…The chime of the 12-ton brass bell rang out from the speaker above the altar of the small house of worship, as it did at every other house of worship around the world. And like the priests in every other house of worship, Emerin lifted up his chalice at that moment, full of water that he had blessed earlier this day. His congregation sang along with music piped in through the speaker, keeping the time of the monthly ritual. As the song reached its climax, Emerin poured the holy water onto the stone altar the building was erected around, a conduit to the Gods below. Another chime came over the speaker, signaling the end of the ritual. The priest put the chalice down, knelt in front of the stone, and kissed the large rock before him. “May the Gods protect us for another month,” he said in reverent tones. “One more month of holy protection,” the congregation replied. Emerin could hear many emotions
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