Chapter 172 – The Anti-Columnist (1)

Episode 172 The Anti-Columnist (1)

Vikir took the article from Piggy.

[Exclusive] ‘The Night Hound’, the birth of an unprecedented villain who roams the Imperial Capital!

-The Night Hound has shown up again. The nature of the threat has remained unclear until recently, when a terror like no other has swept across the imperial capital. Nothing is known about the Night Hound, whether it is an individual or an organization, or what its purpose is, and no family, not even the Imperial House, has been able to uncover it. All eyes are now on who will be the first to uncover the identity of this vicious villain and bring him to justice.

The seven great houses of the Empire – Baskerville the Ironblooded, Morg the Mage, Don Quixote the Spearman, Usher the Archer, Leviathan the Poisonous, Bourgeois the Tycoon, and Quavadis the Faithful – have organized a hunt to capture the terrorist, and the Imperial Capital has placed a bounty of 1,000,000,000 gold on the head of the Night Hound. ……

And underneath the newspaper, you can see a few pictures stuck to it, animated by magic.

The newspaper was published by a large newspaper outside of the capital, and the pictures showed the locations where the Night Hound had raided, selecting only the branches of the House of Quovadis, most notably the Old Order.

Naturally, the orphanage at the bottom, run by the Indulgentia family, was also in the picture, and Vikir could be seen in it.

Of course, Vikir is just a tiny figure in the corner of the photo, flanked by Tudor and Sancho. Piggy, Bianca, Sinclair, and others were also in the picture, so there wasn’t much room for error.

“Look, Vikir, we’re in the papers! I’m having one of those media days!”

Piggy was thrilled to be featured as a passerby in this tiny photo.

But it’s only for a moment, and Piggy soon grows sullen.

“Ugh. Come to think of it, this is a picture of the scene of the worst disaster ever, and I can’t believe you like it. I’m the devil…….”

“Calm down. The guy who caused the disaster is the bad guy, not you.”

Vikir patted Piggy on the shoulder and went back to reading the paper.

” ……hmm. No mention of a saint declaring a holy war.”

“Uh-huh. Strange, that didn’t make the paper. It’s also missing the part about the attack on the Quovadis Old Order faction, and all the sins she’s been granting indulgences to society’s leaders, and the sins they’ve pardoned. Why isn’t that in there?”

Vikir smiled dryly at Piggy’s question.

That’s what the press is for.

A trumpeter for the powerful.

A dog barking for a more appetizing piece of meat.

It is the law of the wild that you bite off more than you can chew.

‘Cardinal Humbert’s breath must be that strong. Or maybe it was ‘above him’.’

No matter where you look in the newspapers, you won’t find anything about the Old Order’s scandalous behavior.

However, in order to cover up this situation, they have made one ‘night hound’ a public enemy, and they’re biting hard to cover it up.

Piggy’s next words made Vikir nod.

“Oh, by the way. Did you hear about this week’s club assignment? Our advisor wants us to each write a column condemning the Night Hounds’ acts of terrorism. It’s supposed to be a simple current events piece. If it’s good, he’ll publish it in the Academy’s newspaper, even if it’s from a first-year. …….”

It seems that the Academy has decided to join the hunt for the Night Hound.

‘I suppose it’s best to go with the flow for now, to avoid suspicion.’

Vikir could accuse the Night Hound better than anyone else.

He knew his misdeeds better than anyone.

“Is this a column…… where I can write down the most outrageous things I hear?

Vikir took out a pen.

And then he began an arduous (?) battle with himself.

* * *

An angry voice rang through the Academy’s newspaper department.

“Why was my column killed?”

Dolores. Student Council President of Academy Colloseo and head of the newspaper department.

She was now calmly protesting to Professor Morg Banshee, the newspaper’s advisor.

“Do you not know ……?”

Professor Banshee’s eerie eyes shine through his dark hair.

A pair of one-eyed glasses hangs precariously from the tip of his hawkish nose.

Professor Banshee tossed Dolores’s column onto his desk.

What is the true antithesis of The Night Hound?

-There were more than half a dozen branches of the Quovadis family that the Night Hounds raided.

Prof. Banshee said in a blunt tone.

“The Academy is politically neutral. We can’t publish such biased current affairs commentary.”

“I didn’t say it was biased, I wrote the facts!”

“Facts? Didn’t Cardinal Humbert of the Old Order deny all of this, and the leaders of society on the ‘indulgence list’ have said it’s not true.”

“That’s a lie!”

“It could be the truth. Missing one thief shouldn’t make ten wronged people. I thought that was your usual belief?”


Dolores clenched her teeth so hard that blood stood in her throat.

Professor Banshee continued.

“It’s also no secret that you’re the Academy’s student council president and head of the newspaper department, and that you’re a saint of the Quovadis, the religious saint at the center of this controversy, and that the Quovadis saints are, for the most part, members of the New Order.”


“So, do you think it’s okay for you to make your own arrangements and write such a biased article, or not?”

Then a line of blood stood on Dolores’s forehead.

She turned to face Professor Banshee.

“The Academy’s rules state that ‘all students admitted to the Academy are equal’ and ‘are not influenced by their status outside the Academy’.”


“Although I am a member of the Quovadis family, and am affiliated with the New Order, that is only a status outside of the Academy. While I am a student at the Academy, I am simply Dolores, a normal human being, and a student of the Academy. I am also free to express my opinions about the Quovadis.”

This time, Professor Banshee was silent.



Dolores and Professor Banshee’s gazes locked together.

Finally, Professor Banshee sighs.

“I see. I admit it.”


Dolores tilted her head, and Professor Banshee’s brow furrowed.

“There’s a letter from the Quovadis sent to the Academy.”

“A letter?”

“Yes. It’s a press release for this story.”


