Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 062 – Holy Grail Sect – End [A]
“The mission this time… is to destroy the Holy Grail Sect.”
Sajinto spoke in a low voice, astonishing Arthur and Tlue by what they heard.
“Destroy, you say- you mean- that Holy Grail Sect?!”
Tlue looked really surprised. Sajinto seemed to find his reaction understandable and continued to explain indifferently.
“The Holy Grail Sect is ostensibly a normal religion, but what they do behind the scenes… Or rather, their upper echelons are rotten. They’ve kidnapped babies and they were never seen again. Doing it under the excuse of protection.”
“B-but the Holy Grail Sect is a world-wide religion, isn’t it?! Isn’t it impossible to destroy them?”
“The damage will only increase if they’re not destroyed, and we are only attacking their upper echelon. It’s the one at Religious City Louder.1 The upper ranks of people are known as the Seven Sages, as well as the Religious King Eu. According to our investigations, this place is connected to the criminal organization known as the Eternal Foundation and the kidnapped babies and believers are delivered there.”
“Also, this mission is an especially confidential one. There’s a possibility that there are people among the knights’ brigade who are connected to the Sect or the Foundation. That’s why we have been monitoring people and decided that everyone here is safe in that category and suitable for this mission.”
“You mean us…”
“Indeed. In addition, three excellent rookies would be participating as well.”
“They are Galahad, Emilia, and Heimi. Galahad is the daughter of the Chief Paladin and maybe you already know, but she is exceptionally competent. Emilia is the heart of this mission. Heimi is unmarked by investigators, but she could easily be said to be a genius. She wasn’t to be included at first, but her competence got her added for this mission.”
Just as they were talking, the three aforementioned rookies walked in. Galahad was quiet and wore a mask, Emilia wore a strong expression, and Heimi was smiling as they appeared.
“It’s been a while, senpai.”
Emilia called out to Fay. However, Fay wore a blank expression of wonder, so Emilia asked skeptically.
“You can’t have possibly forgotten about me, right?”
“I see, fine then.”
Emilia had been scolded by Fay before. She got so inspired by it that she had grown much stronger. She had been thinking about Fay as she trained all this time, but if the man in question said he didn’t remember her at all, she would be angry.
“Senpai! Long time no see~!”
“Aah, Heimi huh.”
“Eh! You actually remember me! That makes me happy! I’ve heard senpai is now a second-grade paladin! That’s amazing!!”
Fay remembered Heimi properly. Emilia’s gaze grew dark upon hearing Heimi’s name being casually called, but Fay wasn’t someone who cared.
There wasn’t much interaction with Galahad, so both sides were ignoring each other. In the game version, neither Fay nor Heimi were in this group, making it only a group of five consisting of Arthur, Tlue, Sajinto, Galahad, and Emilia.
However, it became a group of seven with the extra two.
“We’ll be heading out now. I’ll explain the details of the mission as we go.”
As the story was challenged with a group of seven instead, they went to clash with the utsu event.
Religious City Louder, a city characterized by a large tower rising into the sky. It was the head temple of the world-wide religion called Holy Grail Sect.
The person called Religious King Eu was in great control of it.
He used to be a mere shepherd. However, it was said that he heard the voice of god and possessed the power of the Holy Grail one day.
He supposedly led people using that power — that was close to omniscience and omnipotence — and created a big city at once. It seemed the land was originally owned by aristocrats, but they were allowed to use it by paying taxes. It was said that despite paying taxes, they could still afford to live in comfort and leisure.
The money and food from the followers were owned by them.
“The one in power takes advantage of the weak, gaining more nourishment and power. That itself isn’t unusual and could be considered a truth of the world. However, there’s a limit to how far it can go.”
“The babies and believers are handed over to the Eternal Foundation to be used as experimental bodies, something like that is way too immoral. We couldn’t act because we didn’t have any definitive evidence. However, small yet strong evidence has finally come out.”
That was what Fay and the others heard from Sajinto. Immoral people were working behind the scenes and it was said that there were still people imprisoned in the basement of the gigantic tower in this city.
They would be divided into two groups. The first group consisted of Arthur, Sajinto, Galahad, and Heimi, while the second group consisted of Fay, Tlue, and Emilia.
Fay’s group ran to the underground first. A large number of white-clad believers were praying at a place called the cathedral. There were about 300 of them.
“What is this? It looks abnormal no matter how I see it.”
Tlue felt the strange atmosphere in that place.
The atmosphere was simply sickening. It dulled your thoughts, as disgusting feelings of some sort were being forced into their head. Emilia seemed to feel it the most as her expression crumbled.
Fay seemed to notice something and went through a door that led to a different room alone. Neither Emilia nor Tlue noticed him and continued looking around the cathedral.
Hundreds of people were praying, and in the place where a large bronze statue of the Holy Grail was erected, stood an old man in conspicuous clothes.
He raised both his hands with a smile that seemed to be plastered on his face.
“Come on, everyone, please pray to the Holy Grail! If you do, may all of you be filled with bliss!!”
An old man was rubbing his hands in silence as if responding to his voice. There were also men looking down with eyes like dead fish, and women intently kneeling on the ground.
“They’re crazy. To think that there’s a place like this.”
“……You’re right. It goes beyond my understanding.”
Tlue and Emilia shuddered at the uncanniness of the space. Perhaps it was because they were overwhelmed by the situation, but they were late to notice that the old man standing in the front had suddenly looked at them.
“It seems we have guests. I guess the paladin dogs that have been sniffing around lately have finally arrived. Either way, you won’t be able to escape from here.”
