CH111: A Week Passed
I’m sitting on a horse-drawn wagon, watching the people working to restore the city.
It’s been a week since Oliver’s outburst and the flood of hexenbiests.
Almost all of the explorers of the Silver Rabbit of the Night Sky have participated in the restoration work since that incident.
I heard that the removal of rubble and debris was finished yesterday, and the full-scale restoration work will start today.
And with that, the Night-Heavenly Silver Rabbit switches back to its normal routine.
In the removal of debris and the rescue of buried people, the [object floating object float] I developed played a great role, and it became famous beyond my initial expectation.
Originally this spell could only levitate light objects, but during the Thanksgiving preparations I improved it with the help of the Magic Development Office.
As a result, they succeeded in levitating objects heavier than humans.
But it can’t levitate living creatures in general. This is a guess, but I think it has something to do with the creature’s resistance to magic.
It may be inappropriate to say this under the current circumstances, but the sales of [Object Floating Object Float]’s magic tools are also going well.
I’ve been busy with the restoration of the city and the aftermath for the past week, so I’ve been able to focus on these things, but now that I’ve calmed down, I’ve been thinking a lot about that day.
Oliver beat me.
When I fought him and he put a bullet through my gut, I thought I was gonna die.
But he didn’t die, and the next thing he knew, he was in the woods south of the city, and Oliver had regained consciousness.
I was very much impressed by the expression on Oliver’s face at that time, as if he had lost all his possessions.
“Orn, I want you to go down the path you’ve chosen. Whatever choice you make, we will respect it.”
What he said to me when we handed him over to the army still swirls around inside me.
Why did Oliver destroy the city?
Why was Oliver so calm after he regained consciousness?
Why am I still alive?
Besides that, there’s too much we don’t know about this one.
I’m gonna start looking into this.
There’s been too much going on lately.
I don’t think it can be dismissed as a mere coincidence.
And since that day, I’ve had the same dream over and over again.
The dream was about what happened between the time I lost to Oliver and the time I woke up in the woods.
In the dream, I was dominating Oliver from start to finish.
I know it is only a dream, but the sensation is strangely real, and after waking up from the dream, I feel indescribable.
If by any chance the events of the dream are true, then I have that much power inside me, but how did the dream me know that I had such power?
Since it would be some time before we reached our destination, I decided to recapitulate the incident of the other day.
The incident the other day was two things happening at once.
The first is Oliver’s destruction of the city.
According to the story, in addition to Oliver, Philly Carpenter, a member of the heroic party, also destroyed the city.
Anneli and Derrick were caught by Will and Mr. Lane when they were about to harm the Guild.
As a result, all members of the heroic party are now in custody except for Philly Carpenter.
As for her, I’m told she disappeared shortly after this incident.
That’s about all I know about the current state of the heroes’ party.
But you’ll hear more about it where you’re going.
And secondly, there’s the phenomenon of large numbers of hexenbiests coming out of the ground… A flood of Hexenbiests.
From all five labyrinths around Tutrail.
Flooding is really rare.
There are several labyrinths scattered throughout the country, but even so, the frequency of beast floods in the country is only once every few years or so.
It’s obviously not right for that to happen in five places at once.
The cause is under investigation.
Thanks to Selma’s special ability, we were able to deal with the flooding quickly without falling behind.
There was some damage caused by the monsters near the West Gate, but we succeeded in preventing them from entering other places and were able to keep the damage to the city to a minimum.
Although there are a few people who were affected by this incident, considering the scale of the incident, the result of this case can be considered sufficient.
As I was thinking about the incident the other day, the carriage stopped moving and then the door opened.
Master Orn, we’ve arrived.
The first man in the tailcoat who opened the door called out to me.
Thank you. Mr. Phillip.”
Mr. Phillip is the first steward to the Marquis de Forgath.
As you step out of the carriage, a huge mansion comes into view.
(It’s been a few months, but it’s still as big as ever.)
I’ve come to the house of the Marquess of Forgath.
The Marquis’ messenger came yesterday and asked me to come to his house today.
Follow Mr. Phillip’s directions into the mansion.
The place where I was taken was not the office of the marquis that I had visited many times during my days as a brave party but a magnificent reception room like those used by the nobility.
Hey, Orn! It’s been a week!
The first person to speak to me when I entered the room was Hurt-san of <Red Copper Late Haze>, who was sitting on the sofa and relaxing as if he were at his own parents’ house.
I don’t know, it’s kinda brazen.
“You must be Mr. Orn… First of all, thank you for saving the city.
The Marquis of Forgas stands up when he sees me and thanks me with a bow.
(Marquis Forgath with all his pride bows to me?)
I couldn’t catch up with it because it came out of nowhere.
And what was the first thing he said? Did he say, “Are you Mr. Orn? That sounded like he’d never seen me before.
“… It’s been a long time, Mr. Forgath. It’s been a long time, Mr. Hurt.
You used to be a member of the heroes’ party. So you know me.
“Master Forgath, you don’t understand… Orn, this man has amnesia. He has no memory of the last ten years. That means he doesn’t know who you are.
