For Whom Was The Bell Rung?
- TL: AmeryEdge
- ED: LtBeefy, Rainbowdash, JSmith
At dusk, there was a knock at the front door of the Little Stone Village chapel.
Seconds later, Father York who was wearing a black robe opened the door and stepped out. A man wearing a thick dark overall appeared, his face obscured by a large brimmed hat. Father York had seen many wearing similar clothing before. They were often people who had come to ask for God’s forgiveness and did not want others to recognise them.
When the man spoke, the content was exactly as Father York had anticipated.
“Father, I’m sorry to disturb you so late at night. The sins in my heart would not stop tormenting me, thus I could only find you to confess.”
“Ha ha, no problem. The Light God will always welcome you here, and so will his servants.” said Father York gently while opening the door.
The man nodded, and he prayed in thanks. He then reached out to lower his hat further and walked inside the chapel.
“Okay, you may begin.” Once inside the confession booth, Father York spoke.
This so-called confessional booth was actually very similar to a carriage. In front of the booth was a window that allowed people to communicate to the outside area, with only a black piece of cloth separating the two. This was also to help keep the anonymity of believers.
“Father, I am guilty!”
“Everybody in this world is guilty. As long as you wholeheartedly confess, God will forgive you.”
These bland cliché lines were mechanically spoken by Father York, who had probably said it dozens of times everyday. But he couldn’t seem to concentrate, because he was still too busy thinking about the noise he had previously heard in the dungeon. Could it be that he had misheard? Or could it be just some noise a rat made?
“Well… does that mean that even you have sinned, father?”
“Ah, of course. Everyday I repent about the fact that I am not better able to spread the graciousness of God to everybody.” Father York answered full of sincerity.
The breath of the man inside grew heavy… What? Are you ashamed by difference or something? Father York quietly thought.
“But right now I want to commit a crime, and I cannot stop myself.”
“Then you must sincerely beg for forgiveness, beg the gods to grant you the strength to control yourself.”
The man inside asked, “But I want to know, if I really commit this crime, would God forgive me?”
“If you repent with all your heart, God will definitely forgive you.”
“Phew… Praise God!” The man suddenly breathe in relief.
“Praise God!” Father York stood up. Finally, he could finally get rid of this confusing so-called sinner. He was deciding whether or not to go rest or continue the “entertainment” session he was having earlier. Hm, let’s go teach those little girls another lesson, that feeling… it was incomparably wonderful.
“What?” Father York’s mind was still deep in his fantasy as he automatically answered.
“Thank you for the bread.”
The dark coat on the man who had come to confess moved slightly, revealing a loaded crossbow. Right after that, the bolts were fired, and they were heading towards…
Phoosh, Phoosh, Phoosh!
The black cloth covering the confession booth was quickly pierced with several holes, following which the sounds of wood cracking and breaking resounds.
“Hoh… Hoh… Hoh…”
As soon as the sound of the arrows ended, the man in the black coat began to breath heavily, as if he was out of breathe. Lifting up the brim of the hat, he wiped the sweat on his forehead. This was of course Tang En.
Tang En held his crossbow as he opened the door of the confessional booth. Father York’s two eyes were still wide open, with blood streaming down his body. The killing arrow lied at his heart, covered by both of his hands. That wound had taken his life.
“My sins, God may forgive. Yours however, I don’t know if your “Boss” will forgive…”
Three thousand meters to the East of Little Stone Village.
A squad of knights fully covered in holy armor marched forward slowly. The reason their speed was slow was not because they had weak horses, on the contrary, their horses were pure bred, exceptionally strong and solid. The reason for their current pace was the extravagant carriage at the center of their formation.
The small window of the horse carriage suddenly opened, revealing an ancient face full of wrinkles but still brimming with intelligence. The knights stationed nearby hastily approached the carriage.
“Bernie, how long until we get there?”
The knight did not dare to slack. He respectfully replied, “Sethman sir, we are about an hour away from the Little Stone Village chapel.”
“Hm, this damned road. I hope it won’t break my carriage.”
Bernie quickly inspected the carriage and yelled out, “Don’t worry sir, your carriage is not damaged at all.” Dammit, with this kind of speed, if it was damaged in any way that could only be the works of ghosts.
“Good!” Sethman sighed in relief inside the carriage and continued, “Tell me a little about the chapel at Little Stone village.”
“Yes sir!” The knight named Bernie seemed to had already gathered a lot of information. He quickly spoke, “Little Stone Village chapel, around a thousand in believers. The manager is York, a low-level cleric. His area of responsibility includes the small village, its farm and the surrounding four farms. These five farms all belong to the local Knight’s fiefdom.”
“Five farms, a thousand believers… Un, this York is a definitely a talented individual!”
Bernie nodded in agreement, he continued, “Last month, York had sent a request letter for a promotion, right now he is currently being inspected. Sir, should we…”
“Let’s go see him first. If he’s someone with a brain, then we will promote him. Bernie, when we are at the village wake me up, I want to grab some sleep. Ah, I’m already so old, this body also isn’t very good anymore.”
Bernie quickly replied, “I understand. You have already been through a long journey, please take care of yourself.” You’re old? Last night you were still playing around with the two nuns…
Sethman of course did not hear the silent curses inside Bernie’s mind. He nodded approvingly and shut the carriage window. Suddenly.
Bong, bong, bong…
“Huh? This is the church bell.” Sethman was dumbfounded.
