16-38. [Judicial Nation] Sheriffald (2)
Satou here. There's a lot of games and dramas with trial and tribulation as their theme, but it sure is easy to lose track of the foreshadowing and the characters, you end up not feeling the catharsis at the final reversal scene, isn't it.
『--O God. Just God we all revere.』
We're performing the Conveyance Ceremony while being shined on by the indigo blue light at the Urion Main Temple.
The ritual's procedures are the same as with all the main temples so far.
The Miko-san this time is a woman in her forties who has an aura like a morning in severe winter.
『Ye who challenge the trial with justice in heart.』
Voice of a strict sounding man echoed in my mind.
This seems to be God Urion's voice.
『Expose wrongdoings, and pass down righteous judgment』
A golden scale adorned with plain-looking ornaments flashed in my mind.
This must be the Divine Treasure of God Urion I heard at the diner yesterday, the 『Golden Scale』 Urlirab.
『Do so, and I will grant you my mark.』
The trial this time didn't have, "Once people revere my name far and wide" stuff.
『Don't I need to make the people revere you?』
『Right the injustice, you who challenge the trial.』
I got a reply for once, but it still didn't feel like we had an actual conversation.
Unfortunately, there was no more reply or instruction as the god cut off the connection.
He was the least problematic god compared to the last two in this regard, but it really does feel like they're not good at playing catch with words.
"Thank you for your hard work, Satou-san."
I wipe my sweat with the towel Zena-san handed me.
"And so, what was the god's order like?"
"Arisa, please pick your words a bit..."
"Hoe? What was the oracle from the God like?"
Apparently, Sera still wasn't pleased with Arisa's revision, she looked like she was getting a headache.
"『Expose wrongdoings, Pass down righteous judgment』 and 『Right the injustice』 I think?"
"Hee, doesn't seem like it needs a publicity stunt this time."
Well, since it seems like gods need people's faith and prayers anyway, I plan to make it happen even it's low on the list.
"So, any idea about the wrongdoings and injustice parts?"
"I'm not a god you know, hard to grasp everything in a country I just arrived at."
I replied to Arisa while smiling wryly.
"Perhaps it's something like the trial earlier?"
"I don't think such a small court trial like that could be considered a trial from god."
Zena-san and Sera exchanged words.
"For the time being, I'm going to change into Kuro and get in touch with the advance unit of Echigoya Firm."
There's no branch office of Echigoya Firm in this country, thus I had dispatched some personnels from the firm here right after I was tasked with the God's Trials.
I left the personnel selection to the manager, but considering they were handpicked by such a capable woman, I'm sure they have acquired information needed.
"You're postponing the stuff with Saga Empire hero?"
Arisa's question made me remember.
Oh right, Saga Empire hero Seigi was in this country.
"Don't think there's any need to get involved with him in particular."
I expect the hero to be just befitting of a hero.
I've got a feeling that we'd get ourselves entangled in some unnecessary trouble if we carelessly approach the guy.
We're set to leave Urion Main Temple while conversing as such.
"--Oh my? Are they doing something at the sanctuary?"
Arisa keenly found the place I tried to ignore.
I don't want to get close to there since Hero Seigi is currently present over there.
"Let's have a closer look!"
Arisa ran toward the sanctuary before I could stop her.
"Is there some kind of event taking place?"
"It might be a kind of ritual considering it's a sanctuary."
Sera pulled my hand as I walked next to Zena-san toward the sanctuary.
Well, I might find the villain that would work to be the target in this trial, might as well take a peek.
"There's so many people here."
We opened the door and was greeted with hot air and a rustling crowd.
They're holding some kind of trial inside the sanctuary it seems.
"That must be the divine treasure of God Urion, 『Golden Scale』 Urlirab."
Sera pointed at a golden colored scale beyond the crowd.
"I wonder what kind of trial is it? Isn't that blue armor standing in front of the judge a hero?"
I affirmed Arisa's question.
"Let's get a bit closer."
Arisa pushed herself into the crowd.
This little girl is so full of curiosity as always.
"We should go too."
I turned around to ask for Zena-san and Sera's opinion, and approved of what their gazes told me.
While we were proceeding in the crowd, Attentive Ears skill picked up the content of the trial beyond the rustling crowd.
"I was just watching over her from a distance!"
"You didn't even have her permission!"
The blue armored hero Seigi is a boy with a small build of around middle schooler age.
From what can be seen, he looks like the type that likes to sweat out his youth at athletic clubs.
On the other hand, the muscular man appealing for his innocence looks somewhat similar.
