Lynuel Engelking wasn't quite a full-fledged priest. It wasn't for lack of trying. He had actually been studying with the Brothers of Saint George for over six years. It just didn't seem to be sinking in the way that they wanted it to. He had considered transferring to one of the other priesthoods several times, but his requests had always been denied. He wasn't sure why though. They refused to tell him. After the third time, he had given up asking. He simply had to accept that they were going to try and make him into a warrior likely until the day that he died.
As he walked down the street, he almost cringed at the looks of awe on children's faces when he passed them. They wanted to be like him. He could see it in their bright eyes. They didn't know the truth of his priesthood. They didn't realize exactly what it meant to pledge yourself to the training of Saint George. They didn't realize what it meant to literally sign your life away. They would be better off joining the civilian military. At least then they would have some measure of freedom.
He paused in front of one of the newsstands and read the headlines. His heart growing heavier with each one. "ZOMBIES TURNING TERRORIST?" demanded one."PUBLIC OUTCRY AGAINST ATTACKS. IS ANYONE SAFE?" pleaded another."NZOMBIY PEOPLE SPEAK ON INCIDENTS." The last one stood alone. It interested and horrified him most of all. How had it been twisted? Who had written it? Whose advantage was it too? He honestly wasn't sure he wanted to know. He restrained himself from picking it up. The last thing he needed was the ridicule of having that with him at any point.
"It's just awful isn't it brother?" one passerby asked after buying a newspaper. "They're unnatural I tell you!" the man declared.
Lynuel arched a curious eyebrow in reply. "Are they?" he asked. "Then how have they come to be? I am no brother of the philosophical order as you know, but that does not mean we have no such faith in such things. If they exist would it not be because God wished them to?" he asked. He doubted some of his fellow brothers would approve of the comment, but he wasn't going to lie to the man by saying he agreed with him.
The man was already looking away appearing flustered. "Well, I don't know. They don't even worship God Brother," the man pointed out almost pouting now.
"I know," Lynuel assured the man with a sad sigh. "It is a sad fate that has overcome their people that they would forsake God. Whatever reason they have we should pity them, not hate them. And as for these attacks...they shall be taken care of. Have no fear. Whatever reason these things have happened for, God will make it known. Never doubt that."
"God be praised and Saint George's men ride proud," the man murmured before turning away.
Lynuel muttered the reply not even sure if he was saying all the words correctly as he turned away and continued his walk. There would be no resolution to this. No peaceful one that he could see at least. He felt terrible for the lie, but it had been necessary. After all, what was soon to come, most people would appreciate but they would never want to admit that they knew anything about it. After all, no one ever wanted to be involved in the dirty work of what they wanted done.
They just wanted someone to take the fall for them.
Shoving his hands into the pocket of his coat, the young man continued down the street. He had only another hour before he would have to be back at the barracks and ready for the afternoon litany. Than there would be an hour of meditation. No prayers for his brotherhood. After all, prayer was something that took too much time. It required too much concentration. Meditation allowed one that same sense of peace while staying utterly and wholly aware.
That was what was claimed at least.
In all honesty, Lynuel wasn't sure that any of the men in the brotherhood would have prayed even if they were a part of any other order. He had never been well versed in the art himself, much to his shame. The only reason he had chosen to join the Priesthood in the first place was that his mother had always dreamed that her son would find such a place in the world. He had never been able to disappoint her.
He had just never expected to be marked as a warrior.
Running a hand through his bright red curls, the young man turned back towards the direction of the barracks and simply stared. He always had a sense of foreboding that washed over him when he thought about going back. It was stupid really. After all, it was where he belonged now. He was a member of that order even if he was one of the few who had failed the qualification test four times. There had to be a reason they kept him instead of transferring him as they had so many others who had failed fewer times than he.
He just wished he knew what it was.