Acquiring Purpose.

Jan 1st, 2016
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  1. '___' marks transition from RP to RP.
  2. '---' marks a divider in the RP itself, used for Arsenic's inner thoughts as well as his flashbacks.
  4. _______
  6. Arsenic hadn't seen a certain 'friend' of his in awhile.
  8. Back when he was the epitome of antisocial and eccentric, there'd been someone he had met that he'd dubbed friend long before he was surrounded by people- that person was a swamp-dweller, someone he hadn't talked to in years now, since he was a very small, very scrawny boy.
  10. And she was a very small girl.
  12. Roaming the swamps for some time, he, inevitably, manages to stumble upon the very girl he'd only just remembered...after a brief searching period and a lot of slain yokai who'd all been equally confident today was the day he became human pot pie.
  14. Unarmed and seemingly harmless, he approaches, significantly taller, slightly wider, at around five and a half feet tall- and he rolls his shoulders, looking down and at the girl for some time before he opens his mouth.
  16. His voice cracks.
  18. "...So about that friends forever?"
  20. _______
  22. He tries not to express the irritation he felt.
  24. Ultimately, he was a highly forgettable choice. It didn't mean he couldn't be insecure about it though.
  26. His path was to remain in the shadow of another and render assistance when needed while biding his time doing his own things. Things that he had to place his absolute faith in working out in the end with no results until the payoff- and so he would prove a late bloomer.
  28. If he bloomed at all.
  30. What all of that entails, however, is that he is overshadowed by the blazing, present, now personas that surround him, other kids that burn, burn, burn, with zeal and ambition, launching themselves into endeavors others saw foolhardy that always worked out in the end for them somehow. A member of Highwind who'd only wound up one one of their major expeditions, a warrior who was never there for the victory lap of their crew- it was no wonder she didn't remember him.
  32. No one did.
  34. Despite it all, he smiles. Both at her and at Arariel, who he hasn't seen in years...they had never discussed as much, but he was sure that, by now, the swordsman had to know no ill would come of Arsenic's presence, due to their various run-ins. If he were to attempt any immediate hostility, however, for that situation, Arsenic was wholly prepared to bolt...although he refused to show as much, maintaining a neutral face and a mildly upbeat expression.
  36. "I'm nobody," he dismissed after what she'd said. It hadn't mattered anyway- he'd come to see someone who didn't even remember who he was, but all he could do was continue on, as he always did. Time, afterall, was his ally.
  38. "Don't worry about it."
  40. And then he turned, as if to leave.
  42. _______
  44. Arsenic's bunny would also spring from it's usual position within the folds of his hair, one of his sole companions on the lonesome road he walked. He sighed, running a hand through his hair, and the rabbit dwelled near his foot, always right beside him.
  46. He was grinning.
  48. _______
  50. Arsenic isn't a very warm, receptive person. He is not particularly kind. He is not very prone to exhibiting displays of affection, and he certainly didn't make a habit of seeking people out. He was a loner by nature and the degree of extroversion he displayed was simply to gain allies for the causes he chose to pursue- for him to have remembered Jocelyn and trek into the wastes looking for her was monumental for him and strikingly out of character, and her admission she hadn't the slightest who he even was had been darkly humorous to him as a result. He chose one person to go out of his way to reconnect with, and she couldn't even remember his face.
  52. ...Should he really be surprised, when he allowed no one his name? When were he to perish tomorrow, no one would know what to mark his grave.
  54. "You don't have to bother." It wasn't self-depreciating, or insecure, or anything of that nature. It was stalwart, stoic, firm..."We're strangers. You can't even leave the swamps still, can you? They're still looking, and you're still in danger? All of what you said back then...none of it's changed."
  56. It'd be one thing for him to already know him and she already know him and for them to reunite, but to start anew? Especially after the slight of her not even being able to recall who the hell he was?
  58. "Nothing's changed. No one changes. Not without a push. You have to make change."
  60. He let that hang in the air awhile, eerily forthcoming with words to this complete and total stranger, still giving her nothing but his back.
  62. "That's why everybody isn't something. Some people never make change; They wonder 'what if' change, they wonder 'how can I' change, they make up all these little plans and ideas and think so much about change..."
  64. He pauses.
  66. "But then they never make it happen."
  68. ---
  70. His heart. The yokai was taking his heart. He would never be the same- she swallowed it whole and with it, she took a piece of him that he'd never get back. Someone he'd never be powerful enough to stop. Someone who could never care.
  72. His parents should've watched him better.
  74. His parents'd never know.
  76. ---
  78. "Some people are the waves...."
  80. And here, he makes an elaborate gesture, arm moving up and down like an airplane.
  82. "And some people're the shore, shaped by it."
  84. It was apparent which he believed himself to be.
  86. "Which're you?"
  88. _______
  90. He stopped, then.
  92. Highwind had their adventures- Levi Auvray had his adventures. And Arsenic? He had his own. The constant struggle between rationality and occult madness. The dance with the temptation presented to him by Arimanes. The fights he had along the way- adventures on a smaller scale, things that shook not the world as the bright-eyed, starry teens of Highwind did, but forged him into something more, something strange, someone he hadn't been meant to be.
  94. Once upon a time, there was a boy named Arsenic, and he'd wanted to play the piano.
  96. "Then you can call me A."