"Doesn't he look like the person who was standing in front of the bakery yesterday?"
Sera didn't seem like she remember, but Zena-san's words jogged my memory.
He's the 100-man platoon commander who was acting like a stalker in front of the bakery.
"But the woman on the opposite side does look kind of familiar."
Sera looks at the girl behind Hero Seigi.
It was the girl who delivered bread to the diner we were at.
Come to think of it, she had an anxious look on her face or something.
"Like I said, you're a stalker!"
Hero Seigi shouted out loud.
The trial proceeded on while we were talking it seems.
"Stalk 'er? Stop saying unintelligible crap you!"
The Golden Scale tilted a bit toward the 100-man platoon commander when he shouted.
As it got translated correctly, the term stalker must exist in this world, but it seems he doesn't understand what it means.
"You don't even know stalker, you muscle for brain!"
"Are you mockin' me! Even if you're a hero, yer' attitudes ain't acceptable with those who protect the people of Judicial Nation Sheriffald!"
The Golden Scale tilted further when the commander chided the hero's insult.
I don't really get the mechanism, but apparently, the scale while tilt depending on the back and forth arguments during the trial.
Arisa muttered in a low voice.
『Stalkers must die, no mercy.』
Since she's connected to me as a familiar, her inner voice reached me.
Looks like she has some kind of personal grudges with stalkers.
"But I shouldn't jump to conclusions. First, gotta get better understandings--"
Arisa shakes her head left and right.
"Hey hey, mind if you tell me what happened?"
Arisa began to talk in a low voice.
At the end of her line of sight, the bakery girl is looking around restlessly.
Looks like she's initiated a conversation through space magic.
"I was just watching over her from afar and persuaded away vulgar men who tried to flirt with her."
『No, he must be lying about persuading them. Our regulars, were hurt.』
I could hear the bakery girl's voice through Arisa.
"I love her! I'm sure she must not think bad of me too."
『Is that true?』
『W-wrong! That man is just a regular customer.』
『Like, a customer you just don't know how to deal with?』
I can see what's happening now.
The man who's a poor talker must have misunderstood the girl's business smile and went crazy with his desire to monopolize her.
"Why're they doing Trial before God for such a small case like this?"
"Ain't that cause hero-sama is on the plaintiff's side?"
Attentive Ears skill picked up nearby audience's conversation.
Looks like there are people with the same doubt as mine.
Saga Empire is very close by to this country after all, their heroes' reputation must be bigger than I assumed here.
"That's just your selfish assumption!"
"You might be right! Even so, I only wanted to protect her smile."
The scale is gradually tilting toward the commander while hero Seigi is running around in circle.
I'm guessing that the trial will be decided when the scale is fully tilted to one side.
This trial would end in hero's defeat in another 1-2 round if this kept up.
"Ah, geez! I can't stand this anymore!"
Arisa who got informed of the situation through space magic charged into the courtroom while shouting.
I could have caught her at a moment notice, but if the fired-up Arisa did a short-range warp here, she would stand out too much, so I let her slip.
Arisa stood next to hero Seigi and shouted out loud.
"Who goes there! You fool who dared to intrude upon a Trial before God, fear the God!"
"I'm Arisa Tachibana, an advocate!"
Arisa grandly shouted back at the judge.
"Since this quack hero doesn't seem to be good with words, I'm here to act in his stead."
Hero Seigi who was going to rebut choked on his words when he saw Arisa.
He's beet red up to his ears, is he not accustomed to being around girls or something.
Arisa used the chance to talk to the bakery girl while hero Seigi was mumbling incoherently.
"I have gotten the plaintiff's approval. We will be changing advocate."
The trial continued once the presiding judge confirmed the bakery girl's nodding approval.
"I would like to confirm four things! Answer me with 『Yes』 or 『No』."
Arisa look up confidently at the 100-man platoon commander.
"First question, you said you were watching over the bakery. Was that a part of your official duty?"
"It's not! It's out of good will."
"Just answer me with 『Yes』 or 『No』. Which one?"
The commander replied with a dissatisfied look.
"Second question, have you asked for the permission from the girl in question or from the bakery?"
"Good deeds must be done indiscreetl--"
"Your answer with 『Yes』 or 『No』?"
I kinda get what Arisa is trying to do here.
She's trying to exclude all the commander's superfluous excuses, pick up only the fact and sort out the hearers mind.
"Third question, have you ever ordered male customers of the bakery to not come back there?"
"『Yes』 or 『No』."
The commander keeps silent.
