The old man regarded the mask before him distastefully. "My goodness, this is a heathenish thing, is it not?"
"It is traditional, Your Holiness," replied the servant, assisting the old man into the robe. "All Ancients wear masks based on their role in the chamber."
"I see, yes," said the old man with a sigh. "Well, we mustn't disappoint tradition. Still it is an odd custom, no?"
"I have never thought of it, sir," said the servant.
The old man gave a smile, and nodded. "That will change in the future. A great new era will start in Talossa soon. A great and holy era, where this city makes things right again."
The servant nodded, as he finished adjusting the robe. "As you say, Your Holiness." He stepped back to regard the old man. "I must ask.. how... how did you endure imprisonment?"
"Oh, it was not great matter," said the old man. "I was kept in the Tower, with my books, visitors, and good food." He gave a fond laugh. "Indeed, I even reached the agreement with the Concordat there. Those who serve Holy Light must not be afraid to suffer, for the Seven shall see their servants through hardship, and indeed, make them walk surer for that." He smiled at the man for a moment. "Tell me, when were you last shriven?"
"It has been awhile, Metropolitan," said the servant.
"Then, come, kneel before me," said the old man, smiling gently, "and I shall strip you of your sins before the Seven and the Holy Light."
"I... thank you, Your Holiness," muttered the young man.
"There is no need to thank me for doing my duty," replied the Metropolitan cheerfully.