Saturday, January 12, 2019

Cooking with Wild Game Volume 13 (1 of 5)


Translator: Skythewood
Editor: Hiiro

Fifteenth of the White Month.

I opened my eyes at dawn, and saw the sleeping face of a cute boy before me, which surprised me.

It was a youth with yellowish brown hair, and a face as gentle as a girl— someone I knew very well, the youngest son of the Wu clan, Ludo Wu.

This is…?
As I looked at his sleeping face, I started reminiscing.

After the banquet for Zuro Tsun and the others ended, Ai Fa and I stayed over at the Wu clan main house, while Barcia spent the night in Shin Wu’s house. Barcia and us stayed in the only empty house last night, but we had to give it to Zuro Tsun and the others instead.

Shin Wu and Ryada Wu must be taking turns to sleep as they kept watch over Barcia. Zuro Tsun and his family probably received the same treatment by Graff Zaza and the others.

And then, there were Ai Fa and me.

There weren’t any more empty rooms in the Wu clan main house, so Ai Fa stayed in Grandma Jiba’s chambers, while I bunked with the men in their room.

There was one small secret though; spending the night apart from Ai Fa reminded me of the troubled days I spent incarcerated, so it was hard for me to fall asleep— But after chatting with the excited Ludo Wu, I dozed off before I realized it.

The morning sun shone in through the window. Even Ludo Wu who woke very early amongst the men didn’t get up at day break.

I finally cleared my mind, and thought in a daze:

His sleeping face sure is cute…

Ludo Wu has an androgynous face, and was as cute as a girl when he smiles. The way he breath evenly with his mouth pouting like a child was really cute.

Never mind, he might hit me if I told him that.
I sat up and stretched my back. Darum Wu was actually sleeping opposite me.

Speaking of which… So he is also sleeping in this room.
As the Wu clan was a big family, there were two or more people staying in each room. Hence, it wasn’t surprising for two unwed men to stay together.

And of course, his wolf-like eyes were closed right now. He always seemed so unapproachable, but his usually tensed face was calm right now, and didn’t feel like Darum Wu at all.

By the way, if he didn’t have his father’s fearsome eyes, Darum Wu would be really handsome. He was Ludo Wu’s older brother after all. The bridge of his nose was high, his lips thin, he has chiselled cheekbones and a lean face. He wasn’t androgynous like Ludo Wu or Rau Lei, but he was still a 19 year old youth— that was the impression his healthy and calm sleeping face gave me.

It feels like I’m seeing something that I shouldn’t see...
As I was thinking about that, Darum Wu slowly opened his eyes. He stared at me from an extremely close distance with dazed eyes.

“What, are you doing…”

“Ahh, nothing, well… I’m used to waking up at dawn.”

I broke out in cold sweat, and Darum Wu closed his eyes slowly again.

“The men… are still sleeping. You are awake, go help the women with their chores…”

“Alright, I will do just that.”

I got up slowly, and escaped outside as quietly as possible.

As I was breathing a sigh of relief, someone opened the door of the adjacent room:

“Ahh, Asuta, you are already up…”

It was the eldest daughter Vena Wu and second daughter Leina Wu. They also woke at dawn.

“Asuta, you can go sleep a while more… We can do the laundry by ourselves…”

Vena Wu said as she suppressed a yawn. Vena Wu’s allure were at its peak so early in the morning.

“It’s fine, I can’t sleep again after I get up. So I will prepare the ingredients—”

At this moment, I remembered that my business at the Post Station Town is closed for today.

We would finally start our conference with Pyschkurewuss today.

“Anyway, let’s go outside first...”

The three of us headed towards the living room. Ai Fa and Rimee Wu came from the other side of the corridor.

Usually, Grandma Ditto Min would accompany Grandma Jiba, but on Ai Fa’s request, they swapped sleeping quarters.

Grandma Ditto Min and Lala Wu also came out from their room.

We greeted each other softly as we headed outside.

“Oh, everyone’s here.”

Mama Mia Lei was outside the house.

Aside from Jiza Wu’s wife Sati Lei Wu, all the women from the main house were here. She still need to care for a one year old toddler, so she was excused from the morning chores.

“Then Vena and the others please do the laundry. We will dry the pico leaves and chop wood.”

“I will help you to chop the wood then.”

When she heard what I said, Mama Mia Lei blinked confusedly.

“Ah, today is your rest day, so just take a break while we work. How about foraging for herbs and firewood with us later?”

“It’s fine, this is my way of thanking you for giving me a place to lodge in. It isn’t much, but let me help you.”

“Yes, it will be bad for me to reject you any further. Since you insist, then please help us.”

And so, we headed to the back of the house.

No matter what special occasion there might be, we couldn’t neglect our daily chores.

The morning chores in the Wu clan were similar to the Fa house. Cleaning up dinner and laundry, all that starts with drawing water, foraging herbs and firewood before the kiba wakes at noon, then tidying up the food store and making jerky— finishing up the daily tasks.

It wasn’t too hectic, but all these were important chores that couldn’t be delayed. Building bonds with family and doing work energetically, that was a normal day for the women of the Forest’s Edge.

If the meeting between the Forest’s Edge and the Genos’ nobles fell through, then such peaceful and lovely days would end. However, the women of the Wu clan still continued their morning work with a refreshing face.

Everyone had deep faith in Donda Wu. No matter what happens in the future, their clan head and tribal chief Donda Wu would carve the most appropriate path forward—

Even if they have no choice but to abandon the Forest’s Edge, everyone from the Wu clan would definitely follow Donda Wu gladly with the same expression on their faces.
I thought as I walked, and Ai Fa approached me nonchalantly.

“Oh, Ai Fa. Did you have a good chat with Grandma Jiba last night?”

She nodded with a “Hmm”, then looked at me with a strong gaze.

“What’s the matter? Nothing happened on my side.”

“Yes. That second son… Did he do anything strange to you?”

“No. Darum Wu slept early, and I chatted with Ludo Wu for a while.”

She grunted again, but didn’t shift her eyes off me.

“… What’s wrong? Are you worried about something?”

“Instead of being worried…”

It was rare to see Ai Fa beng so hesitant. She then move her lips right to my ears.

“… After sleeping apart from you, I remembered the horrible things that happened some days before, and felt depressed.”

“You are really naggy. Isn’t this what it means to bet your life on things?”

I looked back at Ai Fa in surprise.

Ai Fa pouted unhappily.

“You don’t look like the type who would get upset over this. I must have had a good night’s sleep.”

“No, it was the same for me last night. But… I couldn’t say it because it was too embarrassing.”

I said to her quietly, and she elbowed my flank.

I didn’t know why she poked me. But in any case, we have to make it through this day and take back the normal daily lives of the Fa house.

Mama Mia Lei said with surprise: “Ahh, you are already awake?”

Barcia was standing behind the house. Barcia’s stone lion-like face turned our way, and she had a smile as usual: “Oh, you are starting your work? If you need to chop wood, I can help out.”

