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Chapter 27: Operation “One Fell Swoop”
“I have kept you waiting, oh Saint. Here’s a list with the names I was able to uncover through my investigation over the last two weeks.”
As Perverted Glasses Bastard said that, he handed me a piece of parchment containing a list of the spies within the academy, which he had investigated at my request.
Since I didn’t want to touch that parchment, I made Leila take it in my stead, and had her read the name on the list.
It mostly contained names I didn’t recognize (in the first place, mob characters were not named in the game, so there’s no way I could remember them), and it numbered 24 names in total.
Obviously, the Headmaster and Aina’s names were included in there.
Most of them were fools who got swindled into it like Aina, but some of them were true followers of the Witch.
If the list was genuine, then I couldn’t help but admit that he was capable at this work.
Even though he was just a Perverted Glasses Bastard, he sure was quite handy.
But Leila, who read through it, seemed unconvinced. Her face became grimmer as she perused the list.
“This is… what kind of joke is this, Instructor Supple? I can only think that you yourself are an actual follower of the Witch as I read this. Using a fake report to pick a fight with some very credible people. Are you trying to reduce humanity’s fighting force?”
“That’s unthinkable. The sole person I have given my heart to is Elrise-sama, and no one else.”
“Then what is this? The people listed as traitors here… are people who had fought alongside the previous Saint, or are devoted to her… weren’t they all Great Knights!”
At Leila’s angry outburst, Perverted Glasses Bastard just provokingly shrugged his shoulder.
But to me, the words of Leila actually increased the credibility of this “list.”
Ah— I see. So they were Knights who fought alongside the previous Saint and their merry friends, huh.
Well, I did suspect those people. But the fact that he could include them in the list without hesitation meant Perverted Glasses Bastard’s investigation was true, for better or worse.
“You even included knights who are still trying to foster the next generation as academy instructors, despite being retired. They are all distinguished and respectable people! Are you trying to ridicule us Knights?!”
“I have no intention of ridiculing them. But if they are choosing to betray humanity, then they are worthless, regardless of their devotion to the previous Saint. It seems like the dignity of those knights you talked about is not as noble as you think it is, Leila-kun”
Leila’s hand reached for her sword, while Perverted Glasses Bastard started preparing his magic.
Oi, you guys. Don’t fight in this place.
“Calm down, Leila. As sad as it is, with the headmaster as a confirmed case, there is an undeniable possibility that other former knights are also on the enemy’s side. The people who admire the headmaster should be quite a number too.”
“That… that’s true, but —”
As I rebuked Leila, she reluctantly dropped her hand from her sword.
Then I turned towards Perverted Glasses Bastard.
Ue, his face looks so happy just being in front of me, so I don’t want to see it often…
“Supple-sensei, how did you investigate this?”
“Good question. They were using a certain bird as their primary method of communication. It was a species that was discovered 80 years ago by a certain adventurer, Styil, who became the namesake of the species from that moment onward. This bird employs a peculiar camouflage ability. They escaped from predators by coordinating their feathers’ color to match their environment, and mimicking other life forms’ voices to repel their predators. They had been domesticated due to these traits 50 years ago. They could become practically invisible, and so if they ride on the shoulder or head of a person, they won’t be noticed as long no one looks for it carefully. Its capability to mimic voices makes it a phenomenal messenger ”
Perverted Glasses Bastard started to happily talk about unimportant things in answer to my simple question.
Yep, who cares about when it was found.
Anyway, it’s just a bird that was a good messenger.
“I caught every Styil they had flying around, and switched it with Styil I trained. Using this method, all their secret conversations were revealed to me first before it was relayed to the supposed target. Obviously, I didn’t change each bird at once. Just little by little… that is. I got both the information and the relay target’s position. I hid near the places they gathered and eavesdropped, or used the moment they were away to investigate their rooms… and after 2 weeks, slowly but surely, I perfectly grasped their connections.”
…he was more capable than I expected.
I see, so you switched their messenger birds.
If we say it in a modern way, it’s wiretapping.
Because there was neither internet nor telephones in this world, there existed only primitive messaging methods.
It’s only at this moment we can appreciate the might of Telephone.
“There are no mistakes in this list right?”
“While I am unsure whether they do it out of their free will or are being fooled into it… the result is the same. They have become a spy of the Witch, so there’s no problem. I propose to catch every last one of them.”
“Is there a possibility that there are other hidden spies?”
“I can’t say that it is zero. Regardless of what it is, there is never a zero percent possibility of it. There is still a chance that there might be some spies who didn’t move at all during these 2 weeks and stayed hidden, as minute a possibility it might be”
It’s not zero, huh.
That smelled like a failure flag, but I didn’t think more would be revealed out of this without proper action.
It’s that “Devil’s Proof1” thingy. It was near impossible to prove there was “none.”
