Encirclement and Repentance
“The oracle said this place has been polluted by a foreign force. A purge is necessary!” At the middle of the group of knights was an old man wearing the attire of a bishop, looking devout and pious. He seemed extremely stern.
“Lord Bishop, we have completely surrounded the area!” A knight reported respectfully after urging his horse over. He was chiseled, his features as sharp as a knife.
“Good! Divine corps, be prepared to coordinate with each other. Don’t let even a single heretic escape!” The bishop waved his hand. Numerous youthful and resolute priests dressed in white ceremonial clothing followed behind him, followed by the groups of knights in an orderly manner.
A serious crisis immediately enveloped the little town, but the residents did not notice at all.
“Hm? An exemplary polluted by the power of other laws…” Though his detection abilities were largely limited, Leylin still sensed the people surrounding the village. It was a pity that there was nothing he could do. In his current state, he needed Tiff’s help just to get out of the forest. There was no way to break through this besiegement.
“The surveillance by the gods is extremely strict!” Leylin exclaimed in admiration. He’d noticed the altar when he’d first entered the village, as well as the laws it emitted.
Of course, there were some differences between the laws here and those of beings from other worlds. Perhaps a more appropriate name for it would be divine force.
With the protection of divine force, the whole village was akin to a domain. Though the effects were extremely weak compared to a real domain, they had similar characteristics.
“A foreign being like me would be discovered the moment I enter the domain!”
Leylin sighed, “Unless I find an area where the truly faithless gather or evade places with altars or shrines, there’s nowhere for me to hide when I’m in this form… It’s a pity that it’s impossible…”
In Beezlebub’s memories, practically all intellectual beings of the World of Gods had faith in various gods.
Here, being faithless was very frightening. Even those followers of another religion or those who had faith in the devils were treated better than the faithless.
It was rumoured that after death, the souls of the faithless were not accepted by any gods, and could only howl and wail as they were crucified while alive.
“Faith in the gods spreads like numerous nodes throughout the World of Gods. Each follower’s soul will be branded by the gods!”
Here, massacres were obviously not forbidden. However, all research done on souls were seen as a blasphemy to the gods, and those discovered doing so would be burnt at the stake.
It was fine to kill the followers of the gods, but if he tried to influence their souls in the slightest degree, the gods would notice in an instant.
The fury of having one’s child touched by someone else was definitely enough to induce fury from the gods.
“The souls of priests, deity officials, devout followers and sacred warriors must definitely not be touched, or else their god will be provoked and surely won’t take this lying down!”
This was the most important lesson Leylin had learnt from Beezlebub’s memories.
“In other words, in the World of Gods, it’s impossible to massacre and devour souls in order to quickly regain strength. If I do that, there’d be something like a tracker on me, and I’d be discovered by the gods no matter where I go. Of course, in a foreign world, my soul strength isn’t much. I won’t be able to escape…”
After determining the situation, Leylin strangely felt relaxed.
He was only a soul seed at this point, and it being exterminated would not really affect the main body much. He could make use of this opportunity to gather more data.
“Come at me, sacrificers to the gods!”
A streak of dark red flashed from the broken sword, with a bloodthirsty radiance.
The sounds of the neighing of horses, high-pitched roars, the blood-curdling screams and profound pleas for help.
Tiff used the back of his hand which was cleaner and rubbed his eyes, and then yawned.
He, who had been awakened by the sounds, saw the fire outside his window. The trotting of horses, the slamming of doors and shouts lingered by his ear like the mumbles of a devil.
“What’s going on? Is this a nightmare?” Tiff’s mind was in a state of confusion, unable to react to what was going on.
“What did you come out for? Get back in there!” After Tiff left the room, he was immediately pushed roughly back in.
On his father’s face was a grimness and solemness that Tiff had never witnessed before.
But before he could obediently return to his room, a tall, handsome steed rammed into his garden.
Mounting the horse was a knight wearing steel armour. The luxurious armour made out of steel rendered Tiff speechless, for this usually belonged to lords who were knights or some family heirloom belonging to nobility, such as barons.