“Thank you very much. Isn’t Tali Wu with you?”

Barcia was ordered not to move around the village by herself. She scratched her head with an apologetic face.

“Actually… I’m just taking a stroll to sort my mind. I did this by myself, so don’t blame that gentle madam.”

Mama Mia Lei frowned buffedly: “Hmm?”

“I don’t think you will do anything strange. But… do you have something urgent on your mind too?”

“Yes, it’s something important.”

A strange silence engulfed the two of them.

In the end, Mama Mia Lei said with a smile: “Okay now, it’s an important day for you too, so please work hard, Barcia.”

“Yes, thank you, Mia Lei Wu.”

Mama Mia Lei nodded, then turn to Ai Fa and said: “Sorry Ai Fa, can you not do your laundry, and chop wood instead? We can’t let Barcia handle a machete without a hunter around. You can bath with us later.”

“Yes, I understand.”

And so, the young girls went to the water source with the laundry, and the older ladies started drying the pico leaves.
Ai Fa, Barcia and I started chopping wood. Ai Fa handed a big machete to Barcia and asked:

“What’s the matter, Barcia of Marsala?”

“You seemed troubled. Are you getting cold feet about the conference with Pyschkurewuss?”

“No, I’m not regretting anything. I have resolved myself to face the nobles who framed Goram directly.”

Barcia bared her white teeth in a smile.

“Last night’s dinner showed me your determination. I also made up my mind. However… I still want to meet that stupid son of mine one more time before that.”

“Could it be, you had been wandering the village for that?”

“That’s right! I was thinking if he will show up when no one else is around, but it seems that stupid son of mine didn’t realized that I’m staying in a Forest’s Edge village as a guest.”

Barcia said as she looked into the distance.

“Well, forget it. Seeing him won’t change anything. I need to do what I can, for the sake of my foolish son too…”

“Yes, if we can uncover Pyschkurewuss’ crimes, then we will have peace again. The only thing we want is our usual peaceful life.”

“Your usual peaceful life, huh. Sounds great. It is something worth risking your lives for.”

Barcia narrowed her eyes and looked even further into the distance.

Her face seemed really peaceful, but her voice a determination that would never falter.

Chapter 1: Interrogation
And so, after finishing our chores, we set off from the Wu clan village.

Because of our numbers, we couldn’t use the wagons. The nine conference participants, Zuro Tsun’s family of seven and ten guards, add up to a grand total of 26 person.

The nine participants include the three tribal chiefs Donda Wu, Graff Zaza, Dali Sauti, as well as Kaslan Lutim, head of the Fou house, head of the Bemu house, Ai Fa, Barcia and me.

The seven people that Pyschkurewuss wants to hold a trial over were Zuro Tsun, Diga, Doddo, Mida, Yamiel Lei, Aura, Zwei.

The escorts includes Darum Wu, Ludo Wu, Dan Lutim, Rau Lei and an elite team handpicked from the Zaza, Dom and Jean house.

Worth mentioning was the presence of both Kaslan Lutim and Dan Lutim. To pre-empt any accidents, it is the custom of Forest’s Edge for either the head or the heir to stay behind and guard the house. Last night, the conference participants stayed in the Wu clan village to keep guard over Zuro Tsun’s family. On the other hand, Dan Lutim and Rau Lei went back home.

An exception had been made for Dan Lutim to take on this escort duty. The one who gave the order was Donda Wu. Donda Wu probably made the decision to bring this strongest party as they would be venturing to the unknown territory of the city.

Ai Fa and Mida were here too, so seven out of the Eight Braves of the Wu clan’s test of might tournament were here.

The only absentee was Jiza Wu, who stayed behind in the village. The safety of the hundred odd kins of the Wu clan had been entrusted to Jiza Wu, the heir of the Wu clan. Shin Wu who wasn’t selected for the escort team also stayed behind to perform his own duties.

As we headed to the Post Station Town down the small green path with hunters all around us, I thought:

Speaking of which… the hunters from the north sure are intimidating.
They were the former kins of the Tsun clan, the elites of the Zaza, Dom and Jean house from the north. They were as mighty as the kins of the Wu clan, and everyone of them had an intimidating aura.

As we walk down the road towards the Post Station Town, Graff Zaza said to everyone: “Do anyone have any issues with Dick Dom and Dan Lutim taking charge of the escorts duties?”
Dick Dom was the head of the Dom house. He was a buffed man wearing the skull of a kiba on his head. Dick was bigger than Donda Wu and Graff Zaza, and taller when he stood erect. His face and arms were covered in scars. Of all the Forest’s Edge denizens, he was the most ferocious looking.

“With me and Big Dick Dom here, we can take on a hundred men!”

Dick Dom looked quietly at Donda Wu who was laughing heartily. However, a pair of dark eyes were burning with rage under his kiba skull.

Their characters were extreme polar opposites, but I couldn’t imagine a stronger duo. I realized once again that the Forest’s Edge was betting everything they had on this.

“Well met, everyone from Forest’s Edge.”

When we reached the boundary between the Forest’s Edge and the town, Leito was already waiting for us.

Barcia was a witness invited by Kamyua Yost. So Leito would head into the city with us.

“Malfreed already prepared an entry pass for Barcia, but he couldn’t mobilize the city guards for personal reasons. Will it be fine to head to Pyschkurewuss directly?”

“Yes. In the end Kamyua Yost, didn’t return in time, huh.”

“There is still some time before noon. I hope he can make it in time.”

In any case, we couldn’t turn away Leito now. So we headed together for the city.

In the past, Donda Wu and the others would walk in the woods and avoid being seen by the Post Station Townsfolk, but that wasn’t possible with this large entourage.

“There’s no need to hide. When you got kidnapped by the noble’s daughter, we had even more denizens running around.”

“I see… But Zuro Tsun and the others are here too, right?”

Diga and Doddo wasn’t tied up, but Zuro Tsun was still restrained with topes. If we walk along the Post Station Town so bolsterously with Zuro Tsun in tow— would we cause confusion and chaos in town, just like that time with Zattsu Tsun?

We had Mida with us too. Mida used to destroy stalls that sell food he dislike. He had slimmed down a little, but the Post Station Townsfolk would definitely recognize him.

“There’s no need to hide. Don’t make me repeat myself…”

After saying that, Donda Wu turned back to the group and said: “Let Zuro Tsun and the others stay in the middle. Asuta of the Fa house, stay with the women.”

“Alright, understood.”

I realized that this was a necessary cautionary measure.

Would the Tsun clan that performed all sorts of misdeed be forgiven by the people of Genos? Kaslan Lutim once said, that the landlord of Genos wasn’t the only one who would decide that. For these criminals, this was an inevitable trail.

I looked over, and Zuro Tsun seemed exhausted from the journey through the forest trail, and was wheezing like a toad. Diga and Doddo hung their heads low troublingly.

Diga had always feared the townsfolk, while Doddo was as weak as Diga if he didn’t drink. But compared to how they were before dinner last night, their eyes looked more human now.

