t specifically says that it eats the whole physical body. I’m pretty sure there will be gore scenes all over the place. There may be more explanation about this monster in the future chapters.
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