"This is unacceptable," Tajuc's words erupted out from his lips heavily coated with frustrated anger. His hands trembled in contained rage, causing the golden cuffs to shimmer in the darkness. His cheeks flushed as he stared at the three other Voices of the Faith that were in the room with him. One of the other monks speedily moved to the nearest window and pulled the shutters closed. Another walked towards Tajuc with his arms extended forward, in a futile attempt to calm his fellow monk down. But Tajuc could not be brought to quiet down. The third quietly stood there, hands crossed over his chest. News had reached him of the Hierophant's actions born from the confession he had given some days back. And rumors of the presence of Febhed mercenaries within the Seat of Faith spread like a virulent disease. The halls of the Seat of Faith were sanctified, kept unblemished in fear of destroying its eternal resonance to the Dragon's Song. For the Hierophant to allow other people, particularly Febhed mercenaries, into its sheltered chambers was unthinkable.
"Tajuc, calm down," Ammen whispered in his croaky voice. Damaged from years of preaching the Dragon's message upon the faithful, Ammen was the oldest among them in the room. "Calm down.. the Ancestral Dragons themselves would wake from your ranting. The Hierophant surely has his reasons."
"I confessed the matter to the Hierophant due to the simple fact that if the dragon my friend Vandross claims to have seen is truly his Other, then the Hierophant will have to confirm its existence."
"But an Other," Nayd hushed from the shuttered window, "Tajuc. An Other? Not even my grandfather ever spoke of his generation having seen one."
"Confirmation," Tajuc sighed with his voice growing heavier with each frustrated second, "The Hierophant has to confirm its existence. Our very tenets speak of how the Onus Bond exists merely to bind us with our dragonkin until two souls completed by each Other return to show us the way. If Vandorss is right about this dragon, this is an event for all of the Faith to celebrate. It would be a time when we all feel the Onus lifted."
"And the Hierophant," Nayd shook his head, "And on that time, you do remember what happens to the Hierophant."
The monks stared at Tajuc whose face began to express a clear comprehension of what was happening. His hands cupped his own face as he began to pace back and forth as the realization struck home. The Hierophant was to confirm the Other, and if found true, was to step down from his place upon the Seat of Faith and be the first of many to listen to the words of the Whole. The Whole was to teach all how to no longer rely merely on the burdens of the bond and truly find one another. It was said to have happened before, a long terrible time ago before the Faith was established. But was said to happen again. Some postulate the event is a cycle, that there is upon long forgotten unrecorded history been periods where a Whole generation exists in tranquility and peace. Others say it was how things always were, before the Ancestral Dragons and man were separated by lesser things. And the coming of the Whole was the first step into returning into that perfected state of existence.
"The Hierophant," Tajuc shook his head. "Was I wrong? Is it not our duty to report such an event?"
The third monk finally spoke, revealling his face as he drew his hood back. A scruffy beard covered his chin. A widening scar marked his face, starting thin as a needle on his left temple, then growing into an inch-wide blemish that slashed across his left eye, nose ridge and right cheek. It was an old long-ago healed wound. "Perhaps, it was your duty.. but only after confirming it yourself. The Hierophant now fears losing all. Perhaps selfishly. Perhaps for the good of the Faith. He has called for the Febhed to hunt for the dragon. Maybe to keep the investigation secret. Or maybe to ensure it succeeds. Ultimately, we cannot simply stand by idly to see what fruit shall be born from all this."
" Romac is right," Tajuc stared at his fellow monk, "We can't. Not when the Hierophant has chosen to rely on the Febhed for something this important. Ammen, head for the stables. Prep our own dragons. Nayd, visit quickly the Arsarmarium. We will need weapons."
"And you, Tajuc?" Romac asked boldly, "Are you certain you are ready to do this?"
"The Faith expects no less from-"
"Vandross is your friend."
Tajuc realized what Romac had implied. The role of the Other was tremendously important in the Faith. False claims of such were not taken lightly. If proven to be false, Vandross would to the very least be excommunicated from the Faith. At worst, be made a living example of.
"The truth is always worth the risk."
The four monks exited the room. They were not to rejoin until much later in the night, when the four took to the skies on their secret crusade.