The anger leaking out of him is making the bakery girl behind Arisa turn pale.
"What's wrong? You don't want to answer?"
Without caring for the glares full of murderous intent from the commander, Arisa continued on.
Arisa has space magic [Reflect Protection] with her after all, from the veteran Arisa's point of view, this commander probably looks like nothing more than a paper tiger.
"Next and last question, have you ever used violence on the people you ordered not to come?"
"I would never do that! It's, no."
The commander looks down on Arisa with a triumphant face.
"He's lying! My Unique Skill granted by Parion-sama 『Justice Mind Eye (There is Only One Truth)』 informed me that it was a lie!"
The hero shouted.
The presiding judge turns back toward the Truth Discerners behind him.
Apparently those Truth Discerners are bearers of [Eyes of Conviction] gift and [Fathom] skill.
"The defendant has not told a lie."
"The hero has not given a false testimony"
I see, the pattern where both are correct huh.
"Then, let me change the last question."
Arisa appeared to have anticipated this patter as she continued her inquiry without a hint of unrest.
My eyes met with Arisa suddenly.
"No, I know a better method. Master, come here for a bit."
Arisa beckoned me.
『Could you woo bread girl-chan for a bit, please.』
『You're asking me to be a sacrificial lamb?』
I step toward the bakery girl as requested by Arisa.
『Try to do it where the judge and defendant could see, thankies』
"Hey you're one cutie pie. How about it, fancy cruising the sky on an airship together with me after this stuff is over?"
I embrace the bakery gir's waist, and whisper to her with her hair in my other hand.
"You bastard! The hell you think you're doing to Wekwi!"
The 100-man platoon commander jumped and rushed out at once, grabbed me by neck and glared like he was going to kill me.
Apparently he also has [Coercion] skill active, though I'm not sure if it's a conscious decision or not.
It won't surprise me if commoners run away faced against this kind of menacing attitudes.
In fact, the presiding judge behind me had fallen into [Panic] state for a short while.
"Thank you Master. That should be good enough as a demonstration."
With the help of Escape and Ninjutsu skill, I slipped out of the commander's hand and evacuated the center of the courtroom.
Of course, I did so after I apologized to the bakery girl for making her go through embarrassing and scary moments.
"Let me ask again. Were you exerting violence just now?"
"D'ya have holes for eyes! Did it look like violence to you?!"
"Answer my question."
"I did not. No."
Arisa seems to be satisfied with that answer, she turns around toward the judge.
"In other words, according to the defendant, what he did just now was 『not exerting violence』."
The judge nods with a serious look.
The atmosphere in the courtroom is tilting toward Arisa due to the chain of events just now.
Even the scale whose tilting slightly changed knows that.
This time she's asking the bakery girl's side.
"Hey, have you ever asked for help whenever a customer tried to flirt with you?"
"N-no. It happens often when I'm running the counter so..."
"Well, figured as much."
Arisa continues further.
"While not in his official duty as a national soldier, not on the request of the bakery owner or the girl, this guy was monitoring the bakery with personal motives, and even though she didn't ask for help, he coerced only those who 『tried to flirt with the bakery girl』 with terrible attitudes like he demonstrated earlier--are all this normal in this country?"
Arisa paused a bit to wait for the audience to chew through her words, and then she spoke of that query.
The scale tilts toward Arisa.
"That guy punched me!"
"He only pushed me, but then he threatened me that there is no next time!"
It seems like there were people who had experience of getting threatened by the commander among the crowd.
They were probably too scared to present their testimony until now.
"My my? Didn't you say you never exert violence?"
"T-that's not violence. It's just retribution!"
"Then let me rephrase my question. Did you get 『physical』 with the people you ordered not to come back?"
The 100-man platoon commander isn't answering.
But it's obvious from his expression.
CLANK, with that sound, the scale completely tilted toward Arisa.
"The scale has shown us! I will hereby pass judgment!"
The judge who had turned into air shouted out loud.
Ultimately, the commander is sentenced to reimburse the customers he injured and is prohibited to follow around the bakery girl per recommended sentence.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Thank you, Arisa-chan."
Hero Seigi spoke to Arisa.
"I don't really need your thanks. I was just trying to save this bread girl--Wekwi-san from the torment of a stalker."
Hero Seigi muttered, "She's so modest", as if Arisa's cold attitudes never transpired.
"You are exactly the one who stands above nobility, fit to be my attendant! Arisa-chan! Come join my hero party!"
Hero Seigi tried to solicit Arisa into his party.
