18 Lamashan 4715 – Sunday
The others put down the forms before I had much of a chance to react, and I admit, I was reticent to strike them with my suspicions of who they were. But there was no time to dwell on that as shouts burst from the other room. We finally found the Asmodeans, but it was easy to see these were not warriors of any kind. They wore slippers for Milani’s sake. And we were quick to learn that they bore no weapons, well none of the traditional sort. The only weapons on hand were the very books they were here to deface.
There was something utterly pathetic about it and I sheathed my sword in favor of my sap. I know they are attacking me with the deadliest force they can muster with the books they hold, but I can’t bring myself to maintain such an unfair advantage. My headmistress would no doubt be scolding me for such thoughts, but I always believed in a fair fight even if others didn’t.
The priest finally made his appearance, but I had no qualms drawing my sword against him when I saw the mace bearing down upon me. Adria’s summoned tree took the brunt of his attacks, and I’ll have to remember to thank her later. The professor’s demeanor shifted wildly from anything I’ve seen from him before. It is clear he bears a hatred of the Asmodeans beyond what little he shared with us, but he looked nearly feral as he threw spells of lighting and acid. It was honestly a bit frightening to behold.
The battle came to a rather abrupt end when the priest chose to surrender – an act his fellow Asmodeans did not agree with. After restraining the priest, we learned that he had been posted here as a mere security measure which he took quite an offense to. He had been hoping for a more prestigious posting, and I am pleased with the knowledge that he will not attain it.
I don’t particularly like conflict, especially with those I would consider friends, or companions, but I cannot remain silent while some casually discuss the idea of slitting throats and leaving no survivors. I joined this rebellion with the intent of making Kintargo a better place. Some may consider me naïve for believing that there are alternatives, or that people can change. Is the professor himself not an example of change? Did he not leave the church?
And then that question leads me to thinking the worst of him. What if he hasn’t? What if this has all been a ruse? What if he is feeding information to the Thrunes himself? But if that were the case, we would have all been rounded up and executed by now. So then the truth is that he did indeed leave the church. I still wonder why. What does it take for someone to renounce their beliefs, and shift course?
For the time being we’ve reached a stalemate. We’ve rounded up the few redactors rendered unconscious and placed them and the priest in a storage closet. The professor stalked off like an angry cat with Adria in tow. I may not be as old, or as learned, but I have strong principles that refuse to blindly follow a path of death and destruction even if it may end up being “necessary.” At the end of the day maybe I am being stupidly naïve. But then I think of Rexus’ speech, and his following plea to us before he brought us into the fold. This wasn’t supposed to be about revenge, or our personal vendettas, but justice.
I will have to remain open minded. I don’t have all the answers, and it would be unwise to ignore what the professor and Adria say. I couldn’t help how I felt in the moment, but I will strive to do better.
Eventually we rejoined the professor and Adria, but I went straight for the downed figures to get a better look. I already suspected the truth, but when I spied the signet rings upon their fingers it was all but confirmed. I encouraged Rexus to hold onto hope and I wonder now if that too was naïve of me to suggest.