Ex Strongest, Feeling Suspicious
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Soma and Aina, who left the weapon shop, were again led by Victoria to the royal capital.
However, in a sense, it was a cheerful atmosphere. The people of the royal capital met Victoria with a smile, and Victoria responded with a smile. Although Soma had gotten used to the sight of it, he felt this way was just an extra. Of course, it didn’t mean that Victoria was skipping giving the guide. It was true that she was a good guide to what was in the capital, and what was delicious.
But Victoria was more often surrounded by people, so somehow, it left an impression.
“Hmm… In this condition, it’s doubtful to what extent she is going to guide us.” (Soma)
“Well, it can’t be helped, right? To begin with, it’s unreasonable to guide through the royal capital in one day.” (Aina)
“Yes, you’re right.” (Soma)
The specific size was unknown, but the royal capital was large because there was only one capital for a country. For now, they had only been looking at it briefly, but if they didn’t do that, it would be obvious that they wouldn’t be able to look around.
In other words, it was necessary to look around in the first place. Now… Was it because she had a reason? Or was it because she couldn’t help guiding them all the way since she said earlier that she would do so?
Anyhow, it could be said that the situation has progressed rather smoothly so far…
“Hmm… I think the guidance would end without incident.” (Soma)
“…Is that something you care about? Well, there are a lot of things to worry about, but…” (Aina)
“No, that’s not the case. Every time he tried to go for a walk in the Holy City, something happened. Then, it was no wonder that something happened here as well. Above all, he thought that he would finish looking around this royal capital before the Holy City.
“It’s too hard to tell if that’s a joke or a serious one, you know.” (Aina)
“Well, it’s actually half and half.” (Soma)
Strictly speaking, it was a joke, but it was also true that something could happen. To begin with, it could be said that something was happening and that the empress was guiding them through the royal capital.
“Perhaps, I wonder if something will happen after the guidance is over.” (Aina)
“That would be possible as well. After all, we haven’t been told yet why she is guiding us.” (Soma)
There was also a possibility of saying that when everything was over and they returned to the royal castle, it would be treated as a good memory before being sent to the afterlife. He didn’t mind if it was easy to understand when that time came, but… it seemed the atmosphere wasn’t reaching that level so far.
Of course, since the other party was the empress, it would be easy to pretend…
“That reminds me, Aina. What did you think of the weapon shop earlier?” (Soma)
“If you ask me that… I can’t respond because your question is too vague.” (Aina)
“Hmm, is that so? Did you feel something strange?” (Soma)
“Strange? Even if you say so…” (Aina)
Aina, who frowned, seemed to be trying to remember what happened earlier, but she was tilting her head to remember if there was anything in particular.
Well, surely, what happened there was Victoria told the shopkeeper to show something that seemed to be in the middle of progress. The man obeyed, but then, he suddenly wanted to see Soma’s sword. He even wanted to borrow it. The first reason was only for his work, but the second reason could be he was concerned about Soma’s sword as a blacksmith. In a sense, even if that situation was said to be strange, there was nothing in particular. In other words, it was normal.
Aina seemed to give up before long. She shrugged her shoulders as if to give up thinking.
“At least, I don’t think of anything.” (Aina)
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“Really? If so, well, I guess I’m overthinking.” (Soma)
“Wait… I can’t help but worry when I’m told something strange and meaningful, you know.” (Aina)
“No, it’s not a big deal. It’s just that…” (Soma)
“I mean, after seeing that scene for a moment, I just felt a bit uncomfortable.” (Soma)
Beyond their line of sigh, there was still an exchange of someone unfamiliar to Victoria. They were smiling at each other.
However, that wasn’t the case earlier. Victoria had a faint smile on her face, but it was just a fake, and more importantly, that man was…
“Aah, well, surely, he was a bit ill-mannered. To be honest, I think he hates her. But is that it? There’s no such thing as being admired by everyone.” (Aina)
“Hmm… certainly. Well, in other words, I must have been overthinking.” (Soma)
Victoria returned to them when he was muttering so. She was brought to a shop somewhere, and apparently, she got something again. What she had in her hands seemed to be some kind of skewer.
“Please forgive me. I kept you waiting.” (Victoria)
“Well, it’s fine because I can understand what’s going on.” (Soma)
“Yes. However, the problem is that it’s all about food, and I’m almost full.” (Aina)
While saying so, the reason why Aina still accepted what was being handed over was either she felt bad to refuse or it was delicious. For the time being, at least, there was nothing bad with what was handed over so far. It seemed that the empire was blessed with food. Soma knew that much after being guided to the royal capital, but… whether it was exactly as intended, he wasn’t sure.
Soma also somehow looked up at the sky while receiving skewers from Victoria. As he smelled the good smell of skewers, he sighed toward the clear sky.
In the end, the guide to the royal capital was done until the sun was about to set on the horizon. Victoria said that he managed to get around somehow, but she wasn’t sure if she could do so tomorrow.
What she could say at the moment was that she didn’t need dinner.
Whether or not she was saying such a thing in the first place depended on the future.
“Now… may I ask you why you are doing this?” (Soma)
Soma said such words only after he and Aina came to a familiar place.
It was a corner with uselessly luxurious furniture and chairs that were about three steps higher than other places. It was the audience room. The secret passage used for going out was used again when they returned here.
Although they came here just a few hours ago, what seemed to be a long time ago was because he had seen so many things. However, the explanation of what was the reason they were led to the royal capital remained without explanation. No matter how the situation progressed from this point of time, it was necessary to confirm that first.
“Hmm. Well, it’s normal to be concerned about it. Rather, I thought you would ask that earlier.” (Victoria)
“It would be different if there were any disturbing signs, but that wasn’t the case.” (Soma)
“Yes. I was worried about food at first, but nothing happened. Well, I basically entrusted things to Soma, so it was almost like sightseeing in the first place.” (Aina)
Even if Aina said that, she seemed to have been wary of her, but she didn’t have to say everything. Rather than saying it, she squinted her eyes at the figure of the other side, who was sitting at a place above the position of her eye level while wondering what kind of words she would say.
“Anyhow, it is exactly as what I’ve said.” (Victoria)
“And that is…?” (Soma)
“Hmm. Didn’t I say it? I will show you around the royal capital.” (Victoria)
“…And that’s why he asked you the reason for doing it.” (Aina)
“There’s nothing much about it, you know. It’s just that I want to let people know about the place.” (Victoria)
“Does that mean that you took the trouble to lead us to let us know what the royal capital is like?” (Soma)
It wouldn’t be possible under normal circumstances, and above all, he didn’t understand the meaning of it.
However, there should be no point in telling a lie in this situation. Soma stared at her face to determine her true intentions, but her purple eyes with her smile obscured even her emotion.
“Phew… there’s no need to put yourself on guard. Well… that’s why I led you to my royal capital. To show that we can understand each other without being suspicious.
What did she mean?
Although Soma thought so, he never asked the question. It was because Victoria repeated her words.
“In other words, this is what I want to say. Demon King, will you join my hands?” (Victoria)
The empress, who ruled the empire, said such a thing with her usual unreadable eyes.
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