Requesting aid against this unjust trial!
Editor: Adam, Cannongerbil, Veritaum, Boring bone, Xenthur
There used to be a high bounty target feared by people all over the world. No one knows who came up with the name, but it’s know as…
Mobile Fortress Destroyer.
Thanks to my brilliant command, we took down that infamous bounty target not to long ago.
And right now, to collect the bounty reward for bringing down the Destroyer, I came to the Adventurer’s Guild, but–
“Adventurer Satou Kazuma! You’re under suspicion of committing subversion of the nation! Please come along with us!”
The situation took a weird turn.
“Eh… May I ask who you are? Or rather, what does ‘Subversion of the nation’ mean? I just came here to collect my payout.”
I timidly asked the seriously looking woman before me.
The rowdy guild was dead silent because of what the woman accompanied by knights said.
“I’m a prosecutor of the Kingdom, Sena. Subversion of the nation literally means committing an act that undermines the authority of the nation. We suspect that you’re either a terrorist or a minion of the Demon King’s army.”
The woman with long brown hair said as she glared at me with stern eyes.
She had that air of an intelligent beauty that gave the impression of a secretary.
After hearing Sena say that, Aqua shouted.
“Ehh? Hey, Kazuma, what trouble did you stir up this time? What crimes did you commit while I wasn’t looking! Apologize right now! I’ll apologize together with you, so do it quick!”
“Are you an idiot! There’s no way I would commit such crimes! In the first place, we spend most of our time together! There’s no way you wouldn’t know if I did anything!”
As I was scolding Aqua, Megumin said:
“Wait a minute, did you get the wrong person? Kazuma does commit minor infractions like sexual harassment from time-to-time, but he doesn’t have the guts to commit such a major crime.”
“Are you helping me or looking for a fight?”
As I retorted, Darkness followed up and said:
“Yeah, I don’t think this man would commit such a serious crime. If he had the guts, he would do more than ogle at me with creepy eyes when I walk around the house in a skimpy attire. He’s a loser who doesn’t even dare to do a night raid.”
“Wh-Wh-Who is looking at you!? Aren’t you too self-conscious? Don’t get conceited just because you have a sexy body. I have the right to choose, all right?”
When she heard me say that, Darkness’s face turned red instantly.
“After asking me to do all that in the shower, you’re saying this now…?!”
“I was manipulated by a succubus that time! And you’re the one with the problem, being so docile and scrubbing my back because of the mood! And what do you want now? Are you expecting something? Just how gullible and open are you?”
“I-I-I know you still have memories about that…! And as a crusader serving the Goddess Eris, my body is still pure! Saying I’m gullible and open? I’ll kill you!”
As Darkness said these dangerous words, she attempted to strangle me as we got into a scuffle. One of the knights beside Sena broke up the fight.
Sena, who didn’t even move a brow after witnessing the commotion, said coldly:
“Teleporting the core of the Destroyer, Coronatite, was done at that man’s instruction. And the place the ore was teleported to was the mansion of the Lord.”
After she said that, the entire guild fell into deathly silence.
– Coronatite. During the fight with the Destroyer, the one who asked Wiz to teleport that stone, which was about to explode, was me.
To think that that stone–
“Really, so that landlord died in the explosion…?”
“He’s not dead, don’t just kill him off! Coincidentally, the landlord had sent away all the household staff and was in the basement himself, so there were no casualties. But the mansion was destroyed.”
Hearing that there was no deaths, I breathed a sigh of relief.
“So no one died in the fight against the Destroyer? That’s great.”
“It’s not great! Do you know the situation right now? You sent an explosive device into the mansion of the landlord and blew up the entire mansion! Like I told you, you’re under suspicion of being either a terrorist or a minion of the Demon King’s army. Anyway, I’ll listen to what you have to say back at the station.”
Sena’s words caused the guild to turn rowdy again.
That was expected. All the adventurers present knew what kind of person I was.
At the same time, they knew the role I played during the fight against the Destroyer.
“Ku, I thought it was something terrible… Kazuma was the most valuable player during the battle against the Destroyer. He might be the one who ordered the teleportation of the Coronatite, but he had no choice in that situation. If not for Kazuma’s wits, people might’ve died when the Coronatite exploded. He should be commended, not prosecuted.”
Sounds of people affirming what Megumin said sounded all throughout the guild.
You, you guys…!
While I was feeling touched, Sena said coldly:
“By the way, the charge of subversion could be brought against suspects other than the mastermind. Before the trial ends, I’ll advise everyone to mind your words and actions. If there are people who want to go to jail with him, I won’t mind.”
The guild turned silent once again after her speech.
“… ‘Don’t worry! The world is huge! Compared to a place with lots of people, the chance of it ending up somewhere with nobody around is higher! Don’t worry, I’ll take all the responsibility! I might look this way, but my luck is incredibly good!’… I remember that was what Kazuma said during that moment…”
Aqua said suddenly.
… I did say that, but how could this girl remember it so clearly? She’s usually a complete airhead. Could it be…?
“Aqua, don’t tell me…? You’re thinking of pushing all the blame onto me…?
Aqua simply awkwardly averted her gaze without answering the question.
“By the way, I never made it inside the Destroyer. If I was there, I would’ve stopped Kazuma from making that decision. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there, so it can’t be helped. That’s right, how unfortunate.”
No one asked her anything, but Megumin started a monologue out of nowhere.
“… Hey, hold it. Aqua, Megumin, you two… Could it be…?”
The two of them wanted to…!
At this moment, Darkness defended me, standing before Sena and said:
“Wait a minute, I’m the mastermind, and the one giving the instructions was me. Please let me join the kinky games in prison… No–I mean if you want to arrest Kazuma, take me in and interrogate me too!”
“I heard that you only stood in front of the Destroyer and were totally useless, right?”
Sena put salt in Darkness’s wound without hesitation, causing her to look at me with tears in her eyes. But Darkness being useless was a fact, so I ignored her. I didn’t have time to deal with this right now.
In this situation, Wiz, who was quiet all this while, raised her hand timidly.
“Um… the one who cast teleportation was me. If you want to arrest Kazuma-san, then I…”
Aqua grabbed Wiz’s raised hand at this point.
