The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 40
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 40 - The assassin assassinates an assassin
- Chapter 40 : The assassin assassinates an assassin
At midnight, I snuck out of my room.
It was so I could go check the state of my trap.
After hearing from my father that someone was planning to assassinate Epona, I tried to stay as close to her as possible.
If I carefully examined my surroundings, I could feel the presence of the assassin.
However, they were cautious and capable in their own right, so I couldn’t quite grab them by the tail.
Thus, I changed my plan.
If I couldn’t get ahold of them, then I had to incite them to come out instead.
I needed to make the assassin think that “It’s now or never” for taking action.
First, in preparation for that, I acted as an escort for Epona. Not blatantly so, but more like I was leading a secret life as her escort. But I did so in such a way that they would interpret it like that.
The reason I went about it in such a draggy way was to incite them to keep their guard up.
Humans are mysterious beings, when they hear information from somebody else, or when they find it carelessly scattered around, they suspect it to be false intel, yet when they discover it by their own means, they believe it to be unconditionally true.
And that applied here too. Since I behaved like I was concealing my role as an escort, they were firmly convinced that I was an actual one.
If they did, then they would start waiting for me to be away from her.
So I gave them an opening by going out.
I predicted that they would surely make their move even without preparation. The probability that they would carry out the assassination was unlikely, but it wasn’t impossible that they managed to do some spade work I failed to notice.
Leaving Naoise behind so he could fill my shoes was also one of my traps.
As one would expect, completely abandoning my post as Epona’s escort would’ve made them suspicious, so I had Naoise act as my stand-in.
Although, in Naoise’s case, even though his traditional swordsmanship was exceptional, he was foreign to the way of the assassin, and had no experience as an escort.
That was why he would definitely show an opening, and I was convinced that the enemy was an assassin capable of leveraging that alone.
I knew that if I, the annoyance, was out of the way, and they wanted to outdo my substitute, then it had to be now.
In short, this was all a trap to make the coward who’s been watching from afar come out.
Well, if Epona was the kind of person that needed protection, I wouldn’t have taken such a reckless measure, but since she clearly wouldn’t die from that, I dared to make them think that now was their chance and let them act.
I snuck into Epona’s room through the ceiling. When you’re in the middle of an assassination, there aren’t that many advantageous positions to speak of, so I had to check them all one by one.
If they wanted to carry out an assassination, or even get ready for it, they would presumably be right where it was easiest to sneak through.
…And I found it. This was their hiding spot.
[They broke in and their target was right below. Did they give up because they realized their equipment wouldn’t be enough? …The way I see it, they could go for it anytime, though.] (Lugh)
Looking down from the ceiling, I could see Epona sleeping soundly.
She was only a few meters in front of my eyes. Even though there was an assassin (me) in the area, she had no wariness whatsoever.
If I bombed her from here, I think I could only put a scratch on her at most.
Even with [Full Fire], I wouldn’t manage to kill her.
Okay, time to go.
The enemy was already caught in my trap.
…I should be able to identify the assassin tomorrow.
The following day, I went to school normally.
I was observing the people on the way with Tuatha Dé’s eyes.
This was to confirm the results of my trap.
Even though I call it a trap, it’s not like it killed or even injured anybody.
All it did was put a mark on the target.
I thought the true identity of the assassin was a student or a teacher.
The security of this academy was tough. In particular, it was extremely hard to invade it from outside.
Since children from noble families were living together in such a crowded space, this was all necessary.
In that case, the perpetrator had to come from the inside.
The school staff was comprised of excellent and talented members, and there were also students born with magic and from households where, similarly to Tuatha Dé, they received special training.
…So it wouldn’t be odd for the assassin to be one of them.
[Lugh-sama, you have been glancing around for the past while, did something happen?] (Tarte)
[Oh, so you could tell?] (Lugh)
Color me surprised. Like Tarte suspected, I had been checking my surroundings.
However, I wasn’t showing wariness so as to not let anyone notice anything.
