Chapter 377: Returning to the Eastern Desert
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After concluding the meeting discussing the serial murders, Benjamin dismissed everyone, left the deserted alley and walked back to his lodgings. He contemplated the steps that he should take on his way back home.
There was not even a glimpse of a priests shadow on the streets, and it was evident that the church was forced to halt their missionary work. However, there was no way the church would give up this easily. Instead, they would probably find another unexpected way to claim their revenge. It was imperative for them to be alert of their actions from now on.
The number of mages in his group expanded due to private communication between the mages these few days. However, it was far from enough for them to go against the church.
He wondered how did "The Declaration of the Freedom of Magic" was circulating between the circle of mages..
Just as Benjamin was contemplating all this in his mind, the System suddenly spoke to him.
"Hey! Four friends of yours are found 80m in front of you. Do you want to go and say hi or something?"
Four friends? Benjamin frowned at that.
His eyes followed the pointers given by the System. In the streets just meters away from him were the four Eastern Desert bandits who lived in seclusion, who also tried to steal Benjamins things. They were looking around as if they were searching for something.
Benjamin was speechless the moment his eyes met them.
These people. Why did it seem like he would run into these four things every time he walked around the City of Rayleigh?
Benjamin approached them and patted at one of their shoulders. The four of them turned their heads simultaneously to look at him, but they could not recognize Benjamin underneath his disguise. Thus, they just stared at him with an expression that said, "Who the heck are you, bro?"
"Follow me," whispered Benjamin. Benjamin had no choice; as a standard underground gang, there was no way that he could wash his disguise away on the streets itself; that was basically screaming at the church, "Quick, come and catch me!"
Any conversation should take place at a more private location.
"Why should we follow you?" Sadly, the four bandits were not very cooperative. They looked at him as if he was insane.
Benjamin was honestly fed up when he heard that.
"Um Do you still remember how I flew all of you to the Eastern Desert to meet the elder not long ago?" He hesitated before he continued, and his voice went even lower. "Yeah, thats me."
Their eyes were immediately filled with confusion. "No, something is wrong. He doesnt look like this. Youre lying to us."
"Thats because Im in disguise now!" Benjamin was at the edge of a nervous breakdown. However, he could only keep his voice low. "Arent you people bandits? How is it possible for you to not see through this? What kind of useless bandits are you?"
In their silence, Benjamin finally managed to tug them into a deserted alley. Then, he washed the disguise off his face, and the faces of the 4 bandits morphed from one of stunned dumbness to total surprise.
"It. It really is you," said one of the bandits in disbelief, "Thats so masterful! There was not even a flaw that we could spot!"
Benjamin was at a loss for words. That was probably because of your incompetence, alright!
He shook his head and threw these thoughts to the back of his mind. Then, he said gravely, "Shouldnt you be with the wheelchair-bound man? Why are you here?"
"The elder told us to seek for you," they answered.
"Seek for me?" Benjamin frowned. "What for?"
Did anything happen? The wheelchair-bound man immediately exposed Aldrich as an agent working undercover for the church in their last conversation. Could it be that another unexpected person was found out to be working for the church?
Really, he would face difficulties in handling these situations if similar storylines keep repeating itself.
"We have no idea either," the bandits replied, shaking their heads, "However, he did mention that its important and that its crucial for us to find you."
Benjamin could do nothing but nod. Since it was something critical, it was better for him to go. Besides, there were quite a number of secluded mages there right? The changes within the churches would have impacted them these days; there was a possibility that some of them would be unsatisfied with the church and would be willing to join Benjamins cause.
There was also the bracelet that was rumored to be the key to the legendary Abandoned Valley of God. Benjamin handed it to the wheelchair-bound man for safekeeping that time when the situation was too dangerous and there was no indication of the direction of events. Now, it was time for him to get it back when everything was gradually settling down.
Hmm. As he thought about it, he realized there were quite a number of loose ends he needed to deal with there.
Just like that, Benjamin returned to his lodgings to pack and left secret signals for the other mages before he led the 4 bandits to another journey.
"Where did you relocate after I left?" Benjamin asked as he flew.
"We didnt relocate," answered the bandit, "The elder initially wanted to change a hiding place in fear of the churchs pursuit into the desert. Who knows, the confusing news about the Kings demise, the churchs permission to spread their word, and also the Triangular Spirit reached us after several days. After the elder heard of it, he told us that there was already someone who distracted the church from us, and we would no longer need to relocate."
Benjamins lips twitched into a smile.
Indeed, too much happened within the span of a month. The situation shifted so fast that it would be much better to stay put than to relocate in a rush.
Its just that. Somehow they seemed to have no idea that everything was Benjamins handiwork? He wondered how their treatment of him would change if they find out about the truth.
"Right! You planted a curse into our body too!" A bandit barked angrily all of a sudden. "You told us that our intestines will rot in a month. However, the elder told us that the curse had no such effect! You lied to us!"
Benjamin shrugged dismissively.
"I did that just to let you lead the way obediently. Since theres no problem to deal with now, I will relieve you from the spell."
The four bandits sighed in relief after that, the smiles delightful and relaxed.
Since there was no change in where they stayed, the System already had the location memorized even if Benjamin only visited the place once. They arrived at the small hut in the oasis of the Eastern Desert of Ferelden within a day.
As usual, Benjamin splashed the unconscious bandits awake with the Waterball of Healing and left them to their own devices. He walked into that hut alone.
Between the neatly arranged racks was the wheelchair-bound man.
"It has been a long time," greeted Benjamin.
The man looked at him and heaved a sigh, "What have you done? If only I knew it would turn out this way, I wouldve never told you the truth about the Mages Association."
Benjamin was slightly confused. What had happened that he would be interrogated right after he laid eyes on the man? This was as if Benjamin made a mistake!
He did not think that he had made any mistakes.
"Was that the sole reason you got me from 5000 miles away?" Benjamin asked as he shook his head. "How would you know if Im in the right or wrong if you had no idea what I did?"
"Of course I knew what you did," retaliated the man in the wheelchair, "You killed the king, spread rumors in Ferelden to mislead the public to believe that Aldrich is the killer. You then killed High Priests from more than 20 cities, and it is probable that your actions have already angered the church completely."
He inhaled, then took a book out from a slot beside the racks and hurled it towards Benjamin.
"Also, you made this."
Benjamin frowned as he took the book. He looked down.
It was "The Declaration of the Freedom of Magic".