First night on the road. Lots of mud.
So much happened last night where to begin?
Went to see Lapis for one more session before we left. He fell on me as soon as I came into the cathedral. I had not seen that look on his face since we had our duel on the island. When I recovered enough to defend myself well and gain ground against him he told me Dr. Joe had been to the school and threatened the fathers, and was planning on heading to Falun. AND that he would be looking for me. AND that one of the messengers had nearly been scared to death by his companion. So there are more! Some are still with him. How many? Did the cave ins force them to the surface?
I was exhausted by the time we finished. We did not speak much, he had made his point. I was out of practice. I was thinking rather than doing, that would take too long if my life was actually in danger. Why does he have to be so spooky about it? They were there too, as always, I could hear them moving about the galleries. They became still and quiet at the news of Joe. Why doesn’t Lapis acknowledge them, is he deaf? Does he know?
After Lapis left I was taken to see Thomas. Spurgan had been shot, he was comatose, Thomas will not leave his side. He was so distraught he could not speak. I ordered Levi and Morti to go to the cellar and bring 4 large bottles of whiskey, and I ran to wake Dr. Miggins. He struck me as someone that didn’t ask questions. He was grumpy about being woken but got his coat and followed. He became more interested when we went under the streets. The bottles arrived while he was working, it was enough for his work and his silence.
Spurgan was still alive, we watched as the bullet came out and he was stitched. It was so odd to see Thomas like that. He seemed lost. It was a sombre mood. I showed Doc to the surface and then Levi cornered me. He said I had provided well enough for not having to have made a sacrifice, and there were things I needed to know. He took me with a smaller group and told me of their life with Joe, and the older ones, monstrous even by their measure, and one named Nefertiti. Thomas is weak, but Levi will not challenge him. It all came together then, all of Lapis’ lessons, I felt the forces of Fate converge under me. Now was my time!
Nefertiti must be traveling with Joe. I will get to Falun before they do.
I will not fail!
I know what Father plans to do in the mines of the north. It has always been his plan to do so eventually. There was a time I would never have questioned the divine wisdom of Father, ideological heir to the prophet Ariston. But what unholy ideal is reflected in a world such as this; a world in which my beloved sleeps so close to the banks of the River Styx? It is a perversion, a jest and I am already dead.
When faith dies what horrors rush to fill the void? I see all possible routes yet they lead to the same finale. Which one shall I stroll today, dear Spurgan? And shall you be there in the end to greet me?”