Emily curtsied to Sylvia. "pleased to meet you" Sylvia chuckled gleefuly. "oh, such manners from a little girl!" Emily scowled and raised an eyebrow. She was going to say something when she was suddenly cut off by Sylvia who began to pace infront of her throne. "Now, when the previous Midnight was chosen he gave all of us rulers gifts for us and our people." she tapped the ugly grey stone on her throat. "We were given these lovely stones, the brighter they shine the more youthful the citizen" Emily remembered the old man with the dim stone. "Those with dim stones are pratically on their deathbeds" at this Sylvia began to giggle. Emily smiled and pretended to be amused rather than disgusted. Sylvia approached Emily and smiled wide. "The previous Midnight told me that you are very good at difficult tasks am i not correct?" Emily smirked a bit. "oh, uh...yeah i did manage to complete some challenges, i wasn't that great" Sylvia only laughed. "Oh your so modest, it's very adorable" Emily scratched the back of her head and shrugged. Sylvia stopped laughing suddenly and looked very serious. "So, as the new Midnight you will be completing tasks for all the rulers"Emily nodded. "Well, i won't keep you waiting any longer, have you heard of the weeping monks of sorrow?" Emily nodded again. "i've read a bit about them yes, why?" Sylvia turned around and sighed. "I want you to retrieve something for me, something that is hidden in that abbey, an item of great power" Sylvia turned to face Emily, her beady eyes seemed to have shrunk even smaller. "I want you to bring me Peter the miserable's soulstone, it will allow me to rule sorrow for another millenia perhaps." she chuckled a little
" My people love me ever so dearly they would hate to see me pass away, you will do this for me will you not? it is the task midnight set for you before you even arrived in this realm." Emily closed her eyes and frowned. 'so i'm to steal a dead mans stone for a egocentric lunatic? well it can't be as bad as cutting out my heart can it?' Emily reopened her eyes. "I'll do it, but won't the monks notice me creeping into their founders tomb and ripping a stone from his throat?" Sylvia didn't need to give it a second thought. "i've told the abbot that i've sent you there to learn our customs and history. which you will be doing also" Emily nodded and shuffeled her feet. "When do i start?" Sylvia beamed and beckoned Emily to follow her. Emily walked beside the woman and they started towards the door. "Now while you are there be sure not to tell anyone, not even the abbot about your task." They were at the front doors of the palace now. Sylvia turned to face Emily. "Secondly, unless they have gone through the cleansing ritual, never let your tears touch the corpse of Peter." Emily frowned and tried to think of wha t would happen if they did. Sylvia walked Emily down the steps where a beautiful black horse drawn carriage was waiting for her. Emily stepped in and sat on one of the comfortable velvet seats and looked outside the window at Sylvia who waved and smiled to her. "Good luck, Lady Emily" The carriage jerked forward and rolled smoothly along the street towards the gates.
A cold breeze blew through the window and Emily heard more moans and cries in the wind. Emily Shivered and pulled her hoodie tighter around her as the carriage passed through the gates of the city and started towards the abbey in the distance. A small crow flew in through the window and sat across from Emily. "So how did you like the Lady of Sorrow?" Emily shrugged. "She was alright, she's got a big head though" The crow chuckled. "Midnight didn't really like her either, she was always swooning infront of a mirror." The crow looked outside and frowned. "How do you feel about your task?" Emily shook her head. "It's not right, to steal from a dead man, but if it keeps Sylvia happy and away from me, i'll do it" The crow nodded and nipped at Emily's finger lovingly. "You'll do great, try not to fall asleep in your history lessons, you don't want to day dream in the realm of sorrow" Before Emily could ask why, the crow had taken off. The rest of the ride up to the abbey was uneventful except for the screams of the wind. The carriage came to a halt outside a tall iron gate. Emily stepped outside and heard someone shout for the gates to be opened. The iron gates creaked open and Emily stepped through into a small courtyard. The walls were tall and appeared to be made of sandstone. the grass underfoot was trimed and neat. There were no exits other than the gate behind her and the large wooden doors a few steps infront. Windows lined the walls, the curtains closed though candelight could be seen. Emily approached the doors and pushed one open. She stepped into a well lit hall which was large like the one in Sylvia's palace. The walls were of sandstone and lined with candles. Hanging over the center of the hall was a large chandelier. the floor tiles were of a dusty grey stone. There were three long tables in the hall where about a hundred monks sat. Some, deep in conversation others, silently looking at the table where an old man was seated.
