Chapter 30- Venir Veritas

Chapter 30- Venir Veritas

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 30

 

Venir Veritas

 

           

            Venir gazed at the stranger in the mirror. The pale skeleton in front of him had a coat of long faded blonde hair reaching passed his waist. His collarbone and ribs all but ripping through his skin. His face unfamiliar, decorated with hollow cheeks and a scar spreading like a smile on the right side of his face. The slave brand of a thorned crown wrapped around his neck. Only his eyes were recognizable. Cold as ice. Lifeless. Venir remembered those. They were his father’s eyes.

            The sight of what he had become shamed him. How the perfect had fallen. He could not recall what it was he used to look like but he knew that when people had gazed upon him they admired him. No one would admire this shameless monster. No one would even recognize this shameless monster. This monster who’s only concern was his own life, who aspired for nothing other than to maintain his own miserable existence, who no one loved. This was a monster best kept in the dark where no one could see.

            Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong!

            The sound of the bell came again. That meant he was coming. The one who pulled him from the darkness and into the light. The one who promised him that the dark days were behind him. The one Luna told him not to trust. The one Sol told him was the person he had been waiting for all this time. So far the man had only shown him kindness, but for how long.

            The wooden door creaked open and Cardinal Daimios entered the small room. He was young for a Cardinal, Venir had noted. Even with all his time locked away from the world, after seeing the light much of it had started to return to him. Cardinal was the highest-ranking position within the Church, excluding Prophet. For the few that attained it, it took years of service and knowledge. Cardinal Daimios could not have been older than his mid-thirties.

The Cardinal looked as if the color had been sucked out of him, skin so pale it looked like snow and hair so dark it looked like a Rat’s. Dark curls hovering over observing silver eyes suggested he was Judician. No matter the time and place, there was always a kind smile resting on his lips. It was a mask Venir often saw on clergymen. The kind of smile capable of seeing anyone inside an innocent home.

Whenever he came across any of the clergymen of Yggdrasil, he recalled the night his whole life changed. While it had not been actual men of the Church who did the deed, it was their robes that permitted the tragedy. Had the Church never ordained a Week of Repentance, he would’ve never known the horrors inflicted on him, and Emilia would still be alive. And Erica, last he had heard of her was when they reached Eden.

The journey they had taken to the Holy City seemed both an eternity ago and an instance of eternity in memory. For what felt like months, he had been forced to travel gagged, blinded, and walked by a rope tied around him. He never once had the privilege of speaking to his unfortunate friend whom he’d accidently dragged into this mess. He did hear however when they complained about her pace or her grunts from when they hit her for falling down. The only time Venir believed neither of them were gagged was when they were being fed, an likely she was as afraid to speak as he was. During that journey was when he realized that this was the life he was going to live until the day he died. That was until Cardinal Daimios came into his life.

Daimios spoke of kindness, a future, and God. Venir wanted to believe two of the three, but would not dare fool himself. He had been naïve in the past and suffered great disappointment and agony due to it. Daimios demonstrated kindness and showed hope for a future, but as to why remained a mystery. There was absolutely no reason why anyone should show a worthless monster any form of sympathy. Luna had often warned that the price for believing in others was always pain and disappointment.

            The kindly Cardinal stepped in front of Venir, they were of a height. Only then did it finally register to Venir that he had grown. He had seen Daimios walk beside other clergymen and known him to be a tall individual. “Does your reflection elude past memory?” asked the Cardinal.

            “I’m a monster,” answered Venir.

            Daimios shook his head. “You are one of many children of God.” Venir wanted to argue God’s existence but would not dare provoke the man in fear of losing the kindness being shown to him. “I would see you return to such form. Put on the robes I left you and follow me.”

            Venir dressed himself in the brown woolen robes. The texture felt soft and warm against his skin. It was a feeling he missed. Gazing upon his reflection one more time he felt a sense of relief that his hideous body was being covered.

            Daimios led him through the wooden interior castle into a dining hall. At its center was a large wooden rectangular table surrounded by kids. The table was filled with all sorts of food. The kind that Venir had once dreamed of and forgotten existed. The sight of it made Venir’s mouth water.

            “In the house of God all children are treated equal and may feast upon God’s gifts,” said Daimios. God did not place this food on the table. Who placed the food on the table mattered little though. Food was food. The most valuable thing anyone could ever attain in life.

            The Cardinal guided him to a wooden stomp beside two kids. A girl of about ten and a boy that couldn’t be over the age of eight. Venir took a seat obediently. Both children looked at him and smiled. Venir couldn’t comprehend why. There was nothing about his presence that should produce a smile.

            Daimios went to stand at the far end of the table. “Let us thank God for another day of life and this blessed meal.” Everybody in the dining hall pressed their hands together, closed their eyes, and said nothing. It’s like saluting the Fuhrer except to an imaginary friend.

