A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 290, Wednesday
October 17th, 2018
Chapter Three: Rites
He took all of the rituals seriously, as he did everything during his career.
He carried them out perfectly even though his studies revealed them to be nothing but tools of control and division.
He fulfilled them with grace, and a presence that gave no indication of the fact that he knew they were empty gestures, and meaningless incantations.
The comfort that he had with his body, developed through his long years of martial discipline, gave his performances a nuance that his peers were unable to match.
Once again he stood out from those around him, not only because of the attention that was focused on him, but for what he brought to each moment.
While he no longer believed in the mysteries as they had been taught to him, he understood that the cohesion of the Empire, the peace of a million worlds, relied on them for everything.
While the imperial families, the royal powers, the priestly caste and the war machine cared nothing at all for justice, intrinsically viewing any person below them in rank as a thing to be used, a device or a tool; justice, if it was to be had, had to be distributed from the top.
He performed the rites with that in mind. He bound people to the commitments expressed in them in ways that had never been seen before, in ways that were not remembered.
When members of the Imperial family came to the table, drawn by his fame, he extracted promises from them in the sacred space, which they could not then refuse.
In the place where his life was most regimented, he found the freedom to return to his old self.
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