Just like I was able to casually enter Temple, Sarkegaar would be able to do the same, even though Temple had many security measures. But coming to my room as a maid in the middle of the night….
Come to think of it, Count Argon Pontheus, Sarkegaar’s cover, was a man.
What was Sarkegaar’s actual gender? Were they a species who didn’t have something like that?
“How did you get into my room?”
“It wasn’t that hard to do.”
Sarkegaar had the master key all maids had. Well, there should have been several ways for him to get that thing. I also had to talk to Sarkegaar because there were many events complicating my situation.
“In the future, instead of you coming to see me, I will come directly to you.”
Sarkegaar was good at transforming himself, so it would be possible for him to contact me without being caught. Perhaps because of the time and place, Sarkegaar didn’t lengthen his words with useless rhetorics.
“First, about the Princess’ supernatural ability.”
“Yes, did you find out?”
Sarkegaar shook his head at my words.
“I’m here to report what I found first, although I could directly find it out if I take on some big risks.”
Although he did not find out what her ability was, he decided that he needed to report to me what he found in the process first.
“First of all, even within the Imperial Family, the talks about the Princess’ supernatural power are divided. In particular, those who belong to Prince Bertus’ faction seem to be skeptical. They think the reason for the information about the Princess’ supernatural ability not getting revealed is because it was fake to begin with.”
“Meaning that even Bertus doesn’t know what ability the Princess has.”
“Yes. Your Highness.”
The Prince didn’t know what abilities she had. That could mean that Charlotte isn’t really a supernatural power user. In the end, that just increased the possibility that her taking the supernatural power classes itself was just to cover up her lie to belong to the Royal Class.
“That means the Emperor is the only one who knows for certain about the Princess’ abilities…….”
It was possible that the supernatural power teacher who took Charlotte to a seperate room knew, but even then there is a chance that she actually doesn’t do anything in there.
Even Bertus couldn’t figure it out with his authority.
“Then there were only two other people beside the Emperor who knew about it. The Class B homeroom teacher Mr. Mustrang and the teacher in charge of Charlotte during the supernatural power classes.”
“I guess so.”
The authenticity of the Princess’ supernatural power was highly confidential, so neither of them would go anywhere running their mouths about it. Both of them were great people who couldn’t be easily touched.
They were teachers at Temple. And they were a teacher in charge of the supernatural power lectures who had to control students with dangerous abilities and a Royal Class homeroom teacher. Neither of them were ordinary people.
“So, what did you mean by taking big risks?”
“If there were people who shared the secret, I could disguise myself as one of them, however it’s difficult to find out a secret that only a few select people know.”
Mr. Mustrang and the supernatural power teacher both resided in Temple. And they both weren’t people that could be led on so easily. They held important positions among the Temple teachers after all.
“Hmm…. This certainly is a strange situation. Not knowing whether her powers are real or fake….”
Did she lie that she had supernatural powers as to not fall behind Bertus? If so, how long could that lie even last? That being said, the Emperor approved of her using a fake supernatural power to get in.
Was that why only a small number of teachers, including the first-year Class B homeroom teacher, Mr. Mustrang, were aware of the Imperial Familiy’s lie, to keep them in check?
What if it was actually real? Why would they hide her ability, if it was real though?
I didn’t really have to think much to get the reason behind that.
“If she really has a supernatural ability, then it’s something that can’t be revealed to others easily…. It had to be a very problematic ability.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
Imperial honor or Imperial prestige.
It was an ability that could probably damage either of these, so what the hell kind of ability did she have?
“Okay, if it’s too dangerous, let’s just bury this. The truth will come out one way or another.”
“Yes, Your Highness. That is a wise decision.”
Sarkegaar answered as such. We should forget about the Princess’ ability for now.
“I have something to tell you.”
“Was there an accident?”
I was going to have a duel next week, but I didn’t think that was something I should tell that guy. He would probably just get angry, asserting his uselessly over-the-top loyalty.
“It’s about the Princess again.”
“The Princess is looking for me.”
Sarkegaar didn’t seem to understand what I was talking about for a moment.
Hearing my story, Sarkegaar’s expression turned grave.
It was true that this was a serious issue that couldn’t even be compared to that duel. If we did one wrong move, not only I but the foundation of our activity, the Rotary Gang, could be blown to smithereens. When I told him that even Bertus started paying attention to me, Sarkegaar’s expression became even more serious.
“Temple is a much too dangerous place for Your Highness. You should avoid this place…..”
“Even if I get to live, the Gang would definitely get blown up.”
