Chapter 9- Venir Veritas

Chapter 9- Venir Veritas

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 9

 

Venir Veritas

 

 

            Gods and devils. Light and dark. Justice and order. Is everything just an illusion fabricated on lies? If traitors can be made heroes at a simple whisper, then the Fuhrer is God. Nobody saw it, but Venir saw it all too clearly now. In a world united as one under one man’s rule, the reality was his truth. And why should that be a bad thing? We have everlasting peace and order. Or is that a lie too?

            Venir was no fool. He always knew the stories in the newspaper were the edited version of the truth. But perhaps he never imagined just how twisted the truth would be. Life had never been anything more than what he read and heard. His entire life he knew the peace that was preached. Black Coats patrolling the streets was more customary than it was necessary. Venir had never witnessed a murder, theft, or even a stain of litter. The only pollution he ever saw in the streets was horseshit, and even that was cleaned almost immediately. Order was absolute in Judicium. Judician citizens respected their superiors, travelled in an organized fashion never once causing traffic, helped the community remain a clean and safe environment, went about their day business, those that believed in God prayed afterwards, everyone evacuated the streets by curfew, everything was perfect. Order was drilled so subconsciously into Venir’s mind that he could do an entire day effortlessly without realizing it.

            Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong!

            The sound of the bell signaling the end of the day in L.H.A. brought Venir half back to reality. He followed the single filed lines leading outside the building automatically. How can this be a lie? Every student walked in organized fashion until they reached outside, then they slowly dispersed to his or her carriage. A few lingered about to meet up with friends, but most went about their business. Venir knew that that meant going to church and praying for the majority of them. Maybe I’m overreacting. How could an order every person believes be a lie? The Crimson Treason was a delicate situation; of course they had to twist the truth.

            “You’re even worse than you were yesterday and the day before,” said Erica.

            Venir snapped back to reality. “Really?”

            “Well, you performed excellently in all your courses as usual, but you succeeded in avoiding me the entire day again. And the look on your face looks more distraught than it was yesterday. I was hoping things would be back to normal now that your father was in Judimia.”

            He shrugged. “I was hoping so too.”

            She frowned. “Is it the new bodyguard?”

            “No. Maybe. I don’t know. Each day it’s something new. But it always comes back to my father. I never pretended to know the man, but I thought I at least understood him. Now, he feels like a stranger to me. Nothing about him makes sense anymore.”

            “I’m guessing this bodyguard of yours put a lot more things into perspective.”

            “The bodyguard is as frustrating as my father, but the connection between them seems off.” He wanted to tell her about how against the Church his father was, but that would bring his own faith into question. “I can’t see my father trusting this man.”

            “What about you? Do you trust this man?”

            He shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about him to be honest. When I look at him all I can think about is my father. I was hoping to maybe squeeze something out of him but my father has a lock on his tongue. He seems genuine in his purpose at least, and makes no effort to hide how secretive he’s ordered to be. But he hardly looks bodyguard material. He claims he teaches the orphans of Judicium’s Youth how to kill though.”

            “He sounds like your typical loyal Judician. I think you’re over thinking all of this to be honest. Relax. Clear your mind. You’re too young to be worrying about the world of adults. You should be worrying more about finding your place in the world.”

            “That might be harder than it looks. Most kids follow in their parent’s legacy. My mother is a housewife and my father…I have no interest in raising orphans and much less in wearing a White Coat.”

            “Agreed. I don’t want to wear a Black Coat like my father. My mother works for the Queen of Propaganda in the news firm though. I’ve always had an interest in what goes on in our society. And my mother says I’m good with people.”

            “I arrive and sure enough, Erica is talking about herself again,” stated Vladimir. Vladimir always found his way into any conversation, whether he was invited or not. He was curious, persistent, and had something to say about everything.

            “How dare you of all people imply I’m always talking about myself,” complained Erica, appalled.

            Vladimir looked at her, wounded. “I never talk about myself. I’ve always been more interested in other people’s business.”

            Venir laughed. “As much as it pains me to admit, it’s true. Vladimir is usually the one asking questions rather than answering them.”

            “I can’t believe you’re taking his side,” said Erica.

            “I’m just stating the truth.”

            Vladimir patted Venir in the back. “I like an honest man.”

            Vladimir managed to take control of the conversation soon after. They talked about the meaningless gossip in the academy. Students romancing one another. Course performances. A couple complaints about some of the Instructors and students. All the little things that made life innocent and worth living. It seemed almost an eternity ago that those were the only things on Venir’s mind.

