Chapter 138: Trouble (2)

༺ Trouble (2) ༻

'...So boring.'

Seras barely suppressed a yawn that threatened to escape her lips.

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As a student infiltrating Elfante, she couldn't just skip all the classes, so she ended up having to pick a few lectures to attend. That was part of the reason why she was sitting in this classroom listening to the professor's useless explanations.

'Is this truly the best educational institution in the Empire?'

She had joined this advanced lecture, hoping that it would be at least interesting, but the professor in front of her was just droning on and on about the basics of Divine Power Mastery.

Of course, comparing his lecture to the Holy Land was too harsh, but she couldn't help but find that the level of the lecture was disappointingly low.

For someone like her, this level was a mere waste of time. But, she still had to stick around in this academy.

Because of a certain man.

"-Thus, Divine Power is subdivided into various grades, starting from Basic Graces to Miracles, with the highest grade being the Angel's Grace-"


'The Angel's Grace, huh?'

Seras thought expressionlessly, slightly bowing her head as she pondered the words coming from the professor's mouth.

It was something she had encountered not long ago.


A deep sigh escaped her.

Initially, she was planning to deal with him quickly before returning to the Pope, but things had turned complicated.

Starting from the mysterious 'throbbing' that she felt, to the sight of him interacting nonchalantly with the angels, the beings who were considered as Apostles of God by the Church.


And if that interaction was genuine, without any trickery or deceit...

Then, she absolutely could not harm that man.

Because, according to the doctrine, only those with true faith could make contact with angels.

But that would imply that the Pope, the person who had ordered her to bring harm to that man, possessed a flaw.

'...What in the world is going on?'

She felt a headache coming as she rubbed her temple.

He was always a thorn in the Pope's side. But, the more she observed him, the more bizarre he—


Suddenly, she widened her eyes. She felt a strange sensation near her chest.

Something that had been happening far too often lately.

Every time she thought about him, this throbbing sensation would appear.

Especially when she tried to 'belittle' him in her mind.

What exactly did this mean, she didn't know.

Though, what she did know was there was something inside her that forcibly warned her to 'Not do that.'

To not belittle that man.

Because she'd definitely come to regret it if she did.

The feelings felt eerily similar to the sensation that stopped her when she tried to stab him before.

'...Don't make me laugh.'

With a deep frown, she twisted her body slightly.

This was an involuntary reaction to the strong aversion she felt towards this sensation.

To her, the fact that this feeling was trying to forcibly control her will was something disgraceful.

'The doctrine of the Holy Land is infallible, and so is His Holiness the Pope. That man is not even in the same league. It's not even worth comparing.'

Ever since she first met the Pope and embraced his ideology, she was fascinated by his vision.

The world the Pope dreamt of was the very definition of a true and genuine Paradise for her.

An ideal world where no one was discriminated against.

Where everyone, regardless of their origin or race, could enjoy equal happiness without being idiotically bound by such innate barriers.

Compared to the Pope, who had surpassed even her ideals, that man was nothing more than an animal who shamelessly put a leash on women while dragging them—


Again, she twisted her body.

The pounding in her heart gave her a sharp pain, as if she was being stabbed repeatedly with a knife.

As if her heart was showing its fury the moment she thought of such words.

It was so painful that if her profession wasn't one so accustomed to enduring pain, she would have cried out in agony.

'...Am I possessed by an Evil Spirit or something? What is going on?'

Initially, she thought she just wasn't feeling well, but her condition was just way too strange to be dismissed as such.

'I should visit Vizsla for an exorcism after this class ends.'

While she held her chest with such thoughts, the professor continued his lecture.

"-Thus, some scholars interpret the birth of the first human as the deeds of existences from the Astral Realm."

At that, she let out a slight smile.

'Yop. That's correct.'

And the Holy Land, which had the closest interactions with beings of the Astral Realm, undoubtedly stood at the top among the continental superpowers.

'For once, an imperial says something that makes sense.'

Thinking this, Seras looked at the professor.

"However, it is difficult to see it that way as it seems quite unlike them to make so many mistakes."

The words that followed from that mouth made her expression stiffen, but...

"I am talking about the crude, disgusting, and embarrassing race of Cardinal Humans, who dare to be treated as the same human beings as us. If someone ever meets an angel, please do me a favor and ask why such beings were created."


During the span of the light laughter that spread among the students...

