--donation bonus (day #23, post 4/5)--
The service drew to a close, and the casket was removed from the building. Only the princes and their immediate families were allowed to follow. David couldn’t see the Abolishers from his black limousine, but he was sure they were in pursuit as well.
Nathaniel’s final resting place would be beneath the Atreyan Royal Palace, entombed next to their father.
David had been down here a few times before, curious to see what the catacombs were normally like. He’d found them much colder and darker when not in the throes of ritual entombment, which he supposed was only to be expected. At the moment, however, flower petals lined the stone halls, and a hundred lamps bathed the path to Nathaniel’s chamber in warm, golden light.
At length, they finally arrived, and David and his brothers proceeded on together, now accompanied only by Nathaniel’s flat-faced wife and vacant-eyed son. They watched the casket handlers set it down on the stone slab and slide Nathaniel into the hole in the wall. The chamber itself was only for ornaments and mementos, now laid down by everyone present.
“He will be missed,” said Gabriel.
“And avenged,” added Meriwether. He’d been the only one of the brothers to cry during the service, and even now, he hadn’t fully regained his composure.
They all said their farewells to Nathaniel, and then it was done. Gradually, they all returned to the surface.
David rubbed his face and sighed as he saw sunlight again. It was barely past midday, but all this gloom had taken its toll on him. He would have rather liked to go home and sleep, but there was yet work to be done.
“I still do not understand it,” came Meriwether’s voice, and David realized the man was addressing him. “This Hector Goffe. By all accounts, he was just a common boy before all of this. How could he harbor such a grudge against us?”
David looked around. The others were dispersing, but Luther was still within earshot, as were a few of the wives, who could be just as problematic if they heard the wrong thing. David decided to remain neutral as he walked with Meriwether. “It is a mystery, isn’t it?”