A thunderous sound high enough to break your eardrums and a violent gale that felt as if it had crashed onto all the audience had ran through the whole dome with the center of it as the origin point.
“Karen-san! Everyone!” (Haine)
I soon jumped out from my seat.
“Yorishiro, please calm down the chaos in the audience seats!” (Haine)
By the time I slipped through the tumult of people and jumped onto the stage, the explosion had already settled and the smoke had cleared up.
It seems like it wasn’t an explosive with that high of a power. Even so, I don’t think the people that were at close to it can come out unscathed.
“Is everyone okay?!” (Haine)
At the battle stage, the heroes were also in confusion just like me.
“*Cough cough*! Don’t mind me! What about Karen?!” (Mirack)
“That girl was the one closest to the explosion!” (Celestis)
“Or more like, why an explosion occurred-dasu?! Terrorists-da suka?!” (Sasae)
From within the group, the one who had run first to the place where the explosion occurred was Hyue. She was holding the referee woman.
“Leave this one to me! Quickly take Karen-dono!!” (Hyue)
Karen-san was powerlessly lying on the ground after the explosion.
When I carry her up, I saw there were cruel burns on her body!
The skin of Karen-san that was as beautiful as white porcelain has…
I gulped my breath at this sight.
“…Damn it!! Celestis! Celestis, please come!!” (Haine)
If it’s the water divine power of her, she could heal the burned areas of Karen-san, and at the same time, heal the wounds she had.
Karen-san is conscious?!
“I-Is the woman okay? I-I am so useless… I tried to put up a ‘Holy Light Wall’, but…lately, I have been leaving the defense to Mirack-chan and Celestis-chan, so I haven’t used it for a while… I couldn’t bring it as fast as I wanted it to…” (Karen)
“It is okay, don’t talk anymore, Karen-san!” (Haine)
“I will heal you right now! [Water Heal]!” (Celestis)
With the water divine power that the Miki-Moses released, not only did the skin that had heat still in it return to its normal temperature, the burns were slowly disappearing.
On the other hand…
“Spit it out! Why did you do something like this?! Was it the order of someone?! If you don’t answer, I will break an arm!” (Mirack)
“I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry!!”
They were mercilessly interrogating the umpire woman that Hyue was holding.
Why did she use explosives? Moreover, the moment the pin on that thing was taken off, it exploded practically right after. With that, the person doing the explosion wouldn’t be saved.
Was she planning on blowing herself up?
But mysteriously, even when the both of them were in the same place, Karen-san got heavily burned, and yet, she didn’t receive a single injury.
…No, there’s nothing strange about it. The reason is clear.
Karen-san used her very body to protect her. Karen-san was properly performing her duty as a hero.
“But…what is happening?!” (Haine)
The match ended in the victory of the current heroes, and yet, the feeling of victory has been blown away instantly.
While I was thinking this…
“…An announcement by the administration.”
An ethereal broadcast that reverberates in the whole dome?!
“Due to an unexpected occurrence, the match will be temporarily suspended. The participants in the stage, please suspend the fight immediately and follow the instructions of the personnel.”
“Temporarily suspended?!” (Mirack)
The one who bit at those words immediately was Mirack.
“What stupid things are they saying?! The match is already over! The only ones who can move in the stage are us, you know?!” (Mirack)
What Mirack was saying was totally correct.
The previous heroes that were downed were fortunately outside the range of the explosion, so they didn’t have a single injury.
“…I see, so that’s how it is!” (Haine)
I now understand the reason behind this explosion.
“They want to make things indefinite.” (Haine)
“What indefinite?!” (Mirack)
“This match! The ones who made that umpire hold a bomb were the people that don’t want the current heroes team to win. They would be troubled if you did. The moment you are about to win, they will forcefully suspend the match. The bomb was for that!” (Haine)
Hearing my deduction, Hyue twisted the arm of the umpire woman more and more.
“So? Is that how it is?!” (Hyue)
The umpire woman had tears wetting her whole face as she nodded her head up and down.
The selfish broadcast continued without caring about our resentment.
The voice of that broadcast is…!!
“After confirming the reason of this and the safety, the match will resume. Until then, the participants will be on rest time. Please wait for the announcement of the match restart while resting the fatigue and injuries.”
No doubt about it. That voice is familiar.
That voice is the General of the knight corps, Zeberphon Dobbe.
The person that I had passed by not that long ago in this venue.
Was he the one operating in the shadows?!
- 192: Stealth Light
We are currently in the nursing room inside the dome.
The burns that Karen-san received from the explosion were healed, but even if that’s the case, we had her rest.
The one who healed her, Celestis, speaks:
“What my ability can heal are, at most, the surface wounds that the body received. But when it comes to an explosion, the impact of the blast should have dealt damage to the organs as well to a certain extent. We have no choice but to let those wounds be treated by an actual doctor…” (Celestis)
Mirack places a hand on the face of Celestis who was speaking as if blaming herself for her powerlessness in this situation.
“Thanks. You did well.” (Mirack)
The two have passed through many a trial together with Karen-san. Their worries must be high.
On the other hand, there were also people who were not only worried, but also burning in anger.
“Now, spit it out! If there’s something you don’t remember, I will literally stir up your brain till you remember!” (Hyue)
“It be the fingernails-dasu ka? Want me ta tear off the fingernails-dasu ka?!” (Sasae)
Hyue and Sasae-chan continued interrogating the umpire woman.
She is the hated person that injured Karen-san, but there’s a variety of reasons why we brought her together with us.
But it might be better to calm down those two first.
“Leave it at that. We have already finished hearing most of what we wanted to hear.” (Haine)
The girl’s name is Platina Mina.
She is affiliated with the Light Church and normally does grunt work like cleaning the Grand Church and making tea.
But she actually had a different thing she wanted to do when she joined the Light Church. She wanted to become a knight of the Light Church and shine by defeating monsters.
She joined with that kind of dream in mind, and yet, she failed the test and her dream was easily broken.
As for me, it brings back memories of that test where they estimated the element of the people that wished to join the church. If the elemental board judges that your affinity with the light element is the highest, you pass and join the Aurora Knight corps.
Everything aside from that is judged as a fail. You are moved to do things like being a cooking assistant and cleaning. She is one of those people.
Being tired of the maid work she didn’t even want to do, she heard the devil’s whisper.
“They told me that if I obeyed their order! They would change my position in the Aurora Knight corps! They said that the one who set up that stupid entrance exam was the current Founder, so once she renounces from her post, they would think of a more suitable entrance test once she is gone!”
She repeats what we have already heard as she cries.
For the people that were controlling the things from the shadows, she was an insurance. They wish for the victory of the previous heroes team. If an undesirable result is about to be reached, they wanted to physically blow it away.
“The utilization of ethereal weapons is prohibited by the joint signature of the five Churches. That’s why an ethereal bomb would normally be an impossible thing.” (Hyue)
“But if you were to tinker with the ethereal power, it is possible to turn it into an explosive. Of course, in order to do that, there’s the need for a certain extent of knowledge and materials, moreover, the required level of technique necessary is incredibly high. It is completely impossible for a normal pro-level engineer to manage the timing of the explosion and adjust the power of the explosion.” (Hyue)
‘Just that…’, is what Hyue said as she paused her words for a moment.
“There’s only one person I know that can do that.” (Hyue)
“That doesn’t matter.” (Haine)
Is what I say clearly.
“The problem is not the ones who did it, but the ones who ordered it. Who made her hold the bomb, and who ordered for it to be activated the moment the current heroes team were about to win.” (Haine)
Everyone closed their eyes and made expressions as if they feared something.
“Listen well, the bomb that you were made to hold was made in a way that it would explode the moment the pin was taken off the explosive. Normally, it would have a time lag of at least 10 seconds for safety sake, and yet, it didn’t even have that. What do you think about that?” (Haine)
Mina didn’t answer. That’s why I spoke to corroborate my answer.
“You were about to be erased in order to keep things under cover. For them, it would be incredibly inconvenient that you were to speak of who it was that ordered you do this. That’s why they planned on killing you by dragging you in that explosion, or leave you in a state where you can’t speak.” (Haine)
“The moment I was given that bomb, I was told that it would take 20 seconds to explode. They said that it would be safe if I were to throw it with all my strength the moment I took off the pin!!” (Mina)
After muttering this, Mina once again had tears rolling down her face.
