Our Abbot, in response to the shared question on all our lips—“Why is this happening?—came to me for an answer, believing I, as one so afflicted, might possess some greater insight.
“I do not know why,” I told him.
“Brother Christopher, what then can we do?”
“I do not know,” I lied for a second time.
Two lies I told. In truth, I did know. Somehow, in my spirit, I knew: Lycanon’s curse occurred with greater frequency, struck down greater numbers of our youth, because it had grown stronger. And the curse grew stronger, the Lord told me in my spirit, because Lycanon himself grew stronger.
“What then can we do?” my brother had asked me.
“Pray for me,” I should have told him, “for what I must do.”
I knew that my brothers could do nothing. No one could. No one but me.
I would have to face Lycanon.
Lycanon’s oppressive spirit still lay heavy on the land of Arcadia. It had never departed.
“Only one like him can stand against him,” I explained to the monks and the townspeople when I had made my decision.
“God has anointed you for this special purpose,” the leader of the monks said to me. “You will save our sons, and the scores of men yet to be born, from this blight. It is for this reason you, yourself, were born, Brother Christopher.”
“If God is willing,” I said. “I will try.”
“You will succeed,” the Abbot said. “Have faith, Brother!”
“Come back to us, Brother Christopher!” a woman from the town said to me, teary-eyed, on the morning I departed.
“If God wills it,” I replied. I believe God forgave me that lie, as I told it out of kindness. In reality, I knew that I would never return.