Both Viscount Rogshia and Ogren’s tales were full of exaggerations and lies. In the first place, both of them were in on creating this addictive substance together, purely out of the ugly desire to make profits in any way possible, and now that it’s been exposed, they’re both trying to make sure the other one takes the fall.
Secretly creating drugged candles with beeswax, drug smuggling, tax evasion…… Any argument they had on the surface about their children’s engagement was only camouflage for their secret activities, a deep swamp that I’ve been dragged into because I found what was truly going on behind what appeared to be a simple engagement conflict.
How long is this farce going to continue for, I wonder.
All the evidence that Earl Terejia helped me gather of their illegal acts, I modified the evidence so that it would benefit Viscount Rogshia, and I’ll submit it to the priests when they’re finished with their arguments.
The fact will remain that Viscount Rogshia still has a large debt, but the person truly holding the key to Viscount Rogshia’s future prospects is Earl Freche. For the mere price of 20 million arcs, a paltry sum to him at least, Earl Freche will be able to acquire large amounts of fertile land in the Greenfield region and extensive beekeeping facilities. It’s good for all of us that Earl Freche accepted his youngest son Cornell’s plan to pay off Viscount Rogshia’s debt and essentially gain control of the Rogshia domain.
The crookedness of the Ogren family surely must be connected to the main family behind them, the Nordsturms. Earl Terejia wants to find a concrete connection somewhere so that he can drag Marquis Nordsturm in front of the House of Lords, so this time I’m acting as Earl Terejia’s chess piece with this final objective in mind.
……It seems that the issue between the Ogrens and the Rogshias will come to a close soon. However, I felt an unexpected uncomfortable feeling in my ear, so I raised my head instinctively.
“Is something the matter?”
Maybe it was too much of a sudden movement, the priests that were coldly and calmly listening to the viscounts argue, and even the two viscounts that had been verbally sparring so viciously, everyone in the room’s attention was pulled to me. I could hear a high-pitched tone in the distance, increasing in volume, causing my ears to tremble slightly.
“……I think, there may be some sort of commotion outside?”
One of the priests quickly signaled a guard standing in front of the door to this room, who opened the door.
At that instant, all of us could clearly hear some sort of commotion. Also, there was some sort of strange sound in the air, almost like the rustling of leaves.
Exactly at this time, guards from outside panickily rushed into the room, shouting “it’s a fire! There’s a fire near us! Evacuate to somewhere safe!”
Everyone stood up in unison. If this is just a simple fire though, this other sound we’re hearing is still too strange.
“Since this is an emergency situation, this trial will end for the time being. Everyone, follow me.”
One of the priests who looked absolutely ashen lead the way, while guards escorted both viscounts. Since Feria still looked lost about what was going on, I pulled on her arm. Since I gave a hand signal to Oscar for him to go fetch the documentary evidence against Viscount Ogren and we’re currently separated, will we be able to meet up later properly? He shouldn’t be that far away.
……But still, what an inconvenient timing for such a ruckus. I hope this won’t have a negative impact on resolving this incident.
At a brisk pace, I walked out of the church temple for the trial. What I saw next made me doubt my eyes, and everyone was speechless.
The sky itself was crimson. Although it was evening, the air itself appeared to be burning. From the direction of the commoners’ district, black smoke could be seen rising here and there, and sparkling fiery powder could be seen glittering everywhere in the air.
“Are these…… fire moths? It couldn’t be. Such an enormous amount?”
Viscount Rogshia made that comment in a daze. Well, I felt the same way he did as I looked up at the sky.
A crimson sky. There’s an uncountable number of fire moths swirling about, dancing in the sky.
With their strange buzzing, wherever the fire moths swarmed like waves over the commoners’ buildings, a new fire would vigorously sprout. Screams are echoing everywhere. Everyone was lost for words at this abnormal situation.
“Exactly what is going on here?”
“At any rate, let’s evacuate from here…… this area is dangerous.”
It happened right when the priest turned around. Suddenly a great force hit me, and my body struck a wall. Due to the shock of the impact, I couldn’t breathe for a moment. I limply fell down to the ground against the wall, as I couldn’t summon up any energy.
“Nobody move! Don’t move!!”
Someone is now pressing up against me forcefully on my back. It’s Viscount Ogren, who’s even louder than before and sounds almost hysterical. When I somehow managed to turn my head around, I also saw two unfamiliar men in black clothing removing their swords from the guards’ bodies that they just ambushed.
Feria’s screaming pierced through the air. I also saw Viscount Rogshia collapsing to the ground without uttering a sound.
“What is all this!!”
Those were the last words that the judge priest ever said. Buzz, as the fire moths approached us, he met his end and was wiped out of existence instantly.
This temple’s garden began smoldering as well. As the fire started spreading here as well, it reached the tunic of one of the dead guards on the ground. I could only watch the licks of fire expanding in blank amazement.
“How excellent. All of you can just be burned alive by this fire!”
Viscount Ogren’s screaming voice was overjoyed as he kept stepping on my back, and a moment right after I felt something cold on the back of my left hand –
Sweat started trickling down my entire body as I was racked in pain and screamed instinctively. My left hand is so hot. It’s burning with pain. Viscount Ogren had taken a spear from one of the dead guards, and stabbed it through my left hand, pinning it to the ground.
The viscount’s crazed laughter as he ran off even drowned out the sounds of Feria trying to struggle and escape the grasp of one of the black-clad attackers. The crackling sounds of fire, screaming, and the buzzing of the fire moths, at any rate I was surrounded by nothing but horrible sounds, and my left hand’s pain would soon become the least of my worries.