Misunderstood Saintly Life Volume 2 Chapter 6 part 1

[Stage 2-6] The Best Smile
 
Standing on the ship’s deck, I wistfully watched the port of Ramdarb grow distant.
 
Because he who is always by my side was still left on that island nation.
 
“I wonder what Ouga kun meant by having unfinished business… Do you know anything, Alice?”
 
“No… However, Master Ouga is scheduled to board Miss Levezenka’s ship. It shouldn’t take long.”
 
“I hope so…”
 
“For now, let’s distract ourselves watching the ocean view. It’s best we end with good memories.”
 
“You’re right! I’ll do that!”
 
Alice was right. There’s no use worrying, it’s not like me!
 
…Though I say that, I can’t even see the other ships anymore.
 
Huh? Has that much time passed…? Maybe they separated without me noticing since I was gazing at the port.
 
And also…
 
“There’s no one else here. It’s creepily quiet.”
 
“I’m sure everyone is tired and resting in their rooms after all this stress. That’s what I think.”
 
“That guess is way off, Chris Lagunica.”
 
“Oh, Headmaster, good morni– Huh!?”
 
Please, step back, Miss Leiche.
 
The anger in her voice unlike usual made me involuntarily shrink back.
 
When I looked, Alice had her sword pointed at the headmaster.
 
And her clothes were…stained bright red.
 
“Ngh!”
 
Before I knew it, my defense instincts kicked in and I was preparing to chant magic.
 
But…my teeth chattered loudly and my body wouldn’t stop shaking.
 
Seeing me like that, the headmaster laughed in amusement.
 
“To not pass out from my killing intent… You really are talented after all.”
 
“What did you do?”
 
“Can’t you tell from this splattered blood? I hate them, you know. The talentless brats always making noise. But well–“
 

 
“Their screaming faces at the end are pretty fun.”
 

 
“Petal Storm!”
 
“Twin Lightning Blade Dance!”
 
“Kyaaa!”
 
The slashes Alice unleashed and the headmaster’s magic collided head-on, rocking the ship violently.
 
I barely held onto the railing to not fall over.
 
“As eccentric as ever using weird techniques. Just you? A commoner who can fight mages head-on.”
 
“Then stand still and let me cut you down.”
 
“Can’t do that. I don’t wanna die. I wanna live forever.”
 
“…So that’s why you’re after Miss Leiche?”
 
“Huh…?”
 
After me…? What in the…?
 
No good… My head’s spinning, I can’t think straight.
 
“Hmph, it seems that the brat noticed it and told you to protect Mashiro-Leiche. As expected, that arrogant kid seems to have realized it.”
 
“Accept your fate. Ouga-sama sees through all your misdeeds.”
 
“Your beloved master. Isn’t it about time my disciple killed him?”
 
“K-kill…? Reina, Ouga-kun…?”
 
“Yes, that’s right. Despite all I did for her, she was just a useless piece of trash, but she might be of some use in the end.”
 
“…An annoying laugh.”
 
“…You. You’re quite confident. Can you protect that child while fighting against me?”
 
Alice-san glanced briefly in my direction.
 
And then, she smiled fiercely in response.
 
“…Of course. Ouga-sama ordered me to protect Miss Leiche. So, even if I have to stake my life, I will kill you!”
 
“In that case, let me show you. [Thunder God’s Battle Axe]!”
 
A deafening roar echoed, and the sky flashed.
 
“───!”
 
In the next moment, several massive bolts of lightning rained down towards us.
 


 
“So how did Ouga figure out it wasn’t Shuelba behind this?”
 
“The blood on Shuelba’s robes. It was completely dried, unlike if he had just died. That was likely from using this.”
 
I took out the vial of Muscle Enhancement Extracts found next to Shuelba’s corpse.
 
“I knew about this stuff too. It can have gruesome results if incompatible with the body.”
 
“That was unexpected.”
 
Fair point. After the incident with Aliban, research on Muscle Enhancement Extracts has been top secret at House Vellet.
 
“But just that doesn’t prove it wasn’t Shuelba or that I’m the culprit, right?”
 
“The scent.”
 
“Scent…?”
 
Reina sniffed closely at herself, seeming confused.

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“I don’t…smell, do I?”
 
“I didn’t say you stink. Rather, it was a nice scent that clued me in.”
 
“I see… So that’s how it is.”
 
Picking up on my hint, she made a slightly vexed expression.
 
“Yeah. Ramdarb tea leaves.”
 
More precisely, Reina’s scent mixed with tea leaves.
 
When I had the black robe in a full nelson, I felt something was off about the familiar smell.
 
…That time, thoroughly sniffing her hands was a clutch play.
 
“I stroked your head and it had the exact same scent.”
 
“…To think scent of all things was the clincher… Ouga, you really are a pervert, huh?”
 
“Don’t look at me like I’m suspicious. With you as the culprit, everything inconsistently fits.”
 
