Chapter 247: The Wrongdoer
Once upon a time, when Roseau was still treated like a dog in the brothel where he lived, he believed that he was the wrong one. That’s why he could not receive God’s salvation or love.
After all, the owner of the establishment, along with the prostitutes and the customers, often yelled at him. They treated him like dirt every single day, and they even hit him regularly. That was probably because he was a person of injustice. He assumed that he was an incorrect person. It did not change at all, whether he prayed without sleeping every night or tried to do good deeds.
Therefore, Roseau continued to think that he was the wrong person.
It wasn’t until Roseau became a young man that he realized that he was mistaken.
At that age, Roseau was allowed to dress like a man and was ordered to behave like one. Not only did he do the heavy work of the brothel, but was also entrusted with the job to serve the customers and take them home.
Apart from that, Roseau didn’t think of anything in itself. However, only anxiety covered his chest as to whether such job would be proper for him, since he was like a dog. He wondered if the customers would be pleased if he talked to them.
However, Roseau’s bargaining was strong, as if such anxiety was scattered like fog during a spring morning. He spoke well to the guests at any time. It was at this time that he first learned that he had the talent to knead words.
And that was not all he knew. He learned something else too.
“…I also learned that people do not see through anything, such as their true essence.”
Humans who had been ranting and throwing mud at Roseau started to exchange words with him just because he smiled and dressed up a little. Even though his essence had not changed at all, they were starting to treat him as a human rather than a dog.
It had nothing to do with whether he was a right or wrong person.
Roseau knew well. After all, no one had correctness or honesty. Everyone made decisions by looking at the person’s appearance, and that judgment was made in a superfluous way in one’s heart instead of one’s brain. However, everyone mysteriously believed that they were right.
That was depressing, hateful, and abominable to Roseau. He still didn’t think he was right. How could people close their eyes to themselves and insist that they are right? It was strange and unbearable to accept. He wondered what was right, such as justice to change the color of the flag if he stirred the people’s minds at the Private Assemble Hall.
However, for Roseau, the girl named Philos Trait was different. She seemed to have always thought about what was right.
She didn’t come rigging with the private assembly like the former lord, nor did she put her finger on her selfishness. She just lived as she thought it was right. She had been in conflict with her own self many times over, in order to avoid making mistakes.
“Unlike me, of course, she is also different from other human beings. She is like a foreign substance that continues to emit unwavering correctness.” That was the feeling that a man named Roseau had for a girl named Philos Trait, which was close to the burning flames.
A dungeon that smelled like mold. The place that didn’t suit her at all was the current residence of Philos Trait.
There was no light installed in this place. The dungeon was lit only when the guards brought oil lamps when they made several patrols a day. At other times, the darkness engulfed the surroundings as if the space itself had disappeared completely.
Roseau was walking alone in it without an escort. While shaking the oil lamp, only the sound of stepping on a loose hard rock echoed around. The only other sound he could hear was the prisoners’ moaning.
His footsteps stopped in front of the innermost dungeon where Philos Trait was held as a prisoner. There was a thick iron door in front of Roseau. It seemed to inhale even the sound. Only a few watch holes were at the level of the eye line and were passing through the sound.
Roseau leaked his words, distorting his beard on his mouth.
「How are you doing? 」
Nothing came back for a while. When Roseau began to think that the iron door really blocked the sound, he finally heard a voice.
「…It’s the first time I’ve struggled to breathe air. 」
It was a faint voice. Perhaps, she suffered a wound on her throat, since each of her breaths was weak. It had only been a few days since she was detained, but her physical strength got probably exhausted.
After all, this was not a well-groomed prison. It was far from being clean. It had mice running on the floor and molds crawling on the ceiling. Perhaps, even the water and food was not of very good quality. From the point of view of the ruler, Philos Trait, this place was worse than filth.
And that was probably the only reason she sounded debilitating.
「I don’t care what happens to me, but I’m sure you haven’t touched the soldiers and clerks who worked under me.」
Echoes that felt like fragments of her voice reached Roseau’s ears. It sounded as if she was holding back. Her voice turned into moans from time to time.
Roseau didn’t know what was making her speak that way. But, it was certainly not good. It was probably the action of the prison guard or some of the citizens. Did they hit her with a heavy chain? Did they torture her? Certainly, there was someone who used violence to hurt her.
No one went against the immoral who opposed God, since that was the job of higher-ups. But there must be many who use violence to dispel their anger.
If that were the case, Philos Trait would not be able to move her body for a while because of that pain. Still, why was she concerned with those who deserted her? Roseau replied, squinting his eyes unknowingly.
「Don’t you wonder? When you were surrounded by the citizens in front of the gate, the soldiers didn’t try to protect you. Only the clerk beside you was moving to protect you.」
They sold her off. In fact, some may just be timid and unable to move. Not all of the soldiers were under Roseau and the private assembly.
But in the end it was the same. No one could dare to save her. There was not a single resistance seen or heard.
“What’s the difference between selling her to us?” Roseau slightly gritted his teeth.
Roseau was waiting for the words that would come back from Philos Trait. What would she say about the betrayal of her soldiers? After a while, a voice mixed with occasional cough echoed in the dungeon.
「I see, is that so…Okay, what are you going to do now, Roseau? 」
Philos Trait talked about soldiers’ betrayal with just, “I see, is that so”. Were those words packed with sorrow and indignation? Or was there no emotion that came to mind?
Roseau silently accepted her loose words as she endured the pain.
「I don’t know if your desire is power or gold. If you use all the city soldiers to fight thoroughly, you will be able to fight against the Heraldic army, but don’t you forget that the cold season is not over. Actually, it’s far from being over. You’ll lose all my supplies for the city and it will dry up eventually.」
One after another, Philos Trait told her thoughts from the back of the iron door. The private assembly would listen to Roseau, but there were limits to that. Salvation from the Great Holy Church was not that promising. However, if they engaged with the Heraldic Order to win the campaign against the Great Holy Church, sooner or later the city of Philos would vanish.
He listened to her voice. Roseau slightly loosened his mouth, which had been biting hard. He closed his eyes and nodded quietly.
All she said was right. Roseau felt like she didn’t even rest her skull inside this dungeon. In addition, her whole being was not ruled by grudge or hatred from the punishment and betrayal. In fact, she continued to think about the city.
“Ah, everywhere, she is the right ruler of the city of Philos. I’m sure she still loves this city and its citizens despite what happened to her.”
“She is truly the exact opposite of me.” Roseau put his fist in front of his chest and said.
「My wishes are the same now as they were in the past. I just hate this city. I hate you and the private assembly. I hate you all.」
It was a heated voice that leaked from the depths of Roseau’s chest for the first time in a long time. As it was, Roseau continued to speak.
「Philos Trait, I will give you one piece of advice. You are right in everything you say, that’s for sure. That correctness is so fascinating.」
Philos listened to Roseau’s words silently. Roseau seemed unwilling to back down the tone of his voice. His high-pitched voice, which did not look like a prisoner’s voice, echoed high.
「There are people in the world that can’t live in that correctness. There are people of that nature who can only live by doing mistakes, whether they’re weak or strong.」
Roseau realized that he went too far.
After throwing those words to the iron door, Roseau returned to his heels without waiting for a reply. He didn’t turn around in the dungeon.
…Destroy Philos Trait and diminish the power of the city of Philos.
“I’ve done most of the work I’ve been tasked with. After that, at best, I only need to moderately exhaust the power of the Heraldic army.”
Roseau took the secret letter he had received from the Gharast Kingdom into the fire of the oil lamp, and slightly shook his beard.
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