“Complete loss of all rights for beastmen.”
In other words the sanctity of the law no longer extends to anyone who is a beastman. You could even kill someone if you wanted, and it wouldn’t be considered murder. From this point on, you can do whatever you want to one, and there will never be any legal repercussions.
Beastmen have always been a minority group on the Almerian continent, so naturally a history of persecution has followed them from the beginning. They were driven from any fertile lands they owned long ago, forced to reluctantly start up new beastmen villages on the unclaimed land of the frontier or otherwise set up their own colonies within the slums of major cities. Either way they are doomed to a life of poverty. The currently thriving Hope Coast began in the exact same way.
Nevertheless, the royal family since long past have at least still recognized the beastmen as people. This was partly for the beastmen’s sake, but more than anything it was for the purpose of preserving human morals.
When it comes to someone weaker than you, people can all too easily fall to violence. And once somebody has gotten a taste for violence, there is no quenching that thirst. As a result, it wouldn’t be too long before humans started turning against themselves as well. It was for the sake of avoiding this vicious cycle that even the most bigoted of kings allowed beastmen to retain their civil rights.
But now those rights have been stripped. Persecution against beastmen is sure to be on the rise in the coming days. Skycastle and Wisdom especially contain a strong sense of discrimination towards beastmen. And then there is the colony built into one corner of the slums in Marsfield. It goes without saying that it will be attacked soon.
And then the other anouncement, “Duke Marsfield has been imprisoned.”
So there is no one left who can oppose the King politically. Duke Marsfield had stayed in Skycastle in order to secretly organize a force against His Majesty. With the King completely under the control of a demon, the country was facing a crisis, and it was only a matter of time before things deteriorated into outright chaos. So Duke Marsfield had taken the hard decision of overthrowing his older brother and setting things right as the next in line to the throne.
But Duke Marsfield’s extended stay in Marsfield had created suspicions among the King’s supporters. There was also the fact that he had arrived at Skycastle with the Dragon Maidens in tow, a force already known to be against the King’s policies. Although there wasn’t evidence of any wrongdoing, suspicion is equal to guilt with this current administration.
Just before being arrested, Duke Marsfield managed to get one last message out to Sir Chaffee. After informing him of his upcoming imprisonment, the Duke also passed along where in his mansion he had hid the Howling Plush Toy for contacting Warren.
After being able to safely retrieve the tool without any guards noticing, Sir Chaffee managed to inform Maria of the situation.
Katie had a sour look on her face. But that was natural. The King had announced she was no longer a person.
Even after news about the decree had circulated, there weren’t any incidents of persecution against beastmen in Warren. Security for the city had always been tight, and even without recognized civil rights from the country, the beastmen here are valued citizens. And as for the naughty guys who don’t care about things like that, there was the threat of the the pure white catgirl–the strongest one on one fighter in all of Warren–and her vicious and horrifying Frost Dragon. Who in their right mind would do anything to upset them?
Right now this was the living room inside Ellis’s mansion. After the emergency meeting was concluded, each of the guildmasters had gathered here. There wasn’t any chance of information being leaked that way.
“It’s certainly a heavy-handed, yet effective method.”
Theseus made an annoyed sigh.
Beastmen might not be persecuted in Warren, but in the other major cities–with the exception of Wheat Grace–cruelty had set in quickly. As a result, many beastmen had come to Warren as refugees seeking help.
Mati at the Steamed Kitchen took the lead in accepting refugees and even provided food. But there are limits to what can be done.
A temporary facility was built in the eastern part of Freedom Promenade to help house the refugees. The only requirement to get in was to apply for it through the Merchant Guild. However this facility was a rush job, and compared to all the apartments in the surrounding residential area, it was shabby and looked like it was about to collapse.
It wasn’t long before some of the refugees started feeling dissatisfied seeing Mati and the other Warren beastmen living so happily. Why do they get to live so happily when they lost their rights the same as everyone else? It was completely unfair.
And then, the incident.
Mati, Labra, and Ravi temporarily closed the Steamed Kitchen and started cooking meals every day for the refugee shelter with the help of the Warren Council. For three people who originally came from Marsfield’s slums, they couldn’t help but to identify with the refugees’ situation. Labra had actually already gone to see Ellis about taking a personal loan to help improve the living conditions for them. They were adamant that because Ellis had saved their lives before, it was now their turn to help save their brethren.
It was a heartfelt gesture that all of Warren’s citizens could appreciate, and it helped integrate the refugees into the city without any discrimination or ill will cropping up. But all that good will disappeared in an instant when of all things, three refugee men tried to rape the youngest worker Ravi in a corner of Freedom Promenade.