Let’s give an extreme example. Let’s say… yeah. A person with bread stuck to their butt while he had the fingers of his right hand in his nose and was boxing with his left hand. All while shouting “treat your life with care.” There could be no such person if one thought about it normally.
But if you were told “can you prove that there is no such person doing such things in a place no one could see right now?” it would be impossible.
What I could do was believe that there were no more spies besides those on this list and move forward.
…okay then. Let’s do it.
It might be better if we could put more time to investigate, but it would only increase the number of people who get fooled into it like Aina, and that would be troublesome.
But if we blatantly got rid of all the spies in one fell swoop, even the Witch would feel that something was wrong and may end up escaping.
And so… as reluctant as I felt about it, the cooperation of this Perverted Glasses Bastard was necessary.
“If that is the case, it’s better to clear this problem quickly. But if every follower of the Witch gets caught, the Witch may get suspicious that communication has stopped and may possibly end up running away from the Academy. And so, Supple-sensei, you have to…”
“I understand what I must do. I need to switch the Styil the headmaster uses to contact the Witch, right? Then after the headmaster is caught, I will pretend to be Headmaster and use the Styil to communicate with the Witch… this might be the best way.”
“It’s good to talk to smart people.”
I see, so he expected it.
Huh… was he really that Perverted Glasses Bastard?
Unlike his role in the game where he was just a useless small fry, he was so capable now.
Ok then, commence operation “One Fell Swoop” for all Witch followers.
Let’s do our best~!
The operation was simple.
Using their messenger stealth bird (which were already switched), all the spies were called to one place in the name of the Headmaster.
On the flip side, the Headmaster was called by impersonating one of the spies, with the message, “I have something to talk about.”
Then in this secret meeting (LOL), all those fools gathered in the training room.
The training room was a wide facility beside the school building, similar to a gymnasium.
By the way, in the game version, it’s basically a gymnasium, though the creator never deliberately called it one.
Even though the setting of the game was in a school, I wondered why there was such a building within an academy that fostered knights…
The creator definitely got lazy and just used a random photo of a gymnasium as a background.
As I thought that, we were on standby behind the curtain.
“What is it? Why are you all gathered here?”
“What are you talking about? Wasn’t it principal who gathered us here?”
“Me? Don’t say such a foolish thing. There’s no way I would ask for such a flashy gathering…
Oh-oh-, the fools got confused.
For now, Barrier activated! Everyone is now locked up.
“No good! It’s a trap!”
The Headmaster started making a fuss, but it’s too late! You can’t escape anymore! 2
You guys were already in a “checkmate”, like in shogi or chess!
As I secured the barrier around them, the curtain raised and I walked forward.
Hum, there they are. The faces of the fools were lined up.
“Sa, Saint-sama…!? What is the meaning of this…”
Aina looked confused, but it’s natural for people who get fooled to not understand the situation they were in.
In front of them, the Perverted Glasses Bastard wore a smug face and snapped his fingers.
Then the Stealth Birds who rode on top of their shoulders and heads repeated their secret conversations.
Mixed in the recorded conversations were lines like, “don’t let Elrise notice”, “it’s easy to fool stupid girl”, “for sake of Witch-sama”, and “how about we lure Elrise alone and beat her down together?”
Then some of the people there started protesting and gazed hostilely towards the headmaster.
“Headmaster, what is the meaning of this!?”
“Those words earlier…I heard words that meant to endanger Elrise-sama…!”
“Didn’t you say we were working for the sake of Saint-sama!?”
Aah, these people were those who got fooled to cooperate.
It instantly split them into 2 factions: the real Witch followers and the people who were fooled by them. These two groups then glared at each other.
“Calm down! Styil messages can be manipulated! It’s all slander! …Saint-sama, don’t be fooled. That man, Supple, is a follower of the Witch! You must not be deceived!”
Some of them were calmed down by the Headmaster’s words and then directed their hate towards Supple.
Well, he DID look suspicious after all.
I would also be suspicious of him if I didn’t know about it beforehand.
Also, it was true that Stealth Bird’s statements could be manipulated.
After all, it was just a bird. As long you kept them fed and told them the right words, they would betray their master without realizing it.
In the first place, those birds didn’t even understand the meaning of sounds they mimicked. They were only repeating “sounds” they learned, so they were not aware of what they were talking about.
“Please believe me! All my actions and words, everything is for Saint-sama!”
Hou hou hou. I see, I see.
Everything you do is for the Saint.
Yes, I could believe that. Since that is true.
Everything is for your Saint, isn’t it?
Hey, old fart. You think I know nothing about the Witch’s identity and the Secret of Saint?
As I said that, the Headmaster turned defiant and laughed scornfully.
“…gh! I see… so you know… since that is the case, there’s no need to keep the charade…”
“The secret of Saint…? The identity of the Witch…? Elrise-sama, what are you talking about…?”
Ah, Stocco-chan, let’s leave that for later. Concentrate now.
