SSS-Class Suicide Hunter - Chapter 95 - Villain (2)
Translator: thursdays ED: Sasha PR: LightBrin
…My beloved daughter.
…Don’t expect anything.
…Do not expect anything at all.
…Do not expect things, and do not count on things. That is the secret to life.
…Every time you tell yourself, ‘Maybe this time,’ the world will whisper back, ‘This time, for certain.’ Being fooled once is an experience, and being fooled twice is a tragedy. But being fooled three times is a farce.
…My dear daughter, you are a noble. Be cautious, and do not let your life become someone else’s joke. Do not let them have three chances.
…Two. Just two wounds are enough to be remembered forever. Those kings of old set up memorials for their death while they were still alive. Do not repeat the foolishness of building monuments in the desert.
…But if you still want to leave something to the world, my daughter, remember. You are not lending your life to someone. Do not try to be someone’s debtor. Give without the intention of getting it back in the first place. Give everything.
…Forgive people for throwing carnivals with your dead body. Give them your hair. Give them your fingers. Give everything, sacrifice everything from your pureness to your naive hopes. They will ravenously desire all of you and enjoy their banquet.
…So leave, and do not leave anything behind in this world.
That was your mother’s will when she died.
Her funeral was a cremation.
The basement was quiet.
“Is something wrong?”
There was only the quiet voice of Lady of the Silver Lily. The air was cold. The servants who were interrogated had shed blood, but the pools of blood did not heat the basement at all.
“Please, punish me quickly as foundation of this country.”
The prince laughed weakly.
No, could we even say that was a laugh? The tip of his mouth just lifted slightly and trembled. It was a gruesome failure of a smile.
He turned his head like he was escaping and looked at the Heretic Questioner and me. His eyes asked, [What do you two think of this absurd situation?]
But he couldn’t escape. The cutting voice of the Lady of the Silver Lily severed the prince’s gaze.
“Should I report their crimes to His Majesty’s special operatives?”
The crown prince hesitated.
“Are you trying to follow in the footsteps of the discarded crown prince?”
“Are you testing the extent of His Majesty’s forgiveness for you?”
Her quiet tone was not rude, but the duchy’s young lady, the Lady of the Silver Lily, was clearly giving the prince a hard time.
It was an effective threat.
The imperial heir’s hand trembled. Shaking, he grabbed the sword that the lady had offered him. However, his determination only lasted to holding the grip of the sword. He wasn’t mad enough to swing the sword.
The prince helplessly let the tip of the sword point down. He looked at us blankly. Did he want one of us to come forward and stop the Lady of the Silver Lily?
“What a neat resolution!”
However, the Heretic Questioner laughed brightly.
“It’s neat how you brought in the two of us in addition to the crown prince. Aha. So everyone here will become [accomplices] and keep their mouths shut by your calculations. It’ll be good for His Highness since his blunders will be covered up. And it’ll be good for me since the Lady of the Silver Lily is being punished!”
“The problem here is that only Your Ladyship gains nothing from this.”
The Heretic Questioner’s eyes curved like a crescent moon.
“Do you receive any benefit by doing things this way? Your Ladyship. Three loyal servants of the duke are dying. You’ll even receive corporal punishment on the prince’s behalf. I’m really curious about what you’re thinking.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. As I said, these are my family’s servants, and I, as the daughter of this family, should be held responsible for their mistake…”
“Aha, how pretty! But that isn’t efficient when it comes to a debate! Let’s be honest with each other to have a more fruitful discussion. Why would you be punished on the prince’s behalf? Is this Your Ladyship’s ‘love’?”
The sound of breathing in the basement.
The silver and gold ladies stared at each other for a moment.
“It is only what I must do to be his subject, Lady of the Golden Silk.”
The Lady of the Silver Lily replied in a composed voice, not even moving her eyebrows.
“Thinking of my own benefit or cost is disloyal. Perhaps you find this difficult to understand since your family is from the countryside.”
“In other words, you don’t want something in return?”
“Do you want me to answer? Give up. Whether you understand me or not has no influence on my behavior.”
The Heretic Questioner exhaled like a sigh. It was difficult for me to guess right away what he meant by that.
But one thing was certain. The Heretic Questioner’s response was definitely not what the crown prince had hoped for. The Heretic Questioner did not intend to stop the Lady of the Silver Lily. The face of the prince, who had clung onto his love, was stained with despair.
“…Please wait a moment, milady.”
So, I had no choice but to open my mouth.
The Heretic Questioner tilted his head and looked at me.
“Yes, butler? What is it?”
“If those servants are really the culprits, then you also have the right to take revenge. It would be wrong to leave the punishment solely to the prince.”
My mouth felt stale. My head was spinning. To overcome this ridiculously complicated political incident… I devoted myself to thinking about [the best course]. I did not hesitate to use the butler’s knowledge.
[The immersion toward the character has deepened.]
[Currently, your immersion rate is 7%.]
My tongue dried to a crisp. But it was still okay, for now.
“…The same is true for the Lady of the Silver Lily. She was betrayed by her faithful servants. I believe this is more than enough reason that she deserves to punish these men.”
“There are three servants who have sinned. There are also three people who are entitled to punish them.”
I looked at the servants, tied up in the chairs.
“What if each person punishes one culprit each?”
“In any case, the Lady of the Silver Lily wishes to make us accomplices. That’s why she brought us here…. And His Highness seems to be unable to carry out the punishment alone. I believe that it will be appropriate to divide the punishment equally.”
There was a hush for a while.
The Heretic Questioner closed an eye.
The Lady of the Silver Lily pinched her brows without a word.
The crown prince’s complexion quickly brightened.