Labra would cook the food inside the store, Mati would handle the orders and serving people out in Freedom Promenade’s square, and Ravi was in charge of running orders and taking back empty plates between the two.
Three beastmen refugees ended up taking her by surprise during one of these runs. They dragged her behind her own store and shoved her down into the dirt.
“Hey, you feel sorry for us don’t you?”
“If so little miss, then how about serving us something back here?”
“There’s three of us, so your mouth, front, and back will work just fine.”
Ravi was too scared to scream. All of the sudden, standing over her was a cat beastman, an anubis beastman, and a rabbit beastman. They were a group so similar to the family she had made with Labra and Mati, and now here they were, about to attack her.
It was Marcosia who got the great honor of cleaning up this filth.
“You there, what the hell do you think you’re doing!?”
The men nearly jumped out of their skin when they heard Marcosia’s voice. But they quickly calmed down when they saw that it was just a boyish, silver-haired girl.
“Why not. Grab that girl too!”
And so the men rounded on Marcosia, intent on attacking her as well.
As a result, the three men were left half-dead on the side of the road, and Marcosia helped Ravi to her feet. However the screams of agony from the three men had caught the attention of several other Warren citizens, each of them a little confused by what they saw. Because while the three men were beaten half to death, they weren’t yet unconscious.
“There’s no crime against attacking a beastman right? So why shouldn’t we do what we want?” one shouted.
“Warren let’s demons live here too!” shouted another.
And then standing away from the men was Ravi, crying while clutching the chest of a demon wolf.
After that incident, Warren’s people could be broken down into three factions
First, “We don’t need to protect some scumbags who would try to rape a little girl!”
Secondly, “These people have just been forced from their homes. We can’t judge the group based on just these criminals!”
And third, “Why are those beastmen blessed when we’re stuck as refugees!”
Yet for all their differences, the three factions could agree on one thing.
Why is a demon here?
Demons should be killed!
Citizens and refugees alike were able to unite against their common enemy. The demon called Marcosia.
The council can’t do anything about feelings of hatred on such an individual level. So all of the problems that had been growing until now were all forced on Marcosia.
“Master, have you gone insane!?”
Machel was in a rage.
While Baltis was as calm as ever.
“Marcosia saved Ravi! So why are we talking about what she’s done wrong!?”
“Hm? But Marcosia’s a demon. Aren’t we supposed to destroy demons?”
“Marcosia’s a demon, but she’s not a demon!”
“You do realize that you’re contradicting yourself here right?”
“Master, now isn’t the time to joke!”
“It’s already been decided. And Marcosia has agreed to it too. Tomorrow morning, she will be executed in the town square.”
Marcosia’s punishment for being a demon was for her to be burned at the stake.
The next morning, a cross was set up in the middle of Freedom Promenade. A fence had been set up around it, making the district’s name feel a little ironic.
Marcosia was brought out under the direction of Maria, the chairman for the council.
The cross was slanted down, making it easier for the silent Marcosia to have her hands and feet bound to the wood with wire. The cross was then returned to an upright position. Marcosia was crucified with a bundle of firewood resting at her feet.
Once everything had been prepared, Maria then turned to the crowd that had gathered to watch.
“Please raise your hand if you accept the refugees.”
Between the surprise at being suddenly asked a question and the confusion of why Maria would ask something like this here, nobody raised their hands.
“Alright then, please raise your hand if you are against the refugees being here.”
And once again, nobody bothered to raise their hand.
“Fine then. Raise your hand if you are against executing this girl.”
At least this question was easy. The people who had gathered here were relieved that they wouldn’t have to raise their hands. Not opposing an execution is a world different from actively supporting it. But, a small inkling of doubt started to sprout.
“Then let us start the execution!”
Men with torches moved in, placing the open flames at Marcosia’s feet. It started off as a spark, but the fire eventually grew into a roaring blaze.
The flames grew, crawling across the pyre and licking Marcosia’s feet. Soon the flames had engulfed her entirely, and only the outline of a shadow be made out in the light.
It was then that the fence surrounding the execution suddenly fell, and a small shadow darted into the flame.
“Big sis Marcosia, I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
It was the little rabbit girl Ravi, and she had jumped head first straight into the flames. Her desperate cries served as a signal, and an overwhelming feeling of guilt suddenly overtook the citizens and refugees, but it was too late.
The demon had already been burned alive along with the girl she had saved.