Makron sat in one of hidden corridors. The fire crystals lit a small space around him, the golden light never with a flicker. The corridor wasn’t damp nor was it musty. Small carved out slots at the top vented the air. The cobbled stone was hard against his rear, but there was no dust nor pests to bother him.
The walls were brown, but as Makron sat there, the walls around him seemed purple. He sat with his legs crossed and his back straight. His breathing was calm and smooth. And gradually, he was drawing in the energy of heaven and earth. Reddish particles appeared from the air as they pulled towards him, absorbing into his skin, causing him to glow in kind.
Makron took those particles, and condensed it into a core within himself. The core was barely the size of half a fingernail. It was apart of him, and as Makron took a strand of energy from that core and spread it about, an invisible aura surrounded him. This was called spiritual energy.
Not many knew the requirements to become promoted to a fifth level servant, to be an upper functionary. Most believed you must be voted in and that was that. There were many good servants who have served for years and would have definitely earned the right, but were never given a chance. This perpetuated the idea that the other upper levels made it a club of their own. But it was actually because they lacked that one requirement. Spiritual energy.
Unfortunately, those who had spiritual energy were rare. Factions feared people with this power. They either forced them to join their group or die. And if you joined a faction, other factions would eliminate you before you became too strong.
That made those with spiritual energy like spotting a brown piece of dirt from a field of even darker piece of dirt. Just too hard. Now imagine the upper functionaries being limited to a few hundred servants and had to pick from that few. Even if there was enough people to obtain seven, within a decade, it would not necessarily mean that those seven would be very adept in control.
Energy of heaven and earth was everywhere. It was the earth itself. The difference between that rare few and everyone else has the ability to sense that energy, that essence, and harness its power. Makron’s ability to absorb and control spiritual energy was small. It barely made the cut. If the other upper functionaries had options, they would have never promoted him, especially considering how lazy and unpredictable he was at the time.
But that was before. Now, Makron was much older and respected by many. He was smart, and mostly stayed neutral. But the prospect of a neutral party with a good leader was too frightening to many where a political war was just too close to determine the outcome.
Makron’s eyes snapped open. The red light from him dulled to a stop. The only light left in the corridor was from the fire crystal. Makron jumped up and rushed as quietly as he could to a passageway.
Taking a glance around a corner and down the passage, Makron could see a faint orange light headed his way. I knew I sensed something. The only ones who had access to this place were of the seven upper functionaries, and Makron definitely did not want to bump into any of them. He did not know how many were walking in that passage, but no matter who it was, any one of them was strong enough to crush him beneath their boot.
Just as Makron was going to head in another direction, he heard noise coming from that way. Listening carefully, he could tell it was at least two of the seven.
Damn it! How could I be this unlucky. No. They must be looking for me! At first Makron thought it was just someone using the passageways as a shortcut. That was not uncommon. What was uncommon was to find at least four, including him, that were there at the same time near the same passageways. Now Makron thought differently. If they are looking for me then something must have happened. Even if the chancellor made orders to find me, the seven would not move. For them to move means that they must think I did something warranted of an investigation that could lead to dismissal! Dammit. Just what did the chancellor do?
Makron’s heart pounded. If he was dismissed, even if that freed up a spot, it would ensure his death. There was no such thing as a retired upper functionary.
Makron went the only way he could, and that was the passage he first used to enter. The problem of that was he would more likely get caught that way. Where he entered from was close to where the platform had dropped him off. If that was the case, then that place would be watched by the chancellor’s goons, looking for a clue as to where he went. Of course they would never find the secret halls, but if he were to just walk out of a wall, then that would be a different story.
Running down the long corridor, Makron halted again. The others were stronger than him, so of course they could sense him much better. In fact, Makron could hear them running from behind. And they were closing in fast. But that was not why Makron stopped. It was not his hesitation on leaving from where he previously entered either. It was because from where he had entered, the door was opening.
Dammit! Why did they go through there? Makron had not thought that one of the seven would use that entrance. With the chancellor’s goons there, the likelihood of the secret halls within the walls would be shown. The goons and the chancellor may not be able to enter, but them just knowing about it was dangerous enough!
Makron’s heart trembled. He was now trapped with nowhere to go. Not even an idea of how to get out of the situation. He racked his brain over and over, but nothing came. His mind was blank.
So… Makron sighed. He gave up. With nowhere to go, and no plan or power, he let go. Makron was not going to fight the the other six functionaries to the death. He would be dead the moment one of them made a fist. If they met him without him running, maybe they would just capture me. But something in Makron told him that was not going to happen. The upper functionaries right now had a majority. If whoever was in the secret halls with him at the moment agreed, they could kill him and no one would be any the wiser.
It was not against the rules for upper functionaries to kill other upper functionaries. Just for anyone else to do so.
Damn. Makron leaned back against the wall. The fire crystals on either side of him was lit. His breath was ragged after his run. He breathed in deep to calm it. And just as he was going to get up and rush into the side with the less people, and hope it was just a swift death, the wall behind him opened up.
Makron fell in, and the wall shut.