LTBE - Chapter 280: The Truth

The ‘Bloody Envelope Incident’ was a particularly distasteful case due to how it concluded and the bad feelings it left one with.

In Eyes of the Chronicler, Paul and his team also took the blood envelope seriously. After some discussion, they decided to resort to the most straightforward method in the book—taking a portrait of Cheryl around the campus and asking if anyone had seen her. However, they chose to focus not on the students but the coachmen working on campus.

Compared to the students who were bogged down by classes, the coachmen had much more free time and were often traveling around, so there was a higher chance of them meeting with outsiders. The plan did kind of work out as one of the coachmen had indeed met a woman resembling Cheryl.

It was just that the resources the game’s Request Club had at its disposal were severely limited, so their progress was extremely slow. It took them several days just to secure that lead.

Based on the coachman’s account, Paul headed to a mountainous area in Saint Freya Academy and combed through the area. He eventually found a ‘Book of Truth’ insignia with Cheryl’s name inscribed on its back in a bird’s nest. This discovery led his team to suspect that something had really happened to Cheryl. So, after a moment of hesitation, he decided to pay a visit to Lilian.

A missing token was obviously insufficient to prove that its owner had been kidnapped, so Paul was unable to convince the academy into making a move. However, it was a different story for Lilian’s Enforcement Division.

The Enforcement Division had a Special Ops Team that was filled with Origin Level 4 students from the Third Grade. It was an elite team whose members were personally picked and trained by Lilian, so there was no doubt about their loyalty. It was currently one of the strongest fighting forces in Saint Freya Academy.

Paul managed to convince Lilian to dispatch the Enforcement Division to thoroughly comb the mountain, and the truth finally came to light.

It turned out that the ‘Bloody Envelope Incident’ was an evil cultist serial murder case that had been ongoing for many years now. The culprits were a teacher in the academy and several evil cultists hiding in a wine cellar in the depths of the mountain.

The teacher made use of his authority to view student profiles in order to pick out low-profile students from humbler families and with many siblings such as Cheryl. Such people tended to continue residing in Leinster alone after their graduation, making them perfect targets.

The goal of the evil cultists was to use their bodies as experimental material for furthering their spells.

Over the span of a few years, there were already seventeen graduates who had fallen prey to their insidious scheme.

Cheryl, whom Paul and the others had worked hard to look for, was already dead from the very start of the case. Lilian’s Enforcement Division did manage to find the wine cellar where the evil cultists were operating from, but the game didn’t reveal the inner state of the cellar, only describing it as ‘living hell’.

This incident dealt a huge blow to Paul, Lilian, and everyone else involved. However, that wasn’t the end of it yet. What was even more infuriating—as well as the thing that Roel couldn’t accept when playing the game—was that the sender of the blood envelope had been killed as well.

The only person who held justice in their heart and moved upon learning of the tragedy that had befallen the Lawrences was killed a few days after sending out the letter. She realized that someone was after her life and attempted to escape, only to be killed in the darkness right before dawn.

To make things worse, her murderers—the teacher and the evil cultists—had been alarmed by Paul’s earlier overt investigation and escaped in advance.

The ‘Bloody Envelope Incident’ was a massive failure of the Request Club. Both the victim and the kind-hearted helper lost their lives whereas the culprits got away scot-free. Justice was not served.

This overly realistic and appalling outcome came as a huge blow to Paul and the others, and it made them realize just how insufficient they were at the moment.

Back when it was still a game, Roel could still forget about it after a good night’s sleep. But now that it had all become reality, there was no way he would allow something as shitty as that to happen.

Letting those evil cultists get away scot-free? You must be kidding me! Those evil cultists have taken such ‘good care’ of me in my younger years, so the least I can do is to return the favor to them.

Saving the sender of the blood envelope and cornering the evil cultists—that was Roel’s goal in this matter.

Determined not to allow things to unfold like they did in the original plotline, the first thing Roel did was to search for the sender of the blood-red envelope in order to protect her. There was just one small problem here—he didn’t know who the sender was.

Perhaps it was because his memories had already started to fade, but he couldn’t recall any mention of the sender’s name or a cutscene with the sender in the game.

This small gap of intelligence proved to be a huge problem. The envelope was delivered in the middle of the night, so no one had a clue as to who the sender could be. This was a huge issue since they were in a race against time to get to the sender before the evil cultists.

Unable to figure out any leads, Roel thought about seeking help from the artificial spirit Margaret, but he quickly shot down the idea.

It was unlikely that Margaret would be of help since her presence was conditional on the installation of her crystal ball. She was indeed omnipresent in the central district, where her crystal balls could be found everywhere, but the Request Club happened to be located at the outskirts of the central district. None of the buildings there had the crystal balls installed.

