༺ Fun and Entertaining Club Fair (4) ༻
As I swallowed the paper, resisting the disgusting texture, I could feel the wide-eyed gaze of the 1st Manager next to me.
“What, do you have something to say?”
“Is it the Ministry of Intelligence?”
The usually cheerful 1st Manager asked with a rare frown on her face. Ah, she’s also been in contact with the Ministry of Intelligence a few times.
There were many victims of this tradition. The Prosecutor’s Office was no exception. If things happened, they went to visit the Ministry of Intelligence. However, if the situation was not favorable, then an agent from the Ministry of Intelligence would come to them.
If they come before you can get to the Ministry, you would just have to swallow the paper and destroy the evidence like I just did.
“Ugh, why are they still doing that? Why don’t they just use the communication device?”
“Don’t ask that to the guys of the Information Department. They hate it more than we do.”
Once, I couldn’t bear it any longer and asked them about that. However, the other person looked at me with saddened eyes that contained all the sorrows of the world, and I didn’t push further. Those who would protest after seeing such eyes could be deemed heartless.
“We don’t have that tradition, so I don’t understand why the Ministry of Intelligence does that.”
“That’s because everyone who remembers our traditions has disappeared.”
The 1st Manager smirked. The Ministry of Finance was turned upside down 2 years ago and most of the traditions were lost. From what I heard, there were numerous bad habits before, but since there’s no one left who remembers those bad habits, it doesn’t matter.
At my words, the 1st Manager trembled as if she remembered what had happened at that time. I understood because I shuddered whenever I thought about it too. The noose flashed before my eyes several times. At worst, I even carried around a vial of poison. Fortunately, I never had to use it.
“You’re the only one who needs to go, right?”
“Do you want to come, too?”
The 1st Manager shook her head vigorously. After all, she really hated meeting people from the Ministry of Intelligence. I wish she found me at least half as hard to deal with as the Information Department’s members.
“They only act docile in front of the Executive Manager. They’re really harsh with the rest of us.”
“Isn’t that a difference in respect?”
I felt bothered by how the 1st Manager rolled her eyes.
As the person from the Information Department was the last customer, there was plenty of time to go to the main building. They probably came here with that time in mind.
“I’ll be going for a moment.”
If I leave now, I’ll arrive at the main building exactly at the appointed time. It’s better to go on time rather than showing up early and staying at the main building for a long time, as it would only arouse suspicion.
“Oppa, did something happen?”
Louise, who was preparing the dough, came running toward me. I was considering telling the Principal or the Vice Principal, but if something happened, that would just make things complicated.
“I just wanted to take a break. It was tiring talking to so many people.”
“There were definitely a lot of people who came to see Oppa.”
Louise nodded at my words. There were a lot, right? Perhaps she also noticed that there were so many trainers aiming for the semi-legendary Pokémon.
“I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry.”
“You can take your time.”
“I can’t do that when everyone’s working so hard. Ah, don’t forget to look after her.”
“Executive Manager, do you know about labor laws?”
After watching the 1st Manager complain and Louise smiling awkwardly, I walked towards Villar. It would be rude and embarrassing for me to leave without telling him.
“If something happens while I’m not here, please contact me immediately. I’ll return as fast as possible.”
“Understood. We’ll be looking over them until you come back.”
After hearing Villar’s words, I turned around. This should be enough. Now I just need to go to the main building.
* * *
Villar glanced at the Prosecutor’s back as he walked away and then turned around.
‘So something’s going to happen.’
The appearance of the Prosecutor’s subordinate, the subtle reactions of the Imperial nobles that followed, and finally the Prosecutor’s sudden departure. All the signs indicated that an incident was about to occur.
According to the Executive Manager, his subordinate was a graduate of the Academy, so she came to enjoy the Club Fair. However, it was hard for him to believe that.
There’s no way someone who can treat him so casually would simply come here to play around.
‘He’s probably asking us not to care.’
They were saying that she came here by coincidence, so the three countries shouldn’t pay attention. To put it more simply, they were asking us to shut up and not meddle in the Empire’s affairs. If they came so aggressively, there was nothing the three countries could do.
They were in the Empire’s territory, in an educational institution that belonged to the Empire. Even if some of the Empire’s forces withdrew from the Academy through negotiations with the three countries, raising objections to the Empire’s movements in such a unique situation carries a significant risk burden. One wrong move could be seen as interfering in their internal affairs.
