Chapter 2 - Right Judgement
The guest room is on the second floor, while the first floor is for a restaurant and a bar. Lilith is sitting on at the corner, requesting putting in an order. Sara is sitting on a tall chair, swinging her legs as she tries to relieve her stress after taking a shower. She blankly looks towards Lilith.
“Is there something wrong?”
Lilith's face is shining in the dim light of the lamp, and it's as beautiful as a sculpture. Sometimes, it's hard to understand what Lilith is thinking about. Regardless, she never exposes what's inside her heart. Despite taking care of Sara very well and referring to herself as her mother, sometimes Sara cruelly keeps her distance with her feelings. No matter how much you want to reach, even if you can touch the skin, you can't see what’s going on in the mind.
When thinking about things such as this, normally Sara will get wrinkles in the middle of her forehead.
“You are thinking about something weird again, aren’t you?”
Lilith murmurs at Sara, in order to figure out her thoughts.
Setting her mouth lips into a pout, Sara shook her head.
“It's not anything weird at all.”
Then, their order arrived.
“Sorry to keep you waiting!”
Sara's stomach suddenly begins to grumble at the smell of warm food after a long time wait. Like something akin to the greed for money, she picked up the knife and fork into her hands. Then she heard a laughing voice nearby.
“Fufufu~” it was the waitress.
“We meet again!”
Not just any waitress, though; it was Amelia. Sara blinked her eyes, and Lilith smiled slightly.
“So, this is where you are working. That's why you were excitedly promoting this place to me.”
“That might be true, but this hotel is really good you know.”
“Yes, you have my gratitude.”
And just like that, Amelia fleetingly turned her to glance at Sara.
Knowing there's no place to hide, Sara took it directly. It's not a glance of curiosity or kindness. It's more like a demanding look. What's the meaning of that? She thought. Feeling uncomfortable, Sara averted her eyes right away. Amelia isn't a bad person. It's just hard to understand a person that she doesn't even know properly.
“Come think of it, Amelia, can I ask a weird question to you?”
“Of course, it's okay! We are accepting requests for locating lovers too, if you know what I mean!”
“I hope I can find a lover too... But that's not it! I wanted to ask if I can meet this country's king.”
“There is no king in the Country of Justice.”
“Are you sure?”
Amelia began laughing as though she was revealing a trick.
“There are ten judges and they govern the country. Even if one of the judges is wrong, justice is still maintained thanks to the presence of the other nine people. It's amazing right?”
“I see, It's a different system. But it's interesting.”
“Fufu, it is. Am I right?”
Amelia laughed, and with a grin she said “Enjoy! this is our service!” then she sliced the bread, placed the pieces onto several plates, and passed them around.
Sara feels relieved.
If another person were to startle us when we are relaxed, it's likely that it would scare us half to death. But this is the restaurant where she works. Sara looks at Amelia's appearance from behind. Even the customers seem to love her as well.
“Yeah, same to me.”
Lily sliced the bread into two pieces, handing one to Sara on the other side.
“Let's return back to our room when we finish eating this. I want......... to take a little look on around this country”
While putting the fluffy bread into her mouth, Sara said “Because unlike me, Lily is really beautiful.” Those words went down together with the morsel she swallowed.
Even by herself, she can find happiness anywhere.
When they began to leave the restaurant, they heard a high-pitched sound. It's was the sound of a fork dropped by a man at a nearby table. Making their way through, Sara and Lilith stopped, and the latter picked up the fork, saying “Here.” She handed it over and the man said “Thank you.” with a smile.
Upon returning to the room and getting into bed, perhaps because she was tired after a long trip, soon Sara's consciousness sank into the darkness. She is excited because she can have a hot bath tomorrow morning.
The next day, they went out to the main street to replenish their rations and daily necessities. Lilith did not spare her money, especially for water and preserved food. As for a small amount of clean water or a little high-nutrient food, she went to several stores to buy it.
When the sun reached the summit, the backpack that Lilith brought had become full.
“Lily, that's amazing!”
“You have managed to buy all of this at the cheapest price and everyone was kind as well.”
Seeing Sara's hazy smile, Lilith looked at her with a vague smile while messing with her hair.
“Hmm, I think so. Seems that this is a good country.”
“Did something happen?”
When Sara looked at Lilith, she looked like she was picking up stone rocks from the street and then putting it in their bag. "Maybe she is cleaning stuff out." Thought Sara. It looks interesting but weird though.
“...... nothing, more than that, I can't find it.”
“Do you mean medicine?”
“Well, it's not like that stuff is everywhere.”
Although she said that, Sara unconsciously stroked her chest. Somehow it was getting worse.
Lilith put her finger on her chin and began to think.
“I wonder if I can ask the judges directly, either way I should wisely try to go to the judgement castle.”
“...... Don't push yourself, Lily.”
“Of course, I know that.”
Anyone would think that this is absurd. Lilith is calmly lying.
Even though she knew that Lilith only said this to make her feel better, Sara felt ridiculous that she couldn’t control her mood.
“You’re making a strange face again.”
“I'm completely covered, So I'm fine.”
“That's what 'quibble' called, princess”
Sara puffed her cheeks.
