Martial law was imposed on the mining town.
Everything that could become a weapon, from a kitchen knight to a blacksmith’s hammer was confiscated and collected in the square.
Eventually, the men had surrendered just before they were able to exchange their blades directly with the government forces, that was why there were no casualties, but they were completely scared and resisted a little when asked to gather everything.
Their freedom was temporarily restricted, but no one voiced their complaints.
Nevertheless, the government forces also didn’t plunder nor assaulting them. They just did night watch quietly.
If they consider the situation they were in as a winner and a loser, for the miners, this treatment was excellent. Leonard had kept his promise of ‘not doing something bad’.
Which made Garai’s eyes were right.
The next morning, Garai shaved his beard, instead of using mirrors he used water in his tub.
The face he looked for the first time in years looked childish.
He then cleaned his house and organize it.
Since he did that regularly, he didn’t do much this time.
He just being more attentive than usual and then prepare for departure.
“Are you going to die by yourself?”
Tiki stood at the entrance. Tears were collected in her eyes.
“Garai is not the mastermind, no?! You don’t have to take responsibility!”
“I’m a Hero.”
For the first time, he took the name himself. He never expects such a day would’ve come.
“You’re just a coward, and yet!” Tiki yelled. “Why… What kind of irony is this…”
The second words were spoken in a low voice…
“Rebellion is the highest crime you know…? They are going to execute you in a very cruel way you know?”
“Indeed. I know that much…”
“Please, Garai… Runaway with me…”
Tiki hugged him as if she jumped out at him…
“Tiki. I love you… Since a long time ago…”
Garai didn’t hug her back.
“I hate a man who died young!”
Tiki puts her power into her arms. He let her do whatever she wants for a while.
But then, she tried to pull Garai’s back hair.
“Then… Please live good health…”
Garai forcibly untied the arms of the woman he loves and leaves her behind.
Strangely, his body didn’t shake in fear.
Leonard set up his headquarters at the dead governor house and stayed overnight.
As soon as Garai come, he was immediately escorted to the guest room.
He then sat down on the sofa and waited.
Then someone comes out with bandages being wrapped around the left arm, there was also traces of other injury treatment.
Next to him was an Earl who introduced himself as Alan, and a beautiful woman named Shera stood behind him.
“What is your business coming here today, Garai-san?” She asked him as the representative.
Garai looked at Shera and then kneeled on the floor.
He then spoke while looking at Leonard’s eyes directly.
“Please, I want you to finish with just my head.”
Leonard’s eyes changed.
His gaze pierced Garai so much that it hurts. However, Garai continued…
“My name is Garai. Everyone in this town fears me as the one-eyed giant, Cyclops. I was the one who killed the previous governor. Then I drove the townspeople into rebellion. I wanted to try my archery in battle. And of course, I also want a lot of money… But, I am the type that takes responsibility for my own wrongdoing. The townspeople were just being threatened by me. They didn’t do anything wrong…”
He had repeated that words for hundred of times.
He had memorized it without sleeping last night. To make sure that no one found out he was lying, he was careful with his tone when speaking the words…
“Please do anything you want to me. Since I did treason crime, you would want to make me an example, yes?” Even if his head was pulled off and being displayed, even if he had to die by being boiled alive. “I have resolute myself…”
Garai spread his arms. His action showed that he was ready to accept any torture.
He then looked at Shera and Alan, then urged them to start ‘Come!’
“What are we going to do now, Leo?”
Alan glanced at the person next to him. His facial expression looked like when a parent telling a child that they could not keep the stray dog.
Leonard then responded appropriately with a sour face.
Garai waited, wondering what kind of command he was going to give.
The eighth prince then opened his mouth.
“…Someone has come huh?”
Alan and Shera looked confused.
Garai was also the same. The heat and tension that he had built up, being ended just like that…
As Garai and the others had a complicated expression, small footsteps could be heard from the outside.
Leonard who knew this earlier than the others showed how good his sense was. Garai could not help but feel astonished. He himself was a hunter, and by no means his sense was dull.
Soon enough, the door was being knocked.
“What is it, Bauman?”
“Yes… There’s another person who wishes for an audience with your highness…”
“I don’t mind. Let the person in.”
When the door was opened, and the person entered, Garai opened his eyes wide.
“Tiki?! Why are you here?!”
Without answering, Tiki jumped into the room.
The knights who despite being cautious could not stop her.
Garai was also slow in response.
She then landed on his shoulders. With both, her tights on Garai shoulders locking his head, with is face facing her stomach. It looked like someone riding on another person’s shoulders but in reverse position. Due to the sudden situation, Garai could not peel her off.
“What are you thinking, Tiki?!”
“You should’ve known, right?! Tiki spoke half-crying. “If Garai is gone, then I can’t stand it. That’s why I’m going to follow you until the end!”
“Don’t say such a stupid thing!”
“I don’t want to hear that from someone who does something stupid just for trying to look good!”
With Tiki tight sandwiching his head, and his mouth being blocked by her, Garai could not answer back.
“Now, go ahead and kill me too!” Tiki yelled at Leonard. “But before I die, I want to say everything I want! You don’t know how hard the miners here lived right?! Moreover, that fucking governor was using us like slaves! My older brother was made to work from morning till night! Until peeled the skin on his hands. Yet he was not given any time to rest. Every night he had a nightmare and screamed its hurt, its hurt… He didn’t even rest when sleeping! In the end… In the end, he was getting involved in a cave-in incident! Because he was tired, he was unable to notice the sign and run away! The previous government had killed him!”