“Don’t do it Wiz! If sacrificing one person is enough, this should be for the best! I know you feel bad, but you need to endure this…! That’s right, Kazuma is not leaving us forever. We need to wait patiently for Kazuma to return safely from prison, understand?”
That bitch! Don’t make it sound like my jail term was confirmed!
No… the one who instructed Wiz was me. At the very least, I needed to protect Wiz!
“Forget it; even if you aren’t with me, I can still rely on the guys in the guild!”
As I said that, I looked around the guild, but all the adventurers averted their eyes after meeting mine.
Y-You guys too?!
“Hey, what kind of joke is this?! Put in more effort you guys! At least resist a little!”
As I lashed out at them, a girl mage said softly:
“The first time I met Kazuma-san… That’s right, I saw it that time. At the alley behind the guild, Kazuma-san stripped a female thief of her panties. Yes, his expression back then left a deep scar on me.”
“That’s right, I always thought Kazuma would get into big trouble one day…”
“Yeah, me too. I heard a rumor that he locked the priestess in his party inside a cage and used her as bait for crocodiles.”
“There’s more; I heard that when someone challenged him to a duel, Kazuma stole the challenger’s magic sword and sold it.”
“Oh, you guys are turning on me now?! I’ll remember your faces, loudmouths! Better watch your back after I prove my innocence…!”
As I was telling them off, two knights grabbed my arms forcefully.
“I won’t forget this–!”
– The police station in the middle of town.
A building a just adventurer like me would never frequent.
Right now, I was inside the police station, being led into its depths.
“Okay, go in obediently. Until after the trial is over, this will be your room.”
Sena, who was walking in front of me, said as she stopped before a small and dark cell.
“Hey, I’m the hero who saved this town, right? Are you for real? Are you really going to lock me inside a cell? Are you serious?”
I became afraid after seeing the cell. I asked Sena, attempting to get on her good side, but…
“I’ll question you thoroughly tomorrow, just rest here for today.”
Sena didn’t answer my question and ignored me. When the knights heard what she said, they pushed me into the cell.
After this, Sena turned around and left with the knights.
“Hey! Wait!… Hey!… Hey!… Really…?”
Inside the dark and cold cell, I grabbed the iron bars with my hands, losing my composure after the sudden turn of events.
… Up until this morning, I was still lounging around in my mansion.
Why did things turn out like this?
Not knowing what to do, I surveyed the cell. I found some rugs on the icy floor, a toilet at the corner and a window with iron bars, that’s all.
How unfair. Treating the one who saved the town this way is too much.
I hugged my legs and sat down, burying my face between my knees.
I knew that this world is dangerous and the rules don’t make sense, but I never thought it would be to such an extent.
Thinking back now, my time as a hikikomori was so wonderful.
I could sleep until noon inside a warm room, then spend all day playing games after waking up.
Eating the meals prepared by my parents, sleeping whenever I wanted and getting up whenever I pleased; a self-indulgent life.
But after coming to this world, I have been living through hardship every day.
I don’t have any knowledge about this world, can’t find a good job and couldn’t work well in the service industry. I had to perform hard labor after arriving in this world and sleep in the stables every night.
And I had to clean up after those idiots and got burdened with debts…!
The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Just wait until I get out, all of you!
“I want to go back… I had enough, I want to go back to Japan…”
I remembered my original goal of returning to Japan.
This was a world with a feudal society and I was being charged in court.
The person I offended wasn’t a nobody. If I make a wrong move, I might get the death sentence.
My current circumstances were dire, and being placed in a dark cell made me very uneasy. At this moment…
As I was about to cry inside my cell, I heard several sets of footsteps in the distance, drawing near.
“Hey, I won’t resist, so be gentle!”
“Shut up, scum! Faster!”
Alongside the sound of clanking armor, a nasty voice boomed out.
Seemed like another prisoner was going to a cell near me.
… No, wait. There was only one cell here.
Come on, I don’t want to share a cell with an unknown criminal!
“Go in! Really, how many times do you want to come here? This is a prison, not a hotel. There’s someone who went in before you, so get along.”
“All right, all right, I get it. Sorry for the intrusion… Hey, isn’t that Kazuma? What are you doing here?”
– The one entering the cell was the town’s infamous delinquent adventurer, Dust.
“Hey, what a coincidence to meet you here! So, what did you do?”
After the knights left, Dust, who seemed happy for some reason, asked me.
“Nothing much, they seem to think I’m a terrorist… During the battle with the Destroyer, I gave the order to teleport the core that was about to explode. Turns out, that thing was sent to the landlord’s mansion and blew his house apart.”
Hearing me say that, Dust burst into laughter.
“Wahaha, that’s great, Kazuma! That stinky landlord is detestable anyway! Well done! Wahaha, he had it coming!”
“Hold it, it wasn’t intentional! I didn’t do it because I had something against the landlord! Or rather… I’m curious. What are you doing here, Dust?”
From what the knight said, he seemed to be a regular here.
“Me? Nothing much. I heard the payout for defeating the Destroyer was coming, so I ate and drank to my content and left tabs everywhere, thinking that I would clear the debts with the payout. I thought the payout would be great, so I took out a loan to gamble. In the end, the payout was smaller than I thought and I couldn’t pay back the money. With no money, I had to sleep in the stables. But it’s cold out this season, so I’d rather come here so I won’t freeze to death and have food to eat. So, I ate at some place without paying, and the debtors couldn’t chase me here too.”
This man really lived up to his name.
Seeing the sorry state of the unrepentant delinquent Dust made me feel better about being locked away here.
After killing time chatting with Dust and eating dinner, I turned in for the night.
– I didn’t know how long I slept.
Hearing an explosion from far away, I felt a slight tremor shortly after and woke up with a start. At the same time, I heard a soft voice.
“… Ka… Kazuma! Hey, Kazuma, wake up!”
The moonlight shone in through the iron bars covering the windows.
It was probably late in the night.
“Hey, Kazuma, can you hear me? Kazuma–”
The soft voice coming from outside the window sounded familiar.
I looked around me and confirmed that, aside from Dust snoring, no one was around.
This cell was situated in the deepest part of the police station. They probably thought that there wasn’t any need for anyone to guard it.
The window with iron bars was at a place much taller than I was.
I walked towards the bottom of the window and heard Aqua’s voice clearly this time.
“Aqua! What do you want, dammit!”
