Someone was trying to kill Reinhardt.
Ellen still didn’t believe that, however, she didn’t think it was a baseless delusion, either. Reinhardt had done a lot of bad things everywhere, and it was true that he’d become the target of many grudges due to the Orbis Class incident.
Reinhardt certainly acted strange when they were out together that one time.
He’d suddenly broken out in a cold sweat and become wary of his surroundings.
Then, with him telling her not to leave his arms, they’d returned to Temple in a tense manner.
Obviously, Ellen didn’t feel anything at that time. She knew that her senses were very sharp—sharp enough to sense Loyar’s killing intent.
How could Reinhardt feel killing intent that she couldn’t?
No matter how she thought about it, no one seemed to be after them, however, Reinhardt was convinced.
So that was why he seemed to be struggling a lot those days. She could see that he was very much on edge.
He only used moderate amounts of strength during their training, perhaps to preserve his stamina.
He had enough confidence to protect himself.
However, she wanted to help Reinhardt.
She didn’t see the fact that he was already being helped enough.
Reinhardt felt like he was in danger, so she wanted to do something.
There was no such thing as an assassin, so she wanted to give him assurance and help Reinhardt turn back to normal.
However, if there was actually an assassin after him, she wanted to do something on her own.
On the weekend…
Although Ellen told Reinhardt not to do anything dangerous, she actually headed out of Temple.
It would be dangerous for Reinhardt, but if it was Ellen, that wasn’t the case.
Ellen had already joined the ranks of superhumans and was able to handle some clumsy assassins, even if they came in the dozens.
There was just one thing…
She didn’t know what she should do, when they would come out, and where she should even start.
She wanted to somehow relieve Reinhardt’s anxiety.
She wanted to reassure him by showing him that there was no such thing as an assassin after him.
So Ellen recklessly left Temple.
She believed that there were no assassins around.
It would be better if there weren’t, because that would be better for Reinhardt’s nerves.
However, there she was, leaving Temple to look for them.
Without really knowing what to do, Ellen simply moved on with the conviction that there might be an assassin or a group trying to assassinate him.
There was someone out to kill Reinhardt.
While she felt a bit creeped out thinking about those things, she had to.
If she wanted to kill Reinhardt, what would she do?
There were two different settings…
Were they insiders or outsiders in regards to Temple?
For the moment, she assumed it was outside of Temple.
When he was within Temple, Reinhardt didn’t behave as strangely as he did when they were outside before.
In that case, it was highly likely that the setting was outside.
She didn’t feel it herself, but Reinhardt definitely felt something then. Assuming that the assassin was around at that time, why didn’t they launch an attack?
Assassinations should be carried out under optimal circumstances, and that was the case back then.
Ellen was tired and Reinhardt was carrying her.
However, Reinhardt noticed.
That would mean that the assassin was a prudent person.
They were going to attempt to assassinate them in a deserted location with no witnesses around. As soon as they were surrounded by the crowd, the assassin decided not to reveal themself.
After that day, the optimal conditions for assassinating Reinhardt never came to be again because he didn’t leave Temple.
Was it impossible to do in Temple?
Standing at the entrance of Temple, Ellen looked around.
If one didn’t have a pass, one couldn’t even go through the security checkpoint before Temple. It was a system similar to entering a mana train station but much more strict.
Convinced that there was an assassin, Ellen measured her steps.
Without hesitation, she entered Temple’s access control office.
“I’m Ellen, first-year 2 of the Royal Class.”
Ellen presented her student ID. Even though she was wearing her school uniform, she didn’t want to arouse any unnecessary suspicion.
“Oh, how can I help you?”
“Can a person who doesn’t have a permit to enter Temple still get into Temple?”
At that rather random question of the Royal Class student, the staff member tilted their head.
“Of course not…?”
“Are there no exceptions?”
“Why? Are you concerned about Temple’s security?”
“I’m just curious.”
There was no reason to answer students’ questions just because they asked, but she was a Royal Class student.
The staff kindly pointed to Temple’s entrance gate, seeming a little embarrassed.
“You seem to be worried that they might be able to climb over the fence or something, but that won’t happen. First of all, the fence is so high that no ordinary person could jump over it easily, and there’s also a barrier built over it. If someone tries to get across it recklessly, an alarm would go off, and they would get hit by a stun-type automatic defense magic, so they wouldn’t be able to move until the guards arrested them. Likewise, it’s impossible for someone to enter from above because Temple’s defensive barrier is dome-shaped. It’s completely impossible to penetrate it from the sky. To be exact, it can detect flying objects and will take action if required.”
“What about counterfeit passes?”
“Impossible. They are magic items, so each pass is unique.”
“Wouldn’t it be possible to use someone else’s pass?”
“Uhm… I see what you’re worried about.”
A student suddenly went to them and asked about Temple’s security.
The staff member didn’t know why, but she looked incredibly serious.
