“Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus,” Sir James chanted slowly.
“Pater et filets sans tush,” repeated Wain, trying to imitate the deep, soothing chant.
“No,” James shook his head, “Not quite.”
“Well. I’m trying!”
You’re making good progress…”
“One word every two hours!”
“I’ll just move my lips, ok?”
“I guess that’ll be all right. Especially since it’s time to go or we’ll be late,” James sighed, “Don’t tell me you’re bringing your sword?”
“You don’t take a sword to Vespers!”
“Let’s go and leave your sword here.”
“Ok, ok. I don’t know why I let you talk me into this.”
“You wanted to come,” protested James, “I didn’t talk you into anything!”
“I wanted to get the snacks afterwards.”
“You mean the social hour?” A young page slid to a stop in front of them, “Can we help you?”
“My lords, the bishop Dref Cefel desires your presence immediately.”
“We shall be there anon,” said James and the page rushed off.
“Sounds like I should have brought my sword.”
“He probably just wants to present us with an award or something.”
“Huh, we’ll see.”
* * *
Later, as they were ushered into the Bishop’s chambers, James began to think that Wain might have been right. After all, surely the Bishop would give them advance notice of an award.
“I welcome you, Sir James Flickerflame, in the name of the Lord Almighty,” said the Bishop, “I hope that my sudden summons has not inconvenienced you.”
“Not at all, your Holiness,” James assured him.
“Huh, I missed my first Vespers and Snack Hour,” grumbled Wain.
“It has recently been brought to my attention,” the Bishop affected not to notice Wain, “That a conclave of evil knights, know as Vampires, have taken over the old island stronghold of the Order of the Sea. In times now past this fortress served as the home for the monks and knights that made it their duty to save those in peril from the sea. It is a great shame to see such a proud and pure place to be desecrated by a brood of villainous pirates in this manner.”
“Indeed a terrible shame,” said James, “We must do something about this.”
“Our current intelligence indicates that the Order of the Sea possessed the Shining Shield and the Sword of Truth. If at all possible it would be a great help to have these artifacts recovered. Their presence on the front would greatly inspire the troops, for they are currently hard pressed to hold what little ground we have gained.”
“We will leave as soon as possible, my lord,” said James, “Do we have transportation?”
“A vessel will be provided. You will speak to our agent at the docks. It will be a different man this time. Shortly after you departed to the Peaceful Isle our agent was nowhere to be found. Most peculiar.” Again the Bishop affected not to notice Wain’s guffaws.
“Very well. If you’ll excuse me, my lord,” Sir James bowed and backed out of the hall, with Wain in his wake.
As soon as they were out of the hall James turned angrily to Wain, “Try to maintain a little more decorum when we are before the Bishop.”
“I was good,” protested Wain, “I wanted to treat the ol’ Bish to my chant.”
“Well, at least you didn’t do that. Now speak his name with respect.”
“Ok, ok,” Wain sighed, “You’re no fun, man.”
“Let’s go and prepare our gear. We are leaving early in the morning.”