Episode 357: Crime and Punishment (3)
“Nakazanye”, the Grand Judge of the center of the ecliptic.
The hounds of the night, standing in a place where those who commit serious crimes are judged, just stand still with their characteristic expressionless faces.
Contrary to what everyone was worried about, Bikir was quite relieved.
‘… … I’ve finished all my work at the academy.’
My shoulders lightened when I was relieved of many of the tasks I had to do.
Now that everything is going as expected, now only the final phase remains.
That’s why it’s a light heart to get out of the way. Rather, with a feeling of even a little expectation, he came to the trial here.
On the other hand, there were numerous gazes looking at Bikir, who was standing with a calm expression.
First of all, the members of Baskerville, a swordsman with iron blood, Morgue, a head family of magic, Quo Vadis, a religious chant, Bourgeois, a chaebol family, Leviathan, a singer of extreme poison, Don Quixote, a singer, and Usher.
Representatives of the families sat separately in the judge’s seat as members of the jury, and other family members sat in the audience as spectators.
Now that the emperor is absent from the trial, the representative of the imperial family sits down wearing a nun’s uniform, the distinctive attire worn by members of the imperial family, and proceeds with the trial in a mechanical and businesslike manner.
“Hugo Les Baskervilles, the juror of Baskerville, the Iron-Blooded Swordsman.”
Hugo Les Baskervilles, a member of the jury representing the Baskervilles.
He was sitting in a wheelchair with his back to the judge.
The agent called Hugo by name and asked.
“Attempted poisoning of Seth Les Baskervilles, the second son, and Hugo himself, the owner. You have accused Vikir van Baskerville of stealing the ‘Red Whistle’, a sacred item that can mobilize the family’s military power. Is that correct?”
“… … .”
Hugo turned his back and did not answer.
The reason was that it was difficult to answer, let alone move, because of the poison.
Instead, Osiris, his eldest son, stood by and nodded instead.
“… … .”
With an extremely dry expressionless expression.
With that, the agent ended the final interrogation of the Sangvis swordsman.
“The argument of the Baskervilles is as follows. The crimes, such as rebellion, murder of an ascendant, and poisoning of the head of the family are serious and heinous, but the accused deserves to be treated like a nobleman because he inherited the blood of the Baskervilles. Therefore, we request an extenuating judgment on this point.”
There were no objections.
The deputy took his eyes off the Baskervilles and looked at the Morgues beside him.
Morgue Mu L’Espane, member of the Jury of the House of Morgue.
She stood over the judge with a stiff expression on her face.
The agent still reads the contents of the document in a dry voice.
“The argument of the Rue Morgue is as follows. Although the crimes are serious and vicious, such as rebellion, murder of an ascendant, and poisoning of the head of state, the accused deserve to be treated like nobles. Therefore, we request an extenuating judgment on this point.”
L’Espane of the House of Morgue made the same judgment as the House of the Baskervilles.
No matter how serious the crime is, as long as he is of aristocratic blood, he should be treated higher than that.
L’Espane opened her mouth in a calm voice.
“… … A previous precedent on this can be found in the ’47 Unrest’ 35 years ago.”
At the time of the ’47 unrest’ in the past, the problem was much more serious.
A situation where the empire could have been overthrown.
“At the time, there were two heroes who suppressed the 47-man unrest. ‘Winston’, who is now dead, and ‘Orca’, who cannot attend this event. With the sacrifice of these two, the dangerous situation could have been quelled at an early stage.”
All the judges swallowed their saliva at Lespane’s words.
“But what was the judgment at that time in the end? Two heroes, Winston and Orca, who suppressed the situation, strongly petitioned for the death penalty, but the main culprit of the disturbance, the Marquis of Angajumand Sade de Sade, was ultimately not sentenced to death. Wasn’t that because of the ‘respect for the great nobility’?”
Therefore, since Bikir was also born with the blood of a great noble, it is too much to go to the death penalty.
Lespane ended his speech with these words.
Nabokov I, a member of the Quo Vadis family, and Demian, a member of the bourgeois family, also expressed similar opinions.
“Hall hall hall… … That child is a devout Rune believer. I can’t help but take into account the circumstances of the dead, but I can’t help but show mercy. Even in my opinion, the death penalty seems excessive.”
“It is believed that the accused has already paid enough money for the deposit. Since the astronomical amount that was put in the deposit already shows that he is repenting for his crimes, I also decided that the death penalty was excessive.”
Baskerville, Morgue, Quo Vadis, Bourgeois.
Four of the seven families argued for Bikir’s sentencing.
But there were also those who did not.
“This is nonsense. If the murderer who killed so many people is not put to death, then who will be put to death?”
“That’s right. At the very least, I think they should be isolated forever so that they can’t crawl out into this society again. For that, the death penalty is the best.”
The attitudes of the jurors from Changhae Changga Don Quixote and Shin Gungbi Usher were quite hostile.
They were agents who came to this place on behalf of Cervantes and Rodrick, who needed recuperation due to the Naraksu incident.
Don Quixote La Mancha Pasamonte, and Usher for Madeline.
These two young men and women were each the younger brothers of the family head, and stood here as jurors with the qualifications of the family head’s representative.
They were also the uncle and aunt of Tudor and Bianca, respectively.
