Kendrick stood before three bishops who were considered the true power of the Bishop Council. Hylan, Leander and Neheri, even though at times they disagreed, had the attention and persuasive powers over the rest of the bishops. Policy and direction of the Church often swayed in their favor and at their discretion. Kendrick wondered why they had called him in this late. Customarily they held their private meetings with the rogue at midnight, for some symbolism and out of convenience to avoid prying eyes but the clock had just struck two in the morning.
It didn’t bother Kendrick much since he was used to staying up late. It was in these early hours or very late hours, depending upon your point of view, that the underworld came alive. It was a world he knew and navigated with familiarity. He served the Light but the Darkness was where he lived. Besides, Rymenhild had been gone for a few days at that point. He had found himself accustomed to her warmth beside him. An empty bed did not feel very welcoming.
“I want to apologize for setting up this meeting so late Kendrick,” Leander apologized.
Kendrick nodded lightly as he answered, “Not a problem. I was up anyways.” He knew they were going to drop something big on him and he was too frustrated and too tired to play their games. He added, “But I am guessing you have something of great importance to discuss with me or you would not have called me in like this.”
Leander smiled lightly and stated, “Yes, you are correct. We wished to inform you on a decision that was made by the three of us.” Neheri crossed his arms and looked away for a moment. Kendrick’s eyes perked up at the display.
“We wish for you to invite Netanel into the Society,” Leander finished.
Kendrick’s brow furrowed as he watched the three bishops. It didn’t take long for him to answer. “No,” he said empathically. He knew Syrenity had to be involved in this somehow. She tried to place the inexperienced priest between them before and now she wanted him to replace her in the Society.
“You have something against Netanel?” Leander asked curiously.
“He’s too inexperienced and much too meek to perform field work,” Kendrick argued, “he would not be able to handle the work.”
“Some of your previous agents were inexperienced as well,” Hylan rebutted. “Even Syrenity whom you have great esteem for was just training to become a priestess. I am sure in time Netanel will do the same.”
“I thought I was given charge of recruiting the agents?” Kendrick asked.
Leander nodded, “You were and still are but it is in the discretion of the Council to suggest recruits whom you may not have considered. We believe you are overlooking Netanel due to your own prejudices instead of looking at him objectively.”
“I’ve seen enough to know he is not qualified,” Kendrick flatly stated.
“We believe he is,” Leander calmly retorted.
Kendrick stared at the bishops again. He knew he couldn’t win this fight. He did find it interesting that Neheri did not offer any input. He understood that bringing Netanel into the Society was not an unanimous decision. In the future that knowledge could be used to his advantage.
Kendrick stood in silence as he thought. He nodded to himself and looked directly at Leander as he explained, “I will make Netanel an agent but I wish to make this clear. I object to his recruitment but only do so in order to follow your advice. If he fails, the responsibility goes on your shoulders.”
Neheri sat back marveling. To think Kendrick, a rogue would speak to a high ranking bishop in the Council was quite a bold move. The rogue was not intimidated. Neheri smirked slightly. Perhaps Bishop Eldrid was right. Maybe there was more to this Kendrick than he had anticipated.
Leander stared back coldly. It was rare for the personable bishop to do so. “Very well,” he noted. “We will acknowledge that you have taken Netanel into the fold against your own recommendations. The decision was ours.”
Neheri mouthed under his breath, “Not mine.” Both Leander and Hylan shot him a look and Kendrick smirked a little.
“Is that all, Your Grace?” Kendrick said calmly.
Leander huffed and waved him off, “Yes, that is all Kendrick.”
Kendrick left the room and thought carefully. He knew none of what transpired went on record. If Netanel failed, it would not hurt any of the bishops directly or even indirectly with the general public. But the four of them knew and that was important to him. A lot seemed to rest upon the fate of a not so extraordinary priest by the name of Netanel.