The Annihilation of Little Stone Village
- TL: AmeryEdge
- ED: JSmith, LtBeefy
The flames on the bronze candles were the sizes of small beans, and they flickered brightly inside the altar hall.
An old man wearing a white robe lined with golden stitches stood next to the corpse of Father York. If there was someone knowledgeable here, they would be able to recognise that only archbishops extremely high up in the Light God Church hierarchy were allowed to wear such a robe.
Sethman quietly observed the body lying on the ground. Oh, that’s not right. His eyes indicates that he was not paying any attention to the dead person.
Instead, he was busy thinking about how long it had been since he had been scolded.
Sethman was born from an aristocratic family. When he was young, he was sent to the monastery to be trained. At that time, the monastery teachers taught very strictly, and being beaten and scolded was very normal. Later on after he had acquired some achievements in studying, and depending on the influence and power of his family, his position in the Light God Federation rose day by day. Finally after years of efforts, he had grown from an ordinary cleric to an archbishop.
It could be said that ever since he had become a cleric till now, nobody had chided him to his face.
But today, a bunch of farmers and peasants pointed at his face and cursed endlessly.
This was supposed to be an ordinary cleric inspection. When he got off the carriage at the gate in front of the village, everything was still normal. He thought, once these ignorant farmers saw his visage, their eyes would be filled with awe and worship. These eyes, and this kind of situation, these were the things he was used to. At that time, all he needed to do was walk out and speak a few gentle words to them, and then those farmers would become incomparably grateful and respectful towards him.
But then, he suddenly witnessed a large crowd rushing towards him, some not even wearing shoes. Oh, what a bunch of devoted worshippers. He had thought at that time, before he stepped out and spoke solemnly said, “Devout believers, welcome. On behalf of the Light God Federation, I am here to extend kind regards to you.”
“Kind regards your mother!”
His face was spat on, followed by a dozen fingers pointed at him accompanied by curses. While he was being cursed at, there were even some shoes flung at him… Only now did he understand why there was people walking barefoot.
“Sir, this is the murder weapon that killed York.” Bernie held a small crossbow as he reported to Sethman.
Sethman looked at the crossbow with surprise. The material was ordinary, seemingly made from normal wood. The handiwork was terrible, and even more important the tip of the bow was carved unevenly. This thing resembled much more to a children’s toy then a weapon.
“Did you find anything else?”
Bernie replied, “Based on York’s body temperature, he had died around 10 hours ago. The location of the death was at the confessional booth. The assassin must have pretended to be a believer and used the close distance to murder him.”
“Is that it?” This wasn’t what Sethman wanted to hear. He didn’t care about how that idiot got himself killed, he only wanted the identity of the murderer. Pretending to be a believer, holding a crossbow, using the close distance to kill. None of these things explained anything.
Bernie said after some delay, “A fellow brother has discovered a small trace at the back of the chapel. Underneath York’s window was a small gap left behind by someone. If it was by the assassin, then this was done by a professional.”
If the method was professional, then it could only be done by a reward collecting assassin.
Sethman squawked at him with ridicule, “Professional? Are you saying there’s a professional assassin who was willing to go to such a faraway place to use a toy to kill an ordinary cleric? He must be crazy. Or are you saying he just killed for fun while passing by?”
Bernie also knew there was something not right, but there was nothing else he could do but said, “Then we can start from the crossbow and arrows, and compare it with the hunters from the surrounding area.”
Sethman’s voice grew ever sharper, “Oh? A hunter from a small village killed someone, and now a Squad of Light God Knights did not end up finding any useful clues. Are you saying our Light God Knights are useless?”
There would be something off if it was said to be done by a hunter. In Little Stone village, villagers all made their living by farming. Even though at the south there was a small forest, if there was a hunter, it would be common farmers who happened to catch some chicken or rabbits, not professional hunters.
Bernie shut his mouth.
After ridiculing Bernie twice, Sethman also fell into deep thought. Light God Knights were of course not garbage. In reality, their combat ability were higher than that of a normal kingdom’s knights. If they couldn’t find any useful clues, then the only conclusion would be that the perpetrator was a professional. Bernie’s guesses actually did not have any problem, but why would professional assassin care about this? One must know, killing such a lowly person like York would only net them less than a gold in reward. Could it really be a passing by killing?
No matter what, Sethman did not imagine that the hypothetical professional assassin they thought about was currently standing at the small forest not far from them.
Needless to say, killing people and killing chickens were totally different.
Even though before he committed the act, Tang En had repeated to himself about how the other party was an evil person who deserved to die, and he was only acting on behalf of the heavens, but after he saw that Father York truly die in front of him, he could not help but panic.
After he struggled to take care of the crime scene and waited for the farmers to come, he quickly ran off from the back yard towards the forest, and then threw up continuously.
Inside the hall, Sethman who was quiet suddenly spoke, “The time of York’s death was before the time we heard the bell, correct?”
“Don’t you think this is too coincidental?”
Bernie stirred, “You are saying…”
Sethman seemed like he had suddenly realised something. He smiled and said, “Our schedule was fairly stable, a careful person would be able to find out easily. Our travelling speed is also slow. But only when we were close to the village did the bell ring.”
“Sir, do you think they killed York intentionally in front of us?”
