Abandoned by my Childhood Friend, I Became a War Hero Chapter 77

Chapter 77 -The Sinner

༺ The Sinner ༻

 

 

  Just as shadows form where the light shines, a brilliant light naturally draws deep darkness.

 

  The alleyway that attracted criminals was just like that.

 

  As it is now, when people gather due to the system, it becomes a garbage dump where various criminals and ragtag characters also gather. That was the alleyway at the moment.

 

  I had the students wait outside, then fearlessly crossed the alleyway to find Marian and Gwyn. During that, I didn’t forget to kindly ask the criminals who had settled in the alleyway.

 

  “Ugh… Look, I saw… I saw… a girl with red hair and a girl with black hair…!”

 

  “Where did they go?”

 

  “The red-haired girl went that way… the other girl went straight ahead… Cough! Are you… asking all of us just for that…?”

 

  I carelessly threw the useless thug on the ground.

 

  The most effective way to get information quickly is to first overpower the other party. These guys are just criminals living on crimes like pickpocketing and scamming, and they will only look down on you the more you act docile towards them.

 

  Anyway, why did the two of them split up?

 

  Marian knows that Gwyn has a poor sense of direction, so it’s hard to think they separated intentionally.

 

  So who should I find first?

 

  Despite appearances, Marian is a golem pilot of considerable skill. Although I couldn’t use her golem often in my class for fear of breaking it, her golem isn’t weak enough to be picked on by mere thugs in this alleyway.

 

  The problem was her underestimation due to lack of practical experience, but I knew Marian’s skills well as I taught her directly. She should be capable enough to escape if it became dangerous.

 

  The problem was Gwyn. Unlike Marian, who quickly grasps the situation, Gwyn was simple-minded. Moreover, with her serious lack of direction and poor sense of direction, it was hard to predict where she would end up if left alone.

 

  She might have gone into places she shouldn’t have. I needed to find her as quickly as possible before a big accident occurs.

 

  Continuing on the path where I found Gwyn, I soon sensed some movement ahead. Following the sound of what seemed like a fight, I saw Gwyn holding down some boy.

 

  The sounds of scuffling were from the boy struggling to get away from Gwyn.

 

  “Let go of me, let me go! Damn it!”

 

  “Return the stolen item! Then I’ll let you go!”

 

  “I already gave it! I don’t have it!”

 

  “Then lead us to the person you gave it to!”

 

  I let out a laugh that I couldn’t tell whether it was out of admiration or absurdity. I thought she was lost and in trouble, but I never expected Gwyn to catch a pickpocket here.

 

  When I approached, Gwyn finally seemed to recognize me and raised her eyebrows in surprise.

 

  “Instructor? Why are you here…”

 

  “That’s what I should be saying. I told you not to deal with things you can’t handle yourself and to report to me immediately.”

 

  “But, but this guy took Schultz’s wallet…!”

 

  “That doesn’t mean you can leave the area and come all the way here. Gwyn, that’s one demerit point. Let’s go back now.”

 

  Gwyn looked more shocked by my reprimand than by the fact she received a demerit point, biting her lip and bowing her head in what seemed like shame. She then hesitated before speaking.

 

  “So, what should we do with this kid?”

 

  Gwyn pointed to the boy she had subdued.

 

  “Ugh…”

 

  The boy, pressed to the ground by Gwyn, had stopped struggling when I arrived and was looking up at us, holding his breath with a somewhat frightened expression.

 

  It seemed he had thought the students would be easy targets because they looked young, but I wasn’t.

 

  “Let him go for now.”

 

  Gwyn looked puzzled, perhaps not understanding my intent, but she did not refuse my order and obediently let the boy go.

 

  The boy, thinking he was being released, was quick to stand and try to run, but my hand was faster, grabbing him by the nape of his neck.

 

  “Don’t move.”

 

  “What, what’s this! Weren’t you letting me go!?”

 

  “I never said that.”

 

  I glared at the boy with a chilly gaze.

 

  “Take off your coat and shoes.”

 

  “What? Why should I-“

 

  “If it’s easier to force them off by cutting off your limbs, I can do that.”

 

  Both Gwyn and the pickpocket boy gasped in shock at my harsh words. After a moment of hesitation, the boy cautiously took off his shoes and coat. All I found was dust.

 

  I stared at the boy for a moment.

 

  “Damn it….”

 

  In the end, the boy spat out a resentful remark and even took off his dirty socks. That’s how I found Schultz’s wallet hidden under the soles of his feet.

 

  Gwyn asked in wonder.

 

  “How did you know it was hidden there?”

 

  “Just did.”

 

  The places where a pickpocket would hide stolen goods are obvious. In the military, there were plenty of people who would sneakily steal booty and even military supplies, so I could simply guess where he might have hidden it.

 

  Gwyn, looking at Schultz’s wallet, now slightly dirtier than before, spoke with a smug expression.

 

  “Hmm, I suppose we shouldn’t tell Schultz where we found his wallet… So, what are we going to do with this kid?”

 

  That was already a concern of mine.

 

  Feeling the atmosphere shift uneasily, the boy flopped down to the floor, burying his face in his hands.

 

  “I’m sorry! I won’t do it again! Life’s hard, I just… Please don’t kill me or cut off my wrist!”

 

  “Cut off your wrist…?”

 

  “That’s what they used to do.”

 

  In fact, such things still happened occasionally. Cutting off a thief’s wrist was a sight often seen in the outskirts of other nations or empires, and even at the front lines.

 

  It was not considered barbaric by the system, but it was essentially the same as being sent to a labor camp or mine. It was difficult to decide which was more cruel.

 

  After pondering for a moment, I opened my mouth.

 

  “We’ll let him go.”

 

  “Are you sure? Maybe we should turn him over to the imperial police…”

 

  “Finding Marian is the priority now.”