If I were to disappear, Charlotte would wipe out the Rotary Gang. Money was very important for us.
This kind of just happened by chance, but now the Rotary Gang had become our most important source of money. In my case, I didn’t necessarily need that money anymore, but Sarkegaar needed it a lot.
“What a funny thing. For the Princess to become a problem like that, even though she should be in your debt….”
That was something that shouldn’t come out of your mouth, Mr. Kidnapper. If it weren’t for you, I might have been able to actually reveal my identity.
Well, what happened, happened.
“Now I ended up having to do something as absurd as looking for myself, but I have no idea how to go about this. Should I just tell her that I died somewhere and fabricate some evidence?”
“That answer might satisfy the Princess. It would be the best course of action, but…. We don’t know how the Princess will react afterwards.”
Suppose I would tell Charlotte that Valier was dead and show her some fabricated evidence. Assuming they would just take that manipulated evidence at face value.
Wouldn’t there be the possibility that they would just get rid of me and the gang after having exceeded our usefulness? It certainly would seem like a bad connection to have after all.
“If I bring them results, they might just get rid of me, and if I don’t, they’ll just get rid of me for being useless….”
I felt like I was in one hell of a dilemma. Whether I did it or didn’t there would be problems popping up, but when I thought about it a little differently, my head suddenly felt clear.
“Alright, let’s just do it little by little.”
“Little by little?”
“Yeah. She won’t touch us if we show that we are making some progress at least.”
Damn it, I didn’t want to have Charlotte as my enemy. Just to cover up for a small lie that got bigger and bigger over time, I would end up making up much bigger lies.
“Rather if they feel like we are seriously working on this, they would have to protect us, far from wanting to get rid of us.”
Bertus would continue to show interest in me as long as he thought I was useful. He was no different from Charlotte in that regard. I had to make some progress in finding Valier.
In the meantime, she would just continue to resent me, but wouldn’t touch me, no matter what I did. Rather, she would try to help me if I or the Gang was in danger.
Both Charlotte and Bertus hid their true selves from the ordinary students.
That was something they had in common. Charlotte pretended to be a bit of a shy person in Class B, but the way she acted and spoke to me that day wasn’t the least bit kind or shy.
It was as if they were made out of the same mold, so it would be the same no matter who of them became Emperor.
This wasn’t a good situation at all, but let’s think positively.
I didn’t have to choose between Bertus and Charlotte anymore.
“Like this I’d be in a position where I could use both of them.”
Sarkegaar smiled at my bold words.
“I’m amazed by your insight.”
Could you stop smiling so creepily with that elegant face? It’s giving me goosebumps.
My short-term goal was surviving that duel next week.
My long term goal was to prove my usefulness to Charlotte, and keep my activities from Bertus.
And my very long term goal..
“Gasp…. Gasp…. Gasp….”
“I didn’t expect you to just magically improve after just one day, but this is really serious, junior.”
Adriana made me recover my physical strength by injecting me with divine power after I was on the verge of exhaustion. A paladin was training the potential next Demon King with all her heart.
Actually, wasn’t Adriana constantly sinning by doing that? If Adriana went to hell, wouldn’t that be entirely my fault?
Anyway, we kept to that routine. To some extent, one needed a certain amount of physical fitness to be able to use swordsmanship. In terms of exercises, I was trying bench presses at the moment, but I didn’t even have the strength to do a single one. What was the use of technology if one’s basic abilities wouldn’t be able to support it?
So, even if I thought that I was about to lose my mind, I had no choice but to clench my fists again, while feeling that strange sensation of my exhausted body normalizing again.
Following the morning training with Adriana and her advising me to eat a lot, I ate something before breakfast. Most of the time, I ate together with Ellen, who was a regular in the dining room. Since she requested for simple snacks, the storage soon got refilled with simple food that could be eaten quickly..
After listening to the lectures, I resumed my training until dinner.
Then after dinner, I’d train and eat something again before I went to bed.
After a bit, I reached the point where I could feel my physical prowess improving little by little, perhaps because I started off with a very low level of physical fitness and the support of divine power.
“Why don’t you train using divine power?”
It was easy and quick growing with it, so why did she not use it? I asked her if there was a specific reason behind that.
“If one takes stimulants every day, one’s body could end up hurt. That’s the reason. Hunger can’t be restored with divine power. I don’t know if one would call it blasphemous for me to say something like this, but it’s not natural to grow with the support of divine power.”