A press release. That’s a way of predetermining the direction of a story.

Professor Banshee shook his head.

“They want us to focus mostly on the horrific acts of terrorism committed by the Night Hounds and interviews with their victims, and to keep keywords like ‘Quovadis,’ ‘Old Order,’ and ‘New Order’ to a minimum, or not at all.”

“That’s ridiculous! That’s trying to control the neutrality of the Academy!”

“Well, it is. The dean is quite troubled by it.”

“Is Cardinal Humbert that powerful? So much so that even the Dean of the Academy is in trouble?”

“If it were only Cardinal Humbert, you wouldn’t have listened to me in the first place, would you?”

Dolores’ expression hardened at those words.

Above Cardinal Humbert. There is only one such being in the Quovadis.

The Pope. The oldest and most exalted of the classical saints.

‘……How can he?’

He is the one who will not lose his integrity, even if everyone else has fallen.

How is this happening?

‘There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the Pope’s judgment has been a bit blurred lately due to his old age…… Could Cardinal Humbert be taking advantage of that and blurring the Pope’s eyes and ears?’

Dolores had a new cause for concern.

When she was silent, Professor Banshee tapped his finger on the article on his desk.

“And what…… all this aside, your column doesn’t belong in the paper in the first place. It’s too politically biased, and I can’t help but get the impression that you’re secretly favoring the Night Hound.”

“So what do you think you’re going to put in that empty space? The theater club’s new release, the sports club’s lead-in to the big game, the breathtaking backside of the Academy’s cover girl?”

“Don’t be sarcastic, Dolores. I’m the professor, you’re the student.”

With that, Professor Banshee opened a drawer and pulled out a piece of paper.

It was a column.


Dolores’s eyes narrowed.

“The Night Hound,” a viciousness beyond measure.

-The Night Hound has crossed the line. Your sins against the imperial family and the Seven Houses have reached the skies……If you listen to the cries of countless people who have been unfairly harmed… … Soon the fearsome spears, swords, arrows, and magic will become the maces of justice and bring you to the judgment seat… …Having seen the Night Hound in full force on the night of the tragedy at Indulgentia Orphanage, I can say with confidence that…… turning yourself in now and waiting to be hanged may be your last chance for a peaceful end!

Professor Banshee said.

“I’m going to put this column in the newspaper instead of yours.”

“It’s a shoddy piece of writing, with no evidence, no objectivity, no reasoning, just an appeal to emotion. ……It’s vague in wording and overly emotional.”

Dolores said in a rare use of strong language.

These were probably the worst words she could muster.

But Professor Banshee shook his head, a wry smile tugging at one corner of his mouth.

“I don’t think it was very well written, either. But it’s properly condemning, properly appealing, and properly agitating, so it’s the most appropriate thing to say at this time. And it’s an eye-witness report, so it has some credibility.”


“Anyway, with that out of the way, the midterm practical is coming up soon, so do your best, and remember, you’re supposed to be studying, right?”

Professor Banshee rose from his seat and strode past Dolores, out of the room.

Dolores bit her lip.

The disaster at House Indulgentia the other day was enough to make her furious, especially after spending the night with the Night Hound.

‘The Night Hound isn’t bad, it’s the Quovadis, and the demon that lurked within!’

How many such demons are there in the world?

How hard a fight has the Night Hound had to fight so far, and how much more will it have to fight?

‘You can’t help it, but you try to hinder and suppress it…….’

But there is no way to expose the demon, its collaborators, and those who are unknowingly being used all at once.

Even if there were, it would take too long.

The Night Hound I met once told me that time was running out.

The frustrating conversation I had with Professor Banshee today made sense all at once.

Why he’d become a vigilante, why he’d risked his life to kill demons one by one.

“I can’t do this, I have to help him.”

No matter how much you write in favor of the Night Hound, it doesn’t really help.

It was time to take up the sword, not the pen, to help him now that he had come down from the top to the bottom.

“I’d rather find the Night Hound on my own. I must see his face and know his name, so I can help him.”

Saint Dolores was determined. She would go to meet the Night Hound herself.

To do so, she needed to gather as much information as she could.

As much information as possible about the Night Hound’s identity.


Dolores’ gaze fell to the paper on the desk.

It was the column that Professor Banshee had chosen in place of hers.

An article full of criticism that harshly condemns the night hounds.

Dolores’ brow furrowed as she read it.

It was an ugly, low-class article, but one phrase caught her eye.

‘The Night Hounds, a viciousness beyond measure.’

-The Night Hound has crossed the line. Your sins against the imperial family and the Seven Houses have reached the skies…… If you listen to the cries of countless people who have been unfairly harmed… … Soon the fearsome spears, swords, arrows, and magic will become the maces of justice and bring you to the judgment seat… …. Having witnessed with my own eyes the full force of the Hounds of the Night on the night of the tragedy at the Indulgentia Orphanage, I can say with confidence…… that turning yourself in now and waiting to be hanged may be your last chance for a peaceful end!

“You mean you saw it with your own eyes?”

For context, when the writer of this column saw the Night Hound, it was clearly right after all the disaster had ended.

That means he saw the Night Hound more recently than Dolores.

‘Perhaps I have seen the face behind the mask of the Night Hound.’

Dolores’s mind raced.

If this column were to be published in the newspaper, there would probably be a flood of reporters trying to interview the author.

Luckily, Professor Banshee had anonymized the column’s authors to prevent this, and Dolores was able to identify the contributors to the column, which had not yet been published in the newspaper.

‘It’s an abuse of power, but it’s necessary!’

It was necessary for the sake of justice.

Dolores turned the column over and found the name of the person who wrote it.

Suddenly, she recognized a familiar name.

<Group B Cold Class – Vikir>