Ex Strongest, Rushing to the Royal Capital
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“Hou…?” (D???? K???)
It was unexpected if it said simply. Although he thought that he got used to it as a result of trying various things, it was unlikely that he could summon such a thing. That was, however, in several ways.
At first glance, ‘it’ seemed just like a human. Speaking of age, ‘it’ was like mid-teens. Even though ‘it’ had grown up, a man of such age was in front of him.
But that was just for the sake of appearance. There was no need to confirm that the existence wasn’t exactly what it looked like.
It was also true that ‘it’ responded to his summon.
“Hmm… you’re a very nostalgic partner of mine, but what’s with that appearance? Will it be troublesome if you become big?” (D???? K???)
“…I see. When I thought of having this nostalgic feeling… it was you, huh?” (E??? D?????)
It was an attitude which disregarded his words, but he didn’t really care. Rather, he lifted up the edge of his mouth.
It was actually interesting. That was because he had roughly guessed who that existence was.
“I see, that’s it… in other words, you’re also the same.” (D???? K???)
He told ‘it’ so with certainty, and this time ‘it’ responded. When the face was turned to him, he narrowed his eyes as if ‘it’ was staring.
No, the existence might be groaning, but ‘it’ wasn’t particularly feeling unpleasant. On the contrary, it became more interesting, and a smile appeared with difficulties.
“…I crawled up from the depths of hell because of a strong feeling. So, don’t lump me together with you.” (E??? D?????)
“I think we are similar. Well, I’m not going to argue with you about such a trivial matter. If you have a different thought, I will accept it.” (D???? K???)
“…What are you trying to say? You’re not that open-minded anyway.” (E??? D?????)
“Hmm, I see… Isn’t that a rant after understanding it? But yes, I’m in a very good mood right now. I can forgive if it’s that much. Anyway… for someone who hated humans, you became a human yourself.” (D???? K???)
“–…!?” (E??? D?????)
At that moment, bloodlust overflowed together with physical power. Even those who had a certain power, let alone an average person, would have been erased without hesitation in front of it.
Even so, there was no change in the place. It was just that the smile on his face got even deeper.
“Hou… I just thought that you became weaker, but you don’t seem to be declining.” (D???? K???)
“…I don’t need an obvious compliment. As you can see, my own power is waning. Just like you.” (E??? D?????)
“Hmm… I’m sure my power is declining, but it’s not getting weaker, you know? On the other hand, I can say that there is new power dwelling in me that has made me stronger than before. It has been proven since I was able to bring you here.” (D???? K???)
“…I see. It doesn’t seem to be a joke.” (E??? D?????)
The pupil of the eye, which had changed slightly, returned to its original state with that muttering, as if it had understood something. Now that most of ‘its’ remnants had disappeared from the whole body that was the only appearance that it felt it should have… No, it denies the thought which floated suddenly.
Wasn’t it having such a concern the biggest remnant?
“No… There are a lot of things to talk about, but there’s nothing to be done here. Come with me.” (D???? K???)
“…Why should I listen to you?”(E??? D?????)
“Isn’t it because you are responding to my summons?” (D???? K???)
“That’s because I was interested. But I have no reason to follow you.”(E??? D?????)
“I see… this power doesn’t bind you. Originally, I won’t tolerate such an irreverent speech. But I’ll forgive you.” (D???? K???)
“…It sounds so great, huh.”(E??? D?????)
“It’s just a fact. Well, whatever you want it to be… don’t regret it, alright? I’m not trying to use you without permission. If you cooperate, I promise to pay a reasonable price.” (D???? K???)
“What is the price…?”(E??? D?????)
“Aah. Don’t you have any purpose that you came all the way here to become like that? If you cooperate with me, I think it’s going to be a quick measure, right?” (D???? K???)
It wasn’t a matter of mouth. If ‘it’ thought about what ‘it’ was going to do after this, it was never better than having a lot of fighting power, but he didn’t have to lie.