            They continued to linger around the academy entrance until they were the last students in the vicinity. One of the Instructors urged them to be on their way so that they could close the gates to the academy. They continued to walk together up until the gate, before stopping and deciding what to do next.

            “Well, guess this is where we part ways,” said Erica. “It’s Thursday so it’s church for me.”

            Before Venir could give his goodbyes Vladimir warned him, “Venir, I don’t want to hear excuses. Your father is in Judimia and you avoided us last time. You’re coming to church with us today.”

            Venir frowned. “I’m sorry. I have a lot on my mind lately. Maybe next week.”

            He felt Erica grab his hand. “Normally I’d be the first to tell you to just go home, but maybe this is for the best. Sometimes it takes God to help clear the mind.”

            Will God answer all my questions? “My problems are all at home. I don’t think God can help me much with that.”

            That seemed to hit Vladimir like a punch to the face. “You really have lost it. Since when is it okay to undermine God?”

            I bet my father could make a neat list. “Sorry, I didn’t mean any disrespect. Simply that there are some things only you can solve yourself.”

            “True. But what do you have to lose?” asked Erica.

            Venir sighed. “Why is it so important for me to go to church with you guys?”

            “It’s not,” said Vladimir. “It just feels like you’re always avoiding it. It’s gotten to the point that I can’t help but wonder if there’s some other deep reason as to why. I mean I get it, your whole weird family situation and all. But whenever your father forbids things, you’re pretty open about how much it bothers you. With the whole church thing though, it’s almost like you’re relieved.”

            Venir knew it would eventually come to this. He had grown so close to his friends that they could call out all his patterns. He couldn’t even lie to them without them noticing something was off anymore. How can the Fuhrer lie to the world and yet I can’t even fool two people.

            “Fine,” he said. “I’ll go just this once.”

            Vladimir eyed him suspiciously. “Just like that?”

            Venir had to laugh. “What’s so hard to believe? I did promise I’d go once I ran out of excuses. And having a lot on my mind apparently hardly qualifies as an excuse.”

            Erica jumped with joy. “We finally get to pray together.” She makes it sound so exciting. What’s so great about enjoying a spiritual moment alone with God alongside another person?

            St. Gilles Cathedral was easily one of the more impressive structures in Lumina. The cathedral had a more traditional design, more to the liking of a castle from one of the foreign kingdoms. The building structure was high with a giant cross at its peak. It had four bell towers, each in a different corner of the cathedral. It was painted in white with red pointy tiled rooftops and rainbow colored windows depicting images from the Holy Grimoire.

            Upon entering, Venir saw many familiar faces from the academy. He also saw many unfamiliar faces of which he assumed were the families of the students he recognized. Most of the upper class citizens knew each other. Venir unfortunately lived a very sheltered and isolated life due to his father. Scarcely did anyone visit his home, and he never attended church to meet any of the adults who maintained order in the world. Although he probably knew the majority by name, thanks to newspapers and gossip in the academy, he had no idea who was who.

            The cathedral was also filled with deacons in brown hooded robes, who were studying for priesthood. He noted a couple priests with their bronze chains over their brown robes bearing a cross at the end. There were a few Bishops in white robes, and he noticed one Archbishop in a tall hat. He saw no sign of the Cardinal in his crimson robes though.

            Even though this was Venir’s first time attending church, he knew a little and more about Cardinal Gilles. Gilles was one of three Cardinals in Lumina. Out of the three he was reveled as the highest ranking, despite all having the same station. St. Gilles Cathedral didn’t bear his name until after his ascension, after which he had the cathedral slightly remodeled and renamed. Ever since, it’s said he’s only left the cathedral upon summons of the Prophet. Rumor said it had been six years since last that happened.

            Venir followed Erica and Vladimir to the corner of a small bench amidst more benches, all crowded with faithful followers of the Church. The three of them just fit in. A priest was standing on a pedestal in front of them saying some holy nonsense, which seemed to have both Erica and Vladimir’s undivided attention. Venir tried to mimic them, sitting straight and gazing at the priest with his utmost attention. No matter how much he tried to listen to the words though they all went in one ear and out the other. How can anyone bear this numerous times a week?

             It took the best of an hour with some standing and sitting and praying before the priest was done blabbering his garbage. Then everyone started standing up and lining up by different booths. Venir wasn’t sure what they were doing inside the booth but didn’t dare ask. Instead he just followed Erica and Vladimir to what appeared like the longest line. Venir couldn’t understand why in the world they would pick the longest line when there were closer and much shorter lines next to them. To his luck, Vladimir answered the question without anyone asking.