So she was completely a disposable pawn huh.
Stabbing into the opening this woman had for her ideals and her displeasure, she was made into a puppet.
But I can’t pity her. There’s something I have to do before that.
“Now then, answer. Who was the person that gave you that bomb…who was the one who ordered you to activate it the moment the previous heroes were about to lose?!” (Haine)
“The previous light hero, Sunnysol Ates-sama!” (Mina)
She answered without hesitation.
She most likely only has those feelings of being ‘betrayed’ and ‘utilized’ left.
Sasae-chan couldn’t hide her agitation the moment she heard that name, but Hyue was calm. It must have been a name she was expecting.
“But are you serious? I have heard that that woman is a schemer, but to think she would show herself from the shadows so easily.” (Hyue)
“‘If you do it well, I will let you enter the Aurora Knight corps’. In order to have her believe that promise, there’s the need of persuasive strength. Her title as a previous hero must have served as backing.” (Haine)
In that case, the one who set it up so that the current heroes would be pitted against the previous heroes they have the worst affinity against must have been that woman.
But that wasn’t something she did alone.
The voice that I heard from the broadcast…!!
“So you were here huh.”
Opening the door, one man enters the room.
The General of the Aurora Knight corps, Zeberphon Dobbe.
“You bastard!” (Haine)
“It would trouble us if you were to arbitrarily take away the suspect.”
Dobbe’s gaze was directed at the scared Mina.
“We have to hear about the details behind that explosion incident from the one responsible for it. As member of the management staff of this match.” (Dobbe)
“I never heard about you being part of the staff.” (Haine)
I glare directly at Dobbe.
“Why do I need to report to you? Just means that there’s fitting roles for the capable people. I do my all to fulfill that role. And so, I will be having that woman come with me.” (Dobbe)
“Are you planning on silencing her?” (Haine)
Mina reacted at those words and clung onto me.
She is telling me with her eyes that she doesn’t want to go.
“…I will be taking this person directly to where the Founder is. This match is being carried out with the consent of the five Churches. There’s the need to explain it to the other Founders, and if we had the very person speak in front of them, it would safe trouble, right?” (Haine)
“It is my job as staff.” (Dobbe)
“And I am saying I will be saving you the trouble.” (Haine)
The two of us don’t step back at all.
I am practically certain that this man and the previous light hero Ates are connected in all of this mess.
If that weren’t the case, Ates alone would have never been able to mess with the pairings of the entrance gates.
They both are antagonistic towards the Light Founder Yorishiro and want to overthrow the current political powers.
“Isn’t it fine?”
One more voice joins in the nursing room.
The wicked hero that is the main problem here!
“I came here to visit Karen-san out of worry. She is, in outline, my junior after all.” (Ates)
“What are you saying with such a straight face!” (Haine)
You are the one who ordered Mina to hold the bomb!
If that were to come out to light, she would be done for without the result of the match mattering.
In reality, she wanted to shut her mouth with the explosion, but the instantaneous reaction of Karen-san had saved her, on top of that, we have secured her on our side.
So she hurriedly came to our place huh.
“Now that I think about it, the reason why you easily accepted your defeat and left the battle stage was in order to not get caught in the explosion.” (Haine)
“Who knows. I don’t know what you’re talking about. More importantly…” (Ates)
Ates gaze was directed at where Mina was.
She walks two…three steps forward.
“Stop. Don’t get any closer.” (Haine)
“Then, from here. Mina-san.” (Ates)
Mina had her shoulders tremble and looks up at Ates.
Her lips didn’t make any sound, but it clearly moves.
Seeing this, the face of Mina gets pale and her body trembled.
“I…!! Don’t know anything!” (Mina)
“I wasn’t ordered by anyone! I did it on my own volition! What I did had nothing to do with anyone!! I…I…!!” (Mina)
What is she saying all of a sudden?
Mina suddenly goes into frenzy and speaks things that overturn what she said until now.
Ates looks at that satisfied and left the nursing room.