16-41. [Judicial Nation] Sheriffald (5)
Satou here. Things that are right to you may not necessarily apply to everyone. Self-righteousness sure can easily run wild, surprisingly enough.
"To reiterate, you claim that the people on this list have created a fictitious crime syndicate known as Dujii to be a cover to conceal their criminal activities?"
The Chief of Judicial Bureau sighed as he looked at the list.
After we were done with preparations, I got to the Central Judicial Bureau through the Main Urion Temple's miko's connection.
The Chief's name isn't on this list.
"However, I only have evidence for around half of them--"
"And those evidence are?"
"That will be for the Trial before God."
After I told the Chief that, the henchmen who had their names on the list all began to verbally abuse me.
Well, I pay them no heed so I've got not clue what they're saying.
"Why not, we should accept it, Chief. It will be a good chance to prove our innocence in front of God and other members of diet."
The man who said that was the one whose name is on top of the list, the handsome vice-chief.
The Chief turned a dubious look at the guy's unexpected remark.
"Our innocence will be guaranteed by the 『Golden Scale』."
The lackeys open their mouth all at once after the confident remark of the vice-chief.
"T-that's right! Those participating in the Trial before God are our cohorts, ladies and gentlemen with judicial qualification!"
"They will surely believe in our innocence!"
"The Scale is always on our side!"
I'm sure they know about the Golden Scale's mechanism too.
"Sir Pendragon, we will acknowledge the exercise of Trial before God. However, I assume you are aware that if you were to lose in this trial, that is the same as throwing mud in the honored faces of your country administrative?"
"Yes, of course. Whether it's a fine in the number that rivals national budget, or the magic sword Demon Slayer that's slain a demon lord, we would yield you any item you so desired as a reimbursement if it ever comes to that."
Oh crap, Deception skill went haywire for a bit there.
There's no such thing as magic sword Demon Slayer, I've gotta make one later.
The Chief gave his agreement after looking at my face for a while.
The flow of events so far happened exactly like we had arranged last night.
"--Vice Chief Bupa and you guys, you are fine with it, correct?"
"Yes, everything under the just law."
The vice-chief replied sarcastically at the Chief.
『Arisa, they acknowledged the trial here. How's the preparation for the guest over there, ready to go?』
『You betcha! I got it under control quick.』
I'm talking with Arisa through space magic [Telephone].
Even though it was a sudden visit on her part, looks like Arisa cleared it with her charm.
『Coming too fast would throw a wrench in this plan, make sure to match the timing okay.』
『OK, wanna match our clock so there won't be any [margin of error]?』
Arisa was seemingly referencing something but since I couldn't recall what it was from, I gave her some random "Yeah let's", and changed the call to the next person.
『Satou-san, her highness Sistina's golems are helping with the installation over here, we should be able to make it in time.』
『Thank you, Sera-san.』
Looks like they're done with installing a device that telecasts video at the plaza.
It will be showing masterpiece paintings and world's pretty scenery until the appointed time.
There should be quite a crowd gathered by the time the trial starts.
『Forgive me, Satou-san. I'm still not done with the construction.』
Zena-san gave that reply when I checked on her progress.
『Was there a problem?』
『Yes actually, I saw the beastkin-san we helped in the first day getting chased by some hoodlums, so I went to save him...』
Being unable to overlook oppression of the weak is truly like Zena-san.
Apparently the people chasing the beastkin weren't the store manager in that trial but the human men who were working in the same store.
Zena-san suppressed those men and towed them to the guards.
『I'll absolutely make sure to finish it before the time.』
『Please don't beat yourself over it. Don't worry, I'll send reinforcement your way, Zena-san.』
Selecting personnel is my job.
After telling the sorry Zena-san not to worry about it, I ask Hikaru at the Solitary Island Palace for help.
『You sure you want to let Shiga Kingdom be wide open?』
『No worries. There hasn't been any suspicious activity there for a while, and we have guard golems and Echigoya members around too.』
After equipping Hikaru with anti-backdoor items like Arisa and Sera, I Unit Arranged her to the airship at the outskirts and tasked her to help Zena-san.
When I saw ChuuFat who peeked out of my breast pocket, I remembered that the Sage Mice who make up the information network at Shiga Kingdom had come here.
Well, it's not like we're living in some game or manga, no way the end would immediately begin the moment a flag was raised.
"--Under these suspicion, they are accused to be the ones behind Crime Syndicate Dujii."
Boos and jeers erupted from people who also weren't in the list after the indictment was read aloud at the Trial before God.
