The red evening sun sank. The sky was thoroughly dyed in darkness.
Where did the black crows go? Wearing the colors of darkness, that I couldn’t catch a glimpse of them at night, was it because they were sleeping alongside the humans…
Or because they had melted into the dark?
The main street usually flourishing with people, for some reason there were few to be found tonight.
… That was better. For me, and to everyone else.
Straying to the side of the main street, I proceeded down an even less popular road, eventually running into a single young girl standing with nothing to do.
The girl wore a yellow coat. At her waist was a large sword unfit for her height.
The flame sword flamberge. Of course, that one wasn’t real. It wasn’t even a replica.
Once the green haired girl noticed me, a smile spread across her lonesome pale face. And she waved her hand this way.
“Ah, you’re finally here! You’re late! What were you doing?”
I wave a hand at her.
“My bad, Jessica.”
“Hmph, there’s something wrong with setting up a meeting in such an uncanny place!”
Jessica half-trotted over. And she spoke, “This time’s job really was a hassle.”
I pretended to be surprised. From the course of events, I had a general idea of how things came to pass, but I felt it would be more interesting if I played the fool.
“Really! In the first place, tracing it all back to the root, it’s all your fault! Since you told me it was a safe job anyone could do easily, I contacted the client at once, but it turned out completely different!”
“Did I say something like that?”
I played it straight.
“You did! Did, did! As a punishment, you have to treat me to dinner!”
… There’s no helping it, said I, Jessica giving a, “Hooray!” as her face lit with joy.
“More importantly, what sort of job was it? Did you find anything interesting?”
On my question, Jessica gave a bashful smile. “Ehehehe.”
“Truth be told, I got something nice, secretly, from the client!”
Tada, making her own sound effect, Jessica took out a crystal ball big enough to sit in her palm from her pocket.
Seeing that, I could feel my mind raise alarm bells.
… That’s no good, my emotions are in a disarray. You’ve got to play calm.
“What’s up with that?”
“Well. The truth is, I found it on the job. It was really pretty, so I took it home with me! It’s a secret form the client, okay? If he finds out, he might not pay my reward.”
“Haha, good grief, you really are a bad girl.”
… A harvest beyond my expectations.
That lawyer. Without any special history, or any rumors about him, he should just be some third rate attorney.
On top of that, a court-appointed lawyer in it for the money. A gathering of folks without a fragment of conviction, trash without motivation of will to back them.
Compared to him, the prosecutor was truly proficient. Nothing to criticize in her history or achievements. The form she gave as she thoroughly made sport of the defendant was enough to make me smitten.
A talented prosecutor, and third rate attorney. The evidence was all there. The outcome was plainer to see than a raging fire.
So that trial should have ended already.
Yet the result was different.
… It irritates me.
It would be a peeve if the trial continued on any longer. There are various things connecting to me in that forest. Having someone bring back something unnecessary, and dragging up needless enquiries would be a pain.
That’s why I purposely introduced this incompetent woman to that lawyer. I was sure it would have ended with this useless mercenary eaten by monsters without a fight.
The lawyer wouldn’t be able to find anything, and in the end, with insufficient evidence, the defendant would lose.
That’s how it was. That’s how it would end. That’s how it should be.
But my expectations were betrayed. In quite the pleasant sense.
“Let me have a look.”
I spoke to Jessica. After a moment of hesitation crossed her face, “Sure, okay,” she responded as she handed the crystal over.
… Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. This glimmer, it’s the real thing.
The amber crystal ball. So it’s come into my hands.
“Hey, don’t you think it’s really pretty.”
“Yeah, I do.”
I do. There were three crystals. One’s gone. So only two are left. We’re one short. But one is enough.
Jessica displayed a questioning expression, as her gestures indicated she was waiting for me to say more. But I had no intent to speak any further.
This woman could disappear already.
Splutch. I straightened out my hand, and pierced it through Jessica’s stomach.
The texture of her flesh and organs penetrated into my arm. But with only one thrust, my hand had gone straight through her stomach, piercing out of her back.
Blood and meat clew, and hit the wall. A sound as if a water balloon had popped, and its contents burst out.
Jessica opened her eyes wide, her expression indicating she still had something left to say. But what spewed from her expression of anguish wasn’t words, but a large quantity of blood.
As if vomiting it out, the blood flowed from her mouth. Because of that, it got on my face.
I swung my arm, slamming Jessica against the ground.
A splat pierced my ears. Once my piercing left hand was out, it was red all the way to my fingertips. Looking closely, some fleshy bits were stuck to it as well.
Jessica squirmed and twitched on the ground.
Without lending it an eye, I stared at the crystal ball alone.
I put it to my mouth. It tasted like iron. I went on to put it into my mouth, and gulped it down.
A cold sensation crept down my throat. Hah, the preparations are complete.
As I slipped out of the dark alleyway, I saw the dark night sky was beginning to gain a purple tint.
It was about time for day break.
… The trial was to begin.