“Hoc age!” The priest called out. At this call, the High Priest and the monks appointed to partake of the purification ceremony rose from their seats. His feet bare on the cold marble floor, dressed in a loose white linen shirt and loose white silk trousers, Benigno perspired in the heat of the chamber, illumined by fifteen white torches each occupying one of the fifteen corners.
From Return of Darkness, ch 4
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(Above: illustration of the purification font)
In Chapter 4, Benigno undergoes a Rite of Cleansing to prepare him for a sacrifice to the god Sanguius. (Learn more about Genshormene gods here). The passage reveals several tenets of Genshormene religion, such as the emphasis on death over life, and the strict expectation of conformity. But, I’d like to shift focus to the actual setting of Chapter 4 and what this may mean for future chapters taking place in Genshormen.
Everything in this underground chamber is white. The white marble floor, the white beryllonite font, marble statues, white pearl pitchers, white milk, the characters’ white garments. All this whiteness serves to symbolize the purity that Genshormenes desire, but I wonder if it’s a hidden form of torture as well. A way to gradually force dissenters to repent and accept Sanguicism before death.
Benigno’s living chamber is also in the foundations of the temple, and where he will probably have many more conversations with Fra Antonio de Theostorga. I wonder if Benigno will falter under the pressure, or if he will be able to persuade this monk to help him, thus starting a true underground movement.
Speaking of underground movements, what could have possibly driven Benigno to his search? His friendships with Andrew, Sabra, and FengHua have all introduced him to different ideas, but what made him give up the very ideals his country is based on? I am tempted to guess that there is already an underground resistance movement, but the text implies that Benigno has no allies. Hopefully, pakwriter1 provides some more background soon.
In any case, at least in this chapter, we see that Benigno still has enough sense to hide the progress of his search such as when he hides the Kodosh Tekset. So, maybe I am right that there is an underground movement. Besides, it only takes one man to start a movement.