‘It’ hadn’t heard his purpose. but ‘it’ guessed that it hadn’t changed since long ago. Then, it should be the same as what ‘it’ was going to do in the end.
However, to become an equal cooperation relationship was another matter.
“… I have one condition only.”(E??? D?????)
“Hoh? Say it.” (D???? K???)
“Take back what you said that I’m a human! I’m not a human…!”
“Hmm… if it’s that, it’s easy, but what on earth are you?” (D???? K???)
“It’s simple… I’m me. There’s nothing else.”(E??? D?????)
“I see… I get it. Then, I’ll call you by a similar name. –Well then, Fafnir.” (D???? K???)
“…The name and the likes after all are just symbols, but it’s also something I received from that person. Do whatever you want.” (Evil Dragon/Fafnir)
While saying so, the mouth was clearly loose. It wasn’t something intended, or maybe, ‘it’ was simply not used to it. Like the appearance, ‘it’ had become quite human.
However, as long as ‘it’ could use it, the rest was irrelevant. If ‘it’ thought that he had gone one step further, the rest was irrelevant.
Then, while loosening his mouth, the Demon King left the place together with the existence that was once called the Evil Dragon.
“How should I say it? It feels like we have been busy since the Demon King castle.” (Aina)
Such a murmur was hard just ahead of the main road.
Perhaps, it was a simple comment. It wasn’t a guess, but an honest thought.
However, that was probably a substitute for everyone’s feelings.
“Hmm… I’m sorry…” (Soma)
It was true, but he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t possible to stop his feet and it wasn’t possible to relax here.
By the way, the reason why they didn’t ride a carriage when they were in a hurry was not because it was faster but it was simply because they couldn’t use a carriage. No matter how much they wanted to use it, it was reasonable that they couldn’t use something that didn’t exist.
Yeasta was empty because the residents had already evacuated, and it seemed that they had taken all the carriages at that time. Well, given that only Doris was the only one left, it was no surprise. It seemed that she was offered a carriage, but since she also needed to take care of the horse, she refused the offer since it was just troublesome.
Therefore, Soma’s group had to keep running like this.
“Aah, I don’t mean to blame you…” (Felicia)
“I know that, but I’m really sorry. Especially when it comes to Felicia…” (Soma)
When he glanced backwards, Felicia’s face was awful, but she was somehow able to keep up. Although they had been walking since this morning, she might reach her limit sooner, given their rest in Yeasta last night.
No… her limit must have been reached. Even so, she had been working so hard to keep up with everyone.
Soma couldn’t stop her. In the first place, it was Soma who brought her out. Then, he had the obligation and responsibility to take care of her to the end.
“…Nee-san, are you alright?” (Sheila)
“Well, yes… I’m a bit tired, but I’m still alright, you know? I can’t drag anyone, so…” (Felicia)
“…Yes, understood. But, if you can’t, say it. At that time, I will carry you.” (Sheila)
“…Thank you very much. I will rely on you at that time.” (Felicia)
“…Got it.” (Sheila)
While listening to that exchange, he let out a small sigh.
“Dear me… when we get to the royal capital, I need to reward you.” (Soma)
“Yeah… I suppose so, you should respond to that effort properly, alright? It’s your fault.” (Aina)
“I know.” (Soma)
Strictly speaking, there was an option to leave Felicia at Yeasta. He hadn’t told Doris that Felicia was a Witch, but if he did, Doris would have accepted it. As a result of Doris staying in the town to clean up what she had done, she must protected Felicia as it was.
However, without his mother, that place would be the forefront. Doris said that she was going to stay there for a while. In that case, there might be a possibility of an emergency situation.
In the end, walking with Felicia is the most reassuring option. However, this was only Soma’s convenience after all. If he considered Felicia most, they should have stayed in Yeasta.
