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VIII. Never A Brother

Blue_XIII Aug 8th, 2019 (edited) 67 Never
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  1. Siegfried shakes his head, not taking that sword back up. It's a tough pill to swallow, but he's poorly conveyed what it was that he was trying to say -
  2.  
  3. Never imagined this could be so hard.
  4.  
  5. "I told you I get why it is you have everything," he deadpans. "You did earn it. You did know them longer. You were born around here. I get all of that...I really do."
  6.  
  7. There's an awkward, pregnant pause.
  8.  
  9. "It isn't stupid to fight for what you believe in. It wasn't stupid to attack Ashalle because she spit on Taiga's memory, on everything that he ever lived and struggled for. It was what he'd have done. It's what I wanted to do. And there's not a damn thing wrong with that."
  10.  
  11. There'd been no demand from him. He'd told him there was a want. And time and again, Adrian flung in his face that he couldn't be trusted -
  12.  
  13. And for what?
  14.  
  15. "I deserve to wield that blade because I am the embodiment of the ideals that Taiga lived and fought for. I deserve to wield that sword because I carry his justice in me." If Adrian could be angry, so could he, and whereas he normally cowered under the dragon's gaze, this time, he stares back, the sword still on the ground -
  16.  
  17. It's hilarious, how similar this was to the very same thing with Ashalle.
  18.  
  19. "A weapon like that isn't forged and breathed into this world to be hung as an ornament. It's a promise, Adrian, clutched in hand. And that promise is one that I have lived.
  20.  
  21. One I have proven I live for.
  22.  
  23. One I have proven I'd die for."
  24. (Siegfried)
  25. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  26.  
  27. [15:00]
  28. {LOAD GAME}
  29.  
  30. [15:08] This only proved that Siegfried clearly wasn't the one for this blade, to even sully Taigas name by acting out irrationally for it. It even makes Adrian laugh, before his slits find Siegfried again.
  31.  
  32. ''You are wrong.'' He hums. ''It was stupid, and he wouldn't have done that. Taiga used to always give me advice, and comfort me. And he used to tell me, words don't do much... Do they? Who cares what people say, because they just want a reaction out of you. You gave them a reaction. And I don't want to find my brothers corpse, needing to avenge him and claim my fathers sword a second time.
  33.  
  34. Taiga said... Just smile, because that's the best way to get under their skin. To show them that it doesn't bother you, to not let your foundations crumble. Not attack like an idiot, not try to justify your actions.
  35.  
  36. Nothing you did is justified in Taigas name or ideals.''
  37.  
  38. His hand moves up, before swiping the air. Pretty specs of ice float in front of him, not in a threatening manner at all. ''You took Taigas ideals and twisted them, and smiling for a second because I told you the truth doesn't make you suitable for his blade.'' Each one crumbles, shattering.
  39.  
  40. ''If you carried his justice in you, you wouldn't be scrambling for help to retrieve a spire shard. So that you can bring some no-name undead back to life when you have so many people around you already.
  41.  
  42. The sword doesn't deserve to be hung up or hidden, but it doesn't deserve to land in the hands that sully everything it ever stood for. Taiga would have never wanted you to die for anything, he would have wanted you to live for these things.''
  43.  
  44. An icy breath escapes his maw. ''Now. Again. You have given me reasons not to give you this blade, and you keep proving you aren't worth its weight. If anyone has a right to this, it's me. Even if that hurts you deeply, Siegfried... Even if the sword isn't useful to me... It's my right to pick it's inheriter.''
  45.  
  46. Fingers move to point at the door, furrowing his eyebrows. ''Now you can get out until you give me a reason to even consider what you have said. And take your blade with you, as I have no sympathy for anyone who leaves themselves unarmed willingly.''
  47. (Adrian Rowan)
  48. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  49.  
  50. [15:16] Some noname undead.
  51.  
  52. Red-hot fury arcs throughout his entire being. He goes nuclear.
  53.  
