This is what happens when Raphtalia isn’t there…
Chapter 233: The Dagger of JUSTICE
“…Rishia, weren’t we comrades? Just defeat that devil behind you, and together, we can spread Justice throughout the world. I’ll put in a word to Mald. I’ll convince them to let you be our comrade. So let’s come to an agreement here.” (Welst)
Who the hell is Mald?
An important member of the Itsuki party… Is it Armor?
I get the feeling that there were a few more, but I’m not sure they even told me their names.
I mean, they were selfish beyond reason.
“… Where is Itsuki-sama?” (Rishia)
“If you save me now, I’ll tell you. So won’t you offer your hand here?” (Welst)
Silence surrounds the two figures.
With the sound of the wind being cut, the ropes tying the mage fall to the ground.
“Good work! Now go die in a ditch with the Evil over there!” (Welst)
The mage picks up his cane and begins chanting magic at Rishia.
And then he suddenly stops moving.
“As I thought, it was a lie. You have deluded yourself into thinking that in the name of justice, everything you do will be forgiven…” (Rishia)
I witnessed it.
Rishia didn’t just cut the ropes, but the Magic User’s body as well.
Rishia didn’t believe from the beginning.
“Justice… Purge the evil…” (Welst)
“I won’t let you.” (Rishia)
Rishia picked up the ropes and quickly bound the mage once more.
“Naofumi-san, I apologize. I was unable to draw out any useful information.” (Rishia)
“No, just bring him to the prison. We’ll just torture him until he confesses everything. Nothing has been lost.” (Naofumi)
Anyways, so this dagger is able to brainwash.
And Itsuki was not needed in this plan.
But then, why is everyone repeating the words of Justice?
Eventually, the magic user awoke in the prison, and I once again began the interrogation.
“W-what!? I am…” (Welst)
“Now then, as I said before, I’ll have you spill everything.” (Naofumi)
This man sure is stubborn.
But I have plenty of ways to make him talk. And there are plenty of things I want to experiment.
“Okay, now I’ll have you drink this water.” (Naofumi)
“W-what are you trying to do!?” (Welst)
From that reaction, it seems he’s not the one who ordered the poisoning of the well… Or was he just not told?
If he plainly refused, then that would clarify it.
“Just drink it.” (Naofumi)
“Guha! Sto-” (Welst)
I order the slaves to make him drink it forcefully.
“Gaba… uguuuuuuu… hah… hah…” (Welst)
He violently grasps at his own throat. His eyes are bloodshot.
“If you speak, it’ll be easier for you.” (Naofumi)
I take out an antidote and hold it at the tip of his nose.
You can use poison like this as well.
I don’t know who set the poison, but he did me a favor.
“Hey, hey, messenger of justice. If you don’t confess soon, you’ll die.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-chan, you look like you’re having fun.” (Sadina)
“I’ll bet it’s quite a refreshing smile. I can tell from his voice.” (Atlas)
The peanut gallery is getting loud.
Though if Raphtalia was here, she would get mad at me.
“I won’t help you until you confess… If I’m able to capture all of your comrades, the nobles should retreat.” (Rishia)
“Ugu… I’ll speak… I’ll speak, so…” (Welst)
Ah, so he is afraid of death.
And he seems to be in a bit of pain.
“Then speak. Based on the contents, I may free you. If you lie, you’ll be drinking more poison.” (Naofumi)
And so, we drew out information from the mage-like person.
Backing him was this country’s revolutionary faction, and he confirmed that Witch was with them.
Mald was their leader, and though he was their comrade, the mage didn’t know too much about him.
“Then tell me. What happened during the Spirit Turtle incident?” (Naofumi)
I could see the whites of the mage’s eyes, so I fed him the antidote.
“I think you already understand, but if you stay silent, then you’ll be drinking poison again.” (Naofumi)
The mention of poison makes the mage cough. He glares at me as if I were a piece of garbage.
And then he begins speaking,
Itsuki’s group arrived before Ren and Motoyasu’s. Half a day faster at that. And he destroyed one of the statues just like the others.
But nothing happened, and the group was captured by the soldiers of the country.
Armor pushed all of the blame onto Itsuki. Armor shouted at him, telling him that he was no hero of justice.
With their trust broken, the group was thrown into jail. They were set to have an audience with the king… but the Spirit Turtle revived, and Itsuki was forced to challenge it.
But without lifting a finger… His comrades came to a silent agreement. They got together behind Itsuki’s back. They ran away, leaving him as a sacrifice to the Turtle.
Later, Armor declared that Justice without power was no Justice. Since Itsuki was unable to stop the Spirit Turtle, he was no justice.
And that was the story, apparently.
Most of the story was the mage’s biased opinion, so I omitted it.
But that’s quite something. I think I’ve heard those words in my world as well.
