A Savant’s commitment to the Book is both unquestioning and unquestionable. To be a Savant was to believe the Book. People who lived outside of refractory walls knew axiomatically that Savants were believers of the Book. This was as certain as the rising of the sun, and that a king reigned from the castle on the lake. Certain things just were.
A Savant’s cat companion was under no obligation to believe the Book, and in fact, most did not. Cats born into refractories were carefully paired with Savants not to bolster their faith, but rather to act as an extension of their person. A cat could see, hear, and react to complicated situations faster than any Savant, even the most highly trained. Faith, or a lack thereof, was not a major consideration.
Wellington was as cynical about the Book as any feline I’d run across. He did not believe in the prophecies. He did not believe in the historical accounts. He didn’t even hold to the moral tales of the Book. He even didn’t care much for art or poetry, except as a casual appreciator. He believed in what he could see, hear, and smell, period. While he didn’t chide me about the Book, he just didn’t see it the way of the Savants. He couldn’t help but get wound up when I suggested our experience was somehow tied into the Divestment prophecy. Wells saw our mission as a straightforward, if challenging, task: track the king’s daughter, recover her from her kidnappers, bring her back safely, and make sure that those responsible could never repeat such an act. Our options were open when it came to assuring there would be no repeat performance.
Admittedly, I was uncomfortable with the Divestment aspect of our mission. The prophecy was clear that a power would come, opposing that which was good, disrupting order and authority. They would make themselves to be something great, and would divest themselves of all ties to the world they had been part of. They would create a new kingdom at odds with the world they had forsaken, but desirous to bring that world to their point of view. I’m summarizing, as writings on Divestment prophecy takes even dedicated Savants quite a lot of study to understand thoroughly. One of the major Divestment subjects was that of “Signs”, where the Book describes signs one might notice that predict the approach of the Divestment. “A burning hate and poisonous fumes do follow those who seek a life apart.” Or something like that. Naturally, only Exmendicants were allowed to see the Book, and my memory is poor when it comes to exact wording.
I sat on the edge of the bed in my room, racking my brain for all the Divestment signs I could recall, a minor subject in my education. With no preparation, I could confidently demonstrate to a Savant class of hundreds three ways to single-handedly take down an attacking group of armed and angry miscreants, but I couldn’t bring enough of the Book to my mind to know what to make of Solevals. I couldn’t get those smells Wells had picked up on out of my head, though. There was too much in the Book that had been proven true to me over the years. I could not see this as a coincidence.
I would not have to wait long to form a concrete opinion.