Ex Strongest, Staying in the Royal Capital
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To be honest, Soma wanted to say it was her true intention.
However, he didn’t say it because he saw her eyes, not because he thought that it was bad. Although the eyes didn’t make him feel any kind of emotion, it was easy for him to guess whether she was sane or not.
As a result, different words came out from his mouth because he definitely felt that it was her true intention.
“Are you saying that because there’s a possibility that I would agree, even if the possibility is small?” (Soma)
“No…? If that’s true, I would have it easy then. Well, actually, there’s not a single hint of possibility, you know.” (Victoria)
“You are well aware that there’s no possibility, and yet… you’re still saying it?” (Soma)
If she thought about it normally, she would say it for the sake of asking his submission especially when she didn’t think that he would join her hands. In short, it was coercion. So, it was natural that the atmosphere where Aina felt unrested.
“Aina, as expected, it is short-sighted, or maybe, you’re overthinking? Well, it’s not that I don’t understand.” (Soma)
They were in the middle of the enemy camp. It was natural to be wary if she didn’t know what was going on, and it was unavoidable that it was easy to become unrested.
If all things broke loose, it would become a war.
“Anyhow, I want to confirm what you mean. Of course, if you really intend to start a war right now, I won’t hesitate to go against you.” (Soma)
“Hmm, though it’s amusing to do so, let’s stop. I can’t involve all the people of the empire just because of my idea.” (Victoria)
No matter what happened, Soma wouldn’t miss every of her moves.
He was looking at Victoria with such a thought, but there was no sign of her making a move at all. And then, he wondered would it be already for her to say that she really didn’t intend to have a fight.
“Hmm, well, I think it’s not unreasonable, but I have no other intention today, you know. I just want to share the wonderfulness of this country with you and have you join my hands. Those are my only purposes.” (Victoria)
“…I don’t understand, but what do you want to do? I thought you were working together with the Devil.” (Soma)
“Hmm? Working together? What’s with that?” (Victoria)
“What’s with that…? Rather, why do you think like that?” (Aina)
Aina’s unrest feelings which had settled down once, appeared again, but she didn’t think that she wanted to hold Soma’s back either. Soma was suspicious, and so she increased vigilance.
Perhaps, it was a misunderstanding that the empress was working together with the Devil, but… apparently, that wasn’t the case. However, when it came to that, it seemed excessive.
“Well, it can’t be helped if you don’t understand it. However, if it’s you, I’m sure you can. At least, I can be convinced of that.” (Victoria)
Soma squinted at Victoria who spoke such words with her inexplicable eyes and a smile on her face.
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Soma knew that Victoria wasn’t going to confront them immediately, but that didn’t mean the problem would be solved. It wouldn’t turn that way if there was a fundamental problem. Moreover, another serious problem was discovered.
That serious problem was Soma and Aina couldn’t return to the Holy City.
It wasn’t that Victoria wouldn’t allow them to return, it was more on the physical part. Plus, it was a matter of time.
In short, it was necessary to walk to return to the Holy City.
It was a matter of course, but when they thought about how they came to the empire, walking back wasn’t feasible. But Victoria said it was a one-way teleportation. They couldn’t be sent back, and the only way to return to the origin was to return by themselves.
However, it was almost evening when the guide to the royal capital was over. At the moment, as a matter of course, the sun had set and the night curtain had fallen down. Soma had to admit that it wasn’t realistic to return to Holy City from now on.
It didn’t matter if it was simply from the monster threat, but he didn’t know the geography and on top of that, he wasn’t alone. It was supposed to be so far, but in this case, there was no choice but to move as the other party expected.
It was for that reason that Soma and Aina decided to stay in the royal capital.
That said, he could read the development so far, and it might have been rather better. Soma had envisioned that he would be put in a prison. Instead, he was given a room, which was much better.
At least, it was far better than being sent back as it was.
“Better than being sent back… why? Wouldn’t that be the best course of action?” (Aina)
Aina tilted her head as she said while heading to the room where it was assigned to.
Certainly, it was right to say so. In fact, it was the best, considering if they wanted to return to the Holy City.