  54. Assaulted on every level by the one he'd just made himself vulnerable to, torn down so quickly after being built up, Siegfried rips his sword out of the ground in which it'd been embed. With a singular hand, he twirls it, and levies the blade at his 'brother', a mirror image of what'd unfolded less than a mere year ago.
  55.  
  56. "I haven't twisted a fucking thing."
  57.  
  58. Adrian's done it now. His sorest points have been bashed into, smashed. Again and again, Adrian's vitriol finds purchase, tearing deep into him as the man speaks of how Siegfried couldn't be Taiga's living legacy...because he was in love, and had asked for help, that people could have denied?
  59.  
  60. To say that Siegfried's hands would sully the blade was in offense of everything he had ever stoodfor or ever loved. There was no other way that this could end.
  61.  
  62. Honed on the mountaintops, atop crested hills was a new, precise control. He digs deep into the untapped reservoirs of strength that he held within, that which guided him, time and again, into perilous battle and scraping out alive. Fire arcs down the length of Ryuujin's might, the same fire that burns within.
  63.  
  64. "But you have."
  65.  
  66. The gauntlet was thrown.
  67.  
  68. Siegfried, imbued with the burning hot rage of a man whose very being had been insulted to his very core, lashes out in his fury, aiming to tear Adrian down and retrieve that sword...
  69.  
  70. By force.
  71.  
  72. ---
  73.  
  74. Two brothers, fighting in their family home, their fathers long dead.
  75. (Siegfried)
  76.  
  77. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  78.  
  79.  
  80. [15:25] ''Still pathetic.''
  81.  
  82. The entire room seems to turn cold, as even the ground becomes an icy slope to stand upon. Wings spread out wide at his back, while mist falls slowly towards the ground.
  83.  
  84. Tired slits seem to widen, as the thrill of battle does make his body vibrate. Sharp teeth grinding together, while the axe is slowly drawn from his back. The very mist of Skadi falls upon the ground, as his body welcomes each and every drop of the cold.
  85.  
  86. ''More reasons to prove you aren't worth even holding it.''
  87.  
  88. As water forms, in such a small building. It rises, up and up. Around their feet and legs, but the armor of water protects Adrian from drowning. Suffocation soon finds Siegfried, as he was fighting on a time limit. Hydras too big to be inside his home, but he was willing to ruin his furniture to prove a point.
  89.  
  90. ''Now I will make sure you never touch this blade.''
  91.  
  92. Should he call upon the Dragons? Not yet; he didn't need their aid over something so pitiful. For now, he planned to use his own strength to teach Siegfried a lesson... Despite being inside this house, put him at a severe disadvantage.
  93. (Adrian Rowan)
  94.  
  95. Adrian was a force to be reckoned with, and he clearly wasn't anything close to a joke. When the Dragon's cold touched the air, it meant you were in trouble. And to disrespect that by charging into him, would only bring you regret.
  96.  
  97. Siegfried wielded his blade high, but Adrian simply didn't see any threat. All he saw was betrayal... Another brother that had only disappointed him, another one that trampled on everything he worked for. And to think... He would have gone lengths for him? But a sword, tips him over the edge?
  98.  
  99. The house is flooded, Siegfried's lungs are suffering. And each time the man comes in, Adrian's own flesh is torn and ripped. Adrian had no armor on, he wasn't prepared for a fight. And blood sputters across the waters, causing crimson to float in his ocean.
  100.  
  101. Flames met with much more powerful ice and water is sullied out before Adrian had had enough. Fingersdance across waves, as ice forms in the prison, he had created. Siegfried's entire body tightens, as frost moves over his entire body. Skin suffers, and even his mind. Cold took away most senses while amplifying others.
  102.  
  103. Numbness, it folds as the waters drown out. Like turning into smoke, but moisture joining the atmosphere instead. Flames dance along Siegfried's frozen body, leaving many burns and cold frost to shiver off from his flesh.
  104.  
