“You follow your own dogma you say?” Said the king sitting in his crimson throne.
“Then explain your actions of spreading heresy and vile ideas!”
On his knees, the bearded man got a hold of his soft beard, and moved his hands through it.
“Sweet and tinder ideas my lord… Nothing more” said the bearded man.
“Hypocrite martyr! What you do, you do for your own agenda!” The king screamed
“These are faithful people, and you are using them”
The martyr stood up, as the king waved his hands to stop the guards from putting him down.
“What I do, I do for what I believe in. I’m merely a servant, nothing more”
The king grunted. “I’ve had enough lies for one day, execute him”
The guards grabbed the martyr, and headed out of the throne room.
“Wait, my lord!”
The king looked back. “Be quick about it”
“Have you ever heard of the river underneath?” The martyr asked
“A myth of waters so pure, one sip from it makes you immortal” The king answered
“Give me a chance… A chance to prove that I come in peace, that I wish no harm to you, or your people. I’ll bring you the waters of the river myself”
Silence filled the room…
“It’s called a myth for a reason old man”
“Until proven to be true… I saw it, and I can prove it. Give me five days, and I’ll come back with the waters”
The king took a moment to think this through. Those words from the martyr angered him even more, but the king took it as a challenge, and he saw the old martyr dying anyway in all scenarios. How can an old man find the mythical river, while many brave knights died in doing so?
“Know that we can track you, if you didn’t come back in five days or tried to run away, you’ll be executed in front of everyone”
The old martyr laughed. “How can an old man like me, with bones that barely make me stand, run away from the king himself?”
The king didn’t believe one word that came out of the martyr’s mouth. But he had nothing to lose, and was curious. The guards took the martyr out of the city, to begin his journey to find the river underneath.
The martyr walked a tainted, lifeless road with a stick to help him move steadily. Even though he was old and weak, his steps were confident, as if he knew exactly where to go.
He has been walking for 3 days now, and time was running swiftly.
He encountered a small village on his way, and thought to himself
“I should rest for the time being”
As if the king’s deal with him didn’t really matter, he didn’t seem to be stressed or afraid of the king’s promised execution, if he didn’t come pack with the water in five days.
He came to a sturdy gate, with rusty hinges. Squeaking as he opened it, he was presented with a small courtyard with a dead fountain, and a few houses made out of decayed timber and hay.
He went straight into the fountain, and sat there, resting his fatigued legs.
One of the villagers approached him.
“We’ve nothing here sir… You’ve come to the wrong place”
The martyr looked to him with a peaceful smile
“I’m only here to rest for a bit, worry not”
As the villager was leaving, he couldn’t help but notice a symbol of a black eye, engraved on coin the martyr was wearing around his neck.
He asked. “Are… Are you him? The martyr?”
“Yes” The martyr replied.
“Is it true… what you claim?”
“It is indeed, true”
The villager startled, he ran desperately into his small house, and came back with a sick child daughter.
“She’s dying sir… Please, help her”
The old man reached his right hand to her face, and moved it softly and gently. He took out a coin with the same eye symbol from his satchel. And gave it to him.
“Believe in the eye, and she’ll be cured”
Out of desperation, the villager asked “What about the king? He’ll have us killed”
“What has your king ever done to you?” Asked him back
“Then believe in the eye, and reject your king”
He then stood up, and continued his way to the river underneath, while the villager looked at the coin, and hugged it in his chest, with his tears falling on his daughter’s cheeks.
“The deed is done” murmured the martyr to himself
He continued walking through the road, until he reached the mountains.
Six days has passed by the time he reached the mountains.
Yet he still wasn’t worried about the king’s promised execution.
On his way to the mountains, he encountered a set of mercenaries that looked like they’ve seen their fair share of the world’s filth.
The martyr waved his hands in a way of greeting.
“Are you the martyr the king sent?” They asked
They looked at each other, and one them asked.
“We’ve heard tales about you, and your beliefs. They say your beliefs are about peace and prosperity, that whoever follows the eyes, shall be rewarded by it”
“That is true”
One of them unsheathed his sword, and put it in the martyr’s neck.
“How can we believe that? Look at the world around you!”
The martyr didn’t move a single muscle.
“And why is the world like this sir mercenary? Does the world believe in the eye? No, they believe in the king’s faith. Thus the world is in this state. Look at me, six days have passed, and the king has sent no one to execute me, when he promised he will in five days. Why is that? Because the eye protects me”
The mercenary took down his sword, and sheathed it.
The martyr took out another coin, and threw it at them, as one of the mercenary’s catches it
“You seem to be lost, believe in the eye, and he’ll lead you to the city”
The martyr walked away, and continued his way to the mountains.
And yet again, he murmured to himself. “The deed is done”
On the seventh day, the old martyr climbed the mountains, to find a cave midway through.
He enters confidently with no fear. In the depth of darkness, he walked with no fear, till he reached a place where the sound of flowing waters were present.
He lit a lantern that he had in his satchel, and it revealed a flowing water stream, with two sacks, one filled with food, and the other was closed tightly with a rope.
He let go of his stick, approached the flowing water, opened a water pouch, and filled it with the water.
The martyr finally sat down, and rested his head on his satchel.
He murmured to himself as he closed his eyes
“The deed is done”
A month has passed, and the martyr thought to himself that it was time to go back to the city, and see what has happened since his encounter with the king.
He set out with his stick, the water pouch, and the closed sack to go back to the city.
And after days of endless walking, he reached the city… The ruins of a city.
Signs of the eye symbol were everywhere, and all people bowed down to the martyr when he walked in.
What was once a city with order, is now ruins.
The villager, the mercenaries, the city’s population. All of them bowed to him, as if they’re controlled by his ideals.
He walked slowly, heading to the throne room, with everyone following him.
As he enters, he finds the crimson throne empty, with the king’s head on the ground.
He moves it aside with his right hand, sits on the throne, and opens up the sack, revealing the heads of other kings.
He then opens up the water pouch, and pours some of it on the king’s head, and drinks what’s left… Pure normal water, nothing magical or special about it.
“This is what happens to those who do no believe. The eye comes in peace, it comes with sweet and tinder ideas and words, but those who fight it, are punished. You showed your king his right reward. May the eye forgives him”
And all people screamed “All hail the martyr, our true savior!”
The martyr looked between the crowd, and found a shady figure with black wings, that no one seems to notice except for him.
They shared a smile, and the shady figure mouthed “The deed is done”
The martyr lied his back on the throne and said back
“The deed is done”