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Chapter 19 – “I met the real Fiend”
Hmm hmm~ Today was another sunny day~
I could feel the warm sun on my skin. Days like this were the best for searching for ingredients. That’s why I was on my way to the market looking for new ingredients for my cooking research.
There were a lot more adventurers in the Capital these days, so maybe they would be selling some meat from rare magic beasts. It was pretty exciting. Or gave me money earlier so I had platinum ready in my purse.
Huhu, with this I could buy everything and still have change left over. I had so much that I was considering looking for cooking utensils too. Thinking about it, I could really do with a new pan.
Oh! Maybe some spices would be good too. Yep, yep, the new recipe I was making would definitely need some spices.
――Wha-, oh no! I almost fell victim to another spending spree. Not good, not good. I cleared the worldly desires from my mind.
That’s right. These last few months I had been carelessly spending all of Or’s money, just like I almost did just now. And Or had so little sense that every time he would hand me platinum coins. A single platinum coin was equivalent to a commoner family’s yearly income, you know.
Hahh. We were in the red precisely because I kept doing this. But not today.
With renewed determination, I made my way to the marketplace.
I was about a block away from the marketplace when I came across Milley-san, a resident of that street. Milley-san was a nice lady who ran a fabrics store on Western Street. When I first came to the Capital she looked out for me in a lot of different ways. Introducing me to the people in the area, telling me about this great little out-of-the-way shop… Honestly too many examples to name. I suppose her only flaw was that she was a huge gossip. She knew heaps of weird tidbits about others.
I suppose she wasn’t any different to the housewives in my old world. Even if she was a gossip, she was kind and took care of others, which was what mattered.
I walked over to say hello.
When she turned around I realised she was wearing a severe expression. That was odd. She was usually so cheerful.
“Did something happen?”
“Tilea-chan, you know Sammy-chan don’t you?”
“Yes. The girl working in that store on Eastern Street?”
“Yes. Her. She killed herself this morning.”
“Eh!? That’s horrible!”
We hadn’t really talked much. Maybe just a few times when I went shopping there. Still, I remember that she had a nice smile. Wasn’t she going to marry her childhood friend or something…?
“The poor girl was raped by an evil noble.”
“T-That’s so cruel!”
“It really was. Apparently when her fiancé tried to stop him, the atrocious man killed him right in front of her! It was inhuman.”
Eh!? Hang on. A noble. Inhuman? D-Don’t tell me…!?
“Um, so what was the name of that noble?”
Millie-san looked around before bringing her mouth to my ear.
“You need to take care about speaking about him.”
Even a huge gossip like Millie-san was this careful. I was getting a bad feeling about this. Alarm bells were ringing in my head.
“His name is Duke Sam Gordon. A few decades ago he was committing so many of these same atrocities that they exiled him from the country.”
“Wha-!? The Fiend!?”
“So you know about him too, Tilea-chan. They call him that exactly because of how many women fell prey to him, and how many commoners he terrorised,” she told me.
The truth was as bad as I had feared…
The Fiend, or Sam Gordon, was both an influential noble as well as one of the most powerful magicians in the country. The Sam family had been on the decline for years due to their luxurious spending habits. When Sam Gordon became the head of the family though, all of that changed, and they began quickly returning to power.
But his means were awful. He used his title and a sweet mask to trick women into supporting him financially, and the men he killed and took from without mercy.
He went so far that the King at the time, King Arcudas the Third, not only dissolved the Sam family, but also expelled Gordon from the family. Not something he could have done to such an old and powerful house without great reason. But the King cited an example of a Marquisate being dissolved as precedent. That was how badly the commoner citizens hated Gordon.
Well, I heard all of this from Mum though.
“Millie-san, why is that villain back in the Capital?”
“I don’t know. For some reason they allowed him back in. His Majesty is supposed to have hated the Duke though.”
Why did they cancel his punishment?
The Capital was in the middle of recovering. It didn’t make sense to bring trouble back in with this timing. Especially when countless VIPs were all head over heels for Edim and might ignore what Gordon was doing.
No, no, but Remilia-san was here. Someone like Remilia-san would never just let that villain do as he wanted.
“U-Um, we have to stop――”
“Shh!” she whispered, expression taking a grave turn. “Speak of the devil. The Duke is here.”
Millie-san gestured, and I saw a huge group parading down the road. The most important-looking one in the middle was probably Gordon himself.
