Trislowa collapsed to the ground. He clutched his chest and heaved as if his lungs were injured. He couldn’t breathe properly, and bloody foam collected inside his mouth, but Zich still climbed on top of him.
“Let me see, I have to save this pitiful soul who is about to die.” Zich took out something from his clothes. “What do you think this is?”
It was a brooch meant for the Karuwiman’s Honorary Holy Knight, and of course, Trislowa knew what the item was.
“I got this for you even though I had no interest in it. Karuwimans can bless the Honorary Holy Knight in Karuna’s name. So, I brought this as a farewell on your way to the afterlife. Of course, I am going to bless you in Karuwiman’s way.”
Trislowa was Bellid’s faithful follower. Furthermore, Bellid and Karuwiman were mortal enemies, and the characteristics of these two religions were opposites of each other. Thus, giving Karuwiman’s blessing to a Bellid follower wouldn’t mean the same thing. It was more like a curse instead—a very horrible curse.
Trislowa resisted and writhed. The only thing he could do right now was to move his arms this way and that. As expected, his movements didn’t work on Zich who was in good condition.
“What are you doing? I am trying to share some good words with you. I am doing this for your sake so that you can repent right before your death.” Zich blocked Trislowa’s resistance with one hand.
“Ah, I’m also planning to hold your funeral. Bellid’s funeral includes a water burial, right? Someone attaches a huge rock to a corpse and sinks it. But from what I can tell, there’s a problem with Bellid’s funeral ceremony. It’s already sad that they died, but how can you push them into the middle of the cold, dark water too?” Zich didn’t care whether the ceremony was part of a religious doctrine or that the followers of Bellid were willing to enter the water as a result. He only wanted to torment Trislowa.
“So, I am planning to prepare your funeral in a completely different way. First, I am going to cremate your body. Then, I am going to scatter them on Mount Arut’s peak.” Mount Arut was the tallest mountain in the world. Every method that Zich stated completely contrasted the Bellid’s funeral ceremony.
“How is it? Isn’t it a good idea?”
“You…, *cough* fucking bast…ard…!” Trislowa spat out curses, but that was the limit to his actions.
“Ah, if I wait too long, you are going to die by yourself. That can’t happen. Let’s listen to some good words first. Ah, but before that...” Zich trampled on Trislowa’s arms with his knees and fixed them into position.
Then, he took out a small vase from the magic box and took out Karuwiman’s scriptures. He placed the scripture under one arm and pushed the small vase toward Trislowa’s face. “Do you know what this is?”
“This is the urn of the dead boy, his family, and all their neighbors. I thought they might want to see your death, so I brought them along.” Zich carefully placed the urn next to him. “I gave them the best spot to watch you die. So, we should continue to give them a spectacle to watch.”
Zich opened up a page of the scriptures that he had already marked. There was a line of blessings dedicated for those who were returning to Karuna’s side through death.
“It’s here.” He raised the book with one hand and pushed the Honorary Holy Knight’s brooch onto Trislowa’s face.
“Take…this off…!” Trislowa resisted more aggressively again, but Zich didn’t even twitch and continued to read the lines.
“Hence, a path of light leading to Lord Karuna will be made. Do not fear children. Karuna’s light will surround thee and lay down a path that will guide thee to the Lord’s embrace.”
“All the worries that had bound thou down will disappear.”
“May thy faithful servant follow this journey to the light.”
“Ah-hhhhh!” Trislowa wailed. As a follower of Bellid, he thought that he could die a miserable death someday. After all, the world was overflowing with people who had a grudge against the Bellids, including those who couldn’t understand the great Bellu’s beneficence and cried over a couple of deaths or their bitter enemy, the Karuwimans. But he hadn’t feared it; since he had dedicated his life for Bellu, he thought he would happily accept dying while fighting for his god.
However, Trislowa didn’t expect his death to be this miserable.
“Move away! *Cough*!” Trislowa wanted to crush his eardrums so he could stop listening to that abominable Karuna’s nonsense. However, both his arms were locked. He could close his eyes, but he couldn’t block his ears.
“May thy soul meet a punishment according to the years thou lived, and with toil befitting it, may thou gain purity akin to the one thou had at birth. Thus, do not fear and cleanse thyself of thy sins.”
“Damn…. It…*cough* Damn it…!” No matter how hard Trislowa floundered his arms, Zich continued to read the scripture.
Then Trislowa’s movements slowly began to calm down, more bloody foam collected in his mouth, and his rough breathing lessened. Not long afterward, Trislowa’s movements stilled. All Trislowa could hear was the faint ringing of Zich’s voice that seemed to mention a blessing. In his blurry vision, he saw something approach him.
‘Ah, ah.’ Trislowa was sure that Bellu was coming to greet him as he had held onto his faith even as he died a miserable death. As soon as he thought this, all the rage and sadness he felt flew out of his body.
‘I wasn’t wrong!’ That was all it took to make the pain he felt better. He could even smile at Zich now.
‘It’s a pity that I can’t see that guy’s reaction.’
That was a bit regretful, but nothing really mattered when Bellu had personally come out to meet him. Trislowa silently waited for Bellu to take him. Bellu slowly approached him, tilted his head a bit, and put his face right next to Trislowa’s.
[It’s all because of you!]
