Spying on Father York
- TL: AmeryEdge
- ED: Azusky, Rainbowdash
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Bong, bong, bong …
The next morning, Tang En woke to the loud sound of bells.
“What is that ringing? Seems like it’s coming from Little Stone village.”
Tang En shook himself awake and left the wooden house. Looking towards Little Stone village, he saw a layer of smog shrouding the entire area due to chimney smoke.
In contrast to the confused Tang En, Little Stone villagers were familiar with the weekly ringing of the bells. They all knew that this was the summoning signal for all believers to attend prayers. All believers from the surrounding farms had already made their way to the church since early hours.
Little Stone villagers flooded their way out past the gate. Right now, even the laziest person of the village was heading towards the church.
Gradually, there were more and more people concentrated there. Luckily there was a small patch of land right in front of the church. If not, this tiny chapel would have already collapsed.
After nine rings of the bell, Father York stepped out while wearing a flat black robe.
“The compassionate Light God gaze down upon us, devout believers and everyone alike on this fine morning. Today is the time of the week for prayers, and I am overjoyed that you all could be here to take part.”
“Before the prayer ceremony starts, I would like to make an announcement. Simply put, during noon, a Light God Church’s All-Encompassing Patrol Inspector Envoy will be coming to our chapel, bringing with him kind greetings from the Light God Federation.”
The moment Father York finished speaking, the crowd went into an uproar. Every single one of their faces were filled with joy and excitement. The Light God Federation were the ones closest to God, and a Light God Federation Envoy was practically a walking deity to them.
Having finished his announcement, Father York began the prayer ceremony.
Tang En hid inside the sea of people and observed Father York’s every move. His bearing was peaceful, his face kind, and there was not a single point of irregularity. Tang En really had a hard time believing Father York was truly a bad person.
The entire prayer went on for some time, and if it was like usual, most believers would gradually leave at the end of the prayer. Only a few devoted ones would stay and discuss with Father York about the scripture. But today, because of the important person’s upcoming arrival, the majority of the believers were still crowding around the chapel.
Tang En seized this opportunity to stroll around the inner hall of the church. In reality, Little Stone Village’s chapel was quite small. Walking around, the first thing he noticed was a large bell. Behind the bell was the altar. In front of the altar were two long rows of seats, and in the corner lies the confessional booth. Father York was currently sitting inside the booth, attentively talking to believers who were repenting or having doubts.
Behind the altar was the resident of Father York. Tang En silently snuck past the confessional booth and inspected the living quarters, however he still couldn’t find anything of note. The room was furnished with a simple bed and table along with a bookshelf full of religious scripts. Before leaving, Tang En left a small hidden gap underneath the window that would allow him to get back inside later on.
Since his search ended up fruitless, Tang En returned to the corner of the Bishop Hall and silently watched over Father York.
Throughout the morning, Father York remained inside the confessional booth, intently solving all the confusions that believers were having.
It was not until noon when Father York came out.
Currently, Father York’s expression was slightly embarrassed, because the so-called All-Encompassing Patrol Inspector still had not come. After waiting for another hour, Father York made an announcement that the Inspector Envoy was probably resting at the nearby Black Rock City for another day. He urged everyone to return home and wait for his second announcement.
The mass of believers who had waited until they were starving could only pack up and disgruntledly head home. Very quickly, the bustling hall of the chapel emptied.
Father York and the few remaining devoted believers cleaned up the surroundings of the chapel. No matter what, since so many people had come, there was naturally dirt and trash lying about.
Seeing that it would take awhile before they would be finished wrapping up, Tang En headed outside to where the old farmer was having his lunch. The old farmer was also present during the entire prayer ceremony, so there was no time to cook anything fancy, there wasn’t even any smoked rabbit meat. He only gathered some simple food and ate it to pass the time. While eating, he regretfully lamented about the Envoy who did not come.
After he finished lunch, Tang En returned to the chapel’s altar. Right now, everybody had left and Father York was having an afternoon nap.
Tang En snuck towards the hidden entrance he had previously left beneath the windows. He softly parted the small gap and peek inside. Seeing that Father York was sleeping, he climbed out of the window and did a few more laps around the chapel. Finally, he ended up atop of the altar’s beams. When he came here this morning, he immediately took note of this location. From here, not only could he observe the entire hall, he could also keep an eye on the outside surroundings. It was killing two birds with one stone.
It was needless to say that ever since he had crossed over, he had managed to learn various useful things from the Assassin System. If it was the him from before, he would not have been able to find such a good hiding location.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, Father York left his bed. After wiping his face, he locked the main door of the chapel and headed towards the village. Soon, he resumed his usual schedule of visiting the lonely elders in the village and preached the gospel to them.
As Tang En trailed him, he saw the satisfied smiles on the elderly farmer’s faces and heard the occasional laughter that rang out from afar. Tang En began to really feel that his spying was a despicable act.
Maybe because he was worried that the Inspector Envoy would suddenly arrive, Father York didn’t go to the outer perimeter of the village. After two more hours the sky turned dark. Father York shook the hands of the elders and began his journey back to the church.
