Part 1 of a new mini-arc. I’ll try to get as much done this weekend as possible.
Informal Conference ①
It somehow ended up with oni-kun going with the flow and also participating, but it’ll work out somehow. Or rather, I’ve kidnapped vampire-girl who still doesn’t understand the situation and teleported. Here we are at the Divine Word Religion headquarters! Like last time, we charge into the pope’s office.
As if welcoming us as we arrive, the pope drops the documents in his hands, and the guard with him quickly responds, while the attendants and officials stare in shock. When I came last time he was talking with Kusama-kun so maybe he had cleared out the room for a private chat? He’s normally a nice person I guess.
The moment the guard was about to make a move, the pope spoke.
「This is Case 3. Act according to that.」
At the pope’s words the guard responds, leaving the room we’re in. The pope seemed to use a code-word so I can’t quite understand it, but “Case 3” probably refers to me appearing I guess? Did he predict several hypothetical cases, and practice so that they can respond to any situation? Are negotiations cancelled then?
「I would prefer it if you would not suddenly appear with teleportation, and instead come through the main entrance.」
I ignore the pope’s complaint. It’s not like they’d give us a warm reception if we came through the main entrance anyway. How would we explain our way through?
「This is not an appropriate place. Currently, a conference room is being prepared. Would it be acceptable to wait in an anteroom until then?」
Somehow, an implication that “you suddenly turned up so wait for a bit, since we gotta prepare as well you dolts” seems to be heard, but I’m surely just imaging it. I nod in acknowledgement.
「Then, please come this way.」
The attendant indicated by the pope guides us. We are led to an anteroom as indicated, and drink some of the tea provided while we relax.
「Say, where is this place?」
Vampire girl is the one asking such a belated question.
「The Holy Country of Aleius. The person just now was the pope.」
The Holy Country of Aleius is the headquarters of the Divine Word Religion. And of course the pope is at the top. With just that even vampire girl should be able to comprehend the current situation I’m sure.
「Eh? What do you mean?」
Correction. It seems she’s even more confused.
「Shiro-san. How much do you know about this Divine Word Religion bunch?」
In place of the rubbish vampire girl who I had been counting on, oni-kun makes a pointed comment. Really, maybe it would be better to leave the negotiations with the pope to oni-kun?
From the start I had known quite a bit, but I had learnt much more on top of that. I’ve come today to use that knowledge as a basis, and we shall see if the Divine Word Religion feel inclined to fall into step with us.
「Then, the reason why you’ve come this time, is for the demons and Divine Word Religion to join hands behind the scenes?」
Oni-kun makes such a good esper that it’s scary. Well, I guess it’s inevitable to make a bit of a leap in logic. To be precise, it’s actually a preliminary step though.
「In other words, depending upon these negotiations huh.」
Oni-kun understands the current situation, having a grave expression. Having come to understand just how serious a place he finds himself in, it seems like he’s braced himself. Depending on the situation, this could become a historic event where the demons and humans conspire behind the scenes after all.
「Hey! What’s going on!? Explain it so that I can understand!」
Vampire girl makes a racket, but I ignore her. It was foolish of me to have expectations in her. I shall leave the negotiations to oni-kun. What will be will be. Well, vampire girl and the Divine Word Religion have a significant connection between them, so it’s not meaningless for her to meet with the top guy here this one time. It’s possible that if vampire girl rampages that the negotiations could be cancelled as a result, but it’ll work out somehow. If it doesn’t then the Demon King will just get a hole in her stomach. Also, Balto might die from overwork. It won’t harm me so there’s nothing to worry about.
Afterwards, while I monopolised the provided sweets, oni-kun finally managed to explain the situation to vampire girl. Somehow, I can’t tell if those two are on bad terms or good terms. Well, though the situation yesterday left them on bad terms, I don’t think that they are fundamentally incompatible with each other in the end. If they can face each other properly then maybe they can reconcile? I don’t have any intention of doing anything bothersome like mediating between them though.
After about 30 minutes it seems the preparations are finally complete. It feels like vampire girl and oni-kun had a mutual exchange of information, but it was wise of them not to ask me anything. Those two had a pretty heated exchange of views, but to me it was mostly in one ear and out the other, so even if they asked me something I wouldn’t have been able to answer. Most of all, I’m not the type to simply reply when asked anyway. I shall praise them for understanding that much about me.
We were guided by the attendant to a quite splendid conference room. Furthermore, a barrier against eavesdropping and fluoroscopy has been erected, so I can infer that the Divine Word Religion is taking this conference with thorough attitude. These guys are serious. Somehow, this makes me feel bad for turning up with half-hearted feelings. Even if you told me to get serious, all my consciousness is focused on how to manage to have a conversation at all, so concentrating on that point leaves me with no margin to consider anything else!
There’s a large table placed in the center of the conference room, and I take a seat at the attendant’s guidance. I peremptorily take the middle, with vampire girl and oni-kun taking seats to my side. Oh, well, whatever, I’m in the middle huh. Opposite us is the pope in the center, with various people who feel like big shots. Amongst them are a few youngsters who feel out of place. Perhaps as a representative reincarnator for the Divine Word Religion, Kusama-kun is seated while looking stiff with nervousness. He’s normally like a high-spirited idiot, but I guess Kusama-kun is just a self-conscious commoner when push comes to shove. Are you going to be okay like that?
Now then, how will this go I wonder. Oni-kun, do you best!