A Religious Witch?! How Incredible!
Emeline grew up as an orphan and she was indoctrinated to the coven of nuns when she was young. As a young human girl, she saw first-hand how scared the humans are of witches. They had magic, after all, and supposedly made contracts with demons in the past to get it. She wasn’t sure if she fully believed in that, though, especially after living in Frostkin for a few years. Regardless, she had to uphold the credence of the nuns - help those who need help.
And behind her large, round glasses, through her equally large green eyes, she knew Lilith Moonfell needed help. From afar, it would be considered cute that she was close to Priest Deacon especially since she followed him like a puppy. Most of the other nuns dismissed her concerns because she eventually realized that they would be boastful about a witch’s conversion to this new religion. She couldn’t depend on them then and even less so before.
“It is rather strange that Priest Deacon allows this young witch to follow him but one less heathen in this world… it doesn’t matter, Emeline. Why are you so worried?”
“He’ll reject her soon. A good-looking man like that wouldn’t waste his time with a child.”
“Why are you wasting time? Get the candles burning! Stop your gossip! Priest Deacon is doing a world of service here! Haven’t you noticed there are more human parishioners here?”
“Emeline, I know you’re dead set on becoming a Mother Superior one day, but this isn’t the way to go about it. Don’t ruin your advancements for something small like this.”
Emeline would eventually hate it when Lilith came over to the church. Others continued to see it as a good thing as time went along since she was one of the first witches to convert. The day Lilith showed up with her glasses is what especially drove her mad. For a while, the couple had at least interacted with each other in the foyer of the church so she could at least end their interactions quicker than she knew Priest Deacon would’ve liked to. However, lately, they’ve been going to the flower garden - by his request of course.
The nun tried her best to find duties around that area to watch them closely but the others were wise to her plot and one of them confronted her. Amylin was her name and she was relatively younger than Emeline but she would’ve been considered someone she would have to report to.
“What are you doing here, Emeline? We don’t tend to the garden in the afternoon. Is there anything wrong with it?”
Her sudden voice and echo surprised Emeline. She had tried to peer outside to the garden to see and tried to eavesdrop the conversation between the priest and this child. But once she heard the other’s voice, she hopped to face the younger woman. She couldn’t help but make another disgusted face.
“Emeline, you can’t keep doing this.” Amylin sighed and gave her almost an amused smile on her face. “Priest Deacon is doing good - and you know he is - into converting that little witch to this religion. You’re worrying too much. He’s too handsome to want anything to do with that child - however, I never thought he could use his good looks to do so.” The nun seemed to be bemused by Emeline’s peeping and eavesdropping. If anything, it was as though the couple was a natural thing to occur.
“Is he really, Amylin? You know that he has been transferred from Hegathe not that long ago - have you ever thought about why? Have you looked into it?”
“Of course I have. All they said is that he’s a budding priest who needs to spread His word to a poor town like Frostkin. I didn’t look into it after that.”
“Why not? We do an extensive background check for the nuns here. We do more of a background check for parishioners especially since we’re starting to adopt children into our choir. Why didn’t we do that for Priest Deacon?”
Amylin then suddenly turned cold. With her dark pink eyes, she bore into Emeline with a knowing glare. Emeline knew the reason, but she only wanted the other nun to speak it into existence. If it’s the reason she’s thinking of, Emeline would fully know the real obstacle she would have to face to protect that child. Unless… they were going to do…
“His father is Head Priest Ignace.”
A small congregation of on-looking parishioners passed by them in silence as she harshly whispered his name - a ritual that always seemed to happen whenever that name is uttered. They walked behind Amyline and Emeline could feel her anger rise up. She couldn’t even hide her scrunched face and tightening fist that she could see her knuckles turn pale. As far as she knew, nothing of that nature happened. She didn’t want to go past that thought for if she did… she wouldn’t be able to contain her anger. And that’s what made the situation worse. She could tell that the priest is falling for the witch, especially one so young and so innocent.