            “A confession by the Cardinal himself, can you believe it?”

            Erica looked at him like he was an idiot. “Haven’t you heard? Yesterday he announced that there would be a Week of Repentance starting on Friday. He’s offering everyone a personal confession before God enters each and every one of their homes.”

A Week of Repentance? Venir hoped Vladimir was as clueless as he was so he could investigate. Unfortunately, Vladimir was well informed in this matter.

            “Well, good thing we’re here then,” said Vladimir, relieved. He turned to face Venir. “Venir, you’ve haven’t said a word since we arrived.” Is it possible for me to even breath differently without you noticing?

            “Not used to talking when I go to church,” Venir lied easily. “You forget I only come when my father is around.”

            “I really need to meet your father. I’ve heard about all his heroics in the Crimson War, but I’ve never actually laid eyes on the man myself.” I bet you haven’t heard the part about him marrying the Cruorian Queen.

            “My father has met him,” Erica blurted. Venir eyed her curiously.

            “I swear, you find a way to link everything back to you,” complained Vladimir.

            Erica sighed. “Should I start asking for permission before I speak?”

            Venir cut their argument off. “Does your father ever talk about him? About my father, I mean.”

            Erica looked at him conflicted. “Yeah…but nothing you haven’t already told me.” She’s hiding something.

            “Did your father ever mention anything about the Crimson…” Venir seized there. What I’m about to tell you can never leave us, his mother’s words echoed in his head.

            “Venir?”

            “Never mind.”

            Awkward silence followed.

            Vladimir examined Venir. “Should I even bother asking what the hell that was?”

            Venir shook his head. Awkward silence followed.

            “So what are you all going to confess?” asked Vladimir, obviously trying to spark a conversation. The line had barely moved.

            “That’s between me and God,” said Erica, adamantly. And the Cardinal, thought Venir.

            Vladimir shrugged. “Fine. So have any of you ever had a personal confession with the Cardinal before?”

            Venir shook his head. “I’ve never actually seen him.” He figured that was safe to say since people made such a big deal whenever he showed himself.

            “That makes two of us. How about you Erica?”

            “I’ve seen him twice,” she said. “But never during the hour of confession.”

            “What does he look like?”

            “Magnificent,” she said, proudly. “I’ve never seen a more holy man. His crimson robes make his golden eyes light up like the sun. Just by being in his presence you can feel God’s force near you.”

            “Someone in L.H.A. said he looked like a walking corpse.”

            Erica’s eyes opened wide with shock and fury. “Not under a holy roof you won’t!”

            He raised his hands up in defense. “I’m only saying what I heard.”

            “Well keep what you heard to yourself from now on. And best save that confession for another day.”

            Vladimir rolled his eyes.

            After what felt like two hours, their turns finally came up. Erica was the first to go. Venir made sure to be behind Vladimir for when she came out. He had been dreading what he was going to say once inside, for the past hour. He felt bittersweet when he saw Erica come out almost immediately. If she hardly had anything to confess, then that means I can do the same. But with each extra minute that Vladimir lasted inside, he felt less comfortable going inside and confessing he was a saint.

            When Vladimir came out, his eyes were teary. That threw Venir’s head for a spin. Vladimir crying? What the hell did he tell the Cardinal? What did the Cardinal tell him? All of a sudden confession didn’t seem like such a harmless experience.

            The inside of the booth was tightly confined. It was dark and red. There was a small bench to sit on and a wall in-between them with a little gate window. The booth was too dark and the holes in the window too small to see who was actually next to you, but that was hardly the most awkward part about it. The booth was so silent you could hear the person next to you breathing. Not a sound from the outside came in.

            Venir jumped in his seat when he heard the Cardinal’s kind voice. “Speak your name child, so that I may hear your confessions.”

            Venir swallowed hard. “My name is…Venir Veritas.”

            “Veritas?” the Cardinal responded in question. “The son of Charles Veritas?”

            He knows my father? “Yes. The very same.”

            “Is this your first time in confession?”

            Do they always ask this during confession? Or is he asking because he knows my father is a nonbeliever? “No,” lied Venir.

            “I see. Before we begin, remember, it is a grave sin to lie to God.”

Does he know I’m lying? “I-I understand.”

            “Speak then, my child.”

