Month: November 2016
Rap, rap, rap.
At the sudden sound of unreserved knocks, Linus raised his eyes from his book.
Who was the idiot who was violently knocking on his door this late at night? When he went to open the door with an unhappy expression, there stood Celiastina with an even more complicated and sullen expression than him. Behind her was a blond-haired young man that he had the memory of seeing somewhere before.
“Is something the matter? Coming here at this time…”
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t think of anyone else to ask help from.”
The young girl in front of him appeared to be even more worked up than the time he spoke to her this morning.
“It’s about the Holy Jail.”
For generations in this world’s only country, Sibelius, it was tradition for the saint, always a maiden, to serve the royal family. There was only ever one of these in the world, an extremely beautiful girl with the Holy Mark on her neck. This was the only proof needed for a saint; it didn’t matter whether one was born as a noble or as a peasant, so long as one had that mark then they were acknowledged by the royal palace and welcomed in. In other words, without the holy mark then one would never be acknowledged as a saint.
Whenever the previous saint drew her last breath, it was a given that the following year a new saint would be born. It was a rule of the country that the saint had to be discovered before she reached her 15th year and welcomed into the royal palace; and, as she entered the royal palace, it was necessary for her to be joined with the young man awarded the position of the First Holy Knight in an engagement ceremony. If this wasn’t done, then it was said that a disaster would befall the kingdom. In the long history of Sibelius, there were only three instances where a saint had not been welcomed into the palace. During the first time, the people underwent a great flood and 40% of the population died; during the second time, the three most powerful forces in the kingdom clashed and all three powers were destroyed in the civil war; during the third, an epidemic had spread and it was reported that 40% of the population had died. Because of these, the entrance of the saint into the royal palace was not just an issue limited to the powers of the country, but a serious event all of the people in the country looked forward to.
There was a murmuring, pleasant sensation.
It was a little cold, but its gentle and soft caresses against Yuna’s body put her at ease.
Yuna slowly opened her heavy eyes and raised her head a little.
Her eyes were still out of focus but faintly, in her vision, she could see a rock face? Come to think of it, she could also feel a rough and rugged sensation against her body.
Where was she right now? What was she doing?
Little by little, her awareness came to her and Yuna slowly raised her upper body– her body was very heavy. But even still, she somehow twists her body and looks around the area. It seems that she is at the edge of a river.
Most of her body is submerged in water and only her upper body is leaning against the moss-covered stones of the riverside. She must have lost consciousness like this. Because she had been in the water for some time, her hands and feet were chilled.
There was a thick forest in this area and in between the gaps of the tall trees, a black night sky spread. And, as if shying away from the painted black sky, the stars twinkled here and there, and the moon could not be seen.
Yuna gathered up her white one-piece dress, heavy with water, and crawled out from the river.
Yuna’s ordinary life was stolen in an instant.
On that day, Yuna was walking on the main paved road, just as she had many days before. She was making her way to the herb market, looking fondly at the many shops lining the street. Shopkeepers acquainted with her greeted her warmly as she passed by, which she returned with a wave of her hand. And just as she rounded the corner, with her slow measured steps.
Something happened to her body.
Thinking back, the details rose to the surface with frightful clarity: the piercing scream of a young woman, the wet breathing and high-pitched neigh of the horse, who realized far too late, and a large horse carriage filling her entire vision.
And the last thing she saw was the wide eyes of the coachman…
— I was run over and killed by a carriage.
The road upon which humans walk has always been short-lived.
No matter the amount of splendor amassed by the rich.
No matter the depth of envy incited by the beautiful.
No matter the level of faith collected by a servant of God.
As long as they were human, death visited them all the same.
Thus, what befell one girl that day, was nothing removed from the norm.
She simply found herself at her inevitable destination, no more, no less.
But the masses would lament. For a girl so young, death was too sudden and cruel.
“But you won’t stop moving forward, will you. As long as the flickering light beyond the road’s end is within sight.”