A secret group seeks to undermine a very special kingdom holiday.
|What made things so special to Prince Nerem on the Celestial Metamorphosis Day was not any of the celebration or the family warmth. Not even the gifts from his royalty and kin made him overjoyed. It was the reason for the holiday-the time when the followers of Jesus Christ would one day receive glorified heavenly bodies just as He did after his ascension. |
Prince Nerem walked through one of the long hallways the kingdom castle whistling. He smiled as he looked at the stain glass windows depicting images of Christ’s birth, His last supper, the parting of the Red Sea, and other Bible scenes.
He stopped to admire a stained-glass image of a white dove, symbolizing God’s Spirit. He heard murmuring around the next corner between two people. The way they talked with trembling voices alerted Nerem so he went to the edge of the corner to see why they were so scared.
“What will we tell the master? We have converted only a fraction of the royal retinue,” said the first voice.
“We must keep striving. If we are to sway the hearts of the people to embrace the way of Nihilism, we will need an important royal figure to turn to our true faith that there is no resurrection. Come, Jasper, we have work to do,” said the second voice.
Nerem heard the two men scuffle down the hall.
Nerem put his hand to his mouth. What was going on? Who was involved? How could he stop this…cult? Nerem knew Jasper was a high servant of the king. The first thing the prince would do was to interrogate Jasper alone.
Nerem trudged back the way he came and passed by a servant standing at attention and addressed him. “Tell servant Jasper I want to see him in my chamber.”
The servant nodded and dashed away. Nerem walked through an entrance into an antechamber with a large door at one end and walked inside it to his royal quarters. He sat in a chair and waited with his hands patiently folded.
Fifteen minutes later, Jasper was brought before Prince Nerem. “Leave, us,” he said to the servants who brought him.
“Tell me all about this covert attempt to subvert and destroy Celestial Metamorphosis Day and all it stands for. And do not play dumb! I heard you speak about it less than thirty minutes ago.”
Nerem jumped up and yelled. “Out with it!”
“For the last seven months, high servant Vauntus has been instructing a few of us lower servants to accept a new kind of belief-the idea God created man but that his soul dies at death.”
“How sad,” said Nerem. “I want you to be my spy and I will reward you. There must be another over Vauntus-a ringleader.” Nerem sat back down. “Inform me of anything significant that goes on. Now go.”
Jasper bowed than left.
Nerem left his chamber and went through an open gate into an open garden. A fountain of a white porcelain dolphin poured out water in the middle of the garden. Men and woman were conversing and laughing.
A man approached Nerem with a big smile. “Are you ready for the holiday in three days?”
Nerem smiled back. “Of course.”
Jasper came pushing his way through the crowds up to Nerem. “I have news!”
“Shh! This way,” said Nerem who led the servant to an empty grove with honey-light touching the grass, flowers and berry bushes.
“What is it that you have to disclose?”
“Vauntus, orders all servants to gather at the mouth of the Brine caverns for a briefing.”
Nerem stroked his chin. “This could be advantageous. If I can bribe Vauntus to tell whoever leads this growing cult. I want you to take seven bags of gold and present them to him saying a rich merchant, who is of the way, wants to speak to whoever oversees the whole secret circle.”
Jasper received the money and left for the cavern.
Nerem laid down to take a nap while he was waiting. He was awoken by a loud knock at his door and in came Jasper. “Vauntus has arranged a meeting with the headmaster himself this evening late when all are asleep.
“Very good! I have a plan.” Nerem dressed in a long cloak with a hood. “Where do we meet?”
“In the gardens.”
“An odd place to be,” said Nerem. “Nevertheless, I must be ready.”
The prince made his way to the empty gardens and saw another in a hooded cloak sitting on a bench. Nerem sat next to him.
“Are you the merchant?” asked the figure.
“Yes. If you divulge your identity I will compensate you quite well.”
“Why are you so curious?” asked the figure.
“Your secret success has impressed me. I wish to know the man behind the movement,” said Nerem.
“It will cost you dearly for such a thing.”
“I can pay it.”
The figure removed his hood and Nerem gasped. “Father!”
“My own father is the ringleader! What has turned you to darkness!”
“I have delved into the teaching of the ancient Sadducees.”
Nerem cried. “You have been brainwashed. If the subjects get wind of your tyranny, there will be upheaval. I implore you to repent and turn back.”
“If you would only see things my way, son. There is no resurrection or spiritual body and I will not see another blasted holiday celebrating it!”
“You speak heresy father!”
“No, you trust in a child’s tale, son!”
Nerem jumped from the chair and began to storm off.
Where are you going?” asked the king.
“I will burn down the archives and any other place where such teaching exist.”
“You would not!”
“Watch me! I will see the church high priest strips you of your crown.”
As Nerem dashed off, his father called after but Nerem did no listen. His heart was broken deeply and he hoped his father could be redeemed somehow. Return him to the flock oh, Lord Nerem prayed mentally.