A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 112

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 112. The Hypocrite (2)



Crow Mask continued to speak.




“The Divide Nation will dispatch a large number of troops to aid in the disposal  of the Outsiders.  Since we will  provide the most troops out of all of the allied nations, we’ll be able to take the lead of the Western Empire.”




Clown Mask gave a nod.




“Hmm, perhaps.”




“Starting with that, we’ll dominate the Western Empire step-by-step. If we’re able to secure an opportunity with the sacrifice of an ally-in-name-only, we must seize the chance.”




There wasn’t a single ounce of guilt discernable in his words.




It was a tactic devised through meticulous calculations.


Clown Mask’s fondness for Crow Mask started to grow more and more.




Unlike   himself,   who   simply   killed   for   joy,   the   way   he calculated  everything  objectively,  even  sending  out  allies  to their deaths if it aligned with his plans, intrigued him greatly.




“Good, let’s proceed with that plan.”




Once Clown Mask gave his word, Crow Mask turned back to the mirror. And out of the many markers, his gaze moved to one in particular.




Hebrion Academy.




Year   after   year,   Crow   Mask   contemplated   how   to   best overthrow the Hebrion Academy. He had eventually settled on using the annual Party Competition.




It   took   his   subordinate,   Benquick,   a   very   long   time   to approach the level of magic that allowed him to create a virtual Shadow World.



It was an opportunity they wouldn’t be able to recreate.




Thus, they couldn’t fail here.




But the plan had collapsed.  It was fair to say that it was an absolute defeat.




As his plan had failed, Crow Mask used the artifact that he had acquired   from   Skull   Mask   in   preparation   for   that   sort   of situation.




He killed Benquick without hesitation.




He had no choice but to kill him if the plan had failed anyway. Benquick  had  spent  a  considerable  amount  of  time  as  Crow Mask’s subordinate. He knew too much about the Outsiders.




Even if the plan failed, Crow Mask had planned to utilize the fact  that  Benquick  was  a  commoner  to  intensify  the  hostility between the commoners and the nobles.


The relationship between the two classes had already reached its tipping point. The event should have been the final blow.




But it was silent.




Strangely silent.




The anticipated chaos didn’t happen.




But why?




Recalling  the  face  he’d  seen  when  using  the  mind-control artifact, Crow Mask easily figured out the reason.




The man had buried the incident.




The fact that the same person had interfered in his plans, yet again, made Crow Mask’s face contort in anger.




The way he had buried it was fully predictable.



‘Dirty hypocrite.’




Crow Mask recalled the conversation he shared with him in Prichella.




What is the difference between you and I?




You too, won’t stop at any means.




Indeed.  Our pursuits are different, but you are no different from us.




‘I will be the one to finish you off, without fail.’




***




The atmosphere died down, and the piercing wind started to peek through.




The Hebrion Academy was shrouded in an abnormally somber


atmosphere. The autumn leaves that used to embrace the trees had  scattered  hopelessly,  the  grass  that  used  to  light  up  the meadows had shriveled up, and all  the flowers that had been embroidered  across  the  gardens  had  frozen.  And  people  had died.




Once the situation at the Party Competition had been settled, Hebrion  Academy  delivered  the  news  to  the  families  of  the victims.




Each  family  expressed  their  grief  in  their  own  way.  Some cried wordlessly as they accepted the news, others didn’t accept the  reality  and  went  looking  for  their  children,  and  others expressed their anger towards the Academy.




Their methods of grieving were different, but the one thing in common was that there wasn’t a single person that didn’t cry.




Hebrion Academy did their best to console them and took the necessary measures.




“I want to see my daughter’s face one last time.”


One countess’ wife pleaded, but it was an impossible request to grant.




Corpses couldn’t be seen.




If someone were to meet their end in the Shadow World, their corpse  would  become  a  part  of  the  world.  Once  the  Shadow World was cleared, it would disappear along with the world.




There were no physical  bodies, but there was a way to prove their deaths. The Party Competition had been recorded.




But not a single family member wanted to confirm it.  They didn’t   want   to   witness   the   moment   their   family   member reached their tragic end.




Even  after  the  belongings  of  the  deceased  were  returned  to their families, the commotion didn’t die down.




Eventually, the only thing Hebrion Academy could do was to wait until everyone calmed down.


There were a total of fourteen students sacrificed.




Nine from the Alpha Class.




Five from the Beta Class.




And one professor.




Benquick Periamoss.




As someone who had dedicated his entire life to education, he had no one that could be called family.




He was alone. He had neither parents, nor a wife or children since he had never married, nor any relatives.




A professor who always managed to find himself at odds with him murmured.




“No   wonder   he   always   stayed   at   the   academy   over   the breaks.”





