[slight comment: este texto passa-se no fim da noite em que estamos agora, ou seja, em tempo de jogo daqui por umas horas... desculpem-me a prolepse (?) mas era a altura "that felt right"]
In his mind, he pictured the Voice laughing out loud and bowing to him. And he rowed happily for another hour...
After a while, when the afternoon was already running late, Jacob began to ponder where his allegiances lay now.
He had assumed, from his dream conversation with Cunningham, that the Dracul would be entirely with him with regards to the Raven King. They believed, as he now started to, the legend to be true, and would be honored that two of their covenant were to become the King's Prophets. For was not a covenant in many ways like a family? Did they not, had they not in the past, provided comfort and guidance, allowing him and Ian their freedom, but trying to steer them in the "right" path?
And did they not, would they not, like a family, expect obedience and love?
"What if love for them conflicts with the Raven King? Who would you choose then?" the voice came back.
"Why must there be a choice? There is no reason for them to be enemies. I can retain my loyalty to both, doing the King's Will and following the Covenant's Tenets at the same time. The Dracul believe in knowledge and understanding, and the Raven King represents precisely that. The latent knowledge in all of us of our own immense capabilities. The knowledge that we need not lurk in the shadows in fear of the light. And the understanding that we still choose to sometimes..."
"You say 'We' as in 'You' or 'We' as in 'Man'"?
"All have different capabilities, of course. Knowledge and magic are probably not in everyone's grasp. The Raven King advocates that they be available to anyone who *can*. Not just to some. There is a huge difference, an enormous gap, between the some and the all! You would not have education restricted to those who are pre-determined as smart, would you? To those of nobility? No, it must be assessible to all so that the talented few - *all* the talented few - can grasp it."
"And in those 'talented few' you would include the ones who would destroy the Dracul?"
Jacob hesitated. "Vampires have no capability for the King's Knowledge, and Mortals have no reason to destroy the Dracul." he said to himself, staring away into the fading sunset, "No reason at all."
Jacob remembered his imaginary dialogue as he lay in his bed by Rachel's side. So little time had passed and yet so much had happened. His fears had proven true - he could not serve, apparently, both the Raven King and the Dracul. Sofia had been clear as to the her wishes - or worse, the Covenant's wishes. But Jacob had also been clear - and sincere - that we would follow the Raven King unconditionally if the King got him out of the Dreamlands before the time of his torpor to end. And the King had done that, and in that shown his power, the truthfulness of his new claimed form.
He owed deep gratitude to the Dracul, for everything, forever. He could not go against them, even if he was angry for what they would do to the kind Lady Door. Yet he felt compelled to honor the King's trust with his undying, unswavering, loyalty. Hunting for the King was the easy part. Jacob felt ready to forsake his life for Benjamim. Forsake Rachel, Erika, his brother and even his father. He also felt ready to help, as much as he could, in expediting the King's return. But how could he do that without going against the Dracul?
Dawn was close, and he was feeling its proximity, yet he was still anxious as he had found no answer to his dilemma. He started preparing to communicate with Benjamim, if that proved to work, and ask for the guidance of his timeless years...
And then it hit him, like a blast from his past. He remembered something the Voice had said to him, that is, he had said to himself. "When you cannot decide rationally, follow your heart; when you cannot decide emotionally, use your mind to tip the scales."
The Gangrel blood in Jacob made it harder for him to focus his reasoning, but he was still a mathematician, deep inside. He remembered an old puzzle from his high school years: imagine you are trapped in a room with two doors, in front of each a guard stands. One door leads to the safe exit, the other to an abyss. One of the guards will only lie to you, whereas the other will only tell the truth - but you don't know which is which, and you can only ask one of them a single question. Which?
He found a similar answer to his conundrum. After all, his task was to prophesize a *sign* to herald the King's return. He had pondered, in the boat as he rowed and since then, what sign to choose, from the most innocuous to the more apocalyptic. Tonight he had found an idea. He would ask his King in his dreams, and Ian tomorrow. If they agreed, he would tell everyone, interested or not, about the King's coming...
He will come when ravens flock to cover the Tower Bridge, such as never was seen before...
He will come when midnight strikes thirteen times in the Big Ben...
He will come when the last of the House of Porticus dies.