Chapter 52: A Desired Wish
「I have a message from Saint Matia…On the night of the full moon, which is today, the first beacon will be set on…」
Upon hearing Largud Ann’s words, I realized that tonight their schemes would be put into action. Somehow, I felt that I had a premonition that an ominous event was about to happen soon enough.
I heard that the starting point of their strategic plan was at a rural village in the Southern part of the Gharast Kingdom.
Peace was no longer a word part of our vocabulary. It seemed that a group of revolutionary members and some peasants attacked the house of the feudal lord. Their goal was to liberate the Heraldic order and retrieve all of their emblems. But, this event brought some suspicion. After all, it was strange that a peasants’ rebellion would be planned and executed in such a way.
In that attack, the feudal lord and his small army were defeated because of the lack of preparation against that rebellion. It was a surprise attack, and it proved out to be successful. The feudal lord didn’t call his soldiers in time. His forces were unprepared and couldn’t fight properly. Therefore, the feudal lord abandoned his territory and the people of his domain, and evacuated to an area where his relatives still ruled their lands. It was a quick defeat. So far, their rebellion has had a favorable result. Yes, unquestionably.
But, we mustn’t forget something. It was a peasants’ rebellion.
The attack was successful, but their army could collapse immediately if they went up against a full-fledged army without proper weapons to wield. Still, everyone was so cheerful. Obviously. It was the first time that a small peasants’ rebellion proved out to be successful. It was a significant fight even if they just had accomplished a small portion of their strategic plan.
These events were the beginning of a series of revolts from the common people, which will be known later as The Great Uprising of the Heraldic Order. Per history, this name shortened to “The Gospel War”.
The beacon of war had finally been lit.
The night passed in a hurry. At dawn, a document was delivered to Largud Ann.
We were staying at the second-floor of an old and tattered liquor shop. Inside of one of the private rooms, I stared at the document alongside Ann and Filaret. Yet, the document was encrypted. Only Ann could understand those codes. But, I understood the contents of this document because of Ann’s reaction.
Just one word made me realize what really happened. The rebellion was a success. The beacon was lit up high once everything was in motion. The report wasn’t mistaken. Everything had started for real.
The sun rose on the horizon. A beaming light entered the room, and my eyes opened while I wrinkled my eyebrows.
「This is the beginning of the beacon of war. If we execute everything as planned, the national army won’t stand a chance against us. However, if we stand out too much, the army will be able to counter-attack with proper measures.」
After the messenger went away, Ann said that it was too early to proclaim victory. Despite her doubts, I knew that that peasant’s rebellion was going to be successful. At least, that was what our history had informed me about.
Of course, the success of this event was something to be pleased with. But, she was right. If everybody became too hopeful and too cheerful, nothing good would come out of it. Everybody had to clear their minds and be focused, without letting unnecessary feelings cloud their own judgements. This was a serious action after all. The topic of the Heraldic Order was a taboo. Actually, it was an important national affair of high concern. With this uprising, the national army went to the Gharast Kingdom, where the Great Religion, the so-called Cathedral, was the state religion of the nations.
I chew my tobacco slowly and lightly with my teeth. I let the pleasant fragrance spread from my mouth to my lungs, and then to my nose.
「But, there shouldn’t be any problem. We have to think clearly but with optimism. After all, even hidden snakes can overthrow a large and powerful Sage Lion.」
Ann spoke with a calm voice. She was unsure at first. But, soon, she regained the composure of a confident woman. The “horse”, named War, had already started running towards his destination without looking back. The look of her eyes was firm, even though it didn’t match the appearance of a young and frail girl.
However, she was right. The Sage Lion could be defeated if one could make use of their wits and skills. Everything was about strategy and resolution. I narrowed my eyes and kept chewing the tobacco with my mouth and tongue.
Indeed. This situation couldn’t be changed now. The Gharast Kingdom wasn’t the only nation apprehensive about this issue. This problem involved the surrounding countries as well. The Cathedral had a huge influence in the people, from common folks to members of the high society. In fact, their influence grew so much that the Cathedral became involved in the matters of each country. They even get their input in national politics.
Many people were feverish religious people. Especially in the upper class. Many of these aristocratic people cherished the religious teachings passed down from generation to generation.
Well, of course, not everyone was a devout saint. Actually, many people didn’t really care much about religion per se.
If so, then no wonder that some of this unreligious people involved in politics thought that the power of the Cathedral had to be weakened to some extent.
In other words, the Gospel War was not only the result of the Heraldic Order’s rebellion, but also the result of those unreligious people who clashed with the power of the Cathedral and those who wanted to keep that same power intact.
So, the stakes were high. They even played out to our advantage.
「Did that Saint tell you that we should wait here without doing anything?」
I leaned on a chair. I was getting better, but I wasn’t fully healed yet. I spoke to Ann with a bitter smile on my face.
However, Ann smiled upon hearing my question.