“I’m here to save you, of course! Megumin and Darkness are creating a diversion right now to attract the attention of the guards. Megumin probably set off her explosion magic somewhere near town, drawing the police away. Darkness should be fleeing the scene with Megumin who depleted her mana in tow.”
So, the tremor I felt in my dreams was from the explosion magic.
“Anyway, why are you guys thinking of saving me now? If you wanted to help, you should’ve supported me during the day.”
“If we did that, we would be spending our time in prison together! We didn’t do this out of fear of what Kazuma would do to us after you get out, definitely not.”
Hearing the latter half of her sentence, I had a rough idea of why they came to rescue me.
“But would it be fine to run away like this? Won’t it make matters worse?”
“What nonsense are you saying? Subversion of the nation is punishable by death. I heard from Darkness that the landlord is a despicable and petty person. For a nobody adventurer like Kazuma, he’ll use his influence to twist the facts and kill you off.”
As expected of an alternate world with a middle age level civilization.
Lives were treated like trash.
“… I’ll break out of prison then, but how am I supposed to get out of here? Saw through the iron bars in the window?”
Aqua laughed confidently upon hearing me say that, and threw something through the gap between the iron bars to my side.
Dropping onto the ground with a slight metallic sound was a piece of steel wire.
What should I do with this? Was that girl telling me to…
“First, use that wire to open the lock of your cell, just like in a manga. You can then use your Lurk skill to escape the police station! After that, return to the mansion and prepare to run away in the night! That’s it then, I’ll wait for you at the front of the police station!”
Aqua left after saying these words.
I picked up the wire and looked at the lock of the prison cell.
… It’s an eight-digit number lock.
“… I’m going back to sleep.”
I covered myself with the blanket once again.
“Get up! Come with me. It’s time for your interrogation!”
I was still wrapped in my blanket when Sena barged into the cell and woke me up.
“What is it, it’s still early…”
“It’s almost noon! How do you normally spend your time?!”
Under the watchful eyes of the guards, I was brought before a certain room.
“All right, get in. I’ll listen to what you say, then decide if I’m going to prosecute you. You better think carefully before you speak!”
After hearing Sena’s threatening words, I cautiously walked into the room. At the center was a table and two chairs.
There was a small table and chair near the exit as well.
The set up was just like a police interrogation room you see in movies.
One of the knights who escorted me over sat in the chair at the entrance silently and placed a piece of paper on the table.
This action is known as taking a statement, right?
The other knight hurried me to the seat in the middle of the room.
He then stood quietly behind me, probably standing by to subdue me if I turned violent.
Two knights in full armor were in this small room. As I was feeling tense from the pressure, Sena sat down on the other side and placed a small bell on the table.
“Do you know what this is? This is a magic item that can detect lies, used in court and places like this. This bell is synchronized with the magic caster in this room, and will ring when lies are uttered. Please remember this… Well then, I’ll begin my questioning now.”
After Sena said that, her face turned serious and the interrogation began in this heavy atmosphere.
She tapped her index fingers on the table, trying to exert pressure on me.
“Satou Kazuma. Age sixteen, working as an adventurer. Your job is also an adventurer… So, state your place of birth and what you were doing before you started adventuring.”
A sudden high difficulty question.
Where did I come from and what did I do, how should I explain that?
She said that that bell would ring if I told a lie–
“I’m from Japan, and I was a student.”
My words made that bell ring… Hey, I didn’t lie okay.
Sena who was tapping the table stopped and frowned.
“… Write this down, falsifying place of birth and job history…”
The knight in charge of taking minutes started writing.
“Wait! I didn’t lie!”
What’s with that?! Why is it ringing?!
I’m from Japan and was a student…! Was… A student….
“… I’m from Japan. I spent every day in my house, living a depraved life.”
After I answered once again, Sena stared at that bell.
I also stared at the bell closely.
– It didn’t ring this time.
“… Why did you lie about being a student?”
“I didn’t lie… Ugh… Forget it…”
Damn, I hate that magic item–!
“I’ve never heard of a place called Japan before… But never mind. Next, state the reason why you wanted to become an adventurer.”
“To save the citizens that were being terrorized by the Demon King’s army and…”
“… Because being an adventurer sounded cool. It felt like it would be easy to make big money and become popular with the girls.”
“…Ve-Very well. Next question. Do you bear any grudge against the landlord? I heard that you had been complaining about your debts.”
“That’s because the huge payout from successfully taking down the Dullahan wasn’t enough to pay the reparation fees for the damage done to the town; that’s why I landed in debt. It was done to protect the town, but it would be meaningless if the town got destroyed in the process. I’m fine with this outcome.”
“To be frank, I used words like these to convince my angry comrades. But honestly, for him to treat the heroes who saved the town like this, it makes me want to kill him.”
“I… I see. Then next…”
“Excuse me… Can I say something?”
I interrupted Sena seemed reluctant to continue the interrogation and said:
“Would you like to just get straight to the point? Like ‘Are you working for the Demon King’s army?’, or ‘Did you give that order because you had a grudge against the landlord?’. I’ve said this several times: I only asked someone to perform a random teleport. I wasn’t targeting the landlord, and I never thought that things would’ve turned out this way. I gave that order because I wanted to save the town. I’m telling the truth.”
Sena kept her eyes on the bell as she listened to me.
– And of course, the bell didn’t ring.
After confirming this, Sena sighed heavily.
“… I seem to have been mistaken. I’ve heard nothing but bad rumors about you, so that’s why… I’m very sorry…”
Sena changed her attitude, becoming more humble and polite as she bowed to me.
I think her earlier tone was meant for criminals, this is her usual manner of speech.
Since I had been cleared of any suspicion, I decided this was a good time and said:
“Really, believing rumors without investigating them first? Do you know how to do your job, prosecutor?”
“Ugh… Sorry, I apologize…”
As Sena lowered her head in apology, I continued.
“Do you know what my achievements are? I’m not just the one who contributed the most in the subjugation of Demon King’s General Beldia; I was also the one in charge of directing the fight against the Destroyer. My stellar performance broke the Mobile Fortress Destroyer no one else could defeat! And you didn’t even offer a word of thanks, just endless accusations!”
I leant so far back that the chair was creaking. Fueled by my grudge of being detained overnight, I started pushing my weight around Sena.
