SETP Vol. 3 Chapter 14

Chapter 14 – Geass Scroll

“You’re really damn careful, aren’t you…!?”

Idies Farizard’s voice was dry.

Her shadow had been stabbed by countless dark blades, as if they were sewing it to the ground.

Her breathing was ragged, her complexion pale. Paired with the blood smears on her face, her skin looked just like a corpse’s.

“…why won’t you kill me? Last time…you didn’t show a hint of mercy. Aren’t you weird…?!”

When she showed me the illusion of the person I treasured more than anyone else, I was not as angry as now. She probably found it ridiculous to see me so enraged.

That was what Idies implied in her words as she winced from the pain.

She talked and talked without stopping, as if she wanted to torment me by doing so.

“…the situation changed.”

“My, what would that situation be?”

“Quit playing dumb…!!!”

My hand moved.

Unnerved by Idies’ mocking tone and attitude, before my brain could realize it my left hand already grabbed her neck.

I felt the sensation of bones creaking.

The “Abominations”, Idies’ trump card, were already lifeless hunks of meat. Their remains scattered across the room. All life had abandoned them.

“Who gave you the black pills.”

“I-if I say it…will you let me go…?”

Idies pleaded for her life even as I choked her. Sick of her attitude, I replied with more pressure.

Moans of pain reached my ears.

“…let’s make a deal, my…Prince.”

“What makes you think I’d agree to anything you say?”

“Oh, you will…I am sure…you will. Because— ”

Even more slowly.

Her pale red lips moved.

No words came out.

But she definitely said it.

Afillis.

No doubt about it.

“Rinchelle has the ‘Immortal’, but Afillis, a country without heroes…”

What will happen to it?

Idies’ witch-like malicious expression reinforced my killing intent even more.

Should I kill her off already?

Going to the empire would net me all the information I needed.

So I should just silence her forever.

Strangle her.

The force in my hand increased, proportional to my welling emotions.

“I-if you kill me now—you’ll never make it—in time-”

Idies managed to squeeze out the words, despite being barely able to breathe.

She laughed.

“My prince is too kind with the people close to him…so he will have to agree to my proposal…!!”

Until that point I had stared her down, showing that I wouldn’t take my eyes off her even for a minute, but her words made me look away.

I looked behind myself.

To the single spot which had not been damaged by the fighting yet.

“You fought while being so careful about it…did you really think I wouldn’t notice?”

A wry smile appeared on Idies’ face.

I had fought while carefully preventing any attacks from landing behind me, yet managed to put her in the present situation.

The difference in our strength was more than evident.

“I can tell…that as long as you think you can make me talk, even a little, you won’t be able to really threaten me…! I can’t kill you, but *now* you can’t kill me either…!!”

You’re lying.

That’s a filthy lie. Or so I wanted to say.

There was no proof she was telling the truth.

So this was nonsense. Stupid delusions I had no reason to entertain.

So I kept telling myself, but for some reason, I couldn’t put more pressure in my hands.

Idies Farizard was an enemy on all counts.

Someone that had to be killed.

This time I was the target, so it was still fine.

But if I let her go, next time her target could be someone else. She could target someone important to me.

Maybe Feli, maybe Ratifah, maybe someone from my family. I couldn’t see into the future, so by letting her go I would create a very dangerous cause of concern.

It was far too dangerous.

“I wouldn’t make it in time….”

Idies’ words echoed in my mind, preventing me from squeezing her neck harder.

“…damn…you.”

The noise of grinding teeth.

Restlessness, irritation. Idies’ words struck true, so much that I realized my actual feelings and grew even more conflicted.

Won’t you regret it?

Even if killing me here means that your friend in Afillis will die.

If at that time, that moment, you didn’t make the wrong choice…

So? Hmm? What would you feel…?

Words stuck to my ears.

Not only they wouldn’t disappear, they grew stronger and stronger. Gradually, my grip loosened.

My “Spada”’s restraint slackened too. Idies was almost free to move, then it happened.

“What are you doing, Your Highness?”

Suddenly, I heard a clear voice.

A clear, bright tone, that resounded as vividly as usual.

“…Feli.”

I looked over my shoulder and spilled her name.

Because of my rage towards the “Abominations”, my attacks had turned them into a horrifying sight. It was no mystery that she would be appalled by it. She sounded angry but also disappointed.

She did not spare a glance to the “Abominations”, but looked only at me.

“Are you trying to carry everything on your shoulders, as you always do?”

There was a hint of sadness in Feli’s eyes and voice.

“I heard a loud noise, so I came to check. I find a familiar face, this carnage, and…”

With a bitter, hopeless smile, Feli continued.

“Your Highness, in pain.”

For the first time, Feli looked around the room.

“I can more or less tell what happened. I was there at that time too, after all.”

That time.

During the Afillis war.

Feli had met Idies Farizard there too.

She had witnessed our battle, so she should know. About the “Hero” called “Game of Illusions”. Her abilities, her treacherous illusions.

“I can’t leave you alone, after all.”

Before I could ask what she meant, Feli continued.

“I just can’t take my eyes off you, it seems.”

I knew that already, though.

Feli added, with a sigh.

“So I’m going to meddle in your business this time too.”

Feli then took out a piece of parchment paper and showed it to me.

To me it looked just like any other sheet of paper, but Idies probably realized its true meaning, as she paled visibly.

She looked at Feli wide-eyed, as if inquiring why she would have something like that.

“…a Geass Scroll…”

“Oh, you know about it? That saves time.”

Idies glared at Feli, wondering why she would have something like that at such a convenient time — then Feli pointed at her ears.

“I…I see…there’s nothing strange about an elf being able to craft one…”

“You don’t want to die. We don’t want to lose anyone. But we cannot trust your words so easily. There is one solution then, right?”

“You’re telling me not to lie, is that it…!?!”

Idies shouted, her face twisted into a grimace.

“…what’s this about?”

“This is a kind of magic tool, Your Highness. In this case, it can force someone to “not interfere”, or “not say lies”, something like this.”

Being mostly ignorant about magic, even if I heard the name “Geass Scroll” it still looked like a piece of paper.

Feli herself thus explained how it worked to me.

“I see. Go ahead then.”

I didn’t doubt her words in the slightest.

Feli looked at me surprised. She probably didn’t expect me to agree so easily. Her reaction was rather funny.

“…if someone can’t trust the people they care about, they’re better off dead.”

So I replied.

A world of solitude, where you can’t trust anyone else.

What was the point of living in a world like that?

“So I trust what you say, Feli. I have no reason to doubt. In the first place— ”

I thought about my previous world’s mother, who gave birth to me. My mentor, who pounded the ways of battle into me. My comrades, whom I shared joy and sadness with. The people I held dear. Thinking about them, I continued.

“The only people I want to protect are the people that I wouldn’t mind being killed by. Those are the people dear to me. So I wouldn’t complain even if I was killed by one of them.”

So I had no intention to doubt.

The words I spoke without hesitation probably sounded funny to Idies. She snorted and chuckled.

.

—are you crazy or something…?

.

Idies said the same thing when we faced off in Afillis.

I couldn’t help but realize how cheap that sounded.


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