Chapter 45: The Golden People Strengths and the Lead People Weaknesses
「…What was that just now? 」
For a moment, the sound of a trumpet roared throughout the dark alleys of the Poor People’s cave. Everyone was alerted upon hearing this sound. Before long, every poor man and woman came looking at the noisy street from his or her tiny little windows.
It’s no wonder why people got startled… Silence was the domineering aspect of this place. But, today was an exception. Everyone could see the figures of the guards from Garoua Maria walking through the Poor People’s cave. They weren’t supposed to be here. And yet, they were here to scrutinize these miserable people.
「I apologise, Vice Commander. The thief disappeared onto the alley of this poor cave as if he had wings on his feet. However, we managed to figure out who is his accomplice.」
I heard the conversation between one guard and their Vice Commander. Although this man’s body was somewhat slender, he wasn’t frail. Actually, he looked rather fit than weak.
The guards captured a child. It was a young girl. She was neatly arranged and clean, but her old cloths and her bad nourished skin identified her as one of the inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave. I noticed that this girl held a dirty trumpet on one hand. She was trembling severely.
The man who was called Vice Commander looked down upon the girl with the old-looking trumpet, and uttered in a cold voice.
「Is it true that you let the thief escape? 」
The young girl didn’t answer to that man’s question. No words came out of her mouth. Actually, her mouth was closed like a safe because she was extremely frightened. Her throat was twitching, but didn’t make any sound.
That man stared fixedly at her with his eyes wide open. The corners of the girl’s mouth bounced involuntarily.
His eyes were like those unmoving eyes of reptiles. He was far from being friendly looking.
Even the member of the guards, that held the young girl captive, involuntarily leaked lots of cold sweat from his forehead. My heart beat extremely fast at the sight of this scene. It beat so fast that I thought I would get a bad heart condition at this rate.
That man’s finger touched the young girl’s neck to threaten her. He narrowed his eyes and stared at her with hatred. The girl tried to resist, but the guard’s arms locked her shoulders.
There was a black mark on that girl. No. In fact, it was as if tattoos were engraved on her skin. It was a proof that she once committed a crime. One would say that it was a testimony of those who have committed unforgivable sins and received their bitter “reward” according to the rules of the city-state.
Yes, those rules. That man’s jaw dropped and professed the following words.
「No problem. I don’t care if you’re a little girl. You should be punished if you belong to a band of thieves. I shall cut your right arm in accordance to the law.」
One of the guards drew his sword without hesitation. The blue blade shined and reflected the sunlight.
The girl´s frightened eyes were opened in an instant, and cold sweat ran through her spine. I felt disgust upon seeing how they treated the poor people like mere insects. My knees didn’t move because of the fear that soon transformed into frustration and anger.
Her eyes looked around to ask for help.
There were many people around them. Our numbers were far superior. On the other hand, the guard’s group consisted of five people, including the man who was called the Vice Commander. If we surrounded them, we could overpower them at any time. No elite would be able to prevent a big amount of violence.
Yet, there was no reaction whatsoever. The people around me didn’t say anything. They didn’t open their mouths, just like the young girl.
They didn’t even try to complain. Because if they did complain about it, one of their arms would “fly” next. No. Their necks could be the ones to be slashed since they were poor. They were nobodies. But, why? Because the opponents were people from the walled city-state. They were fierce people with authority. They were too far from being inferior human beings.
That’s why they were silent. They couldn’t even open their mouths. Naturally. Because it was obvious. They couldn’t do anything at all. They didn’t have any power on their hands. These people were foolish, poor, and dirty and trampled on. They could only put their faces down, ignore and try to live another day.
Everyone was deprived of his or her will. Everyone just sent his or her thoughts about injustice to the heavens. Their voices were mute, but alive on their minds. Still, all they could do was to live another day as a poor man or woman in the Poor People’s cave. To play their roles and nothing else. Everyone tried to be a roadside stone.
Ah, this was something that couldn’t be helped.
The young girl bit her lips and swallowed dry on her throat. Ah, if I had a “voice”, I’d curse this entire world.
The purpose of the trumpet was successful and meaningful. Her older brother rushed to hide when he heard the trumpet’s sound. He won’t come back anymore.
Ah, but that was good actually. If she were to die, her older brother would’ve come and her efforts to warn him would’ve gone to waste. Everything would be worthless.
That’s why he mustn’t come.
The blade swung down while the blue hue reflected the daylight. It was too late now. The delicate arm from the young girl was cut off. No one was able to prevent it from happening.
The poor people’s rough breathing overlapped on this precise moment.
「Listen…You know, Lugis…Well…Can’t you hear my tiring voice? 」
In the middle of rushing through a dark alley, Filaret muttered those words.
