The scorching heat of the morning sun did not seem to touch Ophilia as she stood in the dusty graveyard where most of the women she had ever cared about were being buried. At Rhiannon's request, she had led one of the prayers during the burial ceremony. Her voice was hollow, her tears cried out the night before. The grief and sadness that had overwhelmed her last night had been replaced by anger and... drive.
The Celestian didn't leave the graveyard until the last shovel of dirt had been placed. Most of the other Sisters had wandered off by then, and she did not care to speak with anyone else who had remained. Silently, she headed to the chapel to say some more prayers for the dead. Though she had ignored the novice who had tried to drag her to breakfast earlier that morning, she nodded and followed the girl who anxiously asked her if she would come and eat the midday meal.
Lunch tasted like ashes to her, but Ophilia ate with determination. She needed to maintain her strength. She would not remain idle in the Abbey for long.
Returning to her room, Ophilia picked up her bolt gun. She had re-blessed the weapon following the unfortunate incident with Baron Ulbrexis, but it needed to be re-consecrated, too. She studied how the weapon felt in her hands for quite some time. For good measure, she decided that her chainsword should be consecrated, as well. It certainly wouldn't hurt. Any extra advantage she could have against the heretics of the galaxy would be welcome. She set off to find the Palatine to perform the blessings for her.
Palatine Rhiannon wasn't hard to find. It was almost as if she was waiting for her. She didn't even blink at Ophilia's request, and she went to fetch the necessary items for the rite. Within a matter of minutes, both of Ophilia's weapons had been blessed and consecrated by the Palatine.
"I won't be coming back," Ophilia said simply when she belted the weapons.
"I know," Rhiannon replied. "I'm surprised you kept coming back for as long as you did. When are you leaving?"
The Palatine nodded. "Then you shall go with the Emperor's blessing. And with mine."
With a salute, Ophilia took her leave. Then she went about the rest of the day very methodically. She packed her things to be ready for the morning. She ensured that the motorbike she had borrowed had enough fuel for the trip. She wasn't sure if there was precedent, but Ophilia unstrung the beads from Claudia's chaplet and used them to add to her own strand as required. There was a small velvet bag that she used to store the rosary beads she didn't need yet, and it gave her some comfort that she still had her mentor's beads to draw from when she needed them in the future. It was like part of Claudia was staying with her to guide her through her penitence.
After the beads were strung, Ophilia began copying some text onto her new purity seals. She needed to add several of them to her armor and her weapons since the horrifying mission on Sepheris Secundus. One for the disruption of real space, one for the Warp zombies, one for Morirr himself...
She went to dinner without waiting for a novice come to fetch her. She didn't think that Rhiannon would send another novice at her, anyways. Not after their exchange earlier. Ophilia ate heartily, asking for a second helping of roast mutton cooked with root vegetables.
Shortly after sunrise the next morning, Ophilia sped off toward Port Suffering on her borrowed motorbike. And she never looked back.