Translator : Kinokura
Editor : Alany
7. For the time being, Let’s try it
“Magic that interferes with the soul of the dead? Illias! Just how do you dare push the boy into that kind of corner!? Oh, poor you…”
“Do I look like that kind of person!?”
While they were talking, I was thinking about ‘That Person’, the one in control of the bandits.
From the sound of it, it seems like a person that’s active behind the scene, so let’s call this person, “Black Curtain”. [TN: The reason, I’ll explain at the bottom.]
So, “Black Curtain” is the one who threatens the bandits to not let the other groups leak information out. And even if the bandits get tortured or slaughtered by the knight, they’ll never leak any information.
Maya-san is a priest, her job is to heal wounds, and offer prayers for dead people to guide their souls.
Considering this, there must be inhuman magic that’s the opposite of that. This might be the reason their mouth is sealed.
That was why, I was here right now in the church because I thought that Maya-san would have knowledge about magic with a negative effect on a person or their soul.
“The bandits are afraid of retribution if ever they spit any information. And there not afraid of executions. My theory is that they’re threatened with something that’s effective someone even after death.”
“Hmm, it’s not like there’s no magic that can call upon the souls of the dead, but it’s one of the forbidden magic.”
“As I’ve expected, there’s that kind of magic. Is it a kind of dark magic that brings the dead back to life?”
“It’s not like Resuscitation is Dark Magic. It just that it’s forbidden.”
“…That sounds like magic that everyone might want, doesn’t it?”
“Don’t say that in front of others, okay? In some countries, just saying that you want it, can be the highest of crime resulting in a death sentence.”
Saying Maya-san with a severe expression… it was the first time I saw her have that facial expression.
“Is it that dangerous?”
“Yeah, because it’ll bring the worst conclusion.”
“The worst conclusion?”
“In the past, there were people who had been revived through Resuscitation Magic. But They all became Demon Lords that resent Human.”
…I heard that word when I talked about the Slime’s home. As expected, there is a demon lord in this world.
“A King is the existence that builds a country and guides the people. But a Demon Lord is the existence that destroys humans and their country.”
“I understand what you want to say. But in the first place, why do the dead become Demon Lords when they were resuscitated?”
“That’s… I don’t know. I’ve never used it before. But in history, it said that by Resuscitation Magic, Demon Lords take a lot of human sacrifices to be born. Humans initially did that a few times before finally learning their lesson.”
Well, just by hearing the word “Demon Lord”, I can understand the danger of such a being.
After all, the typical image of a Demon Lord is an enemy of humankind, an evil that causes many victims and is usually defeated by a hero.
And every time someone is brought back to life, that person becomes a Demon Lord… no wonder it became forbidden magic.
…Are the bandits afraid that they will become Demon Lords? I’ve the feeling that’s not it.
“The bandits are afraid of Resuscitation Magic?… No, that’s not it. Maya-san, is there any magic that you don’t want to use any more than this?”
“Hmm… if you want me to say, something like Necromancy.”
Said Maya-san with a very disgusting look.
“From the name, is it a magic that manipulates the soul of the dead?”
“It’s a magic that forcibly pulls out the soul of the dead without being complete resuscitated, then you could humiliate them in this world”
“It seems that the difficulty level is lower than that of Resuscitation Magic.”
“That’s right. Resuscitation Magic is a higher level magic. That’s why, magic that interferes with the souls is forbidden.”
That one, is good for threatening others.
I mean, if you die and are revived to become a Demon Lord, sure there must be some people that liked that option, but the birth of a Demon Lord’s may not be a good thing for ‘Black Curtain’, who is dealing with the bandit business.
But what about necromancy? It’s like, “If you betray, even if you die, your soul will be dragged out and you will suffer even more in the future.”, kind of thing.
If so… now I can understand that bandit’s word better.
“How have the souls called from the dead by Necromancy been used?”
“Well, it’s heresy. Do you think the human soul will be treated like a living being? It’ll be used as an offering, or to be returned to their rotten flesh before ordering them like a monster. It’s really terrible.”
“Do you think that they maintained their consciousness even in that state?”
“Boy… You sure are asking about a difficult thing.”
Said Maya-san with a sharp eye, as if she tried to evaluate me.
