Chapter 10

The palace had become more excited at the thought of war. Many of the guards and princes would gather in a large room so they and the Basileus could speak of war planning. But since there have been fewer guards, the Council of Dance and Music have been keeping a careful watch on Dancers to make sure we don't make the Game dangerous—the game is still in play despite the war since it is the summer of mix and mingle. But even so, we're not only interested in the game, but we've soon began to grow interested in the planning of war and what might happen. Only lucky Dancers and Musicians would be called upon as entertainment during the strange meetings. Even though they're called upon either before or after the meeting is held, they still speak of war planning, so we still know what goes on. Iolite and I would try to be one of the lucky dancers who hear such news in which to leak unlike Succinum who is only interested in the game.

We have learned that they have begun to make many boats stronger to handle the dangerous Sanguis Sea. It is said that the sea is dangerous for Anima always battles his evil son, Ossum, who wishes to destroy the world—the sea is stained red with the blood of his evil son and Anima—Anima always becomes superior than his evil son in the battles, but Ossum is stubborn as an old cama to surrender! It is the reason why the sea constantly thrashes every seasons with no pause of calm. If they wish to make Fons their battle ground, they must build ships strong enough to survive the Sanguis Sea.

And the observers returned with many information and many large jars of water. The observers had also brought things such as strange, red clay and strange clay jewelry and strange animals and strange woods and plants and other strange items, carrying them down the hall and bringing them into large rooms. I did not hear well, but I heard that the water was strange, and everyone was worrying about the water as well as the color of the clay. Achaten was one of the lucky musicians to hear some of the talk about the strange water and clay, though he did not hear much, it was just enough.

"They say that many of the servants and guards had become ill from drinking the water." He had said, "Their having the priestmen try to find water, since the priestmen worry for the water is strangely red! It is said that all the rivers in this strange land of Fons is red!"

It was one night when the Priests of Anima had called the dancers, guards, the Royal Family, and musicians in the Great Room. Those who could not fit stood outside the door and in the halls to listen to their words. I was close to the Great Room's door, separated from my friends. The priests spoke loud enough for all of us to hear—even those farther back than I. I could not see well, but I saw well enough. The priests had all body hair removed—even the head hair and brows, since they are supposed to be closer to Anima than anyone. The brows they had on their forehead been painted on. They wore the thinnest linen that has been ever made as a sign of their purity for Anima, wearing golden ropes as ties. They wore no jewels, for they must be humble.

On the ground laid large slabs of solid strange, red clay and there were many vases filled with the strange water. The Head of Priests lifted up his head to the sky and began to chant prayers, and we the crowd followed along. As we continued to pray to Anima, in giant bowls on the ground the servants began to pour the strange water. It was red. Red water I had not seen before. They had laid strange woods on the ground as well and they laid some strange birds wrapped up tightly in linen, incompletely mummified, as well as other strange animals.

When done praying, a golden staff—free from jewels—was given to the Head of Priest. After blessing it, another staff of the one before was given to him, and he blessed it. This occurred three more times before the Head of Priests handed these staffs to the other priestmen. The Head of Priest began to sink his hands into the strange water and began to pray, head tilted up and eyes closed as he began mumbling in strange tongues. He must have gotten a vision, for his body was quivering and twisting and he would give strange yelps as he continued to speak strangely.

The Head of Priest screamed as he yanked his hands of out the water as he stumbled to his feet, "This is not just water—but this is the blood of Anima and Ossum missed within this water! Anima's sacred blood with the tainted blood of Ossum! Tanited! Tainted water Head Priestman says!"

Blood?! How can this be so?! How can water be tainted with our Holy God's blood and the blood from Abyss's Father?! It was soon to be further explained as Basileus Garnetus voiced my questions.

"How can this be?! Are not all rivers of Fons red with blood!? Where can such rivers get this blood of our Holy God and the Evil One?!"

A guardsman quickly ran to the king with a map in his hands as offered it to him. The king opened up the map and observed as he spoke once more, "…The Sanguis Sea! All the rivers of Fons are connected to the battle grounds of Anima and Ossum!"

"The people of Fons have Red hair and are painted a color far lighter than ours, but they have been given color unlike the ugly Atroxians." One of the observers who traveled spoke. "They can drink this water whereas our men grow sick and die from drinking the water. All their animals, trees, plants, and their clay drink from this water."

"Heathenish demons!" the Basileus threw the map down at his feet, "Are they tainted themselves?!"

"The Fonsians hair is the color of red, our High Greatness…"

"So they drink the blood of our Anima…and the cursed blood of Evil…" Basileus Garnetus said with displeasure.

"Father, what will we do if our men cannot drink water or eat the food?" one of the Regis asked, "Is it not an abomination?"

"…We must send food and water with the men. They mustn't drink or eat animals or the water or the plants of that land!" the Basileus declared.

"That's going to be difficult…" one of the guards commented.

"Nonesense!" Basileus boomed, "With Anima on our side, we will succeed!"

"Wouldn't it be better for the Atroxians to come to us?" one of the sons asked with exasperation, "I would like to see those barbarians cross the sea!"

"No! Anima will watch over us and guide us!" Basileus declared, "Especially with the good dead we will do with our time in Fons!"

We grew curious with the plan the Basileus had in mind.

"We shall teach them their shame!" Basileus Garnetus declared. "They shall put ash in their hair and if they continue to wish to drink the water, may they not do it in front of us if they wish to live! We shall show those heathens their wrong doings they had done to Anima!"

We all looked at each other with a nod. How dare they drink the blood of Anima! If it was just Ossum's blood, we wouldn't care for his blood brings nothing but bad luck! They'd simply be fools! But since Anima's blood has been mixed into the water—how dare them! Do they not realize what they're doing?! If not, our Basileus Garnetus and his men shall show them their wrong ways! If they do know what they're doing…I rather not think!

"Priestmen! Use those staffs to destroy what lies before you! Destroy the animals! Destroy the wood! Destroy the clay! Destroy anything that has drunk the blood of our God!" the Head of Priests ordered. "But don't let a drop of the watery blood touch the land of Gemma! Keep them concealed in the jars and placed blessed gems and beads! Take them away and place them in something sacred where its evil cannot be escape from the purity of Anima!"

The priestmen did as they were told. Those with the staffs swung them high above their heads and brought them down upon the dead animals, the clay jewelry and the wood and the clay slabs, beating them repeatedly with such great force. With all their efforts, they began destroying such evil things that had lain before them—the evil things that laid before our eyes.

I could say that I have yet seen a river of blood in this world and in my dreams…but that will not be true.