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 Post subject: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:17 am 
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The young man had been here for most of the day. He had been just sitting in the bench and staring at the cross that symbolised the passion of Kharsis. His features were barely changing; he was keeping the same deep frown of thought and persistence. Agada had tried to talk to him but he had just told her he was not ready to talk. But it looked like he might never be, and after midnight it was Padre Alvaro himself who hobbled to the church to meet the man who stubbornly remained there.

"I think you need help, Senor."

Image

The old man said once he heavily descended onto a place beside the young one.



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EM10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:21 am 
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"You mean the kind of help you call confession."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EM10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:24 am 
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"It's one of the options. Sins are a heavy burden, they can cripple a man and overshadow the good in his heart through which he could otherwise bring the works of Kharsis into the world."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EM10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:27 am 
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"I read about your concept of redemption. You believe she takes the sins away."

It was a question without a question.



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EM10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:49 am 
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"She does. She takes pity in the most downtrodden among men, and kneels beside them to help them up. She is with us when we collapse and cannot rise. She carried the cross all the way up the hill for us to know that sin can be conquered." The old man sighed. "We all make errors in this life, often irreparable ones. The pain of them never truly leaves and can still defeat us. Hence we trust in her, we confide in her, to help us in sharing that pain."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EM10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:21 am 
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"I think you're telling me things you think I want to hear, Padre."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EM10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:28 am 
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"I am telling you things I desperately want to believe in myself, Senor. The faith in her is for the desperate and lost, not for the happy and satisfied. The latter rarely seek her mercy. Yes, in the end it all is a matter of desperate belief. In goodness greater than we witness in life and in redemption deeper than forgettance."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:42 am 
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There was a long silence.

"What happens with those confessions? Do you write them down?"



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:57 am 
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"Never. They are only shared between you and Kharsis. I am bound to never break that covenant. The priest is only the sounding box through which she can hear you."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:58 am 
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"Can I not confess myself, without a priest?"



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:00 am 
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"You can. I think this might be what you've been doing here. How effective has it been?"



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:02 am 
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"..."

The frown was deep for a good while.

"I want to confess my sins."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:12 am 
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"Then in Kharsis' name, I will hear them."

Alvaro leaned forth and closed his eyes, setting himself on listening.



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:00 pm 
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The man, who had never shared his heart's content with anyone, decided to speak.

"I don't know in detail what sins you consider as such, but I know three: Fear, Desire and Regret, and I have committed all of them. To a great extent. I regret things I've done. I regret my very living. I fear the evil in me despite my wish to do good. I fear what I could do if I continued as I am now. I have sinned, Padre."

Sanjuro paused.

"I love and desire my elder brother's wife. I have long loved and desired her and I know no way to stop despite all the reasons to. I have laid with her at her moment of weakness and submission to her fate and her children are my children, and I love them too, but I am not allowed to be the father to them. Not just because my brother doesn't want it, but because she doesn't want it. I fled from them all for I would have killed my brother out of jealousy. In my exile, I took a lover who reminded me of my brother's wife, I sought consolation in her, and a substitute. I allowed her to fall for me but when my brother's wife returned to my life, I discarded my feelings to my lover, hurting her greatly. But my brother's wife had found a lover too after I had deserted her. That man gives her what I cannot, and for that I hate him. That man saved my life and for that I hate him for I wish I had died rather than continue as I am, rather than give him another reason to shine at my expense. My life is an aimless torment. All that I do and can make, all my thoughts about the world and creations that could maybe make it better, they have no value to me if I cannot have my brother's wife. I fool and tire myself by day and I brood and curse my fate by night. I fear that if I do nothing, I will kill the man who saved my life and makes my brother's wife happy. Fire of jealousy is consuming me, my swords thirst for blood. My sins have run so deep that nothing I know can console me, no prayer, no introspection, no noble goal I could follow. This must change tonight, or I will forsake what is good in me. If your goddess is true, Padre, and has enough mercy for one such as I to grant me redemption, may she show me the path. I will entrust myself to her fully and will allow her to work through me. Otherwise, I will carve a path of woe and misery and will pay the world in kind for cruelty it has had for me."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:23 pm 
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The priest had listened without judgement. He sighed deeply when Sanjuro presented his ultimatum.

"What greater torment onto your soul than the one you've already imposed on yourself? Regret is not a sin, my child, it is the very path to redemption that has brought you here, it is the call of your immortal soul to break free of the evils of this world that have tried to take root in it. Nor is your fright a sin, for yours is against bringing cruel fate onto those you love. Your sin is in denying yourself forgiveness, in considering fell deeds against those who you love, a path into darkness a way forward. It is not. The only redemption you can have is through her." Alvaro gestured toward the cross, suddenly realising that his own faith was returning as he sought it direly not for himself, but to save a man. "For she loves us when we are frail so we can become strong again. She supports us when we're faltering and falling, for it is when we go forth that we can bring her mercy into the world. She teaches us to forgive those that have wronged us or brought us to sin for they are not the evil we must expunge, but are as lost as we are, with their own battles for their souls to wage. I don't know your brother, his wife or her lover, but what I see in your confession is their struggle to give life, to save it. That in itself makes them worthy of your forgiveness. Mercy is the opposite to hate, and as the latter has to start somewhere to bear its foul fruit, so does the former with its fruits of love. Even your desire might not be a sin in entirety, for it is love and care that predates it, your will to preserve your children, to deliver your brother's wife from her suffering and to make up to her for the painful past you shared. There are many questions you must answer yourself, my son, but it is through a giving heart you can answer them, not through a clenched fist."

The barely seeing eyes of he priest turned toward him.

"Do you seek Her forgiveness for your errors and a mark of her Mercy on your transgressed soul?"



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 pm 
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"...You may be asking too much of me, priest. I can change my actions to follow Kharsis' teachings, but I cannot undo my karma. I cannot will my sins to go away. My soul had been given to me stained, and I have stained it ever since. I can redeem what's left of my life, but everything? I can't do that."

Sanjuro had been cast into doubt and confusion didn't see any clear way out. His brutal clarity of purpose, to bring everything to the age of the blade, was gone.



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:28 pm 
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"You cannot." The priest agreed, then looked at the cross. "She can."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Sanjuro knew what the priest meant. A final twitch of the veins on his temples, he turned to Alvaro.

"Baptise me, padre."



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:44 pm 
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"Let's wait until morning, my son." The old man sighed.



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 Post subject: Re: Rite of Passage [EN10]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:46 pm 
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"No. Baptise me now. By morning I may doom myself by changing my mind." Sanjuro said insistently.



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