“““Luke-sama, please, let us help as well!”””
It was totally possible that the former bandits were just lying to me so that they could escape, but each of them looked dead serious.
Compare that to their eyes devoid of any will to live…
In any case, I used my villager appraisal on them. Much to my surprise, each of them had an [Ultra-high] village bond level.
“Do not worry, Luke-sama. All of them are now faithful servants of the gods. What they uttered was no falsehood; it was their honest desire.”
“Oh, Millia. Just what did you do to them to change them this much in such a short amount of time?”
Granny was amazing, but Millia was as well.
After she began worship meetings in the church, more and more villagers had a village bond level of [Ultra-high]. At present, such was the case for the majority of the villagers.
Apparently, even for the former bandits.
“It’s all the work of the gods.”
Before I knew it, Millia had become a devout priest.
Her eyes were so full of veneration. It even looked like she was gazing at the face of a god——wait, why are you looking at my direction? I’m just overthinking this, right?
At any rate, I decided to allow the former bandits go with the hunting team in their mission to bring to the village the ones left behind.
Obviously, making all of the people who had combat-type Gifts go at once would leave the village vulnerable, so I asked Balrath-san to stay behind.
A few days after they departed, the hunting team was back.
“Oh! Balrath, Belrith! Thank the heavens you’re alive!”
““That’s our line!””
The brothers were so delighted by their reunion with their father.
So that’s the village chief of their former village. I’m glad to see he’s safe.
Such emotional reunions were happening throughout the village.
When they parted with each other, they perhaps prepared themselves to never see the other party again. So, it was only natural they would be overcome with joy right now.
“What, you’re still alive? I thought for sure you were dead already.”
“Ooh, Granny! You’re safe!”
“Oi, don’t cling on to me. Being hugged by an old geezer will only make me sweat.”
Granny, the one serving as our torturer, apparently had a husband. Moreover, this husband of hers seemed so gentle. Unlike her…
I would like to say the villagers’ families were whole again, but that just couldn’t be the case for most of them. After all, the ones conscripted away still weren’t back.
Just in case they come back to the villages, Selen and her group left notes telling them to come here.
“It’s all well and good…but aren’t there too many of them?”
I heard that all the elderly from the four villages combined were at most 50 people.
However, after a cursory count, it felt like there were 4 times that number. Moreover, there were many young people among them.
“We encountered refugees along the way and decided to bring them here too.”
“Oh, okay. Great job, Selen…huh? Why are the ones there tied though?”
For some reason, a group in the back was tied up with rope. There were about 30 of them.
When I looked at them, they looked rough, almost ruffian-like.
“They’re bandits. They attacked us, so we fought back. Most of them are actually the bandits we failed to capture the other day.”
Apparently, most of these newly captured ones were formerly part of the bandit group that attacked our village. They made a new group, but were still set on the ways of banditry.
When I looked at the tied-up bandits again, I saw the rehabilitated ones talking with them.
“Oi, you guys better be grateful! Even though you’re bandits, you get the chance to enter this village ruled by Luke-sama!”
“What happened to you all? It’s like you’re completely different people!”
“We’ve been enlightened, is all. To the greatness of Luke-sama!”
“Did they…did they brainwash you!?”
“Haha! Brainwash? If understanding the greatness of Luke-sama is being brainwashed, I’d happily be brainwashed over and over again.”
“These guys really are…”
“Don’t worry. Soon, you too will understand.”
“No, no, please, no.”
The tied-up bandits became so terrified.
What could they have been talking about though? At any rate, we should send these bandits to jail.
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