Know Your Sins
「Don’t fuck with me! Like I’ll let you do that!!」
The first sound that Lars made after hearing my request was his angered voice which shook the walls.
He tried reaching towards his waist with his right hand but there was nothing there. That’s the spot where his sword would usually be at.
That was the serious, furious rage of a sixth-tier adventurer.
The me from before would be shaking. I might have even pissed my pants.
But now, the rage of this man before my eyes feels like nothing but a breeze to me.
「Why are you getting mad? I’m just telling you what I want to do like you asked」
「There’s a limit to that! Why do you have to kill her?!」
「Why? Because she wanted to kill me, no?」
「You’re alive, aren’t you?! You got saved, didn’t you?! Then there’s no need for her to die!」
「…Are you stupid?」
「What did you say?!」
「Just because I lived in the end, is that a reason to let go of a murderer? I only lived because of my own luck and strength. It had nothing to do with the murderer, you, or anyone else involved in this incident. Why would your sins be reduced?」
「Stop calling Miro a murderer! I’ve said it again and again, aren’t you still alive?! Miro didn’t kill anyone!!」
I couldn’t help but sigh.
Then I explained to Lars, who had lost his temper, in a way that was easy for him to understand.
「For example..yeah. Let’s say that I stabbed your heart from behind one day」
「…What are you talking about?」
「Just listen. So after I stabbed you, you will obviously die. However, there was a priest nearby by chance that could use miracles like 『Resurrection』 and brought you back to life. So will you go after my crime? Would you condemn your murderer? Then when you do, I’ll tell you “You are still alive, aren’t you? That’s why I’m not a murderer! Don’t call me that!” So? What do you think about that? Will you agree with what I said?」
「Do you see how unreasonable you were being?」
Lars’ fists were shaking after he thought about it again.
And so, as if coming to his rescue, Iria opened her mouth.
「That’s him playing with words. Don’t be tricked, Lars. In the current situation, Miro hit his arm and not his heart. Of course, that was still a crime but it’s a little weird to treat it the same thing as taking his life, right?」
「…You’re right, that’s right. Miro’s magic hit your arm, even you said so yourself, Sora!」
「Every person that brings out examples are people who are trying to fit their own narrative, like this guy!」
Iria looked at me like “If you have a comeback then let’s hear it”.
Lars regained his energy from Iria’s words.
I couldn’t help but sigh again after seeing that.
The number of dumbasses increased to two. Oii– Do you guys really not realize what you’re saying?
Lunamaria was still staying silent. Since she was hiding behind Lars and Miroslava, I have no idea what she’s thinking…ah whatever. I’m pretty tired of this unproductive conversation anyway, it’s about time we come to a decision.
「”Miro hit my arm and not my heart”, huh? Iria, do you know that’s even more cruel than just killing me? Even though you’re in a C-ranked party, you don’t know what happens to people that a Fly Lord catches?」
Lars furrowed his brow in suspicion, while Iria went silent as if she turned mute.
「What do you mean by that?」
「You really don’t know, huh? You don’t spend much time on your studies as usual, Lars. Here, Iria, teach him like you always do- In a way that’s easy for him to understand」
「O-oi, Iria, what is he talking about?」
「…The Fly Lord paralyzes its prey with poison and then it brings them to its nest, Lars. Then, they are fed to its larvae alive…」
「Wha?! Then-then…Sora, you were…」
「As you might guess, I became live bait. Oh, how I want to share even one percent of the fear and despair from that time with you!」
I showed an artificial smile and then I talked to Iria in a soft, coaxing voice.
