Translation by Glass
Rewind time a little, to the blonde knight Schyle,
"I'm going to report to the captain. I'll be back soon, so I'll leave the preparation for cross-examination to you."
He told this to his subordinates again after leaving Shiori's detention room.
Schyle advanced through the dimly-lit corridor and climbed up the stone steps to the second floor. He expected his superior to be there.
And just as he expected, from the innermost detention room of the second floor he sensed the presence of a number of people that included his superior.
"Don't make me say it over and over again. I said I don't know."
A low voice that seemed to suppress irritation could be heard from the room he was looking for. Schyle knocked and slowly opened the cold iron door.
"Captain, I'm back."
"Is that Schyle?"
There were four men inside. Three knights similar to Schyle and one 『suspect』.
Schyle's superior, Captain Otto of the 4th Division Imperial Guards and the male suspect sat facing each other in the narrow room.
"Did you get a good harvest?" Otto asked in a gentle voice while looking back at Schyle. He was the type of mild-mannered boss that didn't get upset for no reason.
Schyle puffed out his chest and nodded.
"The medicine in the store, documents such as ledgers, to the herbs planted in the fields, generally all the suspicious items were collected. We'll be investigating these further for any evidence. After that—"
"Hey, surely that isn't my store you're talkin' about?"
Interrupted in the middle of speaking, Schyle frowned as if he was personally offended. The interruption came from the male suspect. Schyle glared fiercely at him — Roche Ghoul.
It was impossible to say that his appearance is by any means refined. He was clean and his clothes seemed alright, but his terrible look, the tattoos peeking out from under his cuffs, not to mention the man's tone and attitude greatly undermined Roche's image.
Schyle judged Roche to be a 『cunning, street-smart hooligan』 type. No matter how you looked at him, he did not seem at all like an honest pharmacist in any way.
While Roche doesn't seem to have admitted to any of the charges yet, there's no mistake in that he's involved in the "current incident." He [Schyle] was confident of it.
"Hey, answer me. What happened to my store?" said Roche as if to threaten him. That arrogant tone only served to make Schyle grow more irritated. Normally, a vulgar commoner like you would never even get the chance to speak to me, he cursed at the suspect internally.
Schyle is the second son of an upper-crust aristocrat, possessing such pedigree bolstered his strong self-confidence and pride.
Ignoring Roche completely and returning his gaze to Otto, Schyle resumed talking as if nothing happened.
"A lone woman was apprehended. She seems to be a subordinate of that man, so the possibility of being his accomplice is high."
"What're you saying?"
But the one who answered was Roche instead of Otto. He raised an eyebrow and his eyes narrowed with dissatisfaction. That expression filled Schyle with a measure of satisfaction. It confirmed that for this man, having the woman captured is 『unpleasant』.
Roche's eyebrows knitted together.
"She's not involved in any of this. ......that said, I'm not involved either."
"It would be better for all of us if you hurry up and confess," snorted Schyle in retort, but Roche returned fire.
"I didn't do shit so what the hell am I confessing to? Tell me, boy. "
T/N: Boy - Roche uses 'obouchan' here to address Schyle as a young, pampered kid
"What did you call me?"
Angry at being branded with『boy』, the muscles on Schyle's temple started twitching. This was why he hated talking to commoners unfamiliar with etiquette and it frustrated him.
T/N: Twitching - piku-piku, to denote the veins that pop out on angry anime characters
However, at this point he felt that he had already lost the quarrel, so Schyle forced himself to make a complacent smile and replied with sarcasm.
"I see. If the boss is like this, it's no wonder the employee became such a violent woman."
However, Roche's skill with sarcasm was leagues ahead of him. Smiling with delight, he replied, "Why, what did Shiori do to you? No way, did she beat you up? A great knight such as you? By an ordinary woman?"
This enraged him.
TN: lit. fanned [the flames of his anger]
"I wasn't beaten up or anything!" Schyle blew his top. He hadn't been beaten up but there was absolutely no way that he would admit that he had been kicked in the crotch and had fainted in agony.
While loathing the smirk Roche gave him, getting pulled completely into the other's pace would be even more awful so Schyle tried to regain his composure. He turned to Otto and said, "...... please excuse me. I will return to the female accomplice and begin cross-examination."
"Ah, please do so." Otto flashed a wry smile at his hot-tempered subordinate and nodded.
"Be careful not to get beaten again!" Roche shrieked provocatively just before he could exit the room but Schyle ground his teeth and bore it. Inwardly he cursed and reviled him but that was all he could do.
(Of course it would be that way, if the subordinates are like that then the boss would be even more so! Incredibly incompetent, vulgar, violent, lazy bastards. They don't understand their own position at all.)
Irritated and stomping his boots, Schyle headed towards Shiori's detention room. I'll smash all of my irritation towards that woman, that was his current mood.
Thus, with such thoughts regarding Shiori surfaced in his head, what angered him the most was the treatment he received from her. Until now he had never received any sort of violence from the hands of women. Not to mention, specifically kicked in the crotch.........
