How do you keep the peace? What is the price for keeping the peace? And how do you know what you paid for will last? Nothing is certain, especially peace. This time the price for keeping the peace was killing a friend. I can go on and on about how it was an execution, but that does not help. It does not change it from what it really is. I had to murder someone who was doing God’s work. That was the price this time. To keep the peace, someone had to die.
But what lead to that conclusion? It was fear. It was the fear of what one side was capable of. It was the fear that they have done it before, and likely would gladly do it again. They wanted this man of God dead and there was no changing their minds. These soldiers of their liege mad their demands, and like that one man was sentenced to death. And by supper’s end, and the plunge of a sword, this man of god was dead.
My heart sank before the body hit the ground and slid off the sword. As the crowds gathered, dissension began to murmur. I knew it had to be swift counter that dissent if this was going to work. While that infant feeling of grief was swelling in my soul, I had to show strength. I had to try and have the resolve to finish what I had started. I had to quickly address that growing noise from the crowd. With quick and terse words that rumbling disdain for my actions rose. I was not proud of myself, but it was needed.
We took him to the church to prepare for a miracle. It was a miracle if this would bring lasting peace. But grief finally took complete control and I saw my work in the light. I finally see his body, lifeless, still, going cold. As soon as my rite was complete and his eyes shut, standing was impossible. I fell to the ground in pieces. My strength was sapped and so was hope.
I may have my friend back thanks to the miracle of Stragosa. But, I will always have the memory of killing him. I will carry that image of his limp body for the rest of my days. The final tally is that we are as we were when the day started. But I had to do something that I did not want to do. And that memory will be there, always. It will serve as a reminder for what this was all for: peace. Peace for all, but myself. That was the true price of peace. A little bit of myself had to go in order to secure it. A small peace, barely noticeable to most, but it is a piece of me. I don’t know how many more of those pieces are left. One day I fear, more pieces will be gone than I can live without. And that day, all of these peaces I bought will be weighed against me. And I hope it was enough.