            You do not belong here amongst these believers,” whispered Luna. Venir knew she was right, but whether or not he belonged, this beat the darkness any day.

            Once everyone broke from their trance Cardinal Daimios gave permission to eat. Venir was hesitant at first, still skeptical about the whole situation. No matter how much he wanted it, Luna’s voice just kept reminding him how he didn’t deserve any of this. After he saw all the children eating though, he decided to feast as well. In the house of God all children are treated equal. That means even a nonbelieving monster like myself has the same rights as those that believe.

            After the first bite of heaven, Venir thought he might just become a believer then and there. Food had never in his entire life tasted so great. The concept of eating like a civilized human being did not even occur to him. He devoured everything in front of him like a beast. It wasn’t until he finally started slowing down that he noticed all the eyes staring upon him. It was enough to make him feel like the monster he was again.

            “You don’t have to stop, you know,” said the little girl next to him. She was a tiny thing. Skinny, short light brown hair, deep big blue eyes, and a full smile that could light even the darkest days. She reminded him painfully of Emilia.

            Venir looked away, trying to forget the memory of his little sister. She pushed her own plate in front of him. “You can take from mine if you want,” she said. “I’m full.”

            He shook his head nervously. “I-I’m fine. I had my fill already.”

            “No you haven’t. You’re just scared. I know exactly how you feel, I was the same once.”

            She tried to push her plate closer and Venir panicked and slapped it away. The plate flew across and over and shattered on the floor, scattering food everywhere. “I said I’m fine!” All the eyes in the room glued to him and regret started filling its way into every inch of his body. “I’m…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”

            Venir closed his eyes and pressed his hands against his ears and ran. He returned to his small room and crawled atop the bed in the fetus position. What have I done what have I done what have I done what have I done! They’re going to take me back now. I ruined everything. He was kind to me and I ruined everything. I shouldn’t have eaten so much. I wasn’t that hungry. I was selfish. I was greedy. I’m a monster!

            The door creaked open and Venir hugged himself tightly, bracing himself for what was to come. “No one is going to hurt you, Venir.” It was Cardinal Daimios. Venir felt a slight sense of relief but was still too afraid and uncertain to turn around. “What they did to you…it’ll never happen here. I promise you. So come, the children are eager to meet you.”

            A hand touched his shoulder and Venir flinched. But no pain came after. Slowly, Venir opened his eyes and turned around. The Cardinal’s silver eyes looked upon him with sadness. Inside was a shine reminiscent of his mother’s. A genuine affection long forgotten. But was it real?

            It’s all a trick,” warned Luna. “Why would a clergyman ever show a nonbeliever like you sympathy?

            Because there are still good people in this world,” argued Sol.

            Good people?” laughed Luna. “Like the ones that never came to rescue him from the darkness.

            Like the one that did.

            Venir stood up. “I’m…I’m sorry I ran.” He looked at the floor. “I was just scared.”

            “As to be expected,” said Daimios. “But I’m here to show you that it does not have to be that way.” He raised Venir’s chin to face him. “I want you to walk with the children, Venir. Travers the sacred grounds of Yggdrasil and learn the way of God. I know that you doubt his power, but you’re not at fault.”

            Fear shot through Venir’s spine. “You know…?”

            The Cardinal smiled. “You are not the first to enter these sacred grounds absent faith. And you shall not be the first to be placed on the righteous path of God. However there is no rush. For as long as you are within these walls you shall be safe from harm and free of want. You have as long as you may need to open your eyes to the truth. Just remember that only you can place yourself in the path of God and that we can only offer guidance.”

            It all sounded too good to be true. “Why…? Why help me after all this time?”

            “Because God protects all his children.”

            “All his children,” repeated Venir, bitterly. “My sister was born sick, only to die before she ever even knew what it meant to live. And any hope of a future I could’ve had was lost the day her heart stop beating. How does God answer to that?”

            The discomfort and hurt reflected in the Cardinal’s eyes. “Sometimes we can’t save everyone. Sometimes we fail to protect them before they are harmed. We pray for the life of every soul born into this world, but as God’s humble servants, even we are sometimes powerless. All we can do is keep trying, so that the next child may still have a future.”

            Venir decided it wasn’t worth arguing. Nothing he said would turn back time. And there was no cause in making his only friend an enemy. “Where can I find the children?”

            “You need not find them. I’ve already arranged an escort for you. He is young, but a loyal servant of God and knowledgeable in the ways of the Holy Grimoire. You would do well to learn from him.”

            “If that is what you require of me…your…Eminence.” The word sounded awkward in his mouth.

            The Cardinal placed a friendly hand on Venir’s shoulder. “I require nothing of you. I merely steer you in the path of righteousness.”