I just let out a dumb sound.
Amnesia? No memory of the last ten years?
“So it seems. Now that the initial recovery is underway, I wanted to talk to you here… Orn, please take a seat.
I’m puzzled by Mr. Harte’s bombshell, but I follow the Marquis’ instructions and sit down next to Mr. Harte.
“Now, Mr. Hurt, why don’t you tell us Tell me the truth about what I caused ・・・・・・ the other day.”
… The Marquis caused it?
Is the Marquis responsible for what happened the other day?
“Okay. As far as I can tell, I honestly don’t know if Forgath is responsible for what happened the other day, but from what Luna told me. But from what Luna’s told me, I’m guessing it was Forgath-sama.”
Mr. Hurt’s tone surprises me, but the Marquis doesn’t seem to mind.
Let’s hear what Mr. Hurt has to say.
“Forgive me if I’m out of line, but Lady Forgath’s amnesia was caused by Philly Carpenter. Her gift is altered perception. She can rewrite memories. This is a guess, but Lady Forgath has been altered many times over the past decade.”
The letter alone shows that it is an extraordinary heterogeneity.
And if there really is such a thing as [alteration of perception], it would explain the discomfort I’ve been feeling lately from the people involved in the Yuusha Party.
Is it natural to assume that she’s involved in their transformation as well?
… If this story’s true.
“Perhaps Master Forgath has learned too much ・・・・・ in the last decade. And I think she had her memories wiped to cut them down. Whether she’s alive because of her whims or because she had something in mind, I don’t know.”
I had wondered why Philly Carpenter, who was unknown in Tutrail, had made it into the heroes’ party, but it would make sense if she and the Marquis were connected.
“And I believe Oliver was driven mad by Mr. Forgath’s fear of being punished by Philly. I’m sorry, I can’t tell you how he did it. It could happen again.”
“So you’re saying that Oliver’s actions were under the direction of Master Forgath?”
“No, I don’t think that’s what he’s telling you to do. Forgath doesn’t get any credit for destroying the city. I think he wanted Oliver to hit Philly. Oliver’s strength is unmatched when he’s out of control. I think Orn understands that better than anyone.”
“… I know. Oliver was so strong back then.
I did my best to keep him alive, to keep my sword sharp, but I was buffing him seven times over. I gave it everything I had. And I still lost.
“So you didn’t mean to destroy the city, but I ended up causing it to be destroyed.”
“Well, I guess you’re right. And I’m sorry to follow this up, but the flood of hexenbiests is probably due to Oliver’s outburst.
What does that mean?
“It’s Philly again, causing that flood. He’s a hard worker, that guy… Maybe Oliver’s out of control and his plan fell apart. I’m thinking that he caused the flood of hexenbiests to correct his plan. Well, I don’t know what he was planning, and I don’t know how the flooding is connected to fixing his plan, but I’m sure he was planning something.”
I thought that the flooding was a man-made disaster, but I was still surprised when I was told that it was actually so.
A man controlling a hexenbiest. Is this another application of altered perception?
Mr. Hurt, who is she?
“He’s a member of the Order of Cyclamen. He’s not just a member of the Cyclamen, he’s a very senior member of the clan.”
<The Cyclamen Order is a criminal group that’s one of the two biggest crime syndicates in the world.
You’re a senior officer there?
“I’ve been in close contact with such a person… So this whole thing is because of me…
“I’m just saying, there’s a lot of speculation here. That doesn’t mean it’s true. I’m sure I’m right to a point.”
The room fell silent for the last time.
Mr. Hurt has a look of having said all he has to say, and the Marquis is thinking with his eyes closed.
After a moment of silence, the Marquis opens his mouth.
“Thank you for telling me, Mr. Hurt. I guess I have to pay for my sins. I’ll take responsibility and resign my position as lord.
The Marquis thought about it and his answer was to depose his lord.
I see. It is true that one of the ways to take responsibility is to step down from your current position.
… But I can’t overlook that choice.
“Is it to atone for one’s sins that one must renounce one’s lordship?”
I ask the Marquis.
“Yes. If I go public with your story now, Hurt, I won’t be punished. So I’m getting off my ass.”
“It’s true that what you just said may have been Mr. Hurt’s imagination. There’s no clear evidence.
Hurt-san is going to say “Hey…” to him. Ignoring his quip, she looks straight at the Marquis and spins more words.
“In the absence of evidence, I do not believe you will be punished, as Forgath said. I suppose one way to take responsibility would be to step down from your position as lord… But I don’t think that will atone for your crimes.”
I’ve got a lot of emotions swirling around inside me.
“If you are truly willing to atone for your sins, then hang on to your lordship’s chair and work hard for the sake of those who have suffered this tragedy. Isn’t it your duty now to restore the city as soon as possible and reassure the people you’re supposed to protect?”
I know it’s not my place to say this.
But the words just keep coming.
“If what Mr. Hurt said is true, I can’t forgive you. For causing Oliver pain, for hurting so many innocent people… But if you feel guilty and your desire to atone for your sins is real, please don’t run away.”
I say what I have to say, and the room goes quiet again.
