Ex Strongest, Wondering in a Nostalgic Place
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“…Hou?” (Demon King)
The Demon King, who was looking at the empty space, suddenly muttered. His voice sounded astonished because he was actually astonished.
“Four… no, five, is it? I didn’t expect that the reaction would disappear in this very short period of time…” (Demon King)
While muttering, he moved his eyes to look for something. He continued doing that for a while… then, the edges of his mouth were lifted unexpectedly.
“Hou… one of them was heading near the border to cause confusion, huh? It shouldn’t get close to that place… is it trying to be pretentious? No, maybe…” (Demon King)
As he muttered there, he looked somehow interested. He kept his mouth and narrowed his eyes as if he could see something before him…
“…It’s surprising.” (Fafnir)
With slight surprise, the Demon King turned his eyes to the voice that suddenly sounded next to him. He didn’t expect that Fafnir would talk to him from the side.
“That’s something unusual. I don’t expect that you’re going to talk to me. So, why did you change your mind?” (Demon King)
“Humph… I just have extra time to spare.” (Fafnir)
“Hou? You think you have free time, don’t you? Interesting… well, that’s good. So, what is surprising?” (Demon King)
“…In many ways. If it’s you from the old days, you wouldn’t have used that kind of power.
“…I see. Surely, that may be true.” (Demon King)
As he said that, he snapped one of his fingers. A dry sound echoed, and a magic formation with complex patterns appeared at the tip of his feet at that moment.
From there, the darkness overflowed and formed a figure of darkness. It looked humanoid, but it also looked like a shadow.
“You can go. However, I can’t increase the number. Be cautious and observe until you know who the aggressor is.” (Demon King)
Upon receiving the words, the shadow disappeared as if it were sucked into the ground.
If anyone could see the sight, they would probably become surprised. Anyhow, what had disappeared was a monster called Shadow Eater. Obviously, it listened to what the Demon King said, but in the first place, there were no monsters who could listen to instructions.
And before this, the Demon King had also summoned monsters. That was also something that couldn’t be done originally.
“This is already my power. Then, it’s natural to use it, right?” (Demon King)
“…Even so, if it were the you of the old days, you wouldn’t have used it. Even better, you’re using the monsters like limbs.” (Fafnir)
“Hmm… since I have been defeated three times, I also need to learn my lesson. Besides, how can I afford to make God wait? Therefore, it’s only natural to use everything I have.” (Demon King)
The Demon King had the power to summon and control monsters. He didn’t know why such power had become available.
But that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that such power could be used now, and it could be useful enough depending on how it was used.
“If I can master it well, I would be able to easily bring the world into chaos and bestow fear and despair to humans, but… is it still impossible? Well, I just have to try my best here.” (Demon King)
“…Do whatever you want. It has nothing to do with me.” (Fafnir)
“Hou…? Aren’t you also going to bring the world into chaos and bestow fear and despair to humans?” (Demon King)
“…This body isn’t already a dragon. I have no need for fear or despair… In the first place, there’s only one thing in me now.” (Fafnir)
With that said, the existence that was once a dragon, but now, was a young man, squinted as if he was staring at something. The Demon King snorted to the appearance in which hatred seemed to overflow all over the whole body.
“Well, if you don’t disturb me, you can do as you please. I’ll get you some help.” (Demon King)
“…You don’t need to mention that.” (Fafnir)
The Demon King snorted again while keeping his gaze at him. Then, he turned his gaze to his feet, snapped a finger, and a dry sound echoed in that place.
The moment Soma saw a familiar scene, to be honest, he was slightly overcome with surprise. That was because there wasn’t much difference from what he remembered.
— The Kingdom of Radeus, Arvent Barony, Lumberg.
This used to be a place where he came with Sheila, but in Soma’s point of view, it had been a long time since he had visited. But what he saw more than a year ago and what he was seeing right now were literally no different. To put it simply, it was about the streets and the people walking there.
Yes, unlike Yeasta, people were walking normally in Lumberg.
