44-Episode 43: There's a lot of other crimes coming o...

'Oh, you're that ...... guy from earlier! I'll never talk to you! I didn't do anything wrong! It's all within the law. If you knew that, you wouldn't be asking!

He looks pretty desperate.
But I know bad people lie.

'Yes. You're right, there are cases where we couldn't get evidence, and there are cases where we couldn't get the witnesses because they were already dead.'

'......, right?'

'But--the evidence that's coming up now should be enough to convict you of death.'

'What, are you ...... kidding me? I know you're bluffing!'

'Does this look like the face of a joke to you?

'I don't believe it .......'

'I don't believe it. ' 'It seems to be working pretty well for someone who says he doesn't believe it.

'It's not that I want you to die. It's not like I have anything against you directly. Depending on how you behave, I'm willing to drastically reduce your crime. I have the power to do that.

The man's eyebrows twitched.
This is going to work.

I whisper in the man's ear.

'Between you and me, I'm connected to the new King Regulus. If I can get him to talk, your crimes will be taken care of.'

'Oh, is that true?

I quietly left his ear and sat back in my chair.
I'd shown him how the facility manager treated me, so it was easy to make him realize that I had that much power.

'Yes, it's true. But that's only if you accept certain conditions.'

'You want me to confess?

'Of course that's what I want. But I'm not going to force you. I'm not a guard or anything. ...... This is just a suggestion.'

I slacken my lips.
We've had a good conversation.

'Your group of thieves is five in all. That means one of you should be able to talk, right?'

'My guys are tight-lipped. I've told them just in case.'

'I see. Then how about this? If the other four don't talk and you confess, we'll let you off scot-free.


The man looks at me with wide eyes.

'But if only you don't confess, you'll be guilty of death. Alternatively, if, say, two confess and three remain silent, the one who confesses will receive a lighter sentence and the one who does not confess will receive a heavier sentence.

'So that means ......'.

'Keep quiet and you're dead. If you confess, you'll at least avoid death, and you'll get life in prison with parole. You know which is the better deal, right?'

'No, wait, I'm not fooled. Even if it comes with parole, I'll be an old man by the time I get out. I'm not going to betray my friends for something like that. ......'

'Huh, your people won't talk, will they? Then you're free of charges.'

The leader of the bandits could be heard spitting.
We have less than a minute left before the five-minute time limit. Let's hurry up.

'No choice. Special service. If you spit right away, I'll arrange for you to be sent to a remote prison even if you're not found guilty. Between you and me, I've heard that escapees are common. I've never caught an escapee who escaped to the frontier.

'Is that true, ......? Then there's no reason not to talk about it here, right?

'I'm saying this with you in mind. Trust me. You've got ten seconds to make a decision. 10......9......8......7......'

'Okay, okay! I'll tell you everything right now! That's all I'm asking! Don't lie to me!'

'I'm not a scoundrel. I'm not going to trick you into telling me.'

'Then fine. We've done more than 200 bad things in total. I'm trying to remember them all. ......'

It took him a while, but he admitted to probably all of them.
The bandit's face looked somewhat refreshed as he let it all out.

'I won't know until the rest of the interrogation is over, but your sincerity has been conveyed. I'll take care of the rest.'

'Oh, I'm counting on you.

He seemed to trust me completely.
I left the interrogation room. Just as I was about to leave, the director came after me and bowed.

'Thank you for a wonderful interrogation! I didn't know he had it in him. ....... In the first place, he's not guilty of death, but life in prison. It was a brilliant bluff, sir.

Yes, things were looser in the Old Kingdom.
The king used to use bandits, so it's only natural that he would be lenient.

We're revising the law at a rapid pace, but we can't use the new law to bring past crimes to justice.

'Thank you. It's important to remember that sometimes it's better to dangle candy than to whip people.

'Thank you for your words, sir. However, if you make a suggestion like that and the rest of us don't speak up, ......'

It seems that the head of the facility is afraid that a great sinner will be released back into the world.

'What are you talking about? Do whatever it takes to get him to talk. And I didn't say I'd give the henchmen a chance on the same terms. Tell them what the leader said, and they'll confess quietly.'

'Oh, I see. ...... Did you think that far ahead? But even if that's the case, couldn't he have been guilty of death once all the crimes were revealed......?'

'I suppose you could. That's why I said I'd send you to a remote prison. Waiyak Prison on a remote island, commonly known as 'Helheim'.

'Hellheim......! Well, it's a hell of a place to suffer, and there are always escapees. It's called ......, but the escapees can't make it across the sea, and they die out .......'

'He committed a crime so great that even death is not enough. This is the equivalent.

'Well, that's very impressive. I'm impressed with .......''

I don't think it's that big of a deal. .......
It's just a slightly modified version of the famous game theory with some cheats.

'Well, I'd better be going. Take care of the rest.'

I left the jail and headed for the inn where Aleria and Aina were waiting.

But... not all the work is done yet.
I think I'm done for the day, but the bandit leader has confessed to something that I can't ignore.