“Huh?” Tang En was suddenly startled.
Because as soon as Father York was out of the elderly’s sights, he quickly wrangled his hands, and his peaceful expression was immediately replaced by a hateful look, his mouth whispering something.
From Tang En’s point of view, he could to tell that he was clearly swearing based on the lip movements.
Not waiting for Tang En to process his reaction, Father York kindly greeted a peasant woman returning from work. His smile was calm and peaceful just like before, without a trace of its previous disdain.
Tang En scratched his nose. Right now he wasn’t sure if what he saw before was just an illusion.
Getting suspicious, Tang En headed towards the chapel. While hiding at the deepest corner atop the church’s beam, he watched as Father York opened the door and walked inside.
Right now, Father York’s expression did not contain a trace of gentleness, and by the time he made his way to the back living quarters, his face even seemed to be fierce.
Tang En looked at the departing Father York from upon the ceiling beams. He swiftly jumped down and headed directly to the back.
Father York’s room was still lit up brightly, but the strangely enough, Tang En could not see any shadow or movement from outside the window! There was not even a sound.
Tang En clenched his teeth and risked sneaking a peek through the hidden gap.
The room was completely empty. Tang En was dumbfounded. Even though it was fairly dark, he could swear that Father York had entered this room without a doubt.
Tang En directly opened the window and entered the room.
The inside of the room remained exactly as it was in the morning, without any difference.
Could there be a hidden door? This was Tang En’s first thought, and also the most likely possibility.
When these kinds of buildings contained a hidden door, it usually lead underground. Tang En bent down to inspect the floor. When he reached the bookshelf, he discovered traces of something being moved. What’s more, the base of the bookshelf was not connected directly to the ground, but was instead protected by a layer of steel.
Tang En stood beside the bookshelf, put some strength into his arms and pushed. The entire bookshelf immediately moved, revealing stairs leading downwards. Now, Tang En was convinced that Father York was not a simple character. No normal person would build a hidden chamber underneath their bookshelves.
Tang En headed down the spiral staircase. After several dozens steps, he could vaguely detect the sound of insane laughter as well as miserable cries. These two kinds of sounds intermixed inside the narrow corridors, creating a solemn atmosphere.
At the end of the stairs was a corridor, and the further he walked the clearer the laughter and crying sounds grew. Tang En saw a bright white light coming from around the corner. The sound was coming from this place.
As Tang En calmed his mind, he hugged the corner closely and carefully looked around it little by little.
There was a moderately large space inside, its walls lit brightly by torches.
In the middle of the space was a large steel pillar, and on the pillar was wrapped several black chains, the two ends of the chains connected to the body of two young girls in tattered clothing.
Right now, Father York did not seem a tiny bit peaceful. His face was consumed by a gruesome and fierce expression. He took off his black robe and curled up the white uniform, turning it into a whip and lashed it at the young girls’ bodies while laughing hysterically.
“Pray to me, beg to me… ha ha..”
“I beg you… Please don’t hit, Ah… Please don’t hit…”
“No hitting? Hmm, then do you remember what I told both of you last night?”
“Ah! We Remember! We must devote ourselves to serving… serving the Inspector Envoy.”
“Hmm… Your memories aren’t too bad Mary. In order to reward you, here are a few whips… Ha ha ha ha…”
“Please no… AH! Ah ah…”
“Struggling? Use all your energy to struggle, ha ha ha…”
This fucker! Tang En couldn’t believe that he thought that Father York was a good person. Looking at this scene, Tang En wanted to immediately rush out.
“Ha ha, don’t worry, I won’t let any permanent scar remain on your soft, supple skin.” York laughed loudly while he made a seal in midair. Two bright halos shined down on the two young girls’ bodies. One could see the whip marks on their bodies quickly disappearing inside the light.
“Look, isn’t everything fine now? Let us start anew…”
“No, please don’t… Don’t hit…” The two young girls seemed to be on the verge of collapsing. Healing magic could only treat flesh wounds, it did not lessen the mental damage they had suffered.
The two halos of lights woke Tang En out of his stupor. This place was too well lit, without a single obstacle or hiding spot. Frankly, his chance of success was low.
If he dashed out right now, he would not be a match for Father York at all. If he failed, it wouldn’t matter, but if these two young girls lost any hope of rescue, they might have a mental breakdown.
Tang En was currently regretting endlessly that he did not learn any killing techniques from the Housekeeper, instead he learnt how to hunt with a crossbow…
Oh? Tang En’s mind spun, as a thought suddenly appeared in his head.
Tang En looked at the two young girls and gritted his teeth. He turned around and ran towards the stairs. At the edge of the steps, Tang En deliberately made a small commotion, and then immediately rushed upwards.
A clear voice rang out in the dark, but Tang En ignored it and kept running. When outside, he quickly returned the bookshelf to its original place. Making sure that he had left no traces, Tang En leapt out of the window.
Leaving Father York’s room, Tang En ran straight back to his forest cabin. From the chapel, the southern forest near Little Stone Village was only a ten minute trip away.