Sunday, November 25, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: [Pargons Of Virtue: book #1] Day #3

Read the rest of my post for day #3. If you have any suggestions, then let me know.

Carl never liked to back down from a fight, or even an argument. When the other player, Brock, taunted Carl, things erupted. Fortunately, Tom was bigger than all the others, and fortunately, the other players helped to separate the two. Even though the two continued to eye each other coldly, they mostly behaved for the remainder of the evening.

John expected Carl to behave, but he also expected the worst. There were times when Carl was golden. He seemed to be the best. There were darker times, too. John had known times with Carl, when Carl planned revenge and followed through with it. He never got caught, and they were not too serious, but they were serious, none the less.

John could not tell if they were

When John got closer, he could see that they a paladin securing the scene said, “I'm going to need you to stand back, sir.”

John said, “I friend, is there a guy there that is about my height with blond hair? He's got a big chest. He's my age.”

“I can't answer any questions right now. Please stand back.”

“What's happening?”

“We're just settling a little skirmish. There is nothing to panic about. I need you to stand back.”

Suddenly, two shots rang out.

John looked away from the paladin in front of him, to the paladins ducking behind a car. They ran around the cars into the basketball courts with all of the weapons pointed. Many of them yelled, “PUT THE WEAPON DOWN! NOW!” and “PUT IT DOWN! PUT IT DOWN! PUT IT DOWN!”

John felt their tones drive a certain menace into his bones, but he also felt a certain comfort, because John had never known Carl to carry and use weapons. He inhaled and waited.

John said, “Please. Can I take a look? I'll just look. I'll stand back.”

“No, it's too dangerous.”

Moments passed. John didn't know if it was a minute or ten of them. Soon, he heard a siren in the distance. It grew louder and came closer. An ambulance turned on to the street. The paladin said to John, “Sir, step aside, please.”

John did so. He chose the opposite side of the street of the courts, in hopes of getting a better look. He thought to himself, “Please don't turn around. Please please please.” When the ambulance did not turn around, he said, “Oh, good.” They pulled out the stretcher, and took it into the courts. He took a deep breath, and said, “Hey, I might know the guy. Please let me get closer.”


John thought about the possibility of Carl carrying a weapon; even a baseball bat. John wondered if the paladins would fire over that.

The paramedics brought the stretcher out with somebody. John saw the person's dark hair and tattoos, and recognized that it was Brock. He breathed a sigh of relief. He did it again. A sly grin emerged, and he thought, “Good. He deserved it.” John checked his phone. He was surprised that only five minutes had passed. He waited another fifteen minutes for the others to emerge. The first few paladins seemed more relaxed, when they came back out. John turned to the paladin and said, “Hey, is it okay if I go now? I'll stay on this side. I might know some of the people there.”

The paladin took a look. He uttered some jargon into his radio. After listening to the response, he nodded to John, and said, “But stay on that side.”

John nodded back. As he got closer to the courts, he saw more people that he recognized. He then saw a paladins surrounding Carl to help him.

Another fifteen minutes had passed before Carl came out to the sidewalk. John sensed that Carl was being careful to not use his left arm. When Carl looked up, John waved. Carl waved back. Carl crossed the street, and shook his head, while maintaining eye contact with John.

Carl said, “Unbelievable. Un! Believe! Uble! Tries to jump me. Push me around. Somebody calls 911. I can't believe how fast everything just happened. Argh!” It was mostly dark, but John could the look of incredulity on Carl's face.

John said with a firm tone, “Okay, but what happened?”

“We were just playing as usual. They came back with guns and stuff. It was a continuation of last time. He was just being a baby, and act all tough like he was some kind of gangster. It was the stupidest thing that I've ever seen. You'd laugh. We did. To prove that he's not bluffing, he fires a shot to the side. It must have hit that house over there, and they must have called 911. There was more yelling, and the paladins came. Some of them took off just before the paladins pulled up. Cowards. Brock, the idiot, decides to stay around and have a stand off.” A smile emerged on his face. “What's he going to do? Take them the all on.” He shook his head in disbelief.

John looked at Carl's bloody lower lip. “So, you're okay? Other than that?”

“Yeah, yeah. I'm fine.” Again, he shook his head in disbelief. “I just want to kill the guy, man. Comes here waving a gun in my face. He's not even from around here.”

They turned and walked towards home.

