30.4: Treachery and Guilt

The Master’s eyes widened and his grip tightened around the arms of his throne, “Traitors? Elijah, what would possess you to ask such a thing? Eve and Samuel served the Order well. Their loyalty knew no bounds.”

“Are they the reason outsiders are no longer allowed in the Castle?”

“What? Why would your parents be to blame for such a thing?”

I shook my head and let out a heavy sigh, “Master, I know what happened thirteen years ago. My parents, along with Celeste’s father, went to Old Tenebris on a mission assigned by you. They returned with aunt Aurelia, who had lost her home to a Rogue ambush. But they didn’t know that she became a Dweller, and so—”

“She attacked one of our own,” the Master’s face contorted. “Who gave you this information?”

I looked away from the Master. His rigid disposition overpowered me, “C-Celeste.”
“Hm. I should have assumed. She is the only one who knows about the incident that you have had contact with.”

The Master rested his head in his hands, leaning forward in his throne, “I apologize for misleading you, Elijah. I thought the information might have been too much for you too handle.”

“Too much to handle?” I turned to him desperately, “Master, I’ve been searching for them for months. This was information that could’ve led me somewhere. It hurts even more that you, who said he would support me on my search, would keep this from me.”

“It was an irrational decision. When we first met, I assumed you remembered everything from the incident. Then you asked me about Essence, something that every Guardian knows about. I realized that you didn’t remember anything about the Order, so I hid the information from you. Then, you showed me your White Essence.”

“And so you had to find a way to keep me around.”

“I did everything in my power to ensure you would remain. I was even willing to…”

“To do what?”

The Master looked back at me, the guilt revealed behind his wavering gaze.

“To burn all of the records regarding that incident. I wanted to wipe it from existence, make it seem like it never happened. Now that there are no records, there is no evidence that can be used to charge your parents with treachery. If you find them, they will be free to return to the Order. Execution is no longer an option.”

He did all of that…

My jaw dropped. Chaos ensued within my mind. Anger, mistrust...until happiness took over. The Master dumped all of the evidence against my parents. That news alone filled me with relief...until I remembered his reason for doing so.

Everyone seemed to have their own agenda in the Order, and all of them led back to my Essence. The Guardians were desperate for a White to return, and now that I did, they were willing to do anything to salvage it. Solana stuck by my side to change her color, and the Master freed my parents from their death sentence.

“How desperate has the Order been for White Essence?”

“Enough that I would do something so careless and irrational. We awaited its return like the Prodigal Son. Tell me, have you heard of such a parable?”

The End

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