It wasn’t a simple interjection.
“The tower lord has admitted to his guilt. As a matter of fact, he did not try to conceal it at all. We can certainly anticipate a number of outcomes since it is a trial, but it seems entirely fair to allow the tower lord an opportunity to explain his position.”
Ronan was rather persuasive. The rest of the high sorcerers nodded in agreement.
“If everyone agrees…..”
Deckard also read the room this time around. He continued to carry out the trial.
“Please, my lord, explain the background for the offense that you have admitted to. Please explain how you came to teach sorcery to the princess and everything that relates to that action.”
Ian closed his eyes slowly. He had no intention of telling a lie. He would only tell parts of the whole truth. Why did he teach her? It was simple. It was so that he could protect the princess.
‘A debt owed must be paid back.’
The princess helped Ian’s family. When the dragon soldiers attacked and caused havoc, the princess along with Oliver, rescued his family. Furthermore, she took complete care of them to the end. It was a way of paying her back.
‘It was an opportunity to clear his conscience.’
At the same time, it was a form of comforting himself. As alluded earlier, Ian was on the side of strictly prohibiting unlawfully passing down sorcery, and thus training sorcerers as a result of it. His belief was still the same now. However, he went astray of his own core belief by his act. No matter what the reason was, he had abandoned all the belief system that he had? It was that regret in some form that he wanted to shed.
Ian opened his eyes. Then he began to speak.
“I knew that the princess was a sorcerer since 7 years ago. Of course at the time, I saw her by accident, so I was the only one who knew it. Since then, I had completely forgotten about it for the next 5 years.”
He omitted talking about the stone heart mushroom. It was because he had no other choice.
“Meanwhile, as I had mentioned it before when the 5th prince had attempted to assassinate the king, I had investigated the people who, after the execution of Herbert the former Ivory Tower’s tower lord, had newly risen to power around the 5th prince. The key people were Dumpil Moret, the king’s body guard, and Oburn Parker, the imperial city’s aristocrat. In the process of investigating them, I needed the princess’ identity. It was not easy to penetrate the aristocrat’s circle as a sorcerer.”
Of course, the stories relating to the Dragonians were omitted as well.
“I had used sorcery training as bait and I used sorcery training as a repayment. Specifically, the newly revealed form of breathing technique that is open to the entire Ivory Tower and a few small bits of knowhow. They were not that great of skills, but I do admit that illegal magic training did occur.”
Ian’s explanation has ended. There certainly was not even a spot of lie. Yet, it was a bit different than what had actually happened. A moment of silence pervaded the assembly room.
“I would like to ask a question to the princess, my lady.”
Deckard’s voice broke the silence. He spoke to the princess Hailey Greenriver.
“Is what the tower lord has just said all true?”
The princess certainly did not tell a lie either. She did not know that Ian chased after the heart stone mushroom, and the Dragonians. What Ian has just said was what the princess knew as the whole story.
“What exactly did you help him with?”
“It was a request for me to attend as a buyer at the secret auction that Oburn Parker, the imperial city’s aristocrat, had organized. As requested, I had attended and afterwards, I was taught the breathing technique and received a few pieces of advice.”
The high sorcerers recognized the princess’ words as being true as well. There was no other indication that they could sense from the cooperative interrogation magic that they were applying. Although Ian was there next to them, they did not consider interference as a possibility. Wasn’t it the case of fully admitting guilt?
“Alright. I will continue my questioning.”
From that point on, it just followed the original intent of the trial. Almost all the questions were directed at the princess. The princess also obliged fully with her responses. How she came to conceal the fact that she was a sorcerer and the reason behind it all. Much time has passed and finally the trial seems to be nearing an end.
“I’d like to offer the princess, my lady, the final opportunity to speak. Please speak freely should you have anything to say at this time.”
The final opportunity to speak freely… Princess Hailey surveyed the area. Kevin, the imperial palace sorcerer, looked placid. And the servant girls were shaking in fear. As if she was determined, the princess began to speak.
“…..I am guilty of violating the strictly prohibited law of the land. I am prepared to accept any form of punishment. If I was not, I wouldn’t have come forward. I do not wish for any favoritism that may be given to an aristocrat. Please pass judgment and punishment that are fully in line with the laws of the empire and the Ivory Tower. I ask only one thing…”
Hailey was speaking in a calm manner. Then she added one condition at the end.
“…Those who knew that I was a sorcerer yet kept that secret from others, Sir Kevin and the servant girls, do not bear responsibility for any wrong doings. They were only obeying my orders, coaxed by the pressure as an aristocrat. They would have lost their heads should they have not obeyed me. Please do consider all these things and only pass down punishment on me, and only on me.
Re-edited by FlawFinder May 29th 2020