The Old Sword part 4
Varin stepped out of the wagon and ran towards the burnt down bar. “Father! Father!” he shouts, digging his hands into the black coals of burnt wood. The smell of flesh and ashes filled his senses he felt nothing. He felt no pain from the burning coal he touched. He heard no voices calling him to stop. He let no hands touched him as he dig deeper into the ruins of the bar.
“Father! Father!” he shouts alone.
Several of the nearby residence pushed the heavy chunk of woods away from Varin’s path. Some backed away, other watched with tear filled eyes. Kids held their mom tight, unable to watch the agony.
Varin pushed away the last of the debris, revealing a charred corpse sprawled with its neck nearly severed from its body.
The sight crushed Varin. He fell to his knees, mouth gaping. His body emptied of energy. The adrenaline he felt earlier left him. His trembling hand slides underneath the hand of the charred corpse and picked it up slowly.
“Father” he said with a trembling voice.
He grabbed the charred hand and watch in horror as it crumbles into jet black dusts leaving only a gold ring on his palm.
Varin gulped, but it stuck to his throat. His chest hurts, convoluted by all the feeling swelling inside him. He felt like screaming.
And he did.
Varin slammed his fists repeatedly into the remains of the bar. Above him, the dark sky growls and flashes in anger.
“Varin…” a voice came from behind Varin followed by a gentle tap to his shoulder.
Varin glanced over his shoulder. His eyes flooded, his vision blurred. Yet he knew the voice very well. “Uncle Sameth” his voice drowned by his sob.
“Varin… come, you need to rest” said Sameth.
Varin pushed Sameth’s hand with a nudge from his shoulder. “No…” he said. He pushed the charred hands of his father’s corpse towards its charred body, making sure nothing broken as he did so. “Father need to have a proper burial” he said.
Sameth placed his hand on Varin’s shoulder again, firmer this time. “Don’t worry, the others are already working on it. But first, we need to cover your father’s corpse before the rain falls” he said. He pulled Varin from beside his father’s charred corpse and let a team of people move in with a large canvas in their hands. He pulled Varin away from the ruins of the bar and held him close. “You need to rest first. We’ll find out who did this later” said Sameth.
Varin gulped. He gripped hard at Sameth’s shirt and broke into tears.
Hameed watched from the back ranks of the main prayer hall towards the place where the Grand Cleric sat. He had stood there in wait for the whole time, waiting for the cleansing ritual to begin. His first cleansing ritual ever since he was promoted into the ranks of Cleric. He wore his usual white robe with white skullcap. In his hand he held his wooden prayer beads which never stops moving. Somehow deep inside him he hoped to see something magnificent. A spectacle. Something magical. Yet another part of him dismissed such thought.
He let his gaze wandered the large prayer hall, moving from the people praying inside the hall to the large mosaics above him with the writings from the book.
The Grand Cleric moved away from his prayer mat and sat in front of the wrapped sword. Two of the senior Cleric moved from behind the Grand Cleric to the side of the sword each holding the book in their hands.
Hameed makes his way forward, bowing as he did, eager to watch the ritual.
Some of the attendance inside the prayer hall stopped praying and began to move closer towards the Grand Cleric, not knowing what was happening.
The Grand Cleric coughed. He took a deep breath and slowly opens his eyes to the sight of the beautiful sword. He shifts his seating and with grace, extends his hand to the black shiny sheath of the sword. He held the sheath for awhile, closed eyes and deep breath. Then with his other hand, he pulled the sword out of its sheath and placed it next to one another.
The Grand Cleric opened his eyes and turned his gaze towards one of the senior Cleric next to the sword. “Did Hameed ready the water and the lime?” he said.
The senior Cleric nods and carefully turned around. He picked up the basin filled with mixture of water from the Bottomless Well and few limes from the gardens around the prayer hall.
The Grand Cleric points for the senior cleric to place the basin between him and the sword. He then carefully picked the sword from the cloth and placed its blade inside the water as he murmurs along with it.
Like bathing a baby, the Grand Cleric cupped water from the basin and gently empties it onto the blade while his mouth murmurs the word from the book. He repeats the process several times; making sure every part of the blade is covered with mixed water.
Once finished, he turned to the other senior cleric. “Bring me a yellow cloth with yellow ropes” He said. The senior cleric nods and made his way outside.