Seras desperately suppressed the killing intent that threatened to burst through her expression.

Memories buried long ago in the back of her mind began to resurface.

The discrimination, humiliation, persecution, and oppression that she, someone who was born in the Empire, endured before moving to the Holy Land.

And the most precious thing she had 'lost'.

'...Despicable bastards.'

With a look of disdain, she stared at the laughing humans around her.

The Cardinals.

Those similar to humans, but also bearing the traits of 'another race'.

This term was used for Beastkin who were typically referred to as Biped.

The Empire completely ostracized and discriminated against them, who, despite having slight physical differences, were almost indistinguishable from humans.

Unlike the Holy Land, they were narrow-minded and repulsive humans who only treated pure-blooded humans as their equal.

"Class is dismissed for today. Submit your assignments through the teaching assistant by the next class."

With that, the students began to noisily rise from their seats.

And Seras, mixed in with them, expressionlessly organized her writing tools and textbooks.

Unlike others, she had no friends in this school, but she didn't feel anything in particular about it.

After all, her student identity was just a disguise. Once she finished dealing with her work regarding Dowd Campbell, she'd immediately discard this identity.

So, all she needed to do was pack up her things, and she could proceed to continue to gather information about that man.

Or at least that was supposed to be the case.


But today, to her surprise, there was a group of students that approached her.

She narrowed her eyes as she looked at them.

A seasoned assassin could gather a lot of information from just the first impression. And this was even more so when it came to an assassin bearing the title of Grand.

In front of her was a male student, proudly wearing a pendant with his household's crest around his neck.

Perhaps due to his well-trained body and movements suggesting diligent combat training, there was not a single gap in his conduct.

After thoroughly scanning him, Seras internally nodded in a serious manner.

'...I can ignore him.'

Though well-trained, that was the extent of it.

At her level, even official knights couldn't touch a hair on her. She could easily kill this kind of weakling with just a single finger.

"I have something to—"

"Not interested.

Because she cut him off before he could even finish, the man frowned.

In another place, he might have scolded her for her rudeness, asking who she was to dare to treat him this way. However, this was Elfante. Even the Imperial Family must tread carefully in this institution of equal education.

Swallowing his anger, the man tried to speak again. He had even managed to force a fairly friendly smile.

"...I am Brix Chester, the eldest son of the Chester County. I came to make a proposal."


'If you hear the name of our household, you can't help but listen, can you?' was what his demeanor was clearly saying.

She unfurled a mental directory of names in her mind.

As an assassin, one of the skills at her disposal was to have detailed personal information about key figures from various countries.

'If it's the Chester County, then...'

They stood somewhere between the Major Nobles and mid-level nobility of the Empire.

Good enough to be so confident against nobodies, but...

"...So what?"

To a Grand Assassin like her, they were still fodder.

She could annihilate their entire household in a day by herself.

So when she spoke, blatantly showing her annoyance, the man's expression crumpled again.

Normally, one would back off or get angry in such a situation, but he cleared his throat and continued speaking.

"Aren't you hiding your true skills?"


"I'm asking if you have trained professionally in fighting techniques."


"Even if you hide your presence, you can't hide the contours of your body. The state of your muscles, their development. It's clear that they have been trained to an extreme level. A level where bone was crushed and flesh was split."


'He isn't going to let me go easily.'

As Seras sighed inwardly while thinking this...

"...I've only learned some self-defense techniques."

"Look here. Are you trying to mock me? I, as the eldest son of a County, have been wielding a sword since I was seven. Let's stop playing around."

"Just tell me what you want."


Brix, who heard Seras's tone change sharply, gave a shallow smile.

"...There's someone in the upcoming Competency Evaluation that I want to deal with."


"Let's work on this together. I'll make sure to compensate you well."


She was not pleased.

Only the Pope had the right to employ her. Normally, she didn't even want to talk to fodder like this.

'...Wait, if it's a County...'


Suddenly, she had a thought.

"...Do you perhaps know someone named Dowd Campbell?"

She was considering getting useful information about that man if this person happened to know something about him.

After all, this fodder belonged to a noble line with some standing and had been in the academy longer than her. Maybe he had access to valuable information she did not know.


As soon as he heard the name, Brix's face twisted horribly.

"What a coincidence."

His voice was dripped with contempt and disgust.

"That bastard is the very person I wanted to deal with."



A pang could be felt from her chest again.