It’s not like I don’t understand why she looks at me like that. From her point of view, there’s someone wanting to know about the magic that she loathes.
But, to destroy the bandits, there must be no blunders.
“I think that this is an important piece of information. The thing that I want to know is not how to use Necromancy but, the horror of it.”
“You know… There was a time I subdued an evil magician that used Necromancy. That guy used Necromancy on the humans he killed, then he put their souls into the bodies of a monster. In the end, I and my comrades decided to exterminate the magician and his monsters.”
“In the midst of their dying moments, there was a monster that said “Thank you” to me.”
“Thank you very much for telling me.”
Now, I’m sure of one thing. Necromancy is the chain that binds the bandits.
Even if it’s a different thing, in the end, I’m sure it’s something similar.
What if, “Black Curtain” has shown the bandits what happened to the bandits that betray him? If so, the bandit will choose to die faster rather than end like that.
“Maya-san, the bandit that are now in Tiez mostly came from Garne, right?”
“I heard that’s the case.”
“Could you find me some information if there’s any criminal from Garne that might have some relation with Necromancy?”
“Boy, do you think that such a person might have something to do with the bandits?”
“I’m going to ask the bandits for confirmation after this, I’m sure it’s not too far from this.”
“Okay, I’ll go and search then.”
“Then, excuse me.”
Now, I’ve some material to do something to the bandits. What’s left is whether I can use it well or not….
I bowed to Maya and left the church.
◇ Illias POV ◇
I was listening to the young man and Maya without interrupting.
The young man should be new to this world. However, he gathered the necessary information and arrived at necromancy at a fast rate.
At first, I thought he was smart, but I was wrong.
“Illias, please watch that boy for me.”
“I’m thinking the same as what you are thinking right now.”
“That boy is used to malice. And he has some understanding about that world.”
Yes, the young man didn’t notice that he was quick to realize that the enemy might have something to do with Necromancy.
He came up with it naturally because he had some understanding of that world.
I heard that there was no magic in the world he came from, but…
I don’t know what kind of world he was living in.
I don’t even know what kind of person he is.
When he heard about the forbidden Resuscitation Magic, he casually said that everyone would have wanted it.
And even when Maya told him about what kind of end the guy that received Necromancy Magic had with a bitter face, he nodded without any change to his expression.
“I know that he isn’t a bad child. I’m sure of it. But, he’s a boy who can lose his way rather easily. A dangerous boy.”
I nodded and followed the young man from behind.
◇ MC POV ◇
After returning to the barracks, I gathered all the captured bandits.
“Well, I guess I should introduce myself first, I’m your new interrogator, and my name is――”
“Shut up kid! You piece of shit! What do you want from us?!! If you want us dead that bad, just kill us already!!”
I can’t even introduce myself properly. Do I have such a sad existence.
But right now it’s not time to be disheartened.
“Kill me, kill me, sigh… Are you guys that afraid to be victims of Necromancy?”
At the same moment I said so, everyone showed me a very upset face.
…OK, now I’m really sure.
“Don’t mind it too much, and let’s continue our talk first.”
The sight of bandits looking at me started to change.
Hostility, anxiety, and vigilance feelings started to form up from the bandits.
Well… I’ve some understanding of their kind of people, and I can try to threaten them with fear, But I’m not gonna do that since it’ll be less effective than that from the “Black Curtain”, so…
“Now now, after understanding your situation, I’m going to give you a new proposal.”
“A new proposal? Is it something like if we talk, you will let us go?”
“I can’t do that. And even if I have the authority, I’m not going to do that.”
“I can change your execution date.”
“If you give me information, I promise that your execution will be after I’ve taken care of that Necromancer.”
“Just what good will that bring us anyway!?”
“At least, you can die as a human.”
The bandits’ expression changed.
Well well, shall we start the negotiations?
“This is a negotiation. Negotiation means that the other side gets benefits from it. And in this case, you could die as a human.”
I walked slowly to them as I explained.
“Well, let me explain it to you guys about future developments. First of all, if you give any information here, You guys will get the wrath from “That person”. Right?”
First, let the other person realize that they understand it.
Make them aware of what matters most.
“But you’re still alive. You will still get your daily meals and live inside your cell.”
And then, make them understand that there is another ending for them.
