Soris walked through his morning routes, not feeling his usual annoyance at having to work. Ever since the night before, things had been different. Soris would still do his duties, sure, but he knew that every man convicted would be a mark on his soul. It was probably already blackened with all those he had convicted already. Why did the world have to be so dark? Maybe that kid had been right. Maybe Fetona was an evil place.
It was Nash, a young soldier who had been with Soris when they discovered the missing food a while back. “What news, Nash?” Soris couldn’t show anyone his uncertainty or grief about his job. That would only cause people to see him as weak, and that was something Soris Vandeel could not become.
The spindly officer bowed before speaking his report. “Last night, the rebel who escaped the arena attacked Lord Jim Randus’ home,” the youth said, awaiting a comment from Soris. It never came. Soris probably looked like it hadn’t surprised him, but he was truly shaken. He had BEEN there. Why didn’t he know about it? “None were injured,” the officer continued, “But the culprit did get away. The only thing he wanted was information on the Lost God and a serving girl named Kanere.”
That was new. “Who is this Kanere?”
“According to the reports, she is a simple serving girl that Lord Randus picked up from the streets and nursed to health.” Well, there was nothing special in that. Jim Randus, despite his cruel reputation and demanding persona, was a man who liked to save the homeless. Most of his house workers and servants were homeless children he had rescued in his early days.
“Any idea why she is wanted by the rebel?” Soris asked. That girl might be a great way to lure him out. Soris felt down about capturing that lad, but he would do his duty, even if it meant losing his soul. Plus, rebirth would cleanse him, so that wasn’t so bad. Wasn’t it?
The officer shook his head. “There is a rumor, but nothing for certain.”
“What is the rumor?”
“Apparently, they heard something about the rebel being childhood friends with the serving girl.”
Interesting. Soris hoped that the lad wouldn’t pull the girl into his ways. Soris already hated the idea of capturing him, let alone an innocent girl. “Is there any other news?”
The officer stood and handed an envelope with Herald Reoter’s emblem on it. The usual flower symbol was hard not to recognize. Out of all the Heralds, Kanam Reoter was always obsessed with beauty and prophesy, so he either spoke of one or another. What did he want from Soris?
“I was told to deliver that to you personally by the Heralds servant – a boy named Lamere – and not to hand it to anyone else, captain.” Soris nodded and the man dismissed himself. Soris continued walking down the near empty street he had been on as he opened the envelope.
Captain Soris Vandeel of the Vandeel Bunker, it read,
I have heard many stories of your exploits from many a mouth. I find you a very reliable person and one that can be trusted with even the greatest of secrets. I have also been informed that you are the one who interrogated the two gentleman who were tried in the arena the day before yesterday.
You may be curious why I brought this up, but I assure you, I will get there. There is first a secret which you must know. I am aware of your doubts in the Trinity, as I have the ability to study people easily and judge their character, and that worries me. I must assure you that the three exist and so do the Deserters.
In fact, there are still Deserters alive. When the Deserter’s home was destroyed by their own foolishness, some of them survived. Under the mercy of Fesh and the sorrow of Tojere, these Deserters stayed living. We have yet to find them, but they live. I tell you this for one reason and one reason alone:
Sish Carna, the boy who would have been executed, is one of those Deserters.
He has a Will that outclasses us Heralds and an anger that was passed down from his ancestors. Jim Randus has contacted me, thinking the Deserter was also the Fifteenth. This is truth. We must capture this man and teach him if we are to have any hope for the future.
From the Trinity,
Herald Kanam Reoter
Soris must have had his mouth open for a long time, for passing people stared at him funny. He ignored them, though. His mind was racing, the prophecies of the ancient books of the Heralds going through his head. He hadn’t been devout, like Herald Reoter had pointed out, but one prophecy stuck out above the others.
‘And he shall come from no mother, but from nothingness.’