16-42. [Judicial Nation] Sheriffald (6)
Satou here. It's easy to predict moves of people who are true to their desires and objectives, regardless if they're just or evil. While it's not that simple to read the action patterns of altruistic people.
"That's Saga Empire's--"
The audience buzzed in whispers.
As if their words never reached Hero Seigi, he grandly stepped forward toward the judge.
Everyone's eyes are gathered at Hero Seigi.
Clad in faint blue light, his steps showed no hint of hesitation.
This boy sure is quite brazen considering he was just an ordinary middle schooler until only recently.
Arisa suddenly showed up next to me.
"Good work, Arisa. Your timing was perfect."
"Fer' sure. All that staling tactics were really tiresome, but it was all worth it after hearing Master's praise."
I had asked Arisa to bring Hero Seigi here at this timing.
Arisa is clinging on my arm while saying something like, "Hey Master, I don't mind perverted reward, you know?", but guess I should just ignore her like usual.
"Hero Seigi-dono, what do you have to object?"
The judge inquired Hero Seigi.
Hero Seigi covers his face with his hand and looks around at the surrounding people from between his fingers.
Blue light dwells in his eyes.
"--that you are evil! Pitch darker evil than anyone here!"
And then he vigorously pointed his finger at a certain person.
Inspector Starry behind the chief let out his surprise.
That's right, the one whom Hero Seigi pointed at was the Chief of the Central Judicial Bureau.
"The Ogre of Impartial Law is 『Evil』?"
"He may be a hero, but he's still a kid after all. Someone must have instigated him into it."
The people around us don't seem to think the Chief to be evil.
"I am evil you say? What evidence do you--"
"I'm the evidence!"
Hero declared so while being clad in blue light.
"The 『Justice Mind's Eye (There is only one Truth)』 and 『Evil Search (Where's the Bad People at)』 bestowed to me by Parion-sama informed me! That you are evil! In the name of Parion-sama, I declare here! You are evil!"
I think the chief was asking for evidence, but Hero Seigi made a declaration under god's name as if that didn't matter.
In a world where gods exist for real, the words of heroes beckoned by gods themselves carry much weight.
At the very least, the countless Truth Discerners here should be able to testify that he hasn't told a lie.
Still, nevertheless, some people just don't know when to give up.
"Without any evidence--"
『I went and made a fictitious organization and it was for nothing.』
Another voice overlapped with the Chief's.
"T-this is the chief's voice?"
"The chief's room."
A video showing the chief's back from diagonally above got projected here.
This recording was taken by the Sage Mice that had snuck in.
The image quality is not the best due to the limitation of the portable recorders, please don't mind it.
『We must prune out all the abscesses to turn this imperfect country into a perfect country only for justice, and humans. For the sake of destroying all evil--』
The recording stops there, so I make it repeat back to the beginning.
Since He wasn't going to show his true color even after all the shake-up, I made the Sage Mice to burn Confession Incenses before they could finally take the recording earlier, but his self-control was too strong, the monologue ended abruptly.
But there was no mention of [Crime Syndicate Dujii] in the recording, and no evidence that he knew about the crimes, thus I made use of Hero Seigi's Unique Skill and Hero's brand.
"I can't believe it was the chief who created Crime Syndicate Dujii..."
Inspector Starry who's under the Chief's protection fell on his knee.
"It appears that God Urion had foreseen everything."
While saying that to the Chief, I leveled the [Golden Scale] back.
"I-I did it for the sake of justice. To turn this country where injustice runs rampant into a perfectly just country..."
The vice-chief stepped forward and stopped in front of the chief who was talking to himself.
"No one person is completely clean."
"I know that much! That's why I'm going to eliminate evil--"
"What's the standard of that evil?"
"Isn't it obvious! The law of Sherrifald is justice! Anyone who violates the law is evil!"
They've started some troublesome conversation on their own somehow.
I was going to quickly end this by branding the Chief guilty by way of [Golden Scale] trinket, but the vice-chief went on to try to correct the chief's self-righteousness.
Next to me, Arisa is getting busy like, "That's not right!", "Yup, yeah, figured."