“If one steals a pass and uses a disguise or camouflage magic, that would be difficult to identify, but the members of this office check everyone with Dispel as soon as they pass through the entrance gate. Their cover would be blown at that point, and don’t we keep checking people coming in with this biosignal analyzer as well? Even if they disguise themselves in different ways, they would still get caught.”
“Aren’t there just faculty members and students in Temple?”
“Well. Not every person that comes in can be considered safe, but when we select staff who will work in Temple and people who want to open stores in Temple, we measure them to the same standards as when selecting people who aspire to work for the Imperial Family. Of course, that inevitably causes problems, but Temple puts the students’ safety first in this matter.”
Ellen was able to confirm that Temple had very few security holes.
However, very few still meant that there were some. While they cast Dispel on visitors to check whether they used camouflage magic, they wouldn’t be able to look through physical disguises.
They could do personal identification via biosignal analyzers, but magic tools weren’t perfect either. Ellen knew that if someone had a deep understanding of magic tools, they would certainly be able to disturb their workings.
One could also bribe some of the faculty members or students; there were many people in Temple that would take that money.
It wasn’t impossible at all for an outside organization to assassinate Reinhardt within Temple.
In a place where far too many people gathered like Temple, it was impossible to promise absolute safety.
It wasn’t that Temple’s countermeasures were insufficient, it was something that couldn’t be helped.
“Yes, thank you.”
Ellen left the access control office after she said so.
Ellen realized that, while Temple was safer than most other places in the capital, it wasn’t absolutely safe.
Ellen didn’t have as much influence as her other classmates—she only had her strength and intellect.
Ellen could only think and take action.
If she assumed she was the head of an assassin organization and was asked to kill a Temple student…
If she had a chance but her target noticed, ran away, and hid themselves in Temple because he noticed someone was trying to assassinate him…
In that case, there would be two ways to go about it:
She would either have to assassinate her target within Temple or make them leave Temple.
To assassinate a student within Temple, she would need to find someone with a Temple pass, bribe them or somehow steal it from them, and then disguise herself as them to enter Temple. If they decided to do that, they would have to pass the biosignal analyzer, and, while that was difficult, it wasn’t like there was no way to get through that.
Of course, just getting inside Temple wasn’t the end of it. They would have to be able to infiltrate the Royal Class dormitory.
While the Royal Class dormitory didn’t have its own guards, several teachers on duty resided there. It wasn’t so difficult that you could call it impossible, but if a stranger suddenly popped up, everyone would be incredibly wary of them.
The Royal Class was a place where the elite of the elite gathered.
Infiltrating and trying to assassinate someone in a place where each student might have some sort of power was quite an unreasonable choice. The chances of not getting caught were really low.
Infiltrating Temple wasn’t impossible, but it would be very difficult to get out safely after killing Reinhardt.
They wanted to assassinate Reinhardt without getting caught, or so it seemed.
If assassinating him within Temple was impossible, there was only one option left…
Waiting for Reinhardt to leave Temple.
If there really was an assassin, Ellen realized an obvious fact.
They were bound to closely monitor Temple’s entrance.
They never knew when Reinhardt would leave, so they would have to wait to seize the opportunity.
Being patient was as easy as breathing for them.
Standing at the entrance of Temple where some faculty members and students came and went, Ellen looked around.
The assassin had to be on the lookout for Reinhardt from somewhere around there.
And if it was true that they were about to carry out an assassination attempt on them at that time…
Her appearance riding on Reinhardt’s back had to have already been saved in their memories.
In that case, her own information might have already been shared among the assassins.
They had to know that she was Reinhardt’s friend.
In other words…
If an assassin was lurking around here…
They would be looking at her right at that moment.
Obviously, rather than her expression or movement, Ellen had been able to read Loyar’s killing intent through sheer instinct.
Like a beast born with such instincts, she was like that as well.
Hostility towards her…
Killing intent towards Reinhardt…
It was completely different from Mana Sensitivity and the like.
Ellen tried to feel who was looking at her at the moment and if there really was an assassin positioned there.
She wondered whether Reinhardt felt like that when he tried to strengthen himself with magical power.
She couldn’t feel anything. She was only able to instinctively feel hostility, but she didn’t know how to actively feel it.
She had no idea.
That feeling of not knowing what to do…
Right when she seemed to slightly understand how Reinhardt might feel, though putting it that way might have been a bit much…
Ellen could feel it.
The gazes directed her way…
That was the first time that Ellen was surprised by her own senses.
She couldn’t believe that something like that was possible.
She didn’t feel killing intent or any other emotion from the gazes; she simply felt like she was being ‘watched’.
Just how much further could she go?
Why on earth was she even able to do something like that?
While Ellen was in awe of her ability, she walked in one direction, feeling that gaze on her without even having to focus on it.
She could only feel one ‘gaze’ on her.
Ellen walked to a different place.
She didn’t feel the gaze from the main street but from a nearby cafe.
They were looking at her but also weren’t.
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Ellen also ‘looked’ at them without actually looking as she moved out of Temple’s entrance.
As expected, when Ellen moved, her observer also moved.
‘I’m sorry I didn’t believe you.’