If I did that, they would grow suspicious of me.
Therefore, my method was to keep an overview without focusing all my attention on one thing, and analyzing all the images my brain captured.
But from an outsider’s perspective, I was the same as usual.
[Yes, somehow. I mean, the air around you feels a bit different.] (Tarte)
[I see. Way to go.] (Lugh)
When I stroked Tarte’s head, she squinted her eyes in happiness.
As far as assassins were concerned, having a highly sharp intuition was of the utmost importance. If they couldn’t notice any trivial sign, they couldn’t survive in that environment.
[Aww, it’s not fair that Tarte gets all the praises! I’d better work hard too.] (Dia)
[Didn’t I already give you plenty of praise on your magic yesterday?] (Lugh)
[There’s yesterday and there’s today!] (Dia)
It was cute of her to burn with competitiveness.
I felt relieved when I entered the classroom.
Apparently, the assassin was not from our class.
Thank God they weren’t. I was getting along with the people in this class in my own way, so I wanted to avoid reducing the number of classmates.
After class, I went to the instructors’ staff room to do my errands.
The least I could say was that the instructors who were in there were clean.
Furthermore, during lunch time, instead of eating in the courtyard like usual, I went to the cafeteria.
I could encounter many more students over there.
I came there in order to find the assassin, but Tarte and Dia, who were unaware of the situation, were genuinely enjoying the cafeteria meals.
[It’s delicious… I can’t believe it.] (Tarte)
[But it’s expensive.] (Dia)
[Because they used high-grade ingredients.] (Lugh)
It was really good.
Tarte would usually buy the ingredients to make dinner, and even make us lunch boxes with leftover ingredients, so we never went there, but it might not be so bad to indulge ourselves at the cafeteria once in a while.
The ingredients were of good quality, and cooking them took time and effort too. And of course, they were expensive.
Unlike breakfast and dinner, we had to pay for lunch ourselves, so it took some courage to use the cafeteria.
Tuatha Dé was also earning profits in the medical business, and I could go there regularly if I appealed to my parents, but with the income of a baron, it would’ve been pretty tight.
Thus, not many students were in the cafeteria. There were probably about 40% of them at the moment.
Even so, there were more of them here than in the courtyard, because they would’ve been embarrassed about not having the financial power to use the cafeteria, so there were several students eating sneakily here and there.
[It’s not just the high quality of their ingredients. Even their cooking method is incredible! Take this cream stew for example, the stew itself tastes great, but the chicken meat is exquisite! Even though all its flavor should have been used for the stew, it’s still tender and delicious, as if they used magic on it!] (Tarte)
So said the gourmet in her.
From the look of it, she was going to rush into the kitchen and ask to be taught their recipe after eating.
Being ambitious like that was one of Tarte’s virtues.
As I was fondly thinking that, I checked my surroundings.
And I finally found them.
The true nature of the trap I had laid was… special powder coating. I had sprinkled beforehand this powder everywhere the assassin could attempt to kill Epona from or prepare to do so.
It was grayish white and microscopically small to boot, so they couldn’t notice that it was stuck on them.
Still, once it was stuck on the skin, it couldn’t be removed just by washing it with water, and I could see it glowing blue when I used Tuatha Dé’s eyes to locate it.
[Huh, so it’s him.] (Lugh)
It was a man from the Marquis family who barely managed to get accepted into Class A.
…I should redo that assessment.
Given his actions over the past few days, I could tell that he was an efficient assassin. To begin with, this was the guy who was entrusted with the task of assassinating the hero.
If he felt like it, he could’ve earned a place in Class S.
But the fact that he wasn’t in it meant that he didn’t want to stand out and devoted himself to professionalism by enrolling in a lower-ranked class.
It was also cunning of him to infiltrate Class A where you were given your very own private room in order to keep his distance from his surroundings.
As for me, I daringly joined Class S in order to get close to Epona and search for her weaknesses, but as an assassin, being inconspicuous and distant like that guy might have been the easiest method.