「Saint Matia wants to spread the love of Maria to every believer. There won’t be any activity around here until she wishes differently.」
Last night’s rebellion was a tool to show everybody the tyranny of the Gharast Kingdom against the Heraldic people. Besides, this was just a small appetizer that paved the way to the purpose of capturing Garoua Maria.
I saw that Filaret was shaking her shoulders. She wrinkled her eyebrows slightly, without displaying much emotion on her face. Perhaps, she felt some hesitation or upsetting feelings.
Of course, it was natural. Despite being an international student, Garoua Maria was still the place where she spent most of her time. It must be hard for her to hear all the plans to overthrow Garoua Maria and, go up against its citizens and its current institution.
「The progress sounds good. But, what’s important is not what you do, but how you do it. You mustn’t forget one important thing. History tells us that Garoua Maria never fell. In a sense, this city-state transformed into a sort of sanctuary. It will be impossible to invade from the front walls.」
Filaret was finally willing to talk and engage in this conversation. Yet, her talk wasn’t that optimistic, but rather gloomy and without hope.
Nonetheless, her words had a point. They made sense. At present, Garoua Maria has never fallen before. That fact was the pride of its citizens. It was the heart of the city’s foundation.
For Filaret, this scheme was no more than a bad joke. This wasn’t even the story of outstanding soldiers tried to overthrow a city. It was rather a story of mob-like Heraldic people that foolishly tried to change history by invading Garoua Maria.
「Yes, of course. “How can you do it?”. Actually, we have already carefully planted the seeds for that part of our plan. We are just waiting their germination. Anyways, I just came here because I had a request to make. This is a request from our Saint Matia to you.」
Ann spoke with a whispering voice.
Her voice was like mud that poured into my ears. I had a strong ominous feeling in my chest that something abysmal was about to happen.
「It’s still better to let a cat write poetry instead.」
My mouth was stiff so my voice came out gruff and my the was dry and sarcastic. Actually, it was hard to grasp the words that Ann professed to us before.
“…We expect mutinies coming from the inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave”, she said.
That was Saint Matia’s wish. Actually, I expected it somehow. Yet, when I heard Ann’s words, I felt that a black mist clouded my brain.
「It will only take a few days. Yes, a few days until chaos engulfs them all. We will use the city-state’s foundation to our advantage. The urban functions will paralyze if the workforce of the inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave is lost. In particular, immobilization of trade will have a significant impact on the city-state.」
That was an unmistakable fact.
In Garoua Maria, the inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave were the main labor force of its institution. If their workload got lost, then it would lead to a large urban malfunction. I heard some people say that the status of a trading city would fall if a large riot occurred. If this mutiny happened for real, there was no doubt that chaos in the city would have inevitable repercussions in just a few days.
This would lead undoubtedly to a decline in the resistance of the guards on the entire city. However, this was easier said than done. Because if was such a huge issue, the city-state would’ve fallen already. But no, Garoua Maria remained unbeatable and its foundation remained intact.
The inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave weren’t people made for mutinies. Actually, I could feel the resignation and failure in their hearts. No matter where you looked at, and no matter what you felt, ah, it couldn’t be helped though. They weren’t people brave enough to go up against the power of that huge institution. But, that was understandable. These people had already let go of hope with their hearts.
But, who could blame them? Nobody had the right to speak ill of these unfortunate people.
「…But, the problem is too deep. No matter how many layers you try to remove, if your roots are too deeply engraved in your heart, you won’t be able to remove it entirely. They became like puppets that got manipulated by the rich citizens of the city-state.」
I spoke some words unintentionally while biting the edge of my lips. I gritted my teeth with one another so strongly that the sound could be heard out loud. I understood perfectly well the feelings of those unfortunate people.
Yeah, I used to be like them. They were like me.
I used to be like these people when I went on the Journey of Salvation in the past timeline. I spent my days in anguish and frustration. I had doubts, resentment and no hope whatsoever.
The feelings of comprehension felt strangely heavy on my brain. It was as if my insides turned into hard stones.
In fact, history told us that the Heraldic people failed to obtain the cooperation from the inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave, in the past.
Once upon a time, the Heraldic Order rebelled against the system of Garoua Maria and almost managed to invade it completely. However, they failed to gain the approval of the inhabitants of the Poor People’s cave. That meant that the urban functioning of the city never really fell into chaos. In just a few days, they regained power and stability. Because of this failure, the city-state managed to call for backups and, shortly afterwards, the Heraldic Order was defeated by the Allied forces of the other city-states.
It was a fatal defeat for the Heraldic people. These events triggered the unavoidable decrease of their activities.
Largud Ann stared silently at me while I bit my chewing tobacco.
Her eyes had mystifying colors. It seemed that she felt some unexpressed expectation or maybe even disappointment. What would she exactly expect from me? I never had an opportunity to improve my situation in the past timeline, except going back time, which wasn’t even my doing. I never did anything extraordinary.