Then, he should trust his mother for the rest. Otherwise, going to the royal capital was only due to Soma’s selfishness. No matter how the travel from the Demon King castle to this place, and even if he said that he was anxious to some unpleasant feelings, it could only be said that it was due to his mind…
“…Speaking of which, I hadn’t had the chance to hear it but why did you think something might be happening? Now that you’ve got the information to support it, what we have seen is just circumstantial evidence, right? But since you are in a hurry consistently as if you were convinced of something… that’s because you have reasons. So, how did you come up with that understanding?” (Aina)
He just smiled at that question as if she had read his mind. It was just an unexpected synchronization, but Aina probably took it in a different way. He turned his eyes at her.
“…What’s wrong?” (Aina)
“No, it wasn’t wrong, but… well. You ask for a reason… maybe there is, but it’s more of a hunch, you know? So, even if you ask me about it, I…” (Soma)
“But, even if it’s a hunch, there was a reason, right? Well, if you can’t say it, I won’t ask you any longer…” (Aina)
“That’s not it, and… well, it’s not something I need to hide. That is from the beginning. It’s actually about Steina.” (Soma)
Aina raised her eyebrows at that time because she didn’t consider that, and perhaps, it was because some time had passed since the last incident. It took a small effort to remember the details, and then she opened his mouth as if she wasn’t very confident.
“Are you concerned about what they had been talking about in the middle of that incident? The Demon God was certainly destroyed, but you somehow said that you had a feeling that its power would be taken somewhere before the enemy was defeated.” (Aina)
“Hmm, that’s exactly what it is.” (Soma)
“…Is that it?” (Aina)
She turned suspicious eyes at Soma when saying it, but Soma had no other choice but to shrug. That was right.
“Well, when I sliced it, I certainly felt a strange or a weird sensation. That’s why I was worried about it, but… didn’t I say it? It’s more than half intuition.” (Soma)
“You did say that…” (Aina)
Although she wasn’t convinced yet, it couldn’t be helped since Soma had nothing more to say. In fact, with that intuition as a reason, Soma wondered if there was something going on, and when he rushed back to his mansion… he surely still had the vague and unpleasant feelings.
He didn’t feel like having these feelings.
“…Why couldn’t you just leave it to Sophia-san?” (Aina)
“Well, I can’t deny that. I don’t think Mother’s progress will fall behind, but…” (Soma)
Still, the unpleasant feelings didn’t disappear. Even if it was a matter of making Felicia overdo it.
“…Well, we’re just going to keep up with you, so it’s fine to do whatever you want, you know? Even if you have to proceed or not, just tell us. At least, it’s better than having a regret of not going there.” (Aina)
“Hmm, I would really appreciate it if you say that. Come to think of it. Since I’m making you overdo it, what can I reward you with?” (Soma)
“…Ha? I don’t really need that kind of thing. I’m not overdoing it.” (Aina)
“Well, you’re overdoing it, you know?” (Soma)
Although it wasn’t as much as Felicia, Aina also wasn’t good at moving her body. Moreover, she used magic. In order to assist them and recover Felicia’s fatigue.
She was certainly overdoing it.
“…Shouldn’t you care more about Sheila than me? Apart from moving, it seems to be quite unreasonable for her to take care of Felicia.” (Aina)
“Well, you’re right…” (Soma)
He couldn’t tell whether Aina was overdoing it or she was in high spirits, but it was true that Felicia was overdoing it and Sheila was paying considerable attention to her. When he thought that he was the cause, he probably should reward Sheila as well.
“Anyhow, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m forcing Aina. I also considered Sheila… Well, if you want something, please let me know. Of course, it should be something that I can do.” (Soma)
“I told you, I’m not overdoing it…” (Aina)
Although Aina turned her reproachful eyes when saying that, she was surely thinking of something when she looked away. But for now, they were going to the royal capital… Then, the matter could be solved. If he couldn’t solve it, there was no point in pushing everyone so far.
When he looked ahead, he couldn’t see the royal capital yet. But if they kept going, they would always get there someday. Until then, Soma was surely moving step by step, praying that nothing would happen.
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