My death Flags show no Sign of Ending: 49
Mountain Part Lifa POV
It is the next day after my meeting Harold . I am standing in front of the mountain gate that is managed by the order . Naturally, Harold and the other person, whose gender I cannot tell and whose name is Elle, are coming . Harold always walks three steps in front of me . We are stopped by a knight, and only after Harold takes out a piece of paper from his chest does the knight change his look . These knights seem to know Harold quite well, as even I can feel the hostility they are directing at Harold . I do not know what the paper Harold had given them was, but they do not stop us anymore after seeing it .
Harold does not care for the knights that are giving him hostility, and goes up the mountain as if he already knows the way to the top . While I watch his back, a question pops into my head: why was he hated so much by the knights? From what I heard in the cafeteria and Elle’s story, he is nicknamed the “Knight Killer” .
The reason I have to go up the Mountain is to obtain data on the dragon named Hydra . But now my interest in this person named Harold has sprouted greatly . I am not the type of person who can keep her mouth shut when she does not understand something . I ask him directly while we climb the snow mountains together .
“Hey Harold, why do they call you the ‘Knight Killer’?” (Lifa)
“I had nothing to do with it; it was a name those idiots put on me on their own . ”(Harold)
“Isn’t it because of the event of five years ago?”(Elle)
Elle randomly comes into the conversation; it seems to me that she knows about Harold’s past . Harold gives she a cold stare as if trying to tell her to shut up . It is an overwhelming pressure, and I feel every fiber of my body screaming at the amount pressure he gives off . This is called true bloodlust .
But Harold does not utter any words .
A roaring voice comes from behind the trees, and white wolves appear one by one . I wonder if we entered the pack’s territory; the wolves are already ready to fight, for some reason .
The white wolf itself is a beautiful wolf species that has pure, snow white hair .
In contrast to their beautiful appearances, they are quite ferocious . One on one, any knight can take them down, but when they are in a group, it gets several times harder .
I compile all the information regarding them in my head .
We have data regarding most of the monsters in the Guillian snow mountains . I reach inside my lab coat and grab three tubes .
I throw them randomly at the pack of wolves .
None of them directly hit the wolves, and all the test tubes fall to the ground, smashing into pieces .
The very next moment, a huge explosion occurs .
The wolves are all blown to bits .
The battle is over in a flash .
I nod in satisfaction at the explosion .
This is an attack developed for the ice dragon up above; a few wolves stand no chance against it .
“This is the first time I have seen such magic . ”(Elle)
“Well, technically it is not magic, but to say what it is goes against company policy . ”(Lifa)
I put my hands on my waist and feel unstoppable .
Whether this is in the field of magic or a production of science is not something I will go deeply into now . I am glad to be praised by Elle, but seeing Harold being indifferent towards me is kind of a shock .
On the contrary, he gets irritated at me for some reason .
“Do not get so excited from your stupid toys . ”(Harold)
“What did you say?”(Lifa)
I cannot keep silent when my prized creations are being called toys .
But, before I can even speak, my vision is filled with a blue light . It hurts my eyes really badly, and I cannot open them for a while . I can tell that something has passed by me, but I still cannot see it .
It is immediately after I notice that thing passing by that I hear a scream behind me .
A momentary flicker and it is all silent again . I look behind me and see a white wolf…… burned to a crisp and dead .
It seems the wolves’ plan was a pincer attack and killing me first .
I had not been able to detect the presence of this wolf . If Harold had not saved just now, I would have died .
“Even if you have superior attack power, once you let your guard down for a second, you will lose that neck . I don’t care if you die or live, but die somewhere I am not . ”(Harold)
After that, Harold starts walking up the mountain again .
I know I was being careless, so what he said is true . For some reason, Harold’s words contain immense weight behind them .
I wonder why his words have such weight behind them . If he lived a peaceful life, then there was no way he would have gotten the nickname “Knight Killer” .
Honestly speaking, though, he did call my attack superior . I was kind of happy about that .
“Are you curious? About his past, I mean . ”(Elle)
Elle whispers in my ear so Harold cannot overhear our conversation .
If I were to say I am not curious, it would be a lie .
“Well… . . umm…”(Lifa)
This kind of reply is not like the usual me .
I am interested in Harold’s past, but I do not want to invade someone’s privacy without their permission .
This is a moral problem for me . I want to hear his secrets from himself if he is willing to tell me .
“I would tell you what I know, but what information I have of him is not really anything special . ”(Elle)
There seems to be many stories and rumors about Harold according to what Elle tells me about him, but whether or not they are true is a completely different story . All the things Lifa does not know about Harold have already been spread by rumors .
In other words, anything Elle has said can be found out easily . Whether they are true is the problem .
“The degree of speculation concerning is him is quite high . Speaking of this, I always assumed that you were acquainted with Harold . ”(Lifa)
“Nope, not at all . I am just like you . Met him for the first time yesterday . ”(Elle)
Elle declares as such, but I still have some questions .
“Well then, why did you come along?”(Lifa)
“I actually have been interested in him for quite some time . Since I was presented with this unique opportunity, I took it . ”
“Wow, such motivation . You even entered this kind of dangerous place . ”(Lifa)
“I actually didn’t think we would get past the gate . Even now, after that wolf attack, I think I should turn back . ”(Elle)
Ahaha, Elle laughs as she finishes talking .
It is remark said by a person who looks like they have absolutely no fighting ability .
Elle has the appearance of small herbivore walking leisurely into the wolves den .
I feel, though, that if I mistake her as such, something bad might happen .