John said, “They looked like they got him good. Maybe that'll smarten him up.”

“Yeah-eah-eah, but he's still alive.” He chuckled and shook his head. He grabbed John's ball, and bounced it.

John nodded, and a continued listening. After a moment, he did a double take at Carl. John wondered if he heard correctly, when Carl said, “but.” He knew that Carl was upset, and just speaking his mind. He also didn't want to nitpick over each word, so he dismissed his thoughts.

After a slow walk, Carl crossed the street to his home, and John walked into his.

John's mom said, “Why were you gone so long? .

John went to his room, and collapsed on his bed. He took a deep breath, and cleared his mind. A lot of what Carl had said really struck John. John realized that if things were only slightly different, then Carl could have been on another stretcher, or even worse, it could have been only Carl. He wondered if things could be have even worse. He thought, “If he had showed up at the courts just a few minutes earlier, and if Brock had come without guns, then would Carl have picked a fight?” He figured that it would be too unrealistic, and that Carl would never do such a thing. Even though John would have tried to separate them again, he imagined having to jump in to help, if a fight actually did escalate.

John vaguely recalled a sermon about how God sometimes prevents people from getting what they want, so that he could protect them. That seemed like such a ludicrous idea--at the time.

# # #

The time had come for John to make a decision. Nobody else offered him any opportunities, and he hated searching for volunteer work. This was the last day to accept the volunteer job at the senior's home. He called Sally and accepted.

She said, “I'm so happy to hear you say that.”


“Great. So just come on Friday, at four. My office is #139. When you come in the entrance, turn left. You can't miss it.”

# # #

After breakfast, on Saturday morning, John went to his computer, to read Wikipedia. The page on paladins contained so little information about them. There was a bit about the first mention in medieval literature. Web searches turned up very little also; just entertainment related. John found it so peculiar that so little information could be found. He tried a few web addresses containing the word, and found nothing.

Tom said, “So, what did you learn, this week?”

John, said, “Well, I learned that you guys are tough and hard to find.”

“Didn't you say that we were tough, last time?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“So, what was different, this time?”

“Well, I saw you guys dealing with a situation outside my house. The paladins were just a few blocks away at the basketball court. They shot a guy, who we really hate. He deserved it. He probably even mouthed off to the paladins.”

“Why do you think that that means we are tough?”

“Well, you don't take backtalk. You don't tolerate people, who mistreat others. I'm sick and tired of the way that crooks and bullies can get away with things when the government isn't watching.”

Tom was sitting in the seat closer to the head of the bed, and he held his usual aimless gaze, and subtly nodded, as he contemplated every word. John was sitting in a seat, as well. They both faced the bed, unless John was listening to Tom. A small table was in between them, and it was all in front of a window.

John continued, saying, “Even when the government does watch, sometimes it even approves of corruption. It's not fair that we are mistreated. It's not fair that we have to try to be good. It's not fair that they can get away with everything. With the paladins there, we never have to worry. Everything gets taken care of.” He waited for a response. “Don't you think?”

“It's not fair, but it's also not like that. What did you learn about basic training?”

“Nothing. I couldn't find anything.”


“Nothing. I searched for paladins. I tried web addresses. Nothing. Only a Wikipedia entry, but that had nothing.”

“Did you try forums?”


“Try that.”

“What am I supposed to find?”

“Anything. You could find the same things that I could tell you. You could also find different things. I've forgotten a lot, and the times have changed. We are a very traditional bunch of guys, but the bottom line is that the people that become paladins are people. They bring their culture with them. We try to get rid of a lot of it, and instill our culture and virtues in our recruits—and even our veterans—but we can't get rid of all the bad stuff. We also try to keep the good cultural aspects that they bring, and even try to create new culture too. Did you know that?”

“No. I knew that your weapons and uniforms have changed, but I expected everything else to be the same.”

“Have you killed anybody before?”



“Because I'm really good at my job.”

“Didn't you go into any scary situations?”

“I did. Lots of them. Several, each week.”

“How could you not kill anybody? What would be the point of being a paladin?”

“We are defenders of the peace.”

“What's the point, though? Anybody can hold a gun, and then let a crook get away.”

“Yeah, but we don't let them get away, though.”

“We take them in and lock them up.”

“That's lame.”


