Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? The Pope’s Deliberations

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This is a “special” chapter from the point of view of the pope who thinks way too much.

The Pope’s Deliberations

What a turn of events. A mysterious girl abruptly appears, leaving a single book. Looking at Sajin’s reaction, it’s likely that she was a reincarnator.

「Sajin, call I8.」

I so inform Sajin, who is still staring in a daze at the place where the girl vanished. Sajin gave a start and comes to his senses, then immediately went about his duty. Sajin’s figure disappears on the spot. No matter how many times I see it it still looks like Space Magic teleportation, but in practice it appears to be one of the abilities from the special ninja skill that Sajin possess. Unfortunately it appears that he himself doesn’t even understand the principle behind it, so it doesn’t seem possible to reproduce the effect of the special skill. If was possible I would have every member of the church’s Kinma Unit learn it.

I8, who I had Sajin call, is from the established Kinma Unit, which is a unit that deals with the discovery and elimination of those with the Taboo skill and demons hidden within human society. The Taboo skill that almost never occurs has never reached level 10, but it is not like it could never happen either. While the possibility exists, it is a good idea to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later. Therefore, the church has strictly punished those with Taboo since long ago. Also, because demons look no different from humans in outward appearance at all, there are times when they creep into human society for reasons such as defection or spying. Discovering such elements is one of the important functions of the Kinma Unit.

For the Kinma Unit to achieve that, it is necessary to have a high level in the Appraisal skill. I8, who I had Sajin call, also has the Appraisal skill. I have called I8 to apprise the book that the mysterious girl has left, in order to determine whether there is no danger.

Until I8 arrives, I gather my thoughts. Firstly, who is that girl? At present what can be understood is that Sajin knows that girl somehow, which can only be explained by her being a reincarnator. But, there is one thing that cannot be explained by that. That is the fact that Sajin instantly recognised that the girl was a reincarnator. Sajin does not have the Appraisal skill. He should not have an Appraisal Stone either. If that is so, then how did Sajin recognise that the girl was a reincarnator?

Does he know her from a previous meeting in this world? No. There is always a watch placed on Sajin. If he ever made any questionable movements then it is unlikely that it was not conveyed to me. As far as I am aware, there should not have been any opportunity for him to have had a clandestine meeting. However, there are many mysteries about the ninja skill. The full details have not been revealed by Appraisal, so it’s possible that there’s some hidden ability that has not been covered by Sajin’s personal statements. If that is so, then the possibility exists that he has sneaked away without my knowledge.

However, based on Sajin’s reaction, that does not appear to be the case. That appeared to be genuine astonishment. Sajin is not skillful enough in acting to be able to fool me. Although there is a shapeshifting ability within the ninja skill, it has not been successfully tested after all. If Sajin had a bit more acting ability, then he would be able to expand his range of activities. It’s regrettable. In the first place, Sajin is lacking in discretion. I keep him at hand because I find the ninja skill to be just that fascinating, but he hasn’t even been able to master that skill. Ugio, who has been sent into the elf village, is much more competent. Just how many times have I wondered if I made a mistake in which personnel I have kept at hand?

Dammit, not good. I’ve allowed my thoughts to stray again.

If I make the assumption that Sajin was unaware of that girl’s circumstances until now, then there is much less to consider. This is just a possibility but, in that girl’s previous existence, in the world where Sajin was known as Kusama Shinobu, maybe even now she has the same appearance she had then? If that is so, then I could accept why Sajin was able to tell that the girl was a reincarnator instantly.

However, that’s where the problem lies. I don’t believe that the girl has the same appearance in both this world and the previous one. Sajin, Ugio and Yurin all have a difference appearance in this world. From what Ugio has reported, that is the same for the other reincarnators confined in the elf village. I can’t believe that the girl is an exception. If that’s the case, then that means that the girl deliberately disguised herself to have the same appearance as in her previous existence before arriving here. What is the reason for that?

Though I have several ideas, the highest probability is indeed that it’s because that she knew that Sajin was here, to put it briefly. Sajin’s existence is an absolute secret even within the church. There is only a tiny handful of people who I trust with that knowledge. Has intelligence leaked out from them? Alternatively, it’s also possible that Sajin himself has leaked it. Yet again, like with Sajin’s ninja skill, it may be through the means of some unknown skill. If that’s the case then it’s not due to a traitor and I can relax.

No, I cannot relax. After all, this means nothing other than the fact that information has been leaked out from here. In the first place, I had not seen any indication of that girl using a disguise. That’s how perfect a disguise it was. It could be thought of as some strange skill that I’m not aware of. Similarly to Sajin, as a reincarnator she should have a unique skill. Perhaps one of the effects is related to disguises?

In the first place, what is that girl’s objective? That should be within that book, but until it is appraised it is too dangerous to touch. Even while there is a small chance of a trap, I must proceed with caution. Until I8 arrives there is nothing I can do. I also want to hear the full story from Sajin, but I sent him to call I8. What a blunder.

「Pope-sama, I8 has arrived.」
「Enter.」

Just in time, I8 has come. The man who enters through the doorway, is hiding his face with a white cloth that has an eye drawn on it. The church’s Kinma Unit is perhaps better thought of as a dark ops unit. Because they often incite the enmity of others, and also so as to keep their background hidden, they hide their faces and go by a codename. Even from those within the church. The only ones allowed to know are their colleagues within the same Kinma Unit. Even among those colleagues, there is a strong implication that they are all monitoring each other. I8, and Sajin who went to fetch him, step forwards into the middle of the room.

「I know this is sudden, but please appraise this book.」
「Certainly.」

I8 stares at the book over the face cloth. However, there’s no reaction. Always before he had reported the results to me immediately, but he continues to stare at the book without moving.

「What’s the matter?」
「It is impossible to appraise.」
「What?」
「This book only returns the result that it’s impossible to appraise.」

Impossible to appraise? I’ve never even heard of such a thing, no wait, there is one. The N % I = W skill. Even when attempting to appraise the contents of that skill, I heard that it’s only indicated as impossible to appraise.

However, what does this mean? The contents of N % I = W is concealed by the will of a high ranking administrator. It is thought to be both a measure to provide favourable treatment towards the reincarnators, and also to protect the reincarnators. Therefore it is impossible to appraise.

Due to the fact that this book is impossible to appraise, then it means that it is something from outside the laws of nature of this world. Or otherwise, that it is a relic from prior to the activation of the System.

This… may be far more explosive than I had thought.


 

Translation notes:

“Kinma Unit” – since it’s hard to satisfactorily translate I left it like that. The “Kin” of kinma is derived from the word for “taboo” and the “ma” is derived from the word for “demon”. It’s like an abbreviation for “anti taboo and demon unit”. From their manner of speaking and how it’s described, it’s pretty similar to a hard core ninja unit in style.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 257
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 258