The Main Heroines are Trying to Kill Me - Chapter 191
༺ The Past of Teacher and Disciple ༻
In a haze of groans, Isolet gradually opened her eyes.
As she did, she was met with a familiar sight before her.
The main building of Sunrise Academy stood proudly at the heart of the Empire.
Surrounding it were numerous annex buildings and sculptures.
At the center of these buildings, there stood a magnificent statue of the legendary Hero from a millennium ago, widely known as the largest sculpture in the Empire.
Each of these was something Isolet had liked since her school days and still cherished as a teacher.
But now, as Isolet gazed at them, her face only grew paler.
The grand main building of Sunrise Academy, which once stood tall at the heart of the empire, was reduced to rubble, and its annex buildings engulfed in flames.
The statue of the Hero, almost a symbol of the empire itself, was shattered in half and collapsing.
‘W-what is happening?!’
As Isolet bore witness to this nightmarish scene, her expression twisted into shock; she attempted to cry out, but no sound came from her lips.
‘What in the world is happening?’
The words she couldn’t vocalize reverberated only in the recesses of her mind.
Isolet stood in a daze for a while before quickly turning her head as a loud boom came from behind.
Then, an unbelievable scene unfolded before her very eyes.
– Crackle, crackle…
Created by the Hero’s Party a thousand years ago, the robust barrier enveloping the academy was said to be unbreachable for even the First Demon King. However, that very barrier was shattering into pieces before her eyes.
And through the fractured barrier, an overwhelming torrent surged forth.
“Find… Find the humans…”
These were the highest-ranking demons that only surfaced once or twice a year, and along with them were creatures tainted by dark energy.
Isolet’s mind grappled with the surreal scene before her .
“Now that it’s come to this…”
Suddenly, a strange sound escaped her lips, and although she attempted to take a step back in alarm…
Soon, she realized she couldn’t move as she wished. Therefore, she muttered inwardly.
‘…It seems like I’m having another nightmare.’
Lately, her body had grown weary, the weight of accumulated stress manifesting in frequent nightmares. She now unequivocally categorized this situation as a “nightmare,” releasing a sigh.
‘Attack on the Academy… It’s a fitting nightmare.’
With her grand goal of nurturing students who would revitalize the empire to prosperity, Isolet couldn’t have asked for a more suitable nightmare.
Although her body couldn’t move as she wanted, somehow, Isolet swayed her head from side to side and thought.
‘If I stay like this, I’ll wake up on my own.’
In that decisive moment, she drew her sword fastened to her waist and strode towards somewhere.
“I have to protect everyone…”
Unbeknownst to her, at that moment, Isolet had become one with her dream self, even synchronizing with her emotions.
She headed towards the approaching wave of darkness.
“Please, someone save us!”
Screams echoed from all around.
This place should have been the safest and happiest location in the world, but it was now marred with blood and cries.
“Wait a moment! What about the students…”
“Let go of this!”
In the distance, I could see the academy staff rushing to escape in a panic.
Seeing them, a mix of anger and understanding welled up in my heart.
Overwhelming foes were swarming beyond what they could handle. It would have been strange if they didn’t show fear.
However, shouldn’t educators be rescuing students, or at the very least, evacuating with them?
Even if they couldn’t fight back, they should have the ability to help students who hadn’t escaped yet. But it seemed the teachers were the first to run.
The monsters hadn’t yet breached the temporary barrier; couldn’t they at least help the fallen students?
Is this the academy I wanted to work for?
Is this the image of a teacher I longed for?
Is this the future I hoped for?
“Hold on for a bit longer. We need to buy time until reinforcements arrive…”
“There are students trapped inside the debris! Please help!”
Right next to me, the maids responsible for the school were rushing around busily.
While the maids were skilled, they were still not as capable as the teachers, yet they were the ones to diligently run around to help.
In such a painfully ironic situation, I let out a bitter laugh and headed towards the makeshift defensive line, which barely held off the enemies
“It’s dangerous over there! Join us and fight together!”
A maid ran desperately towards me and grabbed my arm.
“Professor Isolet, you were not thinking of going in there, were you?”
“…It’s impossible to do. Even if it’s you, that would be suicidal.”
“How about taking time to recuperate your body and regroup here before fighting alongside us?”
Then, a few teachers who had stayed back at the academy with their conscience intact urgently spoke to me.
It was truly fortunate. There were still people like this.
Even if the empire was shrouded in darkness, as long as these individuals, akin to small sparks in the infinite darkness, remained, there was hope for it to blaze again.
That’s why I…
Today, I’m willing to sacrifice myself for these sparks.
It is the duty of a knight.