In contrast, the women had faces of determination. Yamiel Lei and Zwei aside, Aura who always looked frail lift her head calmly as if she was facing her fate.

“Let’s go.”

Including Leito, our group of 27 passed through the alley between buildings and stepped onto the stone paved road.

It was almost noon, so the town was starting to get crowded.

And of course, fear and confusion started to spread around us. Zuro Tsun and the others were not prominent under the encirclement of the hunters. However, the figure of the northern hunters wearing kiba skulls and heads had a big impact.

The Zaza and Dom villages were very far from the Post Station Town. Even with their wagons, they probably only send their women to visit the town. Hence, it had been many decades since the northern hunters last showed up in the Post Station Town.

Even though Mida was in the center of the group, he still stood half a head taller than the others. Zattsu Tsun and the others committed their crimes outside of the Post Station Town, and the ones who terrorizing the townsfolk were just Doddo and Mida. The monstrous looking Mida had left a terrifying scar in their hearts.

Some of the younger women and elderlies wailed, while others dropped on their knees from fright. Even the southerners who were less discriminatory than the westerners turned stiff at the sight of Mida.

The hunters of Forest’s Edge walked proudly under these gazes of fear and confusion. Even the towns guard on patrol didn’t dare to come near.

Ahh, isn’t that...
A short distance away, I saw a familiar face.

It was the innkeeper of the 《Kimyusu’s Tail Inn》, Milano Mast. He stood in front of his inn and cast a stern gaze towards us.

The criminals were all dead, and the living were innocent— Even though Milano Mast said that, Zuro Tsun and the others were still the criminal’s kin. I couldn’t imagine what was going through Milano Mast’s head right now.

We continued further and got near the marketplace where Yang was about to open his stall. The ladies working with him all stood still with green faces, and Yang also looked at us in shock.

As a chef from the city, Yang wasn’t fond of Pyschkurewuss. He wasn’t involved in the feud between the Forest’s Edge and Pyschkurewuss, but he probably heard what had transpired from Polarse.

Yang still sought me out from the group and nodded at me firmly. I acknowledged him though Ai Fa and Ludo Wu’s shoulders with a nod.

And then, when we could finally see the edge of the Post Station Town— a figure suddenly appeared before us.

It was the vegetable stall owner Uncle Dora.

Donda Wu who was leading the group wave his right arm to signal everyone to stop.

“T-Tribal chief of the Forest’s Edge, Donda Wu? Do you remember me? When Asuta was abducted, I met you a few times.”

Uncle Dora looked pale, and his buffed body looked as weak as a puppy before our group.

Ai Fa and I looked at each other and then rushed towards him. In the meantime, Donda Wu and him continued to converse:

“I don’t recall learning your name. You must be the vegetable stall owner from the Post Station Town.”

“Y-Yes. I’m selling vegetables harvested from the Taliem farms. My name is Dora. Your children often visit my stall.”

Donda Wu who stood tall like a Nio said in a hoarse voice: “So— The aria and poitan we ate are sold by you?”

The pedestrian watched with bated breath at the two of them speaking.

“T-That’s right. Asuta and the members of the Wu clan often patronize my stall, and I’m very grateful for that. Donda Wu, I… I hope to continue doing business with all of you.”

At this point, Ai Fa and I finally reached Donda Wu’s side.

Uncle Dora smiled meekly as he shivered.

Donda Wu said: “We want to continue living as we always do— even if change is inevitable, we will hope it will be a change for the better.”

“That’s our goal today. If the conference goes smoothly, my daughters will gladly visit your stall again.”

“I sincerely hope so too. May the western god Selva watch over you. Asuta and everyone, do your best…”
“Yes, thank you.”

Uncle Dora backed away, and Donda Wu continued onwards as if nothing happened.

Tara rushed to the side of Uncle Dora as he watched us go. I looked back at them until they were completely out of sight.

Whether we can continue living with the people in the Post Station Town— will be decided by today’s conference.
And so, we went through the Post Station Town, and the sides of the roads became sparse vegetation once again. We continued north, and a road leading to the west appeared. At the end of this road was the city. The rock walls hidden by the trees could now be seen in plain sight.

The 6 to 7 meters tall rock wall surrounded the city. This was the first time I had seen it while it was still bright out.

The wall extended to the west seemingly without end. After walking 20 meters, we finally saw the gate. It was a giant arc shaped gate. Merchants wearing lavish clothes and elderly men escorted by guards walked along the suspended bridge leading into the gate.

And then— When we reached the bridge, a group of men came out of the southern woods.

“Tribal chiefs, we have been waiting for you.”

One of them walked to Graff Zaza.

The tall young men wore a hide cape with the head still attached, and was as large as Graff Zaza— He was the eldest son of the Jean house. Behind him were 30 hunters of the Forest’s Edge, a mixed unit of the Zaza, Jean and Sauti houses.

The towns guard at the gate didn’t make any strange moves— confirming the safe return of the tribal chiefs was part of these hunters’ duty. We were still worried about Pyschkurewuss attacking the Forest’s Edge settlement while we were away.

“In the city, the bell will ring six times starting from noon till dusk. If the conference still has not ended by the third bell, I will despatch a messenger to you. Before that, you men are to standby here.”


The hunters disappeared into the woods once again.

A guard used this chance to approach us from the other end of the bridge:
“Tribal Chiefs of the Forest’s Edge, welcome.”

This tall soldier had the crest of the Count Tulan house— He was Jimon. He treated Ludo Wu and me very cockily, but his attitude towards the Forest’s Edge Tribal Chiefs was different.

“I’m the captain of the Count Turan House First Guards, Jimon. Allow me to lead you to the Count Turan manor. There are eight participants, seven criminals and ten escorts, correct?”

“The numbers are right, but I have to correct you on one thing. Only one of these seven is a criminal. Isn’t the purpose of this interrogation to determine if the rest are guilty of any crimes?”

Jimon lowered his head expressionlessly: “My apologies for having misspoke…”

It was hard to tell what he was going through his mind in the presence of so many hunters.

“Also, there are two other attendees. They are not part of our group.”

When he heard what Donda Wu said, Leito and Barcia walked forth:

“We are here to attend the conference on the invitation of the Castle guard captain Malfreed. We have our entry pass ready, so please lead the way.”

“… The Count has already notified me about this.”

Jimon said as he issued instructions towards the suspension bridge with his right hand.

“We have prepared the entry pass for the tribal chiefs, please board the Totos carriage.”

“Totos carriage?”

A few carriages came our way quietly. There were four large carriages drawn by two totos each. They were box carriages, with the crest of the Count Turan House on their sides.

“You even prepared carriages, thank you for your hard work. Did you mistook us for some noble princesses?”

“I won’t dare. However, it is quite some distance to traverse from the gates to the manor on foot, also— this will avoid causing unnecessary alarm to others.”

Jimon explained eagerly, and Donda Wu grunted impatiently.

