Continued from 5/366 – Friends and Surprises (Cont.)
“How could I have known that the gargoyles were so important?” Morn asked. “No one told me anything about it when I told you my plan to get over the wall.”
“None of us knew, but it still stands that we assumed you wouldn’t break anything on your way in,” Jaque replied.
“Calm down, Jaque,” Celeste said, “I’m sure it’ll be fine. We still have a few hours until night falls. The Masters will likely have it figured out by then.”
“Did Master Scaine visit your classes as well?” Morn asked.
Jaque and Celeste shook their heads.
“Then he definitely knows it was me,” Morn said. “He said that he needed to have a talk with whoever was responsible.”
“I don’t know that I’d go,” Celeste said, “My dad is scary enough, and Master Scaine scares him.”
“I think you should go,” Jaque said. “Maybe there’s something that you can help with since you created this problem.”
Morn nodded, “I think Jaque’s right. I think I need to face Master Scaine. He already knows it was me.”
“But what about what you saw and heard?” Celeste asked, “What if he sends you as reinforcements to wherever that shadow man came from?”
“I’m not sure it’ll come to that, but I did break the statue. I’ll have to face the music at one point or another,” Morn said.
“It was nice knowing you,” Jaque said.
“What the hell is your problem?” Celeste said, “You’re not helping here.”
“He knew the laws before he went out last night,” Jaque replied. “He knew what could happen. He’ll be lucky if they don’t make him into a zombie.”
“Thanks for that image,” Morn said, shaking his head, “You certainly know how to phrase things to make everything seem better.”
“I’m just stating the facts,” Jaque replied.
Morn wrapped his cloak around his shoulders. “I guess I’ll be going. Hopefully, I’ll see you both tomorrow for classes.”
Celeste threw her arms around Morn and kissed him on the cheek. “Be careful, please.”
“I don’t think it’ll matter. The Masters are out of our league,” Morn replied.
“Master Scaine is likely testing your character,” Jaque said, a thousand-yard-stare on his face.
“Where did that come from?” Celeste asked.
“Seriously, think about it for a second,” Jaque said. “If the Master only visited your class, it is likely that he already knows it was you. If that is true, and rather than pummel you in front of the town, he chose to allow you to come forward, he would be curious about something. He wants to see what you’re going to do.”
“You think so?” Morn asked.
“I see what you’re saying, Jaque,” Celeste said. “If that’s true, things look better then before.”
“I’ve already decided that I’m going,” Morn said, “It does help with my nerves, but I would go regardless. I’ve already been caught.”
The three of them stepped out of Morn’s house into the cool evening air. The town looked as it always had to Morn. A handful of people walking around, zombies barely visible in far off corners of the town doing routine things, and a scattering of guards on patrol.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Celeste,” Morn said.
“If you get back tonight, let me know,” she replied.
“I’ll walk you to the gate of the inner wall,” Jaque said, “I have to pass it to get home anyway.”
Celeste waved to them, a sad smile on her face as they walked down the road. Jaque remained silent as they walked for a few minutes, his eyes darting around but not seeing anything. Morn recognized this behavior. Jaque had done it since they were children. He was actively trying to figure out every possible outcome to the problem Morn faced.
“I know you’re trying to help, but could you just talk to me,” Morn said, snapping Jaque’s attention to him.
“Sorry,” Jaque replied, “I’m just trying to ensure that my theory is correct.”
“I know,” Morn said. “I know that you’re not trying to be mean either.”
“I’m happy that you’re my friend, Morn. I really am. I just don’t understand why you do things like this sometimes. Celeste doesn’t understand how many times I’ve seen you go through things like this, but this is far more serious than even the time you accidentally set the general store on fire,” Jaque said.
“I know. I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff in my life, eh?” Morn smiled, bumping Jaque with an elbow.
“Too much for my comfort.” Jaque returned a smile. “You need to calm down, and if you’re going to do stuff like this in the future, have a better plan.”
“But you’re my plan guy,” Morn laughed.
“You need to have a plan for when I’m not there, then,” Jaque said as they approached the gate. “Like for today. What’s your plan?”
“I don’t have one,” Morn said, shaking his head. “I assume that what happens will happen and what doesn’t won’t. I’ll adjust based on that information.”
“You’re insane,” Jaque smiled, patting Morn on the shoulder. “Good luck.”
Morn turned, leaving Jaque at the road, and walked up to the gate where two initiates stood guard. Just before he reached them, he turned to look at Jaque and smiled.
This is it, he thought as he turned back to the monks.
“Good evening,” Morn said to the initiates. “I’m here to see Master Scaine. I have information on the broken statue on the wall.”
Without a word, one of the initiates moved out of the way and opened the gate. The other motioned for him to follow and stepped inside. Morn forced his feet to move as his heart began beating harder and louder in his chest. Each step closer to the monastery drew a greater sense of panic than he had hoped for.
They passed a section of the graveyard that Morn recognized.
“Excuse me, sir, but could I go over here for a moment? My mother is buried here,” Morn asked.
The initiate in front of him stopped and turned to face him, then nodded solemnly.
Morn walked down the row, the other initiate close behind until he reached the gravestone where she was.
“Hello, Mother,” Morn whispered as he got down on his knees and touched the cold granite. “Please watch over me, and if nothing can be done, watch over Father.”
He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer to Rashem.
“I was hoping you’d come on your own,” Master Scaine whispered from beside him. “Now is when we get to see what you’re truly made of.”
Continued 7/366 – The Darkness Below