“Well, what will you do about Harold? Will you ask him?”(Elle)
“(Well… . . I am gonna be here for a while, so I will ask him . Even if he does say no, it is not like I will lose anything . )”(Lifa)
I tell myself this excuse in order to convince myself to ask him .
Harold’s Circumstances (Elle POV)
The person named Harold Stokes can be always linked to this phrase: “the youngest person in history to become a knight” . He was admired as a genius, but this period was short lived . The first mission he was assigned to was a disaster . Harold Stokes disobeyed the order of his superior officers and went to fight the enemy alone, deserting his comrades . In addition to this crime, he was caught wearing the Sarian Empire uniform, thus lead him to be suspected of committing treason .
Harold Stokes was sentenced to being beheaded…… That was what the punishment would have been if three factions had not interfered . First was, of course, his family estate, the Stokes family . They were adamant about their son’s innocence . Second was the estate of his fiancée, the Sumeragi Family . They pushed much harder than his actual family, the Stokes, and went up to the top for the punishment to be discarded . The head of the family, Tasaku, is known to be a man of superior virtue . Thus, his words held immense weight as well . The third was a faction of the Knight Order led by the man named Cody .
After re-deliberating because of the opposition of so many people, Harold Stokes’s punishment was that he would be transferred to a certain laboratory . He was to be a practical experiment subject of research and continue until he is cleared of suspicions . His cooperation would free him of a death sentence . Any and all misconduct or breach of conditions would lead him back to immediate death sentence .
“This is the common knowledge that is known by the public about the person named Harold Stokes . ”(Elle)
“What the hell, from just that, isn’t he the worst type of person?”(Lifa)
Night falls on the mountain and we set up camp . Without light, it will be easier to get attacked by the wolves and other monsters .
Harold volunteers for the night watch and positions his tent a bit farther from us, near a place where you could easily tell if enemies were approaching . Lifa and I are setting up a tent of our own and talking to each other .
I know that I am a girl, but I do not think Lifa knows this yet, so her being so defenseless right now is troubling .
“Even though the Sumeragi helped him so much, he has already said to them that he plans to annul their engagement . ”(Elle)
“Ok, he is way worse than any human being possible . ”(Lifa)
As I tell Lifa about Harold’s past, Lifa grows more and more angry, but I do not stop here and continue my story of the man named Harold Stokes .
“Well, now you understand why Harold Stokes is hated so much, right?”(Elle)
“Yep, to an incredible degree . ”(Lifa)
“But actually, this story has many points that were left out . ”(Elle)
“Yep, it’s because of those points I am interested in him . ”(Elle)
The first thought I had when I heard the punishment Harold got was, “They are sentencing a very prominent son of nobility to death? This is something that has never happened before . ”
“Harold has really only been charged with one crime, desertion of the battlefield . But this was his first mission, and it is not uncommon to have people who are scared during their first mission and run away . ”(Elle)
“Then isn’t it because Harold is an empire spy?”(Lifa)
“No, he is only under suspicion of being an empire spy . This has yet to be confirmed . ”(Elle)
“… . What do you mean?”(Lifa)
“Harold was only caught wearing the uniform and nothing else . Why he was wearing the uniform is also unknown . ”(Elle)
“Does that not confirm it?”(LIfa)
“Well, if that did confirm it, then they would have announced that he is an empire spy . No need to be under suspicion . ”(Elle)
This entire things was very fishy from the beginning . The punishment for his crime is too heavy: even if he was a spy, the document should have indicated that . And even if that were true, the judgement was way too fast .
“The Stokes family is not that powerful, but they clearly are a long standing noble family . Sentencing the eldest son, in other words, the future head of the family, to death after just two weeks of debate is clearly suspicious . ”(Elle)
“Well… that is?”(Lifa)
“Even if he was confirmed to be a spy, rather than sent to death, he should have been interrogated for valuable information . ”(Elle)
This incident was quite unprecedented .
In this entire case, all reasons were secondary: the verdict had already been predetermined .
No, even the verdict was just a pretense .
“Ok, I understand that there are a lot of suspicious points, but why is it that you are so informed? Are you really meeting Harold for the first time?”(Lifa)
“It truly is my first time meeting Harold, but since I am a traveler, my skills regarding the gathering of information is better than most people . ”(Elle)
Actually, there is a more precise reason .
I impersonate many different personas: traveler, merchant, nobleman, newspaper reporter . I use all kinds of identities . I also used the information network of my company to get the information about Harold’s current location .
“Well then, do you have any info from the people closest to Harold? I think if we look at that perspective, we will get more answers . ”(Lifa)
“Ok, how about someone who was a direct superior to Harold?”(Elle)
It was 3 years ago that I saw him . The man who went in first to protest Harold’s sentence and was a close friend to the head of the Knight Order . Cody Luzial… . I remember his face that night .
I met Cody at a bar, he was quite drunk at that time, so when I asked him questions . It was quite easy to obtain answers .
“I have seen many idiots in my life…… idiots who are as stupid and stubborn as mountains…… idiots who only care about themselves… . . and really stupid idiots who have strong senses of justice… all the rest all just plain idiots… . ”(Cody)
When I asked what type of person Harold was, Cody started to list the many types of idiots he knew . He then picked up his glass and took a big gulp and named the type of idiot Harold was……
“That guy is a new type of idiot I have never seen before… . . An idiot like me, I guess – someone who does not care about himself . ”(Cody)
The curtains to the story of the true Harold have opened up now .
This is the prelude to Harold Stokes’s Struggle in his journey to repent in life .