Just remembering the pain at that point contorted his face. His mental impression of Shiori carved into his mind was that of a 『crude, violent woman』.
Having grown up surrounded by aristocrat women, who were likewise educated as nobility, they possessed the same kind of bearing and manners as Schyle with no exception. While he had no perception of their true nature, for what little he had encountered of them, they presented nothing besides a modest and elegant expression.
(But then that violent woman came.....!)
Schyle felt like he had encountered a strange, unknown creature.
"A little wild monkey with no discipline, that woman," he muttered in his head, and laughed at the analogy he had in mind. To tell the truth, its a very apt metaphor, he thought.
Fundamentally, torture of the suspect is not allowed in accordance with the tenets of chivalry and, even with a woman like Shiori, Schyle had no intention of using physical violence.
However, even with this style of cross-examination he planned to severely attack and pay back exactly the "damage that was done" to him. He will mentally return the pain and humiliation that he suffered.
The edges of his lips quirked up and he grinned to himself while proceeding down the corridor.
If his opponent is that violent woman, then there's no chance any guilty feelings would arise. In fact, he was looking forward to hunting the enemy down.
(Although she was docile on the way here, she's probably going to rage and bite during the cross-examination. Anyway, she's just a little wild monkey. It might be a little cruel but I'll have to bring restraints.)
With that in mind, Schyle's cruel smile deepened. That was the only way to counter suspects who are being cheeky and rebellious. If cross-examination was a type of battle, then it was a situation where he not only had the overwhelming advantage but also the better position. He would only be tormenting the opponent.
However, Schyle could spare some room for a margin of error.
"Are the preparations done?"
He called out to his subordinates at the end of the corridor. As the unbeatable victor in the upcoming battle, Schyle triumphantly opened the door of the detention room.
And then he laughed maliciously,
"I'm starting the cross-examination," he declared, but what greeted him was Shiori in a state with downcast eyes that his own eyes widened in spite of himself.
Schyle had imagined a silent, glaring, impertinent woman —— Schyle had even envisioned in the blink of an eye the form of a cursing, chair-throwing, violent woman about to jump at him. However right now, that wild little monkey ——
For some reason, became a weak rabbit.
She must have cried, for she looked up to Schyle with wet, teary eyes and sat in the chair with tense shoulders as if frightened.
The round dark eyes with large irises were feminine and so lovely as to be worthy of praise, while her eyebrows tapering downwards invited sympathy. She gave him an imploring look as if to ask for forgiveness, to the point that even Schyle felt a little moved.
What on earth was this transformation, it agitated him. He had come bruising for a fight, but all that momentum had been easily deflected. In front of such a feeble opponent his fighting spirit drained away. While he had no problem putting a dangerous little monkey into a cage, to tie up a shaking rabbit that offered no resistance, even someone like Schyle would have his conscience feel reproach.
Straightening up as if she had made up her mind, Shiori timidly addressed Schyle. Even her voice quivered slightly, and the effect was ephemeral. Her wet eyelashes seemed to shine enticingly every time she blinked.
Schyle gulped and swallowed spit.
"Earlier, I'm sorry. ...... for kicking you. Please forgive me."
Shiori's accent-laden words should have been difficult for Schyle to listen to. But why does her halting delivery feel a little cute right now.
"I apologize as much as possible, because. I'm really sorry. Um....... d-does it still hurt? "
"No, it's fine." Schyle glanced quickly down his lower body and replied with difficulty. To be so meekly apologized to by the opposite party embarrassed him. While he had intended to carry the grudge for the rest of his life, even he thought that they should already forget about the matter.
"Will you forgive me? Are you not angry?"
Seeing the frightened and worried Shiori, Schyle felt the impulse to yell at her and scratched his own head. He didn't understand what emotions were being set ablaze in him right now.
"Oh, about feeling angry and such, I——"
—— I'm not. Schyle caught himself as he answered.
Shiori exhaled relief with her whole heart, her eyes welled up and she laughed silently. Freed from anxiety and tension, her smile was awkward but it caused a great fluctuation in Schyle's heart.
A wobbling sensation seemed to spread through his legs. To think that such a coarse woman like her could also smile like that made him feel dizzy.
He thought he hated her existence just a few minutes ago, but now she's so ...... how else could he describe it...... yes, she seems so adorable. Even his contempt and anger have completely vanished. Schyle couldn't help but be confused by the change in his own feelings. What the hell is this, he thought.
However, there was indeed a term that could accurately describe the change in his state of mind.
In short, he had been done in by the gap moe.
T/N: lit. Schyle was hit by the 'gap'. If you're unfamiliar with the term Gap Moe, think of characters whose looks or initial impressions don't line up with their actual personalities, like the cold, frigid character suddenly acting cute, or like a grizzly war vet who knits baby sweaters in their spare time, or vice-versa, there is a 'gap' or dissonance between their outward appearance and actual character which makes them intriguing or more attractive.
Translator Notes: Thanks for reading. I will continue for a couple more chapters, but it is still up in the air if I will continue this novel to the end. I might update Maou no Migiude first so stay tuned.