Chapter 208: A Certain Hero’s Epic Fable 9 (Irushia)

“The day has finally come, Father. It is with great sorrow that innocent people will die today, but this is the law, there’s no way around it. Let us pray that at least their souls shall have salvation.”

“… …”

The priest silently glowers at me. Why the scary face?

The subjects for today’s capital punishment are for the escaped felon; relatives of Adofu’s that are no more than twice removed from him. It would be just right for the church. After I spread false rumors about suspicious and disturbing movements coming from Adofu’s relatives, the priest was sure to have been planning to do something about it. That’s just a little cherry on top though.

“You know that we have been put under pressure as of late with the release of the beastmen slaves from Ardezia! To perform something like the public execution of someone from the beastman race at a time like this, that’s no different than dragging the church’s name through the mud! Just what are you thinking!?”

As soon as you sour up. Here we go again.

“It will be fine. We don’t have to listen to what that lot in Ardezia has to say. At any rate, as long as I’m here, they can’t bring anything bad upon Haranae. It would be a problem to set a bad precedent in letting criminals run wild inside our city. Let’s stand firm, Father.”

Beastmen… that felis huma girl. It’s a bonus that she’s going to be executed today alongside Adofu’s relatives.

I protected her when she collapsed in the desert as I was on my way to subjugate the evil dragon. After that, she came to the conclusion that if she were to return to Haranae, she’d be sentenced to slavery again, so she conspired with Adofu. The two of them betrayed my goodwill, poisoned and weakened me, and then tried to kill me. I was in danger of being knocked out cold as it came down to a struggle between me and Adofu. Although Adofu was mortally wounded, he managed to get away. The wound I received was also terrible, so I had to give up on subjugating the evil dragon. I only managed to catch the beastman girl and bring her back to Haranae. With my kind and indiscriminate heart, I asked the church to release the beastman girl. However, the crime for turning one’s fangs against the hero is a grave one. My request was not accepted and the death penalty was ruled. Since I am bound to the priest for the peace and order of Haranae, I accepted the results, weeping.

Of course, the reality of it all is entirely different, but that’s how the public version is. It sounds a bit inane, but it’s good enough. I come off as a good-natured and inexperienced hero with a strong sense of justice.

I stop by a small window that the priest passed and look down on the town. A crowd had already gathered around where the execution is going to take place.

“Look at that. Before long, it will be time to move.”

The priest looks at me with an annoying air as wrinkles drew themselves across his forehead. It would appear that he didn’t like this matter very much. You’re a conservative and a selfishly problematic old man. It would behoove you to keep your head down and look the other way to keep yourself alive a little longer. That said, I’m not willing to go out of my way to help you with that.

Even with that, I’m fine with keeping an eye on small problems like that. If everything pans out, there’s a chance that the plague dragon will come to Haranae today.

I’ll be making an image for myself that I wasn’t able to start with because of the circumstances surrounding the church. If the plague dragon rampages in the town, then the church will bear responsibility for the mess for postponing the subjugation despite the hero deliberately turning back. I just can’t help but look forward to seeing what kind of face that lowlife that’s had her head held down as a lone slave all their life will make. Those small-time knights that usually carry themselves around me with calm and collected faces and that foolish priest… The color will drain from everyone’s faces.

Even if some people die, it’ll be fine as long as I clean it up quickly. While it’s true that I seldom have trouble with B ranked monsters, it’ll be fine if it turns into more or less a struggle. I can spare at least that much. It’ll put on a better show if it looks like I’m fighting with my life on the line.

I hope you come, plague dragon. It is worrying that it had [[Voice of God]] and [[Status Check]] though. If it was looking through my status, then the likelihood is high that it thought that it had no chance of winning and became scared and had run off long ago. Back then, it looked like it was throwing its life away to protect that slave, and that time has come around again. But, provided it’s not too stupid and has time to think, then it won’t do something as absurd as that.

Well, if it doesn’t come, then it’ll be time. I’ll provoke it by placing dead bodies in a spot that can be easily seen from far away.

If that dragon evolved and managed to reach A rank, then that would be a bit troubling. However, there was quite a gap between its current level and its max level. It’s extremely unlikely that it’ll reach its next evolution in the span of just barely a single week. It’s not going to be successful recklessly raising its level and such that many times in a row.

I’ve also done those rash things, to the extent that several of my companions have died in vain. No, those were blunders. I was also inexperienced at the time.

“If you act too much of your own accord, then I have some considerations. Don’t think that the church will cover your ass forever.”

You say that to me all too often. Without the hero, the Church of Haranae would be worthless. Because of that, you can never cut me off.

“That’s a terrible thing to say, you know. Speaking of which, at the beginning of this matter, was Adofu not marked with a prisoner’s seal? Rather than me, wouldn’t the church be the one needing its ass covered? Yes, even Adofu would not have caused such a stir if he were properly marked with a seal, right? I feel truly sorry for you for that…”

“There’s no reason for me to believe so! I’ve even verified it myself!”

“Are you sure you should be saying that so loudly? If any of this leaks outside these walls, then you, Father, will also be held responsible for the ensuing wildfire.”

The church had marked Adofu’s back with the prisoner’s seal. The prisoner’s seal has the power to limit the actions of the subject. I insisted that there was no prisoner’s seal on Adofu’s back and accused the church of having some reason to not mark him with one. If I didn’t, then the story about Adofu striking back at me wouldn’t be logically consistent.

“Have you determined who’s responsible for this yet? Through this, have you also come across anyone suspect of trying to use Adofu to kill me? I was practically at death’s door because of that.”

The priest made his face even more stern.

Few people have the authority to handle a prisoner’s seal. For the mismanagement of this case, he can’t cut off those in lower positions. I’m looking forward to seeing who the priest will cross out…

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