After tying up Mefuri’s arms and legs as well as even blindfolding and gagging her, we finally left the underground passage.
We didn’t know the exact conditions for Mefuri to activate her magic yet, so I could only go off the example of Diferis who had to use arm gestures and her voice in order to activate magic.
As for Mefuri’s explosions, although I inferred that preliminary preparations must have been necessary for her to be able to explode the children, I still didn’t know the details. Because I had accidentally touched Mefuri, along with the fact that we had to carefully keep a distance from the remaining children while returning in the dark and narrow tunnel, Claudia, Rashiok, and I were all exhausted by the time we returned to the fort.
Again, while we didn’t know the details, it seemed that Mefuri could grasp the position of her “bombs” even without relying on her vision, a fact that gave us great pressure. I think that perhaps her sense isn’t perfect, as she didn’t notice the fact that we took Vanita in the darkness and then knocked him unconscious… as Vanita could be one of her living bombs as well.
“So, what are you going to do?”
Without concealing the fatigue on her face, Claudia indicated towards Mefuri. I confirmed that the children hadn’t come out of the tunnels yet, and placed my hand on my neck without saying anything. Just in case Mefuri attempted to explode the remaining children, we had ordered them to follow along far behind us.
“Persuading her will be rather…”
Claudia seemed both unwilling to forgive this girl as well as being unwilling to kill her if at all possible.
“She’s most likely not one of the slaves from Nazric. Her appearance might mean she’s from Epadena… or, she could be someone from Rindarl originally that has southern blood in her.”
Maybe Claudia was unsure if what I said was accurate or not, she furrowed her eyebrows as she looked down at the bound Mefuri that she was dragging along behind her.
Mefuri seemed to be recoiling in fear at our voices as she breathed raggedly through the cloth gag that was roughly stuffed in her mouth. …Although she’s the enemy’s agent, with her young age Rindarl probably only taught her about how to use her ability. Now that she’s been defeated and has become our prisoner for real this time, she seems to have completely lost her calm.
Although she’s still young and it would be typical behavior for her age, it could still be some sort of trap for me to lower my guard.
Claudia suddenly made a comment.
Her heavy tone of voice was clearly because she expected this to end in Mefuri’s execution, but Mefuri wouldn’t know that. Mefuri finally stopped throwing a tantrum, and attempted to crawl closer to Claudia.
…The sight of her seemed so miserable. She was probably around eleven years old, covered in blood and tied with ropes, and was struggling like a dying insect to wriggle closer to the people that would probably end up killing her. Her trembling body and and shaky knees indicated her fear of us though, I couldn’t imagine that she could possibly be acting.
I think that I most likely had a terribly cold and ruthless look as I was looking at her.
“…Indeed, it’s truly pitiful. It doesn’t matter what kind of magic power beyond human understanding she possesses, with how young she is it’s obvious that she’s just a chess piece whose fate is to be used and thrown away.”
Claudia seemed surprised as she looked at me. Mefuri who seemed like she was almost at death’s door also heard my statement. Perhaps she received a huge shock, she violently jerked her body.
“This child was betrayed and abandoned. It would be normal for her to be executed if she was captured. For whoever sent these children here, the person in charge probably considered it nothing even if this girl died here as well.”
Mefuri kept shaking her head as if she didn’t enjoy hearing me talk. Her body language was shouting that she didn’t want to listen to this. However, it’s not like she has any options. Since she was the cause of all this, she no longer has the freedom to choose.
“-Whoever sent this child here surely isn’t capable of rational strategizing. Wasting and allowing someone with such magic power to be killed like this… Well, if this child had been my soldier, I would never have done such a terrible thing.”
Pitter patter, there was the sound of something liquid leaking out of Mefuri’s eyes and dripping to the stone floor even through her blindfold.
As this incomparably pitiful young girl tried crawling towards my feet, I still looked at her with an expression of cold ruthlessness.
-I’m perfectly aware that what I’m doing is attempting to brainwash her. She seems like the type who wouldn’t obediently answer my questions, so first I must use psychological attacks to break her spirit.
Since she’s not an Arxian, I absolutely can’t trust her because I don’t know what morals she’s been raised with.
If I can’t trust her, I can’t make use of her, so breaking her spirit is the best method I know.