This was an intentional decision since Margaret was in charge of managing the academy’s facilities, not the students.

It looks like my only clue is the blood envelope. If I can’t find her with this, I’ll have no choice but to resort to a brute force search.

With such thoughts in mind, Roel began discussing another course of action with Paul and Geralt.

“Deducing who the sender is through the letter? Hmm…”

Both Paul and Geralt supported Roel’s decision to look for the sender first. It was wise to first verify the authenticity of the request, or else the Request Club could become a laughingstock if they ended up working in futility on a fake incident. They had to be careful because the Request Club was under the Bluerose Faction, so any mistakes they made would directly affect the faction’s prestige.

Under their intent observation, they were able to gather some leads on the identity of the sender.

“This female student should be from the Austine Empire.”

“Big brother Roel, how do you know that?” asked Paul in astonishment.

“It’s the prayer.”

Roel narrowed his golden eyes as he pointed at a specific sentence on the letter and began explaining.

“The letter is written with a formal tone, which makes it hard to determine the background of the writer based on the writing style. However, the prayer written in the letter—‘May Sia bestow safety upon us all’—is not a phrase that the citizens of the Saint Mesit Theocracy or the Rosa Merchant Confederacy would use. We would never ask Sia for a specific blessing as it’s viewed to be an act of disrespect.

“The people of Brolne don’t have the habit of writing prayers, so they would go with a simpler ‘May Sia bless us’ in situations where they are absolutely required to. As for Pendor, they would usually ask Sia to bestow upon them courage and valiance. The only place where such words are used is the Austine Empire, more specifically its northern areas.”

Roel’s analysis left Paul completely flabbergasted. He could have never imagined that it was possible to deduce so much through just simple words of prayer.

Geralt also stared intently at the blood-red envelope as his gaze gradually sharpened.

“Chief, this envelope might not be store-bought.”

“Hm? What do you mean by that?”

“Are you saying she made the envelope on her own?”

Both Roel and Paul were confused as to what Geralt was driving at through those words. Geralt didn’t answer their questions right away; instead, he brought the envelope to his nose and sniffed it. A moment later, his eyes widened.

“Just as I expected! This envelope was indeed not store-bought. She made it herself—no, it would be more accurate to say that she personally dyed the envelope!”

Geralt passed the envelope over to Roel as he began explaining excitedly.

“She’s also a conversion spellcaster like me. This envelope was originally white, but she dyed it blood-red via conversion magic. It seems to be a mixture composed mainly of rust.

“Now that I think about it, blood-red envelopes aren’t readily available on the market. Most likely, she was already in the midst of delivering the letter when she suddenly worried that her request might be ignored, so she decided to use the materials in her immediate surroundings to dye the envelope!”

“!”

Both Roel and Paul gasped in astonishment. They quickly brought the envelope to their noses and tried sniffing it. There was indeed an extremely faint metallic scent on it.

“It’s fortunate that we discovered it early, or else the smell would have faded off in a few more hours’ time. By then, we wouldn’t be able to verify our theory anymore,” said Geralt as he patted his heart in relief.

Roel marveled at how two heads were indeed better than one. Given his lack of understanding of conversion-type spells, it was unlikely that he would have noticed this minor but crucial detail.

“But that still isn’t enough, right? A female student from Austine who is skilled in conversion-type spells; there are simply far too many people in Saint Freya Academy who fit that criteria. I reckon that there are at least a hundred of them around?”

“You’re right. We need more information to further narrow down the pool of candidates.”

After calming down from their excitement, Paul and Geralt turned their focus back to the discussion. They had managed to filter out 99% of the student population now, but the remaining 1% was still quite a sizable amount.

Seeing the distressed look on their faces, Roel suddenly chuckled softly.

In his previous life, there were many ways to track a person down as long as you had their private possession. The transcendents on the Sia Continent possessed similar means too. He happened to know one person who was good with such stuff.

“No, this is enough. You have done well. I’ll be taking a trip to the central district for a while. You just have to wait for the good news.”

“Big brother Roel?”

“Chief?”

Both Paul and Geralt were intrigued to hear those words. Roel calmly stowed away the blood envelope into his pocket and picked up the Nine-headed Serpent Staff before finally revealing the mystery.

“I’ll be paying Miss Redrose a visit.”

StarveCleric's Notes:

Wiki Project: https://little-tyrant-doesnt-want-to-meet-with-a-bad-end.fandom.com/wiki/
Reddit Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/StarveNovels/
Discord Link: https://discord.gg/ATHVehx
Please do not leave any spoilers in the comment section! 
Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar.