Before Amamiya explained with an exhausted face, he prefaced his explanation that this was nothing more than speculation.
“I’m not going to go into the details of what happened in which countries, but apparently, there were several politicians who wished to announce Masquerade’s existence to the masses.”
“…What were those fools thinking?” Riltina said.
“Who knows? Perhaps they’re the dutiful sort that simply don’t wish to yield to a terrorist’s demands. Perhaps they’re the type to run off purely on their sense of justice, and presumed that this existence is no different from your usual rabble of terrorists,” Amamiya said.
Riltina blinked for a moment before giving out her honest thoughts, then as though Amamiya shared her sentiments, he went on a rare angry tirade.
Even Frire, who was disinterested in politics, was speechless by the thought.
No matter what they thought of
“I wish they’d think about the people fighting the terrorists too. The mask demanded that his existence be hidden, and yet they actually ignored his order. There’s really something wrong with their brains. Don’t they realize it’s game over the moment Masquerade becomes hostile?” Riltina said.
“It’s precisely because they don’t understand that they can do something so stupid. They don’t understand that it’s because these things are happening behind the scenes that the conflicts can be kept at bay by notions such as a country’s face or social justice. Garbage politicians exist no matter the age, but these ones are just too terrible. Just how incompetent does a person have to be to think that that’s something we can defeat by fighting head on!?” Amamiya said.
Unable to control his emotions, the student council president went on a frustrated tirade, but realizing that this wasn’t like him at all, he stopped and collected his breath before continuing.
“…Well, in any case, due to
When the student council president dropped that so casually, the frustration of the two girls turned into shock.
There was no one here who could not imagine how that happened.
Nor was there anyone who could not understand the significance of it.
But before anyone could mention it, Amamiya continued with another incident.
“A neighboring country also tried to push for a military response, but the iron-fisted political representatives that were pushing for it lost in a political battle due to the sudden revelation of their corruption, and the legislative system suddenly deciding to wake up to perform its duties. The moderates that won then opened discussion to try and reconciliate with their neighbor. That’s a news that’s going to be all over the papers tomorrow. Actually, more like afternoon.”
‘A historic reconciliation between two feuding nations.’
Amamiya smiled bitterly as he imagined such headlines appearing on the newspapers and on the TV.
When he thought of how it was due to a mysterious person acting behind the scene that history finally moved, he couldn’t help but laugh, then he gave a few more cases where the mask may have interfered.
“…So Masquerade pulled the strings in all of those?” Frire asked.
“I’m sure all the related parties will deny it, but it’s likely given how they all happened out of the blue just like the terrorist hunts. There are also traces of some incredible intelligence-gathering and long-range teleportation in these events.”
The results that have been achieved were only possible because they had access to such things.
That’s why Masquerade had to be involved.
The delay from grasping the movements of the politicians to the response was just too short.
Whether it was preparing the materials to use against their political opponents or searching for them, the ability to gather information employed was just too high.
Moreover, the location where Masquerade had taken the blackmail video at had already been identified.
Based off the fact that there were fresh bloodstains on two old men from countries so far apart they were not even in the same continent, it was already essentially proven that Masquerade had the power to teleport.
And even now, more and more incidents were being reported by the minute.
Just how terrified must the terrorists and the politicians be right now?
“Who has more skeletons than those with power? No one. I’m sure finding something to threaten them with wouldn’t take any effort at all,” Amamiya said.
“And even if there is nothing to threaten them with or use against them, threatening with violence is always an option. I’m sure it’s not too hard to find what they value the most too,” Riltina said.
Such actions were essentially threatening to take over the world.
In fact, so many countries have already moved with unnatural haste, and even powerful men have been silenced.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a constitutional state or a dictatorship, once the people in charge are being controlled, nothing can be done anymore.
And seeing how fast Masquerade’s response was, his targets were likely not limited to just one or two people.
And just like that, the action of one person, in just a few days, have swept away all the nations of the world.
When Amamiya thought of that, a hoarse laugh escaped his lips. It was all he could do.
In the face of absolute power, even the ‘world’ could be moved so easily.
When he thought of how different the scale of this opponent was compared to those they’ve faced until now, he shuddered.
Suddenly, that globe and those increasing dots of light on it looked to him as though it were being dominated by Masquerade.
Perhaps the vice-president too shared his sentiment as she sent a similar look toward the projection.
Her expression was the same as ever, but a closer look would show that she was in fact sweating.
Just one woman among them remained calm.
“There’s one thing I’d like to confirm. After doing so much, is it still zero?”
It might’ve been to change the heavy air or purely out of curiosity that Frire asked that vague question, but Amamiya knew the context, so he was able to reply after a moment’s delay.
Masquerade had showed one more abnormality, an abnormality that couldn’t be so easily forgotten.
“Y-Yes… This too is terrifying, though for a different reason. Teacher, as you’ve imagined, despite Masquerade’s rampage throughout the world, the deaths are still
Amamiya shuddered as he gave that impossible figure and projected into the air the disastrous scenes left by Masquerade’s actions.
Despite all the destruction, all the ruined buildings and weapons, and all the heavily wounded, not one was actually in danger of death. It was almost divine.
“Moreover there have also been no unnatural deaths around the black dots,” Amamiya said.
“Maybe it’s a show of power, maybe they’re just not worth killing, or maybe, he wants to make them suffer. Either way, any notion of him sparing them out of compassion has long disappeared,” Riltina said.
Was death and life on the battlefield within Masquerade’s control too?
Or was even this not considered a battle for an existence like him?
When the members of the student council thought that, they became depressed.
There was a high chance that their superiors would ask them to investigate Masquerade.
And that was not an existence that they could involve themselves with without any doubts.
“I see… But you know, Amamiya… There’s just one thing bothering me.”
And yet despite knowing or not knowing the solemness in the air, Frire alone remained calm.
Perhaps it was because she was not a part of the student council or perhaps it was because she was strong that she did not fear Masquerade.
The president thought it was the former, while the vice-president thought it was the latter, letting her imagination run wild, but regardless, Frire continued.
“What is it?” Amamiya asked.
“Why are you so talkative today?”
In a sense, that was a verbal sword Frire had unsheathed in his moment of negligence.
And when the vice-president too realized how odd the president was being, shock appeared on both their faces.
“Normally you’d look for a way to exchange information. I’m sure you know full well that spilling all the beans and then asking for an exchange later doesn’t work in this student council.”
Because the student council had been acknowledged as a place to exchange information, it was also a kind of battlefield, and there was no way he would be able to ask for payment for information that he’d already given, but then again, neither was he the sort to make such an amateurish mistake.
Even if he had simply erred because of his agitation from this abnormal situation, he was still talking too much.
If anything, the fact that no one else noticed it showed just how agitated the whole student council was.
“Is Masquerade that scary? Is this an order from above? If you could tell me why, I could tell you how Masquerade contacted Garesto.”
When the name, Bergman, was mentioned, the vice-president let out a surprised voice, but she nodded nonetheless.
She must’ve decided that that price was nothing for the information they’ve received until now.
The president took a moment to breathe, then with an exhausted exhale, he spoke.
“—Where do you think Masquerade is right now?”
With fear and bitterness on his face, he showed them a picture—