Faisal rises and as he assists the priestess to her feet, Scarlet asks with an edge in her voice, “Surely, you do not believe I would wish ill upon the Oracle?”
Unable to meet her eyes, the Dawnwarrior lowers his head and furrows his brow in uncertainty.
“Dawnsister, I do not know what to believe. As your pupil and a friend, I find it inconceivable you would exhibit hatred towards the Oracle…”
He hesitates for a second but then urges himself to continue.
“However, the Eternal Light of Justice and Compassion has spoken and sees the truth in matters where others fail to see. For this, I unable refute Her answers. The Oracle, prior to her transformation, had confronted me on many occasions regarding her perceptions of mistreatment on your part. Of course, I dismissed her complaints, deeming them unwarranted or mere misperceptions on her part… But after this revelation, I am beginning to wonder if there was some justice in the accusations. Forgive me if I offend, for that is not my intent. I simply wish to fulfill my duties in protecting the Oracle and beg your assistance in finding the source of your resentment."
Dumbfounded, Scarlet stares mouth wide-open at the Paladin incredulous at what she just heard.
“What! … Are you implying I am dishonest?” Scarlet cries with a look of hurt. Her voice falters as she spoke. Tears stream down her face and she turns away in embarrassment.
The paladin frowns and looks down in shame after causing the priestess to cry. Shortly after he regains his composure, he attempts to console her. “A hundred thous….”
“Stop!” She raises one her hand in front of her as she wipes away her tears with the other.
She turns to him, her face now flushed with anger and yells in outrage, “How could you conceive such a thing? How dare you… even pose that question to the Goddess?!! After all the things I just told you and everything I have done for Deirdre. I took her in after saving your life – I tried my hardest to mentor her but she was difficult! Till this day, she requires more discipline and teaching but despite all this, I still offered my blessing and my service to perform your marriage… and I did all of this for you! And this is how you repay me??!! ”
Overwhelmed with guilt, Faisal sighs deeply and says, “Dawnsister, I am truly grateful for all you have done and am undeserving of your kindness. A hundred thousand pardons for the pain I have inflicted upon you. I understand your conviction and have no reason to doubt your sincerity. But if what you are saying is true, why would The Lady of Wisdom and Honour respond in such a manner?”
Upon his apology, Scarlet’s anger subsides, relieved that the Paladin is receptive to her beliefs.
Scarlet ponders deeply and begins to walk in circles around the Dawnwarrior. “I am unclear myself… Her responses pertaining to the Oracle’s deceit conflict with my last commune and once the Goddess speaks, Her answers should never change particularly to these questions due to its phrasing, the subject matter and the close timing of the communes. All I know is that something is wrong. ”
“But how can you be certain that your last commune was the correct one?” Faisal asks still skeptical of the Oracle’s betrayal.
Scarlet stops and says softly, “The previous commune aligns with all the facts and course of events leading up to commune and my intuition. As much as it pains me to see this happen to a member of our congregation… especially knowing how much she means to you … I wish to see justice served for our fallen dawnbrethren. For who knows if she will strike again. My fear is that I have failed you for if I acted sooner, I could have prevented this ordeal. She may have been disobedient at times but I certainly did not believe she is capable of such a thing. But rest assured these are all still assumptions until a proper investigation is conducted. Until then, I trust you will keep this matter confidential. Brother Jonas will be informed as well. In the meantime, I will carryout my own investigation regarding the Goddess by communing tomorrow.”
Faisal nods and takes his leave. As he reaches the door, he stops, deep in thought and turns to look at the Dawnsister with a small smile on his lips. “So you are saying that The Goddess does not believe I am the greatest man who ever lived?”
She smiles and shakes her head.
Relieved at the lessening of tension in the room, he then asks another question.
“I admit I am a still perplexed. From your deduction, you believe The Sarenrae’s answers were… misleading. If that is true then there are reasons to believe that the Oracle resents you. But what reason would she have for such feelings?“
Scarlet responds, “Faisal, I had my suspicions but truthfully I am not entirely certain anymore. You are best to ask her yourself, but be delicate and discreet as this is a sensitive subject and we do not want her to raise any suspicions.”
Faisal nods, taking in her advice, but then throws out another question. “A thousand pardons, but where does Brother Shin come into this? Why were you so concerned about his attire preference? Are you insinuating that he wears ladies’ clothing and undergarments?”
Stumped, Scarlet reflects on her wardrobe fiasco that morning resulting in her losing nearly all of her clothing and undergarments. Out of frustration, She had first suspecting Brother Shin for personally reasons but really had no foundation to support her suspicions. The mystery is yet unsolved but will have to wait till another day.
She smiles and replies, “Think nothing of it, Faisal. It was another random question to verify the accuracy of the Goddess responses.”
A confused expression crosses his face. He is about to ask another question but thinks twice and closes his mouth. He bids her goodnight and departs. Despite that their feud had ended quickly, she’s uncertain if she has completely regained his trust.