I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – Garesto Academy – Intermission – ??-??: The Holy Hand Approaches (2/7)

“My holiness, if it would not trouble you, please enlighten this one as to why the saint herself would arrive in such a remote place as this?” Oreil said.

And then he kept his head down as though to prove he was unworthy to appear before her, but even then, he could not keep his slightly opened eyes from turning a vulgar direction.

There was a deep slit on the robe through which could be seen the saint’s legs.

A pair of beautiful legs with youthful white skin.

This was not merely a momentary loss of control on Oreil’s part, rather he took advantage of her not ‘seeing’ to get as much of an eyeful as he could.

Such a gaze was not something one should be using on the saint, a unique position within the church.

Yet he dared to do so because he believed she had no way of knowing, yet an even colder voice descended on him.

“What an unsightly display, Oreil. You were still once(・・・・) an archbishop, so you should at least clean up your act.”

For his actions did not escape the saint despite her closed eyes.

In that moment, the only thing that occupied his mind was whether or not he could escape from here.

The saint was alone, and she was just a woman too. If he could just get near her…

But he didn’t realize that the saint let out a sigh as though she could see right through him.

“Your soul is as filthy as ever, I see. Black, dull, and dirty. I’ve long believed that you didn’t belong in the church.”

“W-What are you saying, your holiness? I have served the goddess and the church for many years…”

“To sate your own desires and your worthless vanity, right?

What a troublesome thing indeed. Despite assessing(・・・・・・・) it as evil, you still can’t deal with it even after breaking the law.”

“!”

Though there was no mockery in that voice filled with dismay and grief, he could not understand that because he had been treated poorly since that day.

“Y-You little b*tch, hyaa!?”

Oreil jumped at her with all of his strength, only for a pair of swords to suddenly be crossed right in front of him, shocking to fall back right onto his tushy.

It was curious how long have they’ve been here, but regardless, a boy and a girl with swords were watching the saint from her side.

They wore the same kind of simple clothes that made it easy to move.

On their chest could be seen the symbol of the church, a circle ran through by a vertical line, embroidered in gold, a style permitted only to the Rimoa Knights affiliated with the saint.

“Fool! As if we could possibly allow the saint to move on her own!”

“You can give up now. The mercenaries you hired, and even the former general of Damores [1] you were supposed to meet up with have already been apprehended and confessed everything!”

“W-What!?”

A blade had been thrust upon him, but it was not the weapon that struck fear into him but the contents of her words.

As it turns out, Oreil’s biggest ally had already fallen into the hands of the church.

Moreover, they had spilled everything, leaving him with no way out.

“A-AHHH! Why! Why did this have to happen to me!?”

He hung his head from grief and screamed about how unfair this was, but from the perspective of those watching him, he was no different from a child throwing a tantrum because things wouldn’t go his way.

He didn’t even realize that that pair of guards, the boy and the girl, both young enough to be his children or even his grandchildren were looking at him with cold disdain.

It was curious what the saint thought of this pitiful display, but regardless, she quietly approached Oreil and emotionlessly enumerated his sins.

“You continued to name yourself archbishop even after your demotion. You took advantage of the remote churches yet to be informed about your demotion. And we’ve also confirmed that you took advantage of your position to commit crimes in several countries.”

“Hmph, a disgrace of the church!”

One of the saint’s two young guards, the blond swordsman, cursed at Oriel.

When Oriel realized that even the children were looking at him with contempt, he bit his lips.

He knew that this boy was not someone he could be violent with.

“But what’s really unforgivable is that weapon that the former general’s platoon was transporting. That’s a wakemitama unit [2] of a divine raiment spirit machine. You stole it from the headquarters of the Knight Order of Rimoa, didn’t you?””

“T-That’s!?”

“To think that a mere former archbishop would dare bring out the armaments bestowed by the goddess!”

When the red-haired female swordsman criticized him with anger, Oreil paled.

Because now that they’d learned of what he’s done, he knew very well what sort of fate now awaited him.

“Your holiness, there’s no need to wait till judgment. We can carry out his sentence here.”

“Eek!”

“No, get the rope. Normally, such a filthy soul indeed deserves to be purged immediately, but there’s a need to find out if there are other sins he’s committed and if there are other people working with him, so his grace, Guen, has strictly ordered that he be captured alive.”

