Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 24: Disturbing Factor
Uh-hm, that’s one weird dream.
I had talked with myself inside the dream.
And there was the “me” within the dream, who said something weird, and that it was “a dream yet not a dream”…
Like that’s possible. A dream is just a dream.
…or so I’d like to say, but at very least, I should take the advice regarding the Witch.
If that dream was true, it meant the Witch would immediately escape once I got closer. She wouldn’t be concerned about the debilitating effects of using teleport and would use it to escape and hide her presence.
That was indeed troublesome.
The reason I ‘knew’ the Witch was hiding beneath the school’s underground area was because of my knowledge regarding the game.
By no means did I actually have the ability to track her.
It wasn’t like I had a tool I could just point to detect her power and then go, “I found him! Kakaxxt is this way!”, or the ability to sense someone’s ki and then say “that ki is Krixxn-san!” 1
I only knew her location because of the knowledge I retained.
So if she moved away, I wouldn’t be able to know where she had gone to.
If she escaped to some underground jungle located in another continent overseas, it’d be practically impossible to find her.
There was a way to track traces of magic reaction in this world.
It was similar to what Perverted Glasses Bastard used during Eterna’s suicide attempt.
But due to my tendency of settling everything through raw power, I was incapable of that kind of stealthy ability. Not even Perverted Glasses Bastard could detect it if the target was separated by too great a distance.
So, she must not be moved. That was sound logic.
It’s often said that, “He who runs away, wins.”
It was better to flee a battle that couldn’t be won, and to prevent the enemy from approaching in the first place.
That was a proper and correct tactic, albeit a chickenshit one.
… but was that something a last boss should do? That was what I thought about it.
Currently she was (maybe) still below the school underground.
That wasn’t only due to the danger of teleporting, but also because of the advantages of staying in the academy.
The academy fostered knight candidate students, and if she hid within this enemy territory, she could get information on who her opponents will be in the future. Information could also easily reach her.
The Headmaster wasn’t her only spy. It’s more likely that several students and teachers were also involved as well.
Otherwise, there was no way she could escape the moment I came close.
There must be someone who watched my movement, and others who could report it to the Witch.
Those one who could do that… perhaps it could be a Guard Knight?
One of my guards, those who were closest to me.
Was it Leila? … No, it’s not her. Leila was not that cunning.
While the Leila in game did indeed betray Elrise (true), it was out of her dignity as someone from a “house that served the Saint for generations.”
So technically, she didn’t really betray the Saint then. She was just fooled into serving the wrong master, and then decided to return to the side of her true master.
The other possible suspect would be those from the Viscount Fox family.
This was because Aina Fox’s Papa had gotten on the bad side of Elrise (true) due to rebuking her, and this had led to the death of most of his family. He was such an unfortunate old guy.
He was the Prime Knight before Leila came, and was also one of my caretakers.
But there was no reason for them to rebel in this world, and in the first place, he was not in the Academy at the moment. The only Guard Knight who followed me here was Leila.
As such, it’s hard to believe that it could be Viscount Fox.
In that case… there were only academy teachers and students left, but I didn’t know who these traitors might be.
That’s because I didn’t remember the people who were not named in the game version.
If the spies were mobs whose faces I didn’t even remember, it would be very hard to search for them.
… Uuhm, it’s no good. I don’t know.
Let’s put it on hold for now, and not approach the underground.
If I could have the dream again, I’d like to look into these circumstances again on the internet.
It’s still halfway through the story, so there’s no need to rush now.
My lifespan would last until Vernell spent his first year in the academy. In other words, I had a grace period until then.
That’s why there was no need to hurry.
Ok, time to go now.
I faced the mirror and used magic to do my usual hair and skin care, plus charisma enhancement.
Because the content is scum, it was important to properly cover it with a facade of gold. This was my lifeline.
Well, regardless of how well you cover it, scum was still scum though.
It wasn’t something you could eat.
Now, for class.
While interacting with other students in class, I made sure to keep smiling outwardly.
It would be impossible to do this naturally all day, so of course, I cheated using magic.
I manipulated nerve signals using thunder magic, and used this to create some natural looking facial expressions..
If I didn’t do that my usual face would be outed instantly, and a sour face would come out.
So the Fake Saint smile was also successful today. Not a hint of my true face was revealed.