He was unshaven and haggard, but… I guess he seemed handsome?
In his youth he must have been a real looker, but he was looking quite old now. The exile couldn’t have treated him well either because he looked like he was wasting away. His eyes were a different story though. His eyes were intense and predatory, like a bird of prey. And I supposed birds of a feather flocked together because his followers all seemed like scumbags too. Every step of the way, they were making trouble for nearby pedestrians. I guess they were looking for women.
“They seem as vulgar as the rumours, Millie-san.”
“They are. The day before yesterday they were walking around like this too, which was when Sammy-chan…”
“Since everybody already knows about him he isn’t even bothering with pretences anymore…”
“He really isn’t. He’s doing as he pleases now.”
“Just looking at him is making me uncomfortable. I’m going to go call the guards.”
“Leave it, Tilea-chan. It’s no use. Even the guards have been infiltrated by his lackeys.”
“Yes. If you report him without thinking you might be next.”
Uuu. I guess it would be smarter to keep away from danger. I decided to blend in with the crowd and wait.
The way these men were acting was unbearable, though.
Could nobody really stop them?
The members of the Public Safety Force…?
I didn’t have enough information to say. At any rate, I just needed to stay hidden until he passed by.
I was waiting in trepidation when a middle-aged man suddenly leapt out into the street with a sword drawn.
“Gordon! I won’t forgive you!” he roared.
If looks could kill then Gordon would be dead ten times over.
“Insolence! How dare you behave that way in front of Gordon-sama!”
His lackeys all drew their swords. It was ten against one, with the first man surrounded, but he tried to attack anyway.
“Easy, men,” stopped Gordon. “I will at least hear the man out. So, what’s this business about not forgiving me?” he smirked assuredly.
Gordon seemed to be enjoying this.
“You raped my wife Lynn!”
“Ku ku, Lynn was it?”
“What are you laughing about!”
“Lynn… Lynn… Who was that again?”
“Are you saying you don’t remember!?”
“Do you remember how many times you’ve played with yourself?”
The man flew into a rage and charged. Gordon’s lackeys fell one after another. His momentum was shocking enough that some of the lackeys faltered. Breaking through the group, he came at Gordon with a downward cut to the shoulder.
Unfortunately… the sword never reached him. In the blink of an eye, somebody had parried him.
“I shall face you in place of my lord,” spoke the sudden newcomer.
It was an old man who gave off the air of a butler. Not just some old man though. His muscled body seemed like it was made of steel.
It was probably Nyger Key, Gordon’s right-hand-man. Nobody knew where he had come from. All anybody knew for sure was that he was always by Gordon’s side, and that he protected him from harm.
This man seemed profoundly dangerous indeed…
Nyger was standing there perfectly unruffled, as though he was in no danger at all. The man with the sword seemed to sense the danger too because he was taking slow steps back.
“Stand down, Nyger.”
“Rejoice, man. In respect for your reckless bravery, I will personally be your opponent.”
Gordon drew his own sword. Despite its length though, he was holding it in one hand. It was clearly designed to be used by two. This wasn’t something any ordinary warrior could do.
“Are… Are you looking down on me?!”
“Oh? No need to hold back. My right hand has been defective since birth. This should be a fine handicap. Now come. Let us begin.”
“Don’t fuck with me! I don’t need your fucking handicap! I’ll fight you on the same grounds!”
The man swapped to the same one-handed grip and charged.
“He’s lying! Don’t be fooled!” I screamed in reflex.
It had all been for naught, though. Gordon immediately used his right hand to change the direction of his attack and stabbed the man through the chest.
“Guhah! Hahh, b-bastard, your right… hand…”
“Ohh! Heavens! By some miracle my right hand began working just a moment ago. Truly, I must thank you, friend! Ha ha ha!”
In his youth he often pretended that his right hand was paralysed. Particularly to garner sympathy from women, but also to trick enemies in battle. Mum was right. He really was a cowardly scumbag. His right hand, left hand, legs, he used this same trick and claimed all sorts of injuries to fool people.
“Brilliant as always, Gordon-sama.”
“Ku ku, who would have thought an old trick like that would work. Fools like that are still around?”
Gordon and his followers guffawed together. All of them were disgusting.
I was trembling in rage when…
“Oh! I very almost forgot. Just now somebody accused me of being a liar, didn’t they.”
Gordon glared my way.
U-, Uh oh.
I was supposed to be hiding, but I just got found.