「So, back to what you were saying earlier, Iria. You said she was guilty for hitting my arm but it would be strange to look at it the same way as killing me, right? Come on, say that to Lars again. Tell him that having me caught alive by a Fly Lord is less of a sin than killing me on the spot there!」
「Oh look, you’re staying silent now that things become inconvenient for you, huh? You, a priest of the god of law sect, seem to be exercising your right to remain silent now? A “Murderer” and a “Mute”, hah, you two truly suit each other as companions」
「Sora! Stop it! I won’t forgive you if you mock my companions any more than this!」
「And their leader, the “Hothead”. Lars, I’ll say this as well, do you think that it was a coincidence that your party ran towards where I was after you guys were attacked?」
「What do you mean by that?!」
「Iria knew. Of course, Miroslava the magic caster, and Lunamaria, who has the qualification of a sage, they should both have known as well, about how strong a Fly Lord is. You guys had no chance of winning even if you fought. If you lost, someone would become food and gotten eaten. The one who was in the most danger was you, their leader who had fainted. All three of them who like you thought about the same thing at the time- “Isn’t there a way to save our leader?” A way to save you as well as themselves… Then something came to their minds, the fact that you guys ran into me before you entered the forest. They ran in my direction knowing that I was there. It was no coincidence」
「Why do you think Miroslava, who specialized in fire magic, only used wind magic at that time? That’s because her fire magic would be too powerful. She knew the traits of a Fly Lord well; it’s a monster that would be only interested in a living human. It would defeat the purpose of making me the decoy if she killed me. That’s why she used wind magic that had a limit to its destruction power. She wanted to hurt me but not kill me, so that I would become the monster’s live prey」
「Hah, to you guys of 『Falcon Sword 』, the “parasite” was a stain on your reputation from the past. Amongst your comrades, Miroslava hated me the most. She tried to isolate me and kick me out of the city by spreading my bad reputation. But I still didn’t leave; I was still trying to make a place to stay even after getting expelled by the guild. And at a time like that, I was attacked by the Fly Lord…」
「…Oi Sora, you… Don’t tell me…」
「She thought that was an excellent chance. She could do it with the great purpose of saving you. Even if she were accused of her sin, she would just use the term Necessity in her defense. I was amazed that she could even bring up Necessity. This was her plan to murder someone by using a monster, isn’t it?」
「S-stop fucking around! Stop fucking with me, damn you! Even though we were old comrades, how could you—」
「Comrades? 『That guy has nothing to do with us anymore anyway』– Didn’t you say that when you ran into me before you guys entered the forest?」
「…Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if Iria or Lunamaria had thought that far about me. However, Miroslava absolutely acted with everything planned in her mind. I bet she was the one who was leading the way when you guys were running from the Fly Lord. Am I right, Iria, Lunamaria?」
They didn’t answer even when they were asked.
There were no voices that reaffirmed my accusations, but there were none denying them as well.
Iria cannot lie as a priest, and Lunamaria is an elf who believes that lying is a detestable act. And, there’s no way for Lars to deny that when he was unconscious at the time.
When Lars turned and looked at Miroslava in a hurry, the magic caster proudly swung her red hair with force from side to side to deny those claims.
「H-he’s lying, he’s lying! Don’t believe him, Lars. I… I did attack him. But I did it to save us! It was a quick decision! I didn’t do it with intentions to kill him! It’s absolutely not true!!」
Miroslava was clinging onto him. It’s a scene that already happened a while ago.
I ridiculed her with my many years of built up resentment.
「Well, it’s natural you’d say that. There’s no woman who would answer “Yeah, I tried to get rid of the nuisance intentionally” in front of the man they like」
「S-shut up, you insolent cur! H-how dare you keep flapping your mouth about that bullshit…! Do you think you can get away with this if you make an enemy with the Salzar Company’s daughter?!」
There was a fiery glint in Miroslava’s eyes that looked like it could kill.
I heard there are some magic casters out there who could use things like evil eyes or demonic eyes, perhaps she had awaken to an ability like that. But I honestly don’t care about that at all.
I raised my hands and looked at the guild receptionist who had been taking notes to record this entire exchange.
「So? Even if you are the Salzar Company’s daughter, I don’t plan on withdrawing my claim. Therefore, I want to make a proposition to the adventurer’s guild」
「Correct. Call for a priest that can use the miracle 『Detect Lie』. Check this girl’s testimony and everything will be clear. If my accusations were wrong, I will withdraw everything and receive the punishment for accusing someone of being a murderer. I swear I will never appear in this town or the guild as well, of course. Even though they’re far, there should be no reason to refuse since the truth will quickly come to light, if she’s not lying that is, right?」
I looked at Miroslava in a sly way.
If my doubts about her were really wrong, she would have answered with something like “That’s just what I wanted!”.
But I saw it- The light of hesitation that flickered in her eyes.
The guild receptionist probabaly caught sight of that as well. The next thing she said was in her really toneless voice.