“… And so in this case, what we can learn from the apology that happened during this battle is, don’t stand in front of an enemy who is crouching2. This is often used as a ruse where they pretend to surrender…”
As I listened to the teacher’s explanation, I thought of the upcoming events from now.
The period from the Fighting Tournament until winter break was considered as the middle of the plot, but usually the main events of this midpart are the various problems caused by Elrise up until her punishment event.
In other words, the main enemy in this part was Elrise.
Elrise would barge her way into the academy because she became interested in Vernell, who protected during the Fighting Tournament.
As she followed Vernell around, she then become envious of the heroine Vernell was close with and caused trouble for them. She sent her henchmen to beat her up, and even ended up hiring an assassin.
Because the game was supposed to be suitable for all ages, none of those events succeeded, but Elrise garnered a lot of hate for her actions.
Then Aina’s assassination attempt occurred and succeeded in wounding Elrise. This was the event that raised doubt about whether or not she truly was the Saint. It led to Vernell’s party gathering information about her past atrocities. Leila then betrayed Elrise and switched sides, resulting in Elrise’s punishment and condemnation as a Fake Saint.
In Eterna’s route, Eterna was found out to be the true Saint due to the Fara-san event, so Elrise’s punishment happened much earlier.
When she finally had a Battle with the protagonist’s party, it was revealed that even with her surprisingly monstrous talent, this alone was not enough for her to win. She was beaten up and had to escape… In the end, she had survived by rummaging garbage, but was found and killed so brutally by those who held a grudge towards her that her corpse could not be found after.
But in this world I didn’t do any evil, so such an event probably wouldn’t happen.
So it’s safe to say that this period might stay peaceful.
Even in the Eterna route that I had seen in the dream, I had continued with my role as the fake Saint until the latter part of the plot. This meant that I would be safe as long as I didn’t do anything stupid.
Well, at least I learned from my last failure (when I was wounded in front of Vernell) so now I made sure to keep my reinforcement magic up all the time. Even if an assassination event did happen, I would be okay.
So I was free until winter break.
Because the main opponent in the middle part of the story was me, it’s obvious that I would have a lot of free time if I didn’t do anything.
Well there was the heroine’s individual event during that time, but about that… this world’s Vernell was acting like a different kind of character so…
Since the Fighting Tournament, Mary had joined Vernell’s party for the time being. However, their current relationship was more like rivalry rather than romantic, so Mary’s personal event didn’t trigger.
Uhm, there’s nothing to do.
What should I do? Should I kill time by bullying the headmaster that has already been confirmed as a spy?
I could beat him up to make him cough up info about other spies, and then gather all those spies together.
Regardless of him being a spy though, it would still be bad for my image if I started beating him up for no reason.
It would be good if there was proof, but he was not stupid enough to leave proof that could be easily found.
So it was best if I caught him red handed, though if I could do that easily I wouldn’t be this troubled now…
No good, I don’t know what I should do.
Will someone conveniently give me such advantageous information?
Vernell had grown ever since the Fighting Tournament, but he did not become complacent and still trained everyday.
He gained many things during that tournament.
The Fighting experience against a strong Demon, the sword he got from Elrise.
The resolve to definitely defeat the Witch.
And a new comrade.
Mary, who he battled with in the tournament finals, has now become Vernell’s friend and rival
They worked hard together and polished each other’s ability
Having a rival who has a similar level of ability meant they could spar anytime.
This allowed Vernell to grow even more than before.
He remembered what Elrise had told him back then… that there was a limit to one person’s strength.
He finally understood what it meant now.
There were also other reliable comrades like Eterna, John, Fiora… and despite not being a student, there was also Supple-sensei.
Everyone has their own respective capabilities and weaknesses, and together, they were able to complement each other’s abilities.
They can’t protect the Saint with just one person alone. But with the six of them together, he thought they couldn’t lose against anyone.
It was on one of those fulfilling days.
After that day’s lesson ended, Vernell had a sparring session with Mary and John outside of the school building. He noticed Mary looking towards some students in the distance.
Mary’s expression hardly changed, so it’s hard to read it, but she was a really kind person.
However, she at that moment looked lonely somehow.
“What is it, Mary? Do you have something to worry about?”
“…hm. About that person… a little”
Mary’s gaze was focused on a red haired girl who was doing her practice swings some distance away.
If Vernell was not mistaken, that person should be the girl Mary fought against during the semi-finals.
“That’s Aina, isn’t it? What about that girl?”
