Dawn of the Iconoclast: Echolalia (6)

Muting Traian’s footsteps upon entry, the woven rug stretched from the vestibule, along the colonnade, and up the stairs to the distant altar. He moved past the empty prayer benches, along the tall, silent columns that kept vigilant watch over the basilica. Ahead, wreathed in warm light stood the statue of Rodrian, an effigy twice the size of a mortal man, clutching his greatsword in agony as he carried it like a cross beneath the dispassionate stares of obscure figures floating in the mural overhead.

Baritone chanting washed upward across the arched ceilings, the words lost in their own echoes, forming a repetition of voices where only one man stood. Upon the song’s completion, Dirge turned at Traian’s approach, beckoning his robed arm for the younger man to mount the stairs.

“You have come. How is your arm?”

The final strand of ink glistened in the stained-glass light, darker than the others.

Traian ignored the question. “Where is Bethseba?”

“She will meet us in the antechamber, but later. This way.”

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