“Because you guys are supposed to be the good guys. Why be that good, only to be like everybody else? Why not just be a neighbourhood patrol of...of volunteers. If the crooks only get back on the street, then that's pointless. If you are powerless to kill them, then they can away with more.”

“That's true, but I didn't say that I was powerless. I just said that I didn't kill anybody.”

“Ah, I see where you're going with this. You shoot people, but don't kill. That's better than nothing.”

“Why is it so important that we shoot people?”

“Because they deserve it. If I were a paladin, I'd just walk up the dude and pop him one—right in the head.”

“Imagine this. You grow older, have a family, and hit hard times. Would you do anything to protect your family?”

“Yeah, for sure. That's why we should kill them. I don't want bad guys coming around here, harassing my friends and family. Protect them!”

“Right. So, if you you were out of a job, and hadn't earned money for over a year, and had bills to pay, then would you beg for money?”

“I don't know. No, I wouldn't.”

“You wouldn't beg to feed your family?”


“Would you rob a bank?”

“No, of course not! I'm not like that!”

“Not even, say, ten bucks? Just to buy a small meal for junior?”

“No! I would never do that.”

“What about steal food from the grocery store?”

“Well, no.”

“What about just an orange, and a bit of sandwich meat? Maybe a small carton of milk for the kid.”

John sighed. “I don't know.” He sighed again. “What's the big deal. I could always pay them back, anyways?”

Tom held his palms out, and said, “Especially if it wasn't your fault.”

John nodded, too, and said, “Yeah, exactly.”

Tom nodded, and smiled. “So, if you and your friends got laid off from the same jobs, at the same factory, at the same time, for the same reason, and have been unemployed for the same length of time, and all have kids, then--”

“No, no. I see what you're doing, but this is different. We're not trying to pick on people. We're honest. We work hard. We treat people fairly. I would pay them back.”

Tom shook his head, and then nodded. “Right. Don't shoot you and your friends. Shoot the bad guys.”

“No, that's not it. You wouldn't have to shoot us. You're supposed to shoot them. Them.”

Tom had a big smirk on his face. “Yes, we don't want to shoot certain people.”

“No. That doesn't count.”

“You see, John. Everybody thinks like that. Everybody wants us to treat them a certain way--”

“Yes, but they don't deserve it. We aren't trying to hurt anybody.”

“Yes, but everybody thinks the same, and most people can be brought to justice without killing. Wouldn't you want me to talk to you, if I caught you stealing red handed?”

“I wouldn't be in that situation. I would save my money, and work hard.”

“Very ideal words. Life doesn't always happen the way that we want it to. Let me tell you about my best friend, when were your age...”

# # #

My friend and I were just finished high school. We were hoping to work at a factory in town. Honestly, he talked about bad guys getting away with things, and about doing what was right. It turned out that he did get the job, and a lot of other people too. Unfortunately, I was one of the people that didn't make it. I was a little devastated, because my dad kept pressuring me to join the holy order. My dad and his dad, and so on, had been paladins for generations. It looked like such a dorky thing to do; like only goody two shoes took those jobs. I wanted to be like everybody else.

After trying hard to find jobs in town, I gave up, and joined the order that my dad did.

The first day was intimidating. They shipped us off to boot camp. We didn't bring any personal belongings other than what we wore. We actually had to empty our pockets before we left. Guys did try to sneak things in, but they either got caught, quit, or changed their attitudes.

That first day was very disorientating. We all like to joke that the first day is Disorientation Day. There obviously is a lot of new stuff going on, but it is rather strange in a different way, too. In the order, they don't just yell at you. They yell threats of kicking us out. If we don't work hard, then they'll kick us out. They also yell threats of making us miserable if we try to quit or try to get kicked out. You want to know what it's like being between a rock and a hard place? Then, you join the order. In the first course, you don't succeed, because you believe in virtue and ideals. You succeed, because you don't want to be punished for failure