“Emeline…” Amylin harshly whispered again. “You know the penalty for going against an ordained priest. Don’t you dare do anything and I mean, anything that could get our church doors closed. Do you even realize where the nearest nunnery is? Because that’s where you’ll go - you’ll go to the lowest level and start from scratch if you accuse Priest Deacon! ”
Once the parishioners were out of Amyline’s earshot, that even the echos couldn’t carry it, Emeline got closer to the nun where she could almost see her breath on her round glasses. However, the fury Emeline had made her almost blind.
“So if you know all of this, why haven’t you mentioned this to him? Why do we run around in secrecy and hope that he wouldn’t do anything to her?”
Amylin gave her a look just as angry; even though she said her name, her anger wouldn’t be topped by this arrogant woman before her. “He’s the reason why we have a church here at all. If we displease him, then we don’t have a church to go to. We have to go to some other town that may have heard about our true intention!”
“Oh? Oh? Priest Deacon mentioned this before to me but what is this ‘true intention’? Is it so grand and vast that converting witches isn’t enough? What more could his father want?”
Then Amyline looked around to make sure there truly was no one there. She was starting to sweat from the intensity of the argument and grabbed Emeline’s sleeve and tried to go to a more private sector of the church. Because of the heightened activity, she didn’t want to risk any of the new parishioners warning them.
“I’m breaking so many rules right now, Emeline, but you’re so incessant. You’ve been a thorn on my side since you’ve arrived. You always demand to know why when you don’t understand the severity of such things. And frankly, I’m tired of it. You need to understand that rules are there for a reason and you don’t always need to know why. It’s annoying and frankly, there’s no time to explain everything! We have a library. You can study! Do your own legwork!”
Emeline winced at being pulled but she bit her tongue and tried her best to not respond.
“But the truth… the truth of this whole thing… They’re planning to crusade to these towns… to kill all the witches who haven’t been converted.”
The news caused Emeline to blink twice and even spewed more anger-laced toxicity.
“What…? I thought our duty was to save them amid this war…?”
Her voice was trying to raise its volume because she didn’t know how to react with this news. How could she? All her life in the nunnery, she was taught from day one that they were here to serve Samher’s kindness … to convince these witches these contracts with demons are not acceptable. They could repent and save their souls by turning to Samher… repent those contracts…
“You dolt! Of course we’re here to save them! This war is a smokescreen! This war is meant to make these witches’ defenses low… recruit those able-bodied young men to make them defenseless. When the time is right, start converting the witches to Samher’s word. If there’s not enough, well, you can figure it out from there unless you want me to waste my words further.”
Emeline was shocked. She had to put her hand over her mouth to make sure she didn’t scream out in horror the ultimate plan was. She had always thought that as nuns, it was their duty to help the settling humans who made their way through this booming country. Even though she didn’t understand witch culture, she knew that there would be some humans who needed the church to help guide them.
And yet, the horror that Amylin has told her, she didn’t know what she could do. Even after the two manage to separate, along with promising Amyline to never speak of this to anyone, she still decided to go back to the garden. She saw Lilith leave with a smile on her face - something wonderful must’ve happened to her.
Tears tore from her eyes as the young girl waved goodbye and she turned her head. Something wonderful must’ve happened to her but it’s not good in Emeline’s eyes.
It didn’t take much longer for Priest Deacon to come back out. He had almost a dazed look on his face and he would’ve been glowing if the child was his age.
He then turned his eyes to her and gave her a dazed smile. “She’s so sweet. She kissed me on the cheek so I surprised her with my own kiss… on the lips.” Once again, Emeline’s fists paled but she could feel her skin being torn at how tight she held. “Ah, it’s probably forbidden so don’t tell anyone, okay Emeline? I’ll make sure to tell the chef to give you extra sweets from now on if you keep this one secret!”
Emeline knew she couldn’t react. She knew her face held anger. He didn’t care. He knew who the hell he was and what true power he wielded there. It was certainly true that priests could have families and fall in love. Something she and the other nuns weren’t allowed to have - but this person whom he supposedly loves was a child.
Priest Deacon walked away and still didn’t say anything to her obvious anger. Whether he thought it was jealousy or if he knew he could get away with it, it didn’t matter. His power was truly incredible. However, Emeline wasn’t sure if she should even follow this faith anymore if such demonic plans and demons could roam under His church unscathed.