Trislowa widened his eyes. His blurry vision suddenly became clear. The image in front of him was not Bellu, but the terrifying sight of Zich’s smiling face.
“Hick!” Trislowa was so surprised. He could not even scream, and the sound was blocked from his throat. His eyes bulged out as if they were going to come out.
Trislowa’s heart stopped. It might have been because it was time for him to die or because he was surprised. However, there was only one thing he was certain of: a person whose heart stopped could no longer live.
Trislowa’s head tilted to the side. His face was completely twisted from the shock.
“Pweh!” Zich let out his breath. Then while looking at the ashes of the deceased boy and his family, he said, “Are you satisfied? I actually made a lot of effort for this revenge. So go to a nice place peacefully while looking at this.”
* * *
The battle ended. The result was a landslide victory for the Karuwimans. With this, the northern branch of Bellid was exterminated, and they were able to deal a significant blow against the Bellids. No Bellid followers survived. No one surrendered, and even if they had surrendered, the Karuwimans wouldn't have let them live. This was what usually happened when two sides from different faiths collided.
First, Weig went inside the Bellid temple and set up camp. Even though it left a very dirty feeling to set up camp inside a Bellid building, it was better than camping outside. Moreover, this temple was a trophy that the Karuwimans had earned.
Of course, they meticulously crushed all the statues of Bellu and inscriptions inside the temple. On one side of the temple, they set up a ward for those who were injured and began healing them, and on the other side, they gently laid down those who passed away in battle. After dealing with so much work, a lot of time passed.
“Hello, Sir Weig.”
Weig, who was walking around the temple with Lubella to check if they missed anything, was stopped by Snoc and Hans.
“Have you seen Sir Zich?”
“No, I have not seen him.”
“I’ve also not seen him since the battle.”
“Is that so?”
When Weig and Lubella both told them that they had not seen Zich, Hans scratched his head.
Then he turned around to Snoc. “It seems like he is going to take a long time, so let’s find a place for us to sleep.”
Seeing Hans and Snoc’s completely relaxed attitude even though Zich was nowhere to be found, Lubella asked, “…Are you not worried about him?”
Hans and Snoc blinked their eyes and stared at Lubella. She flinched as if she said something wrong.
“Ah, oh. Worry! Ah, yes!” Hans spoke as if he was finally able to realize what the word ‘worry’ meant. “Excuse me, Lady Lubella. It’s just that the word ‘worry’ doesn't fit next to Sir Zich’s name at all. It’ll be alright. It’s Sir Zich after all. I don’t know if there is a time he puts himself into serious danger, especially in a battle like this where our victory is assured. He probably went to fulfill his original goal.”
“Original goal…you mean revenge?” Weig asked this as he had a similar thought.
Hans made a subtle smile. “There is one thing I’m definitely sure of. That person probably did not die a peaceful death.”
At his words, Weig and Lubella closed their mouths. Weig and Lubella were at least a little bit concerned for Zich, so they were quite shocked by Hans’ zero concern for Zich’s safety.
‘They trust him this much. It’s really amazing.’
He must have been able to build their trust by showing them a lot of his strength and various sides of him.
“Then we are going to wait for Sir Zich.”
“…I don't think that will be necessary.” When Weig said this, Hans and Snoc turned around and stared back. People’s gazes all turned towards the same spot. Someone was quickly running towards them.
It was Zich.
In an instant, Zich was in front of them.
“You are back?”
Snoc and Hans greeted him.
Zich looked around his surroundings. “It seems like the battle’s over.”
Weig said, “Thanks to you, we were able to easily end the battle. The casualties are also less than what we expected.”
If they had to pick someone who demonstrated the best performance in this war, it would be Zich as he caused chaos internally, trapped Trislowa inside the temple, and most of all, shattered the barrier.
“But Mr. Zich, where have you been?” Curious about why he left without any explanation, Lubella asked, “Was it for revenge?”
“Yes, that was it.” Zich took out Trislowa’s corpse from his magic box and threw it on the ground.
Weig let out a groan even though Trislowa’s death was definitely a happy event. He had felt a bit disheartened when he lost Trislowa right in front of him, even while considering that Trislowa had used an extreme measure. “In the end, you were the one who caught him.”
“It’s because I knew where he would escape to. Just in case, I waited for him there.”
Zich really had an endless amount of information. Weig was very curious about where he got his information from. ‘But he probably won’t tell us,’ he thought.
“What will you do with this corpse? If it’s alright with you, we want to cut off the neck and display it in front of our temple.”
“I apologize, but I also have a use for this corpse.”
Even though he felt a bit bitter that his plan to increase Karuwiman’s reputation was rejected, Trislowa’s corpse was definitely within Zich’s right. Weig did not ask further, but he was curious. “I don’t mean to intrude, but may I ask where you’ll be using that?”
“I have to finish my revenge. I’m going to burn this corpse and spread it on top of Mount Arut.”
Lubella and Weig, who were familiar with Bellid’s funerary rites, could immediately understand what Zich was trying to do.
‘Like he said, he’s not going to stop his revenge even after Trislowa’s death.’
Regardless of Zich’s abilities or his performance in this battle, Weig realized it would be best for him to not make Zich his enemy for his personal mental health.Previous Chapter Next Chapter