There was a saying that said, 'Shared sadness is halved, but shared joy is doubled'.
At first glance, this wouldn't make sense.
For it to be doubled, it would mean that not only the recipient of goodwill would have something to gain, but the one giving would feel joy as well. But how could that be?
But that is the truth.
It wasn't painful at all to give kindness.
There might be some pressure in sharing it, but greater joy springs from it. The smile of the child in the slum who received it was more valuable than the bread someone bought him.
It was the same principle as to how joy spread on the faces of the other people when the blocked road was opened by Airn.
Minor hassles were nothing compared to the good intentions, which would grow bigger.
'… I had to do it this time too.'
Airn Pareira looked at the boy who had fallen on the cold alley floor.
He was dead. There was blood flowing from his head, and his chest didn't move. The child had died. He held the money pouch Airn gave him in his arms.
No one cared. No one cared about the child's circumstances, but Airn couldn't think about anything else apart from that.
Rather, he looked at the child's body and the hand of the man who was going to touch his body. His actions were as if the man was going to turn over a fish on a grill…
Grabbing the money pouch, he checked inside.
"Oh, looking good?"
"This much? Oh… it will work for today's drinks."
"We are lucky."
"Right. It was easy to earn."
"I wish everyday was like this."
'Wish everyday was like this?'
Airn stopped breathing after hearing the words of the men. He couldn't understand, and he couldn't accept it.
It wasn't much money.
But it was still enough to fill the stomach of the child for a few days.
And as they said, it was enough to get drinks for a day…
But money couldn't be compared to people's lives.
No, in the first place, no amount of wealth should be exchanged for life.
Airn was like that, and his friends who stood by his side were the same. His parents who raised him were the same, and so were Airn's teachers.
Then how could these people take a child's life so easily?
Was it because of difficult times?
Was it because the situation they were in was so unbearable that they had to do this?
… it didn't look like that.
Still unable to take his eyes off the child's corpse, Airn constantly searched for justifications.
"Uh. Jack. You said it right."
"What? That we will get too drunk?"
"No, you idiot. You said today is lucky. Today is surely our lucky day."
The man with a long scar on his cheek looked forwards and said it. The rest of the elders, along with Jack, nodded while chuckling.
The man with the scar was right.
The prey they were trying to chase after came to them with their own feet.
And it seemed cute that the man had his head bowed down and didn't even move because of the shock. They really liked these kinds of victims.
"Hey, brother. Hey heyy!"
Jack said as he approached the man in the robe.
Their prey still didn't raise his head. His smile grew stronger. With great expectations, he stretched out his index finger and pressed onto the man's chest.
Even if it was just one finger, it wouldn't be easy to withstand this strong man's physique.
However, things turned out different than he expected them to. The man wasn't pushed back.
Nor did he groan. He didn't even look terrified of him or his group.
He just stood still in the same place, without moving.
The figure of the man that kept looking down with the heaviness of a rock was something…
"Yah, what is it?"
"No, it isn't like you are groping your wife or something, taking your sweet time there."
"Leave him alone, that bastard is a pervert who enjoys such things."
"Oh fuck, don't say that… it's nothing. Move."
"I said move."
The man with the scar who was standing behind, walked forward and pushed Jack and the others away. And he stood in front of the man in the robe with a ferocious expression.
Originally, he liked to torture their prey slowly and have fun, but now he was in a hurry to go and get a drink.
He had no intention of staying next to that dead corpse any longer.
A dagger came out from his arms. It was a weapon that could easily deal with a person in a single blow, and it gave out a gloomy feel in the moonlight.
Neither did he hesitate, nor was he nervous. His hand swung quickly, and no one among the people standing there thought it was strange.
"Kuak! Kuak… ack!"
Their excited reactions from before died down right away.
The man with the scar staggered back in pain, and blood was oozing out from his hand, and the others were shocked.
They had clearly seen him swing the dagger at the other man's neck.
There was no reason for their man to stumble back. It should've been the one in the robe who was supposed to bleed.
But they didn't know.
That the young man wasn't reluctant to talk because he was scared.
The reason Airn bowed his head and was in thought was because he was struggling to understand them. It was for their sake.
"Now I understand."
Airn, who was silent, spoke for the first time.
And he raised his head. Tears flowed from his eyes, and no one thought he was weak because of it. Something strange was happening.
