Ganis spent most of her days in solitude, intentionally avoiding the company of others. However, she often came across her crew members and shared idle talk, all save one, Sigurd. Curious regarding the lone warrior, Ganis sought him out in the aft section of the bottom-most deck. Sigurd rested on one of the hammocks designated for the crewmen.
Upon entering the faintly-lit room, Ganis found a hairless face with blue eyes staring at her. For a moment, she was paralyzed with shock and awe at the size of the rugged hulk standing in the middle of the room. The man’s frame was larger than any Ganis had seen before. His bald face bore no scars, but his eyes claimed a different story. Looking into the pale blue eyes of Sigurd, Ganis saw that they were the eyes of a ruthless predator.
“Sigurd, I assume,” with a shaken voice, Ganis spoke. She spent a few moments waiting for a reply, but received none. “I am sorry to alarm you while resting. I was hoping that you would share some of your experiences with me,” said Ganis, in an attempt to draw out Sigurd’s past from him.
The hulking man stood with complete stillness as he stared into Ganis’ eyes. The stare was different from Ninazu’s, for it did not cause the Moroi to feel unveiled; instead, she felt as a helpless prey. Nevertheless, Ganis’ prowess was far greater than that of her comrade’s.
Unwelcome by Sigurd, Ganis took leave and headed towards the main deck. On her way to the stairs leading upwards, Ganis heard a whisper coming from one of the rooms. Further investigation led the Moroi to a room next to Ninazu’s lab where one of her comrades prayed.
Noticing her presence, Eirene asked, “Can I help you with anything, child of Pax?”
“I am no child of Pax,” Ganis referred to her unholy nature, a reference that the Priestess did not comprehend due to lack of knowledge regarding the Moroi’s past.
“We are all children of Pax,” the Priestess stood up and looked at Ganis. Her motion was slow and soothing. Eirene was fair and had a serene face which calmed Ganis’ worried heart. Her dark black hair, coupled with dark colored eyes, matched the color of her skin perfectly. Eirene was a true specimen of beauty. Taking a brief pause to stand up, the Parthan continued, “Some of us are clouded in darkness that prevents the truth from emergence, but they are still children of Pax.”
“And what father would abandon his children and condemn them to such a blood-riddled fate? What father would watch his children slaughter each other and bring never-ending pain upon one another?”
“Pax is no father to any of us.”
“If we are the children of Pax and he is no father, then Pax must be our mother. Unlike fathers, mothers tend to their children infinitely; a trait which is lacking in the ways of wise Pax.”
“Pax is no mother either.”
“Your words are obscured by riddles. Please clarify the meaning behind them” frustrated by Eirene’s riddles, Ganis requested.
“Pax is a concept which we can never grasp, regardless of the level of enlightenment we reach. The methods by which Pax attends to us, his creation, can only be comprehended by hundreds of lifetimes spent worshipping Pax. Some of us hope to reach a small portion of enlightenment during our given lifespan to help us pass through to the next life with a clue on how to continue worshipping Pax. All the strife we go through while living is just a test of our conviction, for it causes the true to follow the path of Pax and the false to fall deeper into the abyss of faithlessness.”
“Your beliefs are naive. Why would an omnipotent being such as Pax care for how we fare?” attempting to counter Eirene’s zealous logic, Ganis inquired.
“Because he loves us like parents love their children. We are creatures of peace that have been misguided by other omnipotent beings such as Pax, but our faults increase the love that Pax has for us.”
Frustrated by the flawed reasoning of the Priestess, Ganis investigated the roots of her comrade’s beliefs even more, “How have you become drawn to Pax to that extent? I find it contradictory with your occupation.”
Smiling at her comrade, Eirene obliged, “I am glad you asked me, for my story might direct you to the path of Pax. I was orphaned at a young age and taken in by Fark from the School of Knowledge. Never being introduced to religion, I took an interest in the topic and pursued it. Within the School of Knowledge, I was allowed to study any topic I wished as long as I contributed. Along with studying the scrolls stored within, I trained in the arts of combat. The combination of studying war and religion drove me to think about the reasons behind all the violence within our world. After years of pondering about the issue, I figured out the answer; it was peace. People fight to protect. They fight to protect themselves; they fight to protect their loved ones; they fight to protect their beliefs; they fight to protect the peace they know. Peace is the ultimate goal of war, and it can only be attained by unifying the peoples. Pax shows us how to unify ourselves and end all the suffering we brought, and continue to bring, upon ourselves. If you fight for Pax and convince others that his path is the only one that leads to salvation, you will bring an end to all wars. This understanding is the gift I have been given by Pax.”
“I once thought as you did, but I was wrong. As long as there are strong people and weak people, there will always be conflict. We are beasts that seek power and work hard to place ourselves above others. Like the kingdoms of living creatures, the strong seek more strength to force their lesser into obedience. The true answer to peace is absolute oppression of the weak, for only then will the strong have no need to assert themselves over others,” Ganis conveyed her thoughts regarding peace to her comrade.
Smiling at her comrade, Eirene concluded, “I am glad that you joined our humble Ona. Perhaps our travels together will give me another opportunity to convince you of my beliefs. Would you care to pray with me?”
“I am honored by your offer, but I believe in trying rather than hoping,” Ganis politely rejected Eirene’s offer while conveying her true thoughts regarding praying. While heading outside the door Eirene held her arm and gently hugged Ganis.
Ganis was speechless by her comrade’s gesture. After a brief moment, the Priestess let go and directed her friend towards the exit. Although contradictory to the Moroi’s beliefs, her conversation with Eirene made her think about the deity of Pax.