To Mort, the ceremony was a bit dull but he tried his best to concentrate. The Council was always made up of six members. In the past it had always been the Feelings but now that they were not being reborn, Emotions had to elect Councillors.
So, the Council that day was made up of Sinne Nightingale, Ura Evig, Jalousi Domin, Rohkeus Laaja, Fortvilelse Lütfen and Shari'a Kulle. Or, if you use their proper names and not their Mortal covers, they are Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, Boldness, Despair and Decisions.
When all of the Emotions had settled into the Main Hall, the Council entered from the back door and sat on the thrones on the dais - females on the left, males on the right.
Mort and Paura watched as Sinne called "Life, come forward." and through the the grand arch at the back of the Hall walked Liv.
She was wearing a long, strapless, white gown (which shimmered faintly blue), her blonde hair hung loose over her shoulders, a silver band was wrapped around her arm above her left elbow and it was set with bright blue jewels. Her eyes were the same colour as the twinkling gems and they darted around the Hall nervously.
Mort knew how nervous the Ceremony of Rights could be. Even though you go through it in every life, it is still completely nerve-wrecking.
Life reached the dais and curtseyed before the Council.
"Life, do you vow to take on your roles as an Emotion and work in harmony with Death to keep the stream of energy continuous?" Jalousi said, her voice a little cold and slightly regal.
"I do." Life replied, speaking with the same note of formality and with a small glance at Mort.
"Do you also vow to show courage and faithfulness to your Responsibilities and not follow the poisoned path and ways of the Instincts?" Fortvilelse asked, leaning forward in his throne slightly, his auburn hair fighting the gel he had clearly used to try and keep it down.
"I do." Life said, her confidence clearly growing.
"Thane take your circlet and staff." Sinne said and a ring of silver weaved itself on top of Liv's head and her staff appeared in her right hand.
It was a long, thin, wooden pole topped with an egg shape that seemed to be made from white wire and silver and in the centre of the cage floated a small orb of yellow light. Along the shaft was a design of twisting, gold swirls that moved along the wooden pole.
This was Liv as Mort remembered her.
After the actual ceremony was a small party in one of the small, unused halls, organised by Liv's rebirth father, Autuus, who was leading a string trio on is violin in one corner. They were playing a slow waltz and a few people danced to it in the middle of the room. There were circular tabled draped with white table cloths and had about six chairs to them scattered around the edges of the room.
Rätsel was sitting at one table talking to Extscis who seemed to be laughing at something he had just said.
Mort rolled his eyes. He can be quite the charmer, he thought.
In another corner of the room sat Espoir, alone and reading a Mortal fiction book by the look of it.
Mort sat a table with Paura as Sinne was discussing something with Jalousi. Paura was sitting staring into space, eyes unfocussed and Mort was looking at an oil painting across the room from him.
It was a picture of Kutatás, Lussuria and Opstanak being dispersed from their bodies and being locked inside Human Nature. The artist had depicted the three Instincts as ugly and twisted when Mort remembered how Lussuria had looked. She had been lean, agile and many foolish, Mortal men had died to win her hand. Then he remembered how she had looked when she had pleaded with him to let her go, tear streaking her face, anger and sadness in her eyes and the feeling of detachment he had felt as he had swung his scythe and...
His chain of thought was broken when Rätsel sat down next to him. At some point, Paura had gotten up and gone to another table without him noticing.
"Hey, Mo." Rätsel said as he sat down, his emerald green robes rustling slightly as he did.
"Hi, Rätsel. I see you've got Extscis wrapped around your finger." Mort said, looking over Rätsel's shoulder at Exie.
"Huh? Oh, right. Mum always told me I was too charming for my own good." he said with a slight smile.
"I bet you couldn't charm Espoir." Mort said, looking for Espoir in the crowd and found her talking to Liv. Surprise surprise.
Now, that sounds like a challenge and I am not doing another challenge you set me." Rätsel said, leaning back in his seat and folding his arms.
"What happened last time? I can't remember..." Mort said with fake curiosity and tapped his chin in fake thought.
