Book 4 Chapter 469

Scapegoat

Leguna stood expressionlessly on the platform and looked down to the bound huge man, feeling nothing but a slight hint of apologeticness.

He didn't have Eirinn and Innilis come along as they definitely wouldn't want to bear witness to what was about to transpire. Annelotte had been mad at him since their argument. There was no escaping an apology after the matter was dealt with. But since Annelotte had lost quite a lot of memories, even he wasn't sure if his usual tricks would work.

The guillotine had been raised to its highest point. the large man was kneeling before the instrument and he looked up and saw Leguna.

When their gazes crossed, Leguna looked at him and gave a nod.

It was worth it, the large man thought when he saw Leguna's nod.

After that, the blade fell and cut off his head. Blood spurted out from the stump and dyed the ground red.

Perhaps out of shock or remembrance of Kurdak's contributions to the empire, the Melindor citizens didn't cheer. They only watched solemnly and looked at Leguna.

Contempt, hate and fear…

Their gazes were filled with nothing but hostility. While they felt it was fine for the head of the bureau to be a dastardly schemer, he definitely couldn't be completely cruel and without honor. If that was the case, who could be sure whether such a person wouldn't backstab his allies? If someone like in Leguna's post really betrayed the empire… the consequences were hard to imagine.

Not only did the citizens grow to fear him, they also started being wary of him. Their gazes came at him like needles. While nobody dared criticize Leguna for kicking a friend when he was down, that didn't mean they weren't discomforted by it.

Despite being the one who conducted the execution, Leguna looked surprisingly calm. His face did not betray any expression of regret as he believed he was doing the right thing.

If Kurdak had been willing to be subject to the rage of others who didn't understand him for the sake of protecting them, Leguna would do the same. He would think of a way to protect those he cared about, and the price he had to pay was different from Kurdak's.

He would incur the hate and contempt of the whole empire, perhaps even the world's. However, he didn't really care. As long as those he cared about led good lives, so what if the world abandoned and hated him?

Little did he know that the ones to pay for being abandoned by the world wouldn't be him alone. Those he cared about reciprocated his concern too and they would pay a huge price to bring him back to this world.

Currently, Leguna only looked the rest of them in the eye coldly. In fact, he had begun gradually growing to hate the foolish masses. They didn't know anything but thought they knew everything. They didn't provide any value of their own but expected others to shed blood for their sakes. These people were like puppets who moved according to the wills and whims of the elite.

"Hmph!" He smirked coldly and left the platform.

……

Leguna returned to his quarters at night. Eirinn and Innilis seemed quite satisfied with how he resolved things. Eirinn heated up some warm water for him to wash his feet while Innilis went behind him to give him a shoulder massage. The two of them were no longer as annoying as they used to be over the past few days and were obedient as sheep.

"Don't think you can get this treatment every day!" Innilis warned, "Today's only a reward!"

"Alright, I know," Leguna said with a smile.

Somehow, when previous matters were settled, Leguna would always be in a good mood. However, it wasn't the case this time.

Kurdak wasn't dead. The one who was beheaded was merely a man with a similar physique to Kurdak. He was a mere laborer from the slums who committed thievery for the sake of getting his daughter a gift. He was discovered by the crime's victim and they got into a fight, which ended with the manslaughter of the one he stole from.

Later, Leguna found him and bought his life with five hundred gold coins. In the end, he became Kurdak and was cursed and scolded by everyone before being beheaded in public, all for a meager five hundred coins.

In fact, the true worth of the criminal was merely some ten gold coins. He was just a normal convict on death row, so his life was forfeit either way. The only difference was that he would be rebuked and insulted by people during the parade.

Leguna pitied him and raised the price fifty times. He was free to use the funds of the bureau, after all, so ten or 500 gold coins wasn't so different to him.

Yet, he used that little amount of money to trade for the life and dignity of a person. Even though the other was a human, of the same race as he was and even his countryman, the distance between the status of those two was wider than that of a man and a pig.

Leguna didn't know what caused that kind of divide. Both he and the convict was only trying to make things better for those they cared about, but all he had to do was toss out some gold coins to ask someone to give his life away. Unable to come to a satisfying answer, he attributed it all to his better luck.

"I wonder how Uncle is doing now…" Innilis said, worried.

"Relax," Leguna said, patting her hand in consolation, "Boss isn't your average person. He's only going overseas. He'll be fine."

……

A few days prior during a dark, snowy night, Innilis couldn't help but shake from the cold. After some time, she had an idea and decided to try dictating a spell.

It was one that Leguna hadn't seen before. From the magic formation, one could tell that it looked like an ice barrier. However, it wasn't exactly the same, so the magically illiterate Leguna couldn't figure out what it was.

Innilis's dictation was slow and awkward. She only managed one syllable every half second and would sometimes shut her mouth in thought before continuing. The magic glow in her hand glowed bright, then dimmed, and repeated for a few more times unstably.

All of a sudden, a bright light flashed, much to Leguna's surprise. From what he learned from Annelotte, he could tell it was a sign the magic formation was about to burst from uneven mana distribution, and the consequences of that would be dire.

"Careful!" Leguna darted to her side and prepared to use his impetus to suppress the mana explosion.

However, a light gradually settled into her formation. Even though it didn't look really powerful or do any damage, the glow was easily able to assimilate into the formation and instantly caused it to stabilize.

"Annie, you're here," Leguna said with a relieved sigh. Even if he was able to blast away the energy, he couldn't be certain he could protect Innilis from harm. Magic was connected to human consciousness, after all, and even Leguna couldn't say for sure whether she'd be safe from it.

Annelotte ignored him and rolled her eyes before walking towards the excited girl.

"Sis Annie, I almost succeeded in modifying the spell formation!" Innilis said proudly.

"How many times did I tell you this already?!" Annelotte ignored her excitement and raised her icy blue eyebrow in anger. "Modifying a spell is a dangerous thing to do! If you're not completely certain, you should never attempt it! Do you know how dangerous it could've been if your unstable formation burst open just now?!"

Innilis didn't look afraid of her in the slightest. She poked her little tongue out mischievously and coquettishly said, "Come on, I was just excited about learning a new spell, so I wanted to try it out a little… Don't be angry, Sis Annie!"

Annelotte gave her a look of helplessness. While she had a great magic theory, nothing else was going for her. But now she had finally gained the power of controlling mana, she got a rare chance to put all the wild ideas in her head to actual tests.

While her experimental spirit was rather commendable, curiosity also killed the cat. Without proper protection or safeguards, even Annelotte wouldn't dare carelessly modify spells, yet Innilis didn't care for that at all and did whatever she wanted!

Having no other choice, she turned to Leguna awkwardly. "It's really dangerous for Innie to do this. If you want her to be safe and sound, make sure to stop her from doing so immediately!"

"Alright…" he replied blankly.

It was the first time she had spoken to him since their fight.

In the distant street, a carriage came rumbling over.

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