A shocking revelation for the spy, but only for the spy, who in the middle of her astonishment was suddenly grabbed by Mikoto’s shiki and was taken away.
It needn’t be said what sort of fate awaited her, though if something had to be said, then it was treatment that made the punishment of the yakuzas look adorable.
The tools and the suicide equipment in her possession were taken custody of by the Mask, who promised to use them to conduct an investigation and share the information later.
Then Mikoto excused herself to deal with the people they’ve arrested as well as to decide how to deal with the situation, while everyone else was escorted by the old man to an undamaged room of the main building.
“───Looking at you now at a place like this, you really are like a ghost,” Ryou said.
Within a vast space so vast it was a hassle to bother counting the tatami mats were floor cushions upon which the gang knelt in seiza.
The Mask was seated in between Ryou and Tomoe as they idly chatted.
Though the room was illuminated with electric lights, it was still a Japanese-style tatami room.
So when a humanoid black mist sat there in the dead of the night, the eeriness engendered was so fitting it almost made Ryou laugh.
『If you want, I can stand beside your bed.』
As a result of those teasing words, however, came a horrifying proposal.
Ryou could easily imagine how many buckets of sweat he’d be pouring if he were to wake up to that eerie thing looking down at him.
“…Nah, I’m good. Do it for Tomoe instead.”
“Hey! Why me!?”
Tomoe pleaded as though to say, ‘don’t drag me into this,’ but the Mask responded before Ryou could.
『If you wish for it, I can stand for you.』
“Y-You don’t have to!!”
Just what was she imagining when she said that?
For some reason, her face was beet red as she denied the proposal, while Ryou just shook his head in amusement.
Even he could tell that it wasn’t because of fear or dislike that she was denying him.
More than likely, she just didn’t want him to see any more of her defenseless sleeping face.
But if Ryou could notice that, then the Mask would of course not miss it.
Meanwhile, in the corner of the lower seats, were the three girls watching from afar, shivering and shrinking in fear just from overhearing their conversation.
Just the pressure the Mask emanated by being there was enough to make them afraid, and they feared their classmates who could nonchalantly hold a conversation with him.
As expected, they were in a different dimension from them.
“Rest assured, you won’t be eaten as long as you don’t do anything.”
If Old Man Kusakabe hadn’t been sitting between them and their classmates, they would have long fainted already.
There was an urgent situation earlier, so they couldn’t put as much attention on the Mask, but now that the situation has calmed down, the pressure the Mask emanated was just too much for these weak young girls to even breathe.
It was curious if the old man’s word even helped much, but…
“Oh, but you’ve already done something, so it’s already too late! Ka ka ka!”
When the old man laughed like that, the three girls paled to the point it was amusing.
『…Old man, can you not use me to torment the youth?』
“Oh, my. I do beg your pardon. For an old man like myself who doesn’t have long left to live, teasing the youth like this is one of the few ways I can amuse myself.”
『What are you even saying? You’ll probably live for another 20 years more… And you girls shouldn’t be afraid of me. It is my disciples whom you should be afraid of. I respect their judgment.』
The Mask intentionally did not look at the three girls and just left the decision to Tomoe and Ryou.
The three girls turned to them with an apologetic look but didn’t say anything.
It was curious how they took that.
“Hmm, well it’s hard to complain when I’ve already been done in… Hey, what are we going to do?”
“…Leave it for later. There’s a more important topic I want to talk about. Is it true that the entire family has been infiltrated by Garestonian spies?”
Was it truly because there were more pressing things to talk about, or was putting off their punishment until later a punishment in and of itself?
Regardless, Tomoe made a difficult face as she steered the conversation into a difficult but inevitable direction.
『It would be too optimistic to believe that there’s only one spy and that only the Tsumori House has been infiltrated. Considering the level of equipment that’s been confiscated, it is evident that there’s an organization behind this. And since they dared to use a one-time ploy like that, they must have other spies, or at least, a successor. 』
“One-time ploy? That’s only because you caught her.”
『Either way, even if she managed to run away, someone would have gone after her. What do you think would have happened if the person that stole the demon sword and handed it to Michizane got away?』
Though the Mask ended his statement in a question, there was no one here who couldn’t understand what he was getting at.
There was no way that they would have left such a suspicious person alone.
And though no one here knew what plans she had after that, since she was already wearing that face, there was no mistaking that she was trying to incite internal strife by placing the blame on the Ooharu family.
“I see, that’s why it’s a given that she would be caught. I doubt she would have underestimated the clan’s ability to find her even if she did manage to slip back into the clan. There aren’t a lot of people that can escape from Mikoto-sama too.”
“If she already knew that she was going to be caught, then a replacement for her must have already been prepared.”
“Ka ka ka, all the peeping toms must be panicking right about now, searching every corner thoroughly with their Spirit Sight. I don’t know how many they can find with their level of skills, though. I wish I could be there to see their flustered faces,” Old Man Kusakabe laughed.
The three girls behind him tilted their head and asked.
“Kusakabe-sama, who are the peeping toms you’re referring to?”