“A carriage can seat ten, please board whichever one you like.”


Naturally, the armed hunters and those who weren’t armed were divided evenly between the carriages.

The ones seated with me were Ai Fa, Ludo Wu, Darum Wu, Barcia and Leito. We sat three to a row in the spacious carriage. Ai Fa and Ludo Wu sat on either of my side.

I asked the driver: “Erm, can we draw the curtains on the window?”

“Please do as you wish…”

His voice trembled a little, and he didn’t manage to conceal his emotions like Jimon did.

In any case, I didn’t hold back and opened the curtain on the window.

“It feels unsettling to not see our surroundings.”

Barcia who sat opposite me also pulled the curtains. She had a scimitar on her waist, and was one of our armed guards.

“Set off!”

On Jimon’s orders, the Totos carriages started crossing the bridge one after another.

We slowly moved away from the woods where our tribemates were hiding.

It was finally time for the decisive battle.

Would the complicated relationship between the Forest’s Edge and Genos improve today? No one could tell.

However, Kamyua Yost planned to use Barcia as the witness to reveal Pyschkurewuss’ crimes, and the tribal chiefs were determined to settle things today.

Was Pyschkurewuss— Or rather, the landlord of Genos, Marstein, a worthy enough Forest’s Edge Lord for the denizens to serve? They will figure that out in today’s conference.

With all sorts of thoughts in our mind, we finally stepped into the Genos City.

So, this is Genos City huh…
I saw the scenery of the city clearly for the first time while riding the rickety carriage.

The streets and buildings were made from rock, befitting the name of Rock city.

The streets were wide, buildings tall, and trees could be seen occasionally. There were barely any mud patches on the ground, and the pedestrians all wore extravagant clothings.

But foreign merchants like Shumimaru and Dell could enter the city. There were many southern merchants on Totos pulling heavy cargoes, and easterners who wore their hoods low too.

All the yellowish brown and ivory skinned westerners had lavish attire, and most of them looked like merchants. The area near the gates was probably where the merchants gather.

Further ahead, there was a plaza with a fountain, and I could see stalls set up here.

It seems that the citizens have to work and earn a living too.
Given how big the city was, there must be tens of thousands of residents. The nobles were just a small minority.

There were men selling piles of vegetables.

Women promoting beautiful woven products to passersby.

Children running around the fountain as they ate red colored fruits.

Everyone look so lively, enjoying this peaceful world.

The denizens of Forest’s Edge don’t want to threaten the safety of these people either.
Or rather, the harsh life of hunting kiba was for the sake of protecting these citizens’ prosperous lives.

In Genos, only the Turan and Taliem houses own large fields. The people in the citizenry probably bought their food from outside the Rock wall.

Fuwano, fruit wine, all sorts of vegetables and high quality products could be bought in the city at a high price. Someone told me that Post Station Town only sells sour and cheap Tarapa, while the expensive Tarapa were bought by the people in the city.

That isn’t a bad thing. However… don’t the people in the Rock wall know that they owe their prosperity to the denizens of Forest’s Edge?
And of course, the denizens of Forest’s Edge didn’t work hard as hunters for the gratitude of the people in the city. Ai Fa who was looking out the window beside me didn’t seem too affected by what she saw.

However, there was still something I didn’t quite understand.

Leaving Pyschkurewuss aside, what did the landlord of Genos, Marstein actually thinks? Does he think nothing of the other places, as long as it is peaceful and prosperous in the city?
The Totos carriage moved along the street briskly, paying no heed to what was going through my mind— and soon, we arrived at that manor.

“We are here…”

The moment the driver made that announcement, someone opened the rear door.

We alighted onto stone paved ground, and a building made from stone loomed before us.

This was the Count Turan House manor I was confined too six days ago. It was the first time I looked at it in daylight. It was a large building constructed with stones and greyish bricks. Only the roof was yellow. By the way, I remember Kamyua calling the Count Turan manor as the yellow house in the past.

It was squarish, with structures expanding to the sides like wings. The middle building was four storey tall, while the side buildings had three levels. By the way, I was confined by Lifuria in the building on the right.

Before reaching here, we saw all sorts of building in the city, but this was by far the most extravagant. To me, this felt like a rather large school.

Stone walls 4 to 5 meters tall surrounded Pyschkurewuss’ manor. We were standing inside the courtyard within the stone walls, which was big enough to hold four carriages and 30 odd men.

There was a straight stone paved path leading right into the middle of the building, with green lawns on either side of the path. At night, guard dogs would be set loose on this grounds.

But… Only two people are living in this grandiose building. This isn’t built to house the numerous servants and guards.
At this moment, Jimon said: “This way please” and started walking towards the building.

The Tribal Chiefs led the way, and I followed behind.

Two guards stood sentry at the main door, hilding silver spears in their hands. Jimon approached them, and one of the guards opened the heavy door.

“Please come in.”

Jimon continued, but Donda Wu didn’t budge.

“Wait, only the participants will enter.”

“… What do you mean? We have prepared a waiting room for the escorts.”

Dan Lutim who was right behind Donda Wu answered Jimon:

“But we will have to turn in our blades for safekeeping if we enter this door, correct? What good are escorts that aren’t armed!? So we won’t go in.”

“However… I don’t think you can perform your duties if you don’t accompany the Tribal Chiefs.”

“Don’t worry! We will protect the Tribal Chiefs and this building!”

Dan Lutim laughed heartily after saying that.

Jimon nodded and replied softly: “I see.”

“In that case, we will assign a few guards to stay with you, please follow the instructions of the guard leader. Will that be fine?”

“Yes, of course!”

“We will leave this to you then. Tribal Chiefs… this way please.”

We entered the manor under the watchful gaze of the smiling Dan Lutim, serious Ludo Wu and the ferocious gazes of Darum Wu and Dick Dom.

Beyond the door was a wide hall with yellowish brown carpet.

After entering, the doors closed heavily behind us.


There were ten or so servants dressed in yellow waiting for us. They had yellowish brown or ivory skin, and were boys younger than me. They stood in a line with their head bowed, and didn’t show any expression as if they were wearing masks.

“We will safekeep your blades…”

A few of them reached out their hands politely.

Donda Wu and the others surrendered their blades from their waist wordlessly.

“… Would you like to deposit your cape…?”

“No need. This is the honor of a hunter.”

Donda Wu sounded calm as usual, but the youth who spoke just now shirked away fearfully.

After glancing at that youth, Donda Wu turned back to his companions and said: “Take out all the daggers and needles in your hunter’s cape. You won’t have any complains if we don’t bring any weapons with us, correct?”

On his orders, the hunters emptied their capes of all these weapons.

And so, everyone was disarmed. We already expected that, but it was still unnerving when it happened.

“This way please.”

We followed behind Jimon along the carpeted corridor.

We took a left at the end of the corridor, and the passageway became narrow like a maze. We were now in the left branch of the building. I had never been here before, but the cramp and dim sensation felt really familiar.