It is the duty of a teacher with disciples.
It is the path everyone should aim for.
If sacrificing myself could become a fuse, then it is something I must do.
With these thoughts coursing through my mind, I attempted to move toward the makeshift defensive line, but the people constructing the barrier hurried to intercept me.
“Everyone already knows that if this defensive line is breached, all our efforts will be useless.”
“And some students are trapped inside.”
I said as such toward them.
“If I don’t make it out alive, please tell my father this.”
In a faint voice, I conveyed the words I had always wanted to say.
“…Tell him that I’m deeply sorry for bringing shame to our family.”
I leaped into the defensive line.
And then, there was a brief silence.
In an instant, the monsters that had been milling around the defensive line all swiveled their attention toward me.
Gazing steadfastly at those creatures, I took a deep breath, my hand caressing the beloved sword I always used.
Suddenly, a thought occurred to me, disrupting my breathing.
“Where could he be?”
This sword had been a gift from Frey when we were younger.
Back in the days when I was only a knight candidate, Frey had handed it to me with a bright smile and words of encouragement, hoping for my success in the exam. This sword could easily be called the finest in the empire.
Since that day, it had never left my side except when I bathed or slept.
Why was that?
Was it simply because this sword was easy to carry around, having it become second nature in my hand?
Or was it because of the lingering attachment to my first disciple, who had fallen from grace and caused a turn of events that had shaken my entire life? Even he was once pure; I could still remember when his smile brightened the world and his sword expressed his determination.
If neither were the case, maybe I just missed him.
Dispelling these distracting thoughts from my mind, I took a deep breath.
As I did so, the monsters took on a battle stance.
My breathing was labored due to the tension; I made a conscious effort in regulating it.
I adjusted the position of the hand gripping the hilt.
Gathering pure mana into my beloved sword, I focused on the opponent before me.
“Cut down as many as possible.”
With my preparations for the battle now complete, I gazed unflinchingly at the surging wave of monsters charging toward me.
“Today might be the day… we can breach their defenses.”
More precisely, the one lay beyond the horde.
I saw what seemed to be the leader of the monsters, a dark golem the size of the academy’s main building.
‘I suppose I can make that fellow my travel companion to the afterlife.’
I muttered to myself and took a step forward.
– Whoosh, Zziing…!
And then, there was a brilliant flash of light.
My vision was blurry. My head throbbed as if it was about to split open, and I screamed for mercy, agony radiating from my entire body.
Seeing blood spewing out, it was evident that my organs were injured as well. Well, considering that the bones in my entire body were in pieces, it was only natural that my organs would be hurt too.
– Creak… Creak…
In such a bleak situation where I couldn’t even fathom how much longer I could endure, I used my sword as support and forced myself to get up.
Soon, I bursted into exhausted laughter.
“I did it…”
Blood was everywhere.
The monsters and beasts that had been baring their teeth at me were now severed in two with a single stroke of the sword.
The central core of the destroyed Dark Golem was oozing black liquid as it lay defeated.
“Finally, I did it.”
After ensuring that no more enemies were left standing, I sank into the ground, releasing the grip of my sword.
Spitting out a mouthful of blood, I mumble quietly.
“…I’m so glad.”
And at that moment…
– Clap, clap, clap!
Applause began to ripple from somewhere.
“Impressive, really impressive.”
Before long, the voice echoed from all directions
“I can’t believe you managed to defeat all the enemies.”
I closed my eyes with exhaustion.
“Forget about the monsters… how the hell did you defeat the Dark Golem?”
He kept walking towards me as he spoke.
Stopping right in front of me, he peered at me with curiosity.
“…Uh, have you overcome the wall?”
Suddenly, Frey asked with an astonished expression.
“How does it feel to be a Sword Saint, Isolet?”
Until then, I had been catching my breath, sprawled on the ground, listening to his words.
“You have fallen into ruin, Frey.”
I replied with a strained voice.
“What? I guess, judging by your reaction… you already suspected that I was behind this whole incident?”
He squatted down and looked at me as he asked.
“Suspicions… I’ve had it for a while now. I only gained certainty just now with the mana detection ability I just obtained… but I first suspected after realizing that you were controlling everyone.”
I answered him while looking straight into his eyes, and he chuckled in disbelief.
From him, I could no longer see the innocent eyes he once had.
“Whatever, you did well. There’s some of the old you left, so… I won’t personally kill you. Leaving you like this, you’ll die soon anyway.”
“Why… did you do this…”
“Well? What’s the point in telling someone who’s going to die anyway?”
I struggled to ask him this question, but all that was on his face was a sneer.
