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21 The Truth Of Tierra

 Leah Yakaran kept her saber leveled at Carlo, the man whom she once respected the most.

"Uncle Carlo..."

"Your Highness, I'm the one who taught you the way of your sword-I know your every move." Carlo said coldly. "You know very well it counts for nothing against me."

Though the young girl did not have any intention to simply give herself up, there was bewilderment within her.

Her mother had passed on due to complications with childbirth, while her father had also died early on. During her younger years, many people around her in the palace believed that it was a retribution from Yakaran the Eleventh's atheism, and saw her as a heretic as well despite having survived sheerly by luck. Even if those same people disguised it well, she could notice that they held disgust against her and would rather keep a distance.

In her childhood, the closest person to her was essentially her grandfather, the last monarch of Tierra.

Leah's grandfather whom everyone else cursed as blind and foolish had believed that the gods were simply parasites of this world, that even if they were far more powerful than humankind, they would not offer any aid to develop the world, human or civilization. What was worse, their desire of faith from humankind was an obstacle to the advancement of eras, and as such he had become the only existent atheist, even fabricating the Church of the God of Games and establishing it as the national religion for disguise.

Yakaran the Eleventh had chosen 'games' as a made-up faith thanks to his opinion that entertainment elevates the happiness of the citizens, that it was something quintessential for them to unwind after a busy day at work.

It actually proved true as well: when Yakaran the Eleventh held the crown, Tierra's power as a nation was once several times that of her neighboring nations added together.

And yet, it was also the very cause for disaster, because any person who led a basket full of gold and gems but did not have the ability to protect that wealth would only ever draw coveting looks.

Although Tierra boasted astonishing riches, the country did not have a deity with the power to sufficiently protect it. Against former armies blessed by their gods, defeat was inevitable even if their own mortal legions had finer weapons or armor, and the country hence ended up split and annexed by its neighbors.

In the war, Yakaran the Eleventh, Leah's grandfather made a last stand in the citadel of the royal capital so that she could escape, even after enemy forces had broken through.

It was then that the unbreakable stronghold was burnt to the ground as clerics of the Golden Temple which consecrated Emporio the Sun God jointly cast a divine spell, invoking the sun's wrath...

Even so...

Was defeat and death inevitable, unless they lowered their heads before the parasitic gods? Was grandfather wrong in his policies for only wanting to share joy with his subjects?

In this very moment, the girl was left hesitating. Once immeasurably determined to exact vengeance and rebuild Tierra, her thoughts were now shrouded by a mist with no clear path forward.

Such a moment of hesitation would certainly leave her distracted in her standoff against Carlo-and being her sword instructor, and the former captain of Tierra's Royal Guard, that moment was not lost upon Carlo.

Even before she could gather herself, Carlo had already bounded forward, easily dodging two other guardsman's pincer strike and sent Leah's own saber flying out of her hands. Stumbling two steps backward, the girl almost fell over.

"It's finished." The leader of the cult who was hidden behind his dark cloak and mask laughed cruelly, totally uninterested in that elegantly decorated blade that dropped right before him.

Meanwhile, Carlo was pressing home the advantage: capturing Leah meant complete success for their operation, and it was fine whatever anyone else would do.

That was when a blinding radiance suddenly shone out of nowhere, instantly taking away everyone's vision!

As the light soon faded, all the cultists realized that the survivors of Tierra-including Leah had all vanished. Only the traitor Carlo remained, and was left utterly baffled by what actually happened.

Meanwhile, Leah was the first to react after being covered in that light.

She found herself within a space of pure whiteness. Around her, her escorting guardsmen were stiff like statues and not reacting. She could not revive them whatever she did.

"Don't waste your breath. Their faith is too weak for them gaze upon a god directly."

The girl was at once alert when she heard the unfamiliar voice, and instinctively reached for her sword. It was then that she found that she no longer had it, instead quickly drew another from one of her guardsman's scabbard and assumed a stance.

"God?" Leah appeared doubtful-all she could make out was a nearby blurry humanoid form that seemed to be the one speaking.

"That's right."

"Then you're mistaken. I'm a non-believer, as real as it gets!"

Despite her outburst, the girl then considered things for a moment after learning about her present state, and began to bargain with Xi Wei seriously. "Although I'm not sure why you brought us here, I should thank you for the moment... did you come for me? Please spare my men if that's the case for they are innocent. You could do whatever you want with me!"

Though she was not convinced she was talking to a god, the other being was undoubtedly powerful to have the strength to whisk them away from the cultists' encirclement, and would absolutely be more troublesome than the cultists themselves. To resist now would be folly-anything else could wait after she gathered a little information from the other being.

"Well, that's a pity I'm not some perverted god." In the white void, the vague silhouette barely resembling a human replied. "But you should know my name, for you have prayed for me just a while ago..."

"What?!" Leah was dumbstruck.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

"Allow me to introduce myself," Xi Wei smiled-the fish had taken the bait. "I am the God of Games!"

"The God of Games... You actually exist?"

It seemed that even a devout believer such as Leah had begun to doubt that he was real after so many unanswered prayers. Indeed, if Xi Wei had not shown his face just now, the faith in him on her end would probably have been severed.

"Well, yes, but we should begin with apologies. I actually just awakened and couldn't help when Tierra was besieged," Xi Wei continued with that his enigmatic tone. "That being said, your prayers all this time had no gone to waste-for I have risen from my slumber! Now is the time to rebuild Tierra, the kingdom of my friend!"

Leah felt a myriad of emotions when she heard those words from the god she believed in.

She never expected that the ever-silent god had come to aid her in her most desperate hour.

At the same time, the girl had a feeling as if she was a vagabond who finally found home, the place she truly belonged.

It was so warm that she could break down in tears.