There were a few doors in our path, but we ignored them and continued down the meandering path. The complicated route was probably a defensive measure against infiltrators.

We were slowly getting farther away from Dan Lutim and the others outside the manor. However, I already told Donda Wu about the structure of the Pyschkurewuss’ manor, and he already made preparations outside the building. There was no need to worry— but my heart was still racing.

And finally, we climbed up a spiral staircase, then walked to the other end of the passageway before Jimon stopped. Before us was a door guarded by two spearmen.  Jimon shouted at the door: “The guests from Forest’s Edge are here!”

A hoarse voice answered him, and Jimon opened the door. He went in quickly, and we followed right behind him.

And so, I met Pyschkurewuss again.

“Tribal Chiefs of the Forest’s Edge, well met… My apologies for the inconvenience I caused because of my health.”

The hoarse voice of Pyschkurewuss echoed out.

This was a large square hall more than ten meters wide on each side.

The floor was covered with reddish brown carpet, with large screens covering the walls on the side. At the far end of the room was a large drape that appeared to be made from silk. Pyschkurewuss was seated under that giant drape that had a large emblem of the Count Turan House on it.

Dali Sauti swept his gaze across the hall, and answered crudely: “I heard you aren’t feeling well, but I’m glad to see that you have enough strength to talk.”

I also took a peek around the place.

It was an annoyingly extravagant room. The screens and rugs looked lavished, and stools that matched our numbers had been laid out. The room would feel less empty if there was a large table in the center, but right now, it felt strangely barren.

Pyschkurewuss and someone I had never seen before sat right before us. A few meters to the side, Malfreed and an unfamiliar silver haired elderly man sat opposite us.

“This person here is the Captain of the Towns Guard, Shileru. Beside Lord Malfreed is the Chief Justice of Genos, Lord Xylas.”

The person opposite us drew my attention; so that was Pyschkurewuss’ brother. He was a stout middle aged man in simple white armor. His flat nose was very prominent, his face was fat and he had a funny looking, mushroom-like short brown hair.

He should be in his forties, and wasn’t frail like the old Pyschkurewuss. His only feature that resembled Pyschkurewuss was his gripping eyes.

On the other hand, Xylas was a skinny old man dressed in a white robe, with golden accessories glittering on his chest. From my position, I could only see the side of his face, and he looked irritated.

“By the request of Lord Malfreed, Shileru and Lord Xylas are also participating in this conference. Tribal Chiefs, do you have any objections…?”

Donda Wu nodded without a word. Leito already explained this to us ahead of time.

By making Shileru, who was Pyschkurewuss’ accomplice, and the Chief Justice who was the master of Genos law attend this meeting, Kamyua Yost plans to reveal Pyschkurewuss’ wrongdoing.

However, Kamyua Yost was absent from the conference. Despite his absence, Malfreed was still here with us. I peeked at Malfreed worriedly.

I already heard from Kaslan Lutim, but this was the first time I saw him without his helmet. He had light brown hair, a thin nose and a tight jaw. His features were more delicate than I imagines, and had an air of nobility about him. His tall toned body was covered in a simple white armor, giving off the image of a sharp warrior.

However, his grey eyes were still as cold as a reptile. It was icy in a different way from Yamiel Lei.

“Tribal Chiefs of the Forest’s Edge, please be seated…”

Dali Sauti raised an eyebrow at Pyschkurewuss’ urging.

“Thank you for your reminder, but the denizens of Forest’s Edge do not have the custom of sitting on chairs.”

“I have heard that before. However… today’s conference might take a long time, may I request you all to follow the custom in Genos for just this once? It feels unsettling for me to be the only one sitting.”

Dali Sauti wanted to argue some more, but he seemed to remember something, and followed Pyschkurewuss’ advice. So we decided to sit down too.

It was a simple wooden stool without any backing, As Pyschkurewuss and his brother were seated in wide chairs with armrests and a big backing that befits a noble, it felt like they were looking down at us from a high vantage point.

And because of our large numbers, our seats were divided into the left, center and right group, as if we were surrounding Pyschkurewuss from a distance.

Leito, Barcia, Ai Fa and I were seated on the right, beside Malfreed. The Tribal Chiefs entourage sat on the left, while Zuro Tsun’s group of seven took the bottom seats.

“Please call for me if you require my presence.”

Seeing that we were seated, Jimon left the hall.

At this moment, I finally realized the reason for the dissonance I felt.

Pyschkurewuss didn’t have any guards beside him.
I heard that he would attend meetings with 20 guards, but this time, even Jimon left the room. Only Pyschkurewuss’ plump brother was with him.

Ai Fa sensed my suspicion and whispered: “Asuta, don’t let your guard down… their soldiers are hiding behind that large drape.”

“There are twenty… No, maybe more. No matter how much they try to conceal themselves, they couldn’t be completely silent.”

“I see. They plan to hide themselves and throw us off our guard.”

“If that is true, then they are laughably shallow. But it seems that even Malfreed can’t bring in a blade.”

That surprised me, so I peeked at Malfreed who was beside Barcia. It was true, Malfreed’s trademark dual swords weren’t by his waist.
“During the last meeting, Kamyua Yost and him were permitted to bring in their blades… Maybe the rules in Count Turan’s manor is different from the city. In any case, don’t let your guard down.”

There were probably tens of armed soldiers hiding behind Pyschkurewuss. In contrast, we have seven Forest’s Edge hunters— including Mida, that would be eight. Barcia and Malfreed were formidable too, but none of us were armed. I couldn’t help worrying about what might happen if a clash happened.

At this moment— Dali Sauti suddenly cried out.

And a strange smell whiffed over.

Shileru shouted with a slurred voice: “What’s this weird smell!?”

“Pardon me, I accidentally crushed a kiba repelling fruit when I was sitting down.”

“K-Kiba repelling fruit!?”

“It’s a rarely seen fruit used by the Sauti clan. The pungent smell can repel kiba for half a day, and is a very precious fruit. Such a waste.”

It was an unpleasant stinging smell.

“Don’t worry, it’s harmless. But we should open the windows to ventilate the hall.”

Pyschkurewuss showed a cringey smile and showed his hospitality: “… It’s still early, so all the windows are open. Please don’t mind and take a seat, Tribal Chief of the Forest’s Edge.”

Dali Sauti raised his butt with a “Yes”, then sat his ass down again.

The windows should be on behind the screens to my right. There were light shining from the small windows at the top of the wall, and the ventilation wasn’t bad either.

However, the Kiba repelling fruit was very pungent, and made me choke.

“A month ago, when we were guiding a caravan, we also used these Kiba repelling fruits. However, someone used a large amount of Kiba attracting fruit that rendered the repellent ineffective. That was why that horrible incident happened again.”

Pyschkurewuss said with a smile still on his face: “… There’s no need to rush, the bell for noon hasn’t rang yet. Let us have a good chat and clear any misunderstandings...”