I see, so his comrades told him that he was no justice. They left him behind to give themselves time to escape. I guess that was enough to break him.
His current state was brought about by him denying the reality he was facing.
And, it seems that Raphtalia’s experience on Cal Mira was no coincidence.
His party had long since noticed his habit of lying and holding back.
To satisfy his sense of justice, he went off to challenge the Spirit Turtle, and his comrades had had enough.
“Next is this.” (Naofumi)
I take out the dagger.
I have a pretty good idea already, but just to make sure.
“What is this?” (Naofumi)
“Will you let your silence destroy you?” (Naofumi)
“I got it from the people supporting Princess Malty.” (Welst)
Malty? Who the hell is that?
Ah, it’s Witch.
That name should have been forbidden.
But, I guess it’s natural for the revolutionary faction to call her as such.
I guess I’ll ignore it for now. The dagger is more important.
It seems that all he knew was that anyone slashed by the dagger would awaken to the concept of justice.
This is quite a peculiar item.
It’s not… A legendary artifact, or something, right?
“Atlas, can you sense anything?” (Naofumi)
“Let’s see… Aside from its ominous Aura, there seems to be a strange power coming from the center.” (Atlas)
Is it from the strange jewel?
Its design looks a little familiar.
Witch… so she really was involved in this case.
But she isn’t here.
Is she in the Castle Town?
It’ll probably be dangerous if I don’t come to their aid soon.
I thought everything would be solved when I defeat Itsuki, but the situation is beyond my expectations.
Witch is backed by the Revolutionary faction and probably the Three Heroes Church, and the poisoning of the water supply was conducted by one of these parties.
Three Heroes Church… I recall the weapon the pope held.
This is just a hypothesis, but…
Could this be the same? A replica of a weapon wielded by a Hero? Or perhaps an item that merely replicates its effect?
I had previously dispelled Kiel’s brainwashing with my Shield Prison. She unsteadily walks towards me with a hand on her shoulder.
I had left her outside of the prison.
It’s been a while since I started the interrogation, so I guess she came to her senses.
“Oh, loin-clothed dog. How do you feel?” (Naofumi)
“There’s no way I could feel good. What the hell happened, Niichan?” (Kiel)
“You were brainwashed. You acted as if I were some sort of grand villain.” (Naofumi)
“Haha. Niichan can’t be that great of a person. You’re minion class at best.” (Kiel)
“What was that!?” (Naofumi)
Well, there are some things I want to say, but it seems that the brainwashing has been dispelled magnificently.
Though, there’s still a possibility that she’s just acting.
“Do you remember what happened while you were brainwashed?” (Naofumi)
“Not really. But, I do remember being taken to a strange cave somewhere.” (Kiel)
“Yeah, it seemed like everyone was gathered there… I had the feeling that someone told me to go there… I had a vague idea that a trustable person like Niichan was there for some reason.” (Kiel)
So the main justice is inside of that cave?
If the dagger was a Replica, then where’s the original?
How was it even produced in the first place?
The infectious attribute on it was exceptionally high.
In Kiel and the others’ case, they had to take quite a few hits before they became infected.
But, it seems this dagger only has to pierce you once.
Witch is directly reporting to the Three Heroes Church and is receiving funds from the nobles.
That’s why their cooperation is all over the place.
The sleeping drug was from the nobles, but the revolutionaries themselves didn’t want to use Demi-Humans so they switched it to poison.
This sort of ad-libbing… Perhaps they’ll try to masquerade as one of my slaves next.
Anyways, I’ll have to seal off this Dagger’s ability for now.
Based on all of this justice, this replica may have been based on Itsuki.
I heard that they were researching into the field of making replicas. If I assume they had some success in it, then this may have been the result.
The situation is much worse than I thought.
I don’t think I could have expected such a situation even in my dreams.
“Do you know where the cave is?” (Naofumi)
I can probably find out with some more interrogations, but Kiel may know already.
“I think I’ll be able to go there by scent.” (Kiel)
“Good! Then let’s go slaughter… no I should go to the neighboring village and check the damages.” (Naofumi)
And so, we left the tied up, brainwashed slaves in the hands of the free slaves and set off for the neighboring village.
Of course, we took the magic user with us just in case.
If he tries to attack us again, he’ll get what’s coming to him.
Rishia seems to be lost in thought.
“Are you pondering over whether Itsuki is the culprit or not?” (Naofumi)
“… Yes.” (Rishia)
“For now, we can assume it’s only his comrades. This may be wishful thinking, but Itsuki may be innocent.” (Naofumi)
“I understand. For now, I’ll just fight as Naofumi-san orders.” (Rishia)
I wonder. Will she say the same if Itsuki steps onto the battlefield?
I think that Itsuki is definitely involved in this riot in one way or another.
We need to be prepared for when he chooses to show himself.
But, for now, I’m worried about what became of the village I left to Ren and Firo.