“…I seem to be hated. Every time we meet, she glares towards me”
As Vernell listened, he finally understood.
After their match, Aina had slapped away the hand Mary offered to her.
Honestly, that was not a good attitude.
While he didn’t know Aina that much, he was aware she had a lot of pride.
Perhaps ever since that moment, she has been hostile to Mary.
“That isn’t Mary’s fault. While I understand the frustration of losing, it’s wrong of her to hold a grudge against Mary because of it”
“That’s right. Don’t mind it too much”
John and Fiora consoled Mary with their words.
It’s not like Mary had cheated in any way during that battle.
She had fought fair and square and won by her own ability.
Aina had lost simply because she was weaker than Mary.
“Even if you say not to mind it, it doesn’t feel good to get angrily glared at every time we meet.”
Vernell agreed with Eterna’s words.
Even if Mary tried to ignore it since she wasn’t at fault, no one would feel good if they constantly received such one sided hostility.
But even if they tried to talk to Aina about it, it would probably make the matter worse.
That kind of prideful person wouldn’t accept even a logical explanation.
On the contrary, if they lost through such logic , they would likely get angrier.
“Huh? Hey, isn’t that headmaster-sensei?”
Fiora called out as she noticed this.
For some reason, as they watched from afar, the headmaster approached Aina and said something to her.
Afterwards, both of them left. Vernell cocked his head curiously after seeing this.
“Wonder what that’s about? Is it about her grades?”
“Even so, would that be something that the headmaster would need to talk to her about?”
Eterna said this thoughtfully, to which John also voiced his doubt.
Even so, it wasn’t something that they could snoop on.
Teachers spoke to their students … it was a usual occurrence within the academy.
Just as they were about to dismiss their suspicions, another voice reached their ears.
“That’s weird. To think the headmaster would directly approach a student.”
As everyone turned back, they saw Supple, who was digging the ground with a shovel for some reason.
Even as he described the situation as weird, he was actually doing something even weirder. Everyone looked at him with a doubtful face.
But Supple kept digging without minding their stares… rather, he even made the effort to harden the dirt he dug with magic to ensure its shape was preserved.
“Why would he call on Aina Fox instead of the tournament champion Vernell or the 1st runner-up Mary…? While she does have potential, the order of this is weird. It’s not like they know each other personally or are related. That’s weird”
“Err…what is Sensei doing there?”
“Me? Aah, this is the ground that has the footprint of our Saint. So to protect its worth, I’m collecting and securing it.”
—he is a pervert. Everyone here was sure of it.
Perhaps this teacher was the most dangerous guy to the Saint?
As aspiring knights, should they cut this person down before they fight Witch?
As their thoughts became one, Supple didn’t suspect anything at all and continued talking.
“I feel headmaster has become strange recently. He has done a lot of questionable actions.”
You, out of all people, shouldn’t say that.
Everyone there shared this thought.
“For example, he removed the night shift patrol duty and started doing it himself. He refused cleaning for the headmaster’s office and suddenly increased the locks from 1 to 5. He also changed its window with a sturdier one and had it covered so the inside wasn’t visible. It’s as if he’s trying to hide something that could get him in trouble if found out.
You, out of all people, shouldn’t say that.
Everyone there thought so once more.
But if that really was the case though, could the scene they had just witnessed also be something he wanted to hide…?
“I don’t think it’s that suspicious… even I do things I don’t want others to see inside my own room.”
“That is indeed so. While each of his actions has been suspicious, people wouldn’t really think too much about it.. Such actions would just make others think, “Well, one feels like doing such things sometimes.” Like if someone who usually doesn’t kick stones kicked one, then you can’t really say anything if they respond, “I just felt like it that time.” But if they start kicking a stone every day, then you would think that they’ve changed and wonder about the cause. I can’t help but feel like the headmaster has changed somehow recently. I can’t explain it clearly. And like I said, if he would say “I just felt like it.”, that would probably be the end of it. But even so, I can’t help feeling that he’s changed somehow.”
As he was saying that, he tightly tied the bag, and carefully placed it within his coat.
At very least, this man’s actions couldn’t be explained by just saying “I just feel like doing it.”
“Let’s see… now that it’s come to this, let’s tail them. Perhaps we might see something interesting from the headmaster”
After Supple said that, he started moving without hesitation.
So he really was going to tail them.
Before doing something about the Headmaster, wasn’t it better to do something about this guy first… was a thought everyone there couldn’t help but think of.