His face was still a sickly green, but he didn’t seem too ill. His small body leaning on the armrest seemed to be quivering a little, and he looked a little weak.

“However… That blondie who said all those slanderous things to Malfreed isn’t here, huh?”

Pyschkurewuss looked at Malfreed with his cringey smile.

“He slandered Shileru and me, and then failed to show up… this is both infurirating and a let down. What are your thoughts on this, Lord Malfreed?”

“I don’t see any issues here. Kamyua Yost told me in advance that he might not make it back in time, and his representative is here in his place.”

Leito was all smiles, while Barcia stared at them unwaveringly.

I heard Barcia mumbled: “I see…”.

“I see… So that’s how it is.”

Ai Fa and I who were seated near her were probably the only ones who heard her. Barcia showed a brave smile and glared at Pyschkurewuss’ brother, but not Pyschkurewuss himself.
Pyschkurewuss’ brother shouted in a slurred voice: “What nonsense! How dare that wanderer who happened to be acquainted with Marquis Genos slander me and my brother!”

“As the Captain of the Towns Guards, I have many duties to fulfill! Our workload is different from the Castle guards keeping peace in the city! Lord Malfreed, don’t you think so…?”
Malfreed didn’t answer, and just glared back at Shileru with his cold grey eyes.
Shileru stomped his feet while seated like a child.
“Hmmp, forget it. This is the end of that wanderer’s scheme! As the eldest son of the Marquis Genos house, your sins are heavy for believing the wild ramblings of that despicable man, Lord Malfreed.”
“Shileru, enough of your angry talks… The truth will be unveiled today.”

After Pyschkurewuss said that, the dull clang of the bell came from afar.
The sun was at its peak.
A creepy smile appeared on Pyschkurewuss’ darkish green face, and he announced: “Well then, let’s start the conference…”
“Let me start off by relaying the message from Marquis Marstein Genos. The Marquis mentioned that two issues need to be resolved with today’s conference.”

Pyschkurewuss lifted his index finger and said: “First.”

“For the Tsun clan members who committed the grave sins of desecrating the grace of the forest, the laws of Genos need to be clear on how heavy their punishment should be…”

Zuro Tsun’s group of seven listened to Pyschkurewuss without blinking their eyes.

Zuro Tsun hung his head low, while Diga and Doddo seemed troubled for the first time since their arrival in the manor. Yamiel Lei and Aura showed no emotions, Zwei had a sour face— and Mida had a dumb expression as usual.

Pyschkurewuss raised his middle finger: “Number two.”

“Determine the true identity and goal of Asuta of the Fa house, the foreigner who claims to be part of the Forest’s Edge… The Marquis made it clear that this two points must be resolved.”

Dali Sauti said unhappily: “Hmmp, so to Marquis Genos, our doubts on whether Count Turan is really innocent doesn’t matter, huh.”

Pyschkurewuss bared his teeth in a smile and said:

“Don’t worry, Tribal Chief of the Forest’s Edge. I’m certain that everything is closely related. By the time the conference ends, we will come to a consensus of the facts and mutual understanding.”

“When that moment comes, we will give gracious thanks to the Mother Forest and the western god.”

Dali Sauti shrugged his massive shoulders. Pyschkurewuss slowly averted his gaze, swept by Zuro Tsun, and fixed onto me.

“Well then, let’s start with the questioning of Asuta of the Fa house…”

I straightened my back and looked right at Pyschkurewuss.

“Asuta of the Fa house, a few days ago, my daughter did something terrible to you… But ironically, this allowed us to know your true identity. You are not a citizen of Amusehorn, created by the four Great Gods, but a Migrant. Is that true?”
“Yes. I had never called myself a Migrant before, but it is true that I’m not from this continent.”

“Hmm… Indeed, Migrants won’t call themselves that. Well then… Can we follow your custom and refer to you as Citizen of the Dragon Deity?”

“Citizen… of the Dragon Deity?”

“Migrants worship the Dragon Deity that rules over the sea… Therefore, the Migrants call themselves Citizen of the Dragon Deity, correct?”

This was the first time I heard that. I could only tell the truth. I grew more tense as I adjusted my posture on the uncomfortable chair.

“I was born on an island nation that wasn’t part of this continent, but I don’t worship the Dragon Deity, or think of myself as a Citizen of the Dragon Deity. In that sense, I’m not a Migrant.”

“You aren’t a… Migrant?”

Pyschkurewuss’ eyes seemed to be burning in silence.

Shileru beside him roared: “Bollocks!”

“Everyone who came from beyond the ocean are Migrants, and Citizen of the Dragon Deity! Brat, don’t mock us with your foolish ramblings!”

“No, I’m not trying to fool you.”

“Hmmp! I heard that the Migrants and Mahildra are the same race! Legends say that in ancient times, Mahildra people who abandoned the continent became Citizen of the Dragon Deity! That’s why Migrants don’t trade with Mahildra! Since the blood of Mahildra flows in your veins, then you are our sworn enemy!”

I didn’t give an immediate answer.

But I had to prove my innocence.

However, before I could formulate a rebuttal, Pyschkurewuss restrained his fuming brother.

“... From what I have heard, the Migrants resembles people from Mahildra. Tall barbarians with blonde hair, purple eyes and reddish skin....”

Pyschkurewuss then looked at my body.

“However, you have black hair and eyes, and your skin tone is similar to westerners… Which means… You really aren’t a Citizen of the Dragon Deity…?”

“That’s right. I was born in an island nation named Japan, and we don’t call ourselves Citizen of the Dragon Deity.”

“Japan… Where exactly is that island nation...?”

“I’m not sure either. I was brought into the middle of the continent against my own will.”

I answered as I observed Pyschkurewuss’ face. His gaze was a little strange as he leaned forth enthusiastically. He looked as innocent as a toddler that found a new toy, which was incredibly creepy.

“You are talking nonsense again! Genos is in the middle of the continent, and far from any oceans! No matter who you are, anyone who wanders where from overseas is suspicious! You even claim that you didn’t come here by your own will— Brat, are you hiding some nefarious scheme!”

Shileru was yelling as usual. Seeing him remind me of Diga and Doddo before the Tsun clan’s demise. Those who couldn’t suppress their emotions and possess authority had an inflated ego. The air about him was like a two bit villain, but something about him felt more more dangerous than Diga and Doddo.

“I’m not planning anything nefarious. When I came to, I was already collapsed in the Morga Forest— and was saved by Ai Fa of the Fa house. I realized that I couldn’t return home, and decided to settle down in Forest’s Edge.”

I took care not to anger Shileru, and answered with a firm tone.

“What crimes am I guilty of? I might be born overseas, but I still wish to become a member of the Forest’s Edge. Since the Forest’s Edge denizens are citizens of the western god Selva, then I want to become a citizen of Selva too.”

“… Abandoning one’s faith and becoming a citizen of Selva…?”

“That’s right. I had the resolve to do so when I came here.”

Pyschkurewuss leaned back on his chair, and looked at the elderly Xylas.

