As they moved to their next destination, Master Hykel struck up a conversation with Barrett, “What are you going to do with your newfound money?”
Barrett shrugged, “Well, I presume it’s still somewhat useful to have money of my own. I can’t have you pay for everything all the time. Mostly, I just didn’t want that jerk Denton to have it. Maybe the bank will be mad enough at him to not give him anything… and with the records destroyed they’ll have some trouble anyway.”
“Why not just kill him?”
“Because, this is worse- and he deserves it.”
The pair were silent as they walked the rest of the way, though there was still plenty of noise from the crowd following them.
When Barrett walked up to the doors of the church of Ristos. The news had spread here, and one of the guards asked nervously, “W-what are you doing here? The church of Ristos hasn’t done anything to you.”
“Exactly.” Barrett spoke as loudly as he could for the benefit of the crowd, “Three years ago I was turned away at the door without even the chance to ask for help- because I looked poor. The church of Ristos doesn’t bring prosperity to any but those already prosperous.” He had only a smaller grudge against the church- so he made sure the guards weren’t much hurt. A short minute after he stepped through the doors, he came back out- carrying the statue of Ristos that stood behind the altar. “See this face everyone? The face of Ristos?” Barrett reached his hands up the oversized statue and crushed the head, “It was the face of false prosperity and lies- the face of excess and no care for the poor. Think about what they actually do with the money. Build a large building?” Barrett ripped one of the doors off of its hinge, “Buy golden candlesticks? Purchase large stained glass windows?” Barrett ripped an arm off the statue and threw it into the most prominent window at the front of the church. “That window could have fed the poor in this city for years– but instead only a small portion of them are fed, one day a week. Think about that next time you think the church of Ristos is good for the city.”
Barrett then ran, to be away from the crowds. He changed into new clothes- that had no blood on them.
“Feel better?” Master Hykel asked.
“Of course… not.” Barrett shook his head, “I don’t feel good about any of this.”
“Then, do you think what you did was wrong?”
“Well, no. Perhaps it was excessive though. I could have…” Barrett shook his head, “I don’t know, talked to lawyers and judges, gotten people arrested. I just didn’t want to because it wasn’t fast enough.”
Master Hykel shrugged, “Maybe that would have worked. Maybe not. While some of your actions may have been a tad excessive… I don’t think they were necessarily wrong.”
“Why don’t I feel good about it then?”
“Because you did it for revenge. Revenge doesn’t make people feel good- at least not nice people. Not much, anyway.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that sooner?” Barrett sighed, “I know, I probably had to experience it for myself. What should I have done, then?”
Master Hykel shook his head, “I’ve asked myself that before. I can’t say for sure what you should have done- maybe this was it. However, the most important thing is why you did it. Did you do this because people had done wrong- or because they did wrong to you?”
“… The second thing.”
“That’s pretty much it then. If I’m going to be honest, I’m glad you didn’t enjoy this. I would rather not have to kill you.”
“Don’t worry, I’d have stopped you if I thought you were becoming… truly excessive. You let those who hadn’t harmed you go- and even those you were unsure about. In total you actions might not have been pristine- but they were not without reason. Blood and killing aren’t always the right way, but they aren’t always the wrong way either.”
Barrett sighed again, “There’s something else I’d like to do while we’re here, but I don’t want to cause trouble for them…”
“I’m sure we can figure something out.”
Simon found a bag of coins inside his front door- a large number of coins. With it was a note.
“Sorry about the door- it was locked and I didn’t want to leave this outside. You’re the one doing the best things with money in this city. Even with the cost of repairing the door, this should help you for years… or you can expand your care. I’m sure you’ll pick the right thing. I swear to whatever God you wish all of this money was rightfully mine and not stolen.
Simon shook his head, “That boy is going to need a lot of work.”
“What else are you looking for?” Master Hykel asked.
Barrett couldn’t deny that he had been looking down alleys as they walked. “Oh… I’m just trying to see… there was a beggar who gave me the magic bandages. They got me through the worst parts of everything. He’s probably already… gone… but I never got to really thank him. Best two silver I’ve ever spent- especially since I was just trying to give it away.”
“Sometimes, you never get the chance to say what needs to be said.” Master Hykel shook his head, “So, where next?”
“Durham. I need to see it again… and maybe I can figure out what really happened. It’s not so easy to burn down a noble estate with nobody being able to escape. Maybe I’ll exact a tiny bit of revenge while I’m there.”
“Then we’ll head to the Raging Fire Sect.”
“Do we need to?”
“Absolutely.” Master Hykel’s face turned serious, “We don’t need to destroy it or anything, but I’m going to at least give them a thrashing for allowing their disciples to grow so crooked. You’d never see something like that from the Immortal Berserker Sect.”
“Well, I’m sure there have been a few bad apples.”
“Sure… but not for long. Mistakes are tolerated, but repeated choices to do evil… Well, it’s a shame since we don’t have that many disciples to begin with, but it’s better for them to die.”
“Remind me to behave when we get to the Sect.”
“Behave when we get to the Sect.”
“… Very funny.”