Chapter 88.3 – Protagonist: Do you believe me?
The Archon’s men looked at two Inspectors and, seeing that they had finished speaking, one of the mages went to Xiu to ask for instruction.
“My lord, should we go back or move on?”
Since the spell for collecting light elements couldn’t be used in the same area after such a short time, Xiu glanced at the town that Eric had saved and ordered the soldiers to move to the next place. Eric continued to follow them and after each completed levy, he used his own feather of light to drive away the darkness. Du Ze felt that Xiu’s mood was getting worse and worse. Eric could not prevent Xiu’s actions but neither could Xiu prevent Eric from acting against him. Eric’s actions not only annoyed Xiu, they also hindered his plan. As a result of Eric saving the civilians, the people who hated heaven’s representatives became grateful to them, especially Eric.
The soldiers in front of him were suddenly fighting and the whole group were forced to come to a halt. Du Ze smelled the iron tang of blood. He saw two soldiers carrying a mage come running over to them. The mage’s throat was pierced by an arrow; apparently he was shot and died.
“My lord, we can’t advance.” The surviving mage’s face was pale. “In front of us is a gang of criminals’ hideout!”
Xiu’s mood was not good. He looked at the town that was built on a mountainside. It had towers, a fortified wall, and a team of fighters protecting it.
“Don’t bother to expel the residents, just levy the light elements immediately.”
“But …” The mage didn’t know why he was finding it difficult to speak but after a long pause he finally thought of a reason to protest: “But they will resist …”
A huge gray magic circle was unfolding in the sky. Xiu stared at the mage: “Is there a problem?”
Being stared at by those crimson eyes made the mage almost run to execute Xiu’s command. The soldiers stayed out of the archers’ range and sprinkled the powder at the edges of the town. The sentry at the checkpoint was still frozen in shock because of the sudden appearance of a massive magic circle in the sky. When he saw the soldiers on the other side beginning to surround their town with powder, he immediately sounded the alarm. Du Ze saw the gate open and a group of bandits run towards the soldiers, but they had only run a few paces when they were struck by the gray light and instantly disappeared, leaving nothing behind.
It seemed that the other bandits, seeing that the first group died so fast, didn’t know what to do at first. Another group of criminals ran out from the gate and were likewise quickly eliminated by the gray light. Next, whoever ran out from the gate, whether it was an ordinary unarmed person or a fighter, all of them were swallowed up by the gray magic circle in the sky. Pretty soon, no one dared to leave the town anymore and the gate was tightly shut after several people sacrificed their lives.
After the powder had been sprinkled in a circle, the mage began to chant the spell. Because of the death of the other mage, the remaining mage found it a bit difficult to cast the spell. As soon as the light was collected, darkness poured down into the town like water. A few screams of horror came from the town as the darkness streamed into the houses, but no one opened the gates again. The bandits seemed to prefer to die at home rather than die outside in the wilderness. The sounds and movements from the town started to grow more intense. Du Ze could imagine what was happening in town: as the darkness flooded in, the people in town tried to flee but the spaces that were still safe became smaller and smaller and more and more crowded. They could only watch as the darkness surrounding them came closer and closer.
Xiu suddenly spoke: “Oh? Why do you not save them this time?” Eric seemed surprised that Xiu would suddenly talk to him and was temporarily speechless. Xiu pointed to the town from which they heard people screaming. He seemed to seriously suggest: “Why don’t you go and save them just like you did before?”
Because of Xiu’s words, all eyes went to Eric. Du Ze looked at Eric’s feathers. Including the previous town, they had passed three towns so Eric now has three and a half feathers. If Eric is willing, he can still take out a feather to disperse the darkness in the town to save that group of bandits.
Seeing that Eric had no intention of acting, Xiu was not surprised and laughed. “You won’t save them because they are just a bunch of bandits.”
Clearly it was a statement, not a question, but it made Eric feel unhappy so he replied: “They choose to be sinners and should be punished accordingly.”
“You must have grown up in the Temple of Light.” Xiu grinned. “Those people must have taught you this: the world has only absolute ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Civilians are ‘good’ and the Temple is ‘good’ so they should be protected; bandits are ‘bad’ and heresy is ‘bad’, so they are all evil and should be punished.”
Eric wanted to refute this but he didn’t know what to say. Although Xiu’s words were too extreme, he couldn’t deny that his words were true. Eric, who was chosen to be the son of god, grew up in the Temple of Light. He was inspired by the scriptures of the Temple, his mentor is the pope, and he has always thought that bandits who prey on people should be punished. What’s wrong with that?
“You, come closer.” Xiu suddenly called a soldier. He pointed at the now quiet town and asked: “How long have those people been entrenched here?”
“To reply to my lord, they started occupying the city after the last governor left. The Archon sent soldiers to expel them but they were unable to do so.”
“Why? They are not very strong.”
“The civilians defended them.” The soldier paused and then said: “And because of the rebellion.”
Eric looked at the soldier in amazement. He seemed unable to understand the situation. Xiu’s face was calm as the soldier continued to explain.
“Those ruthless bandits often attack us, either preventing us from collecting light elements or stealing back the light that we collected. A lot of people joined them and even the Archon’s son is with them, so he didn’t have the heart to exterminate them or report the bandits to the lord governor.”
“Preying on others, breaking into people’s houses to rob them …” When Xiu spoke his voice wasn’t slow, but every word seemed to stab Eric in the heart. “You’re right, they’re a bunch of criminals who should be punished.”
Eric stared blankly at nothing for a long time. His faith that had been solid as a rock suddenly developed a crack. Although the crack wasn’t very big, it spread out like a cobweb. He saw his shadow in Xiu’s eyes; it was painted with scarlet blood from head to toe.
“You are no different from those heavenly angels.” That person said: “How arrogant you are to judge whether people are good or evil.”
The author has something to say:
Protagonist: Do you believe me?
Reader (swiftly replied): No, I don’t believe you.
Reader: He said, “Tonight, let me in.” Who would believe that?!
Protagonist (smiling): I’ll make you believe.