The presiding judge was shouting, "Keep silent!" while waving around a handbell-like thing, but most couldn't shut their mouths.
"Please keep it down."
I silenced the bad mannered people with wind magic [Wide Area Silence].
As you'd expect from an anti-magician group spell, the effect is outstanding.
I could have used [Compulsion (Geass)] skill if I wanted to, but that would faint people who tried to disobey it, so I refrained.
I cancel the spell on people who are unrelated like the judge, the temple head and miko.
When I winked at the temple head, he noticed that his voice would come out, and then he proceeded to speak.
"It appears that the disgrace displayed at the Trial before God has brought upon God Urion's wrath."
With the temple head's declaration, the people in the hall turned pale.
The huge Weasel Empire having been obliterated in a single night by way of Divine Punishment seems to be still fresh in their memories.
Even though my tale of demon lord slaying never reached here, news about the downfall of Weasel Empire probably did through Saga Empire.
"Those who wish to let their voice be known, raise your hand and wait for my approval as a presiding judge before you speak out."
Once the judge reminded them of something really obvious, I canceled [Wide Area Silence] on everyone.
"Are you siding with that swindling foreigner hiding behind God's name! You traitor--"
Suddenly, an old man who was a part of the booers began to sling abusive language along with his saliva, so I made him quiet for a bit with wind magic [Dyspnea].
This is an arranged version of wind magic [Suffocation] to make it non-fatal.
The target will breathe normally once they calm down, so this spell is perfect for these troublesome people.
"Quiet. You are in God's presence. Once again--"
The trial finally begins for real once the judge re-state his warning.
<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.>
"--I understand the content of the indictment. However, aren't all the information come from rumors you've seen and heard, sire? Is that no difference than a false accusation then. Do you have evidence with you, sire?"
Vice-chief objected politely.
The [Golden Scale] greatly tilted toward him, maybe thanks to his composure.
Yup, just as planned.
"Sir Pendragon, please submit your evidence."
"Very well. If you'd please witness this--<<Image Projection>>."
I took out a mysterious glittering object from my breast pocket, and recited some convincing-sounding Command Words.
This mysterious object is a gem made from processed special sap called Alua, it produces beautiful glittering light on the surface of the object if you circulate your mana into it.
By the way, this object is the latest creation of the up-and-coming artist, Tama-sensei.
If I'm not mistaken the title was [Crowd Dancing Millet Jelly].
While thinking about such, I produced a screen in the air and projected the footage recorded yesterday on it.
At the same time, I put up On-Screen Windows on top of the projection to display the crimes those people have committed.
While the audience was getting surprised, I added more display windows that had the recording details.
"So you were the culprit of that incident!"
"You bastard, you were connected to the scoundrels who injured my uncle!"
"No, those pictures must be some kind of mistakes!"
"Come to think of it, I saw that guy coming out of your mansion!"
The great hall of the Trial before God is wrapped in tumult of pandemonium.
Even the usually always calm judge seemed to be overwhelmed by the impact of the moving pictures.
Well, since it's a world where recording equipment are artifacts you'd excavate from Furu Empire era, this reaction is probably only natural when they're shown near-futuristic screening like this.
And thus, the [Golden Scale] scoops out the change in the audience's deep psyche and tilts toward me.
My victory is all but guaranteed as long as this keeps up.
However, that would not satisfy the condition of God Urion's Trial then.
The sound of a bell resounded once the [Golden Scale] completely tilted to one side.
That sound greatly lowered the tumult volume.
"Everyone, be quiet--"
The Vice-chief calmed people down in place of the flustered judge.
I muted the sound while the footage is still rolling.
Of course there were people who kept on hammering on without caring, so I shut them up with [Dyspnea] chantlessly.
The vice-chief who had a refreshing martyr-like expression on his face continued on while pointing at the completely tilted scale.
"--It appears that I cannot shirk away any longer from this. With our dignity as the watchdogs of law, let us confess to all our crimes and serve our sentence."
The vice-chief called for the people around him.
The majority of those people were looking down on the ground in despair, but some were turning their eyes all over the places, still stubbornly trying to look for a way out.
The Chief is glaring at that Vice-Chief with a puzzled expression.
He must have felt something odd with the Vice-Chief who acted too gallantly.
The Chief glanced at me.
He might have sensed something wrong considering it went way too smooth.
"Those who have objection may come forward. Otherwise, I will proceed to read the sentence."
The judge announced that with a carrying voice.
A sound of door getting violently flung open stopped the judge who was going to state the sentence.
A boy donning blue colored armor stood in front of the door.