“I… I apologize, this is because of my job…! I know what Kazuma-san had done for the town, but…”
“But…? But what? Anyway, now that my suspicions have been cleared, why aren’t you serving me tea? What is it with this police station? Bringing out some Katsudon would be fine too!”
“Katsudon? Sorry, we don’t have that here… I’ll serve you some tea immediately…”
Sena left in a hurry, and returned with a cup of brewed tea.
I took a sip…!
“It’s too warm! Doesn’t the prosecutor here know how to brew tea? And with your fierce attitude you probably don’t have a boyfriend, right? Since there’s a magic item here, it’s my turn to ask the questions. Do you have any man you’re close with?”
Sena looked at me expressionlessly and said firmly:
“No. Yes, because of my personality, I never had a boyfriend even after living until this age. Are you happy now? I advise you not to go too far.”
Looking at the bell that didn’t ring, I fearfully apologized.
“Anyway, what are the bad rumors you heard about me? Just those that were brought up by the adventurers yesterday?”
“Um, well… Apart from those, I heard you stripped the panties off a young girl in your party in public; you forced a crusader living in the same house as you to wash your back in the bath; you think your party’s priestess is troublesome and want to abandon her in a dungeon; all these rumors made you a suspicious character–”
Seeing me turning stiff, Sena looked at me with suspicious eyes.
“… Are they just rumors?”
Sena’s cold poker face returned as she said:
“… Those are just problems within your party, so I won’t make any comments. But do you know what people call you in the streets? Kazujerk, Kazutrash–”
“How… How mean! Who’s the one that gave me that sort of nickname?!”
But I knew about the things she brought up, I couldn’t deny it!
Seeing me like this, Sena sighed and…
“Really. To be safe, I’ll ask you again. You have no relations to anyone in the Demon King’s army, right? You’re not, for example, acquainted with a Demon King’s Army General, or anything like that…”
“No such thing, do you really think I’m a big sho–”
I didn’t finish saying ‘of a man to you’.
I realized I had made a big mistake.
Listening to the echo of the bell reverberating in the interrogation room.
I remembered that Wiz is a Demon King’s General.
“Hey, there’s not enough rice! And give me something with meat on it! Who cooked this?! I want to see the manager–!”
I was depressed for making this huge mistake, while the delinquent beside me was being noisy.
The man arrested for dine and dash was picking on the quality of the food.
Maybe I should act shamelessly like he does.
… I don’t really want to act that depraved though.
“Hey Kazuma, cheer up. I can’t count the number of times I was charged in court with all my fingers. You aren’t really an adventurer until you’ve been brought to the police station once. We’ll both be attending court tomorrow, so we should eat something good and have a good rest. I’ll get you some nice food! The cops here don’t like trouble, so they’ll bring things over if you complain a bit.”
After saying so, Dust started complaining in a volume loud enough to be heard throughout the station.
In the end, the police came over to warn Dust to not push his luck and beat him up. Dust turned quiet and I slept to be prepared for the next day.
– As it was getting late, I was woken by a tremor and the sound of an explosion from a distance, just like last night.
I sat up immediately and heard Aqua’s soft voice saying:
“Kazuma! Hey Kazuma, wake up!”
Hearing her voice, I clung to the wall with the window and said:
“You’re here again. What happened in the end last night? Is everyone fine?”
“Megumin and Darkness were sure they weren’t seen by anyone on the way back, but they were still made suspects for the explosion incident for some reason. The investigation capability of this world is amazing. But never mind that; I forced them both to wear a hood they hated, so they would definitely not be found out this time.”
No matter how you thought about it, the problem wasn’t being seen by others while committing the crime, but the limited number of people who could cast Explosion in this town.
“Let’s leave that for later; I was waiting for you the entire time, why didn’t you escape? I waited until my head was covered in snow; I was even questioned by the police several times, how miserable.”
“It’s not a lock and key padlock, but a rotating number lock. And I don’t have any lock picking skills at all, so there’s no way I can do that with just a wire.”
Hearing me say that, Aqua was quiet for a moment.
“… They got me this time, I didn’t think their prison was so secure.”
“It’s just a number lock. More importantly, what are you planning to do? If I don’t break out tonight, I’ll be charged in court tomorrow.”
Hearing me say that, Aqua snorted a couple of times. She sounded confident.
Where does her baseless confidence stem from?
“The method yesterday was too roundabout. I prepared two saws today; I’ll throw one of them to your side.”
“… You want me to saw through the window’s iron bars and escape?”
“So, you do know. We have until daybreak and there’s no time, so hurry!”
After saying that, Aqua threw a saw in through the gaps of the iron bars.
I see, if both of us work together, we could double the speed of cutting the bars.
But the problem is–
“… The window is too high from my side, I can’t reach it.”
The window was placed high up on the wall to prevent prisoners from breaking out. I couldn’t reach it even if I jumped.
“Don’t worry, I’m not stupid. I already knew this might happen, so I prepared a stepping stool. You can saw along with me if you use it. There’s probably not enough time for one-person to saw through it, but it should be fine with both of us working together.”
“So how do you plan in getting the stepping stool inside? Squeezing it through the gaps between the bars?”
Aqua was silent for a while after I asked her this simple question.
“… Wait a minute.”
After saying this, Aqua ran off.
“No, this is… A necessity for Kazuma, I have to give it to him…”
“I’ve never heard of anyone sending such a thing into a jail cell. And why are you here at this late hour…?”
Aqua’s voice could be heard in the distance.
She seemed to be trying to get the guards to pass that thing to me.
Maybe I should learn to act as earnestly as that idiot.
Surprisingly, as I listened to Aqua and the guard squabbling in the distance, I was no longer uneasy about going to court tomorrow.
– To dispose of the evidence, I threw the saw out the window and slept while wrapped in my blanket.
The justice system in this world was very simple. The prosecutor would collect evidence, and the accused would be defended by a representative.
If the judge concluded the charges to be true, he would pass judgment.
There are no lawyers in this world and the accused are defended by their friends.
The building structure was the same as the Japanese courts, with the accused in handcuffs and the representative standing in the center of the court. The judge, prosecutor and plaintiff sat opposite of them some distance away.
“No need to be so tense. Don’t worry, we’ll stay by your side.”