“That means, they can move freely between the Holy City and this royal capital, alright?” (Soma)
“Aah, I see.” (Aina)
It might be because she noticed the danger, Aina slightly opened her eyes and her face became pale.
Well, that was obvious. In short, it meant that they could freely attack the Holy City.
Soma didn’t mention how terrifying it was, he just shrugged his shoulders.
“Didn’t I say it? If only it were possible. We don’t have to think about it as long as they say it’s impossible.” (Soma)
“Why would they say so? They could be lying.” (Aina)
“It’s because it doesn’t make sense. Rather than hiding that it’s possible to attack, it’s much more effective to show it.” (Soma)
It would be exhausting if he thought that they might be possible to attack at any time, but that was it. It was fine to attack immediately before guiding them leisurely, and it was easy to demoralize most people just by showing that it was possible. There was no specific meaning to lie to them.
“To begin with, even forcibly transferring us easily. Or if there is something hidden, they won’t be able to use the teleport for a while after using it once, rather than one-way teleportation.” (Soma)
“Surely, it would be a waste to use it for one-way teleportation if it works that way. If Eleonora-san was teleported here, that would be a big deal.” (Aina)
“Well, that wouldn’t be the case.” (Soma)
It wasn’t a matter of not doing it, but it was a matter of being impossible.
According to Satya, the inner part of the shrine was completely under Her control, so all external interference was being repelled. Besides, Eleonora stayed in the temple, so there was nothing they could do from the outside.
“…But when you think about it, why was it now?” (Aina)
“What do you mean?” (Soma)
“If they teleport you here after the war begins, we will be in turmoil, right?” (Aina)
“I don’t know what role I play and what I do in the event of a war, but… well, surely, there will be some confusion. However, in that case, I will only treat them as an enemy.” (Soma)
It wasn’t much different from a self-destruct.
Of course, if the other side did everything with their knowledge, they would be prepared accordingly, but if they made a mistake, they would put themselves in danger.
“To be honest, I can’t say too much. If it’s about killing me during the war, I would have resisted normally.” (Soma)
“By the way, I seem to have noticed. Why didn’t you resist at that time?” (Aina)
“If I have to say it simply, I couldn’t measure the scale and influence.” (Soma)
“Scale and influence?” (Aina)
It meant that if it were possible to randomly transfer both Aina and Soma, would it be possible to transport all the people around them. Or was it possible to teleport the entire corner of the city.
It was impossible for Soma to assert that something like that would be possible to deal with.
“I couldn’t resist unnecessarily and involve unrelated people. That is the same when I thought you would get caught up as well. It wasn’t always the case that they would miss it when we tried to escape. More importantly, I thought you should stay by my side.” (Soma)
“Aah… that’s why you apologized at that time.” (Aina)
Yes, it was.
At that time, Soma was able to let Aina escape if he wanted to. In terms of possibility, it was likely possible.
However, just in case, he didn’t let her go.
“If so, I don’t need your apology. If you told me to escape, I don’t think I would abide.” (Aina)
“Is that so? Should I say thank you?” (Soma)
“I was forced before I could say anything. Wouldn’t it be weird to say that?” (Aina)
“Surely, you’re right.” (Soma)
While saying such a thing, he looked at her face, and somehow, she was smiling.
There, he thought he was glad to make the correct decision.
“By the way, what are we going to do from now on?” (Aina)
“Hmm… You mean tomorrow? We were told to stay today, but we weren’t told what to do tomorrow.” (Soma)
“Certainly…. so, it’s too early to think that we’re free.” (Aina)
It could be said that there was a way to gather information. Soma and Aina were led to the room at the moment. There was personnel for that purpose.
However, the person didn’t show any pretense of concern about their conversation, so it seemed that there was a little hope to gather information as the person walked ahead. Therefore, there was no need to do anything unnecessary, and wait for tomorrow. Anyhow, if they tried to move now or wait tomorrow, the outcome would differ greatly.
Soma and Aina looked at each other to share their intentions, and then, they nodded. They didn’t know what would happen in the future, but they were sure it would work. If it doesn’t work, they just have to do something.
While walking along the passage of the big castle with Aina and looking beyond it, Soma let out a breath.
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