When Roland arrived at Betta's house, he saw that the door was halfway open. He pushed the door completely open and entered without hesitation.
Once he entered the living room, he saw two women embracing each other, crying, the sorrowful atmosphere pervading.
It was the maidservant and her freckle-faced sister.
Betta stood by them, somewhat ill at ease. Upon seeing Roland, he immediately came to greet him and said, "Brother Roland, there's something wrong."
Roland looked at the two women who were sobbing and embracing each other. He could guess the gist of what was happening, but he still asked, "What exactly is going on?"
"Lisa's family was assaulted. Her big brother and sister-in-law were killed on the spot, her parents are missing, and the corpses of her second and third older brother and youngest brother were thrown out around the house." Betta sighed softly after he said this.
In reality, they already expected such a situation. Since Lisa didn't die, the murderer, assumed to be intelligent and proud, would most likely come for revenge.
For this reason, Roland and Betta suggested that Lisa's family leave this city. Lisa became Betta's maidservant, so she was relatively safer, and because her older sister was usually at some tavern as a courtesan—places like those were usually protected by certain important figures—she was also relatively safer.
This was why those who were met with disaster were the family members that stubbornly stayed in the city and wouldn't leave.
In actuality, Lisa's parents were betting that Betta would constantly protect them.
However, Betta felt that Roland made a good point previously—he couldn't protect these people forever. Moreover, he was willing to escort these people out of this city to live elsewhere.
But they weren't willing, they insisted on staying, on dying in the city! He was already extremely benevolent. He didn't feel any guilt, but he was somewhat emotional hearing the two women crying.
These two women were reasonable. They knew that this matter couldn't be blamed on Roland and Betta, so they naturally wouldn't shout nonsense like "Why didn't you protect us?!"
However, being reasonable was one thing. They would still feel sorrow and pain even if their parents courted death of their own accord.
"You stay here and protect these two. The enemy might come to this place." Roland looked at the weather outside and continued, "I'll go find Hawk and the others to explain the situation to them."
Betta nodded. Even if Roland didn't say anything, he would've done so.
After leaving Betta's home, Roland wasn't in a hurry to leave the city. He first made a trip to the Church of Life.
Inside the prayer hall, Roland saw Jett kneeling on the ground, facing the statue of the Life Goddess, eyes closed and appearing very devout.
There was no one else except for Jett inside the Church of Life.
Roland walked in, walked up behind Jett, and asked, "Are you interested in doing a quest without rewards with me?"
"Sure." Jett opened his eyes and stood up.
"I didn't interrupt your prayers, did I?"
"It's fine, so long as the goddess is inside my heart."
Roland couldn't help but laugh. "You sound somewhat like you're praying to the Buddha."
"It's pretty much the same," Jett said quite plainly. "The Buddha is a god, the Life Goddess is also a god, just change the name in the prayers."
Believing in pragmatism… In essence, this should be considered a false believer.
However, this didn't really concern Roland. He waved his hand at Jett and led him out of the city.
On the construction site by the riverbank, Roland found Hawk.
Upon seeing him, Hawk immediately brought them into a house, which was newly built but had no furniture inside.
Inside the rooms, it smelled of fresh mud, and for some people, this smell was quite pleasant, but others didn't like it. Jett didn't like it. He gently fanned the air in front of his nose.
"You asked me to put some beggars on the lookout for the Ritter family in the slums. Some time ago, the beggars came to report that something had happened. I guessed that you would come to me soon." Hawk looked somewhat angry. "I don't know much, and the beggars aren't professional scouts, but the perpetrators were definitely north-district gangsters. They killed Old Ritter's sons that night and kidnapped the Ritter couple. They're quite arrogant, treating human lives like bugs."
Roland looked at Hawk's expression and sighed. "There's no need to be so furious. Didn't we already know that humans devour humans in this world? No matter whether it was the heart-feasting incident you took part in, or the missing-girl case Betta and I were caught up in, those important figures honestly never treated the lives of commoners as human lives. Take it easy."
Jett knew that Roland was involved in a missing-girl case, but he didn't know about the heart-feasting incident that Hawk participated in. This was why he looked very curious right now.
"What infuriates me the most is that the commoners here have no intention at all of resisting. They're only glad that it didn't happen to them, as if resigning themselves to fate." Hawk's square face was filled with resentful disappointment. "This has made me want to carry over the contents of the little red books."
Upon hearing this, Jett was immediately excited. "Well, that sounds quite interesting. I think something can be done."
It was evident that he was someone who liked to join in on the fun and cause more trouble.
However, Roland shook his head. "It's impossible. This world's productive capability and military strength are all centered in the hands of professionals and nobles. They can use magic to improve crops, so the land also belongs to them. A fully armed physical professional, not even at an elite level, can easily get rid of dozens of villagers—even if these villagers took up simple weapons. Not to mention there are still professional ranks of Master, Legendaries, and so on, so the disparity in battle power is too great. I'm personally not too optimistic about such a course of action, unless we players increase our levels to a certain degree and possess our own organizations and influences. Otherwise, it's best not to start something like a revolution."
The three of them had all mechanically memorized political textbooks, or else they wouldn't have been able to pass college examinations.
The simple truth was clear—one had to have enough firepower to seize political power. The two of them were discouraged upon hearing this, but they had to admit that Roland made a good point.
Roland saw that they had given up on this idea and continued: "Although we can't do anything major right now, we can still do some minor things. How about we take a stroll in the eastern suburbs?"
With a cheerful expression, Jett said, "Sure, no problem."
Hawk nodded. "Give me a few minutes, I'm going to have a few words with Link."
After roughly twenty minutes, Roland and the other two arrived at the slums of the eastern suburbs.
Things like criminal gangs often developed better in impoverished lands, whereas in the nobles' neighborhoods, who had their own private soldiers and guards, they would only be hammered violently. So, they could only bully commoners and absorb the flesh of the weak, relying on such a way to survive and expand.
In the alleys of the slums, it was very quiet. There wasn't anyone walking around.
Roland looked from side to side, occasionally seeing the eyes of a pauper peeping through a crack in a window, but noticing Roland staring at them, they immediately retreated into the darkness and closed the window tightly.
These pairs of eyes were filled with alarm and fear.
In the alleys, there was an indistinct scent of blood.
 Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, usually printed in red
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