Ex Strongest, Meeting Upright Soldiers
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“We would like to express our sincere apologies for the inconvenience we have caused you due to our lack of supervision. We sincerely apologize. We are truly sorry.” (??)
The newly emerged soldiers said so first and bowed their heads as they reached the entrance of the city.
It was true that they were hoping for a decent group of soldiers to arrive, but… that situation was unexpected. Soma and others looked at each other with a mixture of confusion.
“Hmm… indeed, this situation is unexpected, isn’t it?” (Soma)
“It would be weird to predict this. I mean, those guys look a little different from the guys earlier, don’t they?” (Aina)
“…Yes, their armor is splendid.” (Sheila)
“…That’s right. I think they are probably members of the chivalric order.” (Cecil)
“Ooh… the chivalric order, is it?” (Soma)
After being told that, he looked at them again. These people certainly seemed to be more capable than the men he had just met. There were only about five of them, but if there were twice as many against those men earlier, they would be able to overwhelm ten people. But that meant that if they weren’t good enough, it was possible that those people were rampaging as they pleased, but… Soma was glad that they seemed to be decent people.
By the way, in addition to Soma’s group, other people who seemed to the the residents of the city, came to the entrance of the city, but their number was small. Many of them must have decided that it was more likely that people like those men would come than these decent soldiers.
However, even for those who had come here with hope in their hearts, their current attitude seemed to be unexpected, and they all had expressions of surprise on their faces.
“Now… I would like to speak with the person in charge if possible…” (??)
The person who said that as he looked around the place was a middle-aged man. Considering the atmosphere, he seemed to be the leader of the group.
However, Soma also took a quick look around the place, but there was no sign of the mayor. Perhaps, he… had escaped.
In such a situation, those in power were the first to be targeted. Soma and the others had just arrived here, so they didn’t know much about the damage, but unfortunately, it was quite possible that there was no one who could take on the role of the person in charge.
Soma was wondering what to do in that case, and when he was looking at the situation as if it had nothing to do with him… their eyes suddenly met. The middle-aged man even checked on Aina and Sheila, and then, he walked straight over to them.
“Hmm… Aina, do you actually know each other?” (Soma)
“No, of course, not.” (Aina)
“…Are you mistaken for the person in charge because you’re the most imposing?” (Sheila)
“Well, at least, there is no one else like that.” (Cecil)
Indeed, the people gathered here were expectant, and yet, there was a hint of trepidation on their faces. He wasn’t thinking that a representative of the city wouldn’t be frightened by this situation, but at least, they wouldn’t let him get out. With that in mind, it might be said that Soma and the others were the most likely to do so.
Soma wasn’t sure if he was really going to be able to handle that kind of talk, but… when he was still thinking about it, the middle-aged man came right up to him. Regardless of the reason, it seemed that the man was definitely here for a reason.
As Soma was wondering what the reason was, the middle-aged man opened his mouth.
“Please excuse me, but I need to ask you something. Will that be alright?” (??)
“That’s alright, but we’re new in town too, so we don’t know who the representative is, you know.” (Soma)
“Hmm, is that so? It would be settled immediately if you knew it… no, it’s not a problem. What I want to ask you is about the people who have been rampaging here.” (??)
“The people who have been rampaging here? What do you want to know about them?” (Aina)
“I wanted to ask where those guys are now… As expected, did you guys stop them?” (??)
“…As expected? …Did you know that they were rampaging and they weren’t longer doing so?” (Sheila)
“As for the second half, it would be incorrect to say that I knew. It’s more accurate to say that I knew when I came here and when I looked into the eyes of those gathered. I could see the fear in their eyes, but I didn’t feel the sense of urgency. From that, I merely concluded that perhaps, someone had already stopped them.” (??)
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Apparently, the man was a moderately observant person. As Soma squinted at him, the other side looked at him with the same look in his eyes.
