later that day

"Hey, Rai-kun!"

He glanced back over his shoulder at Lucius, from reading the long letter in the study. The cabinet had finally decided to send him a 'formal welcome to the City of Chetrennes,' which firmly reminded him that, despite his 'position,' any moves made against the leader with 'intent of harm' were to be treated as a 'terrorist threat.'

We look forward to your leadership and guidance.

Hmph. The last line of text was only part of a letterhead, the same kind they used when addressing the leader himself. Raizzé knew full well that they simply didn't trust him because he was a native Western, one of those slippery mystics who were always up to no good. Despite the fact this wasn't the first time he'd been treated like so, it put him in a bad mood. It always put him in a bad mood. Generally speaking, of course.

Even so, he couldn't let his irritation out on Lucius; it might be considered a terrorist threat. "What is it?"

"Oh… Uh… Well…" He recoiled slightly; perhaps Rai had used a harsher tone than he intended. "It… It's not important. Maybe now isn't a good time…"

"Why not?" This time, he tried to keep his voice a bit more level. "I'm not really doing anything right now. It's not like you're interrupting me."

"Well, I mean, it just looked like you were a little busy at the time…"

"Oh, this?" He crumpled the letter in his right hand, tossing it aside. With his temper, he had intended to burn it, but now he didn't really feel like it. "It's nothing. Really. What do you need?"

"…I… I don't really need anything, it's just… I was wondering… Last night, just before I fell asleep, you were talking about something that would have to wait for today…?"

He paused, recalling the events of the night before. "…Oh, right. The Fifth story."

"Yeah, that's it."

Raizzé leaned back in his chair, trying to decide on whether to start with Set or Horus. "…Originally, Set was the leader of the Five. This was all well and good, at first…until, at some point, something happened to Set. Nobody's sure exactly what it was, but, according to the Nasveyr, it corrupted him, and he supposedly became evil. The other four eventually decided that he had to be banished from the Five, and replaced him with the young Horus."

"Did something happen to him, too?"

He hesitated again. "…You are aware of how the vampire legend originated on Earth, correct?"

"Yeah; it was because the Nasveyr had to live on Earth, after a revolution split their empire in half and the opposing sect drove them out of their own planet."

Raizzé was surprised by Lucius's quick answer; he hadn't expected him to know anything about it. "…Well. Then I suppose you're also familiar with the story of 'Dracula?'"

"Which one, Bram Stoker or Prince Vlad Dracul?"

Again, Rai hadn't expected him to know of either, let alone both. "Er… Vlad. Anyway… Although many historical texts say otherwise, Vlad Dracul never truly existed as many make him out to be."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Then… How…?"

"The basis for the skewed story of Prince Vlad was actually the history of the Nasveyr, who had fled to Earth and brought their own stories of their last leader, Horus."

"So Horus was a god and a real person?"

"Let's not get into that right now."

"Oh, sorry…"

"When the first age of galactic exploration took hold, Horus was merely a prince, who had been adopted by the present king Osiris; at the time, the Nasveyran nation was under great threat. …Do you know what I'm talking about?"

"Um… Oh. Windaffia and Farakh had finally perfected machines to go into outer space, but when they both discovered the Nasveyran planet at the same time, a huge war broke out over who would keep the territory, and the Nasveyr had absolutely no say in it."

"Right. Windaffia and Farakh were mostly concerned with attacking each other, but still took advantage of the Nasveyr, who were willing to make any allies they could… Unfortunately, this led to many raids and betrayals. Osiris already had quite a burden on his shoulders when three of the remaining Four came forth and asked for Horus to take the place of Set. He fulfilled her request, but had little choice: more or less, she was ordering him rather than asking him."

"Did he take the job?"

"Well… As soon as Horus found out about this, he was a little disturbed. At first he refused—it's hard to tell why—and the goddess Re seemed to be against the decision, as well. But Horus was something of a celebrity among the Nasveyrans; they looked up to him, and had faith in him. He only agreed to take Set's place because he thought that it might put hope back into the hearts of the Nasveyran people, with Windaffia and Farakh attacking them and all."