Take Drill Sergeant Pounder, for instance. After they corralled us into our shacks, where we'd sleep, he and his assistant barged in on us, and yelled, “Silence! I am Drill Sergeant Pounder! When I am speaking to you, you have better shut your mouths!” Throughout all of this, he waved a stick at us. “If I want to hear from you, then I'll tell you. If I want you to have an opinion, then I'll tell you what it is.” He paused for effect—I think, but you can be sure that it worked, because even the talkative guys stood still. I even heard a trainee drop a small piece of clothing. Pounder heard it too, because he said, “Stand still! I am talking to you! This does not mean that you can mill about sifting through your belongings!” After a moment, he said, “I will be your instructor for this course! This is my assistant, Subsergeant Barnes! During this course, it is our responsibility, and that of the other instructors to ensure that you receive nothing less than the best training that this order has to offer! If at anytime, you feel that you are mistreated or are not being taught properly, then you have the responsibility to bring it to my attention or that of Subsergeant Barnes. If that does not produce satisfactory results, then you must bring it to the attention of my superiors, whom you will in meet in the next few moments! Now! Outside! Outside! Everybody outside!”

All of us quickly prepared ourselves to go out.

He saw me scrambling to stuff my things back in my locker. So, he stomped over and

He walked deeper into the room, yelled, “That does not mean make an appointment or think about doing it! It means get OUTside! Do it! Go! Go! Go-o-o!”

All of us dropped what we were doing and hustled outside. We did not know exactly where we were supposed to go, but the other trainees were filing out also, so we congregated with them, in an open area, that our shacks faced, in the hot summer weather. And to think, I wanted to ask when was lunch.

We started murmuring with each other to figure out what was going on. It was basic training, and we knew it, but we were trying to figure out why they never told us earlier that they wanted us out here, and what the big deal was.

The other instructors came over, and yelled at us, just like Pounder did. So, there we were, with the sun in our eyes just waiting for instructors to do something. And we waited; and waited; and waited. One trainee looked at his watch.

An instructor said, “Problem, trainee?”

He shook his head.

“You got to be somewhere? Is that it?”

The trainee thought for moment, and then shrugged. He pointed back to the shacks and said, “I thought that we were supposed to--”

“To what?! To go back, have a nap, and keep us waiting? Is that it? We all need to have a meeting, but don't worry. We'll all wait right here, until you're good and ready to grace us with your presence. Is that okay? Is that what you want?”

As he shook his head, a big fellow marched in with his entourage. He had a chest, that seemed as big as an ox, and he was taller than the others. He head was cleanly buzzed. He said, “I am Lead Sergeant McCracken.” His voice was deep and booming. He seemed to display every warrior stereotype that you could imagine. “I bet that some of you came here to use guns, and to earn a sword, some shining armour, and a shield. As far as I am concerned, you are here to prove yourselves, in the most gruelling test of what it means to be a tough man of integrity.”

# # #

Many years ago, my friend, Alf, got laid off at the factory. He was a hard working guy, and he was honest. He did not expect this setback to really phase. He was surprisingly optimistic for almost a year. Even during that first Christmas, he did okay. He never gave his kids presents and did not fill the stockings. I was surprised, but he was known for pinching pennies, so it kind of did not surprise me. I felt for the kids, and I never did get to hear their thoughts on it, when no parents were around, but he raised his kids to be loyal. They were good kids.

All the way up until the eleventh month, he seemed to put on a strong face, and I am sure that he meant it, but at the start of the twelfth month, something snapped.

At church, I checked up on him, and he had this vacant look.

He said, “I'm fine. Everything's going to fine. I've run low on money, but...there's still time.”

I said, “Time for what?”

“Time to get a job!”

I pulled him aside, and said, “Hey, I've been putting into practise those money saving tips that you taught me.”

“Good! Good. You ought to save money. It's really important to save. You never know when something bad could strike you and knock you might your fault.” He took a deep breath, and looked away. I did not look carefully, but I thought that I saw tears start to well up in his eyes. “This might sound crazy, but it means a lot to me to hear that, because it means that at least one of us has a good future.”

“The news is actually better than that. I have been able to put away some money, and 'keep pace' as you taught me. I'd like to pay you a couple thousand bucks.”

When he heard that, his breath escaped him. He looked like he just won the lottery. His face then changed back. “For what?”

“ remember when you sold me your car?” I looked away a bit to appear as embarrassed as possible. “I appreciate you cutting me some slack, and so on. Well, I got the vehicle appraised, and you let me save a couple---a few thousand dollars.”

“No, you didn't. That rusty bucket was worth a few hundred dollars. I sold it to you for that much so that I could get a good deal.”

“And you got a good deal, but it was worth more.”

“I know what you're doing. You want to make it look like you owe me money, so that I could accept this pity money. Couple thousand dollars!”

