20: Turning Point

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Episode 20 Turning Point

Time passed in the blink of an eye when I listened to Aisha's talk.
Before I noticed, it was already evening. Since Aisha needed to take a rest, I was lost on what should I do next.

As I to returned back to my own room, the inside of the mansion suddenly became very busy.
I walked out of the room, curious; apparently Roxy had come back earlier than scheduled.

The scheduled return would have been tomorrow morning. The housemaids were moving hurriedly because of this sudden return as there were many things to do, such as preparing the bath and the meals.

I glanced at them as I hurried to Roxy.
It was because I wanted to know as soon as possible about what she thought after looking at the valley where she was supposed to hunt kobolds.
There she was! She removed her light armor at the door.

[Roxy-sama! Welcome home.]
[Ah, Fate. I've just returned.]

As I thought, she looked gloomy. If anyone saw the disastrous scene of that valley, they would be like that.
Well, in return, the Kobolds seem not to be coming any longer.
My mind throbbed as I listened to Roxy..

[Did something happen? You've returned earlier than scheduled.]
[You see...]

Roxy, who finished removing her light armor, explained to me the mysterious scene in the valley.

This morning, she accompanied her armed men into the valley. And the scene that spread out before their eyes when there got there was a ravine ravaged by a powerful attack. The beautiful nature had been lost, the trees had collapsed and the ground had been gouged out.

It seemed to be unexpectedly different from the valley that they saw every year. Yeah... Even for me, who was the one who caused it, thought that it was too much, so the reactions of the Roxy and her group was unsurprising.

Roxy asked the men who followed her to immediately investigate the surroundings.
There was nothing left in the valley, as if everything had disappeared; no one understood what had happened.
However, they discovered the corpses of 10 Junior Kobolds and 2 Assault Kobolds in the rocks not far away from there.

When she arrived at the scene with the guidance of the man who found the Kobold corpses, the Kobolds seemed have been killed by swords and arrows that littered the ground. All of the Kobolds were one-sidedly destroyed.
Especially the Assault Kobolds, which were quite strong monsters. They were impossible to beat down unless one was a Holy Knight.

There was also one corpse that was cut into two easily. Another one was frightened by something, as if trying to escape, the head pierced through by an arrow from behind. What was more worrisome was the the shot wound, because the arrow itself could not be found anywhere. There was also no evidence the arrow was pulled out either.

When considering who gave such injuries, the possibility of a Demon Archer came across their mind. By converting magical power into arrows and releasing it, it was a powerful weapon. It was not just an item that any warrior could possess.

It was such a wonderful weapon... while listening to Roxy's story,

[And so, I have reached a conclusion]
[Eh, that's just...]

From this much evidence, I wonder what kind of conclusion Roxy reached. Don't tell me I'll be discovered.

[I think the Gaulian girl who I saw yesterday is the one who did it]

Woops, it seems the culprit was someone that I didn't expect. However, this was... Isn't that pushing it?
I guess my face showed my disappointment, as Roxy puffed her cheeks and said.

[I understand there is no solid proof! But in order to calm down the people in the territory, I need to do it...]

The valley has been destroyed and the Kobolds have been massacred. To remove the uneasiness from the people in the territory as the Family Head, she needed to do something to reassure them.

However, the identity of the person who caused this is completely unknown based on the information from the site. Then she manages to conclude to the Gaulian girl that she saw yesterday.

The Gaulians had long dominated the continent of Gaul with their mighty military power. According to documents, their fighting ability far exceeds the Holy Knights. If that girl of Gaulian origin still had that power, the devastation that happened in the valley could be explained.

Roxy pushed out this conclusion in order to dispel the anxieties of the people, although she was actually against the idea.

I can tell by looking at her face, even if person herself is not aware of it.

[I see.... I'm sorry]
[Why is Fate apologizing?
[Eh, aa, somehow I wanted to say it. Hahahaha...]

Nope-nope. When i saw Roxy's face, I almost dangerously confessed.

Anyway, the Gaulians were strong. The brown-skin girl certainly did say that she yielded the Kobolds to me. Perhaps she would have defeated the Kobolds if she hadn't met me.

Then, let's leave the Gaulian girl as it is, she destroyed the valley and defeated the Kobolds. I'll consider this as a loan, and if we meet again, I will return this loan.

Thank you, Gaulian girl whose name I don't even know!

Everything didn't fit perfectly, but let's say that it would be nice if everyone who lived in the Heart family could live a normal life afterward.
When I thought of such a thing, Roxy said something with a bit of a troubled face.

[A few people witnessed that they saw a Gaulian girl leaving the territory early in the morning. So we are unable to ask her anymore about her reason coming here. That's why I used her for this case and done a bad thing. ]
[Roxy-sama...]

I am the worst. However, it cannot be known that I fought with the power of the Glutton skill. I don't want it to be known that I can kill my opponent and take their power.
On that guilty feeling, Aisha's words pierced me. I cannot face her properly... Even though I want to be there, beside her...

[Fate, what is it? You have a scary face right now.]
[Eh, is that so?]
[You occasionally show such a face. Please talk to me if you have any worries]
[... Thank you, Roxy-sama]

I had no other choice but to answer her with empty words.

=====

Two days later, Roxy observed the state of the valley, and she concluded that the Kobolds were no longer coming.
The Kobolds who had received such attacks might have already been annihilated, or even if there were some who survived, they may never come to the Heart family territory anymore.

Roxy who finished work in the territory, took me and decided to return to the kingdom.
We rode in a carriage, Aisha went out to the entrance to see us off, along with the other maids who were with us.

[We will go now, Mother]
[Have a safe trip. When you have a duty break, please return at any time]
[Yes. Mother should also take care]
[Of course. I'll do my best a bit longer]

While saying so, Aisha looks at me. Perhaps, she was still expecting me.
She laughed and smiled.

[Fate, when you came here again, let's talk once more. At that time, I want to hear your answer]

At that time, I cannot get my mouth to answer; I put my answer on hold.
The thought in mind and the reality in which I was placed still diverged.

Leaving only the feelings here, the horse carriage on which we rode started moving towards the Royal Capital.

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