Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 324

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A spider doesn’t forget her debts.

324 – If you say that you’ll win anyway then you mustn’t cheat

「What do you mean the Divine Word Religion is finished?」

The one who spoke wasn’t Ooshima-kun but Yamada-kun. While being supported by imouto-chan, he got unsteadily to his feet. The Treatment Magic has healed his wounds for a start, and because of my secret assistance his lost blood has been replenished as well. However, even though what was lost for a moment has been replenished, it will take some time for that to spread throughout his entire body. Yamada-kun should be suffering from something similar to anemia right now, but I guess this is what’s called “standing on your feet by sheer willpower”.

「In the literal meaning. This marks the end of the Divine Word Religion’s longlasting era.」

The pope smiles cheerfully. He’s not putting a brave face on it. Hm? Really, what is this guy thinking?

「This place is inappropriate. Let’s move to somewhere else to talk. Or perhaps you need to rest a little? I’m sure some time will be needed to prepare a place anyway.」
「I’m fine. Let’s talk.」

In response to the pope’s concern, Yamada-kun immediately shakes his head.

「In that case, please follow me. Ahh, what will you do, Shiro-sama?」

Erm? Mm. What to do-o? It’s not like I’m uninterested in knowing what the pope is up to, but wouldn’t it be kinda wrong for me to accompany them?

As such, I shake my head in refusal. After a pause I immediately use teleport to leave the place.

AS IF! I might have teleported away from that place, but the clone attached to imouto-chan is still there. Like this I shall overhear every little detail about what the pope is scheming! Geh-heh-heh!

「Ah」

Or at least that’s what I had planned to do. While sticking to Yamada-kun as they walked, imouto-chan seemed to realise something and put her hand into her clothes. Then she grabbed something and pulled out her hand. Yep. That “something” is my clone.

「Humph.」

Gyaahh!? Squished!? It was crushed!? My pretty little clone!? What the heck!?

Damn. Sigh. Well, I guess it can’t be helped. The moment that imouto-chan crushed my clone, it’s like her face was saying “maybe I should reveal my grudges huh?”. I did make imouto-chan do various things after all. It’s no biggie if she holds a grudge. I’m not going to complain over just one little clone being crushed.

I’ll overlook you crushing one clone. In addition, I add imouto-chan’s soul to the list of those to be protected when the System is destroyed. As recompense for her work thus far, I guess I’ll not get involved with imouto-chan again. The original recompense that I offered was to not kill her brother, ie Yamada-kun, but I hadn’t ever intended to kill him in the first place anyway. Work does deserve appropriate compensation and all.

Well, it does come attached with the condition that she won’t become hostile to me though.

………I quit. Even aside from the clone that was attached to imouto-chan, I have clones that are monitoring the pope and others. So if I decided to peek then it would be easy to do so. But, I’ll quit. I bet that the pope is also taking into account that I’ll peek, so I’ll avoid exposing myself.

In all probability, the pope is exploring possible methods to oppose me based on his predictions of what will happen next. Not for nothing has he been opposing Potimas for so long despite being a normal human. I doubt that he’s figured out everything that I’m trying to do, but he’s likely preparing for any contingency. It’s highly likely that coming into contact with Yamada-kun is part of that larger plan.

In which case, wouldn’t it be better to peek as much as possible? I think so. I’m like the pope in that I’m the type to predict all sorts of scenarios and make flawless preparations before starting the fight. Therefore, if trouble is going to sprout, the correct thing to do is to nip it in the bud ahead of time. With Potimas now dead, the pope is one of the few people who can oppose me. There’s no harm in being vigilant. I mean, since the Pope has the Temperance Ruler skill, eliminating him under the cover of darkness would be the quickest solution now that the cooperative relationship formed between us until the elves were beaten is over.

But… hey… Wouldn’t that simply be a one-sided game? Eliminating the pope right now is the most efficient solution. That is for certain. But, that option… is bad. What’s bad you ask? Wouldn’t the results of such a choice be uninteresting? Not to me. To the spectator. Exactly. For this story, that certain terrible spectator who is capable of overturning the very foundations of it would likely be bored if the ending was given away already by going with that option.

Well, that’s basically why I can’t take that option, even though it would be nicely efficient for me. Sigh. That evil god really is a good-for-nothing. She definitely doesn’t want me to have it easy.

Yeah. I know. It’s unlikely to be smooth sailing from here on. That’s why I’ve even made careful preparations for some detours. It’s okay. It should go well. I’ll believe in my own power.

Righteo! In that case, I’m cancelling peeping on the pope. Let’s do something else.

That being said, there’s not much I can do right now I guess. Since Yamada-kun and co are gone, resuming the debriefing session with the reincarnators wouldn’t work. Mera and co are working hard on the post-war efforts anyway. Even if I use my main body to assist with hacking the System, my clones are always working on it anyway.

The hacking of the System is going well. Under my original expectations I had thought I’d need imouto-chan to take Chastity, but with the hacking having progressed this far, that wasn’t even necessary. It was a bit heavy-handed, but I was able to interfere with the Ruler Authority and gain control over it. So the unoccupied Ruler Authority for Chastity fell into my hands and I was able to grab Diligence that was held by Potimas immediately following his death. By gaining her consent I was able to receive both Gluttony and Humility from the Demon King. The only one remaining is the pope’s Temperance. The remaining one is the problem though. I’m more or less able to continue making progress by being heavy-handed, but the efficiency is bad. Well, either way, I guess it’s at the point where I just need to persist with it a bit more.

Since the System hacking is currently going well, if there’s a problem to speak of, then it would be sensei I guess. The other recinarantors are still able to recover. Since they were simply confined in the elf village, their minds and bodies are perfectly healthy. However, even though sensei’s body is healthy, her mind is not. I guess I’ll go see how she’s doing.


 

Translation notes:

“If you say that you’ll win anyway then you mustn’t cheat” – the more literal translation of the title is “If you declare that you’ll capture on your first attempt then you can’t look at strategy guides”. A sort-of gamers equivalent of “you can’t have your cake and eat it”.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 323
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 325