Her complaints didn’t stop. Tiki really said whatever she wanted to say.
It could not help it that she got caught in the moment either. She screamed her grudge as if spitting out blood.
Her tone of voice was filled with a grudge.
“You guys are aristocrats, never care about the death of commoners, yes? You think people like us would just grow again like a weed, right? You are wrong! Even if you’re not interested, we will never forget our grudge! That bastard governor was dead after being crucified but, all of you will end up like him! Anju had said so as well!”
It was no exaggeration if one were to categorize her words as if she cursed the country.
Garai sensed that Shera and Alan gasped and unable to say anything…
And Garai was also feeling surprised…
Tiki brother— He remembered Garai’s best friend death.
When he remembered the empty coffin (I could not help but nodded my head…) The truth was that it always made Garai remember he could’ve been there instead of him. He remembered the friend that took his place
That was why Garai must protect Tiki.
Tiki had said that she would follow him till the end, the truth was that he feels lucky to be born as a male for a moment, but…
If that really happened, he won’t be able to meet with his friend in another world.
“Prince!… No, your highness! Garai raised his voice again. Due to Tiki cursing however she liked, he had managed to free his face. “You told me that you won’t do anything bad! I want you to keep the promise! Please take only my head!”
“I told you, I don’t want that to happen didn’t I, Garai!?”
“I don’t want you to get involved in this either!”
He gets into a quarrel with Tiki, but this time he decided to not step back. As they continue quarreling…
“Enough…” Leonard side that word from the side.
“Not good!” Garai objected. “If she gets killed, then I don’t know what I was fighting for!”
“Like I said… Enough…” Leonard repeated his words.
Although his voice was quiet, it was heavy.
Both Garai and Tiki closed their mouth.
“I came here only to stop the rebellion. Since I’m done, everything is finished…”
Garai and Tiki opened their eyes wide.
Tiki who feels weak fell into Garai laps.
“… Are you saying that you won’t kill us?!”
That was what Garai feels from the way he said it but, he still doubts it.
He just worried if that was just a short-lived expectation…
“Don’t be reasonable, Leo!”
Alan was the one who speaks the reality as he continues speaking…
“If no one going to take responsibility, the imperial palace would not be convinced. I know how you feel, it is regrettable, but this person has to die. As easy as possible…”
The slight hope was painted black.
Disappointed, Garai dropped his shoulders.
“Shera” Leonard calls the beautiful woman without looking back.
“Yes, Leo-sama?” Shera smiled in response…
“Can you do something about it?”
“Though I could not fully agree with Alan-sama words, this time, I’m sorry…”
“You’re just asking for the impossible. Even if their reasoning is to improve people’s life.”
“Do you want me to come up with something? Certainly, even if this problem could be solved without blood being spilled, if they ended up regressing back, there’s no reason for us to save their life… But yes…”
“It’s impossible even for you huh?”
“I never said it’s impossible, no?”
Shera responded with a sullen look. This girl was really beautiful even when she sulked…
“But, it will be a poor plan. Leo-sama will suffer a lot of inconveniences.”
“I don’t care.”
“The reputation we tried to gain from saving Eidonia will fell to the ground?”
“Our desire will be drifted away, you know?”
Shera hangs her head.
“From the start, our desire is never easy, no?”
Leonard attitude was still frank.
His appearance was just like that of steel, no matter how once one shake it, his ‘will’ would always stand straight.
“It can’t be helped I guess…”
“Yes, your highness. It is just as you said, my dear lord, Leonard.”
Even though she sounded complaining, in Garai’s eyes, her expression looked happy, instead of looking ‘lamenting’ it, she was looking ‘relieved’.
With that expression on her face, Shera continued.
“Please be a Demon Lord, Leo-sama.”
“After being a clown, now a Demon Lord, huh?” Leonard laughed bitterly. “I will do it somehow…”
With a bitter expression, he stood up.
His attitude was as if he consenting on something… Garai was confused, after all, they were exchanging such nonsensical words.
“Oi, Leo? What does that mean?”
Alan also seems unable to keep up with the conversation between the two of them, he looked bewildered.
“The point is the same as usual…”
Due to Leonard simple response, Alan replied with ‘I don’t get it more and more…’
Garai somehow also thought (I should be the one who most confused here! What going to happen to us? Are we saved? Maybe not me but, are Tiki and the others saved? Please be clear about it!) and he wanted to scream.
The reason why he didn’t raise his voice was because he didn’t want to cause the situation to turn worse than already was…
“Both of you, stand.”
Leonard comes to their side and orders them to stand.
Garai and Tiki have no choice but to follow.
Leonard then put his hand on Garai’s shoulder.
“You sure tall huh? It has been a while since I looked up…”
Garai could feel that he was being encouraged.
But that was not what Garai wanted to know…
“… What going to happen to us?”
Garai finally squeezed his courage and asked. While feeling reproachful toward this poor talker prince.
As if he just remember it, Leonard said: “Ah, right, I haven’t conveyed it to you guys huh?” The words he said next was so shocking that Garai who had a big body was even taken aback.
“We will burn the town…”