I turned around because I thought it was weird for Hero Seigi to keep silent in this situation, his mouth was wrapped in red bandage-like thing.
Seems to be the doing of the bandage user attendant from back then.
"W-was my justice mistaken all along..."
"Haste makes waste and only sows discords. Tomorrow rather than today, the day after tomorrow rather than tomorrow, we have no choice but to correct it little by little."
"That's why, you were--"
The Chief and the Vice-chief are now looking at each others' eyes.
I don't really care what happened afterward so long as I satisfied God Urion's order, but this would likely lead into a country without leadership if it kept up, so I decided to project the last recording.
『The illegal brewery has been exposed. Yet so many still demand liquor. If this keeps up, there will be more smugglers coming from Corrupt City Dodobu, and that country's cloud of influence will only grow larger. And it's Dodobu that houses many beastkin people who bear grudges on our country. None would be the wiser if they put something among the smuggled liquor... Dyeing your hands in evil to protect your country, what an irony...』
The content is not dissimilar to the one with the chief earlier, however no one jeered at this.
『Hero and an Earl who took on the [Trial of God Urion] huh.... I loathe to borrow the powers of foreigners, but this country has no capability to save itself from itself anymore. It shouldn't surprise anyone if they came to the conclusion that I'm the head of Dujii if they were to check on the documents. Perhaps I might as well confess and drag along people that Inspector Stary is investigating with me, laying bare this country's abscesses in broad daylight to public....』
There was no real need to show this scene, but I put it on the screen anyway.
"You're the true patriot!"
People who look like they've been overcome by emotions are praising vice chief.
About half of them seem to be acting, but since the vice-chief is needed to run this country, I'm keeping my mouth shut.
"But why? That guy's evil too y'know?"
Hero Seigi said that while looking like he couldn't comprehend, but unfortunately, it seemed to fall on deaf ears.
『--Thou has laid bare evils under light, and corrected injustice. I shall grant thee my mark.』
While being bathed in indigo light, I was informed of the trial's completion at Main Urion Temple's oracle room.
>Title [Urion's Mark] Acquired
>Title [One Approved by Urion] Acquired.
>Title [Urion Saint] Acquired
>Title [Urion Apostle] Acquired
>Title [Wiretapper] Acquired
>Title [Candid Shooter] Acquired
Delete the last two please, they make me look like a criminal.
My consciousness goes back to the temple after brief words of God Urion.
Inside a light dawning from heavens, particles of light gather into one item.
It's a spectacles with gilded rims adorned with an indigo colored gem called [Cyanite].
Unlike ordinary specs, the hinges are decorated with rustic and odd looking embossed carving.
According to AR readings, this [Golden Spectacles] is enhanced with an effect similar to Hero Seigi's Unique Skill, [Justice Mind's Eye], or [Eye of Conviction].
Feels like it's the first time I've gotten an item I wanted after all these trials.
After firmly refusing Head Temple's invitation to the feast celebrating the trial completion, I left the temple.
I mean the temple's meals are of the same bad tasting variety as the city's dinery.
<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 was met with a scene of Hero Seigi yelling [You're evil!] at a bakery shopkeeper in front of the store.
The shopkeeper was dragged away by the bandage attendant while shouting, "I'm not the only one! Everyone is doing it too!"
It kinda piqued my curiosity so I tasked Arisa and the girls to ask around about the situation.
Hero Seigi turned around when he noticed me.
"Did you come here to brag your victory, Pendragon?"
"The thought never crossed my mind."
Oh right, I forgot that we had a bet with Arisa at stake.
Looks like Hero Seigi has internalized me as the winner for exposing the crime syndicate Dujii.
"More importantly, could you tell me about the present day heroes?"
I tried asking him directly.
"The other heroes? Why would you ask that?"
"The previous hero, Hayato-sama had asked me to take care of the next generation heroes if I met them, you see."
It's not really an answer, but Hero Seigi is nodding, seemingly satisfied.
"Including me, there's four heroes that got summoned. You know Hero Meiko right?"
Looks like the group summoning rumor was true.
