Though the friendship of the pauper and Alythia is casual, the former held it dear and special in his heart. He feared that one day she will shun him, as if he is a leper or its sort, for he is growing in his resolve to court the apple of his eyes.
He knew that he needs exacting guidance. The Great Master had been there all along to aid him. He read in the Book of Promises and Ordinances that “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of beacons there is victory.”
“Abundance of beacons? But where would I find them? How will I know that they are worthy of such stature?” The pauper prayerfully asked.
“I am faithful, my child. You know that. Do not be anxious. It will not add an hour to your lifespan. Hush your heart. The inner guidance will impress things that you do not know. Be still and be sure to hear and trust my still, small voice. I promise you, I am with you each step of the way.” These were the assuring words of the Great Master to him.
He observed the princess and her companion. He assessed his own fellows. He realized that they have common friends that they are both intimate with.
There is Lady Edisia. She was one of the former stewards in Shin Manor. But she was called by the Master for a special purpose and she needs to equip herself in academe of Shin Manor. She is renowned for her prayerfulness. There were occasions that the pauper gleans wisdom from this lady and he observed that she belongs in the princess’ circle of friends.
“Lady Edisia, how are you today? I have something to confide to you. You see, I have been Princess Alythia’s admirer since she came here in Excelion and I have reached certitude that want to pursue her.” Said the pauper.
“What noble desire, sir! She is a great prize. I say, hold your horses. Do not hasten courtship. Know her more. I tell you, you must saturate her with prayers. It is a good thing to love but I admonish you also to prepare your heart for the pain it will bring.” Lady Edisia counseled him.
He then went to the Elder Kannon and his wife Iem. They are zesty and vigorous even in their old age. They are not really perfect in wisdom but they are extremely zealous in offering sacrifices of prayer. It could be said that they are the bastions of prayer in Excelion.
They have longed prayed that the pauper will one day find his match. They have a high regard for him. They say that he is industrious and brilliant. There was one occasion that Lady Iem said that if only she had a daughter she would definitely approve the thought of her child marrying the pauper.
And they were very excited to learn that the pauper finally gave in to love. They said that he made a fine choice with the princess. She is dedicated to the Master and she seems to be nice to everyone. They promised him that they will always pray for him.
He also wrote his newly wedded friend Craolh in the province of Balpine Shire. He shared his heart regarding his growing affection for Alythia. He told him how he trembled besides her like a school boy growing pale in front of his crush.
Craolh wrote back. “You are in love. I’m excited for you, my friend. I remember when I was in your shoes. Take comfort in knowing that you will be in my prayers. Determine the appropriate time to tell her that you love her.”
He also wrote his Acropetros friend, Rhia. He informed her that he is dropping his romantic interest for Kohara. And he finally came to an informed decision to pursue the princess of Charisleb.
“I appreciate you for not taking any further steps than what you were really sure of taking at that point. You serve Kohara well as a sister and friend. Now I strongly challenge you to determine that may your new pursuit be based on the exhortation of the Book of Promises and Ordinances that says, ‘May your love abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Immanuel.’” Rhia wrote to the pauper.
He went to a few more beacons. Some of them told him to hasten the day and tell the princess that he loves her. Others have restrained him and told him to wait still.
He acknowledged the wisdom in all their words. But he is caught in the middle. He both wanted to wait and to propose courtship.
Sleepless nights. Thinking of her seemed to be breathing itself. Wandering mind. Running out of breath. Indications of his being in love but will prove less of a true, committed love. These manifestations were based on emotions that wane and soar.
He sought two more ladies in the Excelion. The first is Lady Thea. Lady Thea is the gentle lady who serves the Royal Magistrate of Excelion. She has been a foster mother to many of the youth in Shin Manor. And she has been his friend since he came to the city. He knew that Alythia treats her as mother too.
The pauper made an appointment with her. He recounted his story of how he grew in his interest with the princess. Lady Thea, realizing the sincerity of his yearning heart, and his aspiration for guidance, tugged him to the corner of her office and gestured to pray for him. It is her custom not to wait for a prayer concern.
The prayer of the lady brought soothing relief to his bewildered soul. Tears flowed to his cheeks as Lady Thea poured her heart in praying for the pauper.
After the prayer, the pauper realized how he lacked in faith in the ability of the Master to help him. He went to the Holy Chamber and sought the audience of the Great Master. He confessed his offense to him. He committed his heart and longing to the Master’s feet and vowed to trust him, whatever it takes.
Xalie was the second lady he sought. She was the closest friend of Alythia among the commoners. The pauper does not have any acquaintance with Xalie. But the urging of the inner guidance is so strong to consult her. The urge started when he saw upon the colonnade of Excelion the portrait of Alythia and Xalie. There was something in the picture that indicates a deeper meaning to their relationship.
Xalie worked in the Chambers of Annals before but she left to pursue a profession in Herald Shire. She paid Excelion a visit when it had a fair. The pauper grabbed the opportunity to inquire about Alythia. Xalie said that she loves the princess so much and admires her for her love for the Great Master and his cause. The pauper asked if the princess would entertain the possibility of courtship. She said that it would be better to wait for the right timing and the conviction of the Master. Thus the pauper decided to wait.
To be continued…