            After Cardinal Daimios left, Venir was left with no one but Luna and Sol for a while. Luna walked idly nervously in her naked blue skin while Sol stood beside Venir shining bright with a sense of achievement.

            They want to make you into a believer,” warned Luna.

            So what if they do,” defended Sol. “Believer or not, this is the path he must take if he desires happiness.

            Happiness? You call this happiness?” She directed her attention towards Venir. “Are you happy?

            Venir looked at the monster in the mirror. “I don’t know. But I’m not in pain. The people here don’t hurt me. They don’t punish me for being the worthless monster that I am.”

            The Cardinal has poisoned your mind.

            Sol was quick to disagree. “The Cardinal has healed it. He’s reminded him that there is still kindness and hope in this world. Kindness and hope that you would have him throw away for the cold comfort of darkness.

            “Kindness that I would have him use until we no longer need it,” corrected Luna. “And when hope of a better life presents itself, seize the moment and run.

            Run where? He has no home to turn back to.

            Away. To where there are no Cruorians or clergymen. He’s already learned the hard way that neither is to be trusted.

            Hearing the two argue was like hearing two bad singers attempting to harmonize. “I will stay,” announced Venir. “I will not betray kindness with disobedience. Every Judician knows better than that.”

            The door to the room creaked open and in came the boy who had sat next to him in the dining hall. His hair was light brown and shaped like a mushroom above his tiny head. Venir stood literally about twice his size. A thousand years ago he might’ve had shame in taking guidance from a child, but dignity was a quality long forgotten.

            “You must be Venir,” said the child. “My name is Gorgius. I am one of the Children of Yggdrasil. I will be your guide for the day.”

            “Lead the way and I shall follow.”

            Gorgius smiled. “Right this way then.”

            The child sounded oddly mature, still a child, but with discipline far above his age. Venir still recalled how Emilia often spoke out of line at the dinner table much to their father’s disapproval. It was sad to see such innocence stripped away from someone so young. But if Judicium prided itself in anything it was discipline. And the Church was as much part of Judicium as anything else.

            The first location Gorgius introduced Venir to was the mass hall. Much like the one in St. Gilles Cathedral, it was filled with people performing silent prayers and some chanting nonsense from the Holy Grimoire. Looking around, Venir noticed the plentiful crimson colored robes of Cardinals. It quickly reminded him of Cardinal Gilles whom he never saw but spoke to very intimately. Thinking back on it, had he never taken the holy man’s advice, Emilia might still be alive and he beside her safely in their home.

            Gorgius next led him to the font, where baptisms were performed. Venir had heard of the ritual before but had never laid eyes on one before. The one inside Yggdrasil was unlike what he assumed would be found in a church. The room was carved in a cylindrical shape with a crater at the center filled with water.

            “Once baptized, all the sins passed on by one’s parents are cleansed,” explained Gorgius.

            “Only the ones carried by our parents?” asked Venir perplexed.

            “The holy water can only cleanse us of sins not truly our own. At birth, we carry all the sins of both our parents, which is why we are baptized shortly after being born. Children themselves, stripped of any real choice, are innocent. The sins we later commit in our life however are of our own accord and conscience mind, and must be redeemed through act of confession.”

            If sins are carried over, then my soul must be condemned to hell a million times over for the sins of my father alone. The mockery humored Venir, but in truth he cared as little about the damnation of the soul as he did the puddle of water in front of him.

            The next location found them in front of a lectern in an isolated room filled with candles on the walls surrounding it. The lectern took the shape of an angel, in its hands a Holy Grimoire.

            “What’s so special about this room?” asked Venir out of curiosity.

            “In every holy palace, there is a lectern in the form of one of the seven Archangels. This lectern takes the form of Gabriel, the Archangel of Pride. Only through these lecterns and reading upon their Holy Grimoire can one speak directly to the heavens.”

            “Isn’t that what praying anywhere does?” argued Venir.

            “Praying is merely the act of wishing to be heard,” answered Gorgius.

            “And God the Almighty only helps those who pray…?”

            “God offers guidance to all he can. But one cannot find what they do not seek.” This kid has an answer for everything.

            Venir gazed upon the lectern. It had the likeness of a young man, about as perfect as the image of a man could get, with the addition of two heavenly wings attached to its back. “You said there were seven Archangels. Who are the others?”

            “Michael, Archangel of Greed. Raphael, Archangel of Gluttony. Uriel, Archangel of Sloth. Mary, Archangel of Lust. Lucifer, Archangel of Wrath. And Judas, Archangel of Envy.”

            “Why are they all characterized by bad qualities? Aren’t angels supposed to be the representation of all that is good?”

            “Even angels are flawed. Only God is perfect in all aspects. The Archangels are perfect in all but one. However, placed upon the path of God, each redeems their sin by placing it in service of the Lord Almighty.”