"So… What else happened?"

"The story varies depending on whether you hear it from the Nasveyran or Vanterran points of view… But, basically, it's like this. Set was naturally a bit upset at being expelled from the Five, but even more so at the fact he'd been replaced by a mere child. So…" He paused. "This is where it starts to get difficult, but, for now, I'll maintain the Nasveyran perspective. Horus was raped by Set, who also tore out his left eye. Accusing him of trying to corrupt the young god, the other four killed him almost instantly, but Horus was not left without scars. He was then driven insane by the sudden disappearance of Osiris, slaughtering many Farakh and Windaffians by his death at the age of eighteen."

"How did he die?"

"No one's sure, but he most likely killed himself."

"What about the Vanterran side?"

"Well, according to them, Horus was never raped, least of all by Set; in fact, it mentions nowhere that the two ever even met. Instead, Osiris was the one who injured his eye, and fled before he could be caught… But Set was still accused by the four of raping him, and he was still killed. …There's another story about it, I think: legend has it that, soon after Set was killed, Re attempted to trick Horus into drinking his blood, which would permanently banish his soul to the Dragon King's Forest. But Horus easily saw through the deception and refused, abandoning the Five thereafter. He was never replaced. This is partially why Vanterrans view drinking blood as being incredibly barbaric, and why anemic Nasveyr were persecuted."

"Wait, 'anemic'?"

"Sanguis anemia."

"Oh, that… You mean the vampire thing?"

"They're not vampires, Lucius; it's just a rare condition, and they can't help the fact they have it."

"Right, right. So, what happened next?"

"Maybe I would continue if you'd stop interrupting me."

"Sorry!"

"Anyway… Afterwards, he supposedly received a great number of prophecies, all of which he recorded. These prophecies, which were compiled into one large text, were later called the Book of Sin."

"The Book of Sin? He wrote that?!"

"Yes, Lucius… Why did you think they were called the Order of Horus?"

"Well, yeah, I know, but… That Earthling book, the Christian King James Bible—that wasn't written by Christ, was it?"

"That has nothing to do with anything, Lucius."

Lucius realized he'd reached a dead end, so he tried to change the subject. "…I tried reading the Book of Sin once… But it didn't make a lot of sense. It didn't sound like something you'd want to base an entire religion on."

"The Order of Horus isn't based on the Book; it's based on the last teachings of Horus, himself. I don't know enough about it to safely explain why, but…" Raizzé hesitated, wondering if he should mention the 'relic.'

"…Within the innermost sanctum of the Order's central cathedral lies the Order's greatest relic, which few have ever even seen. I…don't suppose you know what it is."

"No… I've never even heard of it."

He was silent for a moment. "…It is the body of Horus himself."

"Wow… You mean… His remains, right?"

"No; the actual body."

"Wait… The Order actually owns his corpse?!"

Raizzé closed his eyes, tilting his head back as his mind filled with memories. "…I was one of the few to actually see him. The word 'corpse' does it injustice… For some reason, the body has been perfectly preserved over these many centuries—he still looks as he did on the day he died, as though he were still alive."

Lucius stared blankly at him. "…But… How is that possible?"

"The Order has declared it a miracle, as genuine proof that Horus was a deity."

"And… You saw it for yourself…?"

"Mm-hmm."

"So… It's real?"

"Unless it's made of wax… But I doubt that. There was something about it… It's hard for me to even try and describe it. Whether he was a real god, or not… Well, I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure."

"…I will."

"Hm?" Raizzé looked over at Lucius. His head was tilted towards the ground, but there was a determined look on his face.

"I'll find out…" He looked back up at Raizzé. "I can't explain it, but I know I'll find out one day. And then…"

There was a strange look in his eye, and he understood. Lucius didn't have to finish the sentence.

I want to know everything about you, too.

A slow, mysterious smile came to Raizzé's lips. "I'll take that as a challenge, then."


Author's Note: I apologize for the sloppy ending. I just couldn't think of any other way to end this chapter. It'll be better next time, I promise!