Even the baron who was closest to this area might not have goods of such quality.
Tiff’s eyes were full of fear and envy. Meanwhile, he also noticed a crest on the armour— this was the crest of the Spring Water Goddess!”
“It’s the holy knights of the Spring Water Goddess! What are they doing here?”
It had to be said that these holy knights used to be Tiff’s idols, but what they were doing now was just destroying his dreams.
“Esteemed lord, may I know…”
Tiff’s father gathered his courage and approached the knight. Before he could finish his sentence, however, he was ruthlessly sent flying and crashed to the ground.
“I’m only saying this once. All residents are to gather at the altar. Everyone!”
The knight burst through Tiff’s front door, and what followed was the sound of trunks and boxes being rummaged through. Tiff’s mother, brothers and sisters were chased out.
Following his father and the rest of his family, Tiff left through the front door and headed to the heart of the village to gather.
It was only at this point that Tiff noticed, stunned, that the other villagers had been expelled from their homes and, like flowed like a stream to converge at the center of the village.
“What– What’s going on?” Tiff still had no idea of what exactly was happening. All he knew was that his mother had a tight hold on his hand, to the point that it was painful.
In front of him was his father, whose expression was dark and full of uneasiness.
Even when the famine had happened for the past few years, and when the tax officers had come to the village, Tiff had not seen such an expression on his father’s face before.
The many villagers gathered like herded sheep. The knights raised their torches and surrounded them, shining brightly in the night sky.
Around the knights were also many priests.
Their clothes were even more extravagant than the priest he had seen previously in the village. To make it simple, all of them must be amazing people.
“Cough cough… cough cough…” The solemn atmosphere as well as the arrival of the deity officials and knights caused Tiff to begin to feel fear, though he had no reason why.
“Lord bishop, all the villagers have gathered. This is the village chief.”
A knight with golden patterns on his armour tossed an old man who was trembling hard before the bishop.
“Lord bishop, our Kahn Village has always been piously worshipping the Spring Water Goddess and never dared go against her!”
From Tiff’s perspective, this village chief who was usually very capable was like a baby here, weeping and sniffing in front of the old bishop.
“The god has taught us to treat every follower with love!”
The old bishop kindly helped the village chief up and even bent to his knees to help brush off the soil, immediately giving rise to feelings of gratitude from the chief.
“The reason I’m here is because I was instructed by the god to purge this area of foreign forces.”
After the chief calmed down, the bishop expressed his purpose in coming here.
For some reason, Tiff saw his father’s body swaying and almost crumpling to the ground. Even his mother was beginning to sob quietly, and the surrounding villagers looked as if the world was ending.
It was only a long time later that Tiff knew that the gods were very brutal when it came to dealing with foreign forces. Even the commoners in the area that were affected had terrible, miserable conclusions to their lives.
Of course, he was a mere child now. All he knew was that after the bishop who seemed very influential spoke, the many villagers, including the chief himself, went limp and fell to the ground, unable to even plead.
“Oh mighty Spring Water Goddess, your humble servants piously offer sacrifices to you. Please open your godly eyes and differentiate the foreign force here!”
In front of the altar in the little village, the bishop devoutly prayed. Immediately after, milky-white rays of light surged from the altar, bringing with it a holy, clean luster.
“Come here one by one so we can separate you. The god will not misidentify anyone.”
The old bishop announced. Immediately after, those knights began to grab hold of the villages, pressing them down under the altar and forcing them to kneel and repent.
The villagers were forced to go through with this ceremony under the altar one after another, and the rays of light on the altar stayed white.
“Next!” The old bishop looked ruthless, as if nothing in the world was worth him frowning or hesitating over. The holy knights were like demons, only knowing to complete their tasks robotically.
Finally, it was Tiff’s family’s turn.
First was his father and sister, and then Tiff.
Tiff knelt on the cool ground, feeling very uncomfortable.
“Quick, repent!” A tremendous force could be felt on his back, and he had no choice but to bend down.
“Mighty Spring Water Goddess, Bynx, you are the god of all spring waters, and also the stars in the sky, the one who loves us like a mother. I confess to you…”
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