            The following location was the altar, which stood amidst a choir. While it was the altar that Gorgius meant for him to see, what truly caught Venir’s attention was the choir. Standing in rows were numerous young boys singing in high-pitched voices. Their music to his ears was what food and water had become to him in the darkness. I’d thought such marvels in the world to have vanished along with the rest of my happiness.

            Their singing reminded Venir of his days in L.H.A. The days when he stood before a crowd and was praised for his singing instead of beat. The days when his life still had worth and he was something beautiful and admired. His voice had always been Erica’s favorite thing about him. She often told him how she could listen to him sing an entire day and never get tired. Erica…I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen.

            “Venir?”

            Venir snapped back into reality. “I apologize, I got lost in thought because of the singing.”

            “And it made you…cry?”

            Venir hadn’t noticed when his tears descended his cheeks. He quickly wiped them, slightly embarrassed. “It’s just, I used to sing too…back when I lived in Lumina.”

            Gorgius smiled. “Then you can sing again. I’m sure his Eminence, Cardinal Daimios would approve.”

            “That would be…nice.”

            “Well, this concludes all I was asked to show you for today,” informed Gorgius. They returned back to Venir’s room where Gorgius excused himself for a quick moment before returning with a Holy Grimoire in his hands. “Before I leave, I was asked to leave this with you.”

            Venir took the hefty book in his hands. “I don’t know Illumian.” Illumian was a lost language even to the Illumians themselves. Only clergymen studied the words and learned to read and speak it.

            “You will learn. As all children of Yggdrasil do.” Is he implying I’m one of them already?

            Venir placed the book on his bed. “Then I will leave it by my side until I can. Thank you.”

            The child smiled and was gone seconds later. Venir had heard of the children of Yggdrasil before, but never cared enough to invest time into learning about them. He knew that at one point in their lives though, they were all orphans. Much like the children in Judicium’s Youth. Many believe it was the Children of Yggdrasil who inspired the creation of the Youth. It showed that a child could be molded into anything and put to purpose. How would you feel father, to know the Church is not so different from you.

            The door reopened and inside came Cardinal Daimios, his kind smile ever present. “So how did you find the tour?”

            “I thought it was very…enlightening.”

            “But you remain a nonbeliever, yet.”

            Venir picked his next words carefully. “I’ve been through a lot and have lost even more. It’s not so much that I doubt God as I wonder, if he does exist, where was he when my home was attacked. When my sister got murdered. When Erica, a friend who should’ve never been in my house that day, was taken captive to a world of misery alongside me. How can I believe in someone who was never there for me? I know what you said before, about not being able to save everyone, and how Gorgius said he can only guide those who seek guidance, but how can I just sit here and convince myself that I deserved all that has happened to me. Please give me the answer, because I’ve been searching, and no matter how hard I look, I can only keep imagining that it should be someone else here in my place.”

            The Cardinal was not half as quick as Gorgius with his response. “I cannot undo the past, nor can I find blame in you for the act. What happened happened. And whether you blame yourself or someone else, nothing will change that. We can only continue moving forward and hope to land on the path that God originally intended for us. It may very well be that all that happened was meant to happen for you to end up here for some greater purpose. But I do not know that anymore than you. What I can tell you is, take the life that has been given to you, and cherish it. For it is the one gift that God has given to you and will always remain with you until the day your soul departs from this world.” Daimios placed a comforting hand on Venir’s shoulder. “I may not be able to bring your sister from the dead, but perhaps I may yet find your cherished friend to your embracing arms.”

            Venir’s heart skipped a beat as his cold lifeless eyes regained some warmth. “You can save Erica?”

            “I can try. Nothing is certain, but you have my word, as a Cardinal of the Church and faithful servant of God, that I will do my best to see that your friend may yet have a future. All I ask in return is that you to give God an honest chance.”

            This changed everything. “Save her, and God can have all that remains of me.”

            



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
What are your thoughts on Venir's new home? Do you think he should seek a life within the Church or risk his sudden change of fortune at an attempt to escape in hopes of something better? What are your initial thoughts on Dante Daimios? What are your predictions towards Erica and her state?

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I love Venir's chapters tell best! He's moved into the number one spot of my favorite characters. XD His appearance shocked me a little, but I can sort of picture what he looks like now. And I think he should stay within the Church and try to find Erica. I am curious to see what has happened to her. Daimios, right now, seems like an okay guy to me. I wouldn't but total faith in him right yet,but I don't think he would hurt Venir. I can't wait to see what happens next. I need to have the next chapter now!

Posted 8 Years Ago


Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

XD Yeah, I've mentioned it enough times.

Oh, and I have the next few chapters of my boo.. read more
Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

Yeah I've honestly been meaning to read it. Just been busy with work, etc. since I just moved. I def.. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

Okay, it's fine if you don't. I understand if you're busy. :)

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Added on March 31, 2013
Last Updated on March 31, 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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