Is it just my imagination or are there heart marks on his pupils.
"Ew no. I don't wanna be your attendant."
"Ok then! I'm a man myself. Be my, lover--no, my wife!"
Uwaa, he went straight to proposing right after getting rejected.
"I am faithful to only one. I don't need no isekai cheat harem! I'll love only you, s-so be my wife!"
With 90's bowing style, he presented his hand straight to Arisa.
It looks like proposals I saw in late-night shows during my childhood.
『Oh noo, Arisa-chan is getting popular~?』
Arisa took a glance here.
『What to do Master, look away for a sec and Arisa-chan might just get whisked away you know~?』
Her inner voice directly transmitted to me.
I gaze at Arisa with Poker Face (expressionless) skill on.
『H-huh? No response? A-are you saying Arisa-chan isn't needed? Like disposing bad inventory? T-that can't be, right? Hey? Master, please say somethiiiiiiing』
It's getting amusing, but leaving this alone any further would make things later on a pain, so I step forward and stop in front of Arisa and Hero Seigi.
"Nice to meet you, Hero Seigi-dono. I'm Earl Satou Pendragon. Arisa is an important companion of mine. Sorry, but I'm not gonna yield even if I'm up against a hero of Saga Empire."
While being careful not to use polite speech, I cover Arisa from Hero Seigi's line of sight.
『Yaan, oh you master, employing such a high level technique like tease play. Geez, you m-e-a-n-i-e.』
Arisa is poking her finger on my back.
Since it's distracting, I cut off the thought connection to Arisa who's started to go into overdrive.
"I am more befitting of Arisa-chan than you!"
His attendant stops the shouting Hero Seigi in a fluster.
"Please wait, Seigi-sama. This person is dangerous."
"What is? Just cause he's a noble? So he's an earl of a minor country, so what! I'm hero! I'm great!"
The hero talked back like a spoiled kid to the beautiful woman who whispered into his ears, seemingly his attendant.
--What is he, a child.
If he's really a middle schooler, he should act a bit more mature than this, maybe because the other party is his subordinate?
"Incorrect, he's of Shiga Kingdom--a great power rivaling Saga Empire--"
"What great power! It can't even kill demon lords without me, can it? Even a country shouldn't be allowed to stop heroes from recruiting personnels--"
"Have you forgotten. He's Pendragon."
"And what about it! You know I'm not good with history and memorization. There's no way I can memorize names of nobles in another world!"
The female attendant looked like she got a headache from hero Seigi's remark.
"I will repeat myself. He is Pendragon. Pendragon the Demon Lord Slayer."
"D-demon lord slayer? The one who beat one of the two demon lords that appeared in a fight along with the previous generation hero?"
"Correct. That Pendragon."
I'm not fond of that introduction, it's like I'm some kind of dangerous character.
"S-so what if he's Pendragon! It's already decided Arisa-chan better go with me!"
"Sorry, pass. I made a promise to Master I would marry him, so no can do~"
Arisa hugs my arm and rubs her face on it like a cat.
Rather than her trying to provoke Hero Seigi, it feels more like she's giving in to her lust.
"L-let's have a match!"
I ended up taking a long hard look at the shouting hero Seigi.
"I am more befitting of Arisa-chan! So if I win the match, hand over Arisa-chan!"
Treating people like commodity.
"Does the hero like getting thoroughly beaten to a pulp? Don't tell me, a masochist?"
Arisa roused hero Seigi further.
"Seigi-sama, Demon Lord Slayer-dono is rumored to be of equal level to the previous generation hero Hayato-sama. A direct confrontation is honestly too dangerous for the present Seigi-sama."
The female attendant whispered calmly.
"N-no! It's not a fight!"
Hero Seigi shouted out at the attendant and Arisa.
After mumbling for awhile while looking down, hero Seigi raised his face.
Looking like he's hit upon a good idea.
"We're at Judicial Nation Sheriffald here!"
"So we're gonna have a roundup match!"
"The one who managed to annihilate the heinous crime syndicate that gnaws at this country, Dujii, is the winner!"
"Hee, heinous huh..."
--That might be just the right target for the trial.
Apparently it was a bad idea to even ponder here.
"But, I have no intention--"
--Hero Seigi had disappeared before I could finish talking.
Man, he sure acts unnecessarily fast.
"It should be fine right. I mean, there's no one better at finding people than Master, is there?"
Arisa sent an awkward wink as she said that.
Well, I guess so.
I open the Map and look for crime syndicate Dujii.
And the result is--
※Next update is planned for 3/11