Ex Strongest, Learning About the Current State of Hometown
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“Aah, you guys are overthinking it.” (Doris)
That was what Doris replied after they explained the situation to her. As expected, they couldn’t understand and were wondering about it.
“Well, it would be reasonable to think so?” (Doris)
“What does that mean?” (Soma)
“It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just as it is. Surely, the Shadow Eater came from the Neumont territory, but there is no damage to the territory itself. After all, there was a warning that Shadow Eaters were coming because the Neumont people were being evacuated.” (Doris)
“Warning… evacuation…?” (Aina)
In a word, it seemed to be such a thing. To begin with, the reason why Doris only suffered a few injuries in the event of a Disaster class monster raid was because she had been warned in advance. However, it wasn’t the guild that had issued the warning, but the country. More precisely, once the country contacted Sophia. From there, Doris was contacted.
At the same time, there was a request for help.
“Request for help? Is it regarding the evacuation you mentioned earlier?” (Felicia)
“It may be in a broad sense, but it’s not exactly that. The request made was to repel Shadow Eater.” (Doris)
“Hmm… is it to a person or several people?” (Soma)
“No? It’s me alone.” (Doris)
“Isn’t it… really reckless? Although it worked out in the end…” (Aina)
“…Yes, even if it’s Doris… it’s synonymous with being told to die.” (Sheila)
Sheila, who turned her face to Doris when saying that, looked normal at first glance, but she seemed to be rather angry. It was quite unusual to be able to understand it clearly even though she was covered with a robe.
Well, as she said, Doris was in a situation as if she had been told by the country to die. It was impossible not to get angry.
However, Doris shrugged her shoulders as she smiled bitterly at Sheila’s appearance.
“Well, if you think about a Disaster class monster, it’s normal to think that way. But that’s not the case with Shadow Eater.” (Doris)
“…What do you mean?” (Sheila)
“Shadow Eater mimic the shape and abilities not only people they have eaten, but also those who they hurt. In other words, if the number is low, it will be difficult to do the opposite. It is possible that you’re already eaten when you get closer to them, thinking that they’re your friends. In that situation, you have to be alert just because someone else is nearby.” (Doris)
“Hmm… I see. That’s why it is best to wait alone, so that you can certainly defeat them.” (Soma)
“The fighting abilities of Shadow Eater, which hasn’t mimic anyone’s appearance, is roughly at the upper side of Intermediate Rank skills. Since I have Advanced Rank skills, I can manage it somehow.” (Doris)
“But then, shouldn’t we have taken more reliable measures? Like Sophia-san fights them or something…” (Aina)
“Surely… Sophia-san is a Gift Holder and she’s one of the Seven Heavens, right? In that case, I think it would be safer, but…” (Doris)
“It’s true, but there are two reasons why we couldn’t do that. The first is to prepare for the worst case scenario. Shadow Eater seems to imitate even intelligence. Even if that isn’t imitated, its intelligence is originally high. That’s why I wasn’t aware of the fact, but… if by chance, what would happen if it’s her? And then, if the Shadow Eater escapes as it is… what would happen next?” (Doris)
“Again… that’s a situation I don’t want to think about.” (Soma)
“It’s going to be a scene worthy of a Disaster class monster…” (Aina)
If Shadow Eater was coming, he thought that his mother wouldn’t make mistakes, but in the case of Doris, she might make mistakes. Nevertheless, she was hurt because of negligence, and her appearance, abilities, a part of her memories were stolen.
So, the decision surely wasn’t wrong.
“Well, in the first place, there seemed to be some things I couldn’t do even if I tried to do so. And the second reason… she is somehow able to do it because she is in the royal capital. I couldn’t ask for any details, but it was a very urgent matter and there’s a possibility that this is going to last for a long time. And this is the reason for the evacuation I mentioned earlier. The Shadow Eater attacked her, and since she couldn’t do her job as the territory lord for a while, she evacuated her people to another place.” (Doris)
“Hmm… if there’s such a thing, I can agree that scene will happen…” (Soma)
The Neumont territory was a Duchy and it was a reasonable size. However, the number of people was small because it faced the Demon Forest. It might be one of the reasons why they chose evacuation…
“By the way, when was that?” (Soma)
“I heard about it three days ago. The evacuation seems to have started more than a week ago.
“Obviously, that was after I left that place. Rather, at that time…” (Aina)
Soma shrugged his shoulders back to Aina who turned her gaze with a meaningful look. He understood what she was trying to say. That was because it was almost the same time when there was a disturbance in the Demon King castle.