  105. But even then, it was quite clear Adrian was holding back. While he could have easily frozen a limb and removed it, all he receives is frostbite on his sword arm. Enough to make him scream, enough to make him drop his blade.
  106.  
  107. ''You... HAVE PROVEN ME YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF EVER WIELDING MY FATHERS BLADE. YOU DARE ATTACK ME IN MY OWN HOME, OVER A SWORD? YOU HAVE NO RIGHT, YOU NEVER WILL.''
  108.  
  109. Hands shaking, if Siegfried wasn't his brother... His life might have been forfeit. But no, Adrian wanted him to live and strive... Even if he felt betrayed, even if he felt disgusted.
  110.  
  111. ''I don't want you to look at me... Or mutter a single word. You can go join the other disgusting people that sully my name behind my back. To scream and shout... To act like I am some ultimate evil.
  112.  
  113. You have lost any chance you ever had, at touching his blade. He would have never wanted this or wanted you to even do anything so drastic. I cannot banish you from Levengard, but I would prefer if you never spoke in my direction again.''
  114.  
  115. Moving over, as the house was a mess. Walls destroyed, furniture torn. It was destroyed... Because of them both. And Adrian takes two things from him, two things that he was sure might have been painful to lose. The tome of Wayfinding, and his key.
  116.  
  117. ''If you don't crawl out, I will drag you out by your wounds.''
  118. (Adrian Rowan)
  119.  
  120. _______________________________
  121.  
  122.  
  123. Only a sword.
  124.  
  125. The sword was literally the only thing that tied a man to his dead father.
  126.  
  127. A man who had received nothing of that dead father.
  128.  
  129. Nothing. Not a single keepsake. Not a single momento of the time they'd spent together.
  130.  
  131. Siegfried had ran around, preaching of Taiga's deeds, defending his name, against Isaac, against Ashalle, against the world, refusing to hear even an ounce of disrespect to that name. He'd publicly called out Esme Rowan. He'd risked his life. He'd been permanently injured. Such was his devotion, his love to his father.
  132.  
  133. And all that Siegfried had asked was that the sword that his father wielded in combat, the very sword he had intended to pass to Siegfried, be given to him at last.
  134.  
  135. Only for this.
  136.  
  137. To have to fight his 'brother' for it. For the house to be ransacked. To lose his wayfinding notes. To be kicked from the family home. To be disrespected, insulted, belittled, as if it were so wrong to think it was fucked up to even insinuate that Adrian should be giving that sword to anyone but Taiga Rowan's successor.
  138.  
  139. No.
  140.  
  141. "Kill me, then," he says bluntly, body singed and sprinkled with ice. "You are a coward. Stingy. Clinging to that sword and trying to accuse me of greed and betrayal because you want to keep everything from our parents for yourself. You have the homes. The axe. You have access to all of their wealth, and resources. You've taken back my key, my notes. And you'd dare look at me and go, 'what are you doing to do about it' and call it betrayal, when I lash out because you won't give me the one thing that I know he'd have wanted me to have? That if he were here, right now, he would be screaming in your face?"
  142.  
  143. There was no way.
  144.  
  145. No way.
  146.  
  147. That Taiga would be siding with Adrian in this.
  148.  
  149. "Just kill me now. I will never, ever let this go."
  150. (Siegfried)
  151.  
  152.  
  153. Siegfried says, "Lie to yourself all you want. But you know the truth. Taiga wouldn't want you to have -everything-."
  154.  
  155. _________________________________________________
  156.  
  157.  
  158. Did he have to take his role again? Did he have to be that person? Just like before, they were stubborn. Just like when Keitaro came, Adrian felt like everything he did was to better him.
  159.  
  160. This wasn't that, but it was close to it. But right now, he was so tired. He was nice, he wanted Siegfried to prove to him that he could be trusted with it. To prove he wouldn't throw his life away, to prove that he wasn't going to dedicate him over this undead.
  161.  