Megumin said, attempting to calm me down as I was so nervous that my whole body was stiff.
– That’s right.
The ones standing beside me as my defense representatives were the members of my party.
Why did things turn out like this?
Sitting in the seat of the prosecutor was Sena, who was staring at me, who couldn’t hide my nervousness, with cold eyes.
“No problem, leave it to me. The Crimson Demons have high intelligence; I’ll make that prosecutor cry through our debate.”
The one to my right making this reliable speech is my defending attorney Megumin.
“Don’t worry; if events develop beyond the point of redemption, I’ll think of a way to help you. You’re not at fault for this incident at all.”
Darkness who was standing to my left said.
How reliable, I felt at ease…
“Just leave it to me! As a woman of the cloth, my words are very convincing! Just leave everything to me!”
That’s right, the problem lies with this girl. I asked Aqua to come over and whispered into her ear:
“Listen carefully Aqua. I’m begging you, please don’t say anything. If you keep quiet obediently for the entire trial, I’ll buy Snow Crimson Crab for you.”
“What nonsense are you saying? If Kazuma’s sentenced to jail or death, you won’t be able to buy crab for me. Don’t worry, the one most familiar with being an attorney is me. Kazuma likes to play video games, right? Haven’t you heard about people in Japan playing ‘Based Attorney’ and ‘Manganronpa’? I played both before.”
“Okay, I get it now. Please, don’t say a word.”
Aqua responded to my request by turning her head away unhappily.
– A middle aged man that appeared to be the judge rapped the table with a mallet.
“Order in the court! We’ll now begin the trial for Satou Kazuma for subversion of the nation! The plaintiff is Alexei Barnes Alderp!”
On the cue of the judge, a fat man stood up.
He was tall and bulky, his balding head shiny. A middle-aged man full of body hair.
So that’s the landlord who’s suing me.
Landlord Alderp glared at me, as if he was judging my worth. He then used his lecherous eyes to look at the three ladies standing beside me.
After looking at every inch of Aqua’s and Megumin’s body, he turned his sights on Darkness…
And he stood stiffly there with a look of surprise.
“Hey, that fat old man kept looking at us. I feel the presence of evil and have the urge to poke his eyes out.”
“I’m pleading with you not to do that… And isn’t he only staring at Darkness?”
“He’s been looking at her for a very long time. His eyes are the same as Kazuma’s when he’s looking at Darkness when she walks around the mansion in flimsy attire.”
“Ughh… hey, you got it wrong. I-I never looked at Darkness with such eyes…”
As I was explaining myself in a panic and looking at Darkness, I noticed she was staring at the landlord too.
“… What’s wrong Darkness? Are you bothered by that old man’s gaze?”
“… No… I’m fine, it’s not that… I’ll tell you later.”
Darkness didn’t look okay, but I had no time to ask her as the mallet fell again.
“Silence! I’ll have order in the court. Prosecutor, step forth! We have a magic item here, so any lie will be exposed in this court. Remember this when you speak.”
The judge rapped the table again, and Sena stood up with this cue.
“I’ll now read out the charges… The accused, Satou Kazuma, took part with other adventurers in the battle against the Mobile Fortress Destroyer when it attacked. He gave the order during the battle to send the Coronatite, which was going to explode, away via teleportation. The Coronatite that was teleported exploded after appearing in the mansion of the plaintiff. The mansion of the plaintiff, Alderp, disappeared. Right now, Lord Alderp is forced to live in an inn within this town.”
As Sena was reading the charges, the plaintiff landlord was still staring at Darkness.
“When transporting monsters, drugs, and dangerous items such as explosives, the use of random teleportation is prohibited. It’s stated clearly in the law, and the instructions given out by the accused clearly contravene this law; also, threatening the life of the landlord could potentially shake the foundation of the nation. Hence, the prosecution requests for the accused to be found guilty of subversion of the state!”
It happened right after Sena finished reading the charges.
Aqua who was standing beside me moved in front, raising one arm as she shouted.
“It’s not time for the defendant to speak. Seek permission before you say anything… Well, this is your first time in court, so I’ll give you a pass this time… The defense may speak.”
The judge prompts Aqua, but she simply shook her head with a look of satisfaction.
“I just wanted to try saying ‘Objection’, it’s okay.”
“The defense may only speak when defending the accused!”
This idiot, I really felt like giving her a tight slap.
Aqua, who was scolded by the judge right after the court session started, seemed contented and returned to my side.
Sena, who was thrown off her game, seemed to be panicking a little.
“… Eh, that’s all I have to say. In short, we’re asking for Satou Kazuma to be found guilty of subversion of the nation…”
After Sena finished and returned to her seat, the Judge said:
“Next, I grant permission for the accused and his defense to speak. You may plead your case!”
“– And so, the Demon King’s General Beldia and the Destroyer were only defeated thanks to my efforts. It’s strange to accuse me of subversion of the nation with my contribution to the town. In fact, I think that everyone should be complimenting me instead!”
With the permission of the judge, I stated my piece in the center of the court.
I described how cool I was in the fight with Beldia.
Emphasizing how great my coordination was in the battle with the Mobile Fortress Destroyer, the judge looked at the lie exposing magic bell several times during my statement, but I didn’t mind.
I might’ve exaggerated a little, but I didn’t make any of this up.
“Enough… Enough, I understand what the defendant is trying to say. Moving on, prosecutor. Please present the evidence showing why the accused should be found guilty of subversion of the nation.”
The judge hurried Sena to submit the evidence with an irate face. Sena gave a gesture to a knight standing beside her.
Seeing that, the knight walked towards the waiting room in the court as Sena picked up a piece of paper and read:
“The prosecution will present the evidence, proving the accused is a terrorist attempting to subvert the authority of the nation, or that he is related to the Demon King’s army. Witness, please take the stand!”
With the instruction of Sena, the knight brought the witnesses into the court. They were mostly adventurers.
“Ahahaha… I was summoned…”
The first witness was Chris, who was looking at me with a troubled face as she scratched the scar on her face.
Including the thief Chris, the ones summoned to court as witnesses were all familiar faces.
The situation was bad.
“Which means, the accused used Steal under the watchful eyes of the public to strip you of your panties. Is this true?”
“Um–it’s true! But it was an accident!”