When I looked back at her, I could see that she was wearing her hood close to her eyes. Filaret’s peculiar hair was hidden beneath the hood and her appearance could not be seen to anybody’s eyes.
Her shoulders were slightly moving upwards and downwards, and her breath was heavy. Although she was trying to keep up with me, it was natural for her to be this tired because we’ve been rushing around in the Poor People’s cave without any breaks.
I thought that she wanted to have a break, so I opened my mouth in denial.
「I’m sorry, but I can’t rest now. We know when the “devil” arrives when we hear the trumpet’s sound. We must hurry because this isn’t a joke. If the person who played the trumpet is caught, he or she will have to pay by giving up its arm.」
I slowed down the speed of my legs, but just a little. I still moved at a nice pace along the dirty road. The alleyways in the Poor People’s cave were dark no matter where we went.
Looking back, I saw that Filaret shook her head slightly. I narrowed my eyes and asked what was wrong with her. She answered me with a rough breath.
「Well…I have no problems with hiding my face. But. Actually, aren’t you angry with me because I came along with you?」
The words spoken at the end were strangely weak. Or should I say, choppy and almost fading away. It sounded a lot different from the words that I’ve heard before the departure.
My throat soured while rounding my eyes.
I tried to respond, but I had no idea what to say to those words. Her tone was one that felt somewhat depressing.
What on earth was happening here? I had never seen or heard of such weakness in my past travels with her.
Was this woman capable of sympathizing with my feelings? No, if it was the woman of my past timeline, this wouldn’t happen. It would be literally impossible.
「I…I knew it…You really find me annoying…But, I had no choice. I couldn’t do anything useful, that’s why I wanted to have some meaning in my life…That’s why…I didn’t want you to leave me behind…」
Just when I tried to find the right words to respond, Filaret continued to speak in a weak and depressing manner to me. She almost couldn’t breathe and she felt extremely emotional towards me. Upon hearing her words, I didn’t turn around. I really didn’t want to turn around.
I thought that she was a very strong woman. Yet, what I saw now was the appearance of a weak woman. It was a bit strange and, at the same time, it was somewhat embarrassing. Rather, I didn’t even want to look at her face with her behaving weirdly like this. What a weird feeling I felt on my chest. Ah, I had never thought I’d feel awkward to witness her moment of weakness and vulnerability.
I finally saw a light in front of me. Soon, we’ll be on the main street. I thought that the sound from that trumpet came from this area. Let’s see if my hunch was correct.
「I…I understand it. So, just stop saying weird things. But, you know what… 」
She didn’t want me to leave her behind. The words that she murmured became ingrained in the mouth. My tongue felt unpleasant as if my heart wasn’t feeling healthy.
「Who said I would leave you behind? No, you’re wrong. I need you, Filaret. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to reach this far if I were by myself.」
The words that I’ve been gathering on my thoughts finally burst out of my mouth. I tried my best to lift up Filaret’s foggy mood.
The sight in front of me threw me away easily just like a piece of paper. I was utterly shocked by the whole scene that unfolded right in front of my eyes. The appearance of the guards, who pulled out their swords. The inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave who just stood there without doing anything and the seized girl. It was Wood’s younger sister, Sereal.
We didn’t arrive on time. Even though we rushed our pace to get to this place, it wasn’t enough. There was nothing I could do now. It was beyond the limits of a man. Only those who were talented could surpass that line.
I wasn’t a talented one in the first place. The consequence of that girl’s supposed sin naturally carried forward as if it were the principle of the world.
The girl’s right arm fell to the ground, and the poor people received the insults, shame, scorn and injustice from the guards. These authoritarian people trampled on the poor people as if they were nothing but dust.
I didn’t like this ending. This result. Yeah, I hated it.
However, what could I do? What could I change even as one man?
「I beg you, Filaret. The Goddess of Luck abandoned me a long time ago. If you don’t help me, I won’t be able to change anything. I need you to do it vigorously and accurately.」
Even though I couldn’t afford that much, I still managed to profess those words with a forced smile on my face. I knew that I was requesting something quite absurd.
However, I couldn’t do anything by myself. I had to rely on a woman that became a weakling on this timeline. What was wrong with me? Honestly.
I had the urge to trample on myself because I was useless. A mere rat. So frustrating. But, I understood these people’s feelings. The sorrow that was deeply ingrained in our hearts. We were suffering, treated like mud. Not needed by the society, nor anyone else.
For a moment, Filaret’s dark eyes became widely open. Her body stiffened greatly upon hearing my unexpected words. Still, it was only for a very short time.
「Yes, leave it to me. I’ll handle it for your sake…After all, I was the one who casted you」
This figure was familiar to me. The appearance that overflew with absolute confidence.
Undoubtedly. This figure was the real Filaret La Volgograd that I knew all too well.
“I need you to do it vigorously and accurately !” – Oh you, Lugis… <3
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