“Did you know about this?” Arsenal suddenly questioned me, her eyes glistening with tears. “Did you bring them back because you knew of their identity? Are you happy now? Are you happy that we fell out and became enemies, that we broke apart? Why didn’t you tell them? Why didn’t you tell them the truth of Noah City?!” she roared, having completely lost her usual cool.
“Arsenal!” Uncle Mason suddenly bellowed. “Luo Bing didn’t do anything wrong. She brought our family back. We are the ones who did wrong. We…” Uncle Mason choked back sobs.
Sis Ceci turned around to wipe her tears.
“Shirley!” Uncle Mason took a huge stride and looked at Shirley, “It is our fault! We apologize. Please let Elder Alufa down first. After you sacrificed… no, no, no. After what happened then, Elder Alufa brought up your children like his own. Whenever we found resources, the children would get them first! He brought up each and every one of them, taught them knowledge, and let them have their own families and children. Look at them now. They are all doing well! They are now the future of Noah!”
“Pfft!” Shirley snorted. “You are merely bringing them up so that you can send them to die in the next war! Then, you can run away again!”
“Shirley! How could you say so?!” Sis Ceci looked back in shock. “We were sisters! You really thought we wanted to do that?!”
“But you did!” Sis Shirley cut Sis Ceci off. “Sisters?! Hmph. Sisters… hmph…” Sis Shirley chuckled lightly, “Why did we go to war while you and Mason stayed back in Noah City, then? Why do you get to bring up your son Harry while we had to part with our children and be in pain?! Xue Gie had yet to even be weaned then!”
“Harry… died…” I muttered softly. Sis Shirley looked at me in the breeze, shocked.
Everyone else looked at their children with shocked expressions, as if to verify the truth of my words. Sis Ceci’s eyes went empty and she stumbled. Uncle Mason quickly caught her and he lowered his head in agony.
Raffles looked at me with a complicated, yet painful expression. Maybe he thought it was because I was unwilling to accept reality that I insisted Harry wasn’t dead.
“Harry… sacrificed himself. If you thought it was unfair that Sis Ceci and Uncle Mason got to spend family time with their son, it’s fair now…” I looked at Sis Shirley and the others, “Now, you can reunite with your family while Sis Ceci and Uncle Mason will live with the pain of losing Harry for the rest of their lives. You suffered for eighteen years, while they are going to suffer for decades to come. Is it fair now?”
Sis Shirley looked at me blankly. The other women became awkward too. They looked at the absent-minded Sis Ceci and Uncle Mason miserably.
I walked next to Ming You and stood in between both parties. Ming You looked at me and I patted her shoulder gently. “In my hometown, there is something called karma. Whoever has done wrong will receive punishment from God. God’s punishment is known as karma. Back then, they abandoned you. Now, they lost their child. This is karma. They’ve already received the karma that they deserved. Can you let Elder Alufa down now?”
Sis Shirley’s face grew grim and she didn’t speak again. She glanced at Sia’s mother next to her. She then creased her eyebrows and let out a sigh. She reined in her superpower and Elder Alufa slowly landed.
Uncle Mason and Sis Ceci came back to reality and went forward to hold Elder Alufa, who staggered along the ground.
“Ming You is right. Family shouldn’t be like this. What happened back then should have been something like this: The Ghost Eclipsers came to conquer Noah City, because Noah City was a military base. Based on the Ghost Eclipsers’ character, they would stop at nothing. So, you joined the war. Elder Alufa determined that the Ghost Eclipsers’ power was above yours, and so he was forced to make a tough decision. He could either use you to buy time and evacuate Noah City, or send you backup and have Noah City fall into the hands of the Ghost Eclipsers.” I looked up at Sis Shirley and the other women. Their faces grew grave as I continued, saying, “All your children were in Noah City...”
Sis Shirley and the other women were stunned. Their expressions froze in the dark night.
“Elder Alufa was actually dealing with a very straightforward problem. He could either sacrifice some people, or sacrifice everyone. His own son, Akbu…” I looked at Elder Alufa and he lowered his face in pain. Since the time I had brought up Akbu and he had fainted, I had already guessed their relation. “Akbu was among you too. Do you think it was easy for Elder Alufa to make such a decision?”
Sis Shirley and the other women looked away and sobbed.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, because whoever made the decision would have to bear the responsibility and live in guilt for the rest of his life. Unless he was cold to begin with... however, he wasn’t. He brought up all your children. He saved me. He gave the best of everything to your children. He compensated with the rest of his life…” I looked at Elder Alufa. His aged appearance was covered in traces of pain. Every single wrinkle was a line drawn by remorseful tears as he dreamed about what had happened every night.
“Everyone, calm down. Sis Shirley, I can understand your hatred. But if you became the master of Noah City and encountered a Ghost King like Gehenna’s Eye, what would you do?”
Sis Shirley creased her eyebrows. She didn’t look at me or speak.
“Even with Noah City’s current power, they definitely aren’t Gehenna’s match without me. So... I’m sorry, but I think I’d probably make the same decision as Elder Alufa in your position: To send some people to hold the Ghost Eclipsers back, in order to evacuate more people. The only mistake that Elder Alufa made was that he didn’t ask you if you were willing to sacrifice for Noah City.”
“Of course we were!” Sis Shirley’s lips were quivering with emotion. She looked at Elder Alufa and stared at him bitterly. “If you had asked us, we would have told you we were! Were you afraid that we would run away if you asked?!”
“I’m sorry… sorry…” Elder Alufa extended his hands tearfully, “I beg for you to return… please come back… I won’t force you to forgive me, but please come back…” Elder Alufa cried. The sight of an old man wailing tearfully was heart-rending.
I looked at Sis Shirley, who looked away in pain. “Sis Shirley, you might not be able to believe in a Noah City led by Elder Alufa. But in actual fact, three years ago, Noah City already passed into the hands of Akbu’s daughter, Arsenal. Now, can you be at ease?”
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