“You just need to confirm this is true, thank you for your testimony.”
“Hmm? Wait! I’m not bothered by that incident anymore…!”
Sena concluded the questioning in a hurry and chased Chris out of the court.
The other witnesses were troublesome too…
The one who came from Japan just like me, whose magic sword was stolen and sold by me: sword-master Mitsurugi. He walked to the front with his two underlings right behind him.
“Mitsurugi-san. I heard your magic sword was stolen and sold by the accused. And the two ladies were threatened by the accused that he would steal their panties if you tried to get the magic sword back. Is this true?”
“Yes, you’re right. But that incident was started by me…”
“That’s right, he threatened us! He said, ‘I’m a man who believes in gender equality, who dares to use drop kicks against girls’!”
“Yeah! He also said, ‘Since you are girls, I might humiliate you in public using my Steal skill’!”
Mitsurugi’s two underlings kept interrupting his words, using this chance to get back at me for threatening them that time.
These two girls probably hated me deeply, sticking their tongue out whenever our eyes met.
Ugh… The gaze of the judge and everyone else was hurting me…
After Mitsurugi and the others left the court, Dust was summoned as a witness for some reason.
I didn’t remember doing anything bad to this guy.
If I recall correctly, Dust was the one who suggested swapping teams.
After Dust greeted me warmly, Sena said:
“This man is the defendant of the next court case. I think the court should be familiar with him. He’s a delinquent that causes trouble and keeps getting sued.”
“Hey, you jerk, you’re the one who asked for me when I was just waiting for my turn in court. I just got here, so stop speaking ill about me! Are you asking me to massage those big tits of yours?”
Sena’s words made the short-tempered Dust lash out.
As the Judge was frowning because of Dust’s vulgar words, Sena pointed at me and said:
“Dust-san, I heard that you’re rather close with Satou Kazuma-san here. Is this true?”
“How could there be any doubt. We’re like brothers, and drink together often.”
After hearing that, Sena turned and said to me:
“Satou Kazuma-san, are you best friends with this unruly delinquent?”
“Just an acquaintance.”
Dust yelled, but the bell didn’t ring under the watchful eyes of Sena and the judge.
“I… I see, pardon my rudeness. I wanted to bring up the point that your friends are delinquents, that’s why…”
“It’s fine, it’s a fact that I’m acquainted with him.”
“Kazuma–! Is our friendship so shallow–?!”
As the knight dragged the yelling delinquent out of the court, Sena turned to face the judge.
“That last witness was disappointing, but the other witnesses should suffice to prove that the accused has a flawed personality and bore a grudge against the plaintiff. Based on these facts, it’s very possible that the accused didn’t order a random teleport to be used, but instructed for a normal teleport to transfer the stone to the mansion of the plaintiff, and disguised it as an accident–”
Sena tried pinning me down with circumstantial evidence.
“That isn’t evidence at all! I admit that Kazuma has a twisted personality, but I can’t accept such a circumstantial charge! Bring out something more concrete! And this trial is too strange! Everything is too forced; don’t you find this weird?”
“The defendants are to watch their words. Only speak up when granted permission!”
“You want evidence? Very well, I’ll bring undeniable proof! They’ll show without a doubt that this man is a terrorist determined to destroy the town, or is a minion of the Demon King’s army!”
Seeing Megumin become agitated, Sena picked up a piece of paper and read it out loud.
“One! The party led by adventurer Satou Kazuma might’ve defeated the general of the Demon King’s army during the fight with Beldia, but extensive damage was done to the town due to the huge amount of water that was conjured–”
“Two! Setting up a giant barrier in the public cemetery, causing the spirits in the cemetery to wander, creating havoc in town–”
I grabbed the hands of Aqua, who was covering her ears and facing the back, peeling them off her ears so she could hear what the prosecutor was saying, and…
“Casting an explosion spell in the area outside of town day after day, changing the landscape of the territory. Recently, it could be heard in the wee hours of the night, rousing the citizens from their sleep–”
It was Megumin’s turn to cover her ears and turn around.
My defense team was too useless!
“Hey, wait, this is too strange! It’s weird no matter how you think about it! The things you listed out have nothing to do with me! Well, they were troubles caused by the members of my team! But you should bring out evidence that has something to do with me!”
In reply to my outburst,
“And, we have reports of the accused using a skill only available to the undead, Drain Touch. If you’re not related to the Demon King’s army, please explain why you can use Drain Touch–You can’t just ignore this by covering your ears!”
Sena pointed at me, who was covering my ears like Aqua and Megumin, and shouted.
Remain silent! I want to exercise my right to remain silent!
“Finally, the most damning evidence… During the interrogation inside the police station, I asked if you had any dealings with a member of the Demon King’s army. You answered no back then, and the magic item detected a lie. That’s the best evidence!”
Oh no, oh no, oh no–!
I was out of ideas and speechless at this moment.
“– Hold it!”
Unexpectedly, this confident voice came from Aqua.
To think this girl would hold a trump card at this juncture…!
“Aqua, tell them! Show them the decisive evidence that proves my innocence!”
“Huh? There’s no way I have something like that, I just wanted to try saying that.”
“Remove that person from court!”
“Sorry! I apologize on behalf of this counsel!”
“Ahhh… that hurts!”
I grabbed the temple of Aqua and squeezed tightly as I apologized.
Shit, this damn idiot–!
At this moment, someone seemed tired of our games.
“Enough! That guy’s related to the Demon King’s army! He’s their minion! He sent explosives to my mansion! Kill him! Sentence him to death!”
The plaintiff who had been silent all this while, landlord Alderp stood up suddenly and roared angrily at me.
Well done old man, now’s my chance!
“No, I’m not related to the Demon King’s army! I’m not a terrorist! I do bear a grudge because he made me shoulder that debt, but I didn’t send the Coronatite over on purpose! Listen carefully, look at the magic item closely! I’m going to say this again! I’m not a minion of the Demon King’s army and I have nothing to do with them!”
My words didn’t make the bell ring, rendering the landlord speechless.
Sena frowned and bit her lower lips when she saw this.
If a testimony stated in the presence of the magic item could be taken as evidence, my words that didn’t trigger an alarm would also be taken as evidence.
The words of the plaintiff landlord helped me out of this situation.
The judge shook his head slowly.
