It was an early Saturday evening. The great tournament was scheduled to begin the following Monday. The stars only just just started sparkling in the abyssal blackness and the moon showed her beautiful face. A bell in St. Siilvus cathedral tolled ominously, the deepest toned bell, ringing in long intervals, calling all of Smertangelk’s residents to evening vigil. As the last of the people entered through the great engraved spruce doors, the priest opened the doors to the altar and began to chant the starting prayer for the vigil service, swinging a gilded censer with rose scented incense.
Vadim was fortunate enough to be off-duty tonight and was able to make it to the service. He didn’t consider himself a god-fearing man, but his heart and mind were heavy with doubt and fear, it was visible in his worn, distressed features.
As the priest began chanting the first prayer of supplication, the choir joined him, responding to every supplication that the priest requested of Svetlitsa, both praising her and beseeching her.
“Grant this holy city peace and prosperity for many years…”
And the choir would sing in response with,“Have mercy!”
Vadim has payed little attention before, but listening to the words of the priest, he wished sincerely in his heart for all these blessings, because he feared the worst.
The service continued for a long time, it was almost a full hour of prayers until the great Canon began. This was mostly the choir singing select hymns for the saint of the day, so the priest was free to come out of the altar to hear confessions. Vadim, seeing the priest bring out the holy book and put it on a table, starting walking to him. As he approached, the priest greeted him…