“No, no. This evil man has only used you all of this time. For his own ambitions, he pretended to be your student so he could absorb all of your knowledge. But it is not possible to completely hide one’s true nature. And so it has appeared now in this rebellious manner…”
“Inquisitor, you do realize this is a place to compare facts, and not to lay out one’s own speculations?”
“I am only connecting separate truths, Master Michronomica. You are surely a compassionate man. Even now you will protect your student.”
He smiled coldly, a forced expression of understanding on his face. Then the Inquisitor turned back to the Judge.
“Your Honor, I think that everything has become quite clear through this exchange. The defendant, Gideon Aglewalk was blessed with such a virtuous master, and yet his evil nature could not be rehabilitated. Additionally, we have established that he is quite gifted. It is evident that allowing such a man to go free would bring a great danger to Fores. And so I must demand that you sentence Gideon Adlewalk to fifty years in the labyrinth.”
Sentenced to the labyrinth!
The moment he heard those words, Gideon was filled with an intense excitement swirling in his chest.
This was what he had wanted more than anything.
The crowds reacted to the words ‘sentenced to the labyrinth’ with cheers. It was as if a great gladiator had just won a victory in the Colosseum. It was a most strange mood.
Throw him in the labyrinth! Throw him in the labyrinth! Throw him in the labyrinth!
“Order! This is a holy place of judgment!”
It was Judge Peter who admonished this atmosphere.
“…I understand well what the Inquisitor is saying. However, that sentence is much too heavy. It is the equivalent of ending this young man’s future.”
“He is an evil man with a will to make an enemy of the state. I believe that he has no worth as a human in this world.”
“And I believe that punishments are meant to direct lost souls to the right direction.”
Gideon watched with much excitement as the Inquisitor and the Judge argued.
It was not too heavy a sentence at all! No sentence could make me happier! Please send me to the labyrinth!
“…The is a clamorous crowd. Why must my trials be in public? Make them shut up.”
Gideon tried to hide his agitation as he said this in as much an insolent voice as he could muster.
“You are the villain who should shut up, Aglewalk. I told you to speak no more!”
“Should I make them shut up then? I could take care of everyone in this colosseum if I wanted.”
“I see no signs of repentance in him. We have knights of the kingdom here. They are the ones who captured you. Do you wish to feel that pain again?”
As if obeying the Inquisitor, the two knights who were meant to keep the peace, unsheathed their swords.
Such knights would not be a problem. He had gotten caught on purpose, and even now, he could escape if he wished—but, that would not allow him to go where he wanted to go.
He was posing. He would play a hopeless criminal who was not worthy of any mercy.
His arms were tied behind his back, and as Gideon tensed his right arm, the thin stalk of a plant began to grow from his bicep.
This was Gideon’s power.
It was a magic that allowed him to activate the cells and seeds of plants and control them as he wished.
This ‘weapon’ was integrated into his skin and bloodstream, allowing him to store them in his body in an inert state.
Seeing his suspicious movements, the two knights fell upon him.
His face was pushed into the dirt, his arms twisted upward, and an unexpected groan escaped from his lips.
From the ground, he stole a glance at the Judge. There was a cloud over his expression, it was clear that he was disappointed at Gideon’s foolish actions just now.
“…the sentence is too heavy. Fifty years in the labyrinth, that is. I believe that twenty years is more appropriate.”
Fifty years and twenty were much the same to most. After all, hardly anyone ever came out of there alive…
Judge Peter hit the gavel loudly several times until the audience fell silent.
“—I hereby declare, that the accused, Gideon Adlewalk, shall be sentenced to twenty years in the labyrinth!”
The crowd exploded into cheers just as Gideon’s sand-covered mouth twisted into a smile.
(Finally. Finally, I will be able to go there…)
In order to save his beloved younger sister, the only family he had, Gideon would fall into hell.