With me supporting Sherry, we make our way to the Vice Principal’s office. Incidentally, along the way, I secretly took care of 5 more guys.
We open the slightly heavy door and go inside.
The interior is decorated quite tastefully, and one of the walls is covered with bookshelves that reach the height of a normal person.
There are stacks of documents on the Vice Principal’s desk, and sunlight is gently shining through the north-facing windows.
It has a really composed atmosphere, and truly feels like ‘an adult’s space.’
Sherry begins going through the drawers with familiarity.
“Please don’t make loud noises, alright?”
The pink hair on the other side of the table nods silently.
I throw myself onto the two-person sofa and let out a long breath.
I’m so tired.
There is no doubt that Sherry is this time’s main character, but it’s beyond her. There’s absolutely no way she can clear this scenario by herself. In situations like this, the main character always has a partner character, but there isn’t even the shadow of such a presence. This is a really crappy scenario.
So after thinking about it, I decided to take up the assistant mob character position myself.
As a mob, I must never take the position of a main character. Never ever.
Sherry comes back over to this side of the table with a bunch of documents in her hands.
Then she spreads them out over the coffee table.
It’s all symbols and figures and equations. I haven’t the faintest idea what any of this is.
“This is an artifact called the Eye of Avarice. I’m almost certain that this is what’s interfering with all the magic in this place.”
She is pointing at a circular, ominous-looking design roughly the size of a ping pong ball.
“This Eye of Avarice sucks up all nearby magic and stores it. So when it is activated, it becomes extremely difficult to use magic in its vicinity.”
“The men in black are using magic as usual, though?”
“They must have registered their magical signatures with the Eye of Avarice beforehand. It’s already been confirmed that the Eye doesn’t suck magic from registered signatures. Extremely fine magic and extremely vigorous magic, the Eye cannot absorb, but in the first place, no one can handle such magic.”
“This ability alone is already quite troubling, but actually, the magic stored in the Eye of Avarice can also be used. I believe that the original purpose of this artifact is to be used so, but due to the fact that it cannot store the absorbed magic for a long period of time, it was deemed as a faulty artifact.”
“So, if a long period of time is impossible, does that mean that a short period of time is possible?”
“Yes. Currently, there is a large number of magic swordsmen students captured in the auditorium. If all the magic being absorbed from there is released all at once…… the entire academy would be blown to bits.”
“This Eye of Avarice is something that I’ve previously researched and deciphered. Due to how dangerous it is, I never did publish my results and gave it directly to the country for safekeeping, but…… how did things become like this.”
Sherry looks at me with a meek gaze.
“Either there was another one with the same function, or the one you gave to the country was stolen. So, putting that aside, is there a way to counteract the effects of the Eye of Avarice?”
“Yes there is.”
Sherry nods, then takes out a large pendant.
“What a dirty-looking pendant.”
“I believe this is a controller for the Eye of Avarice. In the first place, the Eye is not an artifact by itself, but a pair, together with a controller. With the controller, its status is no longer a faulty artifact incapable of long term storage.”
“So it becomes capable of long term storage?”
“I don’t know for sure because I’ve never studied the two of them together, but I think there is a high possibility.”
“And this being the controller, it is also capable of temporarily stopping the Eye of Avarice. In that time frame, we can free the students from the auditorium.”
“Sounds good. So, what needs to be done?”
“Umm, I still haven’t finished deciphering this artifact, so I’d need to finish that up first.”
“After I’m done, then this artifact needs to be activated and then brought close to the Eye of Avarice.”
“Umm…… because there are so many guards all around, I think our best bet is to go underground.”
Sherry gives me a slightly troubled smile.
She walks towards the bookshelves, then begins to take out several books. After which one of the bookshelves rotates, revealing a staircase that leads downwards.
I love contrivances like this.
“There are several escape routes hidden throughout the school facilities. But it seems that this one hasn’t been used recently.”
Sherry’s eyes cloud over with sorrow and worry.
“The dust on the steps is undisturbed…… there are no footsteps. How reassuring it would have been if stepfather had escaped from here already.”
“Vice Principal Ruslan, huh. He is your stepfather, right?”
“He had originally been supporting my mother’s research. We were in his care ever since long ago. Then when my mother died and I had nowhere to go, he took me in and raised me by himself.”