The sensation momentarily startled her, but she didn't show it on her face.


'It's that sensation again.'

'Why does this keep on happening every time his name is mentioned?'

"He is a wretch who insulted my father. A filthy bug-like piece of shit."



Her heart throbbed. Pit-a-pat. The same painful sensation as if she was being stabbed with a knife.

The palpitations grew more intense with every derogatory word about that man.

"It's fortunate you know him as well. Any student in the academy would have at least heard vaguely about how much of a scumbag he is."

And due to the following 'urge', Seras was shocked to find herself clutching her chest.

It felt like her whole body was screaming.

To pull out the dagger she had on her right away and stab this man. To shut his mouth.

Her breathing quickened. Her head spun. Her consciousness blurred, as if engulfed in mist.

"...He didn't seem like such a bad person, though."

Moreover, she even uttered such words.

'What in the world are you doing right now, Seras?'

Why was she defending that man? What reason was there to?

Amidst her fading rationality, such thoughts brushed past her mind.

However, even while having such thoughts, the anger that was practically boiling her brain surged, regardless of her being conscious of it or not.

It was almost like...

How should she put it?

It was similar to the emotion she felt when the Pope was insulted.

When someone she 'served' was slandered.

"What? Then you are being deceived. He is cunning, like a snake."


"You can think of it as enacting justice."

"...Enacting justice?"

At one point...

The tone of her voice was lowered to a chilling level. But Briz, engrossed in his slanders, didn't notice it.

"That's right. I want to teach him that he shouldn't have messed with the Chester County."

"What do you mean by that?"

"It is just as I said. Accidents happen all the time in the Practical Exam, so it is easy to cover up."

And then...

"I am going to kill that bastard."

Upon hearing this...

Her field of vision was dyed in 'purple'.

And then...


Blood splattered.

And a scream echoed in all directions.


"S-Someone go call for help quickly!"

At these screams, her consciousness, which had briefly been lost, returned.

Seras widened her eyes and took a harsh breath.

'...What did I just do...!'

This was a situation she had never experienced before after becoming a Grand Assassin and forming the Oath of the Crescent Moon, a secret assassin organization.

It was eerily similar to the time she tried to harm Dowd Campbell.

Her body moved independently from her will.

As if someone else was controlling it.


The gravity of the situation was far more serious than at that time.


Seras looked at her hands in horror.

The blood-stained dagger. Brix's collapsed body in front of her.

And most importantly...

All the gazes focused on her.


It was a disaster.

There couldn't have been a more troubling incident than this.

To think that she would suddenly stab someone with a weapon in a situation with so many witnesses.

She broke out in a cold sweat. Her back felt icy cold, and her head started to spin.

Thanks to her skill in killing her emotions, she did not panic, but no matter how calm her mind was, it was nearly impossible to think of a suitable solution to this situation.



There was one.

A terrible but effective method came to her mind.

It was a thought she would never have entertained under normal circumstances.

But in her current 'strange' state of mind, the idea seemed terribly enticing.

'...Can't I just get rid of all of them?'

She just needed to slaughter all the people here.

After all, if all the witnesses were gone, no one would know who did it.

And as if to support this thought...

Purple flickered in her vision once again.

'...They are all people who are of no help to that man anyway.'

What does that even mean? Why was she even thinking that?

Although this thought vaguely brushed past her mind...

Once again, a powerful pulse spread in her mind, as if smoke was rising, burying such thoughts.

'These fodder here, all these morons...'

'Are meaningless...worthless.'

'There is no harm in getting rid of them. It shouldn't matter at all.'

'In the world, only those who are useful to 'Master' should remain. These...things are just a nuisance.'


And right at that moment...

The door to the lecture room opened abruptly. Seras swiftly turned her eyes towards it.


'It's that man.'

'Dowd Campbell.'


Seras' heart began pounding.

'Ah, that's right.'


She had to do something that would help that man.

'...Please wait, just for a moment.'

Since she would get rid of all these useless people.

That must be what that man desires too.

Right as she thought this and raised her dagger again...

Dowd showed a bewildered expression, quickly grasping the situation, and then...

"...Ah, seriously."

He let out a sigh.

Following that, his face showed a resigned expression, as if he had no other choice.

And then...

The 'Seal' on his chest began to shine.


With an 'enthralling' white that captivated the attention of every human in the vicinity.

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