"Yeah I do. Apparently she's been going around helping regions that were damaged badly by the monster disasters."
Hero Seigi frowned in doubt when I said that.
"Help? That Meiko?"
"Is she not?"
"I know that she left the imperial capital, but I've got no clue where she's gone to. But I just can't imagine that girl doing such tedious stuff like helping people in need."
It's hard to judge whether this is his prejudice or the truth.
According to the Map's Marker Column, Hero Meiko is currently visiting a country protected by dragons, Dragg Kingdom.
I should check out Hero Meiko later.
"How about the other two? There's a hero called 『Explosive Flame』, Hero Yuuki, isn't there?"
"Hell naw, that Explosive Flame idiot Yuuki is no hero."
Hero Seigi spat out while saying that.
"That guy wields the powers given to him by God to only do as he pleases."
Well, it's no surprise if a middle schooler grew impudent when they're given such powers.
They're literally chosen by gods after all.
"If it's to defeat demons or monsters, he won't care even if the people in the area haven't finished evacuat--"
The civil official attendant rushed up and stood between me and Hero Seigi.
She must be working as a supervisor to prevent Hero Seigi from talking too much.
"Could you kindly refrain from forcefully trying to fish out internal info about Saga Empire from our young hero here? Earl Pendragon?"
The official attendant warned me with thorny tone.
"That wasn't my intention at all. Since I was asked by the previous hero Hayato-sama to lend my help to the next heroes, I was just trying to find out more about the current heroes within the acceptable scope."
"Is that right. However, as it could invite misunderstandings, please do so only when us attendants are present."
Seems like Saga Empire's heroes have it hard.
"I presume you're done with your talk, correct? If you'd please excuse us then."
The attendant tried to forcefully end the conversation.
"Sorry, I have one last question."
I haven't asked about the last hero.
"Seigi-dono, what kind of person is the last hero?"
"You mean Fuu? That guy is a shut-in, so I don't know much. They used Soul Art to make skeletons while grinning like--" <TLN: The hero's gender is not clear here.>
"Ah yea yea, I got it. I shouldn't talk bad about other heroes right? Geez, you're even more naggy than sensei."
The last hero, Fuu seems to be a shut-in.
Maybe they're similar to the Goblin Princess Yuika at Selbira's Labyrinth lower layer?
They seem to be good with Soul Art too, might get along with the pleasant bunch of reincarnated reincarnated people at the labyrinth's lower layer.
For the time being, I guess Hero Fuu is of no concern?
I'm curious about Hero Meiko too, but if I have to say, Hero Yuuki seems to be the one most prone to cause trouble.
"Let's go, Seigi. Well then, Earl Pendragon, excuse us."
The official took Hero Seigi away after leaving a courteous speech.
"Master, we've asked around."
Arisa told me what they heard about the bakery storekeeper.
Apparently, there was an underground bar below the bakery and it got exposed.
"I feel sorry for that bakery girl. Got followed around by a stalker and then her parents got arrested."
I just noticed that this bakery was the store from that time.
The punished 100-man platoon commander's words flashed on my mind--.
『Her parent said "I'm never giving my daughter to soldiers and guards."』
--I see. It was probably not because of "corrupt soldiers and guards", but that it would "expose the underground bar."
I feel refreshed now that one mystery was solved even though it was nothing major.
"Well, shall we head to the next country then."
"We couldn't find any sightseeing spots here after all."
I affirm the smiling Sera and then we leave [Judicial Nation] Sheriffald behind on the airship.
Additionally, as the beastkin that Zena-san saved was a local from a village near the corrupt city Dodobu, I employed him as a local representative to establish Echigoya Firm at the city.
Since there seems to be a lot of unfortunate beastkin with similar situations, having one that could receive them well would be swell.
I cleared God Urion's trial in two days, let's aim to clear the next God Zaikuon's trial quickly too.
Since he seems to be a god with a short fuse, it would be nice if it didn't end up with an abrupt "Fight with me."
Yeah, there's no way that would happen.
I set the airship's course toward our next destination, the place where Zaikuon Main Temple is located, the [Country of Transformation] Pier Rock.