It is said that every Corren had a Purpose, their reason for life set forth by their god, Saebyne. Draconis wondered if Valacor had done such a fine thing for his people. Was his Purpose to lay here dying? Or was it that he was excluded because he was a half-breed? Valacor was said to hate half breeds. In fact there use to be a law some twenty-six years ago that half-breeds were to be killed on birth. If you managed to be born without anyone’s knowledge, you did have a good chance of survival, on the count that you had to forever forsake one parent and the church.
Grated the Four were not like the Corren, God and church did not come first in their lives. The Four’s fate was lacking if anything, Valacor was not an easy god, which put his people off even more. He himself, believe in the Corren’s god and not his own. He believed that True was just a ripoff of their faith. So many of the stories were the same, with Valacor’s name inserted where Saebyne’s had been. No, Valacor rarely showed concern for his people, like now, this disease that was coursing through his veins and thousands of members of the Four.
They called this disease the Corren’s Bane as they were the only one unaffected by it thus, in Valacor’s view, they must be the creators of the disease. It didn’t matter that the Virrcans were also immune, they weren’t from this world. He could see how this would be used as an excuse to slaughter numerous Corren. He pitied them. His death would send his father into a rage that Mayu would take advantage of. In fact he could hear them arguing outside his room.
“Simon, could you please find out what is going on?” He asked his friend, the leader of the Virrcans.
“Maybe I’ll be able to spook your father while I’m at it.”
Dragonis sat with his head in his hands, staring at nothing, trying not to think. Unfortunately, his advisor and High Priest, Mayu, would not shut up. They were in the hallway leading to his son’s room, far enough that neither would pick up the disease, as close as he could be to his dying son. His only son, his heir, despite what everyone thought, he had fully planned to allow his son to take his place as rule among the Four. Now that would never happen.
“We must take action against the Corren, first the commoners and now your son.”
“What can be done? Has Valacor given you insight to the Bane?”
“He had declared we must punish the slaves for the death of your son.”
“My son is not yet dead!” He shouted at the priest.
“Valacor has seen it.” The king let out a shaking sigh as he ran his hands through his hair. He wanted to rage at the heavens, he wanted to tear out the vocal cords of Mayu for telling him such things. He want this not to happen. Not again. First his wife and now his only son. He had sworn never to remarry in A’yi’s memory but now he would have to. His body shook as tears started to slid out of his eyes for the third time in his life. “You must be strong to make the decisions that are to come.”
“What do you suggest?” He asked, wiping away red tears.
“Punish the priestesses. One from the Dark. They know enough about life and death, it will show them that their demon is powerless against their own foul magics. This disease is their fault and they know it.”
“Go then and collect a priestess, a young one, one that is in line for High Priestess. One that can be bound to my son.” He said. Mayu smiled and bowed as he left to find one. Dragonis wondered if he had done the right thing. Just because Mayu said that his son would die, did not mean it would come to pass, Mayu had been wrong before. He had predicted that a child of Mercy’s blood would be born on the Blood Red Moon, in Sector Twenty nine, half way across the world.
They had to kill hundreds of newborn children on that night. He caused an uprising that was not so quickly put down as the whole sector had to be wiped out in order to keep the others from revolting too. It had been a good waste of slaves. Regardless the child had been killed. Both the Corren and the Four had prophecies on this event, the Corren believed a savior would be born, the Four believed a demon of Saebyne would be born. Why was he focusing on this? Mayu to be wrong, his son couldn’t die. He reflected on these thoughts. Mayu was known to hate half breeds, maybe it had just been wishful thinking on the priest’s part.
“Dragonis, thinking deeply I see.” His heart raced as he turned to find the Simon watching him.
“Do not scare me like that.”
“Pity, you do not have two hearts like the Corren. You might actually survive the shocks to come.”
“Do not talk to me of the wretched Corren. May they all burn for this curse.”
“They are not the cause of the curse, as you well know deep in your heart. They, if anything, hold the cure.”
“You know the cure! Tell me so my son will be healed.”
“I cannot, you well know that. This is something that the Four will have to work with the Corren on.”
“Work with the Corren?! Are you out of your mind? They are little more than animals!”
“We shall see if that opinion changes.” The winged man smiled as he returned to Draconis’ room.
“What says my father?”
“They are bringing you a slave. I suggest you drink deep.”
“As if I would ever drink their filthy blood.” He may worship their god, but they were still beneath him.
“Suit yourself. I must go now. My people need care.” Draconis sighed as Simon left. He wondered what kind of slave he would be given, knowing Mayu, she would be ugly, fat and old. He shuddered. No, he would not be drinking her blood.
Every Corren was connected to something in this realm. When they suffered, so did it. When it suffered, so did they. There was as many things in nature as there were Corren, when one died, it would disappear until another took their place and it flourished in Nevewald. As far as anyone knew only two had ever been connected to the spirituality of the Corren. Mercy had been the first, and now Irinan was the second. Being connected to the spirituality of her people was an odd thing. She could feel the people’s faith, their emotions but it was more than that. She could feel their hate, the emotion they gave up to Mercy, or at least that’s what they told themselves. She could look at some and know how much hate they had in them.