  98. And he'd loved his parents very much.
  100. ---
  102. We'll be friends, then, they had agreed. Arsenic, Jocelyn, Alastor...they'd stood in the swamps and came to that conclusion together, right in it's heart, and, for whatever reason, that moment had meant something to him. All of his various trials and tribulations, but that forgotten promise, that moment between kids with laughable expectations?
  104. Well, you wouldn't understand, you stupid adult.
  106. You're old enough your soul withered and died.
  108. ---
  110. He turns, now, facing her and Arariel both at once. Arsenic was a seeker- he'd promoted himself from observer. He figured he deserved the transition, having roamed this world, fought many of it's combatants, adventured, won, lost, nearly died. Meditated on it all where it never could matter- he was a seeker who had not found. What, then, did he seek?
  112. Purpose.
  114. The occult whispered insanity in his tortured mind, but he is accustomed to it. It demands of him that he cave to his darker impulses, but he has not channeled the darkness in over a year, and while he knows he can't hold it back forever, he will not succumb this moment, not here, not when he has just gotten his friend back.
  116. "And me and you are going to change the world."
  118. He offered himself to her cause without a care. He looks to Arariel now- he presumed that that man, whoever he may be, had a cause. One not unlike Levi's- Arariel had always emanated the aura. One that conquerors could feel emanating from one another, those born to rule yet not of nobility, those who had been born to reign supreme.
  120. Whatever that cause was, whatever Arariel and Jocelyn toiled for, the silent wanderers who he'd crossed paths with so many times along the way, he would lend his aid to them, to protect someone who meant a lot to him even if the reasons didn't quite make sense- and in hopes of finding his own purpose along the way. Something more than just becoming the champion of Valmasia.
  122. That wasn't enough for him. It was just a stop along the way.
  124. "What're you out here looking for?"
  126. He spoke to Arariel as if they were the best of friends. In truth, this was the first time they had ever spoken.
  128. _______
  130. There was no chance he had been about to turn down the opportunity for why he had came, what he had been seeking.
  132. Oh no.
  134. He follows in Arariel's stead the same as he follows behind Levi's, adapting to the change in leadership as if the pair had worked together all of their life. Shadows were good at that. Trailing others. Arsenic was the precision blade that'd sever the evil of the world- a necessary evil, a weapon that destroyed weapons, a killer who killed killers. He knew Arariel's cause to be just because he was Levi's friend, and he held absolute faith in not himself, not his strength, not even that gravity would forever hold him binded to this earth, but what he knew beyond a doubt was Levi.
  136. And Levi knew how to pick 'em.
  138. "Wherever, whenever, I'm right behind you guys," he confirmed. "...Just don't expect me to be any good at cooking."
  140. It was a valid concern. On long roads, it often came down to who could make the best rabbit stew or direwolf and not the best combatant, in his experience. Not much in the world was there to terrify magi that could sunder the earth or warriors who's swings caused seismic vibrations that could overwrite the canvas miles around. No..
  142. Not many things at all.
  144. "So lead the way big guy. I'll just try and keep up."
  146. It was his way to sell himself short.
  148. It always had been.
  150. ---
  152. In the end, it was he who landed the decisive blow.
  154. It crumbled, and Highwind rejoiced- they'd all fought with all of their might, against a foe thought insurmountable, and only by their coordination had they triumphed.
  156. He wanted more.
  158. It wasn't enough to just scrape by alongside them and win with numbers, and cunning.
  160. He needed the strength to shatter fate.
  162. ---
  164. Jocelyn, Ararial, and Arsenic would be traveling together until Arsenic decided there was elsewhere to be. Or so was his decision, rather.
  166. Only time would tell if Arariel would allow it to play out that way.
  168. "...And you gotta tell me who tailors your clothes."
  170. That fit was spectacular.
  172. _______
  174. Arsenic took the sword without batting an eye, placing it onto his back with a yawn. The boy wasn't going to question Arariel- it was obvious he had a higher degree of combat experience than Arsenic himself, and it was also increasingly clear that he possessed an unprecedented amount of moxie. He knew Arariel to be an associate of Arimanes as well as Levi, and what that meant couldn't possibly be good- not in the least.
  176. It might even be the excursion she'd already invited him on, which'd be one hell of a turnout.
  178. It'd also tell him this shit might as well be his damn destiny by this point.
  180. He'd give the blade an experimental swing, and then another, brows furrowed in confusion...he hadn't been given a gift before, not by anyone but Levi. Well, he supposed Arimanes had, but not before placing him on the verge of death.
  182. Did that even count?
  184. "Tell me her name."
  186. He didn't care for the names of people- people died. Swords killed. One held more power than the other- or such was his logic. Most swords of this make, with this much soul embedded into them, they held names. They had stories. They'd traded hands, been known to many men, but outlived them. And so the tool transcended the user.
  188. "She does have one..doesn't she?"
  190. Arsenic could only hope that Arariel would catch on to the fact he meant the sword, and nothing else. Perhaps he was strange in his reverance of swords as art, as his love of inanimate objects over temporary people.
  192. Art was forever.
  194. _______
  196. A he...
  198. He digested that information as he followed behind, keeping pace with ease. Arariel was doubtlessly a prodigous warrior, but Arsenic, if nothing else, was fast. Easily the second fastest combatant in all of Highwind.
  200. His rabbit took position in his hair where it belonged, directly behind the Oscuri as they marched off and to their destination in sync. He mulled over the battle to come, over the troubles they'd doubtlessly get into, and that anticipation set in...his mind started running rampant with possible scenarios, his heartbeat began to speed up..
  202. But it wasn't fear.
  204. It was excitement.
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