The Hidden Side Of The Incident
A month has passed since I accompanied Ritona to the town near the castle. I feel like Ritona and I have become closer to each other since then. No, well… that could just be my wishful thinking though.
And then, one day, Hamira-san came back with good news.
“I found out where Karo is.”
“Yes, she’s in a country west of here. What do you want to do? It’s quite far but… shall we go still?”
“Of course! Please, let’s go.”
“Alright. If that’s what you want, let us go immediately.”
And so, we came to a town located in a country in the west where Karo-san lived.
It’s not that big of a town, but the house she’s living in is bigger than all the other houses here.
“Hamira, what brings you here after such a long time?”
Just like I had been told, Karo-san had a scar near her left eye. I wonder if she’s about the same age as Hamira-san. She has short hair and a beautiful face.
“Actually, this young man has something that he’d like to ask you.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Roush.”
“Oh. Well, come on in for the time being.”
We went into her home just like Karo-san had told us to, then we sat down after we were guided to some chairs.
Karo-san looked at me suspiciously.
“Well, umm, the thing I wanted to ask you about is the incident two years ago when the hero rescued Princess Ritona from the demon but…”
Karo-san was obviously agitated from hearing what I had said. However, after a little bit of a pause she said,
“I have no clue. What could you be talking about? If that’s all you’re here for, then can you go home?”
With that, she tried to send us home. It seems like she does not want to talk about that story at all.
When I was at a loss as to what to do, Hamira-san opened her mouth.
“Come on, don’t say that, Karo. It’s not like you can’t hear him out first. Roush-kun, tell her about your past.”
So in other words, I have to first tell the other party about myself before I can get them to listen.
“To tell you the truth—”
And so, I told her the whole story of what happened up until I got here.
Karo-san listened to my story peacefully while showing signs of being surprised at times.
“–That is why…”
“I see. Your childhood fiancée to the hero… that must’ve been tough. You’re also mad at the hero but you’re pissed at your childhood friend more than anything else, right? If I were you I would cause trouble for her to no end.”
Is it due to the different male and female thinking perspectives we have that made her hate Mina more so than the hero after hearing my story? Well, but as for me, I hate them both.
“Okay. My mood changed. I will tell you- the truth of what happened 2 years ago.”
With those words, Karo-san started to tell us what happened.
“Long story short, you were not mistaken about the incident two years ago being the hero’s own doing.”
“I knew it!”
I didn’t think she would come out with it so suddenly, though.
“Two years ago, us servants were told about Princess Ritona’s expedition outside the country ahead of time. We were also informed of the route that she was going to pass through for escort purposes. The hero aimed for that”
“You mean… The hero knew about the route that Princess Ritona was using to pass through…”
“Yes, because I told him.”
“Why would you do such a thing?”
Karo-san replied to my question with “oh, such a child” before answering, as if she was somewhat looking down on me.
“It’s because of money. That hero gave me more money than I could possibly make in my lifetime working as a servant. Even this house was built from the money he gave me.”
“Money is important, you know? You’ll understand once you grow up. That’s why I told the hero about the route in detail. However, I have nothing to do with the appearance of that demon.”
The demon’s appearance- where it came from was also a complete mystery.
“Then, just where did it come from?”
“That would be from a noble. It was probabaly something that the hero bought from a demon-loving nobleman known as Dami, who has strong connections within the royal capital.”
“Eh? But Hamira-san said that the nobles had been investigated…”
“Yes, but they pay a great deal of money to the royal capital. The investigation team and the whole search was just in name only, since they would more or less be denied entry at the nobles’ door. As expected, none of the nobles were arrested.”
What she had just told me was what I had expected as well. The hero acquired the information of Princess Ritona’s expedition route from Karo-san, and then he placed the demon that he purchased in advance there.
Then, he played his scheme when Princess Ritona and the others were under attack, and helped them with his own hands. It was nicely done.
“I’m glad that you were the man I had imagined you to be… Hero……!”
I felt both happiness and anger mixed together. The flames of my revenge will never go out as long as this guy remains the piece of shit scummy bastard that he is.
“……Roush-kun, was it? I think things will be tough from here, but do your best.”
“Thank you…I also didn’t hear anything from you, is that okay?”
“It’s fine. That doesn’t concern me at all.”
“Then why did you tell me all this for free?”
“Hmm, let’s see… Well, I’m not worried about getting caught if I stay in this country… and if you ask me, it’s because I’m also unable to stomach that hero, maybe. People look down on me too ’cause of my eye. I hate being looked down on, you know?”
With that said, Karo-san added “That kind of guy, go beat the crap out of him~!” as she laughed.
