Chapter 28: Otherworld-Style Valentine’s Day
Alexia is lying in a clean bed, looking up at her older sister’s very serious face.
So says Iris from her position beside the bed.
“So the slasher incident was not actually Shadow Garden, but some other group that was using their name.”
“That’s what Shadow said.”
“ ‘Shadow’…… In the end, we are still no closer to their true identity.”
Iris ponders a bit while looking down.
“During that previous royal capital incident, I also came across a very powerful swordswoman who also seemed to be a member of Shadow Garden.”
“You said that she named herself Alpha, right?”
“Judging from various other reports, we know that the organization called Shadow Garden possesses extremely high fighting strength. Then from your report, we also know of the man called Shadow, and the name of their organization. But those are literally the only facts we know. Everything else is wrapped in a mystery, including the aim of the organization.”
“I saw that Shadow is hostile against the Order of Diabolos. Perhaps the their aim lies with the Order?”
“So the lead lies with the Order……”
Iris heaves a sigh.
“I had thought them to be a mere gathering of eccentrics who worship the demon Diabolos, but their roots seem to be much deeper than expected.”
“You’re talking about the arson case?”
“The arson too, but actually the budget for the Crimson Order is not being approved. I’m going to have to shoulder our expenses out of my own pocket for a while.”
“So they have infiltrated not only the existent Knight Order, but also the civil officials?”
“I do not know. Maybe it’s people from the Order, or maybe they’re merely being controlled by money…… The establishment of our knight order was also a bit forced, so I can’t insist too vehemently either.”
“I can also help you with the expenses.”
“Thank you, but the thought is enough. You know how many people we have in the Crimson Order, right?”
“Exactly, we only have eight people. My personal assets can easily last us more than a decade.”
“But in this state, we cannot expand the knight order.”
“At the moment, there’s no point in us expanding. We still don’t know who else we can trust.”
Alexia looks up at her sister, clearly having difficulty getting out her next words.
“Who is our Crimson Order enemies with – Shadow Garden or the Order of Diabolos?”
Iris smiles while answering.
“Both. As long as they are within our borders, I will not allow them to do as they please.”
“Nee-sama…… we must not fight against Shadow.”
Alexia grabs her sheets tightly.
“Alexia, there you go again about that……”
“It is only because Nee-sama has not yet met Shadow that you can say that. Didn’t you also see that attack that colored up the royal capital’s sky?!”
“It has been determined that that was an artifact going berserk.”
“I clearly saw Shadow release that attack! With my own two eyes!”
Iris draws closer to the bed and looks into Alexia’s red eyes.
“It is physically impossible for a human to control that much power. Either your memory is muddled due to your long period of captivity, or else you were hallucinating due to being drugged. I know you’re not lying, but you were indeed very tired at that time.”
Iris wraps Alexia hand with both of her hands.
“Even if it was indeed an attack released by that man called Shadow, I still cannot run away. If I run away, who will protect our country?”
Iris pats Alexia’s head, then stands up.
“Rest up and get well soon.”
“…..Once I recover, I’ll come back to help.”
“There will be no need for that.”
“I forgot to tell you, but you’re under house arrest for a while.”
“Theft of evidence.”
Iris takes out a red lozenge, causing Alexia to be struck dumb.
“Properly reflect on your actions.”
The door shuts with a ‘
I’m being stared at.
The moment I step into the classroom, I feel stares boring into me from every which direction.
Everyone is looking my way and whispering up a storm.
“It’s him, it’s him……”
“Leaking shit while running……”
“I heard that he did it right there on the road……”
I glare at Hyoro and Jaga, whose eyes start swimming all over the place.
“H-, hey there, quite the misfortune yesterday eh?”
“G-, good morning. Bad day yesterday, wasn’t it?”
(T/N: I I tried so hard to refrain from using “shitty day” since it’s not in either of their character, but at least I gotta put it here in a T/N
“Good morning indeed. I wonder why I feel like today is going to be even more of an ordeal.”
The smiles on their faces are so stiff.
I heave a huge sigh.
“S-, so, did you all bring your chocolates from yesterday?”
So says Hyoro while taking out his package of wrapped chocolate.
“Yes I did.”
“So far as it goes, I did too, I guess.”
“Alright, then let’s all give it out during lunch break!”
, isn’t it so exciting?”
Thus, lunch break.
Hyoro claimed to ‘show us how it’s done,’ so at the moment Jaga and I are just going along with him.
We are currently near the second years’ classroom. Hyoro is on standby around the corner.
The two of us are watching on from a bit farther away.
“An upperclassman. As expected of Hyoro-kun!”
After a short wait, a cute girl comes out.
“Um, p-, please accept this.”
Hyoro holds his chocolate out to her. But in that instant.
“Oi, what business do you have with my fiancée?”
A hand lands heavily on his shoulder.
Behind Hyoro is a macho-looking upperclassman with bulging muscles.
“Ah, no, that is……”
“Let’s have a talk right over there, shall we?”
Hyoro sends us an SOS with his eyes, but we pretend to not see it and turn around.
Hyoro’s wail reverberates behind us.
Jaga’s battlefield is apparently the library. As this library is also shared with the Scholar Academy, it’s quite large.
And of course, the musclebrains of the Magic Sword Academy almost never come here. Which includes me, of course.
“So your opponent is a student of the Scholar Academy.”
“Yes. I will not make the same mistake as Hyoro-kun. I’ve already researched my target thoroughly. I know everyone she associates with and her relationship with every one of them, I know her favorite foods, her dorm room number, the toilet she frequents, the size and smell of her shoes, the color of all the underwear she owns, her three sizes, and from a cup that she used I……”
“That’s enough. Go.”
I push Jaga into the library, then immediately turn around and leave.
KYAAAAAHHHH!! THIS PERSON IS A STALKER!”
A high-pitched scream reverberates behind me.
I walk around randomly while dangling my packet of chocolates. I rarely come to this area, so everything seems quite fresh.
Then I call out to the first female student I pass by.
“Here you go, it’s chocolate.”
It turns out to be a cute girl with pink-colored hair.
After pushing the chocolates onto her, I quickly stride away.
I hear a perplexed voice from behind.
I feel like I’ve seen her face somewhere before. But I can’t recall it, so meh, who cares.