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Lingso's Start

It all started in a small, shabby, worn down village outside the Light Temple. A young woman walked with a young boy’s hand in hers. She would have been beautiful if not for the dirt clinging to her dress and her careworn face. The boy had a bright face as he bounced up and down next to the woman. The pair had blonde almost silver hair, stunning blue eyes, pale skin, and slight frames. “Sister, sister,” the boy addressed the young woman excitedly; “We’re going to see the priest today. You should be happy. Maybe this year he will give us daddy back.”
The sister looked down at the boy and forced herself to smile. “Maybe this year.” The boy seemed happy with this response and bounced up and down next to her once more. The young woman resumed her usual worried face.
The entire town lined the streets waiting for the priest. Every person had come to ask the priest for something, but he would only grant one request each year. He would usually pick the easiest to complete or the one that would give him the most fame and praise. This year the sister came to plead her family’s case once more. All they wanted was their father back. He didn’t even belong in the jail, he belonged with them.
The trumpets sounded, signaling the priest’s arrival. He walked through the village, his pure white robes in sharp contrast to the poverty stricken and dirt ridden villagers. He walked along as the villagers shouted all kinds of requests at him. He just kept going. He would only stop if one of the requests really caught his attention. He stopped in front of the young woman and her brother. “What is it that you request,” he asked her kindly.
“The return of our father,” the young woman answered.
“Where is your father?”
“He’s in the tallest tower over that hill,” the boy answered pointing to the temple.
The priest paused and asked the young woman, “What did he do to get in there?”
The young woman answered, “He was caught picking herbs in the temple garden.”
“What did he need the herbs for?”
“Mommy is not feeling good and they make her stop coughing,” the boy answered.
The priest smiled at the boy and asked, “How old are you?”
“I am four years old,” the boy answered proudly.
The priest turned back to the young woman and asked, “Is that what you desire?” The young woman nodded. “So be it.” The crowd cheered. “Go with my personal guard and find your father.” The young woman nodded and took her brother’s hand. The priest stopped her. “It is probably better that you do not take him in there. I will watch him for you.”
“Thank you,” was all the young woman could manage to say. The boy held the priest’s hand as he watched his sister walk away toward the tall tower.
*************************************************************
Six years passed and the family lived happily for awhile. The mother’s cough did not get any better and she eventually died. The young woman had grown up, married, and moved to a new town. The father became a drunk soon after his wife died. The sweet little boy was left alone to care for himself and his father. The boy hadn’t been to the festival in years, but this year he had something worth asking for, so he went. He lined up with all the other townspeople. The priest once again made his way through the mass of people. The boy waited until the priest got close enough and calmly stated, “I have a request.”
The priest stopped and looked at the boy. It was not often that the townspeople spoke so clearly and assertively. The priest nodded to the boy and asked, “What is it that you request and what makes you speak in such a strong voice?”
The boy looked the priest right in the eye and said, “I know you will grant my request. That is why I speak so strongly.”
The priest was taken aback. He paused before spurting out, “What makes you worthier than all these other people?”
“Simple,” the boy said, “I only want one thing. Even if you deny it to me this year, I will be back next year, asking for the same thing. It is not material wealth or knowledge that I want. Mine is a simple request. All the others change their minds frequently and do not hold conviction.”
The priest stared in amazement at the boy. “How old are you?”
“Ten,” was all the boy said.
“What has made one so young so strong and knowledgably?”
“Pain, suffering, and a bit of persistence,” the boy smiled.
“What is this request that will keep you coming back year after year?”
The boy again looked directly into the priest’s eyes and said, “Freedom.”
The priest looked very confused. “That is not such a simple request. How am I supposed to give you freedom?”
