Friday, February 1, 2008

Chapter 3: Funeral (Mark I)

"And let us praise the heavenly Goddess," Father Coteson of Blackwood raised his hands to the ceiling of the temple. "For while the Dragon Knights lost three of their own, they were able to find three new Knights to join their most holy of quests." Father Coteson dropped his hands in a sweeping motion toward the Stained glass windows depicting the five sages sealing away the Dragon Queen. The cloth of his vestments flowed around him. "Let them be honored and praised, for these are great tidings."

The crowd repeats, "Honored and praised."
"Yet one does not honor the sacrifice of the great sages," Father Coteson said as he folded his hands, "who died on this very spot." He looked out at the gathered faced. "The man who should honor this sacred hour above everyone else, can be found at the bottom of a mug." Father Coteson struck his hand out fast enough for his sleave to snap. It echoed in the silent temple. "Fear not! For I say this now! The heavenly goddess is sending forth a sword this very night! And she shall cut down the wicked and purge our town."
A murmur spread through the crowd.
Father Coteson folded his hands. "Show your devotion. Don't follow in his example. Stay home with your family tonight." He bowed his head. "So is the will of the gentle and merciful goddess."
Everyone in the crowd looked around. A few scattered voices called out, "So is the will."
"Now, let us pray for the dead."

As the temple bells rang, Caden ran to the temple doors. He was the first one there, and held them open for Father Coteson. He smiled. "The goddess will reward you, my son."
Caden continued to hold the door open as the townsfolk drifted out. Father Coteson bid people fair well in the temple garden. Caden watched as everyone left. He grabbed Keilee by the elbow as she walked out with her father.
Harron looked at Caden, and smiled. "Don't worry, m'boy. In two harvests, you'll be able to make this town proud."
Keilee rolled her eyes and looked away.
"I'll do my best, Sir."
Harron mussed Caden's hair. He walked over to speak with Father Coteson. His wife and other four daughters followed him.
"Cay--Den," Keilee smiled, "what do you want?"
"Um." Caden looked at the crowd filing out of the church. "You see. I was wondering."
"Do you want to go to the town social with me tonight?!" A couple people stopped as they left the temple, they laughed and walked away. Caden's cheeks burned red.
"I don't know." Keilee looked at her sisters. "I think there are a couple of girls who saw you first."
Caden looked at her sisters next to their father. They saw him looking, so turned away and giggled. "They're too young for me."
"The twins are the same age as you."
"I don't want to go with them, I want to go with you."
Keilee smiled. "Why is that?"
"Because. You know... You're the prettiest, and stuff."
"Really?" Caden looked straight into her eyes. She just smiled and nodded.