|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2483 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1441 words|
Mira asked her in a low voice, only loud enough for her to listen. Because of their height difference, Mira’s head was turned up to look at Luminaria, so Luminaria plopped her hand on her hair before replying.
「That’s not it at all. I heard my dear friend got attacked so I had to come see what happened.」
Luminaria moved her face closer then, replying in a sad voice as her other hand caressed Mira’s cheek.
「Oh? And your actual reason?」
「I just had to know why a group of men would attack a lone girl.」
It was clear she was hiding something at first so Mira pressed further, so Luminaria replied that way while smiling broadly. Even after thirty years her personality was the same. That brought a sense of relief to Mira, though she also had a thin smile thinking of how excentric she could be.
「Well, that’s too bad. He wasn’t skilled enough to go that far.」
Continuing their lighthearted conversation, they walked deeper inside the castle.
After receiving the three men and finishing the preparations in the interrogation room, the investigator opened the doors and bowed to Mira’s group.
「Please, come in.」
After crossing the iron doors, they entered a narrow room without any windows or decorations, only having a multitude of restriction and binding tools prepped around. There was barely any light inside, and once the doors were closed the oppressive feeling increased. The interrogation room looked isolated from the natural world, shrouded in anxiety as the lights flickered brightly, as if reminded of their duty from time to time.
「First of all, we should take that armor off him. Though we’ll have to wake the other two up before they can give us their account of the story. Luminaria, could you help with this?」
「Sure, I’m not used to limiting myself but leave it to me.」
Answering to Suleyman, Luminaria took one step forward, getting closer to one of the men in black propped against a chair. When he heard Luminaria’s reply, his uneasiness rose so he slowly opened his eyes pretending to wake up.
「Wait, he’s awake. There’s no need to do anything with him.」
A silent but desperate cry escaped his throat as his face contorted. His face was turned down, but he could see the lightning silently sparking between Luminaria’s fingers.
Almost instantly like a chain reaction, the other man also opened his eyes and reported his state. Luminaria stared coldly at the two, and they violently shook their heads to show how awake they were.
「I guess it’s only him then.」
Saying so in a disinterested voice, Luminaria placed her hand on Kairos’ helmet. There was a flash before the intermittent snapping sound of electrical sparks after a short-circuit crossed along his body, making him jolt and convulse like a spring doll.
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Kairos’ mind snapped back to reality together with a toneless scream, unable to tell if Luminaria’s hand had been on him for a few seconds or just an instant.
Once her hand was off him, stillness returned to the room, save for Kairos’ ragged breath. The two men in black were stiff, cold sweat pouring from their bodies as they realized they had also been moments before going through the same experience.
Enduring a feeling like having glass shards stuck between the fibers of his muscles, or being under the influence of anesthesia, Kairos looked at the uncertain floor extending in front of him, hard to see with the bits of light that could make it through the slits in his helmet.
「This is the interrogation room in Arkite Castle.」
With a cold voice, different to the one he had been using until moments earlier, Suleyman replied. Kairos looked up following that voice, seeing Suleyman, then his nemesis Mira to the side, and the Wiseman Luminaria who any magician would know at a glance.
「Have you regained your senses? Then we’ll proceed with the questioning. I would be very grateful if you could reply honestly from the start.」
Suleyman had an unusually cold stare as he spoke to the three. Luminaria was amusing herself by releasing random bolts of electricity from her fingertips, while Mira alone still looked exactly the same as in any other situation, though for some reason it was her who looked the most ominous there.
「You really aren’t pulling any stops this time.」
The door opened and a single man entered while saying that. More light entered the room dispelling some of the claustrophobic aura, but something else increased the pressure on the three men. The person who had just entered the room was none other than King Solomon himself.
For an instant pure fright filled their expressions, as if they had been walking on a dark passage only to step on a skull.
Normally an important person like the king would never step inside the interrogation room. His underlings would carry out the interrogation and then present the findings to the king. But for some reason this time, the king had decided to go there out of his own free will and with his own feet. And while his first exclamation still echoed in the room, he turned to speak directly with Mira.
「When I thought you were finally back, you get involved in another mess. There’s never a shortage of stories to tell about you.」
「There’s no way I could’ve avoided it this time. It was something he decided to do on his own.」
They spoke with the same attitude as any old friends would.
She was acquainted with the king, and they were in friendly terms on top of that. And he had directly targeted someone like that. Now that the fires of revenge blinding him had finally burned out, Kairos finally understood what kind of serious personage Mira was. Yes, only now.
「Anyway, why are you here?」
There was not even a hint of nervousness in Mira’s voice as she addressed the king.
「What, I just wanted to hear your story as soon as possible. We should leave the interrogation to those used to carrying them out. I also want to talk with you after all.」
As he spoke that way, the people used to carrying out interrogations he mentioned referred to the investigator, Suleyman, and Luminaria. It happened by chance this time, but it was said that once the three of them were together, there was not a single person whose mouth would remain shut. The investigator was in charge of properly restraining, Suleyman asked the questions, and Luminaria was the personification of absolute terror.
「His Majesty, from what I heard so far these men are being accused of planning the assassination of a wiseman candidate, which directly affects state matters. Do I have permission to use first-degree measures to interrogate them due to those charges?」
Solomon had appeared at a completely random moment, but Suleyman realized that was just perfect to aid with the interrogation, so he asked without caring that the three men could hear him.
「As one of the Nine Wisemen, I support his request.」
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Luminaria understood what he wanted, so she raised her right hand with the palm outward up to her chest. A cold fire seemed to burn in the eyes of the pair.
「You have my permission.」
Solomon replied casually. Kairos had no idea what any of that meant as he readjusted his seating on the uncomfortable chair. The two men in black had plenty of experience with higher matters, so they just muttered 「Impossible…」 as a coldness like their blood freezing overtook them.
Mira was just as clueless as Kairos, but she understood when it was explained to her later on.
First-degree interrogation measures could only be used on people accused of planning or carrying out the assassination of someone related to the royal family, or those who committed treason against the kingdom. The king also had to approve of their use on a case-by-case basis, and only if someone with the status of duke or higher, wisemen included, also supported the notion. The measures included any type of damage that could be directly inflicted on the accused, or in other words, it allowed the use of torture.
Once Kairos heard what that meant from the men in black, his crying and supplicant voice begging for forgiveness could be heard until the door was closed and silence returned to the hallway. There, Mira and Solomon chatted friendly as they headed towards the usual office.
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