“No, a few thousand. And plus, you taught me these money saving techniques. I think that they are worth about four thousand, so a fifty percent discount ain't bad.”

“That's what want me to believe.” He shook his head in disbelief.

I wanted to strangle the guy. Everything that I said was true. The car was worth more than what he thought. He did teach me money management skills. Although I was not really embarrassed in front of him, it really was embarrassing to have to have a friend sell a rusty car you, just because you're broke. The difference between me and him is that I was used to being broke due to my own mismanagement, and I trusted him to not be judgemental, so I gladly accepted a helping hand.

# # #

John said, “So, your friend was lying to you. You said that he was honest.”

Tom said, “He was honest, and he still is. How was he lying?”

“Well, he was putting on a show up until that time, pretending that things were going okay. Instead of asking for help, he didn't man up to it, and he started hiding his problem.”

“It's not like that. He put up a bit of a presentation, but he really believed that things were going as planned, and that they would get better. What he felt and what he believed were two different things.”

# # #

So, Alf started to leave, but I grabbed his arm. I said, “Look, you might believe that things will get better, and you are willing to tough it out, until the end, but you don't know how critical it is for your kids to get what they need right now.”

“I know what they need!”

“You like to save money. Did you know that you could move to Africa, and buy food really cheap there?”

“Yeah, so? Why would I want to go there? It's horrible.”

“Well, not entirely true, but why do you go to those places, and save your money, and live like impoverished beggars?”

I want what best for my kids. You think that I want to short change them, now that I'm poor?!”

“Actually, no, but I do have my doubts.”

“If that plan sounds so unappealing to you, then why would you turn this money down, and choose poverty for them for...for an indefinite time?” I could tell, that something resonated. I could almost see cogs turning in his head.

He shook his head, and then looked away, while he said, “Fine.” Without looking me, he held his hand out.

“I don't have the money here. It's in the bank. That's what you said to do with it.”

He nodded, with a tiny bit of a grin, like a master who was proud of his pupil.

“So, I'll drop it off, sometime this week, okay?”

He nodded, but he still was not looking at me. I felt awkward.

I said, “Look, we're friends. This isn't welfare, or borrowing from the bank, or begging.” I held a hand out. We shook, and I gave him a hug.

He hugged back a little, and I felt that he was about to crack. When we let go, he still did not look at me, and just walked off.

# # #

“See? He was lying. He was upset over everything, and he kept trying to hide it.”

“Don't jump to conclusions. That's what I always say. That's what they teach us in the order. Even though Alf was not a paladin, he embraced the idea. So, even when he was about to crack, he was holding on the hope that he had. That's what we were looking at.”

“Paladins are supposed to be valiant warriors of law and order, and we are to bring about righteous judgement. That means never jumping to conclusions.”

“Yeah, so you told me this story about your friend, so that I would be more like him. No, thanks. I respect you, and all, but I don't respect your friend. What's wrong with a free handout?”

“It wasn't a handout, though.”

“Yeah, I agree with you, but if it were as extreme as a handout, then what? If there's nothing wrong with it, and if he tried his best for over a...almost a year, then why not get a handout?”

“Yep, if only life were so simple. I tried to convince him of that.”

“So, we agree. What's the point of the story? I knew that all ready.”

“I haven't finished my story, but the important point now and at the end of the story is to not judge.”

# # #

So, I was uncomfortable, I knew that he was a man of honour, and he really cared about his family. So, I believed that he would really use the money that I gave him later that week.

Everything seemed okay, for the next couple of weeks. At church, he was down, but he also seemed more relaxed. He seemed resigned, though. I did not know what to make of it, so I just carried on as usual.

The following Wednesday, we got a call.

“We got a hold up at--” There was too much noise in the drill hall.

As we were getting suited up, I said, “A hold up at which bank?” I needed to know, because I was driving.

My troop leader said, “No. At Superstore.”

I had such a weird feeling. There was some money at a grocery store, but it was not the best place to steal money. Also, I pictured Alf. It was so out of character for him to do that, that I kicked the thought out of my mind. It made no sense.

When we arrived at the grocery store, we secured the area. Some of us did crowd control, and tried to get witnesses. Some of us stood behind cars, with our weapons drawn, just like on TV. Somebody even pulled out the megaphone.

