Dust of History - Chapter 4
Dust of History Chapter 4: Daily Life
It has been a month, and the search for that dreadful criminal is still in full swing. On the street, guards can be seen searching everywhere at any time. A portrait has been posted on the streets and alleys, and many are talking about said criminal. Some said it was a spy sent by the enemy, some said it was a new type of orc, and some said it was an evil priest of the Dead Spirit Guild.
Aza followed the old man Sandrew and several vendors around the butcher’s shop. He heard the boss talk about how the evil priest had traced the amulet, shouted, and then all the people in the prison were suddenly disfigured and bloodied. Several vendors whispered and agreed to go to the church to request for holy water.
“The holy water must be sprinkled on a place close to your skin, the underwear is the most suitable for this,” the old man Sandrew said to the several vendors.
A patrol of guards walked past Aza, and some of them even glanced at him curiously.
It was only a glance. Even Aza himself didn’t dare to look at himself when he saw his face in the mirror. His current face looks like a disgusting wax mask that was solidified halfway melting.
The surface is full of oily cysts. His facial features are distorted into a lump, and even his eyes are twisted askew. Even a half-beast or a goblin is much more pleasing to the eyes than him.
Of course, it’s just a mask. A terrifyingly well-made mask that you can even see pores and hairs in, blood vessels on the tumor can also be seen, and it’s even realistic to the touch. The craftsmanship of Sandrew is exceptional, he doesn’t even feel uncomfortable wearing it, but Aza didn’t dare to ask him what the mask is made of.
Curving his back, carrying a mat, limping, and putting on a shabby gown covering his whole body, an appearance which completely suits his face. Following Sandrew and wandering in the street for two days, several people in the street met him and knew him as the hunchback assistant of Sandrew.
Mr. Sandrew was actually a member of the magic academy, and the big house full of corpses belonged to the magic academy, which somewhat surprised Aza. Even in his village of Kalundo, those miners and blacksmiths who were addicted to bad wine and prostitutes had to show respect when they mentioned the magic academy. It is the most important organization of the church.
In the eyes of many people, it is almost the center of the church. It is a place to study magic and cultivate priests and magicians. The royalty and the military are only a distant and abstract concept to the lower class civilian, far less interesting than the rumors implied. But once you are injured or have done something shameful and want to confess, it is the priests of the magic academy who will come to help you. Therefore, in the eyes of ordinary people, it is a sacred and noble place.
But it seems that no matter how holy they seem, they still have necessities. Since the School of Magic wants to research healing magic, they have to study the human body, and there must be a special place for storing corpses.
Of course, considering the sacredness of the church, this kind of research is only carried out quietly where it is not known, and such places cannot be in the magic academy. The big house was built in a remote corner on the west side of the city. The only living creatures in it were Aza and old Sandrew.
In fact, the work of old Sandrew is just to keep and classify various organs and limbs. He is very free normally, sometimes even shopping at the market. But he always likes to play with corpses, such as putting different parts of several people into a human shape, using some mysterious magic on the body, cutting an organ into dozens of small pieces, soaking them in dozens of different drugs, etc. This is a hobby that consumes corpses very much.
Therefore, Sandru has a good relationship with the city guards and wardens. As long as there are corpses that are insignificant or unclaimed, they will gladly sell them to him in exchange for a few copper coins. Aza’s job is to carry, assist in splitting the body, cut the organs, go to the market to buy daily necessities, and solve the problem of the two people’s hunger.
The big building is usually avoided by everyone. But with the exception of the three wild cats nearby, there is also a guest arriving every two or three days. He is also an old man. He wears a black robe, and his cheeks are thin as if he has never had a full meal in his life. There is a black circle under his eyes, as if he has never slept well. Every time he comes to look for Sandrew at night. Whenever this time, Sandrew would let Aza go into the inner cabin to read by himself. The two old men would light candles in the big room full of corpses and organs and talk until midnight.
