GOD OF WAR IN MAGIC LAND - Season 1 Episode 55
Shang looked at the first poster.
He recognized the person in it.
It was one of the bandits that he had killed.
Why did he have a missing poster?
Wasn’t he supposed to be a bandit?
The officer noticed that Shang hadn’t said anything in several seconds. “The local bandits mainly get their recruits from the beggars and rebellious children,” the officer explained.
“People that have stepped onto the path to power are not lacking money, which is why a lot of them don’t need to become bandits. Of course, there are still some that enjoy that lifestyle of freedom and doing whatever they want, but most of them don’t want to deal with being hunted by society.”
“However, the normal people often need money for multiple reasons. Some need to take care of their family. Some want to take care of their friends. Some need money to survive themselves.”
“Others don’t care about the money but want to do something else other than overtaking their family’s business, shop, farm, or whatever. Some of them only want adventure. However, they all will run into the problem of money and power again.”
“When you have power, making money is easy. When you don’t have power, making money is difficult. However, to make money, you either need to be outstanding in a specific field or power, and to become powerful, you need money.”
“You need medicine, tutoring, equipment, supplements, and many other things to become significantly more powerful than the average person.”
“Most people can’t step onto the path of power due to their minuscule finances.”
“That’s where the bandits come into play.”
“They scout out these troubled individuals and entice them with resources. That’s how they get their recruits.”
“Of course, the bandits aren’t directly handing them the resources to become powerful. What they do is to give them an opportunity to make big money, which would, in turn, allow them to start their journey to power.”
“Nearly all recruits start with Rat Raids. That’s when a group of normal people charges at something valuable and bank on the possibility that the owner of these things doesn’t have the conviction to kill a bunch of unarmored, normal humans.”
“These raids are called Rat Raids because, like rats, the group mindlessly charges forward to gorge themselves on wealth. They know that some of them will die, and they will most certainly get injured, but they are betting on the possibility that they won’t be the ones that will get killed.”
“After they plundered the valuables, the new recruits will give them to the bandits, who, in turn, will teach the recruits about training and how to become more powerful. They are also willing to trade in supplements and medicine for outstanding contributions.”
The officer leaned forward and put her right index finger on the top missing poster.
“Most of these missing people should be recruits for the bandits,” she said slowly as she looked into Shang’s eyes. “The bandits force them to abandon their old life for fear of someone leaking out their camps and locations. They can’t allow any of these recruits to come into contact with their loved ones.”
“They are only allowed to return when they have proven themselves.”
“Most of them will never reach that stage.”
The officer leaned back again.
“That’s why I need you to identify them. Some of them are genuinely missing, and some of them are recruits. According to what I’ve heard, some of them have already died on your hands, and that’s fine. Killing bandits is a good deed, even if they are unarmed.”
“Killing the recruits of the bandits is like killing off the offspring of Pest Cats. They might not be a danger now, but they will become a danger in the future with certainty.”
“So, please, tell me who you recognize,” the officer said as she finished her explanation.
The officer’s words entered Shang’s mind.
She had said a lot, but Shang didn’t agree with everything.
Shang didn’t agree that one needed money to start their journey to power.
Shang didn’t have any money.
Sure, he had received some things from the God, but the only thing of value had been his weapon.
If other humans wanted to become powerful without any money, they could just get some wood and some stones. With that, they could easily make some spears, which they could use to hunt animals like boars or wolves.
With these corpses, they could buy some basic survival gear, clothes, and maybe even a weapon.
Even more, they wouldn’t even need supplements or medicine at the beginning.
Shang had become quite powerful even before he had discovered the Earth Fruit Hedgehog’s fruits.
Training, meditation, training, meditation, training, meditation.
After a couple of weeks, the people would already be strong enough to take on the weakest beasts. Even more, they could also hunt more powerful animals, like tigers and bears.
The officer had said these words to explain the way the bandits worked to Shang. She wanted to tell him two things.
First, he shouldn’t feel guilty for killing them.
Second, they were still humans, and they still had families. They had their reasons to become bandits.
However, the officer only accomplished the first thing.
Shang had seen an easier alternative to power and one that was less morally ambiguous.
These people had had the opportunity to choose that path.
Yet, they didn’t.
Instead of being courageous and putting their own life on the line in hunting and combat, they decided to gamble on their luck.
That path needed less hard work, and it didn’t need the person to be courageous or confident.
When Shang had seen the missing posters at the beginning, he had feared that the bandits had kidnapped these people and forced them to do these Rat Raids.
That had also been a major regret Shang had over the last night.
However, it turned out that these bandits did these things voluntarily.
If they had had no other option, Shang could understand them.
Yet, they did have another option.
They simply didn’t choose it.
Because of that, Shang’s suppressed guilt was reduced by quite a bit.
The officer saw that Shang seemed to have relaxed, and she released a quiet sigh.
It seemed like her words had been effective.
Shang looked at the first missing poster and put it to the side.
“Dead,” he said.
The officer took out a pen and a piece of paper to write down what Shang had said.
“What did he do? How did you act?” she asked.
“He, with some others, broke the cage on my sled wagon. He was one of the ones that ran with my Ice Wood, and I killed him by diagonally bisecting his torso,” Shang said emotionlessly.
The officer nodded. “That was the right choice. Even if he was already running, his fate will deter others from doing the same thing again.”
Shang looked at the next poster.
“Don’t know her,” he said as he put it to the other side.
“Don’t know him.”
“Bandit, but he escaped.”
“What happened?” the officer asked.
“He fled after I killed the first or second bandit. He had fled before he could steal any of my Ice Wood, which was why I spared him,” Shang said.
The officer nodded and hid a smile. ‘He isn’t that coldblooded after all,’ she thought.
Shang went over nearly 100 missing posters, and whenever he came to someone he recognized, he narrated his encounter with them.
By the end, over half an hour had passed, and the officer put the missing posters away in different stacks.
“Thank you for your cooperation,” she said.
“Was that all?” he asked.
A conflicted expression appeared on the officer’s face.
“Not entirely,” she said.
“What else do you need?” Shang asked.
“Well,” she said with a bit of hesitation. “You tried to help me earlier, and you have helped me a lot with these missing posters.”
“So, I want to reward you.”
For a second, Shang became suspicious of the officer’s intention.
He wasn’t suspecting her of wanting to hurt him but of flirting with him.
Shang had been with a couple of women on his life on Earth, and he wasn’t a stranger to romance.
Shang looked into her eyes, but he didn’t see any embarrassment, shyness, or interest. Her posture was straight, and she didn’t show any nervous mannerisms.
Shang realized that she hesitated with these words not because of him but because of her position.
She was probably about to do something that was not normal for someone in her position.
“I’m listening,” Shang said.