The Headmaster tried attacking me with his blade, which Stocco instantly reacted to by repelling it with her sword.
“Diaz-dono! I won’t forgive you for pointing your blade at Elrise-sama!”
“Leila Scott, huh…”
With his attempt to strike me, the Headmaster was no longer able to hide his true allegiance.
Along with the Headmaster, those who followed the Witch by choice also drew their weapons, while those who were fooled also drew theirs to protect me.
In addition, Vernell’s party also joined them, and the battle began.
I could have ended it with a single strike from my magic but… in that case, Aina would be too pitiful as it is.
As she understood what she had done, she had a resolved expression and remained seated. She then drew her sword towards her throat…wawawa, stop Stop!
I hurriedly grabbed the sword… that was close.
“Saint-sama… please let me go… I… after doing all that… I can no longer face my Otou-sama and everyone…”
As I looked at the teary-eyed Aina, I was filled with an indescribable thrill.
Crying bishoujo is good!
…No, wait, not that. I need to comfort her for now.
All I need to do is say some sweet words, then I could have brought her all the way to a hotel.
But if she ended up committing suicide it would make me feel bad. I hate depressing developments.
And so here, a hug. What a nice feeling~
Then I patted her back lightly, and randomly said something to encourage her.
I know, I know. I get it, I get it, really I do.
You just did that because you wished to protect me with your own power.
But you just happened to do it like a hamster in its wheel, just spinning around in place.
Ok, ok. It’s ok. A mistake from a bishojo is a cute one.
If it’s a dude though, it’s straight to execution. But because you’re cute, I forgive you. My heart is big (only towards bishoujo).
I will forgive you regardless of what others say. I’m the one who decides, so there’s no problem.
Also, not just me, those people will also forgive you.
As I said that to calm her down, somehow Vernell also chimed in and agreed.
Finally, Mary reached out her hand and this time, Aina didn’t slap it away but grasped it instead.
Ok, they made up. That’s how it should be.
As for the battle… oh, our side was slightly at an advantage.
Well, as horrible as it sounded, the other side was comprised of retired people3.
They were knights during the previous Saint’s time after all. They were already in their old age.
Then, with Vernell’s group and Aina included in the fray, they got pushed back even further.
Finally, only the Headmaster alone remained and was in a one-on-one battle against Leila.
“Why did you do all this?! Why you, who fought alongside Alexia-sama against the Witch! Why did you sell your soul to the Witch?!”
“I sold nothing, I am still me. The person I protect is still the same from back then. I’ve always protected my Saint.”
“Stop your traitorous nonsense!”
Somehow Leila and the Headmasterwere having a heated exchange.
Oh— sounds cool~
What would happen if I ignore the atmosphere and KO the headmaster while he is busy?
Leila and Headmaster kept going on with their cool swordfight dance with clashing sounds, but that’s all I could describe it as. It made me feel disappointed in my lack of eloquence.
“Leila-dono! We shall give support!”
“Hum, small fries… back off! Nothing would change, regardless of how many of you will come over!”
As they defeated the Headmaster’s faction, “the swindled people faction” tried to approach Headmaster, but with just one sweep of his thunder magic-enchanted blade, the Headmaster made them scream “Uwah” and “Gyah” as they were blown back and knocked over.
Yes. Such was the destiny of small fry…
As if nothing happened, the two Prime Knights then resumed their battle.
“Traitor, you say? Don’t make me laugh. We didn’t betray the world. It was the world that betrayed us. You will one day understand. And you will despair against such a world”
“What kind of incomprehensible things are you trying to say?!”
“It is fine if you do not understand. All I have done is protect Alexia-sama.”
Chan chan bara bara, chan bara bara
Kin kin kin kin, gakin gakin
Bari bari, mera mera4
Ok, it’s impossible. I can’t express these sounds with words.
“What foolish thing are you saying? After defeating the Witch, Alexia-sama was already…”
“You want to say she died? Nay, that’s not the case. Alexia-sama is still alive. She was only proclaimed as dead!”
“Wha— What did you say!?”
“Then those same foolish people who were once protected by Alexia-sama, they forgot the grace she gave them and tried to kill her instead! That’s why— As her Guard Knight, I need to protect her! Even if I must go against the whole world!”
Eh, wa, wait, wait.
It’s too early. You want to say it now!?
That is a spoiler that is supposed to be revealed during the latter part of the plot to Vernell’s party!?
“Wha, what are you talking about…”
“Hum… your Saint already seems to be aware of it though? Elrise, why don’t you tell them? Why don’t you tell your knight the truth!? If it is impossible, I will tell them in your stead! Listen, the identity of the Witch — is the Saint of the previous generation! The identity of the Witch you are trying to defeat this time is Saint Alexia!”
A-ah, he seriously said it.
Now look, what am I supposed to say here? The atmosphere right now is the worst, isn’t it?
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