Chapter 16

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One of the Academy’s priests walked in, cutting our conversation short.
“You’re back.” The priest stared at me in wonder.
“Yes. The Lord has taken mercy on my soul and given me a second chance to make amends for my sins.”
“Truly He is merciful.”
“Yes…” I struggled to think of something else to say. “Truly.”
“The Lord has a special plan for you, child. For Him to perform such a miracle is not to be taken lightly.”
“Yes. I owe Him my life.” So far, so good. Just agree with whatever he says, and you’re golden.
“Do you know for what purpose He has brought you back?”
Shit. He wants an explanation. “Uh… He said… that I was to do His work and preach His message. And… to await further instructions.”
“I see.” He seemed disappointed. “So He did not speak of our war with the ‘cubi?”
“Oh. Right. He did, actually. He said that we should really try to show them some compassion. He is saddened that we would show such hatred towards our neighbors.”
“Compassion? The ‘cubi are disgusting, promiscuous creatures! Temptresses and prostitutes!”
“That’s a rather racist viewpoint. They’re not evil, they just live a little differently. Without all our strict rules. We shouldn’t hate them for that. We should be trying to reach out to them, share our cultures. There’s a lot they could teach us.”
The priest was appalled. he turned around in a huff of anger. Started walking away.
“Father!” Lilly ran up to him, put her hand on his shoulder.
The priest turned around and looked at her.
“I think what Alex means to say is that not all the ‘cubi are bad.” Lilly stepped in to save me. “Some of them are good people, and we should help them to find the Lord.”
The priest blinked several times.
My eyes widened. I could feel a sudden change in the priest’s mind. And a great deal of magic coming from Lilly, straight into him.
“Yes. I understand.” The priest smiled.
“You do?” Clearly, she hadn’t expected that.
He nodded. “We must make peace with the ‘cubi. And learn from them.”
As soon as Lilly touched him, he totally changed his mind. Just like when she made me calm down before… Suddenly, I had an idea as to what exactly Lilly’s power was.
“Let’s not preach them to death, though,” I suggested, “From what I can tell, they’re pretty big on freedom and personal choice, so if we start insisting they act like us, they’ll just get pissed.”
“Excellent point. Yes, I think it best we let them choose for themselves.”
“How…” Lilly frowned, wondering what the hell was going on.
“I think that’s enough for now,” I said, “We can talk more later. Right now, I think Lilly and I have some things we need to discuss in private.”
“Yes. Of course. I will leave you two alone. I apologize deeply for disturbing you. I am sure you two prophets have much to discuss.”
Lilly and I both stared at him blankly as he left.
“Did… did he say… ‘prophets’?” Lilly finally managed.
“Yes. Yes, he did.”
“Congratulations, Lilly.” I sighed. “You’ve got mind control.”

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