Release That Witch - Chapter 422
A notice had been issued two days prior. On the day of the trial the stage was surrounded by a large crowd. The square area was much larger after the extension but it still wasn’t large enough to accommodate the entire community. There were scattered snowflakes falling from the sky, but everyone was too excited and completely ignored the wind and snow.
The atmosphere suddenly reached extremity as Roland appeared on the stage.
Watching the audience at the bottom waving their arms at him, he was emotionally touched. Once he had been almost a laughing stock in the eyes of the nobility and he'd had little influence on his subjects. Now, after just one year, the situation was reversed.
With shouts from the crowd, the Priest Campus was pushed onto the stage. His facial expressions changed a little while facing the crowd. Perhaps this parade was common for the top management from the church. They were accustomed to worship from the believers, and could easily influence the lives of these people with a single word or action, Roland thought. Except that this time, he probably wouldn't go through the brilliance of the past.
With excitement in their eyes, the witches from the union walked up to the wooden stage. They had always been slandered, hunted, unjustly treated and tried. But this time the roles were reversed. Witches were the victims, accusers, and jurors, and the trial object was the church. They had always imagined such a scene, but never expected that such a day would come so quickly.
Roland waved his hands and the people quieted immediately.
"Greetings, my people."
"The purpose of today's gathering is to reveal a shameful crime. The church has hidden the truth from the very beginning. I wouldn't have discovered this shocking news if the Priest of the Holy City had not been captured in a rebellion case."
Roland had been thinking about how to reveal the church’s crime effectively for the past two days. The rebellion case of Fallen Dragon Ridge shouldn't be the key point, because the story from a small town far away from them wouldn't gain their attention;the Battle of divine Will and the Kingdom of Witches shouldn't be mentioned, for the story of a few hundred years ago was irrelevant for them and it might cause panic if it revealed the existence of demons. He needed to share something that they cared about in order to arouse the indignation of the masses.
In other words, it had to touch their hearts.
With no doubt, the witches who lived here shared the same daily lives with the people.
"The church has claimed that witches are the devil's minions, persons that are neither clean nor fortunate, but in fact, both the Pope and the Archbishop have been sheltering witches in a surprisingly large scale! This was said by the Priest himself." Roland faced the Priest and said, "Am I correct?"
After a long silence, Campus replied, "Yes."
Discussions broke out in the crowd.
"Your Highness, is he really a priest from the Holy City?" someone asked.
"Of course," said Roland, showing an expression of praise in the direction of Echo. "He was sent to the Kingdom of Graycastle in the name of the church as a Saint, and all the documents he’s brought reveal his identity!" Roland pointed to a small table beside the wooden stage. "Priest’s robe, badge, circular letter, all can be used as evidence."
The crowd was liable to doubts about these, so he would let Echo ask first and then answer them accordingly. Furthermore, these items were real, he didn't need to fake it.
"My people, come back to what I said before," continued the prince. "Take note of the term I used—sheltering! Yes, they gather female infants and orphans from all over the country to the monastery of the Holy City and these women are treated as animals. Only a few turn into witches, and proceed to further their training. The rest simply become trinkets for Church believers."
"No, these ..." Campus raised his head and opened his mouth, but he could hardly make a sound.
"In order to get more witches, they shelter female wanderers in the name of relief, and even collude with Black Street Rats to steal infants! Please think, my people, if there were a church in this town, you wouldn't only lose Miss Nana, but also a family member of yours could be missing too. They claim that the witches are evil spirits, seduced by demons, and drive believers to persecute these innocent women. Could you tolerate if Miss Nana was framed by them?"
"Never, Your Highness, never!"
The atmosphere of the square was hot, and people shook their fists, expressing their anger at the Priest.
"Miss Nana can't be evil, and she is the one who cured my injury!"
"I've know her since she was little. She was my daughter's classmate in Karl's college."
"I would have been killed by demonic beasts if not for her healing. She is an angel to the First Army."
Roland paused for a moment so the crowd could voice their dissatisfaction, then he continued. "So, why did they do that?"
The question caused a commotion among the subjects.
"Because the church needed witches to maintain their rule!" Before they could make more speculation, the prince said, "As you know, the witches’ abilities are varied and incredible! Besides Miss Nana's healing and Miss Lily's elimination of demonic plague, they have many other abilities that can improve our lives. The water supply equipment in our town was made by Miss Anna and Miss Soraya. The flintlocks used by the First Army and the steam engine that pulls the miner's truck, all these are gifts given by the witches. Our town wouldn't have achieved any of this without their contributions."
"But everything has two sides. Like a sword, it can be used to fight the demonic beasts or used to kill the innocent. The church is using the witches' abilities to hurt good people. And those who don't obey them are regarded as God's outcast. In fact, the top management of the church is committing a heinous crime which is recorded in the doctrine, and they completely disregard that their God is watching them."
"My dear people, if your children were to be kidnapped by the church and used to hurt you after being trained. If they became the church's whip and razor, how sad that would be!"
Roland turned around, walked to the front of Campus, expanded the long roll of paper, and asked loudly, "Do you have anything else to say about the accusations recorded on this paper?"
"These... are all true." Popping his eyes, the Priest looked as if he couldn't believe he had uttered these words. "I... admit guilt."
The masses became very angry.
"I hand over the right of judgment to you all!" Roland said loudly while the crowd was agitated, "For this evil, your choice is..."
Everybody was shouting the same words, soon there was only one voice left in the square.
In Border Town, with scattered snowflakes floating above, the people made their choice.