  162. ''I have everything because that's where it's safe Siegfried, and I have been nothing but nice and supportive of you. These items all link me back to my family, and I can't give one of them away without trusting it's in safe hands.''
  163.  
  164. A cold breath, as a smile forms on his lips.
  165.  
  166. ''Your hands aren't safe.''
  167.  
  168. Lifting his boot up, he brings it down to apply pressure to his frozen limb. Pushing down to cause pain to channel through Siegfried's body, twisting his foot back and forth until he whimpered.
  169.  
  170. ''Asking me to end your life is an insult, Siegfried. You are far too weak for me to even consider killing, so how about you get the fuck out of my house and change that?'' More pressure is applied, as teeth, grit and wide slits glare down at him.
  171.  
  172. ''Just because a dog barks, doesn't mean they get what they want! And all you have done is bark, Siegfried. Like the mongrel, you've proven to be, filthy... And lost. You continue to disrespect my father's ideals, you spit on them... Now, what are you going to do, bark more?''
  173.  
  174. Removing his boot, Adrian leans down. Grabbing his jaw, he pulls it up to make him look at him. ''Do you think dogs get food when they beg? Please... Do me a favor and get out of my sight.
  175.  
  176. And if you ever consider taking the easy way out, then you were never a brother of mine.''
  177. (Adrian Rowan)
  178.  
  179. Hot rage unlike anything he has ever felt filters inside of his body, but it has no outlet. Control of his body has been wrestled from him, for the umpteenth time in his life. Yet again, time, and time, and time again, hGe is defeated, narrowly, the outcome of the bout close enough that he could detect victory, hanging just outside of the realm of possibility.
  180.  
  181. Even if Adrian was holding back.
  182.  
  183. His hands are crushed, and he screams, in agony, utterly at the mercy of a man he'd assaulted. They were not two brothers at this point.
  184.  
  185. Perhaps they never really had been.
  186.  
  187. Siegfried lies on the ground, and, for what must be the umpteenth time in his life, remains on the ground, unable to defend himself. The pain is sufficient that his vision momentarily whites out, and he sees spots in the corner of his eyes, his entire being seeming overcome with vertigo.
  188.  
  189. And then, suddenly, his head is grasped, and he's made to look into the eyes of the dragon.
  190.  
  191. You continue to disrespect my father's ideals, you spit on them...Now what are you going to do, bark more?
  192.  
  193. Siegfried is bodily handled. Ejected from where Taiga and Niklaus had welcomed them both. Left with nothing of them, not even the notes, so that he could finetune his wayfinding. Nothing to tie him to those he'd cherished, those who were gone now. The men he'd lived his life in envy and pursuit of, trying to be like, trying to become, forever out of his grasp.
  194.  
  195. He was hurt.
  196.  
  197. He was pissed.
  198.  
  199. ---
  200.  
  201. -And if you ever consider taking the easy way out, then you were never a brother of mine.-
  202.  
  203. They'd see about that.
  204. (Siegfried)
  205.  
  206. ((Siegfried ventures into the mountains. Finds Clara, and is able to get into the house in which she stays, now, as an undead, with her family. After a long talk, and many regrets expressed, as well as a vengeful spirit appearing to them, the night winds down with him, alone in the house, where everyone else has either went to sleep or ventured off. There, on the carpet, he tries to connect with the spirits of Bhaldraithe on the mountain, after speaking to her sleeping form:))
  207.  
  208. Siegfried unlocks the door.
  209.  
  210. ---
  211.  
  212. Just A Big House
  213.  
  214. This is just a building that might be lived in. It's warm inside at least, and sometimes there are lights in the windows. If someone sticks around outside long enough and doesn't freeze, they might see some people slipping in and out of it.
  215.  
  216. Those who actually enter will see a large meeting area filling the first floor, and a bigger storage space in the back. Upstairs, however, is where there are beds, and plenty of them. Does a family live here? Or maybe a pack of hobos?? Who knows.
  217.  
  218. There's also a piano set up in a dingy space that clearly made to look nice, but isn't really succeeding at it.
  219.  
