Chapter 1329 - Anthony On Tour - Hit the Books

Chapter 1329 - Anthony On Tour - Hit the Books


A Divine Mission! A Holy Order!0

Beyn found it difficult to contain himself as he made his way into the city, leaving the warehouse compound occupied by the Great One, his family, and the rest of the trade mission.

Such was his energy, he found himself trembling from head to toe. His feet were on the ground, but his spirit soared into the air. With every stride, he longed to declare the truth, to speak of the New Way, unveiled through the grace of the Great One upon the world!

However, such an action would assuredly result in his death, and it was not proper for him to martyr himself at this time. There was too much to be done. The great labour, laying down the new Path atop the false, was painstaking work and needed to be completed brick by brick. For all of his flaws, of which there were many, Beyn was aware of his position. His task lay not only in placing bricks, but in recruiting others to the cause, rallying the people around the Great One.

So, he must live on, which meant the many unbelievers around him went unenlightened. Each person who walked by without hearing of the New Way sent a shard of pain directly into his heart, but he held firm, as was his duty.

What the passers by thought of this twitching man, frequently brushing tears from his eyes with his one hand, is probably best kept a mystery.

Eventually, he reached the grand cathedral that formed the centre of the Church's power in the Silver City. Atop a grand staircase, the shining, silver edifice was a marvel to behold. Huge in scale, impressive in artistry, it truly was an incredible sight. However, Beyn found it didn't move him as perhaps it once might have. 

The statue, fifty metres tall, of the smiling, wizened figure who represented the Path, looked down on the streams of people moving in and out of the compound with benevolence. Where once the robed figure, with his large hat and luxurious beard, had seemed so wise, almost all-knowing to Beyn, now he knew of the deeper Truth. There was another way. 

With a set of priestly robes the brathians secured for him, Beyn shrugged his shoulders and walked up the stairs. Before him yawned the wide open entrance to the cathedral itself, the booming words of a stirring sermon echoing out from within. He didn't enter; instead, he turned to his right and moved to the side. Less of the public moved here; instead, it was mostly priests and staff, carrying books and other documents, going about the work of the Church.

It had been so long since he'd worn the traditional robes, and he felt quite uncomfortable without the antennae on his head, but he pressed on, determined to learn what he could.

"Welcome to the library. How can I assist you on your Path?"

Beyn started as he was intercepted the moment he stepped foot within the building. Dressed similarly to himself, the man who accosted him was clearly not a normal Priest, as evidenced by his robust physique.

"Oh. Yes, one moment."

Beyn fumbled through his robes until he found what he was looking for. 

"Ah, here," he said, handing over his medallion of office.

"A moment, father."

The man took the finely shaped metal disc in one palm and placed the other over it, reading the mana contained within. 

"You're a long way from your flock, father," he noted evenly.

Beyn nodded.

"The waves caused much destruction," he said sadly. "My people have gone through a great deal since the destruction of Liria."

"I can only imagine the strange twists of fate that brought you to the fourth stratum. Regardless, you are allowed entry. You can access the index at the desk once you are inside. May the Path guide your way."

"... And yours."

He longed. HE LONGED, to enlighten this man as to the True Path, but with great effort, he held his tongue.

"Why are you holding your tongue, father?"

"Thno reethon. Ethcuthe me."

Not wanting to interact further and risk depleting his willpower, Beyn scuttled inside. The library was enormous, a great repository of knowledge, built up by the Church for over a thousand years. Although it would have been impressive to see all the texts in a single, open space, that wasn't how they were stored. Instead, they filled room after room within the Library complex, each indexed and catalogued, filled with shelf after shelf of volumes.

Immediately inside, the great index could be found, a row of enormous books, each tended by a robed Priest or Priestess. After some discussion and consultation of the texts, he was given a list of books, rooms and shelves to find what it was that he sought. Thankfully, there was precious little speech within the Library, so Beyn felt safe, believing none would engage him in conversation as he worked.

For the next few hours, he toiled away in the depths of the Library, hunting down the books he needed, reading in the alcoves provided, taking notes. It was easy to get lost in the work, and there were several revelations that caused his brows to rise.

However, his concentration was broken when a soft voice spoke over his shoulder.

"Father Beyn? If I might have a moment of your time?"

Disconcerted, he turned to see a smiling Priest had approached him, hands folded within his robes.

"Ah, I didn't mean to surprise you. I learned that a Priest assigned to the Liria region of the surface had entered the Library. Is that you?"

"It is," Beyn stated, a little reluctantly. Why was this person approaching him? Why would he care about a tiny frontier surface kingdom that no longer existed?

"I see I have confused you," the man smiled. "Worry not, I merely have some questions about the misfortune which plagued your people. My name is Alir, Alir Vinting, a Grand Priest of the Way."

Beyn hurriedly ducked his head in an improvised seated bow.

"There is no need," Alir said, raising a hand. "May I have a moment of your time for discussion?"

"Of course, Grand Priest," Beyn hurriedly assented. "You have but to ask."


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