“And only in your eyes had no fear, and above all, I felt a certain competence. I’m not sure if we would be able to compete with them even with all of us. Then, there is no way those men could defeat you.” (??)
“Just because you can’t win, doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it, right?” (Soma)
“I used to be the squad leader of the second squad of the chivalric order. I think I have good eyes for people.” (??)
“I see. Is that why you approached us?” (Aina)
“That’s right. So, if I am to your liking, I would very much like you to take me to them, wouldn’t you? Perhaps, you’ve got them in the right place?” (??)
Considering the fact that the man was able to guess that much, Soma thought that the man was able to roughly guess before their eyes met.
He seemed to be a moderately skilled man for his age, including the fact that he knew that they were watching and probing them.
“…Have you spoken to the representative?” (Sheila)
“It’s just that we want to talk here to apologize for the rampage caused by our soldiers. They are the only ones we have any use for.” (??)
“Hmm… I can show you, but what are you going to do with them?” (Soma)
“Well… I would like you to hand them over if you can. If they are still alive, that is.” (??)
“What are you going to do after being handed over?” (Aina)
Aina asked cautiously because she thought that the man might be covering for the men even though she knew he wouldn’t.
However, the middle-aged man shook his head, telling her not to worry.
“Of course, we will punish them. It depends on what they have done, but… by the looks of it, they must have done a lot. It will probably be a capital offense. If you’re worried, I’m happy to judge them on the spot. That’s what we’re here for, you know.” (??)
“…For what? To punish them?” (Sheila)
“Yes. You are aware that we have been given permission to do whatever we like. Then, there shouldn’t be any complaints about anyone doing so.” (??)
At least, Soma didn’t feel any lie in the gaze that was pointed straight at him. He looked at Aina and the others, and it seemed that they agreed with him. Then, there was no problem in handling the men over.
Originally, he wasn’t sure what to do with them after extracting the information. If these men were willing to punish them, it would be much better.
“Hmm… by the way, how did you know they were rampaging?” (Soma)
“That reminds me, I didn’t hear that.” (Aina)
“Aah… yes, I didn’t tell you. It’s just that we heard from someone who escaped from here that there were some people who were rampaging.” (??)
“Has anyone ever escaped from here and been safe?” (Soma)
“It’s a coincidence that I heard about it. Besides… it’s hard to say if it was worth it to come to this city. However, thanks to you, peace has already been restored to this city.” (??)
“…I don’t think so. There must be a reason why you came.” (Cecil)
“…Why is that?” (??)
“The people of this city are seeing the soldiers, who are supposed to protect them, rampaging. But thanks to your arrival, they can now see that not all of the soldiers are like that, and that there are indeed soldiers who will protect them. That’s definitely a meaningful thing.” (Cecil)
“…I see. Thank you very much.” (??)
What Cecil said was probably optimistic. In reality, it wouldn’t work out that way.
However, Soma agreed that it was meaningful to come. If it didn’t work out that way, it should at least be able to give the residents some help.
“Well, there seems to be no problem for the time being. I will guide you to them.” (Soma)
“Thank you.” (??)
“However, even if I say that I will guide you there, I just tied them up in a suitable place and put them there. If you search for them properly, you would have found them immediately.” (Aina)
“…Yes, it’s pretty close.” (Sheila)
“Being guided means that you trust me to some extent. If so, that fact is what is important.” (??)
“I don’t think there’s much point in gaining our trust, though. Aah, by the way, since we’re on the subject, is it true that the second prince won?” (Soma)
“…To be honest, I don’t know. We were originally from the first prince faction. But the fact is we can’t get in touch with the first prince. It’s probably true that he has been defeated. I just still can’t believe that… the man would issue such an announcement.” (??)
“Is that so…?” (Soma)
After all, it seemed to be obviously suspicious. Still, in the end, if they didn’t go to the royal capital, they wouldn’t know what happened.
While wondering what really happened, they headed to the place where they had put the men earlier in order to guide the middle-aged man.
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