Chapter 38 - Truth (2)

Chapter 38 - Truth (2)


Elsanad bowed to the citizens, her voice filled with sincerity.

She explained about the allegations. She wanted to increase the number of facilities in the slums, and had contracted those cursed by the stars at a cheap price in order to solve the budget problem. She admitted that there was some trouble in the meantime.

"Citizens, I have only been working for Arnin. I believe that all of the citizens here knows my heart. I didn’t think they would commit such evil things. It is my fault. I will bow down and apologize.”

They nodded.

The elves that were freed from Thawing Balhae by Ilya were touched after Elsanad’s speech. As witnesses of the crimes committed, Ilya had brought them here to testify. But Elsanad’s eloquence caused their hearts to shake.

Ilya’s face gradually stiffened, and Crockta was watching all of this.

Elsanad came down from the podium and hugged all of the victims. She promised to compensate them for the damage and tearfully emphasized with the pain they suffered. She expressed her strong will to thoroughly search for the criminals.

Crockta used a skill.

[Mind's Eye (Special) has been used.]

[The target’s level is higher than the caster. It has failed.]

He used it again.

[Mind's Eye (Special) has been used.]

[The target’s level is higher than the caster. It has failed.]

......

He used it several times, but the result was the same. Crockta frowned and concentrated.

[Mind's Eye’s (Special) has opened.]

[You can feel fine but sincere emotions.]

Then Ilya drew near to shout at Elsanad. Elsanad’s expression as shaken and she protested. As her emotions grew, Crockta was able to grasp a little bit of her heart through Mind’s Eye.

“How do you explain this ledger? Elsanad! This is the physical evidence!”

"I don't know. The contents might have been manipulated. I would never do this.”

"There is no criminal who would admit to their sins.”

Ilya raised the book up high. "This details how much they sold the poor elves for, and how much money they gave to the mayor in return. Citizens, don’t be fooled by Elsanad’s slick tongue. This woman is a demon who sold her own citizens.”

The citizens started murmuring again.

Crockta used a skill.

[Mind's Eye (Special) has been used.]

[The level of the target is higher than the caster, but his frenzied emotions are emanating from him.]

[Feelings of deceit can be felt.]

Elsanad’s emotions were heartfelt. Feelings of deception could be felt from Ilya. For Crockta, it was clear what the truth was.

"I couldn’t save all of the elves that were sold. I can’t leave this city to such a suspicious woman. Citizens! Please find out! Here is the proof!”

"Ilya, calm down. Everybody, he is spreading rumors to tarnish my honour.”

"Then bring proof that this evidence is false, Elsanad!”

The citizens were once again confused. In the end, the two campaigns failed to come to a conclusion.

As Arnin’s election approached, both of them were being talked about by the citizens. Those who believed in Ilya and those who believed in Elsanad hit the streets. Others believed that Elsanad wasn’t guilty, but she should take responsibility for neglecting this incident.

Arnin was in a state of confusion.

Crockta went and visited Ilya.

“Ilya.”

“Crockta, did something happen?”

Ilya was scratching his head while writing, like something wasn’t going well. He raised his head at Crockta’s appearance.

Ilya's mansion was very luxurious. He was clearly a wealthy person, and it seemed that he was funding his own political activities. It was impossible for someone with an economic crisis to plan such a thing.

“I have to ask you something.”

“What is it?”

"I’ll just speak bluntly.”

Crockta closed the door. "Did you doctor that ledger?”

Ilya’s expression changed. He pulled out the ledger, an old, leather-bound book, from the drawer under his desk. He opened the book, revealing the many transactions written inside.

“Manipulated... Elsanad said that.”

Ilya laughed. He stared at Crockta for a moment. Crockta looked back without any hesitation. Ilya’s eyes shook. His expression was calm, but feelings of irritation and anger filled his eyes.

Ilya threw the book. It flew and landed at Crockta’s feet. Then he said,

"Whether it is manipulated or not.”

Ilya pulled out another book from his drawer. It looked exactly the same as the previous book. The same contents were also written inside. Ilya chuckled and threw it at Crockta’s feet.

"Does it have anything to do with you?”

“......”

"You made a deal with Derek, just like me. You just have to do your assignment. Stop doing such useless things, Crockta.”