“Typically, villains in situations like this would let their guard down, spill all their plans, and then get their comeuppance. I really hate doing something like that.”
“Anyway, thanks for the show. Then, I’m out now.”
As my eyelids drooped lower, his interest seemed to wane, his countenance turning cold and indifferent.
Summoning the last vestiges of my strength, I addressed him.
“A sword is… used for protecting people…”
My final counsel began to take shape.
“Harming people… should only be done… to protect them…”
Then, he stopped in his tracks, turned his head to briefly regard me.
“If you don’t follow such a path…”
In the fading consciousness, I finally managed to utter.
“…Someday, you’ll be the one stained in blood.”
Then I closed my eyes.
And a long silence followed.
In that silence, my eyes remained closed.
Clutching the sword tightly in my hand until that moment, I muttered silently to myself.
‘…Come on, Frey.’
This was the trap I had set just before my death.
Having ascended to the realm of Sword Saint, I wielded absolute control over my body’s condition. I completely eliminated my body’s vital signs to disguise my death.
After all, this body was practically dead, so I maintained my existence with extraordinary mental strength. This meant that even if the Demon King were to come, she wouldn’t be able to discern my state.
I had already noticed that he had been eyeing my sword greedily.
Perhaps he intended to approach me to retrieve my sword.
The instant he touched my sword, as a final act, I would infuse all the mana into the sword to make it go berserk.
My disciple, who strayed from the right path, had become a monster poised to destroy everything.
It was only fitting that I, his teacher, should take his life.
– Step, step
As I clung to the fringes of consciousness, he inched closer.
It seemed my disciple intended to disappoint me until the very end.
Frey, now arriving before me, cautiously lowered his body.
At that moment, I readied myself to infuse mana into the sword.
Simultaneously, the sound of gritted teeth reached my ears.
Just as I wondered what that sound was, something warm fell onto my chest.
– Drop. Drop…
Gradually, the warm drops multiplied, and as I hesitated to open my eyes and assess the situation…
I heard sobbing in my ears.
At first, I questioned whether it might be a hallucination, but the sobbing continued, undoubtedly coming from right in front of me.
Frey was crying in sorrow, clutching me tightly with his face buried in my chest.
“I’m sorry… Sister…”
He continued to soak my chest with tears.
“You must have suffered a lot… right?”
While patting my back, he whispered.
“Rest for a while.”
With utmost tenderness, he withdrew from my chest, gently laying me down on the ground.
“I will definitely give you a happy ending.”
Suppressing his tears, he promised me in a trembling voice and quietly got up.
Then, he reached out for my sword.
I had long prepared for this moment. All that was left was infusing mana into the sword, which would go berserk. Frey would certainly meet his demise.
Perhaps right here, right now, I could stop the monster that would destroy the empire and set the world on fire.
That was what I must do both as a teacher and a knight of the Empire.
It was what the whole world desired.
My hand wouldn’t respond.
Had I become so exhausted that I couldn’t even muster the strength of my hand?
Or perhaps, had my heart grown weaker now?
If that was not the case either, then had I finally come to realize what the unsure feeling I had was, whenever I witnessed his wrongdoings?
I was losing consciousness while contemplating such thoughts.
Frey carefully placed my hand, still gripping the sword, on my chest.
It was a traditional culture of the Empire to pay respect to knights who had fallen in war or battle, as well as to the swords they carried.
Suppressing the trembling in my eyes, I finally opened my eyes cautiously.
It was because there was something I wanted to confirm.
And that action was worthwhile.
The boy in front of me was now kneeling before my gradually freezing body.
Tears flowed from his pure silver eyes, just like when I first met him.
It was the same look I had glimpsed in his eyes when his parents passed away.
No, that was not it.
No, perhaps from the beginning he…
‘From the very beginning…the entire time…’
My consciousness completely faded.
Isolet, who had been groaning in bed, suddenly screamed and jumped.
“F-Frey! Where’s Frey…?”
Moments later, Isolet, with a pale face, stammered.
Looking around, she furrowed her brows and then asked while panting.
“Where am I?”
“Y-you’re at home, Sister.”
Upon hearing that, Isolet’s eyes turned vacant.
“Frey… um… what did I want to say?”
She murmured, clutching her head.
“I can’t quite remember. It feels like it was an important memory…”
“Did you have another nightmare?”
“…I guess you’re right. Maybe I did.”
Isolet responded to Aria, Frey’s younger sister, who asked the question with a worried expression.
“Could you bring me a piece of paper for a letter, please?”
“A letter? Why do you suddenly need a letter?”
Isolet mumbled in a low voice.
“…Because I suddenly have someone I want to meet.”
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