“Lord Xylas, what do you think… Can a Migrant become a citizen of Selva…?”

The elderly man answered with his voice void of any emotions: “Hmm. There are no precedence, so I would like to seek the advice of the Bishop and the Church.”

Unlike Malfreed, Xylas seemed to be intentionally concealing his emotions. He was probably nervous about dealing with the denizens of the Forest’s Edge.

“Well then, we will have to consult with the Bishop first… Asuta of the Fa house, you are a prime suspect.”

“Prime suspect?”

“Yes… the suspicion of working with that outlaw Kamyua Yost to drive a rift between Genos and the Forest’s Edge.”

Ai Fa said quietly: “Nonsense.”

A blue flame burned in her eyes.

“Count Turan. I have been living with Asuta for these few months. I know very well that Asuta doesn’t have such maleficious thoughts. What you said is an insult towards me.”
“Is that so…? No matter how long you have lived together, you can’t completely know what someone is really thinking…”
Raging flames erupted from Ai Fa’s eyes, and she said quietly: “Asuta isn’t just someone, he is my family.”
“Asuta won’t betray me. Only someone who understands that can take Asuta in as family. Please retract your words…”
“Allow me to share my thoughts.”
Kaslan Lutim spoke calmly:

“When Asuta approach us with regards to setting up business in the Post Station Town, the head of the Wu clan Donda Wu expressed his doubts too. Hence, he set a condition Donda Wu. If Asuta and Kamyua Yost has any nefarious schemes, he will cut off his right arm. Asuta’s right arm is still there, which means he has earned Donda Wu’s trust.”

“Oh… Trust huh…”

“There are many in the Forest’s Edge that opposes Asuta’s business. But no one suspect Asuta of conspiring with the people in the city. I think your statement is not just a slight against Asuta and Ai Fa, but slander towards all Forest’s Edge denizens.”
“I see… Regrettably, we don’t have enough proof to believe Asuta, young hunter of the Forest’s Edge.”

Pyschkurewuss said slowly:

“Asuta of the Fa house, I heard you first visited the Post Station Town on the 14th of the Green Month… Is that so?”

“Hmm? I don’t really remember. It should be around two months ago.”

“It is recorded in the police station of the Post Station Town. That day, you had a scuffle with the second son of the Tsun clan, and was rescued by Kamyua Yost, right?”

Doddo’s shoulders quivered from fear.

“Less than half a month later, you started a business in the Post Station Town, and brought wealth to the Fa house and Wu clan… Another half month later, the Tsun clan’s crimes were uncovered, and they fell from grace as the Tribal Chief clan… Is all that a coincidence?”
“Are you saying that this is not a coincidence… but intentional? Kamyua Yost did advise me to start a business in the Post Station Town, but that’s it. As you know, he came up with a plan together with Malfreed to uncover the Tsun clan’s crimes, and advised me to start my business to avoid souring the relationship between the Forest’s Edge and the Post Station Town. I only knew that after the fact.”

“Hmm… But aren’t you and the Wu clan members the first ones to uncover the Tsun clan’s crimes? Kamyua Yost’s plan only bore fruit after that.”

Pyschkurewuss had a creepy smile on his face.

That was the ‘Munto-like smile’ that Kaslan Lutim mentioned before.

“Kamyua Yost and you manipulated Lord Malfreed and the Forest’s Edge denizens respectively, leading to the demise of the Tsun clan… Isn’t that why you are pretending to be a member of the Forest’s Edge…?”

“What do you mean by pretending!”

Ai Fa’s eyes started burning with rage, and Shileru hollered: “Why is that woman so fierce!?”

But Pyschkurewuss was smiling as usual.

“This is the only explanation that will work… After Asuta of the Fa house and Kamyua Yost appeared in the Post Station Town, the Tsun clan fell in a month. And the two of you are closely related to their demise. It’s too unnatural to think of this as a coincidence…”

“The Tsun clan fell from grace because of the unrest they brought to Genos and Forest’s Edge. What good will that bring us anyway?”

“You are a migrant, and Kamyua Yost is a Mahildra half breed… Do you need any reason to bring disaster to the western kingdom?”
Pyschkurewuss’ voice was so viscious that it seemed physical.
“And… On top of that, my Turan county employ many laborers from Mahildra. It is only natural for Mahildra people to bear a grudge…”
“But like I said, I’m not a Citizen of the Dragon Deity, and isn’t related to Mahildra. I don’t have any reason to bring harm to the western kingdom.”

“Migrants are basically Citizen of the Dragon Deity. You might not look like them, but we can’t be certain just from that.”

I never expect Migrants to be closely related to Mahildra.

However, even when I state that I wasn’t from this continent, the people of Genos didn’t display any hostility towards me. Migrants being people from Mahildra was probably just a theory that Pyschkurewuss was trying to push for.

But I wasn’t sure how to respond. Furthermore, Kamyua Yost and I were on the same side, making it even harder to clear my name.

“I heard that you are rather skilled as a chef… That’s why your business in the Post Station Town is a success, and brought great wealth to the Fa house and Wu clan. You gained their trust from this… Isn’t that right, Asuta of the Fa house…?”

“That isn’t so. I’m doing my business for the sake of bringing more wealth to the Forest’s Edge settlement. I know that it is foolish for a foreigner like me to think this way, but Ai Fa and Kaslan Lutim’s encouragement gave me the resolve.”

These were my true feelings.

However, I didn’t think Pyschkurewuss listened at all.

That was only natural, to them, the truth didn’t really matter. They just want to acknowledge things that are advantageous to them.

There wasn’t any meaning to present one’s true feelings to people without any sincerity— But I couldn’t suppress the emptiness I was feeling inside.

As I was formulating what to say, someone spoke:
“Lord Pyschkurewuss… what’s the reason in discussing all this?”
It was Malfreed.
“Even if Asuta of the Fa house and Kamyua Yost are compatriots, their goals have nothing to do with us. It won’t change the fact that the Tsun clan committed a grave crime, or remove the suspicion on you and Sir Shileru.”
“...There is a good reason.”

Pyschkurewuss restrained Shileru who was about to yell, and continued: “The Tsun clan did commit a serious crime… But the only ones who can prove that are Zattsu Tsun, Tay Tsun, and your fake caravan group… The other matter is their assault of that caravan ten years ago, so that’s the only two issues, correct?”
“Hold it. Aside from that, there’s also the issue of the Tsun clan desecrating the forest. That’s the reason why Zuro Tsun is apprehended and awaiting sentencing.”
Dali Sauti said in a shrill voice.
Pyschkurewuss turned and look at him with a sinister smile.
“We didn’t witness the crimes of the Tsun clan… We can only believe what you say.”
Dali Sauti said agitatedly: “Are you saying that we are pinning falsified crimes on the Tsun clan?”
Those who were usually calm would also get agitated before the people from the city. As Dali Sauti and Kaslan Lutim were the more rational ones of the group, the two of them handled the negotiations with Pyschkurewuss together.