  220. ----
  221.  
  222. Siegfried locks the door.
  223. Siegfried says, "Hm. You're asleep."
  224. Siegfried says, "That's alright...I'll just talk to you anyway, since I ain't got nobody else to talk to. I feel like you don't understand a whole lot o' what I'm saying nowadays anyway."
  225. Siegfried says, "It's not 'yer fault. You don't really got all your memories, or most o' yer sense anymore. That's why I need to help you."
  226. Siegfried sits aside the love of his life, on her bed. Since her passing, in an attempt to move on, there'd been attempts at just running from this. Running was his natural state of being. To Siegfried, the great equalizer of pain was just escapism, whether it was alcohol, or running, literally, or sometimes figuratively.
  227.  
  228. He'd spoken to other women. Never gotten anywhere far with them. He'd always pulled away before that happened. Mourning her loss, he'd considered a plethora of things to get away from it all. And yet, he'd still found himself thinking about her. About her death. How he'd failed her.
  229.  
  230. That'd brought him into the mountains, seeking Sors, ready to die.
  231.  
  232. His hand grabs hers. Clammy. Cold. The pale flesh of an undead. His eyes descend to the hand that now belonged to his Clara, so different from the vibrant battle princess of Dawn's.
  233.  
  234. "You are all that keeps me together."
  235. (Siegfried)
  236.  
  237. Siegfried says, "The whole world tells me to leave you alone. That this is wrong. That I'm wrong."
  238. Siegfried says, "My brother called you a no-name undead. He's walked in the circles he was meant to walk his entire life. He basks in the glow, now, the center of attention, able to command a room. Champion of Skadi. Niklaus and Taiga's boy."
  239. Siegfried says, "I tried to fight him, but a lifetime of strife has left me nothing compared to what he is."
  240. Siegfried says, "Some might say, then, that I was born to fail."
  241. Siegfried says, "But you always believed in me."
  242. Siegfried says, "And that's why I'll never, ever give up on you, Clara Ultovex."
  243. Siegfried says, "Even if it's only you an' Tobias that call me 'hero'."
  244. Siegfried says, "That's enough for me to play that hero until my last breath."
  245. Siegfried says, "This story is not yet finished."
  246.  
  247. ---
  248.  
  249. There is naught else for him to do but remain seated, crossing his arms, his legs, and meditating.
  250.  
  251. Within Clara's house, with her, he has attained serenity, and some semblance of peace of mind. To be reunited with his love, even in this hallowed shell, this cruel vestige of what she'd once been, to have had his wings torn by Adrian and then be cast down to the ground like an insect, it is humbling. It is humiliating.
  252.  
  253. But he can only move forward.
  254.  
  255. Shirtless, he breathes in, and breathes out. Those breaths he takes are the stresses leaving his body. Burns and ice line his torso, but if he is bothered, it does not show on his face. Behind him, an expanse of failures, countless defeats, and disappointment.
  256.  
  257. And yet...
  258.  
  259. Now, in here, in this moment, in his meditation, a new outlook. Pure mana, controlled, honed, and guided ekes from his body. He is enveloped by it, able to produce constructs that encircle his weapon, his body, an enhancement ofhis raw physical parameters to startling new heights. And he hears things, like never before.
  260.  
  261. Voices of the world speak out to him. He can hear the history on these hills. Of the once-Invidia family, history shared with him by Adonis. Words bestowed upon him by the guardian of the mountain that'd argued with them the night prior. The spirits here are restless, and while Siegfried cannot yet make out what they say in clarity, while he still knows little of the spirit realm, he has now begun his walk down the path.
  262.  
  263. For one who is empathetic, one who is self-sacrificing, and one whose road has been blocked by obstacles from the outset, it comes too naturally.
  264.  
  265. When Siegfried's eyes snap open, they glimmer a transcendent, bright blue.
  266.  
  267. -I'm just getting started.-
  268. (Siegfried)
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