It consumed some of them, it consumed her. She didn’t know if it belonged to her but she knew that she hated. Most of the hatred was directed towards Mayu and she knew that was hers. After all, how couldn’t she hate the man who made her kill her brother? It had been so long ago but she still mourned her brother, her father’s silent reprimand still clung to her. If only she had stayed quiet. It was back then that she had learned she was connected to her people, all their hate and the lack of releasing it, it had consumed her and she spoke out.
But that was neither here nor there. It had been a long time ago, almost a hundred and thirty years ago. Her childhood was well behind her, she was no longer a child unable to control her actions. She was on her way to become a High Priestess of the Dark, she was just a simple priestess now but her dream was to hold the highest rank and maybe, just maybe teach the people to learn not to hate. Mercy had started the line of hate, she had been the first to teach this to the people, and only to ask them to give it up to her, knowing that hate could destroy a people. She had started the long line of mistakes.
Irinan sighed as she looked over the history carved into the silver stone. The surface of it was almost mirror quality, reflecting back the puzzled stare of her honey-silver eyes. This is where they kept the history of their people, carved into the sacred stones known as Saebyne’s tears. When you stared into the mirror like surface sometimes you could feel someone staring back at you. It was here in the temple’s deepest bowels that the Tears stood and here was where Irinan would one day perform the ritual to become High Priestess. She stared at the words that Mercy carved as she had before, trying to find the deeper meaning behind them, there had to be more to it than just hate, there had to be hope as well.
Her eyes met another’s, blue-silver eyes pierced her, sending a thrill down her spine. At first all she could see was an image of tri-blue eyes and golden hair, but it faded as quickly as she saw it.
“Greetings Recale.”She said as she shook her head clear of the image.
“Irinan.” He said as he hugged her when she turned. “Contemplating Mercy’s writings again?”
“What else would I be doing? Staring at my reflection?”
“I would stare at your reflection for hours, days, years, if it meant I could have you for one night in my bed.” He whispered as he leaned down to kiss her lips, they never met hers as she turned her head away.
“I told you before, I will never mate with no man.”
“And I told you before that one day you will succumb to a Corren’s touch. Hopefully mine.” It was an old quibble between them. She had no Chosen, while his Chosen was valgos, a love slave. He could never come into contact with his Chosen or it would mean death for both of them. He hugged her tight, knowing her thoughts had drifted to his situation as it always did. “Do not pity me. I am a free man for who knows how long.” He smiled at her but sadness hinted in his eyes.
“What are you doing down here any way?”
“Good question. I almost forgot. Mayu was seen on his way here. You know that no one can be down here, he might find the Tears.” She nodded, taking one last look at the stones and walked up the secret passage way, it led them out to the High Priestess’ room. Exiting the room the found they were just in time as Mayu entered through the front, separating the went to stand in their places, men on the right, women on the left. The High Priestess stepped forward, her hands splayed out in front out her stomach, the symbolism lost on the Dagon Priest. To know of the Corren culture would be demeaning in his opinion, hence he didn’t know he was being insulted.
“Well, I see the heathens have gathered.” He said with a smirk as the woman knelt in front of him.
“We kneel before you, great lord of Valacor.” As one the gathered Corren knelt. How the woman made her voice hollow, yet mocking was beyond Irinan.
“I come to this foul place for a volunteer. As you all know the Corren’s Bane has gone so far as to infect the royal house of Dagon. The Prince,” He sneered, “Needs care taking of.” It was well known that the Prince and Mayu did not see eye to eye on, well, anything. “Please don’t all jump to the task at once.”
Irinan thought about it, the Prince was her people’s hope, that and the myth of Mercy, but the Prince was more of a reality. If he died from the disease they called the Corren’s Bane, harsher punishments would be around the corner, maybe even mass executions. She had connected with him so long ago on that day of her brother’s death. She couldn’t forget about him, and like earlier she some times thought she could see him. She wondered if she had left him affected the same way? Maybe she could influence the Prince in his last days, to have mercy on her people. “I will serve the Prince of Dagon.” She stepped forward. All eyes went to her as she stood and walked forward.
“Hm, you seem familiar but then again, once you’ve seen one Corren you’ve seen them all.” Mayu stated. Of course he didn’t know that it was a compliment, Corren actually strived to be one, easier for them to hide around another. “No matter, are you mated girl?”
“No, I am not.”
“Yes, she is!” Recale shouted. He was brought forth by one of Mayu’s guard. “She belongs to me.” Mayu brought a blade to her throat.
“You are of no use if you are mated.”
“She is not mated to Recale, my lord. He merely wishes it so.” The High Priestess’ voice rang out.
“Forty lashes to the male for his lie. You my dear will make a wonderful bonded servant.”
“B-bonded!” She whispered in horror.
“Fifty lashes. If those tears fall it will be ten more for each one spilled. Do you understand?” She nodded. “Good, we are done here.” He nicked her neck with the blade and merely told her to leave the blood on her skin as they walked the two Corren out.
The Corren 4
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