Whether this situation was related to that situation, he couldn’t say it for sure.
“If the Neumont territory is almost empty, this place will be the front line. That’s probably another reason why I was contacted. Well, if there was a stronger guy nearby, it might have been different, but unfortunately, I am the strongest here and in the surrounding area.” (Doris)
“That would be another matter if you’re not the guild representative… by the way, you said that the warning came from the country, but how did the country know it?” (Soma)
“You see. They didn’t tell me that much. Maybe they didn’t know about it either.” (Doris)
“Even so, there was an actual raid like this, so I’m sure you knew it by some means…” (Felicia)
“Well, if you ask us whether it matters or not, it doesn’t matter. Come to think of it, this town became like this because of the raid, so, could it be…” (Aina)
“Didn’t I say that I made a mistake? The wound was neither a fatal wound nor anything, but it immediately imitated after that. I know it’s useless to fight against someone with the same abilities as you. Well, it was a bit too much to accept, but I was losing my temper slightly.” (Doris)
“What is it, Sheila? If you have any complaints, I’ll accept it.” (Doris)
“…It’s nothing.” (Sheila)
Sheila, who had such an exchange, seemed to have settled the anger considerably. Perhaps, she was convinced by hearing the explanation. Soma murmured ‘Hmm’ when he saw Felicia looking at Sheila with a somewhat complicated face.
Doris’ explanation revealed the meaning of the scene he saw before coming to this town. Doris had no reason to lie, so that anxiety became an unnecessary anxiety.
It should be like that, but…
“Aah, I forgot to ask because I was in a hurry, but who is this girl?” (Doris)
“Aah… That reminds me, I surely haven’t introduced myself yet. Uhm. My name is Felicia. Should I take this hood and show my face…?” (Felicia)
“Aah, I don’t really mind that. I know there should be reasons why you are covered in a hood there. More importantly, I have heard your name.” (Doris)
“…Yes, I told her.” (Sheila)
“…Oh really?” (Felicia)
“Well, before you told me your name, I thought about it somehow. Sheila…” (Doris)
“Are you fine with that?” (Doris)
“…Yes, it’s fine.” (Sheila)
“Is that so… Then, that’s good.” (Doris)
A gentle atmosphere seemed to flow somewhere between the two people who exchanged small words.
Aina was watching these two people with a smile on her face. She probably sensed what it was about. Felicia didn’t seem to be able to guess it, so she had an indescribable face. Still, Soma seemed to understand the atmosphere flowing here as he also watched these two.
Perhaps it was obvious that Soma understood what it was about. However, while having them in sight, he was thinking about something else. The reason was the feeling of uneasiness didn’t subside even after hearing that explanation.
What did his mother have to do in the royal capital? He couldn’t think of anything that took precedence over Disaster class monster. When he thought that if it was at least at the same scale or given that it might last for a long time, he had nothing else to say.
What was worrisome was where the Shadow Eater came from. It seemed to be from the Neumont territory, but as a matter of course, there was no such monster in the Neumont territory. He couldn’t deny the possibility of mutation, but then, he thought that his mother would have done something about it. In that case, it was possible that it came to the Neumont territory from somewhere. If it wasn’t from this side, the Neumont territory had another side it faced. The other side was the Demon Forest.
It was unlikely that the Demon King had invaded. But Soma had just learned that Demon weren’t monolithic.
The Demon didn’t have the power to manipulate monsters, but… No, he came out with one possibility. Hadn’t he seen something similar recently? They weren’t manipulating monsters, but they had power related to them.
Of course, there was a possibility of overthinking. However, if this situation was intentional… there was a good chance that something similar was happening in the royal capital.
It would be almost impossible in many ways that monsters are
attacking the royal capital. But, he had just seen a potential monster. It wasn’t impossible… if the Shadow Eater were to aim at the royal capital for any reason.
In addition, the royal capital had powerful people, including Lina. This gave him peace of mind, but… when he considered the Shadow Eater attacking them, that could make the monster stronger.
For now, it made sense if his mother went to the royal capital for vigilance because she got to know about this through some methods. Again, there was a possibility that Soma was overthinking…….
“…Well, after thinking all of these, there is still no conclusion, right?” (Soma)
And now, he was talking about this concern and they shouldn’t get in the way. In any case, it was about night time. They were going to stay here for today, and there was no point to be in a hurry.
As Soma thought so, he looked away from the four people. While watching the sky, he let out a small breath, wondering what was going on over there.
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