“It’s always like this when we use the magic item to detect lies, the results aren’t clear. The prosecution motioned for the reaction of the magic item to be endorsed as evidence. But from the results right now, I can’t accept it as legitimate evidence. The circumstantial evidence presented so far is too weak. And so, I hereby find the accused, Satou Kazuma, not guilty from the lack of–”
During this decisive moment when the judge was passing his sentence.
“I’ll say this again. That guy’s affiliated with the Demon King’s army, he’s one of their minions. Sentence him to death.”
The landlord who was still standing said that.
In response, Sena said:
“No… No one was hurt for this incident. It should not lead to the death penalty…”
When she said that to the landlord, he just stared at her.
“… No, you’re right. The death sentence is the most appropriate… Right?”
“Hey, hey, wait a minute! This is too weird, too weird!”
“Yeah, what was with that just now! Why did the prosecutor’s argument change?!”
While Megumin and I were protesting, Sena was reacting strangely too. She was the one who said that, but her face looked confused as she tilted her head.
Aqua suddenly pointed at the judge, Sena, and the landlord and said:
“I feel an evil presence! Someone among this group is attempting to twist the facts with evil powers!”
Aqua’s unexpected speech made the court fall into silence.
Maybe due to her idiotic words earlier, all eyes watching Aqua were doubtful.
Everyone looked towards the magic item, and the atmosphere changed when it didn’t ring.
Aqua was an arch-priest, a job with a holy nature.
This made her words more convincing, which made the expression of the judge change.
“Powers of evil… So, you are saying someone is using underhanded means to influence this sacred trial?”
“Yes, that’s correct. My eyes are more accurate than that magic item! Truthfully speaking, I’m a goddess of water with 10 million devotees in this world! Goddess Aqua!”
Aqua’s declaration resulted in a crisp ringing sound in the silent court.
“Why–! Wait, I didn’t lie–!”
“Defendant, please choose your counsels carefully.”
“My apologies, I’ll reflect on this seriously.”
Aqua, who lost the trust of everyone, was still being noisy as Megumin consoled her. For some reason, the landlord was biting his lips, staring at Aqua with a pale face.
“I get it, it must be because I was acting too vainly. The magic item thought I was lying because of the number of devotees! 10 million is exaggerating a bit, I should had said something in the region of 9.8 million.”
Hearing Aqua mumbling behind me, I wanted to retort that her believers probably numbered less than a thousand. But I can’t do that now as the judge would give his verdict at any moment.
The judge cleared his throat.
“… Defendant Satou Kazuma. Considering your inhumane actions and your disruption of the peace and order to society…”
He started saying something that contradicted his previous verdict.
“I find the sentence motioned by the prosecutor to be adequate. The accused is found guilty and–”
“– Sentenced to death.”
“This is weird–! No, hold it, wait a minute! What’s with this rushed verdict?! Bring out stronger evidence! There must be something wrong with your head to sentence someone to death so lightly!”
“Defendant! Watch your behavior!”
“Kazuma’s right, this is strange. There’s something wrong. That’s right, Kazuma did bear a grudge for having to shoulder the reparation cost of the flood, likes to complain, and hates the landlord, which might lead to trouble one day. But despite all that, he doesn’t have the guts to send the Coronatite over!”
Hey, are you defending me or getting in my way? Make it clear!
As I was wondering how to shut Aqua up, Megumin took off her eye patch and said:
“Very well, since you want to think of Kazuma as a terrorist, I’ll show you what a real terrorist is like… Hey, what are you doing! Release me!”
Seeing Megumin’s crimson eyes glowing, the guards rushed in to subdue her.
“No–! This is weird! Too weird! My clear eyes can see evil lingering in the air inside this court! Just wait for a moment, I’ll purify the air right now… Ah! I’m not using any suspicious magic, don’t get in my way!”
“Usage of spells are strictly prohibited within the courts! It might interfere with the lie detection magic device!”
“Enough, get them both out of here!”
Sena stood up, instructing the guards to take Megumin and Aqua away.
“Order! Order!… I said order in the court!”
The judge finally lost it, roaring as he threw the mallet.
The guards were dragging Megumin and Aqua away when suddenly,
“– Your Honor, please look at this.”
Darkness, who had remained quiet without saying a word, took something out from her chest.
It was a pendant that looked valuable with an insignia on it.
I didn’t know what that was, but it was something everyone in court knew about.
The judge stood up in surprise, staring wide eyed at the pendant.
Under the stares of everyone present, Darkness said softly:
“Pardon me, could you suspend the trial for me? I don’t mean to get the prosecutor to throw the case out. I just need time to prove that this man is not a minion of the Demon King’s army, and is innocent. At the same time, I’ll ask him to compensate the landlord for the mansion.”
Sena and the judge stood stiffly as they stared at the insignia presented by Darkness.
Under such a circumstance, only the landlord managed to protest weakly.
“This… But, even if you request for this…!”
“Alderp. As the victim in all this, you could count this as me owing you a favor. If it’s within my means, I can do anything for you. I’m not asking you to withdraw the charges, I just hope you can wait a while longer.”
Hearing what Darkness said, the landlord stood where he was and gulped.
“Anything?! An… Anything…!”
“That’s right, anything.”
Hearing what Darkness said, the landlord’s eyes shone as he looked at Darkness’s body lecherously.
He then sat back into his chair.
“All right; since you’re the one requesting, I’ll grant this man more time.”
– After being granted permission to leave the courts, I asked Darkness, who was following behind me:
“What was that just now? Or rather, you know that old man Alderp?”
“… You could say that. Ever since I was young, he had an obsession towards me. Ever since his wife passed on, he asked for my hand in marriage several times. But my father rejected him due to our age difference.”
How terrifying. How persistent is he?
“Are… Are you all right? Will it be fine to promise doing anything for that kind of old man? From the way he was checking you out, he’ll probably ask for something horrible.”
“… Something, something horrible…”
“You… Return my sympathy to me…”
As I was turned off by the pervert who started blushing and breathing heavily, I went together with Darkness to fetch Aqua and Megumin who were being detained.
– After Darkness’s negotiation, the court gave me two orders.
The first was to prove that I wasn’t a minion of the Demon King’s army.
The second was to compensate the landlord for his mansion.