Seeing Lilith going into a bar, Sara leaned her back into the wall of a nearby shop. It's because Lilith is hygienic and strict that she refuses to take her daughter into bad places. She was so overprotective that it made Sara think it was her own fault.
While watching the people walking in the street to kill time, a man came up to her.
“Oh, little girl, mind if I ask you something?”
It's a man with nice figure.
While Sara pushed her back more into the wall, that man was staring at her.
He was smiling, but somehow Sara began to feel him emitting a strong pressure.
“I had a daughter that is the same age as you, but she was been eaten by a monster. Can you let me look at your face for a little longer?”
The words that the forlorn man spoke might be not a lie. But, Sara was troubled to have been asked to do something like this. Sara is Sara.
Even up though she resembles someone's face else, Sara can't do anything about it.
She can’t withstand the pressure.
“You are a traveler, right?”
He lifted his hand up, frightening Sara.
His hand pointed at Sara's eyes.
“Say, if you want.... if you wish, will you be my daughter? I might be will have to raise you by my own hand alone, but I swear I will not harm you.”
Getting asked something like that by a man that she had just met for the first time made Sara shake her head. Why she was frightened by him so much, at that time she finally understood. That deep look in his eyes, is not something to laugh at.; it was scary.
Sara made her way through the man's arm and ran.
“Ah, wait! I have only good intentions towards you-----"
To escape from the voice that followed her, Sara moved her feet.
She ran to the left, to the right, in streets that she was unfamiliar with, until she doesn't know where she is.
After running for a long time, she takes a breath. She realized that it would have been better if she had just asked for help from her mother.
But was he really telling the truth after all?
That man said that he had good intentions.
She cried as she began remembering her mother's words. Since she declined the offer from the man, Sara felt something wrong and she held her chest. Her pulse was intense.
She was breathing heavily in the alley.
A plump old woman handed over a flower that once laid in the basket.
Sara caught her breath as the red flower came flying toward her.
“But, I'm not.....”
“It's okay, alright? It's just one flower. Don't hesitate, just buy it.”
The old woman's manner of speaking, it had some level of dominance to it.
The flower's color is red like poison.
Sara begins to back away.
“Money...., I don't have it....”
That was a lie.
Sara had been given some money by Lilith. By no means was it a little amount of money.
Sara had only said she didn’t have any in order to avoid the troublesome situation.
“Huh, why are you lying to me?”
The old woman grabbed Sara's arm.
She is upset, and she blames Sara.
“It seems unlikely that you don't have any money! Did you mean that it is not worth it to give a little money to an old lady!? It's just a flower you know! Does your heart not have a sense of justice!?]
Sara decided to try and escape by twisting her body with all her might.
What kind of country is this?
Why is everyone behaving so rudely?
She only wanted to leave, that was it--.
Then, she scratched the old woman's palm.
She didn't mean to do that.
She never intended to hurt someone.
After a big apology, Sara began to run once more.
Her chest was pounding even harder than before, as if her insides were about to explode.
It felt painful. Tears fly from the corner of her eyes.
What if she can't return to her mother?
She began to regret forgetting to bring her medicine.
Her foot suddenly twisted, and she fell over.
“Come over here!”
“This place is safe.”
As they took shelter in an unoccupied house, Sara sat down, while holding her knees.
As of right now, she faces the fact that she can't live without her mother, and her mood becomes depressing.
The outside world is scary. If it's just for living, a space about the size of the hotel room is enough for Sara. Never-the-less it's good to live a life alone at the village without everyone.
But this pain in her chest........... She can't tolerate it.
Sara didn’t have the energy to raise her face, so she ignored the call.
However, Sara noticed an unexpectedly strange reality.
Why is the does this woman know her name?
Maybe it's Lilith who is speaking, Sara immediately thought.
“Is there anything you want to say to me?”
Her voice was cold as ice. It was different from before.
That tone, without a doubt, reveals her true character, thought Sara.
When Sara lifted her face, in front of her eyes appeared Amelia's face with an expression that similar to that of a doll.
Sara couldn’t understand why her expression was like that.
Why would you look at me with that terrible expression?
“Even after I brought you here, you didn't even say thanks to me.”
Amelia swung down with something in her hand.
“I don't need a terrible traveler like you—"
Sara's senses are knocked out.
Like a bubble that rises to the water’s surface, her consciousness slowly returns.
It's the pain from the attack that hits Sara's head first.
The ache is throbbing as she regains her sense of awareness.
Then, she opened her eyes.
Thereupon, a lot of lights illuminate Sara.
It's very dazzling.
Enveloped by the light, she can't see anything in front of her.
However, she felt the presence of countless people.
After her eyes adapted little by little to the light, she understood that she was inside a vast room.
In front of her, there was something similar to an altar and there were ten people, sitting there.
They were wearing black uniforms; they had covered their faces so no-- one could see them.
As she squinted from her eye to peep at the blazing light, she spontaneously moaned “Hi- “.
Even more so, when she turns back around, there are so many people---.
They were sitting in an extended fan-shaped chair while glaring at Sara.
She felt intense hostility from those glares.
She hugged herself while stepping back.
Sara, in the middle of them all, was treated like a criminal.
What in the world is this place--?
The man who sat alone at the center of the altar was holding something like a small hammer, as though he was about to announce something.
“Well then, let's begin the Right Judgement.”
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