“He sounds like a really great person.”
“Yes he is, very much so. I’m always being helped by him…… which is why this time, I want to help him.”
So says Sherry with a bright smile.
“Hope he’s safe. So, what happens after we get close from underground?”
“Ah, umm…… we get close from underground, then throw the activated artifact into the auditorium.”
“It won’t break?”
“Even if it breaks, it would still cancel out the Eye’s effects for a while, so that would be fine too. Then everything after that would have to be up to the magic swordsmen students themselves, I think……”
The ending is a bit weak, but I guess I can become Shadow and somehow make do. More like, it’d make for a pretty good entrance scene for me, so I should probably be grateful for it.
“Wonderful. Let’s go with that, then.”
“Yay. Then I’m going to continue deciphering this artifact.”
“My wound is hurting, so I’m afraid I can’t be of much more help. I wish you all the best.”
I’m relieved that she actually has a pretty decent plan. With this, then it seems there’d be almost no more screen time for the assistant mob character.
“Sid-kun too, don’t push yourself too hard. I’ll do my best. I’ve never been able to do anything so far, so now I’m going to save stepfather and everybody else.”
“Un, add oil. Ah, I have to go to the toilet.”
Leaving behind Sherry, who’s already engrossed with her work, I head out for some fun.
The man with the eyes of a starved stray dog, Lex, opens the doors of the auditorium and boldly saunters in.
Several men in black follow Lex in.
When they pass by, the students sitting in chairs all keep their heads down.
All doors of the enormous auditorium have been blocked by the men in black. The students are constantly under supervision, and talking is forbidden.
With a frivolous smile on his face, Lex walks through the auditorium and into the waiting room at the back.
“So, how did it go?”
So asks the man in black sitting inside the room, as soon as Lex closes the door.
It is a low, dignified voice.
His face is covered by a mask, and though the rest of his appearance is the same as the others, he has an aura such that anyone can tell with one look that he’s of a different status.
“Don’t be so impatient, ‘Thin Knight’-san. The occupation of the school is almost complete. The Knight Order is raising a racket outside, but that’s of no concern to us.”
“I don’t care about any of that. What I’m asking is, how went the retrieval of the artifact?”
“Ahh, artifact, the artifact……”
Lex shrugs his shoulders and looks at the Thin Knight.
“Probably that girl has it. The one with pink hair.”
“You failed to retrieve it?”
Lex scratches his head and averts his eyes.
“Well, you could say that, I suppose.”
“Are you fucking with me?”
The Thin Knight’s magic raises, causing the air to shake.
That killing intent causes Lex’s face to go stiff.
“Come on, don’t be mad. We know the general area where she is, we’ll get it soon enough.”
“Do you know just how much your fooling around has hindered the progress of the plan?! The next time you fail me, I WILL kill you. Do you understand!”
“Yes, yes! OK.”
The Thin Knight watches with sharp eyes as Lex leaves the room with raised hands.
“Ah, by the way.”
Stopping right before the door, Lex seemingly remembers something.
“I think there might be a pretty dangerous guy around.”
Lex turns around to gauge the Thin Knight’s reaction.
The Thin Knight silently prompts Lex to continue.
“Several 3rd have been killed. Two 2nd have also been killed. Most of them died with their hearts directly crushed, or had a fatal point pierced by a small hole. The latter is most likely from a rapier. All the bodies had only a single wound. Which means the opponent must be extremely skilled.”
So saying, Lex smiles like a starved wolf.
“Hou…… so Shadow Garden is moving. We’ve successfully lured them out.”
“Probably. You should probably watch your back too.”
“Kuku…… you are telling me to watch my back?”
“Well, you’ll probably be fine, former Rounds-san.”
“Hmph. Bring me the artifact and the head of that Shadow Garden member. Failure will not be forgiven.”
“Che, I shouldn’t have told you.”
With one final grin, Lex leaves the room.
The Thin Knight, left alone in the room, laughs to himself.
“Finally, everything will be fulfilled……”
Taking out an ominous-looking artifact from his chest pocket, he gazes at it with a suspicious glint in his eyes.
“With this, I can reclaim my rightful place amongst the Rounds.”
A disturbing laugh continues reverberating around the room.