Section 9: The Two who Never Learn
“I would like to ask you to perform an inspection of a certain set of ruins.”
Hearing Aronda-san’s words, Carol had a larger reaction than Rose-san. To be precise, her tail was wagging so ferociously it was kicking up a breeze I could feel.
“Yes, as I’m sure Iris-chan already knows, at one time this town prospered from the gems that were mined here.”
“Ah, Iris mentioned something like that before we arrived in this town. You mined them from the mountain St. Noglint right? At least until a couple hundred years ago.”
“If you already know that much, this will go quickly. The truth is that the mine shafts dug out from St. Noglint still remain to this day and have become a set of ruins……”
As the story progressed, Aronda-san’s expression began to darken.
“Recently, rumors have started to spread about people hearing strange moans coming from those ruins at night…….”
Her voice trailed off there at the end as a shiver ran up her spine. Now that I think about it, Aronda-san was never good at talking about monsters or ghosts. She had the same face now as she did whenever she would scold a child who had gotten caught performing a test of courage in the graveyard behind the church during the summer festival.
I know that because I was one of those children. I was young at the time. On my way there I invited my friend Mycena to come with me, and she followed me without hesitation. If it was now though I’d definitely be unable to hang around a graveyard at night. So I understand Aronda-san’s feelings quite well.
“If there’s moaning at night, that probably means something’s settled there. A wolf or a bear. If it’s a sub-human, then it’s a goblin in all likelihood.”
“No, although I’m scared to say it, isn’t it more likely that an undead has sprung up?”
A small pensive look crossed Saluena’s face as she said so. But when I saw Aronda-san’s reaction, the thought of some undead was the first thing that came to my mind.
“No, it’s not a cemetery, and you wouldn’t normally get undead inside a tunnel. Moreover you said there was some moaning, so it’d have to be a new undead rather than a skeleton.”
But the active adventurer Toslin had a different opinion. And Carol agreed with her.
“Even if the undead was a victim of an accident before the mine was closed, that was hundreds of years ago, so all the flesh and meat would have already rotted off.”
“Uu…….so Toslin and Carol really have seen stuff like that…….”
“Of course. We’re adventurers after all. People hear moaning coming from a graveyard night after night. So they ask us to go check it out, and eight out of ten times the cause is going to be zombies.”
“Ahh! I don’t want to hear it!! I really don’t want to hear that word especially!!”
I cover my ears with my hands and squat down. I love adventure novels and often read them. But there is one kind of story I am weak against. Those with undead. People who live on even after having died. I still haven’t seen the real thing, but the illustrations in those books were always really~ scary. I’m certain the real things are so dreadful my heart will end up stopping as soon as I see one.
“Hee, so Iris is weak to them. Well, I figured that was probably the case anyway.”
“Well, it’s not like anybody actually likes them. I’d prefer to not have to deal with a zombie either. But if I do find one, I’ll definitely kill it!! Do you know why?”
“Because they might have some valuables on them~”
“That is correct!! Rings, wallets, and so on are some much more attractive a prize compared to killing ordinary monsters.”
For the second time our group caught the attention of the other sisters working around us as Carol started ranting and raving about the value of hunting zombies.
I wonder if we shouldn’t change locations. Nobody has come here to pray whom we could be bothering, but it would still make me feel terrible if we have to be cautioned to quiet down multiple times. But while I was thinking about how terrible that would be, the truth was that something far more terrible than what I was imagining was about to happen.
“I see, so Toslin-san and Carol-san were doing those kinds of things before we met each other.”
Toslin’s face turned a ghastly pale. Seeing her reaction, Carol’s face turned a deep shade of blue as reality hit her a second later. Her tail which had been furiously waving behind her until now suddenly became as still as death.
“……..that, I can already imagine but……..is it going to happen again? My butt…..are you going to spank us again?”
“No of course not. There is no need for such a thing.”
Rose-san shook her head while showing a soft smile. Seeing that Carol and especially Toslin looked relieved.
“Haa, thank goodness……. Getting punished like that at my age was really embarrassing.”
“I had to make do with a spank back then, but this time we are already inside a church. There should be a number of tools here I can use to help cleanse your sins.”
Rose-san grabbed Carol and Toslin by the arm. Needless to say, it was so they couldn’t run away.
“……..eh, you’re joking…….right?”
“Joking about what?”
Ah, this…….it’s definitely hopeless isn’t it? When I turned towards Saluena as a test, I saw just how disappointed she looked.
“Degrading the dead and robbing them of their possessions…….inexcusable. Such vulgar hearts are not worthy of my chivalric order. Cleanse yourselves of your sins and use this opportunity to turn your lives around.”
“The punishment room is currently vacant, so please feel free to use it as you will. In the meantime, I shall prepare the materials needed for the request.”
Just like Rose-san, Aronda-san’s smile hadn’t moved an inch. But look behind those glasses and you wouldn’t find an ounce of goodwill in her eyes.
“Punishment room, um…….Rose-san!? There’s no way you’re going to whip Toslin and Carol……..”
“Yeah, stop!! We were in the wrong!! We’ll never do it again!!”
“M-Me too!! I’m bad!! I’m reflecting!! We haven’t snuck any money like that in a long time, and we’ll never do it again!! We already turned our lives around after the last time Rose punished us!!”
“Yes, I know. Your words now are the honest truth, and you both are truly wonderful at heart. But a sin is a sin. And since you have committed one, you must be cleansed.”
Rose-san is already determined. While holding Toslin and Carol by the hand, she started dragging the two of them away with a strength I’ve never seen before.
“R-Rose-san…….um, because the two of them are already reflecting, then a severe punishment isn’t…….”
At first I thought it would be okay since it was Rose-san, but then I remembered the level of overkill she went to back in Relton village.
“Fufu♪ You are so kind Iris-san. Please rest assured, there are rules for this type of situation. We will finish up quickly, so please wait right here.”
Nearly an hour passed before I saw any of them again.
“…….Rose is a liar…….”
I could just make out part of the two’s prayers as they knelt down and prayed at a pew.