“Understood!” The two swordsmen said.

“S-Stop, ogo!?”

At her command, the pair struck Oreil with the rope, and then gagged his mouth.

The way he was put away with just like that made it seem as though his resistance and cries never mattered.

Perhaps because he’s never been arrested before, the sight of the former archbishop squirming in pain like a bagworm and his lack of freedom made looked especially pathetic, but…

“Fear not, Oreil. Though you may be a sinner awaiting judgment now, we will be sure to put your schemes to good use.”

“Ugu!?”

As the saint casually declared that, the bagworm’s eyes opened wide in surprise.

But the saint didn’t care one bit about Oreil’s reaction as she turned to an unexpected direction.

“As such, I would prefer if you didn’t take that away.”

The saint said toward the desk in a voice gentler than anything she’d used until now.

Understandably, even her guards showed a confused expression, but not even the slightest impatience could be seen on the saint’s face. She just continued to stare toward than one point as if there was something there.

“!?”

In the end, who was it that swallowed their breath?

Atop the desk was a wooden box. When Oreil had taken it from his chest, he was sure it had been closed, but now, the cover was open.

Inside was a small piece of cloth. A black thing reached out for it, and then it disappeared.

───Something that couldn’t be seen was there.

“Who is it!!”

When the boy realized that, he immediately stepped in and slashed down with his sword from the high stance, cleaving the desk into two.

It was curious if it was merely coincidence or if he’d intended for it, but the impact of his attack sent the wooden box and its contents to the saint.

“KU!?”

To dodge his attack, that thing had to dodge out of the way, and in the process reveal itself.

It must’ve tried to get away from them as much as possible too, for it leaped all the way to the bed in the opposite direction and assumed a stance that could allow it movement anytime.

Although it was partly because the room was dimly lit, making it hard to distinguish, it was also because of its outfit.

A completely black made-to-fit outfit that covered even the face.

Yet despite that, the form revealed only enough to tell that this unexpected visitor was a person, the age and the gender remained a complete mystery.

“Masquerade? No, that’s just a black outfit. He must be a spy or an assassin!” Said the boy.

“The target could be either the saint or Oreil, either way, he must be apprehended!” Said the girl.

“Stop. This person possesses a beautiful soul. Do not harm him.”

Before anyone else could, the saint stepped forward to hold back her two guards that were already in stance.

Though the instructions not to touch this overly suspicious figure bewildered them, her guards did as they were told but remained vigilant of the mysterious figure.

“…”

Perhaps because the suspicious figure had noticed that they were ready to fight, the figure took advantage of this opening to confirm something he needed confirmed no matter what.

As a red glint shot out for the saint through the only gaps on his mask, he questioned the saint.

“Are you sane, Saint Cynthia!? Despite knowing full well what these people’s plans are, you intend to use it!?”

Such impolite remarks left the two guards seething, but the saint herself clapped her hands and happily smiled.

“My… So you really will try to stop me. Thank you. That is exactly the kind of praiseworthy behavior I expect from a soul of such brilliance.”

When she said that, the two guards relaxed a little despite their bewilderment.

But the saint ignored that too as she asked with doubt.

“But what exactly is so strange? There would certainly be a problem if the plan was to attack without question, but all we want is to meet(・・・・・・) with Masquerade.”

 

Tl Note:
[1] – Made a mistake with the general in the character introduction. His name isn’t Damores. He’s just a general of Damores. No errors in the story where he appears.

[2] – From wikipedia: Bunrei or wakemitama (分霊) is a Shinto technical term that indicates both the process of dividing a Shinto kami to be re-enshrined somewhere else (such as a house’s kamidana), and the spirit itself produced by the division.

I don’t really get Shinto or how the divine machines in this story are supposed to work, so I’ll just leave it like this for now until I find a better translation. Also, while wakemitama is normally only written with the two characters above, the wakemitama in the story is written as 分霊機 . The last character there means machine, so to account for it, I added the word ‘unit’.

2 comments / Add your comment below

    1. Considering that the Saint can see souls, and is a young (?) woman, I’d say both. She should know Shinichi is inhabited by the Evil God, and see his soul. So she would recognize him no matter how he attempts to disguise himself.

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