Perhaps, none of the existing human professions had branded itself with such a halo of fear, shame and contempt, as the executioner profession. Condemning the beliefs and deeds of various hated people, many found a painful death to be the only possible and fair retribution, but at the same time, few would dare to carry out daily executions, with short breaks for rest and eating. Moreover, it was often condemners and approvers of the death penalty who sincerely despised men carried out the sentences.
The executioner saw that as a kind of hypocrisy. However, he got used to it. While any other royal service was considered prestigious and brought honour to the one who serves at court, the position of king’s executioner was revered no higher than the position of any executioner.
The payment for his services was thrown to him as a bone to a dog. In the same way, he once had received papers confirming his occupation and the work permit. Not every person was suitable for this job. And although not every executioner was a cold-blooded cynic, most of them were, just like people whose work was somehow connected with human death and dead bodies, for instance, undertakers or doctors.
Sometimes, crazy freaks occupied the position, the ones who enjoyed the very opportunity to torture, torment and kill people. Sometimes, it was — fanatics committed to the trade. But sometimes, it was people of high ideals, compelled to do the job that someone had to do.
The executioner knew his trade and didn’t like it a lot, but he believed that he had his niche and fulfilled the duty entrusted to him like everyone else. Of course, he thought of murder as of mortal sin, but he could list without hesitation the cases when it wasn’t considered in such a way, for example killing on the battlefield, or an execution carried out in strict accordance with the Holy Testaments.
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