Prologue - Unfulfilled Promises
“Do you have it?”
“You mean the child? Of course I do,” the bearded one scoffed.
“How much time is left?”
The bald one looked towards the towering doors in remorse, the bronze clock ticking away as if mocking what was to come. “Twenty minutes until sunrise.”
“Then we must be quick. Our last hope rests with this one,” the bearded one sighed, looking over at the sleeping infant, zoning in on the half-moon and star scar visible on the inside of their wrist.
The blind one stood abruptly, staggering to the left slightly, leaning heavily on the handcrafted cane with wrinkled fingers. “It must be done,” their scratchy voice seemed to echo through the empty hall.
“She is a child!” the bearded one hissed. “How is one to carry such a burden for so long without guidance?”
The blind one nodded grimly. “It is a hard journey, a difficult path. And one that must be done so alone. It is not going to be an easy feat, brothers. But we must be strong, for the sake of this world. And for the child, who will not know what rests on her shoulders until the gods will decide to reveal it. But we must do what is willed of us. There is no better option.”
All five robed figures stiffened in steeled determination. They knew what had to be done. They knew what depended on it.
The bearded one shifted their gaze to the child. Gifted and cursed with the will of the gods. To preserve or destroy. “We must do what is right,” they rasped, hating every word they forced out of their mouth.
The blind one nodded. “We will watch over her in our dreams, brothers. Help as much as we are permitted. But in the end, it will be up to her to de decide what road she will travel.”
“And we can just blindly put our trust in a child?” the young one asked. Always thinking, always calculating.
“We are not blindly putting our trust in the child,” the twisted one replied, their voice soft yet held a sense of authority that no one dare to oppose. “We are putting our trust in the gods and their will. They are the last living descendant of the moon goddess, and they must reach the Institute before it’s too late. Argument on the matter is pointless.”
“But to what end?” the young one whispered. “To wait in isolation and hiding while the child comes of age to grow into her power? It’s not realistic.”
“There is nothing realistic about magic, brother. She will succeed. The gods wouldn’t have chosen her if that weren’t the case,” the bald one reassured, putting a hand on the shoulder of the young one, yellow robes billowing around them.
There was silence in the temple. A silence that held too many promises unfulfilled and too little solutions yet to be discovered.
And as the sun started it’s creep towards the sky, the five monks closed their eyes in unison. They knew what had to be done. What had to be sacrificed.
“To the moon and stars,” the young one whispered, looking up towards the open-roofed room. The night sky opened up around them, the stars winking in response while the moon glowed in quiet observation.
“To the moon and stars,” the rest echoed.
“May they watch over us always,” the blind one said.