Two months ago, from the mountaintop in the west wilderness, I watched helplessly as my comrades were annihilated, and then was chased by the beastman, and was almost killed…
Then I came to the capital of Wangdu(royal capital), and somehow became the most notorious fugitive in the capital of Wangdu… Now I am in a big house full of corpses, getting along with a strange old man. When I think of what happened during this period of time, even I feel stupefied.
It’s probably that I can sneak away when Mr. Sandrew is not paying attention. With this mask and his identity in the city, he can definitely get through the gate without any obstacles. But he never did that.
There are many reasons not to escape.
For example, learning magic was an unattainable wish from his childhood. There are many books about magic in Sandrew’s room. And he was here waiting for Brakada’s envoys to send Xiao Yi back. This seems to be the only turning point in this dilemma. The Duke’s order of ‘execution on the spot’ made him gave him no chance to clarify for himself, not to mention that he did not know the reason. The only hope is to wait for her to come back and see if he can fix the misunderstanding.
Aza always believed that the duke put him on the wanted list like this because he had misunderstood something between him and Xiao Yi. That’s the only conjecture he can make for now.
But these are not the most important aspects. He hasn’t run away because Aza doesn’t think there is anything wrong with his current life.
About two months ago, he experienced too much blood and cruelty. Now he doesn’t even feel disgusted to live surrounded by corpses and organs.
It may be because he nearly died in the lizard swamp after brushing with death countless times. But now he doesn’t feel nervous at all when looking at the searching troops in the street. Sometimes, when he saw young soldiers working so hard to search for him, he felt inexplicable compassion toward them. He wanted to stop them and ask them to sit on the street stalls to eat something and rest. He wanted to earnestly advise them not to waste their energy anymore.
Maybe Mr. Sandrew is used to associating with corpses, so he treats people as corpses without any vigilance and was an easy-going person. He never asked about Aza, not even his name or anything of the sort.
Anyway, there were only two living people in the big room. When someone was speaking, he knew it was Sandrew talking to him. On the contrary, Sandrew named the three wild cats who often came to the big house to search for food. He and Sandrew appeared to be old friends who had already emptied all their curiosity toward the other.
More importantly, his daily magic study and meditation used all of his energy. Every day he can feel that he is making progress. From the simplest hemostasis to the real sense of recovery, from the most basic way to light a candle with two fingers until a fish can be cooked with empty hands.
He also found a book full of dust behind Sandrew’s bookshelf. The pages are made of leather, which is very old but not damaged at all. This is a very strange book. From the above directory, it records an impressive amount of magic skills and anecdotes related to magic. But except for the list of contents and the method of meditation in the opening chapter, they were written in a language that Aza did not know.
Aza did not ask Sandrew. He just practiced meditation every day according to the method written in the first article that he could understand.
This is how he studied, practiced, and meditated every day. He has been completely immersed in his progressive life since he was five years old. For him, this way of living is the most peaceful and satisfying. Everything is so natural, without any tension or stress. Aza spent a month unconsciously in this constant life full of corpses and pursuits.
Plain life always makes people feel relaxed. After a long time, people’s feelings seem to melt into every detail of this life completely, and they don’t want any fluctuations and changes anymore. But he also knew that this was not possible. After all, some things could not be ended in this way. He could not be a fugitive for a lifetime without any reason, and could not live in the shadow all his life. Although there is no danger now, the last thing he can endure is that he has a threat, a shackle around his freedom.
And he would not let so many people die in vain on the mountains of the western wilderness.
Out of a strange intuition, Aza felt vaguely that the situation he reported in the duchy did not really reach the place it should have arrived.
“Hey, let’s go. What are you dazing about?” Sandrew put the bag of things he bought into Aza’s hands. Aza took it and walked with his head buried and limping.
That night, Aza was attracted by the light penetrating through the window after meditation. He walked out of the big room and saw the bright full moon for the second time in his life.
Just two months before the last time he saw it, he was at the top of the mountain in the western wilderness. The same soft but glowing moon, that no star dares to take over its brilliance in the night sky. This moonlight brings Aza’s memory back to that time as he relives the night of tragedy.
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