Every now and then, one or two people would sneak out with their hands up, saying, “Don't shoot! Don't shoot!” We had never seen that before. Usually, the bad guys can keep their hostages in place. Everybody, coming out, told us that there was only one guy in there, and that he had only a hand gun.

We did decided to move in. We did not have cameras all over the place, in those days, so we were going in blind, and with faith in the people that we spoke to.

We found him in the produce aisle, with his arm around somebody's neck, like in a head lock, with what appeared to be a gun pointed at the head. He had his weapon inside his pocket. His clothing was all black. He had a turtleneck and a balaclava.

My buddy yelled at him, “Put the weapon down!”

He put his hands up, right away. You could tell that the goon went in completely unprepared. We cuffed him, and pulled the mask off.

When I saw who it was, my heart sank. I looked around. I was hoping—in fact, I was certain that it was a drill. I expected our officers to step out from hiding, and say that this was all a drill. They tended to do these things.

When I watched my guys take him off to the waggon, I shook my head. I just wanted to strangle him. It made sense, but it did not make sense.

One of my fellow paladins came and gave me a celebratory pat on the back. He shook his head too, and said, “What a doofus, eh Tom?”

I wanted to strangle this guy, too, for being so disrespectful to my friend, but he was right.

# # #

“I agree. Your friend was a doofus. No disrespect intended. It's just not right for him to do it. I can't respect somebody who threatens the weak and endangers others.”

“I don't ask you to respect them.”

“But you do want me to. Otherwise you wouldn't have told me this story.”

“No. I just want you to know that you can't judge others. I'm not finished my story.”

# # #

When finally processed him, things had quieted down. I brought him out of his cell, and into a questioning room. We sat there in silence. We looked each other in the eyes for quite a few minutes.

I did not even know where to begin. I wanted to tell him how poorly he did, and how to improve, but that was not exactly my job. I shook my head again, and said in a scolding voice, “What were you doing?”

“I was just getting some groceries.”

“Then why the hold up?”

“They saw me stealing. Somebody said, 'Hold it right there!' when I put an orange in my pocket. I didn't want to go to prison, so I pulled out my balaclava, that I brought, just in case, and the rest you know.”

“Is this a joke?”

“Of course not.”

“What happened to the money that I gave you?”

“The bank came and threatened to take away the home, unless I paid them.”

“When was the last time you made a payment?”

“Six months ago.”

“How much did you have left?”

“About fifteen bucks.”

“Oh, Alf.”

We both ended up silently staring at the table in front of us for another few minutes.

I felt so ill.

# # #

John said, in a condescending tone, “So, you got him off the hook, then.”

“No. I did whatever I could to throw the book at him, and to protect his family. I took them in as if they were relatives. When he got out, I helped them get up on their feet. I should also add, that I kept that conversation confidential from the lawyers and judges and my bosses.”

“So, you arrested your own friend. Good, but what's the point of telling me this? I don't know lots about being a paladin, but this sounds like an ordinary day in the life of a paladin.”

“The point is that people do wrong things, and yeah we are all bad, in a sense, but there is no need to kill them. In that case, even shooting him was a bit extreme. He just had a very bad run of luck, and wanted to feed his family. He could have freeloaded off of me, instead of the store, but he panicked. We was so used to keeping a good reputation, that he forgot about what was important.”

“I'd say that not stealing is pretty important.”

“Yes, you are right, but when you are in the heat of the moment, you try to remember everything that you believe. I never asked him, but I am sure that he would have payed back every penny, and then some.”

John sighed. “I don't know. Your friend goes into a store, and steals, and you don't want to shoot him. Okay, you don't want to shoot friends. It's not a good way to be popular. I get it, but it still doesn't mean that you should be allowed to not want to shoot people.”

“That's not the answer that I want, but at least, we're making progress. The bottom line is that killing and shooting is often unnecessary, even if they aren't our friends. Before I knew who it was in that store, I had to see if there was a way to deal with him, without bullets. You have to remember, that there could be kids who depend on that person. Also, he just might be in desperate times. Maybe he just did something wrong, and didn't understand the law. In all those situations, none of them would come along willingly. We still have to bring them in. Their unwillingness and their mistakes don't justify killing and bullets.”

“Okay, fine. So why become a paladin at all? If you don't like killing people, which is good, then why didn't you just do something else for a living?”

The end. Thank you for reading!

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