When Emily closed the door, the room went silent, all heads turned to face her. The abbot looked up and smiled when he saw Emily he stood and opened his arms wide. "Ah, welcome my dear, to the Weeping Abbey, come forward please" He motioned for Emily to come to him and she quickly did so. Her footsteps echoed in the silence of the hall, the monks head's following her as she stood infront of the abbot. His face was pale and his grey hair was short and balding. His kind green eyes looked at her with joy. He embraced her lightly and stood her beside him. He raised a hand to get the monks attention who had started to talk again. "Brothers, Lady Emily of Midnight will be staying with us to learn the ways of our people and our order, Show her your kindness and appreciation" The monks raised their goblets towards emily and took a sip. The abbot contined. "She will be joining us for the first part of our purification ceremony later tonight" The abbot brought emily to his table and sat her beside him. "I am Father Gregor, it is a pleasure to have you with us emily, i will have brother Jacopal show you to your room and where to find the important areas here" Father Gregor nodded to one of the monks and a tall man rose and came to the abbot's side. Father Gregor whispered to him and smiled at Emily. Brother Jacopal nodded and walked over to Emily. "If you'll follow me please" Emily stood up and began to trail behind him. They went up a staircase and down a little hallway. "At the end of the hall is the library and all the doors on the left are the lecture halls where you will be studying, the rooms on the right are the infirmary, the kitchen and Father Gegor's office." Emily nodded and began to follow brother Jacopal up the stairs.
The other hallways contained the monk's rooms and servants quarters. On the third floor was a short hallway which contained only three rooms. "The far door to the right is your room, the room in front is novice David's and the room beside David's is the abbey record keeper's." Emily made a mental map of the place and walked into her room. It was small and square, the walls were painted a dull yellow and the floor was wooden. A single iron framed bed with light brown blankets and a plush pillow stood against the left wall in front of the door with a plain brown nightstand with a candle beside it. A small window with the curtains closed was above the center of the bed. A small desk was against the wall opposite the bed, with another candle on top. Beside the desk was a mahogany wardrobe. Brother Jacopal cleared his throat. "You'll find proper robes inside your wardrobe, the ceremony starts in an hour and a half in the main hall" He turned and left the room closing the door behind him. Emily opened the wardrobe and pulled out a light brown medium sized habit. Emily slipped off her hoodie and changed quickly. The habit fit perfectly, even the leather sandals. Emily tied the black rope around her waist and walked out into the hall making sure to lock her door. She hurried into the library and opened her eyes wide in amazement. The library was at least twice the size of the main hall with hundreds of torches lining the wall. Hundreds upon hundreds of shelves filled the room, climbing up the walls another four rows and still enough room to walk and have twenty reading tables. In the center of the library was a tall marble statue of a man with a crow in his hands. A plaque rested at the base of statue which read. "Midnight, Father of crows and ruler supreme of the realms" Emily began to find as amy books as she could on the history of the realms. She read quite a few, she knew enough about the way time worked to know that the new moon would appear in two months time, wich would start a fast throughout the realm of sorrow to honour the darkness that midnight brings.
After about an hour of reading Emily was sure she'd be able to perform well in her lectures the following morning. As she was walking to put her armfull of books away she bumped into someone and her books fell to the floor. "Crap!" Emily whispered as she knelt down to pick up the books. The person she bumped into knelt infront of her and began to help. "I'm very sorry, Lady Emily" the person said. They stood up and emily saw his face. The young man was around Emily's age if not a bit older, His face was sharp and smooth, he had bright blue almond eyes and short brown hair. He wore the same habit she did but something was different about him. Unlike all the others at the abbey except Emily, he didn't have a soulstone. Emily shook her head. "It's fine, i'm clumsy, and it's alright if you call me Emily" The young man nodded. "I'm David, would you like some help putting those books away?" Emily grinned and nodded. Once they had finishedputting every book away they headed off to the main hall for the ceremony. Emily sat at the of the long tables and david in front of her. There were half as many monks in the hall as there werebefore and there were small golden bowls infront of them. Father Gregor raised his hands to get their attention and started to speak. "Evening, My fellow brothers and Lady Emily" he added winking at Emily. "Tonight we come together to pour our souls into the blessed bowls before you and bathe our beloved founder with them" Father gregor smiled. "Once the bowls are filled, bring them to brother Jacopal please and he will see to it that the cleansing monks prepare the tears. Let us begin" It was the most akward thing Emily had ever seen.
Monks began to sob into their bowls and didn't stop, their tears flowed like rivers into the bowls and they whispered prayers to themselves. Emily wasn't sure what to do andto no affect tried pinching herself to cry. 'How do they just start sobbing like that?' Emily thought to herelf. As though he read her thoughts David, who was also sobbing smiled and handed Emily a small vial of a blood red liquid. "Drink a drop, it'll have you bawling like a baby in seconds" Emily swallowed a little drop of the intensely bitter liquid and tears filled her eyes. Soon she was sobbing into her bowl uncontrollably. she whispered to David. "Is it always this akward?" David gave a little chuckle and whispered back. "You get used to it, you should see brother Baines when he cries, goes on for hours" Emily smiled and sobbed into her bowl which was almost full. She whispered again to David. "Why don't you have a soulstone?" David's face became serious. and he didn't answer. Emily and David's bowls were filled at the same time and they took them up and handed them to brother Jacopal. David was wiping his eyes when he whispered to Emily. "Meet me in the library when the bell tolls one" Emily nodded and David walked her to her room. "See you soon" He said as he walked into his room. Emily lay down on her bed and waited. Emily checked her watch and held her breath. Like thunder, the bell sounded one.