            Venir took a deep breath. What’s the worse that can happen? “Today, I disobeyed my father. He forbids me to attend church without him, and yet here I am for the sake of my friends.” It’s not entirely a lie. “I thought I could get away with it since he’s currently not in the city. I know it’s wrong, and yet I couldn’t help myself. Sometimes…sometimes he just makes me so angry. He’s never there, but he lays all these rules.” Why am I telling him this much? “I hate that he hurts my mother and my sister…not purposely, but he does it. And he knows he does but does nothing about it. Sometimes I just wish he left and never came back…but I know that’ll never happen. He’s too cautious to let anything bad ever happen to him.” Did I really just tell someone I wish my father would die? “I-I…forget what I just said!”

            Venir stood up to leave when the Cardinal said, “Wait, child!” Venir stopped. “There’s no need to feel guilty. This is what confession is all about. Releasing all that malevolence inside you. You’ve taken a big step today by confessing your sins. Your sins are wicked indeed, but you alone are not to blame for them. God has spoken to me and I know where it is your evil roots from.”

            Venir sat back down. “You…do?”

            “I’ve seen your father in my dreams before. I know why you fear him, but there is no need to be afraid. Behind the walls of the Church, your father who has turned from the path of God can never harm you. God resides here.”

Venir ignored that and jumped to his own curiosities. “You know my father,” he said, more a statement than anything else.

“We have crossed paths before, yes.”

“Then tell me. Is he a traitor or a hero?”

“What your father is in your eyes, only you can decide. All men are made of both good and evil, however the path they walk is not always clear. It is not for men to decide what is right or wrong. Only God can judge rightfully.”

I knew it. The Church has no more answers than Vladimir or Erica. “If God is the only one that can judge rightfully, then why does he leave it in the hands of men to judge others?”

“God judges only after one has passed on to the next life. Only then can they stand naked before God and can be judged rightfully.”

“Then essentially God has no power over the living.”

“God gives what little guidance he can through the Church and its vessels. It is not for God to fix mankind’s problems, only to guide us towards the right path.” Of course, thought Venir, irritated. “Might I ask a question, child?”

I thought this was a confession not an interrogation. “What would God like to know that he doesn’t know already?”

“Your father, when does he mean to come back?”

Why do you care? “I don’t know. He never tells us anything.”

“It seems your family is in need of God in their life. Starting tomorrow, the Week of Repentance will begin. I am aware that Charles forbids the presence of the Church in his land. But with him away, perhaps it would ease both our conscience if you allowed us access. I think it would do both your mother and sister a great good.”

The only good it’ll do is pissing Father off. The notion was surprisingly thrilling. “I’ll see what I can do.” He stood up. “I’m leaving now. It’s been nice having this confession or whatever you want to call it.”

“May God forgive your sins.”

Venir reunited with his friends near the exit of the cathedral. He looked to Vladimir to see if he had tears in his eyes but all trace of it seemed to be erased. It didn’t seem like him and Erica talked about it though. Perhaps she didn’t even realize it.

 Venir decided it was his turn to be curious. “Why did you come out crying from the confessional?”

Vladimir jumped. “What are you talking about?”

“Your eyes. They were teary when you came out.”

“You must be seeing things. Is that stress getting to your head?”

Venir decided to drop it. “I’m just messing with you. I guess this is where we part ways.”

“Yeah, maybe that’s best,” said Vladimir, unusually eager.

 Erica eyed them both suspiciously. “I almost want to ask what you two confessed but the thought of seeming even remotely like Vladimir discouraged me.”

Vladimir made no effort to acknowledge her. Is this what I’ve looked like to them these past three days?



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
Putting into account everything going on around him, towards what path do you think Venir will end up?

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I'm not sure about what path he'll choose, but Venir is my second favorite character. I really can't wait to see how he and Caius will get along later on, and how Charles will react when he finds out about Venir going to church. XD And I'm curious about the way Vladimir was acting at the end there. So many things I must know. But I don't think It'll take long for me to figure them out. XD

Posted 8 Years Ago


Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

A lot will happen in the coming chapters that'll both answer questions and bring new ones. You'll pr.. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

That I do not doubt. XD But nonetheless, I can't wait to read them. :)

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Added on January 24, 2013
Last Updated on February 1, 2013
Tags: Fantasy, Religion, science-fiction, family, death, betrayal, sex, war, conspiracies, characters, love, psychological, development, God, hierarchy, order, cynical, victorian

God's Requiem


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Cynical_Art
Cynical_Art

New York, NY



About
I am 21 years old, I got my Bachelors in Science Degree when I was 19. My career profession is computer animation (I am an Environment Modeler, for those that follow the profession) but I love to writ.. more..

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