Those headmasters got defeated because it was someone they thought was an ally catching them off guard.
 
You showed us the door you touched to make us think Reina was inside.
 
You stubbornly prevented us from entering the room because it was empty.
 
“Right after taking Alice’s attack, you shot Flame Bomb…to temporarily obscure our vision. Then you dropped the burning robes from the sky to make it seem you got struck down. If Shuelba’s corpse was already placed there, it completed the scene of him falling to his death.”
 
With Shuelba’s black hair and robes, the dark colors made him less noticeable at night.
 
And with the teachers focused inside and students locked in rooms, even more so.
 
“After that, you went in the room, pretended to be unconscious, and waited for our charge…a flawless plan.”
 
As I explained everything, Reina clapped slowly.
 
“Ouga would make a better mystery novelist than a duke.”
 
“Mocking me? There are still unclear parts. Like how someone without multiple magic affinities like you can use fire magic.”
 
“Oh? What do you think, Ouga?”
 
“A guess…but if there’s Muscle Enhancement Extracts, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s enhancing drugs for magic too.”
 
“Correct… With that, I’m cornered with no escape. What will you do now, Ouga?”
 
“You don’t seem concerned at all despite saying that?”
 
“I suppose you’re right.”
 
Her tone was very weak and timid.
 
Yet contradictorily, her expression was still a smile.
 
“Because I’ll kill you here.”
 
“Did Ms. Milfonti order you to?”
 
“No. She has nothing to do with this.”
 
“Reina. I want to hear your true feelings.”
 
“Hehe… Don’t say silly things. I’m properly speaking my own will here.”
 
“Then why are you backing away from me?”
 
“Huh?”
 
Until I pointed it out, she hadn’t realized she was retreating.
 
In other words, an unconscious action.
 
Her deepest inner feelings moved her legs.
 
My actions so far did reach her after all.
 
I can’t hide things from her if I want her to open her heart.
 
I’ll also speak my true feelings bluntly, without any lies or deception.
 
“Reina–I want you.”
 
“Don’t joke around. Ouga has no reason to want me at all.”
 
“Oh yeah? Then let me explain one by one.”
 
Last night, I thought a lot.
 
What I needed to do to obtain her.
 
I reached two conclusions.
 
One was freeing her from the shackles called Ms. Milfonti.
 
The other was affirming and accepting the existence called Reina Milfondy.
 
“I like how considerate Reina is. You’re always looking out for those around you. I know you have that kindness.”
 
You properly taught us work even though anything would’ve done.
 
You were worried about Mashiro at the entrance ceremony too, and tried to pull us along in Ramdarb.
 
“All of that is just an act. A mask to gain your trust.”
 
“What’s wrong with acting? The mask you put on through acting is still a part of you. So, I affirm it.”
 
Even her personality, which is engaged in this act, was created because it was necessary for her to survive.
 
So, there’s no doubt that it’s also part of Reina-Milfonti.
 
I feel like I want to punch my past self who unconsciously decided that I didn’t need her because she seemed like she was acting.
 
“I liked your little secret smiles and when you turned beet red at the sleepover.”
 
“…No, that was just me pretending to have fun… All to trick the nice Ouga.”
 
“Then this time, I’ll draw out your true smile. Makes me want you even more.”
 
I took a step closer to Reina.
 
And she took a step back accordingly.
 
The distance between us didn’t shrink at all. But eventually, there would be nowhere left.
 
“Oh!”
 
After several exchanges, her back finally hit the wall.
 
“I love the tea you make. Your tea warms people’s hearts. I could drink it every day and never get bored.”
 
“Anyone can do that… I didn’t practice at all. Just used the tea to trick gullible Ouga.”
 
“Even an idiot can tell that’s a lie, Reina.”
 
I grasped her trembling hands.
 
Her hands permeated with the scent of tea.
 
“It’s because you always loved tea that I’m here like this. Able to face you and talk with you.”
 
“…No, Ouga. It’s too late for me…”
 
“No, it starts now. We’re just beginning.”
 
“It’s too late!”
 
A scream-like wail rose from the pit of her stomach, piercing my ears.
 
“Guh…!?”
 

 
Reina’s kick aimed at my side stabbed into my flank after she shook my hands off.
 
The leg strength unbelievable for her small frame exceeded my limit—I tumbled across the ground leaving dust in my wake.
 
…I see. That just now confirmed her body’s secret.
 
“Reina, you’re…”
 
“Even seeing this, can Ouga still say he wants me?”
 
Shedding the robe, Reina slowly undid the buttons on her uniform one by one.
 
And the grotesque machinery and tubes embedded and attached to her were exposed.
 
Connected to the machinery on her chest were bottles filled with a familiar green liquid and an unfamiliar red liquid.
 
“It’s ugly, right? Disgusting, right? A girl like this.”
 
Reina’s fingers traced the machinery, ran along the tubes, and knocked on her own chest.
 
Then a metallic sound no human body should make rang out.


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