The Executive Manager probably knew we wouldn’t believe what he said, but he probably also knew there was nothing we could do about it. The conversation just now was a simple formality.
As he recalled the Prosecutor’s words, Villar’s gaze fell on the white-haired woman. He had spent his entire life as a knight and had been accepted into the Imperial Knight for his skills and experience. As such, he had a knack for gauging the capabilities and moods of his opponents.
Villar’s senses were telling him that the woman was someone dangerous. It was as if a scent of blood was coming out of her. To think that such a person came to the Academy. What’s going to happen?
‘…It’s not particularly surprising.’
Even though he was on guard against the appearance of a dangerous person, he felt like it was pointless as he thought about how an even more dangerous presence would appear.
Villar looked in the direction where the Prosecutor’s Executive Manager had disappeared. The person who was more dangerous than anyone was already in the Academy, so maybe he was worrying about pointless things.
The scent of blood? A puddle of blood? That much was cute. The Prosecutor’s Executive Manager was worse than that. He became scared the first time he met him. It was to the point where he wanted to protest, saying that it was against the rules for a monster like that to come to the Academy.
The only good thing was that he was someone that one could have a normal conversation with. He was even direct and honest. No one was close to a disastrous monster than someone whose real thoughts were hidden.
‘Kagan’s assassin concealing his intentions.’
He was a monster who had protected the Empire’s mandate and someone who was standing on top of countless corpses. If a monster like him hid his thoughts and played with the three countries, it would be a catastrophe.
Villar sighed. Thankfully, the Prosecutor’s Executive Manager wasn’t a monster like that. That was enough. At least his sword wasn’t pointed toward the three countries.
* * *
Everyone went to enjoy the fair, so the main building was relatively empty. As I climbed up to the second floor, I didn’t encounter anyone. The only place where people might still be present was even higher than the second floor, so it was perfect for a discreet meeting.
As I stood and waited in the promised place, I saw a middle-aged man walking toward me. He looked completely different from the young man who handed me the piece of paper.
‘So he changed his appearance again.’
However, they were the same people. He can change his appearance at will, so one hour is enough time for him to transform into a completely different look. Anyway, since even the young man’s appearance was a disguise, it didn’t hold much significance. I haven’t seen his true appearance either. I wonder if the Information Department’s Executive Manager has seen his real face before.
“Executive Manager, how have you been?”
“Yes. It’s been an hour. Information Department’s Senior Manager, how have you been doing?”
The Information Department’s Executive Manager never went out. On the other hand, the Senior Manager was almost always outside.
“It’s always the same for me.”
He meant that it was always bad.
Usually, the Senior Manager would be in charge of supporting the Executive Manager. However, the Senior Manager of the Information Department, who possesses specialized skills in espionage, roamed around outside like a madman. Naturally, he couldn’t have been doing well. I knew that, but I asked out of courtesy.
“Since you’re probably busy, I’ll make it short.”
“That’d be great. What happened?”
“Tomorrow at 5 PM, a corpse will appear.”
I nodded. I knew they’d appear, so I wasn’t surprised. However, there was something more important than that.
“What about the support?”
“The Minister has sent the Masked Unit.”
I exclaimed in surprise. I was expecting it after hearing the Special Service Agency had gotten involved, but I never thought he’d really sent them. After all, even among the Special Service Agency, they were in higher rankings, so it would be a waste to send them to a place like this.
“It seems like they’d been quite considerate.”
“Executive Manager, you’ll be moving with the Masked Unit. Isn’t that perfect?”
“And the Special Service Agency took them despite knowing that?”
“Haha, I’m sorry. However, there was no way we could refuse the Emperor’s orders.”
The Senior Manager laughed. I also knew that very well. After all, I had to send the Masked Unit to them only because it was an order of the Emperor.
“The Masked Unit will send a message to the Executive Manager first. Of course, you may send a message to them beforehand. I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear from you.”
“I’ll do that. Thanks for telling me.”
“I’m just doing my job as a messenger.”
Aren’t you doing too many things to be called a mere messenger?
Anyways, after we finished talking, the Information Department’s Senior Manager disappeared, and I began walking back toward the booth.
‘The Masked Unit.’
My steps while walking toward the booth became lighter. I couldn’t help but feel better. After all, it’s been a while since I’d seen them.
The Masked Unit was part of the Special Service Agency, but if I were to call them more comfortably, it would be the former Prosecutor’s Office 4th Division.