… The fight’s next chapter.
Chapter 242: Denial of Justice
It dispels brainwashing and lets others understand you…?
There’s no way that others would sympathize with you so easily.
And Itsuki, you aren’t even trying to come to an understanding with me right now.
You’re the one who’s doing the brainwashing.
What do you mean, Justice?
“Princess Malty told me that this bow was too much for me to handle. She told me to rest here until my power stabilized, but it seems that things won’t go as planned.” (Itsuki)
I see… I skimmed through the data on the way here.
There was an important piece of information among them.
And from it, I can come to a simple conclusion.
Itsuki is… their Hero Research sample. In order for him to act as a power source for those daggers, he’s been put to sleep here.
Most likely, Witch tempted him with sweet words and got him to feed a strange weapon fragment into his bow. They then analyzed the resulting bow.
And, because the effect was useful, they put him to sleep so he could assist in their mass production.
They probably were able to advance their ability to replicate Legendary Weapons as well.
Let’s consider it from Itsuki’s perspective.
After losing to the Spirit Turtle, Witch’s influence allowed him to unlock the new power known as the Curse Series.
It’s a plot right out of Mecha Anime, and, out of those same Anime, he would have to rest until the power of his Bow settled within him. (TL: I don’t know what reference this is)
Even so, there’s no doubt that Itsuki has been devoured by some form of curse.
Though, that seemed apparent from the start of the incident.
“Itsuki, let me tell you something. There’s no Justice in that bow. It’s a sinister weapon with the power of brainwashing.” (Naofumi)
“You’re wrong! This Bow is without a doubt my Justice! How else would Mald, who I was at odds with, come to an understanding with me so quickly?” (Itsuki)
He’s acting like he’s some sort of protagonist throwing out an irrational argument. Like in Manga and Anime, he thinks that everything’s fine as long as he can get his enemies to understand his cause.
It may appear to make sense at first, but there’s no way an enemy can come to understand you just because you beat them.
That just means they didn’t have enough willpower to stand up to violence from the start.
“Now, everyone, fight with me! I’ll make you understand what’s right and what’s wrong!” (Itsuki)
This is a different matter altogether from Ren’s case.
Ren knew in the depths of his mind that what he was doing was wrong. Itsuki is different.
He honestly believes in his idiotic Justice, and he feels obligated to force it onto others.
If I were to equate it to a deadly sin, I guess it would be pride… But that’s also a delicate line.
It could also be Vainglory. But there’s something about that that feels off.
With his Chuuni imagination, he could have created his own, new sin altogether.
If he did create an eighth sin, I guess there are two possibilities.
The first is Justice.
When Justice goes too far, it can be crueler than any sin.
No small sin will be forgiven. Everyone has to atone with death.
Another possibility is… Fanaticism.
Believing too much in a single idea and forcing it onto others, continuing even when you know that what awaits is nothing but destruction.
There’s also the chance that his power could be a mix of the four.
Motoyasu got the Lust and Envy Spears or something.
And Ren was simultaneously devoured by Greed and Gluttony.
I’ve only confirmed that having two at once is possible. But, I can’t deny the possibility of three, or even four.
Anyways, I’ve once again confirmed my belief that Justice is a disgusting existence.
I’ve caught a glimpse of just how twisted the Justice that Itsuki wants to enforce on the world truly is.
“You’re wrong!” (Rishia)
In a very loud voice, Rishia denies Itsuki’s words.
“Itsuki-sama is misunderstanding Naofumi-san’s actions!” (Rishia)
“Is that you, Rishia-san? You are merely one of the many who are being brainwashed by that man.” (Itsuki)
“Itsuki-sama, you said it, right? That Naofumi-san put slaves through hard labor and reaped all the profits, right?” (Rishia)
Itsuki nods with an unpleasant face.
“Then why are all the people working at Naofumi’s place always healthy? Did you ever hear of a slave he abandoned? Have you ever heard of any slave he’s worked to death? Have you ever heard of any slave he’s even shown cruelty towards?” (Rishia)
“That’s none of my concern. The information I have comes from the many people who live in this base.” (Itsuki)
“Then, that’s nothing but hearsay! Itsuki-sama, I’m asking whether you, yourself, have witnessed any of this man’s misdeeds!” (Rishia)
What’s this? Rishia’s acting much more outgoing than usual as she’s conversing with Itsuki.
At least, in the time I’ve known her, I’ve never seen Rishia this angry before.
Wasn’t Rishia supposed to be a childish girl who said ‘Fueee’ whenever she was troubled and trembled when faced with hardships?
“I’ve been watching Naofumi-san for a long time. I saw him extend his hand to the slaves and build them a home from scratch. The slaves… the Demi-humans who work at Naofumi’s village are always working happily as they earnestly try to make the village a better place! Itsuki-sama, for the people who had lost their status as human beings and dropped into slavery, do you know just how much of a savior Naofumi-san was to them!? And he… put them through hard labor and reaped all the profits? Please don’t make a fool of him!” (Rishia)
“Right! I’ve never seen a single child unwilling to do the work given to them there!” (Ren)
Ren hops on board the bandwagon and tries to persuade Itsuki.