“Not everything you say is a lie… But even the noble Forest’s Edge denizen might get deceived by the people in the city.”

“So, the ones who deceived the Tsun clan is—”

Pyschkurewuss cut off Dali Sauti:

“Tribal chiefs of Forest’s Edge, have you not been deceived by Asuta of the Fa house and Kamyua Yost? The Tsun clan might have damaged the Morga Forest… But who uncovered their crimes? On the day of the House Head Conference, didn’t you mentioned that Asuta was the one who revealed their wrongdoings?”

“That is correct. Because Asuta was tending to the hearth, so he realized the truth before anyone else did. There is nothing strange about that.”

“Then you should be grateful to Asuta of the Fa house. After all, the Tsun clan had been violating the rules of the Forest for more than a decade…”

“What do you want us to say to thank him?”

Dali Sauti was gradually losing his calm.

Pyschkurewuss smiled, as if he was soothing Dali Sauti.

“Isn’t this the scheme of Asuta of the Fa house… Kamyua Yost and Asuta of the Fa house gained the trust of Lord Malfreed and the Forest’s Edge denizens by revealing the Tsun clan’s crimes. And now, they are pinning crimes onto the Tsun clan and me in order to bring chaos to Genos.”

“I see. So you are saying that the Tsun clan’s only crimes are desecrating the Morga Forest and attacking the caravan, and everything else are just conjectures by Kamyua Yost.”

Kaslan Lutim answered calmly.

“Attacking the Banam envoy, the murder of the Town guards Captain— and framing the ‘Red Beard Gang’ for these crimes are just slanders by Kamyua Yost. Is that your argument, Pyschkurewuss?”

“That is so, young hunter of the Forest’s Edge. Kamyua Yost attempt to gain our trusts with half truths, what a devious scheme…”

Pyschkurewuss crossed his arms over his thin stomach, and said pretentiously:

“That man claims to be a half blood from Mahildra… so he could have lived peacefully in Semu or Jagaur that didn’t bear any hostility towards Mahildra. However, he went out of his way to spend half his life in Selva, and held a grudge towards this country… I couldn’t help feeling pity towards the denizens of Forest’s Edge and Lord Malfreed who got dragged into his evil schemes.”

“… Why are you insisting that we are morons who can’t tell right from wrong, Pyschkurewuss?”

Graff Zaza couldn’t take it anymore and said in a coarse voice:

“We never thought of that foreigner Kamyua Yost as a comrade. However, we felt that some of his words can be trusted, that’s why we are holding this conference to determine the truth, Pyschkurewuss.”

“So…? You only trust Kamyua Yost, and suspect me of lying, is that really the right way…?”

Pyschkurewuss said as he turned to look at Zuro Tsun.

“Zuro Tsun… the former Tribal Chief of Forest’s Edge…”

Zuro Tsun looked up at Pyschkurewuss with hollow eyes.

“It has been more than twenty years since I was tasked as the liasion with the Tribal Chief of the Forest’s Edge. I worked with Zattsu Tsun for the first decade, and build up a relationship with you for the next decade… And I have seen the truth with my own eyes.”

“Zattsu Tsun is filled with wild ambitions. I have always been worried about him turning his ambition towards Genos… But I have never felt that from you.”

“You might have led the Tsun clan down the wrong path… However, you are merely treading down the road paved by Zattsu Tsun. In that case, it is too pitiful to condemn you alone as a criminal…”
Graff Zaza interjected anxiously: “What do you mean by pitiful. We have already discussed this in Forest’s Edge. The sins of neglecting to hunt kiba and desecrating the Morga Forest for over ten years is too grave. Also… many had died from despair in the Tsun clan village.”
“So… the denizens of Forest’s Edge decided that Zuro Tsun will be responsible for all these crimes…?”
“Zuro Tsun is the tribal chief and the head of the Tsun clan. Zattsu Tsun is no longer the clan head, so Zuro Tsun will have to take responsibility for the crimes for the past decade.”

Graff Zaza’s eyes were burning with rage.

The one closest to Zuro Tsun would be his former kin Graff Zaza.

The Tsun clan and Zaza house had been linked through many marriages throughout the years. I had no idea just how complicated the relationship Graff Zaza shared with the Tsun clan.

However, Pyschkurewuss didn’t know anything about all that, and mocked:

“Yes… Like what you said, no matter how pitiful Zuro Tsun might be, we still need to give him a sound judgement. However… if you had been deceived by outsiders, then the situation will be different…”

“… Are you insinuating that Asuta of the Fa house and Kamyua Yost are deceiving us?”

“Yes… If you don’t agree with me, you can ask the Chief Justice of Genos, Xylas to comment on this from a fair and neutral perspective…”

With that, Pyschkurewuss looked towards the old man.

Xylas who was seated beside Malfreed frowned a little confusedly:

“Sir Xylas… Should Zuro Tsun who had led the his people down the wrong path be punished for his crimes?”

“Yes… As the tribal chief and clan head, it is a heavy crime to forcefully coerced others to break the law.”

“Then, should his family be punished for this crime too…? The family of Zuro Tsun over there had been stripped of their family name and forced to join the other houses as punishment…”

“That is not in accordance with the laws of Genos.”

Xylas answered emotionlessly:
“From what I know, the house heads are the ones ruling the families in Forest’s Edge. In that case, the family members has no choice but to follow the head’s orders. Since the branch house members are innocent, those six are not guilty either.”

“I am not saying that the branch house members are innocent. We feel that this is a road of redemption for them to live properly again as a denizen of Forest’s Edge.”

Kaslan Lutim interjected calmly:

“This also applies to the six members of the Tsun clan main house. They had more or less suffered the unhealthy influence of Zattsu Tsun. We feel that they need to discard their Tsun family name in order to break off this bond holding them back.”

“Hmm… So, you have stripped the Tsun clan of their rights to be the tribal chief clan?”

A strange light glimmered in Pyschkurewuss’ eyes, and he said with a smile: “I don’t agree with you on that… Considering the fact that there was interference from outsiders, I’m against it even more.”

“Asuta wasn’t involved in their sentencing. Asuta’s action was crucial to uncovering the Tsun clan’s crimes, but the decision was made by all the house heads that had gathered for the House Head Conference.”

“However, if this was all part of the scheme to pull the Tsun clan off their position of tribal chief, that changes everything. And you people had even been conned by Kamyua Yost and slandering me. We can’t believe the tribal chiefs elected under such a dubious situation… I have reservations on accepting you.”

Silence engulfed the entire room.

I caught a glimpse of how Pyschkurewuss would try to let the Tsun clan off their crimes.

There were points we expected, and arguments we didn’t thought of. How should we counter his words— As the tribal chiefs fell into deep thought as they fumed, someone spoke:

“Well then… If you don’t trust the current three tribal chiefs, then what is your goal? Are you trying to reinstall the Tsun clan back as the tribal chief clan?”

With a cold laugh— Yamiel Lei’s voice broke the silence.

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