I thanked Karo-san deeply and left.
Then, while we were inside the carriage, I asked Hamira-san for a favor.
“Um, Hamira-san. I’m really sorry but I…”
“You want to say you want to go to where the noble named Dami is, right?”
“Uuhn, Y-yes, that’s right.”
Wow, this person really knows everything that’s in my mind.
After that, Hamira-san and I headed towards the location of the noble called Dami, the one who was rumored to keep the pet demon.
He did not let us in his house at first, but when we mentioned the incident two years ago with the demon, he invited us in in a hurry.
“W-what exactly do you guys want!?”
“Duke Dami, you were keeping pet demons despite knowing that it’s illegal?”
To my question, Duke Dami looked the other way with a fan out, as if he was feigning ignorance.
“It’s useless to try to play dumb. We know that you sold a demon to the hero two years ago when Princess Ritona was attacked.”
“Guh. Hmm…but you have no proof of that. I am the duke. The investigative team or what not came here already, you know?”
“But what do you think will happen if we expose you to the neutral organization, the ‘God-star association’?”
The God-star association is like a religious organization that is scattered throughout the world. It’s a large organization that deals with maintaining the order of the entire world. They have a neutral standpoint as they do not belong to any countries, so royal and aristocratic influences do not reach them. But instead, it’s very hard to get them to make a move.
“*Chi*… What do you wish for?”
“You should still have the written oath from the time you made the deal with the hero. Hand that over.”
“I’ll be caught if I gave you that, won’t I?!”
“Right now your crime is only “possession of a demon”, but depending on how I word it, it can be changed to “attempted murder of royalty”, you know? If you’re smart, you’ll understand what I mean, right?”
The crime of possession of a demon is not that heavy of a crime. Someone as influential as the duke will probably be released in no time. However, attempted murder of royalty is a different story. No matter how you try to weasel out of it, capital punishment would be inevitable.
After Duke Dami groaned for a while, he gave up and handed me the written oath. Sure enough, it was a written document which stated that the hero had bought the demon from Duke Dami.
“Hey, brat. Are you scheming to make that hero pay by using this?”
Duke Dami asked me while he looked at the oath.
“That’s right…I have a grudge against him. Forgiving him is something that I cannot do.”
“Hmph. Those are some good eyes. They are eyes of someone who got back up from the worst of times. At the very least, you seem way more trustworthy than that hero, brat.”
“Duke Dami, you…”
“Do you know why I kept the written oath here instead of burning it? It was because I could not trust that hero. I don’t know when he’ll be coming for my neck when I’m asleep, so I had to take some precautionary measures on my end as well. If you’re telling me that you’re going to deal a blow to him this time, it would be better than anything that I could wish for. Do it by all means!”
Duke Dami said as he laughed.
W-What bold nerves this man has. I guess he wouldn’t be the duke if he isn’t at least capable of this much.
And then, we left Duke Dami’s house.
“Are you going to tell Princess Ritona about this?”
Hamira-san asked me inside the carriage while we were on our way back to the castle.
“Yes. I will. I will tell her no matter what the outcome will be.”
“…I see. The next time you’ll be able to meet with the princess is in three days.”
“Okay, got it.”
Then, Hamira-san and I parted ways after we got back to the castle.
Three days after today, huh. This will probably be a big turning point.
Three months had passed since I came to this castle. It feels like it has been a long time but when comparing it to the time when I waited for Mina’s return, it was nothing.
I wonder when the heroes will be returning. I can’t be too laid back.
Anyway, three days from now, failure is not an option.
And so, time passed by quickly and three days had gone by before I realized it.
“Good day, Roush.”
We began calling each other by just our names. At first, I didn’t want to do so because it would make me stand out, but she forcefully convinced me by continuously saying it was okay to do so when it was just the two of us.
“What shall we talk about today?”
“Speaking of that, Ritona. I have something to tell you…”
When Ritona saw my expression that was different than usual, her expression also changed to a serious one as she sensed that something was up.
“What is it?”
“Ritona, you remember about the story you told me before about the hero? The one about that guy saving you?”
“Yes, I haven’t forgotten.”
“I looked into it because there was something in that story that I couldn’t make sense of at all. Then I had discovered the truth about that incident.”
Ritona’s facial expression had become uneasy.
That’s right, because I’m about to speak about the incident that happened 2 years ago now, after such a long time.
However, I have to tell her.
“The incident at that time…All of it was the hero, Yuto, acting out his own play.”
“Ehh…? P-please wait a minute. His own play, acting…What do you mean…by that…?”