“Not just that.” Sethman coldly spoke, “Not only did this idiot York die, his actions were also revealed, tarnishing our Federation reputation. The people in this village have also stopped believing in the Light God. What’s more, if these emotional villagers go outside and spread this…”
“That is indeed a terrifying thought. What a disaster.”
Sethman spoke, “Exactly. This disaster will become a stain against us. No matter what, I am the one overseeing the cleric inspection this time, and even more damning, it was discovered in our vicinity!”
“Isn’t this all a ploy to tarnish your name sir? Dammit, who did this?” Bernie completely understood Sethman’s thinking. He couldn’t help but quietly think that people in high positions were not so simple. What was more, if that was true, then the professional method could be explained. If this was planned by somebody, they would use a professional to avoid leaving any traces.
“Right now, it’s not important who planned this. The most crucial thing is how we will solve this.”
Bernie was also clever, and he quickly said, “Should we announce that the real York had already died a long time ago, and this is someone from the evil Savage Cult impersonating as him?”
Savage Cult was the Northern Desolate Tribe’s religion, and the sworn enemy of the Light Temple. When the believers from both sides meet, one side must die.
Sethman did not disapprove, “That idea is not bad, but doing that would be quite difficult. Even though the farmers are ignorant, they are not stupid.”
“Then we should use the Soul God Magic to seal their memories.”
“That will lead to future troubles. If there is sealing magic then of course there is revealing magic. At that time things will not end well.”
Bernie became helpless. He asked, “This subordinate is ignorant, and cannot come up with any good solution.”
Sethman smiled, “Think slowly, eventually you will find something good. Sometimes, we need to change our way of thinking. If we are trying to find the culprit of the murder, then we must think deeper in that direction.”
Think deeper? Think deeper… Bernie looked at Sethman’s smile, and suddenly shuddered. Could it be…?
Seeing Bernie’s face changing nonstop, Sethman raised his eyebrow and smile, “Oh, seems like you thought of a solution. When I was choosing you to be the Leader of the Knight Squad, it was all due to your brains. Tell me your idea.”
Bernie stuttered, “Should we… all… the… the villagers…”
“What should we do with them?”
Looking at Sethman’s deep eyes, Bernie gritted his teeth, “Kill them all!”
Hoh… Finished speaking, Bernie suddenly felt a strange relieved sensation. This sensation was the same one he had felt when he was little. In order to prove his manliness, he had casually killed an old dog.
Sethman did not say anything. He only clasped Bernie’s shoulder and smiled brighter.
Bernie bowed in thanks.
“Sir, all the villagers have been gathered at the gate of the chapel. Please appease them in our stead.” A Light God Knight reported on the situation.
The cursing from outside the door grew louder and louder, deafening and numbing.
Bernie gave out the order, “Defend the door, and do not let them inside. First try to calm them down. Let them know that we have found a clue, and in a few hours we will announced our findings.”
“Furthermore, after you are done, gather everyone to the back of the chapel.”
“Yes sir!” The knight received the order.
“Sir, did I…”
“You did well.” Sethman said while smiling, “The Paladin Hall have been needing some new blood, and I still have a recommendation left. Wait until after this is all over, you should give applying a try.”
Bernie became ecstatic, “Thank you sir for your consideration.”
Paladins were the highest order of Knights in the Light God Church. No matter if it was status or strength, this force was the backbone of the Church. All of these knights came from the Paladin Hall. So long as one passed the qualification training, they could become a Paladin.
“This is something you have earnt.” Immediately, Sethman took out a crystal flowing a deep white light and gave it to Bernie and said, “Find a good place to throw it.”
“Divine Punishment Crystal!” Bernie said full of fear.
Sethman looked at the crystal with some regret, “That’s right, this is the Divine Punishment Crystal. This was the only one I have gotten over the years, but unfortunately…”
“Sir, you, you want to use this to destroy the village?”
“This is the only way to not leave any trace. What’s more, shut the mouth of the knights in your squad and make sure they forget about this matter. If not, you will run into trouble later on.”
“Yes, Bernie will always be loyal to you sir.”
Five hours later, the sky has turned completely dark.
A white light suddenly fell from the sky, directly hitting the chapel.
Like a spark thrown into a pile of gunpowder, the chapel suddenly released a blinding light, the air spun wildly, and it directly consumed the entire village.
To the south, next to the forest, Bernie felt a powerful wind flowing past his face, but he still stared at the scene in front of him intently.
Sethman frowned, “My carriage. Damnit, don’t let me find out who was behind all this, if I find him I will definitely execute him.”
Sethman’s extravagant carriage was parked in front of the chapel. To avoid being found out, they could only leave it there to be destroyed along with Little Stone village.
Bernie’s heart grew chilly. More than 200 lives were lost, but in Sethman’s eyes none of it could be compared to a carriage.
The light came quickly, and was also gone quickly. In a moment, the scene had turned silent. Now, there was not a trace of Little Stone village left. This has turned into an area of scorched earth.
Sethman spoke, “Put up a Holy Spirit Monument. In addition, send someone to report to the Knight of this fiefdom sxto explain the situation… You don’t need me to teach you what to say, do I?”
“Yes sir! Please do not worry!”