“… So my choice was escape.
The Marquis muttered quietly with a lonely expression on his face.
I’m sorry to be so impertinent.
“No, good. I think you’re right, Orn. I guess I haven’t faced my sins squarely enough. It’s true that I’ve always taken them as someone else’s problem because I don’t remember them.”
“It is what it is. I know I’ve said a lot of things, but it’s Philly Carpenter. In a way, Lady Forgath is a victim of that. I don’t care if the lords stay or change. But you seem to be doing us a favor right now, and I’m glad you’re still lord.”
Mr. Hurt says that in a mischievous way.
Perhaps he was trying not to make the Marquis feel too guilty.
“Thank you both. I swear to you here. I will make this the best city in the world.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I like the vibe of this town. If it’s even better, I’m not complaining.”
“Master Forgath, may I ask you a question?”
Once we’re in a good mood, I call on the Marquis to ask him a question that I’ve been wondering about since the beginning.
What is it?
“I’m here to talk about why I was called here. Was it to tell me about Mr. Hurt?”
Yeah, I’m not exactly sure why I’m here.
It was certainly a great opportunity to hear Mr. Hurt’s story.
I will check if this is true or not, but it is a good start.
But I didn’t think it was just to make you listen to this.
“Yeah, there’s that too. You’re being called a hero now for saving the city from Oliver’s clutches and wiping out the hexenbiests at the south gate. I thought you deserved to know the story, being the biggest contributor to this whole thing.”
The Marquis is right. The other day the papers mentioned me as a hero for stopping the city from damaging itself by capturing Oliver.
The explorer known as <Hero> is already in the Empire.
“I see.” And what’s the other reason?
“Unofficially, I thought I’d do you a favor. I turned your only homeworld into a sinner. And yet you covered for me. I’ll do whatever I can to help. What do you want from me?”
You asked for it… Maybe the timing’s right.
I was going to go directly to the Marquis later, so here we go.
“Thank you for your consideration. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a favor to ask…”
I told the Marquis what I wanted.
As for this, even if he refuses, I’m sure I can manage on my own.
But it would take a lot of time and effort on my own, so I would be very grateful if the Marquis could help me.
“…. I see.”
The Marquis hears what I want and mutters with a mysterious expression.
We have all the evidence we need to charge her with kidnapping. How hard can it be?
“… As I’m sure you’re aware, “he” is a difficult one. But he’s not going to get the maximum punishment because we already have a deal in place. You can rest assured of that. If it’s not him, I promise I’ll get to you soon.”
Well, of course.
Look, I know it’s not something we can deal with right now.
Just hearing the Marquis say there will be no capital punishment is enough for now.
“Yes. Yes, I understand. Can you do that for me, please?”
“Okay. Let’s talk about this.
“…. I look forward to working with you.”
Then I had a meeting with the Marquis for a while.
I’m happy I got it down to something I’m comfortable with.
But this meeting has made me realize once again that the Marquis is a brilliant man.
There should have been a gap of ten years, but I didn’t feel it at all during the meeting.
I’m simply amazed at the ability of the people who govern a large city with a foreign substance called the Grand Labyrinth.
I was convinced that with such knowledge, brains, and power, it would be easy to commit the perfect crime.
… Now, he doesn’t remember, and there’s no evidence, so we’ll never really know if he’s guilty or not.
I’ll never forgive you for what you did to Oliver, but I think it’s safe to trust you with the reigns of the lords.
The next time you try to harm something I care about, I’ll make sure you don’t get away with it.
“Mm. I’ll take care of it… I’m sorry to have taken up so much of your time today, both of you. I look forward to seeing more of you as explorers.”
I’m going to get into the Forgaths’ carriage after I leave the house with Mr. Harte who was relaxing next to me while I was meeting with the Marquis.
“Hey, Orn. Can I ask you something?”
Mr. Hurt, who’s sitting across from me, calls out to me.
Okay. What is it?”
“How did you catch Oliver? I wasn’t watching you two fight the whole time, but when I saw you, you were outnumbered.”
Harte-san, with a serious expression on his face, stares straight at me.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Hurt this serious before.
“… Believe it or not, I don’t remember much.”
“I found myself incapacitating Oliver…”
I was sure I wouldn’t be satisfied with such an answer, but Mr. Harte didn’t press me any further.
I’m glad we’re not being pursued, but why?
So, can I ask you one more question?
When I think about it, Harte-san opens his mouth again.
“Will you continue to be an explorer in the Night Sky Silver Rabbit?”
Why are you asking me that? Are you trying to get me to do something for you?
“I’m the clan leader and I can’t leave so easily. And even without the executive thing, I like the clan I’m in and I’m not going to leave it.”
Mr. Hurt closed his mouth for the last time.
I didn’t understand what you were asking, but I guess that means you’re okay with it anyway, right?
Well, I’ll call on you this time.
Mr. Hurt, I have a favor to ask you.
A favor? Orn for me?
Yes. It’s for you, Hurt.
“… Depends on what it is. What’s that?”
“I’d like to learn more about Ki Ki… I’d like you to tell me more about Ki.