Divine power restored stamina, but it didn’t replenish the nutrients spent. So, one could really call it a form of doping. So that was why she kept reminding me to eat a lot.
Was that stimpack?
“This is just temporary, you hear? If you want to reach a certain level, you have to do it on your own, junior.”
As if she wanted to clarify something, Adriana more or less told me that she won’t keep on being my stimpack forever.
I knew very little about what was going on on Class B’s and Ludwig’s side, but they should be doing fine..
Originally, there would have been a scene where they were conflicting with the students from Class A who were trying to pick a fight over each and every little thing.
I attracted all of Class A’s aggro, so they didn’t even have time to care about Class B.
I, a big villain, took on all of the early villains’ hatred and malice, so there was no “aggro” left for the main character.
What the hell? I didn’t mean for that to happen.
I continued to train and train some more.
So naturally, I ran into Ellen a lot. Our daily routine was almost identical. We mostly ran into each other in the dining room and the gym.
That’s how it was for the most part.
When I saw her eating whatever she felt like, I really had the urge to give her some of the food I made. Of course, I took all the credit for that.
“You’re really lucky that you came to Temple.”
“With the amount of food you eat daily, you could ruin a whole household.”
Looking at Ellen, who had just swallowed a huge amount of pasta that I just made, made me feel like dying. I really wondered if there was perhaps a black hole in her stomach.
At my words, Ellen looked at me with a sour look on her face, spitting out:
“I didn’t want to come here.”
“Temple told me to come.”
“Huh, ah…. I see.”
Was she arguing with me now, because I said that she could destroy a household like that? Wait, she was talking about herself, right?
She didn’t tell anyone about herself, so no one knew that she was that Warrior’s sister except the Prince, but here she was telling me that she was told to come here, because I scolded her for eating like a black hole. She didn’t want to come here.
That was what she had said.
Of course, I knew about her personal matters, but it was surprising that she told me a bit about herself like that.
She was right. As soon as they found out that Artorius had a sister, they begged her to come to Temple.
“Are you mad?”
That made it clear.
I was the first who ever succeeded in making Ellen sulk.
The training was harder on the weekends. Rather, it felt like I could rest during the lectures on weekdays. On the contrary, I worked a lot more intensely in my free time, so the weekends were a hell of my own creation to me.
Adriana stayed longer than usual on those days, making me remember a lot of theoretical knowledge, trained me and made me eat a lot.
“Ah, that’s not how you do it.”
In the kitchen, I strictly watched Ellen cook. She came into the kitchen, saying that she would like to do it on her own this time, because I kept cooking for her. She probably was tired of me taking credit all the time.
The menu was presumed to be beef stew with a lot of tenderloin. When I asked her if she knew how to make that, she said that she ate it a lot at home.
“Hey…. Huh? J, just do it like that. I just told you.”
“Is there any salt in there?”
“Ah, this is overcooked…. You’re teeth will hurt if you try to eat this, you know? Is this supposed to train your jaw?”
“Something’s clearly missing in there…. I’m not sure.”
“Add in the herbs with this timing….”
Ellen looked at me quietly as I continued to give her instructions.
“…I don’t think you should look at people like that while holding a cleaver.”
She continued to stare at me anyway.
Rather, she seemed angry! She just quietly looked at me while holding a kitchen knife. That was hella scary! Ellen looked at me a moment longer, then continued to concentrate on cooking again.
“Look at your temper. Ready to put a knife into me if I just say one more word, huh?”
Of course, my mouth never went into silent mode. She had a different kind of flavor from cute little Harriet. She didn’t seem to react at all.
Honestly, I felt like I had to admit defeat, because I was the one who got pissed instead.
Ellen finished cooking regardless of my extreme critique. She then took the enormous amount of stew and set it down on a table. No matter what you tell me, I thought she really wanted to make me angry.
I scooped up a bowl of the finished stew, and we each took a spoonful.
I stared at Ellen.
I was half-joking, but the result was the same as last time.
She did say that she ate it often at home, not that she cooked it.
Eventually, she went back to cooking according to my instruction, managing to make a decent stew.
“What do you think? Is it edible now?”
“Of course, it is. Who do you think I am?”
As I poked at her until the very end, I finally saw furrows appearing between Ellen’s brows. I felt thrilled finally having made that stone Buddha angry.
Ah, I was quite the sadist, wasn’t I?
And then, Monday evening.
“That’s not how you do it.”
Watching me wield my sword in the gym, Ellen spoke to me casually.
“You don’t do it like that.”
Ellen began to take revenge for my extreme criticism and rudeness she received from me.