Soris stood near the edge of the Block, watching intently as the crowd rustled in anticipation. The one who presented tonight was a Divine by the name of Gaebril Hammon. He had long flowing robes and balding hair only covered by a small cap. Soris had seen him from time to time in one of the Heraldic Cathedrals in the center of Fetona. An odd man, but very used to this sort of thing from the past year.
“We gather you all to bear witness to something that is truly beautiful!” Hammon said through the Speaker, which carried his voice throughout the arena and even up to the distant box of the Heralds and their servants, “Here are two souls, corrupted by hate and anger” – Soris chuckled at how right the man was about the kid named Soris, at least – “that are about to be recycled into the world by the Abyssal God! Their slates will be cleaned! Their sins forgiven! It is a new start to a new life for them!”
Soris zoned out the man then. His voice was hard to blot out with that speaker device, but Soris was practiced in the art of it. He was really interested in how the Speaker was made. Electricity was still new, so only a select few knew it’s workings. Lights had been made easily enough, but now new inventions like Speakers were beginning to be commonplace. It wouldn’t be long before they were using electricity for everything! After all, it was more potent and easier to obtain than coal.
A sound distracted Soris then. It was the sound of multiple blades being pulled from their scabbards. It was about time too. Hammond had been going on about the Trinity Gods and the importance of recycling evil souls in order to cleanse them. Soris knew it all by heart, though. He didn’t need to hear this all the time, but he would bear.
The officers standing beside the older man in fine clothing – Soris never had gotten a word from him aside from the vaguest things he said to the boy with dirty hair – had their blades drawn. On the command of the presenter, one blade was pressed against the man’s back, and another against his neck. They would chop of his head and stab his heart simultaneously, assuring no pain was received. They didn’t do it immediately, of course, as the crowd was still waiting to be allowed an applause. Soris smiled at that. It was great to have rules, else everyone in the arena would have been shouting things constantly like in the Tourney. In the Execution Block, everyone was to remain silent unless allowed otherwise.
The sign was given and the crowd cheered. Soris covered his ears as the deafening roars filled his ears and almost drove him deaf. These things were such a pain, but being a Captain meant you had to do things like this. Sometimes, Soris wondered why he ever became an officer. Probably because of the easy life it presented. Unless you were promoted, then your life became all work and no relaxing.
The applause and cheering lasted for a while longer, but Soris wasn’t surprised. For the last year these events were celebrated. People in the city saw this as a strike against the rebels; against the ones who threatened the peace that Fetona and Jana had obtained by uniting. Ever since Grave Rim left and gathered the homeless to start his rebellion, these events became victory instead of an execution.
Hammon raised his hand and gave the signal for silence. “Now, while we believe in retribution through recycling by the Abyssal God, we also believe in punishment!” Well, this was new. Soris didn’t like new. New usually ended badly someway and Soris had to work more. Hammon pointed to the old man. “This man slew Captain Grae an twenty seven of his soldiers. They were all honorable men who had families!”
Soris wanted to laugh. Honorable? Families? Grae was a ruthless man with a temper and only liked to win. He did his job, sure enough, but when it came to honor the man fell about as short as one could go. As for family, he only had a brother who was a Farmer, so he never cared for that ‘family’ member. Grae even insulted him! A Farmer! Such a thing was foolish, even if they were brothers.
The officers around the old man smiled oddly and stepped back from their prey. What was going on? The rest of the officers around the prisoner backed away as well, except for a man Soris recognized as Hin, an officer under Grae. Hin was smiling viciously as he picked up his foot and kicked the old man in the back.
Radiant God above! What were they doing?!
“This man will be beaten before given death and recycling. It will teach his new soul the proper ways,” Hammon said with a cruel grin. When had he gotten so harsh? Soris was tempted to go stop the officers as they started to beat the poor old man, but what would that look like? Soris might end up dying himself! He couldn’t die… No, the elder man’s suffering would end soon.
Soris looked to the younger man, trying his best to avoid the grunting of the elder man and the sounds of kicking. Sish, his hair unruly as ever but still trying to stay back, was staring intently at the smaller of his two guards. Sish thought he was trying to avoid looking at his companions pain – the boy’s eyes were twitching with every grunt born of pain – but Soris realized this wasn’t the case. No, the boy was concentrating on something. Was he using Will?
No, that was ridiculous! The officers always wore hollow armor in case someone tried to attack them by using their gear, and the only ones able to pick up a human were the more powerful Divines and Heralds….
Wait… This boy threw that tree at Fetona! Which meant he had to be a Divine! Was he even able to lift a human!?There was a chance, so Soris had to warn them! They were all paying attention to the old man’s agony, instead of the smaller and more dangerous prey! They had to know!
But… Soris, for some reason, didn’t move. He couldn’t. And the thing that bothered him most about his inability to act was that he actually felt happy about it.
‘Forgive me, Sarah.’