Lastly, Hobbs de Leviathan, the head of the extremely poisonous Leviathan, broke the heavy silence and made the final decision.
“… … execution. No punishment other than that will ever make him pay the price he deserves.”
Four of the seven families were insisting on extenuating circumstances, and the other three were insisting on extreme punishment without extenuating circumstances.
It was the first time that the jury members had such mixed opinions, so even the representative of the imperial family looked very embarrassed.
He turned to Bikir and asked.
“Do you have anything to say before the verdict?”
Bikir raised his head at those words.
“… … .”
Calmly subdued eyes scanned the judge.
Hugo sits in a wheelchair and turns around, whose expression is unknown.
L’Espane’s expression hardened as if she was thinking of her daughter.
Nabokov I and Damian with complex expressions.
On the other hand, the facial expressions of the other three members of the jury are different.
Pasamonte, Madeline, and Hobbes.
On the outside, they look calm, just, and fair, but in fact, they are uglier than anything else, and they harbor a hideous malice.
‘… … Almost all the rest of them have come out.’
Vikir was keeping an eye on the three remaining demons.
Originally, it is the ‘Door of Destruction’ that can be opened only when ten devils gather.
However, the number of survivors is only four, so there was a high possibility that they would make more extreme choices to complete their mission.
And before that choice, it was clear that he would want to get rid of Bikir first.
‘I’ll gladly go along with your plans.’
Vikir also had a separate target, and it did not conflict with the target of the three demons.
So Vikir just quietly closed his eyes and swallowed all the arguments.
Meanwhile, those who attended the trial were agitated by Bikir’s attitude.
“Me, me, me, look at that shameless thing!”
“There is no sign of remorse after killing so many people!”
“… … I thought you were a hero, but I am very disappointed.”
“It is the death penalty! A wicked man like that must be put to death!”
“Let’s show that justice lives!”
It was only after the security guards left that the audience’s commotion subsided.
Before long, the representative of the imperial family came down the stairs, fluttering the hem of her nun’s uniform, and asked,
“… … ask again This is the last time. Do you have anything to say before the verdict?”
Only then did Bikir answer.
His gaze was directed towards the representative of the imperial family, but his voice was directed elsewhere.
“To retreat is not to flee, and when danger outweighs hope, it is not sensible to simply wait. A wise man knows how to refrain from today for the sake of tomorrow and does not risk everything in one day.”
A story left by a brave knight of the Don Quixote family in the distant past.
“… … .”
“… … .”
“… … .”
Hearing those words, Pasamonte, Madeline, and Hobbes were exchanging meaningful glances.
Soon after, the verdict was handed down.
The representative of the imperial family read the verdict in a reverent voice with the hem of her nun’s robe hanging down.
“The accused Vickir van Baskerville. He is a devout follower of the Runic religion, the son of the Baskervilles, the evangelist of the Quo Vadis, the future son-in-law of Morgue, and the godfather of the bourgeoisie.”
It means that he is a descendant of the Baskervilles, has a good religious relationship with the Quo Vadis family, and has been engaged to Morgue, and also that Damian of the bourgeois family considers him the godfather of his deceased daughter.
“However, the accused committed the unforgivable felony of murder several times. In addition, as all of the people he killed were those who played an important role in the security and development of the empire, their crimes can be said to be more serious and vicious. Therefore… … !”
A final verdict has been issued.
“In consideration of the noble lineage of the accused, the death penalty is dismissed.”
At that, Baskerville, Morgue, Quo Vadis and Bourgeois sighed with relief.
“However, given the heavy and heinous crimes of the accused, a simple prison sentence is thought to be meaningless.”
This time, exclamations came from Don Quixote, Usher, and Leviathan.
Before long, Bikir’s disposition was officially decided with certainty.
“… … Therefore, the defendant Vikir van Baskerville is sentenced to ‘3,021 life sentence without parole’. In addition, the place where confinement will be held is limited to a ‘special prison’ for the purpose of permanent social isolation of serious criminals, not a ‘general prison’.”
Life imprisonment without parole. And that’s over 3,000 times.
It means that even if you live and die and end your life once, you will not be able to get out of prison while the process is repeated 3,000 times and 21 more times.
This was a ruling that reflected the court’s strong stance that Bikir would never be allowed to return to society.
… … but. Prior to sentencing, Bikir paid attention to something else.
Not a ‘general prison’, but a ‘special prison’. This meant only one thing.
‘… … Nouvelle Vague.’
It is a prison that exists on the outskirts of the empire.
A terrifying prison where even the souls of those imprisoned once die are imprisoned.
Bikir is imprisoned in such a harsh and terrible prison that the death penalty is considered preferable.
During the life sentence that will continue as many as 3,021 times!
There is a somber atmosphere among the audience on the Baskerville, Morgue, Quo Vadis and Bourgeois sides.
On the other hand, a warm wind was blowing among the audience from Don Quixote, Usher, and Leviathan.
A whirlwind of emotions in which the joys and sorrows of many people are mixed.
Standing in the middle of it, Bikir was quietly sharpening the sword in his heart.
‘… … Now is the final phase.’
A handful of chess pieces left on the board. An extremely fierce water fight.
It was the beginning of the final chapter in earnest.