For some reason, Taniko is being especially quiet. I hear her whisper under her breath to Gaelion, ‘Are all the Heroes like this?’
I think the current Gaelion will only respond with ‘Kyua’s though.
“No matter what happens, until the culprit confesses to his sins, my resolve will not be shaken!” (Itsuki)
“Confess? About working my slaves hard? Yeah, I do that.” (Naofumi)
“… The people at Naofumi’s place are a bit different. Classifying them as slaves is difficult.” (Ren)
… Are they different?
From society’s perspective, as long as they have slave crests, aren’t they slaves?
“It’s more like Naofumi-san is the one being treated as a slave there.” (Rishia)
“Yeah, every day he works late into the night assisting everyone in their work! After that, he works on compounding medicine by himself! I can’t tell who’s the slave here!” (Ren)
“What are you… What the hell are you people saying!?” (Naofumi)
Rishia, are you asking me to activate your slave crest?
I’m definitely no one’s slave.
“Naofumi’s pretty much a parent to the children in the village!” (Ren)
What are these people misunderstanding?
Is it that they’re acting out of desperation and saying whatever comes into their heads?
Hm? Taniko pokes me in the side.
“Are they wrong? Everyone says you’re like a mother.” (Taniko)
“They’re wrong! I work all of you hard as slaves.” (Naofumi)
“That was your intention? I think you’re failing.” (Taniko)
“You know-” (Naofumi)
“Master may have a bad mouth, but he’s really kind. The only time he scolds us is when we actually do something really bad.” (Firo)
Even Firo hops on board.
Isn’t it stranger to scold people when they haven’t done anything?
That would impact morale.
In the past, I remember my neighborhood convenience store’s manager had a bad personality. The employees would constantly change.
After a few years, when the manager changed, the nostalgic, help-wanted sign disappeared from the window.
And of course, when you have a good leader, you can work people beyond their own limits.
My thoughts may be going astray here. Anyways, the point is that there’s no reason to unnecessarily drop troop morale. It’s clearly not kindness at work here.
“You’re all definitely wrong!” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama, I believe.” (Atlas)
Believe in what!?
These people… Along with the other villagers, they’re going to get a lecture.
“No matter what you say, the truth is as it is! Naofumi is definitely evil!” (Itsuki)
Itsuki won’t step down.
But Rishia continues speaking.
“Itsuki-sama? Does that mean you’re a perfect, honest, and upright person? Right now, it doesn’t seem that way to me.” (Rishia)
“Please quit it with your trite performance. It makes me want to vomit. Your evil is making me nauseous!” (Itsuki)
Itsuki has a bitter expression as he stares at Rishia.
He’s giving off quite an oppressing aura.
Should he really be saying such things?
“Yes, I have committed sins. I can’t deny the fact that my actions have led to many deaths.” (Itsuki)
“That means there is one thing I must do. I must destroy all of the evil in this world. I must destroy it personally. For eternity!” (Itsuki)
“That’s not happening.” (Naofumi)
As long as humans exist, there will be conflict. Itsuki will never be satisfied until the end of the world.
And so, based on Itsuki’s criteria, Ren, Motoyasu, and I have been labelled as evil.
Perhaps everyone who does not bow down to his ideals will be labelled as Evil.
That means that the only time Itsuki will be able to end all evil is when all life comes to an end.
“…My powers may be insignificant. Even so, I… I can’t forgive this unfairness!” (Itsuki)
Itsuki shouts a line from some main character as he points his bow at me and draws it back.
And on it, an arrow appears.
“Naofumi! Let me pierce through your unfair existence!” (Itsuki)
I hear the air being cut as the arrow Itsuki releases flies towards me.
I use my Float Shield to redirect it.
“Unfair… is it?” (Naofumi)
That’s my line.
I wondered what the man ruining the country with his brainwashing bow was going to say.
Oh, but I’m not allowed to kill heroes.
“…Itsuki-sama, no matter what, you won’t try to understand?” (Rishia)
Rishia draws her sword and enters a fighting stance.
“Itsuki-sama, I deny your justice. My own justice prevents me from accepting you!” (Rishia)
“Itsuki! Return to normal! If you lose yourself to that cursed power, there will be nothing left of you in the end!” (Ren)
“Don’t get in my way!” (Itsuki)
Itsuki raises his bow once more.
Another arrow comes flying.
The target is… Me again.
This time, I just grab the arrow out of the air.
Itsuki pulls back his bow once more, and an arrow made of light manifests.
But it seems it will take a while before he can shoot it.
“I understand that nothing will change your opinion. So I will step forward as your enemy and fight you with all of my might!” (Rishia)