The one that interjected was a small girl from behind the crowd of citizens. She looked to be as old or even younger than me, perhaps in her early teens. She didn’t seem to be proficient in martial arts like me, and her slim limbs looked even more dainty than mine.
It was as if I was looking at my old self, but her voice seized control of the emotions of everyone around.
"Let me say it again. I will stop such foolish deeds from happening." "W-What could you even—"
"W-What could you even—"
"I can. With just a single word. But I must say I am not fond of flaunting my authority like so."
The male citizen seemed to remember the girl’s face. After staring fixedly at her, he suddenly took a step back as if being overpowered.
"I-It can’t be… Her Eminence the Pope?!"
She was too far from me, so I couldn’t make out her facial features. That said, even at this distance, I could still see her shining blond hair and bright green eyes that seemed to be the reflection of the World Tree’s leaves.
She wasn’t merely a blonde-haired green-eyed girl. She had a certain overpowering presence special to those colors.
"Pope…?""Now that I think of it, she went missing in the south, didn’t she?"
This seventh ward was in the south-southwestern part of the city. So this could be classified as the southern ward. If it was just that, there should be nothing strange in her being here… should be. And yet, I felt a very strong sense of discomfort.
"—This looks far too convenient!"
With that scream, I jumped down from the roof. If she really was the current Pope, she should be a compassionate person who was trying to abolish discrimination against half-demons.
A riot occurred just when she traveled incognito inside the city, and was close enough to come running. If she was my target, I wouldn’t let go of this timing to assassinate her. It seemed that the one that devised this plan thought so too.
Just as I jumped down from the roof, I saw a silhouette moving into action at the same time. He was hidden behind the crowd, and made his way through them towards her. It was possible that he was simply some eager believer. But I instantly dismissed such a possibility. Because he was hiding a dagger in his left hand. Even though he was hiding it in his cuff, I saw through it since I specialized in the same field.
His wrist was positioned in a way peculiar to backhand grip. His left and right arms moved differently as he walked. I was very familiar with those movements.
I was much more away from her. Even so, I wrapped my body in threads, enhanced myself, and dashed towards her at full speed. Suspecting my movements as I dashed like a gale, the crowd tried to stop me but there was no way they could. Still, they managed to hinder my full speed.
I slipped through their arms trying to stop me and slipped under their legs, desperately rushing towards her, but it was still not enough. The strange man finally made his way out of the crowd, and rushed at the girl. The girl finally realized the situation and looked surprised, but then revealed a composed smile.
I couldn’t understand the reason behind it. She didn’t seem to have any means of defending herself. Even now, her body was exposed to the assassin’s dagger. I couldn’t make it in time—the man looked towards me for an instant to confirm that fact.
If she died, this riot would be unstoppable. With that thought in my mind, I yelled towards the man with all my strength.
In triumph, the man pulled out the dagger from his left cuff—
And froze in place at my words. I didn’t understand what happened. But him stopping was a once-in-a-lifetime chance that I couldn’t overlook. I rushed at him and threw him on the ground with a tackle.
Looking closely, the dagger he was holding was wet. It wasn’t some silly reason like it being soaked in water or oil. It was most likely tasteless and odorless poison.
It was extremely dangerous to seize an opponent like that. There was a possibility of me getting poisoned as they retaliated back. It was also possible that the poison would fly towards the Pope and cause fatal symptoms.
As long as he was conscious, such dangers would remain present. For that reason, I made a fist and drove it into the man’s face with all my power. It was possible for me to miss and hit the ground, injuring my fist. But I had to knock him out in one move, or the situation would stay risky.
Fortunately, the man failed to dodge my fist as it landed painfully on his face, easily knocking his consciousness away. It happened because slamming my fist into his face made the back of his head crash into the stone paving.
As I straddled him, his body went limp. He fainted with his eyes open wide and his nose bleeding, seemingly broken. The poisoned dagger fell from his hand, making a clear sound as it hit the paving.
"Phew, I guess it’s safe for now?" "Well done, Maria’s daughter."
"Well done, Maria’s daughter."
I was shocked to hear Maria’s name all of a sudden. But on another thought, it shouldn’t be a surprise for her to know about me. Maria was respected as a Saint in this city. The Pope would of course know someone like that.
"Are you surprised? But you look exactly like her when she was young. I would naturally realize it." "Wait, mother left this place about twenty-five years ago."
"Wait, mother left this place about twenty-five years ago."
"So it has been that long. I have grown quite old."
Those weren’t words a girl who seemed barely in her teens should be saying. Which meant, like Whitey, her appearance didn’t match her age, huh? With those doubts, I moved my gaze towards her.