A few more similar books were pulled out of Ilya’s desk. Ilya laughed as he looked at them. "Anyway, you came here for revenge against the Thawing Balhae Clan due to the orc called Lenox.”

Crockta’s expression changed at the mention of Lenox’s name.

Ilya continued, "Derek’s warning for me was true. He did say that orcs were righteous. I told him I would handle it.”

"Did you deceive me?”

"It wasn’t deception, but proper cooperation. Didn’t you catch those guys, thanks to me? Can you continue to catch those cursed by the stars without me? Can you handle the tiring work while watching your own life, without my help?”

“......”

"We each did what we needed to do, that’s it.”

Ilya got up from his seat. His beautiful face, which had always been smiling, distorted. This caused a word that didn’t suit the elves to appear in Crockta’s mind.

Ugly. His true face was ugly.

"Yes, I will tell you everything. I sold the elves together with the people from Thawing Balhae. I had a deal with them.”

"......!"

"And I got tired of them. I had drained just enough from them. Those cursed by the stars, did they really think I would deal with them forever? Thank you for your help.” He spread his arms and laughed. "Anyway, I will become Arnin’s next mayor. That’s it. You can leave quietly.”

“Ugly.”

"Everyone is like this if you dig deeply enough.  I’m just being honest.”

Ilya approached Crockta. Crockta didn’t move. The faint shape of an elemental was around Ilya’s body. The appearance of the elemental was distorted like Ilya.

"If you want to reveal anything then do so, Orc Warrior. Then I, along with Derek, won’t help you anymore. I wonder if the citizens will trust the word of an orc. Why don’t you just worry about your revenge? Otherwise it will be a waste.”

Ilya raised his hand. The door behind Crockta was opened using magic power.

"Crockta, I quite like you.”

"I don’t like you.”

"Our motivations are different, but we are similar when it comes to moving forward towards our purpose. In fact, I actually like justice. Isn’t it good? Justice and judgement. However, I don’t want them shoved towards me.”

Ilya waved his hand. “Well, bye.”

It was a command to leave.

Crockta looked at Ilya’s face. It was a familiar smile. As he nodded and turned around, Crockta thought about his own actions.

***

Alsein entered Elsanad’s residence. It was beautiful, but at the same time, he couldn’t erase the feeling of desolation.

Everything was well maintained and kept the same. The garden was always kept in the same shape that never changed, even with the passing seasons. Gardeners watched the landscape with bated breath each and every day.

Inside the mansion. He bumped into an elf maid. She flinched and hurriedly moved, entering an open room and not leaving until Alsein passed by. Alsein was familiar with this place, so he kept moving.

He arrived at the drawing room and saw that refreshments were already prepared. However, there were no signs of the people who prepared it. It was like he was alone in the mansion.

Those who worked in Elsanad’s mansion were never allowed to show themselves. They had to work for Elsanad’s convenience in inconspicuous ways. It was the same whether they were gardeners, maids, or cooks.

They obviously existed somewhere, but Alsein couldn’t see them. That was Elsanad’s mansion. This was because someone coming and going while working would disturb the beauty of the mansion. It was a standard close to perfection that others couldn’t understand.

Elsanad was the one who made it happen.

Alsein sipped his tea. Elsanad couldn’t be seen. She wasn’t in the mansion right now. Suddenly, a familiar face appeared.

Elwina.

“Young Lady.”

“Alsein, what happened?”

She seemed to be in a good mood. Her smiling face resembled Elsanad. She moved like she had done something good like a child who had received a Christmas present. It was a beautiful sight for anyone to see.

But Alsein’s face hardened as he saw her.

“Young Lady.”

“Huh?”

“Perhaps...”

Alsein put down his cup of tea. “...It’s nothing.”

"Why? What is it?”

Alsein touched the cup with his fingers and asked again. "You look good. Did you get a new doll?”

"How did you know?"

“......”

Alsein rose from his seat and approached Elwina. Her green eyes that resembled Elsanad’s looked up at Alsein.

“What did I tell you?” Alsein caught her shoulder. "You shouldn’t do this hobby.”

"Why can’t I do what I want?”

“The daughter of Arnin’s mayor...”

"Are you angry right now?”

Elwina pouted. Her pink lips looked dirty, and Alsein turned his head like he couldn’t speak anymore.

"I should be going back. Tell the mayor to come and meet me tomorrow.”

Elwina smiled, but Alsein immediately turned his body around. He quickly left the mansion.