They couldn't move.
They didn't have the courage to run.
In this suffocating atmosphere, the young hero with spoke with a wounded heart.
"You acted like this because there are such people around you."
He remembered that boy.
It wasn't because the child was born with a bad heart that he was making a living in the wrong way.
It was because that was the only thing he had seen and learned. It was because, rather than being a cycle of good intentions, it was a continuous cycle of evil.
And it was the same with the older men as well.
Since they were only exposed to evil, they had all learned to do evil. They grew up only with hostility and anger towards the world. These people were the more vicious adult version of the kid.
'It wasn't without sin.'
However, he couldn't say that this was entirely their fault.
That was the reason Airn didn't draw his sword yet, and that was the reason his hand was showing mercy.
He took a deep breath and turned his head to the right.
"They killed the boy."
"Please take care of it now."
Airn nodded his head. It really was fortunate. If the guards had come this way any later, Airn would have killed all of them.
It couldn't be denied that they had committed a terrible sin no matter what the circumstances they had to go through were.
However, it would be better if the guards took care of it rather than himself.
'Because I am unstable.'
Managing his emotions was difficult for him right now. He was not in a position for calm deliberation and making correct judgments.
Airn sighed and said,
A man who appeared to be the captain of the guards looked at the men. And then walked away with an impression. Seeing that, the young hero nodded.
Right, this is how it is supposed to happen.
He passed the responsibility onto the others because he wasn't stable enough to come to a decision, but that didn't mean that it was a bad choice.
Considering that the situation was urgent because of Ignet, it was safe to say this was the right decision to make.
But he told himself to not forget.
To not forget what had happened today and to keep it in his heart. Just like before, he had to keep moving and thinking to find a better answer.
It was the moment Airn, who had reached a conclusion, was about to step back.
"… what is it?"
"I told you to stop. Quietly raise your hands and get close to the wall."
"I asked what is going on."
Contrary to the gentle impression Airn gave, his voice sounded cold.
The young guard, shocked by it, stepped back, and the captain sighed and approached Airn.
"You have killed an innocent child, so just obey the orders."
… Airn looked back at the captain with a blank expression and then looked at his surroundings.
The guards avoided his gaze in embarrassment, and the group of men responsible were pointing their fingers at him and giggling.
And the man with the scar was cursing him.
And the old guard was holding a bag of money.
He couldn't stand it any longer.
He couldn't continue to have heroic worries about these people. He couldn't make a rational judgment either.
He felt disappointment.
And uncontrollable anger.
Airn Pareira's greatsword, which was filled with such emotions, was swung in a circle.
The sullen voice of the guard was no more. As if time stopped… as if the space froze, it felt bizarre.
And between them…
The head of the old guard, who still had a smiling expression, fell.
Thuk, tuk, tuk.
And that was just the start.
The rest of the guards who had turned their faces away, and the men who were laughing out loud.
Jack, who thought that something strange was happening, was ready to run. He immediately fell down without a sound. And his head and body separated, making the floor a mess.
Belatedly seeing the cruel sight, a woman who was walking through the alley screamed, followed by a few more, and everyone was running back with terrified expressions on their faces.
After that, silence fell. Was it the thick smell of the blood, or did the story spread? There were no more people approaching the scary alley.
Airn, who had been standing there quietly, heard his Sword's Order again.
It was the signal.
Feeling the howl of the sorcery greatsword, the hero bowed.
"… still, I have to do what I have to do."
He picked up the dead child and hugged him close to his body.
He left the city like that and dug the ground under a large tree, and buried the body along with the money pouch which he handed the child.
'I, I hope this doesn't happen in the future.'
And then Airn Pareira, who showed respect for the dead, moved again.
After that, Airn faced many wicked experiences as he continued his journey.
None of them could threaten the hero, but none of them went without having an effect on the young hero's mind.
Was it because the security of the east wasn't good?
Or had he been too lucky in the past?
He didn't even want to know. At least for now, he couldn't afford to dig deeper into this. Little by little, he lost his speech and expression.
After some time, he arrived at the place the sword was leading him to.
The City of Freedom, Godara.
Some called it Godara, the Dark City.
Airn Pareira entered the place, which appeared to be glamorous and bright from the outside, with clenched fists.
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