 

  We’ve retrieved the lost wallet, and the priority now is to find Marian and get out of this alley.

 

  Catching one or two pickpockets would not erase the crime in the back alleys, and it was a great hassle to escort this boy out.

 

  When I gave the boy a nod, he paled, quickly fled from our side, and spat out a curse from afar. Gwyn slightly furrowed his brows, but I was only calm.

 

  “…….”

 

  That boy wouldn’t live long anyway. No matter how skilled a pickpocket, they would not mess with soldiers or the imperial police.

 

  Academy students were the same in that respect. Seeing him unable to distinguish between those he could steal from and those he couldn’t, it seemed the boy’s fate was already decided.

 

  Not turning him over to the imperial police right away was the greatest mercy I could show.

 

  “Follow me.”

 

  “Yes, Instructor!”

 

  I wanted to send Gwyn straight out of the back alley, but unfortunately, it was almost impossible for the directionally challenged Gwyn to find her way out alone. In the end, I had to look after Gwyn while finding Marian.

 

  I walked with Gwyn in the direction Marian had headed. The sounds of fighting I had heard when I found Gwyn were absent now. I focused my hearing and scrutinized the surroundings.

 

  The rasping breaths of the poor, drug-addicted beggars, curses, rats gnawing on corpses, and amidst all that, I heard the faint breaths of a woman, a sound not fitting for such a back alley.

 

  I had found her.

 

  Quickly traversing the intricate alleyways, I followed her traces. Before long, I found Marian standing alone in a rather spacious area.

 

  Around her was the impressive sight of over ten men unconscious, having lost consciousness.

 

  Marian, who had been standing somewhat blankly somewhere, noticed our arrival and a look of vitality returned to her face.

 

  “…Instructor? And Gwyn!”

 

  “Marian! So you were here!”

 

  Marian approached directly and, furrowing her brow, prodded Gwyn’s chest with her finger in protest.

 

  “Where on earth were you!? Running after a pickpocket on your own, suddenly disappearing from beside me! Do you have any idea how dangerous it was for me to be alone because of you!?”

 

  “I-I’m sorry…! I messed up. I won’t do it again!”

 

  “Ah, really… That’s good to know. It seems you aren’t hurt.”

 

  Seemingly relieved, Marian let out a sigh and turned to me.

 

  “Instructor. Thank you for coming. I was worried about how to find Gwyn. Did you by chance find the wallet?”

 

  “Yes. And Marian, regardless of whether you were following Gwyn, you put yourself in danger. You too will receive a penalty point.”

 

  “Wha-.”

 

  “Make sure not to take such dangerous actions again.”

 

  I looked around and asked.

 

  “Did you meet anyone?”

 

  “Huh? No? I was the only one here.”

 

  Marian calmly shook her head as she spoke. Her composed demeanor was natural enough for anyone to believe she was telling the truth.

 

  However, I could see it. I noticed the minute trembling of her eyelids and her throat swallowing dry saliva in tension.

 

  Not only were there men in the vicinity, but there were also shattered fragments presumed to be Marian’s golem scattered about. From that alone, one could guess the magnitude of the force that had been at work.

 

  Furthermore, a shriveled corpse, drained of life, was conspicuous. Even the weak remnants of dark magic around it and the traces of purification were visible.

 

  Not only killing a human swept away by dark magic, but to purify it entirely in such a short time, leaving no residual contamination, was something that couldn’t be done with just considerable holy power.

 

  There were only two people on the continent who possessed such powerful holy power, and having experienced the holy power of those two, I could easily guess to whom these traces belonged.

 

  “Marian.”

 

  “…Yes, Instructor?”

 

  I broke the brief silence and spoke.

 

  “We’re moving.”

 

  “Huh? Ah, yes…!”

 

  I had an inkling of who she had met, and I vaguely understood why she was trying to hide it.

 

  So instead of unraveling Marian’s lie, I led the two of them out of the alley.

 

  As we walked on, I suddenly felt a gaze from far away and quickly turned around.

 

  “……”

 

  But when I turned around, there was no one there. Only the sight of old buildings and the dark alleyway stretched out before me.

 

  I looked at the spot for a moment and then slowly turned my back.

 

  ***

 

  The Saintess, Charlotte, hid behind a wall, trying to calm her racing heart.

 

  Her heart was beating so wildly.

 

  It felt as though it would burst.

 

  Did he look this way? Did he notice me?

 

  She knew she shouldn’t have done that. Despite knowing that watching him from afar was dangerous, she couldn’t suppress her emotions.

 

  She wanted to see him again, but she couldn’t muster the courage to make eye contact, hiding behind the building.

 

  This was a sin.

 

  The original sin she carried.

 

  Charlotte wanted to shed tears, but no tears flowed. Even such shallow emotions felt like a lie.

 

  She was crushed by the guilt that lay deep in her heart.

 

  She wanted to see his face. She wanted to hear his voice. She wanted to approach him and talk to him.

 

  But she couldn’t.

 

  Because she herself had uttered the words not to meet him again. Because she was a sinner who didn’t deserve such happiness.

 

  “Oh Goddess…”

 

  Charlotte weakly knelt on the ground. And she closed her eyes as if praying, hands joined together.

 

  Dirty filth from the back alley stained her pure white robe, but she didn’t care in the slightest.

 

  “Is this the punishment you’re imposing on me?”

 

  The man she loved and her own faith.

 

  The sin of betraying both was so deep and heavy.

 

  

 

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Abandoned by my Childhood Friend, I Became a War Hero

Abandoned by my Childhood Friend, I Became a War Hero

Score 9.00
Status: Ongoing Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
After experiencing heartbreak from being abandoned he enlisted in the military. And then, he became a war hero.

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