“Sure, you’ll continue in jail until we captured the mastermind. But when we’re done with that, you’ll be executed. I promise that you will be able to die as a human.”
While keeping an eye on each bandit. I tried to kindly persuade them.
“No more torture for you, so you can use the remaining time you have to reflect on your lives.”
“Y-you guys, I’m not sure if you could do it! And your proposal, do you expect us to believe it!?”
“Well, first of all, there’s a possibility that you might be revived as a monster by Necromancy magic, so there’s no merit for us if we hurry your execution. That’ll only gonna give him more pawns to use. So, isn’t it better for both of us to extend your execution?”
“But still! even if spit information, we will still be executed! It’s not about your torture! We don’t have a reason to put ourselves in danger!”
Other bandits were also eager to deny this.
Until now they all were stubborn in choosing one path and never tried to move from that path.
But what about now? They began to compare the new path with the current path.
“You don’t have a reason to put yourself in danger? That’s true. But, it seems like you guys really think that your situation right now isn’t dangerous too, huh?”
“Other than getting information from you, do you think we don’t have any other means, or chance, to find out anything?”
“Actually, it was a coincidence that we found your base this time. But how do you think you were found, have you ever thought that? ‘Someone made a mistake’, ‘Someone betray us’, Did such a thought ever cross your mind?”
“Then, if we were lucky enough to know your mastermind’s whereabouts. What do you think they all will say? ‘Someone leaked them the information’, ‘Who betray us’…. Well, I wonder who they will think of?”
Once they start comparing the path, the rest is easy.
You just need to lower the value of the path they have chosen.
Once they believe that the path they’re taking right now isn’t as safe as they’d imagined and that just by a bit of coincidence, they may have the worst end. It’s time for another attack.
“Will you guys believe in the being that you fear so much? Or will you throw that belief? This is such an option.”
The bandits looked at each other.
They’re shaking… Good, now I just need to give the finishing blow.
“Anyway, that’s my proposal, so starting tomorrow, the one who’s interested in it, please be brave. Today, I want you guys to think about it carefully. That’s all.”
After that, the seven bandits move as the knights asked.
From now, they would be separated into different places.
With this, I finished my first move. I could relax for a bit.
Huff… I’m so tired! It’s hard to give a presentation while the audience keeps staring at me!
Looking back, Illias-san and Grandpa Kara were still there, and they had the face of someone who had a hard time swallowing the situation.
“You could corner them in that way too, huh? Boy, you may become a crooked merchant in the future.”
“Pass, I don’t want a life full of grudges. It’s enough if I could live safely.”
“But why did you split them?”
“Just an insurance. What if one of them tells everyone the safest way, if that happens all of them can just lie? Then, there’ll be no betrayal, they get to postponed their executions and can avoid more interrogations. Even if we can uncover their lie, we’ll waste more time.”
“I see. So that’s the reason. But, will they give out some information with this?”
“And that’s why I’ve a request to Grandpa Kara. I’m sorry, but it might be a bad thing…”
“No problem, just say it.”
“Lend me your ear… WHISPER, WHISPER…”
“H, hey! Let me hear it too!”
I whispered the finishing blow that must be done, to Illias-san and Grandpa Kara.
Grandpa Kara closed his eyes and groaned, and Illias-san looked at me with an unbelievable face.
“What a guy…!!”
“Really, what a scoundrel…”
“It’s nothing more than just an idea from a brat. However, this is a job that only Grandpa Kara and the Knights can do.”
“I can’t go back to my word. Hmm,… very well, let me be your accomplice.”
“Ugh… Umm… But… If it’s for the people’s sake… There’s no other choice…!”
There are various ways to obtain concessions from the other party in negotiations, but if you are on an equal footing, the first thing you need to do is to let the other person understand that there’s a benefit for them.
Only by understanding the merits, people will try to accept new things.
Next, be sure to explain the disadvantage of the negotiation. Failure to do this will give the other person a sense of distrust.
If the disadvantage can be understood with little thought, it’s better to tell it first, so that it shows your sincerity.
Also, you need to give the last push. Don’t forget this.
TN : It’s written 黒幕(Kuromaku), used in Japan like Wire-puller, and literally translate as Black Curtain.
ED: Further explanation, Basically, In English analogy, the protagonist refers as someone who manipulates “Behind the scenes” as such “Black Curtain.”