Before the two could even flee temporarily, the old man already stood in front of them. All the believers also focused their eyes on the two as if to react to that.
“Hohoho, you seem to be wondering how I have such agility in my old age. Moreover, I didn’t use any art at all. You see, that’s the power of the Holy Grail. It is connected to me and grants me great power.”
“The Holy Grail grants power…?”
“Yes, I am special. I am late to introduce myself, but I am one of the Seven Sages of the Holy Grail Sect, Mach of ‘Greed’.”
“Hohoho, I guess you can’t help but wonder about my agility. It’s no wonder, as this is God’s blessing. It’s like borrowing part of what Religious King Eu received.”
“…You didn’t seem to use art at all.”
“I didn’t use it. There’s no need to use it after all. Well, I can go faster if I use it though!!”
Before they knew it, Tlue had been beaten. Emilia was astonished at the speed that she couldn’t perceive, or rather, speed that she couldn’t even notice.
Then Mach noticed the other intruder, Emilia.
“Oya, you are-“
“Hohoho, I didn’t expect you, who were once an experimental body, to come here.”
“…As I thought, this place is-“
“Oh my, it seems you remember. I thought the memories had already been removed.”
“It’s a fragmented memory, but I remember it.”
“Aah, so it’s fragmented. I don’t know if it’s good or bad… but either way, let’s get rid of you. It seems your fragmented memories are the problem that brought paladins here in the first place.”
Before Emilia knew it, she had already received damage. Her stomach was pierced by a sword and blood was pouring out copiously.
“You won’t die with just this much. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you are the Abyss itself after all.”
“Exactly because you are an Abyss, suggestions have a hard time working on you. What a half-assed human. Gh?!”
Mach noticed Tlue approaching from behind and avoided it. Surprisingly, he used art to avoid it and the two noticed that.
“…Did he use art just now?”
“I wonder? What do you think?”
“Wouldn’t it be better to just use the Holy Grail’s omniscient and omnipotent power? Why didn’t you use it?”
“…I wonder? Maybe it’s because it’s not good to depend on God too much?”
“It seems that there’s a condition to use it… cough.”
“A-are you okay?”
“I’m okay, it’ll heal soon. I just started to remember after all. Be it about this place and about myself…”
The wound on Emilia’s stomach closed. She closed her eyes slightly and remembered something. As she opened the depths of the memories she didn’t want to open, she was in despair. But she didn’t stop fighting.
“I remember. This place is a branch of the Eternal Foundation. And I was an Abyss. I was something created out of an Abyss and injected with the brain of a human girl, a half-demonic human.”
“You have no time to be surprised. I’m deep in despair at the moment too. You shouldn’t falter too… The thing called the Holy Grail is a mass of human consciousness. That is the source of his power.”
“W-what do you mean?”
“Hohoho, it seems you’ve remembered.”
“The holy grail is made out of super-advanced suggestions. That is why they forcefully make people worship it to raise its power. But its power isn’t absolute. When he first attacked us, it wasn’t that the Holy Grail strengthened his power, but the suggestion it produced slowed our actions. That was why he had to use art to avoid Tlue when you attacked from behind.”
“Nice answer. However, it’s meaningless even if you know that. The Holy Grail is a fundamental element of faith that is rooted in this world. Everyone is innately fearful and reverent of it.”
“I see. It could instill a great deal of fear in those who revere it. Rather, there is a fairy tale told globally where the Holy Grail is depicted. Since we have heard about it since we were babies, we unconsciously…”
“Indeed, people unconsciously think they are inferior, making them easy to brainwash.”
“It’s a tough story, but can you keep up? I have a way to overcome this situation, so I want you to buy me some time, Tlue.”
At the mention of Holy Grail, Tlue frowned slightly. The collective unconsciousness of humans was made into what is known as the Holy Grail. The Seven Sages were supported by it, and everyone in this world has heard the fairy tale about the Holy Grail somewhere in their lives.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say they’ve been continuously brainwashed since young. What would be an effective way to overcome that? Tlue doubted it was possible to win to begin with.
“We can win if I just abandon my humanity.”
“I was an Abyss. As long as I abandon my emotions as a human and return to being an Abyss, I’ll be no different to a wild animal. Animals have no faith. This could be trained, but what we are facing is the collective consciousness of humanity, the unconscious feeling of inferiority due to a long period of brainwashing. In order to erase that, human emotions, human rationality, and memories all have to be erased…”
“Hohoho, that’s what you say, but isn’t that impossible? You won’t ever have such courage again.”
“Yes, you’re right… that was close. You were trying to put me in a suggestion again just now.”
“Haah, so you noticed. Well, I don’t mind, you know? You see, the believers behind me will definitely help after all.”
In response to Mach’s words, hundreds of believers became his walls.
“Tlue, give my regards to Fay-senpai. I have no idea where he went, but I actually wanted to have a date with him. But he doesn’t seem to care about me at all.”
“Wait, there should be other methods-”
“You should understand if you think calmly. If they really possessed divine power, they would have already gone for world domination using the power of the Holy Grail, but they were just shutting themselves up in a place like this. There are Abyss and demons outside, and they are afraid of that. They are afraid of the wild. That’s why they intend to stay here until they have full power and enter a partnership with the Eternal Foundation. So before that happens…… they must be destroyed.”
“T-that might be true, but-”
“I’ll leave the rest to you.”
“Hohoho, I look forward to seeing how far you can go. Show me the power of the half-demonic human──”
──An intense sound ripped through their eardrums.
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