|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2615 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1012 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
Back at the center of the encampment.
At first, the group simply parked the Flygear Carrier in a clearing in the forest where they could be sheltered from the wind and snow, and pitched their tents around it, but now several temporary but considerably large houses were being built to accommodate the people who stayed there.
Although, considering that the number of people who gathered there was growing by the day all thanks to Prince Lahti’s reputation for opening up Lekrea, there were still not enough houses. However, that was also within calculation, and the construction of the foundation of the castle that could accommodate a considerable number of people was well underway.
There was already enough human resources to build such an infrastructure. They numbered no less than a hundred. Maybe even several hundreds. And there was enough food stockpiled to feed them, thanks to the meat from Vufailbane. It would probably last from a few months to a year.
That was enough to survive for the time being, and by the time the rations ran out, the food situation Tiffany and her goons brought to the surrounding area would be a thing of the past.
The commotion was taking place in one of the houses built with logs. It was the house that Inglis and her friends were using for sleeping. It was surrounded by a large number of people, their voices filled with anger. In front of them, a group of knights under Lahti were standing as a barrier to protect the person inside the house.
The person was, of course, Pullum. The mass insisted that Pullum’s presence, her being the relative of someone who had looted and destroyed their lives, was unacceptable. Leone was by Pullum’s side, nestled in close to be her support.
「I’m really sorry. I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!」
Pullum continued to kowtow again and again to the people, eyes red with a stream of tears, but that wasn’t enough to disperse the commotion.
「You can run your mouth however you want!」
「That’s right! You’re the sister of Hallim who has destroyed our lives! Don’t think that we’ll let you go!」
「Yeah, you should take responsibility!」
Their voices and gazes were chock full of rage and sorrow that had nowhere else to go.
Just shielding Pullum won’t quell their outrage, but I can at least help in any way I can! That’s what Leone was thinking as she stood in front of Pullum.
Pullum is just like how I was a few years ago. I want to help her precisely because I’ve lived through this! Thus she strongly thought.
「Pullum! It’ll be dangerous to stay here, let’s go inside for now!」
「No, I cannot run away from these people! I have to apologize to them for what my brother has done!」
「But Pullum, at this rate……!」
These people would surely start a riot. If that happened, a clash with the Knights would be unavoidable.That would damage Lahti’s reputation, and more importantly, they would have to hurt the people who lost their homes and families. Such a grim outcome was best evaded… after all, both Leone and Pullum had seen what these people had been through on their way to Lekrea.
「Everyone, please calm down! It’s true that Pullum is Hallim’s sister, but she has no part in what he did! On the contrary, she played a huge role in the fight to reacquire Lekrea and she even saved our lives! Is it really just to have her bear Hallim’s sins?! Please consider it well!」
Luwin, who led the Knight squadron, screamed too, but…
「There have been various examples of a family or a clan member bearing the blame for one of them who had rebelled against the country since ancient times! That just speaks how serious Hallim’s crime is! Remember the sadness, the anger! Remember, we need to make an example to prevent such a tragedy from happening again! To deter the second or third Hallim from ever popping up again! She must not be forgiven, for the sake of our future! This is no angry outburst! This is a necessary step to face the future!」
The one who spewed those words was a lanky boy with a beautiful face, Ian.
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「Ian! How could you say that?! Aren’t you Pullum’s childhood friend?! Her friend?! If you really are, then you should have—!」
「I don’t think so! A sin is a sin! Someone has to pay for it! Being friends is not an excuse to play favoritism! If you say that that’s not what it means to be friends, then it’s fine by me! What about you, aren’t you actually involved with Hallim and up to something?!」
「Wha?! What are you even saying?! You came here with us, you should’ve known that’s not true!」
Enraged, Leone put her hand on the hilt of her black greatsword Artifact she was carrying on her back on reflex. Seeing that, Pullum hurriedly clung to her to stop her
「Leone! I’m begging you, please don’t!」
「I understand how you feel! But, think about it calmly! If you mess with the people here, His Highness’ Lahti’s reputation will be damaged!! You will jeopardize the future of Lekrea! Please, just bear with it for now!」
「R-, right! I’m sorry, I should have known better…」
Leone was about to remove her hand from the hilt when…
「So naive! What makes you think we can’t mess with you?!」
With a clang, the blade juts out along Ian’s arms. Ian’s body was mostly mechanized like it was a Flygear. It was the result of Highland technology. This was no surprise.
Ian, with his blade exposed, rushed towards Luwin, the centerpiece of the Knights who walled up in front of the mob.
「Now, get out of the way!」
「Stop it! Ian!」
Leone’s black greatsword extended and interrupted the space between Luwin and Ian. Ian’s blade strike didn’t reach Luwin. Just at the nick of time.