Thinking it was already fine, I asked.
“Please tell me what happened on the 10th. What did you see, and what did you do on the hotel rooftop? Even the most trivial of details are fine, so if there’s anything you noticed, please tell me.”
Claudia thought for a moment. No, she was trying to remember. Looking at the lisght dangling from the ceiling a while, she muttered lightly. “I was surprised.”
“Okay? Surprised about what?”
“I actually doubted it. Whether this holy sword would really be able to cut that demon lord.”
She held out her sword. She placed it on the table, but her hand gripping the hilt showed no signs of parting.
For a moment, her legs moved neurotically. Her tic had begun to come out, but even so, without putting the sword away, she spread it on the table so I could see it well.
“This sword can only cut the demon lord. That is what father taught me, and I did actually go out in the forest to test it a number of times, but I couldn’t cut anything.”
“Ah, but there was one other thing it could cut,” Claudia added.
“Really? By the police documents, it wasn’t able to cut any lifeforms, but is that not the case?”
… It was a new fact. I hoped it would provide a hint towards this case’s resolution.
“In the past, this sword cut father.”
Could it be the reason her father died was…
Contrary to my bad premonition, “When father was teaching me how to use a sword, he nicked his finger. The wound wasn’t deep, but I do wonder why it cut.”
She spoke of the time with a face yearning for times past.
A sword that could only cut the demon lord. But it had managed to cut Claudia’s father.
… I wonder what that meant.
“If I’m not mistaken, the holy sword Blutgang responds to blood, according to the police reports?”
“Right, I learned that from father. In the past, the person who made this sword mixed the demon lord’s blood into the metal. So this sword is supposed to react to demon lord blood, but… perhaps there is a different reason altogether. Why this sword can only cut demon lords, and passes through those who are not, I don’t really know.”
Claudia took the sword back, and held it close.
“I thought I understood it. But it’s really all unknowns, I see.”
I put up a theory.
Even if there was a sword that could only cut demon lords out there, would it actually be of any use?
It’s true, if it didn’t cut anything besides demon lords, it would stand the test of time well. Because nothing else in existence could touch its blade, It wouldn’t corrode, and there wasn’t the worry of the edge of the blade chipping.
But so what? You can just wipe crime off a sword, and if it’s corroded, it should be discarded. If the blade is chipped, go buy a new sword already.
… If swords are no good, then guns would work too, why is she using such an anachronistic weapon?
“The demon lord possessed an exceedingly sturdy body, apparently.”
As if to answer my question, Claudia embraced the sword as she spoke.
“A normal sword wouldn’t’ be able to scratch his skin, and all sorts of magic weapons fall flat against him.”
“That’s not even human anymore.”
“Even among the magi, the demon lord was an especially special existence, it seems. So this holy sword was necessary. If you don’t have it, you’ll never be able to harm him.”
For the demon lord who could be cut by none, this was the only sword that could wound him.
“The demon lord’s defense was considerable. If that’s how it was, I can see how troubled the people of the time would be.”
“For argument’s sake, there were people capable of injuring him. For example, it was possible for the demon lord himself.”
“You mean suicide? It’s true, if weapons don’t work, having him self-destruct sounds like an enticing option.”
I tried looking through my memory of the war fifty years ago. Until the holy sword made its appearance, how were the people of the time planning to kill the demon lord?
… Maybe that didn’t have any means. That’s why the hero appeared.
“So I was surprised. Was the demon lord supposed to be this weak?”
Claudia spoke quietly.
“With only one stroke of my sword, the demon lord made an extremely surprised face. I remember it well. Seeing my face, he looked surprised, and angry, and…”
Claudia suddenly went silent. She covered her mouth with a hand in thought.
“Did I really managed to kill the demon lord?”
“… It’s a fact that you cut him, right?”
“Yes. But for that it was a little… the demon lord was so weak, it didn’t really feel real.”
… Then did you get the wrong person, I was about to say. But I swallowed down those words as they hit my throat.
“Do you still think the victim was the demon lord, or some reincarnation of him?”
“Not a reincarnation, the man himself.”
She sounded awfully convinced. “Any basis for that?”
“That’s… this sword is the evidence. You said it, didn’t you, Mr. Lawyer? Whether this sword can cut them or not decides whether they’re the demon lord.”
“But you’re suspicious of whether the demon lord is the only thing that sword can cut, right?”
“That’s, well… yes.”
She reluctantly nodded. Seeing her puff her cheeks as she looked down, perhaps she was displeased with something.
“As long as we don’t have a demon lord to test with, proving it is impossible. We can’t tell if it really is a sword that only murders the demon lord. But it’s certain it can only cut a special something.”
Investigation was necessary, I thought.
“On the 10th. When you attached the victim, did you think he died?”
“… I don’t know. I’ve never killed anyone before, and I’ve never killed a monster either.”
“But wouldn’t that be dangerous? The holy sword can only cut the demon lord, right? When you’re attacked by monsters… well, this is purely hypothetical, but in the million-to-one chance you were attacked, how did you plan on dealing with it?”
“I just whack them away with the hilt.” She said it as if it were natural. “This thing’s quite sturdy, you know.”
“… Oh, is that so.”
“And there was a bow and arrow for hunting, and a hunting knife at the house. I always carried the knife while in the forest.”
She closed her eyes. “But the monsters always ran away, so I could only ever heat fruits or vegetables,” she muttered softly.
And at the end, she made a downhearted face.
“I’m no good with a bow, I can never hit anything. I have no talent for anything but the sword.”
Even if you tell me that, what am I supposed to do about it?
An extremely, extremely dubious air filled the space.