Will I Follow?

“Hey ma, what do you think we’ll do if the mists lift?”

“Hmm, I don’t suppose I’ve had time to think about it. I suppose Etienne will talk to the Court, and we will figure something out”

“And you believe they will make the right decision?”

“Well, the Court has guided us this long, and we are all alive. And Entienne is a smart man. Why, dear. You have doubts?”

“I mean, some things happened last market that just left me with a lot of question. Just….So Apple had said the last season that, because of the circle’s commitment to the town, and the town’s commitment to the circle, that we were free to adopt Discord to replace sins of Bias. But this market the Court addressed the town in the tavern to have us prove to them that, I don’t know, we were worthy of having that change happen? I guess I just didn’t understand the confusion between the Court about letting it happen? But then Ashe got upset and left, saying she couldn’t stand by this change knowing how many of us died at the hands of the Benalians, and that it was not her way just to simply forget.”

“Well, some members of the Court aren’t immune to acts of impulse. Apple is the spirit who loves the circle the most, so it makes sense that they would be the most in favor of this change, even if it was not solely their call to make”

“Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. The Circle was really torn up about Ashe leaving, and reached out to try to talk and bring them back to the Court. But then Ashe had a list of demands for the Benalians to do to prove to Ashe that they accept us. But, haven’t they done enough?”

“What do you mean, dear?”

“Haven’t the Benalians not bled for us? Haven’t they not been accommodating to our needs? Have they not turned their heads to our activities? When Jo was out in the middle of the tavern yelling ‘My people, it’s time. Let’s meet in our grove’, do you not think the Benalians were playing dumb, closing their eyes, and covering their ears to stay in line with their faith when they had Heresy? And the ones who could not turn their heads to our Mother, they were just shouldering that on their soul. What more do the Benalians have to prove? They could have hunted us a hundred times over by now, but we have chosen to live together for so long.”

“Ashe does hold the memories of the dead from before any of us could comprehend”

“But also our memories don’t work as they should. The mists, which the court tell us to work to strengthen as much as we can for our protection, takes our memories away. So many of us have walked into the forest to be caught in the mists and come back not knowing our families. Last market I found Chevreuil’s body. And Colibri, and, from what Cadence said, Entienne could not remember him. And I think that’s mists fault, and not them not caring about the old leader of our Circle, and, for Entienne, the old head of our family. Yet we are judged for not remembering or understanding how Vecatrans in the region were hunted? I understand that Ashe holds those memories, but that is not the situation we are living through, and the Benalians have done so much already. I am not sure why we are not taking more of a firmer stance toward Ashe, and saying we would love for Ashe to be apart of our community, but if they cannot live under this allegiance with the Benalians then we will remember them fondly.”

“It isn’t so simple, Hadrien. Most of us have lived with the Court our entire lives, and our parent’s lives, and their parent’s lives. Losing of the Court is like losing a close family member.”

“Yeah, I know I haven’t been with the Circle nearly as long as most, and even then I just stood in the back, and didn’t really participate. But we are losing the Court anyway. The Court has said when the Chiropoler died and the mists recede, the Court will fade with the mist. If Ashe wants to leave, and leave with what they believe is their dignity, then why not support that decision? And what are they going to do when the mists spirits fade? When Colibri said this market that Oak was a man who does not change easily, Entienne corrected her and said that the spirits were belief. So will we need to believe in new spirits and create a new Court, or will we be left on our own?”

“I am sure we will find our way. Vecatra will guide us through our crone and through Colibri and Entienne. It just takes a little faith”

“And I want to have faith. I just am not sure how much faith I have. There is so much I don’t understand. I am not sure why Nadia Kruezmoor had to pay for peeing on a tree in blood. I am not sure why Entienne says he cannot help with matters he does not see as pertaining to the Circle if we no longer take the sin of Bias, even though I am awfully sure he was in Gerard’s platoon when fighting the monster in Chiropoler’s bowels last market, and we do still take on the burden of Submission. I am not sure why I cannot help members of my community, like Cadence, Henri, Isabelle, and Sophie without being in Violation of Vecatra. I just don’t understand”

“Honey, were is all this coming from. You never had questions like this before”

“Ma, it just feels like when Chiropoler dies, and the mists fade, we cannot expect the Benalians to protect us. Even if the Benalians in Luisant are loyal to us, we cannot ask them to die to the world’s armies for us, because that will only lead to every dying. We cannot stand up to an army. And so if the mists fade, I can’t see the Vecatrans not receding with the mists and hiding in the forest, on their own”

Sylvaine looks up and speaks.

“Merle, listen to what the boy is trynna tell us”

Merle pauses for a moment, and then a pain expression rests on her face

“Hadrien. If we do have to leave Luisant, you are coming with us. Right?”

“Ma, I……”

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