When I interrogated the bandit Valon based on what Claudia and Gunther had just told me, it didn’t seem like he hid anything at all, there was nothing that seemed overly suspicious and he immediately told me anything I asked him.
He said that he came to Arxia to fulfill a mission given to him by his church.
He said that his mission was to meet with a woman named Diferis waiting in the Ogren domain, and to assist her.
He said that some people in the bandit group, himself included, believed in the West Alfena sect of the Revua church, and that the church that had given them their mission was the West Alfena church.
He said that the believers were nobles from the Densel Dukedom.
He said that the rest were real bandits, hired by the nobles.
He said that the woman named Diferis was making large amounts of generous donations to the West Alfena church.
He said that he was told to go through the Kaldia domain in order to reach the Ogren domain.
It’s been about half a year since I caught the bandits, but this is the first time that I’ve heard all these things.
“What was Diferis going to have you guys do?”
“Well, I don’t really know the details. I think it would probably be some anti-Arxian related activities.”
Anti-Arxian activities, eh…… What I kept thinking about was of course, the suspicious movements of the Nordsturms, and those sisters that keep coming and going from their domain. Especially since those sisters are spreading anti-noble sentiments, they’re a dangerous factor that could undermine order in Arxia.
I believe that Marquis Nordsturm’s wife is from the Ogren domain. It would be natural to consider the Ogren domain complicit in their suspicious movements.
“Then, is the Western Alfena church intending to invade Arxia? Or perhaps destroy Arxia?”
“Of course, to destroy it. Since this is an infidel’s country based on the Xia sect…… Well, that’s what fanatics like my cellmate Remis believe in. I’m different. Well, my parents are believers, but I only joined the church for money. Since, I can make a profit. Just like Diferis, there are many both inside and outside of Densel that wish for Arxia’s destruction and will give us a great deal of funding.”
According to Valon, that’s why he was willing to talk now since he was afraid of dying, as he wasn’t a fanatic believer like the rest of them were.
It seems that the other man still in the dungeon is named Remis. Well, since he’s going to be nothing but a frozen corpse soon, I no longer hold any interest in him.
Whatever the case, all of this got me thinking. If what Valon says is true, the Western Alfena church is basically a church in name only, and is actually more like some sort of anti-Arxian terrorist organization or group. What’s more, it has many supporters.
“If that’s the goal of your church, their supporters’ goal must be very easy to understand.”
“……Ahh, indeed. Other than the fanatics among them, it’s mostly merchants that are donating money, as well as some nobles. There are some merchants that are aiming for control over regional products found in Arxia’s vassal states, and there are also many weapon and drug dealers. Also, the nobles want to expand their territories.”
Meaning, these people would benefit if war broke out. The merchants aim to profit from war, or to take control over some of Arxia’s vassal states, so they’re investing in a terrorist organization. Since their nobles want Arxia’s land, it’s also advantageous for them to invest in terrorists so that Arxia is already weakened before any actual war breaks out.
……Also, nobles from my own country, the Nordsturms, might be involved in all this. It feels like some hot, passionate feelings are beginning to bubble up from within me, slowly coming to a boil.
“But, if your church is up to such large undertakings, I would have expected the name to be a little more famous.”
“The Western Alfena church is only a small sect, a tiny church. Since the original Revua religion that it’s under is so large, it’s like they’re hiding under an umbrella.”
……Unlike the Xia religion in Arxia, the Revua religion has several major sects. However, since it’s structured so that there’s many small sects under each one, it’s indeed difficult to gather information on the smaller churches. None of the main churches should have a name containing either of the words “Western” or “Alfena.” It’s impossible to investigate. There’s too many small churches to possibly find out about them all. It’s especially difficult to learn about one if it’s so small in scale that it’s only known to locals.
While I was thinking in my mind without saying anything out loud, Valon also waited for me silently for a while. But while I was in the middle of my thoughts, I heard his voice again.
“Do all Arxian children have such disturbingly high intellect?”
“……Well, who knows.”
“You don’t even look like you’re ten yet. If you had been born in Densel, it wouldn’t be strange at all if you were considered to be possessed by a demon and killed off.”
Well, if he had seen how I was when I had just been born in Arxia, he probably would have considered me a demon from an even earlier age. In any case, he continued speaking.
I noticed that I couldn’t help but furrow my eyebrows again. The Xia religion doesn’t have the concept of demons, but in the Romur Ringwall languages used in the eastern countries, it’s a commonly used word there. Due to my memories from a previous life, it’s a word that’s easy for me to understand.
That’s why I had a reaction. Thanks to the standards of my previous life’s memories, I’d always considered the actions of the unscrupulous Kaldia family to be the “work of demons.”
Then I considered the words I was about to tell this man. They’re definitely words that won’t put the Kaldia family name to shame, the work of demons.
“I understand everything clearly now. I shall keep my promise with you.”
He seemed delighted at the news, while I smiled slightly at him in return.
“Yes, of course.”
I stood up. At the same time, I had the two soldiers to the left and right of Valon restrain his arms, and force him down from his chair and kneel in front of me. I took a slender sword from Gunther who was behind me, and held its tip to Valon’s throat.
His smile froze. That was his final word. My slender sword sliced above his clavicles, right through the soft fleshy part of his throat and exited close to his cervical vertebrae. Immediately after, reddish-brown blood started flowing from his mouth, and covered the floor.
“I forgot to tell you, but you’re already dead now. Meaning, only dead people are going to leave my dungeon.”
His eyelids were blinking furiously and he kept sputtering blood, while his lips moved like he wanted to say something. No voice came out, but his lips were moving so tremendously that I felt as if he was being driven by demons.
Well, things are like this already. Eliza Kaldia was cursed from the moment she was born into this world.
I had never intended in the first place to ever release any of the bandits. They hurt my people and committed crimes. It’s only natural that they should die in compensation.