This place was south of the Kingdom, so there was no need to equip it with an alarm bell like the ones at the northern frontlines. The ringing of bells at this place was without a doubt the bells of a church.
“That’s right. Based on the direction of the sound, it came from Little Stone Village.”
Sethman became furious, “Is this York screwing around? Why is he ringing the bells at this hour?”
The bell of the church was not something that can be rung without reason. Only during the weekly prayer or big celebrations, or when God descends will the bell be rung.
Bernie could only throw his hand in the air. He really didn’t know what was going on.
“Speed up. Let’s go see what’s going on!”
Like the Sethman group, the villagers in Little Stone village were all looking towards the chapel full of surprise.
The majority of them were believers, so of course they knew the meaning of the chapel’s bell ringing. But they had never heard the church bell ringing at this time.
Bong, bong, bong…
The bell continuously rang without pause.
The villagers looked at each other, then put down whatever they were doing and headed to the chapel.
The Little Stone village was not that large, and the farms were also not too far away. Dozens of steps later, they were at the church.
Then, the bell suddenly stopped.
“Father York! Father York!”
The first person who ran towards the chapel was a peasant woman. She shouted while knocking on the door, but before she could even get pass two calls, the big door slowly opened.
The first thing that she noticed was the bell inside the main hall, but besides that there was not another soul.
“Who’s pranking us?”
“Father York…” She called out once more, and headed to the altar in the main hall. Everybody here knew that Father York was behind the altar.
The door to altar hall was also not locked. With a light pushed, it opened.
“Huh, Father York, why are you sitting on the floor?” Right now, the sky had long turned dark, and the hall was also pitch black. However, the woman could still make out the figure of someone leaning over, their back leaning against a podium, facing the door.
The figure did not reply, seemingly like they were focused on something on the ground.
The woman did not suspect anything unusual. She walked forward, planning to talk to Father York….
A bloodcurdling scream sounded out, causing the villagers who had come to the chapel to be startled.
Inside the altar, the peasant woman had already fallen over, her finger shaking as she pointed ahead, “Yo… Father York… dea… he’s dead…”
“What” Everyone’s expression changed as they looked inside in horror.
In a moment, the oil lamp inside the room was lit.
Father York wore a black robe, his back leaning against the podium, blood streaming from several holes on his chest. The Light God symbol he wore on his chest was painted red, while the blood formed a large puddle on the ground.
“Oh God, how did it come to this!? Hu hu…”
“Who did this? I will kill him immediately!”
“Huh, there’s something on the ground, almost like written words.”
Seeing Father York dying so tragically, all the villagers became enraged. One must say, Father York’s performance in Little Stone village was exceptional. He had completely succeeded in creating goodwill between him and the villagers, as well as projecting a kind figure. Today, such a good person was killed so viciously, who wouldn’t be angry?
Everybody was currently drowned in anger, and they cursed the murderer endlessly. Suddenly, some people noticed the bloodstained writing from father York’s hand.
“Huh, is that a key?”
“Are those the words the murderer has left behind?”
“Can anybody read? Read it aloud.” Several villagers quickly called out.
“Out of the way, I’m coming through.” A farmer with a long beard headed inside. He spoke, “Un, it says the truth lies at the back of the hall.”
“The back of the hall? That’s Father York’s sleeping quarters…”
“Could it be that the murderer is still here?”
“Let’s go, leave some people here to watch over Father York, the rest let’s come and catch the culprit.”
Everybody took up anything that could become a weapon and headed to Father York’s room.
When they pushed their way inside, they were greeted with an empty room. However, the bookshelf was already pushed out of the way, revealing a hidden staircase under the floor.
Ah, why would there be a hidden staircase underneath Father York’s room?
The villagers looked at each other with suspicion in their eyes. Finally there was some brave people who went down, and they ended up discovering the two little girl who had been tortured relentlessly.
“Hey, old John, isn’t this your granddaughter? Didn’t Father York send her to the convent to be trained?”
“And this, isn’t this Mary from the nearby village? Several days ago, I even met her parents.”
“That’s right, but didn’t she get recommended to the Federation by Father York? Why is she here?”
The two girls were stunned by the sudden appearance of so many people. After calming down, they began to cry loudly as they talked about the things they had suffered.
When everybody returned to the altar and saw Father York’s corpse, their expressions were complex.
The two girls wanted to see his dead body for themselves, but were stopped by everybody. They could only lean on the peasant woman’s chest and cry ceaselessly. The two were tortured by York for so long, currently their fear and joy were intertwined. After crying for awhile more, they passed out.
All of a sudden, the altar became quiet.
The villagers had never imagined that the happy and kind Father York that always helped others they knew about was secretly such a despicable villain. What was more, Father York was a servant of the Light God, who often preached and convinced everyone to believe in the same sacred being. Right now, all their beliefs were collapsing, and they did not know what to say.
At this time, a man walked out from inside the crowd. Everybody in the village all knew each other, and they recognised that this was John. After listening to his own daughter cry from inside the underground dungeon, he still remained quiet.
Old John stood in front of Father York’s body, his eyes staring at it intently. Then, he spat a thick glob a blood on York’s face. As everybody shouted out in alarm, he fell over.
Everything became chaotic. Luckily some people had noticed something off about him early and caught his body in time.
Right then, a flurry of rapid footsteps resounds, and a young man from the village rejoiced, “Inspector Envoy Sethman has come to our village, quick, everybody, let’s go greet them…” Seeing everyone looking at him strangely, his voice grew weaker and weaker, and then finally he stopped.
“What kind of situation is this…”