Moreover, there were no impatient feelings or something similar in the appearance. It felt like they believed with no condition that everyday life would continue today and tomorrow.
“Hmm… According to Doris, there were people who evacuated to Lumberg, but…” (Soma)
“…It seems that the inhabitants of this town don’t know the reason, isn’t it?” (Sheila)
“It seems so. Does that mean they are trying to avoid confusion?” (Felicia)
Perhaps, that was the case.
However, although the number wasn’t so large, the people of Neumont territory should have been evacuated. It should be a reasonable number when combined with the inhabitants of Yeasta, and it didn’t change when people dispersed in various places. Even if they didn’t know the reason, if a large number of people evacuated all at once, they must have thought that something had happened. However, when Soma looked around the place again, he couldn’t feel that kind of atmosphere.
“Hmmm… what’s the meaning of this?” (Soma)
“If you’re curious, why don’t you go to the guild and ask them? We’re going to stay here today, right?” (Felicia)
“Hmm… that’s true. It’s best to ask where you know the most.” (Soma)
The reason for staying here even though the day was still early was because they had been marching from Yeasta to this place. It’s supposed to take a week if a carriage was used, but they were walking in a week. Felicia and Aina must have been overwhelmed.
There was still a distance to the royal capital, and they couldn’t be pushed any further.
“Shall we go to the inn first? There’s no need to hurry.” (Soma)
“You don’t have to worry about us, alright? To be honest, I’m not that tired and I’m getting used to it already.” (Felicia)
“Aah, that’s certainly true. How should I say it? I don’t really care too much because I’m usually tired.” (Aina)
“…It’s not good to let them get used to it.” (Sheila)
“As I expected, I think we need to go to the inn first.” (Soma)
When they entered the inn, bringing the two who insisted that they were still fine, they immediately fell asleep the moment they lie down to take a rest. Soma smiled at Sheila, who came to tell him about it, and shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, there’s also something like that.” (Soma)
Both of them were doing their best. However, they were trying too hard. Although Aina said a lot the other day, even with Sheila’s hard work, it would be inferior compared to those two people.
Unlike Neumont territory, it was necessary to be vigilant, and it was necessary to fight occasionally, but it was far from the hardship of the two. That was even if it included watching out the night by only Soma and Sheila.
“If it’s true, I think they should remain here… if it’s this place, the people here are decent and it’s reasonably safe.” (Soma)
“…Yes, it’s safe. But…” (Sheila)
“I know. That’s why I don’t say it either.” (Soma)
The reason why they didn’t do so was because Aina and Felicia didn’t wish for it. More importantly, they didn’t want to leave the two in this town which they didn’t understand the situation yet. Instead of leaving the two here, it was better to be close to them even if they had to make them overdo it, but at least, they could feel safe. Even if a Shadow Eater or something else were attacking, it was possible to handle the situation if it was these two.
But in short, it was just the selfishness of Soma. That was why they were going to do it if they wanted that.
“Well fortunately, they don’t seem to have any intention to do so at the moment. If so, let’s just fulfill their wish.” (Soma)
“…Yes. We will do our best for that.” (Sheila)
“There’s a limit to what we can do…” (Soma)
As Soma said that with a bitter smile, he got up from the chair he was sitting. Speaking of the only thing he could do now was to look into the state of this town while the girls were resting.
“Hmm… I thought of getting souvenirs for them, but when I think about it, I didn’t explore this town the last time I was here. I don’t even know what’s there before.” (Soma)
“…It’s alright, I know this place. I came here, so I should know it.” (Sheila)
Although she was still covered with the hood as usual, the atmosphere of Sheila was somehow confident. If she didn’t wear a hood, he might have seen an unusual expression. However, even just that atmosphere alone, it was unusual enough.
“Well, you’re reliable. First off, we’re going to the guild.” (Soma)
“…Yes. But I’m not sure if we can get information.” (Sheila)
“It can’t be helped. We’ll worry about it at that time. It’s not like I expect to get much information.” (Soma)
While talking about that, Soma and Sheila left the inn to go to the guild.
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