Metanoia

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Chapter Five

It was a long walk down the steep and misty mountain, but nevertheless, a walk which had given me sights that I shall forever bear in my mind.

After a good couple of hours of laborious walking, we approached a small town which lay in between two sizable green hills. Its architecture was fascinating to me, for I have only but seen drawings and heard stories of such places. The roofs were eccentric and curved.

On the corners of the larger alluring roofs, were hung lights with cylindrical bodies. The colors where mostly red, black and white, with the cherry trees breaking the contrast providing a pink hue. The roads were constructed of brick material, stretching out and connecting the obscure buildings. I was in awe of this place. My eyes where jumping from building to building, embalming the imagery upon my mind.

As we approached the center of this peculiar town, we stood in front of a very small structure. It resembled a pit latrine, but otherwise was much like the other structures in town. Its aura was quite different, even queer. The professor stood in front of the peculiar iron door which was decorated with many symbols and traditional art.

The professor knocked three times, and a narrow slot slid open, revealing only an eye peeking back. After a few seconds passed, the iron door slowly creaked opened. Two hooded figures appeared closing it behind us.

I was perplexed at the colossal interior which resided in this petite structure. There was a sizable hexagon table in the middle of an exquisitely decorated hall, with a three-dimensional depiction of Dante’s inferno hanging above the table. From the adorned mezzanines overlooked armed individuals covered in black and white clothing.

The professor had instructed me to remain behind as he approached the table, on which sat twelve other traditionally dressed individuals. Twelve candles, all specifically designed were placed at each place setting.

There were ten people seated, leaving two empty places, of which one of them was filled by the professor. Being the last to be seated, he also seemed the most relaxed of all of them.

“Let the Congress of the Sentinels commence.” A strong voice uttered as hooded figures came to every individual, lighting their candle before them.

It seemed that each individual seated at the table had an apprentice to light their candles.

The professor turned his head in my direction, and subtlety called on me to light his candle. I responded with a perplexing nod.

The professor cautiously looked to his left, and then his right, snapping his finger caused a fire to spark. With his finger he light the candle, then hastily putting out his flaming finger.

“On this day we gather here, for an alerting cause has been revealed to us”.

The figure which sat at the very front of the Hexagon spoke and led the congress, while I silently listened from the back.

“It has come to our attention that a threat has arisen which we previously thought was eliminated.”

A faint chatter began among the individuals.

“On the twenty-second of April, a sanctuary was attacked by entities known as the ‘Damned ones’. Cornelius held the attention of those in the sanctuary as long as he could, but eventually failed…” Greater chatter erupted as one of them raised their voice and yelled.

“It cannot be! We banished them!” -One of the members shouted as he rose up from his chair.

-“Let us all be at peace! Silence!” the one who sat at the front exclaimed as he slapped the table with his hand.

“Velkagon.” -The professor nonchalantly uttered. “So, he came back? Is that what you are so blatantly trying to avoid saying?”

The professor combatively stared at the man sitting at the head of the table.

“Let me enlighten you of your position Griffin the Keeper or whatever do they call you now days?”

The man sitting at the head of the table was clearly trying to intimidate the professor; however, the professor did not pay much heed to any of the man’s words. Instead he continuously adjusted his black marble buttons which held his dirt-brown vest tight.

“Let me remind you of my possessions Aldrich the… something.”

The professor then took the dagger of Athelios out of the pocket of his ceremonial robe, and chucked it on the table, in front of him.

The grandiose room was instantly plunged into silence. Those who sat overlooking the congress were rendered speechless, staring at each other as if the professor had just uttered a forbidden spell.

“Is that the dagger?” The man sitting at the head of the table asked him.

“Well…”

The professor picked up the dagger and playfully examined it.

“It sure does look like it, does it not?”

The man sitting at the head of the table did not seem very pleased with the professors handling of the dagger.

“I shall then take custody of the dagger and give it into the safe hands of The Cerberus.” the man at the head commanded.

“You shall do no such thing!” the professor exclaimed, holding the dagger close to himself.

“You cannot have the dagger rest about in your petty library!”

“You would be surprised at the number of places in which I could hide it in.” the professor sarcastically retaliated.

“You are not fit to have such an artifact in your position!” The man at the head uttered.

“I have had it in my position for many years now, and I see no problem with having it in my possession furthermore!

The professor continued to argue against the man who sat at the head, until a woman, who had been seated two chairs down from the professor, stood up and gave an alternative.

“I suggest we go with Griffin.” She offered. “Bartholomew, Rahil and I could go accompany him to the Athenaeum and protect the dagger from there.

I will admit, I was quite puzzled with the events unfolding but it was at the least intriguing.

“Ah, could we talk about this a bit further before jumping to abrupt solutions…” The professor uncomfortably uttered in response to the woman.

Bartholomew, the man who sat beside the woman, spoke. “Well, I personally think that is quite a reasonable solution.”

“I will have to agree with Bartholomew.” Rahil, who had been seated next to Bartholomew, stood in support of the inquiry.

The man who sat at the head of the table reflected on the solution. His arrogance was masking his reason, but soon after, gave in and agreed to vote on the matter.

“All in favor of leaving the artifact with Sir Griffin of England, Amalia of France, Rahil of India and Bartholomew of Egypt. Raise their hand.”

Eight of the seated individuals raised their hand, and therefore it was decided. The dagger was going back to the Athenaeum, accompanied by three individuals who had agreed to protect it.

Soon after the voting, brown clad individuals with adornments resembling the plumage of birds, proceeded to the table to consign papers to each member sitting around the table. Everyone had written down the decision they had chosen.

After writing down their decision each member put their paper to the candles’ fire. The scorched paper hovered upwards to the middle of the table wherein a miniature eagle was conjured out of the ashes.

The petite eagle made of ash arose to the ceiling of the hall and proceeded downward, exiting the hall through the door from which the professor and I had entered.

I had gathered from what I had just witnessed that Amalia, Rahil and Bartholomew where coming with us.

The congress had finished, and each person had extinguished their candles. Like a lost puppy, I made haste to the professor’s side. For I had conceived countless questions during the lengthy congress.

“What was that all about?” I asked in true bafflement.

“I shall tell you everything as soon as we exit this atrocity” The professor restlessly responded as he stared at the three individuals who had offered their services.

He did not seem pleased. Not even a speck of joy could be detected on the professor’s face. It was as if his gravest nightmares had been objectively conjured.

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