Ah… Apparently this is my 100th post. it’s not my 100th chapter, as this counts polls and (This is not a Chapter)s
Chapter 241: The Bow of Justice
A glugging sound fills the room as the liquid drains from the tube containing Itsuki. Eventually, the tube opens.
Armor lifts Itsuki up and removes the blindfold and gag ball.
It’s quite a scene.
I… kinda want to run away.
His appearance is a gag in and of itself. I find myself holding back laughter.
Itsuki slowly opens his eyes and drowsily looks around the room.
“Now! Awakened Hero of the Bow! The evil who defies our justice has infiltrated our base all the way up to here! Use your power of Justice to slay him!” (Armor)
“What the hell are you saying, you bastard!” (Naofumi)
You infiltrated my base and ran back here with your tail between your legs!
“And to start with, didn’t you guys have a fight with Itsuki!?” (Naofumi)
From the Magic User’s testimony, they cut off their connections.
“How foolish. In order for the Hero of the Bow to discover even greater power, we merely let him experience some difficulty.” (Armor)
I guess it’s all a matter of phrasing. But, the truth is leaking out.
This man hasn’t called Itsuki by his real name once.
I can assume that he still does not place any trust in Itsuki.
The reason he ran all the way back here was because Itsuki was all he had left.
Itsuki looks at me with a dazed expression, and he begins releasing a dark aura so thick that even I can see it.
That’s the aura that surrounds a Hero devoured by their Curse.
So what is it? What curse is eating at Itsuki’s mind?
This is amazing bloodlust.
Out of all the people I’ve faced, it’s top class. It makes my blood go cold.
“Your actions are unforgivable! You’ve done things that I will never forgive!” (Itsuki)
“What are you saying all of a sudden? Keep your sleep talk to when you’re asleep.” (Naofumi)
He’s a troublesome fellow even right after he wakes up.
Is it due to his curse, or was he like this from the beginning? It’s a delicate line.
“Itsuki-sama! You can’t believe Mald’s words!” (Rishia)
“Right! That man’s a criminal!” (Ren)
Rishia and Ren try to persuade him.
But Itsuki’s gaze remains fixed on me, and he doesn’t even glance at the two.
“Then let me say it. You gather slaves, put them through heavy labor, and keep all of the profits to yourself!” (Itsuki)
“Isn’t that just common sense?” (Naofumi)
This man… I think I’ve heard him say similar things before.
Isn’t that what slaves are supposed to be?
Of course, manual labor requires appropriate compensation, but slaves are supposed to work without one, right?
If you ask whether there’s a problem with buying and selling humans, I’d say there is one, but that’s just the sort of world this is.
If you want an extreme analogy, then perhaps slaves can be compared to vacuum cleaners.
Do you feel sorry for a vacuum cleaner for having to deal with the garbage on the floor every day?
Slaves are like appliances. Convenient means to an end.
Wait, something’s popping up in my head.
“Niichan! Make me dinner! Crepes~, Crepes~!”
“Crepes are tasty!”
“Make some good food, please!”
“Play with me!”
Don’t mind it. Don’t mind it.
Get out of my mind!
“That is nothing but evil! I heard! In exchange for giving a girl high quality medicine, you forced her brother into heavy labor! One of the slaves Malty-san saved told me the story!” (Itsuki)
“There’s no way that Witch would help someone!” (Naofumi)
“Who is this Witch…? Oh, and as expected of Naofumi-sama. You saved a pair of siblings besides us?” (Atlas)
“No, that’s you.” (Naofumi)
He’s most likely talking about the girl tilting her head towards me and her older brother.
I don’t know how much info he’s got, but he’s clearly cherry picking here.
And for Witch to help a Demi-Human is more unlikely than a girl falling from the sky.
“And you sell medicine to rich nobles without doing anything for the poor!” (Itsuki)
“I’m no philanthropist. If you’re running a business, you can’t just give things away to those without money. It’s common sense to take something as compensation.” (Naofumi)
Those nobles just barged into my place and demanded medicine, all while looking down on me.
Also, I do have memories of giving medicine to the poor. After they pleaded to me with the few copper coins they could scrape together, the least I could do was give them some.
“Just when I thought the Evil Nobles would die from illness, the Hero of the Shield stepped in and hindered our plans!” (Itsuki)
“You’re pointing fingers at the wrong person there. I merely sold medicine to the people who paid money for it. What they did afterwards is of no concern to me. It’s stranger to think that just because they had done something bad, I would refuse to sell them medicine and leave them to die.” (Naofumi)
And what is this? When did selling medicine to rich buyers become a crime?
If I didn’t sell it to them, would you be shouting at me for denying medicine to those who asked?
No matter what I do, it’s a crime. Stop screwing with me!
