Chapter 39: Big Hawk’s public speech on his mad dreams
In the evening, Al was brought to the door leading to the mansion’s balcony.
He had the green mucus on his body from the sticky bomb washed off, was changed into new clothes, and was made to wear a silver-colored breastplate adorned with glittering decorations.
Directly next to him was Ademi who was bound by rope and still dressed in his dirty and tattered clothes. He had probably been in those clothes for days.
“There won’t be any danger. You only have to follow what your Divine Protection desires.”
Big Hawk said with a profound smile.
Big Hawk opened the door with both hands and loud cheers could be heard.
The scene that Al saw was a sea of cheering people that Big Hawk’s large mansion grounds could seemingly not accommodate.
Most of them were South Marsh residents. Tattered clothes and dirty faces. However, their eyes were opened wide and sparkling as they raised both their hands and called out Big Hawk’s name.
As far as Al knew, Big Hawk may be the boss but he was by no means liked by the people of South Marsh. In the first place, South Marsh with its many migrants have plenty of people with strong prejudice against Half-Orcs and there should be many who call him ‘Pig-face’ behind his back.
“A person’s likes and dislikes can be changed with just a slight trigger.”
Big Hawk’s fat-filled belly shook as he laughed.
“If I, a resident of South Marsh who is suffering, act as a representative to gather South Marsh’s discontent and protest against the Congress, I can receive cheers like this and become a hero. The people seek a hero.”
When Big Hawk waved his log-like arm, the masses cheered even louder.
“Our Big Hawk-san! Our boss!”
(No way, he is the scoundrel that caused everyone’s suffering! Why is everyone getting deceived so easily!)
However, in reality, Big Hawk, who was feared due to his numerous cruel history, was being bathed in the cheers of people as if he was a hero as he waved comfortably.
“Now gentlemen. Just yesterday, I went to protest at Zoltan’s Congress as well as the Guard’s Military Station.”
The cheers stopped.
The ones who were still cheering were shushed by those around them and everyone waited for Big Hawk’s next words with earnest expressions.
“Of course, my goal was the despicable criminal who attacked this here Al-kun’s family.”
The South Marsh people raised angry shouts.
The angry shouts ceased when Big Hawk raised his hand but everyone was filled with sympathy for Al and hostility toward the Guards.
“I asked. Why couldn’t the Guards find a single young man despite mobilizing their entire force? And they replied. Because we were causing a riot.”
More angry jeers.
“I understood that it was just sophistry! After all, we are taking to the streets because we were not given justice, there is no way that asking for justice is instead an act of disturbing justice!”
‘That is right! That is right!’ Several voices of agreement chimed in.
“Therefore, there was only one truth! The Guards’ desired injustice. The perpetrator of the assault on Al-kun’s family was the Guard Captain’s son Ademi! Even the other Guards adored him! Instead of justice, instead of our suffering, they chose to protect their companion’s children. Do you resent them? Do you feel vexed? But this is Zoltan! We are outsiders! No matter how many of us pass away, neither the Congress nor the Guards nor Zoltan will shed a single tear! They will only ridicule us saying that the trash had died!”
Angry shouts started building up. It was even more feverish than before.
Big Hawk looked at the situation with a satisfied expression.
“But everyone here are cautious and wise South Marsh residents. Oppressed by the rich, fighting over mere scraps of bread. Is that not the life of a beggar? Can the true mastermind actually be the Guards? If you are looking for proof … very well, I will show you proof!”
From behind, the bodyguard still dressed in a cloak appeared while dragging Ademi and the two Guards that betrayed Al, all of whom were bound by rope.
The Guards were a little suspicious but they were smiling.
“These two are bound by rope like this but they are the true Guards, the ones who know true justice!”
The two Guards took a step forward.
The two of them deeply bowed their heads toward the silent audience.
“I accuse ourselves! We have been harboring Ademi! Everything was done in order to ensure that all the appeals from Al-kun and everyone here were false accusations!”