Although she was in awe of herself and feeling as if she was something other than human…
‘Still, I’ll protect you at all costs.’
She was willing to do anything for Reinhardt.
No matter what she was, she would become anything for him—even if she became something beyond a monster.
That was what Ellen thought.
When she heard that Reinhardt was willing to die for her…
If she could feel that feeling of being his whole world once again…
No matter what kind of monster she turned into, she could endure everything.
—That was what Ellen believed.
Eredian district, a side alley…
She didn’t have to wait long.
Ellen held her breath, and when her observer followed her into the alley, she immediately attacked them from behind.
Ellen’s lake-like eyes glowed calmly.
However, her actions were anything but calm.
Ellen opened the mouth of her fallen stalker and kicked away the sword that was sliding on the floor to prevent him from doing anything stupid.
“Urk! Uurk! ”
Ellen’s calm eyes looked down at the stalker.
“Who are you?”
“Who ordered you to do this?”
“Why did they do that?”
Ellen looked down at him, her expression ghastly.
“I’ll spare you if you tell me.”
“If you understood, nod your head.”
Ellen was expressionless, but she gave off killing intent at the moment.
However, seeing the bizarre phenomenon happening before her, she couldn’t help but widen her eyes.
Frighteningly thick veins started to appear right in front of her on the man’s face.
As the veins burst, blood splashed out.
Ellen immediately used her magical power to protect herself from the splashing blood, but things were already in motion.
“U, uuurk! A, aark! Auuuuurk!”
The veins all over the man’s body suddenly swelled up, and his eyes rolled up into his head.
That person died right in front of her.
Ellen blankly stared at the corpse.
Then, something pushed itself out of the body’s swollen veins.
Grotesque-looking, black, earthworm-like insects wiggled themselves through the man’s veins and crawled out, crumbling like dust and disappearing.
She didn’t know what happened.
She couldn’t understand it.
Before she knew it, the dead man’s veins, which had been bulging up until then, suddenly calmed down.
Even the wounds left by the worms were completely gone. The man suddenly looked like a normal corpse.
Ellen was unable to understand the situation before her, but she could predict what would happen to her.
At that rate, she would be mistaken as the murderer.
Ellen pondered as she looked down at the body of the man before her who’d suddenly died.
Should she go find a guard? If she explained everything, there was a high possibility that she would be released after proving that she was a Temple student.
That would obviously take time.
While she didn’t know much about magic, she was certain it was related to it.
The body still before her, Elllen suddenly had a chilling thought.
The dead man seemed to have been manipulated by bugs of some sort…
Was that really magic?
Were Temple’s security measures able to dispel that kind of magic?
Could someone controlled by that parasite get into Temple?
No, that couldn’t be.
If that were the case, the people inside Temple who were controlled by the bugs would have already tried to kill Reinhardt.
Someone who manipulated people with some sort of bug was behind the assassination attempt, however, those who were controlled by them couldn’t enter Temple.
It was still safe within Temple.
Ellen figured out there was an assassin, and she had found a very big clue.
She was left with a choice to make.
Was she going to call the guards and let them know about the incident? If she did that, she would have to spend countless hours trying to defend herself against the charges while explaining how the person died.
A few days…
She had to be prepared to be interrogated for at least a few days because it was a murder case.
She couldn’t waste precious time like that.
Ellen looked down at the corpse.
There were no witnesses anywhere to be seen in the alley.
She hadn’t killed him.
He was someone who had been manipulated, and there was a high probability that he was an innocent person.
She felt sorry for the injustice of it
Ellen rose up, inwardly vowing that she would definitely find out what had made him go through that, even though she couldn’t take responsibility for it at that moment.
She first had to go to Reinhardt.
She had to make sure that he was safe.
Guilt was creeping up in a corner of Ellen’s mind as she ran to Temple, ignoring the corpse.
Reinhardt was training with Cliffman in the Royal Class dormitory’s training room.
She was a bit nervous, thinking that something would have happened, but nothing happened.
“What is it? Why are you sweating like that? Where have you been?”
“Huh? Ah… No… It’s nothing.”
Someone actually wants to kill you.
I don’t know what happened, but someone actually died on his own.
I left the body alone and ran here like crazy because I was worried about you.
Ellen stopped herself from saying that.
If she told him something like that, Reinhardt would try to do something about it on his own again. If he got her clues, he would definitely throw himself in danger again.
That was the kind of guy he was—he would always try to put himself in danger.
“Do you want to train?”
Reinhardt tried to hand her a training sword.
She would normally take him up on the offer, but not that time.
Not that day.
Reinhardt knew nothing, but he at least knew that he was in deep danger, so he wouldn’t leave Temple.
“No, I have something to do today.”
He should just stay low in that safe place, staying ignorant of the situation. Leaving the training hall, Ellen walked down the hallway.
She would definitely get to the bottom of it.
She had to find out the truth.
‘I’m going to…’
She felt her mind drifting off.
Ellen surrendered her body to her silent fury.
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