“It is simpler than you think. All you need to do is open up those gates and let me walk through them. Let me walk away from this life,” the boy said gesturing at the people and filth around him. The priest was astounded by this young man’s words. He could not say anything he simply nodded. The boy smiled as he walked toward the large gates, toward a better life, and away from his suffering. He walked toward freedom.
********************************************************
Once inside the boy found the priest. “Excuse me,” he quietly said.
The priest looked at him and asked, “Where is the strong spoken young man I just let pass through my gates? What is the matter?”
“I only speak with that conviction when I need to be heard. I simply had a question that I would liked answered, but you don’t have to.”
“I meant no offense. Ask away.”
“Do you know who I am?”
The priest looked hard at the boy. After awhile he shook his head, “No, I do not. Should I?”
The boy sighed. “No, I guess you left more of an impression on me than I left on you.”
“What do you mean? Have we talked before?”
“Yes, a long time ago. You granted my sister’s request, for our father.”
“You… you were that sweet little boy.”
The boy smiled, “Yes, the one whose hand you held. From that day on, I wanted to see you once more, to thank you.”
“For what? Freeing your father?”
“No… for being a father.”
The priest stared at the boy. “What do you mean?”
“Well, you were more of a father to me in those brief minutes than my real father was in my entire life. He was not all that good at being a dad. I just wanted to thank you.”
“Your welcome, my boy. Come along.” The priest walked toward the temple. The boy followed.
“What am I going to do now?”
The priest paused, smiled, and answered, “Why you are going to begin training to become an acolyte.” They both continued walking into the temple.
********************************************************
The dim light the lantern provides is barely enough to illuminate the text. A young man with silver hair, slight frame, and bright blue eyes sat at a tiny desk in a small room full of old, dusty books. The only other furniture in the room was a small bed in the corner. He glares at the lantern, suddenly expanding the illumination it provides. “Much better. Now, let me see….” A knock on the door made the young man jump.
“Lingso, you know you are not allowed to use your powers for such trivial things. Your powers are meant for so much more.”
“I’m sorry, High Priest, but I could barely see the book let alone the words.”
“You are not even supposed to be up. You wouldn‘t want to fall asleep at your own celebration.”
“I will go to bed right now.” The young man, Lingso, doused the light and crawled into the bed. He pulled the covers up to his chin and drifted off to sleep.
********************************************************
Today is the day that I can become a full priest in the way of the light. Finally! I can’t wait.
“Lingso,” a man on the top of the stairs called. The young man with the silver hair scurried up to him. Lingso paused at the top of the stairs, staring blankly at the crowd. “And now I present you with title of Priest of the Light.” The young man beamed as the faceless mass roared his praise. It was his moment in the spotlight, but it was just a moment.
“He shot the High Priest,” another man onstage shouted. There was a scuffle in the crowd as some guards tried to grad the shooter, but the shooter became part of the mass pandemonium of the crowd. All this was lost to Lingso. He was concentrated on the High Priest, the man he owed everything to. Lingso bent down and placed the old man’s head in his lap. The wound looked bad. A doctor came scurrying over. He tried to shoo Lingso away, but he was not budging. The man looked at the wound, then up at the people on stage and shook his head.
“There is nothing we can do for him.” Lingso looked down at his old friend. The High Priest looked up at him. He slowly removed his ring, the symbol of his position, and reached his hand toward Lingso. Lingso reached for the ring, but before taking it paused.
“I want… you to have it. I want you… to find them. Make them…what they…once were.” Lingso grabbed the ring and the old man died in his lap. Lingso cried. He hadn’t cried that hard since his mother’s death. Some men helped Lingso up and away from the High Priest.
“What did he mean by them?” asked one of the men.
“The Dragon Knights.”
********************************************************
Lingso hurried back to his room. He just couldn’t stand being there a minute longer. He grabbed a bag from under his bed and started stuffing scrolls into it. He paused as he looked at his desk. There was a single brown piece of parchment on it. It had his name written on it in shinny black letters. He stared at it. He knew that handwriting. It was the High Priest’s. Lingso grabbed the letter and sat on his bed. He slowly opened up the parchment. His eyes slowly filled with tears as the moved back and forth, reading his last words. Lingso closed his eyes a moment to compose his thoughts. He dragged himself from his bed and began replacing the scrolls he had thrown into his bag. He had a job to do. He placed the letter from the High Priest back onto the desk and exited through the door. Returning to his duty, just as a Priest of the Light should.