There was an explosion of angry jeers in an instant.
“Silence! Quiet down!”
After Big Hawk shouted a number of times, the audience finally quiets down.
Al wanted to call nonsense on the entire farce. The Guards were poor actors so anybody could see that they were lying if they looked closely.
“Humans are easily tricked to believe the lies that they want to believe in.”
Big Hawk whispered that to Al’s ears.
Big Hawk’s thick finger grabbing onto Al’s neck could easily break it. If Al ever wanted to cry out the truth, he had enough strength to apply pressure and instantly silent him.
The Guards’ poor farce continued and the audience reacted according to Big Hawk’s expectations.
After their play to accuse the Guards and Congress of South Marsh’s poverty, of their poor treatment, of the poor environment and even how Zoltan was a passageway for storms ended, Big Hawk once again addressed the audience.
“This is the evidence. Are there any who still don’t believe it? Are there any who still believe that the Congress and the Guards stand for justice? Are there any who still doubt me, Big Hawk?”
“Big Hawk-san! Our boss!”
“Very good! With this, we are united. So now, for our next action on how to change this situation … it is time we discard our patience and tolerance!”
Ademi was forced to kneel.
“I shall proclaim here! This is not a shady scheme like those by the Thieves Guild! This is retribution done under the name of justice! This is a revolution!”
He passed Al the shotel.
“If the Guards will not judge evil, we shall do the judgment! If the Congress oppress us, we do not need the Congress!”
Ademi looked at Big Hawk with terrified eyes and shifted his gaze to Al.
“Take your revenge, Al-kun! Swing the blade of judgment down on the villain that assaulted your parents! Throw the villain’s head into the flames of revolution and set off a fire that will recreate Zoltan!”
“Yo-you want me to kill Ademi!?”
“That’s right, regardless of the circumstances, the truth stands that Ademi attacked your parents. You witnessed that yourself that night.”
“Bu-but! Were you not the one who influenced him to do so!?”
“That is incorrect, we certainly did pass the medicine to Ademi. We also gave him an axe. We protected the fleeing Ademi. But that is all. Ademi lost to the impulses from the Devil’s Divine Protection and attacked your parents with the intent to slaughter them. Ademi himself wished for your death.”
Before that, Ademi was looking at Al asking to be saved but he lowered his eyes in shame after that was said about him.
“Even if we did not do anything, Ademi would continue to harass you. You should know very well just how many times Ademi had punched you, right?”
” … That is true but.”
“Furthermore, Ademi has two Divine Protections … your Divine Protection will grow greatly if you cut him down.”
『Thump』 His Divine Protection throbbed.
The one standing in front of him was an enemy.
That night, the axe-wielding Ademi intended to kill me. If he wanted to kill me, then he can’t complain if he gets killed. He was an enemy after all. An enemy should be killed but he felt some hesitation.
Al’s thoughts were mixed with the battle impulses from his Divine Protection.
In any case, if he did not kill him, somebody else would.
In that case, wouldn’t it be better that I killed him while I still had reason to?
Al drew his Shotel.
He relived the pain he felt when Ademi punched him.
He recalled the hatred he felt at those times. The humiliation he felt from his tears burnt his heart.
At that moment, Al’s face was reflected on the blade of the shotel.
It was a face of hesitation. There was no trace of any impulse to do battle.
“I have decided.”
Al raised his shotel. And then, he swung it down without hesitation.
Big Hawk grinned widely.
Ademi’s restraining rope fell to the ground gently.
Ademi looked up at Al in surprise.
The smile on Big Hawk’s face disappeared.
He looked at Al with an expressionless face and spoke in a flat tone.
“Did you miss your aim? Or are you hesitating?”
“No. My blade does not wish to kill Ademi. I will only cut whatever I wish to cut.”
” … I’ll ask you again, do you have no intention of reconsidering it?”
“My sword has decided to fight my and Ademi’s enemy. I am a Weapon Master! My sword alone will not lie to me!”