To raise the funds, I brought Aqua along with me to Wiz’s shop.
I wanted to come alone, but Aqua kept following me.
“I understand what Kazuma’s thinking! You got into all this trouble because of that undead. You’re planning to rob her shop to pay off the debts, right?”
Aqua, who didn’t understand anything, said spiritedly in front of the shop.
“Get out here undead monster! I’ll send you to the other world!”
She shouted something silly as she kicked the door into Wiz’s shop open.
“Wh-What? Robbers? The mafia?… Eck–! It’s… It’s Aqua-sama!”
For some reason, Wiz was more afraid of Aqua than robbers and the mafia.
I moved into the shop and went over to Wiz, who was terrified because of Aqua and told her the verdict for the case.
“I see… First, congratulations on being released! I’m terribly sorry, Kazuma-san. It was all because I teleported that stone…”
“That’s right, if you understand then, ugh…!”
“Don’t worry about it. If Wiz wasn’t there back then, we wouldn’t have made through it unscathed. It blew the landlord’s mansion up, but no one was hurt. I just need to prove to Sena that I’m not a minion of the Demon King’s army to be cleared of any suspicion. But the next problem would be raising the funds to rebuild the landlord’s mansion.”
I didn’t know what nonsense Aqua was going to spout, so I covered her mouth and said that to Wiz; Wiz was relieved when she heard that.
“I see, you managed to buy some time. But as for money… I really want to help you, but my shop’s losing money, so I don’t have much cash on hand… I had a friend back from my days with the Demon King’s army. He was great in making money, but was an unfathomable person; I could never understand what he was thinking… It would be great if there’s anything else I can help you with…”
Wiz said with a troubled expression and started thinking behind her counter.
“No, I’m here because you can help me with something.”
“That’s right, the thing we need your help with is for you to move on from this world!”
I ignored Aqua’s nonsense and discussed with Wiz.
Simply put, with my existing debt and the lack of cash on hand, it will be difficult to raise the funds to rebuild the mansion of the landlord.
Since that’s the case, maybe I should put the plan I thought about in the past into action…
The civilization level here was more backwards than Earth. People who couldn’t use Tinder had to rely on flints.
If I start selling lighters in this world, it would certainly be a hit.
But I knew how much skill was needed to make such delicate items.
Even if I managed to make one, it would be impossible for any shop to suddenly agree to sell my wares.
That’s why I’m discussing it with Wiz to see if I could display merchandize somewhere in her store for a while.
– I explained the whole thing to Wiz.
I told her I would be making some convenient items, and asked for permission to display them in her shop.
If it sells, I would share a part of the profit with Wiz.
I told her that she might want to look at the things I made before deciding.
“It’s not easy to make a living with adventuring as a career. Hence, I must rely on doing business… And the only one I could rely on at such short notice is Wiz.”
“In other words, Kazuma’s saying that we’ll be taking over this shop, so hurry up and give us the deed… That hurts!”
I hit the back of Aqua’s head with the hilt of my dagger. I lowered my head and asked Wiz sincerely.
Even though she was afraid of Aqua who was nursing her head while rolling on the floor, Wiz still replied with a gentle smile.
“If it’s something like this, then there’s definitely no problem. I would very much like more variety with merchandize. My shop’s not that popular anyway… And if you’re making reparations for the landlord’s mansion, I’m related to it too… I don’t know what you plan to sell, but I’m looking forward to it, Kazuma-san.”
Seeing Wiz agree with a smile, I smiled along too.
If not for that thing rolling on the floor, the atmosphere would be much better.
… Suddenly, Wiz’s expression seemed a bit gloomy.
Her face was full of worries, as if she was wondering whether to tell me something.
“…? What is it? If there’s something bothering you, do tell me. I don’t plan to force this upon you, so if there’s something you’re worried about…”
Wiz waved her hands, gesturing that it was fine.
“No, I’m not worried about that! Um… It’s great for me if Kazuma-san is willing to place his merchandize in my shop. It’s unrelated to that; it’s about Aqua-sama…”
Wiz started hesitating with a troubled expression.
“…? What’s wrong with this girl? Oh… If I put my wares here, Aqua might come over from time to time and cause you trouble, huh? If you’re afraid of that girl, I’ll ask her to avoid coming here.”
Aqua might look like that, but she was a goddess after all.
As an undead, Wiz should feel uneasy in her presence.
“… No, that’s not it… It’s fine for Aqua-sama to visit… But she’ll talk to the customers when she’s here, saying that the merchandize here is made using unspeakable methods by the shop lady, and it’s better not to buy them…”
“Hey, what’s that all about?”
Hearing my low pitch question, Aqua, who was nursing her head on the floor, trembled for a moment.
“It’s… It’s fine! It’s all in the past now! The amazing thing is, things like holy water inside my shop were wildly popular with the male adventurers, so it’s fine…”
Should I say things worked out fine since it sold so well…
But was it okay for a lich to sell holy water?
Furthermore, were the adventurers in this town really fine?
“More importantly… Aqua-sama touches all the merchandize in my shop, causing all cursed and necromancy items to be purified, making many of the items unusable…”
“What were you thinking, you damn goddess!”
Seemed like she had been visiting Wiz’s shop and causing her trouble every now and then.
I dragged Aqua up and pushed her head down to apologize to Wiz.
“I’m sorry Wiz! I’ll take responsibility and compensate your damaged goods with her money! You jerk, don’t resist and apologize properly!”
“Wait Kazuma! I don’t wanna! And the water being purified after getting in contact with me is because of my holy aura, it can’t be helped! It’s just like plants photosynthesizing when the sun shines on them, it’s automatic! I really can’t control that!”
No, you shouldn’t touch the merchandize in the first place.
Aqua resisted with her neck and refused to bow down, so I bowed deeply in her place.
I’ve been forced to bow down to a lot of people because of her recently.
“Please, please, raise your head! It’s fine, it’s all in the past now! I just hope she won’t try to purify the goods from now on. I have troubled Aqua-sama a lot too, like asking her to send the lost souls in the cemetery to the other world and exorcise that mansion…!”
Wiz bowed in a hurry as she spoke.
When Aqua heard what Wiz said, the culprit that caused the spirit infestation in the mansion because of her laziness in purifying the cemetery averted her eyes.
… You should just switch jobs with Wiz.