Another professor who had an ambiguous relationship with him spoke in a dry tone.




“Didn’t  he  go  on  his  very  first  trip  this  vacation?  But  who knew that’d be his last trip… ”




Someone clicked their tongue.




“Poor man.”




Everybody took pity on Benquick.




To pity the murder of a man like Benquick who had devoted his life to education was to be expected.




Benquick’s  dedication  and  his  efforts  were  recognized  by Hebrion Academy, and he was laid to rest in the National Burial Ground, a place that was only open to honorable people.




The  autumn  leaves  scattered.  The  students  stood  in  a  line


facing the coffins, as red rain drizzled on them.




Other  than  a  few  professors  that  were  taking  care  of  the situation,  all  the  students  and  professors  were  present  at  the hall.




Shortly thereafter, Justin’s commemorative speech began. He spoke about Benquick’s life, how hard he had worked for the students  at  Hebrion  Academy,  and  how  he  had  truly  devoted everything for this cause.




The sound of people’s cries came from all directions.




There  were  many  students  from  the  Beta  Class  that  had greatly admired Benquick. They shed tears as they mourned the loss of a respected professor.




Desir feigned grief as he looked down on Benquick’s coffin.




A  murderer  of  fourteen  people  that  was  being  mourned  by students and professors alike in the National Burial Ground.


Could there be anything more ironic?




All of this had been caused by one person’s lie.




Desir felt sick to his stomach.




Claiming   that   it   was   for   the   commoners,   Benquick   had targeted  the  nobles,  and  set  in  motion  a  chain  of  events  that resulted in nothing but needless tragedy.




If  the  truth  was  made  public,  what  would  naturally  follow wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.




The nobles would view Benquick not as an Outsider, but as a commoner,  which  would  cause  more  discrimination  against them, leading to another revolt. Another wall between the two classes would be inevitable.




It was the shortcut to an irreversible collapse. Desir couldn’t let that happen.




‘It must be stopped.’





Desir was the sole person to witness Benquick’s end. The only thing that the others knew was the fact that the artifact he was using had the power of mind control. Only Desir knew how and when those powers had activated.




Benquick had died because of the mind-controlling artifact.




Someone  amongst  the  Outsiders  made  that  call  in  order  to prevent Desir from getting information on them.




However, ‘thanks to’ his death, Desir was able to lie.




That  Benquick’s  mind  had  been  controlled  for  a  long  time, that he had been used by the Outsiders.




Despite Desir’s intentions, in the end he had done nothing but cover for a murderer.




Desir had to deliberate on his actions.  He had seen parallels between himself and the Outsiders in that neither would stop at anything to achieve their goals.  No matter what happened, he


had  to  make  sure  he  didn’t  become  a  pawn  for  them.   He couldn’t afford to waste time.




*Rustle*




Desir was pulled out of his thoughts as something cold hit his palm.




It was a chilled leaf.  Desir clenched his fist and crushed the leaf.




And the moment he opened his hand, the finely crushed leaf fluttered away with the wind.  Desir felt all  the strength leave his body.




Suddenly, the dean’s voice rang in his ears.




“We will not forget the students that were cruelly victimized and our beloved professor Benquick. They will forever be by our side-”




‘Am I feeling guilty about lying?’





… Perhaps.




‘If  I  was  given  another  chance,  would  I  make  a  different choice?’




No, never.




Desir shook his head.




Even if he was given thousands, millions of chances, he would always make the same decision.




‘I mustn’t forget my goal.’




Desir  resolved  himself.  He  was  keenly  aware  of  what  was important and what he needed to do to achieve his goal.




‘To prevent the future, to save humanity, I’ll make the tough choice every time it’s required.’


They could criticize and call him a hypocrite as much as they wanted to.




That didn’t matter.




His  goal  was  never  to  enforce  something  like  justice  in  the first place.  He didn’t want to build trust and respect between nobles and commoners because it was a noble cause. There was a single goal he needed to achieve even if it meant that he had to shoulder all the guilt, shame, and hatred.




That was to save everyone from the upcoming disaster.




‘If it’s for that, I’d happily label myself a hypocrite.’




That was it.




Hardening his new found resolve, Desir stared straight ahead.




The  numerous  students  and  professors  that  were  lined  up beside Benquick’s coffin stood solemnly.



They  burned  with  hatred  and  the  desire  to  overthrow  the Outsiders.




Des1r  saw  Professor  Pugman  hand  his  handkerchief  over  to Professor Bridget, who was shedding tears.




At this moment, the wall  that separated the commoners and nobles didn’t exist.




“-That is all.”




Justin’s   speech   ended.   They   solemnly   buried   Benquick’s coffin.




The moaning wind slapped everyone’s faces.




Just like that, the funeral on an autumn day ended.






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