“I see, plan B then.”
Big Hawk raised his left hand.
The petite man with the Divine Protection of the Alchemist drew out an axe from the item box on his waist.
“Ah, uuu ….”
Ademi cried in fear when he saw that.
“It’s useless. Let me tell you the conditions to cause a person with the Devil’s Divine Protection to go berserk. After taking the medicine, the Devil’s Divine Protection will convert the person’s inherent Divine Protection level to its own. The more a person losses his inherent Divine Protection level, the more his Divine Protection impulses would decrease, causing the rush of euphoria and a sense of liberation that the users describe. However, when the Devil’s Divine Protection level overtakes the inherent Divine Protection’s level, the user will experience strong dependency and their personality will turn ferocious.”
“Ademi, get a hold of yourself!”
“In particular, it is terrible when all levels of the user’s inherent Divine Protection gets converted away. The influence from the medicine’s raw material, the Axe Demon, will appear and drive an urge to slaughter whenever the user sees an axe. That is the truth of the incidents that have occurred recently. Although, that is quite a convenient trait for us.”
Ademi charged at Al.
The conversation that happened on the balcony has not been transmitted to the audience below but they could tell that some abnormality had happened.
The audience murmured anxiously as they watched the balcony intently.
“Al-kun, you were a hero. Even though he tried to kill your family, you still chose the path of dialogue. However, the despicable Ademi has trampled on your feelings and responded with a tragedy of massacre by axe. This is an unforgivable act. Al-kun’s corpse will show us that dialogue is pointless.”
Big Hawk shook his shoulders foolishly.
“That’s how the script goes, what do you think? I’m accepting any requests you have but … you should do it soon. Before you get killed by Ademi.”
The axe the Alchemist was holding was tossed to Ademi.
Al succumbed to a feeling of hopelessness but even then, he steadied his sword.
However, the next instant, the axe was split in two and the Alchemist man spurted blood from his shoulder and collapsed.
” ‘The Hero Lit probably thought she could draw us out but … isn’t making her think that the safest option?’ was it? What a way to put it. Making you guys think that was the best option.”
The bodyguard dressed in a cloak who carried Al over had a copper sword in his hand.
He split the axe made of steel in two and cut down the Alchemist man.
“We’re jumping, grab on, Al!”
The cloaked man picked up Ademi and called out to Al.
Al clung to his neck.
“Im-impossible!? Webley! Have you gone insane!”
The bodyguard he referred to as Webley turned to face Big Hawk and lowered his hood with a grin before hugging both the children and jumping off the third-floor balcony.
There are many magic tools such as the Cloak of Disguise, Illusion Magic, and Transformation Techniques meant to alter a person’s appearance.
It was common knowledge to examine for traces of such disguise measures.
Naturally, Big Hawk did not fail to take measures against intruders using Detect Magic.
“That has an exploitable gap.”
Common Skill: Disguise
Clothes, makeup, acting. There were very few people who emphasize those techniques when going under disguise. Only idiots spend valuable skill points on skills that can be undone using magic.
That was why I had confidence that my disguise would not be discovered.
For that reason, I left Lit in charge of the investigation while I tailed the opponent I intended to use as a disguise and observed their movements.
“Hey, you’re Red-san right!? Even though your face is different! Are you sure we will be fine if we fall from this height!?”
“Acrobatics Skill Mastery: Slow Fall!”
I occasionally kicked the walls as we fell to reduce our momentum.
Slow Fall was a Mastery Skill that allowed me to land while utilizing walls within arm’s reach to decelerate.
That could be solved with just the ‘Fly’ spell so Ares complained about it harshly but it was a handy skill to me as I often moved ahead of the group on my own.
After I had landed safely, I lightly waved at Big Hawk who was leaning over the balcony and still did not have a grasp of the situation. And then, I fled the scene while carrying the two children.
His figure was a long distance away by the time I heard Big Hawk shouting for me to return.