Only heroes could change history.
「…I’ll give you some time. Anyways, our Saint might come here in the meantime. So, there shall be some grace casted upon you.」
Largud Ann’s eyes were widely open. I felt some hesitation from her at the beginning. Then, she finally spoke but with a cheerful tone.
She made it sound as if my complaints weren’t that serious. I couldn’t respond to her. Actually, I didn’t expect anything nor did I want to be fooled by her fake innocence.
At first, I wanted to use the priestess to my convenience. Use her status and win her favor to give me a smoother path. Yes, a path with privileges. There was no need for a full cooperation. I never intended to become their puppet. The purpose was to give them some aid, and in return, got their favor to use to my advantage and needs. Actually, that half-cooperation was supposed to be over now.
However, things changed. Everything was different now. The hero who could change history was on the other side of the coin.
In other words, Helot Stanley. That heroic person.
Now, Garoua Maria had him. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that this was the worst case scenario. Yet, everyone would say that he was just a single person. What could he do? Yes, everyone would laugh at me for being wary of one man.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t wrong. He was a different man. He wasn’t an ordinary person per se. Nobody could ever imagine what he could do. This man could change the board completely. Helot Stanley was a man that could be the keeper of hell and the hero of salvation at the same time.
Considering Helot’s presence, it would be too dangerous to simply move the plan of the Heraldic Order into motion. History didn’t cheat and, the past failure could be repeated one more time. Everything had to be done meticulously, because one small mistake could mean their downfall.
I mustn’t let that happen. If possible, there had to be something, an option, a different way to change this likely course. Something that wouldn’t antagonize us… Something that I could do with my own hands.
That’s why I couldn’t really reject the request that was given to me.
Moreover. Even if I described myself as an ordinary man, I wasn’t alone. I had a genius person by my side.
「Filaret. I want to borrow a little of your power. It’s a simple request… Actually, eating rigid bread is harder for you than my request.」
When Filaret heard her name, she blinked her eyes and slightly sharpened her lips. Her black hair even moved sideways.
「If I do as you say, will you give me softer bread as a reward? I’ll gladly have tender bread with some butter inside.」
I didn’t even mention butter. She glanced at Ann and smiled timidly. Her cheeks were a little rosy. Actually, it was difficult to use Ann’s distribution route to get a luxury item like butter.
I just touched my nose as I snorted a small sigh. Ann was perplexed by this talk, because, after all, Filaret asked for bread with butter amidst the seriousness of this situation.
Her silly conversation was a bit unreasonable. But, I needed Filaret’s power in order to accomplish something relevant as an ordinary man. Yet, even though I was certain of this, my heart felt anxious and heavy.
But, it was something I had to overcome. I had to find an alternative way in order to appease the anxiety of my inner self. I wanted to “paint” these unwanted feelings with a different color.
I slowly bit the chewing tobacco with my teeth.
My only purpose in life was to meet Ariene one more time. My goal remained unchanged. Yes, no doubt about it. It was an unmistakable purpose.
However. Now, I felt that something more filled the void of my heart. Something deep went through my veins and reached my chest. I felt as if I could breathe properly again.
These feelings had been suppressed for so long now. My breath was so heavy that I crouched down as if I succumbed to the pressure of the falling sky.
Small drops of sweat fell from my forehead. My eyes were wide open and, the sound of swallowing dry in my throat hit the earlobes.
I wanted a name for myself. I wanted to raise my status to something meaningful and significant in power. I only desired for something more. Yes, more than I could afford to have.
Perhaps, there was a different way to gain fame and recognition. Different options. Such questions ran through my brain consecutively.
And then, I realized something important. Inner words spread from my chest to my brain as if I were finally convinced of my puzzling feelings.
“…In other words, I want glory. Yes, I want to grab the wish of my heart, even if I had to pierce someone else’s heart with a spear”, I thought.
What a shame. An unfortunate life. What a disappointment. Yes, a life without meaning wasn’t really life. It was like a lump of vanity.
Yeah, so far my life was meaningless. I had been watching everything unfold before my eyes. Ah, everything from afar. I just watched others accomplish glory, unlike me, who was just a shadow in the background. I’ve been outshined, sidelined and cornered as if I were absolutely nothing, as if I was some forgotten piece of trash in the corner of the street. Everybody’s glory almost burnt me every time. How many times had I been burn in my heart?
I never thought that everything could be different. I couldn’t even imagine a life of glory for myself. After all, it was just a faint hope that I never dreamt of. But, to tell the truth, I’ve been yearning to have glory for such a long time now. Yes, even amidst the humiliation, anger and despair. I almost gave up on that far-fetched wish. But, not anymore.
Unexpectedly, I grinned from the corner of my mouth as if I was mocking myself.
We are making an announcement shortly after this chap, its nothing too huge, we are celebrating the TOMO TLS existence for 1 year 🙂
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