Elwina’s face appeared in his head. Elwina’s face gradually shifted to Elsanad’s face. He shook his head. Ilya’s voice shouting in the square entered his head. Alsein tried to get rid of it again. He felt dizzy and stopped in the middle of the street.

Looking around, he spotted a familiar shape. It wasn’t a common appearance in Arnin. The person gradually approached.

“Alsein.”

It was the orc Crockta.

"...Crockta, what a coincidence.”

Crockta shook his head. “No. I was looking for you.”

He smiled. The orc’s smile was strange, but Alsein couldn’t think it was terrible after being told about Crockta by Enyanis. He didn’t know about all orc warriors, but this one was a man who deserved to be an honorary citizen.

Crockta asked,

"Would you like a drink?"

Alsein was surprised by the sudden offer.

"Drink.”

A drink.

It had been a long time since he last drank alcohol, but it didn’t seem to be too bad of an idea right now. Elwina’s face was sitting heavily in his head, so he could wash it away with strong alcohol. He wanted to get rid of the faces of Elsanad, Elwina, and Ilya that were making him sick.

Crockta was a stranger, but he seemed more reliable than anyone else Alsein knew. The usual Alsein would’ve never done something like this. But right now, he wanted to do it.

They entered a small pub nearby. The elves stared at Crockta the orc, but soon went back to their own affairs. The two people sat down in the corner. Elves generally drank fruit wine that had a fairly high alcohol content.

"You came to find me?”

“Yes.” Crockta drank the alcohol. The elven cups seemed small to him. "Let me talk for a bit. Do you know the reason why I came here?”

"Well, I'm curious."

The two raised their glasses.

Crockta started talking about his past.

Lenox’s work, the man who betrayed him, the attack of the humans, and Crockta’s revenge. Crockta told a brief story, but it was enough to show what type of orc he was. As a warrior, he set out for vengeance against the humans who killed his teacher.

As the story continued, the number of bottles in front of both of them increased. Alsein wasn’t a strong drinker. His eyes gazed into the distance as he put down his cup. His eyes shone as he started swaying and asked. 

"...Why are you telling this story?”

Crockta talked about his past, the reason why he came here and about Ilya. The ledger was false and Ilya was the one who had done all the bad things.

"Then won’t your revenge go to waste?”

It was important for Crockta to get rid of the Thawing Balhae Clan, but he could lose that chance for revenge if he told the truth.

"Don't you already know?"

Crockta laughed.

Alsein silently drank the alcohol again. Those words. It was a question that didn’t need an answer.

There was no reason to tell a lie. However, the truth was a heavy burden on Alsein. The reason for not revealing the truth was due to the people who hid it.

Alsein gazed at Crockta.

A dreadful face, a muscled body, some fierce tattoos, and a fearsome greatsword on his back. He was a strong warrior. If Crockta was self-interested, then this could backfire. But Alsein wasn’t worried at all. For the first time in ages, he could trust someone.

"Crockta.”

“Yes.”

“Are you alive?”

Crockta laughed. Alsein had been deeply troubled after hearing Crockta talk about Lenox’s death and his final teachings. Then he asked himself: Was he truly alive? Or was he merely breathing? He couldn’t respond, so he wanted to hear Crockta’s answer.

Crockta opened his mouth, "Of course I am alive.”

"How come?"

Crockta took a sip of the alcohol and laughed. "I am breathing right now. Kung kung kung!”

“I see. Huhu.”

“Kulkulkul!”

Crockta and Alsein both burst out laughing. The laughter stopped and Alsein nodded. He stared at the little bit of alcohol left in his cup and thought about something. Alsein looked at a distant place and said, "Crockta.”

“Yes.”

"Enyanis asked me,‘When Ilya first started the accusations, why did the mayor leave, instead of responding straight away?’”

“That’s right.”

"Since you have told me the truth, I will tell you the truth.”

“Huh?”

"I am drunk, so listen carefully before I regret it.”

“What...?”

"At the time, I thought it would be enough.”

Crockta closed his mouth. Alsein stated, "Crockta.”

“Yes.”

Alsein drank the alcohol remaining in the cup. He stared at Crockta with eyes that seemed completely sober.

"Go to the basement in Mayor Elsanad’s home.”

After his words, Alsein lost consciousness and his head dropped down.


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