********************************************************
So Lingso stayed. The honor of High Priest was not bestowed upon him. Instead it was given to Bennett. Still Lingso stayed. He was still a Priest of the Light. He was sworn to protect and serve, which he would do. Unfortunately, Bennett was not thrilled with Lingso. He was in fact threatened by Lingso. After all, the former High Priest did seem to want Lingso to take over. That could not happen. Lingso was just not experienced enough. What did he know of being High Priest? Soon after his appointment, Bennett started an investigation into Lingso’s actions. It was deemed that Lingso had been taking advantage of an old man and that he had no right to inherit the ring or anything else from the High Priest. It was also deemed that this was not acceptable for a Priest of the Light. Lingso was stripped of his title. Someone came to break the bad news to Lingso. When they arrived at his room, it was stripped bare. All the scrolls were missing. There was a single old brown parchment left on the desk. The ink was dull and faded, but still legible. “I don’t need to wait for the answer; I know what it will be. I am me, no matter what people say.” It was signed Lingso, Priest of the Light, forever.
********************************************************
Lingso looked down on his homeland. The Temple of the Light was shinning on the horizon. It seemed even whiter when compared to the filth of the village surrounding it. The magnificence of the temple was highlighted by the crumbling shacks of the poor village. The sun was just peeking over the horizon, casting everything in a dull yellow. Even the sun seemed dull when compared to the temple. It was just then, looking down at his home, that Lingso made an important realization. “Some people are such hypocrites,” he muttered angrily to himself. As he turned away from his home for the past twenty-three years, he did not feel sorrow as he expected. Instead he felt a sort of peace. He was finally out on his own. He was going to complete the last wishes of his closest friend.
Lingso had moved all of three steps when he heard someone ask, “Why do you say they are hypocrites?” Lingso froze. He had not meant for anyone to see him leave, let alone hear his true feelings. He slowly turned around half expecting it to be someone from the temple, come to take him back. He was surprised to see a young woman about his age standing there. She had beautifully tanned skin, long wavy black hair, and piercing brown eyes. She was wearing a simple green dress, but she took his breath away. “What did they do to make you think they were hypocrites?” she asked him again.
It took him a minute, but Lingso managed to stutter, “They just are. They preach about equality and fairness, yet they live in luxury while people all around them suffer. They claim that through sacrifice and suffering they will gain peace. They know nothing of sacrifice, true sacrifice.”
“And you do?” the young woman asked.
Lingso did not mean to tell her so much, but something about her made it easy to talk to her. “Yes, I do. True sacrifice is giving up everything you are for the good of another. I know what true sacrifice is.”
“I don’t know,” she said. “You seem to be one of those priests that you are calling hypocrites. You don’t look like you know true sacrifice.”
Lingso eyes suddenly became very intense. They seemed to burn as he said, “I know true sacrifice. I am not a hypocrite. I actually believe and practice what they preach and pretend to practice. I am a true Priest of the Light, not only in name, but in my soul.”
The woman was taken aback. “I did not mean to offend you. I was just stating what I saw.”
Lingso smiled, “Have you never heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover?”
The young woman smiled back, “Of course. How could I forget? I am Jenessa.” The young woman extended her hand. Lingso shook her hand.
“I am Lingso.”
“Nice to meet you. Where are you headed?”
Lingso thought about it for a moment. Then he looked at Jenessa and said, “I have no idea. Away from here I guess.”
Jenessa laughed. She had never met anyone who did not know his next move. “Would you like to travel with me?” Lingso nodded eagerly. “Well then, let’s go.” Jenessa headed off into the day followed by her newest friend, Lingso Priest of the Light.

Lingso's Start

CassandraLavenza

Joined November 2007

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