“Right! Sylvia’s servant is correct. The Lady of the Silver Lily was betrayed by her subordinates. Sylvia was attacked. And I need to uphold the law! Since everyone has their own reasons, it would be best to each take care of one!”
“Your Highness. A king should not share his duties with others—“
The prince nervously threw the sword at the Lady of the Silver Lily. Thwap! The sheath bounced off the lady’s leg and to the ground.
The Lady of the Silver Lily looked impassive, though it must have hit hard enough to bruise.
“If something happens, kill it! Punish it! Beat it! That’s the only thing you know how to say! How many people do you think I’ve taken care of until now?!”
“It is the duty of the one who will lead this empire in the future.”
“I am not a killer! I’m no murderer! You spiteful woman. How wicked! If you want to see blood so much, you kill someone first!”
The prince huffed, and the lady of the duchy quietly looked at him. Time seemed to freeze.
The thin ice in the air broke as the lady slowly bent down. She lifted the sword. Her hands continued to move. Her left hand was over the sheath and her right hand on the hilt.
Skillfully, the Lady of the Silver Lily drew the blade.
The color of the blade resembled her hair.
“If so, at least give me an order.”
“Yes, Your Highness. Order me to execute them. Why are you hesitating? Did you forget how to give an order? Is it because you want to give up your claim to sovereignty?”
The prince inhaled deeply.
He fumbled over the word.
However, the Lady of the Silver Lily never missed.
The air in the basement split apart, as did the weightier flesh.
The Lady of the Silver Lily’s shoulders shook a little as if she was sighing. That was all. After taking a life with a sigh, the Lady of the Silver Lily looked at us.
I felt something ominous. My heart throbbed disturbingly.
I realized how I felt for the Lady of the Silver Lily.
[The immersion toward the character has deepened.]
[Currently, your immersion rate is 8%.]
It was something instinctive that told me that [this person will someday stand in the way of the Lady of the Golden Silk].
It was an obsessive compulsion to deal with the person in front of my eyes.
“Ahaha. You’re becoming more and more interesting to me! Mm, very good!”
That was why my immersion rate was rising like crazy.
“It’ll be troublesome to leave the person who tried to assassinate me alone. Please hand me the sword. I’ll take care of the second one. Now, shall I become an accomplice?”
How many people has the Heretic Questioner killed so far?
I didn’t know, but it was very clear that the Heretic Questioner was not an amateur in this.
As soon as the Heretic Questioner received the sword, he hummed and completed the execution in one blow.
Now, there was one servant left.
There was only one person left who needed to administer punishment.
The prince opened his mouth and looked at the Heretic Questioner. He didn’t seem to expect that the Heretic Questioner would execute someone so easily.
Then something shocking, no–something unbelievable, happened. The prince took a back step and tried to run away. Before the Lady of the Silver Lily could say anything, the Heretic Questioner said, “Ah!” As he did, the prince ran off.
Nobody had expected it, so the crown prince nearly succeeded in getting away. Yup. If I didn’t block the basement stairs behind them.
“H-how impertinent! Whose path do you think you’re blocking, servant?”
I snatched the prince’s wrist and gripped it tightly. I intentionally increased my strength.
The prince tried to shake off my hand but failed. He let out a low scream. He couldn’t compare with me in terms of grip strength in the first place.
“What do you mean, you… Agh! Let go of me this instant!”
“It happened because of you, did it not?”
The voice that spilled out of my mouth was cold even to my ears. It wasn’t my usual voice.
“This wouldn’t have happened if you did not order the assassination attempt on a whim. You were so crazy for love that you set up a kidnapping act. Well, things like that may happen sometimes. But do you plan to ignore your responsibility just because you’re crazy?”
I glowered at the prince.
“H-hold it… What am I supposed to…?”
“The sword. Hold it.”
The prince flinched.
[The immersion toward the character has deepened.]
[Currently, your immersion rate is 9%.]
The immersion increased, but that didn’t matter. Right now, my feelings were the same as the butler’s. Anger at this cowardly escape.
I grabbed the prince’s wrist and dragged him along. He resisted, trying hard not to be pulled by me. However, I ignored his attempts.
“Hold the sword’s hilt.”
“Ugh, you rude thing…! You dare…!”
Since he didn’t want to hold it, I forced him to.
“Raise the sword properly.”
“Let go! I order you to let me go! I-is anybody there?!”
Since he did not want to raise the sword, I had to force him to do so.
“It shows how much you’ve let others take the blame until now. The dirty work, the vulgar work, the things that you didn’t want to touch. You must have handed all of these over to the Lady of the Silver Lily. You, who is the prince of this country.”
“Sy… Silvia! Control your butler! Please! Sylvia!”
“Strike with the sword.”
The prince’s arm strength was negligible. It was easy to overcome.
So, I overcame it.
The smell of blood in the basement became a bit thicker. The servant’s body, tied to the chair, slid down.
The prince looked in front of him with a devastated expression. At his feet, the Lady of the Silver Lily slowly bent her knees. The hem of her skirt dipped into the pool of blood, turning red.
“It will please everyone that the foundation of the empire has upheld our nation’s order, Your Highness.”
The prince did not answer. He turned his back without a word. This time, I let his hands go.
“Please keep your heart firm and continue to execute fair judgment in the future.”
The prince tiredly climbed the basement stairs. Thud, thud…. Meanwhile, the Lady of the Silver Lily continued to advise him. Her persistent voice bounced off the prince’s back and returned to the basement.
“The fate of this country and its people rely on Your Highness’s mindset. Your Highness may be one person, but your actions are not yours alone. Each of Your Highness’s actions and decisions has a great influence on the empire. Please.”
The sound of footsteps became faint with distance and cut off. We continued looking at the Lady of the Silver Lily, who still had her head bowed.
I wanted to understand this person.
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