However, trying to immediately take any bait scattered around proved his lack of self-control.
Thanks to that, only I gained an advantage over him.
Whatever happened next was up to me.
[Ah, as I thought, you enjoyed the cafeteria meals as well, Lugh-sama! I won’t lose to them! I’ll make a dish that you will find even more delectable!] (Tarte)
Tarte misinterpreted my relaxed expression and thought that I was savoring my meal.
But she was overflowing with so much motivation that I decided not to correct her.
[Lugh, looks like we’ll get to eat something great for dinner.] (Dia)
[Yeah, because that’s the one thing that gets her fired up.] (Lugh)
Dia and I lauged sarcastically at Tarte.
Since Tarte was about to go out of her way to treat us to something great, I opted to get rid of my target after our meal.
After school, I had several people, including the headmaster, make some arrangements for me.
Since one student was about to disappear, it was necessary that I lay the groundwork in advance.
After much deliberation, the scenario we chose to go with was that the target found life at school too harsh to endure, so he left and disappeared.
I had already cut a part of the fence and laid false traces of escape.
The guards who were under the patronage of the headmaster would provide eyewitness testimony to confirm the escape, and to be on the safe side, I left a few fibers behind to make it seem like the uniform he was wearing got ripped along the way.
At first, the headmaster was also reluctant to the idea of disposing of a student, but once I explained to him that that same student was planning to assassinate the hero, he agreed to it.
The hero took priority over everything else.
…Although, the price I had to pay for having those arrangements done was letting other people know that I would kill a student. It was a flaw, but at the same time, I also had dirt on them now that they had become my accomplices.
We were now in the same boat. That was included in my preparations.
We had also discussed the idea of assigning the role of the punisher to an instructor, but in the unlikely event that the plan was revealed, it was finally decided that I would carry out the execution with my own hands.
If an instructor were to kill a student, the existence of the academy itself would then be in peril.
In the dead of night, I disguised myself and snuck into the Class A dormitory.
There was no scheme involved.
All I had to do was go through the front door and head to the target’s room while everyone was asleep.
I hid my presence, and without making any noise, I used the key the headmaster entrusted me with to open the door, and I broke into the assassin’s room.
After making sure that the target was sleeping, I immediately threw a knife at him.
With the help of Tuatha Dé’s eyes, I infused the appropriate amount of mana into this one attack to dispel the enemy’s mana coating.
The knife had perforated his comforter, it ran deeply into him and his blood was splattered, but he didn’t let out any scream.
A fast-acting neurotoxin. This was what rendered him unable to move even one finger the moment the poison flowed into his body. And of course, he couldn’t scream either.
The assassin looked at my face.
I could see the confusion in his facial expression.
He probably never expected me, Epona’s escort, to directly come to him.
…Well that was pretty mediocre. His sense of danger was terribly bad.
[Sorry. But I can’t have you get in the way of my job. Also, though it may be pointless now, I’ll give you one piece of advice. An assassin must always assume that anyone around them will be out for their head. …Well, I don’t know if I’m in any position to say that since I already failed at it once.] (Lugh)
I knocked him out, stopped the bleeding, stuffed him in my bag together with his bloodstained sheets and carried him on my shoulder.
I walked through the deserted corridor as stealthily as when I came in earlier.
I was familiar with the patrolling pattern and timing of the night watchman so there was no risk.
I didn’t think a dormitory after lights out would be so easy to work in.
…Now, guess I’ll drop my package over there.
I had prepared a secret base just for this kind of situation.
No matter how much noise you made in there, this place would remain imperceptible to its surroundings.
I had to make this guy spit out his motive for targeting Epona, so torture was in order.
And of course, it wouldn’t end there. I finally got my hands on a body with magical power. I could now practice all the surgery experiments I wanted to implant Tuatha Dé’s eyes.
I would perform the surgery on Tarte. So I couldn’t settle for anything less than perfect.
This was going to be a busy night. I was worried I would fall asleep in class the next day.
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