"You know full well what happened! You said I should try talking to Honradez because she was depressed or something and I got out 'Hi, how are you-' when she bitch-slapped me. Oh, and then Laifi kicked me because he fancied her. And you filmed it on your phone and tried to put it on YouTube!" Rätsel was clearly annoyed and Mort found him pretty scary when he was annoyed but he reasoned that this was payback.
"Oh yeah." Mort said as if he had only just remembered.
"'Oh yeah'? That's it? Good God, man - you're hopeless." Rätsel grumbled then got up and went to walk to someone else.
Mort chuckled a bit. So this was how Rätsel felt every time he sighed or rolled his eyes. No wonder Rätsel annoyed him a lot.
The he realised that Espoir was leaving with her rebirth mother Jalousi. He saw this as an opportunity so he got up and crossed the room to where Liv was.
"Hey, congrats." he said, when she waved at him.
"Oh, yeah. Thanks. I reckon you'll be the next to get your Resps now." she said, sitting down at the nearest free table and Mort joined her. I heard Rohkeus saying a Dark would get their Resps soon."
"It could be Rätsel." Mort pointed out even though he longed to hold his scythe again.
"Oh, yeah, I guess it could but I still reckon it will be you." she said smiling, her teeth sparkling white in the light from the closest chandelier.
"Aww, thanks. Probably because you can't have life without death, insert the rest of the long dull speech here, eh?" he said, thinking of how hard it will be to juggle having a secret life, homework and energy transferring.
Liv laughed. "Yeah, the speech is pretty dull. That too, but I just thought because you were showing progress." she said, blushing slightly.
Mort opened his mouth to say thanks when a large hand rested on his shoulder.
"Hello, Life. Nice to see you got your Resps early but we really have to go." Sinne said and pulled Mort up by the scruff of his neck and pushed him away from the table.
Liv did not even manage a word of goodbye and Mort could barely lift his hand to wave before Sinne had pushed him out of the hall.
Sinne pushed, shoved and dragged Mort back to the square and then transported the three of the back. Paura remained silent, eyes cast down and Mort worried that Sinne had struck her.
When they were back in the glade, Sinne held the car door closed and glared at Mort.
"What have I said about mixing with Lights?" he growled when Paura was in the car, head still down.
"But I was only wishing her congratulations." Mort objected.
"Only congratulations my immortality. Any dumb fool can see you're head-over-heels for her." Sinne said.
"That's absurd! She is my partner, a colleague, a co-worker. I wouldn't, and even if I did, she wouldn't feel the same." Mort said, and he felt deep inside that she never would feel the same. No matter what.
"Don't lie to me, Death," Mort knew he was in deep trouble if Sinne wasn't calling him by his Mortal cover name. "I can see through it." he growled.
"But I'm-" Mort started but Sinne hit him with the palm of him right hand. Mort's head snapped to his right and his left cheek burned but he gritted his teeth and fought back the tears of pain.
"Get in." Sinne snapped and climbed in behind the wheel.
Mort got in and looked out of the window as it started to rain, the rivers of water running down the window turning the stars into shining streaks rather than bright pinpricks, and one thought buzzed around his head.
Anyway... Some of you want to know who you would be if you were emotions, and I really don't know so here is the run down of the main characters so far - not including Instincts. Most of them are the emotion they are with a few other bits chucked in but you get the odd one who has to be different.
Mort - He's shy but a hero at heart. He's always a little nervous but he is actually a very strong character even if you can't see it at first.
Liv - She's just nice. That's all you really say. She's a nice little good girl who hasn't done anything bad... Yet...
Rätsel - He's outgoing, funny and loveable. He can charm anyone he wants and takes pleasure in annoying his best friend, Mort.
Espoir - She has hope in a lot of things but rarely shows it. She feels unappreciated because people hope for everything but take her for granted. She's actually really nice if you break through her rock solid outer shell but it takes a while to prove to her you can be trusted.
Sinne - He's angry and violent. He gets worked up over tiny things and always seems to be up to something. He can't be trusted and is very willing to betray people.