“Even though you were granted the power to help people as a Hero, I’ve heard a person shouting that you couldn’t save their daughter!” (Itsuki)
“… I have no idea who you’re talking about here.” (Naofumi)
Nope, nothing’s coming to mind.
Couldn’t save? If it was illness, I would at least do what I could do.
Though, I would demand some compensation, as little as it may be.
Of course, people have tried to run away without paying.
But, I simply asked around for their destination and apprehended them anyways.
“A girl came crying to me saying she would never forgive you!” (Itsuki)
Do people hate me that much?
“Is the daughter… dead?” (Naofumi)
“Yes! Naofumi’s shield can bring about such miracles, and yet, you deny people its power!” (Itsuki)
Itsuki isn’t using any honorifics with me.
But, I guess I’ll leave that as it is.
“Surely you jest… Even the Legendary Shield doesn’t have a power that can revive the dead.” (Naofumi)
I think I have an idea of who it is.
Occasionally, when I go to villages, some people come to me asking me to bring their loved ones back to life. They come crying, carrying the dead bodies.
There are people who come to me after hearing rumors of the Saint or the Hero of the Shield.
Logic does not get through to those people.
When I say I can’t do it, they continue pleading in tears.
Some even transfer their anger onto me.
I’ve had some corpses abandoned in front of my village.
If I tried to give them proper burials, the culprits would come out and shout at me. I’ve had the soldiers send them out a few times.
That’s why the sign on the village’s entrance says as such. The dead can never come back.
Because of this, I’ve made it so that I only personally treat patients in the special clinic building.
“That’s just unjust resentment. You just want to label me as evil no matter what. Why don’t you bring them back? You’re a Hero too.” (Naofumi)
“No, princess Malty told me. It’s a special power only granted to the Shield!” (Itsuki)
That Witch. She’s left me with an outrageous parting gift.
Itsuki has no way of logically proving that statement to be false.
What’s more, with Itsuki as he is, I don’t think that anything I say will be able to persuade him.
“Itsuki, that sounds wrong. With Naofumi and Motoyasu, I’ve gone over the weapon systems. The effects differ slightly, but each legendary weapon generally has a corresponding weapon with the same effects. If Naofumi has such a power, then my Sword should have an equivalent one. Or, does your bow have a power that our weapons do not?” (Ren)
Ren offers a plausible argument.
There’s definitely a difference in defensive and offensive capabilities between weapons, but the effects themselves are generally the same.
It’s something I learned from talking with Ren and Motoyasu.
The only one who doesn’t know is the lonely Itsuki.
But, perhaps I’ve just yet to find it. I can’t deny the possibility of there being a weapon that can bring the dead to life.
And, if there were a single weapon that would have it, I guess it would be the Shield.
But if I could use it, then I would.
Who knows just how much I could rake in if I advertised that I could revive the dead?
“And there are still many other sins you have to answer to! I definitely won’t let you off!” (Itsuki)
“And I don’t need you to forgive me. The true evil here is probably that Armor behind you. He assaulted my subordinates and launched several attacks. He provoked much needless violence. Is your justice merely a word? He even conspired with the Three Hero Church you know so well.” (Naofumi)
Upon my word, Itsuki turns his gaze to Armor.
“Those are merely the Demon Lord of the Shield’s lies! You mustn’t be swayed by them!” (Armor)
“Whether that’s the truth or not is something I’ll determine with my own power.” (Itsuki)
“A-Ah, wait… Stop!” (Armor)
Itsuki sprouts white wings. Though they’re supposed to appear divine, they somehow give off a sinister feeling. He takes out a highly ornamental bow and shoots an arrow at Armor. <ED: In the knee>
Is he dead?
“Naofumi-sama, the ominous aura gathered at one point and pierced through the person we were pursuing.” (Atlas)
And the Armor in front of me collapses forward.
Did he dispose of a foolish subordinate?
As I thought that, Armor suddenly rises from the floor.
“Itsuki-sama, it is as the Demon Lord of the Shield said. In order to satisfy my selfish desires, I engaged him in battle and lost. I ask for your forgiveness.” (Armor)
Armor’s behavior is clearly strange.
What is that bow’s ability?
It’s without a doubt the foundation for those daggers.
“I accept your apology. From now on, let’s work together to lead this world towards peace!” (Itsuki)
“Yes! Itsuki-sama!” (Armor)
His eyes are weird.
His face is not one led by his own ambition. It’s not the one that only strived for self-satisfaction. Just like the brainwashed people, he carries an abnormal expression filled only with a lust for Justice.
“Itsuki… That bow…” (Ren)
As Ren points his finger at the Bow, Itsuki answers with a bright smile.
“Isn’t it amazing? It’s an amazing bow that I just got my hands on. Its name is the Justice Bow! It’s clearly a weapon meant for me. One shot from this bow dispels brainwashing and lets others understand me.” (Itsuki)