The surprising revelations aren’t over yet.
323 – The Hero and the Pope
Now that imouto-chan’s rampage has been amicably (?) settled, it’s about time that Yamada-kun gets some medical treatment before it becomes too late, right? He’s created a pool of blood on the floor already.
Yamada-kun’s knee gives out and he drops down. It seems like he can’t stand up anymore due to excessive bleeding. Even worse, because he lost his balance while imouto-chan’s sword was still stuck into his stomach, his wounds got worse due to his flesh being gouged. It seems that Ooshima-kun’s sword has slipped out after being buried into his shoulder, but that also likewise cut his shoulder apart. No matter that being the Hero raised his status values, he will still take damage when injured and that can lead to death. If Yamada-kun dies here then would this be the Bad End of the imouto-chan route? Or perhaps the Ooshima-kun route? The scene of carnage End due to two-timing perhaps?
Having fallen to his knees and looking like he was about to collapse onto the ground, Yamada-kun was caught by imouto-chan. Ooshima-kun, who had just now discarded the sword she’d used to slash at Yamada-kun, began to formulate Treatment Magic in a rush. Hmm. However, in order to cure Yamada-kun’s injury, isn’t that going to be a bit lacking? With just Ooshima-kun’s magic alone, it should be more or less possible to heal him enough such that he won’t die, but his wounds will likely remain. Treatment Magic isn’t omnipotent. With the magic above it, Miracle Magic, it would be possible to heal almost all injuries except death though. It can’t be helped. If Yamada-kun was left with a permanent scar because of this then that would surely leave me with a bad aftertaste, so I guess I’ll assist.
「Shiro-sama. Please leave this to me.」
Just as I was thinking that, a voice stopped me. On looking over my shoulder, there was the Pope surrounded by several women who had all just entered the room. Ack, he showed up.
「Who are you?」
Ooshima-kun goes on guard against the group that suddenly appeared. Well, it’s really us who showed up here suddenly by using teleportation. After all, this is the main temple of the Divine Word Religion in the Holy Country of Aleius you know. It wasn’t the Empire that had been safeguarding imouto-chan, but this place. In fact, Yamada-kun’s homeland is right next door. Imouto-chan was just a stone’s throw away.
「Pleased to meet you. I am the 57th Pope of the Divine Word Religion, Dustin the 61st. I am pleased to make your acquaintances.」
「The Pope of the Divine World Religion?!」
Perhaps Ooshima-kun was surprised that he was such an important person, or perhaps she was surprised that such a person would show themselves, but either way she’s incredibly surprised. However, her surprise only lasts a moment, and she continues with Yamada-kun’s treatment while being on guard against the Pope. Considering that she glanced at the sword she’d just thrown away, she’s really being on guard here. Well, speaking of the Divine Word Religion, they are the group that had announced that Natsume-kun was the Hero and caused Yamada-kun to be trapped after all. As far as sensei had been aware, the mastermind who was manipulating Natsume-kun from behind the scenes was the Divine Word Religion, with the Administrators being behind them.
Hm? In a certain sense, isn’t that actually correct? It’s basically due to me for a start, and the Divine Word Religion was cooperating with me anyway.
「Please be at ease. We shall only assist with the treatment. Now that the elves have been destroyed, there is no longer any reason for conflict between us.」
The pope has an amiable and gentle smile. He simply looks like a good-natured old man. Also, he has a very calm and gentlemanly manner. He’s emanating an aura that seems to unconditionally reassure people. It’s not like there’s an actual skill in the System for that. It’s likely a technique that the pope has developed naturally over many years. What he’s like on the inside is totally not what he looks like though.
Even Ooshima-kun is bewildered by the pope’s innocent aura. Using that opening, the women who came with the pope glide over to where Yamada-kun is, and then deploy Treatment Magic. Yamada-kun’s shoulder injury is completely cured before imouto-chan or Ooshima-kun can even raise an objection.
Ooh. Their skill formulation and coordination is rather quick. Each of them individually are significantly inferior to Ooshima-kun in power, but by cooperating together to formulate a single skill they can raise the effectiveness of the skill significantly. I’d guess these women are candidates for the next Saint. Hasebe-san had been gaining prominence as the leading candidate, but there’s no way that the pope would skimp on training others.
「I shall pull out the sword.」
「I’ll do that.」
When one of the saint candidates reaches out her hand towards the sword that was still stuck into Yamada-kun’s stomach, she was interrupted by Ooshima-kun.
「Shun, endure it for a bit, okay?」
As Ooshima-kun extracts the sword, Yamada-kun groans in pain. Then, Treatment Magic is immediately applied. Hrm. While watching over the treatment being applied, so that Yamada-kun won’t have any scars left, I stealthily support Ooshima-kun’s technique. There, that’ll do.
Once the treatment is mostly completed, the saint candidates promptly separate from Yamada-kun, and returned to waiting behind the pope.
「……First of all, thank you for your assistance with his treatment.」
「Think nothing of it. Thanks are not necessary. After all, only doing this much will not bring our atonement.」
Although she seemed reluctant, Ooshima-kun still gave thanks, yet the pope’s reply seemed apologetic from the bottom of his heart. Is he really apologetic I wonder? Even I don’t know the pope’s heart. In the first place, I’m not really sure about the reason why he decided to show up himself at this time.
There was no need for the pope himself to show himself. If he hadn’t shown himself here, the Divine Word Religion could likely have protected its image by indicating that the upper echelon was still brainwashed by Natsume-kun. That would still require a number of executives in the Divine Word Religion to be dismissed though, but compared to allowing the prestige of the Divine Word Religion to crash into the ground that would be a small price to pay. Either way their reputation will take a hit, but if they pushed all the blame onto Natsume-kun, then it would still be possible for them to recover. Despite that, since the pope as the person at the top of the Divine Word Religion has made an appearance, then that is no longer possible. By showing up in the same place as me when I’m known as the true mastermind behind Natsume-kun, that alone is enough for people who can figure out such things. Namely, that the Divine Word Religion was not in fact being manipulated by Natsume-kun, but rather that they were cooperating with me of their own free will.
As proof of that, Ooshima-kun is shifting her gaze between me and the pope, and has narrowed her eyes with a grim expression. That’s a face showing that various things have been figured out. That’s why I had intended to immediately return to the elf village once imouto-chan’s rampage had been resolved. So why are you showing up so nonchalantly now eh?
「This is to take responsibility.」
As if he was reading my thoughts, the pope spills out that comment.
「It means that the Divine Word Religion is already finished.」
Followed by making a shocking declaration.
“Bad End” – this is specifically gaming slang in the raw, referring to something commonly seen in visual novels when the player has made the wrong choices and has failed. “Route” is also gaming slang, in this case referring to the “main heroine” (capture target) of a particular story route within the game, eg from dating sim type games. In other words, Shiro is jokingly treating Shun as a harem protagonist in a game where both Sue and Katia are “capture targets”.